June 4 started out as just another clear, beautiful day for the 9-year-old gelding Gander at Better Days Farm in Bedford Hills, N.Y.
Gander, the grand old New York-bred gelding, has run his last race. The 8-year-old son of Cormorant suffered a fracture of the short pastern in his front leg while breezing at Saratoga Wednesday morning and is scheduled to fly to Kentucky Thursday morning for surgery.
Spite the Devil surged past the tiring leaders in the stretch and held off a late charge by Sherpa Guide by a half-length to win the $108,100 Evan Shipman Handicap on closing day of the Belmont spring/summer meeting on Sunday.
The Irish-bred Macaw, often second in major stakes, tries to get back on the winning track at Gulfstream Park Sunday. He heads a field of 13 older horses in the $100,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 3/8 mile on the turf. In an allowance race on the card, promising 3-year-old Stolen Time takes on Frisky Spider.
Joseph V. Shields Jr.'s homebred Puzzlement wore down stablemate Bowman's Band in deep stretch to win the $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) by a neck, giving trainer H. Allen Jerkens his third win on opening day at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Presidentialaffair earned his first career stakes win with a gate-to-wire victory in the $110,300 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park Tuesday.
Shadwell Stable's Almuhathir, who missed time over the summer because of nagging foot problems, figures to be a fair price Tuesday on Aqueduct's special Veterans' Day card when he starts in the $100,000 Stuyvesant (gr. III) at 1 1/8 mile.
Sanford Goldfarb's and Stewart Hoffman's Well Fancied, the post-time favorite of the New York Showcase Day crowd of 10,214, held off the stubborn 7-year-old Gander to win Saturday's $250,000 Empire Classic for New York breds at 1 1/8 mile.
Without Funny Cide, Saturday's $250,000 Empire Classic, the featured race on a day filled with New York-bred stakes, pits veteran fan favorite Gander against Sanford Goldfarb's Well Fancied.
Husband and wife John and Tonja Terranova enjoyed a nice weekend at Belmont when James McIngvale's During scored in the Jerome (gr. II) and Gatsas Thoroughbreds' Gander won a $58,000 allowance in game fashion.
Belmont Park presents its final stakes race of the spring-summer meet Sunday when a deep field of New York-breds contests the $100,000 Evan Shipman Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. Gatsas Stables' Gander is the key attraction in this race and 124-pound highweight.
Carson Hollow, who won Belmont's Prioress Stakes (gr. I) and just missed in Saratoga's thrilling Test Stakes (gr. I), was named 2002 New York-bred Horse of the Year
Amerman Racing Stables' Lido Palace, a Chilean import who has ranked among the finest handicap horses in America over the past two seasons, and Joseph Vitello's Tenpins, a rising star bidding to establish a national reputation, head an accomplished field of 12 horses in Friday's 128th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Gatsas Stable's Gander, one of the leading New York-breds in training, breezed five furlongs over Belmont's main track in 1:00 3/5 on Friday.
Scoring another win for the older generation at Belmont Park Saturday, Gastas Stable's 6-year-old Gander powered to a half-length victory in the 28th running of the $250,000 Empire Classic Saturday.
The $250,000 Empire Classic, the centerpiece of Saturday's New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park, has drawn Grade II winner Gander.
Belmont Park again gives the New York State Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Program a day in the spotlight on Oct. 19 with New York Showcase Day.
Include will be back at Meadowlands Friday night for another shot at the Meadowlands Cup (gr. II), a race that eluded him last year, when he came up two necks short of the top prize as the odds-on favorite.
Woodward (gr. I) runner-up Gander came out of the race with a slight "bug," but has recovered according to trainer John Terranova.
Lido Palace and With Anticipation win the Woodward and Man o' War, respectively, for the second straight year.
Amerman Racing Stables' Lido Palace can join Sword Dancer, Kelso, Forego, Slew o' Gold and Cigar as the only horses to win consecutive Woodward Stakes (gr. I).
Citing a desire to give his star filly a break, trainer Bobby Frankel said Sunday morning that beaten Alabama favorite You will not race again this year.
Bella Bellucci, who has won five of seven career starts, and You, winner of the grade I Test Stakes three weeks ago, top a field of seven 3-year-old fillies who will contest Saturday's grade I, $750,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. Also on the card, handicap males will contest the grade II, $300,000 Saratoag Breeders' Cup.
Already a grade I winner on turf, Redattore added a grade II win on dirt Sunday at Santa Anita in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II). Under Alex Solis, Luis Alfredo Taunay's Redattore completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.66 on a fast track.
Trainer Bobby Frankel sends out the two highest weighted horses in Sunday's $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II), in which his Lido Palace likely will be sent off favored.
Ubiquity, a 4-year-old trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, was sent off at 18-1 odds to post a front-running upset victory in Friday's $452,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
If you're looking for major contenders in Friday's 127th renewal of the historic Clark Handicap (grade II), simply follow the money. And when you follow that trail, you don't have to take many steps until you run into Gander.
Pimlico Special winner Include will be the starting highweight for Friday's 127th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap. Meanwhile, two more Churchill Downs-based horses have joined the list of prospective starters for the Clark. Mary and Gary West's Ubiquity, trained by Bill Mott, and Jim and Pat Bohanon's Trion Georgia will contest the race.
A number of bullet workouts from Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Racing Championships contenders highlighted Belmont Park's busy work tab Monday morning.
Meadowlands Cup winner Gander turned in a spirited work Tuesday morning, drilling five furlongs on the Belmont main track in :58 4/5 with jockey Gary Stevens aboard. Trainer John Terranova said Stevens will wait until he works Macho Uno before deciding whom he will ride in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic. However, Macho Uno's trainer, Joe Orseno, said Tuesday that Stevens had already given him the call immediately following his fourth-place finish aboard Albert the Great in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
One more week and the Breeders' Cup Classic picture should come into focus. The Meadowlands Cup produced a definite starter in Include, who ran a huge race to finish third, and a possible starter in Gander, who led all the way to score a gutsy and well-deserved victory. Macho Uno finished third in the Ohio Derby and is still on course for the Classic.
Aptitude overwhelmed his rivals in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Sunday, giving trainer Bobby Frankel a winner of a big race on each coast.
Jerome and John W. Amerman's Lido Palace reeled in Albert the Great in the stretch to win Saturday's $1,008,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. Racing under nine less pounds than the 4-5 favorite, Lido Palace completed the 1 1/8 miles run on a fast track in 1:47.94 in defeating Albert the Great by two lengths.
Hap retained his unblemished record for the current year, drawing off to win the $200,000 New Hampshire Sweepstakes Handicap (gr. IIIT) by seven lengths on Saturday at Rockingham Park.
Under highweight of 122 pounds, Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great broke well and continued on to win Sunday's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) by 3 1/4 lengths at Belmont Park.
Gatsas Stable's Gander was named New York-bred horse of the year at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders' banquet held Tuesday evening at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.
Gander also was named champion older male for breeder Angela Rugnetta.
It had been a trying couple of months for Barbara and Al Smollin and their trainer, Ralph Ziadie. Pointing toward the Feb. 3 Donn Handicap (gr. I) since last summer, Ziadie was forced to scratch Sir Bear when he refused his feed and began acting uncomfortable after workouts leading up to the race. That behavior was a first in the 8-year-old gelding's career that has now encompassed 57 races and 18 wins, including 10 in stakes. Ziadie monitored his condition daily, and refused to speculate on what his next move would be. He even entered Sir Bear in the Feb. 28 $67,575 Cryptoclearance Handicap, ultimately won by Madeleine Paulson and Jenny Craig's Rock and Roll. "I truly don't know," was all the usually gregarious 62-year-old would say when asked when Sir Bear would be ready.
From Gulfstream Park
It's the old versus the "now" as nine horses contest the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap, the Grade 1 fixture that will have its 56th running on Saturday.
When newly turned 4-year-olds Captain Steve and Albert the Great renewed their battle at Gulfstream on Feb. 3 in the Donn Handicap (gr. I), it was under far different circumstances. Primarily, with Giant's Causeway off to the breeding shed and Tiznow plying his trade back on the West Coast, Steve and Albert were the heavies in the 43rd renewal of the race that traditionally kicks off the year for the handicap division. And strategically, while the Donn would ultimately come down to a stretch battle between the pair, like Picasso painting in straight lines the two runners abandoned their recognized running styles and embarked on journeys that might offer hints into what 2001 might hold in store.
Gander had such an impressive workout here on Saturday that trainer John Terranova II and owners Mike and Ted Gatsas have decided to run him in Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap to be run over 1 1/8 miles. Gander earned the bullet work when he went six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 handily. According to Gulfstream Park, possible Donn starters, with weights and jockeys, are: Captain Steve, 120, Jerry Bailey; Albert the Great, 119, Jorge Chavez; Pleasant Breeze, 116, (Indefinite); Sir Bear, 116, Eibar Coa; North East Bound, 116, Jose Velez Jr.' Gander, 115, John Velazquez; Rich Celebration, 112, Jose Santos; Noble Ruler, 111, Pat Day; Tempest Fugit, 111, Edgar Prado; and Vision and Verse, 114, (indefinite).
Carolyn Chapman and Theresa McArthur's Caller One completed his serious training for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint with a five-furlong breeze Saturday at Churchill Downs. Also working were Surfside, Lu Ravi, and Gander.
The owners of grade I winners Riboletta and Tiznow have decided to ante up the funds necessary to supplement the horses to the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup championship day races.
Albert the Great became Nick Zito's first Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner when the 3-year-old drew off through the stretch to win the $1 million race by six lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. Earlier in the day, Zito saddled his third consecutive Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner.
Behrens, Skimming, and Lemon Drop Kid arrived at the top of the stretch three across the track, before Behrens, on the inside, and Lemon Drop Kid engaged in a stretch-long duel won by the latter in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont. Under Edgar Prado, Lemon Drop Kid completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.53 over a fast track, finishing a head in front of Behrens.
Behrens and Lemon Drop Kid have faced off in each of their last two starts, and the two will meet again Saturday in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
John Moore's Lager and William Clifton Jr.'s Pleasant Breeze, both by Pleasant Tap, head a field of seven evenly matched older horses entered in Sunday's Saratoga feature, the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
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