Handicapping

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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 Exactly one week ago, the smashing debut winner had been withdrawn from last Sunday's Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga, where her entrymate Teen Pauline could do no better than a tiring third.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).

Air Support gets up late in Bowling Green

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.

Snow Fairy defeats Nathaniel, St Nicholas Abbey in Irish Champion

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.

Moyglare Stud tops quartet of Curragh group stakes

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.

Bourbon Courage rallies for Super Derby score

Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn's Bourbon Courage bided his time in the rear of Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Super 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 main track.

Feel So Good makes Korean history with maiden-claiming win at Calder

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.

Juvenile sings a winning 'Tune' to join the New York Watch

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.

Ramseys named top owner, breeder at TOBA Awards Dinner

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.

Ortensia heads 15-strong field in Haydock Sprint Cup

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.

Bejarano, Miller honored as leading jockey, trainer at Del Mar

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.

Groupie Doll faces 11 in Presque Isle Masters

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 Presque Isle Down Masters Stakes.

Paynter's condition improves slightly

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.

Paynter suffering from severe laminitis

Owner Ahmed Zayat has tweeted that Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Paynter has developed laminitis in three of his four legs. The news came Tuesday as the three-year-old colt's health continued to decline due to the effects of colitis.

Laurel opens fall meet with higher purses, more stakes

After a 15-week break, live racing will resume at a major Maryland track on Wednesday. The 2012 fall meeting begins at Laurel with a first post of 1:10 p.m. (EDT). Racing will take place four days a week through the end of the year on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule, holidays excluded.

Easter Gift opened in Smarty Jones

The 8-5 favorite Teeth of the Dog jumped out to the early lead, hitting the opening quarter in :23 3/5 and half in :47 3/5 under pressure from Traffic Light, who jumped in front after three-quarters in 1:12. By that point, Easter Gift, a close-up fourth early, loomed into contention. Traffic Light tried to fend him off down the stretch, but Easter Gift was too strong inside the final furlong.

Handle, attendance increase during Saratoga's 144th season

The 144th meet at Saratoga was a rousing success, highlighted by strong wagering gains, robust attendance, top quality racing, a number of new and innovative fan initiatives, continued television coverage from the NBC Sports Group and the MSG Networks, and an unprecedented level of community involvement.

Paynter experiences new complications Monday

Owner Ahmed Zayat has reported that his star three-year-old colt Paynter, whose condition had been improving over the weekend, sustained a couple of setbacks on Monday. The Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner has been hospitalized since August 26 with a potentially life-threatening case of colitis, and other complications have set in.

Shanghai Bobby much the best in Hopeful

Trainer Todd Pletcher had three of the eight starters in Monday's Grade 2, $400,000 Hopeful at Saratoga, and won the historic fixture for a second time when Starlight Racing's Shanghai Bobby impressively dismantled his rivals by 3 3/4 lengths under Rosie Napravnik. Part of an entry that started as the 2-1 second choice, Shanghai Bobby returned $6.30, $3.50 and $2.30.

Nathaniel, Snow Fairy set for stellar Irish Champion

Nathaniel and Snow Fairy appear among the 12 entries for Saturday's Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. As expected, the fine French gelding Cirrus Des Aigles has been taken out at the five-day stage, but a terrific field remains.

Micromanage to target Champagne

On the final Saturday of the 2011 Saratoga meet, a two-year-old colt named Alpha joined the New York Watch after posting a debut score in a seven-furlong maiden special weight, and 51 weeks later he was in Saratoga's winner's circle after dead-heating for the win in the Grade 1 Travers.

Hit It Rich takes the initiative in Glens Falls

Two days after her very close relation Dominus wired the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga, 4-5 favorite Hit It Rich took a page from his playbook to post a front-running victory in Monday's Grade 3, $150,000 Glens Falls on closing day at the Spa. The Stuart S. Janney III homebred was prompted by Bizzy Caroline early, but pulled away in the stretch to earn her third stakes win, all at the Grade 3 level going long on turf.

Grass champ Theatrical dies at 30

Theatrical, the 1987 champion turf male, was euthanized Friday night due to the infirmities of old age at Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington, Kentucky, where he was pensioned from stud duty in 2009.

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