Prayer for Relief ran down front-running Rush Now by a half-length Aug. 6 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort to win the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II).
Jason Shandler takes a look at the Whitney and other weekend stakes. read blog
Fresh off her narrow win in the A Gleam Handicap (gr. II), California shipper Irish Gypsy tries New York racing for the first time when she faces four rivals in the $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. II) Aug. 7 at Saratoga
Led by impressive True North Handicap (gr. II) winner Trappe Shot, eight older sprinters will try to catapult to the top of the sprint standings in the $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap Aug. 7 at Saratoga.
The handicap division has taken its lumps this year for not being especially deep, but its competitive nature has led to one of the more intriguing recent editions of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I), which drew 11.
California invaders Prayer for Relief and Dreamy Kid, both recent graded stakes winners, headline a field of 10 in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) Aug. 6 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Killer Graces, winner of consecutive stakes at Hollywood Park, leads a field of eight juvenile fillies for the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 5 at Del Mar.
The son of Candy Ride should only get better under Pletcher. read blog
Favored Ben's Cat notched his third stakes win of the season July 30 when he caught pacesetter Cardashi by a neck in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap July 30 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National
Stay Thirsty finally grabbed his breakthrough win July 30 at Saratoga when he turned in a dominating performance in the $500,000 Jim Dandy (gr. II).
Making his first start in nearly four months, Live Oak Plantation's To Honor and Serve returns in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) Monday, Aug. 1, at Saratoga.
On July 31 at Monmouth Park, Shackleford will try to stamp himself as the division leader when he leads a field of eight in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I).
Locally-based Get Serious has been off form this season but will try to get back to his winning ways when he goes for his third straight victory in the $200,000 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 31 at Monmouth Park.
Aviate and Aruna, who ran one-two at Churchill Downs earlier this year, will square off again in a competitive edition of the $500,000 Diana (gr. IT) July 30 at Saratoga.
Alternation leads a field of seven in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) and will face the rapidly improving Dominus as well as Belmont Stakes (gr. I) second and third-place finishers Stay Thirsty and Brilliant Speed.
Bourbon Bay, a four-time graded stakes winner in California, looks to get back on track when he leads a field of eight in the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) July 29 at Del Mar.
Both Shackleford and Ruler On Ice will have a big chance to jump to the top of the 3-year-old division July 31 when they headline the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
Two-time graded stakes winner The Factor, sidelined since May with an ankle injury, returned with his first breeze July 26 at Del Mar.
Godolphin Racing's It's Tricky recorded her second straight grade I victory when she outdueled Plum Pretty and defeated an all-star cast in the $250,000 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks July 23 at Saratoga.
Jackson Bend slipped through an opening along the rail at the top of the stretch en route to his first win since October 2009 in the $78,000 James Marvin Stakes on opening day at Saratoga July 22.
Acclamation could jump to top of class in distance turf division. read blog
Sarah's Secret, undefeated in four starts so far, leads a field of 10 sophomore fillies in the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) July 24 at Del Mar.
Todd Pletcher, who has won three of the last seven editions of the Sanford (gr. II), will have another strong chance when he sends out impressive maiden winner Overdriven July 24 at Saratoga.
Seven-year-old Windward Islands, who recorded his biggest win in the 2010 Nijinsky (Can-IIT), is back for another try when he faces five others in the July 24 race at Woodbine.
It drew a short field, but the $250,000 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 23 at Saratoga features five of the best 3-year-old fillies in the nation in a race that could go a long way in deciding divisional honors.
The $100,000 Schuylerville (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies is the feature on opening day of the 40-day Saratoga meet, but the ungraded James Marvin Stakes for older sprinters is the race that has everyone taking notice.
Shadwell Stable's Tajaaweed broke a seven-race losing streak and earned his first stakes win in the United States July 9 when taking over in upper stretch and scoring the $150,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT).
European invader Cape Blanco, making his United States debut, denied champion Gio Ponti a third straight victory in the $600,000 Man o' War (gr. IT) when he held him off in the stretch to win by about two lengths July 9.
Indiano, last year's champion 2-year-old in Panama, earned his first U.S. graded stakes victory with a decisive win in the Carry Back (gr. II) July 9 at Calder. One race earlier, Devilish Lady captured the Azalea Stakes.
Robert Scarborough's Cheetah came from the back of the pack and used an inside stretch move to score the $202,450 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 9 at Delaware Park.
Hollywood Gold Cup is chance to stamp himself as division leader. read blog
Juniper Pass, winner of consecutive grade II races in California, tops a field of 10 in the $150,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 9 at Arlington Park.
Two-time reigning turf champion Gio Ponti still has a chance to remain one of the division leaders and he can do that while attempting to make history in the $600,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) July 9 at Belmont Park.
A two-time group I winner and Horse of the Year in her native Brazil, Celtic Princess finally notched her first stakes win in the United States in her sixth try, handily taking the Royal Heroine Mile (gr. IIT) July 4.
Making his first start on turf in his 10th time out. Morton Fink's homebred Wise Dan made a powerful stretch move en route to a 2 3/4-length win in the $203,000 Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) July 4 at Churchill Downs.
Well beaten in her last two tries, Bobby Flay's Her Smile became a grade I winner July 4 when she rallied from last to score in the $250,000 Prioress Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
Exfactor circled the field on the turn, took over at the top of the stretch, and ran away to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $111,500 Bashford Manor (gr. III), the first graded race for 2-year-olds males this season July 2.
The longest shot on the board in a field of six, Flat Out swept by everyone at the eighth-pole and rolled through the stretch to score the $300,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) by 6 1/2 lengths July 2 at Belmont.
Winless since August, 2009 and dismissed at 15-1 against an accomplished field, Kensei sprung a big upset in the $200,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) when he came from off the pace under Edgar Prado to win July 2 at Monmouth Park
Beaten in the final jump during his stakes debut in his last start, Dominus was not to be caught this time, as he took the field wire-to-wire to win the $150,000 Dwyer (gr. II) July 2 at Belmont Park.
Alienation, who made an eye-catching return in her season debut last month, will shoot for her first stakes win in the $250,000 Prioress (gr. I) July 4 at Belmont Park.
General Quarters, who scored the biggest turf win of his career last year at Churchill Downs, returns as the 119-pound high weight in the $175,000 Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day of the 38-day spring meet.
The Futurity and Matron (both gr. II), previously held during the fall, both make their reappearance July 3 at Belmont Park after a one-year hiatus. The Futurity drew a field of six, while the Matron attracted seven.
The improving Adios Charlie will be one of the favorites to take the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park, as he will meet six sophomore rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Colizeo looks to be lone speed in the $300,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) and the son of Distorted Humor will try to take advantage to pick up his first graded stakes of the season when he meets five others July 2 at Belmont.
Texas-bred Lil Cherokee, undefeated in two starts at Lone Star Park, leads a field of 11 in the $100,000 Bashford Manor (gr. III) for 2-year-olds July 2 at Churchill Downs.
After examining a second set of X-rays, it was determined that the leg injury suffered by Animal Kingdom was more serious than initially thought and he will not race again this season.
Mark Casse, who won the Dominion Day Handicap (Can-III) a year ago with Marchfield, will have two more chances in the latest edition of the $200,000 race when a field of 11 lines up July 1 at Woodbine.
Jason Shandler provides updates on all 3YOs that won graded stakes this season. read blog
The longest shot on the board at 17-1, Barry L. King's Flashy Lassie came from off the pace to collar Five Star Momma in the late going to take the $109,300 Debutante (gr. III) June 25 at Churchill Downs.
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