Trainers Jeff Runco and James Casey and Charles Town Race Track emerged the big winners of the Oct. 8 West Virginia Classics, nine stakes races with total purses exceeding $1.1 million for horses bred in West Virginia.
First-crop sire Denis of Cork (by Harlan's Holiday) records his first winner, Celtic Moon, who breaks his maiden July 7 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Denis of Cork, a graded stakes winner and third in the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will enter stud at Tom Simon's Vinery near Summerfield, Fla.
Mr. and Mrs. William Warren's Denis of Cork, who was third in the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has been retired, trainer David Carroll said Jan. 22.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) has cataloged 1,342 yearlings for its August yearling sale, which will be held in Central Florida Aug. 18-21. The auction will begin with a select session of 230 select yearlings; three open sessions will follow.
Denis of Cork, runner-up in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will be sidelined with the beginnings of a hairline fracture, owner William K. Warren said Monday.
Nick Zito, New York's favorite son, shuts the door on another Triple Crown bid, this time beating Big Brown with Da' Tara.
The eight other runners from the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were resting well, their trainers looking on to future goals for the summer, as the Triple Crown season concluded June 7.
Trainer David Carroll was aboard Denis of Cork June 5 as the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) went to the paddock, stood in the starting gate and then galloped 1 1/4 miles on Belmont's main track.
For the third time in about a week Casino Drive had one of those non-published works that everyone has come to expect. The first time was by himself, the second with two workmates, and today's with one workmate. But this time it was different, as his jockey Edgar Prado was aboard for the first time.
Triple Crown contender Big Brown was installed the 2-5 morning line favorite and drew the rail in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The New York Racing Association said June 2 a field of nine is probable for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), third leg of the Triple Crown.
Denis of Cork completed his serious preparation for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7 with an easy half-mile breeze at Churchill Downs June 2. Denis of Cork, who finished third to unbeaten Triple Crown contender Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed four furlongs under jockey Robby Albarado in :48.60.
Can a son of Boundary win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I)? Many people had their doubts that a Boundary could win at 1 1/4 miles, but Big Brown keeps defying the odds and eliminating one question mark after another.
Denis of Cork went from last to third in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and it is that bid that has led many to think he will enjoy the extra quarter-mile he will have to run in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender Denis of Cork tuned up for a run at unbeaten Triple Crown challenger Big Brown on June 7 with a strong five-furlong workout May 26 at Churchill Downs.
As of May 26, New York Racing Association Stakes Coordination Andrew Byrnes expects the Belmont Stakes field to be: Big Brown, Anak Nakal, Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Icabad Crane, Macho Again, Tale of Ekati, and Tomcito.
Two Churchill Downs-based 3-year-olds that are being pointed toward a battle against Big Brown in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were reported to be doing well with just over two weeks remaining before the June 7 "Test of the Champion."
Thoroughbred racing treads a fine line between its loftiest peak and its deepest abyss. Once again, celebration and sorrow clashed in the Kentucky Derby.
Early indications are that none of the horses that finished behind Big Brown in his impressive 4 3/4-length victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will move on to the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
United Parcel Service has never made a delivery like Big Brown delivered May 3 at Churchill Downs, romping home by nearly five lengths to remain unbeaten in four starts with a scintillating win in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
This space will not focus too much on Big Brown or Colonel John. The comments and observations that follow are designed to help ferret out some elusive price horses, based on looks, works, and gallops.
HRTV's originally produced show on the Derby contenders. Big Brown and Smooth Air work, Comments from connections about the post positions, Monba and Cowboy Cal on track at Churchill Downs, and an interview with Big Brown Trainer, Rick Dutrow.
It was only appropriate that the final Kentucky Derby work belong to Big Brown, who showed why he just may be as special as his connections believe he is.
Breeders Alfonso and Nora Figliolia of Westbury Stables had seven foals in their crop of 2005. From that small group emerged two horses that are scheduled to run this weekend in Churchill Downs' premier races.
The Sanan family's Padua Stables' Behindatthebar will not enter the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and instead will point for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The decision opens the door for Mr. and Mrs. William Warren's Denis of Cork who had been 21st on the graded earnings list.
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.
Richard Migliore bounds through Barn 45 at Churchill Downs at a few minutes past nine. That's late for a racetracker, but the jet-setting jockey has a valid excuse. He just got into town.
For all those who have written off Denis of Cork, the one-time leading Kentucky Derby contender turned in a sensational work at Churchill Downs Monday.
Well, we're down to our final two major preps, the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) and Arkansas Derby (gr. II), with the Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) and Holy Bull (gr. III) thrown in for good measure. The question right now is: what did we learn from last Saturday's preps?
Recapturetheglory, thought to be nothing more than a pacesetter, jumped to the early lead and never gave it up, powering home to a commanding four-length victory in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 5 at Hawthorne Race Course.
IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr.'s Big Brown, the unbeaten winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I), remained the top choice of Kentucky Derby fans as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager reached its midway point April 4.
In the Grade II Illinois Derby, Denis of Cork won't get the dream trip he had in the Grade III Southwest Stakes. And his plans have been changed twice since that race. So will he come through in Chicago on Saturday?
William K. Warren's Denis of Cork will put his undefeated record on the line and try to remain near the top of a small list of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorites April 5 when he takes on six rivals in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Denis of Cork was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of seven in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 5 at Hawthorne Race Course.
Denis of Cork, Blackberry Road, and My Pal Charlie worked at Churchill Downs March 30 as they prepared for final starts before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Judging from his half-mile breeze in a bullet :47 2/5 Thursday, perhaps the reports of War Pass' demise have been greatly exaggerated. The 2-year-old champ's work was the fastest of 11 at the distance.
Complications with travel arrangements could keep the undefeated Denis of Cork from coming to New York for the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr.I) at Aqueduct April 5. Denis of Cork's trainer, David Carroll, said the other option for the winner of the Southwest Stakes (gr.III) is the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr.II) at Hawthorne Race Course April 5.
Entries for the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) won't be drawn until March 31, but from the looks of the nominations, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prep is shaping into a deep and competitive field with many of the nation's top trainers and horses participating.
Despite being ranked No. 1 or 2 on just about every Derby poll, Pyro, for some reason, has been branded by many a slow horse and simply the best of a bad lot. Yes, the pace in his two starts this year has been slow, and his final times have not exactly set the Fair Grounds teletimer aflame, but is this horse really as slow as many of the experts say he is?
So, the undefeated 2-year-old champion, sent off at 1-20 in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), had a fever the week before the race and the public was unaware of it. There is nothing that can be said here that won't be said in the weeks to come by those who bet War Pass, including the bridge jumpers, and those who had invested in him emotionally.
Denis of Cork, the undefeated winner of the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) who was expected to vie for favoritism in Saturday's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), will not run in the race, and instead will await either the April 5 Wood Memorial (gr. I) or Illinois Derby (gr. II) the same day.
Despite three losses to reigning 2-year-old champion War Pass, Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Pyro is the 4-1 favorite as Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager closed March 9.
War Pass and Pyro are each at odds of 4-1 heading into the final day of wagering for Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager after conclusion of betting March 8.
War Pass, who kicked off his 2008 Triple Crown campaign with an allowance victory at Gulfstream Feb. 24, stood as the solid 5-2 favorite as the first day of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 drew to a close March 6.
So, did Saturday's Sham Stakes (gr. III) showcase two exceptional 3-year-olds or was it simply about two top horses running agonizingly slow early and coming home fast late over a synthetic surface? We'll know the answer when they hit the quarter pole at Churchill Downs on May 3.
There's just no escaping it. You can question his pedigree and his running style all you want, but War Pass is simply in a class by himself right now, and until someone figures out how to beat him or his pedigree catches up to him, he has to be the top dog.
Denis of Cork came with a three-wide move into the stretch and ran away with the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) to score a 2 1/4 length win Feb. 18 at Oaklawn. The $250,000 mile race for 3-year-olds was run in 1:37.59.
Denis of Cork, at 8-1 in the morning line, is the Southwest pick.
Coming off his Delta Jackpot win, the Dixie Union colt looks to solidify Derby position Feb. 18 at Oaklawn Park.
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