Birdstone

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Zito Gearing Up For Second-Half Assault

Zito Gearing Up For Second-Half Assault

Nick Zito has been busy recently trying to come up with a schedule for his talented arsenal of 3-year-olds. Even with the loss of Eurosilver, Zito is loaded as he sets his sights on a number of major stakes, beginning with the July 11 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.

Racing At Its Very Best

Racing At Its Very Best

By Ray Paulick -- Haven't we been here before? A horse, one that by the first Saturday in June is carrying too heavy an impost--an entire industry--for any Thoroughbred, is caught and passed in the cruel stretch of New York's Belmont Park.

Belmont Wagering, Attendance Marks Fall

Records in attendance and handle for Belmont Park and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) were set Saturday as Birdstone upset heavily-favored Smarty Jones in the 136th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) before a crowd of 120,139. The previous attendance record was 103,222 during the Belmont Stakes two years ago.

Servis: Smarty Jones Had a 'Bulls-Eye' on Him

Servis: Smarty Jones Had a 'Bulls-Eye' on Him

Trainer John Servis said he was "disappointed" for owners Roy and Patricia Chapman that Smarty Jones' bid for the Visa Triple Crown Challenge came up short when he finished a gutsy second to Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) but that he was proud of the effort given by the colt Saturday.

Belmont TV Overnight Rating Best in 27 Years

Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) win by 36-1 shot Birdstone ended previously unbeaten Smarty Jones' Visa Triple Crown hopes and delivered a 13.4 overnight rating and a 27 share, the best Belmont overnight since a 15.4/47 for Seattle Slew's Triple Crown-clinching victory in 1977, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Friday Notes: Hennig Says Eddington Ready to Go

Eddington, the third-place finisher in the Preakness (gr. I) and 10-1 on the morning line for Saturday's 136th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds, galloped a mile and three furlongs over Belmont's main track Friday. "He's ready," trainer Mark Hennig said. "He's doing as well as can be expected."

Tapit, Cliff Out of Belmont; Purge, Master David May Join Field

Tapit, Cliff Out of Belmont; Purge, Master David May Join Field

Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Tapit will not run in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr.I), it was reported on trainer Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm web site Saturday. With Tapit's defection, as well as the defection of The Cliff's Edge, the connections of Purge and Master David are considering entering, although both are still doubtful starters.

Zito: 'Cliff' Needs a Miracle to Make Belmont

Trainer Nick Zito says he has until Saturday to get a work into The Cliff's Edge, who suffered a foot bruise before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), or he will be forced to miss the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The son of Gulch's problems started when he lost both his front shoes during the running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Zito Thrilled by Birdstone's Churchill Work

Marylou Whitney Stable's Birdstone, who was scratched from last week's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, resumed serious preparation for Kentucky Derby 130 (gr. I) May 1 with a five-furlong workout on Thursday at Churchill Downs.

Blue Grass Contenders Work at Keeneland

Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, the recent winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), breezed an easy five furlongs just after the track renovation on Sunday morning, his final work for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) to be run Saturday.

Zito Shipping Big Guns to Keeneland

Trainer Nick Zito is beginning his assault on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) by shipping three of his top contenders to Keeneland. The plane carrying Eurosilver, Birdstone, and The Cliff's Edge was expected to land in Central Kentucky today.

Birdstone May Face a Flock in Lane's End

Marylou Whitney Stables' homebred Birdstone, winner of the grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont last year, is the talk of Turfway leading up to their signature Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep, Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II). However, the diminutive son of Grindstone hasn't exactly scared anyone off from the $500,000 race with as many as 14 others considering the race.

Upsets Keep 'Field' Favored in Derby Wager

Following a weekend of Kentucky Derby prep races in which several leading Kentucky Derby contenders suffered defeats, the field of "all other 3-year-olds" emerged as the favorite when the second of three pools in Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ended its four-day run Sunday.

Top Sophomores Nominated to Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Almost all of the leading contenders for the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, including trainer Nick Zito's highly regarded twosome of Birdstone and Eurosilver, are among 157 nominees to Keeneland's $750,000, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds will be run on Saturday, April 10, three weeks before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). It will be televised live on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET).

Mutuel Field Set at 9-5 in KDFW's Pool 1

Kentucky Derby fans backed such promising young stars as Eurosilver, Lion Heart, Action This Day and Read the Footnotes, but the heavy favorite at the end of four days of wagering in Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager was the "mutuel field."

Wynn Dot Comma Faces 10 Rivals in Hutcheson

Graded stakes winner Wynn Dot Comma will get a sharp challenge from a couple of Todd Pletcher-trained rivals, Deputy Storm and Limehouse, in the 51st running of the $150,000 Hutcheson (gr. II) Saturday, a seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

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