The work tab at Belmont Park was busy Sunday, with a plethora of contenders in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Racing Championships working out.
One more week and the Breeders' Cup Classic picture should come into focus. The Meadowlands Cup produced a definite starter in Include, who ran a huge race to finish third, and a possible starter in Gander, who led all the way to score a gutsy and well-deserved victory. Macho Uno finished third in the Ohio Derby and is still on course for the Classic.
Riding a two-race win streak, Western Pride entered the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) Sept. 29 at Thistledown with his guns blazing. It was to be his biggest battle to date, facing 1-5 favorite and last year's 2-year-old juvenile male champion, Macho Uno, and four other rivals.
After much speculation, Macho Uno, last year's 2-year-old champion, is headed to the $300,000 grade III Ohio Derby at Thistledown Saturday. He heads the field with early odds of 3-5.
Macho Uno, winner of the Pennsylvania Derby in his last start, has fully recovered from a slight bout with colic and will run in Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby as originally planned, trainer Joe Orseno said Wednesday. "We did his blood, and it came back fine," Orseno said. "It wasn't like he was sick, it was just a slight case of colic."
Last year's 2-year-old male champion Macho Uno, who was being pointed toward Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. III) at Thistledown is questionable for the race after suffering a minor bout of colic Saturday night. If he bypasses the Ohio Derby, the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) to be run one week later at Belmont Park is being considered as his next start.
Macho Uno makes his 2001 stakes debut a winning one for Stronach Stable in the Pennsylvania Derby.
Macho Uno took the lead with a furlong to go and went on to a 1 1/2 -length victory over Unbridled Elaine in the $500,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Monday.
Stronach Stable's Macho Uno, last year's champion 2-year-old, raced greenly in his 3-year-old debut at Saratoga Wednesday after getting the lead, then was nosed at the wire by 10-1 shot Wicked Will.
The return to competition of 2000 champion 2-year-old Macho Uno and the grade II Schuylerville for juvenile fillies highlight Wednesday's opening-day card at historic Saratoga Racecourse in upstate New York.
Trainer Joe Orseno, who is looking forward to big second half of the year, sent out Red Bullet, Macho Uno, Thunder Blitz, and Milwaukee Brew for solid works Saturday morning. Red Bullet, last year's Preakness winner who has not run since the Dwyer Stakes due to a cracked cannon bone, worked five furlongs in a sharp 1:00 3/5 with jockey Jerry Bailey aboard. The son of Unbridled came home his final quartter in :23 4/5 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 1/5.
Primal Force, the only mare to produce two Breeders' Cup winners, has been named Kentucky Broodmare of the Year for 2000 by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. Owned by Frank Stronach, Primal Force produced homebred Breeders' Cup winners Awesome Again and Macho Uno. The latter was named best 2-year-old male of 2000 by the organization.
Red Bullet, winner of the Preakness Stakes last year, has started back in light training at owner Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Ocala, and could be ready to return to the races by August at Saratoga. Farm trainer Danny Vella said the son of Unbridled is coming along great after suffering what was believed to be a hairline fracture last summer.
Stronach Stable's Macho Uno will not make it to the May 5 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but he will not require surgery to get back to the racetrack. Last year's 2-year-old champion and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner apparently is sore from bone-density immaturity.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has predicted the mutuel field will be favored in Churchill Downs' first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool. Wagering for the first of three pools opens Thursday.
Macho Uno, last year's champion 2-year-old colt, will be sent to Rood & Riddle clinic in Lexington, Ky. Wednesday to be evaluated due to prolonged stiffness in his hind end, Adena Springs farm trainer Danny Vella told The Blood-Horse on Monday. "This will cost him time, and it's not our way of doing things to rush a horse who's not a hundred percent," Vella said.
Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breeding
First installment in series analyzing pedigrees of leading 2001 Kentucky Derby contenders.
Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breeding
Trainer John Ward, Jr. had his stakes-placed 3-year-old colt Holiday Thunder out for a six furlong trial on Friday. The son of Thunder Gulch was clocked in 1:14 4/5 and Ward was satisfied enough to say his next start would be in the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 17. "It was a good useful work and he finished up well," Ward said. "Mike Smith rode him this morning and he'll ride him for me in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. That's his next start."
Winning Breeders' Cup races has become a family affair for the homebred runners of Frank Stronach. In 1998, Awesome Again capped off an undefeated campaign with a three-quarter-length victory over Silver Charm in the Classic (gr. I). Two years later, Awesome Again's half-brother, Macho Uno, held off the determined charge of Point Given to capture the Juvenile (gr. I) by a nose. That performance was good enough to land him the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old male in 2000.
Horse of the Year titles come in all sizes, from a year's worth of heroics to a single moment of glory. In 2000, it came in the size of Tiznow's neck. That's all it took to turn the name of Tiznow from a faint whisper before the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to a deafening roar after it.
There wasn't much separating Macho Uno and Point Given in both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Experimental Free Handicap for males. Macho Uno held off Point Given by a nose in the Juvenile and was assigned one pound more than that rival on the Experimental. Ranked a pound below Point Given was A P Valentine, who turned in a powerful run to win the Champagne Stakes (gr. I), but then ran last in the Juvenile. Overall, nine horses were weighted at 120 pounds or more, the same number as in 1999.
A P Valentine continues to top Steve Haskin's list of top 20 Kentucky Derby contenders, with Talk Is Money the newest addition to the list.
Champagne Stakes winner A P Valentine, trained by two-time Kentucky Derby winner Nick Zito, tops Steve Haskin's first list of top 20 contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown racxes. Haskin, The Blood-Horse magazine's senior correspondent and Triple Crown authority, will be updating the contenders list weekly between now and the Kentucky Derby.
Has Derby fever begun its annual rose-colored rise up the old thermometer, or do you still have samurais and geisha girls on the brain? It seems like only yesterday that dusk was settling on Churchill Downs and we were all rejoicing over racing's newest hero. We all felt as if the messiah had finally been delivered in the form of an Adonis-like creature named Fusaichi Pegasus. Then it all disappeared into the murk of a misty Maryland afternoon, leaving us to start our search all over again.
Macho Uno, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in his last start of 2000, arrived safely at Gulfstream on Saturday. The newly turned 3-year-old was shipped by van from Frank Stronach's Adena Springs South Farm in Ocala, and is bedded down with trainer Joe Orseno's stable.
Macho Uno, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the leading candidate for champion 2-year-old honors, is scheduled to arrive at trainer Joe Orseno's barn at Gulfstream Park Friday, where he'll begin preparing for the classics. Danny Vella, farm manager of owner Frank Stronach's Adena Springs in Ocala, said Macho Uno has been galloping and swimming on a regular basis, and is just about ready for a half-mile work.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Continued
Although he raced greenly down the stretch, Macho Uno held on for a narrow victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. After winning at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in November, the colt's connections are looking toward the first Saturday in May 2001.
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Perfect Sting may return for a 2001 campaign, according to trainer Joe Orseno.
Stronach Stable, Joseph Orseno, and Jerry Bailey teamed for their second straight victory on the Breeders' Cup Championship Day card as Macho Uno won the Juvenile by a scant margin over Point Given.
Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) winner Thunder Bertie, a Churchill Downs-based contender for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, worked a sharp five furlongs Saturday to complete her serious training for the race. Other juveniles working toward Breeders' Cup races were Macho Uno, Holiday Thunder, and Xtra Heat.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Fusaichi Pegasus, trained by Neil Drysdale, continued Friday to leave a favorable impression in his morning training at Churchill Downs. Meanwhile, Drysdale may have added another contender to his strong Breeders' Cup hand with Stonerside Stable, LLC's recent acquisition Freefourracing.
Joe Orseno said Friday that Jerry Bailey will ride Golden Missile in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), replacing Kent Desormeaux, who also is the regular rider for Fusaichi Pegasus. Bailey also will ride Perfect Sting in the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and Macho Uno in the Juvenile (gr. I) for Orseno.
Michael Tabor's Yonaguska earned his first graded stakes win and City Zip became the first horse since Dehere in 1993 to sweep Saratoga's three major juvenile stakes when the two finished on even terms in the $200,000 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) Saturday.
Should City Zip be entered into Saturday's $200,000 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) as expected, he will attempt to become the first horse since Dehere in 1993 to sweep Saratoga’s three major stakes races for juveniles.
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