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.
Big Brown will not race past his 3-year-old year as stud plans for the Derby winner are set to be announced May 15, according to IEAH Stables' Michael Iavarone.
Derby winner Big Brown is one of 13 3-year-olds entered for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Post positions will be drawn later this afternoon.
Ahmed Zayat sent two runners to the Derby who wound up chasing Big Brown home. For the Preakness, Zayat Stables' will send out Riley Tucker, a son of Harlan's Holiday who has earned a shot.
The Pimlico Special (gr. I), a historically-significant race for older horses, returns after a year off. The 1 3/16-mile race, sponsored by the Maryland Lottery, will be run the day before the Preakness (gr. I) at "Old Hilltop."
by Evan Hammonds - Cold lies the heart of Thoroughbred racing following Eight Belles' untimely end after Kentucky Derby 134. The dark side of the toughest game in town showed itself once again on the national stage, this time in the nation's biggest race.
In a race named for Muhammed Ali's hometown, Ginger Punch delivers a knockout blow in easily taking the Louisville Stakes (gr. II) under the Twin Spires.
Yesterday, a horse named Leigh McLovin ran second in her first start in a maiden special weight. That made us think of two things: McLovin...and McLovin.
There's always plenty of hay around the backstretch of any track, so it was a little surprising when we saw a bale arriving special delivery.
The best drama in Louisville today takes place in the racing office on the backside at Churchill Downs. It's the pill pull to see what order post positions will be drawn later this afternoon in the made-for-television post position show on ESPN.
Poet T.S. Eliot labeled April "cruelest month," but it is not a bad month on stud farms for foaling winners of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). In fact, over the last eight years, April foals have won three runnings of the Derby. February, the month that gives us both Groundhog Day and Presidents Day despite being the shortest month of the year, has been responsible for five winners.
Trainer Nick Zito is holding court with a ring of media members outside his barn. The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer has two starters for Saturday's running: Cool Coal Man and Anak Naktal. Zito is talking about the subject of the year: synthetic surfaces. We have a feeling he's not a big fan.
Bob Black Jack, the runner-up to Colonel John in the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), drilled a half-mile at Churchill Downs late Monday morning in :48 3/5.
WinStar Farm's Colonel John, one of the favorites for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), solidified his status with a scintillating five-furlong bullet work over the main track at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Adriano worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday morning in preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The striking chestnut son of A.P. Indy got the distance in 1:00 4/5 under exercise rider Xavier Aizpuru.
Mike Barnes is a big LSU fan. He can't help but hide it. The exercise rider's helmet has the distinctive "LSU" logo that adorns the Tiger's football helmets. "I bleed purple and gold," the Louisiana native says. "I've been a fan since birth."
It's baaaack. Starting Sunday, April 27, and running daily through Kentucky Derby day, May 3, The Morning Line returns to bloodhorse.com. The feature, first unveiled during the 2006 run up to the Kentucky Derby, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the participants and players of Thoroughbred racing during racing's major events.
Darley Stabe's Little Belle battled back in the stretch to fend off Bsharpsonata to capture Saturday's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland by a hard-fought neck.
By Evan Hammonds - The casino bill's chances in Kentucky aren't necessarily a longshot, but aren't exactly 2-5, either.
With a strong last-to-first move in the slop at Monmouth Park, Midnight Lute stormed to a 4 3/4-length victory over the front-running Idiot Proof in the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Indian Blessing, the 8-5 favorite, led he 13-horse field on a merry chase in the $2-million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27, cruising to an easy 3 1/2-length gate-to-wire victory.
It's not surprising a Todd Pletcher-trained filly was made the favorite for the Oct. 27 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), it's just a little surprising which one.
The condition of Monmouth Park's turf course Oct. 27, with rain in the forecast for the middle part of Breeders' Cup week, is a major concern for horsemen with runners in the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Heading into uncharted territory, Monticule's homebred Prussian was made the 3-1 favorite for the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Run as the second Breeders' Cup race on the new Friday program, the $1-million race will be run at a mile Oct. 26.
Starting Monday, Oct. 22 and running through Saturday, Oct. 27, The Morning Line returns to bloodhorse.com. The feature, now in its second year, offers a colorful, behind-the-scenes look at the participants and players of the Thoroughbred industry during racing's major events.
By Evan I. Hammonds - The Triple Crown races of the spring are in the books, and the summer races at Saratoga and Monmouth have been run. The true test of sophomore runners comes in the fall, when they take on older horses for the first time.
By Evan I. Hammonds - One thing we should already know about next year's round of yearling sales is that there will be changes to the conditions of sale. The Sales Integrity Task Force has until the end of the year to come up with recommendations to the Kentucky legislature to address several issues involving the sale of horses in the Bluegrass State.
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