Trainer Ken McPeek sent out a pair of Kentucky Derby prospects for exercise at Gulfstream Park Sunday. Harlan's Holiday went five furlongs in :59 2/5, handily, while Repent breezed three furlongs in :36 1/5. Also working Sunday was Derby future-book favorite Siphonic, who went seven furlongs in 1:26 2/5, handily, at Hollywood Park.
Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman pressed the pace, dueled with Cappuchino through the stretch, and won a head bob at the wire to earn a victory in Saturday's $125,000 Golden Gate Derby. The 3-year-old son of Pioneering completed the 1 1/16-mile Golden Gate Fields feature in 1:43.87 on a track labeled "good."
Fox Hill Farms' Zonk utilized a big middle move to win Saturday's $113,400 Affectionately Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. Under C.C. Lopez, Zonk completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.58 on a fast track to win by a length over People's Princess.
Turfway Park called off five races Friday night because of the condition of the track.
Eclipse Award finalist Siphonic will make his first start as a 3-year-old in the Jan. 19 Santa Catalina Stakes as trainer David Hofmans tries to win the $150,000 race for the second straight year. As of Jan. 9, Siphonic is Bally's 5-1 future-book favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
Favored De Bertie pulled away from longshots Sara's Success and Lily's Affair in the final strides to win the $75,400 Escena Stakes on Friday at Gulfstream Park. Jockey Manuel Aguilar appeared to escape serious injury after he was thrown to the track on the first turn.
Multiple graded-stakes winner Tout Charmant heads a field of nine fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the turf in the $150,000 grade III San Gorgonio at Santa Anita Park Sunday. The 6-year-old Slewvescent mare, who finished second to Perfect Sting in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, will have to run well to keep her racing career going. If she shows signs of slowing down, she will likely keep a date with Storm Cat in the breeding shed.
A field of nine older horses are set to fly six furlong's in Sunday's $100,000 grade III Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Vying for favoritism will be Hook and Ladder, who has not lost in three tries at the venue, and Istintaj, who looks to repeat his win in last year's running of the Mr. P.
Istintaj showed his liking for Gulfstream Park's racing strip last year when he ran twice in stakes races and won both of those races. One of them was the Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) and, according to trainer Mark Hennig, the 6-year-old will be back to seek a repeat victory in this year's running of the race, which carries a $100,000 purse and will be run over six furlongs Sunday.
A field of 12 has signed on for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), the second leg of the Strub Series for foals of 1998. Western Pride is the 122-pound highweight for the 1 1/16-mile main track event. Western Pride also garnered the highest weight allocation of the 12 entered here by Globeform's ranking of last year's 3-year-olds.
Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Yougottawanna, who upset Officer in the restricted California Cup Juvenile Stakes, will attempt to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) when he faces five rivals in Saturday's $125,000 Golden Gate Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields.
Willmott Stables' Stephentown, an impressive allowance winner at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, will take a major step up in class when he makes his next appearance in the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 16.
In a year without a lot of clear-cut favorites, Point Given is the lone unanimous choice in 2001 Eclipse Award balloting. The dual classic winner received top honors as champion 3-year-old male and is a finalist, along with Tiznow and Johannesburg, for Horse of the Year honors. Finalists in each of the Eclipse categories were announced Thursday.
Zonk has never won in New York, but that could change in Saturday's oversubscribed grade III Affectionately Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles at Aqueduct.
Total wagering at the racetracks of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority -- Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands -- exceeded $1.5 billion in 2001.
The betting public will receive larger payoffs when wagering at Woodbine. The Toronto-area track is reducing takeout by 1% for exactor and daily double wagers on foreign race betting.
It took nine days, but trainer Bobby Frankel notched his first stakes win of the year when Megahertz rallied from the back of the field to win Wednesday's $76,300 Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita. Last year, Frankel-trained horses won 49 stakes races, 37 of them graded.
Trainer Howard Zucker is uncertain whether Bringem Jung, a third-place finished in a Santa Anita allowance race Dec. 26 won by Werblin, will make his next start in the San Miguel Stakes on Sunday or wait until Wednesday for an allowance race. One more likely for the San Miguel is Sunny Slope Stakes winner Roman Dancer.
San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) winner Bienamado has been retired because of a suspensory injury.
Xtra Heat may turn up the heat in the Middle East this spring. The millionaire sprinter, who won the Jan. 1 Interborough Handicap at Aqueduct, is scheduled to make her next start in the grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap on Feb. 16 at Laurel Park before a possible trip to Dubai to contest the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) March 23 at Nad Al Sheba, according to trainer John Salzman.
De Bertie, a two-time stakes winner over the Gulfstream Park strip last year, heads a field of 13 fillies and mares in Friday's $65,000 Escena Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. If all 13 go, the race will have a gross value of $75,400, with $45,240 to the winner.
Warm temperatures that caused rapid thawing of the frozen track Wednesday coupled with rain Thursday led Turfway Park to cancel racing Thursday night. The cancellation is the second in a row and second of the year for the northern Kentucky oval.
Suffolk Downs horses will compete for $1.34 million in stakes purses during the winter/spring meet in a 25-race schedule that will be highlighted by the 63rd running of the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II) on June 1.
After watching 2000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet breeze four furlongs in :52 at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, trainer Joe Orseno expressed confidence in the millionaire horse's chances in Saturday's $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (gr. III).
The Calder meet that began in May--back when Sept. 11 was just another day on the calendar--came to a rousing conclusion during its extended closing weekend with five graded stakes, or exactly the same amount contested during the meet's first 166 days. Four of the stakes were on its Dec. 29 Grand Slam II card, the 32nd consecutive Saturday of racing at the Miami oval.
Japan Cup (Jpn-I) winner Jungle Pocket was voted Horse of the Year in Japan for 2001, a year in which wagering dropped for the fourth consecutive year and is at its lowest level in a decade.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club has upheld, but amended, a suspension levied American jockey Corey Nakatani for his ride aboard Forbidden Apple in a fifth-place finish in the Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) on December 16.
Cast members of the megahit HBO series "The Sopranos" were at Aqueduct Racetrack Monday taping an episode to be aired during next season's schedule. Among the more notable stars present in the Equestris dining room, where the scenes were shot, were James Gandolfini, who plays Tony Soprano, Steve Van Zandt, who plays Silvio, Joe Pantoliano, who was cast last year as Ralph, and Jerry Adler, who plays Hesh.
Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) winner Harlan's Holiday was on the track at Gulfstream Park Monday morning, and the 3-year-old breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 in preparation for the Jan. 19 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III). Another 3-year-old working at Gulfstream was Remsen Stakes (gr. II) Saarland, who breezed a half-mile in :51 3/5 Sunday.
Traditionally, the royally-bred winner of last year's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :49 2/5 over a fast track at Gulfstream Park on Sunday and trainer Shug McGaughey said he will probably run him in Saturday's Skip Away Stakes (gr. III).
Because of construction problems that have delayed the opening of the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood Fla., the 31st annual Eclipse Awards Dinner is being moved to the grand ballroom at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort in Miami Beach.
Next Knight, who topped last year's Pearls of Dubai sale, was upset by a Kentucky-bred son of Mister Baileys in a mile grass race at Nad al Sheba Racecourse Sunday.
Team Valor's Bella Bella Bella raced wide around both turns, then dueled with Tamarack Bay through the stretch to win Sunday's $105,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) by a neck. Later on the card, Mountain Rage closed from ninth-place to win the $75,000 Hill Rise Stakes on a firm turf course.
A New Twist upset 3-10 favorite Forest Heiress by 3 1/2 lengths Sunday in the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on a showery day at Gulfstream Park. In her most recent start prior to the Old Hat, A New Twist finished second to Forest Heiress in the Valley Stream Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Godolphin's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up Sakhee heads a list of 56 horses nominated to the Maktoum Challenge Series, a three-race series of races which also serves as prep races for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Aqueduct's stewards fined jockey Roberto Villafan $500 Sunday for misjudging the finish of Aqueduct's second race Saturday.
Nice Boots Baby remained undefeated in three career starts, winning Sunday's $76,945 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct by 2 1/2 lengths.
Sir Bear will begin his 9-year-old season in the $100,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday. Red Bullet has been assigned high weight of 118 pounds for the 1 1/16-mile Donn Handicap (gr. I) prep.
The Southern California handicap division looks ripe for the taking, and following the $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) on Jan. 5, expect nothing but knock-down, drag-out brawls during the coming weeks. The current king of the unorganized heap is Wooden Phone, best known as the obscurely-bred gelding who shook Tiznow out of his socks a year ago in the Strub Stakes (gr. II). If you still can't picture him, don't worry. You'll be hearing plenty from him in 2002.
When he perused the entries for Gulfstream's Jan. 5 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT), trainer Mohammed Moubarak was especially familiar with one of the entrants. "I think Tubrok is the horse to beat," he said of the 5-year-old son of Rahy, the second choice of 10 runners owing, in part, to the powerful connections of trainer Bill Mott and rider Jerry Bailey.
Susan and John Moore's Iron Deputy opened up a six-length lead in the stretch en route to winning Saturday's $83,300 Count Fleet Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct. One race earlier, Migliore and odds-on favorite Affirmed Success finished a half-length behind Boston Party in an allowance race at the Count Fleet distance after leading by three in the stretch.
Trainer John T. Ward Jr. sent Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos on a five-furlong work from the starting gate at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning. "We wanted to tweak his interest," said Ward of the drill.
Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) winner Maybry's Boy will make his next start in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II, Feb. 2), according to trainer Claude "Shug" McGaughey. Meanwhile on the West Coast, undefeated Werblin will also make his next start on Groundhog's Day, that coming in the San Vicente (gr. II).
Wooden Phone, who beat two-time Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) last February, heads a field of eight entered in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita.
Team Valor's Bella Bella Bella has bent sent off favored in both her career starts and that trend will likely continue in Sunday's $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III). Golden Ballet Stakes winner Bella Bella Bella will face just three rivals -- one per Bella -- in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel, two maiden winners and the maiden Gaslamp Girl.
Jockey Jorge Chavez guided 6-year-old mare Batique to her second straight grade III turf stakes win in Friday's $100,000 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Earlier on the card, Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner Keats went wire-to-wire to win a 1 1/16-mile "non-winners of three other than" allowance by 10 1/4 lengths.
Fairy King Prawn, a two-time Horse the Year in Hong Kong, underwent surgery Friday to repair an injured suspensory ligament and splint bone.
The attached list of racing organizations and officials were invited to attend a one-day workshop for the purpose of determining if agreement could be reached as to the need for a uniform policy for racehorse medication in the United States, and if so, where agreement can be reached on elements of such a policy. The workshop consisted of two segments: a two-hour open session briefing by experts on topics pertinent to the purpose of the Summit, and an intensive seven-hour workshop for the invited representatives which was conducted by a professional facilitator from outside the racing industry.
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