Dan Liebman

Rethinking July

By Dan Liebman -- The Keeneland summer sale needs to be adjusted. It needs to be tweaked. Revamped. Changed. It absolutely does not need to be abandoned, as some have suggested.

Gygistar Takes Riva Ridge

Pat Day broke sharply on Gygistar, but was content to let others take the lead. He then came off the rail and went around the leaders to easily win the Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II) Saturday at Belmont Park.

Explicit Wins True North

The complexion of the True North Handicap (gr. II) changed at the start, when Summer Note, who was unbeaten in four starts and had always showed speed, hopped at the start. Yonaguska and Explicit then were the two left on the lead, and Explicit proved best in the six-furlong race.

Another Spill at Belmont; Pleasant County Dies

John Velazquez, who was involved in a spill on Friday, was involved in another on Saturday at Belmont Park. Velazquez took off his first three mounts Saturday, then in his first mount back, fell aboard Imadeed as the horses hit the three-sixteenths pole in the Belmont Stakes Day fourth race, the WNBC.

Acorn Stakes is All About You

You led every step of the way to easily win the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) Friday at Belmont Park. Under Jerry Bailey, You was under pressure until they turned for home in the one-turn mile race, but she then spurted away and coasted home as much the best.

Whywhywhy Wins Flash; Spill Claims Renegade Warrior

Whywhywhy won the Flash Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Friday, a race marred by a spill in which Renegade Warrior apparently broke down, and then Windsor Lodge fell over him. Both jockeys, Ramon Dominguez on Renegade Warrior and John Velazquez aboard Windsor Lodge, were conscious and walking after the horrific episode.

Wiseman's Ferry Not One Dimensional

With a persistent light rain falling Friday morning, trainer Niall O'Callaghan found a dry, warm spot to talk to the press -- inside the track kitchen. But the same question kept coming up: Is his Wiseman's Ferry the key to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I)?

Misplaced Bonus

By Dan Liebman -- There is a controversy over the $1-million bonus Sportsman's Park offered to a horse sweeping the track's Illinois Derby (gr. II) and one of the Triple Crown races. But no matter into whose account that million bucks goes, there is one place it should not have already gone--into the purse of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

War Emblem Comes from 'School of Hard Nucks'

This Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner doesn't come from the school of hard knocks; he comes from the school of hard nucks. War Emblem was bred and raised at Nuckols Farm near Midway, Ky., an operation headed by one of the last true Kentucky hardboots, Charlie Nuckols.

Squirtle Squirt Sprints to Eclipse Award

The racetrack is the great equalizer. Breeders' Cup Day 2001 hammered home that point. On racing's biggest day, not only did some of the game's heaviest hitters--like Sheikh Mohammed, Juddmonte Farms, and members of the Coolmore group--win races, but so, too, did David Lanzman.

Keeneland Cataloguing More 2-Year-Olds

Keeneland expects to catalogue about 50 more horses this year for its April auction of 2-year-olds in training. The sale is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, a dark day during the Keeneland spring race meet.

What Rules?

By Dan Liebman -- The old saying is, "Rules are made to be broken." What about a case where there are no rules? One example is the voting process for Thoroughbred racing's champions.

Texas Board Rescinds Accreditation of Chauffe Au Rouge

The board of directors of the Texas Thoroughbred Association rescinded the accreditation of Texas-bred Chauffe Au Rouge after a lengthy hearing Jan. 18. The vote was 10-4. The move would appear to begin the process of releasing two stakes purses for Texas-accredited horses which have been held in escrow since Chauffe Au Rouge won them last year.

Forest Camp to Stand at Airdrie Stud

Forest Camp, a top 2-year-old of 1999, has been retired and will stand in 2002 at Brereton C. Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky. Forest Camp, by Deputy Minister -- La Paz, by Hold Your Peace, will stand for $10,000.

Batting for Average

By Dan Liebman -- With today's emphasis on the commercial market, large books of mares, and shuttling, it is highly unlikely we shall ever see another stallion sire 20% stakes winners.

Make Them Talk

By Dan Liebman -- On Oct. 27 at Belmont Park, there was a media press conference following each of the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races. After three of the races, the winning trainer did not show up.

Sprint Story: A Squirt of Success

One day last fall, David Lanzman picked up the phone and rang Bobby Frankel to see if he would discuss taking a horse for him. It was 7 a.m. Frankel told him to swing by the barn between 9:15 and 9:30 and hung up.

Hero in a Bridle

By Dan Liebman -- Who can say why we are more attracted to certain horses. I watched the replay of the 1990 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Over and over. I fell in love with this horse.

Officer Displaced Palate in Juvenile Loss to Johannesburg

Say what's the word? Well at Belmont Park on Saturday, it was Johannesburg, who remained unbeaten when he won the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Down to defeat went the Bob Baffert-trained Officer, who was on the rail in striking position but could not handle the pressure. Later, Baffert said Officer shut down after displacing his palate.

Godolphin One-Two in Juvenile Fillies

Eoin Harty, who was hired by Sheikh Mohammed to train 2-year-olds in this country to try and win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), may eventually accomplish that, but Saturday he showcased fillies, running one-two in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Tempera and Imperial Gesture.

Godolphin One-Two in Juvenile Fillies

Eoin Harty, who was hired by Sheikh Mohammed to train 2-year-olds in this country to try and win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), may eventually accomplish that, but Saturday he showcased fillies, running one-two in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Tempera and Imperial Gesture.

Unbridled Elaine Wins Distaff; Exogenous Injured

A pall was cast on the 18th Breeders' Cup before it could even start when Exogenous flipped, got her foot caught in the winner's circle rail, and eventually had to be sedated and removed from the tunnel leading to the racetrack.

Interest in Guided Tour Sold to Buckram Oak Farm

A major interest in Guided Tour, who runs in Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), has been purchased by Buckram Oak Farm. The 5-year-old horse has been owned by a group led by majority partner Morton Fink of Chicago. He will be listed in the program on Saturday as owned by Buckram Oak and Fink and run in Fink's colors.

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