Horses

Kentucky Derby News

Major General wins the Iroquois (Coady Photography)
Major General tallies 10 points on ‘Road to Derby’ with Iroquois win

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021) – WinStar Farm and Siena Farms’ Major General is the early points leader on the 2022 “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” after the promising colt invaded from New York to win Saturday night’s…

Sep 19, 2021

Hidden Connection wins the Pocahontas (Coady Photography)
Stakes record for Hidden Connection in Grade III Pocahontas

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021) – Hidden Brook Farm’s Hidden Connection reaffirmed that her flashy 7 1/2-length debut win at Colonial Downs wasn’t a fluke as she rolled to a 9 1/2-length victory over Mama Rina in Saturday night’s 53rd running of…

Sep 19, 2021

Affable Monarch impressed in his debut (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)
Ten to watch on the 2022 Kentucky Derby trail

Has the 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner even run in a race yet? That indecipherable question just highlights the task, in September, of trying to pinpoint juveniles who could develop into elite Derby contenders by next spring. Still, it’s a fun parlor game…

Sep 18, 2021

Stellar Tap after winning his debut at Saratoga - Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos
Flashy maiden winners face stakes veterans in Iroquois

The 2021-22 Road to the Kentucky Derby kicks off with a bang on Saturday with the $300,000 Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, which provides potential Derby contenders with an opportunity to take a test spin around the host track of the “Run for the Roses.”…

Sep 17, 2021

Guntown breaks his maiden at Ellis Park (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Iroquois Stakes

The Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby commences in Saturday’s Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, where several exquisitely-bred juveniles will try to live up to their pedigrees.Triple Crown champion American Pharoah has a promising runner in Husband Material,…

Sep 16, 2021

The 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography/Churchill Downs
Study Guide: 2021 Iroquois Stakes

The 2021-22 Road to the Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday with the $300,000 Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/16-mile race has drawn 11 promising two-year-old colts, all vying for the 17 Kentucky Derby qualification points awarded to the top…

Sep 16, 2021

Major General wins his maiden at Saratoga (Photo by Coglianese Photos)
Expert Pick of the Week: 2021 Iroquois Stakes

A precocious field of 11 juveniles will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Churchill Downs main surface in Saturday’s $300,000 Iroquois S. (G3). The “Win and You’re In” event will reward the first-place finisher with a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at…

Sep 16, 2021

RTKD Logo
Promising Juveniles Major General, Roger McQueen, Stellar Tap Head $300,000 Iroquois as Churchill Downs Kicks off 'Road to the Kentucky Derby'

The 37-race “Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve” will officially begin Saturday evening under the lights at Churchill Downs as 11 promising 2-year-olds were entered in the 40th running of the Grade III, $300,000 Iroquois Stakes.The…

Sep 15, 2021

Necker Island (Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)
Kentucky Derby Alumni watch for Sept 14

With the summer meets winding down, most of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) alumni are taking a breath and regrouping for autumn, in many cases figuring out the final push for the Breeders' Cup. But, we still had a few Kentucky Derby and Oaks…

Sep 14, 2021

148 Kentucky Derby Logo
Churchill Downs Announces 2021-22 Road to the Kentucky Derby Schedule

Points Will Not Be Awarded to Any Horse Trained by an Individual Suspended from 2022 Derby LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Friday, Sept. 10, 2021) – The official “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” will begin Saturday, Sept. 18 at the home of America’s…

Sep 10, 2021

Zulu Alpha wins the Elkhorn Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)
Expert Pick of the Week: 2021 Turf Cup Stakes

A total of five fantastic graded stakes races will be held at Kentucky Downs on Saturday, led by the lucrative $1 million Turf Cup S. (G2). The 1 1/2-mile headliner attracted an overflow field of 16, including the previous two winners of the race, and promises…

Sep 9, 2021

Max Player wins the Suburban S. (Photo by Coglianese Photos/Elsa Lorieul)
Kentucky Derby alumni watch for Sept 6

As the summer racing meets drew to a close, we saw several Kentucky Derby (G1) alumni in action from coast to coast. And, with Kentucky Downs getting underway, we can look forward to several more who have found their homes on the grass preparing to strut their…

Sep 7, 2021

Happy Saver wins at Belmont Park (Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)
Expert Pick of the Week: 2021 Jockey Club Gold Cup

A compact field of six will go postward in the lucrative $1 million Jockey Club Cup Gold (G1) on the final Saturday of racing at the Saratoga meeting. The “Win and You’re In” contest will provide the winner with a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)…

Sep 2, 2021

Max Player winning the 2020 Withers S. (G3) at Aqueduct (Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)
Study Guide: 2021 Jockey Club Gold Cup

For the first time in history, Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) will take place at Saratoga rather than its traditional home at Belmont Park. The 1 1/4-mile "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) has also changed places…

Sep 2, 2021

Essential Quality wins the 2021 Travers
Essential Quality edges Midnight Bourbon in thrilling Travers

The door has nearly closed on the division title hopes of any three-year-old colt not named Essential Quality, who fought off a stubborn foe in Midnight Bourbon to claim Saturday's $1.225 million Travers S. (G1) at Saratoga under Luis Saez. The 1 1/4-mile…

Aug 28, 2021

Sea Hero statue at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Travers Stakes

Leading sire Tapit has yet to sire a Travers S. (G1) winner, but that gap on his resume can be filled at Saratoga Saturday by his champion son Essential Quality. Tapit is the paternal grandsire of last year’s Travers star, Tiz the Law, but his own sons have…

Aug 27, 2021

Essential Quality wins the Belmont S. (G1) (Photo by Jessie Holmes/EquiSport photo)
Essential Quality ‘better than he’s even been’ heading into Travers

A troubled trip resulted in his lone defeat, a fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but Essential Quality has reasserted his supremacy in the three-year-old division by recording wins in the Belmont S. (G1) and Jim Dandy S. (G2). The gray colt can virtually…

Aug 27, 2021

Midnight Bourbon wins the Lecomte Stakes (Photo by Hodges Photography)
Expert Pick of the Week: 2021 Travers Stakes

Champion Essential Quality leads a top field of seven three-year-olds postward in the $1.25 million Travers S. (G1) at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. The ‘Midsummer Derby’ brought out some of the best in the sophomore division, and I am expecting a mild…

Aug 26, 2021

Essential Quality winning the Jim Dandy S. (G2) at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta
Study Guide: 2021 Travers Stakes

On Saturday at Saratoga, seven sophomore colts will square off over 1 1/4 miles in the historic $1.25 million Travers S. (G1). A quality field has assembled for the "Midsummer Derby," including Kentucky Derby (G1) alumni Essential Quality, Midnight Bourbon,…

Aug 26, 2021

Essential Quality
Essential Quality the early 4-5 choice in Travers

Known historically as the "Graveyard of Favorites," Saratoga will be the setting for Saturday's $1.25 million Travers (G1), in which once-beaten champion Essential Quality has been made an overwhelming 4-5 early choice. Rebounding from his lone setback…

Aug 25, 2021


Tales from the Crib
Follow the Road to the Roses all the way back to the barn, with Kellie Reilly
Like the King as a foal (Sparks View Farm)
Tales from the Crib: Like the King

“Babysitter” isn’t normally the kind of experience listed on the resume of a Kentucky Derby (G1) contender, but that was the reason why Like the King was purchased as a weanling. Like the King was bred by Roddy and Perry Harrison’s Horseshoe Racing. The small-scale…

Apr 27, 2021

Midnight Bourbon as a foal (Stonestreet Farm)
Tales from the Crib: Midnight Bourbon

Handsome is as handsome does, as the saying goes. But Midnight Bourbon often runs up to his movie-star good looks. The striking son of Hall of Famer Tiznow was bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Barbara Banke’s farm that is also responsible for three…

Apr 26, 2021

Rock Your World as a Keeneland September yearling (Photos by Z/Keeneland)
Tales from the Crib: Rock Your World

Ron McAnally will be remembered forever for training the legendary John Henry, the rags-to-riches gelding with an indomitable character, and fellow Hall of Famers Bayakoa and Paseana. But now at the age of 88, the horseman has a chance of adding an extraordinary…

Apr 26, 2021

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Pedigree Fun Facts
Guntown breaks his maiden at Ellis Park (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Iroquois Stakes

The Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby commences in Saturday’s Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, where several exquisitely-bred juveniles will try to live up to their pedigrees.Triple Crown champion American Pharoah has a promising runner in Husband Material,…

Sep 16, 2021

Sea Hero statue at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Travers Stakes

Leading sire Tapit has yet to sire a Travers S. (G1) winner, but that gap on his resume can be filled at Saratoga Saturday by his champion son Essential Quality. Tapit is the paternal grandsire of last year’s Travers star, Tiz the Law, but his own sons have…

Aug 27, 2021

Essential Quality at the Breeders' Cup (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Belmont Stakes

If champion Essential Quality can rebound in Saturday’s Belmont S. (G1), he would become a record-equaling fourth winner sired by Tapit. The only stallion to achieve that feat is the 19th-century patriarch Lexington, who sired General Duke (1868), Kingfisher…

Jun 3, 2021

Ram at Pimlico for the Preakness (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Preakness Stakes

Several Preakness S. (G1) contenders with strong pedigree ties to the middle jewel are longshots. Might that portend an upset brewing at Pimlico on Saturday? Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (2015) is trying to join the exclusive club of Preakness…

May 14, 2021

Kentucky Derby trophy (Churchill Downs)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Kentucky Derby

All 20 runners in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) – from the most expensive yearlings and aristocratic homebreds to the bargain basement specials – have ancestral ties to great champions.  Here’s a look at some of the fascinating pedigree angles in the 147th…

Apr 29, 2021

Bourbonic upsets the Wood Memorial (NYRA/Coglianese/Chelsea Durand)
Pedigree fun facts: Bourbonic

Bourbonic aims to become the fourth straight generation of his male line to win a classic. Moreover, his female line is responsible for one of the greatest horses ever to lose the Kentucky Derby (G1).Bourbonic’s sire, champion Bernardini, captured the 2006…

Apr 21, 2021

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