Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti notched his third consecutive grade I win when he came from off the pace to take the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park July 11. The 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat won for the fourth time in five starts on Belmont's turf course.
Undefeated Cat Moves became a grade I winner in her stakes debut, outfighting Light Green to capture the $300,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. IT) as a pair of Edward P. Evans Virginia homebreds took first and second at Belmont Park July 4.
Favored Porte Bonheur showed needed improvement in her second start of the year when she wore down Spritely in the final strides to post a nose victory in the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park June 28.
Lansdon B. Robbins III's Legal Consent scored his third straight victory at Belmont Park June 21, holding off a late rally from Slevin to take the $105,500 Mike Lee Stakes for New York-breds.
Seattle Smooth wore down Seventh Street in the homestretch to win the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) for her first grade I victory June 13 at Belmont Park.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Monday that Regal Ransom and Desert Party are both scheduled to run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Even-money favorite Seattle Smooth took over coming off the turn and rolled to a dominating 5 3/4-length victory in a scratch-filled running of the $142,500 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) April 18 at Aqueduct.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez rode four winners at Aqueduct March 29, including both $100,000 divisions of the New York Stallions Stakes, putting an exclamation point on his record-setting Big A inner dirt track championship.
Bigger things await Haynesfield after the 3-year-old colt outclassed five rivals in the $107,600 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 for his third consecutive win on Aqueduct's inner track.
Haynesfield picked up his third consecutive victory Jan. 3, warding off a stiff mid-stretch challenge from Mike From Queens and drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory in the 34th running of the $69.700 Count Fleet Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards on Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track.
Fabulous Strike, the 1-2 favorite among the four remaining starters in Aqueduct's Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 27, proved an easy winner of the $103,100 event.
Court Vision surged from last in the stretch to win the $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), giving jockey Ramon Dominguez a sweep of both grade I stakes on the Hollywood Park turf course Nov. 30.
Favored Cocoa Beach staged a furious rally through the homestretch to nab pacesetter Precious Kitten in the final strides, winning Hollywood Park's $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on the grass by three-quarters of a length Nov. 30.
Favored Old Fashioned made sure there wasn't a lot of suspense about the outcome of the $200,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct Nov. 29. The son of Unbridled's Song grabbed the lead early and then romped to a 7 1/4-length victory in New York.
Livin Lovin overtook favored Gemswick Park inside the furlong pole and rolled to a 4 1/4-length romp in the $107,800 Tempted Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Nov. 2.
Jeffrey Puglisi's Sky Diva won the $400,000 Frizette Stakes (gr.I) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park and earned herself a starting berth to the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr.I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita.
IEAH Stables and WinStar Farm's Court Vision, who lost to Gio Ponti by a nose in the July 19 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT), turned the tables on his rival Oct. 4 in the $250,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT), as the son of Gulch edged in front in mid-stretch and went on win by a three parts of a length on the Belmont turf.
Godolphin Stable's Cocoa Beach has raced in her native Chile and in the Middle East, but apparently, she has found a home in New York.
After battling dual-classic winner Big Brown down the stretch in the Sept. 13 Monmouth Stakes only to fall a neck short, Gary Tanaka's Proudinsky will try to get back to his winning ways when he takes on eight turfers in the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) Sept. 27 at Belmont Park.
Big Brown made his return to turf a successful one Sept. 13 in the $500,000 Monmouth Stakes, as he sprinted to a commanding early lead under Kent Desormeaux and then gamely held off Proudinsky for the length of the stretch to win by a neck.
Odds-on choice Indyanne missed the break, enabling upsetter Porte Bonheur to run her down mid-stretch en route to winning the $110,100 Victory Ride Stakes by a half-length at Saratoga Aug. 23.
Desert Party, purchased by Darley for $2.1 million earlier this year, received a rail-skimming ride from Edgar Prado and ran away from three rivals in the scratched-diluted $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. II) July 24 in the mud at Saratoga.
Mission Approved wired 11 rivals in taking the $153,624 Singspiel Stakes (Can-III) on the Woodbine turf course on Queen's Plate Day June 22.
Fabulous Strike, an early favorite for last year's TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) before a serious lung infection ended his season, returned in the Vincent A. Moscarelli Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park June 21, easily defeating two rivals in the six-furlong event.
Polytrack seems to be to the liking of Edward Seltzer's Verdana Bold, as the 3-year-old filly won for the second time in as many starts on the synthetic surface, this time in the $259,300 Selene Stakes (Can-III) May 18 at Woodbine.
Seven older sprinters will try to earn their first graded stakes score May 17 at Pimlico Race Course when they do battle in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) the first of 10 blacktype races on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day.
Chelokee, who suffered a dislocated right front ankle during the running of the May 2 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, has "at least a 50-50 chance" of survival, according to prominent equine surgeon Larry Bramlage.
In 2006, Ramon Dominguez rode Bluegrass Cat to a second-place finish behind Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). He was close enough to practically taste the victory, and this year he's chasing it with renewed determination aboard the Todd Pletcher-trained Monba, his fifth Derby contender.
Just when it looked as if Todd Pletcher would be sitting out this year's Kentucky Derby, his two best Derby hopes from day one - Monba and Cowboy Cal - came through for him with a first and second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Favored Hadavision notched her first career added-money victory in the opening day $100,300 Peach Blossom Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Delaware Park April 19.
With Edgar Prado deciding to ride Adriano in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Ramon Domiguez was named by trainer Todd Pletcher to ride Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Monba.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Gary Contessa won their respective titles and set records when Aqueduct concluded its 2007-08 inner-track meet March 30. Racing switches to the main track April 2.
Trainer Michael Matz said that Gotham winner Visionaire appears to have come out of his March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) victory in good shape, and will ship back to Palm Meadows in Florida March 11.
Lord Snowdon, using his patented late move, wore down Man of Danger and Debussy in the final yards to post the first stakes win of his career in the $81,600 Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct Jan. 26.
Still going strong at age 10 and one of the most popular horses on the New York circuit, Evening Attire makes his 64th career start in the $75,000 Aqueduct Handicap Jan. 19.
Dill Or No Dill left no doubts as to who was best in the $81,475 Ruthless Stakes by winning the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies by 5 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct Jan. 6.
Giant Moon kept his undefeated record intact by winning the $81,525 Count Fleet Stakes by a neck over Spanky Fischbein at Aqueduct Jan. 5.
- By Claire Novak
In honor of (and caused by) an 8:00 a.m. deadline, Hall of Fame inductions, an upcoming afternoon of racing coverage, and an evening of sales assignments, we defer to a smattering of quotes and scenes witnessed by your faithful correspondent, who peruses the backside of Saratoga (almost) every morning.
All of the betting favorites fell apart, leaving Team Valor's lightly regarded Unbridled Belle to pick up the pieces, and she drew off smartly under Ramon Dominguez to win the $1 million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Delaware Park Sunday.
American invader Street Sounds tallied her first stakes win in Canada via disqualification in Sunday's CAN$250,000 Bison City Stakes for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.
Favored Remarkable News, given a judicious ride by Ramon Dominguez, controlled the pace of Saturday's $232,000 Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT) and drove to a measured 2 3/4-length win on the Churchill Downs turf.
- By Claire Novak
Trainer Gary Contessa has been fined $1,000 and suspended seven days for the finding of the drug Phenylbutazone in post race samples taken from his starter Sheer Silk.
Centennial Farms' even-money choice Chelokee, passed mid-stretch by Zanjero in Saturday's $223,800 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs, fought back along the inside to win by a long neck for jockey Ramon Dominguez.
In a thrilling blanket finish, 8-year-old Better Talk Now beats English Channel and Shakis in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. I).
Tea Party Stable's heavily favored Fabulous Strike, having posted some impressive speed figures while facing lesser company since last summer, rose to the occasion Saturday with a gate-to-wire victory in the $159,600 Aristides Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Remarkable News won the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico after Mending Fences sustained an injury while racing on the lead.
Michael Matz sent out Chelokee to win the inaugural Barbaro Stakes, a Pimlico race named after the deceased winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby and Roy and Gretchen Jackson, the owners of Barbaro, made the winner's circle presentation to Matz.
Hidden Creek Farm's Street Sounds left the starting gate as the 1-5 favorite, quickly spurted to the lead from her outside post, and raced on cruise the rest of the way to score an easy victory in the $60,000 Hilltop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies contested over firm turf Saturday at Pimlico.
Flying First Class is to run in the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in one week at Pimlico Race Course, trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirmed Saturday morning to Maryland officials.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez scored the 3,000th victory of his relatively young career when he rode Astor Park to win the fifth race at Delaware Park on May 9.
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