With less than two weeks remaining in the Thoroughbred racing season, nearly all of the 2008 leaders have been decided. The lone category without a clear-cut winner is earnings by owner, and it might take until the final few days of the year to determine a victor.
Jockey Douglas Whyte claims his third victory in the Cathay Pacific International Jockey Championship at Happy Valley.
Springside, who suffered a fracture to her right-front pastern after capturing the Nov. 29 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) by 9 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct, is recovering well at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa.
Johnny Eves, winless in seven starts this year since capturing the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) 11 months ago, got back to the winner's circle with a strong effort in the $108,400 Vernon O. Underwood (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Nov. 22.
Facing winners for the first time, Chocolate Candy overcame a slow start to win the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park Nov. 8.
Albertus Maximus powered past longshots Two Step Salsa and My Pal Charlie inside the final furlong to win the $1-million TVG Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile by 1 1/4 lengths over the late-closing Rebellion.
Jockey Garrett Gomez guided favorite Hyperbaric to victory in the $200,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) to collect his 3,000th career win in impressive style at Santa Anita Sept. 28.
A day after winning the $1-million Travers Stakes Presented by Shadwell Farm (gr. I) with Colonel John, jockey Garrett Gomez switched coasts to guide favored Go Between to a head victory over Well Armed in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Favored Whatsthescript got the fast pace he was looking for and unleashed an eye-catching move down the center of the stretch to capture the $328,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) by three-quarters of a length on the grass Aug. 24.
Controlling the tempo from the outset, Zappa galloped to an easy victory in the $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar July 30 and earned a starting slot in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon at Santa Anita this fall.
Gio Ponti got the nose decision over Court Vision in the $772,500 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) in a tremendous stretch run over the Colonial Downs turf course July 19, spoiling favored Sailor's Cap's shot at a $5 million bonus.
Winning for the fourth time this season and collecting his third graded victory, Zayat Stables' J Be K stamped himself as one of the legitimate leaders of the sprint division, putting on a dominating performance in the $150,000 Jersey Shore Stakes (gr. III) July 4 at Monmouth Park.
Favored Black Mamba ended a string of seven stakes in-the-money performances without a victory when she captured the $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park lawn June 29, capping a superb weekend for trainer John Sadler.
Gio Ponti, off for more than seven months and making his 3-year-old debut, rallied from last to take the $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) by two lengths under Garrett Gomez June 6 on the Belmont turf.
Last year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly Indian Blessing makes her highly-anticipated return in the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont Park, and trainer Bob Baffert is expecting her to rebound nicely from her first career defeat.
Manoel Cruz gave Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air a perfect stalking trip and the Smooth Jazz colt responded with authority, taking over just inside the eighth-pole and then drawing clear for a three-length victory in the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) May 31 at Thistledown.
Frank Stronach's Giant Gizmo landed a third consecutive score and proved his affinity for the 1 1/16-mile distance when he took control of the $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) and rolled home a solid winner in Texas May 26.
Garrett Gomez, the Eclipse Award winner as America's top jockey in 2007, has been named to replace Julien Leparoux aboard Macho Again in the 1 1/2-mile final jewel of the Triple Crown.
With a nationwide network of top clients and an agent who keeps him on the country's best horses, Garrett "Go-Go" Gomez used up enough frequent flier miles last year to earn him plenty of free trips to Louisville. Now the key is finding a winner in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Todd Pletcher will saddle half of the four-horse field in the $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III), but even favorable odds may not be enough to overcome the talent of J Be K, who goes for his fourth win in five starts April 26 at Aqueduct.
Seven runners have entered the $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, but on paper the race comes down to a battle between three starters. Peter Vegso's Go Between, Turtle Bird Stable's Sir Whimsey, and Knob Hill Stable's Leonnatus Anteas head up the 1 1/8-mile event over the main track April 20.
With the Derby getting closer, we're doubling up this week to take a look at the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) and mostly to discuss what may turn out to be one of the most important works on this year's Derby trail.
With Edgar Prado deciding to ride Adriano in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Ramon Domiguez was named by trainer Todd Pletcher to ride Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Monba.
Virginia Kraft Payson homebred Rutherienne rallied from off the pace under Garrett Gomez, split horses turning for home and took the lead in deep stretch to win by a neck in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) April 12 on the Keeneland turf.
IEAH Stables and Pegasus Holding Group Stables' Ariege benefitted from a ground-saving trip under Garrett Gomez, took over in mid-stretch and held off Golden Doc A by a length to win the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont (gr. IIT) April 10 on the turf at Keeneland.
Santa Anita leading jockey Garrett Gomez announced he is leaving for Keeneland next week while Rafael Bejarano, who has been sidelined since cracking two vertebrae in a spill on March 13 is nearing a return.
Costume, thanks to a little chicanery from jockey Garrett Gomez, gave trainer Bobby Frankel his eighth win in the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) with an all-out front-running victory on the Santa Anita turf March 23.
Favored Sky Mom overcame a stewards' inquiry and jockey objection to win the $200,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks in come-from-behind fashion by 4 3/4 lengths in New Mexico March 16.
Reunited with Garrett Gomez, heavy favorite Nashoba's Key was on her game once again when she demolished a small field in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) on Santa Anita's synthetic track March 9.
Sometimes change is a good thing. Just ask trainer Todd Pletcher, who not only added blinkers to his struggling 4-year-old colt Circular Quay, but shipped him back to Fair Grounds, the site of his only win in eight previous starts. The moves paid off, as Circular Quay outfought a stubborn Grasshopper in a terrific stretch duel to take the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) by a half-length March 8.
Odds-on choice El Gato Malo fell from the ranks of the unbeaten when Colonel John held the closer off in the final furlong to win the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 1.
Spring House could be headed for Dubai next month after his handy 2 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) on a slightly soft Santa Anita turf course Feb. 23.
Inside Information features Captain Squire, the first stakes winner for Jeff Mullins; jockey Garrett Gomez and Frankie Herrarte, who worked his way up the ladder to be the exercise rider for 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo.
Juddmonte Farms' Costume took advantage from the inside when Alexandra Rose blew the far turn and lasted for the victory in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park Feb. 18.
Passion, under a determined ride from Rafael Bejarano, outlasted favored Ariege in a fierce stretch duel, taking the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose Feb. 2 on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita.
Go Between's late-running victory in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita gave trainer Bill Mott his third victory in the eight-race series for California and Florida breds Jan. 26.
Garrett Gomez topped off his record-setting year by accepting an Eclipse Award trophy Jan. 21 as the nation's leading jockey.
Heavily backed Champs Elysees took the overland route for Garrett Gomez on the turn for home but won the $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) with plenty left Jan. 19 on the Santa Anita turf.
Arindel Farm's Wait a While didn't get the easiest of trips despite a five-horse field, but she found room when it counted and spurted away to a relatively easy victory in the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) Jan. 14 at Santa Anita Park.
Stronach Stables, Todd Pletcher, and Garrett Gomez top the individual lists of the leading owners, trainers, and jockeys, respectively, by North American earnings in 2007, according to final statistics released Jan. 1 by Equibase, the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information.
Sunriver, coaxed along on an easy pace by Garrett Gomez, spurted away from the field rounding the final turn and coasted to his first grade I victory in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Dec. 8.
There was no separating Canadian invader Turf War and favored Z Humor at the finish of $1 million Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot (gr. III) following a desperate three-horse charge to the wire at foggy Delta Downs on the night of Dec. 7.
Odds-on favorite The Leopard got the firm going he wanted, and responded with an overpowering win in the $111,800 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 24. With the victory, winning trainer Todd Pletcher broke the single-season record for purse earnings he set last year.
The Green Monkey, that well-known $16-million purchase from Fasig-Tipton's 2006 Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, will run in a $44,000 maiden special weight over the Hollywood Park turf course Nov. 21 as trainer Todd Pletcher seeks a win for the colt.
Garrett Gomez established a North American record for stakes wins in a year when he drove favored Spring Awakening to victory in the $108,100 Moccasin Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park Nov. 11. The 71st stakes win of the year for Gomez broke the mark set by Jerry Bailey in 2003.
Garrett Gomez won his 70th stakes of the year aboard Hucking Hot in the $68,650 Audrey Skirball-Kenis Stakes at Hollywood Park Nov. 11, tying Jerry Bailey for most stakes wins by a jockey in a single season. Bailey set the mark in 2003.
Trainer Christophe Clement ambushed California once again when Naissance Royale proved a convincing winner of the $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) Nov. 4, the final day of the five-week Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
Garrett Gomez was named the 2007 recipient of the AIG Bill Shoemaker Award, presented to the outstanding jockey in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park Oct. 26-27, as voted on by the international media covering the event
Favored Spring House earned his first graded stakes win and ended an eight-race losing streak when he captured Oak Tree's $111,300 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita turf Oct. 28.
With a strong last-to-first move in the slop at Monmouth Park, Midnight Lute stormed to a 4 3/4-length victory over the front-running Idiot Proof in the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint.
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