Tag: Churchill Downs

Mike Smith and his fellow jockeys aren't smiling about Churchill Downs' mandate they give up two weeks of rides to ride in the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks. (Image: Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Churchill Downs Orders Derby, Oaks Jockeys to Kentucky by August 24

In their latest response to the coronavirus pandemic, Churchill Downs officials issued a mandate on Monday to jockeys at both the Saratoga and Del Mar colonies. They need to be in Kentucky no later than Aug. 24 if they want to ride in the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks. That’s […]

By My Standards won his first stakes race, last year's Louisiana Derby. He faces his biggest challenge to date against tough, seasoned Tom's d'Etat in the Stephen Foster. (Image: Eclipse Sportswire)

Stephen Foster Composes Beautiful Front Line of Contenders

As marquee races go, this isn’t the Kentucky Derby. But you could do a lot worse than the Stephen Foster as the headline race of your meet, abbreviated and all. The Grade 2 Stephen Foster not only headlines Saturday’s strong 11-race, four-stakes card at Churchill Downs, it provides an enviable […]

Tom's d'Etat seeks his fourth consecutive stakes victory in Saturday's Stephen Foster. The 7-year-old is your even-money morning line favorite. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Favored Tom’s d’Etat Not a Revolutionary Pick in the Stephen Foster

You can’t call what Tom’s d’Etat did in the Oaklawn Mile a coup d’etat, not when he was the 4/5 favorite. Nor can you call his previous two races revolutionary. All of which explains why Tom’s d’Etat is the even-money favorite for Saturday’s Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs. The Grade […]

The Kentucky Derby infield brings out a smorgasbord of party-goers. While fans are allowed inside this year's Derby, don't expect the same raucous infield crowds for a typical Derby. (Image: Jamey Price/Getty)

Kentucky Derby Will Run with Spectators, Limited Access, Strict Rules

Churchill Downs officials announced Thursday that the 146th Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks will run with a limited and yet unspecified number of spectators, a decision made in consultation with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials. In so doing, Churchill Downs is trying to make a concerted […]

The Breeders' Cup Distaff is Midnight Bisou's season goal. Winning Saturday's Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs will get her into the field for the Nov. 7 Distaff. (Image: Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire)

Midnight Bisou Returns With More to Prove in Fleur de Lis

You could make a credible case that Midnight Bisou isn’t just the best filly or mare in the world, but that she’s the best horse in the world. And Midnight Bisou will further that case at Churchill Downs in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fleur de Lis. Waiting for her in a […]

Favored in the Matt Winn Stakes, Maxfield is the best horse in the field. But is there value elsewhere in this Kentucky Derby prep? (Image: Jordan Thomson)

Matt Winn Stakes Takes Center Stage for Derby Hopefuls

It’s the fourth Saturday in May, which brings us Churchill Downs’ headline race for 3-year-olds this spring. You can hear the dulcet tones of “My Old Kentucky Home” as the 10 horses enter the gate for the Matt Winn Stakes. No, that’s not a typo or the result of a […]

The last time we saw Maxfield race, he came from ninth to first to win the Breeders' Futurity last October. He returns to the gate Saturday after 7 1/2 months off. (Image: Eclipse Sportswire)

Maxfield Ready to Rejoin the Derby Trail at Saturday’s Matt Winn Stakes

The expectations surrounding Maxfield on his 3-year-old debut at Saturday’s Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs can be viewed through the prism of two other horses who recently returned from extended time off. The first: Bob Baffert’s Tale of the Union, who returned to the starting gate at […]

Monomoy Girl, seen here nipping Wonder Gadot to win the 2018 Kentucky Oaks, returns to racing for the first time in 18 months Saturday. She is a 4/5 favorite in an allowance race. (Image: Churchill Downs)

She’s Back: Standout Mare Monomoy Girl Returns After Lengthy Absence

Adding more prestige to Churchill Downs’ long-awaited Spring Meet opening on Saturday, champion 3-year-old Monomoy Girl returns to action for the first time in 18 months. In terms of class and competition, Monomoy Girl won’t be running against the elite fields she’s used to competing against. She’s entered as the […]

Victor Espinoza aboard American Pharoah ended the 2015 Road to the Kentucky Derby. The new Derby Trail resumes at Churchill Downs May 23. (Image: AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Churchill Downs Fills Out Derby Trail With New Qualifying Race List

The Kentucky Derby Trail now has a visible path forward after Churchill Downs released a preliminary list of races offering Derby qualifying points, pending host track approval. One of the most interesting elements of the preliminary Derby Trail concerns the other two legs of the Triple Crown – the Preakness […]

Fans won't see the gates wheeled into place at Churchill Downs, but horses and jockeys will starting May 16. (Image: Christopher Fryer)

Churchill Downs Announces New Race Schedule, Key Spring Stakes

After not hosting the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May for the first time in 75 years, Churchill Downs officials released its first condition book of races and its entire stakes schedule for its spring meet. The proposed slate features 16 stakes races and offers $2.25 million in […]

While racing will soon return to Churchill Downs, the surreal sight of empty stands will stick around for the foreseeable future. (Image: Pat McDonogh: Courier-Journal)

Kentucky, New York Officials Cautiously Plan Return to Live Racing

Government officials in two of the country’s biggest horse racing states, Kentucky and New York, opened the doors for live, spectator-free racing to begin amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcements came separately and, in both cases, contained few details on exactly when live racing would begin again. But in the […]

Dating to 1863 and defining the sport of kings in the United States, probably no race track in the country holds the history, charm and heritage of Saratoga in upstate New York. (Image: AP)

As Horse Racing Considers Its Future, NYRA and Churchill Downs Extend Track Closures

Both the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and Churchill Downs on Wednesday announced delays in opening or re-opening training facilities after coronavirus-related track closures. But the two influential racing organizations diverged as to when facilities should be ready to return for spring/summer meets in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

The entrance to one of American racing's cathedrals: Churchill Downs, will be silent the first Saturday in May for the first time since 1945. (Image: KY Bluegrass/Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky Derby Moved to First Saturday in September, Fans Included

For the first time since World War II, the Kentucky Derby will not run the first Saturday in May. Instead, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will run the first Saturday in September. Churchill Downs officials made the announcement Tuesday morning in response to a directive from the Centers for […]

The twin spires of Churchill Downs could stand guard over an empty infield and grandstand the first Saturday in May. Officials plan to make an announcement on the Kentucky Derby's status this week (Image: Yahoo News)

Will the Kentucky Derby Be Canceled for the First Time in History?

World wars, great depressions and countless global calamities have never stopped the Kentucky Derby, going all the way back to 1875. Only once, in 1945, was the Derby delayed, from May until June. Now, with only seven weeks until the 2020 Run for the Roses and the coronavirus pandemic shutting […]