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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
City over nine furlongs on the inner turf at Belmont Park.
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,
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.
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.
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
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.
Dolphus Morrison's Gold Edge, heroine of Saturday's Grade 3
Arlington-Washington Lassie at Chicago's northwest suburban oval, came out of
her race in good order and was doing well Sunday morning, according to trainer
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.
Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia romped by an eye-popping 16
1/4 lengths in Sunday's $83,300
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.
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).
Groupie Doll entered Saturday's Grade 2, $400,600
Presque Isle Downs Master off a more than four-month break, having last been
seen taking the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 5. That didn't
stop the Bowman's Band filly from running down It's Me Mom in the lane and
pulling away for a 3 3/4-length score under jockey Rajiv Maragh.
Delaunay took Saturday's $50,000
Temperence Hill at Louisiana Downs gate-to-wire, holding off the
heavy 1-5 post time favorite and Grade 2 winner Gantry. The race was one of five
stakes on the undercard of the Grade 2 Super Derby.
Stuart Janney III's homebred Air Support found his best stride late in
Saturday's Grade 2, $196,000
Bowling Green Stakes, overhauling pacesetter Bombaguia for a head decision
in the opening-day feature at Belmont Park. The Shug McGaughey-trained colt
returned to the win column after dropping his first five outings this season,
adding the Bowling Green to victories in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby and Grade 3
Transylvania Stakes last year.
Anamoine Ltd's sensational five-year-old mare Snow Fairy defeated favored
Nathaniel by 1 1/4 lengths, with St Nicholas Abbey third, in Saturday's 1
1/2-mile, Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. In the process, the
Intikhab mare earned an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf through the
Breeders' Cup Challenge series.
Sendmylovetorose came out of the bottom of the
barrel at just ?5,000 at the sales and was lucky to escape serious injury in the stalls at
Royal Ascot, but she
has proven herself worthy of pole position at the top table by hard graft and
Sunday's Group 1
Moyglare Stud at The Curragh could be her crowning glory.
Former Arlington Park mainstay Garrett Gomez made a winning return to his old
stomping grounds Saturday when guiding Swifty Farms' Pataky Kid to a convincing
score in the Grade 3, $150,000
Dolphus Morrison's homebred Gold Edge won Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
Arlington-Washington Lassie as a surprising 10-1 chance despite having won
the one-mile race's local prep, the seven-furlong Lisa M, as an 8-5 favorite
five weeks earlier.
Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn's Bourbon Courage bided his time in the
rear of Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000
Derby at Louisiana Downs before coming with a four-wide rally rounding the
second turn and drawing off for a five-length victory under jockey Leandro
Goncalves. The Kellyn Gorder-trained sophomore was making only his sixth career
start in the 1 1/8-mile contest, and stopped the clock in 1:51 2/5 on the fast
At first glance, Thursday's
3RD-race triumph by the David Braddy-trained Feel So Good appeared to be
little more than a non-descript midweek maiden-claiming victory at Calder, but
the tremors that emanated from that win were felt from south Florida to east
Asia as the gelding made Korean racing history by becoming the first Korean-bred
horse to win a race outside its homeland.
Apprentice jockey Aaron Court earned his first career win on Saturday at
Turfway Park, riding Known Contender to a 9 1/4-length score in the
2ND race. The ride was the 22nd of his nascent career. He also has one
third-place finish, earned at Ellis Park.
Trainer Chad Brown initially thought Noble Tune was destined for the dirt
before the colt posted a pair of "exceptional" breezes on Saratoga's Oklahoma
turf course, and on Labor Day at the Spa the great-grandson of champion Serena's
Song made it clear that he prefers the grass by unleashing a strong turn of foot
to take his debut in the
1ST race by 3 1/2-lengths.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey took home a pair of major awards, National Owner of the
Year and National Breeder of the Year, at Friday evening's Thoroughbred Owners
and Breeders Association's (TOBA's) 27th Annual National Awards Dinner at the
Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Group 1 Sprint Cup is the highlight of the Flat season at Haydock Park,
and the 2012 renewal, which takes place on Saturday, promises to be the most
cosmopolitan ever with representatives from Australia, France and Ireland as
well as a strong British-trained presence among the 15-strong field.
The stalwarts of the New York-bred turf divisions will head postward on
Sunday as Belmont Park hosts the $150,000
Ashley T. Cole and $150,000
John Hettinger. Both races will be contested at 1 1/8 miles on the inner
turf, with the John Hettinger restricted to fillies and mares.
At mid-season, pursuit of Del Mar's 2012 riding championship was a three-way
battle among Rafael Bejarano, Garrett Gomez and Joe Talamo. A short time later,
with a burst of victories, Bejarano was alone and in control atop the standings
en route to his second Del Mar title and first since 2008.
Arnold Zetcher LLC's Rolling Fog tracked in second throughout Wednesday's
Grade 1, $300,000
Del Mar Futurity on the track's closing day before gaining command in the
lane and holding off the late-running, 6-5 favorite Know More by 1 1/4 lengths
on the wire.
Groupie Doll established herself as the nation's leading female sprinter
earlier this season, recording smashing Grade 1 wins in the Humana Distaff and
Madison Stakes, but is perhaps a little forgotten by the racing public following
a planned four-month freshening. The four-year-old filly will have the
opportunity to make another favorable impression Saturday, and re-affirm her
status as a top contender for this year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint,
when she lines up for Grade 2, $400,000
Down Masters Stakes.
Owner Ahmed Zayat revealed at midday Wednesday that the health of Grade 1
Haskell Invitational winner Paynter had shown slight improvement. The son of
Awesome Again has battled colitis for more than a week and recently developed
laminitis and three of his four feet.