Yesterday, a horse named Leigh McLovin ran second in her first start in a maiden special weight. That made us think of two things: McLovin...and McLovin.
Alina, only three-quarters of a length in back of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) starter Eight Belles in her last start, is the 5-2 favorite in the $150,000 La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Run Away and Hide stalked the early pace, took over just at the top of the lane, and drew clear to post a 2 1/2-length victory in the Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) May 1 at Churchill Downs.
- By Esther Marr
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.
All systems are "go" for Smooth Air's scheduled start in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), according to the colt's conditioner, Bennie Stutts Jr.
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.
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).
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).
Despite entering the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at 20-1 on the morning line, Awesome Chic is a filly that should not be overlooked. She has the class and the pedigree to pull an upset in the 1 1/8-mile race for the lilies at Churchill Downs.
Frank Calabrese's homebred Dreaming of Anna, winner of the March 15 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) in her last start, will be the one to beat when nine older fillies and mares heads postward in the $150,000-added Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT).
Noonmark, who dropped down to allowance-optional claiming as late as September of 2007, looks for his second graded stakes score of the year when he takes on eight older horses in the $250,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) May 3.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the Florida legislature prepares to end its annual session May 2, chances appear very slim that it will pass either of two slot machine bills being sought by the Thoroughbred industry.
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.
Centennial Farms' Chelokee, on the Triple Crown trail a year ago, makes his return to graded stakes action May 2 when he faces six older horses in the $150,000 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) on the dirt at Churchill Downs.
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.
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).
Two-time Eclipse Award winner Mike Smith won the Kentucky Derby aboard Giacomo in 2005. Since then, he's had Derby fever even worse than before.
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.
Country Star to ship to Churchill Wednesday; Rasierra may supplement; Elusive Lady joins Oaks cast.
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.
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Big Brown shipped into Churchill Downs April 28, exhibiting the same ease with which he earned his latest five-length victory.
Denis of Cork in after Behindatthebar skips Derby; five others turn in works; Big Brown to arrive Monday afternoon.
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.
Bob Black Jack, the runner-up to Colonel John in the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), drilled a half-mile at Churchill Downs late Monday morning in :48 3/5.
There should have been a celebration at trainer David Carroll's barn at Churchill Downs Monday morning, but instead it was more like a funeral.
WinStar Farm's Colonel John, one of the favorites for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), solidified his status with a scintillating five-furlong bullet work over the main track at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
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.
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."
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again had the determination to overcome four graded stakes winners, plus four others, when he powered to the lead in the $115,200 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs April 26.
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).
David Flores has been around the block a time or two, but he has yet to find his way to the Kentucky Derby winner's circle. This year, he has two potential mounts in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Manoel Cruz has never won a grade I race, and his most significant career victory came in a grade II event with a purse of $200,000. On May 3, he'll tackle the $2-million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) aboard Smooth Air.
Louie Roussel didn't like the weather forecast for Saturday, or Sunday, and Monday for that matter, so he moved Recapturetheglory's five-furlong work to Friday morning.
Darley Stable's Little Belle, winner of the April 5 Ashland Stakes (gr. I), sailed through her April 25 half-mile work at Keeneland in :46.20, second-fastest of 42 outings at the distance.
Recapturetheglory wasn't scheduled to work Friday morning at Churchill Downs, but trainer and co-owner Louie Roussel changed his plan for the colt.
Anak Nakal breezes a half-mile in :46.60.
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).
Cool Coal Man Works; Big Brown Zips at Palm Meadows; Anak Nakal to work Friday.
Kinsman Stable's Majestic Warrior, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga last summer in his second career start, heads a field of 10 3-year-olds entered in the 84th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial at Churchill Downs April 26.
Cool Coal Man, who ran ninth in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), worked a half mile in :47 2/5 under exercise rider Megan Smillie at Churchill Downs April 24.
One year ago, Rags to Riches was a superstar on the racetrack and the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Today, she is an expectant mother spending her retirement days at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
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.
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.
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.
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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