Fusaichi Samurai, whose purchase by Fusao Sekiguchi for $4.5 million earlier this year set a record for a juvenile sold at public auction, is scheduled to make his first career start Saturday in the fourth race at Hollywood Park.
The connections of 3-year-old Ticker Tape hope that a victory in Sunday's $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park will influence enough votes to secure an Eclipse Award as champion grass filly or mare.
Musical Chimes, who was neck shy of victory behind Heat Haze in the 2003 Matriarch (gr. IT), worked six furlongs on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday for her second shot at the $500,000 test for fillies and mares at one mile on turf Nov. 28.
A rundown on some of the major participants in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Some will be retired, while others remain in training and will attempt the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park.
Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships lost two more participants Monday when Sarafan was withdrawn from the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) due to an injury and Stay Forever was taken out of the VO5 Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
The 4-year-old filly Musical Chimes, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, squeezed between horses in a spectacular stretch run to win a frantic finish by a nose over Buckland Manor in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Saturday.
Musical Chimes, poised for a possible return trip to the Breeders' Cup, will challenge males for the third time for trainer Neil Drysdale in Saturday's $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
Gainsborough Farm's Musical Chimes, a resounding winner of the John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) on Del Mar's opening weekend, has been installed the 2-1 morning line choice for Saturday's Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Gary A. Tanaka's veteran stakes campaigner Sarafan showed his class Wednesday with a decisive victory in the featured $79,000 Escondido Handicap at the marathon distance of 1 3/8 miles on the grass at Del Mar.
Musical Chimes, winless in seven starts since taking the French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) in May 2003, blew past the leaders in the final eighth of a mile to capture the $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) on the Del Mar turf Saturday.
French Lady, a New Zealand import which joined the Neil Drysdale stable last week, was extended an alternate invitation Sunday to the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. I) July 3 by Hollywood Park racing secretary Martin Panza.
The filly Musical Chimes will attempt to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Dahlia when she takes on males in Saturday's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
King of Happiness, an impressive winner of the $62,000 allowance feature on the Hollywood Park turf Thursday is headed for bigger things. But the victory was bittersweet for trainer Neil Drysdale, who was out of the country due to the death of his mother.
Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale will be at Bay Meadows Saturday to saddle Arabic Song in the $125,000 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Saturday's $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita has all of the earmarks of a springboard race for grass stakes later in the year at longer distances. Several of the eight entrants are better traveling farther than the Arcadia's 1 1/8-mile route. And none of the starters are coming off of a win.
Sarafan, who galloped over the track Thursday morning, was scratched from Sunday's Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) on the Hong Kong International Races program. The American-based runner, trained by Neil Drysdale, was reported to have tested positive for the steroid methylprednisolone.
Touch of the Blues, the venerable 6-year-old horse trained by Neil Drysdale, headlines Saturday's Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland. Saturday marks day two of the meets Fallstars Weekend with a host of races with World Thoroughbred Championships implications.
The field is small but mighty for Sunday's grade II, $200,000 Palomar Handicap for fillies and mares 3 years old and up going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Ministers Wild Cat became the third stakes winner produced by champion Hollywood Wildcat and stamped himself as a possible Kentucky Derby threat with a 1 1/4-length win in Sunday's $66,950 Golden State Mile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
Keeneland had a number of Breeders' Cup contenders on the grounds Monday morning making final preparations for Oct. 26.
It's nothing new: put up the money and they will show up to run. Colonial Downs has done that, raising the purse for Saturday's Virginia Derby to $500,000, which attracted the attention of such trainers as Bill Mott and Neil Drysdale.
Attorney Neil Papiano said he is convinced the positive drug test attributed to disqualified Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIT) winner Flying Dash was a case of mistaken identity.
Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale was suspended by Illinois stewards and Flying Dash disqualified from his win in the May 11 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) after a sample from Flying Dash tested positive for clenbuterol and promazine sulfoxide.
The Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) will be renewed Saturday at Hollywood Park, with two of the trainers with horses entered in the race having ties to the man for whom the race is named. Laura de Seroux, who was an exercise rider for the trainer from 1973-89, will saddle Startac, while Neil Drysdale, a Whittingham assistant for four years, sends out Sarafan.
Two of the top 3-year-old fillies in the country, Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) winner Take Charge Lady and Comely (gr. III) winner Bella Bellucci, will make their next starts in grade I stakes races at Belmont Park. Bella Bellucci is being pointed toward the Acorn on June 9, while Take Charge Lady will wait for the June 29 Mother Goose.
Flying Dash rallied along the inside to win Saturday's $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) on a rain-softened turf course at Hawthorne, giving jockey Victor Espinoza his second derby win in as many weekends.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Flying Dash was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT), the 1 1/8-mile turf feature Saturday at Hawthorne.
Godolphin's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Tempera missed training Saturday due to a fever, according to assistant trainer Tom Albertrani. Also Saturday, Ile De France was added to the likely field and Bella Bellucci worked seven furlongs.
Michael Tabor's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Bella Bellucci breezed four furlongs at Churchill Downs Saturday, getting the distance in :47 3/5 on a fast track.
Trainer Neil Drysdale said Fusao Sekiguchi's Flying Dash will run in the April 27 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and then go on to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) if the German-bred performs well in the one-turn mile event.
Bella Bellucci drew off in the stretch to win Sunday's $108,200 Comely Stakes (gr. III) by seven lengths, completing the one-turn mile in 1:35.50 on the fast track. The full sister of Japanese champion 3-year-old Kurofune will make her next start in the Kentucky Oaks.
Edmund Gann's Medaglia d'Oro and Gary West's Buddha were on track for exercise Sunday morning ahead of Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct.
German-bred Flying Dash balked entering the gate in the $100,000 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland Friday, but was full steam ahead at the wire. Attendance of 14,879 at the Lexington, Ky. track was the largest for a spring opening day since 1985. Attendance last year on opening day was 11,646.
Columbine Stable and trainer Beau Greeley hope to end a string of frustrating near misses with Sligo Bay in Saturday's Arcadia Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Bella Bellucci passed all four of her Santa Paula Stakes rivals between the stretch call and the wire to earn a half-length victory in the $102,075 race for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.
Speedy Pick, a 59-1 longshot, led through every step of the San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) except the ones that mattered most. In the final strides, Continental Red rallied to win Saturday's $250,000 race by a nose at Santa Anita.
Sunday Break worked three furlongs at Hollywood Park Thursday morning, less than a week after a winning performance in a Santa Anita allowance race.
Sunday Break tracked pacesetting favorite Raven Power early on before edging clear of that rival late to win a $54,000 allowance race for 3-year-olds on Friday at Santa Anita.
Sheik Maktoum al Maktoum's Irish Prize earned his fifth graded stakes win of the year Sunday, when he narrowly held off Sligo Bay to win the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) for the second time this calendar year. The Neil Drysdale-trained son of Irish River also won the event on New Year's Day.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, already odds-on to win his second consecutive Eclipse Award, will attempt to draw further away from his peers by starting up to nine horses in Hollywood Park's Turf Festival Nov. 23-25. In fact, he may corner the field in the Grade I Hollywood Derby, run for $500,000 at nine furlongs, by sending four horses to the post. Likely for the Nov. 25 Derby are Juddmonte Farms' Mizzen Mast, Amerman Racing's Blue Steller, Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran, and the Niarchos Family's Denon.
The full sister of Riboletta and War Chant's half-sister will face each other while making their racing debuts on Wednesday at Hollywood Park.
Tranquility Lake, never worse than second in seven tries over the Hollywood Park turf, heads a classy field of seven distaffers in Saturday's $250,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at nine furlongs. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Marty Wygod, the Rahy mare captured the 1999 running of the Gamely by better than five lengths.
Irish Prize came from off the pace to beat Timboroa by a neck and win the $110,400 Fastness Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Ridden by Gary Stevens, Irish Prize covered 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:50.01 on the firm turf course and paid $5.60, $3.20, and $2.60 as the 9-5 favorite.
Serena's Tune breezed four furlongs Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for her start in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The La Habra Stakes winner won't have to face Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) third-place finisher She's a Devil Due in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks, as trainer Ken McPeek says she is no longer under consideration for that race.
Super Quercus, who was scratched from Monday's San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) due to what trainer Bobby Frankel called "a mistake in medication," will run Thursday in a Santa Anita optional claiming race which also features the return of multiple stakes winner Hawksley Hill. The six-horse field in the one-mile turf race also includes Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner El Cielo.
Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner War Chant may race next at Hollywood Park in the $500,000 Early Times Hollywood Derby Nov. 26, according to trainer Neil Drysdale.
Stonerside Stable has purchased Prix d'Aumale (Fr-III) winner Green Minstrel. The 2-year-old filly will be shipped in early November to the United States, where she will be trained by Neil Drysdale.
Fusaichi Pegasus completed his serious training for the 1 1/4-mile Breeders Cup Classic (gr. I) with a seven-furlong breeze in 1:27 4/5 over a "fast" track Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Relatively Stable's Sign of Hope came off the rail in the stretch and rallied to catch pacesetter David Copperfield three jumps from the wire to win the $250,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) Saturday at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. Under a well-timed ride from Alex Solis, Sign of Hope completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.71 over firm turf.
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