The $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), a key Triple Crown prep at Turfway Park on March 24, has drawn 166 nominations.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's Rags to Riches, winner of the Las Virgenes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in her stakes debut, and Frank Calabrese's homebred Dreaming of Anna, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2006, head a record roster of 192 sophomore fillies nominated to the 133rd running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Arindel Farm's 5-year-old Argentine-bred mare Safari Queen has the credentials to be favored against eight rival fillies and mares entered in Sunday's $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) going 1 3/8 miles on turf at Gulfstream Park.
Male turf division 2006 Eclipse Award finalist English Channel makes his 5-year-old debut for trainer Todd Pletcher in a nine-furlong allowance race on the Gulfstream Park program Thursday.
WinStar Farm's Any Given Saturday went off at odds of 1-5 in his 3-year-old debut Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. He gave his supporters little reason for concern with a 2 3/4-length triumph in the $146,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes.
Charles Wacker III's Irish homebred Oonagh Maccool, one of the leading members of the filly and mare division last winter and spring during an abbreviated campaign for trainer Todd Pletcher, gets back in action Saturday as the horse to beat in the $150,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) going one mile.
WinStar Farm's Any Given Saturday may have found a good spot to get his first stakes victory when he takes on six rivals as the strong choice in the $150,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs Saturday.
The $1.9 million filly Rags to Riches staged a dramatic come-from-behind rally to win the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Saturday.
Master Command has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite for the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at the Fair Grounds Feb.10.
With 2006 Eclipse Award and Breeders' Cup winners Street Sense and Dreaming of Anna headlining the list, a record 450 horses have been nominated early to Thoroughbred racing's 2007 Triple Crown.
In his first start since running second in the 2006 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), Anstu Stables' Friendly Island proved far too good for his three rivals in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Saturday.
Melnyk Racing Stables' speedy Bishop Court Hill took control of the $110,600 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) coming away from the gate and rolled to a measured one-length victory under John Velazquez on the Aqueduct inner track Sunday.
Trainer Scott Lake, who currently leads the nation with 528 wins for the year, and two-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher, who leads in earnings with a record-setting $27,427,878, are both to begin serving suspensions for medication infractions during the month of December.
The Argentine-bred Safari Queen wasn't hindered in the least when Saturday's $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. III) was switched from the turf to a sloppy Calder main track, cruising to a front-running victory for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Half Ours eked out a victory in an allowance/optional claiming race at Aqueduct Thursday in his first start since being sold for $6.1 million at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Magna Graduate, sidelined for most of the year, took command of Saturday's $107,700 Queen's County Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct soon after the start en route to his first victory of 2006.
An appeals court in Albany, N.Y., upheld trainer Todd Pletcher's 45-day suspension and $3,000 fine Dec. 7, dismissing his challenge to the penalties for using an anesthetic on one of his horses too close to a race in 2004.
The loss of star racehorses in training and the negative effect it has on the sport was a hot topic during a panel discussion Dec. 5 at the 33rd Symposium on Racing & Gaming in Tucson, Ariz.
Premium Tap, third to Invasor in the Breeders' Cup Classic powered by Dodge (gr. I), and defending winner Magna Graduate head a roster of 24 older horses nominated to the 132nd running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I), which will run on Nov. 24.
Circular Quay and Friendly Island, both second in Breeders' Cup World Championship races Nov. 4, head an 11-horse shipment of Todd Pletcher trainees that arrived at Hollywood Park from New York. The Thursday afternoon flight included six horses from the Christophe Clement stable as well.
Shadwell Stable's Invasor became the third consecutive Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) champion to be stabled at Palm Meadows when he arrived at the Boynton Beach training facility at noon Wednesday.
Even on a bad day, trainer Todd Pletcher broke a record. Shut out with 17 runners in the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs, Pletcher set the single-season mark for graded stakes wins when Safari Queen captured the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the turf Saturday at Aqueduct.
Patrick Biancone is among five Eastern trainers planning to stable at Hollywood Park for the track's autumn meet when a division of 16 horses arrived Nov. 2.
The great Laffit Pincay Jr., now retired but still the world's all-time leading jockey (and winner of eight Breeders' Cup races), is at Churchill Downs to introduce the nominees for the Race Track Chaplaincy's White Horse Award.
The key to any Thoroughbred trainer's success is the quality of people around them. Trainer Todd Pletcher learned that from his mentor, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Pletcher, the two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer, is working with the same model. Holding down the Churchill Downs barn is assistant Mike McCarthy.
Following Sunday's deluge of Todd Pletcher works, and a pair by Kiaran McLaughlin's two stars, there still was enough activity at Belmont Park on a glorious fall morning Oct. 30 to keep one entertained.
The "Todd Squad" was out in full force at Belmont Park on a windy Sunday morning. Twelve Todd Pletcher-trained horses had their final tune-ups for the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup World Championships. Also working were Henny Hughes, Invasor, and Pine Island.
A pair of contenders for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), along with some of their stablemates in other World Championship races, took a tour of Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Twilight Meteor collared favored Marcavelly with an eighth of a mile remaining and gradually pulled away to a 2 ¼-length victory in the $125,000 Woodford Reserve Bourbon County Stakes Friday at Keeneland.
Trainer Todd Pletcher tied the single-season mark for graded stakes victories Wednesday when Roman Dynasty won the $105,300 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the opening day of the Aqueduct fall meet.
The hits just keep on coming for trainer Todd Pletcher. First, he tops his own single-season earnings mark; then he enters a record 18 horses for the upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championships; on Wednesday, he ties D. Wayne Lukas' single season mark for graded wins. It's only Oct. 25, folks.
Working 14 horses in one morning is a major load for any trainer, but Todd Pletcher took that to another level Sunday when he put 14 Breeders' Cup horses through their paces with most of them turning in almost identical drills with machine-like precision.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Go Deputy is the morning line favorite for the $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I), Canada's richest race, Sunday on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course at Woodbine.
The stars will be shining down on Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 4, but many of the brightest ones will not even show up until the middle of Breeders' Cup week. As a result, several New York-based journalists, and one Jerseyite, have changed plans and will inhabit the Big Apple until the big guns complete their serious training.
Scat Daddy gave trainer Todd Pletcher his record 93rd stakes victory in 2006 with a smart win over favored Nobiz Like Shobiz in the 135th running of the $400,000 Champagne (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park Saturday.
Germance, beaten just once in her career in France, and Magnificent Song, who closed significant ground to capture her last two in New York, headline a solid field of 11 3-year-old turf fillies in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland Saturday.
Lyon Stables' India was staked to a two-length lead mid-stretch and won Saturday's $490,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-olds in geared down fashion at Philadelphia Park.
English Channel got a dream trip behind slow fractions set by his stablemate and easily won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) Saturday, completing Todd Pletcher's assault on Belmont Park's "Super Saturday" card with the trainer's third grade I win.
After being represented by Fleet Indian in the winner's circle of the Beldame, trainer Todd Pletcher got his second grade I win on Saturday's Belmont Park card when Glencrest Farm's Honey Ryder posted a facile nose victory over Film Maker in the Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap (gr. IT).
- By Ron Mitchell
After being represented by Fleet Indian in the winner's circle of the Beldame, trainer Todd Pletcher got his second grade I win on Saturday's Belmont Park cardwhen Glencrest Farm's Honey Ryder posted a facile nose victory over Film Maker in the Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap (gr. IT).
Paul Saylor's Fleet Indian gamely held off a late challenge from Balletto for a narrow victory in Saturday's Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park in a key prep for the Nov. 4 Emirates Airlines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Fleet Indian looks to be the likely favorite in the $600,000 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 7. The 5-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie has been a perfect 5-for-5 in 2006 for her new connections.
The Todd Pletcher-trained High Cotton tops a field of nine 3-year-olds entered in the $250,000 Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) on Friday night at the Meadowlands.
Todd Pletcher, the nation's reigning champion trainer, worked a number of his horses Sunday in preparation for grade I stakes appearances at Belmont Park Oct. 7.
Arindel Farm's heavily favored Wait a While forged to the lead coming off the turn and left her field behind in the stretch to win the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) on the Santa Anita turf Saturday, winning her fourth consecutive race impressively.
Lawyer Ron, who finished second in the Super Derby (gr. II) in his last start, has been taken away from trainer Bob Holthus and turned over to Todd Pletcher, Holthus said Friday.
Yet to be tested in easy turf wins over 3-year-old rivals this season, Arindel Farm's Wait a While returns to California to tackle older fillies and mares in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meeting Saturday.
The fields for Saturday's Gold Cup Day program at Hawthorne are taking shape. The trio of stakes will be packaged in a $50,000 guaranteed "Golden Pick Three" wager. Saturday's entries will be drawn on Thursday.
Team Valor Stable's King of the Roxy, getting better with experience, notched his first graded stakes victory on Saturday when he held C P West safe for a three-quarter-length victory in the 117th running of Belmont Park's $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs.
- By Steve Haskin
The main topic of conversation at Belmont Park these days is the much-awaited showdown between Bernardini and Invasor in the Oct. 7 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
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