If speed is the essence of a good racehorse, then there is little question that La Traviata is a good one. Undefeated in her three lifetime starts, the filly has demolished her hapless opponents by a combined 27 1/2 lengths and this after stumbling at the start of her last race, the Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III). One wonders what she might do with a completely clean trip. La Traviata comes by speed honestly with one major source courtesy of her sire, Johannesburg. Both Johannesburg's grandsire Storm Cat and his sire Hennessy have done quite well with mares returning Mr. Prospector.
Eddie Martin's goal is to develop a successful stallion, and he's close to achieving his dream with Spanish Steps, whose first foals race next year.
American distance specialist Tacit Agreement, a winner of three straight stakes races at Calder in his last three starts by more than 31 combined lengths, has been purchased privately and will ship to Australia to prepare for the 2007 US$4.2 million Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) on Nov. 6.
Street Sense, who is going for the second leg of the Triple Crown, was broken and prepared for racing at Ocala Stud in Florida.
Although trainer Doug O'Neill has played a significant role in some of racing's biggest days, on May 5 he will experience saddling a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender for the first time. After the defection of his trainee Cobalt Blue, O'Neill will be saddling two horses in the Derby, Great Hunter and Liquidity
Jim Tafel's Street Sense completed his final preparations for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, May 1.
Carl Nafzger, who trains champion and Kentucky Derby contender Street Sense, will be the guest for Thursday's edition of bloodhorse.com's "Talkin' Horses" online chat.
No award given to John Nerud could be more appropriately named than the Award of Merit.
Symphony Sid turned Saturday's 38th running of Oak Tree's Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr.IIIT) into a laugher on the Santa Anita Park grass, bringing an eight-race losing streak to an end in stakes-record time.
Taylor Made Farm announced Wednesday that the two stallions it stands for six figures will both have stud fee increases for the 2007 season.
Phipps Stable's Smuggler, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2005, has been retired and will be bred in 2007 to Awesome Again.
Live Oak Plantation's Tacit Agreement won the $250,000 Bob Umphrey Marathon at two miles Saturday at Calder, the stakes highlight of "Extreme Day." The race was originally carded for turf but rained off to the main track.
The first graded stakes win for Melnyk Racing Stable's $2.8 million colt Harlington was a long time in coming, but the 4-year-old got the job done while fully extended for John Velazquez to win the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) over a strong field.
Gana Facil, dam of 1990 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Unbridled, and Fair to All, dam of grade I winner Honour and Glory, have died.
Big things have been expected of Melnyk Racing Stable's 4-year-old Harlington, a $2.8 million Keeneland yearling who's likely to be favored in Wednesday's 'three other than' allowance feature at Gulfstream Park.
Spanish Steps, a full brother to Unbridled's Song (Unbridled--Trolley Song, by Caro) was represented by his first foal Jan. 2 when Ribot's Flair delivered a bay colt in Florida.
The combination of trainer Neil Howard and jockey Robby Albarado reunited in the winner's circle with Private Gift in the $75,000 Truly Bound Breeders' Cup Handicap, the Christmas Eve feature of the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
A part interest in grade II winner Saarland, a son of Unbridled out of multiple grade I millionaire Versailles Treaty, has been sold to a syndicate and the sophomore sire will relocate to Darby Dan Farm to stand beginning with the 2006 breeding season.
Phipps Stable's favored Smuggler swept past her rivals Spun Sugar and Summerly to register an impressive victory in the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Saturday.
There was plenty of speed for Eddington to run at this time. The son of Unbridled bided his time behind the pace and blew by down the stretch to win the $500,000 Pimlico Special Handicap (gr. I) Friday by 5 1/4 lengths.
In both the good times and the bad times, 1990 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Unbridled would let his trainer, Carl Nafzger, know everything was all right.
Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez teamed for their third straight stakes victory Saturday at Gulfstream Park when Char-Mari Stable's Navesink River prevailed in the $150,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. II) on the grass.
Santa Anita's leading trainer Doug O'Neill won his seventh stakes of the meeting Sunday when Grand Appointment took the $137,875 Sensational Star Handicap for older horses bred in California.
The twice classic-placed Eddington had an easy time of it Sunday, crushing his field in the $37,000 feature at Gulfstream Park.
Harlington won his debut at Aqueduct on Sunday, becoming the fifth winner from as many foals out of champion mare Serena's Song to become a winner. Each of Harlington's older siblings won in excess of $100,000 including group I winner Sophisticat.
A 2-year-old daughter of Storm Cat and a 3-year-old Unbridled filly were both bought by Arch Bloodstock to top Tuesday's session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The session average was up 36.7% and the median rose 50% over the comparable day one year ago.
James Binger, the former owner of famed Tartan Farms in Florida, died Wednesday in Minnesota. The native of St. Paul was 88.
Making his first start on grass, former Triple Crown contender Eddington squeezed between horses in the stretch to nip the determined pacesetter Bob's Proud Movement by a head for victory in the $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) in Florida.
A rainy Thursday afternoon at Belmont Park saw the return of Jerry Bailey, the debut of Smuggler, and a wild ninth race that included two late scratches, a spill, and a lengthy stewards' inquiry.
With an eye-catching move in mid-stretch, 3-year-old Mustanfar defeated older horses for the first time in his career, capturing the $150,000-added Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) in fine style Saturday on the Keeneland turf course.
Salute, a 2-year-old daughter of Unbridled out of the undefeated champion Personal Ensign, ran an encouraging second as the 4-5 favorite in her debut Sunday at Belmont Park.
Chiefswood Stable's Niigon held off 6-5 favorite A Bit O'Gold for a three-quarters of a length victory in the $1 million Queen's Plate for 3-year-olds Sunday, the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine.
Bits and pieces from around the industry...
Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Tapit is by a horse that ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and out of a mare by a horse that won the Kentucky Derby.
The first foal for Malabar Gold arrived Jan. 27 at Phil T. Owens' Houstondale Farm near Lexington. The chestnut colt, bred by Owens, is out of Time to Renew, a 14-year-old daughter of Time for a Change.
Undefeated Hallbridled, who Jan. 26 will most likely be named champion juvenile filly for 2003, will be nominated to the VISA Triple Crown, trainer Richard Mandella told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Stalwart Member, a two-time New York-bred winner of the Sports Page Handicap (gr. II) and earner of $783,807, will be retired to the Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation, where he will be the founding member of the new retirement organization.
This is the first in a series of early looks at next year's 3-year-olds and where they might stack up on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail. Right now, it is Nick Zito, Richard Mandella, and Todd Pletcher who have the numbers.
By Dan Liebman -- The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is a day for celebration. But this year it also left pedigree lovers feeling a twinge of sadness. Of the nine winners on the day, four are by sires now deceased.
A Breeders' Cup victory means the world to breeders, owners, trainers, and jockeys. The same goes for stallion owners.
Empire Maker, whose Belmont Stakes (gr. I) win ended the Triple Crown threat of Funny Cide, has been retired from racing and will stand for a fee of $100,000 live foal at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington.
Graded stakes-placed Unloosened will stand the 2004 breeding season at Leroy Bormet's B & B Farm near Monee, Ill.
Wertheimer Farm's unbeaten Halfbridled, the likely favorite for next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), showed her versatility in winning Sunday's $250,000 Oak Leaf States (gr. II) for jockey Julie Krone at Santa Anita.
B. Wayne Hughes' No Armistice, a graded stakes-placed son of Unbridled, will enter stud for the 2004 breeding season at The Pons family's Country Life Farm near Bel Air, Md.
Keeneland's September yearling sale broke out of the starting gate running hard. Nearly every key business figure sprinted ahead of last year's pace on Sept. 8 during the first of the auction's two select sessions.
Boosted by competitive bidding from leading international buyers, the Keeneland September yearling sale began on a strong note Monday at the company's sales pavilion in Lexington, Ky. The average price was up 41.1%, the median rose 32.4%, and the RNA rate was 29.7%.
The top of the yearling market faces its biggest test of the year when Keeneland's September sale gets under way Monday.
Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled showed why she's likely to be heard from later this year when she recorded a scintillating five-length victory in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar Saturday.
Arthur Hancock and Robert McNair have bought back a quarter interest in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale-topping colt they bred from buyer Padua Stables.
Bob and Bever;y Lewis' well-regarded Santa Catarina finally scored her first victory in a graded stakes race for trainer Bob Baffert in Saturday's $206,200 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.
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