April 5, 2014 |
Saturday's Santa Anita Derby is an eight-horse race, but the kind of buzz that has accompanied California Chrome, ever since he blew the field away in the March 8 San Felipe, makes it difficult for the other contenders to get any attention. California Chrome not only runs like the wind -- he has won his last three races by a total of 19 lengths -- but he and his connections present several stories that are hard to ignore. There is much talk that he would become only the fourth-ever Cal-bred to do so if he won the Kentucky Derby.
February 8, 2014 |
In the horse-racing world, it is still a lifetime until the May 3 Kentucky Derby. The top horses get hurt. They get ill. They suddenly, for no apparent reason, start turning in the training times of a plow horse. The favorites of mid-February become the forgottens of Triple Crown season. So when Gary Stevens rode Candy Boy to an impressive victory Saturday at Santa Anita, in the $200,000 Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes, both Stevens and trainer John Sadler did their best to couch their enthusiasm.
January 12, 2014 |
Mike Tice, hired as the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week, could have an exciting few months ahead with some distractions off the field. Tice is co-owner of the 3-year-old colt Midnight Hawk, who is two for two after taking the Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes by 13/4 lengths over Kristo on Saturday at Santa Anita. It was the first stakes for 3-year-olds during the winter-spring meeting and gained Midnight Hawk, a son of Midnight Lute, 10 points toward a possible start in the Kentucky Derby.
December 14, 2013 |
Betfair Hollywood Park had its last big day of racing Saturday, and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer had a big day. His 2-year-old, Shared Belief, owned in part by television personality Jim Rome, won the 33rd and final chapter of the CashCall Futurity, a $750,000 race that annually establishes at least one top prospect for the Kentucky Derby. It was the final chapter because its home, Hollywood Park, will close its doors after racing next Sunday. A real estate development is projected to replace the legendary Inglewood racing facility.
December 13, 2013 |
The last CashCall Futurity to be run at a soon-to-be-closing Betfair Hollywood Park will feature a 13-horse field of 2-year-olds, each trying to establish himself as a Kentucky Derby contenders. The winner Saturday will receive 10 points toward that Derby entry the first day in May. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's Shared Belief has been made the morning line favorite at 7-2, followed by another Hollendorfer horse, Tamarando, at 4-1. John Sadler's Kobe's Back shares the third favored spot with Bob Baffert's Tap It Rich, both at 9-2. The $750,000 race will be run at 1 1/16 miles and will mark the 33rd and final race in the Hollywood Park series.
November 2, 2013 |
The Juvenile is the race that should foreshadow the Kentucky Derby favorite. The favorite, yes, the winner, almost never. Of the 29 previous Breeders' Cup Juvenile winners, only one -- Street Sense in 2006 -- has achieved that double. But that doesn't keep people from dreaming, and currently that optimism belongs to New Year's Day and trainer Bob Baffert. The horse saved ground throughout the race, coming off the rail only twice and was fourth at the start of the stretch and came charging late to win the 1 1/16-mile race by 1 1/4-lengths.