"Between :49 and :50." That has become your standard instructions by a trainer to his rider prior to a horse's final work for the Belmont Stakes. Gone are the days when trainers would work their horse at least seven furlongs, more likely a mile or even a mile and an eighth for the grueling "Test of the Champion."
Gary Stevens, the Hall of Fame jockey who hung up his tack in 2005 with over 5,000 wins and earnings exceeding $221 million, opened a California-based training operation June 1.
Vincent O'Brien, widely acknowledged as the greatest European trainer ever, died June 1 at the age of 92 at his home in Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Opening day at Colonial Downs comes a week earlier this year when live racing returns June 5. The following day, Colonial Downs will be open for the first time ever on the same day as a Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Tim Ice will scale new heights, literally, when he visits the Empire State Building for the first time June 2. Figuratively, Ice, the conditioner of Summer Bird, hopes to reach the zenith of his burgeoning training career in the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6.
Charles Town Races & Slots will offer purse incentives in certain races with seven or more starters effective June 6 in an effort to increase field size.
The Breeders' Cup announced June 1 it has selected The V Foundation for Cancer Research as its primary non-profit beneficiary for the 26th running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Chocolate Candy put the finishing touches on his preparations for the June 6 running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), with a final breeze at Belmont Park June 1.
A More Than Ready colt brought Aust$240,000 (approximately $192,422 in U.S. funds) to top the second session of the Magic Millions national weanling sale on the Gold Coast of Australia June 1. Perth horseman Joe Byrne bought the colt on behalf of his Singapore-based client Ong Tiong Seng.
An exuberant Calvin Borel expressed confidence that Mine That Bird will win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) after working the diminutive gelding a half-mile in :50 on a warm, sunny June 1 morning at Churchill Downs.
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