Trainer Jimmy Jerkens had the best horse in the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (gr. I), but it wasn't the one everyone was betting on.
Alex and JoAnn Lieblong's The Big Beast jumped up from allowance company to grade I competition and did not disappoint his connections Aug. 23, winning the King's Bishop (gr. I) by a neck.
It seems hard to believe that a year has passed since eventual Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) winner Goldencents was run down by rival Fed Biz in a thrilling edition of the Pat O'Brien, but here we are at Del Mar again.
California Chrome, unlikely hero of the Triple Crown series who won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will make his return from a brief layoff in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) Sept. 20.
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Evan Hammonds handicap the exciting Travers Stakes at Saratoga this week. Will you pick the Jim Dandy Stakes winner? watch video
The Chad Brown trainee used the 2013 United Nations to propel his way to victory in back-to-back grade I races, now looks to Cliff Hanger (gr. IIIT) Aug. 24 to return to graded victory.
The $500,000 Kettle One King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) pits front-running speedster Wildcat Red against proven closer Coup de Grace, both sharing highweight assignments of 121 pounds Aug. 23 at Saratoga.
Filimbi, winner of the De La Rose Stakes over a comebacking Dayatthespa, will attempt to repeat her advantage Aug. 23 in the $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
Hardest Core, a 4-year-old Hard Spun gelding trained by Edward Graham and ridden by Eriluis Vaz, upset Arlington's biggest day at 11-1 to secure his first graded stakes score in the Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Belmont Derby (gr. IT) runner-up Adelaide charged down the center of the turf course at Arlington International Racecourse and edged away to a determined victory in the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT).
Besilu Stables' Crown Queen stepped up to graded stakes company Aug. 16 and scored a third consecutive victory when edging out longshot Duff One to win the $285,000 Knob Creek Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
Trainer Charlie LoPresti was still mulling over comeback options for Wise Dan but seemed more inclined toward deciding Aug. 16 after sending the Horse of the Year through his third dirt work at Saratoga Race Course.
- By Claire Novak
Arlington Million contender Finnegans Wake Friday morning at Arlington Park. Watch Video
- By Claire Novak
The Blood-Horse team was on location August 12, 2014 to film champion Zenyatta and her produce for an upcoming longform. watch video
Fox Hill Farms' highly regarded Cassatt muscled her way to victory Aug. 9 in the $105,000 Monmouth Oaks (gr. III) at Monmouth Park, earning her first graded stakes score and extending her winning streak to three.
Bill Cubbedge's Molly Morgan took to a class drop and eked out a victory Aug. 9 in the $100,000 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III), staving off the late run of Tapit's World to claim the Ellis Park test by a head.
Despite skipping a start in the Aug. 9 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT), two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan moved forward in his recovery from colic surgery when he worked over the main track at Saratoga that day.
Tim O'Donohue's Wallyanna kicked into second gear with a powerful late run to upset the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 8.
A well-bred group of 2-year-old fillies will face off in the $200,000 Adirondack (gr. II) at Saratoga, with 5-2 morning line favorite Angela Renee taking on Take Charge Brandi and undefeated Vivian Da Bling.
Zayat Stables' Mr. Z, runner-up by a neck last time out to Big Trouble in the Sanford Stakes (gr. III), gets a second chance at his first graded stakes win Aug. 10 in the $200,000 Toyota Saratoga Special (gr. II).
- By Claire Novak
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra give you the strategies to bet this talented field of 6 horses in the Fourstardave Handicap and potentially get a nice payout. Learn who Tom thinks is 'key' to the race. watch video
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome is expected to return to the worktab for the first time since running fourth in the Belmont Stakes when he breezes Aug. 8 at Los Alamitos Racecourse.
With Wise Dan still progressing in his comeback from May 16 colic surgery, favoritism and a highweight assignment in Saratoga's $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) go to Dale Romans trainee Silver Max.
Southern Equine Stables' 10-1 shot went wire-to-wire in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney, leaving Itsmyluckyday and Will Take Charge behind to finish in 1:48.05 on a fast track. Palace Malice, the 3-5 favorite, faded to sixth.
New York-bred Palace, formerly a $20,000 claimer, earned his first grade I victory for owner Antonino Miuccio and trainer Linda Rice in the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I) Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.
Trainer Charlie LoPresti said July 31 that two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will not make his comeback in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga, an event the 7-year-old gelding has won the past two years.
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).
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