Blitey was as well-bred as a mare could be and still have a rather offbeat pedigree.
Two grade I-winning mares who were members of broodmare bands at WinStar and Claiborne Farms in Kentucky died this summer.
Fantastic Find, a grade I winner and dam of grade I winner Finder's Fee, died March 6 because of foaling complications after delivering a Dixie Union filly
Some of the most exciting female runners of 2001 will stay in training, barring injury, through 2002. However, a number of grade or group I-winning mares will visit the breeding shed for the first time this year.
Ogden Phipps' homebred filly Finder's Fee, second to Dream Supreme in last year's Gallant Bloom Handicap (then a grade III but now a grade II), earned the win in Saturday's $129,225 renewal at Belmont Park after the defending champion was scratched.
Nominees to the five Fall Meet stakes races scheduled for Breeders' Cup Week at Churchill Downs feature top American runners, plus a strong representation of European-based horses. A total of 245 horses were nominated to the five races in the opening six days of the Fall Meet, Oct. 29-Nov. 25.
Usually a stalker, Dream Supreme went to the early lead and held off the late charge of Finder's Fee to win the $107,300 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. III) by two lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. The Bill Mott-trained 3-year-old daughter of Dixieland Band completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.86 over a fast track and may make her next start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Riboletta ran off to a 7 1/2-length victory over Gourmet Girl to take the $250,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares for her fifth straight victory. Ridden by Chris McCarron, the 5-year-old bay mare pressed the early pace set by Lu Ravi and Country Hideaway, then moved to the front on the far turn before pulling away with ease through the stretch.
West Coast distaff handicap leader Riboletta will concede from eight to 12 pounds to her six rivals when she goes to post as the 125-pound highweight in Saturday's $250,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Kentucky Derby (gr.I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus highlighted Wednesday's works at Belmont Park. Also working at the New York oval Wednesday were Serena's Tune, Wondertross, Gaviola, Finder's Fee, and Cash Run.
Stonerside Stable's Chilukki will start from post position one when she opposes 10 other 3-year-old fillies in the $250,000 Test Stakes Saturday at Saratoga.
Finder's Fee, who encountered trouble in her last two starts, had clear sailing Friday and came charging down the stretch to win the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
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