Data Link, hero of the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile and Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes
in course-record time earlier this year, was coming off a pair of losses. The
elegant bay couldn't catch Dominus while giving him eight pounds in the Grade 2
Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga September 1, and he was most recently a
troubled fifth to Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland
Nearly seven months after landing the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile on turf at
8-1, Chappell Alpine Farms' Hudson Landing took a Grade 3 event on the Golden
Gate Fields Tapeta surface in Friday's $100,000
Phipps Stable's Boisterous, winner of the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap and
Grade 3 Knickerbocker in his last two starts, will carry the top weight of 124
pounds when he faces 11 rivals in Sunday's 35th running of the Grade 3, $100,000
Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile turf affair highlights the
11-race closing-day program.
Dayatthespa, who has won five in a row at three different tracks, will try to
keep her streak alive in the $250,000
Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park. The one mile event for older fillies and
mares is part of a Grade 1 grass doubleheader on the final day of the Turf
Festival. The 10-race program also includes the $250,000
Derby, which drew an overflow of 15 three-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles.
No filly or mare in the 23-year existence of the
has won the one-mile fixture at Aqueduct, though few have tried. Fresh off a
championship clinching win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint,
Groupie Doll will attempt to make a little history before the year is out when
she faces six male rivals in Saturday's renewal of the $350,000 handicap.
After Mackie Racing's Kya One finished a belated fifth to Naples Bay in her
U.S. debut in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel over a mile at Belmont Park, trainer Chad
Brown explained that his new recruit really needed more ground. That proposition
was tested, and confirmed, in Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000
Charmer Handicap at Calder, where Kya One profited from an extra furlong to
defeat Naples Bay by a cozy 1 1/4 lengths.
Bob Baffert was virtually assured of continuing his stranglehold on
Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000
Prevue Stakes by entering four of the five runners, and the Hall of Famer's
quartet duly gobbled up the top four placings in the Thanksgiving Day feature.
Less predictable, however, was the identity of the Baffert-trained winner --
Really Mr Greely, the 11-1 longest shot on the board, who led throughout to
upset 4-5 favorite Super Ninety Nine.
After posting convincing wins in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm and Lady's
Secret, Afleeting Lady made it three in a row on the Thanksgiving Day program at
Churchill Downs, scoring by a 2 1/4-length margin in the Grade 2, $162,450
Allowed to settle just off the early pace, Maggi Moss's Delaunay took command
in upper stretch and drew off for a 2 1/2-length tally in the 87th running of
Fair Grounds' $98,000
Thanksgiving Handicap, the New Orleans oval's tradition-rich annual opening
day highlight, giving nine-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Tom Amoss his
first winner in the Turkey Day feature attraction.
Robert Masterson's Nefertini earned the biggest win of her 10-race career
with a game performance in Friday's Grade 2, $196,000
Wand Handicap at Aqueduct.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) posted an 11.5 percent gain in total
handle during the recently concluded Belmont Park fall meet, with additional
increases in NYRA Rewards account wagering and wagering on NYRA races. Belmont
Park's fall meet ran 36 days from September 8 to October 28, 2012.
The final Saturday of the Tropical meet at Calder features two graded stakes,
the Grade 2, $150,000
McKnight Handicap and the Grade 3, $100,000
Fred W. Hooper
The Hollywood Park Turf Festival continues Saturday with a pair of Grade 3
stakes for two-year-olds, the $100,000
Miesque for fillies, and both races will be contested at a mile on turf.
John Sadler will try to become only the second trainer to win the Generous in
consecutive years when he sends out a pair, Rising Legend and Under Review, and
he is responsible for top contender Pussycat Lips in the Miesque later on the
After posting a 5 1/2-length score in the Iroquois Stakes on October 28,
Uncaptured will look to keep his momentum rolling while
stretching back out to a two-turn distance in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000
Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs. The Lion Heart colt can enhance his reputation as a
leading Kentucky Derby candidate with a strong showing in the 1 1/16-mile event.
Shackleford, whose Grade 1 exploits include the 2011 Preakness and the
Metropolitan Handicap last May, will bow out of the racing scene Friday in the
Grade 1, $400,000
at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile Clark, which dates to Churchill's founding
year of 1875, anchors the 12-race Black Friday program, with the Clark set to go
off shortly after sunset.
He's won more than $6 million at the Dubai World Cup Carnival over the years
and globe-trotting trainer Mike de Kock is hoping that his current group of new
hopefuls can add to his Dubai spoils.
Ultimate Eagle, who capped a four-race winning streak in the Grade 1
Hollywood Derby at last year's Turf Festival, will kick off the 2012 Festival by
making his comeback in Friday's Grade 2, $250,000
Handicap at Hollywood Park. Sidelined for nine months since weakening to
10th in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, the Michael Pender trainee will clash
with stablemate and defending champion Jeranimo; East Coast shipper Data Link
and his frequent foe Doubles Partner; and former Argentinean Horse of the Year
The 14th edition of the $850,000 Claiming Crown promises to make opening day
at Gulfstream Park an even more special occasion on December 1, judging from the
long and talented list of nominees for the seven-race series that will be
renewed for the first time at the Hallandale Beach, Florida, track.
The North American International Catalogue Standards Committee (NAICSC) on
Monday announced that effective January 1, 2014, additional quality control
requirements will be implemented for races in North America eligible for
non-Listed black-type in SITA catalogues (those compliant with guidelines
required by the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers).
Shoppers searching for ideas for unique holiday gifts have the opportunity to
present family members, friends and business associates with a view of Churchill
Downs' venerable Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days with an
online advance purchase of either general admission tickets to those great
racing and entertainment events, or two-day reserved seats for Derby and Oaks in
the track's new Section 110 venue.
Five fillies and mares will be shopping for a graded victory on Friday at
Aqueduct when they go postward in the Grade 2, $200,000
Horses will join many people in packing on a few extra pounds this Thursday
as a field of six goes to post for the 99th running of the Grade 3, $150,000
Fall Highweight Handicap, the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at
Brushed by a Star, who scored a narrow win over Joyful Victory in the Grade 2
Chilukki for owner Team Forster and trainer Grant Forster, will make her first
start for her new connections in Thursday's Grade 2, $150,000 Falls City
Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Trainer William "Buff" Bradley confirmed Sunday that multiple Grade 1-winning
filly Groupie Doll will make her next start against boys in Saturday's Grade 1,
$350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct. She was assigned to carry 118 pounds
in the race.
When rising superstar Joe Talamo captured Santa Anita's autumn riding title
to break the five-year Southern California reign of Rafael Bejarano and Joel
Rosario, it was a scrapbook-filling moment for the 22-year-old. For his agent,
Scotty McClellan, it was just another day at the office.
Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy continued his preparations for Friday's Grade
1, $400,000 Clark Handicap with a three-furlong move in :35 2/5 over the fast
main track at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning.
A decision on whether classic hero Shackleford would run in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile
on Saturday at Aqueduct or
one day earlier in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs was to be made
Monday, but trainer Dale Romans told the Courier-Journal on Sunday that
the chestnut would stay home in Kentucky for the latter contest.
John Size is hoping for a repeat run from stable star Glorious Days in the
Group 1 Hong Kong Mile December 9, after the five-year-old lowered the colors of
Hong Kong's dual Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon in the Group 2 Jockey Club
Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday.
Fair Grounds is generally accepted to be the third-oldest racetrack in the
country, although many accounts, including a heavily researched 2006 feature in
The Times-Picayune by Bob Fortus, contend that Fair Grounds could be at
least the second-oldest, if not the oldest.
Sadamu Onishi's Sadamu Patek just hung on from favored Grand Prix Boss in
Sunday's 29th running of the Mile Championship at Kyoto. Aside from recording
his first Grade 1 title, the son of Fuji Kiseki helped jockey Yutaka Take to
fill in a rare gap on his resume.
Centre Court's first two victories came during the spring meet -- a 4
3/4-length maiden conquest on May 19, followed by the Grade 3 Regret in her
stakes debut on June 16. The Rusty Arnold filly made it three in a row when
taking a rough running of the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga. Runner-up to
Stephanie's Kitten next time out in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at the Spa August
19, Centre Court was most recently second to the front-running Dayatthespa in
the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 13.
W. C. Racing, Dave Kenney and RAP Racing's Goldencents grabbed command of
Saturday's Grade 3
Downs Jackpot by a short margin soon after the start and maintained the lead
throughout to score a 1 3/4-length victory on the wire. With jockey Kevin
Krigger aboard, the Doug O'Neill trainee ran 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track
in 1:44 4/5.
Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider's homebred Lea capitalized on a
textbook stalk-and-pounce trip to capture Saturday night's Grade 3, $100,000
Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs, and in the process, the lightly-raced
colt stamped himself as one to follow next year. Bet down to 5-2 favoritism off
his late-running third in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last out, the Al Stall Jr.
trainee took up much better early position this time for new rider Brian
Hernandez Jr., and produced a strong kick down the stretch.
Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti's Rose to Gold held off the determined
run of fellow Calder shipper Touch Magic to take Saturday's Grade 3, $500,000
Downs Princess by a half-length under jockey Paco Lopez. The Friends Lake
juvenile miss was sent off the 5-2 second choice and paid $7.60, $5.60 and $4.60
while finishing the two-turn, fast-track mile in 1:39 1/5.
Named after one of the most accomplished horses to run at Penn National, the
Fabulous Strike for sprinters boasts a deep field highlighted by the 5-2 morning
line favorite Poseidon's Warrior. Winner of the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt in
August at Saratoga Race Course, Poseidon's Warrior is coming off a dull effort
in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 3 at Santa Anita, reporting home last.
Marc Ferrell's Called to Serve rallied from the back of a six-horse field in
Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct to take the 1 1/8-mile fixture for
three-year-olds by a widening 4 3/4 lengths under Joel Rosario. The 7-2 second
choice, Called to Serve paid $9.60, $3.60 and $2.40.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom's Demonstrative thrust himself into the year-end Eclipse
Award picture with an impressive, last-to-first victory in the Grade 1, $100,000
Colonial Cup on Saturday.
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll breezed a half-mile in
:48 1/5 over Churchill Downs' fast dirt on Saturday morning in preparation for a
possible start against the boys in the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct
on November 24.
Classic victor Shackleford breezed a half-mile over the fast main track at
Churchill Downs on Saturday in :47 2/5 in his first workout since finishing
seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Frac Daddy and Java's War both recorded workouts on Churchill Downs's fast
main track Saturday for trainer Ken McPeek in preparation for the Grade 2,
$150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club on November 24 under the Twin Spires.
Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest win of his illustrious career in the
Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in 2010, will be paraded between races on November 24
at Hollywood Park.
Grade 1 winner Pool Play, eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic in his last
start, continued his preparations for next Friday's Grade 1 $400,000 Clark
Handicap with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01 3/5 over the fast main track at
Churchill Downs on Friday morning.
Trainer Todd Pletcher appears to have a loaded hand for next week's
Holidayfest, with possible starters in five of the six Thanksgiving Week graded
stakes at Aqueduct.
Trainer Barclay Tagg issued an upbeat bulletin Friday morning as Jersey Town
prepares for the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap, one of six graded stakes
that form Aqueduct's Holidayfest.
Eric N. Kronfeld's homebred Eblouissante, a Bernardini half-sister to Horse
of the Year and equine star Zenyatta, made her much anticipated debut in the
4TH race at Hollywood Park on Friday and, just like her big sis, flew home
to score by 4 1/4 lengths on the wire.
Tickets for the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards, which will feature the
announcement of 2012 Horse of the Year, are now available for purchase. The
Eclipse Awards will be held January 19 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach,