Chitu & Rosario Damascus Benoit

Brian’s Derby Preps 2015: The Sunland Derby

Sunland Park: The Grade III, $800,000 Sunland Derby at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 50-20-10-5) [Image: 2014 Sunland Derby winner Chitu and jockey Joel Rosario at Santa Anita. Benoit photo] With a boatload of money and 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying points up for grabs, the Sunland Derby has become en vogue in recent…

Turfway paddock

Brian’s Derby Preps 2015: The Spiral

Turfway Park: The Grade III, $550,000 Spiral at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 50-20-10-5) While the Spiral runs the risk of being racing’s version of the Edsel, it did draw a solid field this year with runners from name barns like Amoss, Casse, Maker and Pletcher, so there’s some potential here, no doubt.…

Giant Moon and Edgar Prado edge Cool Coal Man in the 2009 Excelsior. Photo NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Owner/breeder Al Fried: Success Story

Growing up on Long Island, Albert Fried Jr. started riding horses, he says, when he was about 10 years old, in the early 1940s.  A talented horseman even at that young age, within a few years he was given an assignment that, if a little hyperbole can be forgiven, may well have changed the course…

American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza in the FrontRunner at Santa Anita Park.  Benoit photo

Brian’s Derby Preps 2015: The Rebel Stakes

Oaklawn Park: The Grade II, $750,000 Rebel at 1 1/16 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points 50-20-10-5) #1 The Truth or Else (4-1): Tricky read woke up in a big way when he added Lasix and was second in the local prep, the GIII Southwest last month, and certainly seems as if he’s turned the corner…

One of the backyard denizens, taken in more hospitable times

NYRA Comes Through for the Oklahoma Cats

Last Friday morning, the thermometer in Saratoga Springs read -8 degrees.  On February 24th, it was -17.  In weather like that, most sensible human beings throw another log on the fire or grab another blanket, pour a hot drink, and refuse to leave the house. But not Michele Jennings, who regardless of temperature or precipitation,…