Churchill Downs

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NBC to be Broadcast Partner of WEG

NBC to be Broadcast Partner of WEG

On the lavish fourth floor of the Jockey Club Suites, two days prior to the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs, representatives of the World Games 2010 Foundation announced NBC as the official network broadcast partner for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington Sept. 25-Oct. 10, 2010.

Big Brown Gets Easy Work at Churchill

Big Brown Gets Easy Work at Churchill

Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. sent Big Brown for an easy work over the Churchill Downs surface May 1, and the imposing colt looked every bit the Derby favorite as he took to the track under regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin. Big Brown, installed as the 3-1 morning line choice following the April 30 post position draw, went three-eighths in :35 2/5.

Sugar Swirl Could Sweeten Humana Distaff

Sugar Swirl Could Sweeten Humana Distaff

Stronach Stables' homebred Sugar Swirl has taken everything trainer Brian Lynch has thrown at her, including four back-to-back stakes races " three of them graded. Now the 5-year-old daughter of Touch Gold seeks her first grade I victory against the likes of Hystericalady, Baroness Thatcher, and Intangaroo in the $300,000 Humana Distaff Stakes (gr. I).

Matz is Quietly Confident in Visionaire

Matz is Quietly Confident in Visionaire

Things are relatively quiet at the barn of trainer Michael Matz and void of the media buzz that surrounded other such barns as Richard Dutrow and Eoin Harty leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Pletcher's Pair Arrives at Churchill

Pletcher's Pair Arrives at Churchill

As Todd Pletcher's contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) arrived at Barn 34 from Keeneland April 30, accompanied by stakes contenders Danzon, Leah's Secret, and Garden District, the Eclipse Award-winning trainer took time to reflect upon the challenge of reaching - let alone winning - the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Derby Post Position Selection Order

Derby Post Position Selection Order

Big Brown drew No. 16 at the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) post position selection order Wednesday morning, meaning that the probable Derby favorite may have to break from the auxiliary gate when the field of 20 lines up for action May 3 at Churchill Downs.

Morning Line: It's All in the Draw

Morning Line: It's All in the Draw

The best drama in Louisville today takes place in the racing office on the backside at Churchill Downs. It's the pill pull to see what order post positions will be drawn later this afternoon in the made-for-television post position show on ESPN.

Foaling Dates of Derby Contenders

Foaling Dates of Derby Contenders

Poet T.S. Eliot labeled April "cruelest month," but it is not a bad month on stud farms for foaling winners of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). In fact, over the last eight years, April foals have won three runnings of the Derby. February, the month that gives us both Groundhog Day and Presidents Day despite being the shortest month of the year, has been responsible for five winners.

Jones Girls Rule Kentucky Oaks Line-Up

Jones Girls Rule Kentucky Oaks Line-Up

Trainer Larry Jones took it as a sign of better things to come when his Eight Belles drew the outside 12 post for the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but all was not lost for the Kentucky-born trainer when his Proud Spell drew post 8 in the 1 1/8-mile race for the lilies on the first Friday in May.

Ginger Punch Tops Louisville Field

Ginger Punch Tops Louisville Field

Frank Stronach's 5-year-old Ginger Punch heads a field packed with talent in the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day May 2. Facing the Eclipse Award winner will be grade I winner Lear's Princess, grade II winner Kettleoneup, and blacktype winner Unforgotten.

Cowboy Cal Races to Help Fight Cancer

Janice and Robert McNair of Stonerside Stable announced April 29 that any earnings by their homebred Cowboy Cal in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be donated to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, in memory of John Long.

Dutrow Remains Confident

Dutrow Remains Confident

Ten years ago Rick Dutrow was living in a tack room at Aqueduct, determined to make it on his own in the racing industry. On the morning of April 28, he faced a room full of media members intent on covering the progress of his contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

ADW Impact on Churchill Downs Unclear

ADW Impact on Churchill Downs Unclear

It's difficult to gauge the immediate effect of the ongoing dispute with Kentucky horsemen on the Churchill Downs' spring meet, as handle on racing from the opening weekend at the Louisville track was down only slightly from 2007, according to one data source.

Morning Line: Super Tuesday

Trainer Nick Zito is holding court with a ring of media members outside his barn. The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer has two starters for Saturday's running: Cool Coal Man and Anak Naktal. Zito is talking about the subject of the year: synthetic surfaces. We have a feeling he's not a big fan.

Visionaire Breezes As Expected

Visionaire Breezes As Expected

Michael Matz didn't expect Visionaire to sizzle in his final work before the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), so the trainer was satisfied when the colt breezed a half-mile in :48.40 Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

Adriano Drills 5Fs in 1:00 4/5

Adriano Drills 5Fs in 1:00 4/5

Adriano worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday morning in preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The striking chestnut son of A.P. Indy got the distance in 1:00 4/5 under exercise rider Xavier Aizpuru.

Sunday Morning Line: Twice on Sunday

Sunday Morning Line: Twice on Sunday

Mike Barnes is a big LSU fan. He can't help but hide it. The exercise rider's helmet has the distinctive "LSU" logo that adorns the Tiger's football helmets. "I bleed purple and gold," the Louisiana native says. "I've been a fan since birth."

Derby Jockey Profile: Garrett Gomez

Derby Jockey Profile: Garrett Gomez

With a nationwide network of top clients and an agent who keeps him on the country's best horses, Garrett "Go-Go" Gomez used up enough frequent flier miles last year to earn him plenty of free trips to Louisville. Now the key is finding a winner in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Derby Jockey Profile: Shaun Bridgmohan

Derby Jockey Profile: Shaun Bridgmohan

Call Shaun Bridgmohan the strong, silent type. This 28-year-old rider keeps a relatively low profile in the jockeys' room and could be overshadowed by his more flamboyant fellow riders. But his exceedingly professional approach to his career has been the foundation for a highly successful partnership with trainer Steve Asmussen, for whom Bridgmohan will ride Pyro in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Kentucky Derby: Graded Stakes Earnings

Kentucky Derby: Graded Stakes Earnings

The field for the 134th running of the $2-million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Saturday, May 3, at Churchill Downs is limited to 20 horses. Here is a look at graded stakes earnings for Kentucky Derby 134 nominees through April 23, 2008.

Camacho Confident in Bsharpsonata

Camacho Confident in Bsharpsonata

Jockey Eric Camacho was in Louisville April 23 to work Cloverleaf Farm's Bsharpsonata, from the Tim Salzman stable, one of the favorites in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Pulpit was sharp in her five-furlong breeze, stopping the clock in :59.80, the third fastest drill of the morning at the famed Kentucky oval.

Guild Plan Submitted; Gertmenian Out

Guild Plan Submitted; Gertmenian Out

Two days after the Jockeys' Guild filed a formal plan of reorganization in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the U.S. Trustee overseeing the action dropped the group's former national manager Wayne Gertmenian from the unsecured creditors committee.

Derby Jockey Profile: Rafael Bejarano

Derby Jockey Profile: Rafael Bejarano

He has a new first-rate home base (California) and a new first-call trainer (Bobby Frankel), but Rafael Bejarano, 25, will be back in Kentucky to ride Anak Nakal for trainer Nick Zito in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) the first Saturday in May.

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