Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., on the comeback trail after serving a prison sentence for cocaine possession, earned his 1,000th career win Dec. 8 aboard favored Mac the Man at Turfway Park.
Liquor Cabinet may be a 6-year-old horse, but trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. believes the now-healthy son of Hennessy has better still to come. He'll face seven rivals in the $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles on the inner track Saturday.
Todd Pletcher's career has been filled with sparkling highlights, but the prestigious $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) has been a frustration to him. The two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer sends out Bandini in Monday's renewal of the popular "Met Mile" at Belmont Park.
Speedy Don Six, a 5-year-old that trainer Scott Lake feels is good enough to win the 2005 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), takes an important step in Monday's $200,000 General George Handicap (gr. II) at seven furlongs at Laurel Park.
Guided through a hole along the inside by jockey Jose Espinoza, 8-year-old Country Be Gold halted a seven-race losing streak Sunday, holding off favored Aggadan for a three-quarters of a length victory in the $110,300 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) at odds of 22-1.
Sanford Goldfarb's Aggadan is the horse to beat when he faces eight rivals in Aqueduct's first graded stakes race of 2005, the $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at 1 1/16 miles.
Taking advantage of lucrative purses for Maryland-bred stakes races, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. sent Aggadan to Pimlico for his last three races. But with the $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) to be run on Aggadan's home track at 1 1/16 miles, the 6-year-old horse will make his next start in that race Saturday.
As the days of 2004 dwindle down, one of the last chances to grab black type on the year comes in Wednesday's $75,000 Gallant Fox Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Under jockey Ariel Smith, the 3-5 favorite Aggadan powered through an opening at the top of the lane and outstepped a determined Irish Colony to win the $100,000 Jennings Handicap for Maryland-breds Saturday at Pimlico.
- By Steve Haskin
Ernie Paragallo, whose Paraneck Stable has sent out numerous stakes horses over the past eight years, is selling all his horses, with the exception of his stallions, and hopes to have everything sold by the end of the year.
Ten Most Wanted returned to Hawthorne Saturday with a romping 6 3/4-length victory in the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III).
Ten Most Wanted, winner of the 2003 Illinois Derby (gr. II), Travers (gr. I), and Super Derby , will return to Hawthorne Race Course on Saturday in the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III).
Ten Most Wanted heads a list of 19 nominees for the running of the $250,000
National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course, which will be contested over 1 1/8-miles on April 17.
Six-year-old Well Fancied, who is coming off the biggest win of his career in the General George Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park Feb. 16, will tote highweight of 118 pounds in a field of 10 set for Saturday's $100,000 Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Sackatoga Stable's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide has been entered in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claiming race on Saturday's card at Gulfstream Park.
Darley Stud Management's Millennium Dragon registered his first United States stakes triumph in Sunday's $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. III), turning back a relentless challenge from Political Attack for a 1 1/4-length victory at Gulfstream Park.
Kissin Saint, owned by Michael Rankowitz and Peter Karches, arrived at Pimlico at approximately 9:15 Thursday morning and Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Peace Rules arrived in the afternoon. With the arrival of New York Hero later in the day, seven contenders for Saturday's Preakness Stakes were on the grounds.
When a draw was conducted Wednesday morning to determine the order in which post positions will be selected for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, the luck of the draw did not favor the connections of Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide.
Three Churchill Downs-based contenders for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course put in their final works on Tuesday morning at the Louisville oval.
The Preakness field has now doubled in size from last week with the confirmations of New York Hero and Foufa's Warrior as definite starters for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
While the best three-year-olds in the country are running in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, several up-and-comers in the one-mile Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct could join the Visa Triple Crown trail later down the road.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker confirmed his credentials as this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) consensus choice with a calculated half-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) in the mud at Aqueduct Park.
Empire Maker arrived Wednesday in New York, along with Aldebaran, Congaree, Senor Swinger, and others planning to battle Saturday in the Wood and the Carter.
Paraneck Stable's New York Hero, scheduled to take on current Kentucky Derby favorite Empire Maker in Saturday's grade I, $750,000 Wood Memorial at nine furlongs, breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 over Aqueduct's "fast" main track Monday morning.
Norberto Arroyo Jr. is rebounding from some personal matters, and insists he is now investing 100% into his riding.
San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) winner Buddy Gil and Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) winner New York Hero were among eight additional 3-year-olds made eligible for the Visa Triple Crown during the late nomination period that ended Saturday.
NEW YORK HERO
Paraneck Stable's New York Hero's valiant win in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds highlighted a five-stakes day at Turfway Park Saturday.
Headed by Cherokee's Boy, a field of 11 has been entered for Sunday's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, a traditional prep for the track's grade I Wood Memorial on April 12.
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