For the first time since 2000, the Breeders' Cup World Championships returns to Churchill Downs Nov. 4. The historic track has held the event five times in the past, and the six-year gap between hosting duties is the longest it has faced.
Leading the Parade, a stakes-placed son of A.P. Indy out of grade I winner and champion producer My Flag, has been retired and will stand in 2007 at Roy Lerman's Lambholm South near Reddick, Fla. His fee will be $3,500.
Personal Ensign, the unbeaten Hall of Famer and 1996 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, has been pensioned at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky.
Paul H. Saylor's odds-on favorite Fleet Indian and jockey Jose Santos set a dawdling pace, then opened up in the lane to win the $392,000 Personal Ensign (gr. I) for fillies and mares at 10 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course.
It's seldom that horses come out of retirement. And even more seldom that they come out of retirement and regain the form that they once had. Now Balletto, a grade I winner as a 2-year-old, is one of those horses trying to make a comeback off retirement.
Champion Personal Ensign delivered a colt by Forest Wildcat April 2 at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky. The chestnut colt was bred by the Phipps Stable and is Personal Ensign's 11th foal.
There was a big shadow cast at Saratoga Friday, and it was Shadow Cast who was responsible as the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly upset heavily favored Ashado in the $400,000 Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Starlight Stables and partners' Ashado is arguably the dominant older filly and mare in North America. The questions remaining are: Can she get any better? And, can anyone get close to her?
Former jockey Randy Romero is among eight sports figures that will be inducted into Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame at a June 25 ceremony in Natchitoches.
Win or lose Saturday in the Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I), champion Storm Flag Flying will be making her last start.
Salute, a 2-year-old daughter of Unbridled out of the undefeated champion Personal Ensign, ran an encouraging second as the 4-5 favorite in her debut Sunday at Belmont Park.
It was a family affair at Saratoga on Friday when Storm Flag Flying wore down 3-5 favorite Azeri to win the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) by more than a length.
Michael Paulson's Azeri, a three-time champion who became North America's all-time richest female in winning the Aug. 1 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, was assigned top weight of 122 pounds in Friday's $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I).
Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying breezed six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Saturday morning as the 2-year-old filly champion of 2002 prepped for Friday's grade I, $400,000 Personal Ensign at 1 1/4 miles.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year and 2003 champion older filly or mare owned by the Allen Paulson Living Trust, tuned up for the grade I, $400,000 Personal Ensign Aug. 27 with a sparkling breeze on the Oklahoma training track Thursday morning.
Broodmares represented by two grade/group I winners in the same year form an exclusive band.
Saratoga Notebook: Harlan's Holiday Update; Fur OK, but Frankel Unhappy; Volponi Battled; Mineshaft Breezes; Bailey Hurting
According to trainer Todd Pletcher, Harlan's Holiday is likely to retired after damaging a suspensory ligament during the running of the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Unbeaten champion Personal Ensign foaled a Monarchos filly April 18.
Champion Storm Flag Flying, and eight fillies each from the Godolphin operation and trainer Todd Pletcher, are among those nominated to the 129th Kentucky Oaks.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying, the regally-bred filly who was named champion 2-year-old female of 2002, could make her 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 Forward Gal Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park on March 14.
The late Ogden Phipps, who bred and raced generations of champion Thoroughbred racehorses, and longtime racing secretary and handicapper Howard Battle, who died of cancer last summer, have been named co-recipients of the Eclipse Award of Merit.
It didn't take long for anyone with a sense of racing history to start comparing Storm Flag Flying's performance in the Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Arlington Park to that of Personal Ensign's in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Sure, a solid favorite has been established, but there are still many questions to be answered in the week's time before pre-entries are taken Oct. 15 for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Well, if you want good stories, the results of the races this past weekend affecting the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) division couldn't have been more perfect.
Summer Colony was pressed through the early and middle stages of the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) Friday at Saratoga, but it didn't faze her at all as she drew off to an authoritative victory.
Dancethruthedawn and Summer Colony, who finished a nose apart after a competitive stretch duel in the Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap (gr. III), meet up in Friday's Personal Ensign Handicap.
Few stallions in recent memory have enjoyed more of an upswing in their reputation in such a short span as Our Emblem.
In honor of the recent passing of Ogden Phipps, the New York Racing Association decided Wednesday to rename the grade I Hempstead Handicap the Ogden Phipps Handicap.
Former jockey Randy Romero, who continues to battle a serious kidney disorder, was recently informed he also suffers from the Hepatitis C virus, which causes chronic liver disease.
Champion Personal Ensign's eighth foal, a bay filly by Unbridled, is doing well in her second week at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky.
Arlington Park has established a "Rally For Randy" Fund to assist former jockey Randy Romero who is undergoing kidney dialysis while awaiting a transplant. Arlington will initiate the fundraising effort with a $2,000 donation and invites all other racetracks to participate in the effort.
Former jockey Randy Romero is undergoing kidney dialysis while waiting on a transplant.
Traditionally, the royally-bred winner of last year's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :49 2/5 over a fast track at Gulfstream Park on Sunday and trainer Shug McGaughey said he will probably run him in Saturday's Skip Away Stakes (gr. III).
Beautiful Pleasure will go to the lead in Friday's grade I $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga and a field of six young guns will be on her heels looking to stop her chance for a three-peat in the 1 1/4-mile event.
John C. Oxley's Beautiful Pleasure earned a front-running win in in the $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) Friday at Saratoga. Under Jorge Chavez, Beautiful Pleasure raced wide around both turns while alone on the lead before racing down the center of the track through the stretch, finishing five lengths clear of Back in Shape.
Beautiful Pleasure and Heritage of Gold will begin their rematch from neighboring starting gate stalls as the two drew post positions two and three, respectively, for Friday's $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Heritage of Gold and Beautiful Pleasure continued preparing for their expected rematch in the $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25, completing workouts at that track Friday morning.
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