Grade I winner and millionaire Macho Again has been retired from racing and is in the process of being sold to a Venezuelan farm.
The only thing Blame needed to officially become a star was a grade I win. The son of Arch accomplished that June 12, overcoming a wide trip while running down pacesetter Battle Plan to score the Stephen Foster Handicap.
Jason, Evan, and Les Instone of twinspires.com preview the Stephen Foster (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on June 12. Watch Video
Blame will have no easy task against a proven field of 11 in the 1 1/8-mile Foster. His main challengers include last year's winner Macho Again, Arson Squad, General Quarters, as well as another emerging star, Battle Plan.
With the connections of Rachel Alexandra undecided on which of four stakes in which she will run June 12, eight horses are probable and three are possible for the 29th running of the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap.
Jay Em Ess Stable's Arson Squad took over at the top of the lane and bounded home for his second straight graded stakes score in the $169,650 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) April 30 at Churchill Downs.
The Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) April 30 at Churchill Downs the day before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is a homecoming of sorts for some former Kentucky Derby contestants.
Who should win the Eclipse Award as North America's top older male of 2009? Vote Now!
The Clark Handicap (gr. II) is always a solid race and a good way to put an exclamation point on not only the Churchill Downs fall meet, but the older handicap division.
There was plenty of interest at the entry box when it closed for the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II), the premier post-Breeders' Cup handicap event around two turns on dirt in the United States. In all, 14 horses were entered for the Nov. 27 Clark, which is run at 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Dallas Stewart says Macho Again is "ready to roll" for the $400,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 27.
Stronach Stables' Einstein, unplaced in the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), was assigned top weight of 123 pounds for the Nov. 27 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again will skip the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 7, due to a cough he developed following his breeze Oct. 17.
As we all know there is always an angle or two we can latch on to in the Breeders' Cup. The trick is finding them among the morass of stakes horses that line up for the 14 races. There probably are more chances of landing a longshot on a synthetic surface, because, in all honesty, does anyone really know how to handicap these races?
If Sea the Stars does not make the trip to California, which seems more likely than not, and joins Rachel Alexandra on the absentee list, it will create a void never before seen in the Breeders' Cup.
Summer Bird continued his meteoric rise to the top of the Thoroughbred ranks, as he turned back fellow 3-year-old Quality Road to win the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) by a length Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Though his racing career began just seven months ago, Summer Bird has accomplished extraordinary things in a short period of time. The Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Shadwell Travers (gr. I) winner will try to defy the odds once again when he faces older horses for the first time in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
West Point Thoroughbreds will be represented by graded stakes winners Macho Again and Awesome Gem in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), West Point president Terry Finley confirmed Sept. 16.
Rachel Alexandra provided one of the great moments in the history of Saratoga when she scored a courageous head victory over older male rivals in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes Sept. 5.
Standing outside his barn at Saratoga the morning of Sept. 6, trainer Steve Asmussen was still basking in the glow of Rachel Alexandra's historic victory in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) as he reported the filly came out of the race in good shape.
Rachel Alexandra cemented herself as one of the best fillies of all-time in a race for the ages, as she set a suicidal pace and then was all out under Calvin Borel to hold off a bold charge from Macho Again to win the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) by a head in electrifying fashion Sept. 5 at Saratoga.
Jason, Tom, and Rich Nilsen of twinspires.com preview the Woodward Stakes (gr. I). Plus picks for the Forego (gr. I). Watch Now
Please note the following analysis was written by someone with a glass-is-half-empty mentality and is not meant to frighten, upset, or antagonize Rachel Alexandra fans and zealots. So, read at your own risk.
A percentage of any purse monies earned by West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 5 at Saratoga; and Awesome Gem in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Sept. 6 at Del Mar will be donated to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.
On Sept. 5 at Saratoga, Rachel Alexandra will seek history when trying to become the first female to win the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) -- a feat that would almost certainly lock up Horse of the Year honors and stamp the 3-year-old as one of the best fillies of all time.
Fresh off a runner-up finish in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again will make his next start in the $750,000 Woodward (gr. I) on Sept. 5, where he will meet a field that will include superstar filly Rachel Alexandra.
The longest shot in a field of six, 18-1 Bullsbay pulled a shocking upset in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 8 at Saratoga, splitting horses on the turn and pulling away for a 1 1/2-length score under Jeremy Rose.
The ageless Commentator will try to stand alongside the great Kelso as the oldest horse ever to win the prestigious Whitney Handicap (gr. I), a race he will also attempt to capture for a record-tying third time.
Macho Again, winner of last year's Jim Dandy (gr. II), turned in a bullet work before the heaviest of the rains began July 31 as he prepared for the grade I, $750,000 Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 8.
Tracy Farmer's Commentator, the expected elder statesmen of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) on Aug. 8 at Saratoga, turned in a bullet work over the Oklahoma track at Saratoga July 23, breezing five furlongs in :59.12.
- By Steve Haskin
Not to be a killjoy, but the fact is some of the best horses in the country will not be showing up at the Breeders' Cup this year.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again found room off the turn and pulled away from a wall of horses to win the $660,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 13 at Churchill Downs. Einstein, seeking his third consecutive grade I score, finished third after a troubled trip.
Jason, Tom, and the Wizard analyze the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), June 13 at Churchill Downs. Watch Video
Einstein, a leading candidate for 2009 Horse of the Year midway through the season, will try to make history by becoming the first horse to win grade I events on dirt, turf and synthetics in the same year in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Bullsbay, a 5-year-old son of Tiznow, benefitted from a rail-skimming ride by Jeremy Rose to wear down Cool Coal Man and win the grade III Alysheba Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Macho Again, who has won two of three starts at Churchill Downs, makes a return visit to the historic track for the May 1 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard as he takes on nine rivals in the 1 1/16-miles race.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again notched his first win since taking the Jim Dandy (gr. II) last summer, as he came roaring from off the pace to capture the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) in the slop at Fair Grounds March 14.
Fox Hill Farms' Honest Man, winner of the grade III Mineshaft Handicap in his last start, is the 121-pound highweight and 3-1 morning-line favorite for the $500,000, grade II New Orleans Handicap, which is contested at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt as part of the March 14 Louisiana Derby card at Fair Grounds.
After spending 2008 in Big Brown's shadow, West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again is ready to step into the sun as one of the top choices in the $1 million OBS Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park Jan. 24.
Hobeau Farm's homebred Delightful Kiss has been in top form for more than five months and all things being equal, the 5-year-old gelding would be the one to beat in the $1-milllion OBS Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park. But the son of Kissin Kris drew unenviable post 12 in the 1 1/8-mile main track event, severely compromising his chances of besting the other 11 rivals who will go to post.
Most of the leading contenders for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic to be run at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24 are already stabled in South Florida for the winter season, but a few will be flying in for the 1 1/8 miles test, including West Point Thoroughbreds' 4-year-old Macho Again from Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Trainer Steve Klesaris was ready to celebrate after 11-1 shot Ask Joe captured the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes by a head over Big Push in the finale of a five-stakes program at Fair Grounds.
Local hope My Pal Charlie put it all together in the $515,000 Super Derby (gr. II) with his first stakes victory for owner B. Wayne Hughes and trainer Albert Stall Jr. Sept. 20 at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.
HRTV's weekly series analyzing each division of the Breeders' Cup. This episode includes recaps of the Futurity and the Arlington-Washington Futurity and the Monmouth Stakes, preview of the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes, and much, much more.
This week, Jason and Tom take on the Super Derby. Plus, selections from from Cary Fotias of Equiform for the Super Derby, the Fitz Cotillion and Arlington Park Race 3, Sept. 20.
Though he's lightly raced and has yet to run farther than seven furlongs, Forest Command figures to draw much of the attention in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs Sept. 20.
Just before leaving a flight from Albany, N.Y., to Southern California, trainer Eoin Harty checked in at the barn at Saratoga to see how WinStar Farm's Colonel John came out of the exciting nose victory over Mambo in Seattle in the $1-million Travers Stakes presented by Shadwell Farm (gr. I) Aug. 23.
This week, Jason and guest co-host Evan Hammonds take on the Travers (gr. I). Plus, Cary Fotias of Equiform offers picks for race 10 at Arlington Park Aug. 23.
A field of 12 was entered Aug. 20 for the $1-million Travers Presented by Shadwell Farm at Saratoga Aug. 23.
Dallas Stewart and Eoin Harty, the respective trainers of Macho Again and Colonel John, discuss the chances of their colts in Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
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