Best of the Bests rebounded from a seventh-place finish in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) to upset Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Banks Hill in the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) on Sunday at Longchamp.
Megans Bluff was headed in the stretch but regrouped to win Saturday's $112,900 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old bay daughter of Pine Bluff completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.87 on a good turf course in winning the race for the second straight year.
September Secret, a daughter of leading sire Our Emblem, wins the Railbird Stakes.
Hail The Chief takes Gold Cup to complete huge week for trainer Niall O'Callaghan.
Shiny Band provides Allen Jerkens with yet another major stakes upset.
In a near wire-to-wire effort, Tenpins rolled to victory in the $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico on the race before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Owned
The Maryland Jockey Club made a few changes in Pimlico's stakes schedule this year, loading more quality racing into the Preakness Stakes weekend, including Preakness Day itself. Still, the top race of the undercard remained the Citgo Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles.
Fox Ridge Farm's homebred Anofferucantrefuse beat favored McDynamo to the early lead, then was shadowed by that rival throughout the 2 1/8 mile course of the Joe Aitcheson Hurdle Stakes (NSA-I) en route to a two-length win Friday at Pimlico.
Favored True Direction rallied from the outside on the turn and pulled away in the stretch for a 2 1/2–length victory in the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday.
Snow Ridge got back on the winning track with a smashing 7 3/4 –length annihilation of the $200,000 Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico.
Quidnaskra tracked a slow early pace, pulled away on the second turn, and prevailed by three-quarters of a length to capture the $125,000 Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Preakness undercard.
Sarava made his North American stakes debut a winning one when the Ken McPeek-trained colt rallied for an impressive victory over Withers Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Shah Jehan in the $100,000-guaranteed Sir Barton Stakes for 3-year-olds on the Preakness undercard.
Irish-bred Mr. O'Brien got a rail-skimming ride from Pat Day to win the $100,000 Woodlawn, the first stakes race of Saturday's Preakness program at a cloudy and cool Pimlico race course in Baltimore, Md.
Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. was hospitalized Friday after being dumped from his mount during the seventh race at Belmont Park.
Lusty Latin, 15th in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will be sidelined for about three months due to a hairline fracture of a cannon bone, according to trainer Jeff Mullins.
Any trainer will tell you that plotting the course of a developing young Thoroughbred is an important step for success. Trainer Niall O'Callaghan devised such a plan this spring for Chamrousse, and the lightly raced filly did her part by capturing the May 17 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II).
Jockey Gary Stevens has switched agents again. The Hall of Fame rider who will guide Overbrook Farm's Table Limit in Saturday's Kentucky Derby has hired Craig O'Bryan as his agent.
Merry Princess charged to a 1 ¼-length victory in the $75,000 The Very One Stakes at Pimlico on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard. Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Merry Princess improved over her second-place finish in this race one year ago.
Colony survived an eyeball to eyeball run through the Pimlico stretch with Dancethruthedawn to win the $150,000 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III) by a nose, kicking off the stakes action on Black-Eyed Susan day.
The symbol (L) is widely used in racing programs to inform the betting public that a horse has been treated with the bleeder medication Salix (formerly known as Lasix). But visitors to Maryland for the Preakness might notice something different.
Having won the 1996 Preakness with Louis Quatorze, trainer Nick Zito is looking for another big payday with a daughter of the renowned horse. Aly Quatorze, who won twice at Gulfstream this winter, will take on favored Chamrousse in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) on Friday.
Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Unshaded kicked off his 4-year-old campaign with a victory over Da Devil in a Churchill Downs allowance race on May 17 last year. Trainer Carl Nafzger now brings him back to begin his 5-year-old season a year and a day later in a optional claiming/allowance race at Churchill.
Perfect Drift is scheduled to work Saturday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes. Stonecrest Farm's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) third-place finisher will work every Saturday ahead of the June 8 race, according to trainer Murray Johnson.
The Preakness (gr. I) may be the highlight Saturday of Maryland's biggest annual day of racing, but there are seven other races on the card including four graded stakes.
Aidan O'Brien has entered 13 horses, including his two classic winners so far this season, Rock Of Gibraltar and Landseer, for Europe's premier sprint, the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket on July 11. He has also entered the horse considered by most to be an unlucky loser of the Sagitta 2000 Guineas, Hawk Wing.
Star fillies Raging Fever and Victory Ride will clash in the Shuvee
(gr.II) at a distance of one mile in Saturday's feature race at Belmont Park.
Three horses under consideration for the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) were on track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning in preparation for the prestigious one-turn mile race. Affirmed Success, Aldebaran, and Burning Roma each put in works, with Affirmed Success running his seven furlongs on the training track.
Moon Ballad, a 3-year-old chestnut son of Singspiel, earned his first stakes win in Wednesday's Dante Stakes (Eng-II) at York, England. Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor trainee completed the extended 1 1/4 mile Epsom Derby (Eng-I) prep in 2:07.06 on good to firm ground.
A number of racetracks across the country will celebrate Preakness Day with contests, handicapping seminars, and other events.
It was nine o'clock in the morning on May 7, 2002--25 years to the day since Seattle Slew's historic victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The great Thoroughbred gave one final look at his devoted owners, Karen and Mickey Taylor, who, as usual, were by his side. And with his eyes, he proclaimed, as the Sioux warriors used to before going to battle, "It is a good day to die."
John Polston was one day shy of his 57th birthday when he received a call from Seattle Slew's co-owner Karen Taylor, informing him that the great horse he had rubbed for two years had died at 9 o'clock that morning. It was 25 years to the day since Slew's victory in the 1977 Kentucky Derby.
Multiple grade I winner Fleet Renee will make her first start of year in Friday's Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III) where she'll likely meet the likes of Canadian champion Dancethruthedawn and graded winner Atelier, along with eight other rivals.
Trainer Ken McPeek said Tuesday morning that Select Stable's Take Charge Lady will not ship to Baltimore for Friday's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II).
Sky Jack utilized a front-running trip under Laffit Pincay Jr. to win Sunday's $150,000 Mervyn Leroy Handicap (gr. II) by 5 1/2 lengths over Bosque Redondo at Hollywood Park. The 6-year-old gelded son of Jaklin Klugman completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.36 on a fast track.
Van Rouge led all the way en route to winning Sunday's $100,000 Ascot Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 4 1/2 lengths over Doc Holiday at Bay Meadows. On the firm turf, Van Rouge completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.78 under Jason Lumpkins.
Xtra Heat earned her third win in four starts as a 4-year-old and her 20th in 26 career starts when she went wire-to-wire in Sunday's $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Khalid Abdullah's homebred filly Zenda led early, was headed midway through the mile race, then regrouped to win the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Pouliches--French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) by a length over Firth of Lorne (by Danehill) on Sunday at Longchamp. Sophisticat, a daughter of Storm Cat out of Serena's Song closed well to finish third.
The top three finishers from last months Prix de Fountainebleau (Fr-III) again filled the top three spots in Sunday's Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Poulains--French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I), with Landseer winning the French classic by a length over Medecis. Bowman came home third.
Mrs. Barton D. Heller and William J. Morey Jr.'s Mellow Fellow closed for a 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $198,750 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap (gr. III) to notch his sixth consecutive win. The 7-year-old gelding completed the six furlongs in 1:08.35 on the fast track.
Flying Dash rallied along the inside to win Saturday's $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) on a rain-softened turf course at Hawthorne, giving jockey Victor Espinoza his second derby win in as many weekends.
Nonsuch Bay raced to her third victory in five starts, edging Wopping by a nose Saturday in the $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.
Michael Tabor's Left Bank pressed the early pace then inched clear to win Saturday's $105,900 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park. Just after crossing the finish line Left Bank ducked, unseating jockey John Velazquez.
Godolphin's Grandera made amends for a fifth-place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) last month at Sha Tin with a win in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji Racecourse on Saturday.
California Derby fifth-place finisher Lawn Mower returned to turf racing for Sunday's $100,000 Ascot Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Bay Meadows. The 1 1/16-mile turf event attracted a field of seven 3-year-olds, including Italian stakes winner Six Hitter and the well-bred maiden Hecandigit.
Extremely high winds and strong gusts forced Woodbine to cancel the remainder of Friday's card the second race.
On the morning of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the phone rang in Victor Espinoza's hotel room--it was a wake-up call he won't soon forget. On the line was trainer Bob Baffert, reminding Espinoza he wanted to see him regarding his mount aboard War Emblem that afternoon.
Xtra Heat will no doubt bring the heat to Belmont Park by way of sizzling fractions in the Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs on Sunday.
Bob Baffert keeps a photograph of the 1996 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) finish on the wall of his Churchill Downs barn office. It depicts Cavonnier, his first Derby starter, losing by a nose to Grindstone, who gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his third Derby victory.
One year after his Point Given delivered to Prince Ahmed Salman a crushing defeat, the 43-year-old Saudi Arabian media magnate found his way to the Kentucky Derby winner's circle in the hoofprints of his speedy 2002 victor, War Emblem.
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