Royal Place, ridden by Gerry Olguin, surged to the lead in deep stretch Thursday to capture the $103,598 Lieutenant Governors' Handicap (Can-III) at Hastings Park by a neck, spoiling Lord Nelson's bid for his third straight win in the stakes race.
Gus Schickedanz's Mobil ran the race of his life and produced the most dominant performance by any horse at Woodbine this year when crushing six rivals in the $217,220 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) Thursday.
Stronach Stable's Royal Regalia shattered Woodbine's one mile E.P. Taylor Turf course record Thursday, covering the distance in 1:31.84.
Pohave, winner of the $150,000 Los Angeles Times Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park on May 8, is the 116-pound top weight among 14 entered in the $300,000 Triple Bend Invitational Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at seven furlongs.
Headed by Japan's Dance in the Mood an international cast of fourteen 3-year-old fillies will contest Hollywood Park's third running of the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles on turf Saturday.
Meteor Storm and Hard Buck are the heavy hitters in Saturday's $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, but Better Talk Now is among several major stakes winners in the field that could easily be factors.
Robert and Beverly Lewis' Senor Swinger has never been defeated on Churchill Downs' Matt Winn Turf Course, but he faces his toughest test there Saturday in the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT).
Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I), and Even The Score, winner of the 2004 Meryvn LeRoy Handicap and Californian (both gr. II), head a list of 12 nominations to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10.
Jockey Edgar Prado rode five winners on Thursday afternoon's card at Belmont Park, including two huge payoffs and the late Pick 3.
Construction of a permanent facility for the Maryland Stallion Station has begun, with a groundbreaking ceremony set for July 7.
One of just a few grade I sprints for 3-year-old fillies, Saturday's $250,000 Prioress Stakes at six furlongs at Belmont Park has drawn a big field of 12 runners seeking to become grade I winners.
- By Jack Shinar
A series of rules designed to change the longstanding scale of weights for jockeys in California has been posted by the state horse racing board for the legislatively mandated 45-day public comment period.
Beginning July 5th, Thistledown will offer a 7% purse increase on $10,000 claiming races and above and a 5% purse increase on those races under $10,000. The purse increase is a direct effect of increased field size, export handle and record-breaking Triple Crown and Ohio Derby days, according to a release from the track.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, who just two weeks ago was beaten a head in the $500,000 MassCap (gr. II) at Suffolk Downs, has drawn the rail for Saturday's Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, which named its executive staff June 30, will hold a reception July 3 in conjunction with the return of live Quarter Horse racing to Kentucky for the first time since 1992.
Jim Gagliano, who joined Magna Entertainment Corp. more than two years ago, has been appointed executive vice president of Maryland racing operations for MEC, majority owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course under the Maryland Jockey Club banner.
Grade I winner Perfect Drift leads a field of six in Saturday's $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III).
Ohio Derby (gr. III) winner Brass Hat will be on the sidelines until the fall following the discovery of an ankle injury believed to have been suffered during the June 12 race at Thistledown.
Roar of the Tiger, a full brother to European star Giant's Causeway, breezed a half-mile on Thursday at Churchill Downs as the 5-year-old took another positive step in his latest comeback from injury.
Janice and Robert McNair of Stonerside Stable will stand their multiple grade I winner Congaree in 2005 at Frank Stronach's Adena Springs near Midway, Ky.
Aljabr and Silic were represented by their first winners at the end of June.
Sid Port's Toasted, who ships in from California, figures to be the slight choice Saturday in the $200,000 Arlington Classic (gr. IIT) at suburban Chicago's Arlington Park.
- By Ron Mitchell
Churchill Downs Inc. has revised its earnings estimates for the second quarter and current fiscal year, primarily as a result of costs associated with the company's efforts to seek legalized alternative gaming in California and Florida and its proposed acquisition of Fair Grounds in Louisiana.
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