Handicapping

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Barefoot Lady shows Canadian rivals a clean pair of heels

Jockey Davey Moran landed a fortunate pick-up mount aboard English shipper Barefoot Lady in Sunday's Grade 2, $323,217 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine, and delivered a perfect ride to land the spoils. Trained by Richard Fahey for Mrs. H. Steel, the 7-1 chance saved ground while tracking the pace, angled out for the drive, and rolled to an emphatic 1 1/2-length victory over All Star Heart.

Brown praises Samitar, plans to stretch Dealbata out

Trainer Chad Brown reported Sunday morning that Samitar came out of her narrow victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park in good shape, and next will point for the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on October 13 at Keeneland.

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.

Wise Dan takes on Cityscape in Woodbine Mile

American stand-out Wise Dan and international Group 1 performer Cityscape clash in Sunday's Grade 1, C$1 million Woodbine Mile. The valuable prize has served as a major stepping stone to the Breeders' Cup Mile, a status further recognized by its designation as a "Win and You're In" event.

Certify, Sir Prancealot get up in time

Godolphin's Certify justified 4-6 favoritism in Friday's Group 2 May Hill Stakes for juvenile fillies at Doncaster, just getting up to edge Purr Along by a head to remain unbeaten. The pair came eight lengths clear of third-placer Light Up My Life.

Turf juveniles aim for BC bids in Summer, Natalma

Woodbine kicks off a terrific weekend of turf stakes with a pair of Grade 2 events for Breeders' Cup-aspiring two-year-olds on Saturday. The C$250,000 Summer Stakes is a "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, while its companion race, the C$250,000 Natalma Stakes, offers a berth to the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Each is contested at a mile.

Musical Romance to join strong cast in Gallant Bloom

Trainer Bill Kaplan confirmed Friday that 2011 champion female sprinter Musical Romance will make her next start at Belmont Park in the Grade 2, $200,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap on September 22. The Gallant Bloom is run at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Arlington Park reveals 'The Eliminator' handicapping contest

Arlington Park and all Illinois Trackside Off-Track Betting locations will unveil their new handicapping contest, "The Eliminator," on September 22. The contest allows players to earn a share of a $250 weekly prize, move on to subsequent rounds and eventually to the November 10 finals where the grand prize will be $1,000.

Jockey Club reports smaller decrease in foals born

The Jockey Club on Friday reported that 2,620 stallions covered 39,838 mares in North America during 2011, according to statistics compiled through September 10, 2012. These breedings have resulted in 22,500 live foals of 2012 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports received as of September 10, 2012.

John Dunlop to retire at season's end

John Dunlop, one of Britain's longest-serving and most respected trainers, has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. Doncaster Racecourse will make a presentation to Dunlop Friday to mark his achievements at the home of the final classic, the Group 1 St Leger.

Camelot could make additional history for O'Brien in St Leger

Apart from Camelot's attempt to become the 16th colt to win the English Triple Crown and the first since Nijinsky in 1970, the Group 1 St Leger could produce a statistic unique in Turf history. Victory in Saturday's race would make Aidan O'Brien the first trainer to win all five British classics in a single season.

The English Triple Crown in focus

The English Triple Crown comprises the Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas over Newmarket's straight mile in early May, the Group 1 Derby over Epsom's switchback 1 1/2 miles in June and the Group 1 St Leger over Doncaster's sweeping extended 1 3/4 miles in September. To win all three a horse must own speed, stamina, soundness and durability as well as class.

Wild Coco drives to victory in Park Hill

Rider Tom Queally praised his mount Wild Coco's battling qualities after she powered through the field to overhaul clear leader Estimate in the straight and win Thursday's Group 2 Park Hill Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths.

Pataky Kid has rich legacy to live up to

As one of Chicago's oldest stakes races, the tradition-rich Arlington-Washington Futurity was first run more than 80 years ago and -- as its name implies -- it is a hopeful harbinger of things to come for any horse fortunate enough to win it.

Trinniberg, Musical Romance work at Calder

Grade 2 winner Trinniberg returned to the Calder work tab Wednesday morning to put forth his first morning move since a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga, drilling a half-mile bullet in :47 over a track listed as wet-fast.

Classic winner Samitar highlights Garden City

Samitar didn't have the easiest of trips when falling a neck short in the Grade 2 Lake George in her U.S. debut. The Irish classic winner will have an opportunity to make amends when she faces six other three-year-old fillies in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Garden City over nine furlongs on the inner turf at Belmont Park.

Rahystrada faces seven in Kentucky Turf Cup title defense

Rahystrada will return to Kentucky Downs in good form Saturday, dead-heating for third in the Grade 1 Arlington Million most recently, and figures to be a strong favorite as he goes for a second straight victory in the Grade 3, $200,000 Kentucky Turf Cup. The multiple Grade 3-winning millionaire posted a 3 3/4-length score last year in the 1 1/2-mile affair over the undulating, European-style turf course.

Park Hill, Sceptre top second day of St Leger Festival

The highlight on day two of the St Leger Festival, Ladies Day Thursday, is the Group 2 £80,000 Park Hill Stakes over an extended mile and six furlongs. The contest, sometimes referred to as the 'fillies' St Leger,' will see nine runners go to post headed by Sir Henry Cecil's impressive Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes scorer Wild Coco. The four-year-old will clash again with The Queen's Royal Ascot heroine Estimate and Hazel Lavery, trained by Charlie Hills, who were third and ninth, respectively, in the Lillie Langtry.

Zayat issues encouraging update on Paynter

Grade 1 Haskell Invitational hero Paynter appears to be getting the upper hand in his battle against laminitis, owner Ahmed Zayat reported in an encouraging series of tweets on Monday. The star three-year-old has been hospitalized since August 26, initially with a critical case of colitis, followed by the complication of laminitis, but he has been making a remarkable recovery.

Cityscape sets sights on Woodbine Mile

Juddmonte Farms' Cityscape, a British-bred son of Selkirk, will try to give his owner a second win in the Woodbine Mile when he goes postward Sunday in the Grade 1, C$1 million Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' event. 

Samitar tops Garden City probables

Samitar, winner of the Group 1 Irish One Thousand Guineas, was previously trained by Mick Channon, who sent the filly out for her North American debut in the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes on July 25 at Saratoga, a race Brown watched with interest. The three-year-old Rock of Gibraltar filly endured an eventful trip and was third in a blanket finish where less than 1 1/2 lengths separated the top six.

Dreaming of Julia gallops by 16 1/4 lengths

Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia romped by an eye-popping 16 1/4 lengths in Sunday's $83,300 Meadow Star Stakes at Belmont Park, serving up a ferocious case of what-might-have-been. Exactly one week ago, the smashing debut winner had been withdrawn from last Sunday's Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga, where her entrymate Teen Pauline could do no better than a tiring third. The unambiguous result of the Meadow Star begs the question of how Dreaming of Julia would have handled the Spinaway.

Alvarado sidelined with fractured clavicle

Jockey Junior Alvarado was released from North Shore University Hospital late Saturday evening with a non-displaced fracture of his right clavicle, according to the jockey advocate for the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

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