Mystik Dan Shows some Derby vision

  One of the most mysterious things in the sports world today is finding the formula for a Kentucky Derby winner. How do you make it happen? Bloodlines, workout patterns, prep race competition, what’s the solution? Perhaps it will take a Mystik to find the answer.  ...

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Nysos looks like number 1

This time of year often times focuses on the three-year-olds as the Kentucky Derby takes center stage. Nysos may not be running in the 150th Run for the Roses due to a suspension of trainer Bob Baffert from entering horses in races at Churchill Downs, but this son of...

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National Treasure takes the Pegasus loot

  Since 2017, the first big money race of the year has taken place in South Florida. The purse may have diminished a bit since the first running of the Pegasus at Gulfstream Park, but the miraculous performances have not.   The eighth running of this now $3 million...

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TENNESSEE TURF AWARDS 2023

TENNESSEE TURF AWARDS 2023

  The sport of kings is just that…royalty. With that in mind, let’s take a look in the rearview at the 2023 racing year and dish out a few accolades. Because we are a card-carrying Southern boy, we will put a little Tennessee twist on some awards that we want to pass...

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California-breds enjoying some Miller time

  The West coast is obviously the best place to find California-bred race horses. As is the case with all areas that feature facilities for the sport of kings, winning in the backyard in which you were born is always good. For one California-based trainer, recent...

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Milky Way Farm gives Tennessee two minutes to remember

  As the proposed best turf writer in Tennessee, it is my obligation to indoctrinate as many sports fans as possible in regard to the many wonderful aspects of the sport of kings. Here is a little story that ties the Volunteer State to the greatest sport in the world....

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Hoist The Gold smokes’em in the Cigar Mile

    If you watch enough sports, sooner or later you get to see one of those WOW performances. An effort that is a real jaw-dropper. One of those smack your momma good things. And when you bear witness to such, it truly is a treat. The wonderful world of...

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Running down the 149th Clark Stakes

  On November 24 the Clark will be run at Churchill Downs for the 149th consecutive year. Always the centerpiece of a spectacular fall meet, this mile and an eighth drive over the Churchill Downs dirt has featured much magnificence. This year should be no different as...

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Cody’s Wish exhibits the omens of horse racing

  In reality, we all have to wonder what it all means. Being real about it, deeper thoughts can cause the preponderance of our existence. One of the things I love about horse racing is the omens of life present in this royal game. The 2023 Breeders’ Cup and the...

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Just FYI…she’s pretty good

Future stars Friday at the Breeders’ Cup gives us a glimpse of things to come… we think. Some of these promising two-year-olds go on to great things while others don’t quite pan out. So who was perhaps the most impressive of the five winners on November 3? The boys...

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A few Breeders’ Cup picks and pans for 2023

A FEW BREEDERS’ CUP PICKS AND PANS FOR 2023   The Breeders’ Cup is traditionally the greatest two days of racing on North American soil. Events like the Kentucky Derby and other Triple Crown races feature “big” weekends as well as some blockbuster stakes days...

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Ceiling Crusher was all that in Cotillion

  A great game plan means little without execution. For one Thoroughbred racing team, the grade 1 Cotillion on September 23 was kinda like that Jack Nicholson movie…As good as it gets. Coming into this $1 million foray for three-year-old fillies, questions abounded...

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Cotillion a big test for Ceiling Crusher

  In the Thoroughbred racing game, every trip to the starting gates is a test. When it’s a Grade 1 worth $1 million it is definitely more than a pop quiz. For one fabulously fast California-bred filly the Cotillion at PARX on September 23 equates to her ACT. A real...

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Turf Cup day adds to Kentucky Downs lore

  Two of the things that make Thoroughbred racing the greatest game in the world are predictable unpredictability and the adrenaline rush the thrill of victory produces. Both were more than present on September 9 at Kentucky Downs. As one of the biggest days on the...

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The Cup runneth over at Kentucky Downs on September 9

  If you are thirsty for some top notch competition, there will be plenty of Cups to drink from at Kentucky Downs on September 9. Located just north of the Tennessee state line, that little “country” track in Franklin, Kentucky will feature a huge day of racing on...

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Big Race Bob pulls a Classic at Del Mar

  There is an art to winning the big events. In stick and ball sports they call it clutch. Whether it be nailing a three at the buzzer, launching a dinger in the bottom of the ninth, or making a tackle at the two yard line, there is something to be said for performing...

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Mandella riding a Rocket into Pacific Classic

    Hall of Fame Thoroughbred trainer Richard Mandella has enjoyed many wonderful achievements since opening his own stable back in 1976. As a force in the Southern California racing circuit, he has elevated the game with superior conditioning methods that always puts...

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Live racing meet begins August 31 at Kentucky Downs

  One of the most wonderful times of the year is now upon us. Like a shooting star, Kentucky Downs is about to light up the Thoroughbred racing sky as their live racing meet begins on August 31 and features six other dates through September 13. Nestled just north of...

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Saratoga Special winner makes for a Hopeful situation

  When speaking of young athletes, “special” and “hopeful” can be two commonly used terms. Or at least those are two words that an athlete wants to be used as adjectives when being discussed. There is one particular two-year-old male Thoroughbred that has garnered one...

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Everything was all White in the Whitney Stakes

  The 95th running of the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga was supposed to be all- about heavily favored Cody’s Wish winning his seventh straight race. Somebody forgot to tell White Abarrio. Coming into this grade 1 test the focus had been deservedly on Cody’s Wish. A...

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Geaux Rocket Ride makes the grade in Haskell

The athletic playing field is always a test and that’s especially true in the Thoroughbred racing game. The three-year-old division features more pop quizzes than an eighth-grade science class. Given the lack of any real superstar in this 2023 bunch of males, the...

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Del Mar magnificence begins July 21

  There are special places and then…there is Del Mar. All sports have venues that seem to echo greatness and the Seaside Oval in Southern California is that donkey for sure. Way back in 1937, entertaining icon Bing Crosby had a vision, and as the 84th summer meet...

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Why is Saratoga the graveyard for favorites?

  Life can pose many questions. As we navigate through it all there are certain things we begin to wonder about. The meaning of life…the definition of happiness… and of course what was the mystery meat they fed us at the 4th-grade lunch counter? There is one question...

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Giant Game executes to perfection in Cornhusker

The beauty of an executed  Game plan can be Giant. The Cornhusker Handicap on July 8 was that and then some. This grade 3 run for three-year-olds and up males is the centerpiece for the Prairie Meadows Race Course in Altoona, Iowa. Inaugurated in 1966, this mile and...

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Stephen Foster day at Ellis Park speaks for the sport

  For those familiar with the wonderful world of Thoroughbred horse racing the following assortation has long been understood. If you are not quite as familiar, this statement summarizes another wonderful aspect of this game. Thoroughbred racing…predictable...

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Stephen Foster stakes looks like a loaded baked potato

  For those of us that like to eat, a loaded baked potato is a delectable delight. Piled high with potatoey goodness, this mouth-watering dish does a body good. A quick glance at the Stephen Foster Stakes on July 1  reminds us of one of those spectacular spuds....

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Hoosier Philly makes it look easy in Monomoy Girl Stakes

  Does making things look easy signify quality in the athletic arena? If that’s the case, then the running of the Monomoy Girl Stakes on June 17 means Hoosier Philly is a top-shelf talent. Re-located to Ellis Park, the one-mile Monomoy Girl featured a compact but...

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Caravel shines bright on Belmont day

  One of the great things about this time of year is the long days and the starry nights. Oftentimes, the June sky will be full of stars, but as we all are aware, some just shine brighter than others. The Belmont Stakes racing festival was very much like one of those...

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Belmont Stakes will be the Test of a champion

    The 155th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 10 will absolutely live up to one of its monikers. Long considered the “Test of a Champion”, this third leg of the Triple Crown series offers some intriguing storylines. Let’s examine a few as nine talented...

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It all adds up for National Treasure in Preakness Stakes

  There are times when those “big” sporting events provide less-than-expected results. That means when you see a thriller and a great plan comes together it produces something special. The 148th running of the Preakness was exactly that…special. Those familiar with...

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Taking a look at Preakness 148

  Two weeks after the first Saturday in May means another glorious event…the Preakness Stakes! The folks at Old Hilltop in Maryland say they only contest the Kentucky Derby to see who is good enough to run in the Preakness. That rub is a little different this year as...

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Kentucky Derby 149 like 1983 NCAA Final Four

  Don’t be confused by the headline. There is a shred of sanity here, but just remember we said shred. My loyal readers understand that sometimes I like to compare Thoroughbred racing to more mainstream sports in an attempt to hook the everyday sports fan into this...

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Running down Kentucky Derby 149

  Life can often be about answering questions. Does my boss approve of my work? How much is that doggy in the window? Will that girl give me the time of day? And what in the world is that smell? But let’s focus on that eternal question we all want to answer. Who is...

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Wet Paint has the kick for Kentucky Oaks

  When considering your selection for the 149th running of the Kentucky Oaks, what’s the biggest attribute you are looking for? If it’s a closing kick for that long home stretch at Churchill Downs, Wet Paint is certainly your filly. A daughter of Blame, Wet Paint...

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Southlawn a real Kentucky Oaks contender

  Having a horse running in the Kentucky Oaks is a huge accomplishment for any Thoroughbred conditioner. Of course, all the entrants have a chance to win. But if you are sending a real live one to the starting gates, that’s another level. Trainer Norm Casse is very...

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Caravel the current Turf Sprint queen at Keeneland

Monarchs come and monarchs go. Currently, there is one atop the turf sprint throne at Keeneland, and she looks fantastic. Caravel has ascended to the top of the heap at historic Keeneland Race Course thanks to three consecutive wins in the Turf Sprint division. It...

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Kentucky Derby contender rundown

  For guys like me, the day you start thinking about the next Kentucky Derby is the day after the current Kentucky Derby. For the casual sports fan, the time is now as far as considering who you are backing for the world’s most famous horse race. Now that we are about...

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Kingsbarns runs like top shelf shine in Louisiana Derby

How does a moonshiner know if his new batch is good? Especially if it is a recipe that has not been tested. Shake it to see how small the bubbles are and of course then a taste test. Kingsbarns came into the March 25 Louisiana Derby unbeaten, but with only two career...

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Secret Oath looks fantastic at four

One of the big questions for any athlete is how performance will be affected by age. Some get better as they mature, while others, do not. This is absolutely the case with Thoroughbreds. An impressive three-year-old season does not always equate to success in later...

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Forte finds his form in the Fountain of Youth

(photo courtesy Gulfstream Park) The most frequently asked questions this time of year normally revolve around the Kentucky Derby. Many a promising two-year-old has failed to mature into a good three-year-old as the first Saturday in May beckons. So, as these horses...

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Angel of Empire looks heavenly in Risen Star Stakes

  As the road to the Kentucky Derby widens on the way to Louisville and the first Saturday in May, just what are you looking for? As is the case with any athlete, improvement and being in peak form on THE day is the object. Yes, it is still a long way to those twin...

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Rachel Alexandra Stakes has Kentucky Derby implications

  Wait a minute…hold the King cake…is that headline right?... The Rachel Alexandra Stakes at the Fair Grounds on February 18 is for three-year-old fillies. So, how could this race impact the Kentucky Derby? The thoughts of a female winning the Kentucky Derby promotes...

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Wonder Wheel is rolling towards the Kentucky Oaks

  The road that leads to a spot in the coveted Kentucky Oaks can be treacherous. Now that the calendar has turned to February, the wheels are rolling, especially for one talented filly Wonder Wheel enjoyed an ultra-impressive two-year-old season in 2022. Four wins and...

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