Andromedas Hero

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Premium Tap Tops Dozen Entered in Clark Handicap

George Kline, Peter Alevizos and David Whelihan's Premium Tap, third to Invasor in the Breeders' Cup Classic powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, returns to the historic Louisville track on Friday in search of a season-ending grade I victory when he faces 10 rivals in the 132nd running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare.

Premium Tap Assigned Top Weight for Clark

Premium Tap, winner of the Woodward (gr. I) at Saratoga and third to Invasor in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), has been assigned top weight of 122 pounds for next week's 132nd running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I).

Sun King Leads Zito's Clan to Work Saturday

Tracy Farmer's Sun King, runner-up in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, breezed a strong five furlongs Saturday at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), which will be run at the Louisville track on Nov. 4.

Sadness in Woodward for Flower Alley's Connections

The running of the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga could turn out to be the most crucial start of the year for 2005 Travers (gr. I) champion Flower Alley. It will be the colt's first race since the death of his breeder, George Brunacini, one of 49 people who perished Sunday morning in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington.

Tight Donn Part of Gulf Stakes Action Saturday

Elisabeth Alexander's 4-year-old Magna Graduate and Jay Em Ess Stable's 5-year-old Suave will be among the choices in the field of nine entered for Saturday's $500,000, 1 1/8-mile Donn Handicap (gr. I). They finished one-two in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25, with Magna Graduate taking the nod by a head.

LaPenta Entry Looks Strong in Fred W. Hooper

Trainer Nick Zito holds a strong hand in Saturday's $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course when he sends out the Robert LaPenta-owned entry of 3-year-old Andromeda's Hero and the 5-year-old Seek Gold.

Pletcher Strikes Again With Magna Graduate

On a day that Todd Pletcher set the North American earnings record for trainers, an ultra-game Magna Graduate proved to be his cherry on top, winning the $573,500 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at chilly Churchill Downs Friday by a head over Suave.

Suave, Perfect Drift Clash in 12-Horse Clark

Grade I winners Perfect Drift and Total Impact will face rising star Suave and a strong group of 3-year-olds in Friday's 131st running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.

Buzzards Bay, Scipion Return in Discovery H.

Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buzzards Bay, off since June, returns to action on the Breeders' Cup undercard at Belmont Park Saturday in the $250,000-added Emirates Airline Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for three-year-olds.

Magna Graduate Takes Pegasus Honors

Elisabeth H. Alexander's Magna Graduate took command turning for home and held 54-1 shot Crown Point at bay through the lane to take the $250,000 Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) at the Meadowlands on Friday, opening night of the 2005 Thoroughbred season.

Bellamy Road Enters Travers Picture

Trainer Nick Zito said Tuesday morning that Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road will make his long awaited return to the races in the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I), instead of the King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), the race that was originally on his schedule. Both races are Saturday at Saratoga.

Roman Ruler, Flower Alley Top Travers Noms

Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Roman Ruler and Flower Alley, winner of the Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga earlier this meet, head a list of 16 nominations for the $1 million Travers (gr. I) Aug. 27.

Don't Get Mad Works Mile for Travers

B. Wayne Hughes' Don't Get Mad, winner of the Derby Trial and Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III), tuned up for the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) with a mile work Friday in 1:41 at Santa Anita.

Andromeda's Hero Works Toward Travers

Trainer Nick Zito had Andromeda's Hero on the track Thursday morning at Saratoga Race Course working toward a start in the Aug. 27 Travers (gr. I). With exercise rider Jorge Abreu, Andomeda's Hero breezed five furlongs on the Saratoga main track in 1:02.

Pletcher's Budding Star Wins Jim Dandy

The only graded stakes winner in Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy (gr. II), budding Flower Alley outclassed his 3-year-old foes at Saratoga Race Course to establish himself as one of the favorites for the upcoming Travers (gr. I).

Zito To Saddle A Pair in Short Jim Dandy Field

Trainer Nick Zito will send two of his 2005 Triple Crown contenders into action in Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course. Belmont Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Andromeda's Hero and barnmate Noble Causeway lead the field of six entered.

Friday's Belmont Notes: Getting in Final Licks

Preakness (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex, the favorite for Saturday's Belmont Stakes, settled into his new barn without a problem. John Shirreffs, the affable trainer of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo, seemed nice and relaxed just one day before the rubber match at 1 1/2 miles.

Steve Haskin's Belmont Analysis: A New Hero on the Horizon

Yes, it's time to look for a value horse again. It doesn't take a genius to figure out Afleet Alex and Giacomo are the class of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and if both run their "A" race, they should finish one-two. But, this is the Belmont, and Andromeda's Hero and Reverberate look like two horses who will love the mile and a half distance.

Nine Possible for Belmont Stakes

The field for the 137th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 11 is slowly taking shape, with at least nine 3-year-olds pointing for the third leg of the Triple Crown. The 1 1/2-mile "Test of the Champion" will be headed by Preakness (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo.

Belmont Could Include Derby, Preakness Winners

Although the race is still three weeks away and the picture could change, the 137th renewal of the Belmont Stakes June 11 could serve as a rubber match between longshot Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo and the courageous Preakness (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex.

Steve Haskin's Derby Report: Strange Morning at the Track

Most Kentucky Derby (gr. I) works are pretty uneventful, but that certainly wasn't the case Thursday morning. You had Bobby Frankel calling a last-minute audible and working High Limit in company with Ghostzapper, and you had Greater Good and Greeley's Galaxy turn in two of the strangest Derby works in memory.

Afleet Alex A-OK in Arkansas Derby

Favored Afleet Alex bounced back from the worst race of his career, a last-place finish in the Rebel (gr. III) a month ago, to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) as much the best Saturday before 71,010 at Oaklawn Park.

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