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Horse Racing

We're just over a week away from the Run for the Roses and it's time for the annual Degrees of Separation post where we separate the contenders from the pretenders. It's a light look at the horses that have qualified for a gate on the first Saturday in May, a week out and before the post position draw to help segregate the horses I'm high on versus the throw-outs come D…

Horse Racing

Gronkowski, the horse, will miss the Kentucky Derby, much to the chagrin of namesake and part-owner Rob Gronkowski. "It’s unfortunate Gronkowski the horse will not be able to race in the upcoming Kentucky Derby due to an illness," he wrote on Twitter. "I fully support what is best for the horse. I know he will come back strong and healthy and I am excited to see him rac…

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The horse named for Western New Yorker and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has suffered a setback and might not be able to run in the Kentucky Derby on May 5, RacingPost.com reported Monday. “We’ve had a minor setback, and we will know where we are in the next 24 hours,” trainer Jeremy Noseda told RacingPost.com. He did not specify the nature of the injury. The horse i…

Horse Racing

After several months of highlighting Derby preps in this space, it’s time to take a deep breath and return to our weekly racing notes for a week. Next week we’ll unveil our Derby Degrees of Separation post, a yearly rite of Derby passage, ranking the 20 probable starters. Check out last year’s column to see how well I fared (self-rated at a B+ rating). So what’s going o…

Horse Racing

There’s never a dull moment in Gronk Nation. Gronkowski, the horse, has a new owner with the same name. Perennial All-Pro tight end and Western New York native Rob Gronkowski acquired a stake in the 3-year-old colt headed to the Kentucky Derby to run for the roses on May 5 at Churchill Downs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Phoenix Thoroughbreds Ltd. joined …

Horse Racing

The Arkansas Derby is the last of the 170 point races to qualify for the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby. The first four finishers will attain 100-40-20-10 points, respectively, on the road to Louisville. Currently the 19th ranked horse, Solomini (2-1), has 34 points; so a top-three finish on Saturday could vault many of the horses into the Derby. Gronkowski, the 20th …

Horse Racing

The 144th Kentucky Derby is shaping up to be a whale of a race. Three major prep races in the books on Saturday afternoon pumped up the Derby field scheduled to race a classic mile-and-a-quarter on Saturday, May 5. In the most anticipated race of the day, the undefeated Justify ($3.80) went gate-to-wire to win the Santa Anita Derby over the NTRA's No. 1 ranked 3-year…

Horse Racing

The last major weekend of Kentucky Derby prep races are scheduled for this afternoon with valuable qualifying points on the line for the 144th Run for the Roses on May 5 at Churchill Downs. In New York, the $750,000 Grade 2 Wood Memorial (5:55 p.m.) at Aqueduct will kick things off, followed by the $1 million Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes (6:23 p.m.) at Keeneland and conclu…

Longtime Western New York standardbred owner and trainer Robert Gruber III of Lakeview died last Saturday after suffering a medical emergency during an on-track training session. Gruber, 52, started his training career in 1991. In 27 years, his horses made 9,220 starts and won 1,235 making more than $4.8 million in purse earnings.  His best campaign was in 2009 when he …

Horse Racing

Saturday’s two big prep races both produced serious win candidates for this year’s Kentucky Derby. Sitting five weeks out from Kentucky Derby 144, the serious contenders have started to separate from the pretenders on the Derby Trail that will culminate in Louisville on May 5. Florida Derby: Audible ($5.20), the Holy Bull winner, won the 67th Florida Derby with a pat…

Horse Racing

Everyone knows Buffalo native and New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski heads to the Kentucky Derby annually. This year, his namesake will be in the gate in Louisville on the First Saturday in May. Phoenix Throughbred's Gronkowski, a 3-year-old son of Lonhro (AUS) out of a Lookin at Lucky mare, garnered his fourth straight win on Friday in the Burrado…

Horse Racing

Two big prep races on different sides of the globe highlight this weekend’s road to the Kentucky Derby. Stateside, the Grade 1 Xpressbet Florida Derby will headline one of Gulfstream Park’s biggest days in Hallandale Beach, where a field of nine will contend for valuable Kentucky Derby points. Qualifying points will be awarded on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the top four. …

Horse Racing

Breakfast in Dubai will be the meal of choice on Saturday morning at Meydan Race Course as Dubai World Cup Day kicks off a big weekend of thoroughbred racing that includes two key Derby prep races.  Check tomorrow’s print edition for an advance on the Derby trail races. The Meydan Race Course will host six Group 1 and three Group 2 races on Saturday morning. The Godolph…

Horse Racing

The Derby Trail swings down to New Orleans for the $1 million Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on Saturday featuring 10 colts searching for valuable Kentucky Derby points. The top four finishers will acquire 100-40-20-10 points, respectively, on the Road to the Derby at the Fair Grounds.  It is the first of seven races offering the winner 100 points and assuring a spot in the ga…

Horse Racing

It’s the time of the year to start searching for a Derby contender to root for in the Run for the Roses. In selecting your Derby horse, it's just as important as selecting the right sauce for your chicken wing. With only a handful of 50 point races remaining in the Derby Championship Series, we’ll soon move on to the 100-point races where the top two finishers are al…