by Anne Peters
One could attribute the success of Kitten's Joy as a sire to the many savvy breeders who stepped out of their comfort zone to use a turf stayer, but that would be wrong.
by Anne Peters
Optimizer has been a different horse since he moved to the grass, and streaks into the March 30 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds with two graded stakes scores under his girth.
Optimizer hopped at the break of the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) but drew clear in the end, earning his second straight victory over the turf at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Feb. 23.
Optimizer went wire-to-wire in the $125,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Jan. 26 for red-hot Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won three stakes races in eight days.
Dean's Kitten, a grade II winner and a stakes winner all three years he raced, has been retired from racing after suffering a bowed tendon while being prepared for his 5-year-old debut.
Grade II winner Interactif has been retired from racing to stand at Jay Adcock's Red River Farms near Coushatta, La.
Lenny Shulman talks to owner Ken Ramsey about his Kittens, including Dean's Kitten in the Turf, Holiday for Kitten in the Turf Sprint, and Stephanie's Kitten in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, plus Headache and Pleasant Prince. Watch Video
Dean's Kitten overcame a compromised first year to claw his way to Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) contention.
Turf favorite Sarafina gets some light exercise along with Europeans Midday and Sea Moon.
Andreas Jacobs' German-bred Sanagas took over at the top of the lane and held off Tahoe Lake to win the $100,000 Sycamore Stakes Oct. 20 at rainy Keeneland.
Cape Blanco shipped across the pond from Ireland for third time to collect a grade I victory, barely outlasting a determined Dean's Kitten by a nose in the $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) Oct. 1.
Cape Blanco and Teaks North, both two-time grade I winners on turf this year, headline a star-studded six-horse field for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT).
A yielding turf was just fine with favored Cape Blanco, who registered his second straight grade I score on North American turf in style for Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 13.
Teaks North will try to jump to the top of the standings when he takes on seven rivals in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) Aug. 13 at Saratoga.
Shadwell Stable's Tajaaweed broke a seven-race losing streak and earned his first stakes win in the United States July 9 when taking over in upper stretch and scoring the $150,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Juniper Pass, winner of consecutive grade II races in California, tops a field of 10 in the $150,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 9 at Arlington Park.
Mission Approved, claimed for $35,000 two starts back and making his first start in 11 months, went wire-to-wire to pull a 21-1 shocker in the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) June 11 at Belmont Park.
Eight-year-old Awesome Gem registered his first win since last year's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) when he edged past odds-on choice Game On Dude in the lane and posted a one-length victory in the Lone Star Park Handicap.
Game On Dude, trained by Bob Baffert, and Thiskyhasnolimit, from the Steve Asmussen barn, headline the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III), the featured event on the Texas track's Memorial Day program May 30.
Donegal Racing's Paddy O'Prado put an exclamation mark on his 2011 debut with an impressive come-from-behind victory in the $200,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico Race Course May 21.
Wertheimer and Frere's Kentucky homebred Exhi had no problem returning from his six-month layoff, as he took a short field wire-to-wire in the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III) April 23 for his second graded stakes win at Keeneland.
Despite making his season debut, multiple stakes winner Exhi figures to be well-backed in a short field entered for the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III) April 23 at Keeneland.
Speedster Little Mike played the bully once again on the Gulfstream Park turf, tallying in the $100,000 Emirates Airlines Appleton Stakes April 3 for his third grade III win of the meet.
Front-running Little Mike looks for his third graded stakes win of the current Gulfstream Park season when he faces eight rivals in the $100,000 Emirates Airlines Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 3.
Master Dunker was awarded victory in the $100,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes when favored King Congie was disqualified for drifting out badly through the stretch on the turf course at Gulfstream Park Feb. 6.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Asphalt||Chad C. Brown||
|Bim Bam||Ron Moquett||
|Cat Park||Jamie Ness||
|Dean's Kitten||Michael J. Maker||
|Interactif||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Lucas Brady||Kenneth G. McPeek||
|Our Champion||J. David Braddy||
|Thunder Brew||Anthony Pecoraro||
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