Grand Champion appears to have landed in the perfect spot to earn his first open stakes win in the $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct Nov. 22.
Laying just off the early pace, Corinthian rallied around the turn and made a thunderous move under jockey Kent Desermeaux in the stretch to take the inaugural $1-million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park by 6 1/2-lengths.
Corinthian seemed to be on the fast track early, however, winning two of his first three races, including an allowance victory over Jazil to start his 3-year-old campaign. Bred in Kentucky by Gracefield Equine and Hargus Sexton, Corinthian then crossed the finish line first in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II), but was disqualified to third.
The Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park may have lost its top star when Invasor was retired, but now Corinthian will have the opportunity to validate himself as the East's best handicap horse.
Corinthian's comeback continues at Aqueduct on Saturday when he returns to New York in the $200,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at nine furlongs on the main track.
Christmas Kid, who has emerged as the 3-year-old filly division leader at Gulfstream Park for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, is the solid choice among eight entered for the $150,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) Saturday.
Although Corinthian will be making just his second career added-money start in the Saturday's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), the 4-year-old son of Pulpit was made the 7-5 morning line favorite for the 1 3/16-mile event.
Edward P. Evans' homebred Christmas Kid stalked from second early in Saturday's $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Gulfstream Park, took command into the far turn, and drew clear to score by four lengths over High Again in the one-mile test for 3-year-old fillies.
Centennial Farm's 4-year-old Corinthian signaled he's back on the beam with an impressive 9 1/2-length win over Shadwell Stable's Jazil, winner of the 2006 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), in a Gulfstream Park allowance race Thursday.
Frank Calabrese's undefeated 3-year-old homebred filly Dreaming of Anna took another step toward her much-anticipated 2007 debut when the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat at Palm Meadows Wednesday morning.
Edward P. Evans' favored homebred Christmas Kid won the first stakes race of her four-race career when taking the $100,000 Tropical Park Oaks by a half length over Perfect Motion on Monday at Calder Race Course.
Artie Schiller, yet to win in two starts this season, is the clear standout in a field of five entered for the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Saratoga turf Sunday.
Tiger tries to stay unbeaten against stakes rivals when he meets seven others in the $200,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs on the Belmont Park main track.
Trainer Danny Peitz kept a close eye on Robert and Lawana Low's Steppenwolfer as the colt cooled out from a sparkling six-furlong work of 1:10 1/5 on the training track Friday. Saturday morning Peitz reported nothing out of the ordinary with the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender.
Team Valor Stable's Oh So Awesome breezed seven furlongs on Belmont Park's fast main track Thursday morning in 1:27 4/5 as he prepared for the 138th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 10.
Though beaten in his first try at two turns, the 3-5 favorite First Samurai was awarded victory in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) Saturday at Gulfstream Park when stewards disqualified the inexperienced Corinthian for weaving in the stretch.
Smokey Glacken, winner of her last two starts, is the filly to beat in the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sunday. The 6 ½-furlong race drew a field of six older fillies and mares.
A bad step just yards from the wire by pacesetter Avery Hall proved costly Thursday at Saratoga Race Course as favored Karakorum Splendor rallied in the final strides to win the $250,000 Statue of Liberty Division of the New York Stallion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by a nose.
Wednesday's $100,000-added Westchester Handicap (gr. III), the opening day feature on Belmont Park's 100th birthday and spring/summer meeting, presents a curious field of eight older horses.
Multiple grade II grass winner Artie Schiller powered his way to the lead as the 10-horse field hit the top of the stretch to register a 2 1/4-length victory in Friday's $250,000 Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. The 4-year-old stopped the clock in 1:34.09.
Despite a Monday afternoon thunderstorm that dumped up to five inches of rain on the Dallas area, the Tuesday morning work tab at Lone Star Park was busy, with workouts by four contenders in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Even-money favorite Artie Schiller avoided a troubled stretch run and streaked to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on the Saratoga turf Monday.
Artie Schiller, ridden confidently by Richard Migliore, cruised to his first graded stakes victory in Sunday's $110,000 Hill Prince (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the Belmont Park inner turf course.
Artie Schiller and Timo, evenly matched foes as 2-year-olds last year who went their separate ways over the winter, resume their rivalry in Sunday's $100,000-added Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens finally got a chance to try Multiple Choice on the turf Sunday afternoon, and the 6-year-old Mt. Livermore gelding rewarded his faith with a late-running neck victory in the $112,200 (gr. IIIT) Jaipur Handicap at seven furlongs on the Widener course.
Frontrunner Smokey Glacken won the the $112,200 Valley Stream Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies under Jose Santos by 3 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct on Sunday.
Flaunting her speed while shrugging off all pace challengers, Smokey Glacken was a convincing winner in her first two career starts. Yet her lone defeat, a third-place finish in Belmont Park's Astarita (gr. II), may have been her best effort to date.
Because Pocus Hocus has a bad habit of waiting on other horses when she gets the lead, trainer Jimmy Jerkens and jockey Jose Santos allowed her to play catch up in Saturday's $107,500 Turnback The Alarm Handicap (gr. III). The result was a resounding 5 ¼-length victory at Aqueduct.
Voodoo took the lead on the turn for home and nobody came close to him in the stretch as he won the $112,700 Sport Page Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park by 2 1/2 lengths over Bowman's Band, the 6-5 favorite.
Undefeated in a pair of starts, the fleet-footed Smokey Glacken puts her unblemished record on the line in Sunday's $150,000 Astarita (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Nine 2-year-old fillies were entered in the 6 ½-furlong sprint.
Sky Mesa returned to the track on schedule Wednesday, five days after bruising a hoof while finishing last in the Travers (gr. I).
Iron Deputy, the least-heralded of the five runners in Saturday's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), used a big break in the weights and his own speed to score a front-running 2 ½-length victory in the nine-furlong race.
Herbert and Carol Schwartz' Classic Endeavor makes his home at Aqueduct, and Saturday afternoon, he made himself at home on his favorite track.
It took a L-O-N-G time for spring weather to finally get to Aqueduct Racetrack, and it took Snake Mountain a long time to catch Classic Endeavor. But he got the job done in Sunday's $80,975 Stymie Handicap, his fifth straight win.
Everyone entered in Saturday's 1 1/8-mile $75,000-added Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct have to fight off a snake that has not let go of his prey since August. Snake Mountain, owned by Berkshire Stud, will go for his fifth consecutive victory and his fourth straight stakes score.
Snake Mountain caught front-running stablemate Voodoo at the quarter pole and went on to a 7 ½-length victory over Ground Storm in the 84th running of the $107,400 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 mile Saturday.
Snake Mountain and Voodoo, two horses trained by Jimmy Jerkens, figure to be the favored betting interest in Saturday's $100, Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III), a 1 1/16-mile race of importance on the national racing scene.
Multiple Choice proved to be the correct choice Sunday when he rallied from off the pace to catch Sing Me Back Home in deep stretch and notch a ¾ length decision in the rescheduled $109,200 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
A refreshed Wrangler hopes to regain the stakes-winning form he displayed last February in Thursday's $100,000 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) over six furlongs at Aqueduct.
The first inner track race of the season at Aqueduct is Saturday's grade III Queen's County Handicap. Eight horses are expected for the race.
Sunday's four-race New York Stallion Series will showcase some of the state-bred program's top 2-year-olds and turf horses.
Longshot Multiple Choice, never worse than third at Aqueduct, romped to a 7 1/4-length win over a sloppy track in Saturday's $110,000 Sports Page Handicap (gr.III).
Aqueduct's opening day Wednesday features the grade III Discovery Handicap for 3-year-olds. Thirteen horses are entered for the race.
Thirteen 3-year-olds were entered in Wednesday's $100,000-added Discovery Handicap (gr. III), the opening day feature of Aqueduct's 48-day Fall Meeting.
Jose Santos made the first part of New York Showcase Day his personal showcase, winning his third straight stakes race Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park with Cynthia Knight's Dat You Miz Blue.
Twelve horses have been entered for Saturday's $100,000
Noble Damsel (gr. III) for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf at Belmont Park, but that many are not likely to run.
Susan Moore's Voodoo, nominated to Sept. 21's Vosburgh Handicap (gr. I) at seven furlongs, breezed three furlongs in :37 the morning of Sept. 18 for trainer Jimmy Jerkens on the training track.
The white placard hanging outside Barn 30 along the Belmont Park backstretch reads: H. A. Jerkens Racing Stable. The H. stands for Harry, but it is seldom used. Allen Jerkens trains racehorses here. His workers call him, "The Chief."
Xtra Heat will no doubt bring the heat to Belmont Park by way of sizzling fractions in the Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs on Sunday.
Belmont Park's Saturday card will be highlighted by the Nassau County Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at seven furlongs and the Bold Ruler Stakes (gr. III) at six furlongs.
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