In the second-to-last juvenile filly race of the Keeneland spring meeting, Beautiful Dancer opened a clear advantage in deep stretch in her debut April 25 and had just enough to hold off a late charge from Maria Maria.
Normandy Invasion and Will Take Charge both worked over a fast Churchill Downs main track April 21 as they near their scheduled starts in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas is holding the hottest hand of 3-year-olds he's had in a while, and that talent showed March 16 when stablemates Will Take Charge and Oxbow finished 1-2 in the $600,000 Rebel Stakes.
Optimizer hopped at the break of the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) but drew clear in the end, earning his second straight victory over the turf at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Feb. 23.
Optimizer went wire-to-wire in the $125,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Jan. 26 for red-hot Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won three stakes races in eight days.
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge notched his first stakes victory Jan. 21 when he got the best of eight other 3-year-olds in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Bluegrass Hall's Oxbow went wire-to-wire to win the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes by 11 1/2 lengths for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Jan. 19. Earlier, Touch Magic took the Silverbulletday.
Bluegrass Hall's homebred Optimizer continued his climb through conditions on the turf with a powerful 4 1/4-length win in the $200,625 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park Sept. 22, earning his first graded stakes score.
Circle Unbroken survived an objection after turning in a game performance in the $109,800 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) to remain unbeaten June 30 at Churchill Downs.
Calumet Farm's devil's red and blue silks may be returning to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May atop Brad Kelley's homebred Optimizer.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Amie's Dini worked for the first time over the Churchill Downs track April 22. Trained by Ron Moquette, the daughter of Bandini covered four furlongs in :50 2/5.
Making his first start on turf in his 10th time out. Morton Fink's homebred Wise Dan made a powerful stretch move en route to a 2 3/4-length win in the $203,000 Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) July 4 at Churchill Downs.
Robert Yagos, owner of Archarcharch, stayed positive about the Derby experience even after drawing the short straw in the post positions for the Run for the Roses.
Lenny Shulman interviews Jon Court, jockey for Archarcharch. Watch Video
Jinks Fires answers questions about Archarcharch, Jon Court, the Derby, and more. Listen to Podcast!
Next stop Louisville for the Arkansas Derby winner. Read More
The parade of longshots to win major Kentucky Derby trail prep races continued April 16 when Archarcharch came from off the pace to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
- By Steve Haskin
Archarcharch, a contender despite dropping off Future Wager. Read Blog
Eldaafer, a starter in the Breeders' Cup Marathon a year ago, could be on his way back to the World Championship event once again thanks to his half-length score in the Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes (gr. III).
Red-hot trainer John Sadler captured the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) with front-running upsetter Line of David at Oaklawn Park April 10, just a week after Sadler took the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with Sidney's Candy.
Fly by Phil, a 23-1 longshot making his stakes debut, got the graded stakes season off to a rousing start when he ran down odds-on favorite Lost Aptitude in the final jump to win the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT).
In a brief ceremony Sept. 18, representatives of Castleton Lyons presented a check for $29,400 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
The Jockeys' Guild has sent a letter to Kentucky legislators stating its support of Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal for expanded gaming at the state's racetracks.
Citizen, ridden by Jon Court, rallied along the inside to open a wide lead in the stretch and then held on by a head over fast-closing Flying Private in the $50,000 Mountain Valley Stakes at odds of 29-1 Feb. 28 at Oaklawn Park.
The thrills. The spills. The rivalries, rage, and romances. And yes, the flipping, too. It's all there in a new 12-part documentary television series, "Jockeys."
Twelve episodes of a 30-minute show featuring the lives of seven jockeys during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet will air on Animal Planet beginning with a pair of shows Feb. 6.
Jockeys from a majority of the leading tracks in the United States gathered in Las Vegas in the past two days to hear updates on Jockeys' Guild initiatives at the annual meeting of the Guild.
Upsetter Briecat used her speed to best advantage in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) Dec. 7, turning back a challenge from even-money favorite Model in the homestretch and posting a 2 1/4-length front-running win.
Merriefield Farm's Always First made a thrilling last-to-first move along the hedge under Rene Douglas to steal the $150,000 Sycamore Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 18 at Keeneland.
Transduction Gold, who won the Sycamore (gr. IIIT) last year but is winless since, will attempt to defend his title Oct. 18 against 10 rivals in the $150,000 event at Keeneland.
Front-running favorite Polonius gamely repelled the late charge of Indian Sun to post a half-length victory in the $106,800 Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Hollywood Park turf.
Long disappointing on the turf, Niagara Causeway has found a home on synthetic racing surfaces after tallying a game score over Church Service by a nose for his first graded stakes win in the $108,200 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 29.
Inside Information features Funny Cide, prisoners and horses working toward rehabilitation, and communication between trainers and jockeys on race day.
It was the second win in six starts for the 3-year-old Formal Gold colt, who had just broke his maiden less than a month before at Santa Anita.
The outsider Lang Field produced his first stakes win with an 18-1 upset by a neck over favored Zann in the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf on Nov. 23.
Trainer T.R. (Ray) Bell II and jockey Jon Court had never received so much attention for capturing a maiden event as they did when Special Smoke became the first horse to win a race over Del Mar's new Polytrack racing surface July 18.
Front-running Sailors Sunset, headed in the stretch by odds-on choice Peace Chant, refused to give way along the inside, coming back for a half-length victory in the $105,800 Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III) Saturday on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track.
Stalking Super Freaky surged to the lead leaving the eighth pole and dug in gamely under jockey Jon Court for her first graded stakes victory in the $112,600 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Santa Anita grass Saturday.
Jockey Aaron Gryder recorded the 3,000th victory of his career when he guided Pressthepace to a gate-to-wire victory in the nightcap at Santa Anita Park Wednesday.
Trainer Doug O'Neill capped a huge weekend at Santa Anita on Sunday when his Super Freaky captured the the $113,400 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the hillside turf course.
Jon Court, a Florida native who has won more than 3,000 career races, has been selected as the winner of the 2007 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.
Downthedustyroad left the field covered in dirt to register her first stakes victory in the $250,000 La Brea (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies, the final grade I race of 2006.
Jockeys Jon Court, Victor Espinoza, Roberto Gonzalez, Aaron Gryder, and Mario Pino are finalists for the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, Santa Anita Park announced Dec. 13.
Cambiocorsa, queen of Santa Anita's downhill turf course, extended her reign Wednesday to eight consecutive victories when she dominated Oak Tree's opening day feature, the $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Pure as Gold, claimed for $100,000 in his last start, paid an immediate dividend for owner La Canada Stables and trainer Jack Carava when he upset the field in Sunday's $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I) at Del Mar.
The NTRA Charities Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund announced it has disbursed $56,121 to more than 50 former riders who are permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained while riding at North American racetracks.
The Bob Baffert-trained Preachinatthebar took command on the final turn in Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and held on to beat Stockholder by a neck in front of 14,437 fans.
Second-choice Heavenly Ransom rallied under jockey Jon Court en route to her fourth win in five starts, establishing a stakes record on the newly installed Hollywood Park turf course in Wednesday's $100,000 Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT). The program opened the 67th spring/summer meet in Inglewood.
Preachinatthebar, a Triple Crown hopeful for trainer Bob Baffert and owner/breeder Mike Pegram two years ago before being sidelined by knee problems, won his first graded stakes race since the 2004 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) on Saturday when victorious in Santa Anita's $110,600 Tokyo City Cup (gr. III).
Front-running Cambiocorsa extended her winning streak to five in Friday's $134,125 Irish O'Brien on Santa Anita's hillside turf course, but the gray 4-year-old filly was fully extended to repel Somethinaboutlaura by a head in the St. Patrick's Day feature for California-breds.
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