On Wednesday, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) responded to criticism about its Monday appointment of Ellen McCalin as president and Kenneth Handal as secretary by issuing the following statement:
Trainer Doug O'Neill said Wednesday that a horse will win the elusive Triple Crown again and that I'll Have Another might be the right horse in the right situation to complete the sweep.
Regular rider Julien Leparoux will return to the saddle for Daddy Nose Best's attempt in Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
Fillies and mares, both equine and human, will be in the spotlight for the third consecutive year on Friday as The People's Pink Party takes over Pimlico Race Course.
Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister galloped 1 1/2 miles after the morning renovation break over a fast track Tuesday at Churchill Downs under exercise rider George Alvarez.
Rather than take I'll Have Another out to exercise on a wet track Tuesday morning, trainer Doug O'Neill opted to keep the Kentucky Derby winner under cover and out of the heavy rain falling at Pimlico, where he is set to run in Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
HOLLYWOOD PARK NOTEBOOK
Wavertree Stables (Ciaran Dunne), agent, consigned the top two offerings at Monday's Barretts May Two-Year-Old in Training Sale in Pomona, California. Heading the leaderboard was a Master Command colt who sold for $300,000 to Brett Lindenbaum, agent, after touring the ring as Hip No. 9.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has hired Kenneth V. Handal as acting general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer.
Monday morning brought significant developments regarding the Preakness field. While Bodemeister was confirmed for Saturday's middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Hansen, Hierro and Isn't He Clever all passed on a trip to Pimlico.
The Albaugh Family Stables LLC's Cozzetti indicated his readiness for Saturday's Preakness by working a bullet five furlongs in the Churchill Downs mud in :58 4/5 Monday.
The world's top-ranked horse, Frankel, makes his eagerly-anticipated reappearance in Saturday's Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and is likely to be joined in the field by stablemate Bullet Train. He will act as pacemaker for Sir Henry Cecil's brilliant and unbeaten colt who confirmed his well being with a good piece of work at Newmarket on Saturday.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien on Monday paraded Group 1 Derby favorite Camelot at a media morning organized by Epsom Downs Racecourse and Investec at his Ballydoyle Stable in County Tipperary and is counting down the days until the premier classic on June 2. O'Brien is chasing a third Derby victory following success with Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002).
Peter Fuller, who waged an unsuccessful four-year legal battle to get his homebred colt Dancer's Image re-instated as winner of the 1968 Kentucky Derby, has died. Bloodhorse.com reported that Fuller died Monday at age 89 after a lengthy illness.
Friday's Black-Eyed Susan undercard at Pimlico features a stellar edition of the Grade 3, $300,000 Pimlico Special Stakes as well as three sprint stakes in the lead-up to Saturday's 137th running of the Preakness Stakes.
Hudson River Stable's Arcadius spearheaded a sweep of Saturday's Grade 1, $150,000 Iroquois Steeplechase for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, but the elation soon turned to devastation at Percy Warner Park as the winner fatally collapsed.
Mamma Kimbo, In Lingerie and Oaks Lilly were all originally scheduled to contest the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks last Friday, but for various reasons none of the trio made it to the starting gate. Instead, they are part of a nine-strong field entered for the Grade 2, $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes scheduled for this Friday, one day prior to the Preakness Stakes, at Pimlico.
Edward R. Brown's Dhaamer looked like the horse to beat going into Sunday's $72,950 Round Table Stakes at Hollywood Park, and the even-money favorite more than fulfilled expectations with a smashing 4 1/2-length victory. Under patient handling by new rider Joel Rosario, the Mike Mitchell trainee was anchored near the back of the pack before making rapid headway on the final turn, and blowing the race open down the stretch. The five-year-old gelding, who was making just his third American start, looms as an exciting new addition to the Southern California turf ranks.
John C. Oxley's Dixie Strike returned to winning form with an impressive rally up the rail to overtake Tu Endie Wei in Sunday's Grade 3, $279,833 Selene Stakes, at Woodbine.
Already an internationally experienced rider that has practiced his trade in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, jockey Luis Jurado announced Sunday that he will leave the Calder riding colony by month's end to embark on a three-month riding tour through Macau on the Chinese coast.
In the week since Reddam Racing's I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby, trainer Doug O'Neill has been a gracious celebrity, taking part in many interviews, making appearances and posing for photos. Before his colt went to the track Sunday morning, O'Neill changed roles to a fan, happy to be able to chat with Ron Turcotte, Secretariat's jockey.
Sagamore Farm's Tiger Walk was shipped from Kevin Plank's nearby farm in Glyndon, Maryland, to Pimlico Race Course Sunday morning for a half-mile workout in preparation for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
With more than an inch of rain in the Louisville, Kentucky, area and more coming down Sunday morning, trainer Dale Romans opted to postpone a work for Preakness Stakes contender Cozzetti and instead sent the colt out for a 1 1/2-mile gallop after the renovation break under exercise rider Romero Cordache.
Jockey Inez Karlsson, who became a mother for the first time last July, has decided to put her jockey career on hold -- at least for Arlington's 2012 season -- to pursue the rewards of motherhood.
Heart of Destiny, second in last October's Grade 1 Alcibiades and most recently fourth in the Grade 1 Ashland, both over Keeneland's Polytrack, heads a field of 14 fillies entered in Thursday's 8TH race at Churchill Downs and trainer Jimmy Baker is hopeful the race will set her up for the Grade 3 Regret Stakes on June 16 under the Twin Spires.
Stay Thirsty, who marked himself one of the leading three-year-olds of 2011 in winning the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga Race Course, will make his four-year-old debut Thursday at Belmont Park in the $90,000 Vanlandingham, a 1 1/16-mile overnight stakes scheduled as the day's third race with an approximate post of 1:54 p.m. (EDT).
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Currency Swap captured the $83,300 You and I Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday in wire-to-wire fashion. Sent off as the nearly 3-2 favorite, the Teresa Pompay trainee completed the seven-furlong contest in 1:22 2/5, winning by three-quarters of a length over the fast dirt. Jockey Rajiv Maragh was aboard to guide the High Cotton three-year-old to his second stakes victory and first win of 2012.
Brereton Jones and trainer Larry Jones opted to bypass the Kentucky Derby with dual Grade 2-placed Mark Valeski and the move paid off as the Proud Citizen colt scored his first stakes win in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park. Jockey Rosie Napravnik, who piloted the Jones duo's Believe You Can to victory in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, was aboard as Mark Valeski finished nine furlongs on the fast track in 1:48 1/5.
In a reprise of the Grade 2 San Vicente earlier this year at Santa Anita, Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman's Drill rallied to deny American Act in Saturday's Grade 3, $98,000 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park. The Bob Baffert trainee thus reaffirmed his status as a seven-furlong specialist, moving his record to three-for-three at that distance.
Dale Romans has been training horses for more than 25 years. He has saddled more than 1,500 winners, his runners have earned nearly $70 million and his long list of graded wins include such prestigious races as the Group 1 Dubai World Cup and Preakness Stakes.
First-time starter Aberfoyle Mill scored a front-running victory in Woodbine's 1ST race on Saturday, becoming the first North American winner sired by multiple Grade 1 star Street Boss.
On a sunny Saturday morning at Pimlico, trainer Doug O'Neill was very enthusiastic about Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another's chances of winning the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, next Saturday's $1 million Preakness Stakes.
Peachtree Stable's Mamma Kimbo, undefeated in two starts and winner of the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes in her most recent outing, worked a bullet five furlongs at Churchill Downs in :59 3/5 in preparation for an anticipated start in Friday's Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.
Preakness week unofficially started Saturday morning at Pimlico Race Course with the running of the "Down the Stretch for SGK" Preakness 5K. All 643 runners began the race by breaking off through the starting gate. The entire 3.1 mile race took place on Pimlico property, which included one trip around the dirt course, finishing in the famed Infield.
Australian phenom Black Caviar extended her unbeaten sequence to 21 with another risibly easy victory Saturday, cantering home by a measured 1 1/4 lengths in the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville. Now the planet's top-ranked sprinter will indeed take on the world in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot June 23.
Jerry Crawford, managing partner of Donegal Racing, announced Friday that Dullahan, the two-time Grade 1 winner and third place finisher in this year's Kentucky Derby, will race next in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
"I'm looking for energy and for him to maintain his stride. He has such a long stride. He continues to keep that," O'Neill said. "He's got great energy and a great appetite. Those are the basic things I'm looking to maintain."
Trainer Larry Jones revealed Friday that he will likely point Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can to Belmont Park's Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes, run at 1 1/16 miles on June 23.
The longest Grade 1 steeplechase in the country, the $150,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois over three miles, will be renewed Saturday at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tennessee. Seeking an unprecedented third straight win in the Iroquois is Tax Ruling, a nine-year-old son of the recently deceased Dynaformer.
Pluck, a sensational last-to-first winner of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, will enter stud at Vinery Australia for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere breeding season. Standing alongside his sire, More Than Ready, he will serve for a fee of A$11,000, including GST (goods and services tax).
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.