Ken McPeek

Juveniles Headline Saturday Graded Stakes Action

Curly Jack (Good Magic) looks to return to winning ways at a venue at which he is already two-for-two in Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill Downs. A debut winner at this oval in June, he was off the board in Saratoga's GIII Sanford S. in July, but missed by just a head in the Ellis Park Juvenile S. in August. Rallying to victory in this oval's GIII Iroquois S. Sept. 17, the bay was fifth at odds of 55-1 in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland...

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Keeneland Opens With a Trio of Breeders' Cup Qualifiers

Keeneland opens its highly anticipated fall meet Friday with a trio of graded stakes that each provide the winners with a spot in the gate for the Breeders' Cup World Championships to be held in Lexington the first weekend of November. The highlight of the day will be the GI Darley Alcibiades S., a qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Ken McPeek and Brad Cox have taken turns the last few years, each winning two of the last four, and McPeek has the morning-line favorite in last-out GIII...

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Derby and Oaks Day, Oklahoma Style

Sunday's GIII Oklahoma Derby and GIII Remington Park Oaks give the sophomore set a late-season option at age-restricted competition, with some marquee names making the trek across to Oklahoma City. Brad Cox has sent out the winners of the last three runnings of the centerpiece of the local racing calendar--Owendale (Into Mischief, 2019); Shared Sense (Street Sense, 2020); and Warrant (Constitution, 2021) and can break the tie with Donnie K. Von Hemel should Gary and Mary West's Best Actor (Flatter) validate his morning-line favoritism. The $330,000 Keeneland September purchase has...

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Klimt Filly Caps Big Day for McPeek in Iowa Oaks

Well-supported at 39-10, Butterbean (Klimt) completed a most productive Saturday for the Ken McPeek barn, accelerating sharply three furlongs out before cruising home to a handy success in Saturday's GIII Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows. A convincing 5 3/4-length winner of the local Oaks prep in the June 11 Panthers S. over a mile, the chestnut was dragged back to last and dropped down onto the fence to caboose the field through an opening couple of furlongs in a solid :23.50. Content to bide her time in the rear, Butterbean...

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A Classic Upset: Classic Causeway Wires Belmont Derby at 25-1

A season that has had more ups and downs than the Cyclone at nearby Coney Island reached new heights for Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway), as the blaze-faced chestnut--making his first start on the grass--forgot to stop en route to a 3/4-length defeat of Godolphin's favored Nations Pride (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) in Saturday's $1-million GI Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational on Long Island. Peter Brant's Stone Age (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), heretofore never worse than midfield in the early stages of any of his previous eight trips to the races, made steady progress...

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Monday's Racing Insights: Pricey Gun Runner Filly Debuts at Churchill

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-CD, $120K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, 2:13 p.m. Heider Family Stables' STUNNINGLY (Gun Runner) makes her first trip to the post Monday for trainer Steve Asmussen. Out of stakes winner Happy Mesa (Sky Mesa), the chestnut filly was a $675,000 Keeneland September acquisition. Trainer Mark Casse sends outs firster Forever Dixie (Quality Road). The John Oxley homebred is a daughter of graded winner Dixie Strike (Dixie Union). Ken McPeek saddles the debuting Aunt Mischief (Into Mischief), a daughter of Grade I placed Motown Lady (Uncle...

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Report: Classic Causeway Transferred To McPeek

Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway), winner of this year's GIII Sam F. Davis S. and GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, has been transferred from trainer Brian Lynch to Ken McPeek, Daily Racing Form reports. One of just three members from his sire's final crop, the chestnut was a splashy Saratoga debut winner last September before finishing third to Rattle N Roll (Connect) in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and to 'TDN Rising Star' Smile Happy (Runhappy) in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Both winners are trained by McPeek. A...

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Preakness Alibi Breakfast Highlights Thursday

BALTIMORE, MD--In the continued lead up to Saturday's GI Preakness S., the intensity in the air, as well as the increasing media presence, grew noticeably denser Thursday morning at Pimlico. A couple of groups of fans could be seen milling around the Stakes Barn area, in addition to large clusters of media hoping to get in their final interviews in before a jam-packed weekend of racing. Drawing a gaggle of reporters and interested onlookers, morningline favorite Epicenter (Not This Time), who continued with his usual routine and went out for...

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Busy Saturday Morning for Kentucky Derby and Oaks Workers

It was an action-packed Saturday morning at Churchill Downs for GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks workers. At 5:15 a.m., the Brad Cox-trained duo of GI Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife (Gun Runner) and GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby runner-up and 'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings) worked six furlongs together in 1:11.20 (1/4) and 1:11.40 (2/4), respectively. At 7:30 a.m., GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. winner Tawny Port (Pioneerof the Nile), with newly named jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., worked five furlongs for Cox in 1:01.60 (30/57). "There's a lot of excitement leading...

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No Denying Tiz A Gamble On Dirt

There's nothing like giving up on a stallion, and offloading him overseas, to guarantee a sudden transformation in his fortunes. The latest exile to rebuke his vendors is Race Day, who was exported to Korea 18 months ago but last Saturday turned out to have left behind not only GI Florida Derby winner White Abarrio but also GI Arkansas Derby runner-up Barber Road. But if this industry is too unpredictable for even a team as alert as Spendthrift to win every time, their program will reliably even things out. And...

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Ken McPeek Talks Derby Hopefuls Tiz the Bomb, Smile Happy On Writers' Room

Housing as many as three GI Kentucky Derby starters in his barn, trainer Kenny McPeek joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week Tuesday to discuss Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb)'s dirt prospects and potential summer European campaign, his plan for likely GI Toyota Blue Grass S. favorite Smile Happy (Runhappy) to run in all three Triple Crown races, his thoughts on the continuing phase-out of Lasix in American racing and more. Tiz the Bomb, a dual stakes winner and...

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Second Chances: Creative Minister Another Promising Sophomore for McPeek Barn

In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar. Think the word was out on Creative Minister (c, 3, Creative Cause--Tamboz, by Tapit) ahead of his unveiling on the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. undercard at Gulfstream Park Mar. 5 (video)? Hammered down to 5-2 favoritism off a 15-1 morning-line quote--having last year's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity winner Rattle N Roll (Connect) as a regular workmate will certainly do that--Creative Minister was quickly outsprinted in a...

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