Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) winner Five Star Day will make his first career start on turf Friday in the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park. Earlier on the card, Euro Empire and Word Puzzle will go to post as the co-highweights in the $200,000 Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Breeders' Cup Distaff runner-up Surfside will face males, including Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes runner-up Aptitude, in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) Friday at Churchill Downs.
The stakes schedule for Arlington Park's 2001 meet was announced Wednesday and features many changes from the 2000 stakes calendar at the Chicago-area track, including a drastic cut in the purse for the Arlington Million (gr. IT). The Million was run for a purse of $2 million for the first time in 2000, the track's first meet since 1997, but will return to its original purse of $1 million next year.
Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner War Chant will not start in Sunday's Early Times Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park and will be retired to enter stud beginning next year, owner-breeder Irving Cowan confirmed Wednesday.
Racing and breeding news and information.
Always Fair, who is represented by 11 stakes winners, will stand next breeding season at Joe and Anne McMahon's McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds near Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
War Chant, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile and Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile in his only two grass outings, remains fit and ready for a possible final start in Sunday's $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby before retirement to stud. Trainer Neil Drysdale said Tuesday morning that owner-breeder Irving Cowan has not advised him of any decision as to whether War Chant, who worked seven furlongs here Sunday, would run.
Six stakes races, with purses totaling more than $1 million, will be featured during Aqueduct's annual Holidayfest Weekend, which runs from Thanksgiving Day, Thursday through Sunday. The weekend is the highlight of the Aqueduct fall meeting. Among the highlights will be Saturday's Cigar Mile and the Fall Highweight Handicap on Thanksgiving Day.
The Thoroughbred Corp's Spain is a prime example of what a difference a few weeks can make in the world of horse racing. The 3-year-old filly scored one of the biggest upsets of the racing year when she won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at odds of 56-1, but now it will be a shock -- although a milder one -- if she fails to defeat six rivals in Thursday's $250,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
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