A pair of fast developing 3-year-old filly sprinters, Graeme Six and Featherbed, could vie for favoritism among a wide open field of 13 sophomores entered in the $100,000 Victory Ride (gr. III) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
The highlight of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. August yearling sale's second open session was a $150,000 son of Macho Uno.
Orientate offspring Lady Joanne has developed into one of the best fillies of her crop. Successful in the Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) in the spring, she narrowly lost out to Octave in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I), and then, after a prep in the restricted Banshee Breeze Stakes, returned to take a game victory over a tough field in the 10-furlong Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Patrick Biancone planned on running his multiple graded stakes winner Cosmonaut in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) earlier this month, but a minor foot problem prevented it. Instead they'll shoot for a nice consolation prize in the $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Saratoga turf as part of the Travers supporting card Aug. 25.
Hard Spun likely has only three races left in his career. That was conformed when it was recently announced that the Danzig colt would stand for Darley after the Breeders' Cup. That means, Saturday's $250,000 King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) may provide Hard Spun with his best chance to finally capture an elusive Grade I race, as he shortens up to seven furlongs in a test for 3-year-olds over Saratoga's main track.
With a victory in the $150,000 Albany Stakes Aug. 22, Vinery Stables' Chief's Lake would have made New York-bred history. No horse has ever won all three legs of the OTB Big Apple Triple, which comprises the Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont, New York Derby at Finger Lakes and the Albany at Saratoga. A sweep of the three would earn the winner a hefty $250,000 bonus. Since its inception in 1999, a couple of horses have come close, Image Maker in 2000 and Ferocious Won last year.
The general consensus is that the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) will be a cake walk for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) champion Street Sense. When the post positions were drawn Aug. 22 and the son of Street Cry was installed as a 3-5 morning line favorite, that line of thinking was confirmed.
- By Jack Shinar
Legislation limiting the number of commissioners on the California Horse Racing Board who can be licensed to participate in the sport has cleared the state assembly's appropriations committee and is headed for a full vote on the assembly floor.
The Horse Racing Radio Network's broadcast of the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes (gr. I) from Saratoga will be carried in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., area on radio and also available on the Web.
- By Ryan Conley
A group of bettors frustrated with the fractured structure of advance deposit wagering are planning protests against racing entities they believe are responsible for the industry sector's ills.
Halory Hunter, who won the 1998 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II), died as a result of foundering Aug. 20.
Bob and John, a homebred grade I winner for Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Sir Gerry stormed from last to first to capture the Ireland Gimcrack Stakes (Eng-II) at York Aug. 22.
- By Tom LaMarra
New Mexico became the second state to adopt a "safety reins" rule when the New Mexico Racing Commission approved the measure Aug. 21. The Ohio State Racing Commission adopted a similar rule in March.
The last time Unbridled Belle raced at Saratoga, the bay filly was in the midst of a long and unfulfilling summer. An 11 1/2-length defeat in the 2006 Alabama (gr. I) was just one of three sound New York losses for the then 3-year-old filly, prompting Team Valor Stables and trainer Todd Pletcher to give her an extended rest.
Superstar filly Peeping Fawn scored her most emphatic win of the season when capturing the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) by an impressive four lengths August 22.
- By Claire Novak
Wednesday morning, the cameramen are in full swing at Saratoga. In the paddock, they cluster around for the Travers draw, tripods balanced like long-legged storks. In the winners' circle, they form an orderly line for Senator Bruno's conference on the fight against horse slaughter. Down near the rail, they lift cameras to shoulders and zoom in for local track reports.
The Jockey Club has announced the election of two new members: James "Jimmy" Bell and W. Cothran "Cot" Campbell.
Street Sense, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will start from post position number four in Saturday's running of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Another fight is brewing over whether Michigan's racetracks should be allowed to add casino-style gambling.
European champions Rail Link and Three Valleys have been retired from racing and will enter stud at Khalid Abdullah's Banstead Manor Stud near Newmarket, England.
- By James Platz
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Aug. 21 to ban the import of signals from Arlington Park and Calder Race Course at all wagering outlets in the state.
- By James Platz
Hoosier Park officials were given the green light Aug. 21 to break ground on a proposed 92,000 square-foot slot-machine casino.
An audit of a vote on table games at a Greyhound racetrack near Charleston, W.Va., showed the measure passed 23,192-22,849, but there has been a call for a recount.
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