Juddmonte Farms' favored War Zone closed gamely on the outside with Javier Castellano aboard to nip South African Trademark by a half length in Saturday's $116,200 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) at one mile on the Belmont Park turf.
Jayeff B Stable's Runspastum lived up to his name as he rallied for an upset victory in Saturday's $100,000 Oceanport Handicap at Monmouth Park to give jockey Julian Pimentel a stakes double.
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens has always downplayed his reputation as "The Giant Killer." But he did it again in Saturday's Fort Marcy Handicap at Aqueduct, saddling 6-1 shot Saint Verre for victory on a sloppy track.
Saturday's $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 mile at Aqueduct is supposed to be the first stakes race run on grass in New York this year. With forecasts calling for more than an inch of rain from Friday night into Saturday, horses entered for the main track only may be in luck.
Doug Koch, owner of Berkshire Stud in upstate Pine Plains, N.Y. knows exactly how bad things can go at times in racing. Last Saturday in the Distaff Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Aqueduct, his Saskya was to make her last start before retiring to broodmare duties.
Starlight Stable's Harlan's Holiday, who won last year's Florida Derby (gr. I), tries to complete a unique parlay at Gulfstream Park Saturday in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I).
Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens pulled off an upset with First Blush in the Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) on opening day (Jan. 3) at Gulfstream Park and will try to pull off a couple more surprises when he saddles horses in two stakes races this weekend at the South Florida racetrack.
While there's questions surrounding Saturday's $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, the biggest one is which horse will come out of the race with the best chance to make some noise in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 22.
Fans can build a bankroll in two Aqueduct stakes races Saturday, the $150,000 First Flight (gr. II) and the $100,000 Sport Page (gr. III), before turning their attention to the Breeders' Cup simulcasts from Arlington Park.
Saint Verre commanded the early lead and withstood all challenges to take the 26th running of the $150,000 Cliff Hanger Handicap (gr. III) on Friday night at the Meadowlands.
Classy Forbidden Apple will try to end a five-race losing streak for trainer Christophe Clement in Saturday's one-mile Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT)/
Eight horses were entered Friday for the 23rd running of Sunday's Forego Handicap at Saratoga, including Squirtle Squirt, last year's Sprint champion, and Orientate, the East's leading male sprinter.
Two-year-old fillies will be in the spotlight this Friday when the grade 1, $200,000 Spinaway at seven furlongs is run.
Versatile Left Bank wins his biggest race yet, taking the Whitney Handicap over a strong field.
Saratoga Notebook: Whitney Surprise; NYRA Betting on a Record; Make Out to Spinaway; 'Chasing's Spills; And the Rains Came
The surprise entry of Saint Verre changed the complexion of the Whitney, as the number of horses in the race Saturday expands the number of wagering options. Meanwhile, impressive winner Make Out is Spinaway bound, steeplechasing's spills continued, there was a deluge of rain Thursday, and Bailey was shut out.
Street Cry, who ranks as the top Thoroughbred in training on the NTRA poll, drew the outside post as a field of six was entered today for Saturday's grade I Whitney Handicap at Saratoga. Street Cry will carry highweight of 123 pounds including Jerry Bailey.
Amherst Stable and Spruce Pond Stable's Volponi benefited from an equipment change as he rolled past Saint Verre to win the grade III, $111,200 Poker Handicap at Belmont Park on Friday.
Jorge (Chop Chop) Chavez moved Celtic Pride Stable's A P Valentine through on the rail and gamely outdueled Point Given for a 1 3/4-length triumph in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I).
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