The next eight days will tell a lot about the horses prepping for the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park. By the way, the grand Great Race Place is opening today and will show off more than $15 million of improvements.
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There are two $1 million stakes in North America this weekend at a racetrack you might not guess: Parx Racing. With two seven-figure purses fueled by an on-site casino, the Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion co-headline an outstanding card in Bensalem, Pa.
When Ken McPeek won his first horse race as a trainer, I was there. McPeek had invited me and a mutual friend to River Downs because his horse Final Destroyer had a big shot.
Rarely in life does one get a second chance, much less a third shot at redemption. Horse racing might just get a third chance, namely in key national television exposure.
I am old enough to recall when statistical data was bare bones in the Daily Racing Form. Old-school handicappers, who kept their own records, had a big edge over those who relied solely upon past performances.
Two of the year’s most important races are this weekend in the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday and the $1 million Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar on Sunday.
The Arlington Million on Saturday holds a special place in American racing history. It was the world’s first million-dollar horse race and has had so many rich highlights, including a nose win by John Henry over The Bart in the first running in 1981.
Kevin Brockley, a Saratoga Race Course patron, won a contest at the New York track for a free $15,000 win bet in Saturday’s Whitney Handicap. He placed the wager on race favorite Fort Larned.
The question I am most asked is this: Do you bet your own selections? The reference is to my daily handicapping of the Southern California racetracks that appears in this newspaper.
The three colts who won this year’s Triple Crown races are taking different paths to the $1 million Travers on Aug. 24 at Saratoga. The prestigious Travers is called the Midsummer Classic for good reason.
The past three Eclipse Awards for outstanding jockey have gone to Ramon Dominguez. Unfortunately for him, there won’t be a fourth.
There is a lot of talk about how historic it would be in the Travers at Saratoga to have the winners of this year’s three Triple Crown races facing off.
There are only nine calendar days until the last summer meet at Betfair Hollywood Park ends on July 14. Then after the final 28-day fall meet ends on Dec. 22, the track of “Lakes and Flowers” will be closed forever.
Wise Dan, the 2012 Horse of the Year, makes his third start of the season Saturday in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap at Churchill Downs. He has already won two Grade 1 stakes — the Makers 46 Mile and the Turf Classic — so this should be an easier task.
Someday a public relations class will do a case study on what has been happening lately to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. At the center of it all are seven horses that died suddenly, while under his care, in a 16-month period.
The Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on Saturday marks a turn-the-page moment in racing from the end of the Triple Crown. Orb, Oxbow, Palace Malice plus the other top 3-year-olds will return soon enough in the Haskell and Travers. But for now the attention will be on the older horses.
The Belmont Stakes on Saturday is anything but anticlimactic for those of us who follow horse racing. Though there is no horse going for a sweep of the Triple Crown, the Belmont is a classic race with great history to it.
Great athletes always seem to make the right moves at the right time. For example, compare these winning moves by jockey Gary Stevens and LeBron James.
If you’ve ever met Shug McGaughey, trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Orb, you’ll understand what “old school” really means in horse racing.
As soon as Kentucky Derby favorite Orb crossed the finish line first at Churchill Downs, the banter began: Is this the colt that finally could end the Triple Crown drought?
There are just a few days a year when horse racing is front and center in the mainstream media, and Kentucky Derby day is clearly the grandest of those days.
A crowd of 160,000 will attend the Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The next best place to be for the first of three Triple Crown races is Las Vegas.
Quick, name the racetrack that will host two Santa Anita Handicap winners Saturday. Santa Anita? Keeneland? Aqueduct? Would you guess Charles Town?
It is down to the wire for horses to earn enough points to be among the 20 starters for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4.
It is a misnomer to call Saturday’s $1 million Wood Memorial or $750,000 Santa Anita Derby “prep races” for the Kentucky Derby. Until you earn enough Derby points to secure a spot, no one is prepping anymore. You must run well or end up watching the Derby on TV.