Out of 15 runnings of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), females bred in Europe have won nine times.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, headed for his third consecutive Eclipse Award as the nation's top trainer, will not set the national money-earning record in 2002.
A potential Eclipse Award winner and a wide-open Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) highlight the final day of Hollywood Park's Turf Festival Sunday.
Bidding for an Eclipse Award as champion filly or mare on turf, Golden Apples worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 around the dogs on a firm turf course Thursday at Hollywood Park in preparation for the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) Dec. 1.
Bless, a full sister to Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus in foal to leading sire Storm Cat was expected to bring a big price at Tuesday's session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. Consigned by Stone Farm, as agent for Stone Farm owner Arthur Hancock III and Stonerside Stable, the 3-year-old mare was the object of spirited bidding until she was hammered down to Classic Star for $4-million.
Hopes are not running high among consignors and sale company officials going into the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, which kicks off its 10-day run Monday. But the mood in Central Kentucky is not gloom and doom either.
Starine, who scored a surprise victory in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) , is headed to Kentucky. She is scheduled to be auctioned during Keeneland's November breeding stock sale.
Starine's meteoric rise from a French claimer to being a Breeders' Cup winner is anything but routine.
Trainer P. G. Johnson was an early arrival at Barn 22 on Arlington's backstretch, checking on Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi before departing for a flight to New York.
Led by longshot Starine, horses trained by Bobby Frankel finished first and second in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
All three of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel's stakes competitors on Saturday's Belmont card exited their races in good order.
Like many trainers, Bobby Frankel is watching out for Tropical Storm Isidore, which is dumping rain on Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. That system is forecast to bring wet weather into the New York area Thursday through Saturday morning.
Travers (gr. I) winner Medaglia d'Oro breezed five furlongs very easily Friday morning in 1:01 2/5 with jockey Rudy Rodriguez aboard.
Edmund Gann's Medaglia d'Oro, winner of the Travers Stakes in his last start, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 at Belmont Friday morning with jockey Rudy Rodriguez aboard.
Trainer Bobby Frankel has reconsidered retiring his grade I-winning mare Starine.
Astra ran down Starine in the final strides to win the $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap by a head Monday, two years after the 6-year-old mare won the same race.Both Azeri and Astra win major holiday races for trainer Laura De Seroux and the Allen Paulson Living Trust.
Monday's $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park is shaping up to be a battle between the West Coast's top turf distaffers and two Eastern-based invaders, with Astra and Starine representing the West and grade I winner Voodoo Dancer and John C. Oxley's Snow Dance shipping in from the East.
Golden Apples peels away from a class-laden Santa Ana field
Astra returns at Santa Anita Saturday from a seven-month layoff, but the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. I) is no easy spot as the starting gate will also be populated by grade I winners Janet, Tout Charmant, Golden Apples, and Starine.
Jockey John Velazquez's hot streak continued on the West Coast Sunday, when he picked up his fifth graded stakes win in succession aboard Starine in the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Spook Express, the probable favorite for the $500,000 Matriarch next Sunday, worked an easy half mile on the Hollywood Park turf course in :50.60 under regular rider Mike Smith.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, already odds-on to win his second consecutive Eclipse Award, will attempt to draw further away from his peers by starting up to nine horses in Hollywood Park's Turf Festival Nov. 23-25. In fact, he may corner the field in the Grade I Hollywood Derby, run for $500,000 at nine furlongs, by sending four horses to the post. Likely for the Nov. 25 Derby are Juddmonte Farms' Mizzen Mast, Amerman Racing's Blue Steller, Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran, and the Niarchos Family's Denon.
Godolphin Racing's Breeders' Cup contenders Sakhee, Fantastic Light, Express Tour, and Noverre were all on the Belmont track Friday, working toward the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Racing Championships. Starine also worked for Bobby Frankel.
Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's Lailani remained perfect on the year following a three-quarter length victory over England's Legend in the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Although John Velazquez lost the Saratoga jockeys' race to Jerry Bailey, the jockey rode into the record books Monday when he rode six winners, highlighted by an upset victory aboard Starine in the $500,000 Diana Handicap (gr. I).
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