Favored Blues Street circled the field on the final turn and proved best in the lane to win the $300,000 Mervyn H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Fair Grounds turf March 27.
The impeccably bred Battle Plan lived up to his billing in the $300,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), taking the field all the way in his stakes debut to defeat General Quarters by 1 1/2 lengths March 27 at Fair Grounds.
You and I Forever charges with wide move to draw off and win the Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Stonehouse shocked odds-on choice Friesan Fire in the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) and Blues Street was too much to handle in the Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) at the New Orleans track Feb. 20.
E. Paul Robsham Stables' homebred Discreetly Mine took a full field sophomores gate to wire in the $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 20 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The wire came just in time for front-running Get Stormy, who gutted out the final couple of strides to nose the relentless Street Move in the $112,100 Commonwealth Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 15.
In charge most of the way for jockey Javier Castellano, odds-on choice Criticism scored an authoritative repeat victory in the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) over a yielding turf course at cloudy Aqueduct in her final start for Darley Stable Nov. 1.
Banrock and You Go West Girl tallied victories in a pair of $150,000 turf stakes for New York-bred horses on closing day of Belmont Park's fall meet Oct. 25. Ramon Dominguez and Todd Pletcher win individual titles.
Get Stormy disproved the notion that he was a "need the lead" type when he ran down pacesetter Major Marvel in the lane on his way to victory in the $125,000 Bryan Station Stakes (gr. IIIT) over a yielding Keeneland turf course Oct. 18.
Capt. Candyman Can gained victory in the $300,000 NetJets King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 29 when the original winner Vineyard Haven was disqualified for drifting out into the path of his challenger in deep stretch on a "sloppy" Saratoga main track.
Salve Germania, the longest shot in the $200,000 Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT), charged down the center of the stretch to tag favored Rutherienne by a head at the wire on a soggy Saratoga Melon Turf Course Aug. 29.
A day of upsets at Saratoga was punctuated by the most shocking surprise of all in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT), as the 33-1 longshot Telling took over approaching the top of the stretch and held off Better Talk Now for his first stakes win.
Capt. Candyman Can collected the fourth stakes win of his career when he out-kicked 4-5 favorite Cash Refund by three-quarters of a length in the $106,900 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs May 16.
Kent Desormeaux, one of Maryland's all-time leading riders and a two-time winner of the Preakness (gr. I), took home the $14,000 first prize in the inaugural Pimlico Jockey Challenge May 15.
Flashing, passed by 6-5 favorite Saarlight in the lane, fought back in the middle of the track to win the $200,000 Nassau County Stakes (gr. II) by 1 1/4 lengths at Belmont Park May 2.
After stalking the leaders, favored Wesley seized the lead at the top of the lane and proved a comfortable winner of the $100,000 Miami Mile Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Calder Race Course April 25.
Darley Stable's homebred Criticism took advantage of soft early fractions en route to a wire-to-wire one-length victory in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) April 25 on the Calder Race Course turf.
Jockey Javier Castellano was sent to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., complaining of pain in his right shoulder after falling from his mount, Presto Change O, in the third race at Gulfstream Park Jan. 31.
It took a wild stretch run and the perfect head bob, but Harlequin Ranches' Spice Route earned his first victory on American soil, prevailing by the narrowest of margins over Soldier's Dancer in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) Dec. 6 at Calder Race Course.
Darley Stable's homebred Criticism, just missing in her U.S. debut last month, left no doubt about her winning intentions in her second American start, as the 4-year-old filly took over in upper stretch and pulled away for a one-length victory in the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 1 on the Aqueduct turf.
Marsh Side emerged from the pack at the midpoint of Woodbine's long homestretch to post a 29-1 upset on the turf in the $2 million Pattison Canadian Invitational (Can-I) for Southern California trainer Neil Drysdale.
Already a graded stakes winner overseas, Godolphin Stable's Tam Lin became a grade II winner on American soil when he wore down Forefathers in upper stretch and sped away to a convincing 4 1/4-length victory Sept. 28 in the $250,000 Kelso Handicap on the Belmont turf.
With main rival Country Star scratched after throwing her jockey while in the starting gate, Godolphin's Music Note won the $237,500 Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) in little more than a walkover over three rivals at Belmont Park Sept. 13.
Backseat Rhythm showed an appreciation for Saratoga's yielding inner turf course Aug. 15 when she powered home from the back of the pack to dominate the $150,000 Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) for her first stakes victory.
Willmott Stables' Wesley moved from last to first on the final turn before breaking free from a tightly-bunched field in deep stretch to win the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 4.
Godolphin Racing's Music Note put on an awesome display in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 19 Belmont, taking over at the quarter-pole and romping to an 11-length win for her second consecutive grade I score.
Upset-minded Wheels Up At Noon used a perfect stalking trip for Javier Castellano to win the $200,900 Caesar Rodney Stakes, leaving the 7-5 choice Silver Tree behind by 2 1/4 lengths at Delaware Park July 13.
British invader Red Rocks spoiled American champion Curlin's turf debut in the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (g. IT) at Belmont Park July 12 and gave owner J. Paul Reddam a grand grade I double on the day.
After Heros Reward's aggressive front-running win in the $200,000 Scotts Highlander Stakes (Can-III), Maryland-based trainer Dale Capuano must be wondering why he would leave Woodbine, where his 6-year-old gelding has banked more than $460,000 in earnings in three starts on the turf.
First Defence made his initial effort on grass a winning one for trainer Bobby Frankel and became a graded stakes winner in the process, just holding on by a head to capture the $162,966 Jaipur (gr. III) on Belmont Park's yielding course June 15.
Pays to Dream continued a big weekend for New York-bred horses in Maryland May 17 when he rallied from well off the pace and blew away the competition in the grade II Dixie Stakes on the turf at Pimlico Race Course.
Odds-on choice Sugar Swirl completed an unprecedented sweep of Gulfstream Park's sprint series for fillies and mares with yet another dazzling win for trainer Brian Lynch in the $170,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. II) on March 29.
Stronach Stables' homebred mare Sugar Swirl will try to extend her winning streak to four on March 22 at Gulfstream Park, as she faces six rivals in the $200,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. II), a seven-furlong test for older fillies and mares on the main track.
The 5-year-old mare pulled away in the stretch to take the Hurricane Bertie (gr. III) Feb. 17 at Gulfstream Park.
Favored Sugar Swirl stormed to a 2 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 First Lady Handicap (gr. III) to earn her first graded win for trainer Brian Lynch at sloppy Gulfstream Park Jan. 13.
Lady Marlboro fought her way through a narrow opening on the inside to gain a dead heat for victory with Golden Velvet in an exciting edition of the $98,000 Sabin Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 6.
Jockey Abel Castellano reached the 1,000 win plateau when he guided Johnny Z. to victory in the fifth race at Laurel Park Wednesday afternoon. The 24-year-old achieved the milestone with his wife Claudia and two-year-old son Andrew in attendance.
Bit of Whimsy had already accomplished her major goal of the year for trainer Barclay Tagg when the 3-year-old filly captured the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last month. She put an exclamation point on a strong campaign with her hard-fought victory in the $174,900 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) on the Churchill Downs lawn Nov. 10.
Sugar Shake proved much the best in the $107,300 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr.III) at Aqueduct Nov. 4, but the winner had an assist when the 9-5 favorite, Altesse, was pulled up after her rein broke early in the race.
Adept at running on soft turf, Fishy Advice proved a handy winner of the $112,900 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIIT) when he collared Thorn Song near the wire for a one-length victory at Aqueduct Oct. 28.
The ultra-consistent Heros Reward took command in the stretch and held on late to record his first graded stakes score in the $500,000 Nearctic (Can-II) on the Woodbine turf course Oct. 21.
Nobiz Like Shobiz, winner of the Jamaica Handicap (gr.IIT) in his last start, worked a half-mile over Belmont Park's inner turf course Oct. 17. He has been pre-entered in the $2 million NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
Nobiz Like Shobiz turned in his most impressive performance on the grass in the Oct. 6 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park. The $300,000 race for 3-year-olds was Nobiz Like Shobiz's toughest assignment so far on the turf.
Lawyer Ron, winner of the Whitney (gr. I) and Woodward (gr. I) in his last two starts at Saratoga, worked a half-mile in 48.40 seconds over Belmont Park's main track Sept. 17.
Two horses were euthanized and two riders were transported to the hospital after a spill in the fifth race at Belmont Park Sept. 13. They were Unrestricted, ridden by Javier Castellano, and Gruffles, under John Velazquez.
A patient ride from Javier Castellano helped Miss Shop to her first grade I victory with an impressive upset in the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 24.
See the twisted figure standing near the Oklahoma track? Yes, that's Javier Castellano, and it looks like he's attempting to master some absurd Yoga pose as he bends over backward with hands clasped above his head.
In honor of (and caused by) an 8:00 a.m. deadline, Hall of Fame inductions, an upcoming afternoon of racing coverage, and an evening of sales assignments, we defer to a smattering of quotes and scenes witnessed by your faithful correspondent, who peruses the backside of Saratoga (almost) every morning.
Juddmonte Farms' First Defence punched his ticket for the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Saturday, leading every step to win the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds by 2 1/4 lengths at Monmouth Park.
- By Claire Novak
First Defence will tackle the field when six horses go postward in Saturday's Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park.
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