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
A WWII veteran and Chicago business tycoon continues to influence Arlington International Racecourse -- despite his advanced age and the political challenges faced by the Illinois racing community. read longform
Claire Novak and special guest Ellis Starr of Equibase preview the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) featuring Dortmund, Mr. Z, and Firing Line. Watch Video
Repole Stable's Micromanage returned to the dirt Dec. 13 and overpowered Vyjack in the $100,000 Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, rallying five wide before securing the victory by 1 1/4 lengths.
Frankel's full brother shows for the media at a press event at Lane's End Farm, where he has entered stud for 2015. watch video
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Starlet Stakes (gr. I) at Los Alamitos featuring Take Charge Brandi. Watch Video
Pick Six Racing's Vyjack will get one more start of 2014, and his connections hope to make it a win in the $100,000 Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct Dec. 13.
Recovering from a minor non-displaced fracture at the bottom of the cannon bone of his right front fetlock, Wise Dan has been powering along down the shedrow -- and trainer Charlie Lopresti fully expects him to run in 2015.
Catholic Cowboy recovered from two lackluster efforts at Keeneland in the fall to grind out a victory in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes Dec. 6 at Gulfstream Park, upsetting a group of 14 at odds of 17-1.
Sylvia Heft's Eighttofasttocatch put away his rivals in impressive fashion Dec. 6, cruising to an unprecedented fourth victory in the $125,000 Jennings Handicap at Laurel Park while passing the million-dollar mark.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Jewel Stakes and Canterbury Stakes from the Dec. 6 Claiming Crown event at Gulfstream Park. watch video
- By Claire Novak
Champion Will Take Charge gets his photo taken by Anne M. Eberhardt at Three Chimneys for an upcoming article on new stallions. watch video
Champion Silver Charm was bright-eyed and settling in well at Old Friends Farm Dec. 2 following a long journey home to Kentucky from Japan.
Listen to Old Friends founder Michael Blowen as newly returned Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm greets fans Dec. 2. The 20-year-old champion returned to the U.S. after standing in Japan. watch video
Private Zone, runner-up to Flat Out in the 2013 edition of the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I), returned Nov. 29 to claim victory going wire to wire in the $753,750 event at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Twin Creeks Racing Stable's Red Rifle delivered the latest in a line of satisfying stakes scores for jockey Florent Geroux Nov. 29, winning the $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Zayat Stables' El Kabeir went to the front and kept on going Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs, just holding off Imperia to win the $233,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) by a head.
Hoppertunity made the most of his chance to finally run at Churchill Downs, grinding out his greatest career victory Nov. 28 in the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I).
Mona Hour's Longacres Mile (gr. III) winner Stryker Phd heads a group of nine entered for the $100,000 Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 30 at Golden Gate Fields.
Chris' Brew rides a three-race win streak into the co-featured $125,000 Sir Barton Stakes Nov. 30 at Woodbine, while South Ocean Stakes victress Galina Point tops the $150,000 Ontario Lassie Stakes.
A solid field will line up Nov. 29 for the $500,000 Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack, as grade I winners Secret Circle and Itsmyluckyday face off amongst a cast that includes Private Zone, Vyjack, and Bourbon Courage.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra look at the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Friday. Watch Video
Many count the two top 3-year-olds in the field of nine among those who could have made some noise before heading to the sidelines earlier this season.
Courtlandt Farms' homebred Strike Charmer broke through at the graded level with a good rally Nov. 22, claiming the $119,700 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Proving her Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) victory was no fluke, Willis Horton's Take Charge Brandi returned Nov. 22 to claim the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) as the favorite at Delta Downs.
Daring Kathy picked up her first graded stakes score with a solid wire-to-wire effort Nov. 22, taking the $115,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park West.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes at Delta Downs this weekend. This is a 2-year-old race that kicks off the Kentucky Derby trail. watch video
Lane's End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm's Honor Code will make his first start since March on Nov. 22 at Aqueduct Racetrack, returning from the injury that knocked him off the road to the Kentucky Derby.
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