Australia's unbeaten wonder mare Black Caviar returned from a two-month
holiday to dust an overmatched field in Saturday's Group 1 Robert Sangster
before a packed house of 30,000 at Morphettville. As her fans waved flags with
the color scheme of her silks -- salmon pink and black dots -- the world's best
sprinter registered her 20th straight win, breaking the Australasian record for
a winning streak at metropolitan (as opposed to bush) tracks.
Keeneland's 2012 spring race meeting proved to be an enormously successful
finale for President Nick Nicholson, posting several records for attendance and
wagering and boasting field sizes that are among the largest in the country.
More importantly, it also marked the sixth consecutive spring meeting in which
there were no catastrophic breakdowns during racing on Keeneland's all-weather
Phipps Stable's homebred Point of Entry made his turf stakes debut a winning
one in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000
Elkhorn on closing day of the Keeneland spring
meet. Guided by John Velasquez, the Dynaformer colt defeated a group that
included two-time Elkhorn winner Musketier, as well as recent Grade 2 winners
Newsdad and Simmard.
Acclamation, who was voted champion older male of 2011, has been scratched
from Friday evening's Grade 3, $100,000 Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park.
Co-owner Pete Hilvers told the Fresno Bee that the son of Unusual Heat
"was just a little off" in his left-front after a morning workout.
The even-money favorite once the sprint was transferred from the turf to the
Cushion Track, the Jack Carava trainee raced last of six early, but appeared to
be uncorking a good move before veering out badly turning for home. Jockey
Rafael Bejarano kept riding, however, and American Act kept responding near the
stands' side of the track.
The 2-1 second choice, Upperline strolled through an opening quarter in :26
4/5. Shimmering Moment moved up to vie for the lead passing the stands for the
first time, and took over when reaching the half in :54. Senada also advanced to
prompt on the outside, relegating the rail-hugging Upperline to third or fourth
through splits of 1:19 3/5 and 1:44 3/5. Meanwhile, Here to Win, the 8-5
favorite, steadily improved her position off the pace.
Grade 1 victress Eden's Moon visited the Churchill Downs starting gate and
then galloped 1 1/2 miles after the morning renovation break on Thursday under
exercise rider George Alvarez for trainer Bob Baffert.
An in-depth look at the bloodlines of the contenders for each leg of the Triple Crown. The profiles also include a pedigree chart, TrueNicks ratings, and Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) saw
double-digit gains in on-track handle, total handle and NYRA Rewards account
wagering during the recently concluded 2012 Aqueduct winter/spring
meet, which spanned 78 live racing days from January 1 through April 22.
Hip No. 731, a colt by Orientate consigned by Eddie Woods, agent, went to
Hill N Dale Bloodstock for $450,000 to top Wednesday's third session of the
Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2012 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training.
The dark bay or brown colt, whose eighth in :10 flat was co-fastest at the
distance at Thursday's Under Tack session, is out of Mir Cat (Tale of the Cat),
a half-sister to stakes-placed Runnin Ute (Gone West).
Paynter, who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in just his
second start, and the undefeated Bourbon Courage headline a field of 11 entered
for the Grade 3, $200,000
Trial at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Bluegrass Hall's Colonial Empress clocked a half-mile in :48 2/5 after the
renovation break on Wednesday at Churchill Downs over a track labeled as good.
With jockey Ramon Vazquez aboard and working on her own, the Empire Maker filly
posted fractions of :12 and :24 in the move that was the third fastest of 35 at
The hottest new Kentucky Derby party continues to heat up as 19 top
international chefs announce their menu offerings and wine pairings for the
third annual Taste of Derby, the official Kentucky Derby Party of Churchill
Downs. At this celebration of cuisine and racing on May 3, eve of the Grade 1
Kentucky Oaks, guests will mingle with horse racing and Hollywood celebrities
while savoring exquisite cuisine and delectable wines from racing destinations
across the country as internationally-renowned chefs serve samples of their
A Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) networking reception designed to
enhance the lines of communication between Thoroughbred racing and competitive
equestrian sports will be held April 27 at Keeneland Race Course.
To Honor and Serve, who at times showed himself to be among the leading
three-year-olds in the country last season, kicks off his four-year-old campaign
Saturday in the Grade 3, $150,000
Westchester at Belmont Park, a one-mile prep for the Grade 1 Metropolitan
Handicap on Memorial Day.
Black Caviar, with the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes her most likely target,
headlines entries from 11 countries for Royal Ascot's Group 1 races and she
could lead a female Australian team unprecedented in strength including her
stablemate King's Rose, Ortensia and Australia's champion miler, More Joyous.
Group 1 Racing Post Trophy third Fencing is on schedule to make the line-up
for the Group 1, £350,000 Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket on May 5 despite
missing an intended reappearance at the Craven meeting last week.
Hip No. 441, a colt by Majestic Warrior consigned by Harris Training Center,
agent, went to Narvick International for $400,000 to top Tuesday's second
session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2012 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds
in Training. The chestnut colt, who breezed an eighth in :10 1/5 at the Under
Tack Show, is out of Flirtatious Miss (Mr. Greeley), a half-sister to Group 3
winner Across the Rhine (Cuvee) and Grade 2 winner Prospectress (Mining).
Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister, working in company with stablemate
and Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks candidate Jemima's Pearl, worked five furlongs in 1:00
4/5, the third fastest of 23 at the distance on a clear, brisk Tuesday morning
at Churchill Downs over the fast main track.
Significant Kentucky Derby riding assignments were announced on Monday, with
Daily Racing Form reporting that Ramon Dominguez has decided to stick
with champion Hansen, and that Rafael Bejarano will ride El Padrino in Derby
Daddy Nose Best, undefeated in two starts this year with victories in the
Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby and Grade 3 Sunland Derby, breezed six furlongs on
the fast main track at Churchill Downs Monday morning prior to the renovation
break in 1:14 for trainer Steve Asmussen.
The Maryland Jockey Club Monday announced that the May 5 Kentucky Derby card
at Pimlico Race Course will feature a Jockey Challenge featuring four riders
visiting from Venezuela competing against four from the Maryland colony.
Hollywood Park will kick off its 73rd spring/summer meet on Thursday, and
fans will notice something new right away. With Betfair securing naming rights
for five years, the Inglewood, California, track is dubbed Betfair Hollywood
Park (track code BHP).
Brereton Jones' Believe You Can, winner of the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in
her most recent start, worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 over a fast track
Monday morning under jockey Rosie Napravnik. The daughter of Proud Citizen
worked during the post-renovation break, 8:30-8:45 a.m. (EDT) training session
reserved for candidates for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.
Santa Anita Park, which will host the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred
Championships on November 2-3, capped its 75th winter/spring season on Sunday
with gains in on-track attendance, handle and overall pari-mutuel handle.
Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year, jockey John Velazquez and trainers
Roger Attfield and Robert Wheeler have been elected to the National Museum of
Racing's Hall of Fame. They were elected in the contemporary category by the 183
members of the Hall of Fame voting panel.
David and Jill Heerensperger's Bourbon Bay bided his time in the rear of
Sunday's closing day feature at Santa Anita Park, the $150,000
Juan Capistrano Handicap, but put in a game rally down the center of the
track to score in the Grade 2 contest by the slimmest of margins over fellow
late runner Eagle Poise. Jockey Joel Rosario was aboard the Neil Drysdale
six-year-old, who completed the marathon about 1 3/4 miles on the firm turf in
Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield's Amie's Dini continued her preparations for
the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks with a four-furlong breeze in :50 2/5
after the renovation break on the fast Churchill Downs track Sunday morning.
This year, Prime Equestrian's Flash Mash has required a lot of patience from
trainer Mike Stidham and his team. Before Saturday's Giant's Causeway Stakes at
the four-year-old Smarty Jones filly, with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard, was walking
through the tunnel to the track for the post parade, then she stopped and
wouldn't move. Stidham, wearing a suit, went to the filly and jogged beside her
and Hernandez to the first turn -- probably an eighth of a mile -- where he
handed her off to the outrider. Flash Mash continued to near the starting gate,
where she stood while her rivals continued to warm up.
Isn't He Clever, winner of the Borderland Derby and eighth in the Grade 1, $1
million Arkansas Derby in his most recent start, has been transferred to trainer
Steve Amussen, according to owner J. Kirk Robison, and a start in the $2 million
Kentucky Derby is still under consideration.
"It was fantastic. I'm very happy," trainer Wesley Ward said Sunday morning about
winning Saturday's Grade 3 Lexington with 70-1 longshot All Squared Away.
Ridden by Julio Garcia, the Bellamy Road gelding won the 1 1/16-mile race by 1
lengths over favored Summer Front in his first start for Ward.