A field of 11, including five America-based runners, will take the gate for Saturday's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.
Making the first start of his career on the grass, the pacesetting Badge of Silver sped away from his rivals in the stretch to register a mild upset for trainer Bobby Frankel in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf at stormy Santa Anita Park Sunday.
Recent grade II winners Magna Graduate and Super Frolic have each been assigned 120 pounds and are co-highweights for Saturday's $400,000-added New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), the biggest race of the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Triple B Farms' Whilly, who won a pair of grade II races in front-running fashion in 2005 for trainer Doug O'Neill and jockey Felipe Martinez, can start the new year in the same way in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita Park grass Sunday.
Darrell Vienna plans to enter Southern California newcomers Atlando and Don Incauto in Sunday's San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park.
If it's the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, you can bet (literally) that there will be several longshot winners. With so many of the grade I races this year appearing to be wide-open, with full fields, there is no reason to think this year will be any different from past Breeders' Cups.
Everyone loves a rags-to-riches story, and among this year's Breeders' Cup horses, few fit that label better than Choctaw Nation--though the rags are perhaps not as ragged as for some of the sport's legends.
Mercedes Stables and Madeleine Paulson Pickens' Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Rock Hard Ten came out of his latest victory in top shape, trainer Richard Mandella said, and will make his next start in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.
Returning from a seven-month layoff, Rock Hard Ten swept past reluctant pacesetter Roman Ruler in the final furlong to win Saturday's $484,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.
Pleasantly Perfect used the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) to prepare for his victory in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Tiznow took the same route in 2000. Now trainer Richard Mandella hopes the $500,000 stakes at Oak Tree Saturday can be a springboard to the $4 million Classic for handicap star Rock Hard Ten.
Lava Man, who was vanned off the track following a third-place finish in Sunday's Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar, was reported in good shape Monday morning.
The infinite patience of trainer Beau Greely and jockey Garrett Gomez paid off Sunday when Borrego thundered down the center of the lane to capture the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) before 30,741 at Del Mar.
At an age when older stakes horses usually head downhill, 6-year-old gelding Perfect Drift stands out because he just might be better than ever.
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Lava Man and outstanding 3-year-old Surf Cat head a field of 12 assigned post positions Wednesday night for Sunday's 15th running of the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Perfect Drift, who shipped in from Kentucky on Monday, met the Del Mar track for the first time since last year by jogging and galloping with a pony over the strip Wednesday morning in preparation for Sunday's Pacific Classic (gr. I).
The $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Sunday expanded to 12 prospects when outsiders Oceanus and Polish Times joined 10 others as entries closed at mid-morning Wednesday.
Borrego, multiple graded-stakes performer and runner-up to Lava Man in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), wound up his preparations for Sunday's $1-million, grade I Pacific Classic with a solid five furlong work in 1:01.40 at Santa Anita.
Hollywood Gold Cup winner Lava Man heads a list of 14 nominations to Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 21. Of those, a field of 10 seems likely for the 1 1/4-mile test.
Preachinatthebar, Musique Toujours, and Super Frolic turned in sharp workouts Monday morning as they moved a step closer to running in Del Mar's grade I, $1-million Pacific Classic Sunday, Aug. 21.
Surf Cat and Bruce Headley will pass on the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Sunday to stay home and run in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Coming off the worst race of his career, Robert Bone's Choctaw Nation displayed all of his old late charge to annihilate the field in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) Sunday for his second straight victory in the stakes at Del Mar.
Owner Robert Bone and trainer Jeff Mullins bring back Choctaw Nation Sunday at Del Mar in hopes the 5-year-old can reprise his San Diego Handicap (gr. II) victory of last year.
Former claiming horse Lava Man poked his head in front on the far turn and inched away for his first graded stakes win in the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Although he will be saddling a horse in England on Saturday, trainer Jeff Mullins will hold a strong hand in a pair of graded stakes races that day at Hollywood Park: the Californian (gr. II) with Choctaw Nation and the Affirmed (gr. III) with Buzzards Bay.
Bob Bone's grade II winner Choctaw Nation worked Tuesday morning for the first time since finishing third in the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 26.
The 10th edition of the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) may not have been the best quality race ever staged at Nad Al Sheba but, as predicted, the Dale Romans-trained Roses in May scored a fifth win in the race for America.
If the build up to Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) has revealed one thing, it is that there will be no excuses for any of the four American runners in the Nad al Sheba showpiece.
Mixed vibes surround America's four runners in Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) although none of their connections had any concerns about Wednesday's post position draw.
As expected, 13 American horses were declared for the world's richest race meeting, the Dubai World Cup fixture at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday night.
Jeff Mullins' Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) hope Choctaw Nation and stable companion My Cousin Matt, whose target is the Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), turned in their final serious pieces of work Monday at Nad Al Sheba in preparation for Saturday's big race card.
The contingent of U.S.-based horses that will participate in the March 26 Dubai World Cup card at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse arrived in Dubai Monday.
Seven furlongs and racing at Santa Anita always seem to bring out the best in Hasty Kris. Combined with a rail-skimming ride from Rene Douglas, it was more than enough to put the 8-year-old gelding in the winner's circle after capturing the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) Saturday.
Robert Bone's Choctaw Nation, who has not started since suffering his only career loss in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar six months ago, has been entered in Saturday's $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) over seven furlongs at Santa Anita.
Pleasantly Perfect, rebounding strongly from defeat three weeks ago in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II), convincingly took the centerpiece of the Del Mar meeting, the Pacific Classic (gr. I), with a scintillating turn of foot the last quarter mile.
Diamond A Racing Corporations' multi-millionaire Pleasantly Perfect was labeled the early 6-5 favorite in a field of eight set to go postward in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Likely favorite Pleasantly Perfect led a large contingent of Pacific Classic (gr. I) contenders Monday getting in their final serious preparations for Sunday's $1 million event at 1 1/4 miles.
Pleasantly Perfect, winner of the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and second in his comeback effort, the San Diego Handicap (gr. II) on Aug. 1, remains atop the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Top 10 poll released on Tuesday.
Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) victor Colonial Colony has entered the picture for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22.
Robert Bone's undefeated Choctaw Nation earned his reservation for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) with a powerful rally to mow down Pleasantly Perfect and capture the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Sunday.
Pleasantly Perfect always fires when he's fresh and the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner, out of action since winning the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March, is training as though he'll be ready for Sunday's $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) At Del Mar Sunday.
Trainer Richard Mandella reported Monday morning that he has an agreement from Jerry Bailey to ride Pleasantly Perfect in Del Mar's grade I, $1-million Pacific Classic and the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission approved an emergency order Thursday allowing the Choctaw Nation to offer horse racing at Blue Ribbon Downs in 2004.
- By Victor Ryan
Backstretch LLC, a private company wholly-owned by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, closed a deal Monday to purchase Blue Ribbon Downs, one day before the Sallisaw, Okla. track was to be auctioned.
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