Barry Schwartz's homebred The Lumber Guy showed no signs of rust while
returning from a 4 1/2-month layoff in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000
Stakes, holding the fast-closing Caixa Eletronica safe in the latter stages
for a 1 1/4-length score. He completed six furlongs in 1:09 1/5 on the "good"
track at Belmont Park.
Charles Fipke's Jersey Town out-staged notable rivals Shackleford and To
Honor and Serve in the Grade 2, $400,000
Handicap at Belmont Park, driving to a convincing 3 1/2-length decision
beneath Javier Castellano. The Barclay Tagg-trained horse snapped a 23-month
losing streak in the process, notching his first victory since the Grade 1 Cigar
Mile in 2010, and earned a berth to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile where he
will be a viable contender if he runs back to Saturday's performance.
Sir Henry Cecil made a rare racecourse appearance to witness Frankel, the
world's highest-rated racehorse, work over nine furlongs on the Rowley Mile
ahead of his next, and most likely final, start in the Group 1 Champion Stakes
at Ascot on October 20.
French handler Francois Doumen gained his first top level success on the Flat
in Britain when Siyouma won Saturday's Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
It was a fourth consecutive win for French-trained horses, following on from
Rodolphe Collet's three wins with Sahpresa.
Morton Fink's Wise Dan, winner of the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in his most
recent start on September 16, was doing well Saturday morning after working a
best-of-25 half-mile in :47 2/5 over Keeneland's Polytrack on Friday.
Mike McCarty's Unbridled's Note had never raced on turf or faced older horses
prior to Friday's Grade 3, $100,000
Stakes at Santa Anita, but the Steve Asmussen sophomore professionally
handled a field of seasoned turf sprinters in the opening-day feature. The
Unbridled's Song colt rallied late to overhaul the front-running Chosen Miracle,
in a well-timed move worthy of the race's new honoree, retired Hall of Fame
rider Eddie Delahoussaye. The Eddie D., formerly known as the Morvich, serves as
a course-and-distance prep for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Saturday's Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket, the first race on the new
"Road to the Kentucky Derby" scoring system, includes a half-brother to 2008
Kentucky Derby-winning champion Big Brown -- Afonso de Sousa. The son of
Henrythenavigator is the lone entrant from the yard of Aidan O'Brien, who won
last year's Royal Lodge with Daddy Long Legs and also finished third with Wrote.
The Breeders' Cup and the Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that Monday is
"Breeders' Cup Night" at Dodgers Stadium, in celebration of the upcoming World
Championships at Santa Anita Park. The 7:10 p.m. (PDT) game will pit the Dodgers
against the San Francisco Giants.
Unbeaten Certify provided Godolphin with the team's third consecutive success
in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket on Friday. White Moonstone and Lyric
of Light have taken the mile event for the previous two years, but neither
matched the style and panache of Certify's success.
Sir Henry Cecil is eagerly anticipating bringing Frankel for a racecourse
gallop at Newmarket before racing Saturday. The world's best Thoroughbred will
be joined in the exercise by Bullet Train and Midsummer Sun as part of the
unbeaten Galileo colt's preparations for the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot on
For the second meeting in a row, Tampa Bay Downs will run 25 stakes worth
$2,595,000. The lucrative added-money slate is highlighted by the 33rd edition
of the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby, a 1 1/16-mile showcase for
three-year-old Triple Crown candidates, on March 9.
Larry Jones is back and racing is the better for it. The 56-year-old trainer,
who retired at the top of his game on November 7, 2009, returned in early 2011
with the same fervor as the day he left. Anyone talking with the personable
Kentuckian could recognize that in a heartbeat.
Trainer Todd Pletcher shoots for a Grade 2 double with his team of juveniles
at Belmont Park on Sunday. Unbeaten Grade 2 Adirondack heroine Kauai Katie looms
large in the $200,000
Stakes for fillies, and debut maiden winner Unabashed gives the barn a
promising second string. But the Pletcher duo in the $200,000
-- Overanalyze and Drum Roll -- must step up their game while meeting hot-shot
maiden winner Carried Interest, speedy New York-bred Weekend Hideaway and Grade
2 Sanford runner-up Handsome Jack.
Due to anticipated heavy rain, Friday's live racing card at Belmont Park has
been canceled to ensure the track surfaces are in optimal condition for
Saturday's card, which features six graded stakes, all part of the Breeders' Cup
"Win and You're In" Challenge Series. The winners of those races qualify for an
automatic starting position in the corresponding Breeders' Cup Championship race
with pre-entry and entry fees paid.
Two of the top contenders in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000
Turf Championship Stakes (formerly the Clement Hirsch) at Santa Anita,
Bourbon Bay and Slim Shadey, will return to races following a stint on the
sidelines. Bourbon Bay makes his first appearance since capturing the Grade 2
San Juan Capistrano Handicap in April, and Slim Shadey has been freshened since
a fifth in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on Del Mar's opening weekend.
You missed the worst million-dollar race I have ever seen (the Pennsylvania Derby), and one of the best races with a four-horse field that I can remember (Questing vs. My Miss Aurelia in the Cotillion).
Over 50 years after his initial performance of the song at Carnegie Hall,
Grammy-award winner Tony Bennett will perform his classic hit "The Best is Yet
to Come" at the 2012 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in
Arcadia, California, Breeders' Cup announced Thursday at a media event featuring
Tony Bennett at Siro's Restaurant in Manhattan.
Nagging foot issues have limited Jersey Town's schedule in recent years, but
trainer Barclay Tagg said the six-year-old is entering Saturday's Grade 2,
$400,000 Kelso Handicap in the best shape since he won the 2010 Grade 1 Cigar
Mrs. Calvin Houghland's Pierrot Lunaire, the longest shot on the board at
48-1, took the lead over the final jump and held off a furious late charge from
Spy in the Sky to win Thursday's Grade 1, $150,000
Lonesome Glory steeplechase at Belmont Park.
Swifty Farms' Pataky Kid, three-length winner of the Grade 3
Arlington-Washington Futurity on September 8, breezed a bullet five furlongs in
1:00 Monday morning at Chicago's northwest suburban oval in preparation for
Keeneland's upcoming Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity on October 6.
Game on Dude, a leading contender for Horse of the Year, heads a field of
nine in Saturday's $250,000
Again Stakes at Santa Anita. The 1 1/8-mile event is one of five Grade 1
stakes on a dynamite program that serves as a precursor to the Breeders' Cup at
Santa Anita on November 2-3.
Ostensibly a prep for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Saturday's Grade
Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park might serve as a launching pad to the Grade 1
Breeders' Cup Classic if the Bill Mott-trained To Honor and Serve pulls off a
win in the one-turn mile. The Hall of Fame conditioner left some wiggle room
earlier this week when asked which Breeders' Cup race his Grade 1 Woodward
winner would ultimately target.
The legendary Zenyatta, winner of the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa
Anita and Horse of the Year in 2010, will be honored for all-time by Santa Anita
Park as a life-sized statue of the great mare will be unveiled in Santa Anita's
Paddock Gardens area at noon (PDT) this Saturday.
Point of Entry can solidify his present status as the nation's leading
long-distance turf performer with a victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000
Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational. The 1 1/2-mile fixture over Belmont Park's
Widener course came up light compared to other stakes on Super Saturday with
only six names dropped in the entry box.
The top three from the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on August 4 are in the
spotlight Saturday when they headline a surprisingly robust field in the Grade
1, $1 million
Jockey Club Gold Cup. The historic 1 1/4-mile test tops a bumper card of
Breeders' Cup preps on Belmont Park's "Super Saturday" program.
Undefeated two-year-old filly So Many Ways, winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway
Stakes and Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes, will not travel to California to run in
the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, it was announced Wednesday.
Canary Row, trained in Ireland by Patrick Prendergast, is among eight runners
for the Group 3, £40,000 Somerville Tattersall over seven furlongs at Newmarket
on Thursday, the first day of the Cambridgeshire Festival.
On Saturday, she wrapped up her gifted history at the local oval with a victory
by almost seven lengths, and that led to the ice cream celebration that had been
publicly promised to the racing fans on hand by the acknowledged dean of Chicago
Gary and Mary West's homebred Book Review rolled to a convincing victory as
the 7-5 favorite in Saturday night's $400,000
Town Oaks. Making her two-turn debut in this seven-furlong scramble around
Charles Town's tight oval, the Chad Brown trainee circled the field on the final
turn and kicked 1 3/4 lengths clear.
At Belmont Park on Sunday, Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap winner Fort
Larned turned in his final serious work for Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million
Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, covering five furlongs in 1:01 shortly after
6:30 a.m. (EDT).
Trainer Dale Romans, who has already has established a personal record for
single-season North American earnings in 2012, has confirmed Little Mike and
Finnegans Wake for Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
Invitational and Dullahan primed for the Grade 1, $400,000 Jamaica Handicap on
Classic winner Shackleford breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 4/5 at his
Churchill Downs base on Sunday, pleasing trainer Dale Romans in his last major
move ahead of Saturday's Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont.
J. Paul Reddam's Handsome Mike parlayed a front-running trip into a
two-length upset in Saturday's Grade 2, $1 million
Pennsylvania Derby, winning as the 19-1 longest shot at Parx Racing. The
Scat Daddy colt proved resilient after setting a moderate pace beneath Irad
Ortiz Jr., withstanding challenges from Alpha and Stephanoatsee before
re-asserting command in deep stretch, and snapped a seven-race losing skein in
In a race that included reigning champion female sprinter Musical Romance and
multiple Grade 1 queen Turbulent Descent, it was Padua Stable's homebred Dust
and Diamonds who proved superior in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000
Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park.
Last year's unbeaten champion two-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia outdueled
pro tem divisional leader Questing by a head in Saturday's $971,200
Cotillion Stakes, in a climactic finish to the first Grade 1 event ever
staged in Pennsylvania. The 1 1/16-mile test served up a clash worthy of the
occasion -- a virtual match race, with Eclipse Award implications -- and it
lived up to the advance billing.
After an unsuccessful Triple Crown campaign, Optimizer looks to have found
his home back on the turf. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt captured his first
graded stakes win in record fashion on Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000
at Delaware Park.
Multiple Grade 1 winner The Factor has been retired from racing and will
enter stud at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Kentucky, for
the 2013 breeding season. Raced by George Bolton and David Shimmon's Fog City
Stable, The Factor won six races, five of them graded, including the Grade 1
Malibu and Grade 1 Pat O'Brien.
Godolphin aims for a third consecutive victory in the Group 1, £163,500
Fillies' Mile with Certify going for the highlight of the second day of the
Cambridgeshire Festival at Newmarket this upcoming Friday. The Mahmood Al
Zarooni-trained filly is one of the ante-post favorites for next year's Group 1
One Thousand Guineas, back at Newmarket, following three impressive victories
that included a cozy neck success in the Group 2 May Hill over a mile at
Doncaster on September 14.