Horses

Kentucky Derby News

Pappacap training for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile(Photo by Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com)
Pappacap returns to take on Epicenter in Lecomte

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Pappacap looks to maintain his position atop the Kentucky Derby (G1) points leaderboard in Saturday’s $200,000 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds. Epicenter, hero of the recent Gun Runner S., aims to knock him off that perch,…

Jan 16, 2022

La Crete wires her Churchill Downs debut (Coady Photography)
Silverbulletday attracts bluebloods La Crete, Sweet as Pie

Royally-bred fillies La Crete and Sweet as Pie will vie for Kentucky Oaks (G1) points in Saturday’s $150,000 Silverbulletday S. at Fair Grounds. Named for the Hall of Famer who began her march to the Oaks at the historic New Orleans track in 1999, the Silverbulletday…

Jan 16, 2022

Pappacap wins the Best Pal (Benoit Photo)
12 Pedigree fun facts: Pappacap

What can Horse of the Year Gun Runner do to follow up his record-setting season as a freshman sire? After rocketing to the top of the juvenile sire charts with more than $4 million in progeny earnings – a North American record for a first crop – he has prominent…

Jan 14, 2022

Epicenter wins the Gun Runner (Hodges Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Epicenter

The highly-regarded Not This Time was retired with an injury before getting an opportunity to shine on the 2017 Triple Crown trail, but the well-bred stallion is making his presence felt on the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby. Epicenter became the first…

Jan 11, 2022

Coach at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)
Kentucky Derby Alumni Update for Jan. 10

Heading further into January, we’ve seen one of the Kentucky Oaks contenders who took a nice, long break after that race looking better than ever into her four-year-old year.  There is also a Kentucky Derby contender from 2020 who found a tough spot for…

Jan 10, 2022

Courvoisier breaks his maiden at Aqueduct (Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: Courvoisier

If Courvoisier can run up to his exquisite pedigree by winning the Kentucky Derby (G1), he would fill a gap on the resume of top sire Tapit, and make history for his dam, Take Charge Brandi. She would become the first champion two-year-old filly of the modern…

Jan 9, 2022

Under the Stars wins the Santa Ynez (Benoit Photo)
Under the Stars repels every challenge in Santa Ynez

Sent off as the 9-10 favorite off a sharp maiden win, Under the Stars posted a gutsy, front-running score in Saturday’s $200,500 Santa Ynez (G2) at Santa Anita. The three-quarter sister to 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Bodemeister did him proud by flashing…

Jan 9, 2022

Awake at Midnyte (center) just missed in the Jimmy Durante (Benoit Photo)
Six fillies set for Santa Ynez

Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Ynez (G2) has attracted a field of six potential Kentucky Oaks (G1) candidates, competing for points on the 10-4-2-1 scale at Santa Anita. Awake at Midnyte, a daughter of 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Nyquist, represents the same connections…

Jan 6, 2022

Newgrange wins the 2022 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita (phot by Horsephotos.com)
Newgrange leads all the way in Sham

Newgrange impressed while making all the running in the $100,000 Sham S. (G3) at Santa Anita, winning his stakes debut by an easy 2 3/4-length margin. The $125,000 yearling remained unbeaten from two career starts for Golconda Stable, Madaket Stables, SF…

Jan 2, 2022

Dash Attack wins the 2022 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park
Dash Attack storms home late in Smarty Jones

A track-and-distance winner in his debut on Dec. 5, Dash Attack made it two in a row over Oaklawn Park's one-mile trip Saturday in the $250,000 Smarty Jones S. Sent off at 7-1 in a field of 13 newly-turned three-year-olds, Dash Attack broke from post…

Jan 1, 2022

Courvoiser wins the Jerome Stakes (Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)
Courvoisier comes of age in Jerome

With a pedigree as rich as his cognac namesake, Courvoisier splashed into the Kentucky Derby (G1) picture in Saturday’s $150,000 Jerome S. at Aqueduct. The son of Tapit and champion Take Charge Brandi tracked the pace and drove clear in the slop to earn 10…

Jan 1, 2022

Trainer Billy Turner
Billy Turner, trained Seattle Slew, dead at 81

Billy Turner, who trained Seattle Slew to a win the Kentucky Derby (G1) and to a Triple Crown sweep in 1977, died on Dec. 31 in his Reddick, Florida, home at the age of 81. Turner, who had suffered from prostate cancer for several years, had entered hospice…

Jan 1, 2022

Ohtwoohthreefive breaking his maiden at Belmont Park - Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photography
Study Guide: 2022 Jerome Stakes

By J. Keeler JohnsonAqueduct's Road to the Kentucky Derby continues on New Year's Day with the $150,000 Jerome S. The historic one-mile race has drawn a field of eight promising three-year-olds, all vying for the 17 Kentucky Derby qualification points awarded…

Dec 30, 2021

Rockefeller winning his debut at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo
Study Guide: 2022 Sham Stakes

By J. Keeler JohnsonBetween January and April, Santa Anita Park will host a quartet of important Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifiers. The first is Saturday's $100,000 Sham S. (G3), a one-mile event awarding 10 qualification points to the eligible winner.…

Dec 30, 2021

Courvoisier breaks his maiden at Aqueduct (Coglianese Photos)
Jerome attracts eight aspirants at Aqueduct

Saturday’s trio of Kentucky Derby (G1) points races begins with the $150,000 Jerome S. at Aqueduct. Eight aspiring sophomores have entered the one-mile affair set for 3:50 p.m. (ET). Like the ensuing scoring events on New Year’s Day – the Smarty Jones S. at…

Dec 30, 2021

Barber Road outrun by Tejano Twist in the Lively Shively (Photo by Coady Photography)
Expert Pick of the Week: 2022 Smarty Jones Stakes

A full field of 14 newly turned three-year-olds will travel one mile in Saturday’s $250,000 Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park. The 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby series event will reward the top four finishers with qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 structure.…

Dec 30, 2021

All in Sync breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography
Study Guide: 2022 Smarty Jones Stakes

Oaklawn Park is celebrating New Year's Day in a big way. The Arkansas racetrack is hosting the $250,000 Smarty Jones S., a one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier awarding 17 Kentucky Derby qualifications points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1…

Dec 30, 2021

Rockefeller breaking his maiden at Del Mar (photo by Benoit Photo)
Mackinnon switches to dirt for Sham

A multiple stakes winner on turf, and a fast-closing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), Mackinnon will move to the main track for Saturday’s $100,000 Sham S. (G3) at Santa Anita.Five runners are set for the two-turn mile test, a Road to the…

Dec 29, 2021

Epicenter wins at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)
Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Epicenter

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Epicenter picked up 10 points on the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series following his 6 1/2-length romp in the $98,000 Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds on December 26. The winner clocked 1 1/16 miles on the fast dirt surface…

Dec 29, 2021

Caddo River wins Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park (Photo by Coady Photo)
Oaklawn qualifiers begin with 14-horse Smarty Jones

The Road to the Kentucky Derby series makes the first of four stops at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, as a field of 14 will compete for 17 points (10-4-2-1 scale) in the $250,000 Smarty Jones S. Contested over a two-turn mile, the Smarty Jones will mark the…

Dec 29, 2021


Tales from the Crib
Follow the Road to the Roses all the way back to the barn, with Kellie Reilly
Pappacap right after birth (Karen Russell/Rustlewood Farm)
Tales from the Crib: Pappacap

When Gun Runner went out on a high note in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup (G1), he crowned his career with a five-race winning streak and padded his bank account to nearly $16 million.  But the Horse of the Year did something else at Gulfstream Park that day.…

Dec 16, 2021

Mandaloun head shot (Coady Photography)
Tales from the Crib: Mandaloun

Unfortunate to finish second in the 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1) with favored Empire Maker, internationally acclaimed Juddmonte Farms tries again with a grandson of his, Mandaloun. Only this time, the team returns mourning the loss of Juddmonte’s founder, Prince…

Apr 30, 2021

Helium as a foal (Shawhan Place)
Tales from the Crib: Helium

If Helium can extend his perfect record in the Kentucky Derby (G1), he would represent the pinnacle of achievement for Bernardo Alvarez Calderon’s Teneri Farm. Sadly, the Peruvian horseman passed away last August, and his family now carries on the legacy of…

Apr 28, 2021

See all

Pedigree Fun Facts
Pappacap wins the Best Pal (Benoit Photo)
12 Pedigree fun facts: Pappacap

What can Horse of the Year Gun Runner do to follow up his record-setting season as a freshman sire? After rocketing to the top of the juvenile sire charts with more than $4 million in progeny earnings – a North American record for a first crop – he has prominent…

Jan 14, 2022

Epicenter wins the Gun Runner (Hodges Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Epicenter

The highly-regarded Not This Time was retired with an injury before getting an opportunity to shine on the 2017 Triple Crown trail, but the well-bred stallion is making his presence felt on the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby. Epicenter became the first…

Jan 11, 2022

Courvoisier breaks his maiden at Aqueduct (Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: Courvoisier

If Courvoisier can run up to his exquisite pedigree by winning the Kentucky Derby (G1), he would fill a gap on the resume of top sire Tapit, and make history for his dam, Take Charge Brandi. She would become the first champion two-year-old filly of the modern…

Jan 9, 2022

Smile Happy wins Kentucky Jockey Club (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Smile Happy

Twelve years after Super Saver turned the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2)/Kentucky Derby (G1) double at Churchill Downs, his grandson Smile Happy hopes to follow in his hoofsteps. Smile Happy, who burst onto the Derby trail with a 3 1/4-length victory in the Nov.…

Dec 14, 2021

Arrogate wins the 2016 Travers (NYRA/Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Unbeaten Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) favorite Jack Christopher brings high speed and flashy looks, but not the stoutest pedigree as he stretches out to 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar. Several of his rivals sport stronger bloodlines that should come into play as the…

Nov 4, 2021

Double Thunder wins the Bashford Manor (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Breeders’ Futurity

If Classic Causeway can stay unbeaten in Saturday’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, he would become a record-equaling third winner sired by Giant’s Causeway. Nicknamed the “Iron Horse,” Giant’s Causeway is responsible for back-to-back Breeders’ Futurity scorers…

Oct 9, 2021

See all