Tag: Richard Mandella

Forbidden Kingdom was a formidable presence in Saturday's Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. His 5 3/4-length romp sent trainer Richard Mandella to the Kentucky Derby for the first time since 2004. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Forbidden Kingdom’s Romp Brings Richard Mandella Back to the Derby

Forbidden Kingdom’s trainer, Richard Mandella, is one of the most underrated conditioners in the country and a Hall of Fame trainer who once won four Breeders’ Cup races in one day. But, missing from his considerable resume is a Triple Crown victory – of any type. Forbidden Kingdom illustrated Saturday […]

Forbidden Kingdom has led at the quarter-mile mark in every race. He's the 8/5 favorite in Saturday's Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

San Felipe Relishes its Status as Kentucky Derby Kingmaker

The San Felipe Stakes is known as one of the top Grade 2 Kentucky Derby preps in the country, the alma mater of Triple Crown race winners Authentic, California Chrome, Point Given, Fusaichi Pegasus and Affirmed. Aside from the 13 Derby champions and recently disqualified Medina Spirit, its alums found […]

Despite only one race under his hooves, Doppelganger is the 8/5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park. He's one of three Bob Baffert colts in the field. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Go Figure: Baffert Sends Out Three of Five San Vicente Contenders

The Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park sends five 3-year-olds seven furlongs Saturday. Because this race involves sophomores and because it’s at Santa Anita, this naturally translates into another glimpse into the endless barn of Bob Baffert. Back on the West Coast after his week-long hearing with […]

Private Mission and Flavien Prat seek a return to trips like this victorious one in the Grade 2 Zenyatta two starts ago. The pair are the 8/5 morning-line favorite in Sunday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Private Mission’s La Brea Stakes Mission: Avoid A Pace Meltdown

The last time we saw Private Mission, she was engaged in an incendiary pace meltdown with Letruska and others in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar. Now, we see if she’s learned a lesson from that rude awakening in Sunday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park. […]

Beholder and the young Q B One, her first foal. Now 3-years-old, Q B One makes his debut at Santa Anita Sunday. (Image: Spendthrift Farm)

Beholder’s Son, Q B One, Trying to Follow in Mommy’s Hoofprints

In June of 2012, a $180,000, 2-year-old filly named Beholder finished fourth in a maiden special weight race at Hollywood Park. At 21.8/1, she finished 8 1/2 lengths behind winner Executiveprivilege, getting outkicked by a half-length by a filly named Travesura for third. Something apparently kicked in at that point, […]

Subconscious won three consecutive races after being gelded. He is the second favorite for Saturday's Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Hollywood Derby Comes With East-West Rivalry Flavor

Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella sends 4/1 second-choice Subconscious out in today’s Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. But even he knows where most of the attention is during Del Mar’s Bing Crosby Meet closing weekend. And that’s Brown. Chad Brown. Trainer of turf terrors and eastern feaster of this weekend’s […]

Domestic Spending was the 4/1 seconds choice to win the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf. He was scratched due to inflammation in his leg. (Image: Ella DeGea)

Domestic Spending, United Scratched from Breeders’ Cup Turf

Domestic Spending and United, two of the primary American horses in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf, were both scratched Thursday morning by their trainers due to inflammation. The scratches alter the dynamic of a race in which Domestic Spending was the 4/1 second favorite and considered the Great American […]

Express Train and Juan Hernandez captured the San Diego Handicap, considered a prep for Saturday's Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Express Train is the 3/1 morning-line favorite in a deep, competitive field. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Pacific Classic Comes In With a Tide of Legitimate Contenders

There isn’t a lot of star power in this year’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. What there is, however, is one of Jon White’s more challenging morning-line puzzles. Del Mar’s morning-line author, White found himself staring at one of the most competitive fields he’s faced this summer. Yes, […]

Royal Ship brings the best last-out Beyer Speed Figure, a 108, from this Grade 2 Californian victory. He is the 5/2 co-second favorite in Monday's Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Hollywood Gold Cup Shines Light On Would-Be Older Stars

The Hollywood Gold Cup inaugural winner was Seabiscuit. Its last winner was Improbable. And in between, one of the West Coast’s signature races turned loose winners such as three-time champs Lava Man and Native Diver, two-time winner Game on Dude and Triple Crown owners Citation and Affirmed. August company, to […]

Trainer Bob Baffert and his prize Triple Crown charge, American Pharoah. In the wake of Baffert's latest failed medication test, Spendthrift, the large Kentucky breeding farm removed some horses from Baffert's barn. (Image: Susie Raisher/NYRA)

Breeding Goliath Spendthrift Farm Pulls Horses from Baffert’s Barn

The fallout from trainer Bob Baffert’s latest failed medication test took a troublesome turn for the Hall of Fame conditioner when breeding colossus Spendthrift Farm removed several horses from his barn. The Daily Racing Form reported that Spendthrift’s Following Sea was transferred to Todd Pletcher’s barn. Along with that, Spendthrift […]

Fighting Mad captured the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes last May over Hard Not To Love. The two meet again in Saturday's Grade 2 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Benoit Photo)

The Older Set Takes Over the Stakes Spotlight at Santa Anita, Gulfstream

Last week, the sophomores stole the stage. Now, it’s the older horses’ turn to seize the stakes spotlight, dim as it may be this weekend. This weekend’s stakes schedule doesn’t scream “high profile.” After all, 2021’s first Grade 1s are still two weeks away. But, it does raise its voice […]

Red Flag comes into the Los Alamitos Futurity as the even-money favorite. He won his last race by nearly eight lengths. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Los Alamitos Futurity: The Derby Prep that Predicts the Future

This is how meaningful the Los Alamitos Futurity is when it comes to defining Kentucky Derby prospects. The inaugural Futurity, run at the late Hollywood Park in 1981, sent a couple of Derby contenders named Gato Del Sol and Laser Light to Churchill Downs for the 1982 Derby. They finished […]

Astute sung a 7 1/2-length victory tune in the Desi Arnaz Stakes. She goes for her first Grade 1 victory in Saturday's Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Which Starlet Will Reign Supreme Among These Precocious Fillies?

Bob Baffert rarely tastes defeat in the Starlet Stakes, which makes him the perfect trainer to put the crown back on Princess Noor’s head in Saturday’s Grade 1 Starlet at Los Alamitos. To do that, Princess Noor will not only have to beat two of her Baffert stablemates in the […]

United owns six victories in 15 career starts, including the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes. He is the expected favorite in Sunday's John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

United Seeks Redemption in John Henry Turf Championship

The John Henry Turf Championship is the perfect race at the perfect place for United — a meeting of opportunity and talent in a setting the standout turf runner should devour. And United has devoured Santa Anita Park. Three of his six career victories came at Santa Anita. Missing on […]