With just one week remaining until the end of Churchill Downs' fall meet, members of the Louisville jockey colony are making plans for the upcoming winter months.
Smitty's Sunshine, with Robby Albarado aboard, pulled clear following a three-way duel for the early lead and then held off a late charge by Beautiful Bets for a three-quarter length victory in Sunday's $116,400 Pent Up Kiss Stakes for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
Stan Fulton's It's No Joke settled just off the pace and took charge in the stretch to win the $232,800 Emirates Airline Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) by a neck at Churchill Downs Saturday.
He was reluctant to load, but once John C. Oxley's Strong Contender got rolling, there was no stopping him. The 3-year-old son of Maria's Mon swept past the 4-5 favorite Lawyer Ron to win the $486,500 Super Derby (gr. II) at Harrah's Louisiana Downs Saturday.
Cryptoquip, whose 11 3/4-length victory in the Queen City Oaks at River Downs was wiped out when the race was declared no contest because of a starting gate malfunction, officially earned black type for the first time by winning the $144,500 Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) by a half-length.
Kingship, a son of the 2000 Arlington Classic (gr. IIIT) victor King Cugat, gamely held on to win the 2006 edition by a nose over the fast-closing Proudinsky.
My Typhoon, ridden by Robby Albarado, rallied from third to grab the lead in the final furlong and score a 1 ¾-length victory in the $115,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the Churchill Downs turf Saturday.
Mill House's homebred Brilliant, the 4-5 favorite, kicked his way to the front at the sixteenth pole and stayed unbeaten on the turf in three starts with a half-length victory in the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Changing Weather, with Robby Albarado aboard, rallied from sixth and held off Court Folly in a duel of stretch runners to score a head victory in Saturday's $109,800 Matt Winn for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
E. J. Sukley's Purim, a multiple graded stakes winner on turf and dirt, pouncedd on the leader in the stretch en route to a 3 ¼-length victory in the inaugural $100,000 Avers Wexler Illinois Owners Stakes on Sunday at Arlington Park.
"I worked his daddy out of that barn," jockey Robby Albarado said the morning of April 29, pointing to barn 43 on the Churchill Downs backside.
Arthur Hancock III's Wanderin Boy shot to the lead and never relinquished it en route to a commanding 5 1/4-length win in Keeneland's Thursday feature, the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III).
Ermine and Press Camp both turned in Thursday works for a start in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 5. Ermine worked at Churchill Downs while Press Camp worked at her Bay Meadows base.
Fort Prado lived up to his 4-5 favoritism in Saturday night's $193,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) at Sam Houston Race Park by winning his third consecutive stakes and second graded stakes of the year for owners Patricia, Ryan, and David Block.
While there will be no rematch between Round Pond and Happy Ticket in Saturday's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), the 1 1/16-mile race will not lack for excitement, with a field of six older fillies and mares scheduled to run.
Canadian invader Top Notch Lady brought the snow with her Saturday at Turfway Park and came away with an upset victory in the $150,000 Bourbonette Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies.
Edward Sukley's homebred Purim tracked the pressed pacesetter Rockport Harbor and 80-1 shot Chippewa Trail coming off the far turn and assumed command in upper stretch, rolling to victory in the $150,000 Razorback Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Sunday.
Team Block's always-tough Fort Prado ran closer to the pacesetter Onthedeanslist this time around and registered a neck victory over his rival in the $189,800 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Harrah's Louisiana Downs turf Saturday.
The combination of trainer Neil Howard and jockey Robby Albarado reunited in the winner's circle with Private Gift in the $75,000 Truly Bound Breeders' Cup Handicap, the Christmas Eve feature of the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Mill House's favored America Alive, last of a tightly bunched field at the head of the stretch, rallied on the outside to get up in the final stride, nosing G P Fleet to win the $167,700 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sunday on the Churchill Downs turf course.
Except for many of the faces, very little is "usual" about Fair Grounds' 134th season of Thoroughbred racing that opens Saturday.
Favored My Typhoon overcame a sluggish start to open up a two-length lead in the stretch but was all out to hold off the furious charge of Isla Cozzene by a nose to win the $166,950 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Churchill Downs turf Saturday.
Stalking favorite Bending Strings disposed of Prospective Saint in upper stretch and won the $169,350 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) for fillies and mares as she pleased Sunday at Churchill Downs, snapping a nine-race losing streak in the process.
A competitive field of nine entrants was taken by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman for Saturday's $150,000 Fayette Stakes (gr. III) scheduled to be run at a 1 1/8 miles on the Keeneland main track. Eight of the nine horses entered are already stakes winners, six of which were graded wins.
William S. Farish's homebred filly Reunited, teamed again with Robby Albarado, overtook the faltering pacesetter Forest Music in the final 100 yards and staved off the charging outsider Miss Terrible by a head to win the $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland Sunday.
Stony Oak Farm's Elusive Jazz, making his graded stakes debut, rolled to victory with a well-timed ride from Robby Albarado in the $266,500 Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Keeneland.
Keeneland announced Oct. 4 that the first 5,000 patrons attending each Thursday of the fall and spring meets would receive special jockey prints, with proceeds going to benefit charity.
Fourth choice Flying Glitter broke sharply from the gate and wired the field on her way to a comfortable victory in the $405,100 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) Friday night at Hoosier Park.
Five jockeys named as un-indicted co-conspirators will have their fate decided by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
Two senior New York Racing Association officials, including a onetime top jockey, were indicted Sept. 21 in state court on fraud and other charges as part of a scheme in which jockey weights were fabricated at NYRA tracks.
Patricia Bozano's Ay Caramba easily won the $194,000 Caesar Rodney Handicap on the turf at Delaware Park Saturday over three rivals.
Brookdale Farm owner-turned-trainer Fred Seitz recorded his first win as trainer of record when his 2-year-old filly May Night scored a length win in Friday's P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga.
There was a big shadow cast at Saratoga Friday, and it was Shadow Cast who was responsible as the 4-year-old Smart Strike filly upset heavily favored Ashado in the $400,000 Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Effectual, with Robby Albarado aboard, took control soon after the opening eighth of a mile and then drew off down the stretch to hold off the late closing Joint Effort in Saturday's $112,600 Debutante (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
After having a difficult time on the Triple Crown trail earlier this spring, Rush Bay has found a home on the grass. In his second start on the Churchill Downs lawn, the son of Cozzene won the $220,400 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Saturday.
The rivalry between Shadow Cast and Island Sand will head into its third act Saturday at Churchill Downs when the pair of 4-year-old stakes winning fillies line up for the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
Late-charging Delta Princess closed from dead last with a sweeping move to capture Saturday's $110,100 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs grass thanks to a well-timed ride from Robby Albarado.
Delta Princess, who won the Endeavor Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in February, tops a field of seven fillies and mares slated for Saturday's Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Padua Stables' stakes winner Razor heads a field of five speedy sophomores headed to the gate for Sunday's $100,000 Lafayette Stakes (gr. III), going six furlongs at Keeneland.
Fair Grounds Race Course concluded its 133rd season of racing, and its first under the ownership of Churchill Downs Inc. Sunday with its first increases in average all-sources and on-track wagering in four years.
A talented group of nine older horses--including seven graded stakes winners--will battle in Saturday's New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds with $500,000 on the line. Highweight Pollard's Vision and second-highweighted Badge of Silver will have to contend with Arthur Hancock's Wanderin Boy.
Shadow Cast rallied to capture her third straight stakes win at Fair Grounds Race Course, winning the $125,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf Saturday.
Alumni Hall, ridden by Robby Albarado, turned back the closing Colonial Colony in the stretch to win Saturday night's $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park by three-quarters of a length.
America Alive won a thrilling renewal of the $100,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap on the Fair Grounds turf Saturday, closing with a flurry on the far outside to nail Rapid Proof on the wire.
Overbrook Farm's homebred 3-year-old Storm Surge registered his first graded stakes victory when he captured the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds going a mile Saturday.
Odds-on favorite Crimson Stag made every pole a winning one, turning back longshot Zarb's Music Man to win the $75,000 Crescent City Derby for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Overbrook Farm homebred Storm Surge took the lead in the top of the stretch and went on to capture the $60,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes for 2-year-olds Friday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Shadow Cast picked up right where she left off earlier this year at Fair Grounds, returning to capture the $60,000 Pago Hop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over the Stall-Wilson turf course Saturday.
Jockey Robby Albarado won his 3,000th race Thursday at Fair Grounds Race Course aboard 2-year-old maiden Isle of Silver.
As two more winter Thoroughbred meets prepare to open, management is lining up commitments from jockeys in the wake of walkouts at Churchill Downs and Hoosier Park. Meanwhile, members of an insurance task force that will meet for the first time Nov. 22 hope to maintain focus and expedite recommendations.
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