A wide-open field of a dozen 2-year-old fillies was drawn for the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), with Blind Luck installed as the lukewarm 3-1 morning-line favorite.
With a light, cold drizzle falling, Patena put in his final major preparation for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:00 on April 6, with jockey Robby Albarado up.
Trainer Ken McPeek had scheduled a final major workout March 21 for Samotowka Stables and partners' 3-year-old Theregoesjojo for next Saturday's $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but postponed it because of sloppy track conditions.
With a week to go before the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), This Ones for Phil and two other leading 3-year-olds put in works over the Gulfstream Park main track on the morning of Feb. 21.
Shut off along the hedge in the final furlong, Nistle's Crunch altered his path sharply for jockey Robby Albarado and caught favored Seaspeak in the final yards to win the $112,900 Commonwealth Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 9.
Curlin has been installed as the 3-5 favorite for the 2008 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 30.
On May 24, while reporters trace the every move of Triple Crown contender Big Brown, a hard-knocking 7-year-old gelding will make the 25th start of his career in the $150,000 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs. And although the racing industry looks to a 3-year-old runner to attract nationwide fans, the reality is that Fred Bradley's Brass Hat is an equally intriguing horse to follow.
Racecar Rhapsody is looking to earn the first graded stakes victory of his career when he runs in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Preakness (gr. I) contender Racecar Rhapsody worked five furlongs in 1:01 after the morning renovation break May 10 at Churchill Downs under Jose Castanon. The move was the third fastest of 29 at the distance.
Stevil, Racecar Rhapsody, and Recapturetheglory all galloped at Churchill Downs May 7 in preparation for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat will make the 24th start of his career in the $200,000 Fifth Third Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland April 25, but he'll be up against a field of established turf contenders like morning line favorite Stream of Gold, second choice True Cause, Drilling for Oil, Dancing Forever, and Transduction Gold.
Trainer Mark Casse will enter the $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park as the defending champion, having won the 2006 and 2007 editions with Top Notch Lady and Sealy Hill, respectively, and owning a total five victories in the race. This year he saddles the lightly-raced Clearly Foxy, whose last start was a solid sixth-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Lewis Pell and Michael Eigner's Imawildandcrazyguy, fourth-place finisher in the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), seeks his first win since July of last year when he tackles eight other horses in the $65,000 Challenger Stakes March 8 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Though Old Man Buck was pre-entered with first preference in the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, after considering multiple factors, his connections decided to run the chestnut Hold That Tiger colt the next day in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) instead.
The $200,000 Miller Lite Cradle Stakes, run on the River Downs' turf course for the first time this year to position itself as a prep for the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, may not have attracted any major shippers this time. But it could have produced at least one contender for the $1-million race when favored Old Man Buck turned in a measured one-length victory Sept. 3.
With one week remaining until the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, top trainers in New York are aiming for a single target in the stalwart form of Street Sense, who will head up the field of the Aug. 25 "midsummer Derby" with a solid bullseye on his back.
Drilling for Oil turned back a challenge from Ramazutti mid-stretch and pulled away late to win the $170,400 Louisville Handicap (gr.IIIT) at 12 furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf Saturday.
Wagering on Raymond Cottrell, Sr.'s Birdbirdistheword, winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot (gr. III) at Delta Downs in December, has been suspended for the April 12-15 Pool 3 of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager after trainer Ken McPeek ruled out a run by the colt in the "Run for the Roses" on May 5.
Prince Arch, one of only two horses to beat Kitten's Joy during the latter's championship season, has been retired from racing because of a recurring ankle problem.
It was business as usual at Churchill Downs when Cat Quatorze, the first horse saddled by new trainer Helen Pitts, who has replaced her former boss Ken McPeek, won Friday.
Sweet Talker burst to the lead as the field straightened for home and held off the late charge of Rich in Spirit to win the $112,400 Edgwood Stakes by three-quarters of a length at Churchill Downs Friday.
- By Ron Mitchell
Trainer Ken McPeek, who conditioned grade I winners Harlan's Holiday, Take Charge Lady, Sarava, and Hard Buck during his 20-year career, is leaving the training game effective July 1 to become a bloodstock agent and advisor.
It looks like Prince Arch is headed to Dubai for the $2 million Sheema Classic (UAE-I) after the 4-year-old captured the $230,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup (gr. IT) on the turf Sunday in the colt's 2005 debut.
Ken McPeek-trained Kansas City Boy, runner-up in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), turned in a five-furlong breeze Feb. 28 at Gulfstream Park in preparation for Saturday's $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
Simply put, this has been a relatively uneventful Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail. Until Feb. 12, no 3-year-old had done anything exciting enough to infiltrate the top spots, occupied by last year's stars, none of whom have even run yet in 2005. Then, along came Scipion.
Newly-turned 3-year-olds get their first shot at graded glory right from the get-go Jan. 1 at Calder Race Course in the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT). A full field of 12 that includes four also-eligibles passed the entry box. The ones to beat are Exceptional Ride and Crown Point.
Hard Buck, a millionaire and grade I turf winner, will enter stud at John Sykes' Cloverleaf Farms II near Reddick, Fla.
The marathon Keeneland September yearling sale continued on a torrid pace Thursday, with the gross, average, and median prices up 34.5%, 47.9%, and 68.2%, respectively, over the same session one year ago and the sale is on course to be the biggest grossing sale in Keeneland history.
Favored Prince Arch overcame a bump with Good Reward in upper stretch to rally for a resolute victory by a head over Mustanfar in the closing-day $108,200 Saranac Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Monday at Saratoga Race Course.
Trainer Ken McPeek hopes to close the 136th Saratoga Race Course meet on a winning note when he ships Prince Arch from Kentucky for the $100,000-added Saranac Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at 1 3/16-mile on the turf.
William Carl's multiple stakes-winning Galloping Gal headlines a cast of eight 3-year-old fillies for the inaugural running of the Virginia Oaks Saturday at Colonial Downs. The $200,000 race will be run at 1 1/8 miles over the Secretariat Turf Course.
Trainer Ken McPeek and jockey Brice Blanc teamed for a second graded stakes win on a yielding Churchill Downs turf course Saturday when Sister Star surprised favored Western Ransom by 3 3/4 lengths in the $221,800 Regret (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies.
Prince Arch, thanks to a patient ride by Brice Blanc, ended heavily favored Kitten's Joy five-race winning streak in the final strides of the $226,200 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the turf at Churchill Downs.
It's not easy playing the role of villain in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). They're the guys wearing the black hats, the party poopers, the evil-doers of the Triple Crown. In the last 35 years, there have been three Triple Crown winners, and 11 horses that fell short in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of a Champion."
Edgar Prado had Galloping Gal rolling late and she just got up in the final strides to beat Gingham and Lace and Jerry Bailey in the Edgewood Stakes, the first added-money event on the Kentucky Oaks day undercard at Churchill Downs.
One day after Team Victory I's Hard Buck posted his first grade I victory in the U. S., trainer Ken McPeek said the Brazilian-bred colt would make his next start on the World Cup card March 27 at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.
Brazilian-bred Hard Buck rallied on the outside to get up in the final two strides, defeating favored Balto Star by a head in the $190,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) on the turf Sunday.
Paper Man and Hard Buck prepare for Palm Beach Stakes, Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.
Millionaire Take Charge Lady, raced by Jerry and Faye Bach in the name of Select Stable, has been retired and will reside at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.
Tom VanMeter II's Be Gentle, runner up to the undefeated Ashado last time out in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I), looms large against six rivals in the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) Friday at Keeneland.
The Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) on Keeneland's opening day card Oct. 3 is likely to have a field of seven 2-year-old fillies according to track officials. The 1 1/16-miles, two-turn race has proven to be a valuable prep for the World Thoroughbred Championships.
Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, one of the headline attractions in this year's older filly and mare division, is coming to Arlington Park as the starring individual in Monday's grade III Arlington Matron Handicap
Saturday's 29th running of the $300,000-added Fleur De Lis Handicap (gr. II) lost one of its major stars when trainer Ken McPeek decided that Select Stable's Take Charge Lady would skip the race.
Friday morning was not a good time at the barn of Kenny McPeek. He has been forced to scratch two horses from stakes races at Churchill Downs today--Take Charge Lady and White Cat.
Ken Ramsey's Ten Cents a Shine, who finished second in last year's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) for trainer Kenny McPeek, has been turned over to D. Wayne Lukas, Ramsey said Wednesday.
The Turf Publicists of America have named trainer Ken McPeek and his wife, Sue, the 2002 winners of the Big Sport of Turfdom Award. The award is presented annually to a person who enhances coverage of Thoroughbred racing through corporation with the media and Thoroughbred racing publicists.
Sarava, winner of this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has been transferred from trainer Kenny McPeek to the barn of Bob Baffert in preparation for a 2003 Southern California campaign that his owners hope will carry him to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, held during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.
Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, one of the brightest stars in an outstanding crop of 3-year-old fillies, looms as a solid favorite as she faces older rivals in the grade II, $250,000 Falls City Handicap on Thanksgiving Day.
Repent, a four-time graded stakes winner who finished second in the Illinois Derby (gr. II), is on target for the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) on Aug. 24.
Take Charge Lady drilled a half-mile in :47 4/5 on Saratoga's main track Friday morning. The grade I winner is being aimed for the Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
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