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.
Away from racing for 10 months with a stress fracture of the tibia, Strut the Stage has come back strongly in two starts. The talented Kentucky-bred will be difficult to beat in Saturday's $275,250 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine.
Sweet Catomine, who broke her maiden with a come-from-behind win in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I), figures to be the horse to beat in Saturday's $200,000 Oak Leaf (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park's Oak Tree meeting.
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Total Impact heads a compact field in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) , part of a three-stakes card at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
by Steve Moody - While the gap between Indiana racing and Kentucky racing is still distinct when you're talking about Keeneland and Churchill Downs, the gap has narrowed significantly with respect to Turfway and Ellis Park.
A total of 171 horses, all the offspring of Maryland-based stallions, have been pre-entered in the dozen races that will make up the 2004 Maryland Million Day Oct. 9 at Pimlico Race Course. The post-position draw will be held Oct. 6 at the racetrack.
John Gunther's homebred Bending Strings will top a field of seven in Saturday's Safely Kept Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the 122-pound starting highweight will break from post seven.
Amorama, winner of the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) by a nose Aug. 21, hopes to maintain her winning ways when she faces a field of older fillies and mares in Saturday's $500,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. I) during Oak Tree's first weekend of fall stakes action at Santa Anita Park.
With some key defections in the field, popular geldings Evening Attire and Funny Cide, the first two finishers in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup (gr. II), emerge as top contenders Saturday in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
New York-based 5-year-old mares Riskaverse and Wonder Again meet for the eighth time in their careers as the favorites in the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) on the Belmont Park turf Saturday.
Three of the nation's top sprinters will vie for supremacy in the 65th edition of the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Saturday, Oct.2. What looked like a true Breeders' Cup field before the defection of grade I winner Midas Eyes, still has major implications for the Lone Star affair, just over four weeks away.
Perfect Drift, winner of last year's Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II), appears ready to return to the winner's circle for this year's edition of the 1 1/4-mile race.
Sophomore turf sensation Kitten's Joy gets the ultimate test Saturday, facing a tough group of seasoned older horses in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. Leg two of the NTRA's National Pick 4, the Turf Classic will be shown live on ESPN and has an approximate post time of 5:12 p.m. EDT.
Nick Zito-trained Sir Shackleton has been tabbed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $500,000-added Indiana Derby (gr. II) Saturday at Hoosier Park. The Miswaki colt will be joined by eight other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile event.
Dream of Summer, winner of six of eight career races including her last five in a row, will pass Sunday's $250,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and be pointed to the $150,000 California Cup Matron, trainer Juan Garcia said Wednesday.
Starlight Stables standout filly Ashado is expected to be a heavy favorite over eight rivals in Saturday's $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Philadelphia Park.
Willmott Stables' Eddington, third in the Travers (gr. I) in his last start, drew post six for Friday's $300,000 Pegasus Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on opening night at the Meadowlands.
Keeneland will implement several changes to its wagering menu this fall. There will be a guaranteed Pick Four, lower takeout on all Pick Three, Pick Four and Pick Six wagers and changes to the Pick Three rules.
Spendthrift Farm's big gray Stellar Jayne and So Madcapt Stable's New York-bred Capeside Lady were installed as the co-highweights for the 10th running of the $400,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) at Hoosier Park Oct. 1.
A field of 10 fillies and mares will contest the Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) that highlights Wednesday's opening card for the Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park.
Following the retirements of Sarava and Peace Rules Tuesday, there were four probable starters and two questionable runners for Saturday's $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
European horsemen, like the vast majority of Americans, will be Texas strangers this year, as the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships comes to Lone Star Park for the first time. The question is, will they be willing to journey into the unknown to run at a track that has never hosted a grade I stakes? Preliminary indications say yes.
The NTRA National Pick 4 wager, offered in conjunction with the "NTRA Super Saturday" telecasts airing on ABC and ESPN, makes its fifth and final appearance of the year Saturday. Three grade I stakes from Belmont Park: the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, and the Vosburgh Stakes; along with the Yellow Ribbon Stakes from Oak Tree at Santa Anita make up the wager.
Grade II winner Roman Ruler, second by a neck to Declan's Moon in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) in his last start, was put through his final drill in preparation for Sunday's Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, posting a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 3/5 under regular exercise rider Dana Barnes over the Southern California oval's main track Monday morning.
Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner Domestic Dispute, getting ready to start next in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park, worked six furlongs in 1:13 over Santa Anita's main track Monday in a move that pleased trainer Paddy Gallagher.
Jay Em Ess Stable's Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) winner Declan's Moon will skip the Oct. 30 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Lone Star Park, trainer Ron Ellis said, and will instead be prepared for next year's Triple Crown trail.
Sarava, who is winless in eight starts since winning the 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 over a fast main track at Belmont Park Monday morning as the 5-year-old son of Wild Again continued preparations for Saturday's grade I, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles.
Padua Stables' Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat breezed five furlongs over the fast main track in 1:00 2/5 this morning as trainer Bobby Frankel points the four-year-old gelding to Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Vosburgh (gr. I)at six furlongs.
Gary Stevens will take over riding duties on The Cliff's Edge in Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park, trainer Nick Zito said Sunday.
Diamond A. Racing Corp.'s Pleasantly Perfect, getting ready to defend his title in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) – Powered by Dodge at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, worked seven furlongs in 1:26 4/5 on Sunday morning at Santa Anita.
United Arab Emirates Derby (UAE-II) winner Lundy's Liability is expected to make his United States debut in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Oct. 2, opening day of the Oak Tree Racing Association's 26-day meet at Santa Anita.
The top three finishers of the recent Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) – Jay em Ess Stable's Love Of Money, Pollard's Vision and Swingforthefences – are among 32 top 3-year-olds nominated to the $500,000-added Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park.
Jockey Richard Migliore says Artie Schiller, a top 3-year-old turf horse he will ride in Sunday's $200,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park (gr. IIT), is one of only two horses he has ridden who have "no chinks in the armor."
Soviet Song attempts to bridge a 17-year gap by becoming the first filly since Milligram in 1987 to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes- Sponsored by Netjets (Eng-I) at Britain's Ascot Racecourse Saturday.
Western Ransom and Art Fan, the first two finishers in last spring's Hilltop Stakes, return to Pimlico on Saturday as favorites for the $150,000 Martha Washington Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT). Twelve are entered to start in the grassy 1-1/16th mile test for 3-year-old fillies.
The first three from last year's Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs are back for this year's running, and track officials hope that things go more smoothly in the 1 1/2-mile Sept. 25 race than they did in 2003.
Following two straight runner-up finishes in allowances races, trainer Billy Turner will start Althea Richards' Finery in a stakes for the first time, Saturday's grade III, $150,000 Noble Damsel for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf at Belmont.
Evening Attire, Peace Rules, and Funny Cide were among the horses working at Belmont Park on Thursday.
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