Kentucky Derby News

Coach wins the Rags to Riches S. @ Coady Photo
Coach returns for Martha Washington; Zaajel to make stakes debut in Forward Gal

A pair of Kentucky Oaks qualifiers, the $200,000 Martha Washington S. at Oaklawn Park and $100,000 Forward Gal S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, will be offered Saturday. Both races award points on a 10-4-2-1 scale toward a berth in the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (G1)…

Jan 27, 2021

Caddo River wins the Smarty Jones (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Caddo River

Fourteen years after Hard Spun made a bold attempt to carry his speed in the Kentucky Derby (G1), his son Caddo River could try to do the same on the first Saturday in May.Hard Spun was a warrior on the 2007 Triple Crown trail, finishing second in the Derby,…

Jan 25, 2021

Midnight Bourbon at Ellis Park (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Midnight Bourbon

The Man o’ War sire line hasn’t come up with a Kentucky Derby (G1) winner since Triple Crown sweeper War Admiral (1937), a factoid that current contender Midnight Bourbon hopes to erase.Midnight Bourbon’s sire, Hall of Famer Tiznow, has helped carry the torch…

Jan 25, 2021

The Grass Is Blue wins the Busanda (Coglianese/Chelsea Durand)
The Grass Is Blue mows them down in Busanda

Despite pulling early in first-time blinkers, Louis Lazzinnaro’s The Grass Is Blue still packed a punch late in Sunday’s $97,000 Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct. The 1.75-1 favorite rallied past Coffee Bar to earn her first stakes victory, along with 10 points toward…

Jan 24, 2021

Caddo River wins the Smarty Jones (Coady Photography)
Kentucky Derby Horse Profile: Caddo River

Shortleaf Stable’s homebred Caddo River earned 10 points on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby following his 10 1/4-length tally in the $150,000 Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 22. The winner completed one mile on the fast main surface in 1:38.19…

Jan 24, 2021

Essential Quality wins his debut at Churchill Downs
Essential Quality-led Derby leaderboard bracing for more steady changes

The 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) is less than 100 days away, but the current leaderboard looks as you might expect through the third week in January -- not overly indicative of how things will look a month from now much less three. Essential Quality, who is…

Jan 23, 2021

Caddo River wins the 2021 Smarty Jones
Caddo River turns Smarty Jones into a runaway

Caddo River's two-turn and stakes debut in Friday's $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park turned into a runaway as the Hard Spun colt seized command early and walloped the opposition in the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby test. Holding a comfortable…

Jan 22, 2021

Harvey's Lil Goil winning the 2020 Busanda Stakes (c) Coglianese Photo
The Grass Is Blue adds blinkers for Busanda

After a rallying neck third in the Dec. 26 Ann Arundel County S. at Laurel Park, The Grass Is Blue heads a field of five fillies entered for Sunday’s $100,000 Busanda S. at Aqueduct. The 1 1/8-mile race will award points on a 10-4-2-1 scale as a Road…

Jan 21, 2021

Big Thorn wins the Juvenile Turf at Gulfstream (Coglianese Photos)
Expert Pick of the Week: Smarty Jones Stakes

A field of seven sophomores will travel a two-turn mile in Friday’s $150,000 Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park. The 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series tilt will give out qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the top-four finishers towards a…

Jan 21, 2021

Triple Crown
Early Nominations for 2021 Triple Crown Due Saturday

Early nominations for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds to become eligible to the 2021 Triple Crown series are due Saturday, Jan. 23 with a $600 payment. Nominations can be made online at or by calling the Churchill Downs Racing Office…

Jan 20, 2021

Future Wager
Undefeated Life Is Good Made Early 6-1 Individual Favorite in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager

CHC Inc and WinStar Farm’s undefeated $100,000 Sham Stakes (Grade III) winner Life Is Good was made the 6-1 individual morning line favorite in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) but the pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is expected…

Jan 19, 2021

Cowan breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography
Study Guide: 2021 Smarty Jones Stakes

A busy Road to the Kentucky Derby prep season awaits at Oaklawn Park! The Arkansas track will host four Kentucky Derby qualifiers between January and April, beginning with the $150,000 Smarty Jones S. on Friday. The one-mile fixture will award 17 qualification…

Jan 18, 2021

Caddo River training at Oaklawn December 2020 (Coady Photography)
Caddo River makes stakes debut in Smarty Jones

On Friday, Oaklawn Park kicks off its racing season and series of Kentucky Derby (G1) preps. The opening day feature, the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, serves as a stepping stone to the Feb. 15 Southwest (G3), Mar. 13 Rebel (G2), and finally the Apr. 10 Arkansas…

Jan 17, 2021

Midnight Bourbon wins the Lecomte (c) Hodges Photography
Midnight Bourbon leads all the way in Lecomte

Midnight Bourbon made all the running in the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3), leading wire-to-wire for Winchell Thoroughbreds and Steve Asmussen in the first of three Kentucky Derby qualifiers at Fair Grounds. Joe Talamo was up on the Tiznow colt, and Midnight Bourbon…

Jan 17, 2021

Charlie's Penny wins the Silverbulletday Stakes (Hodges Photography)
Charlie’s Penny shines in Silverbulletday upset

As odds-on favorite Sun Path sputtered in the stretch of Saturday’s $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, Charlie’s Penny kicked on best of all to post a 9-1 upset at Fair Grounds. The Minnesota-bred passed her first two-turn test and earned 10 points toward the…

Jan 17, 2021

Arabian Prince breaks his maiden at Churchill (Coady Photography)
Expert Pick of the Week: Lecomte Stakes

A field of 11 3-year-olds will travel 1 1/16 miles in the $200,000 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds on Saturday. The 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series contest will reward the top four finishers of the race with points on a 10-4-2-1 structure towards…

Jan 14, 2021