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.
- 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 its bid for the 20-year franchise to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.
- By Claire Novak
Wednesday morning, the cameramen are in full swing at Saratoga. In the paddock, they cluster around for the Travers draw, tripods balanced like long-legged storks. In the winners' circle, they form an orderly line for Senator Bruno's conference on the fight against horse slaughter. Down near the rail, they lift cameras to shoulders and zoom in for local track reports.
It took Most Distinguished eight tries to score his first victory. Now, less than six months after finally securing a win, it seems he is on track to become one of the better 3-year-olds in the country.
- By Claire Novak
2007 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winning trainer Todd Pletcher will be honored by the Center for Disability Services at the 14th annual RJ Valente Siro's Cup at Siro's Restaurant in Saratoga Springs on the eve of opening day at Saratoga Race Course.
As post positions were drawn Wednesday for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the field finally settled in at seven runners after a few horsemen decided that the Belmont would be, then wouldn't be, a fine race in which to run their horses.
Thoroughbred racing is a sport of contrasting emotions, ranging from euphoria to despair and laced with a heavy dose of what might have beens. It often takes a special horse to bring all those emotions to the surface, and after watching the 132nd Preakness Stakes (gr. I), there is no doubt that Curlin is that kind of horse.
Trainer Nick Zito said it's "all systems go" for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) after C P West worked a half-mile at Belmont Park May 14. Meanwhile, Hard Spun, King of the Roxy, Xchanger, and Mint Slewlep all prepped for their run at the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Arthur B. Hancock III's Wanderin Boy made a successful return to the races Friday by scoring a 4 1/4-length gate-to-wire victory over Half Ours in the $112,300 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) on a sloppy track at rainy Churchill Downs.
Look past unknown jockeys, unbeaten starters, unfamiliar owners, and other contributors to this year's intriguing Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). More noticeable than the presence of uniqueness is the absence of three trainers who held the Triple Crown spotlight for several decades.
Kentucky Equine Humane Center, which officially opened its doors April 16, offers shelter and care for unwanted horses of all breeds. Located near Lexington, the organization is headed by president Staci Hancock and executive director Lori Neagle.
Live Oak Plantation's favored Hesanoldsalt repelled a mid-stretch challenge from Rehoboth and Dry Martini to secure his first stakes victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) on a sloppy track at Calder Race Course Saturday.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, runner-up in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, breezed a strong five furlongs Saturday at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), which will be run at the Louisville track on Nov. 4.
- By Ryan Conley
Prominent horsemen in a civil lawsuit involving alleged horse auction fraud are apparently taking initial steps toward an out-of-court settlement, according to documents recently filed in a Texas federal court.
The 88th running of the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) is a key match up between one of America's best 3-year-olds, Bernardini, and arguably Europe's best 3-year-old, Dylan Thomas.
Several top trainers will be heading down a synthetic path this winter, with Todd Pletcher sending a string of stakes horses to Hollywood Park, Nick Zito opening a winter barn at Keeneland, and Rusty Arnold setting up shop year-round at Keeneland.
Arthur B. Hancock III's even-money choice Wanderin Boy exploited his early speed to trounce the field in the $158,500 Brooklyn Breeders's Cup Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Belmont Park.
- By Vic Zast
Suzie O'Cain, the popular owner of Highcliff Farm in Delanson, N.Y., is trying to get horse owners to dress their jockeys in pink.
- By Tom LaMarra
Concerned Citizens for Saratoga Racing, a group that includes several prominent horsemen, has called on the state to make continuation of spring and fall training in Saratoga Springs, as well as submission of all expansion plans for Saratoga to local government for approval, required under the request for proposal to operate Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Belmont Park.
Seek Gold, 91-1 upset winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in his last start, arrived at Hollywood Park from Louisville on Wednesday afternoon with a new giant to slay – Lava Man in Saturday's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
The morning after Seek Gold's stunning upset in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) was, in the words of trainer Ron Moquett, "surreal."
The excitement of the upcoming third jewel of the Triple Crown highlights the shining careers of Thoroughbreds in their prime, but also conjures up the tender subject of what might happen to those runners once their careers have ended.
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