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 But when the veteran stakes hero was withdrawn prior to entries being taken, the jockey wound up on lightly regarded Mast Track.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.
Favored Sudan, a group I winner in Italy last year, got his first U.S. win for trainer Bobby Frankel when he outclassed his six rivals with a front-running victory in the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf (gr. IIIT) at the California track.
Heavy favorite Precious Kitten got her first win in the Lael Stables silks when she collared pacesetting Diamond Diva at the top of the lane and cruised to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $283,000 Gamely (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park May 26.
With his huge Preakness Stakes (gr. I) win in his rear-view mirror, Big Brown left Baltimore Monday morning right at 10 a.m. to head to New York and his date with destiny in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Ginger Punch, last year's champion older female, had her first work since winning the Louisville Stakes (gr.II) on the morning of May 16 at Belmont Park.
The last time Bel Air Sizzle was entered in a race, it was through error. Less than 72 hours after the 3-year-old filly scored a solid 2 3/4-length allowance win at Hollywood Park, she was placed in the April 27 Melair Stakes, where trainer Barry Abrams intended to enter another starter, Lethal Heat, instead.
Juddmonte Farms' Champs Elysees should attract the most attention in a five-horse field entered for the $250,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap on the Hollywood Park turf May 10. Trainer Bobby Frankel goes for his seventh win in the 14-year history of the grade II event.
Steady rain and sloppy track conditions did nothing to dampen the fortunes of Stronach Stables and trainer Bobby Frankel when the 4-year-old homebred Giant Gizmo scored a come-from-behind victory in the $166,050 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, giving them their second graded stakes win on the May 2 card.
Trainer Bobby Frankel takes aim at Hollywood Park's $100,000 Inglewood Handicap (gr. III) on May 3 with three entrants: Heroi Do Bafra, Hello Sunday and Storm Military.
Frank Calabrese's homebred Dreaming of Anna, winner of the March 15 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) in her last start, will be the one to beat when nine older fillies and mares heads postward in the $150,000-added Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT).
Frank Stronach's 5-year-old Ginger Punch heads a field packed with talent in the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day May 2. Facing the Eclipse Award winner will be grade I winner Lear's Princess, grade II winner Kettleoneup, and blacktype winner Unforgotten.
Brother Derek, winner of the 2006 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and fourth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), returned from a 14 1/2-month layoff April 20 to run second in as the 9-10 favorite in a one-mile classified allowance race at Santa Anita.
Ventura proved her affinity for Polytrack and American stakes competition when she mowed down a field of experienced contenders at Keeneland in the $200,000 Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. II) April 9.
Ike and Dawn Thrash's Dawn After Dawn was a solid performer in each of her four past starts, registering two wins -- one in the La Canada Stakes (gr. II) -- under jockey Garrett Gomez.
Trainer Bobby Frankel couldn't have been happier that his champion Ginger Punch drew the rail for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) on April 5 at Oaklawn Park.
Odds-on choice Sugar Swirl completed an unprecedented sweep of Gulfstream Park's sprint series for fillies and mares with yet another dazzling win for trainer Brian Lynch in the $170,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. II) on March 29.
Santa Anita leading jockey Garrett Gomez announced he is leaving for Keeneland next week while Rafael Bejarano, who has been sidelined since cracking two vertebrae in a spill on March 13 is nearing a return.
Barry Abrams' and Madeline Auerbach's Lethal Heat is making her first start in graded stakes company, will be running off the turf for the first time, and is coming back in 10 days from a 1 3/4-length allowance win. But Abrams fully expects the 3-year-old daughter of Unusual Heat to handle those factors in the $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 30.
Costume, thanks to a little chicanery from jockey Garrett Gomez, gave trainer Bobby Frankel his eighth win in the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) with an all-out front-running victory on the Santa Anita turf March 23.
After finally breaking through with a victory in the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for trainer Bobby Frankel last month, Juddmonte Farms' Costume returns in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf March 23, Easter Sunday.
Indian Blessing's surprising slip from the ranks of the unbeaten in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 8 left Country Star and Proud Spell atop the betting in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which closed March 9.
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.
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