It nearly was for Peachtree Stable and trainer Bob Baffert March 25 when Princess Arabella ran off to win the Sunland Park Oaks at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino by eight lengths while never tested.
There's something special about defending your home turf against an army of formidable invaders, and Isn't He Clever and trainer Henry Dominguez will get that chance in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) March 25.
Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel concluded its 2011-2012 Thoroughbred season the night of March 17. The 88-day meeting produced record wagering amounts in several categories as well as sizable increases in handle.
The March 22 live racing program at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has been canceled due to torrential rain. The state and track stewards made the final decision in consultation with Fair Grounds officials at 10:30 a.m.
One need only scan the names of multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainers Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, and Steve Asmussen to realize that in 2012, New Mexico's $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) has come of age.
Peachtree Stable and Bob Baffert used the Sunland Park Oaks as a springboard to an eventual Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) win for Plum Pretty in 2011 and will attempt to do the same this year with Princess Arabella.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise funds for breast cancer research on Fair Grounds Oaks Day, March 31.
South Florida-based Alpha, easy winner of the Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Feb. 4, is now considered probable for the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) April 1.
For Rick Porter and Larry Jones, Plan A is to run Havre de Grace in the Apple Blossom Handicap April 13. However, the connections have also made one thing clear: They will only do so under the right weight conditions.
Larry Jones' two top 3-year-olds, Mark Valeski and Mr. Bowling, were both sent out on separate five-furlong works March 20 at Fair Grounds in preparation for the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on April 1.
With a third straight Rebel Stakes (gr. II) victory sealed thanks to Secret Circle March 17, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was eagerly looking forward to the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) next month at Oaklawn Park.
Secret Circle handed trainer Bob Baffert his third consecutive victory in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II), taking over from Scatman in mid-stretch and holding off a late run by longshot Optimizer to score the $500,000 event.
Tiz Miz Sue, making her third start of the Oaklawn Park meet, finally broke through with Joe Rocco Jr. aboard, posting an 8-1 upset in the $147,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 17.
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace commenced her 2012 campaign in fine style with a facile victory in the $150,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots March 17.
Five of the top six finishers of the two divisions of last month's Southwest Stakes (gr. III) are back for $500,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II), which drew a competitive and jam-packed field of 13 3-year-olds.
Absinthe Minded, who has dominated Oaklawn Park's older filly and mare division this meet, takes on a new challenge from Fair Grounds invader Joyful Victory in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 17.
Officials at Evangeline Downs and sales administrator Stemmans Inc. announced that 134 juveniles--the same number as in 2011--have been cataloged for the John Franks Memorial 2-year-old in training sale at Evangeline Downs.
Breeder/owner Walter "Buddy" New, who raced three Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starters, died March 8 in La Jolla, Calif.
Sam Houston Race Park reported a 35% increase in live pari-mutuel handle and a 40% jump in attendance for its 31-day Thoroughbred meet, which ended March 12.
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, set to make her 2012 debut in the $150,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots March 17, drew post position 2 and will face four opponents.
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots March 12 in preparation for her 2012 debut in the March 17 New Orleans Ladies Stakes at the Louisiana racetrack.
Alternation was allowed to take the lead heading into the first turn and never relinquished it, defeating 11-10 favorite Tapizar in the $125,000 Razorback Stakes (gr. III) March 10 at Oaklawn Park.
Odds-on choice On Fire Baby won the Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) by two lengths at Oaklawn Park March 10, setting up an interesting decision for trainer Gary Hartlage and owner/breeder Anita Cauley.
Secret Circle and Castaway, expected to next run in the $500,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, worked in company for trainer Bob Baffert March 10 at Santa Anita.
When the devastating news concerning the health issues of recently retired jockey E.J. Perrodin became public, Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg was one of the first people to volunteer his help.
- By Eric Mitchell
- Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
The Jockey Club and National Thoroughbred Racing Association introduced the first in a series of fun, edgy videos designed to build a social network following for horse racing.
Oaklawn Park announced it is raising purses for the third time during the current meet thanks to double digit increases in wagering and Instant Racing revenue during the month of February.
Arienza, a regally bred filly out of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, has been retired from racing and has been moved to Lexington with plans to be bred to a yet to be determined stallion.
Back in against fillies, the talented On Fire Baby will be the one to beat in the $125,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park March 10.
Win Willy is set for his first start since winning last year's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), returning to the Hot Springs, Ark., track for the $125,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) March 10.
Leading Fair Grounds jockey Rosie Napravnik completed a five-win day when she guided Gainesway Thoroughbreds' odds-on favorite Small Kitchen to victory in the $49,000 feature at the New Orleans track March 4.
Officials announced March 4 that they found no wrongdoing following an investigation into a $100,000 show wager canceled 10 minutes prior to the running of the first division of the Feb. 20 Southwest Stakes (gr. III).
Cease closed ground in the final stages of the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup and took command to earn his first black-type victory on the night of March 3 at Sam Houston Race Park.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby rolled through another fast workout the morning of March 3 at Oaklawn as the 3-year-old daughter of Smoke Glacken prepares for the March 11 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III).
Jockey Justin Shepherd will miss the remainder of the Oaklawn Park meet after suffering a broken left shoulder and five broken ribs in a riding accident March 1.
Trainer Lynn Whiting, preparing Cyber Secret for the $500,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 17, says he'd like nothing better than to recreate some of the magic of Lil E. Tee's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory in 1992.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, preparing for her 2012 bow in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes March 17 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59 seconds flat over the track Feb. 26.
Isn't He Clever happily returned to New Mexico for trainer Henry Dominguez, where he produced a sharp 1 3/4-length tally in the $150,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino Feb. 25.
El Padrino, the highly-touted 3-year-old from the barn of Todd Pletcher, proved he was worthy of the hype Feb. 25 at Fair Grounds when he outdueled Mark Valeski by a nose to win the $300,000 Risen Star (gr. II).
Nates Mineshaft led all the way in the $120,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) for his first stakes victory in a race marred by the breakdown of favorite Thiskyhasnolimit Feb. 25 at Fair Grounds.
Summer Applause bounced back from a loss in her first start of this year when she rallied to win the $194,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Feb. 25.
Classy 6-year-old Smart Bid nailed pacesetter Mr. Vegas on the wire to score as the favorite in the $122,500 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 25.
The New Mexico Racing Commission has suspended the use of clenbuterol for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, effective April 20.
Instead of shipping the mare to Oaklawn Park for her season debut in the $150,000 Azeri (gr. III) on March 17, Horse of the Year Havre de Grace will stay at Fair Grounds for the New Orleans Ladies Stakes on the same day.
Officials at Oaklawn Park said that with an additional $800,000 in purse money through the end of the meet, purses will total a record $18 million for the 56-day session.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 150 horses for its Texas sale of 2-year-olds in training. The number is down 10.2% from 2011's total of 167.
Isn't He Clever, returning to New Mexico after a fourth-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita earlier this month, heads a field of seven entered for Sunland Park's $150,000 Borderland Derby.
A game Secret Circle outdueled Scatman in the stretch to win the second division of the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III), giving trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Rafael Bejarano a sweep of the President's Day features.
Castaway, the least experienced of two Bob Baffert trainees shipped to Oaklawn Park for the two divisions of the Southwest Stakes (gr. III), rolled to a convincing 3 3/4-length triumph in the first division.
The first three finishers in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will square off again at the Louisiana track when they return for the Feb. 25 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III).
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