Thomas McCarthy's General Quarters pulled a shocker and threw his name into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) mix, as he stalked the pace, took over rounding the far turn and pulled away for a convincing 3 1/2-length score in the $221,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 14.
Ballymore Lady made a late burst in the final yards and got the jump over three rivals at the shadow of the wire to take a thrilling edition of the $125,000 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 14 on the Tampa Bay Downs turf.
An intriguing field of 10 3-year-olds was entered for the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 16 at Santa Anita, including the top three finishers from the San Pedro Stakes last month, two horses each from the barns of Bob Baffert and Jeff Mullins, and the Candy Ride filly Evita Argentina, who was second in the Santa Ynez (gr. II) last out and will look to make history by winning the 62-year-old event for the first time since 1947.
Stormy West and American Border, who have seven consecutive wins between them, will do battle in a full field of fillies and mares in the $125,000 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 14 on the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.
Silver Wing Stable's Free Country, undefeated in two starts including an impressive nine-furlong allowance win at Gulfstream Park last month, makes his highly-anticipated stakes debut in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 14 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Tale of Ekati, off since winning the Hill 'N' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) by disqualification last November, will make his return to the racetrack in the $150,000 Richter Scale Sprint (gr. II) Feb. 14 at Gulfstream.
Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farms' Friesan Fire stamped himself as a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender by winning his second consecutive graded stakes race at Fair Grounds. This time, the A.P. Indy colt posted a two-length victory in the $200,000 Risen Star (gr. III) Feb. 7.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred War Echo passed stablemate Four Gifts inside the sixteenth-pole and went on to win the $150,000 Silverbulletday (gr. III) by 1 1/2 lengths Feb. 7 at Fair Grounds.
Charlotte Musgrave's Diamond Tycoon, far back for most of the way, came charging down the center of the racetrack under Julien Leparoux to take the $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 7.
Fox Hill Farms' Honest Man stayed close to a slow pace, passed My Pal Charlie in upper stretch, and easily pulled away for a 4 1/4-length score in the $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III), the first of four graded stakes at Fair Grounds Feb. 7.
A winner of three consecutive races, Haynesfield looks to further establish himself as one of the top New York-based 3-year-olds when he takes on a short field in the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 at Aqueduct.
Monba and Yankee Bravo, both prominent on last year's Triple Crown trail, will make their returns to the racetrack in the $100,000 Thunder Road Handicap (gr. IIIT) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita. However, Irish-bred Ferneley, a near-winner in consecutive graded stakes, could loom the largest in the one-mile turf event.
CashCall Futurity (gr. I) winner Pioneerof the Nile makes his eagerly-awaited 3-year-old debut and attempts to establish himself as one of the West Coast's top Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders, as he faces eight sophomore rivals in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 7 at Santa Anita Park.
Pascacio "Paco" Lopez burst onto the South Florida riding scene in 2008, causing as much of a stir with his controversial style as he did with his superior skills.
Edmund Gann's It's a Bird stalked the pace under Julien Leparoux, took over rounding the final turn and drew clear for a resounding, 5 1/4-length victory in the $1-million OBS Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
Wild Promises confirmed that she is indeed a star-in-the-making, as the 5-year-old mare collected her sixth consecutive victory after roaring through the stretch to win the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf by 1 3/4 lengths Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
This Ones for Phil, making his first start for Rick Dutrow Jr., took over at the top of the lane from 6-5 favorite You Luckie Mann and drew away for a 2 1/4-length victory in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Jan. 24.
On Jan. 24, Wild Promises will take yet another step and try for her biggest payday to date, as she'll do battle with seven rivals in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park.
Hobeau Farm's homebred Delightful Kiss has been in top form for more than five months and all things being equal, the 5-year-old gelding would be the one to beat in the $1-milllion OBS Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park. But the son of Kissin Kris drew unenviable post 12 in the 1 1/8-mile main track event, severely compromising his chances of besting the other 11 rivals who will go to post.
Marty and Pam Wygod's homebred Life Is Sweet returned from a more than seven-month layoff to become a graded stakes winner in her 4-year-old debut, coming from off the pace to take the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths Jan. 18 on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface.
Just over a year after Game Face earned her first graded stakes victory at Gulfstream, the Menifee filly collected another blacktype win at the South Florida racetrack, as she rallied under John Velazquez to score by 2 3/4 lengths in the First Lady Handicap (gr. III).
Odds-on favorite Chocolate Candy split horses as the field straightened away, struck the front nearing the eighth-pole and drew clear to post a 1 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 California Derby Jan. 17 at Golden Gate Fields.
Fab Oak Stable homebred Nownownow scored a big upset in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 17 at Santa Anita, coming from off the pace to win the 1 1/16-mile event for 4-year-olds by 1 1/2 lengths.
The Pamplemousse went from maiden winner to graded stakes winner Jan. 17 at Santa Anita Park, breaking to an early lead and never looking back for an impressive two-length victory in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the Pro-Ride surface.
Edmund Gann's Ikigai scored for the fifth time in eight starts and captured his first graded stakes, as he drew away for an easy 2 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 17 at Gulfstream Park.
Roberts Evans' Marsh Side, who became a grade I winner last out when pulling a 29-1 upset in the $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-IT) at Woodbine, tops a field of 10 older turf routers in the $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 19 at Santa Anita Park.
Two-time grade I winner Country Star looks to rebound from a disappointing sophomore campaign when she makes her 4-year-old debut in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 18 at Santa Anita. A full field of a dozen 4-year-old fillies are entered in the 1 1/16-mile event on Pro-Ride.
Any Limit and Game Face may have graded stakes victories on their resumes, but both will have all they can handle when facing a talented group of fillies and mares in the $100,000 First Lady Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park.
Because of an ominous forecast for bitter Arctic cold, compounded by strong winds, the New York Racing Association has decided to cancel its scheduled live race card at Aqueduct Jan. 16. Beulah Park in Ohio also canceled its Jan. 16 program because of frigid temperatures.
Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Square Eddie makes his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut Jan. 17 at Santa Anita when he takes on seven rivals in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
Friesan Fire, a talented 3-year-old colt who had disappointed in his last three starts, finally showed why trainer Larry Jones considered him a legitimate Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prospect from the outset.
French Beret, with James Graham in the irons, won the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) for the second consecutive year, putting his nose down perfectly at the wire to edge Golden Yank in a thrilling photo finish Jan. 10 at Fair Grounds.
Sam-Son Farms' French Beret will have a tough time defending his title in the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (gr. IIIT) Jan. 6 at Fair Grounds, as an evenly-matched field of 10 goes to post in the 1 1/16-mile turf event.
Indygo Mountain, who broke his maiden impressively Nov. 19 at Churchill Downs but had to be scratched from his next start because of a minor injury, was installed as the 3-1 morning-line choice in the $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Jan. 10.
Hobeau Farm's homebred Delightful Kiss continued his terrific recent form, as he opened his 2009 campaign with an eye-catching, last-to-first victory in the $100,000 Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 3 at Gulfstream Park. It was the third graded stakes score in the past five months for the 5-year-old gelding.
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.
After a disappointing 2008 campaign in which he went winless in five starts, trainer Buff Bradley thought the end may had finally come for 7-year-old Brass Hat, a fan favorite who had claimed seven stakes victories in his sensational career.
Frolic's Dream leaves the friendly confines of Calder Race Course for the first time when she puts her undefeated record on the line against six rivals in the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 4 at Gulfstream Park.
With less than two weeks remaining in the Thoroughbred racing season, nearly all of the 2008 leaders have been decided. The lone category without a clear-cut winner is earnings by owner, and it might take until the final few days of the year to determine a victor.
Multiple graded-stakes winner Vacare will try to add to her impressive resume Dec. 21 when she tops a full field of 12 fillies and mares in the Dahlia Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day at Hollywood Park.
When 3-year-old filly Talkin Indian won the ninth race at Fair Grounds on Dec. 7, the average racing fan likely did not notice a unique detail that came along with the first-level allowance victory.
Just as he did when taking the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) in wire-to-wire fashion this summer at Monmouth Park, Patricia Generazio's Presious Passion sprinted to an early lead and never looked back, as the 5-year-old gelding took them all 12 furlongs to win the W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) for the second consecutive year Dec. 13 on the Calder Race Course grass.
Lawrence Goichman was hoping for a storybook ending for his homebred mare J'ray. A win in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) would not only give the 5-year-old a victory in her final start, but would push her over $1 million in career earnings. Herboriste had other plans.
Trilogy Stables' homebred Yesbyjimminy earned his sixth consecutive score and the first graded stakes triumph of his career, as he shook off a pair of rivals at the top of the lane and cruised to an easy 2 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 13 at Calder Race Course.
West Virginia shipper Researcher puts his three-race win streak on the line Dec. 13 at Aqueduct, as the 4-year-old gelding faces his stiffest test yet while battling three graded stakes winners in the $100,000-added Queens County Handicap (gr. III), a 1 3/16-mile trek on the inner track.
Lawrence Goichman's J'ray, who has raced well over the Calder Race Course turf throughout her career, will try to earn her third graded stakes victory of the season as she takes on 10 rivals Dec. 13 in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT).
Grade I winner Presious Passion has not been in the best of form lately, but the 5-year-old gelding will try to get back to his winning ways in an event he scored in last year, the $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT). The 1 1/2-mile turf event is one of four graded stakes on Calder Race Course's $500,000 Grand Slam program Dec. 13 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
It took a wild stretch run and the perfect head bob, but Harlequin Ranches' Spice Route earned his first victory on American soil, prevailing by the narrowest of margins over Soldier's Dancer in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) Dec. 6 at Calder Race Course.
Harry Aleo's Wild Promises shipped in from California to notch her fifth consecutive score Dec. 6 on the Calder Race Course turf, displaying a determined run in the final furlong to take the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a length.
Patena, an impressive maiden winner last out, had no problem in his first stakes test, as the 2-year-old Seeking the Gold colt gamely hung on for a narrow victory in the $150,000 Display Stakes on a cold and snowy day at Woodbine Dec. 6.
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