Jockey Chris DeCarlo rode the 1,000th winner of his career at Monmouth Park June 23, piloting Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbreds' Oconee Gold to victory in the eighth race on the card for trainer Ramon Moya.
Park Avenue Ball, a millionaire and grade II winner, has been retired from racing.
Grand Champion appears to have landed in the perfect spot to earn his first open stakes win in the $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct Nov. 22.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships and the Jersey Shore met head on this week, and judging from the weather forecast, a good portion of the shore will be washing up on Monmouth Park Friday and Saturday. The expected heavy rains will leave the 11 Breeders' Cup races pretty much a mess and a guess.
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile will be a key race in determining whether throat surgery earlier this year helped Park Avenue Ball, who will be running at his home track.
The spectacular Sept. 30 card at Belmont Park includes four Grade I events, each with Breeders' Cup implications. One of the more anticipated is the $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I), which includes the return of 4-year-old superstar Discreet Cat, who will be making his first start in nearly six months.
A Spanish owner and a British trainer are overheard conversing in French following a grade I victory on turf. Welcome to the Belmont Park fall meeting. It is here that the best American grass horses and their trainers and owners get their annual reality check from Europe's advance guard.
Leading sprinter Smokey Stover took a successful test spin for the upcoming TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, winning the $103,000 Icecapade Stakes over three rivals in a solid time of 1:08 4/5 at the New Jersey track Sept. 1.
Smokey Stover, one of the top-rated sprinters in the country, will test his affinity for the Monmouth Park racing strip, site of the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), when he faces four foes in the $100,000 Icecapade Stakes Sept. 1.
The Japanese-bred Utopia, winner of the 2006 Godolphin Mile (UAE-II), makes his United States debut in the $100,000 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) as Belmont Park begins a 60-day spring/summer meet Wednesday.
Darpat S.L. Stable's 5-year-old Istan went to the front at the start of Saturday's $100,000 Artax Handicap for older horses at Gulfstream Park and went all the way to score by 2 1/2 lengths over Paradise Dancer.
Multiple graded stakes winner Wild Gams has been named New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly for 2006. Bred and owned by New Farm, the daughter of Forest Wildcat is trained by Ben Perkins, Jr.
Favored Half Ours remained unbeaten in five starts when he staved off the hard-charging Park Avenue Ball in the closing strides to take the $225,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) by a half-length at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out 'live' contenders in all four of Saturday's stakes at Gulfstream Park. That includes the $225,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) when he saddles Marie and Aaron Jones' undefeated 4-year-old Half Ours with John Velazquez aboard.
Char-Mari Stable's Park Avenue Ball moved to the lead around the far turn and held off all challengers to win the $265,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) by three quarters of a length Saturday at Monmouth Park.
Master Command will carry top weight of 121 pounds while breaking from the rail Saturday at Monmouth Park in the 72nd Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) and face seven rivals. The Iselin, worth $250,000, has a post time of approximately 4:52 p.m. EDT.
So far, the plan is working, and Char-Mari Stable's Park Avenue Ball will go off as one of the top starters in Saturday's $250,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III). The 4-year-old son of Citidancer, bred by owners Charles and Marianne Hesse, will not only be among the betting favorites. He'll also be a sentimental favorite as a New Jersey-bred, and a Monmouth specialist.
Melnyk Racing Stables' Flower Alley showed his class in the stretch, powering his way through a cloudburst to a 3 1/4-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Salvator Mile Stakes (gr. III) at sloppy Monmouth Park.
Flower Alley headlines Saturday's $150,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III), the first graded stakes of Monmouth Park's 2006 season. It is the seasonal debut for the 4-year-old colt who won the 2005 Travers Stakes (gr. I) and finished second to 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of New Jersey named Char-Mari Stables' Park Avenue Ball Horse of the Year for 2005.
Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Roman Ruler and Flower Alley, winner of the Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga earlier this meet, head a list of 16 nominations for the $1 million Travers (gr. I) Aug. 27.
B. Wayne Hughes' Don't Get Mad, winner of the Derby Trial and Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III), tuned up for the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) with a mile work Friday in 1:41 at Santa Anita.
Smuggler to miss Alabama... Travers field grows... Spot found for Alinghi's North American debut... High Limit to stay on grass... Book signings scheduled.
With Afleet Alex on the bench, Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler finally reigns over the national 3-year-old division. The injury-plagued 'Ruler, who missed this year's Triple Crown with foot problems, realized his potential Sunday by capturing the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park impressively.
Trainer Bob Baffert firmly believes that Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler is one of the most gifted horses in the country. On Sunday, the colt will try to prove him right when he takes on seven opponents in Saturday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I).
A pair of New Jersey-bred runners continue to march toward Sunday's Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park, with Park Avenue Ball getting his final work on Tuesday morning and Joey P. now confirmed for the race according to his trainer.
Trainer Patrick Biancone confirmed Monday that Chekhov, runner-up last out in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park, will return to the Jersey Shore Sunday for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I).
It is no surprise that the prospective field for the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 7 is growing by the day since Afleet Alex's defection, and could now draw as many as 13 starters.
As expected, the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) picture changed dramatically with the announcement Thursday that Afleet Alex would not run due to a condylar fracture. Within 24 hours, horses began coming out of the woodwork, all but assuring a large, competitive field.
Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler, winner of the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) in his last start, worked seven furlongs in 1:24 at Del Mar Tuesday in preparation for the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 7.
Char-Mari Stable's favored Park Avenue Ball proved he could be successful going two turns when he ran away from seven rivals for a 6 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park Saturday.
Park Avenue Ball, who captured last year's Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park but has yet to find the winner's circle as a 3-year-old, gets another test around two turns in the Long Branch Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Scrappy T, a distant third behind Bellamy Road in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) three weeks ago, found Saturday's $150,000 Withers (gr. III) more to his liking. The Fit to Fight gelding seized the lead from War Plan at the quarter pole and outlasted Park Avenue Ball for a one-length victory at foggy Aqueduct Park Saturday.
A field of eight 3-year-olds who swerved off the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail at some point will battle it out Saturday in the $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
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.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Defer will face a two-turn test against a field of 10 other sophomores entered in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, the final major prep for the $ 1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Padua Stables' Proud Accolade overcame some traffic trouble on the turn before exploding away from the field in the stretch for an impressive 4 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Hutcheson (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Juvenile graded stakes winners Proud Accolade, Park Avenue Ball, and Defer square off as part of a small field for Saturday's $150,000 Hutcheson (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, but lightly raced Devil at Sea could be the surprise package.
Hopeful (gr. I) and Sanford Stakes (gr. II) winner Afleet Alex hopes to keep his record unblemished Saturday as he takes on seven of his fellow 2-year-old brethren in the 133rd running of the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Able to avoid the early pace duel, overlooked Park Avenue Ball swept up on the outside of his rivals in upper stretch and went on to post a comfortable three-length victory in the $300,000 Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sunday.
The one-two-three finishers in Monmouth's Sapling Stakes (gr. III) will line up against each other again Sunday in the Belmont Futurity (gr. II).
Park Avenue Ball, winner of the local Tyro Stakes on July 31, tries graded stakes company for the first time in Saturday's $100,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Monmouth Park. Lining up with him in the gate will be a three-prong attack from trainer Todd Pletcher and Flash Stakes (gr. III) winner Primal Storm.
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