Calumet Farm, so much a part of the top-tiered landscape of Kentucky breeding and racing for decades, returned to the spotlight in a big way when 3-year-old Switch won the $150,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I).
Although the field for the Aug. 2 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park contains several accomplished entrants, multiple graded stakes winner Rutherienne, who is often a fast closer at the finish, is clearly the one to beat.
Jedburgh Stud's All Is Vanity, sixth at the top of the lane, displayed a huge turn of foot in the final furlong and passed Quiet Meadow in the final strides to take a thrilling edition of the $150,000 Eatontown (gr. IIIT) June 7 on the Monmouth Park turf.
Ariege, last year's Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) winner, makes her 2009 graded stakes debut when facing seven rivals in the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) June 7 on the Monmouth Park turf.
Third in the Doubledogdare Stakes (gr. III) a year ago, Donald Adam's homebred Indescribable was much the best in the 2009 running of the $100,000 event, as she pulled away in the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths April 17 at Keeneland.
Ariege, winner of this year's Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), will be offered at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed sale. She will be consigned by Hidden Brook and will be Hip No. 157A in the auction, which will be held Nov. 2 in Central Kentucky.
Shadwell Stable's Alwajeeha stalked the pace under John Velazquez, took over coming out of the turn, and held off a host of rivals to win the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) by 1 1/4 lengths Oct. 11 at Keeneland. The victory was especially sweet for Velazquez, who was involved in a bad spill just eight days before in Lexington.
Jason and Tom discuss the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr.IT). Plus, picks from John Pricci of Equiform for the Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap, Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Ariege, a multiple graded stakes winner who has a victory over the Keeneland Polytrack earlier this season, leads a quality group of 3-year-old fillies that includes grade I winners Backseat Rhythm and Magical Fantasy in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 11 on the turf in Lexington.
Paul Pompa Jr.'s Backseat Rhythm came with a five-wide move and rallied from fifth at the top of the stretch, eventually getting up in the final strides under Javier Castellano to win the $250,000 Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) by a half-length on Belmont's yielding turf course Sept. 6.
IEAH Stables' grade I winners Ariege and Pure Clan are the headliners in a contentious field of eight 3-year-old fillies vying for the $250,000 Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) Sept. 6 on the Belmont turf, but there is plenty of tough competition in the nine-furlong test.
IEAH Stables and Pegasus Holding Group Stables' Ariege benefitted from a ground-saving trip under Garrett Gomez, took over in mid-stretch and held off Golden Doc A by a length to win the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont (gr. IIT) April 10 on the turf at Keeneland.
Ariege and Golden Doc A, the one-two finishers in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 8, will renew their rivalry in the Midwest in the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Brereton Jones' Proud Spell, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), and Stonerside Stable's Country Star, a two-time winner in grade I company, are the top choices for the third pool of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which begins four days of betting April 3.
Ariege, racing for the first time on a synthetic track, took the overland route to victory in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), holding off favored Golden Doc A by a half-length March 8.
After giving trainer Barry Abrams his second grade I victory when she captured the Las Virgenes (gr. I) last month, Golden Doc A should be formidable once again in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) on March 8.
Passion, under a determined ride from Rafael Bejarano, outlasted favored Ariege in a fierce stretch duel, taking the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose Feb. 2 on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita.
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