Most people feel Sam P. has a high mountain to climb in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). But it's not nearly as high as the human Sam P. climbed during World War II. So if you want a good story to root for, Sam P. could be your horse.
Jack Wolf was looking forward to the first running of the Ashado Stakes. He believed all along that if any track was to have a race named after his Eclipse Award winner, it should be Saratoga Racecourse or Belmont Park, the scenes of some of his filly's biggest triumphs.
When champion filly Ashado was led into the Keeneland sales ring Monday, there was an air of anticipation that big things were about to happen. In the end, the result was a bidding war between agent John Ferguson, representing Sheikh Mohammed, and the Coolmore group; Ferguson came out on top, paying a world-record price of $9 million for a broodmare or broodmare prospect.
When champion filly Ashado is offered for sale during the 2005 Keeneland November Mixed Sale by Taylor Made Sales Agency, a portion of the proceeds of the sale will benefit Thoroughbred Charities of America.
Ashado, last year's champion 3-year-old filly, rebounded nicely from her worst career defeat with a game triumph Saturday in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park and will now move on to attempt to win the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), which she won last year.
Purge, a multiple New York graded stakes winner, will enter stud at Dr. Tom Simon's Vinery near Lexington in 2006.
Ashado, last year's champion 3-year-old filly and the winner of six grade I races, will be offered later this year at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Harlan's Holiday, a three-time grade I winner and earner of $3,632,664, has been retired and will enter stud at Brereton C. Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky. for a 2004 fee of $17,500.
Multi-millionaire, multiple grade I winner Harlan's Holiday has been retired from racing because of an injury suffered while finishing last in the Aug. 16 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Harlan's Holiday and Nayef, two of the leading contenders for Saturday's $6 million Dubai World Cup, had important works at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday and Sunday.
Harlan's Holiday, the winner of this year's Florida Derby (gr. I), will be back at Gulfstream Park this winter taking aim at the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) to be run at 1 1/18 miles on Feb. 22.
Repent, runner-up in last month's Travers Stakes (gr. I), worked five furlongs in 1:00.65 Sunday at Belmont in preparation for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Sept. 28.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Pletcher's Harlan's Holiday, Invisible Ink Near Returns; Clement Takes His Time; Lukas Breezes Holiday Runner</b>
Harlan's Holiday, off since running fourth in the Preakness May 18, had an easy five-furlong breeze Saturday morning on the Oklahoma Training Track.
After War Emblem, Wiseman's Ferry, Proud Citizen, and Perfect Drift exited a plane Wednesday morning that had carried them from Kentucky to New York for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), a surprise passenger walked off and was loaded into a van. His name: Harlan's Holiday.
Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem and Harlan's Holiday, who was unplaced as the Derby favorite, both worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Meanwhile at Pimlico, final works were turned in by Crimson Hero and U S S Tinosa.
With owners Jack and Laurie Wolf looking on, Halran's Holiday breezed five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday as he continued preparations for the March 16, $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I).
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