Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sent American Cleopatra—the 2-year-old full sister to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah—through her first official breeze at Santa Anita Park June 17.
Colt's connections could have urged for a Belmont (gr. I) run June 11 off the 3-year-old colt's May 14 score in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II), but trust in their down-to-earth trainer and a long-term goal kept them grounded.
Claire Novak, Ellis Starr, and Tom LaMarra preview the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) featuring Effinex, Are You Kidding Me, Eagle, Bradester, and International Star. Sponsored by Equibase.
Effinex, who last year won the Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, will look to add to his legacy there June 18 when he takes on six rivals in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Claire Novak updates us on how the main Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders are feeling a day after the race, including future plans.
The Preakness (gr. I) winner, one of only two horses this year to run in all three legs of the Triple Crown, emerged from an 11th-place finish in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont without an excuse, according to trainer Keith Desormeaux.
Claire Novak recaps Creator's win in the Belmont Stakes. Claire talks about Creator's connections of Irad Ortiz, Jr., Bobby Flay, WinStar, and Steve Asmussen.
Maybe I'm a Chatterbox needed a race, maybe she needed an easy target. Either way, the grade I winner got her mojo back in the $100,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III), in which she made short work of a short field June 11 at Delaware Park.
Cavorting closed from far back and drew off to score June 11 in the $1 million Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, a track she loves.
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Economic Model got a good trip in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes June 11 at Belmont Park, while favored Cupid missed the break, rushed up on the backside, and faded to finish last.
The Weather Channel predicts an 80% chance of rain for the day, with isolated thunderstorms likely to move in around 3 p.m. ET, and a 60% probability for 6 p.m. Post time for the Belmont Stakes is 6:37 p.m.
Jimmy Jerkens might not have a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender this year, but he's holding a hot hand with June 18 Stephen Foster (gr. I) contender Effinex and June 19 Pegasus (gr. III) runner Unified, who will go favored in their respective races.
Joking, a 9-1 shot who returned $21.80 while giving owner/trainer Charlton Baker his first graded stakes victory, dashed across the line to upset by a neck.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) contender Exaggerator moved through the rhythms of a big horse pre-race day June 10; gate-schooling, going for an easy jog, and moving into a controlled gallop as the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) looms.
Claire Novak recaps the news of the day, including the activities of Exaggerator, Lani, Cherry Wine, Brody's Cause, and Trojan Nation, as well as non-Belmont Stakes horses Effinex and Unified.
Justin Squared carries his win streak into the $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. I), while Cupid returns in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes June 11 at Belmont Park.
Claire Novak recaps a busy morning at Belmont Park, including a 4-furlong work for Governor Malibu, and track activities for Creator, Lani, Suddenbreakingnews, Trojan Nation, Brody's Cause, Cherry Wine, Stradivari, Destin, and more.
Keith Desormeaux talks with media on the morning of June 9. The Preakness (gr. I)-winning trainer talked about his Belmont Stakes (gr. I) chances.
Cash is King's Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Cathryn Sophia will make her first appearance since that career-high victory when she takes on Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) winner Go Maggie Go in the $700,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) June 11 at Belmont.
Claire Novak reports on the news of the day including morning activities by Lani, Exaggerator, Cherry Wine and Brody's Cause.
The son of Curlin was sharp in a feel-good way after jogging two miles on the New York training track, one day following his final breeze for the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Midnight Storm lost the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) last year by a half-length, but this time he would not be denied.
Veteran Ben's Cat was upstaged by a youngster who looks to have a good future ahead of him June 4 in the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at Penn National.
The 5-year-old Bernstein mare clicked off the solid fractions that have become her trademark—splits of :12 2/5 and :24 1/5 under regular rider Julien Leparoux en route to a four-furlong time of :48 2/5 and a five-furlong gallop out in 1:01 1/5.
Vyjack—who last time out won a Keeneland allowance over the same lawn upon which his half sister, champion Tepin, has picked up three grade I wins—returns to the graded ranks June 5 in the $100,000 Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT)
Claire Novak and Ellis Starr preview the Vanity Mile (gr. I) featuring Beholder, Stellar Wind, Taris, and Finest City. Sponsored by Equibase
Fan favorite Ben’s Cat continues to excel for Hall of Famer King Leatherbury. The Blood-Horse caught up with the 10-year-old warrior and his connections in Maryland, where he dashed to his fifth Jim McKay Turf Sprint score.
Spendthrift Farm's Beholder threw down a warning to her rivals May 25 at Santa Anita Park, when she clocked a five-furlong bullet in :59 2/5 and earned the "breezing" tag rarely awarded on the South California circuit.
The 4-year-old Giant Gizmo filly upset heavy favorite I'm a Chatterbox two starts back on dirt, when she won the April 22 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland to earn her first graded score for trainer Bernie Flint.
The June 18 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park is the hopeful target for Songbird's return, if all goes well as she gears up in training. After that, owner Rick Porter said, "there's a lot of good races on the East Coast."
Claire Novak gives us updates on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Exaggerator, runner-up Cherry Wine, third-place Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor Nyquist, and more! Learn who is heading to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and when.
Claire Novak reports on Exaggerator's Preakness Stakes win trackside at Pimlico Park. Hear about Exaggerator's future plans and other Belmont Stakes probables, plus an update on Uncle Lino.
The world-famous Budwesier Clydesdales are a fixture at Pimlico for Preakness weekend. Go behind the scenes for a special look at their daily routine and on-track performance.
Lightly raced but perfectly primed for a big effort, Mike Tarp's homebred Go Maggie Go soared to her second grade II victory May 20 in the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course.
Claire Novak reports on the horses training Friday for the Preakness, including Lani, Abiding Star, Exaggerator, Uncle Lino, and Nyquist.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra handicap the Preakness Stakes. Hear wet track suggestions and why Uncle Lino or Abiding Star could prove an upset. Sponsored by Equibase
The morning of May 19 left trainer Doug O'Neill pleased with Nyquist's strong final pre-race gallop under exercise rider Jonny Garcia leading into the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Claire Novak reports the news of the day including Nyquist's activities, Collected on the track, and the arrivals of Lani and Stradivari.
Connections of the dual stakes-winning Uncle Mo colt, who is based at Parx Racing, were relieved to get the all-clear May 17 when an equine herpesvirus quarantine at the Pennsylvania track, in place since April 1, was lifted.
Centennial Farms' Unified showed a new dimension May 14 in winning the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Maryland Jockey Club president Sal Sinatra confirmed May 14 that Pimlico Race Course is prepared to take special precautions to accept the Parx-based horses, both of which never showed signs of illness during the quarantine.
His 2,000th winner came at Gulfstream Park and he was at Woodbine, but that's just another day in the life of trainer Mark Casse and his far-flung racing operation.
Claire Novak, Ellis Starr, and Tom LaMarra preview the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) featuring Governor Malibu, Unified, Decorated Soldier, and Adventist. Sponsored by Equibase
Adventist and Unified may find a tough contender in Federico Tesio runner-up Governor Malibu in the May 14 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Trainer Doug O'Neill caught an early flight back to Southern California the morning of May 8, but Reddam Racing's champion Nyquist is headed to the other coast following his May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) victory.
Claire Novak updates us on Kentucky Derby runners Gun Runner, Creator, Exaggerator and winner Nyquist as well as plans for Land Over Sea.
Claire Novak recaps Nyquist's win in Kentucky Derby 142 and shares post race details.
Champion Tepin came out to play May 7 at her home base of Churchill Downs, and trounced a field of rivals to repeat in the $300,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIT).
Kentucky Derby day Scenesetter with Claire Novak at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2016.
Claire Novak recaps Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.
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