May 10, 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 advisor Russell Jones met Tuesday at Matz's Fair Hill (Md.)
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.
July 31, 2011 |
The reaction to umpire Jerry Meals' call at home on Tuesday night in Atlanta was predictable - a scream that baseball needs replay. You probably didn't see the play live because Meals' call of safe on Braves runner Julio Lugo ended a 19-inning marathon just after bars close in most places and honest citizens are long asleep. But you sure saw it the next day. The call - unanimously judged incorrect by everyone who saw the replay - was shown all day Wednesday, igniting a national uproar.
June 13, 2011 |
ELMONT, N.Y. - The Belmont Stakes was a fitting conclusion to this most bizarre of Triple Crown seasons. Horses that paid $52.40, $40.20, $19.40, $12.60 and $29.80 won the final five major Kentucky Derby preps. The favorite did not win any of the last 10 graded Derby preps. So why would the Derby, Preakness and Belmont be different? Animal Kingdom won the Derby at 20-1; Shackleford won the Preakness at 12-1. Both were in the starting gate at Belmont Park early Saturday evening.
June 11, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Even without a Triple Crown on the line, the 143d Belmont Stakes may indeed be the "Test of the Champion. " The final leg of the Triple Crown features not only the rubber match between Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford on Saturday, but the top seven finishers from the Derby for the first time as well. "Why did everyone pick this year to come back?" wondered a smiling Graham Motion, who trains Animal Kingdom. After watching his Derby winner gallop around the 11/2-mile main track at Belmont Park on Friday morning, Motion declared his colt in "great form" and up to the challenge of taking on a slew of rivals for the third time in five weeks.
June 9, 2011 |
NEW YORK - The 1-2 finishers in the Kentucky Derby are 1-2 on the morning line for the Belmont Stakes. Derby winner Animal Kingdom was made the 2-1 favorite for Saturday's final leg of the Triple Crown, with Derby runner-up Nehro the second choice at 4-1. Preakness winner Shackleford was next at 9-2 when a field of 12 was entered Wednesday for the first rubber match between a Derby winner and Preakness winner since 2005. Animal Kingdom, with John Velazquez riding, will leave from the No. 9 post, which has produced only four Belmont winners since 1905.
June 9, 2011 |
In recent years, the first thing that happened if the Kentucky Derby winner did not win the Preakness was that the connections of one or both of the first two Triple Crown race winners quickly declared they would not be running in the Belmont Stakes. So it was quite refreshing to hear minutes after a terrific finish to the May 21 Preakness that race winner Shackleford and the horse that closed from 18 lengths back early to a half-length back at the wire, Derby winner Animal Kingdom, would be going on to New York.