Trainer Todd Pletcher is readying for a busy weekend at Saratoga where he will saddle the dynamic juvenile duo of Limehouse and Chapel Royal in the Aug. 30 Hopeful Stakes.
Saratoga Notebook: Sky Mesa Update; Surgery for Heckle; Plans Uncertain for Hennig Pair; Shine Again May Go Long
Sky Mesa may not miss a day of training while recovering from a bruised hoof, an injury he suffered while finishing last in the Travers (gr. I) on Saturday.
The $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) at Philadelphia Park will be in the spotlight this week when HorseRacing TV (HRTV) begins extensive pre- and post-race coverage. The cable channel will broadcast the 1 1/8-mile race live on Sept. 1.
Sky Mesa, who finished last in the Travers (gr. I) as the 5-2 second choice Saturday, came out of the race with a bruised left front hoof, trainer John Ward said Monday.
Saratoga Notebook: Scrimshaw OK; Santos Begins 'Vacation'; Pletcher Pair on Track; Evening Attire Wins
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Monday an examination done on Scrimshaw showed that the colt was not injured during the running of the King's Bishop (gr. I) on Saturday.
Sixty Seconds, who made her North American debut just last month, captured Monday's Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a head over Primetimevalentine at Saratoga. Alternate was just a neck back in third.
Trainer Michael Dickinson reports that Soto, winner of $600,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) in his last start on Aug. 9, will make his next start in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs. The 24th running of the nine-furlong Super Derby will be on Sept. 20.
Neil Howard, trainer of top older horse Mineshaft, watched the Travers (gr. I) with interest. He is likely to meet up with Ten Most Wanted later in the fall at the Breeders' Cup.
Travers winner Ten Most Wanted didn't look like he had run a mile and a quarter in 2:02 as he posed for pictures Sunday morning on the backstretch at Saratoga Race Course. His dappled coat was glowing in the bright sunshine.
The tough 7-year-old gelding Sky Jack showed his resiliency Sunday, setting a track record of 1:33 at Emerald Downs while winning the $250,000 Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III). He went over the $1 million mark in career earnings.
The Thoroughbred Corp. homebred Dessert, making her debut in stakes company, captured Sunday's $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) in gate-to-wire fashion, holding off an unlucky Solar Echo by a neck on the grass.
Woodbine might be unfamiliar turf for Shaconage and jockey Joe Johnson, but the pair certainly looked right at home on the Toronto oval's E.P. Taylor Turf Course in winning Sunday's $153,875 Ontario Colleen Stakes.
It was a low-key morning work for Canadian Triple Crown champion Wando, but rider Patrick Husbands still had plenty of reasons to be geared up for what lies ahead.
Candy Ride, the undefeated Argentine colt ridden by Julie Krone, turned in a sizzling performance while romping to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I), setting a track record Sunday at Del Mar.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Harmony Lodge, at 12-1 the longest shot on the board, set an easy pace and had just enough to hold off the fierce late charge of Shine Again by a nose in the $250,000 Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday.
Gracefully gave trainer Sylvester Kirk his first group win with a convincing two-length victory over odds-on favorite Ithaca in the Prestige Stakes (Eng-III) at Goodwood Sunday.
State of Art, who has rated comparison to the champion mare Triptych by her trainer David Smaga, proved best over the final furlong to post a three-quarters of a length victory in Sunday's Prix de la Nonette (Fr-III) for 3-year-old fillies at Deauville.
British invader Darasim, getting the most from a crafty ride by Joe Fanning, provided a front-running romp in the marathon 1 7/8-mile Prix Kergorlay (Fr-II) at Deauville Sunday.
Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) winner Tizdubai, a full sister to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow, will skip the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies Aug. 30 and wait for the Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, trainer Eoin Harty said Sunday morning.
A well-focused Ten Most Wanted and jockey Pat Day took advantage of a torrid pace duel to register an easy victory in the 2003 Travers Stakes (gr. I) before a Travers Day record 66,122 at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Saratoga Notebook: Classic Winners Missing, but Not Fans; Volponi Course Charted; Green Fee Out; No Marker for 'Dave
Funny Cide and Empire Maker may not have made it to the Travers Aug. 23, but the fans did. Several records were set at Saratoga Race Course in the process.
Secret Liaison wasn't supposed to go to the lead in Saturday's $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, but when she did, jockey Corey Nakatani decided he'd tag along for what proved to be a dominating four-length victory.
Favored Trademark captured his second graded stakes race in the United States this year as jockey Richard Migliore guided the South African runner through a seam between horses in the stretch en route to an easy win in Saturday's $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
Stylish, with leading jockey John Velazquez riding, won her third straight with a surprising burst in the home stretch of the $200,000 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Youcan'ttakeme may have very well wrapped up horse of the meeting honors Saturday at Emerald Downs by winning the $100,000 Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks.
Joseph Vitello's Tenpins turned in quite a game effort Saturday as he scored a one-length victory in the $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.
Out of My Way came from just off the pace to capture Saturday's $100,000 Arlington Sprint by three lengths.
With a desperate lunge in the final strides, Valid Video and jockey Joey Bravo had just enough to nip Great Notion at the wire in Saturday's $200,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) for 3-year-old sprinters at Saratoga.
Pearl of Love and jockey Darryll Holland made every step a winning one in winning the Galileo Futurity Stakes (Ire-II) impressively by 3 1/2 lenghts at The Curragh on Saturday.
Trainer Christophe Clement, whose barn has been hit hard by the poor weather this summer forcing so many races off the Saratoga turf, starts three in Monday's $100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 mile.
Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens posted another of his legendary upsets at Saratoga Race Course when his unheralded allowance runner Passing Shot tagged multiple graded stakes winner Wild Spirit by a short nose at the wire of the $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) Friday.
Saratoga Notebook: McPeek Thinking Upset; Weight Could Factor; Tagg Rethinks Hopeful; Bond High on Solar Man
When Sarava rocked the Thoroughbred world by winning the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last June, trainer Ken McPeek may have been the least surprised by the unexpected upset.
Two grade I winners whose connections are hoping for bigger things this fall, Gary Tanaka's Sarafan and The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Johar hooked up in the $75,675 Harry F. Brubaker Handicap, which started with just three horses at Del Mar Friday.
Madame Pietra was part of the "seconditis" felt by Howard Zucker's Del Mar barn last season, but the veteran trainer never lost faith in the mare, who now has four straight stakes victories.
The 11-race program at Cal Expo was canceled on Friday after jockeys decided the course was unsafe due to overnight and morning rain.
Eight 3-year-old fillies, including two entries of two horses each, are set for Sunday's $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Pont Street Stable's Tap The Admiral, winner of Churchill Downs' Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) in July, was one of 12 horses entered in the $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 mile on the turf.
The $200,000 King's Bishop, a seven-furlong stake for three-year-olds, has been a chalk player's delight the last four years. But if the likely favorites Saturday, Zavata and Posse, a pair of multiple graded stakes winners, want to keep that trend going, they better have their "A" game.
The 22-day Laurel Park summer meet ended Friday with Ryan Fogelsonger, Jerry Robb and Michael Gill winning individual titles, but trainer King Leatherbury failed to win his milestone 6,000th race.
Kudos was scratched from Del Mar's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Friday morning when it was discovered he bowed a tendon in his left foreleg during Thursday's five-furlong workout on the main track.
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens goes for an unprecedented three-time sweep of the Ballerina Handicap (gr. I) Sunday at Saratoga Racecourse with the ultra-consistent Shine Again.
Saturday's $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) has come up strong this year with nine solid older horses passing the entry box.
After two months of hype, the much-anticipated rematch between Funny Cide and Empire Maker in Saturday's Travers (gr. I) fell through. With his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner still feeling the effects of an illness contracted after the Haskell Invitational Aug. 3, trainer Barclay Tagg declared Funny Cide out of the $1 million race Friday morning.
Triple Crown race winners Funny Cide and Empire Maker remain on the "if" list for Saturday's Travers (gr. I). If this happens, they will go to the post for the $1 million race. It that happens, they won't.
Saratoga Notebook: Pletcher's Travers Strategy; Samyn Sidelined; Lukas' New Wheels; Congrats for Shug?
Todd Pletcher may have been the only potential Travers trainer disappointed with the news that Empire Maker might not run. As the trainer of front-running Strong Hope, who beat Empire Maker in the Jim Dandy (gr. II), Pletcher knows that the presence of Peace Rules means unwanted company on the lead.
Candy Ride, the undefeated Argentine-bred, and multiple stakes winner Kudos completed their work this morning for Sunday's $1-million, grade I Pacific Classic, with sharp workouts on the main track.
Due to a snafu by a racing official at River Downs earlier in the meet, River Downs will attempt to remedy the situation by "seeding" an exacta pool with $5,000 in the last race on the last Friday (Aug. 29) of the meet.
Kentucky-bred juvenile filly Carry on Katie remained perfect in two career starts and earned her first group stakes win in the Peugeot Lowther Stakes (Eng-II) at York Thursday.
Oasis Dream, the top sprinter in the world according to the latest World Thoroughbred Ratings, collected his third career group I victory with a sharp win in the Victor Chandler Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I) at York Thursday.
Saratoga Notebook: Dollase's Rare Shot; Wild and Wicked Sharp; Sackatoga Boys Want the Bus; Samyn Stunned in Fall
With Ten Most Wanted, Wally Dollase, who sent out Deputy Commander to win the 1997 Travers (gr. I) is attempting to become the first trainer in more than a half-century to win the Midsummer Derby with both father and son.
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