by John P. Sparkman
Full sisters to 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow and breeding to stallion Awesome Again.
by John P. Sparkman
Daniel Sullivan, president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation, announced that Giant Oak has been selected its 2009 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male.
Smitty's Sunshine, with Robby Albarado aboard, pulled clear following a three-way duel for the early lead and then held off a late charge by Beautiful Bets for a three-quarter length victory in Sunday's $116,400 Pent Up Kiss Stakes for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
The crowded list of contenders for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) picked up another member on Monday when trainer Ralph Nicks pre-entered James Spence's homebred Lilly Carson in the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies.
Strode Stables' Sea Siren made amends Saturday with a front-running four-length victory in the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) for her first stakes triumph at odds of 14-1.
David Garner's Cool Conductor, winner of the 2005 Dixie Handicap (gr. IIT) and Arlington Park Handicap (gr. IIIT) is sidelined while he recovers from surgery to remove a small bone chip.
Team Valor Stables' Onthedeanslist set the pace, then held off the charge of odds-on favorite Fort Prado to capture the $75,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap for older turf horses Sunday at the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Cool Conductor took advantage of a pace vacuum in Saturday's $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT), going gate to wire under Cornelio Velasquez to upset Vangelis on the Arlington Park turf.
Team Valor has ended its employment contract with Ralph Nicks, who took over training for the Kentucky-based stable of syndicated runners in January.
Five fillies and mares owned by Team Valor and partners have been imported to the U. S. from South Africa and will be sent to the organization's private trainer Ralph Nicks at Saratoga after spending two months in quarantine.
Golden Sonata came from out of the clouds in the stretch to blow by her rivals and win the $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) by 1 3/4 lengths on Saturday.
Ralph Nicks, a former assistant to Bill Mott, has been hired by Team Valor and will become the stable's private trainer, Team Valor president Barry Irwin said Tuesday.
Lewis Lakin's Island Echo, with Mark Guidry aboard, set a Churchill Downs record by covering five furlongs in 55.91 seconds to win Friday's $60,395 allowance turf race by 2 1/2 lengths over Petite Diablo.
Kept close to a moderate pace by jockey Mark Guidry, Baptize rallied while three wide en route to a 2 1/4-length victory over Indygo Shiner in Saturday's $200,000 Arlington Classic (gr. IIT) at Arlington Park.
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