Today's Edition

TDN Derby Top 12 for Jan. 22

There's a fair amount of parity within this week's edition of the Top 12. The dozen GI Kentucky Derby hopefuls are sired by 10 different stallions. Three of them are homebreds, and auction prices for the rest of the pack range from $32,000 up to $1.2 million. The horses ranked as Nos. 1-3 have held their positions all season long based on strong 2018 credentials, Nos. 4 and 5 delivered eye-opening performances in their first 2019 starts, and everybody else has flashed talent, but will need to do more to...

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Pedigree Insights: War of Will

Comparisons, it's said, are odious, and the medieval originators of this phrase certainly had a point. It all depends on the quality--or lack of it--of the thing to which comparisons are being made. So, when the object of a comparison is Danzig, one of the most brilliant stallions of the modern era, the subject is likely to come off second best. Danzig, after all, built an Average Earnings Index of 3.93, with his total of 198 black-type winners comprising 18% of his progeny, and he was one of the very...

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Winter Warmers Part Two: Ireland

In the second of a series (click here for part one), Tom Frary looks back at the standout Irish-trained juveniles of last season and considers who will be most prominent during their key Classic season. Finding the future celebrities of Ireland's Classic generation these days is relatively easy, with Ballydoyle almost qualifying as a country in its own right. With the mechanics at the incomparable Rosegreen establishment temporarily out of order for a spell during last summer, it would hardly have been a surprise if their A-list was diminished in...

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The Week in Review: War of Will Shows War Front's Versatility

When you go all the way to France to buy a 2-year-old who is by War Front out of a Sadler's Wells mare, you might have dreams of winning the GI Belmont Derby, the GI Secretariat S. or a Breeders' Cup race on the turf. But the GI Kentucky Derby? That didn't cross Mark Casse's mind when War of Will (War Front) showed up at his barn after being purchased by his brother Justin last year at the Arqana May 2-Year-Old Breeze Up Sale. Why would it? On behalf of...

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La Route: Sizing Up the French Sire Ranks

Set in the midst of the winter-gripped month of January, "La Route des Etalons" is by now firmly established which is no surprise given that it represents many welcome things in the post New Year slump. A chance to meet and greet old friends, both equine and human, a chance to traverse the verdant land of Upper Normandy brushed by the Atlantic air, a chance to size up the new blood among France's stallion ranks. It helps if you like stripy buildings too, of the chocolate-box variety, as there an...

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Wolfendale Turns Lifelong Passion into a Career

As a third-generation horse woman with a degree in broadcasting, the position of paddock analyst for the New York Racing Association was a perfect fit for Maggie Wolfendale. She started the job in 2010 and has since become the face of the New York racetracks, or at least their paddocks. "I grew up at the barn, barn 18 at Laurel Park [where her father Howard Wolfendale trained]," Wolfendale said on a blustery winter day at Aqueduct. "I had ponies and retired racehorses before really starting my life at the track....

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Beat The Clock Snaps Frustrating Streak in Centenary Sprint Cup

Though he had never finished outside the top three in his previous 17 career starts--no small feat in Hong Kong--Beat The Clock (Aus) (Hinchinbrook {Aus}) hadn't quite been able to solve the Group 1 question, with a pair of seconds and two thirds in his four tries at the level. But a booming victory in recent trial earned him the race-day endorsement of Joao Moreira and the duo capitalized on a perfect trip to narrowly defeat two-time G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint hero Mr Stunning (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus})...

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War Front Colt Runs to the Money in Lecomte

By War Front, out of a mare by Sadler's Wells and bred by the Niarchos Family's Flaxman Holdings Ltd., War of Will is--on paper, at a minimum--meant to be a turf horse. With turf Grade I/Group 1 winners such as Spinning World (Nureyev), Good Journey (Nureyev), Chimes of Freedom (Private Account) and Denon (Pleasant Colony) in his immediate family, who would really argue otherwise? Runner-up in the GI Summer S. and a competitive fifth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, all as a maiden, the bay colt was switched...

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All About the Bluegrass Roots for Koch

Never mind all this talk of walls; and never mind the fact that Matt Koch was actually putting up a fence when the idea was first put to him. Because here, in these notoriously fractured times, is a young Republican eager to build bridges. As co-owner of Shawhan Place, Koch was supervising a consignment at the Keeneland January Sale last week when breaking off to Frankfort to be sworn in as the new state representative for the 72nd District of Kentucky. The day after his election last November, similarly, it...

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Breeders' Cup Winner Red Rocks Dies

Red Rocks (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}-Pharmacist {Ire}, by Machiavellian), one of four Group 1 winners from his sire's first crop and the first of Galileo's four winners of the GI Breeders' Cup Turf, died in September at Calumet Farm in Kentucky, Racing Post reports. Winner of the 2006 Listed Fairway S. at three for owner Paul Reddam, Red Rocks was then runner-up consecutively in the G2 King Edward VII S. at Royal Ascot, the G1 Grand Prix de Paris and the G2 Great Voltigeur S. before finishing third behind fellow first-crop...

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Value Sires Part Six: Proven Sires

Over the last three weeks, we have dissected sire lists aplenty in an effort to uncover some hidden gems in our value sires series. After first speculating on those young pretenders whose progeny have yet to see a racecourse, last week we dug into those sires who have handed us some solid clues with their first crop or two on the track. Today, we pay homage to the older battlers who, despite changes in fashionability and fee fluctuations, with books rising and falling, continue to reward breeders and deliver. In...

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Competitive Field for Lecomte

The New Orleans' route to the Kentucky Derby kicks off with the GIII Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds Saturday and a competitive field of 14, plus one also-eligible, has been entered for the one-mile-and-70-yard race. Imperial Racing's Plus Que Parfait (Point of Entry), who will break from post 12, is the tepid 9-2 morning-line favorite. The Brendan Walsh trainee graduated going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland Oct. 7 and was closing late when he came up a neck short of Signalman (General Quarters) in the Nov. 24 GII Kentucky Jockey...

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