June 4, 2009 |
What a perfect contrast in this soap opera of a Triple Crown season: The trainer hobbles up to the podium to talk about the horse who streaked to victory in the Kentucky Derby and is looking to add Saturday's Belmont Stakes to his record. Still on crutches after breaking his right leg in a motorcycle crash before the Derby, Chip Woolley said his little gelding is ready for one more big run in the Belmont.
June 8, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- Casino Drive, scratched from the Belmont Stakes on Saturday morning because of a hoof injury, is likely to end up running in the Breeders' Cup Classic during the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. And to prep for the Classic, Casino Drive might return to the U.S. from Japan and run in the Goodwood Stakes on Sept. 27 during the opening weekend of Oak Tree. "We'd love to have him," said Ron Charles, the Santa Anita president, who was at Belmont Park on Saturday.
June 7, 2008 |
Since Affirmed last won racing's Holy Grail, the Triple Crown, there have been 29 years of great horses and fascinating personalities training them. There has also been one poster boy for near misses, Bob Baffert. By the time Big Brown is loaded into the gate at Belmont Park this afternoon, all 11 of the Triple Crowns will have been celebrated in the media buildup. So will all the Triple Stumbles since 1978. A head-bob here, a muddy track there, a couple of brain-locked jockeys.
May 26, 2008 |
Big Brown's Triple Crown run has hit a snag, although it's deemed a small one at this time. It was learned Sunday that the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has a slight crack on the inside of his left front hoof. He has already missed two days of training and will miss at least several more while being treated by specialist Ian MacKinlay for what is commonly referred to as a "quarter crack," which is a vertical crack in the hoof wall. This crack is five-eighths of an inch long.
June 13, 2007 |
Turns out, all horse racing needed was a feminine touch. Imagine that, after all the talk about the need for another Triple Crown winner, for one of the boys to step up as Affirmed last did in 1978. Racing has talked itself into a near paralysis over this. If just another War Admiral or Secretariat would bound onto the scene and win all three jewels of the crown, all that declining attendance and sinking parimutuel pools would be reversed. Or so the thinking went.
June 10, 2007 |
She began a mile-and-a-half journey in the 139th Belmont Stakes on her knees in the first stride and staring at 102 years of history. Jockey John Velazquez pulled hard at the reins. "My heart stopped," he said. Then, fortune turned around. A stumbling start, a half a dozen colts, a painfully slow pace and more than a century of male dominance of the Belmont would not stop this filly, not on this day.