The richest autumn stakes schedule in the history of Churchill Downs will offer a roster of 12 events with total purses of $2.35- million during its Oct. 31-Nov. 27 "Fall Festival of Racing."
There were $1,189 worth of winning tickets purchased and if the payoff had been figured on the actual pool, it would have been $341.80 for a $2 ticket. Winning bettors got $77 added to each $2 ticket. Free money is rarely there for the taking in racing outside of carryover pools, but bettors got some of it on Sunday.
Jockey Todd Kabel can match a 38-year-old Woodbine record for stakes wins in a season when he partners with 126-pound high weight Mobil in the $150,000-added Durham Cup Stakes (Can-III) Saturday.
Steve Taub's multiple grade II winner Imperialism will make his Southern California turf debut in Sunday's $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) where he will be reunited with Victor Espinoza.
Hilly Fields Stable's Rousing Victory, an improving colt since trainer Phil Serpe added blinkers this summer, will take a crack at the $100,000-added Lawrence Realization Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Saturday on the Belmont Park turf.
by Bernard T. Moore -- Lone Star management, with an intent on strengthening their product as the Breeders' Cup draws nearer, have elected to delay such signature events as the Stars of Texas Day for state-breds, and the $250,000 Lone Star Derby (G3) for later in the meet.
by John Mucciolo - A total of 57 races were contested over the past six racing days, and favorites continue to perform well. With 23 top betting selections crossing the wire first (40 percent), and 12 second choices winning (21 percent), longshot players were once again up against it at Belmont.
by Gary Granade -- With the Breeders' Cup looming on October 30, Pletcher could elect to keep Balto Star on the dirt for the $4 million Classic (G1). The Meadowlands Cup, his first run on the main track in over a year, was a compelling argument for that course of action. On the other hand, Balto Star is a Grade 1 winner on the grass, making the $2 million Turf (G1) a viable option.
The Nick Zito-trained Commentator glided to an easy seven-length win in Thursday's $112,600 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland. Eurosilver was second, with Weigelia a half-length back in third.
A group of 10 3-year-olds passed the entry box for Saturday's Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT), one of the season's last major stakes races restricted to sophomores. Al and Saundra Kirkwood's European import Gwaihir is the highweighted entry at 117 pounds.
A quality field of seven 3-year-old fillies will line up to contest the prestigious $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland Saturday.
And you thought all the important preps for the Breeders' Cup Classic -- Powered by Dodge (gr. I) had been run. Well, sitting out there all by itself, virtually unnoticed among the morass of major stakes this past weekend was the $500,0000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), just waiting to conjure up another live Classic longshot.
Tizbud, a full brother to 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow, attempts to duplicate his victory last year in the $250,000 California Cup Classic Saturday as the Oak Tree Racing Association presents the 15th annual championship day of racing for state breds at Santa Anita Park.
It appears as if Smarty Jones has passed the baton to another young phenom residing in trainer John Servis' barn. His name is Rockport Harbor, and this grand-looking colt can flat-out run, as evidenced by his effortless 7 1/2-length victory in an allowance race at Philadelphia Park Oct. 12, his second brilliant score in as many starts.
Buckram Oak Farm's homebred Eurosilver will return to the track after a seven-month layoff in Thursday's $100,000 Perryville Stakes--Presented by Budweiser at Keeneland for 3-year-olds. The colt will join nine others going seven furlongs and 184 feet.
Bago, the winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) who was expected to be one of the top European representatives in this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, will miss the Oct. 30 races at Lone Star Park.
Multi-millionaire Pleasantly Perfect worked a mile in 1:38 1/5 in company with stablemate Sanfran at Santa Anita Monday in preparation for his defense of his Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) – Powered by Dodge title at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30. Regular rider Crystal Brown was in the irons for the move.
Eagle Oak Ranch's Boston Glory, second to division leader Roman Ruler in the Oct. 3 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita in his last start, will most likely make his next start in the Oct. 30 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), trainer Eoin Harty said.
Perennial Bay Area training champion Jerry Hollendorfer is pointing Yougottawanna to the $250,000 California Cup Classic, marquee race for California Cup XV presented by the Oak Tree Racing Association at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Cuvee, one of the top juveniles of 2003, is on track for a start in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint, trainer Steve Asmussen said Saturday. Asmussen said 4-year-old filly Lady Tak also remains an outside possibility for the Sprint.
Lenatareese, who has overcome wide trips to win both her turf starts, was one of nine 3-year-old fillies entered in Monday's $100,000-added Pebbles Handicap (gr. IIIT), the Columbus Day feature at Belmont Park.
Bluesthestandard could use Sunday's $250,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park as a springboard to his second consecutive appearance in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Lone Star Park in Texas on Oct. 30.
Lady Tak is the obvious class in the field for Sunday's $150,000-added Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, has crisscrossed the country piling up 16 victories in 22 starts thus far in her career. She never has raced at Keeneland, but that will change Oct. 10 when she takes on six fillies and mares in the $500,000 Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at the Lexington racetrack.
Bedanken will lead a field of nine into the gate for Sunday's $500,000 WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. The 5-year-old mare will be looking for her fourth win of the year from seven starts in the 1 3/16-mile turf contest.
Thirty-two times a year. Thirty-three if we're lucky. A scant 6 weeks and two days when local residents figure out how to get out of at least a half-day of work to make it to the track. You plan your route to the track to avoid the traffic, plan again later in the day to avoid it going home.
Musical Chimes, poised for a possible return trip to the Breeders' Cup, will challenge males for the third time for trainer Neil Drysdale in Saturday's $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
Brigader, a 3-year-old gelding making his first start against older horses, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $300,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic Saturday at Charles Town Races.
Darley Stable's Balletto and Gary Zweling's Play with Fire face off again in Saturday's 57th running of the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont.
Hopeful (gr. I) and Sanford Stakes (gr. II) winner Afleet Alex hopes to keep his record unblemished Saturday as he takes on seven of his fellow 2-year-old brethren in the 133rd running of the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
She's tackled the best of the best in the 3-year-old filly division. Now Society Selection is ready to take on tolder grade I winners Sightseek and Storm Flag Flying in Saturday's $750,000 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Stroll, who finished second in his first start after three months on the sidelines, heads a field of eight in Saturday's Kelso Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont. For 3-year-olds and up, the race is a mile on the Belmont turf and carried a $350,000 purse.
Perfect Soul, who has lived up to part of his name at Keeneland, will try to extend his perfect mark at the Lexington track as he takes on eight rivals in Saturday's Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (gr. IT) under jockey Edgar Prado.
Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road, winner of the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes (gr. III) at River Downs last month, drew post 3 for Saturday's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Trainer Michael Stidham's Herculated leads the field for Saturday's $150,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial (gr. IIIT) at Hawthorne. To be contested at mile on turf, a field of nine has been assembled for this race.
A couple of classy older horses, Denon and Rochester, head the field for the mile-and-a-half $150,000 Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland Saturday.
Installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite, Dynever, owned by Catherine Wills and Peter Karches will face a field of seven in Friday's $500,000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup (gr. II).
Smile Sprint (gr. III) winner Champali and Canadian Frontier, who has back-to-back stakes wins at Monmouth Park to his credit, are the 122-pound co-highweights for Friday's Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) that is part of the opening-day card at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.
A field of eight will break from the gates for Saturday's Maryland Million Classic Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The Classic is the highlight of the 12-race card devoted to the offspring of Maryland-based stallions. Post time for the first race is 12:35 p.m.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Sense of Style is the logical favorite in Saturday's Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) on opening day of Keeneland fall meet. The unbeaten filly will have her work cut out for her though, as 10 other 2-year-old fillies have passed the entry box.
by John Mucciolo - A quartet of Grade 1 races were contested on Saturday at Belmont Park, and we will go in the order of what we think were the most impressive performances of the weekend's riches.
by Gary Granade - Pies Prospect was never far off the pace in the 1 1/8-mile race. Eddington, the even-money favorite who has contested most of the major three-year-old stakes this year, surged into contention with a dramatic four-wide move on the final turn and looked poised to score his first win since February.
Following this past weekend's stakes extravaganza, the field for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) is pretty much firmed up...America has a budding superstar who can finally end the Europeans' five-year reign in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT)...and the Nextel Distaff (gr. I) has found another gem.
The first three finishers in the River Downs' Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes (gr. III)--Bellamy Road, Diamond Isle, and Scipion--are slated to meet again Saturday in Keeneland's $400,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I). The Breeders' Futurity, along with the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) highlight day two of Keeneland's Fallstars Allstars weekend.
Multimillionaire Balto Star is set to head postward in Friday night's $500,000 Meadowlands Cup (gr. II), and trainer Todd Pletcher is hoping to use the 1 1/8-mile dirt race to springboard the 6-year-old gelding by Glitterman to Lone Star Park and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 30.
Keeneland's fall meet kicks off Friday with its now familiar Fallstars Weekend and with three weeks to the World Thoroughbred Championships, Breeders' Cup implications certainly abound at the Lexington track. Fallstars Weekend features three action-packed days of racing with eight graded stakes and more than $3.4 million in stakes purses.
Storm Flag Flying, preparing for a showdown with Sightseek in Saturday's $750,000 Beldame (gr. I) at nine furlongs, worked a half mile over Belmont's main track Sunday morning in :47 3/5, handily.
Just four rivals, none of which have started in a graded stakes, have stepped up to take on California's leading 2-year-old, Roman Ruler, in Sunday's $200,000 Norfolk (gr. II) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meet.
Bayamo, freshened since his runner-up effort in the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar more than two months ago, rates an edge in a solid field of seven older horses entered for the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting Sunday.
The dual One Thousand Guineas heroine Attraction will face four rivals when she bids to regain winnning form in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Eng-I) over Newmarket's Rowley Mile Saturday.
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