Dubai Carnival Update: Walking Thunder Carries Derby Dreams for Dubai

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography From the deserts of the Middle East to the bluegrass of Kentucky, who’s coming to Churchill Downs by way of Dubai? With 170 Kentucky Derby qualification points on the line in the March 30 UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, we're bound to see one or two horses use the desert challenge as a springboard to Churchill Downs. Although no UAE Derby starter has ever [...]

2019 Racing Preview: 5 Wishes for the New Year

Le Vent Se Leve winning the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki Racecourse (Photo courtesy Akihiro Takeda/Churchill Downs) Happy New Year, racing fans! Maybe my greeting is a tad premature—2019 is still a few hours away—but I can’t help myself. I’m already thinking ahead to the new year and pondering an interesting question: If I could make five racing-related wishes, all guaranteed to come true in 2019, what would they be? Well, first I decided to put some limitations [...]

2019 Racing Preview: 5 Horses I Can’t Wait to Watch

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association Triple Crown winner Justify might be retired, with his Horse of the Year challenger Accelerate slated to follow suit in January, but that doesn’t mean the sport of racing will be lacking star power in 2019. To the contrary, there are so many talented horses set to compete around the world next year that narrowing down the list to a handful of my [...]

2019 Racing Preview: 5 Races You Won’t Want to Miss

Winx - Photo: Australia Turf Club/Sky Racing. With 2019 on the horizon, I’m already looking forward to another sensational year of racing and anticipating some of the exciting showdowns and matchups that we’ll witness across the globe. Five races in particular are already on my radar as intriguing events that I’m excited to watch unfold. In chronological order, they are…. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) When: January 26 Where: Gulfstream Park, Florida The first two editions [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Filly Make Happy Earns Derby Qualification Points in Cattleya Sho

Tokyo Racecourse (Photo Courtesy of the JRA) If you haven’t already placed a bet on the “All Other Three-Year-Old Fillies” option in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1, maybe you need to open your wallet and reconsider, because against the odds a filly has already won a Kentucky Derby prep race. That victory came courtesy of Make Happy, who posted a convincing win in the November 24th Cattleya Sho at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan, earning 10 qualifications points on [...]

Persian Knight, Mozu Ascot Among Major Names in Mile Championship

Persian Knight winning the 2017 Mile Championship (Jpn-I) at Kyoto - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association If your weekend plans include handicapping high-class, ultra-competitive races with huge fields, then Sunday’s Mile Championship (Jpn-I) at Kyoto in Japan should absolutely be on your radar. Eighteen horses have been entered in the prestigious 1,600-meter turf test, and truthfully, drawing a name from a hat might give you roughly the same chance of picking the winner as actually handicapping [...]

Early Impressions on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography With less than six months remaining until the 2019 Kentucky Derby, we’re about to enter what I like to consider the second stage of the qualification process. The first stage included the major Breeders’ Cup prep races such as the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and American Pharoah Stakes (gr. I) and culminated with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. [...]

Mozu Katchan Seeks Repeat Win in Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Mozu Katchan winning the 2017 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association The autumn racing season in Japan is well underway, and the weekly parade of Group 1 races will continue on November 11th with the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Jpn-I) at Kyoto, a 2,200-meter event that serves as a major prize for some of the nation’s best fillies and mares. The Filly Triple Crown winner Almond Eye is skipping the Queen Elizabeth [...]