Mayo On the Side, a grade I winner over Azeri, delivered her first foal, a Speightstown filly April 2 at Steve Davison's Twin Creeks Farm near Versailles, Ky.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, whose five victories in six races last year included Turfway Park's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), and Lothenbach Stables' Mayo On the Side, upset winner over Azeri in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, have been honored by members of Kentucky Thoroughbred Media as the Kentucky-based "Horses of the Year" for 2004.
Mayo On the Side, who beat Horse of the Year Azeri in winning the 2004 Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I), has been retired from racing and is booked to Eclipse Award sprint finalist Speightstown.
Azeri, who figured to be the brightest star to shine over the holiday weekend at Churchill Downs in Thursday's Falls City Handicap (gr. II), has not been entered by trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Lukas, along with owner Michael Paulson, wasn't overly concerned with the 126-pound assessment, it was the spread in the weights that will keep her on the sidelines.
The $1.2 million "Big Four Weekend" stakes races at Churchill Downs Nov. 25-27 have attracted an outstanding group of nominees that includes Perfect Drift and Colonial Colony, the last two winners of Churchill Downs' Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I); 2002 "Horse of the Year" Azeri; and some of the most promising 2-year-olds in racing.
Trainer Carl Nafzger will have a two-for-one shot when he saddles My Boston Gal and Mayo on the Side for Sunday's $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
The champion Azeri, approaching her 2002 form when she was Horse of the Year, put on a show in her first start at Keeneland while winning the $500,000 Overbrook Spinster for fillies and mares under wraps Sunday.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, has crisscrossed the country piling up 16 victories in 22 starts thus far in her career. She never has raced at Keeneland, but that will change Oct. 10 when she takes on six fillies and mares in the $500,000 Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at the Lexington racetrack.
Surprising Susan's Angel collared favored Angela's Love in upper stretch and refused to buckle when challenged late by Mayo On the Side to give trainer D. Wayne Lukas victory in the $175,000 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for fillies and mares Saturday.
So contentious is Saturday's Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) that the morning line has five of the seven entrants at odds of between 5-2 and 5-1. The 1 1/16 miles Turfway Breeders' Cup is one of five stakes on the Kentucky Cup card at the northern Kentucky track.
Azeri's victory over Sightseek in the $245,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) Sunday at Saratoga Race Course not only erased many doubts about her recent form, it also made her the richest mare of all time.
The champion mare Azeri can become the all-time top-earning mare in North American racing with a victory in the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday. But to do so, she'll have to overcome Sightseek, who trounced her in their most recent start in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 19.
Carl F. Pollard's My Trusty Cat made a last-to-first rally to win the $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares by 1 ¾ lengths over Our Josephina on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Lathenbach Stablesê grade I stakes winner Mayo On the Side, looms the likely choice of the betting public when she faces four rivals in Saturday's $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
Multiple grade I winner Adoration leaves the friendly confines of Southern California to face a strong field in Saturday's $400,000-added Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Azeri came back time after time, but it wasn't enough. Mayo on the Side and Pat Day got by at the end to win the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Jockey Pat Day and Mayo On the Side skimmed the rail to take the lead in midstretch and pulled away to a two-length victory in the $100,000 Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland Friday afternoon.
Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's two-time champion Azeri heads a list of twelve fillies and mares nominated for the 39th running of the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park April 3.
Golden Sonata came from out of the clouds in the stretch to blow by her rivals and win the $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) by 1 3/4 lengths on Saturday.
Lead Story, ridden by Calvin Borel, rallied along the inside on a sloppy Churchill Downs track to romp away in the $334,200 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares Thursday by a widening 6 1/2 lengths.
Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, one of America's finest fillies during her three years of racing, is a strong favorite to win what may be the final race of her distinguished career in Thursday's $300,000-added Falls City Handicap gr. II), the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at historic Churchill Downs.
WinStar Farm's Awesome Humor and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Yell, a pair of leading 3-year-old fillies, loom as major contenders in a field of 10 entered in Saturday's $200,000-added Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
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