Keeneland reported an average on-track attendance increase of 6.2% but a 5% drop in total handle from all sources based on preliminary figures following the conclusion of the 16-day meet April 25.
Phipps Stable's Dancing Forever came three-wide into the final turn, collared Drilling for Oil mid-stretch, and hit the wire in front to take the Fifth Third Elkhorn (gr. IIT) by a length to close out the Keeneland fall meet stakes program.
Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable's Carriage Trail broke to an early lead and never gave it up, outlasting six rivals in the $125,000 Doubledogdare (gr. III) to win by 1 1/4 lengths in Keeneland's April 18 feature.
By now, just about every superlative has been used to describe Big Brown's performance in the Florida Derby (gr. I). How many times do you think the word "freak" has been uttered since Saturday? Well, there is no doubt that the colt has accomplished freakish things in his brief career, but so did Curlin, and he couldn't win the Derby off three career starts.
by Erin Nuckols - In 1986, Art Gray watched one of his closest friends -- driver William "Billy" Haughton -- die due to injuries suffered in a harness racing collision at Yonkers Raceway. The accident happened about two months after another driver, Dave Dunckley, was killed at Roosevelt Raceway in a similar type of accident.
IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr.'s highly-touted Big Brown proved that all the hype was justified, as he led from start to finish in the $1-million Florida Derby, crushing 11 rivals to win by five lengths March 29 at Gulfstream Park while making just his third career start.
Cool Coal Man took over at the top of the stretch and then held off a stubborn Elysium Fields by a half-length to take the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
The 3-year-old Johannesburg colt cut back in distance to earn his first graded stakes win Feb. 2 at Gulfstream Park.
Peter Vegso homebred War Monger came from well off the pace, moved into contention around the final turn, and caught pacesetter Lucky J.H. in mid-stretch en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park.
Premium Tap, who races under the name Allam in Saudi Arabia, remained undefeated in that country, scoring a gutsy head victory over his arch rival, Brazilian-bred Impossible Ski, in the Crown Prince Cup at Al Janadriah Racecourse Dec. 7, a prep for the King's Cup, a race he won last year.
Getting his first win since a 2006 score in the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT), Richard C. Thompson's Ballast took the 2007 edition of same race after splitting horses in a dramatic move at Calder Race Course Dec. 1.
Zayat Stables' Thorn Song continued his excellent record on the turf when he got up in the final strides to take the $200,000 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 23.
Laying just off the pace for three-quarters, 5-year-old Istan exploded at the top of the stretch and pulled away to win by 8 resounding lengths in the $200,000 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.
Laying just off the early pace, Corinthian rallied around the turn and made a thunderous move under jockey Kent Desermeaux in the stretch to take the inaugural $1-million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park by 6 1/2-lengths.
Trainer Dominic Galluscio had a sense of deja vu as he stood in the winner's circle following the $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park Oct. 20. Last year, Galluscio posted an upset with Organizer. This year, he pulled off another Classic surprise with Dr. V's Magic, who was 15-1.
- By Claire Novak
Today's feature is the Adirondack - $150,000 for 2-year-old fillies. As with all "baby" races, there's not much to go on as far as past performances are concerned.
The crafty veteran Silver Tree took the best shot favored Brilliant had to offer, then kicked away in deep stretch to earn his second graded stakes win of the year for trainer Bill Mott in the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Saratoga inner turf course Sunday.
Like a fine wine, Silver Tree seems to keep improving with age. The 7-year-old son of Hennessy may continue teaching younger competitors how it's done Aug. 5, when he goes for a third consecutive victory in the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT).
Kieran McLaughlin trainee Like Now, winner of the 2006 Gotham Stakes (gr. III), earned his first victory since March 2006 when he bested a field of four in an allowance optional claimer at Saratoga July 27.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux powered Majesty Stud's Dr. V's Magic to three-length victory in the $75,000 Spectacular Bid Division of the New York Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile to complete a sweep of the Belmont Park stakes races Sunday.
Drilling for Oil turned back a challenge from Ramazutti mid-stretch and pulled away late to win the $170,400 Louisville Handicap (gr.IIIT) at 12 furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf Saturday.
The Kentucky stewards have fined jockeys Elvis Trujillo and Kent Desormeaux $2,500 each for "misjudging the finish line" in the third race at Keeneland April 26.
Connections of American star Premium Tap gave the "thumbs up" following his final major workout before the US$6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on March 31.
The trip from California to South Florida behind him, Alvin Eisman and Bill Currin's Stormello tried the Gulfstream Park main track Friday morning for the first time ahead of his challenge in Saturday's $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).
Trainer Christophe Clement had the first two winners of Saturday's $75,000 Marshua's River for older fillies and mares on the Gulfstream Park grass, but not in the way most expected.
Edward P. Evans' favored homebred Christmas Kid won the first stakes race of her four-race career when taking the $100,000 Tropical Park Oaks by a half length over Perfect Motion on Monday at Calder Race Course.
Stormello rebounded from a disappointing try in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) six weeks ago to capture the $441,500 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) in a gutsy effort Saturday.
Friday's $572,000 Clark Handicap, run for the first time as a grade I race, went to the only grade I winner in the field -- by a bunch -- when favored Premium Tap left his rivals far behind leaving the Churchill Downs' eighth pole in nearly track record time.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux returned to Santa Anita Park Sunday to guide William Currin's 11-1 shot Stormello to victory in the $247,000 Norfolk Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 2-year-olds.
Saratoga Race Course's first running of The Woodward (gr. I) produced what is believed to be the highest winning odds in the prestigious stake's 53-year history when 31-1 shot Premium Tap edged Second of June by a half-length Saturday.
- By Claire Novak
Jockey Kent Desormeaux took off his Sunday mounts at Saratoga Race Course after he was involved in an automobile accident in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. According to Desormeaux's agent, Mike Sellito, the jockey was the passenger in a vehicle that collided with another car sometime late Saturday evening.
Monceaux Stable's Naissance Royale outfinished Ambitious Cat to win the $308,900 Nassau Stakes (Can-II) for fillies and mares Saturday at Woodbine over a soft turf course.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux guided favored Miraculous Miss to a well-timed victory over Regal Engagement in the $150,000 Comely (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on Aqueduct's main track Saturday.
Heavy favorite Sweetnorthernsaint, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, continued his fast development with an eye-catching 9 1/4-length win in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Saturday.
A field of ten 3-year-olds passed the entry box for Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course. With some serious graded stakes earnings and a May 6 date at Churchill Downs on the line, El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Cause to Believe alights on the Cicero, Ill., track looking for a third straight added-money score.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux is planning to move his tack to New York beginning on March 28 and ride on that circuit until late November, his agent, Jim Pegram, said Sunday.
Favored Harriett Lane rallied five wide coming across the dirt and overtook pacesetter Bettarun Fast in mid-stretch to win the $109,450 La Habra for 3-year-old fillies on the Santa Anita hillside turf course Sunday.
The British-bred Milk It Mick hit the front in the final furlong and held off a furious charge to win the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IT) on the Santa Anita turf Saturday for his first win since 2003.
Agent Ron Anderson, who formerly represented Jerry Bailey, and West Coast jockey Garrett Gomez announced their decision to work together Saturday after Gomez parted ways with Jim Pegram.
Multiple grade I winner Ticker Tape ended a nine-race losing streak Thursday as the 5-year-old mare edged slightly favored Movie Star in a tense stretch duel in Santa Anita's $81,350 Tuzla Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
Bob and Beverly Lewis' With Distinction prevailed in a driving three-horse finish and survived a jockey's claim of foul to emerge victorious in Monday's grade III, $112,100 El Conejo Handicap at Santa Anita.
Private World, within inches of suffering her first defeat, fought back at the wire under jockey Kent Desormeaux to win the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes for 2-year-old fillies by a nose over 12-1 shot True Xena on Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Riders from Louisiana joined with local jockeys to raise $25,168 for hurricane victims on Thursday night at the Meadowlands.
Top jockeys from across the country, including several born in Louisiana, will participate in the Katrina Invitational Jockey Challenge at Meadowlands the evening of Nov. 10. They're donating all fees earned to the Race Track Chaplaincy of America to benefit Louisiana horsemen affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Ten jockeys, including 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning jockey Mike Smith, are set to ride to benefit Louisiana horsemen in the Katrina Invitational Jockey Challenge Nov. 10 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Favored Geronimo, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, swooped late to get the nod over King Robyn and Jungle Prince Saturday in the $100,000 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita hillside turf course Saturday at the Oak Tree meeting.
Three jockeys have appealed their seven-day suspensions and $5,000 fines levied by the Churchill Downs stewards for wearing unapproved advertising in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and failing to comply with stewards' orders.
Three jockeys who appear to have worn unapproved advertising during the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) are expected at a hearing before Churchill Downs stewards May 21 in Louisville.
Jockey Gary Stevens will be the only rider attempting his fourth Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory this year as he takes the mount on Florida Derby (gr. I) runner-up Noble Causeway, trained by Nick Zito. If Stevens succeeds he will join the rank of Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker who had four victories from a record 26 Derby mounts.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux will ride occasionally at the current Hollywood Park meet but is doing so well in Japan that he will spend much of the spring and summer there.
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