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.
Pacesetter Strapping Groom, a $35,000 claim in May, captured the Forego Stakes (gr. I) in a 15-1 upset Aug. 31 at Saratoga Race Course, surging in the final strides to edge Jackson Bend on a sloppy track.
Scratched by trainer Dale Romans from the Forego Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 1 because of a persistent cough, Shackleford now will be pointed toward the $400,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. II), a one-mile race Sept. 29 at Belmont Park.
Favored Emcee earned the first graded victory of his career for Godolphin Racing and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, bursting away from the field in the final furlong to take the $500,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 1 at Saratoga.
Shackleford is scheduled to enter stud at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington following the 2012 racing season. But before he becomes a stallion, the 4-year-old son of Forestry still has plenty of work to do.
Lonesome Street and jockey Joel Rosario took advantage of a hotly contested early pace to rally from last to first for a decisive victory in the $175,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland April 14.
Comedero and Right One are the only two graded stakes winners in the $175,000 Commonwealth (gr. II), but the Polytrack form of Bergerac and Plutonium also make them factors in an evenly-matched field of seven April 14.
Hollywood Hit, Canada's defending champion sprinter, will try for his third stakes win this year as he takes on five rivals in the Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-III) over Woodbine's synthetic surface Saturday, Nov. 19.
Tajaaweed may have not had the best trip in the Oct. 8 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT), where he finished sixth, but the son of Dynaformer looks poised and ready for a rebound in the Nov. 19 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT).