Five-time grade I winner Better Talk Now is in critical condition after developing a gastrointestinal problem.
Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), has been retired from racing due to an injury sustained in the suspensory ligament of his left hind leg.
A day of upsets at Saratoga was punctuated by the most shocking surprise of all in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT), as the 33-1 longshot Telling took over approaching the top of the stretch and held off Better Talk Now for his first stakes win.
Jason, Tom, and, Tim Holland from twinspires preview the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga on August 15.
Marc Keller's Grand Couturier has only won three of the 14 stakes he has attempted in this country, but the 6-year-old horse sure knows how to pick his spots. All three of the scores have been in grade I races, including two in the prestigious Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga.
With two previous winners of the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) slated to contest this year's running at Saratoga Aug. 15, it's safe to say the day will not be lacking in excitement.
New York Racing Association stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes said trainer H. Graham Motion confirmed that 10-year-old Better Talk Now would skip the July 11 Man o' War (gr. IT).
An accomplished group of older horses that includes four grade I winners is set to go in the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) July 4 on the Monmouth Park turf.
Cowboy Cal and Champs Elysees, both narrowly beaten by tough-as-nails Einstein in separate grade I races this year, will see if his absence will be enough to get them over the top this time, as they headline a strong field of 14, including five grade I winners, for the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) June 6 at Belmont Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield dominated the closing day feature at Keeneland, as his foreign-bred charges Spice Route and Musketier ran one-two in the $200,000 Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) April 24 on the Haggin turf course.
Two-time grade I winner Champs Elysees, who just missed in last month's Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), will make his Keeneland debut on April 24 in the $200,000 Fifth Third Elkhorn (gr. IIT), the spring meeting's closing day feature.
In the fall of 2005, Shake the Bank, his name stitched across the front of Breeders' Cup hats, was best known as the rabbit for 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now.
Past Breeders' Cup champions Curlin, Kip Deville, Ginger Punch, Indian Blessing, Midnight Lute, Better Talk Now, and Red Rocks are back trying for more glory.
Robert Ribaudo, the small-stable trainer of Grand Couturier, considers himself lucky in a sport of declining fortunes. One of his former owner got back into the racing game and now they have a solid contender in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
As it often does, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) has produced the morning-line favorite for the the $3-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) as Aidan O'Brien's Irish raider Soldier of Fortune leads a packed field of 11 at Santa Anita Oct. 25.
Although they have dominated the $3-million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at other venues, top European imports have not performed especially well when the Breeders' Cup has been held at Santa Anita, where they must contend with tighter turns, hard turf, and warm temperatures.
There is no doubt that the $1 million Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) will draw the majority of the public's attention Sept. 7 at the Canadian racetrack. But highlighted by several high-profile turfers vying for more than $1 million in purses, the two supporting stakes on Woodbine's 11-race card are very appetizing in their own right.
Marc Keller's Grand Couturier had to check under Alan Garcia at the top of the lane, but re-rallied, split horses in mid-stretch, and drew clear to win the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) for the second consecutive year Aug. 16 at Saratoga. Better Talk Now finished second, followed by Interpatation.
Red Rocks and Dancing Forever, both fresh off grade I turf victories at Belmont, will square off in the star-studded Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) Aug. 16 at Saratoga, a field that also includes three other grade I winners, including Grand Couturier, who won the event a year ago.
Trainer Bob Baffert was pleased with how Indian Blessing, juvenile filly champion of 2007, came out of her impressive seven-length win in the Test Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 2 at Saratoga.
British invader Red Rocks spoiled American champion Curlin's turf debut in the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (g. IT) at Belmont Park July 12 and gave owner J. Paul Reddam a grand grade I double on the day.
Trainer Steve Asmussen said he wanted a true measure of champion Curlin's potential to compete against the best grass runners in the world, and that's what he's likely to get in the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park July 12.
Dancing Forever glided to the rail midstretch in the June 7 Woodford Reserve Manhattan (gr. IT) and looked like a winner, but Out of Control was ready to give him a tussle in the final yards. In a thriller to the finish, it was Dancing Forever who became a grade I winner in the $400,000 Manhattan with his nose decision over Out of Control in the 1 1/4-mile turf race at Belmont Park.
Bushwood Stables' seemingly timeless 9-year-old gelding Better Talk Now will seek a rare repeat in the prestigious $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) June 7 at Belmont Park, but will have to take down 11 talented rivals, including a pair of talented horses saddled by Bobby Frankel, who has won this event three times himself.
The South African-based mare Sun Classique went for an early move and was able to hold off favored Viva Pataca in the US$5 million Sheema Classic, giving trainer Michael de Kock his second victory on the 2008 Dubai World Cup program at Nad Al Sheba March 29.
Better Talk Now might be several years removed from a victory in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), but that doesn't mean he's ready to take a back seat to some of the finest 1 1/2-mile turf experts in Dubai March 29.
Trainer Graham Motion said Feb. 20 that multiple grade I winner Better Talk Now will fly to Dubai from Florida March 18 to run in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-IT) at Nad Al Sheba racecourse on the World Cup undercard March 29.
Daytona, coming off a Dec. 30 win in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita, kicked off his 4-year-old campaign with an emphatic wire-to-wire win in the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 9.
The ageless Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and a graded-stakes winner each of the last five years, heads the field for the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT), part of Louisiana Derby (gr. II) Preview Day Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds.
Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), will remain in training for a 9-year-old campaign in 2008 and possibly travel to Dubai to run in March, trainer Graham Motion said Nov. 5.
Better Talk Now, who will make his fourth appearance Satuday in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), hasn't lost his competitive edge.
Rosinka, a game runner-up to Lahudood in the Sept. 30 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, is under serious consideration for the Breeders' Cup Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Trainer Graham Motion missed a scheduled work with Grade 1 winner Better Talk Now during the weekend of Sept. 15 and said on Sept. 17 it is "less than 50 percent" likely that the 8-year-old will run in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 30.
Better Talk Now, a multiple grade I winner, has recovered from a puncture wound he suffered in July and August and is back in serious training at his Fair Hill, Md., home base, trainer Graham Motion said Sept. 12.
With the news that Better Talk Now has been scratched from the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT), English Channel is expected to be the heavy favorite Aug. 11.
Better Talk Now trainer Graham Motion announced Aug. 10 that the 8-year-old gelding was being scratched from the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga this weekend due to a left front ankle injury that was suffered in a race last month. The injury, which occurred in the United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont June 9, seemed to be under control until Friday, when it began to fill with fluid.
It's not quite to the level of Affirmed and Alydar, but the exciting rivalry between a pair of the nation's top turf routers will renew itself once again in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 11 when English Channel and Better Talk Now clash for the seventh time.
Jim Scatuorchio's English Channel broke his own course record at Monmouth Park Saturday as he powered his way to a one-length victory in the 54th running of the $750,000 United Nations Stakes Presented by TVG (gr. IT).
At age 8, turf star Better Talk Now has shown no sign of slowing down as he heads into Saturday's $750,000 United Nations Presented by TVG (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.
All the superlatives and accolades have been written. The 139th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the performance of Rags to Riches will forever be a part of Triple Crown lore, and will go down as one of the sport's greatest moments. But it was not all about one horse. There is another who deserves near-equal billing for his remarkable accomplishments.
In a thrilling blanket finish, 8-year-old Better Talk Now beats English Channel and Shakis in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. I).
Sky Conqueror, winner of the May 5 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, will face off with veteran Better Talk Now and Todd Pletcher trainee English Channel in the June 9 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park
Miesque's Approval and Wait A While, both Eclipse Award winners in 2006, head a strong roster of 110 turf stars nominated to the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs.
- By Steve Haskin
Red Rocks, rated far off an honest pace, rallied boldly in the stretch under Frankie Dettori to win the $2,748,000 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) over fast-closing Better Talk Now.
European invader Hurricane Run, a multiple group I winner, drew the seven post position and was made the 3-1 morning line favorite for the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Martin Schwartz's Gorella worked in the company with a stablemate and got five furlongs in :58 over the Polytrack at Keeneland Race Course Sunday in preparation for the Nov. 4 World Thoroughbred Championships at Churchill Downs. She wasn't alone as several horses with Breeders' Cup aspirations got their final works in on the morning.
The wheels have been turning at Ballydoyle. The decision to send group I Irish Derby and Irish Champion winner Dylan Thomas to Belmont for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) is a departure from their normal strategy. But they have done it before, and it is understandable why they would want to try a different approach
When Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now wins, it's usually close. Under Ramon Dominguez, the late closer gutted out a three-horse photo by a head to win Sunday's $269,156 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) on a yielding turf at Woodbine.
The 7-year-old gelding Better Talk Now is not expected to defend his title in next Saturday's $500,000 Man o' War (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
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