Champion Declan's Moon, getting ready to start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita March 5, worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 Saturday at Hollywood Park. Trainer Ron Ellis also breezed Don't Get Mad, while across town, Spanish Chestnut and Scipion drilled for Patrick Biancone.
The French-bred female All Along, champion and Horse of the Year on two continents, died Feb. 23 at the age of 26, Three Chimneys president Dan Rosenberg announced Friday.
San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Spanish Chestnut remains on schedule for his next start in the March 5 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) and the Florida-bred tuned up for the 1 1/16-mile event with a six-furlong work in 1:14 from the gate on Wednesday morning over a fast track Santa Anita.
Simply put, this has been a relatively uneventful Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail. Until Feb. 12, no 3-year-old had done anything exciting enough to infiltrate the top spots, occupied by last year's stars, none of whom have even run yet in 2005. Then, along came Scipion.
Scipion, a half-brother to juvenile champion Vindication who was a bit disappointing last year, rallied impressively to win the $150,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds Saturday at Fair Grounds.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Spanish Chestnut, getting ready for his next start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) March 5, worked a half-mile in a blistering :45 over Santa Anita's fast main track Friday morning.
Spanish Chestnut took a big step forward Saturday at Santa Anita Park by winning the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds -- his graded stakes debut -- in determined style.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's grade I winner Sense of Style is recovering from surgery to remove a chip from an ankle, trainer Patrick Biancone said Dec. 23, and won't make her sophomore debut until sometime earlier this spring.
Personal Rush, a Japanese-based entrant in Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), breezed Wednesday at Lone Star Park in his final workout for Saturday's $4-million race.
Sense of Style, the 2-year-old filly whose unbeaten record ended when she finished fifth in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) turned in her final prep for the Breeders'Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Sunday when she breezed five-eighths of a mile in :59 4/5.
The first Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships contenders to test the Lone Star Park turf course worked Saturday morning, with slow times the norm of the day.
With only 13 of the 101 horses pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on the grounds at Lone Star Park, there has been a paucity of activity this week by the Cup horses. In fact, an unseasonable heat wave in North Texas has been been the hottest topic of conversation around the track the past couple of days.
With workers at Lone Star Park continuing to prepare for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and with the North Texas heat wave continuing (the forecast high was 91 degrees), Sprint (gr. I) contender Bwana Charlie went to the track Tuesday and zipped five furlongs in :59 2/5.
Breeders' Cup Sprint contender Gold Storm worked 5 furlongs in 1:00 3/5 Monday at Lone Star Park in preparation for Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day, October 30th.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Sense of Style is the logical favorite in Saturday's Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) on opening day of Keeneland fall meet. The unbeaten filly will have her work cut out for her though, as 10 other 2-year-old fillies have passed the entry box.
Trainer Patrick Biancone said Oct. 5 that Michael Tabor's Magistretti, runner-up to Kitten's Joy in the Turf Classic (gr. IT), will run in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Despite her slow break, odds-on favorite Sense of Style, guided by Edgar Prado, remained unbeaten with a facile one-length victory in the $300,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park Sunday.
Sense of Style, a convincing winner of the seven-furlong Spinaway Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga last month, figures to be a very short price against five rivals in Sunday's Matron Stakes (gr. I) at a mile at Belmont Park.
Epalo appeared to be home free in the late stages of the $500,000 Man o'War, but Michael Tabor's Magistretti, last at the top of the stretch, flew down the middle of the track to win going away on yielding turf at Belmont Park Saturday.
Lion Heart, the 5-2 favorite who set the early pace before finishing last in Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I), fractured a bone in his right front foot during the race and has been retired.
Pomeroy, who had always been in the shadow of Lion Heart in the Patrick Biancone stable, captured his first grade I race Saturday with a smart victory in the $250,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.
- By Steve Haskin
Patrick Biancone, who will saddle Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Lion Heart in the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 28, and Todd Pletcher, trainer of Jim Dandy (gr. II) winner Purge, have different opinions about the 3-year-old championship picture.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Sense of Style toyed with six other 2-year-old fillies Friday afternoon, then dismissed them with a sudden flourish in the stretch to win Saratoga's 113th running of the grade II, $250,000 Spinaway at seven furlongs.
Trainer Nick Zito sent two of his three starters for the grade I, $1 million Travers Aug. 28 out for works on the main track at Saratoga Friday morning. Sir Shackleton breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 while The Cliff's Edge went the same distance in 1:01 1/5.
Scipion, a half-brother to 2002 2-year-old champion Vindication who was sold for $1.9 million, won his debut race Saturday with an impressive come-from-behind effort at Saratoga Race Course.
Lion Heart shipped in Sunday morning, won the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Sunday evening, and by Sunday night he was on his way home to Saratoga.
Smarty Jones' retirement left the door open for a new 3-year-old division leader and Lion Heart busted through, winning the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) in fine fashion at Monmouth Park Sunday.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Lion Heart, the 121-pound starting highweight for the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), drew post 4 on Thursday for Sunday's race. He was quickly installed the 9-5 favorite for the $1-million Haskell, Monmouth Park's signature race of the season.
The second season begins in earnest for the 3-year-olds the weekend of Aug. 7-8, with the runnings of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), and West Virginia Derby (gr. III). If there is even the slimmest chance of dethroning Smarty Jones for the title, someone is going to have to run the table.
Lion Heart put in an impressive five-furlong workout Friday morning over the Saratoga main track in :58 2/5 handily in preparation for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 8.
Lion Heart seemed ideally placed for his first win of 2004 in Saturday's $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup (gr. III), but the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up needed everything he had to prevail as the 3-10 choice by a head over stubborn My Snookie's Boy at Monmouth Park.
Two veterans of the Triple Crown trail whose paths have yet to cross will finally meet as the favorites in Saturday's $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Lion Heart, who ran second to Smarty Jones in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is expected to top the field for the $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth on Saturday, July 17.
Pomeroy, the 4-5 favorite, made easy work of four rivals while drawing off to win Saturday's $95,000 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup (gr. III) by four lengths at Monmouth Park.
Jockey Edgar Prado weaved Mambo Slew through traffic along the inside in the stretch to catch favored Lucifer's Stone in the final jumps of the $114,800 Sands Points (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on Sunday.
Three generations of Tom Nachel's family have been in the Thoroughbred business. He'll be thinking of them this Saturday as he readies Lion Heart for his start in the Derby.
Although only 20 will start, 22 horses were entered Wednesday for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The week leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) got off to good start Monday, with four definite starters and one horse that is still knocking on the door breezing over a fast track at Churchill Downs.
Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Master David worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning as the Grand Slam colt displayed his readiness for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
A handful of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopefuls were out for workouts over Santa Anita's fast main track on Monday, including Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) hopeful Pomeroy, who went five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 in company with stablemate Tarkovsky, who was given the same final time.
The Keeneland Association honored its contestants for Saturday's running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) Thursday evening with a special dinner at the Keene Barn entertainment complex on the Keeneland grounds. The connections from most of the eight runners, Marylou Whitney Stable's Birdstone was scratched earlier in the day, were interviewed following the dinner, and following are some of the comments made by them.
Lion Heart was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite against eight other 3-year-olds for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and trainer Patrick Biancone agreed. "He's that good and I hope he gets to show it on the track," Biancone said.
Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) hopefuls Lion Heart and Preachinatthebar led the Monday morning worktab at Santa Anita. Lion Heart earned the bullet for five furlongs in :58 2/5 and Preachinatthebar posted a time of :59 1/5 for the same distance.
Grade I winner Lion Heart will race next in the April 10 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, trainer Patrick Biancone decided Monday, shortly after the chestnut son of Tale of the Cat worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track. Regular exercise rider Jean Claude was aboard for the move.
Trainer Patrick Biancone revealed late Friday that he's considering skipping the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with grade I winner Lion Heart in favor of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland a week later.
Gotham Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Pomeroy arrived back at trainer Patrick Biancone's Santa Anita base late Tuesday night and will now begin preparations for his next start in the $325,000 April 17 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's grade I winner Lion Heart, in preparation for his probable start in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked one mile in 1:42 2/5 in company with stablemate Tarkovsky March 22 on Santa Anita Park's fast main track.
Whoopi Cat, the likely favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Cicada (gr. III) Saturday at Aqueduct, was considered one of the East's leading juvenile fillies last summer until a foot abscess unexpectedly ended her season.
Steve Taub's San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) winner Imperialism is headed for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, where he will most likely meet up again with runner-up Lion Heart.
A full field of 10 sophomores will go to the post in Saturday's $200,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita, including grade I winner Lion Heart, the likely favorite making his first start of the year.
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