A talented cast of seven older males are looking to add a grade I victory to their resumes when they contend in the Aug. 8 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga.
Favored Big Drama dominated the $350,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) to cap a grand day for owner/breeder Harold L. Queen on Summit of Speed day at Calder Casino & Race Course July 10.
Locally-based pair Big Drama and Mambo Meister, with a combined 13 wins at Calder Race Course and both entering off wins over the track, are two of the horses to beat in the $350,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) on July 10
Big Drama and Munnings should each relish a cut back to their ideal distance of seven furlongs, but in addition to dealing with each other must contend with the likes of Capt. Candyman Can, Vineyard Haven, and a host of other talented sprinters Aug. 29 in the $300,000 NetJets King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I)at Saratoga.
It was indeed big drama in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort on Aug. 1, but if the odds board was any indication, it was an unexpected result.
Several 3-year-olds entered in the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) galloped around a sloppy surface at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort the morning before a race no trainer is willing to say is easy to handicap.
Tom, Evan, and Rich Nilson from Brisnet/Twinspires.com preview the West Virginia Derby (gr. II). Plus picks for the Jim Dandy and the Haskell. Watch Video
Although Rachel Alexandra has been installed as the 4-5 favorite for the $1.25-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 2, she could face stiff competition from several of the six 3-year-old colts entered against her.
While America's 3-year-old sweetheart Rachel Alexandra is frolicking at the Jersey Shore Aug. 2 in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, and a deep, well-matched group of colts gather in the Adirondacks for the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga, the winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! brands (gr. I) for the first time in history will be out in the Appalachians, showing off in front of the Mountaineer Park crowd in the West Virginia Derby (gr. II).
Mine That Bird will make his first racing appearance since the Triple Crown when he faces five other 3-year-olds in the $750,000, West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Organized horse racing in West Virginia dates back at least 223 years, but no horse who has won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) has ever competed in the Mountaineer State before. That status is going to change on Aug. 1, when Mine That Bird goes to the post in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort.
Big Drama, whose late August goal is the seven-furlong King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 4/5 at Monmouth Park July 13 in preparation for either the Haskell Invitational Aug. 2 or the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) the day before
Summer Bird, winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in his last effort, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 the morning of July 12 at Monmouth Park.
Musket Man, third in both the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) this spring, returned to the track June 24 as he starts preparations for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 2.
A month after a troubled fifth-place finish in the Preakness (gr. I), Harold Queen's homebred Big Drama rebounded with a dominating performance in the $250,000 Red Legend Stakes at Charles Town the night of June 20.
Prominent names are expected for the June 20 Charles Town Races & Slots Sprint Festival, which will feature five stakes worth a total of $750,000.
All the obvious thoughts on this year's bizarre, but memorable Triple Crown have been discussed regarding the major players. But there were unsung heroes as well who did not wind up in the winner's circle, yet contributed to the memories.
Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring," wrote: "One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again'?"
It has long been the tradition for starters in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to saddle on the turf course at Pimlico Race Course, but more than half of this year's field -- including morning-line favorite Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile -- will be saddled indoors, Maryland Jockey Club paddock judge Mario Verge said May 15.
Insight into the pedigrees of this year's Preakness contenders is only a click away. This easy-to-read report includes pedigree analyses from Alan Porter, Avalyn Hunter, and Tom Hall. Order your copy today and separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra drew post 13 and was installed as the solid 8-5 morning-line favorite for the $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 16 at Pimlico.
Papa Clem, the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), worked a leisurely five furlongs in 1:05 under exercise rider Emundo Cedeno shortly after 7 a.m. (EDT) over a fast Pimlico main track May 12 in his final breeze for the May 16 Preakness (gr. I).
Big Drama, disqualified winner of the Swale Stakes (gr. II), was the only contender for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to post a workout at Pimlico on Monday, May 11.
The prospective field for the Preakness (gr. I) grew by three confirmed starters when the connections of Musket Man, General Quarters and Terrain committed to the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown on May 6. The $1 million race now has nine definite starters, with Big Drama the first to arrive at historic Pimlico Race Course. The 1 3/16-mile event is on May 16.
Favored This Ones for Phil was awarded victory in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) when Big Drama was disqualified for interference in the stretch after posting a track record for seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park March 28.
Big Drama, a five-time winner as a juvenile whose Triple Crown aspirations were interrupted by a bone bruise that required surgery, returns to action as the one to beat in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) March 28 on the Florida Derby undercard at Gulfstream Park.
Harold Queen's Big Drama, who won the Delta Jackpot (gr. III) and swept the Florida Stallion Stakes series last year at Calder Race Course, is no longer being pointed toward the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and wagering on the colt has been suspended for Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its four-day run March 12.
HRTV's weekly series analyzing the pursuit of the Triple Crown. This week's episode includes the News Update - featuring an update on Big Drama, previews of the Fountain of Youth and the Sham, and Siegel's Sleeper - Mr. Hot Stuff.
Harold Queen's 3-year-old Florida homebred Big Drama breezed an easy half-mile in :50-flat Feb. 22 at Calder, his first workout since Jan. 18 as the colt's training schedule was interrupted by a bone bruise that required surgery after kicking himself in a shin in his stall.
No prominent 3-year-old races this weekend, but plenty of action on the worktab. Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at this week's works for Derby contenders.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, looks at recent works for some Derby Hopefuls.
Harold Queen's Florida homebred colt Big Drama will make his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) to be run at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park Jan. 31, according to trainer David Fawkes.
Big Drama proved over the summer and fall that he could win big at Calder Race Course. He now has proved he can win big outside the friendly confines of the South Florida track.
This week, Jason and Tom analyze the Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) at Delta Downs on December 5. Also Brisnet's handicapping expert The Wizard's Spotlight Play is Fair Grounds Race 5 on Saturday, Dec. 6.
With the winner's share of $750,000 Boyd's Gaming Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) a lofty $450,000, the 2-year-old who earns the prize is virtually guaranteed a berth in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). It is no wonder then that the Dec. 5 main track event drew a deep and talented field of classic hopefuls.
Big Drama swept the open Florida Stallion Stakes when he romped to a five-length win as the even-money choice in the $400,000 In Reality Stakes at Calder Race Course Oct. 18. La Chica Sensual captured the $400,000 My Dear Girl.
Harold L. Queen's homebred colt Big Drama will seek a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes' open division Oct. 18 when he faces 11 other juveniles in the $400,000 In Reality at Calder Race Course.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 5 on jockey Paco Lopez's appeal of a 30-day suspension from Calder Race Course stewards.
Calder Race Course will hold its sixth annual Juvenile Showcase on Sept. 6, with six non-graded stakes races for 2-year olds.
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