Nominations to the Sunshine Millions, an eight-race series that will be televised nationally Jan. 28, have closed with a total of 333 names submitted.
Heavily favored Japanese-bred Kane Hekili emerged from a three-horse, head-bobbing finish to narrowly win the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) over American-breds Seeking the Dia and Star King Man at Tokyo Race Course Saturday.
Though Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact is sitting this one out, Sunday's 25th running of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) boasts two Breeders' Cup winners, one winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I), a two-time Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) winner, and the two previous winners of the Japan Cup.
TVG will become the first American TV network to present live, on-site coverage of horseracing from Japan when it telecasts that country's two most important international racing events – the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) and the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) on Nov. 25 and 26, respectively.
Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) winner Lava Man, who will try to give trainer Doug O'Neill his second victory in three years in the Japan Cup Dirt, worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 at Hollywood Park Saturday morning and is set to head to Japan on Tuesday.
Stevie Wonderboy, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29, will be back on the Hollywood Park track next week, trainer Doug O'Neill said Friday.
- By Steve Haskin
With Saint Liam pretty much established as the early favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), a competitive field of eight will line up for Saturday's $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) to determine who will pose the most serious challenge to the Woodward (gr. I) and Stephen Foster (gr. I) winner.
With Saint Liam established as the early favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), a competitive field of eight will line up for Saturday's $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) to determine who will pose the most serious challenge to the Woodward (gr. I) and Stephen Foster (gr. I) winner.
Lava Man, who was vanned off the track following a third-place finish in Sunday's Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar, was reported in good shape Monday morning.
The infinite patience of trainer Beau Greely and jockey Garrett Gomez paid off Sunday when Borrego thundered down the center of the lane to capture the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) before 30,741 at Del Mar.
At an age when older stakes horses usually head downhill, 6-year-old gelding Perfect Drift stands out because he just might be better than ever.
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Lava Man and outstanding 3-year-old Surf Cat head a field of 12 assigned post positions Wednesday night for Sunday's 15th running of the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I).
The $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Sunday expanded to 12 prospects when outsiders Oceanus and Polish Times joined 10 others as entries closed at mid-morning Wednesday.
Borrego, multiple graded-stakes performer and runner-up to Lava Man in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), wound up his preparations for Sunday's $1-million, grade I Pacific Classic with a solid five furlong work in 1:01.40 at Santa Anita.
Hollywood Gold Cup winner Lava Man heads a list of 14 nominations to Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 21. Of those, a field of 10 seems likely for the 1 1/4-mile test.
Surf Cat and Bruce Headley will pass on the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Sunday to stay home and run in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, recent winner of Belmont Park's Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), is the likely favorite as he attempts to become the first Eastern-based horse since Skip Away in 1998 to capture Hollywood Park's signature event, the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), on Saturday.
Musique Toujours, upset winner of the Sunshine Millions Classic in January, worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 Monday for Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I).
Former claiming horse Lava Man poked his head in front on the far turn and inched away for his first graded stakes win in the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Grade I winner Midas Eyes, stretching out to nine furlongs in Saturday's $1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Classic at Gulfstream Park, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in a full field for the featured event on the Sunshine Millions card.
The hole opened up for Rock Hard Ten near the eighth pole and the strapping colt burst through to win the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds Sunday in front of 31,874, the largest opening-day crowd since 1999 at Santa Anita Park.
Trainer Dan Hendricks, paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident July 7, won the $250,000 California Cup Classic when his 20-1 shot Cozy Guy gutted out a stretch-long duel over 25-1 Lava Man at Oak Tree Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Martin Pedroza, who earlier Saturday guided Semi Lost to victory in the $100,000 Pomona Derby, set a meet record for wins in a season at Fairplex Park. He finished with five victories on the day.
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