Ladies Din, an 8-year-old gelding who has earned nearly $2 million, heads the field for Saturday's $200,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) at Bay Meadows.
Saturday's $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 mile at Aqueduct is supposed to be the first stakes race run on grass in New York this year. With forecasts calling for more than an inch of rain from Friday night into Saturday, horses entered for the main track only may be in luck.
Handicapper Jim Quinn has been appointed to the newly-formed position of Players' Representative for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Wagering Integrity Alliance.
With no workouts at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby contenders, it was a relatively quiet morning Thursday at the Louisville, Kentucky track. The lack of activity on the track did not diminish backside buzz centered around horses that are still "on the bubble" for the May 3 race.
For the second consecutive year, Kim Loves Bucky has won the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. The 6-year-old gelding completed the 1 1/2-mile turf distance in 2:29.39, with Man From Wicklow a half-length back in second, and Williams News a nose behind for third.
Alexine, a gray mare who lost by a nose when favored in last year's Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III), will be the high weight and probable favorite in this year's $100,000-added running on Friday night at Hollywood Park.
Final Destination, a graded stakes winner on two continents, seeks her sixth straight victory Sunday in the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT), a $100,000-added test for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
Calder's turf will be in use prominently for the Friday afternoon opening card with two divisions of the Blazing Sword overnight stakes highlighting the 10-race card.
While the Kentucky Derby attracts most of the attention on the backside of Churchill Downs this week, 3-year-olds fillies continue to work toward the May 2 Kentucky Oaks.
The $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Wednesday at Keeneland boasts a field of many of the nation's top turf marathoners set to square off at 12-furlongs on the Central Kentucky oval.
With many of the partners of owner Azalea Stables on hand, Holy Bull Stakes winner Offlee Wild worked in company at Churchill Downs on Tuesday and accomplished what trainer T. V. Smith wanted from the workout.
Trainer Tom Amoss said Tuesday morning that he and owner Buddy New are keeping their options open for Lone Star Sky to be thrown into the Kentucky Derby mix after the colt worked six furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:12 4/5.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's Atlantic Ocean worked five furlongs under exercise rider Dana Barnes in :59 3/5 according to Churchill Downs clockers. Also on Monday, three-time stakes winner Lady Tak worked six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 in company after the renovation break.
Because the Pimlico Special (gr. I) has been moved this year to the day prior to the Preakness (gr. I), a Daily Double will be offered on the two races.
Santa Anita Derby winner Buddy Gil passed a key test in his quest for the Kentucky Derby when the gelding worked at Churchill Downs on Monday. While the son of Eastern Echo was timed in 1:11 4/5 for six furlongs under jockey Gary Stevens, more important to trainer Jeff Mullins was the five-furlong split of :59 3/5 and the fact he did not bleed during the training regimen.
With less than three weeks remaining to Derby 129, there are now 15 horses on the list of leading contenders compiled by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse.
Steelaninch and Star Vega, the Jim Cassidy-trained duo who swept the La Puente and Providencia, respectively, last weekend at Santa Anita will likely make their next starts during the upcoming Hollywood Park meeting, Cassidy said.
A field of nine was entered for Sunday's San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap at Santa Anita. At about 1 3/4-mile on turf, it is the longest grade I race in North America.
Santa Anita presents a pair of graded turf events Saturday. In the $250,000 Santa Barbara (gr. IIT), Noches de Rosa goes for a repeat of her sharp Santa Ana score against Megahertz and Garden in the Rain. Juddmonte Farms' Speak in Passing returns after a 15-month absence in the $125,000 San Simeon (gr. IIIT).
Trainer Mike Keogh has a simple wish list for Saturday's running of the $135,875 Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine, when Queen's Plate Winterbook favorite Wando gets his second test of the season.
Henry Pabst's speedy Keats is the morning line favorite for Saturday's $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Adam Russo's 8-year-old campaigner P Day faces six other older warriors in the $125,000 Baltimore Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/8 mile at Pimlico.
A field of eight will face the starter for Saturday's $325,000-added Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. The 1 1/16-mile race is the eighth on the nine-race card, with an approximate post of 4:45 p.m.
Trainer Gary Capuano returns to the Triple Crown trail Saturday with Maryland-bred Cherokee's Boy in the $150,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.
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.
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