The nay-sayers who thought Zenyatta might have been vulnerable after her comparatively plodding win in the Vanity (gr. I) last time out were left with little left to criticize when the statuesque filly blew by her rivals to capture the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch (gr. II) under wraps at Del Mar Aug. 2. Zenyatta, the top-ranked older female in the nation, remains perfect in seven lifetime races.
If the massive Keeneland September auction is the Wal-Mart of yearling sales, then Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga select auction is the stylish little boutique. There are only 195 horses in the Saratoga catalog, and some of their pedigrees are quite fancy. Horses by such top sires as A.P. Indy, Distorted Humor, and Storm Cat are scheduled to be offered during the sale's two-night run, Aug. 4 and 5, in New York.
Bill Mott, a Hall of Fame trainer in his own right, goes after his sixth win in the $150,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Aug. 4 with morning-line favorite Adriano.
Kuehne Racing's Won Awesome Dude, shipping in from Delaware Park for trainer Dalton nedrick, came four-wide into the stretch and collared R Clear Victory inside the sixteenth-pole to win by a length in the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Aug. 2 at Canterbury Park, the feature event on Thoroughbred racing's biggest day for "blue collar" horses.
Trainer Tim Ritchey's decision to skip Saratoga's Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. II) with Akronism in favor of the $159,085 Royal North Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine Aug. 2 proved to be a smart one when the Robert S. Evans homebred bolted to a 3 3/4-length win on the grass.
Adena Springs has canceled its juvenile sale for 2009, but is selling 217 yearlings this year at sales conducted by Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, and the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.
The connections of Ready Set were rewarded for their patience Aug. 2 when the colt earned his first career stakes victory in a big way -- the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Heather Stark's Sky Mom angled wide around the final turn, caught pacesetter Dreaming of Liz at the furlong-marker and held off her stubborn rival to win the $100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) by a length Aug. 2.
Hal and Patti Earnhardt's homebred filly Indian Blessing, who began her remarkable career almost a year ago by breaking her maiden at Saratoga, returned for the first time Aug. 2 in the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) and like she did in her debut, destroyed the competition. This time, the 3-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie won by seven lengths to earn the fourth grade I victory of her career.
Fasig-Tipton will pay the nomination and entry fees for any of the six 2009 graded stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course on horses sold at its upcoming Saratoga select yearling sale, it was jointly announced Aug. 2 by the sales company and the New York Racing Association.
The Ballydoyle juggernaut notched a remarkable 17th group I win of the season when Halfway To Heaven held on for a gallant head victory over Lush Lashes in the Blue Square Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Goodwood Aug. 2.
Big Brown arrived quietly on the Monmouth Park backstretch at 8 a.m. Aug. 2 and settled into trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.'s barn as he gets ready for a major test in the $1-million Haskell Invitational Presented by Vonage (gr. I).
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