Multiple grade 1 winner and last year's Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) third place finisher Forever Unbridled is scheduled to return after seven months in the $200,000 Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs June 17.
Trainer Phil Sims would just as soon have the Turtle Bowl gelding keeps things simple on June 17 by duplicating the same effort in Saturday's $200,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G2T) at Churchill Downs that earned him the victory in the test one year ago.
Swagger Jack, a grade 1-winning son of two-time leading sire Smart Strike, saw his first winner June 11 when Swagger Strike drew off to a 2 3/4-length victory in the fifth race at Camarero Race Track.
McCraken, who went from highly thought of to an afterthought after losses in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), looks to get his confidence back in the Matt Winn Stakes.
Gun Runner is set to make his first start since finishing second to champion Arrogate in the March 25 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1), and looms as the overwhelming favorite in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1).
- By Steve Haskin
To set the stage for Hansel's Belmont victory, one must go back to Churchill Downs, where the colt had thrown in an inexplicably bad performance in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 10th after looking like a winner at the top of the stretch.
Trainer Manny Azpurua, a fixture on the South Florida Thoroughbred racing scene since 1980, died June 13 at Florida Medical Center.
In a court-approved settlement, the operator of the handicapping contest site DerbyWars will pay at least $500,000 to tracks owned by The Stronach Group, which filed suit in December of 2015.
Florida-based freshman sire Corfu picked up his first winner June 13 when I'm Corfu delivered a front-running victory in a five-furlong race June 13 on the all-weather track at Presque Isle Downs.
Tapit—North America's leading sire three years running—didn't get a chance to run in the Belmont Stakes (G1), but his presence in the American classic race certainly has been felt the last few years.
Topped by a First Dude colt bought by his breeder for $400,000 on behalf of a racing partnership he heads, the Ocala Breeders' Sales' 2-year-olds and horses of racing age sale began on a strong note June 13.
Lazy Lane Farm's Hansel, winner of the 1991 Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) and subsequently Eclipse Award winner as champion 3-year-old colt that season, was euthanized June 13 due to the infirmities of old age. He was 29.
Belmont, Mohegan Sun Metropolitan, Woodford Reserve Manhattan, Ogden Phillps, Acorn, Longines Just A Game, New York, Woody Stephens, Brooklyn Invitational, True North, Belmont Gold Cup Invitationals, Jaipur Invitational and more.
The timing couldn't be better for three consignors with colts sired by Gainesway's leading sire Tapit entered in the June 14 second day of the Ocala Breeders' Sales 2-year-olds and horses in training sale.
Undefeated grade 1 winner Mastery has been retired after arriving at Claiborne Farm June 12, according to representative Bernie Sams. The 3-year-old son of Candy Ride (ARG) will begin stud duty at the Kentucky operation in 2018.
Horseman Bruce D. Anderson secured the 1,000th training win of his career June 12 when his homebred Sisters for Ever rallied from last in a field of eight to win the sixth race at Finger Lakes racetrack.
Always Dreaming (16 first-place votes; 347 points) the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner who did not run in the Belmont Stakes was voted the best 3-year-old by the media.
When Ocala Breeders' Sales begins its two-day 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age sale June 13, a half brother to champion Classic Empire and two sons of Scat Daddy will be among the horses to watch.
In a footnote to the official chart, Equibase will recognize both Miss Inclusive and Eighth Wonder as the winners of the 2016 Parx Oaks.
Voador Magee's victory in the Grande Premio Brasil gives the Brazilian-bred a all expense paid berth to the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1).
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys' Gun Runner put in a half-mile work June 12 in his final preparation for the June 17 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs.
The fourth annual fundraiser benefiting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund was held June 3 at Parx Racing.
In her fourth start, and first outside of Santa Anita Park, Gary Hartunian's Chalon impressed in a stacked Jersey Girl Stakes for 3-year-old fillies June 11 at Belmont Park.
In a late charge, Stronach Stables' homebred Holy Helena stormed down the middle of the Woodbine stretch to defeat 11 others by a length in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser June 11.
Unraced since November 2015, grade 1 winner Big Macher returned a winner in Santa Anita Park's $100,000 Thor's Echo Handicap June 11 for trainer Richard Baltas.
Claiborne Farm's freshmen sire Orb had his first winner June 11 when Earth won in his debut at Gulfstream Park.
- By Steve Haskin
Tonalist...Frosted...Creator...Tapwrit. If not for Triple Crown winner American Pharoah defeating Frosted in 2015, Tapwrit would have been Tapit's fourth consecutive Belmont Stakes winner.
With Ocala Breeders' Sales scheduled to close out the 2-year-olds in training sale season June 13-14, it will mark the end of a robust year that has seen across-the-board success for pinhookers and sales companies.
Tired but good was the official declaration of how Tapwrit was doing Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after his two-length victory in the final leg of the Triple Crown.
Claire Novak pays a visit to Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit and checks in on the status of several other Belmont contenders including Irish War Cry, Patch, Gormley, Senior Investment, and Hollywood Handsome.
While the scratch of Epicharis (JPN) impacted the amount of money wagered, the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G1) June 10 at Belmont Park still became the first United States classic simulcast into Japan.
Tapwrit with Jose Ortiz wins the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRABets (G1)
Total handle for the Belmont Stakes day card June 10 at Belmont Park was down 5.8% to $93,666,832 although handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival increased 1.6% to $124,740,193.
Claire Novak recaps the Belmont Stakes, where Tapwrit ran down Irish War Cry to become the third Belmont Stakes winner sired by Gainesway's Tapit, and trainer Todd Pletcher's third Belmont Stakes winner as well. Also an update on Hollywood Handsome.
Comments from the connections of 2017 Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit, including trainer Todd Pletcher.
Odds-on favorite Believe in Bertie did all of the work in the $100,000 Old Forester Mint Julep Handicap (G3), but was unable to hold off a late surge from Dona Bruja (ARG) in the final strides.
With an inside trip just off favored Irish War Cry, Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Robert LaPenta's Tapwrit angled out late in the final turn under jockey Jose Ortiz and kicked well clear of the rest in the 1 1/2-mile classic.
In his graded stakes debut off back-to-back wins, Ascend proved up to the class upgrade when he scored a clear victory in the $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes (G1T) June 10 at Belmont Park.
When the hard-knocking Mor Spirit earned a 6 1/4-length win in the $1.2 million Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap (G1), it marked the fourth victory on the day for Bob Baffert and fifth triumph for Mike Smith.
Santa Anita Park's stewards issued jockey Kent Desormeaux an official warning June 10 for his controversial actions during a workout May 28 at the Southern California racetrack.
Juddmonte Farms' Antonoe announced her presence with a tremendous run in the $700,000 Longines Just a Game (G1T) June 10 at Belmont Park.
American Anthem left his field in arrears as he scored a powerful victory in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes, giving his trainer Bob Baffert a third win on the Belmont Stakes card
For a second straight year a Patricia Generazio homebred not only won the Jaipur (G3T) but set a course and North American record in the process when Disco Partner rallied to a half-length victory in the turf sprint June 10 at Belmont Park.
A filly from the first crop of sprinter Poseidon’s Warrior and an Astrology filly posted bullet works June 10 as Ocala Breeders’ Sales concluded its under tack show in preparation for next week’s 2-year-olds and horses in training sale.
In her 2017 debut June 10 at Belmont Park in the $750,000 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1), Fox Hill Farm's 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro was challenged in the turn by Paid Up Subscriber.
Abel Tasman, winner of the May 5 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), put on another last-to-first showcase when she shot up the rail and withstood a challenge from Salty to capture the $700,000 Acorn Stakes (G1).
War Story made the last run, passed frontrunning favorite Tu Brutus and Sunny Ridge late, and took the 12-furlong Brooklyn Invitational (G2) June 10 at Belmont Park.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert brought West Coast to the East Coast ready to rumble, and the son of Flatter impressed like a 9-5 choice should June 10 in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park.
Claire Novak with news updates on Belmont Stakes day morning on June 10, 2017, at Belmont Park.
With the first two classic winners of 2017 skipping the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (G1) and a pair of hopefuls not making the race, the big-event approach to the day by the New York Racing Association could prove key June 10.
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