Steve Haskin

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Ky Derby Trail: Questions and Quandaries

Ky Derby Trail: Questions and Quandaries

Another Kentucky Derby is upon us, and most of the talk has been about the inconsistencies and slow speed figures of this year's crop of 3-year-olds. Before we get into all the observations and analyses, and attempt to figure out this daffy Derby there is one point that must be addressed first.

Ky. Derby Trail: Tale of the Colonel

Ky. Derby Trail: Tale of the Colonel

Well, we're down to our final two major preps, the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) and Arkansas Derby (gr. II), with the Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) and Holy Bull (gr. III) thrown in for good measure. The question right now is: what did we learn from last Saturday's preps?

Ky. Derby Trail: Hot Brown on Derby Menu

Ky. Derby Trail: Hot Brown on Derby Menu

By now, just about every superlative has been used to describe Big Brown's performance in the Florida Derby (gr. I). How many times do you think the word "freak" has been uttered since Saturday? Well, there is no doubt that the colt has accomplished freakish things in his brief career, but so did Curlin, and he couldn't win the Derby off three career starts.

Ky Derby Trail: Is Pyro Really Too Slow?

Ky Derby Trail: Is Pyro Really Too Slow?

Despite being ranked No. 1 or 2 on just about every Derby poll, Pyro, for some reason, has been branded by many a slow horse and simply the best of a bad lot. Yes, the pace in his two starts this year has been slow, and his final times have not exactly set the Fair Grounds teletimer aflame, but is this horse really as slow as many of the experts say he is?

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - 03/10

Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - 03/10

Now that he's become the first horse to put together two big stakes wins this year, Pyro deserves to return to the top of the list. Showing the ability to sit closer to the pace makes him all the more dangerous; the one to beat.

Ky. Derby Trail: Py in the Sky

Ky. Derby Trail: Py in the Sky

On Saturday, in one corner of the country, the mighty Pyro once again crushed his foes, winning the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in grand style. On the same day, in the opposite corner of the country, a humbly-bred colt who sold for meager $1,000 as a yearling, Autism Awareness, mowed down his field to win the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III).

Ky. Derby Trail: The Cat and the Colonel

Ky. Derby Trail: The Cat and the Colonel

So, did Saturday's Sham Stakes (gr. III) showcase two exceptional 3-year-olds or was it simply about two top horses running agonizingly slow early and coming home fast late over a synthetic surface? We'll know the answer when they hit the quarter pole at Churchill Downs on May 3.

Ky. Derby Trail: A Rising Star

Ky. Derby Trail: A Rising Star

The Kentucky Derby trail received the spark it had been looking for when Pyro put on a spectacular exhibition in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III). There is no doubt Pyro is a top-class horse with a powerful closing kick, but before we get too euphoric, let's not forget that this has happened many times at Fair Grounds.

Commentary: Because of a Horse

By Steve Haskin - With Thoroughbred racing in the United States going through perhaps the roughest time in its history, it is reassuring to know that the passion people around the world have for the sport and for the horse still is as strong as ever.

Haskin's Classic Recap: Curl Jam

Haskin's Classic Recap: Curl Jam

Prior to this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Larry Jones, trainer of eventual runner-up Hard Spun, said of the meteoric rise of the then undefeated Curlin, "Six months from now, we could be looking at Curlin as a super horse." Well, it is now six months later, and Jones' words, unfortunately for him, have become prophetic.

Video: Interview with James Scatuorchio

Video:  Interview with James Scatuorchio

Claire Novak interviews Turf Contender English Channel's owner James Scatuorchio, asking him about his chances against the highly touted Dylan Thomas and having the Breeders' Cup in his home state of New Jersey.

Video: Interview with Larry Jones

Video:  Interview with Larry Jones

Steve Haskin interviews Larry Jones about the undefeated Juvenile Filly, Proud Spell and Hard Spun's post position for the Classic.

Breeders' Cup News Minute: Monday, October 22

Breeders' Cup News Minute:  Monday, October 22

BloodHorseNOW.com writer Steve Haskin reports each morning from Monmouth Park with news from the track; today's highlights include Street Sense during his morning gallop.

Video: Interview with Trainer Bill Mott

Video:  Interview with Trainer Bill Mott

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott discusses his six Breeders' Cup starters and the uncertainty surrounding the status of his star 2-year-old Majestic Warrior, winner of the Hopeful Stakes. Mott also talks about his resurgence as one of the top trainers in the country in 2007.

Red Smith Kentucky Derby Award Winners Announced

Red Smith Kentucky Derby Award Winners Announced

First time winners Eric Crawdford of the Louisville Courier-Journal and John Cheinman of the Washington Post joined repeat winners Steve Haskin and William Nack (both writing for The Blood-Horse Magazine) as the winners of Churchill Downs' 2007 Red Smith Kentucky Derby Writing Contest, the Louisville racetrack announced Oct. 18.

Steve Haskin Remembers John Henry

Steve Haskin Remembers John Henry

It was a shock to hear John Henry had died, even though he had been in ill health and was 32 years old. Some things, like the mighty Redwoods, seem eternal, and John always was eternal in my mind. Or perhaps that feeling was more rooted in my heart. I always believed that John would not die until he was good and ready. It was apparent upon hearing the news that this was that time.

NYRA Planning 'Funny Cide Day' at Saratoga

The New York Racing Association, after speaking with Sackatoga Stable managing partner Jack Knowlton and trainer Barclay Tagg, is moving ahead with plans to hold a "Funny Cide Day" at Saratoga Aug. 10," at which the recently retired Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) winner will be honored.

Steve Haskin's Belmont Analysis: Let's Not Forget Curlin

All the superlatives and accolades have been written. The 139th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the performance of Rags to Riches will forever be a part of Triple Crown lore, and will go down as one of the sport's greatest moments. But it was not all about one horse. There is another who deserves near-equal billing for his remarkable accomplishments.

Steve Haskin's Preakness Recap: Crafty Curlin

Thoroughbred racing is a sport of contrasting emotions, ranging from euphoria to despair and laced with a heavy dose of what might have beens. It often takes a special horse to bring all those emotions to the surface, and after watching the 132nd Preakness Stakes (gr. I), there is no doubt that Curlin is that kind of horse.

Steve Haskin's Derby Recap: No Nonsense

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.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: History Be Damned

With not much going on at Churchill Downs or Keeneland Wednesday morning, this will be more of a potpourri of Derby tidbits and a few early thoughts on the race. And, guess what? We have another name being tossed in the Derby hat, which is par for the course in late April.

Desert Spectacle

By Steve Haskin - And then, of course, we come to the remarkable Invasor, who along with Asiatic Boy, moved the breeding industry in Argentina to a new level and put all of South America on the global map, even though that continent has been producing champions in the United States for decades.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Make Room For Daddy

Well, we've got our first big horse heading to Churchill Downs following Scat Daddy's victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I), and judging from the other cards trainer Todd Pletcher is holding, he's going to have a full house come May 5. But who knows if runner-up Notional will be the first of four aces held by Doug O'Neill.

Fight Night!

Just imagine the evening of March 31, as a salmon pink sunset illuminates the mosques and ultra-modern skyscrapers off in the distance. Large groups of Muslims face Mecca and kneel in prayer. The sounds of bands playing provide a festive college-like atmosphere, while people of all nationalities mingle throughout Nad al Sheba Racetrack. There is something primal about this scene, as the Sport of Kings returns to its roots for the ultimate showdown, in which the kings of the sport issue the age-old challenge, "My horse is faster than your horse."

Unhappy Ending

By Steve Haskin - Fairy tales are not supposed to have unhappy endings. Barbaro was to leave New Bolton Medical Center, walking soundly with his head held high, and live happily ever after. But Thoroughbreds, despite the fairy tales they inspire, live in a different realm than Walt Disney.

Barbaro Update: Scene at New Bolton 'Right Out of A Christmas Carol'

The scene at the New Bolton Center was right out of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Just looking at the Christmas decorations, presents, and cards for Barbaro posted all over the lobby, and feeling all the caring and love that abounds, all that is missing is Tiny Tim throwing away his crutch and toasting, "God bless us, everyone."

Countdown to the Cup: Tapping In On a Classic Longshot

OK, so Bernardini supposedly is a lock in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I). And if he doesn't win, how can you look past Lava Man and Invasor? And Sun King, Brother Derek, and Europeans George Washington and David Junior also will get support. After that, good luck. But let's get bold and try to ferret out an early longshot.

Countdown to the Cup: Nothing Now but the Waiting

The stars will be shining down on Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 4, but many of the brightest ones will not even show up until the middle of Breeders' Cup week. As a result, several New York-based journalists, and one Jerseyite, have changed plans and will inhabit the Big Apple until the big guns complete their serious training.

Countdown to the Cup: Where Will the Cat Strike Next?

The picture for the Breeders' Cup World Championships did not take on any new vibrant colors over the weekend, only the two "wow" performances by horses who were expected to do so, one of whom likely will not be competing at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

Minor Changes Along the 2007 Kentucky Derby Trail

The 3-year-old stakes schedule will take on a slightly different look in 2007, due mostly to the return of Fair Grounds and several changes to the Gulfstream Park stakes structure, which will again run the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) five weeks before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Old Timers Day on Tap in Saturday Stakes

When the dust settles following Saturday's major stakes, we could be saluting the geriatric set if 8-year-old The Tin Man and 7-year-olds Perfect Drift and Meteor Storm come away with victories in their respective races.

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