Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider's homebred Lea capitalized on a
textbook stalk-and-pounce trip to capture Saturday night's Grade 3, $100,000
Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs, and in the process, the lightly-raced
colt stamped himself as one to follow next year. Bet down to 5-2 favoritism off
his late-running third in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last out, the Al Stall Jr.
trainee took up much better early position this time for new rider Brian
Hernandez Jr., and produced a strong kick down the stretch.
Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti's Rose to Gold held off the determined
run of fellow Calder shipper Touch Magic to take Saturday's Grade 3, $500,000
Downs Princess by a half-length under jockey Paco Lopez. The Friends Lake
juvenile miss was sent off the 5-2 second choice and paid $7.60, $5.60 and $4.60
while finishing the two-turn, fast-track mile in 1:39 1/5.
Named after one of the most accomplished horses to run at Penn National, the
Fabulous Strike for sprinters boasts a deep field highlighted by the 5-2 morning
line favorite Poseidon's Warrior. Winner of the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt in
August at Saratoga Race Course, Poseidon's Warrior is coming off a dull effort
in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 3 at Santa Anita, reporting home last.
Marc Ferrell's Called to Serve rallied from the back of a six-horse field in
Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct to take the 1 1/8-mile fixture for
three-year-olds by a widening 4 3/4 lengths under Joel Rosario. The 7-2 second
choice, Called to Serve paid $9.60, $3.60 and $2.40.
Jacqueline Ohrstrom's Demonstrative thrust himself into the year-end Eclipse
Award picture with an impressive, last-to-first victory in the Grade 1, $100,000
Colonial Cup on Saturday.
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll breezed a half-mile in
:48 1/5 over Churchill Downs' fast dirt on Saturday morning in preparation for a
possible start against the boys in the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct
on November 24.
Classic victor Shackleford breezed a half-mile over the fast main track at
Churchill Downs on Saturday in :47 2/5 in his first workout since finishing
seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Frac Daddy and Java's War both recorded workouts on Churchill Downs's fast
main track Saturday for trainer Ken McPeek in preparation for the Grade 2,
$150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club on November 24 under the Twin Spires.
Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest win of his illustrious career in the
Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in 2010, will be paraded between races on November 24
at Hollywood Park.
Grade 1 winner Pool Play, eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic in his last
start, continued his preparations for next Friday's Grade 1 $400,000 Clark
Handicap with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01 3/5 over the fast main track at
Churchill Downs on Friday morning.
Trainer Todd Pletcher appears to have a loaded hand for next week's
Holidayfest, with possible starters in five of the six Thanksgiving Week graded
stakes at Aqueduct.
Trainer Barclay Tagg issued an upbeat bulletin Friday morning as Jersey Town
prepares for the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap, one of six graded stakes
that form Aqueduct's Holidayfest.
Eric N. Kronfeld's homebred Eblouissante, a Bernardini half-sister to Horse
of the Year and equine star Zenyatta, made her much anticipated debut in the
4TH race at Hollywood Park on Friday and, just like her big sis, flew home
to score by 4 1/4 lengths on the wire.
Tickets for the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards, which will feature the
announcement of 2012 Horse of the Year, are now available for purchase. The
Eclipse Awards will be held January 19 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach,
Puerto Rican import My Wandy's Girl, who won Thursday's Pentelis overnight
stakes at Aqueduct in her mainland debut to extend her winning streak to nine,
could make a nine-day turnaround to compete in the Grade 1 Gazelle on November
24, trainer Mike Hushion said on Friday.
The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced Friday that trainer Dale
Romans has been chosen as the 2012 winner of the organization's Big Sport of
Turfdom Award. The annual honor is bestowed upon a person or group of people who
enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and
Thoroughbred racing publicists.
Social media sites have been buzzing for months. She already has her own
Facebook page. Now the time is at hand; Zenyatta's half-sister is ready to make
her debut in Friday's fourth race at Hollywood Park.
Fillies and mares from around the globe are gathering at Hollywood Park in
anticipation of the Grade 1, $250,000 Matriarch on November 25. The one-mile
grass affair is part of the Hollywood Turf Festival, which is scheduled November
Marketing Mix won last year's Grade 2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs after
finishing second in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland,
and Centre Court will try to follow in her footsteps in Saturday night's 1
1/16-mile event for three-year-old fillies.
Led by morning-line favorite Goldencents, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint
winner Hightail and Grade 2 victor Bern Identity, a strong field of nine
juveniles has been assembled for Saturday's 10th running of the Grade 3, $1
Downs Jackpot. The winner will garner 10 points toward a possible starting
position in next year's Kentucky Derby on the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby"
Hip No. 3094, the juvenile filly STORM CROSSING (Tiznow), brought a winning
bid of $75,000 from Ashview Farm to top Wednesday's ninth session of the
Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in Lexington, Kentucky. Consigned by
Lane's End, agent, the Kentucky-bred bay lass was sold as a racing or broodmare
Trainer Graham Motion developed a plan that almost landed his charge Animal
Kingdom an historic victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile in the colt's first start
in 259 days. Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin termed the second-place
finish to Horse of the Year candidate Wise Dan "a great feat of horsemanship."
Santa Anita, which will embark upon its 76th winter/spring meeting on
December 26, has announced it will offer a total of 41 graded stakes over the
course of its 71-day meet, beginning with the opening day Malibu and La Brea
which will serve as the first of nine Grade 1 events. Both stakes will offer
purses of $300,000 and will be run at seven furlongs.
A dynamic and explosively colorful patchwork by famed collage artist Derek
Gores has been formally unveiled as the official artwork for the 139th running
of the $2 million Kentucky Derby.
Centre Court, who developed into one of the nation's leading three-year-old
grass fillies over the summer after belatedly breaking her maiden during the
Churchill Downs spring meet, returns to that venue for Saturday's Grade 2,
Mrs. Revere. Although she will have to face 11 rivals, Centre Court figures
to be a strong favorite in the 1 1/16-mile test that highlights the lone "Downs
After Dark" program of the Fall Meet.
Both Sportswriter and Sunny Desert were sent off the prohibitive favorites in
their respective divisions of the New York Stallion Series Stakes (NYSS) on
Wednesday at Aqueduct, and each one fulfilled their backers' faith with wins.
Saturday's Grade 1, $100,000
Cup, the 2 3/4-mile fixture at Springdale Racecourse in Camden, South
Carolina, is the last major contest of the 2012 steeplechase season and often
plays a role in deciding the year's Eclipse Award winner. However, it was
announced last week that leading divisional earner Pierrot Lunaire, who captured
both the Grade 1 Grand National and Grade 1 Lonesome Glory this fall, would skip
the Colonial Cup.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Wednesday that Repole Stable's Overanalyze, a
pre-entrant for Saturday's Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, is now being
pointed to the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on November 24 as
part of the Stars of Tomorrow II program.
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll was scheduled to go to
trainer Buff Bradley's farm in Frankfort, Kentucky, earlier this week, but plans
changed and the four-year-old filly daughter of Bowman's Band remained at
Churchill Downs to prepare for a possible start in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at
Aqueduct on November 24.
The amazing Frankel, recognized as one of the greatest racehorses ever, was
named Cartier Horse of the Year on Tuesday for an unprecedented second
consecutive time at the 2012 Cartier Racing Awards.
Only four days remain until Delta Downs' richest and most important race of the year,
Saturday's Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot, and an exciting group of young
horses are making their way to the Bayou State for the $1 million event.
There will be a special early post time on Jackpot Day of 1:15 p.m. (CST), with
the Delta Downs Jackpot scheduled for 4:15 p.m.
The milestone 100th Louisiana Derby on March 30 is poised to be the biggest
in track history with the creation of Infield Festival, a new entertainment
experience at Fair Grounds to be headlined by native New Orleans rockers Cowboy
Mouth. Details of the Infield Festival, which will also feature the largest food
truck gathering in the city and exclusive VIP areas, were announced Tuesday by
Fair Grounds officials at a press conference in the winner's circle.
Churchill Downs is introducing a new Section 110 seating and hospitality
venue for the 2013 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks that offers the historic
track's first stadium-type seating, hospitality highlighted by limitless food
and drink and a first-turn Clubhouse location that provides the track's most
breathtaking view of its iconic Twin Spires.
After finishing runner-up to Gentildonna in all three legs of Japan's Triple
Crown for fillies, Verxina appeared ready to escape her archrival's shadow at
last in Sunday's Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup. But even the
absence of Gentildonna, who is bound instead for the Grade 1 Japan Cup, couldn't
cure Verxina's seconditis. Sent off as the clear favorite at Kyoto, Verxina
again played second fiddle, this time to the longshot Rainbow Dahlia, on the
The long-anticipated career debut of Eblouissante, the three-year-old
half-sister to 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, is at last set for Friday's
4TH race at Hollywood Park. Trained by John Shirreffs, like her famous
half-sibling, Eblouissante will be ridden by Corey Nakatani in the 1 1/16-mile
maiden on Cushion Track.
Eliska Kubinova, a riding sensation this year at
Emerald Downs and Portland Meadows, was scheduled to make her Hollywood Park
debut Sunday aboard Valeria in the 9TH race for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and
trainer John Shirreffs.
First-time stakes winners Meeker Avenue and Kelli Got Frosty highlighted
Saturday's duo of the New York Stallion Series Stakes at Aqueduct for two-year-olds.
The Maryland Jockey Club honored jockey Mario Pino with a winners' circle
presentation Saturday afternoon at Laurel Park. The rider moved into the top 10
on the North American all-time win list earlier this fall.
Sportswriter, already a winner of a New York Stallion Stakes on the turf,
will try to win his first NYSS on the dirt when he competes in Wednesday's
Thunder Rumble division at Aqueduct.
James Miller's Daisy Devine captured the Grade 3, $111,500
at Churchill Downs on Saturday in thrilling fashion. The Andrew McKeever trainee
went gate-to-wire, holding off Julie's Love in the stretch to win by a head.
Saturday's 11th Florida Million Day at Calder offered eight stakes totaling
$1 million in purses for Florida-breds and the highlights included an easy
victory by Cash Rules and successful title defenses from My Pal Chrisy and Bad
With first-hand knowledge of how the Aqueduct turf course plays when it's
wet, Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado was an indispensable ally for Juddmonte
Farms' homebred Starformer in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
While Sam-Son Farms celebrated its sixth victory in the $249,576
Coronation Futurity, trainer Malcolm Pierce got the trophy in the 1 1/8-mile
contest for the first time on Saturday when Up With the Birds rallied from last
to score by 3 1/2 lengths under a hand ride.
Highlighting the list of more than 100 horses who recorded published workouts
at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning was Take Charge Indy, Bourbon Courage and
Cease. The trio of stakes winners is being pointed to the Grade 1 Clark Handicap
on November 23.
Trainer Mark Casse said Friday that Pool Play will be pointed to the Grade 1
Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 23, but the seven-year-old son of
Silver Deputy might not be the only Clark starter from the Casse barn. Stealcase
and Delegation are also under consideration.