American Pharoah is Triple Crown Winner # 12!

Triple Crown Winners

Sir Barton – 1919
Gallant Fox – 1930
Omaha – 1935
War Admiral – 1937
Whirlaway – 1941
Count Fleet – 1943
Assault – 1946
Citation – 1948
Secretariat – 1973
Seattle Slew – 1977
Affirmed – 1978
American Pharoah – 2015

Sir Barton – 1919    Gallant Fox –1930      Omaha – 1935      War Admiral – 1937      Whirlaway – 1941     Count Fleet – 1943 Assault – 1946 Citation – 1948 Secretariat – 1973 Seattle Slew – 1977 Affirmed – 1978     American Pharoah – 2015

To read more about each triple crown winner, click on any of the 12 names above

Triple Crown Records:

Kentucky Derby- 1:5925, Secretariat, 1973
Preakness Stakes- 1:53, Secretariat, 1973 
Belmont Stakes- 2:24, Secretariat, 1973 

Kentucky Derby Facts and Information

Kentucky Derby facts:

  • First Saturday in May- The Kentucky Derby is run annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Triple Crown Part 1- The Derby is the first race in horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
  • Greatest Two Minutes in Sports- The race is known as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate run time. The Derby is also referred to as “The Run for the Roses” due to the garland of 554 red roses draped over the winner.
  • 3-Year Old Race- The maximum age for a competing horse is three years.  All the horses are 3 years old.
  • Mint Julep-  the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. (What is a Mint Julep?)
  • Approximately 120,000 mint juleps are served annually during the two day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.
  • Female Derby Champs?- Only three fillies have won the Derby: Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988).
  • No Rain-outs- No Derby has ever been postponed because of rain or bad weather.


May 17, 1875 – The first Kentucky Derby is held. The winner is Aristides, a three-year-old chestnut colt, beating fourteen other horses.

1892 – Only three horses run the race, making it the smallest field ever for a Kentucky Derby.

1896 – The race distance is reduced from 1.5 miles to its present 1.25 miles.

1925 – N.Y. Journal-American writer Bill Corum coins the phrase “run for the roses.”

May 3, 1952 – The Kentucky Derby is televised nationally for the first time.

1956 – The first Kentucky Derby Festival is held. This annual event runs for the two weeks preceding the actual races.

1973 – Secretariat wins with a time of 1:59 minutes, setting the record for the fastest time.

May 3, 2008 – Shortly after winner Big Brown crosses the finish line, second place finisher Eight Belles suffers fractures in both front legs and falls to the ground. Due to the severity of the injuries, the filly is euthanized on the track.

Above facts: CNN

The Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875.

The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup.

No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without having raced at age two.

In 1970 Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Derby, finishing 15th aboard Fathom.

In 2005, the purse distribution for the Derby was changed, so that horses finishing fifth would henceforth receive a share of the purse; previously only the first four finishers did so.

The 2004 Derby marked the first time that jockeys, as a result of a court order, were allowed to wear corporate advertising logos on their clothing.

In 2010 Calvin Borel set a new record, being the first jockey to win 3 out of 4 consecutive Kentucky Derbys

As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville Marching Band plays Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home,” a tradition which began in 1921

The fastest time ever run in the Derby (at its present distance) was set in 1973 at 1 minute 59 2/5 seconds when Secretariat broke the record set by Northern Dancer in 1964. Not only has Secretariat’s record time stood for 41 years, but in the race itself, he did something unique in Triple Crown races: each successive quarter, his times were faster. Though times for non-winners were not recorded, in 1973 Sham finished second, two and a half lengths behind Secretariat in the same race. Using the thoroughbred racing convention of one length equaling one-fifth of a second to calculate Sham’s time, he also finished in under two minutes. Another sub-two-minute finish, only the third, was set in 2001 by Monarchos at 1:59.97

   Source: Wikipedia

Pick a horse name beginning with the letter “S”- There have been 19 winning horses in the Kentucky Derby whose names began with the letter “S.” Horses beginning with the letter ‘S’ have won 19times, and there are no winners beginning with the letters ‘Q’, ‘X’ or ‘Y’. Following is a list of the number of Derby winners followed by number of starters for each letter of the alphabet and the most recent horse to win with that letter.  Alphabet KD

Kentucky Derby 138 Fun Facts- Churchill Downs realeased this list of facts about the Kentucky Derby including; the race, the food, the wagering, the people, the horses, the trophy, the flowers, the weather, and more: 138 Kentucky Derby Fun Facts

Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing

The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, sometimes shortened to Triple Crown, consists of three races for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses. Winning all three of these Thoroughbred horse races is considered the greatest accomplishment of a Thoroughbred racehorse. The term originated in mid-19th century England and different nations where thoroughbred racing is popular each have their own Triple Crown series.

The Triple Crown is considered to be one of the most difficult triumphs to attain in all of sports.  The three Grade 1 races run in May and early June of each year consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.  The complexity can be attributed to the grueling schedule of having to partake in three races within five weeks, each of which are at longer distances than the three-year-olds have previously run throughout their careers. The Belmont Stakes is extremely punishing as most thoroughbreds never run such a long distance (1 1/2 miles). TRIPLE CROWN WINNERS

  • Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown: The Triple Crown winners are Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015)

All three Triple Crown legs are open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds.   In all three races, colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies carry 121 lbs.

Kentucky Derby-  (1 1⁄4-mile) held annually at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May.  The race is one and a quarter miles.  A new points system was started in 2012 for Kentucky Derby qualification.

The Preakness Stakes (1 3⁄16-mile) held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of one and 3/16 miles.

The Belmont Stakes- (1 1⁄2-mile)  held every June at Belmont Park in Egmont, New York. It is  1.5 miles in length, the longest race the horses will probably ever run.  The race is the third and final leg of the US Triple Crown, following exactly five weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. Consequently, it is run on Saturday, but never before June 5, nor after June 11.

Triple Crown Race Distances The Kentucky Derby is one and 1/4 miles, followed 2 weeks later by The Preakness, a little shorter at one and 3/16 miles.  Three weeks after the Preakness, the Belmont is the longest at one and 1/2 miles.

Triple Crown Winners Face Fresh Horses- Owners may decide to run their horse in all three races (if they are good enough) or in just one or possibly two legs of the Triple Crown.  Thus, a horse trying to win the Triple Crown will face horses in the Belmont that didn’t run in the Preakness two weeks previously.  This makes the Triple Crown even more elusive.

California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn was a bitter man after his horse lost the 2014 Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown  to Tonalist, which did not run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness.  His horse won the first two legs and Coburn didn’t think it was fair that horses were allowed to run in the Belmont even if they didn’t run in the Derby and Preakness.

Coburn, normally mild-mannered, said it was a “coward’s way out” that horses who don’t run the other two Triple Crown races come in fresh and win this.

“It’s all or nothing. It’s not fair to these horses that are running their guts out. This is a cowards’ way out,” Coburn said. “If you’ve got a horse that earns points, that runs in the Kentucky Derby, those horses should be the only ones who should run in all three races.” Read more

He later apologized for making his comments. On Good Morning America, he said was ashamed of himself for his rants after his horse came up short in its bid to win the first Triple Crown since 1978.  Coburn blamed his post-race tirade on his desire to make many people happy.  “This is America’s horse. I wanted it so much for this horse to win the Triple Crown for the people of America,” he told ABC during an emotional interview in which he held back tears. “And I was very emotional.” Read more

Triple Crown Race Records

Fastest Kentucky Derby- The mighty Secretariat holds the record for fastest Kentucky Derby, which has held since his 1973 victory in the Run for the Roses.

Secretariat Finally Gets Preakness Record- Secretariat did not hold the record in the Preakness,  however, until 2012, even though experts at the race agreed his 1973 race was indeed record-setting. The official timer had malfunctioned and the Maryland Racing Commission refused to award the record to Secretariat, It took 39 years, a movie on Secretariat,  new technology leading to even more evidence, and a rule change which allowed the use of information beyond official clockings to determine race times to convince the commission to finally declare the fastest Preakness ever was run by the mighty Secretariat.

Fastest Belmont- The fastest Belmont Stakes was also clocked by Secretariat and since it is rare for horses to run one and a half miles anymore, this record might not be broken for a long time.  In the 1973 Belmont Stakes, Secretariat won the race by an amazing 31 lengths!

Interesting Facts

Sham- In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Secretariat defeated Sham, who was runner-up in the Derby and Preakness, even though Sham ran one of the 4 fastest Kentucky Derby times recorded.

Alydar- In 1978, Alydar finished a close second to Triple Crown winner Affirmed in all three races, a feat not achieved before or repeated since. He has been described as the best horse in the history of Thoroughbred racing never to have won a championship.  In all three legs of the Triple Crown, Alydar lost to Affirmed by a combined total of less than two lengths.

Read Quiet was Real Close- In 1998, Real Quiet won the Derby and Preakness and was winning the Belmont, but could not hold on as Victory Gallop edged him out by a nose. Visa had offered $5 million to a Triple Crown winner, and owner Mike Pegram was just a nose away from that $5 million!

Seattle Slew-In 1977, Seattle Slew became the first horse to win the Triple Crown undefeated.

Triple Crown near misses:  A total of 22 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but did not win the Belmont.  Nine of these near misses have been since 1997. Big Brown just missed the Triple Crown when he was pulled up at Belmont in 2008. In 2012, I’ll Have Another won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but was scratched the day before the Belmont Stakes, due to tendonitis. In 2014, California Chrome finished in a tie for 4th place, extending the longest Triple Crown drought in history, which ended one year later when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015.

  • Since 1978, 13 horses have won the first two races, but have fallen short of the Triple Crown:  1979- Spectacular Bid, 1981- Pleasant Colony, 1987- Alysheba, 1989- Sunday Silence, 1997- Silver Charm, 1998- Real Quiet, 1999- Charismatic, 2002- War Emblem, 2003 Funny Cide, 2004- Smarty Jones, 2008- Big Brown, 2012- I’ll Have Another, 2014- California Chrome
  • There have been 46 horses who won two out of the three Triple Crown races but only 21 who won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to fail in the Belmont Stakes.

Preakness- Two weeks after Derby- Enough rest? Derby Champ to win Preakness?

California Chrome wins the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.  Recent history shows he has a good chance of winning again in the Preakness!
California Chrome wins the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby. Recent history shows he has a good chance of winning again in the Preakness!

It sometimes doesn’t seem fair when the winner of the Kentucky Derby is defeated in Baltimore two weeks later by a horse that didn’t even race in the Derby.  However, often times there is a repeat, and the first two legs of the Triple Crown are captured yet again, only to break the hearts of millions, 3 weeks later in the Belmont.

The Kentucky Derby is just tough to predict and even good handicapers may rarely cash in winning tickets.  A good bet in the Preakness Stakes is to stay on the winner in Kentucky.  An even better bet 3 weeks later in the Belmont, is to get off that horse, the Belmont is a heartbreaker, plain and simple.   The Belmont is the impossible leg of the Triple Crown, hope for it, but bet against it.

Just three horses from the Kentucky Derby field will start in the Preakness this Saturday, continuing a trend in recent years, with many claiming the two-week period between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes isn’t enough rest for the horses.

The belief that horses need lengthy rest between races has become part of the orthodoxy of the sport. It’s a radical change from the past. In the 1950s and ’60s, good horses often raced with a week’s rest (or less). Now 3-year-olds get their final prep race three, four or five weeks before the Derby, and so the 14-day layoff before the Preakness looks like a daunting challenge.

Why do modern-day thoroughbreds need such gentle handling? The change in training philosophy may have occurred because horses are less robust than their forebears. It may have to do with the almost-universal use of Lasix; the diuretic causes horses to lose significant weight, and they need time to recover from a race. Many leading trainers are believers in the Ragozin Sheets and the Thoro-graph speed figures, both of which espouse the philosophy that horses will “bounce” — i.e., run an inferior race — if they run back too quickly from a peak effort. Five-time Preakness-winning trainer Bob Baffert believes that the Derby’s now-common fields of 20 horses puts so much stress on runners that they need more time to recover than the Preakness allows.

Preakness Stakes updates:Because the trainer of a Derby winner will almost always take a shot at the Triple Crown, the Preakness is one of the few races in which top horses will run with two weeks’ rest. The results at Pimlico contradict the belief that this short layoff is too difficult for the horses.

Kentucky Derby winners regularly come back to deliver smashing performances in Baltimore: Funny Cide (2003) won by nearly 10 lengths, Smarty Jones (2004) won by 11.5  Big Brown (2008) by 5.5. In 2012 I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister finished 1-2 in the Derby, then ran much faster in the Preakness and finished 1-2 again. None of them bounced. When Derby winners have flopped in Baltimore — such as Orb in 2013 and Super Saver in 2010 — the explanation may be that they benefited from perfect trips at Churchill and didn’t get such an easy setup at Pimlico.

Article: A fortnight’s rest is often not enough these days, which hurts the Preakness field

Bet on the Kentucky Derby Champion to win the Preakness The paragraph above explains why many bet with a strategy of choosing the Kentucky Derby Champion to win again in the Preakness, which is very similar at in length, the Preakness being  just 1/16 of a mile shorter than the Derby.  However, if the horse does win both  the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, staying on that horse as it tries for a triple crown is wishful thinking, as it just hasn’t been done since 1978!

Secretariat Gets Preakness Record!

Not that his résumé as one of the greatest racehorses of all time needed any more burnishing, but Secretariat had some gold dust added to his legend Tuesday when the Maryland Racing Commission decided he ran a lot faster than he was credited for in the 1973 Preakness Stakes.  More

Secretariat won the did not hold the record in the Preakness until 2012, even though experts at the race agreed his 1973 race was indeed record-setting.  A clock malfunction gave Secretariat’s victory an incorrect time and the Maryland Racing Commission refused to reverse the official time and award the record to Secretariat. It took 39 years, a movie,  new technology leading to even more evidence, and a rule change which allowed the use of information beyond official clockings to determine race times to convince the commission to finally declare the fastest Preakness ever was run by the mighty Secretariat.


2014 Kentucky Derby payouts and order of finish!

Wagering Payouts for win, place, show bets and exotics

Payouts  are listed for a $2 wager except where noted

California Chrome-   $7.00 to win     $5.60 to place       $4.20 to show
Commanding Curve-   $31.80 to place     $15.40 to show
Danza-  $6.00 to show

Exotics- (Note: West coast tracks usually  list payouts for $1 exotics, these are listed for $2 exotic wagering, except where noted)

$2 Exacta (5-17): $340.00  ($1 bet= $170)
$2 Trifecta (5-17-4): $3,424.60  ($1 bet=$1,712,30)
$2 Superfecta (5-17-4-20): $15,383.80  ($1 bet=$7,691.90)
$1 Super High Five (5-17-4-20-6): $149,764.70
Multi-race Exotics:
$2 Daily Double (n-n): $9.00
$2 Oaks / Derby Double (13-5): $5.70
$.50 Pick 3 (9-1-5): $45.00
$.50 Oaks / Woodford / Derby Pick 3: $4.24
$.50 Pick 4 (5-9-1-5): $394.45
$.50 Pick 5 (8-5-9-1-5): $694.95
$.50 Pick 6 Jackpot (2-8-5-9-1-5) 6 of 6: $5.574.10
$.50 Pick 6 Jackpot (2-8-5-9-1-5) 5 of 6: $47.40

Complete order of finish, odds at start, and much more- Kentucky Derby Chart

Orb will be challenged in Preakness Stakes by Departing, a boyhood friend!

Orb finishes hard in the mud to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby
Orb finishes hard in the mud to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby winner Orb could face five of his beaten rivals in the May 18 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, including Departing, from the same Clairborne Farm as Orb.

  • The numbers for the 1 3/16-mile middle leg of the Triple Crown is notorious for fluctuating greatly.
  • So far, Derby horses besides Orb running in the Preakness are: , sixth-place Oxbow, eighth-place Will Take Charge and 17th place Goldencents is “a strong possibility.” Fifth-place Mylute and 15th place Itsmyluckyday termed “60-40” to run by trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.
  • Preakness candidates who did not run in the Preakness are headed by Departing, the Illinois Derby winner. Others under consideration are Sunland Derby winner Govenor Charlie, who skipped the Derby after missing some training with a foot bruise; Fear the Kitten, unable to run in the Derby as the 21st horse in preference; and Bellarmine, winner of a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the Derby undercard.
  • Departing is co-owned by Claiborne Farm, the same Paris, Ky., farm where Orb was born and raised for Claiborne’s long-time clients, the Phipps family and Stuart Janney III. When Orb is retired to a stallion career, it almost assuredly will be at Claiborne. In fact, Orb and Departing actually were raised in the same paddock at Claiborne.


Preakness Stakes:

Kentucky Derby Fees- Horses

The fees to own and race a horse in the Kentucky Derby go beyond buying a horse or breeding a horse capable of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby.  Owners are faced with decisions as they navigate an interesting fee system for the Triple Crown races. (This same system is used for the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes)

Many owners pay a relatively small fee early on, if they feel their horse has  a chance at qualifying for the Kentucky Derby.  The fee goes up geometrically as the date of the race approaches.

  • The nomination fee an owner pays to make a horse eligible for the Kentucky Derby is $600 per horse — if you register during the “early period,” which runs through late January. After that, the fee goes up to $6,000 through late March. Last-minute entries will pay a supplemental fee of $200,000.
  • The entry fee for the Kentucky Derby is another $25,000. Another $25,000 is paid if the horse enters the starting gate. By now, the owner has also paid entry fees at a number of other races through the winter and spring as the trainers prepare the horses in “prep” races.


Handicapping the Kentucky Derby- Picking the winner

31-1 longshot, Charismatic, winning the 125th Kentucky Derby on May 1, 1999

There are many strategies, techniques and angles and systems used to choose a winner  in the Kentucky Derby.  Each year brings a new crop of 3 year old horses to analyze and study.  See links and info below:

Racing form for Derby and Oaks contenders: HERE

How to use the Daily Racing Form:  HERE

2013 Daily Racing Form Kentucky Derby Top 20 (includes early odds, last race, Beyer numbers, comments and more): HERE

**Handicapping the Kentucky Derby (Information, tips and more):

Analyzing the Top 2013 Kentucky Derby Contenders (Goldencents, Normandy Invasion and Overanalyze are picked with a point system): HERE

Derby prep race charts and videos – free from DRF HERE

Daily Barn Notes – for the Derby and Oaks HERE

Derby Horses sold at auction and the prices: HERE

Handicapping Kentucky Derby General tips article from 2004, open link for full list, shortened list below. Full article: HERE

  • Don’t pick a horse with a trainer or jockey making his first trip to the Derby. 
  • Don’t pick a horse with a new jockey. 
  • Stay away from horses with no two year old starts and/or fewer than 6 starts lifetime.
  • Your pick should have finished in the money in his last pre-Derby start. Since 1957, only Sea Hero and Thunder Gulch have broken this and they were both 4th in their final prep. A strong late move in that race is a big plus.
  • Your pick must be a stakes winner and have run in at least one 1 1/8 mile prep race.
  • He must have either 3 or 4 prep races since January 1st, no more, no less.
  • Don’t pick the post time favorite or the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner. 
  • Pay close attention to the horse’s Churchill Downs workouts. 5 furlong or longer works are important.
  • Horses with good tactical speed and the ability to stalk have preference over pure speed or rally from way back types. Proven ability to handle bad traffic situations is a plus.
  • Stay away from geldings. No gelding has won since 1929 except Funny Cide in 2003. Flip side of this is not many geldings are entered as horses good enough for the Derby are rarely gelded.
  • Dosage index of 4.0 or lower
  • At least one race on a Kentucky track is a plus. 
  • If a trainer enters more than one horse, beware the one they don’t hype. Thunder Gulch and Charismatic are perfect examples of this.
  • The Derby has a huge field, up to 20 horses, so traffic is a big problem. Remember that anything can happen with all the bumping that will go on.

How to Find a Key Horse That Can Lead to Boxcar Derby Payoffs
by Kenneth Strong, Professional Horse Handicapper of

(Highlights from article, click above link for entire article) Finding your Key Horse in the Kentucky Derby- All we have to go on is history, but combining that with decent handicapping skills will give us a better shot than 90 percent of the crazies that will be betting house numbers, birthdays, names, colors and just about anything else you can think of on Derby Day, including horses that wink at people in the post parade.

  • Favorites and Speed Rarely Win
  • Poor Works Better Handicapping Angle than Fast Works
  • Watch Key Derby Prep Races Closely- Any horse that can get within four lengths in a key prep race for the Derby deserves a second look, especially if the horse made a bid to win the race. A decent late rally to get within four lengths in an important prep could mean the horse is perfectly suited to the longer distance of the Derby.
  • Beware of Romping Winners- Horses we like to avoid in the win spot in the Derby are those coming into the race off numerous romping wins.
  • Beyer Speed Figures- We’ll be looking for horses that have cracked the 100 Beyer mark at least once in their lives and preferably run 105 or higher. Keep in mind that the horse with the top Beyer Figure coming into the Derby often loses, possibly because a number of runners may still be improving. Horses that have run a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure in their race prior to the Derby can and do improve enough to win the big prize.
  • Outside Posts Better Than Inside-  Many bettors think that outside posts can hurt a Derby runner but in fact an outside post is probably better than an inside post and is at least as good as a middle post.
  • Jockeys and Trainers – Experience Required- Don’t bet a Derby horse to win unless a top jockey is aboard. The same goes for trainers.
  • Dosage a Minor Factor-  As far as pedigree goes we’ll be looking for a horse with a dosage of 4.0 or less but won’t throw a horse out unless their dosage is over 6.0.
  • Kentucky Derby Betting Summary – Bring Your Wheelbarrow There are only two horse racing days a year in North America when you truly have an excellent chance of making a monster score for a modest outlay of cash – Breeders’ Cup Day and Derby Day. Watch the prep races closely prior to handicapping and betting the Kentucky Derby – look for courage under fire and apply the principles above. You’ll find your key horse. A horse you can wheel – all the way to the bank.

New qualifying system for Kentucky Derby!

Starting this year,there is a new qualifying process for the Kentucky Derby.

  • In the past, qualifying  was based on a horse’s earnings in any and all Graded stakes races run prior to the Derby.  Those graded earnings could be acquired in April or the previous October – it didn’t matter. As long as a horse finished in the top three or four in a graded stakes race, they were one step closer to running in the Derby.
  • Starting with the 2013 Derby, Churchill Downs will determine the twenty horses* in the starting gate by using a point system in 36 races. Gone are the days were any and all graded stakes races provided an opportunity for a horse to make his way towards the Derby; now a horse must accumulate points (finish in the top four) in pre-selected and official “Kentucky Derby Prep Races”.

*The starting gate at the Kentucky Derby is limited to twenty horses (with a possibility of four “alternate entries” or “AEs”).

Read more: HERE

Reaction to the changes is mixed: HERE

A Wild Story of Geologic Cataclysm

This chunk of granite, 300 feet from the Map House (near Eugene, Oregon), likely arrived embedded in an iceberg that was carried here by one of the Missoula Floods.
This chunk of granite, 300 feet from the Map House (near Eugene, Oregon), likely arrived embedded in an iceberg that was carried here by one of the Missoula Floods.
drumheller_channels near Othello, WA.   These unique landforms were created by huge floods, thousands of years ago.
drumheller_channels near Othello, WA. These unique landforms were created by huge floods, thousands of years ago.

Megafloods of the Ice Age:  About 15,000 years ago, in the waning millennia of the Ice Age, a vast lake known as Glacial Lake Missoula suddenly burst through the ice dam that plugged it at one end. In the space of just 48 hours, geologists believe, the collapse sent 500 cubic miles of water cascading across the Pacific Northwest, creating overnight such unusual landscapes as the scablands of eastern Washington State.

Continental glaciers blocked the Clark Fork River and created prehisoric Lake Missoula. When this ice dam broke, the water flooded across present-day Eastern WA and continued to the Willamette Valley and out to the Pacific Ocean.





The Hero:   A geologist named J. Harlen Bretz,  proposed in the 1920s that the topography of eastern Washington State was the result of a massive catastrophic flood.  He named this area of eastern Washington the Channeled Scablands. The idea that sites such as the Palouse Falls Gorge were the results of floods was thought to be outrageous, and described by some as near lunacy since the area receives very little rainfall today.  It took many decades for Harlen Bretz to finally receive the credit he deserved. In fact, it was not until the area was observed from the air that many of the Scabland features were accepted as flood deposits, such as the giant ripples in the Misoulla Valley, which are up to 30 feet high and 250 feet apart.

Almost fifty years following his original proposal, Bretz was hailed as a hero, and in 1979, at the age of 96, he was given geology’s highest honor — the Penrose Medal, which rewards one researcher each year for exceptional contributions to geology. The Channeled Scablands have now been dedicated to Harlen Bretz, and it is commonly known that this area was destroyed by a massive flood catastrophe. Source:

Giant ripple marks in the Missoula Valley, created by the megafloods
Palouse Falls- formed by the floods


Interesting stie with interactive and a video:

NOVA interactive website:

Channeled Scablands; Scientific Bias Against Catastrophism:

Ice Age Floods (YouTube video)

Charismatic’s close finish, and others

Charismatic came out of a claiming race race 3 months before the Kentucky Derby and fired off as a 31-1 longshot, winning the 1999 Derby and Preakness. Charismatic:  He was injured in the Belmont, but still finished 3rd, as jockey Chris Antley quickly dismounted and held up his leg, probably saving the horse’s life.  Sadly, Antley would be found dead less than 2 years later: 

Jockey Chris Antley dismounts to hold foot of Charismatic

Charismatic’s broken leg ends a promising racing career:

Video of the 1999 Belmont Stakes:

Charismatic is just one of many who have come close to winning the elusive Triple Crown:

Triple Crown near-misses since the Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. (Click names below for information and videos)

Spectacular Bid (1979) Pleasant Colony (1981) Alysheba (1987) Sunday Silence (1989)
Silver Charm (1997) Real Quiet (1998) Charismatic (1999) War Emblem (2002)
Funny Cide (2003) Smarty Jones (2004) Big Brown (2008)

Almost- A list of all those who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but lost their triple crown chance in the Belmont Stakes. Click to open Pdf file: Triple Crown Almost

There will not be another, this year…

Horse racing’s hope for its first Triple Crown winner in 34 years were dashed Friday. I’ll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes last month, was scratched on the eve of the Belmont Stakes, ending his attempt to become just the 12th horse in history to win all three races.

A game of numbers! I’ll Have Another!

Click on the photo for pedigree!

Interesting twist with the number 12, and I’ll Have Another draws number 11!

The following is taken from the link  below:

History could be made Saturday when Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another attempts to become only the 12th Triple Crown winner in racing history. Curiously, he also is the 12th horse to attempt to win all three Triple Crown races since Affirmed last turned the trick in 1978. Will the 12th time be the charm? Too bad I’ll Have Another drew post 11. Post 12 would have been more fitting, don’t you think?

Approaching this race we must remember that the Triple Crown is very, very difficult to win. That’s not a scoop, but sometimes we get caught up in the emotion of moment and forget that some tremendous horses have failed to win the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Check out the following link for a Belmont Stakes analysis and information on each horse:    Link: