Keyword: Steve Haskin

  • 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."

  • Steve Haskin

    Unhappy Ending

    <i>By Steve Haskin</i> - 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.

  • Trainers Doug O&#39;Neill (pictured) and Todd Pletcher seem destined to meet more than once along this year&#39;s Derby trail.

    Kentucky Derby Trail: Todd Squad, O'Neill Outfit Prepare for Battle

    Hold on to your hats. The Todd Pletcher and Doug O'Neill express trains are about to start rolling toward Louisville and should reach breakneck speed by early to mid-February. With Pletcher expanding to California this winter, and both trainers expected to make stops in New Orleans, we can expect some early collisions on the Derby trail.

  • Holiday signs of support for Barbaro at the University of Pennsylvania&#39;s New Bolton Center for Large Animals.

    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."

  • Breeders' Cup Analysis: The Long and the Not So Short of It

    Yes, it's time again to look for those hidden jewels that always seem to lurk beneath the surface every year in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, just waiting to burst forth and light up the tote board. With so many top class, talented horses this year, it won't be easy, but let's give it a try.

  • Lava Man has won seven in a row in &#39;06.

    Classic Preview: It's All Here

    There will be story lines aplenty in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I). You want a battle of the royals? It's got it.

  • Haskin thinks Premium Tap could be sitting on a money run.&lt;br&gt;&lt;a target=&quot;blank&quot; href=&quot;http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fprovider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D533386%26ref%3Dstory&quot;&gt;Order This Photo&lt;/a&gt;

    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.

  • Dwyer winner Strong Contender is pointing toward 4-year-old campaign.&lt;br&gt;&lt;a target=&quot;blank&quot; href=&quot;http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fgallery_id%3DS258166%26process%3Dgallery%26provider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D419392%26sequencenum%3D%26page%3D&quot;&gt;Order This Photo&lt;/a&gt;

    Strong Contender Out of BC Classic; Bernardini Breezes

    John Oxley's Strong Contender, winner of the Super Derby (gr. II) in his last start, will skip the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. II) and will point for the Gulfstream Park meeting, with his main goal being the Donn Handicap (gr. I), trainer John Ward said Thursday.

  • 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.

  • Whitney winner Invasor still national hero in native land of Uruguay.&lt;br&gt;&lt;a target=&quot;blank&quot; href=&quot;http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fgallery_id%3D6823%26process%3Dgallery%26provider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D473189%26sequencenum%3D48%26page%3D&quot;&gt;Order This Photo&lt;/a&gt;

    Countdown to the Cup: Uruguayans Still Have Love Affair with Invasor

    With all the talk about Bernardini and Lava Man following their final preps for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), the name Invasor suddenly has become a mere whisper among the shouting. But for the people of Uruguay, it is their hero who is still the rightful king of Thoroughbred racing.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Perfect Drift headlines geriatric set going strong in Saturday stakes.&lt;br&gt;&lt;a target=&quot;blank&quot; href=&quot;http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fgallery_id%3DS232352%26process%3Dgallery%26provider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D490073%26sequencenum%3D%26page%3D&quot;&gt;Order This Photo&lt;/a&gt;

    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.

  • Perfect Drift headlines the geriatric set going into weekend action.

    Old Timers Day on Tap This Weekend

    When the dust settles following this weekend'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.

  • Aidan O&#39;Brien, trains Dylan Thomas.

    Countdown to the Cup: No Doubting Thomas

    The wheels have been turning at Ballydoyle. The decision to send group I Irish Derby and Irish Champion winner Dylan Thomas to Belmont for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) is a departure from their normal strategy. But they have done it before, and it is understandable why they would want to try a different approach

  • Todd Pletcher among top conditioners adapting to synthetic surfaces.

    Top Trainers On the Move This Winter

    Several top trainers will be heading down a synthetic path this winter, with Todd Pletcher sending a string of stakes horses to Hollywood Park, Nick Zito opening a winter barn at Keeneland, and Rusty Arnold setting up shop year-round at Keeneland.

  • Irish Derby Winner Dylan Thomas to Run in JC Gold Cup

    The war between Coolmore and the Maktoums that was evident at the recent Keeneland September yearling sale is expected to move north on Oct. 7 when Susan Magnier's Dylan Thomas squares off against Darley Stable's Bernardini and Shadwell Farm's Invasor in the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).

  • Lawyer Ron, before the Kentucky Derby, among contenders for the Super Derby.

    Lawyer Ron Ready to Take Next Step in Super Derby

    Before Barbaro and Bernardini began monopolizing the headlines with their heroics on and off the racetrack, Lawyer Ron was one of the dominant forces on the Kentucky Derby trail. On Saturday, he attempts to return to prominence in the 3-year-old division in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II).

  • Travers winner Bernardini faces next test in JC Gold Cup.&lt;br&gt;&lt;a target-=&quot;blank&quot; href=&quot;http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fgallery_id%3DS210287%26process%3Dgallery%26provider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D504529%26sequencenum%3D%26page%3D&quot;&gt;Order This Photo&lt;/a&gt;

    Countdown to the Cup: All Eyes on JC Gold Cup

    The main topic of conversation at Belmont Park these days is the much-awaited showdown between Bernardini and Invasor in the Oct. 7 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Both colts are doing extremely well, according to their connections, with Bernardini already on the muscle and itching for a fight. The winner likely will take on the role as favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

  • Perfect Drift meets Lava Man in Sunday Classic.&lt;br&gt;&lt;a target=&quot;blank&quot; href=&quot;http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/photo-store?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpictopia.com%2Fperl%2Fgal%3Fgallery_id%3D6826%26process%3Dgallery%26provider_id%3D368%26ptp_photo_id%3D490073%26sequencenum%3D%26page%3D&quot;&gt;Order This Photo&lt;/a&gt;

    Perfect Drift Looking to Cool off Lava in Pacific Classic

    Lava Man has already become the first horse to win back-to-back Hollywood Gold Cups (gr. I) since Native Diver won three straight from 1965-67. He's already become the first horse since Affirmed in 1979 to win the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Hollywood Gold Cup in the same year.

  • Jim French, with Angel Cordero, Jr. aboard, would have been favored in the Travers.

    Travers Flashback: The Strange Saga of Jim French

    The story of Jim French, one of the most indestructible, indefatigable horses of the modern era, has faded into history, taking with it the colt's remarkable feats of durability on the racetrack and the notorious final chapter of his career, in which the Travers favorite was impounded by the Saratoga County sheriff's office and not permitted to run.

  • 3-Year-Old Stars Work for Upcoming Stakes

    Bernardini, Bluegrass Cat, and Strong Contender, three of the main headliners for the July 29 Jim Dandy (gr. II) and Aug. 6 Haskell Invitational (gr. I), turned in sharp breezes at Belmont Park Monday.

  • Jody Pieper sits atop Belmont Stakes entrant Steppenwolfer as they walk with trainer Daniel Peitz during a Thursday morning workout at Belmont Park.

    Steve Haskin's Belmont Report: Time to Roll the Dice

    There are nine -- count 'em, <i>nine</i> -- horses who can win Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and it wouldn't come as a major surprise. What that means is that you can safely disregard the experts, speed figures, or any other handicapping tool and just hope the horse or horses you choose are in top shape to go a mile and a half.

  • Steve Haskin's Belmont Report: Who Needs a Triple Crown Winner?

    With each failed Triple Crown attempt comes an outcry from racing fans and horsemen that the structure of the Triple Crown needs changing. If it is the horses' safety and longevity that is the impetus for their comments, then no one can take issue with them. If, however, it is based on the fact that we have gone 28 years without a Triple Crown winner and racing desperately needs a horse to finally win all three races, that's a different matter.

  • Pletcher Pair, Bob and John Prep for Belmont

    While some trainers altered their plans Monday after unexpected overnight rainfall in New York, two Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-olds completed their final preparations for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

  • Peter Brette, assistant to trainer Michael Matz, maintains his composure through triumph and tragedy.

    Assistant Trainer Brette Maintains His Composure in Triumph and Tragedy

    Whether it is winning the Run for the Roses or dealing with the crushing blow of Barbaro's catastrophic injury, Peter Brette keeps his emotions under control. Just as he rejoiced from within on May 6, he suffered in silence as the nightmare of Barbaro's horrific injury unfolded in front of a heartbroken nation.

  • Kentucky Derby runner-up Bluegrass Cat, possible contender in competitive Belmont.

    Lacking Derby, Preakness Winners, Belmont Shaping Up as Competitive Race

    Yes, there still is another leg of the Triple Crown to be run. Although the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 10 has lost its star appeal with the absence of Barbaro and Bernardini, it is still a classic, and a grueling one at that, and should at least be a competitive race, offering interesting possibilities for bettors.

  • Haskin: Will Bernardini be the one?

    Steve Haskin's Preakness Analysis: Can Barbaro Get 'Berned?'

    Trying to analyze this year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) based on observations and training is not easy when you basically see only one horse train. With seven of the nine horses entered still not even on the grounds as of this writing, there is an odd precedent being set this year.

  • Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro tunes up for Saturday&#39;s run at the second jewel in the Crown.

    Barbaro Works Quarter-Mile Thursday in Final Preakness Prep

    Barbaro, installed as the even-money morning-line favorite for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), galloped strongly and "blew out" a quarter of a mile in an unofficial :24 1/5 Thursday at Fair Hill Training Center in his final prep for the classic at Pimlico Racecourse.

  • Barbaro relaxes between starts at his home base in upstate Maryland.

    Barbaro Happy to be Back Home

    It is obvious watching Barbaro the past two mornings that the winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is enjoying the tranquil life at Fair Hill Training Center, as he prepares for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The son of Dynaformer appears more relaxed than he was at Churchill Downs, especially coming off the track after training.

  • Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: Now or Never For Barbaro's Foes

    Following the massacre at Churchill Downs on May 6, the initial reaction was that Barbaro's opponents in the Preakness (gr. I) have as much chance of victory as Don Quixote had battling windmills. But, although Barbaro should once again be a formidable foe, there is no reason to quiver and hide from the fiend of Fair Hill.

  • Can Barbaro duplicate his Derby win in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes?

    Steve Haskin's Derby Analysis: The Crown Awaits

    Back in January, before Barbaro had ever run on the dirt, Michael Matz was asked if he knew where the name Barbaro came from. He called to assistant trainer Peter Brette: "Hey, Peter, what does the name Barbaro mean?" Brette didn't hesitate with his answer: "Kentucky Derby winner."

  • Florida Derby winner Barbaro.

    3-Year-Olds Affirm Their Quality as Derby Approaches

    Like any kind of crop, a 3-year-old crop requires time to grow before it can be determined whether it is weak or strong. In racing, people have a tendency to denounce a 3-year-old crop in its infantile stages, and then praise it when it suddenly bears fruit right before the Kentucky Derby.

  • Baffert Pair, A. P. Warrior Arrive

    The Tex Sutton plane carrying Bob and John, Point Determined, and A. P. Warrior arrived at Louisville Airport at about 11:20 a.m. following an uneventful flight from California.

  • Brother Derek trainer Dan Hendricks talks with media, Friday at Churchill Downs.

    Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Stars Filling up Derby Dream Barn

    Dan Hendricks clutched several carrots in his hand, as he watched Brother Derek get his morning bath following the colt's first gallop over the Churchill Downs strip. Just then, someone from a passing car on Longfield Avenue shouted, "Go, Brother, go!" For the first time, Derby electricity was in the air.

  • Kentucky Derby favorite Brother Derek arrives at Churchill Downs.

    Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Hello, Brother

    The Kentucky Derby favorite has arrived in all his glory. At around 11:30 Thursday morning, Brother Derek stepped off the Tex Sutton chartered plane and onto a one-horse van, which delivered him safe and sound to his new home at Churchill Downs.