Tag: 2021 Kentucky Derby

Maryland-bred Jaxon Traveler returns to his home state as the favorite for the Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes. The one-time 60/1 futures choice to win the Kentucky Derby found a different path to success. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Taking the Shorter Trail, Jaxon Traveler Puts the Odds in His Favor

Last November, Jaxon Traveler traveled in the fast lane of Kentucky Derby prospects. At 60/1, he kept double-digit futures odds company with the likes of 45/1 Highly Motivated, 50/1 Hot Rod Charlie, 75/1 Midnight Bourbon and 75/1 Keepmeinmind. Jaxon Traveler’s odds were lower than Hidden Stash and Super Stock (both […]

Bettors wagering on 26/1 Mandaloun to win the Kentucky Derby won't get rewarded if winner Medina Spirit is disqualified. Pari-mutuel payouts stand once a race is ruled official. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Can Mandaloun Bettors Profit From a Medina Spirit DQ?

One of the first questions many novice horseplayers asked when the news of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s positive drug test for excessive amounts of an anti-inflammatory medication was: “If he’s DQed, can I cash my Mandaloun ticket?” The answer is an emphatic “no.” Bettors holding Mandaloun tickets deserve props […]

As controversy over his positive test for excessive amounts of an anti-inflammatory, Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit galloped Sunday. He is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes Tuesday morning. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

MJC Postpones Preakness Draw After Medina Spirit Betamethasone Test

As Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit galloped amid the furor of his positive drug test for the anti-inflammatory betamethasone, Maryland Jockey Club officials postponed the Preakness Stakes post-position draw to Tuesday. Originally, the post-position draw and morning-line odds were set to be announced on Monday. But, in the wake of […]

Trainer Bob Baffert, jockey John Velazquez and owner Amr Zedan celebrate Medina Spirit's Kentucky Derby victory last Saturday. The celebration may end after the horse tested positive for an excessive amount of an anti-inflammatory. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Baffert’s Derby Winner Medina Spirit Tests Positive for Anti-Inflammatory

Horse racing and the face of horse racing – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert – took two more punches to their collective integrity Sunday when Kentucky Derby-winning horse Medina Spirit tested positive for an anti-inflammatory drug, betamethasone. Baffert confirmed the test to reporters in an impromptu press conference at […]

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 […]

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 […]

Aunt Pearl and Florent Geroux went gate-to-wire in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She is the likely favorite in the Grade 2 Edgewood on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. (Image: Coady Photography)

Don’t Overlook These Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby Undercards

The Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby undercards offer turf stars Colonel Liam and Smooth Like Strait. They offer filly stars Gamine, Shedaresthedevil, Sanenus, Aunt Pearl, and Envoutante. They also offer Maxfield, Roadster, and Max Player. And they offer one-time Derby hopefuls Jackie’s Warrior, Prevalence, and Gretzky the Great. It’s easy […]

Caddo River won January's Smarty Jones Stakes as the lone speed. The projected pace-setter for Saturday's Kentucky Derby scratched Sunday due to a fever. (Image: Coady Photography)

Projected Pace-Setter Caddo River Scratched From Kentucky Derby

Caddo River, one of three Brad Cox Kentucky Derby entries and the one pace horse in this year’s field, won’t be that pace horse. Cox scratched him from the Derby Sunday morning because of a fever. This opens the gate for Brooklyn Strong, who gets into the field with his […]

King Fury's gritty victory in the Lexington Stakes led trainer Kenny McPeek to keep him in the Triple Crown mix. Friday, his patience was rewarded iwtha 
 berth in the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Jonathan Palmer/Keeneland)

Derby Dominoes: King Fury, Keepmeinmind In, Three Others Out

Two weeks ago, King Fury needed a miracle of falling Kentucky Derby dominoes to get him into the 2021 Kentucky Derby field. On Friday, the Lexington Stakes champion got that miracle. After the defections of Dream Shake and Hozier Friday and Get Her Number’s Saturday defection, King Fury sits comfortably […]

Churchill Downs has horseplayers covered across the gate with a smorgasbord of betting options for Kentucky Oaks/Derby week. (Image: Coady Photography)

Churchill Downs Rolls Out Its Oaks/Derby Weekend Wagering Menu

As if breaking down an intriguing Kentucky Derby didn’t require enough handicapping firepower, Churchill Downs unveiled its wagering menu for Derby weekend. Headlining Derby weekend is a mandatory payout in the Derby City 6. That jackpot-style Pick 6 requires a bettor to hold the only winning combination of the six […]

O Besos has never been the lone speed in a race. But the live Kentucky Derby long shot was during a predawn Thursday workout at Churchill Downs. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Looking for a Derby Down-Ticket Dark Horse? Say ‘Hello’ to O Besos

Let’s be clear about O Besos and his Kentucky Derby victory prospects upfront. This is not a victory endorsement for a closer in a race where closers’ victory hopes routinely die painfully short on the Churchill Downs stretch. O Besos has minimal tactical speed, one run in him, and an […]