Team Valor Stable's Oh So Awesome breezed seven furlongs on Belmont Park's fast main track Thursday morning in 1:27 4/5 as he prepared for the 138th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 10.
- By Steve Haskin
Trainer John Servis and owner Rick Porter, who have been together for more than 15 years, have gone their separate ways, Porter said Wednesday.
The gasps that rose from the record crowd of 118,402 gathered for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course told the story. There eventually was a winner, but even his connections were thinking about the injury to heavily favored Barbaro, who was pulled up in front of the stands soon after the start.
Trainer Nick Zito said he is still trying to unlock the secrets of Hemingway's Key, but he does know the colt is much better than his recent form suggests.
Barbaro, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), hadn't arrived at the Pimlico grounds as of Friday morning. But he was there in the minds of other trainers with horses in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Nick Zito shoots for an unprecedented third win in the reinstated $500,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) when he saddles Wanderin Boy for the 40th running at Pimlico Race Course Friday.
Keeneland established record total and average daily attendance figures during its 2006 spring race meet held April 7 to 28.
Arthur Hancock III's Wanderin Boy shot to the lead and never relinquished it en route to a commanding 5 1/4-length win in Keeneland's Thursday feature, the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III).
The turn-back in distance to seven furlongs did the trick for the slumping Sun King, who charged from seventh in the stretch to win Keeneland's $443,200 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) going away Saturday.
The two geldings, Skeleton Crew and Final Copy, head a small field for the Sunday feature at Keeneland.
Tracy Farmer's Commentator, winner of last year's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) over eventual Horse of the Year Saint Liam, is ready to begin training at Palm Meadows training center, trainer Nick Zito said Wednesday.
Squinting into the morning sun, Nick Zito stood outside his barn mulling over his Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) chances.
A field of eight older horses passed the entry box for Saturday's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) valued at $300,000. Suave and Sun King, grade II winners last season, are each looking for his first win of 2006.
Tracy Farmer's homebred millionaire Sir Shackleton, who came into the $50,000 Super Stakes fresh off of a layoff and a series of good works at Palm Meadows, left the Oldsmar oval the holder of the seven furlong track record at Tampa Bay Downs with an additional $30,000 in earnings.
The first reported foal sired by grade I winner The Cliff's Edge is a filly born Jan. 9 at Lane's End/Oak Tree Division near Lexington.
Pies Prospect shattered the 1 1/16-mile track record at Tampa Bay Downs in Friday's featured ninth race with a clocking of 1:43.27. The old mark set on March 29, 1989 was held by Sunny Prospector of 1:43.40.
Andromeda's Hero overpowered his stablemate Seek Gold with a big move on the far turn and sped to victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Calder Race Course, his first win in 10 starts.
Todd Pletcher, who two weeks ago set a North American record for earnings in a year by a trainer, submitted the names of 17 horses for early-bird nomination to the April 1 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
Keeneland reported Tuesday that attendance was up and on-track and all-source wagering fell slightly during the 17-day fall meet that ended Saturday at the Lexington, Ky. track.
Despite the driving rain that inundated Belmont Park Saturday morning, trainers continued to work their horses in preparation for next Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Twenty-three-year-old Rafael Bejarano won the 1,000th race of his career on Thursday when he piloted the Greg Foley-trained Northern Vacation to victory in the first race at Keeneland.
This may sound like an outrageous question in October, but could it be that we finally are going to see a Triple Crown winner next year? It just very well may be that the stars finally are aligned for it to happen.
Tracy Farmer's grade I winner Commentator, who owns two of the year's fastest Beyer Speed Figures, has been taken out of training after re-aggravating a shin injury.
Due to a "moderate sized" splint on the inside of his right foreleg, Kinsman Farm's Bellamy Road will miss the rest of this year and be readied for a 2006 campaign, according to a statement released Monday.
Battle-tested In the Gold, given a confident ride by Gary Stevens, outlasted odds-on favorite Leave Me Alone to win the $245,000 Gazelle (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Saturday.
Grade I winner High Fly, 10th in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (gr. I) before heading to the sidelines, returns to action in the $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Sunday.
Tracy Farmer's favored Sun King overcame his outside post in a 14-horse field to easily win the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) under Rafael Bejarano.
For a summer race that plays second fiddle to the Travers Stakes (gr. I), the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) sure knows how to draw a nice field--and a large one at that.
Nick Zito, who just a few weeks ago was enshrined in racing's Hall of Fame, has been named one of three award winners by the National Turf Writers Association.
With the defection of Bellamy Road from the Aug. 27 King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) to run instead in the $1-million Travers (gr. I), Lost in the Fog once again looks to have a race at his mercy, something trainer Greg Gilchrist has mixed feelings about.
Trainer Nick Zito said Tuesday morning that Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road will make his long awaited return to the races in the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I), instead of the King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), the race that was originally on his schedule. Both races are Saturday at Saratoga.
Despite overnight rains that left Saratoga's main track muddy for the second consecutive morning, some key workouts were recorded Sunday for two grade I stakes for 3-year-olds contested at the spa next Saturday, the 1 1/4-mile Travers and the seven-furlong King's Bishop.
Grade I winner Commentator breezed a half mile over Saratoga's training track Friday morning in :51. It was the gelding's first recorded work since winning the Whitney Handica (gr. I) Aug. 6.
- By Ron Mitchell
Multiple graded stakes winner Eurosilver has been retired after being diagnosed with a hairline fracture of his left hind leg following his sixth-place finish in the Aug. 6 Whitney Handicap.
Noble Causeway, a late scratch prior to the Jim Dandy (gr. II) who was pulled up early in an allowance race Aug. 6, does not have a stress fracture, according to trainer Nick Zito. The colt was diagnosed by Dr. Larry Bramlage at the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky.
Trainer Nick Zito says Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road, owned by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable, is under consideration for the Travers (gr. I) after the colt worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 Saturday morning over a sloppy Saratoga track.
Trainer Nick Zito had Andromeda's Hero on the track Thursday morning at Saratoga Race Course working toward a start in the Aug. 27 Travers (gr. I). With exercise rider Jorge Abreu, Andomeda's Hero breezed five furlongs on the Saratoga main track in 1:02.
Just 12 hours after posting a 1 1/2-length win in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, Roman Ruler was on a van headed for Saratoga as trainer Bob Baffert weighs his options with his now grade I winning colt.
- By Ray Paulick
Saying racing is all about the fans and calling himself "the luckiest fan alive," Nick Zito entered the Hall of Fame Monday with the same humility and grace that has marked his life-long love affair with Thoroughbred racing.
- By Steve Haskin
Nick Zito's world doesn't spin on the same axis as everyone else's. It is a world of erupting volcanoes and avalanches of emotion. And that pretty much sums up his days leading up to his crowning achievement – induction into racing's Hall of Fame.
The classy sprinter Commentator was able to stretch his speed all the way to the wire under Gary Stevens in Saturday's $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I), digging in to hold off Saint Liam by a neck at Saratoga Race Course.
The Nick Zito-trained 3-year-old colt Noble Causeway, a controversial late scratch in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) a week ago, was eased by jockey Ramon Dominguez in the third race at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Thoroughbred racing will honor trainer Nick Zito and three others when the class of 2005 is inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame on Monday.
A field of eight older horses is set to line up for Saturday's 78th running of the prestigious Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. Won by Roses in May in thrilling fashion over Perfect Drift in 2004, this year's edition includes division leader Saint Liam--with trainers Nick Zito and Todd Pletcher entering two starters each.
Trainer Nick Zito will send two of his 2005 Triple Crown contenders into action in Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course. Belmont Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Andromeda's Hero and barnmate Noble Causeway lead the field of six entered.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, fitted with blinkers by trainer Nick Zito, went gate to wire to win the $300,000 Leonard Richards (gr. III) for 3-year-olds by 5 3/4 lengths Sunday at Delaware Park.
Glencrest Farm's odds-on favorite Honey Ryder pounded out a convincing 5 1/4-length victory over nine rivals in the $296,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial for fillies and mares at Delaware Park Saturday.
Newly elected Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Jerry Bailey, and New York Racing Association president and CEO Charles E. Hayward will be panel guests at the July 25 "Saratoga Preview" program at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Famein Saratoga Springs, New York.
Saratoga Racecourse will depart from its traditional "Steeplechase Wednesdays" on Aug. 8 this year so the the A.P. Smithwick Memorial (NSA-II) can be run in conjunction with the annual induction ceremonies for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Trainer Nick Zito has had nine horses finish behind Afleet Alex this year, and will try him again with three more in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). That in itself would certainly make the Preakness (gr. I) winner a thorn in Zito's side. But Zito and Alex have a history together that goes back a lot farther than this year's Triple Crown trail.
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