Top News

  • The Saturday Special - Feb. 25

    New Orleans is in the spotlight this week – not for Mardi Gras, that’s still a few weeks away – but as the latest stop on the Kentucky Derby trail.
    Read More
  • Throwback Thursday: Antley and Charismatic

    Passing of Horse of the Year, dual classic winner last weekend brings back memories of moment from 1999 that forever linked horse and rider.
    Read More
  • Remembering Jim Stevenson

    He was a cartoonist for the New Yorker, a writer for the New York Times, an author, a storyteller, a fan of magical creatures (including horses) and he'll be missed by many.
    Read More
  • Here & There - Feb. 23

    Festivals here, festivals there; we’ve got them all covered for the most part in this week’s edition of Here & There. Laurel Park rolled out a spread for its Winter Festival last weekend and Cheltenham is right around the corner.
    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Latest Opinions

  • Remembering Jim Stevenson +

    If Jim Stevenson read this, he’d probably say I overwrote Read More
  • Early spring? +

    There’s an old saying out there that the cure for Read More
  • Going for Gold +

    Ski Friday. Yes, ski Friday. Off to the slopes with Read More
  • Coffee in Aiken, Women in France... +

    Random thoughts on random racing news… Read More
  • 1

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Latest Features

Home

Vyjack and trainer Rudy Rodriguez mis-timed their arrival to the Fair Hill Training Center dirt track Friday morning, but got an easy half-mile breeze just right once the tractors cleared.

"I think I'm going to take a little walk with him," Rodriguez said while trying (and failing) to convince the Kentucky Derby hopeful to wait patiently as two John Deere tractors tugged harrows over the final 7 furlongs. "I am early." Don't blame Rodriguez; he's new and the 8:30-9 a.m. break can be a little bit flexible.

Vyjack, with Rodriguez aboard, stood in the grass, tried to get antsy, knocked the hat off his groom and took a 10-minute stroll around the horse path. Once the track cleared, the son of Into Mischief stepped on and went to work. He jogged around to the backside - with a little jink at the tractor gap - stood in briefly to watch some others join him on the 1-mile oval, galloped back through the stretch and around the turn. Rodriguez let his horse accelerate gradually and he finished a half-mile in 51.6 seconds. The time was the slowest of 10 at the distance Friday, but Rodriguez will take it. Vyjack hadn't breezed since finishing third in the Wood Memorial two weeks ago and was given some to recover from respiratory issues after relocating from Aqueduct. He's been training steadily at Fair Hill, with an emphasis on his health.

"I like what he did, nice, comfortable," Rodriguez said while still aboard the bay gelding back at the barn. "We went too early to the track and he was full of himself. He's been a lot more aggressive the last few days and he was looking for some work."

After several turns and the shedrow and long pulls at his water bucket, Vyjack went for a roll in the sand, a good shake and a deep breath in a round pen - something he had no access to at Aqueduct. The time at Fair Hill has been good for his horse, Rodriguez said. 

"Hopefully we can win the Derby and we will be back," he said. Vyjack, owned by David Wilkenfeld's Pick Six Stable, will get his chance thanks to a 4-for-5 record and three stakes wins. He chased the unbeaten Verrazano home in the Wood and was caught for second late by Normandy Invasion, losing by a length total. 

Rodriguez said the Jerome and Gotham winner would ship to Churchill Downs as early as Saturday.

For more on Vyjack, see story from earlier in the week.

In The News: TIHR about Royal Delta (RIP)

  • 1

This is Horse Racing

From ST Publishing, Inc.

(410) 392-5867 • joe@thisishorseracing.com
364 Fair Hill Drive, Suite F, Elkton, MD 21921

News
Features
Opinion
Print
Multi Media
Store

Advertising
About Us
Meet The Team
Testimonials
Get Social
Contact Us

newlogo1 17 17