Keeneland's September yearling sale ended Saturday with strong gains over last year that justified pre-sale optimism and signaled that commercial Thoroughbred breeding has regained solid financial footing.
Multiple graded stakes winner Hold Me Back sired his first reported foal Jan. 23 when a chestnut filly was born at Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky.
WinStar Farm announced 2012 fees for its expanded roster of stallions, led by North America's leading sire Distorted Humor, who will stand for $100,000 (stands and nurses) and will breed an exclusive book of 100 mares.
WinStar Farm Nov. 16 announced 2011 fees for its roster of stallions, led by leading Sire Distorted Humor, who will stand for $90,000 if paid by Nov. 1, 2011, or $100,000 live foal stands and nurses.
A strained tendon sends Hold Me Back to stud at WinStar Farm.
Haynesfield, sent off at 7-1, pulled off a shocker in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 2 at Belmont Park, going wire-to-wire under Ramon Dominguez while never being challenged.
We could be seeing the emergence of a superstar in Saturday's Goodwood Stakes.
The 4-year-old son of Arch will look to conquer 10 furlongs for the first time when he faces a solid field in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Oct. 2 at Belmont Park.
Awesome Gem, the pride of the ownership syndicate West Point Thoroughbreds and trainer Craig Dollase, takes his record fourth shot at the $1 million Pacific Classic Presented by TVG (gr. I) as one of the favorites Aug. 28.
Richard's Kid worked a quick half-mile in :46 4/5 at Del Mar on Aug. 23 as he continued to prep for a defense of his title in the Aug. 28 $1 million Pacific Classic Presented by TVG.
A failed alcohol breath test at Canada's Woodbine Racetrack on July 1 proved costly to jockey Kent Desormeaux, whose scheduled mount Hold Me back won the Dominion Day Handicap (Can-III) under replacement rider Tyler Pizarro.
The chances of Sea The Stars being withdrawn from Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) due to soft ground appear slim to none, as the weather forecast calls for little or no rain through next Tuesday.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Furthest Land, claimed for $35,000 less than a year ago, paid big dividends for his connections Sept. 26 as he ran down Dubious Miss in the final strides to win the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) by a neck at Turfway Park.
Jason, Tom, and Les Instone from twinspires preview the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), September 26 at Turfway Park.
WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back, who scored his biggest victory in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) earlier this year at Turfway Park, returns to the Florence, Ky., racetrack as the one to beat in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) Sept. 26.
After the Thoroughbred racing information website Equibase discovered that Hold Me Back's running line in the chart of the 2009 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) was inaccurate, the company reported it had corrected its error and redistributed the chart.
Summer Bird secured his place atop the 3-year-old male division with his resounding victory in the slop in the $1-million Shadwell Travers Stakes.
Enjoying the attention a day after Summer Bird's decisive 3 1/2-length win in the Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 29, trainer Tim Ice was entertaining the possibility of reaching his ultimate goal, the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), without a race over Santa Anita's synthetic track.
Summer Bird continued his meteoric rise to the top of the nation's 3-year-old ranks, as he rolled through the slop for an easy 3 1/2-length score in the $1-million Shadwell Travers (gr. I) Aug. 29 at Saratoga.
A pair of quarter cracks may have kept Quality Road out of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but nearly four months later the record-setting 3-year-old will get his shot at the next best thing -- the Mid-Summer Derby.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird breezed Aug. 25 at Saratoga for the first time since undergoing minor throat surgery last week and the next 24 hours should determine whether he will run in $1 million Shadwell Travers (gr. I).
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird turned in his final workout for the Aug. 29 Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I) when he breezed a half-mile in :49.76 over the fast main track at Saratoga on Aug. 25.
Edward P. Evans' Quality Road put in his final breeze before the Aug. 29, grade I, $1-million Shadwell Travers at Saratoga Race Course, covering five furlongs over the muddy main track in :59.68, fourth fastest of 24 at the distance on the morning of Aug. 24.
This year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) is such an odd concoction of grass and synthetic horses and undistinguished older dirt horses it's difficult to make a worthwhile list of potential starters.
In a carbon copy of last month's Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT), Battle of Hastings dug in late to head Straight Story to win the $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) on the Colonial Downs turf July 18.
Colonial Downs will hold the post position draw for the 12th running of the $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) July 18 and an impressive list of probable starters is taking shape.
To start, this is as tough a Derby as I have ever had to decipher, with a case to be made for at least dozen of the horses. I will break the race down in several categories and then put it all together and come up with something that resembles a wagering strategy.
The big day is almost here. No, not the Derby; having to make selections, which will be in Friday's column. These selections are based primarily on observations over the past eight days, and it's going to be particularly difficult this year. In the meantime, he are a few late odds and ends.
Following Monday's flurry of workouts, it was all about I Want Revenge on Tuesday, as the likely Kentucky Derby favorite had the center stage all to himself.
There's lots to catch up on, with several works of interest over the weekend and a star-studded array of works this morning, which unfortunately were played out against a horrific backdrop.
D. Wayne Lukas, the dean of Kentucky Derby trainers with four winners from 42 previous starters, expressed confidence in Flying Private following the colt's four-furlong work in :47 2/5 April 27.
As the sun rose over Churchill Downs April 26, WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back posted a solid workout as he continues to prepare for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and second in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), is scheduled to leave Keeneland on April 24 for Churchill Downs in preparation for his next start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Regal Ransom sneaks onto the list as Godolphin confirms he will run in the Derby.
We're getting close to judgment day -- finding that single horse or betting angle or most attractive overlay possibilities. Until the horses can be observed in the flesh starting next week, here are some of the most memorable moments on this year's Derby trail in one person's opinion that will help in finding potential overlays.
Like all quarters, General Quarters is a two-sided coin. So far, it's only come up heads, with the face of Tom McCarthy and his Cinderella story receiving all the press. But a flip of the coin to the tails side will reveal the faded and forgotten face of Mark Miller.
The connections of favored Hold Me Back were gracious in defeat following the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 11 and looking forward to running their colt next in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) in three weeks. The 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway finished second, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winning longshot, General Quarters, while carrying the colors of Bill Casner's and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm, which bred the colt in partnership with Haras Santa Maria de Araras.
Some thought General Quarters' Sam F. Davis (gr. III) win two starts back was a fluke. But the son of Sky Mesa proved them wrong by powering to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 11 at Keeneland, and he will now head to next month's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) as a legitimate contender.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, analyzes the Blue Grass and the Arkansas Derby. Plus, join Jason for a live chat at noon Eastern on April 11.
Jason, Evan, and the Wizard analyze the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and the Arkansas Derby (gr. II). Watch Video
Shadwell Stable's Mafaaz, who will make his U.S. debut in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 11, visited the starting gate April 9 at Keeneland and then galloped a mile and a quarter under exercise rider Miguel Moya.
At Keeneland, it's often worthwhile to back those with Storm Cat in their pedigree, so Hold Me Back is in focus for the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.
WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park, was installed as the moderate 3-1 morning-line favorite when 11 horses were entered for the April 11 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
When Charitable Man goes to post in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 11, he will be making his first start since winning the Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park on Sept. 13.
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.'s undefeated Charitable Man completed his major work for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 11 by working five furlongs in :59.60 under exercise rider Pat Correa April 5 at Keeneland in Lexington.
Adele Dilschneider's Terrain put in his final major move for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:01 at Keeneland on April 4 with exercise rider Keith Harris up.
See story for startling revelation and other peeks into this year's Kentucky Derby crystal ball.
With his victory March 21 in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back answered one big question but raised three more. Whether he has the class to be competitive with this year's better 3-year-olds is no longer in doubt.
Lost in the overwhelming spectacle of the Kentucky Derby and the arduous road leading to Churchill Downs are the little-known ironies and twists of fate that get played out behind the scenes.
WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back overcame a poor break to win the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park in his first start of 2009 for trainer Bill Mott March 21.
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