Kentucky Derby Day is always a big one at Aqueduct, where two stakes will be featured on Saturday, the $150,000 Withers Stakes (g. III) and the $100,000 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Halfbridled, seeking to regain the form she displayed during her championship season of 2003, "blew out" three furlongs in 34 4/5 seconds Wednesday in preparation for Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Friday's Alysheba Stakes is open to 3-year-olds, but a sizable group of older horses will go to the gate for the 8 1/2-furlong event including Kodema, Spanish Empire, Perfect Drift, and Sarava.
When a horse wins a race at a particular distance, oftentimes the horse is labeled as a runner only suitable for that certain distance. Usually, this generalization is not justified; that horse can win at many other distances. The Cliff's Edge himself is a victim of this generalization.
Not every 3-year-old filly racing on April 30 will be running for the lilies. Twelve sophomore fillies are entered for the $100,000 Edgewood Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, which will be contested over 8 1/2 furlongs on the turf.
Many expected the field for this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) to be be among the most accomplished in years, and with six grade I winners filling the entry box for the 1 1/8-mile contest Tuesday morning, that opinion may have been confirmed.
If there is a horse for the course, then Testify is the horse for the course and for the race when it comes to the $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. IIII). The 7-year-old gelding is shooting for his second win in the five-furlong race on Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard.
Waterville Lake Stable's 4-year-old filly Derrianne will be the horse to beat in Saturday's $150,000 Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap with a full field drawn for the 1 1/16 miles turf course test.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Sightseek leads a talented seven-horse field for Friday's $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), going 1 1/16-mile race on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard.
A field of nine will try the Churchill Downs turf Friday in the $100,000 Crown Royal American Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT), the race immediately preceding the headliner on the day, the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song was an early bird who got a good track to work over at Churchill Downs Sunday morning, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 for trainer Carl Nafzger in preparation for Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Bruce Lunsford's undefeated Madcap Escapade zipped five furlongs in :58 1/5 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs Friday morning in preparation for the April 30 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Churchill Downs announced Thursday that it will again offer racing a pair of lucrative all-stakes Pick Four wagers with large guaranteed minimum betting pools during its Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks Day (gr. I) racing cards April 30-May 1.
Snorter and Pie N Burger will headline a talented field in Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) at Lone Star Park. Snorter is a perfect two-for-two on the year and Pie N Burger is undefeated in three career starts at the Texas track.
Some stallions still remain who are an influence for stamina in the breeding program. A.P. Indy is one of these sires. His son, Friends Lake, is a major Derby contender this year, and can tackle the 1 1/4 mile distance with ease.
Multiple grade I winner and earner of more than $2-million, Evening Attire will be looking for his first win of the year when he headlines a talented field of seven in Thursday's $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III), going 1 1/8-miles at Keeneland.
Three Southern California-based contenders for Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) -- Snorter, Kela and Taste of Paradise -- arrived at Lone Star Park on Monday.
Wednesday's $100,000-added Bewitch (gr. III) features an overflow field of well-matched fillies and mares set to compete over 1 1/2 miles on Keeneland's turf course.
Sunday's $100,000-added Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT), which drew a field of eight tough fillies and mares to the 1 1/16-mile turf test, features trainer Bobby Frankel's first starter of the Keeneland spring meeting.
Santa Anita Park concludes its 67th season of racing Sunday featuring the $250,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) at about 1 ¾ miles on turf, the longest graded race in North America.
New York invader Unforgettable Max heads a field of eight in Saturday's $150,000 Jim McKay Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 mile at Pimlico.
A well-matched field of fillies and mares, including defending champion Repository, is entered to run in the 5 1/2-furlong Stravinsky Stakes over the Keeneland turf course Sunday.
Megahertz will carry greater weight and greater expectations than her five rivals as a clear standout in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT), a 1 ¼-mile contest for older fillies and mares.
Buy the Sport was a major league surprise winning last summer's prestigious Gazelle (gr. I) at Belmont Park at odds of 48-1. Saturday, she makes her 4-year-old debut in Aqueduct's Bed O' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III), which drew three other grade I winners.
Opening day Saturday at Woodbine could turn out to be a Fantastic Day for Robert Tiller, last year's champion conditioner in Canada, who sends out a prominent pair in the $133,950 Jacques Cartier Stakes, a seven-horse race that features tons of speed.
The Allen Paulson Living Trust's Azeri, the 2002 "Horse of the Year" and champion older mare in 2003, will be pointed to the $250,000-added Humana Distaff (gr. I) at seven furlongs on Kentucky Derby Day May 1 at Churchill Downs, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Thursday.
Prince Arch came from off the pace rallying down the center of the course seven wide to take Thursday's $111,100 Forerunner Stakes at Keeneland.
Lucifer's Stone and Western Ransom hooked up in a thrilling stretch duel in Wednesday's $113,500 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland, with jockey Jose Santos moving Lucifer's Stone to the outside of Western Ransom to score a head win.
The $100,000 Doubledogdare Stakes isn't a graded event, but a number of its entrants have earned that status, giving the race a strong dose of class. Of the 11 entrants, three of them are grade II winners, and five others have won added-money races.
Thursday's $100,000-added Forerunner drew a competitive group of nine 3-year-old colts and geldings who are scheduled compete over Keeneland's nine-furlong Haggin turf course.
Churchill Downs will offer free weekday admission, which begins the week after the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Churchill Downs opens April 24 and continues through July 5.
Ten Most Wanted, winner of the 2003 Illinois Derby (gr. II), Travers (gr. I), and Super Derby , will return to Hawthorne Race Course on Saturday in the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III).
An ideal distance and running style should make Ticker Tape a solid contender in Sunday's $100,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.
Seattle Borders, a graded stakes winner from the barn of Bobby Frankel, heads a field of nine in Saturday's $100,000 La Puente Stakes, a turf mile for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park.
Reigning Illinois Horse of the Year Summer Mis and top 2003 3-year-old runner Wiggins will both compete on Illinois Champions Day at Hawthorne on Saturday.
A field of 14 turf sprinters, led by Fiscally Speaking, are expected in Saturday's $100,000 Shakertown Sprint (gr. IIIT), going 5 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland.
The defection of Congaree from Saturday's Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland, opens the race up a bit wider for its six entrants. After all, Congaree, who was taken out of consideration after a bout of colic, is a multiple graded stakes winner whose victories include the Carter Handicap (gr. I).
Strong Hope, upset winner over Empire Maker in last year's Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), has been installed as the favorite and 119-pound highweight in Saturday's 104th running of the grade I, $350,000 Carter Handicap over seven furlongs at Aqueduct.
Bushwood Stables' Better Talk Now and Mansell Stables' Quest Star, both 5-year-olds, headline the April 10 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap, at $200,000 the richest race of the Sam Houston Race Park meet. The Connally is at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
With the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) only three weeks away, NBC Sports kicks off coverage of horseracing's 3-year-old picture on Saturday, with the 90-minute telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby."
The $100,000 Comely Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct is expected to be a test for both Society Selection and Irish Melody. The two 3-year-old fillies will face seven rivals in the mile race on Friday.
Lion Heart was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite against eight other 3-year-olds for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and trainer Patrick Biancone agreed. "He's that good and I hope he gets to show it on the track," Biancone said.
Champion Halfbridled will lead a field of eight in Thursday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Halfbridled was entered but scratched from the April 3 Ashland Stakes (gr.I) after tying up after a morning gallop.
Ten Most Wanted heads a list of 19 nominees for the running of the $250,000
National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course, which will be contested over 1 1/8-miles on April 17.
Though knocked of the Ashland (gr. I) Saturday by a minor ailment, Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled did little to shake the confidence of racing fans that made the reigning 2-year-old filly champion the 4-1 favorite in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
Ema Bovary goes after her ninth consecutive victory, facing a field that includes grade I winners Lady Tak and Harmony Lodge, in Wednesday's $175,000 Vinery Madison at Keenland.
Stormica, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly, seeks her third consecutive victory in the United States in the $100,000-added Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita downhill turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs.
Pesci, the speedy 4-year-old filly, and Joe Pesci, the Academy Award-nominated actor who owns a share of the horse, will be at Santa Anita Park Sunday for the $75,000 Santa Lucia Handicap for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
Sunday's Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) drew a well-matched field of seven 3-year-olds set to run seven furlongs.
A small but select field of 3-year-old fillies, including champion Halfbridled, undefeated Madcap Escapade, Eclipse Award finalist Ashado, and grade III winner La Reina, has been entered for Saturday's $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
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