Nyquist (3-5) was made an overwhelming favorite by Pimlico morning linemaker Keith Feustle. Nyquist held off a fast rallying Exaggerator (3-1) to win the Kentucky Derby by more than a length.
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If Nyquist can win the Preakness on May 21, he would set up the third straight Belmont Stakes with the Triple Crown on the line. That kind of excitement is great for horse racing.
Exaggerator seemed stuck on neutral this spring with losses in the San Vicente and San Felipe. But he exploded on an off-track to win the Santa Anita Derby. It is the fastest last race Beyer speed figure among the 20 Kentucky Derby starters.
We are only eight days from the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Every Las Vegas race book will be rolling out the red carpet to horseplayers for the first leg of the Triple Crown.
I always have been a sucker for the claiming horse that developed into a stakes winner. There is an active horse who can now add his name to that list: Page McKenney, who will make his next start Saturday in the $1.25 million Charles Town Classic.
Bob Baffert has won the Arkansas Derby twice with American Pharoah (2015) and Bodemeister (2012). Bodemeister ran second in the Kentucky Derby. American Pharoah won the Triple Crown last spring.
The Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Blue Grass at Keeneland and the Santa Anita Derby offer a $1 million purse on Saturday. But more important, the first three finishers will earn enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field.
It’s rare to get a classic East versus West battle of two top undefeated 3-year-olds before the Kentucky Derby.
The $10 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race, has a star-studded field of 12, headed by California Chrome, the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner. Two Kentucky Derby preps also will be run Saturday.
Mohaymen remains my top colt for the Kentucky Derby. The Fountain of Youth winner has a date with my second horse, Nyquist, in the Florida Derby on April 2 at Gulfstream Park. Seldom do we see such a clash of titans before the Derby at Churchill Downs.
This year’s version may not have a Seabiscuit or Shared Belief-type animal, but for $1 million, nine well-matched horses will take a swing Saturday. The Big Cap headlines an exciting day at Santa Anita.
One bet that has been dropping in popularity is the Pick 6, a wager in which one must select the winners of all six designated races.
A big story this spring has been if Songbird, the Eclipse champion 2-year-old filly, would consider a start in the Kentucky Derby against males.
When the Kentucky Derby point system was introduced in 2013, many media types, like me, were against it. We had seen the good and the bad of the previous system, graded purse earnings, as a fairly reliable indicator.
We are 85 days from the Kentucky Derby. While it seems the feats of Triple Crown champ American Pharoah just happened a day ago, there is a new, talented crop of 3-year-olds ready to take over.
There is no doubt that the 3-year-olds are the glamour division in horse racing.
The 17th annual Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship began Thursday at TI. The total purse is a record $2.77 million.
One of the corniest, but harmless, publicity stunts done at racetracks is to have a celebrity try to call a horse race. On Sunday, former UNLV quarterback and now ESPN sports personality Kenny Mayne gave it his best shot at Santa Anita Park.
The original Sunshine Millions program began as a competition between horses bred in California and Florida. The races were split between Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
On a day-to-day basis, the sport of horse racing can be a grind. For example, the only two calendar days without racing are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The Eclipse Awards are horse racing's Oscars or Emmys. It crowns the best of the best, and this year's event will be Jan. 16 at Gulfstream Park. The show will be televised live on TVG.
Jan. 1 marks the start of the New Year for all of us humans. It also is the common birthday of all horses. That's a good thing, too. It makes a large bag of carrots or mints a perfect birthday gift for a barn full of horses.
For track announcer Trevor Denman, we were told he is retiring as the voice of Santa Anita Park. That's true. But then I got a Del Mar press release saying Denman will call the races there in 2016.
I am sure there are a lot of good ideas being bandied about at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming in Tucson, Arizona.
I have written for years my belief that shrinking field sizes in American racing is not a horse shortage. It is an owner shortage.
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