An eventful and memorable spring meet at Churchill Downs that included an
attendance record for the Kentucky Derby; continued strength of "Downs After
Dark" night racing that included the first running of the Grade 1 Stephen Foster
Handicap under the lights; and weather challenges posed by severe storms,
hailstones and record heat wound to a close under the historic track's permanent
lights on Sunday.
Champion female sprinter Musical Romance endured a tough beat in last year's
Princess Rooney Handicap
when nabbed at the wire by Sassy Image, who rallied from far back while racing
near the outer rail. The Bill Kaplan
trainee will be favored to make amends in Saturday's renewal of the $400,000
dash over six furlongs at Calder, the highlight of the Miami track's annual
Summit of Speed.
Loyd "Boo" Gentry, who trained Graustark and Proud Clarion,
the 1967 Kentucky Derby winner, died Sunday in Lexington, Kentucky of heart
failure. He was 87 and lived in Stuart, Florida, and Lexington.
Breeders' Cup announces nomination
Michael J. Bruder's Guys Reward wrapped up a stellar spring meet under the
Twin Spires for trainer Dale Romans and jockey Corey Lanerie, capping off the
duo's meet leading titles with a two-length victory in Churchill Downs' closing
day feature, the Grade 2, $165,900
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another will be paraded between
races on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Marcia Cohen and trainer Steve Klesaris's Derwin's Star tracked just off the pace in Saturday's Grade 3,
Bed o' Roses
Handicap at Belmont Park before slipping between rivals on the turn and drawing
off to post an easy 3 1/2-length victory under jockey Ramon Dominguez.
Six days out from Belmont Park's Grade 2 Suburban Handicap, three leading
contenders hit Big Sandy's track Sunday morning to turn in their final breezes
prior to the 1 1/8-mile race.
Grade 2-placed multiple stakes winner Gantry, the likely favorite for next
Saturday's weekend's Grade 2 Smile Sprint at Calder took to the Miami Gardens,
Florida, track on Sunday to put in place the final piece of his preparatory
puzzle, blasting a co-bullet half-mile workout in :47 3/5.
The victory by Circle Unbroken in Saturday night's 111th running of the Grade
3 Bashford Manor had the connections of the dark bay son of Broken Vow thinking
about the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning for Churchill Downs Track Superintendent Butch Lehr began like
many others during his 45-year career beneath the venerable Twin Spires at the
home of the Kentucky Derby.
Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein's Uptown Bertie came three wide around the
turn in Saturday night's Grade 3, $200,000
Oaks at Prairie Meadows before taking command and drawing off for a 2
1/4-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux. The Steve Margolis-trained
daughter of More Than Ready was trying stakes company for the first time in the
1 1/16-mile, fast-track contest, and stopped the clock in 1:43 1/5.
Janis R. Whitham's homebred Fort Larned flashed to the front when the gates
opened in Saturday night's Grade 3, $300,000
Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap
and was never seriously threatened, recording an easy three-length victory over
the heavily-favored Successful Dan.
Travis Morgeson V LLC's Circle Unbroken easily held off Positively in
Saturday evening's Grade 3, $109,800
Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs to
post a one-length victory under jockey Jon Court.
B.J. Wright's Jeranimo turned in an explosive rally from the back to win the
Grade 1, $300,000
Shoemaker Mile by 1 1/4 lengths at Hollywood Park on Saturday. Trailing the
field entering the stretch, the six-year-old circled his rivals under Garrett
Gomez to score an 8-1 upset in a time of 1:33 4/5 on firm turf. Jeranimo paid
$19.60, $8.40 and $4.
Champion and dual classic winner Big Brown registered
his first North American winner as a freshman sire on Saturday when his juvenile
daughter Brown Eyes Blue wired the
2ND race at Churchill Downs by 1 3/4 lengths. The Dale Romans-trained miss
ran six furlongs on the fast dirt track in 1:12 1/5 under jockey Shaun
Bridgmohan to easily capture her career debut. Brown Eyes Blue has passed
through the sales ring twice, bringing $70,000 as a Keeneland September yearling
before being purchased by her current connections, Twin Creeks Racing Stables,
for $180,000 at the Keeneland April two-year-old sale.
Camp Victory registered a first top-level success Saturday when posting a
10-1 upset of the Grade 1, $250,000
Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park. Rallying from slightly off the pace, the
five-year-old gelding caught odds-on favorite The Factor inside the eighth pole
and drew off to win the seven-furlong Cushion Track test by 3 1/4 lengths in a
time of 1:22 3/5. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Camp Victory paid $22.60, $7 and $3.60.
Cheyenne Stables' Mystical Star registered her first stakes victory against a
strong field Saturday in the Grade 2, $200,000
over 1 1/4 miles of Belmont Park's firm inner turf. Seizing control with about
six furlongs remaining, Mystical Star found another gear in the stretch and
outkicked Hit It Rich and then 9-5 favorite Aruna to win by a length as the 9-2
fourth choice in a field of six fillies and mares. She paid $11.80, $4.90 and
J.W. Singer LLC's Teeth of the Dog just held a tenacious Fast Falcon in the
stretch of Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000
Stakes at Belmont Park to score by a neck on the wire.
William L. Clifton Jr.'s Kitty in a Tizzy rallied three wide rounding the
turn to reach contention with the leaders in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
Chicago Handicap before eventually taking command and scoring by a length on the
Michael Imperio and Bill Elias Stables' Silver Screamer, who raced and won
twice for a claiming tag at Saratoga last summer, landed a Grade 3 stakes in her
first attempt when taking the $105,000
Eatontown at Monmouth Park on Saturday. The gray four-year-old tracked in
second behind Marquet Madness before taking control in the stretch and kicking
clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths. The 9-2 fourth choice in a field of eight fillies
and mares, Silver Screamer returned $11.40, $5.20 and $2.80. She finished up 1
1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:40 2/5 under Jose Espinoza.
Several horses pointed toward a start in next weekend's Summit of Speed
program littered the morning worktab at Calder on Saturday, including a
half-mile breeze from Grade 2 Smile Sprint hopeful Apriority, who covered the
distance in :49 for trainer Dave Fawkes.
Due to the anticipated heat in the region and temperatures in the area
expected to reach the mid to upper 90s, Charles Town has canceled its afternoon
card for Sunday. First post for the card was scheduled for 1 p.m. (EDT).
Baby J debuted a half-length winner on Thursday at Belmont Park for retired
jockey Juvenal Diaz, but if all goes according to plan the filly will soon be
carrying somebody else's colors, the former rider said on Friday.
Several Summit of Speed hopefuls made morning workout appearances at Calder
on Friday, including a powerful half-mile move by champion female sprinter and
likely Grade 1 Princess Rooney favorite Musical Romance, who covered the
four-furlong trip in a bullet :46 1/5.
The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) is inviting restaurants to
participate in the third annual Travers 1864 Restaurant Week on August 19-23.
Reformed Racing Medication Rules would enhance Integrity of Sport
Leading three-year-old Bodemeister, a runaway winner of the Grade 1 Arkansas
Derby and a close second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will stand stud at
WinStar Farm at the conclusion of his racing career. A partnership was formed
between WinStar and the colt's owners, Ahmed Zayat and Michel & Tiffany Moreno,
who will continue to race the colt.
Trainer Mike Mitchell was diagnosed Monday with a brain tumor, according to
his wife Denise. A 17-time leading conditioner on the Southern California
circuit, the 64-year-old will undergo surgery Friday to remove it.
Many commentators said they had witnessed the best-ever renewal of Royal
Ascot when the five-day spectacular ended on June 23. With plenty of outstanding
performances on the track, it is all change in the latest standings for the 2012
Cartier Racing Awards.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Thursday that
the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held January 19, 2013, at
Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) on Thursday announced the line-up of
family-friendly entertainment and special events at Saratoga Race Course for the
Fair Grounds has boosted the purses of eight open-company races on its
2012-2013 stakes schedule released Thursday, marking the third straight year the
average stakes purse has increased at the New Orleans racetrack. Last season the
track raised purses on 19 stakes events.
Churchill Downs officials will adjust their post times and race exclusively
in the evening for the final three days of its 138th spring meet due to looming
near-record triple-digit heat in the forecast for Louisville, Kentucky. The
first race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be 6:30 p.m. (EDT).
While his connections have maintained that reigning two-year-old Eclipse
Award champion Hansen would make his next in Prairie Meadows' Grade 3 Iowa Derby
on Saturday night, it didn't stop them from spending $1,500 and dropping their
Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner into the entry box for Saturday night's
Legend Stakes at Charles Town, the featured race on the track's fifth annual
Sprint Festival program.
Belmont Park will offer a pair of Grade 2 stakes on Saturday, the $200,000
three-year-olds and the $200,000
for fillies and mares, and both races have attracted seven runners.
Successful Dan, who exits a track record-setting victory in the Grade 2
Alysheba Stakes, and champion Hansen will add star power to the festivities at
Prairie Meadows Saturday night when they line up for the Grade 3, $300,000
Handicap and Grade 3, $250,000
respectively. The Iowa track will also offer the Grade 3, $200,000
on its blockbuster program.
Little Mike will try to make it consecutive Grade 1 victories on turf when he
makes his California debut in the $300,000
Shoemaker Mile Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The Group 1, £400,000 July Cup, which takes place at Newmarket on July 14,
has 28 horses going forward following the June 26 scratchings deadline. Europe's
premier sprint, which takes place over six furlongs, was won last year in
tremendous fashion by Dream Ahead, who quickened brilliantly under Hayley Turner
to give the rider her first Group 1 success.
With weather forecasts calling for near-record triple-digit heat, officials
at Churchill Downs Racetrack have decided to cancel the track's live racing
program scheduled for Thursday.
Javier Castellano, Ramon Dominguez, Mario Gutierrez and John Velazquez were
announced Wednesday by ESPN as the four nominees in the "Best Jockey" category
of the 20th annual ESPY Awards. The ESPYS, which honor a wide array of athletes
and sports entities, will take place July 11 at the Nokia Theatre in Los
Seth Hancock of Claiborne Farm believes that horses do not need race-day
medication and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas believes that many horsemen
now rely more on furosemide and other drugs than on training and conditioning,
and they make those points and several others in a series of video testimonials
that have just been posted on the new
Moyglare Stud owner Walter Haefner has died in his native Switzerland at age
101. Born in Zurich in 1910, the renowned businessman and billionaire
philanthropist, who set up the famed Irish stud farm in 1962, bred such
luminaries as Refuse to Bend, Casual Conquest, Trusted Partner and Dress to
Union Rags recorded his first official workout since capturing the June 9
Belmont Stakes when breezing four furlongs Tuesday in :49 1/5 over the fast dirt
track at Fair Hill. It was the fifth-fastest of 15 moves at the distance.
The familiar gates of Saratoga Race Course will open five days early as the
New York Racing Association prepares to host its annual pre-season preview
party, the 32nd annual Open House. A Saratoga tradition held prior to the start
of racing season at North America's most historic thoroughbred racetrack, Open
House returns to kick off a full day of fun and attractions on Sunday, July 15,
to benefit dozens of local non-profit organizations.
Aussie sprinting star Black Caviar ran 15 pounds below her official rating in
Australia -- the equivalent of five lengths in a sprint -- when narrowly winning
Saturday's Group 1, six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.