A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Billy Reed: We must hope Churchill Downs comes to its senses; big Derby crowd is too great a risk

In announcing Churchill Downs plan for what’s left of the Kentucky Derby, track president Kevin Flanery said in a news release, “We’re optimistic that this time-honored event, which belongs to our community and our country, will serve as a progressive and unifying force that can help bring us together.” Really? I would like to think Flanery is right. Instead, I’m wondering what they are...

Tacitus, War of Will headline Saturday’s Belmont Stakes to conclude unusual Triple Crown season

By Liane Crossley Special to KyForward Tactitus, third in the Kentucky Derby, is the 9-5 morning line favorite among 10 three-year-olds entered for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Preakness Stakes winner War of Will is second choice at 2-1. Previewing the race requires a brief recap of arguably the most talked first two legs of the Triple Crown since the Kentucky Derby and Preakness were inaugurated nearly...

Preakness winner War of Will remains atop NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll heading into Belmont Stakes Weekend

This weekend’s loaded slate of Grade 1 races slated to take place at Belmont Park will feature the leaders of both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, respectively, in Preakness Stakes winner War of Will and multiple Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar. Click to enlarge Gary Barber’s War of Will is set to become the only horse this...

Maximum Security remains atop NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll; Preakness winner War of Will is second

War of Will’s statement-making victory in the 144thPreakness Stakes was heeded as the Mark Casse-trained colt earned 18 first-place votes and 411 points to move up to second overall in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. Click to enlarge War of Will came into the middle leg of the Triple Crown after avoiding disaster in the Kentucky Derby Presented...

Louisiana Derby upsetter By My Standards joins top ten in NTRA 3-year-old poll; Game winner still leads

An upset result in the Grade 2 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots allowed By My Standards to crash the top 10 while reigning juvenile male champion Game Winner strengthened his position atop the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll this week. Click to enlarge By My Standards came into the Louisiana Derby off a maiden win and looked...

Undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify retired from racing; connections disappointed, but thankful

KyForward staff Undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Justify has been retired from racing. The announcement came Wednesday. Justify crosses the finish line at Churchill Downs to win the Kentucky Derby and begin his successful pursuit of horse racing’s Triple Crown. The undefeated colt was retired from racing Wednesday (Photo by Mark Hansel). “Justify had some filling in his ankle, and he is just...

Justify unanimous choice in final 2018 NTRA top 3-year-old, thoroughbred for all ages polls

The unbeaten chestnut colt Justify, whose 16-week epic journey from unraced maiden to Triple Crown winner has expanded the conventional thinking as to a Thoroughbred racehorse’s capabilities, was a unanimous choice atop the year’s final NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll. Justify (Photo courtesy Benoit Photography) Trained by Bob Baffert for owners China Horse Club, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, and Head...

Justify wins the Belmont Stakes and captures the Triple Crown, cementing Mike Smith’s legacy

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Justify took the Belmont Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion at Belmont Park Saturday, securing U.S. thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown and giving Hall-of-Fame jockey Mike Smith one of the few prizes that had eluded him in his illustrious career. The backdrop for Justify’s win in the Belmont Saturday was much different from his win in the slop five weeks...

Triple Crown on the line as undefeated Justify faces nine in Belmont; here is a breakdown of the field

By Liane Crossley Special to NKy Tribune Three years ago, thoughts of a Triple Crown seemed virtually impossible after nearly four decades without a winner, but American Pharoah proved the dream could become reality. Justify (Photo courtesy Benoit Photography)  Now Justify stands ready to join the elite 12 Triple Crown winners or add his name to a long list of Thoroughbreds who won two of the three...

2001 Horse of the Year Point Given retired from stud duty, to join Kentucky Horse Park Hall of Champions

Thoroughbred champion Point Given has been retired from stud duty at Calumet Farm and is set to join the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions in the spring of 2018, becoming the fifth Horse of the Year to occupy the famous barn. The 19-year-old son of Thunder Gulch won six Grade 1 races, including two legs of the 2001 Triple Crown, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. For his efforts, he received...

Tapwrit overtakes favored Irish War Cry at top of the stretch to capture 149th Belmont Stakes

Tapwrit handed trainer Todd Pletcher a third career victory in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, taking aim on front-running favorite Irish War Cry at the top of the stretch and then surging into the lead in the final yards to win Saturday’s 149th edition of the ‘Test of the Champion’ at Belmont Park by two lengths. Expertly handled by Jose Ortiz, whose...

Pea Patch to Big Apple: Ellis Park’s burgeoning two-year-old program on full display at Belmont

By Jennie Rees Ellis Park Communications HENDERSON — Pea Patch to Big Apple: Ellis Park’s burgeoning 2-year-old program will be on display this week in New York. Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee and Preakness third-place finisher Senior Investment are among the twelve 3-year-olds entered in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Lookin At Lee won an Ellis maiden race in his second start and the...

Anybody’s Race: Longshots enticing in wide-open 148th running of the Belmont Stakes

By Ellis Starr Special to KyForward The 149th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets at Belmont Park won’t feature Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming or Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing. Even so, 12 horses have entered the race and there are a lot of interesting and potentially difficult components to assessing the chances of the dozen entrants....

Classic Empire taken out of Belmont due to injury; Irish War Cry now the favorite in field of 12

By Liane Crossley KyForward correspondent Irish War Cry, 10th in the Kentucky Derby as the second choice, is the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1.5-million Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on the outskirts of New York City. The race is now even more wide open after likely favorite Classic Empire, the gallant runner-up in the Preakness Stakes after a hard-luck fourth in the Kentucky Derby, was...

Longshot Creator takes Belmont by a nose; Preakness winner Exaggerator limps home 11th

By Phil Janack New York Racing Association Blocked behind a wall of horses with a quarter-mile to run, WinStar Farm and Bobby Flay’s Creator weaved his way through traffic and used the length of the stretch to reel in Destin and win the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets by a nose Saturday at Belmont Park. The 148th running of the “Test of the Champion,”...

Belmont Stakes attracts 13 entrants topped by Preakness winner Exaggerator

By Liane Crossley KyForward correspondent Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator headlines a field of 13 three-year-olds in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on the outskirts of New York City. Kentucky Derby hero Nyquist, who finished third in the Preakness, is bypassing the third jewel of the Triple Crown. The colt missed some training time while recovering from a slight fever and has returned...

‘Full of energy,’ Exaggerator will head to Belmont to hook up with Nyquist one more time

Trainer Keith Desormeaux reported that Exaggerator was “full of energy” in the aftermath of his rousing 3 ½-length upset over previously undefeated Nyquist in Saturday’s 141st Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. After losing all four of his previous meetings with Nyquist, including a second-place finish behind the Kentucky Derby winner at Churchill Downs two weeks earlier, Exaggerator...

Billy Reed: American Pharoah has the right stuff, completes historic Triple Crown sweep

American Pharoah led wire-to-wire to take Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. He is the 11th horse to capture the Triple Crown and the first in 37 years (NYRA Photo)   Even now, when the sport is long past its prime, thoroughbred racing can still put a grip on people’s hearts that no other game can. Did you hear that incredible roar that accompanied American Pharoah down the stretch at Belmont...

Keeneland offering $500 win bet drawing as part of Belmont Day celebration on Saturday

Keeneland will celebrate American Pharoah’s bid to win the Belmont and become Thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years Saturday with a Belmont Day event that features drawings to place a $500 win bet on a horse in the Belmont, a flat screen TV, and souvenir packages that include a $2 win ticket on American Pharoah and an official race program from Belmont Park.   Admission...

Belmont favorite American Pharoah breezes in final workout, is history on the horizon?

A crowd of admirers looked on from the Clubhouse as American Pharoah breezed (Photo by Reed Palmer / Churchill Downs)   Under cloudy skies, light rain and 58 degrees, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah completed his serious preparation for Saturday’s $1.5 million Belmont Stakes with a five-furlong breeze over a Churchill Downs track rated “fast” in 1:00.20 with Martin...