Edward P. Evans' homebred millionaire Summer Colony, the first and one of two horses to beat Azeri, has arrived at her owner's Spring Hill Farm near Casanova, Va., following her retirement.
Janis R. Whitham's four-time grade I winner Affluent will likely make her next start in the $250,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park on July 13, trainer Ron McAnally said after watching her work six furlongs in an easy 1:16 1/5 over the track on Thursday morning.
Hall of fame conditioner Ron McAnally confirmed that Candy Ride, an Argentine import who won a main track allowance event last week by three lengths, will likely make his North American stakes debut on the turf in the $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park on July 4.
Reigning Horse of the Year Azeri toyed with her opposition in Saturday's $211,800 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park, easily winning her ninth consecutive graded stakes with Mike Smith in the irons.
Five fillies and mares have dared to challenge reigning Horse of the Year Azeri on Saturday when the brilliant 5-year-old mare returns to Hollywood Park for the $200,000-added Milady Breeder's Cup Hanidicap (gr. IT).
Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally has deferentially called Horse of the Year Azeri a "monster." After finishing behind the superstar mare with Affluent in all five previous meetings, McAnally knows what he's talking about.
Azeri, reigning Horse of the Year, worked five furlongs in :57 3/5 Friday at San Luis Rey Downs in her final drill before defense of her victory last year in the $200,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares May 24 at Hollywood Park.
Alex Solis, who won the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) aboard Affluent but opted to get off of her to ride Got Koko in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), will be back aboard the daughter of Affirmed when she meets Horse of the Year Azeri in the April 5 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
Making hay while Azeri works toward her return, Starrer wins her third graded stakes in a row by taking the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita.
Janis R. Whitham's grade I winner Affluent has been withdrawn from Sunday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita after developing a "slight temperature," trainer Ron McAnally's assistant, Dan Landers, said late Saturday afternoon.
Sightseek is the lone speed in Sunday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), which drew a small but stellar cast of six older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita.
Affluent and Starrer, grade I winners in their last races, have been assigned co-high weight of 121 pounds for Sunday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
Affluent and Got Koko, prepping for the March 9 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles, worked on Santa Anita's fast main track Friday.
Robert and Beverly Lewis' Composure, looking to make amends for her second-place finish as the 1-5 favorite in the Dec. 14 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I), worked five furlongs in :58 4/5, handily, at Santa Anita Tuesday morning.
Affluent and jockey Alex Solis found room on the inside behind a wall of horses in the stretch and went on to defeat heavily-favored Sightseek in the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares Saturday at Santa Anita.
Juddmonte Farms' Sightseek makes her grade I debut Saturday in the $200,000 seven furlong Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita.
Dress To Thrill rebounds from an uncharacteristic effort in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile to win the Matriarch over Golden Apples.
Continuing her quest for an Eclipse Award, Golden Apples drilled a half mile on the Hollywood Park turf Wednesday in a bullet :46.20 breezing for the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on Sunday.
Bidding for an Eclipse Award as champion filly or mare on turf, Golden Apples worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 around the dogs on a firm turf course Thursday at Hollywood Park in preparation for the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) Dec. 1.
Janis Whitham's Affluent is scheduled to return to the races Oct. 5 in Keeneland's grade II WinStar Galaxy Stakes, one of the top final preps for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Oct. 26 at Arlington Park. In California, last year's Filly & Mare Turf winner, Banks Hill, is set to go in the grade I Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Santa Anita Park the same afternoon.
Turf distaffers will get the opportunity to fight for $500,000 on Friday in Keeneland's WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT).
Keeneland's Fall Meet opens Friday and several racetrack stars are working toward weekend stakes races.
The Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf has a history of coming up strong and deep, and this year is no exception.
Hall of Fame rider Eddie Delahoussaye, injured Friday in a one-horse spill, will not be riding for the rest of the Del Mar meeting.
Affluent, without Azeri in the field, gets the job done in the John C. Mabee/Ramona Handicap.
Affluent ran down Janet in deep stretch and held off a fast-closing Golden Apples by a half-length to win the $400,000 John C. Mabee/Ramona Handicap at nine furlongs on the Del Mar turf course Saturday.
A bang-up field of nine goes postward in Saturday's feature at Del Mar, the grassy nine furlong $400,000 John C. Mabee/Ramona Handicap (gr. IT).
Jockey Chris McCarron goes out the right way, winning the Affirmed Handicap aboard Came Home.
Leading distaff runner Azeri will attempt to win her fourth straight grade I race in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap on June 22 at Hollywood Park.
The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Azeri has only raced seven times, but the 4-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter has built a solid resume, winning six of those races including Saturday's decisive win in the $211,400 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Janis Whitham's Affluent, a grade I winner on dirt and turf, will attempt to break the $1-million mark in career earnings May 25 in the $200,000 Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park. The grade I race will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Only six fillies and mares passed the entry box for Saturday's Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, but oh, what a cast. Of the six, all are grade I winners.
The connections of Caressing and Atelier have opted to skip Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), part of a double-header with the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) in Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of the South.
Forget the Derby contenders or the handicap warriors. Perhaps the hottest horse in the country is Summer Colony. The 4-year-old filly knocked out her sixth straight win--and the biggest one to date--in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) on Feb. 9.
Affluent faces a small but quality-laden field Saturday as she seeks to become just the third filly to sweep Santa Anita's La Canada series of three stakes races for 4-year-old fillies. The daughter of Affirmed has already notched wins in the grade I La Brea Stakes and the grade II El Encino. Only Taisez Vous, in 1978, and Mitterand, in 1985, have accomplished the sweep.
If any horse could prevent Affluent from becoming only the third filly to sweep the prestigious La Cañada series, it's Summer Colony.
Affluent squeezed through a narrow opening on the inside and won a fierce stretch battle over Royally Chosen in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the betting windows, Bobby Frankel has surfaced with yet another standout. His latest shooter is Labamta Babe, who up and knocked off favored Siphonic in the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) on Jan. 19.
Although multiple grade I winner Affluent will be a deserving morning-line favorite in Sunday's grade II El Encino Stakes, it wouldn't be prudent to discount Graceful Cat's chances in the 1 1/16-mile event for 4-year-old fillies.
The regally-named Royally Chosen will have another chance at dethroning the current queen of the 4-year-old fillies, Affluent, in Sunday's El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles.
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.
At the top of the Santa Anita stretch Saturday's $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) looked like it would be decided by one of three 3-year-old fillies dueling for the lead. Then in mid-stretch, Affluent burst from the trailing pack to rush by the top three en route to winning the seven-furlong main track test by 1 1/2 lengths under Eddie Delahoussaye.
Janis R. Whitham's homebred Affluent rallied on the outside and overtook Golden Apples to post a neck victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland Racecourse.
A crawling opening half-mile spells doom for Congaree's rivals in the Swaps.
Veteran rider Eddie Delahoussaye booted home Affluent 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Collect Call to win Saturday's $150,000 Hollywood Oaks Stakes (gr. II) and earn his second stakes win on the Hollywood Park card.
Under veteran rider Chris McCarron, Starrer utilized a wide rally in the stretch to overcome favored Love At Noon en route to winning Saturday's $100,000 Princess Stakes (gr. II) by 1 1/2 lengths at Hollywood Park.
Gary Stevens, who had an eventful Belmont Stakes week, will return from a five-day break to ride Mike Pegram's Love At Noon in the $100,000 Princess Stakes (Gr. II) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Serena's Tune was installed as the 9-5 favorite in the $200,000 grade II Fantasy Stakes, to be run Friday, April 13 at Oaklawn Park. Serena's Tune is the daughter of Mr. Prospector and sophomore filly champion Serena's Tune. A field of 10 fillies will contest the Fantasy over 1 1/16 miles.
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