Grade I stakes winner Honor in War carries top impost of 120 pounds while heading a field of 11 turf specialists entered in Saturday's $250,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park.
Tifonica, a 5-year-old Argentine-bred mare, will run against males in the $150,000 Sunset Handicap, closing-day feature at Hollywood Park next Sunday, trainer and co-owner Bill Currin confirmed.
When he perused the entries for Gulfstream's Jan. 5 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT), trainer Mohammed Moubarak was especially familiar with one of the entrants. "I think Tubrok is the horse to beat," he said of the 5-year-old son of Rahy, the second choice of 10 runners owing, in part, to the powerful connections of trainer Bill Mott and rider Jerry Bailey.
An overflow field of 14 turf runners has been entered for the one-mile, $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park Saturday. The field includes two horses owned and bred by Arthur Appleton, for whom the race is named.
The motif was unmistakably red at Churchill Downs for the 28th running of the Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 10. Besides the bird of that color, University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, the state's most famous Cardinal, was on hand signing autographs for the faithful. The color scheme didn't last for the race's finish, however, when the familiar hue of Claiborne Farm's orange flashed across the wire on the back of its homebred filly Watch.
Main track stars Guided Tour and Keats have provided much of the firepower for Niall O'Callaghan in the finest season of his training career, but one of the early stars this year, Tijiyr, is set to make a comeback in Sunday's $150,000-added River City Handicap (grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Frank Stronach's Perfect Sting, the champion turf female of 2000, will run against top male grass horses Saturday when she contests the Manhattan Handicap (gr. I) on the Belmont Stakes card at Belmont Park.
Big money. Big money. Six-hundred thousand dead presidents were on the line in the nine-furlong Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) on March 25 and there were plenty of takers. Top grass horses from each corner of the map swarmed into Fair Grounds like moths attracted to a porch light. Five invaders came from the East Coast and six shipped in from California. The biggest name on the marquee was Centennial Farms' King Cugat, a multiple graded stakes winner, who was making his 4-year-old debut. However, trainer Niall O'Callaghan came to bury Caesar, not to praise him, and he did it with Gary Tanaka's Tijiyr. The Irish-bred, under Robby Albarado, put in a determined finish to cap off a ground-saving trip and seal the upset ($21.40) victory.
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