Taiba

Former NHC Champion Michael Beychok Joins Bettor Things with Joe Bianca

Michael Beychok, the 2012 National Handicapping Championship winner, has made plenty of headlines this year. A well-known, outspoken horseplayer, Beychok joined the latest episode of Bettor Things with Joe Bianca this week to talk about his class-action suit against Bob Baffert surrounding the since-vacated 2021 Kentucky Derby victory of Medina Spirit, his vow to move his handle to sports betting in response to drug issues in racing, the approach to tournament play that helped him win the NHC, his day job as a political consultant and more. Also this week,...

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'Rising Stars' Rendezvous at the Jersey Shore

The 'second season' for this year's crop of 3-year-olds--both boys and girls--gets underway in earnest with the running of the $1-million GI TVG.com Haskell S. at Monmouth Park for the males and the GI CCA Oaks about 2 1/2 hours earlier at Saratoga. And intriguing matchups between the top two morning-line choices loom in each of the nine-furlong tests. Zedan Racing Stable's 'TDN Rising Star' Taiba (Gun Runner) was made the narrow 7-5 Haskell favorite by oddsmaker Brad Thomas and was utterly brilliant in his first two career starts, winning...

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Bettor Things with Joe Bianca Episode 4: Michael Beychok

Michael Beychock, the 2012 National Handicapping Championship winner, has made plenty of headlines this year. A well-known, outspoken horseplayer, Beychok joined the latest episode of Bettor Things with Joe Bianca this week to talk about his class-action suit against Bob Baffert surrounding the since-vacated 2021 Kentucky Derby victory of Medina Spirit, his vow to move his handle to sports betting in response to drug issues in racing, the approach to tournament play that helped him win the NHC, his day job as a political consultant and more. Also this week,...

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Taiba Favored in Haskell

GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby hero and 'TDN Rising Star' Taiba (Gun Runner) was given the morning-line nod from post postion two at odds of 7-5 in the 55th GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S. Saturday at Monmouth Park. The nine-furlong centerpiece of the summer meeting at the Jersey Shore offers the winner a fees-paid berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland Nov. 5. It was a little more than three years ago that Maximum Security (New Year's Day) won the Haskell on a day where temperatures soared so...

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Taiba Haskell Bound

'TDN Rising Star' Taiba (Gun Runner) will contest next Saturday's GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S., trainer Bob Baffert confirmed to Monmouth Park officials Friday. The $1.7-million FTFMAR purchase by Zedan Racing Stables took the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby in just his second start, but was last seen finishing 12th in the GI Kentucky Derby May 7. Those last two starts came for trainer Tim Yakteen, who took over training of the colt during Baffert's recent suspension. "I hadn't seen him in a long time. I'm happy with the way...

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Taking Stock: Gun Runner in Heady Company

Two weeks ago, when I wrote the column "First Crops Yield Derby and Oaks Winners," I'd expected to write about Taiba (Gun Runner) and Secret Oath (Arrogate), the two I'd liked the most in the Gl Kentucky Derby and Gl Kentucky Oaks, respectively. I'd spoken mainly about those two on Steve Byk's popular SiriusXM program "At the Races," and my feeling was that Gun Runner in particular was on a trajectory to get a first-crop Classic winner. His start at stud had been exceptional with his first juveniles, and the...

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Rich Strike 'Looking Great' After Derby Shocker

RED TR-Racing's Rich Strike (Keen Ice) left Churchill Downs around 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday to head back to his main base at trainer Eric Reed's Mercury Equine Center in Lexington as a GI Kentucky Derby winner. "I couldn't sleep last night," Reed said after achieving his first Grade I victory and second graded victory in a career that began in 1985. "At four this morning I was wondering if this was real or if it was a dream. I got home and my kids and their friends were there with...

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Wednesday's Derby Report: Crown Pride & Taiba Works Highlight Busy Morning

LOUISVILLE, KY - Crown Pride (Jpn) (Reach the Crown {Jpn}) had Wednesday morning's 'Dawn at the Downs' crowd buzzing just three days out from the GI Kentucky Derby. With the G2 UAE Derby winner continuing to warm up with his popular dressage-like jogging routine in the chute on a very cool and overcast morning, Todd Pletcher's troops of Charge It (Tapit), Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) and Pioneer of Medina (Pioneerof the Nile) were the first to hit the track for the special Derby/Oaks training period at 7:30 a.m. Owner Jerry...

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The Ageless One, Mike Smith Looking to Make Derby History

It was back in 1984 when a 19-year-old kid named Mike Smith rode in his first GI Kentucky Derby aboard sixth-place finisher Pine Circle. He was the youngest jockey in the race. The oldest was a legend, the then 52-year-old Bill Shoemaker. Aboard Silent King, Shoemaker was riding in the Derby for the 23rd time. As for Smith, he was just happy to be there, not knowing when he would get another chance. He never thought that one day he would become the Shoemaker of his generation. That's what Smith...

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Zandon Tabbed as 3-1 Kentucky Derby ML Favorite from Post 10

LOUISVILLE, KY - With all of the morning buzz surrounding Zandon (Upstart) since his dramatic come-from-behind victory in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S., Mike Battaglia installed the handsome dark bay as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby after drawing right in the middle in post 10. The Jeff Drown colorbearer, a $170,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase, has posted a pair of much-discussed breezes for Chad Brown following his breakthrough win at Keeneland, including a visually impressive five-furlong move in 1:00.40 (7/43) at Churchill Downs Apr. 29....

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Taiba Puts in Final Derby Work

Undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Taiba (Gun Runner) had his final work ahead of the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby Thursday at Santa Anita, going six furlongs in 1:12.80 in company with Drayden Van Dyke aboard. "It was very straight forward," trainer Tim Yakteen said. "He worked three-quarters from the five-eighth pole. It was a typical Taiba work and we accomplished what we wanted. I got him in 1:12.60 and out in 1:26. We're good." An ultra-impressive debut winner at Santa Anita Mar. 5, the $1.7-million FTFMAR buy followed suit with...

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The TDN Kentucky Derby Top 20 for April 19

With all the points-earning preps completed, the GI Kentucky Derby picture moves into "microscope mode" as we approach the two-week mark. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. Access that list here. 1) ZANDON (c, Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) O-Jeff Drown. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $170,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-2-1-1, $713,000. Last Start: 1st GI Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 9. Next Start: GI Kentucky Derby, CD, May...

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