Californian made his first start in North America a memorable one by pulling away in the stretch under jockey Kent Desormeaux to win Thursday's $111,200 Forerunner Stakes at Keeneland by 3 1/4 lengths.
Raging Fever figures to have an edge in Saturday's $150,000 Bed O' Roses Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. The one-mile race for fillies and mares is the ninth of a 10-race card that begins at 1 p.m.
Ivanavinalot, winner of the Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, needs to breeze once more at Calder before trainer Kathleen O'Connell decides if she is going to take the 3-year-old filly to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Trainer Manny Tortora said Thursday morning that as of now, he is taking Supah Blitz to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
A full field of fillies and mares, including Brazilian star Unificada, multiple stakes winner Repository, and Dixie Tactics, winner of the A.P. Indy Stakes during the fall meet, will go to the post for Saturday's $75,000-added Stravinsky at Keeneland.
Thirteen steeplechase stakes horses were nominated Tuesday to the $150,000 added Royal Chase (NSA-I) to be run at Keeneland April 25. The richest race of the National Steeplechase Association's spring season, the Royal Chase fittingly attracted the best horses in training including eight grade I winners.
After an absence of some four months, Nazirali won an allowance race at 12 furlongs on the Santa Anita turf in smart fashion on April 2 for trainer Julio Canani, and the jockey who rode the Irish-bred gelding that day says they can do it again in Sunday's $400,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at about 1 ¾ miles on turf.
Storm Flag Flying is scheduled to make her first start this year in Friday's Comely Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. Last year's champion 2-year-old filly has not raced since winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) last October.
All racetracks operated by Churchill Downs Inc. will revert to the normal wagering cut-off time by accepting wagers up until the starting gate opens.
Trainer Jeff Mullins sent Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) hero Buddy Gil for a half-mile work in :46 4/6, handily, over the Arcadia oval's muddy training track Monday morning.
Tom Durant's Most Feared tuned up for a run in Sunday's Coolmore Lexington at Keeneland with a sharp five-furlong work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has started more horses in the Kentucky Derby than any trainer in history and has won the "Run for the Roses" four times, but he is down to his final candidate for Derby 129 in Robert and Beverly Lewis' Scrimshaw.
The $100,000-added Doubledogdare, named for the first winner of Keeneland's Spinster Stakes, drew a field of six stakes-winning fillies and mares. However, as post time approached, favorite Belterra and Ifyouprefersilver were scratched
Stan Fulton's Roll Hennessy Roll, runner-up in the April 6 Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, returned to trainer Rafael Becerra's Santa Anita base this past week and will begin preparations for his next start in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park May 26.
Major Idea, favored in five of her last six races, will likely be the public choice once again Sunday in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
With an off track possible for Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct, one horse that does have experience over a wet strip is Arthur Vickers' longshot Sky Soldier, who was made 15-1 on the morning line.
Trainer Robert King Jr. wouldn't mind it a bit if he were to have another 'Devastating' year at Woodbine. In fact, he'd more than welcome it.
Trainer Jim Cassidy expects English-bred Steelaninch to show more speed in Saturday's $150,000 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita.
The $150,000 Bay Shore (gr. III) for three-year-olds at seven furlongs drew a field of 11 Saturday as part of the Wood Memorial program at Aqueduct Park.
The Bob Baffert-trained Apalachian Thunder, who finished third in the $500,000 WinStar Derby on March 30, will run in the $100,000 California Derby at Bay Meadows Saturday.
Affirmed Success will try and become just the fifth horse to ever win consecutive running of the 103-year-old Carter Handicap (gr. I) on Saturday against Congaree and 2000 Carter winner Peeping Tom.
Saturday's Arkansas Derby has 12 colts scheduled to contest its nine furlong distance for a shot at the $500,000 purse.
Off his Santa Anita Derby victory, Buddy Gil moves up on the list of Kentucky Derby contenders compiled by Blood-Horse senior correspondent Steve Haskin. Meanwhile, Indian Express joined the contenders' list and Atswhatimtalknbout and Kafwain were demoted.
Beau's Town, the brilliant Arkansas-bred sprinter sporting wins this year in Oaklawn's King Cotton and Fair Grounds' Peletieri Breeders' Cup Stakes, heads the field of six in Thursday's $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Three-year-old fillies are the center of attention Friday at Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of the South when an evenly matched field of six vies in the $200,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II).
It's red and green day Friday at Keeneland where the feature race, the Maker's Mark Mile, will be run on the grass, and cheered on by thousands of fans decked out in the bourbon's signature color--red.
Colm Santry leaves Vinery Australia for Coolmore...BRISnet.com holds $40,000 handicapping contest.
Paraneck Stable's New York Hero, scheduled to take on current Kentucky Derby favorite Empire Maker in Saturday's grade I, $750,000 Wood Memorial at nine furlongs, breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 over Aqueduct's "fast" main track Monday morning.
Juddmonte Farm's Empire Maker, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) and the favorite for next week's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct, remained a strong favorite to win the 129th Kentucky Derby (GI) as wagering in the third and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager drew to a close on Sunday evening.
Reigning juvenile filly champion Storm Flag Flying has yet to race in 2003, but that did not stop racing fans across the United States from making the unbeaten filly a solid favorite in Churchill Downs' inaugural Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which ended its four-day run on April 6.
The Phipps family's Storm Flag Flying, last season's champion 2-year-old filly, took another step toward her seasonal debut, breezing a half mile over Belmont's main track in :47 1/5.
Albert Fried Jr.'s Affirmed Success, who figures to be a major player in Saturday's $350,000 Carter (gr. I) at seven furlongs, breezed five furlongs over Belmont's training track this morning in :59 4/5.
Elloluv, who ran away from previously undefeated Lady Tak and the remainder of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) field in an impressive display at Keeneland Saturday, is still a good price in Kentucky Oaks Future Wager at 12-1.
Odds on Buddy Gil, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I,) dropped from 25-1 to 15-1 as Pool 3 wound down Saturday on the eve of the final day for the 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Ministers Wild Cat was scratched from the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby Saturday with a bruised right hind foot, trainer Neil Drysdale said.
Undefeated Storm Flag Flying is a lukewarm favorite at 5-1 in the first-ever Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Future Wager as the betting closed on Friday.
Empire Maker remained the solid choice in pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Friday, but the odds on the son of Unbridled edged up a bit to 3-1.
Irish-bred Ballingarry makes his first start since the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) in Sunday's $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 mile at Santa Anita, but the Canadian International (gr. IT) winner drew a tough spot for his return.
As he proved last year, the odds are often in trainer Bob Tiller's favor whenever the gates open. But in Sunday's $133,875 Jacques Cartier Stakes at Woodbine, the trainer has his rivals surrounded.
Doug Koch, owner of Berkshire Stud in upstate Pine Plains, N.Y. knows exactly how bad things can go at times in racing. Last Saturday in the Distaff Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Aqueduct, his Saskya was to make her last start before retiring to broodmare duties.
A well-matched field of 3-year-old sprinters passed the entry box for Sunday's Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. The seven-furlong race carries a purse of $100,000 added. Heading the cast is Fabien Ouaki and Patrick Biancone's Whywhywhy.
Inclement weather has forced Woodbine officials to call off Friday's race program.
Bettors made Empire Maker the solid 2-1 favorite at the close of the first day of Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Thursday.
The key factors surrounding Saturday's Santa Anita Derby will be the pace scenario and the enticing overlays awaiting bettors. If you go by the morning line, Domestic Dispute at 15-1, Ministers Wild Cat at 10-1, and even Kafwain as third choice at 4-1 look awfully appealing.
If Hour of Justice performs as well as his conditioner has in 2003, Saturday's $135,000 Star Shoot Stakes at Woodbine could be a foregone conclusion.
Embassy Belle is winless in two starts in the United States, but the 5-year-old Irish-bred mare has far from disgraced herself. She returns to the downhill turf course Saturday in the $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (Gr. III) for older fillies and mares.
Medaglia d'Oro, whose connections bypassed last weekend's Dubai World Cup, will lead a small field to the post with top weight of 122 pounds in Saturday's $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Jim and Marilyn Helzer and Tom Durant's 6-year-old Wooden Phone, out for 15 months after fracturing a shoulder, returns to action as the 119-pound high weight in Saturday's $150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) for older horses at Santa Anita.
Double G Stable's Tour of the Cat, winner of the Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship (gr. II) last month, is the high weight with 118 pounds in Saturday's $100,000 Artax Handicap at seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
Bee Bee Stables and Jacqueline Tortora's Supah Blitz, fourth in the Florida Derby and second in the Fountain of Youth (both gr. I) at Gulfstream earlier this season, may go favored in Saturday's $250,000 Aventura Stakes at the Hallandale Beach oval.
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