Star Vega rallied through an opening on the rail to defeat Makeup Artist by a neck Sunday in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.
Home Run Hitter turned the tables on the overwhelming 1-20 favorite Randaroo and won the Smart Halo Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico.
Fog City Stables' Ocean Terrace, who finished last of nine in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5 after setting a quick early pace, was back on the work tab Sunday morning. He logged a five-furlong move in 1:00 2/5 while breezing over the Southern California oval under regular exercise rider David Rodriguez.
Michael Tabor's 7-1 shot Smooth Jazz took full advantage of his inside post, gunning to the front with jockey Edgar Prado and pulling away in the stretch to score a three-length upset over 4-5 favorite Crafty C.T. in Sunday's $273,750 Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Flaxman Holdings' homebred Sea of Showers and jockey Jerry Bailey won Sunday's $113,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland with a powerful stretch kick for the seemingly invincible trainer Bobby Frankel.
Michael Tabor's longshot Balestrini set the pace and held on to win the Group 3 PW McGrath Memorial Ballsax Stakes by a half-length Sunday at Leopardstown.
When Harlan's Holiday won last year's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) in a time of 1:51.51, it was the slowest winning time in the 1 1/8-mile race since Granacus (1:52) beat Intensive Command by three lengths in 1988. On Saturday, Peace Rules creeped home slower than Harlan's Holiday, finishing the key Kentucky Derby prep race in 1:51.73 on the fast track.
Last of 12 after the opening half-mile, 55-1 shot Sir Cherokee charged home with a powerful kick in the stretch to win the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) over Eugene's Third Son at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
James Vreeland's Mr. Technique and jockey Roberto Gonzalez rallied from the back of the pack to defeat 4-5 favorite Apalachian Thunder and Russell Baze by a length in Saturday's $100,000 Bay Meadows Derby.
Trainer James Cassidy had his patience rewarded Saturday when British import Steelaninch, under jockey Victor Espinoza, won the $150,000 La Puente Stakes on the Santa Anita turf by a nose over 11-10 favorite Singletary, who was ridden by David Flores.
One of Woodbine's most consistent trainers for the past eight years, Robert Tiller is off to the best start in his 30-year career.
Classic Appeal stole the show Saturday at Hawthorne, winning the Chicagoland Handicap as part of a six-race stakes series each worth $100,000. Gumbo Love is the sire Jambalaya Jazz's first stakes winner in the Violet.
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.
Congaree remained perfect from three starts at Aqueduct -- all graded stakes -- winning Saturday's $350,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) by 3 1/2 lengths over Aldebaran. The win in the seven-furlong race also marks his first in a sprint.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker confirmed his credentials as this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) consensus choice with a calculated half-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) in the mud at Aqueduct Park.
No Jacket Required, claimed by trainer Tom Amoss for $40,000 in his last start, returned to the track Saturday to earn a neck-length win in the $113,700 Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. Under jockey Brice Blanc, the 6-year-old gelded son of Jolie's Halo completed the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.25 on firm turf.
Edward P. Evans' homebred Halo Homewrecker edged past pacesetting Don Six in mid-stretch and held on for a one-length victory in the $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at muddy Aqueduct Park.
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.
The Kentucky Derby lost another of its major stars Friday when Badge of Silver suffered a fractured cannon bone in his right front leg. The son of Silver Deputy, who had romped in his first three career starts before tasting defeat in the Louisiana Derby, would have been one of the favorites in Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes.
Ruby's Reception mowed down favorites Go for Glamour and My Trusty Cat in the stretch to register a mild upset in Friday's $200,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Cynthia Phipps' Saarland, one of last year's leading Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prospects, won his first race since November on Friday at Aqueduct Park, defeating four rivals in an allowance race as the 7-5 favorite.
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.
Royal Spy went undercover at 11-1 to capture the $200,000 Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in Friday's feature contest.
A field full of quality fillies and mares goes postward in Keeneland's $100,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sunday over 8 1/2 grassy furlongs.
Often the bridesmaid but rarely the bride, Crafty C.T. looks to headline Sunday's running of the $250,000-added Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Keeneland.
A full field of 10 turf sprinters will contest the $100,000 Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Blue Grass undercard at Keeneland Saturday.
Sunland Park officials named Excessivepleasure Horse of the Meet for the 2002-03 live horse racing season. Excessivepleasure won the $500,000 WinStar Derby, the richest race ever run at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, on March 30.
Longtime New York trainer Gary Gullo has replaced Ron Ebanks as agent for jockey Jorge Chavez. Gullo, who gave up his 25 horses in training to take the job, will begin booking mounts for Chavez as soon as the rider finishes his rehab for vertebrae fractures suffered in a spill in the Florida Derby.
While trainer Jeff Mullins concentrates on preparing Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buddy Gil for his next start on the first Saturday in May, two of his other standouts, Captain Squire and Lusty Latin, will get a brief freshening.
Heavy favorite Beau's Town and jockey Jamie Theriot grabbed the lead on the turn and held off Honor Me and Rodney Trader through the stretch for a half-length victory in Thursday's $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
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.
Barry Abrams received 10 stitches to close a cut between his eyes in the emergency room at Arcadia Methodist Hospital Wednesday after 3-year-old filly The Toast of Troy head-butted him in the Santa Anita paddock prior to the fourth race.
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.
My Boston Gal made a triumphant return to Keeneland Race Course Thursday with her second career graded stakes win in the about seven-furlong Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies.
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.
Team Valor, which formed a partnership last summer with WinStar Farm and Sunmark Partners to campaign South African hotshot filly Ipi Tombe in Dubai, has decided to take the same route with Crimson Palace.
Edmund Gann's Peace Rules, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in his last start, was installed the 7-5 morning line favorite after drawing post two for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Saturday's Arkansas Derby has 12 colts scheduled to contest its nine furlong distance for a shot at the $500,000 purse.
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.
After two losses to open the 2003 campaign, My Boston Gal faces a deep field in Thursday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at about seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland.
Santa Anita will offer twilight racing this Friday and on April 18.
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).
Marching from gate to wire, Patton's Victory held off Colorful Tour by a length Wednesday in the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes for older horses at Oaklawn Park's "Racing Festival of the South."
A New Twist topped a depleted field in Wednesday's Keeneland feature, the $132,769 Madison Stakes. Favorite You, September Secret, and Slews Final Answer all scratched after rain left the track muddy.
It looks a like a big weekend coming up for Todd Pletcher, who will have starters in all three Kentucky Derby preps. Indy Dancer runs in the Wood Memorial, Aristocat goes in the Arkansas Derby, and Lion Tamer is a likely starter in the Blue Grass Stakes.
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.
Thoroughbred racing's newest track opens April 11, and the opening-night entry box showed plenty of interest by horsemen.
Arlington Park, outside Chicago, has changed its post time to 1:30 p.m., except for Fridays.
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