Molta Vita, making her first start in six months, carries trainer Dallas Stewart's hopes in Sunday's $100,000 Hurricane Bertie Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
Megahertz, the diminutive 6-year-old chestnut mare with a big kick, may finally have the opportunity to show it Sunday in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
Fair Grounds shipper Cape Hope heads into Saturday's $100,000 Herecomesthebride (gr. IIIT) as the one to beat in the 3-year-old filly stakes on the Gulfstream Park grass.
Delta Princess, who familiarized herself with the Tampa Bay lawn when winning the Endeavour Stakes in her last start, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's $125,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. III) for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
The March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park promises to deliver some major fireworks when Afleet Alex, Rockport Harbor, and Greater Good lock horns in the 1 1/16-mile race, which drew a field of six.
With champion Declan's Moon on the sidelines, the 3-year-old throne in California is up for grabs in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), which has attracted a field of eight, headed by Wilko, Roman Ruler, and Consolidator. But there are at least three others with credentials who will attempt to seize the crown.
The March 19 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) drew a field of eight, but the race for all intents and purposes comes down to Sun King vs. Sun King. The Nick Zito-trained colt is the class of the field, and the race his to lose. Only two others in the field have even been nominated to the Triple Crown.
It will be speed vs. stamina in Saturday's Cicada Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct when 3-year-old fillies Megascape and Acey Deucey hook up against each other under topweight of 122 pounds in the field of eight.
Eleven older horses passed the entry box for the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT), the premier grass event on the Fair Grounds calendar. Highweighted California shipper A to the Z, second to grade I winner Star Over the Bay in his last start in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita, and the red-hot G P Fleet lead a group of horses most familiar with each other postward with half-a-million dollars on the line.
Saturday's $150,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct drew three strong Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders in Galloping Grocer, Naughty New Yorker, and Survivalist in the field of nine. While all three would prefer two turns, Galloping Grocer has the brilliance to bounce back off his fourth in the Whirlaway with a big performance.
Daddy Joe, a $900,000 son of owner Paraneck Stable's 1996 Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Unbridled's Song who is set to run in the $150,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, worked five furlongs in 1:00 on the Aqueduct inner track Wednesday with jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. aboard.
The world's richest 2-year-old race, the $2.8 million (U.S.) Golden Slipper Stakes (Aus-I) over 1,200 meters (six furlongs) run at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, takes place this Saturday.
Champion filly Sweet Catomine emerged as a solid favorite in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, but there was also strong support for the rapidly improving Summerly as wagering in the four-day pool concluded on Sunday evening.
Bettors across North America settled on "all others" as the lukewarm favorite when Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager ended its four-day run on Sunday evening.
If Bob Baffert has his way and the weather cooperates, Roman Ruler's long-awaited 3-year-old debut will take place Saturday in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles.
Just when it looked as if Rockport Harbor's luck had run out and he'd be unable to make the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III), trainer John Servis, while still cautious, said the foot looked much better Sunday.
With wagering beginning today on the second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse, analyzes the 23 individual horses and mutuel field and their respective morning-line odds.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Purge makes his first start at Oaklawn Park since his fifth-place finish in last spring's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) when he faces nine rivals in the $125,000 Razorback Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) Sunday.
Champion Sweet Catomine could use the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) as a springboard against males when she faces six overmatched rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
River Belle ended 2004 on a high note by winning the hard fought Ms. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT). Now the 4-year-old filly is looking to start her 2005 campaign with the same winning magic in Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/16 miles over the turf course at Gulfstream Park.
A few new changes will highlight the 2005 Ellis Park meeting, which begins July 13 and concludes with a special Labor Day program Sept. 5. The track will feature ten events with $850,000 in total purses and add a special day of racing with four stakes races highlighted by the 24th running of the track's signature event, the $150,000-added Gardenia Handicap (gr. III).
Donn Handicap (gr. I) runner-up Roses in May blasted his way through his final workout in Florida Friday morning before a long flight to the Middle East for the March 26, $6 million Dubai World Cup.
Declan's Moon, champion 2-year-old and early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), has been taken off the Derby trail after X-rays disclosed a small chip fracture in his left knee, trainer Ron Ellis said Friday morning.
California Breeders' Championship Stakes winner Uncle Denny is the morning line choice in a contentious field of ten 3-year-olds included for the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Bay Meadows Saturday.
Bobby Frankel, who has won nearly every major stakes race during a Hall of Fame career of nearly 40 years, seeks to add the Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I) to his impressive resume, sending out Personal Legend and Sweet Lips in Saturday's $300,000 race.
Shake You Down, who boasts six career stakes wins, hopes to add to his $1.3 million in earnings as he takes on five rivals in Saturday's Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
When the Todd Pletcher-trained Lion Tamer takes the gate for Saturday's $200,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park he will be doing more than making the first start of his 5-year-old season. He will be looking to duplicate his 1 3/4-length win in the 2004 edition of the seven-furlong sprint.
California shipper Fencelineneighbor moves into Hot Springs to challenge five other older fillies and mares in the $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III). Formerly known as the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Handicap, the traditional prep for the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) was renamed this year for the three-time winner of the Apple Blossom, thrice an Eclipse champion older mare, and 2002 Horse of the Year.
Sweet Catomine, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, tops the list of 68 fillies nominated tor Keeneland's $500,000, Ashland Stakes (gr. I). The race will be run at 1 1/16 miles April 9, nearly a month before the Kentucky Oaks.
Declan's Moon, champion 2-year-old colt last year, and Wilko, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), are among the 126 nominations for Keeneland's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Leading trainer Doug O'Neill plans to double team champion filly Sweet Catomine in Sunday's Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I).
For Virginia Kraft Payson's Scipion, the long stretch at Fair Grounds beckons once again, as the Patrick Biancone-trained colt returns to New Orleans for the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) Saturday in an attempt to duplicate his stirring victory in the Feb. 12 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III).
A talented group of nine older horses--including seven graded stakes winners--will battle in Saturday's New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds with $500,000 on the line. Highweight Pollard's Vision and second-highweighted Badge of Silver will have to contend with Arthur Hancock's Wanderin Boy.
Graded stakes winner Runway Model will make her seasonal debut Saturday when she breaks from post six in the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles at the New Orleans oval.
Anchored by two major prep races for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), a National Pick 4 wager will be offered on Saturday, April 16 by Oaklawn Park and Keeneland, in conjunction with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Trainer Dallas Stewart is set to unwind Clock Stopper on South Florida when the speedy son of Gilded Time takes the gate for Saturday's Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
The second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will open four days of betting with co-favorites in unbeaten juvenile champion Declan's Moon and the mutuel field, the wagering interest that includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in the March 10-13 pool.
Sweet Catomine, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2004 and winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), has been installed as a solid 4-1 favorite in the second of three pools in Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which begins its March 10-13 run on Thursday (March 10).
Dogwood Stables' Limehouse has been pointed toward the March 12 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), going 1 1/8 miles at Fair Grounds, where he will face a host of talented older runners, including Badge of Silver, Pollard's Vision, and Wanderin Boy.
A pair of top 3-year-old fillies will clash when Summerly and Runway Model hook up in the March 12 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles at the New Orleans oval. Runway Model will be making her 3-year-old debut, while Summerly has two wins to her credit this season.
Beverly Green's Dearest Mon, a promising 3-year-old son of Maria's Mon, was a late scratch out of Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) because of his outside post.
Thanks to High Fly's victory in the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and Noble Causeway's stylish win in a $33,000 allowance, trainer Nick Zito is building a stockpile of Kentucky Derby contenders and crystallized his hold on favorite status for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Often close but still winless in her last 13 starts, trainer Tim Hills is hoping that Sunday's $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the turf provides the key that allows Vous to reach the winner's circle at Gulfstream Park.
Prince Arch embarks on what could be a huge year, believes trainer Kenny McPeek, in Sunday's $250,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf.
Last year's juvenile champion Declan's Moon makes his long-awaited 2005 debut in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Ogden Mills Phipps' Defer will face a two-turn test against a field of 10 other sophomores entered in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, the final major prep for the $ 1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2.
Chandtrue, unbeaten in four starts at Hollywood Park at 2, gets his sophomore campaign started on the turf in Saturday's $100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita.
Undefeated Maddalena, a 7 1/4-length winner for trainer Todd Pletcher in her stakes debut a month ago, stands out in a field of seven entered for the Stonerside Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Maryland invader Malibu Moonshine will carry top weight of 121 pounds in Saturday's John Battaglia Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park as he faces eight others while going for his third consecutive stakes win.
In the Gold and Jill Robin L. won't have Sis City to chase again, but they might have another worry in Saturday's Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
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