April 25, 1999 |
Kentucky Derby heavyweights Bob Baffert, Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito had horses in the field, but the Saturday before the Derby belonged to trainer Alex Hassinger Jr., an emotional winner after his lightly raced colt, Patience Game, beat Prime Directive by 2 1/4 lengths in the $114,800 Derby Trial on opening day at Churchill Downs. Patience Game, ridden by Corey Nakatani, gave Hassinger his first stakes win for Prince Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corp.
May 6, 1990 |
They ordinarily would have been grumbling and throwing towels, kicking trash cans and making excuses. For the "other" 14 jockeys in the 116th Kentucky Derby, the big one had just gotten away. A chance of a lifetime gone--at least for another year. But the scene in the Churchill Downs jockeys' room after Saturday's Derby had a kind of "aw shucks" feel, as the riders gathered around the television replay of the race and were reduced to misty-eyed Boy Scouts.
April 27, 2004 |
A little-known aftereffect of mare reproductive loss syndrome, or MRLS, in Kentucky in 2001 was that about 100 foals gradually went blind, or partially blind. One of them, the aptly named Pollard's Vision, will be among the 20 horses running Saturday in the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher, who will also saddle Limehouse in the 130th Derby, is thankful that Pollard's Vision can't see out of his right eye. "If he had had two eyes, I probably wouldn't even be training him now," Pletcher said.
May 5, 2002 |
The plan was for Medaglia d'Oro to run closely behind War Emblem in the Kentucky Derby. But Laffit Pincay, who at 55 could have supplanted Bill Shoemaker as the oldest jockey to win the Derby, had to go to Plan B after Medaglia d'Oro broke awkwardly. Pincay's colt was also bumped by Essence Of Dubai, who broke from the stall inside Medaglia d'Oro. "We got squeezed back," Pincay said. "So instead of being close to pace like I wanted, I found myself behind a lot of horses.
May 2, 1993 |
He fastened himself in, because it was going to be a bumpy ride.
April 2, 1999 |
It's a universal story. Jockey meets horse. Horse jilts jockey. Jockey meets another horse and wins the Kentucky Derby. If that's the way the script reads this year on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs, I hope you have your money down on Chris McCarron and Straight Man.
April 30, 1999 |
The decision about Excellent Meeting running in Saturday's Kentucky Derby has been put off until 8 a.m. today, trainer Bob Baffert said Thursday. "We have to make up our minds, because if she's going in the Derby, we would train her accordingly [this morning]," Baffert said. The other option for Baffert and Excellent Meeting's owners, John and Betty Mabee, is to run her today in the Kentucky Oaks, the filly version of the Derby.
April 27, 1999 |
For 18 years, from the time he took out his first trainer's license, Nick Zito thirsted to run a horse in the Kentucky Derby. Then he won one, on his second try, with Strike The Gold in 1991. Then he didn't have horses in the next two, and it drove him crazy. "I remember the year  that [trainer] Mack Miller won," Zito said Monday morning at Churchill Downs, safe in his shedrow from the steady rain. "I watched at home on TV. I thought Sea Hero had a good chance.
May 3, 1999 |
Charismatic's upset win in Saturday's Kentucky Derby was hard to believe. It was just as unbelievable the morning after the Derby at Churchill Downs, where trainers with defeated horses were lining up to go against Charismatic in the Preakness. The second leg of the Triple Crown will be run at Pimlico on May 15. Besides Charismatic, 11 other Derby horses may go on to Pimlico. Standing by are at least five horses that didn't run in the Derby.
May 1, 1999 |
"Who do you like?" the stranger asked, inviting himself to sit at the table next to a friend and me in the bar at the Brownsboro Inn. We had gone there to hear Jerry Green, touted to us as the black Frank Sinatra, even though, our tout added, he doesn't sound like Sinatra or sing any of his songs. "Stephen Got Even," I said. "No," the stranger said. "Excuse me," I said. "Stephen Got Even can't win," the stranger said. I started to say that he shouldn't have asked me if he knew so much.