Up-and-coming turf distaffers Quiet Oasis and Capital Plan will clash in
pursuit of Grade 1 laurels in Monday's $250,000
Stakes at Hollywood Park. The Memorial Day card also features the return of
Grade 1 veteran Rail Trip, who meets a field of sprint specialists in his
tightener, the $100,000
Jim Bolger has one omission from his list of big-race successes and will be
hoping that Parish Hall can put it right by providing a belated first victory in
Saturday's Group 1 Irish Two Thousand Guineas at The Curragh. New Approach
appeared poised to bring the trophy home to Coolcullen four years ago only to be
denied by Henrythenavigator, while Parish Hall's sire, Teofilo, would have been
a leading player had he the chance to flaunt his wares at three.
Only six were entered for Monday's Memorial Day feature of the Grade 1,
Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park, but the short field is comprised of
some of the best older runners currently in training.
Effective Monday, Churchill Downs Racetrack will raise overnight race purses
10 percent because of higher than expected all-sources wagering levels during
Kentucky Derby Week.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Friday that the
the 14th annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship
(NHC) will again be contested over a two-day period and consist of 15 race
selections each day -- eight from mandatory races and seven from races of the
player's choosing among available contest tracks.
It was the first gallop over Belmont's 1 1/2-mile track for I'll Have
Another, who jogged the previous two days after arriving in New York Sunday. The
Flower Alley colt, who is bidding to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34
years, was accompanied by his stable pony, Lava Man, as he made his way to the
track shortly after the renovation break.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) met in closed session Thursday to
consider the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer in the case involving
Doug O'Neill, the trainer of Argenta, a filly that finished eighth in the 6TH
race at Del Mar on August 25, 2010.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes hero I'll Have Another, who on June 9
will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in the $1 million
Belmont Stakes, had a second tour of Belmont Park's main track Thursday morning,
jogging 1 1/2 miles in company with a pony.
Aidan O'Brien wasn't on hand for Thursday's Breakfast with the Stars at
Epsom, but Ireland's champion trainer was interviewed over the phone by Clare
Breakfast with the Stars, hosted by Clare Balding and Nick Luck, took place
early Thursday morning at Epsom Downs Racecourse, eight days ahead of the start
of the Derby Festival.
John Gosden, who won the Group 1 Derby with Benny the Dip (1997), worked
three horses during Thursday morning's Breakfast with the Stars at Epsom. Last
year's Group 1 St Leger winner Masked Marvel (William Buick) goes for the Group
1 Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup June 2, while Joviality (Robert Havlin) targets
the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes on the Derby Festival's opening day, June
1. There was also a lead horse, partnered by Saleem Golam. Masked Marvel
finished ahead of the lead horse with Joviality in third after none was pushed
A Paddock Concert Series performance by The Black Lillies on Friday evening
kicks off a festive four-day holiday weekend at Churchill Downs that includes a
special Memorial Day racing program on Monday, infield fun
Saturday-through-Monday with the first Bluegrass Art Experience, and another
"Family Fun" Sunday Presented by Kroger.
Korina Stable's Ravelo's Boy sizzled a half-mile in :46 3/5 over a wet-fast
track at Calder Thursday morning as the son of Lawyer Ron continues preparations
for his next start, which could come in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
While Grade 1 winner Dullahan has never competed at Belmont Park and has yet
to win on dirt, trainer Dale Romans believes the colt will deliver a top
performance in the Belmont Stakes on June 9. If, in the process, the Even the
Score colt manages to spoil I'll Have Another's Triple Crown bid, Romans won't
feel any remorse.
Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another returned to the track for the first
time since Saturday's Preakness Stakes victory, jogging around Belmont Park's 1
1/2-mile oval Wednesday morning shortly after the renovation break with exercise
rider Hector Ramos aboard.
After producing convincing wins this winter in the Grade 2 Arcadia and Grade
2 Sir Beaufort, Mr. Commons was upset at odds-on in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe
Mile on March 3, finishing second by a neck. The John Shirreffs-trained colt
will look to rebound when he squares off against 10 rivals in Saturday's Grade
American Handicap at Hollywood Park.
A dull last of six in her season debut in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley last month,
the five-year-old Aruna will attempt to rebound Saturday in the Grade 2,
Sheepshead Bay at Belmont Park. The 1 3/8-mile test is scheduled for
the grass, but the threat of persistent rain through the weekend has enticed
four main-track-only entrants into the field in addition to the 10 fillies and
mares in the main body of the race.
The Maryland Jockey Club concluded its spring meeting at Pimlico last
weekend, posting average wagering figures which were 9 percent higher than the
2011 spring meet. The average daily handle went from $4.72 million to $5.17
million. The stand featured 29 live racing dates and 21 simulcast days.
John Velazquez will replace Julien Leparoux aboard Union Rags as he seeks to end I'll Have Another's bid for the Triple Crown in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr .I).
Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another was a "very happy horse" Tuesday
morning as he continued to settle nicely into his new digs at Belmont Park,
where on June 9 he will attempt to become the 12th horse to add the Grade 1, $1
million Belmont Stakes to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly
Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the New York Racing Association (NYRA) on Tuesday
announced an agreement to establish the NYRA Reorganization Board that will
place NYRA under temporary public control in order to reform the association and
transform oversight and management of horse racing in New York State.
Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another was reported to be doing well the
morning after he arrived at Belmont Park by van and will soon begin training on
the Belmont main track, according to Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug
Aidan O'Brien is going all out for an eighth win in Saturday's Group 1 Irish
Two Thousand Guineas at the Curragh. The master of Ballydoyle, who has collected
the one-mile classic with the likes of Rock Of Gibraltar (2002),
Henrythenavigator (2008) and last year with Roderic O'Connor, is responsible for
seven of the 15 confirmations.
Mercedes Stables went to $575,000 to purchase a Scat Daddy colt, headlining
Monday's opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training
Sale at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Consigned by Kings Equine,
agent, Hip No. 39 hails from the immediate family of juvenile Grade 1 winner and
$811,760-earner J P's Gusto (Successful Appeal).
British Horseracing Authority Handicapper Dominic Gardiner-Hill confirmed
Frankel at a new rating of 138 Monday morning, two pounds higher than last
year's mark of 136, following his brilliant, five-length victory over
Excelebration in Saturday's Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
On Sunday, champion Royal Delta turned in her second breeze following her
ninth-place finish in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup in March, with NYRA clockers
catching her covering four furlongs in a bullet :47 2/5, best of 57 moves at the
distance on Belmont's fast main track.
Mario Gutierrez's fairytale journey that has carried him to within one
victory of the Triple Crown almost never happened. The 25-year-old native of
Veracruz, Mexico, who rode regularly at Hastings Park from 2006 to 2011, was so
homesick for Vancouver, British Columbia, that he nearly left California despite
having just won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby aboard I'll Have Another.
On Saturday morning at Belmont Park, Godolphin Racing's Alpha turned in his
first timed workout since a 12th-place finish in the May 5 Kentucky Derby. The
son of Bernardini, a two-time stakes winner at Aqueduct this winter, covered
four furlongs over the main track in :49.
I'll Have Another, who on June 9 will attempt to become the
12th horse to sweep the Triple Crown when he competes in the $1 million
Belmont Stakes, arrived in Barn 9 at Belmont Park at 2:53 p.m. (EDT) Sunday after vanning north from Pimlico Race Course in Maryland.
Barbara Hunter's homebred Keertana, who last year became the first filly or
mare to win the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap since Our Request in 1951, has been
bred and is retired from racing.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said Sunday that Zetterholm appeared to come out
of his fourth-place finish in Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in good
order. The New York-bred son of Silver Train was shipped back to Dutrow's barn
at Aqueduct Sunday morning.
Two days after trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias had to fly home unexpectedly upon
the death of his father, his globetrotting charge Chinchon lifted his spirits
with an impressive victory in Sunday's Group 1 Singapore Airlines International
Cup at Kranji.
Trainer Patrick Shaw watched his second-stringer Ato upset Sunday's Group 1
KrisFlyer International Sprint at Kranji. The Royal Academy colt was very much
an understudy for his world-class stablemate, Rocket Man, the reigning KrisFlyer
champion who was ruled out by injury this week.
The morning after Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another ran down
Bodemeister in the Pimlico stretch to capture the Preakness Stakes, trainer Mark
Casse said he is considering running John Oxley's Stealcase in the 1 1/2-mile
Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of the Triple Crown, on June 9 at Belmont Park.
After another agonizingly tough loss to I'll Have Another in Saturday's Preakness
Stakes at Pimlico,
Bodemeister was flown back to California Sunday morning. He will remain in
training, but will skip the Belmont Stakes.
I'll Have Another's connections loaded their Preakness Stakes winner onto a
van Sunday morning at Pimlico Race Course to begin their journey to Belmont Park
in their continuing quest to sweep racing's Triple Crown.
PREAKNESS THEY SAID IT
Two weeks ago, J. Paul Reddam's I'll Have Another ran down pacesetter
Bodemeister to take the Kentucky Derby under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs.
On Saturday, I'll Have Another took on that pacesetting rival in the 137th
running of the Preakness Stakes and gutted out a neck victory to take the second
jewel of the Triple Crown at Pimlico.
Overcoming a wide journey through the opening six furlongs, Silverton Hill's
homebred Havelock responded to the urgings of jockey Florent Geroux in the
stretch to wear down the favored Lonesome Street by a neck in Saturday's Grade
Hanshin Cup at Arlington Park. An 8-1 chance, Havelock paid $19.60,
$8 and $4.40.
Include Me Out continued her winning way in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000
L. Everett Handicap at Hollywood Park, notching her third consecutive graded stakes tally in
California. The Ron Ellis-trained filly overhauled pacesetter Ellafitz turning
for home and scored by about a length beneath regular rider Joe Talamo.
Roger J. Weiss's Hudson Steele, who captured Pimlico's Henry S. Clark Stakes
in his return from a year-long layoff, followed up with another convincing
display in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000
Stakes over the same course. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier
Castellano, the lukewarm 3-1 favorite enjoyed a perfect rail-skimming trip just
behind the leader, angled out turning into the stretch, and put the race away by
2 1/2 lengths.
Best known for his 23-1 runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint
at Churchill Downs in 2010, Hamazing Destiny was still winless in stakes company
heading into the Grade 3, $100,000
Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico on
Saturday. However, the D. Wayne Lukas trainee finally got off the duck before
one the largest crowds of the year on the Preakness undercard.
Despite exchanging a hard bump with Love and Pride in midstretch, Natalie J.
Baffert's Awesomemundo got her head in front of that rival on the wire to take
Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000
Allaire duPont Distaff Stakes at Pimlico. The Bob Baffert trainee ran to her
odds as the 7-5 favorite and paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60 for completing 1 1/16
miles on the fast dirt in 1:44 3/5.
Il Villano returned to the winner's circle Saturday afternoon with a nice 4
3/4-length win in the $100,000
Lang Stakes on the Preakness Stakes Day undercard at Pimlico. With Jose
Flores in the saddle, the gray sophomore took command turning for home and never
looked back as he stopped the clock in 1:10 2/5 for the six-furlong, fast-track
Steve Beneto's Via Villaggio accelerated into contention on the far turn and
out-dueled Sister Moon to the wire in Saturday's Grade 3, $98,000
Stakes at Hollywood Park, notching her first stakes victory with a
half-length tally in the seven-furlong test for sophomore fillies. Martin
Pedroza was up on the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained winner.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby, most recently fifth in the Grade 1 Kentucky
Oaks, turned heads at Churchill Downs Saturday during her first work since the
big race on the first Friday in May.