In an "old school" move, trainer Gary Stute sent out his Papa Clem for a three-furlong blowout at Churchill Downs two days before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, the son of Smart Strike threw down a :34 clocking.
I Want Revenge, runaway winner of the Gotham Stakes (gr. I) and a determined victor in the April 4 Wood Memorial (gr. I), has been made the 3-1 morning line favorite for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The son of Stephen Got Even will break from post 13 in a full field of 20.
Owner Vic Carlson leaned against the wall of Barn 41 April 29 at Churchill Downs waiting for his Musket Man to head to the track for his morning gallop. The one-time high school athletic director turned money-machine magnate has been to the Kentucky Derby before, but not with some skin in the game.
Win Willy, fourth-place finisher in the Arkansas Derby, was declared out of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) by trainer Mac Robertson the morning of April 29, hours before entries were to be taken.
Quality Road, who figured to be among the top choices for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will not start in the Run for the Roses, it was confirmed Monday morning by Chris Baker, farm manager of Edward Evans' Spring Hill Farm. Jockey John Velazquez will now ride Mr. Hot Stuff.
Fans entering Gate 1 at Churchill Downs may have their breath taken away when they arrive for the races Kentucky Derby week following the unveiling of life-sized statue of Barbaro April 26. The event drew a "Friends of Barbaro" crowd of about 500 who cheered with approval when the tarp was pulled off the sculpture.
Square Eddie, a top 2-year-old last year who has been playing catch up for most of his early sophomore campaign, worked a half-mile April 26 at Churchill Downs in :50 1/5. Third last time out in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), Square Eddie got in his final workout prior to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Gary Stute went "old school" April 25 at Churchill Downs, working his Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Papa Clem seven furlongs in 1:29 1/5. The trainer, the son and nephew of the legendary training brothers of Mel and Warren Stute (respectively), may give his colt a quarter-mile blowout a day or two before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
George and Lori Hall's West Side Bernie got a tour of Churchill Downs' main track April 25, and drilled a half-mile in an easy :48 1/5. Trainer Kelly John Breen gave rider Stewart Elliott a leg up on the son of Bernstein just after the track reopened at 8:30 a.m. following the renovation break.
Summer Bird worked six furlongs in 1:15 4/5 the morning of April 24 at Churchill Downs in preparation for a run at the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Big City Man, a Florida-bred son of Northern Afleet owned by Prince Sultan Mohd Saud al Kabeer, held off the 4-year-old filly Indian Blessing in the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) March 28 at Nad Al Sheba.
He had to work a little harder than the typical 2-5 shot has to, but Old Fashioned pulled clear late and came out on top in his 2009 debut Feb. 16 with a 3 1/4-length victory over a stubborn Silver City in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
The field that has passed the entry box for the Feb. 7 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) makes for an intriguing handicapping puzzle. The cast, which is about evenly split with horses making their first start off a layoff and those with some recent Fair Grounds experience, is long on back class, but a bit light on early pace.
Every so often a juvenile filly comes along that just dominates her competition, and Stardom Bound did just that in 2008. What makes her accomplishments even more dramatic is she was able to inhale her rivals with hold-your-breath, last-to-first moves.
Following a trend from stallion farms that began soon after the last hammer fell at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm announced Dec. 8 a number of stallions will have their stud fees reduced for the 2009 breeding season.
The Hollywood Turf Festival offers something for everyone over the long holiday weekend, and sprinters get their chance Nov. 29 in the $150,000 Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT) at six furlongs.
A soggy, grey Veteran's Day greeted buyers and sellers at Keeneland Tuesday, and the day's business at the breeding stock sale, while down, was actually a tad brighter than most during the 15-day auction.
Three Chimneys Farm announced their 2009 stud fees Oct. 31, and dual classic winner Big Brown will stand his first season for $65,000.
European challengers Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator plus U.S. contender Tiago defeat fourth-placed Curlin. Despite a big move by Curlin at the top of the stretch that put him on the lead, Raven's Pass roared past him on the outside. Meanwhile, Henrythenavigator came along the rail to take second.
There's a certain feeling of deja vu around Barn 38 on the backstretch of Santa Anita Park. If Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner Tom VanMeter II have the funny feeling they've been here before, they're right.
Put together by Kelly Colliver, the 26-member strong Livin the Dream partnership group owns one horse in training. That horse is Dream Empress, who figures to be a strong contender for Friday's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Curlin, the heavy favorite at 7-5 in the Breeders' Cup Classic, drew post nine against 11 other rivals. The race will be run Oct. 25.
Reprized, a full brother to 1989 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) winner and sire Prized, was euthanized Oct. 16 at Bill and Debra's Backlinie's D&B Farm near Morrison, Fla.
This year's rendition of the Bessemer Trust Juvenile Fillies is long on local-grown talent in the form of Stardom Bound.
Magna Graduate, Elisabeth Alexander's multiple graded stakes-winning son of Honor Grades, will stand at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington upon the completion of his racing career, it was announced Oct. 10.
Mani Bhavan, a clear-cut winner of the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga last time out, cuts an imposing figure over a cast of six other 2-year-old fillies entered for the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 3 at Keeneland.
The first three finishers of the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) have passed the entry box for the Sept. 27 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I). The two-turn, $250,000 race for 2-year-old fillies at the Oak Tree meeting figures to be a key prep for next month's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Selling yearlings at the Keeneland September sale got a lot tougher during Friday's session in Lexington, as all major indices fell hard against previous year's figures.
Grade I winner Circular Quay, a 4-year-old son of leading sire Thunder Gulch, has been retired from racing and will stand the 2009 breeding season at Brent and Crystal Fernung's Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla.
War Pass, last year's unbeaten champion 2-year-old male and multiple grade I winner who was injured in April of this year, has been retired to stud to William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Gustav Schickedanz's homebred Marlang, winner of the 12-furlong Breeders' Stakes (Can-IRT) in his last effort, offers plenty of intrigue as he takes on seven rivals in the Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) Aug. 31 at Saratoga.
Keeneland and HOK Sports held an open forum the evening of Aug. 25 to discuss the association's "master plan" initiative that was announced last month. Between 100 and 150 local citizens attended the meeting.
Brookdale Farm announced Aug. 22 the death of its stallion Forest Wildcat. The graded stakes-winning son of Storm Cat died the evening of Aug. 21 at Rood & Riddle Equine Clinic near Lexington. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
Dream Rush, caught by Looky Yonder in the stretch during the Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont May 25 at 4-5, figures to to be the one beat again Saturday in her second start off a layoff in the six-furlong Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) at Calder Race Course.
Einstein, with a pair of grade I wins on the turf and a gallant second to reigning Horse of the Year Curlin under his belt so far this year, will be a short price Friday in the one-mile Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
Pyro's form of old returned June 14 at Churchill Downs as the son of Pulpit powered to a 1 3/4-length win over five fellow 3-year-olds in the Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III). The Steve Asmussen-trained colt covered the 1 1/16 miles of the $190,925 race in 1:43.53.
Pure Clan, who was last seen finishing third to Proud Spell and Little Belle May 2 in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), bounced back with an impressive victory June 14 in the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.
Zaftig roared past last year's 2-year-old champion Indian Blessing to pull away to a 4 1/2-length win in the $250,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont Park, nabbing her second consecutive score this season.
Juddmonte Farms' Ventura sat patiently off the pace, slipped through along the hedge at the head of the lane and pulled clear to win the $400,000 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) June 7 at Belmont Park. The victory came by three-quarters of a length over a fast-closing Lady of Venice. Time for the one-mile race over a "firm" Widener Turf Course was 1:32.75.
As of early Friday evening, Casino Drive remains in the 10-horse field for Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
Triple Crown contender Big Brown was installed the 2-5 morning line favorite and drew the rail in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Clever Bertie, the Klein family's blue hen mare, was euthanized the morning of May 30 at Fred and Nancy Mitchell's Clarkland Farm near Lexington due to complications from arthritic conditions. The dam of two homebred graded stakes winners was 17.
The jury is still out on Tomcito, but following throat surgery to correct a breathing problem, he might get another shot at stardom - and Big Brown - in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I)
With his huge Preakness Stakes (gr. I) win in his rear-view mirror, Big Brown left Baltimore Monday morning right at 10 a.m. to head to New York and his date with destiny in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
In a performance that was more like a coronation than a Thoroughbred horse race, Big Brown crushed his 11 rivals in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course Saturday afternoon by 5 1/4 lengths
Favored Roman Emperor charged to the lead on the turn, dueled with Da' Tara down the lane, then won the Barbaro Stakes for 3-year-olds May 17 at Pimlico.
Ben McElroy's Roshani, the 6-5 favorite in a five-horse field, held off Lady Digby to win the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length at Pimlico.
At a news conference held in the press box at Pimlico Race Course May 16, a check for $500,000 was presented by NetJets to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. On hand at the event were jockeys John Velazquez, chairman of the Jockeys' Guild; top rider Edgar Prado; disabled rider Jackie Fires; and Alex Waldrop, president of NTRA Charities.
Behindatthebar has been scratched from Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), according to a Maryland Jockey Club official.
The Alibi Breakfast is underway. A Preakness tradition, the Maryland Jockey Club offers a big spread of breakfast delights, plenty of juice and coffee, and a Black-Eyed Susan, if you're so inclined.
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