Archive for April, 2010

History of the Kentucky Derby

April 30, 2010

All the way back to the 18th century, Kentucky has a special and unique history of horse racing, when Lexington got its very first race course, when Churchill Downs was first officially opened and there were races held in different courses from that time in 1789 to 1875.

In 1872, Col. M Lewis Clark created a Louisville Jockey Club to hold racing meets. To house the best horses in the breeding industry, the development of the new Kentucky racetrack began. The new track was named Churchill Downs by 1883. It was finally incorporated into the Churchill Downs name in 1937.

Publicly the track was established in May of 1874. Clark raised funds over $30,000 dollar, by selling membership subscriptions. At $100 a pop, he sold the subscriptions and leased over 80 acres of land. The whole track had a number of different stables which were completed before the opening race of the track and also had a clubhouse, grandstand, and porter’s lodge.

The Clark Handicap, the Kentucky Oaks, and the Kentucky Derby were the three different races were designed by Clark. The Derby, Clark Handicap, and Kentucky Oaks have continued to be held at the Churchill Downs, since 1875 and remains Kentucky Derby betting favorite.

Over the course of the years, on the Churchill Downs, some of the best horses and jockeys have raced and it has become one of the most prestigious racing venues in all of horse racing. There have been a lot of different renovations over the years, the biggest and the most recent being 2002. The track underwent a $121 million renovation.

In the horse racing circuit, the Churchill Downs racetrack continues to be the best tracks, which showcases some of the best horses in the world and will continue to do the same. It will continue to add to that history as time goes on along with a long history of incredible races.

The History of Belmont Park racetrack

April 23, 2010

As the 1978 Belmont Stakes began everyone’s eyes were on the two thoroughbreds that make up one of the greatest rivalries in the history of horse racing: Affirmed and Alydar.
The race was held at Belmont Park, third and final leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. Affirmed had won two legs with Alydar finishing second in Triple Crown Race.

No horse has been able to win a Triple Crown in nearly 32 years since Affirmed’s classic win. Since 1978, eleven horses have entered the race and failed after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

In 1905, Belmont Park, hosted the Belmont Stakes for the first time. Prior to it the race was held at Jerome Park (1867-1889) and Morris Park (1890-1904). August Belmont, Sr., financed the first race, after whom the race and park was named.

At 1.5 miles, Belmont Park features the largest dirt track in thoroughbred racing.

At that distance many 3-year-olds have never raced before. This results in races which yield surprises at a more consistent rate than the other two Triple Crown races.

In 1973, by a record 31 lengths, in 2:24.00, Secretariat finished his Triple Crown bid by winning the Belmont Stakes, still a race record.

In 1975, the race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure was deemed “Equine Battle of the Sexes”. In the race, Ruffian’s leg snapped and eventually was euthanized and buried in Belmont Park’s infield.

To see if Smarty Jones would be the first Triple Crown winner in 26 years, in 2004, a crowd of 120,139 packed into Belmont Park. Birdstone won by 36-1 long shot, with Smarty Jones finishing second.

In its 105-year history, Belmont Park has been the subject of reconstruction. While the Park was rebuilt, the Belmont Stakes was held at nearby Aqueduct Racetrack from 1963-1967.

April 24 – Churchill Downs – Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial Grade III (preview)

April 15, 2010

To try and produce a starter there are only a few Kentucky Derby betting prep races left. On Saturday, April 24, at the Churchill Downs, One of the main ones is the $200,000 Grade III, Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial. This derby trial was recently named after the famous horse The Cliff’s Edge after his breeder and owner Robert LaPenta decided to sponsor the event. In an effort to try and qualify for the Kentucky Derby it will be much more enticing for trainers to enter their horses with the added purse money in the 86th year of this race.
The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial has effectively doubled the purse this year and was just restored to its Grade III status last year. It features three year old colts and is a one mile, one turn race track. While it has usually been known as prep for the Kentucky Derby it is slowly becoming more of a preparatory race for the Preakness Stakes which are usually held three weeks later.
One of the most notable horses to talk about racing in it is Eightyfiveinafifty although There will likely be a few different horses entered into this race.
A 106 in the January Aqueduct and the 7 furlong Bay Shore races, Eightyfiveinafifty has made some huge strides this year with speed figures of 109 BRIS. He has shown some strange antics including looking to the sides and sometimes running off the track, even he has shown incredible speed. New York’s leading trainer, Contessa, has asked how dangerous Eightyfiveinafifty can be if he just learns to run straight.
To enter the Kentucky Derby as a last ditch effort to make some money, do Look for some unexpected horses to join the race.

Scenario of Tempted to Tapit: Steve Klesaris

April 8, 2010

It would be the first horse trained by Steve Klesaris to do so if Tempted to Tapit starts in the Kentucky Derby on May 1. When gray gelding won at Aqueduct by 11 ½ lengths, he became a Derby hopeful on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tapit, winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and ninth-place finisher at the Kentucky Derby sired the horse. Tempting Note, a mare of 1996 Belmont Stakes winner Editor’s Note keeps him out. He was purchased for $18,000 by Midway Stable at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale.

A multi-generational family involved with horse racing also belongs to Klesaris. Before becoming a jokey’s agent his brother Robert was a trainer and his father Peter Klesaris is also a trainer. He saddled his first winner when he was 18 at Suffolk Downs in 1978.
Three starts have been made by Tempted to Tapit as a juvenile. Second place in two of those races have been finished by him. Klesaris stated that the difference between his second-place finishes and his January 18 first-place finish was that he maintained his focus throughout the race.

Third in the Grade III $800,000 Sunland Park Derby last Sunday in New Mexico was finished by him. Second in the Grade III Risen Star at Fair Grounds was Tempted to Tapit in his first stake in February.

Tempted to Tapit is not among the top 20 3-year olds with at least six Derby prep horse betting races to be run in the next two weeks. Currently 27th in earnings with $156,000 is Tempted to Tapit. As a result, he will most likely not be contending for the Kentucky Derby.

Preview of NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles

April 1, 2010

A strong season last year with an 11-5 record was the Philadelphia Eagles, but some changes are looked at as the season approaches. Their former starter Westbrook has now been lost by them at running back and a feature back to replace him in this offense is needed. On top of that the Eagles have had question marks around their quarterback situation all offseason and the draft will be a time when they make things happen, molding their team for the future.

By making sure they pick up football betting star CJ Spiller in the first round the Eagles could solve part of their offensive questions. A guy that has the explosiveness to make a difference in the offense no matter who the team has lining up behind the center is Spiller.

The Eagles may not get Spiller as their first choice as he is likely to go early in the first round.  However, some other decent quarterbacks are there available that might help them trade up for Spiller. A pickup like Spiller would really prepare this team for success.

A solid number one receiver for NFL betting favorite team, the Eagles is DeSean Jackson but more help is always looked for by them at this position as it seems nobody has been healthy and consistent at this position in years.  Dexter McCluster from Ole Miss could be an explosive weapon in the 2nd round. He may not be the most consistent possession receiver, but his speed could spread the field and take pressure off the other receivers on the team.

Some question marks have also been with the Eagles at linebacker with a few offseason changes. The pick of Dekoda Watson from Florida State could solve this problem in the 3rd round.

Houston Texans: Off-season Picks

April 1, 2010

It is a huge disadvantage for the Houston Texans as they are playing in the same division as Peyton Manning. Their secondary has the challenge of facing the proficient passer twice a year. As the Texans go into the 2010 NFL Draft,  it makes the secondary even more of a priority as the standout CB Dunta Robinson recently signed with the Atlanta Falcons.

As the Texans will be looking to add a cornerback and a safety, the secondary is their most obvious priority in the draft.  With Steve Slaton coming off of spine surgery, they will also be looking for a big running back who can carry some of the workload.

Boise State CB Kyle Wilson will be expected to be The Texans’s first round pick (20th overall) on.  Wilson has seen his stock rise significantly as a result of an impressive senior bowl and combine workout as he had a successful college career.

Getting a running back is a top priority in the draft as have been emphasized by many people from the front office of the Texans organization. Don’t be surprised if they use their second round pick (51st overall) on Tate although Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer may seem like the more obvious selection and Auburn’s Ben Tate is a good fit with their system.Checkout all Football blog for latest updates on Houston Texans.

For their third round pick (81st overall), the Texans will likely use on another player in the secondary. Some of the  top-rated safetys projected to go in the third round are Safetys Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech), Major Wright (Florida), and Chad Jones (LSU).  They may use this pick to take another cornerback, such as Akwasi Owusu-Ansah of IUP who is also a tremendous kick returner.