November 1, 2012 |
FAIR HILL, Md. - In the 2000s, Kentucky Derby winners are retired for any reason or no reason. So what was trainer Graham Motion doing in his office on Oct. 20, talking about the 2011 Derby winner, a horse who has had exactly one race since the 2011 Belmont Stakes? Turns out Barry Irwin, who runs the syndicate that owns Animal Kingdom, actually likes horse racing. He especially likes to see his horses race. So when Motion suggested to his owner that he felt confident Animal Kingdom not only could make it back to the races, but could come back in top form and compete in the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita, Irwin said go. Animal Kingdom was injured in that Belmont Stakes, underwent surgery at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, and did not run again until winning an allowance race at Gulfstream Park in February.
May 19, 2012
BALTIMORE - The final hour of the Kentucky Derby telecast on NBC drew nearly 15 million viewers, a 6 percent increase in total viewers over 2011. Since the Super Bowl, only two sports telecasts had a bigger audience - the NCAA semifinal between Kansas and Ohio State and the championship game 2 nights later. The Derby did better than the Masters or the Daytona 500. Not only did people watch it, they attended (a record 165,307 on site at Churchill Downs) and they bet, a record $133 million, an 18.8 percent increase over 2011.
May 18, 2012 |
BALTIMORE - As the Kentucky Derby preps played out through the winter and spring, it seemed clear that the Breeders' Cup Juvenile was a strong race that would have major impact on the first Saturday in May. Nine of the 13 Juvenile horses had won stakes in 2012. Then, they ran the Derby and only one horse from the Juvenile even hit the board. Dullahan was third. The other eight who ran finished fifth, seventh, ninth, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th and 20th. The first, second and fourth Derby finishers were late developers who were nowhere near Churchill Downs on Nov. 5, 2011.
May 11, 2012
THE UNION RAGS team had dreams of more than the Kentucky Derby. They really thought they might have a horse that could win the Triple Crown. That dream went away when the stall doors opened for Saturday's Derby. Instead of, say, getting position and making it into an eight-horse race, with more than half the field behind him, Union Rags, 18th early, was in a 20-horse race and eventually finished seventh. The team of owner Phyllis Wyeth, trainer Michael Matz and Wyeth adviser Russell Jones met Tuesday at Matz' Fair Hill, Md., barn and decided that since the Triple Crown is out, the horse could really use more time between races.
May 11, 2012 |
KENTUCKY DERBY-winning trainer Doug O'Neill could face a suspension in California after one of his horses was found to have an elevated level of total carbon dioxide, an infraction for which he previously has been punished. The California Horse Racing Board is considering the case, which involves "milkshaking," the illegal practice of giving a horse a blend of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes. The mixture is designed to reduce fatigue and enhance performance. O'Neill faces his third total carbon dioxide violation in California and fourth in a career that has spanned 25 years.
May 7, 2012 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - From a sixth-floor balcony above the finish line at Churchill Downs, Chadds Ford's Phyllis Wyeth strained to find her horse through her binoculars as the field of the 138th Kentucky Derby passed by the first time. Wyeth's view was partially obstructed, and maybe that was for the best. She asked her husband, where is he? "Way back there," Jamie Wyeth said when he finally spotted Union Rags. " Way back there. " His odds of winning had evaporated before Union Rags even got running.
May 6, 2012 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Losing the Kentucky Derby was bad enough. Letting down his son was even worse for Bob Baffert. Bodemeister, the bay colt named after the trainer's 7-year-old son, rocketed to the front on Saturday and led by as many as three lengths. But he couldn't hold on in the furiously fast pace and was overtaken by winner I'll Have Another. "He was there," Baffert said of his horse. "He just got tired. " Baffert broke down, too, when he thought about his son's disappointment, tearing up and walking away in the paddock.
April 24, 2012
May 5 at Churchill Downs 1. Union Rags Michael Matz Julien Leparoux 9-2 Should be as fresh as any Derby horse following third-place finish in Florida Derby on March 31. Worked 4 furlongs in 47.40 seconds Friday at Keeneland. Will work one more time at Churchill before race. 2. Gemologist Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 12-1 Wood Memorial winner is looking to become eighth unbeaten Derby winner.