Team Valor International's Fairbanks moved into striking position around the far turn, burst to the front in upper stretch, and cruised to the wire a 2 3/4-length winner under Richard Migliore Sept. 27 in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) in Illinois.
East Coast invader Red Giant nipped Out of Control in a tough stretch duel to win the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) by a head in world record time during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park.
A refreshed Wait a While returns to one of her favorite turf courses as the horse to beat in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) on the turf at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet Sept. 27.
Multiple grade II winners Out of Control, Red Giant, and Spring House head a field of seven entered for the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27.
Champs Elysees not only won the Sept. 7 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Can-IT) at Woodbine, but became the fifth grade/group I winner out of the grand mare Hasili.
Let's Go Stable's Silent Valor made a strong four-wide move entering the stretch and ran down the leader inside the sixteenth-pole to post a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III), a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds on the Monmouth Park dirt.
Seven promising 2-year-olds, led by Sanford (gr. II) runner-up Officer Ipod, will vie for supremacy in the $150,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 31 at Monmouth Park.
Hotstufanthensome was claimed for $62,5000 by trainer Terri Pompay for Main Street Stable's in January. Since then the 8-year-old Awesome Again gelding was a well-beaten fifth in the Elkwood, won by a head in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming July 3 at Monmouth and stalked the pace but came up just short in the Oceanport.
Three of the top four finishers in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) will meet again Aug. 30, this time in the $500,000 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park.
Odds-on choice Wait a While returned to her winning ways with a repeat victory in the $196,000 Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. II) on the Saratoga lawn Aug. 21.
Zayat Stables' Thorn Song has competed well against some of the nation's best turf horses this season -- Einstein and Kip Deville to name a pair. That good company is the main reason the 5-year-old son of Unbridled's Song was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite and should be a tough customer Saturday in the $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
A nearly 10-month layoff did not seem to bother Peachtree Stable's Red Giant, as the 4-year-old colt powered down the stretch under John Velazquez and caught Stalingrad just before the wire to win the $150,000 Fourstardave (gr. IIT) by a neck Aug. 2 on the Saratoga turf.
Making her Monmouth Park turf debut, J'ray arrived with a big charge from mid-pack in the homestretch to win the $150,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) going away for jockey Joe Bravo Aug. 3.
Zayat Stables' Thorn Song, who defeated Einstein July 4 in the Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) and has won twice in the past two months, tops a deep and talented field of 11 in the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 3 on the Saratoga turf.
Bsharpsonata, a multiple stakes-winning homebred for John Sykes' CloverLeaf Farm II, has been transferred to the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher.
Four grade I winners, including Christophe Clement trainees Rutherienne and Vacare, headline what looks to be a very competitive and wide-open 70th edition of the $500,000 Diana (gr. IT) July 26 on the Saratoga turf.
Harlem Rocker seized the lead at the top of the stretch and outfought the surprising East End Tap to win the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg of Canada's Triple Crown series, for owner Frank Stronach and trainer Todd Pletcher.
Flying Zee Stable's Cosmonaut will attempt to become the first horse in the 73-year history of the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) to win the event three times, as the son of Lemon Drop Kid takes on five rivals July 12 in the $200,000 turf event, which is the final local prep for next month's Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Behindatthebar, winner of the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland in his last start April 19, will be shipped west for the $350,000-added Swaps Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park July 12, trainer Todd Pletcher said.
Bob Baffert offered no excuses for his prized filly Indian Blessing during her last two races, the only two losses of her career. In fact, Baffert says those two setbacks should only help the daughter of Indian Charlie going forward. Her next test is the $250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 5 at Belmont.
Just missing in the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) a month ago, WinStar Farm's Leah's Secret was not to be denied this time around.
Runner-up when racing against colts in her last start, Garden District used that experience to her advantage in the $122,500 Debutante (gr. III), as she put away Simplify after a brief duel and went on to win by a half-length June 28 at Churchill Downs.
Two-time graded stakes winner A.P. Arrow will make his first start since finishing fourth to Curlin in the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), as he takes on seven intriguing rivals in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) June 28 at Belmont Park.
Twin Creeks Racing Stable's Garden District turned in an impressive runner-up performance when facing the boys in the Kentucky Stakes (gr. III) May 1 at Churchill Downs. Based on that effort, the daughter of Dixie Union has a leg up on nine rivals in the $100,000 Debutante Stakes (gr. III) June 28 - the first North American graded stakes event of the year for 2-year-old fillies.
Virginia Kraft Payson's Rutherienne will top a quality field of turf distaffers including Valbenny, Lady Digby,and J'ray, in the $200,000 All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs June 21.
Team Valor Stable's Unbridled Belle successfully opened her 2008 campaign with a convincing victory in the $150,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park June 14.
Coming off a runner-up finish to Bayou's Lassie in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (gr. IIIT) May 3, Frank Calabrese's Dreaming of Anna heads a field of 11 older fillies and mares in the $150,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs June 14.
Last year, Unbridled Belle was coming off a nine-month layoff when she began her 4-year-old campaign and finished second in the Obeah Stakes (gr. III). The connections for the Broken Vow mare, off since finishing fifth in the Oct. 27 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), have chosen the same starting point again in 2008, as she will make her 5-year-old debut in the June 14 Obeah at Delaware Park.
The eight other runners from the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were resting well, their trainers looking on to future goals for the summer, as the Triple Crown season concluded June 7.
Last year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly Indian Blessing makes her highly-anticipated return in the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont Park, and trainer Bob Baffert is expecting her to rebound nicely from her first career defeat.
Trainer Pat Kelly was about to take Evening Attire out of stakes competition, to try the 10-year-old gelding in a few allowance races or to pick spots in turf routes as a main-track-only entry. But the seasoned runner turned in such a solid performance in his last start that NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes was able to convince Kelly to tackle the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Harlem Rocker, regarded as one of the top 3-year-olds in North America and briefly under consideration for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), failed in his first two-turn test June 1 at Woodbine. The son of Macho Uno finished a well-beaten fourth in the $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes.
Ready's Echo and Tale of Ekati are headed to the Belmont Stakes, while Tomcito and Spark Candle are out.
Equipped with a new set of stainless steel wires to hold together a small quarter crack in his left front hoof, Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown galloped May 31 as he continues to prepare for the 140th edition of the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7.
Undefeated in three starts and considered by some as one of the most promising 3-year-olds in North America, Frank Stronach's highly-touted Harlem Rocker will face seven rivals in the $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes June 1 at Woodbine.
There are plenty of reasons for Ready's Echo to not prove contentious in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). But a stunning late run to third in the May 10 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) demands respect for the maiden winner.
Behindatthebar comes into the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) a fresh horse, having scratched from the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) due to a bruised left front foot.
Front-running Meal Penalty found himself on a lonely lead and made the best of it, holding on for a three-quarters of a length win in the $150,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds on the Arlington Park turf May 24.
Eight evenly-matched older fillies and mares seek their first graded stakes victory of the season, as they face off in the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day.
Todd Pletcher seeks his unprecedented third consecutive victory in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) May 24 at Belmont Park, and despite the loss of his top contender, the nation's leading trainer still has a pair of chances to make it happen.
Ben McElroy's Roshani, the 6-5 favorite in a five-horse field, held off Lady Digby to win the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length at Pimlico.
Going into the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III), the question for Palanka City was whether the black-type winner could step up to graded competition. At odds of 1-2, it was a question the Terry Gestes trainee answered with an emphatic "yes" at muddy Pimlico May 16.
That Roman Emperor likes the 1 1/16-mile distance has already been proven. Whether he'll bounce back from a seventh-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (gr. I) remains to be seen. We'll find out when the Steve Klesaris trainee leads a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
The top-weighted runner in the $250,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico May 17 is coming off a sixth-place finish, while his closest competitor also ran sixth in his last start. That leaves a chance at graded earnings readily available to seven other runners in the 1 1/8-mile turf event on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard.
Between Pletcher, Passion, and Pimlico, there are plenty of alliterations. And here is another for the record-preference-which is what the Eclipse Award-winning trainer will be trying to pinpoint as he sends his versatile 3-year-old filly to the $100,000 Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III).
Behindatthebar wasn't ready for a start in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after winning the April 19 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II). But with two more weeks between races under his girth, the Todd Pletcher trainee could be one of the more legitimate contenders for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Bear Stables' Kentucky Bear was the first Preakness Stakes (gr. I) contender to arrive at Pimlico, while others are scheduled to ship in next week.
Favored Game Face held off a determined Keep the Peace by a neck to capture the $168,450 La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs May 3.
Alina, only three-quarters of a length in back of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) starter Eight Belles in her last start, is the 5-2 favorite in the $150,000 La Troienne Stakes (gr. III) May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Todd Pletcher doesn't have the first, second, or third choice in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). In fact, his horses were assigned odds of 15-1 (Monba) and 20-1 (Cowboy Cal) on the morning line. So, after giving an update on the status of his runners, Pletcher was left to confirm Rick Dutrow Jr.'s confidence in Big Brown during a May 1 press conference at Churchill Downs.
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