Jahbath, Playa Del Puente Prevail in European Derby Preps

The European Road to the Kentucky Derby took a couple of significant turns on March 6, as one noteworthy name lived up to expectations and another fell short in his first start of the season. Jahbath was a clear favorite to win the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes over the all-weather track at Kempton in England, which was hardly a surprise since he’d won his last three starts (including two course-and-distance victories) in decisive fashion. Securing a [...]

O’Brien Trio Embark on Derby Trail in Patton Stakes

Following a lengthy winter hiatus, the European Road to the Kentucky Derby will resume on March 1 with the one-mile Patton Stakes at Dundalk in Ireland. Last year, the Patton marked the successful seasonal debut for Mendelssohn, a highly-regarded colt campaigned by Ireland’s leading trainer Aidan O’Brien. Mendelssohn’s victory in the Patton served as a springboard to a productive 2018 campaign that included a romping victory in the UAE Derby and a start in the Kentucky Derby. O’Brien appears to [...]

Laurens Upsets Huge Favorite Alpha Centauri in Matron Stakes

It’s a fact that when a heavy favorite is upset in a major sporting competition, more attention is typically focused on the performance of the loser than the winner, and this is especially so when extenuating circumstances surround the defeat of the favorite. As an unfortunate side effect, the victorious effort of the underdog is frequently overlooked, which has been precisely the case in the aftermath of Saturday’s one-mile Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown in Ireland. From [...]

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 [...]