War Emblem Wins!

WAR EMBLEM came away in good order to gain the lead, edged in to race in the three path, went along under careful handling, then drew off in the final furlong under energetic hand urging with the rider flashing his whip on the right side. PROUD CITIZEN, lightly bumped at the start by HARLAN'S HOLIDAY, moved up soon after to race in closest attendance to WAR EMBLEM four wide, loomed a strong threat outside that one when straightened into the stretch, then wasn't a match in the final furlong while gamely saving second. PERFECT DRIFT, in hand from the outset while closer than usual along the inside, remained inside while tracking WAR EMBLEM, was checked for several strides when lacking room in behind that one at the three-sixteenths pole, altered course outside the winner, then came up empty in the final furlong. MEDAGLIA D'ORO bobbled at the start and was bumped by ESSENCE OF DUBAI when that one came out, worked his way forward between rivals four or five wide on the backstretch and around the second turn, swung out seven or eight wide entering the upper stretch, bumped with ESSENCE OF DUBAI leaving the three-sixteenths pole and was finished. REQUEST FOR PAROLE, forwardly placed in hand while four wide, was asked for his best approaching the final quarter, remained in behind the leaders and failed to respond. CAME HOME worked his way nicely toward the inside to race six or seven wide during the opening quarter, raced under light restraint while continuing seven wide on the backstretch, edged in nearing the far turn, remained prominent into the upper stretch and flattened out. HARLAN'S HOLIDAY bumped lightly with PROUD CITIZEN at the start, followed the leaders within easy striking distance while five or six wide, edged closer nearing the end of the backstretch, then came up empty. JOHANNESBURG, well placed along the inside from the start, raced in hand to the second turn while within striking distance saving ground, continued inside into the stretch but came up empty when asked. ESSENCE OF DUBAI came out bumping MEDAGLIA D'ORO at the start, dropped in behind horses to be three or four wide, made a mild run from between foes near the inside approaching the stretch, swung out for the drive, was bumped by MEDGALIA D'ORO and forced out for a stride, then failed to continue. SAARLAND failed to reach contention despite saving ground. BLUE BURNER, worked his way inward to be forwardly placed five wide early, continued off the inside and weakened in the drive. CASTLE GANDOLFO never was a factor while between foes much of the way. EASY GRADES leaned in bumping IT'SALLINTHECHASE at the start, raced nine or 10 wide early, moved in a bit on the first turn but never reached contention. PRIVATE EMBLEM, within striking distance while between horses to the end of the backstretch, gradually weakened. LUSTY LATIN, near the inside while outrun from the start, eased out eight or nine wide on the backstretch, continued wide and passed only tired rivals. IT'SALLINTHECHASE never was close. OCEAN SOUND (IRE) was outrun. WILD HORSES, forwardly placed along the inside to the far turn, gave way thereafter. BUDDHA was scratched Friday morning because of a bruised left fore. Saturday morning, DANTHEBLUEGRASS was declared from the race after he tied up following a morning jog. Due to the scratches, the number one position in the starting gate was left unoccupied.

Trainer

Bob Baffert

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert won the Kentucky Derby back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 with Silver Charm and Real Quiet and again in 2002 with War Emblem. He has saddled 19 horses in the Run for the Roses. He has won the Preakness stakes a record tying five times and has won the Eclipse Award for top trainer three times. Baffert has saddled two Kentucky Oaks winners, Silverbulletday and Plum Pretty. // Full Bio...

Jockey

Victor Espinoza

Espinoza made national headlines when he guided War Emblem to victory in the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2002. The native of Mexico City, Mexico began riding in the United States in 1993 and has found great success on the California circuit. He won the 2000 Breeders’ cup Distaff aboard Spain and has ridden other great horses such as Evening Jewel, The Usual Q.T., Smiling Tiger, and Congaree. // Full Bio...

Owner

The Thoroughbred Corporation

The Throughbred Corporation was a racing and breeding operation founded in 1994 by principal partner Prince Ahmed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and managed by Richard Mulhall. The Thoroughbred Corporation won the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with Champion War Emblem and the the 2001 Preakness and Belmont with Horse of the Year Point Given. They also won four Breeders' Cups, and were one of only four owners to have ever raced both a Kentucky Derby winner and an Epsom Derby winner (Oath). Other notable horses include: Jewel Pincess, Anees, Spain and Johar. // Full Bio...

Breeder

Charles Nuckols, Jr. & Sons (Ky.)

Charles Nuchols, Jr. was a second generation horseman whose family has bred horses in Midway, Kentucky for more than 100 years. The Nuckols family, his father, brothers, sons, and clients, have bred more than 300 stakes winners and 13 champions. He bred 2002 Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem. Others notbale horses bred by Nuckols include: Decathlon, Typecast, Soy Numero Uno and Wise Times. // Full Bio...

2001-Present

Current Era

2001 - Growth of the Kentucky Derby continued on all fronts as the 127th running attracted a crowd of 154,210, the second largest attendance in Derby history. Overall Derby Day wagering (all sources) rose to a record $107,598,904. For the first time in Derby pari-mutuel wagering history, all horses ran uncoupled with no entries or mutuel fields as betting interests.

Continue Reading
# Contender Jockey Trainer Owner Breeder
1 War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corporation Charles Nuckols, Jr. & Sons (Ky.)
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Kentucky Derby 128 Race Recap

WAR EMBLEM came away in good order to gain the lead, edged in to race in the three path, went along under careful handling, then drew off in the final furlong under energetic hand urging with the rider flashing his whip on the right side. PROUD CITIZEN, lightly bumped at the start by HARLAN'S HOLIDAY, moved up soon after to race in closest attendance to WAR EMBLEM four wide, loomed a strong threat outside that one when straightened into the stretch, then wasn't a match in the final furlong while gamely saving second. PERFECT DRIFT, in hand from the outset while closer than usual along the inside, remained inside while tracking WAR EMBLEM, was checked for several strides when lacking room in behind that one at the three-sixteenths pole, altered course outside the winner, then came up empty in the final furlong. MEDAGLIA D'ORO bobbled at the start and was bumped by ESSENCE OF DUBAI when that one came out, worked his way forward between rivals four or five wide on the backstretch and around the second turn, swung out seven or eight wide entering the upper stretch, bumped with ESSENCE OF DUBAI leaving the three-sixteenths pole and was finished. REQUEST FOR PAROLE, forwardly placed in hand while four wide, was asked for his best approaching the final quarter, remained in behind the leaders and failed to respond. CAME HOME worked his way nicely toward the inside to race six or seven wide during the opening quarter, raced under light restraint while continuing seven wide on the backstretch, edged in nearing the far turn, remained prominent into the upper stretch and flattened out. HARLAN'S HOLIDAY bumped lightly with PROUD CITIZEN at the start, followed the leaders within easy striking distance while five or six wide, edged closer nearing the end of the backstretch, then came up empty. JOHANNESBURG, well placed along the inside from the start, raced in hand to the second turn while within striking distance saving ground, continued inside into the stretch but came up empty when asked. ESSENCE OF DUBAI came out bumping MEDAGLIA D'ORO at the start, dropped in behind horses to be three or four wide, made a mild run from between foes near the inside approaching the stretch, swung out for the drive, was bumped by MEDGALIA D'ORO and forced out for a stride, then failed to continue. SAARLAND failed to reach contention despite saving ground. BLUE BURNER, worked his way inward to be forwardly placed five wide early, continued off the inside and weakened in the drive. CASTLE GANDOLFO never was a factor while between foes much of the way. EASY GRADES leaned in bumping IT'SALLINTHECHASE at the start, raced nine or 10 wide early, moved in a bit on the first turn but never reached contention. PRIVATE EMBLEM, within striking distance while between horses to the end of the backstretch, gradually weakened. LUSTY LATIN, near the inside while outrun from the start, eased out eight or nine wide on the backstretch, continued wide and passed only tired rivals. IT'SALLINTHECHASE never was close. OCEAN SOUND (IRE) was outrun. WILD HORSES, forwardly placed along the inside to the far turn, gave way thereafter. BUDDHA was scratched Friday morning because of a bruised left fore. Saturday morning, DANTHEBLUEGRASS was declared from the race after he tied up following a morning jog. Due to the scratches, the number one position in the starting gate was left unoccupied.