As the gates opened at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks day, the key was not the field for the race but the weather forecast.
A lot of talk this week has centered on Street Sense's attempt to break the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I)/Kentucky Derby (gr. I) curse, but there is a little known fact that Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winners have also suffered their share of bad racing luck on the first Friday in May.
Massage helps Hard Spun work out all the kinks before Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr.I).
Staff members and security guards at Churchill Downs are preparing for a visit from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, who will attend Saturday's running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
From Aristides in 1875 to Barbaro in 2006, homebred runners have a successful history in the Run for the Roses, with 49 of 132 winners carrying the colors of their breeders into the winner's circle at Churchill Downs.
The connections of Storm in May will have first choice when post positions are selected later this evening thanks to pulling the No. 1 pill during the pill pull at the racing office. In all 22 horses were entered. Reporting for Duty and Delightful Kiss did not draw into the body of the field due to lack of enough graded earnings.
The countdown to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) is on and the connections of the 14 fillies expected in the starting gate are eager to race for the lilies on the First Friday in May at Churchill Downs.
In a year filled with synthetic surface preps and extended layoffs between races, most of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders are looking to break some kind of trend.
Three Kentucky Derby contenders will be a few days shy of their actual third birthday prior to the First Saturday in May.
The pill pull at the racing office for the Derby is one of the most dramatic moments of the week.
A new advance deposit wagering service, TwinSpires, is prepared to launch on May 2, accepting wagers on the 2007 spring meet at Churchill Downs racetrack in time for the 133rd renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 5 and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) a day earlier, Churchill Downs Inc., announced.
It wasn't quite like a scene from Noah's Ark, but four of trainer Todd Pletcher's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders arrived Tuesday afternoon two by two in separate vans.
- By Esther Marr
The $1-million Yum! Brands bonus that will be offered to this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor if he posts a margin larger than Barbaro's 6 1/2-length triumph in 2006 received cautious responses from Derby-bound trainers Tuesday morning on the backstretch at Churchill Downs.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds court for an assembling of media in front of his spotless barn. He's the only trainer without a Derby horse who can still provoke a good half-hour worth of questioning.
Summer conditions expected this weekend at Churchill Downs have led the track to relax its security measure prohibiting patrons from packing sunscreen.
Yum! Brands, presenting sponsor for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), announced Monday, April 30, that it will offer a $1-million to the connections of any horse that wins this year's Derby and beats Barbaro's winning margin of 6 1/2 lengths.
The work of the morning at Churchill Downs Monday was Hard Spun's :57 3/5 scorcher, but other Derby hopefuls went through their final paces over the main track just after the renovation break. Trainer Bill Kaplan sent out Storm in May and Imawildandcrazyguy while trainer Darrin Miller worked Silverton Hills' Sedgefield.
Richard Porter's Hard Spun scorched the Churchill Downs main track Monday morning, blazing five furlongs in :57 3/5 under regular rider Mario Pino. Hard Spun worked in company, for a while at least, with graded stakes winner Wildcat Bettie B.
When I hear about the Yumfecta and Yum! Brands, I suddenly have an urge for a Root Beer Float...
Dominican, surprise winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) two weeks ago, worked five furlongs Sunday morning at Churchill Downs in :59 3/5.
Churchill Downs' new account wagering service, TwinSpires, will not be open for business in time for the opening of the 2007 spring meet on Saturday, Churchill Downs Inc. announced April 27.
To aid in unscientific handicapping (and for the entertainment of trivia aficionados), here are the stories behind the titles of this year's contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Doug O'Neill ruled the Derby roost Friday morning, sending out seven workers at Keeneland, including his three starters for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). When it was over, O'Neill and exercise rider Tony Romero were all smiles.
Kicking off Churchill Down's spring meet a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is the April 28 Derby Trial Stakes, where a full field of 14 3-year-old males will contend for the title of the $100,000 race. Appearing to head the field is Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg.
With speed the primary ingredient in the Thoroughbred, and true stamina being pushed deeper and deeper into a horse's pedigree, we have to try to find staying power wherever we can. Although old-fashioned stamina on the sire's side no longer is necessary to win the Derby, it still has been a main factor on the dam's side.
The connections of Dreaming of Anna are once again considering the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 4 at Churchill Downs for their champion 2-year-old filly.
HorseRacing Television's popular weekly show "Target Louisville" will be broadcast daily as "Target Louisville Live," offering racing fans up-to-date information developments directly from Churchill Downs leading up to the 133rd edition of the Kentucky Derby.
With not much going on at Churchill Downs or Keeneland Wednesday morning, this will be more of a potpourri of Derby tidbits and a few early thoughts on the race. And, guess what? We have another name being tossed in the Derby hat, which is par for the course in late April.
There was one disappointing aspect of Tuesday morning's brief activity at Churchill Downs. With 11 days still left until the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it would come as a major surprise - no, make that a shock - if any horse turns in a more impressive workout than Street Sense's five-furlong masterpiece.
Representatives from Churchill Downs will honor the late 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro and his owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, during a winner's circle ceremony at this year's Derby May 5. The ceremony will take place between races six and seven at approximately 2:30 p.m. EDT.
When Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5, they will enjoy a meal fit for a queen. Executive chef Gil Logan of Levy Restaurants, the official caterer for Churchill Downs, will showcase authentic Derby cuisine made with the finest, freshest ingredients, many from Kentucky Proud producers in the Bluegrass State.
The Klein Family Learning Center will open a special gift shop on the backside of Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby Week to benefit track workers.
In response to a release and teleconference by Youbet.com Monday concerning an impasse in its negotiations with TrackNet Media Group over account deposit wagering, Scott Daruty, chief executive officer of TrackNet Media Group, released a statement outlining his company's position.
Eclipse Award champions Wait A While, the nation's top 3-year-old filly of 2006, and Dreaming of Anna, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, are among stars nominated to compete in stakes races scheduled to be run at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby Week, April 28-May 5.
Robert Evans, the horse owner-breeder who became president and chief executive of Churchill Downs nine months ago, offered his advice on the future of his company and the horse industry in a frank interview that appears in the Monday, April 16, edition of the Wall Street Journal.
For the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Churchill Downs will host a public drawing for Derby fans to purchase two seats to the upcoming race. Churchill Downs will offer a total of 1,000 reserved seats, which will be sold in pairs of two beginning at 8 a.m. EDT April 14.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's Rags to Riches, the Todd Pletcher-trained winner of the Las Virgenes (gr. I) and Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), will be a heavy favorite when the third and final pool Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager ("KOFW") launches its four-day run April 12.
HorseRacing TV has reached an agreement with Racing World, a television and wagering rightsholder, in both the British and Irish markets, to provide its coverage of North American-based racetracks into homes in England and Ireland, beginning March 28.
A partnership led by former Magna Entertainment Corp. executive Corey Johnsen and Texas investment banker Ray Reid have purchased the majority interest in Kentucky Downs near Franklin, Ky.
Churchill Downs Inc. and the Jockeys' Guild announced settlement March 21 of legal claims filed against each other in U.S. District Court related to jockey boycotts of races at two Churchill Downs-owned racetracks in November 2004.
The rock band The Police have confirmed a July 14 performance under the famed Twin Spires at Louisville's historic Churchill Downs.
The Klein Family Learning Center and the Groom Elite Program will offer a three-day course in "Elite Grooming for Racehorse Owners" at sites in Louisville and Lexington March 23-25.
- By Ryan Conley
Youbet reiterated its desire to work with the new TrackNet Media team of Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment, hoping to build off a fifth-straight year the wagering company reported double-digit handle growth.
Churchill Downs reported net revenues of $376.67 million for 2006, a 5.71% increase over 2005, according to financial data released March 12.
Racing fans can experience all of the action from the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) prep seasons in a new way this year, through the official Web site of the Kentucky Derby, www.kentuckyderby.com. Churchill Downs will offer free video podcasts for the two prep seasons featuring updates on the contenders, replays of prep races and interviews with top handicappers. The racetrack will host the 133rd running of the Kentucky Oaks May 4 and the 133rd Kentucky Derby May 5.
Foreign horsemen who wish to ship their Thoroughbreds to compete in the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and other races at Churchill Downs will benefit from an on-track quarantine and isolation facility now located on the grounds.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Twenty years ago, in the infancy of whole-card simulcasting, there were fears that only the so-called "super tracks" would survive -- those offering the highest-quality racing signals to receiving sites around the country.
Rags to Riches has been installed as the morning line choice for Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which opens its four-day run March 8. The 24 betting interests in KOFW Pool 2 include nine fillies that were not among the horses listed in February's opening pool.
The "all others" bet remains the morning line favorite for the second of three pools of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ("KDFW"), which launches its four-day run March 8.
- By Tom LaMarra
Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment Corp., the two leading owners of racetracks in North America, said March 5 they have entered into agreements that include CDI's purchase of 50% interest in MEC's HRTV network.
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