Turned out at a Wellington, Fla. farm shortly after suffering his first loss by a nose in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Nov. 5, Union Rags has returned to light training after a short break.
An easy maiden winner over a yielding grass course at Keeneland Oct. 26, 2-year-old filly Assateague will step into stakes company in the $100,000 Miesque (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Nov. 25.
The John Gosden-trained Elusive Kate, winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac (Fr-I) was made the 2-1 favorite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT).
Favored Somali Lemonade is on her way to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) after sweeping to victory in the $150,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (gr. IIIT) on a yielding Keeneland grass course Oct. 13.
Unbeaten Union Rags, forced to wait for room in traffic, slipped past pacesetter Right to Vote on the outside in mid-stretch and drew off to capture the $300,000 Champagne Stakes in dominating style at Belmont Park Oct. 8.
Five years after winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with the ill-fated Barbaro, owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson and trainer Michael Matz have parted ways.
Javier Castellano described Union Rags as "unbelievable" following the Three Chimneys Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 15 in upstate New York.
Following the first few days of Book Two horses being offered under a new format at the Keeneland September yearling sale, buyers and consignors had a chance to reflect on the positives and negatives of the change.
A halter and an autographed photo of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Super Saver and a Barbaro print will be auctioned off on eBay to benefit the Halo House Foundation in Houston, Texas.
Nicanor, full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro, drew the far outside post in a field of 13 for his stakes debut in the $200,000 Dixie (gr. IIT) on the Pimlico turf May 15.
Barbaro's full brother could be one strong run away from the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Lael Stable's Lentenor, the full brother to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, was upset by WinStar Farms' Doubles Partner in a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance at Gulfstream Park Feb. 17.
The colt will compete in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park.
Lentenor, a full brother to ill-fated 2006 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro, broke his maiden impressively on the turf Jan. 20 at Gulfstream Park.
Lael Stable's Kentucky homebred Lentenor, a full-brother to the ill-fated Barbaro, worked an easy half mile in :49 3/5 at Palm Meadows Jan. 16 in preparation for his next start for trainer Michael Matz.
In his turf debut, Lentenor, the 2-year-old full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, came close but had to settle for second behind upset winner On Vacation in a maiden special weight race at Aqueduct Nov. 28.
Lentenor, the 2-year-old full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, will make his second career start in third race at Aqueduct Nov. 28.
Lael Stables' Lentenor, the full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, finished third in his career debut on closing day at Keeneland Oct. 31, a race won by favored Positive Split.
Princess Haya, making her graded stakes debut, rallied along the hedge to nose Eclipse Award-winning turf female Forever Together in the $283,376 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine Sept. 20.
Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Michael Matz, Keeneland sales inspector Ryan Mahan, Fasig-Tipton sales inspector Bill Graves, and noted bloodstock agent Buzz Chace share their knowledge and guiding principles when it comes to analyzing conformation in Conformation for Performance, a DVD released by Blood-Horse Publications.
Novice and experienced horsemen alike can now gain invaluable insight into how the experts judge a young horse's athletic potential with the release of Conformation for Performance. The DVD is an hour-long, step-by-step guide for assessing conformation.
Nicanor, who broke his maiden by more than 15 lengths last out, followed up by going wire-to-wire for a 1 3/4-length allowance score June 17 on the Delaware Park turf.
Trainer Michael Matz switched Nicanor to the turf for his fourth career start and it clearly suited the colt well, as he demolished a maiden special weight field by 15 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park May 13. He is a full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro
Fans entering Gate 1 at Churchill Downs may have their breath taken away when they arrive for the races Kentucky Derby week following the unveiling of life-sized statue of Barbaro April 26. The event drew a "Friends of Barbaro" crowd of about 500 who cheered with approval when the tarp was pulled off the sculpture.
Grade I winner Visionaire has been retired from racing after being unable to come back following an injury he likely suffered in his victory in the NetJets King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, trainer Michael Matz, and owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson, have invited the public to attend a presentation by Dr. Lawrence R. Soma of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center and Dr. Scot Waterman of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
Nicanor had an excuse for his 10th-place finish in his career debut Jan. 31 at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr.I) winner Barbaro injured himself slightly leaving the starting gate.
Nicanor's debut wasn't one to remember. The 3-year-old full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro finished 10th in a one-mile maiden race at Gulfstream Park Jan. 31, hardly an encouraging step toward what his connections hoped would be a journey into this year's Triple Crown races.
Lawrence Goichman was hoping for a storybook ending for his homebred mare J'ray. A win in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) would not only give the 5-year-old a victory in her final start, but would push her over $1 million in career earnings. Herboriste had other plans.
Winter Park Partners' Wishful Tomcat, a late-blooming 3-year-old with four wins in his last five starts, tries to notch his first graded stakes score when he takes on seven rivals in the $100,000-added Discovery Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 22 at Aqueduct.
George Strawbridge Jr.'s Palmilla, the only graded stakes winner in an overflow field of 12 older fillies and mares, tops the wide open $150,000 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 19.
Visionaire, winner of the Aug. 23 NetJets King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), won't be pointed for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park in October because none of the races offers him the opportunity to do "what he does best," according to a recent article on Team Valor International's Web site.
Dynaforce, a hard-luck loser in both of her American starts, takes a small step down in class in hopes of securing her first win over here, as she leads a field of seven in the $100,000 Glen Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sept. 1 at Saratoga.
The connections of Ready Set were rewarded for their patience Aug. 2 when the colt earned his first career stakes victory in a big way -- the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.
Michael Matz is expecting a big improvement from Ready Set in his next tilt, the $300,000 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III) July 13 at Delaware Park. Six 3-year-olds have been entered in the 1 1/16-mile event on the main track.
Robert Scarborough's Mauralakana looks to increase her value as a future broodmare even more when she seeks her fourth stakes victory of the season June 21 in the $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Chelokee, who dislocated his right front ankle May 2 during the Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) on the Kentucky Oaks day undercard at Churchill Downs, continues to be on the improve at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, according to Dr. Larry Bramlage.
Chelokee, who dislocated his right front ankle May 2 at Churchill Downs, underwent surgery that "went very well" May 5 at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, according to Dr. Larry Bramlage.
On the morning of April 30, as the eyes of the nation turned to Churchill Downs for the upcoming running of the 134th Kentucky Derby, a Brook Ledge horse van arrived at Stephens Thoroughbreds in Ocala, Fla.
Things are relatively quiet at the barn of trainer Michael Matz and void of the media buzz that surrounded other such barns as Richard Dutrow and Eoin Harty leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Centennial Farms' Chelokee, on the Triple Crown trail a year ago, makes his return to graded stakes action May 2 when he faces six older horses in the $150,000 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) on the dirt at Churchill Downs.
Michael Matz didn't expect Visionaire to sizzle in his final work before the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), so the trainer was satisfied when the colt breezed a half-mile in :48.40 Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
Documentary filmmakers John and Brad Hennegan announced their film "The First Saturday in May," which made its debut April 18 in approximately 20 cities around the country, has been carried over for at least one more week in six Truly Indie theaters. The film will also make its debut at several other theaters starting April 24.
Trainer Barclay Tagg sent Tale of Ekati out for a five-furlong work Wednesday morning at Keeneland, and was pleased with the colt's performance.
The Blue Grass Stakes News Minute plus interviews from the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) dinner held on April 10, 2008. Includes interviews with Michael Matz, trainer of Visionaire, Edgar Prado, jockey for Monba, Robert LaPenta, owner of Cool Coal Man and Stevil and more.
Todd Pletcher and Michael Matz will each saddle a pair of starters Feb. 3 in what looks to be an intriguing matchup of 12 fillies and mares for the $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream Park turf.
"I like the winners circle! I want to put one in my house!" - hotwalker Iain Holmes after visiting the one at Saratoga with a Michael Matz winner.
A collection of noteworthy quotes from last week's backside meanderings...
Stroll through Michael Matz's shedrow and you'll undoubtedly come across Iain Holmes. He's the only hotwalker who speaks fluent English--which is what you would hope, since he comes from that side of the pond.
- By Claire Novak
First Defence will tackle the field when six horses go postward in Saturday's Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park.
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