American Lion ran the race his connections have been waiting for all season April 3, taking the field in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. III) all the way around to score by 2 3/4 lengths.
Champion Speightstown had colic surgery April 1, and WinStar Farm, where the stallion stands, reported April 2 he's "recovering well" after successful surgery.
Facing winners for the first time, WinStar Farm's Endorsement shipped to Sunland Park and Casino from Louisiana and handed Triple Crown contender Conveyance his first defeat in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) March 28.
Jonespartyofwon, the first mare scanned in foal to Colonel John, is a half sister to Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi. Colonel John is booked full for 2010.
Bloodstock specialist David Ingordo joins The Race For Education board of directors; will help commission limited edition Zenyatta prints.
Fair Grounds' $300,000 prep race attracts plenty of potential stars; gains some starters from Florida.
First runner scheduled to compete in the seventh race Feb. 14 at Gulfstream Park.
Rule looks to be the controlling pace in Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs, and his speed figures tower over the competition.
Take the Points crossed the wire first in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT) Feb. 6, but the 4-year-old colt was disqualified for interference, giving the win to odds-on choice Court Vision.
WinStar adds another Kentucky Derby hopeful in Drosselmeyer, winner of an allowance race at Gulfstream Sunday.
The top prize is two box seat tickets to this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I)and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) plus airfare and accommodations.
Many Central Kentucky breeding operations holding open houses around the five-day Keeneland January Sale (Jan. 11-15). Farms in the Ocala, Fla., area will be open around the Jan. 19-20 OBS mixed sale
For the first time, female Thoroughbreds occupy the top two spots on the list of leading North American earners in 2009, according to final statistics released today by Equibase Company.
Who cares if it's only December? You can still pretend eggnog is really a mint julep or that Santa means Santa Anita Derby or that poinsettias smell like roses or that "Jingle Bells" sounds like "My Old Kentucky Home."
Even-money choice Rule took the $750,000 Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot (gr. III) in tenacious style at chilly Delta Downs Dec. 4, winning a virtual match race with Uh Oh Bango by a neck on a sloppy track.
Jim and Susan Hill's Tizahit rebounded off a 14-length defeat earlier this month to score a one-length victory over favored Protesting in the Nov 28 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
The numbers weren't dramatically different from a year ago during the third session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, and that was good news for the Central Kentucky auction, which had experienced major declines.
The "blowback" moment came during Books One and Two of Keeneland's September yearling sale. Friday, Sept. 18, offered a bit of a respite, but consignors were busy sizing up the market and showing yearlings from Saturday and Sunday's Book Three.
Consignors at the Keeneland September yearling sale were bracing themselves for one of the most daunting auction challenges of 2009: Finding new homes for thousands of young horses at a time when the weak economy is causing buyer demand for Thoroughbreds to shrink. Buyers, meanwhile, were excited about the prospect of bargains.
George Strawbridge Jr.'s Augustin Stable and Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms were the big winners at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association National Awards Dinner Sept. 11, taking home the National Owner of the Year and National Breeder of the Year awards, respectively, at B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm near Lexington.
Well Armed, winner of the Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline (UAE-I) earlier this year, is recuperating following surgery at co-owner and co-breeder Bill Casner's farm in Flower Mound, Texas. A bone chip was removed from the 6-year-old Tiznow gelding's ankle during the procedure, Casner told Del Mar's publicity department.
Well Armed is set to make his first start since his record-setting win in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March when he runs in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Aug. 2.
Wildcat Heir, who was fast enough to win the six-furlong Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (gr. I) in 2004, is getting off to a fast start as a stallion in 2009. As of July 17, there were already 11 winners in the first crop sired by the 9-year-old Forest Wildcat horse, which stands at Brent and Crystal Fernung's Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla.
Two grade I-winning mares who were members of broodmare bands at WinStar and Claiborne Farms in Kentucky died this summer.
In the aftermath of the failed passage of the legislation that would have allowed video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks, several Thoroughbred industry members voiced their opinions on how they will survive without the extra boost to the state's purse structure and breeders' incentive programs.
Undefeated Witty, a half-sister to Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Well Armed, scored her third lifetime win when she ran down favored Carlsbad in the $100,000 Railbird Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 10.
- By Tom LaMarra
A top Thoroughbred owner said NetJets' sponsorship of jockeys in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is something that can be built upon, and that owners will work with jockeys on future endeavors.
Quality Road, who figured to be among the top choices for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will not start in the Run for the Roses, it was confirmed Monday morning by Chris Baker, farm manager of Edward Evans' Spring Hill Farm. Jockey John Velazquez will now ride Mr. Hot Stuff.
As the sun rose over Churchill Downs April 26, WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back posted a solid workout as he continues to prepare for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
WinStar Farm's Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) and second in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), is scheduled to leave Keeneland on April 24 for Churchill Downs in preparation for his next start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
This final Derby Trail column before departing for Louisville is more of a potpourri of thoughts, scenarios, angles, trivia, and a touch of nonsense.
The connections of favored Hold Me Back were gracious in defeat following the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 11 and looking forward to running their colt next in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) in three weeks. The 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway finished second, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winning longshot, General Quarters, while carrying the colors of Bill Casner's and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm, which bred the colt in partnership with Haras Santa Maria de Araras.
A day after his smashing victory March 28, record-breaking Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Well Armed was in "fantastic" condition, according to his assistant trainer.
Front-running Well Armed, under a snug hold by jockey Aaron Gryder, cut loose at the head of the straight and romped to a record 14-length victory in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 28, the final race to be run at Nad al Sheba.
WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back overcame a poor break to win the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park in his first start of 2009 for trainer Bill Mott March 21.
WinStar Farm's 3-year-old Al Khali rallied through the stretch for a three-quarter length victory under John Velazquez in a 1 1/8 mile allowance test March 6 at Gulfstream Park, moving him up in trainer Todd Pletcher's arsenal of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) candidates.
Storm Cat has been a titan among North America's commercial sires, and he added to his considerable reputation in 2008, leading all stallions based on the average price of their yearlings sold at public auction for the sixth time in his breeding career. He returned to the top following a two-year break during which he fell to second behind Danzig in 2006 and ranked third behind A.P. Indy and Kingmambo in 2007.
Court Vision surged from last in the stretch to win the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), giving jockey Ramon Dominguez a sweep of both grade I stakes on the Hollywood Park turf course Nov. 30.
Distorted Humor, who currently ranks No. 2 by North American progeny earnings, will stand for an adjusted fee of $150,000 live foal in 2009, WinStar Farm announced Nov. 25. Previously, it had been announced that Distorted Humor would stand for a fee of $225,000.
A soggy, grey Veteran's Day greeted buyers and sellers at Keeneland Tuesday, and the day's business at the breeding stock sale, while down, was actually a tad brighter than most during the 15-day auction.
Illinois Derby (gr. II) and Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Cowtown Cat has been retired from racing and will stand at Brent Fernung's Journeyman Stud in Florida for a 2009 fee of $8,000.
Leah's Secret, up against an easier field than she faced in two starts this summer, drew clear in the stretch and held off the late charge of Unforgotten to win the $170,400 Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) by a half-length at Churchill Downs Nov. 2.
The Keeneland November breeding stock sale traditionally has been a market primarily for broodmares and weanlings, but a growing segment of the auction in recent years has been horses in training.
Stablemates Colonel John and Well Armed, both pre-entered for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), turned in final works at Santa Anita Oct. 20 for trainer Eoin Harty, who reported he was pleased with both efforts.
Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms has hired Jeff Barkley as his private trainer, beginning a transition resulting from trainer Larry Jones' recent announcement that he will wind down his operation and retire.
With the prices for sale yearlings falling and world economic problems rising, many breeders are hoping to save money on stud fees in 2009. Stallion managers in Central Kentucky are expected to begin announcing the amounts they will charge soon, and several of them told The Blood-Horse they would be more likely to keep their fees the same than go down. They also plan to raise the fees for some stallions whose progeny have been performing well on the racetrack.
On Sept. 27, Honest Man will tell trainer Larry Jones if he is ready for prime time, as he makes what could be his final Breeders' Cup prep in the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. He will take on five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile test on Polytrack.
WinStar Farm's Colonel John, winner of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) by a nose at Saratoga, worked four furlongs Sept. 14 on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface in :48 4/5 for trainer Eoin Harty. The colt is headed for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 25 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.
After three days of the Keeneland September yearling sale, pensioned Overbrook Farm stallion Storm Cat was the leading sire of yearlings by average, among those with three or more sold.
In one of the most thrilling finishes in the race's 139-year history, WinStar Farm's Colonel John nosed out Mambo in Seattle to win the $1-million Travers Stakes Presented by Shadwell Farm (gr. I) Aug. 23 at Saratoga.
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