The Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) -bound Forest Danger breezed five furlongs over Belmont Park's main track Wednesday morning in 1:00 3/5 for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also said champion filly Ashado could run in the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) May 21.
Trainer Todd Pletcher reported Wednesday that Bandini, the 19th-place finisher in Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), sustained an ankle chip and will undergo surgery.
In the race on Kentucky Derby day anticipated nearly as much as the Derby itself, Half Ours showed what everyone already knew. Of juveniles that have started so far this year, he is the clear leader of the class.
Even-money favorite Limehouse, who ran fourth in last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), ran this year on Kentucky Oaks day, winning the $112,900 Alysheba Stakes.
Amerman Racing's Chattahoochee War, winner of the recent Transylvania (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland, and the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Dubleo and Guilliame Tell top a field of nine 3-year-olds entered in the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs Friday.
Todd Pletcher sent out one of his equine triumvirate Monday morning as expected when Coin Silver breezed five furlongs in 1:01 flat. With morning conditions in Louisville cool, dry, and clear, the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner's effort was a relief for last year's Eclipse Award-winning trainer.
Multiple graded stakes-winning Pollard's Vision, ridden by John Velazquez, challenged the 1-2 favorite Badge of Silver and Jerry Bailey in the stretch and drew away to a 1 1/4-length victory under a brisk hand ride in Saturday's $242,500 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne.
A sloppy track at Keeneland Saturday brought out the best in Peachtree Stable's surprising Coin Silver, who romped to victory in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stake (gr. III) in his stakes debut.
As many as five colts who raced in Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) may return in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), to be run May 7 at Churchill Downs.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Bandini stepped into the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) spotlight with a brilliant performance in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland Saturday.
Forest Danger hadn't dropped off the early pace since rallying from sixth to win his debut race 14 months ago. Saturday he became a grade I winner for the first time when he closed into a scorching pace to win the $350,000 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct in only his sixth lifetime start.
A field of six, minus Badge of Silver, who has now had to miss the race the past two years, will run in Saturday's Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct.
Value Plus, ridden by John Velazquez, surged to the front coming out of the turn and romped to a four-length victory over 6-5 favorite Gygistar in Saturday's $100,000 Artax Handicap at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez teamed for their third straight stakes victory Saturday at Gulfstream Park when Char-Mari Stable's Navesink River prevailed in the $150,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. II) on the grass.
The fast-improving Honey Rider slid off the rail in upper stretch to reach the front, then outfought the late charging Ellieonthemarch for a half-length victory in the $150,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Gulfstream Park turf Saturday.
One race after watching his Proud Accolade flop as the heavy favorite in the Rushaway, trainer Todd Pletcher's inexperienced Flower Alley surprised his rivals in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Saturday at muddy Turfway Park.
Padua Stables' Proud Accolade, winner of the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) earlier this year, seeks to get back on track after overcoming an illness in Saturday's $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park. The 1 1/16-mile race is part of Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) day at the northern Kentucky track.
Warning Zone, a group II stakes winner in her native South Africa, made her North American debut a winning one with a one-length tally in the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Glencrest Farm LLC's Honey Ryder saved her best running for the final furlong of Sunday's 1 3/8-mile The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT), running down Briviesca in the final strides for a neck victory on the grass at Gulfstream Park.
Undefeated Maddalena, a 7 1/4-length winner for trainer Todd Pletcher in her stakes debut a month ago, stands out in a field of seven entered for the Stonerside Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Chilean-bred Isola Piu Bella never let 7-10 favorite Daydreaming out of her sight, pulling away in the stretch for her first North American victory in the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
Sweet Catomine, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and the champion 2-year-old filly of 2004, heads a list of 144 3-year-old fillies nominated to the 131st running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on May 6.
Philip and Marcia Cohen's Closing Argument, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 5, "worked great" at Palm Meadows Monday morning, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, speaking shortly after the half-mile move.
In his first try against stakes company, Overbrook Farm's even-money favorite Coast Line held off graded stakes winner Offlee Wild by a neck for his fifth win in a row in the $125,000 John B. Campbell Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park Saturday.
Pollard's Vision makes his 4-year-old debut Saturday as the morning line favorite in the $100,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), part of a four-stakes card at Fair Grounds.
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.
Undefeated Maddalena disposed of her stablemate Portsea on the turn and romped to victory in her stakes debut for trainer Todd Pletcher in the $100,000 Old Hat (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Smarty Jones grabbed most of the headlines in 2004, but it was Ghostzapper who earned the coveted gold Eclipse Award trophy and was named Horse of the Year for 2004 at the Eclipse Awards ceremony Jan. 24.
If one didn't get a sense of John Velazquez' inexorable climb to the top during his record-setting (65 winners) Saratoga meet last summer, then surely the pair of statues he earned on Breeders' Cup day made his star shine brighter than ever.
Todd Pletcher, who was third in Eclipse Award balloting in 2003 after finishing the year in the No. 2 spot by earnings, ended the 2004 season atop the earnings list. That was good enough for him to cop an Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer.
Trainer Bobby Frankel said Jan. 17 Stronach Stable's 2004 Horse of the Year candidate Ghostzapper could make his 2005 debut at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
The Count Fleet Stakes, originally scheduled to be run last Saturday but postponed when racing was cancelled at Aqueduct, has drawn a field of nine 3-year-olds.
Smarty Jones electrifying run at the 2004 Triple Crown started modestly enough with a victory in the Count Fleet at Aqueduct. Some horsemen took note. The $75,000 race for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards Saturday attracted an overflow field of 13.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, jockey John Velazquez and owner Michael Gill head the individual earnings lists for 2004 in North America, according to final statistics released Jan. 1 by Equibase Company LLC.
With less than one week remaining, the 2004 American racing season will conclude with new leaders in earnings for jockeys and trainers.
Undefeated Declan's Moon, who returned from his smasher in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) to take last month's Hollywood Prevue (gr. III), is expected to be accorded favoritism among eight entrants in the $449,500 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) Saturday.
Declan's Moon and Proud Accolade, two leading contenders for the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) on Saturday, completed drills for the 1 1/16-mile race with five-furlong works here Sunday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez swept two grade III turf stakes at Calder Race Course Saturday when the Chilean-bred Host won the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT). Two-year-olds Leona's Knight and Better Than Bonds also won stakes during Grand Slam I.
Something Ventured got a perfectly timed ride from John Velazquez to collar runaway frontrunner Changing World in the final stages and win the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Calder Race Course turf Saturday.
Harlington won his debut at Aqueduct on Sunday, becoming the fifth winner from as many foals out of champion mare Serena's Song to become a winner. Each of Harlington's older siblings won in excess of $100,000 including group I winner Sophisticat.
So often a disappointment when on the verge of stardom, Lion Tamer jumped up and surprised in the 16th running of the $350,000 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct on Saturday.
Trainer Todd Pletcher shipped to Southern California for his second Hollywood Turf Festival triumph in as many days when Dubleo registered his sixth win of 2004 in the $100,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds going a mile on the turf.
Favored Paddy's Daisy, an Eastern shipper trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Corey Nakatani, rallied impressively to nip Conveyor's Angel by a neck in the second division of Friday's $75,000 Miesque (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-old fillies on the Hollywood Park turf.
Jockeys John Velazquez, Edgar Prado and Jerry Bailey, the nation's three leaders in purse earnings this year, will leave their New York base to ride in the Turf Festival at Hollywood Park next weekend.
Ireland's champion jockey Jamie Spencer was taken to a Long Island hospital on Saturday after being injured in the paddock at Aqueduct.
Front-running Essence, ridden by a cool John Velazquez, dug in tenaciously to hold off Rare Gift by a neck in the $100,000 Anne Arundel (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico Saturday. In other $100,000 races on the DeFrancis undercard, the 2-year-old filly Hear Us Roar stayed unbeaten in the Selima Stakes and Irish Colony prevailed in the Charles H. Hadry.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who leads the nation with earnings of about $16.5 million this year, plans to ship three horses to Hollywood Park for the Turf Festival Nov. 26-28.
With seven weeks remaining in the calendar and racing year, jockey John Velazquez is well ahead of Edgar Prado and Jerry Bailey in the race to be leading rider by earnings.
Peachtree Stable's 2-year-old New York invader Flamenco was an impressive winner of the $150,000 Jack Price Juvenile at Calder Race Course Saturday during the Florida Million.
Favored River Belle, with an animated Kieren Fallon squeezing every last ounce of effort from her, won the $171,150 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) by a nostril over the surging Lenatareese at Churchill Downs Saturday.
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