Effinex pulled the upset Oct. 18 in the $300,000 Empire Classic, reeling in pacesetter So Lonesome to score at odds of 17-1 on Empire Showcase Day, the card for New York-breds at Belmont Park.
Magalen O. Bryant's V. E. Day, winner of the Travers Stakes (gr. I), will run in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 1, according to racing manager Cynthia Curtis.
Centennials Farms' Wicked Strong, who clipped heels in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and unseated jockey Rajiv Maragh, will not be sent to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup and will be put away for the remainder of the year.
Tonalist and Zivo, first and second, respectively, in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), could meet up again in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), their trainers said the morning of Sept. 28.
Trainer Eric Guillot believes Moreno ran his best race ever in the July 5 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park, so he's looking for another top effort from the 4-year-old gelding in the Sept. 27 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Several horses aiming for races on Belmont Park's TVG Super Saturday card Sept. 27 put in works at various tracks Sept. 20, including Itsmyluckyday and Moreno.
Travers (gr. I) winner V. E. Day worked seven furlongs in 1:28.30 at approximately 8 a.m., with TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I) victor Wicked Strong going six furlongs in 1:15.93 at 9:45 a.m.
- By Steve Haskin
Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) was not just about V.E. Day, but also V.J. Day. We had the Victory in Europe tie-in and the Victory for Jerkens tie-in. read blog
Watch Steve Haskin and Lenny Shulman bid Steve farewell as And They're Off moves to the next chapter with Lenny's Place. The duo discuss the Travers S., Jimmy Jerkens, Tom Durkin, and the top 8 reasons Steve is leaving. watch video
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens had the best horse in the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (gr. I), but it wasn't the one everyone was betting on.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens' really big weekend at Saratoga Race Course concluded Aug. 24 with when the 55-year-old son of Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens won the $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes with Star Grazing.
The morning after his horses produced a rare 1-2 finish in the $1.25 million Travers (gr. I) Aug. 23, trainer Jimmy Jerkens continued to be amazed by his good fortune.
Trainer Christophe Clement proclaimed Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist ready for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) after the colt breezed five furlongs in 1:01.88 over the Oklahoma training track Aug. 16.
Centennial Farms' Wicked Strong breezed a half mile in :48 3/5 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 8 in preparation for his expected start in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) in two weeks.
Magalen O. Bryant's V. E. Day strung three victories in a row and collected his first stakes score July 25 in the $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, giving jockey Jose Lezcano his 2,000th career win.
Jimmy Jerkens will send his top 3-year-old to the July 26 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) en route to the Travers Stakes (gr. I), and puts blinkers on the Hard Spun colt for his Saratoga outing.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist turned in his final work before the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) July 26, going five furlongs in 1:01.79 in company with stablemate Life In Shambles at Saratoga Race Course.
California Chrome schooled at the starting gate for the second and final time June 5 at Belmont Park as his date with destiny in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) draws closer.
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome went for a slow and easy gallop over the main track at Belmont Park June 3, with trainer Art Sherman on hand to watch after arriving from California the previous day.
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome was out for some exercise on Belmont Park's main track the morning of June 2, jogging once clockwise around the oval under regular exercise rider Willie Delgado.
In preparations similar to trainer Nick Zito's handling of Birdstone between his off-the-board Kentucky Derby (gr. I) finish and his victory in the 2004 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Wicked Strong appears to be progressing.
Several horses slated to challenge dual classic winner California Chrome in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7 are scheduled to breeze this weekend at Belmont Park.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens talks about Kentucky Derby contender Wicked Strong, who blew out down the lane May 1. Watch Video
Four days before the Saturday race, most of the trainers with horses in the classic shared a stage and a laugh or two at the annual Kentucky Derby Trainers Dinner.
In his first work since winning the TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I), Wicked Strong breezed a solid half-mile in :49.62 seconds the morning of April 17 over the Belmont Park training track.
TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Wicked Strong will remain at Belmont Park to do the bulk of his training prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Jimmy Jerkens said April 6.
Favored Arch Traveler won a key Gulfstream Park allowance race for 3-year-olds on the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) undercard Feb. 26, defeating second choice Nacho Business by three-quarters of a length.
Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Afleet Express has been sidelined for the remainder of the year with a partial tear of a suspensory ligament in his left front leg.
Quality Road will try to rebound from his narrow Whitney Handicap (gr. I) defeat last month when headlining the field in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 4 at Saratoga.
Afleet Express, the horse who couldn't get sold, scored a dramatic win in the Travers.
Afleet Express comes out of the "Midsummer Derby" in good shape, according to trainer Jimmy Jerkens.
In a thrilling edition of $1 million Shadwell Travers Stakes (gr. I), Afleet Express held off Fly Down by the narrowest of margins to win the "Mid-summer Derby" Aug. 28 at Saratoga.
Odds-on favorite Jackson Bend, the third-place finisher of the Preakness (gr. I), tired badly after turning for home, as second choice Afleet Express sailed to a 1 3/4-length win in the $200,000 Pegasus Stakes (gr. III)
Edward P. Evans' Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Quality Road continued on the comeback trail as he breezed July 5 for the first time since being transferred to the stable of trainer Todd Pletcher on June 15.
The Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) headlines a day of stakes races one day before the running of the Preakness.
With Quality Road having returned to the track on May 3, galloping an eager 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Juan Moreno, Jimmy Jerkens said the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6 remained a possibility for the Elusive Quality colt, who is owned by Edward P. Evans.
Quality Road, a contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), returned from a mile and three-quarter gallop on the Belmont Park training track April 26 with a tinge of blood from a newly-patched quarter crack, but his connections remain optimistic he will make the May 2 "Run for the Roses."
In an April 25 conference call, trainer Jimmy Jerkens reported that Quality Road jogged a couple of miles around the Belmont Park track and experienced no further problems with his latest quarter crack, which was patched by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay earlier in the morning.
An edited transcript of the April 25 conference call with trainer Jimmy Jerkens regarding Quality Road and his recent quarter-crack problems.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens expressed optimism on the afternoon of April 24 that Quality Road, a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), would be able to make the May 2 classic after noted hoof specialist Ian McKinlay treated a second quarter crack in the colt's right-front hoof at Belmont Park.
Edward Evans' Quality Road, one of the favorites for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has developed another quarter-crack, this one on the inside of his right-front hoof, putting his status for the Run for the Roses in question.
Quality Road, who suffered a quarter crack in his victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I), turned in a sharp six-furlong work in 1:12 2/5 Friday over the Belmont training track.
Quality Road, who had been battling a quarter crack since his victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :48 3/5 on the Belmont training track Friday and showed no ill effects from his injury, said trainer Jimmy Jerkens.
Quality Road's quarter crack suffered in the Florida Derby (gr. I) is much improved, and the colt was out for a gallop Wednesday morning after having his hoof patched, said foot specialist Ian McKinlay.
Quality Road turned back a bid from even-money favorite Dunkirk in upper stretch and drew away for a sensational 1 3/4-length victory in the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) March 28 at Gulfstream Park. The son of Elusive Quality set a new 1 1/8-mile course record in 1:47.72.
As intriguing as the Florida Derby (gr.I) already looks to be, it became even more intriguing when Todd Pletcher, trainer of Dunkirk, said Tuesday he is "strongly considering" running the maiden Europe as a rabbit, in order to prevent Quality Road from getting loose on an easy lead.
Dunkirk and Quality Road, the two likely favorites for the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 28 at Gulfstream Park, posted impressive workouts on a fast track on the morning of March 21 at Palm Meadows.
The last Saturday in November is NYRA's farewell to grade I and grade II racing, with the running of the Cigar Mile (gr. I) and the grade II Remsen and Demoiselle Stakes for 2-year-olds. But last year, there was a buzz in the air that had nothing to do with any of those three races.
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens was resting comfortably Oct. 21, the day after heart surgery, according to his son, trainer Jimmy Jerkens.
Eaton's Gift, winner of the Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park in February, takes on an inexperienced field in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old sprinters at Saratoga July 28.
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