Thanks to an influx of approximately $9.3 million in account deposit wagering and some Seabiscuit magic, the California summer fair circuit has enjoyed a solid season thus far.
Saratoga Notebook: Harlan's Holiday Update; Fur OK, but Frankel Unhappy; Volponi Battled; Mineshaft Breezes; Bailey Hurting
According to trainer Todd Pletcher, Harlan's Holiday is likely to retired after damaging a suspensory ligament during the running of the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Disturbingthepeace, one of the leading sprinters in California at this time a year ago, flashed some of his former brilliance with a front-running victory in the $150,000 Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Sunday.
John Velazquez didn't waste any time Sunday breaking Manny Ycaza's 44-year-old Saratoga record of 41 winners in a span of 24 days. All it took was one race.
Before a record crowd of 71,337 at Saratoga, heavily favored Sand Springs bolted to an early lead and held off Indy Five Hundred and Film Maker to win the Lake Placid Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday.
With three days remaining in the Laurel Park summer meet Ryan Fogelsonger surged to the top of the jockey standings by riding five winners on Sunday's nine-race card.
Rolph Davis' Twisted Wit, a 2-year-old son of Distorted Humor, kept his record unblemished as he fashioned a late stretch charge to take the featured $163,350 Vandal Stakes, Sunday at Woodbine.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens suffered a collapsed lung but no broken bones in Saturday's fall, when he was run over by a trailing horse after the finish of the Arlington Million (gr. IT), according to Steven's theatrical agent.
Medaglia d'Oro and Milwaukee Brew, trainer Bobby Frankel's twin prospects for victory number seven in Del Mar's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I), are scheduled to be flown to Southern California Monday from Saratoga Racecourse in New York to complete their preparations for Sunday's race.
Terrence Lanni and Bernard Schiappa's two-time grade I-winning millionaire Ladies Din, who was brought out of retirement earlier this month, has been retired for good, trainer Frank Monteleone said.
Bill Currin and Al Eismann's stakes winner Outta Here, who was scratched behind the gate by jockey Kent Desormeaux before the running of last week's West Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) at Mountaineer Park, is being pointed to the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT).
Joseph Allen's Volga powered past her rivals to score a decisive 1 3/4-length victory in Sunday's $100,000 Matchmaker Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Monmouth Park grass.
Perfect Moon, a $4,700 yearling purchase, won his second consecutive graded stakes Sunday at Del Mar, capturing the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds by 1 1/4 length with a powerful stretch drive.
Moyglare Stud Farm's Refuse to Bend, winner of the 2,000 Guineas (Ire-I) and a possible starter in the Breeders' Cup Mile, returned from a summer break with a romping three-length victory in the one-mile Desmond Stakes (Ire-III) at Leopardstown Sunday.
Off the bridle and seemingly going nowhere, Dai Jin and jockey Olivier Pesslier came to life in the straight and went on to post a 2 1/2-length win in the Credit Suisse Private Banking-Pokal (Ger-I) at Cologne on Sunday.
After three near-misses since May, the highly touted filly Six Perfections and jockey Thierry Thulliez got the job done in a thrilling edition of the Prix Jacques le Marois (Fr-I) at the expense of her Niarchos Family stablemate Domedriver Sunday at Deauville.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told The Jockey Club Round Table Sunday that the "way in which to preserve and expand horse racing as a sport is to improve its business."
Peter H. Shannon Jr., a prominent Thoroughbred owner in New Jersey, died Aug. 16 after a long illness
Multiple graded stakes winner Globalize has been moved from Rick Taylor's Special T Thoroughbreds to Ellen Jackson's Victory Rose Thoroughbreds in Vacaville, Calif.
In the most controversial Arlington Million (gr. IT) ever, stewards awarded victory to Godolphin Racing's Sulamani after determining that winner Storming Home interfered at the finish with two horses behind him when he spooked badly just before the wire and unseated his rider, Gary Stevens.
Jeffrey L. Nielsen's Island Fashion, a lights-out winner of her last start, proved it wasn't a fluke Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, romping home in the $750,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies, denying Spoken Fur's bid to sweep the New York Triple Tiara.
Saratoga Notebook: Frankel Drills Troops; Sky Mesa Dodges Bullet; Funny Cide Update; Strong Hope 'Super'
Looking to beat the rain, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel had several of his top stars on the main track Saturday morning, led by likely Travers (gr.I) favorite Empire Maker.
Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris put the final touches on a eventful Arlington Million Day by posting a 15-1 upset in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds with Javier Castellano riding.
Juddmonte Farm's Heat Haze waited until mid-stretch with jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. before mowing down her rivals on the outside, capturing the $700,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on the Arlington Park turf Saturday.
Joseph V. Shields Jr.'s Puzzlement squeezed through a hole on the rail with jockey Jorge Chavez and went on to post a surprise victory over bridesmaid of the year Volponi in the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
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