As far as the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is concerned, repeat customers are more than welcome. But while many Breeders' Cup winners have tried to repeat their glory, only a select few have succeeded.
Trainer Todd Pletcher worked a bunch of his potential Breeders' Cup starters, including champion Ashado, at Belmont Park Monday.
With the rains that inundated the Northeast over the previous week long gone, the sunny skies at Belmont Park Monday made for one of the busiest workout days in a long time as a slew of contenders for the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships got in some much-needed exercise.
Ashado, last year's champion 3-year-old filly, rebounded nicely from her worst career defeat with a game triumph Saturday in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park and will now move on to attempt to win the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), which she won last year.
Saturday's $750,000 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) will be the moment of truth for several fillies looking ahead to the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). Most importantly, the 1 1/8-mile race should tell us if last year's Distaff winner and 3-year-old filly champ Ashado is heading back in the right direction after her sound defeat in the Personal Ensign (gr. I).
There are two ways of looking at this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, especially the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I). It is either a depleted group of horses that doesn't measure up to most Breeders' Cups or there is still plenty left to provide a championship-caliber afternoon of racing.
Still enjoying the thrill of his Travers (gr. I) victory with Flower Alley, trainer Todd Pletcher has mapped out the colt's next two starts: The $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) on Oct. 1 and the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 29, both at Belmont Park.
There was a big shadow cast at Saratoga Friday, and it was Shadow Cast who was responsible as the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly upset heavily favored Ashado in the $400,000 Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Starlight Stables and partners' Ashado is arguably the dominant older filly and mare in North America. The questions remaining are: Can she get any better? And, can anyone get close to her?
Flower Alley and Reverberate, the respective first- and second-place finishers in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), worked at Saratoga Monday in preparation for Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Starlight Stable's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) champion Ashado and Melnyk Racing Stables' Flower Alley worked together Sunday morning for trainer Todd Pletcher. The duo breezed five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 over the Saratoga main track.
Ashado, last year's champion 3-year-old filly and the winner of six grade I races, will be offered later this year at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Jockey John Velazquez turned Ashado loose in the upper stretch, and the champion filly demolished the field in Sunday's $245,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) before a crowd of 51,982 at Saratoga Race Course.
Starlight Stable's Ashado, who served notice that she is fit and ready with a front-running romp in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I), is clearly the one to beat in the $250,000 Go for Wand (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday.
Godolphin's Stellar Jayne will not participate in Sunday's $250,000 Go for Wand (gr. I) after coming out of her last work with some stiffness.
The champion filly Ashado, the focus of concern after she lost her first two starts in 2005, looked like her old self in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park Saturday, defeating her four rivals with ease.
A small but talented field of five will vie for a share of the $300,000 purse in Saturday's Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares features grade I winners Ashado and Society Selection, along with grade II stars Bending Strings and Daydreaming--each looking for their first grade I score.
Ashado, sent off at 2-5 and with only three competitors to beat, went down to defeat at the hands of hometown hope Silmaril in the $107,400 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III) Friday afternoon.
Ashado, who missed the Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Kentucky Derby day because her trainer was not satisfied with her weight assignment, may run this Friday carrying that same 123 pounds.
The Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) -bound Forest Danger breezed five furlongs over Belmont Park's main track Wednesday morning in 1:00 3/5 for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also said champion filly Ashado could run in the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) May 21.
James Weigel's front-running Dream of Summer not only held off favorite Ashado in winning Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), she also successfully fended off the challenges of two outsiders, unlucky Star Parade and Shadow Cast, in the final strides at Oaklawn Park.
Champion 3-year-old filly Ashado, who won the 2004 Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I) in her last outing, will make her 4-year-old debut in Saturday's Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
Champion Ashado, winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) last fall, heads the list of 19 nominations to the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handiap (gr. I), going 1 1/16 miles April 9 at Oaklawn Park.
Ashado is the kind of horse that an owner and trainer dream about: Tough, consistent, and brilliant enough to compete at racing's highest level. Her command over the 3-year-old filly division throughout 2004 and her tough-as-nails victory against older fillies and mares in the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) are clear reasons she's the recipient of an Eclipse Award.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Ltd., in conjunction with the Thoroughbred Club of America, will honor the breeders of the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race winners Jan. 8 at its 11th annual dinner at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington .
Twice during the running of the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I), sophomore filly Ashado pushed around older rivals like she was the toughest kid on the playground.
Ashado, a 3-year-old filly by Saint Ballado, added to her impressive resume Oct. 30 with a decisive victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff Presented by Nextel (gr. I).
With the defection of defending older filly champion Azeri to the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), Ashado and Storm Flag Flying were installed the morning-line favorites for the $2-million Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I).
Starlight Stable's Ashado used her speed and class to post a comfortable 2 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park.
Starlight Stables standout filly Ashado is expected to be a heavy favorite over eight rivals in Saturday's $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Philadelphia Park.
The "giant killer" did it yet once again. Trainer Allen Jerkens sent out Society Selection to upset heavily favored Ashado in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga.
Ashado, the pro-tem leader of the 3-year-old filly division, will need her "A" game Saturday at Saratoga while breaking from post 6 in the historic Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Stellar Jayne and Susan's Angel, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' hopes in Saturday's $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, breezed a half mile in company Monday morning.
Golden Eagle Farm's Yearly Report will take a shot against top 3-year-old filly Ashado in the $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles Aug. 21 at Saratoga.
Multiple grade I winner Ashado reasserted herself atop the 3-year-old filly division with a 4 1/2-length romp over five rivals in the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at muddy Belmont Park Saturday.
Saturday's $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), reduced in distance once again to 1 1/4 miles, drew a field of six 3-year-old fillies, highlighted by another showdown between Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Ashado and Mother Goose (gr. I) winner Stellar Jayne.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Stellar Jayne kicked away from even-money favorite Ashado in the final furlong to register a huge 2 1/2-length surprise in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
Six talented fillies will contest Saturday's $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) at Belmont Park, including the top two finishers from the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Ashado and Island Sand. The other two legs of the Triple Tiara include the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) on July 24th, and the $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) on Aug. 21st.
The Todd Pletcher stakes parade has emerged from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) trails in excellent shape and will now set its sights on major events in the Northeast, South, and Midwest.
Based on the Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby daily double, Tapit is the favorite in Saturday's Derby. The gimmick with Oaks winner Ashado and Tapit would pay $42.80.
In a good betting race, the public was right in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), with favored Ashado winning the 130th running of the top race for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Churchill Downs.
Many expected the field for this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) to be be among the most accomplished in years, and with six grade I winners filling the entry box for the 1 1/8-mile contest Tuesday morning, that opinion may have been confirmed.
With scattered showers and predictions of heavy rains in the afternoon, what little activity there was on the track this morning came early. In addition to the arrival of Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Friends Lake at 9:40, there was a mini buzz about the possible addition of the top-class filly Ashado to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) field.
Starlight Stable and Saylor's Ashado, runnerup to Madcap Escapade in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland in her last start, returnd to the same track Sunday, working five furlongs in a spirited :59 2/5.
Though knocked of the Ashland (gr. I) Saturday by a minor ailment, Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled did little to shake the confidence of racing fans that made the reigning 2-year-old filly champion the 4-1 favorite in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
The Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) did nothing to clear a muddled Kentucky Derby picture, so the mutuel field – all betting interests other than the 22 remaining individual interests – continued to be the favorite with one day remaining in Churchill Downs' finalKentucky Derby Future Wager pool.
Bruce Lunsord's undefeated Madcap Escapade was able to dictate the pace and hold off a determined Ashado in the stretch for her fourth straight victory in the $485,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland Saturday.
As Eurosilver, another major contender for Kentucky Derby 130 fell out of the picture, fans returned to the mutuel field as a mild favorite at the midpoint of the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
A small but select field of 3-year-old fillies, including champion Halfbridled, undefeated Madcap Escapade, Eclipse Award finalist Ashado, and grade III winner La Reina, has been entered for Saturday's $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Champion Halfbridled and unbeaten Madcap Escapade are solid favorites for the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Future Wager, which opens its four-day run on April 1.
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