A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

As Kentucky Derby nears, Country House joins top 10 in NTRA 3YO poll, tribute paid to Battle of Midway

Support for Risen Star Stakes runner-up Country House and tributes to the late Grade 1 winner Battle of Midway stood out during a week that featured little change in both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and Top Thoroughbred Poll. Country House, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, enters the 3-year-old ranks in the tenth position with a total of 57 points. The...

Turfway Park’s 48th running of Jeff Ruby Steaks draws 151 nominations for event on March 9

The 48th running of the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park has drawn 151 nominations, Turfway Park racing secretary Tyler Picklesimer announced Tuesday. The 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds is scheduled for March 9 and 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. “Scheduling the race a week or two earlier...

Keeneland holds Hiring Center, Job Fair to fill more than 2,000 seasonal employment positions

Keeneland is readying for its 2019 Spring Meet with the announcement of two employment events aimed at filling more than 2,000 seasonal positions: a Hiring Center that opens Feb. 25 and a Job Fair on March 9. Staffing covers Food and Beverage Service, Parking and Security, The Keeneland Shop, Admissions, Programs, Track Maintenance and Guest Services for the Spring Meet, which covers 17 days of racing...

Kentucky First Lady Glenna Bevin announces launch of 2019 Kentucky Derby Poster Contest

First Lady Glenna Bevin has announced the launch of the 2019 Kentucky Derby Poster Contest for high school students in the Commonwealth. The contest is open to students in grades 9-12 across Kentucky who are invited to create the official Governor’s Derby Poster, to be displayed in the State Capitol for years to come. The theme is: “What does Derby Day look like to you?” “Matt and I are strong...

Tickets for 48th running of Turfway Park’s Jeff Ruby Steaks go on sale online to general public Thursday

Tickets for the 48th running of the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park, a designated points race for the legendary Kentucky Derby, will be released online to the general public on Thursday. Links to the ticketing site are found at www.turfway.com. Scheduled for March 9, the Jeff Ruby Steaks is the centerpiece of a 12-race day that includes five undercard stakes races. First post is 1:10 p.m. The day’s...

Maine husband’s long shot play on Kentucky Oaks Day pays off with kidney donation for his wife

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Shaun McCarthy was running out of options, and time. Stacey McCarthy, Shaun’s wife, was on dialysis and in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Efforts to find a compatible donor in or around his Portland, Maine home were unsuccessful. Shaun McCarthy on Kentucky Oaks Day, with his “MY WIFE NEEDS A KIDNEY,” sport coat (photo by Mark Hansel). There...

Horse racing world mourns the death of Churchill Downs VP, Racing Communications John Asher

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor Condolences are pouring in from throughout the thoroughbred horse racing industry and beyond after the unexpected death of Churchill Downs Vice President, Racing Communications John Asher. Asher Asher died Monday of an apparent heart attack while vacationing in Florida. Darren Rogers, Senior Director, Communications & Media Services for Churchill Downs,...

John Asher, VP, Racing Communications at Churchill Downs, winner of five Eclipse Awards, has died

KyForward staff John Asher, vice president, Racing Communications at Churchill Downs has died. Asher, 62, was one of the most recognizable faces in the industry, and condolences are pouring in from around the world on social media. Asher Asher, who has worked in the thoroughbred racing industry for more than 30 years, reportedly died of a heart attack while on vacation in Florida. Asher earned five...

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 seeks second jewel as top two Kentucky Derby finishers meet again in Saturday’s Preakness

By Liane Crossley Special to Kentucky Forward Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore has all the usual intrigue. Kentucky Derby winner Justify is seeking to take another jewel of the Triple Crown, runner-up Good Magic is seeking redemption and regionally connected Diamond King represents the home crowd. Other storylines include an 82-year-old trainer going for his seventh...

Explore Kentucky wineries and breweries with ‘Drink KY’ smartphone app, earn rewards as well

The Kentucky Derby is over. Spring has sprung (finally). It’s time to get out and explore the Bluegrass State. Your explorations may include some of Kentucky’s many small-farm wineries and locally owned craft breweries. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has a free smartphone app that will help you find what you’re looking for, record notes of the beverages you sample, and earn rewards as...

Constance Alexander: Kentucky Derby evokes memories of Aunt Agnes, the odds-on favorite

Aunt Agnes was my favorite relative. She was out-spoken and creative. She lived on Rittenhouse Square, a lovely neighborhood in the City of Brotherly Love. She told stories about my mother when they were both little girls, and if Mother tried to correct her — or change the subject — Agnes just sailed on, deliberately oblivious. Aunt Agnes had a bookie. Whenever she and Uncle Pete came to...

Kentucky Oaks Day: Great racing, disputed finish in feature (Monomoy Girl wins) and some perspecive

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor The 144th Grade I Kentucky Oaks was a thrilling renewal of the classic race that saw morning line favorite Monomoy Girl battle longshot Wonder Gadot the length of the stretch. Eventual winner Monomoy Girl is barely visible inside Wonder Gadot (#5). The two fillies engaged in a hotly contested stretch duel in the 144th running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks at...