Category Archives: Horse Racing

Horse racing-Triple Crown hopefuls under too much pressure – Sheikh Hamdan (Reuters)

By Martin Dokoupil SIR BU NUAYR ISLAND, United Arab Emirates, May 24 (Reuters) – H orses attempting to complete the elusive Triple Crown over the last four decades failed because they often face too much pressure to perform in a short space of time, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum said. “At this time of the year, to me the reason is that they are still young to run three times in five weeks,” Sheikh Hamdan, Dubai Deputy Ruler and one of the world’s top thoroughbred owners and breeders, told Reuters in a rare interview aboard his yacht Al Fahedi. To me it is very difficult to see the horse run in top races three times in five weeks.” Last year, California Chrome joined the long list of three-year olds to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, only to miss out on the Triple Crown by failing to win the final longest test in the Belmont Stakes.

Breeding rights for American Pharoah sold to Coolmore (The Associated Press)

Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah stops his morning walk to check out the crowd around the stakes barn, Sunday, May 17, 2015 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

The owner of Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah sold the breeding rights to his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner to Coolmore Ashford Stud in Kentucky. Owner Ahmed Zayat said Wednesday the deal was reached in the past day or two, but would not disclose the value. Zayat said if American Pharoah wins the Belmont Stakes on June 6 and becomes the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, he plans to keep racing the colt through the end of the year.

Preakness winner American Pharoah returns to Churchill Downs (The Associated Press)

This handout provided by the Maryland Jockey Club shows Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah being held by assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes in a van for transport as they prepare to leave Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Monday, May 18, 2015. American Pharoah will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978, at the Belmont Stakes on June 6. (Jerry Dzierwinski/Maryland Jockey Club via AP)

American Pharoah took a short walk to stretch his legs after his flight before getting a bath and retiring to his barn for some well-earned rest. There was no sign of Jet lag as he returned to Churchill Downs following his dominant Preakness victory that put him on the cusp of capturing the Triple Crown. Pharoah assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said ”everything went well” during the trip and added, ”He’s a very good shipper.” After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, American Pharoah will try to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when he races in the Belmont Stakes on June 6. American Pharoah will work out at Churchill Downs on May 27 and June 2 before heading to New York for the 1 1/2 mile race.

Preakness winner American Pharoah returns to Churchill Downs (The Associated Press)

This handout provided by the Maryland Jockey Club shows Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah being held by assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes in a van for transport as they prepare to leave Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Monday, May 18, 2015. American Pharoah will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978, at the Belmont Stakes on June 6. (Jerry Dzierwinski/Maryland Jockey Club via AP)

American Pharoah took a short walk to stretch his legs after his flight before getting a bath and retiring to his barn for some well-earned rest. There was no sign of Jet lag as he returned to Churchill Downs following his dominant Preakness victory that put him on the cusp of capturing the Triple Crown. Pharoah assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said ”everything went well” during the trip and added, ”He’s a very good shipper.” After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, American Pharoah will try to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when he races in the Belmont Stakes on June 6. American Pharoah will work out at Churchill Downs on May 27 and June 2 before heading to New York for the 1 1/2 mile race.

Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah healthy, but tired (The Associated Press)

Trainer Bob Baffert rubs the head of Preakness Stakes winner American Pharoah outside the stakes barn, Sunday, May 17, 2015 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

He’s won from the rail and he’s won from an outside post, and now, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978. So, Bob Baffert, what kind of track surface would you prefer for the Belmont Stakes on June 6? ”I want the same track Secretariat had,” he joked on a humid Sunday morning just outside the Pimlico stakes barn. I’ll take that.” Of course, Baffert was referring to the 1973 Triple Crown champion who won the Belmont by a mind-boggling 31 lengths.

Long shot Keen Pauline wins $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (The Associated Press)

Javier Castellano rides Keen Pauline to a win during the Black-Eyed Susan horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Friday, May 15, 2015, in Baltimore. The 140th Preakness horse race takes place Saturday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Javier Castellano thought he knew exactly how the Black-Eyed Susan was going to pan out. A 15-1 long shot, Kentucky-bred Keen Pauline covered the 1 1/8-mile course in 1:50.46 at Pimlico Race Course to beat Include Betty by 2 3/4 lengths. Ahh Chocolate finished third, a half-length ahead of Danessa Deluxe in the $250,000, Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies. My horse broke so well out of the gate, I dictated the pace and I enjoyed the ride.” Keen Pauline paid $32.80, $10.80 and $5.80.

Preakness starters’ names evolve from an involved process (The Associated Press)

Mr. Z, ridden by exercise rider Edvin Vargas, trots along trainer D. Wayne Lukas as the Preakness Stakes entrant goes to the track for a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Thursday, May 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

Owners can submit up to six choices in order of preference to The Jockey Club in the registration process. ”The reason we have such quality control is to make things very clear to the layman, to the stakeholder, to a trainer, to a bettor,” The Jockey Club manager of registration services Andrew Chesser said. ”You want to avoid confusion, especially when you’re talking about two particular horses that can be racing at the same time and breeding at the same time.” Chesser couldn’t explain the 18-character limit other than it being the worldwide standard and added, ”18 has just always seemed to work.” Some horses’ names feature a combination of its sire (father) and dam (mother) or the damsire (mom’s father). Others such as 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister are more creative: that colt was named after Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s son, Bode.

Derby winner American Pharoah has dreaded rail for Preakness (The Associated Press)

Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah is held by trainer Bob Baffert at the stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. The Preakness Stakes horse race is Saturday, May 16.(AP Photo/Garry Jones)

Bob Baffert can only hope the finish of the Preakness Stakes turns out better than the position draw. The trainer watched in disbelief Wednesday as his Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah drew the dreaded No. 1 post position for Saturday’s second leg of the Triple Crown. A moment later, his other entry, Dortmund, was saddled with the No. 2 post. A 1-2 punch he could do without after American Pharoah was made the 4-5 morning-line favorite and Dortmund the 7-2 second choice in an eight-horse field entered Wednesday.

Hall of Famer Stevens looking to turn tables in Preakness (The Associated Press)

Exercise rider Umberto Gomez gallops Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Monday, May 11, 2015, in preparations for a start in the 140th Preakness Stakes in Baltimore on May 16. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

Gary Stevens came within a length of his fourth Kentucky Derby win when Firing Line finished second to American Pharoah. The Hall of Famer will try to even the score Saturday in the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course when the Derby runner-up again faces the Bob Baffert-trained duo of American Pharoah and third-place Derby finisher Dortmund. Stevens maneuvered Firing Line through early traffic in a bulky 18-horse field to fashion an ideal trip behind the pacesetting Dortmund.

Madefromlucky wins Belmont’s Peter Pan (The Associated Press)

Madefromlucky is headed for the Belmont Stakes after rallying to beat Conquest Curlinate by a length Saturday in the $196,000 Peter Pan Stakes for 3-year-olds. The 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan is a traditional prep for the final jewel of the Triple Crown on June 6 at Belmont Park. ”The Belmont is something we talked about a while back,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. ”He earned his way in, if he comes out of this well and trains accordingly.” Madefromlucky and jockey Javier Castellano angled four wide entering the stretch and prevailed for his first stakes victory, and third win in eight starts.