It's not quite to the level of Affirmed and Alydar, but the exciting rivalry between a pair of the nation's top turf routers will renew itself once again in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 11 when English Channel and Better Talk Now clash for the seventh time.
Elisabeth Alexander's Bridge Game overtook pacesetter Jennie R. inside the sixteenth pole to upset the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Arlington Park.
The Lavington Stud's Rosinka took the lead soon after the start under Jeremy Rose and held off even-money choice Royal Highness by a neck in the $257,300 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares on the Delaware Park turf Saturday.
Jade's Revenge, who could have been claimed for $40,000 six months ago, won Keeneland's $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) Thursday in a four-horse photo finish.
New York- based trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Gary Contessa and John Kimmel are the latest horsemen to sign up for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Pony-Up Program, a new TRF fundraising initiative designed to spread the financial responsibilities of caring for retired racehorses across the training community, while taxing horsemen only when they have reaped the benefits of a win.
Trainer Graham Motion, who collected his first victory at Laurel Park in 1993, earned win number 1,000 Thursday at the Maryland track as well when Lucky Bachelor ($3.80) captured the eighth race.
Thankfully there is an antidote to the serious nature of Breeders' Cup week, and it comes in the form of the owners of John Deere Turf (gr. IT) candidate Better Talk Now.
When Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now wins, it's usually close. Under Ramon Dominguez, the late closer gutted out a three-horse photo by a head to win Sunday's $269,156 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) on a yielding turf at Woodbine.
Trainer H. Graham Motion has a contender in two of the three big races at Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing, so he's in a good spot to assess the relative quality of Saturday's fields.
Glencrest Farm's Honey Ryder is the formidable presence in the $300,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup at Delaware Park July 15. The 1 3/8 turf affair for fillies and mares has attracted a field of nine. Scheduled as the sixth race, it has an approximate post time of 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Favored Sweet Talker squeezed her way through an opening between horses in mid-stretch and was all out to hold off the determined spoiler Joint Aspiration by a head to win the $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Lone Star Park turf Monday.
Trainer John Servis and owner Rick Porter, who have been together for more than 15 years, have gone their separate ways, Porter said Wednesday.
After watching Better Talk Now's grand stretch kick compromised by a slow pace in last year's $250,000 Comp USA/Toshiba Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT), trainer Graham Motion is more surprised than anyone that he will saddle the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) champion for Saturday's Pimlico renewal.
Courtlandt Farm's Sweet Talker, under Ramon Dominguez, separated herself from the pack around the far turn and drew away to a 1 1/2-length victory in Sunday's closing day feature at Laurel Park, the $60,000 Dahlia Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.
Courtlandt Farms' even-money favorite Film Maker swung into action in the stretch for a patient Edgar Prado and inhaled her rivals in the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Calder Race Course turf.
More than 30 Thoroughbreds were killed the evening of Nov. 1 in a barn fire at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in northern Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reported in its Nov. 2 edition.
Funfair made his way into Saturday's $2,025,000 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) the old-fashioned way. He earned it.
Cheveley Park Farm's English homebred Funfair, unbeaten in three starts in the United States, enjoyed a perfect run along the inside to upset Artie Schiller by a head in the $350,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on Belmont Park's Widener turf course Sunday.
Two-time NSA jockey champion Dave Bentley announced his retirement at the start of the 2005 fall season. Bentley, 35, began riding in the U.S. in 2000 and won championships in 2002 and 2003.
Cheveley Park Farm's Battle Chant slipped between horses straightening away for home and bounded to victory Saturday the $150,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial Breeders' Cup on the turf at Laurel Park.
Better Talk Now, under confident handling from Ramon Dominguez, won the $500,000 Man o'War (gr. IT) in the final strides by a neck over King's Drama on the Belmont Park turf Saturday.
Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday he will run Shake the Bank as a pacesetter for last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now in Saturday's $500,000 Man o'War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Film Maker, a narrow loser in last year's Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 miles on the grass, returns for a second try in the $100,000-added event Monday as Saratoga closes its 135th meet.
Better Talk Now shipped into Arlington Park early Friday afternoon for Saturday's Arlington Million (gr. IT).
With Better Talk Now unlikely to defend his $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) title Saturday at Saratoga, the race now gives an opportunity for eight others horses on the East Coast to emerge among the top turf runners in the country.
Better Talk Now, who conquered all rivals in last fall's grade I John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, will be ridden by last year's Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez should his owners at Bushwood Racing Partners decide to run in Saturday's grade I Arlington Million.
Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference he is 90% sure Better Talk Now will start in Saturday's Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course. The trainer held out a slight 10% chance that last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner could show up in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Race Course on the same day.
T.D. Vance, a 3-year-old Rahy gelding trained by H. Graham Motion, outlasted Silver Whistle to win the Aug. 8 National Musuem of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga the same day that racing honored its newest Hall of Famers.
Patiently guided by Ramon Dominguez, Bushwood Racing Partners' Better Talk Now stormed home along the inside to win Saturday's $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) on a soft Monmouth Park turf course.
Swagger Stick, nominated to the Arlington Million (gr. IT) next month by trainer Graham Motion, gets the opportunity to prove himself on the Chicago-area track's turf course in Sunday's $200,000 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 12 furlongs.
Pandora Farm's Dance Away Capote, scratched from the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) because of a temperature, is the morning-line favorite in a field of seven for Saturday's $100,000 Go For Wand Stakes at Delaware Park.
Pandora Farms Dance Away Capote, winner of the Bourbonette Stakes at Keeneland, was scratched from Friday's Kentucky Oaks after she apparently developed an infection.
Returning to action for the first time in 2005, Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) hero Better Talk Now registered a confident win for jockey Ramon Dominguez by a neck over Remind in the $107,400 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Aqueduct turf Saturday.
Better Talk Now, winner of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) last year, faces a compact field when he returns to competition in Saturday's Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct.
Humaita edged Aud at the finish of a long stretch duel to win the $150,000 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes Sunday going 1 1/2 miles on soft turf at Keeneland.
Saturday's $500,000 Man o'War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park drew a field of eight runners who may have to contend with soft going after steady rain in New York earlier this week.
Courtlandt Farms' Film Maker scored a stylish victory as the 6-5 favorite in the $200,000 All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs on Saturday.
Meteor Storm and Hard Buck are the heavy hitters in Saturday's $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, but Better Talk Now is among several major stakes winners in the field that could easily be factors.
Film Maker hopes to add the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) to her credits on the Preakness undercard Saturday at Pimlico.
An injury suffered in a Tuesday workout has knocked Walter "Buddy" New's Scat Sam Man out of Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds.
Better Talk Now drove past Del Mar Show and pacesetter Millennium Dragon to register a gritty half-length victory in the $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct Saturday.
Commendation took charge with an eighth of a mile remaining and drew away to a decisive victory in the $112,800 Bourbon County Stakes Friday at Keeneland.
Courtland Farm's Film Maker, in spite of some bumping in the stretch, overcame Maiden Tower by a nose to win the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland on Saturday.
Grade II winner Dr. Brendler has been retired from racing after coming out of the Aug. 9 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga with a torn suspensory ligament.
The field for Saturday's Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) was reduced by one on Friday when trainer Graham Motion decided against shipping Dr. Brendler from his Maryland base to Churchill Downs for the race.
After a twisted and bent right shoe compromised her chances in her last effort, Susan Shipp and Cindy Polk's Coquettish will look to rebound when she faces nine rivals in the $100,000 Go For Wand Stakes at Delaware Park on Saturday.
When the leader came off the rail directly in front of Shipp & Polk's Coquettish, the Not For Love filly shot through the inviting opening and powered her way to an impressive three-length score in Tuesday's $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship at Laurel Park.
Four-year-old filly New Economy and local jockey Rosemary Homeister, Jr. teamed up at Calder to take the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) at 12 furlongs on the turf Saturday, part of the Grand Slam II program.
Eugene Ford's Your Out, second by a neck to multiple graded stakes winner Summer Colony in the Delaware Handicap (gr. III) on July 21, is being shipped from those Mid-Atlantic environs to contest the $150,000 Arlington Matron (gr. III) on Labor Day.
Ten female turf specialists are entered for Saturday's Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup Stakes at Delaware Park. Graham Motion, who has horses entered in the other two stakes on the same day, has the favorite in this race, New Economy.
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