November 4, 2014 |
ARCADIA, Calif. - The three horses were racing as a team for the final 200 yards of horse racing's $5 million season-ending championship race, the Pennsylvania Derby winner in front, an English horse making his first start on dirt continuing his race-long challenge and the Kentucky Derby winner rolling on the outside, poised, it appeared, to give 2014 the perfect ending it deserved. It was the moment the 63,114 at Santa Anita had been hoping for: Their state's horse, California Chrome, ready to win the Breeders' Cup Classic, bring clarity to the racing season and give credibility to the sport's winter/spring star with an autumn moment to remember.
May 20, 2014 |
BALTIMORE - It was 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Pimlico was being overrun by a record crowd of 123,469, the Preakness just 80 minutes away. Standing calmly just outside stall 40 that housed California Chrome, his Kentucky Derby winner, trainer Art Sherman was posing for photographs, signing programs and telling stories. There was the time he got off a flight from Miami to ride at Bowie and, in those first 10 seconds could not breathe, it was so cold. He wore a woman's leotard to stay warm when he rode.
May 16, 2014
IT WAS the Tuesday morning before the Kentucky Derby, maybe 2 minutes after I met Art Sherman. He was telling me stories, punctuating them by hitting me lightly on the arm to emphasize his points, laughing, having a great time. I felt like I had known him forever. When we started talking about the horse he trains, I explained I had jumped on the California Chrome bandwagon 2 months before and was riding it to the finish line, telling everybody I knew the horse could not lose. When I got a one-on-one audience in the Derby Museum 2 hours after the Derby, Sherman told me: "You put yourself on the line.
May 6, 2014 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Art Sherman watched the 1955 Kentucky Derby from the stable area, catching just a glimpse of the field as it went by his perch. He watched the 2014 Kentucky Derby from the stands, one of 164,906 at Churchill Downs Saturday, seeing every bit of America's race. An 18-year-old stable hand then, Sherman was just happy to be on the racetrack and near the California legend, Swaps. When the horse he accompanied on a 4-day rail trip east actually won the Derby, that teenager surely could never have imagined another racing moment remotely like it again.
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.
June 7, 2013 |
THE BELMONT Stakes is unlike any other race because of the unique distance and the track where it is run. Running a mile and half is unusual enough. That the race is run at Belmont Park, America's only mile-and-a-half racetrack makes it even more complicated. Jockey Gary Stevens calls Belmont Park his favorite track, but he said you have to respect it. "It's like the ocean," Stevens said. "You can have a lot of fun in it, but it can hurt you if you don't respect it. " Riders can get lost at Belmont Park.
May 14, 2013 |
BALTIMORE - Orb has settled into the place reserved for royalty at Pimlico Race Course - Stall 40. The Triple Crown hopeful arrived at Pimlico on Monday afternoon, five days before the Preakness. He was immediately taken to Stall 40 at the Stakes Barn, which traditionally serves as home to the Kentucky Derby winner. Some of the greatest horses in history have been kept there, including the last three Triple Crown winners: Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), and Affirmed (1978)
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 6, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Now that Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III has won the Kentucky Derby, it's time for the 62-year-old trainer to go after another race missing from his Hall of Fame resumé. Orb will follow up his win at Churchill Downs by running in the Preakness on May 18, giving the colt a shot at the Triple Crown. Orb arrived back at his home base in New York on Sunday, as did McGaughey and jockey Joel Rosario. The trainer was still absorbing what had happened a day earlier. The colt extended his winning streak to five races, splashing through the slop to win the Derby by 21/4 lengths, giving McGaughey and Rosario their first Derby wins.
May 2, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Doug O'Neill had a pretty darned good day on two courses. First he birdied the eighth hole during a Wednesday afternoon golf outing at Valhalla, then he aced the Kentucky Derby draw when Goldencents landed in the No. 8 post and was made the 5-1 third choice for Saturday's race. "It should be perfect for him," said O'Neill, who saddled last year's winner, I'll Have Another. "Perfect" was not the way last year's Triple Crown series ended for O'Neill and his colt.