Steve Haskin

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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.

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.

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

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.

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).

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).

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.

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

There are nine -- count 'em, nine -- 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.

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 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."

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.

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.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Sweet New Faces and More on the Way

The biggest news of the day was the arrival Tuesday of Sweetnorthernsaint and Cause to Believe. With a lack of work activity once again, the talk of the morning was the cold and the unveiling of the new Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) saddle towels, which appear to be designed with the sole intention of going unnoticed.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Romans Issues Warning

Sinister Minister or no Sinister Minister, Sharp Humor is the one they'll have to catch on May 6, says the colt's trainer Dale Romans. And any horse who dares look Romans' gladiator in the eye early in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will pay the price.

Flashy Bull, Sunriver Play the Waiting Game

For the connections of Flashy Bull and Sunriver, there are three things on their mind this week - Showing Up's puncture wound, Seaside Retreat's workout on Thursday, and Mister Triester's performance in Saturday's Derby Trial Stakes. Only after that will they know whether they've made it into the Derby field.

Stevens to Join Louisville Thoroughbred Club Derby Party

The Louisville Thoroughbred Club invites all Kentucky Derby (gr. I) fans to gather at the Kentucky Derby Museum April 28 to raise a glass with three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Gary Stevens and several of the Thoroughbred industry's top racing analysts as they toast America's greatest race and dice out the odds and chances of all the 132nd Derby contenders.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Five Weeks or Bust

Fresh is best. Those are the words Barbaro's trainer Michael Matz is living by. Whether he's right or wrong, you have to admire him for going against history and public opinion and sticking to his guns, much like another former equestrian rider, Tim Ritchey, did last with his unorthodox training of Afleet Alex.

Bejarano to Ride Point Determined in Santa Anita Derby

Rafael Bejarano, whose list of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) mounts grows each day, has been named by trainer Bob Baffert to ride Point Determined in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 8. Victor Espinoza, who was originally named to ride the colt, has a prior commitment that day aboard Balance in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I).

Haskin's Weekend Preview: Barbaro at the Gate

With many of the leading 3-year-olds in Florida skipping town because of what most horsemen feel is the unfavorable scheduling of the Florida Derby (gr. I), Gulfstream's premiere event drew a wide variety of horses, most of them non-stakes winners. The headliner will be the undefeated Barbaro, winner of all four of his starts.

Battle of the Syndicates in Florida Derby

Cot Campbell pioneered the concept of Thoroughbred racing partnerships when he formed Dogwood Stable in 1969. The seed he planted has produced numerous other successful partnerships, including West Point Stable. On Saturday, Dogwood and West Point square off in the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I).

Kentucky Derby Trail: Dubai Do or Don't?

Perhaps it is time to stop poring over every bit of minutia concerning this year's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and just go with the flow. If you don't, your brain will be fried by the time the Twin Spires come into view and the scent of roses is in the air.

Give Mom Her Due

By Steve Haskin - Mom's Command has slipped through the cracks again. After having her name on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2005, the 1985 New York filly Triple Crown winner was conspicuous by her absence this year.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Rebel Rouser

This year's road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) has only a few more doors left to pass through. But the scene so far at each one has resembled a slapstick comedy routine where everyone tries to go through a door at the same time, and no one gets through.

It's Official: Rockport Harbor Retired

The roller coaster career of Rockport Harbor finally came to an end Monday when owner Rick Porter officially announced the colt has been retired following his latest injury suffered in the Razorback Handicap (gr. III).

Rockport Harbor to Stay in Training

Rockport Harbor, who re-injured his right, hind foot in the March 12 Razorback Handicap (gr. III), will remain in training after an encouraging report from blacksmith Sonny Broadus, owner Rick Porter said Thursday night.

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