The 14th edition of the $850,000 Claiming Crown promises to make opening day
at Gulfstream Park an even more special occasion on December 1, judging from the
long and talented list of nominees for the seven-race series that will be
renewed for the first time at the Hallandale Beach, Florida, track.
The North American International Catalogue Standards Committee (NAICSC) on
Monday announced that effective January 1, 2014, additional quality control
requirements will be implemented for races in North America eligible for
non-Listed black-type in SITA catalogues (those compliant with guidelines
required by the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers).
Shoppers searching for ideas for unique holiday gifts have the opportunity to
present family members, friends and business associates with a view of Churchill
Downs' venerable Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days with an
online advance purchase of either general admission tickets to those great
racing and entertainment events, or two-day reserved seats for Derby and Oaks in
the track's new Section 110 venue.
Five fillies and mares will be shopping for a graded victory on Friday at
Aqueduct when they go postward in the Grade 2, $200,000
Horses will join many people in packing on a few extra pounds this Thursday
as a field of six goes to post for the 99th running of the Grade 3, $150,000
Fall Highweight Handicap, the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at
Brushed by a Star, who scored a narrow win over Joyful Victory in the Grade 2
Chilukki for owner Team Forster and trainer Grant Forster, will make her first
start for her new connections in Thursday's Grade 2, $150,000 Falls City
Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Trainer William "Buff" Bradley confirmed Sunday that multiple Grade 1-winning
filly Groupie Doll will make her next start against boys in Saturday's Grade 1,
$350,000 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct. She was assigned to carry 118 pounds
in the race.
When rising superstar Joe Talamo captured Santa Anita's autumn riding title
to break the five-year Southern California reign of Rafael Bejarano and Joel
Rosario, it was a scrapbook-filling moment for the 22-year-old. For his agent,
Scotty McClellan, it was just another day at the office.
Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy continued his preparations for Friday's Grade
1, $400,000 Clark Handicap with a three-furlong move in :35 2/5 over the fast
main track at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning.
A decision on whether classic hero Shackleford would run in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile
on Saturday at Aqueduct or
one day earlier in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs was to be made
Monday, but trainer Dale Romans told the Courier-Journal on Sunday that
the chestnut would stay home in Kentucky for the latter contest.
John Size is hoping for a repeat run from stable star Glorious Days in the
Group 1 Hong Kong Mile December 9, after the five-year-old lowered the colors of
Hong Kong's dual Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon in the Group 2 Jockey Club
Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday.
Fair Grounds is generally accepted to be the third-oldest racetrack in the
country, although many accounts, including a heavily researched 2006 feature in
The Times-Picayune by Bob Fortus, contend that Fair Grounds could be at
least the second-oldest, if not the oldest.
Sadamu Onishi's Sadamu Patek just hung on from favored Grand Prix Boss in
Sunday's 29th running of the Mile Championship at Kyoto. Aside from recording
his first Grade 1 title, the son of Fuji Kiseki helped jockey Yutaka Take to
fill in a rare gap on his resume.
Centre Court's first two victories came during the spring meet -- a 4
3/4-length maiden conquest on May 19, followed by the Grade 3 Regret in her
stakes debut on June 16. The Rusty Arnold filly made it three in a row when
taking a rough running of the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga. Runner-up to
Stephanie's Kitten next time out in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at the Spa August
19, Centre Court was most recently second to the front-running Dayatthespa in
the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 13.
W. C. Racing, Dave Kenney and RAP Racing's Goldencents grabbed command of
Saturday's Grade 3
Downs Jackpot by a short margin soon after the start and maintained the lead
throughout to score a 1 3/4-length victory on the wire. With jockey Kevin
Krigger aboard, the Doug O'Neill trainee ran 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track
in 1:44 4/5.
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.