Most of the intrigue surrounding the $222,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) Sept. 1 involved which of two outstanding fillies trainer Bobby Frankel would scratch, Price Tag or Precious Kitten. Once he withdrew Price Tag, Precious Kitten, with a grade I victory over the Del Mar turf already at the meet, became a prohibitive favorite.
Amid high expectations and even higher purses, the latest racetrack fueled by slot machine revenues was unveiled Saturday, when Presque Isle Downs opened its 25-day meet.
Wicked Style may have been light on experience heading into the $198,500 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) but the 2-year-old showed plenty of grit, fighting back after being overtaken in the stretch to defeat Riley Tucker by a head at Arlington Park Sept. 1.
Icy Atlantic sets the new turf course record in his Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) victory at Monmouth Park Sept. 1.
Leading sprinter Smokey Stover took a successful test spin for the upcoming TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, winning the $103,000 Icecapade Stakes over three rivals in a solid time of 1:08 4/5 at the New Jersey track Sept. 1.
The juveniles Silk Ridge and Wise Answer were romping winners of their respective divisions in the 2007 Florida Stallions Stakes at Calder Race Course Sept. 1.
Well, it wasn't another course record, but the performance by Lawyer Ron in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 1 was every bit as impressive as what he did one month earlier in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
Southern California trainer Bob Baffert continues to see dividends from his decision to take a string from his Southern California stable to Saratoga. In the $250,000 Forego Handicap (gr. I), his Midnight Lute made the lead on the turn of the seven-furlong test and rolled to his first grade I win by more than two lengths under substitute rider Shaun Bridgmohan.
Shadwell Stable's grade II winner Makderah looks to make amends from her third-place finish as the heavy favorite in the Diana Handicap (gr. IT) earlier in the Saratoga meet when she meets eight rivals in the $100,000 Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 11 furlongs Sept. 3.
- By Claire Novak
Jockey Edgar Prado will miss at least six weeks of riding after breaking his right ankle at Saratoga Race Course, Prado's agent said Sept. 2.
Barclay Tagg has a knack for switching horses from one surface to another and finding success. It seems that the veteran trainer has done it again with Nobiz Like Shobiz.
Normally, a Grade I event with only four entries would be a bit of a letdown for horse racing fans. In the case of the $250,000 Hopeful Stakes, nothing could be further from the truth, as a terrific showdown between top-flight 2-year-olds is set for Saratoga's main track Sept. 3.
- By Claire Novak
Spend an afternoon with the boys from Boston, a group of not-quite degenerate 30-something horseplayers who bet the races with varying degrees of success each time Saratoga is in session.
- By Dan Johnson
Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino won't be compelled to install a synthetic racing surface, at least not in the immediate future. But the Iowa track's dirt surface could be the topic of future discussion.
- By Ric Chapman
The Sydney Racing Club plans to open a quarantine facility that could allow New South Wales horses to compete in major races in Victoria.
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