Three-year-old fillies are the center of attention Friday at Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of the South when an evenly matched field of six vies in the $200,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II).
Churchill Downs established a record for total wagering in the 30-day Fall Meet that ended on Nov. 30, but also suffered declines in average daily on-track wagering and attendance.
Heavily-favored My Boston Gal remained undefeated Saturday, displaying an explosive stretch run to post a 3 1/4-length win over Holiday Lady in Churchill Downs' $219,600 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 mile.
Churchill Downs brings down the curtain on its 113th Fall Meet on Saturday with a pair of $200,000-added stakes races for 2-year-olds, the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) for colts and geldings and the Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies.
The unbeaten filly My Boston Gal completed her serious preparation for her stakes debut in Saturday's $200,000-added Golden Rod (gr. II) with a strong five furlong breeze on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Elmer Miller's What A Bad Day, third in the Iroquois (gr. III), has suffered a knee injury and will not run in the $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) on Nov. 30.
Trainer Steve Asmussen notched his third winner on Wednesday's Churchill Downs card when Full Mandate, with Donnie Meche aboard, seized the lead near the eighth pole and powered to a one-length victory over longshot Irish Legacy in the featured $43,400 allowance for 3-year-olds and up.
James Tafel's homebred Softly was doing fine Sunday after her upset victory in the 17th running of the Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) and the 4-year-old daughter of Binalong will apparently aim at the $250,000 Falls City Handicap at Churchill on Thanksgiving Day.
Softly pulls the upset in a tough rendition of the Churchill Downs Distaff.
Unshaded reinjured a tendon this week and has been retired. The gelding's immediate plans are uncertain.
Churchill Downs raises the curtain on the 113th Fall Meet in its storied history on Sunday, Oct. 27 with a ten-race card that includes the 10th running of the $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) as its featured event.
Westerly Breeze works at Churchill...Lukas sprinters to Chicago next Wednesday.
Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) lost another contender Tuesday when trainer Carl Nafzger said Belterra will not run in the race for 3-year-old fillies.
"She's ready," declared trainer Carl Nafzger after Take the Cake worked five-furlongs in 1:01 3/5 at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for the Kentucky Oaks.
Belterra may not run in the Kentucky Oaks. Rumors about her status swirled around the Churchill Downs backstretch Sunday morning, and trainer Carl Nafzger was vague when asked about her condition.
Trainer Carl Nafzger's pair of contenders for the Kentucky Oaks--Robert Manfuso's Belterra and Elizabeth Valando's Take The Cake--each worked five furlongs on Tuesday over a "fast" track at Churchill Downs.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Three jewels in the Triple Crown? Not nearly enough, it says here. The series of classic races that ushers in springtime as much as the crack of the bat on opening day has far too much history, far too many heroes, to say there are only three jewels.
Trainer Carl Nfazger reports all is well with his two stakes-winning 3-year-old fillies, Belterra and Take the Cake, and revealed his future plans for the pair.
Robert T. Manfuso's unbeaten Belterra, a graded stakes winner as a 2-year-old last year, makes her 2002 debut against five rivals in Friday's $250,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II).
The 2-year-old fillies that figure to be the favorites for the Nov. 24 $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs completed their serious training for the 1 1/16-mile race with Tuesday breezes at Churchill.
James Tafel's Unshaded worked five furlongs in 1:01 over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Tuesday in preparation for the July 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.
Captain Steve and Unshaded head a strong field of eight older horses in Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile race highlights a card offering total purses of $1.3 million.
Eaglestone Farm's Alannan scored an impressive four-length victory in the $270,750 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes at odds of 17-1. The race marked the first time the 5-year-old Conquistador Cielo horse has started since being transferred from the barn of the late John Tammaro II to Carl Nafzger.
Unshaded, winner of last year's Travers Stakes, had his first breeze since being sidelined with a strained tendon last August. The son of Unbridled breezed a half-mile in :50 4/5 at Churchill Downs Friday.
Gulfstream Park will close out the 2001 season Friday, featuring an 11-race card that includes three stakes including the $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes, and the return of last year's Florida Derby (gr. I) winner.
Trainer Neil Howard began the Gulfstream meet with some well-bred and unraced 3-year-olds and one of them, undefeated Unbridled Lassie, will be starting in Friday's Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II). The 1 1/8-mile test is the closing day feature and will also feature runners Lasting Sensation and Happily Unbridled.
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