When he left California in early January to spend the winter in Dubai, trainer Eoin Harty hinted he might split his stable when he returned in April. He confirmed that on Thursday.
In a surprise move, trainer Nick Zito has entered A P Valentine in a 1 1/16-mile race at Hialeah Saturday. It was originally planned to run the son of A.P. Indy in the Flamingo Stakes on April 7, but Zito felt it was time to find out just where the colt stood on the Kentucky Derby trail. Iin Saturday's race, A P Valentine will carry 108 pounds as he faces older horses in the optional claiming test for non-winners of two other/than. A P Valentine is one of two starters in the six horse field not running for the claiming price of $150,000.
Steve Haskin, the award-winning turf writer and senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, analyzes the top pedigrees for this year's Kentucky Derby candidates. During his 29 years with the Daily Racing Form, Haskin became known for his insightful coverage of the Triple Crown races. Haskin won the Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby writing in 1997, 1999, and 2000 and received the David Woods Award for best Preakness story in 1997.
Tracy Farmer's Albert The Great will be an odds-on favorite against six rivals in Saturday's Widener Handicap (gr. III) at Hialeah Park. Eclipse champion Jorge Chavez will be aboard Albert the Great, with the 4-year-old son of Go For Gin shouldering top weight of 120 pounds in the 1 1/8-mile event.
Dream Supreme and Country Hideaway, both daughters of multiple grade I winner Seeking The Gold, highlight the list of five fillies and mares contesting Saturday's Distaff Breeders Cup Handicap (gr. III), going seven furlongs at Aqueduct.
Virginia horsemen have two weeks to secure a loan that will allow Colonial Downs to pay an average of $200,000 in purses daily during a summer meet. The two-week deadline also applies to resolving a racing dates conflict between Virginia and Maryland.
Retired jockey James Fitzsimmons, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, died March 18 in his native Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Michael Tabor's Buckle Down Ben, winless in two starts this year but winner of last year's Laurel Futurity (gr. III), was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite after drawing post 8 for Saturday's $600,000 Spiral Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. While there is no standout, a well-balanced field of nine 3-year-olds were entered for the 1 1/8-mile race that will be telecast live on ESPN from 4-5 p.m. EST.
John Oxley's Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos and The Thoroughbred Corp.'s San Felipe (gr. II) winner Point Given head the list of 109 nominations to the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile event will be televised live on ESPN April 14 from Keeneland Race Course.
Four of the five top juvenile fillies on the 2000 Experimental Free Handicap are among the 85 nominations for the grade I Ashland Stakes to be run at Keeneland Race Course on April 7th.
The first case of foot and mouth disease in Ireland was confirmed today, that country joining France and Holland with one confirmed case each. To date, there have been 453 cases confirmed in Britain.
Trainer Julio Canani had Ladies Din out on the grass track at Nad al Sheba before the sun was up. The six-year-old is back in Dubai for another shot at the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IIT) in which he ran 5th 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Rhythm Band, last year.
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