Undefeated Samraat edged Uncle Sigh March 1 at Aqueduct Racetrack to secure a $500,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. II) victory by a neck; pacesetter In Trouble hung tough another neck back for third.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES
Eleven years after Funny Cide became the first New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), two more horses bred in the Empire State stamped themselves as legitimate classic prospects.
Todd Pletcher-trained Vinceremos dug in gamely in deep stretch to hold off a stiff challenge from his more highly regarded stablemate Harpoon to win the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 1.
In his first two-turn start, undefeated Samraat extinguished any doubts about his ability to handle route racing with a scintillating 16 3/4-length score in Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds Dec. 18.
Grade I stakes-placed Noble Causeway came through with his first winner when his son Lord Chelsie won at 4 1/2 furlongs at Monmouth Park June 3.
Crestwood Farm will offer again the $500,000 Breeders' Incentive Plan to Noble Causeway for the 2009 breeding season.
The first foal by grade I stakes-placed Noble Causeway is a filly born Jan. 18 at Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Riggio's My Meadowview near Water Mill, N.Y.
Noble Causeway, by Avalyn Hunter
Noble Causeway, second-place finisher in the 2005 Florida Derby (gr. I), will enter stud in 2008 at Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm in Lexington, Ky., McLean announced Oct. 3.
Centennial Farms' Corinthian, disqualified from victory in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) one year ago, tallied his first graded stakes win in Saturday's $350,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), holding off the relentless closer Hesanoldsalt by a neck as the even-money favorite.
Although Corinthian will be making just his second career added-money start in the Saturday's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), the 4-year-old son of Pulpit was made the 7-5 morning line favorite for the 1 3/16-mile event.
Artie Schiller, yet to win in two starts this season, is the clear standout in a field of five entered for the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Saratoga turf Sunday.
Making his second U.S. start, Shadwell Stable's favored Invasor left his six rivals in the dust when he galloped to an easy victory in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park Saturday.
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).
Alumni Hall returns to his favorite racetrack for a repeat score in Thursday's Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles.
Bandini quickly took the lead and never looked back to win the $100,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) comfortably as the 2-5 favorite at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
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.
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.
The top three finishers in Saturday's Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga are all expected to return in a month's time for the track's signature race, the $1 million Travers (gr. I).
The only graded stakes winner in Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy (gr. II), budding Flower Alley outclassed his 3-year-old foes at Saratoga Race Course to establish himself as one of the favorites for the upcoming Travers (gr. I).
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.
Nick Zito's run of bad luck in this year's Triple Crown continued Monday when it was discovered My Meadowview Farm's Noble Causeway had entrapped his epiglottis in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and will undergo a myectomy to correct the problem.
Trainer Tim Ritchey reported Sunday morning that Afleet Alex appeared to have emerged from his eventful 4 3/4-length victory in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in fine physical condition.
If logic and the science of handicapping confuse you, if you're more comfortable guessing than analyzing, then Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is right up your alley. Regardless of what the experts say, there are no experts when it comes to this race. It's a pure guess, period.
Nick Zito ran five horses in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) -- including the favorite -- and no one has to remind him they finished seventh, eighth, 10th, 14th, and 15th. But the Preakness (gr. I) is a new day, Zito said Friday morning at Pimlico.
When the field crossed the finish line in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it already was clear who my Preakness (gr. I) selection would be. In fact, it was at the quarter pole, as Greeley's Galaxy closed to within four lengths of the leaders, that I started thinking, 'There's the Preakness winner.'
Although High Fly will have to wait until Tuesday morning to earn his way into the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) field during a scheduled half-mile workout at Churchill Downs, stablemates Noble Causeway and Sun King punched their tickets to Pimlico Race Course after pleasing trainer Nick Zito with their respective five-furlong workouts Monday morning
Afleet Alex, the only contender for the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) currently at Pimlico, went out onto the main track twice Saturday morning.
The field for the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) continues to grow, as one horse was reported to be on his way to Baltimore, a second became a surprise supplement to the race, and trainer Nick Zito gave some indication as to which of his horses may still be in play.
Seventeen of the 20 horses in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) field were offered at public auction.
"Come on six! Stay up three! Get out of there 12! Where's the four? Who's that?" These may sound like the common shouts of an overzealous, exotics-playing railbird, but on Saturday, it just might be something you hear from as esteemed a place as the Churchill Downs box of New York-born trainer Nick Zito.
A beautiful, cloudless sky; Nick Zito and Todd Pletcher working five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) horses; what more could you ask for? Zito and Pletcher dominated the morning's activity, sending out Bellamy Road, High Fly, Noble Causeway, Bandini, and Flower Alley for strong five-furlong works.
Three of trainer Nick Zito's five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starters drilled Sunday morning at Churchill Downs and all three "went exceptionally well" for the two-time Derby-winning trainer. All three worked under blue skies and cool weather with exercise rider Maxine Correa aboard.
With the inclement weather that had set in over Louisville, Ky. finally out of the area, seven contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezed at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
With the Churchill Downs track soaked from overnight rains, trainer Nick Zito called off the works for three of his five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) candidates Saturday morning and moved them to Sunday – weather permitting. Scheduled to breeze tomorrow are Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road and the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I): High Fly and Noble Causeway.
It's that time of the week when things briefly quiet down before the second wave of workouts. With only Consolidator working under the cover of darkness, this is a good time to reflect on how the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is shaping up so far.
The Nick Zito-trained pair of High Fly and Noble Causeway, the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I), breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs Friday, although Zito said both colts actually worked six furlongs after breaking off between poles. Also on the work tab Friday was Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Greeley's Galaxy.
Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito now has jockeys set for all five of his contenders for the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on Saturday, May 7.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King and Mary and Gary West's High Limit turned in strong works Monday at Churchill Downs in preparation for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Giant's Causeway, whose son Noble Causeway is one of the top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, has had his stud fee boosted to $200,000 from $150,000.
Live Oak Plantation's High Fly, whose recent victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I) was his fifth in six career races, emerged as the betting favorite on Friday as Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager ("KDFW") reached the midpoint.
Nick Zito's Run For the Roses Regiment continued its assault on Churchill Downs this past weekend, as High Fly and Noble Causeway finished one-two in the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) on April 2, giving Zito five top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders for five different owners.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, winner of both his starts this year including the Tampa Bay Derby, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for the April 16 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Blanked with his 16 previous starters, trainer Nick Zito finally won the Florida Derby (gr. I) when his heavily favored High Fly rolled to a confident victory for Jerry Bailey Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Nick Zito, who has failed to win the Florida Derby (gr. I) in 16 prior attempts, will saddle the top two morning-line favorites in Saturday's $1-million race.
Giant's Causeway, Europe's Horse of the Year in 2000, did the expected and reigned as Europe's leading freshman sire of 2004. His four stakes winners included European champion male Shamardal and two other group winners. However, Giant's Causeway has yet to sire a stakes winner on the dirt in North America, leading to questions regarding his suitability as a sire for American racing conditions.
Bettors across North America settled on "all others" as the lukewarm favorite when Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ended its four-day run on Sunday evening.
The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture finally cleared up a bit last Saturday as Declan's Moon and Afleet Alex returned in grand style and Nick Zito put the finishing touches on his powerful four-horse Derby package, all of whom are coming off impressive victories. But the weekend's events still left us with several questions.
Thanks to High Fly's victory in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and Noble Causeway's stylish win in a $33,000 allowance, trainer Nick Zito is building a stockpile of Kentucky Derby contenders and crystallized his hold on favorite status for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I), will make his 3-year-old debut in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park Feb. 26.
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