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Haskin's Road to the Kentucky Derby: Searching for the Winner

He's out there, somewhere. He may be in the back of his stall nibbling on a mound of alfalfa, or stretched out with his head nestled in a bed of straw. He may be nothing more than a shrouded figure galloping through an early morning fog or a mere silhouette against a golden sunrise. But one thing is certain: somewhere out there is the winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Derby Winner Monarchos Makes 2002 Debut Saturday

John C. Oxley's Monarchos, who capped a strong winter-spring campaign with victories in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) last year, makes his 4-year-old debut here Saturday as he preps for Gulfstream Park's $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 9.

Fever Pitch

By Steve Haskin -- There are 2,904 hours until the Kentucky Derby. By the time I finish writing this, there will be 2,903. I figure approximately 650 of those hours will be spent sleeping, leaving 2,253 hours to think about the Derby.

Kentucky Derby 2002: Siphonic And Other Presents

This is it, the final report for 2001. Starting next week, we'll officially be on the 2002 Kentucky Derby trail, as the major scenes shift to Gulfstream and Santa Anita, joining the already-in-progress Fair Grounds and Aqueduct meets. We close the year with the Hollywood Futurity and several more impressive maiden and allowance victories.

2002 Derby Hopefuls: Early Horse-by-Horse Rundown

Before the early (and we stress early) list of classic hopefuls gets too long, we're going to sort out the growing number of promising 2-year-olds and take a crack at where they might fit in the 2002 Kentucky Derby picture. We're sure there will be omissions, but this at least will provide an idea who might be some of the major players next spring. Horses are listed in alphabetical order:

2002 Kentucky Derby: Steve Haskin Looks Ahead

Derby fever, in November? Heck, why not. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner is tucked away somewhere in Ireland, and until word surfaces from the usually tight-lipped Coolmore people, he will remain out of sight in winter hibernation. Whether or not a full-grown grizzly bear is going to emerge next year, and whether he's going to come back here looking for more easy pickins we won't know for a while.

Last Call

By Ed Schuyler -- Often it is best to make a quick exit, and that's what Monarchos gave me for my 33rd and last Kentucky Derby.

Derby Dreams

By Ray Paulick -- John and Donna Ward's stable is thriving, in large part because of a team approach to their operation.

Let's Not Disappoint Them

By Karl Schmitt -- The last weekend in April, 30 young sports journalists from across the country descended on Churchill Downs to attend the Kentucky Derby Collegiate Sports Journalism Seminar. They came hoping to network, boost their résumés and revel with peers. They were not disappointed. But more important, they left with a deeper understanding and appreciation for Thoroughbred racing.

Startac To Contest Derby

Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac has been confirmed as a starter for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. Trainer Simon Bray said Alex Solis would ride Startac in the Derby. Startac will be the first Derby entrant for Bray, a former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

Game at Its Best

By John Veitch -- There is not a year that goes by, when the first Saturday in May approaches, that 1978 and Alydar don't come to life in my subconscious.

Missing in Action?

The entry box at Churchill Downs doesn't close until 10 a.m. on May 2, but as this is written it appears the 127th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be renewed without an entry from the barn of D. Wayne Lukas.

Magical Ride

By Ray Paulick -- Fifteen years ago in the 112th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), a 73-year-old trainer put a 54-year-old jockey up on a 3-year-old colt named Ferdinand, and something magical happened. Now Laffit Pincay, like Shoemaker in 1986, is 54 years old, and standing in the twilight of a Hall of Fame career. Can he pull a rabbit out of his hat under the Twin Spires this May 5?

A Look Ahead at the Illinois Derby, Lady Hallie

Dogwood Stable's Distilled, one of the leading candidates for this Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby, worked five-eighths of a mile on a fast track Monday morning at his Hialeah Park homebase. The chestnut son of Hennessy covered the distance in 1:02 1/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15. The drill was one-fifth of a second quicker than that of A. P. Valentine, who prepped Monday for the Grade III Flamingo in 1:02 2/5: The connections of Secret Romeo will decide Monday afternoon whether or not to start in the Illinois Derby. Entries for the Grade II, mile and an eighth race will be drawn Tuesday.

Dollar Bill Bucks The Web

For those who want to get their information straight from the horse's mouth, Dollar Bill has started his own website. Well, maybe there was human intervention somewhere in there, but Mary and Gary West's 3-year-old classic contender writes in the first-person on the site, which is aimed at his fans, known as 'Billsters.'

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