Pico Central, who now stands in Korea, notched his first winner June 19 when the 2-yer-old filly Marquet Madness won the sixth race at Monmouth Park by seven lengths in her first start.
Trainer Paulo Lobo, who has done nothing but impress the few times he's raced in New York, will be relocating his stable to Belmont Park from Southern California at the end of this month.
While Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego settles into his temporary home at Churchill Downs in advance of the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), his trainer, Paulo Lobo, is logging some serious frequent flyer miles between Louisville and his base in California.
After doing all of his running on Southern California's synthetic tracks, favored Gayego proved he has no problem with a conventional dirt surface, either. The Paulo Lobo-trained invader repelled Z Fortune in the stretch run for a three-quarter-length victory in the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Victor Espinoza had a nice fallback when Cobalt Blue was withdrawn from Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), instead riding Molengao to a convincing 4 1/2-length win in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
TNT Stud's homebred Molengao altered course mid-stretch before getting up in the final couple of strides to capture the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap by a head over the stubborn Ball Four at Santa Anita Sunday.
Roger Olguin, agent for apprentice jockey sensation Martin Garcia, had a busy first morning on the Hollywood Park backstretch Wednesday. He booked six mounts for Friday, Garcia's first program at the Southern California track.
Quero Quero, a California grade II winner and half-sister to two-time champion sprinter Housebuster, has been retired from racing and is booked to A.P. Indy.
Robert N. Clay and Satish Sanan announced that prominent North American sprinter and miler Pico Central has been retired from racing to stand at Padua Stables near Summerfield, Fla.
Brazilian-bred Ace Blue, ridden by David Flores, battled the pacesetter Ender's Shadow and Rene Douglas all the way through a sensational stretch drive, emerging with a head victory in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Trainer Paulo Lobo says Pico Central, listed by British bookmakers as the 10-11 favorite for Saturday's $2-million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba, appears to have fully recovered from a hoof injury suffered earlier this year.
Jeff Mullins' Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) hope Choctaw Nation and stable companion My Cousin Matt, whose target is the Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), turned in their final serious pieces of work Monday at Nad Al Sheba in preparation for Saturday's big race card.
So often a disappointment when on the verge of stardom, Lion Tamer jumped up and surprised in the 16th running of the $350,000 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct on Saturday.
Pico Central and Kela, the two best sprinters based in California, have traveled across the country to meet at Aqueduct in New York's final grade I race of 2004, Saturday's $350,000 Cigar Mile. The Cigar Mile will be the featured event on a 10-race card that includes a pair of grade II juvenile stakes, the Remsen and Demoiselle.
Gary Tanaka's Pico Central disposed of Cajun Beat and early leader Speightstown with less than a furlong left and drew away to an easy four-length victory in the $500,000 Vosburgh (gr. I) for top sprinters at Belmont Park.
He made a splash as the conditioner of the 2002 Eclipse Award-winning filly Farda Amiga. Now Brazilian trainer Paulo Lobo has what could be the nation's top sprinter in Pico Central, who competes in the Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Sunday.
Trainer Paulo Lobo said Wednesday that a cut Pico Central suffered on a foreleg while winning the Metropolitan Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park on May 31 is healing well, and the 4-year-old Brazilian-bred colt is nearing a return to the track.
Upset-minded Lovely Rafaela would not be denied in a grueling stretch duel, nosing rival Western Hemisphere in the $184,925 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.
Megahertz and Dimitrova, winners of the first two American Oaks, will hook up in Monday's $350,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Gary A. Tanaka's Brazilian-bred Pico Central drew away from heavily favored Strong Hope in a grueling stretch drive Saturday to win the $350,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Aqueduct by 1 1/4 length.
Brazilian-bred Pico Central, ignored at odds of 43-1, led every step of the way and posted a two-length victory over Publication in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) for sprinters Sunday at Santa Anita Park.
Thanks to a well-timed ride from Tyler Baze, Old Friends Inc.'s Quero Quero hit the front at just the correct moment to upset favored Atlantic Ocean by a neck in Saturday's $215,950 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Hollywood Park turf.
There is life after Farda Amiga for Paulo Lobo. The Brazilian-born trainer and his wife, Maria Carolina, remained jubilant in Barn 53 at Hollywood Park Friday after Brazilian import Viernes posted a four-length victory and a $51.60 win mutuel in the $72,900 Waya Handicap for fillies and mares on turf Thursday.
Farda Amiga, a leading contender for 3-year-old filly championship honors, has been retired, trainer Paulo Lobo announced from his barn at Hollywood Park Thursday.
Three trainers will make their first starts in a Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship when the gates open for the Distaff (gr. I). But none of them feel the weight of the championship because they have so much of their confidence in their horses.
Citing a desire to give his star filly a break, trainer Bobby Frankel said Sunday morning that beaten Alabama favorite You will not race again this year.
All around her in the winner's circle at Saratoga Race Course, the chanting continued. "Fly Farda Amiga. Fly Farda Amiga. Fly Farda Amiga." At that point, late in the afternoon on Aug. 17, Farda Amiga had already flown past You and Allamerican Bertie in the stretch to win the 122nd Alabama Stakes (gr. I).
Saratoga Notebook: Left Bank's Recovery Continues; Buddha Nears Return; Farda Amiga Seeks Alabama; Shopping for Love's Fan Club
Left Bank continues to recover from emergency abdominal surgery, trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday. The multiple graded stakkes winner was stricken Saturday morning.
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