A field of 10 fillies and mares has been drawn for Saturday's signature female turf race on the Arlington Park calendar, the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT). Sister to the prestigious Arlington Million (gr. IT) for the males on the card, the 1 3/16-mile test brings in a nice group--led postward by the Bobby Frankel-trained Melhor Ainda.
Confident Gary Stevens astride Ay Caramba took the measure of Hotstufanthensome in the stretch and edged away to a three-quarters of a length win in the $150,000 Oceanport (gr. IIIT) on the Monmouth Park turf Sunday. It was one of six stakes on the New Jersey track's card worth at least $100,000.
Owner Daniel Borislow has responded to a probe by the racing commissions in New Jersey and New York concerning the whereabouts of Wild Desert before his win in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine.
Eight older horses will line up for recognition in Saturday's Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the lawn at the Chicago racetrack. Highweighted Cool Conductor, fourth in the July 2 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth, carries a top impost of 120 pounds, but the Bobby Frankel-trained Cal-invader Vangelis--looking for his first North American stakes win--is the 2-1 morning line favorite.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, second only to Todd Pletcher in 2005 earnings through last weekend with more than $7.5 million, has sent a division of his stable to Monmouth Park for the first time.
The day after the New York Racing Association announced major management changes that included the replacement of racing secretary Mike Lakow, industry participants had plenty of questions but got no definitive answers.
The $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) attracted 11 starters, including English Channel, the winner of the first leg of the $5-million "Grand Slam of Grass." Jockey John Velazquez returns to ride Todd Pletcher's $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup winner.
The presence of Juddmonte Farms' grade I winner Intercontinental scared off half the rivals entered for Sunday's $200,000 Royal Heroine (gr. IIIT) and the 3-5 favorite showed the other half why, registering an easy victory on the Hollywood Park turf.
Wild Desert gave jockey Patrick Valenzuela and stand-in trainer Bobby Frankel their first victory in the $1 million Queen's Plate, the first leg of the Triple Crown for 3-year-old Canadian-breds at Woodbine Sunday.
Heavily favored Megahertz added the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) to her stellar Southern California resume with her usual late rush Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Megahertz, the West Coast's leading female turf runner, will attempt to snare one major grass stake that has eluded her on Saturday when carrying top weight of 124 pounds in Hollywood Park's $200,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/4 miles.
Trainer Bobby Frankel couldn't have drawn up the running of Saturday's $828,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) any better for Saint Liam in his first start for the Hall of Fame conditioner. Saint Liam shook off pacesetter Presidentialaffair coming off the far turn and romped to a 2 3/4-length victory.
Saint Liam, the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), was reacquainted with Churchill Downs' one-mile racing oval during a Friday morning gallop.
It's been a rough week for trainer Bobby Frankel. On Monday his 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper was retired due to injury, but things could improve dramatically by the weekend when he sends out Saint Liam and Badge of Silver in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Intercontinental will vie for a repeat victory against a strong field of fillies and mares in Saturday's Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Undefeated Melhor Ainda made her first graded stakes appearance look easy, winning as the prohibitive favorite in the $111,200 Sands Point (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies Sunday on the Belmont Park turf.
Trainer Bobby Frankel said that reigning Horse of the Year and Metropolitan Mile (gr. I) winner Ghostzapper would likely pass on the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) July 2.
Reigning Horse of the Year Ghostzapper made a triumphant return to the races Monday, cruising to the lead entering the turn and easily winning the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Defending Horse of the Year Ghostzapper will make his first start of 2005 Monday when he goes off the favorite in Belmont Park's traditional Memorial Day feature, the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I).
The changing picture of the $350,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) may have been summarized Thursday morning in front of Barn 70, where Hall of Fame trainers Bobby Frankel and Ron McAnally operate adjacent stables.
Trainer Bobby Frankel dialed Maryland Wednesday to obtain the services of Ramon Dominguez to replace the injured Patrick Valenzuela aboard Vangelis in the $350,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
High Limit blew out a half-mile this morning, and his trainer Bobby Frankel, nearly blew out the colt's rider. There's nothing like a little drama to spice up a slow Wednesday morning on the backstretch, and Frankel provided today's entertainment by coming oh so close to switching riders at the last minute.
A disgruntled Bobby Frankel told reporters Wednesday morning he may reconsider Ramon Dominguez as the jockey for High Limit's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) run Saturday. Frankel said after reading a quote from the rider in a Louisville Courier-Journal, it seemed the jockey may lack confidence in High Limit to go forward Saturday.
Two contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Greeley's Galaxy and Louisiana Derby (gr. II) victor High Limit, went through their final paces following the track maintenance break at Churchill Downs Wednesday.
"Come on six! Stay up three! Get out of there 12! Where's the four? Who's that?" These may sound like the common shouts of an overzealous, exotics-playing railbird, but on Saturday, it just might be something you hear from as esteemed a place as the Churchill Downs box of New York-born trainer Nick Zito.
In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby two years ago, all the action swirled around Barn 43, where trainer Bobby Frankel gave daily press conferences that were only a chorus or two of "Hail to the Chief" short of presidential.
Working in company with Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner High Limit zipped six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 at Churchill Downs Thursday morning.
The top three finishers from last year's Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) are back to renew their rivalry Friday when the $200,000 race is contested at Keeneland on closing day.
Heavily favored Melhor Ainda rallied to a decisive victory in the $112,800 Appalachian Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Sunday at Keeneland, giving jockey John Velazquez his eighth straight victory over a three-day period.
Sumaya Us Stables' Isola Piu Bella has been installed as the morning line favorite for Saturday's $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne.
Michael Bello's British-bred Megahertz won the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares for the third straight time much as she pleased Sunday at Santa Anita Park. And increasingly, that means coming from far back.
Grade I winner Intercontinental was a little headstrong in her first start of the year, but she got the job done under Jerry Bailey to register a repeat victory in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley (gr. IIIT) Sunday at Keeneland.
Trainer Bobby Frankel was keeping a close eye Sunday morning on Cajun Beat, who suffered a career threatening ankle injury when he finished last of six horses in Keeneland's Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) Saturday.
Megahertz, the mighty mare with a dazzling come-from-behind style, seeks to win the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park Sunday for an unprecedented third consecutive year.
Making her first start of the season, grade I winner Intercontinental heads a stellar field of nine fillies and mares ready to contest Sunday's $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/16 miles over the Keeneland turf course.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King and Mary and Gary West's High Limit turned in strong works Monday at Churchill Downs in preparation for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
A group of nine 3-year-olds passed the entry box for the 17th running of Friday's $150,000 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT). Set to kick off the stakes calendar of Keeneland's 2005 spring meeting is the speedy, multiple stakes-winning Dubleo, and the lightly raced, but impressive Chattahoochee War. The pair lead a well-matched group postward to battle a mile on the grass.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said that Mary and Gary West's High Limit, winner of the Louisiana Derby (grade II), was doing well on the day after his first work at Churchill Downs and would make his next start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on April 16.
Reigning Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, who was scheduled to make his 5-year-old debut in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), won't be coming to Hot Springs for the April 9 race after all.
Stronach Stables' Ghostzapper, reigning Horse of the Year following his dominating tally in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered By Dodge (gr. I) at Lone Star Park in his last start Oct. 30, worked five furlongs handily in :59.60 at the Palm Meadows training center Wednesday morning.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Megahertz took the overland route with jockey Alex Solis to win Sunday's $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Megahertz, the diminutive 6-year-old chestnut mare with a big kick, may finally have the opportunity to show it Sunday in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
Eleven older horses passed the entry box for the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT), the premier grass event on the Fair Grounds calendar. Highweighted California shipper A to the Z, second to grade I winner Star Over the Bay in his last start in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita, and the red-hot G P Fleet lead a group of horses most familiar with each other postward with half-a-million dollars on the line.
High Limit became the first gate to wire winner of the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in 15 years when he rolled to an easy victory in his initial start for trainer Bobby Frankel Saturday at Fair Grounds.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's odds-on favorite Badge of Silver returned to his favorite track, Fair Grounds, to register a resurgent victory in the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) Saturday.
River Belle ended 2004 on a high note by winning the hard fought Ms. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT). Now the 4-year-old filly is looking to start her 2005 campaign with the same winning magic in Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/16 miles over the turf course at Gulfstream Park.
The challengers keep falling by the wayside for Brazilian-bred Leroidesanimaux, who won the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) Saturday on the Santa Anita turf for his sixth straight victory in the United States.
A pair of Bobby Frankel-trained grass specialists, Burning Sun and Gigli, third and eighth respectively in Gulfstream's Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan.30, are likely to face each other once again in Sunday's Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT), going 1 3/8 miles.
Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, owned by Stronach Stables and conditioned by Bobby Frankel, worked five furlongs handily in 1:01.80 at Palm Meadows Wednesday.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who sent out Frank Stronach's Ghostzapper to win the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), will have a string of Stronach horses at Canada's Woodbine Racecourse this season.
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