There was no unanimity on reactions to the April 2 announcement by Keeneland that the iconic Lexington track would replace its synthetic Polytrack surface with a state-of-the-art dirt track later this year.
The Besilu Stables Florida Derby remains a strong possibility for surprise Swales Stakes (gr. II) winner Spot, Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito said March 19, with a decision likely following an upcoming workout.
It was the year a major race sponsorship went from booze to beds. And though the partnership lasted only one year--it was cut short--it played at least a small role in getting Thoroughbred racing to think outside the box.
Joel Rosario, who rode General a Rod to a victory in the Gulfstream Park Derby Jan. 1, will be back aboard the Roman Ruler colt in his next start.
Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin examine the Santa Anita Handicap field, the history and memorable horses. Steve and Lenny recap the Gotham Stakes, rivalries, Del Mar's dirt and interview trainer Nick Zito about Spot. watch video
Making his initial start for trainer Nick Zito, Spot collared weakening No Nay Never in the drive and bounded away to a 2 1/2-length win in the $200,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) March 1 at Gulfstream Park.
The last crop of Lane's End Farm's champion and leading sire A.P. Indy turns 3 this year.
Nevada Kid went to the lead and was never headed in the $192,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream Dec. 7, wrapping up a solid day of racing that featured eight events worth a total of $1 million at the South Florida oval.
Multiple grade II winner Mucho Macho Man, 2012 Travers Stakes (gr. I) dead-heat winner Alpha, and Fast Falcon were all on the worktab July 27 at Saratoga, tuning up for the Aug. 3 Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I).
Forty Tales and Declan's Warrior meet again after 1-2 finish in the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) June 8.
Trainer Nick Zito reflects on what Saratoga means to him. Nick tells his story of the 2004 Travers with Birdstone, The Cliff's Edge and Marylou Whitney. watch video
Last Gunfighter has won six in a row, including the Pimlico Special (gr. III) last time out. On July 6 he looks to make it seven when he takes on a compact field including multi-millionare Flat Out.
Lucky Shamrock Stable's Declan's Warrior will try to extend his win streak to four races when he starts in what appears to be a strong edition of the $400,000 Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) June 8 at Belmont Park.
In what has proved to be a robust season for 2-year-olds in training sales, buyers continued to demonstrate a willingness to spend on quality juvenile prospects during the final session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale.
A familiar name appeared on the worktab at Calder Casino & Race Course on May 5: dual grade I-winning millionaire Jackson Bend is back in training.
Outsider Declan's Warrior, reserved off a torrid pace duel, ran down Clearly Now in the last strides to capture the $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) on the Wood Memorial undercard at Aqueduct April 6.
Jacks or Better Farm's Fort Loudon earned his first victory since last July with a determined rail bid in the $150,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
Donald Dizney's Bahamian Squall will go up against open company including Silverton Hill's Swagger Jack in the $150,000 Gulfstream Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
Dialed In, last year's Florida Derby (gr. I) winner and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite, has been retired from racing and will stand at Darby Dan.
Multiple grade I winner Jackson Bend, who raced for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito and owners Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei of Jacks or Better Farm, has been retired to stand for $5,000 at Journeyman Stud in 2013.
Robert LaPenta's 3-year-old colt Easter Gift proved best in the Sept. 3 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III) at Parx Racing when he drew off in the final furlong to win the mile-and-70 yard contest in the slop.
Jackson Bend will get the chance to defend his title in the $500,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sept. 1, according to Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito.
Though it seemed doubtful 11 days ago, the resilient Jackson Bend was entered in the $500,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) to be contested Sept. 1 at Saratoga Race Course.
Alpha and Golden Ticket, forever linked after their historic draw in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 25, could meet again in another $1 million race, the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Parx Racing Sept. 22.
Multiple grade I winner Jackson Bend appeared to be feeling fine Aug. 19 following an eventful morning on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course in New York the day before.
Multiple grade I winner Jackson Bend was involved in a mishap the morning of Aug. 18 on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course, but appears to have sustained no serious injuries.
Alpha turned in his final serious work for the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 17, while Fast Falcon also breezed. Neck 'n Neck is expected to turn in his final preparations Aug. 19 or 20.
Quick Wit, who won the off-the-turf running of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (gr. II) at Saratoga Aug. 10, remains an outside possibility for the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 25.
Dual grade 1 winner Jackson Bend breezed a half-mile over the Oklahoma training track on the morning of Aug. 16, covering the distance in :49.33 as he preps for the $500,000 Forego (gr. I) Sept. 1.
- By Claire Novak
'The little horse that could,' as Jackson Bend has affectionately come to be known, will start July 20 in the $100,000 James Marvin Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course read blog
Defending winner Jackson Bend looks for a repeat July 20 in the $100,000 James Marvin Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga Race Course. As usual, he'll have to tangle with a giant to get the job done.
For 3-year-old runners unsuccessful on the Triple Crown trail, the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park offers an opportunity to get back on track for the summer season.
Unbeaten Easter Gift makes his inital foray into graded stakes company for trainer Nick Zito in the $100,000 Pegasus (gr. III) at Monmouth Park June 17.
Stay Thirsty, the 2011 Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner, breezed a quick five furlongs over the Belmont Park training track May 11 as he points to a summer campaign in New York for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Jackson Bend, the longest shot in the field, held off a flying even-money choice Caleb's Posse in the final strides to prevail in the $400,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 7.
Grade I winner Jackson Bend is to join what is shaping up as a powerful lineup for the $400,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 7.
Kelly Breen indicated early in the week that Pants On Fire was more than ready for his first start since late July, and the 4-year-old colt confirmed that March 3 at Gulfstream Park when winning by more than four lengths.
Robert LaPenta's Dialed In, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) last year, is to make his 2012 season debut in a one-mile allowance test at Gulfstream Park March 3.
TOBA will hold a Thoroughbred ownership seminar Thursday, March 22, at Gulfstream Park and a pedigree and conformation clinic Sunday, March 25, at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla.
Motor City, a 3-year-old son of Street Sense and winner of last fall's Iroquois Stakes (gr. II), worked five furlongs in 1:01.88 at Palm Meadows Training Center Feb. 23. The bullet at the trip was recorded by Dialed In.
With a patient John Velazquez guiding him, Jackson Bend opened up his 2012 campaign in style with a sharp victory in the $100,000 Hal's Hope (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Jackson Bend, who reignited his career in the second half of 2011, will try to begin his 5-year-old campaign on the right note when he leads a field of nine in the $100,000 Hal's Hope Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 14 at Gulfstream.
Ice Box, a grade I winner and second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been retired from racing to stand at Calumet Farm near Lexington.
Trainer Nick Zito said the inaugural Gulfstream Park Derby Jan. 1 is under consideration for Casual Trick, a son of Bernardini who broke his maiden impressively in his second career start.
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Dialed In, on the sidelines since the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in May, is back in serious training for Nick Zito at Palm Meadows.
Strike the Gold, the 1991 Kentucky Derby winner, was euthanized at Karacabey Stud Farm in Turkey Dec. 13, it was confirmed by the Turkish Jockey Club. The 23-year-old son of Alydar had been the oldest living Derby winner.
Recovered from knee surgery this summer, grade I winner Morning Line has joined the John Shirreffs stable at Hollywood Park, according to the track's publicity office.
Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei's Jackson Bend continued his preparations for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) with another quick work on the Saratoga training track Oct. 27.
Prominent owners and trainers are stepping up to the plate to support New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program by pledging a percentage of their purse earnings from this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei's Jackson Bend comes from off the pace to win the seven-furlong Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga in 1:22.08.
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