Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez teamed for their third straight stakes victory Saturday at Gulfstream Park when Char-Mari Stable's Navesink River prevailed in the $150,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. II) on the grass.
Santa Anita's leading trainer Doug O'Neill won his seventh stakes of the meeting Sunday when Grand Appointment took the $137,875 Sensational Star Handicap for older horses bred in California.
The twice classic-placed Eddington had an easy time of it Sunday, crushing his field in the $37,000 feature at Gulfstream Park.
Harlington won his debut at Aqueduct on Sunday, becoming the fifth winner from as many foals out of champion mare Serena's Song to become a winner. Each of Harlington's older siblings won in excess of $100,000 including group I winner Sophisticat.
A 2-year-old daughter of Storm Cat and a 3-year-old Unbridled filly were both bought by Arch Bloodstock to top Tuesday's session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The session average was up 36.7% and the median rose 50% over the comparable day one year ago.
James Binger, the former owner of famed Tartan Farms in Florida, died Wednesday in Minnesota. The native of St. Paul was 88.
Making his first start on grass, former Triple Crown contender Eddington squeezed between horses in the stretch to nip the determined pacesetter Bob's Proud Movement by a head for victory in the $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) in Florida.
A rainy Thursday afternoon at Belmont Park saw the return of Jerry Bailey, the debut of Smuggler, and a wild ninth race that included two late scratches, a spill, and a lengthy stewards' inquiry.
With an eye-catching move in mid-stretch, 3-year-old Mustanfar defeated older horses for the first time in his career, capturing the $150,000-added Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) in fine style Saturday on the Keeneland turf course.
Salute, a 2-year-old daughter of Unbridled out of the undefeated champion Personal Ensign, ran an encouraging second as the 4-5 favorite in her debut Sunday at Belmont Park.
Chiefswood Stable's Niigon held off 6-5 favorite A Bit O'Gold for a three-quarters of a length victory in the $1 million Queen's Plate for 3-year-olds Sunday, the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Tapit is by a horse that ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and out of a mare by a horse that won the Kentucky Derby.
The first foal for Malabar Gold arrived Jan. 27 at Phil T. Owens' Houstondale Farm near Lexington. The chestnut colt, bred by Owens, is out of Time to Renew, a 14-year-old daughter of Time for a Change.
Undefeated Hallbridled, who Jan. 26 will most likely be named champion juvenile filly for 2003, will be nominated to the VISA Triple Crown, trainer Richard Mandella told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Stalwart Member, a two-time New York-bred winner of the Sports Page Handicap (gr. II) and earner of $783,807, will be retired to the Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation, where he will be the founding member of the new retirement organization.
This is the first in a series of early looks at next year's 3-year-olds and where they might stack up on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail. Right now, it is Nick Zito, Richard Mandella, and Todd Pletcher who have the numbers.
By Dan Liebman -- The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is a day for celebration. But this year it also left pedigree lovers feeling a twinge of sadness. Of the nine winners on the day, four are by sires now deceased.
A Breeders' Cup victory means the world to breeders, owners, trainers, and jockeys. The same goes for stallion owners.
Empire Maker, whose Belmont Stakes (gr. I) win ended the Triple Crown threat of Funny Cide, has been retired from racing and will stand for a fee of $100,000 live foal at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington.
Graded stakes-placed Unloosened will stand the 2004 breeding season at Leroy Bormet's B & B Farm near Monee, Ill.
Wertheimer Farm's unbeaten Halfbridled, the likely favorite for next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), showed her versatility in winning Sunday's $250,000 Oak Leaf States (gr. II) for jockey Julie Krone at Santa Anita.
B. Wayne Hughes' No Armistice, a graded stakes-placed son of Unbridled, will enter stud for the 2004 breeding season at The Pons family's Country Life Farm near Bel Air, Md.
Keeneland's September yearling sale broke out of the starting gate running hard. Nearly every key business figure sprinted ahead of last year's pace on Sept. 8 during the first of the auction's two select sessions.
Boosted by competitive bidding from leading international buyers, the Keeneland September yearling sale began on a strong note Monday at the company's sales pavilion in Lexington, Ky. The average price was up 41.1%, the median rose 32.4%, and the RNA rate was 29.7%.
The top of the yearling market faces its biggest test of the year when Keeneland's September sale gets under way Monday.
Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled showed why she's likely to be heard from later this year when she recorded a scintillating five-length victory in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar Saturday.
Arthur Hancock and Robert McNair have bought back a quarter interest in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale-topping colt they bred from buyer Padua Stables.
Bob and Bever;y Lewis' well-regarded Santa Catarina finally scored her first victory in a graded stakes race for trainer Bob Baffert in Saturday's $206,200 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.
Empire Maker, the colt that was supposed to win the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby (gr. I) because of his pedigree, instead won the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) because of his pedigree. That's a lot of pedigree for one horse, even for one from the vast international breeding empire of Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms.
Juddmonte Farm's Empire Maker, the strong favorite for the 129th running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), arrived at Churchill Downs Sunday afternoon to continue his preparations for the May 3 race. Several other leading contenders have joined the Wood Memorial winner at the historic track.
The $100,000-added Doubledogdare, named for the first winner of Keeneland's Spinster Stakes, drew a field of six stakes-winning fillies and mares. However, as post time approached, favorite Belterra and Ifyouprefersilver were scratched
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker confirmed his credentials as this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) consensus choice with a calculated half-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) in the mud at Aqueduct Park.
Cynthia Phipps' Saarland, one of last year's leading Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prospects, won his first race since November on Friday at Aqueduct Park, defeating four rivals in an allowance race as the 7-5 favorite.
Bettors made Empire Maker the solid 2-1 favorite at the close of the first day of Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Thursday.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker expanded trainer Bobby Frankel's realm over the 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps. A week after conquering Louisiana with Peace Rules in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), Empire Maker gave the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) to Frankel with a spectacular performance, trouncing the seven-horse field with an eye-catching stretch run.
On the eve of the biggest race of his career, the public is holding Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker as the favorite at 9-1 among the 23 individuals listed in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
With three straight Eclipse Awards, Brooklyn-born trainer Bobby Frankel has been the master of all he has surveyed. Last year, his runners earned more than $17.7 million and he won 14 grade I races. But one has always eluded him: the Florida Derby.
Trust N Luck dominated Saturday's $100,000 What A Pleasure Stakes for 2-year-olds at Calder, leading from start to finish while covering the 1 1/16-mile distance in a stakes-record 1:44. The winning margin was 11 lengths.
Saarland, who has not raced since finishing 10th in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is entered in Aqueduct's sixth race Friday.
Unshaded reinjured a tendon this week and has been retired. The gelding's immediate plans are uncertain.
With downturns in the U.S. economy and the selected summer sales, an air of uncertainty hung over the Keeneland sales pavilion in Lexington, Ky. before Monday's first session of the 12-day September Yearling Sale. By the end of the day, a lot of the questions being asked by buyers, sellers, and sales company officials had been answered. The bottom line is that there is less money in the yearling marketplace than there was at this time last year.
The undefeated two-time stakes-winning Buffythecenterfold will face her sternest test yet Saturday in the 52nd running of the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on the main track.
Flaxman Stable's heavily-favored Surya sat patiently behind pace setter Shooting Party and then blew by on the final turn to cruise to an easy win in the $200,000 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap on a sloppy main track at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Wheelaway, winner of the 2000 Tampa Bay Derby, has been retired from racing will stand the 2003 season at Joe and Anne McMahon's McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in upstate New York. His stud fee for 2003 is set at $6,000.
Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) lost another contender Tuesday when trainer Carl Nafzger said Belterra will not run in the race for 3-year-old fillies.
Champion Personal Ensign's eighth foal, a bay filly by Unbridled, is doing well in her second week at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- Who can say why we are more attracted to certain horses. I watched the replay of the 1990 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Over and over. I fell in love with this horse.
Gross sales, average price, and median price all dropped during Monday's opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling sale. The session's top-selling colt by Unbridled out of Debit My Account sold for $360,000.
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