Although the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park has already started up racing's second season for 3-year-olds, the winner, Came Home, apparently is heading toward shorter races and will not try the top-class colts in the big events. That leaves Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem as the horse to catch for championship honors.
A field of nine led by favorite Medaglia d'Oro is slated for the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga on Sunday.
Special Ring changed tactics and broke a Del Mar track record in winning the $75,000 Wickerr Handicap at one mile on the turf Friday evening.
Steeplechase Farm's Mandy's Gold caught a sloppy track Friday afternoon and used it to glide to a front-running, 1 ¾-length victory over Shine Again in the $108,500 Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at six furlongs.
Take Charge Lady drilled a half-mile in :47 4/5 on Saratoga's main track Friday morning. The grade I winner is being aimed for the Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Horses for Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap have finally showed up from points West, South, and North, and several were on the track Friday morning for light exercise.
After a review, the American Graded Stakes Committee has ruled that the July 27 Martha Washington Stakes lost its grade III status this year.
Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap, which last week had only three prospective starters, drew a field of nine Thursday morning, with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem breaking from post 6.
Saratoga Notebook: Whitney Surprise; NYRA Betting on a Record; Make Out to Spinaway; 'Chasing's Spills; And the Rains Came
The surprise entry of Saint Verre changed the complexion of the Whitney, as the number of horses in the race Saturday expands the number of wagering options. Meanwhile, impressive winner Make Out is Spinaway bound, steeplechasing's spills continued, there was a deluge of rain Thursday, and Bailey was shut out.
Street Cry, who ranks as the top Thoroughbred in training on the NTRA poll, drew the outside post as a field of six was entered today for Saturday's grade I Whitney Handicap at Saratoga. Street Cry will carry highweight of 123 pounds including Jerry Bailey.
Nine 3-year-old fillies whose connections have the Del Mar Oaks (gr. I) in their sights are entered Saturday in the 34th edition of the $150,000, San Clemente Handicap (gr. II) at one mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course at Del Mar.
Though it's still more than three weeks away, Del Mar's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on August 25 appears to be a viable prospect for Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds' Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) champion Sky Jack, trainer Doug O'Neill said Thursday morning.
Generous Rosi and McMahon are expected to vie for favoritism at Arlington Park Saturday when they head a field six named to the $50,000 Buckpasser Handicap.
Ron L. Brandenburg's Tic N Tin, winner of the $84,400 White Oak Handicap at Arlington Park on June 22, has been handed top impost of 123 pounds for his expected return to Arlington in Sunday's $50,000 Zen Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Mike Pegram's Icecoldbeeratreds broke alertly and was never headed in winning the $125,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old California breds Wednesday in stakes-record time at Del Mar.
Congaree, a 4-year-old son of Arazi owned by Stonerside Stable, will be trying to snap a three-year stranglehold by trainer Robert Frankel on the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Sunday. At the same time he could give his trainer, Bob Baffert, his first victory in the event.
Friday's Honorable Miss (gr. III) also attracts Shine Again, Nasty Storm and Mandy's Gold among a field of seven.
The 7-year-old son of Relaunch is set to defend his title in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. I) on August 10. Beau's Town, Mayakovsky are ready for stakes tries as well.
Jockey Carlos Silva became the 101st rider to win 3,000 races when he guided Buba's Caper to a neck victory in Wednesday's 3rd race at Arlington Park.
More than a handful of stakes hopefuls were spotted at Saratoga.
Pat Day gets Macho Uno mount for Whitney...Left Bank among the expected entrants...Street Cry and Unshaded have final preps.
Saratoga Notebook: Jim Dandy Taking Shape; Easyfromthegitgo's Plans Undetermined; Miller Thrown Again
The Jim Dandy on Sunday marks the return from a lengthy layoff for Iron Deputy. Also, trainer Mark Hennig said Gygistar will likely run in the Jim Dandy, but the connections of Easyfromthegitgo were still undecided between the Jim Dandy or the Haskell Invitational.
Fink, Sacks, and Swifty Farm's Wiseman's Ferry, second by a neck to Magic Weisner in the grade II Ohio Derby at Thistledown July 20, is among the nominees for the $600,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort on Aug. 10.
A son of Carson City wins the group III Champagne Victor Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
Rock of Gibraltar wins sixth group I in a row to tie record set by Mill Reef.
New Zealand's top mare also earned entry to Australia's Racing Hall of Fame. Australia also named its other champions of 2001-2002.
Attendance and handle were off last year's record numbers, but Bobby Frankel and Jerry Bailey were on top of their games.
Champion filly Xtra Heat will skip Friday's featured $100,000 Honorable Miss Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga in favor of the Aug. 10 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park.
Although no stakes events are scheduled for Wednesday at Saratoga, the 10-race card will still feature top-quality racing. Headlining the Wednesday card is the eighth race, a third-level allowance at 1 1/16-miles on the Mellon (outer) Turf course. A field of six older horses is expected to contest the race.
Although jockey Richard Migliore has pretty much committed to riding Iron Deputy in Sunday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, trainer Nancy Alberts is still hoping Migliore will somehow wind up back on Magic Weisner in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on the same day.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Elusive City scored a three-length victory in the Gerrard Investment Management Richmond Stakes (Eng-II) at Goodwood. The victory was the first major stakes score for The Thoroughbred Corp. since the death of Prince Ahmed bin Salman on July 22.
Repent's enthusiastic breeze Sunday morning at Saratoga made trainer Kenny McPeek think he should consider running the colt in the $1 million Travers on Aug. 24, even though Repent hasn't raced since April 6.
Nunatall took the lead with a furlong to go Monday and then held off two challengers for a head victory over Smok'n Frolic in the $115,000 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Shadwell Stable's Mus-If, a winner of four straight before running second in the grade III New Hampshire Sweepstakes in his last, tops the Sussex Handicap to be run at Delaware Park this Saturday.
War Emblem had his final serious workout for Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap when he breezed five furlongs in :59 1/5 at Del Mar Monday morning.
Affluent, without Azeri in the field, gets the job done in the John C. Mabee/Ramona Handicap.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Sunday Backstretch Buzz All About You; Medaglia Update; Gygistar Sizzles; Blazing Fury is Back</b>
Sunday morning, Saratoga's backstretch was buzzing about the dramatic stretch run of the Test on Saturday. Meanwhile, trainer Bobby Frankel said Medaglia d'Oro will likely run in the Jim Dandy, with Jerry Bailey aboard.
Heavy favorite Bear Fan cruised to victory in the $100,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar Sunday, winning by a widening seven lengths.
Rene Douglas got the mount on the filly he wanted and completed a sweep of the weekend turf stakes as a result, winning the Office Wife Stakes Sunday in Chacago.
A field of nine, including an entry owned by Heinz Steinmann and trained by Mike Harrington, is set to go in Wednesday's $125,000 Graduation Stakes at Del Mar. The race, at 5 1/2 furlongs, is for 2-year-old males bred in California.
Sylelistick is the 122-pound top weight for Monday's $100,000 Lake George Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga, heading an evenly matched field of 11 competitors.
You passes a demanding Test over Carson Hollow, highlight of a photo finish-filled weekend at the Spa.
Saratoga Notebook: Weight-y Matter; Medaglia's Plans Undecided; Shah is Haskell Bound; Volponi's Plans
Unhappy with the weights assigned for the Honorable Miss on Aug. 2, Gold Mover's trainer Mark Hennig said Saturday that his filly and champion Xtra Heat will not face each other in the race.
Trainer Bob Baffert informed Monmouth Park officials Saturday that War Emblem will definitely run in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Aug. 4.
Affluent ran down Janet in deep stretch and held off a fast-closing Golden Apples by a half-length to win the $400,000 John C. Mabee/Ramona Handicap at nine furlongs on the Del Mar turf course Saturday.
California-bred Disturbingthepeace made some more noise in the sprint division, winning Saturday's $200,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (g. II) at Del Mar.
Sent off at odds of 3-5, England's Legend was an easy gate-two-wire winner over seven rivals in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park Saturday.
Juddmonte Farm's Tates Creek nipped favored Voodoo Dancer by a short nose in a furious stretch battle to claim the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Falcon Flight and England's Legend, both French-breds, to advance after winning Million Preview Day stakes at Arlington Park.
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