Request for Parole, a horse plagued by traffic problems in his recent races, had no such difficulties Saturday with hot-riding Edgar Prado in the irons, winning the $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.
Edmund A. Gann's Peace Rules gamely outdueled Funny Cide and then held off Newfoundland to win Saturday's 118th running of the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park in New York.
Very Un Stables Quantum Merit moved up in class with success Saturday with an upset victory over more highly regarded Perfect Soul and Senor Swinger in the Firecracker Breeders Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Ed Friendly's favored Friendly Michelle got a perfect stalking trip with Corey Nakatani in the saddle and bounded away from speedy Forest Music in the stretch for a convincing win in the $250,000 Prioress (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Saturday.
New Zealand-bred Janeian took command near the eighth pole and easily held off the challenge of favored Katdogawn to win the $100,000-added Royal Heroine (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Saturday.
Bare Necessities, the starting highweight at 119 pounds, will be favored in Sunday's $300,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park, but she will not have an easy time of it.
New York shipper Swingforthefences dug deep to prevail in a tough stretch battle by a half-length in Friday's $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.
Godolphin's Refuse To Bend continued his return to prominence with an exciting victory in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) at Sandown Park Saturday.
Fans interested in attending the races at the upcoming Saratoga Race Course season can buy special season admission passes for the clubhouse and grandstand.
The long trip for Maryland-based filly He Loves Me paid off her connections with a late-surging victory in Friday night's $125,000 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows.
Mace and Samantha Siegel's stakes-winning 3-year-old Suave will be shipped to Hollywood Park for the $400,000 Swaps (gr. II) July 10, trainer Paul McGee said Friday.
Black Bart, a $16,000 claim who has earned $219,909 for his new connections in about six months, goes after his first graded victory on Sunday in Hollywood Park's $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Churchill Downs' $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (gr. III) has the makings of a family affair. Siblings Greg and Vickie Foley will saddle two of the major contenders in Sunday's importantearly test for 2-year-old fillies.
Jockeys Ryan Fogelsonger and Joe Rocco, Jr. were taken to the Medical College of Virginia Friday night with unspecified injuries after a two-horse spill in the seventh race at Colonial Downs. The extent of their injuries was unknown, but both riders were alert and stabilized as they left the track.
Stronach Stable's Ghostzapper, absent for nine months since earning recognition as one of the nation's leading sprinters last year, returns to action Sunday in the $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
The stewards at Hollywood Park summarily suspended jockey Patrick Valenzuela Friday until they can conduct a formal hearing after the jockey failed to provide samples of his hair for drug testing as required under terms of his conditional licensing agreement with the California Horse Racing Board.
Meteor Storm, the morning line favorite in a field of 12 entered for Saturday's $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, must overcome the extreme outside post.
Lane's End Farm, a perennial leader at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sales, will not have a consignment at this year's sale held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Aug. 10-12. Instead, the sales agency of the Woodford County farm will focus its yearling prospects to Keeneland's September yearling sale in Kentucky, to be held Sept. 13-25.
Ballingarry, a 5-year-old horse who has earned more than $1.5 million in his career, returns to Arlington Park July 4 to defend his title in the $200,000 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/2 miles on the turf.
Royal Place, ridden by Gerry Olguin, surged to the lead in deep stretch Thursday to capture the $103,598 Lieutenant Governors' Handicap (Can-III) at Hastings Park by a neck, spoiling Lord Nelson's bid for his third straight win in the stakes race.
Gus Schickedanz's Mobil ran the race of his life and produced the most dominant performance by any horse at Woodbine this year when crushing six rivals in the $217,220 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) Thursday.
Stronach Stable's Royal Regalia shattered Woodbine's one mile E.P. Taylor Turf course record Thursday, covering the distance in 1:31.84.
Pohave, winner of the $150,000 Los Angeles Times Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park on May 8, is the 116-pound top weight among 14 entered in the $300,000 Triple Bend Invitational Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at seven furlongs.
Headed by Japan's Dance in the Mood an international cast of fourteen 3-year-old fillies will contest Hollywood Park's third running of the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles on turf Saturday.
Meteor Storm and Hard Buck are the heavy hitters in Saturday's $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, but Better Talk Now is among several major stakes winners in the field that could easily be factors.
Robert and Beverly Lewis' Senor Swinger has never been defeated on Churchill Downs' Matt Winn Turf Course, but he faces his toughest test there Saturday in the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT).
Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I), and Even The Score, winner of the 2004 Meryvn LeRoy Handicap and Californian (both gr. II), head a list of 12 nominations to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10.
Jockey Edgar Prado rode five winners on Thursday afternoon's card at Belmont Park, including two huge payoffs and the late Pick 3.
Construction of a permanent facility for the Maryland Stallion Station has begun, with a groundbreaking ceremony set for July 7.
One of just a few grade I sprints for 3-year-old fillies, Saturday's $250,000 Prioress Stakes at six furlongs at Belmont Park has drawn a big field of 12 runners seeking to become grade I winners.
- By Jack Shinar
A series of rules designed to change the longstanding scale of weights for jockeys in California has been posted by the state horse racing board for the legislatively mandated 45-day public comment period.
Beginning July 5th, Thistledown will offer a 7% purse increase on $10,000 claiming races and above and a 5% purse increase on those races under $10,000. The purse increase is a direct effect of increased field size, export handle and record-breaking Triple Crown and Ohio Derby days, according to a release from the track.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, who just two weeks ago was beaten a head in the $500,000 MassCap (gr. II) at Suffolk Downs, has drawn the rail for Saturday's Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, which named its executive staff June 30, will hold a reception July 3 in conjunction with the return of live Quarter Horse racing to Kentucky for the first time since 1992.
Jim Gagliano, who joined Magna Entertainment Corp. more than two years ago, has been appointed executive vice president of Maryland racing operations for MEC, majority owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course under the Maryland Jockey Club banner.
Grade I winner Perfect Drift leads a field of six in Saturday's $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III).
Ohio Derby (gr. III) winner Brass Hat will be on the sidelines until the fall following the discovery of an ankle injury believed to have been suffered during the June 12 race at Thistledown.
Roar of the Tiger, a full brother to European star Giant's Causeway, breezed a half-mile on Thursday at Churchill Downs as the 5-year-old took another positive step in his latest comeback from injury.
Janice and Robert McNair of Stonerside Stable will stand their multiple grade I winner Congaree in 2005 at Frank Stronach's Adena Springs near Midway, Ky.
Aljabr and Silic were represented by their first winners at the end of June.
Sid Port's Toasted, who ships in from California, figures to be the slight choice Saturday in the $200,000 Arlington Classic (gr. IIT) at suburban Chicago's Arlington Park.
- By Ron Mitchell
Churchill Downs Inc. has revised its earnings estimates for the second quarter and current fiscal year, primarily as a result of costs associated with the company's efforts to seek legalized alternative gaming in California and Florida and its proposed acquisition of Fair Grounds in Louisiana.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Wagering Systems Task Force, formed to study why handle is up but purses are down, plans to release its report in August, officials said.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project has hired three individuals that will form its executive staff.
"Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Powered by Dodge," a four-month, 17-program series, returns on the ESPN networks beginning July 4 with taped coverage of last Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby from The Curragh in Ireland.
With the racing industry pointing toward the summer and fall classics, HorseRacing TV (HRTV) will debut a series of weekly features focusing on the leading contenders in racing's ultimate one-day spectacle, the Breeders' Cup. The new series will debut July 1.
Grade II winner Boston Common, who won or placed in 13 stakes since being claimed by Richard Englander for $50,000, was euthanized after suffering a condylar fracture in his right front leg.
Unbeaten Lunarpal is set for his bid to become the second horse to sweep Churchill Downs' three-race Spring Meet stakes series for 2-year-olds when he takes the gate in Monday's $100,000-added Bashford Manor (gr. III).
Darley Stable's Millennium Dragon, runner-up in the Manhattan (gr. IT) and Dixie (gr. IIT) Handicaps, is apparently out of consideration for Saturday's $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Greg Foley hopes to wrap up the 2004 Churchill Downs Spring Meet on a high note when he sends out Bakster Farm's unbeaten Sweet Miss El in the $100,000-added Debutante (gr. III) on Sunday.
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