Two promising juveniles from last year, Bull Market and Icecoldbeeratreds, who were both sidelined since last fall due to knee chips, have returned to training for Bob Baffert at Santa Anita.
Padua Stables' Vindication, champion 2-year-old of 2002 and early favorite for the Kentucky Derby, has been taken off the Derby trail due to an injury to his left front suspensory.
Jockey Jerry Bailey may have a decision to make after riding Stonerside Stable's Congaree to a comfortable victory in Sunday's $250,000 San Antonio Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert.
Habibti, a two-time grade I winner at two and an Eclipse Award runner-up, has been retired from racing
The Dec. 21 Delta Jackpot isn't a graded race, but its $500,000 purse makes it among the richest race for 2-year-olds in North America.
Sarava, winner of this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has been transferred from trainer Kenny McPeek to the barn of Bob Baffert in preparation for a 2003 Southern California campaign that his owners hope will carry him to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, held during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.
Invitations were extended Monday, Nov. 25, to the connections of the 84 ranked horses in the NTRA Great State Challenge. The NTRA Great State Challenge, presented by John Deere and Fed Ex and to be held at Sam Houston Race Park on Dec. 7, is comprised of six races, each worth $275,000 and boasting full fields representing some of the finest state-bred runners in America.
- By Steve Haskin
By Steve Haskin
The dark bay colt lay sprawled out in his stall following his brilliant victory in the previous day's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). A few minutes later, Vindication was up on his feet, greeting his visitor by sticking out his tongue, hoping the visitor would understand the request.
The 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships has so many scenarios regarding the Horse of the Year title, it should provide several intriguing subplots as the afternoon of Oct. 26 at Arlington Park progresses.
Quick, name the five best races in the history of the Breeders' Cup. Sure it's subjective, but every list would include the 1988 Distaff (gr. I), which was contested over a muddy Churchill Downs strip.
The question in the grade II Walmac International Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland Friday was who would relish the off going. The answer was Westerly Breeze and Ruby's Reception.
The current favorite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Storm Flag Flying, gets her final tune up before the World Thoroughbred Championships Saturday when she heads the field in the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Icecoldbeeratreds turns closing day into a wrap party for Mike Pegram and Bob Baffert.
Bob Baffert has more than half of Wednesday's Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) field in his barn. Perhaps he's simply stacking the deck--if one of Baffert's horses wins the race, it will be his seventh straight victory in the event.
War Emblem had his final serious workout for Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap when he breezed five furlongs in :59 1/5 at Del Mar Monday morning.
Trainer Bob Baffert informed Monmouth Park officials Saturday that War Emblem will definitely run in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Aug. 4.
War Emblem galloped 1 3/8 miles at Santa Anita Park on Tuesday, marking the Our Emblem colt's return to the track for the first time since his bid to win the Triple Crown failed in the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
"What a day. What a life." As the sun set on the Belmont backstretch following one of the most energy-charged afternoons of racing in New York history, trainer Kenny McPeek finally was able to express his feelings in simple words.
Trainer Bob Baffert confirmed that Stonerside Stable's Congaree would run in Saturday's $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs despite his top weight assignment of 121 pounds, where he'll concede from one to 11 pounds to the other probable starters.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem will be shipped on Sunday to trainer Bob Baffert's Santa Anita barn in Southern California.
New Phoenix Stable's Sarava, who paid $142.50 as the longest priced Belmont Stakes winner ever, flew out of New York and back to Kentucky at about 8:30 a.m.Sunday morning.
Belterra took the lead in mid-stretch and drew away to a 2 3/4-length victory over Netherland in Thursday's $61,100 featured allowance for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up at Churchill Downs.
Oaklawn Park is holding a Bob Baffert look-alike contest as part of its Belmont Stakes (gr. I) festivities.
Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Pat Day will try capturing the marquee event on Texas' richest day of racing Monday with grade I winner Congaree.
War Emblem walked his Churchill Downs shedrow Tuesday morning, three days after his triumph over Magic Weisner in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
A U.S. District Court judge on Thursday ruled to dismiss a fraud and breach of contract suit involving the retirement of 1998 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Real Quiet.
With only two horses left to be drawn, including Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner War Emblem, and the first and last choices for post positions remaining, trainer Bob Baffert was poised to be either the straw that stirred the Preakness post position drink or a man without a plan.
Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman won't be making the trip to Texas for this Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III), trainer Bob Baffert said on Tuesday, because the condition that forced his being scratched from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) had not improved to the trainer's satisfaction.
Those heading to Louisville early for Kentucky Derby weekend might want to dust off their "Go Inky Go!" caps and bring them along. Last year's Derby runner-up, whose health problems as a 2-year-old touched the hearts of race fans when publicized heading into the big race, is entered to run Thursday at Churchill Downs.
Officer is out of Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) because of a "suspicious area" discovered on his left front tendon.
A slight chance remains that the Thoroughbred Corp.'s Officer will run in the Kentucky Derby, but trainer Bob Baffert first needs to see an impressive performance in Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.
A Los Angeles federal district court judge dismissed the California Horse Racing Board's morphine case against trainer Bob Baffert April 15.
Mountain Rage kicked clear of Doc Holiday in the stretch to win Sunday's $82,050 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita. Under Victor Espinoza, the Bob Baffert-trained son of Mecke completed the mile in 1:34.84 on firm turf.
Following Officer's six-length romp in the restricted Zany Tactics Stakes at Santa Anita Sunday, trainer Bob Baffert is considering the 1 1/16-mile Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland for the colt's next start.
Once again, Yougottawanna springs an upset over a talented runner from Bob Baffert's barn.
You again prevails over Habibti, this time in the Santa Anita Oaks.
Heavy show pool wagering on 2-5 favorite Love At Noon in Santa Anita's feature race Wednesday resulted in exorbitant show payouts for the top three finishers in the six-furlong sprint when Mike Pegram's filly finished off the board.
Trainer Bob Baffert sent out a pair of 3-year-olds Wednesday morning. Mountain Rage went 1:11 2/5 and Puerto Banus went 1:10 4/5.
Pumped up by a world record price for a juvenile filly sold at public auction, the Barretts March sale of select 2-year-olds in training showed renewed signs of vigor Tuesday after suffering declines in gross revenue for five consecutive years.
Trainer Bob Baffert is preparing Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman for a start in the March 17 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Can Bob Baffert and Wayne Lukas find a Kentucky Derby contender in a six-furlong maiden race on Saturday? Although it's a longshot, it may be the last chance they have.
A shoulder fracture will force 2001 Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner Wooden Phone to the sidelines, according to trainer Bob Baffert. The conditioner said the injury was detected by a nuclear scan and that the 5-year-old will be out for about three months.
True Monarch, who could turn out to be Bob Baffert's top Kentucky Derby contender, gets a chance to stretch out for the first time on Wednesday when he tackles six other 3-year-olds in a one-mile optional claiming allowance race.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's homebred Popular was headed in the stretch by 13-10 favorite Roman Dancer, then fought back to the lead under jockey Victor Espinoza to win Sunday's $107,900 San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) by a nose at Santa Anita.
Bob Baffert-trained China Grind, a 3-year-old son of Grindstone, has been sidelined and is now off the Kentucky Derby trail.
Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman pressed the pace, dueled with Cappuchino through the stretch, and won a head bob at the wire to earn a victory in Saturday's $125,000 Golden Gate Derby. The 3-year-old son of Pioneering completed the 1 1/16-mile Golden Gate Fields feature in 1:43.87 on a track labeled "good."
The Southern California handicap division looks ripe for the taking, and following the $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) on Jan. 5, expect nothing but knock-down, drag-out brawls during the coming weeks. The current king of the unorganized heap is Wooden Phone, best known as the obscurely-bred gelding who shook Tiznow out of his socks a year ago in the Strub Stakes (gr. II). If you still can't picture him, don't worry. You'll be hearing plenty from him in 2002.
Wooden Phone, who beat two-time Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) last February, heads a field of eight entered in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita.
As the masses congregate at the start of the Kentucky Derby trail, there will, as usual, be lots of pushing and shoving until late February and early March when the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pack. But disappointment and frustration can be prevelant just getting to the Derby trail, as evidenced by the number of highly promising juveniles who stumbled along the way last week.
Forest Camp, a top 2-year-old of 1999, has been retired and will stand in 2002 at Brereton C. Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky. Forest Camp, by Deputy Minister -- La Paz, by Hold Your Peace, will stand for $10,000.
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