Take The Points

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Deep Field Lines Up For Hollywood Derby

Deep Field Lines Up For Hollywood Derby

Take the Points, winner of a pair of grade I stakes in his last two starts, will renew acquaintances with Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) winner Battle of Hastings and five other graded winners Nov. 29 in the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.

Countdown to the Cup: Can it Happen Twice?

Countdown to the Cup: Can it Happen Twice?

On April 17, 2008, American racing fans were immersed in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and no one was even giving the Breeders' Cup a second thought. But across the Atlantic, there was a scene being played out that would have a far greater effect on the Breeders' Cup than anyone could have imagined.

Points and Promise: Second-Crop Sires On Top

Points  and Promise: Second-Crop Sires On Top

PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter

That this is an exceptional crop of second-year sires is not exactly news any more. Still, the point was hammered home again October 10 when two second-season horses were represented by grade I winners.

Several With a Shot at Secretariat Stakes

Several With a Shot at Secretariat Stakes

Ashbrook Farm's Reb, winner of the three straight including the American Derby (gr. IIT), and Irish invader Black Bear Island, who has a group II victory in England this season, lead a wide-open field of 11 in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds Aug. 8 on the Arlington Park turf.

Preakness Starters Opt for Indoor Paddock

Preakness Starters Opt for Indoor Paddock

It has long been the tradition for starters in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to saddle on the turf course at Pimlico Race Course, but more than half of this year's field -- including morning-line favorite Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile -- will be saddled indoors, Maryland Jockey Club paddock judge Mario Verge said May 15.

Preakness Contenders: Pedigree Profiles

Insight into the pedigrees of this year's Preakness contenders is only a click away. This easy-to-read report includes pedigree analyses from Alan Porter, Avalyn Hunter, and Tom Hall. Order your copy today and separate the contenders from the pretenders.

Preakness Notes - May 8

Preakness Notes - May 8

A decision as to whether Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra will be supplemented into the field for the $1 million Preakness (gr. I) could be made May 10 or 11 after the filly works for her new trainer, Steve Asmussen.

Tuesday Work to Determine Friesan Fire Status

Tuesday Work to Determine Friesan Fire Status

Friesan Fire, who grabbed his quarter and suffered a several cuts while finishing 18th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will ship down to Pimlico next Monday from Delaware Park and will work on Tuesday under jockey Gabriel Saez to determine whether the colt will run in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

At Least Nine to Run in Preakness

At Least Nine to Run in Preakness

The prospective field for the Preakness (gr. I) grew by three confirmed starters when the connections of Musket Man, General Quarters and Terrain committed to the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown on May 6. The $1 million race now has nine definite starters, with Big Drama the first to arrive at historic Pimlico Race Course. The 1 3/16-mile event is on May 16.

Pletcher: Two In Derby; Two Undecided

Pletcher: Two In Derby; Two Undecided

Trainer Todd Pletcher said the morning of April 28 that two of the horses in his care, Dunkirk and Join in the Dance, are definite for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Decisions have not been made on two others he trains, Advice and Take the Points.

Pioneerof the Nile Rolls at Santa Anita

Pioneerof the Nile Rolls at Santa Anita

A lack of pace changed the game plan for odds-on choice Pioneerof the Nile, but jockey Garrett Gomez improvised, enabling the son of Empire Maker to hold off Chocolate Candy for a one-length win in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on a picture-perfect day in Arcadia, Calif.

Dunkirk May Get Rabbit in Fla. Derby

Dunkirk May Get Rabbit in Fla. Derby

As intriguing as the Florida Derby (gr.I) already looks to be, it became even more intriguing when Todd Pletcher, trainer of Dunkirk, said Tuesday he is "strongly considering" running the maiden Europe as a rabbit, in order to prevent Quality Road from getting loose on an easy lead.

Even the Score's Fee Doubled to $15,000

Citing the success of foals from his first crop that raced in 2008 and increased demand, Millennium Farms announced the stud fee for Even the Score has been doubled from $7,500 to $15,000 for any additional mares booked to the stallion for the 2009 breeding season.

Ky. Derby Trail: Road to the Roses

Ky. Derby Trail: Road to the Roses

The last Saturday in November is NYRA's farewell to grade I and grade II racing, with the running of the Cigar Mile (gr. I) and the grade II Remsen and Demoiselle Stakes for 2-year-olds. But last year, there was a buzz in the air that had nothing to do with any of those three races.

The Pamplemousse Gets Loose in Sham Win

The Pamplemousse Gets Loose in Sham Win

Trainer Julio Canani insists he doesn't have Derby fever yet. But after the way his The Pamplemousse glided to victory as the 1-2 choice in the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Feb. 28, that's going to be more difficult to believe as time marches on toward the first Saturday in May.

Take the Points Already a Big Winner

Take the Points Already a Big Winner

Take the Points, who shipped to California Thursday for Saturday's $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III), is a gamble that has already paid off big-time for the colt's breeders Ramiro Salazar and his wife Denise Belcher of Phoenix Farm.

Imperial Council to Run Next in Gotham

March means horses shuttling all over looking for graded earnings and moving forward on the Kentucky Derby trail. One of the more interesting 3-year-olds is Imperial Council, who will head up to New York for the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 7, which promises to be a bang-up race.

Ky. Derby Trail: Florida Follies

Ky. Derby Trail: Florida Follies

Either tracks like Gulfstream and Oaklawn are getting noticeably slower or the horses are. From all indications, it is the tracks, which is fine if they keep horses sounder. (See end of text for first official Top 30)

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