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).
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.
The turf marathon niche has proven one that suits Jed Cohen's Itsinthepost as the bay gelding scored his second straight graded triumph when he captured the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (G2T) by 1 1/4 lengths over Charming Kitten.
Long-winded turf winners will run for $250,000 in the Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (G2T) with a deep field headed by Itsinthepost and Danish Dynaformer.
- 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.
Grade 3 winner Winning Cause and Box Score, full brother to Temple City, enter stud.
Classic Empire, the heavy favorite to be named 2-year-old champion male, took another significant step Jan. 16 toward possibly launching his 3-year-old campaign in the Feb. 4 Holy Bull Stakes (G2).
The Casse Racing shedrow got their first positive answer to some questions Jan. 8 when Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Classic Empire and champion turf female Tepin each turned in their first moves of 2017.
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.
Amerman Racing Stables' Infinite Wisdom, lightly raced when compared with others in the field, seeks his third win in a row and first in a stakes in the $150,000 Oceanport (gr. IIIT) July 31 at Monmouth Park.
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.
A trio of 6-year-olds that have been trending the wrong way will try to recall their glory days in the nine-furlong Nijinsky at Woodbine
- 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.
The Mark Casse trainee would not be denied April 2 as he closed with a sustained rally through the Gulfstream Park stretch and won the $200,000 Pan American Stakes (gr. IIT) by a head.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Charming Kitten||Michael J. Maker||
|Exclusive Strike||Jason Servis||
|Ghurair||Brendan P. Walsh||
|Kaigun||Mark E. Casse||
|Lochte||Marcus J. Vitali||
|Main Sequence||H. Graham Motion||
|Side Glance (GB)||Andrew Balding||
|Twilight Eclipse||H. Graham Motion||
|Winning Cause||Todd A. Pletcher||
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