Why I’m Keying the Favorites in the Hollywood Derby

River Boyne - © Benoit Photo With relatively few opportunities remaining for horses to compete against Grade 1 company before the end of 2018, fourteen three-year-olds have turned out to contest Saturday’s $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. I) at Del Mar. But while the huge field size suggests that the race should be wide-open in nature, I’m strongly drawn toward the two favorites #4 River Boyne and #6 Raging Bull, in part because I believe their most recent efforts [...]

Samurai looks Sharp for Hollywood Derby

Sharp Samurai beats Big Score to win the Del Mar Derby. Pic: Benoit Photos. Sharp Samurai has had the wood over the West Coast turf 3-year-olds this year, but he’ll have to beat some eastern invaders to win the 1 1/8-mile Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar Nov. 25. The First Samurai gelding has won four consecutive stakes races, and convincingly beat five of his nine rivals in the Twilight Derby (G2) while conceding weight to all of [...]

Sharp Samurai the one to beat in Twilight Derby

Sharp Samurai beats Big Score to win the Del Mar Derby. Benoit Photos.Sharp Samurai will need to beat a good field as he tries to win his fourth consecutive stakes race in the 1 1/8-mile Twilight Derby (G2) for 3-year-old turf runners at Santa Anita Park Oct. 28. The son of First Samurai is one of the leading 3-year-old turf runners on the West Coast, a ranking earned after winning the La Jolla Handicap (G3) and the Del Mar Derby [...]