Thoroughbred Racing

News, previews, results for major North American Thoroughbred races

Fudge Fatale Posts Sweet Surprise at 55-1

Fudge Fatale, the longest shot in the field at 55-1, opened a long early lead and held off Polygreen in the stretch for a shocking 1-¼ length victory Wednesday in the $76,850 Tuzla Handicap for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.

Congaree to Tackle Pleasantly Perfect

Stonerside Stables' Congaree will defend his title in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Santa Anita despite being assigned 124 pounds for his 6-year-old seasonal debut. He'll spot three pounds to Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Pleasantly Perfect, who also makes his initial start as a 6-year-old.

Mining for Hardware

Mining for Hardware

Mineshaft was named 2003 Horse of the Year at the 33rd annual Eclipse Awards, but it wasn't easy taking the spotlight away from Funny Cide, the New York-bred gelding who generated so much publicity during his memorable Triple Crown run last spring and was voted an Eclipse Award as outstanding 3-year-old male.

Mineshaft Runs Away With Horse of the Year Honors

Mineshaft Runs Away With Horse of the Year Honors

In seven races in Europe in 2002, all Mineshaft was able to do was break his maiden in a one-mile turf race at Newmarket in England. The final two starts of his 3-year-old campaign produced victories in allowance company in the United States, and they were much more indicative of things to come. The son of A. P. Indy went on to win 10 of 18 lifetime starts before being retired and on Monday was named Horse of the Year and champion handicap horse for 2003.

2003 Eclipse 2YO Male of the Year: Action This Day

2003 Eclipse 2YO Male of the Year: Action This Day

Action This Day didn't get into serious action for an Eclipse Award until the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). But when he did, there was no stopping him in his first added-money start. The son of Kris S. charged through the Santa Anita stretch to win North America's richest race for 2-year-olds for owner B. Wayne Hughes and trainer Richard Mandella.

2003 Eclipse 3YO Male of the Year: Funny Cide

2003 Eclipse 3YO Male of the Year: Funny Cide

Eclipse Award voting has become extremely subjective in recent years. Because of several factors, such as shortened campaigns and the lack of a standout performer over a period of time, voters often have little in the way of ammunition when it comes time to crown a worthy champion. So, they must turn to intangibles.

2003 Eclipse 3YO Female of the Year: Bird Town

2003 Eclipse 3YO Female of the Year: Bird Town

The crowning achievement of Bird Town's 3-year-old campaign began with a dose of bad luck. When the gates sprang open for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) on May 2, the Marylou Whitney homebred stumbled, and the confirmed front-running filly was 11th in the field of 12. The slower-than-usual start, however, helped turn her into a lioness in front of a national audience in deep stretch as the daughter of Cape Town ran to victory in an unforgettably powerful performance.

2003 Eclipse Older Female of the Year: Azeri

2003 Eclipse Older Female of the Year: Azeri

She is so much more than Queen for a Day. Actually, she is now even more than Queen for a Year. Azeri', 2002's champion older female and Horse of the Year, made a successful case for an encore presentation among older distaffers, and will keep the champion older female trophy for her work in 2003.

2003 Eclipse Sprinter of the Year: Aldebaran

2003 Eclipse Sprinter of the Year: Aldebaran

Aldebaran was the bridesmaid no longer in 2003. The son of Mr. Prospector, who finished second six times in eight starts in 2002, proved fully capable of reaching the winner's circle in 2003 and earned the Eclipse Award for champion sprinter in the process with five graded stakes wins in eight starts.

2003 Eclipse Grass Male of the Year: High Chaparral

2003 Eclipse Grass Male of the Year: High Chaparral

High Chaparral (IRE) is an outstanding example of trainer Aidan O'Brien's ability to put the right horse in the right place. The son of Sadler's Wells made only 13 starts in his three years at the track. He won 10 of those starts, including six group or grade I races, and never finished worse than third. In 2003, High Chaparral raced only four times -- two of those outings resulted in grade or group I victories.

2003 Eclipse Grass Female of the Year: Islington

2003 Eclipse Grass Female of the Year: Islington

After dominating the 3-year-old female division in Europe in 2002, and challenging the best that continent had to offer in 2003 -- both male and female -- Islington (IRE) shipped to the United States for a return engagement in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) where she registered a neck victory over fellow Irish-bred L'Ancresse. That one win, along with topping the final poll of the Filly & Mare Turf World Thoroughbred Rankings at 120 pounds, was enough to secure the daughter of Sadler's Wells an Eclipse Award as the top turf female of 2003.

2003 Eclipse Owner of the Year: Juddmonte Farms

Juddmonte Farms added to its growing collection of Eclipse statuettes with a second trophy for being North AmericaÕs leading owner. Juddmonte, owned by 66-year-old Prince Khalid Abdullah, has won four Eclipse Awards for top breederÑin 1995, 2001, 2002, and 2003Ñas well as the Eclipse for top owner in 1992 and 2003. As an owner in 2003, Juddmonte had 33 winners from 122 starts and earnings of $6,265,030 to rank third in North America.

2003 Eclipse Jockey of the Year: Jerry Bailey

Jerry Bailey is racing's version of Starship Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk, boldly going where no man has gone before. In 2003, he won more stakes (70) in one year than any other rider in history, and his mounts set a single-season earnings mark of $23,354,960. Bailey also established another riding record when he scored his 14th victory in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships while guiding Six Perfections to the wire first in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).

2003 Eclipse Apprentice Jockey of the Year: Eddie Castro

While working in Los Santos, Panama, Eddie Castro had to make a big decision. Would he continue attending night school to become an electrician or would he concentrate full time on racehorse riding and move to the United States? The 18-year-old chose to continue riding and now is an Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey.

2003 Eclipse Steeplechaser of the Year: McDynamo

A piano player touches the keys to make music. Elton John makes the keys sing. A quarterback throws the football. Peyton Manning makes the football go places. A steeplechase winner's runs and jumps. McDynamo floats. He's better than other horses. A master.

Short Break in Store for Fire Slam; Louisiana Derby Next

Fire Slam, winner of the grade III $100,000 Lecomte Stakes Saturday at Fair Grounds, will get a short break to heal a quarter crack in his left hind foot, and will be trained up to the grade II, $600,000 Louisiana Derby on March 7, skipping the grade III Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 15.

Ignored for Eclipse, Island Fashion Makes Statement

Trainer Marcelo Polanco was quite unhappy that Island Fashion wasn't given more consideration for the Eclipse Award for 3-year-old fillies in 2003 after winning a pair of grade I races and two other stakes. After beating a powerful field that included top mares Sightseek and Got Koko in Sunday's $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita, Polanco may have proved his point.

Shake You Down Gets His 'Reward' in Padua Stables Sprint

Shake You Down Gets His 'Reward' in Padua Stables Sprint

Trainer Scott Lake did not hide his disappointment that Robert L. Cole Jr.'s Shake You Down was not among the top three finalists for an Eclipse Award as top sprinter in North America for 2003. On Saturday, Lake and Shake You Down got their reward when the 6-year-old gelding zipped to victory in the $300,000 Padua Stables Sprint at Gulfstream Park.

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