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.
Even the Score, bothered by foot problems, was dropped from consideration for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22 by trainer Vladimir Cerin Sunday. Another prospect for the race, Olmodavor is extremely questionable, according to trainer Richard Mandella.
Gary A. Tanaka's Epalo, the first of four European invaders to arrive at Arlington Park for the upcoming Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 14, was on his toes -- alert and interested -- while being walked behind his barn by Elke Schutz Saturday morning.
Medallist and The Cliff's Edge, the one-two finishers in the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont on July 11 head a seven-horse field for Sunday's nine-furlong Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.
With Queen's Plate winner Niigon at Saratoga to contest the Jim Dandy (gr. II) on dirt, Sam-Son Farm's Silver Ticket and The Two Bit Racing Stable's A Bit O'Gold head a field of 11 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds for the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes Sunday at Woodbine.
It was like old times again here at the Spa. Rain on opening day, the largest on-track crowds in America and Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez picking up where they left off last year.
With a lineup that includes four multiple graded stakes winners, Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) boasts one of the strongest fields of fillies and mares ever gathered for the 1 1/8-mile fixture on Del Mar's main track.
Undefeated Souvenir Gift, who has two stakes victories among her three wins, heads a field of eight 2-year-old fillies in Saturday's $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) at 6 1/2 furlongs on Del Mar's main track.
Iron County Farms' Bare Necessities is looking to repeat her winning performance in Saturday's $200,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) going 1 1/8-miles at Ellis Park. Bare Necessities took the 2003 edition by scoring an impressive 5 1/4-length win and paying just $2.80 to become the shortest price in the race's 22-year history.
A small but contentious field of seven will line up Saturday to try and claim honors in the $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga.
Five weeks after giving everything he had to win the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) by a neck over Newfoundland, Edmund Gann's Peace Rules will have his work cut out for him once again as he faces a field with quick speed horses in Saturday's 77th running of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
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.
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