Red Warrior, last of 11 after a quarter of a mile, closed powerfully to register a one-length victory at odds of 47-1 in the $300,000 Padua Stables Sprint Saturday, part of the Sunshine Millions program at Santa Anita Park.
Alix M overpowered odds-on choice Bear Fan in upper stretch and drew off to a 3 1/2-length victory in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Outsider Hot Storm, ridden by Jerry Bailey, overcame a wide trip to hold off She's a Jewel by a head in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita Park Saturday, kicking off the eight-race series for California and Florida breds.
With a grade I placing to her credit in her first start in five months, trainer Mark Glatt is looking for a big effort from his 4-year-old filly Elusive Diva in the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Sunday.
Sanford Goldfarb's Aggadan is the horse to beat when he faces eight rivals in Aqueduct's first graded stakes race of 2005, the $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at 1 1/16 miles.
Horse of the Year Ghostzapper breezed an easy half-mile at Palm Meadows Friday morning in :49 3/5 in his first workout since an authorative win in the Breeders' Cup Classic - powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 30.
Juddmonte Farms' Burning Sun looks to set the new Gulfstream Park turf course on fire when he takes the gate in Sunday's Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/8-miles.
Lone Star Park returns to a spring-only Thoroughbred meeting in 2005 with a 67-date season from April 14-July 17, featuring 37 stakes races totaling $4.075-million.
Sulamani received the highest rating of any horse that started in Canada last year based on the 2004 Canadian Thoroughbred Ratings, which replaced the Canadian Free Handicap. The Canadian Jockey Club compiled the rankings.
Good Student, a 5-year-old Argentine import from the barn of Ron McAnally, held off the fast-closing Belle Ange to win by a nose Thursday in Santa Anita's $79,350 Tuzla Handicap, a turf mile contest for fillies and mares.
With a forecast for below-freezing temperatures and a wind chill factor in the single digits, Turfway Park has canceled its live racing program for the evening of Jan. 27.
NBC Sports will present live coverage of the third annual Sunshine Millions on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
Aqueduct abandoned its Jan. 27 racing program after the daily double as temperatures stalled in the teens and vicious winds made conditions on the racetrack unbearable.
In his first workout since being injured while winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last year, Rick Porter's Rockport Harbor breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 at Oaklawn Park Wednesday.
The Harris Farms' grade I winning California homebred Alphabet Kisses heads a field that includes six graded stakes winners in the $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Distaff on the Sunshine Millions card at Santa Anita Saturday.
Citing dangerous track conditions, Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., canceled its Wednesday card after completing two of nine scheduled races.
Mooji Moo is back to defend her Sunshine Millions title in the $300,000 Padua Stables Filly and Mare Sprint Saturday at Gulfstream Park against five rivals that include multiple grade II winner Bear Fan.
Struggling Shake You Down faces 12 rivals in defense of his Sunshine Millions Sprint victory of a year ago Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Lost in the Fog, an ultra-impressive winner of his first two starts in 2004, gets the biggest test of his career in the Sunshine Millions' $250,000 Ocala Stud Dash for sophomores at Gulfstream Park.
Hello Lucky, winner of the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita Park and third to juvenile filly champion Sweet Catomine in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) in 2004, is part of an evenly-matched field of 12 3-year-old fillies entered for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita Saturday.
Grade I winner Midas Eyes, stretching out to nine furlongs in Saturday's $1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Classic at Gulfstream Park, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in a full field for the featured event on the Sunshine Millions card.
Canceled twice previously, Laurel Park's reopening Wednesday drew a crowd of 5,036 back to the central Maryland track after a 10-month hiatus.
The National Association of Two-Year-Old Consignors announced that the 2005 NATC Futurities will be run Sept. 24 at Monmouth Park.
Multiple grade I winner Island Fashion, getting ready to defend her title in Sunday's Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I), worked a bullet :46 4/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday morning.
Hangovers weren't the only thing to come out of the Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills, Calif., Jan. 24. Various connections gave voice to their private plans as to where they hope to run prominent horses in the coming months
A year after a record three colts shared top weight on the Experimental Free Handicap, this time around the lead is shared by two.
Smarty Jones grabbed most of the headlines in 2004, but it was Ghostzapper who earned the coveted gold Eclipse Award trophy and was named Horse of the Year for 2004 at the Eclipse Awards ceremony Jan. 24.
If one didn't get a sense of John Velazquez' inexorable climb to the top during his record-setting (65 winners) Saratoga meet last summer, then surely the pair of statues he earned on Breeders' Cup day made his star shine brighter than ever.
Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. had a busy year in 2004. Not only did the 19-year-old Lafayette, La., native finish his senior year of high school, but he also won his first riding title in his first full year of racing.
In 1996, Dale Baird became the first trainer in history to win 7,000 races. In 1999, he became the first to reach 8,000. And in 2004, yes, he made it to 9,000. That alone makes Baird special, and a deserving winner of a Special Eclipse Award.
Here is a complete list of 2004 Eclipse Award winners, announced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the voting, where applicable.
There was nothing flashy about Ghostzapper's appearance, and nothing flamboyant about his personality. You certainly wouldn't pick him out in a crowd. In the barn, you wouldn't even know he was around, especially considering his favorite pastime is sleeping.
It took a while for it to sink in, but the magnitude of Smarty Jones' accomplishments in 2004 finally hit trainer John Servis like a ton of bricks. "Gosh, I won the Kentucky Derby!" he said to himself while driving recently with jockey Stewart Elliott.
Jay Em Ess Stable shelled out $125,000 for Declan's Moon at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic September yearling sale. A year and a few months later, the gelding has banked $507,300, and the stable has the recipient of the Eclipse Award in the 2-year-old male category.
At the five-sixteenths pole in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Sweet Catomine was blocked and in need of racing room. But having to check was no big deal for the daughter of Storm Cat. Corey Nakatani steered her out of harm's way and she rolled by the other 11 members of the field as the crowd at Lone Star Park cheered her on.
Ashado is the kind of horse that an owner and trainer dream about: Tough, consistent, and brilliant enough to compete at racing's highest level. Her command over the 3-year-old filly division throughout 2004 and her tough-as-nails victory against older fillies and mares in the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) are clear reasons she's the recipient of an Eclipse Award.
The year 2004 turned out to be the type of year for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey that the couple could only dream about a few years back. In their first appearance as Eclipse Award finalists, they won the outstanding owner trophy, and one of their horses, Kitten's Joy, won an Eclipse Award for best turf male.
Frank Stronach could not have asked for anything more Oct. 30. The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships was being held at Lone Star Park, owned by Stronach's Magna Entertainment Corp.
Hers is a familiar name in these pages, and her star has not diminished over time. Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and champion older mare in 2002 and 2003, has now made it a three-peat in that category. The 2004 Eclipse puts North America's all-time leading money earner for fillies and mares on her own plateau--ahead of Paseana (1992, 1993), Bayakoa (1989, 1990), and Susan's Girl (1973, 1975), the only other two-time Eclipse Award-winning older mares.
Todd Pletcher, who was third in Eclipse Award balloting in 2003 after finishing the year in the No. 2 spot by earnings, ended the 2004 season atop the earnings list. That was good enough for him to cop an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.
In the days leading up to the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, trainer Todd Pletcher would only say that Speightstown would have to win the six-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) to be considered divisional champion. Speightstown won the race and now has garnered champion sprinter honors. Pletcher took home the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.
Ken Ramsey wants to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) more than any other race, and he tried to make Kitten's Joy a Derby horse. He didn't achieve his goal with the son of El Prado, but the flashy chestnut colt's development into a turf star was a very good consolation prize.
Unaided by the occult, and with no hovering, all-seeing orb to guide the way, it was Great Britain's Ouija Board herself who foretold a near-certain future victory in the VO5 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) for all eyes to behold.
Stand and deliver. That's what Hirapour needed to do to have a chance at the 2004 steeplechase Eclipse Award. He starred in the spring, skipped the summer, and lost a tight Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) decision to McDynamo in October.
Yes, there are ties to Thoroughbred racing in this year's Super Bowl. The Philly Frenzy that began last spring with Smarty Jones has now carried over to professional football, as Philadelphia once again has reason to celebrate. And who can forget that it was Tiznow who was the impetus for what has become football's next potential dynasty--the New England Patriots.
Even though folks are aware the future book is normally a bad bet, with good horses priced way too low, some still can't help taking the plunge. So, here's a look at what's out there.
Saint Afleet won the first graded stakes race of his light career, holding off Hombre Rapido in the final yards for a three-quarters of a length victory Sunday in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Silent Witness cruised to a 1 3/4-length victory over stablemate Country Music in Sunday's $576,000 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy at Sha Tin racecourse, extending his perfect record to 14-for-14 in the first leg of Hong Kong's championship sprint series.
Laffit Pincay Jr., the all-time leader in victories by a jockey, discounts complaints from some that fellow Hall of Fame rider Russell Baze is undeserving of the record if he breaks it because Baze mostly competes on the Northern California circuit.
For the second day in a row Sunday, a powerful winter storm in the eastern portion of the country forced cancellation of live racing at Aqueduct, Laurel Park and Turfway Park.
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