Inside the world of thoroughbred horse racing, there is a title that transcends all other turf trophies combined. Conferred only on those extraordinary occasions when an equine manages to maneuver their way through a next to impossible gauntlet known as the “Triple Crown Series”, the moniker of “Triple Crown Champion” is accordingly rarer than 18kt gold “hen’s teeth”. Correspondingly, it’s worth mentioning that over the last 150 years; only 13 thoroughbreds have managed to successfully scale the “Sport of Kings’” most challenging mountain.
Thanks to a generous referral from Maryland based thoroughbred horse trainers Larry and Connie Smith, I had the privilege of getting an up close look at the 2022 Grade 1 Jonathan Sheppard Steeplechase at Saratoga Racecourse back on Aug. 17th. First squeezing my rental into a small parking space alongside Saratoga’s Stakes Barn, I then sought out an eight year old mare out of Alphabet Soup (1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion) who was rumored to be stabled inside of stall #5. Subsequent to stumbling upon the snow white equine I was in search of, I then shook hands with trainer Kate Dalton and her husband (and jockey) Bernie.
Jockey Edgar Prado guides Barbaro to victory in the 132nd Kentucky Derby. (Photos courtesy of Churchill Downs)
A wise man once told me, “Many a great narrative is camouflaged on that occasion when it first rubs shoulders with the limelight”. Well, believe me when I tell you that this axiom certainly proved true inside the confines of Delaware Park Racetrack on October 4th, 2005. See, because even though the day’s 7th race (a one mile “Maiden Special Weight” turf affair) was captured in dazzling fashion by a 7-1 first time starter, no one in attendance could have possibly realized that the curtain had just gone up on one of thoroughbred horse racing’s most poignant tragedies. (more…)
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Churchill Downs Racetrack announced that after consultation with Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials the 146th runnings of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and Longines Kentucky Oaks will occur with spectators under strict guidelines.
Kentucky Derby Week will be held Sept. 1-5 with the Oaks on Friday, Sept. 4 and the Derby on Saturday, Sept. 5.
“We truly appreciate the leadership of the Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, and all of the hard work, collaboration and guidance that state and local officials and public health experts have provided us to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby Week in September with spectators,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “Our team is deeply committed to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever, and we will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend and participate in the Derby.”
Awesome Again with Pat Day up wins the 1998 Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, has been the home of countless historical moments for over a century, primarily centered around the Kentucky Derby. From the elite champions such as War Admiral (1937), Omaha (1935) and Secretariat (1973) to the major upsets like Giacomo (2005), Charismatic (1999) and Mine That Bird (2009), every Derby leaves a lasting impression on those who attend or watch.
Up until 1988, the Fall Meet at Churchill Downs primarily gave horseracing fans a preview of the upcoming Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders, but would not host very many other notable horses. That changed in 1988 when the Breeders’ Cup, then a relatively new day of championship racing, made its debut under the famous Twin Spires.
American Pharoah with Victor Espinoza up wins the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown at Belmont Park Race Track, NY 6.6.2015
Maybe it’s just a sign of the times, but lately, most every horse player I converse with is dead set on procuring a life changing score. The advent, and hence marketing of, elaborate pari-mutual menus which promise acute financial solvency has no doubt led to this “shoot for the moon mentality” among punters yet while attempting to take down Santa Anita Race Course’s pick-6 is admirable, it’s also highly unlikely. On some days (maybe you can relate) I can’t select a single winner never mind six in a row and although keying multiple racers in each leg of a prolonged horizontal wager augments one’s margin for error, bankrolls become devastated when copious equine inclusion goes awry.