Chelsea Hackbarth

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Family Support Strong Behind Vekoma

Brothers Mike and Ted Gatsas have owned Thoroughbred racehorses for 21 years, and race days are an excuse to get the entire family together. This year, their children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to join Gatsas Stables at the pinnacle of the sport when Blue Grass Stakes winner Vekoma enters the starting gate for […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Making Sense Of Major Preps

The weekend’s blockbuster graded stakes action and trio of Triple Crown prep races have begun to clear up a muddy picture of the Kentucky Derby, with favorites winning two races and Baffert trainees topping the Santa Anita Derby. I loved Tacitus’ run in the Wood, as well as Roadster’s at Santa Anita. These two join […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Two ‘Rednecks From Tennessee’ A ‘Perfect’ Match

Best friends since their childhood in rural Tennessee, Clint Joiner and Tyler Alexander are on the ride of a lifetime with Kentucky Derby hopeful Plus Que Parfait (a phrase meaning the past perfect verb form in French, literally translated as “more than perfect”). Alexander’s wife videoed him watching the ridgling’s UAE Derby victory: he was […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Hoping For Clarity

Confusion and inconsistency continue to be the theme of Kentucky Derby prep race results, and as such neither of this weekend’s winners cracked the top ten selections in this week’s The Derby 20. Several contenders have been removed: Mind Control was withdrawn from Derby consideration and will focus on shorter races, while both Hidden Scroll […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘I Am Horse Racing’ Gains Momentum

It all started last week with a group of friends sitting around Christina Blacker’s dining room table, drinking coffee and empathizing with one another. They felt defeated by the recent media uproar and public backlash over the spate of equine deaths at Santa Anita Park, but no single person was quite sure what to do […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Missteps And Upsetters

That was certainly a strange weekend of horse racing. Longshots hit in graded stakes all across the country, including 22-1 By My Standards in the Louisiana Derby. Neither of the weekend’s Kentucky Derby prep races saw a winning favorite; 4-5 War of Will finished ninth at the Fair Grounds, while Mucho Gusto faded to third […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Ageless’ Jon Court Riding A Rebel High

A conversation with veteran jockey Jon Court is full of joy and laughter – he’s just that kind of guy. On Tuesday, the thrill-seeking 58-year-old answered the phone in the middle of a bicycle ride up and down the hills of Hot Springs, Ark., and never missed a breath while talking about his latest triumph […]

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The Derby 20 Presented By Adequan: Rebel Shakeup Puts War Of Will On Top

A pair of undefeated colts suffered their first losses in Saturday’s dual editions of the G2 Rebel Stakes, and while neither Game Winner nor Improbable was defeated by more than a neck in their first start of 2019, I decided to give top ranking to a different Kentucky Derby contender. War of Will has done […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Zanatta Banking On Some New York ‘Espresso’

The Espresso Shot keeping Dan Zanatta awake late at night these days isn’t of the caffeinated variety. Rather, the 32-year-old owner is pondering the next steps for his talented sophomore filly bearing the same name: a New York-bred daughter of Mission Impazible. Last Saturday’s Busher Stakes win at Aqueduct earned the equine Espresso Shot a […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: For Hough, Being Around Horses ‘Isn’t Really A Job’

He may have been retired, but Stanley Hough still had a few business interests in the Thoroughbred industry. So when his golf game started to slip, and then long-time mentee Hunter Rankin called with a new opportunity, Hough decided to wade back in. For the past several years, Hough and Sagamore president Rankin have been […]

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