Verrazano turned back the challenge of Vyjack and held off a late-closing Normandy Invasion in a formful edition of the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Gary Barber's Jack Milton came up from Florida to earn his first stakes score, holding off the late charge of Up With the Birds to win the $100,000 Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) on opening day at Keeneland.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who will saddle heavy favorite Verrazano in the April 6 Wood Memorial (gr. I), gently debunked the "Derby Jinx" about a horse winning the Kentucky Derby without racing at 2.
Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) winner Verrazano was assigned post 8 as the 4-5 favorite on the morning line for the $1 million Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) to be run April 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
King of Prussia Stable's impressive Princess of Sylmar takes a step up into graded company April 6 in the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack, facing a talented field of sophomore fillies.
Verrazano and Normandy Invasion, leading contenders for the upcoming $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I), both posted bullet moves March 31 at Palm Meadows Training Center.
WinStar Farm's Revolutionary took the overland route to victory in the March 30 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), closing with a five-wide run and holding off the late charge of 19-1 shot Mylute in the final furlong at Fair Grounds.
The 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song proved doubters wrong March 30 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots when he held off Mark Valeski for a determined 1 3/4-length New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) score.
Unlimited Budget continues to show limitless potential as the undefeated Street Sense filly appears poised for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) after a clear victory in the $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II).
Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia left her connections dreaming of victory in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) when she devastated the $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks (gr. II) March 30 at Gulfstream Park by 21 3/4 lengths.
Michael B. Tabor's Ciao Bella ran like a favorite should at Gulfstream Park March 30, holding the advantage from gate to wire and drawing off to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. III).
Optimizer has been a different horse since he moved to the grass, and streaks into the March 30 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds with two graded stakes scores under his girth.
Successful Song was supposed to be embarking on a new career as a broodmare by now, but her connections at Live Oak Plantation changed the plan for their homebred daughter of Successful Appeal thanks to her winning ways.
A power-packed field will assemble for the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 30 at Fair Grounds. In the lineup are Graydar, Bourbon Courage, Flat Out, and Mark Valeski.
Undefeated Unlimited Budget and Honeybee Stakes runner-up Flashy Gray head a quality field that includes grade I winner So Many Ways in the $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 30 at Fair Grounds Race Course.
She couldn't catch Live Lively in her seasonal debut five weeks earlier, but Dreaming of Julia figures to be much tighter for their next engagement in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) March 30 at Gulfstream Park.
WinStar Farm's Revolutionary, winner of the Withers Stakes (gr. III), has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite in a field of 14 for the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 30 at Fair Grounds.
A field of 10 has been entered for the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) March 30 at Gulfstream Park, although three horses are getting almost all of the attention: Itsmyluckyday, Shanghai Bobby, and Orb.
Live Lively, expected to be one of the favorites for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) following two impressive wins at the meet, breezed a half-mile in :49.78 on the morning of March 24 at Palm Meadows.
Champion Shanghai Bobby breezed five furlongs at Palm Meadows Training Center on the morning of March 24 in final preparation for a scheduled start in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I).
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Tanourin Stable's Silsita upset heavily favored Pure Fun and survived a stretch duel with 31-1 shot Marathon Lady to take the $100,000 Fathead Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park March 23.
Unbeaten Verrazano, the early favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is set to make his next start April 6 in the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct, trainer Todd Pletcher said.
The 3-1 second choice on the morning line for the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) March 23 at Aqueduct Racetrack is 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice, who won an Aqueduct optional claimer Jan. 30.
Eclipse Award-winning Shanghai Bobby prepared for the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) at Palm Meadows Training Center on the morning of March 17, breezing five furlongs in company with Palace Malice.
The $600,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) drew a competitive field of 11 sophomores seeking points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), including Southwest Stakes (gr. III) winner Super Ninety Nine.
A total of 134 fillies, led by champion Beholder, have been nominated to Keeneland's $500,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I), scheduled for Saturday, April 6.
Champion Shanghai Bobby and fellow top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders Orb and Verrazano lead the 189 nominees to this year's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Todd Pletcher was keeping his options open on the next start for Verrazano, who became the early favorite for the 2013 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with his March 9 win in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Several Todd Pletcher trainees and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopefuls worked at Palm Meadows Training Center the morning of March 10.
Verrazano lived up to his billing as a top Triple Crown contender March 9 with a solid three-length score in the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) at Tampa Bay Downs.
E. Paul Robsham Stables' Discreet Dancer picked up the pieces of an incident-marred running of the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 9, when Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Fort Larned stumbled at the start.
Stud TNT's Old Tune, winner of Tampa Bay Downs' Feb. 2 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT), returns to win the March 9 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) at nine furlongs. Her score is trainer Todd Pletcher's fourth Hillsborough victory.
Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado comes to Fair Grounds for the first time this season to ride Palace Malice in the 100th anniversary edition of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 30.
Violence, one of the winter book favorites for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been officially retired from racing and will reside at John G. Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington.
A strong group of 12 older fillies will contest the $150,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs March 9, including Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) victress Old Tune and grade II winner Mystical Star.
Fort Larned, who has not started since his gutsy victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), will face five opponents when he makes his 5-year-old debut March 9 in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I).
Highly-regarded sophomore Verrazano makes his stakes debut against eight others March 9 in the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) at Tampa Bay Downs, rolling in off an impressive 16 3/4-length allowance win at Gulfstream Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Carl Nafzger recalls choosing the Tampa Bay Derby as a steppingstone for Street Sense's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) success.
Churchill Downs' second Kentucky Derby Future Wager concluded March 3 with the Mutuel Field, or "All Others" garnering much of the attention as the 3-1 favorite.
Trainer Todd Pletcher had a busy Sunday morning at Palm Meadows Training Center March 3 with more than a dozen stakes runners from his powerful stable hitting the work tab for upcoming stakes engagements.
Though the race is on the grass, the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles March 3 at Gulfstream Park has the potential to serve as a springboard to the Triple Crown trail.
Perretti Racing Stable's highly regarded Forty Tales heads a group of thirteen sophomores who stay sprinting -- at least for now -- in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park on March 2.
Heavy favorite will have to overcome the far outside post in his 3-year-old debut.
Many of the top contenders for this year's Triple Crown races, including champion 2-year-old male Shanghai Bobby, completed workouts on Monday morning in South Florida and Southern California.
Grade I winner Violence, among the early favorites for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), sustained a fracture to his right front medial sesamoid and is off the Triple Crown trail.
Repole Stables' favored Unlimited Budget kept her record perfect when she easily captured the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) by 3 3/4 lengths over 20-1 shot Promise Me More at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Jockey Rajiv Maragh is scheduled to return to the races Feb. 28, a little less than two months after sustaining a hairline fracture to the T3 vertebrae of his upper back in a Dec. 31 spill at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) victress Unlimited Budget has been pegged the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Feb. 23, in her season debut.
Undefeated Violence tops a Feb. 23 Fountain of Youth field that includes He's Had Enough, Cerro, Orb, and Falling Sky among 11 starters.
In terms of previous accomplishments, grade I winner Dreaming of Julia towers over entries in the $250,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 23 at Gulfstream Park, but several fillies who have flashed brilliance await.
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