The entries for Sunday's Grade 1, C$1.5 million Canadian International are dominated by Europeans, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Seven of the 11 contenders are based on the other side of the pond, including the Aidan O'Brien-trained Imperial Monarch; 2010 Canadian International winner Joshua Tree; Wigmore Hall, two-for-two in his previous visits to Woodbine; and Reliable Man, last year's Group 1 French Derby hero. The North American team comprises Al Khali, Air Support, Prince Will I Am and an ex-European in Forte dei Marmi.
Group 2 star Dream Peace, who was third in a three-way photo in last year's Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, looks for a breakthrough in Sunday's renewal of the C$1 million prize at Woodbine. A French raider here 12 months ago, the well-bred daughter of Dansili is now an emigre who resides in the Chad Brown barn. To accomplish her mission, Dream Peace must fend off a formidable European invasion spearheaded by her former compatriot Siyouma, England's Barefoot Lady and Ireland's Princess Highway.
Three-time European classic hero Camelot has come through exploratory surgery for colic in good order, according to Coolmore Stud's Twitter page.
Fair Grounds Race Course will begin accepting Clubhouse and box seat reservations for the 141st Thoroughbred racing season on October 22, one month prior to the traditional opening on Thanksgiving Day, November 22.
Spendthrift Farm's homebred Moonwalk lived up to her name on Thursday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Jessamine by slipping through on the inside to score a nose victory under jockey Corey Lanerie. The Dale Romans trainee just held as Kitten's Point rallied late on the outside, but managed to hold on while finishing 1 1/16 miles on the firm Keeneland turf in 1:45.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) announced Thursday that several industry groups, including 13 prominent breeding farms in Kentucky, The Jockey Club, two racetracks of the Stronach Group, the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton, Barretts Equine Limited and Ocala Breeders' Sales Company (OBS), have developed plans to provide funds beginning in 2013 to support the TAA's mission to accredit and raise funds for Thoroughbred aftercare facilities.
John Scott, who appears to have found a new lease on life at age five, heads a competitive eight-horse field in Saturday's $175,000 California Cup Classic, a race which headlines Santa Anita's 23rd annual Cal Cup Day for horses bred or foaled in the Golden State.
Calder will present a stakes-filled afternoon of racing as part of the 21st annual Festival of the Sun on Saturday that will feature the conclusion of the lucrative Florida Stallion Stakes series, with both the $300,000 In Reality Division and its juvenile filly counterpart, the $300,000 My Dear Girl Division, to be run over 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Keeneland and Woodbine Entertainment Group were declared co-winners of this year's Simulcast Award at the International Simulcast Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The award gives both tracks the distinction of becoming five-time winners of the prestigious contest. The crystal trophies were sponsored by Post Time Technologies.
Grade 1 winners Samitar and Stephanie's Kitten headline a field of eight sophomore fillies entered for Saturday's 29th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.
SANTA ANITA NOTEBOOK
Keeneland racing secretary Ben Huffman expects at least eight names, with the possibility of a couple more, to be in the entry box Wednesday for Saturday's 29th running of the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at 1 1/8 miles on the turf for three-year-old fillies.
Belmont Park will host a pair of Grade 3 turf stakes Saturday, with Grade 2 winner Boisterous returning for a title defense in the $150,000 Knickerbocker and multiple stakes queen Dealbata highlighting the field in the $150,000 Athenia. Both events are scheduled for the inner turf.
Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' In Lingerie came out of her two-length victory in Sunday's Grade 1 Spinster in good order, according to Michael Dilger, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher.
Grade 1 Champagne and Grade 2 Hopeful star Shanghai Bobby will contest the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, connections announced Monday.
Despite losing his footing briefly, Keith Brackpool's Gervinho rallied in time to deny Den's Legacy by a half-length in Monday's $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita. The unbeaten colt thus emerged as a candidate for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf over the same course and one-mile distance.
Riley Racing Stables' Flashy Ways rolled past the leaders turning into the stretch and kicked away in Monday's $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita, propelling herself into the picture for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Exciting two-year-old Moohaajim remains on course for the Group 1, £150,000 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Future Champions Day, Saturday, after exercising this morning during a media visit to Marco Botti's Green Ridge Stables in Newmarket.
Not long after Noble Tune demolished the field in Monday's Grade 3 Pilgrim at Belmont Park, fellow Chad Brown trainee Watsdachances rallied boldly between foes to capture the companion race for fillies, the Grade 3, $150,000 Miss Grillo Stakes, to complete a double for the barn. Like her stablemate, Watsdachances justified 6-5 favoritism, and earned an automatic Breeders' Cup berth -- in her case, to the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Monmouth Park concluded its 2012 meet on Sunday with an increase in attendance and declines in on-track and total handle.
Keeneland will welcome Olympian and Lexington, Kentucky, native Tyson Gay to the races on Sunday for a special salute. Gay is a triple world champion, an American record holder and the second-fastest man in history. He earned a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic games as part of the 4x 100-meter relay team.
Bill Farish's Pool Play proved the most long-winded of the six runners in a pokey renewal of the Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup on Saturday.
A cross country trip, a two-man stroll from Lexington to Louisville and a 50-person relay from Keeneland to Churchill Downs...what do these three things have in common? They are all ways the Paulick Report and Breeders' Cup Charities have teamed up over the last three years to raise nearly $250,000 for several great causes in combination with Thoroughbred racing's annual World Championships!
Sunday's $98,000 L.A. Woman Stakes at Santa Anita was supposed to be a launching pad to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint for the unbeaten Winding Way, but instead it was Ramona Bass, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Rumor who might have punched her ticket to the big dance.
Balance the Books broke last and picked off all 11 horses on his way to glory in the eventful Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon at Keeneland on Sunday. The son of Lemon Drop Kid went off as the heavy 4-5 favorite and managed to overcome being bumped in the stretch to pay $3.80, $2.80 and $2.40 to his backers.
Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' In Lingerie proved best on Sunday when taking on nine rivals in the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster at Keeneland. The Todd Pletcher pupil saved ground along the rail while biding her time just behind the front-running Juanita on the backstretch before putting in her winning move in the stretch to be two lengths clear of Mystical Star on the wire.
The Nick Gonzalez trainee tracked the front-running Five Iron through fractions of :24 2/5, :48 4/5 and 1:12 3/5, then drove to the front beneath Eurico Da Silva in the stretch. Tesseron made a big move on the turn and loomed boldly, but could not get past River Seven, who was three-quarters of a length on top while finishing 1 1/16 Polytrack miles in 1:43 4/5.
It's official. There will be no Breeders' Cup for Acclamation this year. Trainer Don Warren confirmed speculation that the 2011 Eclipse Award winner as outstanding older male would not make the championship events at Santa Anita on November 2-3.
Grade 2-winning Ontario-bred Stormy Lord is under serious consideration for a start in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park, trainer Ian Black confirmed by phone on Sunday.
Favored Dullahan's distaste for the less-than-firm going in Saturday's Jamaica Handicap proved to be his undoing as he came home fifth in his attempt to add a Grade 1 on the turf to his trio of Grade 1 victories over synthetic surfaces, trainer Dale Romans said Sunday morning.
With Saturday's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile now in his rearview mirror, trainer Charles Lopresti can look ahead to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita next month for stable star Wise Dan.
Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group's Grace Hall took the lead from Eden's Moon in Saturday's Grade 2, $205,600 Indiana Oaks at Hoosier Park and never looked back en route to a 5 3/4-length score under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. The Tony Dutrow-trained daughter of Empire Maker was sent off the 4-5 favorite and returned $3.80 and $2.20 for completing 1 1/16 miles on the good dirt in 1:41 4/5.
Pegram, Watson and Weitman's Coil rallied to the lead in midstretch and gamely withstood the late bid of stablemate Capital Account in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, providing trainer Bob Baffert with a one-two finish in the six-furlong event formerly known as the Ancient Title. Winner of the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at nine furlongs last year, the versatile colt has redefined his image at age four, establishing himself as a top contender for the November 3 Breeders' Cup Sprint over the same Santa Anita track.
Jockey Nick Petro and his mount Not Abroad saw an inviting opening along the rail as they circled the far turn in Saturday's $142,500 Maryland Million Classic on Laurel Park's Jim McKay Maryland Million program. They galloped through the gaping hole, came out with a clear lead and drew off to win over the fast main track.
Making his first start off the $35,000 claim for Mike Maker, Scarlet Stable's King David sprang a 28-1 upset in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park, shocking such accomplished rivals as Summer Front, Cogito and Dullahan.
Fanticola and Scardino's Obviously turned in another terrific front-running effort in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita. Aside from remaining perfect from three starts at the distance, the Mike Mitchell charge burnished his credentials for the Breeders' Cup Mile over this same course.
Eclipse Award contender Wise Dan came out of his Grade 1 Woodbine Mile heroics in such fine fettle that trainer Charles Lopresti didn't want to keep him in the barn until the Breeders' Cup. Thus Morton Fink's homebred was entered in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, and judging by how he crushed the opposition once again, it's clear why Lopresti couldn't hold him down.
A. Stevens Miles Jr.'s homebred Neck 'n Neck closed strongly in Saturday's Grade 2, $513,600 Indiana Derby, rallying down the center of the track to post a one-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile test at Hoosier Park. With new jockey Brian Hernandez up, the Ian Wilkes-trained colt was off as the 9-2 third choice among 11 rivals and returned payoffs of $11.20, $4.80 and $2.80 to his supporters.
Joha wires Breeders' Futurity
Frank L. Jones Jr.'s homebred Tapitsfly got up to take the Grade 1, $350,000 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday and in the process gained a measure of revenge over rival Daisy Devine, who held her to third when capturing the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley during Keeneland's spring meet. Daisy Devine had a clear lead in the stretch of the First Lady, but Tapitsfly lived up to her name when swooping in late to finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:35 2/5.
Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia just got the head victory on Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade 1, $380,000 Frizette Stakes after a stretch-long duel with near 3-1 second choice My Happy Face. The pair raced in tandem down the lane, in very close quarters at times, but Dreaming of Julia managed to take the win under jockey John Velazquez to move her record to a perfect three-for-three.
Starlight Racing's Shanghai Bobby remained unbeaten with a dazzling performance in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne Stakes, winning easily by five lengths at Belmont Park, and confirmed his status as a top contender in the November 3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.
One day after Spring in the Air captured the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland, stablemate Spring Venture moved her record to a perfect three-for-three with a nice 1 1/2-length win in the Grade 3, $205,361 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.
After saving ground for a half-mile, Groupie Doll had to wait patiently for a seam to open up at the top of the stretch in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland. When it finally did, the four-year-old burst through with ease and drew off to win the six-furlong Polytrack dash by 6 1/2 lengths. The 2-5 choice, now the probable early favorite in next month's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Groupie Doll returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.
Eugene Melnyk's homebred Bridgetown made a rare off-the-pace rally to land Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Woodford going 5 1/2 furlongs on Keeneland's firm turf. Favored at 3-5 in the field of six, the five-year-old son of Speightsown wore down long-time leader Great Mills inside the final furlong to post a one-length win in a time of 1:02 2/5.