2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach (right) holds off Game Winner (left) in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography It’s been a big year for War Front on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The 17-year-old Claiborne Farm stallion has already made headlines as the sire of two-time graded stakes winner War of Will, and on Saturday, War Front was back in the spotlight again when his son Omaha Beach fought to a valiant victory in the second division of [...]

Pros and Cons of the Weekend Derby Prep Winners

Mucho Gusto winning the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III) - © Benoit Photo Last weekend was a big one on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with three major prep races being held across the country, but if we’re perfectly honest, the results—while intriguing—came up a little disappointing. A sloppy, sealed track led to the scratch of highly-regarded Nolo Contesto from the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita, which allowed Mucho Gusto to romp [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: War of Will

War of Will winning the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds - Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir As the old saying goes, a good horse can come from anywhere, so by extension a Kentucky Derby contender must be able to come from anywhere… even if he’s a turf-bred youngster back from a foray in Europe. That, in essence, is the journey of War of Will, who joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a decisive [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Gunmetal Gray

Gunmetal Gray winning the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita - © Benoit Photo The most hyped 2019 Kentucky Derby contender in Jerry Hollendorfer’s barn is certainly the undefeated Instagrand, but in terms of accomplishments to date it’s hard to deny that Hollendorfer’s steadily-progressing Gunmetal Gray has surpassed his stablemate. He might not have the flashiest pedigree, being by Exchange Rate out of the allowance-winning Include mare Classofsixtythree, but what his pedigree lacks in flash it makes up for with [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Mind Control

Mind Control winning the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by Adam Coglianese Photography We’ve long known that Mind Control is a very talented colt over short distances, but on New Year’s Day he took an important step toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby by demonstrating that he can handle a mile and isn’t purely a sprinter. That was a bit of a question mark prior to Mind Control’s front-running victory in the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct, [...]

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, [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Improbable

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo Trainer Bob Baffert is well accustomed to wheeling and dealing with expensive horses. Triple Crown winner Justify cost $500,000. Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate cost $560,000. Two of Baffert’s flashy maiden winners this year cost $925,000 and $625,000. But some of Baffert’s best runners this season have been quite inexpensive by those standards, and that includes Improbable, who sold for just $200,000 at the 2017 Keeneland [...]

Maximus Mischief Handles Class, Distance Tests in Remsen Stakes

Maximus Mischief winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand Big steps up in both class and distance can be problematic for some horses, but they were certainly no obstacle for Maximus Mischief in Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, as the speedy colt kept his unbeaten record intact with another eye-catching victory. With qualifications points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby on the line, the 1 1/8-mile Remsen marked [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Signalman

Signalman winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography Million-dollar yearlings make headlines from the moment they change hands at auction. But what about $32,000 yearlings? They have to wait and let their racing exploits make headlines instead, and suffice to say, Signalman is already making plenty of headlines. When trainer Kenny McPeek purchased the modestly-priced colt out of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall 2017 Yearling Sale on behalf of Tommie M. Lewis, David A. Bersen, [...]