The 21-day fall meet at Churchill Downs, the first at the historic track since the completion of its $121 million renovation and the first since 2002 that was not limited by construction, concluded on Nov. 26 with gains in both on-track and total wagering and on-track attendance.
The 23-year-old Rafael Bejarano and 46-year-old veteran Mark Guidry rode to a tie in the seesaw race for the fall riding title at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
Therecomesatiger, ridden by Mark Guidry, passed early leader T.D. Vance in the stretch and drew away to a 1 3/4length victory in Sunday's $174,900 Commonwealth Turf for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Rafael Bejarano brought overlooked Catcominatcha through heavy traffic to prevail over a game High Cotton by a neck in the $116,700 Iroquois (gr. III) for 2-year-olds going a mile Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Keeneland reported Tuesday that attendance was up and on-track and all-source wagering fell slightly during the 17-day fall meet that ended Saturday at the Lexington, Ky. track.
Yankee Master carried meet leading jockey Rafael Bejarano to his fourth win of the afternoon in the $125,000 Woodford Reserve Bourbon Stakes for 2-year-olds Friday at Keeneland.
A nicely matched cast of 11 3-year-old fillies has passed the entry box to contest Keeneland's $125,000 Valley View Stakes (gr. IIIT) Friday. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens stays aboard Martin Schwartz' French stakes winner Asi Siempre, grade I-placed already in this country and coming in off an impressive score over the course earlier in the meet.
Sweet Talker, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, prevailed by a nose in a three-horse photo finish Saturday at Keeneland to give trainer Helen Pitts her first graded stakes win in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT).
Twenty-three-year-old Rafael Bejarano won the 1,000th race of his career on Thursday when he piloted the Greg Foley-trained Northern Vacation to victory in the first race at Keeneland.
In his first start since February, the Chilean-bred outsider Host came from last on the backstretch to collar Vanderlin in deep stretch for a neck victory in the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland Saturday.
Favored Silverfoot, ridden patiently by Rafael Bejarano, exploited an opening along the inside in the stretch run and pulled away for a 6 3/4-length romp in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) on the unique Kentucky Downs grass layout Saturday.
Even-money choice Shaniko, given a confident hand ride by Rafael Bejarano, disposed of pacesetter Ball Four approaching the furlong pole and drew off to a commanding 4 1/2-length victory in the $342,500 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Saturday.
Tracy Farmer's favored Sun King overcame his outside post in a 14-horse field to easily win the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) under Rafael Bejarano.
Rafael Bejarano, who was sidelined with a fractured ankle less than one week into the Saratoga meet, will return to racing this weekend. The 24-year-old jockey received clearance to begin galloping horses in Kentucky on Tuesday and worked several Wednesday morning.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who ranks among the top riders by earnings this year, will miss at least six weeks of competition as a result of a fractured ankle suffered in a gate accident prior to Monday's fifth race at Saratoga.
Leading Kentucky rider Rafael Bejarano was injured in a starting gate accident at Saratoga prior to Monday's fifth race. While x-rays showed no breakage in his right foot, doctors stated that ligament damage is possible.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, fitted with blinkers by trainer Nick Zito, went gate to wire to win the $300,000 Leonard Richards (gr. III) for 3-year-olds by 5 3/4 lengths Sunday at Delaware Park.
Graded stakes winners Sun King and High Limit highlight a tough, compact field of seven in Saturday's $300,000 Leonard Richards Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park. The 1 1/16-mile contest marks the first start for the duo since finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Riders from the Jockey School of Peru met at River Downs with their former instructor Monday to honor the achievements of Rafael Bejarano and raise money for their alma mater.
The spring meet at Churchill Downs, the first race meet since the completion of its ambitious $121 million renovation, ended its 52-day run on Sunday with double-digit gains in on-track attendance and wagering and a slight decline in off-track betting.
Several of the top jockeys in the country will converge on River Downs in Ohio July 11 for the first "Peruvian All-Stars" challenge to benefit the Jockey School of Peru.
Favored Adieu dueled with Folklore from the break and drew away for a 1 ¼-length victory Sunday afternoon in the $109,500 Astoria for 2-year-old fillies at 5 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park.
A field of seven 3-year-olds passed the entry box for Saturday's $200,000 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes on Churchill Downs' Stephen Foster (gr. I) Day card. Derby Trial Stakes winner over the strip Don't Get Mad, and WinStar Farm's Unbridled Energy top the field set to run 1 1/16 miles.
Round Pond, who has been out of action since winning the April 15 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, highlights a solid field of six 3-year-old fillies entered in Saturday's $250,000 Acorn (gr. I), going one mile at Belmont Park.
Pinpoint wanted the lead and Rafael Bejarano made sure he got it, controlling the pace and having plenty left for the stretch run in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes Saturday at Pimlico.
A field of nine 3-year-olds passed the entry box for Saturday's Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard at Pimlico Race Course. Highweight Killenaule, third in last year's Remsen Stakes (gr. II) behind winner Rockport Harbor, and undefeated Pinpoint, under the second-high impost, lead the field.
Although High Fly will have to wait until Tuesday morning to earn his way into the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) field during a scheduled half-mile workout at Churchill Downs, stablemates Noble Causeway and Sun King punched their tickets to Pimlico Race Course after pleasing trainer Nick Zito with their respective five-furlong workouts Monday morning
Jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Calvin Borel were thrown from their mounts in a spill during Thursday's third race at Churchill Downs, with Bejarano taken to a Louisville hospital for observation.
Keeneland's spring meet ended April 29 with record total attendance and the second highest on-track mutuel handle in history but a decline in total handle and total daily average handle.
In the Gold dueled with Aspen Tree at the top of the stretch, gradually pulling away to a 1 1/4-length win in the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies Thursday at Keeneland.
Live Oak Plantation's In the Gold made a sweeping move on the far turn and held off a determined Aspen Tree in the stretch for a 1 1/2-length score in Thursday's Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland Race Course.
Forest Danger hadn't dropped off the early pace since rallying from sixth to win his debut race 14 months ago. Saturday he became a grade I winner for the first time when he closed into a scorching pace to win the $350,000 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct in only his sixth lifetime start.
Offlee Wild pulled away through the stretch for a 8 1/2-length victory over Rogue Agent in the $196,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) on Saturday at Aqueduct.
Steve Asmussen's record-smashing national success in 2004 carried over to Kentucky as the Texas-born trainer earned his first Kentucky Thoroughbred Media "Trainer of the Year" award.
The inner dirt track meeting at Aqueduct finally ended Thursday with Richard Dutrow Jr. and Rafael Bejarano winning respective titles for top trainer and jockey.
Graded stakes winner Runway Model will make her seasonal debut Saturday when she breaks from post six in the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), going 1 1/16 miles at the New Orleans oval.
The Nick Zito-trained Andromeda's Hero flew past 52-1 shot Summer Legacy in the final furlong and powered home to a convincing 2 ½-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs.
Rafael Bejarano, Aqueduct's leading rider, has been hit with a seven-day suspension and will sit out next week after accepting the ban without appealing.
Jockey Ariel Smith, racing on the lead in Sunday's second race at Aqueduct, was injured in a four-horse spill that began when the maiden filly he was riding, Patriotic Princess, broke down at the five-sixteenths pole.
Stronach Stables' Thunder Touch survived a claim of foul to win the $111,600 Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. III) in his stakes debut Sunday at Aqueduct.
Midway Road stuck his nose in front at the finish to score a narrow victory in the $161,250 Fayette Stakes (gr. III) Saturday as Keeneland concluded its 17-day fall meeting.
Trainer Dallas Stewart played a hot hand Sunday at Keeneland when he wheeled back Molto Vita after only a week's rest to take the $125,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (gr. III) for fillies and mares.
With a last desperate surge on the far outside, 17-1 Runway Model emerged with a head victory over Sharp Lisa and In the Gold in a blanket finish to Friday's $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at Keeneland.
Surprising Susan's Angel collared favored Angela's Love in upper stretch and refused to buckle when challenged late by Mayo On the Side to give trainer D. Wayne Lukas victory in the $175,000 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for fillies and mares Saturday.
The $600,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) was the major mid-season test for Sir Shackleton, and he passed it with flying colors with a resounding victory over six other foes in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.
The fields are set for the sixth Claiming Crown, which will be held July 17 at Canterbury Park and broadcast nationally on the TV Games Network. In all, 62 horses have been entered in six races.
TVG will present live, on-site coverage of the 2004 Claiming Crown this Saturday from Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.
Trainer Paul McGee hopes to continue the luck he enjoyed with jockey Rafael Bejarano at Churchill Downs when the Peruvian-born riding sensation makes his Hollywood Park debut aboard Suave in the $400,000-added Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds on Saturday.
It was two years ago that jockey Rafael Bejarano won his first race in the United States at River Downs. Since then, the 22-year-old has won riding titles at Hoosier Park, Ellis Park, and Turfway Park. On July 5, he clinched another accolade when he was named leading rider for the 2004 spring meet at Churchill Downs.
National riding leader Rafael Bejarano continues to impress Churchill Downs trainers, where he is running away with the 2004 jockey title.
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