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.
The grade I-winning son of Mineshaft is being syndicated for 50 shares and will stand for an introductory fee of $10,000.
The grade I-placed winner will be the first son of Pioneerof the Nile to stand in Florida.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys' Gun Runner handily defeated older horses to earn his first grade I victory Nov. 25, turning back longshot Breaking Lucky for a gate-to-wire score in the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Noble Bird, the horse who has had a most fitful relationship with consistency, brings some of his best recent form to the table in the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25.
Arrogate came roaring down the Santa Anita Park stretch to catch champion California Chrome in the final strides.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens will send out a pair of horses as he tries to win the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) for the first time and secure the third Breeders' Cup win of his career Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park.
The grade I-winning son of Pleasant Tap out of the same family as Nyquist will stand for $4,000.
Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Arrogate logged his final tune-up ahead of the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) with a smooth-as-could-be half-mile workout Oct. 31 at Santa Anita Park.
With three horses across the track at the eighth pole, Hoppertunity forged to the lead late to secure a half-length victory in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Oct. 8 at Belmont Park.
We tend to forget or simply overlook those hard-knocking, consistent horses, who do not possess the talent of the major stars, but still show up every time.
While this year's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I) lacks superstar power, the field of six older horses is an interesting mix of consistent veterans and less consistent types who have at times flashed talent.
Tom's Ready roared past last year's male sprint champ Runhappy to win the one-turn mile Ack Ack Stakes (gr. III) Oct. 1 at Churchill Downs. The son of More Than Ready got the trip in 1:34.86.
Shaman Ghost, Mubtaahij, Effinex lead cast
Juddmonte Farms' Arrogate cruised to his third straight victory in Southern California Aug. 4 at Del Mar and may be heading east for the Aug. 27 Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Jerkens cannot help but recall his father's Hall of Fame career throughout the prestigious summer meet.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Whitney Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Tri-Bone Stables' Effinex defended his title in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) July 9 at Belmnont Park, but he had to grind all the way to the wire to do so.
The Stars and Stripes Festival, part of the July 9 Belmont Park card, features two grade I turf races and three other graded stakes races, and is expected to feature Effinex and Catch a Glimpse.
Effinex looks to rebound and reclaim his title July 9 in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park, while Eagle aims to break through after two consecutive runner-up efforts in graded stakes.
Joseph Sutton's Bradester fired his best shot June 18 to earn his first grade I victory in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
On the night of June 18, Effinex will continue the ride of a lifetime for breeder and veterinarian Dr. Russell Cohen when he competes in $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Claire Novak, Ellis Starr, and Tom LaMarra preview the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) featuring Effinex, Are You Kidding Me, Eagle, Bradester, and International Star. Sponsored by Equibase.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Central Banker||Albert M. Stall, Jr.||
|Effinex||James A. Jerkens||
|Golden Ticket||Kenneth G. McPeek||
|Harpoon||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Kristo||John W. Sadler||
|Los Borrachos||William I. Mott||
|Noble Moon||Leah Gyarmati||
|Sahara Sky||Jerry Hollendorfer||
|Saturday's Charm||David Jacobson||
|Social Inclusion||Juan Carlos Guerrero||
|Strapping Groom||David Jacobson||
|Uncle Sigh||William I. Mott||
|Wicked Strong||James A. Jerkens||
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