Tim Ice said again that he would nominate Summer Bird to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), as well as the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I), both at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 7. He was confident about Summer Bird's ability to handle either surface, but said the Classic was the more likely choice.
Several trainers from the Oct. 3 races at Belmont indicated which way they were leaning for next month's Breeders' Cup.
Southern California shipper Awesome Gem came from off the pace to run down Nite Light in deep stretch for a 1 1/4-length win in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) at muddy Hawthorne Park Oct. 3.
Summer Bird continued his meteoric rise to the top of the Thoroughbred ranks, as he turned back fellow 3-year-old Quality Road to win the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) by a length Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Elliot Mavorah's Interpatation pulled a shocker in the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) and did it in sensational fashion. The 7-year-old gelding was passed by Gio Ponti with a furlong remaining, then re-rallied on the heavy favorite to score a 43-1 upset Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Much like he did earlier in the year in the Carter Handicap (gr. I), Kodiak Kowboy ran down odds-on favorite Fabulous Strike in the final yards to claim the $400,000 Vosburgh (gr. I) by a half-length Oct. 3 at Belmont Park. It was the sixth graded stakes victory for the 4-year-old son of Posse.
Donver Stable's Careless Jewel won just as a 3-10 favorite is supposed to, as the talented filly led every step of the way in a no-doubt-about-it 3 1/2-length victory in the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion (gr. II) Oct. 3 at Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack.
Music Note, as expected, swept to victory with jockey Rajiv Maragh in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I), the first of five grade I stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 3.
Varenar benefitted from a swift early pace to storm past heavy favorite Goldikova in the final strides to capture the Total Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) by a short head at Longchamp Oct. 3.
Impressive 2-year-old Interactif, fresh off his commanding victory in the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIIT), returns as the one to beat in the $150,000 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park.
It looks as if Mastercraftsman will be joining stablemate Rip Van Winkle in the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) after the colt's easy victory in the 1 1/8-mile Diamond Stakes on the all-weather track at Dundalk.
Unbeaten Lookin At Lucky seeks his fourth consecutive win for trainer Bob Baffert and a spot in the starting gate for next month's Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) when he faces 11 juvenile rivals in the $300,000 Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Oct. 4.
Though his racing career began just seven months ago, Summer Bird has accomplished extraordinary things in a short period of time. The Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Shadwell Travers (gr. I) winner will try to defy the odds once again when he faces older horses for the first time in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
A condylar fracture of a cannon bone knocked Darley Debutante (gr. I) winner Mi Sueno out of the $300,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) this week and 13 juvenile fillies are hoping to take advantage at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Oct. 4.
There was a time not too long ago that a meeting among the nation's best fillies and mares in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I) was a distinct possibility. But with Rachel Alexandra on the sideline, Zenyatta staying in California for the Lady's Secret (gr. I), and Icon Project now heading to Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I), the Beldame has lost some of its appeal.
Christophe Clement has had many talented stakes winners during his years as one of the nation's leading turf conditioners, but the French-born trainer now admits Gio Ponti may be at the top of that list. On Oct. 3, the 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat seeks his fifth consecutive grade I grass victory when he lines up for the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park.
The decision as to whether or not Fabulous Strike will be sent to California for the Breeders' Cup has not yet been made. For now, the focus is squarely on the $400,000 Vosburgh, where the 6-year-old son of Smart Strike will have to face a short but stellar field of sprinters Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Dynaforce wouldn't mind a little cut in the ground when she defends her crown in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) over Belmont Park's inner turf course Oct. 3.
Now that Rachel Alexandra is through for the year, it is time for Zenyatta, the defending Queen of all Turfdom, to take center stage, and her presence will be a welcome sight in a year where the Breeders' Cup has gone a bit haywire.
BloodHorse.com has announced the return of the interactive game "Breeders' Cup Bracket Battles" presented by Youbet.com. Beginning Oct. 1, and for the five-week period leading up to this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Favored California Flag led nearly all the way to win the $100,000 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on opening day of the Oak Tree Racing Association meet at Santa Anita Park Sept. 30, earning a repeat victory in the hillside turf course event over runner-up Get Funky and a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Looking at Icon Project's last three starts, her only races on dirt in an 11-race career, one can only wonder just how special this 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker is.
Mine That Bird, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), registered his first workout at Santa Anita Park Sept. 29 when he drilled five furlongs under Joe Talamo in 1:01.80 in preparation for the $350,000 Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 10.
Because of a change in the weather forecast to light rain, the watering of the Longchamp course has ceased, but track officials still hope to get good ground for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I).
The chances of Sea The Stars being withdrawn from Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) due to soft ground appear slim to none, as the weather forecast calls for little or no rain through next Tuesday.
Two-time champion Indian Blessing notched her first victory of the season and earned her way back to the Breeders' Cup World Championships by outdueling Sara Louise in a thrilling finish to win the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) by a head Sept. 26 at Belmont Park. It was the Bob Baffert trainee's second consecutive win in the 6 1/2-furlong contest.
Fittingly featuring 2008 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champion Desert Code, the Sept. 30 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) heads Oak Tree's 31-day season at Santa Anita, one that will be highlighted by the two-day, $25.5-million Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 6 and 7.
Hibaayeb shed her maiden tag in the best possible way, driving up the rail under Neil Callan to win the Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile (Eng-I) at Ascot Sept. 26.
Kona Gold, a resident of the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park, was euthanized Sept. 25 after a paddock accident. The 15-year-old gelding had resided at the park since November 2007.
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., reported on several of his top horses Sept. 25 from Aqueduct, including Paul Pompa Jr.'s Futurity (gr. II) winner D' Funnybone, whose next start is still up in the air.
Oak Tree Racing Association announced Sept. 24 that it is launching a free new wagering platform, OakTreeBets.com, and that it will allow HRTV to provide daily coverage on a non-exclusive basis.
When Indian Blessing romped in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) last year she was in the top form of her career and on her way to another Eclipse Award, this one as the nation's top female sprinter.
WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back, who scored his biggest victory in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) earlier this year at Turfway Park, returns to the Florence, Ky., racetrack as the one to beat in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) Sept. 26.
The Oak Tree Racing Association will kick off its 41st racing season Sept. 30 at Santa Anita, and the highlight of the meeting will no doubt be the 26th running of the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be hosted by Oak Tree for an unprecedented second consecutive year on Nov. 6 and 7.
With Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and Ventura, familiar standbys like Forever Together and Music Note, and rapidly rising stars Icon Project, Careless Jewel, and Swift Temper, as well as Goldikova in Europe, this is truly a special year for fillies.
The Breeders' Cup announced Sept. 21 that an all Breeders' Cup Pick 6 wager will be offered on both days of this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships, Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita Park. Breeders' Cup also released the tentative race schedule for the two days.
Ventura became the first female to win the Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) in 13 years when she swept past the field on the outside to post a one-length victory Sept. 20.
Just as Well was awarded victory in the Northern Dancer Turf (Can-IT) at Woodbine Sept. 20 when the winner, Marsh Side, was disqualified for interference in the stretch.
Princess Haya, making her graded stakes debut, rallied along the hedge to nose Eclipse Award-winning turf female Forever Together in the $283,376 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine Sept. 20.
Concerns about Regal Ransom's readiness coming into the $750,000 Super Derby (gr. II) proved inconsequential when the well-bred Godolphin colt rolled to a front-running victory at Louisiana Downs Sept. 19.
Awesome Maria proved an authoritative winner of Belmont Park's Matron (gr. IIT) in her stakes debut Sept. 19 when odds-on choice Worstcasescenario was eased out of the race.
Bridgetown surged past favored Stormy Lord in the stretch and held sway to win the $286,891 Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT) on the Woodbine lawn Sept. 19, locking up a berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf with the victory.
Paul Pompa Jr.'s D' Funnybone followed up his impressive Saratoga Special (gr. II) win with another no-doubt-about-it victory, this one in the $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) Sept. 19 at Belmont Park. The 2-year-old son of D'wildcat is sure to be one of the favorites for the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) later this fall, if he is entered.
Bay to Bay could have a date in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf after an impressive victory in the $147,266 Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) in her first try against winners on the Woodbine lawn Sept. 19.
Juddmonte Farms, who already has Breeders' Cup victories with Banks Hill (2001) and Intercontinental (2005), could have a strong presence in this year's World Championships with several horses, including Midday, who is targeting the $2 million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita.
Canadian turf champion Rahy's Attorney returns to defend his Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) crown against a strong group of turf specialists in the $1 million event Sept. 20, which includes the sharp mare Ventura and New York invader Bribon.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Champs Elysees is back to defend his title in the $750,000 Northern Dancer Turf Presented by Vtech (Can-IT), but will have to take down a deep field of turf routers Sept. 20 at Woodbine, including Melynk Racing Stables' Marchfield, who defeated the 6-year-old horse last month over the same course.
Last year's champion grass mare Forever Together will attempt to add some more black-type to her already stellar resume when facing six other fillies and mares, including the highly regarded Points of Grace, in the $300,000 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) Sept. 20 at Woodbine.
Paul Pompa Jr. is reluctant to compare any of his young horses to 2008 dual classic winner Big Brown, but the New York based owner is not afraid to say that D'Funnybone could be something special.
West Point Thoroughbreds will be represented by graded stakes winners Macho Again and Awesome Gem in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), West Point president Terry Finley confirmed Sept. 16.
Most Popular Stories
- 'Chrome' Draws Outside Post 9 for World Cup
- Four Penn National Vets Face Federal Charges
- Fields Shaping Up for Wood Memorial Day
- Castellano Gears Up for Busy FL Derby Day
- Gulfstream Should Have Lucrative FL Derby Day
- Champion Sire Smart Strike Euthanized
- One Lucky Dane to Join Dortmund in SA Derby
- Competitive Edge Wins Comeback at Gulfstream
- Dubai Trackwork Notes, March 27
- License Review Likely for Charged Penn Vets