As Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) draws closer, the number of horses working at Churchill Downs in preparation for the season's first classic diminishes daily.
Long-distance specialist Epicentre emerged from the pack to take the lead in midstretch en route to a decisive victory in the $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) as Keeneland closed its record-breaking 15-day spring meeting Friday.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Master David worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning as the Grand Slam colt displayed his readiness for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Juddmonte Farms' Intercontinental, a multiple group one-placed competitor in Europe, won her second straight in the United States Sunday, rolling past the leaders in the final furlong to win the $110,600 Jenny Wiley (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland.
Defending champion Megahertz rallied from last to first in the stretch, scoring a one-length victory over Noches De Rosa in the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Megahertz will carry greater weight and greater expectations than her five rivals as a clear standout in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT), a 1 ¼-mile contest for older fillies and mares.
Seattle Borders, a graded stakes winner from the barn of Bobby Frankel, heads a field of nine in Saturday's $100,000 La Puente Stakes, a turf mile for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
In her second American start, Etoile Montante exerted her class in the final furlong, holding off French-bred Dedication for a half-length victory Sunday in the $112,800 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Undaunted by a brisk pace battle, Edmund Gann's Peace Rules had more than enough left to win the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) Saturday by two lengths over Ole Faunty.
Juddmonte Farm's Diplomatic Bag, debuting in the United States for trainer Bobby Frankel, captured Saturday's $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) by three-quarters of a length over Statement on the Santa Anita turf.
Favored Snorter wore down Yougottawanna in mid-stretch to register his first graded stakes win for trainer Bobby Frankel, winning the $94,375 Berkeley Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) by one length at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
The connections of Medaglia d'Oro were downhearted Wednesday after the gallant 5-year-old received an unfavorable draw for Saturday's $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Juddmonte Farms' Sightseek looked like her old self Sunday, demolishing three rivals by 7 1/2 lengths in the $194,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Sightseek, a four-time grade I winner and Eclipse Award finalist for champion older female last year, makes her second start of the 2004 campaign Sunday against just three rivals in the 1 1/8-miles Rampart Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Bobby Frankel is shipping a quartet of runners for Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of South, including Peace Rules, who will look to defend the trainer's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) title. Frankel won the 2003 Oaklawn Handicap with Medaglia d'Oro, who is pointed toward the March 27 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Georgica Stable's Master David, who was expected to be one of the favorites in Gulfstream's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 13, spiked a temperature on Thursday and will not be shipped to Florida, trainer Bobby Frankel said.
Peace Rules proved to be the toughest in Sunday's controversial Fair Grounds rodeo, also known as the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), prevailing by a short head over Saint Liam.
Seattle Borders, making his first start for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, wore down Stalking Tiger in the closing stages and notched a one-length victory in the $113,350 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Jerry Frankel's Joey Franco, who won the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) and the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) in 2003, was named the California-bred Horse of the Year.
With Medaglia d'Oro's brilliant victory in the Donn Handicap (gr. I), it looks as if the next stop is Nad al Sheba Race Course and the juicy $6 million pot that awaits him in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). But this won't be the colt's first trip to the desert.
Favored Master David won a game stretch battle in the $81,400 Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Sunday by a length as 2003 juvenile champion Action This Day ran a close fourth.
By all accounts, 2002 was Bobby Frankel's year. He had 60 stakes wins from January to December, $17,748,340 in earnings, won 24% of all his races, trained two Eclipse Award finalists, and earned an Eclipse himself. Then came 2003.
Juddmonte Farms, Bobby Frankel, Jerry Bailey and Sightseek, each on the verge of winning an Eclipse Award Monday night in Florida, are set to tackle six rivals Sunday in the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Sightseek hasn't run since finishing a disappointing fourth, beaten 10 ½ lengths as the 3-5 favorite, in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) last Oct. 25, but Bobby Frankel is unconcerned about her going seven furlongs in a tough field after a three-month layoff.
Trainer Bobby Frankel entered Midas Eyes as an entry with Peace Rules in Saturday's $1 million Barretts/CTBA Classic, the marquee race on Sunshine Millions Day at Santa Anita Park, but the son of Touch Gold will only run if the weather turns inclement, which is not likely.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, who was considering the Sunshine Million Classic instead of the $300,000 Padua Stables Sprint at Gulfstream Park for Midas Eyes, called another audible Sunday morning. He said the son of Touch Gold would be pointed to the $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Feb. 7.
Master David, a distant second to Read the Footnotes in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 30, heads a field of nine entered for Saturday's $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II), a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Bobby Frankel, who did not participate in last year's inaugural $3.6 million Sunshine Millions, plans to have four startes in the 2004 series, which pits Florida and California breds in a series of eight stakes races at Gulfstream and Santa Anita parks.
With hopes of him bouncing back off an eighth-place finish in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) last weekend, Fusao Sekiguchi's Denon will be sent out to represent the United States in the HK $18-million (approx. $2.3 million) Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) on Dec. 14 at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel tied Charlie Whittingham's all-time record for victories at Hollywood Park Friday night when Irish-bred Anja won the fifth race to give Frankel his 859th win at the Inglewood track.
A pair of Grade I stakes winners from the stable of trainer Bobby Frankel head the star-studded rosters of nominations to the four major stakes races that make up Churchill Downs' "Big Four Weekend" on Nov. 27-29.
Bobby Frankel, back after a nine-day honeymoon in Barbados, is regrouping his forces, and will likely run Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up Medaglia d'Oro in the $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28.
The scariest thing about trainer Bobby Frankel setting a North American single-season earnings record on Halloween is that there are still two months left in 2003.
Bobby Frankel said Tuesday that Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) winner Wild Spirit will not run in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), and will be given time off to point for next year's campaign. Frankel worked Peace Rules, Aldebaran, and Midas Eyes at Hollywood Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel loves the position he is in with Juddmonte Farms' multiple grade I winner Sightseek. After 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri had her 11-race win streak snapped last weekend in California, the case could be made that Sightseek is better.
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.
Storm Flag Flying report...Proud Citizen, Sightseek, Whitmore's Conn work in preparation for grade I starts at Belmont.
Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone has been assigned to ride the undefeated Argentine-bred Candy Ride in Sunday's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
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.
Between the two of them, Christophe Clement and Bobby Frankel train five of the nine entrants in Friday's New York Handicap (gr. IIT).
A week after winning his first Triple Crown race with Empire Maker in the 135th Belmont Stakes, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel sets his sights on another graded stakes race for three-year-olds at Belmont Park.
History was set at Belmont Park Saturday but it was not Funny Cide becoming a Triple Crown winner. Instead, it was trainer Bobby Frankel winning his first Triple Crown race when his Empire Maker won the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Ten Most Wanted was second and Funny Cide third.
Bobby Frankel ran one-two in the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park, with Denon holding off Requete in the 10-furlong turf race. Frankel sends out Empire Maker in the following race, the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The rain continued to come down at Belmont Park Thursday morning as several Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders tried to stay loose for Saturday's main event.
The possibility of heavy rain and a wet track at Belmont Park Saturday has swayed Bobby Frankel to enter You in place of Sightseek in the Shuvee Handicap. A solid field of six fillies and mares has been entered.
Just hours after saying that Empire Maker would point to the Preakness Stakes, trainer Bobby Frankel had second thoughts, and as a result, the Kentucky Derby runner-up is back out of the Preakness picture.
Bobby Frankel said Saturday, in wake of the investigation regarding the possibility of Jose Santos carrying a suspicious object in the Kentucky Derby, he and Juddmonte Farms have decided to point for the Preakness Stakes with Empire Maker.
After Juddmonte Farms' filly Sightseek won the Humana Distaff (gr. I), trainer Bobby Frankel had his third graded stakes winner on Saturday's card, leading up to his sending out Empire Maker in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Heat Haze walked out of the gate, was dead last for most of the running, and then exploded down the stretch to circle the field and win the Citgo Distaff Turf Mile (gr. III) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
Aldeberan, known for his many second-place finishes, did not finish second Saturday in the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II). Under Jerry Bailey, he won the seven-furlong stakes as the 6-5 favorite, withstanding an objection from Tony Farina, who rode second-place finisher Pass Rush.
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