Ultra Blend, an ultra-consistent California-bred 5-year-old mare, became a grade I winner with a hard-fought neck victory over Zazu in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar.
Stewards disqualified even-money choice St Trinians from a 1 1/4-length victory for interference in the stretch run of the $150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II), making 8-1 shot Ultra Blend the winner at Hollywood Park May 21.
California stallion Richly Blended, whose first foals are 2-year-olds, succumbed to colic July 30.
Graded stakes winner Richly Blended was represented by his first winner when his daughter, Cosmo Nan, won July 26 at Santa Rosa.
Richly Blended. a 6-year-old son of Rizzi, will relocate to Matt and Barbara Butterworth's West 12 Ranch near Lodi, Calif. for the 2005 breeding season.
BnD Chase Thoroughbreds announced the relocation of multiple grade III winner Richly Blended to Rick Taylor's Special T Thoroughbreds near Temecula, Calif.
Multiple graded stakes winner Richly Blended, who started his racing career with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure, has been purchased by BnD Chase Thoroughbreds and will enter stud at Rancho San Miguel near San Miguel, Calif.
Harry T. Mangurian Jr. completed the dispersal of 99% of his breeding stock in 2000. So in 2001, his primary involvement in the Thoroughbred business was that of an interested onlooker. As he watched and tallied, nearly 600 horses bred in his name and that of his Mockingbird Farm raced, won 36 stakes races at 16 different tracks, made more than 4,500 starts, and earned approximately $16.5 million.
Raymond Dweck's Richly Blended, who won a pair of grade III stakes this year, has been retired from racing after suffering a stress fracture of his right front cannon bone. The 3-year-old colt suffered the mishap during a workout Aug. 4 at Monmonth Park in preparation for the Aug. 25 King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
The Derby winner, the speed, and the new arrivals dominated the Preakness scene at Old Hilltop this morning. Richly Blended, the last of the Preakness workers hit the track at 8:30 for an easy half-mile breeze, which was followed by another awesome gallop by Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. At 10:30, two vans arrived on the backstretch, carrying Bob Baffert's pair of Point Given and Congaree, and Dollar Bill. A fourth Preakness starter, Mr. John, was dropped off at Mary Eppler's barn across the track on the backside. Finally, all the pieces are in place, leading up to tonight's post position draw.
It was one of those bits and pieces kind of day on the Preakness front. With the leading contenders only walking the shed this morning, at Pimlico and Churchill Downs, most of the focus was on the two open riding assignments. As of 1 p.m., one (Griffinite) has been filled, and the other (A P Valentine) was due to be announced later this afternoon. Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen, trainer of Paraneck Stable's Griffinite, said earlier that New York-based Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard the son of Unbridled's Song for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The pace for the 126th Preakness Stakes just got a bit faster with the announcement that Gotham and Withers winner Richly Blended definitely will run. The son of Rizzi has won four of his five career starts, all on the front end. His only defeat came in the Wood Memorial, when he finished third to Congaree and Monarchos. Jockey Rick Wilson said the colt's saddled slipped in the race.
Raymond Dweck's Richly Blended, who won the mile Withers Stakes (gr. III) by 4 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct on May 5, is being pointed toward the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), according to trainer Ben Perkins Jr.
The Maryland Jockey Club lists 12 horses as possible entrants for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), led by Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos.
Richly Blended rebounded from a third-place finish behind Kentucky Derby runners Congaree and Monarchos in last month's Wood Memorial (gr. II) to win the one-mile, $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) by 4 1/4 lengths Saturday at Aqueduct. With the win, Richly Blended remains undefeated in races contested at one mile or less.
John C. Oxley's Monarchos will break from post two as the 4-5 favorite for the Wood Memorial (gr. II), to be contested April 14 over 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.
A field of six was entered for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial, with the 4-5 morning line favorite Monarchos drawing post 2. California invader Congaree, listed at 8-5, will break from post 5. Richly Blended, wire-to-wire winner of the Gotham Stakes, drew post 6, and is expected once again to set the pace under jockey Rick Wilson. The remainder of the field is made up of It's So Simple, from the Nick Zito stable; Voodoo, third in the Gotham; and Paging, third in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Richly Blended, undefeated winner of the Gotham Stakes, served notice Thursday that he's going to be a dangerous opponent in the Wood Memorial if allowed to get loose early. The son of Rizzi worked 6 furlongs in a sizzling 1:10 2/5, galloping out 7 panels in 1:23, closing his last quarter in :23 3/5.
Seven 3-year-olds, including three horses that ran in Oaklawn Park's Rebel Stakes (gr. III), were nominated to the Visa Triple Crown and $5-million Visa Triple Crown Challenge before the March 31 late deadline. As a result of the new nominees, the total nominated to this year's series was 447, just short of the record 452 nominees to the three-race series in 1986.
Just over a week ago, the clouds over the Derby trail were so thick, everyone was fumbling along in the dark, trying to get even the slightest glimpse of the Twin Spires. Now, all of the sudden, the clouds have lifted and the stars are shining brightly. First Monarchos lit up the sky in the Florida Derby. And at Santa Anita this past Saturday, two more stars emerged, as visible against the night sky as the top of Bob Baffert's head.
If you heard a shot ring out at Aqueduct on March 18, it was just another of those Benny and Buzz bullets that have been known on occasion to blast a hole in the wind. The latest speeding bullet from the Benny Perkins Jr./Buzz Chace arsenal is Richly Blended, a son of Rizzi who left his field for dead in the $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III).
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