Not long after Curlin's majority owner Jess Jackson indicated the reigning Horse of the Year might show up at Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup after all, trainer Larry Jones stated that Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Proud Spell could be headed to California too. Jones, who previously said Proud Spell was unlikely for the Breeders' Cup, made the comments during a national media teleconference Sept. 16.
Proud Spell reasserted her position as the best 3-year-old filly in the land when she bettered Music Note in a stirring stretch drive to win the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) by a head at Saratoga Aug. 16.
Prohibitive favorite Proud Spell bounced back from a rough trip in the Mother Goose (gr. I) just two weeks ago to win the $500,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. I) in determined fashion July 12.
Trainer Larry Jones scratched the filly Eight Belles from the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and then proceeded to win the race with Proud Spell.
Trainer Larry Jones took it as a sign of better things to come when his Eight Belles drew the outside 12 post for the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but all was not lost for the Kentucky-born trainer when his Proud Spell drew post 8 in the 1 1/8-mile race for the lilies on the first Friday in May.
Should Eight Belles run in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands instead of the previous day's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), jockey Gabe Saez will have the mount, trainer Larry Jones said April 24.
They finished one-two in a Feb. 20 allowance race, separated by just a neck, and on March 29, Run Sully Run and Sporting Art will have a rematch in the $150,000 Bulleit Bourbon Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
Airdrie Stud's-homebred filly Proud Spell has been nominated to the Triple Crown. She is slated to make her next start against fillies in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 5 at Keeneland.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Proud Spell stamped herself as a top contender for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) by winning the 8.5-furlong Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) in 1:44.01, a shade faster than the 1:44.44 that Pyro ran in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II). She is the leading runner to date for the second-crop sire Proud Citizen. Considering Proud Citizen ran better at 3, more of his runners are expected to blossom this year. Keep an eye in particular on those horses whose dams have Northern Dancer blood.
Three days ago, trainer Larry Jones said he hoped Proud Spell would pressure Indian Blessing through the early lead in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). Although Brereton Jones' homebred Proud Citizen filly didn't exactly do that, she did manage to wear down the Eclipse Award winner and get her own score in the March 8 event in New Orleans.
Frizette Stakes (gr. I) winner Indian Blessing was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the $2-million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.
Grade II winners Early Flyer and Proud Citizen were represented by their first winners May 5.
Kentucky stallion Proud Citizen, a grade II winner and a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up, has gotten his first three mares in foal.
Proud Citizen, second in last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and third in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to champion War Emblem, has been retired and will stand for $12,500 live foal at Brereton and Libby Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.
Flaxman Stable homebred Aldebaran, winner of four of six stakes starts earlier this year, will end a seven-week layoff in Sunday's grade I, $250,000 Forego Handicap at Saratoga.
Storm Flag Flying report...Proud Citizen, Sightseek, Whitmore's Conn work in preparation for grade I starts at Belmont.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is ready for the relaxed atmosphere at Saratoga, while trainers Nick Zito and P. G. Johnson prepare Bird Town and Volponi for their major tasks ahead.
Baker, Cornstein and Mack's Proud Citizen, a disappointing eighth in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), turned in a sparkling five-furlong breeze Sunday in his first major training move since that race.
Grade I winners Aldebaran and Mineshaft expected to headline Saturday's contest at Churchill Downs, while Pat Day now has the mount on Perfect Drift.
Robert Baker, David Cornstein and William Mack's Proud Citizen, the runner-up to War Emblem in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, breezed five furlongs Monday in a quick :59.20 in his final prep for Saturday's Stephen Foster Handicap.
William S. Farish's homebred Mineshaft, winner of the Pimlico Special (gr. I), and Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran, winner of the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) and Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in his last two races, top the list of likely starters from a star-studded group of 32 horses nominated for Churchill Downs' $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Mineshaft, the likely favorite for the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 14, worked a strong six furlongs over a wet track Tuesday at Churchill Downs. The homebred son of A.P. Indy covered the distance over "sloppy" footing in 1:14 under exercise rider Annie Finney.
As Saturday's deadline for nominations to the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) draws closer, the possible field for the $750,000 race is becoming clearer. Among the horses who could start next in the June 14 race are Aldebaran, Full Mandate, Proud Citizen, and Tenpins.
William S. Farish's Mineshaft, an impressive winner of the Pimlico Special (gr. I) in his most recent start, breezed four furlongs at Churchill Downs on Tuesday as trainer Neil Howard prepares the colt for a run in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 14.
Flaxman Holding's homebred Aldebaran swept past the leaders entering the stretch and then held off a determined Saarland for a game victory in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on the Memorial Day card at Belmont Park.
The $200,000-added Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II), like most of Saturday's stakes races at the Louisville track, will feature a Bobby Frankel-trained morning line favorite in Flaxman Holdings' Aldebaran.
Proud Citizen underwent surgery on Monday to repair a fractured left front shin he suffered while finishing unplaced in the Belmont Stakes.
Surgery on a fractured shin in Proud Citizen's left front leg has been delayed. Dr. Stephen Selway postponed the operation, which was scheduled for July 1, because of several tiny fractures located near the main injury.
Proud Citizen, who exited the Belmont Stakes with a crack in his left shin, was resting comfortably in his stall Sunday morning. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the colt would likely miss 90-120 days of training.
Proud Citizen, who was vanned off the track after finishing fifth in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, has a cracked left shin, according to trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Proud Citizen, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness, concluded his serious training for the June 8 Belmont Stakes, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
Pat Day will ride Columbine Stable's Like A Hero in the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
Bob Baffert, trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, said on a national teleconference Thursday he is going to try to enjoy his third attempt at a Triple Crown sweep, and advised Magic Weisner's trainer Nancy Alberts to do the same.
Proud Citizen, second in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness, breezed an easy half-mile in :50 4/5 at Churchill Downs Sunday in preparation for the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
Owners Robert Baker, David Cornstein, and Bill Mack will donate their share of purse money earned by Proud Citizen in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to the Twin Towers Fund.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the two horses he saddled in the Preakness - Proud Citizen, who finished third, and Table Limit, who crossed the wire 11th- would likely run in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 8.
Who will challenge War Emblem in the Belmont (gr. I) and try to stop his Triple Crown bid? Wayne Lukas said Sunday morning that Proud Citizen, who was second in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and third in the Preakness (gr. I), will show up for sure.
War Emblem will have shot to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner following his dramatic victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico. Following a wire-to-wire score in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) two weeks ago, jockey Victor Espinoza rated War Emblem off a quick pace, got to the lead on the turn, then held off a strong rally by Maryland-bred Magic Weisner to win by three-quarters of a length.
Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem took the second leg of the Triple Crown when he strode off to win Saturdya's Preakness Stakes over longshot Magic Weisner.
A war zone. That's what posts 8 through 12 are going to be in Saturday's Preakness Stakes, as a five-horse stampede is going to come charging out of the gate and down the Pimlico stretch for the first time. And it's all the result of Bob Baffert and Company choosing post 8, resulting in the connections of the other speed horses to all select outside posts.
On the eve of Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the buzz around Baltimore's Pimlico Racecourse is which horses will be on the lead or pressing the pace so that War Emblem does not get an uncontested victory as he did in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey aboard, Preakness Stakes favorite Medaglia d'Oro sizzled three furlongs in :35 at New York's Belmont Park as he prepared for Saturday's second leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland.
What a difference a day makes. With the arrival of two planeloads of horses from Louisville Wednesday morning, the joint is suddenly jumping. Just like that, there are horses everywhere. And Bob Baffert is here, and Wayne Lukas is here, and John Ward and Kenny McPeek are here.
Proud Citizen, runner-up to War Emblem in the 128th Kentucky Derby, breezed a half-mile in :47 4/5 at Churchill Downs Sunday in preparation for the May 18 Preakness Stakes.
Neil Drysdale arrived in New York Thursday evening to begin Sunday Break's preparation for the the 127th Preakness Stakes. Drysdale said he will not make a decision whether or not to run the son of Forty Niner until he observes him over the next several days and watches him train.
The first three finishers in the Kentucky Derby returned to the track for the first time on Wednesday.
This was certainly not one of the most inspiring Derbys. In addition, we blew it, pure and simple. We were sniffing up the right tree, but lost our scent at the last minute. In the end, however, the best horse did win.
With only the top two Kentucky Derby finishers and fourth-place Medaglia d'Oro confirmed for the Preakness (gr. I), a crowd of new shooters are expected for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
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