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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

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

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

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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February

02
Medina Spirits wins Robert Lewis

In a performance even possibly more surreal than Authentic ‘s Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) triumph, Medina Spirit upstaged Bob Baffert’s newly-minted Horse of the Year Jan. 30, staring defeat in the eye down the homestretch and refusing to blink, holding off two pursuers through the last quarter-mile to gain the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) in a stretch run for the ages at Santa Anita Park. Even Baffert thought he wasn’t going to win after Roman Centurian and Hot Rod Charlie hooked pacesetting Medina Spirit at the head of the stretch. As it was, Medina Spirit—who led virtually from the beginning after breaking from the rail—prevailed […]

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January

26
Authentic set for big night at Eclipse Awards

Authentic is favored to be named Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male, and his connections – trainer Bob Baffert, jockey John Velazquez, breeder Peter Blum, and an ownership group headed by Spendthrift Farm – all are finalists in their respective categories for the 50th annual Eclipse Awards, to be revealed Thursday night in an unusual presentation that serves as an appropriate coda to an unusual year. Owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the usual black-tie-optional ceremony has been changed by a virtual one, emanating from Spendthrift in Kentucky. A number of past hosts of the Eclipse Awards – […]

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January

19
Pegasus Turf Is Another Twist In The Story For Anothertwistafate

Both the blinkers and the man who recommended them – jockey Joel Rosario – will be on Anothertwistafate Saturday in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park. Following Anothertwistafate’s fourth-place finish in the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) on Nov. 28 at Del Mar, Rosario recommended adding blinkers to the horse’s new trainer, Peter Miller. Five weeks later, with blinkers in place, Anothertwistafate and Rosario rolled to a 2 ¼-length triumph in the San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita. Miller chuckled as he told the story about his conversation with Rosario after the Seabiscuit. “When he tells you something […]

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