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Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Eight Rings back in play

Jack Wolf, head of the Starlight Racing partnership that owns a share of Eight Rings, expected a late return to training this winter for the Grade 1 winner would count him out of the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep picture. “The horse was off the Triple Crown stuff,” Wolf said. Then Eight Rings worked a half mile last Thursday for trainer Bob Baffert in 47.20 seconds. “I think (Baffert) feels differently now after the last breeze,” Wolf said. Connections’ original target race off the…

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Charlatan’s sensational debut has sparked early comparisons to Justify

Let the comparisons begin. On Feb. 18, 2018, Justify debuted in a maiden sprint race at Santa Anita, winning by 9 1/2 lengths with Drayden Van Dyke aboard. He earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. On Feb. 16, 2020, Charlatan debuted in a maiden sprint race at Santa Anita, winning by 5 3/4 lengths with Van Dyke aboard. He earned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure. Justify was trained by Baffert, who also trains Charlatan. Justify went on to win the…

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Baffert first timer Charlatan breaks maiden by 5 ¾ lengths and gets six furlongs in a sizzling 1:08.85, stamping himself as a derby hopeful

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2020)–How deep is Bob Baffert’s Derby bench?  There’s no telling, as his unraced Charlatan, an imposing chestnut colt by Speightstown, blew away his competition by 5 ¾ lengths in Sunday’s fourth race at Santa Anita, stopping the clock for six furlongs in a torrid 1:08.85 while geared down under Drayden Van Dyke. Breaking from the outside in a field of four, Charlatan was…

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Speightstown Colt the Latest ‘TDN Rising Star’ for the Baffert Barn

Charlatan (Speightstown) would’ve likely gone favored in most Santa Anita maiden special weights if not for the presence Sunday of Lane Way (Into Mischief)–who was third behind Charlatan’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ and GII San Vicente S.-winning stablemate Nadal (Blame) here last month–and he made 6-5 look like a particular bargain after zipping away in dominant fashion to get the ‘Rising Star’ nod himself. Seizing the lead…

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Impressive Charlatan Adds to Baffert’s Derby Hopefuls

Son of Speightstown won Feb. 16, just two days before Justify made his 2018 debut. Trainer Bob Baffert always has one waiting in the wings. And when it comes to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), he regularly has a colt or two in his back pocket. Think back to, well, just two years ago. Baffert won his second Triple Crown with a colt named Justify, who made his debut Feb. 18 that year. It’s no surprise that he…

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Industry Personalities to try NHC Charity Challenge

NTRA Press Release – Industry personalities will compete in mandatory NHC races Feb. 8. While the 21st NTRA National Horseplayers Championship Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s will crown the best handicapper in the sport, industry accolades will be on the line as a cross section of notable journalists, analysts, and personalities compete in the Runhappy/NTRA NHC Charity Challenge presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka on Saturday, Feb. 8…

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Authentic Runs Away With Derby Points In Sham Stakes

Although extremely green late, Bob Baffert’s Authentic stamped himself as a top tier Derby contender with a powerful gate to wire triumph in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke the Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief got a flat mile in 1:37.57. Sent from his rail post position, Authentic was all business on the front end until he approached the furlong pole, when he began to race erratically, altering course and nearly brushing the inner…

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The Kenny Rice Horse Racing Show – Episode 54

On episode 54 of the Horse Racing Show, Kenny Rice covers the end of the 2019 horse racing season culminating in the Eclipse Awards and looks ahead to the 2020 season with the Pegasus World Cup. He brings in this year’s Eclipse Award-winning breeder George Strawbridge, one of the sport’s great renaissance men, and talks with Jack and Laurie Wolf of Starlight Racing about their shared experiences in the business…

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Brothers hired as strategic advisor for Thoroughbred Safety Coalition

Donna Brothers, the former jockey and NBC reporter, has been hired by the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition as a strategic advisor, the organization announced on Monday. The hiring of Brothers was announced four days after the coalition’s steering committee held its first meeting since the organization was formed in November of last year to devise strategies to reduce injuries at racetracks. According to the announcement, Brothers will “bring decades of rich experience in multiple facets of the industry” to the coalition’s…

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