Chelsea Hackbarth

War Of Will Vindicated; Casse Emotional After First Classic Victory

First, there was fear. Then disappointment. Later, it was indignation. Two weeks after the history-making 145th edition of the Kentucky Derby, War of Will finally got the one thing his trainer and jockey had been asking for. “We were this close to never seeing him again,” said Mark Casse, referencing the Derby incident with Maximum […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: From Father To Son, A Golden Blue Blanket

On a damp, chilly Thursday morning at Pimlico, most Preakness contenders were being walked around the shed row wearing blankets emblazoned with their name, or perhaps their trainer’s name. One was unique, however. It’s a bright blue and square wool blanket with white edges and big block letters emblazoned across the left side, and it […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: From Head Injuries To Shingles, Larry Jones Refuses To Quit

A little more than five years ago, trainer Larry Jones suffered a head injury that by all accounts should have ended his riding career. He missed five weeks before he was back on his pony. Last year, Jones broke several ribs in another fall. He didn’t miss a single day of galloping. The only malady […]

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Right Or Wrong? Derby DQ Leaves Unanswered Questions

Kentucky stewards made a controversial decision after the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby… Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. In context of how the rules of racing are written in Kentucky, the stewards made the only possible call in their disqualification of Maximum Security from first to 17th. But was it the […]

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Country House Moved Up To Win Kentucky Derby As Maximum Security Disqualified

Trainer Bill Mott has waited throughout his Hall of Fame career to win the Kentucky Derby, so the extra 20 minute delay by the Churchill Downs stewards after Saturday’s 145th edition wasn’t anything new. Finally, the stewards revealed their decision: with the second-longest winning odds in Kentucky Derby history, 65-1 chance Country House will be […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Drawing Up The Final Contenders

A few contenders got moved around this week after the draw, and others were adjusted because of their final workouts over the weekend. The biggest changes include moving up Win Win Win after his impressive workout on Sunday, and the addition of Spinoff to the top ten this week. Of the two Todd Pletcher trainees, […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Hometown ‘Country Boy’ Takes Charles Town’s Biggest Prize

Timothy Grams was 24 years old when he first realized he wanted something different out of life. The all-around handyman had just been switched to the night shift with a roofing supply company, and it just wasn’t working out. A friend got Grams a job breaking young Thoroughbreds at a farm in Maryland, and that […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Finding Value

With two weeks to go before the Run for the Roses, all eyes will be on the contenders final workouts. There are still several jockey assignments left to be decided, though Hall of Famer Mike Smith’s decision to ride Omaha Beach over Roadster confirms the Richard Mandella trainee’s place atop my rankings. Horses in the […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Cambra Enjoying Ride With ‘The Coolest Dude’

Taylor Cambra may be just 21 years old, but he sounds significantly older when he speaks about his horses. It could be because he has spent nearly every day in a saddle since before he was able to walk, that he spent time on the rodeo circuit riding bucking horses, or because he grew up […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: The Final Countdown

The points are all in, and the top candidates are being prepared to make their voyages to Louisville. Jockey Mike Smith has a big decision to make over the next couple of weeks, as he rode both Roadster and Omaha Beach in their Grade 1 victories on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Omaha Beach […]

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