A movie about the life and times of Secretariat, with the backing of Walt Disney Studios, is in the works. Filming for the major motion picture could begin as soon as the end of the year according to principles tied to the project.
- By Ryan Conley
Youbet.com directed more criticism at the controversial content alliance of Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment May 8, with one executive telling analysts during an earnings conference that the partners in TrackNet Media Group "ended up shooting not only themselves, but an entire industry."
Ratings for the one-hour portion of NBC's Kentucky Derby coverage May 5 that comprises the race segment of the show rose 5% over year-ago figures. NBC announced that 13.8 million viewers tuned into the race, a 7% boost from 2006.
The 133rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) was about a king, a queen, and a bunch of country boys. It was about a near-record crowd that erupted in celebration for its transplanted hometown heroes -- Street Sense, Carl Nafzger, and Calvin Borel. And it was about the end of a 23-year-old jinx. But most importantly, it was about class.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Finally, after 23 years, Breeders' Cup officials can let out a sigh of relief. James Tafel's Street Sense proved that life does exist for a horse after winning the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - More than anything else, this year's Run for the Roses is about relationships...and myths.
Larry Jones, in his familiar white cowboy hat, has become a recognizable figure during the build-up to the Triple Crown. The personable 50-year old conditioner might be switching to a black cowboy hat as he and his star Hard Spun hope to spoil the Triple Crown hopes of Street Sense and trainer Carl Nafzger in the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course on May 19.
Dark Star's victory in the 1953 Kentucky Derby is the greatest upset of all in the classic, according to readers of bloodhorse.com.
Jockey Calvin Borel's victory aboard James Tafel's Street Sense in the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) was his first in the Run for the Roses, and now that special moment at Churchill Downs will take the Louisiana native to a White House state dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Early visitors to the stable area at Churchill Downs received a rare treat Sunday morning when Street Sense jogged a mile one day after winning the Kentucky Derby.
NBC Sports' coverage of the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands recorded an 8.3 overnight rating and 18 share, up 12% from last year and equal to the highest overnight rating for the broadcast since 1992, according to ratings released May 6.
When Street Sense moves on to Pimlico Race Course for the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the Carl Nafzger-trained colt is likely to face only a few of the 19 horses he defeated in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The total on-track and all-sources wagering on the 2007 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) program at Churchill Downs nearly matched last year's record-setting totals at the Louisville track.
Standing outside the Gold Room on the sixth floor of the clubhouse of Churchill Downs is Lisa Underwood. Underwood is the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
- By Ron Mitchell
With a 60% chance of rain in Louisville today, patrons going to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) would be well advised to pack a parka. But leave the umbrella at home because that is one of the items banned from being brought into Churchill Downs.
With a 60% chance of rain in Louisville today, patrons going to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) would be well advised to pack a poncho. But leave the umbrella at home because that is one of the items banned from being brought into Churchill Downs.
Arriving in Kentucky two weeks ago, the feeling here was that there were two horses in particular to concentrate on who looked to be coming into the Derby with enough angles to make them live at a decent price. After watching most of the Derby horses work and gallop at Keeneland and Churchill, things have changed a bit, as has track condition.
Trainer Forrest Kaelin is moving quickly through the second floor clubhouse section. The local legend has seen a lot in his years training under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs.
The post position draw is history, and it is time for racing's greatest minds to start planning strategy. Will there be a fast pace or a slow pace? Do you send or take back and see what others do? Will the outside horses break sharply and try to get to the inside or take back and hope to get lucky to find the holes? The wheels are turning.
Nearly three years to the day from Smarty Jones' victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), trainer John Servis celebrated another career milestone when he won his 1,000th race on Tuesday, May 1, sending Love for Pleasure to victory in the 10th race at Philadelphia Park.
In a year where multiple trainers have multiple horses in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Bill Kaplan will saddle two longshots.
Massage helps Hard Spun work out all the kinks before Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr.I).
Retired Kentucky Derby-winning jockeys Ray York and Bill Boland are back in Kentucky for Derby week, and they enjoy being spectators this time around.
The scene at the racing office is pretty quiet. Only jockey agents Steve Bass, Joe Ferrer, and Jerry Hissam are present, chewing the fat with retired rider Bobby Ussery.
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.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Curlin was installed the moderate 7-2 morning line favorite for Saturday's $2 million, 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when post positions were drawn Wednesday.
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.
It was 11:15, and the 11 a.m. post position selection draw at the racing office still had not begun, as owners and trainers of Kentucky Derby horses paced back and forth or just stood anxiously waiting to see if all their hard work was about to be nullified by some random, ominous-sounding number.
Although trainer Doug O'Neill has played a significant role in some of racing's biggest days, on May 5 he will experience saddling a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender for the first time. After the defection of his trainee Cobalt Blue, O'Neill will be saddling two horses in the Derby, Great Hunter and Liquidity
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.
This is the year of the Usual Suspects in the Kentucky Derby. Not in over a decade have so many horses highly regarded as 2-year-olds made it into the Derby field--and offered a chance for a Dual Qualfier to once again take the Roses.
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.
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.
Federico Stakes winner Xchanger will not run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), moving Bill Kaplan-trainee Imawildandcrazyguy to 20th on the graded earnings list.
- 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.
Trainer Doug O'Neill confirmed Tuesday that Merv Griffin's Cobalt Blue would not be entered in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), opening the door for Teuflesberg to get in the classic.
Organizers of the Mint Jubilee Derby-Eve Gala announced today that bids for the saddle worn by Barbaro in the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be accepted from interested buyers from both inside and outside the venue.
In 49 of the last 52 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, the winner was either on the lead with an eighth of a mile to go in the race, within a length of the lead, or running second although more than a length off the leader at that point.
NBC has switched gears, and will air "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse" Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m. ET, an hour and a half after the network signs off from covering the Kentucky Derby.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - For some, just getting a horse to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May is the realization of a dream. For others who've been there before, it's about winning -- pure and simple.
Jim Tafel's Street Sense completed his final preparations for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, May 1.
Trainer Doug O'Neill said Monday night there is a "slight chance" that Merv Griffin's Cobalt Blue would not be entered in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
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.
Welcome to Derby Week, or week 11 of the "Starting Gate," one person's look at this year's Kentucky Derby lineup. As we approach Wednesday, entry day, this how we would handicap the top 20 contenders for the May 5 Run for the Roses. Actual entry into America's greatest race is reliant on graded stakes earnings -- this lineup is based on some speculation, past performances, and potential performance on Saturday.
The connections of Maryland-based Xchanger continue to point the Federico Tesio Stakes winner toward Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
It takes a lot to steal the spotlight from Curlin, but at approximately 8:35 Monday morning, Hard Spun made Curlin's half-mile work two hours earlier seem like a distant memory. That's when the Lane's End (gr. II) winner went out and worked five furlongs in :57 3/5, all but leaving sparks as his feet hit the ground.
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 Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Curlin and Zanjero each worked a half-mile at Churchill Downs as Kentucky Derby week got off to a warm and busy start Monday, April 30.
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