A dozen long-winded turf runners will go 1 1/2 miles in the Louisville Handicap over the Churchill Downs lawn, with Danish Dynaformer holding a recency and class edge over warriors Twilight Eclipse and Kaigun.
Boggy conditions at Belmont Park were of no concern to John Murrell's Zhukova, who trounced her male rivals by six lengths May 13 in the $400,000 Man o' War Stakes (G1T).
With rain in the forecast, handicapper Dave Litfin sizes up Saturday's top stakes.
Having already taken down some of the best turf performers in Europe, Dermot Weld-trained Zhukova (IRE) is now aiming at making her first stateside impression a winning one.
- By Claire Novak
Wake Forest (GER) was given plenty of time to recover from his 2016 campaign by trainer Chad Brown, and the 7-year-old runner rewarded that patience March 4 with a narrow victory in the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) at Gulfstream Park.
The 6-year-old son of Hard Spun came off a Dec. 31 victory in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream for trainer Mike Maker and got the perfect ground-saving rail trip in the McKnight.
Grade 1 winner Twilight Eclipse seeks an unprecedented third victory in the W. L. McKnight Handicap (G3T) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28.
Keane Stud near Amenia, N.Y. has announced the fees for its entire 2017 stallion roster, which again will be headed up by Frost Giant, the state's leading sire of 2-year-olds.
Calumet Farm will introduce four new stallions in 2017, led by 2015 champion turf male Big Blue Kitten.
Highland Reel set a stiff pace and was never seriously challenged en route to a win in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
When Twilight Eclipse won his career debut in June 2012, his earnings of $20,400 represented a return of more than 20 times the $1,000 paid by John L. Langemeier when he bought the son of Purim at public auction.
Pre-entered in both the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), 2015 Turf winner Found will defend her title instead of taking on the boys on dirt.
We tend to forget or simply overlook those hard-knocking, consistent horses, who do not possess the talent of the major stars, but still show up every time.
Flintshire will try for his fourth straight graded stakes win and third grade I win this season in Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
Juddmonte Farms' Flintshire got the most patient of rides from jockey Javier Castellano, shot through on the rail at the top of the stretch, and easily held off a late drive from Money Multiplier to dominate once again on U.S. soil.
Juddmonte Farms homebred Flintshire had plenty of excuses not to win the $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes (gr. IIT) but didn't need to use any of them as he overcame a slow pace and trouble in the final turn.
They have 10 group or graded wins between them. Flintshire has won at that level this year, and Twilight Eclipse is hoping to regain that form in Saturday's race.
- By Frank Angst
Already enjoying success at distance races on the turf, Da Big Hoss found two miles also to his liking as he launched a big rally in the fourth turn on his way to a clear victory in the $300,000 Belmont Gold Cup Stakes June 10 at Belmont Park.
Trainer Chad Brown appears to hold a strong hand in the $400,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) May 14 at Belmont Park with three entrants: Morandi, Money Multiplier, and Wake Forest.
Pan American Stakes (gr. IIT) winner looks to carry on recent success April 23 at Keeneland.
After registering his biggest career win in his previous start, Grand Tito will try for a second straight grade II score when he stretches out to 1 1/2 miles for the first time in the Pan American Stakes.
Rating comfortably in second throughout, Grupo 7C Racing Stable's Grand Tito bounded to the lead off the turn and won the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. IIT) by 1 1/4 lengths March 5 at Gulfstream Park.
West Point Thoroughbreds' grade I winner Twilight Eclipse is scheduled to kick off his fifth season of racing in the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. IIT) March 12 at Gulfstream Park.
Javier Castellano was voted outstanding jockey after he exceeded his own previous single-season earnings record as his mounts in 2015 earned $28,120,767, surpassing his previous mark of $26,219,907 in 2013.
A visual look at some of the new stallions for 2016, arranged in alphabetical order. View Slideshow
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Al Khali||William I. Mott||
|Boisterous||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Exclusive Strike||Jason Servis||
|Folk Singer||Naipaul Chatterpaul||
|Speaking of Which (IRE)||Christophe Clement||
|Twilight Eclipse||H. Graham Motion||
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