Trainer Aidan O'Brien spoke out about the chances of his star 3-year-old George Washington in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), calling him "possibly the best horse we've ever, ever had."
The Jockey Club reported Oct. 19 that 3,053 stallions covered 59,434 mares in North America during 2006, according to "Reports of Mares Bred" received through Oct. 12, 2006. Unlike in 2005 when four stallions covered more than 200 mares each, Roman Ruler led all stallions in 2006 with 197 mares bred, two more than El Corredor. Giant's Causeway and Stormy Atlantic each covered 191 mares.
Sabine Stable's speedy homebred Win McCool, posting her first graded stakes win, shook loose of pace rival Pretty Imposing in upper stretch and held sway to the wire to win the $110,900 Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park Saturday.
The Jockey Club has reported that 3,992 stallions covered 64,123 mares in North America during 2005, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 6, 2006.
Ballygallon Stud's Aragorn proved a popular winner of the $374,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf Saturday to run his impressive winning streak to three.
Live Oak Plantation's Irish-bred My Typhoon, under a masterful pacesetting ride from Garrett Gomez, captured the $200,000 Ballston Spa (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Saratoga inner turf course Saturday.
Favored Aragorn smashed the Del Mar course record for nine furlongs on the turf with a scintillating four-length score in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) Sunday under Corey Nakatani.
My Typhoon, ridden by Robby Albarado, rallied from third to grab the lead in the final furlong and score a 1 ¾-length victory in the $115,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the Churchill Downs turf Saturday.
Monceaux Stable's Naissance Royale outfinished Ambitious Cat to win the $308,900 Nassau Stakes (Can-II) for fillies and mares Saturday at Woodbine over a soft turf course.
Jockey Corey Nakatani earned his 2,999th career win Monday when he guided Ballygallon Stud's homebred Aragorn, the longest shot on the board, to victory in the $321,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf.
Miss Soft Sell, dam of Preakness Stakes (gr. I) contender Brother Derek, is booked to Giant's Causeway.
It is Todd Pletcher day at Churchill Downs Friday. When he sent out Oonagh Maccool to an easy win in the $271,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares, the trainer was notching his fourth winner of the day...and that's from four races in which he had runners.
Favored Oonagh Maccool spotted her five rival fillies and mares a couple of lengths at the start of Saturday's $200,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park but proved much the best in the drive to win easily at odds of 11-10.
Favored Harriett Lane rallied five wide coming across the dirt and overtook pacesetter Bettarun Fast in mid-stretch to win the $109,450 La Habra for 3-year-old fillies on the Santa Anita hillside turf course Sunday.
Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park will mark the first time First Samurai has traveled two turns and has gone 1 1/8 miles, but neither factor has trainer Frankie Brothers too concerned.
Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's 3-year-old First Samurai worked a mile in a strong 1:37 3/5 Friday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr.II) going 1 1/8 miles a week from tomorrow.
Ashado, a seven-time grade I winner who was champion 3-year-old filly of 2004 and champion older female of 2005, is just one of many grade I winners that will be bred this year for the first time.
First Samurai, a multiple grade I-winning 2-year-old son of Giant's Causeway, stretched his legs Sunday at Gulfstream Park, working three furlongs in a brisk :35.
Donald and Irene Dizney's Oak Leaf (gr. II) winner Diamond Omi lost her three-week battle with pneumonia and was euthanized on Nov. 17 at Chino Valley Equine Clinic, trainer Bob Baffert said.
Favored My Typhoon overcame a sluggish start to open up a two-length lead in the stretch but was all out to hold off the furious charge of Isla Cozzene by a nose to win the $166,950 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Churchill Downs turf Saturday.
Coolmore's Ashford Stud has announced the stud fee for Giant's Causeway is being raised to $300,000 for the 2006 breeding season.
Footstepsinthesand, who was retired in June unbeaten in three starts, will stand at stud in 2006 at Coolmore's Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Amid continued high buyer demand, the expanded Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale concluded Wednesday with the auction house posting across the board gains when compared to its two-day cataloguing last year. Held over three days, cumulative figures showed substantial improvement over the company's 2004 sale in gross, average, and median prices.
The Jockey Club released their Report of Mares Bred in 2005 Thursday morning and report that 58,739 mares were covered by 3,097 stallions this year. The released data is reports that have been received through Oct. 13.
With the expected heavy favorite Willow O Wisp scratched from the Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) due to a slight virus, Irish-bred Aragorn nosed out Eastern Sand in a stirring stretch battle on the Santa Anita turf Saturday.
English mile classic winner Virginia Waters has been retired from racing and is booked to leading second-crop sire Giant's Causeway.
Diamond Omi held off a heavily favored Wild Fit in a stretch duel to win the $200,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds by three quarters of a length Saturday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.
There was a huge run on the market for sons and daughters of Storm Cat by the ultimate high-end buyers at the select sessions of the Keeneland September yearling sale. Leading the charge, of course, was the fall sale record $9.7 million bid by Sheikh Mohammed for a dark bay or brown colt by Storm Cat out of multiple grade I winner Tranquility Lake.
An anticipated stretch battle between the unbeaten colts First Samurai and Henny Hughes never materialized when prohibitive choice Henny Hughes offered no response in the $245,000 Hopeful (gr. I) for 2-year-olds Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
A field of five juveniles has drawn in for Saturday's 101st running of the prestigious Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Annexed last year by dual classic winner Afleet Alex, undefeated Henny Hughes and First Samurai lead this year's cast postward.
A fresh start was in order for the Irish-bred invader Naissance Royale, who began her career in France, and the 3-year-old filly responded brilliantly with a late surge to win in the $150,000 Lake Placid Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Saratoga lawn Friday.
Here's some horses who could sell big Wednesday night.
Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky July yearling sale lost ground in the stretch Tuesday in Lexington, ending with small to moderate declines in gross revenue, average price, and median price. The buy-back rate increased significantly.
A colt by by one of the world's hottest sires, Giant's Causeway, sold for $650,000 around lunchtime Tuesday at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction.
Fasig-Tipton has its largest catalogue ever for the Kentucky select yearling sale that begins Monday in Lexington. But when picky buyers finish whittling down their lists, there probably won't be a lot of horses that will bring the really big bucks.
Lightning is landing in the Kent area during a stormy weekend at Colonial Downs where My Typhoon prevailed by a neck over Masseuse in the $200,000 Virginia Oaks.
Godolphin's champion Shamardal, who was retired from racing the eve of the July 2 Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) because of a leg injury, will begin his stallion career at Darley Australia in the Hunter Valley region of Australia this year.
The much-awaited clash between Motivator and Shamardal in Saturday's Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) is off, because of a career ending injury to the latter horse.
Coolmore's Giant's Causeway, racing's latest sensation sire with three group I winners this year, will not shuttle as planned to Coolmore's Australian stallion station in New South Wales.
Martin Schwartz' Maids Causeway earned a short head victory over Stonerside Stable's homebred Karen's Caper Friday afternoon in the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at the Royal Ascot meeting at York. Mona Lisa finished 3 1/2 lengths back in third while favorite Cape Colombine was fourth.
Nine days after winning the Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I), Shamardal turned in a powerful performance in Royal Ascot's St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I).
A Giant's Causeway filly broke the record for the Magic Millions National yearling auction when she sold for Aus$400,000 Thursday in Australia during the sale's opening session.
Disappointed at Epsom a day earlier, jockey Frankie Dettori rebounded Sunday when Godolphin's Shamardal tallied in the Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I), or French Derby, by a neck over favored Hurricane Run at Chantilly.
Spin is an interesting exercise. For example, some will look at the results of Sunday's Australian 2005 select weanling sale conducted at Newmarket in Sydney, and say it was a successful sale.
Last year's European champion 2-year-old colt Shamardal, considered a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prospect for his new Godolphin team until he flopped in the UAE Derby (UAE-II) in March, bounced back in a big way Sunday at Longchamps, winning the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-I) in front-running style.
To bring high prices, 2-year-olds in training have to jump through a lot of hoops. They need to work fast, look good physically, and pass veterinary exams. Following are some of the horses that were generating positive buzz prior to Tuesday's Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training:
Giant's Causeway, whose son Noble Causeway is one of the top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, has had his stud fee boosted to $200,000 from $150,000.
Giant's Causeway, Europe's Horse of the Year in 2000, did the expected and reigned as Europe's leading freshman sire of 2004. His four stakes winners included European champion male Shamardal and two other group winners. However, Giant's Causeway has yet to sire a stakes winner on the dirt in North America, leading to questions regarding his suitability as a sire for American racing conditions.
Few stallions have fit the modern commercial market better than Storm Cat. Seven times the leading sire of juveniles, he regularly gets quick, precocious runners, yet has demonstrated that with the right mare, he can throw a horse capable of getting the American classic distance of 10 furlongs. What can we say about the future as it pertains to Storm Cat as a sire of sires?
The first foal from Irish group winner Saranac Lake is a colt born Jan. 31 at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.
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