Handicapping

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Western Ransom, Art Fan Vie in Martha Washington

Western Ransom and Art Fan, the first two finishers in last spring's Hilltop Stakes, return to Pimlico on Saturday as favorites for the $150,000 Martha Washington Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT). Twelve are entered to start in the grassy 1-1/16th mile test for 3-year-old fillies.

First Three Back for Kentucky Cup Turf

The first three from last year's Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs are back for this year's running, and track officials hope that things go more smoothly in the 1 1/2-mile Sept. 25 race than they did in 2003.

Finery Ready For Stakes Start in Noble Damsel

Following two straight runner-up finishes in allowances races, trainer Billy Turner will start Althea Richards' Finery in a stakes for the first time, Saturday's grade III, $150,000 Noble Damsel for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf at Belmont.

Late-Blooming 'Roses' Primed for October

Roses in May could be nicknamed Mr. October, trainer Dale Romans joked prior to the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap (gr. II). After he recorded his fifth straight victory this year in the easiest fashion possible Saturday at Turfway Park, the 4-year-old colt has risen to the top of the handicap division for the upcoming Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Lone Star Park Oct. 30.

Roses in May 1-2 Choice vs. Five in Ky. Cup Classic

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, winner of last month's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, was installed the 1-2 favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The 118-pound starting highweight will break from post five and face just five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile race that carries a purse of $350,000.

Hard to Find a Favorite in Turfway BC

So contentious is Saturday's Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) that the morning line has five of the seven entrants at odds of between 5-2 and 5-1. The 1 1/16 miles Turfway Breeders' Cup is one of five stakes on the Kentucky Cup card at the northern Kentucky track.

Travelator Highweighted in Belmont's Floral Park

Our Sugar Bear Stable's three-time stakes winner Travelator is the 116-pound highweight in the 10th running of the $100,000 Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park. Topping a field of five fillies and mares set to travel the 6 furlongs, the Stanley Hough-trained runner comes back only seven days after stepping up in class in an eight-length loss Sept. 11 in the Endine Handicap (gr. III) at Delaware Park

Countdown to the Cup: Will Azeri Tackle the Boys?

Although there are still several major preps remaining for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), the leading players are pretty well set, with Pleasantly Perfect, Ghostzapper, and Birdstone all heading straight for Texas. But there is still one player – former Horse of the Year Azeri -- who could add a whole new dimension to the race.

Alumni Hall to Pass Kentucky Cup Classic

Alumni Hall will take a pass at Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) and will instead go in an allowance race according to trainer Neil Howard in a press release from Turfway Park. The 5-year-old son of A.P. Indy out of the Alydar mare Private Status worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 Wednesday morning at Belmont Park.

Perfect Drift Out of Kentucky Cup Classic

Perfect Drift, winner of last year's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), will not be back to defend his title this Saturday at Turfway Park according to trainer Murray Johnson. Johnson made the announcement Monday morning after Perfect Drift finished a five-furlong work in 1:03 3/5 at Trackside in Louisville.

Film Maker Ready to Roll in Glens Falls

Donald Adam's Film Maker, scratched from Monday's Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga due to an outside post position and a course with plenty of give in it, didn't have to wait long for a second chance. Trainer H. Graham Motion brings the filly right back for Sunday's Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT).

Baffert Gives Roman Ruler Nod for DM Futurity

Trainer Bob Baffert cleared up the questions surrounding three promising 2-year-old colts Friday when he announced that his flashy Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) winner Roman Ruler would run in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) in the track's traditional closing-day feature Wednesday.

Strong Hope(s) Abound in Forego Handicap

Eleven older horses passed the entry box for Saturday's Forego Handicap (gr. I), the last grade I event on the Saratoga calendar as the 36-day meet draws to a close at the end of the Labor Day weekend. The highweight in the seven-furlong race is Strong Hope at 118 pounds.

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