Horse Racing

Idol and Joel Rosario swiped the Santa Anita Handicap in deep stretch from Express Train. The 4-year-old standout will miss the second leg of the Wild West Bonus series with an undisclosed issue. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Big ‘Cap Winner Idol Sidelined, Won’t Chase Wild West Bonus

The $1 million Wild West Bonus will go unclaimed with the announcement that Santa Anita Handicap winner Idol will miss the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup with an undisclosed issue. Trainer Richard Baltus told Santa Anita Park’s Ed Golden that the issue does not appear to be career-ending and that […]

Irish import Sovereign seeks his first victory on US soil and his first win since 2019 in Saturday's Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park. (Image: Irish Thoroughbred Marketing)

Can the Man o’ War Stakes Become Sovereign Territory?

The Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes draws its name from one of the most iconic horses in American racing history. Yet, it’s an Irish import who’s stealing all of the attention in the New York Racing Association’s first Grade 1 turf race of 2021. That would be Sovereign, who […]

Knicks Go opened his 5-year-old campaign winning the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. He returns to action three months after a fourth-place Saudi Cup finish in the May 31 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park. (Image: Coglianese Photos)

Knicks Go Returns Off the Main Track — at Texas’ Lone Star Park

Standout 5-year-old horse Knicks Go, last seen finishing fourth in the Saudi Cup on Feb. 20, will return in an unlikely spot on May 31 – the Grade 3 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park. Trainer Brad Cox announced Knicks Go’s next go-moment during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association […]

Risk Taking, seen here capturing the Withers Stakes two starts ago, joins the Preakness Stakes field. (Image: Joe Labozzetta)

Brown Takes a Calculated Risk Sending Risk Taking to the Preakness

Calling an audible with an aptly named horse, trainer Chad Brown said Risk Taking will run in the Preakness Stakes instead of the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes – his original destination. Risk Taking was the morning-line favorite for the Peter Pan, a one-turn, 1 1/8-mile race on Saturday at […]

Midnight Bourbon finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby. It's the first time he missed the board in eight career races. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Midnight Bourbon Joins Preakness Stakes Field

Midnight Bourbon, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, will run the 146th Preakness Stakes, trainer Steve Asmussen announced Thursday. With the announcement, the Tiznow colt becomes only the third Derby horse committing to the Preakness. He joins winner Medina Spirit and Keepmeinmind in the May 15 field. Midnight Bourbon […]

Mandaloun ran a career race in his half-length Kentucky Derby loss to Medina Spirit. That effort explained why trainer Brad Cox shelved the Into Mischief colt from the May 15 Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Cox Charges Mandaloun, Caddo River Passing Up Preakness Stakes

Despite the Preakness Stakes providing Brad Cox’s entrée into the Triple Crown’s rarefied air, the trainer announced on Thursday that Mandaloun and Caddo River will bypass the May 15 race. The pair join stablemate Essential Quality on the sidelines for the 1 3/16-mile second jewel of the Triple Crown. Cox […]

Victor Espinoza and American Pharoah bid farewell after winning their final race: the 2015 Breedres' Cup Classic at Keeneland. The first Triple Crown winner in 37 years was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection. (Image: Diane Bondareff/Invision for Longines)

American Pharoah, Todd Pletcher Earn Hall Nods in First Year of Eligibility

Voters to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame confirmed two of the easiest selections they’ll ever face when they selected Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher to the 2021 Hall of Fame class. American Pharoah and Pletcher earned election in the contemporary […]

More people watched Bob Baffert lift his seventh Kentucky Derby trophy than watched Oscar winners lift theirs. NBC reported strong viewership for Medina Spirit's Derby upset. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Better than the Oscars? Kentucky Derby Ratings Jump from 2020

NBC Sports announced strong ratings for Saturday’s telecast of the 147th Kentucky Derby, producing Total Audience Delivery numbers of 14.5 million viewers for the opening leg of the Triple Crown. Putting those numbers into perspective, the Derby drew better numbers than the final round of the Masters. For the first […]

Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality won't run the Preakness Stakes. He's pointed toward the June 5 Belmont Stakes and eventually the Aug. 18 Travers at Saratoga. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Essential Quality, King Fury Passing On Preakness, Targeting Travers

Connections for Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality said Tuesday that they intend on skipping the Preakness Stakes and sending the Godolphin colt to the June 5 Belmont Stakes instead. The announcement first came on Steve Byk’s At The Races With Steve Byk radio show on Sirius/XM. Trainer Brad Cox told […]

Ny Traffic opened his 3-year-old campaign last January winning this Gulfstream Park allowance. He opened his 4-year-old season Sunday, winning a Belmont Park allowance by 6 1/2 lengths. (Image: Lauren King/Gulfstream Park)

Ny Traffic Returns With a Vengeance, Takes Apart Belmont Park Allowance

Whatever rust Ny Traffic possessed during a seven-month layoff disappeared in less than 90 seconds on Sunday, when the colt dismantled a Belmont Park allowance field of New York-breds by 6 ½ lengths. The Cross Traffic progeny made his 4-year-old debut nearly seven months to the day after he finished […]

Even as the field begins forming, Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun remains a maybe for the May 15 Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Preakness Plans Begin Taking Shape; Cox Remains on the Fence

As Brad Cox ponders his Preakness plans with Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun and fourth-place finisher Essential Quality, the Preakness field is taking shape around him. Maryland Jockey Club stakes coordinator Trish Bowman put out a preliminary list of prospects for the May 15 second leg of the Triple Crown. That […]

Bob Baffert said Medina Spirit was his most improbable Kentucky Derby winner. The Hall of Fame trainer said Medina Spirit came out of the Derby well and is likely for the Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Medina Spirit Comes Out of Derby Well, Likely for Preakness

Less than a day after Medina Spirit’s remarkable Kentucky Derby victory, trainer Bob Baffert said he’s on track for the May 15 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Tentatively. “He came out of it well. It takes about a week to determine, so I’m going to come back next weekend and see,” […]

Medina Spirit and John Velazquez illustrate their tenacity in deep stretch, holding off Mandaloun to capture the 147th Kentucky Derby. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

The 2021 Derby: 12/1 Medina Spirit wins Baffert His Record Seventh

The primary lesson coming out of the 2021 Kentucky Derby is as simple as it is frustrating for everyone not named Bob Baffert. Even when Baffert brings his third-string horse to Churchill Downs, he wins Derbies. That would be Medina Spirit, who gave Baffert his seventh Derby victory Saturday, passing […]

The Kentucky Derby is only Rock Your World's second start on dirt. He is the fastest horse in the field based on speed figures. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Almost Back to Normalcy: Breaking Down the 2021 Kentucky Derby

Welcome to the 2021 Kentucky Derby. And welcome back to what a normal Kentucky Derby looks like. Almost. The crowds? Well, they’re back – about 40,000. That’s a quarter of what normally turns Churchill Downs into a sporting bacchanalia. But there’s people in the stands. We’ll take it. The horses? […]

Hot Rod Charlie owns the second-fastest Beyer Speed Figure of anyone in the Kentucky Derby field. His trainer, Doug O'Neill, owns two Kentucky Derby victories in the last nine years. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Hot Rod Charlie Roars to Life for Kentucky Derby Vet O’Neill

Doug O’Neill already has two of these Kentucky Derbies on the mantle, both with colts he planned on taking to Churchill Downs —  I’ll Have Another and Nyquist. But when Hot Rod Charlie came to his Santa Anita Park barn as a $110,000 yearling purchase, the trainer looked at his […]

Santa Anita Derby champion Rock Your World took the path less traveled to the Kentucky Derby. His speed on that path brought him 5/1 second-favorite status in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Rock Your World Rolls Into Derby From an Unconventional Trail

Before April 3, Rock Your World occupied a very small world in Southern California horse racing. He was a good 3-year-old turf colt with a couple of nice grass wins under his hooves, including a solid, 2 ¼-length victory in the Listed Pasadena Stakes. But trainer John Sadler had a […]

Dynamic One, seen here working out at Churchill Downs last Friday, is one of trainer Todd Pletcher's four Kentucky Derby entries. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Pletcher Plays Another Four of a Kind Kentucky Derby Hand

One trainer has four horses – a quarter of the field – in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Surprisingly, his name is Todd Pletcher, and not Bob Baffert. It’s one of those counterintuitive Derby facts that most casual horse racing fans stumble over. And it’s not their fault. Nor is it […]

Don't get used to the scene of Kendrick Carmouche celebrating aboard Bourbonic. The 72/1 surprise Wood Memorial winner is best left off your Kentucky Derby tickets. (Image: Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photos)

Three Kentucky Derby Long Shots You Can Cross Off Right Now

Here’s what finding the right Kentucky Derby long shot means to your exotic tickets. Last year’s Kentucky Derby $1 trifecta paid $1,311.80, for which you can thank 46/1 Mr. Big News and his unobtrusive third-place finish. Let’s look at 2019, asterisk and all. The $1 trifecta, starring 65/1 Country House, […]

Tuesday morning's draw for the 2021 Kentucky Derby from post 20 Bourbonic to post 1 Known Agenda. Those are two of trainer Todd Pletcher's four entries in Saturday's Run for the Roses. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Essential Quality Opens as 2/1 Favorite for 147th Kentucky Derby

As expected, Essential Quality checked in as the 2/1 morning-line favorite for the 147th Kentucky Derby. And Tuesday’s post-position Derby draw sends the undefeated colt and his favorite status into post 14 for Saturday’s 2021 Triple Crown opener. As he watched the posts fill up on Tuesday morning, this put […]