Freshman sire Speightstown (Gone West-Silken Cat, by Storm Cat) was represented by his first winner May 15 at York in England.
Churchill Downs Inc. said May 15 it reached an agreement with Maryland horsemen that will permit Calder Race Course to take Pimlico Race Course's signal May 16-17, including the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
A Repent colt was the fastest worker at an eighth of a mile May 15 during the second session of the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training at Timonium in Maryland.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale 2008 Preview Edition Data Digest is a FREE download, presented by Kirkwood Stables! An in-depth preview of the upcoming auction.
Trainer Eric Guillot has long believed that his 3-year-old Salute the Sarge is most comfortable as a late-running sprinter. After Sarge's most recent route attempt ended in a flop at Keeneland, the grade II winner returns to the short game in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track May 18.
There will be racing at other locations besides Pimlico on May 17, although most of the nation will be prone to forget it. At Belmont Park in the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II), older fillies and mares head out a mile on the New York dirt just one hour before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) goes off in Maryland.
Plans to announce a stallion deal for Preakness Stakes (gr. I) favorite Big Brown on May 15 fell through, but discussions will continue after the second leg of the Triple Crown is run May 17.
With the arrival of Big Brown and others from Kentucky and California, all the horses are at Pimlico, with the exception of Saturday arrivals Behindatthebar and Icabad Crane. This will be just an abbreviated report to set things up for Friday's column, in which we'll try to find several value plays to use in the exotics.
With regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin aboard and dozens of still and video cameras recording every step, the Big Brown galloped 1 1/2 miles May 15 at Pimlico.
Grade II winner Valbenny, one of the leading turf fillies on the West Coast last season, returns from an absence of more than eight months while making her first start for trainer Michael Matz in the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Pimlico lawn May 17.
In the wake of the tragedy that followed the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with Eight Belles' fatal breakdown, alarming statistics reflecting the percentage of those who would support a horse racing ban were revealed by a Gallup poll.
A necropsy of Eight Belles, ordered by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, found no pre-existing bone abnormalities that contributed to compound fractures she suffered in both front legs after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 3.
That Roman Emperor likes the 1 1/16-mile distance has already been proven. Whether he'll bounce back from a seventh-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (gr. I) remains to be seen. We'll find out when the Steve Klesaris trainee leads a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Seven older sprinters will try to earn their first graded stakes score May 17 at Pimlico Race Course when they do battle in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) the first of 10 blacktype races on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day.
Charles Laloggia's Officer Cherrie, the lone graded stakes winner in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies, seems to have an edge in the $250,000 Selene Stakes (Can-III) May 18 at Woodbine.
Just 14 days after saddling Eight Belles to a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Larry Jones will give a leg up to jockey Gabriel Saez and the two will take Hinkle Farms' Buy the Barrel postward in the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. II) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
Vinery Stables' Lantana Mob is the most likely choice in the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico May 17, which is why he's been assigned the high weight of 122 pounds in a nine-horse field. But several 3-year-olds looking for graded stakes-winning status could step up to provide a challenge in this Preakness undercard event.
The Maryland racing industry is throwing its support behind a campaign for slot machines, but it remains to be seen whether any racetracks would get the gambling devices should the public approve a statewide ballot measure in November.
The Alibi Breakfast is underway. A Preakness tradition, the Maryland Jockey Club offers a big spread of breakfast delights, plenty of juice and coffee, and a Black-Eyed Susan, if you're so inclined.
"The Horse," a comprehensive exhibition on the enduring bond between horses and humanity, opened at the American Museum of Natural History May 17, and will remain on view until January 4, 2009.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium sponsored an equine racing chemist workshop to foster uniformity in drug testing of the androgenic anabolic steroids from April 27-30 at the University of California at Davis.
Change may be in the wind yet again regarding upper-level Maryland Jockey Club management, but as of May 15, officials with MJC owner Magna Entertainment Corp. said there's nothing to announce.
A Kentucky Derby Day promotion facilitated by NetJets, the Jockeys' Guild, Churchill Downs, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has raised $500,000 to benefit the NTRA Charities - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Jockey John Velazquez will present the gift to representatives of the fund the morning of May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
The Jockey Club acknowledges it has limits on what it can mandate in the area of equine health and safety, but it does plan to use its new Thoroughbred Safety Committee as a "bully pulpit" to bring about change.
Grade I winner Tapit was represented by his first U.S. winner when his son Retap won May 14 at Churchill Downs in his first start.
- By Ric Chapman
Widden Stud buys Sebring for a reported AUS$30 million. The son of More Than Ready will enter stud next year.
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