Gene Kershner, The Buffalo News
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Gene Kershner

Gene is a Buffalo-based turf writer and a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. He has been The Buffalo News turf writer since October 2010. His work can also be found in The Florida Horse Magazine and the Bloodhorse. He covered the 2009 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile for the NTRA.


The 33rd running of the Fourstardave is the feature Grade 1 race at Saratoga this weekend. The race will be run for a purse of $500,000 over the Inner Turf course at a one mile distance drew a field of seven (Weekend Hideaway is an MTO in case of an off track).  Post time on Saturday for the Fourstardave is 6:28 p.m. as the 10th race on the 11-race card at Saratoga Race C…

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A highly competitive group of 3-year-olds will assemble Sunday afternoon at Monmouth Park with hopes of jumping into the divisional race with a victory. With Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing both faltering in yesterday’s Jim Dandy at Saratoga, the race for champion 3-year-old has taken an interesting turn.…

For horse racing fans, it’s a slice of heaven on earth. On Friday afternoon, Saratoga Race Course will open the gates to its 149th racing season with plenty of action over 40 days of summer through Labor Day. Located in the foothills of the Adirondacks, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) will produce racing six days a week, with the track going dark on Tuesdays…

TORONTO – Holy Helena added another chapter to the filly dominance of the Queen’s Plate late Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack. The Woodbine Oaks winner surged to the lead around the far turn and never looked back on her way to a three-and-a-half length victory in the 158th Queen’s Plate. The 2-1 post-time favorite became the third filly in the last seven yea…

The 158th Queen’s Plate will have an excellent group of riders invading Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday July 2. Three jockeys from the U.S. will ship into to Woodbine to ride in Canada’s Most Famous Race. Hall of Fame-elect Javier Castellano (Inflexibility), Jose Ortiz (Guy Caballero) and Julien Leparoux (Aurora Way) will join the top jockeys from the Toronto colony to…

ELMONT – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s 2017 Triple Crown season can best be described with the legendary lyrics of the American musician Meat Loaf. Two out of three ain’t bad. After securing his second career Kentucky Derby with Always Dreaming and losing the Preakness two weeks later, the super-trainer had two entries in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes. Tapwrit, …

The 142nd Preakness is in the books and another reminder that they don’t run the race on paper. It was another enjoyable day at old Firetrap. As old as the physical plant is at Pimlico, it is still the most enjoyable stop on the Triple Crown trail, and I’m not just saying that because of the press box crab cakes.  Although, I must say they were pretty spectacular. …

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In a weekend that provided enough rain to supply Niagara Falls, the sun finally filtered through the Twin Spires at historic Churchill Downs to shine on Always Dreaming. The 3-year-old son of Bodemeister splashed home to a 2 3/4-length victory to don the roses bestowed upon the winner of America’s most famous race for the 143rd time. Amidst the …

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Derby is poised to serve up its annual two minutes of drama with plenty of storylines in play. A potential wet track, a quirky favorite, a kidnapped trainer who fled his native country and a number of conditioners seeking to duplicate past successes serve as the backdrop for the first jewel of racing’s Triple Crown. The 143rd Run fo…

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Abel Tasman is no longer running in the shadows of Unique Bella and Paradise Woods. The Quality Road filly was beaten in her last two graded stakes by both west coast stalwarts, but she was not to be denied Friday under the Twin Spires in the 143rd Kentucky Oaks. The win was worth $564,200 to the winning connections. Bob Baffert captured his third…

We are sitting in the same exact spot we were in a year ago. A week out from this year’s Kentucky Derby under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. The one horse that will be donning the prohibitive favorite role, similar to Nyquist in 2016, is Classic Empire. The other 19 horses that will line up are not quite in the same class as the projected favorite. He’s…

One of the biggest races during the Santa Anita spring meeting takes center stage on Saturday afternoon.  The $1 million Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby for 3-year-olds drew 30 horses bidding for 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The top four finishers will gather 100-50-20-10 points, respectively. The morning line favorite is Iliad (7-2), the second-place finisher in th…

The Derby trail winds down south to the gulf coast and Tampa Bay Downs this weekend for the $250,000 Grade 3 Sam F. Davis. The 1 1/16-mile affair will be contested by nine colts, including two nominated to the Queen’s Plate later in the year. The race is worth 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points and is the only one being held this weekend. The big name in the ra…

Back to balmy Buffalo after a run in the sun last weekend at the Pegasus World Cup. Some thoughts on the day after having a week to let the enormity of the event soak in…. During the day it was difficult to tell whether the day was an “epic fail” as one of my handicapper pals called it or the “huge success” that a fellow ‘capper standing five feet away re…

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The torch was officially passed at Gulfstream Park in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup as Arrogate collected a cool $7 million winning the richest horse race in history. As the shadows lengthened over the South Florida track, Arrogate romped ahead of his 11 rivals and took over the reins from California Chrome as racing’s next supe…