Dubai World Cup day is incredibly exciting, and this is probably the most nervous I’ve ever been to cover a horse race. It’s such an honor just to be here, and I wanted to represent America’s Best Racing proudly at the crossroads of the world of Thoroughbred racing.
Approaching the far turn in the $1-million Besilu Stables Florida Derby on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, the key Kentucky Derby prep turned into a match race between unbeaten Materiality and more accomplished opponent Grade 2 winner Upstart.
For the second straight year, Ken and Sarah Ramsey took the New Orleans path to Churchill Downs for the first Saturday in May. International Star outfinished game pacesetter Stanford to win the $750,000 Louisiana Derby on Saturday at Fair Grounds and punch his ticket to the Kentucky Derby.
The thrill of victory can have a profound impact on some people.
In horse racing, a win can often prompt a trainer or owner to become overly ambitious, sometimes with disappointing results.
On Dec. 13 at Gulfstream Park, Wild About Jass took a class drop from a $30,000 claimer into a $20,000 race and posted a half-length victory at 5-2 odds.
Welcome to ABR’s Hoops and horses column, where winners play!
Horse racing is Joe Kristufek’s means to an end, and he loves the sport like no other, but as a Chicago Bulls season ticket holder for seven years and a feared participant in fantasy hoops, he also has his finger on the pulse of the NBA.
It’s a call heard countless times as jockeys approach their mounts at racetracks around the country. To the average observer, it is almost timeless. Like watching a historical painting in real life, everything looks about the same as it has for centuries. You would have to be extremely observant to notice something different in this daily ritual.
Coming into the 2005 Kentucky Oaks, Summerly was an experienced filly with seven starts. Before the Oaks, Summerly had four victories in those seven starts including two graded stakes wins early in her 3-year-old year. Summerly’s best running before the Oaks came when she was either on or near the pace, and this race was no different.
The Grade 2, $750,000 Louisiana Derby features International Star, winner of both local preps for this race – the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes and the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes. With 71 points already in the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points system, a win and the 100 points that come with it would guarantee International Star a starting spot as well as a lot of attention on the first Saturday in May.
An afternoon as important as Blue Grass day is the perfect time to flaunt some first-class racing fashion, and here are three looks to suit any budget. To keep with our horse racing theme, the ensembles will be divided into three categories: Win (most expensive), Place (middle of the road) and Show (plenty of money left over for betting and cocktails).
I started out about as excited as you could imagine; I left my little studio apartment at about 12:30 in the afternoon (I’m one of those super annoying people who has to be at the airport 4 hours before an international flight) and arrived at JFK three-and-a-half hours before my scheduled departure.
Preparation for Arkansas Derby weekend—an annual April girls’ getaway of the first order—begins months in advance.
I made the hotel reservation in June and purchased seats in November, the day Oaklawn Park’s reserved ticket office opened. I was on hold the entirety of my teacher planning period and lunch. That evening, I started a group text conversation with a save-the-date. In the coming weeks, the thread was active, but it gained momentum as the days and minutes to post time decreased.
The culmination of the racing season at Fair Grounds takes place Saturday with the $1 million Louisiana Derby but, since this is New Orleans, let me help you get the party started early and offer some options to extend it as well.
Each week media members around the country vote on the top Thoroughbreds and top three-year-old Thoroughbreds in the nation and give readers a sneak peak at who they are impressed with early in the season and considering as top contenders for the Triple Crown races. Get to know the horses they have named the top in the nation below and vote for your favorites on America's Best Racing's Fan Poll.
Don't forget to share your own Poll on Facebook and Twitter!
A little over an hour from Lexington, Ky., Turfway Park is one of my favorite tracks to visit because it reminds me of the track in Oregon that got me started in horse racing. So when I got the chance to go up to the track for my second Spiral Stakes, I jumped on it.
Don’t Leave Me has won three of her four career starts, capped by her first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s Bourbonette Oaks. The win earned her 50 points, good for sixth place on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard if her connections nominate her to the race.
Speed is the name of the game in horse racing, but fame and glory usually gravitate toward those horses with the stamina to negotiate long distances of ground in two-turn classics.
Sprinters, the horses who can generate electrifying fractions, are usually in the background, except for a handful of champions who possessed speed so dazzling it left a lasting impression on anyone who ever watched them rocket to the winner’s circle.
Housebuster was one of those brilliant sprinters.
The richest night of racing on the global calendar, the Dubai World Cup races attract some of the biggest names from all over the world.
Some of the Dubai World Cup day races will be run on dirt for the first time since 2010 after the track removed the synthetic surface last year, a change that has convinced the connections of California Chrome and Lea to send their horses over for the richest race in the world.
Escaping the shadow of familiar rival Dortmund by traveling to Sunland Park for the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby on March 22, Firing Line showed just how good he is.
Firing Line broke from the first post position and ran less than a length behind the leader, keeping his spot on the rail. Jockey Gary Stevens let Firing Line out just a notch close to the far turn and the colt took over the lead, pulling away by a few lengths.
The $550,000 Grade 3 Spiral Stakes was a race of firsts at Turfway Park on March 21 when Dubai Sky won for the new Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables partnership.
The partnership, announced in September of last year, earned their first graded stakes victory with today’s Spiral win. Even more impressive is that the race was only the partnership’s 13th start.
Being a 5-year-old maiden is usually strike one against a horse.
A perception that the horse is a money-burner is strike two.
The count on Pure of Spirit stood no balls, two strikes as she came to the plate, er, starting gate on March 15 for the 10th race at Gulfstream Park. The 5-year-old mare owned a 0-for-5 record with three straight runner-up finishes, and a third-place finish before that rash of seconditis.
Now the tears are for him.
The heart of the racing industry was shattered on Wednesday when H. Allen Jerkens passed away at the age of 85, leaving behind a legacy few in racing – or any other sport – can ever hope to match.
A product of the Marylou Whitney breeding program, Bird Town was the first of the “Birds” to dominate the top 3-year-old races in the early 2000s, with her half-brother Birdstone winning the 2004 Belmont Stakes and two of his sons winning classic races in 2009.
The 44th running of the Grade 3, $550,000 Spiral Stakes drew a full field of 12 but shortly after the draw it was announced one of the likely betting choices, Imperia, would scratch. That doesn't take away from the puzzle that surrounds the race and with important Road to the Kentucky Derby points on the line.
For college hoopsters and horse fanatics alike, it’s March Madness! The key players have been established and the competition will be fierce. Who will be left standing when the dust settles? Will it be a favorite, a mid-priced player or a bomb of a longshot? Only time will tell, but the matchups sure are fun to watch! Using their résumé, talent and their unique qualities, Triple Crown guru Joe Kristufek and college hoops whiz Derek Cooley match horse and hoop contenders!