Next year, Saratoga will go back 150 years to celebrate the birth of Thoroughbred racing at the Spa, with technology and activities that could never have been imagined when Saratoga racing was founded in 1863.
The Arlington Handicapping Challenge (AHC), a series of innovative, live-money handicapping contests, returns for the 2012 live meet, with the first contest slated for May 26.
Trainer Buff Bradley admits to not remembering the early days of every horse foaled on his Indian Ridge Farm near Frankfort, Kentucky; however, Bradley certainly remembers the birthday of Grade 1 Humana Distaff winner Groupie Doll.
Trainer Doug O'Neill took a red-eye flight from California to watch I'll Have Another on the track at Pimlico Race Course Thursday morning and, in a matter of minutes, his Preakness-bound colt made the overnight trip worthwhile.
Team Valor International and Mark Ford's Went the Day Well jogged and galloped in a field Thursday morning at Fair Hill Training Center near Elkton, Maryland.
Jason Shandler and Tom LaMarra handicap the Peter Pan Stakes and quickly review the Kentucky Derby. watch video
A little more than a week removed from an historic victory in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks aboard Believe You Can, jockey Rosie Napravnik will guide potential favorite Mark Valeski in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan for three-year-olds at Belmont Park. The 1 1/8-mile test is often used as a springboard to the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in the Triple Crown, which is scheduled for June 9.
Monmouth Park, a storied name in American Thoroughbred racing, will open for the 2012 season on Saturday under the auspices of Darby Development LLC, the management company representing the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
Members of trainer Doug O'Neill's staff liked what the saw Wednesday morning when Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another made his first trip to the track at Pimlico, the site of his next start, the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes on May 19.
Kathleen Kelly has been named Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior for the 137th Preakness Stakes. Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior will serve as the official Preakness ambassador at all events leading up to and including the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another was settled into his new home in Barn D at Pimlico Tuesday morning as the focus has shifted toward the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes on May 19.
Arlington Park continues in its efforts to promote fan education with a series of 16 "Learn to Win" seminars to be held in the track's Park area during the 2012 season that began May 4.
HOLLYWOOD PARK NOTEBOOK
Reddam Racing's I'll Have Another boarded a van at Churchill Downs at 1:19 p.m. (EDT) Monday for the first leg of a journey to Pimlico Race Course, where his quest for a sweep of the Triple Crown will resume in the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes on May 19. Following a flight from Louisville International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. arrival, the 2012 Kentucky Derby champion will be provided an escort to Barn D on the Pimlico backstretch by the Baltimore City Police Department.
Grade 1 winner Toby's Corner (Bellamy Road), third in both the Grade 2 New Orleans and Grade 2 General George this year, breezed five furlongs in 1:03 over the fast track at Fair Hills on Saturday.
Three potential candidates for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 19 worked Monday morning over the fast main track at Churchill Downs.
The Breeders' Cup announced Monday that Robert N. Elliston, President and CEO of Turfway Park since 1999, has been named Chief Operating Officer of Breeders' Cup Ltd.
And this latest victory also marked a notable hat-trick for the handler, with Able One, his 2007 hero, having taken the spoils in 2010 ahead of Xtension's back-to-back wins. Moore, the winning-most trainer in the Champions Mile's 11-year history, is now considering overseas targets with the game five-year-old.
"The highest of the highs," trainer Doug O'Neill said Sunday morning of the emotions that winning Kentucky Derby 138 with I'll Have Another brought.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien completed a Guineas double at Newmarket Sunday, not with hot favorite Maybe, but with unheralded 25-1 shot Homecoming Queen. Unlike stablemate Camelot, who had to fight from off the pace for Saturday's Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas, Homecoming Queen ran her rivals ragged on the front end in Sunday's Group 1 One Thousand Guineas and romped by nine lengths.
Both of Saturday's Grade 3 turf winners at Belmont Park were said to be doing well at their respective barns Sunday morning, with Phipps Stable's Boisterous resting comfortably after taking the $150,000 Fort Marcy, and Phillips Racing Partnership's Winter Memories basking in the glow of her $150,000 Beaugay victory.
It was a record-breaking 138th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby as a crowd of 165,307, the largest in history, gathered on a beautiful day at Churchill Downs to watch Reddam Racing LLC's California-based I'll Have Another rally to defeat favored Bodemeister and win the roses that go to the winner of America's greatest race.
Dullahan, who just failed to reach Bodemeister when finishing a neck behind in third in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, is on the fence to run in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 12.
Chadds Ford Stable's Union Rags was "bright" Sunday morning after his troubled seventh-place finish in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
Team Valor International and Mark Ford's Went the Day Well sported a cut on his right front ankle suffered during his fourth-place Kentucky Derby finish that "didn't seem like a big deal" to trainer Graham Motion, who reported that his colt otherwise "seemed fine."
Trainer Bob Baffert said his two Kentucky Derby runners, Bodemeister and Liaison, came out of Saturday's at Churchill Downs race in good shape.
Take Charge Indy will undergo surgery this week to remove a bone chip in his left front ankle, an injury he sustained during the running of Saturday's Kentucky Derby. Trainer Pat Byrne said that the injury is not career threatening and that the colt could be back under tack in about 60 days.
Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and Risen Star runner-up Mark Valeski arrived at Belmont Park from Kentucky Sunday afternoon in advance of his next start in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan.
Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy, who finished a tailed-off 19th in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, will be sent for X-rays after showing signs of a problem during his cooling-out period.
Multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Student Council got off the mark as a freshman sire Saturday, as Private Tutor was awarded the 6TH race at Pimlico. Following objections lodged by Private Tutor's rider Wesley Ho, and by Horacio Karamanos aboard Hamp, the stewards ruled that the first-past-the-post Video Storm caused interference entering the turn. Video Storm was demoted to fourth, and Private Tutor thus became the official winner.
Morning Line successfully opened the new Southern California phase of his career in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at Hollywood Park, rolling to a front-running victory for new trainer John Shirreffs. Formerly a smart performer for Hall of Famer Nick Zito, the son of Tiznow had been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery last August, but had been trained to the minute for his comeback.
Jockey Eddie Castro gained 2,000th North American win as Phillips Racing Partnership's Winter Memories captured an easy victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay Stakes at Belmont Park. The odds-on favorite charged to the lead with ease passing the sixteenth pole, then was geared down for the final 70 yards, taking the victory by 2 1/4 lengths.
Ridden by Javier Santiago for trainer Chris Grove, Pretension broke alertly in the 1 1/16-mile test but relinquished the lead to My Adonis as the field entered the first turn. Santiago kept after the favorite, pressing him closely to the top of the lane, where his mount edged to a narrow lead. The son of Bluegrass Cat battled My Adonis into defeat, while Brimstone Island rallied past the favorite to take second.
The Romans-trained Silver Max had likewise dominated Friday's Grade 2 American Turf, and earlier Saturday, Shackleford landed the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes. Little Mike made it a hat trick, one race before Dullahan would represent the barn in Derby 138.
Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Senorita Stakes at Hollywood Park took a tragic turn when Bobnia crossed under the wire a nose winner only to break down seconds later. The Malibu Moon sophomore miss suffered injuries to her right fore fetlock and had to be euthanized on the track, according to the Daily Racing Form.
Trainer Buff Bradley had his Bowman's Band filly Groupie Doll cranked to run a huge race Saturday in the Grade 1, $334,500 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs. Not only did Groupie Doll emphatically beat some of the nation's best older filly and mare sprinters, she set a new track record doing so.
Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's unbeaten Camelot lived up to his reputation with a battling victory in Saturday's Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket, fueling already heady hopes that he could be European racing's next superstar. Bred more for the Group 1 Epsom Derby than this straight mile of the season's first British classic, the Aidan O'Brien pupil relished the fact that it turned into a test of stamina, as he stayed on strongly to outduel Gallic invader French Fifteen.
After an eventful 24 hours, jockey Rosie Napravnik returned to Belmont Park Saturday afternoon with her first Grade 1 victory and a bit of racing history in tow.
Emory A. Hamilton's homebred Hungry Island had been no match for Marketing Mix in their past two meetings, but gained sweet revenge in Saturday's Grade 2, $223,400 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day. Perhaps enjoying the overnight rain that left the turf officially rated good, the Shug McGaughey trainee picked up well down the stretch to run down Tapitsfly, leaving favored Marketing Mix back in a lackluster fourth.
Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge's homebred Shackleford has made eight starts since taking the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico last May, but hadn't been able to score in that time until Saturday when gutting out a length victory in the Grade 2, $441,600 Churchill Downs Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard.
Unbeaten world champion Frankel proved that he's come through his recent injury scare with flying colors, as the Juddmonte Farms homebred looked like his sparkling old self in a racecourse gallop Saturday.
A history-making 138th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Friday concluded with record total wagering, near-record attendance of 112,552 and an historic victory by jockey Rosie Napravnik, who rode Brereton C. Jones's Believe You Can to victory to become the first woman to win America's premier race for three-year-old fillies.
After lagging farther off the pace than usual in the early stages of Saturday's Grade 3, $150,350 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs, Houyhnhnm Stable's Great Attack turned in an explosive rally in the final furlong and passed 3-2 favorite Bridgetown in the final strides to secure the win by three parts of a length in the five-furlong test. The 4-1 third choice in a field of 12, Great Attack returned $10.80, $4.60 and $3.60.
Broadway's Alibi was doing fine Saturday morning after her second-place finish behind Believe You Can in Friday's Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Stable manager Anna Ford reported that the three-year-old daughter of Vindication will ship to Belmont Park on Sunday.
Brereton Jones' homebred Kentucky Oaks heroine Believe You Can came out of the race in great shape, trainer Larry Jones said while accepting congratulations at his barn early on Kentucky Derby Day.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik became the first woman rider to win the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on Friday when piloting Believe You Can to victory over a stubborn Broadway's Alibi at Churchill Downs. The race was delayed a half-hour after a powerful storm blew through the area, but the delay apparently didn't affect the Proud Citizen filly, who finished 1 1/8 miles over the fast track in 1:49 2/5.
The two wagering favorites dominated Friday's Grade 3, $110,000 Eight Belles for three-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs, with even-money choice Contested taking over from pacesetter Good Deed at the three-sixteenths pole and drawing away to win by 4 3/4 lengths. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert and campaigned by his wife, Jill, Contested returned $4.20, $3 and $2.80.