Kentucky Derby

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Zito Again Off to Good Start On Derby Trail

Trainer Nick Zito, always a threat along the Triple Crown trail, was sitting comfortably Sunday after two of his 3-year-olds posted wins Saturday and a third, High Fly, cruised through his workout and into the picture for the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) on March 5.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Bubbling Under the Surface

Although there are only two minor stakes this weekend, Nick Zito and Shug McGaughey will have important tests for two of their big horses. This also is a good time to see if there are still any live longshots in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) future book lurking out there who might be worth taking a hard look at.

Total TVG Handle Up 42% in 2004

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Total wagering on the TV Games Network increased 42% in 2004, and grew 29% in the fourth-quarter of 2004, the network said in a Feb. 24 release. The increase in business was punctuated by record single-day total wagering of $5,148,375 on May 1, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) day.

Plesa Aims B.B. Best for Fountain of Youth

B.B. Best, most recently fourth in Gulfstream Park's $250,000 Sunshine Millions Ocala Stud Dash Jan. 29, worked one mile handily in 1:44 4/5 at Calder Race Course Friday and is being pointed for the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream March 5.

NBC Kicks off Visa Triple Crown Season Coverage April 9

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NBC will kick off coverage of the 2005 Visa Triple Crown season April 9, with the two-hour telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby." The show will air from 4-6 p.m. (ET) and will feature live coverage of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Wood Memorial (gr. I), and the Illinois Derby (gr. II).

Kentucky Derby Trail: 'Great Bandini' Takes Center Ring

With each big weekend of stakes races, the 3-year-old picture is supposed to get a little clearer. But that doesn't seem to be the case any longer. In fact, over the past several years, the opposite has been true. So it was this past weekend, when we had to turn to non-stakes events to find potential Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders.

CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby Returns

"CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby," a nine-show series on the ABC and ESPN networks that provides coverage of key Visa Triple Crown prep races, returns in March, with coverage of the March 5 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Swale Stakes (gr. II) from Gulfstream Park.

Derby, Oaks Future Wagers Set for First Round

The most accomplished stars of this year's crop of 3-year-olds--including 2-year-old champion Declan's Moon, 2-year-old filly champion Sweet Catomine, and Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Wilko--are among the 24 wagering interests in the first of three 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools scheduled for Feb. 10-13.

Triple Crown Nominations Total 358

A total of 358 3-year-olds have been nominated for the 2005 Visa Triple Crown. Although the figure is down from the 400-plus nominations in each of the previous four years, it will be of little significance once the multitude of talented 3-year-olds start making their way toward the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Kentucky Derby Trail: Wash Out Weekend

Although last weekend saw rainouts on both coasts, including a rare cancellation at Santa Anita, there at least was a 'High Fly' hit that turned into a tape measure home run. So, while the Florida 3-year-olds moved forward, the California horses hit a brick wall and now must wait for dry weather in order to race, and even train.

Churchill Names New Director of Marketing

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Churchill Downs has appointed Stacey Meier to serve as the track's director of marketing. The native of Fort Wayne, Ind., most recently served as director of marketing for the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network, a post she had held since 2003.

Churchill Purses to Top $10 Million in 2005

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With the doubling of the purse for the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) to $2 million, the total value of purses in Churchill Downs' 2005 schedule of stakes races will reach a record $10 million.

Analyzing the 3-Year-Old Scene in 2004

Whether you felt this year's 3-year-old crop was a good one or bad one, it certainly inspired a good deal of passion and provided a number of memorable moments. The following is a look back at the tumultuous 3-year-old season and its most notable performers, broken down into categories.

Kentucky Derby Trail: A New Road Ahead

Yes, it's only December, but what better way to fill the gap between the turkey and the tinsel than to start talking Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Before discussing the Derby hopefuls gathering all over the country, it must be pointed out that next year's road to Louisville will be unlike anything we've ever seen, and there is no doubt that the times are indeed changing.

Smarty Jones Derby Items to Benefit War Fund

Churchill Downs Inc. is offering rare memorabilia of 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones in an eBay auction to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. A ticket package to the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks will also be offered in the auction, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 26.

Smarty Jones Derby Items to Benefit War Fund

  • News

Churchill Downs Inc. is offering rare memorabilia of 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones in an eBay auction to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. A ticket package to the 2005 Kentucky Derby and Oaks will also be offered in the auction, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 26.

Derby Crop 2005: Big Second Wave About to Hit

The Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) is history, and all the race did was pretty much complicate matters. Afleet Alex, Sun King, Roman Ruler and company still look legitimate, despite being upset by Euro invader Wilko. Now it's time to brace for the post Breeders' Cup wave that is about to unleash some new, exciting prospects for next spring's classics.

Wood Memorial Moved to Four Weeks Before Derby

The prep lineup for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is continuing to change. The Florida Derby (gr. I) had previously been announced as moving to five weeks before the Derby. Now, the Wood Memorial (gr. I) is being moved from three weeks to four weeks out.

Haskin Earns Red Smith Writing Award

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Three repeat winners, including The Blood-Horse senior correspondent Steve Haskin, and one newcomer collected divisional honors in Churchill Downs' 22nd annual 2004 Red Smith Kentucky Derby Writing Contest, a competition that honors the finest print media coverage of this year's famed "Run for the Roses."

Glowing Tribute, Dam of Sea Hero, Dies at Age 31

Glowing Tribute, the dam of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Sea Hero and six other major stakes winners, died Aug. 5 of colic. One of the top broodmares of recent times, the 31-year-old daughter of Graustark was owned by John R. Gaines at the time of her death.

TVG Reports Record Handle

TVG posted the highest quarterly handle in company history for the quarter that ended June 30, Ryan O'Hara, TVG president announced Friday. Keys to the second quarter figures were record wagering of $5.2 million on Kentucky Derby day (May 1) and $3.2 million on Belmont Stakes day (June 5).

Smarty Jones Crew Returns to Churchill Saturday

Six weeks after the thrilling victory by Smarty Jones in the 130th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), owners Pat and Roy Chapman and trainer John Servis make a triumphant return to Churchill Downs on Saturday to be honored for their Derby win and their exciting run at the Visa Triple Crown.

Building Blocks

By Ray Paulick -- Somewhere at the Aurora, Canada, corporate headquarters where Frank Stronach sits atop his Magna International and Magna Entertainment Corp. empire, there is a warehouse filled with architectural drawings and miniature models for changes to the racetracks Magna now owns.

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