A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Barn Notes: Toyota Blue Grass undefeated hopeful McCraken gets early work at Keeneland

Whitham Thoroughbreds’ undefeated graded stakes winner McCraken, who arrived at Keeneland on Thursday to begin preparations for the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) on April 8, worked five furlongs in one minute flat Monday with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard. The time was the fastest of seven works at the distance. Keeneland clockers caught McCraken in fractions of :12.60, :26.20, 37.20, :48.20...

Favorite Carpe Diem captures Blue Grass Stakes, becomes latest favorite for Derby

Todd Pletcher-trained Carpe Diem captured the 91st Blue Grass Stakes and is now one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby (Keeneland Photo)   WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Stables’ Carpe Diem took command in upper stretch and cruised to a three-length victory over Danzig Moon in the 91st running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass before an opening day crowd of 26,357 on Saturday at Keeneland.   Carpe...

Pletcher-trained Carpe Diem installed as even money favorite in Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Keeneland officials drew post positions for Saturday’s $1 million Blue Grass Stakes and Carpe Diem is the favorite (Keeneland Photo)   WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Stables’ Carpe Diem, runaway winner of last fall’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) here and a leading candidate for the 141st Kentucky Derby presented by Yum Brands (G1), has been installed as the even-money favorite in...

Raising the Stakes: Keeneland moves Blue Grass to opening weekend; meet starts Friday

(Photo from Keeneland)   Keeneland begins its 2015 Spring Meet on Friday with two days of racing headlined by the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes, which moves up a week as part of a re-ordered stakes calendar. The card for Saturday, April 4, features five graded stakes races worth $2.275 million, including the Blue Grass and $500,000 Ashland.   The Blue Grass is a 1 1/8-mile prep race for top...

American Pharoah among leading point-earners nominated for Blue Grass Stakes

(Keenland Communications Photo)   The 16 leading point-earners on the Road to the Kentucky Derby headline a strong roster of 162 horses nominated to Keeneland’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday, April 4.   Nominees include American Pharoah, the champion 2-year-old male of 2014; Texas Red, winner of the 2014 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; Los Alamitos Futurity winner...

Bobby’s Kitten 3-1 morning-line favorite in field of 14 for Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Bobby’s Kitten, runaway winner of the Pilgrim (G3) last fall, heads a field of 14 horses and one also-eligible for Saturday’s 90th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.   The 1 1/8-mile Toyota Blue Grass serves as a major steppingstone for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). The race offers 170 points toward qualification...

Bobby's Kitten 3-1 morning-line favorite in field of 14 for Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Bobby’s Kitten, runaway winner of the Pilgrim (G3) last fall, heads a field of 14 horses and one also-eligible for Saturday’s 90th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.   The 1 1/8-mile Toyota Blue Grass serves as a major steppingstone for the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). The race offers 170 points toward qualification...

Spring race meet at Keeneland gets off to
a fast start Friday with slew of races, events

Bugler Bucky Sallee will (Photo from Keeneland)   While Keeneland presents 16 days of Thoroughbred racing from April 5-26, fans of all ages can celebrate spring with a jam-packed calendar of special events.   Headlining the fun are such favorites as College Scholarship Day, Sunrise Trackside, the Maker’s Mark Commemorative Bottle signing, an appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales, a jockey...

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

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 hero Mac the Man (El Corredor) asserted himself at the front and was caught just entering the final bend by Taken by the Storm (Stormy Atlantic) and Black Onyx. Those...

Liane Crossley: Odds are against making it
to the Derby, much less winning the big race

The Kentucky Derby is held the first Saturday in May. (Photo from KentuckyTourism.com)   Just as most parents like to believe their children can grow up to be president, Thoroughbred owners and their connections like to believe their racehorses can one day win the Kentucky Derby. Whether the animal is a frisky newborn, a strapping yearling or a promising runner, its people wonder—often aloud—if...