This Ones for Phil, Mr. Fantasy and Just a Coincidence - all on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) trail earlier this season - top a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $150,000 Withers (gr. III) April 25 at Aqueduct. The $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is now the primary goal for each of them.
Mercedes Stables' Seattle Smooth, who took down eventual 3-year-old champion filly Proud Spell in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II) last out, will return from a seven-month layoff and make her seasonal debut in the $150,000 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct April 18.
On April 6, two days after Gato Go Win was scratched from the Bay Shore Stakes (gr.III) at Aqueduct because the horse's trainer, Jeff Mullins, was observed administrating an orally-injected substance to his horse in the detention barn, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said the "matter is still in the hands" of the Aqueduct stewards.
Kodiak Kowboy scored the first grade I victory of his career and became a millionaire in dramatic fashion, rallying late to edge the front-running Fabulous Strike by a head in the $300,000 Carter Handicap April 4 at Aqueduct in New York. It was the eighth win in 17 career races for Kodiak Kowboy, who was Canada's champion 2-year-old male in 2007.
Despite missing the break, then being caught in traffic at the top of the lane, I Want Revenge split horses in mid-stretch and went on to win the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) in remarkable fashion April 4 at Aqueduct.
The beneficiary of a perfect stalking trip under Javier Castellano, Capt. Candyman Can edged clear approaching the sixteenth pole and went on to win the $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) by three lengths April 4 at Aqueduct.
Having a horse on the Kentucky Derby trail is something that most horsemen can only dream about. But for trainer Ian Wilkes and owners Joseph Rauch and David Zell, having fun is more important than dreams of Derby glory.
A field of eight accomplished sprinters, led by multiple graded stakes winner Tale of Ekati, Kodiak Kowboy, and Fabulous Strike, will line up in the starting gate in the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) April 4 at Aqueduct.
A field of eight was drawn for the 1 1/8-mile main track test, which is the final Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands prep for 3-year-olds in New York.
Chevalier Stable's Weathered repelled a bid from Winning Point in a determined stretch run to earn her first graded-stakes victory in the $100,000 Next Move (gr. III) March 28 at Aqueduct.
The state of New York should abandon efforts to find new bidders to develop a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct and instead tap the New York Racing Association to run the long-delayed facility, a leading state lawmaker believes.
The top three finishers from the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), headed by runaway winner I Want Revenge, are among the probable starters for the 85th running of the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct on April 4.
Successful Sarah will face five rivals in the $100,000 Next Move (gr. III) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs at Aqueduct March 28.
One Smokin' Lady, who in her last start romped to a 5 1/2-length allowance victory at Philadelphia Park, will make the jump into graded stakes company in the $100,000 Cicada (gr. III), a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies March 14 at Aqueduct.
- By Tom Precious
As state officials in New York scrambled to re-group following the collapse of the Delaware North plan to build a casino at Aqueduct racetrack, at least one of the former bidding groups said it would be interested in making a new bid on the long-stalled project.
The long-stalled Aqueduct casino project will now be facing yet another delay, as the company that won the rights to develop the facility is telling the state it cannot meet a deadline to make its $370 million franchise fee payment.
Shipping in from California and making his first start on natural dirt, I Want Revenge put away Mr. Fantasy at the top of the stretch and scored by 8 1/2 convincing lengths in the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 7 at Aqueduct.
Seeing that Wild Holly had lost her last three by a combined total of 54 1/2 lengths and that her jockey was a winless 10-pound apprentice, bettors sent the 8-year-old mare off as a 64-1 longshot in the fifth race at Aqueduct March 6.
Shadwell Stable's Lucky Island, who reeled off four consecutive victories in the first half of 2008 before faltering, looks to start his season on a winning note when taking on eight sprinters in the $100,000 Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) March 7 on Aqueduct's inner track.
On paper, the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) has turned out to be one of the most intriguing and highly-anticipated prep races of the season, as a number of promising 3-year-olds will attempt to answer questions about their ability to go on to the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), and possibly the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Because of extremely high winds projected to gust up to 60 mph, the New York Racing Association has decided to cancel its scheduled live race card at Aqueduct Racetrack on Thursday, Feb. 12.
The company selected to operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct said there are a host of unresolved issues, including restructuring its financing deal, before it can close on a final agreement with the state of New York to begin construction on the long-delayed facility.
A winner of three consecutive races, Haynesfield looks to further establish himself as one of the top New York-based 3-year-olds when he takes on a short field in the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 at Aqueduct.
A winter storm that has spanned half the country has led to cancellation of live racing and full-card simulcast programs at various tracks.
All-sources handle for all New York Racing Association tracks declined 2.1% in 2008, but purses grew 3.1%, it was reported Jan. 22.
Because of an ominous forecast for bitter Arctic cold, compounded by strong winds, the New York Racing Association has decided to cancel its scheduled live race card at Aqueduct Jan. 16. Beulah Park in Ohio also canceled its Jan. 16 program because of frigid temperatures.
Haynesfield picked up his third consecutive victory Jan. 3, warding off a stiff mid-stretch challenge from Mike From Queens and drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory in the 34th running of the $69.700 Count Fleet Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards on Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track.
- By Ryan Conley
TVG and the New York Racing Association have reached a two-year agreement on the distribution of NYRA signals, allowing Aqueduct programming to return to the horse racing network Jan. 3.
Gretchen and Roy Jackson have donated $200,000 to the Belmont Child Care Association, it was announced Dec. 23.
Fabulous Strike, coming off a front-running victory in the Fall Highweight Handicap, heads an 8-horse field in the $100,000 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 27 at Aqueduct.
New York Gov. David Paterson is proposing to permit a casino at Belmont racetrack, a move he believes will raise $370 million in a franchise fee payment to the deficit-ridden state.
West Virginia shipper Researcher puts his three-race win streak on the line Dec. 13 at Aqueduct, as the 4-year-old gelding faces his stiffest test yet while battling three graded stakes winners in the $100,000-added Queens County Handicap (gr. III), a 1 3/16-mile trek on the inner track.
The rejuvenated New York Racing Association has big plans for its new 25-year franchise, but president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said Dec. 9 the organization has to plan wisely should revenue sources dry up.
The Race Track Chaplaincy's New York division has teamed up with Darley USA, a group of local breeders and owners, and a concerned group of Saratoga residents to bring some Christmas joy to approximately 100 people connected to the backstretch community at Saratoga Race Course.
The New York Racing Association will raise the purses on 13 grade I races offered at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga in 2009. The hikes are part of the 2009 NYRA stakes schedule, which was approved by NYRA's Board of Directors at a meeting Dec. 3. It now awaits approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
Charles Fipke's Tale of Ekati finished a nose behind Stronach Stables' Harlem Rocker when the horses hit the wire in the Nov. 29 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct, but was placed first after stewards disqualified Harlem Rocker for interference in the stretch. Wanderin Boy was euthanized after fracturing the sesamoids in his left front leg.
Favored Old Fashioned made sure there wasn't a lot of suspense about the outcome of the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Nov. 29. The son of Unbridled's Song grabbed the lead early and then romped to a 7 1/4-length victory in New York.
Charles Fipke's Tale of Ekati won the grade I Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Nov. 29 when Stronach Stables' Harlem Rocker, who crossed the wire first by a nose, was disqualified and placed second.
Joe Shields' homebred Any Limit makes her first start after not faring too well on the Keeneland Polytrack, one of nine fillies and mares running in the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 28 at Aqueduct.
Idiot Proof will try to rebound from a poor Breeders Cup performance in the Fall Highweight Handicap Nov. 27 at Aqueduct.
Ramon Dominguez hustled Wishful Tomcat to the early lead in the Discovery Handicap and they never looked back, the duo leading every step of the way in posting a 1 3/4-length victory on Aqueduct's main track.
Winter Park Partners' Wishful Tomcat, a late-blooming 3-year-old with four wins in his last five starts, tries to notch his first graded stakes score when he takes on seven rivals in the $100,000-added Discovery Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 22 at Aqueduct.
Carol Nyren's Dry Martini, a two-time graded stakes winner last season, broke into the 2008 win column in a big way Nov. 15, as the 5-year-old went from last-to-first en route to a convincing length victory in the $110,500 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) in the slop at Aqueduct.
Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens' first order of business after being released the morning of Nov. 12 from Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation Center was to visit his barn at Belmont Park.
Jayeff B Stables' Strike a Deal, who had been winless for nearly 18 months, finally tasted victory Nov. 8, as the 4-year-old colt stayed close to the pace, struck the front in upper stretch, and pulled away for a resounding seven-length victory in the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) on a rainy afternoon at Aqueduct.
German-bred Lauro, fresh off a victory in the Sky Classic (Can-IIT) at Woodbine, looks to make his American debut a winning one Nov. 8 when he takes on eight rivals in the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Aqueduct turf.
Jackie Davis, daughter of retired jockey Robbie Davis, recorded her first career victory Nov. 5 in Aqueduct's fifth race aboard Blue Hill Bay for trainer Scott Everett. Blue Hill Bay led all the way around the oval and returned $131 for a $2 win ticket.
Darley Stable's homebred Criticism, just missing in her U.S. debut last month, left no doubt about her winning intentions in her second American start, as the 4-year-old filly took over in upper stretch and pulled away for a one-length victory in the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 1 on the Aqueduct turf.
When Vinery Stables transferred a handful of horses in-training from Steve Asmussen into the barn of Larry Jones earlier this summer, graded stakes winner Kodiak Kowboy grabbed much of the attention as the highest profile colt changing hands. But when Jones received his new shipment of horses Kodiak Kowboy wasn't necessarily the one he was most excited about. It was 2-year-old colt Friesan Fire.
HRTV's coverage of the sale will be interspersed throughout the network's live airing of the final races from both Churchill Downs and Aqueduct, which begin earlier in the afternoon.
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