Diamond A Racing Corporations' multi-millionaire Pleasantly Perfect was labeled the early 6-5 favorite in a field of eight set to go postward in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Funny Cide put in his final workout Wednesday morning over the Saratoga main track by going five furlongs in :59 1/5 with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
She has been the talk of Monmouth Park, but Miss Matched will get a big test at Saratoga Race Course on Friday, when she goes to post in the 113th running of the grade II, $250,000 Spinaway for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
by Dick Powell -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Saratoga and previews action of the coming weeks.
By Brian Turner -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Del Mar and previews action of the coming weeks.
Likely favorite Pleasantly Perfect led a large contingent of Pacific Classic (gr. I) contenders Monday getting in their final serious preparations for Sunday's $1 million event at 1 1/4 miles.
Improving Suave has been added to the field for the $1 million Travers (gr. I) Aug. 28th, trainer Paul McGee announced.
The unbeaten Afleet Alex, who demolished a deep field in Saratoga's Sanford (gr. II) on the second day of the meet, breezed a 'bullet' half-mile over a muddy track at Delaware Park this morning in :46 2/5.
Stellar Jayne and Susan's Angel, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' hopes in Saturday's $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, breezed a half mile in company Monday morning.
A soft course at Deauville helped the Kentucky-bred 3-year-old Whipper win Sunday's Prix Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I) at the same time it extracted a promise from the connections of Attraction to never try that footing again.
With half the field boasting victories over the track, there's plenty of local angles to Sunday's 80th running of the $200,000 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) at Oceanport, N.J.
Actxecutive and Roman Ruler, a pair of sharp 2-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert, stand out in Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Given more than a four-month rest since his indifferent effort in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Domestic Dispute should be able to avoid the so-called "Dubai Bounce" in Sunday's $200,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar, trainer Patrick Gallagher believes.
Golden Eagle Farm's Yearly Report will take a shot against top 3-year-old filly Ashado in the $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles Aug. 21 at Saratoga.
Blackdoun, a solid winner of the faster division of Del Mar's opening-day Oceanside Stakes at a mile on the turf, heads a field of seven 3-year-olds for Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Perfect Drift, who turned in a dynamite second-place performance in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga last weekend, could be headed for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 22 at Del Mar, too.
The $1 million Travers (G1) is now less than three weeks away, but the picture is still cloudy. With SMARTY JONES retired and Belmont (G1) winner BIRDSTONE training up to the race, it appears that starter Bob Duncan will have a gate full of sophomores since no one is being scared away.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Speightstown, who has managed to avoid the sort of injuries this year that have plagued him during his career, is the horse to beat in the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs Saturday at Saratoga.
Anstu Stables' Balto Star is the one catch in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/2 miles on turf Saturday at Saratoga. If he gets the kind of pace he enjoys, they may not be able to do it.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide turned heads at Saratoga Thursday morning when he put in a powerful one-mile workout in 1:37 4/5 on the main track with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday that it will offer another "National Pick 4" wager this Saturday, Aug. 14, as part of its "NTRA Super Saturday" series that will be featured on the ABC and ESPN networks.
An international field of 13 runners will attempt to capture one of the most prestigious turf races on the North American calendar Saturday as they line up for the $1 million Arlington Million (gr. IT) over 10 furlongs at Arlington Park.
A small but strong field of seven 3-year-olds passed the entry box at Arlington Park Wednesday--drawn for a shot at the purse in Saturday's running of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT).
Gainsborough Farm's Musical Chimes, a resounding winner of the John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) on Del Mar's opening weekend, has been installed the 2-1 morning line choice for Saturday's Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch H. (G2) highlighted the stakes action at Del Mar this week as a field of eight fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, went to the gate for the 1 1/16-mile affair.
Augustin Stable's Praise the Prince, winner of the added A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-II) in 2001 and runner-up in the event last year, returns to Saratoga Race Course Thursday in the $75,000-added jumping event.
Trainer Bob Baffert's highly prized 2-year-old Roman Ruler fired a bullet :57 4/5 for five furlongs Monday morning in preparation for Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) victor Colonial Colony has entered the picture for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22.
The Irish-bred colt Vespone and the South African-bred mare Crimson Palace, a pair of Godolphin Racing Inc. competitors in Saturday's International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park, turned in easy gallops Monday morning at the suburban Chicago track.
Although he suffered his first turf defeat of the season in last month's Virginia Derby, Artie Schiller will be odds-on to get back in the winners' circle when he starts in Saratoga's $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT) Monday.
Even the Score, bothered by foot problems, was dropped from consideration for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22 by trainer Vladimir Cerin Sunday. Another prospect for the race, Olmodavor is extremely questionable, according to trainer Richard Mandella.
Gary A. Tanaka's Epalo, the first of four European invaders to arrive at Arlington Park for the upcoming Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 14, was on his toes -- alert and interested -- while being walked behind his barn by Elke Schutz Saturday morning.
Medallist and The Cliff's Edge, the one-two finishers in the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont on July 11 head a seven-horse field for Sunday's nine-furlong Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.
With Queen's Plate winner Niigon at Saratoga to contest the Jim Dandy (gr. II) on dirt, Sam-Son Farm's Silver Ticket and The Two Bit Racing Stable's A Bit O'Gold head a field of 11 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds for the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes Sunday at Woodbine.
It was like old times again here at the Spa. Rain on opening day, the largest on-track crowds in America and Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez picking up where they left off last year.
With a lineup that includes four multiple graded stakes winners, Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) boasts one of the strongest fields of fillies and mares ever gathered for the 1 1/8-mile fixture on Del Mar's main track.
Undefeated Souvenir Gift, who has two stakes victories among her three wins, heads a field of eight 2-year-old fillies in Saturday's $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) at 6 1/2 furlongs on Del Mar's main track.
Iron County Farms' Bare Necessities is looking to repeat her winning performance in Saturday's $200,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) going 1 1/8-miles at Ellis Park. Bare Necessities took the 2003 edition by scoring an impressive 5 1/4-length win and paying just $2.80 to become the shortest price in the race's 22-year history.
A small but contentious field of seven will line up Saturday to try and claim honors in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga.
Five weeks after giving everything he had to win the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) by a neck over Newfoundland, Edmund Gann's Peace Rules will have his work cut out for him once again as he faces a field with quick speed horses in Saturday's 77th running of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Lion Heart, the 121-pound starting highweight for the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), drew post 4 on Thursday for Sunday's race. He was quickly installed the 9-5 favorite for the $1-million Haskell, Monmouth Park's signature race of the season.
Dogwood Stable's Smok'n Frolic didn't show much spark in her last start, but Todd Pletcher, Saratoga's leading trainer, says he isn't concerned that she'll give a similar effort in Friday's $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap, which was upgraded to grade II status this season.
Imperialism, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) third-place finisher, could show up next in the grassy Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) on Sept. 6, according to trainer Kristin Mulhall.
Chowder's First outdueled West Virginia in the stretch of Wednesday's $250,000 restricted New York Stallion Stakes (Cab Calloway Division) at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Let Goodtimes Roll covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.99. West Virginia was a neck back for second, with Pay Attention a distant 9 1/2-lengths back in third.
Highlights of this week's report from Saratoga: Redemption for Lukas and Azeri...Anniversary of an historic Travers... No spa visit for Actxecutive... Stamina in the Family of Afleet Alex... Sir Shackleton, Zito's Sleeper.
Edgewood Farm's Pollard's Vision, winner of the Illinois Derby (gr. II) in early April, heads a well-matched field of nine 3-year-olds entered for the Aug. 7 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort.
A weekly handicapping notebook, including Horses to Watch list, for the current Del Mar meet. Compiled by Brisnet.
Tap Day and Pie's Prospect were added to Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitiational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park bring the total field to seven starters.
Burning Roma and Megantic are expected to highlight Sunday's $100,000 Oceanport Handicap (gr. IIIT), on the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) undercard at Monmouth Park.
The second season begins in earnest for the 3-year-olds the weekend of Aug. 7-8, with the runnings of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), and West Virginia Derby (gr. III). If there is even the slimmest chance of dethroning Smarty Jones for the title, someone is going to have to run the table.
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