November 30, 2011 |
UNION RAGS HAS been relaxing in South Florida since the day after his dramatic late run in the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs fell just short. The first loss of his career did not change the colt's status as the early favorite for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. While Union Rags gets some rest and time to grow, trainer Michael Matz has mapped out a two-race plan to get the colt back to Churchill for the May 5 Derby. Matz is looking at the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Sunday, Feb. 26, and the $1 million Florida Derby on Saturday, March 31. Both races are at Gulfstream Park.
November 6, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Court Vision pulled off a 64-1 upset Saturday at Churchill Downs in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile, nipping Turallure by a nose while three-time champion Goldikova finished third in her final race. Goldikova failed in her quest for an unprecedented fourth straight Breeders' Cup win. She battled her way to a brief lead in deep stretch but could not hold off the pair of late challengers. Court Vision paid $131.60, the second-highest payoff in the world championships after the $269.20 Arcangues paid in the 1993 Classic.
November 5, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Royal Delta won the $2 million Ladies' Classic by 21/2 lengths under the lights Friday at Churchill Downs, capping an opening day of the Breeders' Cup that included three upsets. Royal Delta rallied in the final furlong to give Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his second straight win and fourth overall in the Ladies' Classic. It's Tricky finished second and Pachattack was another 21/4 lengths back in third. Kentucky Oaks and Cotillion winner Plum Pretty, trained by Bob Baffert, was fourth in the 10-horse field.
November 4, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Roy Jackson, co-owner of the great and ill-fated racehorse Barbaro with his wife, Gretchen, said their connection with Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz, will never fade. "We'll be tied until we're off this earth," Jackson said Thursday. "It still keeps going on. " It just won't continue with more horses. This summer, the Jacksons told Matz they were moving the horses they had with him to another trainer. "I don't know what to say," Matz said Thursday outside his barn at Churchill Downs as he prepares two undefeated 2-year-olds for the Breeders' Cup, with Somali Lemonade racing Friday in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Union Rags racing Saturday in the Juvenile.
November 3, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In the final days before the 2006 Kentucky Derby, Michael Matz could not contain his enthusiasm for Barbaro's chances. The colt looked so good on the track in the mornings that the trainer just knew Barbaro was sitting on the race of his life. No horse can glow quite as Barbaro did that spring, but when Union Rags arrived on the Churchill Downs surface yesterday at 8:30 a.m., the unbeaten 2-year-old looked plenty good enough. With the glare of the track's lights shining down on them, dozens of Breeders' Cup horses were on the track by 6 a.m. Matz waited for the sun until he brought the big horse out of Barn 22. With exercise rider Peter Brette aboard, Union Rags trailed stablemate Somali Lemonade as they walked around the outside of the track past the finish line to the paddock entrance.
November 2, 2011 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Prayer for Relief has been scratched from the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Breeders' Cup officials said Tuesday that the 3-year-old colt has developed a fever and will remain in California at trainer Bob Baffert's barn. Prayer for Relief started the season with four straight wins, including the Iowa Derby, the West Virginia Derby and the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. His lone loss of the campaign came in his last start, a third-place finish in the Oklahoma Derby.
October 7, 2011 |
IT WILL BE 6 years next spring when our string of Triple Crown race winners ended in the Preakness with Barbaro's devastating injury. From the 2004 Kentucky Derby through the 2006 Derby, local horses won five of the seven Triple Crown races and lost the other two by 1 length. That was two each of Derby and Preakness and one Belmont Stakes for Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex and Barbaro. It began with no warning and ended the same way. A bit after 5:15 tomorrow afternoon on the western tip of Long Island, the next colt that could get Philly to the Derby runs in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.
September 25, 2011 |
To Honor and Serve, considered among the nation's top Kentucky Derby prospects earlier this year, continued his climb toward the top of the current 3-year-old crop when he dominated eight opponents in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby Saturday at Parx Racing. Ruler On Ice, this year's 24-1 upset winner of the Belmont Stakes, rallied powerfully to finish second, 21/4 lengths behind the winner and 31/2 lengths before Rattlesnake Bridge. Arthur's Tale, J W Blue, Norman Asbjornson, the pacesetting Rush Now, Pender Harbour, and Isn't He Perfect followed in that order.
June 25, 2011 |
Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, was looking to return to normal as racing resumed last night following a Wednesday tornado that hit the barn area of the track in Louisville, Ky. Thursday's race card was canceled and will not be made up, but track officials said yesterday that additional races would be added to next week's programs to make up the nine lost races. Hitting just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, the tornado had estimated wind speeds of up to 105 mph as it hit the track before later strengthening to as much as 120 mph, according to the National Weather Service.