Tag: Caddo River

Jackie's Warrior (right) held off Dream Shake to win last month's Pat Day Mile. Race fans would take a repeat of this stretch drive in Saturday's Grade 1 Woody Stephen Stakes at Belmont Park. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

One-Turn Doesn’t Mean One-Trick Ponies in This Woody Stephens

Looking at the familiar names lining up for Saturday’s Grade 1 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park, it’s tempting to dismiss the seven-furlong sprint as a race for Triple Crown washouts, has-beens, and never-weres. Don’t. Instead, understand that not every horse is bred to go two turns. Understand that the Woody […]

With no Charlatan in the gate, Knicks Go becomes a likely favorite for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on the June 5 Belmont Stakes undercard. (Image: Coady Photography)

Cox Calls a New Play for Knicks Go — The Met Mile

Even Brad Cox understands how the avoid Bob Baffert game is played, which explains why he moved his star older horse, Knicks Go, to the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. That June 5 race is the first-among-equals Grade 1 on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Cox originally targeted Knicks Go for the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Super Stock reeled in a Kentucky Derby spot by reeling in Caddo River (2) and heavy favorite Concert Tour in the Arkansas Derby. (Image: Coady Photography)

Kentucky Derby Points Show the 20 Survivors of the Derby Trail

The Kentucky Derby Trail ended Saturday, which means it’s time to parse the Derby qualifying points ladder and see who’s in, who’s on the bubble, and who won’t be discussed as a Kentucky Derby starter. It took 40 points to make the top 20, the usual target number connections shoot […]

Concert Tour and sizzling rider Joel Rosario come into the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby unbeaten in three races, including this 4 3/4-length victory in last month's Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography)

Get Your Concert Tour Tickets for This Arkansas Derby

For reasons ranging from handicapping to running style to history, the Arkansas Derby is the perfect last stop on the Kentucky Derby Trail. You could dial up a better finishing prep race. But you’d second-guess yourself mid-thought and wind up back at Oaklawn Park. Yes, Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby […]

Essential Quality follows up his Southwest Stakes victory here with next week's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. He opens as the 3/1 favorite in the final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool Friday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Essential Quality Opens as KDFW Final Pool Favorite

Essential Quality opened Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager as the favorite. Now, the undefeated Tapit colt opens the fifth and final KDFW pool as the 3/1 favorite. Pool 5 of Churchill Downs’ plunge into the Derby futures market opens Friday at 9 am PT and closes Sunday […]

Caddo River brings front-end speed, two-turn experience and Oaklawn familiarity to Saturday's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Expect Rebel Stakes to Flow Caddo River’s Way

The Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, which holds court as the lone Kentucky Derby prep of consequence this weekend, has a Grade 1 winner in its field. Bob Baffert doesn’t train 8/1 Get Her Number, the lone Grade 1 winner in Saturday’s Rebel at Oaklawn Park. Nor does Brad Cox. No, […]

The betting bandwagon piled on Life Is Good after he and Mike Smith rolled to an eight-length victory in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes. He is as low as 2/1 on one Kentucky Derby futures board. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby Futures: When is it Too Late to Jump In?

Here is your Kentucky Derby futures reminder that the typical Derby favorite opens around 5/2 or 3/1 when Mike Battaglia issues the Churchill Downs morning line come Derby Week. We issue this reminder because right now – nearly eight weeks before the May 1 Derby – Life Is Good sits […]

Candy Man Rocket parlayed his Sam F. Davis Stakes victory into a spot on Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager's Pool 3. (Image: SV Photography)

New Entries, Same Favorites in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3

Nine new offerings entered the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 picture, but two familiar names continue holding court as the KDFW favorites. Essential Quality and Life Is Good opened as individual 8/1 morning-line favorites in the third of five KDFW pools. As expected, however, the overall favorite is “All […]

Between them, Todd Pletcher (left) and Bob Baffert own eight Kentucky Derby victories. Pletcher (45) and Baffert (23) have the most Triple Crown early nominated horses for 2021. (Image: Doug Engle/AP File)

Essential Quality Leads 326-Strong Triple Crown Nomination Parade

Getting your horse a Triple Crown nomination used to be so simple that connections to this year’s 3-year-old hopefuls nominated 326 horses to compete in the three American Classic races this spring. Those 326 nominations represent a slight, 6.1% dip from last year’s 347 early nominees. Those connections paid $600 […]

Caddo River used his 10 1/4-length victory in the Smarty Jones to run up the Kentucky Derby futures boards. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Kentucky Derby Futures: Big Winners Make Big Odds Leaps

The first page of this week’s Kentucky Derby futures board got tighter – partly a byproduct of two horses getting loose from their rivals last weekend. The first was Caddo River, who moved to 16/1 at Circa Sports and 15/1 at William Hill Nevada. Dropping beneath 20/1 at this point […]

In three races, Caddo River hasn't finished worse than second. He won his last race before Friday's Smarty Jones Stakes by more than a nose -- 9 1/2 lengths. (Image: Robert Yates)

Caddo River, Cowan Seeking Breakout Stakes Win in Smarty Jones

One of the seven horses entered in Friday’s Smarty Jones Stakes will get his first stakes victory. It won’t be a graded stakes victory, but not one connection will throw this one back. Nor will they throw back the 17 Kentucky Derby qualifying points up for grabs to the top […]

Lecomte Stakes winner Midnight Bourbon opens at 30/1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. (Image: Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

The Field is Your Favorite in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2

While Life Is Good yielded his favorite status in at least one Las Vegas future book, he holds down 6/1 individual favorite status in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) pool. At the same time, the Derby field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is the overall 9/5 […]

Last time out, Shivaree set the Tampa Bay Downs stakes record en route to winning the Marion County Florida Sire Stakes. The runner-up in last year's Florida Derby returns to action Saturday in the Fred Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: SV Photography)

The Pegasus Isn’t the Only Stakes Race This Weekend

Saturday brings us the first two Grade 1 stakes races of 2021: the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf, coming to you from Gulfstream Park. The Florida track captures this weekend’s stakes spotlight with those two high-profile races, along with five other graded stakes on its […]

Oaklawn Park opens its 2021 season allowing an unspecified "limited" amount of spectators inside. (Image: Tom Ferry)

Oaklawn Park Will Allow Limited Spectators Inside for 2021 Meet

Oaklawn Park officials said Wednesday they plan on admitting limited spectators inside the gates for their 2021 meet, keeping in line with an Arkansas Department of Health directive allowing the move. The 57-day Oaklawn meet begins Jan. 22 and runs through May 1. Last year, Oaklawn was one of only […]

Red Flag and Victor Espinoza flew up the Kentucky Derby Futures Board with their 7 1/4-length breeze in Sunday's Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar. The Tamarkuz colt is 50/1 to win the 2021 Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Wave Hello to Kentucky Derby Futures Board Newcomer Red Flag

He ran only seven furlongs, not the 10 that possibly awaits next May. Even so, Red Flag’s 7¼-length romp in Sunday’s Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar vaulted the juvenile from off the board to 50/1 on William Hill Nevada’s 2021 Kentucky Derby Futures Board. The $220,000 purchase by A&M […]