Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Southern Image could next go in either the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic or the $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II), trainer Michael Machowsky said Saturday morning.
Centaur Farms' Redoubled Miss made a strong, late run to win the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap at Calder on Saturday to barely edge Grab Bag by a nose. Pampered Princess was only a head behind the first two finishers in a fantastic finish.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. had a superb day at Aqueduct Saturday, winning with all three starters he sent out, including Sanford Goldfarb's Loving, an easy victor of the $83,925 Gallant Fox Handicap.
Sid and Jenny Craig's Candy Ride, taking his first steps on the comeback trail Saturday, was tack-walked for about 25 minutes at trainer Ron McAnally's Santa Anita barn. The 4-year-old Argentine-bred son of Ride the Rails hasn't raced since winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar on Aug. 24 and had been on vacation since mid-September.
Lou Ulman's Search For A Cure joined the ranks of stakes winners with a thrilling victory in the final jumps to win the $50,000 Squan Song Stakes Saturday at Laurel Park, beating 10 other Maryland-bred fillies and mares.
Away since Aug. 2, lightly raced Southern Image motored down the middle of the track to catch 33-1 shot Marino Marini in the final strides for a head victory in Friday's $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds on opening day at Santa Anita.
It's not every day that a horse returns from a year layoff and turns in a stakes record performance. But then again, Bedanken, the winner of Friday's $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap at Fair Grounds, is not your average filly.
Bettors would have done well to heed the aptly-suggestive Don'tsellmeshort's name after the Dan Hendrick-trained 2-year-old colt took the $125,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes at odds of 13-1 at Santa Anita Friday.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Friday morning he has received no confirmation from Azeri's owner, Michael Paulson, that the 2002 Horse of the Year would resume training under Lukas.
One of the nation's premier turf horses returns to action Sunday when Brazilian-bred Redattore carries high weight of 122 pounds in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
Apprentice rider Brandon Whitacre produced the first multiple win day of his career, winning three races on Friday at Laurel Park.
Except for designated races during the first eight days this meet, Patrick Valenzuela won't ride regularly until the 14th day of the 84-day Santa Anita meeting.
Anstu Stable's Balto Star and Dr. John Chandler's Cetewayo are millionaire grade I winners ranking high in the nation's distance turf division and will be among the favorites in Saturday's $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. II) at Calder.
Azeri, who has not raced since Sept. 28 due to an injured tendon, could be going back into training and heading to D. Wayne Lukas' barn.
Elloluv, second to 40-1 outsider Adoration in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 25, "is geared up and ready to go" for Saturday's $250,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I), first leg of the three-race La Canada Series won last season by Got Koko.
The second annual Sunshine Milliions, which will be held Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park, drew 309 early bird nominations, down slightly from last year's total of 325.
Robert S. Evans' 5-year-old homebred mare New Economy won the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) last year and goes for a repeat tally Saturday in the 12-furlong turf test at Calder.
Bea Oxenberg's 8-year-old Best of the Rest is expected to make the final start of his standout career in Saturday's $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder, but faces one his biggest challenges as he concedes plenty of weight to several highly accomplished rivals.
The Malibu Stakes (gr. I), which features the return to competition of Buddy Gil and a trio from the Bobby Frankel barn, highlights Friday's opening day card at Santa Anita Park.
Patrick Valenzuela became the first jockey in 20 years to sweep all five major Southern California riding titles in the same year when he brought a maiden, 6-1 shot Hollywood Story, from behind to win the $349,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies. In typical P. Val fashion, he survived a stewards' inquiry to do it.
Maryland-based jockey Greg Hutton scored his 2,000th career win Sunday aboard Captain Chessie in the eighth race at Charles Town.
Due to track conditions, Turfway Park has cancelled races 5 through 10 on Sunday's card. Four races were completed without incident.
Brian Beach, agent for Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone, looks for a January return at Santa Anita for the 40-year-old rider, injured in a spill at Hollywood Park on Dec. 12.
Roger L. Coles Jr.'s Shake You Down had too much class and speed for his six opponents in Saturday's $109,000 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct, and that easily translated to a front-running victory over Way to the Top for the multiple graded stakes winner.
Front-running Lion Heart spurted away from his four opponents with three furlongs to go in the $376,000 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and romped to an easy 3 1/2-length victory.
Jockey Mike Smith completed a sweep of Hollywood Park's rich co-features Saturday when he brought Katdogawn from well back in the stretch to hold off Personal Legend by a nose in a furious finish of the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) on the grass Saturday.
There was no snow at Fair Grounds on Saturday, but fans saw plenty of Snowdrops, who captured the $75,000 Pago Hop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
John Wallace and Ron Armstrong's Sir Fidgity edged Persuaggle by a nose in a game stretch run of Saturday's $118,575 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.
Magic Mecke won his third consecutive race by taking the$100,000 Pete Axthelm Stakes Saturday at Calder Race Course, breaking the stakes record time in the process.
The owner and trainer were nowhere to be found, but Acrolect showed up and trounced a field of Maryland-breds in today's $60,000 Challedon Stakes at Laurel Park.
Earle I. Mack's Savedbythelight ended a four-race losing streak and became a graded stakes winner in the process Saturday, winning the 134th running of the $112,100 Ladies Handicap (gr. III) by three lengths over Queen's Triomphe.
Samuel H. Rogers' 3-year-old filly Changing World won the $100,000 Frances A. Genter Stakes at Tropical for 3-year-old fillies at Calder Race Course on Saturday, notching her first stakes victory for trainer Barclay Tagg.
Chalk players could receive an early Christmas present from trainer Scott Lake, who entered his sensational sprinter Shake You Down in Sunday's $100,000 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at six furlongs.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela enters the closing weekend of the Hollywood Park Autumn Meet with added motivation. A riding crown at the 30-day session that concludes Sunday would give Valenzuela a rare sweep of the five major meets on the Southern California circuit in the same year.
Owner Arnold Zetcher hopes to close out a memorable year with House of Fortune Sunday in the $355,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I), a 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-old fillies.
Pin Oak Stud of Versailles, Ky., and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, have agreed terms on a three-year sponsorship deal to rename the USA Stakes to the Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes.
Rafael Bejarano broke the record for number of wins for Turfway Park's holiday meet, notching his 40th victory Thursday, the 13th day of the 22-day meet.
If you have an unraced 2-year-old, you have only a couple of weeks to avoid the dreaded curse of Apollo. Meanwhile, there were several interesting winners across the country in recent weeks, and last year's Hopeful (gr. I) winner, Silver Wagon, was defeated in his return.
Trainer Bob Baffert entered Quiet Cash in the $362,000 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) Saturday but admitted the colt has a long way to go to emulate his sire, Real Quiet, who gave Baffert his first Futurity victory in 1997.
Dual Classic winner Funny Cide worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 in easy fashion Thursday morning at Palm Beach Downs. Funny Cide, a leading contender for an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old, is being pointed for the Feb. 7, $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
When Heiligbrodt Stable's Caught in the Rain ran fourth in the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) last month, she was facing tougher horses and running around one turn. On Saturday, she will face a softer cast and two turns on Aqueduct's inner dirt track in the 134th running of the $100,000 Ladies Handicap (gr. III) going 1 1/4 miles.
Gilbert Campbell's homebred 3-year-old filly Ivanavinalot will be among the top contenders in Saturday's $100,000 Frances A. Genter Stakes at Calder Race Course, going 7 1/2 furlongs on turf, her second start on grass.
Hollywood Park brings down the curtain on its 2003 Autumn meet this weekend with a pair of races for juveniles and juvenile fillies, Saturday's Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and Sunday's Hollywood Starlet (gr. I).
Team Valor has purchased a 50% interest in Cartoonist, who broke his maiden by two lengths at the Fair Grounds. The juvenile colt is a half-brother to multiple grade I winner Voodoo Dancer and is by Louisiana Derby (gr. III) winner Comic Strip.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela passed the injured Julie Krone to take over the jockey lead Wednesday at Hollywood Park.
Jockey David Lopez, who suffered a slight head concussion when he fell in a race Sunday, returned to ride claimer Smoke Till Dawn to a six-furlong track record at Golden Gate Fields Wednesday.
Favored West Virginia took the lead after a half-mile, then held of the stubborn Salty Character by a neck to win Wednesday's $83,675 Damon Runyon for 2-year-old New York breds at 1 1/16 mile on Aqueduct's sloppy inner track.
Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger, Eclipse Award-winning apprentice rider last year, will be forced to miss the final week of the Hollywood Park meet because of injuries suffered in unrelated spills there on Dec. 12.
Trainer Bob Baffert guns for his third victory in six years in the $200,000-added Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Sunday with Victory U.S.A, the probable favorite in the test for 2-year-old fillies.
That's an Outrage is expected to make an impact in the $200,000 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) for his Washington state connections, bankruptcy attorneys Tim Dore and Denise Moewes.
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