The next edition of the live podcast Talkin' Horses with The Blood-Horse.com will feature trainer Larry Jones, who conditioned Havre de Grace to a Horse of the Year title in 2011.
- By Ron Mitchell
With cumulative increases of 19.3% and 7.3% in gross sales and average price, respectively, during the first two days of the marathon Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, the mood within the Lexington sales pavilion was almost euphoric Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Gross revenue climbed at Keeneland during the second session of the November breeding stock sale while the mare Island Sand sold for $4.2 million.
Trainer J. Larry Jones, who usually splits his stable between Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Iowa and Ellis Park in Kentucky after the close of the Oaklawn Park meet, will move his stable to Delaware Park for the 136-day meet that runs from April 22-Nov. 13.
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.
Millionaire grade I winner Island Sand, owned by Jim Osborne's B A Man Stable, has been retired and will be bred in 2006 to A.P. Indy.
There was a big shadow cast at Saratoga Friday, and it was Shadow Cast who was responsible as the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly upset heavily favored Ashado in the $400,000 Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Starlight Stables and partners' Ashado is arguably the dominant older filly and mare in North America. The questions remaining are: Can she get any better? And, can anyone get close to her?
Island Sand, the only grade I winner in the field, stormed past Two Trail Sioux in mid-stretch and registered a powerful victory in Saturday's $1 million Delaware Handicap (gr. II), the richest race in Delaware Park history.
Isola Piu Bella, a three-time stakes winner this year, will take on 11 rivals as the slight 7-2 morning line favorite in Sunday's Delaware Handicap (gr. II).
Challenged from all sides in deep stretch, determined front-runner Two Trail Sioux refused to give way, holding on for a one-length win in the $330,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
The rivalry between Shadow Cast and Island Sand will head into its third act Saturday at Churchill Downs when the pair of 4-year-old stakes winning fillies line up for the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
With champion 3-year-old filly and 2004 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Ashado on the sidelines, Gary Tanaka's Star Parade heads a field of nine entered for the $300,000-added Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Friday.
James Weigel's front-running Dream of Summer not only held off favorite Ashado in winning Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), she also successfully fended off the challenges of two outsiders, unlucky Star Parade and Shadow Cast, in the final strides at Oaklawn Park.
Champion Ashado, winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) last fall, heads the list of 19 nominations to the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handiap (gr. I), going 1 1/16 miles April 9 at Oaklawn Park.
Injustice, bought privately last month for a reported $165,000 by Darrell and Evelyn Yates and turned over to Chicago-based trainer Wayne Catalano, paid an immediate dividend by winning the $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup (gr. III) gate to wire before a sun-baked crowd of 22,087 Saturday at Oaklawn Park.
California shipper Fencelineneighbor moves into Hot Springs to challenge five other older fillies and mares in the $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III). Formerly known as the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Handicap, the traditional prep for the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) was renamed this year for the three-time winner of the Apple Blossom, thrice an Eclipse champion older mare, and 2002 Horse of the Year.
Favored Lady Tak dictated the pace and led well into the stretch but the standout sprinter was unable to hold off surging outsider Halory Leigh, who scored an impressive win in the $230,400 Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs Sunday.
Trainer Carl Nafzger will have a two-for-one shot when he saddles My Boston Gal and Mayo on the Side for Sunday's $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
A quality field of seven 3-year-old fillies will line up to contest the prestigious $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland Saturday.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Stellar Jayne kicked away from even-money favorite Ashado in the final furlong to register a huge 2 1/2-length surprise in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
Six talented fillies will contest Saturday's $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) at Belmont Park, including the top two finishers from the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Ashado and Island Sand. The other two legs of the Triple Tiara include the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) on July 24th, and the $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) on Aug. 21st.
James L. Osborne's Island Sand rallied in the stretch under jockey Terry Thompson to win Friday's $250,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park by 1 3/4 lengths.
A salty field of 10 3-year-old fillies will attempt to crack the tough nut of the $250,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) over a flat mile at Belmont Park Friday.
In a good betting race, the public was right in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), with favored Ashado winning the 130th running of the top race for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Churchill Downs.
Many expected the field for this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) to be be among the most accomplished in years, and with six grade I winners filling the entry box for the 1 1/8-mile contest Tuesday morning, that opinion may have been confirmed.
Bruce Lunsford's undefeated Madcap Escapade zipped five furlongs in :58 1/5 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs Friday morning in preparation for the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Southern California invader House of Fortune may have punched her ticket for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) thanks to a convincing 1 3/4-length win in the $200,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn Park Friday.
Fond leads a field of 11 in Sunday's $75,000 Busanda Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct at one mile and 70 yards.
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