The 6-year-old son of Hard Spun came off a Dec. 31 victory in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream for trainer Mike Maker and got the perfect ground-saving rail trip in the McKnight.
Trainer Mike Maker has won the past three editions of the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup (G3T) at Same Houston Race Park and he's coming with a loaded hand seeking a fourth straight score Jan. 29.
Churchill Downs reports a 1.9% increase in purses paid at the 21-day fall meet that concluded Nov. 27 in Louisville.
Bigger Picture picked up his first graded victory and held off accomplished rivals to get the job done Nov. 12 at Aqueduct Racetrack, winning the $200,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Danish Dynaformer and Wake Forest.
It took Ken and Sarah Ramsey's 5-year-old mare Al's Gal 26 starts to earn her first graded win, but it was a whopper Oct. 16 at Woodbine.
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker and jockey Florent Geroux all clinched repeat titles in their respective categories for the 2016 Kentucky Downs meeting.
Trainer Mike Maker and jockey Florent Geroux swept the stakes events Sept. 11 at Kentucky Downs and did so as impressively as seemingly imaginable.
"All I can say is he's the second-best marathon horse in the United States," said trainer Mike Maker, ceding the top position to five-time group/grade I winner Flintshire. "I think we just go right to the Breeders' Cup. He runs really well fresh."
Da Big Hoss will face eight rivals Sept. 10 when he tries to become only the second horse to capture the $600,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) twice.
Saying the stewards' decision was a judgment call not subject to appeal, the New York State Gaming Commission will not consider an appeal of their choice to take no action against Inordinate in the Aug. 27 Sword Dancer Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga.
Sky Chai Racing's distance specialist Da Big Hoss easily held back good-closing Clondaw Warrior to win the $300,000 American St. Leger (gr. IIIT) Aug. 13 at Arlington International Racecourse.
Da Big Hoss, a sharp winner of his last pair in stakes company, heads Arlington's 1 11/16-mile American St. Leger (gr. IIIT) on the Arlington Million XXXIV undercard.
The top three finishers in the Queen's Plate Stakes--Sir Dudley Digges, Amis Gizmo, and All On Red--are set to face off in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes July 26 at Fort Erie.
Greengrassofyoming thrust out his nose in a pulsating four-horse finish to capture the Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 9 at Arlington International Racecourse as two-time defending winner The Pizza Man just missed in fourth.
The two have been most successful on turf, and if both advance to the Secretariat, they will be making their first grade I attempts on that surface.
The Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) is without a clear-cut favorite, giving bettors many ways to go.
After a third-place run in the Plate Trial June 12, an extra furlong seemed to suit Sir Dudley Digges July 3 in the $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine.
Jockey Rafael Hernandez, who was injured in a racing accident at Gulfstream Park Feb. 20, returned to action at the Florida track June 12.
- By Frank Angst
Already enjoying success at distance races on the turf, Da Big Hoss found two miles also to his liking as he launched a big rally in the fourth turn on his way to a clear victory in the $300,000 Belmont Gold Cup Stakes June 10 at Belmont Park.
Fresh off a course-record performance last time out, Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred Smokem Kitten captured his first stakes victory April 30 at Gulfstream Park.
Keeneland concluded its spring meeting April 29 and reported gains in attendance and on-track and all-sources wagering.
German-bred Olorda has found new life racing on the lead, as evidenced by a gate-to-wire win the $150,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares April 29, closing day of the spring meet at Keeneland.
Da Big Hoss continued his good form in long turf races when he secured his second graded stakes win of the season going 1 1/2 miles on the grass April 23 in the Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Imperative and Page McKenney, second and third, respectively, behind Moreno in last year's Charles Town Classic (gr. II), are among 10 older horses entered in the $1.25 million event April 23 at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
An interesting name popped up on the undercard stakes nominations for Kentucky Derby Day, but Ken Ramsey says not to get the wrong impression.
Oscar Nominated isn't nominated to the Triple Crown, but he's headed to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after his upset win in the $500,000 Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes (gr. III) April 2 at Turfway Park.
Longshot S'maverlous proved up to the challenge of his first stakes try and registered a clear victory in the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 26 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Gary Barber's Whatawonderflworld, who thus far has shown an affinity for turf and synthetic surfaces, is among a full field of 3-year-olds entered for the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes March 12 at Turfway Park.
International Star, who last year swept the 3-year-old prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, will reenter the graded ranks Feb. 20 in the $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
Skychai Racing's Da Big Hoss got a perfect trip and made the most of it Jan. 30 at Sam Houston Race Park.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's International Star got back to his winning ways Jan. 16 at the racetrack where he seemingly can't lose -- Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's International Star returns to the site of his greatest accomplishments Jan. 16, when the reigning Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner starts in the $60,000 Louisiana Stakes.
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Uncle Walter looks to become the outfit's third consecutive winner of the $200,000 Twinspires.com Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 16 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The Casse trainee won a pair of graded stakes in 2014, but will be looking for his first victory of the year in the 1 1/2-mile McKnight.
Jockey Corey Lanerie and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey have locked up the respective jockey and owner titles at Churchill Downs as the 21-day fall meet enters its final day Nov. 29.
Tigertail Ranch's homebred Mobile Bay got the bob and won the Zia Park Derby by a nose, while International Star checked in fourth in his first race since his victory in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in March.
Skychai Racing's Da Big Hoss will bypass the Oct. 15 Sycamore Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland and head to the Oct. 31 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) instead.
Mike Maker, who scored in three consecutive races Sept. 19, was named top trainer of the 2015 Kentucky Downs meet while jockey Florent Geroux was the leading rider with 12 victories for the five-day season.
Less than a year after starting out on his own as a trainer, Joe Sharp has made a big splash in New York and beyond, quickly establishing himself as a top young conditioner. He will have a string at Saratoga this summer.
Kevin Warner's Quiet Force, a sharp $40,000 claim in March 2014, comes from just off the pace to win the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT). The son of Dynaformer will likely start in next month's Arlington Million (gr. IT)
Churchill Downs' 141st spring meet, which was highlighted by American Pharoah's victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), came to a close June 27 and saw increases in field size and purses.
Upon further evaluation of sidelined Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner International Star, veterinarians have diagnosed a hairline fracture in his left knee.
Ken Ramsey said he is loaded with 2-year-olds for next year's Kentucky Derby, but International Star, who swept the Fair Grounds Derby preps, might get him the roses a year earlier than planned.
More stories, quips, and insights from this year's Kentucky Derby Trainers' Dinner held April 28 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville.
Trainer Mike Maker and International Star are out of limelight at Churchill Downs. watch video
Trainer Mike Maker and International Star are out of limelight at Churchill Downs.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's International Star stayed at trainer Mike Maker's base at the Churchill Downs Training Center for his final Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) workout April 25.
With rain in Saturday's forecast, connections of Kentucky Derby hopefuls International Star, Tencendur, and Keen Ice will try to stick to the plan of working Saturday, April 25.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's versatile Awesome Flower appears the one to beat in the $150,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) from Hawthorne Race Course on April 18.
Ken & Sarah Ramsey's International Star capped a trio of 3-year-old prep wins at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots March 28 with a game victory in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).
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