Category

May

25
Other Than Medina Spirit, Oaks, Derby Day Horses Clear

While the racing world awaits split sample testing and results for Medina Spirit , all of the other horses tested from this year’s Kentucky Oaks and Derby day cards at Churchill Downs have passed preliminary testing. According to experts, the fact that all other horses passed their post-race test reduces the likelihood that contamination factored in the post-race finding of would-be Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner Medina Spirit. That triumph is in question, pending testing of the split sample, as trainer Bob Baffert revealed May 9 that Medina Spirit tested positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone in the initial post-race test. Based on […]

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May

18
Bob Baffert, Medina Spirit suspended from Belmont Stakes: ‘In the best interests’ of horse racing

The New York Racing Association stated on Monday that it’s suspending trainer Bob Baffert from entering or stalling any horses at its tracks. That means Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit won’t be permitted to run at the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The NYRA announced its decision as Derby host Churchill Downs awaits the results of a second drug test after Medina Spirit tested positive for banned steroid betamethasone. Baffert originally denied that he used betamethasone improperly on Medina Spirit, blaming “cancel culture” and floating a theory that the horse ate hay tainted by human urine instead. Baffert admitted days […]

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May

11
Horse racing-Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit fails drug test

Trainer Bob Baffert, who won a record-setting seventh Kentucky Derby with Medina Spirit this month, on Sunday said the dark bay colt had failed a drug test. Baffert said a post-race sample provided by Medina Spirit had tested positive for 21 picograms of the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone, over the legal limit in Kentucky racing. Medina Spirit, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, had secured a half-length triumph over Mandaloun in the 19-horse Kentucky Derby on May 1. Baffert’s camp were informed of the news by Kentucky officials on Saturday, but the 68-year-old denied giving the horse illegal substances and said the […]

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May

04
Icy Storm First Winner for Keen Ice

Team Hanley and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Icy Storm became the first winner for Calumet Farm stallion Keen Ice May 3 when the colt took a five-furlong maiden special weight on dirt at Indiana Grand Race Course for trainer Steve Asmussen. Ridden by Jermaine Bridgmohan, Icy Storm broke well and chased the pace two wide on the turn, then made an early run for the leader, Gormleys Got Game , at the top of the lane. T he colt grabbed the lead in the final sixteenth and kept his head down to the wire, holding off a late challenge from Atta Boy Anthony to triumph by a neck in 1:00.81 on a track rated […]

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April

27
Malathaat Made 5-2 Favorite for Kentucky Oaks

Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat , winner of Keeneland’s April 3 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) last time out, has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite for the April 30 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). Trained by Todd Pletcher, the daughter of Curlin will break from post 10 under veteran rider John Velazquez. Co-second choices at 3-1 in the Oaks field are Larry Best’s OXO Equine’s Travel Column  (post 6) and Klaravich Stables’ Search Results  (post 12). The 147th Oaks, worth $1.25 million, will go as race 11 on Churchill Downs’ April 30 program with a arranged post-time of 5:51 p.m. ET. The Oaks has been dominated of late by trainers Brad Cox […]

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April

20
Letruska Outduels Monomoy Girl in Apple Blossom

The Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) delivered the electrifying stretch duel that was expected from a $1 million race featuring two champions. At the top of the long stretch at Oaklawn Park, Monomoy Girl forged to a slim lead but could not draw off as the rival inside of her stuck to her like a piece of Velcro. The two distaff runners then engaged in an epic clash to the wire as the determined mare on the inside would not back down after being passed by the two-time Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner. In the final strides, she stuck her nose in front, and […]

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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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