Midships had things his own way while registering back-to-back grade II victories on the front end at Santa Anita this spring. Chasing his first grade I win in the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 6 on the Hollywood Park turf, the Juddmonte Farms homebred is undoubtedly a big threat to do it again.
Lemon Chiffon, a lightly-raced 6-year-old mare, hopes to spring an upset in the $250,000 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park turf May 30.
Juddmonte Farms' outstanding mare Ventura, favored against males in the $250,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park May 25, was scratched by trainer Bobby Frankel on the morning of the race due to a "foot problem," according to the track's racing office.
Darley Stable's tandem of Sea Chanter and Skylighter look best in a seven-horse field entered for the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico May 16. The options could narrow, though, if Sea Chanter and another well-regarded entry, Striking Tomisue, run instead in the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park the same day.
Citronnade, a homebred grade I winner for Frank Stronach's Stronach Stables, was euthanized April 1 following colic surgery.
Everything went right for front-running Midships in the $196,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) as he held sway over the up-against-it Spring House on a warm closing day afternoon April 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Allowed to establish an easy lead in the 1 1/2-mile San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. II), Midships put four rivals to bed in the homestretch while posting his first United States victory in three tries for trainer Bobby Frankel March 21.
Jibboom, a graded stakes winner on dirt and turf for Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, has been retired from racing because of a suspensory injury.
Proudinsky became a repeat winner of the $500,000 Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) by a nose over El Caballo and Nownownow in a terrific finish at rainy Fair Grounds March 14.
Champion filly Stardom Bound, seven wide at the top of the lane, got up in the final stride by a nose over unheralded Third Dawn to win the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) for her fifth consecutive grade I win March 7.
Ventura, a stylish winner of the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) against her own sex last time out, will take aim at males when she returns to the turf for trainer Bobby Frankel in the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita March 7.
Stardom Bound, who could be headed for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) next month, puts her four-race grade I victory streak on the line in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 7.
Stardom Bound, champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, breezed five furlongs on Pro-Ride in 1:01 2/5 March 1 for the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 7, which is expected to be her second start of the year.
Zambezi Sun, sixth as the 9-10 favorite in his U.S. debut Feb. 22 in the San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT), will wheel back in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7, Bobby Frankel said Wednesday morning.
The Feb. 16 Buena Vista Handicap, moved from the turf to Santa Anita's synthetic racing surface due to inclement weather, had its grade II status reinstated by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
French group I winner Zambezi Sun, in his first start since the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) last fall, makes his United States debut in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf Feb. 22 for trainer Bobby Frankel.
Country Star, the second-best 2-year-old filly of 2007, has been retired from racing to become a broodmare.
Heavily favored Jibboom, able to post soft fractions while dueling for the lead into the stretch, pulled away in the lane to score an easy 2 1/2-length win in the off-the-turf $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. III) at soggy Santa Anita Feb. 16.
A dozen older fillies and mares take a shot at grade I glory in a deeply contentious renewal of the $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 14.
Stardom Bound, champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, could be headed for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after turning in a big effort in winning the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) for new connections in her 2009 debut Feb. 7 at Santa Anita.
Stardom Bound, the juvenile filly champion of 2008, makes her 3-year-old debut Feb. 7 in the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride racing surface.
Stardom Bound, the runaway 2-year-old filly Eclipse champion of 2008, worked five furlongs at Santa Anita Feb. 1 in preparation for her 3-year-old debut in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 7.
The result never seemed in doubt as odds-on choice Ventura shook off stablemate Jibboom with a furlong to run to en route to a measured one-length win, giving trainer Bobby Frankel and Juddmonte Farms the exacta in the $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Jan. 31.
A day after entering Eclipse champion female sprinter Indian Blessing in the $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita, trainer Bob Baffert said the 4-year-old filly would not participate in an anticipated rematch with Ventura after all.
A rematch of last fall's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint battle at Santa Anita between the victorious Ventura and champion filly Indian Blessing looms in the $300,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) Jan. 31. But after entries were taken Jan. 28, trainer Bob Baffert said he was unsure if Indian Blessing would run.
With five breakdowns, including three fatalities, in the first five days of racing, Santa Anita's synthetic surface has again come under the microscope.
Bottled up in the homestretch, favored Jibboom got free with less than a furlong to run and collared Christiana's Heat in the final strides to win the $100,000 Monrovia Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length on the Santa Anita hillside turf course Jan. 3.
Stardom Bound, the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly (gr. I) winner and likely the divisional champion, could make her 3-year-old debut in the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) at one mile on Feb. 7, new trainer Bobby Frankel said.
The multiple graded stakes winner Valbenny lands in a good spot to try to end an eight-race losing streak in the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. II) on the Santa Anita turf Jan. 4.
Favored Proudinsky, ridden with patience by substitute rider Rafael Bejarano, took command near the eighth pole and held off the outsider Ferneley to win the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park Dec. 28.
Proudinsky, second to Daytona in last year's San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on Santa Anita's turf course, has an outstanding opportunity to do that effort one better in the $150,000 event Dec. 28.
Favored Champs Elysees sliced the corner impressively and flew past pacesetter Mr. Chairman in the homestretch to win the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT), earning his first grade I win in the United States for Juddmonte Farms and trainer Bobby Frankel.
Precious Kitten, who ran second in the Nov. 30 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park, is off to the breeding shed.
The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International races set a new benchmark Nov. 26 when 38 individual trainers from 10 foreign jurisdictions declared to bring their horses to compete at Sha Tin Dec. 14.
Spring Waltz, winner of the Rampart Handicap (gr. II) for trainer Bobby Frankel earlier this year, carries top weight of 120 pounds in a full field of 12 fillies and mares for the $150,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 27.
Ginger Punch, last year's champion older female, has been retired from racing to become a broodmare for breeder/owner Frank Stronach.
It was another sun-splashed morning at Santa Anita Oct. 24 as a large contingent of horsemen, fans, and media awaited the first day of the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Trainer Bobby Frankel reported Oct. 20 that Mast Track, one of the likely pacesetters in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), is doubtful for Saturday's $5 million race after a quarter crack was detected while he was being shod, but he still hasn't ruled out the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Skylighter, making her stakes debut after a layoff of nearly three months for trainer Bobby Frankel, made her 14-1 odds look like a gift when she charged home to win the $406,400 Indiana Oaks (gr. II) by three lengths at Hoosier Park Oct. 3.
Champs Elysees not only won the Sept. 7 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Can-IT) at Woodbine, but became the fifth grade/group I winner out of the grand mare Hasili.
In an eventful running of the $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful (gr. I), it was Vineyard Haven who avoided problems and cruised to victory in Saratoga's championship race for 2-year-olds Sept. 1.
A quarter crack has kept Precious Kitten on the sidelines since her powerful 2 1/4-length victory in the May 26 Gamely (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park, but trainer Bobby Frankel says the morning line favorite for the Beverly D. Aug. 9 is fit and ready to go.
Multiple graded stakes winners Precious Kitten, Mauralakana and locally-based Eclipse Award champion Dreaming of Anna, plus the well-regarded European invader Cicerole, are the headline attractions in the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) over the Arlington Park turf course.
A quality field of 11 fillies and mares will do battle in the $1-million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) July 13, but the 10-furlong event may come down to a superstars Hystericalady and Unbridled Belle, who have a combined eight graded stakes victories between them.
Two-time grade I winner Saratoga Passage, the all-time leading Washington-bred money earner, has died from colic, co-owner Helen Beck said.
Tyler Baze was supposed to be aboard three-time Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Lava Man for this year's 69th running. But when the veteran stakes hero was withdrawn prior to entries being taken, the jockey wound up on lightly regarded Mast Track. The move couldn't have worked out better for Baze when his 10-1 outsider employed front-running tactics to win in a Cushion Track record time June 28.
First Defence made his initial effort on grass a winning one for trainer Bobby Frankel and became a graded stakes winner in the process, just holding on by a head to capture the $162,966 Jaipur (gr. III) on Belmont Park's yielding course June 15.
Juddmonte Farms' Ventura sat patiently off the pace, slipped through along the hedge at the head of the lane and pulled clear to win the $400,000 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) June 7 at Belmont Park. The victory came by three-quarters of a length over a fast-closing Lady of Venice. Time for the one-mile race over a "firm" Widener Turf Course was 1:32.75.
Jon and Sarah Kelly's Vacare has aced nearly every test thrown at her thus far, from her most recent win in the First Lady Stakes (gr. IIT) last October to a score in the 2006 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (gr. IT). But trainer Christophe Clement is asking for a career-best effort from the 5-year-old daughter of Lear Fan when he brings her back for her first start of the season in the $400,000 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park June 7.
Beaten by a nose as the 2-5 favorite in the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) one month ago, Champs Elysees tries to atone in the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf course June 7.
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