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.
Sullivan Lane Stable and Vincent Scuderi's highweighted Classic Endeavor will carry Eclipse Award-winning rider John Velazquez and an impost of 118 pounds against a well-matched and familiar group of older horses in Saturday's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II). The strong card features the prestigious Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. III) for the 3-year-old set.
A trip down the Triple Crown Trail could be on the line when Northern California-based Lost in the Fog leads a field of 11 runners to the gate for the March 5 Swale Stakes (gr. II), going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
Cash is King Stable's Afleet Alex will make his 3-year-old debut in the Saturday's Mountain Valley Stakes, going six furlongs at Oaklawn Park.
Alex Solis, who lost major mounts while sidelined for 6 ½ months after a spill at Del Mar July 23, will replace the injured David Flores aboard Singletary in Saturday's $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) on the Santa Anita turf.
An old-fashioned East vs. West match-up between Saint Liam and Rock Hard Ten looms in Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).
A pair of Bobby Frankel-trained grass specialists, Burning Sun and Gigli, third and eighth respectively in Gulfstream's Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan.30, are likely to face each other once again in Sunday's Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT), going 1 3/8 miles.
Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, owned by Stronach Stables and conditioned by Bobby Frankel, worked five furlongs handily in 1:01.80 at Palm Meadows Wednesday.
Rock Hard Ten and Congrats, two contenders for Saturday's Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) trained by Richard Mandella, worked at Santa Anita Tuesday.
Nick Zito is licking his chops after last weekend's impressive victories by Sun King and Andromeda's Hero. Now, he tries to put the finishing touches on his four-horse feast when he saddles High Fly in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Noble Causeway in an allowance race. All indications are that Zito will be flying high once again.
Dearest Mon, the highly regarded sophomore owned by Beverly Green and trained by Rick Violette Jr., worked four furlongs handily at Palm Meadows Feb. 28 in :48.60 in preparation for Saturday's $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes, one of five grade II events on tap for the Spectacular Saturday III program at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Ralph Ziadie vanned the promising Port Town from his Calder Race Course base to Gulfstream Park for a Feb. 28 morning workout with an eye on a 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) Saturday.
Multiple grade II winner Roman Ruler, now targeted for the March 19 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12 2/5 from the gate under jockey Gary Stevens over Santa Anita's fast main track Sunday morning.
Two talented Bay Area 3-year-olds, Lost In The Fog and Stellar Magic, had workouts Sunday morning in preparation for their next major assignments.
Frank Evans, a professional poker player and veteran of numerous handicapping contests, is the 2005 winner of Turf-Vivor IV, Gulfstream Park's prognosticating challenge that annually attracts the best horseplayers in North America.
The 34th running of the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park has drawn 130 nominations. The race, run at 1 1/8 miles as an early prep for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is March 26.
Meteor Storm, winner of last year's Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park but on the sidelines for the past eight months, could return for trainer Wally Dollase in Saturday's Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park.
Trainer Nick Zito, always a threat along the Triple Crown trail, was sitting comfortably Sunday after two of his 3-year-olds posted wins Saturday and a third, High Fly, cruised through his workout and into the picture for the $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) on March 5.
Champion Declan's Moon, getting ready to start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita March 5, worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 Saturday at Hollywood Park. Trainer Ron Ellis also breezed Don't Get Mad, while across town, Spanish Chestnut and Scipion drilled for Patrick Biancone.
Champion Sweet Catomine, gearing up for her next appearance in the March 13 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), worked five furlongs in :59 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Saturday morning.
Mr.& Mrs. William Warren's Saint Liam worked six furlongs handily in 1:12 at the Palm Meadows training center Saturday morning in preparation for his engagement in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 5.
On the sidelines for nearly seven months, the Bob Baffert-trained grade II winner Victory U.S.A. returns to action Sunday as the likely favorite in the $100,00 Las Flores Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
Undefeated Cajun Pepper will make his 3-year-old debut by leading a dozen sophomores to the gate for Sunday's $100,000 Borderland Derby, going 1 1/16 miles at Sunland Park. The Borderland Derby is the final local prep for the April 2, $500,000 WinStar Sunland Park Derby.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod's Sweet Catomine, last year's juvenile filly champ, has been nominated to the March 5 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), and could run in the nine-furlong race at Florida's Gulfstream Park if the bad weather in Southern California hampers her training, trainer Julio Canani said Friday.
Fox Hill Farm's undefeated Rockport Harbor served notice that he is fully recovered from the foot bruise suffered last week by working seven furlongs at Oaklawn Park Friday in 1:27 2/5 over a fast track as he progresses toward his 3-year-old debut in the March 19 Rebel Stakes (gr. III).
Robert Bone's Choctaw Nation, who has not started since suffering his only career loss in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar six months ago, has been entered in Saturday's $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) over seven furlongs at Santa Anita.
Wannawinemall, a four-length winner of a maiden special weight event Feb. 17 at Santa Anita, should make his next start in graded stakes company, according to trainer Kristin Mulhall, who said the long-term goal for the son of Royal Anthem is the Triple Crown trail.
The Ogden Mills Phipps-homebred filly Daydreaming will be making her first start of the year when she leads a field of six fillies and mares, including the top three finishers in Banshee Breeze Handicap, in Saturday's $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) going 1 1/8 miles over the main track at Gulfstream Park.
A group of 12 3-year-olds has passed the entry box in Saturday's $100,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, a prelude to that track's signature Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) March 19. Trainer Nick Zito sends out two of the top entries in Andromeda's Hero and G P's Black Knight.
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