Grade III winner Danthebluegrassman, a 9-year-old son of Pioneering who campaigned on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail for trainer Bob Baffert in 2002 before scratching from the race early Derby morning, has been retired and is headed to Old Friends equine retirement center near Georgetown, Ky. He will serve as the official mascot of the Festival of the Bluegrass at the Kentucky Horse Park June 12-15.
Zayat Stables' Halo Najib looks to the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) with a chance to punch his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Churchill Downs Inc. has partnered with Truly Indie and filmmakers John and Brad Hennegan to distribute their award-winning documentary The First Saturday in May to U.S. theaters for a week-long national run in 18 major markets starting April 18. A special one-night Louisville premiere is scheduled for April 13 at The Louisville Palace Theatre.
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.
HRTV's originally produced weekly show on top Derby prospects and the road to the Triple Crown. This week's episode includes a detailed analysis of the Louisiana Derby, an Into Mischief update, and more on Big Brown, plus previews of the San Felipe, Rebel, and Tampa Bay Derby.
Handicappers who take on the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) will probably find their challenge not in choosing a winner, but in selecting the order of finish behind Robert LaPenta's prohibitive favorite War Pass.
Steve Asmussen's 3-year-old colts have been in full view on the trail to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The trainer's fillies have been less visible, but his 3-year-old Sky Mom may get her chance to shine in the $200,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks March 16.
On Saturday, in one corner of the country, the mighty Pyro once again crushed his foes, winning the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in grand style. On the same day, in the opposite corner of the country, a humbly-bred colt who sold for meager $1,000 as a yearling, Autism Awareness, mowed down his field to win the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III).
Trainer Michael Matz said that Gotham winner Visionaire appears to have come out of his March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) victory in good shape, and will ship back to Palm Meadows in Florida March 11.
HRTV's originally produced weekly show on top Derby prospects and the road to the Triple Crown.
Hall of Fame jockeys Angel Cordero Jr., Pat Day, Chris McCarron and Laffit Pincay have signed on to participate in an international promotion of the horse racing industry known as "Legends on Tour." The tour kicks off May 2, the night before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a gala at the Executive West Hotel in Louisville, Ky.
Trainer Richard Schosberg, who has been preparing his New York-bred Giant Moon for the March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, is anxious to see if the colt will continue to show an affinity for long distances as he looks toward the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Okay, so three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert does not have anyone on this year's Classic trail, so far. But thanks to Indian Blessing, he does have the best 3-year-old filly in the nation. Undefeated in five starts, the 2007 juvenile filly champion will look to continue her domination March 8 in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks.
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.
"Target Louisville " the weekly HRTV show that previews the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will make its debut Thursday, March 6.
Bea Oxenberg's 3-year-old Hey Byrn reaffirmed his credentials as a potential Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender March 2 at Gulfstream Park when he drew off to win a 1 1/8-mile allowance race by six lengths under jockey Edgar Prado.
For the second consecutive year, Churchill Downs and UPS will team up to bring the horsepower of the Kentucky Derby to NASCAR, as the two companies unveiled a special Kentucky Derby 134 paint scheme Feb. 29 that will be featured on the #44 UPS Toyota Camry during the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway April 27.
BloodHorse staff writer/blogger Jason Shandler takes to the Triple Crown Trail with a look at the "Derby Drought" that has followed three of the best trainers in the world - Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmussen. Though between them they have more than $420 million in purse money and nearly 10,000 wins, the dynamic trio is a combined 0-for-30 on Derby day.
Trainer Carl Nafzger and jockey Edgar Prado topped the list of 12 finalists for election to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2008 when the museum announced nominees Feb. 22. Notably missing from the list was California conditioner Bob Baffert, who has been eligible for election for the past two years.
Three top contenders from the West Point Thoroughbreds string prepared for starts in graded stakes while breezing for their respective trainers Feb. 21. Led by 4-year-old Awesome Gem, the worktab also included potential Derby contenders El Gato Malo and Saratoga Russell.
Robert LaPenta's Eclipse Award-winning War Pass, champion 2-year-old in 2007, will make his first start since an emphatic victory in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) when he runs in a $60,000 allowance event at Gulfstream Park Feb. 24.
Winning Colors, winner of the 1988 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), was euthanized Feb. 17 following complications from colic at Hagyard Davidson McGee vet clinic near Lexington. The 23-year-old Caro mare, who was in foal to Mr. Greeley at the time of her death, was buried at Greentree Farm, a division of Gainesway Farm near Lexington. Bloodhorse.com salutes the champion mare with a special slide show.
Stonestreet Stables' Curlin shipped into Gulfstream Park Feb. 15 and will spend the evening in the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen before flying to Dubai Feb. 16.
Four runners trained by Nick Zito, all potential contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), lead the list of 52 3-year-olds nominated for the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 24.
Hall of Fame jockey Jose Santos has settled his libel lawsuit against The Miami Herald over an article raising questions about his actions aboard 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Funny Cide.
It has been nearly 20 years since one of the most notorious identity mix-ups in American Thoroughbred racing raised eyebrows.
Churchill Downs has unveiled an $11 million stakes schedule for its 2008 spring and fall meets that features 45 stakes events - including a record 38 graded stakes races - headed by the 134th renewals of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Due to an oversight on the part of Triple Crown Productions, there is an addition of one early nominee for this year's Triple Crown. The addition increases the nomination total to 449, just one below the record of 450 posted in 2007.
Kentuckyderby.com will now offer racing fans another way to experience the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with the introduction of a journalism series focusing on memorable racing moments and personalities.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed the "all others" bet as the strong 5-2 favorite in his morning-line odds for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which begins its four-day run at noon Feb. 7 at racetracks and satellite wagering outlets across the United States and Canada.
By Steve Haskin - With Thoroughbred racing in the United States going through perhaps the roughest time in its history, it is reassuring to know that the passion people around the world have for the sport and for the horse still is as strong as ever.
Be careful how you handle Crown of Thorns. As we're well aware, the impressive winner of the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) has never run on a real dirt track. But with that said, let's pretend it will make no difference, and that he will be as good on dirt as he looked in the Bob Lewis.
The Kentucky Derby "Road to the Roses" Fantasy Challenge, a free online contest that allows racing fans to manage a stable of Kentucky Derby contenders during the three-month buildup to the May 3 race, is now open for registration.
Headed by Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner and Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old War Pass, 448 horses were nominated to the 2008 Triple Crown during the early nomination period for the three classics. That figure ranks second behind 2007's record 450 early nominations.
Robert LaPenta's undefeated Eclipse champion War Pass continued to prep for his seasonal debut when he worked a bullet half-mile in :46.80 at Palm Meadows training center Feb. 2. Anak Nakal and Tale of Ekati also worked.
We have one horse in mind for the top spot in Saturday's Grade II Robert B. Lewis, and that is the aptly-named Crown of Thorns, a son of Repent trained by Richard Mandella.
Churchill Downs will be the final resting place for 2006 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro.
It used to be so simple. Every step horses took on the Kentucky Derby trail was on good old Mother Earth. Now, we have no idea what some horses are putting their feet into.
IEAH Stables has acquired an interest in multiple graded-stakes winner Court Vision, one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Gifts honoring Barbaro will support laminitis research.
Trainer Nick Zito has a barn loaded with potential Kentucky Derby contenders, and four of those 3-year-olds made impressive moves this weekend.
A release from the New York Racing Association highlighted strong growth in key areas with the on-track handle increasing, but all-sources wagers and average starters per race reflected a slight dip when the organization reported its final 2007 figures Jan. 18.
- By Ryan Conley
Following the lead of other premier sporting events such as the Super Bowl, Churchill Downs Inc. has partnered up with a full-service travel agent to offer event packages for its two biggest days of racing, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Presented by Yum! Brands and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Inside Information features the gate crew, rider Milo Valenzuela and vet Jeff Blea
The Kentucky-based Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement facility and Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., are joining to present "Old Friends Day" Jan. 20 at the West Coast racetrack.
The $100,000-added Fort Harrod Stakes, to be run at 1 5/8-miles for 4-year-olds and up, has been added to the 2008 spring stakes schedule at Keeneland, the racing association announced Jan. 11.
"NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby" will air on the ESPN networks beginning March 22 as the racing industry counts down to the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 10.
Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road may be the 7-2 morning line choice for the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), but he'll face two unbeaten runners, a graded stakes winner, and an impressive 9 1/4 length victor when a field of nine heads to the post at the Fair Grounds Jan. 12.
The Web site heraldleaderphoto.com, a subsite of kentucky.com and the Lexington Herald-Leader, won the 2007 media Eclipse Award in the audio/multi-media Internet category for its coverage of last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Richard Schosberg's Derby dreams didn't come to fruition with Maria's Mon, the champion 2-year-old male of 1995, after an injury kept the colt on the sidelines for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Thirteen years later, however, Schosberg can start dreaming again with the undefeated Giant Moon.
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