Rachel Alexandra seems to have accomplished the impossible this year. The 3-year-old filly won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) by nearly 40 lengths and manhandled males in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I).
Sunny's Halo will be re-interred at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, where he raced to his greatest triumph in the 1983 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
In 2004, Stephen Got Even created a sensation when 17 of his 2-year-olds in training averaged a healthy $358,529, led by a $3.1 million colt out of Blacktie Bid. That colt, Dubai Dreamer, finished second in his only start to date. Another colt, out of Class On Class, was not quite so pricey, selling for $350,000, but so far he is two for two, and his connections can hardly be blamed if they are starting to have Derby dreams. His name is Don't Get Mad.
Retired New Jersey racing executive Robert J. "Bob" Quigley, 75, and Wanda Hooper, 69, widow of Fred Hooper, are engaged to be married.
By Ray Paulick -- Precisionist, one of this year's inductees into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, didn't start in the 1984 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
The Calder meet that began in May--back when Sept. 11 was just another day on the calendar--came to a rousing conclusion during its extended closing weekend with five graded stakes, or exactly the same amount contested during the meet's first 166 days. Four of the stakes were on its Dec. 29 Grand Slam II card, the 32nd consecutive Saturday of racing at the Miami oval.
Trainer Scott Lake saddled his 400th winner of the year Sunday at Philadelphia Park when Skipjack Cove went wire-to-wire to win a 5 1/2-furlong claiming event. Lake joins Jack Van Berg (495) as the only trainers to win 400 or more races in a year.
Whata Brainstorm saved ground along the hedge under jockey John Velazquez before swinging out for the stretch run en route to winning Sunday's $250,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) on a firm turf course at Gulfstream Park. Whata Brainstorm completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:23.75 -- three-fifths of a second off the course record -- after running the final quarter-mile in :23.75.
The parade of longshot winners on Saturday's Grand Slam II program at Calder Race Course continued in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap(gr. III), in which 76-1 American Halo held off General Grant and Sir Bear to win by a half-length. Under Charlene Hunt, American Halo completed the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:51.68 on a fast track.
Three Texas racetracks are negotiating to change a rule which, as of the first of the year, would turn over 10% of their out-of-state simulcasting fees to the state's breed organizations.
Michael Paulson and Edward White's Rob's Spirit held off the late charge of Whata Brainstorm to narrowly win the $113,800 Saranac Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sunday at Saratoga. The top two finishers continue the legacies of two of the sport's premier breeders. Rob's Spirit was bred by the late Allen Paulson; Whata Brainstorm by the late Fred Hooper.
Three Florida operations--Hooper Farms, Mockingbird Farm, and Farnsworth Farms' partnership with Locust Valley Corp. will disperse at the upcoming OBS Fall mixed sale.
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