Horses returned to Monmouth Park in New Jersey the morning of April 14 to prepare for a 99-day meet that gets under way May 9.
One day after his 3-year-olds ran 1-2 in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher said he will take a few days before deciding when Monba and Cowboy Cal will ship to Churchill Downs in preparation for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Barclay Tagg worked Big Truck and Elysium Fields four furlongs April 8 over the Keeneland Polytrack. Big Truck got the distance in :46.60, the fastest of 56 works at that distance for the day. Elysium Fields was clocked in :47.60.
Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Elysium Fields and impressive allowance winner Big Brown turned in works this week in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 29.
Robert Evans' Elysium Fields, runner-up in last month's $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), worked March 12 at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) Mar. 29.
In his first workout since his strong runner-up performance in the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 29, Robert Evans's Elysium Fields posted a half-mile breeze March 6 at Gulfstream Park.
Todd Pletcher and Michael Matz will each saddle a pair of starters Feb. 3 in what looks to be an intriguing matchup of 12 fillies and mares for the $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream Park turf.
The Barclay Tagg-trained Dave took advantage of a clear outside trip under jockey Joe Bravo to win the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) over the yielding turf at Aqueduct Nov. 10.
Nobiz Like Shobiz, winner of the Jamaica Handicap (gr.IIT) in his last start, worked a half-mile over Belmont Park's inner turf course Oct. 17. He has been pre-entered in the $2 million NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
For much of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. I), there seemed to be no denying classy champion Dreaming of Anna, who was seeking her fourth consecutive stakes victory. But after a ground-saving trip from Javier Castellano, Bit of Whimsy made a late rally along the rail, angled three wide and caught the 2006 Juvenile Fillies Eclipse Award winner in the final 16th to win on Keeneland's Haggin turf course Oct. 13.
Criminologist has four turf victories this year. Dance Away Capote is the lone starter with a graded stakes win to her credit. Those two headline a field of six in the 30th running of the $100,000 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares Oct. 13 on the Belmont turf.
Nobiz Like Shobiz turned in his most impressive performance on the grass in the Oct. 6 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park. The $300,000 race for 3-year-olds was Nobiz Like Shobiz's toughest assignment so far on the turf.
Barclay Tagg, who won last year's Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) with Showing Up, has another good chance this year with Nobiz Like Shobiz, who has taken to the turf.
I Got Things to Do, a Lion Hearted Colt, sold for $50,000 while topping the Fasig-Tipton New York open yearling sale Tuesday.
- By Ryan Conley
Trainer Barclay Tagg went to $50,000 on behalf of David Mahan for a Lion Hearted colt to top the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga open yearling sale held Aug. 14 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The auction realized declines in gross, median, and average from last year's event while selling three more horses.
Nobiz Like Shobiz proved to be back in action for victory in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) at Saratoga, which marked his first start on turf.
Barclay Tagg rides down the horsepath aboard a chestnut pony. Watching near the gap, Jose Santos stops in his tracks. "Is that Funny Cide?"
Todd Pletcher trainee Ready's Image took advantage of an erratic performance by Fed Watcher to win the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) by four lengths Thursday at Saratoga Race Course for owner James Scatuorchio.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Funny Cide was in more living rooms than any other person or animal leading up to the 2003 Belmont Stakes.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) and one of the most popular horses in recent years, has been retired, trainer Barclay Tagg said Friday.
S & S Stables' Silent Pleasure, coming off a narrow victory in the April 28 Texas Mile (gr. III), stretches out to 1 1/8 miles and looks to extend his four-race winning streak when he heads up a field of 10 as the 121-pound highweight in Saturday's running of the Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Prairie Meadows.
Following a non-effort in the March 31 Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I), Glencrest Farm's Honey Ryder returns to America looking to repeat last year's win in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park Saturday afternoon.
To aid in unscientific handicapping (and for the entertainment of trivia aficionados), here are the stories behind the titles of this year's contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
It will be a rematch of sorts in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) when the top three finishers of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III)-- Nobiz Like Shobiz, Drums of Thunder, and Scat Daddy-- return to the starting gate March 3 for the $350,000 race going 1 1/8 mile at Gulfstream Park.
With several major prep races for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) rapidly approaching this weekend, three prominent trainers discussed Tuesday how their contenders are progressing toward their next start and the first Saturday in May.
Elizabeth J. Valando's homebred Nobiz Like Shobiz, highly regarded among this year's Triple Crown hopefuls, got his campaign off to a strong start with a smart win as the odds-on choice in Saturday's $150,000 Holy Bull (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulstream Park.
Highly rated 3-year-old Nobiz Like Shobiz was out for his second workout of the year Sunday at Gulfstream Park for trainer Barclay Tagg in preparation for his anticipated 2007 debut in the $100,000 Holy Bull (gr. III) over the south Florida track Feb. 3.
Elizabeth J. Valando's homebred Nobiz Like Shobiz burst away from the field approaching the eighth pole and cruised to victory in the $200,000 Remsen (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Saturday.
Ivan Denisovich, stabled with Aidan O'Brien in Ireland, and Vega's Lord, conditioned by Peter Rau in Germany, are scheduled to arrive in Southern California Monday for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) after a flight from Europe, racing secretary Martin Panza confirmed Thursday.
Lael Stable's odds-on choice Showing Up shook off a determined charge from Outperformance at the head of the stretch and stormed to a commanding win in the $290,000 Jamaica Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on the Belmont Park inner turf course Saturday.
No one would have questioned trainer Barclay Tagg had he pointed his star 3-year-old turf horse Showing Up to the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
The Barclay Tagg-trained Nobiz Like Shobiz is readying for his close up in the Oct. 14 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The one-mile race will mark the son of Albert the Great's debut in stakes company.
Roy Jackson has trouble finding the words to describe what the past four months have been like. When pressed, he pauses deeply and then does his best.
Lael Stables' Showing Up, left alone on the lead, proved his 1-2 odds were justified when he shook loose in the stretch for jockey Cornelio Velasquez to easily win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds on the Arlington Park turf Saturday.
Lael Stables' Showing Up, winner of the $1 million Colonial Turf Cup in his last start on June 24, has been installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Lael Stable's Stormy Kiss overcame a stumble at the start to earn a front-running victory under Javier Castellano in Friday's $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at six furlongs. She held off the fast closing Malibu Mint by a neck at Saratoga.
Dual Classic winner Funny Cide made his first race outside of the United States a winning one, taking Saturday's $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine by 1 1/2 lengths.
Barclay Tagg saved Showing Up's first start on the turf for Saturday, and the trainer's patience was well rewarded in the $1 million Colonial Turf Cup for 3-year-olds at Colonial Downs.
Dr. Decter, a colt by Gold Fever out of Spectacularjenelle, by Spectacular Bid, went to Barclay Tagg for $150,000 to top the second and final session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2006 June Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age.
Funny Cide returns to the site of his smashing victory in the 2003 Preakness (gr. I) in Saturday's William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course, where he will face six other older horses going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
Barclay Tagg-trained Showing Up made his way around the Churchill Downs grounds Friday morning, one day after the undefeated Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner arrived in Louisville, Ky., on a flight from New York for Saturday's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The last member of the 20-horse cast for Saturday's $2 million Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) arrived on the scene at Churchill Downs on Thursday afternoon.
Lael Stables' Showing Up breezed a half-mile in :49 3/5 at Belmont Park Monday as the son of Strategic Mission remained on track for Saturday's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Barclay Tagg says plans have been made for Showing Up to run in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 6, but first the colt must recover from a leg injury sustained during his victory in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes.
Lael Stables could have two undefeated colts for the 2006 Run for the Roses after the inexperienced Showing Up passed his audition with a game win in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland Saturday.
Lael Stables' 3-year-old Showing Up, in just his second career start Saturday, lowered the Gulfstream Park standard for the one-mile distance while defeating a first-level allowance field by 2 1/4 lengths.
Sackatoga Stable's 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) hero Funny Cide makes his debut as a 6-year-old in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, one of the nation's most popular horses in recent years but a disappointment during the 2005 campaign, continues to show improvement under trainer Barclay Tagg's patient handling at Gulfstream Park.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, who has been plagued by a recurring sore back since early July, will be given some time off on the advice of veterinarians, and will point for a winter campaign at Gulfstream Park, trainer Barclay Tagg said Tuesday.
Trainer Barclay Tagg worked 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Funny Cide for the first time in 22 days Monday morning.
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