Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Tiago, as well as Todd Pletcher-trained candidates Rags to Riches and Circular Quay, all hit the Belmont main track for work-outs Sunday morning.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Tiago and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) victor Stormello gave their connections encouragement for an anticipated date in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5 with strong works at Hollywood Park Sunday.
Pam and Martin Wygod's homebred colt After Market returned to his winning ways with a mid-stretch surge to capture the $108,200 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) by two lengths on the Hollywood Park lawn Saturday.
A long-running controversy over toe grabs before the California Horse Racing Board could turn into a referendum on trainer authority.
George Krikorian's millionaire Hollywood Story, getting ready for her next start in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, worked six furlongs in 1:14 over Santa Anita's fast main track on Thursday.
Stan Fulton's A.P. Warrior made his turf debut a successful one when he nosed favorite Porto Santo in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Del Mar Saturday.
- By Jack Shinar
The California Horse Racing Board turned its attention to jockey protection at its meeting July 20 at Del Mar, moving along one rule change that would make safety reins mandatory and a second that revises criteria for vest standards.
A.P. Warrior worked five furlongs in 1:01 Monday under jockey David Flores for the $350,000-added Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes, a grade II test for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
George Krikorian's Hollywood Story, who has never won anywhere but at Hollywood Park, notched her second grade I win at the Inglewood track when she held off Healthy Addiction to win the $300,000 Vanity Handicap for fillies and mares Sunday.
For all her accomplishments, the millionaire mare Star Parade has never been able to win successive races. That dubious distinction held when the even-money choice in Saturday's $168,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) came up a head short of the winning Proposed after a stretch-long drive to the wire at Hollywood Park.
Defending champion Hollywood Story will attempt to snap a seven-race losing streak in Sunday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
The Tex Sutton plane carrying Bob and John, Point Determined, and A. P. Warrior arrived at Louisville Airport at about 11:20 a.m. following an uneventful flight from California.
If the last few works in California by Bob and John, Point Determined, and A. P. Warrior are any indication, all three colts are ready for big efforts in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Stan Fulton's A.P. Warrior worked seven furlongs in 1:27.40 in company over a track labeled "fast" Monday morning at Hollywood Park as he continued his preparations for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) presented by Yum! Brands.
Former California-bred 3-year-old champion Calkins Road has been retired and will stand stud at Rocking Horse Ranch in Santa Ynez, Calif.
Making his first start for last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning trainer John Shirreffs, overlooked A.P. Warrior came to life Saturday under jockey Corey Nakatani, turning back Point Determined late for a half-length victory in the $250,000 San Felipe (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Trainer John Shirreffs said Giacomo will be ready when the gates spring open Saturday for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). The Big 'Cap will be the second start of the year for the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner who began his 4-year-old season with a third-place effort in the Feb. 4 Strub Stakes (gr. II).
John Shirreffs, who won last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with Giacomo, has replaced Eoin Harty as trainer of last year's Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) runner-up A.P. Warrior.
Giacomo, who stunned the racing world with a 50-1 victory in last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), could make his first start in nearly eight months in Saturday's Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday morning.
Favored Proposed reached the front at the top of the stretch and overpowered her rivals in the run to the wire, easily winning the $150,000 El Encino (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Sunday.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo will be paraded in front of fans in the paddock and walking ring on Sunday at Del Mar.
Frank Stronach's Adena Springs has bought a majority interest in the breeding rights of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo from the colt's owners, Jerome and Ann Moss.
Giacomo, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, breezed six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 Sunday morning on the fast track at Hollywood Park in his last serious work for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Hollywood Story returns as the "house horse" Saturday when carrying high weight of 121 pounds in the $200,000-added Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Hollywood Park.
In an NTRA "Pre-Belmont" teleconference Thursday, trainers of the first three Preakness Stakes (gr. I) finishers--Afleet Alex, Scrappy T, and Giacomo--spoke to national media about that battle at Pimlico and the grueling 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) that awaits June 11.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo breezed seven furlongs in 1:27 at Hollywood Park Monday morning in preparation for the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo stretched his limbs on his first visit to the Hollywood Park main track Wednesday morning since arriving Sunday following a third-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in Baltimore on Saturday.
Trainer John Shirreffs took some time at the stakes barn at Pimilco on a wet Friday morning to discuss Giacomo and his chances for tomorrow's Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) two weeks ago at 50-1 and the colt makes his bid to become the fourth 3-year-old in a row to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
When the field crossed the finish line in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it already was clear who my Preakness (gr. I) selection would be. In fact, it was at the quarter pole, as Greeley's Galaxy closed to within four lengths of the leaders, that I started thinking, 'There's the Preakness winner.'
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo arrived at Pimlico Race Course at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in pursuit of the second leg of the coveted Triple Crown in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Fourteen horses, the absolute limit, have not started in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) since 1992, but as events continue to unfold, it appears the starting gate could be filled to capacity for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
After three days of mild exercise in the barn, Jerry and Ann Moss' Giacomo, the surprise winner of the 131st Kentucky Derby (gr. I), returned to the Churchill Downs track Wednesday for the first time since his stunning victory.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Giacomo to a 50-1 upset victory in Saturday's 131st Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will join The Blood-Horse's senior correspondent Steve Haskin for a special edition of bloodhorse.com's "Talkin' Horses" Wednesday at noon (ET; 9 a.m PT).
Mike Smith stood by himself in front of the detention barn on the Churchill Downs backstretch. The May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) was still a week and a half away, and the mass influx of media was not due for several days. Smith, who had been riding regularly at Keeneland, gazed out at the track, watching the morning activities.
Trainer John Shirreffs said he'll give Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo a few days to walk and rest at Churchill Downs before being shipped to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on May 21.
One day after riding Giacomo to an upset victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at 50-1 odds, jockey Mike Smith was in the limelight Sunday morning in the Churchill Downs barn area.
Giacomo, the second biggest upset winner in the 131-year history of the Kentucky Derby, runner-up Closing Argument and third place finisher Afleet Alex could all start in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 21 although winning trainer John Shirreffs hasn't committed his son of Holy Bull.
Hollywood Story nearly went down after clipping heels heading into the clubhouse turn in Saturday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park. But the John Shirreffs-trained filly not only kept her feet, she and jockey Victor Espinoza went on to win the 1 1/6-mile test for fillies and mares.
Hollywood Story, whose greatest success has come at Hollywood Park, returns to her favorite racetrack on Saturday when she heads a field of seven in the $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles.
Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Moss' Giacomo breezed seven-furlongs in 1:23.80 over a "fast" track at Hollywood Park.
Stanley Park, who registered a 7-1 upset in his last race, carries top weight of 118 pounds as the likely favorite in the about 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) on turf, the highlight of Santa Anita Park's closing weekend.
In continuing fallout from the weekend loss by champion Sweet Catomine in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), four or five horses previously trained by Julio Canani for owners Marty and Pam Wygod are being transferred to trainer John Shirreffs.
The pacesetting Tarlow, ridden to a frantic finish by Patrick Valenzuela, reached the wire a nose in front of Dream of Summer to win the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Front-running Tarlow pulled jockey Patrick Valenzuela to the lead soon after the start and was never headed while recording a two-length victory in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Saturday.
Trainer John Shirreffs aims for his fourth Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) winner in seven years Sunday at Hollywood Park when he saddles Hollywood Story in the $150,000 race for fillies and mares.
Calkins Road wore down 2-5 favorite Yougottawanna late to register his first stakes victory since November 2002 in the $97,840 Joseph T. Grace Handicap at Santa Rosa's Sonoma County Fair Saturday.
Hollywood Story, who most recently finished fifth in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), heads a field of six 3-year-old fillies entered to race 1 1/16 miles in the $175,000 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) in Inglewood Saturday.
Patrick Valenzuela became the first jockey in 20 years to sweep all five major Southern California riding titles in the same year when he brought a maiden, 6-1 shot Hollywood Story, from behind to win the $349,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies. In typical P. Val fashion, he survived a stewards' inquiry to do it.
Hollywood Story, arguably the most accomplished maiden 2-year-old filly in the nation, will make her next start in the $200,000 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) on Dec. 21, trainer John Shirreffs confirmed Wednesday.
Debuting trainer Leonard Powell, 27, plans to send out his first starter, Labirinto, in the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, a grade I test at 12 furlongs at Hollywood Park on Nov. 22. "I've got to start somewhere," said Powell with a chuckle.
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