The Hollywood Park Turf Festival continues Saturday with a pair of Grade 3 stakes for two-year-olds, the $100,000 Generous and $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 program.
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 Kentucky 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 Clark Handicap 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 Citation 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 Interaction.
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 Go for Wand Handicap.
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 Aqueduct.
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 Delta 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 Delta 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, Florida.
Puerto Rican import My Wandy's Girl, who won Thursday's Pentelis overnight stakes at Aqueduct in her mainland debut to extend her winning streak to nine, could make a nine-day turnaround to compete in the Grade 1 Gazelle on November 24, trainer Mike Hushion said on Friday.
The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced Friday that trainer Dale Romans has been chosen as the 2012 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom Award. The annual honor is bestowed upon a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and Thoroughbred racing publicists.
Social media sites have been buzzing for months. She already has her own Facebook page. Now the time is at hand; Zenyatta's half-sister is ready to make her debut in Friday's fourth race at Hollywood Park.
Fillies and mares from around the globe are gathering at Hollywood Park in anticipation of the Grade 1, $250,000 Matriarch on November 25. The one-mile grass affair is part of the Hollywood Turf Festival, which is scheduled November 23-25.
Marketing Mix won last year's Grade 2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs after finishing second in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland, and Centre Court will try to follow in her footsteps in Saturday night's 1 1/16-mile event for three-year-old fillies.
Led by morning-line favorite Goldencents, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail and Grade 2 victor Bern Identity, a strong field of nine juveniles has been assembled for Saturday's 10th running of the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. The winner will garner 10 points toward a possible starting position in next year's Kentucky Derby on the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series.
Hip No. 3094, the juvenile filly STORM CROSSING (Tiznow), brought a winning bid of $75,000 from Ashview Farm to top Wednesday's ninth session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in Lexington, Kentucky. Consigned by Lane's End, agent, the Kentucky-bred bay lass was sold as a racing or broodmare prospect.
Trainer Graham Motion developed a plan that almost landed his charge Animal Kingdom an historic victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile in the colt's first start in 259 days. Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin termed the second-place finish to Horse of the Year candidate Wise Dan "a great feat of horsemanship."
Santa Anita, which will embark upon its 76th winter/spring meeting on December 26, has announced it will offer a total of 41 graded stakes over the course of its 71-day meet, beginning with the opening day Malibu and La Brea which will serve as the first of nine Grade 1 events. Both stakes will offer purses of $300,000 and will be run at seven furlongs.