Unbridled Belle has lived in the shadow of her more illustrious stablemates for most of her career. But when Todd Pletcher trainees Rags to Riches, Indian Vale, Panty Raid, and Octave stepped out of the spotlight, the grade I-winning Broken Vow filly got her chance to shine.
By Dan Liebman - What was the most interesting thing about the $2.2 million sale topper of the annual Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale was not the breeder, consignor, or sire of the colt, but the buyer and underbidder.
Team Valor, which privately purchased a 50% interest in Tasha's Miracle after the 2-year-old filly's smart maiden score at Hollywood Park, got an immediate return on its investment when the daughter of Harlan's Holiday overwhelmed the field in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar Aug. 8.
Yes, there are 3-year-olds west of the Mississippi this year. Which one, or ones, will earn the right to take on the big guns back east will be decided in Saturday's $350,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II), where Tiago will make his first start in California since winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Able to avoid the stumbling start that cost him any chance in his most recent race, Team Valor's Fairbanks easily toppled his five opponents with a smooth, gate-to-wire triumph by 6 3/4 lengths in Saturday's $107,200 Tokyo City Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
A few minutes after King of the Roxy broke his maiden in his second start July 2 at Hollywood Park, Barry Irwin was on the phone speaking with his Team Valor partner, Jeff Siegel. Now they have a contender for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Country music superstar Toby Keith has joined the Race for Education by nominating two of his race horses to the organization's Race Horse Nomination Program. By nominating TK's Whiskey Girl and an unnamed filly by Behrens, Keith agreed to donate a percentage of their future earnings to the national nonprofit.
Riding for the first time since July 16 because of a back injury, the subbing Patrick Valenzuela drove the 8-1 shot Becrux to a neck victory over Rebel Rebel in the $896,460(US) Bell Woodbine Mile (Can-I) on the E.P. Taylor turf course Sunday.
Added Edge, voted champion 2-year-old colt in Canada during his undefeated 2002 season in which his four wins included the grade III Nashua Stakes in New York, will enter stud next spring in Iowa at Special K Stables near Runnells.
My Memoirs, an English-bred who finished second to A.P. Indy in the 1992 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in his first U.S. start, died June 24 at George and Susan Wafer's Wafer Thoroughbred Ranch near Elizabeth, Colo.
Team Valor Stables' Oh So Awesome, who began his career in France, worked four furlongs in :48 3/5 over a wet training track at Belmont Park Wednesday in his final preparation for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Team Valor's South African champion Irridescence took the lead at the start and had enough left in the tank to hold off a determined Ouija Board in the HK$14 million Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) over 10 furlongs at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Team Valor's Irridescence, who was withdrawn from the recent Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) after a paddock accident at Nad al Sheba March 25, has recovered from the incident and will make her next start on April 23 in Hong Kong.
Team Valor's 4-year-old Irridescence, a champion filly in South Africa last season, beat double group-winning French filly Satwa Queen by 1 1/4 lengths Friday evening at Nad al Sheba in the listed Balanchine Stakes.
Team Valor and Robert Wilson's multiple grade III winner Added Edge, who went unbeaten in four starts when voted champion 2-year-old colt in Canada, has been retired from racing. Stud plans have not been determined.
Sweet Stream, the French-based mare who booked passage to the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) with a convincing victory last week in the Park Hill Stakes (Eng-II) in England, will be ridden Nov. 1 at Flemington by veteran jockey Greg Childs.
South Africa trainer Mike de Kock is assembling a very powerful team for the 2005 Dubai International Racing Carnival as he bids to repeat his success of last year. At that inaugural Carnival, de Kock's horses won nine times and about £1.9 million in the process, as well as a $50,000 bonus for the trainer as leading Carnival handler.
It may have lacked a seven-figure lot, but Tuesday's second breeding stock session of the Tattersalls December Sale at Newmarket, England saw a fantastic trade resulting in figures that just fell short of the same day 12 months ago.
Favored River Belle, with an animated Kieren Fallon squeezing every last ounce of effort from her, won the $171,150 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) by a nostril over the surging Lenatareese at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Crimson Palace, winner of the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) in August at Arlington Park for Godolphin, has been retired from racing. She was scheduled to contest the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Lone Star Park.
A son of Giant's Causeway consigned by Gainesway Farm was purchased by Team Valor's Barry Irwin for $1,850,000 to top the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale Wednesday night.
Top Argentinian 3-year-old Forty Mirage, who was apparently kidnapped from his stall at Tandil racecourse some time Wednesday night or Thursday morning, was found Friday at a nearby military shooting range.
Trainer Andreas Schultz won Hamburg's German Oaks (Ger-I) for the third time in a row Sunday when Amarette, making just her third career start, held off America-bound La Ina and Saldentigerin in a driving finish.
Five fillies and mares owned by Team Valor and partners have been imported to the U. S. from South Africa and will be sent to the organization's private trainer Ralph Nicks at Saratoga after spending two months in quarantine.
Team Valor has purchased German stakes winner La Ina and is pointing her for her United States debut in the $700,000 American Oaks (gr. I) on July 3 at Hollywood Park if she is invited, according to president Barry Irwin.
Team Valor has sold Crimson Palace, the highly impressive winner of a conditions race on the opening night of the Dubai International Racing Carnival, to the Maktoums, and the South African filly will join Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor's string.
The opening night of the inaugural Dubai International Racing Carnival would certainly have to be deemed a success, as 26 of the international horses trained on the Nad Al Sheba track lined up in the five Thoroughbred races.
Team Valor has purchased a 50% interest in Cartoonist, who broke his maiden by two lengths at the Fair Grounds. The juvenile colt is a half-brother to multiple grade I winner Voodoo Dancer and is by Louisiana Derby (gr. III) winner Comic Strip.