Since her tough luck loss in last year's Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I), all Ginger Punch has done is reel off five grade I or II victories and collect the Eclipse Award for top older female. On June 14 the Awesome Again mare will return to Belmont for some unfinished business as the overwhelming favorite in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Okay, so no Triple Crown, again. But the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) still made racing history. Da' Tara became the first male-line descendant of Man o' War to win an American classic since War Admiral took the Triple Crown in 1937. Tiznow, the sire of Da' Tara, is an extension of the Man o' War line through Cee's Tizzy, a son of Relaunch.
A proposal to create a new license classification for provisional exercise riders is under consideration by the California Horse Racing Board, which is soliciting comments from the public prior to a July 17 public hearing at Del Mar. Written comments, pro or con, must be received by July 14.
An easy winner of the Lazaro Barrera Memorial (gr. III) in his last start, Two Step Salsa tries two turns for the first time in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track June 15.
The winner and runner-up from Monmouth Park's May 26 Politely Stakes -- plus the fourth-place finisher -- will meet again at the New Jersey oval June 14, when a field of eight fillies and mares go postward in the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT).
In a little over two year's time, Philadelphia Park Jockeys has helped accomplish some pretty remarkable things at the Bensalem racetrack. On June 11 the group's president, Anthony Black, announced yet another approved measure that will benefit riders: A $100 mount fee for jockeys who do not finish in the top three positions.
Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year and 3-5 morning line favorite for the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), schooled in the paddock at Churchill Downs following the fifth race June 12. He was accompanied by trainer Steve Asmussen and assistant trainer Scott Blasi.
The OBS June 2-Year Olds in Training Sale 2008 Data Digest Preview Edition is a FREE download, presented by AuctionEdge! An in-depth preview of the upcoming auction.
Coming off a runner-up finish to Bayou's Lassie in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) May 3, Frank Calabrese's Dreaming of Anna heads a field of 11 older fillies and mares in the $150,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs June 14.
Grey West, a 14-year-old son of Gone West, has been relocated to Horse Creek Thoroughbreds near Newell, S.D.
Equine Advocates will hold its seventh awards dinner and charity auction July 31.
Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan remains on schedule for a July 18 opening and has filled the position of vice president of sales and marketing.
Graded stakes winner Olmodavor was represented by his first winner when his daughter Miss Dixie Dancer set a track-record.
Sam Abbey has resigned as director of racing and racing secretary at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, track president Randy Soth said June 11.
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