Unbeaten filly is mild 4-1 morning line favorite in 10-horse Edgewood field; $100,000 race kicks off stakes action on Oaks day at Churchill Downs
Never Retreat found a yielding turf to her liking when she swept past the leaders in the stretch and cleared off for a 1 3/4-length win in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland April 16.
Smart Bid prevailed for the first time since November 2009 in a four-horse photo finish to the $396,000 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) March 26 on the Fair Grounds turf.
For the second consecutive year, Giant's Causeway claimed the top spot on the 2010 leading sires' list, according to final figures provided by Equineline Company.
Forever Together, voted the 2008 champion turf female after winning the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), has been retired from racing to become a broodmare for owner George Strawbridge Jr.
Lookin At Lucky, buried near the back of the pack on a sloppy track, rallied wide for jockey Martin Garcia to score a popular victory by 1 1/4 lengths in the $510,900 Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park Oct. 2.
Two of the stallion's progeny bring $550,000 apiece during the Keeneland auction's fifth session.
A Smart Strike filly, the second yearling of the day to bring $550,000 was bought by investment manager George Bolton from Gainesway, agent for Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
A $550,000 Smart Strike colt fetched $550,000 during the Sept. 16 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale. Bought by Bradley Weisbord, for Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables, he was consigned by Gainesway, agent.
A bay ridgling by Smart Strike commanded a seven-figure price during the Sept. 14 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale when he was bought for $1 million by George Bolton.
The Smart Strike ridgling stars in the Keeneland September sale's third session for his breeder, who was a member of an NCAA Division I championship basketball team.
A bay ridgling by Smart Strike was bought for $1,000,000 by George Bolton at the Sept. 14 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale from Greenfield Farm for B.D. Gibbs Farm, agent.
A bay colt by Smart Strike out of grade I producer Sluice sells for $750,000 to John Ferguson at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale Aug. 3.
Preakness (gr. I) winner Lookin At Lucky put away Derby winner Super Saver at the top of the stretch and annihilated the field in the IZOD Haskell Invitational Aug. 1 at Monmouth Park.
Hammer Time: Lookin At Lucky's connections were smart enough to figure out Lookin At Lucky could overcome his physical deficiencies and be a top runner. Read Blog
Donato Lanni's is the bloodstock services director for Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington. But he's also the person Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert turns to when he searches for future classic winners.
Smart Strike, who has had three grade I winners in a single day, can only be held down so long.
In his first start in more than 10 months, Strike a Deal wired the field for jockey Ramon Dominguez in the $200,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT), registering a bit of larceny in the race preceding the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Life Is Sweet, the 2009 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) winner for Martin and Pam Wygod, has been pronounced in foal to Smart Strike.
Buy-back rate drops, falling to 28.7% from 41.1% last year.
Favored Lookin at Lucky, trying blinkers and dirt for the first time in his 2010 debut, won the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park when his late bid produced a neck victory over the stubborn Noble's Promise.
Last year's champion juvenile male, Lookin At Lucky, is on schedule for his first start of the year, the March 13 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, after a workout at Santa Anita March 8.
Jockey Alex Solis kept the late-running Striking Dancer clear of traffic and the daughter of Smart Strike did the rest, causing a 13-1 upset in the $150,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Valentine's Day.
New Mexico state representative Candy Spence Ezzell recognized Mine That Bird as "New Mexico Horse of the Year for 2009." The memorial passed the state's House of Representatives Feb. 11 unanimously by a vote of 70-0.
The 2010 stud fee for two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who stands at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., has been reduced to $40,000.
Grade II winner Papa Clem has been retired from racing due to an ankle injury and will stand at stud in 2010, according to owner/breeder Bo Hirsch and trainer Gary Stute.
- By Steve Haskin
Won grade I Del Mar Futurity, Hollywood Futurity for Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman; most by a head as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Two-time Horse of the Year Curlin was represented by his first foal when a filly was born Jan. 12 at Burleson Farms near Midway, Ky.
Favored Papa Clem seized the lead from pacesetter Smart Bid in the stretch and held off his rival through the lane to score a hard-fought half-length win in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 16.
Will Farish, owner of Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., will be honored with the Eclipse Award of Merit for lifetime achievement in Thoroughbred racing.
Heavy favorite Lookin At Lucky wrapped up divisional honors as the nation's top 2-year-old after his convincing win in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park Dec. 19.
Champion Gulch has been pensioned from stallion duty because of declining fertility at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.; A.P. Indy to stand for $150,000 as farm announces 2010 stud fees.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
A multi-generation affinity of his female family with Mr. Prospector-line sires might have championship repercussions as Lookin At Lucky prepares for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile this fall.
Undefeated Lookin At Lucky handled his first try at two turns successfully in the $300,000 Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 4, allowing Bob Baffert to look forward to the Nov. 7 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Even-money choice Lookin at Lucky remained unbeaten in three starts and gave trainer Bob Baffert his ninth win in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) in the past 14 years Sept. 7 at the seaside track.
Favored Lookin at Lucky, in the familiar Mike Pegram silks for trainer Bob Baffert, jumped into graded company with a three-quarters of a length win in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar Aug. 9.
In a battle of all-star sprinters at showery Saratoga Aug. 9, even-money choice Fabulous Strike edged past stubborn pacesetter Go Go Shoot in deep stretch to win the $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II).
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Papa Clem, who finished fourth, beaten a head for second, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, is scheduled to arrive at Monmouth Park June 30 to prepare for the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 2.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Canadian-bred A.P. Indy colt Eye of the Leopard just broke his maiden in mid-May, but his classy pedigree makes him a good bet in upcoming Canadian Classics.
Smart Surprise rallied from off the pace, took over in mid-stretch and held off a late bid from Proud Heiress to win the $158,600 Hendrie Stakes (Can-III) for older fillies and mares May 10 at Woodbine.
A full brother to two-time Horse of the Year Curlin was born April 29 at Fares Farm.
Graded stakes winner Twilight Meteor has been retired from racing, it was announced May 5 by John Fort of Peachtree Stable.
In an "old school" move, trainer Gary Stute sent out his Papa Clem for a three-furlong blowout at Churchill Downs two days before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, the son of Smart Strike threw down a :34 clocking.
J. Paul Reddam's Square Eddie will not run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Doug O'Neill told The Blood-Horse early April 28.
Trainer Gary Stute went "old school" April 25 at Churchill Downs, working his Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Papa Clem seven furlongs in 1:29 1/5. The trainer, the son and nephew of the legendary training brothers of Mel and Warren Stute (respectively), may give his colt a quarter-mile blowout a day or two before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
This final Derby Trail column before departing for Louisville is more of a potpourri of thoughts, scenarios, angles, trivia, and a touch of nonsense.
One of the great uncertainties in evaluating the prospects of this year's Kentucky Derby contenders is weighing all-weather form. And it has been brought into particularly sharp focus by the efforts of two horses that have run behind the West Coast's dominant 3-year-old, Pioneerof the Nile.
Southern California shipper Papa Clem outfought even-money choice Old Fashioned in a thrilling stretch duel at Oaklawn Park to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) by a half-length April 11.
Keeneland's sale of 2-year-olds in training, like just about every other Thoroughbred auction in recent memory, generated results that lagged well behind the previous year's statistics. The gross revenue for the two-day sale, which ended the evening of April 7 in Lexington, dropped 27.6% while the average price declined 15.5%. The median price fell 21.7%.
Curlin, the 2007-08 Horse of the Year, made a good showing when he covered the first of the mares booked to him for his first season at stud at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
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