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, Kentucky, West Region
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.
Larry Best went to $1.5 million to land an Uncle Mo filly out of Flowers Athefinish March 1 at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale.
New Mexico's hopes for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1)—for now, at least—appear to run through Judge Lanier Racing's Conquest Mo Money.
Firmly landing himself prominently on the charts as a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), the $200,000 Keeneland September 2015 purchase now looks to make a hit out of his sophomore debut, the Risen Star (G2).
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.
Stakes winner and 2016 Preakness Stakes (G1) pacesetter Uncle Lino has been retired from racing to stand stud at Northview PA in Peach Bottom, Pa., according to trainer and co-owner Gary Sherlock.
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.
It appears Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs have another speedy colt ready to hit the Triple Crown trail.
The Keeneland January horses of all ages sale came to an end Jan. 13 with across-the-board declines for the auction that was bereft of quality offerings.
The second session of the Keeneland horses of all ages sale Jan. 10 had more vibrancy than did the opener, but at the end of the day the results were the same, with significant declines in all key categories.
If Mike Ryan’s instincts are correct, an Uncle Mo short yearling the agent selected for $370,000 on behalf of Key Palm Stable at the Jan. 10 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale will prove to be a bargain.
- 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.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Arthur's Tale||Thomas Albertrani||
|Be Bullish||David Jacobson||
|Calibrachoa||Steven M. Asmussen||
|Duca||D. Wayne Lukas||
|Fastus Cactus||Naipaul Chatterpaul||
|Full of Scoundrels||Naipaul Chatterpaul||
|Have You Ever||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Independence War||Bruce N. Levine||
|Isn't He Perfect||Eugene Reiff||
|Kensei||Steven M. Asmussen||
|Laysh Laysh Laysh||Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.||
|More Than a Reason||Randi Persaud||
|Norman Asbjornson||Carlos A. Mancilla||
|Preachintothedevil||Gary C. Contessa||
|Son of Posse||Janis L. Gerace||
|Starship Caesar||Bisnath Parboo||
|Sunrise Smarty||Michael E. Hushion||
|Toby's Corner||H. Graham Motion||
|Uncle Mo||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Yawanna Twist||John Parisella||
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