Fair Grounds opens its 132nd season of racing Thursday with the 78th running of the Thanksgiving Handicap serving as the feature.
The first horse Bill Heiligbrodt owned ran in the 1989 Breeders' Cup. It was a memorable experience, but not a good memory. On Saturday, Heiligbrodt and his wife, Corrine, hope for better memories.
Five contenders for Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, including a powerful trio trained by Steve Asmussen, were on the track at Churchill Downs and its Trackside Louisville training center Monday.
Trainer Steve Asmussen's powerful trio of contenders for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships --Cuvee, Lady Tak, and Posse -- were all busy with pre-dawn works on Monday at Churchill Downs in preparation for their runs Oct. 25.
Stronach Stables' Ghostzapper unleashed a devastating stretch run to romp to a 6 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $500,000 Vosburgh (gr. I), missing the track record at Belmont Park by a fifth of a second.
With a desperate lunge in the final strides, Valid Video and jockey Joey Bravo had just enough to nip Great Notion at the wire in Saturday's $200,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) for 3-year-old sprinters at Saratoga.
The $200,000 King's Bishop, a seven-furlong stake for three-year-olds, has been a chalk player's delight the last four years. But if the likely favorites Saturday, Zavata and Posse, a pair of multiple graded stakes winners, want to keep that trend going, they better have their "A" game.
Michael Tabor's Zavata and jockey Jerry Bailey won a speed duel with Trust N Luck and pulled away in the stretch for a comfortable victory in Saturday's $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse will be chasing his fourth straight stakes victory Saturday when he faces six top 3-year-old sprinters in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga.
Posse, a multiple graded stakes-winning son of Silver Deputy -- Raska, by Rahy, will enter stud at Vinery in Lexington, Ky. upon completion of his racing career. The 3-year-old colt is being pointed toward next month's King's Bishop (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Cuvee, who looms as a heavy favorite in Sunday's 102nd running of the $125,000-added Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds, finished his major preparation for the six furlong race with a Monday work at Churchill Downs.
Posse, closing ground with every stride, got by odds-on favorite Midas Eyes at the wire to take the Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday. The 3-year-old Silver Deputy colt covered the seven furlongs over a sloppy track in a good 1:22.03.
Posse, ridden by Corey Lanerie, wore down Bossanova in the final strides for a half-length victory in Saturday's $111,900 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Multiple graded stakes winner Posse leads a field of seven 3-year-old colts set for Saturday's $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse and jockey Corey Lanerie tracked a fast pace and chased down Roll Hennessy Roll in the stretch on his way to a solid victory in Sunday's $107,900 Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Keeneland.
A well-matched field of 3-year-old sprinters passed the entry box for Sunday's Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. The seven-furlong race carries a purse of $100,000 added. Heading the cast is Fabien Ouaki and Patrick Biancone's Whywhywhy.
Jockey Jerry Bailey showed his golden touch with Midas Eyes, runaway winner of Saturday's $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. III), giving he and trainer Bobby Frankel a sweep of Saturday's rich 3-year-old stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Heiligbrodt's Racing Stable Posse set a track record for five furlongs Monday at Fair Grounds.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse, whose performances in stakes company in the spring stamped him as one of the best of this year's crop of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds, heads a strong and experienced field of juveniles in Sunday's 21st running of Sunday's $100,000-added Iroquois Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Despite a steady rain on Tuesday, trainer Patrick Byrne put the final touches on Private Gold's training for Sunday's $100,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. Bryne sent the Seeking the Gold colt out for a half-mile workout over a sloppy Churchill oval on Tuesday.
Whywhywhy answered a lot of questions Thursday afternoon with an authoritative 2 3/4-length victory in the Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga.
Todd Pletcher, fresh off earning his second Belmont Park training title, seeks to keep the ball rolling as the New York racing season shifts from Belmont to Saratoga. Pletcher will be looking for his first stakes win of the meet on Thursday when he sends out Hussar in the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II), going six furlongs.
Good Journey and Pat Day team to win the Firecracker at Churchill Downs on July Fourth.
Les Nichols begins his ride to Ground Zero in New York.
As Churchill Downs prepares to close out its 2002 Spring Meet on July 7, several top juveniles were on the track preparing for weekend stakes events. The Louisville track will host the Debutante Stakes (gr. III) on Saturday and Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) on Sunday.
Posse, the 4-5 favorite with Donnie Meche up, took the lead on the far turn and drew away for the easy 3 ½-length victory over Del Diablo in Monday's $160,000 grade III Kentucky Breeders' Cup for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Always one of the highlights on the Kentucky Derby Day card, the Three Chimneys Juvenile went to Holiday Runner, a Meadowlake filly trained by D. Wayne Lukas.
After getting off to a relatively slow start, trainer Ronny Werner swept both maiden races for 2-year-olds run at Keeneland Thursday and Friday. The two wins improve Werner's record with first-time starters at the Lexington track the last two years to seven wins from 10 starts.
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