For every big-name contender expected to arrive at the Breeders' Cup World Championships every season, there are several whose connections agonize over the decision to send them there.
Grade I winner Bayern, 2-1 morning-line favorite for the upcoming $1.25 million Travers Stakes (gr. I), arrived at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 20 around 4 p.m.
Jim Covello has enjoyed a good deal of success since getting into Thoroughbred ownership a decade ago, but he's hoping Falling Sky provides the icing on the cake in the May 4 Kentucky Derby.
Trainer John Terranova talks about Kentucky Derby contender Falling Sky. watch video
Vyjack, third in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) last time out, led a small group of workers for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on the morning of April 26 at Churchill Downs. Also on the tab were Golden Soul and Falling Sky.
Trainer John Terranova confirmed April 21 that Falling Sky "is a go" for a start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 4 at Churchill Downs.
Rags to riches story Rose to Gold, front-running winner of the Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) last month, returns to Oaklawn Park April 10 for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. III).
Falling Sky, winner of the Feb. 2 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs, was scratched from the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) the morning of the race, as was maiden winner Sky Captain.
The sky was the limit Feb. 2 at Tampa Bay Downs, with Falling Sky and Dynamic Sky finishing 1-2 in the $202,500 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III). Falling Sky, a 7-1 upsetter, survived an objection to get the job done.
Citrus Kid, making his first start since September of 2011, held off 3-year-old El Padrino in a comeback race for both Dec. 19 at Gulfstream Park.
An overflow of 24 sophomore fillies passed the entry box for the $125,000 Pin Oak Valley View (gr. IIIT), forcing Keeneland officials to split the Oct. 19 running of the race into divisions for the second time in history.
Newtown Anner Stud's More Than Love will carry top weight and figures the one to beat in the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) March 22 at Turfway Park.
R Heat Lightning, the likely favorite in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) for trainer Todd Pletcher, put in her final drill prior to the race April 30, working a half-mile in :48 1/5 at Churchill Downs.
There are several special aspects of the story of Lilacs and Lace, a homebred daughter of Flower Alley who burst onto the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) scene with a victory in the April 9 Ashland Stakes (gr. I).
Animal Kingdom took the overland route to a possible start in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) when he drew off late for a 2 3/4-length win in the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park March 26
Odds-on choice Franny Freud, ridden by Garrett Gomez, rallied four wide on the turn to register her first grade I victory in the Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park July 4.
A pair of colts with proven stakes credentials headline the $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes, the featured race at Belmont Park June 20. The Mike Lee is the first leg of the OTB Big Apple Triple.
Trainer John Terranova swept both ends of the New York Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park on May 2 with a pair of favorites, Franny Freud and General Maximus.
Looking every bit the 1-2 favorite she was, Franny Freud cruised to a front-running 4 3/4-length win in the $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) for her first graded stakes win April 7 at Keeneland.
Susan Roy and Vinery Stables' Awesome Act turned in an impressive performance in his first start on dirt, accelerating past rivals at the top of the stretch en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $250,000 Gotham Stakes.
If only it always worked this way: buy a horse privately; win a grade I; and head to the Breeders' Cup World Championships. Forget always; for Matt Gatsas, just once is OK. Of course he wouldn't mind also winning the Breeders' Cup race.
Sovereign Stable's Negligee came from off the pace, charged down the lane, and collared favored She Be Wild in the final strides to score the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) at odds of 12-1 on opening day at Keeneland Oct. 9.
Indian Blessing, the champion female sprinter of 2008, is set to breeze Aug. 8 as she points towards a return to the races in the $300,000 Ballerina (gr. I) on Aug. 29.
Golden Goose Enterprise and IEAH Stables' Laragh took an early lead and never let it go, romping home to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes Oct. 9 on the Keeneland turf.
Whos Next Racing Team's 2-year-old filly Princess Sweet captured the $125,000 Fifth Avenue Division of the New York Stallion Series for trainer Linda Rice three days after winning her maiden debut. The win highlighted the track's New York Stallion Series Sunday at Aqueduct.
Bob Baffert switched signals again Monday morning, working probable Travers Stakes (gr. I) favorite Roman Ruler under sunny skies at Saratoga.
Gander, the grand old New York-bred gelding, has run his last race. The 8-year-old son of Cormorant suffered a fracture of the short pastern in his front leg while breezing at Saratoga Wednesday morning and is scheduled to fly to Kentucky Thursday morning for surgery.
James McIngvale's During avenged a disappointing Aqueduct finish earlier this year by holding off Unforgettable Max to notch a hard-fought nose victory in Wednesday's $111,800 Discovery Handicap (gr. III), the nine-furlong feature on opening day of Aqueduct's fall meet.
Sanford Goldfarb's and Stewart Hoffman's Well Fancied, the post-time favorite of the New York Showcase Day crowd of 10,214, held off the stubborn 7-year-old Gander to win Saturday's $250,000 Empire Classic for New York breds at 1 1/8 mile.
Without Funny Cide, Saturday's $250,000 Empire Classic, the featured race on a day filled with New York-bred stakes, pits veteran fan favorite Gander against Sanford Goldfarb's Well Fancied.
Husband and wife John and Tonja Terranova enjoyed a nice weekend at Belmont when James McIngvale's During scored in the Jerome (gr. II) and Gatsas Thoroughbreds' Gander won a $58,000 allowance in game fashion.
A field of eight 2-year-old fillies, including a trio from the Todd Pletcher barn, will contest the $200,000 Matron (gr. I) Sunday at Belmont Park over one mile.
Belmont Park presents its final stakes race of the spring-summer meet Sunday when a deep field of New York-breds contests the $100,000 Evan Shipman Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. Gatsas Stables' Gander is the key attraction in this race and 124-pound highweight.
Gatsas Stable's Gander, one of the leading New York-breds in training, breezed five furlongs over Belmont's main track in 1:00 3/5 on Friday.
The $250,000 Empire Classic, the centerpiece of Saturday's New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park, has drawn Grade II winner Gander.
Woodward (gr. I) runner-up Gander came out of the race with a slight "bug," but has recovered according to trainer John Terranova.
Amerman Racing Stables' Lido Palace can join Sword Dancer, Kelso, Forego, Slew o' Gold and Cigar as the only horses to win consecutive Woodward Stakes (gr. I).
If you're looking for major contenders in Friday's 127th renewal of the historic Clark Handicap (grade II), simply follow the money. And when you follow that trail, you don't have to take many steps until you run into Gander.
Gatsas Stable's Gander was named New York-bred horse of the year at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders' banquet held Tuesday evening at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.
Gander also was named champion older male for breeder Angela Rugnetta.
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