John Ward

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Booklet Breezes 5 Furlongs for Fountain of Youth

Holy Bull winner Booklet, breezed a sharp 5 furlongs in 1:00 3/5 Friday at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the Feb. 16 Fountain of Youth Stakes. The smallish son of Notebook, who was purchased by John and Debby Oxley prior to the Holy Bull, has won five of his six career starts.

Azeff Showing Improvement; Condition Still Serious

Assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, seriosuly injured after being thrown from her pony at Gulfstream last Saturday, appears from all signs to be making improvement at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, trainer John Ward said Thursday. Azeff has been unconscious since the accident. Although Ward had heard that Azeff's condition had been upgraded, hospital spokesperson Tara Bauer said Thursday afternoon her condition still was listed as serious.

Azeff Showing No Signs of Improvement

Assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, who suffered a serious head injury after being unseated by the stable pony Saturday, remained unconscious Tuesday at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

Azeff Still Unconscious; Vital Signs Are Good

Assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, who was injured Saturday after being thrown and pinned beneath the stable pony, was still unconscious at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. as of Monday morning, a spokesperson at trainer John Ward's barn said. All tests have proven negative and all her vital signs are good. "She's getting better, but very slowly," the spokesperson said.

Ward Assistant Azeff Seriously Injured During Training Hours

Yvonne Azeff, an assistant to trainer John T. Ward Jr., was injured Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park when she was thrown from the horse she was riding after it became agitated by another horse. Azeff was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital and was listed in "serious" condition as of 1:00 p.m.

Derby Winner Monarchos Makes 2002 Debut Saturday

John C. Oxley's Monarchos, who capped a strong winter-spring campaign with victories in the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) last year, makes his 4-year-old debut here Saturday as he preps for Gulfstream Park's $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 9.

Kentucky Derby Winner Monarchos Ships to Gulfstream Next Week

Trainer John Ward said Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos will ship down to Gulfstream Park a few days after Thanksgiving to begin preparation for his 4-year-old campaign. "God, he looks good," Ward said. "His rear end has really filled out and his coat looks like shining silver. He's come back with gusto."

Snow Dance, Casual Feat Top Mrs. Revere Noms

Churchill Downs' $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIIT), the year's final stakes race on turf that is restricted to 3-year-old fillies, has attracted 50 nominations for its renewal on Nov. 17.

Here and There

Bits and pieces from the Thoroughbred industry.

Oxley Duo To Meet in Hempstead

Beautiful Pleasure, the champion older mare of 1999, will make her first start of the year in Saturday's grade I Hempstead Handicap at Belmont Park where the 6-year-old mare will face seven rivals in the 1 1/16 mile contest, including stablemate Darling My Darling. Beautiful Pleasure races for John Oxley while Darling My Darling races for his wife, Debby Oxley, both are trained by John and Donna Ward.

Monarchos, Point Given Gearing Up For Belmont Showdown

With the Belmont Stakes just over a week away, the questions persist: will the Test of the Champion live up to its billing as a showdown between Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos and Preakness winner Point Given, or will one of the other horses who have run well in Derby or Preakness, such as A P Valentine, Invisible Ink, Dollar Bill and Thunder Blitz, knock off the big two?

Steve Haskin's Preakness Report: The Action Heats Up

The Derby winner, the speed, and the new arrivals dominated the Preakness scene at Old Hilltop this morning. Richly Blended, the last of the Preakness workers hit the track at 8:30 for an easy half-mile breeze, which was followed by another awesome gallop by Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. At 10:30, two vans arrived on the backstretch, carrying Bob Baffert's pair of Point Given and Congaree, and Dollar Bill. A fourth Preakness starter, Mr. John, was dropped off at Mary Eppler's barn across the track on the backside. Finally, all the pieces are in place, leading up to tonight's post position draw.

Preakness Hopefuls On Track at Pimlico, Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos galloped at Pimlico Racecourse Monday morning as he continues preparations for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown. Also at Pimlico Monday, A P Valentine worked five furlongs. At Churchill Downs, trainer Bob Baffert worked his two Preakness candidates, Point Given and Congaree, and Dallas Stewart reported Dollar Bill is on track after his workout.

Distilled Injured in Gallop; Out of Preakness

Dogwood Stable's Distilled, winner of the Illinois Derby, will not run in the 126th Preakness Stakes after suffering a small tear in the suspensory ligament in his left front ankle while galloping at Belmont Park Friday morning. In other news, Monarchos' stablemate Hero's Tribute, who was pointing for the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard, popped a quarter crack during a jog at Pimlico this morning, and will now wait for the Peter Pan Stakes.

Trainer Ward on Derby Win: Faith in Horse Justified

After checking on the horses at his Keeneland-based stable near Lexington, Ky. trainer John Ward arrived at Churchill Downs Sunday morning to reflect on the significance of winning his first Kentuckky Derby with Monarchos on Saturday. "As far as having any euphoria about winning the race, I was happy that we won the race and everything...I guess the feeling is it is a reinforcement that everything you believe isn't just a myth," Ward said.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Monarchos Takes the Spotlight

Sorry, but we've got yet another terrific work to confuse you with. But even with all the top works we've seen this week, we'd have to give this morning's drill by Monarchos the highest marks. There was a great deal of confusion as to what time he actually worked, as the clockers somehow only caught the final three-eighths of his five-furlong work.

Monarchos Wood Favorite

John C. Oxley's Monarchos will break from post two as the 4-5 favorite for the Wood Memorial (gr. II), to be contested April 14 over 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.

Trainers Gearing Up For Big Stakes; Godolphin Pair Arrives at Churchill

Top trainers from New York to Kentucky to Arkansas are gearing up for this weekend's three big Kentucky Derby preps, after which we should have a good idea who will provide the main challenges to Santa Anita Derby winner Point Given. On the foreign front, the two Godolphin invaders, Street Cry and Express Tour, arrived safe and sound at Churchill Downs today at approximately 1 p.m. after clearing quarantine at Keeneland.

Panel Debates Use Of Clenbuterol At Juvenile Sales

Should consignors be allowed to medicate sale 2-year-olds with clenbuterol right before they breeze in under tack shows? The answers to that question were mixed during a panel discussion that was conducted during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club Tuesday night in Lexington.

Family Matters: Monarchos

Monarchos (Maria's Mon -- Regal Band, by Dixieland Band) posted his first stakes win in the Florida Derby (gr. I) to remain undefeated this year. The March 10 race was his first attempt in stakes company in five lifetime starts.

Beautiful Pleasure Will Race in 2001

After lengthy discussions between trainers John and Donna Ward and owner John Oxley, it has been decided Beautiful Pleasure will race another year. Oxley said the year's goal is the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Belmont Park. She has not started since the 2000 edition of the race where she finished sixth.

Monarchos, Hero's Tribute Work For Ward

Trainer John Ward, Jr. had his highly regarded 3-year-old Monarchos out for a five-furlong workout on Monday. With jockey Jorge Chavez in the saddle, Monarchos had a very easy trial and was clocked in 1:04 1/5 breezing. According to Ward, the colt is right on schedule for his next start, the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) to be run over 1 1/8 miles here on March 10.

Haskin's Derby Report: Monarchos, Startac Make Moves

And you thought we were just going to flutter into February, with barely a breeze being stirred. It just goes to prove once again that the only sure thing about life on the Derby trail is its unpredictability. Instead of simply gliding along until the Fountain of Youth in two weeks, the 3-year-old picture hurtled into the new month on falcons' wings, thanks to several awesome performances.

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