Walsh hopes to keep luck of the Irish going with Maxfield

              WALSH HOPES TO KEEP LUCK OF THE IRISH GOING WITH MAXFIELD   Ahh yes, the luck of the Irish... is it for real? For one of the hottest Thoroughbred trainers in the racing game today it has been. And he hopes to find more of those lucky charms when he sends...

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Mintd and Mint Julep win a classic reminder

                       The Old Forester Mint Julep Trophy For those that are around the sport of Thoroughbred racing long enough, it will be understood that one rule normally applies. The only certain thing in this game is uncertainty. Those floating question marks...

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Running strong in Belmont was Essential

                                       RUNNING STRONG IN BELMONT WAS ESSENTIAL   They have called the Belmont Stakes the “test of a champion” for many years now. This mile and a half saunter around Big Sandy is no doubt a challenge. The 2021 edition saw a champion...

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Hillbilly takes a dive into Belmont pick 4

It's Belmont Stakes day so that means it's a great opportunity to abide by one of our favorite slogans of life...Back a horse and get paid!!! Without further ado let's dive into the pool and hope our plunge will net a payday. The great thing about this sport is it can...

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Belmont a Quality opportunity

BELMONT A QUALITY OPPORTUNITY The Triple Crown races are always a measuring stick for Thoroughbreds. Because of the notoriety and purse money associated with these races, the best of the three-year old division normally shows up. This makes for big chances for young...

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Miller Texas bound with loaded guns

                               MILLER TEXAS BOUND WITH LOADED GUNS   If a gunslinger is going to last, he better have some loaded weapons. When the California Kid heads to Lone Star Park on Memorial Day rest assured, he is bringing an arsenal. Peter Miller has been...

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O’Neill enjoying the ride with team Hot Rod

O’NEILL ENJOYING THE RIDE WITH TEAM HOT ROD As we roll down the road of life, it is understood certain trips are better than others. You hang in there during the bad times and rejoice during the good ones. For one of the top Thoroughbred trainers in the world, it is...

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Rombauer’s Preakness Romp makes McCarthy smile

ROMBAUER’S PREAKNESS ROMP MAKES MCCARTHY SMILE   Thoroughbred trainer Michael McCarthy is no stranger when it comes to walking to the winner’s circle. Forgive him if he looks more like a Chesire cat these days as one of his recent trips  to those hallowed grounds was...

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Rombauer gets his Preak on

ROMBAUER GETS HIS PREAK ON   Now that the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes is in the books…what have we learned? First and foremost, the only predictable thing on days like this is unpredictability. Like the first leg of the Triple Crown series (Medina Spirit,...

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Preakness 146 Picks and Pans

PREAKNESS 146 PICKS AND PANS   After the shakeout of another historic Kentucky Derby there is perhaps a little head scratching going on. Regardless of what happened May 1, we are now off to the Preakness. Of course, the folks in Maryland say the reason they run the...

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Maxfield makes a move in Alysheba

MAXFIELD MAKES A MOVE IN ALYSHEBA   Sometimes we find out about some of those “other” horses during the Kentucky Oaks/Derby extravaganza. Graded stakes races lead up to these all-too famous events so that means plenty of top athletes are on display. Often times you...

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Baffert’s Spirit rewards faith in Kentucky Derby

BAFFERT’S SPIRIT REWARDS FAITH IN KENTUCKY DERBY   One of the great things about Thoroughbred horse racing is it allows a hillbilly turf writer the opportunity to get philosophical. Do the words “hillbilly” and “philosophical” belong in the same sentence?... Just...

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KENTUCKY OAKS OFFERS LILLIES FOR THE FILLIES

KENTUCKY OAKS OFFERS LILLIES FOR THE FILLIES

  The day before the Kentucky Derby is quite magical. The Kentucky Oaks is a race for the top three year old females and it too has been contested for 147 years. As we know, girls are the real rulers of the world, so let’s take a quick look-see at the fourteen...

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KENTUCKY DERBY 147 RUNDOWN

KENTUCKY DERBY 147 RUNDOWN

The 147th run for the roses is now upon us. Immortality awaits the winner of this mile and a quarter drive over the Churchill Downs dirt. Which three year old will etch his name in the record books? Let’s take a look at the entrants and get a thought on each. We know...

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Sadler looking for a special piece of Candy

      Remember when you went out on Halloween night and got a sack full of candy. After returning home it was fun to sort through and hopefully you would find the special piece that was your favorite. As the May 1 Kentucky Derby approaches, Thoroughbred trainer...

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Helium is a Derby horse on the rise

HELIUM IS A DERBY HORSE ON THE RISE The time is here to think Kentucky Derby. Which horse are you riding?...What’s that…you don’t know who to pick?...Here is one to consider and he might just provide a nice payday should things go his way on May 1. One of the best...

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Derby prep trifecta is on the table

This Saturday is one of the most magical days in sports. Three races at three different tracks spanning this great nation of ours will provide an opportunity for immortality. With Kentucky Derby qualifying points on the line, runners will be racing towards the first...

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Kentucky Derby countdown is on

Known Agenda wins the Florida Derby (photo by Adam Coglianese) KENTUCKY DERBY COUNTDOWN IS ON   When does a hillbilly turf writer think about the Kentucky Derby?...Pretty much all the time. When does the every day sports fan think about the world’s most famous race?...

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What really makes a Hot Rod run ???

                                   WHAT REALLY MAKES A HOT ROD RUN ??? ANALYZING THE LOUISIANA DERBY So what really makes a Hot Rod run fast? Is it the dual line double pumping quadrajet carburetor? Maybe the bored 40 over cylinders with an Edelbrock intake manifold...

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O’Neill running his Hot Rod in Louisiana Derby

O’NEILL RUNNING HIS HOT ROD IN LOUISIANA DERBY   One of the keys to a good Hot Rod is of course horsepower. One California based Thoroughbred trainer is hoping his has plenty when it comes to the Louisiana Derby on March 20. Doug O’Neill has white-smoked tires all...

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Miller barn drinks a little Rocket fuel

MILLER BARN DRINKS A LITTLE ROCKET FUEL   When CZ Rocket powered to victory in the Hot Springs Stakes on March 13, what did it really mean?...For starters, it means his conditioner got to enjoy a hugely satisfying drink of a very high octane beverage. Peter Miller has...

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Looking for that Golden Hour double

LOOKING FOR THAT GOLDEN HOUR DOUBLE What’s the goal for every speculator?....Low risk high yield . With that in mind, let’s take a swing at the Golden Hour Double on Friday, March 12. This wager involves selecting the winner of the final race at Santa Anita and the...

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Get Her Number just about the Rebel Stakes

GET HER NUMBER JUST ABOUT THE REBEL STAKES   The Spring and a talented three year old colt usually means one thing for most…Kentucky Derby dreams. As runners roll towards a date with destiny, there is one trainer of a very talented horse that prefers to focus simply...

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Essential Quality runs like number 1

Juvenile Champ Essential Quality made his three year old debut an impressive one as he powerfully scored in the delayed running of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on February 27. Winning the mile and a sixteenth race by a widening 4 1/2 lengths, this son of Tapit...

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Showdown and a superfecta in the Saudi Cup

Question: Who is the best racehorse in the world? Answer: I dunno? Question: How in the world do we figure it out? Answer: Think worldly and start with watching the $20 million Saudi Cup on February 20 Question: How do we cash in on our share of some of that Saudi Cup...

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Dream Shake looks to score again

DREAM SHAKE LOOKS TO SCORE AGAIN If you follow the Thoroughbred racing game and don’t know who Hakeem Olajuwon is you might be figuring it out pretty quick. You see, there’s this three-year old colt in the Peter Eurton barn that hopes to score like his namesake. For...

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Medina Spirit joins the Baffert Derby Dance

MEDINA SPIRIT JOINS THE BAFFERT DERBY DANCE So here’s a question for you…does Bob Baffert know how to dance?...I think that is open for debate depending on your perspective. If you are talking about the disco lights and techno funk the jury is still out. If you mean...

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All Tree of ’em look fantastic

People make fun of hillbillies for how they talk sometimes, but those damn yankees have a dialect that is also quite humorous. One of my New York born buddies and I have often traded laughs with a play on our particular versions of the English language. After watching...

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Looking for that Pegasus double

Saturday marks the fifth running of the Pegasus Cup at Gulfstream Park and the third rendition of the Pegasus Turf. The purse money has been greatly decreased since these races began, but that does not mean we can't make a dime or two on this event in 2021. Our angle...

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The 2020 Hillbilly Horse Awards

                                         THE 2020 HILLBILLY HORSE AWARDS   Now that the calendar has turned, let’s take a minute or two to recognize some of the best in the world of Thoroughbred racing. Each year we like to shine the flashlight on some of the best...

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Life Is Good to follow the Baffert Blueprint???

LIFE IS GOOD TO FOLLOW THE BAFFERT BLUEPRINT ??? Questions, questions, and more questions…that’s what travels down the early road to the Kentucky Derby. After the Sham Stakes on January 2, some may be wondering if Bob Baffert is now in the fast lane to the Derby 147...

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Charlatan proves to be much the best

CHARLATAN PROVES TO BE MUCH THE BEST For those that wondered just how good the lightly raced Charlatan is, they got their answer in the grade 1 Malibu Stakes on December 26. A seven furlong dash over the Santa Anita dirt, the Malibu has long been a year end target for...

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Opening Day at Santa Anita even more special

SANTA ANITA OPENING DAY EVEN MORE SPECIAL This time of year means lots of things to lots of people. The celebration of Christmas is always a real biggy. The ringing in of a new year is also high on the charts. But this year especially, opening day at Santa Anita...

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Maxfield is only about the here and now

Athletes these days are often judged on potential and the anticipation of what they might do. The thoughts of future glory can create lots of debate and excitement. Sometimes they produce and other times they don't. Thoroughbred trainer Brendan Walsh is currently...

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Run for the Derby record starts in Sham

Despite delays, rescheduling, and many other obstacles, Bob Baffert was able to equal the record for most wins in the Kentucky Derby in 2020. Ben Jones blanketed a three year old with roses six times between 1938 and 1952 with two triple crown winners (Whirlaway,...

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Arklow shows his star power

Kentucky Downs graduate Arklow went west last week and showed his star power in winning the Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar on November 27. The two-time Kentucky Turf Cup (2018,2020) champion enjoyed an excellent stalking trip under jockey Joel Rosario and then exploded...

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2020 Clark is like a Thanksgiving Dinner Plate

2020 CLARK IS LIKE A THANKSGIVING DINNER PLATE The Clark is no doubt one of the top races in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. A grade 1 event worth $500,000, this mile and an eighth run over the main track has been the centerpiece of the Churchill Downs Fall meet for...

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Baffert has a Classic Dream Team

BAFFERT HAS A CLASSIC DREAM TEAM As the runners line up for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 7, Bob Baffert may be doing a Chuck Daly imitation. …How’s that you ask?...It looks like Big Race Bob has assembled a Dream Team for this $6 million event. For those that...

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Amoss hopes to crown his Empress once more

AMOSS LOOKS TO CROWN HIS EMPRESS ONCE MORE The relationship between player and coach is often times very special. This is absolutely the case in the game of Thoroughbred racing. Perhaps it is even more so as these four-legged athletes enjoy a special bond with their...

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Got Stormy adds to Keeneland lore in Buffalo Trace

GOT STORMY ADDS TO KEENELAND LORE IN BUFFALO TRACE As the sands move through the hourglass we can all be privy to certain things that have a “Wow” factor. The piece of heaven on earth we call Keeneland Race Course has seen many of those moments over the years. Thanks...

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And then there was Swiss Skydiver

AND THEN THERE WAS SWISS SKYDIVER We all know that 2020 has been just a little bit different in many ways. Considering all that, was it really a huge surprise when Swiss Skydiver won the 145th running of the Preakness? Throughout this glorious Thoroughbred season,...

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2020 Preakness picks and pans

2020 PREAKNESS PICKS AND PANS It’s the first Saturday in October and we are talking Preakness…that’s right, it’s October and we be getting our Preak on!!! In what has been a completely topsy-turvy year, the delayed 145th running of this Triple Crown race will take...

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Mr Money takes ’em to the bank in the Ack-Ack

MR MONEY TAKES’EM TO THE BANK IN THE ACK-ACK In the business world we often spend time looking for some real Money. In the business of Thoroughbred racing, one conditioner knew he has some real Money and after the Ack-Ack Stakes, everyone else knows it too. Mr Money...

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Baffert swings for a double in 2020 Preakness

BAFFERT SWINGS FOR A DOUBLE IN 2020 PREAKNESS For most hitters, getting on base is the goal. Lacing a liner up the middle and trotting to first base is always good. Your bigger swingers look to launch when they step into the box. Keying on a fastball, these guys want...

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Turf Cup Day at Kentucky Downs

TURF CUP DAY AT KENTUCKY DOWNS Blessed we are to have another glorious day in the sport of kings. That little country track nestled just north of the Tennessee state line played host to the second richest turf racing day in the nation on September 12. Called “Kentucky...

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An Authentic Kentucky Derby winner !!!

AN AUTHENTIC KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby was most certainly a breath of fresh air in this very troubled world we live in. How’s that? …In times where things don’t add up and nothing makes much sense, the outcome of the race was about...

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She dares to be different for Kentucky Oaks

SHE DARES TO BE DIFFERENT IN KENTUCKY OAKS One thing we all need to be aware is the fact there is more than one way to skin a possum. Just because Uncle Cletus decides to do it from tooter to rooter and cousin Joe Bob goes from rooter to tooter it does not mean either...

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