A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Authentic takes sole lead in NTRA top 3-Year-Old Poll; Midnight Bisou is still top thoroughbred

While a pair of his stablemates posted impressive on-track wins this past weekend, the Bob Baffert-trained Authentic scored a victory in his own right without leaving his stall as he gained the outright lead in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. NTRA Top 3-year-Old Poll (click to enlarge). The undefeated Authentic tied for the top spot with Tiz the Law...

Storm the Court, Mr. Monomoy among nominees to Keeneland’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass

Champion Storm the Court and recent Risen Star Presented by Lamarque Ford (G2) winner Mr. Monomoy, the leading point earner on the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), are among the 136 3-year-olds nominated to the 96th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) on April 4, the opening Saturday of Keeneland’s Spring Meet. This marks the 25th season Toyota has sponsored the race. Click here...

Mucho Gusto dominant in $3M Pegasus World Cup win; Maker’s Zulu Alpha takes $1M Pegasus Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Mucho Gusto won with complete authority Saturday at Gulfstream Park, giving his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his second victory in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy. Jockey Irad Ortiz leads Mucho Gusto into the Winner’s Circle following a dominant win in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy at Gulfstream...

Keeneland Library Series, featuring new works about Thoroughbred racing, returns on Jan. 21

The popular Keeneland Library Series, which features new works about Thoroughbred racing, will kick off 2020 with two programs that go beyond highlighting traditional nonfiction material when Robin Traywick Williams discusses her award-winning novel, “The Key to the Quarter Pole,” on Jan. 21, and the documentary film “Born to Rein” is shown Feb. 4. “Our Lecture Series continues to showcase...

Keeneland mourns death of longtime starter and track ambassador Robert Lee “Spec” Alexander

Lifelong horseman and longtime Keeneland Starter Robert Lee “Spec” Alexander, widely respected for his skill with Thoroughbred racehorses and a beloved ambassador of Keeneland, died Monday. He was 80 years old. Alexander at Keeneland’s 2018 Fall meet (provided photo). “Spec was a Keeneland institution, an unquestioned master of his craft,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said....

Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach to scratch with an entrapped epiglottis; Bodexpress draws in

Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach will be scratched from Saturday’s 145th renewal due to an entrapped epiglottis, according to Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Omaha Beach (Photo courtesy Coady Photography/ Oaklawn Park) “After training this morning we noticed him cough a few times,” Mandella said. “It caused us to scope him and we found an entrapped epiglottis. We can’t fix it this...

Kentucky Derby Field: Omaha Beach leads talented field for Saturday’s 145th Run for the Roses

By Liane Crossley Special to KyForward Omaha Beach is the 4-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 145th running of the $3-million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Twenty-one Thoroughbreds, including one on the also-eligible list, have been entered in the 1 ¼-mile race for three-year-olds with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET. NBC television coverage begins at 2:30 with pre-race broadcasting...

Omaha Beach holding strong atop NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll ahead of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby run

Days out from the 145th edition of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, the high opinion of Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Omaha Beach continued to dominate the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. (Click for larger image) There was no change in the top 10 this week with Omaha Beach remaining atop the 3-Year-Old Poll with 26 first-place votes and 384 total...

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...

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...

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...

Justify voted 2018 Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards; Irad Ortiz voted top jockey

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) announced Thursday that Justify  was voted the 2018 Horse of the Year, at the 48th Annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Justify is shown here winning the Kentucky Derby in May (file photo). Justify became horse...

Future Stars Friday at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs delivers

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor The first day of the Breeders’ Cup 2018 World Championships at Churchill Downs was touted as Future Stars Friday and at least a few two-year olds staked a claim to that title. Game Winner (No. 9) streaks past 40-1 longshot Knicks Go to take the Sentient Jet Juvenile and stamp himself as an early favorite for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (photos by Mark Hansel). Newspaperofrecord...

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...

2018 Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame class includes trainer Bob Baffert, UK football great Sam Ball

Seven individuals who have made outstanding contributions to sports during the past several decades have been selected as the 2018 class of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. A selection committee comprised of 15 sports media from throughout the commonwealth selected this year’s class. All votes were independently tabulated by regional accounting firm Dean Dorton, one of the largest accounting...

Bluegrass Community & Technical College’s North American Racing Academy part of Justify’s story

Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) North America Racing Academy (NARA) students can now boast of having worked with racing greatness early in their careers. Mussad on Justify in Late 2017 (provided photos) NARA graduates Austin Motley and David Mussad, while working for trainer Rodolphe Brisset at Keeneland in 2017, were involved in the early training of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify....

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...

Justify delivers stirring victory as the favorite in rain-soaked 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Justify did not disappoint as the favorite in the 144th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, sloshing though the slop to score an impressive win in the most exciting two minutes in sports. Jockey Mike Smith raise his arms to the heavens as he guides Justify to the Winner’s Circle following his victory in the 144th Kentucky Derby (photos by Mark Hansel). Justify...