A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

With Kentucky Derby less than two weeks away, little movement in NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Pool

With the prep races for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve in the books and little action in the handicap ranks, the status quo held in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Click to enlarge Omaha Beach, who stamped himself as the likely Kentucky Derby favorite off his victory in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, continues...

Jamie Vaught: UK’s new recruit, Nate Sestina, can impact game on frontline and perimeter

Nate Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell University, is one of UK’s new faces for the 2019-20 basketball team. But who is Sestina? I wanted to know more about his background. So I did some research by googling and found some interesting articles and tidbits. If you are a hoops junkie, you would already know something about the 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward. He can impact the game on the frontline...

Kleber Wildlife Management Area in Owen County now open for turkey hunting; get license online

The John A. Kleber Wildlife Management Area (WMA) recently expanded by 378 acres in Owen County and is now open for turkey hunting. The Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation Program recently concluded a stream restoration on Minors Creek, a tributary of Elm Fork that flows through the heart of the main tract of Kleber WMA. The new acreage adjoins a section of the main tract of Kleber WMA, south of...

UK’s freshman EJ Montgomery to try for NBA Draft, hoping to be a first-rounder; but could return

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today EJ Montgomery is going to attempt to give it a shot at the next level.   The Kentucky freshman forward declared for the NBA Draft Friday, but could opt to return based on feedback he receives from experts. Montgomery will have until May 29 to decide remain in the draft or decide to come back for a second season. EJ Montgomery (Photo by Tammie Brown/Kentucky Today) “My...

Calipari rebuilding as Nate Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell, and Keion Brooks join roster

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky added two new faces to its roster Thursday.   Nate Sestina, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound  graduate transfer from Bucknell, will enroll as a graduate transfer next season. Sestina, a second-team All-Patriot Team performer, averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season and will be eligible for one season.   The Wildcats also signed freshman forward Keion...

Keldon Johnson will stay in NBA Draft, ending collegiate career; Jemarl Baker to transfer

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keldon Johnson is following in the footsteps of Tyler Herro and PJ Washington. 
Nearly a week after declaring for the next level, Johnson announced his plans to stay in the NBA Draft, ending his collegiate career. Johnson started 36 games last season and averaged 13.5 points per game. He averaged 5.9 rebounds per game and was third on the team in both categories. Keldon...

Tyler Herro decides to stay in the NBA Draft, ending possibility of returning to UK for a second season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro’s college career is over. 
The Kentucky guard announced Tuesday he plans to remain in the NBA Draft instead of leaving open the possibility of returning for a second season. 
“After exploring my options a little bit more and getting some immediate feedback, I’ve decided to remain in the draft,” he said. Tyler Herro (Photo by Tammie Brown/Kentucky...

New face atop NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll; Omaha Beach surpasses Roadster with win in Arkansas Derby

The reign of California-based horses atop the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll continues this week in a new set of hands with Fox Hill Farms’ Omaha Beach taking over the No. 1 position from Roadster in the wake of the former’s triumph in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. Click to enlarge Omaha Beach earned his second career graded stakes win and first...

University of Cincinnati hires NKU’s John Brannen as head coach; led NKU to two NCAA tournaments

John Brannen has been named the 27th head coach in University of Cincinnati men’s basketball history, UC director of athletics Mike Bohn announced Sunday. Brannen has served as Northern Kentucky University’s head coach since the 2015-16 season, taking the Norse to unprecedented success as the school’s athletics department underwent reclassification. Since earning active Division I...

Blue blasts White as Cats unleash explosive plays in scrimmage; Benny Snell looks on

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Benny Snell gave high-fives and mingled with his former teammates during Kentucky’s annual Blue-White game Friday night at Kroger Field. 
Snell got a glimpse of what Kentucky’s offense will look like next season and came away impressed. Snell’s replacement in the backfield — A.J. Rose — rushed for 86 yards and scored three touchdowns to help lead the...

Tyler Herro to test NBA waters — but would be ‘thrilled’ to return to UK to compete for championship

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro is going to test the waters.   The Kentucky freshman guard declared for the NBA Draft Friday but is leaving his options open considering his future plans. Herro plans to hire an agent and return under new NCAA guidelines regarding the draft and will have until May 29 to make a final decision.   Herro discussed his options with his family and Kentucky coach...

Kentucky football squad finishing spring practice with annual Blue-White game, then taking a break

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops will get one more look at his Kentucky squad before taking a summer break.   The Wildcats will conclude spring practice with the annual Blue-White game set for 6 p.m. Friday night at Kroger Field. The format will feature the Blue team against the White team in four 10-minute quarters. The team’s quarterbacks and specialists will play for both teams and...

Keldon Johnson announces he will declare for NBA draft, but leaves door open to return next season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keldon Johnson has decided to test the waters before determining his next career move. The Kentucky freshman guard declared for the NBA Draft on Wednesday but is leaving the door open for a second tour of duty with the Wildcats. Johnson can sign with an agent certified by the NCAA and can return for a second season if he decides to forgo the NBA Draft and return to play...

UK’s PJ Washington going to NBA draft, ‘ready for next step’; Hagans returning next year

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington has decided to enter the NBA Draft and this time for good.   
“It’s been a little over a week since our season ended but it still hasn’t hit me that I’ve played my last game with Kentucky across my chest,” Washington said. “This place has been my home for two years and it’s hard for me to put in words how much I’ve grown in my time at...

Roadster moves to the top of the NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll following win in Santa Anita Derby

After knocking off reigning juvenile male champion Game Winner in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby this past Saturday, Speedway Stable’s Roadster has bested his stablemate once more, this time taking over the top position in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. (Click to enlarge) Game Winner had held the lead position among voters since the first poll of...

Vekoma punches KY Derby ticket with Blue Grass win, Out for a spin pulls off shocker in the Ashland

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Never before had Keeneland seen such a large crowd on the opening Saturday of a meet. Vekoma draws off from the field to an impressive 3 1/2 length win in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Saturday, stamping his ticket to the Kentucky Derby (photos by Mark Hansel). The combination of perfect weather, spots in the starting gate of the Kentucky...

Maximum Security enters top 5 in 3-year-old poll; Dubai World Cup card winners make presence felt

A handy victory by Maximum Security in the Grade 1 Xpressbet Florida Derby and some stirring performances on the Dubai World Cup card provided some movement in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, respectively. Click to enlarge Trained by Jason Servis, Maximum Security remained unbeaten in four career starts and earned 100...

Fields set for Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass, Central Bank Ashland; favorites Vekoma, King’s Jaywalk

Gatsas Stable and R.A. Hill Stable’s Vekoma has been installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 14 entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 95th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2). The 1 1/8-mile main track test serves as a major steppingstone for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to be run May 4 at Churchill Downs. The Toyota Blue Grass offers...

Lexington Legends look to defend South Atlantic League championship; season starts Thursday

The Lexington Legends, in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals, are excited to announce their official roster for the upcoming season. Opening game for the Lexington Legends is tomorrow. This year’s roster will feature 14 Royals 2018 MLB Draft picks, including former Kentucky Wildcat Zach Haake. Along with five returning players from the 2018 South Atlantic League championship team, the 2019 season...

Jamie Vaught: It’s OK to be disappointed by UK’s loss to Auburn, but stop whining about John Calipari

Interestingly, a small bunch of so-called “Monday Morning” coaches in the Big Blue Nation as well as some opinionated media folks have been complaining and howling about basketball coach John Calipari and his favored Kentucky Wildcats for failing to make a coveted trip to the 2019 NCAA Final Four after Sunday afternoon’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Auburn. Sure, we are saddened with the painful...