Keeneland has scheduled 16 stakes worth $3.65 million for its 2010 spring race meet. There are some minor purse and sponsorship changes for the meet.
Parading returns to the scene of his most lopsided stakes victory earlier this year when he takes on nine rivals in Keeneland's $150,000 Fayette Stakes on Oct. 31, closing day for the Lexington track's short fall meet.
Edward Evans' Nite Light took advantage of pedestrian fractions and went gate-to-wire in the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 12 in Florence, Ky.
Todd Pletcher is always a presence at the Breeders' Cup World Championships, and with a spot to the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Marathon up for grabs via the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes (gr. IIIT), the Eclipse Award-winning trainer will look to bolster his chances with a pair of solid contenders.
Euphony and Vacation earned their first graded wins on a big stakes day at Arlington Park May 23.
Two grade III stakes to be contested on Polytrack -- the $150,000 Arlington Matron and the $100,000 Hanshin Cup -- join with a pair of top-notch grass events to provide a quality afternoon of racing at Arlington Park on May 23.
Stuck wide on the backstretch of the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III), jockey Kent Desormeaux took a chance when he encouraged Parading to take control over his pace rivals heading into the final turn. The decision paid off when Parading ran away in upper stretch on the way to his first graded stakes victory April 19 at wet and windy Keeneland.
A star-studded cast of older horses that includes three former Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starters tops a field of seven in the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III), the feature race on Keeneland's April 19 program.
Accomplished juvenile fillies Dream Empress and Sara Louise are both looking to add another graded stakes victory to their already impressive resumes in the Nov. 29 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. The race is part of the "Stars of Tomorrow II" card that features races limited exclusively to 2-year-olds.
This week, Jason and Tom analyze the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on November 28. Also Brisnet's handicapping expert "The Wizard" gives his "Spotlight Play" for Fair Grounds Race 8 on November 28.
Like a fine wine, Commentator seems to get better with age. And on Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs, Tracy Farmer's remarkable 7-year-old gelding will try to cap off a terrific season when he takes on seven rivals in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II).
Hobeau Farm's Florida homebred Delightful Kiss, who hadn't won in more than 13 months and was well-beaten in all four starts this season, stretched out to 12 furlongs for the first time and enjoyed every moment of it, roaring through the stretch to win the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes (gr. III) by 1 1/4 lengths Sept. 6 on the Polytrack.
Of the field of 10 running in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) Aug. 4, five have run in American Classicsno--none of them with any success. If one of them can break through in the 1 1/8-mile trek around Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort's main track, it will go a long way to help separate itself in a competitive 3-year-old division that is beginning to take shape.
Pacesetting Pavarotti, a $2.5 million yearling purchase, refused to give way under extreme pressure from Time Squared, fighting back in deep stretch for a head victory in the $100,000 Round Table for 3-year-olds at Arlington Park Saturday.
Silverton Hill Stables' Dominican, who defeated eventual Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Street Sense when capturing the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland this April, will make his first start since finishing a troubled 11th in the Kentucky Derby when he heads to post as the 8-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Round Table Stakes at Arlington Park.
The winners of this spring's memorable first two Triple Crown races were in action at Churchill Downs July 1 as Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and Curlin, who edged the Derby winner to take a memorable renewal of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), each worked five furlongs under the historic Twin Spires.
Eight graded stakes winners are among the 78 early nominations for $750,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs on June 16.
The connections of Storm in May will have first choice when post positions are selected later this evening thanks to pulling the No. 1 pill during the pill pull at the racing office. In all 22 horses were entered. Reporting for Duty and Delightful Kiss did not draw into the body of the field due to lack of enough graded earnings.
Todd Pletcher's stay at Keeneland, for all intents and purposes, is over, and he went out with a bang, with three of his Derby horses - Any Given Saturday, Circular Quay, and Scat Daddy - turning in excellent works before heading over to Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
The weather today in Louisville couldn't be better. A good-sized crowd has amassed under the Twin Spires.
There was one disappointing aspect of Tuesday morning's brief activity at Churchill Downs. With 11 days still left until the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it would come as a major surprise - no, make that a shock - if any horse turns in a more impressive workout than Street Sense's five-furlong masterpiece.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Conventional wisdom suggests front-running horses have a huge advantage if they are allowed to set the tortoise-like fractions established in this year's Blue Grass. But Polytrack has thrown conventional wisdom out the window.
The death of Buddy Holly on Feb. 3, 1959 was "the day the music died." April 14, 2007 was the day dirt racing in America died. That may sound harsh and premature, but if races like the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) are what we have to look forward to in the future, then we have indeed seen the beginning of the end of dirt racing as we know it.
Unbeaten Curlin, a dazzling winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on Saturday, emerged as a strong favorite over such accomplished rivals as 2006 2-year-old champion Street Sense and Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Nobiz Like Shobiz when betting drew to a close in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
The first five finishers in yesterday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) -- Dominican, Street Sense, Zanjero, Teuflesberg and Great Hunter -- are all, according to their connections, pointing toward a start in the May 5 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Four of those five were separated by only a neck at the wire in yesterday's race.
Silverton Hill's Dominican moved into the Triple Crown picture when he came from well behind to nose Street Sense, last year's 2-year-old champion, on the wire of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) Saturday on the all-weather track at Keeneland.
Well, this is it, the final major Derby prep weekend. After this, there is only the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) for horses hoping to hop aboard at the last minute. All eyes now turn to Street Sense, who can emerge from the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) as a solid Derby favorite. But he has to get by Great Hunter first.
Street Sense drew post four for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. James Tafel's homebred champion was also made the 4-5 morning line favorite for the nine-furlong race. Great Hunter, the 9-5 second choice, will break from the outside seven post.
Trainers Darrin Miller, who has Dominican in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), and Bob Holthus, who has Officer Rocket in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), discuss their chances as the Triple Crown trail continues.
After the defection of Hard Spun, five horses remain as "probable" contenders for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), including Street Sense, Great Hunter, Zanjero, Dominican, and Teuflesberg. Starbase, from the stable of trainer D. Wayne Lukas, is also possible for the field.
There is no escaping the fact that Hard Spun proved he is a brilliant, classy horse with his bounce back performance in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), but there is a question that pops up, that will be echoed after the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I): how legitimate was this race, or any race for that matter, run over a synthetic surface?
Making his first start since a third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) four months ago, Dominican ran down Trust Your Luck in the stretch to win the $100,000 Rushaway for 3-year-olds Saturday at Turway Park going away by five lengths.
There's something to like about the five stakes winners in the field of 11 for Saturday's $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park on the Lane's End (gr. II) undercard.
Unbeaten odds-on favorite Tiz Wonderful, ridden by John Velazquez, fought back after being passed in the stretch by Any Given Saturday to regain the lead near the finish and post a half-length victory in the 80th running of the $223,800, grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes for two-year-olds on the closing day of the 21-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.
Stonestreet Stable's Tiz Wonderful, who has won his two career starts by a combined margin of 19 Â¼-lengths, is the odds-on morning line favorite in a field of nine 2-year-olds entered in Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).
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