When Mark Hennig gives jockey John Velazquez a leg up on Raging Fever in Sunday's $250,000 Ballerina (gr. I), the duo, along with owner Edward Evans could be nearing the end of an unforgettable Saratoga weekend.
Favored Our Song took full advantage of a ground-saving trip by jockey Edgar Prado and pulled away for a two-length victory in the final race Friday at Saratoga, a $45,000 maiden affair filled with some potentially top 3-year-olds.
With two-thirds of the six-week Saratoga complete, total handle is up 7% compared to last year and the on-track attendance and handle figures mirror the record numbers set during the summer of 2001.
Saratoga Notebook: Left Bank Ready to Return Home; McGaughey Reflects on Sunday Silence-Easy Goer Rivalry
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that Left Bank was close to being released from a Massachusetts clinic and sent to owner Michael Tabor's Ashford Stud in central Kentucky.
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard is looking forward to another try in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr.I) with With Anticipation, who won the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr.I) Saturday for the second consecutive year.
<b>Saratoga Notebook: Sky Mesa One to Watch; Buddha Returns to 'Serious' Training; Easyfromthegitgo Chooses Jim Dandy; Gygistar Pointed to King Bishop; Gold Mover Waits for Belmont</b>
John Oxley's 2-year-old Sky Mesa turned in an impressive performance in his maiden debut Saturday, winning the six-furlong third race by 7 3/4 lengths. Trainer Phil Johnson in Saratoga win cloumn for 42nd year.
Steeplechase Farm's Mandy's Gold caught a sloppy track Friday afternoon and used it to glide to a front-running, 1 ¾-length victory over Shine Again in the $108,500 Honorable Miss Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at six furlongs.
Whywhywhy answered a lot of questions Thursday afternoon with an authoritative 2 3/4-length victory in the Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga.
It was a professional ride from a professional rider. After classic setbacks--a disappointing seventh aboard Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite Harlan's Holiday, and fourth aboard him again in the Preakness (gr. I)--Edgar Prado finally landed the big one aboard Sarava. While he's always been on the stage, this is Prado's first moment under the heat of the spotlight.
The horse is named for a brand of espresso coffee, and in his last
start, he woke up as if he had swallowed a double shot of the stuff.
Saturday afternoon, Medaglia d'Oro will try to keep his Triple Crown
hopes brewing when he steps onto Aqueduct's main track for the 78th running of the grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial.
Starlight Stable's Harlan's Holiday, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I), breezed four furlongs in :47.60 over a "sloppy" track in his final major training move before a scheduled run in Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Trainer Mark Hennig is entering a pair of multiple stakes winners, Raging Fever and Gold Mover, in the $100,000 The First Lady Handicap (gr. III) at six furlongs on Friday at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Edgar Prado escaped injury Thursday after his mount, The Music Man, sustained a condylar fracture of his left front leg during the second race at Saratoga.
The NTRA All-Star Jockey Challenge is set for Friday as 12 of the nation's best Thoroughbred race rider's return to Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, for the popular four-race competition.
It looks as though Thunder Blitz' connections, trainer Joe Orseno and owner Frank Stronach, control the destiny of who rides not only their own horse in the Belmont Stakes, but Dr Greenfield as well. If Stronach, who will make the final decision, replaces Edgar Prado with Jerry Bailey for the mile and a half classic, then Prado will land the mount on Dr Greenfield. If he decides to stick with Prado, then Bailey will ride Dr Greenfield.
Fountain of Youth Stakes winner Songandaprayer was on the track for a serious seven-furlong trial on Thursday. With jockey Edgar Prado in the saddle, Songandaprayer was clocked in 1:23 4/5 handily and is on schedule for his appearance in the $1 million Florida Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles here on March 10. Songandaprayer went in fractions of :36 1/5 for three furlongs, :47 4/5 for the half-mile, :59 4/5 for five furlongs, 1:23 4/5 for seven furlongs and galloped out a mile in 1:38 3/5.
Intidab won the $200,000 A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) -- formerly the A Phenomenon Handicap -- by a head on the track at Saratoga Wednesday, but was disqualified and placed second due to a bumping incident in the stretch with Successful Appeal, leaving the latter as the winner.
Jeanne Vance's Lemon Drop Kid won his third consecutive race since adding blinkers after a third-place finish in the Pimlico Special (gr. I), winning the $1,042,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) by two lengths over Cat Thief Sunday at Saratoga.
Most Popular Stories
- Gulfstream Race is 'No Contest' After Spill
- After the Wire: Rebel Stakes
- Stormy Lucy Ends Graded Drought in Santa Ana
- California Chrome 'Wait and See' for SA Derby
- Rebel Rematch Expected in Arkansas Derby
- Likely Entrants for World Cup Card Released
- Hoppertunity Stays Up in Roughshod Rebel
- Featured Horse Profile: Close Hatches
- KY-Bred Lideris Wins Latinoamericana in Peru
- Onlyforyou Euthanized After Training Accident