Every morning D. Wayne Lukas sends the first set out over the Arkansas oval, their hooves sinking softly in the freshly harrowed ground. On March 14, he supervised Rebel contender Strong Mandate and champion Will Take Charge.
Rebel Stakes (gr.II) contender Hoppertunity gets a bath at Oaklawn with Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes on the shank after training March 14. Watch Video
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer confirmed March 13 that 2-year-old champion male Shared Belief will not contest the Blue Grass Stakes in one month and is off the Kentucky Derby trail.
Claire Novak and Frank Angst preview the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park featuring Tapiture and Strong Mandate. Watch Video
Homebred Tapiture looks to continue his journey to the Kentucky Derby when he takes on two he beat in the Southwest Stakes along with California invaders, among others, in the March 15 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn.
Don't Tell Sophia has sailed through the early part of 2014, but faces a stout test March 15 in the $200,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) against multiple grade I winner Close Hatches, On Fire Baby, and Flashy American.
Remsen Stakes winner Honor Code was defeated by Social Inclusion March 12 at Gulfstream Park as the speedster drew away to a 10-length victory in track record fashion.
Sign, winner of the 2012 Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, was distanced March 12 in her return to the races at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots after a lengthy layoff.
Stallion business growing at Leigh Ann and Kerry Hopper's RichWine Farm. read blog
Argentinian import Winning Prize streaked gate-to-wire in the $350,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park March 8, securing his first grade I score in the U.S.
St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds' Ring Weekend sprang a 14-1 upset of the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) March 8 at Tampa Bay Downs, well clear of Vinceremos in an impressively speedy gate-to-wire score.
Pin Oak Stud's homebred Cloud Scapes carried on in the $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 8 at Tampa Bay Downs, edging Waterway Run to earn her third straight victory at the Florida oval.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Riposte heads a field of nine in pursuit of her first graded stakes victory stateside in the $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 8 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Bayern, an impressive 15-length allowance winner last time out for trainer Bob Baffert, will miss the March 8 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park due to a bruised quarter.
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the highly anticipated Santa Anita Handicap and the Kentucky Derby contenders in the San Felipe Stakes. watch video
Reddam Racing's FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) winner Bond Holder has been taken to an Ocala clinic for 24-hour monitoring, trainer Doug O'Neill said March 6.
Conquest Titan was runner-up to Cairo Prince in the Holy Bull, while Vinceremos won the local prep for the March 8 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II).
Palace Malice and Itsmyluckyday were among the best of the 3-year-old crop in 2013. On March 8, the two return for the first time in 2014 as part of an eight-horse field set to go in the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Undefeated Samraat edged Uncle Sigh March 1 at Aqueduct Racetrack to secure a $500,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. II) victory by a neck; pacesetter In Trouble hung tough another neck back for third.
"It is a big jump and I think it says a lot about his quality," trainer Todd Pletcher said of Gala Award's grass win. "I'm not going to rule out something like the dirt or the Blue Grass (gr. I)."
Strapping Groom rallied in deep stretch to claim the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack, his first graded stakes score since a 15-1 upset in the Forego Stakes (gr. I) last summer.
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the talented field of the Gotham Stakes. A Kentucky Derby points race with serious contenders, it includes a rematch of Uncle Sigh and Samraat. watch video
- By Claire Novak
I've been a proponent of longform since day one, and I'm happy to play a role in our efforts to tell some of the great stories in racing using cutting-edge presentation methods. read blog
Trainer Jeremiah Englehart and owner Ron Paolucci have parted ways over Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Ria Antonia. The filly will be sent to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Sophomore son of Stormy Atlantic has won four of five starts for trainer Chad Brown, including a wire-to-wire season debut by a head over grade I winner We Miss Artie in the Jan. 19 Kitten's Joy Stakes.
Morton Fink's two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan got back to work Feb. 24 at Keeneland, recording his first published breeze of 2014 under regular rider Damien Rock.
Stonestreet's Teen Pauline seeks her first graded stakes score and third straight stakes win March 1 at Aqueduct, when she takes on a small but salty field of fillies and mares in the $200,000 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II).
Starlight Racing's Intense Holiday finally got his graded score, and did so with a thrilling late run in the Feb. 22 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Add another to the list of impressive Tapit homebreds campaigned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and trained by Steve Asmussen this season; Untapable won the Feb. 22 Rachel Alexandra (gr. III) by 9 1/2 lengths.
My Wandy's Girl missed taking last year's edition of the Barbara Fritchie (gr. II) by three-quarters of a length at Laurel Park, but this season she would not be denied.
What makes a man take a longshot gamble, and how often can he expect to be on the winning end? In a restaurant on Bourbon Street, Ron Paolucci contemplated this question. "That's how you hit the home runs," he said.
Frank Stronach's Adena Springs has purchased an interest from Dean and Patti Reeves in multiple grade I winner Mucho Macho Man, who will continue to be trained by Kathy Ritvo.
Vicar's in Trouble, dominant 6 3/4-length hero of the Jan. 18 LeComte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, drew a tough outside post in an overflow field entered for the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 22.
With Cairo Prince and Honor Code sitting out the next leg of the Florida sophomore series on the road to the Kentucky Derby, the Feb. 22 Fountain of Youth attracted a strong 13-horse field led by Top Billing.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak talks with trainer Charlie LoPresti about Reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan.Wise Dan will seek to defend his title in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov 2. Watch Video
Claire Novak and Frank Angst hope to continue their winning streak this weekend with two key Kentucky Derby prep races, the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes and Risen Star Stakes. watch video
Adjudged Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Ria Antonia will make her season debut against the likes of Streaming and Untapable Feb. 22 in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds.
Ron Winchell's homebred Tapiture made his season debut a stirring one Feb. 17 when he galloped to a 4 1/4-length victory over Strong Mandate in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Multiple grade I winner Ron the Greek, racing in Saudi Arabia under the name Wattani, continued his success with a powerful victory Feb. 15 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh.
Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Strong Mandate returns to action for the first time since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 17 at Oaklawn Park.
Multiple graded stakes winner Fiftyshadesofhay heads a field of seven older females entered for the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (gr. II) on Feb. 15 at Santa Anita Park, seeking her first win of 2014.
Newtown Anner Stud and Joseph Bulger's Falling Sky won for the first time since the 2013 Sam F. Davis (gr. III), upsetting the Feb. 8 Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (gr. III) just over a year after his last triumph.
Will Take Charge will be on his way to becoming a handicap star if he aces this test as the 123-pound highweight. Runners to face him Feb. 9 include Revolutionary, Lea, River Seven, Uncaptured, and Bourbon Courage.
Claire Novak and Frank Angst take another look at Kentucky Derby contenders in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes this weekend. Can Candy Boy hold up to Midnight Hawk? watch video
Agreement announced Feb. 5 seen as critical step in "a long-term business model designed to enhance racing in Brazil," Codere Brazil managing director Andre Gelfi said.
Multiple grade I winner Jackson Bend heads a field of 11 as part of a one-two punch for trainer Stanley Gold in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (gr. III); Gold also has 2013 winner Fort Loudon in the Feb. 8 race.
Bloodhorse.com joins the longform revolution with this behind-the-scenes look at neonatal care. "A chilling rain fell when the mare was led to surgery...In the final moments between life and the unknown, all was well." Read more
Honors Stable Corporation's Wildcat Red turned in a sparkling performance Feb. 1 at Gulfstream Park, taking the $200,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) over eight other 3-year-olds in dominant fashion.
Two New York-breds stood out in a six-horse field heading into the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack, and those two put on quite a show with undefeated Samraat prevailing in the end.
Multiple grade I winner Executiveprivilege has been retired and will be bred to Hill 'n' Dale stallion Midnight Lute, co-owner Mike Pegram confirmed Jan. 31.
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