Trainer Todd Pletcher will make history when he saddles Rags to Riches June 9 in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The grade I winner will become just the 22nd filly-- and the first since Silverbulletday in 1999-- to challenge the boys in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of a Champion."
Trainer Todd Pletcher announced Tuesday morning that the filly Rags to Riches will contest the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and be ridden by John Velazquez. Also, trainer Greg Fox said Rafael Bejarano has been named to ride Slew's Tizzy.
Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens recorded his fifth win in the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park Saturday when Joseph Allen's Teammate outfought favored Sugar Shake to win by one-half length.
Darley Stable's Sahara Heat, favored while making his stakes debut, recorded his third consecutive victory when he wired seven rivals in Saturday's $150,000 Marine (Can-III) for 3-year-olds on the Woodbine Polytrack.
Saint Anddan pounced from his stalking position and took the lead with three-sixteenths of a mile remaining en route to a two-length victory in the $277,750 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) Saturday over a Churchill surface rated as good.
Rags to Riches put on a spectacular performance to win the Kentucky Oaks Friday, her third straight grade I win.
Aaron and Marie Jones' Master Command made short work of three overmatched rivals when he drew off to win the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne by a convincing 3 3/4 lengths Saturday, helping him to eclipse $1 million dollars in earnings.
Phipps Stable's Boca Grande kept her cool and pulled away for a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Comely (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Saturday.
Allen Paulson Living Trust's 5-year-old homebred A.P. Arrow may have been the 1-to-2 favorite in Saturday's $114,500 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, but the chestnut horse was all out to hold on for his first stakes victory by a head over the hard-charging Rehoboth.
Melnyk Racing Stable's Indian Vale, who endured several false starts to begin her 5-year-old year, finally got back to the races Saturday afternoon and delivered a 5 1/2-length victory in the $104,800 Next Move Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the Aqueduct inner track.
A well-built son of Forest Wildcat brought a final bid of $900,000 to kick start day two of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March select 2-year-olds in training sale at the Central Florida auction house.
- By Ric Chapman
Kiaran McLaughlin is headed to Dubai with Invasor this weekend but before he leaves he will lose one of his barns' best bred gallopers, Paullinus, to Australian interests.
Alumni Hall, a multiple graded stakes winner of more than $740,000 on the flat, will give steeplechasing a try this season for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
Sent along by jockey Garrett Gomez near the quarter pole while racing third on the outside, the 2-5 choice Rags to Riches quickly assumed command of Sunday's $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), striding out to an impressive win.
The multiple graded stakes winner Master Command drew away like a a 3-10 shot should to record an easy win in the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Saturday.
A field of seven 3-year-old fillies is set for the seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) March 10 at Gulfstream Park. Heading the group is Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) winner Boca Grande.
Horse of the Year Azeri delivered her first foal, an A.P. Indy chestnut colt, Feb. 14.
The $1.9 million filly Rags to Riches staged a dramatic come-from-behind rally to win the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Saturday.
Odds-on choice Master Command left the tiring Purim approaching the eighth pole and cruised to victory in the $194,000 Mineshaft Handicap, the first of four successive grade III races on the Fair Grounds program Saturday.
The first reported foals sired by Mingun, the group III-winning son of A.P. Indy and Miesque, arrived on Jan. 26, according to William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm. The first foals of multiple grade I winner Rock Hard Ten and 2003 Canadian Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner Wando were also reported.
Wait a While made a real name for herself in 2006 by winning graded stakes races on both dirt and turf, but it was on the grass where she really excelled. Her accomplishments on both surfaces earned Wait a While an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly for 2006.
Trainer Tom Albetrani said his Bernardini will be facing the most difficult task of his life Saturday in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Bernardini had his final workout at Belmont Park Oct. 31 and is ready for his start in the biggest race of the year.
Leading the Parade, a stakes-placed son of A.P. Indy out of grade I winner and champion producer My Flag, has been retired and will stand in 2007 at Roy Lerman's Lambholm South near Reddick, Fla. His fee will be $3,500.
Darley Stable's Bernardini turned in a bullet five-furlong breeze in 1:02 2/5 at Belmont Park Wednesday, much to the satisfaction of trainer Tom Albertrani. His main rival for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Presented by Dodge (gr. I) will be Lava Man, whose trainer, Doug O'Neill, paid tribute to Bernardini.
Sam-Son Farm's homebred Catch the Thrill swept past Quiet Action in early stretch, then went on to post an impressive tally in the featured (Canadian) $250,800 Princess Elizabeth Stakes for Canadian-foaled 2-year-old fillies Saturday at Woodbine.
Bernardini once again effortlessly won a grade I race, galloping home over three opponents Saturday in Belmont Park's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
Suave, a grade II winning son of A.P. Indy, will stand at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington in 2007.
Very few thought any of his five rivals had much of a shot at beating Bernardini at equal weights in Saturday's 137th Travers (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course. But this appeared so effortless that jockey Javier Castellano was clapping the winner on the neck -- with a sixteenth of a mile to go!
Stan Fulton's A.P. Warrior made his turf debut a successful one when he nosed favorite Porto Santo in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Del Mar Saturday.
Relative newcomer Ahmed Zayat went to $1.6 million for an Empire Maker filly Wednesday night to top the 86th annual Fasig-Tipton selected yearling sale in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The historic sale, now with a two-day run, had yet another solid performance with the average virtually mirroring last year's figure and the gross increasing significantly.
The yearling selling season got off to a strong start last month in Kentucky. Now the action moves to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where Fasig-Tipton will conduct its boutique sale Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Darley Stable's Classic winner Bernardini coasted to victory in nearly gate to wire fashion in the $500,000 Jim Dandy (gr. II) under sloppy conditions Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
The wait is over. Darley Stable's Bernardini, who hasn't run since his brilliant victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), finally gets back to the races in Saturday's Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), in which he will face five opponents.
Grade I winner A P Valentine was represented by his first winner Sunday when Higgie, a 2-year-old filly, broke her maiden at first asking in Monmouth Park's first race.
Four straight. A mind-boggling eight of the last nine. Ten of the last 12. An even dozen. Those overwhelming figures are the number of Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winners tracing in male line to Mr. Prospector.
A.P. Indy, for years one of North America's leading sires, has filled a major void in his impressive resumé. He now has a U.S. classic winner to go along with earlier accomplishments of leading the general sires list and siring a Horse of the Year.
Darley Stable's Bernardini, 5 1/4-length winner of the May 20 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), will not run in the June 10 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), according to a statement released by Darley.
Bernardini rolled to victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) Saturday before a record crowd of 118,402 at Pimlico Race Course while a serious injury shattered Barbaro's racing career and dreams of a Triple Crown bid.
Lemon Drop Kid could hardly have picked a better time to have a breakthrough horse. On national TV, his daughter Lemons Forever charged down the stretch to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), writing her name into the history of the nation's oldest race for three-year-old fillies and becoming her sire's first grade I winner.
One thing the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) has taught us over the years is that the winner can come from anywhere. And the same goes for the winner's sire.
Darley Stable's Bernardini quickly drew away from favored Luxembourg at the head of the stretch to win the $142,500 Withers (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at a mile Saturday on Aqueduct's fast main track.
Despite selling fewer horses and having a large number withdrawn from the ring, the gross, average, and median increased during the Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale April 18 at the Central Kentucky auction house.
A royally-bred A.P. Indy -- Dream Supreme filly brought the highest bid of $2,395,000 at Tuesday's Keeneland juvenile auction. But she was bought back by her breeder, George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Farm.
Colts usually get most of the attention at juvenile auctions because they have a higher earning potential at the racetrack and they bring higher prices. But a number of fillies were generating a buzz prior to Tuesday's Keeneland April sale.
Borderland Derby winner Indy Wildcat could have returned to New Mexico's Sunland Park for Saturday's rich WinStar Derby, but trainer and part owner Paula Capestro chose instead to stay home for the April 8 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Martin and Pam Wygod's homebred champion Sweet Catomine delivered an A.P. Indy filly March 28 at Mill Ridge Farm.
Four-time champion Azeri, who came up barren last year in her first season as a broodmare, is in foal to A.P. Indy.
Johannesburg and A.P. Indy colts are among horses that could bring big prices at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Making his first start for last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning trainer John Shirreffs, overlooked A.P. Warrior came to life Saturday under jockey Corey Nakatani, turning back Point Determined late for a half-length victory in the $250,000 San Felipe (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
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