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 |
Common sense would dictate that the horse who wins the biggest 2-year-old race of the year would then be destined for greatness six months later in the Kentucky Derby. But when did common sense and racing ever go together? Instead, it has been more of a curse. In the previous 29 years, only one horse has won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby - Street Sense in 2006 and 2007. New Year's Day is hoping to change that history on the first Saturday in May. The lightly raced 2-year-old was guided by jockey Martin Garcia to seventh at the three-quarter-mile pole, fourth at the top of the stretch and won going away by 11/4 lengths.