New Farm's homebred Wild Gams collared odds-on choice Fancy Diamond at the sixteenth pole and inched away for a one-length win in the $250,000 My Juliet Stakes at Philadelphia Park May 24.
In January, Tracy Farmer's Commentator blistered to a new track record at Gulfstream Park as he trounced an outclassed field of five allowance competitors by 14 lengths. In March, he demolished six Richter Scale Sprint Handicap (gr. II) contenders while drawing off to win by 13 3/4 lengths. But the 7-year-old Distorted Humor gelding faces his steepest test of the season this Memorial Day, when he heads a field of nine in the $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Four-time graded stakes winner Dream Rush has proven she is the one to beat in the $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) May 25 at Belmont Park, but the 4-year-old Wild Rush filly must answer one major question: how will she respond to a nearly seven-month layoff?
The connections of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I) winner Big Brown announced a "special presentation" May 23 to the family of the Nassau County, N.Y. police officer critically injured when a drunken driver crashed into his patrol car.
Todd Pletcher seeks his unprecedented third consecutive victory in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) May 24 at Belmont Park, and despite the loss of his top contender, the nation's leading trainer still has a pair of chances to make it happen.
Big Brown began his early preparations for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by jogging once around Belmont Park's 1 1/2-mile main track shortly after 6 a.m. on May 21.
Delaware Park announced May 21 that John Mooney has been named executive director of racing. In that position, Mooney will oversee the track's racing office, as well as its track and backside maintenance operations.
A Magna Entertainment Corp. executive said the company has no plans to sell either of its Maryland racetracks but indicated the results of a statewide November referendum on slot machines could play a role in any decision.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training finished Tuesday with downturns of 6.6% in the number of horses sold and 19.2% in gross revenue from 2007.
Tale of Ekati turned in a super-sharp work for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I) when he sped four furlongs in 46.84 seconds over Belmont Park's main track May 20. The move was the fastest of 37 works at the distance, on a track listed as fast before a steady rain began falling later in the morning.
Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto, said consideration has been given to Japanese, European, and American riders, but no decision will be made for "four or five days," on who will ride Casino Drive in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I).
Victor Harrison has been selected to replace Stan Bowker as executive secretary of the Virginia Racing Commission.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again, winner of the Derby Trial and second to Big Brown in the Preakness (gr. I), will be pointed for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), according to West Point founder and president Terry Finley.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training suffered downturns in the number of horses sold, gross revenue, average price, and median price during Monday's opening session at Timonium in Maryland. The most expensive horse sold was a $230,000 E Dubai colt.
After four straight years of handle topping $87 million, wagering on the Preakness program declined 15.8% in a year-over-year comparison with the 2007 card.
Anasheed, a graded stakes-placed runner, was represented by his first winner when his daughter Garter Belt won May 17 at Calder Race Course.
With his huge Preakness Stakes (gr. I) win in his rear-view mirror, Big Brown left Baltimore Monday morning right at 10 a.m. to head to New York and his date with destiny in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The New York Racing Association is prepared for the crowd that will on-hand to watch Big Brown attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. It will be the first Triple Crown attempt since 2004 when Smarty Jones fell short.
Jockeys honored the memory of Eight Belles by wearing stickers on their boots or mud pants May 16 and 17 at Pimlico, which was hosting the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and a variety of other graded races.
With the chance for a Triple Crown on the line, the field for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont Park is beginning to take shape. In addition to Crown hopeful Big Brown, six rivals are gearing up at their chance to stop him.
Jeff Singer's Cowgirl's Don't Cry went straight to the front and never looked back, scoring the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) by 2 1/4 lengths under Mike Luzzi to earn the biggest win of her career May 17 at Belmont Park.
On May 17, the jockeys at Pimlico wore patches on their boots to honor Eight Belles. Each time the television networks showed a replay of Big Brown's latest performance, the late runner's image filled the frame. And when Buy the Barrel took the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Handicap (gr. II) for trainer Larry Jones and jockey Gabriel Saez, we were reminded of Eight Belles once again.
Lantana Mob equaled the six-furlong track record at Pimlico May 17 when he ran down Silver Edition for a neck victory in the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (gr. III) on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard.
Favored Roman Emperor charged to the lead on the turn, dueled with Da' Tara down the lane, then won the Barbaro Stakes for 3-year-olds May 17 at Pimlico.
Ben McElroy's Roshani, the 6-5 favorite in a five-horse field, held off Lady Digby to win the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length at Pimlico.
The statistics for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training have been impressive in recent years.
Just as she did in her previous start, Sweet Vendetta took advantage of the off-track conditions, roaring through the muddy stretch at Pimlico Race Course to record a 1 1/2-length victory in the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) May 16.
Going into the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III), the question for Palanka City was whether the black-type winner could step up to graded competition. At odds of 1-2, it was a question the Terry Gestes trainee answered with an emphatic "yes" at muddy Pimlico May 16.
Big Brown, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), clearly owns some of the Thoroughbred industry's fastest feet. But many question their soundness, fueled by reports of layoffs, quarter cracks, and special shoes.
Ginger Punch, last year's champion older female, had her first work since winning the Louisville Stakes (gr.II) on the morning of May 16 at Belmont Park.
Behindatthebar has been scratched from Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), according to a Maryland Jockey Club official.
Churchill Downs Inc. said May 15 it reached an agreement with Maryland horsemen that will permit Calder Race Course to take Pimlico Race Course's signal May 16-17, including the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
A Repent colt was the fastest worker at an eighth of a mile May 15 during the second session of the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred sale of 2-year-olds in training at Timonium in Maryland.
There will be racing at other locations besides Pimlico on May 17, although most of the nation will be prone to forget it. At Belmont Park in the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II), older fillies and mares head out a mile on the New York dirt just one hour before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) goes off in Maryland.
That Roman Emperor likes the 1 1/16-mile distance has already been proven. Whether he'll bounce back from a seventh-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (gr. I) remains to be seen. We'll find out when the Steve Klesaris trainee leads a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Seven older sprinters will try to earn their first graded stakes score May 17 at Pimlico Race Course when they do battle in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) the first of 10 blacktype races on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day.
Just 14 days after saddling Eight Belles to a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Larry Jones will give a leg up to jockey Gabriel Saez and the two will take Hinkle Farms' Buy the Barrel postward in the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. II) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
Vinery Stables' Lantana Mob is the most likely choice in the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico May 17, which is why he's been assigned the high weight of 122 pounds in a nine-horse field. But several 3-year-olds looking for graded stakes-winning status could step up to provide a challenge in this Preakness undercard event.
The Maryland racing industry is throwing its support behind a campaign for slot machines, but it remains to be seen whether any racetracks would get the gambling devices should the public approve a statewide ballot measure in November.
Change may be in the wind yet again regarding upper-level Maryland Jockey Club management, but as of May 15, officials with MJC owner Magna Entertainment Corp. said there's nothing to announce.
The top-weighted runner in the $250,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico May 17 is coming off a sixth-place finish, while his closest competitor also ran sixth in his last start. That leaves a chance at graded earnings readily available to seven other runners in the 1 1/8-mile turf event on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard.
An official of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said on May 14 that his organization will issue a proposal that would enable Calder Race Course to carry the simulcast signal of the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) -- with a condition.
A Roaring Fever filly and a Medaglia d'Oro colt turned in the fastest works at an eighth of a mile May 14 at Timonium in Maryland during the first session of the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Casino Drive came out of his victory in the Peter Pan (gr. II) May 10 at Belmont Park as effortlessly and professionally as raced in his United States debut. Now, he is ready to tackle the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7.
Between Pletcher, Passion, and Pimlico, there are plenty of alliterations. And here is another for the record-preference-which is what the Eclipse Award-winning trainer will be trying to pinpoint as he sends his versatile 3-year-old filly to the $100,000 Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III).
Multiple-graded stakes winner Bshapsonata will look to continue her outstanding sophomore season May 17 in the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course, as she takes on eight 3-year-old fillies.
Although rain is forecast for Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday, Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) should be contested under cloudy skies, with cool temperatures.
Behindatthebar wasn't ready for a start in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after winning the April 19 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II). But with two more weeks between races under his girth, the Todd Pletcher trainee could be one of the more legitimate contenders for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Nine older horses, including 5-2 morning-line favorite A.P. Arrow, have been entered for the $250,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) May 16 at Pimlico Race Course. The 1 3/16-mile Special is contested at the same distance as the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), which will be held the following day.
Delaware Park has retained horseracing veteran John Mooney to consult on racing-specific matters, track officials announced May 12.
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