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...

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...

University of Kentucky alumnus D.C. Storm putting Gatton College education to work at Churchill Downs

By Carl Nathe University of Kentucky When the call to the post is played before the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs this Saturday, University of Kentucky alumnus D.C. Storm will look forward to watching the world-famous horse race in person along with more than 150,000 of his “closest friends.”  And while this 2004 summa cum laude graduate of UK’s Gatton College...

Al Cross: Welcome, Derby visitors, to Kentucky; here’s a brief introduction to the political landscape

Welcome, Derby visitors! This column continues our longstanding tradition of giving folks who are in Kentucky for the big race, and those looking at Kentucky news media online, a snapshot of our current political landscape. We’re in the middle of a race for the Democratic nomination for governor. It’s our first contested Democratic primary for the office since 2007, an indicator of how the party’s...

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...

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...

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...

Tacitus, Haikal enter National Thoroughbred Racing Association 3-year-olds poll; Game Winner still first

The changing landscape in the sophomore ranks continues to be reflected in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll as two newcomers enter the top 10 this week. NTRA 3-year-old poll (click to enlarge) Regally-bred Tacitus, the first foal out of champion Close Hatches, lived up to his elite bloodlines when he set a stakes-record while winning the Grade 2 Lambholm South...

Somelikeithotbrown takes Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway; Naughty Joker captures Bourbonette

Somelikeithotbrown set a brisk pace and then turned the corner into a 20 mph headwind but had plenty left to win the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park Saturday, pocketing 20 points toward a spot in the Kentucky Derby gate in the process. Final time for the 1 1/8-mile race was 1:52.05. Somelikeithotbrown is well ahead of the field nearing the wire in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park...

Somelikeithotbrown tops field of 11 prospects for Saturday’s 48th running of Jeff Ruby Steaks

The gate for Saturday’s 48th running of the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park is approaching full, with 11 so far expected to enter. The 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds offers 34 points toward the Kentucky Derby: 20 to the winner, eight to the runner-up, four for third place and two for fourth place. Somelikeithotbrown, winner of the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (listed) Feb. 15, is...