Preemptive Strike and veteran Lord Zada headline the list of nominations for Keeneland's $150,000 Royal Chase (NSA-I), the richest race on the National Steeplechase Association's spring schedule, to be run Friday, April 16.
With Anticipation, who has started in 17 grade I events in his seven-year career, has been retired.
With Anticipation, winner of three consecutive grade I contests in 2002, has re-aggravated a tendon injury and could be retired.
Veterans Pat Day and the 9-year-old gelding With Anticipation were back in tandem for their 2004 debut at Gulfstream Park on Thursday afternoon, and although they didn't reach the winner's circle, it was a successful return.
One Breeders' Cup winner will be decided a week before the Oct. 25 World Thoroughbred Championships--the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase will take place Oct. 18 in New Jersey. The results of the race often have a strong influence on the Eclipse Award voting for top steeplechase horse.
Augustin Stable's Rochester, who returned to form in the Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs, securing the victory after the disqualification of Art Variety, will try to repeat last year's win in the $150,000 Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Keeneland.
In the featured event on a four-stakes card at Kentucky Downs, Augustin Stable's Rochester earned a repeat victory in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) when Art Variety was disqualified for a bumping finish while making his winning move Saturday at Kentucky Downs.
It might be handy to have a breeding chart with you while studying Thursday's eighth running of the $75,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-II) at 2 1/16-miles over National Fences at Saratoga Race Course. And that's just for the trainers.
Augustin Stable's Nashinda toyed with her four rivals in the $187,125 My Dear Stakes at Woodbine Saturday, sailing away to a five-length tally in the five-furlong feature.
A showdown between veteran star With Anticipation and exciting French newcomer Rouvres is expected to provided added sizzle in Saturday's $300,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.
Sheila's Prospect held off a late flurry of challengers to capture Woodbine's $175,300 Bessarabian Stakes (gr. III), with jockey Jim McAleney aboard, on Wednesday night.
Cetewayo and Rochester, a pair of proven distance turf veterans from the East, will be flown to California Thursday morning to join a large field expected for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT), at 1 1/2 mile on Saturday.
Hannibal Lad, a recent acquisition at the Tattersalls Sale in Newmarket for Red Baron's Stable, will make his United States debut in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. I) on Saturday, trainer Darrell Vienna said from Santa Anita.
With Anticipation guts out a victory in the Sword Dancer, giving Pat Day the earnings record for jockeys.
A select group of five horses will face the starter for Saturday's $100,000 Carolina First Carolina Cup, the first Grade I steeplechase stakes of the 2002 season, at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C.
The rocketing career of steeplechase Eclipse Award finalist Pompeyo ended as suddenly as it began with his death Saturday, Jan. 19, due to complications from an injury suffered in September.
Disqualified after winning his first grade I race at Monmouth Park last month, With Anticipation came right back in Saturday's $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga, defeating King Cugat by three-quarters of a length.
Broken Vow beat Perfect Cat by 4 3/4 lengths Friday in the $106,800 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) as Keeneland wrapped up its spring meeting.
Pompeyo survived an awkward landing at the final hurdle to set a course record and beat All Gong by three lengths Friday in the $185,875 Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings at Keeneland. The Chilean-bred 7-year-old ran 2 1/2 miles over 13 national fences in 4:34 2-5. The previous record was 4:36, set by Lonesome Glory in the 1999 Royal Chase.
Crowd Pleaser put away Royal Strand in mid-stretch and then held off Dixie's Crown for a nose victory in the $74,675 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland on Sunday. Crowd Pleaser covered 1 5/8 miles on a yielding turf course in 2:44.
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