kentucky derby

Hangin' With Haskin posts tagged "kentucky derby"

Hofburg Enjoying Life at the Spa

There is one horse likely waiting for the Belmont Stakes who is tucked away far from the action, enjoying the tranquility of Saratoga Race Course and unwinding after an eventful trip in the soggy Run for the Roses.... Read More

“A Beast From Day One”

Rick Hammerle has been racing secretary at Santa Anita for 15 years and was stakes coordinator at Monmouth Park for 12 years, and he thought he had heard everything. That is until one day in mid-February of this year. Hammerle had carded a seven-furlong maiden race for 3-year-olds, and Bob Baffert walked into his office to make sure that the race was going to fill. It had to. Baffert had a first-time... Read More

A Super Duper Whopper of a Puzzler of a Derby

In order to tackle this year's fascinating, but perplexing, Kentucky Derby, we have to start by envisioning how the race is going to be run and which horses might take the worst of the pace scenario and which horses might be in the best position to launch their attacks.... Read More

Some Random Derby Thoughts as the Dozen Draws Near

The field of runners embarking on the 2018 Kentucky Derby trail, have gathered, like the massive throng on the Verrazano Bridge before the start of the New York Marathon, and they are now five days into their annual assault on Churchill Downs that will involve four months of blissful torture for owners and trainers who envision the blanket of roses draped over their horse's withers on the First Saturday in May, but are fearful of the many pitfalls that stand in their path. This is the time when every early morning phone call brings a feeling of dread.... Read More

Juveniles Close Out Year With a Bang

Many people believe that once the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, Remsen Stakes, and Los Alamitos Futurity are run, that is the end of the 2-year-old season as far as seeing potential Kentucky Derby hopefuls in action. However, that is not the case at all. History has shown us that the winners of those three graded stakes are not necessarily where you want to look to find the Derby winner. A good place... Read More

Bolt d'Oro Taking the Right Path

As a historian and traditionalist, I have stated on several occasions that I am a firm believer, as were the trainers of the past, in starting a horse's 3-year-old campaign in a sprint to sharpen him up for the rigors of the Triple Crown trail, especially those with extensive 2-year-old campaigns competing at two turns at the highest level. ... Read More

Still Dreaming After All

Ulcers, good news? Most definitely when it not only provided an explanation for Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming's abrupt form reversal, it virtually plucked him out of retirement and put him on the path for a 4-year-old campaign. ... Read More

Why Are Trainers Abandoning the Prep Races?

Once upon a time, not too long ago, Thoroughbred trainers considered prep races, well, prep races; short for prepare. As in prepare your horse for the ultimate goal. As in have him or her primed, fit, and sharp for their big test, which in the case of the Breeders' Cup, often determines the Eclipse Award winners.... Read More

Poo Pooing the Preps

We have entered a new era on the Triple Crown trail, where many trainers now plan only two preps for the Kentucky Derby. It has proven successful over the past decade, so more and more trainers are adopting that philosophy.... Read More

The Truth About Patch

Humans and animals overcoming physical handicaps and going on to achieve great things has always been a sure way to bring out the sentimental side of people, who admire grit and resolve in the face of adversity. It most certainly sparks tremendous fan interest and inspires heartrending features in all forms of publications. In today's animal-conscious society, where such stories trend daily on YouTube... Read More

Always Dreaming's Journey on the Derby Dozen

As I have done the past several years, I thought it would be interesting to go back week by week and re-live the observations, race reports, workout reports, and any news regarding the eventual Kentucky Derby winner, who in this case first appeared in the Knocking at the Door section on February 28.... Read More

Derby Recap: Johnny on the Pony

Looking back, Brooklyn in the 1950s and ‘60s was a concrete and asphalt Wonderland, a constant whirlwind of activity, a time when sports were born of the imagination, not just on the ball fields and basketball courts. The streets were the arena where stickball, punchball, Johnny on the pony, kick the can, ring-a-levio, and stoopball ruled, and where a kid's place in the pecking order depended on how... Read More

The Derby Past vs. Present: No Contest

Racing fans who were not around before the 1980s may find it difficult to appreciate just how much the dynamics of the Kentucky Derby have changed since then and how much more difficult the race is to win since they incorporated the graded earnings and now points system. In fact, today's Derby bears little resemblance to the Derby of the past.... Read More

The Inspiration of American Pharoah

Winston Churchill once said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” No one can really put into words the centuries-long bond between horses and humans, especially the emotional and sometimes mystical attachment we have had with these magnificent creatures throughout history. But there are times when Churchill’s quote is taken to a far deeper level, and... Read More

Inside the Kentucky Derby Trail

What better way to bring color to winter than to envision roses in bloom on the first Saturday in May, scented green leaves adorning glasses of mint juleps, and the famed Twin Spires piercing a bright cerulean sky. Each year those images beckon all those who dare to dream. ... Read More

Stakes and Chops

There have been many, myself included, who were shocked by the Graded Stakes committee's decision to downgrade two of the most historic Kentucky Derby preps, the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes, from grade I to grade II.... Read More

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