Inside the Kentucky Derby, America's greatest racing party

Kentucky Confidential

KYC Contributor Archive

Claire Novak

Who Do You Like?

Everyone’s trying to figure who will wear that blanket of roses, even folks who absolutely have no clue. Curious minds dream big at Kentucky Derby time.

Black Hole Horses (Sometimes Are Dark Stars)

That’s the thing about these horses in the 20-horse Derby field. They may not figure as winners, but every once in a while, one of them jumps up and shocks us.

Writing at the Kentucky Derby: Senses Working Overtime

Here at Churchill the sun still rises on an old dirt track, and one horse who will win the garland of roses goes galloping merrily along, and those who spin tales of racetracks and runners know the Derby never fails good writers.

The Derby Drug Positive Protocol

Kentucky Confidential gets the inside scoop on exactly how a Kentucky Derby drug positive would be detected and addressed.

Making It Up As They Go

The traditional “road to the Derby” is now somewhat of an anomaly, as more and more trainers throw out the orthodoxy and make it up as they go.

Derby Pressure Makes for Testy Trainers

Testy trainers are no novelty as the Kentucky Derby draws closer. There are reasons for every short fuse, however, and, in many cases, they are well founded.

The Lady Is a Champ

Decades before Penny Chenery earned her reputation in the 1970s as a female pioneer with Riva Ridge and then Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Isabel Dodge Sloane became the first woman in history to head the owners’ list by earnings.

The “Inside” Scoop: Why Calvin Borel Owns the Rail

“I learned that through the years,” said Borel. “A horse will run between the fence and another horse a lot easier than he’ll run between two horses.

The Irrational Exuberance of Derby Fever

There’s something about this time of year that leaves the connections susceptible to heady anticipation, a sweeping moment of awareness and excitement.