Tag: Road to the Kentucky Derby

Bob Baffert's Thousand Words ships in from California as a vulnerable 5/2 favorite for the Oaklawn Stakes. (Image: OG News)

Oaklawn Stakes Vaults Into Prominence as Biggest Game in Any Town

Ignore for the moment that there are no Kentucky Derby qualifying points up for grabs at Saturday’s $200,000 Oaklawn Stakes. Instead, follow the lead of Hall of Fame trainers Bob Baffert and Steve Asmussen and pay attention to the opportunity. In Baffert’s case, it’s an opportunity to see how Thousand […]

Independence Hall, seen dismantling the Nashua Stakes field by 12 1/2 lengths last fall, will focus on one-turn races. He won't compete in any more Kentucky Derby preps. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand)

One-Time Favorite Independence Hall Pulled From Derby Trail

On New Year’s Day, after he romped to a 4 ¼-length victory in the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct, bookmakers and fans alike considered Independence Hall one of the 2020 Kentucky Derby favorites. On April 6, his connections took him off the Derby trail. Aron Wellman, the managing partner for Eclipse […]

Tiz the Law is clearly the best 3-year-old thoroughbred in the country right now. Will he be the best in a September Kentucky Derby? (Image: Lauren King)

Tiz the Law Reigns Now, Will Form Hold For A September Derby?

In a normal year, what Tiz the Law did last Saturday – dismantle the strongest field of 3-year-olds assembled to date – would put the horse racing world in the center of his hoof. His effortless, 4 ½-length victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby stamped him as the prohibitive […]

New York racing fans have an undetermined wait to see the Wood Memorial. New York's premier Derby prep was the latest coronavirus casualty.

Wood Memorial Becomes Latest Derby Prep Shelved Due To COVID-19

With the New York Racing Association’s decision to suspend live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack through at least April 5 because of the coronavirus, another Kentucky Derby prep race went on the shelf. The latest postponed marquee race is the Grade 2 $750,000 Wood Memorial. Previously set for April 4, the […]

With his gate-to-wire victory in the Louisiana Derby, Wells Bayou currently leads the Kentucky Derby points standings. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Kentucky Derby Qualifying Trail Becomes Longer, More Unpredictable

With the postponement of the Kentucky Derby from May to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Derby Trail just got a lot longer. That means the Derby’s qualifying points system figures to get a lot steeper in terms of how many points are required to earn a spot […]

Even by moving the Arkansas Derby from April to May, Oaklawn Park's role as one of the last Kentucky Derby preps won't come into play in 2020. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Oaklawn Park Moves Arkansas Derby From April To May

Oaklawn Park in Arkansas became the latest facility to adjust its calendar in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, moving its flagship race – the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby – from Saturday, April 11 to Saturday, May 2. That is Oaklawn Park’s closing date. It was also the original date for […]

The entrance to one of American racing's cathedrals: Churchill Downs, will be silent the first Saturday in May for the first time since 1945. (Image: KY Bluegrass/Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky Derby Moved to First Saturday in September, Fans Included

For the first time since World War II, the Kentucky Derby will not run the first Saturday in May. Instead, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will run the first Saturday in September. Churchill Downs officials made the announcement Tuesday morning in response to a directive from the Centers for […]

Maryland Governor Orders Racetracks Closed In Wake of COVID-19

Maryland Governor Orders Racetracks Closed In Wake of COVID-19

In the latest move to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan became the first governor to shut down racetracks Sunday when he issued an executive order closing all Maryland casinos, racetracks and simulcast betting facilities to the public. The executive order closing Laurel Park, Pimlico […]

The gate for the Grade 3 Sunland Derby at New Mexico's Sunland Park will be empty. The Derby prep race was canceled Sunday in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image: Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino)

Sunland Derby Becomes First Derby Prep Race Canceled Due to COVID-19

The $700,000 Sunland Derby, New Mexico’s contribution to the Kentucky Derby Trail, became the first Derby prep casualty of the COVID-19 virus Sunday when track officials called off all races. Set for March 22, Sunland would’ve awarded 50-20-15-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers — enough to […]

Seen here winning the San Vicente in January, Bob Baffert's Nadal checks all the boxes for a Rebel Stakes winner. (Image: Eclipse Sportswire)

Which Speedster Can Lock Up Kentucky at the Rebel Stakes in Arkansas?

Like its Santa Anita counterpart, last weekend’s San Felipe, the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas is a Grade 2 Kentucky Derby prep race that boasts predictability, a blueblood pedigree of winners, and the ever-present Bob Baffert. The Rebel, a 1 1/16-mile, two-turn test, is Saturday’s lone Derby prep […]

Until further notice, fans won't be able to enjoy this spectacular view of the San Gabriel Mountains behind the Santa Anita finish line. The track is closed to spectators. (Image: Santa Anita Park)

Last Sport Standing? Horse Racing and Betting Continues, Just Not In Person

From a betting standpoint, the coronavirus outbreak that has canceled or suspended events across the sporting spectrum means America’s horse racing tracks are some of the few venues with action available to punters. Provided you have a remote betting account or betting app. Due to the threat of coronavirus and […]

Dennis' Moment went off as the 6/5 favorite in the Fountain of  Youth. But a disappointing last-place finish has his camp puzzled. (Image: Holly M. Smith Photography)

Fountain of Youth Favorite Dennis’ Moment Disappoints on Derby Trail

Dale Romans was puzzled. Nothing he trained Dennis’ Moment for at Saturday’s Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park was supposed to play out like this. And unlike past mishaps, Dennis’ Moment’s start was good, his tactics were fine, and jockey Flavien Prat was turning in his usual solid, intelligent ride. […]

Silver Prospector, ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., won the Southwest Stakes and is the horse to watch this weekend. (Image: Coady Photography)

Derby Preps: Silver Prospector Looking Golden

Two lesser Kentucky Derby prep races last weekend —  the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields and the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park — both yielded 10 Derby Qualifying Points to their winners, Azul Coast and Silver Prospector, respectively. But the process leading to those results couldn’t have […]

By winning his first race in spectacular fashion, Charlatan drew comparisons to former Bob Baffert trainee Justify. Can he justify those comparisons? (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

A Charlatan has Joined the Kentucky Derby Futures Board

With five victories, the name “Bob Baffert” is synonymous with Kentucky Derby success. Accordingly, the Hall-of-Fame trainer rarely has a Charlatan in his endless barn of 3-year-old Derby hopefuls. Until now. Say hello to Charlatan, the newest top-10 member on the Kentucky Derby Futures Odds board. In his racing debut, […]