The annual Kentucky Derby Trainers Dinner, put on by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association on April 29, produced their annual outspoken comments by the trainers of horses for Saturday's Run for the Roses. Following are the tongue-in-cheek comments from the conditioners:
Heavy favorite Lilac Queen remained undefeated in three North American starts and gave trainer Bobby Frankel yet another stakes win with a sharp victory in the $112,100 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland Thursday.
When Harlan's Holiday won last year's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) in a time of 1:51.51, it was the slowest winning time in the 1 1/8-mile race since Granacus (1:52) beat Intensive Command by three lengths in 1988. On Saturday, Peace Rules creeped home slower than Harlan's Holiday, finishing the key Kentucky Derby prep race in 1:51.73 on the fast track.
Empire Maker arrived Wednesday in New York, along with Aldebaran, Congaree, Senor Swinger, and others planning to battle Saturday in the Wood and the Carter.
In addition to hosting Kentucky Derby prep the Wood Memorial on April 12, Aqueduct has also invited groups from the surrounding borough of Queens to the track that day to celebrate the area's diverse offerings.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- There wasn't a hotter trainer in the country than Larry Barrera for a brief time in the late spring of 1980. Larry, the son of Hall of Fame conditioner Laz Barrera, was just 20 years old when he saddled three stakes winners at Hollywood Park over a five-day period.
Frankel waxes on Florida Derby; Trust N Luck on schedule for Saturday.
Midway Cat and Senor Swinger put in their final Florida Derby works Wedneday at Gulfstream Park. Empire Maker, who arrived there Tuesday, took a job around the track.
Seven 3-year-olds are slated to contest Saturday's grade I, $1,000,000 Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park's stop on the Triple Crown Trail.
Peace Rules and Ocean Terrace are among the 141 horses nominated to the April 15 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
The number of Breeders' Cup horses on the grounds nearly doubled Monday afternoon when Bobby Frankel's six-horse arsenal stepped off the Brook Ledge van at 3 p.m. Those arriving were Medaglia d'Oro and Milwaukee Brew (Classic), Beat Hollow and Aldebaran (Mile), Starine (Filly & Mare Turf), and Denon (Turf). Filly & Mare Turf starter Banks Hill, who captured the race last year, was due to arrive Tuesday from California.
The 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships has so many scenarios regarding the Horse of the Year title, it should provide several intriguing subplots as the afternoon of Oct. 26 at Arlington Park progresses.
The lone grade I of the weekend, the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Saturday at Keeneland, saw a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered for the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
Heavily favored Sightseek overcame a sluggish start and lack of racing room on the turn to win the grade III, $171,900 Raven Run Stakes Wednesday at Keeneland.
You, a winner of four grade I races this year, will not race again in 2002.
Turf distaffers will get the opportunity to fight for $500,000 on Friday in Keeneland's WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT).
The Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) put two horses on the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) trail. One enters the hunt for the first time, while the other is returning to the chase.
You heads a field of just five in Saturday's Ruffian Handicap (gr. I), her first attempt against older fillies and mares. Jerry Bailey has the mount.
Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) winner Medaglia d'Oro has been installed the odds-on 2-5 morning line choice to win Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Multi-millionaire Skimming, winner of the last two runnings of the Pacific Classic (gr. I), has been retired and will enter stud at the Sahadi family's Cardiff Stud Farms near Atascadero, Calif.
A field of nine led by favorite Medaglia d'Oro is slated for the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga on Sunday.
Juddmonte Farm's Tates Creek nipped favored Voodoo Dancer by a short nose in a furious stretch battle to claim the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Forbidden Apple is the highweight for the race, but Bill Mott, who won the last two runnings of the race, has a strong contender in Del Mar Show.
Chiselling, whose career got off to a slow start when he lost his first three races, overcame a tardy break to win the Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms and Hall of Famers Jerry Bailey and Bobby Frankel.
Sunday's grade I at Hollywood Park is the first of 16 "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" broadcasts.
Megahertz, the English-bred 3-year-old filly who has developed into a budding superstar for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, faces an international cast in Saturday's inaugural running of the $500,000 American Oaks at Hollywood Park.
Shibboleth, winner of the Jaipur Handicap (gr. IIIT) in his last out, is the highweight for Friday's Poker.
- By Steve Haskin
Saturday at Belmont stacks up well with two grade I races in New York.
Trainer Bobby Frankel notched another stakes win Sunday when Inesperado closed from the back of the pack to win in the $182,600 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park. Under Kent Desormeaux, the French-bred son of Zayyani completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.63 on the firm turf.
Audrey Skirball-Kenis, a long-time Thoroughbred owner and philanthropist, died Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The New York Turf Writers Association is readying for its annual awards dinner, held this year on Aug. 19. Among this yera's honorees are Ogden Phipps.
If there was anyone who doubted Milwaukee Brew, they'd better think again. Proving his four-length romp in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in March wasn't a fluke but instead a sign, the brawny bay changed his tactics and still came up big on June 15, running down Bosque Redondo late to win the $500,000 Californian Stakes (gr. II) at nine furlongs.
Denon made amends for two disappointing races earlier this year with a 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
The Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) will be renewed Saturday at Hollywood Park, with two of the trainers with horses entered in the race having ties to the man for whom the race is named. Laura de Seroux, who was an exercise rider for the trainer from 1973-89, will saddle Startac, while Neil Drysdale, a Whittingham assistant for four years, sends out Sarafan.
That chestnut blur you saw zooming across the Hollywood turf on June 8 was Megahertz. Don't blink or you may miss her. So far, the 3-year-old daughter of Pivotal has been unstoppable since she first set foot on local shores, and her sniper-like triumph in the $164,050 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) suggests she just might run the stakes table this summer.
The Belmont Stakes Day undercard and preceding days' stakes were characterized by dominating victories and strong-willed performances.
A small but select group of six fillies are entered for Friday's Acorn at Belmont Park. All but one have won a graded stakes event.
Edmund Gann's You worked five furlongs at Belmont Park Wednesday ahead of an expected start in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at that track on June 7.
Monday's $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park is shaping up to be a battle between the West Coast's top turf distaffers and two Eastern-based invaders, with Astra and Starine representing the West and grade I winner Voodoo Dancer and John C. Oxley's Snow Dance shipping in from the East.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred Skipping won the $80,175 Jim Murray Handicap on Sunday, beating Startac by two lengths in the 1 1/2-mile turf race at Hollywood Park.
Trainer Robert Frankel made it perfectly clear the morning after the Kentucky Derby what his plans are for Medaglia d'Oro, who finished fourth with a troubled trip, eight lengths behind the victorious War Emblem. "I'm going to win the Preakness with him," Frankel said.
Beat Hollow, a winner of four of six entering the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT), added another win to his tally Saturday at Churchill Downs. Under Alex Solis, he sat in second through most of the race, then eased to the lead down the lane in the nine-furlong turf race.
Aury and Ralph Todd's The Tin Man will seek his fourth straight win when he faces three rivals in Saturday's $250,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) at Bay Meadows.
The horse is named for a brand of espresso coffee, and in his last
start, he woke up as if he had swallowed a double shot of the stuff.
Saturday afternoon, Medaglia d'Oro will try to keep his Triple Crown
hopes brewing when he steps onto Aqueduct's main track for the 78th running of the grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial.
Edmund Gann's Medaglia d'Oro and Gary West's Buddha were on track for exercise Sunday morning ahead of Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Maykovsky is definite for the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), trainer Patrick Biancone said Saturday, but Royal Gem has been declared from the race due to a quarter crack.
Michael Tabor's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Mayakovsky drilled five furlongs in :58 3/5 at Santa Anita Wednesday and is now under consideration for the Santa Anita Derby. Trainer Bobby Frankel may run turf stakes winner Royal Gem in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep.
Sarafan's California connections take the winner's share in the Explosive Bid
Climate upset even-money favorite Shibboleth and Ladies Din Friday while running the fast turf mile of the current Santa Anita meet.
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