As his connections watched their $1.2 million purchase finish last in the field of 10 in his Saratoga Race Course debut, they were hit with the sinking feeling that the potential they thought they saw the summer before had led them awry.
In preparation for their next start in the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8, Todd Pletcher trainees Battalion Runner and Bonus Points both worked April 2.
The top three finishers in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) exited in good order and connections said that all will be heading to Louisville to prepare for the May 6 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Always Dreaming took a massive jump up in class and continued his winning ways April 1 with a five-lengths victory in the $1 million Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
All Included and Summersault scored their first graded wins April 1 on the Gulfstream Park turf in the Appleton Stakes and the Orchid Stakes (both G3T), respectively.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has proven three times in the past decade that he can ship in and win the $1 million TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) and this year he brings an intriguing duo of lightly raced, recent graduates for powerful owners.
The high energy level Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Tapwrit has flaunted in recent weeks was on display March 31, when he tuned up for the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) with a half-mile move at Palm Beach Downs.
In a Triple Crown prep season that has been full of chaos, Brad Grady's Girvin will hope to supply a bit of stability April 1 in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Sumaya U.S. Stable's Ghalia remains undefeated in three starts after a late drive in the stretch resulted in a neck in front to win the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks March 26.
Peacock Racing Stables' multiple graded stakes winner Gunnevera put in his final breeze March 25 for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park, leading a coast-to-coast slate of sophomore works.
Thunder Snow, only days after being made a late nominee to the U.S. Triple Crown series, justified the investment with a hard-fought victory March 25 in the UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) at Meydan Racecourse.
The 4-year-old son of Bernardini is scheduled to compete at Gulfstream March 25 in the $100,000 Skip Away (G3), seeking to recapture the form that had earned him the favorite's role in last year's Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.
The UAE Derby features a Japanese runner already qualified for a spot in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (G1) in the form of Epicharis. Another, Adirato, could earn a spot with a victory March 25 at Meydan.
A number of U.S.-based runners stepped out on the Meydan Racecourse track in preparation for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) March 25.
Sumaya U.S. Stable's undefeated Malagacy was doing great the morning after his mild upset in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 18 at Oaklawn Park.
Malagacy gave his future Hall of Fame conditioner another legitimate sophomore to point toward the first Saturday in May when he captured the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) by two lengths over Sonneteer at the Hot Springs oval March 18.
St. Elias Stable's Battalion Runner, a promising 3-year-old who has yet to be tested in stakes company, continued his march to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) by working six furlongs March 11 at Palm Beach Downs.
Despite incurring some traffic trouble around the first turn, Tapwrit became the latest sophomore to make a play for a starring role in the ever-evolving 3-year-old male picture when he drew clear by 4 1/2 lengths in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
Neolithic, third last time out in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1), will take another crack at Juddmonte Farms' champion Arrogate in the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) March 25.
After an impressive comeback race Jan. 27 off a 10-month layoff, grade 1 winner Greenpointcrusader is set for a return to graded stakes competition in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) March 4 at Gulfstream.
The impressive connections behind One Liner had the undefeated son of Into Mischief ready for his stakes debut Feb. 20 in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Having broken through at the end of 2016 to earn her first graded stakes victory, StarLadies Racing and Lisa Troutt's Eskenformoney will aim to duplicate that form when she makes her seasonal debut in the $200,000 Royal Delta Stakes (G2).
Sumaya U.S. Stables' Ghalia stamped herself as a candidate for the April 1 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) with a gutsy performance in the featured ninth race Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park.
Siena Farm's homebred Isabella Sings took the lead and never looked back, easily winning by three lengths in the $150,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes (G3T) Feb. 11 at Tampa Bay Downs.
In what could be her racing swan song, Isabella Sings will try to successfully pull off her catch-me-if-you-can routine against 10 other fillies and mares in the Feb. 11 $150,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes (G3T).
After earning his first grade 1 placing when second in the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes in his final start of 2016, Sharp Azteca will return to the one-turn mile in the $350,000 Hardacre Mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) Feb. 11.
Third Day successfully stretched out to one mile and picked up his second win in as many starts Feb. 8 when he rallied from fourth to win a $60,000 overnight stakes at Gulfstream Park.
When a filly costs $1.9 million as a yearling, expectations run high. Yet Rags to Riches soared beyond those initial hopes by vaulting out of a maiden victory straight into the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 10 at Santa Anita Park.
After three straight dominating wins, including an 11 1/4-length score in the Jerome Stakes (G3) Jan. 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack, 3-year-old El Areeb is back at Aqueduct for a crack at the $250,000 Withers Stakes (G3) Feb. 4.
Three Rules, the top Florida-bred juvenile last year and winner of five races at Gulfstream, will make his 2016 debut Feb. 4 in the seven-furlong Swale Stakes (G2).
Red Oak Stable's homebred Unbridled Mo played the upsetter Jan. 29 in the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic (G3).
The new owners of Imperative are feeling good about their purchase after the grade 2 winner secured a narrow win in the first edition of the $400,000 Poseidon Handicap Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
Multiple graded stakes winner Stanford and Madefromlucky—both alternates for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1)—will try to steal some opening act thunder in the inaugural running of the $400,000 Poseidon Handicap.
Chad Brown has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time, and was rewarded with an Eclipse Award for the 2016 season.
Several contenders for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) coming up Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park worked Jan. 21 throughout South Florida, led by champion California Chrome in the final breeze of his career.
Paul Pompa Jr. and J Stables' Tommy Macho didn't have the easiest trip in the $150,000 Hal's Hope Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 14, but that didn't stop him from powering down the stretch to win by 5 3/4 lengths like nothing happened.
Al Shaqab Racing's Sandiva picked up another graded stakes victory and a second win in the $150,000 Marshua's River (G3T) when she won this year's edition by a half-length in a possible cap to her racing career.
Both clocked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Jan. 14 under Todd Pletcher's supervision.
With both of their racing careers in the final furlong, Todd Pletcher-trainees Sandiva and Isabella Sings are looking to pad their already showy résumés with another graded score when they start in the $150,000 Marshua's River (G3T).
Just as he was rounding into top form, the bay son of Macho Uno emerged from that race with a knee chip that required surgery and kept him away from the races for eight months.
Sonic Mule sat off the early pace and bravely turned back State of Honor in deep stretch to score in the Mucho Macho Man and earn his first triumph at the eight-furlong distance.
The dark bay colt redeemed himself Jan. 7 with his 3-year-old debut, a strong performance in the $100,000 Dania Beach (G3T) at Gulfstream Park.
The 3-year-old Shackleford colt scored by 15 lengths under Javier Castellano over a muddy track.
St. Elias Stable's multiple stakes winner Bode's Dream will put her perfect form on the line when she makes her first start as a newly-turned 3-year-old against a field of six challengers in the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park Jan. 7.
Starlight Racing will be represented by Neolithic in the upcoming $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), scheduled to be held for the first time Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
After ranking second in 2014 and 2015, trainer Chad Brown would not be denied in 2016 as he moved to the top of the leading trainers by earnings for the first time.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Zulu returned to the races a winner in the $60,000 Tamarac Stakes at Gulfstream Park Dec. 18.
After getting a sharp break out of post 1, the rest of Stanford's 1 1/16-mile tour around Gulfstream Park went exactly as hoped, as he led every point of call en route to a three-length win in the $100,000 Harlan's Holiday (gr. III).
StarLadies Racing's Eskenformoney got her first graded win when she ran down the odds-on favorite Curlin's Approval to take the Rampart Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 17.
Todd Pletcher attempts to corner the market in the Harlan's Holiday Stakes (gr. III), sending out three of the field's seven entrants in graded stakes winners Stanford, Madefromlucky, and Keen Ice.
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