Keeneland will begin its spring meet April 6 with full fields and quiet optimism in what has become a very competitive Thoroughbred racing environment in terms of purse money and horse population.
- By Steve Haskin
Excerpted from the pages of the March 17, 2012 The Blood-Horse magazine, senior correspondent Steve Haskin tells how Riva Ridge put a struggling racing stable back on firm footing, and gave young owner Penny Chenery... Download Feature
Stakes purses at the Belmont Park and Saratoga meets this year will increase roughly 27%, while overnight purses will jump about 42%, the New York Racing Association said Feb. 29.
Jockey Julien Leparoux said Feb. 16 he will move his tack to New York this spring, in time for the Belmont Park meet.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is dismissing efforts to develop a casino at Belmont Park, which would serve as direct competition to the nearby video lottery terminal facility at Aqueduct.
Legislation is popping up in New York to permit additional casinos across the state, with other versions of bills placing the expanded gambling offerings at existing racetrack casinos.
Awesome Maria, who hasn't competed since winning the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) last June, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 Jan. 16 at Palm Meadows in Florida.
Genting New York is considering an initial expansion into a 70,000-square-foot area at Aqueduct Racetrack if the state legalizes additional forms of gambling, including table games.
The Belmont Child Care Association, a non-profit corporation, has received a donation of $150,000 from Thoroughbred owners Gretchen and Roy Jackson.
Jockey Javier Castellano won his first riding title since 2007 on the New York Racing Association circuit when he edged Ramon Dominguez by two victories at the conclusion of Belmont Park's fall meet.
The final day of the Belmont Park fall meet has been lost in the aftermath of a winter-like storm that hit the Northeast Oct. 29.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin worked the final four of his Breeders' Cup contenders Oct. 29 over Belmont Park's training track.
Multiple grade I winner Stacelita had her final serious work for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) on Oct. 27 at Belmont Park, covering five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 under Ramon Dominguez.
Multiple Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti and dual grade I winner It's Tricky had their final works over at Belmont Park Oct. 26 in preparation for the Breeders' Cup next week at Churchill Downs.
Haynesfield held off a game rally by Green Monster to score by a length in the $200,000 McMahon Adena Empire Classic Oct. 22, the richest race on Belmont Park's New York Showcase Day for state breds.
Led by grade I winner Haynesfield, eight New York-breds will go to post Oct. 22 for the 36th running of the $200,000 McMahon Adena Empire Classic, the centerpiece of New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park.
Working in company with Desert Sage, Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) contender Stacelita breezed four furlongs in 48.55 seconds.
Mike Repole's dynamic duo of Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty worked the morning of Oct. 16 over the training track at Belmont Park, with Uncle Mo covering five furlongs in a bullet :58.64 -- the fastest of 32 at the distance.
Jockey Eddie Castro was conscious, in stable condition, and able to move his extremities following a spill in the fourth race at Belmont Park Oct. 15.
Phipps Stable's homebred Boisterous never stopped charging and finally overtook Sleepless Knight in the final 40 yards to win the $100,000 Knickerbocker Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a half-length Oct. 15 at Belmont Park.
David Cohen reached a personal milestone Oct. 13 at Belmont Park when he won the ninth race aboard Bobs Pinup Girl ($18.80) in a photo finish for his 1,000th career victory.
Tizway, who missed the Oct. 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) with a fever, shipped from his Saratoga barn and worked a mile in 1:38.47 over the Belmont Park main track Oct. 12.
A winner of consecutive graded stakes, Yummy With Butter will try to successfully stretch out to 1 1/8 miles when he leads a field of nine turf horses in the $100,000 Knickerbocker Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 15 at Belmont Park.
Winter Memories and Bold Hawk are Keeneland-bound after turning in separate breezes on turf at Belmont Park Oct. 9. Winter Memories and Bold Hawk worked five furlongs in 1:01.50 and 1:02.70, respectively.
My Miss Aurelia defeated Stopshoppingmaria for the second time this year, drawing away in the stretch for a convincing win in the $300,000 Frizette (gr. I) Oct. 8 at Belmont. Corey Nakatani bagged his sixth win of the day.
European shipper Western Aristocrat made a winning North American debut when he wired the field in the $250,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT) Oct. 8 at Belmont Park.
Brilliant Speed looks to continue his accomplished season in the $250,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. I) Oct. 8 at Belmont Park. He was pegged as the 9-5 favorite against seven other sophomores in the 1 1/8-mile event.
Two of the top-ranked juvenile fillies in the nation, My Miss Aurelia and Stopshoppingmaria, will square off for a second time in the $300,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 8 at Belmont Park.
Union Rags, a runaway winner of the Aug. 15 Three Chimneys Saratoga Special (gr. II), puts his unbeaten record on the line in the $300,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 10 at Belmont Park.
Stronach Stables' Awesome Feather, winner of the 2010 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), returned to the races with a victory in the $60,000 Le Slew Stakes Oct. 5 at Belmont Park.
Shkspeare Shaliyah and Pure Gossip turned in strong rallies to win two grade III turf stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 2 and appear headed to the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Runner-up to a pair of the country's top horses in his last two starts, Flat Out was not to be denied this time, as he returned to his favorite track and won the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Oct. 1 at Belmont
Uncle Mo repelled a bid from Jackson Bend just beyond the quarter-pole and put his rival away in the $200,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 1 at Belmont Park to win by three lengths.
Havre de Grace made a decisive case for favoritism in next month's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), as she annihilated Royal Delta and three others in the $350,000 Beldame Invitational (gr. I) Oct. 1 at muddy Belmont Park.
Stacelita had no problems overcoming slow fractions or the yielding Belmont Park turf course, as she easily defeated an overmatched field by two lengths in the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) Oct. 1.
Royal Delta will run into Havre de Grace when she faces older horses for the first time in the $350,000 Beldame Invitational (gr. I) Oct. 1 at Belmont Park.
Team Valor International's State of Play tops a field of seven and is the horse to beat in the $100,000 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 2 at Belmont Park.
With a different home, a new spot on the calendar, and as preps for an inaugural Breeders' Cup race, the $150,000 Nashua (gr. II) and $100,000 Tempted (gr. III) stakes have taken on a whole different look.
Preston Stables' Flat Out and Mike Repole's Stay Thirsty are the two standouts in the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), which offers the winner an automatic berth in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Uncle Mo will face older horses for the first time and tangle with the red-hot Jackson Bend in the $200,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. II), one of six graded stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 1.
Cape Blanco and Teaks North, both two-time grade I winners on turf this year, headline a star-studded six-horse field for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT).
Fox Hill Farms' Havre de Grace and Palides Investments' Royal Delta worked the morning of Sept. 26 in preparation for their next starts.
HRTV will provide coverage of the U.S. stakes extravaganza on tap for Oct. 1, a major day of racing leading up to the Breeders' Cup World Championships, and the Oct. 2 Qatar Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I).
Trappe Shot continued preparations for the Oct. 1 Vosburgh Invitational (gr. I) with a breeze Sept. 17, working in company with stablemate Rattlesnake Bridge. The tandem was clocked in :49.90 for the four-furlong distance.
Mike Repole's dynamic duo both drill over Belmont Park's main track for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Jason, Ian and Ed DeRosa from TwinSpires.com handicap the Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park. watch video
Winter Memories, beaten for the first time this season last out as the heavy favorite, shoots for her first grade I win in the $250,000 Garden City Stakes Sept. 17 at Belmont Park.
Grassy took over from Center Divider in mid-stretch and notched his first win of the year in the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) on opening day of the Belmont Park fall meet Sept. 10.
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, The New York Racing Association will conduct a special ceremony prior to the start of Sunday's live racing card at Belmont Park.
German-bred Sanagas, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, goes for his first graded stakes win when facing six other turf males in the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) on opening-day of the Belmont Park fall meet Sept. 10.
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