After a somewhat disappointing Triple Crown campaign, Wicked Strong started the second half of his sophomore season in fine style, defeating Tonalist in the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) July 26 at Saratoga.
The $100,000 Cougar II Stakes (gr. III) may have been a marathon, but it was over in a hurry after Irish Surf took command and never received a challenge the evening of July 25 at Del Mar.
With half the field likely to be gunning for the lead, the set-up seems ideal for the confirmed closing mare Ageless in the $150,000 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT) on the Woodbine turf July 27.
Dual grade I winner Goldencents returns to Del Mar to face recent Triple Bend (gr. I) winner Declassify in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) July 26, a race the Doug O'Neill trainee was second in last year.
With the unfortunate morning training death of pre-race favorite Dance With Fate, Frac Daddy, a two-time stakes winner in 2014, is now the likely choice in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) July 26 at Del Mar.
Tom's Tribute became a grade I winner July 20 when he held even-money favorite Summer Front safe through the homestretch to register a 1 1/4-length victory in the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes on the Del Mar turf.
Even-money choice Pirate's Trove was all out to stave off an upset-minded Cactus Kid in the $116,451 Duchess Stakes by a nose July 20 at rainy Woodbine to remain unbeaten in two starts.
Guided through a smooth trip by Rafael Bejarano, Istanford led every step of the way at 10-1 odds to dominate the $200,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) on the renovated turf course at Del Mar July 19.
A Little Bit Sassy, winner of the Edgewood Stakes but disqualified from victory in the Regret (gr. IIIT) last time out, returns in the $200,000 Lake George Stakes (gr. IIT) as the second week of racing begins at Saratoga.
Back home at rainy Woodbine, Canadian Horse of the Year Up With the Birds found his missing explosive kick to win the $220,229 Nijinsky Stakes (gr. IIT) going away July 19 on the turf.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens' damaged right knee is worse than originally thought and will require complete replacement, complicating his plans for a later comeback.
Making his first start in stakes company, front-running Tourist put away Storming Inti rounding the turn for home and spurted clear in the stretch to take the $100,000 Sir Cat Stakes on opening day at Saratoga July 18.
Los Alamitos Race Course received passing marks for its two-week Thoroughbred meet that ended July 13, but a track official conceded that there was room for improvement.
Last at the top of the stretch, favored Enterprising unleashed a torrid closing kick on the far outside to win the $116,700 Oceanside Stakes on the opening day of the 2014 summer meet at Del Mar.
Unsuccessful in six previous tries at the grade I level, Summer Front is well-positioned to break through as part of a small field in the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes, the first top-level race of the Del Mar season July 20.
Live Oak Plantation's Florida Won, a $385,000 yearling trained by Mark Casse, seeks his first stakes win against an expected five rivals in the $125,000 Toronto Cup Stakes at Woodbine July 20 on the turf.
Dual group III winner Sandiva, last seen finishing fifth in the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot one month ago, makes her first United States start in the $200,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) July 19 at Del Mar.
After two subpar efforts to begin the season, Canadian Horse of the Year Up With the Birds returns to his home track at Woodbine with a chance to make amends in the $200,000 Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) on the turf July 19.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club kicks off its 75th season of racing a day later than usual July 17 with a new, wider turf course and plenty of full fields.
Improving Unspurned made every pole a winning one to post a 2 1/4-length win in the $232,875 Bison City Stakes, the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine July 13.
Leading Prairie Meadows jockey David Mello landed his 1,000th lifetime victory the evening of July 12 when he guided Voodooville to a three-length victory in the fourth race at the Altoona, Iowa, track.
Making her second start of the year, Doinghardtimeagain returned to winning form with a perfect stalking trip for jockey Mike Smith in the $200,000 Great Lady M. Stakes (gr. II) July 12 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
The Pizza Man almost always delivers, and he did so again in a front-running half-length tally in the marathon Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) for his first graded stakes win July 12 on the Arlington International turf.
Hangover Kid, surging along the inside, produced a head-bobbing victory over odds-on Grandeur in the $200,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT), the 6-year-old's first graded stakes score July 12 at Belmont Park.
The irrepressible Ben's Cat came from off the pace with a big rush on the outside to register his third consecutive win in the $200,000 Parx Dash Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf at the Pennsylvania track July 12.
Dual classic winner California Chrome is due to return to his Los Alamitos stable July 17, two weeks earlier than expected. His first start back could come at his home track Sept. 20, said trainer Art Sherman.
Six-time Sovereign Award-winning trainer Mark Casse earned his first victory in the $1 million Queen's Plate, Canada's most famous race, when his filly Lexie Lou came from off the pace to score by 1 1/2 lengths at Woodbine.
Favored Something Extra proved a popular front-running winner of the Highlander Stakes (Can-IIT) July 6 on the Woodbine turf course, defeating champion Canadian sprinter Phil's Dream with Eurico Rosa Da Silva aboard.
Trainer Malcolm Pierce accounted for the exacta in the $197,502 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-II) when Overheard nipped favored Deceptive Vision in a terrific finish July 6 on the Woodbine turf.
Having passed his first stakes test of 2014 with flying colors, juvenile champion Shared Belief is ready for his next challenge against older horses in the $1 million Pacific Classic, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said July 6.
Unbeaten Shared Belief, last year's 2-year-old juvenile champion, answered the dirt question with an emphatic 4 1/4-length win in the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) July 5 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Mr Speaker, ignored at odds of 23-1, charged along the inside to overtake favored Adelaide by a head for a major upset in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational (gr. IT) on the inner turf course July 5 at Belmont Park.
Front-running Sayaad, making his first appearance in more than eight months, drew away from favored Kharafa in the stretch to capture the $147,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes on a yielding turf July 4 at Belmont Park.
Something Extra, whose theft effort came up just shy last time out in the Connaught Cup (Can-IIT), shortens up a bit in distance for his return to the Woodbine turf in the $200,000 Highlander Stakes (gr. IIT) July 6.
Lightly raced Deceptive Vision, a close third last time in her stakes debut, is the favorite among eight older fillies and mares expected to start in the $200,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT) July 6 on the Woodbine turf.
Synthetic track standout We Miss Artie will break from post 6 as the 8-5 morning line choice in a field of 15 for the $1 million Queen's Plate, Canada's most famous horse race, July 6 at Woodbine.
Favored General Jack made easy work of the $204,600 Centaur Stakes for 3-year-olds July 2 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, drawing off to a three-length victory on the turf.
Los Alamitos Race Course produced a major drawing card for the first graded stakes of its new meet when 2013 juvenile champion Shared Belief was entered for the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) to be run July 5.
Kid Cruz, overpowered in the Preakness (gr. I) this spring but a sparkling winner last time out in the Easy Goer, returns to Belmont Park in the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. III) July 5.
Maiden Enchanting Lady reversed an earlier outcome on rival Seduire in the $125,000 Landaluce Stakes as she romped to victory in her second start June 22 at Santa Anita Park.
Wake Up Nick, a 9 1/4-length debut maiden winner, ran his record to 2-for-2 with a gritty three-quarter-length victory in the $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes June 22.
Outsider Grand Arch, rallying through the long Woodbine stretch, caught favored Excaper in the final strides to register his first stakes win in the $187,759 King Edward (Can-IIT) June 22 on the turf.
Favored Heitai ran his rivals off their feet with a comfortable front-running romp in the inaugural $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint the night of June 21 at Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel.
Jojo Warrior, ridden aggressively from the rail by Martin Garcia, was a resounding gate-to-wire winner of the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) in her first start over a route of ground June 21 at Santa Anita Park.
Untested 2-year-olds take the spotlight at Santa Anita Park June 22 in a pair of $125,000 stakes events at 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track, the Santa Anita Juvenile and the Landaluce for fillies.
The California Horse Racing Board gave approval for the Los Angeles County Fair to move its three-week meet to Los Alamitos Race Course after 75 years of racing at the Pomona fairgrounds.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has entered three for the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) June 21 on the main track at Santa Anita Park, headed by three-time winner Delta Flower.
Orion Moon, who missed her first graded stakes win by a neck in the recent Beaugay Stakes (gr. IIIT), should be the one to beat in the $100,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. III) June 21 over the turf at Monmouth Park.
Graded stakes winners Gantry and Sum of the Parts head a field of 10 sprinters in the inaugural running of the $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint June 21 at Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel.
Moonshine Mullin, headed at the top of the stretch, responded to the challenge to spurt clear late and register a 10-1 upset in the $552,500 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 14 at Churchill Downs.
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