Argentinian-bred Ever Rider, looking to follow the path taken by Calidoscopio, heads a field of 10 along with millionaire Pool Play in the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon (gr. II) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
On the final Saturday of Churchill Downs' "Homecoming" meet, the Louisville track will offer up a competitive field of nine 3-year-olds in the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) and the first edition of the Homecoming Classic Stakes.
One of the gems on Churchill Downs' new September meet schedule will serve as a well-timed prep for Fort Larned as he prepares for a defense of his 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) victory.
The inaugural Homecoming Classic on Sept. 28 at Churchill Downs still has reigning Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) winner Fort Larned at the top, but Successful Dan will bypass the race.
Sensible Lady will try to pick up her third stakes win of the season, while grade I winner Pool Play will try to get untracked when the two multiple stakes winners start in stakes Sept. 2 at Parx Racing.
Riding the River, winner of the the King Edward Stakes (Can-IIT) in a blanket finish one month ago, is the 5-2 morning-line choice to register a repeat victory in the $200,000 Nijinksy Stakes (Can-IIT) July 21 at Woodbine.
Since Woodbine Race Course inaugurated the Singspiel Stakes (Can-IIIT) in 2005, the 1 1/2-mile turf event has been dominated by trainer Roger Attfield, who will seek to extend his win total to six July 7 .
- By Tom LaMarra
Tom LaMarra and Claire Novak handicap the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Can Ron the Greek win again? watch video
Earners of a combined $9.5 million will line up including defending winner Ron the Greek, Breeders' Cup Classic victor Fort Larned, impressive Alysheba Stakes winner Take Charge Indy, and Ben Ali victor Successful Dan.
In his final serious preparation for the June 15 Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (gr. I), Fort Larned breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 over Churchill Downs' muddy main track June 10.
Four contenders for the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by Abu Dhabi (gr. I), including top-weighted Successful Dan, worked June 8 for the upcoming 1 1/8-mile race at Churchill Downs.
Successful Dan worked a strong six furlongs over the Keeneland Polytrack June 1 after trainer Charles LoPresti changed his mind about vanning to Churchill Downs due to expected showers and thunderstorms.
Pool Play will try to add a graded stakes victory on turf to a career resume that includes graded stakes scores on dirt and synthetic surfaces in the $150,000 Elkhorn Stakes (gr. II) April 25 at Keeneland.
- By Tom LaMarra
Tom LaMarra and Pete Denk handicap the loaded Donn Handicap field. watch video
Grade I winners, at ages 8 and 9, respectively, face talented field at Gulfstream.
Favored Csaba ran his stakes winning streak to four and likely stamped his ticket to next month's Donn Handicap (gr. I) with his victory in the $100,000 Hal's Hope (gr. III) Jan. 13 at Gulfstream Park.
Csaba is the best he's ever been, and if he sails through the Hal's Hope Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 13, he'll punch his ticket to his first grade I stakes attempt in the $500,000 Donn Handicap on Feb. 9.
Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) winner Pool Play was scratched from the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) the morning of the race, but not due to tendon issues similar to those he has battled in the past.
Claire and Frank preview the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 23. Watch Video
In his final career start, classic winner Shackleford will try to add one more highlight Nov. 23 in a compelling edition of the Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Potential Clark Handicap (gr. I) highweight Shackleford breezed at Churchill Downs Nov. 17; a decision will be made Nov. 19 regarding his final start. Clark contenders Bourbon Courage and Cease were also on the worktab.
Game On Dude was named the 125-pound highweight for the $400,000-added Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs Nov. 23, but is not expected to run. The likely highweight could be Shackleford.
Nominations for five graded stakes events to be run closing week at Churchill Downs were released Nov. 10. Headlining 158 runners are Clark contenders Shackleford, Game on Dude, Pool Play, Take Charge Indy, and Coil.
Bill Farish Jr.'s Pool Play will be pointed toward the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs, but the 7-year-old might not be the only Clark starter for trainer Mark Casse.
Janis R. Whitham's Fort Larned led from gate to wire and held off a sustained stretch bid by Mucho Macho Man to win the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) before a crowd of 55,123 at Santa Anita Park Nov. 3.
Game On Dude could put himself atop the favorites list for Horse of the Year with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
- By Ron Mitchell
Trainer Mark Casse talks about Classic contender Pool Play and his other Breeders' Cup horses. Watch Video
Steve looks at Classic horses, and shares some Breeders' Cup photos. read blog
The connections of Pool Play figured last year the horse wouldn't race again because of a tendon injury, but given time and sharp training by Mark Casse, the horse has made it to the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Pool Play won for the first time since suffering a tendon tear last year, and picked a good race to do it. The 7-year-old son of Silver Deputy took the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) at Hawthorne Oct. 6.
Pin Oak Stable's homebred Alternation, winner of five of six starts this year, will make his first start in almost two months when he carries top weight in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup.
Outsider Middie spurted away from the field in upper stretch to post a 3 3/4-length victory under jockey Francisco Torres in the $150,000 Washington Park Handicap in track-record time over Polytrack at Arlington Park Sept 1.
Mister Marti Gras goes for a repeat victory in the $150,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) as a co-highweight at 119 pounds Sept. 1 on the Arlington Park Polytrack surface.
Alpha Bettor produced a 23-1 upset in the $152,202 Seagram Cup (Can-III) when he edged City Wolf by a half-length for his first stakes victory Aug. 4 at Woodbine.
James Street is back to defend his title in the $150,000 Seagram Cup (Can-III) against six opponents over the Polytrack Aug. 4 at Woodbine.
Bill Farish Jr.'s Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) winner Pool Play has been diagnosed with a season-ending injury that will likely mark the end of his career, trainer Mark Casse confirmed July 21.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Making his dirt debut, and running in a grade I event for only the second time, Pool Play won the Stephen Foster to become a player in the older male division.
Proven on dirt after his 36-1 upset in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 18, synthetic track specialist Pool Play is aiming for similarly lucrative spots on his unaccustomed surface, trainer Mark Casse said.
Favorites, upsets, Arabians, and more defined Stephen Foster Day 2011. View Slideshow
William S. Farish Jr.'s Pool Play, making his first start on dirt in his 28th career start, pulled a 36-1 shocker in the $561,300 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 18 at Churchill Downs.
Eleven are scheduled to compete in the grade I Stephen Foster. Can you predict the order of finish? Predict the Order
Nearly six months into the season, the handicap division is still looking for a clear-cut leader. With a breakout performance in the Stephen Foster Handicap June 18, there is an opportunity for someone to assume that role.
Nine-year-old Musketier defended his title in the $150,000 Elkhorn, as he rallied from off the pace to score by 1 1/4 lengths in the closing day feature April 29 at Keeneland.
The top four finishers of last month's Mac Diamida (gr. IIT), including the winner, Prince Will I Am, return to face each other in the $150,000 Pan American (gr. IIIT) March 26 at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 3/4-mile distance of the $176,816 Valedictory Stakes proved no problem for odds-on favorite Pool Play, who rallied wide in the stretch en route to a handy victory on closing day of the 167-day Woodbine meet Dec. 5.
Favored Southdale squeezed through an opening at the top of the stretch and cruised to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $170,065 Durham Cup (Can-III) on Woodbine's Polytrack Oct. 3.
Pool Play and Palladio, the last two winners of the $150,000 Durham Cup (Can-III), are both back for another try in the 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race Oct. 3 at Woodbine.
Seven evenly-matched starters, including Marsh Side, Spice Route, and Windward Islands are set to contest the $250,000 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) Aug. 22 at Woodbine.
Sand Cove, the odds-on favorite in a four-horse field, captured his sixth career stakes event in wire-to-wire fashion by winning the Seagram Cup Stakes (Can-III) Aug. 8 at Woodbine.
Five-time stakes winner Sand Cove is the 121-pound highweight in a field of five older horses entered in the Aug. 8 Seagram Cup Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine.
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