To say 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo was a surprise winner of the Kentucky Derby would be an understatement since he generated a $102.60 win pay-off
The Louisville Distaff (gr. II) is a fine race in its own right, but with the surprise addition of undefeated champion Zenyatta, the $350,000 event has now become the main attraction on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Zenyatta will likely return to the work tab in a couple of weeks, toward late February or early March, said trainer John Shirreffs Feb. 15. He could not speculate on when she would make her 2009 racing debut.
Exercise riders have a special trash talk all their own, usually along the lines of how the horse they are aboard can trounce anything on four legs in this century or last. That's why few people paid any attention in 2007 when Steve Willard, riding a huge unraced filly from John Shirreffs' barn, told a Hollywood Park outrider, "This is the second coming of Ruffian."
Unbeaten Zenyatta is getting a bit of a break at trainer John Shirreffs' barn before a 2009 campaign, but she may parade at Hollywood Park Nov. 30 as part of a special day in her honor.
Mike Smith and Zenyatta have been an unbeatable team so far, and they're the heavy favorites to add yet another victory to their sizzling streak in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita.
All horses racing in Friday's Breeders' Cup races had to be on the grounds at Santa Anita at noon today. Zenyatta, accompanied by stablemate Tiago, passed through the stable gate at 11:59. Judging from her 3-5 morning line odds and all the accolades she has received, that should be the only close call the magnificent filly will have this week.
Jerry and Ann Moss' Zenyatta likely will be the heavy favorite in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita Park. She is undefeated in her career, with an eight-race win steak heading into the World Championships.
Unbeaten Zenyatta will be looking for career win No. 8 when she takes the gate for the Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The California-based runner will face four rivals, including grade I winner Hystericalady, in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Graded stakes winners Zenyatta and Tiago both "are doing very well" and probably will run in stakes at the upcoming Hollywood Park spring/summer meet, which gets under way April 23, trainer John Shirreffs said.
Inside Information features Captain Squire, the first stakes winner for Jeff Mullins; jockey Garrett Gomez and Frankie Herrarte, who worked his way up the ladder to be the exercise rider for 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo.
After Market is set to take his place in the lineup for the Oct. 27 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) despite some concerns from trainer John Shirreffs about the condition of the turf course.
NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) candidate After Market will be given a crucial turf workout the morning of Oct. 26 to ensure his place in the lineup the following day.
After Market, a California shipper, will try his hand on an East Coast turf course when he competes in the Oct. 27 NetJet Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.
Dottie Ingordo has served as racing manager for Jerome and Ann Moss for more than 25 years. For her, one of the most exciting parts of the Thoroughbred business is watching a homebred weanling develop into a winning racehorse.
John Shirreffs, not comfortable running Tiago on the Del Mar Polytrack, has decided to scratch the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Swaps (gr. II) winner from the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (gr. I).
At this point in his career, nothing The Tin Man does would be a surprise. But if the gutsy 9-year-old gelding can pull off another victory in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 11, it might be the greatest accomplishment of his championship career.
After Market, one of the favorites in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), is special because of his late kick, trainer John Shirreffs said.
After Market, the 3-5 favorite ridden by Alex Solis, enhanced his reputation as one of America's outstanding horses on grass Sunday with a sparkling victory in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.
Yes, there are 3-year-olds west of the Mississippi this year. Which one, or ones, will earn the right to take on the big guns back east will be decided in Saturday's $350,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II), where Tiago will make his first start in California since winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
After Market took a giant step forward Saturday when he surged past odds-on choice Lava Man to win the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) going away on the Hollywood Park turf.
The paddock opens at 11:30 for schooling. One of the first to arrive is Belmont (gr. I) entrant Tiago. Trainer John Shirreffs, his stepson David Ingordo, and Frankie Herrarte, a member of his crew, follows the Pleasant Tap colt, who is led by Frank Leal.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Tiago, as well as Todd Pletcher-trained candidates Rags to Riches and Circular Quay, all hit the Belmont main track for work-outs Sunday morning.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Tiago and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) victor Stormello gave their connections encouragement for an anticipated date in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5 with strong works at Hollywood Park Sunday.
Pam and Martin Wygod's homebred colt After Market returned to his winning ways with a mid-stretch surge to capture the $108,200 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) by two lengths on the Hollywood Park lawn Saturday.
A long-running controversy over toe grabs before the California Horse Racing Board could turn into a referendum on trainer authority.
George Krikorian's millionaire Hollywood Story, getting ready for her next start in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, worked six furlongs in 1:14 over Santa Anita's fast main track on Thursday.
Stan Fulton's A.P. Warrior made his turf debut a successful one when he nosed favorite Porto Santo in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Del Mar Saturday.
The California Horse Racing Board turned its attention to jockey protection at its meeting July 20 at Del Mar, moving along one rule change that would make safety reins mandatory and a second that revises criteria for vest standards.
A.P. Warrior worked five furlongs in 1:01 Monday under jockey David Flores for the $350,000-added Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes, a grade II test for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
George Krikorian's Hollywood Story, who has never won anywhere but at Hollywood Park, notched her second grade I win at the Inglewood track when she held off Healthy Addiction to win the $300,000 Vanity Handicap for fillies and mares Sunday.
For all her accomplishments, the millionaire mare Star Parade has never been able to win successive races. That dubious distinction held when the even-money choice in Saturday's $168,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) came up a head short of the winning Proposed after a stretch-long drive to the wire at Hollywood Park.
Defending champion Hollywood Story will attempt to snap a seven-race losing streak in Sunday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
The Tex Sutton plane carrying Bob and John, Point Determined, and A. P. Warrior arrived at Louisville Airport at about 11:20 a.m. following an uneventful flight from California.
If the last few works in California by Bob and John, Point Determined, and A. P. Warrior are any indication, all three colts are ready for big efforts in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Stan Fulton's A.P. Warrior worked seven furlongs in 1:27.40 in company over a track labeled "fast" Monday morning at Hollywood Park as he continued his preparations for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) presented by Yum! Brands.
Former California-bred 3-year-old champion Calkins Road has been retired and will stand stud at Rocking Horse Ranch in Santa Ynez, Calif.
Making his first start for last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning trainer John Shirreffs, overlooked A.P. Warrior came to life Saturday under jockey Corey Nakatani, turning back Point Determined late for a half-length victory in the $250,000 San Felipe (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Trainer John Shirreffs said Giacomo will be ready when the gates spring open Saturday for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). The Big 'Cap will be the second start of the year for the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner who began his 4-year-old season with a third-place effort in the Feb. 4 Strub Stakes (gr. II).
John Shirreffs, who won last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with Giacomo, has replaced Eoin Harty as trainer of last year's Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) runner-up A.P. Warrior.
Giacomo, who stunned the racing world with a 50-1 victory in last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), could make his first start in nearly eight months in Saturday's Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday morning.
Favored Proposed reached the front at the top of the stretch and overpowered her rivals in the run to the wire, easily winning the $150,000 El Encino (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Sunday.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo will be paraded in front of fans in the paddock and walking ring on Sunday at Del Mar.
Frank Stronach's Adena Springs has bought a majority interest in the breeding rights of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo from the colt's owners, Jerome and Ann Moss.
Giacomo, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, breezed six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 Sunday morning on the fast track at Hollywood Park in his last serious work for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Hollywood Story returns as the "house horse" Saturday when carrying high weight of 121 pounds in the $200,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Hollywood Park.
In an NTRA "Pre-Belmont" teleconference Thursday, trainers of the first three Preakness Stakes (gr. I) finishers--Afleet Alex, Scrappy T, and Giacomo--spoke to national media about that battle at Pimlico and the grueling 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) that awaits June 11.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo breezed seven furlongs in 1:27 at Hollywood Park Monday morning in preparation for the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo stretched his limbs on his first visit to the Hollywood Park main track Wednesday morning since arriving Sunday following a third-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in Baltimore on Saturday.
Trainer John Shirreffs took some time at the stakes barn at Pimilco on a wet Friday morning to discuss Giacomo and his chances for tomorrow's Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) two weeks ago at 50-1 and the colt makes his bid to become the fourth 3-year-old in a row to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
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