He's reliable, he's honest, he loves a mile and a quarter, and he consistently runs fast speed figures. But is Tonalist good enough to win the Breeders' Cup Classic...away from Belmont Park? read blog
Tom Roach, who operated his family's Parrish Hill Farm near Midway, Ky., died Sept. 3 after a long illness. The horseman who co-bred 1999 Horse of the Year Charismatic was 63.
Are you looking for an early Volponi for this year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)? Well, you just might have seen him on Saturday...on the grass...finishing second. When it comes to the hard-knocking Awesome Gem, who has his good days and his bad days, I can't help hearing Ralph Kramden (yes, I'm a Honeymooners fanatic): "One of these days...one of these days - "Bang! Zoom!"
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Candy Ride's success as a first-crop sire was emphasized recently when daughter Evita Argentina took the Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park, and his son El Brujo claimed runner-up spot in Canada's top juvenile contest, the Coronation Futurity.
Poni Colada remained unbeaten in New Mexico with an eight-length laugher in the $100,000 Borderland Derby for 3-year-olds at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Feb. 16.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer Mark Casse took an unusual route to the Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Clearly Foxy, starting her twice on the Woodbine lawn, where she broke her maiden at first asking.
Trainer Mark Casse's runners swept the board in the CAN$162,000 Natalma Stakes (Can-III) for 2-year-old fillies, with the longest of his three hopes, 17-1 shot Clearly Foxy, driving to victory for jockey Jono Jones on the Woodbine lawn Sept. 9.
Volponi, winner of the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), and grade II winner Monarch's Maze were represented by their first winners June 21.
Millionaire Volponi has been purchased by the Korean Racing Association and will be relocated to the Jeju Stud and Training Farm.
With his disappointing fourth-place finish in Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), Perfect Drift has now become a longshot special for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I). And that makes him even more enticing, as he tries to emulate Volponi, another versatile, hard-knocking warrior who saved his best performance for the Classic.
The first reported foal by millionaire Volponi is a filly born Jan. 21 at Lakland North, owned by Lewis and Brenda Lakin and Becky Thomas, near Hudson, N.Y.
- By Steve Haskin
Joe McGinniss, whose previous books include Fatal Vision and The Selling of the President, 1968, is the author of a wonderful new racing book published by Simon & Schuster titled The Big Horse which tells the story of Hall of Fame trainer Phil "P.G." Johnson and the 2003 campaign of Volponi. It is a heartwarming, inspiring story that will have you laughing out loud.
By Paul Volponi -- Johnson was elected to racing's Hall of Fame in 1997. The honor was a tribute to the trainer's incredible consistency. He was enshrined without a dominating champion. Instead of a Pegasus, he rose on the wings of a work ethic that woke him at 2:30 a.m. each morning as he walked a treadmill and watched tapes of races before heading to the barn.
Hall of Fame trainer P.G. Johnson, who trained his family's homebred Volponi to win the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), died at his Rockville Centre, N.Y., home.
Mary Kay Johnson, wife of Hall of Fame trainer Phil "P.G." Johnson and a member of the family-owned Amherst Stable, which raced Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi in partnership, died Tuesday night at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, N.Y., of an apparent heart attack.
Hall of Fame trainer Phil "P.G." Johnson's 5-year-old multi-millionaire Volponi will enter stud at Rick and Liz Trontz' Hopewell Farm near Midway, Ky., in 2004.
Multi millionaire Volponi, last year's winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), but last in this year's renewel when it was sponsored by Dodge, has been retired from racing, but no decision has been reached as to where he will enter stud.
As in past Breeders' Cups, there are longshots galore in this year's World Thoroughbred Championships. Finding them, however, is another matter. This year, the task will be more challenging than usual.
It was 34 degrees in New York Thursday morning. The three New York-based horses for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) – Funny Cide, Volponi, and Evening Attire -- were a bit warmer as they tried to acclimate to the unusually hot weather in Southern California.
Bob Baffert wishes the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) was tomorrow. Make that today. The $4-million dollar race can't come too soon for Baffert, who says Congaree is doing super after suffering a quarter crack last week.
Two contenders for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) turned in their final works in preparation for Saturday's World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park.
Volponi, last year's upset winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :47 3/5 over the Belmont training track Tuesday morning, much to the satisfaction of jockey Jose Santos.
Because of a prior commitment, Jose Santos will ride Volponi in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) instead of Funny Cide, whom he guided to victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I).
Martin S. Schwartz's Bowman's Band, making his first start for Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens, kicked clear in the upper stretch and went on to post a 12-1 upset in Friday night's $400,000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup (gr. II).
The favorite hasn't won the Meadowlands Cup since Marquetry in 1993, but trainer P.G. Johnson is hoping to break that trend when he brings Volponi from New York to New Jersey for Friday's grade II test at Meadowlands. The 5-year-old finished second in last year's running of the race.
Volponi, who used the Meadowlands Cup (gr. III) as a springboard to victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), breezed a half mile in :49 2/5 at Belmont for Friday night's running of the 1 1/8-mile event.
Dual Classic winner Funny Cide along with Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi top a list of 29 nominations for this year's 26th running of the Oct. 3 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
Hall of Fame trainer Phil Johnson has decided to follow the same route in October that Volponi traveled to an upset victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) last year.
Volponi needed a victory Saturday, but his connections weren't counting on having to beat 16-1 Della Francesca in the $209,600 Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT).
Saturday's Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) will feature last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi, who will be running on grass for the first time since he ran second in this race last year.
Saratoga Notebook: Record Discrepancy; Ashado, Daydreaming Point to Frizette; Volponi Trainer Checking Figures; Man From Wicklow Mending; Mariensky Sore; Possibility Abounds
After some additional research into the records was done by journalist Bill Mooney, it appears likely that trainer Todd Pletcher smashed the 49-year-old Saratoga standard for victories quite a bit earlier than first thought.
Saratoga Notebook: Medaglia d'Oro's Foot Blisters; Velazquez on Volponi; Dynever Pennsylvania-Bound; Gygistar in Forego
Trainer Bobby Frankel said Friday that Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Medaglia d'Oro popped a pus pocket in a foot this week, a few days after finishing second to Candy Ride in the Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Saratoga Notebook: Classic Winners Missing, but Not Fans; Volponi Course Charted; Green Fee Out; No Marker for 'Dave
Funny Cide and Empire Maker may not have made it to the Travers Aug. 23, but the fans did. Several records were set at Saratoga Race Course in the process.
Saratoga Notebook: Harlan's Holiday Update; Fur OK, but Frankel Unhappy; Volponi Battled; Mineshaft Breezes; Bailey Hurting
According to trainer Todd Pletcher, Harlan's Holiday is likely to retired after damaging a suspensory ligament during the running of the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Joseph V. Shields Jr.'s Puzzlement squeezed through a hole on the rail with jockey Jorge Chavez and went on to post a surprise victory over bridesmaid of the year Volponi in the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Amherst and Spruce Pond Stable's Volponi has finished second in four starts this year after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) last fall. Jose Santos, aboard for all those races, has been replaced by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey for Saturday's $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/4 miles.
Saratoga Notebook: Volponi's Jockey Audible; Slow Go for Blazing Fury; Sky Mesa Pushed Back; Frankel Plots
Hall of Fame trainer Phil Johnson tried to out-think Breeders' Cup Classic (gr.I) winner Volponi Wednesday. He was at least partially successful.
Saratoga Notebook: No Luck for Day, Sheppard; Volponi Moves; Funny Cide Gallops; Frankel Sorts Options
With Anticipation's bid to become the first horse to win the Sword Dancer (gr.IT) three straight times ended before it began.
Saratoga Notebook: Bird Town Off Schedule; Friday Jog for Funny Cide?; Volponi's Blood Test; Shug on Possibility
A scheduled work for Bird Town was interrupted by weather; Funny Cide may jog Friday; Volponi is undergoing a blood test; trainer Pletcher and owner Dogwood face decisions; plus lots of other news and notes from the Spa.
Funny Cide came out of his third-place finish in Sunday's $1 million Haskell (gr. I) with a slight temperature, leaving his status for the Aug. 23 Travers in doubt.
Volponi, second in the Whitney (gr. I) on Saturday, will have a new rider when he returns to the races.
Edmund Gann's Medaglia d'Oro withstood a determined rally from his rival Volponi in the stretch and pulled away for a one-length victory in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Saturday.
Medaglia d'Oro and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi are among a contentious field of eight older horses entered for Saturday's $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Saratoga Notebook: Top 3-Year-Olds Work; Prado Opts for Peace Rules; Volponi Ready for Whitney; Alabama Target for Awesome Humor
Empire Maker, Peace Rules and Sky Mesa all worked Saturday morning on the main track at Saratoga Race Course in preparation for their scheduled starts in stakes races on Aug. 3.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is ready for the relaxed atmosphere at Saratoga, while trainers Nick Zito and P. G. Johnson prepare Bird Town and Volponi for their major tasks ahead.
Mineshaft showed he is still a force to be reckoned with in the handicap ranks with an impressive victory over Volponi and Dollar Bill in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Iron Deputy, the least-heralded of the five runners in Saturday's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), used a big break in the weights and his own speed to score a front-running 2 ½-length victory in the nine-furlong race.
A short but select field of six older runners were entered for Saturday's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park, including Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi and graded stakes winners Harlan's Holiday and Evening Attire.
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