Year in Review: My Favorite Moment (That Wasn’t a Race)

Oscar Performance winning the Woodbine Mile (gr. I) (Michael Burns Photo) For the most part, the most memorable moments in any given year of horse racing will be individual races that stand out as exciting, brilliant, or competitive. That’s understandable, right? It’s called horse racing, and the races are bound to take center stage. Nevertheless, one of my favorite racing moments of 2018 had nothing to do with an individual race. Instead, it involved hundreds of races throughout [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: No Changes (For Now)

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo As the racing year winds down, the final Kentucky Derby prep races of the season are wrapping up. On Sunday, Long Range Toddy forged to a narrow victory in the Remington Springboard Mile, earning 10 qualification points toward the 2019 Derby. Still to come on Wednesday is the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun, the second leg of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, in which the California-bred [...]

Derby, Oaks Contenders Star on Stakes-Packed Saturday at Fair Grounds

Hog Creek Hustle winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Up-and-coming two-year-olds with an eye on the 2019 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks are among the many talented horses entered in the six stakes races scheduled for December 22nd at Fair Grounds. It’s yet another action-packed Saturday of high-class racing at the New Orleans track, which opened its annual winter meet on December 1st. In chronological order, the highlights on this massive 14-race card include…. Race [...]

Rating the First Round of 2019 Kentucky Derby Preps

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography With the running of Sunday's Remington Springboard Mile, the last North American Kentucky Derby prep race of the year entered the history books, bringing to a close the first stage of qualification for the 2019 “Run for the Roses.” From September through December, nine Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races were conducted across the country, and while the majority offered the same number of qualification [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Long Range Toddy

If you’re looking for a 2019 Kentucky Derby contender with the pedigree to excel running 1 ¼ miles on the first Saturday in May, then you’ll be excited to check out Long Range Toddy, who burst onto the Derby scene with a hard-fought victory in the Remington Springboard Mile on December 16th. All of Long Range Toddy’s immediate ancestors were successful running a mile or farther, including his Florida Derby (gr. I)-winning sire Take Charge Indy, his dam Pleasant Song, [...]

Long Range Toddy Hangs On in Remington Springboard Mile

In a race packed with traffic-filled trips, big middle moves, and dramatic late rallies, Long Range Toddy managed to defy the overall race trends and emerge victorious in the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile on December 16th at Remington Park. One of five horses representing trainer Steve Asmussen (who sent out nearly half the field), Long Range Toddy’s tactical speed allowed him to secure a perfect position early on in the one-mile test, settling a length off the pace while outside in [...]

Year in Review: The Best Horse of 2018

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association While the debate over U.S. Horse of the Year honors has taken up a lot of press since the Breeders’ Cup, I find a less formal but no less challenging debate to be just as interesting—who was the best horse to race anywhere in the world in 2018? I’m not just looking for who compiled the best campaign, or who ran the best [...]

Year in Review: The Best Race of 2018

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography Horse racing fans were treated to some highly memorable moments in 2018. From Justify’s sweep of the Triple Crown to Accelerate’s season-defining victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the racing year was packed with exciting action and thrilling finishes. As a result, trying to define the single greatest race of the year is a task easier said than done, and one fraught with caveats and clarifications. Are [...]

2018 Horse of the Year Vote Could Shape Racing’s Future

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography Accelerate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography When Justify crossed the wire first in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to complete a rare sweep of the coveted Triple Crown, most racing fans assumed that the battle for 2018 Horse of the Year honors had already been won. In the years since formal voting for Horse of the Year began in 1936, [...]

Galilean Looms Large in King Glorious Stakes

There’s no such thing as a “can’t lose” proposition in the sport of horse racing, though if we’re being honest, #2 Galilean looks to be pretty close to a certain winner of Sunday’s $100,000 King Glorious Stakes at Los Alamitos. This one-mile race for California-breds—won in 2013 by the future Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome—has attracted seven entrants, but on paper Galilean is a clear standout. Conditioned by the Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Galilean opened his career in [...]