Everything went Munning's way in the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park July 5. First, top sprinter Fabulous Strike, the heavy favorite, was scratched by trainer Todd Beattie. Then came a perfect trip for jockey John Velazquez, who drove the sharp 3-year-old colt through an inside gap at the top of the stretch on their way to a comfortable win.
Kentucky shipper Custom for Carlos found the East Coast to his liking as the 3-year-old colt ran off with the $200,000 Jersey Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park July 5.
Delaware Park is preparing for an influx of more horses as about a half-dozen new trainers transfer their strings to the Stanton-oval.
Wiener Walzer upset his favored stablemate Suestado and gave the storied breeding farm Gestut Schlenderhan its 18th victory in the Deutsches Derby (Ger-I) at Hamburg July 5.
The field for Sunday's 35th running of the grade II, $200,000 Tom Fool at Belmont Park was reduced to four the morning of the race after trainer Todd Beattie scratched morning-line favorite and high weight Fabulous Strike.
Statistics released July 5 by Equibase Company show double-digit declines in betting on U.S. races in June and for the year to date.
Multiple graded winner Musket Man, who made a name for himself during this year's Triple Crown run, will miss Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 2 and the rest of the racing season with a bone bruise in his left front foot.
Monterey Jazz and jockey Tyler Baze played come and catch me in Hollywood Park's American Handicap (gr. II) July 4 on the grass. Guess what? No one did.
Prohibitive choice Informed Decision shook off a pace challenge at the top of the stretch and drew off for her fifth consecutive win in $140,000 Chicago Handicap (gr. III) July 4 at Arlington Park.
Dry Martini became a millionaire at Belmont Park on July 4, rallying from last to post a two-length upset of favored Asiatic Boy in the 123rd running of the gr. II, $400,000 Suburban Handicap.
Circle E Racing's Mr. Sidney pulled away from Inca King in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $167,700 Firecracker Handicap (gr. II) by 1 1/2 lengths on the July 4 card at Churchill Downs.
Kensei, ridden by Edgar Prado and trained by Steve Asmussen, made a powerful move on the far turn en route to an impressive 3 1/4-length victory in the 92nd running of the grade II, $200,000 Dwyer at Belmont Park on the July 4 holiday card.
Presious Passion scored a repeat victory in the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT), smashing the course record in the process July 4 at Monmouth Park.
Coal Play, ridden on the front end by Joe Bravo, ran his seven rivals off their feet in the $250,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) at Monmouth Park July 4, gaining an early berth to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Undefeated Cat Moves became a grade I winner in her stakes debut, outfighting Light Green to capture the $300,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. IT) as a pair of Edward P. Evans Virginia homebreds took first and second at Belmont Park July 4.
Trainer Chip Woolley announced July 4 that Mike Smith would ride Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) on Aug. 1 and the $1 million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) on Aug. 29.
Sea The Stars confirmed his class with another stellar performance in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) at Sandown July 4.
Trainer Peter Eurton will serve five days of a 30-day suspension handed down by Hollywood Park stewards and pay a $3,000 fine after one of the horses in his care was found to have tested positive for clenbuterol following a race on May 2.
Le Havre, winner of the June 7 Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I, the French Derby) for owner Gerard Augustin-Normand, has been retired from racing because of a tendon injury suffered during the classic race.
Dubai champion State City, who stands at Doug Arnold's Buck Pond Farm near Lexington, was represented by his first winner when his son Green N Goldie won July 2 at Churchill Downs.
Sent off as the 4-5 favorite among the eight 2-year-olds, Gold Mark Farm' Backtalk stumbled at the start but recovered and steadily progressed to the fore en route to a one-length victory in the $110,500 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs July 3.
Richard Shapiro, the former head of the California Horse Racing Board, was charged with one felony count of vandalism for allegedly damaging a vehicle owned by a longtime rival, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jealous Again, five-length winner of the group II Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, has been sold to Godolphin and will be shipped back to England over the weekend to prepare for upcoming stakes.
Joe Santanna has been elected to another three-year term as president and chairman of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine's Mine That Bird remains without a confirmed rider for the West Virginia Derby (gr. II) on Aug. 1 at Mountaineer.
Fourteen sprinters get their shot at grade I glory in an unpredictable renewal of the $300,000 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park July 5.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird rolled into the Monmouth Park stable area at 5:30 the morning of July 3 and settled into his stall in Barn 3 as he prepares for his next start, the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. 1) on Sunday, Aug. 2.
Margie's Wildcat sired his first winner when his son You Take It Easy won July 2 by 5 1/4 lengths at Woodbine in his initial start.
- By Tom LaMarra
The expansion of gaming at racetrack casinos doesn't always guarantee more money for purses and breed development programs, horsemen said July 2 during a sobering discussion that showed horse racing's challenge to stay relevant in a revenue-driven environment.
If this is to be its final renewal, the $700,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park is going out in style after drawing 16 entrants for the 1 1/4-mile turf event. The truly intriguing field of 3-year-old fillies includes three international aspirants and four challengers from the East Coast.
First-crop sire Grand Reward got his initial winner July 2 when Angus Kahn won the first race at Presque Isle in Pennsylvania.
Royal Ascot winner Jealous Again has been bought by Sheikh Mohammed. Formerly trained by American handler Wesley Ward, the filly turned in a hugely impressive display in the Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) last month, bursting out of the stalls and showing far too much speed for the opposition to finish five lengths clear.
Darley Stable's Tizaqueena will try to bounce back off a third-place finish in the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT), a defeat that broke a string of four consecutive scores, as she headlines a field of eight fillies and mares in the $100,000 Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf July 5.
Lisa Kotula, daughter of longtime Gulfstream Park clerk of scales and Prime Time Manager Victor Sanchez, died in Atlanta Thursday after a long illness.
After Fabulous Strike turned in a dazzling performance in the June 6 True North (gr. III), trainer Todd Beattie said he was leaning toward giving the 6-year-old gelding some well-deserved time off. But as they say, the horse will tell you what it wants, and the son of Smart Strike has spoken loud and clear.
Freddy Anderson plans to stand Portobello Road at his Anderson Farms near Malvern, Ark., next year.
An accomplished group of older horses that includes four grade I winners is set to go in the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) July 4 on the Monmouth Park turf.
Kendall-Jackson Winery announced July 2 a five-month-long charity auction that will take place on its Web site featuring items, donated by winery owner and co-founder Jess Jackson, that are related to Rachel Alexandra's racing season.
Robert Clay's Three Chimneys Farm announced July 1 that Rahy, one of the farm's foundation sires, has been pensioned from stallion duty due to declining fertility. The 24-year-old stallion will stay at Three Chimneys throughout his retirement.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said July 1 it plans to be more involved as the racing industry considers medication and drug-testing policies horsemen believe could be detrimental and counterproductive.
Whatsthescript, a 29-1 upset winner a year ago, will carry high weight of 120 pounds as he defends his title in the $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Independence Day program at Hollywood Park.
Multiple grade II winner Smooth Air, coming off a strong second in the Metropolitan Mile (gr. I), makes his first start for trainer Chad Brown in the $250,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) at Monmouth Park July 4.
Informed Decision, on a four-race winning streak following back-to-back grade I wins for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, towers over the field for the $150,000 Chicago Handicap (gr. III), the Independence Day headliner at Arlington Park.
Robert Landry, who began his riding career in 1981, recorded his 2,000th win on Canada Day July 1 at Woodbine.
Zayat Stables' Thorn Song will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) when he takes on seven rivals July 4 at Churchill Downs.
Marchfield, named Canada's outstanding older horse last year, found the winner's circle for the first time in 2009 when he rallied from last on the final turn to capture the $190,767 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine July 1.
A. Stevens Miles Jr.'s Warrior's Reward, who lost a tough duel with Successful Dan three weeks ago in the Northern Dancer (gr. III), will look to break through for his first graded stakes score in the $200,000 Dwyer (gr. III) July 4 at Belmont Park.
Edmund Gann's It's a Bird, winner of consecutive graded stakes and three of his last four overall, will try to continue his top form when facing nine rivals in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) July 4 at Belmont Park.
Street Hero, who stood his first season at Dr. Tom Simon's Vinery in Kentucky this year, will shuttle to Tony Santic's Makybe in Victoria, Australia for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere breeding season.
In the aftermath of the failed passage of the legislation that would have allowed video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks, several Thoroughbred industry members voiced their opinions on how they will survive without the extra boost to the state's purse structure and breeders' incentive programs.
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