Goldencents, winner of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) in 2013, leads a group of 12 pre-entered contenders for the 2014 edition as he aims to become the first two-time winner in the race's seven-year history.
Itsmyluckyday bounced back from a pelvic fracture to win the Woodward (gr. I), and now will try to add the Kelso (gr. II) on Sept. 27 to his resume en route to a potential Breeders' Cup bid.
Belmont Sprint (gr. III) stakes winner Clearly Now takes on nine opponents as he attempts to duplicate his Herculean performance in the $500,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30 at Saratoga Race Course.
Southern Equine Stable's Moreno, front-running winner of the Whitney Stakes (gr. I), tuned up Aug. 24 for a run in the upcoming $600,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) with a speedy five-furlong breeze at Saratoga.
An evenly-matched field of eight will face off in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes (gr. I) on the Whitney undercard Aug. 2 at Saratoga, with seven of them already graded stakes winners.
The $1.5 million Whitney (gr. I) (Aug. 2)--the richest race this summer at Saratoga Race Course--has attracted a robust field of likely starters, topped by last year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, Palace Malice.
In the time that has passed since Palace Malice won the 2013 Belmont Stakes, both Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow have retired -- but Palice Malice is still going strong.
Maggi Moss' Delaunay faces a deep and talented field of sprinters going seven furlongs in the Churchill Downs Stakes a year after winning the race by four lengths in the slop.
Aron Wellman and Lee Midkiff have grown a fledgling partnership group into the program producing grade I winners such as In Lingerie, Byrama, Capo Bastone, and now Arkansas Derby (gr. I) victor Danza.
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.
Top female sprinter Groupie Doll nearly won the Cigar Mile (gr. I) a year ago. Now she's back with a new slate of rivals to contend with, including grade I winners Goldencents and Verrazano.
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) winner Goldencents has been assigned 120 pounds and is the high weight among the nine expected starters for the Nov. 30 $500,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trainer Todd Pletcher's three contenders for the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I)--Forty Tales, Capo Bastone, and Verrazano--took to the Belmont Park training track Nov. 17 to turn in their penultimate breezes prior to the race.
Reigning champion female sprinter Groupie Doll breezed a half mile Nov. 16 on the Belmont Park training track as she prepares for her second career start against males in the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) Nov. 30 at Aqueduct.
The road to this year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park has been rewarding for Nick and Jaqui de Meric of de Meric Thoroughbred Sales.
Two of the leading contenders for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)--defending champion Fort Larned and Palace Malice--along with champion Wise Dan were among the last horses to arrive for World Championships.
Despite the 2012 winner, Mizdirection, returning to try for a double, a full field of 14 entered the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) Nov. 2. Mizdirection, who won last year from post 11, drew the 12 hole this time around.
Although he enters this year's Breeders' Cup off a victory in one of North America's top dirt sprint races, the connections of Capo Bastone are leaning toward a start in the Geico Turf Sprint (gr. I).
Let's Go Stable and Coolmore partners' Verrazano worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:01.08 Oct. 12 on the dirt training track at Belmont Park, gearing up for the Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Times Two is the 5th dam of both King's Bishop winner Capo Bastone and Travers winner Will Take Charge.
Named for Racing Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, the Saratoga championship will be the fourth in a row and ninth in 12 years for Pletcher, who first won in 1998.
Capo Bastone, a colt that had long failed to tap his potential, finally displayed his talent with a roaring finish to capture the $500,000 Foxwoods King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) going away at odds of 28-1 Aug. 24 at Saratoga.
Forty Tales, winner of three straight graded stakes, will have his work cut out for him just trying to make his way through all the traffic in the $500,000 Foxwoods King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 24 at Saratoga.
Trainer Todd Pletcher's dynamic duo of Palace Malice and Verrazano, leading contenders for the upcoming Travers Stakes (gr. I), took to the Saratoga Race Course main track Aug. 18 for their final workout before the race.
After finishing off the board in the Penn Mile Stakes June 1 at Penn National Race Course, grade II winner Noble Tune will try to bounce back in the $100,000 Solar Splendor Stakes July 13 at Belmont Park.
Lucky Shamrock Stable's Declan's Warrior will try to extend his win streak to four races when he starts in what appears to be a strong edition of the $400,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) June 8 at Belmont Park.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
If Forty Tales is to achieve further fame it is far more likely that it will be as a sprinter rather than in the Classics.
Todd Pletcher will not enter Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) winner Winning Cause in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 4 at Churchill Downs.
In what he surely hopes is an omen for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) a week hence, trainer Todd Pletcher takes the exacta in the Derby Trial on opening night at rainy Churchill Downs April 27.
Claire Novak and Frank Angst handicap the Derby Trial Stakes at Churchill Downs. On last week's show, Frank hit a $92 exacta with the Illinois Derby! Next week, That Handicapping Show will be on location at Churchill Downs. watch video
Capo Bastone will try to nail down the first stakes win of his career when the Street Boss colt faces an expected eight other 3-year-olds in the $175,000 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
A full field of 12 is expected when Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) winner Uncaptured makes his 2013 debut March 23 in the $550,000 Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park.
Several Todd Pletcher trainees and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopefuls worked at Palm Meadows Training Center the morning of March 10.
Three-year-old prospect Capo Bastone made his return to the races successfully Feb. 16 at Gulfstream Park, coming from off the pace with an early sweeping move to take an allowance race by a head as the 3-2 favorite.
- By Pete Denk
Capo Bastone will be the latest horse to run back from the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) when he goes in race 9, a non-winners allowance, at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. read blog
Two allowance events on the Feb. 15 and 16 Gulfstream Park cards feature some of racing's familiar names, with Pants On Fire taking on milers Feb. 15 and Capo Bastone making his first start since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
This will be the first of six (monthly) editions of my top 20 contenders for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. read blog
Gary and Mary West's Power Broker made short work of the field in the $250,000 FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at Santa Anita Park Sept. 29, drawing away to win easily over Know More and Capo Bastone.
Reddam Racing's Know More is the sole graded stakes winner in the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at Santa Anita Park Sept. 29.
Twelve juveniles will contest the 65th running of the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), the Southern California oval's traditional closing-day headliner Sept. 5, including the precocious Best Pal Stakes winner Know More.
Hall of Fame rider has live mounts at Saratoga and Del Mar this week
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