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Horse Racing

While the biggest U.S. horse race is not until May 2, the road to the Kentucky Derby starts long before. Current horse racing is dominated by prep races and training for Triple Crown hopefuls. With last year’s controversial and chaotic running that resulted in the disqualification of first place finisher Maximum Security, what will 2020’s edition bring?

So far, this year’s biggest names in horse racing are Authentic, Ete Indien, Mischievous Alex, Modernist, King Guillermo, Enforceable, Storm the Court, Sole Volante, Thousand Words, and Tiz the Law. As expected, they are being prepared by the sport’s best trainers, including Bob Baffert, Patrick Biancone, Mark Casse, and Bill Mott.

The Triple Crown greatly depends on the races leading up to it. Some of the most important are the San Felipe, Gotham, Tampa Bay Derby, San Vicente, Rebel Stakes, and Mucho Macho Man Stakes. These are where some of the best moments of this year’s horse racing have unfolded, and there are still many more to come.

The San Felipe, Gotham, and Tampa Bay Derby on March 7 saw some of those moments.

High Profile Events

Running in the San Felipe was some of the most accomplished horses of any of the prep races. The field included Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court, the John Shireffs-trained Honor A.P., and two of Bob Baffert’s top Derby prospects, Thousand Words and Authentic. Out of the impressive field, it was Authentic who scored the victory, now with his sights set on the Triple Crown.

Some of the best and worst performances of this racing season came out of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). The race was taken by the 49-1 long shot King Guillermo, who is trained by Juan Avilia. With his 4 3/4-lengths victory, King Guillermo was thrusted onto the list of Kentucky Derby hopefuls.

The Tampa Bay Derby (G2) exposed some weak spots in other highly-regarded runners. Chance It, winner of the Mucho Macho Man stakes, finished in fifth. Todd Pletcher’s group was a let down as well, with Texas Swing in third, Market Analysis in sixth, and Unrighteous in seventh.

Another big moment came when Sole Volante, who was the Tampa Bay Derby favorite, took a non-threatening second. Eyes are now on the Patrick Biancone-trained horse to see if he still has what it takes for the Derby.

The Fountain of Youth revealed that Ete Indian is one of the major contenders on the road to the Derby. Also trained by Biancone, he dominated the rest of the field. At the same time, Dennis’ Moment flopped dramatically and was a major disappointment, showing that he is a highly overrated runner.

The last horse to really stand out this season is Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg. He defeated Ete Indian in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream before losing to him in the Fountain of Youth.

This season has highlighted some of the best horses and trainers in the sport. As the Triple Crown quickly approaches, expect to see more big moments and exciting racing.