A few Thoroughbred thoughts

A FEW THOROUGHBRED THOUGHTS One of the great things about covering the sport of kings is the fact we still have some real things to write about. Like actual events in the field of competition and not just speculation on play or political stances regarding the...

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Serengeti Empress on familiar ground

One of the most royal runners in the sport of kings today is no doubt Serengeti Empress. If you have a question about her ability to rule, simply watch her run. Her fleet feet and tremendous courage will tell why she has been crowned as a real race horse. But as is...

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Kentucky Downs has Music City in Mind

KENTUCKY DOWNS HAS MUSIC CITY IN MIND Some things just seem to be made for each other. Peanut butter and jelly, bologna and cheese, sweet tea and lemonade… ahhh yes. I think now we can add another… Kentucky Downs and the Music City! Entering 2020, Nashville, Tennessee...

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Tiger Dad gets his Stakes score

TIGER DAD GETS HIS STAKES SCORE Being that Father’s Day is June 21, who better to talk about than Tiger Dad? In fitting fashion, this four-year old son of Smiling Tiger was ferocious on June 13 in winning the Thor’s Echo Stakes at Santa Anita. Always a hard-knocker,...

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Tiz The Law Flying his Flag in Belmont Stakes

TIZ THE LAW FLYING HIS FLAG IN THE BELMONT STAKES If current events have you wondering about the Law, fear not as you are going to find out all about it come June 20. The topsy turvy world we live in has now landed the Belmont Stakes as the opening leg of the Triple...

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Nadal…a real racehorse

NADAL…A REAL RACEHORSE Injury is unfortunately a part of any sport. The career ending ones are really saddening, especially when a player is just beginning to tap their potential. The game of Thoroughbred racing has seen this far too many times as things for these...

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O’Neill has three musketeers for Daytona Stakes

When they go to post at Santa Anita on May 23 for the Daytona Stakes, one conditioner will be serving up a candy bar of sorts. Now, why in the world will a trainer of Thoroughbreds indulge in this type of delight? Take a look at the entries for this 5 1/2 furlong dash...

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Maxfield wants a big Winn

MAXFIELD WANTS A BIG WINN The road that leads to the Kentucky Derby can be a treacherous one. This year’s winding path has been especially challenging. For one impressive colt, the merge into the fast lane towards immortality is now right in front of him. Maxfield is...

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Calhoun has a good one…By My Standards

CALHOUN HAS A GOOD ONE…BY MY STANDARDS So, you read the headline and wonder “what’s the definition of good by a hillbilly turf writer’s standards”? For that matter, does a hillbilly turf writer even have standards? The answer to those questions are yes, the bar may be...

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The day a hillbilly almost hit the pick six

THE DAY A HILLBILLY ALMOST HIT THE PICK SIX Of course we love the sport of Thoroughbred racing for many reasons. Here is a short narrative documenting some of those reasons. The speculation on the sport is very intriguing. Some may be overwhelmed by the many different...

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Baffert duo powerfully sweeps Arkansas

BAFFERT DUO POWERFULLY SWEEPS ARKANSAS The 84th running of the Arkansas Derbys told us something most already suspected…Bob Baffert is loaded with Kentucky Derby contenders! Big Race Bob is just one win shy of equaling the record for victories in the world’s most...

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Brad Cox barn primed for another big day

Being in the action on the big stage is always fun. Making marks in the left hand column on those days is even better. The Brad Cox barn has enjoyed some real highlights in the Thoroughbred game in recent times. And now he looks for even more during a huge closing...

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Baffert loks for more Oaklawn success

BAFFERT LOOKS FOR MORE OAKLAWN SUCCESS Things in Hot Springs have been, well, pretty hot this Spring. That’s partially due to the increased competition at historic Oaklawn Park. With a lot of the Thoroughbred talent funneled to this Arkansas oval, one of the more...

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No Parole ready for a break out at Oaklawn Park

NO PAROLE READY FOR A BREAK OUT AT OAKLAWN One of the cool things about Thoroughbred horse racing are the many different divisions within the sport. If a runner can run, the respective conditioner needs to figure the best spot for success. Sometimes that can take a...

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The legend of Whitmore grows in Count Fleet

Some Thoroughbreds are but a flash across the sky in the game of life. They may burn brightly but often times are all too quickly gone. Such is the game of Thoroughbred racing. One of the O.G.'s (old guys) in the sport is Whitmore and he recently proved to be the...

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The Empress has a blossoming strategy

             THE EMPRESS HAS A BLOSSOMING STRATEGY Like any sport, strategy is a big part of Thoroughbred racing. Trainers alter their plans based on distances, track conditions, field size, weather, and of course other factors. But then again there are those times...

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Calhoun hopes to cash at Oaklawn with 4 year old Money

.       CALHOUN HOPES TO CASH AT OAKLAWN WITH 4 YEAR OLD MONEY As is the case with most sports, one of the interesting things can be how does an athlete perform when transitioning to a new season. Some move forward, some don’t. Success is never guaranteed, especially...

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Keeneland has me making like B.B. King

KEENELAND HAS ME MAKING LIKE B.B. KING This was supposed to be the opening week of the Spring meet at Keeneland Race Course. Due to a virus it will not happen and frankly that has me feeling sick. Now this is not going to be another one of those sappy columns that...

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Tiz The Law could be a Derby rule breaker

TIZ THE LAW COULD BE A DERBY RULE BREAKER Make no mistake, these are some different times we are in right now. The dominating Florida Derby win by Tiz The Law however, might have been the norm considering the past two decades of the Kentucky Derby. For many years...

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B.C. scores the late pick 3 at the Fairgrounds

B.C. SCORES THE LATE PICK 3 AT FAIRGROUNDS For those that don’t know, the pick three is where you select the winner in three consecutive races. Not as easy as it sounds, but an achievable feat for the pony prognosticators. Usually there is some strategy involved and...

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2020 Thoroughbred Campaign going to be a curveball

2020 THOROUGHBRED CAMPAIGN GOING TO BE A CURVE BALL We don’t have to go into detail as to why this year has suddenly become one that will be remembered forever. Adversity is part of life, how are you going to deal with it, that’s the real question. Because of track...

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Virus makes for an extended Fever

What does all this Corona virus stuff really mean?...After an announcement from Churchill Downs, it means that case of Derby Fever is gonna last about 4 more months! With all due respect to those stricken, let's use our lemons to make lemonade. The Kentucky Derby is...

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Serengeti Empress reigns with a royal run at Oaklawn

THE EMPRESS REIGNS WITH A ROYAL RUN AT OAKLAWN For those who are curious as to just how good Serengeti Empress is…take a look at her latest run in the Azeri Stakes on March 14. Coming in to this grade 2 mile and a sixteenth jaunt over the Arkansas dirt at Oaklawn...

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Maximum offense to say the least

What does the brewing scandal regarding the doping of Thoroughbreds tell us?... Mix money and people and you can screw up anything. As is the case in all pro sports, cheating happens. Some folks are so desperate to win they just can't help themselves. Of course at...

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No Parole going to Rebel with a cause

NO PAROLE GOING TO REBEL WITH A CAUSE The prep race season for the Kentucky Derby is most certainly a special time of year. Dreams of immortality will dance through the heads of many as they navigate that twisting path that leads to the first Saturday in May. In the...

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MAXIMUM SECURITY DESERVES ALL HE GETS

MAXIMUM SECURITY DESERVES ALL HE GETS What did the courageous win by Maximum Security in the richest Thoroughbred race ever tell us?...Well it told me he deserves every penny of the $10 million he earned for crossing the finish line first in the inaugural Saudi Cup....

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Top Ten Three-year old poll February 24

So here we are doing what we normally do this time of year...think about the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks!!! With that in mind, let's take a look at our ballot for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association three year old poll and get a thought on each. Thousand...

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Fox loving her Derby Moment

FOX LOVING HER DERBY MOMENT For those that take a closer look, it’s easy to see how special the sport of Thoroughbred racing truly is. This time of year can be especially magical as horses across the nation are dashing towards immortality and a spot in the Kentucky...

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Kentucky Derby future wager is about the Words

This truly is a fabulous time of year for sports fans. Yes, we know another football season is in the books, but the focus now can be on something far bigger than a a little pigskin play. We are talking about the greatest single sporting event known to man...the...

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The Beach is flying into the Pegasus

THE BEACH IS FLYING INTO THE PEGASUS If you are thinking about the Pegasus Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 25, it may be only natural that the Beach comes to mind. And it has nothing to do with the track being in South Florida. The fourth running of the year’s first...

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HILLBILLY HORSE AWARDS FOR 2019

HILLBILLY HORSE AWARDS FOR 2019

My oh my, twelve glorious months have passed and for the third consecutive year we are faced with figuring who will be recognized with a Hillbilly Horse Award. When adding up the qualifying points, we have discovered it is easier to count past ten if you don’t wear...

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Jockey Smith a grade above

JOCKEY SMITH A GRADE ABOVE Opening day at Santa Anita usually is a proving ground for the past and sometimes gives us a glimpse of the future. The December 28, 2019 edition provided a confirmation for what many already knew in regards to one of the veterans of the...

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Opening day at Santa Anita rings in the new year

The great thing about opening day at Santa Anita is in reality it helps mark the beginning of a new season in the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing. Big stakes races at "The Great Race Place" brings a lot of the top athletes to the track as they begin their quest for...

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THOUSAND WORDS EASILY SUMMARIZED AFTER FUTURITY

THOUSAND WORDS EASILY SUMMARIZED AFTER FUTURITY

Tis the season to be jolly…especially if you think you have a Kentucky Derby contender! As 2019 comes to a close, dreams of the 2020 Run for the Roses are running rampant in the barns of those blessed with a talented two-year old. When the calendar turns on January 1,...

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Casse Conditions a Perfect Storm

CASSE CONDITIONS A PERFECT STORM What exactly is the definition of a perfect storm? Is it a powerful thunder boomer that blows in at dusty dark and helps you sleep better? Maybe it’s a blanketing snow storm that starts in the wee hours and allows you to awaken to a...

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Persistence Pays Off for Tom’s d’Etat in Clark

PERSISTANCE PAYS OFF FOR TOM’S D’ETAT IN CLARK If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. At least that’s what they used to say. For one particular Thoroughbred, that old adage paid off in a big way on November 29. Tom’s d’Etat is a veteran runner that has...

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Clark looks like a Thanksgiving plate…Loaded!

CLARK LOOKS LIKE A THANKSGIVING PLATE…LOADED ! This is the time of year when a person can enjoy lots of good food. Whether it’s Aunt Hattie Mae’s buttermilk pie or Cousin Joe Bob’s fried turkey, we all like to have a big plate that offers plenty. For those that are...

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HIGH VELOCITY…. HOPE OR HYPE ???

HIGH VELOCITY…. HOPE OR HYPE ???

Did the Bob Hope Stakes on November 16 provide us with a glimpse of a real Kentucky Derby contender? At this stage I think the answer is…a big maybe! Just to clarify, we are not riding the fence on this, we are just being real. The 2020 Kentucky Derby is a loooooong...

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35th Breeders’ Cup full of highlights

35TH BREEDERS’ CUP FULL OF HIGHLIGHTS The 35th running of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park on November 1 and 2 was once again a showcase for the magnificence encompassed in the game. But of course that is what we have come to expect as these “World Championships...

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Future Stars Friday thoughts

Big Friday thoughts on the Breeders' Cup...Hey man...It's the Cup...Excitement abounds! Race 5 is the Turf Sprint for the youngsters- We like the 1 Chimney Rock and of course the redneck blood says take the 9 Four wheel Drive ! Race 6 is a wide open Juvenile Turf- In...

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Breeders’ Cup a dividend for Mr Money

BREEDERS CUP A DIVIDEND FOR MR MONEY The Breeders’ Cup is the pinnacle of Thoroughbred horse racing. These “world championships” are run near the end of the calendar year and feature the best of the best in every division of the sport. Winning one of these races on...

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Big day at Keeneland full of highlights

BIG DAY AT KEENELAND FULL OF HIGHLIGHTS    Let’s pretend it is time for Sunday dinner and set the table. Opening weekend at Keeneland for the fall meet and the Saturday card features five Stakes races with four of them providing paid entries into the Breeders’ Cup....

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Romans and Mr Freeze were cool in the Ack-Ack

ROMANS AND MR FREEZE WERE COOL IN THE ACK-ACK There are times when it pays to play it cool and let things happen. That was exactly the right strategy for one Thoroughbred team as they found the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs on September 28. The grade 3 Ack-Ack...

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A Derby Moment

The Dale Romans trained Dennis' Moment is one of the top early contenders on the road to Kentucky Derby 146. This vastly talented son of Tiznow broke his maiden at Ellis Park in his second career start with a 19 3/4 length creaming of the competition. He followed that...

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Can we Justify the 2018 Triple Crown???

So here we are more than a year since a miraculous athlete pulled off the unthinkable and somebody has decided to question the authenticity of one of the greatest achievements in the sports world. My first response here is ...WHY ? Maybe there are two answers here....

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Morticia was scary good in Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint

MORTICIA WAS SCARY GOOD IN SPENDTHRIFT FARM LADIES SPRINT It is quickly becoming the time of year when we think about ghouls, goblins, and some of that other scary stuff. The Spendthrift Farms Ladies Sprint at Kentucky Downs on September 7 saw an aptly named gal throw...

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