Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Precious Kitten seems poised to extend her winning streak to three races in the $400,000 First Lady Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
She's gone head-to-head with the best fillies of her generation, and Baroness Thatcher may get her turn to reign in the $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland Oct. 6.
Dr. Tony Ryan, owner of Castleton Lyons Farm in Lexington, passed away Oct. 3 at his family estate in Ireland after a long illness. He was 71.
Jockey Garrett Gomez was hospitalized Oct. 3 following an incident at Belmont Park during the third race of the day.
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.
He may not have a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner or a Horse of the Year in his barn at this point, but Kiaran McLaughlin has secured the position every trainer would like to hold leading up to the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Monmouth Park.
The $150,000 Sycamore Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland has drawn 10 older horses seeking redemption after recent performances.
Another season at Keeneland gets underway Oct. 5 with a strong field of 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles over the Polytrack in the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I).
There they were at the head of the stretch, and the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) had developed into the showdown everyone hoped it would be. On the lead, Hard Spun barreled toward the finish line. Just off his hip, Street Sense dug deep to reel him in. This time, unlike in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Hard Spun would not be denied the victory.
Jockey Edgar Prado, sidelined with a broken right ankle incurred in a Sept. 1 racing accident at Saratoga, began physical therapy Sept. 28 and may get back on horses within two weeks if all goes well, said his agent, Bob Frieze.
Seeking the Best, a group III stakes-winning millionaire by Seeking the Gold, will stand at Hill 'n' Dale in 2008, the Kentucky farm announced in a Sept. 28 press release.
Coming off a four-race win streak in California, Pam and Martin Wygood's After Market seeks a fifth straight victory and a ticket to the Breeders' Cup Mile when he leads the field of 11 in the Sept. 29 Kelso Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Sitting in the stakes barn at Turfway Park two days before the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. III), Craig Callis still has a hard time believing that a $2,300 yearling purchase actually brought him here.
Trainer Greg Foley will send graded stakes winner Pleasant Hill in search of her fourth career victory when 12 fillies and mares go postward in the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) at Turfway.
Fresh off a victory in the Sept. 3 Tom Ridge Labor Day Stakes over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs, Tom Walters' Elite Squadron heads a field of 11 3-year-olds for the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway.
A daughter of Harlan's Holiday brought $105,000 as the top purchase during the 12th day of Keeneland's September yearling sale as the Sept. 22 session saw an increase in gross, average, and median.
Fairbanks may have been the 7-10 favorite, but Fred Bradley's 6-year-old Brass Hat put the youngster in his place when they hooked up in a fierce stretch duel in the Sept. 22 running of the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs.
Front-running Bear Now shook loose of the prohibitive favorite Octave in the final furlong to upset the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) by two lengths in stakes record time at Philadelphia Park Sept. 22.
While most starters in the Sept. 22 Kentucky Cup Turf Stakes (gr. III) will stretch out to tackle the race's 1 1/2 miles, Marty Wolfson trainee Golden Strategy has the distance more than covered.
A handsome son of Johannesburg brought $1 million as the top purchase during the Sept. 15 session of Keeneland's September yearling sale for a racing partnership that includes owners Jim Scatuorchio and Michael Tabor, as the session's gross, average, and median all posted modest gains.
Jockeys John Velazquez and Javier Castellano were both relatively uninjured following a Sept. 13 spill at Belmont Park. Castellano will ride the Sept. 14 card, and although Velazquez opted to take off his mounts Sept. 14, he will return to the saddle Sept. 15 to pilot his assigned starters, including Rags to Riches in her greatly anticipated Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) appearance.
He's saddled starters in several different countries, hoisted trophies at tracks from Santa Anita to Belmont Park, and trained champion horses to victory in the world's top races, but trainer Doug O'Neill came full circle at a bullring track Sept. 9 when he saddled the 1,000th winner of his career during Fairplex Park's 16-day meet.
Jockey E.T. Baird barely had time to change into a fresh pair of silks after riding Eclipse Award winner Dreaming of Anna to an impressive victory in Arlington Park's Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) before he was out on the lead aboard Dreaming of Liz in the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III).
Frank Calabrese's Dreaming of Anna broke like a rocket and never looked back as she romped home in the $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park Sept. 8.
Solo Survivor got the first graded stakes win of her career when she went from last to first to win the $150,000 Matron Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park Sept. 8.
With Belmont's fall meet set to open Sept. 7, a strong crop of top 2-year-olds will head into the East coast's final prep races for the Oct. 27-28 Breeders' Cup races at Monmouth Park.
Jockey Joe Bravo was hospitalized with a broken left collarbone following a spill at Belmont Park, when his mount broke down in the upper stretch during the third race on the New York track's opening day card.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano was hospitalized Sept. 3 with possible rib and back injuries following an incident in the fourth race at Saratoga, when his mount - the Mark Hennig-trained Marital Asset - broke through the gate at the New York track.
Standing outside his barn on the Oklahoma side of Saratoga, Bob Baffert holds court with the media and smiles. He talks about Midnight Lute's victory in the Forego (gr. I). About how rewarding it is to win a race like that at a track like this. About how good it feels to be back.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches worked five furlongs Sept. 2 in 1:02 3/5 at Saratoga, getting her training schedule under way after missing a work last week due to a slightly elevated temperature.
Turf writers are an infamously hardened and cynical bunch. We take all information not only with a grain of salt, but with the entire shaker and a pinch thrown over the shoulder for good measure. We want the truth, but it is so rarely handed to us that when it is, we have a hard time beliving it. Still, few other sports writers are so dedicated to the game they cover, and while we may appear apathetic at times, we want the best for racing.
- By Claire Novak
Trying to catch Calvin Borel for an interview during his last day of racing at Saratoga was like attempting to pin down a darting dragonfly, and the Cajun jockey looked the part in Bill Farish's brilliant green and yellow silks as he scurried back to the private courtyard behind the jockeys' room before the fourth race of the day.
Zayat Stables' J Be K, a 2-year-old son of Silver Deputy trained by Bob Baffert, broke the track record at Saratoga Race Course in the first start of his career when he blazed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.13.
The starting gate will always be a dangerous place, but thanks to Bob Duncan and Roy Williamson, it looks a little safer going into the meet's final week.
Two days after the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, the top four finishers in the $1-million race were all recovering well to the satisfaction of their trainers.
Indian Flare, a 5-year-old filly trained by Bobby Frankel and owned by Juddmonte Farms, died after apparently fracturing her pelvis in the running of Sunday's Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, according to track veterinarian Anthony Verderosa.
With eight racing days remaining until the end of the 2007 meet at Saratoga Race Course, the track's jockey colony is tightly bunched as usual, but the shifting fortunes of several riders make for an interesting match-up as we head into closing week. Here's a look at Saratoga's top 10 jockeys and their nearly finished summer seasons heading into Sunday's card.
In an Aug. 25 news conference at Saratoga Race Course, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said he may not meet the Sept. 4 deadline to make a recommendation as to which organization should receive the franchise to run racing at the Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga racetracks.
He was the favorite for a reason, and Saturday afternoon Street Sense proved he belongs at the top of the 3-year-old division when he turned back a determined Grasshopper after hooking up in a fierce duel at the head of the stretch in the 138th running of the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Carl Nafzger walks across Clare Court with Street Sense striding beside him. The colt is alert, but relaxed; he walks confidently, as if he owns the track. Once over the Clare Court training track, he stops and pricks his ears. Lifts his head. Looks for cameras. Definite pose.
- By Claire Novak
Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, a group that includes several prominent horsemen, Aug. 23 announced their decision to support the New York Racing Association in that organization's bid for the 20-year franchise to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.
Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, a group that includes several prominent horsemen, Aug. 23 announced their decision to support the New York Racing Association in its bid for the 20-year franchise to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.
With 12 days remaining until the 138th running of the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, the field is starting to take shape.
- By Claire Novak
The Green Monkey, a $16-million purchase at auction, is training well at Belmont Park and, said trainer Todd Pletcher, is on course for his career debut at the Spa.
It may be a foregone conclusion that many of the horses that win Breeders' Cup Challenge races would qualify for the World Championships anyway, but the first of six "Win and You're In" programs is said to have done much for recognition of Breeders' Cup and racetrack business.
Kieran McLaughlin trainee Like Now, winner of the 2006 Gotham Stakes (gr. III), earned his first victory since March 2006 when he bested a field of four in an allowance optional claimer at Saratoga July 27.
Todd Pletcher trainee Ready's Image took advantage of an erratic performance by Fed Watcher to win the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) by four lengths Thursday at Saratoga Race Course for owner James Scatuorchio.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches was pulled up Sunday morning shortly after beginning a five-furlong workout at Belmont Park.
Rated Fiesty smoked the field in 1:09.27 and remained unbeaten in three starts when she wired the field in Satuday's $100,000 Debutante (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs, during the Louisville track's final weekend of spring racing.
The Kentucky Equine Humane Center recently held its inaugural open house at the organization's leased property in Nicholasville, Ky.
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