Bidding for an Eclipse Award as 2001 Turf Champion, Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal will be a solid favorite to capture Hollywood Park's grade II, $500,000 Citation Handicap on Saturday before shipping to Asia to compete in the $2.3-million Hong Kong Cup on Dec. 16.
Top turf sprinter Morluc was to have prepped at Churchill Downs Thursday for a run next month in the $1.025 million Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin Race Course, but trainer Randy Morse scratched him because of concern over the presence of the temporary rail on the Churchill Downs turf course.
Val Royal, winner of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship Mile in his last start Oct. 27 at Belmont Park, will run in the $500,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park Saturday, trainer Julio Canani confirmed.
Atelier, a solid fourth last out in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), will carry high weight into the grade II, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap Friday at Aqueduct. A good field of nine will face the starter.
Racing secretary Bob Umphrey reports that leading jockeys Jerry Bailey, Pat Day, and Jorge Chavez have committed to ride at Calder Race Course on Dec. 8, Grand Slam I Day, a program that will have four stakes races worth $100,000 each.
If you're looking for major contenders in Friday's 127th renewal of the historic Clark Handicap (grade II), simply follow the money. And when you follow that trail, you don't have to take many steps until you run into Gander.
Yonaguska, winner of the Hutcheson Stakes and Sport Page Handicap this year, drew the rail as 11 horses were entered for the Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. II) that highlight's Thursday's Thanksgiving Day card at Aqueduct.
A dozen of the game's top sprinters and middle distance runners have one more dance penciled in on their 2001 calendar - Saturday's $350,000 Cigar Mile, the last grade I race in New York this year.
Pimlico Special winner Include will be the starting highweight for Friday's 127th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap. Meanwhile, two more Churchill Downs-based horses have joined the list of prospective starters for the Clark. Mary and Gary West's Ubiquity, trained by Bill Mott, and Jim and Pat Bohanon's Trion Georgia will contest the race.
Six candidates for next Sunday's grade I, $500,000 Hollywood Derby, including Startac, worked on the Hollywood Park grass Sunday.
Spook Express, the probable favorite for the $500,000 Matriarch next Sunday, worked an easy half mile on the Hollywood Park turf course in :50.60 under regular rider Mike Smith.
The United States will have a strong contingent of seven horses at this year's Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) invitational races at Tokyo racecourse next Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24-25, including horses trained by Hall of Fame conditioners Jonathan Sheppard, Neil Drysdale, Richard Mandella, and Robert Frankel.
Spain, who won the 2000 edition of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and came within a head of repeating that feat this year, worked a sharp :59 4/5 over five furlongs in her final preparation for Thursday's $250,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
On Parade, one of the most highly anticipated fillies in years, will go for her second consecutive victory when she heads a field of six drawn for the grade III, $75,000 added Valley Stream at Aqueduct Sunday.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, already odds-on to win his second consecutive Eclipse Award, will attempt to draw further away from his peers by starting up to nine horses in Hollywood Park's Turf Festival Nov. 23-25. In fact, he may corner the field in the Grade I Hollywood Derby, run for $500,000 at nine furlongs, by sending four horses to the post. Likely for the Nov. 25 Derby are Juddmonte Farms' Mizzen Mast, Amerman Racing's Blue Steller, Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran, and the Niarchos Family's Denon.
Trainer Dallas Stewart confirmed that Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Unbridled Elaine is bound for the Falls City Handicap (gr. III) after a strong Thursday morning workout at Churchill Downs.
The $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, to be run March 2, will be the richest of the 61 stakes races offered during the 2001-02 Santa Anita Winter/Spring Meeting that begins Wednesday, Dec. 26. The 85-day meeting, which concludes April 21, features 43 graded races and total stakes purses of over $11-million.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who sent out Yougottawin to upset Officer in the California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park, hopes to make more noise in the 2-year-old division this weekend at Hollywood Park.
The final days of the Fall 2001 Meet at Churchill Downs will highlight championship caliber racing, with stakes winners dominating each of the remaining four added-money contests.
Headley & Molasky's Kona Gold heads a field of seven in the $300,000 grade I Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on Saturday. Eclipse Award honors in the sprint division hinge on the outcome.
Dr. John Chandler's Cetewayo and Rose B. Cerullo's Williams News are expected starting highweights Saturday for the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds and up. The 11- furlong race is the final graded turf stakes in New York this year.
Derby fever, in November? Heck, why not. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner is tucked away somewhere in Ireland, and until word surfaces from the usually tight-lipped Coolmore people, he will remain out of sight in winter hibernation. Whether or not a full-grown grizzly bear is going to emerge next year, and whether he's going to come back here looking for more easy pickins we won't know for a while.
Grade I winner Delaware Township will be headed to stud following the Nov. 17 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel.
The horse affectionately referred to as "The Bus" due to his slow morning works will not start in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs later this month. Instead, Guided Tour -- the winner of four grade II races this year -- will begin his trip to Saudi Arabia Monday where he will be prepared for a start in the Jan. 11 King's Cup.
Main track stars Guided Tour and Keats have provided much of the firepower for Niall O'Callaghan in the finest season of his training career, but one of the early stars this year, Tijiyr, is set to make a comeback in Sunday's $150,000-added River City Handicap (grade III) at Churchill Downs.
The Television Games Network can legally handle account wagers in Maryland, according to the state racing commission.
Like it has since it was created in 1970, the Colonial Cup will help determine the steeplechase Eclipse Award. The $100,000 stakes, to be run Nov. 18 in Camden, S.C., attracted 11 nominations including most of the major contenders for the year-end championship.
Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal worked three furlongs in :36 at Hollywood Park on Thursday in preparation for a possible berth in the Citation Handicap (gr. IIT) on Nov. 24.
The final open turf stake of the year for fillies and mares in New York usually draws a large field and Saturday's 45th running of the grade II, $150,000 Long Island Handicap is no exception. A full field of 13, plus two for the main track only, has been entered.
Lido Palace, winner of the grade I Whitney and Woodward, will make his next start in the $2.3 million Japan Cup Dirt on Nov. 24, trainer Bobby Frankel confirmed Thursday morning. Frankel also will send Turf Classic winner Timboroa for the Japan Cup, to be run on the turf the following day.
The fall/winter Tropical-at-Calder meet is revving up with the first winter arrivals from the north coming in daily in the weeks ahead. Saturday's features are the $60,000 Lulu's Ransom Stakes and $60,000 Fabulous Frolic Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and colts, respectively, at one mile on turf.
Michael Cooper, majority owner of Tiznow, said Monday the two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner definitely will not run in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 23. Cooper also said plans for Tiznow are up in the air, and no firm decision has been made whether the colt will race again next year.
Queensland Oaks (Aus-I) winner Ethereal is the 4-1 morning-line favorite for Tuesday's two-mile Melbourne Cup (Aus-I), in which the hot Godolphin stable have two horses entered.
A possible showdown between the two most recent Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winners will not take place in the $250,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. III) on Thanksgiving at Churchill Downs as 2000 winner Spain will be pointed toward the $150,000 Bayakoa (gr. II) on Dec. 15 at Hollywood Park.
Bobby Frankel's mouth began to water as soon as he heard that two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow was being considered for the $400,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23. Suddenly, visions of an Eclipse Award for Lido Palace flashed through his mind.
Millennium Wind, unraced since an 11th-place effort in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), makes his return to the track in today's $74,000 Skywalker Handicap over a flat mile at Santa Anita. The Cryptoclearance colt captured the grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland by a front-running 5 1/4 lengths under Laffit Pincay Jr., who shows up on his back again today.
Five-time graded stakes winner Mystic Lady leads a field of six postward in the 1 1/16 mile, $200,000 Honey Bee Handicap at The Meadowlands Friday night. The Thunder Gulch filly annexed the Cotillion (gr. II) in her last start and the Jersey Derby (gr. III) earlier this year at Monmouth. Mystic Lady will carry Eibar Coa and 122 pounds for conditioner Mark Hennig.
Red Oak Stable's Strolling Belle is the highweight for Saturday's grade III, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm at Aqueduct. The 5-year-old daughter of Strolling Along won the Personal Ensign at Monmouth before being disqualified from second in her last outing, the Long Look at the Meadowlands, when jockey Eibar Coa struck a rival with his whip.
Trainer Jay Robbins is considering the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23, rather than the grade I, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 1 for Tiznow's next start.
In a surprise move, trainer Bob Baffert on Wednesday entered Officer, beaten favorite in last Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), in Saturday's $125,000 California Cup Juvenile.
Godolphin's Street Cry returns from a seven-month layoff to face six other 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) on Wednesday's opening day card at Aqueduct.
The top three finishers from the Breeders' Cup Turf and Classic winner Tiznow head a list of horses invited to the Japan Cup and Japan Cup Dirt that will be run at Tokyo Racecourse the weekend of Nov. 24-25.
Globeform editors are picking Aptitude to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Breeders' Cup Daily Notes
Racing fans will be able to hone their handicapping skills for Saturday's 18th Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park as five graded stakes are contested Friday afternoon.
The $150,000 Fayette Stakes (gr. III) will drop the curtain on Keeneland's 2001 fall meeting. Nine colts and geldings to take the post in the nine-furlong event, which will be headed up by Pin Oak Stable's Broken Vow.
You can handicap the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races all you want, and you're still going to come away befuddled. There's simply too many good horses who can win, and very few horses with major weaknesses who can be dismissed. What we're going to attempt is to point out longshots who might be huge overlays, and horses who have impressed us with their training and their appearance.
A Mexican subsidiary of simulcast service provider Racing Services of Fargo, N.D., is creating an international online wagering service. The Global Pari-Mutuel Network will be created with a subsidiary of Orbis Development, which handles electronic financial transactions for banks and merchants worldwide.
Jerry Bailey is the only jockey with a mount in all eight World Thoroughbred Championships races Saturday. And that's OK with him for some not-so-obvious reasons.
A day after the World Thoroughbred Championship races are run, Belmont Park will give away a free photo of the Breeders' Cup Classic winner to fans attending the races. ... Also, Breeders' Cup simulcasting and advance wagering information as well as other track promotions.
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