One year after London Bridge became the first New York-bred to win a race at the Breeders' Cup World Championships, horses bred in the Empire State are securing spots with an eye toward doing more damage at this year's event.
New York-bred Palace, formerly a $20,000 claimer, earned his first grade I victory for owner Antonino Miuccio and trainer Linda Rice in the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I) Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.
The $1.5 million Whitney (gr. I) (Aug. 2)--the richest race this summer at Saratoga Race Course--has attracted a robust field of likely starters, topped by last year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, Palace Malice.
Clearly Now returned to the winner's circle in blazing fashion July 5, setting a track record for seven furlongs when taking home the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. II) by open lengths at Belmont Park.
However you feel about California Chrome (and let's face it, emotions are running hot right about now), in handicapping this race, you must move beyond whatever rooting interest you have and stick to the basics.
Dads Caps, a front-running sprint specialist who won the April 5 Carter Handicap (gr. I), tops the nine-horse field of 4-year-olds and up entered for the $250,000 True North Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park June 6.
My Titania appears to be in fine fettle for the Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) May 25 at the Curragh after a slight setback forced her to miss the English equivalent earlier this month.
Sagamore Farm and Mel Paikoff's Happy My Way streaked wire to wire in the $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap presented by Jagermeister (gr. III) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course, securing his first graded stakes score.
The $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint was moved to the main track after heavy rain in Baltimore, but it made little difference to Ben's Cat, who won the event for the third time in four years May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
Lemon Drop Dream and Action Andy are co-highweights at 115 pounds for the Maryland Sprint Handicap, with Lemon Drop Dream entering the race off a victory in the Count Fleet Sprint H. (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Palace, who became a graded stakes winner in his most recent start, heads a field of six sprinters entered in the $100,000 Gravesend Handicap, which will be contested at six furlongs Dec. 21 at Aqueduct Racetrack.