Breeders hope imported stallions will improve stock. Read the full feature in the March 7, 2015 issue of Blood-Horse Magazine. view slideshow
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will begin tack-walking and is expected to undergo further evaluation in two to three weeks as to whether he will return to the races in 2015, trainer Charlie LoPresti said March 2.
Multiple grade I winner Palace Malice continued to prepare for his return to the races with a three-furlong move Feb. 28 at Palm Beach Downs, his first since rejoining the Florida string of trainer Todd Pletcher.
Gulfstream Park canceled the remainder of its Feb. 28 card as a deluge pelted the South Florida area. The $200,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) and the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) were among the events lost.
Stronach Stables' Devine Aida splashed home in an off-the-turf edition of the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 28, earning her first graded score at soggy Gulfstream Park and building a four-race win streak.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Fasig-Tipton Swale Stakes this week. The duo discuss Daredevil, Souper Colossal, Senor Grits, and more! watch video
Owner Willis Horton confirmed Feb. 25 that the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 14 is under consideration as a target for champion Take Charge Brandi, although a decision has not yet been made.
Sweetest Chant Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Consumer Credit could build a four-race win streak if she takes home the money in the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
Zayat Stables will continue its chess game of 3-year-old prep racing by shipping Mr. Z to the March 28 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), while American Pharoah runs in the Rebel (gr. II) and El Kabeir starts in the Gotham (gr. II).
Upstart was disqualified after crossing the wire first in the $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 21 at Gulfstream Park, with 5-1 Itsaknockout elevated from second to his first graded win.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's International Star came back for more Feb. 21, punching through on the rail to win the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) after taking the Jan. 17 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
Two-time Eclipse Award winner Main Sequence powered to victory in his season debut Feb. 21, taking the $200,000 Mac Diarmida (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream with an impressive kick in the final furlong.
Jacks or Better Farm's homebred C. Zee picked up the pieces Feb. 21 in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (gr. III) and landed his first graded score by 2 3/4 lengths.
Team Valor International's Speechify, winner of his past two races, will make his 2015 debut against solid Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint winner Weekend Hideaway Feb. 21 at Gulfstream Park.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra examine the Barbara Fritchie Handicap this weekend at Laurel Park. With a talented field, see who should be included with your wagers. watch video
Ride On Curlin, under regular exercise rider Bryan Beccia, worked an easy half mile in :49 3/5 after the break the morning of Feb. 11 in preparation for the $100,000 Essex Handicap to be run Feb. 14 at Oaklawn Park.
Constitution notched his second grade I victory Feb. 7 at Gulfstream Park and did so impressively, taking the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) wire-to-wire while holding off 2014 Donn victor Lea.
Far From Over recovered from a bad start to upset 1-2 favorite El Kabeir Feb. 7 in the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack, closing much ground en route to his first graded score.
In the days leading up to the big race between California Chrome and Shared Belief, industry figures and fans shared their excitement about the showdown -- and talked about who they wanted to win.
Claire Novak and Frank Angst preview the San Antonio Stakes featuring California Chrome, Shared Belief, and Hoppertunity. Watch Video
El Kabeir, the current leader on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will look to take the next step toward the starting gate on the first Saturday in May when he tackles the $250,000 Withers.
Son of First Samurai faces a tall task Feb. 7 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, coming back to defend his title against Commissioner and Constitution along with European invader Sloane Avenue.
Stonestreet Stables' Ocean Knight remained undefeated in two starts and aced both his 3-year-old and stakes debuts Jan. 31, taking the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs. Watch Video
Multiple grade I winner Palace Malice threw a shoe while galloping Jan. 28 and sustained a minor bruise to his left front foot, causing a slight delay in his training program in Aiken, S.C.
Stonestreet Stables' Ocean Knight, winner of his only start in solid fashion, and record-setting Florida horse Catalina Red head a group of 12 entered for the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 31 at Tampa Bay Downs.
The son of Candy Stripes, who was named U.S. Horse of the Year and champion older male in 2006, will return to Uruguay to stand at Haras Cuatro Piedras, it was announced Jan. 18.
Few connections wanted to face Take Charge Brandi, but in the end a field of seven was drawn with the champion 2-year-old filly making her sophomore debut from post 6 under a highweight assignment of 122 pounds.
Peter Redekop's Alert Bay survived a lengthy stewards' inquiry to collect his fifth straight stakes score Jan. 24 in the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Consumer Credit became a graded winner Jan. 24, closing on the outside with a solid run to capture the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
New York-bred Upstart proved his class Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park, tracking pacesetter Bluegrass Singer to the final turn and then drawing away impressively to win the $400,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II).
Multiple grade I winner Palace Malice turned in his first breeze of 2015 on Jan. 22 in Aiken, S.C., his initial recorded move since returning to training in mid-November after a layoff at Three Chimneys Farm.
Champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi will get a new rider when she makes her sophomore debut Jan. 31 at Oaklawn Park, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 24, 2015. watch video
Tim O'Donohue's Governmentshutdown and Hillwood Stable's Golden Years share highweight assignment Jan. 24 for the $100,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. Stakes, while O'Donohue also has Lake Sebago in the $100,000 Marshua for fillies.
David Mowat's Ten Broeck stable has the glow of success. Download Now
California Chrome, a colt who was running against his fellow California-breds at the beginning of the season, soared through his conditions and emerged Horse of the Year as the annual Eclipse Awards were presented Jan. 17.
He is known as "Little Bill," a nickname given to him by older riders in recognition of a riding style matching that of Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker.
On Nov. 1 Take Charge Brandi won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). It was her first score for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas since breaking her maiden in June, but launched her championship season.
On a night when they could win multiple Eclipse Awards, Ken & Sarah Ramsey found their first potential contender for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with International Star in the Lecomte (gr. III).
Louisiana-bred String King put away tough pacesetter Gentleman's Kitten and carried on to a well-earned victory Jan. 17 at Fair Grounds, taking the $125,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) to become a graded winner.
Albano was expected to ace the Louisiana Handicap in his Jan. 17 return to the races, but it was longshot Hard Aces who notched his first stakes score at odds of 9-1 in the $75,000 Fair Grounds event.
The road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park will begin Jan. 19 with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, a one-mile test for 3-year-olds which drew a group of nine.
Daniel Dougherty's Ride On Curlin returned to the races in winning fashion Jan. 15, taking a six-furlong allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn Park by a head in his season debut.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds on January 17, 2015. Watch Video
- By Claire Novak
Champion Blind Luck walks at Hill 'n' Dale's Keeneland January sale consignment. She sells as hip No. 207. watch video
This time last year, Hoppertunity still had 20 days to go before breaking his maiden. On Jan. 10, the colt who became a grade I winner at the end of the season continued his rise with a solid San Pasqual (gr. II) score.
Al Shaqab Racing's Mshawish earned his first graded victory on North American soil Jan. 10, spinning wide off the final turn but still managing a neck decision in the $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream.
WinStar Farm's Commissioner, runner-up to Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last June, will make his first start since the classic in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Gulfstream Park Jan. 10.
- By Claire Novak
Illinois-bred son of Dynaformer, a multiple graded stakes winner who raced for Team Block, walks at Haras La Concordia in Uruguay. The 2012 Illinois Horse of the Year is at stud there. watch video
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