The stars are coming out for the Whitney Handicap and Test Stakes this weekend. Watch Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the big race day at Saratoga. watch video
Will Take Charge and Palace Malice meet again Aug. 2 in the $1.5 million Whitney Handicap (gr. I), squaring off at Saratoga Race Course as the top two choices in a field of nine drawn for the 1 1/8-mile test.
Ron Sanchez will send former hype horse Social Inclusion--coming off a career-worst seventh in the July 27 Haskell Invitational (gr. I)--to trainer Chad Brown in hopes of hitting the restart button on the colt's career.
Kaleem Shah's Bayern ran them off their feet July 27 in the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I), taking eight other sophomores gate-to-wire at Monmouth Park while Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable ran fifth.
Majestic River proved her affinity for Monmouth Park July 27, rolling to a third consecutive victory over the New Jersey oval and picking up her first graded stakes score in the $203,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II).
Fox Hill Farms' Coup de Grace closed with gusto in the $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga Race Course July 26, taking advantage after a quick early pace set-up in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint for his late-running style.
Salvador Hernandez's homebred La Tia made a tour de force of the $144,053 Ontario Matron Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine July 26, leading wire to wire and drawing off at the end to best eight other fillies and mares.
Social Inclusion, Rontos Racing Stable's runner who has drawn post position six for the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, will race without the anti-bleeding medication lasix July 27.
Magalen O. Bryant's V. E. Day strung three victories in a row and collected his first stakes score July 25 in the $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, giving jockey Jose Lezcano his 2,000th career win.
Traffic trouble may have kept Ami's Holiday from victory in the Queen's Plate, and now the runner-up in the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown will take a try at the second leg, the July 29 Prince of Wales.
Breezing for the third time since returning to training after colic surgery, two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan went an easy five furlongs in 1:03.72 over the Oklahoma turf course at Saratoga Race Course July 25.
Fresh off a 9 1/4-length drubbing of her own division and undefeated in four starts for Winchell Thoroughbreds this year, Untapable seeks a challenge versus males July 27 in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I).
Flashy American will take another run at the $200,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course July 27, wheeling back after a third-place finish in the Delaware Handicap (gr. I) two weeks earlier.
- By Claire Novak
Tonalist and Wicked Strong will face several new shooters this week in the Jim Dandy Stakes. Who do you like in the Jim Dandy? Listen to Claire Novak and Frank Angst give their picks. watch video
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist and fourth-place finisher Wicked Strong share a highweight assignment of 123 pounds for the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga on July 26.
James Miller's Aurelia's Belle stayed perfect on Polytrack July 19, winning the $150,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) in her third different synthetic surface start.
East Hall won the $300,000 Ohio Derby with a closing rush at Thistledown July 19, earning his first victory since a Nov. 24 allowance event at Gulfstream Park.
Team D's Big Trouble, an easy 4 1/2-length debut maiden winner at Belmont Park, won the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) July 19 at Saratoga Race Course by a neck over Mr. Z.
Fashion Alert remained undefeated in two starts and picked up her first graded stakes victory in the process July 18, but had to work hard to do it in the $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course.
Morton Fink's two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan turned in his first breeze of the summer at Saratoga July 18, progressing toward trainer Charlie LoPresti's goal of making the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT).
Claire Novak and Frank Angst preview the Diana Stakes and the Sanford Stakes, both July 19 at Saratoga. Watch Video
The one-mile Sir Cat drew an eight-horse group for the opening day program July 18, led by Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) winner Ring Weekend.
Michael Straight, paralyzed in a riding accident five years ago, takes time to talk with Claire Novak about his recent progress walking with a bionic exoskeleton and participating in research at Florida's Miami Project.
Hit The Board Stables' I'm Already Sexy ran her record to 4-for-4 on the Arlington Park turf July 12, a perfectly timed ride by Florent Geroux assuring her victory in the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Belle Gallantey, a $35,000 claim just seven months ago, lulled rivals to sleep on the front end and then carried on to upset the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) July 12 at Delaware Park.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Empire Dreams benefited from an outside post and clear trip July 12 to take the $161,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes, while an incident at the start impacted more than half the field.
Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan clicked through his first breeze since his May 16 colic surgery, getting a half-mile on the Keeneland lawn in :50 2/5 and galloping out in 1:02 2/5 under exercise rider Damien Rock.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Delaware Handicap with Princess of Sylmar, and the Parx Dash with Ben's Cat. watch video
West Point Thoroughbreds' aptly named Empire Dreams looks to break through July 12 in the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes, coming off back-to-back seconds for trainer Tom Albertrani in restricted company.
Abdulla al Monsoori's Our Channel leads a group for the $200,000 American Derby (gr. IIIT) on "Million Preview Day" at Arlington Park, hoping to recover from a poor run in the June 7 English Derby (Eng-I).
Second by a head to Close Hatches last time out in the June 7 Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I), multiple grade I winner Princess of Sylmar seeks a rebound July 12 in the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) at Delaware Park.
Rebel Stakes (gr. II) winner Hoppertunity will rejoin Bob Baffert's California string next week, the Hall of Fame horseman confirmed July 8. The colt was in Kentucky recovering from surgery on his left front fetlock.
Ben's Cat, winner of the Parx Dash Handicap (gr. IIIT) in 2012 and 2013, returns July 12 for his fourth consecutive outing in the race. He'll face nine, including Tightend Touchdown, runner-up by 1 1/4 lengths last year.
Minorette posted a mild upset in the $1 million Belmont Oaks (gr. IT) July 5 at Belmont Park, landing her first North American victory at odds of 6-1.
Clearly Now returned to the winner's circle in blazing fashion July 5, setting a track record for seven furlongs when taking home the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. II) by open lengths at Belmont Park.
California Chrome could make his first start back after a brief layoff in a race at Los Alamitos in September en route to the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Grade I winner Forte Dei Marmi, Canada's Sovereign Award-winning grass horse of 2013, heads a field of six entered for the $150,000 Singspiel Stakes (Can-IIIT) July 6 at Woodbine.
Grade I winner Lochte seeks a return to winning ways July 6 in the $500,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, one of 10 entered for the 1 3/8-mile turf contest at the New Jersey track.
Former $20,000 claimer faces the likes of Dads Caps, Salutos Amigos, Central Banker, Declan's Warrior, and Clearly Now in a seven-furlong sprint July 5 in New York.
Tom LaMarra and Claire Novak preview the Los Alamitos Derby featuring Shared Belief and Candy Boy. Watch Video
Construction may be going full-steam-ahead on the main track at Keeneland, but that hasn't stopped two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan from progressing in his recovery from colic surgery.
Rested since March, Peter Eurton trainee Sheza Smoke Show came off the bench and struck in her graded debut June 28, claiming the $100,000 Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 28 at Santa Anita Park.
Coming off a victory in the May 24 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park, Juddmonte Farms' homebred Riposte continued her winning ways with a quick turn of foot June 28 in the $200,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT).
Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victress Untapable continued her perfect season June 28, running away with the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park by 9 1/2 lengths.
Cornerstone Thoroughbreds' Medea powered her way to victory June 21 in the $103,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park, and that was exactly how she liked it.
New York-bred Hot Stones jumped back into open company June 21 to make her graded stakes debut, and emerged a winner of the $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Bed o' Roses Handicap at Belmont Park this weekend. watch video
Ring Weekend, coming off a fifth in the Preakness, and Uncle Sigh, 14th in the Kentucky Derby, head a field of seven sophomores slated for the Pegasus Stakes June 15 at Monmouth Park that also marks the return of Albano.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the accomplished field in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. watch video
Anita Cauley's homebred On Fire Baby, winner of the May 2 La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, heads a field of six for the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Presented by Etihad Airways (gr. II) in Louisville June 14.
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