Although the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park has already started up racing's second season for 3-year-olds, the winner, Came Home, apparently is heading toward shorter races and will not try the top-class colts in the big events. That leaves Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem as the horse to catch for championship honors.
Horses for Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap have finally showed up from points West, South, and North, and several were on the track Friday morning for light exercise.
Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap, which last week had only three prospective starters, drew a field of nine Thursday morning, with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem breaking from post 6.
Though it's still more than three weeks away, Del Mar's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on August 25 appears to be a viable prospect for Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds' Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) champion Sky Jack, trainer Doug O'Neill said Thursday morning.
Trainer Bob Baffert said the decision to enter War Emblem in the $1-million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park Aug. 4 wasn't tied to a $50,000 appearance fee he is to receive from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the racetrack.
War Emblem had his final serious workout for Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap when he breezed five furlongs in :59 1/5 at Del Mar Monday morning.
Trainer Bob Baffert informed Monmouth Park officials Saturday that War Emblem will definitely run in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Aug. 4.
Like many straightaway races in England, the race for the $1 million Travers Stakes has divided into two small groups – one opting for the big bucks and grade I status of the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park and the other preferring to have a race over the track in the grade II, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes. Both races will be run on Aug. 4.
One of the immediate effects the passing of Prince Ahmed Salman will have on racing was the decision by Richard Mulhall and Bob Baffert, respective manager and trainer for the prince's The Thoroughbred Corp., to pull Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner War Emblem out of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) on Aug. 4
Barely two months after realizing his dream of winning the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Prince Ahmed Salman died in his sleep of a heart attack Monday, July 22, at age 43.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. II) winner War Emblem will have to spot his foes from two to 10 pounds if he makes his anticipated trip to New Jersey from California for the Aug. 4 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), a $1-million race over nine furlongs.
Trainer Bob Baffert said he is "trying to tighten the screws" on Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, who worked seven furlongs in a quick 1:23 3/5 Wednesday morning at Santa Anita Park in preparation for the Aug. 4 Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park.
Saturday's Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes served as Monmouth Park's last major prep for the $1-million Haskell Invitational, with this year's top 3-year-olds prepping for the 35th renewal of the race on August 4.
Wednesday's ESPY Awards include the "Outstanding Jockey of the Year" honor.
War Emblem continued his preparation for the Aug. 4 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, working five furlongs Tuesday morning at Santa Anita in 1:01 4/5 under regular exercise rider Dana Barnes.
It looks like trainer Bob Baffert and fiancee Jill Moss will be honeymooning on the Jersey Shore Aug. 4, watching Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner War Emblem run in the $1-million Haskell Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
"If he could talk, he'd say 'run me,'" trainer Bob Baffert said of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner War Emblem after the colt worked a half-mile in :48 under Dana Barnes on Tuesday morning at Santa Anita.
Taking time out from the state's budget crisis, the California State Assembly honored jockey Victor Espinoza July 1 for his achievements, particularly his wins in the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes aboard War Emblem.
War Emblem breezed an easy three furlongs in :35 4/5 under exercise rider Dana Barnes at Santa Anita Park on Wednesday morning, the first recorded work for The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Our Emblem colt since his June 8 defeat in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
War Emblem galloped 1 3/8 miles at Santa Anita Park on Tuesday, marking the Our Emblem colt's return to the track for the first time since his bid to win the Triple Crown failed in the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The dispute over the $1-million Illinois Derby bonus earned by War Emblem appears headed for court. Still unresolved: Which court, and upon whose initiative?
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem will be given some time off, according to Richard Mulhall, the Thoroughbred Corp.'s general manager.
Saudi Prince Ahmed bin Salman's The Thoroughbred Corporation, owner of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, filed a lawsuit June 10 to resolve a dispute over who is entitled to a $1 million bonus for winning the Illinois and Kentucky Derbys --- the prince or the colt's previous owner.
"What a day. What a life." As the sun set on the Belmont backstretch following one of the most energy-charged afternoons of racing in New York history, trainer Kenny McPeek finally was able to express his feelings in simple words.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem will be shipped on Sunday to trainer Bob Baffert's Santa Anita barn in Southern California.
New Phoenix Stable's Sarava, who paid $142.50 as the longest priced Belmont Stakes winner ever, flew out of New York and back to Kentucky at about 8:30 a.m.Sunday morning.
A record Belmont Park crowd of 103,222 witnessed the biggest upset in Belmont Stakes history as Sarava, at odds of 70-1, upset War Emblem's Triple Crown bid and returned a record $142.50 to win for every $2 wager. Belmont Park handle records, notwithstanding last year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, were crushed in every category.
Following the stunning upset by Sarava in the Belmont Stakes, bloodhorse.com is reprinting Steve Haskin's story about the winner that was posted after a workout at Churchill Downs.
Though Prince Ahmed Salman's War Emblem is going for the Triple Crown at Belmont Park on Saturday, the Saudi owner is not in attendance. A spokesman for the prince's Thoroughbred Corp. confirmed Saturday afternoon that Salman was in Saudi Arabia and not in New York.
New York Racing Association chairman and CEO Barry Schwartz said Saturday morning at Belmont Park that he is hoping for one thing -- a crowd of more than 85,818. All indications are he might just get it.
With only $1 million in the pool, War Emblem is even money with those on hand at Belmont Park to complete the Triple Crown. Of course, there is still an hour until the first race on the Belmont Stakes Day card.
According to Victor Espinoza, the Belmont Stakes is going to be just another race, and that he is not going to be doing anything differently.
Links to selected online articles related to the Belmont Stakes and War Emblem's Triple Crown quest.
Is War Emblem about to write a new chapter in the history books? Or will Wiseman's Ferry prove to be a thorn in the colt's side? Will Mike Smith, aboard Proud Citizen, keep the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner in his sights and dog him the whole way? Will one of the closers have enough class and stamina to kick in late and pull a Touch Gold or a Victory Gallop?
With a persistent light rain falling Friday morning, trainer Niall O'Callaghan found a dry, warm spot to talk to the press -- inside the track kitchen. But the same question kept coming up: Is his Wiseman's Ferry the key to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I)?
Before a huge crowd of onlookers on a windy, wet Friday morning, War Emblem showed one of the reasons why trainer Bob Baffert is so enamored with the colt.
Even before he ran ninth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Tom Albertrani thought Essence of Dubai would be more suited to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). On Saturday, he will find out.
Although they will applaud War Emblem's rightful place in Turf history if he wins the Triple Crown, it's too soon after Slew's death and too soon after Sept. 11 for one Turf writer and many racing fans to take delight in such an outcome.
The photographers were ready. The TV cameramen were ready. The print journalists were ready. They all gave a passing glance to Like a Hero and Medaglia d'Oro, who were circling near the gap, then re-set their sights to Barn 7, where assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes sat atop the stable pony Cisco.
War Emblem is here. Sounds like a simple, mundane statement. But there was nothing simple or mundane about the grand entrance made Wednesday morning by Thoroughbred racing's version of "Black Beauty."
He went unsold for $20,000 at the 2000 Keeneland September yearling sale, and a little over 1 1/2 years later, was worth a cool million. The big questions are how many millions and what's in store for the owners if War Emblem wins the Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Bob Baffert answers questions about War Emblem's quest for the Triple Crown and his previous Triple Crown contenders.
Does War Emblem fit the profile of a typical Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner?
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- While media interest in this year's Belmont Stakes is unprecedented, the year-round depth of quality of racing is epitomized by the likes of Kona Gold, Xtra Heat, and others.
Latest workout infomration and look at probable field for Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem had his final serious work for Saturday's Belmont Stakes when he worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. "Whew, I'm glad that's over," a relieved trainer Bob Baffert said as the colt pulled up.
Trainer Niall O'Callaghan said he was "leaning toward running" in the Belmont Stakes following Wiseman's Ferry's five-furlong work in 1:01 1/5 at Churchill Downs Friday.
Although he doesn't know about it, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem has been getting a taste of his own medicine over at Murray Johnson's barn at the Trackside training center.
Oaklawn Park is holding a Bob Baffert look-alike contest as part of its Belmont Stakes (gr. I) festivities.
Pat Day will ride Columbine Stable's Like A Hero in the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
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