Seek Gold, 91-1 upset winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in his last start, arrived at Hollywood Park from Louisville on Wednesday afternoon with a new giant to slay – Lava Man in Saturday's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
Dynamic California-bred Lava Man, on a four-race winning streak, was assigned 124 pounds for Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I). But after everything the 5-year-old gelding has accomplished this year, that probably wasn't enough -- just four rivals are signed on to challenge him.
Seek Gold, upset winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 17, turned in a sparkling five furlong work on Sunday at Churchill Downs in preparation for an expected start in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 8. Likely favorite Lava Man was assigned 124 pounds for the 1 1/4-mile event.
The morning after Seek Gold's stunning upset in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) was, in the words of trainer Ron Moquett, "surreal."
Last at the top of the stretch, Seek Gold closed from out of the clouds to steal the $844,500 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) from Perfect Drift at the wire at odds of 91-1 at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Buzzards Bay, authoritative winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) in his last start more than two months ago, takes on grade I winners Brass Hat and Perfect Drift in the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Fred Bradley's Brass Hat and Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, the local stars that could be the favorites for Saturday's 25th running of the $750,0000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, turned in their final major pre-race preps on Tuesday with training moves at Trackside Louisville training center.
On Thin Ice, winless in 2005, kicked off his 5-year-old season with his first graded stakes win, romping to a 5 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Phipps Stable's 5-year-old homebred Philanthropist, who arrives from New York with a three-race win streak, and Robert LaPenta's 6-year-old gelding Seek Gold, runner-up in the Fred Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder last out, will face off in a field of nine older horses entered for the 1 1/8-mile Hal's Hope at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Andromeda's Hero overpowered his stablemate Seek Gold with a big move on the far turn and sped to victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Calder Race Course, his first win in 10 starts.
Trainer Nick Zito holds a strong hand in Saturday's $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course when he sends out the Robert LaPenta-owned entry of 3-year-old Andromeda's Hero and the 5-year-old Seek Gold.
Badge of Silver carries a special distinction going into the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) April 23 at Hawthorne.
Reigning Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, who was scheduled to make his 5-year-old debut in the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), won't be coming to Hot Springs for the April 9 race after all.
After nearly blowing the final turn, Saint Liam won the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) with authority Saturday at Gulfstream Park, pulling away by 3 3/4 lengths at the end.
A field of six will contest the 47th running of the grade I Donn Handicap, traditionally the opening salvo of the handicap divisional season. This year's edition includes 2004 Eclipse Award finalist Roses in May and last year's Clark Handicap (gr. II) winner St. Liam--both of whom tussled with Horse of the Year Ghostzapper.
Trainer Nick Zito is preparing for a big weekend at Gulfstream Park, saddling runners in the Donn Handicap (gr. I), Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II), Old Hat Stakes (gr. III), and Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), as well as celebrating his 57th birthday.
Clark Handicap (gr. II) winner Saint Liam is to ship to Florida's Palm Meadows training center Wednesday, where he'll be prepared for the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I), his next target at Gulfstream Park Feb. 5.
Heavily favored Saint Liam repelled the challenges of Perfect Drift and Seek Gold in the stretch and pulled away to victory in the $558,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Friday.
Ten horses will vie in the elite race of Churchill Downs' fall schedule, the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) Friday in Louisville. The Brazilian-bred Lundy's Liability will carry high weight of 120 pounds over the nine furlongs.
While he's well known to those who follow speed figures, impressive Ghostzapper takes the national stage for the first time Saturday as the horse to beat in the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Trainer Nick Zito, who didn't take long to get his powerful stable in action since arriving from New York and Kentucky for the winter, sends out Robert LaPenta's promising 2-year-old Seek Gold in the $100,000 What A Pleasure Stakes Saturday at Calder.
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