Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas looks to continue his hot streak in the $125,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, sending out Optimizer in the Jan. 26 turf test for older males.
Morton Fink's homebred Wise Dan swept three categories--male turf horse, older male, and Horse of the Year--at the Jan. 19 Eclipse Awards ceremony in Hallandale Beach, Fla., becoming the first horse to do so since John Henry.
The thoughts and best wishes of the racing industry went out to jockey Ramon Dominguez the night he was honored with his third consecutive Eclipse Award.
Long-striding Royal Delta delivered when it mattered most in 2012, and although her 4-year-old season was not without flaws, her winning performances were spectacular.
Pierrot Lunaire pulled off what no other horse did over hurdles in 2012, winning back-to-back National Steeplechase Association grade I races to take home an Eclipse Award as outstanding steeplechaser.
Z Thoroughbreds' homebred Infrattini earned his fourth straight victory, accomplished over four different tracks, by outfinishing odds-on choice Mark Valeski in the $100,000 Louisiana Handicap Jan. 19 at Fair Grounds.
Bluegrass Hall's Oxbow went wire-to-wire to win the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes by 11 1/2 lengths for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Jan. 19. Earlier, Touch Magic took the Silverbulletday.
Ron the Greek turned it on in a big way in the $400,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park Jan. 19, overpowering his state-bred foes by 11 1/4 lengths on an off track.
The connections for Brown Almighty have been planning their colt's dirt debut for months now, and on Jan. 21 their wait will be over when the colt makes his start in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Frank Stronach has purchased a majority interest in three-time grade I winner Point of Entry for breeding purposes from the Phipps Stable, and will maintain half-interest in the horse during his 2013 racing career.
Grade III winner Circle Unbroken makes his 2013 debut Jan. 19 in the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds, stretching out in distance and taking on eight other 3-year-olds including Canadian stakes winner Avie's Quality.
Dynamic Sky recovered from a tough trip to win the $100,000 Pasco Stakes over stablemate Sky Commander Jan. 12 at Tampa Bay Downs, giving owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse consecutive scores in the race.
He had one horse beaten in the stretch run, but Mucho Mas Macho kicked into gear when it mattered to upset the $150,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 12 at Gulfstream Park.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens rode the first winner of his newly-launched comeback Jan. 12, getting the job done aboard Glen Hill Farm's Branding at Santa Anita Park.
Csaba is the best he's ever been, and if he sails through the Hal's Hope Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 13, he'll punch his ticket to his first grade I stakes attempt in the $500,000 Donn Handicap on Feb. 9.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer Charles Lopresti talks about Horse of the Year Candidate Wise Dan at Keeneland on January 10, 2013. Watch Video
Oaklawn Park's 2013 meet opens Jan. 11 with a scheduled record purse structure, new veterinary examination policies and new claiming rules, an injury database to aid commission vets, and an influx of new racing talent.
Leading Horse of the Year candidate Wise Dan returned to the track Jan. 7 following some turnout time at trainer Charlie Lopresti's Forest Lane Farm near Lexington, joining Successful Dan and Turallure.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Pete Denk handicap the Pasco Stakes, for 3-year-olds, at Tampa Bay Downs. watch video
Seeking redemption from a lackluster dirt effort last time out, Dominus returns to the lawn in the $150,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 12 at Gulfstream Park.
During that time of year when champions are gearing up for their new campaigns, a familiar name popped up at Payson Park. Royal Delta is back on the worktab and prepping for a start in the Feb. 17 Sabin (gr. III).
Win 5,000 will have to wait. Veteran reinsman Calvin Borel has sustained a minor wrist fracture that will keep him on the sidelines for about 18 days.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail has been retired from racing, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirmed Jan. 8.
Making her first start since a sixth in the 2012 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Garland Williamson's Hard Not to Like proved her quality with a half-length victory in the $100,000 Marshua's River Stakes at Gulfstream Park Jan. 5.
Vyjack surged past longshot Siete de Oros to win the $200,000 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct Jan. 5, a race after 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar put on a 7 1/2-length show in the $100,000 Busanda.
Tu Endie Wei, the Sovereign Award-winning champion 2-year-old filly of 2011, died Dec. 24 in Kentucky while undergoing an operation for fibrous adhesions.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens gave official confirmation Jan. 3 to the rumors that have been flying; on Jan. 6 at Santa Anita Park, he'll again start riding races.
Apprentice jockey Wilmer Garcia will be off his mounts for an undetermined amount of time to recover from injuries sustained in a Jan. 2 car accident, his agent Jose Henriques said.
It was the wrong lead but the right result for Comma to the Top, who slugged his way to victory while becoming racing's newest millionaire in an off-the-turf edition of the $100,000 Daytona Stakes Dec. 29 at Santa Anita Park.
Lord Avie, the champion 2-year-old male of 1980, died Dec. 28 at Blue Ridge Farm near Upperville, Va. Thoroughbred racing's oldest living Eclipse Award winner at age 34, he passed away peacefully from natural causes.
Millionaire Coil turned in a bullet move at Santa Anita Park Dec. 29, and will make the final start of his career in the $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 5, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert confirmed.
Stud El Aguila's Indiano turned the tables on Action Andy with a strong outside rally to take the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 29.
Millionaire Coil, winner of the 2011 Haskell Invitational (gr. I) and 2012 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. I), will stand the 2013 season at Magali Farms, it was announced Dec. 28.
- By Claire Novak
But here's the thing about racehorses and horse racing in general: not much goes according to plan. read blog
Potesta, the Hollywood Oaks winner who suffered a career-ending condylar fracture to her left foreleg, recently arrived at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., for her engagement in Keeneland's January sale.
Animal Kingdom, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), turned in his final work of 2012 Dec. 28 at Palm Meadows Training Center under the supervision of trainer Graham Motion.
Gary and Mary West's homebred Book Review found California to her liking Dec. 26, when she got up over tough contender Reneesgotzip and 2011 2-year-old champion My Miss Aurelia in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes.
Owner Ahmed Zayat confirmed Dec. 26 that his Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Paynter will ship from Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center near Elkton, Md., to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's California barn Dec. 29.
A fresh Saratoga Snacks denied Saginaw his 11th win of 2012 with a powerful victory in the $73,500 Alex M. Robb Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack Dec. 26.
Citrus Kid, making his first start since September of 2011, held off 3-year-old El Padrino in a comeback race for both Dec. 19 at Gulfstream Park.
After a 7 1/2-month layup following the Kentucky Derby, runner returns in a Dec. 19 allowance at Gulfstream with an eye on the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I).
An inside trip and a good kick at the head of the lane made all the difference for 2-year-old filly Mystic Love, who beat the boys at odds of 16-1 Dec. 15 in the $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
Calumet Farm has listed stud fees for three new stallions scheduled to spend the 2013 breeding season at the historic Thoroughbred operation near Lexington.
Sightseeing, sire of 2012 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) winner So Many Ways, died Dec. 8 from complications due to intestinal surgery, Richland Hills Farm president Nathan Fox confirmed Dec. 12.
- By Claire Novak
Morgan's Ford Farm enjoys uncanny success breeding stakes winners Download Now
Parent's Honor capped a big day for Ken and Sarah Ramsey at Gulfstream Park Dec. 1, taking the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at odds of 16-1 to give the owners their fourth winner on the card.
Philly Ace closed with a good kick in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course & Casino, running down 9-5 favorite Hollinger to record his first graded stakes score Nov. 30.
Richard and Karen Papiese's Midwest Thoroughbreds surpassed a 38-year-old single-season record for victories by an owner this month with 501 winners from 1,706 starters in 2012. The old record was 494 wins.
Ten juveniles seek their first stakes score in the $150,000 Display Stakes at Woodbine Dec. 1, including a few who have recently been knocking at the door. But the runner horsemen fear most is Avie's Quality.
Havant and Clarinet head a field of eight fillies and mares entered for the $100,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course & Casino Nov. 30, but the lightly raced sophomore Ciao Bella could make an impact.
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