Never before have three grade III stakes and a grade II stakes come together on one afternoon to showcase so many major players on the Triple Crown trail. With the grade III Rebel, Gotham, and Tampa Bay Derby and grade II San Felipe drawing so many serious Derby horses, this surely will be a make or break weekend.
Undefeated in six starts, Celestial Legend puts her streak on the line in the $100,000-added Cicada (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs at Aqueduct.
In the Gold, who has established impressive credentials over the last two seasons, meets undefeated Pool Land for the first time to highlight Saturday's $200,000 Shirley Jones Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
Bob and John, winner of the Sham Stakes (gr. III) six weeks ago, is one of three entries from trainer Bob Baffert in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Lawyer Ron looks to run his winning streak to five as the likely choice in a 10-horse field for the Rebel Stakes (gr. III) Saturday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Private Vow, who won four of six races last year, makes his long-awaited 3-year-old debut.
The $200,000 Gotham (gr. III), switched this year to a two-turn race on Aqueduct's inner track at 1 1/16 miles, has drawn a strong field of 11 Saturday, including top-notch 3-year-olds Achilles of Troy and Keyed Entry.
Bluegrass Cat, one of trainer Todd Pletcher's leading Triple Crown candidates, makes his second start of the 2006 season at Tampa Bay Downs in the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) Saturday.
- By Ray Paulick
Attorneys for California winemaker Jess Jackson, who has sued five former bloodstock advisers and agents and the Buckram Oaks Holdings of the late Mahmoud Fustok for alleged fraud in bloodstock and farm purchases, have amended their complaint with regard to three paragraphs relating to Lexington veterinarian Arnold Pessin.
In a March 15 declaration given under penalty of perjury, a former California associate steward stated the director of Del Mar security said he forwarded information about the mare Intercontinental getting a late Salix shot to the board of stewards, California Horse Racing Board investigators, and CHRB executive director Ingrid Fermin well before the running of the Palomar Handicap (gr. II) last Sept. 3.
Nasty Affair, a stakes winner/producer, was euthanized March 9 because of complications from the infirmities of old age.
The charity event formerly known as the Belmont Ball and the Belmont Celebration will have a new name, a new location, and a new entertainment format June 8.
- By Pete Spanos
Frank Stronach, chairman of Magna Entertainment Corp., attempted to allay investor fears Thursday on the heels of yet another shakeup in the company's leadership. Stronach said he will serve as MEC's chief executive officer until a replacement can be found for outgoing president and CEO Tom Hodgson, whose departure was announced March 14.
David Coia's homebred Paddy's Daisy, one of the top 2-year-old grass fillies of 2004, has been retired from racing and bred to Fusaichi Pegasus.
Going Commando, a multiple winner and full brother to grade II winner Rockport Harbor, will stand at Dunroven Farms near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Just about every keen judge of horseflesh in Australia got it wrong as the curtain fell on the main sessions at Adelaide's Magic Millions Yearling Sale Thursday in Australia.
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