The Metropolitan Handicap once served as a Belmont Stakes prep race. Read the full feature by Steve Haskin in the June 6, 2015 issue of Blood-Horse. view slideshow
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Orb is scheduled to arrive at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 11 to finish his preparations for the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Top competitors including KY Oaks (gr. I) winner Believe You Can will be out in full force next weekend for the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT), and Woodford Reserve Lake Placid (gr. IIT).
Telling, a two-time Saratoga grade I winner, has been retired from racing to stand at Stonewall Farm Ocala in Florida.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik will join the VERSUS network broadcasting crew for the Saturday, Aug. 13, telecast of the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) at Saratoga.
- By Vic Zast
Mardi Gras promotion offers unsatisfactory results Read Blog
Millionaire and four-time grade I winner Awad died July 23 at Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky. The 21-year-old horse was discovered early in the morning in his paddock, dead from an apparent heart attack.
Elliott Burch, a third-generation Hall of Fame trainer, died Jan. 29 of pneumonia.
Winless since scoring an upset in last year's Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT), Telling received a brilliant ride from Garrett Gomez to win the $500,000 race for the second straight year Aug. 14 at Saratoga.
A day of upsets at Saratoga was punctuated by the most shocking surprise of all in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT), as the 33-1 longshot Telling took over approaching the top of the stretch and held off Better Talk Now for his first stakes win.
Retired horseman Marvin M. Greene Sr. died May 22 of congestive heart failure at his Leesburg, Va., home.
Marc Keller's Grand Couturier had to check under Alan Garcia at the top of the lane, but re-rallied, split horses in mid-stretch, and drew clear to win the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) for the second consecutive year Aug. 16 at Saratoga. Better Talk Now finished second, followed by Interpatation.
J. Paul Reddam's Red Rocks, the 9-5 favorite for the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 16, has been declared out of the race by trainer Mark Henning.
Red Rocks and Dancing Forever, both fresh off grade I turf victories at Belmont, will square off in the star-studded Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) Aug. 16 at Saratoga, a field that also includes three other grade I winners, including Grand Couturier, who won the event a year ago.
The $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) was setting up perfectly for heavy favorite English Channel. After coming from well off the pace, the 5-year-old son of Smart Strike made his usual late kick, rallying under jockey John Velazquez to take the lead as they headed for home. The only problem was, Grand Couturier had a finishing kick that was too much even for one of America's top turf horses, as the 4-year-old English-bred colt came flying along the rail to take Saratoga's feature in dramatic fashion.
The defection of Better Talk Now means that English Channel is the class of the field in the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT).
Galas like this don't exist in many parts of the country, but - in Saratoga - they make a Saturday betting horses a battle with fatigue. 'Hung over in Saratoga' is redundant.
With English Channel heading out of Saratoga for a trip to Chicago for the Arlington Million (gr. IT), eight older turf horses have been entered for Saturday's Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT). The 12-furlong Sword Dancer goes as the ninth race and is one of two graded stakes on the Saratoga program.
King's Drama gave embattled owner Gary Tanaka some good news when his Irish-bred gelding outran Relaxed Gesture by three-quarters of a length in Saturday's $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT), Saratoga's premier turf race.
With Better Talk Now unlikely to defend his $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) title Saturday at Saratoga, the race now gives an opportunity for eight others horses on the East Coast to emerge among the top turf runners in the country.
Trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference he is 90% sure Better Talk Now will start in Saturday's Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course. The trainer held out a slight 10% chance that last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner could show up in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Race Course on the same day.
Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now picked a fine spot to earn his first victory of the 2004 season, taking the $500,000 Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) in his first grade I attempt on the grass at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Anstu Stables' Balto Star is the one catch in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/2 miles on turf Saturday at Saratoga. If he gets the kind of pace he enjoys, they may not be able to do it.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday that it will offer another "National Pick 4" wager this Saturday, Aug. 14, as part of its "NTRA Super Saturday" series that will be featured on the ABC and ESPN networks.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Wednesday that vouchers worth $2.69 million--including a $1-million grand prize--have been mailed to more than 540,000 racing fans as part of this week's NTRA Mystery Mutuel Voucher promotion.
March 11. 1959
Sword Dancer at Gulfstream Park
Michael and Lynn Shanley's Whitmore's Conn and jockey Jean-Luc Samyn made a late surge in the stretch to register a major upset in the $500,000 Sword Dancer (gr. IT) before 31,153 at Saratoga Saturday.
Saratoga Notebook: No Luck for Day, Sheppard; Volponi Moves; Funny Cide Gallops; Frankel Sorts Options
With Anticipation's bid to become the first horse to win the Sword Dancer (gr.IT) three straight times ended before it began.
When 7-year-old With Anticipation dug in and prevailed by a head over Denon in last year's Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. I), he became the oldest horse to win back-to-back runnings of the race. On Saturday, on Saratoga's inner turf course, he will try to become the first horse to win the $500,000 1 1/2-mile grass marathon three times.
Trainer Jonathan Sheppard would be doubly happy if Hall of Fame rider Pat Day became racing's all-time leader in purse earnings. First, Sheppard considers Day a good friend, and secondly, Day has a chance break the record while piloting the Sheppard-trained With Anticipation to back-to-back wins in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT), which will be contested Saturday at Saratoga.
More than a handful of stakes hopefuls were spotted at Saratoga.
"He's officially retired." With those words Tom Voss, the respected trainer from Maryland, announced the end of the career of the gallant 10-year-old gelding John's Call.
Disqualified after winning his first grade I race at Monmouth Park last month, With Anticipation came right back in Saturday's $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga, defeating King Cugat by three-quarters of a length.
John's Call, the venerable gelding who won two grade I turf stakes last year at age 9, will race again at 10, trainer Tom Voss said. A chestnut gelding by Lord at War, John's Call has won 15 of 36 career starts for earnings of $1,534,207.
Trillium Stable's John's Call drew off through the stretch to an impressive 9 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) Saturday at Saratoga.
Tiller Upsets John Henry In Sword Dancer
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