Handicapping

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Union Rags tops busy Derby worktab in Louisville

With jockey Julien Leparoux aboard, Union Rags breezed the distance in :59 4/5, third fastest of 53 moves at the distance on the fast main track. The Michael Matz colt posted fractions of :12, :23 3/5 and :47 1/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 4/5.

Unbeaten Black Caviar jogs to 20th win

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 posts record average attendance

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 main track.

Point of Entry strongly prevails in Elkhorn

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 scratched from Inglewood

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.

American Act bolts, but gets up in Harry Henson

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.

Upperline plays it by ear in Bewitch

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.

Oaks contenders gallop, ready for final moves

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.

Orientate colt brings $450,000 at OBS

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).

Oaks hopeful Colonial Empress breezes half-mile

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 distance.

Third annual Taste of Derby showcases 19 award-winning chefs

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 regional specialties.

To Honor and Serve starts season in Westchester

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.

International entries for Royal Ascot declared

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.

Guineas fields pared down after scratch deadline

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.

Majestic Warrior colt tops OBS session at $400,000

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).

Bodemeister work pleases Baffert

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.

Havre de Grace injured, retired

Havre de Grace, who in 2011 became the third consecutive filly to garner Horse of the Year honors, has been retired. The announcement was made by owner Rick Porter on his Fox Hill Farm website.

Dominguez on Hansen, Bejarano on El Padrino

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 138.

Asmussen trio get in pre-Derby works

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.

Hollywood kicks off 73rd spring/summer meet

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).

Believe You Can fires bullet for Oaks

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.

Blige to sing National Anthem at Derby

Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling recording artist Mary J. Blige will sing the National Anthem prior to the 138th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs.

Total handle up at Santa Anita winter/spring meet

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 leads Hall of Fame inductees

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.

Bourbon Bay nips Eagle Poise in San Juan Capistrano

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 San 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 2:45 3/5.

Amie's Dini breezes a half-mile

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.

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