kentucky derby

Hangin' With Haskin posts tagged "kentucky derby"

Prat Falls Into Kentucky Derby Winner

Every January, well before the roses are in bloom, jockeys and their agents begin the arduous and often times stressful task of finding the Kentucky Derby winner. It is a pressure-packed four months, first finding a horse early on, then hoping he’s good enough to continue on the Derby trail, then hoping he stays sound, then hoping the trainer sticks with them and doesn’t start shopping around for a bigger name jockey.... Read More

Do Buy Into the UAE Derby

Because there are so many question marks surrounding the quality of the UAE Derby, including how a round trip there and back can affect a horse trying to come back in five weeks in the Kentucky Derby, let us look at Plus Que Parfait and Gray Magician as unknowns, and therefore potential megabomb exotics horses despite their mediocre form in the U.S. before heading to the desert.... Read More

Five on a Date For the Derby

The fall of the year, well before the journey on the Kentucky Derby trail begins, is a very special time in racing. It is during those fall months that we often see the seeds sprout that eventually will blossom into the Kentucky Derby winner. That is when Derby dreams are born. Any one of those seedlings could grow into a magnificent Thoroughbred that will one day make history. At least that is what... Read More

Hard Luck Derby Horses over the Past 50 Years

When you think of hard-luck horses in the Derby, the first horse that comes to mind is Native Dancer, who was interfered with early and came up a head short of not only winning the Derby but retiring undefeated. We have had other hard-luck horses in the past 50 years for whatever reason who might have been cost a victory or at least a far better placing. There no doubt are others that I am missing, but here is a list of those who come to mind who had their one chance at Kentucky Derby immortality compromised because of bad luck.... Read More

New Mindset for Derby Dozen

As I prepare for the latest onslaught of Derby horses and Derby performances and the same old trainer names, I have come to the stark realization that nothing is the same as it was. Gone is the old formulated thinking. Gone is the same old logic. And gone are the same old historical perspectives. And there is one horse responsible for that. His name is Justify. ... Read More

Is the Derby Winner in This Year's Juvenile?

Here is a rundown of horses pre-entered in this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile who could join Street Sense, Nyquist, Good Magic, and Classic Empire as major factors in the Kentucky Derby, based on pedigree and performance, mostly visually, as statistics do not always reveal what a brilliant 2-year-old will do going a mile and a quarter at 3.... Read More

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

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