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Derby News Stories

'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.

Wanna bet? The unique world of wagering on the Kentucky Derby

Forget baseball for a minute; on the first Saturday in May, betting on the Kentucky Derby is the national – and international – pastime.

Last year, more than $187 million was wagered on the Derby, and only about 13 percent of that was generated by the 165,307 fans who shoe-horned into Churchill Downs to see I'll Have Another charge to an upset victory. The remaining $163.2 million was bet off-track.

Aubby K Revels in the Slop to Win Humana Distaff

Trained by Ralph Nicks and ridden by Edgar Prado, Aubby K covered the seven furlongs on a main track labeled as sloppy in 1:22.93.

The victory was worth $205,701 and improved Aubby K’s earnings to $419,164 with a record of 8-4-0-1. It was the second graded-stakes victory of 2013 for Aubby K, who won the Inside Information (GII) in her first start of the year at Gulfstream Park.

Aubby K is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense out of the Capote mare Lilly Capote.

Berlino Di Tiger Holds Off Chamberlain Bridge To Win Twin Spires Turf Sprint

Stud Sampaio’s Berlino Di Tiger (BRZ) held off a late charge from 2009 race winner Chamberlain Bridge by a nose to win the 19th running of the $138,250 Twin Spires Turf Sprint presented by RAM (Grade III), the first of six graded stakes on the Kentucky Derby Day program at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Eduardo Caramori and ridden by Leandro Goncalves, Berlino Di Tiger covered the five furlongs on the “good” Matt Winn Turf Course in :57.01.

The victory was worth $83,144 and improved Berlino Di Tiger’s earnings to $212,212 with a record of 12-8-0-2.

Kentucky Oaks Update – Saturday, May 3, 2013

PRINCESS OF SYLMAR / UNLIMITED BUDGET / DREAMING OF JULIA / SILSITA – The report on the four Kentucky Oaks (GI) fillies out of the Todd Pletcher barn was all positive Saturday morning following their major impact on the rich 3-year-old filly classic.

Princess of Sylmar (the winner), Unlimited Budget (third), Dreaming of Julia (fourth) and Silsita (10th) “came out of the race well,” Pletcher said. “They all pulled up in good order.”

Dark horse: Lines of Battle's Dubai domination translates to underdog status in Kentucky Derby

It's almost incomprehensible that a horse fresh from a dominating victory in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai would be viewed as a hopeless long shot in the Kentucky Derby, but that apparently will be the case with Lines of Battle, who was 34-1 in Derby advance wagering Saturday morning.

Poised: Derby stage set for Rosie Napravnik's charge at history

Call Rosie Napravnik what you will – a trail blazer, a pioneer, a woman of extraordinary talents – but first there's this: The reason Napravnik is such a compelling story in the run-up to the Kentucky Derby has little to do with her gender and everything to do with the fact she is one of the world's best jockeys.

Longshot Princess Of Sylmar Wins Longines Kentucky Oaks Before Crowd Of 113,820

Friday’s attendance was surpassed only by the 116,046 that attended in 2010.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Mike Smith, Princess of Sylmar covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:49.17. It was the first Oaks victory for Smith and the third for Pletcher, who won the 2004 running with Ashado and in 2007 with Rags to Riches.