Tag: Steve Asmussen

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. […]

Super Stock seeks a Texas Derby title to go with his Arkansas Derby victory last month. The inaugural Texas Derby is Memorial Day at Lone Star Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

Super Stock Chases Return to Form in Inaugural Texas Derby

We last saw Super Stock finishing a distant 16th in the Kentucky Derby. We’ll next see him back not in the final Triple Crown jewel – the Belmont Stakes – but in the inaugural Texas Derby. The 3-year-old Arkansas Derby winner is one of 10 expected sophomores in the $300,000 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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? […]

Silver State emerged from a six-wide cavalry charge to capture Saturday's Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. That was his fifth consecutive victory dating to last October. (Image: Coady Photography)

Silver State Shows a Golden — and Quiet — Touch Worth Watching

While you were paying attention to the Kentucky Derby trail, Silver State was winning races. While you were paying attention to the adventures of Charlatan, Maxfield, Knicks Go, Monomoy Girl, and Swiss Skydiver, Silver State was joining them in the millionaire’s club. The 4-year-old punched his membership ticket to that […]

Clairiere (1) and Joe Talamo ran down Travel Column and Florent Geroux to win last month's Rachel Alexandra Stakes. The two top 3-year-olds tangle for the third consecutive race Saturday in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. (Image: Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

It’s Clairiere and Travel Column 3.0 in Fair Grounds Oaks

Clairiere and Travel Column. Travel Column and Clairiere. The two 3-year-old fillies are becoming linked in many ways as they prepare for Saturday’s Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. The two staked their grounds as the top 3-year-olds this spring, seizing attention from last year’s Champion 2-Year-Old, Vequist, along with contenders […]

Yes, Essential Quality is No. 1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Pool 4. The Tapit colt opens at 7/2 when the KDFW's Pool 4 begins Friday. (Image: Coady Photography)

No Surprise: Essential Quality Opens as 7/2 Favorite in KDFW Pool 4

Essential Quality turned his Southwest Stakes victory on Saturday into 7/2 favored status for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 4. The KDFW’s Pool 4 runs concurrently with the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager’s sole pool. Clariere opens as the 5/1 favorite for that pool. The KDFW opens Friday at […]

Undefeated Essential Quality makes his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He's the 3/2 favorite in the Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep.  (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Southwest Stakes: Answering One Question Picks Your Winner

From a betting standpoint, Saturday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park lacks value. Do you want 3/2 Essential Quality or 8/5 Jackie’s Warrior? There are five other horses in the field, but this isn’t a rhetorical question. From a watching standpoint, the 1 1/16-mile Southwest lacks nothing. How can […]

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 […]

Between them, Todd Pletcher (left) and Bob Baffert own eight Kentucky Derby victories. Pletcher (45) and Baffert (23) have the most Triple Crown early nominated horses for 2021. (Image: Doug Engle/AP File)

Essential Quality Leads 326-Strong Triple Crown Nomination Parade

Getting your horse a Triple Crown nomination used to be so simple that connections to this year’s 3-year-old hopefuls nominated 326 horses to compete in the three American Classic races this spring. Those 326 nominations represent a slight, 6.1% dip from last year’s 347 early nominees. Those connections paid $600 […]

Last time out, Shivaree set the Tampa Bay Downs stakes record en route to winning the Marion County Florida Sire Stakes. The runner-up in last year's Florida Derby returns to action Saturday in the Fred Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: SV Photography)

The Pegasus Isn’t the Only Stakes Race This Weekend

Saturday brings us the first two Grade 1 stakes races of 2021: the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf, coming to you from Gulfstream Park. The Florida track captures this weekend’s stakes spotlight with those two high-profile races, along with five other graded stakes on its […]

Winning the Breeders' Cup Classic two months after capturing the Kentucky Derby likely made Authentic the Horse of the Year. The 50th Eclipse Awards will be announced Jan. 28. (Image: Horsephotos.com)

Authentic, Improbable, Monomoy Girl Head Eclipse Awards Finalists

Horse of the Year candidates Authentic, Improbable, and Monomoy Girl headline the finalists for the 2020 Eclipse Awards, announced Saturday by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB), and the Daily Racing Form. The Eclipse Awards get their name from the iconic 18th-century racehorse and […]

Finite's last outing was this decisive Chilukki Stakes victory at Churchill Downs. She is a tepid 7/2 favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Coady Photography)

It’s Finite vs. Baffert’s Infinite Depth in Wide Open La Brea Stakes

The tempting storyline in Saturday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park is to look at the seven-furlong race through the quality vs. quantity prism. Steve Asmussen’s standout filly Finite vs. Bob Baffert’s quartet of Merneith, Golden Principal, Himiko and Provocation. Asmussen sending a multiple Grade 2 and […]

Charlatan returns to action for the first time in seven months on a stakes-packed opening day at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Horsephotos)

Unwrap Plenty of Stars in Santa Anita Park’s Boxing Day Opener

Santa Anita Park’s opening day marks the return of this year’s Pegasus World Cup champion for the first time in 10 months. And poor Mucho Gusto; he’s not remotely the headline attraction. For that, he can thank Nashville, Charlatan, and Independence Hall, who all smashed and grabbed Mucho Gusto’s spotlight […]