Voting is underway at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Web site, www.ntra.com, for the fifth annual "NTRA Moment of the Year." Voters can choose from among 10 images, drawn from the year's racing through the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Gulfstream Park announced a record number of Early Bird nominations for the March 13 Florida Derby (gr. I). There are already 160 horses nominated to the $1 million Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep.
Grade II winner Decarchy, a half-brother to Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker, has been purchased by Dennis Narlinger and Magali Farms from Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms for stallion duty at Magali near Santa Ynez, Calif.
By Lenny Shulman -- Remember the good old days when only injuries kept horses from running in the Breeders' Cup?
Empire Maker, whose Belmont Stakes (gr. I) win ended the Triple Crown threat of Funny Cide, has been retired from racing and will stand for a fee of $100,000 live foal at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker will not run in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) due to a foot bruise suffered Wednesday morning. Trainer Bobby Frankel said the Belmont (gr. I) winner will be shipped back to California.
Mineshaft, impressive winner of the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) in his last start, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 Monday morning in preparation for Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker turned in a sharp 6-furlong work in 1:12 3/5 Saturday, and definitely will run in next Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), trainer Bobby Frankel confirmed.
Although he has a first call to ride Godolphin's Moon Ballad in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Sept. 27, Jerry Bailey will be aboard Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker if the colt turns in a another good work this weekend.
Dan Borislow, owner of Toccet, said the son of Awesome Again is scheduled to fly to Santa Anita tomorrow, where he will prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Oct. 4.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker, winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), showed he is over the cough that disrupted his training schedule by working 6 furlongs in 1:11 2/5 Monday morning with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
Although trainer Bobby Frankel has not ruled out the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) for Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker, he said he's thinking seriously of running the colt in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) or the Meadowlands Cup (gr. II).
The cough that has been going through trainer Bobby Frankel's barn has knocked Sightseek out of Saturday's Ruffian Handicap (gr. I), but Frankel will be represented by Wild Spirit and You.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker turned in a bullet five-furlong breeze in 1:00.02 over the main track at Saratoga Race Course Friday morning.
After two months of hype, the much-anticipated rematch between Funny Cide and Empire Maker in Saturday's Travers (gr. I) fell through. With his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner still feeling the effects of an illness contracted after the Haskell Invitational Aug. 3, trainer Barclay Tagg declared Funny Cide out of the $1 million race Friday morning.
Triple Crown race winners Funny Cide and Empire Maker remain on the "if" list for Saturday's Travers (gr. I). If this happens, they will go to the post for the $1 million race. It that happens, they won't.
A field of eight passed the entry box Wednesday morning for the $1 million Travers Stakes. How many will run is another story. The big news was Funny Cide entering after two weeks of "doubtfuls" and "highly unlikelys," from trainer Barclay Tagg.
Saratoga Notebook: Frankel Squelches Rumor; Dynever Unlikely for Travers; Bailey Gets Wake-Up; Day Watches 'Most Wanted'
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel made quick work of a rumor going around the backstretch Tuesday morning regarding Empire Maker's status for the Travers (gr. I).
Saratoga Notebook: Frankel Drills Troops; Sky Mesa Dodges Bullet; Funny Cide Update; Strong Hope 'Super'
Looking to beat the rain, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel had several of his top stars on the main track Saturday morning, led by likely Travers (gr.I) favorite Empire Maker.
It is still unknown if the Aug. 23 Travers Stakes (gr. I) will result in the much-anticipated meeting of Empire Maker and Funny Cide, but that race isn't the only graded stakes scheduled for that weekend at Saratoga.
Saratoga Notebook: Bird Town Off Schedule; Friday Jog for Funny Cide?; Volponi's Blood Test; Shug on Possibility
A scheduled work for Bird Town was interrupted by weather; Funny Cide may jog Friday; Volponi is undergoing a blood test; trainer Pletcher and owner Dogwood face decisions; plus lots of other news and notes from the Spa.
Trainer Bobby Frankel confirmed Monday that $1-million Haskell Invitational winner Peace Rules will make his next start in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 24.
In his second major upset in a row, Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Strong Hope led from start to finish and held off 1-5 favorite Empire Maker to win Sunday's Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga. Congrats closed in the stretch to be third.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker returns to action Sunday, one of seven entered in Saratoga's Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker was made the 7-2 favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge (gr. I) in future book wagering conducted this weekend.
Saratoga Notebook: Top 3-Year-Olds Work; Prado Opts for Peace Rules; Volponi Ready for Whitney; Alabama Target for Awesome Humor
Empire Maker, Peace Rules and Sky Mesa all worked Saturday morning on the main track at Saratoga Race Course in preparation for their scheduled starts in stakes races on Aug. 3.
The 3-year-old stars were on parade Saturday morning at Saratoga, as Peace Rules and Sky Mesa worked 5 furlongs for next Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational, and Empire Maker worked 6 furlongs for the Jim Dandy Stakes the same day.
Jockey Jose Santos received a 10-day suspension from the New York state Racing and Wagering Board steward for careless riding in the sixth race Wednesday.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I), will carry highweight of 123 pounds in the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I), Monmouth Park's signature event for 3-year-olds, on Aug. 3.
Following two fast 5-furlong works – in :58 3/5 and :59 – Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker had a nice easy half-mile breeze in :51 Wednesday morning.
Edmund Gann's Peace Rules, like stablemate Empire Maker, turned in his second consecutive fast work, breezing a quick half in :45 3/5 Thursday. The work came eight days after the son of Jules breezed a half in :45 2/5.
Although the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes is still more than a month away, Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker already has two sharp drills under his belt, the latest being a 5-furlong breeze in :59 Wednesday morning.
- By Steve Haskin
Edmund Gann's Midas Eyes, breezed 5 furlongs in a sharp 1:00 1/5 Monday morning, in preparation for next Sunday's grade II Dwyer Stakes, which is shaping up to be a classy, competitive race.
Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker worked 5 furlongs in a quick :58 3/5 at Belmont Tuesday, while Sky Mesa, who is pointing for the July 6 Dwyer Stakes, went the same distance in :59 flat.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Ltd. on Monday released the first set of 2003 World Thoroughbred Rankings for six of the eight racing divisions that comprise the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- A Travers with Funny Cide and Empire Maker is almost certain to attract a record crowd to Saratoga.
Ever since Empire Maker's runner-up finish as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Jerry Bailey had been feeling a little bit guilty. The Hall of Fame rider couldn't be blamed for the bruised foot that disrupted the colt's training schedule. But Bailey did regret his decision regarding Empire Maker's post position. In the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), he was riding for redemption--for both Empire Maker and himself.
Officials for Visa, the title-sponsor of the Triple Crown, are angry about the advertising worn during the Belmont Stakes program by three jockeys, including Jerry Bailey, who won the final leg of the Triple Crown aboard Empire Maker.
Empire Maker delivered Prince Khalid Abdullah his first North American Triple Crown victory, powerfully navigating under the famous turquoise and pink silks through muck and mire to win a breathtaking Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Empire Maker, the colt that was supposed to win the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby (gr. I) because of his pedigree, instead won the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) because of his pedigree. That's a lot of pedigree for one horse, even for one from the vast international breeding empire of Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms.
Bobby Frankel has almost done it all as a trainer. He's won the last three Eclipse Awards as North America's top trainer to go with the one he earned in 1993. He joined the pantheon of greats while being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. He now has a classic win in his back pocket as the result of Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker's win in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
In a very close vote by 23 media representatives, Empire Maker came out on top of the final 3-year-old poll of 2003 conducted by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
The Belmont Stakes crowd came to see history, but once again they left disappointed, as Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker captured the third leg of the Triple Crown over Ten Most Wanted, with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide a fading third.
Selected articles from other newspapers and Web sites on Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
The 1 1/2-hour Belmont Stakes telecast on NBC produced an overnight rating of 10.4, the highest for any horse race since the 1990 Kentucky Derby and the highest for a Belmont since 1987, when ratings were introduced. The overnight rating for the race exceeded overnight ratings for other major sporting events over the weekend.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel was all smiles this morning after winning Saturday's Belmont Stakes with Empire Maker, who is likely to face Funny Cide and Ten Most Wanted in the Travers Stakes. Empire Maker is expected to run next in the Jim Dandy and Funny Cide the Haskell Invitational, both on Aug. 3.
Having just completed a very successful Belmont Stakes Day despite very unfavorable weather conditions, the New York Racing Association is looking forward to a potentially huge day Aug. 23 when the grade I Travers Stakes is run at Saratoga.
The day after his second-place finish in the May 3 Kentucky Derby aboard Empire Maker, Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey was noticeably upset by the outcome, ostensibly because of his confidence in the colt whose pre-Derby preparations were hampered by a bruised hoof. On Saturday, June 7, Bailey was rewarded for his confidence in Empire Maker when he rode the colt to victory in the Belmont Stakes.
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