May 5, 2014 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A decade ago, Churchill Downs was in the midst of a major renovation. A few hours before the 2004 Kentucky Derby, it really looked as if the world might end - lightning, thunder, a deluge. The area was quickly becoming a construction zone/flood zone. John Servis was waiting out the final hours in the barn, not far from the stall that housed the unbeaten Pennsylvania-bred Smarty Jones owned by Roy and Pat Chapman. The Philadelphia Park-based trainer had guided the Arkansas Derby to this moment flawlessly.
May 1, 2014 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Nearly a half century of Aprils have passed since 18-year-old stablehand Art Sherman shared a sleeping bag with a groom on a 4-day cross-country train ride destined for Churchill Downs. They were accompanying the best race horse ever born in California to his date with Kentucky Derby glory. The legendary Swaps, who would eventually set six world records, upset the heavily favored Nashua in the 1955 Derby. A once-in-a-lifetime horse, Swaps would eventually get a statue at Hollywood Park and a permanent place in the heart of that teenager who would become his exercise rider.
April 28, 2014 |
The race itself, Stewart Elliott still insists, was like most any other. "You're just riding," Elliott said. "It doesn't sound right, but you're just riding a race. " Even if it's the Kentucky Derby, and you're riding in it for the first time, on a favorite named Smarty Jones. If all that's true, if there's no moment to process what's happening, even in the final strides, the result hits you like an emotional ton of bricks, when you realize you've ridden it correctly and won the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
May 10, 2013 |
Kentucky Derby winner Orb pleased trainer Shug McGaughey on Thursday with a steady workout on a sloppy track at Belmont Park. "He jogged three-eighths to a half-mile and galloped a mile. I thought everything was good," said McGaughey, whose colt had jogged a mile Wednesday at the track in Elmont, N.Y., in his first workout since his 21/2-length victory at Churchill Downs on Saturday. "The track was still sloppy," he said. "[Exercise rider Jenn Patterson] said he was kind of bucking and playing and jumping the water puddles on the backstretch.
May 5, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The four of them will be sitting on Millionaires Row, which only begins to hint at their real worth, and rooting for a horse named Normandy Invasion. "If he's as lucky as the rest of us," said 90-year-old Ray Woods, with a nod toward his friends, "he'll win. " Woods and the others will be rooting for Rick Porter's bay at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday because of what the horse owner has done for vets. For most of his 20 years in the business, the ex-soldier has been naming horses to honor veterans.
May 3, 2013
Parx Racing will resume live racing Friday with a first post of 12:25 p.m. There also will be early wagering on Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Friday's simulcast schedule is highlighted by Kentucky Oaks Day. Fans can wager on a daily double coupling the Kentucky Oaks and Saturday's Kentucky Derby. For Kentucky Derby Saturday, the track will open at 10 a.m., with simulcasting beginning at Churchill at 10:30. The live program will begin at 12:25 p.m.
April 30, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Bob Baffert won't be saddling a horse in the Kentucky Derby, for the first time since 2008. The Hall of Fame trainer said Monday that Govenor Charlie would not run in Saturday's Run for the Roses. His other possibility, Code West, also won't compete in the Derby at Churchill Downs. Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie was 11th on the points leaderboard that determines the 20-horse field for the 11/4-mile race. Code West was ranked 21st. Baffert hasn't been on the Derby sidelines since 2007 and 2008.