There are very few important races in this country that trainer Bob Baffert has not won. Saratoga’s Grade I Whitney Stakes had been one of them. And now the Whitney no longer is a big race that has eluded the powerful Baffert operation. Baffert sent out McKinzie to win the 2019 renewal of the 1 […]

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Four down, four to go. Halfway home. As far from the beginning as near the end. If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to start. The field already is ‘off and running,’ so you’ll need to hustle. That style worked well for Zenyatta—spotting foes a football field-sized head-start and then running them […]

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Batman at the Spa If last Saturday and Sunday’s Saratoga racing cards had been broadcast as part of the ‘60s television hit Batman, starring Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as Robin, several ‘POWS,’ ‘YIKES,’ ‘WHAMS’ and ‘ZOOMS’ would have flashed across the screen. During those two days at the Spa there […]

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In the eyes of most people, Maximum Security has established himself as the pro-tem leader of the national 3-year-old male division in light of his victory in the $1 million Haskell Invitational last Saturday evening. Maximum Security, sent away as a 4-5 favorite, took care of business in the Grade I event at Monmouth Park. […]

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The Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park this Saturday will be the first of three events during the second half of 2019 that figure to play a significant role in terms of who will get the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male. After the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, the other two biggies still to be […]

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As lyrics from the ’64 Martha and the Vandellas hit song suggest, “Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street.” On second thought, if you’re of a certain age and can fondly recall shakin’ your bootie to that tune’s original release, be careful while ‘dancing in the street.’ You’re liable to […]

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Both 2019 Kentucky Derby winners—Country House and Maximum Security–and the 151st Belmont Stakes victor—Sir Winston–hit rough patches this week. Country House, who originally finished second in the Derby but was elevated to first via disqualification, has been shelved for the rest of the year. Sidelined by an illness following the Derby, he hasn’t raced since […]

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There’s no Triple Crown on the line Saturday in what appears to be a lackluster Belmont Stakes. However, don’t sleep on this race. There’s a chance we could witness a breakout performance from a developing star. Tacitus has many positives going for him both in the Belmont Stakes and for the future. He could emerge […]

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To say that this has been one of the most trying seasons in the history of beautiful Santa Anita Park would be accurate. This winter, beneath a persistent dark cloud, the place I fell in love with as a teenager and where I spent early mornings, afternoons and evenings for 30 years, has struggled. Friends, […]

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Redemption. That’s what winning the 144th Preakness meant to War of Will’s trainer Mark Casse. Forget that in a post-race interview Casse said he wouldn’t use that word to describe his feelings. It sure seemed that way to me. And not just redemption for the trainer. Young jockey Tyler Gaffalione and colt War of Will […]

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The dust has settled on Kentucky Derby 145. The lawsuits haven’t. If you’re either a Country House or Maximum Security fan there hasn’t been much time to celebrate or to cry over spilled milk. Two weeks between first and second legs of the Triple Crown provide little recovery time for man and beast. The ship […]

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There is no question that the 2 019 Kentucky Derby is going to be discussed and debated for a very long time. I had hoped this week to be writing about Omaha Beach heading to the Preakness Stakes following his victory in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby. But after Omaha Beach had been installed as […]

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Maximum Security–starting as the 9/2 second choice to favored Improbable at 4-1–had the lead turning into the stretch of the 145th running of our nation’s most important horse race. He then drifted out suddenly into the path of… What am I doing? You don’t need a blow-by-blow rehashing of the event. Unless you’ve been training […]

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When I found out the news via a text message from a friend, I had trouble breathing. No, I did not have an entrapped epiglottis. But I did have trouble breathing because I felt as if somebody had just punched me in the gut really, really hard. I was so much looking forward to Omaha […]

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1. War of Will 20-1     M. Casse/Gafflione A misstep just after the start of the late-March Louisiana Derby resulted in a ninth-place finish at less than even-money. That darkened the form of this otherwise attractive runner. He was sore for a day or two after the race, but soon returned to training. Following 4 reasonable […]

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