Mercedes Stables' grade II winner Twice as Bad, sidelined since finishing seventh in the Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Calder Race Course last July 10, is back to work and is considered possible to make his return to racing before the end of the current Santa Anita meeting, trainer Vladimir Cerin said.
Stronach Stable's Ghostzapper, Horse of the Year in 2004, continues to progress in his training, working a handy five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 on Monday at the Palm Meadows Training Center in preparation for a possible start in the April 9 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Cash Is King Stable's Afleet Alex, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and runner-up in the voting for 2-year-old champion, had his first work of the year at Oaklawn Park Wednesday, drilling a sharp half in :47 flat with jockey Jeremy Rose aboard. It was the second fastest of 40 works at the distance.
James "Mattress Mac" McIngvale's Actxecutive is in training at Fair Grounds with trainer Steve Asmussen for a 3-year-old campaign that the owner hopes will include a start in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Simply put, this has been a relatively uneventful Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail. Until Feb. 12, no 3-year-old had done anything exciting enough to infiltrate the top spots, occupied by last year's stars, none of whom have even run yet in 2005. Then, along came Scipion.
Trainer Tim Ritchey confirmed Monday morning that Afleet Alex, runner-up for the 2-year-old championship, will have his first work of his 3-year-old season later this week at Oaklawn Park.
Reigning juvenile filly champion Sweet Catomine emerged as a narrow favorite over "all others" as four days of betting on the opening pool of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager drew to a close on Sunday evening at racetracks and simulcast centers across North America.
The favorite in the first pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Pool, which ended Sunday, is the mutuel field – for the seventh consecutive year.
Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) candidate Borrego should be nicknamed "The Rainmaker."
Multiple grade I winner Star Parade will attempt to repeat last year's victory in the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Sunday, but she figures to be severely tested in her first start since August.
A game second in last month's El Encino Stakes (gr. II), grade I winner A.P. Adventure tries to put an end to a year-long victory drought in Saturday's $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
The jury may still be out on Real Quiet as a sire, but as far as Bob Baffert is concerned, when it comes to the fast-developing Pussycat Doll, the verdict is nearly in.
Madcap Escapade and Society Selection, two of the nation's best 3-year-old fillies last year, head a list of 17 named to the $150,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs Feb. 19 at Gulfstream Park.
A competitive field of nine older horses has passed the entry box for Saturday's one-mile Appleton Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the newly designed turf course at Gulfstream Park. Weighing in with a top impost of 120 pounds is the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Millennium Dragon, stakes winner on two continents including last year's Appleton.
German-bred Binya, who captured last year's The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park, will be toting high weight of 118 pounds against 10 rivals in Saturday's Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream.
The first leg of Oaklawn Park's stakes program for older runners will kick off with Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III). Discreet Hero will be seeking his first 2005 victory as the 115-pound topweight in the 1 1/16 mile-event.
Pollard's Vision makes his 4-year-old debut Saturday as the morning line favorite in the $100,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), part of a four-stakes card at Fair Grounds.
Summerly, a dominating allowance winner for trainer Steve Asmussen in her last start, is the morning line choice in Saturday's $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Fair Grounds.
The regally-bred Harlington, a $2.8 million yearling purchase who has won his two races to date, is the 3-1 favorite in a field of 11 sophomores entered for Saturday's $150,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds.
The most accomplished stars of this year's crop of 3-year-olds--including 2-year-old champion Declan's Moon, 2-year-old filly champion Sweet Catomine, and Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Wilko--are among the 24 wagering interests in the first of three 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools scheduled for Feb. 10-13.
Roman Ruler, who worked six furlongs from the gate in a swift 1:11 2/5 on Sunday morning, will have Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey aboard for his 3-year-old debut Feb. 13 in the $150,000 San Vicente (gr. II), trainer Bob Baffert said.
Trainer Richard Mandella sends Congrats to the post in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II), which drew a contentious field of 11 for the Super Bowl Sunday feature at Santa Anita Park.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Spanish Chestnut, getting ready for his next start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) March 5, worked a half-mile in a blistering :45 over Santa Anita's fast main track Friday morning.
Calder Race Course will introduce three races this year that will mirror each race of the Visa Triple Crown in date and distance, giving runners age three and up a chance to participate in a unique series.
There might not be any stakes races on the Sunday card at Gulfstream Park, but the featured $35,000 allowance race should be a showdown between stakes winners Value Plus and Silver Wagon.
The return of grade I winner Madcap Escapade will likely come Feb 19 in the $100,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, according to trainer Frank Brothers.
Rock Hard Ten makes his debut as a 4-year-old Saturday against a quality field in the $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Live Oak Plantation's High Fly, an impressive winner of his three starts to date, stretches out to two turns for the first time in Saturday's $150,000 Holy Bull (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin J. Wygod's homebred champion Sweet Catomine, getting ready for her next start, likely the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 13, worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track Thursday morning.
Juvenile graded stakes winners Proud Accolade, Park Avenue Ball, and Defer square off as part of a small field for Saturday's $150,000 Hutcheson (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, but lightly raced Devil at Sea could be the surprise package.
Jay Manoogian's grade I winner Kela, who was runner up to Speightstown in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Lone Star Park, tops a field of seven in Saturday's $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Seven 3-year-old fillies, led by co-highweights Sis City and Leona's Knight, will face the starter in Gulfstream's grade II Davona Dale Stakes Saturday, each assigned an impost of 121 pounds.
New York graded stakes winner Toll Taker and New York graded stakes-placed Alfonsina share the topweight of 119 pounds in Saturday's Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
A field of six will contest the 47th running of the grade I Donn Handicap, traditionally the opening salvo of the handicap divisional season. This year's edition includes 2004 Eclipse Award finalist Roses in May and last year's Clark Handicap (gr. II) winner St. Liam--both of whom tussled with Horse of the Year Ghostzapper.
Two undefeated colts, Declan's Moon and Rockport Harbor, worked Thursday morning at Santa Anita and Oaklawn Park, respectively, in preparation for their 3-year-old debuts. Declan's Moon turned in a sharp five furlongs in :59 4/5, while Rockport Harbor went the same distance in 1:02 1/5.
Trainer Nick Zito is preparing for a big weekend at Gulfstream Park, saddling runners in the Donn Handicap (gr. I), Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II), Old Hat Stakes (gr. III), and Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), as well as celebrating his 57th birthday.
Potential handicap star Rock Hard Ten remains on course for Saturday's $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, but stablemate Minister Eric will not run, trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday.
Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park will offer Pick Six carryovers totaling more than $800,000 when racing resumes Thursday.
Trainer Shug McGaughey is set to take the wraps off Laurel Futurity winner Defer in Saturday's $100,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in what he hopes will be the first step toward the 3-year-old Classic races later this spring.
Churchill Downs Incorporated launched the official 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Web sites Wednesday. According to a release from the company, the new and improved sites offer "the most comprehensive coverage of the Run for the Roses" and its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks. This year's Derby will be held May 7 and the Oaks May 6.
Aventura Stakes winner High Fly will take the next step in the Florida Derby series Saturday by racing in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Bill White confirmed that news after the colt's latest workout Sunday morning.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, early favorite for Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap, posted a five-furlong breeze in 1:02 4/5 for trainer Dale Romans Saturday at Palm Meadows training center.
Inclement weather continued to play havoc with racing, as Turfway Park and Laurel Park canceled live racing Sunday.
The Magna 5, a $2 pick five wager linking races from four racetracks in an hour, kicked off its second year by paying $406,985.80 to one winner Saturday. The winning ticket was purchased at Hollywood Park.
With a grade I placing to her credit in her first start in five months, trainer Mark Glatt is looking for a big effort from his 4-year-old filly Elusive Diva in the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Sunday.
Sanford Goldfarb's Aggadan is the horse to beat when he faces eight rivals in Aqueduct's first graded stakes race of 2005, the $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) Sunday at 1 1/16 miles.
Juddmonte Farms' Burning Sun looks to set the new Gulfstream Park turf course on fire when he takes the gate in Sunday's Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/8-miles.
Sulamani received the highest rating of any horse that started in Canada last year based on the 2004 Canadian Thoroughbred Ratings, which replaced the Canadian Free Handicap. The Canadian Jockey Club compiled the rankings.
In his first workout since being injured while winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) last year, Rick Porter's Rockport Harbor breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 at Oaklawn Park Wednesday.
The Harris Farms' grade I winning California homebred Alphabet Kisses heads a field that includes six graded stakes winners in the $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Distaff on the Sunshine Millions card at Santa Anita Saturday.
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