With the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park only a month away, the New Jersey State Police has reassigned four detectives that have made up its "horse racing investigative unit" and replaced them with two retired detectives.
Twice this summer, Cloudy's Knight just missed winning a pair of graded stakes. Those experiences must have helped the 7-year-old, as he was not to be denied a third time, taking the $300,000 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) Sept. 23 at Woodbine by a length.
There were some anxious moments for Any Given Saturday in the $150,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 22 at Belmont Park. But the 1-5 favorite eventually took over at the sixteenth pole and then pulled away for a 2 1/2-length victory in his final prep before the Oct. 27 $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
After trailing the field of eight through a half-mile, Thomas Conway's General Jumbo rallied four-wide and then held off a determined Fri Guy to win the Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. III) by a half-length in Kentucky Downs' 1 1/2-mile feature event Sept. 22.
Entering the $500,000 Super Derby Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 22 at Louisiana Downs, Going Ballistic had not won since May. With help from jockey Clifton Berry, Mike and Mary Kindred's 3-year-old colt soared through the middle of the racetrack to overtake heavy favorite Grasshopper to win by a length.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Street Sense and Derby runner-up Hard Spun will meet for the third time in next Saturday's $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park, it was announced Sept. 22.
One of these days, 9-year-old gelding Revved Up will have had enough. But based on recent performances, that time is nowhere in the near future. The Live Oak Plantation homebred is the favorite in the $300,000 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) Sept. 23, a 1 3/8-mile test on the Woodbine turf that will include 11 challengers, seven of them geldings.
After back-to-back stakes victories, the hard-trying California-bred Bold Chieftain may never have a better opportunity to notch his first graded win than in the $150,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the San Mateo track's turf course Sept. 22.
All the talk leading up to the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) has been centered around race favorite Grasshopper. But several of the 10 contenders in the Harrah's Louisiana Downs feature event Sept. 22 have more than enough credentials to make bettors give the 1 1/8-mile event a second look.
Many have attempted to dethrone racing's supreme monarch, Rags to Riches, this year, from the fairest of maidens to the bravest of knights. They all failed. But then, in the Sept. 15 Gazelle Stakes (gr. I), came a stately, kindhearted damsel named Lear's Princess, who dared to look the "Belle of Belmont" in the eye.
The New Jersey Racing Commission Sept. 17 approved regulations to conduct, for the first time, out of competition testing for EPO (Epogen) and TCO2 testing in Thoroughbred racehorses competing at the four New Jersey racetracks.
Leading trainer Todd Pletcher will try for his fourth Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) title, as two-time Grade I winner Octave leads a field of eight 3-year-old fillies for the 1 1/16-mile event at Philadelphia Park.
Jambalaya, who upset The Tin Man in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) and was headed to the $3-million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), will not race again this year because an acute bone bruise at the end of a cannon bone was discovered Sept. 18.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin enjoyed a highly successful weekend Sept. 15-16, winning the Gazelle (g. I) with Lear's Princess at Belmont Park Saturday and the $1-million Woodbine Mile (CAN-I) Sunday.
Pamela Newman, treasurer and chief financial officer of Breeders' Cup, has resigned, a Breeders' Cup official has confirmed.
Lawyer Ron, winner of the Whitney (gr. I) and Woodward (gr. I) in his last two starts at Saratoga, worked a half-mile in 48.40 seconds over Belmont Park's main track Sept. 17.
The Oak Tree Racing Association announced Sept. 17 that it has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Turf Club to extend the Oak Tree lease through the fall of 2016.
Trainer Graham Motion missed a scheduled work with Grade 1 winner Better Talk Now during the weekend of Sept. 15 and said on Sept. 17 it is "less than 50 percent" likely that the 8-year-old will run in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 30.
Yeats showed true class and determination with a hard-fought victory over stablemate Scorpion in the Irish Field St. Leger (Ire-I) at the Curragh Sept. 15.
Lucarno swept to the front with one furlong left to easily capture the 231st Ladbrokes St. Leger Stakes (Eng-I) at Doncaster Sept. 15.
Tale of Ekati had a couple of excuses if he did not score in the $250,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. II). But thanks to a brilliant ride by jockey Eibar Coa and a thunderous move in the final 16th, the 2-year-old colt won the important juvenile prep by two lengths over favorite Kodiak Kowboy at Belmont Park Sept. 15.
Dance Away Capote left no doubts as to who was best in the $113,500 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park Sept. 15. The filly came flying through the stretch to win.
Proud Spell was a bit further off the pace than she had been in her first two career starts, but a decisive four-wide move around the final turn was plenty good enough, as the Larry Jones-trained filly scored by three lengths in the $250,000 Matron Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 15 at Belmont.
A Spanish owner and a British trainer are overheard conversing in French following a grade I victory on turf. Welcome to the Belmont Park fall meeting. It is here that the best American grass horses and their trainers and owners get their annual reality check from Europe's advance guard.
The Green Monkey, a $16-million 2-year-old purchase at auction, is scheduled to make his much-anticipated racing debut at Belmont Park in the fourth race Sept. 15.
All eyes in the racing world will be on Rags to Riches when she runs in the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 15.
A wide-open field was drawn for the $100,000-added Noble Damsel (g. IIIT) at Belmont Park Sept. 15. Not much separates the 10 fillies and mares entered in the one-mile race over the Widener Turf.
The expectations were fairly modest for Katierich Stables' Miss Red Delicious, especially after finishing seventh in her racing debut at Keeneland this spring. But now the 2-year-old filly finds herself smack in the middle of the $250,000 Matron Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 15 at Belmont Park.
Kodiak Kowboy has already established himself as the clear leader of the juvenile division. Now the son of Posse, out of the Coronado's Quest mare Kokadrie, will try to further cement that distinction as he headlines a field of six in the $250,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 15 at Belmont Park.
Tiz Wonderful, a graded stakes winner and undefeated 2-year-old last year, suffered a career-ending and potentially life-threatening suspensory injury and is being treated at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa.
Better Talk Now, a multiple grade I winner, has recovered from a puncture wound he suffered in July and August and is back in serious training at his Fair Hill, Md., home base, trainer Graham Motion said Sept. 12.
James Tafel's Street Sense, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), turned in a solid five-furlong work at Churchill Downs Sept. 11 in his first major training move since a victory in the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
Following another blowout by Lawyer Ron in Saturday's Woodward Stakes (gr. I), we're down to one champion-caliber older horse who looks capable of withstanding this year's 3-year-old juggernaut in the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
A long-range look at how the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I) is shaping up, ranked in order, and with the latest odds in the Wynn Las Vegas Race Book.
Officials at Monmouth Park said Aug. 28 that "due to great demand," additional tickets are available for the Saturday, Oct. 27, Breeders' Cup World Championships.
In a sign of the times, a Midwest also-ran with a liking for Polytrack came west to win the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 19. Student Council, purchased recently by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms to run in the 1 1/4-mile test, vanquished Lava Man and upset a large field at odds of 23-1 at Del Mar.
Crossing The Line came into the $400,000 Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT) with only two races under his belt on American soil, both of them allowance victories at Hollywood Park. But in his first career graded stakes try, the 5-year-old gelding showed a finishing kick that would make even the best American-turfer envious, blowing by a host of rivals in the stretch to steal a victory in near record-breaking fashion.
Greg's Gold, who returned earlier this year from a 17-month layoff after bowing a tendon, completed his comeback for trainer David Hofmans Aug. 19 with a 1 1/2-length victory in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) over seven furlongs on the Del Mar Polytrack.
For the second time in three weeks, a Christophe Clement trainee shipped into Del Mar from New York to win a grade I event when Virginia Kraft-Payson's Rutherienne left favored Valbenny behind in the stretch for a two-length win in the Del Mar Oaks Aug. 18.
Entering the 127th running of the Alabama (gr. I), all the talk was about Octave, who had won consecutive grade I races in New York this summer, one of them over Lady Joanne. This time, Lady Joanne was not to be denied.
Back on June 23, Gottcha Gold defeated Lawyer Ron by a neck in the Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III) at Monmouth Park. Bettors apparently considered that a fluke, as they let the son of Coronado's Quest go off at odds of 15-1 in the $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Monmouth Aug. 18. But the 4-year-old colt blew past his seven rivals to take the 1 1/8-mile route in convincing fashion.
With one week remaining until the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, top trainers in New York are aiming for a single target in the stalwart form of Street Sense, who will head up the field of the Aug. 25 "midsummer Derby" with a solid bullseye on his back.
The biggest concern for trainer Paula Capestro heading into the $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) was how her red-hot filly River's Prayer would handle Del Mar's Polytrack in her first start on a synthetic surface. In spite of drifting out some late, the California-bred proved best while winning her fifth successive race Aug. 17 by a half-length over Strong Faith.
There was the rubber match between Street Sense and Curlin in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Didn't Happen. There was the showdown between the two in the Travers Stakes (gr. I). Not going to happen. There was Rags to Riches headlining Lady's Day at Belmont for the CCA Oaks (gr. I). Didn't Happen. There was Rags in the Saratoga limelight for the Alabama. Not going to happen.
It was exactly noon when the Brook Ledge van came to a stop at the loading ramp on the Oklahoma training track, a short distance from Todd Pletcher's barn. Arriving from Belmont Park following the four-hour ride was the queen of American racing, Rags to Riches. This was a scene many thought would never be played out.
Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, a member of the original National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors, recently offered his views on the organization after stepping down from the board.
Street Sense is back and so is Rags to Riches. All is once again right with the racing world. If Curlin emerges victorious from next week's Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), then the Breeders' Cup World Championships will have the star power it so desperately needs.
It may be a foregone conclusion that many of the horses that win Breeders' Cup Challenge races would qualify for the World Championships anyway, but the first of six "Win and You're In" programs is said to have done much for recognition of Breeders' Cup and racetrack business.
Breeders' Cup president and chief executive officer Greg Avioli said the organization hopes to achieve a number of goals with the newly created Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The 10-cent superfectas that have become popular at North American racetracks will make their Breeders' Cup World Championships debut at Monmouth Park Oct. 26-27.
Most Popular Stories
- Successful Sire City Zip Dead at 19
- Cool Catomine Rolls Late in Prince of Wales Upset
- Girvin to Have New Pilot in Albarado in Haskell
- Remembering City Zip and His Epic Hopeful
- Accelerate Springs Stunning Upset as Arrogate Falters
- Baffert Still Aiming Arrogate for Pacific Classic
- What's Going On Here: Next Up
- Stakes Winners Featured in Del Mar Paddock Sale
- Stronach Group Explores Expansion into Massachusetts
- Z Capital Partners Purchases Parent Company of DRF