Sense of Style, a convincing winner of the seven-furlong Spinaway Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga last month, figures to be a very short price against five rivals in Sunday's Matron Stakes (gr. I) at a mile at Belmont Park.
Birdstone's 2 1/2-length win Saturday in the Travers (gr. I) at Saratoga, coupled with the colt's upset of Smarty Jones in the Belmont (gr. I), opens up the race for this year's 3-year-old championship, at least in the minds of some.
Marylou Whitney Stable's Belmont-winning Birdstone gave trainer Nick Zito his first victory in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, just moments before an intense rainstorm hit the track.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Birdstone breezed six furlongs in 1:13 4/5, with regular exercise rider Maxine Correa aboard, over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track that was rated "good" on Saturday.
Trainer Nick Zito sent two of his three starters for the grade I, $1 million Travers Aug. 28 out for works on the main track at Saratoga Friday morning. Sir Shackleton breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 while The Cliff's Edge went the same distance in 1:01 1/5.
Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone, owned by Marylou Whitney Stables, breezed six furlongs in 1:16 Sunday over the fast Oklahoma training track at Saratoga with regular exercise rider Maxine Correa up.
Two noses were all that separated the first three finishers in a desperate finish to Sunday's $100,000 Oceanport Handicap (gr. IIIT). Gulch Approval, ridden by Pat Day, eked out a victory over favored Kathir and Stormy Roman on the grass at Monmouth Park.
Highlights of this week's report from Saratoga: Redemption for Lukas and Azeri...Anniversary of an historic Travers... No spa visit for Actxecutive... Stamina in the Family of Afleet Alex... Sir Shackleton, Zito's Sleeper.
Marylou Whitney's Birdstone, who denied Smarty Jones the Triple Crown with his victory in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), will make his first start back in the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I), trainer Nick Zito said July 23.
Two veterans of the Triple Crown trail whose paths have yet to cross will finally meet as the favorites in Saturday's $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Robert B. LaPenta's The Cliff's Edge, winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) before finishing fifth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is scheduled to return to competition Saturday in the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park. The $150,000 race will be run at 1 1/16 miles.
By Steve Haskin -- Birdstone wins the Belmont, denies Smarty Jones the Triple Crown.
Although he has trained winners of nearly every major race in North America, including the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) twice, trainer Nick Zito said Saturday's victory by Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) was the highlight of his career.
A record crowd of more than 120,000 went from a roar to silence today at Belmont Park as Birdstone upset Smarty Jones in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and denied racing its 12th Triple Crown winner.
With Visa Triple Crown Challenge contender Smarty Jones biding his time at Philadelphia Park until mid-week, three colts who will attempt to pull an upset in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) worked five-eighths of a mile at Belmont Park Monday.
Marylou Whitney's Champagne (gr. I) winner Birdstone breezed five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track Saturday morning.
Royal Assault, content to lope along near the back of the pack early under a patient Pat Day, unleashed a strong run in the stretch to win the Sir Barton Stakes for 3-year-olds Saturday at Pimlico.
Trainer Nick Zito reported Wednesday morning that The Cliff's Edge had some "pulsation" in his right front foot, making the Gulch colt questionable for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Little Matth Man, a New York-bred colt by Matty G. who has not run since finishing seventh in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) on April 10, breezed a half-mile in :47 flat Monday morning at Philadelphia Park.
Trainer Nick Zito, who saddled two horses in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), could have two or even three in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Zito said owner Tracy Farmer and racing manager Lincoln Collins are seriously considering the second leg of the Triple Crown for Sir Shackleton and/or Royal Assault.
The rain arrived at Churchill Downs as predicted. About 4:10 p.m., nearly two hours before post time to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) it began raining hard at Churchill Downs. The track turned sloppy in a matter of minutes
With the serious works out of the way, it was time to get a different perspective on things. The starting gate is a hotbed of activity, as you get to see many of the Derby horses close up and observe how they're acting, how they're looking, and how they handle the gate. It's also a great vantage point to watch the gallops.
The week leading up to Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) got off to good start Monday, with four definite starters and one horse that is still knocking on the door breezing over a fast track at Churchill Downs.
Favored Sir Shackleton, making his stakes debut, repelled the challenge of Courageous Act in the stretch and went on to post a convincing victory in Saturday's $110,800 Derby Trial (gr. III) on opening day at Churchill Downs.
Smarty Jones and Birdstone, among the 3-year-olds vying for favoritism in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), sizzled in Saturday morning workouts at Churchill Downs.
Although the final time might have been a little faster than he would have preferred, trainer Nick Zito was pleased with Monday's workout by The Cliff's Edge as the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner continued to prepare for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Marylou Whitney Stable's Birdstone, who was scratched from last week's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, resumed serious preparation for Kentucky Derby 130 (gr. I) May 1 with a five-furlong workout on Thursday at Churchill Downs.
Birdstone was declared out of Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) after tests showed an elevated white cell count.
Lion Heart was installed the 5-2 morning line favorite against eight other 3-year-olds for Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and trainer Patrick Biancone agreed. "He's that good and I hope he gets to show it on the track," Biancone said.
Trainers Shug McGaughey and Nick Zito and 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away are among the candidates for election to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, Museum president John T. von Stade announced Monday, April 4. More than 140 members of the racing media will vote on the Hall of Fame, and the one winner in each category will be announced via teleconference on May 25.
Trainer Nick Zito announced Friday that Buckram Oak Farm's Eurosilver has been removed from consideration for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) due to the lingering effects of a glandular infection.
Trainer Nick Zito said Buckram Oak Farm's Eurosilver, one of the leading candidates for the Triple Crown events, is being treated for an infection and will miss the April 10 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Trainer Nick Zito and jockey Jerry Bailey, the connections for even-money favorite Birdstone who drew the rail for the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes, will also join forces Saturday with El Prado Rob, who drew the rail for the Rushaway Stakes on the undercard.
There are eight firm candidates for Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), according to the racing office at Turfway Park, with as many as four others riding the fence.
Marylou Whitney Stables' homebred Birdstone, winner of the grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont last year, is the talk of Turfway leading up to their signature Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prep, Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II). However, the diminutive son of Grindstone hasn't exactly scared anyone off from the $500,000 race with as many as 14 others considering the race.
Robert LaPenta, the Connecticut communications company executive who campaigns Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender The Cliff's Edge, went to $1,050,000 Monday to acquire a son of
The Nick Zito-trained pair of Birdstone and Eurosilver lead Action This Day in the latest installment of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender analysis by Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse.
Trainer Bob Durso said he will start his undefeated Frisky Spider in either the Hutcheson or the Fountain of Youth, while Nick Zito is considering those races and allowances for Birdstone, Eurosilver, and The Cliff's Edge.
The electricity that once rippled throughout Gulfstream Park each winter has moved north to Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach, where many of the country's top 3-year-olds prepare in style for their arduous journey to Churchill Downs.
Silver Wagon will hit the trail toward Churchill Downs when he takes the gate against at field of 10 runners in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. The 15th running of the Holy Bull goes as the 10th event on an 11-race card with a first post time of 1 p.m.
The Cliff's Edge won the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Saturday, after which trainer Nick Zito said he would still rank the colt behind two of his other juveniles, Eurosilver and Birdstone.
Trainer Nick Zito looks for another big effort by The Cliff's Edge, the odds-on favorite for Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs
Najran, who earlier this year equaled an American record for a mile on dirt, will stand in 2004 at Rick Trontz' Hopewell Farm near Midway, Ky. He will stand for $7,500.
Buckram Oak Farm's Lane's End Futurity (gr. II) winner Eurosilver will be rested for a spring campaign and Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III) winner Najran will be retired to the breeding shed trainer Nick Zito said Thursday.
- By Tom Precious
Trainer Nick Zito has dropped his legal fight with New York racing regulators and decided to begin serving a 10-day suspension slapped on him more than two years ago.
Bird Town made the lead as they came out of the turn, and then held off a late charge from Lady Tak to win the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) Friday at Belmont Park. It was the second straight grade I win for Bird Town, who won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) the day before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Trainer Nick Zito vowed to take a New York appeals court ruling Thursday, which upheld a 15-day suspension and $2,000 fine against him, to a higher court.
Shane Sellers, who has not ridden steadily since January of 2001, is returning to the saddle Wednesday at Keeneland.
Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) winner Medaglia d'Oro has been installed the odds-on 2-5 morning line choice to win Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Having won the 1996 Preakness with Louis Quatorze, trainer Nick Zito is looking for another big payday with a daughter of the renowned horse. Aly Quatorze, who won twice at Gulfstream this winter, will take on favored Chamrousse in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) on Friday.
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