Shipped north to Prairie Meadows for the June 26 Iowa Oaks (gr. III) off a big win in the Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) last month at Churchill Downs, Hightap delivered again, taking the $200,000 race by three-quarters of a length over Sweet Relish.
Preakness (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra galloped about a mile and a quarter on Belmont's fast main track early June 26, well in advance of a 9:30 a.m. EDT downpour.
Rachel Alexandra, who when last seen was making history by winning the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I), will make her return to the racetrack in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park. The Horse of the Year candidate will face only four rivals in the nine-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled the Debutante (gr. III) winner a record six times, will have two chances at bringing home a seventh June 27 when he sends out Westrock Stables' Decelerator and Tidal Pool in the $100,000 event at Churchill Downs.
When Rachel Alexandra makes her Belmont Park debut in the 53rd renewal of the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) June 27, the New York Racing Association will give away pink bracelets embossed with the filly's name and admission for ladies will be free.
Graded stakes winner Heckle sired his first winner when his daughter Syndi's Tease won June 19 at Calder Race Course.
BlackBerry Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra turned in solid six-furlong workout June 8 at Churchill Downs as the team behind the 3-year-daughter of Medaglia d'Oro considers her next start.
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.
And so the racing world waits anxiously for Jess Jackson to announce his decision regarding Rachel Alexandra's Belmont Stakes status. Notice it says announce his decision, not waits for him to decide.
Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring," wrote: "One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again'?"
One day after combining to win the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel were enthusiastic in their praise of the Rachel Alexandra.
With slightly more than two hours until post for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the filly Rachel Alexandra is the 2-1 favorite. Four other horses are single-digit odds.
Heart Ashley opened up on the turn for home, looked like she would coast to an easy win, and then had to hold off the late charge of Cinderella's Wish to win the $100,000 Adena Stallions Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III) by a head May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.
With all the rain recently in Kentucky, and with a minor business matter requiring him to be out of town over the weekend, Calvin Borel had an important project to finish before leaving town. The morning of May 15 he was mowing his grass.
The prospective field for the May 16 Preakness (gr. I) received a boost in star power when assistant trainer Scott Blasi informed Maryland Jockey Club director of horsemen's relations Phoebe Hayes that Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to fly to Baltimore May 13 for the May 16 $1 million classic. A decision on whether she actually gets on the plane will not be made until the filly works.
Stonestreet Stables and partner Harold T. McCormick announced May 8 that Calvin Borel has agreed to ride Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra for the current racing season.
A decision as to whether Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra will be supplemented into the field for the $1 million Preakness (gr. I) could be made May 10 or 11 after the filly works for her new trainer, Steve Asmussen.
The performance of the Fasig-Tipton Texas sale of 2-year-olds in training March 31 exceeded expectations when the average price held steady amidst tumbling figures at juvenile auctions across the country. The sale was held at Lone Star Park.
Two-time Eclipse Horse of the Year Curlin and his connections have swept the top awards for 2008, as voted by the members of the New York Turf Writers Association. All of the 2008 award winners will be honored at the 86th annual NYTWA Awards Dinner at the Saratoga National Golf Club Aug. 24.
- By Ryan Conley
Prominent trainer Scott Lake has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in a New York federal court, according to recent filings.
On paper, the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) has turned out to be one of the most intriguing and highly-anticipated prep races of the season, as a number of promising 3-year-olds will attempt to answer questions about their ability to go on to the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), and possibly the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred War Echo passed stablemate Four Gifts inside the sixteenth-pole and went on to win the $150,000 Silverbulletday (gr. III) by 1 1/2 lengths Feb. 7 at Fair Grounds.
The field that has passed the entry box for the Feb. 7 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) makes for an intriguing handicapping puzzle. The cast, which is about evenly split with horses making their first start off a layoff and those with some recent Fair Grounds experience, is long on back class, but a bit light on early pace.
Haynesfield picked up his third consecutive victory Jan. 3, warding off a stiff mid-stretch challenge from Mike From Queens and drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory in the 34th running of the $69.700 Count Fleet Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards on Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track.
Steven Asmussen, Garrett Gomez and Zayat Stables, LLC head the individual lists of the leading trainers, jockeys and owners...
With less than two weeks remaining in the Thoroughbred racing season, nearly all of the 2008 leaders have been decided. The lone category without a clear-cut winner is earnings by owner, and it might take until the final few days of the year to determine a victor.
The owners of undefeated Trinity Magic have pledged a portion of the winning purse to the Blessed Trinity Church if the colt wins the $750,000 Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) Dec. 5.
The trainer broke his own record for most wins by a trainer in a single season Nov. 23. He now has with 557 victories with six weeks of racing still remaining in 2008.
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin will enter stud in 2009 at Mr. and Mrs. William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., it was announced Nov. 21. The son of Smart Strike will stand for $75,000.
When majority owner Jess Jackson released a statement earlier this week announcing Curlin would be retired after this year, he also left the door open that the reigning Horse of the Year would make one final start before his racing career comes to an end.
Fair Grounds continues its increasingly exciting growth pattern when the 137th live Thoroughbred meeting at the nation's third-oldest racetrack gets underway Nov. 14.
Millennium Farms announced Nov. 6 that Zanjero, the leading money-earner by Cherokee Run with over $1.6 million, will join its stallion roster for the 2009 breeding season. Zanjero will stand for a fee of $10,000 live foal.
Millennium Farms' Copper State, a bridesmaid in four consecutive stakes efforts, will finally try to get over the hump Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs when she takes on 10 rivals in the $150,000 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II), a one-mile main track test for fillies and mares.
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin returned to Churchill Downs Oct. 27 following a flight from southern California and the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Magna Graduate, a multiple graded stakes winner who has amassed nearly $2.2 million in career earnings, will look to snap a losing streak as he faces five rivals in the $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III), the featured event on the opening day of Churchill Downs Oct. 26-Nov. 29 Fall Meet.
Curlin, the heavy favorite at 7-5 in the Breeders' Cup Classic, drew post nine against 11 other rivals. The race will be run Oct. 25.
J Be K is out of the Oct. 25 Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita, according to Sobhy Sonbol, racing manager for Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables.
On a foggy, overcast morning Oct. 20 at Santa Anita Park, trainer Steve Asmussen worked three of his star stablemates, including Horse of the Year Curlin, who will contend against one another in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Winchell Thoroughbreds has retired grade II winner Zanjero. Plans for the 2009 breeding season have not been finalized.
Tough racing luck has kept Rated Fiesty from maintaining the undefeated streak she enjoyed as a juvenile. The daughter of Exchange Rate, owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and JMJ Racing Stable, tries again to reach the winner's circle for the first time this season Oct. 18 when she faces a dozen 3-year-old fillies in the $300,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Curlin took another step closer to the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) when he executed a flawless workout between races at Santa Anita Oct. 13. With regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas aboard and in company with Hawaii Calls, Curlin traveled five furlongs in :59.11, galloping out in 1:12.14.
Magna Graduate, Elisabeth Alexander's multiple graded stakes-winning son of Honor Grades, will stand at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington upon the completion of his racing career, it was announced Oct. 10.
Now that we're in the eye of the Breeders' Cup storm, with the deluge of preps behind us and the main event only two weeks away, this is the perfect time to recognize a trainer and a horse whose accomplishments may have gone overlooked - Steve Asmussen and Red Giant.
With trainer Steve Asmussen looking on, Curlin worked over the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita early the morning of Oct. 6. The trainer, who has made no secret of the fact that he prefers dirt over synthetic surfaces, said that he could not make any decision about Santa Anita's new surface on the basis of just one work.
Curlin made racing history by winning the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr.I) at Belmont Park in New York Sept. 27. Curlin's victory, which was worth $450,000, made the colt the richest North American-based Thoroughbred of all-time and the first to vault past the $10-million mark.
Fairbanks, who enters off a resounding stakes victory at Saratoga last month, heads a field of seven older horses in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 27, all of them hoping to establish themselves as a Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender.
Horse of the Year Curlin had a "perfect" workout Sept. 22 in his final move before attempting to become the first American racehorse to break the $10-million mark in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 27.
It was a mellow Sunday morning at trainer Steve Asmussen's barn at Saratoga Race Course following champion Curlin's 1 1/4-length victory over Past the Point in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) on Aug. 31.
The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society yearling sale is hoping to get a boost from new bonuses offered at Woodbine to Ontario-bred runners. The purse bonuses are attracting new buyers to the sale, like top U.S. trainer Steve Asmussen.
Three of the top four finishers in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) will meet again Aug. 30, this time in the $500,000 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park.
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