Ariege, racing for the first time on a synthetic track, took the overland route to victory in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), holding off favored Golden Doc A by a half-length March 8.
Last December, Gary Tanaka's Proudinsky lost the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) to the Dan Hendricks-trained Daytona by just three-quarters of a length. But roles were reversed March 8, as Proudinsky nipped Daytona in the stretch of the $600,000 Mervyn Munitz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT).
Dan Hendricks saddled Daytona to four consecutive stakes victories in the past five months, his most recent being the Feb. 9 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT). In the March 8 Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds, the trainer looks to extend that streak and add another graded win to his runner's resume.
Double Trouble attained grade I glory in her first try for trainer Bobby Frankel with a come-from-behind victory in the $245,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) on Santa Anita's Cushion Track Feb. 9.
Ginger Punch was all action in 2007. Her victory in the 2007 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Monmouth Park proved powerful enough to propel the daughter of Awesome Again to an Eclipse Award in the older female division
Heavily backed Champs Elysees took the overland route for Garrett Gomez on the turn for home but won the $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) with plenty left Jan. 19 on the Santa Anita turf.
Champion Wait a While had to, well, wait a while for her seasonal bow, but everything now appears set for the 5-year-old's 2008 debut in the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) Jan. 14 on the Santa Anita grass course.
The $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita, postponed Jan. 5 due to the unsafe condition of the course's new Cushion Track following a powerful storm, returns with its original field of 3-year-old fillies intact Jan. 13.
Trainer Bobby Frankel brings out another of his Empire Maker youngsters, Juddmonte Farms' homebred Turn Away, in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies on the Santa Anita Cushion Track Jan. 5.
When Citronnade makes an easy lead she's nearly impossible to catch, as she demonstrated for her rivals in the $150,000 Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Hollywood Park turf course Dec. 16.
Country Star, one of the leading 2-year-old fillies in the nation, is now two-for-two in grade I opportunities after a scintillating 2 3/4-length triumph in the $425,500 Hollywood Starlet Dec. 15.
Country Star and Set Play, both grade I winners on synthetic surfaces, lead a field of nine 2-year-old fillies entered for the $421,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 15.
A quintet of newcomers, two of them trained by Bobby Frankel, is among a field of eight contesting the $250,000 Turf Cup (gr. I) on the Hollywood Park grass course Dec. 8.
Precious Kitten provided the best performance of her career when she turned back champion filly Wait a While in the stretch en route to a convincing 1 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf Nov. 25.
Lewis Lakin's Pure Clan, unbeaten in three career starts, will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles and aim for grade II status when she heads to the post against eight other 2-year-old fillies in the $250,000 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 24.
If trainer Bobby Frankel could write a perfect scenario for the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 23, it would involve a dry forecast and a one-two finish. Frankel sends out a pair of starters in the 1 1/16-mile turf event -- Silent Name, whose 12th-place finish in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) was a result of the soft turf, says the trainer, and Proudinsky, whose back-to-back wins in his last two starts have earned him the jump to grade I company for the second time in his career.
Rafael Bejarano, one of the top five leading riders in the nation, is expected to join the Southern California jockey colony on a permanent basis when he begins riding Nov. 21 at Hollywood Park.
Jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Julien Leparoux, currently among the top 12 riders in the nation by purses won this year, will move their tack to Southern California this winter, both riders' agents said Nov. 9.
Bit of Whimsy, upset winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) Oct. 13 at Keeneland, will carry her highest weight ever and take on a field of 13 other 3-year-old fillies, including two previously beaten competitors, in the $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) Nov. 10 at Churchill Downs.
Sugar Shake proved much the best in the $107,300 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr.III) at Aqueduct Nov. 4, but the winner had an assist when the 9-5 favorite, Altesse, was pulled up after her rein broke early in the race.
In the most thrilling stretch duel of the day, Ginger Punch took the worst of it on the rail but still won the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) over Hystericalady.
Juddmonte Farms' Jibboom came into the Lexus Raven Run (gr. II) off two seconds in allowance company, was making just her fourth career start, and had to run down 12 other fillies. But Oct. 20, going seven furlongs over Keeneland's Polytrack, the filly won her first graded stakes event with a bang.
Latent Heat, a grade I-winning son of Maria's Mon bred and raced by Juddmonte Farm, will stand his first season at stud in 2008 at Woods Edge Farm in Kentucky, it was announced Oct. 18.
Trainer Tony Dutrow won his 1,000th career race Oct. 18 in the ninth race at Belmont Park with Zayat Stables' New York-bred La Ransom.
The Brazilian-bred Out of Control stole the spotlight from Lava Man and Surf Cat in Oak Tree's $252,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) with a heart-pounding nose victory over Zann at Santa Anita Park Oct. 7.
Trainer Carla Gaines knew from the beginning that she had an extremely talented filly in Warren Williamson's homebred Nashoba's Key, unbeaten in six starts. But even she admits she's a little surprised at the filly's rapid rise in the distaff ranks.
Most of the intrigue surrounding the $222,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) Sept. 1 involved which of two outstanding fillies trainer Bobby Frankel would scratch, Price Tag or Precious Kitten. Once he withdrew Price Tag, Precious Kitten, with a grade I victory over the Del Mar turf already at the meet, became a prohibitive favorite.
Price Tag and Precious Kitten, a pair of 4-year-old Bobby Frankel-trained fillies, are the clear standouts in the $250,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) Sept. 1 on the grass at Del Mar.
Indian Flare, a 5-year-old filly trained by Bobby Frankel and owned by Juddmonte Farms, died after apparently fracturing her pelvis in the running of Sunday's Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, according to track veterinarian Anthony Verderosa.
With eight racing days remaining until the end of the 2007 meet at Saratoga Race Course, the track's jockey colony is tightly bunched as usual, but the shifting fortunes of several riders make for an interesting match-up as we head into closing week. Here's a look at Saratoga's top 10 jockeys and their nearly finished summer seasons heading into Sunday's card.
In winning the $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) July 1, Citronnade barely broke a sweat. On Aug. 11, trainer Bobby Frankel will find out if his superb 4-year-old filly will finally be challenged, as she headlines the field of seven in the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT) for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up on the turf at Arlington Park.
Al Mamoon and Dixie Dot Com, both of whom stood at stud in California, died in the spring.
Sarah and Kenneth Ramsey's odds-on choice Precious Kitten, a half-sister to turf champion Kitten's Joy, became a grade I winner for trainer Bobby Frankel when she came home impressively to win the $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on the turf at Del Mar Saturday.
Stronach Stables' favored Ginger Punch reeled in the pacesetter Teammate coming off the final turn and finished with authority to easily win the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Saratoga Saturday.
Whether you're from Providence, Boston, New York City, or destinations beyond and between, Saratoga is the summer place to be.
Juddmonte Farm's Art Master, returning to the turf for the first time in 2007, rallied under jockey Garrett Gomez to win the $112,600 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) at a mile on the Widener Turf Course at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon by 1 1/4 lengths.
Juddmonte Farms' First Defence punched his ticket for the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Saturday, leading every step to win the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds by 2 1/4 lengths at Monmouth Park.
Juddmonte Farms homebred First Defence, a late-developing 3-year-old who was not ready for this year's Triple Crown events, steps it up Saturday for trainer Bobby Frankel in the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup, Monmouth's local prep for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 5.
Stronach Stable's odds-on choice Ginger Punch rebounded from a neck loss in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) last month to easily win Sunday's $147,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
The Stronach Stables entry of Sugar Swirl and Ginger Punch gives trainer Bobby Frankel a strong hand in the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs Sunday at Belmont Park.
If there was any hope for Citronnade's four opponents in $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf at Hollywood Park, it was that the Bobby Frankel trained filly had never run as far as Sunday's 1 1/4-mile distance. It hardly mattered when the smooth striding bay dominated every step of the way to win by 2 1/2 lengths.
T N T Stud's Out of Control made his United States stakes debut a winning one, outfighting the grand gelding The Tin Man in deep stretch to win the $250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) by a head on the Hollywood Park turf Saturday.
Trainer Bobby Frankel has entered a formidable duo of Citronnade and Naughty Rafaela in Sunday's $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares over 10 furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course at Hollywood Park.
Juddmonte Farms' favored Indian Flare found a little bit extra when she needed it most Sunday to beat Oprah Winney by a half-length in the 150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
Stonerside Stable's favored Karen's Caper roared to the lead mid-stretch under Brice Blanc and raced to the wire in track record time as she captured the $150,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Monmouth Park turf Saturday.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Karen's Caper will be a short price in the $150,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the turf Saturday, Monmouth Park's first graded stakes race of the season.
Stronach Stables' odds-on choice Citronnade earned her fourth successive stakes win and her first grade I score with a front-running victory in the $367,800 Gamely Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares on the Hollywood Park turf during Monday's Memorial Day program.
Trainer Bobby Frankel will saddle the highly-regarded duet of Citronnade and Price Tag as he aims to add to his record six wins in the $300,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IT) on turf Monday at Hollywood Park.
Precious Kitten rallied from just off the pace to win the grade III Gallorette Handicap on the turf at Pimlico Race Course Saturday.
Sugar Shake and Sweet Fliparoo have been cross-entered in Saturday's Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park, increasing the number of entries to six. The two fillies were entered in the $150,000 Shuvee after they had already been entered in Friday's Allaire DuPont Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at Pimlico.
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