Tag: Steve Asmussen

Champion 3-Year-Old Malathaat won her lone 2022 race: the Grade 3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland in April. She is the 5/2 second choice for Saturday's Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park. (Image: Mathea Kelly)

This Year’s Ogden Phipps Resembles a Filly and Mare All-Star Race

Forgive yourself if you look at Saturday’s Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park thinking you’re looking at a sneak preview of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff five months early. There’s defending Ogden Phipps champion Letruska, who made last year’s race look like a glorified workout. Her 2 3/4-length gate-to-wire victory […]

Echo Zulu is the prohibitive 3/5 favorite to rebound from her fourth in the Kentucky Oaks with a victory in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes Saturday at Belmont Park. (Image: Chad B. Harmon)

Champion Echo Zulu Trying to Crack Her Foes in Acorn Stakes

Unwrapping Saturday’s Grade 1 Acorn Stakes, one of eight Grade 1 races on the weekend’s Belmont Stakes card, means finding the answer to two questions: can Echo Zulu – your 3/5 Acorn favorite — cut back? And, can the reigning Champion 2-Year-Old Filly rebound from her first loss? Echo Zulu […]

Jackie's Warrior won his fourth Grade 1 race with this May score in the Churchill Downs. He is the presumed favorite for Friday's Grade 2 True North Stakes in the Belmont Park Racing Festival. (Image: Coady Photography)

Champion Sprinter Jackie’s Warrior Points His Way to True North Stakes

Among the many marquee horses you’ll see at this weekend’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival is reigning Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Jackie’s Warrior, the marquee name in Friday’s Grade 2 True North. The True North is one of five stakes on Friday’s 11-race card. That card is headlined by the Grade 1 […]

Temple City Terror won last year's Keertana Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs. She goes for her fifth victory in the same event Saturday. It is the third race in this week's Cross Country Pick 5. (Image: Coady Photography)

Cross Country Pick 5 Offers Several Deep Fields, Two Stakes

Two stakes races, one featuring a Breeders’ Cup board hitter, highlight Saturday’s New York Racing Association Cross Country Pick 5, which come to you from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs. This is the first of two Cross Country Pick 5s this weekend. The multi-race, multi-track wager resets Monday with stakes […]

As the 6/5 favorite, Epicenter looked to be the horse to beat in Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Instead a bad start and poor tactics resulted in his second runner-up finish in as many Triple Crown races. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Epicenter’s Second Triple Crown Runner-Up Frustrates Asmussen

After Epicenter finished second in the Kentucky Derby, trainer Steve Asmussen was stunned. After Epicenter finished second in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, Asmussen was more than surprised. He was upset. Upset that his 6/5 favorite – who came into the 147th Preakness Stakes as the best all-around horse in the field […]

Epicenter arrives at Pimlico as the most complete contender for the 147th Preakness Stakes. (Image: Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

Epicenter Ready to Turn the Page at Preakness

If going 4-2-0 in his first seven races is merely a warm-up for Epicenter, as trainer Steve Asmussen alluded to on Tuesday, we are apparently in for some kind of blockbuster main event at Saturday’s 147th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. “I think it’s a very unique opportunity and […]

Epicenter did everything right except win Steve Asmussen his first Kentucky Derby. The 4.10/1 favorite adn Derby runner up is questionable for the Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Derby Aftermath: Stunned Asmussen, Preakness Probables

Still trying to process how his Kentucky Derby futility streak hit 24 races, trainer Steve Asmussen was non-committal on whether Derby runner up Epicenter would run the May 21 Preakness Stakes. The two-time Preakness winner was very committal on his level of disbelief at what transpired 50 yards from his […]

(Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Breaking Down the 2022 Kentucky Derby: Chaos Theory Reigns

Welcome to Kentucky Derby 148, a.k.a. The Chaos Derby. And we’re not talking about the usual infield escapades that happen as the Derby returns to it’s pre-pandemic crowds north of 150,000. Unpredictability? Depth? A Derby where surprises almost wouldn’t be surprising? This edition of America’s most popular race has it […]

Snapper Sinclair is one of three contenders in teh Cross Country Pick 5s lone stakes race this week: Belmont Park's Elusive Quality. (Image: Grace Clark/Kentucky Downs)

With One Stakes, this Cross Country Pick 5 Puts Handicappers to the Test

A million-dollar gelding and one of the first stakes races on Belmont Park’s Spring/Summer Meet provide two of the storylines for this week’s New York Racing Association Cross Country Pick 5. The weekly, multi-track, multi-race wager comes from Belmont Park and Oaklawn Park this week. While it’s light on stakes […]

Azeri winner Ce Ce is the 2/1 second favorite in search of her second Apple Blossom Handicap in three years. (Image: Coady Photography)

Apple Blossom Blooms With Two Champions, Four Grade 1 Winners

There are only five horses in Saturday’s Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park, a statistic that trainer Rob Atras puts into perspective for everyone. “It’s a small field, but it’s got like a Breeders’ Cup kind of feel to it,” Atras told Oaklawn Park’s Jennifer Hoyt. That’s probably the […]

Midnight Bourbon finished a game third in February's Saudi Cup, the 13th and final time in 16 races he finished in the money. The 4-year-old Tiznow colt died suddenly in his Churchill Downs stall Sunday. (Image: Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Mahmoud Khamed)

Gritty Stakes-Placer Midnight Bourbon Dies Suddenly in His Stall

Midnight Bourbon, a presence in some of the biggest races of the last 17 months, died suddenly in his Churchill Downs stall due to what Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen called “an acute gastrointestinal situation.” The Tiznow colt was 4. The Daily Racing Form reported that Midnight Bourbon breezed […]

Epicenter's record-setting victory in Saturday's Louisiana Derby further established him as one of the Kentucky Derby favorites. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Asmussen Sees Epicenter, Echo Zulu Take Different Paths to Victory

Among Steve Asmussen’s five Saturday victories at Fair Grounds came Epicenter’s record-setting Louisiana Derby win and Echo Zulu’s heart-stopping Fair Grounds Oaks win. Both victories brought more than a five-spot for Asmussen and jockey Joel Rosario. They brought horseplayers a key glimpse into how Asmussen will be a force in […]

Olympiad showed his speed with a record performance in February's Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes. He seeks his third win of 2022 in Saturday's New Orleans Classic. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Olympiad Seeking Another Gold-Medal Performance in New Orleans Classic

There’s a compelling and easy-to-understand reason why Olympiad took an 8/5 morning line favorite status into Saturday’s Grade 2 New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds. That compelling, easy-to-understand reason doubles as a record-setting reason. That’s exactly what Olympiad did the last time he traveled to Louisiana from trainer Bill Mott’s winter […]

The last time Echo Zulu ran came in this Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies romp at Del Mar in November. She returns Saturday as the 3/5 morning line favorite for the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. (Image: Benoit Photo)

She’s Back: Champion Echo Zulu Returns for Fair Grounds Oaks

Echo Zulu was the 2-year-old everyone couldn’t wait to see run at 3. Now, the four-month wait to see the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly will end on Saturday when Echo Zulu leads a six-filly contingent into the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. From a betting standpoint, horseplayers are likely to either […]

Clairiere returned for the first time since her fourth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff in November with an easy allowance win at Fair Grounds. (Image: Hodges Photography)

Eclipse Finalist Clairiere Returns with a 6 1/2-length Flourish

Clairiere’s 4-year-old debut at Fair Grounds on Wednesday came in an allowance optional claimer. From a class standpoint, it wasn’t the typical race you’d see a multiple graded stakes winner run. But the chance to ride an Eclipse Award finalist brought Eclipse Award-winning jockey Joel Rosario to the Louisiana track. […]

Midnight Bourbon hasn't won a race in 13 months. But trainer Steve Asmussen thinks the 4-year-old Tiznow colt is due for a breakout year. (Image: Coady Photography)

Hard-Luck Midnight Bourbon Tries for Redemption Again at Saudi Cup

Steve Asmussen hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to talking up Midnight Bourbon to anyone who will listen. And given what the heretofore snakebit colt has done to bettors, avid listeners are becoming harder and harder to find. “The only time he’s missed the break in his life was […]

Ricardo Santana rode Brad Cox's Coach to victory in the Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn Park in December. After a fall slump, the eight-time Oaklawn riding champion is enjoying a resurgence. (Image: Coady Photography)

After Fall Slump, Santana is Back in the Saddle

Last summer, Ricardo Santana Jr. piloted Stellar Tap to a Saratoga allowance victory that made trainer Steve Asmussen the winningest trainer in North American history. That Santana was the jockey for Asmussen’s record-breaking race made perfect sense. As Asmussen’s go-to rider, he was enjoying a breakout Saratoga meet, winning 35 […]

Pappacap leads the Kentucky Derby points list with 12. He comes into Saturday's Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds as the 8/5 morning-line favorite. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Derby Points Leader Pappacap Finds Epicenter in the Lecomte Stakes

The Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes gives you current Kentucky Derby points leader Pappacap. It gives you one of the most exciting 3-year-olds in the country, Epicenter. And it gives you recent alumni Triple Crown success. The 1 1/16-mile Lecomte also gives you Derby preps for the first time in three […]

Mandaloun finished second to Medina Spirit in last year's controversial Kentucky Derby. He takes on rival Midnight Bourbon for the sixth time in the Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes at Fair Grounds Saturday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Cue Round Six for Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon in Louisiana Stakes

The Louisiana Stakes, starring Mandaloun vs. Midnight Bourbon, sounds like deja vu all over again. And again. And again. And again. And, yes, again. This latest duel — the sixth between the newly minted 4-year-olds and 2021 Triple Crown rivals — returns the pair to Fair Grounds and the $150,000 […]

The 51st Eclipse Awards winners will be announced Feb. 10. Sixteen of the 17 finalist categories were announced Saturday. (Image: NTRA)

Few Surprises Revealed as Eclipse Award Finalists Announced

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the Daily Racing Form announced the finalists for the 2021 Eclipse Awards on Saturday. The list of finalists did not include Horse of the Year candidates, for which Knicks Go is a virtual certainty. Instead, finalists in 16 of […]