Walter Downey's Pennsylvania-bred Fabulous Strike, an early favorite for last year's TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) before a lung infection put an early end to his season, has recovered and will return to the track for trainer Todd Beattie at his Hollywood Casino at Penn National base.
- By Esther Marr
Nominated as one of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's moments of the year, Midnight Lute's TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) feat cemented him as the obvious choice for an Eclipse Award as champion of his division.
Midnight Lute worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:10.60 on Santa Anita's Cushion Track Jan. 14 in preparation for the Jan. 21 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II).
Benny the Bull saved ground in the early going, angled four-wide entering the lane and then pulled away for a one-length victory in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park on Nov. 24, scoring the first graded stakes win of his career.
With a strong last-to-first move in the slop at Monmouth Park, Midnight Lute stormed to a 4 3/4-length victory over the front-running Idiot Proof in the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint.
David Hofmans, who will send out two horses in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships, is convinced the advantages will outweigh the obstacles facing his runners in the Oct. 27 races at Monmouth Park.
Herman Sarkowsky's Dixie Chatter and Barry Schwartz and Ed Wachtel's Attila's Storm have been scratched from the Oct. 27 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), respectively.
Clifford Sise, Jr. says that a normal trainer, without the consistent backing of big-money owners, will only get a superstar horse about ever 20 years. Sise had his last big horse in 1996, so he's nine years ahead of schedule as he heads toward this weekend's Breeders' Cup World Championships with a Sprint (gr. I) hopeful named Idiot Proof.
Watson and Weitman Performances and Mike Pegram's Midnight Lute, impressive winner of the Sept. 1 Forego Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga in his last start, is the early 2-1 favorite in a field of 11 entered in the $2-million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Smokey Stover, in his final local workout for the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, turned in a sharp five-furlong drill in :58 1/5 Oct. 14 under jockey Russell Baze at Bay Meadows.
Idiot Proof blazed his way into the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) picture with an eye-catching victory in Oak Tree's $300,000 Ancient Title (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Oct. 7.
Eddie Kenneally would rather his horses be fresh than have to worry about fatigue. The veteran trainer will put that theory to the test when he sends out multiple graded-stakes winner Kelly's Landing in the $2-milion TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.
The $300,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 7 carries with it an automatic spot in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) for the winner, but just five trainers opted to run in Oak Tree's six-furlong test over the new Santa Anita Cushion Track.
Teuflesberg is only three, but he does not lack experience, having started 20 times in his young career. He will try older horses for the first time Oct. 6.
The $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) was billed as the return of multiple graded stakes winner Discreet Cat. Instead, it became Fabulous Strike's coming out party.
Though just a $25,000 2-year-old purchase, Piratesonthelake has proven himself a consistent sprinter at both Hawthorne and Arlington Park, winning four races during the year.
The spectacular Sept. 30 card at Belmont Park includes four Grade I events, each with Breeders' Cup implications. One of the more anticipated is the $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I), which includes the return of 4-year-old superstar Discreet Cat, who will be making his first start in nearly six months.
Discussions are under way on whether to supplement Gallant Bloom Stakes (gr. II) winner Jazzy to the $1-million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Dirt Sprint.
Smokey Stover, one of the top-rated sprinters in the country, will test his affinity for the Monmouth Park racing strip, site of the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), when he faces four foes in the $100,000 Icecapade Stakes Sept. 1.
Greg's Gold, who returned earlier this year from a 17-month layoff after bowing a tendon, completed his comeback for trainer David Hofmans Aug. 19 with a 1 1/2-length victory in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) over seven furlongs on the Del Mar Polytrack.
A freshened Diabolical sat patiently behind a hot pace for jockey Mario Pino, then turned in a powerful run from the eighth pole to edge a determined Attila's Storm in the $260,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Saturday.
When considering Breeders' Cup fields, one would normally think the vast majority of horses are homebreds, or at least have been with one nurturing trainer and owner who have been pointing the horse to a certain championship race since it was a youngster. Not so, where this year's TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) is concerned.
Henny Hughes, undefeated this year since coming to the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin, was installed as the 2-1 favorite for the $2-million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) after drawing post position four in the six-furlong contest.
Talk about beginner's luck. The very first horse that Ronald Borgese owned is taking him to the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 4. The horse's name is Nightmare Affair, but he's been a dream come true for his New York-based owner.
It's not often that things go according to plan in the Thoroughbred business, but that's certainly been the case with Silverleaf Farms' purchase of Pomeroy last year.
Officials of Breeders' Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Oct. 24 the race order, post times, and wagering menu for the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Lost in the Fog, last year's Eclipse Award-winning sprinter, was euthanized Sept. 17, three weeks after doctors found three cancerous tumors in his spleen and along his back.
Dr. Tom Simon's Vinery has purchased the breeding rights Silver Train, most recently the winner of the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), and the colt will stand at the Kentucky division of the farm at the conclusion of his racing career.
Television Games Network will again sponsor the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), the 6-furlong race that is part of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.
Lost in the Fog, who suffered his first defeat Saturday when he ran a disappointing seventh in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Belmont Park, will now get a vacation.
Battle-tested Battle Won got a tour of the Belmont Park layout Thursday morning, but when he faces Lost in the Fog and the other 10 entrants in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), it won't be his first start over the track. The 5-year-old gelding, owned by Jay and Gretchen Manoogian and trained by Chuck Simon, raced at "Big Sandy" back during his 3-year-old campaign under different circumstances.
After winning his first two races by a combined margin of more than 23 lengths, Lifestyle has lost five in a row. It's not exactly a scenario one might expect from an experienced trainer but that's what Wesley Ward mapped out for Lifestyle, who will take on unbeaten Lost In The Fog in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
The recent rash of injuries and withdrawals from the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships continued Sunday when Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler was declared out of the TVG Sprint (gr. I) with an injury to his right front foot.
Imperialism has spent much of his time racing at longer distances, but a look at the Langfuhr colt's record indicates he should be pretty comfortable in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Roman Ruler worked four furlongs Friday morning in a bullet :46 1/5 in his final local blowout before the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) on Oct. 29 at Belmont Park.
At 6 a.m. sharp Wednesday and undetected by the official clockers, trainer Kristin Mulhall worked Steve Taub's Imperialism on the fast main track at Belmont Park. Not only did she work the 4-year-old Langfuhr colt, but timed him herself and then caught a flight back to the West Coast.
Roman Ruler could be headed to the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 29 at Belmont Park, according to trainer Bob Baffert.
Stony Oak Farm's Elusive Jazz, making his graded stakes debut, rolled to victory with a well-timed ride from Robby Albarado in the $266,500 Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Keeneland.
Thrilling fans and packing stands, Lost in the Fog maintained perfection with his 10th consecutive win, romping to an impressive 7 3/4-length victory before his hometown crowd in Saturday's $100,000 Bay Meadows Speed Handicap.
Trainer Gary Mandella played a hunch that Taste of Paradise would appreciate the wide turn and sandy surface of Belmont Park and came away with a shocking victory in the Vosburgh (gr. I) Saturday at odds of 26-1.
In his final work for the Oct. 1 Bay Meadows Speed Handicap, 3-year-old Lost in the Fog sizzled five furlongs in :57 1/5 Sept. 23 at Golden Gate Fields.
HorseRacing TV (HRTV) will broadcast from Bay Meadows Oct. 1 as Lost in the Fog looks to remain undefeated in the $100,000 Speed Handicap, his final tune-up for the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 29 at Belmont Park.
The San Francisco connections for undefeated star Lost in the Fog have been looking for the right spot to prep their colt for the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 29. They may have found it in their backyard.
Trainer Greg Gilchrist said Sunday that he's not sure where the Lost in the Fog, the undefeated winner of the King's Bishop (gr. I), will race next.
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