Category

April

13
2 contenders out of Ky. Derby field; 3 more in question

Even though the Kentucky Derby preps are done, the field is still not fully set. While undefeated Blue Grass Stakes (G2) winner Essential Quality leads a list of virtually certain starters, connections for no fewer than five horses left the door open to turning down invitations. An updated Kentucky Derby leaderboard released by Churchill Downs Monday afternoon specifies that neither Weyburn nor Proxy will be in the Derby starting gate. Horse Racing Nation reported earlier Monday that Weyburn was unlikely for the race after finishing fourth in the Wood Memorial (G2) last weekend. According to the new leaderboard, he is pointed to the May 8 Peter Pan […]

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April

06
Gamine starts her 2021 campaign with easy win in Las Flores

In her first race since she was crowned the female sprint champion of 2020, Gamine looked like she was primed to pull off a repeat. Racing for the first time without Lasix, she was an easy, 5 1/4-length winner versus only three rivals in the $100,000 Las Flores Stakes (G3) on another sun-splashed spring day at Santa Anita. Carrying her regular rider John Velázquez as part of a career-high 124 pounds, Gamine (1-9) led from gate to wire and was never pressed. “She came back so good,” Velázquez said. “She felt as good as last year. She does everything so effortlessly. Everything she does […]

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March

30
Eric Cancel clinches title with 6-win day at Aqueduct

Eric Cancel had a big day at on sloppy Aqueduct track Sunday, winning six races and finishing in the money in all eight starts to clinch his first career New York Racing Association riding title. “I’m filled with emotions,” Cancel said. “I worked very hard for this and being able to compete with a guy like Kendrick (Carmouche, who will finish second in the jockey standings), who is a very hard-riding guy, it feels wonderful. Yesterday, I didn’t think I was going to get it. But today, I just woke up and said to keep on swinging and go for […]

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March

24
Baffert has his first Florida Derby starter in Spielberg

A mix of talent, opportunity and timing has produced Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s first venture to Gulfstream Park for the Grade 1, $750,000 Florida Derby (G1). Baffert, the most successful trainer in Triple Crown history, will make his debut Saturday in Gulfstream Park’s steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby with Spielberg, a chestnut son of Union Rags. Spielberg, who will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano in the 70th Florida Derby, won the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) on Dec. 19. In his most fresh start, Spielberg concluded second to Essential Quality, the 2020 2-year-old male champion, in the Southwest (G3) on […]

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March

16
With ‘Phenomenal Workouts,’ Risen Star Winner Mandaloun Leads Louisiana Derby Field

Mention Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Mandaloun to trainer Brad Cox and the reaction is telling. And instantaneous. Cox is looking forward to showing the rest of the racing world what he’s thought all along—that Mandaloun is one serious 3-year-old—when he starts as a strong favorite in a sterling renewal of Saturday’s 108th running of the $1 million TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Run at 1 3/16 miles, the Louisiana Derby will offer 170 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, on a 100-40-20-10 scale, and highlight a robust 14-race card that incorporates […]

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March

09
Arrieta Making Big Impression In First Year At Oaklawn

Francisco Arrieta points his right index finger to the sky following each triumph. The jockey stated it’s not about finishing No. 1, but acknowledging the heavens. Arrieta had raised his right arm 19 times through Saturday, the 18th day of racing at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark. In a room full of newcomers at the 2021 meet, Arrieta has clearly made the biggest impression, trailing only seven-time local riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. in the standings. Santana ended Saturday with 21 victories. Arrieta’s purse earnings of $886,253, from 82 mounts through Saturday, ranked third. “Everybody told me it’s really tough here,” […]

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March

02
‘Mild Sprain’ Pulls Senor Buscador Off Kentucky Derby Trail

Todd Fincher’s Senor Buscador is now off the Kentucky Derby Trail. After a key workout on Friday, by the next morning a mild sprain was discovered. According to Fincher, his colt will be taking time off, with the goal to comeback to racing at some point in the future. A couple days ago, as Ty Kennedy’s perspective went vertical, it then proceeded to accelerate along a horizontal trajectory. Such is the life of a jockey on-track. It is a series of beginnings and endings, but in between, there can be some incredible moments, as rider and Thoroughbred form a renewed alliance. Friday morning […]

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February

24
Track Supers Field Day Set for June 14-15 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

The organizers of the Track Superintendents Field Day are pleased to reveal that the 20th edition of the event will be held June 14-15, 2021, at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The event brings together track superintendents and staff annually to discuss best practices related to track maintenance, safety and operational issues for racing and training facilities worldwide. “Because Track Supers Field Day is the only annual gathering for the hard-working men and women who help ensure the safety of our horses and riders, we felt it was important to have the event this year after being forced to cancel […]

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February

16
Southwest, Bayakoa, Razorback Postponed Again

The Southwest Stakes (G3), Bayakoa Stakes (G3), and Razorback Handicap (G3) have again been postponed with Oaklawn Park cancelling live racing Feb. 18-21 due to the weather forecast. “Due to continued inclement weather predicted for the remainder of this week, Oaklawn, with the permission of the stewards, will cancel four days of racing this Thursday, Feb. 18 thru Sunday, Feb. 21. All 5 stakes move to the following week. More details will follow,” the Hot Springs, Ark., track tweeted the evening of Feb. 15. Rearranged dates for stakes races are expected to be revealed Feb. 16, according to Oaklawn spokesperson Jen Hoyt. […]

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February

09
Maker to switch Fire At Will to dirt in Fountain of Youth

After lengthy reflection as to whether to give Fire At Will an opportunity on the Kentucky Derby trail, trainer Mike Maker has decided to switch the winner of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf off the grass and run him in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park. Maker said Fire At Will “went super” when breezing five furlongs early Saturday in 1:01.60 over a fast Gulfstream main track. “It looked like he handled it well,” said Maker. Fire At Will, by Declaration of War, is owned by the Three Diamonds Farm of Kirk Wycoff. The dark bay colt has […]

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