Belterra took the lead in mid-stretch and drew away to a 2 3/4-length victory over Netherland in Thursday's $61,100 featured allowance for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up at Churchill Downs.
Less than a year ago Futural won the grade I, $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup by 1 1/2 lengths before being disqualified and placed third. Thursday at Hollywood Park the 6-year-old son of Future Storm finished last as the 9-5 favorite while racing for a claiming tag of $80,000.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) fifth-place finisher Easyfromthegitgo was installed as the 3-1 favorite for Saturday's $250,000 Leonard Richards Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park.
Although they will applaud War Emblem's rightful place in Turf history if he wins the Triple Crown, it's too soon after Slew's death and too soon after Sept. 11 for one Turf writer and many racing fans to take delight in such an outcome.
James Tafel's Unshaded put in his second consecutive work wearing blinkers Thursday at Churchill Downs as the Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner prepares for the June 15 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Another likely Foster entrant, Hawthorne Gold Cup winner Hail The Chief, had his scheduled work pushed back due to the weather and Ben Ali winner Duckhorn is no longer under consideration for the 1 1/8-mile, $750,000 race.
Steeplechase Farm's Mandy's Gold, highweighted at 116 pounds, and Carl Pollard's Caressing, champion 2-year-old filly of 2000, will be the likely favorites for the $150,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III), a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares, at Arlington Park on June 8.
Believe It, sire of 29 stakes winners and broodmare sire of champion Real Quiet, was found dead in his paddock June 5 at Clear Creek Stud in Folsom, La.
Medaglia d'Oro heads a group of 57 early nominees for the fifth running of the $500,000 Virginia Derby, which will be contested at 1 1/4 miles over Colonial Downs' Secretariat Turf Course on July 13.
John Velazquez was determined not to let heavily favored Holiday Runner get an easy lead in the Fashion Stakes Thursday at Belmont Park. He challenged her aboard La Violette on the backside and through the turn in the five-furlong stakes. Holiday Runner, however, had no trouble shaking her off, then held off a late charge from Miss Mary Apples to remain unbeaten in three starts.
XpressBet Betty, the English-only voice recognition system, is the latest innovation in home account-wagering technology from Magna Entertainment Corp. It allows phone bettors to place wagers by simply speaking, and works without need of a live operator.
The photographers were ready. The TV cameramen were ready. The print journalists were ready. They all gave a passing glance to Like a Hero and Medaglia d'Oro, who were circling near the gap, then re-set their sights to Barn 7, where assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes sat atop the stable pony Cisco.
Friday's 1-mile Acorn (gr. I), the first leg of the Triple Tiara at Belmont Park, boasts a showdown between star 3-year-old fillies Bella Bellucci and You.
Business increased sharply at American Equine Sales' juvenile auction.
Youbet.com has hired Gary Sproule, a former Disney executive, as its chief financial officer. The California online racing and wagering company also announced a marketing agreement with California fairs.
In the last of 11 installments on previous Triple Crown winners, here is an excerpt from the June 19,1978 issue of The Blood-Horse on Affirmed winning the Belmont Stakes to complete the Triple Crown.
Trainer Ron McAnally hopes to spring an upset in the $200,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) Saturday at Hollywood Park with French-import Alozaina. If he does, he will tie the late trainer Charlie Whittingham for most Honeymoon victories.
Former Governor Brereton Jones and wife, Libby, have purchased Woodburn Farm, a 495-acre property located on Old Frankfort Pike in Woodford County, Ky., across the road from their Airdrie Stud.
The Louisiana Downs barn area has offically opened and is expected to be full when the 29th meeting begins Friday, June 28. The 80-day season is scheduled to offer average daily purses of $200,000, a 56% increase over last year's meet.
Twelve 3-year-old colts were entered Thursday morning for the 223rd Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I) which will be run June 8. The only defection from the five-day confirmations is Dubai Destination, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, the team which is still represented by two runners: Naheef and Moon Ballad.
Peter Pan Handicap runner-up Puzzlement was scratched out of Saturday's Belmont Stakes by trainer Allen Jerkens on Thursday after a bruise was detected on the colt's right front foot.
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