Seven stakes, including the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap and the $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff Handicap (both gr. III), top Lone Star Million Day on May 31 at the Grand Prairie, Texas track.
Kinross Corp.'s Researcher again played to the home crowd at Charles Town Races & Slots April 17 with a repeat victory in the Charles Town Classic, one of the richest races in the country for older horses.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Awesome Gem, no stranger to coast-to-coast travel, is back on the East Coast for a race his connections hope lay the groundwork for another try in the Breeders' Cup World Championships this year.
Researcher will try to win the $1 million Charles Town Classic for the second straight year, this time for his late owner, Herman Greenberg
The impeccably bred Battle Plan lived up to his billing in the $300,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), taking the field all the way in his stakes debut to defeat General Quarters by 1 1/2 lengths March 27 at Fair Grounds.
Awesome Gem, the California-based gelding with recent success as an invader, has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line choice for the $300,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 27 at Fair Grounds.
Awesome Gem makes his first start since finishing seventh to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) when he runs in the $250,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT).
Tuscan Evening, brilliant winner of eight of 12 starts since transferring to the United States last year, squares off against males for the first time in the $250,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park March 6.
If there is one thing you can always count on in the Breeders' Cup it's that it will have it's share of longshot winners and mid-price overlays who get lost in the handicapping frenzy that is so much a part of the event.
El Gato Malo's owners had entered their Turf Sprint contender in an optional claiming race Nov. 5, fearing they would get shut out of the big dance. But a spot in the Turf Sprint came open and now they feel they have a shot.
Coolmore and trainer Aidan O'Brien took a chance by entering only Rip Van Winkle in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), despite the colt's history of foot problems, and now they could wind up without a horse in the race if Rip's most recent setback proves serious enough to force his withdrawal.
In looking at the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), several thoughts and angles emerged that could have a bearing on the race. While they may turn out to be mere folly, they are at least worth mentioning just to make sure all bases are covered and there is less of a chance of Monday morning quarterbacking.
There is no way of telling what might have been in any given race had circumstances been different. And it would be seem audacious to say that Rip Van Winkle was the best horse in the Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I), won by Sea the Stars, but a close look at the race reveals several reasons why that statement might have validity.
Southern California shipper Awesome Gem came from off the pace to run down Nite Light in deep stretch for a 1 1/4-length win in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) at muddy Hawthorne Park Oct. 3.
Let's start in Paris. Despite the presence of a number of top-class horses in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), all eyes will be on Sea the Stars as he attempts to put the finishing touch on an unforgettable 3-year-old campaign.
West Point Thoroughbreds will be represented by graded stakes winners Macho Again and Awesome Gem in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), West Point president Terry Finley confirmed Sept. 16.
Colonel John and Einstein, who were expected to clash in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) this past spring, should finally have their first meeting as the favorites in the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar on Sept. 6.
A percentage of any purse monies earned by West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 5 at Saratoga; and Awesome Gem in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Sept. 6 at Del Mar will be donated to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.
Tice Ranch Stables' Assessment overcame the unenviable 12 post and took advantage of a hot pace to win the $294,375 Longacres Mile (gr. III) Aug. 16, handing trainer Howard Belvoir his second straight victory in Emerald Downs' most prestigious event.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Awesome Gem, graded stakes-placed eight times in his career but with only a single blacktype victory, will look to shed his bridesmaid status when he takes on 11 rivals in the Emerald Downs' signature race -- the $300,000 Longacres Mile (gr. III) on Aug. 16.
Are you looking for an early Volponi for this year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)? Well, you just might have seen him on Saturday...on the grass...finishing second. When it comes to the hard-knocking Awesome Gem, who has his good days and his bad days, I can't help hearing Ralph Kramden (yes, I'm a Honeymooners fanatic): "One of these days...one of these days - "Bang! Zoom!"
Little-known Argentina bred Global Hunter surged past even-money choice Monterey Jazz in upper stretch and held sway for jockey Corey Nakatani to register a 14-1 upset in an eventful $350,000 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) at Del Mar July 25.
Jason and Les Instone from Brisnet preview the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar on July 25. Plus, quick picks for the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I). Watch Video
A little more speed in the lineup and a turf course that's not quite so conducive to front-runners would help trainer John Sadler feel better about the chances of Whatsthescript in the $350,000 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) at July 25, the highlight on the opening weekend of action at Del Mar.
Ball Four, who proved too tough for the previously undefeated Rail Trip on the front end in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) one month ago, is back as the 120-pound co-high weight for the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park June 13.
With a long sustained drive, the 30-1 shot Autism Awareness surged past Bold Chieftain at the wire to win the $150,000 Berkeley Stakes (gr. III) by a head on Memorial Day at Golden Gate Fields May 25.
Though he's on a 12-race losing streak, Awesome Gem is the 5-2 favorite in the $150,000 Berkeley Stakes (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields on Memorial Day.
Favored Madeo, given a confident ride by Mike Smith, charged down the middle of the Hollywood Park turf course to win the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a head on April 26.
Madeo, coming off a third-place finish as the favorite in the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, is the 119-pound top weight in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park lawn April 26.
Breeders Cup Mile (gr. IT) runner-up Kip Deville will head a record American raiding party for this year's Cathay Pacific International races in Hong Kong December 14.
More owners than ever before have joined The Race For Education by pledging a portion of winnings from a record 10 starters in Breeders' Cup World Championships races Oct. 24-25.
It won't be easy given the competition, but the connections of Kip Deville believe the 5-year-old horse has an excellent chance to become the fourth repeat winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
Although the Breeders' Cup dirt races will have some element of the unknown due to the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita, the unchartered waters of the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) will be the deepest of all.
Veteran jockey Calvin Borel, making his first-ever appearance in a race at Golden Gate Fields, drove Delightful Kiss past favored Awesome Gem for a one-length victory in the $211,800 All American Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) Sept. 27.
Jack Preston, owner of Prestonwood Racing, and trainer Julio Canani could have another shot at the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) in their future with Hyperbaric, who appears to be the horse to beat in the $200,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf Sept. 28.
Hobeau Farm's Delightful Kiss has already earned a berth into the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon next month at Santa Anita. Now, the 4-year-old gelding will make his final prep for that race when he faces six rivals in the $200,000 All American Stakes (gr. III) the richest race of Golden Gate Fields' fall meet.
A dozen older horses remain solidly committed to competing in Del Mar's signature race, the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 24.
Monterey Jazz, who finished 12th as the 7-2 favorite in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), and Awesome Gem will get their next starts at Hollywood Park.
Fourteen horses, potentially matching the largest field in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in a quarter century, are headed for the $1 million event March 1 in a race that redefines "wide open."
Three top contenders from the West Point Thoroughbreds string prepared for starts in graded stakes while breezing for their respective trainers Feb. 21. Led by 4-year-old Awesome Gem, the worktab also included potential Derby contenders El Gato Malo and Saratoga Russell.
WinStar Farms' homebred Well Armed, thanks to a well-crafted ride from Aaron Gryder on the front end, had just enough to hold off the surging Heatseeker by a head in winning the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 9.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, back-to-back winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) in 2007, looks to rebound from an eighth-place finish in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) when he heads a field of nine in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 9.
Synthetic surface standouts Student Council and Awesome Gem, the first two finishers in last summer's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I), are expected to make their 2008 bow in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) over Santa Anita's Cushion Track on Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 3.
West Point Thoroughbreds has decided to point grade II winner Awesome Gem, who finished third in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), toward next year's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE- I).
Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, said Oct. 29 grade I winner Lear's Princess would not go through the sale ring Nov. 4 as originally planned and will be pointed toward a 2008 campaign on the racetrack.
Curlin swept past Hard Spun down the stretch to win the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) by 4 1/2 lengths.
Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, talks about their five Breeders' Cup contenders: Dream Rush, High Finance, Lear's Princess, Irish Smoke and Awesome Gem.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships and the Jersey Shore met head on this week, and judging from the weather forecast, a good portion of the shore will be washing up on Monmouth Park Friday and Saturday. The expected heavy rains will leave the 11 Breeders' Cup races pretty much a mess and a guess.
- By Ryan Conley
While Terry Finley is flying high with his West Point Thoroughbreds having interests in five horses entered in the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup World Championships, the owner and his partners are lying low with regard to one of their former trainers.
Awesome Gem is one of an expected five starters for West Point Thoroughbreds in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships.
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