In the older female Eclipse Award category, two-time champion Royal Delta is the standout finalist, while other impressive mares Joyful Victory and Tiz Miz Sue attempt to make a case with their 2013 grade I accomplishments.
Grade I winner Tiz Miz Sue, a 6-year-old daughter of Tiznow who earned more than $1 million for the CresRan Racing operation of Carol Ricks, has been retired, it was confirmed Aug. 22.
Evan Hammonds recaps the Metropolitan Handicap, Ogden Phipps Handicap, and Acorn Stakes. watch video
CresRan Stable's homebred Tiz Miz Sue took advantage of a speed duel between Joyful Victory and Authenticity to post an impressive victory in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park May 27.
Trainer Larry Jones will offer a stiff one-two punch in the $400,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I), with stablemates Joyful Victory and Believe You Can both entered for the May 27 event at Belmont Park.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby hadn't raced since May 28 of last year. She came back with a vengeance April 12, holding off Tiz Miz Sue to win the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn by half a length.
Grade I winner Grace Hall, seeking her first win of the 2013 campaign, will face six opponents in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 12 at Oaklawn Park as the 118-pound top weight.
Evan Hammonds examines the Rebel Stakes and Azeri Stakes. watch video
Tiz Miz Sue upset the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park last year at odds of 8-1, and this season she did it again. The Cresran homebred ran down top contenders My Miss Aurelia and Don't Tell Sophia to get the job done.
Champion juvenile filly of 2011 My Miss Aurelia is scheduled to begin her 4-year-old season in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 16 at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Steve Hobby earned the 1,000th win of his career March 1 when Ruthless Empire easily won seventh race at Oaklawn Park, a maiden claiming event, as the 4-5 favorite under jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr.
Don't Tell Sophia was a $1,000 yearling purchase in 2009. On Feb. 16 she ran them off their feet at Oaklawn Park, easily putting 6 1/2 lengths over her nearest competitor in the $98,000 Bayakoa Stakes.
One day before champion Royal Delta makes her 2013 debut in the Sabin Stakes (gr. III), a rival who gave her a run for her money returns to the races in the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Southwest Stakes contenders Texas Bling and Brown Almighty were on the worktab at Oaklawn Park Feb. 9, along with Bayakoa Stakes hopefuls Tiz Miz Sue, Don't Tell Sophia, and She's All In.
Flaxman Holdings' Aruna seeks back-to-back wins in the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) at Keeneland Oct. 6, facing 12 rivals as she attempts to become just the fourth horse to accomplish the feat.
Royal Delta will make her first start at Saratoga since winning the 2011 Alabama (gr. I) as the 124-pound highweight in the Personal Ensign Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 26.
Besilu Stable's Royal Delta, the reigning 3-year-old filly champion and 2011 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic winner looms an imposing favorite in the Personal Ensign for trainer Bill Mott.
Besilu Stables' Royal Delta held off a late challenger to win the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) by a neck at Delaware Park July 21, but it wasn't the nemesis everyone thought she'd face near the wire.
Besilu Stables' Royal Delta headlines the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) at Delaware Park July 21, but the champion filly will have to fend off an old nemesis in Awesome Maria.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent the 4-year-old filly off a runner-up effort to grade III success at Delaware Park June 16.
Pachattack, a 6-year-old mare conditioned by Graham Motion, has been entered in the local prep for the July 21 Delaware Handicap (gr. II), but her connections are keeping their options open for this weekend and beyond.
Plum Pretty hadn't been out in more than five months but her class showed through as she strolled to a comfortable win in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 13 at Oaklawn Park.
Last year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner, Peachtree Stable's Plum Pretty, will carry top weight of 117 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile event for fillies and mares on the main track.
Saying that weight assignments for the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) were "unfair," owner Rick Porter and trainer Larry Jones will bypass the April 13 race at Oaklawn Park with Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.
Tiz Miz Sue, making her third start of the Oaklawn Park meet, finally broke through with Joe Rocco Jr. aboard, posting an 8-1 upset in the $147,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 17.
Absinthe Minded, who has dominated Oaklawn Park's older filly and mare division this meet, takes on a new challenge from Fair Grounds invader Joyful Victory in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 17.
Arena Elvira notched her third straight victory and first in a graded stakes when she pulled away to a 6 3/4-length triumph in the $98,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 4, the opening-day feature at Aqueduct.
The $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) headlines an eight-race live program as racing returns Nov. 4 to Aqueduct Racetrack. The track will also simulcast the first day of the 2011 Breeders Cup.
While racing erratically through the lane, front-running Ask the Moon captured the Personal Ensign Invitational Stakes Sept. 3 for her second grade I stakes win in a row at Saratoga this summer.
Fresh off her upset victory in the Ruffian Handicap (gr. I), Farnsworth Stables' Ask the Moon will take on five rivals in the $300,000 Personal Ensign Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 28 at Saratoga.
Ask the Moon, claimed for $75,000 last month, took the lead and never looked back while widening her advantage through the Saratoga stretch to produce an 18-1 shocker in the $250,000 Ruffian Invitational (gr. I) July 31.
Payton d'Oro, looking for her first win since returning from nearly a year's layoff in March, leads a closely-matched field for the $250,000 Ruffian Invitational (gr. I) at Saratoga July 31.
Prohibitive choice Havre de Grace tookn her third consecutive graded event this year with a facile 2 1/4-length triumph over four rivals in the $168,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park June 11.
The Obeah Stakes (gr. III) and Delaware Handicap (gr. II) are her immediate goals, but trainer Larry Jones said Havre de Grace could face males this summer and shoot for a Horse of the Year type of campaign.
Decelerator, winner of the Marsha Washington Stakes as the favorite one month ago, battles Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) runner-up Beautician in the $125,000 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 13.
Odds-on choice Dixie Band remained undefeated in three starts when he won the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) by 1 3/4 lengths at Arlington Park Sept. 5.
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