Racing News

Derby News Stories

Bond Holder breaks maiden in FrontRunner

Reddam Racing's Bond Holder rallied to catch Dance With Fate and drew away to a 2 1/4-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 FrontRunner at Santa Anita, earning his first win in his fifth career start. Mario Gutierrez rode the Doug O'Neill-trained son of Mineshaft who is now headed to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Secret Compass shines in Chandelier

Westrock Stables LLC's Secret Compass upset the field by a head in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,500 Chandelier Stakes as the 10-1 second longest shot on the board and paid her supporters $23.40 to win in a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race for the Juvenile Fillies.

Longshots Cleburne, Smart Cover hand Donegal/Romans exacta in Iroquois

The Road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby got off to a rollicking start in Saturday night's Grade 3, $173,250 Iroquois at Churchill Downs, with a pair of longshots owned by Donegal Racing and trained by Dale Romans -- the 34-1 Cleburne and 26-1 Smart Cover -- storming past the 2-1 Tapiture in deep stretch. Cleburne just held on by a neck from Smart Cover to earn an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, and 10 points toward next May's Run for the Roses.

Untapable runs down favored Stonetastic to take Pocahontas

Winchell Thoroughbreds's homebred Untapable bided her time on the inside early in Saturday evening's Grade 2, $168,150 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs before putting in a sustained drive down the stretch to just get up under jockey Rosie Napravnik for the half-victory over 8-5 favorite Stonetastic. Sent off the 5-1 third choice in the eight-filly field, she paid $13.60 to win.

Roads to Kentucky Derby, Oaks 140 Begin Saturday in Churchill's Iroquois, Pocahontas

The Road to the Kentucky Derby and Road to the Kentucky Oaks kick-off in prime time under the lights Saturday at Churchill Downs as the legendary Louisville racetrack enters into its a first foray of September racing since 1890.

A new chapter in Churchill Downs’ storied history began today (Friday) in earnest with the start of the new 12-date September Meet. The four-week flurry of weekend horse racing will mark the first time in the track’s 139 years that three race meets will be conducted in a calendar year.         

Churchill Downs Releases Official Event Logos for 140th Runnings of Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks

The official event logos for Kentucky Derby 140 and Kentucky Oaks 140 were released Friday (Sept. 6) by Churchill Downs Racetrack, and officially licensed apparel featuring the new marks are now available for purchase online at

The Road Begins at Churchill Downs

While it is surely fitting that the Road to the Kentucky Derby – the points-based Derby qualifying system introduced a year ago – would both begin and end at Churchill Downs, it required some heavy lifting by Churchill Downs to make it happen.  

'Road to the Kentucky Oaks' begins with Pocahontas

The Grade 2, $150,000 Pocahontas for two-year-old fillies, one of four stakes on Saturday's "Downs After Dark" program, kicks off the "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" series that determines eligibility for the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks on May 2, 2014. A field of eight will contest the 1 1/16-mile event on the main track.

As part of the "Prep Season" portion of the scoring system, the Pocahontas awards points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four respective finishers.

Iroquois kicks off 'Road to the Kentucky Derby'

Churchill Downs will open the doors on its September meet Friday, and the stakes action at the Louisville, Kentucky, venue will get underway Saturday night as four black-type contests, including three graded, highlight the "Downs After Dark" program.

Churchill Downs Releases 34-race Schedule for 2013-14 'Road To The Kentucky Derby' Series

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Friday, Aug. 9, 2013) – Churchill Downs Racetrack officials announced Thursday that 34 races will be included in the 2013-14 “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, including 16 significant events that comprise the “Kentucky Derby Championship Series” over the 10 weeks that precede the first Saturday in May.  

Oxbow steals Preakness as Orb struggles home fourth

Kentucky Derby winner Orb was heavily favored to win Saturday's $1 million Preakness at Pimlico, middle jewel of the Triple Crown, but at the conclusion of the 1 3/16-mile classic it was Oxbow, another colt with legendary connections, who ended Orb's quest to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

Poised for the Preakness, Kentucky Derby winner Orb has racing world buzzing about Triple Crown potential

If the Kentucky Derby was a coming-out party for Orb, the fabulously talented winner of five consecutive races, it was also an unveiling for his rider, Joel Rosario, who in the space of just a few months has come to be recognized as the best jockey in North America.

Orb's powerful finish a fitting finale to Kentucky Derby 139

The Kentucky Derby is the great equalizer. Sometimes the little guy wins – think Funny Cide or Mine That Bird – and sometimes the big guys get the prize. On Saturday at rainy Churchill Downs, a burgeoning star named Orb, owned by a pair of the sport's most prominent horsemen, handled by a Hall of Fame trainer, and ridden by the nation's leading jockey, splashed to a resounding and popular Derby victory.

Kentucky Derby Update - Sunday, May 5, 2013

“Sometimes I pinch myself and say, ‘Why does this happen to me?’ ” said McGaughey, noting how many talented horsemen never had the same opportunities that he has had. “When I got to really rolling, I remember many a day after we’d won a big race in New York, I’d be leaving and I’d think, ‘How lucky am I? Why is this happening to me?’ ”

Orb wins 139th Kentucky Derby before 151,616 at Churchill Downs

Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Joel Rosario, Orb covered the mile and a quarter on a sloppy main track in 2:02.89. It was the first Kentucky Derby victory for McGaughey and Rosario.

The victory was worth $1,414,800 and improved Orb’s career earnings to $2,335,850 with a record of 8-5-0-1.

Orb is a Kentucky-bred son of Malibu Moon out of the Unbridled mare Lady Liberty.

Palace Malice led the field of 19 through uncontested fractions of :22.57, :45.33 and 1:09.80 as Rosario kept Orb toward the back of the pack.

Derby fixtures share a slew of stories: Kentucky Derby 139 the latest chapter for these Churchill Downs familiar faces

Among the more than 151,000 assembled today at Churchill Downs were some old friends of the Kentucky Derby – a mutuel clerk who's been punching tickets for half a century, an acclaimed photographer who's been a fixture since Bold Forbes upset Honest Pleasure 37 years ago, and an elevator operator who in her nine years here has made a legion of friends to last a lifetime.

Orb gives McGaughey, Janney and Phipps emotional first Derby

Though the rains came early on Kentucky Derby Day, it wasn't enough to dampen the spirits of Lexington native Shug McGaughey as the veteran horseman and Hall of Famer watched his colt Orb come running late over the sloppy, sealed Churchill Downs oval to score a decisive 2 1/2-length victory in Derby 139.

It was the first Derby win for the trainer, jockey Joel Rosario and the homebred Orb's owners, longtime industry stalwarts Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stables.

Reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan romps in Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

Trained by Charlie LoPresti and ridden by Jose Lezcano, Wise Dan covered the 1 1/8 miles on a Matt Winn Turf Course labeled as yielding in 1:51.84.

The victory was worth $331,993 and boosted Wise Dan's earnings to $4,059,631 with a record of 22-15-1-0. Wise Dan's past five victories have come in Grade I races.

Wise Dan is a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Wiseman's Ferry out of the Wolf Power mare Lisa Danielle.

Delaunay romps to victory in Churchill Downs

Trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Delaunay covered the seven furlongs on the sloppy main track in 1:22.35.

The victory, the sixth in a row for Delaunay, was worth $264,031 and improved his earnings to $803,486 with a record of 39-14-8-3. It was the first graded stakes victory for Delaunay. 

Stephanie's Kitten returns in style to win Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Stephanie’s Kitten covered the mile on a Matt Winn Turf Course labeled as yielding in 1:37.94.

The victory was worth $173,654 and increased Stephanie’s Kitten’s earnings to $1,280,403 with a record of 11-6-0-3 that includes a victory in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GII) here.

Stephanie’s Kitten is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Kitten’s Joy out of the Catienus mare Unfold the Rose.