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By Kevin Van Valkenburg | May 7, 2011
Bob Baffert joked this week that, if it rained on race day, he was going to instruct his wife, Jill, to go to the betting window and put $500 on Twice the Appeal, just because Calvin Borel was riding him, and over the past few years, no jockey has looked better on a wet and muddy track than Borel. He's won three of the last four Derbys, and two of them (2009 and 2010) came on a track that was less than considered sloppy. Borel -- whose nickname is "Bo-rail" because he likes to hug the rail whenever he gets a chance -- has already seen a ton of early action from betters this year, dropping Twice the Appeal's odds from 30-1 on Wednesday to 7-1 on Saturday.
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David Selig and The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2014
After winning the 139th Preakness on Saturday, California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn went out of his way to praise the hospitality he received while in Baltimore this week. But he also made some pointed remarks about the way his group was treated two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. While he wouldn't go into great detail, he said the treatment there factored in his co-owner Perry Martin's decision not to attend the Preakness. “The hospitality we received at Churchill Downs wasn't very good, and Perry Martin, he decided that he and his family were going to watch the race some [other]
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By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2012
As trainer Doug O'Neill spoke of winning a Triple Crown outside his Churchill Downs barn early Sunday morning, police investigated the suspicious death of a man 100yards away. Louisville metro police were made aware of the body shortly before 5 a.m., the morning after the Kentucky Derby attracted a record 165,307 people to the historic track. Investigators at the scene found evidence of an altercation and suspected foul play, police spokesperson Alicia Smiley said. They have no suspects at this time and are waiting for a report from the coroner's office to identify the victim.
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Sun reports via Maryland Jockey Club | May 11, 2014
When Rosie Napravnik ventures to Pimlico Race Course to ride Bayern in Saturday's 139th running of the Preakness, the 26-year-old riding star can expect an emotional homecoming. A familiar face will not be there to greet her. Trainer Dickie Small, who gave her a leg up on her very first winner, died April 4. "There'll be a void at Pimlico," said Napravnik, who guided the Small-trained Ringofdiamonds to victory at Pimlico in her first career ride on June 9, 2005. "When I ride in big races and do well, he's one of the first people I think of. I know how proud of me he would be. " Small's presence will be missed next weekend, but Napravnik can expect a lot of support from family and friends at Pimlico as she attempts to realize a schoolgirl's dream of someday winning the Preakness, as well as the Kentucky Derby.
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By Baltimore Sun reporter | April 19, 2010
HORSE RACING Tiz Chrome euthanized after collapsing at Churchill Downs Tiz Chrome, a 3-year-old horse training for a final Kentucky Derby prep race, was euthanized after collapsing during a workout at Churchill Downs. Trainer Bob Baffert said the colt had a fatal fracture of the left front sesamoid during a workout Sunday morning. Tiz Chrome was scheduled to run in the Derby Trial on Saturday. Baffert said the colt was working with another horse and the two were heading into the far turn on the one-mile track when the injury occurred and Tiz Chrome fell, sending exercise rider Dana Barnes tumbling to the track.
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By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2012
Hansen does not need to try to be noticed. The nearly all-white colt always stands out among his peers. Yet on Thursday morning, the Breeders' Cup juvenile champion did all he could to draw the attention of a robust crowd on his first day this week at Churchill Downs. A 10-1 choice on the morning line for the 138th Kentucky Derby, Hansen's antics didn't leave trainer Mike Maker concerned. "Looks like he really had his eyeballs on Take Charge Indy out there," Maker said.
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By Baltimore Sun reporter | June 9, 2010
Rachel Alexandra, who won the 2009 Preakness, will run in the Grade II FleuDe Lis at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday. "Rachel Alexandra continues to turn in strong works," owner Jess Jackson said in a statement released this morning. "As long as she continues to progress, we intend to race her with the expectation that she will obtain her fitness level of last year. Our ultimate goal and hope is to enter the Breeders Cup in November." Winless in two starts this year, the reigning Horse of the Year last raced in late April, finishing second to Unrivaled Belle in the Grade II La Troienne at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby weekend.
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By Chris Korman and The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2012
Most of the entries in the 138 th Kentucky Derby galloped at Churchill Downs this morning, staying loose in front of a growing crowd. Creative Cause, the striking grey horse who caused some intrigue when he didn't come out to the track the last two days, looked very strong. Hansen, the near-white colt who won the Breeder's Cup Juvenile here last year, looked small but athletic and playful. “He eats everything,” trainer Michael Maker said. “None of it sticks. He goofs around too much.” Hansen mostly appeared to vacilate between antagonizing other horses and preening for photos.
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David Selig and The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2014
After winning the 139th Preakness on Saturday, California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn went out of his way to praise the hospitality he received while in Baltimore this week. But he also made some pointed remarks about the way his group was treated two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. While he wouldn't go into great detail, he said the treatment there factored in his co-owner Perry Martin's decision not to attend the Preakness. “The hospitality we received at Churchill Downs wasn't very good, and Perry Martin, he decided that he and his family were going to watch the race some [other]
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By Chris Korman | May 4, 2012
It's Oaks Day at Churchill Downs, and the color pink has grown over the vast grandstand and the sprawling infield. The “Pink Out” will help raise money for cancer charities, as it has done in recent years. That's all part of what the track has dubbed its “Ladies First” theme. Rosie Napravnik, who went to high school in Maryland and had a stint as the state's top jockey (winning all four titles in 2006), is hoping to become the first woman to win the race for top 3-year-old fillies.
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By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2014
California Chrome did what he was supposed to do at the Kentucky Derby, running the exact race his trainer and jockey envisioned as other contenders found trouble around him. As a result, the only horse with a flawless resume entering the first leg of the Triple Crown also emerged the comfortable winner. The chestnut colt's victory paid off a delightful underdog narrative. His owners, Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, were relative racing novices who spent a modest $10,000 to breed their champion from humble parents.
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Sports Digest | May 8, 2014
Preakness California Chrome back on track, jogs mile California Chrome, the early favorite for the 139th Preakness on May 17 at Pimlico Race Course , returned to the racetrack during training hours at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning. California Chrome was accompanied by exercise rider Willie Delgado and Alan Sherman , the son and assistant of trainer Art Sherman , on his way to the track for the first time since winning Saturday's 140th Kentucky Derby.
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By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | May 4, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When Art Sherman reached the barn at 5 a.m. Sunday, the day after the Kentucky Derby, he found his star pupil still slumbering. “I didn't want to wake him up,” he said of California Chrome, the newly garlanded champion of Churchill Downs. “I know he'd had a hard day.” The 77-year-old trainer looked wide awake, walking crisply around Barn 20, though he professed to be “numb” to the previous day's triumph. He said the enormity probably won't hit him until he finds a few moments alone in his lounge chair, outside the family home in Rancho Bernardo, Calif.
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By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Two jockeys were injured and taken away from Churchill Downs by ambulance after a scary collision during the third race of the Kentucky Derby day slate. Jockey Megan Fadlovich complained of concussion symptoms, and fellow rider Marcelino Pedroza Jr. complained of lower back pain after the incident, which appeared to start when two horses clipped heels. Both jockeys were alert and moving all extremities as they were taken to nearby Audubon Hospital for further examination, a track spokesman said.
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By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2014
LOUISVILLE, KY. - Art Sherman looked dazed, perhaps still a bit uncertain that fate had handed him such a magnificent gift after six decades of devotion to racehorses. A few feet away, Steve Coburn's voice caught with emotion as he spoke of those who didn't believe. Perry Martin wiped tears from his eyes, hugging a relative who shouted: “Oh my God, what a ride! Just like you called it!” For these men, California Chrome had long been the horse of dreams. And against the classic backdrop of Churchill Downs, the rest of the world finally caught up to their vision.
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By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Steve Coburn proudly calls himself a working man, and he'll tell you upfront that he was insulted when a rich stable owner offered him millions of dollars for the racehorse who'd eaten cookies from his hand as a gangly 3-month-old. "Somebody who's got that much money, just to think they can step in and buy something people have worked so hard to get to?" Coburn said. "To me, that was a slap in the face. The no was easy. Not just 'no,' but 'hell no.'" It might seem strange, the idea of a populist hero as clear favorite in Saturday's Kentucky Derby , a race that fires the dreams of multi-millionaire horsemen around the world.
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By Ross Peddicord | December 5, 1992
Representatives of Churchill Downs and a group calle Virginia Racing Associates met in Richmond, Va., yesterday for about 2 1/2 hours to discuss the concept of forming a joint venture to build a racetrack in the Old Dominion."
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April 25, 1992
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The first of two major weekend events will occur today when Churchill Downs opens its Spring Meeting, featuring the Grade III Derby Trial. The second will occur tomorrow when Arazi arrives from France for the May 2 Kentucky Derby.Arazi, the overwhelming early favorite, was impressive in winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky-bred colt has won seven of eight starts on the grass in France.Catire Bello, a Venezuelan-bred colt, probably will be the only one of the nine starters in the Grade III Trial who will go to the Derby.
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By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | May 1, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. --  Hoppertunity, the 6-1 second choice in the Kentucky Derby, was scratched from the race Thursday morning because of soreness in his left front foot. The injury was a blow to trainer Bob Baffert and to the quality of the Derby field. Hoppertunity had run well against Derby favorite California Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby, and that was without an aggressive push from jockey Mike Smith. Many observers believed he was peaking just in time for Kentucky. With the scratch, Pablo Del Monte joined the field of 20 for Saturday's race, and Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia bumped Wicked Strong to a 6-1 second choice . The odds also dropped for Candy Boy, Intense Holiday, Tapiture, Danza and Vicar's in Trouble.
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By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - On his second morning at Churchill Downs, likely Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome jogged an easy two miles as his team awaited the late afternoon draw that will determine his starting position in the 20-horse field. "We had a good morning," said Art Sherman, California Chrome's trainer. "He seemed to be really going good. " Onlookers were taken with the chestnut colt's serenity. Several times, he stood still and gazed at the scene around him, even as dozens of cameras clicked away.
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