When Gators N Bears enters the gate for Saturday's $200,000 Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course, he'll be doing more than defending his 2004 Maryland Breeders' Cup title. He'll be looking for his first win of the year against an evenly matched field of eight runners in the six-furlong race.
Going Wild, who finished 18th of 20 in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), had his final Preakness Stakes (gr. I) tune-up at Churchill Downs Monday morning, drilling five furlongs in 1:01.40 for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The work ranked 11th of 20 times at the distance.
One day after riding Giacomo to an upset victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at 50-1 odds, jockey Mike Smith was in the limelight Sunday morning in the Churchill Downs barn area.
Nearly 500 guests crowded into the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Louisville Tuesday night to celebrate this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, and honor the trainers who have propelled them to their spots in Saturday's Run for the Roses.
"Come on six! Stay up three! Get out of there 12! Where's the four? Who's that?" These may sound like the common shouts of an overzealous, exotics-playing railbird, but on Saturday, it just might be something you hear from as esteemed a place as the Churchill Downs box of New York-born trainer Nick Zito.
The workout tab at Churchill Downs for horses pointing toward the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) continued to be light Wednesday, with only classic contender Consolidator going through the paces.
Robert and Beverly Lewis' Going Wild, runner-up in the Santa Catalina (gr. II) and winner of the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, tuned up for a run in Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland with a five furlong work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Robert and Beverly Lewis' Consolidator sparkled in a swift five furlong breeze Sunday at Churchill Downs that marked his final major prep for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
The front-running Grand Reward, ridden by John McKee, bolted to the early lead and held on for a neck victory over Second of June in Saturday's $490,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Take a popular husband and wife who have already known the thrill of owning two Kentucky Derby-Preakness (both gr. I) winners and the agony of two close Belmont (gr. I) defeats. Add one of the most colorful and controversial trainers of modern times, and throw in the hottest commercial sire living. Add a French connection with an international flair, and what do you have?
Consolidator, Going Wild and Bellamy Road – all considered to be major contenders for the $2 million Kentucky Derby (gr. I) – turned in sharp workouts on Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for their final preps for the 131st renewal of the "Run for the Roses" on May 7.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas says he'd prefer that San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) winner Consolidator run next in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 16.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas promised Consolidator would be a fitter horse for Saturday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita. The $1.25 million colt didn't disappoint, romping to a surprising, powerful victory for owners Robert and Beverly Lewis.
Going Wild led from start to finish and notched a one-length victory over Papa Chullo in the $100,000 Sham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be the keynote speaker at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's annual conference and awards banquet as part of the association's 50th anniversary celebration. Lukas, a four-time Eclipse Award winner, is the all-time leader among trainers with earnings of more than $240 million and holds the record for the most Breeders' Cup wins by a trainer with 17.
Maiden winner Going Wild, a $600,000 Kentucky-bred son of Golden Missile, goes for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas in the $100,000 San Miguel Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs at Santa Anita Park on Monday.
Azeri, North America's all-time leading money-earning female, has been retired from racing. Michael Paulson, who heads his father's Allen Paulson Living Trust that raced Azeri, made the decision to retire the 6-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter rather than race her a few more times, as was under consideration.
Azeri could next race at Hollywood Park Dec. 12 in the $150,000-added Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II), trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Wednesday.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas says he's undecided about whether to run Azeri in the $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day due to concern over weight assignments.
Azeri is doing so well after her fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Lone Star Park she may come back for the $300,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 25, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Wednesday.
There are at least two trainers who think the correct move with Azeri is to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) rather than the Breeders' Cup Distaff – Presented by Nextel (gr. I). One is D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Azeri. The other is Patrick Biancone.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won a record 17 Breeders Cup races in his career, signed on as a spokesman for the home wagering company Youbet.com on Oct. 26.
The champion Azeri, approaching her 2002 form when she was Horse of the Year, put on a show in her first start at Keeneland while winning the $500,000 Overbrook Spinster for fillies and mares under wraps Sunday.
Consolidator justified his $1.25 million sale price with an impressive performance in winning the $500,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, has crisscrossed the country piling up 16 victories in 22 starts thus far in her career. She never has raced at Keeneland, but that will change Oct. 10 when she takes on six fillies and mares in the $500,000 Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at the Lexington racetrack.
Spendthrift Farm's big gray Stellar Jayne and So Madcapt Stable's New York-bred Capeside Lady were installed as the co-highweights for the 10th running of the $400,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) at Hoosier Park Oct. 1.
Mare Haven Farm near Lexington will now be known as CASA Farms under the new ownership of Florida residents Clint and Susan Atkins.
Surprising Susan's Angel collared favored Angela's Love in upper stretch and refused to buckle when challenged late by Mayo On the Side to give trainer D. Wayne Lukas victory in the $175,000 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for fillies and mares Saturday.
The fields for the Sept. 18 Kentucky Cup at Turfway Park are beginning to take shape and full fields are expected.
We love men in pink, burgers and brats at Rick's, Juddmonte Farms hats, show-off-the new-stallion parties, Taylor Made's zones, and the cute little kid in the very big cowboy hat.
Passed in the stretch, Stellar Jayne turned back Daydreaming in the final furlong to capture the $250,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday, her second grade I win of the summer at Belmont Park.
It was a family affair at Saratoga on Friday when Storm Flag Flying wore down 3-5 favorite Azeri to win the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) by more than a length.
Michael Paulson's Azeri, a three-time champion who became North America's all-time richest female in winning the Aug. 1 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, was assigned top weight of 122 pounds in Friday's $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I).
Stellar Jayne and Susan's Angel, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' hopes in Saturday's $750,000 Alabama (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, breezed a half mile in company Monday morning.
Three humans and three horses will be honored when The National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame inducts its 2004 class Aug. 9 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The public is invited to the National Museum of Racing's annual Hall of Fame Ceremony, Monday, Aug. 9 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. Members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2004 include trainer Claude "Shug" McGaughey, jockeys Kent Desormeaux and Jimmy Winkfield, and Thoroughbred champions Bowl of Flowers, Flawlessly, and Skip Away.
Azeri's victory over Sightseek in the $245,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) Sunday at Saratoga Race Course not only erased many doubts about her recent form, it also made her the richest mare of all time.
The champion mare Azeri can become the all-time top-earning mare in North American racing with a victory in the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday. But to do so, she'll have to overcome Sightseek, who trounced her in their most recent start in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 19.
Grade I winner Imaginary Lady, an 18-year-old daughter of Marfa, was euthanized July 16 after being found in the field at Spendthrift Farm near Lexington with a fractured leg.
Robert and Beverly Lewis and trainer D. Wayne Lukas had plenty to celebrate in Sunday's Independence Day $110,800 Debutante (gr. III) at Churchill Downs when their favored Classic Elegance surged past stablemate Paragon Queen in the final stages.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Stellar Jayne kicked away from even-money favorite Ashado in the final furlong to register a huge 2 1/2-length surprise in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Currently playing across America's racing landscape are two stories that reflect the difficult decision owners of championship-level racehorses face concerning when to have their stars "call it a career."
Just three accepted the challenge of extending Azeri's two-race losing streak in Saturday's $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park, but the task figures to be far from easy for the 6-year-old champion.
Following her sharp work Wednesday, Azeri's next objective is the $300,000 Ogden Phipps (gr. I) at Belmont Park on June 19, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.
Stellar Jayne, ridden by Robby Albarado, took the lead in the upper stretch and cruised to a 3 1/4-length win over Dynaville in Saturday's co-featured $161,400 Dogwood Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Jason Servis could start the weekend off with a bang for the Servis family when he sends out Chocolate Brown in the June 4 Fashion Stakes at Belmont Park.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Stellar Jayne can break back into the victory column when she heads a field of seven 3-year-old fillies in Sunday's $150,000-added Dogwood Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
A busy morning of training at Churchill Downs saw significant moves by 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri and 3-year-old stars Fire Slam and Victory U.S.A.
The Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on May 31 at Belmont Park is expected to be the next stop for 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, but only if trainer D. Wayne Lukas approves of the weight assignment for the 6-year-old champion.
Azeri could next race against males in the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park on May 31, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said from his Churchill Downs stable Friday.
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