Tag: Doug O’Neill

Neige Blanche won the first of three closing-day stakes races at Santa Anita Sunday. That was her third stakes victory of the Southern California track's 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet schedule. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Record Performances Headline Santa Anita Park’s Winter/Spring Meet

A training record for Phil D’Amato, a breakout riding season for Juan Hernandez, and a memorable first stakes win for the incomparable Flightline highlighted Santa Anita Park’s 2021-22 Winter/Spring Meet. The iconic Southern California track finished its 76-day meet Sunday with an 11-race card featuring three stakes races. One of […]

Absolutely Zero won her May debut as an odds-on favorite. She's the favorite running against colts in the Fasig-Tipton Futurity. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Two Doug O’Neill Juveniles Provide Hopeful Glimpse Into Next Spring

Horseplayers looking for a sneak peek at some potential 2023 Kentucky Derby prospects and one Kentucky Oaks prospect need look no further than Santa Anita Park’s 11th race Saturday, where you’ll find Doug O’Neill charges Tahoma and Absolutely Zero. It won’t take much effort to find the pair. They’re the […]

Carpe Vinum won a one-mile turf allowance Friday that gave trainer Phil D'Amato the Sant Anita Park Winter/Spring Meet training record. (Image: Benoit Photo)

D’Amato Seizes Santa Anita Park Meet Training Record With Carpe Vinum

Phil D’Amato already has the Santa Anita Winter/Spring Meet training title wrapped up. Now, he has the single-season meet record for victories to go along with it. D’Amato won his record 57th race of the 74-day Winter/Spring Meet Friday, sending Carpe Vinum to a 2 ¼-length victory in the day’s […]

Hot Rod Charlie put in a 1:01.60, five-furlong work last Saturday at Santa Anita Park. He returns for the first time in nearly three months for Saturday's Grade 3 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Hot Rod Charlie Motors Back to Monmouth Park for the Salvator Mile

Hot Rod Charlie is the marquee name on Monmouth Park’s inaugural Haskell Stakes Preview Day, which stands to reason when you consider he’s making his first start in nearly three months. But in a Grade 3 race? The Salvator Mile? Isn’t that a tad slumming for a horse with more […]

Tahoma because the first offspring of 2018 Triple Crown winning sire Justify to enter -- and win -- a race.(Image: Benoit Photo)

Tahoma Follows Triple Crown-Winning Sire Justify Into Winner’s Circle

At first glance, Sunday’s second race at Santa Anita Park looked to be a nondescript maiden special weight — even down to the 4/5 favorite, Tahoma. But even putting aside his two-length victory in the 4 1/2-furlong race, Tahoma is far from nondescript. The 2-year-old is the first foal from […]

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas (right on his exercise pony) takes aim at his record-tying seventh Preakness Stakes title with filly Secret Oath. The Kentucky Oaks winner would be the seventh filly to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Breaking Down the 2022 Preakness Stakes: More Filly Follies?

The 2022 Preakness Stakes comes to you with a paradox, a wagering quandary that pits one 21st century trend against one 2020s trend. The trend this century is the friend to chalk. Since 2000, 10 favorites found the Pimlico Race Course winner’s circle. Oxbow at 15.40/1 in 2013 is the […]

Gutsy Happy Jack will try giving trainer Doug O'Neill his second Preakness Stakes title. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Like His Sire, Happy Jack Searching for Preakness Glory

After explaining all the concrete reasons he’s running Happy Jack in the 147th Preakness Stakes, Doug O’Neill threw this little aside out as the cherry on top. “Oh, by the way, his sire, Oxbow, won this race and that is kind of a cool thing,” O’Neill told Santa Anita Park’s […]

Slow Down Andy (4), seen here beating Bye Bye Bobby to win March's Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby, bowed out of the May 7 Kentucky Derby after spiking a fever. (Image: Coady Photography)

Due to Untimely Fever, Slow Down Andy Stops Short of Kentucky Derby

Slow Down Andy, trainer Doug O’Neill’s top Kentucky Derby prospect, spiked a fever in his Keeneland stall and will miss the Derby, O’Neill confirmed to OG News. “Andy got a cold, he’ll be fine, just won’t be ready for the Derby,” O’Neill said via text to OG News. A two-time […]

Slow Down Andy ran away from his rivals in Sunday's Grade 3 Sunland Derby. The California-bred colt will try giving Doug O'Neill his third Kentucky Derby win since 2012. (Image: Coady Photography)

Slow Down Andy Takes Sunland Derby Detour to Kentucky Derby

Slow Down Andy put two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill on a faster track for his third Derby title, capturing Sunday’s Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby and taking the 50 qualifying points that go with it. The half-length, come-from-behind victory over stretch leader Bye Bye Bobby brought 6/5 favorite Slow […]

Messier may not be eligible for Kentucky Derby points, but he's the one to beat in Sunday's Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

The Robert B. Lewis Points the Way to Kentucky Derby Prospects

What you saw at last year’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park was one of the best Kentucky Derby preps of 2021, starting with a coming-out announcement for one colt and further validation of his talent from another. The coming-out announcement in the Grade 3 1 1/16-mile route […]

Hot Rod Charlie had little trouble winning the Group 2 Maktoum Challenge, a prep for the March 26 $12 million Dubai World Cup. (Image: racingfotos.com)

Hot Rod Charlie Blows Away His Dubai Competitors in World Cup Prep

Hot Rod Charlie devoured his Middle East appetizer. Now, it’s on to the main course. The standout colt blew away his Group 2 Maktoum Challenge Round 2 rivals Friday, capturing the 1 3/16-mile Dubai World Cup prep by 5 1/4 lengths. In so doing, Hot Rod Charlie opened his 4-year-old […]

Mackinnon has been a turf force in his six races. Now, he tries dirt for the first time in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

When it Comes to the Derby, Nothing Phony About These Sham Stakes

Unlike many of its early Kentucky Derby prep predecessors, Saturday’s Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park brings the recent Derby chops with it. How recent? How about the last two Derby champions? The one-mile Sham, which offers 10-4-2-1 Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers, gave you […]

Hot Rod Charlie, seen turning away Midnight Bourbon in September's Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, comes into Sunday's San Antonio Stakes as the 6/5 morning-line favorite. (Image: Equi-Photo)

Hot Rod Charlie Making Final 3-Year-Old Stand at the San Antonio

First, it was blinkers off for Hot Rod Charlie. Then, blinkers on for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Now, the colt will finish his 3-year-old season in Sunday’s Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita without blinkers. This is a case of trainer Doug O’Neill going back to what worked […]

Messier and Flavien Prat controlled the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes last month at Del Mar. Oddsmakers make the pair a 1/2 morning-line choice to give Bob Baffert his eighth consecutive Los Alamitos Futurity title. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Los Alamitos Futurity: The Race Bob Baffert Made His Own

The Bob Baffert Invitational, otherwise known as the Los Alamitos Futurity, goes off on Saturday as the penultimate day of Los Alamitos’ short Thoroughbred Winter Meet. And as you would expect, the 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-olds has that usual Baffert flavor to it. There’s Messier, the prohibitive 1/2 favorite. […]

Hot Rod Charlie earned his first Grade 1 win with this solid September score in the Pennsylvania Derby. He is the 4/1 third-favorite to win Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic. (Image: Parx Racing)

Hot Rod Charlie’s Breeders’ Cup Journey: From Footnote to Headliner

The last time Hot Rod Charlie arrived at the Breeders’ Cup, he was a 94/1 afterthought in a Juvenile field that included favored Jackie’s Warrior, eventual winner Essential Quality and the highly regarded Keepmeinmind, among other “name” 2-year-olds. Name? Hot Rod Charlie had only that cool moniker going for him. […]

Hot Rod Charlie and trainer Doug O'Neill get a prime opportunity to win their first Grade 1 in Saturday's Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. (Image: Sarah Andrew)

Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon Seek Grade 1 Glory in Penn Derby

The Pennsylvania Derby, your traditional last major 3-year-old race of the season, returns after a COVID-related year absence. And the Penn Derby returns, asking the pressing question concerning a couple of decorated sophomore runners: Will either Hot Rod Charlie or Midnight Bourbon finally get that elusive Grade 1 victory? If […]

Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie hasn't finished worse than third in his last six races. He looks for his first Grade 1 victory as the 6/5 favorite in Saturday's Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. (Image: Jamie Newell/TwinSpires.com)

A Triple Crown Placers War by the Jersey Shore Headlines Haskell Stakes

The first thought that comes to mind when you see Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon and Hot Rod Charlie lined up as the three headliners for Saturday’s Grade 1 Haskell Stakes is that deja-vu sense of familiarity. You’ve seen these three clash repeatedly, but there’s something else about them that stands out. […]

Defunded owns only this maiden special weight win in five starts. But the gelding is the 3/5 favorite to win Sunday's Grade 3 Los Alamitos Derby. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

As Usual, Los Alamitos Derby Discussion Begins With Baffert

Someone in this small, but scrappy, Los Alamitos Derby field is going to earn what has heretofore been a difficult achievement for them: a stakes victory.  And as usual in this race, Bob Baffert has the upper hand. Baffert sends out both 3/5 favorite Defunded and 5/2 second-favorite Classier into […]