The New York-breeding program had two runners in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). This year it appears three Empire state-breds will go: International Star, Upstart, and Tencendur.
Finally finding room outside, Hessonite accelerated late to win the Beaugay Stakes (gr. III) by three-quarters of a length May 4 at Belmont Park.
Brigand, shipped to Laurel Park from New York by trainer Bob Baffert, responded with a front-running one-length victory in the $104,000 City of Laurel Stakes Dec. 8.
Mr. Vegas set a comfortable pace and had enough left in the stretch to defeat Dubious Miss in the $100,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan. 21 at Fair Grounds.
Private Emblem, whose unbeaten streak in the spring of 2002 helped bring national attention to his sire, Our Emblem, was euthanized after fracturing both sesamoid bones in his left front leg.
Doug Koch, owner of Berkshire Stud in upstate Pine Plains, N.Y. knows exactly how bad things can go at times in racing. Last Saturday in the Distaff Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Aqueduct, his Saskya was to make her last start before retiring to broodmare duties.
It took a L-O-N-G time for spring weather to finally get to Aqueduct Racetrack, and it took Snake Mountain a long time to catch Classic Endeavor. But he got the job done in Sunday's $80,975 Stymie Handicap, his fifth straight win.
Everyone entered in Saturday's 1 1/8-mile $75,000-added Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct have to fight off a snake that has not let go of his prey since August. Snake Mountain, owned by Berkshire Stud, will go for his fifth consecutive victory and his fourth straight stakes score.
Snake Mountain and Voodoo, two horses trained by Jimmy Jerkens, figure to be the favored betting interest in Saturday's $100, Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III), a 1 1/16-mile race of importance on the national racing scene.
Berkshire Stud's Snake Mountain and jockey Jose Santos made a four-wide move on the final turn and then surged through the lane for a 1 ¼-length victory over Docent in the $110,000 Queens County Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday on Aqueduct's inner dirt track.
The $250,000 Empire Classic, the centerpiece of Saturday's New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park, has drawn Grade II winner Gander.
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