While leading Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Funny Cide, Empire Maker and Dynever are getting most of the attention these days, it wasn't long ago that Sky Mesa, Vindication and Toccet were the darlings of the current 3-year-old class.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide may very well be the "people's horse," but the impeccably-bred Empire Maker still remains the big horse in the eyes of jockey Jerry Bailey.
Shortly after it was announced Thursday that Atswhatimtalknbout would not contest the June 7 Belmont Stakes, the classic lost another starter when Team Valor's Colita was withdrawn from the 1 1/2-mile race at New York's Belmont Park.
Trainer Ron Ellis ruled out a Belmont Stakes bid for B. Wayne Hughes' and Biscuit Stable's Atswhatimtalknbout on Thursday morning, saying the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby will return to California and be given some time off while a quarter crack on his right front foot heals.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide turned in another sharp drill Wednesday morning, working 5 furlongs in :59 2/5 over a muddy track in preparation for the Belmont Stakes, in which he will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.
B. Wayne Hughes' and Biscuit Stable's Atswhatimtalknbout worked a mile in 1:46 4/5 over a fast track at Churchill Downs Wednesday morning, which was five to six seconds slower than trainer Ron Ellis was looking for.
With the buzz growing ever louder over another potential Triple Crown winner, the racing industry is marshalling its marketing forces to make sure the public at large becomes aware of what's at stake at Belmont Park June 7.
Chisholm, Jarvis and Reddam's Ten Most Wanted took one more step toward the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with a seven-furlong work in 1:25 over a fast Hollywood Park main track Tuesday morning.
Midway Road and Scrimshaw, the second- and third-place finishers in the Preakness Stakes, both turned in solid works Tuesday. Whereas Scrimshaw is a confirmed starter for the Belmont Stakes, no decision has been made yet regarding Midway Road.
Because of complications with its schedule, NBC initiated a time change for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in which Funny Cide will attempt to win the Triple Crown.
Kenny McPeek, who already has one horse, Best Minister, in the Belmont Stakes field, said Monday he also is considering running Wild and Wicked, unbeaten in two career starts.
Atswhatimtalknbout, the fourth-place finisher to Visa Triple Crown contender Funny Cide in the Kentucky Derby (Gr. I), jogged two miles over a fast track on Sunday at Churchill Downs as the condition of his sore right front foot continued to improve.
Bobby Frankel's plans to run Kentucky Derby runner-up Empire Maker in Monday's Jersey Derby were canceled Sunday morning when the colt breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over Belmont's yielding inner turf course.
Herbert and Carol A. Schwartz's Go Rockin' Robin, like Funny Cide a New York bred by Distorted Humor, flew over a sloppy Belmont Park track to win Saturday's $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, fearing he may not get enough training in Empire Maker because of the bad weather in the Northeast, has entered Kentucky Derby runner-up Empire Maker in Monday's Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park.
Atswhatimtalknbout, who came out his last work with a minor foot bruise, jogged perfectly Saturday morning, and is scheduled to work again on Tuesday, trainer Ron Ellis said.
With the Belmont track soaked from several days of rain, trainer Christophe Clement has decided to postpone Dynever's work from Friday to either Sunday or Monday. Also scheduled to work Monday is Kentucky Derby runner-up Empire Maker.
Atswhatimtalknbout, who closed fastest of all to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby, is being treated for a bruised foot that could jeopardize his chances of making the 135th Belmont Stakes
It has been 25 years since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978 and 30 years since Secretariat broke a 25-year Triple Crown drought in 1973. The connections of Secretariat, Affirmed, and Seattle Slew speak out.
The riders of the last three Triple Crown winners offered some advice for Jose Santos, the regular rider of Funny Cide as he bids for the Triple Crown on June 7. The riders, Ron Turcotte, Jean Cruget, and Steve Cauthen commented during a round-table teleconference sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Out of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) with a low blood count, Alysweep bounces back for Saturday's $200,000 Peter Pan (gr. II) at 1 1/8 mile for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.
Phillips Racing Partnership's Best Minister, impressive winner of the Sir Barton Stakes, will be supplemented to the Belmont Stakes for a $100,000 fee, as trainer Kenny McPeek attempts to catch lightning in a bottle for the second year in a row.
Team Valor Stable's Colita, a 3-year-old son of Grindstone, won Wednesday's seventh race at Belmont Park and in doing so, earned a trip to the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Last year Bob Baffert had a shot at the Triple Crown with War Emblem. This year he might not even start at horse in the June 7 Belmont Stakes, but he'll be watching.
Midway Road returned to the track Wednesday at Churchill Downs. Scrimshaw walked the Lukas shedrow and could go to the track Thursday. Ten Cents a Shine will take a break rather than go on to New York. Atswhatimtalknbout is scheduled to work Monday.
Total handle on the May 17 Preakness Stakes Day program at Pimlico Race Course topped $60 million for the third consecutive year, but it was down 9.5% from last year, according to figures released May 21 by the Maryland Jockey Club.
Ten Most Wanted, who finished a disappointing ninth in the Kentucky Derby at odds of 6-1, turned in a sharp 6-furlong breeze in 1:13 2/5 at Hollywood Park Wednesday in preparation for the Belmont Stakes.
From May 23 until June 7, when Belmont Park will host the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race will be celebrated almost daily in greater New York City. There is a Belmont Festival at Chinatown; a hot dog eating contest, a street festival, and a hat contest.
Move over Derek Jeter, there's another New York-based athlete stealing the hearts of sports fans in the Big Apple. Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Funny Cide, along with his connections, owner Sackatoga Stable, trainer Barclay Tagg, and jockey Jose Santos, were honored during a luncheon Tuesday at Gallagher's Steak House.
Trainer Bill Currin said on Tuesday that his and Al Eisman's stakes winner Outta Here, the seventh-place finisher in the May 3 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is possible for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), but a final decision won't likely come until later this week.
Empire Maker breezed six furlongs on Belmont Park's fast main track after the mid-morning break Tuesday in a bullet 1:12 under jockey Aaron Gryder.
When he was 12, Lang remembers standing on the roof of the jocks' room watching the Seabiscuit/War Admiral match race. "I can close my eyes and see that race like it was run yesterday," Lang said.
It was Derby Week 1961. Thousands of people were gathered along Broadway to witness the annual Kentucky Derby Parade. This year, however, they were in for a big surprise. Unbeknownst to them, high above the parade, an aerial attack unlike anything they'd ever seen was about to commence.
The national rating for the last 75 minutes of NBC's Preakness Stakes telecast May 17 was down 12% from last year's number of viewers.
When New York-bred Funny Cide goes for a Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont Stakes, the sport of kings will be the king of sports in the Big Apple and throughout the Empire State.
Funny Cide broadsides his Preakness rivals in Baltimore by 9 3/4 lengths and the New York-bred heads to New York with a shot at the Triple Crown.
Coverage of the May 17 Preakness Stakes on NBC from 5-6:45 p.m. (EDT) earned a 5.6 overnight rating and a 15 share, compared with a 6.5 overnight rating and 15 share in 2002.
With all reserved seats sold out for Belmont Stakes Day, two seats in the clubhouse, originally worth $80, are currently for sale on eBay for $530 and climbing. There are still four days left before the bidding closes. That will just be the tip of the iceberg as New York's "Funny Frenzy" builds to a feverish pitch.
If Funny Cide sweeps the Triple Crown he will have earned it. Not only is a large field expected for the Belmont Stakes, but several of them will be talented newcomers to the Triple Crown scene, as well as some fresh horses who ran big in the Kentucky Derby.
A lifetime of horses and hard work, not sitting in front of the television, preceded trainer Barclay Tagg's 2:01.19 of fame on May 3.
You know that dream where you hit the home run that wins the World Series? Or the one where you earn an Olympic gold medal or hit the lottery? Jackson Knowlton and nine of his friends lived that dream May 3. One of the three horses they own won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Jose Santos is one of the masters of big-time race riding. In 1999, he denied Charismatic the Triple Crown when he booted Lemon Drop Kid home in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Last October, he guided Volponi to a 43-1 upset victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and on the first Saturday in May, the Chilean-born jockey won his first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) in seven attempts.
When Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner purchased Prestonwood Farm between Lexington and Versailles, Ky., and renamed it WinStar in January 2000, among the horses they acquired in the deal was Belle's Good Cide, who was then carrying a foal who would go on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
They have come in all sizes and colors, with vastly different personalities, and every conceivable advantage. Yet the thing each has been remembered for, finally, was failing to get the job done.
Funny Cide, a New York-bred gelding, came to Kentucky under the radar screen, but he will return to the Empire State a star, winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) impressively Saturday and putting himself in a position to win the Triple Crown.
Trainer Neil Howard has been affectionately dubbed "Nervous Neil" by his friends and colleagues at Churchill Downs, but he was cool and confident as he accepted congratulations Sunday morning on his return to his home track.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said that Peace Rules, fourth in the Preakness (gr. I), appears fine after shipping back to New York. Peace Rules will not compete in the Belmont Stakes, but Frankel will have Derby runner-up Empire Maker fresh for the 1 ½-mile classic.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide has three weeks to prepare for the biggest race of his career and trainer Barclay Tagg and assistant Robin Smullen have tentatively mapped out a plan for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide will seek to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner when he goes to post on Saturday, June 7th in the 135th running of the grade I, $1 million Belmont Stakes - the 1 1/2-mile final leg of the Visa Triple Crown for 3-year-olds.
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