Doug O'Neill

Tahoma is First Winner for Justify

West Coast Stables' Tahoma (c, 2, Justify--Madera Dancer, by Rahy) became the first winner for his Triple Crown-winning sire with a two-length victory at Santa Anita Sunday. The chestnut colt, sent off the 4-5 favorite, tracked the pacesetters four wide through an opening quarter in :22.21. Still four wide, he rolled up to take a narrow advantage at the top of the lane, completed the half-mile in :47.01 and drew away inside the final sixteenth for a facile victory. Salta (Carpe Diem) was second and Eagles Landing (Competitive Edge) was...

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Preakness Full Circle Moments

BALTIMORE, MD--Every year, a new batch of sophomores converges upon Pimlico Race Course. And while the names of the contenders is ever changing, the people behind them are remain fairly consistent. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas casts a very long shadow in the second jewel in the Triple Crown, having won it on six prior occasions. From his first Preakness victory with Codex in 1980, Lukas has gone on to add wins with Tank's Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995), Charismatic (1999) and Oxbow (2013). One...

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Should the Triple Crown Be Changed? We Ask Trainers to Weigh In

After the connections of GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice) opted to skip the GI Preakness S. and instead prepare for the GI Belmont S., the structure of the Triple Crown races has been a subject of debate leading up to the second leg of the historic series. Should the timing between the races be adjusted? We asked a few veteran trainers here.     Mark Casse: I think it has to stay the same. I think it's nonsense to talk any different. This is history, this is...

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Epicenter Sitting on Go for Preakness

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter (Not This Time) remained on target for Saturday's GI Preakness S. after a 1 1/2-mile gallop at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. "He seems to be pretty sharp," Scott Blasi, who oversees trainer Steve Asmussen's Churchill division, said of the GI Kentucky Derby runner-up and likely Preakness favorite. "I love how he's doing. He galloped today like that was nothing; walked off the track with good energy. We'll put a little work in him and go. Not much to do from here on out.... [but] win." Epicenter had...

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Gormley Colt Runs Them Off Their Feet at Keeneland

8th-Keeneland, $100,000, Msw, 4-24, 3yo, 7f, 1:27.05, ft, 11 1/4 lengths. B DAWK (c, 3, Gormley--Mott N Hester, by Super Saver) closed to get up for third debuting at five furlongs on the Del Mar turf Nov. 14 and improved a spot switching to dirt at Santa Anita on New Year's Eve. Bombing at 1-2 when sixth switching to Tapeta at Golden Gate, he ran a distant third behind impressive High Connection (Connect) back on the Arcadia main track Mar. 26 and was dispatched at 44-5 shipping in for this...

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Ky Derby 148 Bottle to Benefit TRF

For the second consecutive year, Stoneware & Co. will offer a signed, numbered and limited number of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby 148 bottles to benefit the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). This year's signed collector's edition will commemorate the 10th anniversary of I'll Have Another winning the Run for the Roses, and will be signed by two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Doug O'Neill and two-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey, Mario Gutierrez. "It is an exciting time of year with the Kentucky Derby approaching," said Pat Stickney, TRF's Executive Director. "With so...

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Slow Down Andy to Beat in Sunland Derby

Reddam Racing's Slow Down Andy (Nyquist), unable to make a dent in the GII Risen Star S. last out, will look to bounce back as the favorite in Sunday's GIII Sunland Derby at Sunland Prak. Graduating impressively by 4 3/4 lengths against fellow California-breds on debut Oct. 9 at Santa Anita, the homebred finished a hard-fought second in the state-bred Golden State Juvenile S. on the Breeders' Cup undercard Nov. 5 at Del Mar before stepping into open company for the first time and upsetting next-out 15-length GIII Robert B....

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Life Is Good Draws Gate One in Dubai World Cup

WinStar Farm and China Horse Club's Life Is Good (Into Mischief), who won the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. in dominating fashion, has drawn gate one in the $12-million G1 Dubai World Cup. The 4-year-old colt is six for seven, with five of his wins at the graded level. Elliott Walden, president and racing manager of co-owner WinStar Farm said, "It's an 11-horse field. He has enough time to get over, and has enough speed to put himself in a good position. It's...

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Beholder Among 11 Hall of Fame Finalists for 2022

Four-time Eclipse winner Beholder (Henny Hughes) is among six racehorses, four trainers and one jockey that make up the 11 finalists for the National Museum of Racing's 2022 Hall of Fame ballot, as chosen by the Museum's Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. The finalists are racehorses Beholder (first year of eligibility), Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision), Havre de Grace (Saint Liam), Kona Gold (Java Gold), Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy), and Tepin (Bernstein) (first year of eligibility); trainers Christophe Clement, Graham Motion, Doug O'Neill and John Shirreffs; and jockey Corey Nakatani....

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Hidden Connection Must Overcome Draw in Rachel Alexandra

No fewer than three fillies (Untapable, 2014; Monomoy Girl, 2018; and Serengeti Empress, 2019) have used a victory in the GII Rachel Alexandra S. Presented by Fasig-Tipton as a springboard to success in the GI Kentucky Oaks, won so impressively by Rachel Alexandra in 2009. A field of 11 sophomore females will face the starter in Saturday's renewal looking to continue on the road to Louisville on the first Friday in May. Hidden Connection (Connect) has been made the 3-1 morning-line favorite, a starting price likely inflated by her draw...

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Hot Rod Charlie Wins In Dubai

The G1 Dubai World Cup was nominated late last season as the next major goal for the Grade I-winning and dual Classic-placed Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), and the 4-year-old will head to that $12-million contest on Mar. 26 a key contender after a five-length victory in Friday's G2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 at Meydan. Hot Rod Charlie was caught on the wire last out in the GII San Antonio S. going 1700 metres at Santa Anita, but he had no such trouble in the Al Maktoum Challenge over a...

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O'Neill Sending Eight To Dubai World Cup Carnival

A group of eight horses trained by Doug O'Neill led by GI Pennsylvania Derby hero Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) is being aimed at the upcoming Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse, according to a tweet from the Dubai Racing Club Monday. The octet is scheduled to touch down in Dubai Jan. 18 and their preparations will be overseen by assistant trainer Leandro Mora, O'Neill confirmed via text Monday. It will be the second time in three years that the conditioner will be represented by horses stabled in Dubai, having...

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