If his last race is any indication, Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air should be set up for a big run in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) on March 14 at Gulfstream Park, a race that has been shortened from 1 3/16 miles to one mile this season.
Legends Racing, which was 2008's biggest-spending new shopper at Thoroughbred yearling sales, is preparing for its inaugural season at the racetrack. According to Olin Gentry, one of the venture's founders, the stable's 39 horses have been divided equally among Legends' three trainers--Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, and Nick Zito--and are in Florida being prepared for competition.
The Cigar Mile cast a dark shadow on the racing world with the tragic death of Wanderin Boy, who shattered the sesamoids in his left-front leg shortly after turning into the stretch.
This week, Jason and Tom analyze the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on November 28. Also Brisnet's handicapping expert "The Wizard" gives his "Spotlight Play" for Fair Grounds Race 8 on November 28.
Like a fine wine, Commentator seems to get better with age. And on Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs, Tracy Farmer's remarkable 7-year-old gelding will try to cap off a terrific season when he takes on seven rivals in the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II).
Michael Amo's innovative idea for Thoroughbred racing's first organization dedicated solely to fans started innocently enough.
Frank Calabrese's Casey's On Call puts his undefeated record on the line Nov. 1 when he faces seven juveniles in the $100,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Two-time Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Commentator could end his successful racing season at Churchill Downs with a bid for the 134th running of the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) Nov. 28.
Vineyard Haven, Cribnote, Munnings and Break Water Edison, the top four finishers, respectively, in the Hopeful Stakes (gr.I) last month at Saratoga, meet again in the $400,000 Champagne Stakes (gr.I) at Belmont Park Oct. 4.
The Nick Zito-trained duo of Da'Tara and Anak Nakal heads the field for the $350,000 grade II Meadowlands Cup Oct. 3 at Meadowlands.
Why should this year's incarnation of the MassCap be any different than the other 65 events contested beneath the deafening roar of overhead planes from nearby Logan Airport?
Commentator, a two-time grade I winner for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, leads a field of seven for the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap Sept. 20 at Suffolk Downs.
A year ago, Larry Jones saddled Proud Spell to victory in the Matron Stakes (gr. II). Jones can only hope his entry in this year's Matron, On the Menu, is destined for the same kind of success. On Sept. 13, she tries stakes company for the first time in the prestigious $250,000 event for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont.
When the second session of the Keeneland September yearling sale ended Sept. 9, Olin Gentry and trainer Bob Baffert of Legends Racing rushed to the barn area to look at more horses and get ready for the next day's selling. It's been a busy auction, so far, for the new racing venture, whose formation was announced just prior to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in June when a presentation was made to potential investors in New York.
Some leading New York trainers said a ban on toe grabs will help level the playing field, but they're not all convinced the shoes are responsible for catastrophic breakdowns.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Da' Tara fired a bullet work Aug. 15, and along with Jim Dandy (gr. II) winner Macho Again, head the likely field for the Aug. 23 Travers (gr. I).
Legends Racing made a powerful debut as a Thoroughbred buyer at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, which ended its two-night run Aug. 5 in New York.
Long Branch (gr. III) winner Truth Rules will miss the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 3 due to a fever, and will be replaced by Coal Play, trainer Nick Zito said Wednesday
Da' Tara, who shocked the nation when he wired the field at odds of 38-1 in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and denied Big Brown the Triple Crown, returns to the racetrack July 27 in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga.
Champion War Pass is continuing to heal from a fracture to a sesamoid suffered in the Wood Memorial (gr. I). Plans for return to racetrack still up in the air.
Trainers Bob Baffert, Wayne Lukas, and Nick Zito will be involved in a new buying, racing, and selling venture.
Four years after Birdstone upset Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid, trainer Nick Zito would love to play spoiler again, as he will send out Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anal Nakal in the Belmont in hopes of rejecting Big Brown's bid for racing immortality.
As of May 26, New York Racing Association Stakes Coordination Andrew Byrnes expects the Belmont Stakes field to be: Big Brown, Anak Nakal, Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Icabad Crane, Macho Again, Tale of Ekati, and Tomcito.
Entrants make their way to Pimlico; Zito voices concerns for horses and racing.
Colt will be re-X-rayed after two months.
Anak Nakal breezes a half-mile in :46.60.
Cool Coal Man, who ran ninth in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), worked a half mile in :47 2/5 under exercise rider Megan Smillie at Churchill Downs April 24.
In spite of the shocking news of the Triple Crown trail-ending injury to 2007 juvenile champion male War Pass and the apparent decision to forego the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) for a run in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) by the connections of Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner Behindatthebar, a 20-horse field is still being predicted for the 134th Run for the Roses May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Robert LaPenta's War Pass, the champion 2-year-old of 2007 and winner of the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade I) at Monmouth Park, has suffered a leg injury that has knocked the colt out of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm has purchased 51% interest in Richard Brand's Biker Boy, the 3-year-old Nick Zito trainee whose March 16 debut resulted in a 93 Beyer and a 3 Ragozin number.
Halsey Minor's 3-year-old Fierce Wind drilled a bullet half-mile in 46 4/5 over a fast track at Palm Meadows March 24 for trainer Nick Zito in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park March 29.
Bob LaPenta and Nick Zito have always taken pride in their honesty, and with the nightmare of War Pass' shocking performance in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) still causing them sleepless nights, LaPenta feels the need to address his comment after the race that the colt had a fever earlier in the week.
Stone Bird will try to pull off the upset in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 15 at Oaklawn Park. Making his stakes debut, he will have to take down eight rivals, including Z Fortune and Anak Nakal.
Tracy Farmer's Commentator proved to be back in the top form he was nearly three years ago when he won the 2005 Whitney Handicap (gr. I), this time trouncing five rivals to take the $200,000 Richter Scale Sprint Handicap (gr. II) by 13 3/4-lengths March 8 at Gulfstream Park.
Juvenile champion War Pass was impressive in his 3-year-old debut Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park, looking sharp in a one-mile allowance race against four overmatched foes.
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.
Robert LaPenta's Eclipse Award-winning War Pass, champion 2-year-old in 2007, will make his first start since an emphatic victory in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) when he runs in a $60,000 allowance event at Gulfstream Park Feb. 24.
The Nick Zito trainee won his stakes debut Feb. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Champion 2-year-old War Pass drilled six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 at Palm Meadows Saturday in preparation for his 3-year-old debut, which could come in an allowance race at Gulfstream Feb. 23.
Silver Edition, a colt by Silver Deputy and the main Kentucky Derby hopeful for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, takes on six challengers in the Swale Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 2 at Gulfstream Park.
It used to be so simple. Every step horses took on the Kentucky Derby trail was on good old Mother Earth. Now, we have no idea what some horses are putting their feet into.
War Pass capped off his perfect season Jan. 21 with championship honors as the leading 2-year-old male.
Hall of Fame trainer has Cool Coal Man and Cool Play in Jan. 5 seven- furlong test at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Nick Zito saddled the winner of the $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24, but it wasn't the horse everyone expected.
Though making just his second start since February, Ontario-bred Buffalo Man could be the one to beat in the $100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 24 at Aqueduct.
As trainer of Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner War Pass, Nick Zito has one sure-fire Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender in his barn. On Nov. 24, the Hall of Famer will find out if he has another legitimate threat, as he sends out highly-touted Cool Coal Man in the $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), a 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-olds on the main track at Churchill Downs.
You know it's early when you start carving into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before your Thanksgiving turkey, but this is a good time to start evaluating the 2-year-olds and get a jump on this week's grade II Remsen and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and grade III Hollywood Prevue.
Once more, War Pass has proven that no one can run with him. Robert LaPenta's undefeated colt set a fast pace on a sloppy Monmouth Park strip and took command early on the far turn, finishing up nicely to register a 4 3/4-length in the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 27.
The high probability of rain for Breeders' Cup weekend has led trainers to make some decisions on shoeing.
- By Claire Novak
Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, a group that includes several prominent horsemen, Aug. 23 announced their decision to support the New York Racing Association in that organization's bid for the 20-year franchise to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.
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