Kentucky Derby

Writers’ Room Podcast: Saudi Cup, Fountain of Youth Now up

This week, writers Joe Bianca, Alan Carasso, Bill Finley and Jon Green caught up with Dennis Albaugh, who owns two top threats for the Kentucky Derby, Dennis' Moment and Thousand Words. They also relive the racing and breeding career of A.P. Indy, and preview this week's Saudi Cup and the Fountain of Youth. Click here to listen. 

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Derby Winning Rider Ray York Dies

Raymond York, who rode Determine to victory in the 1954 Kentucky Derby at the age of 20, has died following a one-year battle with pneumonia at an extended care facility near Bakersfield, CA. He was 86. "Ray passed away peacefully this past Sunday," said Michael McKay, York's longtime girlfriend. "He loved racing so much and all the people he had known over the years, but we haven't been able to visit Santa Anita for several years due to his health," she added. "We had a great time together and we...

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How ‘Dennis’ Jump Started Ballysax

Call it seizing the moment. Carl McEntee's very first Saratoga consignment, just a couple of weeks after hanging out a shiny new Ballysax board at the July Sale in Lexington. A consignment, admittedly, comprising of a single Tiznow colt. "Obviously everyone wants to take a yearling to Saratoga," McEntee says. "And it's very simple to say, 'Let's take this Tapit up there, or this War Front, this Pharoah.' Great, if you have those horses. At that stage, in a fledgling company that'd been going six months, I didn't have clientele...

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With Chance It, Joseph Close to Fulfilling Derby Dream

When Saffie Joseph, Jr. arrived in the U.S. from Barbados in 2011, the then 24-year-old didn't come here to be just another trainer. He wanted what racing in Barbados could never offer him, a chance to prosper on a big stage and to become one of the top trainers in the sport. Some nine years later, he's on his way, capturing training titles at Gulfstream and Gulfstream Park West and winning graded stakes with horses like GI Pennsylvania Derby winner Math Wizard (Algorithms). This year alone, he's won six stakes,...

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Romans as Confident as Ever in Dennis’ Moment

It's been nearly four months since Dennis' Moment (Tiznow) was last seen finishing last in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the result of a bad stumble at the start. That's not the way anyone wants to go into their 3-year-old season, but nothing that he has seen from Dennis' Moment has lessened the enthusiasm trainer Dale Romans has for his horse. "At this stage going into the Derby, I think he's probably the best prospect I've ever had," Romans said. "I've had a lot of good ones and I've had...

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The Week in Review: Maximum Security Will Make his Case for Superstardom

When Maximum Security (New Year's Day) touched down in Saudi Arabia last week, a new chapter began for the horse that had a star-crossed 2019. On Saturday, he will face the stiffest challenge of his career in the inaugural running of the $20-million Saudi Cup. It's a race that will answer a lot of questions, but don't be surprised if the end result is an emphatic win from last year's 3-year-old male champion. While Maximum Security had a strong 3-year-old campaign, his year was remembered more for what didn't happen...

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Cafe Pharoah Last To First in Hyacinth

Making his first start since a towering 10-length graduation over nine furlongs on his Dec. 14 debut at Nakayama, Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah), one of six winners from seven Japanese runners for his Triple Crown-winning stallion, bombed the start of Sunday's Listed Hyacinth S. at Tokyo, but gradually worked his way into contention and sprinted hard in the final furlong to score by 1 1/4 lengths. He is the sixth first-crop stakes winner for American Pharoah. Favored at just over even money, the $475,000 OBS March acquisition by Emmanuel de...

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Buzzed About Liam’s Map Colt Gets it Done at Gulfstream

3rd-Gulfstream, $43,000, Msw, 2-22, 3yo, 7f, 1:24.21, gd. LIAM'S POINT (c, 3, Liam's Map--Kittery Point, by Include) entered his Saturday unveiling with about as much buzz as a firster can garner, and while he had to work harder than his 3-5 off odds suggested he might, he got the job done while giving the impression of one who should improve with experience and maturity. Scrubbed along by Irad Ortiz, Jr. as he struggled some to find his stride early, the bay settled into a three-deep stalking spot down the backside...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 19

That rumbling noise you heard over the weekend was the first seasonal shifting within the Top 12 rankings, sort of like an early spring thaw that finally calves the iceberg. Five horses have leapfrogged onto the list since its last publication, and we're now at the 75-day mark to the GI Kentucky Derby.   1) THOUSAND WORDS (c, Pioneerof the Nile--Pomeroys Pistol, by Pomeroy) O-Albaugh Family Stables & Spendthrift Farm. B-Hardacre Farm (Fl). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $1,000,000 yrl '18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 3-3-0-0, $211,000. Last Start: 1st GIII...

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Silver Prospector Gets the Trip, Rallies to Take Southwest

A somewhat puzzling and well-beaten fourth as the second betting favorite in the Jan. 24 Smarty Jones S., Ed and Susie Orr's Silver Prospector (Declaration of War) made amends in no uncertain terms in Monday's $500,000 Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park, parlaying a perfect trip into a one-length defeat of pacesetting Wells Bayou (Lookin At Lucky) at better than 9-2. Answer In (Dialed In), favored off his runner-up effort to Shoplifted (Into Mischief) in the Springboard Mile at Remington Dec. 15, checked in a distant third after racing erratically in...

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Speightstown Colt the Latest ‘TDN Rising Star’ for the Baffert Barn

Charlatan (Speightstown) would've likely gone favored in most Santa Anita maiden special weights if not for the presence Sunday of Lane Way (Into Mischief)--who was third behind Charlatan's 'TDN Rising Star' and GII San Vicente S.-winning stablemate Nadal (Blame) here last month--and he made 6-5 look like a particular bargain after zipping away in dominant fashion to get the 'Rising Star' nod himself. Seizing the lead without having to work particularly hard for it, the chestnut bowled along through splits of :21.89 and :44.72. He looked like a lock entering...

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Split Divisions, But No Split Decision in Risen Star

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton When you think of the Fair Grounds and its series of GI Kentucky Derby preps, it's easy to conjure up images of stamina-centric closers who can stay all day. The track's imposing 1,346-foot home stretch--for decades billed as the longest in North America, until the reconfigured Los Alamitos surpassed it by 34 feet in 2014--is the primary reason. The other, which is new this year, is the elongated change in distance for the three races in the Fair Grounds' January-March prep series. Most...

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