Belmont Park on June 6 is the next objective for Rachel Alexandra, the spectacular 20 1/4-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but not for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Instead, trainer Hal Wiggins has the $300,000 Acorn (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on his radar.
Those who believe Rachel Alexandra could have won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) have evidence to back up their belief after she won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 1 at Churchill Downs in spectacular fashion.
She keeps winning so easily, it's difficult to gauge just how good Rachel Alexandra is. Her four rivals in the $245,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park didn't provide any answers April 5.
Rachel Alexandra, expected to be among the favorites for next month's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), drew the rail against four opponents in the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park April 5.
Racehorse owner Charles Patterson of Little Rock, Ark., died March 8.
A sloppy track failed to slow Rachel Alexandra, who outclassed five rivals in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 14.
- By Jack Shinar
The California racing industry voiced nearly united support for synthetic racing surfaces and for the board that mandated them during a packed California Senate committee hearing Wednesday, June 13, in Sacramento.
Following his win with Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher has reloaded and sends out two horses, Master Command and Magna Graduate, who have big shots to take down Saturday's $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Closing from the rear of the field after the opening half-mile, Robert V. Hovelson's homebred Swingit proved a game winner when she bettered Luna Dorada by a head to win the $171,500 Edgewood for 3-year-old fillies on Friday at rainy Churchill Downs.
James Conway's Dash of Humor, winner of last month's Furl Sail Handicap, shares top weight of 118 pounds as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the $75,000 Truly Bound Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
James Conway's Dash of Humor, ridden patiently by Brian Hernandez Jr., captured the $75,000 Furl Sail Handicap for fillies and mares by a head Sunday in a tight three-way finish at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Premium Tap, winner of the Woodward (gr. I) at Saratoga and third to Invasor in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), has been assigned top weight of 122 pounds for next week's 132nd running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I).
Hawthorne's leading jockey Chris Emigh entered Saturday's Phil Georgeff Festival of Racing named to ride the morning-line favorite in all six stakes events, with Christine Janks slated to saddle four of them. Emigh didn't disappoint, capturing three stakes races, two for Janks, moving within one victory of 2,500 for his career.
Hawthorne's leading rider Chris Emigh has been named to pilot the morning-line favorite in all six $100,000 Illinois stakes for Saturday's Phil Georgeff Festival of Racing card Saturday.
Magna Graduate, away from competition since the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in late March, returns to action in the $200,000 Emirates Airline Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) on Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Championships undercard at Churchill Downs. The inaugural running of the $200,000 Very Subtle for fillies and mares kicks off the day.
Swingit, a 15-1 outsider, rallied from last place Thursday at Keeneland to win the $125,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes.
Star Dabbler and Cielo Gold could not be separated at the wire, finishing in a dead heat for victory in the $513,200 Indiana Derby (gr. II) before a crowd of 5,134 at Hoosier Park Saturday night.
Buzzards Bay, authoritative winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) in his last start more than two months ago, takes on grade I winners Brass Hat and Perfect Drift in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Fred Bradley's Brass Hat and Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, the local stars that could be the favorites for Saturday's 25th running of the $750,0000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, turned in their final major pre-race preps on Tuesday with training moves at Trackside Louisville training center.
Brass Hat, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and runner-up in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), and Buzzards Bay, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), were assigned high weight of 121 pounds apiece for Saturday's $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Six $100,000 stakes events restricted to Prairie State performers will be presented at Hawthorne on Saturday's Illinois Champions Day program. The stakes will be run consecutively (races four through nine).
War Front and Friendly Island, part of a terrific stretch battle in the Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 7, renew their rivalry Sunday in the $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) at the South F
On Thin Ice, winless in 2005, kicked off his 5-year-old season with his first graded stakes win, romping to a 5 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Phipps Stable's 5-year-old homebred Philanthropist, who arrives from New York with a three-race win streak, and Robert LaPenta's 6-year-old gelding Seek Gold, runner-up in the Fred Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder last out, will face off in a field of nine older horses entered for the 1 1/8-mile Hal's Hope at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
In spite of being left at the gate, M.Y. Stables' outsider Knowwhatimean wound his way through a 12-horse field for jockey Seth Martinez to win the $114,050 Lightning Jet Handicap, one of six feature races for Illinois breds at Hawthorne Saturday.
Saint Liam, arguably the nation's top older horse after 2005 victories in the grade I Donn and Stephen Foster handicaps, breezed five furlongs over Saratoga's Oklahoma training trackMonday morning in 1:02 1/5.
Rapid Proof brings the best form into Monday's $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs. But he must answer a major distance question if he is to defeat six rivals in the 1 3/8-mile event on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
Rapid Proof unleashed a powerful kick in the stretch run to nip defending champion Warleigh by a head in the $216,000 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf at Sam Houston Race Park Saturday night.
Rapid Proof, dismissed at odds of 31-1, edged out A to the Z and America Alive in a three-horse photo to win the $500,00 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Fair Grounds turf course. Local runners dominated the New Orleans track's signature turf event .
Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. won three of the six six stakes races for Illinois runners contested at Hawthorne on Saturday during the Illinois Festival.
Farish, Elkins & Webber's Alumni Hall, far back early, took command in mid-stretch to win the $75,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap by 2 ½ lengths on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Veteran campaigner Crafty Shaw reached the front on the final turn and refused to yield to pressure from Apt to Be to record his 15th career win in Saturday's $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
Apt to Be, who races in the colors of Arlington Park chairman Richard L. Duchossois, has accepted co-starting highweight of 119 pounds, along with Crafty Shaw, in defense of his title in the grade III Hanshin Cup Saturday at Arlington.
Reigning Illinois Horse of the Year Summer Mis and top 2003 3-year-old runner Wiggins will both compete on Illinois Champions Day at Hawthorne on Saturday.
Richard Otto Stables' homebred Summer Mis was voted the 2003 Illinois champion older filly/mare and Illinois Horse of the Year, it was announced Thursday by John Bauman, president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation.
Lotta Kim overcame a rough journey Sunday to notch her first career stakes victory, winning the $100,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Sunday at Fair Grounds.
Trainer Hal Wiggins holds a strong hand in Sunday's $100,000 Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds, entering a pair of strong contenders in Lotta Kim and All Electric.
Saturday's Phil Georgeff Illinois Festival of Racing brought out some great performances from horses that figured. Five of the six winners were favorites.
Grand Hombre has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $400,000 Indiana Derby (gr. III) Oct. 4 at Hoosier Park. Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando is second choice at 5-2 in a field of 11 scheduled to compete in the 1/16-mile feature at the Indiana racetrack.
For the second time in three years, trainer Gene Cilio was the standout of the Prairie State Festival, saddling two winners in the six-race extravaganza for Illinois-registered horses.
Godolphin Racing's Sharp Impact remained perfect in his brief career with a 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes Saturday at Arlington Park.
Phoebe Mueller's 8-year-old gelding Chorwon earned his seventh career stakes win and his first in a graded stakes, winning the 1 1/2-mile, $300,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Sunday at Kentucky Downs.
Former trainer Don Wiggins died Saturday morning at Hermann Hospital in Houston after suffering a fall in the back yard of his home on Friday.
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