Tag: Rock Your World

Jockey Luis Saez won Saturday's Belmont Stakes for his first Triple Crown victory. He piloted 6/5 favorite Essential Quality to his third stakes win in 2021. (Image: Wendell Cruz/USA Today Sports)

Essential Quality Seizes His Moment, Wins 2021 Belmont Stakes

As the 153rd Belmont Stakes hit its stretch crescendo, Essential Quality would not be denied. At the end of this Triple Crown season, Essential Quality would not be denied his Triple Crown race victory. He would not be denied his place in history and trainer Brad Cox would not be […]

Hot Rod Charlie hit the board in his last five races: two wins, a second and two thirds. Four of those came in graded stakes races, making him a legitimate Belmont Stakes threat. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Back to Being a Real Test: Breaking Down the 2021 Belmont Stakes

The 153rd Belmont Stakes wraps up an unpredictable 2021 Triple Crown season with what should be the best race of the three for horseplayers. If 12/1 Medina Spirit winning the Kentucky Derby was a shock to the handicapper’s system, what was 11/1 Rombauer winning the Preakness Stakes? Two horses considered […]

Essential Quality's Blue Grass Stakes wire victory over Highly Motivated was the Champion 2-Year-Old's fifth consecutive win. After finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby, the colt seeks to rebound as the 2/1 morning-line favorite in the 153rd Belmont Stakes. (Image: Kentuckyderby.com)

Essential Quality Returns to Triple Crown Trail as Belmont Stakes Favorite

Essential Quality duplicated the favorite status he enjoyed for the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago, taking 2/1 morning-line favorite odds into Saturday’s 153rd Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Tuesday morning’s Belmont Stakes draw put the Brad Cox-trained, Tapit progeny in post 2. He’s one of four Grade 1 winners and […]

If Flavien Prat celebrates after the Belmont, he'll do it on a different horse than Preakness winner Rombauer. Prat takes the reins of Hot Charlie for the Belmont Stakes. He rode Hot Rod Charlie in the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Patrick Smith/Getty)

Belmont Musical Jockeys: Prat Trades Rombauer for Hot Rod Charlie

Trainer Doug O’Neill, who proved his nimbleness by quickly securing Flavien Prat’s jockey services for the Kentucky Derby, proved them once again for the Belmont Stakes. He said Prat will ride the Derby’s third-place runner in the June 5 Belmont Stakes. That, of course, means Michael McCarthy needs to find […]

Bob Baffert said Medina Spirit was his most improbable Kentucky Derby winner. The Hall of Fame trainer said Medina Spirit came out of the Derby well and is likely for the Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Medina Spirit Comes Out of Derby Well, Likely for Preakness

Less than a day after Medina Spirit’s remarkable Kentucky Derby victory, trainer Bob Baffert said he’s on track for the May 15 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Tentatively. “He came out of it well. It takes about a week to determine, so I’m going to come back next weekend and see,” […]

Medina Spirit and John Velazquez illustrate their tenacity in deep stretch, holding off Mandaloun to capture the 147th Kentucky Derby. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

The 2021 Derby: 12/1 Medina Spirit wins Baffert His Record Seventh

The primary lesson coming out of the 2021 Kentucky Derby is as simple as it is frustrating for everyone not named Bob Baffert. Even when Baffert brings his third-string horse to Churchill Downs, he wins Derbies. That would be Medina Spirit, who gave Baffert his seventh Derby victory Saturday, passing […]

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? […]

Santa Anita Derby champion Rock Your World took the path less traveled to the Kentucky Derby. His speed on that path brought him 5/1 second-favorite status in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Rock Your World Rolls Into Derby From an Unconventional Trail

Before April 3, Rock Your World occupied a very small world in Southern California horse racing. He was a good 3-year-old turf colt with a couple of nice grass wins under his hooves, including a solid, 2 ¼-length victory in the Listed Pasadena Stakes. But trainer John Sadler had a […]

Tuesday morning's draw for the 2021 Kentucky Derby from post 20 Bourbonic to post 1 Known Agenda. Those are two of trainer Todd Pletcher's four entries in Saturday's Run for the Roses. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Essential Quality Opens as 2/1 Favorite for 147th Kentucky Derby

As expected, Essential Quality checked in as the 2/1 morning-line favorite for the 147th Kentucky Derby. And Tuesday’s post-position Derby draw sends the undefeated colt and his favorite status into post 14 for Saturday’s 2021 Triple Crown opener. As he watched the posts fill up on Tuesday morning, this put […]

Rock Your Work brings an undefeated record and the best Beyer Speed Figure into the 2021 Kentucky Derby. But under Jon White's Derby Strike System, he brings two strikes to the Run for the Roses. Only seven horses since 1973 won the Derby with two strikes. (Image: Benoit Photography)

The Derby Strike System: Does Your Horse Strike Gold or Strike Out?

That Jon White would come up with something like the Derby Strike System (DSS) makes sense when you consider its creator spent hours surreptitiously handicapping races during his high school classes. “I’d hide it from my teachers. But I’d hide it from my fellow students as well,” said White, Santa […]

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 […]

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 […]

By winning the Florida Derby Saturday, Known Agenda affected the Kentucky Derby Future Wager final pool without being listed individually. He's counted as "All Other 3-Year-Olds" for this pool. (Image: Derbe Glass/Coglianese Photos)

Essential Quality Closes as Your Favorite in KDFW’s Final Pool

The fifth and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool closed Sunday afternoon with Essential Quality the 4/1 favorite to win the May 1 Run for the Roses. Unbeaten Essential Quality makes his final Derby tune-up in Saturday’s Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes during Keeneland’s opening weekend. He opened the weekend […]