Gene Kershner, The Buffalo News
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Gene Kershner

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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 be found at The Florida Horse, the Blood-horse and the NTRA.

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…

Trying to pull off an encore season to 2015’s Triple Crown triumph by American Pharoah was going to be a big challenge for thoroughbred racing. The 2016 racing year provided enough stellar moments to rate it as one of the better years of the decade. Having horses such as California Chrome, Tepin and Flintshire continue to race at the age of 5 or older and postpone headi…

The annual Racing Kreskin predictions can now be tallied after last weekend’s big win by Arrogate over California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The crystal ball emerged in the New Year’s Day post and we’ll review the results on today’s holiday, Veterans Day. The Racing Kreskin was trying to reverse last year’s misfortune, after swinging and missing…

Thoughts from the eighth pole… Thoroughbred racing is working towards a climactic Breeders’ Cup (BC) in three weeks, where some monster match-ups are looming in several of the most important divisions in racing. The Win and You’re In (WAYI) races are complete and the fields will start coming together over the next two weeks with pre-entries due by Monday Oct. 24.…

One of the biggest races during the fall Belmont meeting is the feature race on Super Saturday, tomorrow afternoon.  The $1 million Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup (JCGC) for 3-year-olds and upward drew only six horses bidding for a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a victory. On Thursday evening, War Story scratched, thus the field is down to five. Unlike in prio…

Thoughts from the eighth pole….. Props to Woodbine for moving one of their signature days from their traditional Sunday date to Saturday. Two weeks ago the suburban Toronto track had media from all over the U.S. covering the Woodbine Mile showcasing Tepin’s big win. Handle was up over $2.4M from the prior year, proving that Saturdays are for the Bettors. Let’s h…

Bensalem, Pa. is the next stop for this year’s group of 3-year-old colts and fillies. Parx Racing, located in suburban Philadelphia, will host the $1 million Grade 1 Cotillion for fillies and the $1.25 Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby for the colts. Songbird will bring her 10-race win streak to Philly and will have some tough competition in Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sop…

TORONTO – In addition to Saturday’s big Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” (WAYI) Woodbine Mile featuring the talented Tepin, Woodbine Racing has a big weekend in store for horseplayers. A second WAYI race on Saturday is the Grade 1 Northern Dancer and Sunday’s card includes two Breeders’ Cup qualifiers in the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes for fillies and the Gr…

What a meeting. Terrific performances, age-old records broken and stars in the making emerging from the 2016 Saratoga meet. Add in a dead heat during the closing weekend and the addition of a widely popular late Pick-5 for bettors and you have the perfect lead in to the fall racing season. So what better way than capturing the Saratoga season in a series of tweets that…

A major race during the Saratoga meeting takes center stage on Saturday afternoon.  The $600,000 million Grade 1 Woodward Stakes for 3-year-olds and upward drew nine horses, including Whitney winner Frosted. The horse to beat, Frosted, is coming off that win in the Whitney earlier in the meet when he drew off against five other rivals.  The 4-year-old son of Tapit wa…

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The New York Racing Association has put together a monster racing card for Travers Day, which includes six straight Grade 1 races followed by the Grade 2 Ballston Spa after the Travers. The three graded stakes races preceding the $1.25 million Grade 1 Travers Stakes on Saturday afternoon will be on the undercard of a super day of racing at Saratoga …