Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's Irish Prize, trained by Neil Drysdale and winner of three straight graded stakes, will carry top weight of 122 pounds as he heads a potential field of perhaps six for Saturday's grade I, $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap. For raw excitement, Sunday's grade II, $250,000 San Diego Handicap could rival last Sunday's Bing Crosby showdown between Kona Gold and Caller One.
Point Given, winner of the Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) earlier this year, continued his quest toward the Aug. 5 Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) with a six-furlong drill Wednesday morning at Del Mar.
Buster's Daydream has some serious momentum going into the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course. But the going will get tough when he takes on five rivals, including Heavyweight Champ, Draw Play, and Proud Citizen, in Thursday's $100,000 Sanford.
The return to competition of 2000 champion 2-year-old Macho Uno and the grade II Schuylerville for juvenile fillies highlight Wednesday's opening-day card at historic Saratoga Racecourse in upstate New York.
A rash of longshot winners at Del Mar Saturday created a pick six carryover of $219,478 heading into Sunday's card at the seaside track. The carryover marks the third straight Saturday the pick six has not been hit at a Southern California track.
Tiznow clocked a sharp :48.60 for four furlongs Friday morning over Del Mar's main track in his preparation that trainer Jay Robbins hopes will lead to a run in the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap at a mile on Sunday, September 2.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Point Given, winner of two jewels of the Triple Crown this year, has been assigned highweight of 124 pounds for Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational (gr. I) to be run Aug. 5.
On Thursday, adorned with "sunglasses" protecting his sensitive eyes, the 10-year-old gelding John's Call jogged and galloped at Atlanta Hall Farm in Maryland in preparation for his seasonal debut Sunday at Delaware Park.
Headed by Eclipse Award sprinter Kona Gold, a field of six swifties was entered Friday morning for Sunday's 56th running of the grade II, $200,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap at 6 furlongs on the main track.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced 1.23 million mystery mutuel vouchers worth $4.3 million, including a $1 million grand prize, have been mailed to consumers. The vouchers are redeemable for cash on July 28 at participating racetracks and OTBs. A second mystery mutuel voucher promotion is slated for Nov. 23.
Happyanunoit, who was being pointed to the July 21 Ramona Handicap (gr. I), has instead been retired due to an injury to an ankle ligament.
Saratoga will offer full-card simulcasting for the first time in its 133-year history. Patrons will be able to wager on all the races from Monmouth Park when Saratoga's 36-day meet starts July 25.
Multiple graded-stakes winner Tranquility Lake will be the one to beat when the gates spring open for Saturday's 44th edition of the grade I, $400,000 Ramona Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on Del Mar's Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The number of 1 1/2 mile dirt races in America for quality horses can be counted on one hand. Saturday's $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks, the final leg of New York's Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies is run at this majestic distance, just like its male counterpart, the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Del Mar's 2001 meet opens Wednesday with the Oceanside Stakes serving as the opening-day feature. A profusion of entrants for the one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds led the track to split the race into two divisions.
No perfect tickets for Saturday's pick six at Hollywood Park generated a carryover of $180,091 for Sunday's pick six at the Southern California track. A $170,673 carryover heading into the July 8 Hollywood Park card resulted in a $227,613.40 payout for each $2 bet on the winning combination from a pool of $916,646.
Gaviola has seen her share of bad luck in her past few outings, but the 4-year-old daughter of Cozzene is looking to change that in Saturday's $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Dream Supreme, who was widely regarded as the nation's best sprint filly as a 3-year-old last year, leads the nine-horse field for Saturday's $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course.
Six 3-year-olds, including Kentucky Derby veterans Congaree and Jamaican Rum, have been entered for Sunday's $500,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Secret Status, an allowance winner at Keeneland in her first start after a layoff, is slated to contest the July 22 Delaware Handicap (gr. III) at Delaware Park.
The interactive wagering field continues to grow, with Bloodstock Research Information Services the latest player in the online gaming industry.
Hollywood Park's pick six returned $227,613.40 for each $2 bet on the winning combination Sunday from a pool of $916,646.
The full sister of Riboletta and War Chant's half-sister will face each other while making their racing debuts on Wednesday at Hollywood Park.
Carl J. Odegaard's Northern California-based 3-year-old Hoovergetthekeys, winless since taking the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) in March, will ship to Hollywood Park to face Congaree in the $500,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. I) on July 15.
A pick six carryover of $170,673 was generated at Hollywood Park Saturday, following a string of double-digit winners in the races that comprise the wager. A carryover of $691,095 heading into Wednesday's Hollywood Park card resulted in a total pool of $3,586,980.
Point Given had his first breeze on Saturday since his dominating performance in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last month. With the Bob Baffert stable's top exercise rider, Dana Barnes, in the saddle, the son of Thunder Gulch went a half-mile at Santa Anita Park in :47 3/5, according to clockers, though Baffert timed Point Given in :48 1/5.
Trainer Joe Orseno, who is looking forward to big second half of the year, sent out Red Bullet, Macho Uno, Thunder Blitz, and Milwaukee Brew for solid works Saturday morning. Red Bullet, last year's Preakness winner who has not run since the Dwyer Stakes due to a cracked cannon bone, worked five furlongs in a sharp 1:00 3/5 with jockey Jerry Bailey aboard. The son of Unbridled came home his final quartter in :23 4/5 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 1/5.
Buckle Down Ben enters Friday's $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows from June's third leg of the Triple Crown, the grade I Belmont Stakes, where he finished seventh off the lead from Point Given.
G. Watt's Humphrey's 5-year-old bay mare, Royal Fair, will try for her fourth win in Friday's $125,000 Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows.
The $100,000-added Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs has seemed to be little more than coronations for heavy favorites such as eventual juvenile filly champion Silverbulletday and multiple stakes winners Chilukki and Gold Mover. But that's not the case for Saturday's five-furlong race, which has attracted a wide-open field of eight with no clear-cut favorite.
Since 1997, trainers Christophe Clement and Bill Mott have each racked up 15 stakes a piece on the Belmont Park turf. And each will enter Saturday's $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont looking to break the tie. Clement will bring Forbidden Apple and Mott will bring King Cugat for the 1 3/8 mile event.
It will be student versus teacher in the $100,000 Bel Air Handicap at Hollywood Park when trainer Richard Baltas and Freedom Crest meets the Richard Mandella-trained Out Of Mind. Baltas assisted Mandella for 1 1/2 years before going out on his own.
With a record one-day pick six carryover of $691,095 at Hollywood Park, this Fourth of July could become the financial independence day for some lucky horseplayer. The track estimates Wednesday's pick six pool could approach $3 million.
Songandaprayer will face City Zip as the 122-pound co-highweight in Wednesday's Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III), the third race on Monmouth Park's 10-race holiday card. The six-furlong sprint marks the first race for Songandaprayer since finishing 13th in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Include and Albert the Great got well acquainted in the May 12 Pimlico Special (gr. I), when Include held on to a neck victory. They renew their rivalry Sunday at Belmont Park in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at 10 furlongs.
The TV Games Network became available today to 40,000 Comcast cable television subscribers in the Baltimore metropolitan area. It is the first time TVG has been available on a cable system outside Kentucky.
Neil Drysdale trainee Irish Prize is likely to go highweighted in the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) July 4 at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old Irish River gelding has been setting off fireworks throughout 2001, with three graded stakes wins from four starts.
A son of 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy, Indygo Shiner captured the Jefferson Cup Stakes last out at Churchill Downs June 9. He is owned by Jane and F. Lyon and Lacombe Racing Stable, and is conditioned by Elliott Walden, who saddled Hawk Attack to win the 1995 Arlington Classic. Indygo Shiner ran well to finish fourth in the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico in May.
Galileo and Golan, one-two finishers in the Epsom Derby (Eng-I), will square off Sunday in the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I). Galileo, conditioned by Aidan O'Brien, has four wins from four starts after posting a 3 1/2-length victory in the Epsom Derby. He is being pointed toward Belmont Park and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Classic (gr.-I) in October. Galileo is a son of Sadler's Wells.
Millionaires Lazy Slusan and Gourmet Girl, two of the country's leading distaffers, renew their rivalry Saturday in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Despite the defection of Kentucky Oaks winner Flute, Saturday's $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park remains strong with 10 fillies vying to capture the middle leg of the "Triple Tiara."
Mockingbird Farm's Exciting Story will return to action Saturday at Woodbine in a one-mile allowance event over the E. P. Taylor Turf Course. The start will be his first since winning the May 28 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Trainer Pico Perdomo expressed confidence that Gourmet Girl will be ready for a top effort in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8-miles Saturday at Hollywood Park despite an 11-week hiatus since her last race.
The state's Racing and Wagering Board is moving to end entries being coupled as common betting interests in the biggest New York races, including the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the Breeders' Cup.
James Tafel's Unshaded worked five furlongs in 1:01 over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Tuesday in preparation for the July 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park.
Captain Steve got the go-ahead for the July 1 Hollywood Gold Cup with a five-furlong work in 1:00.20 at Santa Anita Park Tuesday morning. He was one of four Gold Cup hopefuls to work Tuesday.
The upcoming mixed meet at Prairie Meadows will feature a reduced pari-mutuel takeout and a new pick four wager with a 12% takeout rate. The changes were approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Trainers of Captain Steve, Skimming, Aptitude, and Futural -- the four leading contenders for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) -- will send their charges out Tuesday morning for their final major preparations for the 1 1/4-mile race.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux will return from a 10-week stint in Japan to ride at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Included in Desormeaux's four mounts on the card is Astra, the Santa Barbara Handicap winner who will carry 121 pounds in the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IT).
Beautiful Pleasure, the champion older mare of 1999, will make her first start of the year in Saturday's grade I Hempstead Handicap at Belmont Park where the 6-year-old mare will face seven rivals in the 1 1/16 mile contest, including stablemate Darling My Darling. Beautiful Pleasure races for John Oxley while Darling My Darling races for his wife, Debby Oxley, both are trained by John and Donna Ward.
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