A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

TCA to host online auction of halters worn by Triple Crown, Kentucky Derby winners; event begins Friday

Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) will host an online auction of halters worn by Triple Crown and Kentucky Derby winners during the upcoming virtual “Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown.” The halter auction is set to open this Friday (May 1) at 9 a.m. and will conclude on Saturday (May 2) at 9 p.m. EST. All proceeds will benefit TCA. “As the 13 Triple Crown winners face off in the virtual...

Tacitus, War of Will headline Saturday’s Belmont Stakes to conclude unusual Triple Crown season

By Liane Crossley Special to KyForward Tactitus, third in the Kentucky Derby, is the 9-5 morning line favorite among 10 three-year-olds entered for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Preakness Stakes winner War of Will is second choice at 2-1. Previewing the race requires a brief recap of arguably the most talked first two legs of the Triple Crown since the Kentucky Derby and Preakness were inaugurated nearly...

Preakness winner War of Will remains atop NTRA 3-Year-Old Poll heading into Belmont Stakes Weekend

This weekend’s loaded slate of Grade 1 races slated to take place at Belmont Park will feature the leaders of both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Top 3-Year-Old Poll and NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, respectively, in Preakness Stakes winner War of Will and multiple Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar. Click to enlarge Gary Barber’s War of Will is set to become the only horse this...

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...

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...

$2.2 million American Pharoah Colt tops opening session of Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale

The highly anticipated first crop of yearlings by 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah, who won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland to close his career, and the participation of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin highlighted Monday’s opening session of the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Godolphin paid $2.2 million for a colt by American...

Liane Crossley: Reduced foal crop could explain sudden surge in Triple Crown winners

The question had been asked for a generation—would the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing ever be won again? The question was answered on June 6, 2015 when American Pharoah became the 12th winner of the elusive honor. This past Saturday, Justify added an exclamation point when he, too, completed the sweep. The most recent Triple Crown winner had been the mighty Affirmed who achieved the distinction...

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 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...

Kentucky Derby also-ran Patch among a host of race horses who lived up — or down — to their names

By Liane Crossley Special to KyForward Thoroughbred racehorses are much harder to name than pets or people with guidelines that include an 18-letter limit and restrictions against previously used monikers. Despite the challenge, owners cleverly christen racers with handles that might reflect pedigree, places, family, friends, occupation or trends. Runners in this season’s Triple Crown sported examples...

Pea Patch to Big Apple: Ellis Park’s burgeoning two-year-old program on full display at Belmont

By Jennie Rees Ellis Park Communications HENDERSON — Pea Patch to Big Apple: Ellis Park’s burgeoning 2-year-old program will be on display this week in New York. Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee and Preakness third-place finisher Senior Investment are among the twelve 3-year-olds entered in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Lookin At Lee won an Ellis maiden race in his second start and the...

Classic Empire taken out of Belmont due to injury; Irish War Cry now the favorite in field of 12

By Liane Crossley KyForward correspondent Irish War Cry, 10th in the Kentucky Derby as the second choice, is the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $1.5-million Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on the outskirts of New York City. The race is now even more wide open after likely favorite Classic Empire, the gallant runner-up in the Preakness Stakes after a hard-luck fourth in the Kentucky Derby, was...

No Triple Crown: Cloud Computing overhauls Classic Empire late to post major Preakness upset

BALTIMORE– KlaravichStables and William H. Lawrence’s Cloud Computing tracked a hotly contestedpace duel between Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming and Classic Empireinto the far turn before launching a determined stretch run and pulling off a 12-1 upset in Saturday’s 142nd Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course. The lightly raced colt, who had won only one of three previous starts,...

Top two Derby finishers set to clash once again in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes in Baltimore

By Liane Crossley KyForward contributor Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will see some familiar faces in the $1.5-million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore on Saturday. Four Derby starters, including longshot runner-up Lookin At Lee are back for another attempt in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Classic Empire (fourth in the Derby), Gunnevera (seventh) and Hence (eleventh)...

Preakness Notes: Smooth sailing for Always Dreaming in workout; Classic Empire also impressive

Trainer Todd Pletcher was delighted to report that everything went according to plan when his Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming galloped 1 1/2 miles at Pimlico Race Course earlier this week. Always Dreaming was on the track at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday with exercise rider Nick Bush for his daily exercise leading up to the 142nd running Saturday of the Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the...

The Preakness: Here are 11 fun facts you might not know about the Triple Crown’s second jewel

The 142nd Preakness Stakes is just around the corner: Always Dreaming will take the next step toward racing immortality on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course. Get ready for the second jewel of the Triple Crown with 11 fun facts below. The Preakness is usually won by horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby. Just three winners in the last 27 years did not first run in the Derby. The favorite wins the Preakness...

Always Dreaming bounces back strong after Derby; field for Preakness beginning to take shape

Two days after winning his second career Kentucky Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher said he is impressed with how Always Dreaming came out of his 2 3/4-length victory over Lookin At Lee in Saturday’s Run for the Roses. “So far I’ve been amazed at how well he came out of the race,” said Pletcher at Churchill Downs Monday before taking a scheduled flight to New York later in the day. “His energy...