Handicapping

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Wilkinson shortens up for return in Daytona

Wilkinson, who pulled off a stunning upset of the Grade 2 American Handicap in his most recent appearance, will make his first start since that race in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Daytona at Santa Anita.

Jones trainees gearing up for the New Year

Mark Valeski, absent from active competition since winning the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, accomplished a bullet three-furlong move in :36 1/5 Thursday morning at Fair Grounds in his first official work since that May 12 contest, and was a perfect picture of health Friday morning when trainer Larry Jones proudly showed him off in his stall.

NTRA forms Eclipse Awards Host Committee

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Friday the formation of an Eclipse Awards Host Committee that will actively promote participation in Eclipse Awards week events and highlight Gulfstream Park and its surrounding community.

Pulpit dead at 18

Top sire Pulpit died in his paddock at Claiborne Farm earlier Thursday, according to an announcement made by farm manager Bradley Purcell. The 18-year-old stallion had shown no signs of ill health in the weeks and days prior to his death.

Hong Kong hopefuls put in final moves

After the soaking rain of the past week, Sha Tin stood radiant beneath sun drenched blue skies Thursday morning as the candidates for Sunday's Hong Kong International Races (HKIR) stepped out for exercise.

Pletcher plots course for top juveniles

Todd Pletcher finds himself in familiar territory as the 2013 season fast approaches, juggling training and racing schedules to optimize the Triple Crown prospects of his most promising two-year-olds. Gulfstream Park's defending nine-time training champion has a deep arsenal at his disposal, saddling the winners of a staggering 57 races for juveniles (33 percent win) so far this year.

Castleton Lyons now accepting entries for Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award

Castleton Lyons will again be sponsoring the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, a competition recognizing excellence in writing in the Thoroughbred industry, and entries are now being taken for the seventh annual award. The award, which comes with a $10,000 winner's prize and a Tipperary Crystal trophy, is named for the late Castleton Lyons owner Dr. Tony Ryan, whose twin passions for great writing and quality horse racing led to his launch of the competition in 2006.

Dust and Diamonds the one to beat in Sugar Swirl

Dust and Diamonds, who emerged as one of the leading female sprinters in the country in her past two starts, will make her debut for new owner Stud TNT and trainer Todd Pletcher in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream Park. The six-furlong dash, the first graded event of the 2012-13 Gulfstream season, has attracted a field of seven fillies and mares.

Minger takes helm of Turf Publicists

The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) has elected Mandy Minger of Daily Racing Form to serve as the organization's president for 2013-14, outgoing TPA President Bill Knauf announced Tuesday at the TPA's Mark Kaufman Workshop at the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing and Gaming.

Eclipse week features special events for charities

A series of special events leading up to the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards will benefit the Gulfstream Thoroughbred Aftercare Program, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), The Race for Education and the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Tuesday. The Eclipse Awards will be held January 19 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

Online poll open for Vox Populi Award

Online voting is now open for the third annual Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery, the Vox Populi, or "Voice of the People," Award recognizes the racehorse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public and gained recognition for the sport during the past year.

Purton hopes to complete Japan/Hong Kong double

The jockeys' allocation for Wednesday night's International Jockeys' Championship took place at Sha Tin Racecourse Monday morning. Top jockey Zac Purton, fresh from winning the World Super Jockeys Series in Japan at the end of November, is hoping his luck can hold for the annual Happy Valley event, which has again drawn 12 of the world's finest riders.

International contingent braves the Hong Kong rain

Leaden skies and rain greeted the international contenders as they headed out on to Sha Tin Racecourse shortly after 8:30 a.m. local time on Monday, seven days ahead of their Group 1 engagements in Sunday's Hong Kong International Races.

In Lingerie retired, booked to Frankel

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber's In Lingerie, the winner of the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland in October, has been retired from racing and will be bred to two-time Cartier Horse of the Year Frankel.

Smiling Tiger returns to winner's circle in Underwood

Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz's Smiling Tiger put in a game rally down the center of the track in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park and gutted out a one-length victory over Private Zone for trainer Jeff Bonde. The chestnut sprinter's most recent score came seven starts ago when taking the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap in 2011, but he got back to his winning ways when completing this six-furlong contest in 1:11 1/5 over the Cushion Track.

Dust and Diamonds gears up for Pletcher debut; Romacaca ready for South Beach

Dust and Diamonds was timed in an easy :52 in advance of her debut for new connections, while Turbulent Descent drilled in a bullet :47, tying for the fastest of 23 moves at the distance on the fast main track. Both four-year-olds are kept on edge for their first start since the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on November 3.

Nihonpiro Ours conquers Japan Cup Dirt in record time

Hyakutaro Kobayashi's homebred Nihonpiro Ours swept from just off the pace to dominate Sunday's Grade 1 Japan Cup Dirt in stakes-record time. By finishing nine furlongs at Hanshin in 1:48 4/5, the five-year-old son of White Muzzle handed jockey Manabu Sakai and trainer Yuki Ohashi their first career Grade 1 victory.

Calabrese, Dwoskin and Saez top the standings at Calder's Tropical meet

The centerpiece event of the Tropical Meet was once again the prestigious Festival of the Sun program on October 13 that featured the final legs of the lucrative Florida Stallion Stakes Series. Jockey Angel Serpa used the day to show off his riding prowess, taking top prize in the $300,000 My Dear Girl division with Verso a Verso before returning two races later to claim glory in the $300,000 In Reality division with the promising colt Speak Logistics.

Philly 'aces' Tropical Turf

Brushwood Stable's homebred Philly Ace bided his time down on the rail during Friday's Calder's closing-day co-feature -- the Grade 3, $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap -- before running down pacesetting 9-5 favorite Hollinger to post a half-length victory.

Closing Range steals La Prevoyante at 19-1

Closing Range had engineered a similar theft two starts back in the August 26 Twin Lights over 1 1/8 miles at Monmouth, where she just lasted in a photo-finish. The daughter of After Market was coming off her worst career effort, a non-threatening eighth in a division of the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland October 19. That was thoroughly uncharacteristic for the lightly-raced filly, who had previously won three of four starts and placed second in the other.

Acclamation to enter stud at Old English Rancho in 2013

Acclamation has encountered setbacks that have limited his 2012 campaign to just two starts. The six-year-old son of Unusual Heat has won them both, however, extending his winning streak to seven. After scoring an unprecedented three-peat in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap in his belated reappearance on June 9, Acclamation successfully defended his title in the Grade 1 Eddie Read on July 21.

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