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Seth Kochera: With quality of field, you could make argument for most of this year’s horses

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That glorious day is almost upon us – the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1).   This year brings about a nice field where you could make an argument for most of the horses in it. The likely …

Seth Kochera: Top contenders Verranzo, Normandy Invasion training well at Churchill

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Let’s review the previous two weekends of racing. In the Arkansas Derby (Grade 1), it was all Overanalyze (Dixie Union), who certainly gained his share of supporters for the first Saturday in May with an open-length victory here. The winner …

Seth Kochera: Verrazano not big blowout win; Normandy Invasion should be good Derby bet

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It was another huge week on the Derby prep scene with some surprising results and some not so surprising.   In the Wood Memorial (Grade 1), all the talk going in was about the super-talented Verrazano (More Than Ready) and …

Seth Kochera: Orb, Revolutionary seal Derby deal; Santa Anita, Wood highlight week’s end

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It was a very busy weekend on the Derby prep scene last weekend as several horses punched their tickets to the 2013 Kentucky Derby.   The Florida Derby (G1) was billed as a showdown between the “big three” consisting of …

Seth Kochera: Derby trail will heat up in next three weeks with high-point races on tap

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In last weekend’s races, relatively unproven prospects jockeyed for position on the Derby trail.   In the Spiral Stakes (Grade 3) at Turfway Park it was Black Onyx (Rock Hard Ten) who pulled the upset. In the race itself, local …

Seth Kochera: D. Wayne Lukas returns to form taking top two spots in Rebel Stakes

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This past weekend turned back the clock for Hall of Fame Trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Lukas was a dominating force in the racing world in the 1980s and 1990s, but things slowed down for him in the 2000s. He has …

Seth Kochera: Verrazano’s easy win at Tampa lands him at top of Derby Trail watchlist

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Things are getting hot on the Derby trail, so let’s get to it.   Last Saturday, there were two races that should have a huge impact on the Derby picture this year. First up was the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby …

Seth Kochera: The wait is over as Breeders’ Cup weekend begins Friday at Santa Anita

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The countdown to the $5,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1) is finally over!   This year brings in a competitive field of 9 Grade 1 winners. The most notable of these is probable favorite Game On Dude (Awesome Again). He …

Seth Kochera: With Breeder’s Cup 2012
fast approaching, the field takes shape

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With a slow couple of weeks before the Breeders’ Cup, I’ve decided to combine last week and this week’s issue. There were a couple Grade 2 races that could produce a Breeders’ Cup starter the weekend before last.   In …

Seth Kochera: Flat Out takes second Jockey Club Gold Cup; Jersey Town upsets Kelso

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It was a very busy weekend in the Breeders’ Cup picture, especially relating to the Breeders’ Cup’s premier race, the Classic.   It was another historic edition of one of the signature prep races for the Classic, the Jockey Club …

Seth Kochera: Wise Dan’s magnificent mile raises questions; Showdown looms at Parx

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There were no traditional Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1) prep races last week, but there was some major noise being made north of the border that could really have a major impact on North America’s richest race.   Talk Racing …

Seth Kochera: To Honor and Serve wins Woodward; Haskell winner Paynter sidelined

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The weekend saw one of the most important prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1) that is also a huge stepping stone for year-end honors, the Woodward Stakes (Grade 1). The race was won by Live Oak Plantation’s …

Seth Kochera: Alpha, Golden Ticket dead heat in Travers; Woodword Stakes set for Saturday

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It was an historic day Saturday at Saratoga on Travers Day, even moreso than it usually is. The finish resulted in a dead heat for the second time in 143 editions of the Travers Stakes (Grade 1).   In 1874, …

Seth Kochera: After weekend of turf preps, Travers, Pacific Classic highlight coming week

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Last week was much more geared for grass racing, with 5 of the 6 Grade 1 races on the turf. Notable performances included Point of Entry (Dynaformer) in the Sword Dancer (Grade 1), who showed that America has a top …

Seth Kochera: Fort Larned upsets in Whitney; blue-tailed Hansen falls short in W. Va. Derby

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It was upsets galore on the Breeders’ Cup Classic trail over the weekend.   In the Whitney (Grade 1), it was Fort Larned (E Dubai) pulling the upset. He settled in nicely in third after the start behind pacesetters Endorsement …