Even-money favorite Old Forester got up in the final two strides to win the $150,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose over 40-1 shot Tune of the Spirit on opening night at the Meadowlands Friday.
It's the money time of the year for trainer Bobby Frankel, who is starting to get hot at the right time. He saddled favored Karen's Caper, who got an ideal set up Saturday on the Belmont Park Widener Turf Course under jockey Edgar Prado to win the $155,366 Noble Damsel Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mare at one mile.
Jockey Edgar Prado will receive the New York Racing Association's 2006 Mike Venezia Award in a paddock ceremony at Belmont Park Sept. 24.
Juddmonte Farm's Cacique returned to the Belmont Park winner's circle when Edgar Prado exploited an opening along the inside to capture the $500,000 Man o' War (gr. IT) on the inner turf course Saturday.
Latent Heat, a promising 3-year-old trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, took charge midway on the turn and cruised to a 3-length victory Friday in the $50,000 allowance feature on opening day at Belmont Park.
- By Vic Zast
In true Saratoga tradition, "Happy Hour" prices went into effect at 5 p.m. There were price reductions on hot dogs and fries and whiskey and beer. But, other than that, it was another day of trying to pick winners – alas, only three more days of that.
Dubai-based Darley Stable completed its domination at Saratoga Race Course this weekend when favored Dubai Escapade demolished the field in the $240,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup (gr. I) for fillies and mares Sunday.
The individuals associated with undefeated Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro, veterinary surgeon Dr. Dean W. Richardson and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center, and veteran racing journalist Steven Crist will be honored later this year with awards presented by the National Turf Writers Association.
Surprising Wonder Lady Anne L shook off Sugar Shake on the final turn and rode a big lead to victory over the favored Pine Island in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) on a muddy Belmont Park track Saturday, closing day of the spring/summer meeting.
Jockey Edgar Prado, whose skill on the racetrack is matched by his passion to help children of New York's backstretch workers, was named the winner of the 2006 Mike Venezia Award, the New York Racing Association announced July 21.
Odds-on choice Silver Train outfought War Front by a neck in a gritty stretch duel to capture the $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) over seven furlongs at Belmont Park Sunday.
Too Much Bling made a three wide move on the turn and took command in the final furlong to post a two-length win as the prohibitive 1-2 favorite in Saturday's $300,000 Carry Back (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Calder Race Course's Summit of Speed.
Jockey Edgar Prado drove to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. Friday morning to visit ailing Classic winner Barbaro at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals.
Jockey Edgar Prado had a hunch and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. let him play it as Rebel Rebel came from well off the pace to score a 2 1/4-length win in the $110,900 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds.
Bushfire completed back-to-back grade I wins at Belmont Park Saturday when she held off the fast-closing Pine Island for a three-quarters of a length victory in the $250,000 Mother Goose for 3-year-old fillies.
Odds-on favorite Dubai Escapade set an intimidating pace, then shook off the challenge of Smokey Glacken in upper stretch and powered home to win the $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares by six lengths at Belmont Park Sunday.
Approximately 20,000 signatures and get-well wishes were collected on "the world's largest get well card" Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.
A Maker's Mark barrelhead signed by Kentucky Derby (gr. I)-winning jockeys, including this year's winner, Edgar Prado, will be auctioned on eBay to benefit the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville.
Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who suffered multiple fractures soon after the start of Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), has been taken to the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa. He is scheduled to undergo surgery Sunday afternoon.
The $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (gr. III) Saturday at Pimlico Race Course turned into a one-horse race at the top of the stretch when front-running Songster opened his lead and blew the rest away in the six-furlong test for 3-year-olds.
The Jockeys' Guild election to replace its 27-member senate is under way. Ballots, in both English and Spanish, were sent to about 1,000 voting members and are due June 3.
No horse had won the Kentucky Derby with a five-week or longer layoff since Needles 50 years ago. But Barbaro showed how special he is by remaining undefeated and winning the 132nd running of the race by a wide margin.
Joint Effort put in a top effort Saturday, winning the $119,600 La Troienne (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies going away on the Kentucky Derby day undercard at Churchill Downs.
Noble Stella had things her way during Wednesday's $107,400 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland.
Six older fillies and mares are matched in Keeneland's Wednesday feature, the 1 1/2-mile, $100,000 Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT). The Patrick Biancone-trained Angara won last year's event, spring-boarding off an explosive allowance win to open the meet. The conditioner looks to repeat the tactic with Louve Royale, a driving April 9 allowance winner over the course.
Claiborne Farm's favored Wend made her return to her hometown track a successful one, making it look easy as she handled a solid field in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares on a dusty Keeneland turf course Saturday.
Stronach Stable's 4-year-old Silver Whistle finally wore down 30-to-1 outsider Ramazutti in the final strides of Saturday's $150,000 Captain Morgan Pan American Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park to score by a neck.
Rafael Bejarano, who rides Flashy Bull in Saturday's Florida Derby (gr. I), has been named as the new rider for First Samurai, replacing Edgar Prado. First Samurai is scheduled to make his next start in the April 15 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Saint Liam, who clinched his Horse of the Year campaign with a solid victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Belmont Park, led the list of 2005 award winners announced March 15 by the New York Turf Writers' Association.
Claiborne Farm's 5-year-old mare Wend kicked off her 2006 season with an impressive win in the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the Gulfstream Park turf Saturday.
Though he has had only one previous start, John Oxley's 3-year-old Strong Contender could merit serious consideration on the road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with his 4 3/4-length triumph over a strong field of sophomores in his first start of the year Wednesday at Gulfstream Park.
Mike Rutherford's homebred Taittinger Rose mowed down her rivals in the stretch with a bold move on the outside to register her first graded stakes victory Saturday in the $100,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream Park.
The undefeated Barbaro showed himself to be one of the most exciting prospects for this year's Triple Crown series Saturday when he handled a sloppy strip to win the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) in his first main track attempt at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. may have finished first in the Tarde de Jinetes de Campeones (Afternoon of Champion Jockeys) at Lima's Hipodromo de Monterrico Jan. 31, but he didn't bring home the $5,000 prize when he flew back to Santa Anita Wednesday morning.
Jockey Edgar Prado, an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding rider last year, will face 11 other riders in the Tarde de Jinetes de Campeones [Afternoon of Champion Jockeys], at Lima's Hipodromo de Monterrico on Tuesday.
With co-owner Bruce Lunsford looking on from the new Gulfstream Park clubhouse, leading Hutcheson Stakes (gr. III) contender First Samurai breezed a half-mile from the starting gate Saturday morning with his new jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopeful First Samurai blistered the Gulfstream Park main track Sunday morning, working seven furlongs in 1:23 2/5 for his imminent 3-year-old debut.
Courtlandt Farms' even-money favorite Film Maker swung into action in the stretch for a patient Edgar Prado and inhaled her rivals in the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Calder Race Course turf.
Competing internationally for the first time, 23-year-old Rafael Bejarano rode to a fourth-place finish in the 19th World Super Jockey Series at Hanshin Race Course on Sunday.
Top jockeys Edgar Prado and Rafael Bejarano will represent North America in the 19th World Super Jockey Series at Japan's Hanshin Racecourse Dec. 3-4, said Joe Ferrer, Bejarano's agent. The riders traveled to Japan to participate in the competition that has attracted 14 jockeys from five different continents.
Irish-bred King's Drama, ridden confidently on the front end by Edgar Prado, ran to his 3-5 odds when pulling away in mid-stretch for an authoritative win in the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Aqueduct turf course Saturday.
Prince Faisal Salman's Olaya charged home along the inside to catch Spotlight in the final yards to win the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) in her United States debut on the Aqueduct turf Saturday.
A relaxed Great Intentions settled just behind a speed duel and rallied for a three-length victory in the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs at Belmont Park Sunday.
Twenty-three-year-old Rafael Bejarano won the 1,000th race of his career on Thursday when he piloted the Greg Foley-trained Northern Vacation to victory in the first race at Keeneland.
Keeneland announced Oct. 4 that the first 5,000 patrons attending each Thursday of the fall and spring meets would receive special jockey prints, with proceeds going to benefit charity.
Cheveley Park Farm's English homebred Funfair, unbeaten in three starts in the United States, enjoyed a perfect run along the inside to upset Artie Schiller by a head in the $350,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on Belmont Park's Widener turf course Sunday.
Bob and Beverly Lewis' homebred Folklore became the early favorite for the Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) when she routed the field by 14 lengths in Saturday's $300,000 Matron (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
The sprinter Silver Train made short work of the field in the $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at one mile for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park Sunday, going gate to wire while pulling away from favored High Fly in the late stages.
Attendance dipped slightly and overall handle was also off for the 36-day season at Saratoga Race Course that ended Sept. 5.
When Edgar Prado completed a successful meet at Belmont Park this July, he didn't take much time to reflect on the 85-win season. Less than six weeks after shifting his tack to Saratoga Race Course, he scored his final victory for the Saratoga season to take the riding title with 44 wins out of 231 starts.
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