Arnold Zetcher's homebred Smart Transition picked up his first black type victory July 31 at Saratoga Race Course, kicking into gear off the turn and drawing away to win the $100,000 Curlin Stakes.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the return of the Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. watch video
Darley America will no longer have a string at the Aiken Training Track near Aiken, S.C., and their operations there will shut down Sept. 1.
Stonestreet Stables' Rock Fall will face the grade I question for the first time Aug. 1 at Saratoga Race Course, when the streaking Todd Pletcher trainee takes on a field of six other accomplished runners.
La Verdad took the lead and never looked back July 29 in the $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course, cruising gate to wire under jockey Jose Ortiz to preserve her perfect record this season.
Hard Not to Like came flying and secured her second consecutive grade I victory July 25, edging out Tepin in the final strides of the $500,000 TVG Diana Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga while setting a turf course record.
Triton Racing's Uchenna bided her time at the back of the pack and then pounced with a bold rail move July 25 to win the $150,000 Ontario Matron (Can-III), taking her first graded stakes for trainer Roger Attfield.
J. Stables' Off the Tracks went from maiden winner to stakes victress in just her second start July 24, taking the $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) in powerful fashion at Saratoga Race Course.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra discuss the Diana Stakes (gr. IT) featuring Tepin, Hard Not to Like, and Stephanie's Kitten. Watch Video
Robert Masterson's Tepin will take on Hard Not to Like July 25 in the $500,000 TVG Diana Stakes (gr. I), both last-out grade I winners looking to add another event of the highest caliber to their resumes.
Grade III winner Went the Day Well, who finished fourth in the 2012 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has arrived in Uruguay and will stand for Las Zainas Farm, according to bloodstock agent Pablo Nunez.
The $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) kicks off the action at Saratoga Race Course July 24 as part of a loaded opening day card.
A third time might be the charm for Westrock Stables' Sky Kingdom, back for yet another run in the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar after finishing second the past two years in a row.
Tiz Shea D tracked the pace set by Ohio Derby winner Mr. Z and then ran him down with a sweeping outside move to victory in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II), despite being floated wide around the turn by his erratic rival.
Midnight Cello earned his first graded stakes score and first victory of the season in style July 18, taking the $100,000 Hanshin Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Arlington International Racecourse with a bold early move up the rail.
If Take Charge Brandi aces her comeback in the Aug. 8 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga against her own division, a run against the boys could be possible in the Aug. 29 Travers Stakes (gr. I), said owner Willis Horton.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak comments on two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan's breeze at Keeneland on July 17, 2015, while the champion takes a bath in the background. Watch Video
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan wasted no time getting back to business after being cleared to resume full training June 30, as trainer Charlie LoPresti sent him out to his first breeze in more than eight months July 17.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the Eddie Read stakes in the opening weekend for Del Mar. watch video
None of the eight runners entered in the $200,000 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) has made it to graded status yet, but the winner will walk away with that distinction July 18 at Delaware Park.
Jockey Rajiv Maragh was released from North Shore Hospital July 13 and is resting at home near Hempstead, N.Y., after sustaining several injuries in a July 10 fall at Belmont Park.
Lady Eli preserved her perfect record and dazzled in the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational (gr. IT) July 4, collecting the second grade I stakes score of her career in dominant fashion at Belmont Park.
Richard Santulli's Force the Pass delivered a career-best performance July 4 in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, making a powerful rail-skimming move heading into the far turn.
Derek Ryan's Irish Jasper continued a three-race win streak and earned her second grade III in a row July 4, closing with a wide rally and drawing away in the $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park.
Force proved one to be reckoned with in the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack July 3, upsetting at odds of 13-1 to give trainer Mark Casse his second win in the New York Derby.
- By Claire Novak
- Thoroughbred Racing, Breeders' Cup, Triple Crown, Northeast Region, Mid-Atlantic Region
Owner Ahmed Zayat has decided the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 2 will be the Triple Crown winner's first start after a historic 5 1/2-length triumph in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) winner Barbados will waste no time getting back to business July 5, when he makes his first start off the layup in the $150,000 Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Champion Main Sequence takes on talented grade I-winning rivals such as Slumber, Twilight Eclipse, 2013 United Nations victor Big Blue Kitten, and Imagining when seeking to defend his title in the United Nations (gr. IT).
Race Day, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) and Razorback Handicap (gr. III) in consecutive graded scores, is the 123-pound highweight for the $150,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) July 5 at Monmouth Park.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Belmont Derby Invitational at Belmont Park. Will the international contenders spoil the locals and how will Bolo perform? watch video
Tonalist will find himself in easier company July 4 than he did last time out, with only five to tackle and not another grade I winner in the bunch in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
The top three finishers from the May 25 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park will meet again July 3 in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan has been cleared to resume full training, trainer Charlie LoPresti said June 30. His connections are hoping for a return to the races this fall.
Genuine Reward, one of only two living foals produced by 1980 Kentucky Derby (gr. I)-winning filly Genuine Risk, has found a new home at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center near Lexington.
An easy drive down the road for New York horsemen, Monmouth Park offers expanded options -- specifically the chance for several turf fillies to try a step up in the $100,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 27.
Michael Langford's Carve, a determined neck winner of the 2014 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III), is back in the 2015 edition and looking for his second score of the season June 27 at Prairie Meadows.
Three who hit the board in the May 30 Opening Verse Stakes will come back to face off again, except the victorious The Pizza Man, in the $200,000 Firecracker Stakes (gr. IIT) June 27 at Churchill Downs.
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and his jockey, Victor Espinoza, have been nominated for two ESPYS to be presented July 15 during ESPN's annual awards show, the sports broadcast company announced June 24.
The Malibu Moon colt, who had not won a race since his debut maiden victory 14 starts back, had just enough to give in the 1 1/16-mile test, edging out Tencendur and Divining Rod for the victory June 20 at Thistledown.
Luna Time, claiming her first graded score in just her second start of the year, got the jump on favored Joint Return and upset the $100,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at odds of 15-1 June 20 at Delaware Park.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Ohio Derby at Thistledown this weekend. With several horses from the Triple Crown trail reuniting, who will come out on top? watch video
Nine 3-year-olds were entered for the 1 1/16-mile test, with Illinois Derby (gr. III) winner Wiskey Ticket favored at 3-1 on the morning line and Preakness (gr. I) third-place finisher Divining Rod second choice at 7-2.
Lukewarm favorite off a poor effort last time out, RMJ Stables' 2014 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) winner Fortune Pearl hopes to return to the winner's circle at the Mid-Atlantic track in the $100,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) June 20.
Hope's Love, a full sister to 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, made a strong debut June 13 at Golden Gate Fields when running second in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race for 2-year-old fillies.
Hronis Racing's Talco earned his sought-after grade I win in the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) June 13 at Santa Anita Park, upsetting even-money favorite Midnight Storm to take the turf test at odds of 13-1.
Gerald and Susan Kreesa's King Kreesa stole away on the front end June 13 to take the $300,000 Poker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park, becoming just the third two-time winner of a race he also won in 2013.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah June 12 at Churchill Downs talks about American Pharoah's talent and personality, and future plans. watch video
- By Claire Novak
Bob Baffert, trainer of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, talks about how the horse is doing, and the experience of the Triple Crown. at Churchill Downs on June 12. watch video
American Pharoah looked strong and fresh in his first exercise as a Triple Crown champion, returning to the dirt June 12 for a clockwise jog before media and adoring fans as the sun rose over Churchill Downs.
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is the center of attention as he gets a bath at Churchill Downs after his first morning back to the track June 12, 2015. Watch Video
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