Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. This week's topics include European Breeders' Cup Classic prospects, Big Brown's run in the Monmouth Stakes, and more.
- By Tracy Gantz
Oak Tree's opening day, Sept. 24, brought sweltering temperatures back to Southern California, almost as if by design to test the new Pro-Ride synthetic surface. The surface heated up, but after the day's six races over it (the other three being on turf), reviews were generally optimistic.
Front-running California Flag drew away in stunning fashion to register a 22-1 surprise in track record time while winning the $112,500 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) over Santa Anita's hillside turf course on opening day of the 40th Oak Tree Racing Association meet.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Four of Starsburg's top progeny were sired by Mr. Prospector-line stallions, so going back to this sire line when choosing a mate for Starsburg's unraced daughter Our Seattle Slew seemed like the right move. It was, having produced Seattle Smooth, who beat the top-rated sophomore filly Proud Spell in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II).
A refreshed Wait a While returns to one of her favorite turf courses as the horse to beat in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) on the turf at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet Sept. 27.
Two-time grade I winner Street Boss puts his five-race winning streak on the line when he takes on seven tough sprinters in the $250,000 Ancient Title Breeders Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27.
Fairbanks, who enters off a resounding stakes victory at Saratoga last month, heads a field of seven older horses in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 27, all of them hoping to establish themselves as a Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender.
Tattersalls Ireland's two-day yearling sale ended significantly down at the close of business Sept. 24.
Multiple grade II winners Out of Control, Red Giant, and Spring House head a field of seven entered for the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet Sept. 27.
Lear Fan, who stood at the Beck family's Gainesway Farm near Lexington, died July 7 of natural causes.
The first three finishers of the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) have passed the entry box for the Sept. 27 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I). The two-turn, $250,000 race for 2-year-old fillies at the Oak Tree meeting figures to be a key prep for next month's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Team Valor's 4-year-old King of the Roxy has been retired from racing. The sprint specialist took the Futurity Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park at 2 and the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park at 3.
Unbeaten Zenyatta will be looking for career win No. 8 when she takes the gate for the Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The California-based runner will face four rivals, including grade I winner Hystericalady, in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Gold Mark Farm's Proud Jefe hasn't started yet around two turns, but his two wins around one make him the one to beat in the Sept. 27 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. III), worth $100,000, at 1 1/16 miles. The Proud Citizen colt is the only one in the field of eight with as many as two wins.
On Sept. 27, Honest Man will tell trainer Larry Jones if he is ready for prime time, as he makes what could be his final Breeders' Cup prep in the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. He will take on five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile test on Polytrack.
The New York Racing Association announced Sept. 24 the current composition of its 2008 board of directors. Ten of 11 governmental appointments to the board have been made and all 14 NYRA elected seats have been filled.
United States District Court Judge Michael Watson granted the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's motion for partial judgment on the pleadings in its lawsuit versus the Ohio State Racing Commission, Beulah Park, River Downs, Chester Downs, and others.
Before trainer Larry Jones saddles Honest Man in the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Saturday, he will send out multiple graded stakes winner Maren's Meadow in the Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III).
Longacres Mile (gr. III) winner Wasserman has been turned out at Coal Creek Farm in Enumclaw, Wash., and won't race in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, (IEAH Stables), owners of 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown, will donate a percentage of winnings of all IEAH starters in next month's Breeders' Cup World Championships to Breeders' Cup Charities.
- By Ryan Conley
While signal distribution at racetracks continues to be a hot topic in the horse racing industry, that doesn't appear to be the case at Hawthorne Race Course, which opens its meet Sept. 26.
- By Ryan Conley
Cushion Track Footing and affiliated defendants have indicated in a recent court filing that they may countersue certain defendants in the federal lawsuit over Santa Anita Park's original synthetic surface.
- By Esther Marr
Blogging and other Web-related topics were given some of the highest priority during the Sept. 22 sessions of the well-attended National Thoroughbred Racing Association Marketing Summit at Las Vegas' Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa.
Curlin t-shirts will be on sale Sept. 27 at Belmont Park when the reigning Horse of the Year attempts to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup(gr. I) and become the first American horse to surpss $10 million in earnings.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, in conjunction with the New York Racing Association, announced that the Sept. 27 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park will be televised live on ESPNEWS.
The Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing hopes to have the framework for a plan to create an equine drug-testing laboratory in Kentucky in place by the end of this year.
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