Ken McPeek

Derby And Oaks Points Ripe On Graded Sunny Saturday At Oaklawn

The massive deep freeze which crippled the second half of Oaklawn Park's January cards seems like a distant memory, as weekend weather in Hot Springs looks to punch through the upper 60s and into the lower 70s. The sunshine will be a welcome sight with points intended for passage to the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks ripe for the picking.   Timberlake Favorite Choice in Rebel The Arkansas series for the colts features another running of the GII Rebel S., which brings together a field of 13. The...

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McPeek Hits 2,000 Milestone at Turfway Wednesday Evening with Stoneleigh Farm Homebred

5th-Turfway, $68,705, Msw, 2-21, 3yo, f, 1m (AWT), 1:39.64, ft, 3 1/2 lengths. WINNABLE (f, 3, Justify--Mischievousmaximus, by Curlin) became the 2,000th career winner for trainer Ken McPeek with this debut score at Turfway Park Wednesday evening. Overlooked at 14-1 here, the Stoneleigh Farm homebred raced under a snug hold in third, loomed up while three deep on the far turn and took care of business from there to win impressively by 3 1/2 lengths. Mischievousmaximus, a full-sister to Classic winner Exaggerator, was bred to Justify for 2024. Winnable is...

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TDN Sophomore Top 12: 'Rising Stars' Anchor Top Three Spots

You may have noticed a change in the title of this column, from "Derby Top 12" to "Sophomore Top 12." Churchill Downs, Inc., has barred trainer Bob Baffert from competing in the GI Kentucky Derby, and that left us in a quandary over how to assess the nation's best 3-year-old prospects. It didn't seem right to dismiss the accomplishments of elite-level sophomores, regardless of whether they were eligible for the Derby or not. Nor did it seem proper to ignore the benchmarks their performances provide to help establish the overall...

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Friday Insights: Mendelssohn Filly Steps To The Rostrum For Oaklawn Debut

1st-OP, $115K, Msw, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:30 p.m. ET. Under the baton of Ken McPeek, MIDSUMMER MARCH (Mendelssohn) debuts for Walking L Thoroughbreds. The dark bay initially sold to Sycamore Hall for $280,000 at the 2021 Keeneland November Sale before hammering down for $425,000 during the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale, which was the highest priced yearling for her sire in 2022. Bred by David Fennelly's Mountmellick Farm, the filly is out of GIII Torrey Pines S. winner Munny Spunt (Munnings), who sold for $340,000 at Fasig-Tipton Winter Mixed Sale...

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'Rising Star' Nash Faces Track Phantom In Lecomte Rematch Headlining Saturday Graded Races

Like one of those old split-flap mechanical signs at train stations, everyone knows that in the new year the 'Run for the Roses' leaderboard will fluctuate. Week-to-week, the top points begin to compound--from 20 to the winner Saturday and going as high as 100 to the winner come April. The trail to Derby 150 begins a much steeper ascent on Saturday at Fair Grounds in New Orleans as the GIII Lecomte S. offers 3-year-old colts 20-10-6-4-2 that can be applied to Bank of Churchill. This year's edition pits a field...

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Common Defense Delivers 'Unbelievable' First for Norevale

Common Defense (Karakontie {Jpn}), the first foal born at Sarah and Leo Dooley's Norevale Farm, provided the couple with an emotional trip to the winner's circle when he broke free of the pack late and powered home a maiden winner at Oaklawn Park last Saturday. "We have a four-month old daughter and I woke her up from her nap with all of the screaming," admitted Sarah Dooley. "We were so excited. He was the first foal born on the farm, we bred him, it was our first year foaling, we...

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Sunday's Racing Insights: Well-Related Daughter Of Arrogate Makes The Races At Aqueduct

1st-AQU, $85K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, 12:20 p.m. ET. Charles Matses homebred GATE SONG (Arrogate) makes her first start for trainer Ned Allard. Out of SW Shannanies Song, she counts as half-siblings GII Summertime Oaks runner-up Bellamentary (Bellamy Road), GII Swale S. hero Favorable Outcome (Flatter), Dubai Group 3 stakes winner Mouheeb (Flatter) and GIII Fantasy S. runner-up Beguine (Gun Runner). Also making her first start is Robert Evans homebred Reconcile (War Front) for trainer Linda Rice. The gray filly's dam is a half-sister to GIII Comely S. heroine Raging...

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Goldencents Colt Breaks Maiden In Style At Churchill

4th-Churchill Downs, $121,125, Msw, 11-12, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 1:03.27, ft, 7 3/4 lengths. MYSTIK DAN (c, 2, Goldencents--Ma'am, by Colonel John) broke quickly in his debut Oct. 22 at Keeneland, but lost the lead down the lane to finish second. Tabbed as the 4-5 choice here, the bay colt tracked the pacesetter from second up the backstretch. Making his move to the outside around the far turn, the Ken McPeek trainee built up a head of steam and really poured it on to win by 7 3/4 lengths over Eusebius...

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Fast Anna Filly Drops The 'Hammer' En Route to 'Rising Star' Honors

Brookdale Racing and Mark Edwards's Thorpedo Anna (f, 2, Fast Anna--Sataves, by Uncle Mo) proved that her wide-margin debut success in a sales price-restricted Keeneland maiden Oct. 26 was no fluke, backing up that performance with an even bigger one Friday at Churchill en route to 'TDN Rising Star' honors. Tightening from even money to jump at exactly 2-5, the $40,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling switched off beautifully and settled in a three-wide third behind fractions of :23.22 and :46.74. Slipped a bit of rein at the three-eighths, Thorpedo Anna loomed...

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First Stakes Winner for Freshman Sire Enticed at the Big A

Shimming Allure finished a credible fourth in a very competitive renewal of Keeneland's GI Alcibiades S. last month, and found the step back to easier company to her liking, taking the Tempted S. at Aqueduct Sunday. Not particularly hurried out of gate 1, the filly found herself near the back as longshot Belle's Blue Bell (Girvin) cut out respectable opening splits in :23.03 and :46.48. Flanked by Perfectly Wicked from the back, Shimmering Allure picked up the tempo markedly exiting the backstretch and swung out several paths wide turning for...

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Stars Bright As Keeneland's Fall Trumpet Sounds

The fall isn't really, The Fall, until Keeneland arrives. Well, get your steaming pot of burgoo ready, because it's here. Scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6, the meet's opening day at the Old Keene Farm is upon us and the 10-race card includes a trio of graded stakes which all have Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' implications. Leading off is the GII Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the Main Track. Suitors for the GI Breeders' Cup Qatar Racing Sprint include MSW Bango...

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Saturday Insights: $625k OBS Grad Makes First Start At Delaware

5th-DEL, $38K, Msw, 2yo, 5 1/2f, 2:30 p.m. AMERICAN WAR HERO (Constitution) will make his first start for owner Boardshorts Racing. The dark bay colt brought $165,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sale in July before running a furlong at 10.1 during the breeze show and then pinhooked for $625,000 at the OBS March Sale. The Graham Motion trainee is out of GISP Libby's Tail (Tiz Wonderful) who also produced a yearling colt by Improbable that went for $135,000 at the Keeneland September Sale to Michael Rullo. TJCIS PPS 5th-CD, $120K,...

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