Elusive Jazz returns to Keeneland to defend his title in the $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) Oct. 7. Last year's winner, who has only raced twice in 2006, will face 10 others in the six furlong test. Bobby Barnett trains the 5-year-old for Stony Oak Farm.
At this time last year, Tracy Farmer's Commentator was considered as one of the candidates for best older horse after winning the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Belmont Stakes day stakes action got off to a rousing start in the $200,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) when Anew scorched to the lead from his outside gate and never relinquished that advantage, cruising to the wire in 1:08.10.
Tiger tries to stay unbeaten against stakes rivals when he meets seven others in the $200,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs on the Belmont Park main track.
The turn-back in distance to seven furlongs did the trick for the slumping Sun King, who charged from seventh in the stretch to win Keeneland's $443,200 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) going away Saturday.
A deep field of 12 older sprinters heads to the gate for Saturday's $400,000, seven-furlong Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Not to take anything away from the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, or Saint Liam's grade I victories in the winter, summer, and fall, or Giacomo's stunning upset in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), or Lost in the Fog's remarkable cross-country odyssey, but 2005 will be remembered for the heroic deeds of Afleet Alex.
A beautiful, cloudless sky; Nick Zito and Todd Pletcher working five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) horses; what more could you ask for? Zito and Pletcher dominated the morning's activity, sending out Bellamy Road, High Fly, Noble Causeway, Bandini, and Flower Alley for strong five-furlong works.
Trainer Patrick Biancone confirmed Sunday morning at Churchill Downs that Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's Spanish Chestnut is bound for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The French-born trainer said jockey Joe Bravo would ride the speedy son of Horse Chestnut.
With the inclement weather that had set in over Louisville, Ky. finally out of the area, seven contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezed at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
An ugly, rainy morning, and no Kentucky Derby (gr. I) works made for a funky Friday. The Derby lost one prospective starter when it was announced General John B will not run due to a tendon injury to his left front leg. On the jockey front was the announcement that Pat Valenzuela will ride Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) winner Coin Silver.
Gary and Mary West's High Limit, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), was installed the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Bandini, preparing for his engagement in Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), worked five furlongs at Keeneland Monday morning, in the company of stablemate Confederate.
One race after watching his Proud Accolade flop as the heavy favorite in the Rushaway, trainer Todd Pletcher's inexperienced Flower Alley surprised his rivals in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Saturday at muddy Turfway Park.
Virginia Kraft Payson's homebred Scipion is the latest casualty on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail after X-rays revealed a condylar fracture of his right hind cannon bone.
Spanish Chestnut, the only graded stakes winner in the bunch, drew post 8 Thursday afternoon for Saturday's $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The West Coast shipper was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite by Turfway's announcer and odds maker Mike Battaglia. The nine-furlong prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) drew a field of nine.
Texcess, winner of last December's $1-million Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot Stakes will be sent after his second big pot Saturday in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. Trainer Paul Aquirre said the Cal-bred gelding is "100% now" after a pair of losses this year and is primed for a big effort in the nine-furlong Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep at Turfway Park.
Entertainer and active Thoroughbred breeder David Cassidy loves his chances and will take a gamble with his Mayan King in Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II).
The second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will open four days of betting with co-favorites in unbeaten juvenile champion Declan's Moon and the mutuel field, the wagering interest that includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in the March 10-13 pool.
Undefeated Declan's Moon, the early favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), pulled away from challengers Going Wild and Spanish Chestnut in the final furlong to register an impressive victory in the $200,000 Santa Catalina (gr. II) Saturday at Santa Anita.
Last year's juvenile champion Declan's Moon makes his long-awaited 2005 debut in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Declan's Moon, who was forced to miss a mile work last week due to the bad weather, still is nearly 100% fit for his scheduled 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, trainer Ron Ellis said Tuesday.
Champion Declan's Moon, getting ready to start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita March 5, worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 Saturday at Hollywood Park. Trainer Ron Ellis also breezed Don't Get Mad, while across town, Spanish Chestnut and Scipion drilled for Patrick Biancone.
San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Spanish Chestnut remains on schedule for his next start in the March 5 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) and the Florida-bred tuned up for the 1 1/16-mile event with a six-furlong work in 1:14 from the gate on Wednesday morning over a fast track Santa Anita.
Simply put, this has been a relatively uneventful Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail. Until Feb. 12, no 3-year-old had done anything exciting enough to infiltrate the top spots, occupied by last year's stars, none of whom have even run yet in 2005. Then, along came Scipion.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Spanish Chestnut, getting ready for his next start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) March 5, worked a half-mile in a blistering :45 over Santa Anita's fast main track Friday morning.
Spanish Chestnut took a big step forward Saturday at Santa Anita Park by winning the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds -- his graded stakes debut -- in determined style.
The long Triple Crown trail for 3-year-olds gets starts in earnest on the West Coast Saturday with Santa Anita Park's $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II), which drew six entries.
If Kirkendahl wins Saturday's $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park, it will be music to the ears of the colt's owner, country singing star Toby Keith.
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