Todd Pletcher's deep bench of top quality runners sometimes make it difficult to gauge his accomplishments when compared to those of other trainers. But in 2013, he was in a league of his own.
Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Shakin It Up answered doubts about his ability around two turns when he overpowered stablemate Govenor Charlie to give trainer Bob Baffert the exacta in Santa Anita Strub Stakes Jan. 18.
Unable to overcome a poor break as the favorite in December's Bayakoa Stakes (gr. II), Fiftyshadesofhay is out to turn the tables on the runaway winner of that race, Broken Sword, in the La Canada Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 19.
A revamped Strub Stakes (gr. II), moved forward on the Santa Anita Park schedule and shortened in distance to 1 1/16 miles, features two strong entrants apiece from Hall of Fame trainers Bob Baffert and Jerry Hollendorfer.
In the male sprinter division, tragedy ended the spectacular season of Points Offthebench, Secret Circle made a memorable return to racing, and Sahara Sky delivered a stirring victory in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I).
- By Jack Shinar
- Racing, Breeders' Cup, Triple Crown, Northeast Region, Southeast Region, West Region, Kentucky
Voters brought out the heavyweights for the 2013 Outstanding Trainer category, with finalists Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert, and Bill Mott combining for 11 previous Eclipse Awards.
The $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 11 was a two-horse race all the way down to the final sixteenth, and considering the fact that only four runners started, that was not surprising.
Awesome Baby, the less-fancied of two Bob Baffert runners, led every step of the way in capturing the $196,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 4 at Santa Anita Park.
TimeformUS Weekend Plays From Aqueduct and Santa Anita Read Blog
Just three sophomore fillies are set to oppose impressive first-out winner Crushed Velvet in the $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 4 at Santa Anita Park.
Shakin It Up, making his first start in nine months, mowed down the field for trainer Bob Baffert to earn his first grade I victory in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes at odds of 17-1 on opening day at Santa Anita Park Dec. 26.
Hollywood Park has sadly faded into the Southern California sunset, but Santa Anita Park opens for a new season Dec. 26 with a couple of extra months tagged on at the end of the meet.
Flashback, favored in each of his five career starts, figures to be the choice again when he runs in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park on opening day of the winter meet Dec. 26.
Midnight Hawk, a son of Midnight Lute--Miss Wineshine, by Wolf Power, made an impressive career debut in the fourth race at Betfair Hollywood Park Dec. 13.
The $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) will be the final graded stakes ever run at Betfair Hollywood Park, and the Dec. 14 event should be one of the best 2-year-old races of the year.
Trainer Richard Mandella takes a shot at his own record Dec. 14 in the $150,000 Native Diver Stakes (gr. III), a 7-year-old longshot could become the oldest winner in the final running, and Slim Shadey tries Cushion Track.
Streaming went from maiden winner to grade I status when she put away Taste Like Candy in the stretch en route to an impressive victory in the $500,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I), held for the final time Dec. 7 at Hollywood Park.
TimeformUS Saturday Plays from Betfair Hollywood Park Read Blog
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the Churchill Downs barn of trainer D. Wayne Lukas the morning after winning the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I).
Multiple grade I winner Game On Dude and Travers (gr. I) victor Will Take Charge both drew well for the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) to be held Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs.
Eclipse Award hopeful Game On Dude worked a strong four furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park Nov. 24 and afterward trainer Bob Baffert said he would ship to Churchill Downs Nov. 27 to compete in the Clark Handicap (gr. I).
Multiple grade I winner Game On Dude has been assigned high weight of 126 pounds for the Nov. 29 running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I).
TimeformUS Weekend Plays from Delta Downs, Churchill, and Betfair Hollywood Park read blog
A detailed report to the California Horse Racing Board at its Nov. 21 meeting concluded that the cluster of sudden deaths from Bob Baffert's Hollywood Park barn did not have any similarities to each other.
Jockey John Velazquez, who is recuperating from injuries suffered Nov. 2 when when his mount Secret Compass broke down during the running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), reports he expects a full recovery.
Grade II winner Fast Bullet has been retired from racing and will take up stud duty at Pauls Mill for a fee of $7,500 live foal stands and nurses, it was announced Nov. 7.
A nose loss to Mucho Macho Man in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (Grade I) at Santa Anita Park by Willis D. Horton's Will Take Charge might not be the late-blooming sophomore's final race of the season.
A winner of six of seven starts this year with his Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) victory Nov. 2, Wise Dan deserves repeat Horse of the Year honors, his trainer Charlie LoPresti said the morning after the race.
Comments from the connections of New Year's Day, winner of the 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Watch Video
Making only his second start since April 2012, Secret Circle (by Eddington) rallies to win the $1.5 millon Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, injured in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), was undergoing surgery later that afternoon according to officials at Santa Anita Park.
Gary and Mary West's New Year's Day rallied up the rail to get past favorite Havana and win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. The winner is trained by Bob Baffert.
The buzz is rising. It's Breeders' Cup Friday, and if you can't enjoy horse racing's Super Bowl at Santa Anita, you might as well get out of the sport. read blog
Grade I-winning millionaire Paynter, whose story of perseverance a year ago captivated the racing world, will begin his next career in 2014 as a stallion at Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky.
- By Steve Haskin
Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Aidan O'Brien and Kathy Ritvo are on a mission: get rid of that agonizing, heartbreaking second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic that is hanging over their heads and win this thing already read blog
- By Claire Novak
Hall of Fame trainer talks about Paynter and Game On Dude after their Oct. 28 works at Santa Anita. Claire asks Bob Baffert if Game On Dude is a different horse from last year, listen to his answer. watch video
This year 2011 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle will try to win the Sprint off a single prep race in 1 1/2 years, an accomplishment that would be similar to Da Hoss in 1998 Mile (gr. I).
Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, and Bill Mott each will saddle two horses in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, with Baffert sending out likely favorite Game On Dude.
Defending Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned worked at Churchill Downs on Oct. 22 while fellow Classic contender Game On Dude and Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) runner Beholder breezed at Santa Anita Park.
Take Control, a son of A.P. Indy, out of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, was euthanized after sustaining an injury to his right front leg in a workout the morning of Oct. 17 at Santa Anita Park.
Zayat Stables' Paynter tuned up for the Breeders' Cup Classic Oct. 14 with a five-furlong work in 1:00 under jockey Martin Garcia, who will ride the son of Awesome Again in the mile-and-a-quarter race at Santa Anita Nov. 2.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contenders livened up the worktabs at Santa Anita Park and Churchill Downs Oct. 8, as Game On Dude cruised around his California base and Fort Larned and Will Take Charge drilled in Kentucky.
Gary and Mary West's Power Broker found clearance at a key point early in the race and continued on under pressure to win the $514,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Indiana Downs Oct. 5.
It's not unusual for trainer Bob Baffert to spread his talented 3-year-olds across the country, but he'll be trying something new with morning line favorite Power Broker in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II) Oct. 5.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has been named by fellow Hall of Famer Bob Baffert to ride California-based handicap star Game on Dude in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Westrock Stables' Secret Compass prevailed over favorite She's a Tiger in the $250,000 Chandelier Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Sept. 28 for trainer Bob Baffert.
Richard's Kid, two-time winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) and of six total graded stakes through a 47-start career, has been retired due to a slight tendon tear.
Grade I winner Liaison will stand at B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm in Lexington following his retirement at the end of the season, and will participate in the farm's "Share The Upside" program for the 2014 season.
Officials with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced Aug. 28 they will not adjust the final time for the 2013 TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I), won by a record 8 1/2 lengths by Game On Dude.
Overcoming concerns about the Del Mar Polytrack, Game On Dude demolished the field by a record 8 1/2 lengths in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) in the most dominant performance of his career Aug. 25.
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