TVG will again broadcast the Eclipse Awards live, the network announced Jan. 12. The awards ceremony, honoring racing's champions of 2008, will be held Jan. 26 in Miami Beach, Fla.
Simon Bray, who recently retired as a Thoroughbred trainer, has joined TVG as a full time racing analyst, the network announced Thursday. Bray, a 35-year-old Englishman who trained grade I winners Startac and Astra, has been working for TVG on a part time basis the past eight months.
Startac came from far back to nip Strut the Stage in a photo finish Saturday to win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) by a nose at Arlington Park.
On Sunday, Astra avenged a defeat to Happyanunoit in last year's Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IT), pulling away in the stretch to a four-length triumph over last year's winner in the $200,000 Hollywood Park feature.
The connections of horses now off the Triple Crown trail have begun to plan new courses for their respective horses, with Palmeiro entered to run Monday against older horses in a Hollywood Park allowance race. Trainer John Sadler hopes to use the 1 1/16-mile race as a prep for the $150,000 Affirmed Handicap.
Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac has been confirmed as a starter for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. Trainer Simon Bray said Alex Solis would ride Startac in the Derby. Startac will be the first Derby entrant for Bray, a former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Two 3-year-olds being shipped to Churchill Downs for other races on Kentucky Derby (gr. I) week could join the field for the season's first classic. Trainer Tony Richey said Boyce Roberts' Arctic Boy may run in the Derby rather than a conditioned allowance race on Derby Day he is being pointed toward. Richey said a final decision on Derby plans for the son of Maria's Mon will be made following a Monday workout under jockey Calvin Borel. Meanwhile, Churchill officials said trainer Simon Bray could also decide to run Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac in the Derby rather than the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. III), a 1 1/16-mile grass test on Friday's Kentucky Oaks card.
The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Astra unleashed a furious stretch run to defeat Beautiful Noise and five other older fillies and mares in Saturday's $250,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. Kent Desormeaux booted home the 5-year-old Theatrical mare after running the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.33 on a firm turf course.
Simon Bray-trained Startac, who was scratched out of Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked over Hollywood Park's main track Sunday in preparation for a start in Saturday's $200,000 California Derby at Bay Meadows.
Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac, two-time grade II stakes runner-up Palmeiro, and San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) runner-up I Love Silver each worked at Santa Anita Sunday morning. All three are listed by the track as probable for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
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