A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Preakness a testament to Kentucky’s horse industry as top five finishers based as Churchill, Keeneland

The Preakness Stakes is staged at Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course, but Saturday’s results proved a Kentucky landslide. Keyed by War of Will’s 1 1/4-length victory over Everfast, the top five finishers are all based at Churchill Downs or Keeneland. At left: War of Will, in pink silks on rail, keyed an all-Kentucky top five, with Everfast, black and gold silks with yellow cap, Owendale, outside...

Maximum Security to skip Preakness Stakes, but remains atop the NTRA three-year-old poll

Their respective outings at Churchill Downs on May 4 continue to resonate for Maximum Security and fellow Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar as each remains out front in this week’s National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Click to enlarge Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve but...

‘Kidney’ husband returns to Churchill downs with wife on KY Oaks day to celebrate their good fortune

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor When Shaun McCarthy came to the Kentucky Oaks by himself last year from his home in Maine, he was on a mission. Shaun McCarthy wore this jacket to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks in the hopes of finding a kidney donor for his wife Stacey. His story went viral and Stacey Received a successful transplant of a kidney that came from Cincinnati on Oct. 30 (file photo) This...

Despite Derby DQ, Maximum Security moves to the top of NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll; Country House is third

His winning effort in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve was made null and void via disqualification, but Maximum Security has been deemed the leader of his class by voters in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll. Click to enlarge Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified and placed 17thdue to interference,...

Country House declared winner of 145th Kentucky Derby following disqualification of Maximum Security

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor For the first time in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby, the horse that crossed the finish line first was not declared the winner. Maximum Security and jockey Luis Saez (pink silks) cross the finish line ahead of Country House and Flavien Prat (yellow silks). Maximum Security was taken down for interference and placed 17th. Country House finished second,...

Serengeti Empress wins 145th Longines Kentucky Oaks before large crowd at Churchill Downs

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor LOUISVILLE, KY — Joel Politi’s Serengeti Empress grabbed the advantage out of the gate and repelled a stretch bid from Liora by 1 3⁄4 lengths to win the 145th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) for 3-year-old fillies before a crowd of 105,719 at Churchill Downs. Jockey Jose Ortiz aboard Serengeti Empress prepares to high-five trainer...

Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit touts ‘Bourbon’s Older Brother’ with provocative billboard for Derby

I-65 toward Churchill Downs will be a high traffic zone before, during and after the Derby this weekend. Among the many out of towners coming to Louisville, a Maryland-based rye whiskey brand has made a major entrance with a provocative billboard along I-65, grabbing the attention of Derby goers, Bourbon drinkers and history buffs. If you’re heading to Churchill Downs or walking around downtown...

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...

Keeneland, Churchill Downs each commit $100,000 to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

Keeneland and Churchill Downs Incorporated jointly announced last week that the two industry icons have each committed $100,000 in contributions to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. This contribution will enable the sponsorship of two Grayson-approved projects. For the initial two years, 2019 and 2020, the funds will sponsor Dr. Sue Stover’s Grayson-funded research project, “Training...

Kentucky Derby attendees are urged to report any suspicious indications of human trafficking

Staff report Kentucky Derby attendees are urged to be the alert, not just for their best bet but for human trafficking at the 145th Run for the Roses. Unfortunately, human traffickers target many large-scale sporting events to prey on victims and profit from the crim. 
“By raising awareness with partners, our community will be better prepared to stop traffickers this Derby,” said Attorney General...

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...

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...

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...

Despite loss, Game Winner retains top spot in NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll; Monomoy Girl tops thoroughbreds

Despite suffering his first career defeat at the hands of Omaha Beach this past weekend, reigning juvenile male champion Game Winner still retained the No. 1 spot on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll this week. Click to Enlarge In his first start since capturing the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November 2, Game Winner fell a nose short of Omaha Beach...

Richard Nelson: Hold the horses, reign in Oak Grove Casino project; it makes community less stable

Ever hear the saying “hold your horses?” Well, it looks like West Kentucky Development Corp. needs to reign theirs’ in. This is the partnership between Churchill Downs and Keeneland spearheading a new Standardbred track with up to 12 days of horse racing and 365 days of video slot machines in Oak Grove. But the project hit a bump in the road as a competing race track filed a lawsuit...

Justify’s Triple Crown voted NTRA Moment of the Year, connections to be honored at Eclipse Awards

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced thatJustify’s dominant victory in the 150th Belmont Stakes to become just the 13th Triple Crown winner has been voted the 2018 NTRA Moment of the Year based on the results of 2,260 votes cast via Twitter and an online poll. Jockey Mike Smith raises his arms to the heavens as he guides Justify to the Winner’s Circle following his...