Augustin Stable's Winter View, riding a three-race win streak, the last two in graded stakes company, is the one to beat in the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 18 at Delaware Park.
Payton d'Oro and Bon Jovi Girl, who took turns beating each other in their last two starts, will do battle once again in the $250,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) July 18 at Delaware Park, where they will meet a solid group of 3-year-old fillies.
Eldaafer and Nite Light, separated by only a nose in last month's Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), will meet again July 18, this time with a Breeders' Cup berth on the line. The older horses will square off in the $250,000 Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack.
Game Face rebounded from a disappointing effort last out by romping to a 6 3/4-length score in the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) July 11 at Calder Race Course. As part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" series, the victory earned the filly an automatic berth in the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 6 at Santa Anita Park.
Andrew Rosen's First Passage won her third in a row and became a graded stakes winner in the process as she took over from pacesetter Kays and Jays in the stretch and went on to win the $200,000 Azalea (gr. III) by three-quarters of a length July 11 at Calder Race Course.
Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti notched his third consecutive grade I win when he came from off the pace to take the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park July 11. The 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat won for the fourth time in five starts on Belmont's turf course.
Lewis Lakin's homebred Pure Clan, making just her second start of the season, overtook pacesetter Tizaqueena in upper stretch and sailed to the wire for a 2 1/2-length victory in the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 11 on the Arlington Park turf.
Lewis Lakin's Pure Clan, fully recovered from a minor injury suffered earlier this season, seems primed to begin her run towards the top of the older female turf division and the climb will start July 11 in the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park, where she will carry top weight of 122 pounds.
Virginia Tarra Trust's homebred Giant Oak, successful in his seasonal turf debut while winning the Arlington Classic last out, will look for his first graded stakes win July 11 in the $300,000 American Derby (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti, fresh off victories in the Frank Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) and Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT), will shoot for his third consecutive grade I score July 11 in the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Hal and Patti Earnhardt's homebred Indian Blessing will try to rebound from the worst start of her career, as she ships to Florida for the first time to take on eight challengers in the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) July 11 at Calder Race Course.
Last season, IEAH Stables and partners' Benny the Bull capped a five-race win streak in the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II), a victory that solidified his Eclipse Award as the nation's top sprinter. Now, months after being brought back from retirement the 6-year-old horse will try to win the event for the second year in a row, as he takes on five rivals July 11 at Calder Race Course.
Darley Stable's Tizaqueena will try to bounce back off a third-place finish in the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT), a defeat that broke a string of four consecutive scores, as she headlines a field of eight fillies and mares in the $100,000 Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf July 5.
After Fabulous Strike turned in a dazzling performance in the June 6 True North (gr. III), trainer Todd Beattie said he was leaning toward giving the 6-year-old gelding some well-deserved time off. But as they say, the horse will tell you what it wants, and the son of Smart Strike has spoken loud and clear.
An accomplished group of older horses that includes four grade I winners is set to go in the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) July 4 on the Monmouth Park turf.
A. Stevens Miles Jr.'s Warrior's Reward, who lost a tough duel with Successful Dan three weeks ago in the Northern Dancer (gr. III), will look to break through for his first graded stakes score in the $200,000 Dwyer (gr. III) July 4 at Belmont Park.
Edmund Gann's It's a Bird, winner of consecutive graded stakes and three of his last four overall, will try to continue his top form when facing nine rivals in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) July 4 at Belmont Park.
It is unlikely that Hal Wiggins will find a horse like Rachel Alexandra any time soon, but he does have a promising young colt making his stakes debut in the $100,000 Bashford Manor (gr. III), a sprint for 2-year-olds July 3 at Churchill Downs.
D. Wayne Lukas added to his record-setting number of Debutante (gr. III) wins, snatching his seventh when Westrock Stables' Decelerator outdueled Wild Forest Cat by a neck June 27 in the $111,300 event at Churchill Downs.
Mary's Follies made her turf debut a successful one, taking over in upper stretch and then holding off a late charge from Kiawah Cat to win the $150,000 Boiling Springs (gr. IIIT) by a length June 27 at Monmouth Park.
Rachel Alexandra faced only two opponents in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park but the sensational filly put on a dazzling display anyway, setting a stakes record while romping by nearly 20 lengths under Calvin Borel.
Carolyn's Cat, wire-to-wire winner last out in the Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II), will look to take her five older filly and mare rivals all the way again when she goes to post for the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) June 28 at Belmont Park.
Dell Ridge Farm's Bluegrass Princess, third in her two graded stakes starts this season, may be in prime position to pick up her first black-type victory when facing seven rivals in the $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 27 on the Monmouth Park turf.
The cutback in distance didn't seem to bother George Strawbridge Jr.'s homebred Winter View, as the daughter of Thunder Gulch came from last at the top of the stretch to run them all down in the $150,000 All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 20 on the Colonial Downs turf.
Heavy rain forced the $245,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) off the turf and that was just fine with Star Crown Stable's Icon Project, who took over from tiring favorite Criticism at the top of the lane and sailed to a 13 1/4-length victory June 20 on the slop at Belmont Park.
Team Valor Stables' Unbridled Belle scored in the $125,700 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) for the second straight season, getting out to an early lead and running her six rivals off their feet to win by 11 lengths June 20 in the slop at Delaware Park.
For the first time in its 135-year history, Churchill Downs raced under the lights June 19. And based on the turnout, the experiment was an overwhelming success.
Heros Reward and Mission Approved, winners of last year's Highlander (Can-IIIT) and Singspiel (Can-IIIT) stakes, respectively, are back to defend their titles in each event June 21 at Woodbine. The turf races are part of the $1 million Queen's Plate undercard.
Darley Stable's homebred Criticism has been on quite a roll, winning four of her last five, all in graded stakes. Backseat Rhythm and Dynaforce, both grade I winners a year ago, are both coming off unplaced efforts last out. Will the hot horse continue her winning ways, will the proven grade I winners return to form, or will one of the other capable starters break through?
Team Valor Stables' Unbridled Belle turned in an uncharacteristically poor performance in the Louisville Distaff (gr. II) last out, but her connections say they are hopeful the 6-year-old mare will rebound with a big effort in the $125,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III), a race that she won a year ago.
There is no doubt in the mind of Frank Alexander that Lime Rickey is a stakes-caliber type of horse. One of these days, perhaps in the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIT) on June 13, the son of Lemon Drop Kid will prove it, Alexander said. All he needs is a little bit of racing luck.
Miss Isella took a hard jolt from Distinctive Dixie when squeezing through a small opening at the top of the lane, then had the wherewithal to outduel Swift Temper in deep stretch to capture the $221,600 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Morton Fink's homebred gelding Successful Dan kept his perfect record in tact when outdueling favored Warrior's Reward to win the $108,900 Northern Dancer (gr. III) by a head June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Warrior's Reward, who scored a strong allowance victory last month, looks like the one to beat in the $100,000 Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds June 13 at Churchill Downs.
WinStar Farm's Advice, most recently 13th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), makes his turf debut against seven 3-year-old rivals in the $150,000 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Miss Isella, upset winner of the Louisville Distaff (gr. II) last out, looks to build upon that score when taking on eight rivals in the $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Einstein, a leading candidate for 2009 Horse of the Year midway through the season, will try to make history by becoming the first horse to win grade I events on dirt, turf and synthetics in the same year in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 13 at Churchill Downs.
Dennis Weir's Arizona homebred Carlsbad broke sharply and never looked back, taking seven 3-year-old filly rivals wire-to-wire to win by a half-length in the $150,000 Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) June 7.
Jedburgh Stud's All Is Vanity, sixth at the top of the lane, displayed a huge turn of foot in the final furlong and passed Quiet Meadow in the final strides to take a thrilling edition of the $150,000 Eatontown (gr. IIIT) June 7 on the Monmouth Park turf.
Helen Groves and Helen Alexander's Acoma repelled a late bid from Pure Clan and held on for a neck victory in the $109,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) June 6 at Churchill Downs.
Eldaafer, claimed for $20,000 earlier this year, came with a late stretch run and pulled off a 17-1 shocker in the $198,500 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) June 5 on the slop at Belmont Park.
Ariege, last year's Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) winner, makes her 2009 graded stakes debut when facing seven rivals in the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) June 7 on the Monmouth Park turf.
Marchfield and Artie Hot, both graded stakes winners a year ago, will look to add another black-type victory to their ledger when they do battle in the $150,000 Eclipse Stakes (Can-III) June 6 on the Woodbine Polytrack.
Cowboy Cal and Champs Elysees, both narrowly beaten by tough-as-nails Einstein in separate grade I races this year, will see if his absence will be enough to get them over the top this time, as they headline a strong field of 14, including five grade I winners, for the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) June 6 at Belmont Park.
Multiple graded stakes-winning filly Pure Clan makes her much-anticipated 2009 debut June 6 in the $100,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, but will have to face accomplished rivals Acoma and Tizaqueena, both of whom have shown good form this year.
Well Monied made it look easy in her graded stakes debut, taking over in upper stretch and sprinting home for a 1 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) May 31 on the Hollywood Park turf.
Sam-Son Farms' homebred Eye of the Leopard came five-wide into the lane and ran down Southdale in the final strides to win the $152,000 Plate Trial Stakes by a neck May 31 at Woodbine.
Lawrence Carroll's Bold Start put away Semaphore Man approaching the sixteenth-pole and cruised to the wire 2 3/4 lengths in front for his biggest lifetime score in the $112,600 Aristides (gr. III) May 30 at Churchill Downs.
Farnsworth Stables' Gozzip Girl took all the heat, but was still able to find enough in the final yards to hold on for a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Sands Point (gr. II) May 30 on the Belmont Park turf.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Gainesway Thoroughbreds' Hightap ran right by odds-on favorite Luster in upper stretch and sprinted her way to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $111,500 Dogwood (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs May 30.
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