Down the Stretch Ranch isn't just a home for retired racehorses. Like a coupled entry, horses and veterans are 1 and 1A.
Fox Hill Farm's champion Songbird will get a freshening at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., before returning to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer for her 4-year-old campaign.
The beat went on, as it always does, but Richard Mandella doesn't want to think about moving on from the bay mare who gave one final brilliant display Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park.
A Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) for the ages on paper played out in real time in the most dramatic and epic way.
"If somebody wants to be in front of Songbird, they can go ahead and try," said Mike Smith, a day before the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
With the potential of rain looming in Southern California, several Breeders' Cup horses got an early start Oct. 27 at Santa Anita Park, headlined by Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Songbird.
Week in and week out, Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Medaglia d'Oro filly goes fast and easy every time she breezes for her Hall of Fame trainer. Her Oct. 20 drill at Santa Anita Park was just the latest example.
A little more than three weeks out from their upcoming showdown in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), champions Beholder and Songbird went about their business minutes apart during the earliest morning workout session at Santa Anita Park.
The hum of nearby Interstate 210 was all that was audible from the Santa Anita Park grandstand before trainer Jerry Hollendorfer broke the silence with the sharp "beep" of his stopwatch as Songbird began her workout from the half-mile pole Oct. 6.
Maybe not as strong as any of the four grade Is on Belmont's Oct. 8 program, but the Kelso Handicap (gr. II) is an intriguing one-turn mile with a field of seven.
The timing of a low-grade fever in the spring could not have been worse for Songbird, but with deft handling the undefeated champion juvenile filly of 2015 continued to deliver spectacular races through the summer.
- By Myra Lewyn
- Thoroughbred Racing, Breeders' Cup, Northeast Region, West Region, Mid-Atlantic Region
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Songbird logged her final serious work at Santa Anita Park Sept. 18 before her Sept. 19 flight east, where she is scheduled to start in the Sept. 24 Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) at Parx Racing.
Sails through pre-Cotillion move Sept. 12
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated champion Songbird, now settled back in at her home base in Southern California following a pair of grade I wins at Saratoga Race Course, put in her first workout Aug. 31 in preparation for the $1 million Cotillion (gr. I).
Jim Rome thought he would eventually start to get over losing Shared Belief. The horse owner and syndicated sports talk radio star thought time would help.
The morning after her seven-length victory in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 20, undefeated Songbird was relaxed and happy, said Christina Jelm, who has overseen trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's horses at Saratoga this summer.
Stretching out to 1 1/4 miles for the first time proved no problem for unbeaten filly Songbird as the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro waltzed to a clear lead in the far turn and was never challenged late in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Already a two-time graded winner going two turns, Tara's Tango added a sprint score to her résumé Aug. 17 in the $100,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Del Mar.
Six challengers will attempt to remove champion Songbird from her undefeated throne in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 20 at Saratoga Race Course.
Bob Baffert will bid to win the Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) for a third time when he sends out Pretty N Cool and Enchanting Lady against grade I winner Tara's Tango Aug. 17 at Del Mar.
Point Piper, owned by Dan Gatto, Russo Racing, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, capitalized on a fast early pace to win the $200,000 Longacres Mile (gr. III) Aug. 14 at Emerald Downs and in the process set a track record for one mile.
Fox Hill Farms' champion Songbird returned to the worktab for the first time since her victory in the Coaching Club American Oaks for what trainer Jerry Hollendorfer described as a "perfect work."
Fox Hill Farm's Songbird had no issues the morning after her strong victory in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, where she will remain to prepare for the Aug. 20 Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Songbird, as if she wanted to toy with onlookers and viewers across the nation to build the drama, took Carina Mia's best shot during the final turn in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), but was still able to win in her signature fashion.
Champion Songbird logged her first gallop over Saratoga Race Course's main track July 22.
Champion Songbird will put her perfect record on the line July 23 in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, which features a purse pumped up from $300,000 to $500,000 to attract the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro.
A head and a nose apart in their last two outings, Stays in Vegas and Be Mine will once again do battle in the $200,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) July 23 at Del Mar.
Fox Hill Farm's undefeated champion Songbird arrived at Saratoga Race Course just before 8 p.m. EDT July 20 in advance of her upcoming engagement in the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 24.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Nyquist and undefeated 3-year-old filly Songbird both were put through workouts July 17 at Del Mar in preparation for top-level East Coast starts this summer.
Champions Beholder and Songbird both worked July 9 at Santa Anita Park toward top-level summer affairs on opposite coasts.
King Glorious, a California-bred multiple grade I winner and successful sire, passed away at the age of 30 in Japan, Kate Hunter of Paca Paca Farms shared via Twitter July 2.
Songbird worked five furlongs on Santa Anita Park's main track in 1:01 July 2 in preparation for her East Coast summer campaign.
A day after she had her way with an overmatched field in her fourth consecutive start at Santa Anita Park, owner Rick Porter decided Songbird needs to take it to the other top fillies in her division.
Songbird didn't have the early lead for the first time in her career, but the result remained the same in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) June 18 at Santa Anita Park.
Stays in Vegas and Be Mine, only a head apart last time out in the Senorita (gr. IIIT) May 7, will be back for another graded grass stakes at Santa Anita Park June 19 in the $200,000 Honeymoon (gr. IIT).
A low-grade fever may have knocked Fox Hill Farms' undefeated champion Songbird out of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but her 3-year-old campaign will restart June 18 in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
After a positive seven-furlong workout from undefeated Songbird June 11 at Santa Anita Park, owner Rick Porter said the champion filly is ready to make her return to racing June 18 in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II).
Songbird's fractional times were :36 2/5, :48 2/5, and 1:00 4/5, with a gallop out to six furlongs in 1:28.
Spendthrift Farm and Stonestreet Stables' Cyrus Alexander, a 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro colt, got his first stakes win when he captured the $200,000 Lone Star Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up May 30 at Lone Star Park.
Fox Hill Farms' undefeated Songbird worked five furlongs in 1:00 on Santa Anita Park's fast main track shortly after daybreak May 29 with exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez aboard.
The June 18 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park is the hopeful target for Songbird's return, if all goes well as she gears up in training. After that, owner Rick Porter said, "there's a lot of good races on the East Coast."
Two-time grade I-winning sprinter Wild Dude secured a graded stakes win in a third straight season May 21 when he rallied from fifth to score a clear victory in the $201,035 Kona Gold Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Kona Gold's family connections out to win namesake race with homebred San Onofre. Santa Anita's 6 1/2-furlong Kona Gold Stakes (gr. II) to run right after the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Off the Triple Crown trail and back at arguably his best distance, Hans Poetsch's homebred I Will Score broke through for his first graded stakes win in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera (gr. III) May 14 at Santa Anita Park.
Already a stakes winner on dirt and grass, Stays in Vegas reached another level May 7 in the Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park.
Kaleem Shah's Fantastic Style took the 2015 edition of the Great Lady M. Stakes (gr. II) in commanding fashion and will look for a repeat performance April 23 in the race's renewal at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Songbird will not participate in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) because of a low-grade fever, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said April 17.
Fox Hill Farms' Songbird grabbed the early lead and easily captured her seventh win in seven starts to take the grade I Santa Anita Oaks at Santa Anita Park April 9 and remain the dominant favorite for the Kentucky Oaks.
With six perfect starts to her credit, Fox Hill Farms' Songbird has one more hurdle to clear -- the April 9 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) -- before heading to Kentucky as the favorite for the May 6 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Fox Hill Farm's undefeated filly Songbird continued to progress toward the April 9 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) the morning of March 29. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro worked six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 with Mike Smith aboard.
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