Red Rocks and Dancing Forever, both fresh off grade I turf victories at Belmont, will square off in the star-studded Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) Aug. 16 at Saratoga, a field that also includes three other grade I winners, including Grand Couturier, who won the event a year ago.
When last seen, J. Mack Robinson's homebred African Violet was dueling in the stretch with Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Proud Spell in the July 12 Delaware Oaks (gr. II). Although coming up three-quarters of a length short that day, the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid proved she can run with the best 3-year-old fillies in the nation.
Flying Zee Stable's homebred I Lost My Choo seeks her fifth victory of the year and the first graded stakes triumph of her young career, as she takes on nine 3-year-old fillies in the $200,000 Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) July 19 on the Colonial Downs turf.
Michael Matz is expecting a big improvement from Ready Set in his next tilt, the $300,000 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III) July 13 at Delaware Park. Six 3-year-olds have been entered in the 1 1/16-mile event on the main track.
The Lavington Stud's Rosinka, winner of five of her last six starts, looms a tough-to-defeat probable favorite in the July 12 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park.
With heavy rains and flashing lighting making its way through Colonial Downs, Lady Digby came three-wide into the stretch, overtook pacesetter Eclisse near the eighth-pole and dew clear to win the $200,000 All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) by 2 1/4 lengths.
Bill Mott has taken over the training of Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) winner Adriano and likely will point the son of A.P. Indy for races on the grass, where he's two for four with one second.
Bold Chieftain, a leading handicap horse in Northern California, seeks his first graded stakes victory in the $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) June 7 at Hollywood Park, but will face a full field of older horses, including Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) winner Rebellion.
Icabad Crane's connections had faith in him at least hitting the board in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico, and their intuitions were proved right when the son of Jump Start finished a game 5 3/4 lengths in third behind Big Brown.
Courtlandt Farm's homebred filly Indescribable continued to exhibit her affinity for synthetic surfaces, this time doing it on the Arlington Park Polytrack, as she wore down Leah's Secret in mid-stretch to take the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) by a half-length on Memorial Day.
Adriano will be providing trainer Graham Motion with his second Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starter. The Cambridge, England, native saddled his first horse in the Run for the Roses in 1998 when Chilito finished 11th.
Despite having won the Wood Memorial (gr. I) aboard Tale of Ekati and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on Monba, Edgar Prado has decided to ride Courtlandt Farms' Adriano in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Courtlandt Farm's homebred Adriano is now considered "likely" for a run in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) following a four-furlong workout April 13 at Churchill Downs.
Hickory Tree Stables' Rebellion, idle since running eighth in the Oct. 27 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), stormed down the lane April 12 to catch longshot Elite Squadron by a head in the final strides in the $400,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) on the Keeneland Polytrack.
Trainer Graham Motion said Feb. 20 that multiple grade I winner Better Talk Now will fly to Dubai from Florida March 18 to run in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-IT) at Nad Al Sheba racecourse on the World Cup undercard March 29.
Todd Pletcher trainee Magna Graduate has not scored a win since April 2007 and the Neil Howard-trained Grasshopper has not raced since a second-place finish in the Super Derby Sept. 22. Both are looking for a return to their winning ways in the $150,000 Mineshaft Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
Andrew and Marina Stone's Dalvina, entering off of a successful American debut, is the one to beat in the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) Dec. 15 at Calder Race Course.
Dalvina, an impressive winner of the Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct Nov. 11, has been turned over to trainer Graham Motion to continue her American campaign.
Better Talk Now, winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), will remain in training for a 9-year-old campaign in 2008 and possibly travel to Dubai to run in March, trainer Graham Motion said Nov. 5.
Better Talk Now, who will make his fourth appearance Satuday in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), hasn't lost his competitive edge.
Trainer Graham Motion said he was surprised graded races won in Canada do not earn a horse points under the Breeders' Cup criteria for selecting fields. As a result, his Canadian graded stakes winner, Globetrotter, is on the alternate list for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
- By Esther Marr
Globetrotter will attempt a huge feat in his third start: capturing his turf debut in the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Monmouth Park.
Rosinka, a game runner-up to Lahudood in the Sept. 30 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, is under serious consideration for the Breeders' Cup Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Trainer Graham Motion missed a scheduled work with Grade 1 winner Better Talk Now during the weekend of Sept. 15 and said on Sept. 17 it is "less than 50 percent" likely that the 8-year-old will run in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 30.
Better Talk Now, a multiple grade I winner, has recovered from a puncture wound he suffered in July and August and is back in serious training at his Fair Hill, Md., home base, trainer Graham Motion said Sept. 12.
Better Talk Now trainer Graham Motion announced Aug. 10 that the 8-year-old gelding was being scratched from the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga this weekend due to a left front ankle injury that was suffered in a race last month. The injury, which occurred in the United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont June 9, seemed to be under control until Friday, when it began to fill with fluid.
It's not quite to the level of Affirmed and Alydar, but the exciting rivalry between a pair of the nation's top turf routers will renew itself once again in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 11 when English Channel and Better Talk Now clash for the seventh time.
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.
The Lavington Stud's Rosinka took the lead soon after the start under Jeremy Rose and held off even-money choice Royal Highness by a neck in the $257,300 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares on the Delaware Park turf Saturday.
Jade's Revenge, who could have been claimed for $40,000 six months ago, won Keeneland's $150,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) Thursday in a four-horse photo finish.
New York- based trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Gary Contessa and John Kimmel are the latest horsemen to sign up for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's Pony-Up Program, a new TRF fundraising initiative designed to spread the financial responsibilities of caring for retired racehorses across the training community, while taxing horsemen only when they have reaped the benefits of a win.
Trainer Graham Motion, who collected his first victory at Laurel Park in 1993, earned win number 1,000 Thursday at the Maryland track as well when Lucky Bachelor ($3.80) captured the eighth race.
Thankfully there is an antidote to the serious nature of Breeders' Cup week, and it comes in the form of the owners of John Deere Turf (gr. IT) candidate Better Talk Now.
When Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now wins, it's usually close. Under Ramon Dominguez, the late closer gutted out a three-horse photo by a head to win Sunday's $269,156 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) on a yielding turf at Woodbine.
Trainer H. Graham Motion has a contender in two of the three big races at Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing, so he's in a good spot to assess the relative quality of Saturday's fields.
Glencrest Farm's Honey Ryder is the formidable presence in the $300,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup at Delaware Park July 15. The 1 3/8 turf affair for fillies and mares has attracted a field of nine. Scheduled as the sixth race, it has an approximate post time of 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Favored Sweet Talker squeezed her way through an opening between horses in mid-stretch and was all out to hold off the determined spoiler Joint Aspiration by a head to win the $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Lone Star Park turf Monday.
Trainer John Servis and owner Rick Porter, who have been together for more than 15 years, have gone their separate ways, Porter said Wednesday.
After watching Better Talk Now's grand stretch kick compromised by a slow pace in last year's $250,000 Comp USA/Toshiba Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT), trainer Graham Motion is more surprised than anyone that he will saddle the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) champion for Saturday's Pimlico renewal.
Courtlandt Farm's Sweet Talker, under Ramon Dominguez, separated herself from the pack around the far turn and drew away to a 1 1/2-length victory in Sunday's closing day feature at Laurel Park, the $60,000 Dahlia Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.
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.
More than 30 Thoroughbreds were killed the evening of Nov. 1 in a barn fire at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in northern Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reported in its Nov. 2 edition.
Funfair made his way into Saturday's $2,025,000 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) the old-fashioned way. He earned it.
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.
Two-time NSA jockey champion Dave Bentley announced his retirement at the start of the 2005 fall season. Bentley, 35, began riding in the U.S. in 2000 and won championships in 2002 and 2003.
Cheveley Park Farm's Battle Chant slipped between horses straightening away for home and bounded to victory Saturday the $150,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial Breeders' Cup on the turf at Laurel Park.
Better Talk Now, under confident handling from Ramon Dominguez, won the $500,000 Man o'War (gr. IT) in the final strides by a neck over King's Drama on the Belmont Park turf Saturday.
Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday he will run Shake the Bank as a pacesetter for last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now in Saturday's $500,000 Man o'War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Film Maker, a narrow loser in last year's Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares at 1 3/8 miles on the grass, returns for a second try in the $100,000-added event Monday as Saratoga closes its 135th meet.
Better Talk Now shipped into Arlington Park early Friday afternoon for Saturday's Arlington Million (gr. IT).
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