Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, a narrow loser to reigning "Horse of the Year" Azeri in her only start of 2003, and a trio of major stakes winners from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel head the list of 28 fillies and mares nominated to the $300,000-added Fleur De Lis (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer confirmed Wednesday that the $100,000-added Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) on June 22 is the next goal for Eye of the Tiger after the 3-year-old colt worked seven furlongs in a bullet 1:24.80 here in company with Yougottawanna.
Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, who rode Sunny's Halo to victory in the 1983 Kentucky Derby, mourned the loss of the horse, who was euthanized Tuesday.
Madame Pietra, a 6-year-old mare who has quietly developed into one of the better female sprinters in the nation, seeks her fourth straight stakes victory in the $100,000-added Desert Stormer Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs on Saturday.
William S. Farish's homebred Mineshaft, winner of the Pimlico Special (gr. I), and Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran, winner of the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) and Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in his last two races, top the list of likely starters from a star-studded group of 32 horses nominated for Churchill Downs' $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Seattle Slew, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown in 1977 and racing's only unbeaten Triple Crown champion, will be featured in Churchill Downs' next bobblehead giveaway on Sunday, June 8 as the latest offering in the track's "Triple Crown Heroes of the 1970's" collectible series.
Only a few days after researchers announced the cloning of a full sibling to the 9-year-old racing mule Taz, he upset 11-year-old Black Ruby in a $900 open event at the Humboldt County Fair in Winnemucca, Nev.
The Belmont Stakes was dealt a serious blow Wednesday when Phillips Racing Partnership's Best Minister was diagnosed with a lung infection and was taken out of consideration for Saturday's classic.
Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Flash Stakes in 1999 with More Than Ready. He appears to hold a strong hand in this year's running with a two-horse entry of Chapel Royal and Korsakoff in Friday's running of the five-furlong dash for 2-year-olds.
Storm Flag Flying, seeking to get back to her championship form from a year ago, will break from post 1 for Friday's Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The Ogden Mills Phipps' homebred daughter of Storm Cat out of My Flag will face six 3-year-old fillies in the one-turn mile contest.
Mineshaft, the likely favorite for the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 14, worked a strong six furlongs over a wet track Tuesday at Churchill Downs. The homebred son of A.P. Indy covered the distance over "sloppy" footing in 1:14 under exercise rider Annie Finney.
Carson Hollow, New York's 2002 Horse of the Year, suffered a chip in her left knee and might miss the remainder of the year. She is scheduled to undergo surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington, Ky.
Storm Flag Flying, last year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly, worked three-eighths of a mile in :36 4/5 Tuesday at Belmont Park in preparation for Friday's Acorn Stakes (gr. I).
The £285,000 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 30 has attracted a record 78 entries - nine more than last year's total of 69. The entries are headed by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Hawk Wing, who produced a front-running performance in his seasonal debut, the May 17 Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, beating five rivals by at least 11 lengths.
Steeplechasers will be part of the Triple Crown show at Belmont Park this week, as a solid field of 11 was entered for Thursday's $100,000 Meadow Brook Stakes (National Steeplechase Association grade I) over National Fences.
Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, who was scratched from the Louisville Breeders' Cup (gr. II) on Kentucky Oaks Day when she suffered a bruised foot on the eve of the race, returned to serious training on Monday with a sizzling four-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs.
Crown Royal American Turf (gr. III) winner Senor Swinger tuned up for his return to the grass in Saturday's $200,000-added Jefferson Cup (gr. III) with a blistering five furlong work over the Churchill Downs main track on Monday.
Dutch Gold, Kris Kin and Norse Dancer were each supplemented Monday at a cost of £90,000 for Saturday's Vodafone Derby at Britain's Epsom Downs. With 21 other horses nominated at the five-day confirmation stage, the purse for the classic of £1.47 million will make it the richest race ever run in Europe.
Japan saw its first Triple Crown contestant in six years clinch the series' first two legs, as Neo Universe claimed his sixth victory in a row, the Nippon Derby by half a length June 1 at Tokyo Racecourse.
French-bred Precision, using a powerful move down the center of the track, ran down star mare Elegant Fashion to register an upset in Sunday's $1,025,811 Hong Kong Champion & Chafer Cup (HK-I) at Sha tin Race Course.
Strait From Texas, at odds of 20-1, chased down pacesetter Chopinina in the closing strides to capture the featured $296,700 Nassau Stakes (Can-II) Sunday at Woodbine.
Pacesetting Vespone, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, was never seriously challenged in comfortably winning Sunday's Prix Jean Prat (Fr-I) at Chantilly by three lengths.
Al Eisman and Bill Currin's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) possibility Outta Here worked one mile in 1:43 4/5 handily around the dogs over Hollywood Park's firm turf Sunday morning. Currin, who trains the colt wasn't prepared to commit to running in Saturday's Triple Crown finale, however.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has a connection to two of the stables who will start horses in Saturday's Epsom Derby (Eng-I) at Epsom Downs
San Juan Capistrano Handicap (gr. IT) winner Passinetti will likely make his next start in the $350,000 Charles H. Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park, trainer Ben Cecil said. The 7-year-old gelding worked five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 handily over the firm turf at Hollywood on Sunday.
Porlezza and jockey Olivier Peslier overtook The Trader in the final furlong and went on to post her second straight victory in the Prix du Gross-Chene (Fr-II) for fillies and mares at Chantilly.
Aga Kahn's undefeated Dalakhani provided a dominating performance in Sunday's Prix du Jockey-Club (Fr-I) at Chantilly, turning back the late challenge of Super Celebre for a two-length victory.
Kim Glenney's homebred Kim Loves Bucky, with Shane Sellers riding, overcame pacesetting Quest Star in the stretch and held off closing Rochester to capture Saturday's $112,000 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Joey Franco moved to the lead with authority on the far turn and went on to post a one-length victory under jockey Patrick Valenzuela in Saturday's $91,325 Ack Ack Handicap at Hollywood Park.
Gustav Schickedanz's Mobil made his case for Queen's Plate favoritism stronger Saturday, edging away from Rock Again in deep stretch win Saturday's $162,200 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine.
Locally based Hennie's Song remained unbeaten and notched her first career stake victory in the $100,000 Go For Wand Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Delaware Park Saturday.
Louie Roussel III & Ronnie Lamarque's undefeated In Secure got up in the shadow of the wire to win the $75,000 Real Delight Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by a neck over 44-1 longshot Nicole's Dream Saturday at Arlington Park.
Samuel F. Bayard's Bronze Abe raced tenaciously from start to finishe to win the $75,000 Skipat Stakes over seven filly and mare rivals Saturday at Pimlico.
Lloyd Madison Farm's Champali, winner of the Iroquois (gr. III) and runner-up to Midas Eyes in the Derby Trial (gr. III) breezed a strong half-mile Saturday in 48.80 at Churchill Downs.
Hammiya and Santa Sophia were supplemented Saturday at the cost of £20,000 each to the Vodafone Oaks (Eng-I), the Epsom Downs classic which is run on June 6.
Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, third in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, continued his impressive training toward a possible run in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) with a sharp six furlong breeze Saturday at Trackside Louisville.
Waterville Lake Stable's 13-1 shot Mariensky scored the biggest win of her career Saturday in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) on a soft grass course at rain-soaked Belmont Park, leaving 3-5 favorite Lilac Queen in her wake.
Churchill Downs-based trainer Walter Bindner will decide in the next couple of days whether to ship Lakeside Farm's rapidly-improving Colonial Colony to New York for Saturday's Manhattan (gr. IT) at Belmont or stay home for the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 14.
Veteran Arlington Park trainer Gene Cilio celebrated his 74th birthday twice Friday when he took the last two races of the day for Crown's Way Farm with Lil' Joe in the eighth and Octagon in the ninth.
Grade III winner September Secret has been retired, owner/trainer Mike Machowsky said, and will likely be bred this year. The 4-year-old daughter of Our Emblem finished fourth in the Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park in her last start May 11.
Next week's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) lost a possible contender on Saturday when trainer Ken McPeek confirmed that R. David Randal's unbeaten Wild and Wicked would not ship to Belmont Park for the race.
Edmund Gann's Peace Rules, breezed a half mile over Belmont's main track in :48 Friday morning in his first workout since finishing a distant fourth behind Visa Triple Crown hopeful Funny Cide in the May 17 Preakness (gr. I). NYRA clockers caught the colt galloping out five furlongs in 1:00 4/5.
It took 2002 standout Chopinina awhile to get over her broken romance, but trainer Alec Fehr feels she's ready to go for her 2003 debut in Sunday's $278,200 Nassau Stakes (Can-II) for fillies andmares on the grass at Woodbine.
The field for Saturday's Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) was reduced by one on Friday when trainer Graham Motion decided against shipping Dr. Brendler from his Maryland base to Churchill Downs for the race.
Storm Flag Flying, last year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly, will likely face six challengers next Friday in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, according to New York Racing Association racing secretary Mike Lakow.
The Belmont Stakes (gr. I), when Funny Cide will bid to win the Triple Crown, is not the only major race being run on June 7. The 224th running of the Vodafone Derby at Epsom Downs in England will be run earlier the same day.
Gus Schickedanz's Mobil, winner of four of his last five, is the early 9-5 favorite in the field of six for Saturday's Plate Trial at Woodbine.
Lilac Queen, unbeaten in three starts since joining trainer Bobby Frankel, should be the solid favorite Saturday at Belmont in the grade II Sheepshead Bay. The turf stakes is over 1 3/8 miles.
While leading Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Funny Cide, Empire Maker and Dynever are getting most of the attention these days, it wasn't long ago that Sky Mesa, Vindication and Toccet were the darlings of the current 3-year-old class.
Final nominations for Calder's 2003 Florida Stallion Stakes closed early this month with a total of 880 juveniles eligible for the rich $1.2 million series, which begins Aug. 9.
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