Mother Nature continued to give horsemen a break Monday as three contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezed under sunny skies at Churchill Downs.
Philip and Marcia's Cohen's Closing Argument breezed four furlongs in :49.20 Monday over the training track at Keeneland.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Bandini, preparing for his engagement in Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), worked five furlongs at Keeneland Monday morning, in the company of stablemate Confederate.
A March 28 teleconference sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association was designed to profile entrants in the April 2 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but it looks as though the prospective field will undergo some changes. Instead, the media event focused largely on equine health.
Philip and Marcia Cohen's Closing Argument, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) and one of the most prominent 3-year-olds on the 2005 Triple Crown trail, worked a handy five furlongs in 1:01.40 at Palm Meadows Feb. 28.
Stalker Closing Argument registered a game 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Holy Bull (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park, handing 3-5 favorite High Fly his first defeat Saturday.
Richard Migliore won his 4,000th career race at Aqueduct on Friday, then dedicated the victory to Mike Rowland, a Midwestern-based jockey who was killed in an on-track accident last year with 3,998 lifetime wins.
Stronach Stables' lightly raced Saintliness kept her record spotless Saturday at Aqueduct, getting the jump on six rivals and winning the $81,275 Affectionately Handicap for fillies and mares by three-quarters of a length over Miss Fortunate.
Kieren Fallon, the six-time English riding champion, made a splash in his 2005 debut at Gulfstream Park Thursday, riding Cartoonist to victory in the ninth race.
Joseph Allen's Roar Emotion should have few excuses in Saturday's $100,000 Ladies Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles when she faces seven opponents. The 4-year-old filly exits tougher races and appears to possess a clear speed advantage.
George Wolf's homebred Leaving On My Mind tops a field of 10 in Saturday's $1 million Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot Stakes, the second richest 2-year-old race in North America.
Stronach Stables' Thunder Touch survived a claim of foul to win the $111,600 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) in his stakes debut Sunday at Aqueduct.
With an eye-catching move in mid-stretch, 3-year-old Mustanfar defeated older horses for the first time in his career, capturing the $150,000-added Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) in fine style Saturday on the Keeneland turf course.
Patiently rated at the back of the pack, Bending Strings bounded into action around the far turn, forced her way between rivals a furlong from home and drew off to win Saturday's $143,000 Safely Kept Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico.
John Gunther's homebred Bending Strings will top a field of seven in Saturday's Safely Kept Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the 122-pound starting highweight will break from post seven.
Salute, a 2-year-old daughter of Unbridled out of the undefeated champion Personal Ensign, ran an encouraging second as the 4-5 favorite in her debut Sunday at Belmont Park.
Philip & Marcia Cohen's Closing Argument scored an impressive four-length victory in the $201,640 Delaware Park NATC Futurity Saturday.
A wide trip and a claim of foul couldn't keep John D. Gunther's Eye of the Tiger from reaching the winner's circle following the $350,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Icy Atlantic survived a stretch-long duel with Mustanfar by a nose, but the 9-5 favorite couldn't withstand a stewards' inquiry. Mustanfar was declared the winner of the $111,100 Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park Sunday through disqualification.
Darley Stable's Millennium Dragon, runner-up in the Manhattan (gr. IT) and Dixie (gr. IIT) Handicaps, is apparently out of consideration for Saturday's $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.
West Point Stable's Seattle Fitz held off favored Dynever on Saturday for a half-length victory in the 116th running of the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II).
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said it is highly unlikely that Shadwell Stable's Mustanfar will compete in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
A trio of graded stakes winners highlight the 10-horse field for Friday's $150,000 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III), going 1 1/16 miles at Pimlico Race Course. The field is highlighted by grade I winner Nonsuch Bay and grade II winners Roar Emotion and Smok'n Frolic.
John D. Gunther's Bending Strings relished a cutback to the seven-furlong distance of the $195,000 Nassau County Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies, drawing away for her first graded stakes victory by 4 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park Saturday.
Wednesday's $100,000-added Bewitch (gr. III) features an overflow field of well-matched fillies and mares set to compete over 1 1/2 miles on Keeneland's turf course.
West Point Thorougbreds' Seattle Fitz, runner-up to Medaglia d'Oro in the Feb. 7 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, worked four furlongs in :47 1/5 at Palm Meadows Training Center March 29 in preparation for the April 3 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II).
Joseph Allen's Randaroo had everything going her way in Saturday $147,900 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at seven furlongs at Aqueduct. With Richard Migliore aboard, she got an early lead and left Storm Flag Flying in her wake.
Lunar Sovereign, winner of the Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) for Kiaran McLaughlin last year, makes his return to the UAE at Nad Al Sheba on Saturday night when he contests the Burjaman Dubai City of Gold Stakes (UAE-III).
Five-year-old Gerrman-bred mare Binya won her second straight in the United States Saturday at Gulfstream Park, recording a sharp 2 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf.
Joseph Allen's Roar Emotion pulled clear of Ivanavinalot at the top of the stretch and buried her rivals under strong urging from John Velazquez, posting a 5 1/2-length triumph in the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) at Gulstream Park Sunday.
Joseph Allen's Randaroo got the jump on the better-fancied Harmony Lodge and the speedy filly turned what was supposed to be a match race between the two into a 7 1/4-length romp in the $100,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
Weather could be a key factor in the outcome of Saturday's two graded turf stakes at Gulfstream Park. The $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) drew a field of nine – including three entered for the main-track-only – while the $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) attracted 12 fillies and mares.
Seattle Fitz held off even-money favorite Evening Attire for a nose victory in the $110,000 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Aqueduct.
Darley Stud Management's Millennium Dragon registered his first United States stakes triumph in Sunday's $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. III), turning back a relentless challenge from Political Attack for a 1 1/4-length victory at Gulfstream Park.
Irish-bred Volga, racing in the finest form of her career, registered a convincing 2 3/4-length win Saturday in the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) over 1 1/2 miles on the turf at Calder Race Course.
Joseph Allen's overlooked Randaroo won her third straight graded stakes race since Kiaran McLaughlin assumed conditioning duties, taking the $150,000 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Aqueduct Friday.
Randaroo, leading from the outset, held off the late charge of Shine Again to win the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) on Breeders' Cup Saturday at Belmont Park.
Volga, a mare with a history in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I), got the job done on her third try Sunday, winning the $750,000 turf test at Woodbine in a three-horse photo.
Joseph Allen's Randaroo raced close to the lead and then wrested command past the 1/16th marker and drove to victory in the $150,000 Safely Kept Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Pimlico.
Darley Stable's Millennium Dragon, a two-time winner on the Belmont Park Widener Turf course, has an edge in Saturday's $350,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at a mile.
Randaroo is the lukewarm favorite at 9-2 among 14 sophomore fillies entered in Saturday's $150,000 Martha Washington Breeders' Cup Stakes at Pimlico.
Darley Stable's Lunar Sovereign, guided by Richard Migliore, unleashed an explosive move while wide on the final turn and rolled on to a 2 3/4-length win in the $500,000 Man o'War (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Saturday.
Canadian trainer Mark Frostad makes a rare trip to upstate New York to saddle Shoal Water for Saratoga's closing-day $100,000-added Saranac Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the turf Monday.
Catherine Wills & Peter Karches' Dynever drew post position seven in a field of ten and was installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite for Monday's running of the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) at Philadelphia Park.
Favored Trademark captured his second graded stakes race in the United States this year as jockey Richard Migliore guided the South African runner through a seam between horses in the stretch en route to an easy win in Saturday's $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
Pont Street Stable's Tap The Admiral, winner of Churchill Downs' Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) in July, was one of 12 horses entered in the $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 mile on the turf.
Sam-Son Farm's Soaring Free puts his unbeaten four-race seasonal win streak on the line Saturday at Woodbine in the featured $165,000 Play The King Stakes (Can-III).
Shake You Down will spot six foes from five to 11 pounds when he attempts to capture the $200,000 A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Sunday.
Trainer Bobby Frankel continues his seemingly insatiable quest for graded stakes wins Monday when he sends John Amerman's Urban King in the $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds running a mile and an eighth on the turf.
Jockey Richard Migliore implored Sharp Impact for everything he had to hold off second-place Hidden Truth and win the $150,000 Lexington (gr. III) at Belmont on Sunday.
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