Chelsea Hackbarth

Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Training Horses Is A Life Of Learning’

Trainer Ignacio Correas IV didn’t start out pursuing the American Dream. Neither did last Saturday’s Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap winner, Blue Prize. They both earned their stripes in Argentina before making the move to the United States, where each would have to carve out a new beginning. “I really never thought I would […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘You Can’t Judge A Horse By His Cover’

Dismissed at 13-1 on the tote board, the little brown colt barely drew an eye in the paddock on the Belmont Stakes undercard. As the field for the Grade 2 Woody Stephens left the starting gate, he was even less prominent, traipsing along at the back of the field, nearly 12 lengths behind the leader. […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Santana ‘Showing Up’ For Asmussen

“He just kept showing up in the barn, every day.” Ricardo Santana, Jr. has been showing up for as long as anyone can remember. He’s in the barns every morning and always gives a top effort in the afternoons. That work ethic is what first earned the 24-year-old Panamanian jockey a chance to ride for […]

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NYRA Bets Presents Preakness Countdown: Baffert On Baffert

A Preakness Stakes win by Kentucky Derby winner Justify would be the seventh for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert in a span of just 22 years – which would equal Robert Wyndham Walden’s all-time record of seven set in the 19th century. All of Baffert’s previous Preakness winners competed two weeks earlier in the […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: ‘Blended’ Friendship, Hometown Dreams

There’s a small town in Kentucky called Tompkinsville, nestled into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains just north of the Tennessee border. A decline in the local garment industry hit the area hard over the past several decades, and a striking 30 percent of the approximately 2,000 locals live at or below the poverty line. […]

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NYRA Bets Presents Preakness Countdown: Checking Out The New Guys

This year’s relatively short eight-horse Preakness field is exactly evenly spilt between runners who competed in the Kentucky Derby and those who didn’t. The latter, often tiresomely named “new shooters,” are compromised of the following runners, to which we shall now introduce you: Quip (12-1): You might think the primary owners of the Kentucky Derby […]

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NYRA Bets Presents Preakness Countdown: Lessons From A Hall Of Fame ‘Father-Figure’

Fellow Frenchman Julien Leparoux helped Rodolphe Brisset find a job in the United States, following the latter’s short career as a jockey, now the trainer of Preakness contender Quip. “We came here very young,” said Brisset, 34, “and we didn’t have any family nearby. The whole (Bill) Mott team was such a family, and he […]

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NYRA Bets Presents Derby Countdown: What’s The Story With Derby 144?

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert calls the field assembled for the 144th Kentucky Derby “one of the best I’ve seen in years.” That may be an understatement. Baffert’s association with America’s most famous horse race goes back to 1996, when he lost by a nose with his first Derby starter, Cavonnier. He’s won the […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: Gunther’s Classic Trio Ready For ‘Chance To Prove Themselves’

From the 22,936 Thoroughbreds born in North America in 2015, the racing world has whittled down to the top 20 candidates for the first Saturday in May. Remarkably, two of the top 3-year-old colts were bred on the same small farm in Central Kentucky; both Justify and Vino Rosso hail from a broodmare band with […]

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Breeders’ Cup Presents Connections: After ‘Actively Watching,’ DeVaux Ready For Next Step

A favorite subject of racing photographers, Cherie DeVaux has become well-known for her emotional journey with the iron-hearted champion Lady Eli. The mare won the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks in 2015 but stepped on a nail when she was leaving the test barn. Lady Eli developed laminitis, and her chances of survival seemed slim. DeVaux […]

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