As a prelude to the Derby Dozen, we are publishing a Top 25 list made up solely of horses who have not yet run in a stakes.
Topics include the upcoming year in racing, the potential of the A.P. Indy / Azeri colt Take Control, who's responsible for synthetic surfaces at Santa Anita, and the decision to give an Eclipse Award to ESPN/ABC. Watch Now
Steve Haskin ranks the best losing performances in a Breeders' Cup or a Triple Crown race for the years 2000 - 2009. Who's #1?
Steve Haskin ranks the greatest training achievements for the years 2000 - 2009, both for a trainer with an individual horse and overall. Who's #1?
Best of the Decade: Steve Haskin ranks the most memorable Triple Crown performances. Who's #1?
Blood-Horse Publications will publish a combined issue of The Blood-Horse dated Dec. 26, 2009-Jan. 2, 2010 that will feature "Year in Review" and "Auctions Digest." The issue will go to press Dec. 28.
Steve and Lenny present the 2009 Offy Awards. Categories include: best criminal mastermind, best cowboy hat, best performance in a losing effort, and much, much more. Watch Video
- By Steve Haskin
Zenyatta may be retired, but she remains the gift that keeps on giving. Through her memorabilia and "Moneigh" paintings she has contributed to a number of worthy organizations.
Who cares if it's only December? You can still pretend eggnog is really a mint julep or that Santa means Santa Anita Derby or that poinsettias smell like roses or that "Jingle Bells" sounds like "My Old Kentucky Home."
- By Steve Haskin
These are the final words from here on the Horse of the Year debate between racing's two monarchs, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Unfortunately, only one likely will be crowned, but you can be sure both will rule in the hearts and minds of most racing fans.
All the comments made about Quality Road being a rogue or crazy are way off base. Dr. Larry Bramlage called him a juvenile delinquent following his meltdown prior to the Breeders' Cup Classic. A juvenile, yes, in many ways, but being scared out of your wits does not make you a delinquent.
Over the course of the next week, we'll have several wrapups, going over different aspects of Breeders' Cup 2009, but let's face it; this year's event will forever belong to Zenyatta.
If there is one thing you can always count on in the Breeders' Cup it's that it will have it's share of longshot winners and mid-price overlays who get lost in the handicapping frenzy that is so much a part of the event.
If there is one main aspect of the Breeders' Cup that is most fascinating it is the merging of American and British cultures, whether it be terminology, style of racing, or in the way horsemen deal with the media and vice versa.
In looking at the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), several thoughts and angles emerged that could have a bearing on the race. While they may turn out to be mere folly, they are at least worth mentioning just to make sure all bases are covered and there is less of a chance of Monday morning quarterbacking.
There is no way of telling what might have been in any given race had circumstances been different. And it would be seem audacious to say that Rip Van Winkle was the best horse in the Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), won by Sea the Stars, but a close look at the race reveals several reasons why that statement might have validity.
Lenny and Steve discuss the Breeders' Cup Pre-Entries, and the Top 10 reasons that Sea the Stars is staying away from California. Plus, Special Guest Bill Farish of Lane's End Farm. Watch Now
Perhaps the best method of handicapping this year's perplexing Breeders' Cup Classic is to make a checklist comprising every major handicapping category that pertains to the race and see who qualifies in the most categories.
Whatever name you want to give them, Todd's Tots, Pletcher's Pups, you can be sure you'll be hearing from Todd Pletcher's 2-year-olds in the Breeders' Cup juvenile races, and more importantly on next year's Triple Crown trail. That's when they really will shine.
On April 17, 2008, American racing fans were immersed in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and no one was even giving the Breeders' Cup a second thought. But across the Atlantic, there was a scene being played out that would have a far greater effect on the Breeders' Cup than anyone could have imagined.
As we all know there is always an angle or two we can latch on to in the Breeders' Cup. The trick is finding them among the morass of stakes horses that line up for the 14 races. There probably are more chances of landing a longshot on a synthetic surface, because, in all honesty, does anyone really know how to handicap these races?
There is so much to discuss after the weekend's stakes extravaganza, but one race that likely had the most profound effect on the Breeders' Cup was the Goodwood Stakes (gr. I).
You can't say there isn't enough to choose from when handicapping Saturday's $350,000 Goodwood Stakes (gr. I), with a smorgasbord of stakes horses all trying to earn their place in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)
If Sea the Stars does not make the trip to California, which seems more likely than not, and joins Rachel Alexandra on the absentee list, it will create a void never before seen in the Breeders' Cup.
Let's start in Paris. Despite the presence of a number of top-class horses in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), all eyes will be on Sea the Stars as he attempts to put the finishing touch on an unforgettable 3-year-old campaign.
Now that Rachel Alexandra is through for the year, it is time for Zenyatta, the defending Queen of all Turfdom, to take center stage, and her presence will be a welcome sight in a year where the Breeders' Cup has gone a bit haywire.
The chances of Sea The Stars being withdrawn from Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) due to soft ground appear slim to none, as the weather forecast calls for little or no rain through next Tuesday.
With Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and Ventura, familiar standbys like Forever Together and Music Note, and rapidly rising stars Icon Project, Careless Jewel, and Swift Temper, as well as Goldikova in Europe, this is truly a special year for fillies.
Circle the date Oct. 4 on your calendar. Your assignment is to pray for rain in France - enough to turn the Longchamp turf course soft. The softer the better.
It's time to accept the fact that Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta are not going to meet. As the cliche goes, that ship has sailed.
Lenny and Steve talk about Rachel Alexandra, Tim Ice, Chip Woolley, Linda Rice, and more. Plus, feedback from viewers! Watch Now
Rachel Alexandra provided one of the great moments in the history of Saratoga when she scored a courageous head victory over older male rivals in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes Sept. 5.
After the Thoroughbred racing information website Equibase discovered that Hold Me Back's running line in the chart of the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) was inaccurate, the company reported it had corrected its error and redistributed the chart.
Bloodhorse.com is now presenting an engaging and entertaining three-part video interview series featuring legendary trainer, owner, and breeder John Nerud, who at age 96 shares keen observations on where racing has been and where its future lies.
Please note the following analysis was written by someone with a glass-is-half-empty mentality and is not meant to frighten, upset, or antagonize Rachel Alexandra fans and zealots. So, read at your own risk.
Summer Bird secured his place atop the 3-year-old male division with his resounding victory in the slop in the $1-million Shadwell Travers Stakes.
Topics include Rachel Alexandra and Jess Jackson, the continued breakdowns at Del Mar, plus a look at the second season of Animal Planet's hit reality program, JOCKEYS. Watch Video
As soon as trainer Kiaran McLaughlin found out Rachel Alexandra would be running in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 5 he quickly contacted the owner of his Woodward hopeful Asiatic Boy, about the possibility of heading to California.
This year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) is such an odd concoction of grass and synthetic horses and undistinguished older dirt horses it's difficult to make a worthwhile list of potential starters.
Lenny and Steve are back! Topics include night racing, breakdowns at Del Mar, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, Gio Ponti, and Bob Baffert's Hall of Fame induction. Watch Now
Big Drama, whose late August goal is the seven-furlong King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 4/5 at Monmouth Park July 13 in preparation for either the Haskell Invitational Aug. 2 or the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) the day before
A review of the Preakness and the Triple Crown so far, including the jockey situation, and the return of Zenyatta. Plus, special guest Jack Wolf of Starlight Stable. Watch Video
Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring," wrote: "One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again'?"
Papa Clem, the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner who turned in a lackluster five-furlong work in 1:05 at Pimlico on Tuesday, was given a sharp blowout by trainer Gary Stute Friday morning.
Calvin Borel would have made a great captain of the starship Enterprise, because time and again he boldly goes where no man has gone before. What he is able to do at Churchill Downs is mind-boggling.
The big day is almost here. No, not the Derby; having to make selections, which will be in Friday's column. These selections are based primarily on observations over the past eight days, and it's going to be particularly difficult this year. In the meantime, he are a few late odds and ends.
Following Monday's flurry of workouts, it was all about I Want Revenge on Tuesday, as the likely Kentucky Derby favorite had the center stage all to himself.
There's lots to catch up on, with several works of interest over the weekend and a star-studded array of works this morning, which unfortunately were played out against a horrific backdrop.
This week's And They're Off is all about the Kentucky Derby, including the prospects of the California horses, the depth of the field, musical jockeys, graded earnings, and last but not least, the winners of the Kentucky Derby Contest.
Steve Haskin's blog, Hangin' with Haskin goes live on Wednesday, April 15 from 4-6 PM ET to discuss the Kentucky Derby.
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