Evenings in Saratoga bring another feeling, one of frantic energy, and of adrenaline, and of the intensity of short, fast-paced hours. No place emphasizes this more than the Fasig-Tipton sales grounds, where the vigorous pursuit of Thoroughbred yearlings at auction began with yesterday's opening session for the two-day select sale.
Champion and millionaire Riboletta, who was returned to racing in May after losing her Forestry foal this year because of mare reproductive loss syndrome, has been retired from racing because of a flare-up of an ankle injury.
Aaron and Marie Jones' Riboletta, last year's champion older female, is on the comeback trail, with the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Distaff the ultimate goal for the Eduardo Inda-trained mare. In her first workout since returning to the track, Riboletta breezed three furlongs in :37.4 at Santa Anita.
Top turf distaffer Tranquility Lake's next race may come on the main track in an effort to prepare the the 6-year-old mare for the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), according to trainer Julio Canani. Eclipse Award winner Riboletta is also being pointed to the Distaff.
Champion racemare Riboletta will return to training after falling victim to the mysterious mare reproductive loss syndrome that has devastated Kentucky. Riboletta will return to trainer Eduardo Inda's barn in California.
Horse of the Year titles come in all sizes, from a year's worth of heroics to a single moment of glory. In 2000, it came in the size of Tiznow's neck. That's all it took to turn the name of Tiznow from a faint whisper before the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to a deafening roar after it.
Aaron and Marie Jones' millionaire Riboletta, who would have figured strongly in the battle for Horse of the Year honors if she had won the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), has been retired from racing because of a suspensory injury suffered during the race.
A day after the Breeders' Cup races were run, the connections of the beaten favorites offered excuses ranging from a possible illness in development to a too hard track surface for their charges disappointing performances on the big day.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Fusaichi Pegasus, trained by Neil Drysdale, continued Friday to leave a favorable impression in his morning training at Churchill Downs. Meanwhile, Drysdale may have added another contender to his strong Breeders' Cup hand with Stonerside Stable, LLC's recent acquisition Freefourracing.
Aaron and Marie Jones' brilliant Riboletta led a planeload of Breeders' Cup contenders who arrived at Churchill Downs Monday morning. Meanwhile, Behrens, who suffered a cut on his leg in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, didn't make the flight and could be retired.
Lemon Drop Kid drew post position four and was installed as the 4-5 favorite for the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park. Earlier on the card, Riboletta and Beautiful Pleasure will face off in the $750,000 Beldame.
Beautiful Pleasure worked one-mile over a fast track at Keeneland Wednesday morning, preparing for the Beldame Stakes (gr. I), in which she will likely face Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) winner Riboletta. Also working one mile Wednesday were Notable Career, Grey Memo, and Alvo Certo.
Riboletta ran off to a 7 1/2-length victory over Gourmet Girl to take the $250,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares for her fifth straight victory. Ridden by Chris McCarron, the 5-year-old bay mare pressed the early pace set by Lu Ravi and Country Hideaway, then moved to the front on the far turn before pulling away with ease through the stretch.
West Coast distaff handicap leader Riboletta will concede from eight to 12 pounds to her six rivals when she goes to post as the 125-pound highweight in Saturday's $250,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Last year's champion 2-year-old filly Chilukki worked five furlongs at Del Mar on Friday as she prepares for her next likely start, the $150,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. II). Flame Thrower, Riboletta, and Super Quercus also worked at Del Mar on Friday.
Having swept the three major stakes races on the main track for older fillies and mares at the recently concluded Hollywood Park meet, Riboletta will have to face the burden of a winner in the handicap ranks as she goes to post as the 125-pound highweight in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Del Mar.