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Horse Racing

The Derby trail starts to crank up on Saturday as it winds from coast to coast with the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream, the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita and the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct. The Withers will be run at 1 1/8 miles and the other two preps at 1 1/16 miles with each race worth 10-4-2-1 Derby points to the top four finishers. The three races will b…

Horse Racing

The annual Racing Kreskin predictions made on New Year’s Day via long range crystal ball viewing wrapped up two weeks ago at the Breeders’ Cup. It’s that time of year to see if the Racing Kreskin performed his best Biff Tannen to rock the horse racing world. The Racing Kreskin was sniffing greatness in 2019, but in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be. Let’s review each …

Horse Racing

The Breeders’ Cup returns to Santa Anita next weekend under much different circumstances than its last visit two years ago. The track that has been much maligned for the number of horse deaths this year received a vote of confidence from the Breeders’ Cup board after officials made changes to the track and to safety procedures. All eyes will be on the suburban Los Angel…

Horse Racing

As we put Kentucky Derby 145 in the rearview mirror, the disqualification controversy is still roiling in the national media with it continuing to be a focus on all of the Sunday evening national news segments. After taking a day to take a deep breath, it was evident that Maximum Security veered out and impeded both War of Will and Long Range Toddy and in turn impacting…

Horse Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The fastest two minutes in sports lasted another 22 minutes on Saturday evening at Churchill Downs in a wild and crazy finish to the 145th running of the $3 million Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. In a scene that became more surreal by the moment, Country House’s jockey Flavien Prat stood under the Twin Spires next to the jockey scale awaiting a steward’s deci…

Horse Racing

Louisville, Ky. – The Kentucky Derby undercard includes six graded stakes leading up to the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. The graded races preceding the Derby will kickoff at 1:13 p.m. EDT with the Grade 1 Humana Distaff (Race 6) on the NBC Sports Network.  Race 11, the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf is scheduled to go to post at 5:25 p.m. The flagship network NBC Sports will …

Horse Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – To Baffert or not Baffert; that is the question. With the ebbs and flows of a Shakespearian novel, the lead up to this year’s Kentucky Derby has not been one for the faint of heart. After Wednesday night’s scratch of the morning line favorite, Omaha Beach, due to an entrapped epiglottis, trainer Bob Baffert is once again center stage and in the spot…

Horse Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Winning the Kentucky Derby as a jockey takes a lot of luck, patience and having a good horse underneath you. For Javier Castellano, a Hall of Fame jockey who has won some of the biggest races in the land, the Derby is the one that has eluded him in 12 previous attempts. His best Derby effort occurred last year when he steered Audible to third, just …

Horse Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Omaha Beach, installed yesterday as the 4-1 favorite for Kentucky Derby 145, has scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis. The epiglottis is a triangular-shaped cartilage that lies at the base of the airway just in front of the arytenoid cartilages which cover the airway during swallowing. When an abnormality occurs in this area it can hinder the perf…

Horse Racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – “His mudder was a mudder.” ~ Cosmo Kramer With the possibility of a third consecutive year with a wet track at post time for Kentucky Derby 145, it’s time to try and figure out who the mudders are. Out of 144 previous editions of the Kentucky Derby, only 16 have been run on a muddy (7) or sloppy (9) track. The last two editions were run on off track…

Horse Racing

The traditional pill pull for Kentucky Derby 145 was held in the Aristides Lounge on Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs. The draw determined the post positions for this year’s 20 starters for the Run for the Roses. The race will be televised nationally on NBC (Ch. 2) on Saturday afternoon during a four-and-a-half-hour telecast starting at 2:30 p.m. Post time for the Der…

Horse Racing

Searching for long shots in America’s most famous race has become an annual tradition as we approach the First Saturday in May. Next Saturday’s Run for the Roses can provide for some of the most lucrative payouts of the year. With 20 horses entered in the 145th Kentucky Derby, the stakes are high. Having that big priced colt in your exacta, trifecta or superfecta can…

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 column 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 throwouts come …

Horse Racing

After several months of highlighting Derby preps in this space, it’s time to start preparing as the 145th Kentucky Derby is two weeks away. Next week we’ll unveil our Derby Degrees of Separation post, an 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 on …

Horse Racing

The $1 million Grade 1 Arkansas Derby is the last of the 170-point races to qualify for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. The first four finishers of Saturdays’ race at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs will attain 100-40-20-10 points, respectively, on the road to Louisville. The top 20 finishers in points make the starting gate at Churchill Downs. Master Fencer, th…