Jump Start: Kauto Star, with Ruby Walsh up, jumps an open ditch Feb. 16 at Ascot in England.
Photo: GEORGE SELWYN
Horse of the Year Curlin arrived in Dubai the evening of Feb. 17 with “pep in his step,” in the words of assistant trainer Scott Blasi, and seems eager to begin an assault on Cigar’s all-time earnings record with two starts at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse topped by the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29.
Photo: ANDREW WATKINS
The New York Racing Association has unveiled its logo for the 140th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). “This year’s Belmont Stakes logo pays tribute to Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the third leg of the Triple Crown in 102 years,” said Gavin Landry, NYRA’s senior vice president of sales and market development. “With the 2008 logo, we hope to establish the new tradition of honoring the previous year’s Belmont Stakes winner by incorporating the owner’s colors into the next year’s event logo.”
Street Sense, whose $75,000 fee is the highest for an incoming stallion this year, has covered his first mare. Standing at Sheikh Mohammed's Darley near Lexington, Street Sense was bred to Minister Wife, a grade II winner and graded producer owned by Darley.
Champion Winning Colors, winner of the 1988 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), was euthanized Feb. 17 following complications from colic at Hagyard Davidson McGee vet clinic near Lexington. The 23-year-old Caro mare, who was in foal to Mr. Greeley at the time of her death, was buried at Greentree Farm, a division of Gainesway Farm near Lexington.
Fierce Wind, making his stakes debut, rated nicely in the backstretch, took the lead as they straightened away, and held off two rivals in the final yards to take the $200,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes by a half-length Feb. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Photo: Tom Cooley
Halo Najib, one of Zayat Stables' 11 Triple Crown nominees, swung out four wide heading into the stretch and then rolled to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 colts and geldings division of the Darely OBS Championship Stakes Monday afternoon in Central Florida. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, the 3-year-old chestnut son of Halo's Image notched his second career victory, remaining undefeated on synthetic surfaces.
Photo: Louise E. Reinagel
The horses come down the final stretch in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 16.
Under jockey Alex Solis, Surf Cat was able to take advantage of a pace duel between Greg's Gold and favored Johnny Eves. He finished fast from the middle of the track under strong urging after Greg's Gold had edged away from favored Johnny Eves leaving the eighth pole.
Surf Cat is still seeking his first grade I win. He came closest when beaten by a head in last year's Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) by Bilo at Hollywood Park. His second San Carlos win, worth $90,000, increased the Kentucky-bred Sir Cat horse's earnings to $795,420. The always consistent dark bay has an overall record of 8-5-1 in 16 starts. He won for the first time in four tries on a synthetic surface.