Ernie Paragallo, owner of Paraneck Stable, and trainer Jennifer Pedersen finally severed ties when Paragallo entered his horses for Saturday's card at Aqueduct under the name of assistant trainer Frank Amonte.
Graded stakes winner Griffinite will stand at Metropolitan Stud in Pine Plains, New York in 2005 for a $4,000 fee.
Graded stakes winner Griffinite will enter stud at Center Brook Farm near Climax, N.Y., for a fee of $4,000 live foal.
Grade I winners Affirmed Success and D'wildcat headline a field of 12 for Monday's $200,000 General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel.
Woodward Stakes (gr. I) winner Lido Palace, whose connections passed on paying a supplementary nomination of fee of $800,000 to compete in the Breeders' Cup Classic, won a classified allowance at Belmont Park Sunday.
So, there is a king among the Amazon queens after all. In the past two years, trainer Mark Hennig and owner Edward P. Evans have been racking up one stakes victory after another with their bevy of femme fatales. But in the June 15 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), Evans' familiar yellow and black silks were carried to victory by a 4-year-old hunk name Seeking Daylight.
The grade I Belmont Stakes might be over, but the racing isn't slowing down at the Elmont, N.Y. oval, with three graded stakes scheduled for this weekend, including the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), the $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT), and the $100,000 Sands Point (gr. IIIT).
Anthony Aprilante and Ralph M. Evans' Free of Love earned a 1 1/4-length victory Wednesday in the $112,500 Westchester Handicap (gr. III), Belmont Park's opening day feature for horses three and older.
Belmont Park opens its admission gates for the 55-day Spring/Summer meet on Wednesday when 10 colts and geldings will take the gate for the $100,000 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) going a mile on the dirt.
Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Val Royal continued working toward his return to the races Thursday at Santa Anita and Ashland (gr. I) and Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) winner Fleet Renee worked five furlongs on fast dirt at Tapeta Farm. Others working Thursday were Printemps; Bella, Bella, Bella; Crafty C. T.; Griffinite; Sarah Lane's Oates; and Silver Charm's half-sister by Deputy Minister, Elrose.
A field of 13 3-year-olds will assemble on Wednesday for the seven-furlong, $200,000 Malibu Stakes on opening day of the Santa Anita meeting. Should all 13 run, it would be the largest Malibu field since 1988.
Harold Queen's Burning Roma tracked pacesetter Junior Deputy early on and then drew off to a 9 3/4-length win in Sunday's $200,000 Leonard Richard Stakes at Delaware Park.
Don't let anyone fool you. The 126th Preakness Stakes is so riddled with questions, it's all but impossible to truly feel strongly about one horse. You can guess or deduce or surmise or assume, but there is no way you state with any authority you know what's going to happen. We have a different scenario from the Derby, and it's anyone's guess if we'll have a fast or slow pace; if Monarchos can come back in two weeks after becoming only the second horse besides Secretariat to break 2:00 in the Derby; if the lightly raced Congaree is going to "bounce" after turning in a sensational effort in the Derby; if Point Given's Derby was a fluke; or if A P Valentine and Dollar Bill can rebound after encountering nightmare trips in the Derby.
It was one of those bits and pieces kind of day on the Preakness front. With the leading contenders only walking the shed this morning, at Pimlico and Churchill Downs, most of the focus was on the two open riding assignments. As of 1 p.m., one (Griffinite) has been filled, and the other (A P Valentine) was due to be announced later this afternoon. Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen, trainer of Paraneck Stable's Griffinite, said earlier that New York-based Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard the son of Unbridled's Song for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Jockey Jose Santos fractured his right wrist on Saturday, the result of being thrown from his mount, Kalu, shortly after winning the Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT). Santos had been slated to ride Griffinite in the Preakness, but trainer Jennifer Pedersen is now searching for a new rider for the colt.
Dogwood Stable's Distilled, winner of the Illinois Derby, will not run in the 126th Preakness Stakes after suffering a small tear in the suspensory ligament in his left front ankle while galloping at Belmont Park Friday morning. In other news, Monarchos' stablemate Hero's Tribute, who was pointing for the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard, popped a quarter crack during a jog at Pimlico this morning, and will now wait for the Peter Pan Stakes.
Jennifer Pederson, trainer of Paraneck Stable's Griffinite, called Pimlico officials Monday to confirm that the Lafayette winner will run in the Preakness Stakes May 19. Pederson said the son of Unbridled's Song, who finished third in the Lexington Stakes in his last start, will ship to Pimlico tomorrow. The addition of Griffinite brings the total number of prospective starters to 13.
The talent pool of this year's crop of 3-year-olds runs deep, as witnessed over the last few weeks in major Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep races. An armada of lesser crafts set out April 21 at Keeneland for the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) to test the waters one final time before the main event takes place at Churchill Downs in two weeks. Instead of a boat race, the majority of them found choppy seas and roiling water that all but grounded their Derby dreams on the rocks. Just the opening of the starting gate alone had several starters bailing instead of sailing.
Paraneck Stable's recent Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) winner Griffinite will race next in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) on April 21 at Keeneland, according to trainer Jennifer Pedersen. "He had been training awesomely," Pedersen said. "We were very happy for the win, but we knew that it was a just a prep for the Lexington. He came out of the race full of himself. He knows he won."
If you had watched Griffinite before the Layfayette Stakes (gr. III) Wednesday at Keeneland, you would have thought he had no shot. You would have been wrong.
Just Allen, the longest price on the board at 59-1, drew away to a two-length victory in Aqueduct's Saturday feature race, the Count Fleet Stakes. Second wagering choice Personable Pete, a New York-bred half-brother to Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) winner Critical Eye, finished second.
Live Wire Lil, ridden by Richard Migliore, defeated odds-on favorite Her She Kisses by 1 3/4 lengths to take the $81,525 Garland of Roses Stakes on Saturday at Aqueduct. Also at the New York oval Saturday, Paraneck Stable's Griffinite dropped down into allowance company from the stakes ranks and won a six-furlong race by a half-length as the 12-5 favorite.
Windsor Castle rallied from last in the eight-horse field to win the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths Saturday at Aqueduct. The 2-year-old son of Lord Carson completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.92 on a fast track.
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