The centerpiece event of the Tropical Meet was once again the prestigious Festival of the Sun program on October 13 that featured the final legs of the lucrative Florida Stallion Stakes Series. Jockey Angel Serpa used the day to show off his riding prowess, taking top prize in the $300,000 My Dear Girl division with Verso a Verso before returning two races later to claim glory in the $300,000 In Reality division with the promising colt Speak Logistics.
Brushwood Stable's homebred Philly Ace bided his time down on the rail during Friday's Calder's closing-day co-feature -- the Grade 3, $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap -- before running down pacesetting 9-5 favorite Hollinger to post a half-length victory.
Closing Range had engineered a similar theft two starts back in the August 26 Twin Lights over 1 1/8 miles at Monmouth, where she just lasted in a photo-finish. The daughter of After Market was coming off her worst career effort, a non-threatening eighth in a division of the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland October 19. That was thoroughly uncharacteristic for the lightly-raced filly, who had previously won three of four starts and placed second in the other.
Acclamation has encountered setbacks that have limited his 2012 campaign to just two starts. The six-year-old son of Unusual Heat has won them both, however, extending his winning streak to seven. After scoring an unprecedented three-peat in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap in his belated reappearance on June 9, Acclamation successfully defended his title in the Grade 1 Eddie Read on July 21.
I have played in maybe a half dozen handicapping contests in my life, but this weekend I am going to take a shot in the Keeneland NHC qualifier. read blog
The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) on Friday presented its listing of U.S. Graded and listed stakes for 2013, the results of its annual grading session conducted November 28 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Bolstered by his homebred Wise Dan, dominating winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile on November 3, Morton Fink has won the second annual John Deere Award as outstanding breeder of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Challenge Series and the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood drew a short but salty field of seven at Hollywood Park. Grade 1 winners Comma to the Top and Smiling Tiger are logical win challengers given their recent form, but Capital Account, Fast Bullet and Private Zone also merit respect in the six-furlong event.
The racing world is forever on the lookout for the emergence of Thoroughbred stars that possess the talent and charisma to attract the public's attention to the "Sport of Kings."
The Gulfstream VIP Fan Experience will once again be made available to racing fans during the 2012-2013 Gulfstream Park meeting. The unique and exclusive experience will provide fans with an all-access and behind-the-scenes look at Thoroughbred racing from the training of Thoroughbreds in the morning to presenting a trophy in the winner's circle in the afternoon.
Prolific owners-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey have emerged as a major players in Thoroughbred racing with their red and white colors prominent at all levels of the sport from the Breeders' Cup down to the claiming ranks.
Klaravich Stables' Populist Politics, probably best known as the
hard-knocking runner-up to Brittlyn Stable's Star Guitar on numerous occasions,
is the early favorite to headline next weekend's $150,000 Louisiana Champions
Day Classic when Fair Grounds hosts the 21st renewal of its series of 11 races
restricted to accredited Louisiana-breds on December 8.
The now-retired Star Guitar, of course, became the top Louisiana-bred money winner of all time last April 1 with a win in the $90,000 Costa Rising Stakes on Louisiana Derby Day. Populist Politics finished second behind him once again that day, beaten a head for the victory.
"Hopefully, next weekend, Populist Politics will get the opportunity to show he's the heir apparent," trainer Tom Amoss said Thursday morning during training hours.
When Krypton Factor took to the track at Meydan Racecourse at the start of last season, he was a handicapper rated 100. This season he will embark on the defense of his 2012 Dubai Golden Shaheen Crown a Group 1 winner rated 123.
Pete Denk and Frank Angst handicap the Jewel Stakes and the Emerald Stakes of the Claiming Crown from Gulfstream Park Saturday. Watch Video
In its four runnings, the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic has attracted 32 different runners who have captured a total of 71 graded stakes between them, with 12 of those coming in races currently a part of the Breeders' Cup's "Win & You're In" Challenge series.
After finishing a well-beaten seventh as the 6-5 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Game on Dude will attempt to end 2012 on a winning note when he lines up for Saturday's Grade 3, $250,000 Native Diver at Hollywood Park. The five-year-old gelding faces a couple of nice rivals in the five-horse field, but none appear quick enough to run with him early. He could prove difficult to catch from the rail with new jockey Mike Smith.
Tampa Bay Downs launches its 87th season with when the gates open Saturday on Lambholm South Cotillion Festival Day, with a full card of two-year-old races celebrating the track's heritage of developing future equine stars.
Ramon Dominguez, who has effectively sewn up his fourth straight riding title on The New York Racing Association (NYRA) circuit, will miss the next three race weeks after bruising his foot recently at Aqueduct Racetrack, according to his agent, Steve Rushing.
A dazzling farewell victory by popular classic winner Shackleford and jockey Jesus Castanon in the 138th running of the Grade 1 Clark Handicap provided an exclamation point as arguably the brightest moment of Churchill Downs' memorable 21-day fall meet that concluded Sunday.
The Maryland racing community lost one of its most prominent members when award-winning journalist and racing historian Joseph B. Kelly passed away Monday at Stella Maris Rehabilitation and Hospice after a short battle with cancer. He was 94 years old.
Three-year-olds enjoyed a big day in a pair of Grade 3 events at Calder last weekend, and might do so again Friday as the Tropical meet concludes with the 2012 renewals of the Grade 3, $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap and Grade 3, $100,000 La Prevoyante Handicap for fillies and mares.
In a rousing stretch battle between Japanese Triple Crown winners, reigning Filly Triple heroine Gentildonna outdueled last year's Triple Crown star Orfevre by a nose in Sunday's Grade 1 Japan Cup at Tokyo. Aside from emulating her sire, 2006 Japan Cup legend Deep Impact, Gentildonna became the first sophomore filly ever to win her nation's signature international contest. But her place in the record book was only confirmed after she survived an inquiry, for she bumped Orfevre in their wrestling match.
Gulfstream Park will kick off its meet Saturday with Breakfast at Gulfstream, a family-friendly event that once again allows the public to attend Saturday morning workouts while enjoying a breakfast buffet trackside and meeting special guests.
Jockey Miguel Mena had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend at Churchill Downs, piloting the winners of the three graded events taking placing Saturday and Sunday. He capped off the graded hat trick Sunday aboard 30-1 longshot Keep Up in the Grade 3, $115,700 River City Handicap.
Godolphin Racing's Better Lucky was no match for leading three-year-old turf filly Dayatthespa last time out at Keeneland, but after a bizarre mishap to the 8-5 favorite in Sunday's Grade 1, $250,000 Matriarch at Hollywood Park, Better Lucky went on to post a 35-1 upset.
Bear Tough Tiger fought off stablemate Bear No Joke to earn his first stakes score in Sunday's Grade 3, $127,940 Kennedy Road at Woodbine.
"If at first you don't succeed -- try, try again."
In Saturday's 86th running of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, Uncaptured defeated Frac Daddy by a neck after a thrilling stretch run and both of those precocious two-year-olds, as well as third-place finisher Dewey Square, were in good order Sunday morning.
Seaneen Girl's upset victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs had trainer Bernie Flint thinking about the first Friday in May on Sunday morning.
While Saturday's 6TH race at Calder Race Course offered the promise of juvenile fillies heading to the turf while still in the early stages of their career, the human narrative of the race centered on longtime trainer Bennie Stutts Jr., who started recent maiden winner Iwillneversaynever in what would be the final race of the 74-year-old conditioner's career.
Even as Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap victor Stay Thirsty prepared to depart Todd Pletcher's barn for his upcoming career at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Kentucky, the trainer and owner Mike Repole have plenty to look forward to next year following Unlimited Budget's front-running victory in the Grade 2 Demoiselle for juvenile fillies and Overanalyze's gritty nose triumph in the Grade 2 Remsen for two-year-olds.
Dance Card's victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Gazelle at Aqueduct capped a high-quality year for Godolphin Racing, becoming the outfit's fifth winner of a Grade 1 in 2012.
Travesura was overlooked at odds of 11-1 in the circumstances. She was overshadowed by such rivals as multiple Group 3-placed Premier Steps, the 4-5 favorite in her American debut for Chad Brown, and Surfer Girl romper Flashy Ways, looking to rebound off a troubled 11th in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. But the pace scenario appeared soft on paper, and Travesura took full advantage.
Westrock Stables' Den's Legacy sat chilly behind the leading trio for more than six furlongs, dove through a gap along the inside at the top of the stretch, and charged home a half-length winner of the Grade 3, $100,000 Generous at Hollywood Park on Saturday. The son of Medaglia d'Oro safely held off a late bid from Rising Legend and completed one mile on firm turf in 1:36 1/5.
John C. Oxley's Uncaptured rallied to the lead on the far turn and gamely fought a serious challenge from Frac Daddy through the stretch to prove best in Saturday's Grade 2, $177,150 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. The Mark Casse-trained colt confirmed his status as one of the early favorites for the 2013 Run for the Roses, earning 10 points in the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series for the gutsy neck score, and Uncaptured swept both graded events at Churchill Downs this fall, posting a 5 1/4-length score in the Grade 3 Iroquois on October 28.
Twilight Eclipse, a three-year-old Purim gelding making only his sixth career start, registered an 11-1 upset of Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder. His stalk-and-pounce rally under Manoel Cruz resulted in a 1 3/4-length triumph in a time of 2:26 3/5 for 1 1/2 miles on the firm turf.
Csaba nearly stole the whole prize and Ducduc just failed to overhaul his rival in the latter stages. In the end, both horses settled for a dead-heat in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Fred W. Hooper, reaching the finish line together in the 1 1/8-mile event at Calder.
Stay Thirsty culminated both a notable career and a sensational week for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher with a nail-biting victory over the filly Groupie Doll in Saturday's Grade 1 $343,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct.
Godolphin Racing's Dance Card gave jockey Ramon Dominguez his fifth win on Saturday's card at Aqueduct when posting an easy four-length victory in the Grade 1, $350,000 Gazelle as the wire-to-wire winner.
Emollient tried to snatch victory away from Repole Stable's Unlimited Budget in Saturday's Grade 2, $237,500 Demoiselle at Aqueduct, but the Street Sense filly would not be denied, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire and improving her mark to a perfect two-for-two.
Naveed Chowhan's Seaneen Girl battled it out with Gal About Town in the stretch of Saturday's Grade 2, $167,550 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs before just getting up for a half-length score as the 31-1 longest shot in the nine-filly field.
Repole Stable's Overanalyze was confronted by Normandy Invasion down the stretch in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct, but the Todd Pletcher trainee fought back resiliently to reclaim the advantage at the wire.
The day after a fantastic renewal of the Grade 1 Clark Handicap under the Twin Spires, the top three finishers were in fine order in their stalls at Churchill Downs, but definite plans for each horse have yet to be decided.
Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge's homebred Shackleford concluded his racing career in grand style Friday, winning the Grade 1, $447,000 Clark Handicap over his home track at Churchill Downs, and the distinguished colt now heads to stud at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.
Repole Stable's Caixa Eletronica turned Thursday's Grade 3, $147,000 Fall Highweight Handicap into a mismatch, winning Aqueduct's traditional Thanksgiving Day feature by a widening four-length margin. The seven-year-old horse chased in second as pacesetter and 6-5 favorite This Ones for Phil established opening splits in :22 2/5 and :44 4/5 on a short lead, drew even after turning into the stretch and dominated the latter stages, finishing six furlongs in 1:08 3/5 on the fast track.