Three years after breaking the 37-year Triple Crown drought, the one and only Grand Slam champion American Pharoah is inspiring the racing world again, this time with his eye-catching first crop. His Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert himself is among the many purchasing American Pharoah’s produce which will begin racing in 2019.
While on vacation with his family,
John Asher, the Vice President of Racing Communications
at Churchill Downs, and one of the sport’s warmest ambassadors,
died August 27 after suffering a heart attack. He was 62.
Hundreds gathered at Churchill Downs today to pay their respects as a hearse carried him around the historic ten furlong oval in tribute. John will be missed at Churchill and the Kentucky Derby by friends and racing fans for many furlongs to come.
Catholic Boy’s prayers have been answered again, this time with a Grade 1 Travers Stakes win at Saratoga. The son of More Than Ready has won three graded stakes in a row now. The colt is trained by Jonathan Thomas and the jockey is Javier Castellano. Mendelssohn was second, Bravazo third.
Triple Crown winning Jockey Victor Espinoza is focused on his recovery after a training accident on July 22nd, when the Hall of Fame rider was breezing a horse that collapsed during a morning workout. Although Victor has had such a successful career that he no longer rides in races as often as he used to, he currently has no plans to announce his retirement.
Kent Desormeaux Likes Big Butts (For a Good Cause)
Raising funds for the Permanently DIsabled Jockey Fund, Kent Desormeuax traded his tack for “Baby Got Back”. Other jockeys taking the karaoke stage were Joe Talamo (”Play That Funky Music”), Mike Luzzi & Phil Teator in Kiss makeup (”I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night”), Gary Stevens (”Born To Be Wild”), Mike Smith (”Tennessee Whiskey”), and many more.
The PDJF provides financial assistance to 60 former jockeys who have suffered
catastrophic on-track injuries. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has
disbursed nearly $9 million dollars to permanently disabled jockeys,
most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries.
Many of the jockeys we serve were injured while in their 20s and 30s
and face decades of living with a disability. They have lost their
income and the opportunity to build a financial cushion sufficient to
support them and their families.
The medical needs of disabled jockeys are great and may include
daily assistance from a caregiver.
The PDJF strives to reach out to everyone in the Thoroughbred and
Quarter Horse industries, their business partners and the great fans of
this sport for their support.
With your help the PDJF may continue to
assist these permanently disabled jockeys with their day-to-day needs.
Farewell to the big, beautiful chestnut champ Justify. His Triple Crown campaign was an amazing gift for horse racing fans who will go on to tell the story of Justify, the horse who only began racing as a three-year-old, going from maiden in February to undefeated Triple Crown winner in June.
With Justify’s belated start to racing and late arrival on the Derby trail, he had no time for for a layoff, running six races straight. His Triple Crown campaign tested him on the rainiest day in Kentucky Derby history (where he became the first horse since 1882 to win the Derby without having raced at two-years-old), and then he was pressed by Good Magic in a thick fog on another sloppy sealed track at the Preakness. Three weeks later he emerged still undefeated, and a Triple Crown winner, on a beautiful day at Belmont Park.
Justify earned his time away from the track, but it is sad to see an ankle inflammation end his future racing plans because he will not be ready to complete his career with a Fall Breeders’ Cup campaign as originally planned. His owners do not want to risk racing him at four, and his breeding rights may be sold to Coolmore for $45 million.
Tenfold wins his first graded stakes in the Grade 2, 9 furlong Jim Dandy at Saratoga. The son of Curlin is trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr. The margin of victory was ¾ of a length in a field of just five, and the final fractions were
:23.90, :47.16, 1:11.88, 1:36.95, 1:50.49.
Once On Whiskey beats Draft Pick by a head to take the Grade 3, 9 furlong Los Alamitos Derby. Ridden by Flaven Prat and trained by Bob Baffert, Once on Whisky is a three-year-old son of Bodemeister. Ax Man was third.
A closer look at 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify parading on Stephen Foster Night. And a fan asking Bob Baffert to play guitar for us, which he did during one of the Triple Crown broadcasts. Freebird!
Four-year-old Pavel, trained by Doug O’Neill, wins the Grade 1, 9 furlong Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Mario
Gutierrez was on the mount. Pavel earns a berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic! Honorable Duty
third. Pavel paid $15.60, the $2 exacta was
$762.55, trifecta $928.99