James Tafel's Street Sense, a major contender for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the reigning 2-year-old champion of American racing, tuned up for a scheduled run in next week's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland with a sizzling five-furlong workout of :58 2/5 on Wednesday at Churchill Downs.
James Tafel's homebred Street Sense, America's reigning 2-year-old champion, has returned to familiar surroundings at Churchill Downs, where he is to continue his preparations for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 5.
James B. Tafel's 2006 juvenile champion Street Sense returned to action in gutsy style Saturday when he defeated 7-10 favorite Any Given Saturday by a nose in a tremendous finish to the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III).
The Derby trail hits four fronts this weekend, with all eyes on Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita, and Sunland Park. Although the races in general are more about potential stars than proven stars, that certainly doesn't apply to the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) which features the match-up of the year, so far.
Carl Nafzger, who trains champion and Kentucky Derby contender Street Sense, will be the guest for Thursday's edition of bloodhorse.com's "Talkin' Horses" online chat.
Elizabeth Valando's Nobiz Like Shobiz showed his readiness for the March 3 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) by working six furlongs in 1:11 1/5 at Gulfstream Park Friday.
With 2006 Eclipse Award and Breeders' Cup winners Street Sense and Dreaming of Anna headlining the list, a record 450 horses have been nominated early to Thoroughbred racing's 2007 Triple Crown.
Tracking a hotly contested pace early, Street Sense came up the rail and ran away with the $1,832,000 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by 10 lengths at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
Although a steady rain fell throughout the early morning, the main track at Churchill Downs was labeled fast Oct. 26 when James B. Tafel's Street Sense breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 in preparation for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
This season, the sobriquet "Graveyard of Favorites" is appropriate for Saratoga in more ways than one. Monday brought the fifth day of daily on-track attendance decline and featured an upset of enormous proportions in the Amsterdam (gr. II).
Australian-born conditioner Ian Wilkes, who began his own training career New Year's Day after serving as an assistant to Carl Nafzger for 13 years, saddled the winners of three straight races at Gulfstream Park Thursday, the last one establishing a track record.
Front-running Eurosilver recorded his first graded stakes win in 18 months when he held off 21-1 outsider Twilight Road by a half-length in the $100,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
The Nick Zito-trained Commentator glided to an easy seven-length win in Thursday's $112,600 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland. Eurosilver was second, with Weigelia a half-length back in third.
So contentious is Saturday's Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) that the morning line has five of the seven entrants at odds of between 5-2 and 5-1. The 1 1/16 miles Turfway Breeders' Cup is one of five stakes on the Kentucky Cup card at the northern Kentucky track.
Lathenbach Stablesê grade I stakes winner Mayo On the Side, looms the likely choice of the betting public when she faces four rivals in Saturday's $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
A. Stevens Miles' Lead Story, a winner of three major stakes races at Churchill Downs and a leading contender for Saturday's $400,000-added Fleur de Lis (gr. II), has been retired from racing after suffering a fractured ankle in her final work for the race.
Lead Story made a huge move on the turn for home and went on to win the $327,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), leaving heavily favored Sightseek and the others in her wake.
Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song was an early bird who got a good track to work over at Churchill Downs Sunday morning, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 for trainer Carl Nafzger in preparation for Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Bruce Lunsford's Madcap Escapade and Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song, two candidates for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) April 30, worked out over the Churchill Downs surface on Thursday.
Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song got the trip she needed to defeat odds-on favorite Society Selection by two lengths in Saturday's $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park.
Unshaded reinjured a tendon this week and has been retired. The gelding's immediate plans are uncertain.
Westerly Breeze works at Churchill...Lukas sprinters to Chicago next Wednesday.
The question in the grade II Walmac International Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland Friday was who would relish the off going. The answer was Westerly Breeze and Ruby's Reception.
Belterra is being taken out of training and will miss the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Wagering on the Unbridled filly in the Breeders' Cup Future Wager has been suspended.
With Take Charge Lady and Bella Bellucci both on the sidelines, a field of just five 3-year-old fillies will run Saturday at Belmont in the grade I Mother Goose Stakes.
Belterra took the lead in mid-stretch and drew away to a 2 3/4-length victory over Netherland in Thursday's $61,100 featured allowance for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up at Churchill Downs.
Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Unshaded kicked off his 4-year-old campaign with a victory over Da Devil in a Churchill Downs allowance race on May 17 last year. Trainer Carl Nafzger now brings him back to begin his 5-year-old season a year and a day later in a optional claiming/allowance race at Churchill.
Odds-on favorite A New Twist set the pace through the opening quarter-mile then dueled with Cherokee Girl for a half-mile, before 22-1 longshot Take the Cake rolled by the leading pair to win the $100,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. III) by 3 1/4 lengths Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Kenneth McPeek saddled the favorite in both of Churchill Downs' stakes races for 2-year-olds Saturday but won only with Repent in the $217,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) as his Take Charge Lady finished second in the $215,200 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) for fillies. In between those two races, Bet On Sunshine stretched out for a rare route race, winning the 1 1/16-mile allowance race by 7 1/4 lengths.
The June 16 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. II) may have picked up two more starters when the connections of Da Devil and Connected declared their horses will likely be entered in the 1 1/8-mile Churchill Downs event.
James Tafel's 4-year-old gelding Unshaded returned to the races Thursday for the first time since winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I) last August, winning a Churchill Downs allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths. Unshaded, who had been sidelined by a tendon injury, completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.11 under Robby Albarado.
Trainer Carl Nafzger reported Friday that Unshaded came out of his Travers victory with a strained tendon in the left front leg and will undergo surgery at Rood & Riddle Clinic in Lexington, Ky. on Monday.
James B. Tafel's Unshaded split horses on the second turn and dueled outside Albert the Great through the stretch, pulling to the lead in the final strides to win an exciting renewal of the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) by a head Saturday at Saratoga.
Solvig saved ground before finding running room late to win Saturday's $150,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at a rainy Arlington International.
Citing the 3-year-old gelding's inexperience, trainer Carl Nafzger announced Wednesday that Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner Unshaded will not run in the June 10 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and instead will return to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Thursday.
The trainers of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus and Peter Pan Stakes runner-up Unshaded still have not made decisions on whether their colts will compete in the June 10 Belmont Stakes.
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