WILL TAKE CHARGE won the 2013 Pennsylvania Derby on his way to the 3-year-old championship. California Chrome ran (not well) in the 2014 Pa. Derby en route to the 3-year-old title and Horse of the Year. Saturday's Pa. Derby at Parx likely will decide the 3-year-old championship right then and there.
IT WAS ABOUT a perfect first weekend back at Parx and a reminder of the dizzying time between 2004 and 2006 when Philly-centric horses, starting with Smarty Jones through Afleet Alex and Barbaro, won five of seven Triple Crown races and lost the other two by 1 length each.
His mother, a chemical scientist at McNeil in Fort Washington, grew up in Uganda. His father is an economist in his native Ivory Coast. So what exactly was their 6-7, 290-pound son doing Tuesday morning in Villanova Stadium at football practice, being watched by several NFL scouts on another steamy day?
THE BELMONT STAKES is a unique race, 440 yards longer than the Kentucky Derby, 550 yards longer than the Preakness and run over America's only mile-and-a-half racetrack at Belmont Park. It is also very counterintuitive. One would think a mile-and-a-half race would favor horses coming from far back with the last run. One would be wrong.
BALTIMORE - When a really good horse wins the Kentucky Derby, that horse rarely loses the Preakness. See American Pharoah, California Chrome, Big Brown and Smarty Jones, as examples this century. I wasn't ready to put Nyquist in their class before the Derby. I am now.
Dick Jerardi specializes in college basketball and horse racing. He has covered every Triple Crown race since 1987 and every NCAA Tournament since 1988, in addition to chronicling the careers of two National College Basketball Players of the Year, La Salle's Lionel Simmons (1990) and St. Joseph's Jameer Nelson (2004). He’s also covered many major events, including the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 2001 NBA Finals.