Three of the most accomplished 2-year-olds on the grounds turned in major training moves at Churchill Downs Sunday Sept. 22 in preparation for what their connections hope will be a trip to the Breeders' Cup.
Neck 'n Neck
- Dark Bay or Brown Colt
- Born 2009
|Trainer||Ian R. Wilkes|
|Jockey||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.|
|Owner||A. Stevens Miles, Jr.|
|Breeder||A. Stevens Miles Jr.|
|Neck 'n Neck View Five-Cross Pedigree||Flower Alley||Distorted Humor|
Neck 'n Neck has sustained a sesamoid injury in his left front leg that will require surgery and sideline him for at least six months.
Potential Clark Handicap (gr. I) highweight Shackleford breezed at Churchill Downs Nov. 17; a decision will be made Nov. 19 regarding his final start. Clark contenders Bourbon Courage and Cease were also on the worktab.
Game On Dude was named the 125-pound highweight for the $400,000-added Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 23, but is not expected to run. The likely highweight could be Shackleford.
Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., winner of the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) aboard Fort Larned Nov. 3, will move his tack to Gulfstream Park this winter following the fall meet at Churchill Downs.
A. Stephens Miles' Neck 'n Neck comes from off the pace to win the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs Nov. 2.
Indiana Derby (gr. II) winner Neck 'n Neck is the 120-pound starting high weight for his first race against older horses when he headlines the $100,000-added Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs.
Already a grade III winner, Neck 'n Neck added a grade 2 score Oct. 6 when he rallied from 10th to win the $513,600 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.
Grade II winner Bourbon Courage proved an easy winner last time out in the Super Derby (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles. Now, the 3-year-old son of Lion Heart is being asked to shorten up to 1 1/16 miles in the Indiana Derby.
- By Pete Denk
Mid-Summer Derby bears little resemblance to Kentucky Derby. read blog
Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) winner Alpha was installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite in an 11-horse field drawn for the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Trainer Ian Wilkes declared Neck 'n Neck ready for the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes (gr. I) after the Jim Dandy (gr. II) runner-up breezed five furlongs in 1:00.09 at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 20 in New York.
Alpha turned in his final serious work for the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 17, while Fast Falcon also breezed. Neck 'n Neck is expected to turn in his final preparations Aug. 19 or 20.
Grade I winner Liaison figures to be Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's lone representative in the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
Unraced since a 12th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Godolphin Stables' Alpha proved his mettle off the layup July 28 when he took the $600,000 Jim Dandy (gr. II) wire-to-wire at Saratoga.
- By Pete Denk
What remains of the three-year-old crop? read blog
A deep, competitive field of eight will face off in the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) July 28 to determine who continues to the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 25.
There is some kind of solid connection among A. Stevens Miles Jr., his horses, and his hometown of Louisville. read blog
Images from the great racing on Stephen Foster Day 2012. View Slideshow
Neck 'n Neck came through with his second straight win at Churchill Downs when he captured the Matt Winn Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds by 7 1/4 lengths over Stealcase.
Before any Triple Crown talk can start, Union Rags must handle his business against eight contenders in the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 31 at Gulfstream Park.
Neck 'n Neck, reluctant to rally between horses in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) three weeks earlier, will get blinkers for the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 26 at Gulfstream Park.
The high-anticipated 3-year-old race pits the current Derby favorite, Union Rags, against two undefeated and top-class horses from the barn of leading trainer Todd Pletcher, Algorithms and Discreet Dancer.
Discreet Dancer, who set a track record for 5 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park winning his debut by 9 3/4 lengths on Dec. 3, confirmed that promise Jan. 7 as he drew clear to score by 5 1/2 lengths in an allowance test.
|Will Take Charge|
|Mucho Macho Man|
|Game On Dude|