by Dick Powell -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Saratoga and previews action of the coming week.
by Brian P. Turner -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Del Mar and previews action of the coming week.
Michael Paulson's Azeri, a three-time champion who became North America's all-time richest female in winning the Aug. 1 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, was assigned top weight of 122 pounds in Friday's $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I).
Imperialism appears headed for Louisiana Downs' Super Derby (gr. II) Sept. 25 if trainer Kristin Mulhall and owner Steve Taub can agree on who will ride.
Medallist, a bust trying two turns in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga earlier this month, returns to what he does best in Saturday's $250,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Christine's Outlaw, a winner of two of three races since trainer George Weaver switched the 4-year-old to the grass, is one of the favorites for Saturday's $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Saratoga outer turf course at 1 1/16 miles.
For longshot lovers, there are two potential overlays in the Aug. 28 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Maybe it's time to take the plunge.
With exercise rider Michelle Nihei aboard, Starlight Stable's Purge breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 over the main track at Saratoga on Monday in preparation for Saturday's 135th running of the grade I, $1 million Travers Stakes.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Birdstone breezed six furlongs in 1:13 4/5, with regular exercise rider Maxine Correa aboard, over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track that was rated "good" on Saturday.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Storm Flag Flying breezed six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Saturday morning as the 2-year-old filly champion of 2002 prepped for Friday's grade I, $400,000 Personal Ensign at 1 1/4 miles.
Trainer Nick Zito sent two of his three starters for the grade I, $1 million Travers Aug. 28 out for works on the main track at Saratoga Friday morning. Sir Shackleton breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 while The Cliff's Edge went the same distance in 1:01 1/5.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide will make his first start at Saratoga on Sunday when heads a field of eight in the 87th running of the grade II, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup at 1 1/4 miles.
A full 12-horse field will break out of the gate on Sunday in the grade III, $250,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.
Ashado, the pro-tem leader of the 3-year-old filly division, will need her "A" game Saturday at Saratoga while breaking from post 6 in the historic Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Headed by American Oaks (gr. IT) winner Ticker Tape and San Clemente (gr. IIT) champion Sweet Win, a field of seven 3-year-old fillies is expected to go to the post Saturday for the 48th running of the grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks.
Boasting a record of five victories in seven career starts, Dream of Summer will lead a field of seven female speed burners to the post in Saturday's grade III, $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap for fillies and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track at Del Mar.
Stronach Stables' top-weighted Ghostzapper will face a field of six competitors in Saturday's $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year and 2003 champion older filly or mare owned by the Allen Paulson Living Trust, tuned up for the grade I, $400,000 Personal Ensign Aug. 27 with a sparkling breeze on the Oklahoma training track Thursday morning.
Ken Ramsey's Roses in May was on the Saratoga main track Thursday morning for the first time since winning the grade I Whitney Handicap 12 days ago. Trainer Dale Romans had Roses in May breeze four furlongs, which went in a leisurely :48.
Bowman's Band worked seven furlongs in 1:27 at Saratoga Racecourse Thursday in preparation for possible start in Sunday's grade II, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap for older handicap horses.
Diamond A Racing Corporations' multi-millionaire Pleasantly Perfect was labeled the early 6-5 favorite in a field of eight set to go postward in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Funny Cide put in his final workout Wednesday morning over the Saratoga main track by going five furlongs in :59 1/5 with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
She has been the talk of Monmouth Park, but Miss Matched will get a big test at Saratoga Race Course on Friday, when she goes to post in the 113th running of the grade II, $250,000 Spinaway for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
by Dick Powell -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Saratoga and previews action of the coming weeks.
By Brian Turner -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Del Mar and previews action of the coming weeks.
Likely favorite Pleasantly Perfect led a large contingent of Pacific Classic (gr. I) contenders Monday getting in their final serious preparations for Sunday's $1 million event at 1 1/4 miles.
Improving Suave has been added to the field for the $1 million Travers (gr. I) Aug. 28th, trainer Paul McGee announced.
The unbeaten Afleet Alex, who demolished a deep field in Saratoga's Sanford (gr. II) on the second day of the meet, breezed a 'bullet' half-mile over a muddy track at Delaware Park this morning in :46 2/5.
Stellar Jayne and Susan's Angel, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' hopes in Saturday's $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, breezed a half mile in company Monday morning.
A soft course at Deauville helped the Kentucky-bred 3-year-old Whipper win Sunday's Prix Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I) at the same time it extracted a promise from the connections of Attraction to never try that footing again.
With half the field boasting victories over the track, there's plenty of local angles to Sunday's 80th running of the $200,000 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) at Oceanport, N.J.
Actxecutive and Roman Ruler, a pair of sharp 2-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert, stand out in Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Given more than a four-month rest since his indifferent effort in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Domestic Dispute should be able to avoid the so-called "Dubai Bounce" in Sunday's $200,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar, trainer Patrick Gallagher believes.
Golden Eagle Farm's Yearly Report will take a shot against top 3-year-old filly Ashado in the $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles Aug. 21 at Saratoga.
Blackdoun, a solid winner of the faster division of Del Mar's opening-day Oceanside Stakes at a mile on the turf, heads a field of seven 3-year-olds for Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Perfect Drift, who turned in a dynamite second-place performance in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga last weekend, could be headed for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 22 at Del Mar, too.
The $1 million Travers (G1) is now less than three weeks away, but the picture is still cloudy. With SMARTY JONES retired and Belmont (G1) winner BIRDSTONE training up to the race, it appears that starter Bob Duncan will have a gate full of sophomores since no one is being scared away.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Speightstown, who has managed to avoid the sort of injuries this year that have plagued him during his career, is the horse to beat in the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs Saturday at Saratoga.
Anstu Stables' Balto Star is the one catch in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/2 miles on turf Saturday at Saratoga. If he gets the kind of pace he enjoys, they may not be able to do it.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide turned heads at Saratoga Thursday morning when he put in a powerful one-mile workout in 1:37 4/5 on the main track with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday that it will offer another "National Pick 4" wager this Saturday, Aug. 14, as part of its "NTRA Super Saturday" series that will be featured on the ABC and ESPN networks.
An international field of 13 runners will attempt to capture one of the most prestigious turf races on the North American calendar Saturday as they line up for the $1 million Arlington Million (gr. IT) over 10 furlongs at Arlington Park.
A small but strong field of seven 3-year-olds passed the entry box at Arlington Park Wednesday--drawn for a shot at the purse in Saturday's running of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT).
Gainsborough Farm's Musical Chimes, a resounding winner of the John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) on Del Mar's opening weekend, has been installed the 2-1 morning line choice for Saturday's Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.
Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch H. (G2) highlighted the stakes action at Del Mar this week as a field of eight fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, went to the gate for the 1 1/16-mile affair.
Augustin Stable's Praise the Prince, winner of the added A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-II) in 2001 and runner-up in the event last year, returns to Saratoga Race Course Thursday in the $75,000-added jumping event.
Trainer Bob Baffert's highly prized 2-year-old Roman Ruler fired a bullet :57 4/5 for five furlongs Monday morning in preparation for Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) victor Colonial Colony has entered the picture for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22.
The Irish-bred colt Vespone and the South African-bred mare Crimson Palace, a pair of Godolphin Racing Inc. competitors in Saturday's International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park, turned in easy gallops Monday morning at the suburban Chicago track.
Although he suffered his first turf defeat of the season in last month's Virginia Derby, Artie Schiller will be odds-on to get back in the winners' circle when he starts in Saratoga's $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT) Monday.
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