May 1, 2015 |
THE PHONE rang, as it does dozens of times a day, but this call was different. It was a bustling afternoon here in the office, I remember that much. This particular conversation, however, I will never forget. It was Feb. 5, a Thursday, and Stan Hochman was calling in to check with the sports editor about some bit of business or another. I just happened to answer the phone. "Eddie," Stan said with that unmistakable raspy voice, "I got our Derby winner. But hold yer ticket.
May 1, 2015
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As the favorites kept winning all the prep races, the winners kept running faster and five of the major contenders ran 13 times this year without losing, I began to think this Kentucky Derby field might be one of the best in the last 30 years. I do not think that anymore. I know it. This is not like last year, when it was California Chrome and all the others. American Pharoah, the 2-year-old champion, will be a deserving favorite. If he beats this field as he has won his other four races (a combined 22 lengths)
April 30, 2015 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kaleem Shah's father cautioned him against getting involved in horse racing. Majeed, a legendary trainer in India who won that country's Triple Crown and the same Indian stakes race 11 straight years, understood the 24/7 grind that is the game on the ground. So the father, who was orphaned at 10, told the son to get an education and a profession and then, later in life, when he was a bit more comfortable, maybe buy a few horses, turn them over to a really good trainer and see what might happen.
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 2, 2014 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - I always try to separate the Kentucky Derby story from the horse, but admittedly, it is not easy. California Chrome certainly brings the best story to this Derby. Even before I knew the story, I was pretty much convinced he was the best horse. The college hoops regular season was wearing down, the conference tournaments about to begin when I sat down to watch the San Felipe Stakes on March 8 at Santa Anita. I thought Midnight Hawk, trained by Bob Baffert, would be favored.
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.
May 3, 2013 |
Download our bettors' guide and in-depth look at the Kentucky Derby here : LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The best way to understand a race is to envision how it will be run. I have decided that Goldencents is fast enough to clear Saturday's Kentucky Derby field in the first few hundred yards, set moderate fractions and be in front from start to finish. Whenever you can find a quality horse that possesses an attribute that is different from the other logical contenders, you have a live play.
May 1, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When the Kentucky Derby was first run in 1875, black jockeys were dominating the sport, as they had done since horses first started racing in fields all over America before and after the Revolution. In that first Derby, 13 of the 15 horses were ridden by African-American jockeys. Exactly 15 of the first 28 Derbies were won by black jockeys, former slaves and sons of former slaves. Isaac Murphy was the first rider to win the Derby three times. Judging by his statistics, he may have been the greatest jockey who ever lived.
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.
April 7, 2013 |
Verrazano crossed his final bridge on the road to the Kentucky Derby with a narrow victory in the $1 million Wood Memorial that likely sends the colt to Churchill Downs as the horse to beat on the first Saturday in May. Sweeping into the lead around the far turn, Verrazano held off the challenges of Vyjack and Normandy Invasion and improved his record to 4-0. The 3-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher won by three-quarters of a length over Normandy Invasion,...