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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Arrogate-Superstar or Supernova?

ARROGATE- SUPERSTAR OR SUPERNOVA? The Pacific Classic saw a brilliant run by the winner, Collected, but left us with a ton of questions about second place Arrogate. Coming into the Del Mar meet, the newly crowned king of the Thoroughbred world was supposed to be a...

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Aptly named Run Away takes Best Pal at Del Mar

The road that leads to the 2018 Kentucky Derby is flowing with traffic. The grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar saw the unbeaten Run Away do just that as he romped to an easy 3 1/2 length triumph. Now with three wins in three lifetime starts, this son of Run Away and...

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San Diego Cap proof why you play’em

SAN DIEGO CAP PROOF WHY YOU PLAY’EM The words of Carl Nafzger have never rang more true than on July 21, 2017. The setting was Del Mar and after the ninth race we all knew once again the two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer knows a little something-something about...

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Arrogate makes for some head scratchin”

ARROGATE MAKES FOR SOME HEAD SCRATCHIN’ Time is usually always good at lending perspective. When we think back, a little more light is usually shed. That absolutely can be the case with athletics as sometimes we do not realize what we just saw until long after it is...

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Stars and Stripes day picks and pans

STARS AND STRIPES DAY PICKS AND PANS Belmont Park will feature five graded stakes races on July 8 with three of them being for three-year olds. The Dwyer will be run on dirt while the Belmont Oaks (fillies) and Belmont Derby are on the grass. Here are a few thoughts...

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Songbird sings some sweet music

SONGBIRD SINGS SOME SWEET MUSIC Now that we are deep in the throws of summer, let’s think about a couple of the best things we may encounter. It’s a time when females can look really pretty. And it is certainly good to hear those birds singing their summer song. Good...

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My top 10 NTRA poll and a thought for week of June 25

MY TOP 10 NTRA POLL AND A THOUGHT FOR WEEK OF JUNE 25 1 ARROGATE- King of the castle till somebody knocks him off 2 SONGBIRD- One career loss by a flaring nostril- she’s special fo sho 3 GUN RUNNER- May be best horse stabled east of the Mississippi 4 MIND YOUR...

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Viola wants to keep Dreaming

VIOLA WANTS TO KEEP DREAMING How long does a Kentucky Derby winner last? Ask a certain guy from New York and he is going to give the answer horse racing fans want to hear. When Always Dreaming won the 2017 Kentucky Derby with a near perfect mile and a quarter,...

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Foster night was educational for all

FOSTER NIGHT WAS EDUCATIONAL FOR EVERYONE Class was in session on June 17 at Churchill Downs. Depending upon the student, your lesson plan may have varied. But here are a few things everyone should have written down in the old notepad. 1. Thoroughbred racing is alive...

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Foster shaping up as interesting for sure

FOSTER SHAPING UP AS INTERESTING FOR SURE The 36th running of the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 17 offers up some intrigue as we kick off the chase towards the Breeders’ Cup Classic. As the first “win and you’re in” race for the $6 million Classic...

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Belmont day takeouts for a hillbilly

BELMONT DAY TAKEOUTS FOR A HILLBILLY Give the New York Racing Association a lot of credit for hosting an outstanding day of racing on June 10. What a card! I think overall the magnificent day was a little like a visit to my Granny’s house for Sunday dinner. She always...

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Belmont Day picks and pans

BELMONT DAY  PICKS AND PANS Belmont Park and the New York Racing Association have put together a fantastic day of racing for June 10. The third leg of the Triple Crown is the center piece of the day, but the Belmont Stakes is far from the only “big” race on the card....

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Belmont Day Entries

PROGRAM PP HORSE MED/EQ A/S JOCKEY WGT TRAINER ML 1 1 Sonic Mule Kentucky L 2014/C Luis Saez 121 Todd A. Pletcher 10-1 2 2 Lookin At Blessing Kentucky L 2014/C Tyler Gaffalione 115 Nicholas P. Zito 20-1 3 3 Wicked Macho New York L 2014/C Jose L. Ortiz 115 Mark E....

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Songbird sweet music for Smith

As if things were not good enough already for hall of fame jockey Mike Smith, champion filly Songbird is slated to make her long awaited 2017 debut in the Ogden Phipps on Belmont Stakes day (June 10). Having been beaten only once by a flaring nostril in the 2016...

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Belmont might be Lookin just right

BELMONT MIGHT BE LOOKIN JUST RIGHT All the Triple Crown races are coveted and extremely hard to win. Because they are the most recognizable races to the everyday sports fan, they naturally carry something extra. And the fact they have been around for 140 plus years...

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Cupid and Gold Cup proof for Baffert

CUPID AND GOLD CUP PROOF FOR BAFFERT The wonderful sport of Thoroughbred racing is rife with unpredictability. That is one of the things that makes it so great. At the same time however, there are a few things that seem to be a constant and one of those is a...

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Three-year old division is all Clouded up

THREE-YEAR OLD DIVISION IS ALL CLOUDED UP So what did the Preakness tell us about the three-year old male division in 2017? After a thrilling finish and things were all added up…there was Cloud Computing. What do we mean by our previous statement? Enough questions,...

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Looking at a Preakness shot

LOOKING AT A PREAKNESS SHOT Looking at Lee is headed to the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes for many reasons. The biggest reason, however, is to win the second jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. When the horses crossed under the wire in the Churchill...

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Always Dreaming right on time in Kentucky Derby

ALWAYS DREAMING RIGHT ON TIME IN DERBY What did Always Dreaming’s fantastic win in the Kentucky Derby tell us on May 6? Perhaps it was the omens of horse racing and the forces that surround life came together on a glorious spring day in Louisville, Kentucky. For the...

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Kentucky Oaks another feather for Baffert and Smith

KENTUCKY OAKS ANOTHER FEATHER FOR BAFFERT AND SMITH When Abel Tasman circled the field and won the Kentucky Oaks, was anyone really surprised to see Bob Baffert and Mike Smith in the winner’s circle on the big stage again? Perhaps their philosophical approach and a...

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Kentucky Derby 143 what you need to know

                 KENTUCKY DERBY 143 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The first Saturday in May is upon us and it is time to back a horse. Picking the name or the number is always a good way to enjoy a little speculation. Because knowledge is power, let’s provide a little...

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