After Thunder Moccasin's visually impressive win in the Hutcheson Stakes, Starlight Racing's tentative plan is not roses in May but one-turn sprint races -- at least for now.
The high-anticipated 3-year-old race pits the current Derby favorite, Union Rags, against two undefeated and top-class horses from the barn of leading trainer Todd Pletcher, Algorithms and Discreet Dancer.
When Starlight Racing needs to replenish its stable of runners, its buying team heads to the yearling auctions. The venture's efforts at the sales are paying off handsomely this year with several promising 3-year-olds.
Todd Pletcher's powerful duo of Algorithms and Discreet Dancer turned in their final works for the Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), breezing a half-mile and five-eighths, respectively, at Palm Meadows Feb. 20.
El Padrino, who showed himself to be a Triple Crown contender with a sharp allowance win at Gulfstream Park Jan. 29, heads a field of 11 entered for the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Feb. 25.
R Holiday Mood hooked up with Funny Sunny at the start and those two fought all the way to the wire before R Holiday Mood prevailed by a neck in the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 19.
There were some memorable performances on Donn Handicap Day at Gulfstream. View Slideshow
- By Steve Haskin
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What went into Javier Castellano's decision to drop Union Rags? read blog
One day after losing his regular rider for his 2012 debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Union Rags was out on the track at Palm Meadows for a five-furlong breeze in 1:03.08 Feb. 13.
Bettors continued their strong support for both the "All Others" option and Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner Union Rags (#23) at the close of wagering Feb. 11.
Starlight Racing's Thunder Moccasin followed up his impressive maiden win with an even more stirring performance, as he demolished a short field to take the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 11 at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Todd Pletcher recorded his 3000th victory Feb. 11 at Gulfstream Park when he saddled good-looking 3-year-old colt Spring Hill Farm to victory in the third race.
Silver Medallion has found a home on grass since arriving at Todd Pletcher's barn last fall, but he'll face the toughest test of his career in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 11.
Jason Shandler looks at Todd Pletcher's Derby hopefuls. read blog
Already with a slew of top 3-year-olds taking aim at the Triple Crown, Todd Pletcher will send out yet another prospect in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (gr. III), a race he has won four of the last six years.
Letting Algorithms get his way hurt his yearling price, but he's rewarded his breeder and the farm that raised him with his racing success.
Algorithms overtook juvenile champion Hansen approaching mid-stretch en route to an easy victory in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, handing the odds-on favorite the first defeat of his career.
Favored Broadway's Alibi, racing on an off-track for the first time in her career, made quite a splash in her stakes debut with a dominating 16 3/4-length victory in the Forward Gal (gr. II) Jan. 29 at rainy Gulfstream Park.
Repole Stable's 3-year-old How Do I Win, pointing to the $200,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Feb. 4, breezed a half-mile in :49 flat over Belmont Park's training track.
Embur's Song, a finalist for 2011 Canadian champion older female and a graded stakes winner at Keeneland, has been retired from racing to become a broodmare for owner Issam Fares,
Awesome Maria, who hasn't competed since winning the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) last June, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 Jan. 16 at Palm Meadows in Florida.
Silver Medallion continued to show his affinity for the turf, rallying five-wide around the final turn to win his second graded stakes in a row by a neck in the $100,000 Ft. Lauderdale (gr. IIIT) Jan. 14 at Gulfstream Park.
Bob Baffert, one of three finalists for the 2011 Eclipse Award as the nation's top trainer, says that he's not planning to attend the annual dinner Jan. 16 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.
Discreet Dancer, who set a track record for 5 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park winning his debut by 9 3/4 lengths on Dec. 3, confirmed that promise Jan. 7 as he drew clear to score by 5 1/2 lengths in an allowance test.
For the second year in a row, Ramon Dominguez topped the 2011 national jockey standings with more than $20 million in earnings. Todd Pletcher once again led all trainers in the United States.
Reigning Eclipse champions Ramon Dominquez and Todd Pletcher once again dominated The New York Racing Association circuit in 2011.
Starlight Racing's 2-year-old colt Algorithms ran his record to two-for-two with an impressive victory at Gulfstream Park Dec. 16.
His stout pedigree and an affinity for the Churchill Downs main track set up Tiznow's grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes winner Gemologist for consideration in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
Black Rock Stables' Silver Medallion pulled clear in the stretch and coasted home for an easy 1 3/4-length win in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) on closing day at Calder Casino & Race Course.
WinStar Farm and Todd Pletcher, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club in 2009 with Super Saver before sending him off to win the Kentucky Derby, completed the first part of the double again with Gemologist Nov. 26 at Churchill.
Favored Disposablepleasure overcame a bad stumble at the start and a claim of foul to nose out Wildcat's Smile at the wire in the $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Nov. 26.
Several for the Nov. 26 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at nine furlongs have strong black-type pedigrees. The 2-year-olds may need it--most are pretty light on experience.
P and G Stables and Off The Hook Racing's Turbo Compressor, one of four 3-year-olds in the six-horse field, took the lead from the start and cruised to victory in the $150,000 Carl G. Rose Classic on Florida Millions Day.
Twin Creeks Racing Stables' Mission Impazible, runner-up in the June 18 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), breezed five furlongs Nov. 12 at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Clark Handicap (gr. I).
Stakes winner Dance Quietly, a 3-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy and a half sister to champion Saint Liam (by Saint Ballado), brought $2 million at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
Mike Repole's Uncle Mo, last year's champion 2-year-old male who was scratched out of this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) due to a liver ailment, has been retired from racing.
A return to a fast track at Aqueduct worked to the benefit of Calibrachoa, who pressed the issue for jockey Jose Lezcano and then drew off in the final furlong to easily win the $100,000 Bold Ruler Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 6.
Owner Mike Repole and a British journalist engaged in a minor verbal tiff Nov. 3 at a press conference featuring connections of some of the top horses racing in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
New policies in place at this year's Breeders' Cup as a result of the Life At Ten incident in 2010 will still allow pre-race television interviews with jockeys immediately prior to the start of a World Championship race.
The rescheduled $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) will once again be headed by stablemates Caixa Eletronica and Calibrachoa Nov. 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Mike Repole's Uncle Mo was made the 5-2 morning line choice after drawing post 8 for the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Havre de Grace will break from post 10 as the 3-1 second choice in the $5 million race.
Mike Repole's pair of Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty get in their final tune-ups at Churchill Downs for the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Both colts went five furlongs.
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay's two Breeders' Cup contenders were on the Oct. 29 worktab at Churchill Downs, as Her Smile turned in a sparkling four-furlong breeze in :48 2/5 and Super Espresso worked five furlongs.
Jockey Javier Castellano was at Churchill Downs Oct. 29 to send Stopshoppingmaria through a sparkling turf breeze in company with Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) contender Sweet Cat.
Hunt Crossing, runaway winner of the NATC Futurity at Monmouth Park, suffered an injury to his right knee during his most recent work at Churchill Downs and will miss the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint .
Owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher, all set for next weekend's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) with standouts Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo, have another dynamic duo entered in the $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III).
Goldikova, Havre de Grace lead the charge for the 2011 Breeders' Cup World Championships. Eight of the 15 races are over-subscribed.
Whatever happens in the BC Classic, Mike Repole, owner of Uncle Mo, is well aware of the extraordinary circumstances that have enabled his 2-year-old champion to even make the race, and he is grateful to be in this position.
Sidney's Candy, a TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) hopeful, covered a half mile on firm turf in :50 at Churchill Downs Oct. 25. He is trained by Todd Pletcher for WinStar Farm and Rubio Stable.
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