Donald Sucher, who twice bred once-in-a-lifetime fillies in Racing Hall of Fame members Winning Colors and Chris Evert, died Feb. 15 in Georgetown, Ky. He was 89.
Kiaran McLaughlin, a former D. Wayne Lukas assistant who grew up near Lexington, has started five horses in the Derby, all longshots. He came tantalizingly close to winning with his initial starter, the 71-1 Closing Argument.
Major steppingstones, such as the Florida Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial, and Arkansas Derby are now just one of many ways of getting to the winner's circle on the first Saturday in May. read blog
A Thoroughbred owner for nearly 50 years, Ralph Evans has attended just one edition of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--the 1979 renewal. Upstart could take him back with a runner and is looking to continue on the path Feb. 21.
- By Frank Angst
Just three Road to the Kentucky Derby races will be contested on synthetic surfaces this year. read blog
Undefeated 3-year-old Itsaknockout turned in his final breeze the morning of Feb. 15 in preparation for his stakes debut in the upcoming $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Metaboss, coming from well off the pace with a powerful wide move, overtook favored Conquest Typhoon in deep stretch for a 6-1 surprise in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) under Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis.
Power Jam joined the crowded Bob Baffert barn of 3-year-old prospects with an easy 4 1/4-length victory in a six furlong maiden special weight event Feb. 14 at Santa Anita Park.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux said Feb. 13 he would not race Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Texas Red again in preparation for the Kentucky Derby if not for the current points system aligned with the Run for the Roses in May.
Convincing Smarty Jones winner Far Right is one of 11 3-year-olds seeking to advance on the road to the Triple Crown in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III), the Presidents' Day feature from Oaklawn Park Feb. 16.
The El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), one of only three North American stakes on this year's "Road to the Kentucky Derby" contested on a synthetic track, drew a good field of 10 led by Conquest Typhoon.
Steve Haskin and Ron Mitchell talk about the weekend of racing. Steve expands on the performances of Shared Belief, California Chrome, Dortmund, Firing Line, Danzig Moon, Cyrus Alexander, Far From Over, and Constitution.
Texas Red, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), has suffered a foot abscess that will prevent him from running in the Feb. 21 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), said co-owner Erich Brehm.
- By Frank Angst
Considering it's only February, Kaleem Shah's Dortmund has displayed about as many qualities as one could hope to see in a potential Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) horse. read blog
Willis Horton's champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi breezed a half mile at Oaklawn Park Feb. 9.
Zayat Stables' 2-year-old champion American Pharoah Feb. 9 turned in his second work as he prepares for his 3-year-old debut. The son of Pioneerof the Nile worked three furlongs in :36 2/5.
Odds-on choice Dortmund, passed in upper stretch by rival Firing Line, fought back along the inside to score a head victory in the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita Park.
Far From Over recovered from a bad start to upset 1-2 favorite El Kabeir Feb. 7 in the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack, closing much ground en route to his first graded score.
American Pharoah could be looking at a return to racing in March, according to trainer Bob Baffert.
The former Derby Trial (gr. III), a one-mile race for 3-year-olds generally run on opening day of the spring meet at Churchill Downs, has been moved to the first Saturday in May and renamed the Pat Day Mile.
- By Steve Haskin
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. read blog
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.
With several horses on the sidelines, see who Steve picks to fill in the ranks! read blog
- By Frank Angst
Texas Red ran second in his 3-year-old debut, finishing a neck behind Peachtree Stable's Lord Nelson in the $200,250 San Vicente Stakes read blog
Comparing the up-and-coming Kentucky Derby contenders Khozan and Prospect Park. read blog
Champion 2-year-old male works at Santa Anita Park for the first time since injury.
Richard C. Pell's Calculator, fifth on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) points list, will miss the Triple Crown due to an undisclosed injury.
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.
Stonestreet Stables' Ocean Knight remained undefeated in two starts and aced both his 3-year-old and stakes debuts Jan. 31, taking the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs.
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.
A sortable list of all the horses nominated to the 2015 Triple Crown. View Now
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.
Thunder Gulch, champion 3-year-old male of 1995 and leading sire of 2001, has been retired from stallion duty at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. The 23-year-old is the sire of 96 stakes winners.
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.
The UAE Derby, which carries 170 Kentucky Derby points and a $2 million purse, drew only 10 nominations from United States-based trainers among 92 overall.
Steve Haskin presents his first official Kentucky Derby Dozen this week! See if any of your Kentucky Derby horses made the list. read blog
Going into the Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park, I thought favorite Upstart might need a race before delivering his best. read blog
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).
The transcript for the Live Chat is now available. Read Transcript
Ralph M. Evans' New York-bred Upstart is slated to embark on his much-anticipated 3-year-old campaign Jan. 24 in the $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
The Florida horseman helped select Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck as a yearling for friend Dennis Diaz. Fuentes then raised and broke the 1985 Derby winner and Horse of the Year.
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).
- By Claire Novak
Raul Rodriguez, California Chrome's Main Man: Out of the limelight yet playing a vital role, one man provides day-to-day hands-on care for Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome. Watch Video
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.
In 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome was one of those rare horses who transcended the sport and became racing's newest glamour star.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds on January 17, 2015. Watch Video
Calculator's win in the Jan. 10 Sham Stakes (gr. III) adds to the legacy of the O'Farrell family's Ocala Stud. The Florida-bred son of In Summation races for longtime Ocala Stud client Richard Pell.
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.
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