Empire Maker and Dynever, two of the leading candidates for the June 7 Belmont Stakes, were on the track at Belmont Park Saturday morning, May 31, with each working to the satisfaction of their respective trainers.
Waterville Lake Stable's 13-1 shot Mariensky scored the biggest win of her career Saturday in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) on a soft grass course at rain-soaked Belmont Park, leaving 3-5 favorite Lilac Queen in her wake.
Trainer Laura de Seroux hopes to repeat the memorable Memorial Day weekend she experienced last year when Azeri won the Milady (gr. I) on Saturday and Astra captured the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on turf on the following Monday. With Astra retired, de Seroux will send out highly regarded Dublino in the $350,000-added Gamely.
Jose Santos, who rode Funny Cide to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, can cap a dream month Monday when he flies west from New York to ride Dress To Thrill in the $350,000-added Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park turf.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide has three weeks to prepare for the biggest race of his career and trainer Barclay Tagg and assistant Robin Smullen have tentatively mapped out a plan for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Lightly-raced Dynever collected his third straight win with an impressive 1 1/2-length victory over graded stakes winner Most Feared in Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Catherine Wills' and Peter Karches' Dynever has been installed as the 7/5 favorite for Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) over nine furlongs.
Crowned Dancer, among the leaders of Southern California's Triple Crown hopefuls last year, will attempt to show he belongs with the best of this year's 3-year-old crop in Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III).
Voodoo Dancer and Wonder Again, a pair of grade I winners that sit near the top of the female turf division, square off for the first time in Saturday's $100,000 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Bobby Frankel will saddle another morning line favorite Saturday for Juddmonte Farm at Churchill Downs when homebred Heat Haze, unbeaten in two U.S. races, takes on a full field in the $100,000-added CITGO Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares.
A showdown between veteran star With Anticipation and exciting French newcomer Rouvres is expected to provided added sizzle in Saturday's $300,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Christophe Clement indicated to Calder racing secretary Bob Umphrey Wednesday morning that he plans to let Moyglare Stud's 4-year-old filly Dress To Thrill accept the high weight assignment of 122 pounds for Saturday's $150,000 Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap.
Calder Racing Secretary Bob Umphrey has assigned Moyglare Farm's 4-year-old Irish-bred filly Dress To Thrill topweight of 122 pounds for Saturday's $150,000 Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
A field full of quality fillies and mares goes postward in Keeneland's $100,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sunday over 8 1/2 grassy furlongs.
Enhancements in purse and graded status over the past four years have made the $650,000 Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds an attractive race for shippers from across the country.
Calumet Farm's favored Region Of Merit wore down front-running Hear No Evil in deep stretch and held off a determined late run from Aristocat to take Sunday's $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III).
Calumet Farm's Region of Merit is the 5-2 morning line favorite for Sunday's $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III). The son of Touch Gold will break from the outside post position in the nine-horse field. In the $150,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) on the same card, Kinsman Stable's Ebony Breeze is the one to beat.
Jean-Luc Samyn ships in to Florida from New York to guide Amonita to victory in the Suwannee River Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Christophe Clement sends two in Sunday's $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT), and that might be enough to get the job done.
Longshot Adminniestrator closed powerfully in the stretch to get up by a nose at the wire over Music's Storm in the $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.
Millionaire Forbidden Apple, who will return home to enter stud at Arthur I. Appleton's Bridlewood Farm near Ocala, Fla., will begin his stallion career for $5,000.
Following Saturday's five-furlong breeze in :51 4/5 at Payson Park, trainer Christophe Clement confirmed that Forbidden Apple will make his final start in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf on Saturday.
A pair of distaff stakes and a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 6 will highlight the first Sunday program of Gulfstream Park's 2003 meeting.
Trainer Christophe Clement has made quite an impression in the Tropical-at-Calder turf stakes the last decade and none more so than the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at 1 ½ miles on turf. The race is one of four stakes with a total $600,000 in purses on the Grand Slam II program at Calder Racecourse on Saturday.
Calder Racing Secretary Bob Umphrey has released the nominations to four stakes, three graded, worth a total of $600,000 to be run on Calder's Grand Slam II program on Saturday, Dec, 28.
German-bred Uriah wins the Long Island Handicap over soft going for owner Gary Tanaka.
A forecast for wet weather over the weekend has horsemen keeping their fingers crossed in hopes the rain will hold off until after Saturday's $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares scheduled at a 1 1/2 mile on turf.
Forbidden Apple, one of the leading turf horses in the nation, will make his next start in the $500,000 Citation Handicap (gr. II) on grass at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30, trainer Christophe Clement said Monday from New York.
Chilean-bred Babae wins back-to-back renewals of the Athenia Handicap.
Joseph Platt Jr.'s Babae, the likely favorite for Saturday's $100,000 Athenia Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, is poised to capture back-to-back runnings of the 1 1/6-mile turf feature at Aqueduct.
Joseph Allen's Volga (Ire) heads a field of 10 fillies and mares entered in Sunday's $100,000-added Dowager at 12 furlongs on the Keeneland turf.
Classy Forbidden Apple will try to end a five-race losing streak for trainer Christophe Clement in Saturday's one-mile Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT)/
Defending champion Choc Ice and last year's runner-up Volga will renew their rivalry Sunday at Woodbine in the $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (gr. IT).
The announcement earlier this week that NetJet will sponsor the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) wasn't the biggest news concerning the World Thoroughbred Championship's grass event. Rock of Gibraltar's emphatic victory in the NetJet Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in France on Sept. 8 kept the European superstar right on target for a trip to Arlington Park.
Green Hills Farm's favored Voodoo Dancer came from mid-pack in the stretch to mow down the front runners and score an easy win in the $150,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Del Mar Sunday.
The $284,250 Canadian Stakes (gr. IIT) was a picture-perfect win for Calista and jockey Corey Nakatani, who nosed out a fighting Diadella and Todd Kabel in an epic tete-a-tete duel for fillies and mares at Woodbine on Sunday.
Eight fillies and mares are set to go postward Sunday in the 49th running of the $150,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/16 mile on Del Mar's Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Voodoo Dancer was scheduled to arrive Wednesday afternoon for her date Sunday in the $150,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares 3 years old and up going 1 1/16 mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Mariensky has been primed for the Garden City Breeders' Cup (gr. I) spot after her troubled U.S. debut, while Craigsteel would relish a soft going in the Man o' War (gr. IT). The races are Sept. 7-8.
Tweedside, who ran in last year's Alabama (gr. I) on the dirt as a 3–year-old, leads a dozen hopefuls in the $100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares ages 3 and up racing at 11 furlongs on the grass Monday.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Pletcher's Harlan's Holiday, Invisible Ink Near Returns; Clement Takes His Time; Lukas Breezes Holiday Runner</b>
Harlan's Holiday, off since running fourth in the Preakness May 18, had an easy five-furlong breeze Saturday morning on the Oklahoma Training Track.
Tortured twice by losing photo finishes in graded stakes races recently at Saratoga, trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Jose Santos got a bit of payback when Waterville Lake Stable's Celtic Sky got up at the wire to beat front-running Reluctant Groom by a nose in the $82,900 West Point Handicap.
Sylelistick is the 122-pound top weight for Monday's $100,000 Lake George Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga, heading an evenly matched field of 11 competitors.
Sent off at odds of 3-5, England's Legend was an easy gate-two-wire winner over seven rivals in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park Saturday.
England's Legend, wire-to-wire victress in the Beverly D. (gr. IT) here last August, makes her first start of the year as the highweight and likely favorite in Saturday's $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT).
On Saturday, Sunday Break will make his first start for Drysdale since finishing third in Aqueduct's Wood Memorial (gr. I) on April 13, when he goes to post in the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs.
Kim Loves Bucky, a 12-1 shot, upset favorite Cetewayo to take Wednesday's Elkhorn Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland.
Gulfstream Park's first Friday program of the 2002 season will be highlighted by two features -- the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, and an enticing new target for bettors in the Guaranteed Pick 6.
Gerald Robbins and Jay Weiss' Queue, Roger Attfield and partners' Sweetest Thing, and F. Eugene Dixon's Lady Dora finished one-two-three, respectively, last out in the 12-furlong Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct on Nov. 10.
Calder Race Course Wednesday released nominations for the four stakes comprising Grand Slam I on Dec. 8. Each race is worth $100,000.
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