Isabelle de Tomaso's Irish War Cry has settled back into his Fair Hill base in good condition following his victory in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Hall of Fame trainer has 81 grade 1 wins but has never won the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Two of the four group races on Chantilly's April 9 card might have unleashed a pair of serious contenders for the upcoming classics in Gold Luck and Graphite.
The relative quiet surroundings of Keeneland's Barn 43 provided the perfect setting for the connections of Irap the morning of April 9 as they went about digesting what the son of Tiznow pulled off the evening before.
Multiple grade 1 winner Lady Eli was the headline performer during a star-studded morning of turf workers at Keeneland April 9 with the dark bay mare turning in a sharp five-furlong drill in advance of the April 15 Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1T).
After her trainer's cue, the 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly breezed through the turn and into the stretch for her first timed workout of 2017 and covered three furlongs in the easiest :35 4/5.
Trainer Ian Wilkes had his humor intact and his perspective on point Sunday morning less than 24 hours after McCraken finished third in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) April 8, the colt's first loss in five career starts.
Keeneland officials reported a spike in attendance for this year's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) card and cited improved on-track handle, although total pari-mutuel handle was slightly down.
Joe Turner's hombred Sircat Sally extended her undefeated streak to five when she easily coasted to a win in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes (G3T) April 8 at Santa Anita Park.
Gormley showed a different dimension in a grind-it-out Santa Anita Derby (G1) victory.
Miss Sky Warrior will head to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on a roll after securing her fifth straight victory April 8 in the $300,000 Gazelle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
After running third in her last two graded stakes attempts, Golden Eagle Farm's Hillhouse High broke through in the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (G2T) when holding off a late run from Mokat, giving trainer Richard Baltas the 1-2 finish.
Following in the footsteps of former stablemate Beholder, the lightly raced daughter of Union Rags romped by 11 3/4 lengths April 8 in the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1).
Reddam Racing's Irap moved to the lead turning for home and held off a late challenge from grade 1 winner Practical Joke to upset the 93rd edition of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
Irish War Cry put doubts to rest April 8 in the $750,000 Wood Memorial Presented by NYRA Bets (G2), clearing Battalion Runner by open lengths to rebound from his lackluster performance last out.
Semaphore Racing and Homewrecker Racing's Sailor's Valentine broke through in a big way April 8, upsetting seven other 3-year-old fillies to win the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
Gaston and Anthony Grant's veteran performer Green Gratto broke through for his first top-level score in his 53rd career start, holding off 4-5 favorite Unified at the wire to pull the upset in the $400,000 Carter Handicap (G1).
Paulassilverlining proved the astute judgment of Juddmonte Farms' advisors April 8 in the $300,000 Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, gamely defeating pacesetter Constellation in her first start for her new connections.
Live Oak Plantation, trainer Mark Casse, and jockey Joel Rosario made it two straight stakes scores at Keeneland when they teamed to win the Shakertown Stakes (G2T) on turf with Holding Gold
Live Oak Plantation's homebred Awesome Slew rallied in the center of the track and ran down favorite A. P. Indian to win Keeneland's Commonwealth Stakes (G3) April 8.
John Oxley's reigning juvenile champion Classic Empire turned in his final serious drill in advance of his expected run in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), breezing an easy half-mile in :50 at Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala the morning of April 8.
Chris Waller trainee Foxplay (AUS) capped a huge day at Royal Randwick April 8 for the conditioner, who also sent out supermare Winx to her 17th straight win earlier on the card.
The wonder from down under put the latest exclamation point on her resume April 8 at Royal Randwick, cruising to a 5 1/4-length victory in the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) with the ease of a Saturday stroll.
Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes in North America. This week we have massive stakes cards at Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park built around three top Triple Crown preps.
Back to serious training in 2017, the only horse to beat Unique Bella will make her return to racing April 9 in the $75,000 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita.
From the time he purchased the colt at the 2003 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, George Krikorian believed the day would come when Mr. Big would get an opportunity to showcase some real talent.
His head is still swathed in bandages, a reminder of how close jockey Bryce Alderson came to losing his life during a race at Tampa Bay Downs Dec. 21.
Although he is confident Joe Turner's undefeated Sircat Sally can run on either turf or dirt, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is keeping the homebred Surf Cat filly on the grass April 8 in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes (G3T) at Santa Anita Park.
Repole Stable's homebred Clipthecouponannie's undefeated record will be on the line when she steps up in class and faces five other fillies and mares in the $150,000 Distaff Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack April 9.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced April 7 that the 47th Annual Eclipse Awards will be held Jan. 25, 2018; the Thursday before the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
What is already a successful comeback by any definition could take a storybook twist when jockey Rajiv Maragh pilots grade 2 winner Irish War Cry in Saturday's Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2).
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
There was a time in the early 1980s when the quick wit of the late comedian Don Rickles was matched with the speed of the equine Don Rickles.
Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) has announced its schedule for Saturday's vital Kentucky Derby preps.
A nearly five-year process to implement the third-party administration of race-day furosemide (commonly known as Lasix) in California could be nearing an end after the California Horse Racing Board approved a proposal to approve the process April 6.
Last year's Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club (G1T) winner Harmonize will make her season debut in the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (G2T) for fillies and mares 4 and older April 8.
Chadds Ford Stables' grade 1 winner Dancing Rags aims to kick off her 3-year-old campaign by channeling some old magic over the Keeneland surface when she heads a field of seven entered for the $150,000 Adena Springs Beaumont Stakes (G3) April 9.
A tentative deal to return the New York Racing Association to private hands ran aground April 5 when a broader package of state budget bills that included the NYRA component fell apart at the state Capitol in Albany.
Calumet Farm's undefeated Real Delight dashed to an easy five-length win in the second division of Keeneland's Ashland Stakes. Her time was a full second faster than Free For Me's winning race in the first division.
In the days following four-time champion Beholder's departure from the barn of Richard Mandella, the Hall of Fame trainer was asked a simple question—what's next?
Miss Sky Warrior and Yorkiepoo Princess meet in the $300,000 Gazelle Stakes (G2) April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack, a race that will determine the likelihood of their progression to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Trainer Graham Motion views the April 8 Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack as Irish War Cry's opportunity to convince him his presence in the first leg of the Triple Crown is necessary.
If there are no scratches in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 8, the 13-horse field entering the gate will be the largest for the West Coast's top Triple Crown prep race since 1981.
A. P. Indian, a finalist for 2016 champion sprinter, makes his 2017 debut in the Commonwealth, facing Ami's Flatter, who won last year's rendition of the race, at seven furlongs.
The Maryland Jockey Club is offering a $100,000 bonus to trainers that accumulate the most points by running a minimum of five horses in stakes races on Preakness weekend, May 19-20, at Pimlico Race Course.
After winning four of his first five starts, Centennial Farms' Unified will try grade 1 company for the first time in the $400,000 Carter Handicap (G1) April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The first edition of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) and some additional race days in the first quarter of 2017 helped purses surge nearly 8% in the first three months of the year.
The Stronach Group announced April 5 plans to raise the purse of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) to $16 million for 2018, further enhancing its status as the world's richest Thoroughbred race.
Multiple grade 1 winner Miss Temple City will not make her seasonal bow during the upcoming Keeneland spring meet after suffering a minor setback in her training, trainer Graham Motion confirmed April 5.
Mongolian Saturday, whose affinity for the Keeneland turf course includes the 2015 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) and last year's Woodford Stakes (G3T), headlines the field of nine entered in the $200,000 Shakertown Stakes (G2T) at 5 1/2 furlongs.
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