The key to making anyone who is unfamiliar with horse racing "get it" -- assuming you can't take them to an actual racetrack -- is showing them a great race.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will make history when he saddles Rags to Riches June 9 in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The grade I winner will become just the 22nd filly-- and the first since Silverbulletday in 1999-- to challenge the boys in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of a Champion."
Leading the Parade, a stakes-placed son of A.P. Indy out of grade I winner and champion producer My Flag, has been retired and will stand in 2007 at Roy Lerman's Lambholm South near Reddick, Fla. His fee will be $3,500.
Champion Personal Ensign delivered a colt by Forest Wildcat April 2 at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. The chestnut colt was bred by the Phipps Stable and is Personal Ensign's 11th foal.
Trainer Shug McGaughey is gearing up Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying for a historic run at the Breeders' Cup Distaff - Presented by Nextel (gr. I) at Lone Star Park. The $2-million Distaff kicks off the eight-race World Thoroughbred Championships.
Champion Flanders and millionaire My Flag each foaled an A.P. Indy colt in Central Kentucky in late March
Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying, the regally-bred filly who was named champion 2-year-old female of 2002, could make her 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park on March 14.
The late Ogden Phipps, who bred and raced generations of champion Thoroughbred racehorses, and longtime racing secretary and handicapper Howard Battle, who died of cancer last summer, have been named co-recipients of the Eclipse Award of Merit.
It didn't take long for anyone with a sense of racing history to start comparing Storm Flag Flying's performance in the Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Arlington Park to that of Personal Ensign's in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Sure, a solid favorite has been established, but there are still many questions to be answered in the week's time before pre-entries are taken Oct. 15 for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Michael Tabor's Zavata breezed five furlongs over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track Monday morning in about 1:03, according to trainer Patrick Biancone. The Phone Trick colt will be one of the favorites in Saturday's grade I, $500,000 Champagne 1 1/16 miles.
Well, if you want good stories, the results of the races this past weekend affecting the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) division couldn't have been more perfect.
On a rainy day at Belmont Park, Ogden Mills Phipps' favored Storm Flag Flying, in just her second career start, demolished Sunday's 96th running of the $200,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-olds, winning by 12 3/4 lengths.
On Parade, one of the most highly anticipated fillies in years, will go for her second consecutive victory when she heads a field of six drawn for the grade III, $75,000 added Valley Stream at Aqueduct Sunday.
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