Multiple graded stakes winner Daytona is the latest addition to the roster of Thoroughbreds at the Old Friends retirement center in Georgetown, Ky.
It won't be easy given the competition, but the connections of Kip Deville believe the 5-year-old horse has an excellent chance to become the fourth repeat winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
The focus at Santa Anita Oct. 21 was on the official entries and post position draws for the 14 Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25.
Favored Whatsthescript got the fast pace he was looking for and unleashed an eye-catching move down the center of the stretch to capture the $328,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) by three-quarters of a length on the grass Aug. 24.
After wowing everyone from Southern California to Louisiana since last fall, the intermediate turf standout Daytona fell apart as the 7-10 favorite in the American Handicap at Hollywood Park. Dan Hendricks is eager to see what a seven-week break will do for his two-time grade I winning gelding in the $400,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 24.
The prohibitive favorite Daytona ran out of gas mid-stretch, opening the way for 29-1 shot Whatsthescript to score from the off the pace in the $250,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park turf course June 28.
Daytona does nothing but win, usually running on the front end. But last time out in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) the 4-year-old Irish bred proved he doesn't have to have the lead in order to get it done. You can't help but wonder if his seven rivals in the $250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) June 28 at Hollywood Park have much chance at all.
Daytona earned his sixth win in the past seven starts in capturing the $310,500 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) when he outfought Ever a Friend in the final sixteenth of a mile for a 1 1/2-length win on the Hollywood Park turf course May 26.
Grade I winner Daytona, a front-running win machine since last October, aims for his sixth victory in seven starts in the $250,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on Memorial Day, May 26, at Hollywood Park.
The Dan Hendricks-trained Daytona lost his last start by just one length -- snapping a four-race winning streak in graded stakes races -- so it was especially gratifying for Hendricks to watch the Indian Ridge gelding come back in fine form in the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita April 5.
The front-running Daytona, his four-race winning streak halted by Proudinsky at Fair Grounds less than a month ago, returns to Southern California to face six rivals in the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at one mile on the Santa Anita turf April 5.
Last December, Gary Tanaka's Proudinsky lost the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) to the Dan Hendricks-trained Daytona by just three-quarters of a length. But roles were reversed March 8, as Proudinsky nipped Daytona in the stretch of the $600,000 Mervyn Munitz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT).
Dan Hendricks saddled Daytona to four consecutive stakes victories in the past five months, his most recent being the Feb. 9 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT). In the March 8 Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds, the trainer looks to extend that streak and add another graded win to his runner's resume.
Daytona, coming off a Dec. 30 win in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita, kicked off his 4-year-old campaign with an emphatic wire-to-wire win in the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 9.
The ageless Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and a graded-stakes winner each of the last five years, heads the field for the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT), part of Louisiana Derby (gr. II) Preview Day Feb. 9 at Fair Grounds.
Reliable Daytona earned his third consecutive major victory in Southern California with a front-running effort in Santa Anita's $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the grass Dec. 30.
Lang Field and Daytona, both surprise grade I winners on the turf during the recently concluded Hollywood Park autumn stand, square off in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park Dec. 30.
Front-running Daytona wasn't supposed to be able to take the field all the way in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Derby, but nobody told jockey Mike Smith. They controlled the pace to win the $500,000 turf test for 3-year-olds, defeating Medici Code by a half-length at Hollywood Park Nov. 25.
Barclay Tagg could become the first trainer to win consecutive editions of the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) since it was switched to the turf in 1981 when he saddles likely favorite Nobiz Like Shobiz for the 10-furlong test Nov. 25 at the Inglewood, Calif., track.
The improving Daytona put it all together for trainer Dan Hendricks on the Santa Anita turf course Oct. 13, kicking clear of the field in upper stretch to register an easy 4 1/4-length win in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT).
Improvement has come quickly for Augment, especially since trainer Paddy Gallagher switched him to the turf this summer, including a surprising second-place finish in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) last time out. The Aptitude gelding is sure to attract more attention in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita lawn Oct. 13.
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