Tag: Kenny McPeek

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 […]

Creative Minister is becoming a horseplayer's favorite as a sneaky dark-horse for the 147th Preakness Stakes. He is 2-fo-3 going into his stakes debut. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Creative Minister Provides an Expensive Preakness Wild Card

There wasn’t a lot of creativity involved in putting Creative Minister in the 147th Preakness Stakes. Not unless you consider cutting a check for $150,000 to supplement his entry to be a creative act. It cost 150 large to put Creative Minister into the Pimlico Race Course starting gate because […]

Epicenter did everything right except win Steve Asmussen his first Kentucky Derby. The 4.10/1 favorite adn Derby runner up is questionable for the Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Derby Aftermath: Stunned Asmussen, Preakness Probables

Still trying to process how his Kentucky Derby futility streak hit 24 races, trainer Steve Asmussen was non-committal on whether Derby runner up Epicenter would run the May 21 Preakness Stakes. The two-time Preakness winner was very committal on his level of disbelief at what transpired 50 yards from his […]

Smile Happy is the 9/5 favorite in a 12-horse Blue Grass Stakes field. He has two wins and a second in three races. (Image: Coady Photography)

Smile Happy, Zandon Set Themselves Apart in Blue Grass Stakes

Keeneland’s stop on the Kentucky Derby trail, the Blue Grass Stakes, headlines opening weekend at the Lexington, KY. track. But this edition of Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Derby prep does so with a renewed prestige boost. Grade 1 status. The Blue Grass regained that status this year, putting it with the Santa Anita Derby, […]

Cyberknife captured the Arkansas Derby Saturday, vaulting him into the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Coady Photography)

Kentucky Derby Prep Stretch Run: Who’s Rising, Who’s Falling

Saturday’s penultimate wave of Kentucky Derby prep races brought four horses into the Derby field and taught us plenty about several others who either evolved into Derby contenders or devolved into Derby pretenders. There was White Abarrio, winning the Florida Derby in stellar fashion to punch his ticket to the […]

Emmanuel won this December debut by daylight. He makes his anticipated stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson)

All Eyes are on Emmanuel to Drink From This Fountain of Youth

Emmanuel is on many Kentucky Derby watch lists as one of the colts to watch in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. Horseplayers watched him win his first two starts by a combined 11 ¼ lengths. They watched him get bet down to 18/1 in Circa Sports’ Derby futures and […]

With this Grade 2 Bourbon Stakes win on the resume, Tiz the Bomb is the class of Saturday's John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park. (Image: Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Back Off Dirt, Tiz the Bomb is Poised to Go Off in the Battaglia Memorial

The John Battaglia Memorial isn’t one of your A-list Kentucky Derby preps. It’s probably not a B-lister either. But the status trip down the alphabet got a boost with the presence of Grade 2 Bourbon Stakes winner Tiz the Bomb. Tiz the Bomb headlines an oversubscribed 14-colt-and-gelding field in Saturday’s […]

Envoutante captured her last race, the Grade 2 Falls City, by a geared-down six lengths. She makes her fifth attempt at an elusive Grade 1 win in the Beholder Mile at Santa Anita March 5. (Image: Coady Photography)

Envoutante Seeks Elusive Grade 1 Breakthrough in Beholder Mile

Envoutante has always been a filly who was good, but often not quite good enough to break through at the highest levels. Trainer Kenny McPeek attempts to change that by sending the now 5-year-old mare to Santa Anita Park’s Grade 1 Beholder Mile. “Envoutante is going to work next Friday […]

White Abarrio went from closing at 171/1 in the second Kentucky Derby Future Wager to opening at 8/1 in the third pool. That came as a result of this 4 1/2-length victory in last weekend's Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Coglianese Photo)

White Abarrio Goes from Long Shot to KDFW Individual Co-Favorite

The third of five pools for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) opens Friday at noon ET with the familiar “All Other 3-Year-Olds” – a.k.a. “the field” – as the 5/2 morning-line favorite. But it opened with a new co-individual favorite sharing that status with a familiar favorite. That newcomer […]

Mo Donegal already owns a two-turn victory. He goes for his second graded stakes victory as the 3/1 morning line favorite in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park Saturday. (Image: Chelsea Durand/NYRA)

Holy Bull! Mo Donegal, Giant Game, Tiz the Bomb Keys in Derby Prep

Dale Romans was talking about his horse, Giant Game. But he spoke for all his fellow trainers in Saturday’s Grade 3 Holy Bull when he distilled the meaning of this Kentucky Derby prep. “Like we say every year, this is the time for the 2-year-olds to turn into men and grow […]

Perhaps Dash Attack needed muck like he conquered in the Smarty Jones last weekend in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes. The previous unbeaten colt finished fifth in the Southwest at Oaklawn Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

McPeek Trying to Figure Out Why Dash Attack Went South in Southwest

Dash Attack came into last Saturday’s Southwest Stakes as one of the Kentucky Derby prospects to watch. He came in as the unbeaten, 3.40/1 second favorite for the Southwest. He came out of it unscathed physically, according to trainer Kenny McPeek. As for his once-invincible aura? Not so much. Not […]

Kenny McPeek's Dash Attack splashed his way to victory New Year's Day in the Smarty Jones. Can he do the same on a dry track as the 7/2 second choice in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park? (Image: Coady Photography)

Yes, Baffert has the Southwest Stakes Favorite, But He’s Got Company

Today’s $750,000 Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park has the usual Bob Baffert flavor: 2/1 morning-line favorite Newgrange, shipping in from California in search of Baffert’s record-tying fifth Southwest title. But there’s a new contender awaiting: Kenny McPeek, who finds himself in the unfamiliar role of trainer of Kentucky […]

Tiz the Bomb is the 10/1 second individual choice behind stablemate Smile Happy in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2, which closed Sunday. (Image: Coady Photography/Keeneland)

Both the Field, Smile Happy, Keep Their Favorite Status in KDFW Pool 2

Just like it did in November’s Pool 1, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 finished with All Other 3-Year-Olds as the favorite, and Smile Happy closing as the individual favorite. While Smile Happy closed at the same 8/1 odds he finished at in Pool 1, All Other 3-Year-Olds wound […]

Kentucky Jockey Club winner Smile Happy opens as the 8/1 individual favorite for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. That pool opens Friday and runs through Sunday. (Image: Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)

All Other 3-Year-Olds Claim Favorite Status on KDFW Pool 2

The second of five pools for the Kentucky Derby Futures Wager (KDFW) opens Friday at noon ET with All Other 3-Year-Olds (aka the field), carrying 7/5 favorite odds. Meanwhile, the individual Pool 2 favorite comes from a trainer not usually seen with Derby favorites. That would be Kenny McPeek, whose […]

Dash Attack conquered 12 rivals and the Oaklawn Park slop Saturday, winning the Smarty Jones Stakes and giving trainer Kenny McPeek another Kentucky Derby contender. (Image: Coady Photography)

Smarty Jones Winner Dash Attack Gives McPeek a Pleasant Problem

Kenny McPeek has what you call a Kentucky Derby embarrassment of riches coming courtesy of Dash Attack, who won Saturday’s Listed Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park. And the dynamic trainer is still trying to put the talented pieces together. That’s because, on Saturday, McPeek added another piece to an […]

Tiz the Bomb, seen here winning the Castle and Key Bourbon Stakes, is the 3/1 favorite in a deep Kentucky Jockey Club field. (Image: Keeneland)

Derby Trail Traffic Resumes Saturday With Kentucky Jockey Club

Traffic on the Kentucky Derby trail picks up again Saturday with a full cast of 14 entered in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club, the headlining race on Churchill Downs’ Saturday card. Up for grabs are 10-4-2-1 Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers, along with another Derby prospect […]

Letruska captured August's Grade 1 Personal Ensign by a half-length overe Bonny South. The two, along with fourth-place Dunbar Road, tangle again in Sunday's Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland. (Image: NYRA/Coglianese Photos)

Letruska Looms Large and in Charge Over Her Spinster Stakes Rivals

When it comes to running against Letruska, Kenny McPeek – who sends Envoutante against the standout mare in Sunday’s Grade 1 Spinster — summed up the frustration he and his fellow trainers face. “That’s the thing,” McPeek told the Daily Racing Form. “If you try to run with her early, […]

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. guides Rattle N Roll to a 4 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity. (Image: Coady Photography)

Rattle N Roll Shakes Up Derby Prospect List With Breeders’ Futurity Win

Rattle N Roll entered the Kentucky Derby prospect picture, Saturday, doing so with a 4 ¼-length victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity on a busy opening weekend at Keeneland. Not only does this put Rattle N Roll into next month’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, courtesy of the Breeders’ Futurity’s “Win […]

Penny Saver's 9 1/2-length blowout of a Churchill Downs maiden special weight field makes her the filly to watch in Friday's Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland. (Image: Coady Photography)

Deep Alcibiades Goes a Long Way Defining Who is the Top Juvenile Filly

Last year, Kenny McPeek watched Simply Ravishing and Crazy Beautiful turn in stunning performances in the Alcibiades at Keeneland. That he watched his 2-year-old duo go 1-2 in the Grade 1 race while at Pimlico was a minor annoyance. McPeek, like everyone else coping with the pandemic, could handle minor […]