Kenny McPeek

The Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for April 11

Prep season for the GI Kentucky Oaks is over and we have a pretty good idea of who is going to be in the race and which ones are the horses to beat. With three major preps--the GI Ashland S., the GII Santa Anita Oaks and the GIII Gazelle S.--all run over the weekend, there was plenty of movement in our Top 10. But the very solid Tarifa (Bernardini) maintains the top spot for Brad Cox. Here's a look at the latest installment of our Kentucky Oaks Top Ten: 1)...

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Mystik Dan Confirmed for Arkansas Derby, Catching Freedom Possible

Trainer Kenny McPeek confirmed that GIII Southwest S. winner Mystik Dan (Goldencents) is pointing for the GI Arkansas Derby Mar. 30. McPeek said Mystik Dan returned to the Fair Grounds shortly after his eight-length victory in the Southwest, which was postponed a week because of winter weather. According to McPeek, the 21-day return to the GII Rebel S. factored into McPeek's decision to train Mystik Dan up to the Arkansas Derby. McPeek originally sent Mystik Dan to the Fair Grounds to prepare for the Southwest after arctic temperatures, snow and...

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Kenny McPeek Joins TDN Writers' Room Podcast

No one was hotter last week than trainer Kenny McPeek, who won two stakes at Oaklawn over the weekend, one a prep for the GI Kentucky Derby, the other a prep for the GI Kentucky Oaks. McPeek scored with the filly Band of Gold (Preservationist), who, at 24-1, won the Martha Washington S. Two races later, it was the colt Mystik Dan (Goldencents), who was an impressive eight-length winner of the GIII Southwest S. at odds of 11-1. That meant there was plenty to talk about when McPeek joined this...

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Kenny McPeek Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Trainer Kenny McPeek joins this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss his big weekend at Oaklawn Park, including a win in the GIII Southwest S. with Mystik Dan (Goldencents).

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Kenny McPeek's Mystik Dan Upends Oaklawn's Southwest

One of four Kentucky Derby preps run Saturday, the $800,000 GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park was the richest. It also promised to be the most wide-open betting contest and it didn't disappoint as a mud-splattered 11-1 MYSTIK DAN (c, 3, Goldencents--Ma'am, by Colonel John) pulled the upset for trainer Kenny McPeek. Last fall's Ed Brown S. winner Just Steel (Justify) got up for second while GIII Street Sense S. winner Liberal Arts (Arrogate) secured third. The Southwest offers points on a 20-10-6-4-2 scale for the Road to the Kentucky...

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Bealmear Wins First Career Race at Oaklawn

Apprentice jockey Joseph Bealmear earned the first win of his career when guiding We Miss Arlington to victory in the second race at Oaklawn Park Saturday. We Miss Arlington was the 11th career mount for Bealmear, according to Equibase, and came almost 44 years after his father, retired jockey Ben Bealmear, recorded his first career victory at Oaklawn. The 19-year-old, who rode his first race Nov. 30 at Turfway Park, celebrated his first victory by pumping his right arm twice after crossing the finish line. "I just couldn't contain it,"...

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Is The Derby Purse Fair? Opinion From The Industry

In the Sept. 30 edition of the Thoroughbred Daily News, we ran an interview with John Sikura in which he raised questions about the funding mechanism and purse of the Kentucky Derby. In the article, Sikura says: "(The Kentucky Derby is) "The single event that drives the commerce of the industry. The point of entry to virtually everybody that owns a horse: 'I want to win the Kentucky Derby.' If you're fortunate enough to do so, there should be a financial reward that recognizes that--not just pride in achievement. A...

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Gaffalione, Cox Lock Up Churchill Fall Meet Titles

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione and trainer Brad Cox entered the final day of racing Sunday at Churchill Downs having already locked up their respective titles for the 14-day September Meet. Both successfully defended their titles from a year ago and set new September Meet records for wins: Gaffalione with 25 victories through 13 days and Cox with 15. Gaffalione more than doubled second-place Cristian Torres's 12 wins prior to Sunday's 10-race card. This will be Gaffalione's 10th riding title at Churchill Downs since 2018 and fourth-straight September Meet title. Cox's dominant...

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Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Back At Woodbine, Derby-Oaks Roads Begin At Churchill

Racing roads converge this Saturday. With a little over a month left before horses and their connections officially point to Santa Anita, the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series returns to Woodbine Racetrack. Featured are three 'Win and You're In' chances, including the GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile. Meanwhile, at Churchill Downs, the prep seasons officially open for 2-year-old colts and fillies, who are seeking to bank points for next May's 150th editions of the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks. There is much to get to with Belmont at the Big...

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Different Hats Keep McDonald Ever Hopeful

Perhaps it is called the Hopeful Stakes because that's the most anyone can ever be with a Thoroughbred. But if nearly any purchaser at Keeneland over the next couple of weeks would like to be contesting that race, a year from now, then one consignor might give them not just hope but something closer to confidence. Okay, so a trifecta for Eaton Sales graduates in the Saratoga Grade I last year featured only the winner, Forte (Violence), from the 2021 Keeneland September Sale. Runner-up Gulfport (Uncle Mo) and third Blazing...

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Rattle N Roll Keeps On Shakin' For McPeek

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Rattle N Roll (Connect)'s very promising and then down-a-bit career path is on a solid upward trajectory approaching the historic $1 million GI Jockey Club Gold Cup Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. With six wins--five of them in graded stakes--and just over $1.6 million in earnings, Rattle N Roll has been a big success for the Mackin family's Lucky Seven Stable. After a two-month break from competition, the chestnut will face seven others in the 1 1/4 miles Gold Cup, long one of the premier races...

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Alabama Rolls Strong Draw Amid This Weekend's Graded Stakes

"What's in a name?" Spurning Master Shakespeare and embracing anecdotal evidence, consider the tale of how Saratoga's Oklahoma Training Track got its name. Horsemen complained that the distance across Union Avenue to the main course was such a hike that it might as well be in Boomer Sooner land. Another piece from the past concerns the name of the Alabama S. Dating to 1872, the race was given that moniker after the Derby-winning owner William Cottrell of Mobile asked if it could be dubbed after his home state, instead of...

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