Monmouth Park concluded its 2012 meet on Sunday with an increase in attendance and declines in on-track and total handle.
Monmouth Park concluded its 2012 meet on Sunday with an increase in attendance and declines in on-track and total handle.
Keeneland will welcome Olympian and Lexington, Kentucky, native Tyson Gay to the races on Sunday for a special salute. Gay is a triple world champion, an American record holder and the second-fastest man in history. He earned a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic games as part of the 4x 100-meter relay team.
Bill Farish's Pool Play proved the most long-winded of the six runners in a pokey renewal of the Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup on Saturday.
A cross country trip, a two-man stroll from Lexington to Louisville and a 50-person relay from Keeneland to Churchill Downs...what do these three things have in common? They are all ways the Paulick Report and Breeders' Cup Charities have teamed up over the last three years to raise nearly $250,000 for several great causes in combination with Thoroughbred racing's annual World Championships!
Sunday's $98,000 L.A. Woman Stakes at Santa Anita was supposed to be a launching pad to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint for the unbeaten Winding Way, but instead it was Ramona Bass, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Rumor who might have punched her ticket to the big dance.
Balance the Books broke last and picked off all 11 horses on his way to glory in the eventful Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon at Keeneland on Sunday. The son of Lemon Drop Kid went off as the heavy 4-5 favorite and managed to overcome being bumped in the stretch to pay $3.80, $2.80 and $2.40 to his backers.
Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' In Lingerie proved best on Sunday when taking on nine rivals in the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster at Keeneland. The Todd Pletcher pupil saved ground along the rail while biding her time just behind the front-running Juanita on the backstretch before putting in her winning move in the stretch to be two lengths clear of Mystical Star on the wire.
The Nick Gonzalez trainee tracked the front-running Five Iron through fractions of :24 2/5, :48 4/5 and 1:12 3/5, then drove to the front beneath Eurico Da Silva in the stretch. Tesseron made a big move on the turn and loomed boldly, but could not get past River Seven, who was three-quarters of a length on top while finishing 1 1/16 Polytrack miles in 1:43 4/5.
It's official. There will be no Breeders' Cup for Acclamation this year. Trainer Don Warren confirmed speculation that the 2011 Eclipse Award winner as outstanding older male would not make the championship events at Santa Anita on November 2-3.
Grade 2-winning Ontario-bred Stormy Lord is under serious consideration for a start in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park, trainer Ian Black confirmed by phone on Sunday.
Favored Dullahan's distaste for the less-than-firm going in Saturday's Jamaica Handicap proved to be his undoing as he came home fifth in his attempt to add a Grade 1 on the turf to his trio of Grade 1 victories over synthetic surfaces, trainer Dale Romans said Sunday morning.
With Saturday's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile now in his rearview mirror, trainer Charles Lopresti can look ahead to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita next month for stable star Wise Dan.
Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group's Grace Hall took the lead from Eden's Moon in Saturday's Grade 2, $205,600 Indiana Oaks at Hoosier Park and never looked back en route to a 5 3/4-length score under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. The Tony Dutrow-trained daughter of Empire Maker was sent off the 4-5 favorite and returned $3.80 and $2.20 for completing 1 1/16 miles on the good dirt in 1:41 4/5.
Pegram, Watson and Weitman's Coil rallied to the lead in midstretch and gamely withstood the late bid of stablemate Capital Account in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, providing trainer Bob Baffert with a one-two finish in the six-furlong event formerly known as the Ancient Title. Winner of the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at nine furlongs last year, the versatile colt has redefined his image at age four, establishing himself as a top contender for the November 3 Breeders' Cup Sprint over the same Santa Anita track.
Jockey Nick Petro and his mount Not Abroad saw an inviting opening along the rail as they circled the far turn in Saturday's $142,500 Maryland Million Classic on Laurel Park's Jim McKay Maryland Million program. They galloped through the gaping hole, came out with a clear lead and drew off to win over the fast main track.
Making his first start off the $35,000 claim for Mike Maker, Scarlet Stable's King David sprang a 28-1 upset in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park, shocking such accomplished rivals as Summer Front, Cogito and Dullahan.
Fanticola and Scardino's Obviously turned in another terrific front-running effort in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita. Aside from remaining perfect from three starts at the distance, the Mike Mitchell charge burnished his credentials for the Breeders' Cup Mile over this same course.
Eclipse Award contender Wise Dan came out of his Grade 1 Woodbine Mile heroics in such fine fettle that trainer Charles Lopresti didn't want to keep him in the barn until the Breeders' Cup. Thus Morton Fink's homebred was entered in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, and judging by how he crushed the opposition once again, it's clear why Lopresti couldn't hold him down.
A. Stevens Miles Jr.'s homebred Neck 'n Neck closed strongly in Saturday's Grade 2, $513,600 Indiana Derby, rallying down the center of the track to post a one-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile test at Hoosier Park. With new jockey Brian Hernandez up, the Ian Wilkes-trained colt was off as the 9-2 third choice among 11 rivals and returned payoffs of $11.20, $4.80 and $2.80 to his supporters.
Joha wires Breeders' Futurity
Frank L. Jones Jr.'s homebred Tapitsfly got up to take the Grade 1, $350,000 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday and in the process gained a measure of revenge over rival Daisy Devine, who held her to third when capturing the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley during Keeneland's spring meet. Daisy Devine had a clear lead in the stretch of the First Lady, but Tapitsfly lived up to her name when swooping in late to finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:35 2/5.
Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia just got the head victory on Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade 1, $380,000 Frizette Stakes after a stretch-long duel with near 3-1 second choice My Happy Face. The pair raced in tandem down the lane, in very close quarters at times, but Dreaming of Julia managed to take the win under jockey John Velazquez to move her record to a perfect three-for-three.
Starlight Racing's Shanghai Bobby remained unbeaten with a dazzling performance in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne Stakes, winning easily by five lengths at Belmont Park, and confirmed his status as a top contender in the November 3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.
One day after Spring in the Air captured the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland, stablemate Spring Venture moved her record to a perfect three-for-three with a nice 1 1/2-length win in the Grade 3, $205,361 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.
After saving ground for a half-mile, Groupie Doll had to wait patiently for a seam to open up at the top of the stretch in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland. When it finally did, the four-year-old burst through with ease and drew off to win the six-furlong Polytrack dash by 6 1/2 lengths. The 2-5 choice, now the probable early favorite in next month's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Groupie Doll returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.
Eugene Melnyk's homebred Bridgetown made a rare off-the-pace rally to land Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Woodford going 5 1/2 furlongs on Keeneland's firm turf. Favored at 3-5 in the field of six, the five-year-old son of Speightsown wore down long-time leader Great Mills inside the final furlong to post a one-length win in a time of 1:02 2/5.
John Oxley's Spring in the Air returned to Churchill Downs on Friday night after her one-length victory in the Grade 1 Alcibiades and "is great this morning," trainer Mark Casse said Saturday. The victory earned Spring in the Air a spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies to be run November 2 at Santa Anita. Casse said her travel itinerary to California has not been set.
In addition to hosting a stakes-filled afternoon of live racing as part of the 21st annual Festival of the Sun on October 13, Calder Race Course will also hold ceremonies throughout the day in conjunction with Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (TRAC), Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida, the Broward Sheriff's Mounted Unit, and Hobbs Equestrian to honor retired Thoroughbred race horses now serving the community in their second careers.
Not only did John Oxley's Spring in the Air pass the test in Friday's Grade 1, $400,000 Alcibiades at Keeneland, but so did bettors who made her the mild 4-1 favorite in a wide-open field of 14 juvenile fillies. Under Patrick Husbands, the daughter of Spring At Last weaved her way through the field from the second tier, angled out approaching the stretch, and closed with a rush to overtake Magical Moon and go on to win by a length. Spring in the Air returned $10.60, $6 and $3.60.
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Sum of the Parts grabbed command early in Friday's Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix Stakes on Keeneland's opening day and never looked back en route to a 1 1/4-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux. The Tom Amoss trainee beat older horses in the six-furlong sprint when stopping the clock in 1:09 4/5 over the Polytrack.
Postponed 24 hours in order for Belmont Park's inner turf to dry out following recent wet weather, the Grade 3, $150,000 Pilgrim and Grade 3, $150,000 Miss Grillo now highlight Belmont Park's special Columbus Day program on Monday.
With the possibility of a somewhat surprising appearance by Pinnacle Racing Stable and trainer Bill Kaplan's Eclipse Award winner Musical Romance in the $55,000 Mike Sherman Memorial Stakes, the complexion of Saturday's 6 1/2-furlong filly and mare sprint at Calder Race Course could change drastically once scratches are in.
Uncaptured will put his unbeaten record on the line against six rivals in Sunday's Grade 3, $200,000 Grey Stakes at Woodbine. An impressive 3 1/4-length winner of the September 9 Swynford Stakes in his last outing, the Mark Casse trainee will make his first start at two turns as he preps for a possible start in the November 3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. Regular rider Patrick Husbands will be up on the dark bay son of Lion Heart.
The 27th Jim McKay Maryland Million, a festive homecoming for Marylanders, attracted 106 entrants to the 11-race program which will be presented Saturday at Laurel Park. First post for the $1.05 million day is 12:35 p.m. (EDT).
Tiz Miz Sue has been keeping company this summer with the top fillies on the East Coast, but when she arrived at Keeneland Wednesday morning for Sunday's Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster after vanning from Monmouth Park, there was no Royal Delta or Love and Pride in sight.
Santa Anita will feature a quartet of stakes on Saturday, two of which are graded contests leading up to the Breeders' Cup World Championships next month.
Shanghai Bobby will look to continue his dominance of the East Coast juvenile division on Saturday while taking on some familiar faces as well as a few newcomers in the Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne at Belmont Park. The Harlan's Holiday colt brings a perfect three-for-three mark into the one-mile contest, and will try to use the race as a springboard to Breeders' Cup Juvenile glory and year-end championship honors.
Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland came up very contentious. The 1 1/16-mile event on Polytrack has attracted an overflow of 16 two-year-olds, but only 14 will be allowed to start and favoritism could fall to Pataky Kid following his victory in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity. Other legitimate contenders include Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes winner Balance the Books; Grade 2 Summer runner-up Are You Kidding Me; Sunday Silence Stakes victor Java's War; and Tizracer, a recent 10 1/2-length maiden scorer for Todd Pletcher.
Wise Dan is unquestionably one of America's best turf horses, posting impressive victories in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in his last two starts, and the talented gelding looks poised to make a serious assault upon the November 3 Breeders' Cup Mile. He will receive his final tune-up in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, one of five graded stakes races on a strong Keeneland program.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who enjoyed success in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby two years ago with eventual three-year-old champion Lookin at Lucky, will seek to land Saturday's $500,000 renewal at Hoosier Park with the highly-regarded Fed Biz. The Corinthian colt had better bring his running shoes with him from Southern California as the 1 1/16-mile heat has attracted a deep, attractive field of 12.
Alternation outbroke the rest of the older male division this year when capturing his first four starts. After falling behind the pack over the summer, the Pin Oak homebred will try and re-rally to catch up with the rest of the divisional heavyweights beginning with Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup. The 1 1/4-mile test serves as Alternation's final tune-up for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic.
The fourth edition of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will feature a "Prevention vs. Reaction" theme when it is held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on October 16-17.
The countdown to the second British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20 is now in full swing and the sense of anticipation ahead of British racing's richest day of the year steps up a gear Wednesday with the publication of the latest acceptors for the championship finales in each of the five categories of the British Champions Series.
SANTA ANITA NOTEBOOK
World-class racing returns to Keeneland as the 17-day fall race meet opens Friday. Racing occurs Wednesday through Sunday with the final day of the fall season on October 27. Post time for the first race each day is 1:05 p.m. (ET).
Animal Kingdom will return to action in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 3 with a chance to become the first Kentucky Derby winner to go on to Breeders Cup glory since Unbridled in 1990.
The Breeders' Cup on Tuesday announced the wagering menu and post times for the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held November 2-3 at Santa Anita. This year's wagering menu on the 15 Breeders' Cup races features an abundance of betting opportunities including two all Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Sixes, 10-cent Superfectas, 50-cent Trifectas, Pick 3s, Pick 4s and Pick 5s, a Ladies' Classic -- Breeders' Cup Classic Daily Double and two Super High 5 wagers.
As expected, Sunday's Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will not feature last year's winner Danedream, but there was another twist as Nathaniel was also ruled out Tuesday. Just hours after Germany's defending champion was scratched at the six-day forfeit stage due to the three-month quarantine of all horses based at the racecourse hit by a case of EIA in Cologne, dual Group 1 winner Nathaniel also went by the wayside after he was found to have a temperature.
Dawn Approach on Tuesday morning warmed up for his Group 1, £300,000 Dewhurst engagement with a solid work-out under big-race jockey Kevin Manning. The unbeaten colt worked in company with fellow Dewhurst entry Leitir Mor over 5 1/2 furlongs at trainer Jim Bolger's Beechy Park in County Carlow.