The finalists are jockeys Ramon Dominguez, Victor Espinoza, Garrett Gomez, and Craig Perret; Thoroughbreds English Channel, Kona Gold, Rachel Alexandra, and Zenyatta; and trainers Steve Asmussen and David Whiteley.
Canadian champion Heart to Heart grabbed the early lead in the Canadian Turf (gr. IIIT) and never relinquished command to win from last year's victor Long On Value and good-closing Divisidero Feb. 27 at Gulfstream Park.
Midwest Thoroughbreds' The Pizza Man had his first work of 2016 Jan. 23 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Midwest Thoroughbreds' well-traveled grade I winner The Pizza Man has taken up residence at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots to prepare for a 2016 campaign that could include a trip to Dubai.
English Channel tops the Calumet roster at $25,000, followed by Oxbow ($17,500) and Red Rocks ($12,500).
A minor lung infection will keep Midwest Thoroughbreds' homebred Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner stateside.
War Dancer has faced the best of the older turf division all summer and takes a drop in class Oct. 10 in the nine-furlong Knickerbocker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park.
The Pizza Man is riding a three-race winning streak into the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) Oct. 3 during Fall Stars weekend at Keeneland.
Last year's Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner V. E. Day will get a class break on Saturday, Sept. 12 when he starts in the $200,000 Temprence Hill Stakes at Belmont Park.
30 years after Tasso became the first grade I winner sired by a son of Mr. Prospector, another son of Mr. Prospector, Smart Strike, is emerging as a sire of sires.
Interpol was the longest shot on the board but the first at the wire in the $200,000 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine, earning his first graded victory in his second attempt at that level Aug. 16.
The 6-year-old English Channel gelding galloped to victory in the $1 million Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 15 at Arlington International Racecourse, scoring the greatest victory of his career.
Terry Hamilton's Heart to Heart was all heart Aug. 2, showing the way throughout and carrying on to victory in the $150,000 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park.
The Pizza Man, the popular 4-5 choice in the 12-furlong Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) Saturday, July 11 at Arlington International, wins by a neck over Roman Approval in 2:34.13.
The extraordinarily reclusive new owner of this 91-year-old Thoroughbred nursery has revealed little about his plans since purchasing the most public of Lexington properties, but one goal is clear: to breed Triple Crown runners and, hopefully, winners.
Smart Strike, a two-time champion sire in North America, was euthanized March 25 at Lane's End Farm near Lexington after succumbing to a case of laminitis. He was 23.
China Horse Club's Parranda, an easy winner of the Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park in early January, made her overseas journey worthwhile with a strong victory in the CECF Singapore Cup (Sin-I) Feb. 22.
Parranda collared pacesetter Skylander Girl with a sixteenth to run and pulled clear to win the $150,000 Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) Jan. 10 at Gulfstream Park.
Terry Hamilton's Heart to Heart put together a three-race win streak and collected his second straight grade III victory Nov. 15 when he wired a field of 12 sophomores in the $115,300 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill.
Terry Hamilton's Heart to Heart took command out of the gate before cruising unchallenged through the stretch to capture the $110,000 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) on the turf Sept. 27 at Churchill Downs.
With V. E. Day's Travers Stakes (gr. I), Calumet Farm stallion English Channel was represented by not only his first grade I winner but also showed that his offspring can compete at the highest level on dirt.
- By Ron Mitchell
Watch footage of English Channel as Calumet Farm stallion director Ken Wilkins talks about V. E. Day, Optimizer, horses in training and future plans for racing. watch video
Watch footage of English Channel as Calumet Farm stallion director Ken Wilkins discusses plans for Calumet Farm. Learn more about Travers Stakes winner V. E. Day, Optimizer updates, and how their 70 horses in training are doing. Read more on this visit to Calumet Farm here.
Turf champion English Channel has relocated to Calumet Farm near Lexington for the 2015 season.
The Pizza Man delivered some home cooking Aug. 16 when he captured the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes by a length over defending winner Dandino at Arlington International Racecourse.
Magalen O. Bryant's V. E. Day strung three victories in a row and collected his first stakes score July 25 in the $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, giving jockey Jose Lezcano his 2,000th career win.
The Pizza Man almost always delivers, and he did so again in a front-running half-length tally in the marathon Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) for his first graded stakes win July 12 on the Arlington International turf.
Parranda seems to be enjoying California after her first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, coming from off the pace to win the $100,000 Wilshire Stakes (gr. IIIT) going away on the Santa Anita Park turf April 27.
Skyring snapped a seven-race losing streak dating back to last year's Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) when he delivered a front-running victory in the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap (gr. IIT) March 29 at Fair Grounds.
In guiding We Miss Artie to victory in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) March 22 at Turfway Park, John Velazquez became the first rider in history to reach $300 million in North American purse earnings.
Potomac River unleashed a torrid outside rally down the Fair Grounds stretch and struck for a thrilling nose decision over Skyring in the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) on turf Feb. 22.
After laying down a dawdling early pace in the $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes (gr. IIIT), Parranda swiftly accelerated entering the stretch to secure a clear victory from charging Riposte Feb. 8 at Gulfstream Park.
Parranda extended her recent success against other Florida-breds when she took command off the far turn and was never threatened late in the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Jan. 18 at Gulfstream.
Jockey Tyler Baze earned his first win since returning from an alcohol-related suspension when he guided Changethechannel to a front-running tally in the featured $58,000 Venus Purse allowance Jan. 10 at Santa Anita Park.
English Channel 2014
Jerry Hollendorfer trained the top three finishers in the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 14 at Betfair Hollywood Park, including Blueskiesnrainbows, who blasted out of the starting gate in a front-running tour de force.
A patient ride from jockey Juan Vargas and a grinding late run brought Potomac River to the winner's circle at the end of the 1 1/8-mile turf event Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs, trainer Sergio Baez's first graded stakes score.
William S. Farish's Lane's End near Versailles, Ky., has announced its roster for the 2014 breeding season.
Fasig-Tipton's October sale, which runs from Oct. 21 through Oct. 23, features a catalog of 1,130 horses, including some with notable pedigrees and a handful that have had eye-catching updates thanks to recent stakes wins.
Having completed its first race meet under the rebranded Barretts Sales & Racing, the company will offer its annual yearling sale Oct. 8 with a catalog of 248 young prospects.
Splitting rivals down the stretch, Channel Lady overtook front running Welcome Dance and Appealing Cat to win the Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 22 at Colonial Downs.
Porter On Pedigrees
Alan Porter dives into the family of Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice.
Calumet Farm's Skyring, winless in 11 starts since a victory at Pimlico Race Course last May, found the winner's circle again at the Maryland track in the Longines Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT).
- By Frank Angst
While Shug McGaughey prepares his usual strong string of horses at the Keeneland spring meeting, more than a few of his thoughts are occupied by the stable's big 3-year-old Orb. read blog
Optimizer hopped at the break of the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) but drew clear in the end, earning his second straight victory over the turf at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Feb. 23.
Channel Lady led every step of the way and quickened late to hold off Abaco and score her first graded victory in the Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream Park Feb. 9.
Optimizer went wire-to-wire in the $125,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Jan. 26 for red-hot Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won three stakes races in eight days.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas looks to continue his hot streak in the $125,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, sending out Optimizer in the Jan. 26 turf test for older males.
Channeled, an unraced full brother to grass champion English Channel, will enter stud in 2013 at Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm near Lexington.
Lane's End stallion Smart Strike, a two-time leading sire, will stand in 2013 for $85,000, the same fee he stood for in 2012.
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