Although he has a first call to ride Godolphin's Moon Ballad in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Sept. 27, Jerry Bailey will be aboard Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker if the colt turns in a another good work this weekend.
The knock on Cuvee is that he has a sprint pedigree, but so far, the longer the distance for the standout chestnut colt, the bigger his margin of victory. The Verne Winchell-bred Carson City colt drew off to win Sunday's $200,000 Belmont Futurity (gr.I) for 2-year-olds by 8 1/4 lengths.
Trainer Bobby Frankel didn't have his big gun for Saturday's $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I), but his replacements in the race, Wild Spirit and You proved more than capable back-ups, posting a one-two finish.
Cooperation will carry trainer Bob Baffert's hopes for an eighth straight Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) victory Wednesday.
Georgica Stable won its second grade I race of the weekend at Belmont Park when Indy Five Hundred, ridden by Pat Day, rumbled past even-money favorite Dimitrova in the stretch to win the $250,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) on the turf Sunday.
Darley Stable's Lunar Sovereign, guided by Richard Migliore, unleashed an explosive move while wide on the final turn and rolled on to a 2 3/4-length win in the $500,000 Man o'War (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Saturday.
Trainer Bobby Barbara's summer in Saratoga Springs was almost perfect. "I was happy with our record," he said. "We won six races, but I'd give a few of them back to get her up. I really wanted to win that race."
Their meet titles long since clinched, trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez reflected on their record-setting achievements this summer.
Flaxman Stable's Aldebaran flashed his superiority at seven furlongs once again in the Forego Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday, destroying a quality field of sprinters with his patented late run.
John Velazquez won his 56th race at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, breaking the single-season track record.
Buckram Oak Farm's Silver Wagon and jockey Jerry Bailey kicked into gear near the eighth pole and pulled away to register a four-length upset over 2/5 favorite Chapel Royal in the $200,000 Hopeful (gr. I) at Saratoga Saturday.
A well-focused Ten Most Wanted and jockey Pat Day took advantage of a torrid pace duel to register an easy victory in the 2003 Travers Stakes (gr. I) before a Travers Day record 66,122 at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Stylish, with leading jockey John Velazquez riding, won her third straight with a surprising burst in the home stretch of the $200,000 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens posted another of his legendary upsets at Saratoga Race Course when his unheralded allowance runner Passing Shot tagged multiple graded stakes winner Wild Spirit by a short nose at the wire of the $400,000 Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) Friday.
With three victories on Wedneday's card at Laurel Park, jockey Mario Pino moved ahead of Jacinto Vazquez into 16th spot on the all-time list with 5,229 wins.
Saratoga Notebook: Frankel Squelches Rumor; Dynever Unlikely for Travers; Bailey Gets Wake-Up; Day Watches 'Most Wanted'
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel made quick work of a rumor going around the backstretch Tuesday morning regarding Empire Maker's status for the Travers (gr. I).
Cuvee cruised to an easy 7 1/2-length win over a sloppy going in Wednesday's $150,000 Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga. The Steve Asmussen trainee covered the 6 1/2-furlong distance in 1:15.4. Pomeroy was second, followed by Limehouse 2 3/4 lengths back in third.
Saratoga Notebook: Volponi's Jockey Audible; Slow Go for Blazing Fury; Sky Mesa Pushed Back; Frankel Plots
Hall of Fame trainer Phil Johnson tried to out-think Breeders' Cup Classic (gr.I) winner Volponi Wednesday. He was at least partially successful.
Saratoga Notebook: No Luck for Day, Sheppard; Volponi Moves; Funny Cide Gallops; Frankel Sorts Options
With Anticipation's bid to become the first horse to win the Sword Dancer (gr.IT) three straight times ended before it began.
Still unsure of the cause, trainer Barclay Tagg said Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide was on the improve after spiking a fever of 102 Monday morning.
Funny Cide came out of his third-place finish in Sunday's $1 million Haskell (gr. I) with a slight temperature, leaving his status for the Aug. 23 Travers in doubt.
Edmund Gann's Medaglia d'Oro withstood a determined rally from his rival Volponi in the stretch and pulled away for a one-length victory in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Saturday.
Michael Tabor's Zavata and jockey Jerry Bailey won a speed duel with Trust N Luck and pulled away in the stretch for a comfortable victory in Saturday's $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.
Medaglia d'Oro and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi are among a contentious field of eight older horses entered for Saturday's $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Juddmonte Farms' prohibitive favorite Sightseek cruised to her third straight grade I victory Sunday for jockey Jerry Bailey and trainer Bobby Frankel, dusting her five opponents by 11 1/2 lengths in the Go for Wand at Saratoga.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Lady Tak hit the stretch in front with jockey Jerry Bailey in the saddle and kicked away from Bird Town for a convincing 4 1/2-length victory in the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
One week after winning Belmont's Mother Goose (gr. I) with Spoken Fur and the Delaware Handicap (gr. II) with Wild Spirit, the Hall of Fame combination of trainer Bobby Frankel and jockey Jerry Bailey join forces for Sunday's $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) with the immensely talented Sightseek.
Edward P. Evans' Gygistar won Friday's third race at Saratoga, a six-furlong allowance event, by 5 3/4 lengths under Jerry Bailey.
Jockey Jose Santos received a 10-day suspension from the New York state Racing and Wagering Board steward for careless riding in the sixth race Wednesday.
James McIngvale's Swaps Stakes (gr. II) hero During will likely make his next start in either the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr.I) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 3, the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga on the same day or the $600,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 9, trainer Bob Baffert said.
Wild Spirit, ridden by Jerry Bailey, romped to a six-length triumph in Sunday's $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Delaware Park.
Spoken Fur and jockey Jerry Bailey turned in a dominating performance to easily capture the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Belmont Park Saturday, collecting the second jewel in New York's Triple Tiara for owner Amerman Racing Stables.
On Thursday, July 24, the second day of the meet, all fans (with paid admission), will take home an Edgar Prado bobblehead doll in honor of Saratoga's leading jockey from 2002.
Edward P. Evans' 5-year-old mare Gold Mover, who defeated Eclipse champion favorite Xtra Heat by a half-length in the Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. II) at Summit of Speed at Calder Race Course last year, returns Saturday to defend her title.
Running at his favorite distance of seven furlongs, Flaxman Stable homebred Aldebaran weaved through the field and drew off for an easy two-length victory in the grade II Tom Fool Handicap on the Independence Day card at Belmont Park.
Saturday's 50th running of the $750,000 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park could materialize as a repeat of last year's edition, won by the old pro With Anticipation, who defeated Denon by a neck in a thrilling finish to the 11-furlong classic.
Spoken Fur, making her first start for owner Amerman Racing Stables and trainer Bobby Frankel, stepped into stakes company for the first time Saturday and registered a smashing victory in the prestigious $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- All things being equal, it's better to support a company that is putting money into racing.
Sightseek shows her class over a wet surface with a runaway win in the Ogden Phipps Handicap.
Edmund Gann's 1-2 favorite You erased some doubts about her recent form with a convincing win in Saturday's $327,900 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
Ever since Empire Maker's runner-up finish as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Jerry Bailey had been feeling a little bit guilty. The Hall of Fame rider couldn't be blamed for the bruised foot that disrupted the colt's training schedule. But Bailey did regret his decision regarding Empire Maker's post position. In the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), he was riding for redemption--for both Empire Maker and himself.
Officials for Visa, the title-sponsor of the Triple Crown, are angry about the advertising worn during the Belmont Stakes program by three jockeys, including Jerry Bailey, who won the final leg of the Triple Crown aboard Empire Maker.
The day after his second-place finish in the May 3 Kentucky Derby aboard Empire Maker, Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey was noticeably upset by the outcome, ostensibly because of his confidence in the colt whose pre-Derby preparations were hampered by a bruised hoof. On Saturday, June 7, Bailey was rewarded for his confidence in Empire Maker when he rode the colt to victory in the Belmont Stakes.
Belmont jockeys visit Ronald McDonald House Thursday, Cauthen to close New York Stock Exchange Friday.
After Wednesday's Belmont post position draw, all the combatants can now start planning their strategies. When Funny Cide drew post 4 and Empire Maker post 1, the wheels immediately started turning as to how the early battle will unfold.
Lilac Queen, unbeaten in three starts since joining trainer Bobby Frankel, should be the solid favorite Saturday at Belmont in the grade II Sheepshead Bay. The turf stakes is over 1 3/8 miles.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, often paired with some of racing's leading female turf horses in recent years, finds himself aboard another immensely talented grass runner in Lilac Queen for Saturday's $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Racing stewards at Churchill Downs have levied a $500 fine against 14 jockeys who wore a patch depicting the Jockeys' Guild logo on their pants in the May 3 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide was installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) when post positions were drawn Wednesday. The son of Distorted Humor will break from post position nine under jockey Jose Santos. Peace Rules, who finished third in the Derby, is the 8-5 second choice.
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