Satire the pony a calming force for Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The current Kentucky Derby favorite has never been passed or had a race scenario emerge that could throw him off his game.

While unbeaten champion Nyquist is the pro tem leader of the 3-year-old division, there is a 21-year-old dark bay son of Swiss Yodeler who repeatedly takes all the son of Uncle Mo has to offer without so ...Read more

Gun Runner, Creator on equal footing heading into Kentucky Derby

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Any good teacher will attest that it takes a various levels of patience and curricula to get the best performance out their individual students.

In the year he is set to be honored with induction in racing's Hall of Fame, the most fitting tribute to trainer Steve Asmussen's mentoring abilities is the fact he was able to get ...Read more

Unfinished business: Five years after missing Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo again looms large

Sports / Horse Racing /

Five years ago, Mike Repole knows you wouldn't have believed him.

You wouldn't have accepted it as truth if he sat at that Churchill Downs podium the morning of May 6, 2011 and told you that missing the Kentucky Derby with the horse who had brought him his first Grade I win, his first Breeders' Cup victory, his first Eclipse Award as an owner ...Read more

Brody's Cause leaves Romans boastful

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- There are times when the stopwatch doesn't tell the whole story of a horse's workout.

As impressive as Brody's Cause's clocking of 1:00.20 for five furlongs at Churchill Downs on Saturday was, it was how the Grade I-winning son of Giant's Causeway executed his final work before the Kentucky Derby that had trainer Dale Romans ...Read more

Trainer Desormeaux, Exaggerator getting used to Derby spotlight

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- This part is relatively new to trainer Keith Desormeaux, the media circus, the outpouring of scrutiny. And anyone diving into the Kentucky Derby pool for the first time ought to be given some rope for taking a few awkward strokes before getting into the rhythm of the moment.

After anxiously asking to reporters to give his ...Read more

Mohaymen has barn beaming in final work

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Neal McLaughlin is on the muscle.

The assistant to his brother, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, woke up at 3 a.m. Friday morning with his head spinning thinking about the final pre-Kentucky Derby obstacle their charge Mohaymen faced. As he studied the gray son of Tapit calmly cooling out after breezing four furlongs in 47.40 at ...Read more

Nyquist rock solid in final preparation for Kentucky Derby

Sports / Horse Racing /

Trainer Doug O'Neill says it is difficult to be around his unbeaten Nyquist "and not smile".

There were grins breaking out across the board in the Team O'Neill shedrow Friday afternoon as the current Kentucky Derby favorite put in his final workout in advance of May 7, drilling one mile in 1:41 in company with Grade I-winning stablemate Ralis ...Read more

Nyquist works in company for Kentucky Derby

Sports / Horse Racing /

Unbeaten juvenile champion Nyquist put in a solid maintenance move in preparation for his expected start in the Kentucky Derby on May 7, covering 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 in company with stablemate Ralis at Keeneland Saturday morning.

With trainer Doug O'Neill watching from the stands, Nyquist broke off a handful of lengths behind Ralis to his ...Read more

Cathryn Sophia back in Kentucky Oaks mix

Sports / Horse Racing /

Multiple graded stakes winner Cathryn Sophia, the third-place finisher in the Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on April 9, is back under consideration to start in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 6, trainer John Servis said Thursday.

Servis had initially planned on pointing Cathryn Sophia to the Grade III Eight Belles Stakes going...Read more

Kentucky Derby contender Mohaymen restores goose bumps

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin maintains the version of Mohaymen that showed up for the Florida Derby on April 2 was an aberration.

The horse who spun his wheels over a rain-soaked track en route to finishing fourth that evening was in stark contrast to the effortlessly moving colt that spoiled his connections into thinking there ...Read more

Nyquist gets back to work with easy 5-furlong move at Keeneland

Sports / Horse Racing /

Unbeaten champion and current Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist returned to the worktab for the first time since his victory in the Grade I Florida Derby on April 2, drilling an easy 5 furlongs in 1:02.60 at Keeneland on Friday morning with trainer Doug O'Neill looking on.

With temperatures hovering comfortably in the 50s and a swarm of onlookers...Read more

Derby Watch: New year, same attitude for Hall of Famer Baffert

Sports / Horse Racing /

Of the multitude of lessons that shaped Bob Baffert's progression from overly brash gate crasher of the nation's top races to Hall of Fame trainer and national darling, it was to never, ever take any of Thoroughbred racing's peaks for granted.

It was reinforced when he won three Kentucky Derbies in six years from 1997 to 2002, taking the oft-...Read more

No doubts about it for Exaggerator at Santa Anita Derby

Sports / Horse Racing /

LOS ANGELES--Trainer Keith Desormeaux was worried about his horse Exaggerator after a disappointing third in the San Felipe Stakes a month ago. He even speculated that the horse might be only a miler, rather than a colt capable of running the 11/4 miles of the Kentucky Derby.

Saturday, the colt showed his trainer that his fears were greatly ...Read more

Brody's Cause bounces back with Blue Grass Stakes victory

Sports / Horse Racing /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Part of being a trainer at Thoroughbred racing's highest level is having enough faith in one's ability to stick to a plan in the face of adversity.

When Brody's Cause barely lifted a hoof while running seventh in his 3-year-old debut last month, Dale Romans had to remind himself why he believed the son of Giant's Causeway was ...Read more

Weep No More pulls the upset in Grade I Ashland Stakes

Sports / Horse Racing /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Rusty Arnold would have taken third.

The veteran Kentucky-based trainer knew he was asking the monumental out of his charge Weep No More in Saturday's Grade I Central Bank Ashland Stakes, facing the three sophomore fillies many considered the best this season outside of champion Songbird.

He would have heartily celebrated ...Read more

Derby Watch: Rebounding from a regress a tall order at Super Saturday stage

Sports / Horse Racing /

The Super Saturday of the Kentucky Derby prep season is upon us. With it, comes the last chance for already established contenders to shore up their cases for classic success and for those outside the velvet rope of contention to try and bust into the club that only allows for a maximum crowd of 20.

There is enough quality in the Grade I Toyota...Read more

After 3 straight meets of declines, Keeneland racetrack looks for key indicators to rebound

Sports / Horse Racing /

Jeff Platt examines Keeneland through the eyes of racing's most crucial customer. And the president of the Horseplayers Association of North America is as stunned as anyone by what's happening at the Lexington, Ky., racetrack.

From a handicapping standpoint, Keeneland is consistently rated at or near the top by horseplayers for its quality ...Read more

Nyquist's return to the track delayed

Sports / Horse Racing /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Champion and current Kentucky Derby favorite Nyquist did not go back to the track at Keeneland as originally planned on Thursday after the son of Uncle Mo was found to have a slightly elevated white blood cell count.

Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill, said Nyquist did not have a temperature and that the ...Read more

Unbeaten Cathryn Sophia the one to beat in Keeneland's Ashland Stakes

Sports / Horse Racing /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Cathryn Sophia is nothing if not blunt at making her feelings known.

The 3-year-old filly might look docile walking within trainer John Servis' shedrow. And with her head hanging calmly in the corner of her stall, one might even be fooled into thinking the even-money, morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade I, $500,000 ...Read more

Nyquist topples Mohaymen in Florida Derby showdown

Sports / Horse Racing /

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- The pressure kept threatening to undo Nyquist on Saturday.

From longshot challengers vainly attempting to test his mettle to the rival many thought would ultimately prove himself superior, they all took their best shots at the reigning juvenile champion during what was supposed to be the most daunting race of his ...Read more