First-time starter Forte Feroce seized command at the quarter pole and romped to a clear win in the third race at Emerald Downs June 15, becoming the first winner for Texas-based freshman sire Grasshopper.
Grade III winner Grasshopper, who nearly defeated Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Street Sense in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), has been retired from racing.
Graded stakes winners Cool Coal Man and Grasshopper drew the top weight assignments as part of a contentious field for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 13.
Edward P. Evans' 2009 Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Quality Road leads a list of notable nominees for the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 6 at Gulfstream Park.
A star-studded cast of older horses that includes three former Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starters tops a field of seven in the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III), the feature race on Keeneland's April 19 program.
Fox Hill Farms' Honest Man stayed close to a slow pace, passed My Pal Charlie in upper stretch, and easily pulled away for a 4 1/4-length score in the $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), the first of four graded stakes at Fair Grounds Feb. 7.
A collection of familiar faces to Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots will line up Feb. 7 in the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), which is part of the six-stakes "Louisiana Derby Preview Day" card scheduled for the New Orleans-area track.
An honest pace helped the stalking Honest Man register victory over a heavily favored Grasshopper in the $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Beeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park Aug. 16.
Beaten at short prices over the track in his last two starts, Gottcha Gold is back to defend his title in the $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park Aug. 16, and he could well be favored again.
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito gave every credit to Commentator after the 7-year-old gelding won his second Whitney Handicap (gr. I) by 4 ¾ lengths over Student Council and Grasshopper July 26 at Saratoga. Zito was thrilled that the New York-bred, owned by Tracy Farmer, can now be counted alongside multiple Whitney winner Kelso.
Three years after last winning the Whitney Handicap (gr. I), 7-year-old Commentator returned to the Saratoga winner's circle when he galloped to a surprisingly easy front-running victory in the $750,000 Spa fixture.
Three years after winning the Whitney Handicap (gr. I), Tracy Farmer's Commentator returns to Saratoga's richest race for handicap horses as the most accomplished of the 11 entered in the July 26 fixture.
For Steve Asmussen, the perfect scenario in the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) goes something like this: clean break, good position, powerful move, and a romp home under wraps from Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year. But whether the trainer will get that result in the 1 1/8-mile test at Churchill Downs is another question.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, who hadn't hit the board in four starts since his victory in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) last September, rallied from off the pace in the mud to win the grade I Pimlico Special May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
Nine older horses, including 5-2 morning-line favorite A.P. Arrow, have been entered for the $250,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) May 16 at Pimlico Race Course. The 1 3/16-mile Special is contested at the same distance as the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), which will be held the following day.
The Pimlico Special (gr. I), a historically-significant race for older horses, returns after a year off. The 1 3/16-mile race, sponsored by the Maryland Lottery, will be run the day before the Preakness (gr. I) at "Old Hilltop."
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin thought odds-on choice Grasshopper could be vulnerable running a one-turn mile in the $109,100 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) to open Belmont Park's spring/summer meet April 30, and he was proved correct when his Divine Park swept to a five-length victory.
Belmont Park ushers in its 59-day spring/summer meet April 30, on the heels of a tumultuous winter for the New York Racing Association.
Winchell Thoroughbreds graded stakes winner Zanjero worked five furlongs at Keeneland in 1:00.60 for trainer Steve Asmussen, Monday, April 7
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, winner of the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) and Louisiana Derby (gr. II) in his two starts this year, continued his preparations for the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) by working six furlongs in 1:14.60 March 31 at Keeneland.
One day before flying to Dubai in pursuit of the world's richest race, jockey Robby Albarado spoke of the newly-formed non-profit bearing his name that will help underprivileged individuals living in the Louisville, Ky. area.
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.
The $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) is shaping up just like the Feb. 9 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) did, and that's fine as far as Neil Howard is concerned. The trainer sends 4-year-old Grasshopper to the March 8 event looking for the same form the colt showed in his Mineshaft victory - and Howard fully expects similar results.
The two early Kentucky Derby favorites, one in Lousiana, the other in Florida, are on schedule for their respective trainers.
Grasshopper made an impressive 4-year-old debut and earned his first graded stakes victory when he took the $150,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
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.
Saturday, Sept. 22 was a holiday of sorts for trainer Todd Pletcher. He was all prepared to celebrate the end of a two-month slump that has seen his normally lofty winning percentage of around 25% drop to 11%.
Entering the $500,000 Super Derby Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 22 at Louisiana Downs, Going Ballistic had not won since May. With help from jockey Clifton Berry, Mike and Mary Kindred's 3-year-old colt soared through the middle of the racetrack to overtake heavy favorite Grasshopper to win by a length.
All the talk leading up to the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) has been centered around race favorite Grasshopper. But several of the 10 contenders in the Harrah's Louisiana Downs feature event Sept. 22 have more than enough credentials to make bettors give the 1 1/8-mile event a second look.
It's going to take one powerful repellent to fend off the attack of Grasshopper in Saturday's $500,000 Super Derby Powered by Youbet.com (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs following the colt's outstanding second-place finish to Street Sense in the Travers Stakes (gr. I).
James Tafel's Street Sense, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), turned in a solid five-furlong work at Churchill Downs Sept. 11 in his first major training move since a victory in the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
Two days after the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, the top four finishers in the $1-million race were all recovering well to the satisfaction of their trainers.
- By Claire Novak
The canoe in the infield pond has been painted in James Tafel's colors of yellow and blue. Street Sense is safely recovering from his exertion. Another Travers is in the record books. Talk about feeling the air go out of the balloon
He was the favorite for a reason, and Saturday afternoon Street Sense proved he belongs at the top of the 3-year-old division when he turned back a determined Grasshopper after hooking up in a fierce duel at the head of the stretch in the 138th running of the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
The general consensus is that the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) will be a cake walk for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) champion Street Sense. When the post positions were drawn Aug. 22 and the son of Street Cry was installed as a 3-5 morning line favorite, that line of thinking was confirmed.
Despite his poor effort in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I), Brass Hat will make a return visit to Saratoga for the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sep. 1, trainer Buff Bradley said Sunday.
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