Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Lion Heart, the 121-pound starting highweight for the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), drew post 4 on Thursday for Sunday's race. He was quickly installed the 9-5 favorite for the $1-million Haskell, Monmouth Park's signature race of the season.
Dogwood Stable's Smok'n Frolic didn't show much spark in her last start, but Todd Pletcher, Saratoga's leading trainer, says he isn't concerned that she'll give a similar effort in Friday's $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap, which was upgraded to grade II status this season.
Imperialism, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) third-place finisher, could show up next in the grassy Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) on Sept. 6, according to trainer Kristin Mulhall.
Chowder's First outdueled West Virginia in the stretch of Wednesday's $250,000 restricted New York Stallion Stakes (Cab Calloway Division) at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Let Goodtimes Roll covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.99. West Virginia was a neck back for second, with Pay Attention a distant 9 1/2-lengths back in third.
Highlights of this week's report from Saratoga: Redemption for Lukas and Azeri...Anniversary of an historic Travers... No spa visit for Actxecutive... Stamina in the Family of Afleet Alex... Sir Shackleton, Zito's Sleeper.
Edgewood Farm's Pollard's Vision, winner of the Illinois Derby (gr. II) in early April, heads a well-matched field of nine 3-year-olds entered for the Aug. 7 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort.
A weekly handicapping notebook, including Horses to Watch list, for the current Del Mar meet. Compiled by Brisnet.
Tap Day and Pie's Prospect were added to Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitiational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park bring the total field to seven starters.
Burning Roma and Megantic are expected to highlight Sunday's $100,000 Oceanport Handicap (gr. IIIT), on the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) undercard at Monmouth Park.
The second season begins in earnest for the 3-year-olds the weekend of Aug. 7-8, with the runnings of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), and West Virginia Derby (gr. III). If there is even the slimmest chance of dethroning Smarty Jones for the title, someone is going to have to run the table.
J. Paul Reddam's Elloluv, who has compiled earnings of $1.2 million running against the best fillies of her generation, will make her 11th straight start in a graded race on Saturday when she goes to the gate for the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar.
by Brian P. Turner -- It was in 1937 when Del Mar Race Course was first opened to the racing fans of Southern California. Legendary crooner Bing Crosby, one of the founders of the seaside track, was on hand to personally greet the public as they made their way through the gates.
A California and Del Mar record Pick Six payoff was set Aug. 1 when a single ticket containing all six winners, held mostly by Desperado Stables owner Scott Guenther, was worth $2,100,117.
Mercedes Stable's and Madeleine Paulson's Rock Hard Ten, runner-up to Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes, turned a swift and visually impressive five furlongs Saturday morning in a final tuneup for next Saturday's Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide put in an impressive workout Saturday morning over the Saratoga main track by breezing five furlongs in :59 1/5 with jockey Edgar Prado aboard for trainer Barclay Tagg.
Jockey Pat Day will replace the injured Jose Santos aboard Lucifer's Stone, a leading contender in Monday's $100,000 Lake George Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course.
With two consecutive triumphs on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, Velvet Snow looks to extend her winning ways in the $167,550 Royal North Stakes (Can-III) for fillies and mares on a special Simcoe Holiday Monday card of racing at Woodbine.
Internationally known as "The Man Who Listens to Horses" after authoring a successful book by that name, Monty Roberts is bringing his 6-year-old chestnut horse Sabiango to the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 14.
Pleasantly Perfect always fires when he's fresh and the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner, out of action since winning the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March, is training as though he'll be ready for Sunday's $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) At Del Mar Sunday.
The champion mare Azeri can become the all-time top-earning mare in North American racing with a victory in the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday. But to do so, she'll have to overcome Sightseek, who trounced her in their most recent start in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 19.
Miss Vegas, trainer Bobby Frankel's lastest filly turf standout, heads a light field of five for the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at one mile for 3-year-old fillies on the turf at Del Mar Saturday.
A group of a dozen 3-year-old fillies will vie Saturday in the 79th running of the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course. Headlined by Friendly Michelle and Society Selection, the field will go seven furlongs on a surface that could prove wet -- given a stormy upstate New York forecast for the Spa's opening weekend.
A classy field of seven fillies and mares have signed up for Sunday's $500,000 Diana Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga, and the other six have Intercontinental to beat.
Wertheimer & Frere's Olmodavor -- high-weighted at 121 pounds -- and Lakeside Farm's recent grade I stakes winner Colonial Colony headline a field of five in the Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Arlington Park.
William Sorokolit Sr.'s Union Place, and Blue Sky Farm and Fred Martin's Irish Colonial make trainer Randy Shulhofer a double threat for Friday's feature at Saratoga, the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT). The nine-furlong feature has drawn a field of eight, with Nothing to Lose the 117-pound highweight.
Lion Heart leads a field of seven expected for the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), going 1 1/8-miles on Aug. 8 at Monmouth Park. The Patrick Biancone-trained Lion Heart will carry a top weight of 121 pounds.
The opening day card at Saratoga on Wednesday has been impacted by the large amount of rain in upstate New York Monday and Tuesday.
Trainer Richard Mandella reported Monday morning that he has an agreement from Jerry Bailey to ride Pleasantly Perfect in Del Mar's grade I, $1-million Pacific Classic and the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
A field of 11 juvenile fillies, including top-weighted stakes winners Classic Elegance and Broadway Gold have been entered for Wednesday's $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. II), the featured event on Saratoga's opening-day card.
Godolphin's favored Doyen had too much finishing kick for his rivals in Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I), pulling away in the final furlong for a polished three-length victory.
Presidentialaffair, a horse for the course on the Monmouth Park main track, returns to graded stakes opposition in Sunday's $100,000 Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III).
Perfect Soul, Canada's 2003 Sovereign Award winner as Canada's Top Turf Male, has plenty of factors working against him in Sunday's Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine.
Defending champion Beau's Town and 2002 winner Disturbingthepeace are among 11 sprinters entered in Sunday's $400,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at six furlongs on Del Mar's main track.
Pleasantly Perfect, winner of the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) and Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), put in the "serious" mile workout trainer Richard Mandella expected of him as the 6-year-old son of Pleasant Colony prepped for Del Mar's $250,00 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) Sunday, Aug. 1.
Prestonwood Farm's Special Ring will be making his first start of 2004 Sunday when he seeks to defend his crown in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.
Smarty Jones' vacation ends soon as the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner will begin serious workouts early next week in preparation for the Sept. 6 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park.
Saturday's $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), reduced in distance once again to 1 1/4 miles, drew a field of six 3-year-old fillies, highlighted by another showdown between Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Ashado and Mother Goose (gr. I) winner Stellar Jayne.
Light Jig, winner of Hollywood Park's Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT), heads a field of seven older fillies and mares for Saturday's $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/8 miles on Del Mar's Jimmy Durante turf course.
Pin Oak Stable's homebred Bedanken, recent winner of the Possibly Perfect Stakes here July 5, jumps back into graded stakes competition as the 119-pound starting highweight in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Ballingarry, well known at Arlington Park because of his two wins in the Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) there, will start as the highweight in Saturday's Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The Sidney Port Trust's Toasted, winner of the Arlington Classic (gr. IIT) in his last start, drew the inside post in a field of eight for the $250,000 American Derby (gr. IIT), one of three graded stakes on "Million Preview Day" July 24 at Arlington Park.
A field of eight, topped by grade I winner Lion Heart, is shaping up for the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I), going 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 8 at Monmouth Park.
A trio of potential runners for Sunday's 59th edition of the grade I, $250,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap put in final tuneups Tuesday morning for the race named for one of the founders of the seaside track.
Bob Baffert said Sunday that Jim McIngvale's Actxecutive, runner-up in Saturday's Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. II), will make his next start in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga on Aug. 21.
Trainer Kristin Mulhall, who posted a surprise victory with Puerto Banus in the Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) last year, can spring another upset with Gulchie in the $150,000 Hollywood Park closing day turf test at 1 1/2 miles Sunday.
Bachelor Blues, who has developed an affinity for Woodbine's turf, hopes his edge can carry the day in Saturday's $168,600 Toronto Cup Stakes (Can-III) for 3-year-olds.
Icy Atlantic and Commendation, who have faced the best 3-year-old turf horses in the East, will attract plenty of attention in the wagering when they square off against seven rivals in the $100,000 Lexington (gr. IIIT) Sunday at Belmont Park.
Unbeaten Chandtrue, whose three wins by a combined 15 1/2 lengths include a pair of stakes victories, figures as a heavy favorite against four challengers Saturday in the 65th running of the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
It took some time for Inish Glora, who is set to contest the $162,450 Dance Smartly (Can-III) Saturday at Woodbine, to reach her peak form, but the champion daughter of Regal Classic has certainly done so over the past two years.
A field of seven, including Queen's Plate champion Niigon, is set to compete Sunday in the 2004 edition of the Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel of Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing at Fort Erie.
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