Multiple Grade 1 hero Game on Dude and champion filly Royal Delta are among
14 horses projected to compete in the Group 1, $10 million Dubai World Cup on
March 31, according to the
list of probable competitors released Sunday by the Dubai Racing Club.
The field for Saturday's Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park is expected to
fill or nearly fill the gate as trainers solidify plans for their Kentucky Derby
hopefuls. The race's $500,000 purse virtually assures the winner a spot in
the Derby gate, as proved true for the 2011 Spiral Stakes and Kentucky Derby
winner, Animal Kingdom.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez and apprentice rider Samuel Camacho Jr. were released
Sunday evening from North Shore University Hospital where they were transported
following a spill in this afternoon's 8TH race at Aqueduct.
Frank L. Jones Jr.'s homebred Tapitsfly, who had not won a stakes race since
the 2009 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, remedied that statistic with a
strong late rally in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000
Fox at Gulfstream Park. Typically up on or near the pace, the Dale Romans
filly enjoyed being held up a little farther back by Julien Leparoux, and rolled
past Bay to Bay and La Reine Lionne by a measured three-quarters of a length.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, fresh once more after the spoils
of victory attained Saturday afternoon at Fair Grounds in the $150,000 New
Orleans Ladies, was standing quietly in her stall early Sunday morning while
trainer Larry Jones was still in town.
Nearly every runner in Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel Stakes returned in
good order according to their handlers Sunday morning, with the exception of
Adirondack King, who developed colic late Sunday morning.
With a third straight Grade 2 Rebel Stakes victory sealed thanks to Secret
Circle, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was eagerly looking forward to the
Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby next month at Oaklawn.
Cresran's homebred Tiz Miz Sue bided her time just behind the early leaders
before making her move in the stretch, closing strongly on the far outside to
win going away in Saturday's Grade 3, $147,000
at Oaklawn Park. The
five-year-old mare garnered her first graded stakes victory, scoring by three
lengths under Joe Rocco Jr., and the Steve Hobby trainee completed 1 1/16 miles
in 1:43 2/5 over the fast track.
Jay Em Ess Stable's Include Me Out was an easy winner of the Grade 2 La
Canada Stakes at Santa Anita on January 22 and continued that thread Saturday
with a 3 3/4-length victory in the Grade 1, $294,000
Santa Margarita Invitational under jockey Joe Talamo. The Ron Ellis trainee
was sent off the 6-5 second choice to Ellafitz's 4-5 favoritism, but was much
the best in this one while finishing nine furlongs on the sloppy, sealed dirt in
Fox Hill Farms' reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace made a winning
return to competition on Saturday, easily outclassing four rivals to take the
New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds by 4 1/2 lengths. The Larry Jones
trainee was sent off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite, and did not disappoint her
backers, who may have decided to keep their tickets as souvenirs instead of
cashing in for paltry across-the-board returns of $2.10.
After a troubled trip in her season debut in late January, reigning champion
female sprinter Musical Romance was back in better form in Saturday's Grade 2,
Information at Gulfstream Park. Under a ground-saving ride by Juan Leyva,
the five-year-old mare settled just off the leaders for the opening
three-quarters, split rivals in the stretch, and drew clear to win by three
parts of a length in a time of 1:21 4/5 for seven furlongs over a fast track.
She returned $11.20, $6.40 and $4.60 as the 9-2 third choice.
Marilyn's Guy disposed of pacesetter San Pablo leaving the far turn, opening
up a clear lead in midstretch, but nearly surrendered the advantage as that
rival came again late in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
desperately holding on by a neck over the inner track at Aqueduct. Ridden by
Chuck Lopez for trainer Tony Dutrow, the six-year-old gelding was making his
graded debut after notching his first listed stakes tally in his previous
outing, the February 18 As Indicted Stakes.
Multiple Grade 1 winner Caleb's Posse powerfully returned to the Oaklawn
workout sheet Saturday in his first drill since a close runner-up finish in this
four-year-old debut in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap March 3 in New York.
Union Rags, the early favorite for Grade 1 Florida Derby, went to the track
at Palm Meadows Saturday morning for an easy five-furlong workout in preparation
for Gulfstream Park's signature race on March 31.
Castellano set the standard on the 72nd day of live racing. He shared the
previous record of 97 with Jerry Bailey (1996 over 64 days), Wigberto Ramos
(1991 over 81 days) and Julio Pezua (1987 over 50 days).
Grade 1 winner Giant Ryan had his final workout Saturday morning in
preparation for the Group 1, $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, covering a
half-mile on the fast track at Calder in :47 3/5 in advance of his seasonal
debut under the lights at Meydan Racecourse on March 31.
Gemologist had not raced since November 26, when he captured the Grade 2
Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. The Tiznow colt had recently posted a
pair of bullet drills, however, and was sent off as the 3-5 favorite. Currency
Swap, sidelined for more than six months since his victory in the Grade 1
Hopeful, rated as the 6-5 second choice.
Eleven of the 13 contestants in Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000
based locally at Oaklawn Park, but Southern California invaders Sabercat and
Secret Circle are the top draws in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Derby prep race
The outcome of the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10 did nothing to make
trainer Patrick Byrne second guess the decision to skip it in favor of the Grade
1, $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 31.
In response to its popularity among horsemen over the past three years, the
Breeders' Cup board of directors has again approved an early foal nomination
program deadline which allows for a $100 discount off the standard $500
nomination fee for all foals nominated electronically by August 1 to the
Breeders' Cup program.
New Vocations will host "Thoroughbreds For All!" -- an evening of
education and fellowship for people who favor off-the-track Thoroughbreds
combined with an invitation for equestrians to shop in Kentucky for the
Thoroughbred of their dreams -- on April 28 shortly following the
Rolex cross country at 5 p.m. (EDT).
A total of 95 fillies have been entered for the Group 1, £350,000 Epsom
Oaks, highlight of Ladies Day at the Derby Festival at Epsom Downs on
June 1. The figure is two more than the 2011 entry and way ahead of the
2010 total of 77.
Champion female sprinter Musical Romance experienced a troubled trip when
opening 2012 in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint, grabbing a quarter
and ripping off a shoe at the start, but the five-year-old will look to rebound
when she lines up for Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000
Inside Information at
Gulfstream Park. The Bill Kaplan-trained mare will square off against 10 rivals,
including the top four finishers from the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie Stakes on
Late-blooming five-year-old Ellafitz will aim for a career high note as well
as her fourth straight stakes victory Saturday when facing five challengers in
Santa Anita's 75th running of the Grade 1, $300,000
Santa Margarita Stakes, the season's racing highlight for older fillies and
mares at 1 1/8 miles.
Only four other distaffers will line up against reigning Horse of the Year
Havre de Grace on Saturday in Fair Grounds' $150,000
New Orleans Ladies going 1
1/16 miles. The Larry Jones trainee will break from post 2 with regular rider
Ramon Dominguez in the saddle.
The perfect Kentucky Derby appetizer returns May 3 as Churchill Downs stages
its third annual Taste of Derby -- a celebration of cuisine and racing on the
eve of the Kentucky Oaks. Taste of Derby attendees will mingle with horse racing
and Hollywood celebrities and savor exquisite cuisine and delectable wines from
racing destinations across the country as nationally-renowned chefs serve
samples of their regional specialties.
Betfair US and Hollywood Park on Tuesday announced the completion of a
ground-breaking agreement intended to transform the customer experience for
racing fans at the historic venue, online and on television. Under the terms of
the five-year deal, the venue will be renamed "Betfair Hollywood Park" in the
first naming rights agreement ever for a horseracing venue in the United States.
Gulfstream Park will host the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on the
opening day of its 2012-13 meet on December 1. The 2012 event will see a
significant increase in purses to $850,000 for seven races with the individual
race purses ranging from $100,000 to $200,000. In addition to the six Claiming
Crown races conducted at the 2011 event, the Tiara for fillies and mares on the
turf will return this year.
Gulfstream Park will offer fans a week of activities and attractions leading
up to the $1 million Florida Derby on Saturday, March 31, including a concert by
a mystery Grammy-winning country artist as well as golf and poker tournaments, a
cocktail party with jockeys serving drinks, and the official Florida Derby
cocktail party with live and silent auctions.
Dennis J. Manning's first-time starter Crafty Unicorn stayed close to the
early pace of the 23rd running of the $100,000
Championship Stakes, contested Monday at the Ocala Training Center in
Florida. Crafty Unicorn fought to the lead along the inside in the stretch and
beat Burn the Mortgage by 1 3/4 lengths, with Moon Traveler checking in third.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace put in her last workout in advance
of Saturday's $150,000 New Orleans Ladies this morning at Fair Grounds, breezing
five furlongs in :59 3/5 with regular exercise rider Jen Brasser aboard. The
five-year-old mare worked in company with an unraced three-year-old filly, Just
Jan, who went the same distance in 1:00 under Rosie Napravnik while breezing to
the inside of Havre de Grace.
Champion Animal Kingdom will miss his intended start in the Group 1 Dubai
World Cup on March 31 after developing lameness in his left hind leg over the
weekend at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Monday that an
updated set of racetrack safety and integrity standards has been circulated to
members of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, and that it is now available
for public comment. After finalization, the compliance standards will serve as
the basis for future racetrack Alliance accreditation, including the
re-accreditation of tracks previously accredited by the Alliance. The Alliance,
formed in October 2008 with the goal of establishing national uniform standards
in the areas of safety and integrity, includes 55 racetracks in North America
and every major national horsemen's organization. Twenty-two racetracks have
been accredited to date by Alliance safety teams.