Keeneland is now back on dirt and that means the Blue Grass Stakes is back to being a major prep for the Kentucky Derby and no longer a haven for grass and synthetic horses looking to back door it into the Run for the Roses.
El Kabeir, the current leader on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will look to take the next step toward the starting gate on the first Saturday in May when he tackles the $250,000 Withers.
Lord Nelson spoiled the 3-year-old coming-out party for Texas Red in the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 1, edging the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner in a terrific finish.
Far Right will make his next start in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 16 at Oaklawn Park, Ron Moquett confirmed the morning of Jan. 31. Mike Smith will again have the mount aboard the Smarty Jones Stakes winner.
Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence's Leave the Light On, winner of last fall's Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack, has been forced off the Kentucky Derby trail after suffering an ankle injury.
Despite the fact she has seven empty mares and has yet to decide which stallions to breed to this year, Joanne Nielsen has had an uplifting start to 2015. She is the breeder of Upstart, who won the Holy Bull (gr. II) Jan. 24.
Stonestreet Stables' Ocean Knight, winner of his only start in solid fashion, and record-setting Florida horse Catalina Red head a group of 12 entered for the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 31 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Upstart, a prime contender on the Triple Crown trail, was contentedly grazing across from his stall at trainer Rick Violette Jr.'s barn at Palm Meadows a day after his impressive win in the Lambholm South Holy Bull (gr. II).
New York-bred Upstart proved his class Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park, tracking pacesetter Bluegrass Singer to the final turn and then drawing away impressively to win the $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II).
Zayat Stables' five-time stakes-placed Mr. Z will bid to add an elusive stakes win to his record Jan. 19 in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, Oaklawn Park's first major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I).
California Chrome, a colt who was running against his fellow California-breds at the beginning of the season, soared through his conditions and emerged Horse of the Year as the annual Eclipse Awards were presented Jan. 17.
Rivals and racing fans may view top trainer Todd Pletcher as reserved and unemotional, but there is more to the dedicated horseman than meets the eye. A competitive nature, sly wit, and drive to succeed have carried him to the top of the game.
Savoy Stomp, an $875,000 purchase from the 2013 Saratoga Fasig-Tipton select yearling sale, could be the one to beat for Team Valor International and Southern Equine Stable in a group of 11 entered for the Lecomte.
Many racing fans today who have lived through nine Triple Crown sweep attempts since 1997 take for granted the 3-year-old media star who reaches out to mainstream America to capture the attention and the hearts of the public.
Despite bobbling at the start and racing wide on the first turn, favored El Kabeir posted an impressive 4 3/4-length victory in the $200,000 Jerome Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 3 from rainy Aqueduct Racetrack.
El Kabeir has earned 11 points toward a berth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), but is looking for more as he heads the field in the $200,000 Jerome Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 3 from Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Hollywood/CashCall Futurity a record six times at Hollywood Park, has a chance to add to the total with the undefeated Dortmund in the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 20.
Lenny Shulman sits down to ask Old Friends Farm founder Michael Blowen how he became interested in horse racing. Lenny also comments on Kentucky Derby prep implications with Keeneland's move of the Blue Grass Stakes.
Lenny Shulman sits down to ask Old Friends Farm founder Michael Blowen how he became interested in horse racing. Lenny also comments on Kentucky Derby prep implications with Keeneland's changes to the Blue Grass Stakes.