Ageless Rochester won the $161,000 Sycamore Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) for an unprecedented third time, carrying veteran jockey Gary Stevens to a 3 3/4-length victory in the 1 1/2-mile turf race.
Firing the opening stakes salvo of the fall meet, an experienced cast of eight is set to load onto Keeneland's turf course to contest the $150,000 Sycamore Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) over 1 1/2 miles Friday.
King's Drama gave embattled owner Gary Tanaka some good news when his Irish-bred gelding outran Relaxed Gesture by three-quarters of a length in Saturday's $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT), Saratoga's premier turf race.
With Better Talk Now unlikely to defend his $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) title Saturday at Saratoga, the race now gives an opportunity for eight others horses on the East Coast to emerge among the top turf runners in the country.
Meteor Storm, the 2004 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) winner at Belmont Park, worked five furlongs over the Saratoga main track Monday morning in 1:00 2/5, handily, under jockey Javier Castellano.
Cool Conductor took advantage of a pace vacuum in Saturday's $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT), going gate to wire under Cornelio Velasquez to upset Vangelis on the Arlington Park turf.
Eight older horses will line up for recognition in Saturday's Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) over the lawn at the Chicago racetrack. Highweighted Cool Conductor, fourth in the July 2 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth, carries a top impost of 120 pounds, but the Bobby Frankel-trained Cal-invader Vangelis--looking for his first North American stakes win--is the 2-1 morning line favorite.
Saturday proved to be a good day for the past two winners of the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT). The 2004 winner Good Reward won the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) on the Belmont Park turf and 2003 hero Sweet Return returned to Hollywood Park's lawn to capture the $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT).
Neil Drysdale, who has trained three of the past seven winners of the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT), saddles the likely favorite Red Fort in Saturday's wide open $350,000 renewal Saturday.
Red Fort worked seven furlongs on turf in a bullet 1:27 4/5 Sunday in his final drill for the $350,000 Charles Whittingham Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles on the Hollywood Park turf on Saturday.
Runaway Dancer, last at the head of the stretch, stormed down the center of the track under enthusiastic urging from Garrett Gomez to win the $350,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) going away on the Hollywood Park turf Saturday.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel has three chances Saturday to enhance his record six victories in the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park, accounting for one-third of the entrants in 1 1/2-mile grass marathon event worth $350,000.
Trainer Bobby Frankel dialed Maryland Wednesday to obtain the services of Ramon Dominguez to replace the injured Patrick Valenzuela aboard Vangelis in the $350,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Mister Acpen, a 7-year-old Chilean-bred whose life may have been saved by finding refuge in The Netherlands, returns from a 16-month layoff Saturday as one of the contenders in Hollywood Park's $100,000-added Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Left all by himself on the front end, there was no catching the ultra-game Star Over the Bay Sunday in the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) on the Santa Anita grass.
Bayamo, freshened since his runner-up effort in the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar more than two months ago, rates an edge in a solid field of seven older horses entered for the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting Sunday.
Prestonwood Farm's Special Ring will be making his first start of 2004 Sunday when he seeks to defend his crown in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.
The filly Musical Chimes will attempt to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Dahlia when she takes on males in Saturday's $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Vangelis, a group II winner in France, is scheduled to be flown to California Sunday for the $350,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT), the 1 1/4-mile grass test at Hollywood Park June 12.
American-bred Vangelis got a well-timed ride from leading French jockey Christophe Soumillon to win the Prix d'Harcourt (Fr-II) for older horses at 1 1/4 miles at Longchamp Sunday.
European-based Sulamani, a winner of multiple Group I outings on other continents, and the recently American-based grade I victor Storming Home, head a field of 13 of the best turf horses throughout the world in Saturday's 21st running of the Arlington Million (gr. IT).
West Coast-based jockey Corey Nakatani, who finished second by a head aboard Gary A. Tanaka's Sarafan in the 2002 Arlington Million, will now get a chance to make amends for that defeat with the mount on Charles E. Fipke's Perfect Soul in Saturday's 21st running of the grade I centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season.
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