Blue Grass, Ashland, Madison, Carter Handicap, Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Oaks, Queen Elizabeth, Oka Sho, Gazelle, Royal Heroine, Shakertown, Wood Memorial, Transylvania, Providencia, Excelsior, Disftaff H., Commonwealth, Bay Shore and more.
Isabelle de Tomaso's Irish War Cry has settled back into his Fair Hill base in good condition following his victory in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Irish War Cry put doubts to rest April 8 in the $750,000 Wood Memorial Presented by NYRA Bets (G2), clearing Battalion Runner by open lengths to rebound from his lackluster performance last out.
Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes in North America. This week we have massive stakes cards at Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park built around three top Triple Crown preps.
What is already a successful comeback by any definition could take a storybook twist when jockey Rajiv Maragh pilots grade 2 winner Irish War Cry in Saturday's Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2).
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Trainer Graham Motion views the April 8 Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack as Irish War Cry's opportunity to convince him his presence in the first leg of the Triple Crown is necessary.
In preparation for their next start in the Wood Memorial (G2) April 8, Todd Pletcher trainees Battalion Runner and Bonus Points both worked April 2.
Isabelle de Tomaso's homebred grade 2 winner Irish War Cry, back on familiar ground at the Fair Hill Training Center in Fair Hill, Md., continued preparations for his next start with a six-furlong breeze over the main track April 2.
M M G Stables' Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) hopeful El Areeb will miss his scheduled start in the Wood Memorial (G2) as well as the Derby because of a bone chip in his right front knee, trainer Cal Lynch said March 30.
The Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (G2) winner returned to the work tab March 25 after running seventh in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), putting in five furlongs in 1:01.10 at Palm Meadows Training Center.
With an eye on returning to New York for the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack, M M G Stables' dual grade 3 winner El Areeb breezed March 23 at his Laurel Park base for trainer Cal Lynch.
Add the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1 at Gulfstream Park to the list of Triple Crown preps being considered for M M G Stables' impressive 3-year-old El Areeb, a winner of his last four races including back-to-back graded stakes.
The Wood Memorial (G2), which was downgraded from its prior grade 1 status for 2017, had its purse lowered to $750,000 this year but remains the highlight of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.
- By Steve Haskin
There have been many, myself included, who were shocked by the Graded Stakes committee's decision to downgrade two of the most historic Kentucky Derby preps, the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass Stakes, from grade I to grade II.
While the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack will be downgraded from grade I to grade II races next season, don’t expect an immediate impact on horsemen’s Triple Crown plans or field quality.
In a dramatic reshaping of graded status of 2017 Triple Crown prep races, the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association has downgraded the Toyota Blue Grass and the Wood Memorial from grade I to grade II.
While only a small number of maidens have won the Derby (gr. I), and Trojan Nation would be the first in 80 years if he pulled it off, Gryder has faith in him and the confidence the colt gained in the Wood.
Dan Tordjman and friends bet a Pick Four that included the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). Learn how to organize your notes, when you should pick favorites, and how to put together a ticket with a group. Watch Video
Repole Stable's Outwork, winner of Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 9, returned from his efforts in fine fettle and likely will be one of two representatives trainer Todd Pletcher's barn for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Repole Stable's Outwork needed every ounce of energy he had left April 9 to win the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack over longshot Trojan Nation.
In addition, it will also air the Equine Forum, its weekly talk show, on Saturday and provide live coverage of the Commonwealth, Shakertown, and Madison from Keeneland in its three-hour broadcast.
NBCSN will present an April 9 telecast of the key classic preps with coverage of the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) from Aqueduct, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) from Keeneland, and the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Shadwell Stable's homebred Bernardini colt could step up in a big way in the April 9 Wood Memorial (gr. I), New York's final stepping-stone to the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With Uncle Mo taking the Kentucky Derby trail by storm this year, it's only natural for Mike Repole to want a piece of the action. read blog
Tale of S'avall's last bid to make the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is through New York.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Shagaf and Jerome Stakes (gr. III) winner Flexibility will both start in the $1 million Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 9 Aqueduct Racetrack, trainer Chad Brown said April 2.
Rontos Racing Stable's Social Inclusion has been retired, according to owner Ron Sanchez. Stud plans are pending for the Pioneerof the Nile colt, who was graded stakes-placed on three occasions in 2014.
The New York Racing Association has announced the stakes schedule for the 2016 winter and spring meets at Aqueduct Racetrack
Frosted returned to the track Aug. 14 for his first serious work since running second in the Aug. 1 Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga, breezing 4f in :51.25 on the main track in preparation for the Aug. 29 Travers (gr. I).
Godolphin Racing's Frosted is will challenge Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6, the colt's trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, announced Thursday.
- By Lenny Shulman
- Thoroughbred Racing, Thoroughbred Breeding, Triple Crown, Northeast Region, Kentucky
Phil Birsh likes nothing more than getting off a fast one-liner, often at his own expense, but his good-looking New York-bred Tendencur needs to be taken seriously in the Run for the Roses.
Peter Beagle wrote in The Last Unicorn, "Great heroes need great sorrow and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale." read blog
Which race did you think was more impressive, Dortmund's Santa Anita Derby win or American Pharoah's Arkansas Derby victory? Which favorite should be the favorite? Listen Now
Foolish Pleasure, whose champion freshman campaign had been the equal of any other, emerged in between Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed. Read the full feature in the April 11, 2015 issue of Blood-Horse. view slideshow
Keeneland, Santa Anita Park, Aqueduct, Turf Paradise, Carpe Diem and More. View Slideshow
J. Keeler Johnson recaps the Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial, and Blue Grass Stakes. read blog
Frosted's two-length Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 4 win put him among top contenders for the Kentucky Derby.
Godolphin Racing's Frosted punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands with a clear victory in the $1 million TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday, April 4 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
- By Claire Novak
The transcript for the chat is now available. Read Transcript
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial, and Blue Grass Stakes. read blog
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin believes he's corrected several of the colt's issues and is expecting a big effort April 4 in the 1 1/8-mile race, Frosted's last chance to make the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Todd Pletcher-trained Withers (gr. III) winner will undergo surgery for left hind condylar fracture sustained in March 28 workout at Palm Beach Downs.
"Since he ran at Churchill, he really started to change... it's amazing how this horse has kept going forward, while braving the brutal winter we had," Tonja Terranova said of Wood Memorial contender El Kabeir.
Grade I King's Bishop winner The Big Beast and defending Carter Handicap winner Dads Caps turned in final preparations March 28 for the April 4 Carter, while 3-year-olds tuning up for the Wood Memorial were also on the tab.
Upstart, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) and disqualified from first in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), breezed six furlongs at Palm Meadows March 13. Frosted and Imperia also worked.
Zayat Stables' El Kabeir came out of his convincing win in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) in fine fettle and will be aimed for the $1 million Twinspires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 4 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Minority interest in Withers Stakes winner Far From Over sold to James Covello and Sol Kumin's Madaket Stable.
- By Steve Haskin
This was a time of filled grandstands and of sound and healthy horses, most of whom were coming off much-needed vacations of their own. read blog
The $1 million Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) will be supported by 13 other stakes worth an additional $2.3 million when racing moves to the main track April 1 for Aqueduct's 19-day Spring Showcase meet.
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