There wasn't much separating Macho Uno and Point Given in both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Experimental Free Handicap for males. Macho Uno held off Point Given by a nose in the Juvenile and was assigned one pound more than that rival on the Experimental. Ranked a pound below Point Given was A P Valentine, who turned in a powerful run to win the Champagne Stakes (gr. I), but then ran last in the Juvenile. Overall, nine horses were weighted at 120 pounds or more, the same number as in 1999.
Working into a stiff headwind, a colt by Valid Expectations sped a quarter mile in :21 3/5, the fastest work at the distance at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Under Tack Preview for the 2001 Sale of Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training at Calder Race Course on Feb. 6.
A silhouette rendition of the New York skyline is featured in the official logo for this year's Breeders' Cup championship day, scheduled for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The logo will be used by the national and international media outlets covering the event and will appear in Breeders' Cup advertising, promotions and on officially licensed merchandise. Belmont Park will also utilize it on all event-related materials.
Officials at Philadelphia Park announced Monday that the purse for its marquee event, the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III), would be increased from $300,000 to $500,000 for its 23rd renewal, set for Labor Day, September 3. The purse boost makes the 1-1/8 mile Pennsylvania Derby the richest race in the history of Pennsylvania horse racing.
Millionaire Menifee's first foal arrived at Cedar Point Farm near Paris, Ky., on Jan. 27.
Gander had such an impressive workout here on Saturday that trainer John Terranova II and owners Mike and Ted Gatsas have decided to run him in Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap to be run over 1 1/8 miles. Gander earned the bullet work when he went six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 handily. According to Gulfstream Park, possible Donn starters, with weights and jockeys, are: Captain Steve, 120, Jerry Bailey; Albert the Great, 119, Jorge Chavez; Pleasant Breeze, 116, (Indefinite); Sir Bear, 116, Eibar Coa; North East Bound, 116, Jose Velez Jr.' Gander, 115, John Velazquez; Rich Celebration, 112, Jose Santos; Noble Ruler, 111, Pat Day; Tempest Fugit, 111, Edgar Prado; and Vision and Verse, 114, (indefinite).
A P Valentine continues to top Steve Haskin's list of top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders, with Talk Is Money the newest addition to the list.
Talk Is Money
The cry of "Go, Big Blue" resounded throughout the New York area on Super Bowl Sunday. Although it was silenced following the New York Giants' defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, don't be surprised if it is resurrected by Gang Godolphin around the first Saturday in May. That's when Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum and his faithful followers will invade Churchill Downs bearing gifts and exuding confidence. Boxloads of Godolphin jackets, shirts, and caps will turn Churchill Downs into a sea of blue. Over the past two years, three members of Maktoum's Marauders made it to the starting gate on Derby Day, their coats shining like burnished copper. But there really wasn't a Derby horse beneath those glistening exteriors.
Regular rider Chris McCarron was up as Tiznow breezed six furlongs over a muddy Santa Anita track Saturday morning for trainer Jay Robbins. Officially Tiznow covered the six furlongs in 1:12.20 and, according to McCarron, galloped out strong, completing one mile in 1:40 as he prepped for Saturday's Strub Stakes.
In a meeting Saturday on the backstretch with a group of about 50 horsemen, Gulfstream president Scott Savin detailed Magna Entertainment Corporation's plan to create a rivalry between its flagship tracks, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita, by running a daylong series of races on each coast that would pit Florida and California horses against each other. Magna would foot the bill for 36 Gulfstream horses, each accompanied by a groom, to fly to Santa Anita for six starter allowance races, each with a purse as high as $80,000, on Feb. 25. Approximately two weeks later, the process would be reversed and Gulfstream would host California runners.
Daniel M. Borislow's Talk Is Money was tested all the way to the finish line by Marciano but prevailed in an all-out drive to win the $50,000 Miracle Wood Stakes, Saturday's co-feature at Laurel Park. In successfully negotiatiing two turns for the first time, the $1.8 million yearling purchase remained undefeated in two career starts.
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