From Simple Pleasures Farm in Harrodsburg, Ky. to the powerful stable of Michael Tabor. The journey of Kentucky Derby hopeful Brancusi has taken his dedicated breeders, Nancy Much and Charles Whetzel, to the threshold of America's greatest race.
Michael Tabor's Lion Tamer drew the outside post 9 for Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The son of Will's Way, who will be making his first start beyond seven furlongs, was installed the 6-5 morning live favorite by Mike Battaglia. Second-choice Champali, the local hope for the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, will break from post 2.
Michael Tabor, owner of Hold That Tiger, said the son of Storm Cat is still being pointed for the Two Thousand Guineas. As a result, British bookmakers have lowered the odds on the son of Storm Cat
Michael Tabor's grade II winner Bella Bellucci has been retired from racing
Michael Tabor's Brancusi was put through his final preparations for next Sunday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) with a bullet seven-furlong work in 1:27 2/5 handily over Santa Anita's fast main track Saturday morning.
Michael Tabor's Brancusi, who impressed while winning a one-mile maiden event by five lengths at Santa Anita on Feb. 15, may turn up next in either the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields Mar. 8 or the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) on Mar. 16, trainer Patrick Biancone said.
Michael Tabor's heavily-favored Lion Tamer roared away with Saturday's $200,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
In a surprising development, Michael Tabor, owner of Hold That Tiger, said the son of Storm Cat probably will be pointed for the English Derby instead of the Kentucky Derby.
Michael Tabor's grade II winner Zavata, last seen being eased in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Arlington Park on Oct. 26, may return to training as soon as mid-February, Patrick Biancone's assistant, Yan Durepaire, said.
Michael Tabor's Mayakovsky escaped a life-threatening injury in Saturday's $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Turf at Santa Anita.
Chestnut colt, foaled Feb. 25, 2000
Storm Cat -- Beware of the Cat, Caveat
Michael Tabor, who has owned such notable Kentucky Derby prospects as Thunder Gulch and Johannesburg, has purchased Lion Tamer from Peachtree Stable for an undisclosed amount.
Racing wide throughout, Michael Tabor's Pass Rush proved to be much the best in Saturday's $219,600 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Mayakovsky, a strapping dark bay or brown son of Matty G, raced to a front-running one-length victory in a one-mile turf race at Santa Anita Thursday. After the race, trainer Patrick Biancone proclaimed the Florida-bred 4-year-old on course for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.
Not the least disheartened by Mayakovsky's ninth-place finish in the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita on opening day, trainer Patrick Biancone says the 4-year-old Florida-bred is ready to go as he prepares for the $1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Classic at 1 1/8 miles in the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.
Santa Anita kicks off its annual meeting Thursday with an intriguing 11-horse field in the $200,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds.
Longshot Tout Seul rallied from last to take Saturday's Group I Dewhurst Stakes for 2-year-olds at Newmarket, defeating Tomahawk by a length and a quarter.
Fabien Ouaki & Patrick Biancone's Whywhywhy and Michael Tabor's Zavata, a pair of 2-year-old colts being pointed for the $1 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by the French-born but internationally renowned trainer Biancone, both breezed five furlongs Thursday morning at Arlington Park.
Michael Tabor's Zavata, one of the top 2-year-olds in training last summer at Saratoga, breezed a half-mile in :50 2/5 at Arlington Park Sunday morning in preparation for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 26.
Making his first United States start, Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Landseer may have landed a spot in the Breeders' Cup Oct. 26 by winning the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland Sunday
Keeneland sold 2,933 horses for $210,802,500 during the 12-day September Yearling Sale, which ended on Saturday.
Grade I winner Yonaguska, a $1.95 million auction 2-year-old, has been purchased by Tom Simon's Vinery from Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier, wife of Coolmore managing partner John Magnier, for stallion duty at the Lexington farm.
Take Charge Lady will make her first start since May 25, and she will have to do it against tough rivals like Bella Bellucci and Imperial Gesture, part of a strong field for the $250,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 mile for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
Zavata established himself as the horse to beat in the Hopeful with powerful victories in Belmont's Tremont (gr. III) and the Saratoga Special (gr. II). He will seek to become the fourth consecutive favorite to win Saratoga's most prized race for 2-year-olds.
That question may be answered on Friday afternoon, when she is tested against 11 others in the $200,000 Spinaway (gr. I) – the marquee race for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs Saratoga Race Course.
Michael Tabor's Zavata stalked a fast early pace and drew off to an authoritative 7 ¼-length victory Wednesday in the 100th running of the $150,000 Saratoga Special (gr. II) for 2-year-olds.
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard is looking forward to another try in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr.I) with With Anticipation, who won the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr.I) Saturday for the second consecutive year.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas is hoping to keep S.J. Bee Stable's Holiday Runner unbeaten as she faces five other 2-year-old fillies in the 87th running of the $150,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course on Monday.
Versatile Left Bank wins his biggest race yet, taking the Whitney Handicap over a strong field.
The 7-year-old son of Relaunch is set to defend his title in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. I) on August 10. Beau's Town, Mayakovsky are ready for stakes tries as well.
Michael Tabor's Left Bank posted his 13th victory in 23 starts when he set a Belmont Park seven-furlong track record of 1:20 en route to an impressive 6 1/4-length triumph in the Tom Fool Handicap on the July 4 holiday card.
Michael Tabor's Zavata, a $575,000 sale 2-year-old in February, cruised to a 6 1/4-length victory in the Tremont Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park on the Mother Goose undercard.
Statue of Liberty, a $1.3 million son of leading American sire Storm Cat, scored a three-quarter-length win in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday. The Coventry is Britain's first group race for 2-year-olds.
Michael Tabor's Bella Bellucci, who was scratched Wednesday from the Kentucky Oaks, will point for the filly Triple Tiara in New York, trainer Neil Drysdale said Thursday. The first race in the series in the June 7 Acorn Stakes.
Eight three-year-old fillies are set to contest Sunday's $100,000 added Comely (gr. III) over a mile at Aqueduct. Michael Tabor's Bella Bellucci is the standout in the field, and a solid effort will send her straight to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 3.
The new race at England's Lingfield Park in which champion Johannesburg will have his lone Kentucky Derby prep on April 6 will be sponsored by Australian brewer Foster's.
Eleven horses were entered Wednesday for Saturday's $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but the focus clearly was on two: Florida-bred Booklet and Harlan's Holiday.
The Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training turned in one of its most successful performances ever on Tuesday at Calder Race Course. Gross revenue increased. The average price reached its second-highest level ever. And the median established an auction record. But the sale also was a treacherous experience for consignors as the buy-back rate soared to 45.3%.
The rise of Thunder Gulch from champion 3-year-old male to leading sire has been meteoric to say the least. Just six years removed from a championship season as North America's top sophomore, and with just three crops of racing age, the son of Gulch has made it to the apex of the sire charts.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien, owners Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier, and jockey Michael Kinane, who combined together to have such a great flat season for the Coolmore team, dominated the 2001 Derby Awards, organized by the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association, The winners were announced Dec. 10 before 600 people in London, England.
Michael Tabor's Yonaguska, trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Jose Santos, won the $112,200 Fall Highweight Handicap by three-quarters of a length at Aqueduct on Thursday.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien, who got his first Breeders' Cup win this year with Johannesburg in the Juvenile, continued his dominance over European racing when three horses from his stable ran 1-2-3 in Tuesday's Grand Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) in Paris, France.
Dual classic winner Galileo will begin his stallion career next year for IRE£50,000 (about US$56,878) at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
Johannesburg remains unbeaten in seven starts with a huge win in the Juvenile, trainer Aidan O'Brien's first Breeders' Cup victory
Bella Bellucci showed she had the class to make the jump from maiden special weight winner to graded stakes winner with a strong close in Monday's Astarita Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Left Bank beat Squirtle Squirt by a half-length to win Saturday's $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, giving trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez their second stakes wins on the card.
Coolmore principal John Magnier and fellow Thoroughbred owner Michael Tabor are following the lead of fellow owner Tracy Farmer with a pledge to contribute a percentage of any of their horses' winnings from the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at New York's Belmont Park to the NTRA Charities -- New York Heroes Fund. The fund will assist the spouses and children of the New York City firefighters, police, emergency service personnel, and other victims of the World Trade Center disaster on Sept. 11.
Michael Tabor and Mrs. Susan Magnier's Mozart came from just off the pace to score a two-length victory in the five-furlong Victor Chandler Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) on Thursday at the York meeting in Britain.
He's the last chance for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas to participate in the 2001 Kentucky Derby, but his trainer says Turnberry Isle will have to earn his way into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Irish-bred son of Deputy Minister is scheduled to run in Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) at Keeneland and Lukas said Monday that a good performance by the colt in that 1 1/16-mile race could put him in the Kentucky Derby. If so, that would keep Lukas' record streak of Derby participation alive. The four-time Kentucky Derby winner has started at least one horse in every Derby since 1981.
Michael Tabor's Yonaguska will start from post position seven under highweight of 122 pounds in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) Sunday at Hollywood Park.
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