Get to Know the Horse Owners of the Kentucky Derby

Derby hopeful Vekoma with his owners after winning the Blue Grass Stakes. (Eclipse Sportswire) The greatest two minutes in sports is right around the corner! Get to know the people who own the runners in this year’s Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve below in order of each horse’s …

OwnersWertheimer and Frere

About: Wertheimer et Frere is the name of the Thoroughbred partnership between brothers Alain and Gérard Wertheimer of France. Their grandfather Pierre co-founded esteemed fashion empire Chanel, which the brothers still operate along with vineyards and other luxury clothing companies. They have campaigned a number of top Thoroughbreds around the world including Solow, Goldikova, and Halfbridled.

Owner: Katsumi Yoshizawa

About: Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, Katsumi Yoshizawa now runs Yoshizawa Stables, a large private horse training operation in Japan that does everything from initial training to selling racehorses. His training operation has been responsible for horses such as six-time Group 1 winner Gold Ship, 2014 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Just a Way (who is also Master Fencer’s sire), and many other top Japanese racehorses. Yoshizawa also opened a school for training Japanese horsemen in 2017. Japan has a shortage of exercise riders and grooms, and the facility is helping teach those interested in working in racing the skills to ride work and be a groom. Yoshizawa travels to Keeneland sales in Kentucky regularly, and bought Master Fencer’s dam, Sexy Zamurai, at the September auction in 2005.

More Horse Owners of the Kentucky Derby:

Tampa Bay Derby could make or break horses for Kentucky Derby

The Tampa Bay Derby takes place on Saturday, March 9th at Tampa Bay Downs. The event is one of American Thoroughbred racing’s biggest lead-up races to the Kentucky Derby. This year’s event will carry a significant number of Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The Tampa Bay Derby could make or break a horse ahead of May’s race in Louisville. American horse racing fans are following the build-up to the race in Florida. The Tampa Bay Derby could have an impact on the rest of the American racing calendar and bettors can use PA sportsbooks to wager on the outcome of the big race.

The race has grown in popularity in recent years. Due to horse racing fans being able to glimpse a possible Kentucky Derby winner, it has led many to seek out the race. In addition, due to the number of races held at Tampa Bay Downs during the day, it brings out quite a few well-known jockeys and horses.

With the Tampa Bay Derby on tap for this Saturday, here are some of the key storylines horse racing enthusiasts should know.

Tampa Bay Derby – Impact on Kentucky Derby

One of the most important aspects about the Tampa Bay Derby is the impact it has on the Kentucky Derby. Top horse racing trainers, owners, and jockeys want to compete at Churchill Downs in May. However, to get to Louisville, race horses must earn points in specified prep races.

The Tampa Bay Derby is one of these designated races. The race winner receives 50 points, which means they will qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Second, third, and fourth place divide up the remaining 35 points available.

Tampa Bay Derby – The race

The Grade 2 race will see a prize fund of $400,000 up for grabs. The Derby will be the highlight of the day at Tampa Bay Downs. Twelve races will be run during the event as horse racing fans will get their fill of thoroughbred horses. The one and one-sixteenth mile race sees 11 horses competing for Kentucky Derby points.

Trainer Dale L. Romans’ Admire is listed as the sportsbooks’ favorite. The three-year-old and up race is run on dirt at Tampa Bay Downs. Opened in 1926, Tampa Bay Downs is one of the Unite States’ oldest and most famous racetracks.

Tampa Bay Derby – Experts top choice

Derby experts have praised Win WinWin as the horse to beat. There is a lot of hype surrounding the horse and Saturday’s race should show the world if it is warranted. In his most recent effort, Win WinWin won the Pasco Stakes, marking his third victory from four career starts. If the horse can win at Tampa Bay Downs, he could parlay that success into the Kentucky Derby.

The Tampa Bay Derby started in 1981. Since its inception, two horses who have run in the race have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. In 2007, Street Sense won at Churchill Downs after participating at Tampa. Three years later, Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby after placing third at the Tampa Bay Derby.

Did you miss these gems?

The Great Sports Betting Fix

Handicapping Tip of the Day #48 – Horse …

KY Derby Stepping Stone: War of Will has no problem with Lecomte’s fast track

NEW ORLEANS – It’s says in some weathered chapter of the horseman’s manual that you can get away with running a turf horse on a sloppy track, and when War of Will, who is turf-bred and made his first four starts on turf, won his dirt debut Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs, he did so on a sloppy track.

But what we apparently have here is not a turf horse who managed a wet-track win, but a natural dirt horse originally miscast as a grass horse.

For as good as War of Will looked beating maidens in the Churchill slop, he looked even better winning the Grade 3, $200,000 Lecomte Stakes over a Fair Grounds main track rated fast.

War of Will, a barely controlled bundle of energy stalking the pace wide down the backstretch under Tyler Gaffalione, inhaled Manny Wah at the top of the stretch and ran off to a four-length win in the Lecomte. The performance was visually impressive and pretty good on the clock, War of Will stopping the timer in 1:43.44 for the one mile and 70 yards. That was nearly two seconds faster than Needs Supervision’s winning time in the Silverbulletday Stakes over the same distance one race earlier.

Asked how War of Will traveled on the fast track early Saturday evening compared to the sloppy Churchill going, jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, “He was better, really.”   Read more…

KY Derby Stepping Stone: Win Win Win is Impressive

WIN WIN WIN SETS TRACK MARK IN PASCO; 2 OTHER STAKES RECORDS FALL

Win Win Win speeds home in Pasco, setting a track record as the first horse in Oldsmar history to better 1:21 for 7 furlongs; Molto Bella shakes off early speed duel to dominate Gasparilla foes; Tapa Tapa Tapa pretty as a picture in Wayward Lass; Dennis Scott, Jim Tipps finish 1-2 in “High Rollers Handicapping Contest.”

Michael Trombetta, the trainer of 3-year-old colt Win Win Win, had a helpless feeling after Gladiator King broke through the gate as the field for the $125,000 Pasco Stakes was being loaded, delaying the start.

But a horse with the kind of talent Win Win Win displayed in setting a 7-furlong track record has a way of making his connections feel like they’re just along for the ride, anyway.

After breaking slowly from the No. 2 post, Win Win Win was taken in hand for the first part of the race before jockey Julian Pimentel launched his bid from the outside at the ¼-mile pole. Win Win Win surged past Gladiator King and Overdeliver, speeding to a seven-and-a-quarter length victory in track and stakes-record time of 1:20.89.

Amoss with Live Longshot in early Kentucky Derby Prep

Good horses are blessed with natural talent, but heart and the ability to overcome adversity is often what takes them to the next level. In just five career starts, Roiland has checked all the boxes, but Saturday’s Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds represents a fresh and difficult challenge.

Trainer Tom Amoss acknowledges the fact that the son of Successful Appeal will likely be a price in the mile-and-70-yard event, but outrunning big odds is something that he’s done before. Two starts ago against winners at Churchill Downs, Roiland scored a 28-1 upset where he was bumped at the start, sat well off the pace and gunned down eventual graded stakes placed Limonite in the final strides.

“The day he ran at Churchill might have been one of the few times in my life that I looked at a horse that was a huge longshot on the board and thought that he should have been 6-5,” Amoss recalled. “He won that day, we ran him back in the (Kentucky Jockey Club) and he ran a troubled fifth. He has progressed really well into his 3-year-old campaign and I am excited about this race, recognizing that he’ll be a longshot.

“I know it’s going to be big field and I know that traffic is going to be an issue with a horse that comes from behind like him, but I think he has matured nicely and I think when you look at him in the paddock, you will see a good looking, physical horse that is going to catch your eye.”

Amoss thought highly of Roiland before he even ran, but it was his career debut at Indiana Grand Race Course that really opened the trainer’s eyes.

“He did something that you can’t do at Indiana Grand,” Amoss said. “In a sprint race, he came from well back to win going one turn in a sprint race and you can’t do that there. I’ve always liked Roiland, he’s a very good looking physical specimen and he’s been a late bloomer and late running horse so he’s been at a disadvantage in his early races and yet he can overcome that.”

Amoss has won the Lecomte a total of four times with Fly Cry (1994), Some Actor (1999), Ron the Greek (2010) and Mo Tom (2016). He compared Roiland to Ron the Greek who had the same running style and also broke his maiden in the state of Indiana first time out.

Current Fair Grounds leading rider James Graham will guide Roiland who breaks from post seven at 12-1 odds.

A James and Mary Durlacher homebred, Roiland is a full-brother to stakes winner Isotope. Both are out of the two-time winning Congaree broodmare Anabranch.

Source: Fair Grounds

The Plans for Maximus Mischief

One day after posting a win in his stakes debut in Aqueduct’s Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen, trainer Robert Reid, Jr. said Maximus Mischief came out of his 2 ¼-length score in good order and shipped back well to his home base at Parx in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

“It looked like he came out of the race perfectly and made good time, he was safely back in his stall by 9 p.m. or so,” Reid said. “He was a little tired, but he’s on his toes this morning.”

Owned by Cash is King Stable and LC Racing, Maximus Mischief improved to 3-for-3 to start his career. The Into Mischief colt won his debut with an 8 ¾-length win in a 5 ½-furlong sprint on September 29 at Parx before winning by six lengths at seven furlongs over the same track October 20.

Stretching out to the Remsen distance of 1 1/8 miles and two turns, Maximus Mischief handled the new challenges with aplomb, earning a 97 Beyer Speed Figure and also netting 10 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

“The most impressive part was how he acted in the paddock and all the pre-race stuff, because he can be a handful in the paddock,” Reid said. “In his new surroundings, he handled it very well. He stood perfectly in the paddock, which at Aqueduct can be a little foreboding. He handled it great and was cool as a cucumber and stood there perfectly when we put the tack on him. I was pretty confident with the way things were going to go after that.”

Out of the gate, Maximus Mischief, under jockey Frankie Pennington, dueled Gladiator King for the early speed before eventually taking command by the half-mile mark. In the stretch, he dug in against the Chad Brown-trained Network Effect, who was the field’s lone graded stakes veteran in having finished second in the Grade 3 Nashua on November 4 at the Big A.

“Frankie did a great job riding him. He didn’t worry about the horses inside or outside of him,” Reid said. “Once he switched leads and opened up, I felt really good about it.”

After a brief respite, Maximus Mischief’s conditioner said the $340,000 purchase will be headed for warmer temperatures and what is hopefully a bright sophomore year.

Maximus Mischief Heading to Florida for 3yo Campaign

“We’re going to give him a little break but then we’ll be heading down to Florida,” Reid said. “We’ll be heading down to Gulfstream Park in the next few weeks and get him used to the weather down there and get him ready to start his 3-year-old campaign.”

Klaravich Stables’ Network Effect garnered four points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby with his runner-up finish when he edged Tax by a half-length. The Mark Valeski colt won his first race on August 11 at Saratoga before taking the jump in class in running second to Vekoma in the Nashua.

Gulfstream Park horse toteBrown said Network Effect, the even-money favorite who rallied from fifth, has talent but is looking to take the next step.

“He ran spotty a little bit in the race,” Brown said. “He was in a pretty good position and in the final turn it looked like the eventual winner got away from him a little bit, but late in the race he was starting to gain on him. I thought the winner ran terrific and our horse ran very respectable. He’s a work in progress.”

Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable’s Tax made a splash for trainer Danny Gargan in his first race for the conditioner since being claimed for $50,000 on October 21 at Keeneland, where he had a maiden-breaking, two-length win for then-trainer Ben Colebrook.

Tax’s third-place finish earned him two qualifying points for the “Run for the Roses” and his black type performance in his first stakes start resulted in a 93 Beyer.

“I thought he ran huge. We were expecting a big performance; he’s a really good-looking horse,” Gargan said. “He ran really well and the [speed] number came back tremendous, we’re really excited about that. He came out of the race great.”

Tax, who has trained at Belmont Park, will likely be kept in New York, said Gargan, who left open the possibility he could run in the $150,000 Jerome for newly minted 3-year-olds on New Year’s Day at the Big A.

“He has a really big future. We’ll keep him in New York and evaluate him and see where our next stakes spot will be. There’s a big chance he’ll run next at Aqueduct but if not, there’s a couple of different options.”

Source: NYRA

2019 Kentucky Derby Watch – Debut of Coliseum

Trainer Bob Baffert has another beast in his barn with the flashy gray Coliseum.  It’s extremely hard for a first time starter to win going 7 furlongs, but this was simply a walk in the park for this freakish two year old owned by Godolphin.  Barely asked by jockey Joe Talamo, Coliseum exploded when nudged down the stretch run at Del Mar (Nov. 17, 2018) to demolish the competition.  It reminded me of Curlin’s incredible debut win at Gulfstream Park.

Coliseum is the son of super stallion Tapit and is out of the stakes winning mare Game Face.  She has produced three other winners but yet to have a stakes winner represented.  That will soon change if this one stays healthy.

This is currently our #1 horse for the 2019 Kentucky Derby Watch:

Amazing Rooftop Experience Planned for 2019 Kentucky Derby

Churchill winner's circleLOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept., 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN), one of the world’s most renowned sports and entertainment venues, will create an elevated experience for guests of the 2019 Kentucky Derby and beyond. The legendary Louisville, Ky. racetrack has announced plans for a $5 million capital investment that will expand the Starting Gate Suites through the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden which will deliver a unique hospitality experience with exclusive sightlines and access for more than 500 ticketed guests.

The innovative and picturesque rooftop space, located high atop the Starting Gate Suites on the north end of the 190-acre facility, will provide covered reserved seating for more than 250 guests and approximately 250 additional Standing Room Only access tickets. More information on the individual tickets to the new space for the 2019 Kentucky Derby will be made available during the online ticket sale later this year.

Guests on the rooftop will be able to gaze at an authentic panoramic view of Louisville while enjoying access to several upscale bars and various food offerings in a cozy yet party-like atmosphere. There also will be a tiered balcony for spectacular viewing of Churchill Downs’ races, including a prime observation that overlooks the start of the Kentucky Derby at the top of the famed homestretch.

“Rooftop bars are a hot trend in the hospitality industry, and the addition of this sensational new space atop our Starting Gate Suites will be a great benefit to our facility and deliver another unique guest experience at Churchill Downs,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack.

The Starting Gate Suites debuted for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. It was constructed for $37 million and provided more than 1,800 new seats through the addition of 32 luxury suites, interior dining tables and third-floor Grandstand seats.

Construction on the Starting Gate Suites Rooftop project will begin after the Nov. 2-3 Breeders’ Cup World Championships and be completed prior to the 2019 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, which will be staged for the 145th consecutive year on Saturday, May 4th. Populous is the architect and Calhoun Construction will serve as the project manager.

Guests interested in purchasing tickets to the Starting Gate Suites Rooftop or more information may contact the Churchill Downs sales department at (502) 636-4450 or sales@kyderby.com.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 4, 2019. The track’s 2018 September Meet is set for Sept. 14-30 and its Fall Meet will run from Oct. 28-Nov. 25. An eight-time host to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Churchill Downs will again be the site of that event on Nov. 2-3, 2018. Information is available at www.ChurchillDowns.com.

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby. We are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 8,000 gaming positions in six states. We have launched our BetAmerica Sportsbook at our two Mississippi casino properties and have announced our plans to enter additional U.S. real money online gaming and sports betting markets. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.

John Asher was the Kentucky Derby’s beaming ambassador

Horse Racing Has Lost a Legend in John Asher

John Asher was the Kentucky Derby’s beaming ambassador

Just a few of the quotes from those who knew him:

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert: “John was the warm human face of Churchill Downs. I was always happy to see him. He was as Kentucky as the Derby, bluegrass, bourbon and hot browns. I can’t imagine Derby week without him.”

Morning line odds maker and retired track announcer Mike Battaglia: “I’m heartsick to hear about the passing of my good friend John Asher. My deepest condolences go out to Dee and all of his family. John was loved by many and will be deeply missed.”

Trainer Chuck Simon: “John was just a great person. When I first started training in Kentucky I didn’t know that many people and used to hang out with (late track announcer) Luke Kruytbosch who was my friend from Arizona. Back then, Luke was stationed near the old Press Box and Gold Room for the big players and John was always around. He always took the time to come over and talk to me every time he saw me and ask how my horses were and if I had anything that he could include in a press release – knowing that free press is a godsend for a new trainer starting out. He barely knew me yet he was trying to help me out.

So a few years later I had a horse named Pirate King that John liked. The horse was working really well and even though it was the weeks leading to Derby, which for John was Christmas, every time the horse worked John would email me the clocker’s sheet for the day with a little note, ‘make sure you let me know when he runs, I want to bet a few bucks.’

I don’t think he was a big betting man really but for some reason he took a liking to this horse. So, I enter the horse for opening day of the CD spring meet which of course is the weekend before the Derby. John sees me on the backstretch the day before and says, ‘Well, is he ready?’

I said, ‘He’s pretty live, John. You’ve seen the works.’ So he says good luck, see you in the winner’s circle. The horse gallops at 20-1 and the first thing I think of is John probably laughing as the horse crossed the wire. So, we go in the winner’s circle and I don’t see him. After the race I text him and he doesn’t answer. So, I figure he must be busy as it is Derby Week and he is swamped. The next day he comes to the barn and gives me this sheepish look. I said, ‘You didn’t bet him, did you?’ He said all morning I was thinking I have to remember to get a bet in on Pirate King and then I got tied up in a press conference then there was some emergency then the governor’s office called then I got called into the meeting.

John said he heard Luke say over the loud speaker, ‘Pirate King still going strong.’  He said, ‘Damn I knew that horse was gonna win.’ But, he was happy that he won even though he didn’t get a bet down at 20-1. He was a great guy who loved the Derby and loved Churchill Downs and loved Western Kentucky sports and loved his family more than anything. Few people I ever met were as naturally kind as John Asher was. It’s hard to believe that both Luke and John are both gone.”

 

Tim Sullivan Courier Journal Longtime Churchill Downs spokesman John Asher dies at 62

Glasgow Daily Times Full coverage: John Asher was the Kentucky Derby’s beaming ambassador | Tim Sullivan

A Look at TV Audiences for the 2018 Triple Crown Horse Races

Triple Crown trophy

Justify won the Triple Crown this year

“Among the Kentucky Derby audience, 22% also watched the Preakness Stakes and 26% checked out the Belmont Stakes…”

Broadcasting & Cable Full coverage: Viewership By the Numbers: A Close Look at TV Audiences for Iconic Horse Races