Tizbud, winner of the 2003 California Cup Classic, is on his toes for his next start in the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park on Dec. 11, trainer John Sadler said Friday.
A total of 10 grade I stakes and more than $12 million in stakes money will be up for grabs when Santa Anita Park kicks off its 85-day winter/spring meeting Dec. 26 with the Malibu Stakes (gr. I).
The connections for Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) upsetter Better Talk Now are gambling that a victory in Hollywood Park's $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) Saturday will be enough to secure an Eclipse Award as the year's North American male turf champion.
Two-year-old filly Punch Appeal, a winner of five races in 2004, will try to cap a successful year with a victory in the rich $250,000 Boyd Gaming's Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs Saturday.
Trainer Craig Dollase said Thursday that Corey Nakatani would ride Wilko in the Grade I Hollywood Futurity for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 18.
A.P. Adventure breezed six furlongs in 1:14 on the Hollywood Park main track Thursday for a probable return in the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares on Dec. 12.
Evening Attire, winner of the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) this summer, will carry highweight of 123 pounds in Saturday's Queens County Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. The grade I winner and earner of more than $2.3 million will face nine older foes in the 1 3/16ths-miles race that goes at approximately 3:44 p.m. EST.
With the year drawing to a close, it's time to start sizing up the future travelers who are preparing to embark on the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail.
Silver Tree and Host, both graded stakes winners in 2004, are the likely favorites in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course Saturday.
Trainer Barclay Tagg sends out a pair of last-race stakes winners, part of a full field entered for the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the Calder turf course Saturday.
French invader Sunny Sky, third-place finisher in the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds on turf Saturday, will remain in California and test dirt for the first time in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 18, according to trainer Maurice Zilber.
George Wolf's homebred Leaving On My Mind tops a field of 10 in Saturday's $1 million Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot Stakes, the second richest 2-year-old race in North America.
AmericaTab followed the success of its first Players' Pool on the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6 with its second hit in a month. Bettors had one winning pick six ticket and 28 consolation tickets Nov. 28 at Hollywood Park.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Sweet Catomine worked for the first time since racing's championship day and posted a three furlong move in :36 1/5, breezing, under jockey David Flores at Santa Anita Tuesday morning.
Yes, it's only December, but what better way to fill the gap between the turkey and the tinsel than to start talking Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Before discussing the Derby hopefuls gathering all over the country, it must be pointed out that next year's road to Louisville will be unlike anything we've ever seen, and there is no doubt that the times are indeed changing.
Stronach Stables' Ghostzapper and Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, the one-two finishers in the $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), will take different paths in 2005, at least until the summer when they could square off again in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
Fox Hill Farms' Rockport Harbor, who scored a gutsy victory over Galloping Grocer in the Nov. 27 Remsen Stakes (gr. II), came out of the 1 1/8-mile race with a severe gash on his right hind leg that was described by trainer John Servis as "pretty nasty."
Better Talk Now, staging a late bid for an Eclipse Award, will be flown to California on Tuesday for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) Saturday, trainer H. Graham Motion said Sunday from his base at Fair Hill, Md.
Clark Handicap (gr. II) winner Saint Liam is to ship to Florida's Palm Meadows training center Wednesday, where he'll be prepared for the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I), his next target at Gulfstream Park Feb. 5.
The $100,000-added Fall Highweight Handicap, originally scheduled for Thanksgiving but postponed until Sunday because of poor track conditions, lost pre-race favorite Bwana Charlie when entries were taken Friday.
Four-year-old Dynever, last seen finishing a disappointing eighth behind Horse of the Year candidate Ghostzapper in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), faces eight rivals Sunday in the $40,000 Mel's Hope overnight stakes at Calder Race Course.
The Julio Canani-trained Blackdoun is the likely favorite in Sunday $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles, which attracted 13 3-year-olds.
The connections of 3-year-old Ticker Tape hope that a victory in Sunday's $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park will influence enough votes to secure an Eclipse Award as champion grass filly or mare.
The Churchill Downs spotlight shines on the 2-year-olds Saturday as the fall meet concludes with the $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and the $200,000 Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies.
Sis City, owned in part by New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, is the filly to beat in Saturday's $200,000 Demoiselle (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles.
Two undefeated juvenile colts – Galloping Grocer and Rockport Harbor – square off in the $200,000 Remsen (gr. II) at Aqueduct Saturday at 1 1/8 miles.
Pico Central and Kela, the two best sprinters based in California, have traveled across the country to meet at Aqueduct in New York's final grade I race of 2004, Saturday's $350,000 Cigar Mile. The Cigar Mile will be the featured event on a 10-race card that includes a pair of grade II juvenile stakes, the Remsen and Demoiselle.
Greek Sun, the probable favorite in the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) Sunday, has been taken out of the race by trainer Bobby Frankel.
Cajun Beat, the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) champion who has raced on grass only once, helps lead off trainer Bobby Frankel's assault on Hollywood Park's Turf Festival in the $150,000 Turf Express Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Ten horses will vie in the elite race of Churchill Downs' fall schedule, the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) Friday in Louisville. The Brazilian-bred Lundy's Liability will carry high weight of 120 pounds over the nine furlongs.
Azeri, who figured to be the brightest star to shine over the holiday weekend at Churchill Downs in Thursday's Falls City Handicap (gr. II), has not been entered by trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Lukas, along with owner Michael Paulson, wasn't overly concerned with the 126-pound assessment, it was the spread in the weights that will keep her on the sidelines.
Fair Grounds Racecourse in New Orleans kicks off its 133rd season of live racing and first under the ownership of Churchill Downs Inc. Thursday with the traditional opening-day feature, the Thanksgiving Handicap.
Will "Rocky" score another knockout? Will The Grocer breeze through the express lane again? Those questions should be answered in the Nov. 27 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct. The same day, at Churchill Downs, Iroquois (gr. III) winner Straight Line again will try to take the shortest way home in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).
Jockeys John Velazquez, Edgar Prado and Jerry Bailey, the nation's three leaders in purse earnings this year, will leave their New York base to ride in the Turf Festival at Hollywood Park next weekend.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas says he's undecided about whether to run Azeri in the $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day due to concern over weight assignments.
Ro Parra's speedy veteran Warleigh can help sizzling trainer Steve Asmussen assault on the single-season win mark when he faces an overflow field of turf competitors in Sunday's $150,000-added River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky-based trainer Rebecca "Becky" Maker saddles her first starter at Aqueduct when she send Galactic Cat to the post Sunday in the $100,000-added Valley Stream (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who leads the nation with earnings of about $16.5 million this year, plans to ship three horses to Hollywood Park for the Turf Festival Nov. 26-28.
A dozen 3-year-old colts will take the gate for Sunday's $150,000 Oklahoma Derby (gr. III), going 1 1/8-miles at Remington Park. The field is led by grade II winner Quinton's Gold Rush and grade III winner Mr. Jester.
Grade I winner Gygistar has been established as likely favorite against nine others in the $100,000 Charles H. Hadry Stakes, one of five stakes on the undercard at Pimlico Saturday where the featured race is the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorail Dash (gr. I).
A couple of heavy hitters from the New York area have shipped to Pimlico in an attempt to annex the $100,000 Laurel Futurity (gr. III) Saturday.
Rosalee C. Davison's homebred Here Us Roar hopes to extend her undefeated career tally to three in Saturday's $100,000 Selima Stakes at Pimlico.
The top three finishers from last year's race plus four horses who competed in last month's Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) are among the 11 entries for Saturday's $300,000 De Francis Dash (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course.
Saint Liam, who gave leading Horse of the Year candidate Ghostzapper his toughest race of the season while finishing second in the Woodward Stakes (g.r I) Sept. 11, is probable for the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs.
Five-year-old Irish Colonial, who snapped a nine-race losing streak in his last start when he prevailed in the Mohawk Handicap for New York-breds, returns to open company in Saturday's $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Aqueduct turf.
Willmott Stable's consistent Aud, who turned in perhaps her career-best performance last fall at Churchill Downs, looms as a narrow favorite in an overflow field of 13 entered in Saturday's $150,000-added Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) for older fillies and mares on the grass.
Chasing a possible Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old, unbeaten Declan's Moon returns to action in Saturday's Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) where his competition in the seven-furlong event will include Seize the Day, a smashing 11-length winner of his only start.
Norfolk Knight takes a three-race winning streak into Saturday's $159,750 Woodbine Slots Cup (Can-III), where he'll face three opponents.
Five horses bring Eclipse Award hopes into the final Grade I steeplechase of 2004 in the $100,000 Marion du Pont Scott Colonial Cup (NSA-I) at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C., Nov. 21.
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