Grass champion Kitten's Joy drove to the front along the hedge just inside the eighth pole and drew away to win the $274,000 Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs in his triumphant first start of the year.
Phipps Stable's Smuggler gave Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first win in the Mother Goose (gr. I) when the 3-year-old filly turned in a well-measured neck victory over Spun Sugar at Belmont Park Saturday.
Trainer Bobby Frankel couldn't have drawn up the running of Saturday's $828,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) any better for Saint Liam in his first start for the Hall of Fame conditioner. Saint Liam shook off pacesetter Presidentialaffair coming off the far turn and romped to a 2 3/4-length victory.
Edgar Prado, the leading jockey at Belmont Park, will replace injured Russell Baze on undefeated Lost in the Fog in the $200,000 Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II) Saturday.
Edgar Prado got a great trip and Willy o'the Valley responded, winning her third straight race Saturday in the Emirates Airline Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico.
Despite extensive renovations that necessitated the use of temporary facilities throughout the season, Gulfstream Park concluded its 2005 meet with a 1.7% gain in average daily handle from all sources.
Bank Audit will be looking to keep her two-race win streak in tact when she takes the gate for Saturday's $150,000 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito now has jockeys set for all five of his contenders for the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on Saturday, May 7.
Multiple grade II grass winner Artie Schiller powered his way to the lead as the 10-horse field hit the top of the stretch to register a 2 1/4-length victory in Friday's $250,000 Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. The 4-year-old stopped the clock in 1:34.09.
Winless in 19 starts at Gulfstream Park this winter, trainer Shug McGaughey came back to Aqueduct March 19 to win with three of his four starters, including Survivalist in the Gotham (gr. III). Friday afternoon, McGaughey added another stakes win to his resume when the Phipps Stable's favored Daydreaming captured the $110,000 Next Move Handicap (gr. III).
Harris Farms' High Standards kept his record unblemished when he came from slightly off the pace to collar tiring Run Thruthe Sun and draw off to an easy 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $110,450-added Baldwin Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
New York invader Cativa had little trouble picking up her fourth straight victory in Saturday's $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Laurel Park.
Snowdrops tracked the pace set by favored Angela's Love and Binya, then surged to the front inside the sixteenth pole to win Saturday's $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the grass at Gulfstream Park.
Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) winner Love of Money was delayed in Texas due to inclement weather and will not run in Sunday's $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I), according to the agent for Victor Espinoza, who was slated to ride.
Robert V. LaPenta's Pies Prospect seized control before the eighth pole and pulled away for an easy victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course Saturday.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Arvada held off favored Humaita by a head to win the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares on the turf Saturday at Calder Race Course.
Heavily favored Saint Liam repelled the challenges of Perfect Drift and Seek Gold in the stretch and pulled away to victory in the $558,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Friday.
Jockeys John Velazquez, Edgar Prado and Jerry Bailey, the nation's three leaders in purse earnings this year, will leave their New York base to ride in the Turf Festival at Hollywood Park next weekend.
Classic Endeavor, a $50,000 claim two starts ago by trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., won the $109,900-added Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) for fun Saturday at Aqueduct Park.
IEAH Stable's and Joe Torre's favored Sugar Punch knocked her rivals out of contention with a big move on the turn to easily win the $125,000 Iroquois Handicap for fillies and mares going seven furlongs at Belmont Park Saturday.
Peter Angelos' favored Greek Sun, ridden patiently by Edgar Prado, unfurled his usual kick from the back of the pack to collar Laura's Lucky Boy in deep stretch and win the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) on the turf at cloudy Santa Anita Park Sunday.
Favorite Sugar Punch won her fifth consecutive race when she overcame frontrunner Cologny in midstretch of the $107,700 Schenectady Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares at Belmont Park on Sunday.
Despite her slow break, odds-on favorite Sense of Style, guided by Edgar Prado, remained unbeaten with a facile one-length victory in the $300,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Sunday.
Senor Swinger pounced on 3-5 choice Stroll in upper stretch and rolled to a convincing four-length victory Saturday in the $197,800 Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) under rainy skies on the inner Belmont turf course.
Favored Feline Story, ridden to well-timed perfection by Edgar Prado, caught a tiring Cologny in the final strides to register a neck victory in the $104,400 Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares on a sloppy Belmont Park strip Saturday.
Our Sugar Bear Stable's three-time stakes winner Travelator is the 116-pound highweight in the 10th running of the $100,000 Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park. Topping a field of five fillies and mares set to travel the 6 furlongs, the Stanley Hough-trained runner comes back only seven days after stepping up in class in an eight-length loss Sept. 11 in the Endine Handicap (gr. III) at Delaware Park
Epalo appeared to be home free in the late stages of the $500,000 Man o'War, but Michael Tabor's Magistretti, last at the top of the stretch, flew down the middle of the track to win going away on yielding turf at Belmont Park Saturday.
Marylou Whitney Stable's Belmont-winning Birdstone gave trainer Nick Zito his first victory in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, just moments before an intense rainstorm hit the track.
Pomeroy, who had always been in the shadow of Lion Heart in the Patrick Biancone stable, captured his first grade I race Saturday with a smart victory in the $250,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide turned heads at Saratoga Thursday morning when he put in a powerful one-mile workout in 1:37 4/5 on the main track with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
Roses in May and Perfect Drift, the first two finishers in the Cornhusker Breeders' Cup (gr. III) a month ago, produced the same result Saturday in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Jockey Edgar Prado, currently the third leading jockey in the country by earnings, was handed a seven-day suspension for careless riding in the fifth race on Aug. 4 at Saratoga. The jockey appealed the suspension and a stay has been granted.
Wonder Again got the yielding turf trainer James Toner was hoping for and under patient handling from Edgar Prado, she registered an easy 5 3/4-length victory in the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. I) at rainy Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Society Selection unleashed a big sweeping move around the turn to win the $250,000 Test for 3-year-old fillies in a muddy romp Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, giving jockey Edgar Prado a sweep of the grade I stakes on the day.
Spite the Devil surged past the tiring leaders in the stretch and held off a late charge by Sherpa Guide by a half-length to win the $108,100 Evan Shipman Handicap on closing day of the Belmont spring/summer meeting on Sunday.
Patricia Cooksey has been named the recipient of the 2004 Mike Venezia Memorial Award in a vote of fans, turf writers and jockeys.
Grade I winner Kicken Kris, winless since October, got a perfect stalking trip from jockey Edgar Prado to win the Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Belmont Park turf Saturday.
Courtlandt Farms' Film Maker scored a stylish victory as the 6-5 favorite in the $200,000 All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs on Saturday.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy drew away from favored Artie Schiller in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $500,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs on Saturday.
Request for Parole, a horse plagued by traffic problems in his recent races, had no such difficulties Saturday with hot-riding Edgar Prado in the irons, winning the $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.
Jockey Edgar Prado rode five winners on Thursday afternoon's card at Belmont Park, including two huge payoffs and the late Pick 3.
Multiplication wavered late after being hooked by favorite Friendly Island through torrid front-running fractions of :22 1/5 and :44 1/5, but held on to win the $113,900 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday.
Funny Cide gave his all, but he could not hold off the stalking Offlee Wild in a tremendous three-way stretch duel in the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Suffolk Downs.
Jockey Edgar Prado weaved Mambo Slew through traffic along the inside in the stretch to catch favored Lucifer's Stone in the final jumps of the $114,800 Sands Points (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on Sunday.
Records in attendance and handle for Belmont Park and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) were set Saturday as Birdstone upset heavily-favored Smarty Jones in the 136th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) before a crowd of 120,139. The previous attendance record was 103,222 during the Belmont Stakes two years ago.
Patricia Cooksey, Aaron Gryder, Edgar Prado and John Velazquez have been named as the finalists for the 2004 Mike Venezia Memorial Award. The Venezia Award was instituted by the New York Racing Association to honor riders who "exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship." Venezia was killed in a tragic spill at Belmont Park on Oct. 13, 1988.
Wando, Canada's 2003 Horse of the Year and Triple Crown champion, defeated seven turf rivals in his first start as a 4-year-old at Keeneland Racecourse in Kentucky on Sunday.
With plenty of down time left before the flood of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps begin on April 3, this is a good opportunity to continue looking for new angles, new faces, and a new perspective on the Derby picture.
German-bred Meridiana, a disappointment in the United States last year after winning the Italian Oaks (Ity-I) in May, took a big step forward with a front-running victory in the $200,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday at 12 furlongs on the Gulfstream Park turf course.
Padua Stable's Bohemian Lady got a much better start than she did in her previous outing and easily disposed of five rival 3-year-old fillies Saturday in the $109,100 Cicada (gr. III) at seven furlongs.
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