Abilene, a 3-year-old Samum filly offered out of training, brought the day's highest price of 270,000 ($370,291 in United States funds) at a vibrant second session of Arqana breeding stock sale Dec. 8.
After Zagora stormed home in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, owner Martin Schwartz and trainer Chad Brown are hoping for a repeat with Alterite, already a grade I winner in her first U.S. start.
An electric day's trade in Newmarket at the December Sale yesterday produced an aggregate of over 36 million gns ($70,718,740), the highest turnover ever seen in a day at a European bloodstock auction with no less than three lots making 3 million gns ($5.89 million) or more.
Angara, a millionaire and two-time grade I turf winner, has been retired from racing and booked to leading Irish stallion Montjeu.
The $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap (gr. IT), to be contested over 10 furlongs Oct. 7 at Belmont Park, looks to be a clash between the consistent Honey Ryder and the ever-improving Angara.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott enjoyed his 53rd birthday in grand style Saturday when the 5-year-old mare Angara got up in the final couple of strides to win the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. IT) on a yielding Saratoga turf course.
Trainer Patrick Biancone could have entered his improving 3-year-old filly Lady of Venice in Friday's restricted Lake George (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga but opted instead to put her in a much tougher spot -- Saturday's $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. IT) for older fillies and mares.
Gary A. Tanaka's Noble Stella led at all calls over a soft turf course Saturday afternoon then dug in to hold off late-charging Angara to win the $182,000 New York Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Belmont Park inner turf course by a neck.
Honey Ryder, the best long-winded female turf horse on the East Coast, is bypassing the New York Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park for a potential start in Monmouth Park's United Nations Handicap (gr. IT). None of the fillies and mares running in the New York race June 24 will miss her.
The multiple graded stakes winner Honey Ryder shook off a zero-for-five record on the Belmont Park turf to capture Saturday's $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares in smart fashion under Garrett Gomez.
After finishing fifth as the favorite in last year's Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT), Glencrest Farm's Honey Ryder returns to Belmont Park Saturday as the horse to beat once again in the $150,0000 feature for fillies and mares.
Pacesetting Pommes Frites got her head down at the wire Saturday to defeat fast-closing Naissance Royale in the $112,300 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares, the last graded stakes of the Aqueduct meeting.
Alzao, who reached the 100 mark by number of stakes winners last year, has been pensioned from stallion duty at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
While the works for Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were a washout at Belmont Park Tuesday, four horses breezed in Kentucky before shipping to New York.
A little more than a year after breaking her maiden first out at Belmont, Melhor Ainda will start as the favorite in Saturday's $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. I) at 11 furlongs on the turf at the New York track.
Trainer Patrick Biancone will stable 24 of his charges at Turfway Park through October to train over the track's Polytrack surface. The horses are expected on the grounds Oct. 2. Among them are Stream Cat, Angara, Henny Hughes, Luas Line, Pomeroy, Ball Four, and Asi Siempre.
Saturday's $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) will feature last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now and Beverly D (gr. IT) winner Angara, whom trainer Patrick Biancone will send out against the boys in the 1 3/8-mile test.
Angara's great closing kick served her well in the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT) Saturday as she defeated another great superb runner in Megahertz on a yielding Arlington Park turf.
A field of 10 fillies and mares has been drawn for Saturday's signature female turf race on the Arlington Park calendar, the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT). Sister to the prestigious Arlington Million (gr. IT) for the males on the card, the 1 3/16-mile test brings in a nice group--led postward by the Bobby Frankel-trained Melhor Ainda.
Favored Sand Springs, with John Velazquez aboard, dictated the pace into the stretch before pulling away to an easy victory in the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. IT) on the inner Saratoga turf course Saturday.
Winless since he captured last year's Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) on the Belmont Park turf, Meteor Storm returns to New York Saturday to face a strong group of 10 foes in the latest renewal of the $400,000 event on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
Sauvage, a French-bred filly making her second start in New York, found room at the rail to rally to an upset Sunday in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at 11 furlongs on the turf.
Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Finery faces an evenly-matched field of eight expected to line up for Sunday's $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Belmont Park grass.
Angara inched away down the Keeneland stretch to take the April 27 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) by 1 3/4 lengths over Cape Town Lass, with Strike Me Lucky three lengths back in third. A daughter of Alzao, Angara covered the 1 1/2-mile distance over a turf course rated good in 2:36.24.
A nicely matched field of eight fillies and mares is set to challenge in the 44th running of the Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland Race Course Wednesday. Topped by morning line favorite Angara, and second-choice Cape Town Lass, the field will contest 1-1/2 miles over the Lexington track's turf course.
Cape Town Lass, already a winner at the Keeneland spring meeting, will face seven fillies and mares in the $100,000-added Bewitch (gr. III), to be run at 12 furlongs on the grass on Wednesday.
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