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Emerald Downs leading trainer Justin Evans shares passion with son

Sports / Horse Racing /

AUBURN, Wash. — “I am going to win the Kentucky Derby someday,” the boy said confidently, while introducing himself to a visitor.

And what year?

“2035,” said Austin Evans, the 12-year-old son of Justin Evans, 42, the leading trainer last season at Emerald Downs and tied for the lead this year entering the weekend.

“I think he’ll...Read more

Sarah Stier/Getty Images North America/TNS

Dornoch holds off Mindframe to win the 156th Belmont Stakes in an upset

Sports / Horse Racing /

The Triple Crown season is over. Three races, three different winners. No clear star in the making.

Or maybe three of them.

Dornoch etched his name into thoroughbred history by winning the 156th Belmont Stakes, a race run for the first time at Saratoga Race Course in mid-state New York.

At 17-1, not much was thought of the 3-year-old colt who...Read more

Sarah Stier/Getty Images North America/TNS

Dornoch holds off Mindframe to win the 156th Belmont Stakes in an upset

Sports / Horse Racing /

Dornoch won the 156th running of the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, holding off a late challenge from Mindframe down the final stretch.

Dornoch, which entered the race at 17-1 odds, gave trainer Danny Gargan his first win in the Belmont Stakes. Sierra Leone finished third and Honor Marie fourth.

Clearly there was no Triple Crown on ...Read more

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America/TNS

The 5 biggest long-shot winners in Belmont Stakes history

Sports / Horse Racing /

LAS VEGAS — The Belmont Stakes is the oldest leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, having first been run in 1867.

Two of the biggest long shots to ever win the event, a traditional 1 1/2-mile race known as the “test of the champion,” cashed tickets in the 21st century.

Here are the five biggest long-shot winners in Belmont Stakes history...Read more

Rob Carr/Getty Images North America/TNS

Separating contenders, pretenders in 156th Belmont Stakes

Sports / Horse Racing /

LAS VEGAS — Michael Kipness, aka “The Wizard,” has been a professional horse racing handicapper since 1986.

Here is his analysis on the 10-horse field for Saturday’s 156th Belmont Stakes, including whether each horse is a contender or a pretender to win the final leg of the Triple Crown.

Visit wizardraceandsports.com for his full card ...Read more

Justin Casterline/Getty Images North America/TNS

2024 Belmont Stakes introduces big changes. Here's the full race field, with odds.

Sports / Horse Racing /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The 2024 Belmont Stakes has some big changes this year.

The final leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown will feature a different venue, and a different distance, compared to normal.

With Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., out of action due to ongoing renovations, this year’s Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes will instead be run...Read more

Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Preakness 2024: D. Wayne Lukas spins tale of renewal Maryland racing could stand to emulate

Sports / Horse Racing /

Did D. Wayne Lukas sleep in the morning after Seize the Grey glided away from the competition to give him his seventh Preakness Stakes win?

Come on, now.

The 88-year-old trainer was awake before 3 a.m., worrying about a sesamoid fracture suffered by his other Preakness horse, Just Steel (with a pin inserted, he’ll be fine, Lukas said). He ...Read more

Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/TNS

Preakness 2024: Seize the Grey goes wire-to-wire, outruns Mystik Dan in 149th running

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — He’ll never stop coming as long as he has a horse with any chance.

It had been 11 years since 88-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas won the Preakness Stakes with Oxbow. Many assumed the man who had dominated thoroughbred racing in the 1990s would never return to the winner’s circle in a Triple Crown race. But Lukas’ optimism ...Read more

Rob Carr/Getty Images North America/TNS

Seize the Grey earns wire-to-wire Preakness Stakes win on muddy track

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — One truism in horse racing is never count out Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas. At 88, he walks with a cane but still climbs about his pony and supervises morning workouts.

On Saturday, in the 149th running of the Preakness Stakes, Lukas won this race for the seventh time with Seize the Grey in a wire-to-wire effort. It ended ...Read more

Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/TNS

Preakness 2024: Seize the Grey goes wire to wire to win 149th running

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — He’ll never stop coming as long as he has a horse with any chance.

The last of 88-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ six Preakness Stakes wins, with Oxbow, came in 2013. But Lukas’ optimism blooms anew each spring. He doesn’t feel right if he’s not part of the big races.

Lukas was absent in 2023 but brought two contenders...Read more

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Preakness 2024: Gun Song wins 100th George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — Gun Song had her owner, R. Lee Lewis, a touch worried after she finished fourth in the March 30 Gulfstream Park Oaks.

Mark Hennig, whom Lewis considers his best friend as much as his trainer of choice, reassured him the filly looked “better than ever” going into Friday’s George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico ...Read more

Preakness 2024: History told Kenny McPeek to be cautious. Mystik Dan convinced him he was ready to win.

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — A specific memory nudged Kenny McPeek toward caution.

The year was 1995, and McPeek was a fresh-faced trainer bursting with optimistic vim after a horse named Tejano Run finished runner-up in the Kentucky Derby.

“I was 32. I got swept up in, ‘Oh, you’ve got to take him to the Preakness, you can win the Preakness,' ” the ...Read more

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Why Mystik Dan's Triple Crown chances are better than you might expect

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — The week started with the highly unusual situation where the winner of the Kentucky Derby was not the favorite to win the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Mystik Dan won the 150th running of the race two weeks ago by a nose and that came after a near perfect trip along the rail. Can't happen like ...Read more

Preakness 2024: From Mystik Dan to Uncle Heavy, get to know the eight horses in the field

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — The Preakness Stakes lost its early favorite when Muth exited the field because of a 103-degree fever. Kentucky Derby champion Mystik Dan is now the unquestioned headliner for an eight-horse field that will still bring many of the world’s most successful trainers to Pimlico Race Course.

Meet the eight contenders for Saturday’s...Read more

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Preakness 2024: Some Pimlico workers with decades of experience 'still get butterflies'

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — On Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, eight horses will be ushered expertly into their starting gate stalls. Assistant starters will yell out when there’s two, and then only a single horse left to load, and again when all the doors are shut.

Bruce Wagner will listen intently for any signs of hang ups, before hitting a button that ...Read more

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

New syndicate model of horse racing ownership is proving to be a winner

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — When searching around for a reason to buy a racehorse, you're pretty much guaranteed to see the word "risky" more frequently than popcorn at a movie theater, which, by the way, is also not a great investment these days.

They are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain and your chance of turning a profit is not very good. Financial...Read more

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Preakness 2024: Explaining the rise in horse race betting after record Kentucky Derby

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — Sportsbooks are on a heater.

The rise of online gambling over the past six years has resulted in a lucrative market for sports betting operators with annual revenue in the 11-figure range. Americans placed a total of $119.8 billion on legal sports bets in 2023, a 27.5% increase over 2022, with $10.9 billion in revenue for ...Read more

Preakness 2024: PETA proposes robots replace live crabs in Lexington Market crab derby

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — Before the horses head to the races in Baltimore, the crabs do. And this year, animal rights organization PETA is getting involved.

Lexington Market’s crab derby is an annual tradition that started in 1859, the story goes, after vendors got into an argument about who had the fastest crabs in the city. The race returns Thursday ...Read more

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Preakness 2024: Five storylines to watch, including Mystik Dan's Triple Crown quest and rain in the forecast

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — It took just two days and two entries for the Preakness Stakes field to go from uh-oh to “pretty solid” in the estimation of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who’s been in more of these classic races than anyone.

And it took just one scratch — morning-line favorite Muth exited the field Wednesday because of a 103-degree fever — ...Read more

Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS

Preakness 2024: Bob Baffert-trained favorite Muth declared out of Saturday's race

Sports / Horse Racing /

BALTIMORE — A rematch expected to headline Saturday’s Preakness Stakes lost one of its combatants three days before post time.

Preakness favorite Muth was declared out of the race after his temperature spiked to 103 degrees upon his arrival in Baltimore on Tuesday evening.

“We are sick about this. The horse had been doing really well,”...Read more