The 3-year-old sprint scene is really just starting, so the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes could help sort it out.
Spain, the all-time leading earning filly or mare in North America, is the overwhelming choice in a field of only five entered for Saturday's Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Monmouth.
Proud Citizen, who was vanned off the track after finishing fifth in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, has a cracked left shin, according to trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Owners Robert Baker, David Cornstein, and Bill Mack will donate their share of purse money earned by Proud Citizen in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to the Twin Towers Fund.
With only two horses left to be drawn, including Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner War Emblem, and the first and last choices for post positions remaining, trainer Bob Baffert was poised to be either the straw that stirred the Preakness post position drink or a man without a plan.
Before they were even assured a spot in Saturday's Kentucky Derby field, trainers of the top 21 Derby hopefuls were invited to a dinner in their honor Tuesday night.
Three days after it was announced that Serena's Song will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame this summer, Spain will attempt to chip away at her career female earnings record of $3,283,388. The Thoroughbred Corp.'s 5-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch is one of eight fillies and mares entered in the $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Kentucky Oaks day at Churchill Downs.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was honored after the races April 28 by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The event was held at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Proud Citizen earns a Kentucky Derby berth after winning the Lexington .
The familiar colors of Bob and Beverly Lewis visited the Keeneland winner's circle following consecutive races Sunday, with trainer D. Wayne Lukas there to greet the winning horse on both occasions, most notably following Orientate's victory in the $272,000 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
Eight-year-old gelding Affirmed Success earned his third career grade I win in Saturday's Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.
Despite losing Rebel Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Ocean Sound to the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), 12 runners are still expected for the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park with the addition of Gold Dollar to the likely field of runners.
Jockey Pat Day will ride D. Wayne Lukas-trained Spain for the first time since winning the Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) in September of 2000 in the $500,000 Apple Blossom (gr. I) on April 6 at Oaklawn Park.
The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Azeri earned her first grade I stakes win in her fifth career start at Santa Anita Sunday, when the 4-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter won the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap.
Printemps is trainer Ron McAnally's entry in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares on Sunday at Santa Anita. Chilean-bred Printemps may not be favored in the race, but McAnally's history of success in the race is undeniable: he trained two-time winners Paseana and Bayakoa, Queens Court (1995), and longshot Toda Una Dama (1998).
On Sunday, Snow Ridge continued his impressive run through the sprint stakes schedule at Santa Anita, leading wire-to-wire in winning the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. I). Earlier at the meet, Snow Ridge won the El Conejo (gr. III) and Palos Verdes (gr. II) handicaps.
Can Bob Baffert and Wayne Lukas find a Kentucky Derby contender in a six-furlong maiden race on Saturday? Although it's a longshot, it may be the last chance they have.
Two-time Chilean champion Printemps will make her first start of 2002 in Sunday's $200,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Printemps will receive a three-pound concession from 119-pound highweight Spain in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's $4.4-million yearling purchase Shah Jehan might make his first American start in Friday's restricted Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. Though nominated to the 1 1/8-mile race, trainer D. Wayne Lukas is uncertain the 3-year-old Mr. Prospector colt will be among the starters.
City Fair ran another strong race Saturday, winning the $82,775 Correction Handicap at Aqueduct by two lengths. City Fair, a 4-year-old trained by D. Wayne Lukas, has finished third or better in 11 of her last 12 starts while winning five.
The respective winners of the first two legs of the three-race Strub Series will face each other for the first time in the series finale, Saturday's $400,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Overbrook Farm's Snow Ridge skipped over a wet-fast track at Santa Anita Sunday to upset heavily favored Squirtle Squirt in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II). Under Mike Smith, Snow Ridge ran the six furlongs 1:07.70.
Even-money favorite Kalookan Queen alternately set and pressed a fast pace, drew away in upper stretch, and held off a fast-closing Leading Light in deep stretch to win Saturday's $200,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) by a half-length at Santa Anita.
A field of 12 has signed on for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), the second leg of the Strub Series for foals of 1998. Western Pride is the 122-pound highweight for the 1 1/16-mile main track event. Western Pride also garnered the highest weight allocation of the 12 entered here by Globeform's ranking of last year's 3-year-olds.
Spain, who won the 2000 edition of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and came within a head of repeating that feat this year, worked a sharp :59 4/5 over five furlongs in her final preparation for Thursday's $250,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
A possible showdown between the two most recent Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winners will not take place in the $250,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. III) on Thanksgiving at Churchill Downs as 2000 winner Spain will be pointed toward the $150,000 Bayakoa (gr. II) on Dec. 15 at Hollywood Park.
Red Oak Stable's Strolling Belle is the highweight for Saturday's grade III, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm at Aqueduct. The 5-year-old daughter of Strolling Along won the Personal Ensign at Monmouth before being disqualified from second in her last outing, the Long Look at the Meadowlands, when jockey Eibar Coa struck a rival with his whip.
Yonaguska completed a chalky Daily Double on the Breeders' Cup undercard Saturday at Belmont Park. He won the second race, the Sport Page (gr. III), under Chris McCarron. He was 7-5 and first race winner Graeme Hall was 4-5.
D. Wayne Lukas is heading to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) with longshot Orientate, winner of the Indiana Derby.
To paraphrase Horace Greeley, it is quite evident that all the good young men have gone west, and are now ready to head back east in an attempt to conquer the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park. The West Coast natives have absolutely dominated this division in the key months and weeks heading up to championship day Oct. 27. And if there was any doubt about that, there is none remaining after Officer's smashing win in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont, at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile distance, Oct. 6.
Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) winner Exogenous survived a stewards' inquiry to earn her second straight grade I victory, winning Saturday's $750,000 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. After describing an "S" shape while weaving her way to the wire -- bumping Spain repeatedly in the process – Exogenous completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.20, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Flute.
This is the weekend that should clear up a very murky 2-year-old picture three weeks out from the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Hopefully, and we do mean with fingers crossed, as injuries and illnesses continue to take their toll on the juvenile ranks, we will get to see The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Officer prep for racing's biggest day.
Overbrook Farm's D. Wayne Lukas trainee Snow Ridge led through the opening half-mile, fell a half-length behind City Zip in the stretch, then came back on that rival to win Saturday's $147,500 Kentucky Cup Sprint Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park.
Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables has removed most of its racehorses from trainer D. Wayne Lukas' barn as part of a re-evaluation of its operation. During the Keeneland July sale, Nadia Sanan, who acts as the family's racing manager, had said Lukas would remain the Padua trainer.
D. Wayne Lukas-trained Scorpion ran down Free of Love in the shadow of the wire to win the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. I) by a half-length on Saturday at Saratoga. Favored Congaree dueled with 30-1 longshot Free of Love on the second turn before tiring to finish third.
D. Wayne and Laura Lukas had a big stakes winner over the weekend, but it wasn't at Del Mar or Saratoga. The training team won Saturday's Ed Burke Memorial Futurity (AQHA-I) at Los Alamitos with Quarter Horse Check Him Out.
Katz Me If You Can finished fourth in Saturday's $50,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park with nearly 97 percent of the total show pool wagered on her, causing the highest show pool payoff in the history of the New Jersey track.
Belmont Stakes hopeful Dollar Bill worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs Sunday in company with stablemate Kazoo. Over the fast surface, the trouble-prone son of Peaks and Valleys covered the distance in :59 3/5 under exercise rider Joanne McNamara.
Michael Tabor's Buckle Down Ben, prepping for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), earned a neck-length victory over X Country in a one-mile allowance race Sunday at Churchill Downs. Under jockey Pat Day, the 3-year-old son of Devil His Due completed the distance in 1:34.84 on a fast track. The win marked Day's 7,999th career victory.
Michael Tabor's Buckle Down Ben, a possible entrant for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has been entered to run in a one-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Earlier this week, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the son of Devil His Due would be trained up to the 1 1/2-mile third leg of the Triple Crown.
D. Wayne Lukas-trained Buckle Down Ben, considered a possible entrant for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I), breezed four furlongs on Sunday morning at Churchill Downs. A Lukas-trained horse has won the Belmont on five occasions, most recently with Commendable in last year's renewal.
Jockey Joe Bravo earned his fourth win on Saturday's Belmont Park card by guiding Overbrook Farm's homebred Katz Me If You Can to a 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II). The D. Wayne Lukas-trained 4-year-old filly carried lightweight of 113 pounds and stopped the timer in 1:09.55 for the six furlongs on a fast track.
- By Ray Paulick
The entry box at Churchill Downs doesn't close until 10 a.m. on May 2, but as this is written it appears the 127th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be renewed without an entry from the barn of D. Wayne Lukas.
He's the last chance for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas to participate in the 2001 Kentucky Derby, but his trainer says Turnberry Isle will have to earn his way into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Irish-bred son of Deputy Minister is scheduled to run in Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland and Lukas said Monday that a good performance by the colt in that 1 1/16-mile race could put him in the Kentucky Derby. If so, that would keep Lukas' record streak of Derby participation alive. The four-time Kentucky Derby winner has started at least one horse in every Derby since 1981.
A field of eight evenly matched 3-year-olds will head to the post for the 49th edition of the $200,000 Gotham Stakes (g. III) Sunday at Aqueduct. Co-highweights will be Marciano and Regal Shivers at 120 pounds, four more than the remaining six entrants.
David Shimmon, the California entrepreneur who has been one of the Thoroughbred industry's leading yearling buyers since emerging at the Keeneland July sale in 1999, has elected to have D. Wayne Lukas train four of his purchases from last year, including a $4.2 million Seattle Slew colt who topped Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga yearling sale.
Tricky Elaine, a daughter of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Grindstone and half-sister of champion Favorite Trick, will attempt to win her second career race in Saturday's Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
Spain made a case for herself for 3-year-old filly Eclipse Award honors with an upset win in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) only to be trumped three weeks later when Surfside convincingly defeated males in the Clark Handicap (gr. II). Spain put in some last-minute campaigning Saturday, defeating reigning 2-year-old champion Chilukki in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
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