Before the running of last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Keeneland Race Course was overrun with trainers whose potential contenders were squeezing in final works prior to shipping up to Churchill Downs. This year, Todd Pletcher cut a lonely figure along the rail at the Lexington oval as he sent Behindatthebar to gallop and then watched Monba and Cowboy Cal complete their final preparations April 26.
One year ago, Rags to Riches was a superstar on the racetrack and the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Today, she is an expectant mother spending her retirement days at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Giant's Causeway, who ranks third on this year's general sires list, will stand the 2008 Southern Hemisphere breeding season at La Mission stallion station near Buenos Aires.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out two of his charges for works March 30 on the fast training track at Belmont Park. Both Stonerside Stable's Texas Wildcatter and Peachtree Stable's Spurrier are nominated to the April 5 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on Aqueduct's main track.
Long disappointing on the turf, Niagara Causeway has found a home on synthetic racing surfaces after tallying a game score over Church Service by a nose for his first graded stakes win in the $108,200 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 29.
It was announced March 24 that 2007 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner and 2007 champion 3-year-old filly Rags to Riches has been retired from racing and will head to Ashford Stud where she will be bred to leading sire Giant's Causeway.
Trainer Richard Schosberg, who has been preparing his New York-bred Giant Moon for the March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, is anxious to see if the colt will continue to show an affinity for long distances as he looks toward the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Heatseeker gave Northern California kingpin Jerry Hollendorfer a win with the conditioner's first starter in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in a mild surprise March 1.
With exercise rider Cesar Correa in the saddle, Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway, worked in company with New York-bred maiden Mighty Morris. The workmates finished on even terms. Giant Moon's final time on the fast track was the third-fastest of 27 at the distance.
Derby prospect Cowboy Cal will start in the Feb. 16 Hallandale Beach at Gulfstream Park instead of taking a traditional route.
Angliana held off a late surge from 10-year-old Evening Attire to win the $81,600 Aqueduct Handicap by one length on Jan. 19.
The eight horses entered in the Jan. 19 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita are not lacking talent, but which runner will show the best turn of foot in the 1 1/4-mile turf event remains to be seen.
- By Claire Novak
The eight horses entered in the Jan. 19 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Jan. are not lacking talent, but which runner will show the best turn of foot in the 1 Â¼-mile turf event remains to be seen.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Giant Moon displayed a lot of heart in winning The Count Fleet Stakes over a stubborn Spanky Fischbein and shows he should be a key contender among the East Coast 3-year-olds this year. One thing that shouldn't be a question regarding Giant Moon is his potential to stay the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trip.
The $100,000-added Fort Harrod Stakes, to be run at 1 5/8-miles for 4-year-olds and up, has been added to the 2008 spring stakes schedule at Keeneland, the racing association announced Jan. 11.
Trainer Richard Schosberg's Derby dreams didn't come to fruition with Maria's Mon, the champion 2-year-old male of 1995, after an injury kept the colt on the sidelines for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Thirteen years later, however, Schosberg can start dreaming again with the undefeated Giant Moon.
The 3-year-old colt Wise Answer will make his turf debut in the Jan. 1 Tropical Park Derby.
The 30-1 shot Heatseeker, group I placed in Ireland as a 2-year-old in 2005, broke through with his first graded victory while registering a giant surprise in the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Hollywood Park Dec. 8.
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.
Ashford Stud, a division of Coolmore located near Versailles, Ky., released its 2008 stud fees Nov. 1. The list includes Fusaichi Pegasus seeing another significant drop, Van Nistelrooy a sizeable jump, and a fee announced for new stallion Scat Daddy.
The Jockey Club found both an increase in breeding activity in Kentucky and a slight decline in the number of North American stallions covering at least 100 mares.
With a world-record yearling filly in the mix, business during the final session of Book One of Tattersalls' 2007 October sale is strong with an 18% upswing in gross over last year's total.
Noble Causeway, second-place finisher in the 2005 Florida Derby (gr. I), will enter stud in 2008 at Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm in Lexington, Ky., McLean announced Oct. 3.
Storm Cat, the leader of American commercial sires for most of the last decade, is still strong commercially and is slated to continue in stud service in 2008. But for the second consecutive year, Storm Cat finished second rather than first among leading sires by average at the Keeneland September select yearling sale, and this year, Storm Cat averaged less than half what he did in 2006 ($559,773 vs. $1,270,208). As a result, speculation as to who will assume the old king's mantle is off and running.
The Jockey Club reported that 3,881 stallions covered 63,629 mares in North America during 2006, according to statistics compiled through this Sept. 6.
- By Ron Mitchell
Senior staff writer Ron Mitchell identifies the top ten offerings on the first day of the 2007 Keeneland Yearling Sale.
There is a school of thought that hold that the type of horse to look for as a potential broodmare sire is a good-sized, scopey kind of horse, one whose conformation suggests that he will get mares with plenty of room to carry their foals.
Live Oak Plantation's My Typhoon reached the end of her long quest for a grade I victory when she captured the $520,000 Diana Stakes (gr. IT) Saturday at Saratoga.
Elisabeth Alexander's Bridge Game overtook pacesetter Jennie R. inside the sixteenth pole to upset the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Arlington Park.
Trainer Todd Pletcher ran three horses in the $1-million Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) Saturday, so he expected to win. But it was the 3-year-old colt no one expected, 37-1 shot Red Giant, who won by a nose in course record time.
Queen's Plate winner Mike Fox and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson will aim for the second jewel in the Triple Crown of Canadian racing when the field goes postward in Sunday's Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Race Track.
You'resothrilling made up for an unlucky run last month at Royal Ascot with a powerful one-length victory in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes (Eng-II) on the opening day of the July meeting at Newmarket on Wednesday.
Emma-Jayne Wilson became the first female jockey to win the Queen's Plate in 148 editions when she guided 15-1 shot Mike Fox to a late-running half-length victory in the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine Sunday.
Eddie Castro put My Typhoon on the lead and slowed the pace down, leaving plenty left to defeat heavy favorite Wait a While in the Just a Game (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park
Drilling for Oil turned back a challenge from Ramazutti mid-stretch and pulled away late to win the $170,400 Louisville Handicap (gr.IIIT) at 12 furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf Saturday.
Cockney Rebel proved that his victory in the Stan James Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket earlier this month wasn't a fluke by adding the Boylesports Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at The Curragh on Saturday.
A half-sister to 2006 champion 2-year-old filly Dreaming of Anna was foaled March 15 at Greg Goodman's Mt. Brilliant Farm near Lexington.
Favored Forest Code, overcoming a tough outside post, battled on the lead from the outset and drove clear in the final stages for a 1 1/2-length win in the $115,000 Giant's Causeway for fillies and mares sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on grass Saturday at Keeneland.
Live Oak Plantation's My Typhoon wrestled the lead from Precious Kitten in the final strides to win the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes, which was moved from the turf to the all-weather track at rainy Keeneland Saturday.
Grade I winner Wonder Lady Anne L has been retired from racing and will be bred to Giant's Causeway.
Able to avoid the stumbling start that cost him any chance in his most recent race, Team Valor's Fairbanks easily toppled his five opponents with a smooth, gate-to-wire triumph by 6 3/4 lengths in Saturday's $107,200 Tokyo City Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
A Giant's Causeway colt was foaled March 12, a day after his half-sister, Rags to Riches, won the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I).
Monceaux Stable's heavily favored Naissance Royale charged down the stretch in Saturday's $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) to catch J'ray in the final strides for a neck victory at Gulfstream Park.
Pacemaker Giant Wrecker stubbornly refused to give way in the lane under Javier Castellano to win the $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a head over the relentless closer Host on the Gulfstream Park grass course Saturday. Miesque's Approval, the 2006 Eclipse Award winner as the nation's top turf runner, never fired and finished fifth as the 4-5 favorite.
Dare to Dream Stable's Nicole's Dream, a winner of 24 of 53 starts under the care of trainer Larry Rivelli, has been retired.
The Lexington Foundation hosted its second annual Fall Wine Celebration Oct. 13. Held at the Red Mile's Floral Hall in Lexington, the black tie event began with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner and a live auction. It raised more than $700,000 for cancer research, education, and care.
Ashford Stud announced leading third-crop sire Giant's Causeway will stand for a private fee in 2007.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien spoke out about the chances of his star 3-year-old George Washington in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), calling him "possibly the best horse we've ever, ever had."
The Jockey Club reported Oct. 19 that 3,053 stallions covered 59,434 mares in North America during 2006, according to "Reports of Mares Bred" received through Oct. 12, 2006. Unlike in 2005 when four stallions covered more than 200 mares each, Roman Ruler led all stallions in 2006 with 197 mares bred, two more than El Corredor. Giant's Causeway and Stormy Atlantic each covered 191 mares.
Sabine Stable's speedy homebred Win McCool, posting her first graded stakes win, shook loose of pace rival Pretty Imposing in upper stretch and held sway to the wire to win the $110,900 Floral Park Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park Saturday.
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