Del Mar Memories volume 2: Goldencents was golden

DEL MAR MEMORIES VOLUME 2: GOLDENCENTS WAS GOLDEN So the year is 2014 and I have had time to understand the greatness of the Seaside Oval. This was the third trip and I was still singing my spin-off of a Hank Junior song. If heaven ain’t a lot like Del Mar…I don’t...

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Del Mar Memories volume 1: Dullahan does it

DEL MAR MEMORIES VOLUME 1: DULLAHAN DOES IT! Make no mistake, the summer meet is always something special at old Del Mar. Since Bing Crosby opened the gates on July 3, 1937, many magical memories have been created. Let’s take a look at a few we have enjoyed during our...

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Home field matters on Stars and Stripes day

                         HOME FIELD MATTERS ON STARS AND STRIPES DAY For those that didn’t know, “home field” does matter at times in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. Stars and Stripes day at Belmont Park on July 7 proved familiar turf beneath the toes can be very...

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Baffert ready to break out his “other” three-year old

Times have been pretty good around the Bob Baffert barn of late. As the most recognizable face in the Thoroughbred game today, the silver-haired fox has recently completed a rock star tour with his second Triple Crown winner. The unbeaten and ultra-impressive Justify...

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Hot run puts Pavel in the Breeders’ Cup

HOT RUN PUTS PAVEL IN THE BREEDERS CUP Sometimes we find out too much thinking can be bad. Keep your brain out of the way and “let nature take its course” can provide a formula for success. Or at least that is how it happened for team Pavel as this impressive...

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Pavel wants to be Bucky Dent in the Foster

PAVEL WANTS TO BE BUCKY DENT IN THE FOSTER Here we go testing your memory and exposing our age. If you don’t understand the true essence of sports it is easy to wonder sometimes why. Why do certain folks do certain things. Thoroughbred runner Pavel may cause some to...

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Justify:do we know what we just saw???

JUSTIFY: DO WE KNOW WHAT WE JUST SAW??? So the Triple Crown series for 2018 is now in the record books and we have a winner. Being that American Pharoah exorcised the ghost of impossibility from this amazing achievement in 2015, have we really wrapped our brains...

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Baffert is feeling like one lucky dog

BAFFERT IS FEELING LIKE ONE LUCKY DOG That age old phrase “one lucky dog” is something one of the most recognizable figures in the sporting world today is applying to himself. Bob Baffert is at the top of the sports world right now as he prepares to saddle Justify in...

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A Preakness thought or two

With the second leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown all up in our grill, let's take a little time and express a thought or two on the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes. Right about now we are all wondering if Kentucky Derby champ Justify is as good as we...

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Does Justify have the horse power to be Crown worthy???

So here we are the morning after the Kentucky Derby and the "TC" questions are already flying like cousin Joe Bob's kids to the candy jar. Justify's performance in winning the 144th Run for the Roses was no doubt worthy of Triple Crown thoughts. Unbeaten and with a...

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Kentucky Derby 144 post position and M/L

When the horses spring from the starting gate for the 2018 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, anything can happen. View the post postions for the 144th Kentucky Derby below. GET THE STATS ON EACH POSITION Trainer: Jason...

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Kentucky Derby 144 rundown

KENTUCKY DERBY 144 RUNDOWN The Kentucky Derby is the greatest single sporting event in the world today. For 144 years people far and wide have wondered the same thing…who’s going to win? Let’s try and shed a little light on the 20 entrants lining up for a run at...

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Midnight hopes to strike in Kentucky Oaks

MIDNIGHT HOPES TO STRIKE IN KENTUCKY OAKS Everybody knows about the Kentucky Derby and the magic that surrounds that first Saturday in May. The day before the world’s most famous horse race is extra-special as well as it is reserved for the three-year old females as...

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Snapper sighting slated for Derby Day

Kentucky Downs winner Snapper Sinclair will next be seen toeing the track at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day. This courageous son of City Zip will likely start in the one turn Pat Day Mile on the Downs dirt May 5. Because of his versatile level of talent, the...

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Does Justify need a rabbit’s foot?

DOES JUSTIFY NEED A RABBIT’S FOOT? For some 144 years or so one of the most burning quest of life has been asked…Who’s going to win the Kentucky Derby? There is a lot that goes into making a Kentucky Derby horse and even more into yielding a Kentucky Derby champion....

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Plenty of Good Magic at Keeneland

PLENTY OF GOOD MAGIC AT KEENELAND April 7 was a day of reckoning in many ways at historic Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. First of all there was a time before noon when one said “I reckon I am going to brave this snow and bust on out there”. Then there...

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Bolt d’Oro looks charged and ready for Derby

BOLT D’ORO LOOKS CHARGED AND READY FOR DERBY In the world of athletic competition, the key to success is often peaking at the right time. Being at your very best when the time is right normally equates to success, just ask the Loyola-Chicago University men’s...

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Baffert looks for Dubai double with West Coast

BAFFERT LOOKS FOR DUBAI DOUBLE WITH WEST COAST Winning the big ones is a challenge in any sport for sure. Repeating is even tougher, especially in the world of training Thoroughbred horses. The racing game is one that encompasses powerful yet fragile athletes and a...

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Trainer says no pressure on jockey for Louisiana Derby

When the horses go to post for the Louisiana Derby on Saturday at the Fairgrounds one particular rider should be a little more at ease than some of the others. Will that give him an advantage?...maybe so. The well accomplished Kent Desormeaux will be aboard morning...

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Hillbilly thoughts on a big racing Saturday

There is a huge Saturday on tap in the Thoroughbred racing world. Here are a few hillbilly turf writer picks and pans... The Gotham Stakes- Firenze Fire and this one turn mile at Aqueduct might be like a coon dog and a full moon...made for each other. Yes, the rest of...

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My Boy Jack’s Southwest win a Star Wars episode

MY BOY JACK’S SOUTHWEST WIN A STAR WARS EPISODE When Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke about the Force all those years ago in that universe that was far, far away, do you think he knew it encompassed Thoroughbred horse racing too?...Well, of course he did! My Boy Jack has...

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Danny’s Derby Quizmo

DANNY’S DERBY QUIZMO Of course we all want to know the answer to one of the most burning questions of life. At this juncture, we don’t want to know what would have happened if we hadn’t done that back in high school. And we don’t really care what that smell is coming...

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It’s wait and see for Baffert’s Derby contenders

Bob Baffert is taking a veteran approach with his talented trio of Kentucky Derby contenders. Mourinho is slated to run in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on February 19. Beyond that there are no definitive plans for this speedy son of Super Saver. Baffert's...

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Snapper Sinclair gives Bloom Derby hope

SNAPPER SINCLAIR GIVES BLOOM DERBY HOPE The Kentucky Derby is the world’s most famous Thoroughbred race. Participating in the greatest two minutes in sports has long been the goal of many people in the game. If you have a chance to chase that Derby dream it’s an...

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Hillbilly thoughts on the Pegasus

So now that we have drawn for post positions in the world's richest Thoroughbred race and established a morning line, here are some thoughts on each entrant as we prepare for the second running of the Pegasus. 1.Singing Bullet (30-1)-Tall order for Dale Romans...

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Roy H working towards big 2018

West coast based Roy H has been working towards his 2018 debut for trainer Peter Miller. Arguably the top sprinter in the country, this six-year old son of More Than Ready turned in an outstanding 2017 campaign that culminated with a powerful win in the Breeders' Cup...

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Road to Derby and Oaks has traffic

The road that leads to the first Friday and Saturday in May has a few new travelers merging onto the highway that leads to immortality. Stronger Than Ever put herself on the Kentucky Oaks trail with a gutty win in the Silverbulletday Stakes at the Fairgrounds in...

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HILLBILLY HORSE AWARDS FOR 2017

The Eclipse Awards are of course the cream of the Thoroughbred awards crop. But before we see what’s in the big envelope, let’s take a look at some ciphering by a hillbilly turf writer. How did we add up the points in each respective category?...That’s why we don’t...

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MCKINZIE SAW IT IN THE SHAM STAKES

Anybody that saw the 2018 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on January 6 laid eyes on a Kentucky Derby contender. And that contender saw another level of excellence. Racing without blinkers for the first time in his young career, McKinzie was ultra-impressive in winning the...

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BOLT HAS ALREADY BEEN THE DISTANCE

One of the biggest questions when it comes to winning the Kentucky Derby is the mile and a quarter. These young three year olds have never been that distance before…or have they? Hmmmm…let’s explore that with one of the top contenders for Derby 144. Bolt d’Oro has...

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Derby Dreaming Already

As we have established long ago, it is never too soon to think about the Kentucky Derby. This Saturday four-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert will send out one of his prospects in the CashCall Futurity at Los Alamitos Race Course in California. McKinzie will...

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Seeking the Soul a fitting winner in the Clark

SEEKING THE SOUL A FITTING CLARK WINNER As usual, the omens of horse racing were present at Churchill Downs in the 143rd running of the Clark Handicap. The grade 1 half million dollar race gives me another chance to stand on my Thoroughbred racing soap box. For about...

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Clark offers big chances…again

CLARK OFFERS BIG CHANCES…AGAIN The Clark Handicap on November 24 will offer up some big opportunities in several different ways. But those familiar with the event know that is nothing new. Since 1875, the Clark has been run at Churchill Downs as the centerpiece of...

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Ol Man Hogy gets right at Kentucky Downs

OLD MAN HOGY GETS RIGHT AT KENTUCKY DOWNS When the horses go to post for the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint on November 4 at Del Mar, one of the old guys will be ready. Hogy is a well-traveled eight-year old gelding that comes to the 2017 Cup as right as he has ever been....

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Kentucky Downs perfect prep for Snapper

KENTUCKY DOWNS PERFECT PREP FOR SNAPPER When the runners line up for the Juvenile Turf at this year’s Breeders Cup, there is one entrant that may have a bit of an advantage…he ran his prep race at Kentucky Downs. The European-style turf course located near the...

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Unique Bella belongs at the Breeders Cup

UNIQUE BELLA BELONGS IN THE BREEDERS’ CUP One of the biggest sporting events in the world is without question the Breeders’ Cup. A gathering of “the best of the best” in every division of Thoroughbred racing, the Cup is the place to be for all the “big” horses. That’s...

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Slew’s heart as big as a Mile

SLEW’S HEART AS BIG AS A MILE How do measure an athlete’s heart? Often times it is that competitive character that can provide the indicator of just how Awesome they truly are. When the runners go to post for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on November 3 at Del Mar there...

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Ruis has a Bolt of a colt for the Cup

RUIS HAS ONE BOLT OF A COLT FOR THE CUP If you can see a lightning bolt, it certainly creates a “wow” factor. The literal and figurative electricity it brings is always something special for sure. If things go the way one Southern California native wants, there will...

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Tis the season in the Baffert Barn

TIS THE SEASON FOR THE BAFFERT BARN When my youngest son was a little bitty fella he provided some terrific answers to a kindergarten questionnaire. When asked what his favorite season was he quickly replied…”Bear Season”. He enjoyed playing with toy guns and...

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Road Warrior Irap headed to Pennsylvania Derby

Irap has his AAA traveler card and the sky miles are accumulating for this ever improving three-year old Thotroughbred. A son of Tiznow, this Doug O’Neill trained colt is looking to chalk up another win in another state on September 23. After breaking his maiden in...

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Kentucky Downs enjoys big Finish

Kentucky Downs enjoyed a record setting meet in their recently completed five day foray. The average paid in purses to the winning horsemen was just over a whopping $1.7 million per race day. That is the highest total per day in the nation. The total paid out during...

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Oscar was more than nominated in Turf Cup

OSCAR WAS MORE THAN JUST NOMINATED IN TURF CUP Being thought of as worthy is good, proving it is even better. That was certainly the case for a Thoroughbred runner on a record-setting Turf Cup day at Kentucky Downs on September 9. Oscar Nominated has long been thought...

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What’s great about Kentucky Downs

With the live racing at Kentucky Downs in full swing we are going to look at one of the most outstanding things about the Franklin, Kentucky track…THE PAYOUTS! The purse money for the horsemen is the best in the nation, but the European-style track also can make for...

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West Coast No Surprise to Baffert

WEST COAST NO SURPRISE TO BAFFERT When West Coast took’em gate to wire in the 148th running of the Travers Stakes on August 26 how many folks were surprised? One fella that resides in the Golden State certainly was not. Bob Baffert has made a habit lately of coming up...

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Leparoux looks for success at Kentucky Downs…again

LEPAROUX LOOKS FOR KENTUCKY DOWNS SUCCESS…AGAIN When the live racing meet opens at Kentucky Downs on September 2, look for there to be a little riding flavor from across the pond. Jockey Julien Leparoux has developed into one of the top riders in the Thoroughbred...

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