Multiple Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti returns to Keeneland on Oct. 8 as he seeks to defend his title in the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT), one of nine graded stakes over the Lexington track's opening weekend.
Three-year-old Blame ensconced himself as a leading player in next year's national handicap picture when he seized the lead from fellow sophomore Misremembered at the eighth pole and held on for a neck victory in the $460,600 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 27.
A solid field of nine was entered for the $300,000 Meadowlands Cup (gr. II) Oct. 16. They have banked nearly $5 million and have eight graded victories amongst them.
A day after his smashing victory March 28, record-breaking Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Well Armed was in "fantastic" condition, according to his assistant trainer.
As a steady rain fell on Nad Al Sheba on Thursday morning, March 26, Dubai World Cup favorite Albertus Maximus continued to display bold eagerness, pulling on exercise rider Rob Massey as he galloped strongly around the track under the watchful eyes of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
Still recovering after the long journey from the United States to Dubai, the 12-horse American contingent for the March 28 Dubai World Cup races continued to stretch their legs March 22 and get acclimated to Nad al Sheba, with most sent out for easy gallops.
Including four U.S.-based runners, 15 horses have been entered for the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba racecourse March 28.
Three-time grade I winner Einstein drew the outside post for his 2009 debut in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I), when he attempts to add a grade I victory on dirt to his impressive record Jan. 31 at Gulfstream Park.
Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anak Nakal, who was prominent on the Triple Crown trail in 2008 and later won the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), will make his 4-year-old debut against 13 rivals during Gulfstream Park's opening day $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 3.
This week, Jason and Tom analyze the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on November 28. Also Brisnet's handicapping expert "The Wizard" gives his "Spotlight Play" for Fair Grounds Race 8 on November 28.
Like a fine wine, Commentator seems to get better with age. And on Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs, Tracy Farmer's remarkable 7-year-old gelding will try to cap off a terrific season when he takes on seven rivals in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II).
Tracy Farmer's two-time Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Commentator, Robert LaPenta's 2008 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Da' Tara and Four Roses Thoroughbreds' 2007 Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) winner Anak Nakal, all trained by Nick Zito, headline a list 26 horses nominated to the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) to be run Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs.
Arson Squad, making his first start on dirt since winning the 2007 Strub Stakes (gr. I), swept past Timber Reserve in the homestretch to win the $350,000 Meadowlands Cup (gr. II) in New Jersey on the night of Oct. 3.
The Nick Zito-trained duo of Da'Tara and Anak Nakal heads the field for the $350,000 grade II Meadowlands Cup Oct. 3 at Meadowlands.
Anak Nakal, rallying from far back for jockey Joe Bravo, got up in the final strides to defeat Acai in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park Sept. 1.
Does money draw a crowd? Look no further than the Sept. 1 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) for evidence it's true, as a full field of 14 3-year-olds were entered in the $1 million race, the signature event at Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack.
Da' Tara, who shocked the nation when he wired the field at odds of 38-1 in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and denied Big Brown the Triple Crown, returns to the racetrack July 27 in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga.
Preliminary analysis by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau suggests nothing appears amiss with wagering on the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) won by longshot Da' Tara.
The eight other runners from the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were resting well, their trainers looking on to future goals for the summer, as the Triple Crown season concluded June 7.
Trainer David Carroll was aboard Denis of Cork June 5 as the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) went to the paddock, stood in the starting gate and then galloped 1 1/4 miles on Belmont's main track.
For the third time in about a week Casino Drive had one of those non-published works that everyone has come to expect. The first time was by himself, the second with two workmates, and today's with one workmate. But this time it was different, as his jockey Edgar Prado was aboard for the first time.
The Nick Zito-trained Anak Nakal was a go for the Belmont Stakes (gr.I) shortly after he ran seventh in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I) at Churchill Downs on May 3.
Triple Crown contender Big Brown was installed the 2-5 morning line favorite and drew the rail in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Equipped with a new set of stainless steel wires to hold together a small quarter crack in his left front hoof, Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown galloped May 31 as he continues to prepare for the 140th edition of the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7.
Four years after Birdstone upset Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid, trainer Nick Zito would love to play spoiler again, as he will send out Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anal Nakal in the Belmont in hopes of rejecting Big Brown's bid for racing immortality.
As of May 26, New York Racing Association Stakes Coordination Andrew Byrnes expects the Belmont Stakes field to be: Big Brown, Anak Nakal, Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Icabad Crane, Macho Again, Tale of Ekati, and Tomcito.
Well, Big Brown finally is here and the racing world had its first look at the likely Kentucky Derby favorite and its first encounter with his colorful trainer Rick Dutrow.
Colt will be re-X-rayed after two months.
Louie Roussel didn't like the weather forecast for Saturday, or Sunday, and Monday for that matter, so he moved Recapturetheglory's five-furlong work to Friday morning.
Anak Nakal breezes a half-mile in :46.60.
The first morning at Churchill Downs brought sunny skies and warm temperatures, as the Kentucky Derby horses began their final stretch to racing's biggest day. From here on, there is no room for error. We'll give a brief rundown of the day's activities and continue with the plusses and minuses of each contender.
Cool Coal Man Works; Big Brown Zips at Palm Meadows; Anak Nakal to work Friday.
He has a new first-rate home base (California) and a new first-call trainer (Bobby Frankel), but Rafael Bejarano, 25, will be back in Kentucky to ride Anak Nakal for trainer Nick Zito in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) the first Saturday in May.
Nick Zito has not lost faith in War Pass. True, the colt has questions to answer after finishing last as the 1-20 choice in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III). But the trainer saw his 2007 juvenile champ at his best during a five-race winning streak that carried over into this season, and he's hoping that side is revealed again when the son of Cherokee Run heads a field of 10 in Aqueduct's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I).
California-bred Sierra Sunset threw his name smack into the middle of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) mix March 15 at Oaklawn Park, dominating eight rivals to win by three lengths in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II).
Stone Bird will try to pull off the upset in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 15 at Oaklawn Park. Making his stakes debut, he will have to take down eight rivals, including Z Fortune and Anak Nakal.
A star-studded field of 12 3-year-olds, highlighted by a pair of starters for trainers Bill Mott and Nick Zito, will contest the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
Champion 2-year-old War Pass drilled six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 at Palm Meadows Saturday in preparation for his 3-year-old debut, which could come in an allowance race at Gulfstream Feb. 23.
Four runners trained by Nick Zito, all potential contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), lead the list of 52 3-year-olds nominated for the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 24.
Robert LaPenta's undefeated Eclipse champion War Pass continued to prep for his seasonal debut when he worked a bullet half-mile in :46.80 at Palm Meadows training center Feb. 2. Anak Nakal and Tale of Ekati also worked.
Trainer Nick Zito has a barn loaded with potential Kentucky Derby contenders, and four of those 3-year-olds made impressive moves this weekend.
Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road may be the 7-2 morning line choice for the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), but he'll face two unbeaten runners, a graded stakes winner, and an impressive 9 1/4 length victor when a field of nine heads to the post at the Fair Grounds Jan. 12.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER by Avalyn Hunter Anak Nakal's win in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) November 24 indicates that Four Roses Thoroughbreds does have a promising young racehorse with plenty of potential for improvement. That's a nice thing to have when looking forward to the 2008 Triple Crown trail. Any stamina transmitted to Anak Nakal by his sire Victory Gallop, winner of the 1998 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) is supplemented nicely by the distaff side of his pedigree. Anak Nakal's dam, Misk, was produced from Perlee (FR), who scored her biggest win in the 1982 Prix de Minerve (Fr-III) over 2,400 meters.
As we head into December, a well-funded trainer is looking for a potential Kentucky Derby horse, but does not want a horse based in Southern California. At the same time, a well-funded gambler is looking for a solid Derby horse to bet in the future book, but he, too, is looking away from California. The reason behind their thinking is quite simple.
Trainer Nick Zito saddled the winner of the $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24, but it wasn't the horse everyone expected.
As trainer of Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner War Pass, Nick Zito has one sure-fire Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender in his barn. On Nov. 24, the Hall of Famer will find out if he has another legitimate threat, as he sends out highly-touted Cool Coal Man in the $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), a 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-olds on the main track at Churchill Downs.
After the way Etched ran away from the field in the $105,800 Nashua (gr. III) for 2-year-olds, it was easy to see why only four horses took on the promising Darley Stable homebred Oct. 28 at Aqueduct.
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