The heat is on in Dubai. It can be felt not just from the baking sun that beats through the hazy skyline, but among the trainers who have produced the strongest ever numerical raiding party for Saturday's $15.2 million World Cup meeting.
Corey Nakatani takes over the reigns on 9-year-old Kona Gold in Saturday's $200,000 Portrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 6 1 /2 furlongs at Santa Anita.
Grade 1-winning distaffers Raging Fever and Carson Hollow meet for the first time Saturday in the $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
The Aventura Stakes, Illinois Derby, and Santa Anita Derby will make up a national pick three April 5.
Koji Maeda's Japanese-bred Sunday Break worked a bullet seven furlongs in 1:26 2/5 handily around the dogs over Santa Anita's firm turf course Wednesday morning. Hall of Fame conditioner Neil Drysdale was on hand to supervise the son of Forty Niner, who went fastest of seven on the lawn for the distance on the day with jockey Corey Nakatani in the irons.
The subdued effect that war with Iraq is having on the $15.2 million Dubai World Cup meeting was evident at the official draw for the big race.
Godolphin Racing has nominated Tale Of The Cat's son Inamorato as its chief Kentucky Derby prospect ahead of his run in Saturday's $2 million UAE Derby at Nad Al Sheba.
A trio of Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) hopefuls stretched their legs in morning workouts at Santa Anita Park on Tuesday in preparation for the track's final Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep event. The 1 1/8-mile stakes, worth $750,000, is set to be contested on Saturday, Apr. 5.
With his upset victory in the Lane's End Stakes at Turfway, New York Hero is the latest addition to the list of leading Kentucky Derby contenders compiled by senior correspondent Steve Haskin.
John Velazquez, who piloted Harlan's Holiday to victory in the Donn Handicap (gr.1) at Gulfstream Park last month, has decided to fly to Dubai to ride the four-year-old colt in Saturday's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
Enhancements in purse and graded status over the past four years have made the $650,000 Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds an attractive race for shippers from across the country.
Dogwood Stable's multiple Grade 2 winner Smok'n Frolic will look to gain millionaire status when she takes on six rivals as the 120-pound highweight in the $100,000 Next Move Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Sunday.
Rick Violette Jr.'s Man From Wicklow should be a solid favorite in Saturday's $200,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. II), where he attempts to become the second horse to sweep the meet's two top turf handicaps.
Alex Solis, who won the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) aboard Affluent but opted to get off of her to ride Got Koko in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), will be back aboard the daughter of Affirmed when she meets Horse of the Year Azeri in the April 5 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park.
From coast to coast, trainer Bobby Frankel continues to dominate the world of Thoroughbred racing.
Silverton Hills' Great Notion, a nine-length winner of the Southwest Stakes on March 1, figures to be a heavy favorite in Saturday's $125,000 Rebel Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park.
Multiple Louisiana-bred stakes winner Witt Ante makes his first career start on turf in the $100,000 Gentilly Handicap for 3-year-olds Saturday at Fair Grounds.
Joseph Allen's Roar Emotion, winner of the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct on Nov. 30, heads a field of six entered for Saturday's $100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old filles at the Big A.
Michael Tabor's Lion Tamer drew the outside post 9 for Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The son of Will's Way, who will be making his first start beyond seven furlongs, was installed the 6-5 morning live favorite by Mike Battaglia. Second-choice Champali, the local hope for the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, will break from post 2.
The 79th running of Aqueduct's grade I, $750,000 Wood Memorial for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on Saturday, April 12, 2003 will once again be the first leg of the Big 3 Pick 3. The Big 3 Pick 3 is a $1 national wager in which fans try to pick the winner of three important prep races for 3-year-olds planning on running in the upcoming Visa Triple Crown races.
A total of 84 fillies are nominated for the June 6 Vodafone Oaks.
84 fillies are still eligible for the June 6 Vodafone Oaks (Eng-I).
The complete list of 143 Horses Eligible for the Vodafone Derby
Aidan O'Brien, who has 25 horses nominated for the May 3 Two Thousand Guineas, could also have a busy day on June 7, the date of the Vodafone Derby at Epsom. Godolphin's nominees include the filly Hi Dubai.
Grade I winners Storm Flag Flying and Elloluv and undefeated Lady Tak are among the 67 fillies nominated for the April 5 Ashland Stakes.
See the names, owners, and trainers of all 108 horses eligible for the 2003 Two Thousand Guineas.
The U.S. will field a team of 13 horses at the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday, March 29. All the intended runners, including Harlan's Holiday and Blue Burner in the World Cup, have now arrived in Dubai. All but Xtra Heat, who shipped in a week early, landed in Dubai late on Sunday March 16.
A record-smashing victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I) by Juddmonte Farm homebred Empire Maker made a strong impression on Kentucky Derby (gr. 1) fans across the nation. The mutuel field still emerged as a narrow favorite as wagering in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) ended its four-day run on Sunday.
Empire Maker's smashing victory in the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) Saturday has earned him solid favoritism among the 23 individual horses listed in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Royal Gem, who captured the Bay Meadows Derby in November, will make his 4-year-old debut Sunday on the grass at Golden Gate Fields in the $150,000 Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT).
On the eve of the biggest race of his career, the public is holding Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker as the favorite at 9-1 among the 23 individuals listed in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Bonapaw, a grade I winner sprinting, retreats to his old favorite distance for Sunday's $150,000 Pelleteri Breeders' Cup Handicap at Fair Grounds.
Trainer John Sadler isn't as concerned about Hadl's jump from a claiming race into Sunday's $100,000 Irish O'Brien Stakes at Santa Anita as he is about the racing staying on the grass.
Most of the 10 candidates entered for Sunday's 1 1/16-mile San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) virtually are committed to run, despite a weather forecast that calls for a 70 percent chance of rain on Saturday and the likelihood of an off track.
Headed by Cherokee's Boy, a field of 11 has been entered for Sunday's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, a traditional prep for the track's grade I Wood Memorial on April 12.
Calumet Farm's Region of Merit is the 5-2 morning line favorite for Sunday's $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III). The son of Touch Gold will break from the outside post position in the nine-horse field. In the $150,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) on the same card, Kinsman Stable's Ebony Breeze is the one to beat.
Trainer Mickey Goldfine was putting the final touches on Senor Swinger Friday morning, just hours before the colt put his undefeated record on the line in Gulfstream Park's grade I Florida Derby. At $1 million, the 1 1/8-mile race is the richest prep in the nation for the Triple Crown.
With the field favored at 7-2 at the completion of the first day of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2, Louisiana Derby (gr. II) runner-up Kafwain attracted the most individual action Thursday.
Adminniestrator, who has won his last two races, including the inaugural $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Turf at 1 1/8 miles in the Sunshine Millions on Jan. 25, will stretch out to 12 furlongs in Saturday's $250,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Lake Lady and Miss Lodi, two of the most talked about 3-year-old fillies at Fair Grounds last season, finally hook up in Saturday's $100,000 Victoria Lass Handicap in New Orleans.
The Toboggan won't be run at Affirmed Success' favorite distance of seven furlongs, but the gelding is still an early favorite for Saturday's sprint.
Fillies take the spotlight at Gulfstream Park Friday when the $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) and the $100,000 Stonerside Forward Gal Stakes (gr. III) headline a 10-race card.
Midway Cat and Senor Swinger put in their final Florida Derby works Wedneday at Gulfstream Park. Empire Maker, who arrived there Tuesday, took a job around the track.
Despite his "bounce" in the Louisiana Derby, Kafwain remains on top the list of leading Kentucky Derby candidates compiled by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse magazine.
The spring racing season at Aqueduct officially kicks off today, with a 1 p.m. post. One of the highlights of opening weekend is Sunday's Gotham Stakes (gr. III), which will be televised live during ESPN2's 90-minute telecast beginning at 4:30 p.m. Usually run at a mile on the main track, the Gotham will be run at a mile and 70 yards on the inner track.
When Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager open its four-day run Thursday, it will include eight Derby contenders that were not among the individual horses in February's first of three futures pools.
Braun & English's Pippin Stakes winner Red n'Gold and the highly-regarded New York stakes mare Mandy's Gold figure to head the field for Saturday's featured $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn officials have announced that the purse for the Fifth Season Stakes, for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/6 miles on April 9, has been raised to $100,000 guaranteed. The race was originally scheduled at $50,000 guaranteed.
A showdown between four local horses appears likely in Sunday's $100,000 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The 1 1/16-mile test for 4-year-olds and upward is a prep for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 5.
Trainer Todd Pletcher had a pair of his well-regarded 3-year-olds on the Palm Meadows track Monday morning and confirmed that Indy Dancer will contest Saturday's $1-million, grade I Florida Derby.
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