In a pair of thrilling stretch drives to settle the divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course Saturday, Fortunate Card and Lawbook emerged with hard-earned victories.
Stronach Stables and Allen Brian's Buffythecenterfold ran her undefeated string to three races with a game win over rival Tricks Her by 3/4-length in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar Saturday.
John Franks & Peter Abruzzo's Lost At Sea overtook favored See How She Runs entering the stretch en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Singapore Plate (gr. III) Saturday at Arlington Park.
Favorite Minister's Baby disposed of longshot pacesetter Red n' Gold in the final turn and held off Lakenheath by 1-3/4 lengths in Saturday's $200,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Ellis Park.
With Anticipation guts out a victory in the Sword Dancer, giving Pat Day the earnings record for jockeys.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Pletcher's Harlan's Holiday, Invisible Ink Near Returns; Clement Takes His Time; Lukas Breezes Holiday Runner</b>
Harlan's Holiday, off since running fourth in the Preakness May 18, had an easy five-furlong breeze Saturday morning on the Oklahoma Training Track.
In her first easy race in months, champion filly Xtra Heat led gate-to-wire to easily win Saturday's $125,000 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park.
David Milch's Echo Eddie will not run in Sunday's $200,000 A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II). After performing a routine temperature check on the gelding yesterday, trainer Darrell Vienna's assistant, Scott Chaney, determined Echo Eddie was suffering from a severe fever.
Sakhee, running his first race since the Dubai World Cup in March, finished a disappointing second to Wellbeing in the Group 3 Prix Gontaut-Byron at Deauville on Saturday.
Tortured twice by losing photo finishes in graded stakes races recently at Saratoga, trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Jose Santos got a bit of payback when Waterville Lake Stable's Celtic Sky got up at the wire to beat front-running Reluctant Groom by a nose in the $82,900 West Point Handicap.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Day's Quest Continues; Forest Landing at Monmouth; Make Out's Spinaway Plans; Ward Frets Virus</b>
More than a year after becoming only the third jockey to reach 8,000 wins, Pat Day' continues to close in on another career milestone.
On Sunday at Saratoga, Orientate seeks his third graded stakes victory on the year as a prohibitive favorite in the 18th running of the $200,000 A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II).
Not deterred by Azeri's four straight Grade I victories, five fillies and mares will test her mettle Sunday in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar. The race will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
It's a wide-open 10-horse field that will battle it out at Woodbine Saturday in the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the third jewel of Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.
Although trainer Mel Stute believes she is versatile enough not to have to be on the lead, Buffythecenterfold certainly seems to be the one to catch in Saturday's $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track.
Godolphin Stable's E Dubai, winner of the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) over Lido Palace and Macho Uno, is questionable for the grade II, Saratoga Breeders' Cup Aug. 17. The Mr. Prospector colt suffered a bruised hoof at Belmont Park.
Following the events of last Sunday, what we have in the 3-year-old division are Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, and The Sundance Kid all walking toward each other for the inevitable shootout. Only these equine gunslingers are named War Emblem, Medaglia d'Oro, and Came Home.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: </b>Freedom's Daughter to Skip Adirondack; Saarland Working; Texas Glitter Eyes Vanderbilt; Labamta Babe Gears for King Bishop
Schuylerville winner Freedom's Daughter will pass the $150,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) on August 12 and will instead make her next start in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) on August 30, trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday.
Pin Oak Stable's See How She Runs, whose five-race undefeated streak was snapped when narrowly defeated in the $150,000 Iowa Oaks last time out, is the likely favorite among seven 3-year-old fillies entered for Saturday's $100,000 Singapore Plate (gr. III) over 1 1/8 miles at Arlington Park.
Augustin Stable's With Anticipation will try to become the third horse to win back-to-back runnings of the Sword Dancer Invitational when he faces 10 opponents Saturday at Saratoga.
Not many times does a horse finish second in a maiden race, then win a $75,000 stakes race. But that's just what It's a Giggle did.
Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner War Emblem, who also has victories in the Kentucky Derby ( gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) this year, was back in his stall at Del Mar Wednesday morning, and already making it known he is a candidate for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on August 25.
Champion filly Xtra Heat headlines a five horse field in Saturday's $125,000 Straight Deal Breeders' Cup at Laurel Park, her home track.
Despite the near-certain presence of Azeri, perhaps the finest dirt-running filly or mare in the nation, a field of six is likely for Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles on
the main track.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Migliore Eyes Return; Trainer Hess to Ship Kirtle, Dirty Trick; Lukas Turning it Around; Naming Ozzie</b>
After getting on a horse Wednesday morning for the first time since a frightening spill three days earlier, jockey Richard Migliore decided to take an extra day off before returning to competition.
Juddmonte Farm's Dance Dreamer, the 4-5 favorite in a five-horse field, hit the front in mid-stretch and cruised to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $75,000 Escondido Handicap at Del Mar Wednesday.
The Charlie Whittingham School of Horse Training has brought to the sport a number of leading conditioners, including the well known and successful Joe Manzi, Dick Lundy, Rodney Rash and Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale. The newest Whittingham disciple to step forward in what is primarily a man's world is Laura de Seroux.
No trainer or jockey has ever won back-to-back renewals of the Arlington Million (gr. I), but German conditioner Andreas Wohler and Austrian jockey Andreas Suborics could change that shortly.
I'm All Yours and Reluctant Groom, the top two finishers in last year's West Point Handicap, will resume their rivalry on Friday in the 23rd running of the $75,000-added West Point Handicap for 3-year-olds and older New York-breds at nine furlongs on the turf.
Two of steeplechasing's top horses are among the six entered for Thursday's A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Handicap.
Wiseman's Ferry and The Judge Sez Who, the second- and third-place finishers in the grade II Ohio Derby at Thistledown in July, are among a field of nine 3-year-olds entered for the $600,000 West Virginia Derby, a grade III event to be held Aug. 10 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.
With Pool 1 of the Breeders' Cup Future Bet in the books, fans will have some idea what to expect when they wager on Pool 2, which will be conducted from Aug. 9-11. The races in Pool 2 are the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, Breeders' Cup Mile, and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
On Tuesday evening, Sure Shot Biscuit eclipsed the $1 million mark in career earnings at Prairie Meadows. The 6-year-old gelding, owned by Okoboji Racing Stable and trained by Kelly Von Hemel, is the first Iowa-bred in history to reach that milestone.
Trainer Jonathan Sheppard would be doubly happy if Hall of Fame rider Pat Day became racing's all-time leader in purse earnings. First, Sheppard considers Day a good friend, and secondly, Day has a chance break the record while piloting the Sheppard-trained With Anticipation to back-to-back wins in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT), which will be contested Saturday at Saratoga.
Breeders' Cup Future Bet Finalized for Turf, Mile, and Filly & Mare Turf; Wagering Available Aug. 9-11
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has set the fields for this weekend's Pool Two of the Breeders' Cup Future Bet. Races open for wagering this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, the Breeders' Cup Mile, and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, all grade I.
Anofferucantrefuse is moving up from novice conditions to take on a field of six experienced jumpers, including multiple winner It's a Giggle, in Thursday's $75,000A.P. Smithwick Memorial, going 2 1/16-miles over national fences, at Saratoga.
In Monday's National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. II), the "smart money" was on Claiborne Farm homebred Patrol, seeking his fourth consecutive victory after finishing third in his career debut.
The way Medaglia d'Oro ran in Sunday's Jim Dandy, trainer Bobby Frankel said he is likely to put a little more spacing in the colt's races. After the Travers, that is.
Grover "Bud" Delp has made his own way in the Thoroughbred business. His path--from Maryland, to stardom, to the New Orleans-Chicago circuit, and back to Maryland--has led him to racing's pinnacle: the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
It was Tuesday, April 2, 1996. A cool afternoon breeze whipped through the Belmont Park backstretch. There was little activity at one o'clock on a dark day, so no one was around to notice a lone horse being led down Secretariat Ave. to barn 25.
It is small wonder too that Serena's Song was tabbed for induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame this year as top contemporary female. She was brilliant and she was hickory, starting 38 times in a 30-month racing career. It's one thing to race often, it's another to capture 17 graded stakes and hit the board in another 14. She faced the best in her division, butted heads with the boys, and never took a backward step.
Noor beat Calumet Farm's mighty Citation four consecutive times. That alone should be enough to earn a horse entry in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
To those who knew Jack Westrope best, his election to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is an overdue justice, a final, fitting tribute bestowed on one of the finest the game has ever seen.
War Emblem tops Bob Baffert's wedding cake and Monmouth Park's celebration cake.
80-year-old trainer Warren Stute wins another big one with Grey Memo's victory in the San Diego Handicap.
Trainer Todd Pletcher didn't have any trouble ranking Left Bank's victory in the 75th Whitney Handicap on 5-year-old horse's lengthy list of accomplishments.
The field bunched up from the start and hoped to make a it a sprint for the finish, but heavily favored Grundlefoot was too good for that game, overpowering his rivals in the run to the wire, winning the $50,000 Lexington Park Stakes at Laurel Park on Sunday.
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