Alpha, a son of leading sire and fellow Darley stallion Bernardini -- and the first horse to win both the Travers and the Woodward in nearly 15 years -- has been retired to Becky Thomas' Sequel Stallions in New York.
Southern Equine Stables' Whitney (gr. I) winner Moreno and runner-up Itsmyluckyday will face off again Aug. 30 in the final grade I event for older horses of the Saratoga Race Course season, the $600,000 Woodward Stakes.
Despite skipping a start in the Aug. 9 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT), two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan moved forward in his recovery from colic surgery when he worked over the main track at Saratoga that day.
Jockey Joel Rosario continues to recover from the foot injury that caused him to miss major mounts over the Aug. 24 weekend, and is on course for a comeback around the first week in October, agent Ron Anderson said Sept. 4.
Godolphin Stables' Alpha sprung a wire-to-wire upset in the $735,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 31, winning for the first time since he took the 2012 Travers Stakes (gr. I) in a dead heat.
Janis Whitham's homebred Fort Larned and Morton Fink's homebred Successful Dan both worked Aug. 20 at Saratoga Race Course in preparation for the $750,000 Woodward (gr. I) on Aug. 31.
The latest odds say otherwise, but she certainly belongs in the mix read blog
Head to head races highlight first day of last week of racing read blog
Another showdown between Blind Luck and Havre de Grace will likely have to wait for another day, as Rick Porter said Aug. 19 that Havre de Grace is headed to face males in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 3.
Fox Hill Farms' Havre de Grace worked five furlongs in :59 3/5 Aug. 17 at Delaware Park, while rival Blind Luck breezed six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 at Del Mar the same morning.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Shackleford, second by a neck to Coil in the July 31 Haskell Invitational (gr. I), arrived at Saratoga shortly after 4 p.m. Aug. 1 to prepare for his next start.
An excellent card takes the meet into waning days. Read Blog
Quality Road will try to rebound from his narrow Whitney Handicap (gr. I) defeat last month when headlining the field in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 4 at Saratoga.
Rachel Alexandra's extraordinary victory in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga has been voted by fans as NYRA's 2009 "Story of the Year."
Standing outside his barn at Saratoga the morning of Sept. 6, trainer Steve Asmussen was still basking in the glow of Rachel Alexandra's historic victory in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) as he reported the filly came out of the race in good shape.
Rachel Alexandra cemented herself as one of the best fillies of all-time in a race for the ages, as she set a suicidal pace and then was all out under Calvin Borel to hold off a bold charge from Macho Again to win the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) by a head in electrifying fashion Sept. 5 at Saratoga.
Rachel Alexandra seems to have accomplished the impossible this year. The 3-year-old filly won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) by nearly 40 lengths and manhandled males in the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I).
Fresh off a runner-up finish in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again will make his next start in the $750,000 Woodward (gr. I) on Sept. 5, where he will meet a field that will include superstar filly Rachel Alexandra.
Preakness-winning filly Rachel Alexandra put in her first work at Saratoga Race Course the morning of Aug. 11 in preparation for her as-yet-to-be-determined next start, covering a half-mile in :50.72 under exercise rider Dominic Terry.
Stonestreet Stable's Rachel Alexandra was on Saratoga's Oklahoma training track Aug. 6 for a gallop and will return to the work tab next week, most likely Aug. 11, trainer Steve Asmussen said.
Step aside, Allen Jerkens. Bobby Frankel may string up his own slingshot and take on the role of Giant Killer. Frankel said he is considering going up against racing's two-headed monster, Curlin and Big Brown, in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30 and Monmouth Stakes Sept. 13, respectively.
Jess Jackson, majority owner of Curlin, responded to the connections of Big Brown Aug. 13 after they declined an invitation to race the reigning Horse of the Year in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I), challenging them instead to meet in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Belmont Park. Jackson also stated the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita "is not part of my current plan for Curlin."
- By Steve Haskin
The Big Brown-Curlin soap opera continued Aug. 13 when Jess Jackson, majority owner of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, announced he will donate $50,000 from the Jackson Curlin for Kids Fund to the non-profit Belmont Child Care Association, Anna House, if Big Brown runs in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30.
Minority owner Paul Pompa Jr. confirmed that Big Brown will not go to Saratoga this summer. The connections will instead look for a turf race for the dual classic winner's next start.
Curlin will make his next start in the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) Aug. 30 at Saratoga, Stonestreet Stables' Jess Jackson told media members Aug. 5, but the majority owner would not commit to sending the reigning Horse of the Year anywhere after that, including the Breeders' Cup later this year at Santa Anita. Jackson also left the possibility open that Curlin could race next year, saying the chances were "pretty slim, but not foreclosed."
Well, it wasn't another course record, but the performance by Lawyer Ron in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 1 was every bit as impressive as what he did one month earlier in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
Todd Pletcher is not expecting another Saratoga track record, but the nation's leading trainer is looking forward to another big effort from Lawyer Ron in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 1 at Saratoga.
Following Sunday's deluge of Todd Pletcher works, and a pair by Kiaran McLaughlin's two stars, there still was enough activity at Belmont Park on a glorious fall morning Oct. 30 to keep one entertained.
- By Vic Zast
Tracy Farmer's dark bay colt by Charismatic has amassed more than $2 million on the racetrack, but even as the 2-1 favorite, he could only finish third in The Woodward (gr. I) on Saturday.
Saratoga Race Course's first running of The Woodward (gr. I) produced what is believed to be the highest winning odds in the prestigious stake's 53-year history when 31-1 shot Premium Tap edged Second of June by a half-length Saturday.
The running of the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga could turn out to be the most crucial start of the year for 2005 Travers (gr. I) champion Flower Alley. It will be the colt's first race since the death of his breeder, George Brunacini, one of 49 people who perished Sunday morning in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington.
The "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge" will present live coverage of the Woodward Stakes and Forego Handicap (both gr. I) Sept. 2 on ESPN from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (ET).
Funny Cide, who has been the pride of Sackatoga Stable, New York and Saratoga, put in the best workout for five furlongs over Saratoga's main track in 1:00, breezing, Thursday morning.
Invasor, winner of Saturday's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga in a thrilling stretch drive over Sun King, is likely to make his next start in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) on Sept. 2.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. figured all he needed in order to get Saint Liam home on top in Saturday's $490,000 Woodward (gr. I) was to put a little pace pressure on Commentator, who upset his star in the Whitney (gr. I). Dutrow's strategy worked to perfection as Saint Liam galloped home an easy winner at Belmont Park.
Saturday's $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park managed to pry four horses out of the comfort of their stalls for the dubious task of taking on the race's two brilliant stars, Commentator and Saint Liam, the one-two finishers in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
Saint Liam breezed six furlongs over Aqueduct's main track Sunday morning in 1:16 3/5. An earner of more than $1.7 million, Saint Liam is running in Saturday's $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Grade I winner Commentator breezed a half mile over Saratoga's training track Friday morning in :51. It was the gelding's first recorded work since winning the Whitney Handica (gr. I) Aug. 6.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Roses in May breezed six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 over the main Saratoga Race Course track Thursday with Angel Cordero Jr. in the irons.
Stonerside Stable's Sis City, winner of the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) earlier this year, breezed seven furlongs in 1:27 3/5 over the main Saratoga Race Course track Thursday morning with Rudy Rodriguez aboard. The filly is scheduled to make her next start in the Alabama (gr. I) Aug. 20.
There was no debating Ghostzapper's talent heading into the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) at Belmont Park Saturday. After his gut-wrenching neck victory over Saint Liam, fans have a good idea of the size of his heart as well.
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.
The first "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships on TVG/Fox Sports Net" show of the season will air Saturday from Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.
Mineshaft, clearly the class of the field, shook off a stubborn Hold That Tiger in the stretch to draw away to an easy 4 1/4-length triumph in the $500,000 Woodward at Belmont Park Saturday.
William Farish's Mineshaft will be the marquee attraction on Saturday's Belmont Park card that will feature three grade I events. The 4-year-old colt will go for his third straight grade I win against four rivals in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes over 1 1/8 miles.
It's taken more than 10 months, but Hold That Tiger, who finished a fast-closing third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), finally has returned to the U.S. to run in Saturday's $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I).
Will Farish's Mineshaft moved one step closer to next Saturday's $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) at Belmont Park with a six-furlong work that went in an impressive 1:11 2/5 over the Saratoga Race Course main track Thursday morning for trainer Neil Howard.
Neil Howard, trainer of top older horse Mineshaft, watched the Travers (gr. I) with interest. He is likely to meet up with Ten Most Wanted later in the fall at the Breeders' Cup.
Amerman Racing Stables' Lido Palace, a millionaire twice over and two-time champion colt in his native Chile, has been retired from racing due to a wrenched ankle that has not sufficiently responded to rest.
Woodward (gr. I) runner-up Gander came out of the race with a slight "bug," but has recovered according to trainer John Terranova.
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