Trainer Mike Mitchell says he's not worried about the unusual 1 5/8-mile distance of the first $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap June 1, and with good reason. After all, his horse, Big Booster, recently proved a convincing winner of the the even longer San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT).
It's never especially exciting when all other entries in a race carry 117 pounds and your filly is given 121, but trainer Kiaran McLaughlin considers extra weight a fair assignment considering the last performance of his Alwejeeha, and he expects good things from the Shadwell homebred in the $150,000 Sands Point Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont May 31.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air drew the rail and was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31 at Thistledown, but he will meet some pretty stiff competition, namely, graded stakes winner Z Fortune.
Sealy Hill, Canada's reigning Horse of the Year, makes her return to Woodbine, the Toronto track where she made her reputation, for the $300,000 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT).
In a national media teleconference conducted May 28, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. continued his boastful and outspoken comments regarding potential Triple Crown winner Big Brown, saying among other things that winning the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) was a "foregone conclusion," the contenders "just can't run with Big Brown," and "there was no way in the world" that Japanese-owned Casino Drive could defeat his horse.
The operator of Santa Anita Park has filed a federal lawsuit against the original supplier of its troubled synthetic racing surface, claiming it has suffered at least $8.4 million in damages from improper installation and repair.
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board on May 29 passed proposed restrictions on use of anabolic steroids in racehorses for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing.
Assistant trainer Robin Cleary, who was paralyzed in an accident at Calder Race Course in 1996, will be celebrated May 30 at Calder's Turf Club for raising more than $1 million for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis' spinal-cord injury research programs.
The field for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) could increase by one after trainer Todd Pletcher said it is "probably" that Let's Go Stable's Ready's Echo would be tossed into the mix of starters for the 1 1/2-mile race June 7 at Belmont Park.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown remains "right on target" for the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), in which he will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner and the first in 30 years.
The select portion of the Magic Millions national weanling sale ended its three-day run on Australia's Gold Coast Thursday with a record gross of Aust$19,581,750 and a record average price of Aust$46,846 for the 416 horses sold.
Four years after Birdstone upset Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid, trainer Nick Zito would love to play spoiler again, as he will send out Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anal Nakal in the Belmont in hopes of rejecting Big Brown's bid for racing immortality.
The jury is still out on Tomcito, but following throat surgery to correct a breathing problem, he might get another shot at stardom - and Big Brown - in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I)
The Maryland Jockey Club announced May 29 that Tom Chuckas has been named president and chief operating officer, effective June 1
The success of Hong Kong superstar Good Ba Ba will have an impact that goes way beyond the horse's racing lifetime, with owner John Yuen Se-kit announcing this week the creation of the Good Ba Ba Foundation.
John Amerman announced Wednesday, May 28, that he has resigned from the California Horse Racing Board due to a family decision to live a substantial portion of the year outside of California, which will prevent him from fulfilling his obligations as a racing commissioner.
Anyone following Triple Crown races this year knows there's a lot of controversy about the soundness of Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Big Brown's feet. But despite a third hoof problem in his short career--a quarter crack that showed up in his left front foot last Friday--his consulting farrier/repair expert Ian McKinlay isn't concerned.
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