Saturday's 50th running of the $750,000 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park could materialize as a repeat of last year's edition, won by the old pro With Anticipation, who defeated Denon by a neck in a thrilling finish to the 11-furlong classic.
Champali, June's winner of the Northern Dancer stakes at Churchill Downs, emerges as the slight favorite in Saturday's fifth running of the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.
She's had just two starts in 18 months and hasn't raced at all in 2003, but jockey David Clark thinks the 6-year-old mare Diadella can still be a factor in Saturday's $171,750 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine.
Trainer Neil Howard hopes that he will be able to dub Saturday as "Brothers Day" as he sends the regally bred Rock Slide out in search of his first graded stakes victory in the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
Ten Most Wanted, runner-up in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.80 Thursday for trainer Wally Dollase to signal his readiness for a return in the $400,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. Ii) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on July 13.
Trainer Bob Baffert's Santa Catarina is the 7-2 favorite among fourteen 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's second running of the $750,000 American Oaks at 1 1/4 mile over Hollywood Park's Lakeside Turf Course. The Oaks tops a bill that includes the $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap at seven furlongs and the $100,000-added Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Jockey Cornelio Velasquez, who entered Thursday's Churchill Downs race card ahead of Pat Day 51-46, tacked on four wins on Thursday while Day had one victory.
John Coffee, 82, a long-time trainer, owner and breeder, died on Monday in Highland, Cal.
Magna Entertainment Corp. Thursday announced the appointment of Blake Tohana as an executive vice president and its new chief financial officer, effective July 28, replacing Graham Orr.
Friday's $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT), a turf event that has been won by nine champions, figures to more clearly define the burgeoning international status of South American superstar Candy Ride.
A leg injury has apparently ended the racing year for My Boston Gal, winner of the 2002 Golden Rod (gr. II) and Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II).
Robert and Lawana Low's Green Fee loves to run at one mile over Belmont Park's Widener turf course. He won two of three starts under those conditions last year, including the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap. Now he's back for the $100,000 Poker Handicap.
A solid field of nine older runners was entered for Saturday's $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
A silent auction to raise money for the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund figures to draw some interest at River Downs, usually among the fund-raising leaders on Jockeys Across America Day. The event will be held at tracks around the country July 5.
Northerly, who won the Cox Plate (Aust-I) and Caulfield Cup (Aust-I) was named Australia's Horse of the Year for 2003 at a dinner at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
Edmund Gann's Peace Rules, like stablemate Empire Maker, turned in his second consecutive fast work, breezing a quick half in :45 3/5 Thursday. The work came eight days after the son of Jules breezed a half in :45 2/5.
Grade I stakes winner Ballingarry heads a field of nine turf specialists entered for Saturday's 72nd running of the Grade III $200,000-added Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf over 1 1/2 miles at Arlington Park.
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