Tag: Road to the Kentucky Derby

Jockey Umberto Rispoli had reason to celebrate his 4 1/2-length Santa Anita Derby victory. But Rispoli won't ride the undefeated Candy Ride colt in the Kentucky Derby -- Joel Rosario will. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Derby Musical Jockeys: Rosario Replaces Rispoli on Rock Your World

In a case that’s flipping what-have-you-done-for-me-lately on its ear, jockey Joel Rosario will replace Umberto Rispoli aboard Rock Your World for next week’s Kentucky Derby. Rock Your World’s trainer, John Sadler, discussed the decision on the Thoroughbred Los Angeles radio show on Sunday morning. He took full responsibility for the […]

Rombauer won't run the May 1 Kentucky Derby. But expect to see him two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Panadol, Rombauer Become Latest Kentucky Derby Defectors

Kentucky Derby watchers can scratch Panadol and Rombauer off their proposed tickets, after connections for the two horses said they won’t run the May 1 Derby. Both horses had guaranteed spots. Panadol had 40 points and the supplemental Triple Crown fee behind him. Rombauer was originally outside the initial 40-point […]

Super Stock reeled in a Kentucky Derby spot by reeling in Caddo River (2) and heavy favorite Concert Tour in the Arkansas Derby. (Image: Coady Photography)

Kentucky Derby Points Show the 20 Survivors of the Derby Trail

The Kentucky Derby Trail ended Saturday, which means it’s time to parse the Derby qualifying points ladder and see who’s in, who’s on the bubble, and who won’t be discussed as a Kentucky Derby starter. It took 40 points to make the top 20, the usual target number connections shoot […]

Concert Tour and sizzling rider Joel Rosario come into the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby unbeaten in three races, including this 4 3/4-length victory in last month's Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography)

Get Your Concert Tour Tickets for This Arkansas Derby

For reasons ranging from handicapping to running style to history, the Arkansas Derby is the perfect last stop on the Kentucky Derby Trail. You could dial up a better finishing prep race. But you’d second-guess yourself mid-thought and wind up back at Oaklawn Park. Yes, Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby […]

We won't see Greatest Honour close like he did in the Holy Bull for the next two months. The Tapit colt and one-time, front-row Kentucky Derby prospect suffered an apparent ankle injury and is shelved for the next 60 days. (Image: Gulfstream Park)

Ankle Injury Makes Greatest Honour Latest Derby Trail Casualty

Greatest Honour, one of the front-line Kentucky Derby favorites and a rare Shug McGaughey Derby prospect, departed the Derby trail Wednesday with apparent ankle issues. McGaughey told Horse Racing Nation that Greatest Honour came out of his third-place finish in the Florida Derby “a little banged up.” The Hall of […]

Rock Your World rocked Santa Anita Park's marquee race Saturday, winning the Santa Anita Derby by more than four lengths. Jockey Umberto Rispoli earned his first Grade 1 victory along the way. (Image: Benoit Photography)

On Record Day, Rock Your World Rocks, Rolls His Way to Kentucky Derby

Rock Your World rocked the Santa Anita Derby, which rocked bettors into producing Santa Anita Park’s largest all-sources pari-mutuel Santa Anita Derby handle in 14 years. On a day where fans returned to the Southern California track for the first time in more than a year, the 8,246 attendees on […]

Medina Spirit cost owner Amr Zedan only $35,000. He's earned nearly five times that total -- with more on the line in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Medina Spirit, Bob Baffert Cast Their Spell in Santa Anita Derby

About the only thing faster than Life Is Good on the track was the rush of horses piling into the Santa Anita Derby the moment the Bob Baffert supercolt departed the Kentucky Derby Trail with an ankle injury. Now, all of a sudden, horses like Dream Shake, Parnelli, Law Professor […]

Weyburn (inside) held off a surging Crowded Trade to win the Grade 3 Gotham in February. The two tangle again in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Saturday at Aqueduct. (Image: Sarah Andrew)

Wood Memorial Replaces Recent Derby History With Wide-Open Plot

Let’s dispense with the Wood Memorial history out of the gate. There are 13 Triple Crown winners, and this Grade 2 Kentucky Derby prep claims four of them: Gallant Fox, Count Fleet, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat. Eleven horses pulled off the Wood Memorial/Kentucky Derby double. You’ve probably heard of a […]

After winning the Holy Bull and the Fountain of Youth here, Greatest Honour goes for the Gulfstream Park Kentucky Derby prep hat-trick in Saturday's Florida Derby. (Image: Coglianese Photo)

Greatest Honour Chases Another Honor as Florida Derby Favorite

The only thing standing between Greatest Honour and keeping Spectacular Bid company in the history books is one of the best Kentucky Derby preps on the calendar – Saturday’s Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. Well, that – and the little matter of getting past 10 other horses in […]

The winner of this December allowance at Gulfstream Park, Tarantino brings turf prowess and speed to the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks. (Image: Ryan Thompson/Coglianese Photo)

When it Comes to Derby Threats, Jeff Ruby Steaks is Tough to Chew

In its nearly 50-year existence, the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park went under 11 different names. It opened as the Spiral Stakes in 1972 and meandered through a myriad of monikers until arriving at its current name in 2018. But whatever you call the Grade 3 Jeff […]

Hot Rod Charlie pulled away from Midnight Bourbon and the rest of the Louisiana Derby field for a two-length victory that clinched him a spot in the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Jamie Newell/Twin Spires)

How Hot Rod Charlie Brought One Small Syndicate to the Derby

In October 2019, Greg Helm took a call that changed his horse racing ownership life forever. On the other end was bloodstock agent Dennis O’Neill, brother to trainer Doug O’Neill, with a proposition for Helm and the rest of his small Roadrunner Racing syndicate. “He asked me if I wanted […]

Medina Spirit (right) nipped Roman Centurian (left) and Hot Rod Charlie in a Robert B. Lewis photo finish in January. The Bob Baffert trainee becomes the expected favorite in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

With Life Is Good Out, Baffert Shuffles His Derby Prospects

With Life Is Good off the Kentucky Derby Trail with what’s been diagnosed as an ankle chip, Bob Baffert shuffled his deep bench of Derby contenders. The shuffle means both Medina Spirit and trail newcomer Defunded will run the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 3. Baffert made the […]

Life  Is Good turned in another bullet breeze Saturday morning. But the Kentucky Derby favorite suffered an apparent leg injury that takes him off the Derby trail. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Life Is Good Taken Off Kentucky Derby Trail After Leg Injury

Current Kentucky Derby favorite Life Is Good suffered a leg injury during a Saturday morning workout, taking him off the Kentucky Derby Trail. Horse Racing Nation first reported the story, citing WinStar Farm CEO and president Elliott Walden, who texted the outlet that the horse was going to see noted […]

Prevalence captured this maiden race at Gulfstream Park by 8 1/2 lengths in January. He is a trendy Derby futures pick despite not running two turns or a stakes race in his two races. (Image: Horsephotos.com)

Prevalence Looks, Tastes Like Derby Flavor of the Week

It clearly illustrates the betting public’s thirst for trendy Kentucky Derby picks that Prevalence seized center stage last week for winning a one-mile allowance optional claiming event at Gulfstream Park. Prevalence’s three-length win over the one-turn mile earned him an 86 Beyer Speed Figure. By contrast, Concert Tour’s 4 1/4-length […]

The betting bandwagon piled on Life Is Good after he and Mike Smith rolled to an eight-length victory in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes. He is as low as 2/1 on one Kentucky Derby futures board. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby Futures: When is it Too Late to Jump In?

Here is your Kentucky Derby futures reminder that the typical Derby favorite opens around 5/2 or 3/1 when Mike Battaglia issues the Churchill Downs morning line come Derby Week. We issue this reminder because right now – nearly eight weeks before the May 1 Derby – Life Is Good sits […]

Life Is Good led at every call for the third consecutive race. His eight-length San Felipe Stakes victory brought him 50 Kentucky Derby points and depressed futures odds. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Life Is Good Shows He’s Eight Lengths Good in San Felipe Romp

The hardest part of analyzing Life Is Good’s dismantling of Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes field at Santa Anita Park is determining what was the most impressive element of his victory. Was it the eight-length victory? The legitimate fractions of 23.63 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 46.83 for the first […]

Candy Man Rocket held on for a length victory in last month's Sam F. Davis Stakes. He'll need a better finishing kick to prevail in Saturday's Tampa Bay Derby. (Image: SV Photography)

Tampa Bay Derby Seeks a Sweet Path Out of Derby Prep Shadows

The Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby is one of those Kentucky Derby preps that often gets lost in the shuffle. Part of that is the giant shadow Tampa Bay Downs fights from its southern Florida neighbor, Gulfstream Park. Part of that is the fact only two horses emerged from the […]