Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Giacomo to a 50-1 upset victory in Saturday's 131st Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will join The Blood-Horse's senior correspondent Steve Haskin for a special edition of bloodhorse.com's "Talkin' Horses" Wednesday at noon (ET; 9 a.m PT).
Mike Smith stood by himself in front of the detention barn on the Churchill Downs backstretch. The May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) was still a week and a half away, and the mass influx of media was not due for several days. Smith, who had been riding regularly at Keeneland, gazed out at the track, watching the morning activities.
Matching Giacomo's unbelievable victory in Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at 50-1 was Christopher Hertzog's loss of his $864,253 Derby Superfecta ticket Saturday and then having it found 24 hours later at Turf Paradise racetrack in Phoenix, Arizona.
Trainer John Shirreffs said he'll give Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo a few days to walk and rest at Churchill Downs before being shipped to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on May 21.
NBC Sports' broadcast of Giacomo's surprise win at the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) notched an 8.2 overnight rating and 19 share, slightly down from an 8.3 rating in 2001, 2003, and 2004.
One day after riding Giacomo to an upset victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at 50-1 odds, jockey Mike Smith was in the limelight Sunday morning in the Churchill Downs barn area.
Giacomo, the second biggest upset winner in the 131-year history of the Kentucky Derby, runner-up Closing Argument and third place finisher Afleet Alex could all start in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 21 although winning trainer John Shirreffs hasn't committed his son of Holy Bull.
On-track and off-track wagering records were shattered at Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) as the Derby become the first individual race in U.S. racing to attract total betting of more than $100 million.
Horse of the Year in 1994, Holy Bull had one glaring hole in his resume that year, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), in which he struggled over a muddy track to finish an ignominious 12th of 14 behind winner Go for Gin. Saturday, that defeat was avenged when his son Giacomo charged from far off the pace to win the Kentucky Derby by half a length over a dead-game Closing Argument.
Giacomo, named for rock star Sting's son, sang an upset tune in the $2,399,600 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Saturday at Churchill Downs.
At odds of 2-5, Madcap Escapade made an easy lead and cut fast fractions, but she had nothing left in the final eighth and was passed by a group of fillies in the $281,750 Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Alex Solis slowed down the pace and had plenty left down the lane as he guided Miss Terrible to a front-running upset win Saturday in the $112,200 Comp USA Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
In the race on Kentucky Derby day anticipated nearly as much as the Derby itself, Half Ours showed what everyone already knew. Of juveniles that have started so far this year, he is the clear leader of the class.
The crowd at Churchill Downs has settled on Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road as the favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
As a bright morning sun broke through the darkness, all was quiet on the backside of Churchill Downs Saturday. And on the heels of a record crowd for Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), track officials were expecting another banner day for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
My latest rankings have Afleet Alex number one, followed by Bellamy Road and Bandini. But, let's face it, we're talking the three favorites, and anyone can come up with the same three horses. There are question marks surrounding most of the horses in what looks to be as strong and deep a Derby field as we've had in a long while.
- By Dan Liebman
Granted, the pool is still small, but the bettors on Kentucky Oaks day pushed more than $380,000 into the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) win pool on Friday. And they made Afleet Alex the favorite over program pick Bellamy Road.
Jimmy Winkfield, an African-American jockey who won back-to-back editions of the Kentucky Derby, has been honored in a resolution passed by the United States House of Representatives May 5.
Everyone likes to talk about the Derby gods. Their impact on racing this weekend at Churchill Downs is unknown, but they certainly have blessed the Louisville, Ky. area with nice weather.
In both the good times and the bad times, 1990 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Unbridled would let his trainer, Carl Nafzger, know everything was all right.
Today's Headlines: California Arrivals Visit Track; Andromeda's Hero Here from Keeneland.
One year removed from capturing the hearts of a nation following wins in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Smarty Jones remains as popular as ever. It's because of his popularity that the Smarty Jones Foundation was established.
Seventeen of the 20 horses in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) field were offered at public auction.
Jockey Mark Guidry took the overland route to get back to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Forget about going seven-wide on the final turn, Guidry went about 2,000 miles out of his way to find the mount that would bring him back to Louisville the first Saturday in May.
In spite of some adversity this year, rags-to-riches Jeff and Amy Mullins, who start their fourth longshot in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Saturday in Buzzards Bay, hope they will some day be remembered with other great husband-wife Derby teams.
Middle to outside places were in vogue Wednesday when the connections of 20 starters selected post positions for Saturday's $2-million Kentucky Derby (gr. I), for which Bellamy Road was installed as the 5-2 favorite.
As expected, the names of 20 3-year-olds were dropped into the entry box for Saturday's $2-million Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Derby 131 Headlines: High Limit, Greeley's Galaxy work; Giacomo, Buzzards Bay scheduled to arrive.
Officials of Churchill Downs, the Maryland Jockey Club, and the NBC Network Wednesday discussed the new contract under which the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) will be televised.
A disgruntled Bobby Frankel told reporters Wednesday morning he may reconsider Ramon Dominguez as the jockey for High Limit's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) run Saturday. Frankel said after reading a quote from the rider in a Louisville Courier-Journal, it seemed the jockey may lack confidence in High Limit to go forward Saturday.
The son of a National Thoroughbred Racing Association executive follows the Churchill Downs chaplain in a handicapping contest against TV Games Network commentator Todd Schrupp.
Two contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Greeley's Galaxy and Louisiana Derby (gr. II) victor High Limit, went through their final paces following the track maintenance break at Churchill Downs Wednesday.
Youbet.com and CBS SportsLine.com announced an agreement May 3 making Youbet the exclusive horseracing content provider for the Internet sports media Web site.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The "new" Churchill Downs will provide a spectacular setting, and the Thoroughbred foal crop of 2002 has brought forth an intriguing group of candidates...
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will host a live Kentucky Derby online chat with Theyareatthepost.com and WHAS.com at 8 p.m. on May 5.
There isn't much more to say about Afleet Alex that hasn't been said before. Well, come to think of it, maybe there is. Alex was the star of the morning, being the only worker. He also was the center of attention at an informal auction to benefit cancer research.
Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex completed his major preparation for the 131st Kentucky Derby by working a half-mile in :48.40 under Derby rider Jeremy Rose this morning.
Continuing a relationship that began in 2001, NBC Sports has reached an agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. and Magna Entertainment/Maryland Jockey Club to telecast the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes an additional five years, from 2006 to 2010.
"Come on six! Stay up three! Get out of there 12! Where's the four? Who's that?" These may sound like the common shouts of an overzealous, exotics-playing railbird, but on Saturday, it just might be something you hear from as esteemed a place as the Churchill Downs box of New York-born trainer Nick Zito.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey said he is excited about his mount on Florida Derby (gr. I) winner High Fly for what could be the rider's last trip in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 7.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Afleet Alex was the only contender for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) to put in his final workout Tuesday, and the son of Northern Afleet again showed his fitness by breezing a half-mile in :48 2/5 at Churchill Downs.
All horses foaled in the Northern Hemisphere have the universal birth date of Jan. 1 as their official age of racing, but not all of this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders are actually 3-year-olds as of yet. Who's the oldest? Who's the youngest? Whose birth date is actually Derby day, May 7?
There were three Kentucky Derby (gr. I) works Monday morning, but the biggest revelation came a little after 6 o'clock when Bandini strolled onto the track, the day after working five furlongs in 1:00 4/5. Although he was only out for a jog, it was enough to convince me that the colt is sitting on another huge effort on Saturday.
Kentucky Derby 131 Headlines: Consolidator injured; out of Derby 131; Buzzards Bay works 1:11.40 at Santa Anita; Afleet Alex scheduled to go half Tuesday.
Fog City Stable's Buzzards Bay, surprise winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), tuned up for his engagement in Saturday's 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with a bullet six-furlong workout in 1:11 2/5 Monday morning at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Trainer Bob Baffert admitted his lone Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender Sort It Out is no Bellamy Road, one of the favorites for Saturday's classic, but said the colt's workout at Churchill Downs Monday morning was the best he's ever seen of the horse.
Todd Pletcher sent out one of his equine triumvirate Monday morning as expected when Coin Silver breezed five furlongs in 1:01 flat. With morning conditions in Louisville cool, dry, and clear, the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner's effort was a relief for last year's Eclipse Award-winning trainer.
Mother Nature continued to give horsemen a break Monday as three contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezed under sunny skies at Churchill Downs.
A beautiful, cloudless sky; Nick Zito and Todd Pletcher working five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) horses; what more could you ask for? Zito and Pletcher dominated the morning's activity, sending out Bellamy Road, High Fly, Noble Causeway, Bandini, and Flower Alley for strong five-furlong works.
Today's Headlines: Seven Derby horses work at Churchill Sunday; Jose Valdivia, Jr. to ride Going Wild; Buzzards Bay to work at Santa Anita Monday.
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