When Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now wins, it's usually close. Under Ramon Dominguez, the late closer gutted out a three-horse photo by a head to win Sunday's $269,156 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) on a yielding turf at Woodbine.
He was reluctant to load, but once John C. Oxley's Strong Contender got rolling, there was no stopping him. The 3-year-old son of Maria's Mon swept past the 4-5 favorite Lawyer Ron to win the $486,500 Super Derby (gr. II) at Harrah's Louisiana Downs Saturday.
Team Valor Stable's King of the Roxy, getting better with experience, notched his first graded stakes victory on Saturday when he held C P West safe for a three-quarter-length victory in the 117th running of Belmont Park's $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Willow Rock Stable's 2-year-old filly Meadow Breeze, making her graded stakes debut, came up with the biggest effort of her young career Saturday to win the 100th running of the $250,000 Matron (gr. I) at Belmont Park by a head at odds of 34-1.
It's the money time of the year for trainer Bobby Frankel, who is starting to get hot at the right time. He saddled favored Karen's Caper, who got an ideal set up Saturday on the Belmont Park Widener Turf Course under jockey Edgar Prado to win the $155,366 Noble Damsel Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mare at one mile.
Bell Woodbine Mile (Can-I) winner Becrux is an unlikely candidate for the NetJets' Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr. IT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 4 because he isn't nominated, according to Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor, the syndicate that co-owns the 4-year-old colt along with Gary Barber.
The war between Coolmore and the Maktoums that was evident at the recent Keeneland September yearling sale is expected to move north on Oct. 7 when Susan Magnier's Dylan Thomas squares off against Darley Stable's Bernardini and Shadwell Farm's Invasor in the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
Several runners with their eyes on upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championship prep races around the country lit up the Southern California work tab Sept. 18, led by Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) winner Point Ashley, who logged six furlongs in 1:11 4/5, breezing, on the fast main track at Santa Anita Park.
The main topic of conversation at Belmont Park these days is the much-awaited showdown between Bernardini and Invasor in the Oct. 7 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Both colts are doing extremely well, according to their connections, with Bernardini already on the muscle and itching for a fight. The winner likely will take on the role as favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Frank Calabrese's homebred Dreaming of Anna left eight male rivals in her wake, capturing Sunday's $250,000 Summer Stakes (Can-III) for 2-year-olds in decisive fashion.
Riding for the first time since July 16 because of a back injury, the subbing Patrick Valenzuela drove the 8-1 shot Becrux to a neck victory over Rebel Rebel in the $896,460(US) Bell Woodbine Mile (Can-I) on the E.P. Taylor turf course Sunday.
Kastoria, the only distaffer in the field, roared past heavy favorite Yeats in the final 50 yards to claim victory in the Irish Field St. Leger (Ire-I) at the Curragh on Saturday.
David Dwyer's Barilko kept his unblemished record intact with a workmanlike performance in the featured $125,000 Swynford Stakes for 2-year-olds on the all-weather track Saturday at Woodbine.
Arthur B. Hancock III's even-money choice Wanderin Boy exploited his early speed to trounce the field in the $158,500 Brooklyn Breeders's Cup Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Sabine Stable's speedy homebred Win McCool, posting her first graded stakes win, shook loose of pace rival Pretty Imposing in upper stretch and held sway to the wire to win the $110,900 Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park Saturday.
Turf star Artie Schiller, a close second last year in Eclipse Award balloting, has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Hurricane Hall near Lexington.
Eldon Farm's Hirapour, the 2004 Eclipse Award winner as champion steeplechaser and a grade II winner this summer, will undergo a new treatment for a bone chip in his left ankle in hopes of racing this fall in the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase and the Colonial Cup (both NSA-I).
Racing fans will receive the latest information on the upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championships when HorseRacing TV's weekly show, "Pursuit of the Cup" returns Sept. 14 at 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Shirocco maintained his unbeaten record this year with a neck victory over stablemate Hurricane Run in the Prix Foy Gray d'Albion Barriere (Fr-II) on Sunday.
Pool Land tracked favored Take D' Tour through wickedly fast early fractions, then pulled away in the stretch to win the $300,000 Ruffian (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park Sunday.
In his first workout since winning the Travers (gr. I), Bernardini breezed five furlongs over Belmont Park's fast main track Sunday in 1:01 3/5.
Mill House's homebred Brilliant, under steady handling from Mark Guidry, rolled to a 6 1/2-length win in the $492,500 Kent Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Delaware Park turf Saturday.
Live Oak Plantation's homebred Miesque's Approval had to wait a week, but the heavy favorite proved his mettle with a six-wide move for jockey Eddie Castro on the final turn, winning the $150,000 Red Bank Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a half-length
Juddmonte Farm's Cacique returned to the Belmont Park winner's circle when Edgar Prado exploited an opening along the inside to capture the $500,000 Man o' War (gr. IT) on the inner turf course Saturday.
Even-money favorite Pine Island edged past Teammate in the final sixteenth of a mile and went on to post a measured one-length win in the $250,000 Gazelle (gr. IT) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Saturday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher opted to keep his ace Wait a While in the barn for Saturday's $246,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup (gr. IT) but Magnificent Song proved quite a capable substitute, winning by two lengths on the Belmont Park inner turf course.
Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Electrocutionist died of an apparent heart attack Saturday, several days after an abnormality was detected in the 5-year-old horse's heart.
Horse Greeley, a homebred son of Mr. Greeley, charged to the lead coming out of the turn and won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) on closing day Wednesday at the seaside Southern California track.
Trevor Denman has joined the ESPN announcer team for coverage of the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships, ESPN said Sept. 6.
Unless something drastic occurs between now and Nov. 4, it looks as if Bernardini, Invasor, and Lava Man, barring injury, will be the top guns, although one of those three - Bernardini or Invasor- will taste defeat in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
Lava Man, the 5-year-old son of Slew City Slew on Saturday added the trophy from the Pacific Classic -- which began in 1991 -- to his victories in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 8 and the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 4.
The formidable two-ply entry from Todd Pletcher lived up to its favorite status Monday as Michael and Dorean Tabor's homebred Circular Quay defeated stablemate Scat Daddy by 4 1/4 lengths in the grade I, $250,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds at Saratoga.
Making his second start for trainer Martin Wolfson, Silverleaf Farm's Pomeroy, ridden confidently by John Velazquez, pulled away from War Front in the final furlong to win the $250,000 Forego Handicap (gr. I) in an upset at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Besides being seen on a new network this year, the Breeders' Cup World Championships will have a different sound as well. For the first time since the event's inception in 1984, Tom Durkin will not be calling the Breeders' Cup races for television viewers.
Prohibitive favorite Henny Hughes took command of Saturday's King Bishop (gr. I) on the bend and turned the seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds into a romp on an overcast day at Saratoga Race Course.
Sizzling Siren Lure ran down the pacesetting Pure as Gold at the sixteenth pole to win the $298,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) by 2 1/4 lengths at Del Mar Sunday. Declan's Moon, the 3-2 favorite, was eased on the turn of the seven-furlong race.
Arindel Farm's Wait a While ran her winning streak to three with an easy 4 3/4-length in the $150,000 Lake Placid (gr. IIT) on the inner turf course at Saratoga Friday.
Declan's Moon, the 2004 champion 2-year-old male, is now eligible to the Breeders' Cup by virtue of his nomination to the program as a horse of racing age.
The $2 Kentucky Lottery Breeders' Cup scratch-off ticket has been one of the most successful scratch-off tickets in the Kentucky Lottery Corporation's history.
Joseph Allen's favored War Front seized the lead on the turn and held sway through the stretch to register an impressive victory in the $208,200 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Ouija Board and Alexander Goldrun provided racing with an electrifying duel in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday, with Ouija Board just getting her nose in front at the wire.
NetJets, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and Breeders' Cup Limited announced Aug. 3 that NetJets has renewed its marketing partnership with the NTRA/Breeders' Cup through 2007. NetJets has been a sponsor of the NTRA and Breeders' Cup since 2002.
Sales of a new Kentucky Lottery Breeders' Cup scratch-off ticket are underway all across the state. While the $2 ticket offers more than $1.2 million in prizes of as much as $5000, players have a second chance at winning VIP packages for the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup have struck a new joint operating agreement through at least 2008, ending speculation the two organizations could go their separate ways. In addition, they will have separate chief executive officers.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup announced a 40% reduction in personnel and resulting administration costs as part of what they call a restructuring of their joint operating arrangement.
Breeders' Cup has announced the names of the 13 individuals elected to its board of trustees and members for three-year terms beginning Aug. 1.
The second half of the Thoroughbred racing season kicks off June 17 with the first 2006 telecast of the Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge on ESPN from 5-7 p.m. (est).
A quartet of runners from the Tim Hills barn were the first to try the new Monmouth Park turf when they all worked over the surface on Monday -- the first horses to set foot on the $4.5 million course.
The future direction of the Breeders' Cup, and perhaps the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, could be at least partly decided when the results of an ongoing election for the Breeders' Cup board of trustees and members are announced in July.
Churchill Downs must receive ticket applications for the 2006 Breeders' Cup World Championships by June 1 in order to be included in a random drawing that determines the order those applications will be processed.
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