Jockey agent Ray Kravagna, who booked mounts for four Hall of Fame jockeys during his career of 43 years since he was discharged from the Army in 1960, has decided to retire.
Defending Goodwood Handicap (gr. II) champion Pleasantly Perfect, who hasn't raced since March 1 when he was fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), "is coming up to Saturday's Goodwood very good and I expect him to run as good as he can run," trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday at Santa Anita.
Irish-based Alamshar, ranked number one on the World Thoroughbred Rankings list in the Turf division, is scheduled to run in the $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International, set for Woodbine on Sunday, Oct. 19.
Tom VanMeter II's Be Gentle, runner up to the undefeated Ashado last time out in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I), looms large against six rivals in the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) Friday at Keeneland.
U.S. viewers can catch the weekend's racing action from France on either TVG or HRTV, as both will feature coverage of France's group I races.
Grand Hombre has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $400,000 Indiana Derby (gr. III) Oct. 4 at Hoosier Park. Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando is second choice at 5-2 in a field of 11 scheduled to compete in the 1/16-mile feature at the Indiana racetrack.
Beau's Town, a winner of four of five starts this year, is the one to beat in the $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) as Keeneland opens its fall meet Friday.
The Ohio Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry has taken serious hits in recent years because of competition for the gambling dollar, but there should be a bright spot Oct. 4 when one of the strongest Best of Ohio championship programs in recent memory is offered at Beulah Park.
The favorite hasn't won the Meadowlands Cup since Marquetry in 1993, but trainer P.G. Johnson is hoping to break that trend when he brings Volponi from New York to New Jersey for Friday's grade II test at Meadowlands. The 5-year-old finished second in last year's running of the race.
Oaklawn Park announced Wednesday that it will not only double the purse for next year's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) from $500,000 to $1 million, but also will offer a $5-million bonus should any horse sweep the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) will offer a nationwide Pick Six wager, called the NTRA National Pick 6, on six important Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships prep races being contested this Saturday, Oct. 4.
A dozen high-class 2-year-olds have been declared to run in the group I Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket on Friday, Oct. 3.
There are 40 horses going forward for the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, this year carrying £400,000 in prize money, and 40 juveniles remaining in the season's top 2-year-old event, the £230,000 Darley Dewhurst Stakes. Both races are group I events.
A pair of Nick Zito-trained 2-year-olds and Team Valor's Tiger Hunt are the probable favorites from among those likely to go in Saturday's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II).
Cheltenham Racecourse announced Wednesday that prize money for the 2003/2004 season, starting at the end of October, will rise by 5% compared to last season.
Tests performed Tueday on Azeri revealed a "very high white blood count," said trainer Laura de Seroux, who is still hoping to be able to make the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Horsemen at Suffolk Downs feared they would have nowhere to go if the Boston track's management chose to move the winter meet starting date from January to May. Those fears intensified when on Tuesday the track officials applied for 150-day meet that would open May 1.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Funny Cide showed he's ready for whatever trainer Barclay Tagg has in store for him, breezing five furlongs in :59 2/5 at Belmont Tuesday.
Following her loss to Got Koko in the Sept. 28 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, trainer Laura de Seroux sent Horse of the Year Azeri to the San Luis Rey Downs Clinic to undergo a thorough check-up.
Volponi, who used the Meadowlands Cup (gr. III) as a springboard to victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), breezed a half mile in :49 2/5 at Belmont for Friday night's running of the 1 1/8-mile event.
The Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) on Keeneland's opening day card Oct. 3 is likely to have a field of seven 2-year-old fillies according to track officials. The 1 1/16-miles, two-turn race has proven to be a valuable prep for the World Thoroughbred Championships.
Claiborne Farm's Stroll tops the list of 25 nominees to the $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. III), one of eight stakes races worth $1.5 million to be run on Festival of the Sun Day on Oct. 11.
Lone Star Park officials are heading to Europe to publicize the track in advance of the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. To help with publicity, Lone Star Park is sponsoring a race on the first day of Newmarket's Cambridgeshire Meeting on Oct. 2.
The embattled president of the New York Racing Association resigned Monday evening, in a move NYRA officials hope will quell the firestorm that is threatening their franchise to run the state's three premier racetracks.
Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) hopefuls Bluesthestandard, Captain Squire, and Yankee Gentleman all had their final workouts for Sunday's main event over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday morning.
Ralph and Aury Todd's homebred The Tin Man will make his next start in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) on Oct. 25, trainer Richard Mandella said.
Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Got Koko was in good shape Monday morning, trainer Bruce Headley reported, and is probable to run next in the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
Two contenders for Saturday's Shadwell Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland worked over the grass at the Lexington, Ky. track Monday morning.
Despite Mineshaft's status as the top handicap horse in the country, the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita on Oct. 25 will by no means be a definite start for the four-time grade I winner and leading Horse of the Year candidate.
Wertheimer Farm's unbeaten Halfbridled, the likely favorite for next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), showed her versatility in winning Sunday's $250,000 Oak Leaf States (gr. II) for jockey Julie Krone at Santa Anita.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela guided Tates Creek through a narrow opening in the stretch and the multiple graded stakes winner did the rest, winning the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) by three-quarters of a length over fast-closing Musical Chimes.
The featured $271,750 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) Sunday at Woodbine looked like a two-horse race on paper and on the tote board. But instead of Strut the Stage, the 1-2 favorite and multiple stakes-winning Mobil, at 2-1the contenders were 6-1 Bowman Mill and 24-1 outsider Lenny the Lender.
Perfect Drift edged away from Tenpins in the stretch to win Sunday's $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) on opening day at the Illinois track, but his trainer remained doubtful about a run in the Breeders's Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
Azeri's 11-race winning streak came to a surprising halt Sunday – 27 days before the Breeders' Cup – when Got Koko rallied past the reigning Horse of the Year and went on to a half-length win in the $300,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Flagshipenterprise out-fought relentless Bond Arbitrage at Belmont Park on Sunday afternoon, pulling away to 4 ½-length victory in the $109,500 Bertram F. Bongard for 2-year-old New York breds at a mile.
Trainer Todd Pletcher put Capeside Lady back in against New York breds, and the 2-year-old filly enjoyed a laugher, leading at every call to win the $108,900 Joseph A.Gimma at seven furlongs by nine lengths.
Maktoum al Maktoum's odds-on favorite Storming Home, ridden by Gary Stevens, caught a determined Johar in deep stretch and went on to a half-length victory in Sunday's $245,000 Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (gr. IT) on opening day of the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
Despite his eye-catching performance in Saturday's $500,000 Vosburgh (gr. I), Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel said Stronach Stable's Ghostzapper is most likely done for the year.
Godolphin Racing's Mamool continued his domination in Germany Sunday, winning the Preis Von Europa (Ger-I) at Cologne, his second group I success in three weeks there.
With the greatest of ease, Mineshaft won his third consecutive grade I race since July and made his case for 2003 Horse of the Year by trouncing an overmatched field in Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.
Godolphin Stable's Sulamani recovered after stumbling badly on the final turn, impressively sweeping past the field in the stretch to record an easy 2 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Joseph Higgins' Dimitrova, ridden by Jerry Bailey, edged in front in deep stretch and drove to a one-length victory in the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) over the German entry Walzerkoenigin Saturday at Belmont Park.
Stronach Stables' Ghostzapper unleashed a devastating stretch run to romp to a 6 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $500,000 Vosburgh (gr. I), missing the track record at Belmont Park by a fifth of a second.
Falbrav, a horse with something to prove after his controversial loss to High Chaparral in the Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I), swept to a two-length victory over Russian Rhythm in the $535,000 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot on Saturday.
Mister Acpen was able to control the pace under jockey Roberto Gonzalez and surprised 3-2 favorite Fateful Dream and grass course specialist Ninebanks with an easy gate-to-wire triumph in Saturday's $142,500 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT).
A pair of stakes records were set during Arlington Park's closing-day card Saturday, with victories by juvenile Cactus Ridge in the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and by juvenile filly Zosima in the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie (both gr. III).
Waterville Lake Stable's Derrianne made her first start in the U.S. a winning one, confidently stalking the pacesetters and then charging to victory in the $147,000 Martha Washington Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico.
Crafty Shaw returned to the winner's circle after eight straight defeats, turning in a fine repeat performance in the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) Saturday.
Multiple graded stakes winner Perfect Drift is a clear standout in a six-horse field for Sunday's 67th running of the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Led by 2002 winner Strut the Stage, 3-year-old Mobil will face a tough field of older runners in Sunday's Sky Classic (Can-II) over 11 furlongs at Woodbine.
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