Tag: Midnight Bourbon

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 […]

You saw Medina Spirit and John Velazquez capture August's Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. You won't see the pair in Saturday's Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. Trainer Bob Baffert scratched the Kentucky Derby winner after he drew an outside post. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Citing Post Draw, Baffert Scratches Medina Spirit from Penn Derby

Bob Baffert scratched Medina Spirit from Saturday’s Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Tuesday after the Kentucky Derby winner and 2/1 morning-line favorite drew an outside post that Baffert found troubling. Medina Spirit drew post 9 in the 10-horse Pennsylvania Derby field. That put his two chief competitors, Hot […]

Firenze Fire bit off more than he could chew, savaging Forego Stakes rival Yaupon in deep stretch. Yaupon survived the sudden savaging, winning as the 2/1 favorite. (Image: Skip Dickstein)

Essential Quality Leads Chalk Parade to Travers Day Winner’s Circle

On a chalky betting day where favorites beat a path to the Saratoga winner’s circle, the New York Racing Association announced an all-sources Travers Day handle of $51,381,515. That came from a paid crowd of 44,507, which generated an on-track handle of $9,406,526. This provided an obvious boost from last […]

Can anyone stop the runaway train that is Essential Quality? Six others try derailing the 4/5 favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos/NYRA)

The Travers: Can Anyone Catch History-Making Essential Quality?

Brad Cox and Essential Quality are simultaneously chasing Travers Stakes history and running from it at the same time. This counterintuitive feat illustrates Cox’s training prowess, Essential Quality’s running prowess, and the Travers’ recent prowess as a destroyer of favorites. Cox, who trains the prohibitive 4/5 favorite for Saturday’s headline […]

Essential Quality nipped Keepmeinmind to win last month's Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga. The two tangle again in Saturday's Travers Stakes, one of six Grade 1s on Saratoga's Saturday card. (Image: Susie Raisher/NYRA Photo)

Saturday at Saratoga: One of Racing’s Biggest Days of 2021

The names of those racing on Saturday’s Travers Day at Saratoga sound like a Thoroughbred all-star team: Essential Quality, Gamine, Letruska, Tribhuvan, Jackie’s Warrior, Life Is Good, Whitmore, Swiss Skydiver. All of them – and others you may have heard of – are set to run in one of Saratoga’s […]

Hot Rod Charlie (back) finished ahead of Mandaloun by the proverbial nose in Saturday's Haskell Stakes. But the 4/5 favorite was taken down moments later for interfering with Midnight Bourbon. Mandaloun was declared the winner of his first Grade 1 amid questions about New Jersey's no-crop rule. (Image: Bill Denver/EQUI-SPORT)

Controversy, Near-Catastrophe, Marks Haskell Stakes Finish

The inherent danger of riding horses combined with a controversial rule change to create a frightening finish to Saturday’s Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. Hot Rod Charlie crossed the finish line first, nipping Mandaloun by a nose. That apparently gave him his long-sought first Grade 1 victory. However, the 4/5 […]

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. […]

With his Kentucky Derby-champion mount Medina Spirit out, John Velazquez will ride Rombauer in the June 5 Belmont Stakes. (Image: AP File Photo)

Velazquez Takes Rombauer’s Reins for the Belmont, No Midnight Bourbon

With no Medina Spirit, Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will take Rombauer’s reins for the June 5 Belmont Stakes. The Daily Racing Form reported that trainer Mike McCarthy grabbed Velazquez’s services for the Belmont. He’ll take the reins from Flavien Prat, who returned to the horse he rode in […]

Malibu Moon was the grandson of one Kentucky Derby winner and the sire of another. He died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday afternoon. (Image: Spendthrift Farm)

Standout Sire Malibu Moon Dies of Apparent Heart Attack

Malibu Moon, the grandson of a Kentucky Derby winner and the sire of another one, died late Tuesday of an apparent heart attack in his Spendthrift Farm stall. He was 24. The prolific sire of 126 black-type winners and 51 graded stakes winners was one of the most influential sires […]

Midnight Bourbon could be one of only two horses to run all three 2021 Triple Crown races.(Image: AP Photo)

Belmont Stakes Field Remains in Flux as Connections Ponder Options

While the Belmont Stakes field remains an early work in progress, several trainers with possible sights on the final jewel of the Triple Crown have either indicated interest or put their horses through workouts with that June 5 race in mind. The Belmont Stakes field of possibles starts with Kentucky […]

Rombauer and Flavien Prat captured the 146th Preakness Stakes with a closing flourish that belied their 11/1 odds. It was Prat's second Triple Crown race victory, following his promoted Kentucky Derby win aboard Country House in 2019. (Image: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Improbable Rombauer Turns in a Vintage Preakness Performance

Rombauer, the horse named after a vineyard, now goes by the new name: Preakness Stakes champion. And Rombauer, the horse named after the Napa Valley vineyard, wasn’t supposed to run the Preakness because he wasn’t supposed to run the race that got him into the Preakness. He wasn’t supposed to […]

It's been a wild week for Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness Stakes morning-line favorite Medina Spirit. But the colt has no idea what controversy is. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

It’s Been A Spirited Week: Breaking Down the 2021 Preakness Stakes

Before we break down the field for the second jewel of the Triple Crown, we’ll dispense with the news everyone waited for concerning Saturday’s 146th Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Both Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and Concert Tour passed their three pre-race drug tests, meaning they […]

Midnight Bourbon brings one of the most consistent records and running styles into Saturday's Preakness Stakes. His owner, Ron Winchell, seeks his farm's first American Classic title. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Will Preakness Bettors Drink a Toast to Consistent Midnight Bourbon?

While Bob Baffert’s speed tandem of Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit and Concert Tour suck all the oxygen out of the 146th Preakness Stakes, there’s Midnight Bourbon being Midnight Bourbon. As Medina Spirit’s medication soap opera plays out and Derby passer Concert Tour captures attention as possibly only the third […]

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 occupied 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 100/1). […]

The results of Tuesday's post-position draw for Saturday's 146th Preakness Stakes. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Amid Controversy, Derby Champ Medina Spirit Named Preakness Favorite

As controversy about his Preakness Stakes appearance swirled around him, Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit seized the familiar favorite status Derby champions get coming into the Preakness. The Derby winner became the 9/5 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s second jewel of the Triple Crown. Along with favorite status, which nearly all […]

Midnight Bourbon finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby. It's the first time he missed the board in eight career races. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Midnight Bourbon Joins Preakness Stakes Field

Midnight Bourbon, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, will run the 146th Preakness Stakes, trainer Steve Asmussen announced Thursday. With the announcement, the Tiznow colt becomes only the third Derby horse committing to the Preakness. He joins winner Medina Spirit and Keepmeinmind in the May 15 field. Midnight Bourbon […]

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 […]

Proxy finished second in both Fair Grounds Derby preps: the Lecomte and the Risen Star. Can the 7/2 third-favorite break through in the Louisiana Derby? (Image: Hodges Photography)

Louisiana Derby Offers Big, Familiar Names in the Big Easy

Yes, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby has a familiar look to it that goes beyond bringing us familiar names like Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Proxy – and yes, California import Hot Rod Charlie. It’s those first three that give the first of the 170-point Kentucky Derby preps that déjà vu look. […]

Mandaloun won his first two races, including this maiden-breaker at Keeneland last October. He looks to rebound off a disappointing third last out as the 9/2 favorite in the Risen Star Saturday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Risen Star: Your First Win-And-You’re-In Derby Race for 2021

The Risen Star Stakes is, to paraphrase Drew Carey from the old “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” improv show, the race where the points begin to matter. Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds is the season’s first Kentucky Derby prep offering 50-20-10-5 qualifying points to the […]