Essence Hit Man showed what champions are made of when he staved off the equally determined challenger Eternal Rule through the long Woodbine homestretch to win the $172,801 Bold Venture Stakes (Can-III) July 18.
My Best Brother and Midnight Crooner tallied victories in divisions of the Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds before a record opening-day crowd of 47,339 at Del Mar July 18.
My Best Brother went straight to the lead when the gates opened in the $109,900 second division of the Oceanside and repulsed all challenges en route to a wire-to-wire victory. With Martin Garcia up, the son of Stormy Atlantic dug in late while making his stakes bow, holding off the fast-finishing Tones by a half-length, and stretched his win skein to three for trainer Julio Canani.
Arnold Zetcher's homebred Midnight Crooner tracked the early pace set by Canuletmedowneasy and Chips All In in the $109,300 first division of the Oceanside on Del Mar's opening card Wednesday, before overhauling the latter runner in the lane to score by a neck. Rafael Bejarano put together the winning ride aboard the Bob Baffert trainee, who completed a mile on the firm turf in 1:34 3/5.
Zultanite, coming off a pair of strong graded stakes turf efforts, should start a strong favorite in the $150,000 Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Colonial Downs July 21.
Zo Impressive won the June 23 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park with resolute style, but faces a tough task in the $300,000 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course July 21.
The $150,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) returns to the schedule at Arlington Park July 21 after a one-year hiatus, featuring a well-matched field of eight distaffers headed by Spendthrift Farm's Treasured Up.
Silver Max puts a five-race winning streak on the line as the 123-pound high weight July 21 in the $600,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT), the showcase event of the summer meet at Colonial Downs.
Acclamation will make a title defense when he returns to Del Mar's turf in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes at 1 1/8 miles. The Don Warren trainee made short work of a deep group of rivals last year, strolling to an easy 3 1/4-length decision on the front end, and only four rivals will line up to face arguably the nation's best turf horse on Saturday. Acclamation looks set for another top performance with jockey Pat Valenzuela.
The last time champion Royal Delta met up with Awesome Maria, the four-year-old miss suffered an eight-length loss when second in the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes on February 25. The pair will duke it out yet again on Saturday as part of a seven-distaffer field entered in the Grade 2, $750,000 Delaware Handicap going 10 furlongs on Delaware Park's main track.
In five starts on turf this season, no horse has been able to head Silver Max. Whether that trend continues will be determined Saturday when the streaking three-year-old heads a field of nine in the Grade 2, $600,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs.
Dual graded stakes winner Kathmanblu, a 4-year-old daughter of Bluegrass Cat, has been retired from racing.
Roman Tiger, whose two stakes wins this year include a triumph in the Tampa Bay Stakes, headlines a field of nine in the Sussex Stakes at the same 1 1/16-mile distance as the Tampa Bay Stakes.
Besilu Stables' Royal Delta headlines the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) at Delaware Park July 21, but the champion filly will have to fend off an old nemesis in Awesome Maria.
Jockey Jacob Radosevich, 19, injured Monday during Thistledown's 5TH race when the horse he was riding broke down, has been released from Cleveland MetroHealth Hospital, according to his mother, Shelly Radosevich.
Irish-bred Crackerjack King is the latest European to be named as likely for the 30th anniversary edition of the Grade 1 Arlington Million during Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing on August 18.
Havre de Grace, 2011's Horse of the Year, is "doing terrific" in retirement, according to her owner, Rick Porter, and he's planning to send her to a November mixed sale in Kentucky.
Just four rivals are up to the challenge of taking on defending champion Acclamation in the $300,000 Eddie Reads Stakes (gr. IT), the first grade I event of the year at Del Mar July 21.
Jockey Jacob Radosevich, 19, was released from Cleveland Ohio MetroHealth Hospital July 18 after being treated for injuries sustained when he was injured in a July 16 accident at Thistledown.
Zo Impressive and Disposablepleasure met for the first time in the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park on June 23, and on Saturday the duo will continue the rivalry born in that contest in the Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. The 1 1/8-mile affair for sophomore fillies drew a total of six runners.
Delaware Park announced July 18 that the horse Parlo, trainer Grover "Buddy" Delp, jockey Eldon Nelson, owners Mr. and Mrs. Walter Jeffords, and Bayard Sharp are the 2012 inductees into the track's "Wall of Fame."
- By Claire Novak
'The little horse that could,' as Jackson Bend has affectionately come to be known, will start July 20 in the $100,000 James Marvin Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course read blog
The New York Racing Association will introduce free wireless internet on opening day at Saratoga Race Course July 20.
- By Pete Denk
Pete Denk says tread lightly early on at Del Mar. read blog
An original oil painting depicting a morning scene at Santa Anita Park is being sold by an art gallery in New Mexico to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Barretts' paddock sale at Del Mar in Southern California offers a twist to the usual horses of racing age sale.
Acting upon the recommendation of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission chief veterinarian Dr. John T. Peters, live racing at Delaware Park has been canceled for July 18 due to excessive heat.
Barbara Hunter's multiple graded stakes-winning mare Snow Top Mountain, in foal to Blame, has been retired from racing with earnings of $525,303.
The first winner by New Mexico stallion Exciting Metro scored at Ruidoso Downs July 15.
Earlier this summer, triple digit temperatures had horse owners and their animals sweltering. Now owners remain hot under the collar as they worry about hay and feed availability with the persistent heat and ongoing drought.
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