Articles posted September 15, 2012

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Maid of Heaven kicks off Kentucky Turf Cup undercard

Team Block's homebred Ioya Bigtime took the lead soon after the start of Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Kentucky Turf Cup and never looked back when scoring by a half-length under jockey Jeffrey Sanchez. The bay five-year-old was exiting a runner-up effort in the inaugural American St. Leger at Arlington Park on August 18, but got back on the winning track here when completing 1 1/2 miles on the firm Kentucky Downs turf in 2:30.

Ioya Bigtime wires Kentucky Turf Cup

Team Block's homebred Ioya Bigtime took the lead soon after the start of Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Kentucky Turf Cup and never looked back when scoring by a half-length under jockey Jeffrey Sanchez. The bay five-year-old was exiting a runner-up effort in the inaugural American St. Leger at Arlington Park on August 18, but got back on the winning track here when completing 1 1/2 miles on the firm Kentucky Downs turf in 2:30.

Naples Bay scores minor upset in Noble Damsel

Edward Cox Jr.'s Naples Bay rallied to the lead in midstretch and easily withstood the late rally of favored Dealbata in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park, registering her first stakes victory with a 1 1/2-length decision. She was overlooked at 13-1 odds among nine rivals, returning payouts of $28, $10.20 and $5.90, and Jose Lezcano had the mount for trainer Christophe Clement.

Samitar holds on in Garden City

Martin S. Schwartz's Samitar was a rough-trip third in her American debut in the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga, but the Irish classic winner had a much cleaner opportunity in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park. Under a textbook stalk-and-pounce ride by Ramon Dominguez, the 4-5 favorite struck the front in midstretch and fended off the rallying Somali Lemonade by a measured head.

O'Brien regrets not running pacemaker in St Leger

Trainer Aidan O'Brien reflected on beaten Triple Crown hopeful Camelot, who suffered his first career loss in Saturday's Group 1 St Leger. Held up off the pace as usual by his son Joseph O'Brien, the 2-5 favorite had to wait for room in the stretch, but couldn't kick as strongly as the victorious Encke and settled for second.

Godolphin celebrates sixth St Leger success

"We are probably not going to be the most popular winner on Town Moor today," Racing Manager Simon Crisford admitted, "but from our point of view it was a fantastic result, giving Godolphin its sixth St Leger success."

Encke stuns Camelot to deny Triple Crown

Godolphin's unheralded Encke stunned 2-5 favorite Camelot Sept. 15 in the St. Leger (Eng-I) at Doncaster, denying the hitherto unbeaten colt's historic quest for the English Triple Crown.

Trio work for Jockey Club Gold Cup

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott expressed his satisfaction Saturday morning after Ron the Greek and Flat Out turned in "very good" works at Saratoga in preparation for the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on September 29.

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