Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Berth Available in KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes

This weekend is going to be a big one in terms of “Win and You’re In” prep races for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The attention of North American racing fans will be primarily focused on Sunday’s Summer Stakes (gr. I) at Woodbine, but given the impressive history of success by foreign raiders in the Juvenile Turf, it could pay to keep an eye on Saturday’s KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (Eng-II) at Leopardstown, a [...]

Why I’m Betting Bandua in the Dueling Grounds Derby

Photo courtesy of Kentucky Downs There are plenty of talented horses entered in Sunday's $400,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs, but to be perfectly honest, I never seriously considered picking anyone but #6 Bandua to win. My reasoning is simple. Kentucky Downs, thanks to its undulating European-style turf course, is quite unlike any other racetrack in North America. Some horses relish the challenge, while others struggle over the unusual conditions. Then there’s the fact that the [...]

Analyze It Faces International Challengers in Secretariat Stakes

Analyze It winning the Transylvania Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo It’s not hard to imagine that Analyze It will feel a sense of relief when he heads to the starting gate for Saturday’s $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) at Arlington Park and realizes that, for once, he will not be joined by Catholic Boy. Analyze It is a head and a neck away from being undefeated in five starts, with those narrow losses coming against Catholic Boy [...]

Meet Bandua, Ireland’s Belmont Stakes Contender

Belmont Park - Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photography It's the question being asked by most handicappers when they see his name among the list of possible starters for the Belmont Stakes—“Who in the world is Bandua?” Who in the world, indeed, since unlike most Belmont Stakes contenders, Bandua has not been racing in the United States. Instead, he’s been racing across the globe in Ireland, where he's gone 2-for-2 to establish himself as an up-and-coming colt with plenty of promise but [...]

A Moment in Time: November 2, 1993

Flemington Racecourse (Wikimedia Commons) The Melbourne Cup goes international Most people in Thoroughbred racing around the world knew about the Melbourne Cup before 1993. But it was anything but international. True, horses bred or trained in one foreign country – nearby New Zealand – had contested the race often. The majority of Melbourne Cups after World War II until 1993 were won by New Zealand-breds; indeed, Melbourne Cup training king Bart Cummings had won eight of his nine [...]

Zhukova Back at Belmont Park for Flower Bowl

Irish mare Zhukova has already crossed the Atlantic once for a grade one victory on the Belmont Park turf. On Sunday, she seeks a second. The Dermot Weld-trained mare beat the males in the 1 3/8-mile Man o’ War Stakes earlier this year. This time it’s the fillies and mares she’s taking on, in the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1) over 1 ¼ miles. The race is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, with the winner gaining a spot in the Breeders’ [...]