Industry should address PETA allegations with tighter controls on meds, banning abusers, and promoting true horsemen. read blog
- By Vic Zast
Betting opportunities abound at Saratoga. A man with a rabbit's foot and a hat pin and program can line his pockets by wagering on overlays. read blog
The 2011 Remington Park Thoroughbred meet wraps up Dec. 10 with a nine-race program headlined by the $300,000 Springboard Mile Stakes for 2-year-olds.
Seneca Jones, a 21-year-old son of Alydar, died of an apparent heart attack Aug. 1 while in his paddock at the Asmussen Horse Center near Laredo, Tex.
With six stakes worth more than $1 million, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino will hold its biggest racing weekend of the year June 24-25, highlighted by the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III).
Travelin Man and Justin Phillip are both entering off losing efforts, but those two could be the ones to beat in the $250,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old sprinters June 11 at Belmont Park.
Owner Ahmed Zayat, whose Eskendereya was withdrawn as the favorite for last year's Kentucky Derby, is back with Nehro.
Haynesfield, sent off at 7-1, pulled off a shocker in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 2 at Belmont Park, going wire-to-wire under Ramon Dominguez while never being challenged.
Two-time graded stakes winner and leading juvenile Kantharos suffered a career-ending leg fracture earlier this week while galloping out following a routine workout at Saratoga it was announced Aug. 31.
Rachel Alexandra will make her first foray into grade I company since defeating older males in the Woodward Stakes last September when she takes on four fillies and mares as the 2-5 favorite in the $300,000 Personal Ensign.
Stonestreet Stables' Kantharos shrugged off a stumble at the break and cruised to a 9 1/2-length victory in the $108,200 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) July 3 at Churchill Downs.
New York-bred Haynesfield won his fourth consecutive race and notched the biggest victory of his career when he took over turning for home en route to a convincing 2 3/4-length score in the $300,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II)
Dogwood Stable's undefeated Lou Brissie, winner of the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes (gr. III), headlines a field of six 2-year-olds in the $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) July 3 in the $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes.
Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra arrived at Saratoga the morning of June 30 and was bedded down in her old stall at trainer Steve Asmussen's barn near the Oklahoma Training Track.
Steve Asmussen, who won the Debutante Stakes (gr. III) three consecutive years from 2005-07 and four times overall, has another chance with Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Tristanme, who broke her maiden last out at Woodbine.
Fox Hill Farm's Winslow Homer is an unexpected headliner in a field of six in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (gr. III) June 26 at Prairie Meadows.
Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra is targeting the $400,000-added La Troienne Stakes (gr. II) on the Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs for her next start, majority owner Jess Jackson said April 24.
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra zipped six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.40 at Churchill Downs April 19 as the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro continues to prepare for a return to competition.
Compared to what it was supposed to look like, the field for the April 9 Apple Blossom Invitational Handicap (gr. I) is a major disappointment. A field of only five, led by undefeated two-time champion Zenyatta, was drawn.
Friesan Fire and General Quarters, both starters in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I), will make their 4-year-old debuts Jan. 23 at Fair Grounds.
Westrock Stable's Decelerator and Jay Em Ess Stable's Rapid Racer head a field of seven talented 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs in the $50,000 Dixie Belle Stakes as Oaklawn opens its 54-day meet Jan. 15.
Kodiak Kowboy, whose victory in the Nov. 28 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct was one of three grade I triumphs this year, has been retired from racing and will enter stud in 2010.
Much like he did earlier in the year in the Carter Handicap (gr. I), Kodiak Kowboy ran down odds-on favorite Fabulous Strike in the final yards to claim the $400,000 Vosburgh (gr. I) by a half-length Oct. 3 at Belmont Park. It was the sixth graded stakes victory for the 4-year-old son of Posse.
GoldMark Farm's undefeated Backtalk will try to remain perfect in four lifetime starts, but will have to overcome post 13 when he meets a dozen rivals in the $300,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), Saratoga's final major race for 2-year-olds on Labor Day.
The first two stakes for the 2009 Remington Park season drew outstanding nomination lists with plenty of star power and quality expected in the six-digit events.
Rachel Alexandra turned in yet another dominating performance in a campaign for the ages when she captured the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park Aug. 2.
Steve Asmussen, currently the country's leading trainer in money and races won, was slapped with a six-month suspension and a $1,500 fine by the Lone Star Park stewards on July 16 for a positive urine test that contained a lidocaine metabolite in a horse he trained in 2008.
Kensei, ridden by Edgar Prado and trained by Steve Asmussen, made a powerful move on the far turn en route to an impressive 3 1/4-length victory in the 92nd running of the grade II, $200,000 Dwyer at Belmont Park on the July 4 holiday card.
Warrior's Reward, who scored a strong allowance victory last month, looks like the one to beat in the $100,000 Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds June 13 at Churchill Downs.
After two days off and a 9 1/2-hour van ride from Baltimore, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird returned to the track at Churchill Downs for a light jog Tuesday, May 19. Meanwhile, Rachel Alexandra walked under Asmussen's shedrow on her second day back at Churchill.
There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2009, but there is a possibility of a showdown in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) between the winners of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Blackberry Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Four Gifts scored the second graded victory of her career with a late charge from the outside in the $113,300 Eight Belles Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Intimidator was represented by his first winner when his daughter Ms Golden West won April 25 at Lone Star Park in her first start.
Stakes winner Special Rate sired his first winner from his initial starter when his son Valid Heart won April 11 at Manor Downs.
Two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and his connections have swept the top awards for 2008 as voted by the members of the New York Turf Writers Association.
Proudinsky became a repeat winner of the $500,000 Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) by a nose over El Caballo and Nownownow in a terrific finish at rainy Fair Grounds March 14.
Texas horseman Keith Asmussen has been named to the advisory board of ThoroFan, an independent not-for-profit organization that aims "to provide Thoroughbred racing fans with a voice and an organization that will actively support their interests."
Bigger things await Haynesfield after the 3-year-old colt outclassed five rivals in the $107,600 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 for his third consecutive win on Aqueduct's inner track.
Eclipse Award attendees and the TVG viewers tuned in on the night of Jan. 26 were anticipating, and many were hoping, that Curlin would repeat as Horse of the Year.
Majority owner Jess Jackson said Curlin, who repeated as Horse of the Year when the Eclipse Awards were announced Jan. 26, is among the industry's greats. Jackson also said Curlin wants to run competitively, even though he is now at stud at Lane's End Farm.
- By Steve Haskin
As the only member of the elite crop of 2007 3-year-olds to return to racing as a 4-year-old, Curlin had the hopes of racing fans across the country resting on his shoulders as he embarked on an ambitious campaign that was designed to break new ground in international racing.
- By Tom LaMarra
A single-season record of 622 victories might have been all Steve Asmussen needed to win the Eclipse Award for leading trainer of 2008. However, being trainer of Curlin probably didn't hurt either.
A special Monday race card at Oaklawn Jan. 19 features the second running of the Smarty Jones Stakes. The one-mile race will feature a talented field of 3-year olds that could stamp their ticket for a chance at the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and maybe a shot at the Triple Crown.
If you spent your Saturday wagering on horses trained by Steve Asmussen at Fair Grounds, you had reason to smile at the end of the day. Last year's leading trainer nationally by wins saddled starters in seven races on the 10-race card and won six, twice ran one-two, and captured the day's stakes race.
Trainer Steve Klesaris was ready to celebrate after 11-1 shot Ask Joe captured the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes by a head over Big Push in the finale of a five-stakes program at Fair Grounds.
Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s highly-regarded juvenile Indygo Mountain, scratched during the post parade of an allowance event for 2-year-olds at Fair Grounds Dec. 18, was standing comfortably in his stall the following morning while trainer Bret Calhoun updated his colt's status.
Trainer Steve Asmussen, who on Dec. 18 became the first trainer to win 600 races in a year, labeled the feat a "pretty amazing thing" and credited his staff and owners for his ability to continue to break records.
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.
Four Gifts delivered an early holiday present to owners Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt when she charged through the stretch to catch C. S. Silk inside the eighth pole and win the Boyd Gaming's Delta Princess Powered by Youbet.com Stakes (gr. III) Dec. 5 at Delta Downs.
With the winner's share of $750,000 Boyd's Gaming Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) a lofty $450,000, the 2-year-old who earns the prize is virtually guaranteed a berth in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). It is no wonder then that the Dec. 5 main track event drew a deep and talented field of classic hopefuls.
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