With the racing world still rocking from the bombshell dropped by Carl Nafzger Thursday morning, all thoughts immediately turned to the two big horses who will remain on their Triple Crown journey and the two trainers who elected to see it through to its conclusion.
The streets of New York will be a little less crowded next weekend because Street Sense will not be running in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) but instead will be pointed toward the Travers (gr. I) at Saratoga and a fall campaign. The announcement was made by trainer Carl Nafzger at a press conference Thursday morning.
Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), worked a half-mile May 30 at Churchill Downs as his owner, Jim Tafel, and trainer, Carl Nafzger, consider a possible start in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the final jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Thoroughbred racing is a sport of contrasting emotions, ranging from euphoria to despair and laced with a heavy dose of what might have beens. It often takes a special horse to bring all those emotions to the surface, and after watching the 132nd Preakness Stakes (gr. I), there is no doubt that Curlin is that kind of horse.
The autograph hounds were on the prowl Thursday morning at Pimlico, with Kentucky Derby winning trainer Carl Nafzger signing an oversized print of Street Sense to benefit a Pennsylvania charity.
Trainer Carl Nafzger will be the featured guest on a special Preakness Stakes edition of HRTV's "Across The Board" show May 17.
Steve Asmussen trainee Curlin, who finished third in the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), tuned up for Saturday's 132nd running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) with an easy half-mile work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
The 133rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) was about a king, a queen, and a bunch of country boys. It was about a near-record crowd that erupted in celebration for its transplanted hometown heroes -- Street Sense, Carl Nafzger, and Calvin Borel. And it was about the end of a 23-year-old jinx. But most importantly, it was about class.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - More than anything else, this year's Run for the Roses is about relationships...and myths.
Although trainer Doug O'Neill has played a significant role in some of racing's biggest days, on May 5 he will experience saddling a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender for the first time. After the defection of his trainee Cobalt Blue, O'Neill will be saddling two horses in the Derby, Great Hunter and Liquidity
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - For some, just getting a horse to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May is the realization of a dream. For others who've been there before, it's about winning -- pure and simple.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds court for an assembling of media in front of his spotless barn. He's the only trainer without a Derby horse who can still provoke a good half-hour worth of questioning.
There was one disappointing aspect of Tuesday morning's brief activity at Churchill Downs. With 11 days still left until the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), it would come as a major surprise - no, make that a shock - if any horse turns in a more impressive workout than Street Sense's five-furlong masterpiece.
Street Sense drew post four for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. James Tafel's homebred champion was also made the 4-5 morning line favorite for the nine-furlong race. Great Hunter, the 9-5 second choice, will break from the outside seven post.
James B. Tafel's 2006 juvenile champion Street Sense returned to action in gutsy style Saturday when he defeated 7-10 favorite Any Given Saturday by a nose in a tremendous finish to the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III).
Turning for home in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Street Sense seemed to materialize on the lead from out of nowhere with a move so explosive, even the normally eagle-eyed race caller Trevor Denman missed it.
The partnership that owns the weanling half-sister to recent Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Street Sense bought back the Distorted Humor filly for $850,000 Friday during the fifth session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale in Lexington.
Australian-born conditioner Ian Wilkes, who began his own training career New Year's Day after serving as an assistant to Carl Nafzger for 13 years, saddled the winners of three straight races at Gulfstream Park Thursday, the last one establishing a track record.
- By Ron Mitchell
Multiple graded stakes winner Eurosilver has been retired after being diagnosed with a hairline fracture of his left hind leg following his sixth-place finish in the Aug. 6 Whitney Handicap.
The decision by Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day to retire at age 51 elicited a variety of reactions from those with whom he has worked during his illustrious career.
In both the good times and the bad times, 1990 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Unbridled would let his trainer, Carl Nafzger, know everything was all right.
They are stabled together on the backside of Churchill Downs and Sunday morning Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contenders Sis City and Memorette logged their final workouts over the racetrack only minutes apart from each other.
As Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day draws closer, a number of 3-year-old fillies hit the Churchill Downs oval over the weekend in advance of the May 6 race.
Front-running Eurosilver recorded his first graded stakes win in 18 months when he held off 21-1 outsider Twilight Road by a half-length in the $100,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Trainer Carl Nafzger will have a two-for-one shot when he saddles My Boston Gal and Mayo on the Side for Sunday's $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
Chester Porter, Phil Milner and Randy Bloch's My Boston Gal turned in a sparkling effort in a steady rain with a sharp workout in preparation for Sunday's $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap (gr.II).
The Nick Zito-trained Commentator glided to an easy seven-length win in Thursday's $112,600 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland. Eurosilver was second, with Weigelia a half-length back in third.
A. Stevens Miles' Lead Story, a winner of three major stakes races at Churchill Downs and a leading contender for Saturday's $400,000-added Fleur de Lis (gr. II), has been retired from racing after suffering a fractured ankle in her final work for the race.
Azeri came back time after time, but it wasn't enough. Mayo on the Side and Pat Day got by at the end to win the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song was an early bird who got a good track to work over at Churchill Downs Sunday morning, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 for trainer Carl Nafzger in preparation for Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Jockey Pat Day and Mayo On the Side skimmed the rail to take the lead in midstretch and pulled away to a two-length victory in the $100,000 Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland Friday afternoon.
Bruce Lunsford's Madcap Escapade and Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song, two candidates for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) April 30, worked out over the Churchill Downs surface on Thursday.
Buckram Oak Farm's Last Song got the trip she needed to defeat odds-on favorite Society Selection by two lengths in Saturday's $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park.
Society Selection and Last Song, who finished just a neck apart in the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) a month ago, head a small field of five in Saturday's $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park.
For a pure handicapping puzzle, it would be hard to beat Sunday's $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, which drew a field of 10 extremely well-matched fillies and mares.
Lead Story, ridden by Calvin Borel, rallied along the inside on a sloppy Churchill Downs track to romp away in the $334,200 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares Thursday by a widening 6 1/2 lengths.
Lead Story, some 14 lengths behind while trailing the field after a half mile, rallied smartly with Calvin Borel in the saddle to post a 35-1 upset in the $225,400 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) Saturday.
WinStar Farm's Awesome Humor and Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's Yell, a pair of leading 3-year-old fillies, loom as major contenders in a field of 10 entered in Saturday's $200,000-added Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II).
The racing career of veteran sprinter Binthebest ended Thursday when the 6-year-old gelding fractured a sesamoid during a workout at Churchill Downs.
My Boston Gal, one of last year's top 2-year-old fillies and the winner of the Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II) at Keeneland this spring, is getting some rest in trainer Carl Nafzger's Churchill Downs barn after throat surgery late last week to correct a breathing problem.
My Boston Gal, winner of the Golden Rod (gr. II) and Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II), is scheduled to undergo throat surgery later this week after the 3-year-old filly suffered a breathing problem in her fifth-place finish in last week's 129th running of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
The $100,000-added Doubledogdare, named for the first winner of Keeneland's Spinster Stakes, drew a field of six stakes-winning fillies and mares. However, as post time approached, favorite Belterra and Ifyouprefersilver were scratched
A full field of 10 turf sprinters will contest the $100,000 Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Blue Grass undercard at Keeneland Saturday.
My Boston Gal made a triumphant return to Keeneland Race Course Thursday with her second career graded stakes win in the about seven-furlong Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies.
After two losses to open the 2003 campaign, My Boston Gal faces a deep field in Thursday's $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at about seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland.
Three-year-old fillies are the center of attention Friday at Oaklawn Park's Racing Festival of the South when an evenly matched field of six vies in the $200,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II).
Churchill Downs established a record for total wagering in the 30-day Fall Meet that ended on Nov. 30, but also suffered declines in average daily on-track wagering and attendance.
Heavily-favored My Boston Gal remained undefeated Saturday, displaying an explosive stretch run to post a 3 1/4-length win over Holiday Lady in Churchill Downs' $219,600 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 mile.
Churchill Downs brings down the curtain on its 113th Fall Meet on Saturday with a pair of $200,000-added stakes races for 2-year-olds, the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) for colts and geldings and the Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies.
The unbeaten filly My Boston Gal completed her serious preparation for her stakes debut in Saturday's $200,000-added Golden Rod (gr. II) with a strong five furlong breeze on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
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