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Passion Tops Miss Preakness

Passion Tops Miss Preakness

Between Pletcher, Passion, and Pimlico, there are plenty of alliterations. And here is another for the record-preference-which is what the Eclipse Award-winning trainer will be trying to pinpoint as he sends his versatile 3-year-old filly to the $100,000 Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III).

Most Hill 'n' Dale Fees Unchanged

John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington released its 2007 stallion fees Oct. 13 with seven of the 11 stallions standing next year for the same amount as the '06 breeding season.

Theatrical's Fee Stays Same

John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farm, which earlier released a $50,000 fee for incoming stallion Vindication, will keep major stallion Theatrical at $75,000.

Gulfstream Park Report: Sir Bear Back on Top

It had been a trying couple of months for Barbara and Al Smollin and their trainer, Ralph Ziadie. Pointing toward the Feb. 3 Donn Handicap (gr. I) since last summer, Ziadie was forced to scratch Sir Bear when he refused his feed and began acting uncomfortable after workouts leading up to the race. That behavior was a first in the 8-year-old gelding's career that has now encompassed 57 races and 18 wins, including 10 in stakes. Ziadie monitored his condition daily, and refused to speculate on what his next move would be. He even entered Sir Bear in the Feb. 28 $67,575 Cryptoclearance Handicap, ultimately won by Madeleine Paulson and Jenny Craig's Rock and Roll. "I truly don't know," was all the usually gregarious 62-year-old would say when asked when Sir Bear would be ready.

Pleasant Breeze Works Way into Gulfstream Park 'Cap

Pleasant Breeze, fourth in the grade I Donn Handicap, worked five furlongs at Payson Park in 1:02 Monday, prompting trainer Jim Bond to announce the horse as a definite starter in the grade I Gulfstream Park Handicap this Saturday. Meanwhile, trainer Ralph Ziadie entered his perennial handicap star Sir Bear in Wednesday's $63,000-added Cryptoclearance Stakes but is still not ruling out the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Gander Earns Donn Start; Sir Bear, Others Work

Gander had such an impressive workout here on Saturday that trainer John Terranova II and owners Mike and Ted Gatsas have decided to run him in Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap to be run over 1 1/8 miles. Gander earned the bullet work when he went six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 handily. According to Gulfstream Park, possible Donn starters, with weights and jockeys, are: Captain Steve, 120, Jerry Bailey; Albert the Great, 119, Jorge Chavez; Pleasant Breeze, 116, (Indefinite); Sir Bear, 116, Eibar Coa; North East Bound, 116, Jose Velez Jr.' Gander, 115, John Velazquez; Rich Celebration, 112, Jose Santos; Noble Ruler, 111, Pat Day; Tempest Fugit, 111, Edgar Prado; and Vision and Verse, 114, (indefinite).

North East Bound Works Toward Donn

Julian De Marc's North East Bound, a close second in the Breeder's Cup Mile (gr. I) on the turf at Churchill Downs in his last start, worked on Wednesday and remains on schedule for his expected appearance in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 3 according to trainer Bill Perry. Others still on track for the Donn are Hal's Hope, Albert the Great, Captain Steve, Pleasant Breeze, Sir Bear, Vision and Verse, American Halo, Rich Celebration, Rock and Roll, and Noble Ruler.

Pleasant Breeze Ends Layoff in Skip Away

With topweighted Pleasant Breeze making his first start in nearly five months, the entry box filled to the brim for Saturday's $100,000 Skip Away Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park. A total of 14 horses were entered for the Skip Away, with Pleasant Breeze the likely favorite as he goes from Post 10 with Jorge Chavez named to ride.

Captain Steve Highweighted for Clark

Captain Steve, one of four 3-year-olds to comprise the all-sophomore superfecta in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), was assigned highweight of 120 pounds Sunday by Churchill Downs racing secretary Jerry Botts for the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II), to be run Friday at the Louisville oval. While the 3-year-olds received a 4-pound weight concession from their older rivals in the Classic, the five highest weighted nominees in the Clark are all sophomores.

Trio of Mott-Trained Breeders' Cup Horses Work at Belmont

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, a model of consistency himself, sent three of his eight Breeders' Cup hopefuls to the main track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning, and the trio came back with identical results. Hap (Mile) and Vision and Verse (Classic) both breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5, with King Cugat (Mile) going a half in :48 3/5 and galloping out in -- you guessed it -- 1:01 2/5.

Valhol Preps for Meadowlands Cup with Bullet Work

James Jackson's Valhol put in a bullet work at Colonial Downs Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday night's $400,000 Meadowlands Cup (gr. II). The 4-year-old gelded son of Diazo will be making his second start since bone chip surgery following his third-place finish in the 1999 Ohio Derby (gr. II).

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