Bella Bellucci passed all four of her Santa Paula Stakes rivals between the stretch call and the wire to earn a half-length victory in the $102,075 race for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.
Earl H. Shultz homebred Ask Me No Secrets set a moderate pace then kicked clear in the stretch to win Saturday's $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) by 4 1/2 lengths. Under Mike Smith, the 4-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.56 on a fast track.
The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Azeri earned her first grade I stakes win in her fifth career start at Santa Anita Sunday, when the 4-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter won the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap.
On Sunday, Snow Ridge continued his impressive run through the sprint stakes schedule at Santa Anita, leading wire-to-wire in winning the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. I). Earlier at the meet, Snow Ridge won the El Conejo (gr. III) and Palos Verdes (gr. II) handicaps.
Overbrook Farm's Snow Ridge skipped over a wet-fast track at Santa Anita Sunday to upset heavily favored Squirtle Squirt in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II). Under Mike Smith, Snow Ridge ran the six furlongs 1:07.70.
The saga of musical jockey agents in Southern California continued Saturday as top journeyman Corey Nakatani revealed he would retain veteran agent Tony Matos effective for the upcoming Santa Anita season. Earlier in the week, Hall of Famer Gary Stevens announced he would be ending his professional relationship with Matos at the conclusion of the current Hollywood Park season and that he had retained the services of Brian Beach.
Brazilian-bred 4-year-old Cagney won Sunday's $150,000 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita with French-bred horses filling the next four finishing positions in the 1 1/2-mile race.
Hightori, fifth in last year's Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), won his prep for this year's renewal, holding off Idaho Quest to win the Prix Foy Gray d'Albion Barriere (Fr-II) on Sunday at Longchamp.
Jockey John Velazquez booted home Starine to win the eighth race at Saratoga Sunday, giving the rider his fifth winner on the day. The five wins equals the record for wins on one card by a jockey at the upstate New York track.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association today announced the appointment of Chip Campbell to the newly created position of Senior Vice President-Television and Sponsorship, effective Aug. 1. Campbell will be based at the NTRA's New York office.
The full sister of Riboletta and War Chant's half-sister will face each other while making their racing debuts on Wednesday at Hollywood Park.
Russell Baze moved into fourth place on the career victory list for jockeys Saturday. On Sunday, two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Mike Smith earned his 4,000th career victory by guiding Lift Off to victory in the last race on the card Sunday at Hollywood Park.
The National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) was a puzzle just waiting to be assembled by Guided Tour at Sportsman's Park on April 22. The out-of-town star was supposed to ship in, overcome the challenge of invading speedster Duckhorn, add another $120,000 to his earnings, and leave everybody else in the field of five to cash their checks. Puzzle solved. All the pieces were in place -- until a stout-hearted Illinois-bred named Chicago Six scattered the preordained solution all over the drying-out racetrack.
The road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runs through...Cicero, Illinois? That's the untested theory that has Dogwood Stable chief Cot Campbell and trainer Todd Pletcher scratching their heads after their late-developing colt Distilled rolled to a convincing 1 3/4-length victory in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) on April 7.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will shift its advertising strategy this summer to target sports fans who wager on horse racing about twice a year. To that end, it will rely heavily on ads that will appear on ESPN network channels. In addition, the Breeders' Cup championship will be "repositioned" to give it greater public awareness, NTRA commissioner Tim Smith said.
Spook Express rallied from last place to overtake pacesetter Gaviola in the deep stretch, winning the $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length Sunday at Gulfstream Park. The win was the second straight graded stakes win for the 1998 South African champion.
South African champion Spook Express closed from 11th-place in the 12-horse field to win Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), catching pacesetter Please Sign In near the wire of the one-mile turf race. Under jockey Mike Smith, the Thomas Skiffington-trained mare completed the Gulfstream Park feature in 1:35.60 on a firm course.
A Lille Luck rallied in the stretch to win the $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) by a length over Stokosky on Saturday at Calder Race Course. The Barclay Tagg-trained gelding rallied in the stretch under jockey Mike Smith to catch second-place finisher Stokosky, finishing the 1 1/2-mile race in 2:29.01 on a firm turf course.
Ogden Phipps' Easing Along won a one-mile allowance race by 2 1/4 lengths under a hand ride Wednesday at Aqueduct and will likely be pointed to a start in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II).
Joe Orseno said Friday that Jerry Bailey will ride Golden Missile in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), replacing Kent Desormeaux, who also is the regular rider for Fusaichi Pegasus. Bailey also will ride Perfect Sting in the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) and Macho Uno in the Juvenile (gr. I) for Orseno.
Darling My Darling tracked dueling favorites Surfside and Roxelana and rallied through the stretch to win the $75,000 Raven Run Stakes Wednesday at Keeneland.
Jostle took the lead on the far turn and galloped to a 4 1/2-length victory Saturday in the $200,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park. Ridden by Mike Smith, Jostle lagged behind the pace for much of the 1 1/16 miles before making her move on the far turn, proving herself the best in the field of seven 3-year-olds fillies.
Mount Lemon rallied in deep stretch to win the $98,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship Handicap (gr. III) by a neck Saturday at Turfway Park.
Critical Eye earned her first career stakes win as she battled with pacesetter Plenty of Light through the stretch, winning by a nose in the $200,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Katherine Todd Smith, a horse identifier who is known as "Saint Katherine" throughout Ocala, Fla.'s Thoroughbred community, has been selected to receive the 2000 Dogwood Dominion Award.
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