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4.25.2019:

Belmont, Lone Star to Offer Cross Country Pick 5 on Sunday

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will again host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Sunday, featuring racing action from Belmont Park as well as Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. All of the Cross Country Pick 5 action will feature live on America's Day at the Races, formerly known as Belmont Park Live, which broadcasts nationwide on FS2 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET and will carry locally on MSG+ from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET. Racing analyst Jonathon Kinchen will be on-track at Lone Star Park to provide expert analysis of the featured Steve Sexton Mile. Kicking off the sequence is Belmont Park's seventh race which is a seven-furlong maiden event over the main track featuring the Todd Pletcher-trained Presto, the Chad Brown-trained pair of Fullness of Time and Lookin At Roses as well as Spice Road who is a full-brother to graded stakes winner Avery Island. The race is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. ET. The second leg will be Lone Star Park's sixth race. Carded for 5:05 p.m. ET, the event is a five-furlong maiden claiming race on the turf for 3-year-olds and upward which drew a field off 11 plus one also eligible entrant. Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen has two entered for the event, with Mighty Merle and Trip Candy. The action then shifts back to New York for the eighth race at Belmont - a New York-bred allowance event going six furlongs on the main track, featuring Belle Gallantey winner Not About the Nail, stakes placed Orchid Party and My Last Million who seeks a third straight victory. The penultimate leg, the Grade 3 $300,000 Steve Sexton Mile, includes a well-matched field of 10 contestants including Charles Fipke's Title Ready who was a winner at Aqueduct during the winter meet; the Phil D'Amato trained stakes placed pair of King Abner and Air Strike; and multiple graded stakes winning millionaire Shotgun Kowboy. For the past two years, the winner of the Steve Sexton Mile has gone on to win the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap as a part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. The one-mile test over the Lone Star main track is scheduled to go off at 5:40 p.m. ET. The Cross Country Pick 5 closes out in Belmont Park's featured event - the $125,000 License Fee for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward going six furlongs on the inner turf. A field of seven has been drawn for the event including German-bred Albertville, who makes her first start in the United States for trainer Christophe Clement and stakes-winner Broadway Run. Trained by John Terranova, the Florida-bred daughter of Prospective has never finished off the board in six career starts. The License Fee has a scheduled post time of 5:51 p.m. ET. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool. Cross Country Pick 5 on Sunday, April 28 Leg 1: Belmont Park - Race 7, 4:45 p.m.Leg 2: Lone Star Park - Race 6, 5:05 pmLeg 3: Belmont Park - Race 8, 5:18 p.m.Leg 4: Lone Star Park - Grade 3 $300,000 Steve Sexton Mile (Race 7, 5:40 pm)Leg 5: Belmont Park - $125,000 License Fee (Race 9, 5:51 p.m.)      

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4.21.2019:

Alwaysmining Romps in Xpressbet Federico Tesio Stakes

LAUREL, MD – Impressive as he had been in putting together a five-race win streak, four of them in stakes, Runnymede Racing’s Alwaysmining took it to another level with an11 ½-length romp in Saturday’s $125,000 Xpressbet Federico Tesio at Laurel Park, punching his ticket to the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1). The 38th running of the Tesio for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles highlighted an 11-race Spring Stakes Spectacular program of seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses. For the fourth straight year, the Tesio served as a ‘Win and In’ event for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the Preakness, the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course. “As long as we come back ok, that’s our goal,” winning trainer Kelly Rubley said. Tested in the early stages for the first time during his streak, now at six straight, Alwaysmining settled in third down the backstretch and met no resistance sweeping to the lead on the outside around the turn, powering through the lane under a hand ride from Daniel Centeno to hit the wire in 1:50.12 over a fast main track. It was the fastest 1 1/8-mile Tesio, which has also been contested at 1 1/16 miles, since Xchanger ran 1:14.98 in 2007, when the race was held at Pimlico. Alwaysmining becomes the eighth Maryland-bred and first since Concealed Identity in 2011 to win the Tesio since it was opened up beyond restricted company in 1987. “You just hate to get overconfident, but this is what I had expected to happen so I’m really glad it came true,” Rubley said. “We’re all very excited. It’s a fabulous day.” A front-running winner of his previous five races by 25 combined lengths, Alwaysmining was outrun to the lead by Bozzini, coming back on a week’s rest, who coasted through an opening quarter-mile in 25 seconds pressed by 45-1 long shot Trifor Gold, going the half in 48.47. Centeno had Alwaysmining in the clear in third, ready to pounce, which they did as the field left the backstretch after six furlongs in 1:12.97. Having displayed an ability to go two turns with his victory in the Private Terms Stakes March 16, Alwaysmining willingly outdistanced his rivals with little urging from Centeno. “The plan was to try to make the lead, but I didn’t want to chase them, so I let them go. I decided to take him back and put him behind them. He was comfortable, nice and relaxed. I put him on the outside on the backstretch and when it was time to go, he took off,” Centeno said. “[The Preakness] will be a completely different game. I told Kelly, he’ll be completely relaxed. We don’t need to put him on the lead. We can do whatever we want with him.” Rubley had worked Alwaysmining behind horses, felt confident the gelded son of Grade 1 winner Stay Thirsty was not reliant on the lead, and was relieved to see her assessment was on the mark. “Honestly I was glad to see that he settled and he was able to relax,” she said. “It looked like it got a little tight, but Danny didn’t really think it did. Somebody had to test us sooner or later. I’m glad we got it out of the way here, and I’m confident that he handles it well.” Now a five-time stakes winner, following the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Heft at 2 and Miracle Wood to open his sophomore campaign, Alwaysmining turned in what Rubley felt was his most impressive performance to date.  “I think it is because we actually had a bit more of a challenge at the start of this race and I think that was good to see, that this horse is as versatile as we thought he is,” she said. “He didn’t have a problem relaxing and then when it was time to go, he went.” Trifor Gold was a distant second, two lengths ahead of Bozzini, followed by Dixie Drawl and Tybalt. Majid was scratched. The Federico Tesio, a Grade 3 event from 1988-97, is named for the famed Italian breeder, owner and trainer whose undefeated homebreds, Nearco and Ribot, dominate Thoroughbred bloodlines throughout the world. Tesio died in 1954 at the age of 85.

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4.18.2019:

Major US Racing Organizations Announce Plans to Implement Prohibition of Race-Day Medication

A coalition of leading Thoroughbred racing associations and organizations announced today a new initiative committed to phasing out the use of the medication Furosemide (Lasix) beginning in 2020 and eliminating the use of Lasix in stakes races held at their racetracks beginning in 2021. Coalition racetracks that have signed on to this initiative include all tracks owned or operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and The Stronach Group as well as Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos Racecourse (Thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs. Taken together these tracks represent 86% of the stakes races assigned graded or listed status in the United States in 2018. The coalition tracks will work diligently with their respective horsemen’s associations and racing commissions towards implementing this effort. Under the new program, beginning on January 1, 2020, two-year old horses would not be allowed to be treated with Lasix within 24 hours of a race. Beginning in 2021, the same prohibition would extend to all horses participating in any stakes race at coalition tracks. Accordingly, in 2021 the races comprising the Triple Crown would all be run under the new rules regarding race day medication.Breeders’ Cup Limited, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA) and the American Graded Stakes Committee of TOBA, and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association have also joined the coalition in support of this new policy. “This is a progressive and unified approach to the subject of race day medication, achieving consistency with international standards for young horses and those that form the foundations of our breeding stock,” said David O’Rourke, president and chief executive officer of NYRA. “This is a huge moment that signals a collective move to evolve this legacy sport. While there is still more work to be done, these reforms are a good start. This industry coalition has taken an important step forward toward a uniform policy and we are committed to focusing our attention and resources on how to make further improvements that directly prioritize equine health and safety. We applaud our industry partners and we look forward to continued collaboration,” said Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group. “Over the past several years, we have met with numerous stakeholders to drive action on many of our sport’s central issues,” said Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of CDI. “This is a significant and meaningful step to further harmonize American racing with international standards. We will continue to work with other stakeholders, including our horsemen and regulatory agencies, to fully implement this and other important reforms.” “This new program is an essential step as we look toward the long-term sustainability of US-breds on the national and international stages. Protecting the integrity of our sport is core to our mission and is our collective responsibility to the industry,” said Keeneland president and chief executive officer Bill Thomason. The coalition racing organizations invite other North American race tracks to join this effort and adopt the same policies. Participating tracks include Aqueduct Racetrack, Arlington International Racecourse, Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West, Keeneland, Laurel Park, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos (Thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park, Pimlico, Presque Isle Downs, Saratoga Race Course and Tampa Bay Downs. Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park will continue to run under the previously announced limitations to race-day medication.

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4.17.2019:

Alwaysmining Headlines $125,000 Xpressbet Federico Tesio Stakes

LAUREL, MD – As the racing manager for Greg and Caroline Bentley’s Runnymede Racing, Joe Cassidy is always on the lookout for a good horse. After watching a Maryland-bred son of Stay Thirsty break his maiden in handy fashion last summer at Laurel Park, he thought he found one. Cassidy, the Bentleys or trainer Kelly Rubley had no idea just how good. After finishing off the board in his first two starts for Runnymede, one of them on turf, Alwaysmining has reeled off five consecutive victories, the last four in stakes, heading into Saturday’s $125,000 Xpressbet Federico Tesio at Laurel. The 38th running of the Tesio for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles is one of seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses on an 11-race Spring Stakes Spectacular program. For the fourth straight year, the Tesio serves as a ‘Win and In’ event for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 144th Preakness (G1) May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course. Also on Saturday’s card are the $125,000 Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies, a ‘Win and In’ race for the 95th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 18 at Pimlico; $100,000 Frank Whiteley Jr. and Primonetta for sprinters 3 and up on the main track; $100,000 Henry S. Clark presented by Fidelity First and James Blackwell Real Estate and Dahlia at one mile on Laurel’s world-class turf course; and inaugural $100,000 King T. Leatherbury Stakes presented by B&B Commercial Interiors going 5 ½ furlongs on the grass. First race post time is 1:10 p.m. “We were really looking to just get regional horses, plus the extra bonus money you get when you have a state-bred horse. It’s always good for the bottom line. It was just a business decision from the strictest point,” Cassidy said. “Honestly, he was a Maryland-bred, and we were looking for some young horses that had dirt experience that could run through the winter locally. “The Bentleys were not running a lot of dirt horses and they wanted to change their profile, and he hit it between the eyes,” he added. “Being a Maryland-bred, we thought being a nice horse he can run in some nice Maryland-bred races and maybe a Maryland-bred stake. It would be icing on the cake.” Still relatively new to the ownership game, much of the Bentleys’ success thus far had come with turf horses. Postulation won the American St. Leger (G3) in 2017 at Arlington Park where, three years earlier, Hardest Core upset the Arlington Million (G1) at odds of 11-1. Hardest Core, who resided at Runnymede Farm near Unionville, Pa., ran in the name of Andrew P. Bentley Stables, the Bentleys’ son. “They’re ecstatic. You couldn’t have scripted it for us better. We thought we bought a nice horse, and he turned out to be even better than expectations. They’re just loving it,” Cassidy said. “This is new for them, to have a top 3-year-old and they love it. They love the game, they love going to Laurel, they love the whole experience. “This has been great for us,” he added. “We’ve got some broodmares and we’ve been trying to get some dirt pedigrees so we have a little more diversification. This has just solidified that the direction they want to go is the right direction.” Since last fall, Alwaysmining has done everything right. All five of his victories have come in front-running fashion under jockey Daniel Centeno, who continued to fly in from Florida over the winter to ride. All together, they have won by 25 combined lengths, starting with a 10-length romp through the slop in October. From there, Alwaysmining won the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Heft Stakes, both at seven furlongs, to cap his 2-year-old season. At that time, the connections got together to plot out a course of action for the gelding, whose sire ran in two legs of the 2011 Triple Crown, finishing second in the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes, before winning the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy (G2) and 1 ¼-mile Travers (G1). Ultimately, the decision was made to take a conservative approach. He opened his sophomore campaign with a 4 ¼-length triumph in the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 16, then followed up by acing his first two-turn test with a 6 ¾-length score in the Private Terms, contested at about 1 1/16 miles, March 16. Alwaysmining was nominated to Kentucky Derby (G1) point-qualifying races in California, Kentucky and New York the first weekend of April, but the connections stayed true to their plan. “When Kelly Rubley, the Bentleys and myself sat down after the Heft Stakes, we mapped these three races out for him. It was from a timing figure, a distance figure, and everything worked out perfectly,” Cassidy said. “He’s stabled at Fair Hill, so he didn’t have to do a lot of shipping. “After the Private Terms there was a little more pressure to go on the road, but we said, “This is what we mapped out, it’s been working so far, why deviate from that?’” he added. “He’s a gelding, so his longevity is most important. The best interests of him is most important. We weren’t sure about going the two turns and then after the last race, he did a great job, so let’s just stick to the plan, and the Bentleys have been great with it.” Among the horses Alwaysmining has beaten during his streak are Win Win Win, track-record winner of the Pasco Stakes this winter in Tampa and runner-up in the Blue Grass (G1) who is bound for the Derby; and Grade 3-placed Tremont Stakes winner Our Braintrust, also on the Derby trail prior to his off-the-board finish in the Rebel (G2) last month. “These are nice horses that he’s running against and we were like, ‘What a nice horse.’ After the second time your heart starts beating a little faster,” Cassidy said. “Going into the Miracle Wood he had a little break and we’ll see how he does. Then he goes two turns in the Private Terms and does what he does. It’s pretty thrilling to have a horse that’s doing this, the way he does it. “You have to give Kelly a tremendous amount of credit, and her team,” he added. “Danny Centeno has ridden him perfectly. We’re lucky that we have the people we have. They’ve done a fabulous job for us and we’re just enjoying the ride. If [the Preakness] were to happen, you’d have to peel us off the ceiling.” For the third straight race, Alwaysmining figures to be an overwhelming favorite from Post 2 in a field of six at topweight of 122 pounds, four more than each of his rivals. He has worked three times over Fair Hill’s all-weather surface, including a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 April 6. “Kelly’s very happy with the horse,” Cassidy said. “The great thing about this horse is, after it’s over he switches right back off. He’s just a sweet horse to be around. He’s a lovely horse, so the Bentleys quite enjoy being able to go to the barn and pet him and give him cookies and that kind of thing. All the way around, it’s been a great experience for them. They couldn’t be happier.” Also entered in the Tesio are multiple stakes-placed Tybalt, third behind Alwaysmining in the Miracle Wood and Private Terms; Dixie Drawl, fourth in the Private Terms in his stakes debut; Majid, a winner of his last two races including a one-mile optional claiming allowance March 24 at Laurel; Bozzini, second by a nose to Nyquist’s half-brother Still Dreaming April 13 at Laurel; and Maryland-bred Trifor Gold. “My gosh, I wish it was tomorrow,” Cassidy said. “This is another question for him. He has to get the mile and an eighth. We don’t want to put too much in front of him. He has to get the distance. It’s always a question for these young horses. We know he’ll show up, and hopefully we’re not asking him to do more than he’s up for.”

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4.13.2019:

Omaha Beach Splashes to Victory in G1 Arkansas Derby

Fox Hill Farm’s Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Omaha Beach returned to Hot Springs from his California base to post an even more impressive victory in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) before a rain-drenched crowd of 45,000. Omaha Beach, breaking from post three under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, broke well and was fifth early as longshot One Flew South led for the opening quarter mile in :23. The 8-5 favorite angled four wide on the first turn, assumed the lead by a half mile in :47 2/5 and never looked back. The Bob Baffert-trained Improbable, the 9-5 second choice, was restless in the gate, broke sixth and moved his way into second by the time the field reached the homestretch, but could not reach Omaha Beach, who won by one length in 1:49 4/5 for 1 1/8-miles on a sloppy track. Country House, who was 10th at the half-mile mark, made a huge run, closing late to be third. Laughing Fox closed from last to be fourth. Galilean, Long Range Toddy, Jersey Agenda, Tikhvin Flew, Gary Attempt, Six Shooter and One Flew South complete the 11-horse field.  Omaha Beach earned 100 points for his Arkansas Derby victory and is now second on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 137.5 points. Improbable earned 40 points for second and is safely in the Kentucky Derby field as the 11th horse on the list with 65 points. Country House earned 20 points to bring his total to 50 and is 15th on the list of 20 horses guaranteed a spot in the gate for the “Run for the Roses,” Saturday, May 4, closing day of the 2019 Oaklawn season. The Richard Mandella-trained Omaha Beach improved his record to 3-3-1 from seven starts and has earned $1,121,800. The War Front colt returned $5.40, $3 and $2.80 as the favorite. Live racing resumes tomorrow with a 1:30 p.m. first post. The day is highlighted by the $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) and the $54,000 Progressive Cash Giveaway. $1 Million Arkansas Derby (G1) Quotes Winning trainer Richard Mandella, Omaha Beach: “He looked like he was well within himself and Mike (Smith) just let him enjoy his job, just stride out and go where he went. My first thought was, ‘Jeez, don’t move too quick’ and then I thought, ‘Don’t be second-guessing Mike Smith’ – one of the greatest of all times. Just appreciate having him and can’t tell you how much I appreciate this horse and his owner (Rick Porter). We’d already ran in the slop at home, so that wasn’t much of a concern. He’s a very tractable horse. I don’t think we need to pick a surface.” Winning Owner Rick Porter, Omaha Beach: “I think the horse certainly fits with the other horses. We’ll see how he comes out of the race and see how things are going. We’ll decide, probably, tonight (regarding the Kentucky Derby).” Winning jockey Mike Smith, Omaha Beach: I had a great trip. Little nerve wracking in the gate because a few of them didn’t want to load, but he handled it all well. He got a little uptight, but then relaxed. He jumped extremely well. There were several horses that wanted the lead. Mr. Mandella has been teaching him in the morning to break off strong and then relax. He did just that. Picked a nice little spot and stayed right there. His cruising speed just takes him up there. I just basically tried to stay out of way. He’s doing is to easy, I’m better off letting him than fighting him. On having to make a decision between Omaha Beach and Santa Anita Derby winner Roadster on who to ride in the Kentucky Derby May 4: “It’s a lovely decision to have. We’re going to go back and see how everyone comes back and go from there. Evaluate the situation. Then my agent will make the decision. That’s why I pay him.” Trainer Bob Baffert, second with Improbable: “The horse, happy with the way he ran. I was a little bit worried in the starting gate. He was acting up in there. I had a few moments there of maybe he was going to rear up or do something and get left. Luckily, they unloaded him and put him back and he left there well. I thought Jose Ortiz did a masterful job of riding him. We got beat by a good horse. They showed how these California horses are good horses.” Baffert said Improbable will be pointed for the Kentucky Derby, adding he believes the colt doesn’t need blinkers (raced in the equipment for the first time in the Arkansas Derby). Trainer Bill Mott, third with Country House: “We’ll talk to the owners (about the Kentucky Derby). That’s what we were looking for (points), and he ran well.” Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., fourth on Laughing Fox: “We had a great trip. We didn’t win, but I feel like we did because he improved so much off his last race. He’s a good horse.”

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4.8.2019:

2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #4 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #4 (April 5 - 7, 2019): 1. Anothertwistafate (Blaine Wright) - 19/1 ($40.80)2. Bodexpress (Gustavo Delgado) - 65/1 ($133.20)3. Bourbon War (Mark Hennig) - 32/1 ($67.20)4. By My Standards (Bret Calhoun) - 32/1 ($67.00)5. Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey) - 20/1 ($43.20) 6. Cutting Humor (Todd Pletcher) - 50/1 ($103.40) 7. Galilean (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 53/1 ($108.80)8. Game Winner (Bob Baffert) - 7/1 ($17.60)9. Haikal (Kiaran McLaughlin) - 35/1 ($73.00)10. Improbable (Bob Baffert) - 8/1 ($19.80) 11. Instagrand (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 65/1 ($132.20) 12. Long Range Toddy (Steve Asmussen) - 23/1 ($49.20) 13. Maximum Security (Jason Servis) - 7/1 ($16.80)14. Omaha Beach (Richard Mandella) - 10/1 ($22.80) 15. Outshine (Todd Pletcher) - 111/1 ($224.20) 16. Plus Que Parfait (Brendan Walsh) - 55/1 ($112.20) 17. Roadster (Bob Baffert) - 6/1 ($15.40) 18. Signalman (Ken McPeek) - 70/1 ($143.80) 19. Spinoff (Todd Pletcher) - 35/1 ($73.20) 20. Tacitus (Bill Mott) - 8/1 ($18.40) 21. Vekoma (George Weaver) - 15/1 ($32.60) 22. War of Will (Mark Casse) - 23/1 ($48.80) 23. Win Win Win (Michael Trombetta) - 21/1 ($44.40) 24. All Other 3YO's - 9/2 ($11.80)

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4.8.2019:

Santa Anita Derby Quotes: Roadster Beats Game Winner; Instagrand Third

SANTA ANITA DERBY $1,000,000 QUOTES JOCKEY QUOTES  MIKE SMITH, ROADSTER, WINNER:  “We knew before he and Game Winner started running that they both had ability. They were breezing by the competition like this and putting them away. We weren’t sure which one was better. The first time he ran for me he showed he had all the gears. The second time he had the problem with his wind. We fixed that and he’s doing all the right things. We got a good break and then we dropped back. He took a breather, while the others were going out there quick. When I asked him again, he was gone.”  JOEL ROSARIO, GAME WINNER, SECOND: “I moved a little bit soon because they weren’t putting much pressure on Instagrand, but they weren’t going too fast up front so I was comfortable with my position. He got a little bit tired the last part, that’s why Roadster got by me.”  FLAVIEN PRAT, INSTAGRAND, THIRD:  “I though he ran very well. At the quarter pole, I thought maybe I was done, but he switched leads and made a good run.”  TRAINER QUOTES  BOB BAFFERT, ROADSTER, WINNER, & GAME WINNER, SECOND: “They’re two good horses. Game Winner was out there by himself and when he gets by himself . . . he needs company. It was a good, hard race for both of them, and coming in, that’s what you want to see. This track is deep and slow, but it’s safe, and that’s what we wanted. I couldn’t be happier. We knew that Roadster needed to win or run second (for Kentucky Derby qualifying points, 100 to the winner, 40 to the runner-up). “It was a great finish. They were both finishing well, they were fighting; Game Winner is a fighter. It was a great stretch run . . . at the eighth pole I knew I was going to win, I just didn’t know which one, but it was exciting. They’ll both like a mile and a quarter (distance of Kentucky Derby on May 4). I think Game Winner’s next race will be better. I’ve been bringing him along really easy. “Roadster is a light horse but always shown brilliance from day one. We’re just lucky we were able to bring him back, because after Del Mar I was worried that maybe the (throat) surgery didn’t go well, because it could’ve gone worse. But I couldn’t thank the surgeon that did it enough. He’s one of the best in the business and I’ve never had issues with it. His breathing is not an issue . . . Today he passed the test to know he’s good enough to go to the Big Show. “I left strategy up to my riders. Rosario and Mike know what it is to be at that high level. They did not have any instructions at all. They were on their own and they know their horses. They rode great races . . . We’re there, we’ve just got to keep them happy and healthy, enjoy the ride, the moment. It’s hard to get to this moment. What I love the best is there’s not a better feeling than there was today. “The fans, despite what they’ve reading, they showed up, they’re here to watch good racing, they bring their family, they’ll always remember the Santa Anita Derby. It was so comforting to see all these fans here and get behind us. They know at the end of the day we love our horses. We wake up worrying about them, we go to sleep worrying about them. To me, that’s what made this a great day.” OWNER QUOTES PETER FLUOR, OWNER SPEEDWAY STABLE, LLC, ROADSTER, WINNER: "I thought he would've been closer to the lead frankly, but it was cool to see him run a different kind of race. He’s been running second and then accelerating. Today, I’m proud of him for coming from off the pace like that. I wasn’t too thrilled about things halfway through the race, but Mike said he’s got gears and he showed it today. Hopefully, he comes out of it well and we can go on to the Derby. Mike did a good job keeping him relaxed and obviously he had to make a move at the top of the stretch and you're always waiting for a horse to make a move. He did just that, so happy ending. But, like I said, I thought we would've been closer up front. That was absolutely thrilling."  NOTES: This Baffert’s ninth Santa Anita Derby win.

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4.7.2019:

Vekoma Wins G2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland

Gatsas Stable and R.A. Hill Stable’s Vekoma took command from Somelikeithotbrown in the middle of the far turn and went on to post a 3½-length victory over Win Win Win in the 95th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) for 3-year-olds before a crowd of 34,775, a record for an opening Saturday of a Keeneland meet. Several Keeneland wagering records also fell on Toyota Blue Grass Day. All-sources handle for the 11-race card totaled $25,809,200, shattering the previous record of $22,634,861 set last year on Toyota Blue Grass Day. The All-Stakes Pick Five handled $1,079,197, eclipsing the previous record of $899,196 set on this day in 2018. The exacta pool totaled a record $1,300,590, and the win-place-show pool was a record $2,068,406. Trained by George Weaver and ridden by Javier Castellano, Vekoma covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:50.93. It was the first victory in the race for Weaver and Castellano. Vekoma became first horse since Coaltown in 1948 to win the race in only his fourth career start. The victory was worth 100 points on the road to the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), to be run May 4 at Churchill Downs, and gives Vekoma a total of 110, second on the leaderboard. That is more than enough to earn a spot in the starting gate, which is limited to the top 20 point earners and invitees that pass the entry box. Win Win Win, who rallied to get second by a nose over Signalman, picked up 40 points to boost his total to 50 (14th). Signalman added 20 points to boost his total to 38 (18th) and Somelikeitbrown added 10 points to increase his total to 30 (22nd). Somelikeithotbrown took the early lead out of post position one with Vekoma closely tracking in second through fractions of :23.26, :47.03 and 1:11.55. On the far turn, Castellano sent Vekoma after the leader and, entering the stretch, quickly opened up. Signalman moved into second at midstretch only to have Win Win Win nip him at the wire for the runner-up spot. A Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Vekoma is a Kentucky-bred son of Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Speightstown mare Mona de Momma. The $600,000 winner’s check boosted his earnings to $788,850 with a record of 4-3-0-1. Favored in the field of 14, Vekoma returned $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60. Win Win Win, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., returned $4 and $3.20 with Signalman finishing third under Brian Hernandez Jr. and paying $3.60 to show. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Somelikeithotbrown in fourth with Chess Chief, So Alive, Sir Winston, Admire, Moonster, Lucky Lee, Market King, Aquadini, Dream Maker and Parsimony following in order.

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4.7.2019:

Regally-Bred Tacitus Too Tough in G2 Wood Memorial

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Juddmonte Farms' Tacitus punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby, overtaking Tax in the stretch with an impressive move from the outside and closing strong for a 1 ¼-length win in the 95th running of the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack. Tacitus, who garnered 50 qualifying points to the 'Run for the Roses' on May 5 at Churchill Downs when he won the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby last month, earned an additional 100 points by besting the 11-horse Wood Memorial field, rocketing to the top of the leaderboard as the first horse to crack the 150-point threshold this year. Out of the gate, 51-1 longshot Joevia swung to the far left from the outermost post, nearly running into Overdeliver, before surging to the front with an opening quarter-mile in 23.62 seconds on the fast main track. Not That Brady, at 40-1, also gave chase and dueled Joevia for the early speed, eventually taking the lead with a 46.91 half-mile as the rest of the field stood 7 ½-lengths back. Nearing the final turn, Tax and Tacitus overtook the pacesetters from the outside. Tax, under jockey Junior Alvarado, held the temporary advantage before Jose Ortiz asked Tacitus for his best, overtaking his rival in the final furlong, completing 1 1/8 miles in a final time of 1:51.23. "I was pleased with his effort," said Ortiz, who won his first Wood Memorial. "I don't know about the other horses behind me, it was kind of crazy around the first turn. After that, he got a little bumped and he's a big horse. He managed to take that and go on and win the race. "A mile and a quarter will suit him. The mile and an eighth didn't bother him, so I think going a little bit longer can be good too." Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott registered his first Wood win and will now be seeking his first career Derby victory and second in a Classic, joining 2010 Belmont Stakes-winner Drosselmeyer. "I thought it was a very good effort," Mott said. "It was very rough on the first turn, but fortunately he came out of it in good order. When he got down the backside, I thought he had a nice, clear run by himself. He kind of got his feet back under him and regrouped a little bit. When it was time to run he started to wear them down. "It's not a surprise, but you always hope they show up. He's a young horse and you never know what's going to happen in any race. Some horses would have been discouraged with what happened on the first turn. They could have backed out of it or decide they didn't want any part of it after getting roughed up like that." Off as the 5-2 favorite, Tacitus returned $7.20 on a $2 win wager. The Kentucky homebred improved his career bankroll to $665,500. "He'll probably stay here for another week and then go to Churchill Downs," Mott said. "I think the race sets him up well. I think the timing is fine. I think we've got a month to go back to the Derby. He's had two races and a lot of handicappers think the third race off the bench is the best, so I hope that group of handicappers is absolutely right. I think this effort puts him at or near the top of the list [of Derby contenders]." Tax, owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable, closed 2 ¾ lengths in front of Haikal for second, earning 40 qualifying points. The Danny Gargan trainee has 72 points after winning the Grade 2 Withers [10 points] on February 2 and third [two points] in the Grade 2 Remsen on December 1. All three of Tax's Derby prep races have come at Aqueduct. "He ran huge. The horses laying up close all day have been running really well," Gargan said. "I told Junior [Alvarado], let's just break out of there and get a good position. I didn't want to take back. Let's make them run into the first turn and make your move turning for home. If we get run down, it's okay. I don't mind running second today, I just wanted to make sure we got enough Derby points to get in. We might have moved a little early today, but we get to go to Louisville, Kentucky now." Shadwell Stable's Haikal upped his point total to 70, following a 50-point boon for his Grade 3 Gotham win on March 9 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Haikal, 3-1-1 in five career starts, beat out Math Wizard by a half-length for third. "We ran very well. Obviously, his first time around two turns he finished strong. He might do better with a little faster pace, but that could happen if we go to the Derby," McLaughlin said. "You never know, two turns and the distance, it was a good answer - he answered the questions. He ran very well. He can do the distance. I don't know yet (about going to the Kentucky Derby). We'll talk to the owner." Not That Brady, Final Jeopardy, Hoffa's Union, Grumps Little Tots, Outshine and Overdeliver completed the order of finish. Joevia, who had finished seventh, was disqualified and placed last for interference stemming from the start.

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4.4.2019:

Game Winner, Roadster Headline Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2019) — A winner of a record eight Santa Anita Derbies, including last year’s running with eventual Triple Crown Champion and Horse of the Year Justify, Bob Baffert again appears to be on racing’s pole position as he sends out likely favorite Game Winner and top contender Roadster among a field of six sophomores in this Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby at a mile and one eighth. Jerry Hollendorfer’s Instagrand and John Sadler’s Nolo Contesto each merit considerable respect as well and they’ll all be vying for a total of 170 all-important Kentucky Derby qualifying points, with 100 to the winner, 40 to second, 20 to third and 10 points to the fourth place finisher. To be run for the 82nd time, the Santa Anita Derby, which was originally run in 1935, has produced 17 Kentucky Derby winners and two Triple Crown winners (Justify and Affirmed in 1978), has also served as a steppingstone to the winners of 43 overall Triple Crown races. GAME WINNER Owner:  Gary and Mary West                                       Trainer:  Bob Baffert An undefeated winner of last November’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he ran what by all accounts was a tremendous race as the 1-2 favorite in a division of the Grade II Rebel Stakes March 16 at Oaklawn Park on March 16, as he came up a nose short to top Derby prospect Omaha Beach at 1 1/16 miles.  The nation’s reigning Eclipse Award winning 2-year-old from last year, Game Winner, who is by Candy Ride, out of the A.P. Indy mare Indyan Giving, was brilliant in his only Santa Anita start, a 4 ½ length score three starts back in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 29.  A winner of four out of his five starts, he has earnings of $1,646,000. INSTAGRAND Owner:  OXO Equine, LLC                                                           Trainer:  Jerry Hollendorfer A winner of his first two starts, both sprints, by a combined 20 ¼ lengths, this Kentucky-bred colt flattened out late to finish third, beaten 1 ½ lengths as the even money favorite in the Grade III, one turn mile Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct March 9—his first start in seven months.  Currently based at Los Alamitos, Instagrand worked a bullet five furlongs in 59.40 on March 30, best of 17 moves at the distance.  Favored in all three of his starts, he’ll be reunited with Drayden Van Dyke, who was up for both of his wins on June 29 at Los Alamitos, and in the Grade II, six furlong Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 11. ROADSTER Owner:  Speedway Stable, LLC                                              Trainer:  Bob Baffert A sharp 4 ¼ length first-out maiden winner going six furlongs on July 29 at Del Mar, this Quality Road colt was then third, beaten two lengths, by Game Winner in the Grade I, seven furlong Del Mar Futurity Sept. 3.  Off as the 3-5 favorite in the Futurity, he was unraced prior to an impressive 2 ½ length allowance win going one mile here on March 1 and appears to be a colt with a very bright future.  Out of the Silver Ghost mare Ghost Dancing, Roadster, who drilled six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.60 on March 31, will be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Mike Smith. NOLO CONTESTO Owner:  Hronis Racing, LLC                                                        Trainer:  John Sadler A half length one mile maiden winner two starts back on Jan. 4, this Pioneerof the Nile colt was second, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Roadster as the 3-5 favorite in a one mile first condition allowance on March 1 and will be making his first stakes appearance in what will be his fourth career start.  Ridden by Joel Rosario in his first three outs, Joe Talamo has the call on Saturday. THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA DERBY WITH JOCKEYS IN POST POSITION ORDER Race 8 of 11  Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT Roadster—Mike Smith—124 More Ice—Geovanni Franco--124 Nolo Contesto—Joe Talamo—124 Synthesis—Rafael Bejarano—124 Instagrand—Flavien Prat—124 Game Winner—Joel Rosario--124 Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon.  Admission gates will open at 10 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.  

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4.4.2019:

Tacitus, Tax & Haikal Headline 95th Wood Memorial

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The triumvirate of graded stakes winners Tax, Tacitus and Haikal top a wide-open 95th running of the Grade 2, $750,0000 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets, slated for Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack. The Wood Memorial, which offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers, is slated for an approximate post time of 6 p.m. ET and will be part of a live national broadcast on NBCSN from 5:30-7:30 p.m., scheduled to also include the Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita Park. Prior to the NBCSN broadcast, FOX Sports Saturday At The Races will air the major stakes, including the Grade 1 Carter, leading up to the Wood Memorial with national coverage on FS2 beginning at 4 p.m. and regional coverage in the tri-state area on MSG+ starting at 3 p.m. The dependable Tax, trained by Danny Gargan for owners R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable, will look to go from claim to Kentucky Derby fame in the prestigious nine-furlong Wood. The dark bay son of Arch was claimed for $50,000 on October 21 out of a winning effort at Keeneland and promptly shipped to Aqueduct, where he ran third in the Grade 2 Remsen over nine furlongs on the Big A main. Tax, who currently boasts 12 Derby qualifying points, arrives at Saturday's test from a determined head score on February 9 over Wood rival Not That Brady in the Grade 3 Withers. "He's training tremendous; he looks good. We're just hoping we get a clean trip," said Gargan. "He's a nice horse and we're just hoping we can run top-three, so we can go to the Derby. "He's a warrior. You have to get lucky and get a horse who wants to win as much as you want to win, and that's the kind of horse he is. He wants to win," continued Gargan. "He wants to run competitive, and he trains like that. He's real competitive in the mornings, so we just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for good things going forward because the big goal is to be lucky enough to run him in the Derby." Junior Alvarado has the return call aboard Tax from the inside post in a field of 11. "Junior has a lot of insight into him. If it's working well, why change it? When a rider has confidence like that, it can only help," said Gargan. Juddmonte Farms homebred Tacitus, by Tapit out of 2014 Eclipse Champion Older Mare Close Hatches, graduated on November 10 at Aqueduct at second asking when traveling one-mile over a track labeled good.  The talented bay, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, wintered at Payson Park in Florida ahead of a successful seasonal debut in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby when 1 ¼-lengths the better of Wood rival Outshine. He picked up 50 Derby qualifying points in victory. Jose Ortiz, aboard for all three career starts, will pilot Tacitus from post 2. Shadwell Stable homebred Haikal will try two turns for the first time in the Wood. The Daaher bay is a neck away from being undefeated after narrowly missing to stakes-placed Family Biz in his debut. The late-moving Haikal broke his maiden on December 15 at Aqueduct in a six furlong sprint and used a similar style in his 3-year-old debut when rallying to a neck score over Wood rival Joevia. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, who won the Wood in 2015 with Frosted, Haikal arrives at his stamina test from a closing length score in the Grade 3 Gotham, which earned him 50 Derby qualifying points. McLaughlin said he is hopeful that Haikal will be more forwardly placed on Saturday. "The only question is the two turns, but we feel like it'll be no problem. Hopefully he won't be as far back as he was last time," said McLaughlin. "He could be in the middle of the pack or last, but he won't be 15 lengths off the pace like last time. He has a great mind and the post doesn't matter with him. We'll be behind most of the horses and so we'll be able to save ground." McLaughlin, who also conditioned Haikal's Canadian-bred sire Daaher, said that his Wood hopeful is a little more sizable than the stallion who captured the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in 2007. "The sire was very classy. This horse is a little bigger and taller than his sire and has more size to him. But we like him, and he's already won three in a row, so hopefully we can keep it going on Saturday," said McLaughlin. Rajiv Maragh, who is undefeated aboard Haikal, will guide the bay colt from post 4. Todd Pletcher, a five-time winner of the Wood, and Jason Servis will each saddle a pair of Wood starters. Pletcher previously won the Wood with Eskendereya (2010), Gemologist (2012), Verrazano (2013), Outwork (2016) and last year with Vino Rosso. On Saturday, he will send out the runners-up from both the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs. Outshine, owned by Let's Go Stable and Richard Schibell, boasts a record of 2-1-0 from four starts and arrives at the Wood from a game second to Tacitus in the Tampa Bay Derby. Pletcher said that Outshine has trained well since his Tampa Bay Derby effort. "He came out of it super and has been training very forwardly," said Pletcher. "We're excited about stretching him out to a mile and an eighth. We've been pointing to the Wood since the Tampa Bay Derby and we're optimistic from what we're seeing." Hall of Famer John Velazquez has the call aboard the Malibu Moon bay from post 10. The lightly-raced Overdeliver, a Kentucky-bred son of Overanalyze owned by Repole Stable, bested eventual Florida Derby runner-up Bode Express in an impressive debut maiden score on December 23 at Gulfstream Park. The chestnut colt followed that effort with a second-place finish in the Pasco in a troubled trip that saw Overdeliver bobble at the break in the seven-furlong test. Pletcher said the decision to come to the Wood was made based on Overdeliver's strong showing during morning training at Palm Beach Downs. "We didn't really have a firm plan after the Pasco. It's really just been based on his last three works that he's trained exceptionally well that we decided to take a shot at the Wood. I think his last couple works he's shown some really strong gallop outs and indicates that he's capable of stretching out," said Pletcher. Kendrick Carmouche has the call aboard Overdeliver from post 6. Servis, who won the Florida Derby last weekend with longshot Maximum Security for Gary and Mary West, will team up with the Wests once more when saddling optional-claiming winner Final Jeopardy and maiden winner Grumps Little Tots in the Wood. Final Jeopardy, a Street Sense bay purchased for $110,000 at the Keeneland November sale, graduated at first asking when sprinting six furlongs on December 9 at Gulfstream Park. Following a troubled trip when third in the six-furlong Limehouse at the Hallandale oval, Final Jeopardy returned to win a one-mile optional-claiming tilt by a widening 3 ¾-lengths. Aqueduct winter meet-leading rider Manny Franco has the call from post 5. Grumps Little Tots, owned by Michael Dubb, Coyle Boys Stable and Bethlehem Stables, hit the board in a trio of sprint events before graduating last out when stretched out to a one-turn mile at the Big A. The dark bay son of Sky Mesa will boast the services of Jose Lezcano from post 8. Not That Brady, bred in New York by KatieRich Farms, will look to bounce back from an uncharacteristic eighth last time out in the Grade 3 Gotham. The Big Brown chestnut, owned in part by conditioner Rudy Rodriguez with Michael Imperio, Lianna Stables, and R. A. Hill Stable, is out of the popular Lisa's Booby Trap. Not That Brady captured the Damon Runyon here on December 31 and proved his class with a strong second over nine furlongs in the Grade 3 Withers. Rodriguez has named Reylu Gutierrez for the return engagement from post 7. Michael and Jeff Fazio's Joevia, trained by Gregory Sacco, graduated at first asking before battling to a narrow neck defeat behind Haikal in the Jimmy Winfield. Last out, the Shanghai Bobby colt finished second in the Private Terms at Laurel Park. Nik Juarez will ride Joevia from the outermost post. Hoffa's Union earned a lofty 95 Beyer Speed Figure in his February 28 debut at Laurel Park, wiring a field of six by 15 ½-lengths in a 1 1/16-mile maiden event. Trained by Gary Capuano for Non Stop Stable, Rose Petal Stable and Foard J. Wilgis, the Union Rags bay will face a class test when stepping up against winners for the first time. Dylan Davis has the call aboard Hoffa's Union from post 3. Completing the field is Math Wizard, trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., who has been claimed three times in seven starts. The Algorithms chestnut, owned in part by his conditioner with John Fanelli, Collarmele Vitelli Stables, Bassett Stables, Ioannis Zoumas, and Wynwood Thoroughbreds, boasts a record of 2-1-1. Claimed for his current connections for $25,000 from an impressive 18 ½-length win in a one-mile claiming tilt at Gulfstream Park, Math Wizard returned to finish a rallying second at the same track and distance in an optional-claiming event that earned a career-best 85 Beyer number. Eric Cancel will pilot Math Wizard from post 9. The Wood Memorial is slated as Race 10 on Saturday's 11-race card.

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4.4.2019:

Bellafina & Chasing Yesterday Top Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2019) — A pair of tremendously talented 3-year-old fillies, owner Kaleem Shah’s Bellafina and Summer Wind Equine’s Chasing Yesterday, will face each other for the first time as they head a field of five sophomore fillies in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks. Fresh of a gutty three quarter length win in the Grade II, one mile Las Virgenes Stakes over a “good” main track on Feb. 9, Bellafina seeks her third Grade I victory in the Oaks for trainer Simon Callaghan. Chasing Yesterday, a half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, comes off a facile 1 ¼ length win as the heavy favorite in the ungraded Sunland Park Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on March 24 and appears on the ascent as she seeks her fifth consecutive win for Bob Baffert. To be run for the 80th time on Saturday, the Santa Anita Oaks provides a total of 170 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points, with 100 to the winner, 40 to second, 20 to third and 10 points to the fourth place finisher. BELLAFINA Owner:  Kaleem Shah, Inc                                                          Trainer:  Simon Callaghan A winner of five out of her seven starts, Bellafina’s only poor performance came as the 9-5 favorite in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies three starts back at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2.  Fourth, beaten 9 ¼ lengths, Callaghan ascribed the miscue to the fact his filly was in reproductive heat at the time.  Dispatched as the 2-5 favorite in her next start, the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 6, Bellafina was all business, winning by 8 ½ lengths.  The leading money earner in the field with $828,000, she has two Grade I wins to go with four grade scores and an overall mark of 7-5-1-0. CHASING YESTERDAY Owner:  Summer Wind Equine                                              Trainer:  Bob Baffert Although she was a winner of the Grade I Starlet Stakes two starts back on Dec. 8 at Los Alamitos, this chestnut filly by Tapit unquestionably faces her toughest test to date when facing Bellafina on Saturday.  In a surprise to some, Drayden Van Dyke, who has been aboard for all four of her wins, will be replaced on Saturday by Mike Smith, who guided Chasing Yesterday to a first out maiden score six starts back on July 28 at Del Mar.  With earnings of $440,650, she has five wins from six starts. THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA OAKS WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER Race 3 of 11  Approximate post time 1 p.m. PT Flor de La Mar—Joel Rosario—121 Chasing Yesterday—Mike Smith—124 Stirred—Drayden Van Dyke—121 Slewgoodtobetrue—Geovanni Franco—121 Bellafina—Flavien Prat—124  Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon.  Admission gates will open at 10 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

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4.3.2019:

McKinzie & Gift Box Square Off in Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 3, 2019) — Two of the top older horses on the West Coast, John Sadler’s Gift Box and Bob Baffert’s McKinzie, head a field of six 4-year-olds and up in the 82nd running of the Grade I, $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap this Saturday.  Originally run in 1934, the Big ’Cap, America’s longest continually run “hundred grander,” will again be contested at a mile and one quarter. Idle since winning the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Antonio Stakes here on Dec. 26, 6-year-old Gift Box appears to be at the top of his game and although he was well beaten in his only other try at 1 ¼ miles at age three, give every indication he should relish the distance at this stage of his career. Beaten a half length by former Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Champ Battle of Midway as the 1-2 favorite in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles San Pasqual Stakes over a sloppy track on Feb. 2, 4-year-old McKinzie has trained extremely well for the Big ’Cap, which will also be his second try at 1 ¼ miles. GIFT BOX  Owner:  Hronis Racing, LLC                                                        Trainer:  John Sadler  Originally headquartered with trainer Chad Brown in New York, this 6-year-old Kentucky-bred horse by Twirling Candy made his first start for Sadler in the San Antonio and was dismissed at odds of 6-1.  With the San Antonio counting as his first graded stakes win, Gift Box is now 14-4-5-2 overall.  Although he was fourth, beaten 18 ¾ lengths by superstar Arrogate in the 2016 Travers Stakes going 1 ¼ miles, Gift Box appears primed for a huge effort and will no doubt be head and head with McKinzie in the battle of the tote. McKINZIE  Owner:  Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman                        Trainer:  Bob Baffert A smashing 4 ¾ length winner of the Grade I, seven furlong Malibu Stakes here on Dec. 26, this ultra-talented 4-year-old colt by Street Sense was outrun late by Battle of Midway in the San Pasqual, but has trained in sensational fashion for Baffert since.  A two-time Grade I winner and four-time graded stakes winner, McKinzie simply did not fire when distanced in his only other try at a mile and one quarter, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic three starts back at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.  The leading money earner in the field with $1,126,000, he has an overall mark of 8-5-2-0 and will likely be the post time favorite on Saturday. THE GRADE I SANTA ANITA HANDICAP WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER Race 10 of 11 Approximate post time 4:30 p.m. PT  McKinzie—Mike Smith—123 Mongolian Groom—Geovanni Franco—114 Prime Attraction—Kent Desormeaux—116 Gift Box—Joel Rosario—122 Prince of Arabia—Joe Talamo—114 Campaign—Rafael Bejarano--115  Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon.  Admission gates will open at 10 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

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4.3.2019:

Wood Memorial Day to feature Cross Country Pick 5 with Keeneland

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today its latest Cross Country Pick 5 offering featuring an all graded stakes sequence from Aqueduct Racetrack and Keeneland on Saturday, April 6. The multi-race wager will include: The Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial and the Grade 1, $400,000 Carter Handicap from the Big A; along with the Grade 1, $300,000 Madison; the Grade 1, $500,000 Ashland; and the Grade 2, $1 million Toyota Blue Grass from Keeneland. The Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets will be part of a live national broadcast on NBCSN from 5:30-7:30 p.m., scheduled to also include the Grade 2 Blue Grass and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita Park. Prior to the NBCSN broadcast, FOX Sports Saturday At The Races will air the major stakes, including the Grade 1 Carter, leading up to the Wood Memorial with national coverage on FS2 beginning at 4 p.m. and regional coverage in the tri-state area on MSG+ starting at 3 p.m. Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 wager kicks off with the Grade 1 Madison (Race 8, 5:10 p.m.) for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up going seven furlongs at Keeneland. The nine-horse field will feature the return of multiple graded stakes winner Shamrock Rose for trainer Mark Casse, who will look to improve cutting back in distance off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Azeri on March 16 at Oaklawn Park. Leg 2, the Grade 1 Carter for 4-year-olds and up going seven furlongs, features 4-year-old colt World of Trouble, for trainer Jason Servis, who will look to earn his first graded stakes win when taking on last year's Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso. The third leg, a contentious eight-horse Ashland field (Race 9, 5:45 p.m.) at Keeneland, will put 100 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points on the line in a race headlined by two-time Grade 1-winning filly Jaywalk. The action will shift back to Aqueduct for the penultimate leg, the featured Grade 2 Wood Memorial (Race 10, 6:00 p.m.) with 100 Derby points on the line, where Shadwell Stable's Haikal will look to win his second consecutive graded stakes at the Big A following a victory in the Grade 3 Gotham on March 9. Closing out Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 is the Grade 2, $1 million Toyota Blue Grass for 3-year-olds at 6:23 p.m. from Keeneland. A talented 14-horse field includes Vekoma for R.A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables; Win Win Win for Live Oak Plantation; and Dream Maker for owner John Oxley all vying to win a spot in this year's Kentucky Derby field with 100 qualifying points up for grabs. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool. Aqueduct-Keeneland Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, April 6: Leg 1 - Keeneland, Race 8: Grade 1, $300,000 Madison (5:10 p.m.)Leg 2 - Aqueduct, Race 9: Grade 1, $400,000 Carter (5:22 p.m.)Leg 3 - Keeneland, Race 9: Grade 1, $500,000 Ashland (5:45 p.m.)Leg 4 - Aqueduct, Race 10 Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial (6:00 p.m.)Leg 5 - Keeneland, Race 10: Grade 2, $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (6:23 p.m.)

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4.2.2019:

Game Winner, Maximum Security Co-Favorites in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #4

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, April 2, 2019) – Gary and Mary West’s champion 2-year-old Game Winner and undefeated Florida Derby (Grade I) hero Maximum Security are 8-1 co-morning line favorites in Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) which opens on Friday.The three-day pool will offer win and exacta betting on 23 individual horses and an option to bet all other 3-year-olds not offered within the wagering. Pool 4 betting opens Friday at noon (all times EDT) and will close Sunday at 6 p.m. This will be the final future wager offered prior to the first Saturday in May.Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner and five-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert, Game Winner finished second in a split division of the March 16 Rebel Stakes (GII) at Oaklawn Park – his first start in more than four months. Game Winner is expected to enter Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby (GI) as his last major prep race before the Kentucky Derby.Maximum Security, based in South Florida with trainer Jason Servis, scored a 3 ½-length front-running victory in last Saturday’s Florida Derby (GI). A bay colt by New Year’s Day, Maximum Security debuted for a $16,000 claiming tag in late December and has won four lifetime starts by a combined 38 lengths.The complete Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 field (with trainer and morning line odds provided by odds maker Mike Battaglia): #1 Anothertwistafate (Blaine Wright, 30-1)#2 Bodexpress (Gustavo Delgado, 20-1)#3 Bourbon War (Mark Hennig, 15-1)#4 By My Standards (Bret Calhoun, 12-1)#5 Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey III, 12-1)#6 Cutting Humor (Todd Pletcher, 15-1)#7 Galilean (Jerry Hollendorfer, 30-1)#8 Game Winner (Baffert, 8-1)#9 Haikal (Kiaran McLaughlin, 30-1)#10 Improbable (Baffert, 10-1)#11 Instagrand (Hollendorfer, 15-1)#12 Long Range Toddy (Steve Asmussen, 15-1)#13 Maximum Security (Jason Servis, 8-1)#14 Omaha Beach (Richard Mandella, 10-1)#15 Outshine (Pletcher, 30-1)#16 Plus Que Parfait (Brendan Walsh, 30-1)#17 Roadster (Baffert, 15-1)#18 Signalman (Kenny McPeek, 50-1)#19 Spinoff (Pletcher, 30-1)#20 Tacitus (Bill Mott, 30-1)#21 Vekoma (George Weaver, 20-1)#22 War of Will (Mark Casse, 15-1)#23 Win Win Win (Mike Trombetta, 50-1)#24 “All Other 3-Year-Olds” (15-1)Overall, Baffert is tied with Pletcher for the most entrants in Pool 4 of the KDFW. Along with Game Winner, Baffert conditions #10 Improbable and #17 Roadster while Pletcher trains #6 Cutting Humor, #15 Outshine, and #19 Spinoff.The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, provide fans of Thoroughbred racing with opportunities to place bets on possible entrants in the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) at odds that could be far greater than those available on the day of the race. The 145th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs.Total handle for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Nov. 22-25 was $258,389. “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” closed as the 6-5 favorite with Game Winner at 5-1. The Pool 2 betting on Feb. 8-10 reached $533,977. Again, “All Other 3 Year-Olds” was the 5-2 favorite with Game Winner at 5-1. Pool 3 betting on March 8-10 yielded $385,464 – with “All Other 3-Year-Olds” notching favoritism at 9-2 with Game Winner at 6-1.

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3.31.2019:

Maximum Security Exits Xpressbet Florida Derby Win in Good Order

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security exited his dominating triumph in Saturday’s $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in good order Sunday morning. The 3-year-old son of New Year’s Day continued his unlikely ascension from $16,000 claimer to serious Kentucky Derby (G1) candidate in the 68th Florida Derby, in which he won his fourth race in as many career starts, all during the 2018-2019 Championship Meet, with an unpressured front-running victory by 3 ½ lengths under Luis Saez. Servis watched Maximum Security’s fourth straight victory on a TV in the saddling area. “I watched on the TV over by the jock’s room because I watched the 11th race on that TV and my horse [Restoring Hope] won. So, I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going back to that TV,” Servis said. “When he broke and Luis decided to go and it looked like he was going to get the lead by himself. I said, ‘That’s good.’ Then, I saw 24 [seconds] and I said, ‘Well, that’s good.’ Then, I saw his ears up and I saw the 48.8 or something, I said, ‘This is good,’ because I know he’s going kick. I said, ‘This is really good.’ “Luis walked the dog. He backed them up. I have to give him credit. I think it had a lot to do with it,” he added. “I’m not downgrading the horse, but Luis did a great job.” Maximum Security ($11.60) ran 1 1/8-miles in 1:48.86 to prevail over Bodexpress, a Gustavo Delgado-trained maiden who was sent to post at 70-1. Code of Honor, the March 2 Fountain of Youth (G2) winner, finished third, another 3 ¼ length back and three-quarters of a length ahead of Fountain of Youth runner-up Bourbon War. Hidden Scroll, the 9-5 favorite, finished fifth. Servis plans to continue to campaign his stable at Gulfstream through April while preparing Maximum Security at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training center in Palm Beach County, for a likely run in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs May 4. Maximum Security launched his career with a 9 ¾-length romp in a $16,000 maiden claiming race at Gulfstream Dec. 20 before capturing back-to-back starter optional claiming allowance races by a combined 24 ¾ lengths “Candidly, if you read between the lines, there had to be a reason why I ran him for $16,000. Am I glad I didn’t lose him? Hell, yeah,” Servis said. “Is he training good and sound? Yes. But there was a reason why I ran him for $16,000.” Servis said he didn’t consider Maximum Security as an “attractive” claim at the time. “I claim a lot of horses. If I’m claiming and I see a homebred, I figure they got what they were dealt. It wasn’t like he was an $180,000 yearling,” he said. “I was taking a shot. I didn’t think he would be claimed.” The Florida Derby was a Kentucky Derby qualifying stakes awarding 100 points to Maximum Security, 40 points to Bodexpress, 20 points to Code of Honor and 10 to Bourbon War. The first four finishers rank third, 13th, fourth and 15th, respectively. Code of Honor, who raced well off the slow pace during the early going of the Florida Derby before closing to finish third, came out of the race fine, said trainer Shug McGaughey. “I thought he ran fine. That’s not the type of race he needs with one horse on the lead and everybody taking back. We were kind of in between horses. He had half a racetrack on him. I thought it was pretty game what he did considering the circumstances,” McGaughey said. McGaughey hasn’t firmed up plans for Code of Honor, who is currently stabled at Payson Park. Trainer Mark Hennig reported Fountain of Youth runner-up Bourbon War was “bright, very happy and sound” Sunday morning following his fourth-place finish in the Florida Derby. The late-running Bourbon War trailed all but two horses through a half-mile while racing wide and passed horses late to wind up beaten 7 ½ lengths, three-quarters of a length behind Code of Honor in third. “He’s doing great,” Hennig said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt [the pace] had a large impact on us at least not being third, for sure. I’m not saying we were going to win the race or anything, but I’d like to think with a little pace we could have been a little closer. And a little better trip, too, [instead of] having to go around the whole way. If you look at his trip versus Code of Honor’s, I think that made a big difference.” Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War currently stands 15th with 31 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, pending the outcome of April 6 preps in California, Kentucky and New York. Hennig said the Tapit colt will be pointed to the first Saturday in May. “We’d love to be able to get into the Kentucky Derby on points. If we [have enough] points we’d be confident going forward because he’s a horse you’d like to think leaving here would be good for him to get off a track where it’s hard to close,” Hennig said. “Right now we don’t know what that status is,” he added. “It doesn’t look great, but we’re just going to stand pat and watch how the races run next weekend in the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass and Wood and see where the points stand after that. I think it’ll help indicate to us a little more about where we are.”

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3.31.2019:

Xpressbet Florida Derby Post-Race Quotes

Winning Time: 1:48.86 Winning Margins: 3 ½, 3 ¼, ¾ Winning Payoff: $11.60 Order of finish: Maximum Security, Bodexpress, Code of Honor, Bourbon War, Current, Hidden Scroll, Union’s Destiny, Harvey Wallbanger, Everfast, Garter and Tie, Hard Belle. Betting favorite: Hidden Scroll, 9-5   TRAINER QUOTES Jason Servis (Maximum Security, 1st): “The plan was not to go to the lead. I talked to Luis about it. I didn’t want to overread the race. Luis agreed that there was going to be a couple speed horses that might not be as good as a Derby horse, so we were really thinking that we were goin to be laying third. At the end of the day I told Luis, ‘Look, he’s yours. He breaks, and you ride him however you want.’ I worked in the jock’s room for 20 years, and if I heard anything I heard jockeys say, ‘If this guy would have left me alone I could have won this race for him.’ I just wanted to stay out of Luis’ way. It was his decision 100 percent. They went slow early, and the rest is history.” “He wasn’t beating anything, he really wasn’t, but he was three-for-three at the track and I had Luis Saez. I was like, ‘Hello, what’s the downside?’ I’ll leave it to Team West. They’ve got some really good managers and we’ll see what they think they want to do. They’ve got that horse Game Winner, so I don’t know what we’ll decide. I guess I have to cancel my fishing trip in May.” Shug McGaughey (Code of Honor, 3rd): “I thought we were done in the turn and he kind of kept going. I think he tried to get him going early because he could see what was going on. It just didn't work out. I'm not overly disappointed with the way he ran. We’ll have to see how he comes out of it and go from there.” Bill Mott (Hidden Scroll, 6th): “I know the pace wasn’t that fast; we were close enough to the pace.  If (Maximum Security) had beat us a head or neck, you say, ‘Well, maybe it would have been nice to take him on earlier.’  He was having a good trip, he was right in behind them. [Jockey Javier Castellano] said he rated beautifully, said he’s push-button, but when he really needed him they kind of opened up on him on the turn and he came up empty. We probably bit off a little more than we could chew at this point.  We’ll back off and kind of start over with him.”   JOCKEY QUOTES Luis Saez (Maximum Security, 1st): “It was beautiful. He broke so perfect and I just took it. He was traveling beautiful, and when he came to the half-mile pole and you feel the pressure I knew I had a lot of horse and in the stretch he just took off. My plan was if [Hidden Scroll] or somebody else took the lead I’m going to sit because I don’t want to make the race for somebody else. He took it so easy, so I just went with it.” Nik Juarez (Bodexpress, 2nd): “It was a huge effort. I really liked him going into the race and he impressed me the way he ran last time. He’s a young horse that can take dirt and when he finishes, he gives it all he has. Today he did the same exact thing, we just didn’t have enough pace – it was just me and Luis. He wasn’t difficult going into the gate last time out as he was today, but you never know with big days like this, with the weather too and his first time being in front of the crowd he got a little nervous. You can see he’s a very talented horse despite what kind of energy he puts out first.” Javier Castellano (Code of Honor, 3rd): “I didn’t have it today. I think he got tired and it started to catch up with him. We asked a little bit more of him than he’s used to but that’s the game. We start developing these horses and start pointing them to the Kentucky Derby and I think it caught up with him at the wrong time.”

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3.30.2019:

Maximum Security Wins Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security locked up Saturday’s $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, punching his ticket for a start in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) – something that seemed highly unlikely when he debuted at Gulfstream for a $16,000 claiming price Dec. 20. The 68th Florida Derby was the main event on a 14-race program featuring seven stakes, four graded. The $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) for 3-year-old fillies, the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) and the $250,000 Pan American (G2) were highlights on the undercard, along with the $125,000 Sanibel Island, $125,000 Cutler Bay and the $100,000 Sand Springs. Trained by Jason Servis, undefeated Maximum Security ($11.60) was in full control while setting the pace throughout the 1 1/8-mile Triple Crown prep, setting comfortable fractions of 24.42 and 48.98 seconds for the first half-mile and rolling on to a 3 ½-length victory under Luis Saez. “It was beautiful. He broke so perfect and I just took it. He was traveling beautiful, and when he came to the half-mile pole and you feel the pressure I knew I had a lot of horse and in the stretch he just took off,” Saez said. “My plan was if [Hidden Scroll] or somebody else took the lead I’m going to sit because I don’t want to make the race for somebody else. He took it so easy, so I just went with it.” The son of New Year’s Day ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.86 to win his fourth straight race without a defeat. Hidden Scroll, the 9-5 favorite ridden by Javier Castellano, was rank while tracking the pacesetter along the rail with Bodexpress, a 70-1 longshot ridden by Nik Juarez, to his outside as the field rounded the first turn and along the backstretch. Maximum Security continued to show the way around the turn into the homestretch before drawing away. “The plan was not to go to the lead. I talked to Luis about it. I didn’t want to over-read the race. Luis agreed that there was going to be a couple speed horses that might not be as good as a Derby horse, so we were really thinking that we were going to be laying third,” Servis said. “At the end of the day I told Luis, ‘Look, he’s yours. He breaks, and you ride him however you want.’ I worked in the jock’s room for 20 years, and if I heard anything I heard jockeys say, ‘If this guy would have left me alone I could have won this race for him.’ I just wanted to stay out of Luis’ way. It was his decision 100 percent. They went slow early, and the rest is history.” Maximum Security won the maiden claiming race by 9 ¾ lengths before winning a pair of starter optional claiming races by 6 ½ and 18 ¼ lengths, all at one-turn distances. “He wasn’t beating anything, he really wasn’t, but he was three-for-three at the track and I had Luis Saez. I was like, ‘Hello, what’s the downside?’ Servis said on the decision to give Maximum Security his stakes and two-turn debut in the Florida Derby. Bodexpress, a maiden with two seconds in four prior starts, held gamely to finish second in the Kentucky Derby qualifying race that awarded 100 points for first, 40 points for second, 20 points for third, and 10 points for fourth. “It was a huge effort in Bodexpress. I really liked him going into the race and he impressed me the way he ran last time. He’s a young horse that can take dirt and when he finishes, he gives it all he has. Today he did the same exact thing, we just didn’t have enough pace – it was just me and Luis,” Juarez said of the runner-up. Code of Honor, the 7-2 third choice ridden by John Velazquez, rated off the slow pace and rallied late to finish third, 3 ¼ lengths behind Bodexpress. “I thought we were done in the turn and he kind of kept going. I think he tried to get him going early because he could see what was going on. It just didn't work out. I'm not overly disappointed with the way he ran,” said McGaughey of his Fountain of Youth (G2) winner who has earned sufficient points to make the Kentucky Derby field. “We'll see how he comes out of it and go from there.” Hidden Scroll faded to finish fifth behind fourth-place finisher Bourbon War, the 5-2 second choice who raced off the pace. “We'll start over, which is probably what most sensible trainers would have done in the very beginning anyway,” said Hidden Scroll’s Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “We probably bit off more than we could chew and we'll kind of start over.” Servis said he’ll leave the Maximum Security’s Kentucky Derby status up to his owners. “They’ve got some really good managers and we’ll see what they think they want to do. They’ve got that horse Game Winner, so I don’t know what we’ll decide,” Servis said. “I guess I have to cancel my fishing trip in May.” In the first 67 runnings of the Florida Derby, 44 starters went on to capture 59 Triple Crown events, including 24 Kentucky Derby champions, 19 Preakness winners and 16 Belmont victors. The Florida Derby anchored the six-race sequence for the 20-cent Rainbow 6 Saturday, when a mandatory payout of the popular multi-race wager with a $2.6 million carryover generated $14.4 million in additional wagering. Maximum Security completed tickets with all six winners, which were each worth $1,934.68.

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3.29.2019:

The Stronach Group Launches Fully-Integrated Daily Spanish Show Hipica TV

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Stronach Group announced today that it has launched Hipica TV, a daily live show streamed on Stronach Group websites and YouTube.com/HipicaTV that will show races, replays and offer handicapping selections on races from Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Laurel Park and Golden Gate Fields. During testing its first month on GulfstreamPark.com and LaurelPark.com, Hipica TV has reached an average of 76,000 unique viewers each week and nearly 800,000 total views. Hipica TV will soon be featured on SantaAnita.com and GoldenGateFields.com. Along with live races, Hipica TV will also include live interviews, feature stories, and insights from four talented and respected hosts. “We’re incredibly proud to provide this ground-breaking service free to our viewers,” said Tim Ritvo, COO of The Stronach Group. “In just the past few weeks during our testing phase we’ve received incredibly positive feedback, and viewership continues to grow. We believe Hipica TV is ground-breaking, relevant, and once again shows The Stronach Group’s commitment to Thoroughbred racing. We strongly believe Hipica TV will continue to grow as we build our brand nationally and internationally.” Alfredo Alfonzo founded the popular VideoHipico in 2006, a website and social media agency dedicated to promoting horse racing. A native of Venezuela, Alfonzo is also a partner in My Social House, a premier digital marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale. Alfonzo has handicapped Gulfstream’s races for the Spanish audience for more than a year at GulfstreamPark.com. Juan Carlos Palma, also known “El Caribe Palma,” is recognized as one of the most respected and successful handicappers in Latin America. He has spent more than 30 years covering Thoroughbred racing and has directed and produced numerous Thoroughbred handicapping shows in his native Venezuela.  Pedro Casella’s race calls are some of the most exciting you will hear, rivaling Andres Cantor in the world of professional soccer. Casella, who holds a degree in Broadcast Journalism, is a native of Venezuela and is founder and CEO of “Redes de Campeones,” a public relations company specializing in horse racing. Claudia Spadaro, a native of Venezuela, grew up around horses. She holds a degree in public relations and broadcast journalism from the University of Miami and is fluent in English and Spanish. Spadaro has worked with The Stronach Group on the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).  ---- Hallandale Beach, Florida - El Stronach Group anunció hoy que ha lanzado Hípica TV, una transmisión de televisión que ofrecerá pronósticos, narraciones en vivo y las repeticiones de las carreras de Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Laurel Park y Golden Gate Fields.Durante el mes de prueba en las páginas web GulfstreamPark.com y LaurelPark.com, Hípica TV alcanzó una audiencia promedio de 76,000 personas cada semana y cerca de 800,000 visualizaciones en total.Además de las carreras transmitidas en vivo, Hípica TV también incluirá entrevistas, historias sobre los protagonistas del espectáculo y detalles del mundo de las carreras a través de cuatro talentosos y respetados moderadores."Estamos muy orgullosos de ofrecer este servicio innovador y gratuito a toda nuestra audiencia" mencionó Tim Ritvo, Director de Operaciones (COO) del Stronach Group. "En las últimas semanas, durante nuestra fase de prueba, hemos recibido comentarios increíblemente positivos y la audiencia sigue creciendo. Creemos que Hípica TV es un proyecto innovador e importante, y una vez más, demuestra el compromiso del Stronach Group con las carreras de caballos. Creemos firmemente que Hípica TV continuará creciendo en la medida que fortalecemos nuestra marca a nivel nacional e internacional".Alfredo Alfonzo fundó su popular plataforma VideoHipico en 2006, una página web y red social dedicada a la promoción de las carreras de caballos. Alfonzo, venezolano, es socio de Social Group, una agencia de mercadeo de élite, además ha sido pronosticador en Gulfstream Park para la audiencia hispana por más de un año.Juan Carlos Palma, conocido como "El Caribe Palma", es un respetado y reconocido pronosticador hípico en Latino América. Tiene más de 30 años cubriendo las carreras de caballos como productor y director de programas en su nativa Venezuela.Las narraciones de Pedro Casella transmiten enormes emociones a la audiencia, rivalizando con las ofrecidas por Andres Cantor en el mundo del fútbol profesional. Casella tiene un título de periodista, nació en Venezuela y es el fundador y director de "Redes de Campeones", una compañía de relaciones públicas especializada en carreras de caballos.La venezolana Claudia Spadaro, quien se creció dentro del ambiente de las carreras de caballos, tiene un título de periodista y relacionista pública obtenido en la Universidad de Miami, habla el español e inglés de manera fluída. Spadaro ha trabajado para el Stronach Group durante la Pegasus World Cup Invitational (Gr.1) y el Preakness Stakes (Gr.1).

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3.28.2019:

Download our FREE 2019 Xpressbet Florida Derby Wager Guide

It's finally here - our FREE 2019 Xpressbet Florida Derby Wager Guide!  Download it today to access expert handicapping advice, insights, picks and wagering strategies for Gulfstream Park's Xpressbet Florida Derby card on Saturday, March 30.  This year's Florida Derby Wager Guide features picks and analysis for all seven stakes races on the card, as well as recommended tickets for the Mandatory Payout Rainbow 6 and $750,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4.  Xpressbet Florida Derby - Eddie Olczyk, NBC Sports Gulfstream Park Mile - Jeremy Plonk Gulfstream Park Oaks - Johnny D. Pan American Stakes - Jeremy Plonk Sand Springs Stakes - Johnny D. Cutler Bay Stakes - Jon Van Dine Sanibel Island Stakes - Dustin Fabian The Guide features invaluable Stats and Trends for each race, as well as picks and insights for every stakes race on the card. Ready to download?  Get it here:Have an Xpressbet Account?Simply log in to your account and click the banner to download your Wager Guide.  Don’t Have an Xpressbet Account? Visit https://www.xpressbet.com/florida-derby-picks and fill out the form to access the Guide.  Sign up for an Xpressbet account to bet the Florida Derby and receive a $500, $100 or $20 Sign Up Bonus.  Here's how!  

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3.28.2019:

Santa Anita Set to Resume Racing Friday Under Strongest Medication Regulations in the US

Arcadia, CA (March 28, 2019) -- Santa Anita Park will resume live racing on Friday, March 29, under rules which modernize the sport of horse racing and provide the strongest medication regulations in the United States.  Approval for a complete revision of the medication rules, which were agreed upon by The Stronach Group, parent company of Santa Anita, and the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), was passed this afternoon by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) at their monthly meeting. Additionally, the CHRB unanimously voted to approve an amendment that limits a jockey’s cushion crop use as a corrective safety measure only, modernizing the centuries-old practice of striking a horse to make it run faster.  As is California regulation, the rule must go out for a 45-day public comment period before it can be enacted by the Board.  Jockeys racing at Santa Anita on Friday will do so under the current crop rules. “Today was a watershed moment. We extend our thanks to the California Horse Racing Board for their swift and decisive action to evolve the great sport of horse racing not just for today, but to grow it for future generations,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group.  “We commend not only the CHRB and Chairman Chuck Winner, but all of our industry partners, including the TOC and the California Thoroughbred Trainers, for taking these unified steps to lead the nation for the health and safety of our equine and human athletes.  TSG continues to be committed to the principles of safe horse racing and are proud to lead the way in California.  We are looking forward to working with our stakeholders in other jurisdictions and expediting these reforms at our all of our racetracks to put the horses first.”  Horses racing at the two tracks will do so with medication rules consistent with, or more restrictive than, the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards, which are the world’s benchmark for equine safety and welfare.  This means that horses will race with no race day medication with the exception of the diuretic Lasix, which will still be permitted, but at a maximum of 50% of the previous levels.  Additionally, all horses born in or after 2018 will race at Santa Anita and Golden Gate will do so with no race day medication, including Lasix.  This means all two-year-old horses starting in 2020 and after will be racing medication free. Two weeks ago, Stronach published an Open Letter addressing the Future of Thoroughbred Racing in California calling for sweeping changes to modernize the sport and raise the standards of how racing and training is conducted.  In addition to today’s CHRB decisions, Santa Anita has implemented a number of enhanced protocols and procedures to help ensure racing and training safety and integrity.  These include transparency of veterinary records, approval for workouts, and a commitment to purchase state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to aid trainers and veterinarians in identifying pre-existing conditions before they become injuries.  This also includes a continued commitment to engage independent racetrack surface experts to continually review both the dirt and turf courses for consistency, composition and compaction.  “Change is never easy,” said Tim Ritvo, COO of The Stronach Group.  “There were a lot of people who came together in a very short period of time to make this happen.  The horses are the one thing that unifies us all.  We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Santa Anita tomorrow.”  

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3.27.2019:

March 30: Cross-Country Pick 5 Features Aqueduct, Oaklawn

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will continue its partnership with Oaklawn Park, hosting a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday featuring the $80,000 Caixa Eletronica and $75,000 Stud Muffin from Aqueduct and the $150,000 Purple Martin from Oaklawn. Last week's sequence, headlined by the $100,000 Cicada from Aqueduct and the $125,000 Gazebo and $100,000 Nodouble Breeders' from Oaklawn, handled $104,502 with a winning $0.50 ticket returning $5,223.25. Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5, the ninth one in 2019, will kick off with two legs from Claiming Championship Day at Aqueduct before alternating between Oaklawn and the Big A. The first leg will feature the $60,000 The More to Tell for 4-year-olds and up at one mile in Race 8 at Aqueduct with a 5:21 p.m. Eastern post time. The starter stakes offers a talented 11-horse field, including Daddy D T for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who seeks his second consecutive victory following a 3 ½-length win at the distance on March 9. Leg 2, the $75,000 Stud Muffin for 4-year-olds and up going 1 3/8 miles, features a field of 10 at 5:50 p.m. Turco Bravo, a 10-year-old Chilean-bred for owners Woodland Farms and trainer Merkan Kantarmaci, will look to reach the winners' circle for the first time since January 4. Leg 3 is a contentious allowance optional claiming race for 4-year-olds and up that drew a field of nine in Oaklawn's Race 8 at 6 p.m. The action will shift back to the Big A for the penultimate leg, (Race 10, 6:20 p.m.) the featured Caixa Eletronica. The finale on Aqueduct's 10-race card will see winter meet-leading trainer Linda Rice saddle a pair of formidable contenders in Bavaro, who ran third last out in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap on March 9, and American Power, making his stakes debut having gone 1-3-2 in his last six starts. Closing out Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 is the $150,000 Purple Martin for 3-year-old fillies at 6:36 p.m. that features a field of nine, highlighted by graded-stakes placed runners Bye Bye J, Splashy Kisses, Nitrous, Gray Attempt and Six Tomlin. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool. Aqueduct-Oaklawn Park Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, March 30: Leg 1 - Aqueduct, Race 8: $60,000 More To Tell (5:21 p.m.)Leg 2 - Aqueduct, Race 9: $75,000 Stud Muffin (5:50 p.m.)Leg 3 - Oaklawn, Race 8 (6:00 p.m.)Leg 4 - Aqueduct, Race 10 Caixa Eletronica (6:20 p.m.)Leg 5 - Oaklawn, Race 9: $150,000 Purple Martin (6:36 p.m.)  

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3.27.2019:

Code of Honor Has Tough Act to Follow in Grade 1 Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – W. S. Farish’s Code of Honor lived up to the expectations he generated during his 2-year-old campaign when the Shug McGaughey-trained colt rallied to win the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park March 2. The 3-year-old son of Noble Mission is set for a return in Saturday’s $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream, where the Kentucky-bred colt is scheduled to clash with 10 rivals in a quest to further enhance his standing among the leading 2019 Triple Crown prospects in the tradition-rich 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds. Code of Honor, rated second at 3-1, drew post position No. 9. The Florida Derby will be the main event on a knockout 14-race program (First post: 11:30 a.m.) featuring seven stakes, four graded. The $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) for 3-year-old fillies, the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) and the $250,000 Pan American are highlights on the Florida Derby undercard, along with the $125,000 Sanibel Island, $125,000 Cutler Bay and the $100,000 Sand Springs. The Florida Derby will highlight six-race sequence for the 20-cent Rainbow 6 Saturday, when there will be a mandatory payout of the popular multi-race wager. The carryover jackpot heading into Thursday’s card stands at a life-changing $2,455,348. As Code of Honor attempts to take another giant step toward the Triple Crown, he will seek to follow in the hoofprints of Orb, the McGaughey-trained winner of the 2013 Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby who went on to capture the Kentucky Derby (G1). In the first 67 runnings of the Florida Derby, 44 starters went on to capture 59 Triple Crown events, including 24 Kentucky Derby champions, 19 Preakness winners and 16 Belmont victors. Code of Honor disappointed in his 2019 debut in the Jan. 5 Mucho Macho Man, in which he finished an even fourth as the 4-5 favorite. However, he redeemed himself in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, in which he settled off a strong early pace before rallying through the stretch to capture his two-turn debut. “I think I have a little bit more confidence [going into the Florida Derby] because I was a little bit shook after the Mucho Macho Man,” McGaughey said. “I kind of changed my strategy and that worked, so I’ve kept on with it and I think he’s progressing the right way.” McGaughey started asking more of Code of Honor in his morning training after the Mucho Macho Man, and the Kentucky-bred colt responded to offer a decidedly more enthusiastic effort in the Fountain of Youth, in which he raced in mid-pack behind the pressured pace set by Hidden Scroll before kicking in through the stretch. McGaughey would consider a similar scenario in the Florida Derby to be ideal but is confident Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will be quick to adapt to any pace development. “It depends on the pace. I don’t want him up too close. I don’t think that’s his way,” McGaughey said. “A lot of that will be up to Johnny as the race unfolds out of the gate. I hope we get a little pace, which I think we probably will. Going a mile and an eighth, he’s just going to have to be patient with him as he was the other day.” Code of Honor demonstrated versatility during his juvenile campaign, in which he won his debut at Saratoga last August after leading throughout the six-furlong maiden special weight race under Velazquez. Seven weeks later, the son of Noble Mission overcame a stumbling start to close from last in the 10-horse field to finish second in the mile Champagne (G1) around one turn at Belmont Park. Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War has done his best running in the stretch in all of his four career starts, most notably while finishing a closes second to Code of Honor in the Fountain of Youth. The Mark Hennig-trained colt, who won a Jan. 18 optional claiming allowance at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream after closing from far back, had to deal with traffic on the turn into the homestretch in the Fountain of Youth before surging late. Hennig was particularly impressed with Bourbon War’s effort after the finish line under Irad Ortiz Jr. “The gallop-out – some people put emphasis on that, and some people don’t – I thought his gallop-out was much stronger than the rest of the field,” Hennig said. “It really gave us some confidence. I know Irad has a lot of confidence.” Hennig has also been pleased with the son of Tapit’s preparation for the Florida Derby. “His daily gallops, he’s putting a lot into them, which is great to see. He’s matured a lot. He’s eating tremendously right now. He’s a horse that’s needed to fill out and grown up as the spring comes on, and he’s doing that,” Hennig said. “Hopefully, that keeps going as we transition to the next town and he does as well as he’s done here.” Ortiz has the return mount aboard Bourbon War, who was rated third in the morning line at 7-2 after drawing post position No. 4. Juddmonte Farm’s Hidden Scroll was installed as the 5-2 morning=line favorite after drawing the No. 1 post position. Hidden Scroll, whose heated pace battle with longshot Gladiator King aided the stretch kicks of Code of Honor and Bourbon War, will make his third career start in the Florida Derby, which Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott hopes will not unfold like his Fountain of Youth trip. Mott is confident that the son of Hard Spun, who was the 6-5 favorite in the Fountain of Youth on the strength of his dazzling 14-length debut victory at Gulfstream five weeks earlier, is more versatile than his two previous efforts may suggest. The Juddmonte homebred has been placed behind horses in his two workouts at Payson Park since the Fountain of Youth and breezed to Mott’s satisfaction. “I think this horse is fine behind horses; he’s fine on the lead if the pace is such that he needs to be on the lead. That’s the rider’s decision. They have to make that choice when they leave the starting gate,” said Mott, who has named Javier Castellano to ride Hidden Scroll for the first time Saturday. Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security could be expected to be a pace factor in the son of New Year’s Day’s stakes debut in the Florida Derby. The Jason Servis-trained colt has launched his career during the Championship Meet with three eye-catching victories, including a front-running 14 ¼-length triumph last time out in an optional claiming starter allowance Feb. 20, when he ran seven furlongs in 1:21.72. “I’d like to see two horses head-and-head for the lead and him tucked in laying third about four lengths off of them. I’ll leave it to [jockey] Luis Saez. He’s a great rider,” Servis said. ”He’s a young horse that is probably going to lay it all out just because he’s young enough where he hasn’t really learned just to go through the motions. I’ll leave it to Luis and see what happens.” Maximum Security has been a pleasant surprise for Servis, ending up in the Florida Derby after debuting in a $16,000 claiming race that he won by 9 ¾ lengths Dec. 20. The homebred colt came right back to capture an optional claiming allowance by 6 ½ lengths Jan. 24 before his stunning victory Feb. 20. “I thought he had some ability but I didn’t think he was this kind of horse, to be honest. I thought for [$16,000] he was well-spotted and he’d get the job done,” said Servis, whose trainee was rated fourth at 9-2 in the morning line after drawing po0st positon No. 7. “I’m a big boy. He was in for a claiming price and we got lucky and he didn’t get claimed. Then I picked a couple of soft spots out for him where he was the heavy favorite and he easily won those. He’s three-for-three at Gulfstream, so we’ll see.” Harvey Wallbanger passed the Fountain of Youth after posting a 29-1 upset victory in the $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Feb. 2 for Harold Lerner, LLC, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Scott Akman and Paul Braverman. The Ken McPeek-trained colt finished second in his first three starts before breaking through with a maiden-breaking score at Churchill Downs in his juvenile campaign finale and capturing the Holy Bull. The son of Congrats closed from ninth in the Holy Bull to win by a length under Brian Hernandez Jr., who has the riding assignment Saturday. “The Holy Bull was a lot of fun,” Hernandez said. “We were a ways back – that’s his running style. The race set up for him. We had a lot of speed in front of us. I was liking my spot. I was able to sneak up the fence and turning for home when we were in contention, I thought he’d go on and finish it off, and he did. He ran on and ran a really big race. “He came out of some good maiden races in Kentucky in the fall,” Hernandez added. “When he was there for me in the Holy Bull the whole way, that’s what gives you confidence.” Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has saddled a record five Florida Derby winners, has opted to give Current, a graded-stakes winner on turf, another chance on dirt Saturday. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert LaPenta and Dixiana Farms, LLC, the son of Curlin, who finished third in the Feb. 3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream on turf last time out, finished seventh in the Nov. 24 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) over a sloppy Churchill Downs track in his only main track race. Manuel Franco has the call on Current, who won the Bourbon (G1) at Keeneland last fall. Calumet Farm’s Everfast, who closed strongly to finish second behind Harvey Wallbanger at 128-1 in the Holy Bull, has been entered in the Florida Derby by trainer Dale Romans with the hope that the son of Take Charge Indy can rebound from a distant eighth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth. Chris Landeros has the return mount. Jacks or Better Farm’s Garter and Tie, who was a force in the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes last summer, will try to improve on a sixth-place finish behind Harvey Wallbanger in the Holy Bull. The Florida-bred son of Brooks ‘n Down had previously won the Smooth Air and finished third in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes going a one-turn mine. The homebred colt won the $250,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Affirmed going seven furlongs last summer. Jeffrey Sanchez has the assignment aboard Garter and Tie. Top Racing LLC and Global Thoroughbreds LLC and GDS Racing Stable’s Bodexpress will seek to break his maiden in the Florida Derby after finishing fourth in Hidden Scroll’s spectacular maiden score two starts back and a close second following a rough start last time out. Trainer Gustavo Delgado named Nik Juarez for the mount. Los Samanes LLC’s Union’s Destiny, who finished sixth from his outside post in the Fountain of Youth after checking in third behind Garter and Tie in the Smooth Air, will return in the Florida Derby. Trainer Juan Carlos Avila awarded the mount to Leonel Reyes. Thoroughbred Champions Training Center LLC’s Hard Belle, a one-time winner in 13 career starts for trainer Jaime Mejia, will be ridden by Jose Batista. Xpressbet Florida Derby Field 1. Hidden Scroll - Javier Castellano - 5/22. Current - Manny Franco - 15/13. Harvey Wallbanger - Brian Hernandez Jr. - 15/14. Bourbon War - Irad Ortiz Jr. - 7/25. Everfast - Chris Landeros - 20/16. Hard Belle - Jose Batista - 50/17. Maximum Security - Luis Saez - 9/28. Bodexpress - Nik Juarez - 30/19. Code of Honor - John Velazquez - 3/110. Union's Destiny - Leonel Reyes - 30/111. Garter and Tie - Jeffrey Sanchez - 15/1

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3.25.2019:

Code of Honor Finalizes Preparations for Xpressbet Florida Derby

INDIANTOWN, FL –  “All systems are go” with W.S. Farish’s Code of Honor, who breezed a half-mile in 48.40 seconds Monday morning here at Payson Park in preparation for a much-anticipated start in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) Saturday at Gulfstream Park. “He looked like he worked very well. I asked him for 49 and he worked 48 and 2 or so, so I think we’re in pretty good shape,” Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said. Exercise rider Haladio Moreno was aboard for the breeze, which was the son of Noble Mission’s second since capturing the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2 at Gulfstream. Code of Honor Workout Video (March 25) “He looks good and I think he’s been training very well. I think all systems are go with him right now,” he said. Code of Honor disappointed in his 2019 debut in the Jan. 5 Mucho Macho Man, in which he finished an even fourth as the 4-5 favorite in the one-turn mile kickoff of Gulfstream’s tradition-rich 3-year-old stakes program. However, he redeemed himself in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, in which he settled off a strong early pace before rallying through the stretch to score by three-quarters of a length over Bourbon War in his two-turn debut. “He’s had a good winter since the first of January and I think he‘s looking forward to what he does,” McGaughey said. “I like what I saw physically today and in terms of how he worked.” Code of Honor turned in a sharp debut at Saratoga last August, scoring by 1 ½ lengths after leading throughout a six-furlong maiden special weight race under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Seven weeks later, the son of Noble Mission overcame a stumbling start to close from last in the 10-horse field to finish second in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park. He was scheduled to finish off his 2018 season in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs, only to be scratched after spiking a fever on the morning of the race. Velazquez has the return mount aboard the Farish homebred. Code of Honor tops a field that is expected to include Bourbon War, who closed with a rush in the Fountain of Youth; Hidden Scroll, who set a rapid pressured early pace in the Fountain of Youth before finishing fourth as the 6-5 favorite; and Harvey Wallbanger, who captured the $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) Feb. 2 at Gulfstream as a 29-1 longshot. Undefeated Maximum Security, FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes star Garter and Tie and Union’s Destiny, sixth in the Fountain of Youth, are also being pointed to the 1 1/8-mile stakes that has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown races. Overdeliver and Come on Gerry are among other possible entrants Wednesday. The Post-Position Draw for the 68th running of the Florida Derby will take place in Ten Palms Restaurant at Gulfstream at noon-1 p.m.

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3.24.2019:

Gulfstream has $2.4 Million Rainbow 6 Carryover Thursday; Mandatory Payout Saturday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot at Gulfstream Park swelled to $2,455,348.81 for Thursday’s card after going unsolved for the 28th consecutive racing day Sunday. A total of $555,302 was bet Sunday into the popular multi-race wager, which began with a carryover of $2,322,112.61 from Saturday’s card. Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday were each worth $1,124,52. A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot has been scheduled for next Saturday’s $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) program. There will also be mandatory payouts for the Late Pick 5 and last-race Super Hi-5. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that days’ pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. Since the 2018-19 Championship Meet kicked off Dec. 1, the Rainbow 6 has been hit seven times, most recently for a $227,505.88 payout Feb. 15. Who’s Hot:  Luis Saez continued his recent hot streak with a three-win day Sunday to close to within one win of leading rider Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode one winner.  The defending two-time Championship Meet titlist scored aboard Dizzy Gillespie ($3.80) in Race 5, Alphadar ($4.80) in Race 7, and King Leo ($5.80) in Race 9. Rainbow 6 Carryover:  $2,455,348 Super Hi 5 Carryover: $6,896.17

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3.23.2019:

By My Standards Wins Louisiana Derby, Punches Kentucky Derby Ticket

Allied Racing Stables’ By My Standards went from maiden winner to atop the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard in the Grade II Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby. Guided by jockey Gabriel Saez, By My Standards laid 3½ legnths off of pacesetter Leminscate who set opening fractions of 23.63, 47.68 and 1:11.54. He then moved out into the two path along the turn and made a winning bid at the sixteenths pole to gun down stretch leader Spinoff. By My Standards won by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:49.52. Spinoff finished second while Sueno closed late for third. Jockey Gabriel Saez scored his second victory in the Louisiana Derby. Ten years, ago he guided Friesian Fire to victory in the race, who to this day holds the record for the largest winning margin in the race’s 106-year history. “I loved the horse since the day I got on him,” Saez said. “He was working great in the mornings and he did a tremendous job. (Trainer) Bret (Calhoun) and (wife and assistant) Sarah had done a tremendous job with him. I was really confident to be honest with you. I was hoping that he would broke on top and put me in the position that I wanted him to be and he did right off the bat. Thank God he ran well. I hope he has more in the tank; that would be great. Hopefully we can get the job done in the Derby, anything can happen. It’s horseracing.” By My Standards entered the Louisiana Derby off of a fourth-out maiden victory on February 16, which he won by 4¼ lengths and gave trainer Bret Calhoun his first victory in the Louisiana Derby. “I think the maiden win was crucial for him,” Calhoun said. “When he was third the time before he broke his maiden it was a very disappointing race for us. It looked like he had the race in control and just didn’t finish them off. It was a disappointing race. He bounced back and that’s when the light came on. He was a different horse in the mornings from that point on. His breezes in the morning were just unbelievable. There were some fast works there and none of them were intentional. He just turned into a different horse.” Calhoun was aware of the tough field that he was up against but nevertheless, his confidence in the horse never wavered. “It gives you a lot of confidence beating afield like that,” Calhoun continued. “(War of Will) had been very impressive for quite a while around here and very consistent. I knew we were up against it today, I didn’t know exactly how we were going to stack up against those kinds of horses,, but our horse was doing very, very well and we took our chance.” Mark Casse, trainer of beaten favorite War of Will reported that the two-time graded stakes winner strained his right hind muscle during the running of race. “We think what happened was about four jumps out of the gate,” Casse said. “He actually broke in front and if you watch he buckles on his right hind. And we believe, maybe it was stumble of some sort. But when he did we think he strained maybe a muscle or whatever. But he was significantly off after the race. He’s significantly off. I’ve just been on the phone with Dr. Robert McMartin, he’s my main guy. He thinks he might have caught his stifle or something. We feel like he’ll probably be a little better tomorrow and we’re going to further evaluation him.” Casse was unsure as to whether or not War of Will, would be able to make the Kentucky Derby. Winner of both the Grade III Lecomte and Grade II Risen Star Presented by Lamarque Ford, he has 60 qualifying points towards the First Saturday in May. “I would not absolutely rule him out because this is something that he can get over very quickly,” Casse said. “We’ll see. The good news is he hasn’t broken anything. It’s a muscle strain of some sort. We’re confident of that.” Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez was aboard runner-up Spinoff who earned 40 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and is now No. 8 on the Leaderboard. “We had a good trip. He was drifting away from the horses inside of me a bit, and I had to fight him to keep him with the others. Down the stretch I thought he was home free and then the other horse came to him.” Third-place finisher Sueno sits at No. 12 on the Leaderboard. He earned four points when finishing second in the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park last month. “He broke really good and I was laying second,” said Sueno’s jockey Corey Lanerie.” I thought at the quarter pole that I was going to get the win you know. He was running so easy and had his ears pricked. Those horses just beat him today. No excuse.” Risen Star runner-up country house finished fourth for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who stated that the Grade I million Arkansas Derby could be his next target. “He made a big run,” Mott said. “He started it a little early and was fairly wide around the turn, yet I thought he had his chance coming off the turn. I thought he looked pretty good there. It wasn’t a horrible race, but I was hoping he would be a little closer than that.” By My Standards, who paid $47.00, $16.60 and $9.40, earned 100 points on the Road To The Kentucky Derby with his victory in the Louisiana Derby which put him a top the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. Runner-up Spinoff garnered up 40 points and returned $6.80 and $5.40. Sueno brought back $6.00 and earned 20 points. By My Standards has earned a total of $653,710 after cashing a check for $600,000 from his Louisiana Derby triumph. Completing the order of finish Mr. Money, Roiland, Bankit, Hog Creek Hustle, War of Will, Limonite and Leminscate. Bred in Kentucky by Don Ladd, By My Standards was a $150,000 purchased by bloodstock agent Josh Stevens from the Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where he was consigned by Scanlon Training and Sales. He is out of the Muqtarib broodmare A Jealous Woman.

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3.23.2019:

Harvey Wallbanger, Garter and Tie Breeze for Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Harvey Wallbanger, winner of the $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) in his most recent start, breezed a half-mile in 47.10 seconds at Gulfstream Park early Saturday morning in preparation for a start in next Saturday’s $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1). The son of Congrats’ breeze was his sixth workout since scoring a 29-1 upset Feb. 2 in the 1 1 /16-mile Holy Bull and ranked as the fastest of 99 recorded for the distance Saturday. Owned by Harold Lerner, LLC, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Scott Akman and Paul Braverman and trained by Kenny McPeek, Harvey Wallbanger has never been worse than second in five career starts. The Kentucky-bred colt was the runner-up in three consecutive starts at Saratoga, Keeneland and Churchill Downs before capping his juvenile champagne with a maiden victory at 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Nov. 17. His length victory in the Holy Bull came in his 2019 debut. Later in the morning, Jacks or Better Farms’ Garter and Tie breezed five furlongs in 1:02.22 for a planned start in the Florida Derby. Garter and Tie Workout Video (March 23) “The work was good. We wanted a little maintenance five-eighths,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “We gave him a little freshening in between the last two and we just wanted to stretch his legs, put some air in him and we’ll see how he  handles a mile and eighth.” Garter and Tie finished sixth in the Holy Bull, beaten 4 ¾ lengths by Harvey Wallbanger. The Florida-bred son of Brooks ‘n Down had previously won the Smooth Air and finished third in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes going a one-turn mine. The homebred colt won the $250,000 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Affirmed going seven furlongs last summer. “I think the nine furlongs, his two-turn races, his numbers have not been quite as good as his one-turn races, but he trains like [he’ll get the distance] and I think with the right setup…. we’ll take the blinkers off of him and make a few changes and see how it goes,” Nicks said. Dale Romans trained Florida Derby nominees Everfast (1:01.96), runner-up to Harvey Wallbanger in the Holy Bull, and Come On Gerry (1:02.66) both worked five furlongs at Gulfstream Saturday morning.   Everfast Workout Video (March 23) Come on Gerry Workout Video (March 23) At Palm Beach Downs, R. A. Hill Stables and Gatsas Stables’ Vekoma, who finished third in the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream March 2, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.82.  A decision on whether the George Weaver-trained colt will run in the Florida Derby or the Blue Grass (G2) April 6 at Keeneland has yet to be made. Vekoma Workout Video (March 23)

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3.22.2019:

Bourbon War, Hidden Scroll, Maximum Security Work for Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War breezed a half-mile in 49.88 seconds at Gulfstream Park Friday morning in preparation for a scheduled start in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30. Friday morning’s tune-up was Bourbon War’s second half-mile workout since finishing a late-closing second behind Code of Honor in the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2 at Gulfstream. Bourbon War Workout Video (March 22) “He did well. He came home in 49.88, I think they caught him in. I was looking for a little quicker than that, but the track was not real sharp this morning. I told my rider I’d rather you err on the side of too slow than too fast,” trainer Mark Hennig said. “The horse is fit. We just want to get him safely over there next Saturday.” In the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, Bourbon War settled well off the fast pressured pace set by Hidden Scroll before advancing on the far turn, swinging wide off the turn into the homestretch, and making a strong run through the stretch. The son of Tapit finished three-quarters of a length behind victorious Code of Honor before offering an impressive gallop-out under Irad Ortiz Jr. Bourbon War had previously won a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance by 2 ¼ lengths going away Jan. 19 at Gulfstream. The Kentucky-bred colt broke his maiden at first asking by 2 ¼ lengths in a mile race originally scheduled for turf at Aqueduct Nov. 11. Three weeks later, he worked his way through traffic to finish fourth in the Dec. 1 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct. Hidden Scroll ‘Very Manageable in Five-Furlong Breeze Juddmonte Farms, Inc.’s Hidden Scroll worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 at Payson Park in Indiantown, FL Friday morning while prepping for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park March 30. Bill Mott-trained Hidden Scroll, who held the lead into deep stretch before finishing fourth in the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) in only his second career start, worked in company under exercise rider Neil Poznansky. Hidden Scroll Workout Video (March 22) “It was a very nice work. He worked with a stablemate. The time of 1:02, the way the racetrack was today, I think it was a very useful work. He sat off his company and he finished up and went by inside the eighth-pole with a reasonable good gallop-out. He seemed very good in the work. He was very manageable,” said Mott, whose Florida Derby contender produced the fastest of seven five-furlong workouts recorded. “We sat him in behind a horse and he was real calm. They went off slow enough and he wasn’t anxious. He was content to follow another horse. He approached the quarter-pole and got into the bridle and finished up well.” In the Fountain of Youth, the Juddmonte homebred colt was pressed by longshot Gladiator King for the first half mile past fractions of 23.80 and 45.69 seconds before receiving a challenge from Global Campaign on the final turn. Hidden Scroll continued on to open a length lead in mid –stretch before tiring late, edged by Vekoma for third. “I think it was a matter of learning for us. We thought from the beginning we could do anything with him,” Mott said. “The last work we sat him right in behind and ate a lot of dirt. He was fine doing that. Today we sat him in behind, but we sat him off to the side, so he wasn’t getting dirt. He saw daylight but he saw another horse in front of him and he seemed kind about that as well.” Hidden Scroll was favored at 6-5 for the Fountain of Youth on the strength of a spectacular debut victory at Gulfstream on the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) card Jan. 26. The son of Hard Spun ran a mile in 1:34.82 while scoring by 14 lengths under wraps. Maximum Security Breezes Easy Half-Mile at Palm Meadows    Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security worked a half-mile in 52.95 seconds at Palm Meadows Training Center Friday morning while tuning up for a likely start in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park next Saturday, The son of New Year’s Day’s workout was the slowest of 63 workouts recorded at Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. Maximum Security Workout Video (March 22) “I thought he had a good breeze. He came home in 12 [seconds],” trainer Jason Servis said. “I would still like to not commit, but I would say we are on schedule.” Maximum Security is undefeated in three career starts, all coming during Gulfstream’s 2018-2019 Championship Meet. The homebred colt broke his maiden for a $16,000 claiming price by 9 ¾ lengths Dec. 20 before winning a Jan. 24 optional claiming starter allowance by 6 ½ lengths. In his most recent start, Maximum Security by 18 ¼ lengths while running seven furlongs in 1:21.72 in a Feb. 20 optional claiming starter allowance. Servis-trained Final Jeopardy, a 3 ¾-length optional claiming allowance winner at Gulfstream Park last time out, breezed a half-mile in 52.80 seconds at Palm Meadows Friday morning for either the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct April 6 or the Florida Derby.    Final Jeopardy Workout Video (March 22) “We’re looking at the Wood Memorial. It’s not a definite but we’re kind of looking at that,” said Servis who also trains Final Jeopardy for the Wests. “He galloped out really good. That race is a mile and an eighth so I’m feeling a little better about the work. But it’s not definite yet.”

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3.22.2019:

Code of Honor Tops Nominations for Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – W. S. Farish’s Code of Honor, who captured the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2, tops a list of 31 nominations for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30 at Gulfstream Park. The Shug McGaughey-trained colt made a strong run on the final turn and through the stretch to register a three-quarters of a length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, a key prep for the 1 1/8 mile stakes for 3-year-olds that has established itself as the premier Triple Crown prep since its inaugural running in 1952. Code of Honor will seek to follow in the hoofprints of Orb, the McGaughey-trained winner of the 2013 Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby who went on to capture the Kentucky Derby (G1). In the first 67 runnings of the Florida Derby, 44 starters went on to capture 59 Triple Crown events, including 24 Kentucky Derby champions, 19 Preakness winners and 16 Belmont victors. The 68th Florida Derby will headline 11 stakes worth a total of more than $2.5 million scheduled for March 29-30. Gulfstream’s signature race for 3-year-olds will be supported by the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2), the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), the $250,000 Pan American (G2), the $125,000 Cutler Bay, the $125,000 Sanibel Island and the $100,000 Sand Springs. Four stakes, including the $100,000 Orchid (G3), the $100,000 Skip Away, the $100,000 Appleton (G3) and the $75,000 Sir Shackleton, will be contested on March 29. Bourbon Lanes Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War, R.A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables’ Vekoma and Juddmonte Farms, Inc.’s Hidden Scroll, who finished second, third and fourth, respectively, behind Code of Honor in the Fountain of Youth are also nominated to and expected to return in the Florida Derby. Mark Hennig-trained Bourbon War won two of three starts prior to the Fountain of Youth, including a fast-closing 2 ¼-length optional claiming allowance at 1 1/16-miles at Gulfstream Jan. 18; George Weaver-trained Vekoma captured the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct in his 2018 finale before racing evenly to finish third in his 2019 debut at Gulfstream; Hidden Scroll was sent to post as the 6-5 favorite for the Fountain of Youth after scoring by 14 lengths in his career debut Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. In addition to Hidden Scroll, trainer Bill Mott nominated Tacitus and Country House, who are not scheduled to take on their stablemate. Harvey Wallbanger, who registered a 29-1 upset victory in the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Feb. 2, is also among the nominees scheduled to start in the Florida Derby. The Ken McPeek-trained colt was coming off a maiden victory around two turns at Churchill Downs in his previous start for owners Harold Lerner, LLC, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Scott Akman and Paul Braverman. Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security is scheduled to put his undefeated record on the line in the Florida Derby. The Jason Servis-trained son of New Year’s Day debuted for a $16,000 claiming tag in a 9 ¾ -length romp at Gulfstream Dec. 20 and went on to win a pair of starter optional claiming races, including an 18 ¼-length score that was achieved in a swift 1:21.72 for seven furlongs Feb. 20. The Servis-trained Final Jeopardy, a recent optional claiming allowance winner at Gulfstream for the Wests, is also nominated. Hoffa’s Union, who was purchased by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Christopher Dunn, Rose Petal Stable and Foard Wilgis after winning his recent debut at Laurel Park, is expected to make the leap from maiden to Grade 1 stakes competition in the Florida Derby. The Mark Casse-trained son of Union Rags captured a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race by 15 ½ lengths Feb. 28. Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has saddled a record five Florida Derby winners, is represented by seven nominees, including Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert LaPenta and Dixiana Farms LLC’s Current; Starlight Racing’s Cutting Humor, Robert and Lawana Low’s Federal Case; Let’s Go Stable and Richard Schibell’s Outshine; Robert LaPenta’s So Alive; A 1 A Racing and Let’s Go Stable’s Soldado; and Wertheimer and Frere’s Spinoff. Federal Case is entered in Saturday’s Hutcheson (G3) at Gulfstream and Spinoff is entered in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. Pletcher saddled Audible for a Florida Derby victory last year. Trainer Dale Romans is represented by three horses on the Florida Derby nominations list – Calumet Farm’s Everfast and Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s Admire and Come On Gerry. Everfast finished second behind Harvey Wallbanger in the Holy Bull before finishing off the board in the Fountain of Youth. Admire and Come On Gerry are coming off out-of-the-money finishes in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Holy Bull, respectively. Southern California-based trainer Richard Mandella nominated last weekend’s Fox Hill Farms, Inc.’s Omaha Beach, last weekend’s Rebel (G2) winner who is not slated to run, as well as Jay Em Ess Stable’s Extra Hope. Hronis Racing LLC and John Sadler are represented on the nominations list by Nolo Contesto. 2019 Florida Derby Nominations Admire (Dale Romans) Bodexpress (Gustavo Delgado) Bourbon War (Mark Hennig) Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey) Come On Gerry (Dale Romans) Country House (Bill Mott) Current (Todd Pletcher) Cutting Humor (Todd Pletcher) Day (Victor Barboza Jr.) Epic Dreamer (Kelly Breen) Everfast (Dale Romans) Extra Hope (Richard Mandella) Federal Case (Todd Pletcher) Final Jeopardy (Jason Servis) Garter and Tie (Ralph Nicks) Gladiator King (Jaime Mejia) Hard Belle (Jaime Mejia) Harvey Wallbanger (Ken McPeek) Hidden Scroll (Bill Mott) Hoffa’s Union (Mark Casse) Maximum Security (Jason Servis) Nolo Contesto (John Sadler) Omaha Beach (Richard Mandella) Outshine (Todd Pletcher) So Alive (Todd Pletcher) Soldado (Todd Pletcher) Spinoff (Todd Pletcher) Tacitus (Bill Mott) Union’s Destiny (Juan Carlos Avila) Vekoma (George Weaver) Zenden (Victor Barboza Jr.)

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3.20.2019:

March 23: Cross-Country Pick 5 Features Aqueduct, Oaklawn

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will continue its partnership with Oaklawn Park in hosting a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by the $100,000 Cicada from Aqueduct and a pair of sprint stakes, the $125,000 Gazebo and the $100,000 Nodouble Breeders' from Oaklawn. Last week's sequence, which was highlighted by two divisions of the Grade 2 Rebel from Oaklawn, handled $203,282 as the largest all-sources pool of the 2019 Cross Country Pick 5 series. A winning $0.50 ticket returned $4,812.25. This Saturday, the Cross Country Pick 5 will feature a flurry of racing action from the Big A and Oaklawn, with a sequence bookended by stakes from the Hot Springs, Arkansas oval, starting with the Nodouble Breeders' [Race 7, 5:09 p.m. Eastern] and concluding just one hour later with the Gazebo [Race 9, 6:09 p.m.] The Nodouble Breeders, at six furlongs for Arkansas-bred colts and geldings 3-years-old and up, drew a field of nine, including defending race champion J.E.'s Handmedown to kick off the sequence. The second leg will be the featured Cicada [Race 8, 5:37 p.m.] from the Big A, a six-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies that drew a talented field of eight including undefeated New York-bred Stonesintheroad. The action jumps back to Oaklawn for the third leg [Race 8, 5:38 p.m.], a contentious claiming tilt for 4-year-olds and upward that attracted a field of 11, and then returns to Aqueduct for the penultimate leg (Race 9, 6:08 p.m.) as a field of 12 maidens looks to earn a trip to the winner's circle. Closing out Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 is the Gazebo for sophomore sprinters that features a field of six highlighted by stakes winners Nitrous, Gray Attempt and Six Shooter. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool. Aqueduct-Oaklawn Park Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, March 23: Leg 1 - Oaklawn, Race 7: $100,000 Nodouble Breeders' (5:09 p.m.) Leg 2 - Aqueduct, Race 8: $100,000 Cicada (5:37 p.m.) Leg 3 - Oaklawn, Race 8 (5:38 p.m.) Leg 4 - Aqueduct, Race 9 (6:08 p.m.) Leg 5 - Oaklawn, Race 9: $125,000 Gazebo (6:09 p.m.)  

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3.17.2019:

Alwaysmining Aces Two-Turn Test in Laurel's Private Terms Stakes

LAUREL, MD – For a horse that never been two turns before, Runnymede Racing’s Alwaysmining made it look easy in extending his win streak to five races, the last four in stakes, with a front-running 6 ¾-length romp in Saturday’s $100,000 Private Terms at Laurel Park. The 30th running of the Private Terms for 3-year-olds at about 1 1/16 miles was the third of five stakes worth $450,000 in purses on an 11-race St. Patrick’s Day eve program. It serves as a prep for the $125,000 Federico Tesio April 20, a ‘Win and In’ event for Triple Crown-nominated horses like Alwaysmining to the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course. “That’s what we were hoping we’d see,” winning trainer Kelly Rubley said, after Alwaysmining ($3) coasted to the wire in 1:42.65 over a fast main track under a hand ride from regular pilot Daniel Centeno. “He looks like he’s galloping, just relaxed. He’s a very classy horse.” Alwaysmining is a gelded son of Stay Thirsty, winner of the 1 ¼-mile Travers (G1) as a 3-year-old in 2011. He won the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Heft Stakes, both at seven furlongs, to cap his 2-year-old season, and opened 2019 with a victory in the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 16. Breaking from Post 3 as the 1-2 favorite in a field of seven, Alwaysmining found himself on the lead with stakes-placed Joevia settling into second and Miracle Wood third-place finisher Tybalt in third through a quarter-mile in 24.38 seconds, opening up by four lengths after a half in 48.44. Joevia closed the gap to two lengths after six furlongs went in 1:12.66, but was unable to keep up as Alwaysmining gained separation once straightened for home and steadily pulled clear of his rivals, running one mile in a modest 1:36.46. “The plan was like always, to try to break sharp and go to the lead,” Centeno said. “I know [Joevia] was the other speed in the race so I was looking to see what he’d do. When we went to the first turn, I looked and he took back a little bit, and my horse was going easy on the lead all the way.” The only anxious moment came and went early for Rubley, who got the horse last summer after he won one of his first five starts. Following a seventh-place effort over yielding turf in the Laurel Futurity in September, Alwaysmining has won by a combined 25 lengths during his streak. “My biggest concern was it’s really a short jump to the first turn here when we go a mile and a sixteenth and if we didn’t clear it, I wasn’t sure how our trip would play out. Obviously, he had no problem jumping out on top,” Rubley said. “I was extremely impressed with this race. Danny said he never even had to use the stick on him, which I think is phenomenal. He’s just doing it for fun.” Joevia stayed up to be a clear second, three lengths ahead Tybalt. They were followed by Dixie Drawl, Still Dreaming, Alwasymining’s stablemate Red Gum and Makes Mo Cents. Rubley, who nominated Alwaysmining to Saturday’s Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park and Sunday’s Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park, opted to keep him at home for his first two-turn test. The 1 1/8-mile Tesio also comes over a Laurel main track where Alwaysmining owns six wins from seven starts, including his maiden triumph last summer. “We’ll see,” Rubley said. “Every time we win we get more excited, of course.”

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3.16.2019:

Code of Honor, Harvey Wallbanger Breeze for Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – W.S. Farish’s Code of Honor pleased Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey Saturday morning while prepping for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30 at Gulfstream Park. The 3-year-old son of Noble Mission worked for the first time since capturing the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream March 2, breezing five furlongs at Payson Park in Indiantown FL in 1:01 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 by McGaughey’s watch. “I thought he worked really well. He kind of eased away from the pole, picked it up, went the final eighth of a mile in 11-and-change and galloped out very well. He seemed to come back where he might have needed it a little bit,” McGaughey said. “We’ve got two weeks to go, so we can get him fresh again and go from there. We were very pleased with what we saw.” Code of Honor Workout (March 16) Code of Honor, who finished a disappointing fourth as the 4-5 favorite in the one-turn mile Mucho Macho Man Jan. 5 at Gulfstream, bounced back with a sharp three-quarters of a length victory in the two-turn 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth. “Coming out of the Fountain of Youth, when I came up here and saw him a week later, which was last Saturday, I was really pleasantly surprised with what I saw, not only physically but his energy level,” McGaughey said. “I’m every bit as pleased today. Hopefully, he comes out of this good and we can move forward off this work.”  Code of Honor stamped himself as a colt to watch in his Aug. 18 debut at Saratoga, in which he led throughout the six-furlong maiden special weight race. He came back to finish second in the Oct. 6 Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park, overcoming a troubled start to close from 10th in the one-turn mile stakes. Although the Farish homebred disappointed in the 3-year-old debut in the Mucho Macho Man, he took huge strides along the Road to the Triple Crown in his two-turn debut in the Fountain of Youth. McGaughey is hopeful that Code of Honor can follow in the footsteps of Orb and also add a Florida Derby win to his resume. McGaughey saddled Orb for a victory in the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) after triumphs in the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby. “Orb went forward a lot [in South Florida] and this horse is coming forward,” McGaughey said. “When we ran him in January, he wasn’t nearly the horse he is today. Hopefully, the next couple months he’ll be the same.” At Gulfstream Park, Harvey Wallbanger breezed five furlongs in 59.66 seconds in preparation for a planned start in the Florida Derby. The son of Congrats is coming off a 29-1 upset victory in the $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G1) at Gulfstream Feb. 2. The Kenny McPeek-trained colt had entered the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull off a maiden victory at Churchill Downs Nov. 11 at 1 1/16 miles. Harvey Wallbanger worked in company with the McPeek-trained Signalman, who finished a disappointing seventh in the Fountain of Youth after completing a strong juvenile campaign with a victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs. Signalman, who is scheduled to run in the Blue Grass at Keeneland April 6, was clocked in a morning’s-best 59.46 seconds while working outside pacesetting Harvey Wallbanger. Harvey Wallbanger & Signalman Workout (March 16)

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3.15.2019:

Hidden Scroll, Bourbon War Breeze for Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Juddmonte Farms, Inc.’s Hidden Scroll breezed a half-mile in 50.20 seconds Friday morning at Payson Park in Indiantown, FL  receiving a little education in rating while preparing for a scheduled start in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park March 30. ‘I thought it was very good,” trainer Bill Mott said. “We purposely put him behind another horse. We sent a lead horse out in front of him. They actually went off in 13 (seconds), 13, so they went off in 26. I wanted to make sure he was comfortably rating behind another horse, and he went off and was on the rider’s fingertips.” Hidden Scroll Workout Video (March 15) Hidden Scroll, who debuted with a spectacular front-running 14-length victory on the Jan. 26 Pegasus World Cup Invitational undercard at Gulfstream Park Jan. 26, came up short in the stretch to finish fourth as the 6-5 favorite in the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream March 2. The 3-year-old son of Hard Spun became involved in a heated speed duel with longshot Gladiator King while setting rapid fractions of 22.80 and 45.69 for the first half-mile of the 1 1/16-mile stakes under Joel Rosario. Hidden Scroll continued to show the way into mid-stretch before faltering late, checking in three lengths behind victorious Code of Honor. “I guess considering as fast as he went early, the fact that he was able to finish up at all was actually quite remarkable. I think it leaves us at a little bit of a loss to know where we’re at. We’re at a little bit of a learning stage with him. Not only do we have to find out if he can rate a little bit, we have to find out if he can truly get a mile and an eighth real well,” Mott said. “If we go back to the Florida Derby, you’re adding another 1/16th of a mile, which he’ll have to rate a little bit in order to get that distance. Friday’s breeze, the Juddmonte homebred’s first since the Fountain of Youth, was designed to give Hidden Scroll a taste of rating. “Both the rider and the horse ate a lot of dirt, but [Hidden Scroll] got the experience and he let the dirt hit him. He pulled him out at the 3/16ths pole and he went out and joined his company. I told him to let them finish together, which they did,” Mott said. “The work was 50-and-a-fifth for Hidden Scroll, but he came home in 24, which is nice – 12, 12 – and he galloped out really well. He actually got five-eighths in 1:02-and-change.” Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will ride Hidden Scroll for the first time in the Florida Derby. “There’s a change in riders. As everyone knows, Joel Rosario was on last year’s 2-year-old champion [Game Winner] and we felt if we go back in the Florida Derby, it’s probably a good time to make a change and let somebody else get accustomed to the horse,” Mott said. “Javier Castellano has the mount right now. He’s a well-seasoned rider. He’s been in those kind of races. Hopefully, it will be a good fit.” Mott is hoping the pace scenario in the Florida Derby will not be nearly as testing for Hidden Scroll as it turned out to be in the Fountain of Youth. “Pace is always dependent on who’s in the race. You never know if you’re going to have the same group and the same matchup. I think we’ve got to be ready if there’s a crazy pace; we’re going to have to be ready to maybe give him a chance early in the race and rate a little bit,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. Mott plans to give Hidden Scroll a tune-up breeze next weekend before shipping him to Gulfstream Park two days before the Florida Derby to school in the paddock and gate. Bourbon War Preps for Florida Derby with Half-Mile Breeze Bourbon Lane Stable and Late Star Stable’s Bourbon War tuned up for a scheduled start in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30 during a half-mile breeze at Gulfstream Park Friday morning. The Mark Hennig-trained 3-year-old colt was timed in 50.50 seconds for his first workout since finishing a fast-closing second in the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream March 2. Bourbon War Workout Video (March 15) Hennig, who delayed the work from 7:30 to 9 a.m. due to an early-morning rain, said he was opted to give Bourbon War a maintenance breeze.  “I thought the track might be a little heavy. I wanted to go with a maintenance work this week and we can sharpen him up next week, kind of what did last time prior to the Fountain of Youth,” Hennig said. In the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, Bourbon War settled well off the fast pressured pace set by Hidden Scroll before advancing on the far turn, swinging wide off the turn into the homestretch, and making a strong run through the stretch. The son of Tapit finished three-quarters of a length behind victorious Code of Honor before offering an impressive gallop-out under Irad Ortiz Jr. “I was very impressed. I think he was just hitting his stride,” Hennig said. “I thought it took him a little while to transition off the turn. He kind of had to swing a little wider than he wanted to. Irad also mentioned that he had to wait on the turn when those horses were backing up and didn’t want to make his move and have to check. He said he waited and tried to be patient rather than move too soon and be forced into where he’d be stopped and have to be restart. He felt like he could definitely been closer.” Bourbon War had previously won a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance by 2 ¼ lengths going away Jan. 19 at Gulfstream. The Kentucky-bred colt broke his maiden at first asking by 2 ¼ lengths in a mile race originally scheduled for turf at Aqueduct Nov. 11. Three weeks later, he worked his way through traffic to finish fourth in the Dec. 1 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct.

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3.14.2019:

Hoffa's Union Pointing to Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Hoffa’s Union, an impressive maiden winner at Laurel Park in his career debut last month, is being pointed to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) Saturday, March 30 at Gulfstream Park, trainer Mark Casse said Thursday. Hoffa’s Union was purchased by a group headed by Gary Barber and Adam Wachtel and turned over to Casse following a front-running 15 ½-length romp against fellow 3-year-olds Feb. 28 in 1:43.61 for about 1 1/16 miles, which is configured around two turns at Laurel. The gelded son of 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags, acquired for $11,000 as a 2-year-old in training last May by previous trainer and co-owner Gary Capuano, has been working at Casse’s training center in Ocala since the private sale. “So far I haven’t done a whole lot with him, just galloping. He didn’t run that long ago. We’ve got him here with us and he’s a beautiful, beautiful horse,” Casse said. “We’re looking right now at the Florida Derby. We kind of like the timing of it. Obviously, it’s going to be a huge step, but as long as he’s doing well we’re going to take a shot.” The 68th running of the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby anchors a spectacular program that includes seven stakes, four graded, worth $2.15 million in purses. Among other horses being considered for the premiere Triple Crown prep are Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Code of Honor and runner-up Bourbon War, Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) winner Harvey Wallbanger, Final Jeopardy, Hidden Scroll, Maximum Security and Vekoma. “If you look at his numbers … he stacks up with all those guys,” Casse said. “It’s a tall task and a big jump up in class, but if he can come back and repeat the numbers that he ran in his first start, it puts him right there with the best of them. “He was so impressive. He ran fast. He ran faster than older horses,” he added. “He ran a good Beyer number and ran a good Ragozin number and just was impressive. The guys got together and bought him and I was lucky enough to get to train him.”

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3.13.2019:

March 16: Cross-Country Pick 5 Features 4 Stakes Including Rebel, Azeri

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will continue its partnership with Oaklawn Park in hosting a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by two divisions of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel at Oaklawn. Saturday's sequence will begin with Race 7 at the Big A at 4:50 p.m. Eastern with an eight-horse field of New York-bred sophomores competing in a six-furlong sprint. The remaining legs will feature stakes races contested at Oaklawn beginning with Race 7, at 5:21 p.m., the Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri featuring multiple Grade 1-winners Elate and Midnight Bisou squaring off against Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Shamrock Rose. The third leg of the Cross Country Pick 5 is the first split of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel (Race 8, 5:57 p.m.) featuring the undefeated Improbable taking on well-regarded Galilean in a nine-horse field. The penultimate leg of the multi-race wager, the $350,000 Essex Handicap (Race 9, 6:29 p.m.) at 1 1/16-miles for 4-year-olds and upward, drew a contentious field of nine, with the second split of the Grade 2 Rebel (Race 10, 7:06 p.m.), a field of 10 highlighted by the sophomore debut of Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old colt Game Winner, to close out the sequence. All the stakes action will be shown live on FOX Sports Saturday At The Races, airing 5-7:30 p.m. Eastern on FS2. The live broadcast will feature all four stakes events from Oaklawn as well as the $200,000 Inside Information, a seven-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares from Gulfstream Park. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool. Aqueduct-Oaklawn Park Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, March 16: Leg 1 - Aqueduct, Race 7 (4:50 p.m.) Leg 2 - Oaklawn, Race 7: Grade 2, $350,000 Azeri (5:21 p.m.) Leg 3 - Oaklawn, Race 8: Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel (5:57 p.m.) Leg 4 - Oaklawn, Race 9: $350,000 Essex Handicap (6:29 p.m.) Leg 5 - Oaklawn, Race 10: Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel (7:06 p.m.)

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3.13.2019:

The Stronach Group Programs Carry Weight with Bettors

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bettors have a new handicapping tool in their programs at all Stronach Group tracks – the weight of horses. The Stronach Group is the first Thoroughbred racetrack operator to include the weights of horses in the past performance lines of its handicapping programs. This includes Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Laurel Park and Golden Gate Fields. “We’re always looking for innovative handicapping tools to help our bettors, and this is something bettors domestically and internationally began asking for last year,” said The Stronach Group’s COO Tim Ritvo. The Stronach Group tracks began collecting the information last spring. The information has been shared with bettors on the track simulcasts since last summer. “This is data-driven world, and we’re excited about adding this data to our programs as we continue our growth internationally,” Ritvo added. “Bettors and horsemen have used this information in the past to find out a horse’s optimum racing weight. We believe you can never provide enough information.” Horses at all Stronach Group tracks have been weighed on a scale located in the paddock areas. That information has been shared on each track’s daily simulcast since last summer.  

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3.11.2019:

2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3 (March 8 - 10, 2019): 1. Anothertwistafate (Blaine Wright) - 38/1 ($78.80)2. Bourbon War (Mark Hennig) - 12/1 ($27.80)3. Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey) - 14/1 ($31.60) 4. Country House (Bill Mott) - 29/1 ($61.00)5. Dream Maker (Mark Casse) - 56/1 ($114.40)6. Galilean (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 22/1 ($47.40)7. Game Winner (Bob Baffert) - 6/1 ($14.20)8. Gunmetal Gray (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 43/1 ($89.00)9. Harvey Wallbanger (Ken McPeek) - 33/1 ($69.40)10. Hidden Scroll (Bill Mott) - 11/1 ($25.40)11. Improbable (Bob Baffert) - 6/1 ($14.00) 12. Instagrand (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 17/1 ($36.40) 13. Intrepid Heart (Todd Pletcher) - 63/1 ($129.80) 14. Mind Control (Greg Sacco) - 55/1 ($113.60)15. Mucho Gusto (Bob Baffert) - 27/1 ($56.40) 16. Roadster (Bob Baffert) - 16/1 ($35.80)17. Signalman (Ken McPeek) - 38/1 ($79.60)18. Spinoff (Todd Pletcher) - 36/1 ($74.40)19. Tax (Danny Gargan) - 59/1 ($120.60) 20. Vekoma (George Weaver) - 37/1 ($76.40) 21. War of Will (Mark Casse) - 12/1 ($27.00)22. Well Defined (Kathleen O'Connell) - 216/1 ($435.40) 23. Win Win Win (Michael Trombetta) - 34/1 ($71.40) 24. All Other 3YO's - 9/2 ($11.80)

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3.11.2019:

2019 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Results

Here are the full results for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (March 8 - 10, 2019): 1. Bellafina (Simon Callaghan) - 9/2 ($11.80)2. Brill (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 25/1 ($53.00)3. Champagne Anyone (Ian Wilkes) - 51/1 ($105.60)4. Chasing Yesterday (Bob Baffert) - 8/1 ($19.40) 5. Dunbar Road (Chad Brown) - 18/1 ($38.80)6. Enaya Alrabb (Doug O'Neill) - 12/1 ($27.60) 7. Eres Tu (Steve Asmussen) - 83/1 ($168.60)8. Feedback (Chad Brown) - 20/1 ($42.60)9. Graceful Princess (Ralph Nicks) - 83/1 ($168.20)10. Jaywalk (John Servis) - 7/1 ($17.20)11. Jeltrin (Alexis Delgado) - 62/1 ($127.00)12. Liora (Wayne Catalano) - 65/1 ($133.60) 13. Marathon Queen (Steve Asmussen) - 113/1 ($229.40) 14. Mother Mother (Bob Baffert) - 31/1 ($65.40) 15. Motion Emotion (Thomas Van Berg) - 24/1 ($51.40) 16. Orra Moor (Todd Pletcher) - 43/1 ($88.80) 17. Point of Honor (George Weaver) - 11/1 ($25.60)18. Power Gal (Mark Casse) - 97/1 ($196.20) 19. Queen of Beas (Jorge Abreu) - 49/1 ($100.00)20. Restless Rider (Ken McPeek) - 13/1 ($29.80) 21. Serengeti Empress (Tom Amoss) - 11/1 ($24.80) 22. Tasting the Stars (Michael Stidham) - 137/1 ($276.40) 23. Violencia (Rodolphe Brisset) - 56/1 ($114.60) 24. All Other 3YO Fillies - 5/1 ($12.00)

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3.9.2019:

Haikal Spoils Instagrand's Return, Wins Gotham Stakes

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Following a win in his stakes debut, Shadwell Stable's Haikal proved he could handle a step up in class, making a strong rally from the outside in the final furlong to run down three competitors and post a one-length win in the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham for 3-year-olds as part of a stakes-filled Saturday card at Aqueduct Racetrack. The 67th running of the Gotham, part of New York's "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, offered 50-20-10-5 qualifying points for the Run for the Roses to the top-four finishers. Haikal, in his graded stakes debut, ensured he earned the highest total with a patient trip under jockey Rajiv Maragh. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee stayed off Much Better's early speed as he led the eight-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.36 seconds and the half in 44.42 on the fast main track. In the stretch of the one-turn mile, Haikal was stationed fourth on the inside as Knicks Go, the Bob Baffert-trained Much Better and even-money favorite Instagrand vied for supremacy. Maragh angled Haikal to the outside, and the Daaher colt bolted to the wire, overtaking the three competitors before finishing in a final time of 1:35.63. "I felt like he was full of run, and I felt like we kind of had them measured," Maragh said. "I just hoped he'd continue his run and not ease up, and he continued running, so it worked out good. It wasn't that close at the end." Haikal, off at 4-1, returned $10.80 on a $2 win wager. Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Haikal notched his third straight win and is 3-1-0 in four career starts, all at the Big A. Haikal, who broke his maiden at six furlongs and won the seven-furlong Jimmy Winkfield on February 9, earned his first victory at a mile. "He showed me every indicator that he'll excel the further the distance goes, so that's not anything that I'm concerned about," Maragh added. "I'm actually looking forward to him running those long distances." Added Joe Lee, assistant to McLaughlin: "Kiaran had spoken to Rajiv and that was actually the plan: let him settle early, and then make that run. Rajiv rode him perfectly. When I saw him closing I was just hoping he'd get there. "I knew he was going to come, it was just a matter of if he was going to get there in time. Even at the eighth-pole, sixteenth-pole, I knew from the way he ran last time that he was still going to fight it out." Mind Control, a Stay Thirsty colt, rallied up the rail to edge Instagrand by a half-length for second, earning 20 additional Derby qualifying points. Trained by Greg Sacco and ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, Mind Control increased his total points to 30, adding to the 10 he earned for winning the Jerome on New Year's Day at the Big A. "He ran a huge race, but he got caught right at the wire. They went fast enough, and I was just trying to stay back and give my horse a chance," Velazquez said. "He ran like a good horse today, but the other horse got up to beat him at the wire." Instagrand, conditioned by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, finished a nose in front of fellow California shipper Much Better, with Hall of Famer Mike Smith aboard, for third. The winner of the Grade 2 Best Pal last out had won his first two career starts. "I was fine with how he did it today. I'm not disappointed at all," said Instagrand's Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano. "He was off a long time and to bring him back at a mile, he only got beat a length. "I like the way he rated behind horses," he added. "He doesn't have to be on the lead now. We can play both games. He can be right behind the horses. It's true progress for his third race. I'm very satisfied. I got beat, but I'm satisfied with the way he did it today." Family Biz, Tikhvin Flew, Knicks Go and Not That Brady completed the order of finish.  

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3.9.2019:

Regally Bred Tacitus Scores in Tampa Bay Derby

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott clearly is not a man in a hurry. A mere 22 years after his first victory in Tampa Bay Downs’ biggest race, Mott grabbed another Grade II Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby triumph. And he did it with Tacitus, a colt with only two starts as a 2-year-old, and one who had not raced since his maiden victory on Nov. 10 at Aqueduct. “He’s been a big, growthy colt all along, and when we were breezing him in the middle of the summer he was just a big, laid-back horse. We didn’t know what we had until we got into the fall,” Mott said after Tacitus and jockey Jose Ortiz got through late on the rail and powered to a length-and-a-quarter victory from Outshine. Tacitus, a gray homebred son of Tapit-Close Hatches, by First Defence, racing for breeder-owner Juddmonte Farms, sped the mile-and-a-sixteenth distance in stakes-record time of 1:41.90. The 7-5 favorite, Win Win Win, finished third in the 11-horse field, with pace-setter Zenden holding on for fourth. Tacitus paid $19.80 to win as the fifth betting choice in the field. He earned the winner’s share of $210,000 from the $400,000 purse. A crowd of 10,275 thrilled to the exciting action on a sunny, balmy afternoon. Total wagering handle on the 12-race card was $13,956,020 and change, the second-highest amount in Tampa Bay Downs history. Two other graded stakes were contested, with 5-year-old mare Rymska and Irad Ortiz, Jr. (Jose’s brother) rallying for a two-length victory from Hawksmoor in the Grade II, $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes on the turf and 3-year-old filly Concrete Rose and Julien Leparoux holding off Blowout by a half-length in the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks, also on the turf. In the day’s other stakes, last year’s Grade III Sam F. Davis winner and Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby runner-up, Flameaway, outgamed Killybegs Captain through the stretch to post a half-length victory in the $100,000 Challenger Stakes under Jose Ortiz, and Digital Age and Irad Ortiz, Jr., posted a head victory from Forever Mo in the $75,000 Columbia Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf. In the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, Jose Ortiz managed to find the inside early from the No. 10 post position and raced in mid-pack up the backstretch, while Zenden led Sam F. Davis winner Well Defined and the others through taxing fractions. “He (Tacitus) broke very well and gave me a lot of choices by the first turn,” Ortiz said. “When the 9 horse (Dunph) went out, I decided to go in and follow the 1 (Admire) because I thought he had a good chance to win. “I took a lot (of dirt), but the dirt doesn’t stick as much here as some other tracks, so I think it was good for my horse. He’s a little green still, but we got a rail trip and it opened up for us.” A few anxious moments followed, with Outshine and Joel Rosario still looming as a threat, but Ortiz re-engaged the winner. “He’s a big horse and when he made the lead, he didn’t keep going; he kind of waited a little bit,” the jockey said. “He does everything so easy and I don’t know if he’s given me 100 percent yet (in his three races) – I don’t think so.” Ortiz was also capturing his second Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, having won the 2017 edition with Tapwrit. Mott had won the race in 1997 with Zede. “I’ve been waiting a long time,” Mott said with a big grin. “We’ve always liked this horse and thought he could be a horse that would be on the (Kentucky) Derby trail,” Mott said. “I liked him a lot better today at the 3/8-mile pole than I did at the 5/8 pole, because it looked like when he was trying to get between horses, I couldn’t tell if he was maybe fighting with the racetrack. “He was climbing a little bit but once he got through between those horses, he really got some confidence and got some momentum. Jose said he actually finished with something left. He got to the lead and maybe started to dog it a little bit, but I thought it was a very good race and a very good education for him.” The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” points race, and Tacitus earned 50 points, with Outshine earning 20, Win Win Win 10 and Zenden 5. Michael Trombetta, the trainer of 7-5 favorite Win Win Win, was not overly disappointed after talking to his jockey, Irad Ortiz, Jr. “I want to go back and watch the head-on of the break; Irad said it was a little bit of a tangle out of the gate,” Trombetta said. “I think he was satisfied with the way that he ran. I just think if he could have gotten a little better position early, we might have had more of a favorable outcome. He finished with good energy and just couldn’t quite get it done.”

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3.9.2019:

Somelikeithotbrown Triumphant in Turfway Park's Jeff Ruby Steaks

March 9, 2019 (FLORENCE, Ky.) –  Somelikeithotbrown set a brisk pace and then turned the corner into a 20 mph headwind but had plenty left to win the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park Saturday, pocketing 20 points toward a spot in the Kentucky Derby gate in the process. Final time for the 1 1/8-mile race was 1:52.05. As in the Battaglia Memorial, Dynamic Racer was second to Somelikeithotbrown, 3 ¼ lengths behind, earning eight points. Moonster, was another 1 ¼ lengths back in third to earn four points. Five General collected two points for his fourth-place finish. “The pace was honest but it looked like he was doing it pretty handily,” said winning trainer Mike Maker, “and he put the horse away that was contesting the lead with him down the lane [Dynamic Racer]. Tyler said he was ducking from the whip a little bit but he had a lot of horse left. With these two races [wins in the Battaglia Memorial and today], we’ll look at the Blue Grass [at Keeneland].” Five Star General set the first quarter in :23.61 but after that the pace was all Somelikeithotbrown, who clocked the half in :47.03 and three-quarters in 1:10.78 with Five Star General giving chase. The winner hit the mile in 1:37.84 before turning into the stiff headwind. “The plan really wasn’t to go to the lead today,” said winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione. “He broke so sharp, into the first turn I didn’t want to get in a fighting match with him, so I put my hands down and tried to get him to relax. Down the lane, he was kind of waiting on horses, kind of looking around, but he did everything easy. He’s a very nice horse, very talented. Mike [Maker] and his team did a great job with him. He was all by himself and every time I showed him the whip, he’d go one way. He was just acting bored.” Somelikeithotbrown was the 3-5 favorite and returned $3.20, $2.60 and $2.60. Behind Five Star General came Dabo, Speed App, Counter Offer, Skywire, Curlin Grey, Twelfthofneverland and Baytown Jimbo. Somelikeithotbrown is owned by Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable and was bred in Kentucky by Hot Pink Stables and Sand Dollar Stables. By Big Brown out of Marilyn Monroan, by Tapit, Somelikeithotbrown now has three wins, two seconds and a third in seven starts and is undefeated in his two sophomore starts. His earnings stand at $363,478. The win was the fifth for Maker in Turfway Park’s Kentucky Derby prep race, following wins in 2006, 2010, 2016 and 2017. Bourbonette Oaks Winner Naughty Joker Gives Ward, Bejarano Third Stakes Win on the Day Naughty Joker gave jockey Rafael Bejarano and trainer Wesley Ward their third stakes win on the Jeff Ruby Steaks undercard when she got the best of stubborn Fun Finder late in the stretch to take the $100,000 Maxim Crane Works Bourbonette Oaks (listed) by 1 ¾ lengths. New Roo was a further half-length back in third. The win gives Naughty Joker 20 points toward a spot in the Kentucky Oaks gate. Fun Finder earned eight points, with New Roo collecting four and fourth-place Diva Day earning two. Naughty Joker raced two or three lengths behind the front-running Fun Finder to the top of the turn, when Bejarano tipped her out and turned her loose. Final time for the one-mile Bourbonette Oaks was 1:40.08. “My horse came away really beautifully from the gate,” said Bejarano. “I saw a couple of horses with speed, so I put her right behind them and got her comfortable. It is so easy to ride for these connections [owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and Maker]. The horses I ride for them have so much class.” Naughty Joker was sent off the 2-1 favorite and paid $6, $4 and $4. Naughty Joker is by Into Mischief out of the Distorted Humor mare Fleeting Humor and was bred in Kentucky by the Ramseys. Her record stands at two wins and two seconds in four starts with earnings of $158,680. Bejarano’s career took off in 2003 and 2004 when he was Turfway’s record-setting leading rider. “I feel at home here in Kentucky and I’m reminded of what it used to be like on top of the world here in Kentucky,” he said.

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3.6.2019:

All-Stakes Cross Country Pick 5 Features Gotham & TB Derby

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will continue its partnership with Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday by hosting a Cross Country Pick 5, highlighted by the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham for 3-year-olds and up at Aqueduct Racetrack [as part of New York's Road to the Kentucky Derby series], the Grade 2 $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade 3, $300,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn. Saturday's sequence will begin with Race 10 at Tampa at 4:57 p.m. Eastern with an 11-horse field competing in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. The second leg will move to Aqueduct for Race 10 at 5:09 p.m. for the Gotham before switching back to Tampa for the Tampa Bay Derby at 5:29 p.m. The final two legs of the Pick 5 include the $250,000 Busher Invitational from Aqueduct for 3-year-old fillies looking to earn points towards qualifying for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at 5:40 p.m. and the ninth race from Oaklawn Park, the Honeybee, at 6:09 p.m. All the action will be shown on FOX Sports Saturday At The Races, airing 4:30-7 p.m. Eastern time on FS2. The live broadcast will feature Aqueduct Races 9-through-11, all legs of the Cross-Country Pick 5, along with the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool. Aqueduct-Tampa Bay-Oaklawn Park All Graded Stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, March 9: Leg 1 - Tampa Bay Downs, Race 10: Grade 3 Florida Oaks (4:57 p.m.) Leg 2 - Aqueduct Racetrack, Race 10: Grade 3 Gotham (5:09 p.m.) Leg 3 - Tampa Bay Downs, Race 11: Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby (5:29 p.m.) Leg 4 - Aqueduct, Race 11: Busher Invitational (5:40 p.m.) Leg 5 - Oaklawn Park, Race 9: Grade 3 Honeybee (6:09 p.m.)  

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3.5.2019:

Bob Baffert Quartet Headlines Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, March. 5, 2019) – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s Grade I-winning duo of Game Winner and Improbable along with last weekend’s Xpressbet Fountain of Youth (Grade II) winner Code of Honor are the individual morning line favorites in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager but “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is once again expected to be the overall preference when betting concludes Sunday. Veteran odds maker Mike Battaglia has installed “All Other 3-Year-Olds” as the 4-1 early choice in the field of 24 betting interests for the three-day pool, which opens Friday at noon (all times EDT) and concludes Sunday at 6 p.m. The advance betting will be staged concurrently with the year’s only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. In addition to Win and Exacta betting, an Oaks/Derby Future Double is part of the Future Wager betting menu. The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which includes the Oaks/Derby Future Double, will close a half-hour later than the KDFW at 6:30 p.m. Unbeaten 2-year-old champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) winner Game Winner is expected to garner the most support among the 23 individual betting interests with morning line odds of 5-1. Los Alamitos Futurity (GI) hero Improbable was projected as the 8-1 co-third choice along with the Shug McGaughey-trained Code of Honor. Baffert, the five-time Kentucky Derby winner who swept last year’s Triple Crown with Justify, has stated that both Game Winner and Improbable will face one another in Saturday’s San Felipe (GII) at Santa Anita. Code of Honor is expected to run next in the March 30 Xpressbet Florida Derby (GI). Here’s the complete Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 field (with trainer and morning line odds): Anothertwistafate (Blaine Wright, 50/1) Bourbon War (Mark Hennig, 12/1) Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey, 8/1) Country House (Bill Mott, 50/1) Dream Maker (Mark Casse, 50/1) Galilean (Jerry Hollendorfer, 50/1) Game Winner (Bob Baffert, 5/1) Gunmetal Gray (Jerry Hollendorfer, 30/1) Harvey Wallbanger (Ken McPeek, 30/1) Hidden Scroll (Bill Mott, 12/1) Improbable (Bob Baffert, 8/1) Instagrand (Jerry Hollendorfer, 10/1) Intrepid Heart (Todd Pletcher, 50/1) Mind Control (Gregg Sacco, 30/1) Mucho Gusto (Bob Baffert, 20/1) Roadster (Bob Baffert, 15/1) Signalman (Ken McPeek, 30/1) Spinoff (Todd Pletcher, 50/1) Tax (Danny Gargan, 30/1) Vekoma (George Weaver, 20/1) War of Will (Mark Casse, 10/1) Well Defined (Kathleen O'Connell, 50/1) Win Win Win (Michael Trombetta, 50/1) All Other 3-Year-Olds (4/1) Overall, Baffert trains four KDFW betting interests. In addition to Game Winner and Improbable, he conditions Roadster and Mucho Gusto. Other trainers with multiple betting interests: Mark Casse (War of Will and Dream Maker), Jerry Hollendorfer (Instagrand, Gunmetal Gray and Galilean), Kenny McPeek (Harvey Wallbanger and Signalman), Bill Mott (Hidden Scroll and Country House) and Todd Pletcher (Intrepid Heart and Spinoff). In the Oaks future wager, five-time graded stakes winner Bellafina was made the 5-1 favorite with four betting interests as 8-1 co-second choices: Chasing Yesterday, 2-year-old filly champion Jaywalk, Restless Rider and “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies.” Here’s the complete Kentucky Oaks Future Wager field: Bellafina (Simon Callaghan, 5/1) Brill (Jerry Hollendorfer, 30/1) Champagne Anyone (Ian Wilkes, 20/1) Chasing Yesterday (Bob Baffert, 8/1) Dunbar Road (Chad Brown, 20/1) Enaya Alrabb (Doug O'Neill, 15/1) Eres Tu (Steve Asmussen, 30/1) Feedback (Chad Brown, 20/1) Graceful Princess (Ralph Nicks, 50/1) Jaywalk (John Servis, 8/1) Jeltrin (Alexis Delgado, 15/1) Liora (Wayne Catalano, 15/1) Marathon Queen (Steve Asmussen, 50/1) Mother Mother (Bob Baffert, 10/1) Motion Emotion (Thomas Van Berg, 50/1) Orra Moor (Todd Pletcher, 50/1) Point of Honor (George Weaver, 30/1) Power Gal (Mark Casse, 50/1) Queen of Beas (Jorge Abreu, 50/1) Restless Rider (Ken McPeek, 8/1) Serengeti Empress (Tom Amoss, 10/1) Tasting the Stars (Michael Stidham, 50/1) Violencia (Rodolphe Brisset, 50/1) All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies (8/1) Dunbar Road was not among the early Kentucky Oaks nominees, but trainer Chad Brown told Churchill Downs officials that she was likely to become eligible via a $1,500 late payment, which is due by April 13. The Kentucky Derby Future Wagers, which feature $2 Win and Exacta wagering, provide fans of Thoroughbred racing with opportunities to place bets on possible entrants in the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) at odds that could be far greater than those available on the day of the race. The 145th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs. The $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) will be run the day before on Friday, May 3. Total handle for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Nov. 22-25 was $258,389. “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” closed as the 6-5 favorite with Game Winner at 5-1. The Pool 2 betting on Feb. 8-10 reached $533,977. Again, “All Other 3-Year-Olds” was the 5-2 favorite with Game Winner at 5-1. “All Other 3-Year-Olds” has closed as the Pool 3 favorite in 13 of the last 16 years. The lone exceptions were Pyro (4-1 in 2008), Uncle Mo (3-1 in 2011) and Mohaymen (7-2 in 2016). Justify was the 6-1 individual favorite in Pool 3 last year and paid $14.40 to win compared to the $7.80 bettors were paid on Derby Day. Last year’s Pool 3 exacta of Justify and Good Magic returned $245.80 as opposed to $69.60 on the day of the race. The inaugural Oaks/Derby Future Double, which included Monomoy Girl, came back $71 versus $33.20 on May 4-5. After this weekend, the fourth and final Kentucky Derby future wager pool will be April 5-7 (Pool 4). Log-In and Place Your Wagers

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3.2.2019:

Code of Honor Wins Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – W.S. Farish’s Code of Honor rebounded from a disappointing effort in his 2019 debut to capture Saturday’s $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park and stamp himself as a leading prospect for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) and the 2019 Triple Crown. Code of Honor was saddled by Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who captured the 2013 Fountain of Youth, Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby (G1) with Orb. Code of Honor was sent to post at 9-1 for the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, which headlined a 14-race program highlighted by nine graded stakes, and produced a winning performance expected of him in the Jan. 5 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream, in which he finished fourth as the 4-5 favorite. The son of Noble Mission’s winning stretch kick was benefited by a hotly contested pace set by Hidden Scroll, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Joel Rosario, and pressed on his inside by longshot Gladiator King. Code of Honor, who broke from the No. 1 post position in the 11-horse field, saved ground around the first turn and along the backstretch in fifth under John Velazquez as the pacesetters set dazzling fractions of 22.80 and 45.69 seconds for the first half mile. Hidden Scroll, who was only making his second career start after breaking his maiden by 14 lengths at Gulfstream by 14 handy lengths Jan. 26, shook off Gladiator King to open a lead on the far turn with Global Campaign in closes pursuit. Meanwhile, Velazquez left the rail with Code of Honor just long enough to go around Gladiator King on the far turn before ducking back to the rail to advance toward the leader. After putting away Global Campaign and Vekoma while cutting the corner into the homestretch, Code of Honor loomed as a serious threat while swinging to the outside in pursuit of Hidden Scroll. Hidden Scroll shortened stride in the stretch after his early efforts as Code of Honor swept by on his way to victory. Bourbon War, who had won two of three starts, closed well to finish second, three-quarters of a length away and two lengths ahead of Vekoma. “There was so much speed in the race I was expecting a quick pace in front of us. We broke well, got position into the first turn and we held that position there. Once I was on the backstretch I was very comfortable with the way he was doing things. By the time three-eighths pole I was a little uncomfortable – one horse was kind of backing up [Gladiator King] and the other one [Vekoma] was kind of holding me there. I had to make kind of a premature move around the quarter pole and I got there a little too soon to tell you the truth, but once he got in front he opened up a little bit,” Velazquez said. Code of Honor, who ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.85, was trained more aggressively for the Fountain of Youth than he was prior to the Mucho Macho Man. “After the Mucho Macho Man, I said listen, we’re going to train him. If he takes it he takes it, and he took it. He was doing good with what we were putting into him, so we kept doing it and we felt like he was going to come down here and run well,” McGaughey said. “I thought we drew a good post. We saved some ground going around the first turn and just be patient. We got the set up.” Prior to the Mucho Macho Man, Code of Honor had broken his maiden at first asking at Saratoga in August before finishing a troubled second in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Oct. 6. He was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 2 but was scratched on race day due to spiking a fever.” McGaughey said he would weigh his options for Code of Honor’s next start. “I would prefer to stay here [for the Florida Derby], but I’m going to see,” McGaughey said. “A couple of them [Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and Blue Grass at Keeneland April 6] and the Blue Grass are a little farther down the line, so we’ll see how he comes out of it. We’ll figure it out.” Bourbon Road also benefited from the hot early pace but did run into traffic heading into the stretch under Irad Ortiz Jr. “He ran very well. Irad said, ‘I don’t like that first wire.’ He said he kind of had to wait a little at the quarter pole for some room, but he said he didn’t want to ask him and have to check. So he said he waited and waited and he was just humming down the stretch, trainer Mark Hennig said. “He’s going to appreciate more ground, that’s for sure.” Hidden Scroll finished fourth, a neck behind Vekoma, in his stakes debut. “He ran good. It makes you wonder -- should we have chosen an easier spot? But I guess we felt we wanted to find some things about him today, and we found out we weren’t ready for this,” trainer Bill Mott said. “I would have loved to have gone in 46-and-three [seconds]band maybe we would have had a little more to finish up with. He got wrapped up in basically kind of a speed duel he shouldn’t have been. Anyway, that’s history. We’ll turn the page.”

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3.2.2019:

2019 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes: Post-Race Trainer, Jockey & Owner Quotes

 Trainer Shug McGaughey (Code of Honor): “Well, I just thought that I made a couple of mistakes. I thought that I did stuff with him that maybe didn’t need to be done. I thought I had him ready for the real stuff. That didn’t work out and maybe he just wasn’t ready.” “There’s obviously three different spots. The Florida Derby would be my preference. We’ve got to ship him an hour and a half down the road. But there is the Wood and Bluegrass. It’s not all the Kentucky Derby. If he takes us there it’ll be fine but we still got to do it again.” “After the Mucho Macho Man, I said listen, ‘we’re going train him. If he takes it he takes it,’ and he took it. He was doing good with what we were putting into him so we kept doing it and we felt like he was going to come down here and run well. We saved some ground going around the first turn and he was just patient. We got the set up.” “I would prefer to stay here, but I’m going to see. A couple of them are a little farther down the line, so we’ll see how he comes out of it. We’ll figure it out.”      Jockey John Velazquez (Code of Honor): “There was so much speed in the race I was expecting a quick pace in front of us. We broke well, got position into the first turn and we held that position there. Once I was on the backstretch I was very comfortable with the way he was doing things. By the time three-eighths pole I was a little uncomfortable – one horse was kind of backing up and the other one was kind of holding me there. I had to make kind of a premature move around the quarter pole and I got there a little too soon to tell you the truth, but once he got in front he opened up a little bit.” “This is what we expected of him. Obviously, he came from a long layoff and he probably wasn’t quite ready. We put a lot of work in him and he’s taken it well and he showed us today what kind of horse he is.” Owner William Farish (Code of Honor): Unbelievable. It’s simply unbelievable. We’ve known he has the talent, but we’ve had these little hiccups ever since he was second in Saratoga. Today he showed what he had all along and what we’ve saw all along. It’s why he’s had to work him so much coming up to this. “It’s just incredible. You go through these things and all of a sudden it works. This is what he’s always done and he’s a very talented horse. Now we’ll see him. About going to Kentucky Derby “We’ll have to see how he comes out of this. With the works he’s had we’ll probably back off a little bit after this. We may not do that. We’ll see. There’s no way to tell you what it means. It’s a terrific thing. We’ve been in this business a long time. There’s a lot of good and a lot of bad, but this was a great day. Trainer Bill Mott (Hidden Scroll): “At the end of the day, he wound up going pretty quick. I was kind of hoping we might be able to lay in behind the 3 horse and as it was we were up heads apart the first part. I was kind of hoping to be tucked in behind him but it didn’t work out that way.” “He ran good. It makes you wonder, well, should we have chosen an easier spot but I guess we felt we wanted to find some things about him today, and we found out we weren’t ready for this.” “I would have loved to have gone in 46 and three and maybe we would have had a little more to finish up with. He got wrapped up in basically kind of a speed duel in a sense with a horse he shouldn’t have been. Anyway, that’s history. We’ll turn the page.” Joel Rosario (Hidden Scroll): The trip was fine but in the beginning he showed too much speed. He did that last time and he stayed on but going two turns today for the first time he got a little tired in the end. Trainer Mark Hennig (Bourbon War): “He ran very well. [Jockey] Irad [Ortiz Jr.] said, ‘I don’t like that first wire.’ He said he kind of had to wait a little at the quarter pole for some room, but he said he didn’t want to ask him and have to check. So he said he waited and waited and he was just humming down the stretch. He’s going to appreciate more ground, that’s for sure.”

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3.1.2019:

Roadster 'Back on Kentucky Derby Trail' After Santa Anita Allowance Win

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 1, 2019) – Idle since running third to eventual Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Game Winner Sept. 3, Bob Baffert’s Roadster returned to the races today with aplomb, as he powered to a 2 ½ length win in Friday’s $57,000 Santa Anita allowance feature.  Ridden by Mike Smith, Roadster, a grey colt by Quality Road, got a flat mile in 1:37.53. “He’s back on the Derby trail,” said Baffert, himself a winner of five Kentucky Derbies, including last year’s, which he won with eventual Triple Crown champ Justify, who made his first-ever start on Feb. 18, 2018 at Santa Anita.  “That was quite a performance off a layoff.  We just want to see how he comes out of this…When he worked in 10 and three (six furlongs in 1:10 3/5s on Feb. 17) out of the gate the other day, that’ssick, for a horse to do that on this track.” Breaking sharply from his number four post position, Roadster saved a bit of ground by tucking in just behind 3-5 favorite Nolo Contesto and longshot Diamond Blitz heading into the Club House turn.  Straightening up the backside, Roadster drew alongside Nolo Contesto while assuming second position and was subsequently lapped on Diamond Blitz around the far turn, gaining a narrow advantage leaving the quarter pole. With Smith shaking the reins approaching the furlong pole, Roadster, who was making his third start and his first try at two turns, separated himself with an impressive turn of foot, leaving no doubt as to the outcome as Nolo Contesto was all-out to gain the place. Out of the Silver Ghost mare Ghost Dancing, Roadster, who was the 3-5 favorite in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 3, was off as the second choice at 4-5 in a field of five sophomores today and paid $3.80, $2.20 and $2.10. “I’m just so happy with the way he ran,” said Smith, who has ridden him in all three of his starts.  “His mechanics, his (breathing), everything was smooth.  Last time, he was struggling, so they did a little  minor surgery (to address his breathing).  Today, he was loving it.” When asked how Roadster seemed to handle the surface, Smith responded, “The track is great,   it’s got a lot of cushion.  They’re just floating over it.  This colt loved it.” Owned by Speedway Stable, LLC, Roadster, who was a $525,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, now has two wins from three starts and with the winner’s share of $34,200, increased his earnings to $106,200. Bet to 3-5 favoritism on the strength of a one mile maiden win here Jan. 4, Nolo Contesto, who is trained by John Sadler and was ridden by Joel Rosario, was under a hard drive to keep up mid-way around the far turn, but kept to his task while finishing a half length in front of Manhattan Up and paid $2.10 and $2.10. Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Manhattan Up finished 7 ½ lengths clear of early leader Diamond Blitz.  Off at 19-1, Manhattan Up paid $2.10 to show. Fractions on the race were 23.75, 47.85, 1:13.16 and 1:25.42 on a fast main track.

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2.27.2019:

Signalman Heading in Right Direction for G2 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Saturday’s $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) will pit experience against potential Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where graded-stakes winner Signalman will make his 2019 debut in a talent-rich field of 11 3-year-olds that will include several less accomplished but nevertheless brilliant contenders. The Fountain of Youth, the key prep for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30, will headline a 14-race program with nine graded stakes, including the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) for 3-year-old fillies, featuring the 2019 debut of Jaywalk, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner who won the Eclipse Award as 2-year-old filly champion of 2018. Signalman’s body of work during his juvenile season is beyond compare among his Fountain of Youth rivals. Owned by Tommie M. Lewis, David A. Bernsen, LLC and Magdalena Racing, the 3-year-old son of General Quarters concluded his 2018 campaign with a victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs at the Fountain of Youth distance of 1 1/16 miles, three weeks after closing from 12th to finish third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at the home of the Kentucky Derby (G1). Multi-race guaranteed pools will be offered for the Late Pick 4 (Races 11-14), Late Pick 5 (Races 10-14) and 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 9-14). The Late Pick 4 will be guaranteed for $750,000, as will the Rainbow 6 pool if the popular jackpot wager is not solved by Saturday. The Late Pick 5 pool will be guaranteed at $500,000. The Fountain of Youth has been carded as Race 13 (Post time- 5:32 p.m.). “I think my colt, Signalman, is certainly the most experienced at the highest level. He’s already beaten some of them that are running back in there and there are other ones that are unknown quantities,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “But you got to get them ready and bring them over there and get the job done. I’m pretty confident going over there, but we’ll find out Saturday.” Signalman finished a late-closing second in his May 17 five-furlong debut at Churchill behind Sir Truebadour, who went on to win the Bashford Manor (G3) two races later. Signalman returned to capture a seven-furlong maiden special weight race at Saratoga Sept. 1 before finishing second in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, taking third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and winning the Kentucky Jockey Club. “In his first race he was second going five furlongs at Churchill. For a big horse, that is a lot to overcome. He’s been a nice horse from the beginning. When he broke his maiden at Saratoga, we knew we were on to something,” McPeek said. “Since then, since we’ve stretched him out, he’s done everything right.” Brian Hernandez Jr. has the return mount aboard Signalman. The least experienced and perhaps most exciting Fountain of Youth entrant is Juddmonte Farms, Inc.’s Hidden Scroll, a dazzling debut winner at Gulfstream Park Jan. 26. Hidden Scroll caught the bettors by surprise when he registered a 14-length front-running victory at 8-1 odds, but trainer Bill Mott was only surprised by how utterly dominant the homebred son of Hard Spun proved to be while running a mile over a sloppy track in 1:34.82. “It was a surprise he won as easily as he did, but I think we were excited and high on him going into the race,” Mott said. “I don’t think it was any surprise to us that he won, but the way he won in the fashion that he won was a bit of a surprise and awesome, to put it mildly.” Joel Rosario has the return mount aboard Hidden Scroll. If Hidden Scroll’s stakes debut is the most anticipated among the least experienced Fountain of Youth entrants, Global Campaign’s entry into stakes competition may well be the second-most awaited. Owned by Sagamore Farm LLC and WinStar Farm LLC, the son of Curlin has produced two brilliant victories to launch his career during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. The Kentucky-bred colt debuted with a 5 ¾ lengths at seven furlongs Jan. 5 before taking a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance by 2 ¼ lengths a month later. “I don't know how many are going to be in there, but I would like to get a decent post, and I don't want to run on a sloppy racetrack but I would like to run here if we could,” trainer Stanley Hough said. “He'll definitely be prepared to run if that's what we decide to do.” Regular rider Luis Saez has the call. Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon Lane also registered an eye-opening performance at Gulfstream Park in his most recent start. The son of Tapit captured a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance Jan. 18 by a going-away 2 ¼ lengths in 1:43.54. The Mark Hennig-trained colt previously won his Nov. 14 debut at Aqueduct over next-out winner Moretti by 2 ¼ lengths. He returned to finish a wide fourth under Irad Ortiz Jr. in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct Dec. 1. “He has a competitive nature. But also he has a good mind. Since he ran that first time, it’s like he’s just waiting for the rider to tell him what to do next,” Hennig said. “I think Irad rode him that way. If you go back, he gave him a little extra education in the Remsen, which benefited us in the last race.” Hennig is hopeful Bourbon War will make good strides on the Road to the Triple Crown in  the Fountain of Youth, which offers qualifying points (50-20-10-1) for the May 4 Kentucky Derby. “We’d like to see another move forward and pick up some points in the process. That would be the goal,” Hennig said. Ortiz has the mount. R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables’ Vekoma is among of the most inexperienced Fountain of Youth participants, but the undefeated son of Candy Ride will bring graded-stakes credentials into Saturday’s race. Trained by George Weaver, the Kentucky-bred colt captured the mile Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct despite a less-than-clean start in only his second career race Nov. 4. Vekoma debuted Sept. 23 at Belmont Park with a sharp 1 ¼-length triumph over next-out winners Epic Dreamer and Mihos, running six furlongs in a swift 1:08.93. “This looks like a contentious race with some good horses in there. I guess we’re going to find out where we stand,” Weaver said. “We’ve had a little time off, now we’re ready to get back in action. Vekoma will make his first start around two turns Saturday. “We have to ask him the question. It’s that time of year. He’s a very talented horse and we need to find out whether we’ll be headed to the Derby,” Weaver said. “He’s a good colt. If he can get a mile and a sixteenth, we’ll take on a mile and an eighth and see how he does that.” Manuel Franco has the return mount. Grade 1 stakes-placed Code of Honor will seek to rebound from a disappointing effort in the Jan. 5 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Saturday. W.S. Farish’s homebred son of Noble Mission had a troubled start before turning in a flat fourth in the mile Mucho Macho Man. “I thought maybe he needed the race. He’s never been a really big-statured horse, so I never trained him hard. I just made up my mind that I was going to get into him and see if he could take it physically. So far, he has,” said Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who saddled Orb for a victory the 2013 Fountain of Youth on his way to triumphs in the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby (G1). “I think he’s had a good two months.” Code of Honor had raced twice previously, registering a front-running victory at six furlongs in his Aug. 18 debut at Saratoga and recovering from a stumbling start to finish second in the mile Champagne (G1) at Belmont Oct. 6. McGaughey awarded the return mount to Hall of Famer John Velazquez. Calumet Farm’s Everfast will seek to improve on a second-place finish in the Feb. 2 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Saturday. The Dale Romans-trained colt made a late surge after stalking the pace to finish just a length behind Harvey Wallbanger at 1 1/16 miles. The son of 2012 Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy took bettors by surprise, going to post for his seventh career start at 128-1 “He surprised me. He surprised me that he lost. That was the only surprise that I saw. I was disappointed coming out of it,” said Romans, who saddled Promises Fulfilled for an 18-1 upset victory in last year’s Fountain of Youth. “I thought he would win. He just seems good. He acts like he’s better than the races beforehand and I thought he’d run a big race, and he did.” Everfast, who will once again be ridden by Chris Landeros, had finished off the board in his three previous graded-stakes starts in the Bashford Manor, Breeders’ Futurity and Kentucky Jockey Club. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and William Branch’s Frosted Grace will stretch out around two turns for the first time in the Fountain of Youth. The son of Mark Valeski broke a step slowly from his rail post position and finished fifth in the Feb. 2 Swale (G3) at seven furlongs. Epic Dreamer, who finished second behind Vekoma in his debut and tired while finishing fourth in the Holy Bull; Gladiator King, a six-furlong stakes winner at Tampa Bay Downs four starts back; and Union Destiny, who finished third in the Dec, 8 Smooth Air; round out the field.

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2.27.2019:

Hidden Scroll Installed as 9/5 Favorite for Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Hidden Scroll, an impressive winner of his lone career start Jan. 26, drew Post 7 and was installed as the 9-5 program favorite for Saturday’s $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The 73rd running of the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth for 3-year-olds, the final step on the road to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30, attracted a field of 11 sophomores. It is carded 13th on a blockbuster 14-race program featuring nine graded-stakes worth $1.65 million in purses. First race post time Saturday is 11:30 a.m. Post time for the Fountain of Youth is set for 5:32 p.m. Hidden Scroll, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, made his career debut on the undercard of the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Championship Invitational at Gulfstream, going gate to wire to win the one-mile maiden special weight by 14 lengths in 1:34.82 over a sloppy, sealed track. To be ridden by Joel Rosario, Hidden Scroll will carry 116 pounds, six fewer than co-topweights Vekoma and Signalman. R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables’ Vekoma, undefeated in two starts including the Nashua (G3) last out, is second choice on the morning line at 7-2. Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Signalman is third choice at 9-2. Here is the field for the Fountain of Youth, with post positions and odds: Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey/John Velazquez) - 6/1 Epic Dreamer (Kelly Breen/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20/1 Gladiator King (Jaime Mejia/Jorge Solorzano) - 50/1 Bourbon War (Mark Hennig/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 10/1 Vekoma (George Weaver/Manny Franco) - 7/2 Signalman (Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 9/2 Hidden Scroll (Bill Mott/Joel Rosario) - 9/5 Global Campaign (Stanley Hough/Luis Saez) - 10/1 Everfast (Dale Romans/Chris Landeros) - 20/1 Frosted Grace (Kathy Ritvo/Jonathan Gonzales) - 30/1 Union's Destiny (Juan Carlos Avila/Leonel Reyes) - 30/1

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2.27.2019:

Tyler Gaffalione Hopes for Good Trip Aboard Valedictorian in G3 Honey Fox

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Tyler Gaffalione returned from a three-day trip to Doha, Qatar earlier this week after riding Saturday in the $1 million His Highness The Emir’s Trophy. While Gaffalione didn’t visit the winner’s circle, the adventure was well worth the 15-hour trip. “The trip was fun, a great experience,” Gaffalione said. “You get to see a whole other side of the world. The atmosphere was great. Everyone was very welcoming. I never expected to go to a place like that. To see it first-hand is pretty incredible.” Gaffalione was back in business at Gulfstream Wednesday and will likely have one of the favorites in Saturday’s $150,000 Honey Fox (G3) over a mile turf course in Epic Racing’s Valedictorian. The Honey Fox, one of nine graded-stakes Saturday highlighted by the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2), drew a field of 10 including Bellavais, Dolce Lili and La Signare. Valedictorian, trained by Kelly Breen, enters the Honey Fox off a gate-to-wire win here Feb. 9 in the Suwannee River (G3) after having finished third Jan. 12 in the Marshua’s River (G3). A 5-year-old New Jersey-bred by Temple City, Valedictorian has been a model of consistency winning 10 of 24 starts and finishing first, second or third in 18 races. “She had everything her way the day [of the Suwannee River],” Gaffalione said. “She was the lone speed, she broke nicely, rated nicely and she was real relaxed down the backside. When I asked her for run she opened it up and took the race away from them at that point. She finished up well that day. I’m looking forward to her next start. “I don’t think she needs the lead, but if she can get it easy enough I think it helps.” Trainer Todd Pletcher brings back Bellavais, winner of the Marshua’s River. The 5-year-old daughter of Tapit has compiled five wins from 14 starts (12 on the turf) while competing at eight different tracks. Trainer Bill Mott will send out Dolce Lili, who comes into the Honey Fox off a half-length victory in her 5-year-old debut Jan. 26 in the South Beach Stakes. The daughter of Scat Daddy, owned and bred by Don Alberto Stable, has placed in 10 of 11 turf starts with four wins. “Dolce Lilly is doing really well,” Mott said. “She won her first stakes race on the 26th of January and we were trying to get a little black type on her and we were able to accomplish that. We’re going to give her another try on March the 2nd in one of the filly and mare races. They’ve got two on that day and we’re eligible for both. The Honey Fox is the one that we’d probably be leaning toward. But she seems to be improving as time goes on. I’m happy with her progress.” La Signare, trained by Brian Lynch and ridden by Jose Ortiz, finished sixth in the Marshua’s River when coming off a six-month layoff. The 4-year-old French-bred filly won last summer’s Wonder Again (G3) at Belmont. Chad Brown will send out Peter Brant’s Precieuse, who hasn’t been out since finishing second over a soft course at Saratoga Aug. 4 in the De La Rose. The field also includes Fire Key, Valentine Wish, Scotty’s Model, Conquest Hardcandy and Hogans Holiday.    

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2.27.2019:

G1 Winner Channel Maker Seeks Rebound in G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable’s millionaire gelding Channel Maker seeks a return to his Grade 1-winning form as the horse to beat in Saturday’s $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The 24th running of the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida for older turf horses is among nine graded-stakes worth $1.65 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race program featuring the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2), the next step on the road to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30, and 2018 champion juvenile filly Jaywalk’s seasonal debut in the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2). First race post time is 11:30 a.m. Dating back to his final start in the fall of 2017, Channel Maker has faced Grade 1 company in nine of 10 races, the lone exception a dead-head victory with turf male Eclipse Award finalist Glorious Empire in the Bowling Green (G2) last summer at Saratoga. Two of those races have come at Gulfstream, where he was fifth in both the 2018 Gulfstream Park Turf and inaugural $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Jan. 26, the richest grass race in North America. In the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus, contested over a yielding course, Channel Maker raced near the back of the 10-horse field after having to check in tight quarters early and made a bid late on the outside but was beaten 6 ½ lengths by Bricks and Mortar. In his previous start, he pressed the pace for a half-mile before fading to 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), also run over soft going. Channel Maker, by turf champion English Channel, won the 1 ½-mile Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) last fall prior to his run in the Breeders’ Cup, which like the Bowling Green came on less than firm turf. Overall, he has finished in the top three in 11 of 22 starts with four wins and $1.53 million in purse earnings. “He’s doing well. He got a little far back last time. Tactically maybe he wasn’t in the best spot,” Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. “I can’t make huge excuses for him. He had the entire stretch to make up ground and he made up some ground, but not enough. We’re going to a little bit longer distance now and hopefully that‘ll suit him and he’ll be placed up into the race a little bit earlier. The last one was nine and a half furlongs so we’re stretching out a little bit this time which suit him a little better.” Joel Rosario, aboard in the Bowling Green and a runner-up finish to Glorious Empire in the Sword Dancer (G1), gets the return call from outside Post 11 at co-topweight of 123 pounds. Stephen Casey and Cory Hoffman’s Melmich, a multiple graded-stakes winner over the synthetic in his native Canada, will make his third career turf start and second straight over the Gulfstream surface in the Mac Diarmida. In his most recent effort, the 8-year-old Wilko gelding trailed by as many as 15 lengths before uncorking a late rally that saw him finish third, beaten 1 ½ lengths as the favorite, in the 1 1/16-mile Chrysaor Stakes Jan. 25. An ex-claimer, Melmich has 17 career wins, eight in stakes, five of them Grade 3, with $1.03 million in purses earned and has finished in the top three in 36 of 43 lifetime starts. “He’s obviously run almost exclusively on the synthetic. He had one start on the turf that was horrendous prior to us getting him and prior to him getting real good. The turf has always been kind of a question and we wanted to find kind of an easy spot for him where he could try the turf and see if he did like it or not, and I thought he ran really well. At the top of the stretch he was dead last and came closing with a big rush to run third,” trainer Kevin Attard said. “Obviously he’s taking a big step up in company compared to his last race but he’s a multiple graded-stakes winner at home and he’s a nice horse. The distance isn’t going to be an issue.” Hall of Famer Javier Castellano is named to ride from Post 3 at 118 pounds. Sean Shay and Michael Ryan’s Grade 2 winner Hunter O’Riley is set to make his second start off a nine-month break between races in the Mac Diarmida. Bumped early and forced to race wide, the 6-year-old gelding closed to be fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths, in the 1 ½-mile W.L. McKnight (G3) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream. “He came out of it good. It was a good effort first race back for him,” trainer Jimmy Toner said. “The turf was soft and he got floated out a little bit so, all in all, I was very happy with his effort. He came out of it good and responded good, so we might as well take a shot when he’s doing well.” Hunter O’Riley will be making his 20th career start in the Mac Diarmida, his fourth try over the Gulfstream turf. He was third in the two-mile H. Allen Jerkens in 2016 and sixth by two lengths in the 2017 McKnight. Later that year, he would win the Bowling Green (G2) by a neck and run fourth, 1 ¼ lengths behind Sadler’s Joy, in the Sword Dancer. The 2019 McKnight was Hunter O’Riley’s first race since he was ninth in the 1 ½-mile Elkhorn (G2) last spring at Keeneland. “The last time he ran at Keeneland, he came up with an issue after that race and it necessitated giving him some time off – probably [more] time [than] we normally would, but we figured we missed the whole season with him, basically, so let’s just give him the extra time and bring him back this year,” Toner said. “He’s been very consistent. He’s a tough campaigner and he tries hard every time. He gives you what he’s got. When he’s there and he’s 100 percent, he’s very good.” Tyler Gaffalione is named to ride Hunter O’Riley from Post 4 at 119 pounds. Michael Hui’s Zulu Alpha has won two of three starts since being claimed for $80,000 last fall by trainer Mike Maker, both victories coming in 1 ½-mile graded-stakes – the Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland and the McKnight in his 6-year-old debut. Maker also entered Kulin Rock, second by a nose in a 1 1/16-mile starter allowance Jan. 21 at Gulfstream. Vettori Kin, winner of the 2018 Louisville Handicap (G3); Argentinian Group 1 winner Village King, winner of the Red Smith Handicap last fall; Highland Sky, most recently fourth in the Joe Hirsch last fall; 2016 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes runner-up Montclair; Golden Dragon and The Best Candy round out the field. The Mac Diarmida is named for the 1978 champion grass horse trained by late Hall of Famer Scotty Schulhofer who raced 16 times from 1977-78 with 12 wins, seven in graded-stakes, capping his career with victories in the Canadian International Championship (G1) and Washington D.C. International (G1).

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2.27.2019:

Champion Jaywalk Returns in G2 Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Cash is King and D.J. Stable’s Jaywalk, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2018, will garner plenty of attention as she makes her highly anticipated sophomore debut in Saturday’s $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The 32nd running of the one-mile Davona Dale for 3-year-old fillies is among nine graded-stakes worth $1.65 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race program topped by the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2), the next step on the road to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30. First race post time is 11:30 a.m. Jaywalk, the 2-5 morning-line favorite, has not raced since stretching her win streak to four races with a 5 ½-length romp in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) Nov. 2, cementing her Eclipse Award. It was the first such title for D.J. Stable’s Leonard Green, proprietor of The Green Group accounting and tax firm who has owned and bred Thoroughbreds for three decades. Both John Servis and Chuck Zacney of Cash is King previously won an Eclipse with the 3-year-old male champion – Servis with 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner Smarty Jones and Zacney with 2005 Preakness and Belmont (G1) winner Afleet Alex. Together, Servis and Zacney campaigned Maryland-bred 2016 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Cathryn Sophia. “Jaywalk was the Greens’ first Eclipse Award, and that’s something that they’ll hold special for the rest of their lives, and myself. And to have Chuck involved with another one, it means a lot,” Servis said. “Anytime you can win an Eclipse Award, it’s absolutely awesome. When you can win an Eclipse Award with people like that, that you want to see do great, it just makes it that much nicer.” Three years ago, Cathryn Sophia used season-opening wins in the Forward Gal (G2) and Davona Dale at Gulfstream as a springboard to victory in the Oaks. Jaywalk enters the Davona Dale having had six works since mid-January at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. “She hasn’t grown a whole lot. The time off did her a lot of good, though, I think mentally,” Servis said. “She put on a little bit of weight. I’m really happy with where she is right now, so it was mission accomplished.” Jaywalk didn’t get to the racetrack until halfway through her juvenile season, finishing second in a five-furlong maiden special weight at Monmouth Park. Back at her home base of Parx, she graduated by 7 ½ lengths in front-running fashion July 24, then captured the White Clay Creek in her stakes debut at Delaware Park. From there, the gray or roan daughter of 2013 Whitney (G1) winner Cross Traffic sprung a mild upset of the one-mile Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park, foreshadowing her Breeders’ Cup performance. Both wins came under jockey Joel Rosario, who returns to ride Saturday from the rail at topweight of 122 pounds in the field of seven. “I knew she was a nice filly; how nice I didn’t know. To think that she was going to win two Grade 1s and be a champion? No way,” Servis said. “It was an incredible year. She showed us that she’s a really good filly. She deserved the time off she got. I’m real happy with the way she’s come back and excited to get her going.” While Smarty Jones put Servis on the national radar, he has also enjoyed success with such top females as Cathryn Sophia, 2000 Alabama (G1) winner Jostle, 2005 Acorn (G1) winner Round Pond and 2018 Barbara Fritchie (G2) winner Ms Locust Point. The trainer puts Jaywalk is a class of her own. “She doesn’t really remind me of anybody I’ve had. She’s so different,” he said. “She’s not a great, big, robust filly. Jostle was a big, strapping filly. Cathryn was big and she was stout. This filly is neither. This filly is not real big and she’s not real stout; she’s kind of aerodynamic, I guess. She has that ability to just turn on that cruising speed and she seems to just run horses off their feet.” The Davona Dale will be the sixth career start for Jaywalk, all over different racetracks. She cuts back to a sprint distance for the first time since the 5 ½-furlong White Clay Creek, having gone one mile and 1 1/16 miles in her two Grade 1 wins. “Our first big goal is going to be the Oaks, so we’re concentrating on that. Do I want her peaking on March 2nd? No, I don’t. But, she’s doing well,” Servis said. “She doesn’t have to be in front. She can press, but she’s sharp so I expect her to be close. And, I expect her to run well.” Trainer Ian Wilkes is hoping for an honest pace for Six Column Stables and Randall Bloch’s typically late-running Champagne Anyone (6-1), who closed to be third by three-quarters of a length, just a neck out of second, in the Forward Gal (G3) Feb. 2. “I’m happy with her. I’m very pleased with her training,” Wilkes said. “I think she’s moved forward since that race, and she needs to, because the water just gets deeper.” Champagne Anyone, a bay daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense whose grandsire is Hall of Famer Ghostzapper, will be testing graded company for the third straight race, having run fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod (G2) Nov. 24 to close her 2-year-old season. She was never farther than 5 ½ lengths from leaders Feedback and Bye Bye J in the Forward Gal; neither speedy rival returns in the Davona Dale. “The further the better for her. I used the seven-eighths as a kick off to the year just to stay in rhythm and build toward the Oaks,” Wilkes said. “I thought it was a very encouraging race, to close on the Gulfstream track like she did. She put herself a little bit handier in the race, which was a new dimension for her. She wasn’t out the back door, and I thought she ran a very game race. I couldn’t have been any happier with her effort.” Chris Landeros, up for all five of her starts, rides back from Post 5 at 116 pounds. Arindel’s Cookie Dough, who swept the final two legs of the Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-old fillies last fall,  is entered to make her return to the races in the Davona Dale. Trained by Stanley Gold, the Brethren filly won the $200,000 Susan’s Girl and $400,000 My Dear Girl by 14 combined lengths, the latter coming Sept. 29. She missed a start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies when she got sick after shipping to Kentucky. Regular rider Jeffrey Sanchez has the call from Post 2 at 120 pounds. Completing the field are 2018 Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner Bold Script, third in the Natalma (G1) last fall; Golden Rod show finisher High Regard; Jeltrin, fourth in the Forward Gal; and Another Time. The Davona Dale is named for Calumet Farm’s 3-year-old filly champion of 1979 who won 11 of 18 career starts, 10 in stakes including five Grade 1 races, from 1978-80. She was elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1985.  

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2.27.2019:

Gulfstream Park Announces Guaranteed Pools for Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Day

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Saturday’s 14-race program at Gulfstream Park, featuring the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) and eight other graded-stakes races, will offer a $750,000 guaranteed pool in the Late Pick 4 and $750,000 guaranteed pool in the Rainbow 6 if not hit through Friday. The Late Pick 5 Saturday will offer a guaranteed pool of $500,000. The Rainbow 6 will kick off with the ninth race, a $50,000 maiden special weight event that drew 13 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The sequence also includes the Honey Fox (G3), Davona Dale (G2), Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Mac Diarmida (G2). 

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2.27.2019:

Potential Stars Line Up for Gulfstream's G3 Palm Beach Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Over the past 33 years, Gulfstream Park’s $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3) has been a launching pad for many of racing’s future graded-stakes stars – from Kitten’s Joy to Divisidero to Prince Arch to Go Between to Paddy O’Prado to Maraud to… Well, you get the idea. It appears Saturday’s Palm Beach will once again provide race fans a look at some up-and-coming stars when eight 3-year-olds go to post in the 1 1/16th-mile turf event with 3-year-old horses entered from the barns of Bill Mott, Kiaran McLaughlin, David Fawkes and Mark Casse. One of the likely favorites with great potential is A Thread of Blue. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, A Thread of Blue comes into the Palm Beach having won three of his last four starts, including most recently the Feb. 3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream by 3 ½ lengths. The son of Hard Spun, owned by Leonard Green, has won his last two turf races in front-running style under jockey Luis Saez. The colt broke his maiden gate-to-wire on Belmont’s main track last October before coming from off the pace to finish third in the Awad Nov. 4 at Aqueduct. “He’s training very well and raring to go,” McLaughlin said. “He had things his own way last time, so it worked out great for us. He has speed. He doesn’t have to be on the lead, but if he breaks well and he’s there, great. If somebody else goes, we can sit second or third. “He’s a very nice horse. He’s training well. He loves the turf course here, two-for-two on it, so we look forward to the race.” Saez will ride once again. Bill Mott, who will saddle Hidden Scroll Saturday in the $400,000 Xpressbet.,com Fountain of Youth (G2), will send out Casa Creed in the Palm Beach. After racing four times on the dirt as a 2-year-old, Casa Creed won his 3-year-old debut on the turf in Gulfstream’s Kitten’s Joy Jan. 5 before finishing a troubled sixth last time out in the Dania Beach behind A Thread of Blue. “He got off bad in his last start and nobody was really making up a lot of ground,” Mott said “It was just an off day for him. Hopefully, he’s got a better one in him than he did in his last performance. However, he did win on the racetrack earlier in the meet.” Hall of Fame Jockey John Velazquez will ride. Sandra New’s Louder Than Bombs exits a second-place finish in the Dania Beach after finishing fourth in the Kitten’s Joy for trainer Fawkes. The son of Violence will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. King Ottokar steps into graded-stakes company for the first time after breaking his maiden Jan. 9 at Gulfstream at a mile on the turf. Julien Leparoux gets the mount for trainer Casse and BG Stables.

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2.27.2019:

Holy Helena to Defend Title in G3 Very One Stakes at Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stronach Stables’ homebred Holy Helena, a Canadian classic winner at 3, returns to the site of her first graded-stakes triumph attempting to become the first two-time winner of the $150,000 The Very One (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The 31st running of the 1 3/16-mile The Very One for older female turf horses is among nine graded-stakes worth $1.65 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race program featuring the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2), the next step on the road to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30, and 2018 champion juvenile filly Jaywalk’s seasonal debut in the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2). First race post time is 11:30 a.m. After six starts over dirt and synthetic surfaces including a victory in the 2017 Queen’s Plate, Canada’s version of the Kentucky Derby (G1), Holy Helena was moved to the turf by trainer Jimmy Jerkens last winter to open her 4-year-old season. She responded with three straight victories, two over the Gulfstream course, the second by 1 ¾ lengths in the The Very One. Holy Helena, the daughter and granddaughter of Hall of Famers Ghostzapper and Holy Bull, respectively, capped her win streak in the 1 3/8-mile Sheepshead Bay (G2) at Belmont Park, her most recent victory. She has gone winless in six subsequent starts, five in graded-stakes. “She did good here last winter and then won the Grade 2 when she went back home,” Jerkens said. “She does quite well down here. She likes the climate and seems to be happy and trains well down here. She does back home, too, but it might be a little better down here.” Holy Helena will be making her third start of the 2018-19 Championship Meet, having run second by a neck in the 1 3/16-mile Via Borghese Dec. 29 and sixth in the 1 ½-mile La Prevoyante (G3) Jan. 26, beaten less than five lengths, both to Si Que Es Buena. “That was bad luck. She was probably the best horse in the race [Via Borghese], but that filly came back and won again and she’s run good in all her starts since coming here,” Jerkens said. “Last time, she just couldn’t accelerate when she really needed to. But, she’s been doin good since so we’ll take another shot.” Meet-leading rider and 2018 Eclipse Award champion Irad Ortiz Jr., aboard in the La Prevoyante, gets a return call from Post 3 at 119 pounds. “She’s been training good, she’s carrying good flesh, and we’ve got the top jock,” Jerkens said. “The barn we had a little bit of a bad month in February so that’s always in the back of your mind when you’re running, but you can’t let it affect you.” A & A Farm’s Grade 3 winner A. A. Azula’s Arch closed from far back to be fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths, in the La Prevoyante, her third straight race in graded company and third on the turf from 11 career starts. The Kevin Attard trainee was a gutsy neck winner of the 1 ¼-mile Maple Leaf (G3) over Woodbine’s synthetic surface in November. “She’s a nice filly. We were expecting a good race out of her that day and she definitely ran that way,” Attard said. “She’s come out of the race in good shape. She’s had a couple of interim breezes and breezed well so I’m pretty happy with the way she’s going. She seems like she really likes Gulfstream here and has settled in really well.” Attard was especially encouraged by the way A. A. Azula’s Arch finished in her first attempt over a yielding course in the La Prevoyante, where she was sent off at 49-1 odds in the field of 12. “I was definitely very pleased with the way she closed ground and I thought once she got to the outside she did her best running,” Attard said. “I think she may have opened up some eyes after her last race, definitely, but I think people are still going to be on the fence a little bit wondering if it was a fluke or not. I think she’s got talent. She’s obviously now a 3-year-old filly that just turned 4 and is still maturing, still growing. She’s taken all those steps in the right direction so we’re expecting a good year from her.” Two-time defending Championship Meet leading rider Luis Saez will be in the irons from Post 8 at topweight of 123 pounds. Jon A. Marshall’s Tricky Escape is a three-time Grade 3 winner who was within a length of the lead while third in the La Prevoyante before tiring to be fifth in her first try over the Gulfstream course. The 6-year-old mare kicked off a three-race win streak last summer in the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) and capped in the Ramsey Farm Stakes. “She didn’t run a bad race last time. I think right now she’s way better than she was then. I’m really happy with where she’s at right now coming into this race. I expect her to run real good,” trainer John Servis said. “This girl’s a runner. She’s a real nice filly.” Regular rider Chris DeCarlo will be aboard Tricky Escape from Post 7 at 121 pounds. Completing the field are multiple graded-stakes placed Danceland from Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey; trainer Roger Attfield’s two-time Grade 3-placed Ickymasho; Lafta, two-for-three on the Gulfstream turf including a win in the Monroe Stakes last fall; Semper Sententiae, thid in the La Prevoyante; Luther Burbank Handicap winner The Tulip; and 2018 Alabama (G1) winner Eskimo Kisses, entered for main track only. The Very One is named for the Kentucky-bred mare that compiled a record of 22-12-9 from 71 lifetime starts between 1977 and 1981, winning eight graded-stakes including the 1979 Dixie (G2) and 1981 Santa Barbara Handicap (G1), with $1.1 million in purse earnings.

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2.27.2019:

Recruiting Ready Chasing Graded Stakes Win in G3 Gulfstream Park Sprint

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sagamore Farm’s multiple stakes winner Recruiting Ready takes another shot at adding an elusive graded triumph to his resume when he faces seven rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3). The 40th running of the six-furlong Gulfstream Park Sprint for 4-year-olds and up is the third of nine graded-stakes worth $1.65 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race program featuring the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) for 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail and the seasonal debut of 2018 champion juvenile filly Jaywal the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2). First race post time is 11:30 a.m. Recruiting Ready, a 5-year-old son of 2012 Holy Bull (G3) winner Algorithms, has earned $519,645 in a career that includes 12 top-three finishes from 17 starts and stakes wins at 3 and 4, among them the Chick Lang at legendary Pimlico Race Course. The six-furlong Chick Lang will be run as a Grade 3 in 2019. “He’s been a nice horse for us all along,” trainer Stanley Hough said. “He’s had his share of bad luck along the way, but he’s a very nice horse. We love having him around.” In his most recent start, Recruiting Ready dueled with fellow multiple stakes winner World of Trouble, runner-up in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), in an off-the-turf edition of the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Jan. 26 before finishing a decisive second. He has breezed twice since at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. “I thought he ran good last time. The horse that beat him, I don’t know too many that would have beaten him that day. But he came out of it good and he’s doing well,” Hough said. “He’s got his issues, but he’s an older horse and they all come with issues, but we’re happy with him.” Recruiting Ready owns four wins and has been worse than third just twice in nine tries at six furlongs, also winning the Gravesend Stakes Dec. 23 at Aqueduct and 2017 Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn. He has faced graded company five times with one second and two thirds. “I think six furlongs is his best race,” Hough said of Recruiting Ready, the 6-5 program favorite who will have two-time defending Championship Meet leading rider Luis Saez up from Post 1 at co-highweight of 121 pounds. Sharing the impost is Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Florida-bred Quijote, a veteran of 24 starts with eight wins, the last coming impressively in the six-furlong Sunshine Millions Sprint Jan. 19, his first start for trainer Georgina Baxter. The 6-year-old Pomeroy gelding’s four career Gulfstream wins also include the seven-furlong Big Drama Stakes in 2017. In the Sunshine Millions Sprint, Quijote gained a contending position early but was allowed to settle behind a sizzling speed duel between X.Y. Jet and Ray’swarrior and swept past both for a 3 ¾-length triumph in 1:09.98. Second choice on the morning line at 3-1, he will be ridden back by 2018 Eclipse champion Irad Ortiz Jr. from Post 4. “We actually knew there was going to be a lot of speed, and he’s a closing type. It’s nice when things go to plan,” Baxter said. “The plan was that they were going to go at each other’s throats and we would pick up the pieces in the end.” The Four Horsemen Racing Stable and Lady Lindsay Racing Stables’ Sweetontheladies will be looking for his first win since the Crystal River Handicap in June 2017 at Gulfstream. During that 18-race stretch, the 5-year-old son of Twirling Candy has placed nine times, eight of them in stakes, including the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga, Gulfstream’s Smile Sprint (G3) and Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel Park last summer and fall. Sweetontheladies ran third in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, and returned to be second in the Pelican Stakes Feb. 19 at Tampa Bay Downs. Overall, he has earned purses of $383,962 from 24 career starts. “He’s a sweet horse. He tries hard and he’s a real pleasure to be around. He’s taken us all over,” trainer Henry Collazo said. “He’s doing great. He came out of that last race real good. I have it in my mind where we’re going and what we’re doing, so I train him accordingly. I don’t empty out the glass. When he comes out of a race, he’s not totally spent. He recovers good and he enjoys racing. All I try to do is maintain him and let him try to catch every dance. He likes to dance.” Marcos Meneses has the call on Sweetontheladies from Post 6 at 119 pounds. Santiamen, Pass the Butter and stablemates My Chinumado and Millionaire Runner are also entered.

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2.25.2019:

Global Campaign Possible for Xpressbet Fountain of Youth, Maximus Mischief Out

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Robert ‘Butch’ Reid Jr. cancelled plans to run Maximus Mischief in next Saturday’s $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park following a subpar workout Sunday morning. “The horse didn’t breeze too good, so he is out of the Fountain of Youth,” Reid said. Maximus Mischief breezed a half-mile in 49.02 seconds under jockey Jose Ortiz. “He just kind of went through the motions. The jockey wasn’t happy with the way he galloped out,” Reid said. “All things considered, we’re going to go back to the drawing board and look for another spot.” Owned by Cash is King LLC and LC Racing,  Maximus Mischief won the first three races of his career, including a 2 ¼-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct Dec.1 following a pair of easy wins at Parx. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief sustained his first loss while finishing third in the $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Feb. 2. Sent to post as the 4-5 favorite, Maximus Mischief pressed the pace into mid-stretch but was out-finished by victorious Harvey Wallbanger and runner-up Everfast.   Sagamore Farm and WinStar Farm’s Global Campaign, undefeated in two career starts, remains possible for the Fountain of Youth after working five furlongs Sunday morning at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. “He worked in 1:01 and [three-fifths],” trainer Stanley Hough said. “He went in company, but it was a nice, controlled work. We were happy with it.” It was the second work for Global Campaign since the son of Hall of Famer Curlin, unraced at 2, won a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance by 2 ¼ lengths Feb. 9. Both his victories have come over Gulfstream’s main track. Hough said the connections are considering both the Fountain of Youth and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) March 9. “He likes this track and it’s close to home, so we’re leaning toward that way, but we’ll talk it over,” Hough said. “Global worked good and came back good, so I think he’s prepared to go either place. We’re going to see how the week goes and try to do the best thing for us and the horse. As far as the work today, it was very satisfying.” Also at Palm Meadows, Cash is King and D.J. Stable’s 2018 juvenile filly champion Jaywalk put in a final breeze in preparation for her 3-year-old debut in the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) on the Fountain of Youth undercard. Jaywalk went a half-mile for the one-mile Davona Dale, her first race since extending her win streak to four with a 5 ½-length romp in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) Nov. 2. It was her second straight Grade 1 triumph, following the Oct. 7 Frizette Oct. 7 at Belmont Park. “She worked this morning and went good. Everything went perfect,” Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainer John Servis said. “The clockers got her in 50 and [two-fifths]. The race is Saturday so I was just letting her stretch her legs a little bit and put a little wind in her. She came out of it good and looks fine.” Servis, who won the 2004 Derby and Preakness (G1) with Smarty Jones, won the Davona Dale in 2016 with Cash is King’s Cathryn Sophia, who went on to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1) two starts later.

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2.23.2019:

Signalman Breezes for March 2 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –   Graded-stakes winner Signalman breezed five furlongs in 1:01.75 at Gulfstream Park Saturday, turning in a ‘solid’ tune-up for next Saturday’s $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2), the 1 1/16-mile final prep for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30. “It was a nice solid workout. We wanted a maintenance breeze. We didn’t want to work too fast at this point in the season. We still have a couple months for the big races. This is a prep,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “This will be his first race of the season. This is a nice horse. He galloped out good.” Owned by Tommie Lewis, David Bernsen LLC and Magdalena Racing, Signalman worked in company with Harvey Wallbanger, whom McPeek saddled for an upset victory in the $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 2. Harvey Wallbanger was also clocked in 1:01.75. “We’re going to wait on Harvey. He still needs to get a little bigger and stronger for that next step,” McPeek said. “We’ve got plenty of time. We’re going to wait probably for the Florida Derby.” Signalman, who will make his 2019 debut in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, closed out his 2018 campaign with a victory in the Nov. 24 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs, where, three weeks earlier, he  had closed from 10th to finish third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Signalman and Harvey Wallbanger Workout Video Dale Romans-trained Fountain of Youth nominees Everfast and Admire also breezed at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning. “I’m not sure which one is running, but I’ll figure it out in the next day or two,” Romans said. “They both worked well enough to run.” Calumet Farm’s Everfast breezed five furlongs in 1:02.52 in his first workout since finishing second, a length behind Harvey Wallbanger, in the Holy Bull at 128-1. “He’s just a little push-button horse. He goes out there and takes care of business,” said Romans, who reported that he had wagered $200 to win but didn’t place a place wager on Everfast, who paid $81.40 for a $2 place bet. “He doesn’t wow you but he just does things right.” Everfast Workout Video Working in company with maiden winner Come On Gerry, who finished eighth in the Holy Bull, Admire was clocked in 1:00.82 for five furlongs. “I just wanted him to show good energy and wanted him to do something and work kind of fast, and he did,” Romans said. Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s son of Cairo Prince finished fifth in the Feb. 2 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct after breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs Nov. 24.    

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2.22.2019:

Winner of Inaugural Oaklawn Invitational to Receive Free Preakness Berth

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Jockey Club announced today that the winner of the inaugural running of the $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational Saturday, May 4 at Oaklawn Park will receive a free berth in the starting gate for the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. The 1 3/16th mile Preakness, to be run Saturday, May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course, will be one of 16 stakes – nine graded – worth $3.8 million that will be run Preakness weekend. The Oaklawn Invitational will be run at 1 1/8 miles on Oaklawn’s closing day. “We’re very happy to partner with Oaklawn Park on this unique initiative,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “We believe this provides racing fans across the world an opportunity to see a promising, and possibly late-developing, young horse run against the winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and other top horses exiting the Derby.” Oaklawn General Manager Wayne Smith said: “Our hope from the beginning was that the Oaklawn Invitational would serve as a prep for the Preakness or Belmont Stakes, so we are excited by this announcement from the Maryland Jockey Club. As a result, we are happy to announce we have raised the purse of the race from $250,000 to $300,000. We are thankful the Maryland Jockey Club recognizes our race’s potential. The Arkansas Derby has had a long, successful history of producing Preakness winners from Elocutionist to Oxbow. Even last year, Oaklawn-raced horses finished second and third behind Justify. We look forward to starting an equally successful tradition with the Oaklawn Invitational, which will highlight our card Saturday, May 4.”

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2.22.2019:

Bourbon War, Hidden Scroll Tune up for Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War breezed an easy half-mile Friday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for a start in the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2. The 3-year-old son of Tapit covered the four furlongs in 48.68 seconds under regular exercise rider Juan Oyola in his final tune-up for the 1 1/16-mile prep for the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream March 30. “It went great, just what I was looking for,” trainer Mark Hennig said. “He’s doing very well. I wouldn’t change a thing.” Bourbon War Workout Video Juddmonte Farms, Inc.’s Hidden Scroll, a dazzling debut winner at Gulfstream Jan. 26, also tuned up for a start in the Fountain of Youth on a foggy Friday morning, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Payson Park in Indiantown, FL. The son of Hard Spun worked in company, racing outside 3-year-old stablemate Tacitus on the backstretch before taking over the turn and drawing clear in the stretch. Hidden Scroll Workout Video Bourbon War, a $525,000 purchase at the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sale, made an auspicious 3-year-old debt at Gulfstream Park Jan. 19, when he rallied from off the pace while weaving through traffic to win by 2 ½-length going away in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance. The Kentucky-bred colt debuted with a 2 ¼-length victory in a mile off-the-turf maiden race at Aqueduct Nov. 14. He came back 17 days later to finish fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2). Hidden Scroll romped to victory in his debut, scoring by 14 lengths without urging from jockey Joel Rosario. The Juddmonte homebred ran a mile in 1:34.43 over a sloppy track. Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and William Branch’s Frosted Grace breezed an easy half at Gulfstream for the Fountain of Youth. Coming off a fifth-place finish in the Feb. 2 Swale (G3), the son of Mark Valeski went the four furlongs in 49.30 seconds for trainer Kathy Ritvo. Fountain of Youth nominee Zenden, Pichi Investment’s Swale runner-up, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.14 at Gulfstream for trainer Victor Barboza Jr. The Fountain of Youth is also expected to attract Nashua (G3) winner Vekoma, Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Signalman, Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) runner-up Everfast, Remsen winner Maximus Mischief and Remsen runner-up Code of Honor.    

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2.21.2019:

Cross Country Pick 5 Offered Saturday with Aqueduct, Oaklawn Races

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will again partner with Oaklawn Park to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by the $100,000 Franklin Square for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack and the $100,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders' at Oaklawn. Saturday's sequence will begin with two races at the Big A, starting with the fifth running of the Franklin Square in Race 8 [post time of 4:26 p.m. Eastern] and the card's ninth and final race with a 4:57 p.m. post time. The third-through-fifth legs will feature three races at Oaklawn, starting with Race 7 at 5:11 p.m.; the 11th running of the Downthedustyroad Breeders' for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at 5:41 p.m.; and the card's finale in Race 9 with a 6:11 p.m. post time. All the action will be shown on FOX Sports Saturday At The Races, airing 4-6:30 p.m. Eastern time on FS2. The live broadcast will feature both of the Cross-Country Pick 5 races at Aqueduct, the fifth-through-ninth races at Oaklawn, Races 11-12 at Gulfstream Park - featuring the Grade 3 Hal's Hope and the Texas Glitter, respectively - and the sixth race at Santa Anita Park. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on track, on ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. There will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool. Aqueduct-Oaklawn Park Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, February 23: Leg 1 - Aqueduct, Race 8: Franklin Square (4:26 p.m.) Leg 2 - Aqueduct, Race 9: (4:57 p.m.) Leg 3 - Oaklawn, Race 7: (5:11 p.m.) Leg 4 - Oaklawn, Race 8: Downthedustyroad Breeders' (5:41 p.m.) Leg 5 - Oaklawn, Race 9: (6:11 p.m.)

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2.20.2019:

Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Attracts 43 Nominations

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) show finisher Signalman, unraced since winning the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in his 2-year-old finale, and 2018 Remsen (G2) winner Maximus Mischief are among 43 sophomores nominated to the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) Saturday, March 2 at Gulfstream Park. The 73rd running of the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth – the next step on the road to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30 – headlines a spectacular card featuring nine stakes, all graded, worth $1.62 million in purses. Signalman was second to Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) in his stakes debut last fall, running third to 2-year-old champion Game Winner in the Juvenile and taking the Kentucky Jockey Club by a neck Nov. 24 – all at 1 1/16 miles – for trainer Ken McPeek. Stablemate Harvey Wallbanger, 29-1 upset winner of the Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) Feb. 2, is nominated but expected to train up to the Florida Derby. Maximus Mischief suffered his first loss in four career starts in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull, his sophomore debut. He won his first three races by 17 combined lengths, capped by a 2 ¼-length triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen Dec. 1 at Aqueduct. Also prominent among Fountain of Youth nominees are Bourbon War, who bounced back from a fourth in the Remsen to win a 1 1/16-mile allowance Jan. 18 at Gulfstream; Call Paul and Zenden, 1-2, respectively, in the seven-furlong Swale (G3) Feb. 2; 2018 Champagne (G1) runner-up Code of Honor; Grade 3 turf winner Current; Holy Bull runner-up Everfast; Global Campaign, two-for-two this winter at Gulfstream; Hidden Scroll, a 14-length maiden special weight winner Jan. 26 at Gulfstream for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott; and Maximum Security, who moved to 4-0 with a runaway triumph Feb. 20 over Gulfstream’s main track. Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old filly Jaywalk is expected to make her sophomore debut in the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2), a one mile event that attracted 19 nominations. Trained by Kentucky Derby (G1) winner John Servis for Cash is King and D.J. Stable, the daughter of Cross Traffic won four straight to end her title season capped by the Frizette (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Feedback, Champagne Anyone and Jeltrin, first, third and fourth, respectively, in the Davona Dale prep, the seven-furlong Forward Gal (G3) Feb. 2 at Gulfstream; 2018 Tempted (G3) winner Oxy Lady; Cookie Dough, who swept the final two legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes series last fall; Grade 2-placed High Regard; and Orra Moor, who romped by 7 ¾ lengths Feb. 10 at Gulfstream are also nominated. A total of 21 older horses were nominated to the $200,000 Mac Diarmida at 1 3/8 miles on the grass, led by multiple graded-stakes winning millionaires Bigger Picture and Channel Maker; 2017 Bowling Green (G2) winner Hunter O’Riley; 2018 Bernard Baruch (G2) winner Qurbaan; and Zulu Alpha, half-length winner of the 1 ½-mle W. L. McKnight (G3) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream. Defending champion Holy Helena heads 18 older females nominated to the $150,000 The Very One (G3), a list that includes graded-stakes winners A.A. Azula’s Arch, Eskimo Kisses, Puerto Rican import Pure Lemon, Si Que Es Buena and Tricky Escape. Sophomores will go 1 1/16 miles on turf in the $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) and $150,000 Herecomesthebride (G3), the latter for fillies. Gulfstream turf stakes winners A Thread of Blue, Casa Creed, Henley’s Joy and Louder Than Bombs top 23 nominees to the Palm Beach, while A Bit Special, who ran her win streak to three in the one-mile Sweetest Chant (G3) Feb. 3 at Gulfstream, heads 25 nominees to the Herecomesthebride. Multiple Grade 1 winner Heart to Heart and 10-year-old Hogy, a 19-time winner of more than $1.3 million in purses, are prominent among 17 nominees to the $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3), one of two one-mile turf stakes for older horses along with the $150,000 Honey Fox (G3) for females, which attracted 22 nominations led by Valedictorian and Peach of a Gal, first and third, respectively, in the Suwannee River (G3) Feb. 9 at Gulfstream. Rounding out the stakes action is the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3), whose 13 nominees include 2018 Fountain of Youth winner Promises Fulfilled, who went on to win three graded sprint stakes led by the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga.

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2.18.2019:

Super Steed Pulls Off Massive Upset in Oaklawn's Southwest Stakes

Michael Pressley and Steed Jackson’s Super Steed overcame two disappointing starts in his last two outs to pull one of the biggest upsets in Oaklawn stakes history by winning Monday’s $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at odds of 62-1. Ridden by Terry Thompson, Super Steed had to steady early and raced in ninth as Jersey Agenda and Gray Attempt battled through an opening quarter in :23 2/5. Gray Attempt, the Smarty Jones winner, held a one length advantage after a half mile in :47 3/5, but it was short lived. The winner came five wide into the stretch and rolled past all of his rivals to win by three-quarters of a length over Sueno. Long Range Toddy had to steady at the quarter pole, but made a gutsy move to be third. Six Shooter, Bankit, Boldor, 2-1 favorite Cutting Humor, Jersey Agenda, Ninth Street, Olympic Runner and Gray Attempt completed the order of finish. Super Steed, a son of 2010 Arkansas Derby runner-up and Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver trained by Larry Jones, won for the second time in five starts and has now earned $364,500. He returned a very generous $126.60, $39.80 and $19.80. The top four finishers of the Southwest all earned points toward Kentucky Derby eligibility. Super Steed earned 10 for winning and is now tied with seven other horses among the top 20. Sueno now has eight points and is just outside the top 20, while Long Range Toddy, who won the Springboard Mile for 10 points and got four for finishing second in the Smarty Jones, now has 16 and is ranked seventh. Live racing resumes Thursday at Oaklawn with a 1:30 p.m. first post. Southwest Stakes Quotes: Winning trainer Larry Jones – “He’s a nice horse. He got sick going into the Fair Grounds race (Sugar Bowl). It wasn’t serious, but you could tell he didn’t feel well. And, in the Smarty Jones (When seventh) they ran a Merry Go Round race. Terry did a good job. He had him in a good spot. This is very good. It’s been a while since Terry and I have been in this position. This is wonderful.” Winning jockey Terry Thompson – “He ran just a beautiful race. He wasn’t as aggressive. The other day (in the Smarty Jones), he got shuffled back, but he was aggressive. Today everything was in flow. It worked out perfect. Larry said wherever we were, make sure he gets the lead heading into stretch. He has a big heart.” Trainer Keith Desormeaux, second with Sueno – “Great race. It would have nice to get through earlier. This horse is as legit as they come. We are very thankful to have him in our stable.” Trainer Jinks Fires (Gray Attempt, 11th) – “Very unsportsmanlike what they did. I don't mind them outrunning us, making us keep running. But don't come in and wipe me out.”

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2.16.2019:

War of Will Scores Once More in Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes

Gary Barber’s War of Will had to work a bit harder than he did last couple of times, but nevertheless he once again proved that he was the best when garnering up another victory on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in Saturday evening’s Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Breaking from the far outside thorough post 14, jockey Tyler Gaffalione used the 3-year-old son of War Front a bit coming out of the gate in order to get the right position, was four wide going into the first turn and sat right off of pacesetter Gun It who recorded opening fractions of 23.71 and 43.36. Just inside the three-eighths, War of Will established command and edged clear at the quarter pole. Gaffalione urged War of Will the whole way down to the wire but he was still able to get the job done and won by 2½ lengths in a time of 1:44.59. Country House was a green but a willing second while Roiland close late for third. Hog Creek Hustle, Limonite, Manny Wah, Mr. Money, Owendale, Chase the Ghost, Henley’s Joy, Dunph, Gun It, Plus Que Parfait and Frolic More rounded out the field. “The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.” The Risen Star was Gaffalione’s third time aboard War of Will. He piloted the colt for trainer Mark Casse in his five-length maiden special weight victory at Churchill Downs in November as well as the Grade III Lecomte Stakes, which he won by four lengths. “Mark and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.” The Risen Star Stakes victory gave War of Will 50 qualifying points on Churchill Downs’ Road To The Kentucky Derby. He is now atop the Leaderboard with 60 total points. He earned 10 when he won the Lecomte last month. “For a big horse, he has tremendous speed,” Casse said. “He had to hit the gas a little to get over so that got him a little riled up. It’s like hitting the gas and trying to hit stop. They’re not as easy to stop as a car. He got him rolling and probably made the lead a little earlier than we would have liked. He’s done this a few times early on. When he gets the lead, he starts wandering. If he keeps winning there will be some big targets for him to chase.” Casse stated that the Grade II $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 23 would likely be War of Will’s next target. “As long as he’s happy and healthy that’s where we’ll go and then we’ll talk about it from there,” Casse said. “I think (Fair Grounds) is a wonderful place to get a horse ready for the classics. We have right now four or five Derby horses and our two major Derby horses are here right now. I think a lot of that. I have David Carroll who I have utmost respect for so that’s important for me. Last year we almost won the Kentucky Oaks with Wonder Gadot and she stabled here. It’s a great place, it’s nice and the weather isn’t bad. Horses stay happy and safe here for the most part.” War of Will was the odds-on favorite at post time and paid $4.00, $3.00 and $2.60 while second-choice Country House returned $6.00 and $4.80. Longshot Roiland brought back $15.20. Now unbeaten in three starts over the main track, War of Will has earned a total of $491,569 in lifetime earnings having collected $260,000 from winning the Risen Star. Purchased by Casse’s brother Justin from the Arqana Two-Year-Olds In Training Breeze Up Sale in France last May for $298,550, War of Will is out of the Sadler’s Wells broodmare Visions of Clarity (Ire.) who is a half-sister to 1997 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Spinning World. Visions of Clarity also produced Pathfork – the winner of the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh in 2010. Other members of his family include Grade I turf winners Good Journey and Denon as well as Aldebaran – a three-time Grade I winner on dirt.

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2.15.2019:

Stronach 5 has $169K Carryover for Friday, February 22

LAUREL, MD – With no winning tickets in Friday’s Stronach 5, the national pick 5 wager with an industry-low 12-percent takeout is expected to climb to more than $500,000 Friday, Feb. 22.The carryover going into next Friday is $169,305.51.Friday’s sequence produced a $140 winner at Golden Gate Fields in Shari and an $89.20 winner at Gulfstream Park in Off the Mark.Friday, February 15 Stronach 5 Winners Leg One - Gulfstream Park 8th Race - Hellow Juliet ($6.60) Leg Two - Laurel Park 9th Race - Autotrade ($9.20) Leg Three - Santa Anita Park 4th Race - Gio Pronto ($22.00) Leg Four - Gulfstream Park 11th Race - Off the Mark ($89.20) Leg Five - Golden Gate Fields 5th Race - Shari ($140.00) The minimum wager on the multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 is $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday.For the Stronach 5, if a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes.The Maryland Jockey Club serves as host of the Stronach 5.

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2.11.2019:

2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2 (February 8 - 10, 2019): 1. Bourbon War (Mark Hennig) - 31/1 ($64.80)2. Coliseum (Bob Baffert) - 22/1 ($46.20) 3. Game Winner (Bob Baffert) - 5/1 ($13.40)4. Global Campaign (Stanley Hough) - 22/1 ($47.80) 5. Gray Attempt (William Fires) - 104/1 ($211.20) 6. Gunmetal Gray (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 34/1 ($71.60) 7. Harvey Wallbanger (Ken McPeek) - 28/1 ($58.00) 8. Hidden Scroll (Bill Mott) - 7/1 ($17.60) 9. Improbable (Bob Baffert) - 7/1 ($17.60) 10. Instagrand (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 10/1 ($22.60) 11. Knicks Go (Ben Colebrook) - 78/1 ($158.20) 12. Limonite (Steve Asmussen) - 60/1 ($122.00) 13. Maximus Mischief (Robert Reid Jr.) - 38/1 ($78.00) 14. Mucho Gusto (Bob Baffert) - 23/1 ($48.20) 15. Network Effect (Chad Brown) - 40/1 ($83.60) 16. Owendale (Brad Cox) - 111/1 ($225.20) 17. Signalman (Ken McPeek) - 28/1 ($59.20) 18. Tacitus (Bill Mott) - 96/1 ($194.00) 19. Tax (Danny Gargan) - 63/1 ($128.60) 20. Vekoma (George Weaver) - 41/1 ($84.00) 21. Walking Thunder (Ahmad bin Harmash) - 118/1 ($239.80) 22. War of Will (Mark Casse) - 17/1 ($36.80) 23. Win Win Win (Michael Trombetta) - 35/1 ($72.60) 24. All Other 3YO's - 5/2 ($7.60)

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2.10.2019:

Gulfstream's Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout Returns $100,919

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Mandatory payout of Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 Saturday, which reached $8.2 million, returned $100,919.88 to multiple tickets with all six winners. It wasn’t an easy ticket to hit. The Rainbow 6 got off to a surprise when Papa Y, a 50-1 longshot who had failed to hit the board in four previous tries, went gate-to-wire and returned $118. After the 12-1 longshot Trilby ($26.60) won the second leg, there were only 22,129 live tickets remaining. There was a $1,509,922 million carryover going into the day. There was $6,754,787 of new money wagered Saturday.   The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. Global Campaign Leads Promising 3-Year-Olds Saturday There were several races featuring 3-year-olds Saturday, but none were more impressive than Sagamore Farm LLC’s and WinStar Farm LLC’s Global Campaign, who drew off from Grade 1-placed Standard Deviation down the stretch to win going 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.29 Trained by Stanley Hough and ridden by leading jockey Luis Saez, Global Campaign’s victory Saturday’s followed an equally impressive winning debut here Jan. 5 at seven furlongs. “He’s a talented horse,” Hough said. “Obviously, you don’t know the first time two turns for a lot of them, but, gosh, he handled it well.” So what’s next for the undefeated son of Curlin who brought $250,000 at auction? “We don’t know,” Hough said. “Hopefully, it will be one of the many races coming up. The Fountain of Youth (G2) is a possibility.” In other races featuring 3-year-olds, Mathis Stable LLC’s 3-year-old colt Last Judgement, a $300,000 son of Congrats, broke his maiden at second asking. After being a bit difficult to load, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt won by a length going six furlongs in 1:10.13 under jockey John Velazquez. Pletcher and Velazquez were back in the winner’s circle some 60 minutes later with Cheyenne Stables LLC’s Angelia. The daughter of Curlin, stretching out around two turns for the first time, won at 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.95. It was Angelia’s fourth start. Juddmonte Farm’s homebred Clause ran down Can’t Buy Me Love down the stretch to break her maiden at first asking. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Clause, a 3-year-old daughter of Speightstown, covered a firm mile course in 1:34.86.

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2.10.2019:

Well Defined Springs Upset in Sam F. Davis Stakes

Trainer Kathleen O’Connell scored one of the biggest upsets in Tampa Bay Downs history in 2011 when she saddled 43-1 shot Watch Me Go to win the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby. Today’s Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis triumph with 3-year-old gelding Well Defined was nowhere near as shocking, but it was equally gratifying for the Tampa Bay Downs-based trainer, her legion of fans and the huge following owned by jockey Pablo Morales, who helped engineer the upset. “That’s very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” an emotional O’Connell said after Well Defined’s two-and-three-quarter length victory from a charging Kentucky Wildcat in 1:42.70 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth, .26 seconds off 2018 winner Flameaway’s stakes record. So Alive finished a distant third, with the 19-10 favorite, Knicks Go, getting nipped for fourth at the wire by Counter Offer. “He’s had little things that have happened and he’s grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on,” O’Connell said of the Florida-bred Well Defined, a son of With Distinction by Fru Fru, out of Medaglia d’Oro. “I like this horse a lot and the decision (on what’s next) will be up to the owners (Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge, LLC), but we just want him healthy. Maybe the (Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9) – who knows.” Kentucky Wildcat was vanned off after the race. Later, trainer Tom Albertrani reported that the colt was bearing weight and resting comfortably but would be transported to a clinic in Ocala for observation. Well Defined’s victory was part of an electric Festival Preview Day 39 Presented by Lambholm South card that also featured 6-year-old mare Hawksmoor’s victory under Javier Castellano in the Grade III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes on the turf and 6-year-old horse Inspector Lynley’s triumph under Jose Ortiz in the Grade III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes on the turf, a race Inspector Lynley won two years ago. In the day’s non-graded stakes, the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes, Point of Honor turned on the jets in the stretch to triumph under Castellano, perhaps stamping herself as a Kentucky Oaks candidate. Total wagering on the 12-race card of $9,521,537 was $17,185 more than last year’s Festival Preview Day and the second-highest total on a Sam F. Davis card to the $10,743,714 wagered in 2016. Well Defined improved to 3-for-7, with the $170,000 winner’s share of the purse increasing his career bankroll to $490,570. He appeared to tire in each of his last two starts, the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream, but O’Connell said he had excuses each time. “His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile,” she said, “and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside. He’s a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.” Getting a word from Morales is never difficult, except when he is stopping to accept congratulations from well-wishers on his walk back to the jockeys’ room. He was still floating on a cloud in the 12th and final race on the turf, en route to another victory on 10-1 shot Funny Questions, even as observers wondered how he possibly had time to pose for pictures, get interviewed and change silks after the Sam F. Davis. “(Well Defined) has a ton of natural talent and I was going to take advantage of that today,” Morales explained. “I wasn’t too worried about where I was going to be because we were really lucky with the draw position on the outside, so I figured I was going to ride a cool race. “The horse is naturally fast and has a super-long stride, so I was going to come out running, but if somebody wanted to take the lead, I was OK with that,” Morales said. No one did, and he stretched the lead to three lengths from Knicks Go up the backstretch. “All I wanted to do was ride a cool and collected race and keep my horse running,” Morales said. “I didn’t feel like I was going that fast at all, and my horse was going as comfortable as he possible could. “I knew he was doing it relaxed and very much on his own. I had a lot of horse going into the second turn, so I figured I was going to ask him a little more and not wait for them to get me. If they were going to catch me, they were really going to have to come running.” Well Defined paid $16 to win. Trainer Ben Colebrook said jockey Albin Jimenez offered no real excuses for Knicks Go’s late fade. “Albin said he was getting out a little around the turn, so I don’t know what to make of that,” Colebrook said. “It looked like he had dead aim and then he kind of flattened out. It didn’t go the way we wanted, but hopefully there will be another day.”

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2.8.2019:

$10 Million Reasons to Play Gulfstream's Rainbow 6 on Saturday, February 9

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 will have a mandatory payout Saturday afternoon with a pool that could climb as high as $10 million.The Rainbow 6 begins with Gulfstream’s seventh race and includes four turf races, one a maiden special weight event going a mile, and the $100,000 El Prado, which attracted a field of 13 4-year-olds and up going 7 ½ furlongs on the turf.To help bettors, Gulfstream hosts and analysts Jason Blewitt and Ron Nicoletti along with the Daily Racing Form’s writer and clocker Mike Welsch handicap Saturday’s Rainbow 6. Watch Video Este Sábado 9 de Febrero habrá pago obligatorio del Rainbow Pick6, iniciando en la séptima carrera de la jornada a las. 3:07pm y con más de millón y medio de dólares acumulados, sino aparecen tickets únicos los días Jueves y Viernes, más lo que se apueste en el Pick6 el día Sábado. Los pronosticadores Claudia Spadaro y Alfredo Alfonzo hicieron un análisis con sus selecciones y recomendaciones para las seis carreras que serán parte del Rainbow Pick 6: Enlance al video

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2.6.2019:

Thursday's Gulfstream Rainbow 6 Carryover at $1.3 Million

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 21st consecutive racing day at Gulfstream Park Wednesday, growing the carryover jackpot to $1,342,034.54 for Thursday’s program. A total of $320,224 was bet into the popular multi-race wager, which began with a carryover of $1,265,195.58 from Sunday’s card. Multiple tickets with all six winners Wednesday were each worth $1,205.54. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. Since the 2018-19 Championship Meet kicked off Dec. 1, the Rainbow 6 has been hit five times, most recently for a $188,900.81 payout Jan. 9. A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 pool is scheduled for next Saturday’s program, even if it is solved in the meantime. The entire pool, including a carryover jackpot, will be paid out to those holding tickets. Who’s Hot: Jorge Navarro and Todd Pletcher both saddled a pair of winners Wednesday. Navarro, who entered the 10-race card with a four-win margin over the 13-time defending Championship Meet titlist, scored with Jo Jo’s Candy ($3.80) in Race 3 and Dezzer ($5.40) in Race 6. Pletcher won with Alpha Orionis ($2.80) in Race 1 and Clint Maroon ($6.80) in Race 7. Emisael Jaramillo celebrated his 42nd birthday with a victory aboard Jo Jo’s Candy. Rainbow 6 Carryover: $1,342,034.54

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2.3.2019:

Gulfstream has $1,265,195 Pick 6 Carryover Wednesday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 20th consecutive racing day at Gulfstream Park Sunday, growing the carryover jackpot to $1,265,195.58 for Wednesday’s program.A total of $433,269 was bet into the popular multi-race wager, which began with a carryover of $1,042,638.19 from Saturday’s card. Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday were each worth $3,748.50.The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.Since the 2018-19 Championship Meet kicked off Dec. 1, the Rainbow 6 has been hit five times, most recently for a $188,900.81 payout Jan. 9.There will also be a Super Hi 5 carryover of $3,202.42 Wednesday.A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 pool is scheduled for next Saturday’s program, even if it is solved in the meantime. The entire pool, including a carryover jackpot, will be paid out to those holding tickets.Cover Model Gets Photo Taken in Winner’s CirclePhipps Stable’s Cover Model, a half-sister to Grade 1-stakes winner Imagining, graduated impressively at Gulfstream Park in Sunday’s seventh race, a mile turf race for older fillies and mares.The 4-year-old daughter of War Front, who had finished fourth in her first three starts in New York, pressed or set the pace throughout the race before drawing off to a 3 ½-length victory under Hall of Famer John Velazquez.“I ran her three time last fall and her races were good, but she was starting to sort of whittle down on me so I said let’s just turn her out for a while. We turned her out at Fair Hill and brought her down here, hadn’t done a whole lot with her but obviously she doesn’t need a whole lot,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “She kind of grew up a lot and I think hopefully she’ll have a future in front of her. She’s got a wonderful pedigree. I think she’s still got some stuff to learn but hopefully she will.”Cover Model ran the mile over a firm turn course in 1:36.21.   Who’s Hot:  Irad Ortiz Jr., fresh of a two graded stakes-winning Saturday, won twice Sunday aboard Ortiga ($5.40) in Race 1 and Hogans Holiday ($10.40) in Race 6. Both horses are trained by Marcus Vitali.Leading rider Luis Saez also notched a double aboard A Thread of Blue ($6.20) in the $100,000 Dania Beach in Race 9 and Regal Romance ($6.80) in Race 4.Rainbow 6 Carryover: $1,265,195.58Super Hi 5 Carryover: $3,202.42

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2.2.2019:

Mucho Gusto Powers Through Slop, Wins Robert B. Lewis Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 2, 2019) – Favored Mucho Gusto was all business on Saturday at Santa Anita, as he rated kindly and exploded the final eighth of a mile to take the Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by 4 ¾ lengths under Joe Talamo.  Trained by Bob Baffert, the chestnut colt by Mucho Macho Man got a mile and one sixteenth over a sloppy track in 1:41.81. A comfortable third into and around the Club House turn, Mucho Gusto was well within himself as he stalked Magnificent McCool while second heading to the far turn.  Five sixteenths of a mile from home, he took command and accelerated through the lane like a top Derby prospect to win with his ears pricked. “Every race, he’s getting better and better,” said Talamo, who’s ridden him in all four of his starts.  “He settled today like he’s been doing this a hundred times…He galloped out real strong.  I don’t think distance is going to be any problem.  At the three eighths (pole), I was pretty confident.  He’s a 3-year-old, but he feels like an older horse.” Idle since running second to his highly regarded stablemate Improbable in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 8, Mucho Gusto, who is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Itsagiantcauseway, was off at 3-5 in a field of five sophomores and paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. Owned by Michael Lund Petersen, Mucho Gusto, who was purchased for $625,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale this past May, picked up $90,000 for the win, hiking his earnings to $234,000.  He now has three wins from four starts and he picked up 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points as well. “He got to sit off the pace, which was good,” said Baffert.  “They have to learn to do that, and I was really happy with Joe.  He rode him with a lot of confidence today, like he was a good horse and he (Talamo) was on his own.  I didn’t give him any instructions…He’s a good horse.  He’s a fighter, too.  If they’d have hooked him, he likes to fight. “This is the time of the year when you want to start getting excited about something…I want to run him in spots where he’s going to be very competitive, and we have those other horses, so it depends on what the other horses are doing.  Right now, I’m going to nominate my horses everywhere and whoever’s doing great that week runs in that race…Let the games begin.” Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Mike Smith, Gunmetal Gray, a deep closer, had his work cut out for him in the short field.  With what developed into a reasonable early pace, he rallied well from last to catch Easy Shot late, finishing second by a half length. A winner of the Grade III Sham Stakes here on Jan. 5, he was the second choice at 8-5 and paid $2.40 and $2.10. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, the Keith Desormeaux-trained Easy Shot was off at 12-1 and paid $2.60 to show while finishing 2 ¼ lengths clear of Magnificent Cool. Fractions on the race were 23.67, 46.55, 1:10.51 and 1:35.57. The second, third and fourth place finishers picked up four, two and one Kentucky Derby qualifying point(s) each.

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2.2.2019:

Harvey Wallbanger Pulls 29/1 Upset in Holy Bull Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Harvey Wallbanger parlayed a ground-saving trip under Brian Hernandez Jr. into a 29-1 upset victory in Saturday’s $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park.The Holy Bull, a 1 1/16-mile prep for 3-year-olds, headlined a 12-race program that also offered the $150,000 Swale, a seven-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds, and the $150,000 Forward Gal (G3), a seven-furlong stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The Holy Bull will be followed by the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2 on the Road to the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) March 30 at Gulfstream.The Ken McPeek-trained Harvey Wallbanger was making his stakes debut in the Holy Bull while racing for the first time this year. In his most recent start, the son of Congrats captured a maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs Nov. 17 after starting off his career with three straight second-place finish for owners Harold Lerner LLC, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Scott Akman and Paul Braverman.Maximus Mischief, the 3-5 favorite in a field of nine, suffered his first loss in four starts while finishing third, unable to withstand the inside challenge of Harvey Wallbanger after gaining a lead in the stretch.“It’s a horse race. You can’t duck one, can you? He showed he had some good, solid ability. I was thinking he’d rise up to whatever level you put him in,” McPeek said. “All we did last fall was really kind of teach him what to do. The end of the season he was a little tired after his fourth race and we backed off, came down here, and took our time.“I had some options to run in an a-other-than and I told [co-owner] Harold [Lerner], ‘Let’s find out how good he is, because he can’t be training any better,” McPeek added. “Today, I told Brian, ‘If they go, let them go. Don’t worry about it. Just tuck in, save some ground, and make your run.’”Hernandez, who has enjoyed solid success during his first Championship Meet at Gulfstream, executed the plan to perfection. Harvey Wallbanger was rated far off the early pace set by Epic Dreamer, who showed the way around the turn and along the backstretch while posting fractions of 23.18 and 46.76 seconds for the first half mile. Maximus Mischief, who captured the Dec. 1 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct in his most recent start, broke from the gate sharply under Jose Ortiz and was in closest pursuit of the pacesetter.Epic Dreamer, a 12-1 longshot ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., continued to show the way on the turn into the homestretch, when Maximus Mischief was asked for his run. The favored son of Into Mischief advanced on the leader to gain the lead in the stretch but was unable to hold off Harvey Wallbanger, who skimmed the rail to win by a length, and the late outside surge of Everfast, a 128-1 outsider who grabbed second by a neck under Chris Landeros. Epic Dreamer faded to fourth. Mihos, who captured the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Jan. 5, finished fifth after stalking the pace.Ortiz said the Robert (Butch) Reid Jr.-trained Maximus Mischief didn’t seem to be running to his ability.“He broke good, clean. He sat second behind the speed, but I felt like they were coming on my outside, so I made my decision to go. When I asked him, he wasn’t going the way I wanted him to. I just had to start riding,” Ortiz said. “I had a hard time catching the horse on the lead.”The trip made the difference for Harvey Wallbanger.“It was great. We had a horse that likes to come from behind and we thought they’d go quick in front. I was able to just kind of sit there. I knew to trust in my horse, because he was second in a couple of good maiden races and he always runs to his competition so I thought he’d give a good showing today,” Hernandez said. “We’d have been happy if he’d have been second or third, but for him to jump up and win showed that he’s a good horse and he’s turned into a good 3-year-old. When we turned for home and I got within range of them, I thought I had enough horse to where I’d get past them. I mean, he spurted through there quickly and he did it like a good horse.”Harvey Wallbanger ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.69 while giving McPeek a second Triple Crown prospect. McPeek also trains Grade 2 winner Signalman, who breezed at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning in preparation for a start in the Fountain of Youth.“Let’s just enjoy the evening here and then figure it out. The Fountain of Youth. I’ve already got Signalman kind of circled for that, but that doesn’t mean that they both couldn’t run,” McPeek said. “I’d like to keep them apart if I can but one step at a time.”

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1.25.2019:

Pegasus World Cup Betting Headquarters

Betting the Pegasus World Cup? Handicapping the Pegasus World Cup is now easier than ever with our Pegasus World Cup Handicapping Headquarters. Download the Pegasus World Cup Wager Guide Get a leg up on the competition with our Free Wager Guide, packed with valuable insights from the nation's top handicappers. Download it today to see how our veteran handicappers are betting the Pegasus, Pegasus Turf and the other seven stakes races on the card. This year’s team of handicappers includes: Eddie Olczyk Brent Musburger Millie Ball Jeff Siegel Michelle Yu Pegasus World Cup Day Stakes Races - Saturday, January 26 Race NameGradePurseDistance/SurfaceRestrictions South Beach S. $125,000 7 1/2 Furlongs/TurfF&M 4&UP Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint S. $150,000 5 Furlongs/Turf4&UP Ladies' Turf Sprint $150,000 5 Furlongs/TurfF&M 4&UP Hurricane Bertie S.III$150,000 7 Furlongs/DirtF&M 4&UP La Prevoyante H.III$200,000 1 1/2 Miles/TurfF&M 4&UP W. L. McKnight H.III$200,000 1 1/2 Miles/Turf4&UP Fred W. Hooper S.III$150,000 1 Miles/Dirt4&UP Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational S. $7,000,000 1 3/16 Miles/Turf3&UP Pegasus World Cup Invitational S.I$9,000,000 1 1/8 Miles/Dirt3&UP Pegasus World Cup Contenders Meet the horses who will be competing in the $9 Million Pegasus World Cup and the $7 Million Pegasus World Cup Turf. Each Pegasus World Cup horse, from Accelerate to True Timber has a dedicated page with recent workouts, trainer interviews and race record to help you handicap the race and pick winners. Pegasus World Cup Odds During the Pegasus World Cup Post Position Draw, the Morning Line Odds were set by the Gulfstream Park morning line maker. The morning line maker's job is to predict, as accurately as possible, the final odds of each individual race on a day’s program. Here are the post positions and morning line odds for the Pegasus World Cup Contenders Pegasus World Cup Invitational Post Position Pegasus Contender Morning Line Odds 1 Bravazo 12/1 2 Something Awesome 20/1 3 City of Light 5/2 4 Seeking the Soul 12/1 5 Accelerate 9/5 6 Tom's d'Etat 20/1 7 True Timber 30/1 8 Gunnevera 8/1 9 Kukulkan 30/1 10 Audible 10/1 11 Imperative 30/1 12 Patternrecognition 10/1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Post Position Turf Contender Morning Line Odds 1Magic Wand9-2 2Yoshida5-2 3Channel Maker12-1 4Aerolithe8-1 5Next Shares15-1 6Fahan Mura30-1 7Bricks and Mortar5-1 8Delta Prince15-1 9Catapult7-2 10Dubby Dubbie30-1 Pegasus World Cup Wagering Menu What to bet in the Pegasus World Cup? Look no further than this Wagering Menu: First Gulfstream Park Post Time: 11:30AM ET The $7,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Turf will go as race 11 with a post of 4:51PM ET and the 3rd running of the $9,000,000 Pegasus World Cup will go as race 12 with a post of 5:36PM ET Advance Wagering: Full card advanced wagering will be available for Saturday’s program on Friday, January 25. Pool Guarantees: Race 7: $.20 Rainbow 6 Pool $750,000 Guaranteed Pool (if not won prior to Saturday) Race 8: $.50 Late Pick 5 $750,000 Guaranteed Pool Race 9: $.50 Late Pick 4 $1,000,000 Guaranteed Pool Pegasus World Cup Winners The inaugural Pegasus World Cup delivered more star power than anyone could have imagined, with California Chrome and Arrogate facing off after their brilliant 1-2 finish in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic. The 2018 Pegasus World Cup provided just as much star power, with Gun Runner aiming for his 5th straight victory right before retiring. Facing Gun Runner was West Coast, the hero of the Travers Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby, who had just finished second to Gun Runner in the Breeders' Cup.

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1.22.2019:

Pegasus Day: $1 Million Guaranteed Late Pick 4 & More Guarantees

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Saturday’s 12-race program at Gulfstream Park, highlighted by the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, will offer guaranteed pools for the Late Pick 4, the Late Pick 5 and the Rainbow 6. The pool for the Late Pick 4 (Races 9-12) will be guaranteed at $1 million, while the Late Pick 5 (Races 8-12) and the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 7-12) will offer guaranteed pools of $750,000. The Rainbow 6 pool will be guaranteed as long as the popular multi-race wager isn’t solved before Saturday. The multi-race sequences for all three wagers will include the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), North America’s richest race; and the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), North America’s richest turf race. The third running of the Pegasus World Cup field will be headlined by $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner and 2018 Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate. The Pegasus World Cup Turf will feature an international field of grass stars, including Yoshida, a Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt, and Aerolithe, a multiple graded stakes-winning mare in Japan making her first start in the U.S. Should the Rainbow 6 go unsolved through Saturday’s program, there will be a mandatory payout of the entire pool of the popular multi-race wager Sunday. Saturday’s card will offer seven other stakes, including four additional graded stakes: $200,000 W. L. McKnight (G3); $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3); $150,000 Fred Hooper (G3); $150,000 Fasig-Tipton Hurricane Bertie (G3), $150,000 Gulfstream Turf Sprint; $150,000 Ladies Turf Sprint, $125,000 South Beach. Keep up with all things Pegasus World Cup at the Pegasus World Cup Handicapping Headquarters.

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1.22.2019:

Accelerate, City of Light Headline $9 Million Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Hronis Racing LLC’s Accelerate will face 11 rivals in Saturday’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park in an attempt to become the third straight Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner in a row to capture North America’s richest race. The Pegasus World Cup will co-headline Saturday’s 12-race program with the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), North America’s richest turf race. The $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be supported by seven other stakes, including four other graded stakes. First-race post time Saturday is set for 11:30 a.m. John Sadler-trained Accelerate, who capped a sensational 2018 season with a length triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs Nov. 3, has been rated as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 12 and will break from the No. 5 post position. The 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup will be Accelerate’s final career start before embarking on a new career as a stallion at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, KY.     “We’re going to be a little bit sad, but happy that he has a great book of mares at Lane’s End in Kentucky,” Sadler said.  “It’s a pretty good scenario. We’re just looking at it as an opening of a second career for him.” The 6-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky showed talent right from the start of his career, debuting at Los Alamitos on April 17, 2016 and finishing second, a neck ahead of third-place finisher Arrogate, who would go on to capture the inaugural running of the Pegasus World Cup in 2018. The Sadler trainee returned later in the year to win the Los Alamitos Derby (G2) before capping his 3-year-old campaign at Santa Anita with a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), a neck behind runner-up Gun Runner, who went on to win the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar and last year’s Pegasus World Cup. Accelerate has kept the best of company thoroughout his career and has fared extremely well but not nearly as dominating as he was during his 2018 campaign, in which he won six of seven starts, notched four Grade 1 victories, highlighted by his triumph in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs. In 22 starts, Accelerate has won 10 times, including eight stakes, and finished second or third in 10 other races, amassing career earnings of $5,792,480. “He was a little late getting to the races. He got to the races as a 3-year-old. He was a stakes winner at 3 and he was a stakes winner at 4, but his year, at 5, he really took off. He showed he could go the classic distance in America of a mile and a quarter,” said Sadler, whose stable star won four times at the 1 ¼-mile distance last season. “He had the maturity to do it and keep doing it.” Accelerate, a lock to be honored as the outstanding older horse in 2018 at Thursday’s Eclipse Awards dinner in Gulfstream’s Sport of Kings Theater, compiled a Horse of the Year-caliber record last year but has imposing competition for Thoroughbred racing’s top honor in 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify. “I have nothing but respect for the other horse, obviously. He’s an undefeated Triple Crown winner, and I saw him breeze all winter at Santa Anita, my home base, so I’m pretty familiar with him. He’s a great horse,” Sadler said. “That being said, my horse was a great horse last year. He won at a mile and a quarter four times. In the handicaps, he was always the highweight. In the weight-for-ages, he was always giving weight. He spotted weight to all his rivals, which means something at a mile and a quarter, being so dominant. “We laid out a script of the races we were going to run, and he ran in them all. He beat all the horses that came up to him,” he added. “It’s a shame Justify went to the sideline early. We were hoping we’d have a chance of meeting in the Breeders’ Cup, but it unfortunately didn’t happen. Whatever the vote, we’re fine with it. We’re just delighted with our horse.” Joel Rosario, who won the mount when regular rider Victor Espinoza was seriously injured in a mishap last summer, has been a perfect 3-for-3 aboard Accelerate, who captured the Pacific Classic (G1) by 12 ½ lengths, the Awesome Again (G1) by 2 ½ lengths and the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) by a length. The only horse to beat Accelerate last year will try to repeat that feat in the Pegasus. City of Light, who registered a neck decision over Accelerate in the Oaklawn Park Handicap (G2) last April, is rated second at 5-2 in the morning-line and will break from the No. 3 post. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr., the 5-year-old son of Quality Road would subsequently finish third behind a victorious Accelerate six-weeks later in the 1 ¼-mile Santa Anita Gold Cup. “We’ve met twice. It’s a tie ballgame so far,” trainer Michael McCarthy said. City of Light, who won the seven-furlong Triple Bend (G1) at Santa Anita in March, raced twice following the Santa Anita Gold Cup, finishing second in the seven-furlong Forego (G1) at Saratoga Aug. 25 and winning the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) by 2 ¾ lengths. Although he’s shown brilliance in one-turn races, McCarthy is confident City of Light will have no difficulty stretching out for the two-turn Pegasus. “I don’t think he’ll have any problem,” McCarthy said. “He won the [1 1/8-mile] Oaklawn Handicap.” City of Light, who will also be retired and begin his stallion career at Lane’s End, will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who was aboard for his Dirt Mile romp. Margoth’s Gunnevera, who finished a late-closing second behind Accelerate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, will be one of two starters in last year’s Pegasus to return this year. The Antonio Sano-trained Gunnevera, who finished third behind Gun Runner last year, finished second in the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga prior to his strong Classic showing. “I’m so proud of my horse,” said Sano, Venezuela’s winningest trainer who became a U.S. citizen last week. “We need to win a Grade 1. I think my horse can do it in the Pegasus. The Pegasus will be my first stakes since I am a citizen.” Based at Gulfstream Park West, Gunnevera won the 2017 Fountain of Youth (G2) over the Gulfstream Park racetrack and has earned in excess of $4.1 million in purses. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the return mount aboard the 5-year-old son of Dialed In. Todd Pletcher-trained Audible will also be running on familiar ground in the Pegasus, having won the $1 million Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) and the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) last year at Gulfstream. “I think based on Audible’s success last year, winning the Holy Bull and the Florida Derby, [the Pegasus] would be the logical target,” Pletcher said. “He had the summer off and he didn’t get started until November, so we thought the timing was good as well. But mainly his success at Gulfstream made it a good first target.” Owned by China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm, the 4-year-old son of Into Mischief finished third after closing from far back in last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1), a head behind runner-up Good Magic. He went to the sidelines for six months following the Derby before returning with a two-length score in the Cherokee Road Stakes at Churchill Downs on the Breeders’ Cup undercard. Best down to 1-10 in his next start at Gulfstream Dec. 15, Audible was upset by a half-length following a wide trip over a sloppy racetrack in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3). Flavian Prat will ride Audible for the first time in the Pegasus. Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Patternrecognition enters the Pegasus on a three-race winning streak. The late-developing 5-year-old son of Adios Charlie captured a second-level optional claiming allowance Aug. 11 at Saratoga before winning his stakes debut with a front-running score in the Kelso Handicap (G2) Sept. 22 at Belmont Park. The Chad Brown-trained Florida-bred came right back to win the Dec. 1 Cigar Mile (G1) at Belmont leading the way throughout the one-turn mile stakes. “I think on this track a horse that has positional speed. I’m happy the horse we have has been running on the front, but I don’t think he has to be on the lead. He fits that profile of a speed horse that can get position at the very least,” Brown said. “He seems to be in really great form coming off the Cigar Mile. The timing worked for us. At his point of his career he seems to be peaking,” he added. “It’s the right time to take a big swing at a huge purse.” Calumet Farm will be represented by a pair of starters, Bravazo and True Timber. For Bravazo the Pegasus will be his ninth consecutive Grade 1 stakes appearance. Although the D. Wayne Lukas-trained 4-year-old has gone winless at racing’s highest level, the son of Awesome Again has been highly competitive. No horse finished closer to undefeated Justify than Bravazo, who closed strongly to finish just a half-length behind the eventual Triple Crown winner in the Preakness Stakes (G1). The Calumet homebred also finished in the money in the Haskell (G1), Travers (G1), Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and the Clark Handicap (G1). Gulfstream’s leading rider Luis Saez has the mount. True Timber enters the Pegasus off a second-place finish behind Patternrecognition in the Cigar Mile. “We have a nice horse that run second in the Cigar Mile. We’re trying to stretch him out a little bit, but he galloped out great. We’re hoping he can get the trip,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “He’s improving all the time. He’s never left Belmont Park since he got there as a 2-year-old,” he added. “This will be different. He’ll be getting on a van this time, but he’s a straightforward horse and he’s doing really well.” Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul returns to Gulfstream for another crack at the Pegasus World Cup, in which he finished fifth last year. The Dallas Stewart-trained 6-year-old, who earned Grade 1 credentials with a win in the 2017 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, finished second behind City of Light in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, before finishing third in the Clark Handicap. Hall of Famer jockey John Velazquez, who won aboard the son of Perfect Soul in the 2017 Clark, has the mount. G M B Racing’s Tom’s d’Etat will make his Grade 1 stakes debut in the Pegasus for trainer Al Stall Jr. The 6-year-old son of Smart Strike, whose career had been compromised by chronic ankle issues, has won four straight races, including a 3 ½-length victory in the Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds last time out. Shaun Bridgmohan has the return mount. Stronach Stables’ Something Awesome has blossomed since joining Laurel Park-based trainer Jose Corrales, who has saddled the son of Awesome Again for graded-stakes victories in the General George (G3) at Laurel and the $1.2 million Charles Town Classic (G2). Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado has the return mount. Kukulkan, Cuadra San Jorge’s undefeated Mexican Triple Crown champion, returns to Gulfstream Park, where the 4-year-old son of Point Determined captured the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe Dec. 8. Kukulkan, who has won all 14 career starts, will be ridden by Frankie Dettori. Ron Paolucci Racing’s Imperative, who captured the 2017 Charles Town Classic, brings a career bankroll of more than $2.99 million into the Pegasus. The Anthony Quartarolo-trained 9-year-old will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.

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1.22.2019:

Yoshida is Favorite in Inaugural $7 Million Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners’ Yoshida, already a rare Grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt, returns to the grass in search of his biggest payday yet in the inaugural $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) Saturday, Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. The debut of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf and the third running of the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) – the richest races on either surface in North America – comprise the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, headlining a blockbuster 12-race program featuring nine stakes, six graded, worth $17.125 million in purses. First race post time is 11:30 a.m. EST. Post time for the Pegasus Turf is 4:50 p.m. EST. The race will be shown during NBC’s live national telecast from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Yoshida was assigned Post 2 and installed as the 5-2 program favorite among 10 older horses entered during Tuesday morning’s post-position draw in Frankey’s Sports Bar at Gulfstream. The field features nine group or graded-stakes winners, including Yoshida’s Hall of Famer Bill Mott-trained stablemate Channel Maker. A 5-year-old Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry, Yoshida made the first 10 starts of his career on the turf, including a trip abroad where he finished fifth by 1 ¼ lengths in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) last June at Royal Ascot. He ran first or second in seven of those grass races, four of them wins, topped by the Turf Classic (G1) on the Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard in his 2018 debut. Yoshida, who trains regularly over the dirt, was given his first shot on the main track in the historic Woodward (G1) at Saratoga in September, and he responded with an impressive come-from-behind two-length triumph. In his last start, he again came from well back to be fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 3 behind likely Pegasus World Cup favorite and 2018 Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate. Since the same connections also own 2018 Florida Derby (G1) winner and Pegasus World Cup contender Audible, they decided to put Yoshida – out of the Canadian Frontier mare Hilda’s Passion – back on grass for the Pegasus Turf. “He’s got a pedigree that would probably lend itself to turf or dirt. On the top side, maybe a little turf and dirt. The bottom side, his mother was a Grade 1 winner at the sprint distances … so he’s got a pedigree for both and he’s one of the odd horses that has transitioned from one to the other,” Mott said. “It’s probably debatable whether his dirt races are better than his turf races, and they may well be, but he’s a horse that won very nicely for us in the spring last year on the turf. He’s run with good company, and we weighed our options here and thought that maybe the turf was the spot to go this time.” Following the Breeders’ Cup, Yoshida joined Mott’s winter string at Payson Park in Florida, where he shows six works over its main track since mid-December. Jose Ortiz, up in the Joe Hirsch and Breeders’ Cup, is named to ride back in the Pegasus Turf. “We gave him a little bit of a break … when he came out of the Breeders’ Cup, but we kept him … jogging and training easily,” Mott said. “We made the decision to run in the Pegasus, so we started cranking him up and he’s done very well since then. He seems like since every work he’s picked up in condition and seems to be feeling very good with himself.” Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R.A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Channel Maker exits an off-the-board finish over a soft course in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) Nov. 3. The 5-year-old son of grass champion English Channel won two of eight starts last year, dead-heating with Eclipse Award male turf finalist Glorious Empire in the Bowling Green (G2) and romping by 4 ½ lengths in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1) in September. “He’s very good. He had been in really great form during Saratoga and Belmont. He won a ‘Win and You’re In’ when he won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and we ran in the Breeders’ Cup Turf going a mile and a half. Very soggy turf that day, a lot more pace than maybe he had had when he won the Joe Hirsch,” Mott said. “We made the decision collectively to have him in the race that day and I think by doing that we kind of forced his hand a little too much and the turf was very soft and it just worked against him. “He’s not a horse that has to be in front or up on the pace, it just happened that he won the Joe Hirsch so that was freshly in our mind when he went into the Breeders’ Cup. It wasn’t the day to have him up on the pace,” he added. “He’s a horse that’s not really one-dimensional by any means. It looks like the Pegasus is going to have some pace in it, so in that particular instance I don’t think we have to push him up toward the lead early in the race.” Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will ride Channel Maker (12-1) from Post 3. Before he attempts to win the Pegasus World Cup with Accelerate, trainer John Sadler will send out Woodford Racing’s Catapult in the Pegasus Turf, second choice on the morning line at 7-2. The 6-year-old son of turf champion and prolific sire Kitten’s Joy won the 1 1/8-mile Eddie Read (G2) and Del Mar Mile (G2) prior to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), where he was second by a half-length to Eclipse Award finalist Expert Eye. “I think he’s better than he was last year. He had a little foot issue after the Del Mar Mile and we trained him right into the Breeders’ Cup, but he’s been perfect out of the Breeders’ Cup. I think he’s in tip-top shape,” Sadler said. “His record is so good. He won both those stakes at Del Mar, [and was] almost kind of an unlucky loser … in the Breeders’ Cup Mile so his record is very, very good. They might look at the distance, but he won the Eddie Read at a mile and an eighth and he’s a big, strong horse. He won’t have any problem with the distance.” Catapult will break from Post 9 with Joel Rosario aboard. Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Bricks and Mortar, a 5-year-old son of late six-time Group 1 winner Giant’s Causeway, will be making just his eighth career start in the Pegasus Turf. He is undefeated in two tries over Gulfstream’s turf, breaking his maiden at first asking in February 2017 and returning from a 14 ½-month break between races to capture a one-mile optional claiming allowance Dec. 22. Bricks and Mortar won each of his first four career starts including Manila Stakes and National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (G2) in 2017, the latter by three-quarters of a length over Yoshida. Bricks and Mortar was third in his final two starts at 3, a half-length behind runner-up Yoshida in the Saranac (G3) and by a total of three-quarters of a length in the Hill Prince (G3), won by Yoshida. “He’s a horse that always showed a lot of promise as a 3-year-old and unfortunately had some injuries and needed a long time away from racing,” trainer Chad Brown said. “We were able to get him back in time to have a real productive allowance race, and he seems ready to move forward. It’s a big jump to go right into a Grade 1 like this, but he’s a horse that’s doing well and he’s got that race under his belt. He’s fit and we’re happy to have a horse to participate.” Irad Ortiz Jr., favored to earn his first Eclipse Award as champion jockey during Thursday’s ceremony at Gulfstream, will ride Bricks and Mortar (5-1) from Post 7. Sunday Racing Co. Ltd’s Aerolithe, a Group 1 winner from Japan, and Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s European Group 2 winner Magic Wand lend international intrigue to the Pegasus Turf. Both are females facing males, with Irish-bred Magic Wand having one previous North American start when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) Nov. 3. Irish jockey Wayne Lordan has the call from Post 1. Aerolithe will be racing for the first time outside her native country. She has been first or second in nine of 13 lifetime starts, four of them wins, including victories over males in the 2017 NHK Mile Cup (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Mainichi Okan (G2) last October. Florent Geroux, winner of the 2018 Pegasus with Horse of the Year Gun Runner, will be aboard from Post 4. “She’s never shied away from the boys, and she always runs really well,” trainer Takanori Kikuzawa said through interpreter Kate Hunter, Pegasus World Cup field representative for the Japan Racing Association. “She’s got a very strong personality and likes the competition, so she’s in a good spot mentally, as well. This filly has got a lot of speed and, if you look at some of her previous races, she can really go to the front. If we get a good start we plan on going forward and hopefully staying there.” Stronach Stables’ homebred Delta Prince will be making his 6-year-old debut in the Pegasus Turf. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, the 6-year-old son of Street Cry has been worse than third just once in 11 lifetime starts, when fourth in the Woodbine Mile (G1) Sept. 15. Winner of the King Edward (G2) over Woodbine’s turf last summer and second by a neck in the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga, both at one mile, Delta Prince returns to the grass after finishing third in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler (G3) over Aqueduct’s main track Nov. 2. “We’re taking a little bit of a shot. He’s running further than he ever has in his life but he’s bred to go the route. The furthest I ever had him in was in a race going a mile and an eighth, the Knickerbocker, and we ended up having to scratch. I think as long as he rates kindly enough and gets a decent enough trip, he’ll get the distance,” Jerkens said. “The other day I gave him nice, easy mile around two turns just to see and make sure he didn’t turn the other way and get a little bit on the rank side because of it, and he didn’t. He rated like a baby and he finished up nice so I was really happy with it.” Internationally acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori has the call on Delta Prince (15-1) from Post 8. Mike and Jules Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Christopher Dunn, William Marasa, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor’s Next Shares enters the Pegasus Turf having won three of his last four starts, the most recent a gutsy nose triumph in the 1 1/8-mile San Gabriel (G2) Jan. 5 at Santa Anita. An impressive 3 ¼-length winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in October at Keeneland, he was in contention before fading to 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile to cap 2018. “There was so much rain that day, and he drew inside, and it was really bad. The inside part of the turf was really boggy, and he got covered up and just spun his wheels. Those are the best horses in the world, obviously, and they ran a mile in 1:38 so that tells you how soft the turf was,” trainer Richard Baltas said. “That being said, he was doing great going into that race. “He’s just getting good. He’s a gelding, so I think he’s probably just coming into his own. He seems like a very happy horse,” he added. “He’s just been in good form. He ran a big race again, and he came back really good. I walked him from the track [the other] morning and he was coming out of his skin. He’s happy.” Next Shares (15-1) will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from Post 5. Bran Jam Stable and David W. Clark’s Fahan Mura punched his ticket to the Pegasus Turf with a front-running three-quarter-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Robert J. Frankel (G3) Dec. 29 at Santa Anita. Also by English Channel, the 5-year-old former claimer is the most experienced runner in the field with 23 starts, nine of them wins. Regular rider Edwin Maldonado returns in the irons from Post 6. “I think when Edwin Maldonado started riding her, he just let her loose on the front end and she maintained her speed and just got more and more confident and was just able to beat better and better horses,” trainer Vladimir Cerin said. “She only went over a mile and an eighth once, and I think the longer the distances are the more relaxed the pace is and she may be able to maintain a greater advantage for a little longer. I think she has a pretty good chance.” Rounding out the field is Ron Paolucci Racing’s Dubby Dubbie. The gelded 4-year-old son of 2010 Florida Derby winner Ice Box most recently won a second level optional claiming allowance going 1 1/8 miles over a yielding Churchill Downs course Nov. 23, and ran third in the American Derby (G3) last summer. Luca Panici has the mount from outside Post 10.

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1.20.2019:

Pegasus World Cup is 'Something Awesome' for Jose Corrales

LAUREL, MD – At the height of his career as a jockey, which included more than 1,000 wins during stops and starts between 1981 and 1998, Jose Corrales never earned more purses in a single season than the $972,180 his mounts banked in 1988. With Something Awesome, the horse he helped turn from a former claimer into a multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire, Corrales has the unique opportunity to earn more than four times that amount – in a single race. Stronach Stables’ homebred Something Awesome is set to make his 8-year-old debut in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. It is a fitting stage for both horse and trainer, whose success has been intertwined since they were first united in the fall of 2017 at Laurel Park. “I remember back about four years ago, I was at the Preakness and I sat with Mr. Frank [Stronach] and my son, J.T. Mr. Frank came to me and said, ‘You’re a good trainer. I’m going to make you famous.’ But I never thought I’m going be this famous to go to a big race like the Pegasus. To me, I was just lucky to watch it on television. To be participating in it, I think it’s very good to have this opportunity and I’m very thankful to everyone.” Corrales, 58, knew he wanted to become a jockey at the age of 7, learning the trade in his native Panama, a country that has exported the likes of Hall of Famers Laffit Pincay Jr., Manny Ycaza, Braulio Baeza, Jorge Velasquez, Jacinto Vasquez, Javier Castellano and Alex Solis and Gulfstream’s record-setting two-time Championship Meet leading rider, Luis Saez. Riding primarily at tracks in the state of Washington during the mid-1980s, Corrales became friends with Wesley Ward, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 1984. Ward turned to training in 1991 and hired Corrales as his assistant, but when Ward relocated to California, Corrales went to train in Macau. Soon Corrales returned to the United States and by 2011 finally got his big break. Owner-trainer Burton Sipp introduced him to Andy Stronach, a breeder and owner and the son of Pegasus founder Frank Stronach, and the two began a solid working relationship. “The first time I met Andy, it was at midnight at Beulah Park,” Corrales said. “He was in a truck with a driver, and they were delivering a horse to me. A filly. Can’t recall her name. But we won with her. And then he started sending me horses.” One of them was Bodhisattva, a horse Andy Stronach bred and gave to Corrales as a gift. The horse whose hard-to-pronounce name means “enlightened being” won three stakes for the owner-trainer and was among seven opponents defeated by eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness Stakes (G1) at legendary Pimlico Race Course. “Andy has helped me the most, no doubt. He has been the biggest influence in my career,” Corrales said. “To run against a horse that wins the Triple Crown is quite an experience. I’m so grateful. And to do it with a horse that Andy bred and gave to me as a present … at a track owned by the Stronach family made it even more exciting. We’ll be in the record books forever.” Enter Something Awesome. A gelded son of Awesome Again – a Frank Stronach homebred that won nine of 12 career starts, including the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), and purses of more than $4.3 million – Something Awesome is out of the Dance Floor mare Somethinaboutlaura, both multiple graded-stakes winners. Something Awesome began his career in southern California with trainer John Shirreffs before the Ontario-bred was sent to Danny Vella at Woodbine in the spring of 2016. Overall, he won four of his first 18 races and ran for a tag four times between April and October of 2016, for as little as $32,000. Corrales got Something Awesome at his Laurel barn after the horse finished seventh in a seven-furlong optional claimer over Woodbine’s synthetic surface in August 2017 – the 14th time in 18 races the horse had run at distances of a mile or less. Something Awesome debuted for Corrales Nov. 5, 2017, coming from last to win a six-furlong second-level optional claiming allowance by four lengths in 1:10 flat with Hall of Famer Edgar Prado aboard. Prado is named to ride for the sixth time and fifth in a row in the Pegasus. “When the horse came over here, he was like any other horse. I thought he was going to run maybe for allowance or claiming or wherever the horse would fit, and if he’s not doing it he’d probably go to a lower level,” Corrales said. “But when he came, the horse changed. The horse was working really good and when I really started running him, he showed me. He won the first time in 1:10 and I said, ‘Wow, this horse can run.’ Prado was excited about it. If a Hall of Fame jockey can get excited about this horse, we can go somewhere.” Corrales kept Something Awesome sprinting, where he reeled off another optional claiming allowance win and was third in the Fire Plug Stakes, both at six furlongs, before his gutsy neck triumph over late-running Fellowship in the seven-furlong General George (G3). It was the first graded-stakes victory for both trainer and horse, now ridden by Elvis Trujillo. “That was exciting. My mother was here, and my nephew was riding the horse,” Corrales said. “It was snowing so bad and we really could not see. I was sitting watching the race and I didn’t really see where the horse was coming. Somebody said, ‘You won.’ The other horse came flying, and I thought maybe he got me. But it was very exciting and a touching moment for me because my mother was there.” From there, Corrales stretched Something Awesome out to 1 1/8 miles in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes, where he cruised by 2 ¼ lengths, and then the Charles Town Classic (G2), taking a short lead into the stretch and staying resolute to the wire in a neck triumph that marked the first for the trainer in a race with a seven-figure purse. “First of all you have to thank God for that because it’s rare. It’s like trying to win the lottery and you don’t get enough time to get the ticket. It’s special for where I’ve come from and what I’ve done to reach that level. It’s not that easy,” Corrales said. “You have to be able to appreciate getting there, and I appreciate Andy Stronach who put me in this situation with his father and everything. He’s always been so helpful to me. Maybe the horses just like Maryland water or whatever, but they have improved and I’m so glad to have been able to do that.” Something Awesome has raced just twice since then, getting a break after finishing eighth in the Pimlico Special (G3) last May. He returned to be second behind subsequent stakes winner Colonel Sharp in an open seven-furlong allowance Nov. 16 at Laurel, and has been preparing for Pegasus at Gulfstream since Christmas. “The Pimlico Special came and I think he ran too much and he was a little tired then. The horse came back and bled a little bit. We gave him a couple months and brought him back,” Corrales said. “It was a little difficult to get him back. I couldn’t get him right. With a few prayers and everybody’s help, the horse got good. I had him ready for the race. We hooked a little horse and got a lot of competition. The time was fast and he ran a very good race. Since then, he just got better. “At the beginning, the horse went three-quarters and then we tried seven-eighths, and he did it. Then we’re not sure if he’d go a mile and an eighth, and he did,” he added. “Then we’re not sure if we were going to run at Charles Town and we did, and he won it. The horse has given me so much all the way through.” In the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, Something Awesome will be part of a field that includes 2018 Horse of the Year finalist and likely race favorite Accelerate and fellow Grade 1 winners Audible, City of Light, Patternrecognition and Seeking the Soul; Preakness and Clark Handicap (G1) runner-up Bravazo, and Mexican Triple Crown winner Kukulkan, undefeated in 14 starts. “Like everything else, it is a race and you want to win as many as you can. But, it’s a race that if you win it would help your whole life. It would be nice for me and my family and everybody just to win this kind of race,” Corrales said. “It would mean a lot, but I would be the same person. “I’m just happy to [represent] Laurel Park to come and participate in this kind of race. [It shows] all the little people have a chance, and to have that opportunity is great,” he added. “My family will be there, and a lot of friends. All over the world, friends will see you that you haven’t seen. They say, ‘I thought he was dead. But he’s still alive, and look where he’s running.’ That’s what we’ve got to do; keep going.”

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1.13.2019:

Flavien Prat to Ride Audible in Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Flavien Prat, a leading rider on the Southern California circuit, will be aboard 2018 Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), the richest race in North America, Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. Audible’s trainer, Todd Pletcher, confirmed the mount Sunday afternoon after speaking with Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar Farm, which co-owns the 4-year-old colt with China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing. Prat, 26, moved from his native France to Southern California full-time at the end of 2014 and has won riding titles at Santa Anita and Del Mar. He owns two career Breeders’ Cup victories, including Battle of Midway for WinStar in the 2017 Dirt Mile (G1). Earlier that year, Battle of Midway ran third in the Kentucky Derby (G1). “Just in talking to the connections, and I talked to Elliot a little while ago, we had discussed Flavien,” Pletcher said. “We had success with him, winning the Breeders’ Cup with him on Battle of Midway. We thought he’d be a good fit, so we decided to go with him.” Audible has been ridden by Hall of Famers Javier Castellano and John Velazquez in his eighth-race career. Velazquez was aboard for both his maiden win and the Florida Derby, while Castellano has been up for three victories including the Holy Bull (G2) and Cherokee Run Stakes last year. Velazquez has the call on 2017 Clark Handicap (G1) winner Seeking the Soul in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, while Castellano is named on 2018 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light. “[Audible has] had success with both Johnny and Javier,” Pletcher said. “Flavien seems to be riding in really good form. We thought he’d fit him well.” Pletcher said Audible exited Saturday’s five-furlong breeze in 1:00.98 at Palm Beach Downs in good order. It was his third work since finishing second by a half-length as the favorite in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) Dec. 15. “All systems go,” Pletcher said.

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1.12.2019:

Seeking the Soul Has 'Strong, Basic Work' for Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Grade 1 winner Seeking the Soul worked five-eighths of a mile Saturday in a minute flat shortly after the Fair Grounds track opened in preparation for Gulfstream Park’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1). Charles Fipke’s 6-year-old homebred horse powered the half-mile in 47 4/5 seconds, according to the official clockers on a busy workout morning. “Just a strong, basic work for him,” trainer Dallas Stewart said by phone. “That’s him. He’s doing great.”  Seeking the Soul worked the same distance in 59 3/5 seconds a week earlier and three-quarters of a mile in 1:11 the week before in preparation for America’s richest race. Stewart said the horse will have one more workout next Saturday in New Orleans before flying to south Florida on Jan. 22. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has the mount. Seeking the Soul, fifth in last year’s Pegasus, comes into the 1 1/8-mile stakes off of a third-place finish in Churchill Downs’ Grade 1 Clark Handicap, a stakes he captured in 2017. He finished second Nov. 3 behind Pegasus contender City of Light in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).  “If he gets a good position and it’s his day, he’s very competitive,” Fipke said by phone. “He’s an outstanding horse, and he deserves to take another shot. The last Pegasus, unfortunately, he got a bone chip that Dr. (Robert) Hunt said probably affected his race, so he only came in fifth. It took a long time for him to recover.  But he won a Grade 3 at Churchill, and we’re hoping” for a big performance. Off almost six months, Seeking the Soul was second by a head in Indiana Grand’s Schaefer Memorial, followed by a disappointing effort in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Woodward. He rebounded to take Churchill’s Grade 3 Ack Ack under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. as the springboard to the Breeders’ Cup.  

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1.6.2019:

Tom's d'Etat Confirmed to Run in Pegasus World Cup

Following some consideration, G M B Racing’s Tom’s d’Etat has officially been confirmed for the Grade I $9 million Pegasus World Cup on January 26 at Gulfstream Park, according to trainer Al Stall, Jr. and G M B Racing Manager Greg Bensel. On Sunday morning, the 6-year-old son of Smart Strike began serious preparations for North America’s richest race with a half-mile breeze in :49.00 over a fast Fair Grounds main track under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, which was the horse’s first work since his Tenacious Stakes triumph. “This will be a true test,”  Bensel said. “We don’t know where he fits in the Pegasus but I do know that he’s won six out of his nine career races so he deserves a chance. He’s a horse that can definitely go the distance up against that type of talent. It will be the most talented field there can be.” Lightly raced for a 6-year-old, Tom’s d’Etat scored his fourth victory in a row in the Tenacious Stakes, which was also his stakes debut. Ankle issues put him on the shelf for 16 months following a nine-length allowance win at Saratoga in July 2017, where he defeated graded stakes winner Far From Over. He was able to return from the hiatus in winning fashion when defeating stakes winners Pioneer Spirit and Guest Suite over a fast main track at Churchill Downs in November in a third-level allowance race. “I think he is getting to that point where he seems to be getting better with age,” Bensel said. “Our hopes are that he can compete and can shock some people. I think he’s going to be a moderate to a longshot.” Tom’s d’Etat is out of the Giant’s Causeway broodmare Julia Tuttle, whose dam Candy Cane (Arg.) is a full-sister to multiple champion producing stallion Candy Ride (Arg.).He was a $330,000 purchase from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2014 from the consignment barn of Hunter Valley Farm. He was bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock. Stall said that Tom’s d’Etat would have two more works before shipping to Gulfstream Park on Tuesday, January 22.

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1.5.2019:

Something Awesome Breezes for $9 Million Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stronach Stables’ millionaire homebred Something Awesome breezed Saturday morning for the first time since arriving in South Florida ahead of his next scheduled assignment in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park.  Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado was aboard as multiple graded-stakes winner Something Awesome went one mile in 1:42 over Gulfstream’s main track. Prado will ride in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, the richest race in North America. Video of Something Awesome's Workout “I had another horse at the half-mile pole and they finished together,” trainer Jose Corrales said. “He did it very comfortable. Everything looks good.” It was the first work for Something Awesome since going 1 1/8 miles in 2:01 at his home base of Laurel Park Dec. 15. He shipped to Gulfstream on Christmas Day and has been getting acclimated to his surroundings. “I don’t care about the time; I just care about the horse and how he reacts and how he finishes and how he comes back,” Corrales said. “He’s handled everything very, very good. Everything is good so far.” Something Awesome won five of his first six starts since joining Corrales in the fall of 2017, including victories in the seven-furlong General George (G3) and Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at Laurel and $1.2 million Charles Town Classic (G2), the latter two at 1 1/8 miles. The 8-year-old Awesome Again gelding has made one start since the Pimlico Special (G3) May 18, finishing second to Maryland Coalition Stakes winner Colonel Sharp in an open seven-furlong allowance Nov. 16 at Laurel. Colonel Sharp came back to win the Dave’s Friend Stakes Dec. 29. Overall, Something Awesome has nine wins and $1.093 million in purse earnings from 26 career starts. He has raced twice previously at Gulfstream, running third in a pair of seven-furlong optional claiming allowances Jan. 7 and Feb. 17, 2017. Also working for Corrales Saturday at Gulfstream was another Stronach Stables homebred, 7-year-old gelding Unbridled Juan, who went seven furlongs in 1:04.44. Winner of the Richard W. Small and Grover ‘Buddy’ Delp Memorial Stakes in his last two starts, he is being considered for the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), the richest grass race in North America. Unbridled Juan, second in the 2018 Dixie (G3) and third in the 2017 Eclipse (G2), has seven wins and $505,323 in purse earnings from 26 career starts. In his lone try on turf he was fourth in the 2017 King Edward (G2) at Woodbine, but he has also raced five times over its all-weather surface, including the Eclipse. “He did OK. Everything is good with him,” Corrales said. “I think with the way he’s training, he can compete in that kind of race.”  

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1.3.2019:

Frankie Dettori Named to Ride Kukulkan in Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Mexico’s undefeated Triple Crown winner Kukulkan, last seen winning the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe Dec. 8 at Gulfstream Park, will have the services of international champion jockey Frankie Dettori Jan. 26 when he goes to post in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), the richest race in North America. Gulfstream Park Spanish analyst and announcer Pedro Casella confirmed with trainer Fausto Gutierrez Thursday afternoon that Dettori will ride the 3-year-old son of Point Determined who is undefeated in 14 races. “He’s really interested to ride,” Gutierrez said. “He will be arriving that week [of Pegasus].” Kukulkan is scheduled to breeze twice in Mexico before leaving Jan. 17 for Gulfstream. Dettori, who rode Toast of New York in last year’s Pegasus, is also expected to have mounts in the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), the richest turf race in North America, and $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (G3). For more information and tickets for the Pegasus World Cup, go to Pegasusworldcup.com.  

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12.26.2018:

Horse Racing Roulette Comes to Santa Anita Park

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2018) – Long popular in Las Vegas and casinos around the world, Roulette will take on a new form beginning with Santa Anita’s Winter Meet opening day, Wednesday, Dec. 26, as Horse Racing Roulette will debut as a win-only wager available in all 10 opening day races which have fields of six or more horses.As Santa Anita continues in its efforts to attract new fans, Horse Racing Roulette, which will include horses marked in the track’s racing program as red, black or green, will consist of a stand-alone Win pool and payoffs will be made according to the “color” of the winner and standard pari-mutuel calculations.Following are the basic components and rules comprising Horse Racing Roulette at Santa Anita: Two dollar minimum win wager with customary industry-low 15.43 percent takeout Horses (minimum six-horse field) will be placed into one of three groups, Red, Black or Green. In most cases, the morning line favorite will be part of the Red Group. The Green Group will be comprised mainly of longshots. The three Groups, in most cases, will not have an equal number of horses. Whichever Group contains the race winner, wins that “game” of Horse Racing Roulette. In the event that ALL betting interest members of any group are scratched or declared non-starters, betting on the Group Bet pool will be stopped immediately and all Roulette wagers made on this particular race will be refunded. In the event of a dead heat for first between two or more divergent Group members, the Group Bet pool will be distributed as a profit split (place pool) or, if there is a triple dead heat with as many Group interests, the pool will also be distributed as a profit split (show pool). Horse Racing Roulette will be offered on all races with a minimum of six runners throughout Santa Anita’s upcoming Winter Meet.  Fans are encouraged to carefully consult their racing program prior to wagering.

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12.26.2018:

McKinzie Romps in G1 Malibu Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2018) – In a race of his own.  There’s no better way to describe McKinzie’s powerhouse win in Santa Anita’s opening day fixture, the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes.  With an on-track crowd of 41,373 looking on, McKinzie, who came off a 31 length defeat in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, was eighth in a field of 14 with a quarter mile to run, but with Mike Smith at the controls for Bob Baffert, McKinzie lengthened his considerable stride at the top of the stretch and the Malibu outcome was a fait accompli as he strode to a 4 ¾ length score while getting seven furlongs in 1:22.48. Unhurried early from his number 13 post position in a field of 14 sophomores, McKinzie began picking up horses heading into the far turn en route to his third Grade I win.  Named for Brad McKinzie, a highly respected longtime executive at Los Alamitos and a close friend of both Baffert and part owner Mike Pegram, McKinzie was taken off the Kentucky Derby Trail this past March and resurfaced two starts back in the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 22, a race he won by 1 ¾ lengths. Off at 6-5, McKinzie paid $4.40, $3.60 and $3.40. Owned by Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the Kentucky-bred colt by Street Sense, out of the Petionville mare Runway Model, notched his third Grade I victory and improved his overall mark to 7-5-1-0.  With the winner’s share of $180,000, he became racing’s newest millionaire, running his earnings to $1,086,000. Ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., Identity Politics was also far back early and ended up second, a head in front of Still Having Fun.  Off at 13-1, Identity Politics paid $10.00 and $8.60. Still Having Fun, who was fourth at the quarter pole, kept to his task under Kent Desormeaux and finished a neck in front of Axelrod.  Off at 45-1, Still Having Fun paid $10.40. Fractions on the race were 22.30, 44.92 and 1:09.97. Santa Anita will be dark on Thursday and live racing resumes with a nine-race card Friday, with first post time at 12:30 p.m.   MALIBU STAKES QUOTES MIKE SMITH, MCKINZIE, WINNER: “This horse really has something in store. You’re really better off running him like this because you don’t take too much out of yourself. Bob brought him back here, gave him a little break and his energy came back up, his weight came back up and he was ready to run today. He was loaded from the word ‘go’. I think the only anxious moment was leaving the gate when he kind of stumbled but after that he got up and he was loaded from that point on. I’ve said all along that we haven’t seen the best of him yet. When he learns to put a few of these in a row together, we’re going to see something special.” IRAD ORTIZ, JR., IDENTITY POLITICS, SECOND:  “We had a good trip, but I had to check a little bit coming out of the gate, so we got pinched back a little.  We were second best today, but my horse is improving with every race.” BOB BAFFERT, MCKINZIE, WINNER: “After the Breeders’ Cup he came back here and I told Mike (Smith) he was doing really well and Mike worked him a couple times for me. Because after the Breeders’ Cup Mike was like, ‘is he okay? He just quit.’ And I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it, it was my fault.'” “Coming in to this race they were all training really well but the horse is just an outstanding individual. You could just tell he was getting in gear. His namesake is looking down on him today so I was pretty excited about that and the crowd, they were all in on him. Frank made the call turning for home you could hear the crowd really got in to it so it’s pretty exciting to see that.” “The good ones show up and he showed up. Down the backside he was way back there and I thought, ‘Well, I hope they’re going really, really fast.’ When he came in to the picture that was a good sign because it’s going to be a longer day than I really thought.” MIKE PEGRAM, PART OWNER, MCKINZIE, WINNER; REGARDING HIS 31 LENGTH DEFEAT IN THE BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC NOV. 3 AT CHURCHILL DOWNS:  “We walked out of Louisville disappointed and today, the only thing I’m disappointed in is the price!  We knew he was training well here for this…When you name a horse for someone (Brad McKinzie, late longtime executive at Los Alamitos), you’ve got something invested, beyond money.  It did my heart good to see this horse get lucky today.  

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12.22.2018:

Gunnevera Continues to Train 'Better and Better' for Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Margoth’s Gunnevera breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park West in preparation for a start in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 26. The workout, which was the second fastest of 18 recorded at the distance, was the 4-year-old son of Dialed In’s third breeze since finishing second in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3. Watch Workout Irad Ortiz Jr. was aboard the Antonio Sano-trained colt for the third consecutive workout. “He’s working really good. He’s been doing everything the right way. He’s getting better and better. Today, he worked better than the last couple times,” Ortiz said. “He’s doing everything comfortable. I put my hands down and he does whatever he wants. We’re just keeping him happy.” Ortiz, widely regarded as the frontrunner in the race for the 2018 Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey, rode Gunnevera in his second-place Breeders’ Cup Classic finish, in which he recovered from early bumping to close from 11th to come within a length of victorious Accelerate. “He has a big heart. He always tries,” Ortiz said. “He didn’t have the best trip and just got beat.” Gunnevera finished third behind Gun Runner and West Coast in last year’s Pegasus World Cup. Gunnevera, who has earned $4.1 million in career earnings, captured the 2017 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained 4-year-old son of Dialed In has also won the 2016 Saratoga Special (G2) and the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) and has been Grade 1 stakes-placed in the 2017 Travers (G1) and the 2018 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. Gunnevera is on course for a rematch with Accelerate in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup, which will co-headline the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series with the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, North America’s richest turf race.

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12.22.2018:

Mexico's Kukulkan Confirmed for Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Cuadra San Jorge’s Kukulkan, winner of Mexico’s Triple Crown and undefeated in 14 races, has been confirmed for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), the richest race in North America to be contested Saturday, Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. Kukulkan, last seen winning the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe at Gulfstream Dec. 8 on Clasico Internacional del Caribe Day, was shipped back to Mexico the week after Clasico and has been galloping at Hipodromo Las Americas. Video of Kukulkan from Saturday morning (December 22) “We are shipping the horse on 17 of January,” trainer Fausto Gutierrez said. “That’s the date we have planned to fly him to the race. The horse is galloping here in Mexico and we will breeze him twice before he leaves.” Gutierrez, who will saddle Kukulkan, against the likes of Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Accelerate, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light, Classic runner-up Gunnevera, Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible, Preakness (G1) runner-up Bravazo and Cigar Mile (G1) winner Patternrecognition, knows the 1 1/8 mile Pegasus will be a tough assignment. “I’m very happy because I’m bringing [Kukulkan] to a very big race,” he said. “I know competition is very, very strong, but we want to try and give the horse a chance.”

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12.17.2018:

Aqueduct has $175K Triple Pick 6 Carryover on Thursday

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Horseplayers will be greeted with a three-day Pick 6 carryover of $175,909 when live racing returns at Aqueduct Racetrack on Thursday, December 20. Sunday's Pick 6 sequence began in Race 4 as post-time favorite Show Prince (No. 7, $4.20) won the opening leg. Trainer Joe Parker followed up in Race 5 to pick up his first win of the winter meet for owner Barry Ostrager at odds of 12-1 with Summer Punch (No. 8, $24). In Race 6, Playwright (No. 3, $12.80) gave jockey Manny Franco his third win on the card. The biggest price of the day came in Race 7 as Testosterone (No. 6, $50.50) won at odds of 24-1 for trainer Gary Sciacca and Yellow Moon Stable.  Blindwillie McTell (No. 6, $7.50) captured the day's feature, the $150,000 New York Stallion Series Great White Way in Race 8. In the day's finale, 12-1 longshot Dirty Bird (No. 4, $23.20) secured the Pick 6 carryover dashing away in the final yards on the sloppy main track. A consolation payout of $7,085 was awarded to bettors who had five of six winners in the Pick 6.When live racing resumes on Thursday, the Pick 6 will begin in Race 3 with an approximate post of 1:47 p.m. The day's feature race will be a New York-bred allowance race for 3-year-olds and up at one mile carded as Race 7.

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12.15.2018:

Sir Anthony Shocks Audible in Harlan's Holiday Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Richard Otto Stables’ Illinois homebred Sir Anthony extended his win streak to four races with a rail-skimming trip from last and held off Grade 1-winning favorite Audible in the final yards for a half-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3). The eighth running of the 1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday for 3-year-olds and up was the first of five graded-stakes worth $600,000 in purses on an 11-race program, anchored by the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) for 3-year-olds and up at  1 1/8 miles on the newly refurbished turf course. Following the Harlan’s Holiday were a trio of $100,000 races for fillies and mares 3 and up – the six-furlong Sugar Swirl (G3) and one-mile Rampart (G3) on dirt and the My Charmer (G3) going one mile on the grass. With Brian Hernandez Jr. up for trainer Anthony Mitchell, Sir Anthony ($53.80) completed the distance in 1:45.14 over a sloppy, sealed track for his second career stakes win and first in graded company. Audible, winner of the Florida Derby (G1) and Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream over the winter, held second by a length over Apostle, followed by Audible’s Todd Pletcher-trained stablemate Village King and long shots Sightforsoreeyes and Minute Madness. “I watched a few replays of this horse and over at Hawthorne they went slow the first three-quarters in a couple of his races and he was still able to close into them and run them down,” Hernandez said. “Today, I just kind of rode him like that. I figured if I got to the three-eighths pole in good shape, he’d punch home, and he did. “My horse is an old pro and he’s shown that he doesn’t mind being [inside],” he added. “All the pressure was on Audible and we were just going to hopefully sneak up on him, and we were able to save all the ground and get through.” Stablemates Sightforsoreeyes and Minute Madness ran first and second, respectively, through moderate fractions of 25.19 seconds for a quarter-mile and 49.80 for the half. Hall of Famer Javier Castellano moved Audible off the rail from their inside post, where the only horse they led through six furlongs in 1:13.50 was Sir Anthony. Castellano began asking Audible rounding the turn and swung to the far outside to launch a bid, while Hernandez stayed put with Sir Anthony to wait for an opening. It came once they straightened for home, forging a short lead and powering through the stretch as Audible fought to make up ground down the middle of the track. Audible was making just his second start and first against graded competition since running third to eventual Triple Crown champion Justify in the Kentucky Derby (G1) May 5, using the Harlan’s Holiday as a prep for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) – North America’s richest Thoroughbred race – Jan. 26 at Gulfstream. “He never really seemed like he fired. You hate to use the track as an excuse, but obviously it rained quite a bit and they sealed the track,” Pletcher said. “It seemed like he was just never really taking him there and handing the track the way we would have hoped … We just let Javier ride his race, but he was never really taking him. He had to kind of ask him to get into every position he tried to.” Sir Anthony how owns five wins from 14 starts and pushed his career earnings over $200,000. It was the fourth graded-stakes win for Mitchell and first since Original Spin in the 2005 Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Lassie (G3). “He’s been a promising young colt who took a while to figure it out, but now that he’s figured it out who knows where we go from here,” Mitchell said. “He ran a couple of races where it was like, ‘What’s going on?’ It just didn’t make sense, but ever since he won the [Bruce D. Memorial] at Arlington he’s just got progressively better and better. “The owner, I’m so delighted for. He bred the horse and he’s been with me for a very long time and we’ve enjoyed a lot of success,” he added. “He predominately breeds Illinois-breds and we’ve done pretty good with them. But going ahead and beating the likes of Audible – that’s huge. I mean, I can’t put words to that.”   Harlan's Holiday Stakes Quotes   Trainer Anthony Mitchell (Sir Anthony): “He’s been a promising young colt who took a while to figure it out, but now that he’s figured it out who knows where we go from here. “He ran a couple of races where it was like, ‘What’s going on?’ It just didn’t make sense, but ever since he won the [Bruce D. Memorial] at Arlington he’s just got progressively better and better. The owner, I’m so delighted for. He bred the horse and he’s been with me for a very long time and we’ve enjoyed a lot of success. He predominately breeds Illinois-breds and we’ve done pretty good with them. But going ahead and beating the likes of Audible – that’s huge. I mean, I can’t put words to that. “I said to [jockey] Brian [Hernandez] going out, ‘Brian, believe in this horse. This horse has got two gears. One will take you there and one will put you in front if we’re good enough.’ “Looking at [the race] he was going well within himself. He’s kind of not a lazy horse but a relaxed horse. But when you ask him he’ll find it. Mentally he’s really come around and starting to prove the type of individual he is. But watching the race I was comfortable, but then going into the turn I was very comfortable. I thought we’re going to have a horse race here. And that’s what it was and Brian did a hell of a job, a superb ride. “Audible was on the outside, but we’re either going to get it or we’re not. But he committed, the horse put his head in front and he didn’t give up.” What’s next? “Let’s get on with this first. This is a feat in itself, I mean, a little guy like me taking on the big guys. It’s a very pleasant surprise, but me and the owner will talk about it and we’ll just see.” “He run on an off track before, I thought maybe in fact it would help him.” Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Sir Anthony): “We had a great trip. We were able to work our way to the fence from the six-hole. I watched a few replays of this horse and over at Hawthorne they went slow the first three-quarters in a couple of his races and he was still able to close into them and run them down. Today, I just kind of rode him like that. I figured if I got to the three-eighths pole in good shape, he’d punch home, and he did. My horse is an old pro and he’s shown that he doesn’t mind being [inside]. All the pressure was on Audible and we were just going to hopefully sneak up on him and we were able to save all the ground and get through.” Jockey Javier Castellano (Audible): “He kind of struggled a little bit with the track. They sealed the track at the last minute. It was not an easy track. I think it kind of cost me the race a little bit.” “He always breaks like that. He’s not a sprinter horse. He’s more of a two-turn, come-from-behind horse. He broke with the field and that was the good thing about the post. You’re able to save all the ground on the first turn and see how it develops. They went pretty quick and he was right there, not too far back. Unfortunately, it was hard to gain ground on this track.” Trainer Todd Pletcher (Audible): “He never really seemed like he fired. You hate to use the track as an excuse, but obviously it rained quite a bit and they sealed the track. Javier said up the backside it was pretty uneven; there were dry spots and wet spots. It seemed like he was just never really taking him there handing the track the way we would have hoped. I think the track has changed since the previous meet. They made some adjustments to it and I think it’s still settling in a little bit. I don’t think he really handled it. We didn’t know what everyone else was going to do. We just let Javier ride his race, but he was never really taking him. He had to kind of ask him to get into every position he tried to.”  

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12.14.2018:

City of Light Confirmed for 2019 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s City of Light, front-running winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) last time out, has joined the list of starters confirmed for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Mike McCarthy said Friday morning from his base at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. that City of Light will make his 5-year-old debut in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, the richest Thoroughbred race in North America. City of Light shows a pair of half-mile works over Santa Anita’s main track this month following his 2 ¾-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Nov. 3, his third career Grade 1 triumph, which pushed his career earnings to $1,662,600 from 10 lifetime starts. “The horse couldn’t have come into the Breeders’ Cup doing any better. After his work on the Sunday before, I was very confident that he would run his race and he did,” McCarthy said. “We’re very pleased with the way the horse came out of the Breeders’ Cup. He’s had a couple of nice works so far. We couldn’t be happier with the way he’s training, and we’re looking forward to taking part in the Pegasus.” The Breeders’ Cup was City of Light’s third race outside California, the others also coming this year when he won the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) by a neck April 14 at Oaklawn Park and ran second to eventual Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Whitmore in the seven-furlong Forego (G1) Aug 25 at Saratoga. Eight of City of Light’s 10 races have come at a mile or less, though he does own a win at the Pegasus distance in the Oaklawn Handicap. He also finished third in the 1 ¼-mile Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) May 26. “I think it’s well within him to get the mile and an eighth,” McCarthy said. “Gulfstream is a speed-favoring racetrack and he has plenty of that. He’s rateable, so hopefully we get a nice racetrack and everybody shows up doing the best they can on the day. “This is what we get up for in the morning, to be able to participate in big races on big days,” he added. “It’s very exciting.” The Pegasus will be accompanied by the inaugural running of $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) on the Jan. 26 program in the newly created $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series. Owners can secure a spot in the starting gate for the Pegasus for a $500,000 fee and will be given preference in purchasing a spot in the Pegasus Turf for $500,000. A $1 million bonus is being offered if an owner should win both races. Already confirmed for the Pegasus are Hronis Racing’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Accelerate; Charles Fipke’s Grade 1 winner Seeking the Soul; Margoth’s Gunnevera, a multiple graded-stakes winner of more than $4 million in purses; and Calumet Farm’s pair of Bravazo and True Timber. Tabor, Magnier and Smith’s Coolmore has also purchased a spot for a horse to be determined. Audible, the 2018 Florida Derby (G1) winner, is also being pointed to the Pegasus and will prep for the race in Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream. Owned by China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners, Todd Pletcher-trained Audible finished third in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1). Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Patternrecognition, who defeated True Timber by three-quarters of a length in the Cigar Mile (G1) Dec. 1 at Aqueduct, and Stronach Stable homebreds Something Awesome, a multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire, and back-to-back stakes winner Unbridled Juan are also under consideration for the Pegasus.

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12.9.2018:

Gunnevera Confirmed for 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Salomon Del Valle’s Margoth purchased a spot in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), confirming multiple graded-stakes winner Gunnevera for North America’s richest race Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. Gunnevera, who finished third in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, most recently ran second in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 3. “I’m paying all the money myself,” said Del Valle, a Venezuelan businessman who entered Gunnevera in a partnership in last year’s Pegasus. “I’m happy to be in the race.” The Pegasus World Cup will be accompanied by the inaugural running of $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) on the Jan. 26 program in the newly created $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series. Owners can secure a spot in the starting gate for the Pegasus World Cup for a $500,000 fee and will be given preference in purchasing a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Turf for $500,000. A $1 million bonus is being offered if an owner should win both races. Gunnevera, who has $4.1 million in career earnings, captured the 2017 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained 4-year-old son of Dialed In has also won the 2016 Saratoga Special (G2) and the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) and has been Grade 1 stakes-placed in the 2017 Travers (G1) and the 2018 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. “I have a good chance. He just got beat by a length in the Breeders’ Cup,” Sano said. “Maybe, there will be more speed in the Pegasus. One more chance. It’s in my house.” In addition to Gunnevera, Hronis Racing’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Accelerate, Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul, and Calumet Farm’s Bravazo and True Timber are confirmed for the Pegasus World Cup. Tabor, Magnier and Smith’s Coolmore has also purchased a spot for a horse to be determined. Audible, the 2018 Florida Derby (G1) winner, is also being pointed to the Pegasus World Cup and is scheduled to be entered in next Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream to prep for the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus. Owned by China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners, Todd Pletcher-trained Audible finished third in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1). Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Patternrecognition, who defeated True Timber by three-quarters of a length in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct last time out, is also under consideration for the Pegasus. The Stronach Group, currently negotiating with other groups, has only a few open spots remaining.

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12.8.2018:

Undefeated Kukulkan Romps in $300,000 Clasico del Caribe

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Mexico’s Triple Crown champion Kukulkan extended his career undefeated streak to 14 in a row Saturday with a 10 ¼-length triumph in the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe at Gulfstream Park, providing jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. with his third winner in the five-race $600,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe. The Clasico del Caribe, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-olds, brought down the house and the curtain on a most festive event for horses based in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ortiz, who rode three winners during last year’s event, repeated the achievement Saturday with victories aboard Kukulkan, Puerto Rico’s Mishegas in the Copa Invitacional and Mexico’s Jala Jala, whom he rode to victory in last year’s Clasico del Caribe, in the Copa Confraternidad del Caribe. “It’s great. I’m so happy to represent my country and Mexico too,” said Ortiz, a Puerto Rico native who is widely regarded as the frontrunner for this Year’s Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding jockey. “It’s a pleasure to ride these kind of horses.” Trainer Fausto Gutierrez saddled Kukulkan for Saturday’s popular triumph a race after sending out 2017 Clasico del Caribe winner Jala Jala for a victory in the Copa Confraternidad del Caribe. “This is like a dream because this horse has a lot of quality. We spoke a few days ago about the capacity he has. This horse has a lot of stamina and he won very easy today. He ran not in his normal style or as he has before. Irad took him and relaxed and relaxed and when he decided to go, the horse went easily,” Gutierrez said. “He’s a very professional horse, his attitude in the paddock and with everyone in the stands. He’s a real racehorse. To make history and win two back to back with these horses is a dream.” Ortiz rated Kukulkan fifth along the backstretch as Puerto Rico’s El Salsero set a comfortable pace on fractions of 24.50 and 49.03 for the first half-mile, closely stalked by Panama’s Sol De Orion and Kukulkan’s stablemate Kandinsky. Kukulkan advanced along the backstretch to approach the pacesetters before surging between horses to take the lead on the far turn without being asked by Ortiz. The son of Point Determined romped away to win as he pleased to complete the 1 1/8 miles in 1:54.80. “He’s unbelievable. He’s undefeated in 14 races. Horses like him make you look good,” Ortiz said. Kukulkan had notched five grade 1 victories, including all three legs of the Mexico Triple Crown, at Hipodromo de Las Americas in Mexico City. Cuadra San Jorge’s homebred colt won his last four races by 38 ½ lengths prior to winning Saturday’s Clasico del Caribe by double digits. Venezuela’s Bukowski rallied to finish second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of Cuadra San Jorge’s Kandinsky.

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12.7.2018:

True Timber to Take a Shot in 2019 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - True Timber is the second horse owned by Calumet Farm to be targeting the Pegasus. Earlier this week, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Preakness Stakes (G1) runner-up Bravazo, second in the Clark and third in the Dirt Mile, was Pegasus-bound. “He ran a huge race in the Cigar Mile and he galloped out really strong, so we talked it over with the owners and decided to point for the Pegasus,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “It’s a big event and hopefully we get in there and run good and everything works out and we enjoy the day.” True Timber was second in the Bold Ruler (G3) prior to the Dec. 1 Cigar Mile, both at Aqueduct, and before that won back-to-back optional claiming allowances at Belmont Park three months apart. He has placed in five career stakes, four graded. “He’s in very good form right now. He’s a nice horse,” McLaughlin said. “He’s still in New York for now. We haven’t decided when to bring him down but we’ll get him here pretty soon.” Based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, McLaughlin is a two-time winner of the Pegasus’ predecessor, the Donn Handicap (G1), with Albertus Maximus (2009) and Horse of the Year Invasor (2007). “We were able to win the race with Invasor before he went to Dubai,” McLaughlin said. “We’re happy to be back in it and hope all goes well with the horse. We’ll point him that way.”

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12.7.2018:

Seeking the Soul to Take Another Shot at Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grade 1 winning millionaire Seeking the Soul and multiple graded-stakes placed True Timber, most recently second in the Cigar Mile (G1), are both headed to the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park. “I’m looking forward to it,” Dallas Stewart, trainer of Seeking the Soul, said Friday. “The horse is doing great.” Bred and owned by Charles Fipke, Seeking the Soul kicked off his 2018 campaign running fifth in the second edition of the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus in January, won by Horse of the Year Gun Runner in his career finale. He has placed in four of five subsequent starts, all in stakes, topped by a victory in the Ack Ack (G3) Sept. 29. He was beaten 2 ¾ lengths by City of Light when second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) prior to running third in defense of his 2017 triumph in the Clark Handicap (G1) Nov. 23. “He was second in the Breeders’ Cup to a very nice horse, and he’s competed well all year. He just had one bad race up at Saratoga for some reason but a lot of horses get off form up there,” Stewart said. “The horse has had a really good year. He didn’t do so well in the Clark, but he didn’t do bad. He came out of it good.” Seeking the Soul returned to the work tab Friday morning for the first time since the Clark, going four furlongs in 51 seconds at Fair Grounds. “He just breezed a little light half-mile,” Stewart said. “The horse looks great.”

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12.5.2018:

Bravazo Gets Green Light for 2019 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Tuesday that Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and second in the Preakness Stakes (G1), is being pointed toward the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Saturday, Jan 26 at Gulfstream Park.“Yes, that’s surely where we’re headed if everything goes well,” Lukas said.Bravazo, who finished second in the Clark Handicap (G1) Nov. 23, has raced in eight consecutive Grade 1 events at six different tracks and is the only horse other than Justify this year to run in all three Triple Crown races.“We’ve got a window of about seven weeks so we’ll get him in a work pattern,” Lukas said. “We did ship him to Arkansas where he’s getting a week to just take it easy. We’ll start picking up a work tab schedule in mid-December. He’s really done well. He’s fit, his weight is excellent. He’s run eight straight Grade 1’s and a lot of people would think he would taper off but he seems to only have gotten better. He’s a picture of consistency.”Lukas said his first inclination would be to ship Bravazo to Gulfstream a week before the race. “I don’t think we’ll come in right on top of it,” he said. A winner of 14 Triple Crown events, Lukas said he supports the Pegasus Championship Invitational Series, which for the first time will include a $7 million turf event.“I think [Pegasus] is a significant development in the big picture of racing,” he said. “One of things we’ve struggled with in Thoroughbred racing is keeping superstars on the track. I think this is a step in the right direction. Any time you start the season with a $9 million race…it better be on your radar.”

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12.1.2018:

Patternrecognition Scores in G1 Cigar Mile

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Patternrecognition continued a winning trend by notching his third victory in succession with a powerful front-running performance to capture the 30th renewal of the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack. Trained by Chad Brown for owners Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, the 5-year-old Patternrecognition was making just the second stakes start of his career, fresh off a one-length score in the Grade 2 Kelso at Belmont Park, and demonstrated a considerable amount of class to best a talented eight-horse field that included Grade 1 winner Mendelssohn and the upwardly mobile Copper Town. Sent to post at odds of 5-1 under Jose Ortiz, who celebrated the birth of his second child, Derek, in the early hours of Saturday morning, Patternrecognition fired out of the gate and assumed command through splits of 22.88 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and a half-mile in a sharp 45.68 under pressure from Pat On the Back. Mendelssohn, with Ryan Moore up from the inside post, tracked from third position just inside of True Timber as three-quarters passed in 1:09.68. Pat On the Back was asked for more into the final turn as True Timber launched his bid with Copper Town, who was compromised leaving the gate after Stan the Man stumbled, following their lead. However, Patternrecognition, traveling smoothly throughout, continued to find more, improving his lead to a 1 1/2 length advantage at the top of the lane.  True Timber battled bravely to the wire with Sunny Ridge finding his best stride late up the wood, but there was no catching Patternrecognition who earned a three-quarters of a length win in a final time of 1:34.98. True Timber completed the exacta, a length in front of Sunny Ridge. Mendelssohn, the 8-5 mutuel favorite, stayed on for fourth. Stan the Man, Timeline and Copper Town completed the order of finish.Patternrecognition, by Adios Charlie, was a $420,000 purchase at the 2015 Ocala Breeders' Sale. He made his belated debut a winning one in April of his 4-year-old season and has proven to be worth the wait for his connections."Obviously, he's had some soundness issues along the way and I want to thank the owners as well, Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence, for never giving up on this horse," said Brown, who captured the 2016 Cigar Mile with Connect. "He needed the time and they gave him the time to always get healthy when we needed to rest the horse. Ultimately, he showed the talent that we thought he had when they bought him what seems like forever ago as a 2-year-old and this is really a great moment for this horse. He deserves it."Because he's had so many interruptions in his schedule, I was always trying to bridge him to a longer race off a sprint and it was always hard to get there because he always had a setback," continued Brown. "Finally, he got very sound, to where I could train him consistently and get him out to that mile distance where his father [Adios Charlie] was very effective, as well. This horse is a rare horse. He's got that speed and he can carry it. I'm very proud of the judgment Jose used today. I left it up to him and the fractions concerned me a touch, but this horse showed his heart."Ortiz, who was winning the Cigar Mile for the first time, said he made a snap judgment to take the lead with Patternrecognition."He broke out of there very sharply. The way he broke, I didn't want to give the lead away, so I used my own judgment and took a shot and went straight to the rail and took the lead," said Ortiz. "He got pressured pretty good. I took a big risk because those weren't the instructions, but it worked out."True Timber, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Calumet Farm, was impressive in making his Grade 1 debut fresh off a good second in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap."We're very happy with the way he ran and how everything went," said McLaughlin. "We were pleasantly surprised. That was a great effort, so we have options going forward."Mendelssohn, trained by Aidan O'Brien, arrived at the Cigar Mile in search of his first Grade 1 win on dirt. The well-bred son of Scat Daddy, a half-brother to champion mare Beholder and leading sire Into Mischief, captured the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf to complete his 2-year-old campaign and was among the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby after romping to a 18 ½-length score in the Group 2 UAE Derby in March. A troubled trip saw Mendelssohn finish last of 20 in the Run for the Roses, but the colt redeemed himself over the summer with on-the-board efforts in the Grade 3 Dwyer when third, the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers when second and a strong third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. The talented bay was turning back in distance in the Cigar Mile from a fifth-place run in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic."I kind of think nothing has really gone his way at all, all year. We'll see what the plan is," said Moore. "I think there's more in there at some point. I don't think [the kickback] affected him. I was just seeing what happens [out of the gate]. If no one was going, then we'd go to the lead, but I was happy. We had a nice run, really."Patternrecognition, bred in Florida by Ocala Stud, banked $433,125 in victory while improving his record to five wins and five seconds from 11 career starts. He paid $12.80 to win.

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11.29.2018:

Gulfstream has Opening Day Pick 4, Pick 5 & Pick 6 Guaranteed Pools

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The opening-day program of the 2018-2019 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park Saturday will feature $200,000 pool guarantees for both the Late Pick 4 and the Late Pick 5, as well as a $50,000 guaranteed pool for the 20-cent Rainbow 6. The Late Pick 4 (Races 8-11), the Late Pick 5 (Races 7-11) and the Rainbow 6 (Races 6-11) will offer all-stakes sequences with fields ranging from 12 to 14 horses on an 11-race card that will feature the $1.1 million nine-race Claiming Crown. Saturday’s program, which will get underway at 11:50 a.m., drew a total of 149 horses, or 13.5 starters per race. The $200,000 Jewel will anchor all three multi-race wagers. The 1 1/8-mile stakes for horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or lower attracted a field of 14, including defending champion Flowers for Lisa.

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11.29.2018:

Stronach 5 has $88,189 Carryover for Friday, November 30

LAUREL, MD –Friday’s Stronach 5, with an industry-low 12-percent takeout, will have a carryover of $88,189.41 and feature three races from Laurel Park and two from Golden Gate Fields. There were no winning tickets in last week’s Stronach 5, which featured races from Laurel, Golden Gate and Gulfstream Park West. Friday's Stronach 5 Sequence Leg One - Laurel Park, Race 8 (6 Furlongs, 9 Horses) - 3:21PM ET Leg Two - Laurel Park, Race 9 (6 Furlongs, 9 Horses) - 3:51PM ET Leg Three - Golden Gate, Race 2 (6 Furlongs, 8 Horses) - 4:15PM ET Leg Four - Laurel Park, Race 10 (7 Furlongs, 9 Horses) - 4:23PM ET Leg Five - Golden Gate, Race 3 (5 1/2 Furlongs, 10 Horses) - 4:45PM ET Free Stronach 5 Past Performances: The minimum wager on the multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 will be $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday. For the Stronach 5, if a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes. The Maryland Jockey Club serves as host of the Stronach 5.  

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11.28.2018:

Xpressbet Launches New Android Betting App

Android users – you’ve been asking for an Xpressbet app for a while now – here it is! We’re excited to introduce our brand new Android wagering app, which is now available for download.  The Xpressbet app combines all of the features you’ve come to expect from our Mobile site, including live wagering, video, odds, promos and more, with the convenience of ‘one touch’ access from your home screen. To download the app, simply visit https://www.xpressbet.com/android-wagering and follow the instructions for your particular advice.  Unfortunately, due to Google Play Store rules, we are still unable to offer our app there.    If you have any questions or comments about the app, we would love to hear from you.  You can reach us daily between 10:30AM – 11:00PM ET at 866.889.7737, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloakae672a571fb6e9fcbc2d919e154b6e74').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addyae672a571fb6e9fcbc2d919e154b6e74 = 'customerservice' + '@'; addyae672a571fb6e9fcbc2d919e154b6e74 = addyae672a571fb6e9fcbc2d919e154b6e74 + 'xpressbet' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_textae672a571fb6e9fcbc2d919e154b6e74 = 'customerservice' + '@' + 'xpressbet' + '.' + 'com';document.getElementById('cloakae672a571fb6e9fcbc2d919e154b6e74').innerHTML += ''+addy_textae672a571fb6e9fcbc2d919e154b6e74+''; or by using the Live Chat feature on the website. 

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11.26.2018:

2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #1 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #1 (November 22 - 25, 2018): 1. Cairo Cat (Ken McPeek) - 59/1 ($120.80)2. Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey) - 18/1 ($39.40) 3. Coliseum (Bob Baffert) - 10/1 ($22.20)4. Dunph (Mike Maker) - 72/1 ($146.20) 5. Epic Dreamer (Kelly Breen) - 88/1 ($178.80) 6. Game Winner (Bob Baffert) - 5/1 ($13.80) 7. Gunmetal Gray (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 76/1 ($154.00) 8. Improbable (Bob Baffert) - 17/1 ($36.20) 9. Instagrand (Jerry Hollendorfer) - 10/1 ($23.60) 10. King for a Day (Todd Pletcher) - 53/1 ($109.40) 11. Knicks Go (Ben Colebrook) - 44/1 ($91.20) 12. Magic On Tap (Bob Baffert) - 43/1 ($89.20) 13. Maximus Mischief (Robert Reid Jr.) - 26/1 ($55.20) 14. Mucho (Bill Mott) - 44/1 ($90.20) 15. Mucho Gusto (Bob Baffert) - 47/1 ($97.80) 16. Network Effect (Chad Brown) - 59/1 ($120.60) 17. Preamble (Rodolphe Brisset) - 117/1 ($237.80) 18. Roadster (Bob Baffert) - 32/1 ($66.60) 19. Signalman (Ken McPeek) - 30/1 ($63.00) 20. Tale of the Union (Bob Baffert) - 46/1 ($95.40) 21. Uncle Benny (Jason Servis) - 53/1 ($109.80) 22. Vekoma (George Weaver) - 36/1 ($74.00) 23. All 3YO Fillies - 66/1 ($135.00) 24. All Other 3YO's - 6/5 ($4.60)

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11.26.2018:

2019 Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager (November 22 - 25, 2018): 1. Bernardini - 24/1 ($50.60) 2. Cairo Prince - 30/1 ($63.40) 3. Candy Ride (ARG) - 7/1 ($16.00)4. City Zip - 17/1 ($36.20) 5. Curlin- 13/1 ($28.80) 6. Ghostzapper - 27/1 ($56.80) 7. Giant's Causeway - 47/1 ($97.20) 8. Into Mischief - 7/1 ($17.20) 9. Malibu Moon - 49/1 ($100.40) 10. Medaglia d'Oro - 21/1 ($44.20) 11. More Than Ready - 48/1 ($98.60) 12. Orb - 28/1 ($59.80) 13. Pioneerof the Nile - 24/1 ($51.60) 14. Quality Road - 20/1 ($43.60) 15. Scat Daddy - 27/1 ($57.60) 16. Speightstown - 59/1 ($121.00) 17. Tapit- 6/1 ($15.20) 18. Tiznow- 50/1 ($102.20) 19. Uncle Mo - 23/1 ($49.40) 20. Union Rags - 29/1 ($61.60) 21. Violence - 47/1 ($96.00) 22. War Front - 41/1 ($84.60) 23. Will Take Charge - 40/1 ($83.00) 24. All Others - 9/2 ($11.40)  

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11.24.2018:

Pegasus World Cup 'an Option' for Leofric Following Clark Victory

With Leofric’s indomitable victory in Friday’s $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I), trainer Brad Cox is looking ahead to 2019 for a 6-year-old campaign that includes several options, including the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (GI) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26. “The Pegasus is an option that we’ll keep on the table,” Cox said. “This horse developed so much over the summer and has really come into his own. We’ll also look at the (Grade II, $750,000) Oaklawn Handicap (on April 13) as a long-range target as well.” The lofty $300,700 first prize in the Clark lifted the gray or roan Kentucky-bred’s earnings to near-millionaire status: $951,040 from a record of 8-1-3 in 14 starts. The win also vaulted Cox above $14 million in purse earnings for 2018 – nearly $6 million more than his career-best in 2017. Owned by Steve Landers Racing, this was the first Grade I win and third graded stakes victory of the year for Leofric. In addition to winning the Fayette, he scored in the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes (GIII) at Mountaineer in August. After the latter, Leofric finished third behind Yoshida (JPN) and Gunnevera in the $750,000 Woodward (GI) at Saratoga. “It’s been a great year with Monomoy Girl and now this win is very special to us,” Cox said. “He’s doing well this morning. It was a really good day yesterday.” With five weeks to go in 2018, Cox is ranked fourth nationally with 223 wins through 840 starters and fifth in purse earnings with $14,315,854. Cox recently celebrated his 1,000th career win when Play On won a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds on Sunday. The 38-year-old conditioner is third in the Fall Meet standings at Churchill Downs with seven wins.

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11.23.2018:

Leofric Holds Off Bravazo to Win G1 Clark Handicap

Fayette Stakes (Grade II) winner Leofric turned back a determined challenge by 3-year-old Bravazo in deep stretch to win a thrilling renewal of Friday’s 144th running of the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (Grade I) by a neck. Defending Clark Handicap champion Seeking the Soul, the 123-pound starting high weight and 3-2 favorite, was another 2 ¾ lengths back in third. Owned by Steve Landers Racing LLC, 5-year-old Leofric covered 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.59 while toting 121 pounds and jockey Florent Geroux, who rode the winner for trainer Brad Cox. The lofty $300,700 first prize lifted the gray or roan Kentucky-bred’s earnings to near-millionaire status: $951,040 from a record of 8-1-3 in 14 starts. Southern California-invader Prime Attraction, who was second to Leofric in the $200,000 Fayette at Keeneland on Oct. 27, set the pace in the field of eight 3-year-olds and up through fractions of :23.56, :47.58 and 1:11.61. Breaking from post No. 5, Leofric and Geroux worked out an ideal trip along the inside rail and rated just behind longshots Sightforsoreeyes and Storm Advisory, who chased Prime Attraction into the far turn. Bravazo and Seeking the Soul, who finished third and second in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI), were positioned just behind Leofric. Midway around the turn, Leofric drew even with Prime Attraction and inched clear at the top of the stretch with Bravazo a half-length back on his right hip. The two matched strides in a long stretch drive with the elder getting the best of the 3-year-old in the final stages. “We had a great trip in the pocket the entire way around,” said Geroux, who also won the 2016 Clark Handicap aboard Gun Runner. “That made the difference. This is a really nice horse. He’s had some great preparation by Brad and his team before this race. He fought Bravazo the whole way until the wire. I’m so proud of his effort.” “I’m so proud of his effort,” said Bravazo’s jockey Joel Rosario. “He ran really hard today. We had a great trip just off of the pace and I tipped him towards the outside around the three-eighths pole and he started to pick off horses. He tried the entire way down the lane and we almost got the job done.” Leofric rewarded his backers with mutuels of $8.60, $4.40 and $2.40 as the 3-1 third betting choice. Bravazo, at 118 pounds, returned $3.80 and $2.40 as the 2-1 second choice. Seeking the Soul, under John Velazquez, paid $2.10 to show. Prime Attraction faded to fourth and was followed by the distant foursome of Hence, Hawaakom, Storm Advisory and Sightforsoreeyes. This was the first Grade I win and third graded stakes victory of the year for Leofric. In addition to winning the Fayette, he scored in the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes (GIII) at Mountaineer in August. After the latter, Leofric finished third behind Yoshida (JPN) and Gunnevera in the $750,000 Woodward (GI) at Saratoga. “Florent did a great job,” Cox said. “He ran really well after running most of the summer and not missing a beat. He ran hard in the Fayette and I was a little concerned he may be coming back a bit too quick. He had two really nice breezes over the track and came into today’s race ready to go. Mr. Landers has been very patient with this horse. We’ll maybe look at the Oaklawn Handicap or something like that down the road. We’ll see how he comes out of things. I’m really proud of his effort. He’s really turned the corner over the summer and become a top-quality horse.” Leofric is son of Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Lady Godiva and was bred by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds.   CLARK HANDICAP QUOTES   Florent Geroux, jockey of LEOFRIC (winner): “We had a great trip in the pocket the entire way around. That made the difference. This is a really nice horse. He’s had some great preparation by Brad (Cox) and his team before this race. He fought Bravazo the whole way until the wire. I’m so proud of his effort. He had a really tough beat in the Oaklawn Handicap and then got hurt and took some time off. He had a great summer of preparation for this start.” Brad Cox, trainer of LEOFRIC (winner): “Florent (Geroux) did a great job. He ran really well after running most of the summer and not missing a beat. He ran hard in the Fayette and I was a little concerned he may be coming back a bit too quick. He had two really nice breezes over the track and came into today’s race ready to go. Mr. Landers has been very patient with this horse. We’ll maybe look at the Oaklawn Handicap or something like that down the road. We’ll see how he comes out of things. I’m really proud of his effort. He’s really turned the corner over the summer and become a top-quality horse.” Joel Rosario, jockey of BRAVAZO (runner-up): “I’m so proud of his effort. He ran really hard today. We had a great trip just off of the pace and I tipped him towards the outside around the three-eighths pole and he started to pick off horses. He tried the entire way down the lane and we almost got the job done.” Dallas Stewart, trainer of SEEKING THE SOUL (third): “Johnny (Velazquez) said he just ran kind of even around there – just a bummer.” John Velazquez, jockey of SEEKING THE SOUL (third): “He was in a good spot early around the first turn. He just gave kind of an even effort. I split horses around the quarter pole but he just kind of flattened out.”

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11.19.2018:

Aqueduct has $263K Triple Pick 6 Carryover on Wednesday

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - On Sunday, Aqueduct's Pick 6 sequence went unsolved for the third consecutive day, leading to a triple carryover of $263,299 when live racing resumes on Wednesday, November 21. Sunday's Pick 6 sequence began in Race 3 as even-money favorite Stay Fond (No. 14, $4.30) won the opening leg. Shadwell Stable and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin followed in Race 4, the opening leg of the Late Pick 5, as Athwaaq (No. 5, $11.20) made her debut a winning one for her connections. In Race 5, Sheza Diva (No. 9, $32.20) pulled off the upset at odds of 15-1 for trainer Alejandro Maymo. Flyoff (No. 1, $8.30) secured the victory in Race 6 and heavy 1-5 favorite Gold for the King (No. 7, $2.70) captured the day's feature, the $125,000 New York Stallion Series Thunder Rumble, in Race 7. In the day's finale, 34-1 longshot Miss Mystique (No. 7, $71) bested 6-5 favorite Mentality, leading to carryovers for the Pick 6. A consolation payout of $655 was awarded to bettors who had five of six winners in the Pick 6. When live racing resumes on Wednesday, the Pick 6 will begin in Race 4 with an approximate post of 1:47 p.m.  The day's feature race will be a New York-bred allowance optional-claiming event for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs carded as Race 8.

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11.5.2018:

Accelerate, City of Light, Monomoy Girl, Others Targeting Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Accelerate, runner-up Gunnevera, Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Monomoy Girl and Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible are all strong possibilities to compete in the richest race in North America – the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Saturday, January 26 at Gulfstream Park. Other horses considering the third running of the Pegasus include Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner City of Light and runner-up Seeking the Soul. Arklow, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), is a possibility for the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), the richest turf race in North America also being run on Saturday, Jan. 26. In just two years the Pegasus has become one of the sport’s biggest events. In 2017, the Pegasus brought together two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome and 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate, who won the inagural running by 4 ¾ lengths. Earlier this year, Horse of the Year Gun Runner ended his career with a 2 ½-length victory in the Pegasus over West Coast and third-place finisher Gunnevera. Trainer John Sadler, who saddled Accelerate to a length victory over Gunnevera in Saturday’s $6 million Classic, said the 5-year-old, a winner of four consecutive Grade I races, will be shown as a stallion in Lexington before being sent back to his stable in California. “If all is good, we’ll probably go in the Pegasus, kind of our all-out Gun Runner of last year, and then he’ll go off to stud,” Sadler said. Gunnevera, trained at Gulfstream by Antonio Sano and a winner of more than $4 million, is also targeting the Pegasus after finishing second in Saturday’s Classic. “He’s going to race in 2019 and will point to the Pegasus,” Sano said. After watching their filly win Saturday’s Distaff for her ninth victory in 11 starts, the connections of Monomoy Girl said they would consider running against the boys in the Pegasus. “I think we will take a look at the Pegasus,” said co-owner Sol Kumin. “I think it’s a good distance for her…speed-favoring track at Gulfstream. She’ll get obviously a little bit of a weight break. I think that would be the only race that we would probably look at.” Brad Cox, trainer of Monomoy Girl, said; “Really, right now, in the near future that would be the race we would target. Beyond that, it will be the Breeders’ Cup next year at Santa Anita. We would have plenty of time to come back and prepare for the Distaff if there is a run in January in the Pegasus. She’s worthy of a break and some time. When we give that to her it will be up to what we decide to do with the Pegasus.” Cox also said Arklow, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, will be considered for the inaugural running of the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. “We might also might take a look at the Pegasus turf race with him as well. We’ll give him a few days to come out of his race and we’ll go from there.” Florida Derby winner Audible, who was sidelined earlier this year after finishing third in the Kentucky Derby (G1), returned from a six-month layoff Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher to impressively win the Cherokee Run on Breeders’ Cup Day. After the 3-year-old’s performance, Elliott Walden, President and Racing Manager of WinStar Farm, said; “I think Audible could be Pegasus-bound after that.”

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11.5.2018:

Stronach 5 has $51K Carryover for Friday, November 9

LAUREL, MD – There will be a $51,331.91 carryover in the Stronach 5 November 9 after there were no winning tickets Friday afternoon. The national Pick 5 wager, with an industry-low 12-percent takeout, kicked off Friday with a $108.20 winner in Santa Anita’s fourth race. That was followed by a $16 winner in Gulfstream Park West’s ninth race. The minimum wager on the Stronach 5 is $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool is carried over to the next Friday. Friday's Stronach 5 Races Leg One - Santa Anita Fourth Race - Blew By You, $108.20 Leg Two - Gulfstream West Ninth Race - Bodie Tap, $16.00 Leg Three - Laurel Park Tenth Race - Angelinthemorning, $4.40 Leg Four - Santa Anita Fifth Race - Quinnie, $7.80 Leg Five - Golden Gate Fifth Race - Torpedo Away, $8.00 For the Stronach 5, if a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes. The Maryland Jockey Club serves as host of the Stronach 5.  

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Mark Casse (Shamrock Rose) – “Was I surprised we won? It was a tough race, but she’s a good horse. I told (jockey) Irad (Ortiz Jr.) I don't know if she's good enough, but she'll give you everything she has. And, she's good. It goes back to Allen Jerkins who always said ‘run them when they're good' so we came back in two weeks.”Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Shamrock Rose) – “I let her be happy. She settled nice for me. She was like fourth and when I dropped in and got through horses, she came running.”Second-place trainer Arnaud Delacour (Chalon) – “She had a great trip and Javier (Castellano) gave her a great ride. The seven-eighths (of a mile) may have been a touch too far, but you can’t take anything away from her. I’m very pleased.”Second-place jockey Javier Castlellano (Chalon) – “It was a great race. I got good position right from the start and we were going good. I thought I had a good chance coming down the stretch but she was justsecond best. She gave me everything she had and that was really good.”Third-place trainer Richard Mandella (Anonymity) – “She is a little short on experience. We decided to let her settle today and she looked like she was a little bit intimidated by other horses but she came on strong.”Third-place jockey Flavien Prat (Anonymity) – “We got caught a little wide on the final turn, but I was very happy with the way she ran. She gave it her all down the stretch and we almost got there.”Fourth-place trainer Bob Baffert (Marley’s Freedom, beaten favorite) – “She just didn't get away like she can. I am pretty disappointed. And she was pretty wide the whole way. She tried but she was just not good enough today. You have to be real good today and she was not real good. She didn't have her punch today, didn't run her race. Didn't bring her A game.”Fourth-place jockey Mike Smith (Marley’s Freedom, beaten favorite) – “She was hung out really wide and she just didn’t get a hold of it and kick like she can."

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11.3.2018:

Shamrock Rose Surges Late to Win Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Conrad Farms’ Shamrock Rose ($53.80) split horses in deep stretch and nailed Chalon in the shadow of the wire to win the 12th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) by a head to kick off the second day of the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon.Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Shamrock Rose covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.13 over a fast main track. It is the fifth Breeders’ Cup victory for Casse and Ortiz and the second consecutive win in the race for Ortiz, who rode Bar of Gold to her upset victory at Del Mar last year.Now a winner of four consecutive starts, Shamrock Rose is a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of First Dude out of the Elusive Quality mare Slew’s Quality. It is her first Grade 1 victory. Selcourt shot to the lead from her inside post and led the field of 14 through fractions of :21.89 and :44.99. Going into the far turn Happy Like a Fool took over for Selcourt with Chalon moving three wide to challenge and Ortiz beginning to pick off horses from the back of the pack on Shamrock Rose.Chalon spurted to the front at the eighth pole and appeared home free until Shamrock Rock emerged from the onrushing pack to prevail at the wire. Anonymity was neck behind Chalon in third with favored Marley’s Freedom another head back in fourth.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes TeamWinning trainer Peter Miller (Stormy Liberal) – “The emotions and the highs and lows I have gone through in this game in the past year are indescribable. I am just thankful to be back here. It is amazing to win this race two years in a row with this horse. It is a dream come true.”Winning jockey Drayden Van Dyke Stormy Liberal) – “He broke really sharp. I knew there were a few who were goingto be a little bit faster than me. I bided my time and let them get by me, then just tipped him outside. From there on, it was up to him to do the running. Stormy Liberal likes to hang on horses and not pass them, but he got him. It was awesome.”Second-place trainer Jason Servis (World of Trouble, beaten favorite) – “He ran really hard and he tried. He's a 3-year old. He'll get better.”Second-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (World of Trouble, beaten favorite) – “He had no excuse. He just got beat by a nice horse. He wanted to fight, but he lugged in a little bit so I wanted to be close to Stormy Liberal so he could feel (the competition). No excuse.”Third-place jockey Joel Rosario (Disco Partner) – “He broke well and then took a little bit of time to find his stride. It looks like the turf was a little soft for him, but he came with a late run in the end. They got away, so it was hard to catch up.”Jockey P J McDonald (Havana Gray, 12th) – “The first half of the race went great. I had a really good position, but they forced me to the inside. They went really quick. Turning for home, I knew we were beaten."

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11.3.2018:

Defending Champion Stormy Liberal Repeats in Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s Stormy Liberal prevailed by a neck over favored World of Trouble after a stretch-long duel to win the 11thrunning of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon.Winner of this race last year at Del Mar, Stormy Liberal joins Mizdirection (2012-13) as the only repeat winner of the race.Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Stormy Liberal covered the 5 ½ furlongs on a turf course rated as good in 1:04.05. For Van Dyke, it is his first Breeders’ Cup victory and the third for Miller.Bred in Kentucky, Stormy Liberal is a 6-year-old gelded son of Stormy Atlantic out of the Royal Academy mare Vassar.World of Trouble assumed the lead after a quarter mile with Richard’s Boy in closest pursuit and Stormy Liberal fourth and in the clear. On the far turn, Van Dyke moved after the leader and two hooked up at the top of the lane and dueled to the wire with Stormy Liberal easing clear in the final yards.It was another 7 ¼ lengths back to Disco Partner in third.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Sprint Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Peter Miller (Roy H) – “He’s really training good and doing good. I just can’t say enough about this horse. Paco Lopez gave him a great ride. Just unbelievable. I can’t believe it. Too good to be true.” On the repeat win by Roy H in the Sprint. “Words don’t express how special this is – to win the same race with the same horse back to back. It’s just fantastic.” Winning jockey Paco Lopez (Roy H) – “I loved my position early. I let him go a little early and he started a big move. I knew they were going fast up front. I just had a really good ride from him.” Second-place trainer Ron Moquett (Whitmore) – “It was a good race, fast horses. He did everything I asked him to do. I thought the jock rode him great and I am proud. The winner is a fast horse and today was his day.” Second-place jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Whitmore) – “My horse settled in the back easily and when I asked him for run on the far turn, he responded nicely. I thought I had a chance to catch the winner in the stretch, but he still ran a good race. I was very happy with his effort.” Third-place trainer Luis Carvajal (Imperial Hint, favorite) – “The horse ran a magnificent race. Before we had a doubt if he liked the track or not. He seemed like he handled it well in the morning. Javier (Castellano) said he was trying, but when he asked him to run, he was spinning wheels. He ran well and I’m proud of him, but it seems like he doesn’t handle Churchill Downs’ track very well.” Third-place jockey Javier Castellano (Imperial Hint, favorite) — “He’s the kind of horse that can go to the lead, but today there was a lot of speed, so I took him off the pace. He didn’t give me his kick today. He ran twice before on this track and didn’t like it. He proved today that he doesn’t like this track.” Fourth-place trainer Dale Romans (Promises Fulfilled) – “Fast race and fast horses. The top five are super horses. (Promises Fulfilled) ran hard, ran his eyeballs out. The fractions weren’t too fast, it is just the others were faster than him at the end. He did everything right. It will be nice to see him next year as a 4-year-old to see what he can do. He has done nothing but improve. He is a sound horse and he is a May foal. He is only going to get bigger and better. He could be sprint champion next year.”

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11.3.2018:

Roy H Repats in Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s Roy H ($7.40) swept past front-running Promises Fulfilled at the top of the stretch and cruised to a 3 1/4-length victory over a rallying Whitmore to win the 35th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Paco Lopez, Roy H covered the six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:08.24. The victory is the first in the World Championships for Lopez and fourth for Miller, who earlier in the program repeated in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Stormy Liberal.A one-length winner of this race last year at Del Mar, Roy H joins Midnight Lute (2007-08) as the only repeat winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.Miller is the first trainer to saddle back-to-back winners of the same two races in Breeders’ Cup history.A 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of More Than Ready out of the Elusive Quality mare Elusive Diva, Roy H has won four Grade 1 races.Promises Fulfilled rocketed to the lead with an opening quarter-mile in :21.35 with Roy H racing third and in the clear on the outside. By the time the field reached the top of the stretch in :44.21, Roy H had swept past Promises Fulfilled and stablemate Distinctive B and quickly drew clear.Whitmore closed from last place early to get second by 1 ¾ lengths over favored Imperial Hint with Promises Fulfilled finishing another three-quarters of a length back.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Chad Brown (Sistercharlie): “She’s all class this horse and she knows where the wire is. She showed her heart there in the last stages.” On third-place finisher A Raving Beauty: “She ran terrific. I’m very proud of her. She managed to stay the whole mile and three-eighths. Good filly, that horse.” Winning jockey John Velazquez (Sistercharlie): “We broke well and got a good position. They kind of bunched up in there to get to the first turn and then everyone started to crowd up because the pace wasn’t very fast. I liked where I was. She relaxed well where I was and was moving well past the wire the first time. From there I just bided my time with her. I followed (Wild Illusion) and she won.” Second-place trainer Charles Appleby (Wild Illusion): “I’m delighted with her run. She’s run a fantastic race and has lost nothing in defeat. Coming into the race we felt that Chad’s filly (Sistercharlie) was the one we all had to beat, so full credit to him and his team on their win. Our horse is a consistent Grade 1 performer, but I feel one mile and two furlongs is really her ideal trip. All three of mine have performed this weekend, so I’m delighted with how everything has gone.” Second-place jockey William Buick (Wild Illusion): “The winner showed a really good turn of foot. I thought when I hit the front, I’d be able to open up a decent lead. I’m delighted with the filly. She ran really well and ran up to her standard.” Third-place jockey Javier Castellano (A Raving Beauty): “I am very proud of her. We set a slow pace as we galloped along on the lead. I was surprised no one put any pressure on me. I rode the filly the way I was hoping for today. Those were two good horses that beat me but I am very proud of my filly.” Sixth-place jockey Frankie Dettori (Eziyra): “On the last bend (third turn), I asked her to quicken and it was probably the first time in her life she’s been asked to do that (on a turn). I lost her right there.”

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11.3.2018:

Sistercharlie Prevails in Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Peter Brant’s Sistercharlie ($8.60) caught favored Wild Illusion in the final yards to win the 20th running of the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) by a neck Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by John Velazquez, Sistercharlie covered the 1 3/8 miles on a turf course listed as good in 2:20.96.It is the second victory of the 2018 World Championships for Brown, who won the Juvenile Fillies Turf Friday with Newspaperofrecord. It was his 12th overall and fourth victory in this race with others coming in 2012 with Zagora followed by Dayatthespa in 2014 and Stephanie’s Kitten in 2015.For Velazquez, it is his 16th Breeders’ Cup victory and third in this race with others coming in 2002 with Starine and in 2011 with Perfect Shirl.It is the fourth Grade 1 victory for Sistercharlie who is a 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Myboycharlie out of the Galileo mare Starlet’s Sister.A Raving Beauty, one of five entrants in the race for Brown, led the field of 14 through a leisurely mile in 1:43.98 as Sistercharlie raced in the clear about five lengths off the pace. On the far turn, A Raving Beauty was joined by Magic Wand with Wild Illusion attacking three wide and Sistercharlie moving four wide. The quartet raced as team to midstretch with Magic Wand ducking out first. Wild Illusion took over past the sixteenth pole but was nailed late bySistercharlie. A Raving Beauty finished another three-quarters of a length back in third and 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Magic Wand in fourth.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Michael McCarthy (City of Light) – “I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting for this. I always thought this would be a mismatch. I have been looking forward to this for quite a long time. I thought he would love this racetrack. Backing up to one turn where his best races were, I thought he would run away and hide and he did just that.“It feels great. I’ve been part of a lot of these with Todd Pletcher, so it’s great to have one of my own. It means a lot to me. I wish my father in law was here to see it because we spent a lot of nights talking about this horse. We loved the post, Javier (Castellano) rode a great race and it was no secret that we were going to run away from there. At the three-eighths, I knew it was over.”Winning jockey Javier Castellano (City of Light) – “I had a good trip. I let him break out of the gate a little bit with speed. He set the pace, and it worked out great for me today.”(On staying off the rail) “I didn’t want to bury myself on the inside. It gave me the opportunity to get the best part. He’s a very special horse the way he did it today.”Second-place trainer Dallas Stewart (Seeking the Soul) – “I thought he ran great and I’m really proud of the horse. He needed a little more ground, that’s all. I’m very happy for Mike McCarthy and his team. We just got outrun today and that’s horse racing. We’ll point toward the Pegasus from here.”Second-place jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Seeking the Soul) – “My horse ran a huge race He did everything right. He came with a big run. He just got beat by a horse that ran a super race.”Third-place jockey Luis Contreras (Bravazo) – “I got a perfect trip. At the three-eighths pole, I tapped him on the shoulder to get him going. He likes to run on the outside so I kept in the clear. I thought I might have a chance (at the winner) but he just got away from us.”Six-place jockey Drayden Van Dyke (Catalina Cruiser, beaten favorite) – “He ran just fine, but he just didn’t run his “A” race. I think that’s about all I can say.”

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11.3.2018:

City of Light Romps in Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s City of Light ($7.20) grabbed the lead after a four-horse scramble in the first quarter of a mile, put away challenges from Firenze Fire and favored Catalina Cruiser on the far turn and rolled to a 2 ¾-length victory over Seeking the Soul in the 12th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.Trained by Michael McCarthy and ridden by Javier Castellano, City of Light covered the mile 1:33.83 over a fast main track. The victory is the first for McCarthy in the Breeders’ Cup and 10th for Castellano, who also won this race at Keeneland in 2015 with Liam’s Map.City of Light is a 4-year-old  Kentucky-bred son of Quality Road out of the Dehere mare Paris Notion. Now with a record of 10-5-4-1, Saturday’s victory is the third Grade 1 triumph for City of Light.Seeking the Soul rallied from the back of the pack to grab second by 2 ½ lengths over Bravazo, who was six lengths in front of Firenze Fire.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Classic Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer John Sadler (Accelerate) – "He ran a great race and Joel (Rosario) rode him perfectly. We were really thrilled. He did such a good job, kept him clear. "We thought that post might be a bonus on the outside. He never got in trouble and never had anything in front of him. He just stayed a little wide and won the race.”Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Accelerate) – “That was about as good as it gets. That horse is simply unbelievable. I’m so happy for the owners and John. It was a great performance. He has so much heart." Second-place trainer Antonio Sano (Gunnevera) – “I'm so happy for this horse. He ran second and had lost a couple lengths at the start. They sandwiched my horse. Every time we are closer and closer to winning a Grade 1. He's going to race in 2019 and will point to the Pegasus.” Second-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Gunnevera) – “I had a good trip. I never had to check. I just got beat by a nice horse. My horse ran huge.” Third-place trainer Saeed bin Suroor (Thunder Snow)  – “He's run a really big race. I'm very pleased with that. The winner is a very good horse. This race is special as it brings together the best horses in the world. We have better horses this year and we've had a better season. He could go to the Dubai World Cup again.” Third-place jockey Christophe Soumillon (Thunder Snow) – “Great job. I was trying to stay in behind Ryan Moore and he ran on really well. It was a great ride.” Fourth-place trainer Bill Mott (Yoshida) – “I thought he ran his butt of and ran a super race. The plan is, right now, to keep him in training (in 2019).”  Fourth-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Yoshida) — “I didn't want to be as far back early as I was but I felt in the first quarter of a mile that they were running away from me. I felt like they were going very fast and I didn't want to rush him too early. I saw Gunnevera inside of me and I used him as a target and he took me to the three-eighths pole. I thought I was going to win the race when I was in the clear at the quarter pole but then I saw Gunnevera came back and beat me. It took him a while to get going but when he did, he got rolling.” Trainer Aiden O'Brien (Mendelssohn, fifth) – “He ran a great race so we're delighted with him. We did our best, but weren't quite good enough.” Trainer Tom Amoss (Lone Sailor, sixth) – “I'm really proud of Lone Sailor's performance today. He's just a 3-year-old and that was a big, big effort. I'm very, very excited about his 4-year-old year. We'll talk to the owner and make some decisions, but that was a big race for a young horse and I think he's going to be a very good 4-year-old.”  Jockey James Graham (Lone Sailor, sixth) — “He needed to break a little better. He gets to be a big baby in there sometimes too. He ran a good race. I was running late, just couldn't get back to them.” Trainer Bob Baffert (West Coast, seventh & McKenzie, 12th) – “They looked good for about a mile. They just tired and they just didn't have it today. (McKinzie) is lightly raced and playing catch-up. I thought West Coast would run a little better than that. Accelerate is a good horse and he was the best horse.” Jockey John Velazquez (West Coast, seventh) – “He was in perfect position and right where we thought he was going to be. When Accelarate went by me at the three-eighths pole, I had nothing. He didn't stop but he didn't run on.” Trainer Uriah St. Lewis (Discreet Lover, eighth) – “It has been a great experience and I am happy we came.”  Jockey Manny Franco (Discreet Lover, eighth) – “I was riding him like he likes to be ridden – near the back. When I came to the half-mile pole, I was looking for something from him and he didn't do anything.” Mario Gutierrez (Pavel, 10th) – “He was looking good most of the race. At the quarter pole, the two Baffert horses just started stopping. I had to check big time and lost all my momentum. Until then the horse was with me all the way.” Trainer Chad Summers (Mind Your Biscuits, 11th) – “It was not our day. Congrats to Joel, John Sadler and Accelerate.” Jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Mind Your Biscuits, 11th) – “He had good position, but he had trouble getting his feet under him and he never picked it up.” Jockey Mike Smith (McKenzie, 12th) – “I'm at a loss for words. I don't know what happened. I was in great position, but when it came time to go, he wouldn't go.” Trainer Jonathan Thomas (Catholic Boy, 13th) – “It looks like we got eliminated at the start.” Jockey Javier Castellano (Catholic Boy, 13th) – “I'm very disappointed. The break cost us the race and then we had to fight to get through. Down the backside, he just gave up.” Jockey Oisin Murphy (Roaring Lion, 14th) – “He's absolutely fine. The early part of the race didn't quite work out for him and we were on the backfoot from then on. He now deserves a nice break before embarking on hopefully what will be a great stallion career.”

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11.3.2018:

Accelerate Shows Grit in Breeders' Cup Classic Win

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Hronis Racing’s Accelerate ($7.40) took command at the head of the stretch, turned back a bid from Thunder Snow at the three-sixteenths pole and then held off Gunnevera  by a length to win the 35th running of the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) for 3-year-olds and up before a crowd of 70,423 to climax the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on Saturday.Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Joel Rosario, Accelerate covered the 1 ¼  miles in 2:02.93 over a fast main track.The victory gave Sadler his first Breeders’ Cup triumph. “It was the ninth for Rosario and first in the Classic. It was the third victory of this year’s Championships for Rosario who won Friday’s Sentient Jet Juvenile on Game Winner and the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies on Jaywalk.Accelerate is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Lookin At Lucky out of the Awesome Again mare Issues. It was the fourth consecutive Grade 1 victory for Accelerate who has compiled a 7-6-1-0 record in 2018.Mendelssohn led the field of 14 through fractions of :22.68, :46.46 and 1:10.61 with McKinzie and West Coast stalking to his outside and Thunder Snow saving ground along the rail. Rosario had Accelerate in the clear and approaching the far turn made his move at the leaders. At the head of the stretch, Accelerate swooped to the lead with Thunder Snow moving to second to mount a short-lived challenge.Gunnevera closed late to get second by three-quarters of a length over Thunder Snow, who saved third place by a nose over Yoshida.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Turf Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer John Gosden (Enable) – “She was wonderful. I thought coming into the straight when Ryan (Moore) came up on her, we had a race on our hands. She’s had a hard race and as usual she showed enormous courage to go and win. I’m just delighted for her owner and breeder, Prince Khalid who is such a great supporter of the Breeders’ Cup.” Winning jockey Frankie Dettori (Enable) – “On the first turn I was trying to get position and then I went right. I went four wide. She was moving well. I knew she was fighting for me. She was strong today.” Second-place trainer Aidan O’Brien (Magical) – “She ran a really good race. I’m very happy.” Third-place trainer Thomas Albertrani (Sadler’s Joy) – “Turning for home I thought we were going to win it, but they just outran him.” Third-place jockey Javier Castellano (Sadler’s Joy) – “I had a perfect trip. It was a good third-place finish. He beat a lot of good horses in the race. Those two horses (Enable and Magical) in front of him were much the best. I’m proud of my horse and the way he did it.” Fourth-place trainer Brad Cox (Arklow) – “He ran well off a short rest. I am proud of him. A solid effort.” Fourth-place jockey Florent Geroux (Arklow) – “I had a good trip. He broke and looked like there was a good pace in front of us. I think he was fighting the track a little. It’s loose on the bottom and there’s not much to grab. He lost position in the last turn, which probably cost us third place.” Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Robert Bruce, seventh) – “I got a great trip. I followed the winner the whole way. I followed Enable, but unfortunately my horse had no response for me today. Hopefully he comes back good and we move on to win some big Grade 1s in the future. He’s a very good horse.”

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11.3.2018:

Superstar Filly Enable Wins Breeders' Cup Turf

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Enable ($3.60) outdueled Magical through a stirring stretch drive prevailing by three-quarters of a length to win the 35th running of the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs. Trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, Enable covered the 1 ½ miles on a turf course rated as good in 2:32.65. The victory is the fifth for Gosden in the Breeders’ Cup; first in the Turf. For Dettori, who earlier Saturday won the Mile for Juddmonte on Expert Eye, it is his 14th Breeders’ Cup victory and fifth in the Turf. His previous winners were Daylami in 1999, Fantastic Light in 2001, Red Rocks in 2006 and Dangerous Midge in 2010. Now a winner of nine consecutive races that includes back-to-back victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Enable is a 4-year-old daughter of Nathaniel out of the Sadler’s Well’s mare Concentric. She is the first horse to win the Arc and Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same year. Glorious Empire set the pace with Enable racing about four lengths back. On the far turn, Dettori moved Enable to the outside while Ryan Moore on Magical split horses and the two fillies hit the stretch in their own match race. Enable pulled away late with Magical easily holding the place spot over Sadler’s Joy, who was nine lengths back in third and two lengths ahead of Arklow.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Mile Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute (Expert Eye) – “He’s run a great race. Last time at Chantilly, he did not get the rub of the green. I’d like to thank James Savage, who rides him out every day. He’s done a great job with him. I thought down the back straight that Frankie (Dettori) may have just had him two slots behind, but was in control. We love coming to the Breeders’ Cup.  It’s always great coming here.” Winning jockey Frankie Dettori (Expert Eye) – “I’m thrilled with the win. (Trainer Sir) Michael (Stoute) deserves the credit for the training of the horse. He finished his race off so strongly.”   Second-place jockey Drayden Van Dyke (Catapult) – “He broke sharp and put me in a good spot on the first turn. I had a clear trip from there on out. He gave me a good kick on the far turn, passed (Analyze It) late but couldn’t hold off the one on the outside (Expert Eye) in the last couple of jumps.”   Third-place trainer Chad Brown (Analyze It) – “He ran really well – he ran super. I thought Irad (Ortiz Jr.) executed a good race. The horse showed a lot of heart down the line. He just kept fighting on and just came up a little short. We’re proud of his effort.”   Third-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Analyze It) – “The horse was training so good. He broke good and he just ran a big race and got third. He ran his heart out. He ran so good and fought the whole way. A horse moved a little early on the backside and it didn’t bother him. He came running. He’s a 3-year-old and we have a great future with him.”   Fourth-place trainer Kelly Rubley (Divisidero) –“We have been pointing to this race all year. I am not disappointed; he ran a spectacular race. That is his personality; he tries every time. He has no idea that he was in the Breeders’ Cup. Our big test for this race was (supposed to be the Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 6) at Keeneland but he got scratched at the gate. We are very proud of this effort today.”   Fourth-place jockey Jevian Toledo (Divisidero) – “I got into good position in the beginning after breaking from the outside. I let him pick it up early to get into position and I was kind of outside, but that’s better for him because he likes it out there. He ran so hard and he likes this track. Today he just ran so hard. I have no complaints. The other horse just came running at the end, so we have no excuse. It feels great to ride in my first Breeders’ Cup race. I’m better with that kind of horse. He always comes running hard and giving percent.”   Jockey Jose Ortiz (Oscar Performance, beaten favorite, 14th) – “He completely missed the break. He’s been breaking a step slow lately, but not as bad as today. Today, he almost stood there after the gate opened. Game over after that.”

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11.3.2018:

Expert Eye Closes Fast to Win Breeders' Cup Mile

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Juddmonte Farms’ Expert Eye ($13.80) closed with a rush to edge Catapult by a half-length and win the 35th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Frankie Dettori, Expert Eye covered the mile on a turf course labeled as good in 1:39.80. The victory was the eighth in the Breeders’ Cup for Stoute and 13th for Dettori. Dettori won his first Breeders’ Cup race in 1994 in the Mile with Barathea at Churchill Downs. Expert Eye is a 3-year-old Great Britain-bred son of Acclamation out of the Dansili mare Exemplify. The victory is his first Grade 1 triumph. Analyze It set a pressured pace as Expert Eye raced in mid-pack. At the head of the stretch, Dettori swung Expert Eye into the middle of the course for clear sailing as Analyze It battled to fend off Catapult and Divisidero. Inside the sixteenth pole, Catapult gained a brief advantage only to have Expert Eye surge past just before the wire. Catapult finished a neck in front of Analyze It, who saved the show spot by a nose over Divisidero.

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11.3.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Distaff Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Brad Cox (Monomoy Girl) – “She ran the way she was training. She was training like a monster and she ran like a monster. She is a special filly, one of a kind, an unbelievable filly.” Winning jockey Florent Geroux (Monomoy Girl) – “It was a great trip. She was super-sharp. I was able to lay second off Wonder Gadot. I went to the lead past the three-furlong mark and from there she just kept on going all the way to the wire. This is a filly with great tactical speed and she loves to win. She’s just unbelievable.” Second-place trainer Chad Brown (Wow Cat) – “We lost some position early; breaking a step slowly from that post. Then there was a horse inside of us that wouldn’t move over, so Jose (Ortiz, jockey) told me had had to take behind that horse and tuck in, which lost us a valuable couple lengths. From there on out, she was always traveling well; pretty far back, but always traveling well. Jose cut the corner, using good judgment, I thought, on the good part of the racetrack throughout the stretch. She just came up short. I think, at the end of the day, Monomoy Girl showed she’s an outstanding filly and deserving winner. Our filly has shown that she’s continuing to improve. Who knows—maybe with a better post, we would have made it a little closer at the wire. (Q: Next year she stays in training?) — Absolutely. Second-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Wow Cat) – “I think the post position hurt us. I had to drop down to the rail and that probably cost us two or three lengths. We only lost by one (length). She ran her race.” Third-place jockey John Velazquez (Midnight Bisou) – “She was trying to overrun it. She’s trying to get a hold of it and the racetrack comes out from under her. Even when she’s running she’s having a tough time getting a hold of it. As soon as we got to the first turn I knew, she was trying to get a good grip on it. She still ran a good race.” Fourth-place trainer Ignacio Correas IV (Blue Prize) – “We were against a special filly today. We tried to beat her but she beat us fair and square. We are happy with the way our mare ran. If I had to do it over again (with her preparation), I would do exactly the same thing.” Fourth-place jockey Joe Bravo (Blue Prize) – “She felt and warmed up better than last time. Turning for home she still had a lot of fight left in her. She wanted to go get those horses. I’m proud of her.” Jockey Mario Gutierez (Mopotism, fifth) – “She tried real hard all the way, but she just couldn’t catch the leaders.” Jockey Drayden Van Dyke (La Force, eighth) – “She broke a step slow, She tried real hard today. She gave me everything she had, but it wasn’t enough.” Trainer Mark Casse (Wonder Gadot, ninth) – “Wonder Gadot did just what we wanted her to do. Monomoy Girl is a super star.” Jockey Joe Talamo (Vale Dori, 10th) – “We got off to a bad break and she doesn’t like that. We were back too far early and we just couldn’t catch up.” Trainer Bob Baffert (Abel Tasman, second choice, 11th) – “She just quit. She just quit running.Sometimes they do that. I thought she was in a good spot, he (Mike Smith) got aggressive with her, but she just doesn’t want to run anymore it looks like.” Jockey Mike Smith (Abel Tasman, second choice, 11th) – “I wish I knew what was wrong with her. I wish it was something I can tell you so we can fix it.”

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11.3.2018:

Monomoy Girl Delivers as Favorite in Breeders' Cup Distaff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2018) – Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl ($5.60) shook off a challenge from Blue Prize in the upper stretch and then held off Wow Cat by a length to win the 35th running of the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Monomoy Girl covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:49.79. The victory is the first for Cox in the Breeders’ Cup and fifth for Geroux. A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapizar out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette. It was her fifth Grade 1 victory of the year and comes after being disqualified from victory in the Grade 1 Cotillion. Wonder Gadot set the pace in the field of 11 with fractions of :23.39, :47.57 and 1:12.11 with Monomoy Girl tracking just behind. Midway on the far turn, Geroux sent Monomoy Girl to the front with Blue Prize launching a bid to her outside. In the lane, Monomoy Girl never yielded the lead, disposing of Blue Prize at mid-stretch and having enough left to fend off the late bid from Wow Cat. Wow Cat finished a half-length in front of Midnight Bisou, who rallied to get third by a head over Blue Prize.

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11.2.2018:

Game Winner Overcomes Wide Trip, Wins Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

The anticipated showdown between Bob Baffert’s Game Winner and Chad Brown’s Complexity never materialized in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Friday, November 2 as Game Winner, despite a wide trip, easily overpowered the field en route to a 2 ¼ length win. Owned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Bob Baffert, Game Winner ($4) dropped to midpack soon after the start as the race’s second-choice, Complexity, assumed the early lead.  Complexity guided the field into the far turn before tiring, as longshot Knicks Go assumed the lead. Game Winner, biding his time under Joel Rosario, launched a wide bid and steadily reeled in Knicks Go at the top of the lane. The two briefly raced side-by-side, with Knicks Go initiating some bumping, before Game Winner gradually pulled clear. Knicks Go held on to finish second, with Signalman a length back in third.  He was 6 ¼ lengths clear of Mr. Money in fourth and Gunmetal Gray finished 3-lengths behind in fifth. Complexity tired to finish tenth. This was the fourth Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win for Bob Baffert and the first for Joel Rosario.  Baffert teamed with Gary and Mary West to win the 2013 edition of the Juvenile.The final time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.67 over a track labeled fast. 

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11.2.2018:

Newspaperofrecord Gives Chad Brown Fifth Juvenile Fillies Turf Win

Klaravich Stables' Newspaperofrecord ($3.20) gave Chad Brown his fifth overall Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf victory – and his fourth in five years – with a powerful 6 ¾ length score in the race’s 11th running on Friday, November 2 at Churchill Downs. Newspaperofrecord broke sharply and assumed the early lead with Natalma Stakes winner, La Pelosa, just behind.  Concrete Rose made a brief run approaching the top of the stretch but Newspaperofrecord quickly kicked clear at the top of the lane.  Soon thereafter, the question was not whether she would win but how many lengths she would win by. East, trained by Kevin Ryan, rallied to finish second a neck ahead of Stellar Agent in third.  From there it was three-quarters of a length back to Just Wonderful in fourth and another half-length to Varenka in fifth.  Running time for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, over a course listed yielding, was 1:39.00.   

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11.2.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Bob Baffert (Game Winner) – “He’s special. The way he won and the way he did it was impressive. I was worried at the half-mile pole, but (jockey Joel Rosario) wasn’t. He knew he had a lot of horse. This is a huge win for me.” Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Game Winner) – “He broke fine but it looked like they took my spot and I had to go wide. He seemed like he didn’t mind that. He was comfortable. That’s why we got him moving at that point, instead of getting inside and taking back. Turning for home the more I rode him the more he gave it to me.” Second-place trainer Ben Colebrook (Knicks Go) – “That was a thrill. Turning for home I thought we might get there, but Baffert’s horse (Game Winner) was the one to beat all along. “You know, he keeps out running his odds (70-1 when winning the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland and 40-1 today). Maybe people will start giving him some respect now, because he’s a nice horse. “It’s too early to start thinking about that (the Derby). We’re just thinking about today. We’ll let him tell us what he wants to do next. The Derby’s a long way off.” Second-place jockey Albin Jimenez (Knicks Go) – “We broke really well and had a great position. We were traveling really comfortable on the lead but just couldn’t hold off the winner. I’m so proud of my horse. He tried very hard until the very end.” Third-place trainer Kenny McPeek (Signalman) – “I’m very pleased with his race and we felt like form the post (14) that we needed to take back and settle and try to cut the corner and Brian (Hernandez Jr., jockey) did that. We’re real pleased. He galloped out in front. Maybe there’s a race in the spring going a mile and a quarter we were thinking about.” Third-place jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Signalman) – “(Trainer) Ken’s (McPeek) going to get one these someday. Hopefully these 2-year-olds we had today will come back and be in the winner’s circle as 3-year-olds. I loved the way he did it. He overcame the 14 post and was closing on good horses.” Fourth-place trainer Bret Calhoun (Mr. Money) – “He ran a hell of a race and Gabriel (Saez, jockey) gave him a great trip. He might have been a hair keen on the backside, but Gabe got him to settle in. You could tell going into the far turn that he had quite a bit of horse. I got a little excited about that point in time because he was in a very good position. He ran well, he just got outrun from there. A horse like him will get you excited.” Fourth-place jockey Gabriel Saez (Mr. Money) – “I had a great trip. Turnfing for home I thought I was going to get there. He did everything good. He was very professional.” Jockey Jose Ortiz (Complexity, 10th) – “He broke well, sprinted for the first turn and relaxed once he made the lead. I didn’t have anyone breathing down my neck. On the final turn, I completely ran out of horse. We were afraid he didn’t want to go this far and it just didn’t work out.”

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11.2.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Chad Brown (Newspaperofrecord): “This time, this one might be close to coming over (to Europe). We’ll see. I give credit to Mike Ryan. He’s my partner going over to look at these horses and he found her in Newmarket. My whole team; everyone put a lot of time into this horse and Irad (Ortiz Jr.) rode a beautiful race. Seth (Klarman) has been such a wonderful supporter of our stable since the very beginning.” Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Newspaperofrecord): “I got a perfect trip. She broke good and pulled me to the lead.  I just held her together and she relaxed. When I asked her, she exploded for home. It was the easiest Breeders’ Cup I ever won.” Adam Ryan, son of second-place trainer Kevin Ryan (East): “She’s a smashing filly and from the draw (post 14) for her to pick up like she did, was absolutely fabulous. We are thrilled to bits.” Second-place jockey Jamie Spencer (East): “She’s run very well from the draw that we had. She jumped from the gate and she went right, so I had no option, but to drop her out. This is only the third run in her life and next year, she could be very special.” Third-place trainer Jorge Abreu (Stellar Agent): “When she broke her maiden, she went 5 1/2 (furlongs), then I sent her out to a mile and a sixteenth and she ran a good race (third in the Miss Grillo). Today, it looked like at the eighth-pole, she was going to be fifth, but she came back on for third. I expected this performance from her today, hoped to be second, but I’m happy with third. This is my first time in the Breeders’ Cup. It was a very good start.” Third-place jockey Manny Franco (Stellar Agent): “I had a perfect trip. No trouble at all. She gave me all she had all the way to the end.”

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11.2.2018:

Line of Duty Survives Inquiry, Wins Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2018) – Godolphin’s Line of Duty ($9) survived an inquiry and objection involving runner-up Uncle Benny to win the 12th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) for 2-year-olds on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, Line of Duty covered the mile on a turf course labeled good in 1:40.06. The victory was the third for Appleby in the Breeders’ Cup and second in this race having triumphed in 2013 with Outstrip. It was the second Breeders’ Cup victory for Buick.Somelikeithotbrown led the field of 14 from shortly after the start and maintained that advantage into deep stretch when Line of Duty swooped past on the far outside while Uncle Benny challenged down the middle of the course.Buick guided Line of Duty back toward the inside, making contact with Uncle Benny and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., prompting the objection and inquiry that were disallowed by the stewards. The Irish-bred son of Galileo has compiled a 5-3-2-0 record that now includes a Grade 1 victory. Somelikeithotbrown finished a neck in back of Uncle Benny and saved the show spot by 1 ¼ lengthsover Arthur Kitt.

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11.2.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Charlie Appleby (Line of Duty) – “It’s lovely to be here. William (Buick) gave him a great ride. He managed to get him wide and come with a clear run.  It’s great for the team and especially Sheikh Mohammed.”Winning jockey William Buick (Line of Duty) – “Obviously, I am relieved that we have kept the race. He has put up a great performance to go on and win.”Second-place trainer Jason Servis (Uncle Benny) – “It looked like he banged him pretty good. I got beat a neck. But, my dad was a steward for 40 years, and you've got to respect their opinions." “He's been doing very well. I expected him to run well.”

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11.2.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer John Servis (Jaywalk) - "I was looking for a big effort from her, but I didn't expect for her to go to the lead again. I really thought there was enough speed in here that she'd probably be sitting off it a bit. But, Joel (Rosario) said when she left the gate, he knew right then she had running on her mind. And, he just took it from there. Once she got the front, she started flicking her ears and looked nice and relaxed."Regarding the possibility of a return to Churchill for the Oaks: “That's a long way off, but that would nice, yes."Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Jaywalk) - "It was a perfect trip. She broke and she wanted the lead. She just improved her position. SHe really relaxed. She broke really sharp and wanted one thing - she wanted to go, so I dropped my hands and let her be happy and let her do it the rest of the way." Second-place trainer Kenny McPeek (Restless Rider) - "Brian (Hernandez) rode her well. She had a good trip and looks like she came back healthy. I'm proud of the way she ran. She's a good filly. She'll get her chance (to win) in the Kentucky Oaks next year. We're going to have fun with her in the spring."We are probably going to bring her back at the end of the meet (in the Golden Rod). We have nothing to lose now and we can knock out another stakes win."Second-place jockey Brian Hernandez (Restless Rider) - "The whole time we sat a great trip. I had the favorite (Bellafina) in my sights at all times. When I saw she was empty I looked up and Jaywalk appeared to be gone. She ran a great race but the winner had a big advantage on the lead and we just couldn't get to her."Third-place jockey John Velazquez (Vibrance) - "She broke a little slow and never could get into a real good position. But she still ran a good race."Fourth-place trainer Simon Callaghan (beaten favorite, Bellafina) - “She broke a little flat footed and the rider had to use her a little bit early. After that she had a pretty good trip but it just did not seem to happen today. It is hard to know (about the surface.) It is the first time she has run over this sort of track. I am just waiting to hear what (jockey Flavien Prat) has to say.”Fourth-place jockey Flavien Prat (beaten favorite, Bellafina) - "I had a good trip, but she never did feel quite right. SHe wasn't running smooth. I don't know if she didn't like the track or if it was an off day."

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11.2.2018:

Jaywalk Victorious in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2018) – Cash is King and D J Stable’s Jaywalk ($13) won the race to the first turn and never relinquished the advantage thereafter in drawing off to win the 35th running of the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) for 2-year-old fillies by 5 ½ lengths over Restless Rider on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.Trained by John Servis and ridden by Joel Rosario, Jaywalk covered the 1 1/16th miles in 1:43.62 over a fast main track. It was the seventh Breeders’ Cup victory for Rosario and first for Servis who is the only trainer in history to win the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks with a single starter in each race.With the victory, Jaywalk assumes the role as the early favorite for next spring’s 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks.A Kentucky-bred daughter of Cross Traffic, Jaywalk has won her past four starts with a victory in the Grade 1 Frizette preceding Friday’s triumph.In a dash from the gate, Jaywalk beat Serengeti Empress to the first turn and opened a clear advantage going into the backstretch with Serengeti Empress and favored Bellafina in closest pursuit. Approaching the stretch, Jaywalk disposed of those two pursuers only to be confronted briefly by Restless Rider. She eliminated that threat in deep stretch and drew off with Restless Rider holding second by a half-length over Vibrance with Bellafina another 3 ¼ lengths back.

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11.2.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Post-Race Quotes

From Breeders' Cup Notes Team Winning trainer Todd Pletcher (Bulletin) – “Fantastic way to start. He broke really well and was sharp. He took it to them the whole way. It was a big race. We wanted to leave there running. He finished up nicely. Nothing like winning one." Winning jockey Javier Castellano (Bulletin) – “He broke like a shot and put me in a real great position. We were in good shape the whole way. I’m very impressed. He was very professional. This is a great way to start off the Breeders’ Cup.”Second-place trainer Wesley Ward (Chelsea Cloisters) – "What are you going to do? We got beat by the king. Stillwater Cove got stuck in boggy conditions and Moonlight Romance got stuck in a tight going on the turn. But we ran second for my great friend Gatewood Bell so that is fantastic. We knew going in that the turf would be really, really soft and it was but there is nothing you can do about that.”Second-place jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Chelsea Cloisters) – “The trip worked out perfectly. She broke sharply and put herself where she needed to be. I thought we had the horse in front of us, but when Javier (Castellano) got into him (Bulletin), he had something left. My filly ran huge.”Third-place jockey Wayne Lordan (So Perfect) – “They went really quick out there. He came home really well and he has run a great race.”Fourth-place trainer William Haggas (Queen of Bermuda, fourth) – “She ran a great race. She got checked on the bend but she ran on really well. I’m really delighted with her. She’s now going to continue her career with Graham Motion." Jockey Oisin Murphy (Soldier’s Call, beaten favorite) – "I’m disappointed because going into the race I thought he’d be very tough to beat. I felt that the ground was riding soft."

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11.2.2018:

Bulletin Wires Field in Inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 2, 2018) – WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing’s Bulletin ($10.60) rocketed out of the gate and was never headed to win the inaugural running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint by 2 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs Friday afternoon to kick off the 35thedition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the first of five races for 2-year-olds on Future Stars Friday.Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castellano, Bulletin covered the 5 ½ furlongs on a turf course labeled as good in 1:05.54. It was the 10th Breeders’ Cup victory for Pletcher and ninth for Castellano.A Kentucky-bred son of City Zip, Bulletin quickly opened a daylight margin with Chelsea Cloisters in closest pursuit. The two ran in that order the rest of the way and easily fended off the late challengers with So Perfect finishing a length behind Chelsea Cloisters in third and Queen of Bermuda another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.Bulletin is now 2-for-2 with his initial victory coming at Gulfstream Park by seven lengths Sept. 29.

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11.1.2018:

Tickets to the 144th Preakness Stakes On Sale Now

BALTIMORE, MD – November 1st, 2018 – The Stronach Group, owners of the legendary Pimlico Race Course, announced today that facility and Preakness Village tickets to the 144th Preakness Stakes are on sale.  The Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, will be held on Saturday, May 18th, 2019 at Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore, Maryland. The 95th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) will take place on Friday, May 17th, kicking off an incredible weekend of entertainment and world-class Thoroughbred racing. Tickets to the 144th Preakness Stakes and Black-Eyed Susan Day are available now at www.preakness.com.  Tickets range from $40 to $720 per person and offer unique, curated experiences for every guest, including multi-day tickets, amazing trackside views from the Grandstand and Apron and elevated race-day luxury in the Preakness Village. “The Stronach Group is committed to the ongoing success of the Preakness and to modernizing the event experience for all of our guests,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group. “From horsemen to fans, the focus on experience is a key driver of our business and we look forward to treating all in attendance to an unforgettable weekend.” First contested in 1873, the Preakness is one of Thoroughbred racing's most valued Grade 1 stakes races and one of the world’s most renowned sporting events. In 2018, a crowd of 134,487 witnessed jockey Mike Smith and eventual Triple Crown winner, Justify win the 143rd Preakness Stakes in a dramatic finish through the fog. Celebrity fans in attendance included Post Malone, Charlotte McKinney, Giada De Laurentiis, Chanel Iman, Ne-Yo, AnnaLynne McCord, Bill Belichick and players from the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, to name just a few. The fan favorite InfieldFest will return for the 11th year and includes a full-day concert experience featuring top tier performers, a variety of food and beverage options and a host of wagering opportunities aimed at engaging the next generation of fans. The Stronach Group will announce the InfieldFest artist line-up and tickets in early 2019. InfieldFest has showcased some of music's biggest stars, including Post Malone, 21 Savage, ODESZA and Frank Walker (2018), Sam Hunt and Zedd (2017), The Chainsmokers and Fetty Wap (2016), Armin van Buuren and Childish Gambino (2015), Lorde and NAS (2014), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pitbull and Florida Georgia Line (2013), Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa (2012), Bruno Mars (2011), Zac Brown, O.A.R. and Train (2010), and Buckcherry and ZZ Top (2009).  Follow all of the excitement of the Preakness Stakes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PreaknessStakes and at #Preakness.

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10.31.2018:

Breeders' Cup 10% Takeout Head2Head Wagering Matchups Announced

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 31, 2018) - Breeders’ Cup, which last week announced several new wagers to its betting menu for both Friday and Saturday of the November 2-3 World Championships at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., has released the Head2Head (H2H) wagering matchups. Click here for the chosen H2H matchups: http://www.breederscup.com/wager/head2head All told, seven Head2Head (H2H) wagers, with three offered Friday and four Saturday, provide seasoned bettors and potential newcomers an opportunity to handicap intrarace matchups in the hopes of unearthing strong plays in a sports betting type of format. The $10 minimum wager, with just a 10% takeout, is designed to offer matchups with a theoretical 50/50 chance of winning, that should attract seasoned bettors, but could also in turn appeal to sports bettors, as they are essentially being given an even-money proposition, yet with no points spread involved. The matchups, listed below, will have a predominantly USA vs. European feel and consist of both individual horses against each other, as well as entire groups from both countries. Friday, Nov. 2 Race 6 – Juvenile Fillies Turf: USA(1) vs Europe(2)Race 8 – Juvenile Turf: USA(1) vs. Europe(2)Race 9 – Sentient Jet Juvenile: Complexity(1) vs. Game Winner(2) Saturday, Nov. 3 Race 6 – Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf: USA(1) vs. Europe(2)Race 8 – Mile: USA(1) vs. Europe(2)Race 10 – Longines Turf: Enable (GB)(1) vs. the Field(2)Race 11 – Classic: Mendelssohn(1) vs. Thunder Snow(2) All seven matchups offer plenty of pros and cons for each side that should attract betting dollars from handicappers and fans alike, as Friday’s juvenile turf races figure to be wide open, with serious contenders from both the USA and Europe, while the Sentient Jet Juvenile itself has a great West Coast-East Coast battle between a pair of undefeated colts, Complexity and Game Winner. Saturday is much the same, as the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf and Mile are riddled with contenders from both sides of the pond, while the immortal European filly Enable will go at it alone in the Turf, while tackling the entire field. The Classic will pit European-based Mendelssohn and Thunder Snow against each other, but US bettors and Kentuckians are familiar with both, as they each ran in the Kentucky Derby and in the US on multiple occasions. Each Head2Head wager will consist of two betting interests, number 1 or 2. USA will be the 1 interest and Europe will be the 2 interest for all USA vs Europe wagers. Similarly, Complexity will be the 1 interest and Game Winner the 2 interest, Enable the 1 interest and the Field the 2 interest, and Mendelssohn the 1 interest and Thunder Snow the 2 interest. In Head2Head wagers the winner will be determined by the horse that crosses the finish line first and does not necessarily need to be the horse that wins the race. The Head2Head matchups are an important spoke in a wheel that sees a plethora of new and exciting wagers that are sure to bolster an already tremendous wagering product the Championships offer. A newly added 50-cent late Pick 5 on both Friday (deemed the “Future Stars Pick 5) and Saturday, with a 15% takeout and a guaranteed pool of $1 million and $2 million, respectively, lead the way and figure to easily surpass their guarantees, while a Jackpot Super High 5 that could spurn a carryover pool in the millions is also expected to be well received. Couple those with special daily double wagering that links a Friday race to a Saturday race, with a $1 minimum and 22% takeout, and an already loaded wagering menu becomes that much more appealing—and potentially lucrative.

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10.30.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Entries

Here are the entries for all of Friday and Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Championship races at Churchill Downs. Friday's Races Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint ($1,000,000)2YO - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)1. Strike Silver (Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux) - 4/12. Soldier's Call (GB) (Archie Watson/Oisin Murphy) - 9/23. Well Done Fox (GB) (Richard Hannon/William Buick) - 12/14. Stillwater Cove (Wesley Ward/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 20/15. Bulletin (Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano) - 10/16. Moonlight Romance (Wesley Ward/Jose Ortiz) - 12/17. Shang Shang Shang (Wesley Ward/John Velazquez) - 5/18. Sergei Prokofiev (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 6/19. Chelsea Cloisters (Wesley Ward/Tyler Gaffalione) - 8/110. So Perfect (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 12/111. Queen of Bermuda (IRE) (William Haggas/Flavien Prat) - 20/112. Pockey Dynamo (Robert Cowell/Joel Rosario) - 20/1Also Eligible13. Big Drink of Water (Larry Rivelli/Jose Valdivia Jr.) - 30/114. Comedy (IRE) (Karl Burke/Joel Rosario) - 30/115. Van Beethoven (Aidan O'Brien/Andrea Atzeni) - 30/116. Legends of War (John Gosden/Oisin Murphy) - 30/1Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1, $1,000,000)2YO Fillies - 1 Mile (Turf)1. Concrete Rose (George Arnold II/Jose Lezcano) - 6/12. The Mackem Bullet (IRE) (Brian Ellison/Oisin Murphy) - 15/13. Lily's Candle (FR) (Fabrice Vermeulen/Pierre-Charles Boudot) - 8/14. Just Wonderful (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 6/15. La Pelosa (IRE) (Charles Appleby/William Buick) - 15/16. Newspaperofrecord (IRE) (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 2/17. Stellar Agent (Jorge Abreu/Manny Franco) - 30/18. Belle Laura (Norm Casse/Julien Leparoux) - 20/19. Varenka (Graham Motion/Jose Ortiz) - 20/110. Pakhet (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 12/111. Lady Prancealot (IRE) (Richard Baltas/Joe Talamo) - 30/112. Summering (Tom Proctor/Drayden Van Dyke) - 15/113. My Gal Betty (Roger Attfield/Javier Castellano) - 20/114. East (GB) (Kevin Ryan/Jamie Spencer) - 20/1Also Eligible15. Pivottina (FR) (Graham Motion/Joel Rosario) - 30/116. Winning Envelope (Chris Block/Carlos Marquez Jr.) - 30/1Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1, $2,000,000)2YO Fillies - 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)1. Reflect (Keith Desormeaux/Jose Ortiz) - 15/12. Serengeti Empress (Tom Amoss/Corey Lanerie) - 7/23. Vibrance (Michael McCarthy/John Velazquez) - 10/14. Restless Rider (Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 9/25. Cassies Dreamer (Barclay Tagg/Manny Franco) - 30/16. Baby Nina (Anthony Quartarolo/Tyler Gaffalione) - 30/17. Jaywalk (John Servis/Joel Rosario) - 7/28. Sippican Harbor (Gary Contessa/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 12/19. Splashy Kisses (Doug O'Neill/Drayden Van Dyke) - 20/110. Bellafina (Simon Callaghan/Flavien Prat) - 2/1Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade 1, $1,000,000)2YO - 1 Mile (Turf)1. Arthur Kitt (GB) (Thomas Dascombe/Richard Kingscote) - 20/12. Uncle Benny (Jason Servis/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 15/13. Much Better (Bob Baffert/Drayden Van Dyke) - 10/14. Forty Under (Jeremiah Englehart/Manny Franco) - 5/15. Line of Duty (IRE) (Charles Appleby/William Buick) - 10/16. Henley's Joy (Mike Maker/Tyler Gaffalione) - 8/17. Somelikeithotbrown (Mike Maker/Jose Ortiz) - 12/18. Opry (Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano) - 15/19. The Black Album (FR) (Jane Soubagne/Mickael Barzalona) - 30/110. War of Will (Mark Casse/Joel Rosario) - 12/111. King of Speed (Jeff Bonde/Gary Stevens) - 8/112. Current (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 5/113. Marie's Diamond (IRE) (Mark Johnston/Florent Geroux) - 20/114. Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) (Aian O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 4/1Also Eligible15. Tracksmith (Joe Sharp/Adam Beschizza) - 30/116. Order and Law (Louis Linder Jr./Feargal Lynch) - 30/1   Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade 1, $2,000,000) 2YO - 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)1. Dueling (Jerry Hollendorfer/Manny Franco) - 20/12. Mr. Money (Bret Calhoun/Gabriel Saez) - 30/13. Derby Date (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Contreras) - 30/14. Tight Ten (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 30/15. Well Define (Kathleen O'Connell/Mike Smith) - 20/16. Complexity (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) - 5/27. Mind Control (Gregory Sacco/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 20/18. Standard Deviation (Chad Brown/Javier Castellano) - 12/19. Game Winner (Bob Baffert/Joel Rosario) - 8/510. Knicks Go (Ben Colebrook/Albin Jimenez) - 30/111. Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey/John Velazquez) - 5/112. Gunmetal Gray (Jerry Hollendorfer/Flavien Prat) - 10/113. Topper T (Bill Mott/Tyler Gaffalione) - 30/114. Signalman (Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 20/1 Saturday's Races Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Grade 1, $1,000,000) 3YO+ Fillies & Mares - 7 Furlongs (Dirt)1. Selcourt (John Sadler/Tyler Baze) - 4/12. Miss Sunset (Jeff Bonde/Kent Desormeaux) - 15/13. Happy Like a Fool (Wesley Ward/Luis Saez) - 20/14. Kirby's Penny (Wesley Ward/John Velazquez) - 30/15. Golden Mischief (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux) - 10/16. Chalon (Arnaud Delacour/Javier Castellano) - 15/17. Skye Diamonds (Bill Spawr/Tiago Pereira) - 10/18. Mia Mischief (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 15/19. Stormy Embrace (Kathleen O'Connell/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20/110. Highway Star (Rodrigo Ubillo/Jose Ortiz) - 20/111. Finley'sluckycharm (Bret Calhoun/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 10/112. Anonymity (Richard Mandella/Flavien Prat) - 15/113. Marley's Freedom (Bob Baffert/Mike Smith) - 8/514. Shamrock Rose (Mark Casse/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 20/1Also Eligible15. Dream Pauline (Kiaran McLaughlin/Joel Rosario) - 30/1Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1, $1,000,000)3YO+ - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)1. Ruby Notion (Darrin Miller/Florent Geroux) - 20/12. Bucchero (Tim Glyshaw/Fernando De La Cruz) - 10/13. Hembree (Mike Maker/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20/14. Vision Perfect (Jason Servis/Javier Castellano) - 15/15. Disco Partner (Christophe Clement/Joel Rosario) - 7/26. Rainbow Heir (Jason Servis/Jose Ortiz) - 12/17. Lost Treasure (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 20/18. Chanteline (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 15/19. Stormy Liberal (Peter Miller/Drayden Van Dyke) - 4/110. Havana Grey (GB) (Karl Burke/PJ McDonald) - 20/111. World of Trouble (Jason Servis/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 6/112. Richard's Boy (Peter Miller/Paco Lopez) - 12/113. Will Call (Brad Cox/Shaun Bridgmohan) - 20/114. Conquest Tsunami (Peter Miller/Flavien Prat) - 6/1Also Eligible15. Insta Erma (Richard Baltas/Joel Rosario) - 30/1Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1, $1,000,000)3YO+ - 1 Mile (Dirt)1. City of Light (Michael McCarthy/Javier Castellano) - 5/22. Trigger Warning (Mike Rone/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 20/13. Isotherm (Phil D'Amato/Geovanni Franco) - 20/14. Seven Trumpets (Dale Romans/Robby Albarado) - 15/15. Awesome Slew (Mark Casse/Corey Lanerie) - 15/16. Seeking the Soul (Dallas Stewart/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 5/17. Firenze Fire (Jason Servis/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 6/18. Bravazo (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Contreras) - 20/19. Giant Expectations (Peter Eurton/Julien Leparoux) - 15/110. Catalina Cruiser (John Sadler/Drayden Van Dyke) - 8/5Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1, $2,000,000) 3YO+ Fillies & Mares - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf)1. Fourstar Crook (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 5/12. Thais (FR) (Chad Brown/Manny Franco) - 20/13. Wild Illusion (GB) (Charles Appleby/William Buick) - 7/24. Paved (Michael McCarthy/Joel Rosario) - 20/15. Princess Yaiza (IRE) (Gavin Cromwell/Andrea Atzeni) - 30/16. Sistercharlie (IRE) (Chad Brown/John Velazquez) - 3/17. Smart Choice (ARG) (Todd Pletcher/Flavien Prat) - 30/18. Fuhriosly Kissed (Anthony Quartarolo/Tyler Gaffalione) - 30/19. A Raving Beauty (GER) (Chad Brown/Javier Castellano) - 10/110. Magic Wand (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 5/111. Mom's On Strike (Joe Sharp/Adam Beschizza) - 20/112. Santa Monica (GB) (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) - 15/113. Athena (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 15/114. Eziyra (IRE) (Dermot Weld/Frankie Dettori) - 15/1Breeders' Cup Sprint (Grade 1, $2,000,000)3YO+ - 6 Furlongs (Dirt)1. Whitmore (Ron Moquett/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 6/12. Promises Fulfilled (Dale Romans/Luis Saez) - 6/13. B Squared (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez) - 20/14. Warrior's Club (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Contreras) - 15/15. Imperial Hint (Luis Carvajal Jr./Javier Castellano) - 9/56. Always Sunshine (Edward Allard/Frankie Pennington) - 20/17. Distinctive B (Peter Miller/Drayden Van Dyke) - 12/18. Limousine Liberal (Ben Colebrook/Jose Ortiz) - 6/19. Roy H (Peter Miller/Paco Lopez) - 5/2Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade 1, $2,000,000)3YO+ - 1 Mile (Turf)1. One Master (GB) (William Haggas/James Doyle) - 12/12. Next Shares (Richard Baltas/Tyler Gaffalione) - 10/13. Happily (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 15/14. Polydream (IRE) (Freddie Head/Maxime Guyon) - 5/15. Oscar Performance (Brian Lynch/Jose Ortiz) - 6/16. Almanaar (GB) (Chad Brown/Joel Rosario) - 12/17. Expert Eye (GB) (Sir Michael Stoute/Frankie Dettori) - 8/18. I Can Fly (GB) (Aidan O'Brien/Jamie Spencer) - 10/19. Hunt (IRE) (Phil D'Amato/Flavien Prat) - 30/110. Catapult (John Sadler/Drayden Van Dyke)11. Lightning Spear (GB) (David Simcock/Oisin Murphy) - 20/112. Analyze It (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 6/113. Gustav Klimt (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 10/114. Mustashry (GB) (Sir Michael Stoute/William Buick) - 15/1Also Eligible15. Divisidero (Kelly Rubley/Jevian Toledo) - 30/116. Clemmie (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Andra Atzeni) - 30/1Breeders' Cup Distaff (Grade 1, $2,000,000)3YO+ Fillies & Mares - 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt) 1. Champagne Problems (Ian Wilkes/Calvin Borel) - 12/12. Abel Tasman (Bob Baffert/Mike Smith) - 7/23. La Force (GER) (Patrick Gallagher/Drayden Van Dyke) - 20/14. Mopotism (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez) - 30/15. Wonder Gadot (Mark Casse/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 15/16. Verve's Tale (Barclay Tagg/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 30/17. Midnight Bisou (Steve Asmussen/John Velazquez) - 6/18. Vale Dori (ARG) (Bob Baffert/Joe Talamom) - 12/19. Wow Cat (CHI) (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) - 8/110. Blue Prize (ARG) (Ignacio Correas IV/Joe Bravo) - 6/111. Monomoy Girl (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux) - 2/1Breeders' Cup Turf (Grade 1, $4,000,000) 3YO+ - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)1. Talismanic (GB) (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) - 12/12. Enable (GB) (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) - 1/13. Channel Maker (Bill Mott/Jose Ortiz) - 12/14. Robert Bruce (CHI) (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 10/15. Magical (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 10/16. Arklow (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux) - 30/17. Glorious Empire (IRE) (James Lawrence II/Julien Leparoux) - 12/18. Liam the Charmer (Michael McCarthy/Tyler Gafflaione) - 30/19. Quarteto de Cordas (BRZ) (Ian Wilkes/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 30/110. Hi Happy (ARG) (Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez) - 20/111. Sadler's Joy (Tom Albertrani/Javier Castellano) - 30/112. Waldgeist (GB) (Andre Fabre/Pierre-Charles Boudot) - 9/213. Hunting Horn (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 30/1Breeders' Cup Classic (Grade 1, $6,000,000)3YO+ - 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt)1. Thunder Snow (IRE) (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) - 12/12. Roaring Lion (John Gosden/Oisin Murphy) - 20/13. Catholic Boy (Jonathan Thomas/Javier Castellano) - 8/14. Gunnevera (Antonio Sano/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 20/15. Lone Sailor (Tom Amoss/James Graham) - 30/16. McKinzie (Bob Baffert/Mike Smith) - 6/17. West Coast (Bob Baffert/John Velazquez) - 5/18. Pavel (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez) - 20/19. Mendelssohn (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 12/110. Yoshida (JPN) (Bill Mott/Jose Ortiz) - 10/111. Mind Your Biscuits (Chad Summers/Tyler Gaffalione) - 6/112. Axelrod (Michael McCarthy/Joe Bravo) - 30/113. Discreet Lover (Uriah St. Lewis/Manny Franco) - 20/114. Accelerate (John Sadler/Joel Rosario) - 5/2Also Eligible 15. Collected (Bob Baffert/Joe Talamo) - 30/116. Toast of New York (Jamie Osborne/Julien Leparoux) - 20/1

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10.29.2018:

Horse Racing Radio Network Has More than 19 Hours of Breeders' Cup Coverage

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY and official radio home of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships, begins more than 19 hours of live Breeders’ Cup programming Tuesday morning from Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY culminating with exclusive radio coverage of all 14 Championship races Friday and Saturday afternoon. The network’s week-long coverage launches Tuesday morning from 8-10 a.m. ET with the first of three Breeders’ Cup Countdown shows presented by Hill n’ Dale Farm and Lexington, Kentucky area Jimmy John’s. HRRN’s Anthony Stabile and Jude Feld will host the Countdown shows live from the Red Brand Tent located on the backside of Churchill Downs. Each show featured interviews with owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys and handicappers as well as trackside training reports on Breeders’ Cup contenders. Listeners can tune in to the Breeders’ Cup Countdown show Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning on SiriusXM channel 205, locally on HANK 96.1 FM in Lexington and online at www.horseracingradio.net. On Friday and Saturday, HRRN returns with live coverage of every Breeders’ Cup race presented by visitbarbados.org and Red Brand Fence. Friday’s broadcast can be heard on Sirius 219/XM 201 from 3:00-6:30 p.m. ET with Saturday’s coverage airing from 12:00-6:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM 205. In addition, the final two hours of Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET will be carried on terrestrial affiliates across the country courtesy of Sports USA, a major provider of NFL and college football play by play throughout the season. Both broadcasts will also be available worldwide via live streaming on the HRRN website, www.horseracingradio.net and at www.sportsusa.com. HRRN President, Mike Penna will anchor the broadcasts alongside analysts Jude Feld and Kurt Becker with Anthony Stabile and NYRA’s Maggie Wolfendale-Morley providing commentary and interviews track-side and from the paddock. NBC’s Larry Collmus will have the live race calls. Additional Breeders’ Cup week programming on HRRN includes Xpressbet Radio on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon from 3:00-6:00 p.m. ET, Jock Talk presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka on Tuesday, Trainer Talk presented by Fasig-Tipton on Wednesday and the Brisnet.com Call In Show on Thursday, all airing from 6:00-7:00 p.m. ET. Friday’s Weekend Stakes Preview will air following the Breeders’ Cup broadcast from 6:30-7:00 p.m. ET. Each show can be heard live on Sirius 219 and XM 201 along with live streaming and archived podcasts available on the HRRN website.

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10.27.2018:

Leofric Outduels Prime Attraction to Win G2 Fayette Stakes

Steve Landers Racing’s 8-5 second choice Leofric outbattled Southern California invader Prime Attraction to prevail by a head and win the 61st running of the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) on closing day of Keeneland’s 17-day Fall Meet before a crowd of 14,927. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Leofric tracked pace-setting Prime Attraction through fractions of :24.80, :48.97 and 1:12.74. Geroux shifted Leofric into the three path in the far turn and dueled with Prime Attraction and jockey Kent Desormeaux down the lane before pushing his head in front of that rival at the finish. Leofric covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.87 and earned $120,000 to increase his bankroll to $650,340 with his seventh victory in 13 starts. The Hagyard Fayette win marked Leofric’s fourth victory in six starts this year. He has competed at five race tracks in 2018, scoring his first stakes victory two races ago in the Aug. 4 West Virginia Governor’s (G3) at Mountaineer. A graduate of two Keeneland sales, Leofric is a 5-year-old son of Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Lady Godiva. Leofric returned $5.40, $2.80 and $2.40. Prime Attraction paid $4.20 and $3.60. Finishing four lengths behind in third was 18-1 choice Nice Not Nice, who paid $5.40 to show under Gabriel Saez. Hence ran fourth and was followed in order by Rated R Superstar, favored Hofburg and Scuba.

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint - Bob Neumeier's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide SEVEN FURLONGS, NOT SIXby Bob Neumeier, Horse Player Now ANALYSIS: Should an extra one-eighth of a mile offer any consequence? It could. Crackerjack sprinters like CHALON, KIRBY’S PENNY, SKYE DIAMONDS and STORMY EMBRACE have never won a race at seven furlongs. Is this the time these gals will break through and win at this demanding distance in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint? Methinks not. This event BEGS for an off-the-pace type and a proper trip will likely provide the best outcome. Since MARLEY’S FREEDOM drew unlucky Post 13, the prize may go to GOLDEN MISCHIEF in Post 5. With glowing clocker reports and Brad Cox on the scene, this horse could be overbet off a 10/1 ML. MAIN CONTENDERS: The oddsmaker has set MARLEY’S FREEDOM at 8/5, but the obvious danger here is a wide trip from her outside post. GOLDEN MISCHIEF opens at 10/1 but that price seems like a pipedream. How about 4/1? The trainers of both horses - Bob Baffert (MARLEY’S FREEDOM) and Brad Cox (GOLDEN MISCHIEF) are respected and will be backed heavily in the Win pool. VALUE PLAYS: If you are a fan of the ‘horses-for-courses’ angle, welcome FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM, who sports an amazing six wins in seven starts at cushy Churchill Downs. She has drawn favorably (Post 11) and should be in the early mix. CHALON should be included in all gimmick wagers, despite her failure to win at seven furlongs. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $4 Trifecta Key: GOLDEN MISCHIEF ($40) with MARLEY'S FREEDOM, CHALON, FINLEY'SLUCKYCHARM, HIGHWAY STAR and SHAMROCK ROSE ($80) $10 Exacta: GOLDEN MISCHIEF and MARLEY'S FREEDOM over CHALON ($20) MY PICKS: GOLDEN MISCHIEF MARLEY'S FREEDOM CHALON FINLEY'SLUCKYCHARM   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint - Jeremy Plonk's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide PRICES PLUMMET IN REMATCH by Jeremy Plonk, Xpressbet ANALYSIS: Contestants get an extra half-furlong to work with in this year’s Turf Sprint at Churchill compared to the 2010 and 2011 renewals hosted in Louisville, and at Del Mar last year. That could be a factor for two reasons: Horses drawn in tough post positions will enjoy a longer run into the only turn. And there’s more real estate for late-runners to utilize. Europeans have had legitimate impact on other turf divisions, but there’s speed and then there’s American speed. History, and the quality domestic entrants this year, indicate a continued lean to the red, white and blue. But soft turf conditions could move up LOST TREASURE among the Euros if rains come. MAIN CONTENDERS: Last year’s top four finishers return for this edition, led by 30-1 stunner STORMY LIBERAL and Peter Miller-barnmate RICHARD’S BOY; New York’s finest turf dasher DISCO PARTNER and ‘Capt. Keeneland’ BUCCHERO. It’s true STORMY LIBERAL has won three straight since DISCO PARTNER took him out in the Jaipur for the second straight year, but his last six wins have been by a neck or less. Is there enough good fortune remaining to accept something closer to 3-1 this time than 30-1 last time? Similarly, BUCCHERO won last year’s Woodford at Keeneland at 26-1 and then returned as the 3-1 repeat winner this year. You may like the horse, but you won’t like the price – nor will it represent fair value. VALUE PLAYS: Scoot past last year’s top four underlaid returnees, and value abounds. The ‘other’ Miller is CONQUEST TSUNAMI, who will take them a long way up front. The two Turf Sprints at Churchill saw Regally Ready win on the front and Central City nearly steal the previous year’s dash before holding second. CHANTELINE is in career form and those who handle the sand-based course at Keeneland often do well at Churchill. Mares have run well in this division. Mid-Atlantic turf sprinters often are underrated, and Jason Servis’ RAINBOW HEIR and VISION PERFECT will be overlooked while distracted by the shiny object from the same barn, WORLD OF TROUBLE. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $30 Win and Place: CONQUEST TSUNAMI ($60) $5 Exacta Key Box: CONQUEST TSUNAMI with CHANTELINE, RAINBOW HEIR, VISION PERFECT and DISCO PARTNER ($40) MY PICKS: CONQUEST TSUNAMI CHANTELINE RAINBOW HEIR DISCO PARTNER   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile - Jerry Shottenkirk's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide GAME WINNER ON THE HORIZONby Jerry Shottenkirk, Xpressbet ANALYSIS: The Juvenile is usually a great challenge, particularly when you handicap two of the top trainers in the game. And it so happens they have the top contenders. What’s a little different this time is that each is away from home. New York and California meet in Kentucky as Chad Brown and Bob Baffert runners clearly have guns loaded with the top from each coast. To many observers and players, it looks like one or the other – Brown’s COMPLEXITY or Baffert’s GAME WINNER. The mile and one-sixteenth race is around two turns at Churchill Downs, and GAME WINNER has accomplished that layout with his win in the Grade 1 American Pharoah. Brown will go for his second consecutive Juvenile (following Good Magic), while Baffert will go for his fourth (New Year’s Day, Midshipman and Vindication). MAIN CONTENDERS: COMPLEXITY and GAME WINNER have plenty of upside. Each is unbeaten – COMPLEXITY after two races and GAME WINNER after three. COMPLEXITY ran at Saratoga and Belmont, GAME WINNER at Del Mar and Santa Anita. The feeling here is that GAME WINNER has done more, has been more dominant, has defeated better horses and is better-suited for longer distances. No reason to believe Baffert doesn’t have another stone-cold runner on a huge scale. GUNMETAL GRAY has a chance to get up for second. VALUE PLAYS: GUNMETAL GRAY will probably be overlooked in the win pool. CODE OF HONOR’S closing second vs. COMPLEXITY in the Grade 1 Champagne did more for him than his gate-to-wire run in his debut. KNICKS GO was impressive going two turns in the Breeders’ Futurity. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $40 Win: GAME WINNER ($40) $20 Exacta Part-Wheel: GAME WINNER over GUNMETAL GRAY and COMPLEXITY ($40) $10 Exacta Part-Wheel: GAME WINNER over CODE OF HONOR and KNICKS GO ($20) MY PICKS: GAME WINNER GUNMETAL GRAY COMPLEXITY CODE OF HONOR   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf - Brian Spencer's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide APPLEBY REPORTS FOR DUTYby Brian W. Spencer, Xpressbet ANALYSIS: While Europeans hold a nearly two-to-one edge on their North American counterparts in the BC Juvenile Turf, there are a couple runners from our side of the pond that look capable of making some noise. It doesn’t appear on paper that we’ll be looking at too serious a pace, and that could advantage the forward players. The Euros who appear to fit the bill best are ANTHONY VAN DYCK and LINE OF DUTY; they’ll meet a capable home team this year led by recent stakes winners FORTY UNDER and CURRENT. MAIN CONTENDERS: LINE OF DUTY overcame a tough trip to break his maiden two starts back before stepping up to capture the Group 3 Prix de Conde at Chantilly last out. He’ll get his class test, but trainer Charlie Appleby is no stranger to Breeders’ Cup success, having saddled Outstrip ($14) to win this race in 2013 and Wuheida ($24) to win the Filly & Mare Turf last year – from just three career Breeders’ Cup starters. I had originally liked Broome for trainer Adian O’Brien, but they opted to keep him in Europe. Instead O’Brien, who has won this race four times, ships ANTHONY VAN DYCK stateside. He seems even more likely to be a main player, but the wide draw in a 14-horse field did him no favors. CURRENT was the only one to close any ground in the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland, and he has now won over turf courses rated ‘firm’ and ‘good,’ so he should be able to adapt to whatever the weather throws his way. His only loss came at the hands of a next-out Grade 1 winner, so there’s some quality. FORTY UNDER has been a revelation on the grass in his two most recent starts, but he has been the beneficiary of a couple of decent setups in those scores, and to these eyes he’s still got some proving to do. VALUE PLAYS: HENLEY’S JOY isn’t flashy, but he’s tactical and has proven that he know how to dig in and doesn’t mind a fight in the lane. He should get one of the better trips from just off the speed and might get a bit forgotten on the tote. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $30 Win and Place: LINE OF DUTY ($60) $8 Exacta Part-Wheel: LINE OF DUTY with ANTHONY VAN DYCK, CURRENT, FORTY UNDER, HENLEY'S JOY and WAR OF WILL ($40) MY PICKS: LINE OF DUTY ANTHONY VAN DYCK HENLEY'S JOY CURRENT   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Sprint - Dick Jerardi's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide NO DOUBT ABOUT THIS PICKby Dick Jerardi, Daily Racing Form ANALYSIS: IMPERIAL HINT is one length from winning his last eight six-furlong races. That length came in the 2017 Sprint when ROY H ran him down in the final 100 yards. ROY H was unlucky not to win all six of his 2017 races. A loose horse in the Bing Crosby cost him a perfect season. That said, I thought IMPERIAL HINT was the better horse at Del Mar last year and I am absolutely certain IMPERIAL HINT is the best horse now. The farther outside horses ran on the Del Mar main track at the 2017 BC, the faster they ran. And ROY H caught the dream trip in the Sprint. As he did last year, IMPERIAL HINT has been training at Parx for months. Parx never had a horse win a ‘Win and You’re In’ race. Suddenly, horses stabled there won three in eight days. My theory is that the surface, which has been super-deep and tiring all year, has gotten horses incredibly fit. And that would include IMPERIAL HINT, already the fastest horse in the country. MAIN CONTENDERS: IMPERIAL HINT was 4-1 last year on the tote. Anything above 2-1 would be a gift this time. The 5-year-old is your classic two-way horse. He obviously has enough speed to control the race from the top, but, more importantly, has the motor to sit back and accelerate past even the fastest horses around. ROY H has not come back to his top races from last year when he twice earned 111 Beyer figures; and he got dream trips in his two wins against overmatched horses. PROMISES FULFILLED starts near the rail (Post #2) and will be trying to take this field from gate-to-wire. LIMOUSINE LIBERAL has hit the board in 17 sprint stakes, but was no factor in two previous BC Sprint attempts. WHITMORE is 9-for-13 at the distance with $2 million in earnings. VALUE PLAYS: If this race falls apart, it could be an Exacta Box of LIMOUSINE LIBERAL and WHITMORE, the two best closers. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $100 Exacta: IMPERIAL HINT over LIMOUSINE LIBERAL ($100) MY PICKS: IMPERIAL HINT LIMOUSINE LIBERAL ROY H WHITMORE   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies - Megan Devine's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide EAST-WEST CLASH ON TAPby Megan Devine, Santa Anita Park ANALYSIS:A talented group of young ladies, including several with recent double-digit scores on resumes, meet here. Last year’s edition featured an early speed duel between Moonshine Memories (Prat/Callaghan) and Alluring Star (Talamo/Baffert), that catapulted longshot Caledonia Road (Smith/Nicks) into the winner’s circle. This year, those seeking value just might enjoy a similar sequel. More than half of this field has performed best on the lead, including the classy BELLAFINA (Prat/Callaghan). That may turn this into a rider’s race or a case of survival of the fittest filly. MAIN CONTENDERS: BELLAFINA is the most expensive purchase in the field ($800,000) and boasts impressive hardware, including three consecutive graded stakes victories. She appears the filly to beat. She’s gotten better with added distance, relaxing with or without blinkers. It’s unlikely she’ll be alone on the lead in here, though. In her last two starts, SERENGETI EMPRESS has won by a combined 33 lengths and JAYWALK, though untested at this distance, led to an impressive win in the Grade 1 Frizette. Aptly named RESTLESS RIDER appears the most aggressive filly in the group, but has excelled under the patient (and strong) hands of jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. She’s overcome a bushelful of trouble and relaxed enough to stretch out and win. She also has a perfect record at Churchill Downs. VALUE PLAYS: SIPPICAN HARBOR scored on the lead by 17 lengths to break her maiden, but matured sufficiently to sit off the pace to win the Grade 1 Spinaway.  WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $30 Win: BELLAFINA ($30) $30 Win: RESTLESS RIDER ($30) $20 Exacta Box: BELLAFINA and RESTLESS RIDER ($40) MY PICKS: BELLAFINA RESTLESS RIDER JAYWALK SERENGETI EMPRESS   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf - Stan Salter's Picks

 Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide RESPECT FOREIGN INVASIONby Stan Salter, Laurel Park ANALYSIS:This field is loaded! Expect an early November soft Kentucky turf course, so my picks all have done well over ground with ‘give’ in it. Also, they’ve each performed well in either Grade 1 or Group 1 company. European shippers will be very tough in this race and should dominate the top placings. Six of the fillies in this field started their career in Europe. MAIN CONTENDERS: LILY’S CANDLE just won going a mile on a firm turf course in the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac, a Group 1 Race at Longchamp. She’s also won against stakes company going seven furlongs over a soft turf course in early August. Before LA PELOSA came across the pond in mid-September to win Woodbine’s one-mile Grade 1 Natalma, she was group stakes-placed on the turf in Great Britain for trainer Charles Appleby. NEWSPAPEROFRECORD from the Chad Brown barn would love a wet course. She romped by nearly seven as favorite in her debut at Saratoga around two turns over a yielding course. She duplicated that effort next out dominating the Grade 2 Miss Grillo, also over a yielding course at Belmont. VALUE PLAYS: VARENKA is a maiden on the improve and was second in the Miss Grillo for trainer Graham Motion. MY GAL BETTY is trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield and was unbeaten until runner-up in the Natalma last out. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $50 Win & Place: LILY'S CANDLE ($100) MY PICKS: LILY'S CANDLE LA PELOSA MY GAL BETTY NEWSPAPEROFRECORD   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint - Matt Dinerman's Picks

 Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide INTERNATIONAL SPLIT DECISIONby Matt Dinerman, Golden Gate Fields ANALYSIS:The inaugural Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint features a full field of competitive freshmen set to tussle at five and one-half furlongs on turf. A strong European contingent is expected from top trainers: Aidan O’Brien, Archie Watson and Richard Hannon. However, the home team seems strong, too. US-based conditioner Wesley Ward has Royal Ascot winner SHANG SHANG SHANG and he’s joined by top North American trainers Todd Pletcher and Mark Casse with legit players in the race. MAIN CONTENDERS: SHANG SHANG SHANG broke his maiden at Keeneland and then took the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. That was in June, though, and she hasn’t appeared in the afternoon since. Ward surely has pointed her for this and can get one ready off works alone. STRIKE SILVER, for Mark Casse, is another logical player from the US. He was a last-to-first winner of the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland. That rally was a reversal from previous winning front-running form. A top European candidate is SOLDIER’S CALL. He most recently was third in the Group 1 Prix de I’Abbaye at Longchamp vs. older horses. He’ll face contemporaries in here and that should be an easier task. VALUE PLAYS: BULLETIN, a son of City Zip, debuted in the 5-furlong Hollywood Beach Stakes at Gulfstream, went to the lead and drew off by 7 lengths for trainer Todd Pletcher. O’Brien saddles two shippers: SERGEI PROKOFIEV and SO PERFECT. The latter, a filly facing males in here, appears classiest of the pair. The daughter of Scat Daddy most recently hit the board in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at six furlongs. Her biggest win came in a Group 3 in July at The Curragh. SERGEI PROKOFIEV comes into the Breeders’ Cup fresh off a triumph in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes going 5-furlongs. He’s been off the board, though, in two career Group 1 tries. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $40 Win: SOLDIER'S CALL ($40) $5 Exacta Box: SHANG SHANG SHANG, SOLDIER'S CALL, BULLETIN, SO PERFECT ($60) MY PICKS: SOLDIER'S CALL BULLETIN SO PERFECT SHANG SHANG SHANG   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf - Millie Ball's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!by Millie Ball, XBTV ANALYSIS: While the distance of the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf has gone from a mile and one-eighth last year to a mile and three-eighths this year, the lead characters appear unchanged: English shippers versus Chad Brown. At least that’s how this story has played out over the past six years. Though the plot may be trending predictable, good news is that it hasn’t affected wagering value. Brown has yet to claim the Filly & Mare Turf with his shortest-priced entry (this year he might start four runners) and the average odds on recent English success stories is a juicy 6.90-to-1. MAIN CONTENDERS: This summer, Brown’s robust stable won all three American turf preps with free passage into this race. SISTERCHARLIE led the way in the Beverly D at Arlington, and FOURSTAR CROOK, the only filly or mare to have beaten the aforementioned stablemate this year, won the Flower Bowl at Belmont. While SISTERCHARLIE has a stronger resume - three Grade 1s to her credit - FOURSTAR CROOK offers more value. Unlike her stablemate, ‘CROOK has shown she can handle give in the ground and has proven she can handle any type of pace. She possesses a good turn of foot, evident in her latest, and she is genuine. Meanwhile, Charlie Appleby, the English trainer who conquered this event last year with Wuheida, is back with Prix de l’Opera winner WILD ILLUSION. Like Wuheida, WILD ILLUSION was a Group 1 winner at two, but boasts far superior form to her predecessor as a three-year-old. VALUE PLAYS: EZIYRA finished third in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks behind recent Group 1 Arc de Triomphe runner-up Sea of Class and Group 1 Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes runner-up Coronet. Sophomore MAGIC WAND ran second to WILD ILLUSION in the Prix de l’Opera and continues to improve. Astonishingly, her trainer Aidan O’Brien has never won the F&M Turf. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $25 Exacta Part-Wheel: WILD ILLUSION with FOURSTAR CROOK, SISTERCHARLIE and EZIYRA ($75) $9 Exacta: FOURSTAR CROOK with WILD ILLUSION ($9) $8 Exacta Part-Wheel: SISTERCHARLIE, EZIYRA with WILD ILLUSION ($16) MY PICKS: WILD ILLUSION FOURSTAR CROOK SISTERCHARLIE EZIYRA   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile - Frank Carulli's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide 'CRUISER NEEDS ANOTHER GEAR?by Frank Carulli, Xpressbet ANALYSIS: Favorites are 11: 2-0-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The average win mutuel, not counting Goldencents’ repeat victory in 2014 and Liam’s Map’s win at 1-to-2 odds the following year, is $29. Dakota Phone ($77.40) and Caleb’s Posse ($15.60) conquered the one-turn mile the two years the Cup was held at Churchill Downs, while both favorites finished out of the money. It makes for an interesting backdrop, considering an undefeated four-year-old could command odds-on attention when the horses reach the gate Saturday. MAIN CONTENDERS: Expected favorite CATALINA CRUISER is unbeaten in four starts, spanning six furlongs to a mile and one-sixteenth, but his trainer, John Sadler, is winless with 41 Breeders’ Cup starts. ‘CRUISER romped as the lone speed in the Grade 2 San Diego, but probably won’t have that luxury in his second route attempt. He pulled away impressively from last year’s Dirt Mile champion, Battle of Midway, in the “Win and You’re In” Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar in his final tune-up. CITY OF LIGHT was a multiple Grade 1 winner as a three-year-old, the only horse to defeat Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite Accelerate this year, and posted five consecutive, triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. He reportedly had foot problems preceding the Grade 1 Forego and flattened out late off a three-month layoff. VALUE PLAYS: FIRENZE FIRE is a proven miler, winning the Grade 1 Champagne last fall and the Grade 3 Dwyer by 9-lengths. His trainer, Jason Servis, is enjoying a blockbuster year, clicking with 30-percent winners on starters. BRAVAZO came the closest to spoiling Justify’s Triple Crown run when he rallied for second in the Preakness. He also finished in the Top 3 in the Travers and Haskell this summer. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $15 Win and Place: FIRENZE FIRE ($30) $35 Exacta Box: FIRENZE FIRE and CATALINA CRUISER ($70) MY PICKS: FIRENZE FIRE CATALINA CRUISER CITY OF LIGHT SEEKING THE SOUL   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Classic - Steve Byk's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide CLASSIC FREE-FOR-ALLby Steve Byk, At the Races with Steve Byk ANALYSIS: Three highly decorated International contenders - THUNDER SNOW, MENDELSSOHN and ROARING LION - will collide with fleet, credentialed domestic powerhouses ACCELERATE, WEST COAST and MCKINZIE; turf converts CATHOLIC BOY and YOSHIDA; plus plucky overachievers MIND YOUR BISCUITS and DISCREET LOVER. Classics at Churchill have the handicapping assistance of a regularly contested 10-furlong event. And, as with the Derby, the opening six furlongs will establish a distinct scenario: 1:10 or faster favors closers; 1:10 to 1:11 aids mid-pack stalkers; 1:11 or more provides near-the-lead types best opportunities. On paper, this renewal suggests a swift, well-contested pace. MAIN CONTENDERS: With ACCELERATE, WEST COAST, MCKINZIE and CATHOLIC BOY each inclined to be a part of the vanguard, the perplexing Classic question is: Which, if any, of these most likely betting favorites can comfortably adjust to a stalk-and-kick trip? Add pressers THUNDER SNOW and MENDELSSOHN to the equation and a meltdown reminiscent of what happened at the ‘Downs in 2011 is possible. The biggest beneficiary of the fast pace would be MIND YOUR BISCUITS, who doesn’t stop running hard at any distance. ROARING LION is the race’s wildcard from behind. His resume glistens and trainer John Gosdsen is deadly, but sire Kitten’s Joy still doesn’t have a Grade 1 winner on dirt. VALUE PLAYS: Like with the Kentucky Derby, BC Classics at Churchill usually feature exotic finishers poised in the top four positions at the eighth-pole. Major value, though, has come from at least one superfecta closer, including Drosselmeyer (won at 14-1 in 2011), Ruler On Ice (third at 17-1 in 2011), Fly Down (third at 26-1 in 2010), Giacomo (fourth at 21-1 in 2006) and Captain Steve (third at 13-1 in 2000). A 2018 potential mutuel explosion could come from Woodward winner YOSHIDA, Stephen Foster hero PAVEL or PA Derby runner-up AXELROD, who has improved with maturity and added distance. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $5 Exacta Box: MCKINZIE, MIND YOUR BISCUITS, YOSHIDA, AXELROD and WEST COAST ($100) MY PICKS: MCKINZIE MIND YOUR BISCUITS YOSHIDA AXELROD   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Turf - Nick Luck's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide PRICE SEEKERS ENABLEDby Nick Luck, NBC Sports ANALYSIS: The $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf draws a superbly representative field from Europe and the USA. Clearly, race build up revolves around dual Arc de Triomphe heroine ENABLE, who will deservedly be an odds-on favorite. Much discussion will center on a trends-based analysis that boasts that no horse ever has won the Arc and BC Turf in the same season. Given that no fewer than 12 horses to compete in the Arc have subsequently been successful, this can be seen as reductive analysis and one that should have limited basis when assessing ENABLE’S chance in this race on this day. It is more sensible to focus on whether she can show her true superiority over this group, and whether ground, pace and track variables will affect her chances. Interestingly, given her light and interrupted 2018 campaign, her trainer John Gosden believes she can move forward off the Arc. MAIN CONTENDERS: Trainer Andre Fabre saddles last year’s winner TALISMANIC and Arc fourth WALDGEIST. TALISMANIC has not sparkled since a poor run in the Dubai World Cup. WALDGEIST, who raced against the bias in the Arc and didn’t get the clearest of runs, is much preferred, especially over soggy ground. Aidan O’Brien’s 3-year-old filly MAGICAL - like his previous sophomore filly and BC Turf winner Found - is peaking at the right time. CHANNEL MAKER reacted well to positive tactics at Belmont and offers hope for a podium finish for the home team. VALUE PLAYS: ENABLE is a star, but she might not be as invincible as last year. She enjoyed a perfect Arc trip under a brilliant ride. There may be some mileage in trying to dig out a few to better her on the day. Exactas shunning her will pay huge. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $4 Exacta Box: WALDGEIST, MAGICAL, TALISMANIC and CHANNEL MAKER ($60) $40 Win: WALDGEIST ($40) MY PICKS: WALDGEIST MAGICAL ENABLE CHANNEL MAKER   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Mile - Jeff Siegel's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide POLY WILL RUN A 'CRACKER' MILE by Jeff Siegel, XBTV ANALYSIS: North American-based runners have enjoyed reasonable success in the 34-year history of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, considerably better by comparison to what the home team has been able to achieve in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Trouble is, this has not been a banner year in the States for this division, which has been characterized by extreme inconsistency. OSCAR PERFORMANCE can be considered the current leader following his victory in the Woodbine Mile and is undefeated in three starts at this exact mile trip, including the BC Juvenile Turf two years ago. However, his only prior race over the Churchill Downs turf course was poor. MAIN CONTENDERS: There aren’t any monsters among the invaders, but there are plenty of high-quality types that are capable on their best day of winning. The 3-year-old filly POLYDREAM had no chance due to severe traffic on Arc day in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, but her form before that was outstanding and included a win against older males in the 20-runner Group 1 Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in August. She’s not Goldikova or Miesque, but she won’t have to be. EXPERT EYE, a Group 3 winner at Royal Ascot in June, hasn’t yet won a Group 1, but he was most recently a strong closing third in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and before that finished an admirable second in the Group 1 Sussex at Goodwood. VALUE PLAYS: Regarding the Americans, in addition to OSCAR PERFORMANCE, the California invader CATAPULT brings to Kentucky back-to-back Grade 2 wins and clearly has improved since joining the John Sadler barn three races back. ONE MASTER, the 47-1 upset winner of the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, had better form than her price gave her credit for, and can be included somewhere in the exotics. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $28 Win: POLYDREAM ($28) $4 Exacta Box: POLYDREAM, EXPERT EYE, OSCAR PERFORMANCE ($24) $4 Exacta Box: POLYDREAM, EXPERT EYE, CATAPULT ($24) $4 Exacta Box: POLYDREAM, EXPERT EYE, ONE MASTER ($24) MY PICKS: POLYDREAM EXPERT EYE OSCAR PERFORMANCE CATAPULT   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Distaff - Brian Nadeau's Picks

Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide AT HOME IN LOUISVILLEby Brian Nadeau, Xpressbet ANALYSIS: Often one of the shorter fields and more predictable Breeders’ Cup events, this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff feels more contentious than the toteboard might suggest. While standout three-year-old MONOMOY GIRL may start as a solid favorite and last year’s runner-up ABEL TASMAN will attract plenty of support, too, their margin for error is slim. BLUE PRIZE, LA FORCE, MIDNIGHT BISOU, VALE DORI, and WOW CAT are about as fast on paper and will offer healthier odds than the top pair. MAIN CONTENDERS: There’s little doubt MONOMOY GIRL is the one to beat, as she’s finished first in a quintet of Grade 1s this year; is 2-for-3 at Churchill Downs, including a win in the Kentucky Oaks; and is 2-for-2 at the distance. However, she’s also danced many dances, doesn’t have a decisive edge on speed figures, has yet to face older gals and drew widest of all. ABEL TASMAN wins this on her best. She’s 3-for-4 at the distance and won the 2017 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill. However, a distant fifth at 1-9 in her final prep leaves unanswered questions—like was she ill or not? VALUE PLAYS: BLUE PRIZE may be overlooked in the wagering, but the consistent 5-year-old mare is playable at 9-2 or more. She’s 8: 4-3-1 at the distance and 5: 3-2-0 at Churchill Downs. She’s also won 4 out of her last 5 starts, including the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland while inexplicably veering out in the lane. Conversely, LA FORCE drew much better and will be upwards of four times the price. She’s just 2-for-22 lifetime, but has been second 7 times, including 3-in-a-row in Grade 1 Southern California races. Her off-the-pace style may fit better at Churchill than it did at Santa Anita or Del Mar. WAGERING STRATEGY ($100): $15 Win and Place: LA FORCE ($30) $20 Exacta Box: LA FORCE and BLUE PRIZE ($40) $5 Exacta Key Box: LA FORCE with MONOMOY GIRL, ABEL TASMAN, WOW CAT ($30) MY PICKS: LA FORCE BLUE PRIZE ABEL TASMAN MONOMOY GIRL   Get the Full Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide

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10.26.2018:

Belmont has Two-Day $54K Pick 6 Carryover Friday

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Pick 6 sequence went unsolved for a second straight day Thursday at Belmont Park, resulting in a double carryover of $53,945 heading into Friday's card. Thursday's Pick 6 sequence began in Race 4 with Filly Joel (No. 8, $29.20) upsetting an eight-horse field at odds of 13-1. Doups Point (No. 10, $7.10) and Presence of Mind (No. 3, $7) followed in Races 5 and 6. In Race 7, Danielle's Pride (No. 4) triggered the day's biggest upset at 28-1. The David Donk trainee returned $59 for a $2 win wager. In the card's penultimate race, jockey Manny Franco recorded his fourth victory on the day aboard post-time favorite Nisha (No. 5, $6). Outrageous Bet (No. 3, $9) took the day's finale at odds of 7-2 for trainer Gary Contessa and owners Windhorse Thoroughbreds. A consolation payout of $931 was awarded to bettors who had five of six winners. Friday's Pick 6 sequence will begin in Race 4 with a post-time of 3:05 p.m. ET. The sequence will be highlighted by an $80,000 allowance optional-claiming race for fillies and mares 3-years-old on the inner turf going 6 furlongs in Race 8 featuring a field of nine with three main track only entrants.

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10.25.2018:

Gulfstream Park West has $71K Rainbow 6 Carryover Thursday

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot grew to $71,086.88 for Thursday’s program at Gulfstream Park West when the popular multi-race wager went unsolved Wednesday for the eighth consecutive program. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $3,430.94. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved since being hit for the third time in five racing days Oct. 12 for a $23,222.88 jackpot payoff.  

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10.24.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Pre-Entries Announced

Pre-Entries for all 14 Breeders' Cup Championship Races have been announced.  A record total of 221 horses were pre-entered, an increase over last year's total, with one fewer race, of 187.  Fields will be drawn and finalized Monday, October 29.  Breeders' Cup ClassicAccelerate (J. Sadler)Axelrod (M. McCarthy) Catholic Boy (J. Thomas)City of Light (M. McCarthy) - 1st Preference, Dirt MileDiscreet Lover (U. St. Lewis)Lone Sailor (T. Amoss) - 2nd Preference, Dirt MileMcKinzie (B. Baffert) Mendelssohn (A. O'Brien) Mind Your Biscuits (C. Summers) - 2nd Preference, Sprint Pavel (D. O'Neill)Roaring Lion (J. Gosden) - 2nd Preference, Turf Thunder Snow (IRE) (S. bin Suroor)West Coast (B. Baffert)Yoshida (JPN) (W. Mott) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceBravazo (D. Lukas) - 1st Preference, Dirt MileGunnevera (A. Sano) Seeking the Soul (D. Stewart) - 2nd Preference, Dirt MileCollected (B. Baffert) Toast of New York (J. Osborne) Breeders' Cup TurfArklow (B. Cox) Channel Maker (W. Mott) Crystal Ocean (GB) (M. Stoute) Enable (GB) (J. Gosden) Glorious Empire (IRE) (J. Lawrence II) Hi Happy (ARG) (T. Pletcher) Hunting Horn (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Magical (IRE) - 2nd Preference, Filly & Mare Turf Quarteto de Cordas (BRZ) (I. Wilkes) Roaring Lion (J. Gosden) - 1st Preference, Classic Robert Bruce (CHI) (C. Brown) Sadler's Joy (T. Albertrani)Talismanic (GB) (A. Fabre)Waldgeist (GB) (A. Fabre) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceLiam the Charmer (M. McCarthy) Breeders' Cup DistaffAbel Tasman (B. Baffert)Blue Prize (ARG) (I. Correas) Champagne Problems (I. Wilkes) Fuhriously Kissed (A. Quartarolo) - 1st Preference, Filly & Mare Turf La Force (GER) (P. Gallagher) Midnight Bisou (S. Asmussen) Monomoy Girl (B. Cox) Mopotism (D. O'Neill) - 2nd Preference, Filly & Mare Sprint Vale Dori (ARG) (B. Baffert) Verve's Tale (B. Tagg) Wonder Gadot (M. Casse) Wow Cat (CHI) (C. Brown) Breeders' Cup MileA Raving Beauty (GB) (C. Brown) - 1st Preference, Filly & Mare Turf Analyze It (C. Brown)Catapult (J. Sadler) Expert Eye (GB) (M. Stoute) Gustav Klimt (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Happily (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Hunt (IRE) (P. D'Amato) I Can Fly (GB) (A. O'Brien) Lightning Spear (GB) (D. Simcock) Next Shares (R. Baltas) One Master (GB) (W. Haggas) Oscar Performance (B. Lynch) Polydream (IRE) (F. Head) Sharp Samurai (M. Glatt) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceMustashary (GB) (M. Stoute) Almanaar (GB) (C. Brown) Divisidero (K. Rubley) Clemmie (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Qurbaan (K. McLaughlin) Great Wide Open (IRE) (C. Murphy) Hembree (M. Maker) - 1st Preference, Turf Sprint Breeders' Cup SprintAlways Sunshine (E. Allard) Distinctive B (P. Miller) Firenze Fire (Ja. Servis) - 1st Preference, Dirt MileHappy Like a Fool (W. Ward) - 2nd Preference, Filly & Mare Sprint Imperial Hint (L. Carvajal Jr.)Limousine Liberal (B. Colebrook) - 2nd Preference, Dirt MileMind Your Biscuits (C. Summers) - 1st Preference, Classic Mr. Crow (B. Colebrook) Promises Fulfilled (D. Romans) - 2nd Preference, Dirt MileRoy H (P. Miller)Seven Trumpets (D. Romans) - 1st Preference, Dirt MileWarrior's Club (D. Lukas) - 2nd Preference, Dirt MileWhitmore (R. Moquett) - 2nd Preference, Dirt MileX Y Jet (J. Navarro) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceB Squared (D. O'Neill) - 1st Preference, Turf Sprint Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf A Raving Beauty (GB) (C. Brown) - 2nd Preference, Mile Athena (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Eziyra (IRE) (D. Weld) Fourstar Crook (C. Brown) Magic Wand (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Magical (IRE) - 1st Preference, Turf Mom's On Strike (J. Sharp) Paved (M. McCarthy) Princess Yaiza (IRE) (G. Cromwell) Santa Monica (GB) (C. Brown) Sistercharlie (IRE) (C. Brown) Smart Choice (ARG) (T. Pletcher) Thais (FR) (C. Brown) Wild Illusion (GB) (C. Appleby) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceFuhriously Kissed (A. Quartarolo) - 2nd Preference, Distaff Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Awesome Slew (M. Casse) Bravazo (D. Lukas) - 2nd Preference, Classic Catalina Cruiser (J. Sadler) City of Light (M. McCarthy) - 2nd Preference, Classic Firenze Fire (Ja. Servis) - 2nd Preference, Sprint Giant Expectations (P. Eurton) Isotherm (P. D'Amato) Limousine Liberal (B. Colebrook) - 1st Preference, Sprint Lone Sailor (T. Amoss) - 1st Preference, Classic Promises Fulfilled (D. Romans) - 1st Preference, SprintSeeking the Soul (D. Stewart) - 1st Preference, Classic Seven Trumpets (D. Romans) - 2nd Preference, Sprint Warrior's Club (D. Lukas) - 1st Preference, Sprint Whitmore (R. Moquett) - 1st Preference, Sprint Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceTrigger Warning (M. Rone) Dak Attack (D. Romans) Breeders' Cup Turf SprintBucchero (T. Glyshaw)Chanteline (S. Asmussen) Conquest Tsunami (P. Miller) Disco Partner (C. Clement) Havana Grey (GB) (K. Burke) Hembree (M. Maker) - 2nd Preference, Mile Lost Treasure (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Rainbow Heir (Ja. Servis) Richard's Boy (P. Miller) Ruby Notion (D. Miller) Stormy Liberal (P. Miller) Vision Perfect (Ja. Servis) Will Call (B. Cox) World of Trouble (Ja. Servis) Not Selected - Listed in Order of Preference Pay Any Price (G. Baxter) Extravagant Kid (B. Walsh)Blind Ambition (T. Pletcher) El Astronaute (IRE) (J. Quinn) Insta Erma (R. Baltas) B Squared (D. O'Neill) - 2nd Preference, Sprint Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Anonymity (R. Mandella) Chalon (A. Delacour) Dream Tree (B. Baffert) Finley'sluckycharm (B. Calhoun) Golden Mischief (B. Cox) Highway Star (R. Ubillo) Kirby's Penny (W. Ward) Marley's Freedom (B. Baffert) Mia Mischief (S. Asmussen) Miss Sunset (J. Bonde) Selcourt (J. Sadler) Shamrock Rose (M. Casse) Skye Diamonds (W. Spawr) Stormy Embrace (K. O'Connell) Not Selected - Listed in Order of Preference Mopotism (D. O'Neill) - 1st Preference, Distaff Happy Like a Fool (W. Ward) - 1st Preference, SprintDream Pauline (K. McLaughlin) Bixby Lou (T. Glover) Breeders' Cup Juvenile Code of Honor (C. McGaughey III) Complexity (C. Brown) Dueling (J. Hollendorfer) Game Winner (B. Baffert) Gunmetal Gray (J. Hollendorfer) Knicks Go (B. Colebrook) Mind Control (G. Sacco) Mr. Money (B. Calhoun)Signalman (K. McPeek) Standard Deviation (C. Brown) Tight Ten (S. Asmussen) Topper T (W. Mott) Trophy Chaser (J. Avila) Well Defined (K. O'Connell) Not Selected - Listed in Order of Preference Derby Date (D. Lukas) Breeders' Cup Juvenile TurfAnthony Van Dyck (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Arthur Kitt (GB) (T. Dascombe) Broome (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Current (T. Pletcher) Forty Under (J. Englehart) Henley's Joy (M. Maker) King of Speed (J. Bonde) Line of Duty (IRE) (C. Appleby) Marie's Diamond (IRE) (M. Johnston) Opry (T. Pletcher) Somelikeithotbrown (M. Maker) The Black Album (FR) (J. Soubagne) Uncle Benny (Ja. Servis) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint War of Will (M. Casse) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceMuch Better (B. Baffert) Louder Than Bombs (D. Fawkes) Bulletin (T. Pletcher) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Tracksmith (J. Sharp) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Order and Law (L. Linder Jr.) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Flying Scotsman (J. Hollendorfer) Empire of War (T. Pletcher) Pico Entry (D. Romans) Breeders' Cup Juvenile FilliesBaby Nina (A. Quartarolo) Bellafina (S. Callaghan) Cassies Dreamer (B. Tagg) Cookie Dough (S. Gold) Jaywalk (Jo. Servis) Reflect (K. Desormeaux) Restless Rider (K. McPeek) Serengeti Empress (T. Amoss) Sippican Harbor (G. Contessa) Splashy Kisses (D. O'Neill) Vibrance (M. McCarthy)  Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies TurfBelle Laura (N. Casse) Concrete Rose (G. Arnold II) East (GB) (K. Ryan) Hermosa (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Just Wonderful (A. O'Brien) La Pelosa (C. Appleby) Lily's Candle (FR) (F. Vermeulen) My Gal Betty (R. Attfield) Newspaperofrecord (IRE) (C. Brown) Pakhet (T. Pletcher) So Perfect (A. O'Brien) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Summering (T. Proctor) The Mackem Bullet (IRE) (B. Ellison) Varenka (G. Motion) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceStellar Agent (J. Abreu) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Lady Prancealot (IRE) (R. Baltas) Pivottina (FR) (G. Motion) Princess Carolina (K. McPeek) Winning Envelope (C. Block) Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Bulletin (T. Pletcher) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Turf Its Gonna Hurt (B. Koriner) Pocket Dynamo (R. Cowell) Queen of Bermuda (IRE) (W. Haggas) Sergei Prokofiev (A. O'Brien) Shang Shang Shang (W. Ward) So Perfect (A. O'Brien) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Fillies Turf Soldier's Call (GB) (A. Watson) Stillwater Cover (W. Ward) Strike Silver (M. Casse) Uncle Benny (Ja. Servis) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Well Done Fox (GB) (R. Hannon) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceChelsea Cloisters (W. Ward) Moonlight Romance (W. Ward) Big Drink of Water (L. Rivelli) Comedy (IRE) (K. Burke) Van Beethoven (A. O'Brien) Legends of War (J. Gosden) Stellar Agent (J. Abreu) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Fillies Turf Whooping Jay (D. O'Neill) Mae Never No (IRE) (W. Ward)Backtohisroots (J. Terranova II)Never No More (IRE) (A. O'Brien)Tracksmith (J. Sharp)Dragic (W. Ward)Order and Law (L. Linder Jr.) - 1st Preference, Juvenile TurfSovereign Impact (W. Denzik Jr.)All About It (G. Weaver)

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10.10.2018:

Concrete Rose Earns Breeders' Cup Berth with Jessamine Victory

Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing’s Concrete Rose moved to the front inside the eighth pole and powered her way to a 3-length victory over Pakhet to win the 28th running of the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) for 2-year-old fillies before a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 9,331. Trained by Rusty Arnold and ridden by Jose Lezcano, Concrete Rose covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:44.09 in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, which earned her a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. City Diva led the field of 13 through fractions of :23.34, :48.04 and 1:13.38 with Monkeys Uncle in closest pursuit as Lezcano hugged the inside rail with Concrete Rose. At the head of the lane, Lezcano swung Concrete Rose to the four path for clear running and by midstretch the decision was no longer in doubt as she seized control and never was threatened in the run to the finish line. The victory was worth $120,000 and improved her earnings to $166,750 with her second victory in two starts. A Keeneland sales graduate, Concrete Rose is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Twirling Candy out of the Powerscourt (GB) mare Solerina. Sent off as the second choice, Concrete Rose returned $7.20, $4.80 and $3.60. Pakhet, ridden by John Velazquez, returned $11.40 and $6.80 and finished a neck in front of Belle Laura who paid $14.20 to show under Corey Lanerie. Favored Fierce Scarlett finished another three-quarters of a length back in fourth and was followed in order by Princesa Carolina, Speedy Solution, Irish Willow, City Diva, Lightscameraaction, Zalia, Monkeys Uncle, Lucky Girasol and Espresso Shot. Racing resumes Thursday with a 10-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET.

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10.10.2018:

Cross-Breed, All-Stakes Pick 4 Set for October 13 at Belmont, Yonkers

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and Yonkers Raceway at Empire City Casino will partner to offer horseplayers a special all-stakes thoroughbred/standardbred Pick 4 on Saturday, October 13. The latest in NYRA's fall series of special Pick 4 Wagers, the Belmont-Yonkers Pick 4 includes the $1 Million Yonkers International Trot and the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational from Empire City Casino along with the $200,000 Pebbles and $100,000 Floral Park Stakes from Belmont Park. "NYRA's continued partnership with Yonkers Raceway results in unique wagering opportunities for New York horseplayers," said Will Alempijevic, NYRA Director of Business Development. "For the second consecutive year, we're thrilled to have successfully paired two great stakes races from Belmont with the best and richest day of harness racing in New York." "Yonkers International Trot Day offers our best racing program of the season, featuring world-class trotters and pacers," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. "For the International and the Harry Harvey Trot to be included in a special Pick 4 with two of Belmont's stakes races allows us to showcase our events to NYRA's audience, and we encourage them to enjoy the best harness racing anywhere. As always, we couldn't do it without the cooperation of the New York State Gaming Commission and both horsemen's associations." Past performances for the Yonkers International Trot and Harry Harvey Invitational will be included in the Saturday, October 13 Post Parade program, while past performances for the Floral Park and Pebbles Stakes will be found in Yonkers' Saturday program. The Belmont-Yonkers Pick 4, to be hosted by NYRA with a $0.50 minimum wager and 24 percent takeout. The Belmont-Yonkers Pick 4Race 1: $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot (Yonkers Race 7 at 3:00 p.m.)Race 2: $1 Million Yonkers International Trot  (Yonkers Race 8 at 3:20 p.m.)Race 3: $100,000 Floral Park (Belmont Race 8 at 4:43 p.m.)Race 4: $200,000 Pebbles (Belmont Race 9 at 5:18 p.m.)

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10.7.2018:

Current Gets Up at Wire to Win G3 Bourbon Stakes

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta’s Current prevailed in a three-horse photo in Sunday’s Dixiana Bourbon (G3) despite having the shoe on his left front foot come loose. “I don’t know where it happened in the race,” said Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “He is good this morning.” Even though there were three noses on the wire, DePasquale thought Current had won. “I was watching on the monitor in the Grandstand and all the commentators (on TVG and NBC) thought he won,” DePasquale said. “I was surprised it took so long to put the result up.” The end result was a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2 for Current. DePasquale, who will be with Pletcher’s Churchill string, was uncertain when Current would move on to Louisville but expected the colt would remain at Keeneland for the time being. Current was ridden by Jose Ortiz and was the third winner of the day for the trainer-jockey combination. They won the third with D’ambrosio and the seventh with Into Mystic. It marked the first three-win day for a rider or trainer during the meet. Bloom Racing Stable’s Dixiana Bourbon runner-up, Henley’s Joy, is scheduled to return Tuesday to trainer Mike Maker’s home base at Trackside Training Center in Louisville. Maker said Monday that the Breeders’ Cup remains under consideration. David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse, said plans are undecided for Gary Barber’s War of Will, who set the pace as the favorite in the Dixiana Bourbon before finishing fourth. “He looked like he had control of the race turning for home,” Carroll said. “He might have lost his momentum when he switched leads but we still think a lot of him and hopefully he has some big days ahead of him.”  

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10.7.2018:

Strike Silver Earns Breeders' Cup Berth in Inaugural Indian Summer Stakes

John C. Oxley’s Strike Silver has the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on his calendar after clinching a fees-paid slot with his triumph in Sunday’s $200,000 Indian Summer. The inaugural running of the Juvenile Turf Sprint will be at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2. “The game plan is to go for the Breeders’ Cup,” trainer Mark Casse’s assistant David Carroll said. “He will probably stay at Keeneland for a little while before shipping to our barn at Churchill Downs.” The Indian Summer marked the turf debut for Strike Silver, who won his career debut at Churchill in June and was a close second in the Sanford (G3) at Saratoga in July. Trainer Wesley Ward was pleased with the second-place effort by Hat Creek Racing’s Chelsea Cloisters in the Indian Summer. “You look like you’re a winner and then you get nailed at the wire,” Ward said.

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10.7.2018:

Jaywalk Wins G1 Frizette, Secures Spot in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

ELMONT, N.Y. - Jaywalk authoritatively answered the questions of handling a stretch out in distance, surging to the front and finishing strong for a 5 ¾-length win in gate to wire fashion in the 71st running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday at Belmont Park. One of three "Win and You're In" qualifiers for the Breeders' Cup on Sunday's card, the Frizette earned Jaywalk a berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 2 at Churchill Downs. The Cross Traffic filly, owned by Leonard Green and Cash is King Stable, registered her third consecutive win and second against stakes company while garnering 10 points towards the 2019 Kentucky Oaks.  Out of the gate, jockey Joel Rosario sent Jaywalk to the front, where she led the seven-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 22.63 seconds and the half in 45.65 on the fast main track. Out of the turn, 3-5 favorite Covfefe made a strong bid from the outside, but Jaywalk, who went three-quarters of a mile in 1:09.71, kept the advantage and gained separation in the stretch. After winning at both five and 5 ½ furlongs, Jaywalk outkicked Brucia La Terra, completing one mile in a final time of 1:34.57. "I told Joel the speed is there if you need it, but there's plenty of speed in here, if you let her fall out of there, play it by ear," trainer John Servis said. "If the other horses go, sit behind them, she'll do that that's not an issue with her and if they don't go, then put her where you're comfortable. "I want to see what kind of numbers she ran, and how she comes out of this," he added. "It's obviously a huge effort for her. I don't want to see a huge improvement and wheel her right back in four weeks. We'll see. We'll see how it shapes up." Off at 6-1, Jaywalk returned $15.20 on a $2 win bet. Purchased for $190,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, she improved her career bankroll to $284,200. "She wanted to go to the front," Rosario said. "I thought there was a lot of speed on paper and then John told me just let her break and let her run however she wanted. I just let her go ahead and be happy and she really handled it. She looked like she would keep going at the quarter-pole and her long stride she really handled the trip well. "I think she'll handle two-turns [going forward] she certainly has the speed to," he added. Jaywalk, the winner of the White Clay Creek last out on August 22, has already won at three different tracks in Belmont, Delaware Park and Parx. Brucia La Terra, one of two entries for trainer Barclay Tagg, rallied for second in her stakes debut after winning her first start on August 12 at Saratoga, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of stablemate Cassies Dreamer for second. "I was very pleased with how they both ran," Tagg said. "Not bad for 18-1 with Brucia La Terra. We liked them both. They weren't expensive horses or anything like that, but they've certainly been training well. We wanted to run them and we were pleased with the outcome. It costs so much to go to the Breeders' Cup now. I would've love if one of them would've been able to [catch] it, but if you can't you can't. The winner was much the best." Covfefe, trained by Brad Cox, finished fourth. Nonna Madeline, Sue's Fortune and Take Me to Hardoon completed the order of finish. Graceful Princess was scratched.

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10.7.2018:

Uncle Benny Wins Futurity, Punches Breeders' Cup Ticket

ELMONT, N.Y. - Ara Aprahamian's Uncle Benny launched from last to first to win the 127th running of the $150,000 Futurity on Sunday at Belmont Park by a half-length in 1:11.26 for the six furlongs on the Widener turf listed as good. As part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge, the Futurity victory will send Uncle Benny to the gate for the all-new $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Division at Churchill Downs on November 2, known as "Future Stars Friday," as one of five races for 2-year-olds. Now perfect through two starts for trainer Jason Servis, the Declaration of War colt has a victory on both dirt and turf. "Around Monmouth time, I told people he was one of my best 2-year-olds, so we're high on him," Servis said. "We think he's a nice horse, and he looks the part too. He's a big, good-looking horse. He's massive. He's got Storm Cat on the dam's side and his stallion won a couple of Grade 1s I think in Europe on the grass, so I wasn't worried about the turf." From the gate, the early pacesetter was Joyful Heart, who found himself on the lead for the fourth straight time in his career, continuing his streak through a first quarter in 22.46 seconds down the backside while Veterans Beach and Bizzee Channel kept him company early. Soon, Real Money stalked from a length behind as the field situated itself behind as Fayette Warrior held third with Dragic, the lone filly in the field, to his outside. Uncle Benny was last among the strung-out field of 10 ahead of him after nearly clipping heels at the break after Swamp Rat, to his inside, veered outward at the start. Rounding the turn, Real Money made a move for the lead outside the tiring Joyful Heart to his inside, as Dragic began to find her best stride after a half-mile run in 46.30. Dragic and Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez took command after five-eighths was clocked in 58.71, but to her outside was a challenge from longshot Backtohisroots, who was charging late alongside Uncle Benny, who made a strong move from last in the middle of the track. Down the stretch, Dragic was in an all-out drive, but Uncle Benny continued his progress under Irad Ortiz, Jr. who held off Backtohisroots by a half-length at the wire. Dragic held third 1 ½ lengths behind the top two and four lengths over Fayette Warrior, who finished fourth. "Irad said the 10 horse broke out so bad that if he hadn't taken a hold of him, he would've clipped heels and fell, said Servis. "He said he had to snatch him up into a standstill. Irad said, 'Man, after all that and he still wins,' so Irad really liked him a lot. The quick action of Ortiz, Jr. and his patience through the early run down the backstretch certainly helped Uncle Benny in the late stages of the race. "It's always exciting with a "Win and You're In" [for the Breeders' Cup]," Ortiz, Jr. said. "I'm just so happy for [trainer] Jason Servis, it's been such a good year for him. He's a nice horse. It was the first time I rode him. We had the outside post and he broke a step slow. I didn't want to rush him out of there, he's a baby. They ran away from and I just dropped in. I didn't panic. I waited and when I made the run on the outside, he took off. "It's different. It was his first time on the grass. I was confident on him and didn't panic. I just let him be happy and ride him from there." With the next destination set at Churchill Downs for the colt's third career start Servis and his connections have a decision to make as to which race he will start during the first weekend in November. "I don't know if we'll do the long race or the sprint," Servis said. "I don't know if he'll get in the long one, but I think he'll run further. I don't know if he'll get up five eighths, but I know he'll get a mile. He'll go in one of those races." Sent off at odds of 5-1, Uncle Benny returned $12.40 to win.

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10.7.2018:

Fourstar Crook Breaks Free to Win G1 Flower Bowl

ELMONT, N.Y. - The fourth time was the charm for Fourstar Crook on Saturday at Belmont Park, finally nabbing the Grade 1 that has eluded her with a last-to-first victory over stablemate Onthemoonagain in the $500,000 Flower Bowl to punch her ticket to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. It was the first Grade 1 for the 6-year-old Freud mare following three near misses in the last 12 months, with a third in the E.P. Taylor last fall, and a pair of seconds to fellow Brown trainee Sistercharlie in the Jenny Wiley and Beverly D. this spring and summer. Fourstar Crook got away from the gate under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and settled at the back of the pack as Feeling Bossy led the field of seven through an opening quarter-mile in 25.71. The leader began to pull away after an easy half in 51.72, while Onthemoonagain began to advance through the field up the backstretch, moving into second as six furlongs went in 1:15.80. Onthemoonagain, ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, grabbed the lead with a three-wide move at the top of the stretch, but all eyes were on Fourstar Crook, beginning her rally from the back. Ortiz directed his charge into the clear and Fourstar Crook responded with a sustained rally to sweep past her stablemate at the sixteenth pole for a two-length win. Grade 2 Glens Falls winner Lady Montdore was another 4 ¾ lengths back in third. Danceland, Feeling Bossy, Tricky Escape, and Holy Helena completed the order of finish. The final time for 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf course listed as good was 2:03.28. Fourstar Crook, favored at 4-5, returned $3.60 for a $2 win wager. "She flew home," said Ortiz. "She was going so comfortable and when I asked, she just exploded." Winner of the Grade 2 New York and Grade 2 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs this spring, Fourstar Crook improved her record to 12-4-1 from 19 starts and boosted her lifetime earnings to $1,604,566. It was the fifth Flower Bowl win for trainer Chad Brown, who campaigns Fourstar Crook for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stable, and Gary Aisquith. "This horse ran super," said Brown. "We expected a short field and that the pace wouldn't be that strong, and it wasn't, but she was able to overcome it. She's a really consistent horse and she particularly likes Belmont. She ran to her odds. She seemed very deserving to finally win a Grade 1. When you look at who she's beaten when she's not in Grade 1s, and who she's lost to by short margins, this filly is very deserving to finally achieve that and remarkable at age six."

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10.7.2018:

Blue Prize Ducks Out, Still Wins G1 Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland

Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize (ARG) overcame an adventurous run in the stretch to turn back Champagne Problems by three-quarters of a length to win the 63rd running of the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares before a Sunday afternoon crowd of 14,223. Trained by Ignacio Correas IV and ridden by Joe Bravo, Blue Prize won her second Breeders’ Cup Challenge race that provides the winner a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to be run Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. Previously she won the Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs. Also earning Breeders’ Cup berths Sunday were Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta’s Current, winner of the $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon (G3) and John Oxley’s Strike Silver, winner of the inaugural $200,000 Indian Summer, both races for 2-year-olds. In the Juddmonte Spinster, longshot Southernperfection led the field of 11 through fractions of :23.79, :47.62 and 1:12.27. On the far turn, Bravo moved to the far outside, circling the leaders and striking the front turning for home. Blue Prize quickly opened a daylight advantage, but twice before the eighth pole ducked out sharply beyond the middle of the track, allowing Champagne Problems, who was skimming the rail, to reach near even terms. Bravo got Blue Prize straightened out inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear for the victory in 1:50.02. A 5-year-old Argentine-bred daughter of Pure Prize out of the Not For Sale mare Blues for Sale (ARG), Blue Prize won her fourth graded stakes in North America and first Grade 1. A Group 1 winner in Argentina, Blue Prize elevated her career earnings to $964,753 with Sunday’s $300,000 check. Blue Prize returned $11, $5 and $3.80. Champagne Problems, ridden by Calvin Borel, returned $7.80 and $5.20 and finished 1½ lengths in front of Pacific Wind who, paid $5.20 to show under Luis Saez. It was another 3¼ lengths back to Fuhriously Kissed who was followed in order by Chocolate Martini, Talk Veuve to Me, favored Eskimo Kisses, Skeptic, Southernperfection, Tiger Moth and Sassy Sienna.

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10.6.2018:

Disco Partner Dances to Victory in Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational

ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Christophe Clement enjoyed a successful October Festival of Racing on Saturday at Belmont Park, saddling Disco Partner to an impressive victory in the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational followed two races later by Have At It, an 11-1 upset winner of the Grade 2, $500,000 Hill Prince. Patricia Generazio's homebred Disco Partner reaffirmed his status as a top turf sprinter, besting a field of six for his second straight win in the Belmont Turf Sprint. It was his first start since finishing third in the Grade 3 Troy Handicap this summer at Saratoga Race Course. Breaking from the rail as the odds-on favorite with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, the 6-year-old New York-bred stalked from fourth as stablemate Pure Sensation darted to the front, setting fractions of 21.97 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 45.08 for the half. With five furlongs completed in 56.84, Disco Partner made his way to the front at the three-eighths pole and exploded away from Pure Sensation in the stretch, extending away to the wire to win by 5 ½ lengths. The final time for the six-furlong distance was 1:08.50 on an inner turf course listed as good. "He made me feel very confident on top of him," Ortiz said. "When I asked him, he was there for me. He was traveling perfect and then I smooched on him at the three-eighths pole and he took off right away for me. I knew he was going to be there for me. He's a fighter. He always shows up." Returning $4.20 for a $2 win wager, the son of Disco Rico picked up his 11th win from 26 career starts, boosting his career earnings to $1,264,810. Clement said Disco Partner will likely target the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on November 3 at Churchill Downs. He finished third in last year's edition at Del Mar. Pure Sensation, winner of the 2016 Belmont Turf Sprint, was fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup. "[It's] a great credit to their program, Mr. and Mrs. Generazio. He's getting older, but he's still one of the best, if not the best sprinter, in New York, and I thought it was a very impressive performance," said Clement. "Irad was not too hard on him, which is great. As long as he comes back in good shape, we'll get him ready for the Breeders' Cup. I don't like to have too hard of a race before the Breeders' Cup, so I was very happy with the performance today." Clement applauded the performance by third-place finisher Pure Sensation, also owned and bred by Generazio, adding that he is possible for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint as well. "He actually ran very well," said Clement. "It's not really his best ground, and he ran really good and got caught in the last furlong. We'll see how he comes out of it. He could be a possible as well. I'll ask Mr. and Mrs. Generazio. It's a good position to be in." Blind Ambition closed well to earn second and following Pure Sensation in third was Proforma, Gidu and Pocket Change to complete the order of finish. Simon Bar Sinister and Maniacal were scratched. Clement picked up where he left off two races later with Robert S. Evans' Have At It, who closed from third to secure a one-length win in the Hill Prince for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf. Have At It was comfortably placed in third along the hedge by David Cohen as Sand Dancer took advantage of a slow early pace, leading through fractions of 24.94 and 49.57. Have At It, a chestnut colt by Kitten's Joy, remained unhurried as Sand Dancer pulled away by five lengths after six furlongs in 1:13.71. Cohen and Have At It began to chip away at the pacesetter's lead, moving into second with a three-wide move in the far turn. Sand Dancer and jockey Joe Bravo tried to hold off his challenger, but Cohen angled his charge to the inside near the eighth pole and closed with a steady run to stop the clock in 1:50.52. Have At It, a Silver member of the NYRA Starter Loyalty Program, returned $24.20. It was the first stakes win in three tries for the homebred, following a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame on August 3 and a close second in the Better Talk Now on August 27, both at Saratoga. "He's always been a nice horse. It took us a while to figure him out," said Clement. "Every time he's been ridden forwardly this year, he's run very well. Every time he's been taken back he's run disappointingly. His race in Saratoga [Better Talk Now] was a good race. He probably should have run with a better trip. His allowance race here as well [July 5] was a very good race as well and today he ran great." Prioritize was third, followed by March to the Arch, 2-5 favorite Raging Bull, Golden Brown, and Cullum Road. Ride a Comet was scratched.

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10.6.2018:

Complexity Stays Perfect with Easy Victory in G1 Champagne

ELMONT, N.Y. - Klaravich Stables' Complexity built on his stellar debut and earned a trip to Breeders' Cup in the process, going gate to wire to post a three-length victory in the 147th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne for 2-year-olds on Saturday as part of the October Festival of Racing at Belmont Park. Jockey Jose Ortiz sent Complexity to the front, where he led the 10-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 22.51 seconds and the half in 45.31 on the fast main track. Ortiz continued to urge Complexity out of the turn, where he geared down and outkicked Code of Honor, completing one mile in a final time of 1:34.63. The last of four stakes on a loaded card, the Champagne win earned Complexity a berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on November 2 at Churchill Downs. The Maclean's Music colt also earned 10 points towards the 2019 Kentucky Derby for trainer Chad Brown. "He's just so strong. An outstanding talent. He's just a rare horse," Brown said. "Obviously, we're going to the Breeders' Cup if he comes back sound and healthy. We'll try and run two turns, which will be another question mark. It's another sixteenth of a mile, but he's a class horse. Jose gets along with him well, and hopefully he'll get a good trip in [that] race." "We have to talk about him now. He won a Grade 1 with the best 2-year-olds we have in New York, and now we have to go compete in the Breeders' Cup with the ones in California and Kentucky and everywhere else," said Ortiz, who won four races total on the day, including aboard Brown trainee Wow Cat in the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame in Race 8. "The way he did it was very easy and we're happy with his performance. Complexity, purchased for $375,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, was coming into his first stakes start off a 4 ½-length win at six furlongs on September 3 at Saratoga Race Course. The 5-2 favorite returned $7 on a $2 win wager and added his name to an illustrious list of Champagne winners that includes Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Count Fleet as well as fellow Hall of Famers Alydar, Spectacular Bid, Easy Goer, Riva Ridge and Buckpasser, among others. "We always knew he was nice," Ortiz said. "The only question was whether he could stretch out to a mile and he proved that he could. Now, we have to stretch him out to a mile and a sixteenth. "I've been working him all summer in Saratoga, It's very special when you've been working with them and they come out and do this." Code of Honor, making his stakes debut for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, finished three lengths clear for second. Under jockey Eric Cancel, Code of Honor rallied from last after a difficult start. "At the break, as soon as he left the gate he stumbled pretty bad coming out of there. I had to go to Plan B," Cancel said. "I had to sit on the horse and just try to get him comfortable and make one move. The horse ran awesome to honest. He gave me his all. He kept on going and we just couldn't run down the winner, but he never stopped. He kept on trying and trying." Call Paul edged Brown trainee Aurelius Maximus by a nose for third. As part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, the top four finishers were awarded a points distribution of 10-4-2-1 towards the 2019 Run for the Roses. Trophy Chaser, Endorsed, Casa Creed, Listing, Successful Zip, and Achilles Warrior completed the order of finish.

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10.6.2018:

Longshot Its Gonna Hurt Punches Breeders' Cup Ticket in Speakeasy Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2018)–Fresh off a maiden win on dirt Aug. 4, longshot Its Gonna Hurt blasted from his rail post position and never looked back in winning Saturday’s $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes by three quarters of length under Tiago Pereira.  Trained by Brian Koriner, the Louisiana-bred colt by Violence got five furlongs over the Santa Anita turf in 56 flat and punched his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2. (Run for the first time at five furlongs on turf, the Speakeasy is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race, with the winner earning a fees-paid berth to the afore mentioned Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint). In a racing rarity, Its Gonna Hurt headed a six-horse parade that saw the entire field finish in exact post position order; 1-2-3-4-5-6. Off at 8-1, Its Gonna Hurt, who is out of the City Zip mare Celestial Legend, paid $18.60, $9.40 and $5.80. Owned by Janet Lyons, Evan Trommer, Andrew Trommer and Matthew Trommer, Its Gonna Hurt was purchased for $80,000 out the Ocala Breeders 2-year-old in Training Sale this past April.  With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his bankroll to $81,945. Ridden by Evin Roman, Whooping Jay, the lone California-bred in the field, sat second the entire trip, finishing a neck in front of favored Mae Never No.  Off at 10-1, Whooping Jay paid $10.60 and $4.80. Mae Never No, the lone filly in the lineup, didn’t show her customary early speed and was third throughout under Gary Stevens.  Off at 6-5, she paid $3.00 to show. Fractions on the race were 21.22 and 44.05.

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10.6.2018:

Roy H Wins G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, On to Breeders' Cup

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2018) – Favored Roy H stalked his prey while a close third heading into the far turn, floated primary rival Ransom the Moon five-wide at the top of the stretch and successfully defended his title in the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Saturday, winning by 2 ¾ measured lengths over stablemate Distinctive B.  Reunited with eastern-based Paco Lopez and trained by Peter Miller, Roy H got six furlongs in a sizzling 1:09.09 and will now look to defend his crown in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 4. With Distinctive B and Drayden Van Dyke on the engine from the break, Roy H, who came off a disappointing second to Ransom the Moon in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes July 28 and was subsequently sent to train with Miller at San Luis Rey Downs, was full of run early as he sat just to the outside of both the winner and longshot Horse Greedy before engaging for the lead a quarter mile from home. “Ruben (Alvarado), my assistant, has done a phenomenal job with him up here for two years, but he just seemed stale to me,” said Miller of his 2017 Eclipse Award winning Sprinter.  “I think he just needed a change of pace and a change of scenery, so we brought him back to San Luis Rey.  I think it’s picked his head up a bit.  This is the Roy H I’ve been waiting to see all year…He’s a great horse and I hope to springboard this to the Breeders’ Cup.” The even money favorite in a field of five 3-year-olds and up, Roy H, a 6-year-old More Than Ready gelding, paid $4.00, $2.80 and $2.10. Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, Roy H, who is out of the Elusive Quality mare Elusive Diva, had been ridden by Kent Desormeaux in his last five starts, last tasted victory three races back in Santa Anita’s Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes on Feb. 3, which preceded a second place finish in the Group I Duabai Golden Shaheen two starts back on March 31. Ridden by Lopez for the first time since July 29, 2017 at Del Mar, Roy H notched his fourth win from six starts at The Great Race Place and improved his overall mark to 21-8-5-2.  With the winner’s share of $180,000, he increased his earnings to $1,919,765. “I loved to get the chance to ride this horse again,” said Lopez.  “I won on him in New York (True North Stakes, June 9, 2017) and was second in California (Grade I Bing Crosby on July 29, 2017), so I know the horse very well.  He was very light-footed today but I didn’t want to send him, so I waited a little bit.  He’s an easy horse to ride, you can place him pretty much anywhere…” Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Distinctive B, who finished a diminishing half length in front of Ransom the Moon, was off at 10-1 and paid $5.80 and $2.80. Ransom the Moon, last of the quintet heading into the far turn, seemed to get a bit discouraged when packed wide by the winner off the turn for home, finished willingly while galloping out in front on the Club House turn. Off at 3-2 with Flavien Prat, Ransom the Moon paid $2.10 to show. “He needs more pace,” said Prat.  “It’s hard for him to make up ground when they’re not going that fast.  With a bigger field next time (Breeders’ Cup Sprint), he should have more pace to run at.” Fractions on the race were 22.45, 45.45 and 57.11.

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10.6.2018:

Bucchero Rallies to Repeat in G2 Woodford Stakes

In the Woodford, Bucchero got a ground-saving trip early as Rocket Heat sped through uncontested fractions of  :21.80 and :44.77. Entering the stretch, Bucchero zoomed past on the outside, turned back a bid from Extravagant Kid and then held off a fast-closing Will Call by a half-length. Trained by Tim Glyshaw and ridden by Fernando De La Cruz, Bucchero covered the 5½ furlongs on good turf in 1:04.04. Bucchero became the fourth horse to win the Woodford in consecutive years. The others were Morluc (2000-2001), Sgt. Bert (2005-2006) and Silver Timber (2009-2010). The victory was worth $120,000 and increased Bucchero’s earnings to $937,936 with a record of 30-11-6-3. Bucchero is a 6-year-old Indiana-bred son of Kantharos out of the General Meeting mare Meetmeontime. Bucchero returned $8.40, $4.40 and $3.20. Will Call, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, returned $6.20 and $3.80 and finished a half-length in front of Extravagant Kid, who paid $4 to show under Corey Lanerie. It was another neck back to Angaston, who was followed in order by Win Lion Win, Rocket Heat, Undrafted, Vici, Kid Perfect, Done Deal and Machismo.

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10.6.2018:

Golden Mischief Narrowly Scores in G2 TCA Stakes

In the Thoroughbred Club of America, Golden Mischief earned a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) to be run at 7 furlongs on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs by holding off Chalon by a neck. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Golden Mischief covered the 6 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:09.39. It was the first victory in the race for Cox and Geroux. Vertical Oak led the field through fractions of :22.74 and :45.68 with Happy Like a Fool applying token pressure while Chalon raced three wide and Miss Sunset rode the rail in fourth. Approaching the stretch, Golden Mischief was fifth. In the lane, Geroux took Golden Mischief to the inside and split Vertical Oak and Miss Sunset to forge to the lead and have enough left to hold Chalon, who finished second in the race for the second consecutive year. An objection lodged against Golden Mischief by Vertical Oak’s jockey for interference in deep stretch was disallowed by the stewards. The victory was worth $150,000 and increased Golden Mischief’s earnings to $668,150 with a record of 21-10-3-0. Golden Mischief is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Carson City mare Lanai City. Golden Mischief returned $11, $6 and $3.60. Chalon, ridden by Javier Castellano, returned $5.40 and $4 and finished a length in front of Vertical Oak, who paid $4.80 to show under Ricardo Santana Jr. Favored Miss Sunset finished another neck back in fourth and was followed in order by Happy Like a Fool, Awestruck, Rich Mommy, Curlin’s Approval, Torrent and Crazy Sweet.  

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10.6.2018:

A Raving Beauty Punches Breeders' Cup Ticket in G1 First Lady

A Raving Beauty grabbed the lead at the break, inched clear at the head of the stretch and then had enough left to hold off Dona Bruja (ARG) by a neck to win the 21st running of the $400,000 First Lady (G1) for fillies and mares Saturday and earn a berth into the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at 1 3/8 miles on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by John Velazquez, A Raving Beauty covered the mile on a turf course labeled good in 1:37.78. It marked the second victory in the First Lady for Brown and Velazquez, who teamed to win the 2014 running with Dayatthespa. A Raving Beauty led the field of nine through fractions of :24.40, :49.11 and 1:13.76 with Valadorna, stablemate Quidura (GB) and Crown Walk (GB) in closest pursuit. At the head of the lane, A Raving Beauty slipped away from her rivals and then held on for her second Grade 1 victory of 2018. Previously, she won the Just a Game at Belmont Park. The victory was worth $240,000 and vaulted A Raving Beauty into millionaire status with a bankroll of $1,018,555 and a record of 22-6-3-3. She is a 5-year-old German-bred daughter of Mastercraftsman (IRE) out of the High Chaparral (IRE) mare Anabasis. A Raving Beauty returned $8.40, $4.80 and $3.60. Dona Bruja, ridden by Declan Cannon, returned $11.40 and $7.40 and finished 2¼ lengths in front of Indian Blessing (GB) who paid $8.80 to show under Feargal Lynch. Crown Walk was another neck back in fourth and was followed in order by Valadorna, Insta Erma, favored Quiodura, Off Limits (IRE) and One Liz.

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10.6.2018:

Knicks Go Shocks Field in G1 Breeders' Futurity at 70/1

Knicks Go, sent off as the longest shot on the board at 70-1 in the field of 13, grabbed the lead out of the gate and never was threatened in romping by 5½ lengths over Signalman to win the 105rd running of the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds. The first Grade 1 winner for trainer Ben Colebrook and jockey Albin Jimenez, Knicks Go covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.23 to earn a berth in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. Knicks Go’s $142 win mutuel eclipsed the previous mark of $74.60 that Dawn of War paid in winning the race in 2005. While Knicks Go shot to the front out of the gate, favored Dream Maker was bumped and clipped heels at the break to be last the first time under the wire. Knicks Go opened a daylight margin going into the first turn and clicked off fractions of :23.67, :47.59 and 1:12.68 while under no pressure at any stage of the race. The victory was worth $300,000 and increased the Keeneland sales graduate’s earnings to $330,515 with a record of 4-2-0-1. The Maryland-bred son of Paynter is out of the Outflanker mare Kosmo’s Buddy. Knicks Go returned $142, $50.40 and $18. Signalman, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., returned $12.60 and $7.20 with Standard Deviation finishing another three-quarters of a length back in third under Javier Castellano and paying $4.40 to show. Sombeyay was another 1½ lengths back in fourth and followed in order by Derby Date, Mr. Ankeny, Fluminense, Everfast, Tobacco Road, Moonster, Borracho, Dream Maker and Unionizer.

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10.6.2018:

Next Shares Springs 23/1 Upset in G1 Shadwell Turf Mile

Michael and Jules Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Christopher Dunn, William Marasa, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor’s Next Shares rode a rail-skimming trip to a 3¼-length victory over Great Wide Open (IRE) to win the 33rd running of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) before a sun-baked Saturday afternoon crowd of 24,142. The day featured five graded stakes worth $2.35 million, including four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in which winners earned automatic berths in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 2-3. Keeneland smashed its Fall Meet Pick Four and Pick Five wagering records, both set on Fall Stars Saturday in 2016. Today’s $350,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Four handle of $742,450 broke the previous record of $479,166. Wagering on the $250,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five totaled $619,106 to best the former record of $496,723. Trained by Richard Baltas and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Next Shares covered the mile on a turf course labeled good in 1:36.97 to earn a berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. He gave Gaffalione his first Keeneland stakes victory. Other “Win and You’re In” victors were KRA Stud Farm’s Knicks Go in the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds; Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ A Raving Beauty (GER) in the $400,000 First Lady (G1) for fillies and mares; and Juddmonte Farms’ Golden Mischief in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) for fillies and mares. Also securing a graded stakes victory Saturday afternoon was Ironhorse Racing Stable’s Bucchero, who successfully defended his title in the $200,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select. In the Shadwell Turf Mile, Heart to Heart and Voodoo Song raced through fractions of :23.37 and :47.14 as Gaffalione bided his time in midpack. On the far turn, Heart to Heart disposed of Voodoo Song and opened a daylight margin turning for home where he drifted slightly to the outside. Gaffalione took advantage and shot Next Shares through the opening, quickly established command and never was threatened in the run to the wire. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Archarcharch out of the Evansville Slew mare Two Dot Slew, Next Shares improved his record to 20-5-4-2. Saturday’s $600,000 check hiked his earnings to $1,067,697. Next Shares returned $48.80, $22.20 and $13. Great Wide Open, ridden by James Graham, returned $58.60 and $26.60 with Qurbaan finishing another 1½ lengths back in third under Mike Smith and paying $7.40 to show. It was another half-length back to favored Analyze It with Big Score, Mr. Misunderstood, Synchrony, Almanaar (GB), Heart to Heart, Multiplier, Bound for Nowhere, Voodoo Song and Imperative following in order.

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10.5.2018:

Double Pick 6 carryover of $106K set for Friday at Belmont

ELMONT, N.Y. - On Thursday, the Pick 6 sequence went unsolved for the second consecutive day, leading to a carryover of $106,743 and the NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 was also not hit leading to a carryover of $49,275 when live racing resumes on Friday. Thursday's Pick 6 sequence began with 28-1 longshot Honorable Hero (No. 10) upsetting Race 4 for return $58 for a $2 win wager. Post-time favorite King for a Day (NO. 3, $4.70) took Race 5, followed by Clyde's Image (No. 1, $22.80) in Race 6. In Race 7, Hoboe (No. 3, $17) closed late to win holding off a late challenge from Adonis Creed and Rappell. Pacific Gale (No. 2, $18) took Race 8 and True Yankee (No. 11, $21.20) won the day's finale in Race 9. A consolation payout of $14,034 was awarded to bettors who had five of six winners. Friday's Pick 6 sequence will begin in Race 4 at 3:09 p.m. ET. The 9-race card has a first post time of 1:30 p.m.

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10.5.2018:

Promises Fulfilled Prevails in G2 Phoenix Stakes

Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Luis Saez, Promises Fulfilled covered 6 furlongs on the main track in 1:09.05 to win the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix and earn a berth in the $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to be run Nov. 3. Promises Fulfilled took the lead out of the gate but was joined quickly by Heartwood as the duo raced through fractions of :22.50 and :45.09. Entering the stretch, Heartwood retreated and Whitmore took up the chase on the outside and Limousine Liberal tried to come through on the inside. Neither older runner ever got past Promises Fulfilled, who gave Romans and Saez their initial victories in the race. A Keeneland sales graduate, Promises Fulfilled is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Shackleford out of the Marquetry mare Marquee Delivery. The victory was worth $150,000 and increased Promises Fulfilled’s earnings to $920,280 with a record of 10-6-0-2. It was the fourth graded stakes victory for Promises Fulfilled and third in a row. Promises Fulfilled, sent off as the odds-on favorite, returned $3.40, $2.40 and $2.10, Whitmore, ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., returned $2.60 and $2.10 and finished a half-length in front of Limousine Liberal, who paid $2.10 to show under Jose Ortiz. It was another 3 lengths back to Heartwood with Dalmore finishing fifth in the field of five.    

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10.5.2018:

Restless Rider Rolls to Victory in G1 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland

Three Chimneys Farm and Fern Circle Stables’ Restless Rider took over from pacesetting Meadow Dance at the top of the stretch and drew clear to post a 2½-length victory over Reflect to win the 67th running of the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) for 2-year-old fillies before a Fall Meet opening-day crowd of 15,334. In the race prior to the Darley Alcibiades, Robert Baron’s Promises Fulfilled held off late charges from Whitmore and Limousine Liberal to win the 166th running of the $245,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) for sprinters by a head over 2017 race winner Whitmore. Both winners earned fees-paid berths to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 2-3. Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Restless Rider covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.23. The victory earned Restless Rider a spot in the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run Nov. 2. The victory was the fourth in the race for McPeek. His other winners were She’s A Devil Due (2000), Take Charge Lady (2001) and Dream Empress (2008). It was the first win in the race for Hernandez. Meadow Dance emerged with the lead going into the first turn and quickly opened a daylight advantage over Lady T N T with Restless Rider riding the rail in third through fractions of :22.86 and :46.52. Going into the far turn, Restless Rider moved to second and swung to the outside of Meadow Dance, assuming command at the head of the lane. Reflect rallied from midpack into second but was no threat to winner. A Keeneland sales graduate, Restless Rider has won three of four starts for earnings of $401,360, including Friday’s check of $240,000. She won the Debutante at Churchill Downs by 11¼ lengths and in her previous start was second in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga. Restless Rider is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Distorted Humor out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Silky Serenade. Sent off as the favorite in the field of 14, Restless Rider returned $4.60, $3.20 and $2.80, Reflect, ridden by James Graham, returned $9.40 and $6 with Meadow Dance finishing another 2¾ lengths back in third under Florent Geroux and returning $6.20 to show. It was 1½ lengths back  to Chocolate Kisses in fourth with Boujie Girl, Malocchio, Abbo, Somewhere, Into Trouble, Bella Ciao, My Wynter Rose, Catherinethegreat, Kim K and Lady T N T following in order.

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10.1.2018:

October 5: Stronach 5 Features 4 Turf Races, 58 Total Horses

LAUREL, MD –Friday’s edition of the Stronach 5, a national wager with a $1 minimum and industry-low takeout of 12 percent, will feature four turf races, big fields, and a guaranteed pool of $50,000. The Stronach 5 kicks off Friday, Oct. 5 with Santa Anita’s third race at 5:03PM ET (2:03PM PT) with a field of nine going six furlongs. Last week’s inaugural Stronach 5 rewarded 14 bettors with winning tickets of $9,888.30.     Friday’s Stronach 5 sequence is: Leg One - Santa Anita, Race 3 (9 horses) - 5:03PM ET Leg Two - Gulfstream West, Race 8 (10 horses) - 5:10PM ET Leg Three - Laurel, Race 9 (10 horses) - 5:22PM ET) Leg Four - Laurel, Race 10 (14 horses) - 5:54PM ET Leg Five - Santa Anita, Race 5 (10 horses) - 6:08PM ET The Stronach 5 preview show, hosted by Jason Blewitt and featuring Michelle Yu, Ron Nicoletti and Stan Salter, will be available Wednesday evening at XBTV.com, LaurelPark.com, GulfstreamPark.com and SantaAnita.com. The Stronach 5 replays will be available at XBTV.com. The minimum wager on the multi-race, multi-track Stronach 5 will be $1. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday. For the Stronach 5, if a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes. The Maryland Jockey Club serves as host of the Stronach 5.

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9.30.2018:

Newspaperofrecord Phenomenal Again in G2 Miss Grillo

ELMONT, N.Y. - Klaravich Stables' Newspaperofrecord made a strong impression in a maiden-breaking debut last month and was even more impressive in her stakes debut, going gate-to-wire and pulling away in the stretch for a 6 ½-length romp in the 39th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Miss Grillo for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday at Belmont Park. Newspaperofrecord, who won her first start on yielding turf by 6 ¾ lengths on August 19 at Saratoga Race Course, broke sharply as Irad Ortiz, Jr. sent her to the front of the nine-horse field, setting early fractions of 23.44 seconds for a quarter-mile with the half in 48.26 on an inner turf course also labeled yielding.  The Irish-bred daughter of Lope de Vega maintained the lead out of the far turn, with Ortiz setting her down as Newspaperofrecord surged to the wire under a right-handed whip, completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.11 to improve to 2-for-2.  Trainer Chad Brown said Newspaperofrecord will now be pointing towards the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 2 at Churchill Downs. "I thought she would be forwardly placed," Brown said. "In her debut she was, but I didn't think she'd be on the lead. I'm happy to hear from Irad right now. I was concerned that the first quarter of a mile maybe she was just running on or she wasn't real responsive to the ride or something, but he said, 'No, she just broke well and I let her go with it.' She was always in the race, and as long as that's the case, I'm fine with it. "I was feeling pretty good turning for home, her ears popped and it looked like she was just galloping. You really never know until you turn them loose. She was loaded and pretty impressive, and he geared her down just in the shadow of the wire. Obviously, we're going to run in the Breeders' Cup, so hopefully she didn't do much today." Newspaperofrecord paid $4 on a $2 win wager as the even-money favorite. She more than doubled her career earnings to $156,750. "Our plan was try to relax her and finish, but she broke so sharp and I didn't take anything away," Ortiz said. "She put me right there and made the lead so easy. She was relaxed on the lead, so I took it and it was good for us." Varenka, a Graham Motion trainee coming off a second-place finish in the P.G. Johnson on August 30 at the Spa, rallied for a second straight runner-up effort, outkicking Stellar Agent by 1 ¾ lengths. Dogtag, the winner of the P.G. Johnson also trained by Brown, finished fourth. Miss Technicality, No More Fast Women, Virginia Eloise, Kitty's Legacy and Decorated Ace completed the order of finish. Takecharge Mirella, entered for the main-track only, was scratched.

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9.30.2018:

Vale Dori Plays 'Other Baffert' Role, Wins G1 Zenyatta at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2018) – With $474,683 bet to show on her stablemate, 1-9 favorite Abel Tasman, Vale Dori relished the role of being the “Other Baffert” in Sunday’s Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes and she responded with an inspired pace-pressing performance under Joe Talamo that saw her defeat late running La Force by three quarters of a length while Abel Tasman finished next to last, beaten 10 ½ lengths.  Off at 11-1 in a field of six fillies and mares three and up, Vale Dori got 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.88. A Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race, Vale Dori now has a fees-paid berth into the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3. “I’m worried about (Abel Tasman) because Mike (Smith) said she was lethargic, and she’s up there where all these sick horses are, so I hope she’s not getting sick,” said Baffert, who although Abel Tasman fizzled, still notched his third career win in the Zenyatta.  “…I’m about as shocked as everybody else, but they’ll do that.” When asked about Vale Dori adding blinkers today, Baffert responded, “She’d been working well, but she hadn’t been getting away from the gate.  If she doesn’t get away well, she doesn’t run well.” Baffert then addressed Abel Tasman’s demeanor at the starting gate. “When I saw Abel Tasman break horrible like that, it looked like shades of Arrogate at Del Mar in the (2017) San Diego…She’s never run a bad one.  Mike said she felt sound and all that, but she was just completely lethargic…My main concern is that Abel’s okay and not getting sick on me.” Although a Group and Grade I winner, Vale Dori, a 6-year-old Argentine-bred mare, was most recently a well beaten second in a restricted one mile stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 24.  Winless in her last six starts, she added blinkers today and paid $24.60, $13.20 and a whopping $40.60 to show. Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, Vale Dori picked up $180,000 for the win, increasing her bankroll to $1,365,567.  Her overall race record now stands at 21-10-6-2. As for German-bred La Force, she put in her customary late bid and was easily second, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Shenandoah Queen, who was gunned to the early lead. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, La Force was the 5-1 second choice and paid $8.40 and $14.60. Shenandoah Queen, with Tyler Baze up, finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Lemoona for third.  Off at 20-1, Shenandoah Queen paid $26.60 to show. Fractions on the race were 23.98, 48.02, 1:12.35 and 1:38.07.

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9.29.2018:

Imperial Hint Easily Captures G1 Vosburgh

ELMONT, N.Y. - Grade 1 victories are rarely won any easier than Raymond Mamone's Imperial Hint, who went gate to wire to win the $350,000 Vosburgh by 1 ¼ lengths over the fast main track under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano on September Super Saturday at Belmont Park. The 5-year-old son of Imperialism recorded his second consecutive Grade 1 victory and did so in equally impressive fashion as his 3 ¾-length victory in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on July 28 at Saratoga Race Course. In addition to the $192,500 winner's share of the purse, the Luis Carvajal, Jr.-trained multiple graded stakes winner earned a berth to the Breeders Cup Sprint on November 3 at Churchill Downs as part of the "Win and You're In" series. "We wanted to try to get an easy race before the Breeders' Cup as a prep, because you don't really want to go into that race having to run really hard and I was happy the way the field for this race came out," said Carvajal. "You always worry, especially when you're 1-5, 1-9, but the way he did it was good. I was a little worried at the end, hoping that Javier [Castellano] didn't hold him back too much, but the track is fast, and I couldn't ask for anything else from this little horse he was great." After being brushed by an outward veering Silver Ride at the start, Castellano sent Imperial Hint to the lead for the first time since the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard three starts back, in which he tired to sixth atop the sealed, sloppy going. In the Vosburgh, the Florida-bred coasted through an opening quarter in 22:09 seconds, and then timed a half-mile in 44.37, while Mr. Crow stalked the leader a length behind. Silver Ride held third, ahead of Still Krz, Forge, Sightforsoreeyes and Manaical. In the stretch, Imperial Hint began to take the race under his own tactics and stretched his lead to 3 ½ lengths with five furlongs run in 55.78, while Mr. Crow tried to get to him from his outside. Imperial Hint advanced towards the wire while Castellano looked back to gauge his advantage and geared his horse down to the wire. Mr. Crow held the runner-up spot, 3 ¾ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Silver Ride. The 1:08.27 six-furlong winning time aboard the unhurried winner was .25 seconds off the stakes record set by two-time Vosburgh winner Private Zone in 2013. "We talked about how the track was playing before the race," said Carvajal. "I thought the 7 horse [Still Krz] was the one who was going to show a lot of speed, but he didn't come out of there, so we had no choice but to go ahead and go. You don't want to choke him too much to keep him behind horses so him on the lead was the way it worked out." The Vosburgh was Imperial Hint's fourth victory from five starts this year, which began with the Sprint Stakes on March 25 at Tampa Bay Downs and the Grade 2 True North on June 8 at Belmont Park before his victory in the Vanderbilt. Castellano, who again was a silent passenger aboard the horse he rode for the eighth consecutive time in the Vosburgh, earned his third career Vosburgh victory after winning with Ghostzapper in 2003 and Rock Fall in 2015. "He's a very nice horse," Castellano said. "You can do whatever you think; you can go to the lead, or come off the pace a little bit. Today, I felt he was the fastest horse. I tried to dictate the pace and control the race. He's a special horse. We were looking for a little workout and looking for the big picture, the Breeders' Cup. I just enjoyed the ride." Now with 12 victories from 17 career starts, the earner of $1,402,655 will likely return to start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, a year after he was caught in the stretch drive to finish one-length behind Roy H at Del Mar. "I think today was a lot of pressure," said Carvajal. "The Breeders' Cup, it's nice to be there and I'd be happy to go again, but we know we're going to face better competition. If he runs good, it's a good thing, if he wins that would be amazing, but I think today was more pressure than the Breeders' Cup. "I think three-quarters is his game. We'll see how he comes out of this race, but we'll most likely ship to Kentucky 10 days before the race." Rounding out the finish was Sightforsoreeyes, Still Krz, Manaical, and Forge. Sent off at odds of 1-5, Imperial Hint returned $2.40 to win on a $2 win wager.

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9.29.2018:

Forty Under Surges Late to Win G3 Pilgrim; Punches Breeders' Cup Ticket

ELMONT, N.Y. - Making his graded stakes debut after breaking his maiden on the turf at Saratoga Race Course, August Dawn Farm's Forty Under closed late in the stretch to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim on Saturday at Belmont Park. Breaking from post 2 with Manny Franco aboard, Forty Under stalked comfortably along the rail in fifth-position as 70-1 longshot Ole Mole led the field of 10 through swift fractions of 23.97 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half in 48.84. At the quarter-pole, Forty Under was shifted from the rail to the four-path. Set down in anall out drive at the top of stretch, he surged past Social Inclusion at the eighth-pole and battled Somelikeithotbrown to the wire, securing the victory by three-quarters of a length.His final time for the 1 1/16 miles distance was 1:44.37 on a yielding inner turf course. "I expected to be closer to the pace, but the horse broke a step slow, so I used plan B, stay inside, save some ground and wait for the moment," said Franco. "He's a different horse on turf. He loves it. (After his debut race), I told the trainer, put him on the grass. That's what we did and he won at Saratoga." Returning $10.80 for a $2 win wager, the Uncle Mo colt picked up his second career and consecutive victory since breaking his maiden last out on August 25 at Saratoga Race Course. The victory boosted his career earnings to $157,386. "After his maiden race, he took the right steps forward," said winning trainer Jeremiah Englehart. "I thought Manny [Franco] did a great job taking him a little bit off the hot pace and the horse closed and did well." "One advantage he has even on the softer turf, he's not a real big thick horse. He's slender, good size, but still pretty sleek, not a big horse. He's a nice horse. It was nice because in a maiden race, it's always a pretty big advantage sometimes to be in the clear. Even on the turf, you want to be in that first tier [because] you don't know how they're going to handle everything in the back. We were going to be forwardly placed. We had the inside from where we were [but] you want to be out and you don't want to be shuffled back. He backed him off the horse and Manny made the right adjustments to win the race." Following Somelikeitbrown in second was Social Paranoia, Opry, Spirit Animal, Dashing Dan, Vineyard Sound, Rhythm With Soul, Ole Mole and Pipes.    

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9.29.2018:

Channel Maker Goes Wire-to-Wire in G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic

ELMONT, N.Y. - Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable's Channel Maker surged to the front and outkicked a charging even-money favorite Robert Bruce in the stretch to post a 4 ½-length gate-to-wire victory in the 42nd running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic as part of September Super Saturday at Belmont Park.  Channel Maker notched his second graded stakes win in three starts, adding to his dead heat victory in the Grade 2 Bowling Green on July 28 at Saratoga, and in the process earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf on November 3 at Churchill Downs. Jockey Jose Ortiz sent Channel Maker to the front on the Widener turf course labeled soft, dueling with the Irish-bred Teodoro with the opening quarter-mile in 25.05 seconds and the half in 50.52 as the duo gained separation on the rest of the seven-horse field on the backstretch. Nearing the far turn, jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. kept Robert Bruce to the inside on a ground-saving trip, overtaking Teodoro from the outside before making a strong bid at the top of the stretch. But Ortiz switched leads on Channel Maker, with the 4-year-old English Channel gelding responding by clearing away to the wire, completing 1 ½ miles in a final time of 2:30.73. Channel Maker, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, ran second in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer last out on August 25 at the Spa at the Turf Classic distance and continued to train well up into Saturday, his conditioner said. "A horse couldn't be doing better than he's been doing. I don't know if he can stay this good for another four or five weeks, but he's just gotten better and better since we had those two runs at Saratoga," said Mott, who notched his third Joe Hirsch Turf Classic win and first since Shakespeare in 2005. "He's been hard to hold on the ground. Put it this way, he needed to run. I'm glad we didn't have to wait another four or five weeks to run. "He's got a little different running style [than last year]," he added. "Even the last two or three times, he's always broke and been back; he's never gotten away cleanly enough to be up on the lead. But, the last couple times, he's been breaking better." Off at 5-1, Channel Maker paid $12 on a $2 win bet. His first career Belmont win helped him earn millionaire status, with his career earnings improving to $1,007,500.  "He was relaxed the whole way around. He had been running well the last three races," said Ortiz, who won the Turf Classic for the second time in three years after piloting Ectot in 2016. "I rode him here [in the Grade 1 Manhattan on June 9], and he was in a bunch of trouble and only got beat one length. "At the three-eighths pole, he was still pricking his ears, waiting for somebody to come. When we left the 5 horse [Teodoro], he was waiting for somebody to come and no one came. When I asked him to go, he responded beautifully." Robert Bruce, coming off a win in the Grade 1 Arlington Million last out on August 11 at Arlington Park, finished 5 ½ lengths clear of Sadler's Joy for second. The 4-year-old Chilean-bred has finished first or second in three of his four starts since arriving from his native country, including a win in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy on May 5 at Belmont. "I'm disappointed," trainer Chad Brown said. "There was no pace in the race and my horse broke so well and then he ended up behind. I'm not sure why. The winner ran really good, but the pace was so slow and after breaking so good, I don't understand why he was so far back." Highland Sky, Teodoro, Carrick, and Spring Quality completed the order of finish. Hi Happy was scratched.

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9.29.2018:

Seeking the Soul Dominates Foes in G3 Ack Ack Handicap

Charles Fipke’s homebred Seeking the Soul could be headed to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs after scoring a 1 ¼-length victory over Nice Not Nice and Giant Expectations in Saturday night’s 26th renewal of the $100,000 Ack Ack Presented by GE Appliances (Grade III) beneath the historic Twin Spires. Seeking the Soul, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and trained by Dallas Stewart, ran one mile in 1:35.01. C. Z. Rocket, the 6-5 favorite in the field of six, and Churchill Downs Racing Club’s Warrior’s Club set a slow early pace – :24.03 for the first quarter mile and :47.63 for the half – as Seeking the Soul raced only a couple of lengths back while in the clear mid-pack. “I think the slower pace helped me today,” Hernandez said. “I was able to keep up close to the pace and the leaders didn’t get away from me.” Seeking the Soul commenced his winning move around the turn, took over at the top of the lane and repelled challenges from Nice Not Nice, Giant Expectations, C. Z. Rocket and Awesome Slew, who all made bids and chased the eventual winner. Warrior’s Club faded to last. “This horse is a Grade I winner and he showed it tonight,” Hernandez said. “I have always been confident in him.” The first prize was $61,380 and hiked Seeking the Soul’s bankroll to $1,482,542 with a record of 21-6-4-5. Seeking the Soul, the 7-2 second betting choice, paid $9.20, $5.20 and $3.40. Nice Not Nice, ridden by Gabriel Saez, returned $12.60 and $4.80. Southern California-invader Giant Expectations, under Julien Leparoux, paid $4.40. Seeking the Soul is Kentucky-bred son of Perfect Soul (IRE) out of the Seeking the Gold mare Seeking the Title. Prior to the Ack Ack, Seeking the Soul finished 13th in the $750,000 Woodward (GI) over 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga on Sept. 1. After running third in last year’s Lukas Classic, Seeking the Soul won a 1 1/16-mile condition allowance at Keeneland and then scored in the $500,000 Clark Handicap (GI) at Churchill Downs in late November. Fipke and Stewart have plenty of options for Seeking the Soul’s next start, which could come in either the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) or $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI). “It looks like we have some decisions to make now,” Stewart said. “We’ll definitely look at the Breeders’ Cup but we’ll decide on the Dirt Mile or Classic. Mr. Fipke is simply a great owner. He’s a great person to work with and this night is absolutely awesome. We’re here with family and friends and we get to celebrate a great horse.” Four of the last five Ack Ack winners – Pants On Fire (2013), Tapiture (2015), Tom’s Ready (2016) and Awesome Slew (2017) – used the race as a springboard to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. For Hernandez, it was his third Ack Ack win after previous riding Neck ’n Neck (2012) and Tom’s Ready (2016) to victories. Stewart was the trainer of the latter. The race is named in honor of Cain Hoy Stable’s 1971 Horse of the Year Ack Ack, who is enshrined in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In his only Churchill Downs appearance, Ack Ack won the 1969 Derby Trial in 1:34.40 which was a track record for one mile that has since been eclipsed.

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9.29.2018:

Discreet Lover Pulls Off 45/1 Shocker in Jockey Club Gold Cup

ELMONT, N.Y. - New York-bred millionaire and 3-5 favorite Diversify may have stubbed his toe in his attempt to win back-to-back editions of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, but Uriah St. Lewis' Discreet Lover was there to collect the spoils in unforgettable fashion, charging late to post a 45-1 upset in the centennial running on Super Saturday at Belmont Park. Diversify, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., took up his customary position at the head of the field, but was soon joined by European invader Mendelssohn, moving early under jockey Ryan Moore to press the heavy favorite through a fast opening quarter-mile in 22.72 seconds. Drawing well ahead of the rest of the field, the pair continued their two-horse race through a 45.64-second half-mile up the backstretch with Diversify gaining some separation from his challenger as they approached the far turn, holding a length advantage as six furlongs went in 1:09.13. Mendelssohn and Moore kept to task through the turn and Ortiz came up empty when asking for run from Diversify at the top of the lane, finally yielding his lead around the eighth pole. Mendelssohn was quickly engaged on the outside by Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow, who made a strong move down the lane, and Discreet Lover, charging down the middle of the track under jockey Manny Franco. Mendelssohn gave way on the inside of Thunder Snow, but Thunder Snow was unable to hold off Discreet Lover's wide rally, getting his neck down in the shadow of the wire to give owner-trainer Uriah St. Lewis his first Grade 1. The winning time for 1 ¼ miles was 1:59.99. Discreet Lover, a Silver member in the NYRA Starter Loyal Program, returned $93 for a $2 win wager. With the Grade 3 Excelsior in April his only other win of the year, Discreet Lover has enjoyed a quietly solid season, finishing fourth this spring in both the Grade 3 Pimlico Special and Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. This summer, he recorded back-to-back thirds this summer in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap and Grade 1 Whitney, both won by Diversify, before finishing 12th in the Grade 1 Woodward on September 1 at Saratoga Race Course. "This horse always gives me all he has," said Franco. "I knew I had a lot of horse under me. I was hoping they would come back to me and they did. I just need to get there one day and today was the day. He always hits the board." The $412,500 winners' share of the Gold Cup purse nearly doubled Discreet Lover's 2018 earnings and made a millionaire out of the hard-knocking Florida-bred, pushing his career earnings to $1,354,060. Discreet Lover, a 5-year-old son of Repent, also earned an all-fees-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Classic as part of the "Win and You're In" qualifying series. "It's the first Grade 1 for the horse and myself," said St. Lewis. "He did it all. All I want to do is go cash my ticket. He can come flying. The wire came right when we wanted it to come. It was great. But I want to go back and spend some time with him. Let's see how he comes out of it, and then we'll go from there. One step at a time. But everything is paid for [for the Breeders' Cup], so we don't have to worry." Thunder Snow, making his first start on the dirt since setting a track record in the World Cup in March, finished 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Mendelssohn in third. Carlino was another 2 ½ lengths back in fourth, just ahead of Diversify. "The track was fast and I had to go harder than usual because Mendelssohn was very quick out of there, and I needed to make the lead," said Ortiz. "I had to use a lot to make the lead. We just went a little fast." Gronkowski, Uno Mas Modelo, and Patch completed the order of finish.

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9.29.2018:

Bellafina Romps in G1 Chandelier Stakes

Bellafina romped to a 6 1/2-length victory in the $300,000 Chandelier Stakes under Flavien Prat. Trained by Simon Callaghan, Bellafina ran 1 1/16 miles without blinkers in 1:44.59 and paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.10 as the 4-5 favorite. Prat and Callaghan won the race last year. Vibrance returned $6 and $3.40. Brill was another 4 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show. Winner of three in a row, Bellafina earned a berth in the BC Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 2.

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9.29.2018:

Vasilika Outduels Rivals in G1 Rodeo Drive Stakes

Vasilika, the 8-5 favorite, won the $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes by a half-length with Prat in the saddle. Trained and co-owned by Hollendorfer, Vasilika was claimed for $40,000 by her new owners in February and has won eight of nine since, including seven in a row. She paid $5.20, $3 and $2.40. Vasilika earned an automatic berth to the BC Filly & Mare Turf. However, she would need to be nominated to the race for $100,000. By winning Saturday, that amount was reduced to $60,000 since entry fees are paid as part of the Win and You’re In program. Paved returned $4 and $2.80, while Cambodia paid $2.40 to show.

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9.29.2018:

Game Winner Pulls Away to Victory in G1 American Pharoah Stakes

Game Winner pulled away in the stretch to win the $300,000 American Pharoah by 4 1/2 lengths and earn an automatic berth in the BC Juvenile. The 2-year-old colt trained by Baffert ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.77. Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, Game Winner returned $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. Gunmetal Gray returned $2.80 and $2.10, while Rowayton was another length back in third and paid $2.10 to show. Both are trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Ridden for the first time by Rosario, Game Winner improved to 3-0 in his young career. The colt was coming off a victory in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 3, when he beat Rowayton by 1 1/2 lengths and heavily favored stablemate Roadster by 2 lengths. Roadster has been regarded as Baffert’s top 2-year-old. However, Game Winner is quickly making a name for himself. He won his career debut by 5 3/4 lengths Aug. 18 at Del Mar and came back 16 days later to score the Futurity upset. “This horse tipped us off this summer that he was going to be a good one,” Baffert said. “I don’t plan to do too much with him before Breeders’ Cup.” Game Winner dueled outside Rowayton before taking a short lead into the stretch. He then inched away under urging by Rosario past the eighth pole and pulled away from Gunmetal Gray. It was Baffert’s eighth career victory in the race previously known as the Norfolk and the FrontRunner Stakes, and renamed this year for his 2015 Triple Crown winner. “Pretty cool and nice of Santa Anita to name a race after him,” Baffert said. The BC Juvenile will be run Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs.

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9.29.2018:

Accelerate Overcomes Slow Start, Wins G1 Awesome Again

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) – Accelerate got feisty in the starting gate, went wide on the first turn, and waited for his rival before kicking into gear. Then he showed he’s ready for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Accelerate outdueled West Coast to win the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths in front of 16,801 at Santa Anita on Saturday in his fourth Grade 1 victory of the year. Ridden by Joel Rosario, Accelerate already had a guaranteed berth in the $6 million BC Classic as a result of his win in the Pacific Classic in August. The 5-year-old’s fifth victory in six races this year merely solidified his status as the best older horse in the country. “It’s a good feeling that we might go into the Classic the favorite because I like being the favorite,” winning trainer John Sadler said. “He’s a good horse, doing great and probably the best horse in the country now, clearly. We’ll be ready.” West Coast was coming off a six-month layoff for trainer Bob Baffert. He hadn’t raced since finishing second in the Dubai World Cup. The 4-year-old colt was the 8-5 second choice in a six-horse field in which all the other runners were listed at double-digit odds. “He’s got a chance to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic with this race under his belt,” Baffert said. “He made that horse run today. We got beat by a really good horse. This race will really set him up well for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.” Accelerate paid $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10. He ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.38 after getting fractious in the gate and breaking slowly. “It’s nice to see all those things that didn’t go his way today, and he still came out on top,” co-owner Kosta Hronis said. “It just shows what kind of horse he is.” West Coast returned $2.10 and $2.10, while Isotherm was another half-length back in third and paid $6 to show.  

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9.28.2018:

Stormy Liberal Edges Conquest Tsunami in G3 Eddie D Stakes at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2018) – Although he was closer to the early pace than originally intended, the result was all-too familiar for favored Stormy Liberal in today’s opening day feature, the Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D Stakes at Santa Anita.  In registering his third consecutive victory while defeating his stablemate Conquest Tsunami by a head, he negotiated about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course under Drayden Van Dyke in a sizzling 1:10.93–which is just .20 of a second off the course record. A winner of last year’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, Stormy Liberal, a 6-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding, made it look easy as he reeled in Conquest Tsunami, who had opened up a two length advantage with three sixteenths of a mile to run. “He knows where the wire is, for sure, but think he could’ve won by three,” said Van Dyke, who had guided him to a pair of nose victories going five furlongs on the Del Mar turf this past summer.  “I thought I’d be a little farther back, but he broke like a rocket, so I was up close.” The narrow 2-1 favorite, Stormy Liberal, who is owned by Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen, paid $6.40, $3.40 and $2.60. Although both Stormy Liberal, Conquest Tsunami and perhaps two other Miller trainees will now be pointed to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, “Stormy” adores the Santa Anita turf, as he notched his eighth win from 14 hillside tries.  Out of the Royal Academy mare Vassar, Stormy Liberal is now 29-11-8-1 overall and with the winner’s share of $60,000, he now has earnings of $1,368,930. “Both horses ran great,” said Miller.  “When they crossed the dirt, I thought Flavien might be gone.  But ‘Stormy,’ he’s got so much heart…He just shows up.” Ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, Conquest Tsunami sped to the front through lightning splits of 21.58, 42.79 and 1:04.87 and just missed, while finishing second by three quarters of a length over longshot Caribou Club. Also off at 2-1 as the second choice in the wagering, Conquest Tsunami paid $4.00 and $3.20. “My horse ran good, he really tried hard,” said Prat.  “He was just second-best today.” Ridden by Joe Talamo, Caribou Club rallied from next to last to finish third, a half length in front of Law Abidin Citizen.  Off at 7-1, Caribou Club paid $4.00 to show.

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9.26.2018:

Stronach 5 Set for Friday, September 28; Race Schedule Released

LAUREL, Md., (Sept. 25, 2018) – The “Stronach 5,” a one dollar minimum wager which features an industry-low takeout of 12 percent, will debut this Friday beginning with Laurel Park’s ninth race, which has an assigned post time of 5:26 ET.  The Stronach 5, which will also coincide with Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet opening day, will be offered each Friday, through Nov. 2.  The inaugural Stronach 5 will also offer fans a guaranteed pool of $50,000. With Leg Two shifting to Santa Anita, Leg Three to Gulfstream Park and Leg Four to Golden Gate Fields, the fifth and final leg this Friday will emanate from Gulfstream, with their ninth race scheduled to go at 6:08 ET.  The Stronach 5 is thus intended to be run within a 45 minute pari-mutuel window. HERE’S THE TIMELINE FOR FRIDAY’S ONE DOLLAR STRONACH 5 LEG ONE - Laurel Park Race 9 (9 horses entered) 5:26PM ET LEG TWO - Santa Anita Race 4 (11 horses entered) 5:32PM ET LEG THREE - Gulfstream Race 8 (11 horses entered) 5:38PM ET LEG FOUR - Golden Gate Race 4 (10 horses entered) 5:50PM ET LEG FIVE - Gulfstream Race 9 (11 horses entered) 6:08PM ET The Maryland Jockey Club will serve as host of the Stronach 5 and will offer the multi-race bet as a separate wagering program.  Additionally, each participating track will be issuing 100 “Quick Pick” tickets and Stronach 5 past performances will be available on each track’s website no later than Thursday morning.    Fans are advised that if a change in racing surface is made in any Stronach 5 race after wagering closes, each selection in that race, on any ticket, will be considered a winning selection.  If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes. In the event there are no tickets with five winners, the entire Stronach 5 pool will be carried over to the next Friday. XBTV TO PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE STRONACH 5 PREVIEW SHOW A comprehensive Stronach 5 Preview Show will be available Thursday morning and on demand anytime on XBTV.com.  Hosted by Gulfstream’s Jason Blewitt, the show will feature racing analysts from all of the participating Stronach Group tracks, including Gulfstream’s Acacia Courtney, Santa Anita’s Michelle Yu and Megan Devine, Laurel Park’s Tim Tullock and Golden Gate Fields’ Matt Dinerman. XBTV will also provide fans with an “All Star Ticket,” with best bets from racing experts.  This analysis will also be available on XBTV.com, and on all participating tracks’ social media platforms. Additionally, a unique feature of the Stronach 5 wager will be that the five races will be shown live on all racetrack simulcast feeds. (For example, live racing from Gulfstream, Laurel and Golden Gate Fields, will be shown on Santa Anita’s feed within the one-hour time frame). First post time for Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet opener this Friday is at 4 p.m. ET. For additional information, please contact the Maryland Jockey Club at www.marylandracing.com.

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9.22.2018:

Patternrecognition Blitzes Rivals in G2 Kelso

ELMONT, N.Y. - Klaravich Stable and William H. Lawrence's Patternrecognition made the transition to stakes company with aplomb, holding off a field of seven to win the Grade 2, $300,000 Kelso Handicap by a length on Saturday at Belmont Park. The Kelso, Chad Brown's fifth training win of the day, marked the first stakes attempt in 10 career starts for Patternrecognition, a 5-year-old Florida-bred by Adios Charlie who won a seven-furlong optional claimer by three-quarters of a length on August 11 at Saratoga Race Course last time out. In the Kelso, Patternrecognition took control early under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, holding a length lead under pressure from No Dozing through an opening quarter-mile in 23.77 seconds and a half in 46.83. No Dozing began to give up the fight as Sunny Ridge and fellow Brown trainee Timeline gained ground as the field turned for home. Sunny Ridge got within striking distance with an eighth of a mile left, but Patternrecognition dug in, completing the mile in 1:34.16 on the fast main track. Off at 5-1, the winner returned $13.20 for a $2 win wager. Brown won four straight races to kick off Saturday's card at Belmont: Junkanoo (No. 8, $15) in Race 1, Favorable Outcome (No. 2, $5) in Race 2, Course Correction (No. 2, $6.10) in Race 3, and Uni (No. 2, $4.50) in Race 4, the Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel. "I have to give credit to Chad and his team," said Gaffalione, who teamed up with Brown to win the opener aboard Junkanoo. "They did a great job with him. You can see from his past races, he's always been a fighter. He was in a good rhythm on the turn for home and those horses didn't really come to him. When I asked him for run, he definitely responded. He likes a challenge and you can see that in his most recent race at Saratoga." Timeline, who broke through the gate prior to the start, was another half-length back in third. No Dozing was fourth and even-money favorite Battle of Midway was fifth. Still Having Fun and Realm rounded out the order of finish.

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9.22.2018:

Monomoy Girl DQd in G1 Cotillion, Midnight Bisou Placed First

BENSALEM, Pa., (Saturday, September 22, 2018) - For a few minutes Saturday, Monomoy Girl was still unbeaten this year, still the best 3-year-old filly on the planet. And then she wasn’t. The 50th running of the $1 million Cotillion at Parx Saturday, ended with a wild finish as victory was snatched away from Monomoy Girl and awarded instead to second place finisher Midnight Bisou, who had been beaten by a neck in the 1 1/16 mile race. Victory went to Midnight Bisou after stewards agreed with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Midnight Bisou. Smith claimed foul against Monomoy Girl for interference inside the eighth pole. Monomoy Girl and jockey Florent Geroux looked to be on her way to her sixth victory of the year without a loss and fifth consecutive Grade I win. She had barreled into the Parx stretch with a 1 ½-length advantage over Midnight Bisou, who had lost her two prior starts this year against Monomoy Girl. Smith and Midnight Bisou, down on the inside, suddenly moved to the outside and she and Monomoy Girl battled to the wire. When Smith dismounted, he claimed foul. Smith maintained that Monomoy Girl moved to the inside and impeded Midnight Bisou’s momentum. When Smith then tried to move Midnight Bisou to the outside, Monomoy Girl carried her even further outside. “I was going straight as an arrow to stay in my path,” Smith said. “But when (Momomoy Girl) chose to come over and take it from me, I choose the outer route. There probably would not have been a DQ if (Geroux) would have stayed straight at that point, but he came out again and we wound up in the eight or nine path. I never got a straight run and we got beat only a neck. You got to do what you got to do.” Geroux, obviously disappointed, was walking back to the jockey’s room after the disqualification became official. “It was close,” he said. (Monomoy Girl) wandered around when she made the lead.” When asked if he thought it was the right call, he shrugged. “I am not the steward,” he said. “This was a million dollar race. A grade I race. I thought our filly was the best today.” Midnight Bisou is now four-for-four in her career at the Cotillion distance. The daughter of Midnight Lute, who is owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables LLC and Allen Racing LLC, has five wins in eight starts this year. In her last two starts, she was third in the Alabama and second in the Coaching Club American Oaks, both Grade Is at Saratoga this summer. After finishing third in the Alabama, trainer Steve Asmussen kept Midnight Bisou at Saratoga to train. “We thought she came in here really fresh and on her game,” said Scott Blasi, Asmussen’s assistant. “It’s tough to win like this, lose like that. We’ve all been there. That being said, she deserved to win the race.” Midnight Bisou went off as the 4-1 second choice in the field of eight. Monomoy Girl was the 1-2 morning line favorite. The final time for the race was 1:45.95. Midnight Bisou, whose next start figures to be the $2 million Breeder’ Cup Distaff, will likely see Monomoy Girl again. Midnight Bisou paid $10.40. Wonder Gadot was a distant third, beaten 10 ½ lengths by the top pair. She rebounded from a last place finish against colts in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in her last start. The final order of finish after that was Separationofpowers, Chocolate Martini, Dixie Serenade, Jump River and Norma’s Choice.

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9.20.2018:

Saturday, September 22: Cross-Country Pick 4 Features Belmont, Parx

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will team up with Parx Racing on Saturday, September 22, to offer a Cross Country Pick 4 highlighted by the Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. The latest in NYRA's fall series of Cross Country Pick 4s, Saturday's edition will include three graded stakes between Belmont Park and Parx, with Belmont Park Live to provide coverage and analysis of each race on MSG+. The multi-race wager, hosted by NYRA and featuring a 50-cent minimum, will start with an allowance race for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont going seven furlongs, carded as Race 7, at 4:46 p.m. ET, followed by Race 10 from Parx, the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion with a scheduled post time of 4:55 p.m. The third leg of the Pick 4 sequence is the Grade 2, $300,000 Kelso Handicap carded as Race 8 from Belmont with an approximate post time of 5:18 p.m. The Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby will be the anchor leg of Saturday's Cross Country Pick 4 as Race 11 from Parx with an approximate post time of 5:45 p.m. The premier race for 3-year-olds in the fall, the Pennsylvania Derby will feature a talented field, including Hofburg for Juddmonte Farms and Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott, who will make his first start since winning the Curlin this summer at Saratoga Race Course. Other contenders include McKinzie for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Instilled Regard for trainer Chad Brown, and Bravazo for Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas among the 10-horse field. The Grade 1 Cotillon for 3-year-old-filles will see the return of four-time Grade 1 winner Monomoy Girl looking for her sixth consecutive graded stakes victory. Also entered are multiple graded stakes winners Midnight Bisou and Wonder Gadot in the field of eight. In the 34th running of the one-mile Kelso Handicap, trainer Chad Brown will send out a pair of formidable contenders in Timeline and Patternrecognition. Looking to rebound form a subpar finish in the Grade 1 Woodward is Sunny Ridge for owner Dennis Drazin and trainer Jason Servis while shipping in from California for Hall of Fame conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer is Battle of Midway. Realm for trainer Barclay Tagg, Lael Stable's No Dozing for trainer Arnaud Delacour and Still Having Fun for Wachtel Stable and trainer Tim keefe round out the seven horse field. Hosted by Mike Curci with racing analysis from Paul Lo Duca and Anthony Stabile, Belmont Park Live will air Saturday from 4-6 p.m. ET on MSG+ in the New York metropolitan market. Belmont Park Live can also be found on NYRA Now, the official video streaming application of NYRA. NYRA's fall Cross Country Pick 4 series will continue on Saturday, October 7 with a special Trans-Atlantic Pick 4 with Longchamp featuring the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera Longines. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 4 is available through NYRA Bets, on track, ADW platforms, and at simulcast facilities across the country. For more information on the Cross Country Pick 4, please visit NYRA.com/CrossCountry. Belmont Park/Parx Racing Cross Country Pick 4 on Saturday, September 22: Leg 1 - Belmont, Race 7: Allowance (4:46PM ET) Leg 2 - Parx, Race 10: G1 Cotillion (4:55PM ET) Leg 3 - Belmont, Race 8: G2 Kelso (5:18PM ET) Leg 4 - Parx, Race 11: G1 Pennsylvania Derby (5:45PM ET)

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9.19.2018:

Switzerland, Always Sunshine Top G3 Xpressbet De Francis Dash

LAUREL, MD – Switzerland and Always Sunshine, whose lone graded-stakes success each came in the same Maryland race two years apart, and a trio of multiple stakes winners are among nine older sprinters entered in a wide-open edition of the $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Saturday at Laurel Park. The 27th running of the six-furlong De Francis for sprinters 3 and up highlights seven stakes, six scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course, worth $900,000 in purses on a 13-race Fall Festival of Racing program that was rescheduled from Sept. 15 due to the threat of severe weather from Hurricane Florence. Also on tap are the $150,000 All Along, presented by Blackwell Real Estate, for females 3 and up at 1 1/16 miles; $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup, presented by Ourisman of Clarksville, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ½ miles; $100,000 Laurel Dash, presented by Fidelity First, for 3-year-olds and up and $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash for fillies and mares 3 and older; $100,000 Laurel Futurity, presented by B&B Commercial Interiors, for 2-year-olds and $100,000 Selima for 2-year-old fillies, all going six furlongs. First-race post time is 12:30 p.m. The De Francis is carded as Race 10, with a post time of 5 p.m. Named for the late president and chairman of both Laurel and legendary Pimlico Race Course, the De Francis’ roster of past winners include Hall of Famer Housebuster and fellow sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thor’s Echo and Benny the Bull. This year’s De Francis marks the fifth and final race in the 3-year-old and up dirt sprint division of the revived Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, an assortment of 25 races at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania which kicked off May 18 and 19 at Pimlico. The original MATCH Series debuted in 1997 and ran for five years. Woodford Racing’s Switzerland went winless in seven starts as a 3-year-old but returned this year to reel off four consecutive victories capped by the six-furlong Maryland Sprint (G3) May 19 at Pimlico on the Preakness (G1) undercard. In that race, the son of champion Speightstown took the lead after a half-mile and sprinted clear to win by 3 ½ lengths. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Switzerland has made one start since then, setting the pace for four furlongs before flattening out to run fifth of seven in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) July 28 at Saratoga, also at six furlongs. Feargal Lynch is named to ride from Post 1; all horses will carry 120 pounds. Gil Campbell’s Stonehedge homebred Always Sunshine enters the De Francis having won back-to-back stakes at six furlongs – the Hockessin at Delaware Park July 14 and the Tale of the Cat Aug. 10 at Saratoga – for trainer Ned Allard. An eight-time winner of $517,650 in purses from 23 career starts, the 6-year-old son of West Acre won the Maryland Sprint in 2016. “The thing that’s good about him is, he’s got plenty of speed but he’ll sit off the pace a little bit and he’s got a good pounce. I think that’s the right kind of horse to have if you can get them,” Allard said. “Good horses are what we dream about and when you’ve got one, it’s a lot of fun.” Where Switzerland will be making his Laurel debut, Always Sunshine has run well in three previous tries over the main track, winning the 2015 Dave’s Friend Stakes. He hasn’t run worse than fourth in four races this year after returning from a 10-month layoff. “He had popped a few quarter cracks as a younger horse and it would always interrupt his schedule. A quarter crack is like having a rock in your shoe. You can’t [run] when you’ve got them,” Allard said. “There’s a lot of procedures that you can do to wire them together and patch them up. We had done that with him before and it worked well but it always seemed to pinch him a little bit. This year, knock on wood, we’ve been very fortunate that the foot issues haven’t reoccurred and it seems to be making him a little bit better horse.” Jevian Toledo replaces regular rider Frankie Pennington from Post 5. Hillside Equestrian Meadows’ Laki, based at Laurel with trainer Damon Dilodovico, is cutting back after finishing second by a nose in the seven-furlong Polynesian Stakes Aug. 12 at Laurel but placed first upon the disqualification of fellow De Francis contender Lewisfield for interference in deep stretch. Laki has competed in each of the first four legs of the MATCH Series and leads the division with 23 points, four more than Lewisfield. Also winner of the 2017 Not For Love Stakes at Laurel, where he is six-for-nine lifetime with two seconds, the 5-year-old Cuba gelding was sixth in this year’s Maryland Sprint. “He came out of the last race well. I was worried when they made contact, his hind end kind of kicked out a little bit and when you’re running at that speed to have that kind of jarring action is worrisome,” said Dilodovico, who won the 2013 De Francis with Immortal Eyes. “But, he came out of it well we got a couple decent breezes in him, and hopefully nothing silly happens. It’s a pretty solid race but he’s doing well so we’ll give him a shot.” Horacio Karamanos returns to ride from Post 4. Linda Zang’s Maryland homebred Lewisfield will also be back for another try in the De Francis. The speedy son of Great Notion won this year’s Not For Love and rallied to be third in the Maryland Sprint after a troubled start. Based at Charles Town with trainer Jeff Runco, the 4-year-old has never been worse than second in six tries at Laurel, four of them wins. “He came out of the race fine, he’s been training well and he’s had a couple of nice workouts between now and then. He likes Laurel, so we’ll bring him down there and see how he does,” Runco said. “This will be a very competitive race … but I think he’s got a graded-stakes with his name on it out there.” Arnaldo Bocachica has the return call from Post 8. Four Horsemen Racing Stable and Lady Lindsay Racing Stables’ Grade 1-placed 4-year-old Sweetontheladies, a stakes winner at 2 and 3, will be racing for just the second time outside his native Florida. Though winless in eight starts this year, the Twirling Candy colt ran third but was placed second in the Smile Sprint (G3) June 30 at Gulfstream Park and finished third behind impressive winner Imperial Hint in the Vanderbilt. “We were very proud of his effort that day. Considering how far back he was and how much ground he made up, it leads you to believe that in the right circumstances anything is possible,” trainer Henry Collazo said. “It was a big effort and he’s feeling good and he’s very honest. He tries every time. Every time he didn’t hit the board he had an excuse. He always shows up.” Hall of Famer Gary Stevens is named to ride from Post 2. Another multiple stakes winner is Natalie Baffert’s The Man, who annexed his second straight Banjo Picker Sprint Sept. 1 at Parx and owns 10 wins from 15 career starts. Third in the Hockessin for trainer John Servis, it will be the 6-year-old gelding’s graded-stakes debut breaking from Post 7 under Jorge Vargas Jr. Rounding out the De Francis field are Grade 3-placed Mr. Crow, fourth in the Vanderbilt and fifth as the favorite in the Tale of Cat in his two most recent efforts; Maryland Coalition Stakes winner Colonel Sharp, cross-entered in the Laurel Dash; and Arthur’s Hope.

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9.18.2018:

$16 Million Pegasus World Cup Introduces a Grade 1 Turf Race

Hallandale Beach, FL. September 18, 2018 - The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup, announced today an exciting new element to what has become, in just two short years, one of the premier events on the Thoroughbred racing calendar.  The Pegasus World Cup 2019, to be held on January 26, will be adding a Grade 1 turf stakes to this year’s race-day festivities. The addition of the turf race, which will be run at 1 3/16 miles, aims to attract and showcase twelve of the best older turf horses from around the world turning the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational into a Championship Invitational Series.   The total purse for the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will sit at $7 million with $3 million awarded to the winner. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational, to be contested on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles, will offer a $9 million purse with a $4 million prize waiting for the winner of the twelve-horse field. “The appetite for a turf race is strong and the decision to include a premier turf race is part of the ongoing evolution of the Pegasus World Cup,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. “We are excited to expand this event for both horse owners and fans, adding to what is already an incredible day of entertainment and world-class racing at Gulfstream Park.” Any horse owner who purchases a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be given preference to purchase a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.  The cost to secure an entry spot and enter a horse is $500,000 per race.  “As an international owner I am thrilled that the Pegasus World Cup will include a turf race,” said John Magnier, Founder, Coolmore. “Coolmore, like The Stronach Group, believes in growing our sport and there is no better way to do that than to provide a new platform to showcase the world’s best Thoroughbreds.”  As an added incentive and as part of the commitment to provide new, lucrative opportunities for horse owners, The Stronach Group will offer a $1 million bonus to the owner who wins both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. The Stronach Group will also introduce a new wager, the Pegasus Pick 24.  The Pegasus Pick 24 will offer up the chance to bet on the exact finish order for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, adding another layer to the race-day excitement. A whopping $5 million bonus awaits the lucky fan who hits on the Pegasus Pick 24. Blending entertainment, innovation and Thoroughbred horse racing like no other event of its kind, the Pegasus World Cup has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world. Past winners include Arrogate, the Horse of the Year for 2017 and the top earning Thoroughbred of all time, and 2018 Horse of the Year, Gun Runner. Tickets for the 2019 Pegasus World Cup will be available at www.pegasusworldcup.com starting October 1. Follow all of the excitement of the Pegasus World Cup 2019 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @PegasusWorldCup #PegasusWorldCup.

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9.16.2018:

Fog of War Closes Fast to Win G1 Summer Stakes

TORONTO, September 16, 2018 – Peter Brant’s undefeated two-year-old colt Fog of War kept his eye on the prize and split horses in the stretch to emerge victorious in the $250,000 Summer Stakes on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack. Jockey Javier Castellano worked out the winning trip in the one-mile turf event to secure the popular Chad Brown trainee a spot in the Breeders’ Cup. Upgraded this year to Grade 1 status, the Summer is part of the Breeders’ Cup ‘Win And You’re In’ Challenge Series offering the nominated winner automatic entry into the 2018 running of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on November 2 at Churchill Downs. Even-money favourite Fog of War stalked in third-place behind local Soaring Free Stakes winner Wallace, who set early fractions of :23.36 and :46.20 while widening to three lengths with War of Will running in second. War of Will reeled in the tiring front-runner and took over command at three-quarters in 1:10 with Fog of War emerging between horses entering the stretch while Nashtrick and Avie’s Flatter rallied outside. Fog of War ran down late leader War of Will at the end of the mile, prevailing by three-quarters of a length and stopping the clock in 1:33.90 to remain undefeated in his young career. “I put him behind the horses, covered up, and let him see the target all the way in the race,” said Castellano. “I liked the way he split horses at the quarter pole. He’s really a smart horse. When I asked him, he finished really well. These are the kind of horses you want to ride. These kinds of horses have lot of potential. “I like the way he did it,” he added. “He’s a very talented horse and I think the key was I tried to teach him something for the future, for the next race. It’s the kind of horse that you don’t want to be on the front with everybody chasing, you want to teach him something and let him win the race and go forward. I think he’s got a lot of potential and he’s coming around very well.” A $400,000 yearling purchase, the War Front-Say colt stretched out to the mile distance with apparent ease after making a victorious career debut going 5-1/2 furlongs over ‘good’ turf at Saratoga on August 13. “Chad Brown and I looked at this horse and we just liked the way he was made,” said Brant of the colt bred in Kentucky by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt. “He was a choice of ours, and he’s really come through. He’s a wonderful horse. Chad and his whole team have done a great job with this horse. “The fact that he’s bred to go longer, and won at five and a half like that, and showed that burst of speed, that was very encouraging. But, you never know until you get further down the road like here and run in a Group 1… You always hope, and this is a game of great hopes and that’s what keeps us all in.” Fog of War returned $4.20, $3.10 and $2.60 while topping a $2 exacta with War of Will ($6, $4.50) that was worth $33.30. “It was a good trip. He broke well, and it looked like the other horse wanted to take the lead so I just travelled with him for a little bit,” said War of Will’s jockey Joel Rosario. “He came home very nice. He responded very well but the favourite came with a strong run on the outside.” “It was a very good performance. He ran well but the other horse had talent and finished very fast.” Nashtrick ($4.60) completed a $1 trifecta worth $85.30 and the superfecta with Avie’s Flatter was $503.15. Jungle Warrior, Moon Swings, Tricky Magician, Skychief, Cerrado, Muskoka Wonder, Federal Law and Wallace completed the order of finish. Dob Dob was scratched.

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9.16.2018:

La Pelosa Flies to Victory in Woodbine's G1 Natalma

TORONTO, September 16, 2018 — La Pelosa, invading from England for trainer Charlie Appleby, rallied from well back and was in full flight through the stretch en route to a one-length victory in Sunday’s Grade 1 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack. The $250,000 Natalma, a one-mile turf race, is a “Win and You’re In” race and earns La Pelosa an automatic berth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf over the same distance at Churchill Downs on November 2. La Pelosa, bred in Ireland and racing for the powerful Godolphin outfit, checked in last weekend along with travelling head lass Sophie Chretien and exercise rider Daragh O’Donohue and showed the benefits of her time on the grounds and breeze over the course. “She did everything right,” said jockey Jamie Spencer, in from England and riding La Pelosa for the first time. “She did what her U.K. form suggested it would do and the race worked out perfectly,” said Spencer. “I just got her into her rhythm where she’s happy and let her take it from there. The pace was strong, so I was a little bit farther back than I initially planned but that’s the way it panned out and she was very brave in the straight when I asked her for a full effort.” Eyeinthesky had sprinted away to the front in the Natalma and held an open lead through fractions of :22.98, :45.36 and 1:09.08 while tracked by Artilena and Stillwater Cove. The real running had just begun at that point, however, as Stillwater Cove moved to the top with a furlong to run and My Gal Betty, Bold Script and Pivottina launched their bids. La Pelosa was too much, however, as she hit the wire in 1:33.70 for her first stakes victory. My Gal Betty raced somewhat erratically through the stretch before finishing well for second as the 5-2 favourite, two lengths before the third finisher. “We had a good trip,” said My Gal Betty’s jockey Rafael Hernandez. “No excuse about that, we just got beat. My filly ran as hard as she could.” Bold Script, at 33-1, also finished well to take down third money, a neck before the French invader Pivottina as Stillwater Cove weakened to finish fifth. Completing the order of finish were Comic Kitten, Souciologist, Eyeinthesky, Not Orbinary, Chasing the Kitty, Above All Names, Chicas Amigas and Artilena. Bohemian Queen and Mintd were scratched. La Pelosa had won a maiden race when debuting in England on May 23 and was making her sixth start in the Natalma. Her most recent start overseas came in Newmarket’s Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes, a race which Capla Temptress used as her springboard to success in last year’s Natalma. “She’s a lovely filly,” said assistant trainer Alex Merriam. “I think she’s turned a few heads this week. She shipped well, she travelled well, and she’s done everything right, which is a big ask for a two-year-old filly, so we’re really pleased with her.” La Pelosa paid $8.50, $4.30 and $3.20. She combined with My Gal Betty ($4, $3.30) for a $2 exacta worth $33. Bold Script ($11.40) completed a $1 trifecta, which returned $338.25, while fourth-place Pivottina put the finishing touches on a $1 superfecta worth $2,084.65.

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9.15.2018:

Oscar Performance Dominant in G1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile

TORONTO, September 15, 2018 — Amerman Racing LLC’s Oscar Performance seized command early and played the pacemaker’s role to perfection while registering a 1 ½ length win in Saturday’s Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile. With the Ricoh Woodbine Mile being part of the Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ program, Oscar Performance earned a fees-paid berth into the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on November 3. Trainer Brian Lynch was thrilled to add the Woodbine Mile to his list of accomplishments. “It is a very prestigious race,” said Brian Lynch, who conditions the homebred Oscar Performance for John and Jerry Amerman.  “It’s nice to be able to put your name beside it. Throughout your career, there are signature races you’d like to win and mine has always been to win the Woodbine Mile. It’s nice to accomplish that.” Lynch applauded the ride from Oscar Performance’s regular rider Jose Ortiz. “I thought Jose rode him beautifully and his last quarter was sensational. It’s nice to see him back and it’s a ‘Win and You’re In’ and we’ve got six weeks to the Breeders’ Cup. Now we can take a deep breath and do the best we can to have him right on that day.” Oscar Performance, with Ortiz following Lynch’s script, took advantage of the lack of pace in the Woodbine Mile and cut out all the fractions of :24.60, :48.78 and 1:11:49 en route to a 1:33.12 final time over firm going. “I figured with the scratching of the filly (La Sardane), he’d be the speed of the race and he looked very comfortable throughout,” said the trainer. “I talked to Jose earlier in the day and said, ‘I’m not going to tell you how to ride the race, but the only thing I can tell you is it’s a hell of a long stretch there, so be patient.’” Ortiz, confident throughout, was pleased that Oscar Performance returned to winning form after being pulled up for precautionary reasons last time out when sent to post as the mutuel favourite in the Arlington Million. “At the quarter pole, I saw somebody getting close to me,” said Ortiz. “But when I asked him to go, he really accelerated. He gave me a great turn of foot and he kept going. “It’s very special. I’m very emotional right now,” continued Ortiz. “He’s my favourite horse. He gave me my first Breeders’ Cup, I’m just happy he’s back.” Lynch watched the Woodbine Mile from Saratoga while his wife and assistant, Erin, did the honours here. “He gave us a lot of confidence going into this race from the way he’d been working. I think Jose (Ortiz) rode him very confidently, established an early and dictated the term,” said Lynch. “I wouldn’t say he wasn’t pressured, he (Mr Havercamp) was sitting no more than three-quarters of a length off him at a real critical stage of the race, but obviously ‘Oscar’ was back on his ‘A’ game today. He gave us that signature move when he asked him to open up, and he maintained.” Mr Havercamp, trained locally by Catherine Day Phillips, stalked Oscar Performance throughout and took a stretch-long run at the winner only to fall short under regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva. “I’m so proud of him,” said da Silva. “He gave it his best. We went a very slow pace for this race, but I needed to make a decision. If I pressed the pace, I would probably lose second.” Woodbine’s leading rider, who picked up his 2000th career win in North America on Friday, never felt like he was getting to the winner. “No, not at any point,” said da Silva. “I was hoping but I saw he had a little more horse than I did. I’m very happy to finish second.” Stormy Antarctic, one of two English raiders in the field, tracked the pace from fourth after breaking from the outside and rallied solidly for third money, just a neck behind Mr Havercamp as a 15.40-1 chance. “Lovely run,” said Gerald Mosse, who piloted Stormy Antarctic for trainer Ed Walker. “Not a good draw to be able to be behind the first two. “Had an ideal scenario and was coming like he was going to do something, but the ground is a bit quick for him. If the ground was a bit on the soft side, he’d have been a solid contender. He still gave me his best, but he needed a little bit more give in the ground.” Delta Prince, the 2.20-1 favourite, had a perfect stalking trip along the inside but failed to fire and wound up fourth, a length shy of third money. “Really disappointing,” said jockey Javier Castellano.  “He didn’t show up today for some reason. He was flat. Had a nice comfortable rhythm behind the winner, but when I asked him at the top of the stretch, he just didn’t respond.” Divisidero, at 14-1, was within range in sixth place through the early going but had to settle for fifth money despite finishing well. Lord Glitters, the other European in the Woodbine Mile field and the third choice at 3.35-1, trailed early and rallied late on the outside to finish sixth, beaten only four lengths for all the money. Good Samaritan, moving back to turf after an eight-race campaign on the main track, failed to menace and finished seventh as the 6.75-1 third choice. Vanish, the rank outsider in the field at 94.15-1, was in touch through the first three-quarters of a mile but faltered to finish last of eight. Oscar Performance had given both Lynch and Ortiz their first Breeders’ Cup wins in the 2016 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.  The Woodbine Mile was the third Grade 1 stakes win for Oscar Performance, who was bred in Kentucky by Jerry Amerman. Oscar Performance paid $7.70, $4.30 and $3.70. He combined with Mr Havercamp ($7.70, $5.20) for a $2 exacta worth $57. Stormy Antarctic ($7.50) completed the trifecta, which paid $293.35 for a $1 ticket, and Delta Prince rounded out the superfecta, worth $913.95 for a $1 ticket.

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9.4.2018:

New Stronach 5 Wager Begins Friday, September 28

LAUREL, MD – The Stronach Group announced today it will begin offering a new national Pick 5 wager – the Stronach 5 – beginning Friday, September 28. The first week will offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000 on the multi-race, multi-track wager with an industry-low 12-percent takeout. The minimum wager on the Stronach 5 will be $1. The Stronach 5 will feature races from Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields. If there are no tickets with five winners, the entire pool will be carried over to the next Friday. The Stronach 5 will be a fun, action-packed wager that will take less than 60 minutes. The Maryland Jockey Club will serve as host of the Stronach 5 and offer the multi-race bet as a separate wagering program. Past performances for the Stronach 5 will be available in programs at all Stronach Group tracks and in the Daily Racing Form. The first 100 fans who buy a program Sept. 28 at Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Maryland or Golden Gate will be awarded a Quick Pick ticket on the Stronach 5. While The Stronach Group had a similar cross-country wager in the Magna 5 from 2004-2010, there are significant differences with the Stronach 5. The Magna 5 had a 22 percent takeout, and if there were no winning tickets 75 percent of the pool was carried over. For the Stronach 5, if a change in racing surface is made after the wagering closes, each selection in that race on any ticket will be considered a winning selection. If a betting interest is scratched, that selection will be substituted with the favorite in the win pool when wagering closes.

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9.2.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Future Wager Pool #2 Results

Here are the full results for Breeders' Cup Future Wager Pool #2 (August 31 - September 2, 2018): Race 1 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile  1. Cairo Cat (McPeek) - 27/1 ($57.20)2. Call Paul (Servis) - 10/1 ($22.60) 3. Code of Honor (McGaughey) - 32/1 ($66.00) 4. Dream Maker (Casse) - 17/1 ($36.60) 5. Endorsed (McLaughlin) - 21/1 ($45.60) 6. Game Winner (Baffert) - 22/1 ($46.00) 7. Gunmetal Gray (Hollendorfer) - 18/1 ($38.80)8. Instagrand (Hollendorfer) - 7/2 ($9.00) 9. Meade (Pletcher) - 67/1 ($136.00) 10. Mucho (Mott) - 12/1 ($26.40) 11. Network Effect (Brown) - 35/1 ($72.00) 12. Nitrous (Asmussen) - 25/1 ($52.00) 13. Roadster (Baffert) - 6/1 ($15.60) 14. Rowayton (Hollendorfer) - 56/1 ($114.80) 15. Sombeyay (Pletcher) - 33/1 ($69.00) 16. Sparky Ville (Bonde) - 106/1 ($215.80) 17. Strike Silver (Casse) - 54/1 ($110.00) 18. Tale of the Union (Baffert) - 14/1 ($30.00) 19. Tight Ten (Asmussen) - 47/1 ($96.00) 20. Tobacco Road (Asmussen) - 37/1 ($76.40)21. Trophy Chaser (Avila) - 24/1 ($51.60) 22. Unionizer (Mott) - 63/1 ($129.00) 23. Whiskey Echo (Asmussen) - 69/1 ($141.40) 24. All Other 2YOs - 8/1 ($18.80) Race 2 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sire 1. Blame - 15/1 ($32.60)2. Bodemeister - 30/1 ($63.00) 3. Cairo Prince - 31/1 ($65.60)4. Curlin - 22/1 ($46.60) 5. Dialed In - 40/1 ($82.20) 6. Into Mischief - 9/2 ($11.80) 7. Medaglia d'Oro - 15/1 ($32.60) 8. More Than Ready - 32/1 ($67.00) 9. Mucho Macho Man - 34/1 ($70.60) 10. Orb - 27/1 ($56.20) 11. Pioneerof the Nile - 30/1 ($63.80) 12. Quality Road - 8/1 ($19.40) 13. Scat Daddy - 27/1 ($56.80) 14. Shanghai Bobby - 35/1 ($73.60) 15. Square Eddie - 45/1 ($92.20) 16. Strong Mandate - 47/1 ($97.60) 17. Super Saver - 43/1 ($89.20) 18. Tapit - 11/1 ($25.20) 19. Tapizar - 41/1 ($84.00) 20. Uncle Mo - 28/1 ($58.20) 21. Union Rags - 18/1 ($39.20) 22. Violence - 29/1 ($61.00) 23. War Front - 39/1 ($81.00) 24. All Other Sires - 4/1 ($10.20)

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8.30.2018:

Internacional del Caribe Returns to Gulfstream Park on December 8

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park announced Thursday it will host the Clasico Internacional del Caribe – the Caribbean and Latin America’s premier Thoroughbred event – on Saturday, Dec. 8 during its Championship Meet. This will be the second consecutive year Gulfstream hosts the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, featuring five races for Thoroughbreds from eight Caribbean and Latin American countries, highlighted by the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe (Caribbean Derby). Gulfstream became the first pari-mutuel facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the event last year since its inception in 1966. The Clasico Internacional del Caribe has a storied history of bringing together the best horses and jockeys, competitive races, and festive crowds. The Clasico’s history includes the participation of Hall of Fame jockeys Laffit Pincay Jr., Jacinto Vasquez, John Velazquez and Javier Castellano as well as Gustavo Avila, Joel Rosario, Emisael Jaramillo, Joel Rosario, Cornelio Velasquez, and Jose Lezcano. “We are delighted to welcome the Confederation of Caribbean Racetracks back to Gulfstream for the Clasico Internacional del Caribe on Saturday, Dec. 8,” said Gulfstream’s General Manager Bill Badgett. “Last year’s Clasico was one of the most memorable events in Gulfstream’s history. The atmosphere was electric and the racing was fantastic. We look forward to hosting this incredible day of racing.” Last year’s Clasico Internacional del Caribe was one of Gulfstream’s most electric days of racing with fans waving and wearing the flags of their countries while chanting and singing throughout the afternoon. The day was highlighted by the Mexican-based filly Jala Jala winning the Clasico, giving Irad Ortiz Jr., three Clasico stakes victories on the day. Horses from the Clasico Internacional del Caribe’s eight countries - Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – are due to arrive in South Florida beginning in November.

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8.28.2018:

2018 Breeders' Cup Future Wager Pool #1 Results

Here are the full results for Breeders' Cup Future Wager Pool #1 (August 24 - 26, 2018): Race 1 - Breeders' Cup Classic 1. Accelerate (Sadler) - 3/1 ($8.20)2. Blended Citizen (O'Neill) - 124/1 ($251.60) 3. Bravazo (Lukas) - 30/1 ($63.60) 4. Catalina Cruiser (Sadler) - 19/1 ($41.60) 5. Catholic Boy (Thomas) - 7/1 ($17.60)6. Collected (Baffert) - 26/1 ($55.00)7. Diversify (Violette) - 10/1 ($23.80)8. Draft Pick (Eurton) - 207/1 ($417.20)9. Good Magic (Brown) - 13/1 ($28.60)10. Gronkowski (Brown) - 22/1 ($47.20) 11. Gunnevera (Sano) - 29/1 ($60.20)12. Hofburg (Mott) - 18/1 ($38.40)13. McKinzie (Baffert) - 19/1 ($40.60)14. Mendelssohn (O'Brien) - 11/1 ($25.80) 15. Mind Your Biscuits (Summers) - 40/1 ($82.20)16. Monomoy Girl (Cox) - 79/1 ($161.60)17. Pavel (O'Neill) - 24/1 ($51.80)18. Saxon Warrior (JPN) (O'Brien) - 118/1 ($238.40)19. Tenfold (Asmussen) - 55/1 ($112.00)20. Thunder Snow (IRE) (bin Suroor) - 23/1 ($48.20)21. Toast of New York (Osborne) - 210/1 ($423.00) 22. Vino Rosso (Pletcher) - 59/1 ($121.80)23. West Coast (Baffert) - 121 ($26.00)24. All Other Horses - 11/1 ($24.60) Race 2 - Breeders' Cup Distaff 1. Abel Tasman (Baffert) - 3/1 ($8.60)2. Berned (Motion) - 109/1 ($220.60)3. Blue Prize (ARG) (Correas) - 26/1 ($54.80)4. Chocolate Martini (Amoss) - 51/1 ($105.20)5. Coach Rocks (Romans) - 40/1 ($83.40)6. Dream Tree (Baffert) - 28/1 ($58.80)7. Elate (Mott) - 5/1 ($13.20)8. Eskimo Kisses (McPeek) - 12/1 ($27.60) 9. Farrell (Catalano) - 26/1 ($55.20) 10. Gamble's Ghost (Carroll) - 128/1 ($258.00) 11. Ivy Bell (Pletcher) - 62/1 ($127.40)12. La Force (GER) (Gallagher) - 29/1 ($61.40) 13. Midnight Bisou (Asmussen) - 25/1 ($52.40)14. Monomoy Girl (Cox) - 3/1 ($8.20) 15. Mopotism (O'Neill) - 23/1 ($48.80)16. My Miss Lilly (Hennig) - 59/1 ($121.00)17. Road to Victory (Casse) - 150/1 ($303.80)18. She's a Julie (Asmussen) - 24/1 ($51.40) 19. Sinfonia Fantastica (ARG) (Saldivia) - 194/1 ($390.00)20. Talk Veuve to Me (Brisset) - 70/1 ($142.60)21. Thirteen Squared (Baffert) - 85/1 ($172.00)22. Unbridled Mo (Pletcher) - SCRATCHED 23. Wonder Gadot (Casse) - 14/1 ($30.00) 24. All Other Fillies & Mares - 15/1 ($32.00)

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8.28.2018:

Saratoga has $291K Double Pick 6 Carryover on Wednesday

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - On Monday, the Pick 6 sequence went unsolved for the second consecutive day, leading to a carryover of $291,756 when racing resumes on Wednesday. Monday's Pick 6 sequence began with 8-5 second-choice Celtic Chaos (No. 4) returning $5.30 in Race 4. Cloontia (No. 7, $14) rallied from off the pace to win Race 5, followed by Stolen Pistol (No. 3, $14.60) in Race 6. In Race 7, Long View Stables' Blue Belt, for trainer Rudy Rodriguez and jockey Junior Alvarado, blew up the sequence at odds of 50-1 returning $103.50 for a $2 win wager. In the $100,000 Better Talk Now, the day's featured stakes race, Rose's Vision (No. 5, $12.40) rallied late to win by a neck. Surge of Pride (No. 4, $9.40) took the finale in Race 9. A consolation payout of $1,940 was awarded to bettors who had five of six winners. Wednesday's Pick 6 sequence will begin in Race 5 with a scheduled post time of 3:14 p.m. ET. The 10-race card has a first post time of 1 p.m.

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8.27.2018:

Santa Anita Institutes 20-Cent Rainbow Pick 6 Wager

ARCADIA, Calif. (Aug. 24, 2018) — In an effort to attract new players, Santa Anita Park will begin offering a 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six wager on Friday, Sept. 28, opening day of its 22-day Autumn Meet.  Patterned after the tremendously successful Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park, the 20 cent minimum wager enables players to cover many more horses per race than Santa Anita’s previous two dollar minimum, which has been a big key to its success at Gulfstream.   The prospect of a life-changing score will be in play immediately, as Santa Anita will guarantee a pair of one-day only Rainbow Pick Six jackpot pools, a $250,000 pool on opening day, Sept. 28 and a $1 million jackpot pool on Saturday, Sept. 29. In the event there are no single ticket winners, 70 percent of the pool is paid to those tickets with the highest number of winning horses and 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool, less takeout.  This formula has resulted in massive pools leading into mandatory payout days (such as closing day) at Gulfstream. “The Rainbow 6 has proven to be a smash hit at Gulfstream, helping to generate bigger purses and larger fields in the long term,” said Tim Ritvo, COO for The Stronach Group (TSG).  “The Pick Six has obviously been an incredibly popular wager here in California, dating back four decades.  Unfortunately, the two dollar minimum and other factors, have rendered it far less popular over the past few years. “We’re excited to be able to offer huge guaranteed jackpot pools on the first two days of the meet and we see this as a great opportunity to test drive the Rainbow wager here at Santa Anita.  We’ll look at it very closely throughout the course of the meet and if we get into a situation that leading into closing weekend (Nov. 3 & 4) there’s a massive amount of money built in the jackpot, things could get very exciting, especially with the Breeders’ Cup running in Kentucky on Nov. 2 and 3.” Approved for implementation at a CHRB meeting Thursday at Del Mar, the new 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six is the latest iteration of a wager that was first instituted at Santa Anita on Oct. 17, 1980.  Santa Anita’s complete 2018 Autumn Meet Wagering Menu will be available in the coming days at www.santaanita.com.  

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8.25.2018:

Marley's Freedom Punches Breeders' Cup Ticket in G1 Ballerina

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Cicero Farm's Marley's Freedom gave the Hall of Fame jockey-trainer team of Mike Smith and Bob Baffert their second straight stakes win on the Travers undercard posting a 3 ¼-length victory in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina for filly and mare sprinters on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. Breaking from post 7, Smith sat patiently aboard the post-time favorite on the backstretch while Grade 2 Honorable Miss winner Finley'sluckycharm took a slight lead in the field of eight, covering a quarter-mile in 23.11 seconds and a half in 45.44. Lewis Bay challenged the leader as the field reached the turn, but it was Marley's Freedom who came with a serious, five-wide move to hit the front at the top of the lane.  The 4-year-old Blame filly dispelled her competition and drew off in the final sixteenth of a mile, completing the seven-furlong sprint in 1:21.39. "Winning her last two races was pretty impressive," said Baffert, who won the Grade 1 Personal Ensign one race earlier with Smith and Abel Tasman. "The quality is there and you have to come to Saratoga if you are looking for a championship. That is why I brought her, to see how she fits [and] this is a pretty good field. "[It was an] unbelievable race today," he added. "When I saw her at the top of the stretch on the outside, I felt pretty good. She had an extra gear, that's how she works. She and Abel have been working unbelievably. I didn't think she would win by that far." Still There recovered from a stumble at the break to finish a strong-closing second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Lewis Bay in third. Union Strike, Ivy Bell, Tequilita, Finley'sluckycharm, and Cairenn completed the order of finish. Highway Star was scratched. Favored at 9-5, Marley's Freedom returned $5.80 for a $2 win wager.  The victory was the fourth in a row for Marley's Freedom this spring, beginning with a 2 ¼-length optional claiming win in April while under the care of trainer Bob Hess. She moved to Baffert's barn soon after and quickly registered wins in the Grade 3 Desert Stormer and the Grade 2 Great Lady M. "When I got her, she was in great shape," said Baffert. "She just came off a very big impressive win and I really can't take a lot of credit for that. She came to me in great shape, and running really well and I just kept her in that form." In addition to an all-fees-paid berth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on November 3 at Churchill Downs, the Ballerina improved her record to six wins and two seconds from 12 career starts for earnings of $628,000.

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8.25.2018:

Glorious Empire Reigns Supreme in G1 Sword Dancer

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Matt Schera's Glorious Empire, a dead-heat winner of his first graded stakes four weeks earlier, did not have to share the first Grade 1 of his career following a front-running 1 ¾-length triumph in Saturday's $1 million Sword Dancer at Saratoga Race Course. The 44th running of the 1 ½-mile Sword Dancer for 3-year-olds and up on the inner turf course was the fifth of seven stakes, six of them Grade 1, worth $4.95 million in purses on a blockbuster 13-race program highlighted by the 149th renewal of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. It was the third consecutive win for Glorious Empire and second straight in a graded-stakes following the Grade 2 Bowling Green over the same course July 28, earning the 7-year-old gelding an all-fees-paid berth to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf on November 3 at Churchill Downs. The win also marked the first Grade 1 for winning trainer James 'Chuck' Lawrence II, who is based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Maryland. "I'm trying to get my voice back," Lawrence said. "We knew this horse had this kind of talent, it was just a matter of getting it to come out." Breaking from the rail in a field of 10 and following a similar game plan, jockey Julien Leparoux put Glorious Empire on the lead, where he posted fractions of 23.16 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.18 for the half, with Bowling Green co-winner Channel Maker giving closest pursuit and Grade 1 winners Funtastic and Hi Happy leading the second flight. Glorious Empire remained in control after going six furlongs in 1:13.88, when Channel Maker began to inch closer. The Irish-bred son of Holy Roman Emperor ran a mile in 1:38.82 and cut the corner sharply and with something left, separating from his main rival once straightened for home. Channel Maker continued to give chase but was unable to make up ground and wound up second as Glorious Empire hit the wire in 2:24.41 over a firm course. "He traveled very good for me, and he's got that kick, you know, and at the end he just exploded," Leparoux said. "He obviously loves the track. He won two here this year and one last year. The first quarter was fast, but he settled very nicely and picked up the pace pretty quickly." Spring Quality, racing for the first time since his 18-1 upset victory in the Grade 1 Manhattan June 9 at Belmont Park, closed to be third, two lengths behind Channel Maker. They were followed by Hi Happy, Highland Sky, Sadler's Joy, Funtastic, Bigger Picture, European invader Seahenge and Revved Up. Sadler's Joy, the defending champion and 2-1 betting favorite, was attempting to become the second straight horse and seventh overall to win the Sword Dancer in back-to-back years. Glorious Empire, sent off at 15-1, returned $33.40 on a $2 win bet. After opening his 2018 campaign finishing sixth in the Henry S. Clark on April 21 at Laurel Park, his first start for Maryland-based Lawrence and first in nearly seven months, Glorious Empire came from a stalking position to win an optional claiming event going about 1 1/8 miles June 28 at Delaware Park. It served as a fitting prep for the 1 3/8-mile Bowling Green, where he never trailed before being caught on the wire. Glorious Empire now owns nine wins from 23 career starts and the $535,000 winner's share boosted his lifetime bankroll to $852,147. "I thought the 23[-second] quarter[-mile] got us, but then he really slowed it down for Julien [Leparoux], luckily. When he slowed it down, I was pretty happy and I just kept yelling throughout the turn, 'Julien, let him go, let him go,'" Lawrence said. "I knew he was fit, it was just a matter of getting the wire to come fast enough. He responded at the top of the lane. That was really special. "This is my first Grade 1 and we're going to bask in it," he added. "Of course, the Breeders' Cup is going to be a big option, but we're going to take it day by day and see how the horse is and everything. After this, that's going to be our big goal. Our big goal before was just to win a race at Saratoga with him, so he's exceeded our expectations."

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8.25.2018:

Catholic Boy Scores Upset Victory in G1 Travers Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Catholic Boy put away European invador Mendelssohn in the stretch and drew clear to a devastating four-length victory on Saturday to take the 149th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers at Saratoga Race Course, giving Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano his record sixth victory in the race. Hustled away from the gate, the More Than Ready ridgling stalked Mendelssohn to his outside, with the filly Wonder Gadot and Grade 2 Jim Dandy winner Tenfold also in close pursuit, as the European led the field of 10 through an opening quarter-mile in 23.03 seconds, with the half going in 47.81 and three quarters in 1:11.97. Moving up on the turn to draw abreast of Mendelssohn approaching the quarter-pole, with the filly dropping back, Catholic Boy struck a nose in front straightening for home, and hit his best stride with a furlong to go, drawing away to complete the 1 ¼ miles in 2:01.94 in front of a crowd of 49,418. "It just doesn't get any better," said Jonathan Thomas, who trains Catholic Boy for Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farms and Twin Creeks Racing Stables. "I'm just so proud of this horse, and Javier [Castellano] was incredible. We've always believed that he's a top talent, despite the surface. He's a much stronger, mature horse and this really shows that patience helps." Sent off at 7-1, Catholic Boy returned $16.20 for a $2 win bet. Mendelssohn was clearly the best of the rest, finishing a length in front of redoubtable Triple Crown veteran Bravazo, with King Zachary another 1 ½ lengths back in fourth. Following him under the wire were Vino Rosso, Trigger Warning, Tenfold, Gronkowski, favored Good Magic - who was floated wide on the turn - and Wonder Gadot. "This was a big improvement," said T. J. Comerford, assistant to Aidan O'Brien, of Mendelssohn, last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner and this year's Grade 2 UAE Derby winner who subsequently finished 20th in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont. "Aidan planned on bringing him here, and he stuck to his guns. Aidan could have easily run him on the turf at home, but he stuck with it over here. It just shows he's coming back to his best. I'm sure he'll be back [in the United States] soon." Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was tickled with the performance from Bravazo, the only colt besides Triple Crown winner Justify to compete in the Kentucky Derby (sixth), Preakness (second), and Belmont Stakes (sixth). "He's been through the whole series. He's keeping it honest. Nobody's stealing anything, and he's beaten some pretty good horses," said Lukas of Bravazo, second behind Good Magic in the Grade 1 Haskell prior to the Travers. "I'd like to see it a jump or two longer, he might have gotten second. I liked the way he ran. He continues to add to his income and his resume." The victory was the third straight for Catholic Boy, now a Grade 1 winner on dirt and turf, having taken the Belmont Derby on July 7. "This has been a lifetime dream for me and to win it with a horse like Catholic Boy, I'm speechless," said LaPenta. "I didn't expect this to happen. I've been in the game starting in 2001, and I never thought this day would come, and I'm so glad it did today." Castellano, who already held the record for most Travers wins by a jockey with five, smiled and held up six fingers as Catholic Boy was led into the winner's circle. "I basically enjoyed the ride," said Castellano, who previously won the Travers with Keen Ice (2015), V. E. Day (2014), Stay Thirsty (2011), Afleet Express (2010) and Bernardini (2006). "I give all the credit to Jonathan Thomas, the way he's been training the horse. Turf and dirt. He's so good, that horse. I've never seen a horse like that in my life. He can run on turf, dirt; I think he's amazing. He won Grade 1 on the turf and a Grade 1 on the dirt, he's only 3 years old, you don't see too many like that. I've been blessed to be part of it." Catholic Boy, now 6-1-0 from nine career starts, boosted his bankroll to $1,842,000 with the winner's purse of $670,000. In addition to the Travers and Belmont Derby, he also has won the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge on the turf, the Grade 2 Remsen on dirt as a 2-year-old, and the Grade 3 With Anticipation on turf, also as a juvenile. Good Magic, last year's juvenile champion, who was favored coming off his victory in the Haskell, was never a factor. "[Good Magic] didn't break well and from there he was in trouble," said trainer Chad Brown, whose Gronkowski finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of the favorite. "Given the way the track's playing, you've got to be very forwardly placed the last two days on both surfaces. I didn't feel good right away. We wanted him no worse than third early, that's his running style, and especially given the way the track bias has been. When he didn't get there, I didn't feel too good about it." The Travers field was reduced to 10 with the scratch of Meistermind.

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8.25.2018:

Catalina Cruiser Kicks Clear to Victory in G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes

Hronis Racing’s talented and unbeaten Catalina Cruiser, the 1-5 favorite under jockey Drayden Van Dyke, emphatically punched his ticket for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Churchill Downs with a showcase performance in the featured Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes Saturday at Del Mar. Catalina Cruiser took command from the inside midway down the backstretch, opened up in the upper stretch and cruised to the wire seven and one-quarter lengths in front, running the seven-furlong distance in a quick 1:22.13 while under only mild urging from Van Dyke. Battle of Midway, competing for the first time since taking the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar last November after which he had a brief, unsuccessful stint at stud, ran well in his return to be second, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of Vorticity, with Threefiveindia another five and three-quarter lengths farther back in fourth and last. Withdrawn from the line-up were Roy H, Ransom the Moon, Horse Greedy and St. Joe Bay. With only four starters, there was no show wagering for the race which is part of the Breeders’ Cup’s series of “Win and You’re In” qualifying contests. Catalina Cruiser, a four-year-old son of Union Rags trained by John Sadler, scored his fourth win in as many starts. In his previous outing, he won the San Diego Handicap by six and three-quarter lengths. He returned $2.40 and $2.10, while Battle of Midway paid $2.20 to place. There was a minus place pool of $29,348. First money of $120,000 increased Catalina Cruiser’s earnings to $303,600. He was a $370,000 purchase as a yearling at Keeneland in 2015. The colt is a stablemate of Accelerate, hero of the recent Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic for the Hronis brothers and Sadler.

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8.18.2018:

Accelerate Victorious in Record-Setting G1 Pacific Classic

Winning as jockey Joel Rosario pleased, Hronis Racing’s Accelerate, the 2-5 favorite, romped to an easy victory in the 28th running of the Grade I $1 million Pacific Classic, scoring by a record margin of twelve and one-half lengths in the mile and one-quarter contest. Well-placed from the start, Accelerate lived up to his name with a swift move from the outside on the far turn, opening up a commanding advantage entering the stretch and then under only mild urging from Rosario through the final furlong. The previous record victory margin in the Pacific Classic was eight and one-half lengths by Game on Dude in 2013. With the win, Accelerate joined select company as only the third horse to sweep the three major races in Southern California for older horses – the Santa Anita Handicap, Gold Cup at Santa Anita and Pacific Classic - in the same year. Accelerate, providing trainer John Sadler with his first success in the Pacific Classic after eleven tries, returned $2.80, the lowest win mutuel in the history of the event. Previous low payoff was $3 by Gentlemen in 1997. Accelerate, a five-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky, provided Rosario with his fourth win on the afternoon. For Rosario, it also was his second success in the Pacific Classic, having scored aboard Dullahan in 2012.  Across the board,  Accelerate paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Pavel, who ran well to be runner-up while threatening the winner, returned $4.20 and $3.40, while third-place Prime Attraction returned $4.20 to show. Accelerate, who stepped the distance in 2:01.83, won his eighth race in 20 starts and first money of $600,000 increased his career earnings to $2,772,480. Since the Pacific Classic was a qualifying “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic next November, he insured an automatic berth in that event. The horse was third behind Collected and Arrogate in the 2017 Pacific Classic. The stakes win was the first of the meet but second (Dullahan, 2012) in the Pacific Classic for rider Rosario. He now has 24 stakes wins at Del Mar. The stakes win was the fourth of the meet but first in the Pacific Classic for trainer Sadler. He now has 63 stakes wins at Del Mar, fifth most among all trainers. The winner is owned by Kosta and Pete Hronis of Delano, CA. This was a record winning margin in the Pacific Classic --  12 1/2 lengths.  Previous record 8 1/2 lengths by Game On Dude in 2013.  Also shortest priced winner ever -- $2.80.  Previous record – Gentlemen ($3) 1997.    PACIFIC CLASSIC JOCKEY QUOTES JOEL ROSARIO (Accelerate, first) – “He’s a very nice horse. He put me in a good place and took me to the outside and we went from there.” MARIO GUTIERREZ (Pavel, second) – “He ran good; really, really good. The winner – what can you say. He’s a good horse.” KENT DESORMEAUX (Prime Attraction, third) – “He tried so hard to win. His heart bleeds to win.” FLAVIEN PRAT (Roman Rosso, fourth) – “He broke so well that we just went to the front. I saw that he’d run in front down there (in his South American races).  I just let him go on with it.” JOE TALAMO (Dr. Dorr, fifth) – “I wanted the lead, but we couldn’t get there. Then when we had to run from the back, that wasn’t his style at all.” DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (The Lieutenant, sixth) – “He just ran out of gas at the end. FRANKLIN CEBALLOS (Two Thirty Five, seventh) – “He tried.”   PACIFIC CLASSIC TRAINER QUOTES JOHN SADLER, (Accelerate winner) – “It was very impressive. He’s been good on this track, he’s won stakes here every year. He’s better this year so you had to figure he’d be better on this track this year. The only thing I was nervous about was Joel (Rosario). I told him ‘Ride him like he’s the best horse. Don’t let anything cheap get in front of you. Stay in contact with the leaders’. He did that so I knew (Accelerate) would kick in well. I wanted to keep them (Accelerate and Catalina Cruiser) separated. We had the best horse and the second best horse and we wanted to use them in different races. (His personal feeling at the moment?) Just relief. I thought we had the best horse. He had a really good week. I woke up this morning refreshed. The toughest thing all day was getting into the parking lot.”   PACIFIC CLASSIC OWNER QUOTES KOSTA HRONIS – “We don’t get to see a lot of 5-year-old horses anymore. So this was great that he was able to stay on the track for another year and really mature and get better, and that’s what he has done. I’m so happy for John Sadler. This is his first Pacific Classic win and for this horse to be a part of it is such an honor. We’re happy for us, of course, but we’re so happy for John. He’s done so much and he’s meant so much to us. He’s more than a trainer. He’s trained the horses and he’s trained us. We had no idea about the horse racing business when we got involved in 2010. We thought we knew something. We knew nothing. “Joel rode a great race. He’s been good all day. When we lost Victor (Espinoza) it was disheartening. I’m glad it was John’s decision. John knew what to do. He felt really comfortable going to Joel.” (Sweeping the Big Three in California) “That’s such an honor. For him to be in a position to attempt to do that was wonderful. That he actually pulled it off is great. To be in the conversation with those great horses is a thrill for us, no doubt.” “We love California. Santa Anita and Del Mar. We have opportunities to race out of town, but if there’s a race here. We’re going to be here.”

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8.18.2018:

Play in the Florida Stallion Stakes Betting Championship on September 1

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Florida Sire Stakes Betting Challenge, presented by Xpressbet.com, will take place Saturday, Sept. 1, with prizes including two entries to both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Betting Challenge and National Horseplayers Championship as well as cash prizes. Players can participate at Gulfstream Park or online at Xpressbet.com. Additional information can be found at: http://gulfstreampark.com/racing/contests/florida-sire-stakes-betting-challenge https://www.xpressbet.com/2018-florida-sire-stakes-betting-challenge A maximum of two entries per person will be accepted with a buy-in of $1,500 ($1,000 bankroll and $500 prize pool). Contest races will include those from Gulfstream, Saratoga and Del Mar. There will be win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and daily double wagering available. Participants must wager at least $150 on a minimum of three contest races and wager at least $1,000 in total.  

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8.16.2018:

Free Pacific Classic Wager Guide Now Available

Download Xpressbet’s FREE 2018 Pacific Classic Wager Guide to bet Del Mar’s signature race like a pro.  Our Wager Guide is loaded with everything you need to bet with confidence, including analysis, picks, wagering strategies and stats and trends you can’t get anywhere else. In addition to free Pacific Classic picks, our Wager Guide also includes analysis and strategies for the other two stakes races on the card – the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap. Have an Xpressbet Account? Log In and Click the Banner to Download the Guide. Not an Xpressbet Customer? That's OK! You can get the Guide here. First post at Del Mar on Pacific Classic Day is 5:00PM ET and the Pacific Classic is Race 10, at 9:43PM ET.   

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8.11.2018:

Robert Bruce Soars in G1 Arlington Million

Rebounding from a trouble-filled sixth in the Grade 1 Manhattan in June, Chilean-bred and Chilean-owned Robert Bruce (CHI) edged clear of stablemate Almanaar (GB) to win the 36th running of the Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million by a half-length. It was the second straight Million win for trainer Chad Brown, who saddled the top two finishers in the Million one race after having the top three in his fourth straight Grade I Beverly D. About half the field of older horses was stacked across the track with a furlong to run but Robert Bruce swooped past them all to capture the 1¼-mile race over “firm” turf in 2:02.29. “He’s got an unbelievable kick, but so did the losing horse,” said Brown, Arlington International’s all-time leading Grade I-winning trainer. “They both ran tremendous.” Robert Bruce earned an automatic berth into the Grade I $4,000,000 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3. Brown indicated that he could start once more before then, most likely in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 29. Under Irad Ortiz Jr., the 4-year-old Robert Bruce bumped with favored Oscar Performance at the start before settling off the pace, led by Century Dream (IRE) through fractions of 23.66, 48.28, and 1:12.96. As the field bunched up approaching the quarter-pole, Robert Bruce had to go six-wide into the stretch, according to the official Equibase chart, and finding himself second-last. “Today was a smaller field, a little more speed,” said Ortiz, who won his first Million on his 26th birthday. “Thank God I didn’t have any traffic. On the backside I didn’t want to fight with him, just wanted him to be happy, so when I turned to the backside and went to the two-path I didn’t panic.” Owner Carlos Lavin of Convento Viejo LLC praised Ortiz’s chilliness even as the other contenders cut the corner ahead of him. “When he entered the straight and he was in last place, I said, ‘Oh, maybe he’s too far back,’” Lavin said. “But this horse has a change of speed that is incredible. He always starts the same; he makes us suffer.” Robert Bruce is the first winner with Chilean connections in the storied history of Arlington International’s signature event. By Fast Company (IRE) out of Lady Pelusa (ARG) (Orpen), Robert Bruce took home $582,000 to increase his career earnings to $942,457 and better his record to eight wins in nine lifetime starts, with the lone defeat coming in the Grade I Manhattan Stakes last out. Robert Bruce started his career six-for-six in Chile before being transferred to Brown. Shadwell Stable’s runner-up Almanaar, rank early once again, hit the lead at the sixteenth-pole before being collared by Robert Bruce. “He gave me everything he had,” said Almanaar’s jockey Joel Rosario. “I thought for a second we were going to be there but the outside horse (Robert Bruce) came with a strong finish.” Pacesetter Century Dream was comfortable on the lead but drifted out in the stretch and was disqualified from third to fourth for interference at the sixteenth-pole with Catcho En Die (ARG), trained by Naipaul Chatterpaul and owned in partnership with Sotirios Sakatis, who was officially placed third. “Simon [Cirsford, trainer] was always very confident of riding a horse positively and he’s a real honest, game horse, and I thought there was a chance that everyone was going to be looking at each other and that no one really wanted the lead,” said William Buick, who rode Century Dream. “We were kind of an underdog in the race so I figured we’d try our best and make something of it.” Robert Bruce paid $7.20, $3.80, and $3.20, Almanaar returned $4.80 and $3.80, and Catcho En Die was worth $9.80. Beyond Century Dream, Money Multiplier was fifth, followed by Deauville (IRE), Twenty Four Seven, Circus Couture (IRE), and Oscar Performance, who was pulled up before the wire and vanned off as a precaution. Spring Quality and Divisidero were scratched.

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8.9.2018:

Plenty of competition in Saturday's G1 Fourstardave at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A strong field of seven is set to compete in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at one mile on the inner turf at Saratoga Race Course. Barry K. Schwartz's Voodoo Song returns to Saratoga after the son of English Channel rattled off four straight wins at the Spa in 2017, highlighted by his neck victory over Yoshida in the Grade 3 Saranac. The 4-year-old colt made his first start at Saratoga on the second day of the meet last year, and his second on grass since he broke his maiden at Aqueduct in 2016. The decision to return to the sod proved successful after the New York-bred was transferred to Linda Rice's barn after Mike Hushion retired from training last spring. Remarkably, Voodoo Song returned to victory just four days later, then made his next start in late August and quickly became a fan favorite, winning his first try against graded stakes company. Through all four starts at Saratoga, Voodoo Song remains un-headed by 31 other rivals winning in gate-to-wire fashion over both turf courses. The projected softer ground in his 16th career start could play a role at post time, said Rice. "Clearly he loves the turf," she said. "He likes the configuration here. Last year, we got very little rain and he likes it hard and fast. This year, he has run at Belmont on softer turf and has actually performed quite well. I would prefer a firm course for him, and I don't know if we will have that." After leaving Saratoga, Voodoo Song added a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Derby at Laurel Park before ending his 3-year-old year with a fifth-place finish in the Hawthorne Derby on October 28. A victory in a conditional claiming start at Aqueduct in his second start as a 4-year-old led him to a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont Park. Voodoo Song will look to extend his local win streak in his first Grade 1 start after winning the $150,000 Forbidden Apple on July 14 at Belmont Park. "He has not proven to be a Grade 1 horse yet," said Rice. "I think he has improved from 3 to 4 even though he won four in a row here. He went through his conditions, and he has gotten a couple of 100 Beyers. I do think we have seen improvement, but the races get tougher the more you win." Voodoo Song will apply his speed from post 6 and will be ridden by Jose Lezcano. Stronach Stable's Delta Prince is another starter whose connections hope for firm ground. The 5-year-old by Street Cry enters off his first graded stakes victory in the June 30 Grade 2 King Edward at Woodbine, and will make only his second start this year for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. The Kentucky-bred ended his 4-year-old season with a third place finish in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga on September 4, and has missed plenty of time due to minor issues throughout his career. "He seems to be doing good," Jerkens said. "It was very good, especially after that long layoff. He's a very willing horse in the morning so that helps alot. He's a natural athlete. He's long and kind of slender through the middle. He keeps himself worked up and gets himself fit too, so if ever a horse can get away with it, it's him." "Let's hope it's not too soft," Jerkens said. "He seems to struggle a little bit. He ran very well in his race last year [Bernard Baruch], but I could tell it was a little soft and he kind of struggled a little bit more so than when it's firm." With Delta Prince now making his ninth career start, Jerkens expects better results and said he is pleased with how his horse, a half-brother to three-time Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta, has turned the corner with his victory at Woodbine. "Javier [Castellano] rode him good too," said Jerkens. "Took him back a little bit, let them go out there and let him settle, tried to save him a little bit, which is a smart thing to do especially after a long layoff like that. He's been very consistent. I wish I would be able to run him a little more." Delta Prince drew post 2 and will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano. Multiple graded stakes winner Made You Look will carry the colors of Three Chimneys Farm while looking to step up off his second-place finish in the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont. The 4-year-old colt by More Than Ready won the Grade 2 With Anticipation as a 2-year-old at Saratoga, and will make his third start of the year for trainer Chad Brown. "He's doing well," Brown said. "It's a big step up for him. It's a tough race, but the horse is training super. I thought he ran a great race last time out and it's worth a shot." Made You Look will break from post 4 and may be ridden by Luis Saez, who has first call aboard main track-only entrant Weekend Hideaway. WinStar Farm's 4-year-old Yoshida makes his first start since finishing fifth in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot. The Japanese-bred by Heart's Cry ended his 3-year-old year with a victory in the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont Park, then began this year with a victory in the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. A victory would give Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his fifth victory in the Fourstardave. Yoshida starts from post 7 and gets the services of Manuel Franco in the irons. Multiple Grade 1 winner Heart to Heart brings a wealth of experience with him to the Fourstardave, which will mark making his 37th career start. The 7-year-old by English Channel enters off a second-place finish in the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita on May 28, and owns two Grade 1 victories in the Gulfstream Park Turf, and the Maker 46 Mile at Keeneland. The Ontario-bred is perfect through two starts at Saratoga after winning the $100,000 Better Talk Now in 2014 and the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch last year. Heart to Heart drew post 5, and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux. Rounding out the field in the Fourstardave is Weekend Hideaway entered for the main track for trainer Phil Serpe and jockey Luis Saez from post 1; and Divisidero, cross-entered in Saturday's Grade 1 Arlington Million for trainer Kelly Rubley and jockey Jevian Toledo, from post 3.

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8.4.2018:

Diversify Dominates G1 Whitney, Punches Breeders' Cup Classic Ticket

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Lauren Evans and Ralph M. Evans' New York-bred Diversify proved to be uncatchable as the afternoon rain subsided easily registering a 3 ½-length victory over Mind Your Biscuits in the 91st running of the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney over a sloppy and sealed track Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. Diversify, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. and trained by Rick Violette, Jr., broke well and took up his customary position at the head of the eight-horse field in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney, a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Classic this fall at Churchill Downs. With some early pressure from California import Dalmore, the 5-year-old Bellamy Road gelding carried his speed through a swift opening quarter-mile in 23.22 seconds. Diversify began to separate himself from the field up the backstretch, opening up a three- or four-length lead over Dalmore, with Tapwrit and Backyard Heaven in close pursuit as the half went in 46.50 and three-quarters in 1:10.70. Reigning New York-bred Horse of the Year Mind Your Biscuits, exiting a close second in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and stretching out to two turns for the first time, began to pick off rivals in the far turn as Diversify turned for home. Mind Your Biscuits, a 5-year-old chestnut by Posse, used his late-charging style to move into second on the outside and appeared poised to challenge the lead at the top the lane, but Diversify found another gear and powered down the stretch to complete the route in 1:49.62. Mind Your Biscuits finished second, a half-length ahead of Discreet Lover, who rallied in the stretch to hit the board at odds of 38-1. Tapwrit was fourth, followed by Good Samaritan, McCraken, Backyard Heaven, and Dalmore to complete the order of finish. "I wanted to be on the lead. He did everything right for me. He was ready," said Ortiz. "I knew somebody was going to be coming, no matter what," he added. "It's a Grade 1, and there's nice horses who want to win the race. He proved he could keep going. Only nice horses can do that. He was steady; he wasn't dying at the end, he'd keep trying. He did it the right way." Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, Diversify returned $5.20 for a $2 win wager. Saturday's victory was the third straight for Diversify, following a nose win against state-breds in the Commentator and a 6 ½-length score in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 7, both at Belmont Park. Following the Suburban, Violette originally pointed Diversify to the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on September 2 at Saratoga, but rerouted the gelding to the Whitney following a sharp breeze over the weekend. "He did too well not to run here," Violette said of the decision. "Everything he did said run. He ate well, he shipped up here well, he breezed well last Sunday and came out of it good, his blood work came back well, so [I said], 'OK, stupid, stop being a chicken and run him.'" Overall, Diversify owns 10 wins and two seconds from 15 starts for career earnings of $1,959,425. Last year, the characteristic frontrunner won four of eight races, including an 11 ½-length score in the 1 1/8-mile Evan Shipman against New York-breds, his only previous start at Saratoga and the second of three straight wins in the summer and fall. He capped that win streak with a gutsy one-length victory in the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, a title Diversify will likely try to defend on September 29 at Belmont. "I will talk to the owners and enjoy this race but the Jockey Gold Cup will certainly be part of the plan," said Violette. Chad Summers, trainer of Mind Your Biscuits, said the current plan is to continue to prepare the multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter to stretch out in the 1 ¼-mile Breeders' Cup Classic on November 3, a potential Round 2 of a New York-bred rivalry. Mind Your Biscuits, the richest New York-bred in history with $4,159,286 in lifetime earnings, has finished in the top three in 20 of 23 starts with seven wins, including thrilling back-to-back victories in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen in Dubai. "Diversify has good cruising speed, and once he goes that 46 and change, and he's in front by three or four he's a tough horse to run down," said Summers. "He's a good New York-bred, but we look forward to seeing him down the road. He struggled at Churchill. We think we're going to love Churchill. "At this point we'll see how he comes out of it. I thought he galloped out of it really good. We'll talk to Joel and the connections, but I see no reason not to go on, to kind of move on," he added. "Obviously, you have to get one more win and you're in, to qualify and get in, but I think he showed up with another big effort here today, so I see no reason not to move forward."

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8.3.2018:

Parlay Wagering Now Available at Xpressbet

August 3, 2018 (Washington, PA) – Xpressbet is excited to announce that customers can now make parlay wagers via its online, mobile and telephone betting platforms.  Parlay wagering, which returned to select tracks in 2018, allows horseplayers to combine multiple races into a single multi-leg bet, even when those races are not ordered sequentially on the card.  Parlay wagering is currently available on Santa Anita and Del Mar, and customers can build parlay bets in Win, Place and Show pools.  More tracks are expected to be added in the future.  When betting parlays, Xpressbet customers can play the races they want, how they want, regardless of the order of races on the card.  Additionally, parlays allow bettors to reinvest all of their winnings on a Win, Place or Show bet – even the dimes or pennies – into their next wager.  For more information about parlay betting, please visit www.xpressbet.com/parlay-betting.

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8.3.2018:

Friday's Gulfstream Rainbow 6 Carryover Grows to $627K

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved Thursday at Gulfstream Park, producing a carryover jackpot if $627,139.41 for Friday’s 2 p.m. twilight program. Multiple winning tickets with six winners Thursday were each worth $29,296.04. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 19 straight racing days following the June 30 mandatory payout of a pool in excess of $4 million that yielded a $196,953.84 payoff for each ticket with all six winners. A carryover of $589.483.52 going into Thursday’s program generated a $156,984 handled for the six-race sequence that spanned Races 4-9. There will also be a Super Hi 5 carryover in the first race of $1,936.67.

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8.1.2018:

Lightning Spear Wins G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes

The David Simcock-trained Lightning Spear powered to an impressive victory in today's feature race, the G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes under Oisin Murphy, to end his Group One hoodoo. Lightning Spear had run in G1 company 15 times before today, with notable efforts including a short-head second to Rhododendron in the G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May, 2018. The seven-year-old son of Pivotal, a dual winner of the G2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood (2016 & 2017), travelled smoothly in fourth in today's mile contest and once finding room in the home straight, quickened up smartly to score by a length and a half. Simcock, who has also enjoyed Classic success this year with Teppal in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp, France, was effusive in his praise of the seven-year-old entire's performance. The Newmarket handler said: "I'm delighted with Lightning Spear. He looked good today, quickened well and travelled well - he did everything properly. Oisin has grown up with the horse, he is a very confident jockey and he was very patient waiting for the gap today. Sheikh Fahad loves this horse and he will be absolutely delighted. Unfortunately, he can't be here today, but he'll be made up. "Lightning Spear has done very little wrong apart from win a G1 up until now. He is a lovely horse to train and a lot of work goes into him. He has placed in six G1s I think and has never really let us down, though he was little bit inconsistent last season. To win a G1 is not easy and you have to accept it. "Lightning Spear is a wonderful horse and is very talented. To win a G1 is extra special. He was going really well and I thought if he got a gap he would win. They didn't go much of a pace, but that did not really matter. You are trying something different all the time, trying to change something. To see him fill up and quicken up like that was great, and it is the horse we see at home an awful lot. It is just getting it all to click, with that little bit of luck that we haven't had at times. "Oisin had no instructions. Sit where you land and do your own thing. Oisin loves the horse and has confidence in the horse. We felt we were slightly robbed at Newbury, if anything, so this more than makes up for it. Oisin knows him very well and he can ride the horse as you like now. "I am just really pleased for the horse. More pleased for the horse than anybody. It is great for Sheikh Fahad, the Qatar Racing team, the yard, but for the horse to get his G1 like that is great. It's nice to win a G1 at Glorious Goodwood and any G1 victory is great. He has run just twice out of G1 company for me and won two G2 events, so he has always had to run in G1s really. "He has probably had his knockers, slightly unfairly I feel and so to win a G1 is great. Lightning Spear has come across some very good horses. This year, if we are being honest, there is probably not an outstanding horse in the mile division and so it has been his time. He wasn't any better or any worse when he was running in these races even two years ago. Eventually, you will come across a year where things go your way and he just looked really good today. He had everything pan out perfectly for him today. "I do as I'm told with this horse as Jenny [Simcock's wife] rides him every day and she does a wonderful job with him. I don't think Lightning Spear would be here today without her. "He was quite headstrong and fiery when we got him and now he is just the nicest person and very straightforward to ride. Jenny is a special part of the whole thing. Jenny and my children are so fond of him and he is just a very special horse to have in the yard."

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8.1.2018:

Diversify, Mind Your Biscuits Headline Saturday's Grade 1 Whitney

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - On Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, one of thoroughbred racing's most prestigious races will come down to a New York-style affair as New York-bred Horse of the Year candidates Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits top a field of eight in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney. The 91st running of the 1 1/8-mile Whitney, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic on November 3 at Churchill Downs, will be aired nationally on Saratoga Live on NBCSN from 5-6 p.m. ET. The NBCSN broadcast, which will also feature the Grade 1, $500,000 Test, will follow Saratoga Live on FS2 beginning at 2:30 p.m. Lauren Evans and Ralph M. Evans' Diversify, who was rerouted to the Whitney from a planned start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on September 2, is exiting an impressive 6 ½-length victory in the Grade 2 Suburban at 1 ¼ miles on July 7 at Belmont Park. That victory earned the 5-year-old Bellamy Road gelding a career-high 110 Beyer Speed Figure. "I was very concerned after the Suburban. He had run such a huge race that I thought that four weeks might be too quick," said trainer Rick Violette, Jr. "But he kept making a liar out of me. He ate well, trained well and breezed awfully well on Sunday. His blood has a habit of spiking up and down, so we had to make sure that duck was in a row. We got back those results today. Sometimes, when your horse is doing good, you're supposed to run." The Suburban was the third race of the year for Diversify, and his first graded stakes since finishing a disastrous seventh as the post-time favorite in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, his seasonal debut. Following that effort, Diversify's connections opted to move the gelding back against state-bred company in the one-mile Commentator on May 28, where he stumbled at the break but recovered quickly enough to win by a hard-fought nose. Overall, Diversify owns nine wins and two seconds from 14 starts for career earnings of $1,309,425. Last year, the characteristic frontrunner won four of eight races, including an 11 ½-length score in the 1 1/8-mile Evan Shipman against New York-breds, his only previous start at Saratoga and the second of three straight wins in the summer and fall. He capped that win streak with a gutsy one-length victory in the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, a title Violette said he hopes to defend on September 29 at Belmont. "We have a few options. He can be tactical and if someone wants to get silly out there, we can certainly follow that lead," said Violette. "We'll be aggressive; the break is always important, [whether] it's a mile and a half or five eighths, it's critical there. He has the ability and has a very high cruising speed and [can] keep going. A lot of times, we just throw the gauntlet down." Irad Ortiz, Jr. retains the mount aboard Diversify, tabbed as the 7-5 favorite on the morning line. The pair will leave from post 6. Already established as one of nation's top sprinters, reigning New York-bred Horse of the Year Mind Your Biscuits is looking to expand on his resume as he takes on a two-turn route for the first time in the Whitney. Mind Your Biscuits, the richest New York-bred in history with $3,939,286 in lifetime earnings, has finished in the top three in 19 of 22 starts with seven wins. He won the Grade 1 Malibu as a 3-year-old in 2016 and the Grade 2 Belmont Sprint Championship in 2017. Trained by Chad Summers, the 5-year-old multi-millionaire by Posse has traveled to Dubai for thrilling back-to-back victories in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse, including a dramatic, last-to-first rally in this year's edition over X Y Jet and champion sprinter Roy H. In his two stakes tries at a mile, his longest distance to date and both around a single turn, Mind Your Biscuits was second to multiple graded stakes winner Sharp Azteca in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile last December and just missed last time out in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, coming up a nose short of a loose-on-the-lead Bee Jersey on June 9 at Belmont Park. From five starts at Saratoga, the strapping chestnut's local record includes a victory in the Grade 2 Amsterdam as a 3-year-old in 2016 as well as two rare off-the-board finishes in the 2016 Grade 1 King's Bishop and the Grade 1 Forego last summer, where he finished fifth and sixth, respectively. "I expect him to be much closer with Diversify coming drawn out in the 6, and [they're] giving us six pounds it's a short run into the first turn, and if Diversify gets hung wide, he gets hung wide," said Summers. "I'm as confident as I can be ... everything he's always shown me over his entire career is that he can do it, and until he can't, I'm not going to think he can't." Mind Your Biscuits, co-owned by Summers and his family, Shadai Farm, Head of Plains Partners and Michael Kisber, will have the services of his regular jockey Joel Rosario. The 2-1 second-choice will leave from post 4. He will carry 117 pounds, a seven-pound weight allowance, in his first race around two turns. Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Backyard Heaven will look to rebound for trainer Chad Brown after snapping a three-race win streak in the June 16 Stephen Foster last time out, giving way late to finish sixth in his Grade 1 debut. The Stephen Foster was Backyard Heaven's fifth career start and second consecutive race at Churchill Downs. In the Grade 2 Alysheba on May 4, the 4-year-old Tiznow colt raced close to the pace and drew off to a 4 ½-length win. "The horse is training well, it's shaping up like a tough one," said the two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer. "He's only run the one bad race for us at Churchill. Maybe it was the heat. We'll draw a line through it because the horse has been training well since and hopefully he bounces back and regains the form he has. "He's lightly raced and has come around so fast. I feel he's so talented; in the Alysheba, he ran fabulous in that race. If he redeems himself and comes back to a performance like that, I feel he can be a real contender in this race." Backyard Heaven, 9-2, will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano from post 2. Three-time Whitney-winning trainer Todd Pletcher will send out multiple graded stakes winner Tapwrit, for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert LaPenta, Bridlewood Farm, Gainesway Stable, and Whisper Hill Farm. The 4-year-old gray colt by Tapit is seeking his first win since his triumph in the 2017 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. Tapwrit, tabled following a fourth-place finish in the Travers last year, has raced twice in 2018, finishing third in an optional claimer in June at Belmont Park and a wide fifth as the favorite in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 7. At 6-1 on the morning line, Tapwrit will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey and four-time Whitney winner John Velazquez from the rail. WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, SF Racing, Head of Plains Partners' Grade 2 winner Good Samaritan will go postward for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The 4-year-old Harlan's Holiday colt is getting back to two turns after finishing seventh in the Met Mile, his worst placing in 13 career starts. After beginning his career on turf, Good Samaritan was moved last year to the main track for the second half of his sophomore season. He got off to a fast start, besting Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing in a 4 ¾-length upset in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy that summer. That effort was followed by a fifth-place in the Travers and then a fourth against older horses in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont. He closed out his 3-year-old campaign in November with a close runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill Downs. His lone victory this year came in his seasonal bow with a 2 ¼-length win in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap on March 24. Prior to the Met Mile, Good Samaritan finished third in the Alysheba, 5 ½ lengths behind Backyard Heaven. Good Samaritan, 12-1, will break from post 7 with Jose Ortiz aboard. Whitham Thoroughbred's homebred McCraken will look for redemption following a third-place finish last time out as the 7-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap on July 6 at Prairie Meadows. The 4-year-old Ghostzapper colt was seventh in last year's Travers, his only other appearance at the Spa, following a runner-up finish to Girvin in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. This year, McCraken returned in May with a half-length win in an optional claiming race on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs and was sixth in the Met Mile. McCraken, who drew post 8 at odds of 15-1, is trained by Ian Wilkes and ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr., who teamed up with Janis Whitham to win the 2012 Whitney with Fort Larned, who went on to victory in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic. California import Dalmore will try to upset the Big Apple cart for trainer Robert Hess, Jr. and owners Loooch Racing Stables, Ashley Quartarolo, Raquel Ritchie, and Cristina Ritchie. Dalmore, a 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Colonel John, was second to Remembering Rita last time out in the Cornhusker. He will be ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr. from post 3 at 30-1. Grade 3 Excelsior winner Discreet Lover, exiting a third-place finish in the Suburban, will complete the Whitney field for owner-trainer Uriah St. Lewis. By Repent, the 5-year-old Florida-bred boasts the most experience of the group, as he prepares to make his 42nd career start. Manny Franco will ride Discreet Lover, 30-1, from post 5. Field for the Grade 1, $1.2 million Whitney 1. Tapwrit (Pletcher/Velazquez) - 6/12. Backyard Heaven (Brown/Castellano) - 9/23. Dalmore (Hess Jr./Santana Jr.) - 30/14. Mind Your Biscuits (Summers/Rosario) - 2/15. Discreet Lover (St. Lewis/Franco) - 30/16. Diversify (Violette/Ortiz Jr.) - 7/57. Good Samaritan (Mott/Ortiz) - 12/18. McCraken (Wilkes/Hernandez Jr.) - 15/1

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7.30.2018:

Gulfstream has $589K Rainbow 6 Carryover on Thursday

When racing resumes Thursday at Gulfstream bettors will have a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover of $589.483.52. Multiple winning tickets Sunday returned $6,379.92. There was $148,149 bet into Sunday’s Rainbow 6 pool. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 16 straight racing days following the June 30 mandatory payout of a pool in excess of $4 million that yielded a $196,953.84 payoff for each ticket with all six winners.

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7.27.2018:

The Meadows has $35K in Pool Guarantees on Adios Day

WASHINGTON, PA, July 27, 2018 — A new champion will earn the blanket of orchids by winning Saturday’s $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows — and players can take advantage of opportunities for big earnings as well. The Adios Day card features three total-pool guarantees worth a combined $35,000. All are offered in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative. The line-up includes: $10,000 Guarantee for the Early Pick 4, Races 4 - 7 $15,000 Guarantee for the Adios Pick 4, Races 9 - 12 $10,000 Guarantee for the Pick 5, Races 12 - 16 In addition, the Super Hi-5 will be offered on race 16. Saturday’s program also includes a number of festivities for fans. The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will stage a variety of family-friendly activities, and patrons may enjoy food trucks and a VIP Trackside Tent. (Visit www.meadowsgaming for details.) DJ AJ will spin records, and the featured “Rockin’ On The Rail” band is NOMAD, which will perform live on the apron at the conclusion of the races. First post is 12 noon, with the Adios set for approximately 4 PM as race 11.  

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7.27.2018:

Gulfstream has $481K Pick 6 Carryover; Gaffalione Wins 900th

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park’s 10-race program will have a 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover Friday of $481,575.31. First race post time is 2 p.m. There will also be a Super Hi 5 carryover of $14,548.79 in the first race, a five furlong turf event with a field of 11 entered (one MTO). Multiple winning tickets with six winners Thursday on the Rainbow 6 returned $5,485.08. There was $134,846 bet into Thursday’s Rainbow 6. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 13 straight racing days following the June 30 mandatory payout of a pool in excess of $4 million that yielded a $196,953.84 payoff for each ticket with all six winners. NOTE: Tyler Gaffalione rode the 900th winner of his career when he guided Take Your Place ($11.60) to victory in Thursday’s first race.

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7.25.2018:

Hofburg Stands Out in Curlin Stakes Friday at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Juddmonte Farm's Hofburg could strike an imposing figure in the $100,000 Curlin at Saratoga Race Course as he looks to use Friday's stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles as a springboard to next month's Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers. From the Hall of Fame barn of Bill Mott, the homebred colt by Tapit will be making his first start since finishing third in the Belmont Stakes on June 9, 3 ½ lengths behind Justify in his successful bid for Triple Crown immortality. Prior to the Belmont, Hofburg was seventh in the Kentucky Derby on May 5, a spot he earned with a solid runner-up performance in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 31, his stakes debut. Despite a pair of Grade 1 placings and $377,950 in career earnings, Hofburg still has only a single tally in his win column in five starts, a maiden victory in March, making him eligible for the Curlin, restricted to nonwinners of a graded stakes over a mile in 2018. Mott noted that the colt may be cross entered into Saturday's Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy, also at 1 1/8 miles. Entries for the Jim Dandy, the traditional local prep for the Travers at 1 ¼ miles on August 25, will be taken on Wednesday. "We want to have a look at it," Mott said of the Curlin. "It doesn't always have to be easier. Sometimes they can get a really nice horse in the Curlin. We want to have the option. Our focus is on the Travers at 10 furlongs." Hofburg has turned in four breezes at Saratoga since the 1 ½-mile Test of the Champion, including a four-furlong move in 49.03 seconds on Sunday over the Oklahoma training track. "He's doing good," said Mott. "We got a useful work yesterday and he galloped out good. He was strong this morning walking the shedrow. He's been eating well enough. He held up well throughout the Triple Crown races and he seems as though he's improved since." Irad Ortiz, Jr., who piloted Hofburg in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, has the return call. The pair will break from the rail. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who conditioned two-time Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame inductee Curlin, will be represented by a pair of contenders in this year's iteration in Jackpot Ranch's Zing Zang and Winchell Thoroughbred's homebred Reride. Zing Zang, by Tapit, was a close third last time out in an allowance on the Belmont Stakes undercard while Reride, by Candy Ride, returned from a third-place finish in the Group 2 UAE Derby in March to finish fifth in the Mystic Lake Derby on the turf at Canterbury Park on June 23. The stablemates wrapped up their preparations for the Curlin on Monday, each working four furlongs in 50.04 and 50.77 seconds, respectively. "Both of them blew out really nice today. We were lucky enough to beat the weather," said Asmussen, still looking for his first win in the Curlin. "This race is a little extra special. Hopefully, we can win it." Zing Zang will be ridden from post 3 with Ricardo Santana, Jr. aboard. Reride will break from the outside post 6 with Jose Ortiz in the irons. Also entered in the Curlin are a pair from trainer Linda Rice, who will saddle Nicodemus, making his first start since transferring to Rice, and Lincoln Stable's American Lincoln, second to Navy Commander in the Long Branch on July 7 at Monmouth Park last time out. Madison's Luna, winner of the Grade 3 Hutcheson in March at Gulfstream Park, completes the field.

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7.24.2018:

Gulfstream has $449K Thursday Rainbow 6 Carryover

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved at Gulfstream Park Sunday, producing a $449,228 carryover jackpot for Thursday’s 10-race twilight program. First-race post time is 2 p.m. Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday were each worth $1,212.18. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 12 straight racing days following the June 30 mandatory payout of a pool in excess of $4 million that yielded a $196,953.84 payoff for each ticket with all six winners. Tyler Gaffalione Rides Three Winners Tyler Gaffalione rode three winners on Sunday’s program at Gulfstream Park. The 23-year-old rising star, who captured the Spring Meet jockey title, scored aboard Scorched Earth ($6.80) in the second race, Big Clue ($5.80) in the seventh and Bargainaire ($4.40) in the eighth. Apprentice jockey Kevin Carmona, who notched his first career victory Saturday, came right back Sunday to win aboard Pretty Shea D. ($3.60) in Race 4.

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7.24.2018:

Saratoga has $249K Double Pick 6 Carryover Wednesday

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The Pick 6 sequence at Saratoga Race Course went unsolved for a second consecutive day, with a pair of big-priced winners triggering a carryover of $249,528 heading into Wednesday's card at the Spa. Monday's sequence commenced when Dugout (No. 4) returned $9.40 on a $2 win bet in Race 4. The Race 5 favorite, Ekhtibaar, gave Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano his second straight win, paying $3.60. In Race 6, Calculated Risker ($8.10) won under Manny Franco, preceding an exciting stakes race in Race 7 when Florent Geroux piloted 27-1 choice Ruby Notion to a win in the $200,000 Caress, paying $56.50. Another longshot, Indigo Yankee, paid $21.40 with his win in Race 8, while Silencia ($10.60) capped the day in Race 9. A consolation payout of $3,748 was awarded to bettors who has five of six winners. Wednesday's Pick 6 sequence will begin with Race 5 with a scheduled post time of 3:14 p.m. ET. The 10-race card has a first post time of 1 p.m.

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7.18.2018:

Jason Blewitt, Acacia Courtney Handicap Gulfstream's Thursday Rainbow 6

HALLANDALE BEACH – There’s going to be approximately a half million reasons to play Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 Thursday afternoon. Unsolved for 10 consecutive racing days, the 20-cent wager has a carryover going into Thursday’s nine-race program of $318,884.85 and that is expected to grow to near $500,000. With a big weekend approaching, Gulfstream hosts and analysts Jason Blewitt and Acacia Courtney take a shot at solving Thursday’s Rainbow 6. First race post Thursday at Gulfstream is 2 p.m. The Rainbow 6 sequence will begin with the fourth race, a $50,000 maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. Jason Blewitt: I think I speak for every racing fan (myself included) in that now would be a great time to hammer Gulfstream’s Rainbow 6 jackpot. Who wouldn’t want a flush bankroll going into Gulfstream’s weekend races and with Saratoga and Del Mar opening this week?  Well, I am set to take my shot on a $43.20 Rainbow 6 ticket, anchored and built around the seventh race and Nikki’s Cause, my best bet. She gets major points for her solid consistency, despite a couple of recent narrow defeats. I’m spreading with four horses in the first leg (fourth race), and using a couple solid favorites (Treasure for Gold, Mahvelous Kitten) in the fifth race. In the closer, an insanely tough turf maiden claimer, I’m using three - Lady and Me, Rigel’s Halo and 8-1 shot Rate of Return. Here’s hoping I see you in line cashing by nightfall Thursday at GP! Ticket: R4: 2-3-6-7 R5: 5-6      R6: 1-3-10 R7: 2           R8: 6-7-8    R9: 1-2-7         Cost: $43.20 Acacia Courtney: With a carryover of more than $300,000, Thursday’s Rainbow 6 is definitely worth trying. The sequence begins with two-year-old fillies in a maiden claiming race, and I used two first time starters (Pretty Miss Kitty and American Jak) and one horse with experience (Blazing Brooke). This is the type of race that I’d want to have a little bit of coverage in when beginning the Rainbow 6, and also take some time to watch the board and see how these inexperienced horses are acting.   Using two horses in each of the next three legs, a potential single could be Telesa (3) in the sixth race. However, I decided to use my longshot play, Forty’s Sweetheart, on my ticket as well, hoping that the drop in class will wake that filly up. Wrapping up the sequence with three horses in the final two legs, the 8th race looks like it centers around Song of Melody (8), but I opted to use some coverage on the back end of my ticket to bring it home. Ticket: R4: 2-3-7 R5: 3-6 R6: 3-7 R7: 2-6 R8: 1-5-8 R9: 2-4-6 Cost - $43.20

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7.10.2018:

The Meadows has $12K Tuesday Pick 5 Carryover, $40K Guarantee

WASHINGTON, PA, July 9, 2018 — The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has increased — to $40,000 — the total-pool guarantee for its Tuesday, July 10 Pick 5 wager (races 9-13) as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 5 guarantees are offered each card, The Meadows sweetened the pot when neither Saturday’s nor Monday’s Pick 5 was covered, resulting in a two-day carryover of $12,708.18. In addition, Tuesday’s program features a $7,500 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), a $2,333.31 carryover in the day’s first Superfecta (currently race 2) and a $1,002.80 jackpot in the Super High 5 (race 13). Minimum wager for the Pick 4, Pick 5, Superfecta and Super High 5 is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post Tuesday is 1:05 PM.  

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7.5.2018:

The Stronach Group to Enhance Handicapping Information with Horses' Weights

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Stronach Group announced today that after monitoring, compiling and televising the weights of horses the past several months at its facilities in California, Florida and Maryland, the information is scheduled to be available in past performances by the end of summer. Prior to be being saddled before a race, each horse steps on a scale in or near the paddock, where their weights are recorded by a racing official. The weights have been posted on in-house simulcast shows before each race. By the end of the summer, weights will also be available on-line and in racing programs with a plus/minus from the previous start, according to The Jockey Club. The Hong Kong Jockey Club has been weighing and recording the weight of horses for several years. Tim Ritvo, Chief Operating Officer of The Stronach Group, believes the information, once it can be referenced, will help bettors and horsemen determine a horse’s optimal weight, monitor stress of competition, and how weight can vary due to age, environment and time between races. “This is something we’ve been working on for quite a while,” Ritvo said. “We believe this is another tool for bettors to determine when a horse could be at his ideal weight. We also believe horsemen will look at weight to decide how training, feeding and environment affect a horse’s weight and performance. “I think this information benefits everyone, from horsemen to bettors to track veterinarians, and it allows further transparency,” Ritvo said. “We hope the added element is beneficial to our customers since we have always considered them the economic engine of the sport.”  

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6.30.2018:

Stormy Embrace Dazzles in G2 Princess Rooney

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Matalona Thoroughbreds’ Stormy Embrace grabbed an early lead that she would only lengthen through the stretch run of Saturday’s $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) at Gulfstream Park, earning a fees-paid berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint with a dazzling 15-1 upset victory. The Princess Rooney offered the first automatic starting position of the year into the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3 through the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series ‘Win and You're In’ program. Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for the Princess Rooney winner to start in the Filly & Mare Sprint. Breeders' Cup will also provide a $10,000 travel allowance for all horses based outside of Kentucky to compete in the World Championships. Trained by Kathleen O’Connell, the 4-year-old daughter of Circular Quay was never threatened at any time during the seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, finishing six lengths clear of Rich Mommy while completing the distance in a sharp 1:21.81 under jockey Wilmer Garcia. “We broke really well and just tried to keep our pace all the way around. I thought a couple horses had more speed than me, but we ended up in the lead,” New Jersey-based Garcia said. “I tried to hold her down as best as I could and let her be free in the stretch.” Stormy Embrace, who captured the $100,000 Musical Romance Stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares at Gulfstream May 19 under Garcia, broke alertly from the starting gate and sprinted to the lead through a first-quarter in 22.79 seconds and continuing on to complete the first half-mile in 45.25, chased by Spanish Harlem. Rounding the turn into the homestretch, Stormy Embrace surged clear and cruised to her seventh career victory in 19 starts and her third straight win. “That was great. She loves the Gulfstream track and the best thing about her is she’s kind of versatile. She can run off the pace or she can run in front,” O’Connell said. “I told [jockey] Wilmer – t he’s ridden the filly so much – to just use his judgment. Right now I think he can fly back to New Jersey without the plane.” Defending champion Curlin’s Approval encountered considerable traffic after breaking from her rail post position and finished fourth. Rich Mommy, who finished second behind Curlin’s Approval in the Ana T. Stakes at Gulfstream June 3,  rallied from far back to finish three-quarters of a length ahead of third-place finisher My Miss Tapit, who was 2 ½ lengths ahead of Curlin’s Approval. Stormy Embrace was bred by Dr. Matt Vuskovich’s Matalona Thoroughbreds. “We first saw her when she was eight hours old and she’s been a gem. She’s been a wonder for us,” Vuskovich said. “I have to give all the credit to the man who developed her, G. W. Parrish in High Springs. He’s a consummate horseman, and, of course, Kathleen. We’re nothing compared to them. Kathleen has brought this horse along so masterfully.” O’Connell said Stormy Embrace’s career performance will likely effect future plans. “I’ll have to talk to the owner and we’ll definitely have to change a few plans. You know me, I usually look for the easiest spots because that’s what like to do but she deserves it. [The owners] deserve it. They’re very wonderful people,” O’Connell said. “I was very happy when they came into my barn a few years ago and it’s been very productive ever since.”

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6.29.2018:

Free Queen's Plate Wager Guide

Woodbine's Saturday card is a horseplayer’s dream - competitive races, huge fields and a phenomenal wager menu. To help you bet Saturday, the Horse Player NOW Team has produced an extraordinary Queen's Plate Wager Guide. It's FREE to download for Xpressbet customers. Get the Wager Guide Woodbine's Saturday card is headlined by a dynamite edition of the $1,000,000 Queen's Plate.  Canada's version of the Kentucky Derby attracted a gigantic field of 16 runners, including Kentucky Oaks runner-up, Wonder Gadot, as well as Telekinesis and Dixie Moon.  Download the Wager Guide to separate the contenders from the pretenders, and also get the Guide for FREE full-card picks from handicapper Brian Nadeau.  Plus, Woodbine has gone above and beyond in creating a great wager menu for Queen's Plate Day, including: $300K Guaranteed Late Pick 4 (Races 10 - 13) $250K Guaranteed Early Pick 4 (Races 4 - 7) $100K Guaranteed Early Pick 5 (Races 2 - 6) $100K Guaranteed Early Pick 5 (Races 6 - 10) First post at Woodbine is 12:00PM ET - don't miss it!

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6.29.2018:

Friday's Gulfstream Rainbow 6 Carryover Grows to $848K

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – With Saturday’s mandatory-payout looming, the 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 27th consecutive racing day Thursday at Gulfstream Park, leaving a carryover jackpot of $848,456.20 for Friday’s twilight card. First-race post time for Friday’s nine-race program is set for 2:15 p.m. Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $2,176.20 Thursday. There will also be a Super Hi 5 carryover Friday of $4,491.85.  The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  On mandatory payout days, the carryover jackpot is completely disbursed and shared by all bettors holding tickets with the most winners. Should the Rainbow go unsolved on Friday, the carryover jackpot could approach $1 million for Saturday’s Summit of Speed program that will be co-headlined by the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race, and the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3). Impressive Debut for First Mondays Glenangus Farm LLC’s First Mondays, trained by John Servis and ridden by Roberto Alvarado Jr., was an impressive debut winner of the eighth race. A 3-year-old son of Curlin out of the Awesome Again mare Formalities Aside, First Mondays drew off down the stretch to a 3 ¾-length victory while covering six furlongs in 1:10.50. First Mondays sold for $450,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale.

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6.25.2018:

Gulfstream has $801K Rainbow 6 Carryover Thursday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot at Gulfstream Park went unsolved for the 26th consecutive racing program Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot of $801,668.76 for Thursday’s program. Multiple tickets with six winners Saturday were each worth $2,917.40.   The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  There was $755,719 carryover jackpot going into Sunday’s six-race sequence that spanned Races 7-12, generating a handle of $191,508 on the popular multi-race wager. Spring Meet Jockey and Trainer Races Down to the Wire The jockey and trainer races are both going down to the wire for Gulfstream’s Spring Meet, which concludes with Saturday’s Summit of Speed program. Defending Spring Meet champion Tyler Gaffalione tops the jockey standings with 59 wins with four other riders in hot pursuit. Emisael Jaramillo ranks second with 56 wins, once more than Edgard Zayas and Miguel Vasquez, who have both ridden 55 winners. Nik Juarez ranks fifth with 53 trips to the winner’s circle. As hotly contested as the jockey race is, the race for the training title is even more competitive with eight trainers being separated by one win. Victor Barboza Jr. and Oscar Gonzalez share a tenuous lead with 16 winners each, only one more than defending champion Todd Pletcher, Stanley Gold, Ralph Nicks, Armando De la cerda, Antonio Sano and Ralph Ziadie.

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6.24.2018:

Santa Anita has Gigantic $821K Pick 6 Mandatory Payout Carryover

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 23, 2018) – A massive three-day combined Pick Six carryover of $821,858 will await fans at Santa Anita on closing day, Sunday.  With mandatory payouts in effect in all exotic wagers, track officials project Sunday’s total Pick Six pool will approach $4 million. With a two-day carryover of $160,472 to shoot at on Saturday, $900,769 in “new” money was wagered, creating a total pool today of $1,061,241.  With a conventional carryover of $641,690 coupled with a Single Ticket Jackpot carryover of $180,168, the combined closing day carryover stands at $821,858. Sunday’s Pick Six will begin in race six, which has an approximate post time of 3:15 p.m. PT.  With 52 horses eligible to run, average Pick Six field size for closing day is at 8.6 runners per race. The Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes, for fillies and mares three and up at one mile on turf, has been carded as race nine, which is the fourth leg in the Pick Six.  Trainer Jim Cassidy’s recent Grade I winner Sophie P has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite with Kent Desormeaux up. For complete morning line and other racing information, please visit www.santaanita.com.

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6.24.2018:

Gulfstream has Loaded 12-Race Sunday Card, $755K Rainbow 6 Carryover

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot at Gulfstream Park went unsolved for the 25th consecutive racing program Saturday, producing a carryover jackpot of $755,719 for Sunday’s 12-race program (First Post – 12:45 p.m.). Multiple tickets with six winners Saturday were each worth $5,880.90.  The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  Sunday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-12, including the featured $47,000 optional claiming allowance carded as Race 11. Luzmimi Princess, a 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon who lost the bob of heads to Florida Fuego at the finish of the $75,000 Liza Jane Stakes June 6, is scheduled to face older fillies and mares for the first time in the seven-furlong sprint. Catherinethegreat Flashes Florida Sire Stakes Promise John Oxley’s Catherinethegreat ($4.80) stamped herself as a strong candidate for the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series while graduating by 10 ¼ lengths in Saturday’s fourth race at Gulfstream Park. The Mark Casse-trained 2-year-old filly, who was purchased for $170,000 at the 2017 OBS October sale, ran five furlongs over a sloppy track in 57.83 seconds under jockey Nik Juarez. The Florida-bred filly is a daughter of promising stallion Uncaptured, a multiple graded-stakes winner campaigned by Oxley and Casse. Catherinethegreat, who finished second in her May 25 debut, pressed the pace set by Lady Dude into the stretch before drawing away to a clear victory. “That was pretty impressive the way she ran. She’d been training great,” said Allen Hardy, Casse’s assistant trainer who is based at Gulfstream Park for the Spring and Summer Meets for the first time. “When she ran the last time it was a little sloppy and she ran great on it.” Hardy is an Ocala native who worked as a Marion County, Florida, firefighter before going to work for Casse in 2011. “I’ve been traveling all over for Mark – New York, California,” said Hardy, whose mother Kimberly Hardy is a former trainer. “Mark’s been great and gave me the opportunity to come down here and run the string. I’m having a good time and having fun.” Earlier on Saturday’s program, Zipping ($10.60) once again relished the sloppy going to score by a length in the third race, which was transferred from turf to the main track. Bred, owned and trained by Roger Laurin, the Florida-bred 4-year-old son of Adios Charlie chased heavily favored Kroy into the stretch before kicking clear and comfortably holding off Hy Riverside. Kroy, a multiple stakes winner on turf who was favored at 1-2, tired and finished third, another 1 ½ lengths behind. Ridden by Jose Batista, Zipping ran a mile in 1:36.28 to run his record to third wins in five starts on wet tracks.

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6.23.2018:

Gulfstream has Massive Saturday Card, $715K Pick 6 Carryover

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot at Gulfstream Park went unsolved for the 24th consecutive racing program Friday, producing a carryover jackpot of $715,393.50 for Saturday’s 12-race program (First Post – 12:45 p.m.). Multiple tickets with six winners Friday (all in the ninth) were each worth $638.78.  The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-12, kicked off with a $65,000 five-furlong maiden special weight for 2-year-olds fillies on turf that attracted a pair of Mark Casse-trained first-time starters – Girl of War, a daughter of Declaration of War, and Steps, a daughter of Street Boss. Trainer Jonathan Thomas also has a pair of fillies entered, including first-time starter Kintra, a daughter of Kingman, and One Wild Chic, a daughter of Mineshafaft who debuted with a third-place finish on dirt May 31. The second leg of the six-race sequence will feature 2-year-old maidens going six furlongs on the main track. Trainer Todd Pletcher has entered a pair of first-time starters – Seanow, a son of Tiznow, and Spinoff, a son of Hard Spun. Multiple-Stakes Winner Kroy Back on Turf for Saturday Feature A multiple-stakes winner on turf who finished second in his dirt debut last time out, Kroy is set for a return to his preferred surface Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the featured third race, a mile optional claiming allowance on turf. Trained by Armando De la cerda for Midwest Thoroughbreds, Kroy has been installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the stakes-quality feature. The 4-year-old gelding concluded a productive 2017 campaign that included two stakes triumphs with a game second-place finish in the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) at Santa Anita, where he set the pace and gave way grudgingly to Bowies Hero to come up a half-length short. Kroy has raced once thus far in 2018, finishing second in the March 12 Big Drama Stakes at Gulfstream, finishing 1 ¾ lengths behind multiple graded-stakes winner Mr. Jordan after setting the pace in his dirt debut. “I didn’t plan to run him in the race, but he started working good and I said, ‘This is a good place to start. Let’s get him ready in this race,” De la cerda said. “He ran good. By the eighth-pole, he got tired. He wasn’t ready but he still tried to win.” De la cerda plans to take Kroy back to Southern California during the summer meet at Del Mar. “I want to get him ready for Del Mar,” said De la cerda, who is eying the $200,000 Del Mar Mile (G2) Aug. 19. “I think it’s better for Kroy, because Santa Anita has a long stretch and Del Mar has a shorter stretch." De la cerda is well aware of the difference between mile races at Del Mar and Santa Anita. The De la cerda-trained La Tia registered a front-running victory in the 2014 Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar before setting the pace and coming up short by three-quarters of a length while finishing second in the Buena Vista (G2) in her next start at Santa Anita.

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6.23.2018:

Saturday, June 23: Hayley Turner's Royal Ascot Picks

GBI Racing Ambassador and former leading jockey, Hayley Turner, gives her expert insight on Saturday's Racing Race 1 (9:30AM ET) – Chesham Stakes #9 BEYOND REASON (5/1) Trained by Charlie Appleby, she learnt a lot by winning on debut by four lengths from a wide draw at Kempton. I fancy her to improve again.  Race 2 (10:05AM ET) – Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)#3 CRYSTAL OCEAN (3/5) - Bet of the Day A typical Sir Michael Stoute improver, he was super-impressive when winning a Group 3 last time out at Newbury. He is turning into a very nice four-year-old. Race 3 (10:40AM ET) – Windsor Castle Stakes #5 JAMES WATT (20/1) (Hayley's ride)The big field with a strong pace will suit him and he is going well at home. I am hoping this will be my first Royal Ascot winner! Race 4 (11:20AM ET) – Diamond Jubilee Stakes  (Group 1)#2 CITY LIGHT (10/1)This is a French raider that proved he is a good on the grass when winning a Group 3 at Longchamp last month. I fancy her to go well here at a nice each-way price.

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6.22.2018:

Friday's Gulfstream Rainbow 6 Carryover Grows to $676K

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot at Gulfstream Park went unsolved for the 23rd consecutive racing program Thursday, producing a carryover jackpot of $676,928.67 for Friday’s 2:15 p.m. twilight card. Multiple tickets with six winners Thursday were each worth $3,939.24.   The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.  Gaffalione Displays ‘Inherent’ Talent on Pletcher Trainee Todd Pletcher-trained Inherent ($13) was the beneficiary of an aggressive ride by Tyler Gaffalione at Gulfstream in Thursday’s second race, eking out a hard-fought victory in the seven-furlong maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds. Calumet Farm’s homebred son of Oxbow, who rated off the pace after breaking from his rail post position, responded to Gaffalione’s strong handling around the turn and through the stretch to out-game Deputy Czar nearing the wire to prevail by a head. Inherent, who hadn’t seen action since finishing sixth in his career debut at Gulfstream nearly a year ago, ran seven furlongs in 1:23.98 in the well-stocked maiden test, in which the Pletcher-trained Mantel finished fifth as the 2-1 favorite after contesting the early pace. River Front, a son of War Front and 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, finished sixth after breaking slowly and racing rank early. Gaffalione also scored aboard R Happy Ending ($3.20) in the ninth race to extend his win lead over an idle Edgard Zayas to 58-55 Thursday. Gulfstream Park’s Spring Meet concludes with the June 30 Summit of Speed program.

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6.21.2018:

Santa Anita Closing Weekend Features Justify Parade, Mandatory Payouts

They say all good things must come to an end and unfortunately for horseplayers, that’s the case this weekend at Santa Anita.  The Great Race Place has carded races pretty much every week since last Christmas, so they’re in for a well deserved break.  They’ve definitely earned it. From Justify, McKinzie and Bolt d’Oro to Accelerate and City of Light, this year’s racing at Santa Anita has been nothing short of extraordinary.  Their wager menu has also exceeded expectations.  The Single Ticket Pick 6 has produced life-changing payouts, while the new Late Pick 5 has given handicappers more opportunities to play one of racing’s favorite bets. But before Santa Anita shuts its doors for the summer, they’ve got an extraordinary closing weekend on the docket.  Here are some of the highlights: Justify Parades Saturday Join Xpressbet to watch live simulcast coverage as Triple Crown hero Justify parades between races (time TBD) this Saturday.  Plus, if you’re in the area, stop by the track and receive a free Justify poster and autograph from jockey Mike Smith. Bet the San Carlos Stakes Saturday Get ready for top sprinters to scorch across the Santa Anita dirt track in the Grade 2, $250,000 San Carlos Stakes.  Bob Baffert’s American Anthem, who won the Grade 2 Woody Stephens last summer, leads the field, along with Doug O’Neill’s Stone Hands, who has won two races in a row.  The San Carlos goes as Race 11 Saturday, at 8:00PM ET.  Mandatory Payouts Sunday Everything must go Sunday, including the Pick 6 Jackpot Carryover, which is $42,663 heading into Thursday’s races.  Pick 5’s, Pick 4’s and Super Hi-5’s will also have a mandatory payout on Sunday. $500 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 Pools Santa Anita is known for having the largest pools in North American racing, and the proof is in their guarantees.  Both Friday and Saturday have $500,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 pools, offering even more incentive to jump in.  Saturday’s races have a special first post of 12:00PM ET, while Sunday gets underway at 12:30P ET.  Don’t show up late – the 14% Takeout Players’ Pick 5 starts with Race 1 both days! For free picks for Santa Anita’s races, check out @missmegandevine, @TheMichelleYu and @Quigleys_Corner on Twitter!  

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6.21.2018:

Friday, June 22: Hayley Turner's Royal Ascot Picks

Race 1 (9:30AM ET) – Albany Stakes (Group 3) #15 PRETTY POLLYANNA (30/1) I won on her first time out at Yarmouth last week and she will take a big step forward from that; she is a lovely filly.  Race 2 (10:05AM ET) – King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) #7 RAA ATOLL (9/2) He looked a nice horse when he won at Leicester last time. The John Gosden team are doing well with an impressive Royal Ascot so far.  Race 3 (10:40AM ET) – Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)#21 MAIN DESIRE – Bet of the day (15/1) I have been lucky enough to ride her out at home and she has been doing really well - I can't believe she is such a big price. Eqtidaar would be the danger.  Race 4 (11:20AM ET) – Coronation Stakes (Group 1)#10 TEPPAL (5/1) A Classic winner on her seasonal debut and I always think David Simcock never has them massively revved up first time out so she will improve for the run and the quicker ground.

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6.20.2018:

Thursday, June 21: Hayley Turner's Royal Ascot Picks

GBI Racing Ambassador and former leading jockey, Hayley Turner, gives her best bet on Thursday's Royal Ascot card. Race 1 (9:30AM ET) – Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) #1 Charming Kid (12/1) This horse was green first time out but received a good education when winning at York. He was doing his best work at the end when the penny dropped. I don’t think this is a very strong race and he should be up to this level. Race 2 (10:05AM ET) – Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) #15 Wadilsafa (10/1)  He took a little while to settle over a mile at Newmarket last time out, but he's still learning and will improve from that. He picked up well that day and the extra trip will help.  Race 3 (10:40AM ET) – Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)#1 Wild Illusion (2/1) There were no excuses when she was second in the Oaks but that was still a big run, and she was well clear of the third horse. She will take another step forward from that. Race 4 (11:20AM ET) – Gold Cup (Group 1)#9 Stradivarius (2/1) - best betHe's an improving four-year-old and made a good start to the season. I would fancy Order Of St George if the ground was softer but it won’t be.

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6.19.2018:

Wednesday, June 20: Hayley Turner's Royal Ascot Picks

GBI Racing Ambassador and former leading jockey, Hayley Turner, gives her expert insight on Wednesday's Racing. Race 1 (9:30AM ET) – Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) #17 SHADES OF BLUE (5/1) Clive Cox won this race last year and I was impressed with this horse, who won going away at the finish over the same course and distance. Race 2 (10:05AM ET) – Queen's Vase Stakes (Group 2) #9 SOUTHERN FRANCE (5/2) Aidan O'Brien's horses tend to improve with age and he has a good record in this race. I feel the extra distance will help this horse, despite being lightly raced.   Race 3 (10:40AM ET) – Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) #8 TRIBUTE ACT (20/1) – Bet of the dayI know the horse having ridden her out last year for James Fanshawe. She was always going to be a nice four-year-old and James has won this race before at a big price. She made a pleasing return to Ascot last month.   Race 4 (11:20PM ET) – Prince of Wales's Stakes (Group 1) #2 CRACKSMAN (1/2)Bit of a boring selection here but he's a class act. Everyone was a bit worried after his Epsom run but he banged his head in the stalls so you can forgive him for not being as flashy as expected and he still won a Group 1. Last year all he did was improve as the year went on and he'll be better for his seasonal debut.

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6.18.2018:

Royal Ascot Recognizes Xpressbet as 'A Preferred US Betting Site'

June 18, 2018 (Washington, PA) – Leading online wagering provider, Xpressbet, has once again received recognition as ‘A Preferred US Betting Site’ of Royal Ascot.  Royal Ascot, one of the world’s most prestigious meets and racing’s most recognized brands, begins Tuesday, June 19 and continues through Saturday, June 23.  The 2018 Royal Ascot meet encompasses five extraordinary days, with world-class racehorses competing for more than £7.3m in prize money.  The meet features 19 group stakes races, including eight Group 1 events, and top runners like Cracksman, Lady Aurelia, Order of St George and Harry Angel are expected to be in action. For the first time ever, Royal Ascot will offer a Pick 4 each day.  The Pick 4 is one of North America’s most popular bets and requires horseplayers to pick the winner of four consecutive races.  Bolstered by Royal Ascot’s large fields, payouts are expected to be significant.  In the United States, bettors can legally watch and bet the races with Xpressbet.  Xpressbet customers have access to lucrative promotions and exclusive handicapping material, including: 0% Takeout on the Royal Ascot Pick 4: To celebrate the Royal Ascot daily Pick 4, Xpressbet customers will receive 0% Takeout when they make a winning wager.  Picks from Expert Bettors: Find out how experts Brian Nadeau and Hayley Turner are betting Royal Ascot. Additionally, US viewers can watch the races on the NBC Family of Networks: NBC Sports Network: Tuesday, June 19 - Friday, June 22 (8:30AM ET - 1:00PM ET) NBC: Saturday, June 23 (9:00AM ET - 1:00PM ET) For more information about betting Royal Ascot and to sign up for an Xpressbet account to receive a $500, $100 or $20 Sign Up Bonus, please visit https://www.xpressbet.com/royal-ascot.   

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6.18.2018:

Tuesday, June 19: Hayley Turner's Royal Ascot Picks

GBI Racing Ambassador and former leading jockey, Hayley Turner, gives her expert insight on Tuesday's Racing Race 1 (9:30AM ET) – Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) #3 BENBATL (4/1)This race is not often won by an outsider and I am going for Benbatl here. He stays a mile and one furlong (1800m) so Ascot's stiff, straight mile (1600m) will really suit. He has also won fresh before an, with Saeed bin Suroor horses hitting form, I think this will be a good bet to start your Royal Ascot. Race 2 (10:05AM ET) – Coventry Stakes (Group 2) #7 CALYX (5/2) John Gosden's horses are running well at the moment and I think it says something that he has selected this horse for this race, one of the best two-year-old contests of the season. He was an impressive winner first time out, despite being a bit green, and there will be plenty of improvement.   Race 3 (10:40AM ET) – King's Stand Stakes (Group 1) #10 LADY AURELIA (2/1) – Bet of the dayI was impressed when she won this race as a three-year-old last year as it it not often won by a horse that age, so now she is four years old she will be even stronger. She will have been set out for this race and looks like a rock-solid proposition.   Race 4 (11:20PM ET) – St. James's Palace Stakes (Group 1) #9 WITHOUT PAROLE (5/2)He won his last race in not a flashy style but he likes to make the jockey work hard and keep a bit up his sleeve.  There is definitely more to come from him and is trained by the man in-form, John Gosden.

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6.18.2018:

Belmont Returns Wednesday with $235K Pick 6 Carryover

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Pick 6 went unsolved for the third straight day Sunday at Belmont Park, triggering a three-day carryover of $235,671 when live racing resumes on Wednesday. Sunday's Pick 6 sequence kicked off with longshot Swamp Rat (No. 6) upsetting Race 5 at odds of 24-1 returning $51.50 for a $2 win wager. Have Another (No. 3, $4.20) followed in Race 6 with long-priced winner Stolen Pistol (No. 7, $21.80) winning Race 7. Post-time favorite Still Krz (No. 5, $6.50) hit the wire first in Race 8 with Oscar Performance (No. 3, $8.10) capturing the Grade 3, $300,000 Poker in Race 9. Battle Joined (No. 2, $18) took the day's finale. A consolation payout of $1,588 was awarded to bettors who has five of six winners. Wednesday's Pick 6 sequence will begin with Race 4 with a scheduled post time of 3:09 p.m. ET.

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6.11.2018:

Justify Wins Belmont Stakes, Becomes 13th Triple Crown Champion

ELMONT, N.Y. - With a breathtaking, wire-to-wire tour de force under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, undefeated Justify became racing's 13th Triple Crown winner on Saturday at Belmont Park, sweeping to a 1 ¾-length victory over Gronkowski to add the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets to his triumphs in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The victory over Belmont Park's sweeping 1 ½-mile oval was the sixth straight for Justify, who joined Seattle Slew - also a wire-to-wire Belmont winner in 1977 - as the only undefeated winners of the Triple Crown. All six of the rangy chestnut colt's wins have come in 2018, beginning with a maiden victory on February 18 at Santa Anita Park and culminating just shy of 16 weeks later in the Belmont. "This horse ran a tremendous race," said Smith, who at 52 is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown. "He's so gifted. He's sent from heaven. He's just amazing. "Did you see him standing in the gate?" added Smith, sporting the red-and-gold silks of China Horse Club after having worn the white-and-green colors of WinStar Farm in the Derby and Preakness. "He's standing so still ... I actually thought, 'He's not going to break today.' I mean, he left there like he was going 440 yards in Ruidoso, New Mexico." Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled American Pharoah to end a 37-year-old Triple Crown drought in 2015, thus became the second trainer along with "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons to train two Triple Crown winners, with Fitzsimmons having conditioned Gallant Fox (1930) and his son, Omaha (1935). Other Triple Crown winners include Sir Barton (1919), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948) and Secretariat (1973). "It's amazing," said Baffert, who had Triple Crown near-misses with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002). "It never gets old. American Pharoah, he'll always be my first love. "[This horse] was showing me the same signs [as American Pharoah], he showed me that same brilliance. Superior horse. I mean, he could have won every race on the undercard today. He's just that kind of horse." Smith, who won his third Belmont to go with those in 2010 (Drosselmeyer) and 2013 (Palace Malice), sent Justify straight to the lead from the No. 1 post, which since 1905 has produced 24 winners of the Belmont, the most of any post position. The big colt took command before the first turn, settling into a comfortable rhythm as stablemate Restoring Hope and the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Bravazo kept him in their sights. Galloping through fractions of 23.37 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 48.11 for the half, 1:13.21 for three quarters and 1:38.09 for the mile, Justify entered the far turn without having been asked for run, still two lengths clear of his stablemate and closest rival, with Bravazo hanging on in third. Approaching the quarter pole, with the crowd on its feet and screaming, Gronkowski was hitting his best stride from far back, picking off a half-dozen rivals to gain third even as Vino Rosso was moving into second. Once in the stretch, however, Justify continued to roll along, giving no signs of quitting, and Gronkowski had to settle for second, with second choice Hofburg coming on to edge Vino Rosso by a neck for show. "He broke a bit slow," said jockey Jose Ortiz aboard Gronkowski, who was making his American debut. "He's a horse from England. After that, I didn't have any choice. I had to drop in and save all the ground. He handled the dirt. I worked him twice and he handled it, so I was optimistic. We got a good trip, it worked out well. He broke a bit slow. I wish he would have broke a little bit better." "There was no pace and nobody put any pressure on [Justify] and he kind of walked the dog going around there," said Bill Mott, Hall of Fame trainer of Hofburg. "They were going slow and [jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.] said he didn't want to make some crazy move down the backside to go join him, which probably wouldn't have made any sense. Our horse came running. He ran well. I mean, for not having any pace, he finished up very well. "Mike [Smith]'s great, obviously, and Justify is probably a great horse," he added. "I mean, they're a good combination and they got the job done. We saw another Triple Crown winner. A lot of people are happy about it." Justify's winning time was 2:28.18 for the 1 ½ miles over a track rated fast, unlike his two previous wins, which came over sloppy tracks at Churchill Downs and Pimlico. In addition to the three Triple Crown races, Justify's resume includes his maiden win, an optional claiming victory, and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, all with a combined winning margin of 23 ¾ lengths. Owned in partnership by China Horse Club, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners, Justify earned $800,000 for the win and boosted his bankroll to $3,798,000. Completing the order of finish after Vino Rosso were Tenfold, Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen and Noble Indy.

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6.6.2018:

Justify to Race for Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes; Faces 9 Rivals

ELMONT, N. Y. - Can he do it? Can Justify join Seattle Slew as the only undefeated Triple Crown winner, and become the 13th 3-year-old to accomplish that feat, before an expected sellout crowd of 90,000 in Saturday's 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes? Can he negotiate the vast 1 ½-mile oval that is Belmont Park's main track more swiftly than seven well-rested contenders and at the same time stave off Bravazo and Tenfold, who were hot on his heels at the finish line in the Preakness three weeks ago? Can he give Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith the ultimate prize in horse racing, and anoint Hall of Famer Bob Baffert as the only other trainer aside from the legendary "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons to saddle two Triple Crown winners? The odds - 4-5 from post position 1, as set by New York Racing Association Form oddsmaker David Aragona, for Tuesday evening's post position draw at Citi Field - say he will. His opponents say he should. "I think, like all of us, we need Justify to wake up on the wrong side of the bed to have a chance," said Todd Pletcher, a three-time Belmont Stakes-winning trainer whose Vino Rosso and Noble Indy are among nine challenging the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner. Baffert says he could. "Let's see if he can do it," Baffert said. "He came out of nowhere, and now he's picking up steam. People say, 'Oh, he's so beautiful. What a beautiful horse.' He's become a rock star, like Pharoah, so let's see if he can do it." The numbers say he might.   In the 37-year interregnum between Triple Crown winners - Affirmed in 1978 and the Baffert-trained American Pharoah in 2015 - 13 horses were eligible to add the Belmont to their victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, including three trained by Baffert himself: Silver Charm, second in 1997; Real Quiet, second in 1998 and War Emblem, eighth in 2002. "We're coming up with another great horse who just keeps bringing it," said Baffert Tuesday evening. "We still have a few days to go. We know it's going to be tough. But if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.' With Justify, an imposing chestnut son of Scat Daddy who has made all five of his starts in a three-month span this year, Baffert already has defied history. Since Apollo in 1882, no horse unraced at age 2 had been able to win the Derby. Ditto the Preakness. Further, on Saturday, he will race in the red-and-gold silks of one of his four co-owners, the China Horse Club, after having won the Derby and Preakness with Smith sporting the white-and-green silks of WinStar Farm. (Fortunately, horses themselves have dichromatic vision, which is like a human being red-green color blind).   "He's obviously the best of the generation, I think he's proven that," said WinStar Farms' Elliott Walden of Justify, also owned in part by Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners. "So I think it's his race to lose. Now having said that, there are plenty of great horses who have lost the Belmont. He's not a cinch by any stretch of the imagination. But he's a horse with extreme talent, and I think that's his biggest attribute. He's a better horse than these horses right now. With that being said, the three weeks, how will that play into it? The mile and a half, how will that play into it? The great thing about the Triple Crown is there are always these variables. That's what makes horse racing great, and why there will be [nine] horses to load up against him to try to beat him. That's what it's all about." Those nine have taken vastly different paths to the "Test of the Champion," including four who faced him in the Derby, then skipped the Preakness to await the final leg of the Triple Crown. Chief among them is Juddmonte Farms' Hofburg, the second choice at 9-2 on the morning line, who has enjoyed an interesting spring for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Hofburg, a homebred son of Tapit, was off a step slow in his debut at Saratoga last fall, finishing fourth going seven furlongs, but wowed in his maiden win going 1 1/16miles in March at Gulfstream Park. Emboldened by that performance, Mott sent Hofburg straight into Grade 1 company, where he finished a solid second to Audible in the Florida Derby. In the Kentucky Derby, he had a somewhat eventful trip but improved his position to finish seventh, beaten 8 ¾ lengths, in the slop behind Justify. "We've had good time to recover from the Derby, which probably makes it a bigger challenge for Justify," said Mott of Hofburg, who has been training at Saratoga. "I don't think there's any doubt about it. We didn't hit the board in the Derby and didn't see any big advantage to running in the Preakness. We just pointed for the Belmont. We have to do what's best for us, and that's what we did." Mott is seeking his second Belmont Stakes victory, having won the 2010 renewal with Drosselmeyer.   "I have a lot of confidence in [Hofburg]" said Mott. "I feel very good about him. It's no walk in the park. You got to go run around Belmont, a mile and a half. We don't take the challenge lightly, but that's what we're here for." Mott will give a leg up to Irad Ortiz, Jr. - winner of the 2016 Belmont aboard Creator - with the pair leaving from post 4. The Dale Romans-trained Free Drop Billy sparkled at age 2, finishing second in the Grade 3 Sanford and Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga and winning the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity in October at Keeneland. He has yet to reach the winner's circle this year, with his best effort a second to Audible in the Grade 2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream in February. "He's always been consistent. Throw out two races [16th in the Kentucky Derby and 9th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile] and he's hit the board every time, and the mile and a half might be the difference-maker. You don't know if the others will like it, and his pedigree says he should. But you don't know until you try," said Romans of the son of 2012 Belmont winner Union Rags, a 30-1 longshot. Robby Albarado will ride the Albaugh Family Stables' color-bearer from post 2. Pletcher, who won last year's edition with Tapwrit, counters with a pair having a distinct New York flair - Vino Rosso, co-owned by Big Apple businessmen Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola and a ninth-place finisher in the Derby, and Noble Indy, owned by Repole and WinStar, who disdained the sloppy going at Churchill and finished 17th. Both colts own graded stakes wins around two turns, with Vino Rosso taking the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack and Noble Indy victorious in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds. Both, says Pletcher, fit the criteria of what he looks for in a Belmont horse. "Both of these horses had a pedigree to suggest they can handle it, with Noble Indy having [1992 Belmont winner] A.P. Indy influence on the top side, and Vino Rosso being closely related to Commissioner, who was unfortunately just beaten in the Belmont, on the bottom side," he said. "Both of them have that training style about them where they show good stamina in their gallops, good rhythms in their gallops and also have been successful at winning races at 1 1/8 miles already." Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be aboard Vino Rosso, who drew post 8 and was tabbed as the 8-1 program choice, while fellow Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will ride Noble Indy, 30-1, from post 9. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Bravazo is the only horse beside Justify who will be competing in all three legs of the Triple Crown, having finished a decent sixth in the Derby and next coming out of the fog to fall a half-length short of Justify at Pimlico. The Calumet Farm homebred owns a single stakes win, having taken the Grade 2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds, and overall is 3-2-1 from 10 career starts. "This horse is pretty tough," Lukas said of Bravazo, a son of Proud Citizen. "We're taking on Goliath, you know. This is not the junior prom we're dealing with. We're going to have a tough chore. I don't see any chinks in the armor. I think we had a chance to beat Justify in the Preakness. Now he's going to be really tough. I think it's a lot tougher order to beat him now." Luis Saez will ride Bravazo, 8-1, from post 3. Tenfold, like Justify, did not race at 2. Unlike Justify, the third-place Preakness finisher hasn't won a stake, coming in fifth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby after posting a maiden and an optional claiming win at Oaklawn Park for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who saddled 2016 Belmont winner Creator. "I don't know if there's a 3-year-old around better bred for the Belmont than he is," said Winchell Thoroughbreds racing manager, David Fiske, of the son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and the Tapit mare Temptress. "He's by a horse that lost the Belmont by a nostril and is one of the top sires in the country, and he's out of a mare who is by arguably the best Belmont sire ever." Ricardo Santana, Jr. will ride Tenfold, 12-1 on the morning line, from post 7. Perhaps the most intriguing entrant in the Belmont is Phoenix Thoroughbred III's Gronkowski, the namesake of New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, who will be making his stateside debut on Saturday. He also will be making his first start beyond a mile and first start on the dirt for new trainer Chad Brown, although he comes into the Belmont off a four-race win streak in Great Britain. "This horse hasn't put a foot wrong since he's arrived. He's a real classy horse and came to me in outstanding condition. Based on his two workouts, he's made to go a mile and a half on the dirt to me," said Brown, who took over training duties from Jeremy Noseda last month. "In a perfect world, I wish I had him longer and had a better handle on the horse, but it is what it is and I'm fortunate to be in this position to go there with a chance to win." Jose Ortiz, winner of the 2017 Belmont with Tapwrit, will ride the son of Australian sire Lonhro, 12-1, from post 6. Doug O'Neill, who brought I'll Have Another to the brink of a Triple Crown try in 2012, only to scratch the horse on the eve of the Belmont due to a tendon injury, is back with Grade 2 Peter Pan winner Blended Citizen, 15-1 on the morning line. Successful on dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces, The Proud Citizen colt ran the best race of his life in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan, which has been the springboard for seven Belmont winners, most recently Tonalist in 2014.   He will leave from post 10 with Kyle Frey in the irons. Finally, could Baffert thwart his own Triple Crown chances with Gary and Mary West's Restoring Hope? The Giant's Causeway colt is one of three horses at 30-1 and has only a maiden victory on his resume. Third in the Wood and 12th over a sloppy track in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile on Derby Day, Restoring Hope drew post 5 under Florent Geroux. "He's well bred," said Baffert. "He's as good as the majority in there, I think. He ran well in California. I've always thought he was a really top horse. I really thought he was a Derby horse. Then we all thought, 'maybe he's a Belmont horse'."

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6.5.2018:

Kentucky Oaks Winner Monomoy Girl Headlines Saturday's Acorn Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl will try to maintain her perfect 3-year-old season in the one mile, Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn presented by Nassau County IDA, as part of a field of seven in Race 4 on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park. The multiple Grade 1 winner will make her Belmont debut after winning her third start this year in the May 4 Oaks, which followed her gate-to-wire, 5 ½-length victory in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland. Cutting back to the Acorn's one-turn mile will be the first time the filly by Tapizar has run at that distance since her third start as a 2-year-old in the Rags to Riches at Churchill Downs, where she drew away to win by 6 ½ lengths. Trainer Brad Cox likes what he sees from his impressive filly leading up to Saturday's race. "She's doing great. She looks like she ready to go," said Cox. "Last time she ran the one-turn mile I thought it was probably the most impressive race she's ever run. She's got speed and will probably be somewhat forwardly placed. I don't know about being on the lead, but she's undefeated around one turn in the only time she ever did it. I'm confident she'll like it." Monomoy Girl is just a neck short of perfection through seven career starts after suffering her only defeat in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs. The chestnut filly appeared to have her fourth straight victory well in hand, but after zigzagging in the last sixteenth of a mile, she was caught by Road to Victory in the last start of her 2-year-old campaign. "She's not bad, she's kind of manageable," Cox said of the filly owned by Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables. "You just have to kind of watch her. She's kind of a curious filly I'd guess you'd say." The loss became a distant memory after she returned in February and captured the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds. It was no easy trip for Monomoy Girl who hit the gate at the break and found herself last among the field of seven, a position she was in for the first time in her life. The filly rallied wide and closed strong under jockey Florent Geroux and scored by 2 ¼ lengths. She then followed up the performance with a victory in the Ashland en route to her half-length win over Wonder Gadot in the Oaks, where her connections had to survive a stewards' inquiry and a jockey's objection by Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez after she appeared to brush with her rival in the stretch. Her curiosity is luckily transcended by her versatility, a great trait to have according to Cox. "So far, she's run three races this year, and three different styles. Dead last, on the lead two back, and then kind of sitting off of them last time, so she can adapt. She's proved that she's a nice filly, and she's coming into this race in great order so we'll see what happens," he said. Geroux has return call aboard Monomoy Girl and will break from post 3. Zoom and Fish Stable, Charlie Spiring and Newtown Anner Stud Farm's Caledonia Road, the 2017 champion 2-year-old filly, will make her fifth career start in the Acorn, and second this year after she closed willingly to win by 3 ½ lengths against allowance company at Belmont Park on April 29. The filly by Quality Road broke her maiden at first asking over the slop at Saratoga then followed up with a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park. The Florida-bred closed out 2017 with a start in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies November 4 at Del Mar, where she cleared the field through the stretch and won by 3 ¼ lengths. Trainer Ralph Nicks has her primed for her return to Grade 1 competition. "I expect a good effort from her," Nicks said. "She's training well, looks good, appetite's good. We'll see how we stack up against the Oaks champion and a couple other ones in there. It's not going to be an easy race. "Obviously, it'll be her second race off the layoff and in her first race back, she wasn't what I would call 100 percent for her best effort that day," he added. "It was a building block to the Acorn and, of course, to the rest of the year. I would expect her to move forward off of the last race and if we're good enough, we can catch them around a one-turn mile." Caledonia Road will start from post 5, and reunites with Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith, aboard for the second time since her Breeders' Cup start. Rick Waller, Sharon Waller, and Little Red Feather Racing's Spectator will represent California-based trainer Phil D'Amato, and makes her way East after finishing 3 ½ lengths behind Midnight Bisou in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. Belmont's one-turn mile could play into the Jimmy Creed filly's favor. "She's graded-stakes placed around two turns," said D'Amato. "She got a little tired late the last sixteenth [in the Oaks], and again I think the mile and the one-turn race in the Acorn might play to her advantage." After drawing off by 5 ¼ lengths in a field of nine in her debut at Santa Anita, Spectator advanced to the Grade 2 Sorrento at Del Mar where she repeated that same margin of victory. Spectator will break from post 2, and will be ridden by Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano. Derrick Smith, Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Moonshine Memories will make her first Grade 1 start since her seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The Malibu Moon filly finished second in the Angels Flight Stakes at Santa Anita, her only start this year. The Simon Callaghan trainee had three victories to start her 2-year-old campaign, winning her first start in front-running fashion at Del Mar, which led to a half-length victory in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante. She then forged a 2 ¾-length victory in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita before the Breeders' Cup. Moonshine Memories drew the rail and Flavien Prat will be in the irons. John Oxley's Gio Game, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Julien Leparoux, will break from post 4; Vicente Stella Stable's Starcloud, trained by Oscar Gonzalez with jockey Albin Jimenez in the irons, will break from post 6; and Team Valor International, Rodolphe Brisset and Stephen McKay's Talk Veuve to Me, for trainer Brisset and jockey Jose Ortiz, who will ride from post 7.

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6.2.2018:

Churchill Downs has $300K Pick 6 Mandatory Payout Saturday

Bettors this Saturday night are in for a little extra of a treat as Churchill Downs has announced a partial force-out of it's Single 6 Jackpot Pick 6.  There will be a $300,000 mandatory payout of the popular 20-cent bet, which should be an attractive wagering opportunity for customers. First post for Churchill Downs' 'Downs After Dark' card on Saturday is 6:00PM ET and the Single 6 Jackpot kicks off with Race 4, at 7:26PM ET.  Among the most popular wagering options in the Single 6 Jackpot will come in the final leg, Race 9, as Kentucky Derby alum, Solomini, and Florida Derby third-place finisher, Mississippi, run as a coupled-entry that sits at 3/5 on the morning line in a non-winners-of-one allowance contest.  Even if one of the two horses scratch, the other will be incredibly difficult to beat. Not included in the Single 6 Jackpot are a pair of stakes races on the card, the Grade 3, $100,000 Aristides Stakes (Race 10, 10:42PM ET) and the $75,000 Mighty Beau Stakes (Race 11, 11:10PM ET). From Churchill Downs News Release: The Single 6 Jackpot, which debuted at Churchill Downs during the 2015 Fall Meet, is a minimum 20-cent wager with a low 15-percent takeout, one of the lowest multi-race wager takeout rates in American racing. The Single 6 Jackpot is paid only if there is a single winning wager with six winners placed at the required minimum bet value. If there are multiple winning wagers with six winners in the six-race sequence, 90 percent of the net money wagering into the pool is paid out, and the remaining 10 percent is carried to the Single 6 Jackpot. If there are no tickets will all six winners, 100 percent of the pool is carried to the Single 6 Jackpot.

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5.31.2018:

Download our FREE Belmont Stakes Wager Guide

Can Justify close out the Triple Crown with a victory in the Belmont Stakes?  Or will Bravazo,Vino Rosso, Hofburg, Noble Indy, Blended Citizen or Tenfold step up and beat him in the 'Test of the Champion'? Find out what the experts think in our FREE Belmont Stakes Wager Guide!  Our Guide is loaded with the expert picks, wagering strategies and stats and trends you need to bet the Belmont like a pro.  This year’s team of Wager Guide experts features six horseplayers with decades of experience handicapping and betting the races:  Eddie Olczyk, NBC Sports Bob Neumeier, Horse Player NOW Millie Ball, XBTV Jeff Siegel, XBTV Jon White, Santa Anita Park Dick Jerardi, Daily Racing Form Steve Byk, At the Races (SiriusXM) Ready to download?  Here’s how: Have an Xpressbet Account?Simply log in to your account and click the banner to download your Wager Guide.  Don’t Have an Xpressbet Account? Visit https://www.xpressbet.com/belmont-stakes-picks and fill out the form to download your free copy of the Wager Guide.  Just provide your Name, Email Address and State of Residence!  Or, sign up for a Full Xpressbet account to bet the Triple Crown and receive a $500, $100 or $20 Sign Up Bonus.  Visit Xpressbet.com to learn more.  

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5.28.2018:

Pimlico has $279K Carryover Pick 6 Mandatory Payout Monday

BALTIMORE – A severe thunderstorm swept through the area in mid-afternoon Sunday, bringing heavy rain and lightning and forcing the Maryland Jockey Club to cancel the balance of the 10-race program at legendary Pimlico Race Course. The storm produced 1 ½ inches of rain in a short time and its intensity caused the main track to be uneven in spots. Following a lengthy delay, and with the forecast calling for more rain, the decision was made to cancel the final six races. “For the safety of our horses and horsemen, we decided to suspend racing for the day,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra, who walked the track with several jockeys during the delay. “Track maintenance crews went out as soon as they were able and did a commendable job with the surface, but with the prospect of more heavy rain coming we felt it was in everyone’s best interests to cancel. We thank our horsemen, fans and patrons for their patience and understanding and look forward to a special Memorial Day program.” Nine races are scheduled on Monday’s Memorial Day holiday card which concludes the 12-day Preakness Meet at Pimlico and features mandatory payouts in the 20-cent Rainbow 6, 50-cent Late Pick 5 and $1 Super Hi-5 wagers. The Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) will have a jackpot carryover of $279,837.20, with two races in the sequence scheduled for the turf and the featured $42,000 entry-level allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up going six furlongs on the main track in Race 8. The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 60 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 40 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. However, on mandatory days the entire pool is paid out to the holders of tickets with the most winners. Maryland’s state-record Pick 6 carryover is $345,898.33, reached heading into the April 15 program at Laurel Park. It was solved that day by a single bettor for a jackpot payout of $399,545.94. The Late Pick 5 (Races 5-9), which offers an industry-low 12 percent takeout, begins with a carryover of $8,173.87. Racing moves to Laurel Park for the 40-day summer meet starting Friday, June 1. Notes: Jockey Alex Cintron and trainer Michael Matz teamed up for a pair of winners before Sunday’s cancellation, with C C Rider ($8.40) in the second race and Daddy’s Cozy ($2.40) in the fourth … Heading into Monday’s closing day, jockey Feargal Lynch leads all riders with nine wins, three more than Horacio Karamanos and Rosario Montanez. Trainer Kieron Magee is tops with five wins, with five trainers tied at four apiece.

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5.21.2018:

Justify Stays Perfect, Wins 143rd Preakness Stakes

BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Justify survived a protracted duel with Good Magic and held on to capture the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) with a half-length victory over late-charging Bravazo Saturday at Pimlico Race Course. Justify’s victory in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown placed an emphatic exclamation point on an exciting day of World Class racing and entertainment. A 14-race program that offered eight stakes with purse money exceeding $2.5 million was complemented by Preakness InfieldFest 2018, headlined by multi-platinum recording artist Post Malone. The high-energy music festival also hosted ODESZA and 21 Savage, as well as DJ sets by Vice and Frank Walker. Despite gray skies, rain and fog, a crowd of 134,487 ventured to Pimlico to take part in the festivities and watch Justify put trainer Bob Baffert into the Preakness record books. In addition to staying alive in a quest to sweep the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (G1) June 9, Justify propelled his Hall of Fame trainer into a tie for most Preakness victories with 19th century trainer Robert Wyndham Walden, who saddled seven Preakness winners between 1875 and 1888. Baffert also equaled the record of 14 victories in the Triple Crown series held by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who came within a half-length of winning his 15th when Bravazo’s late drive fell short. Justify was Baffert’s fifth career Kentucky Derby winner and became his fifth Derby winner to also capture the Preakness. Justify followed in the hoof prints of Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. Baffert’s two other Preakness victories came in 2001 with Point Given, who was fifth in the Derby, and 2010 with Lookin At Lucky, who finished sixth in the Derby. Justify, who was sent to post as the 2-5 favorite in a field of eight 3-year-olds, was prevented from setting an uncontested pace as he did in the Derby when Good Magic broke alertly and took the early lead in front of the grandstand. Justify raced alongside Good Magic around the first turn and along the backstretch past fractions of 23.11 seconds, 47.19 seconds and 1:11.42 for the first six furlongs of the 1 3/16-mile classic. The head-to-head battle continued on the far turn and into the stretch, before Justify and jockey Mike Smith emerged from the fog to establish a clear lead in deep stretch. Bravazo, who stalked the pacesetters under jockey Luis Saez, made a late rush at the Derby winner, only to fall a half-length short. Justify ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.93 on a sloppy, sealed racetrack while running his career record to 5-for-5. “He’s just a great horse to handle all that pressure and keep on running. He had to really work for it and I’m happy for the horse and Mike and all the connections that we pulled it out,” said Baffert, who has the chance to saddle his second Triple Crown winner only three years after claiming Thoroughbred racing’s biggest price with American Pharoah, who was the first since Affirmed (1978) to pull off the sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. Bravazo, who could have given Lukas a record-tying seventh Preakness win had his late bid not fallen short, finished a neck ahead of Tenfold, the longest shot on the board at 26-1. Good Magic, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby, finished another neck back in fourth under Jose Ortiz. Lone Sailor, Sporting Chance, Diamond King and Quip followed.

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5.19.2018:

Red Ruby Shines Bright in Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

BALTIMORE – Red Ruby took to the wet going at legendary Pimlico Race Course with gusto on Friday, taking command leaving the quarter pole and pulling clear to a 4 ¾-length victory over Coach Rocks in the 94th running the $250,000 Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan (G2). The 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies was the centerpiece of Friday’s spectacular stakes-filled 14-race program that served as a fitting prelude to Saturday’s 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1). With jockey Paco Lopez aboard for the first time, the gray Tiznow filly settled in second and tracked Coach Rocks through early fractions of 23.28 seconds, 47.95 and 1:12.78 over a sloppy and sealed main track. Given her cue on the turn, Red Ruby drew alongside the pacesetter and grabbed the lead as the field of nine swung into the stretch.  With the mile going in 1:37.54, Red Ruby completed the distance in 1:50.17, the fastest running of the historic race since champion Royal Delta won in 1:49.60 in 2011. “They told me to come from a little behind, not too close, but she broke very good,” said Lopez. “I put her second and she was very comfortable. I waited for her until the three-eighths, I looked and no one was coming. I said, ‘I got to go,’ and she finished very well today. “I knew I had that much horse and I was waiting for somebody to show up, but they never showed up, so I let her go,” he added. It was the first graded-stakes victory for Red Ruby ($7.80), who opened her sophomore campaign with a victory in a sloppy edition of the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park but then finished fourth as the prohibitive favorite in the Honeybee (G3) on March 10. “We knew she liked the off going,” said Kellyn Gorder, who trains Red Ruby for Sandra Sexton, Brandi Nicholson and Steven Nicholson. “In the Honeybee she got really hot in the post parade, so I trained her this morning. That’s just about the only thing I did different. “She broke really well. Paco had her really relaxed out there on the outside. When he started looking around where everyone else was, I was confident,” he added. “I’ve had good luck with Paco and he’s kind of got that style that would fit her. He takes that long hold and just raises his hands up their neck and I figured she might like that.” Red Ruby extended her record to 3-1-0 from five starts, and more than doubled her bankroll to $283,000 with the winner's purse of $150,000. Gorder and Dale Romans, trainer of runner-up Coach Rocks, both indicated their charges would be going to the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga Race Course this summer. “I thought Coach Rocks ran super,” said Romans. “She's just going to get better. That’s a good filly that beat us, but we’ll fight another day.” Indy Union was five lengths behind Coach Rocks in third, with favored Sara Street another 4 3/4 lengths back in fourth. Goodonehoney, who had been undefeated in two starts, was pinched back at the start and checked in fifth, followed by Stakes On a Plane, Tell Your Mama, Mihrab, and C.S. Incharge, who was eased and walked off the track.  Two-time stakes winner Midnight Disguise, second choice on the morning line, was scratched with a bruised foot. $250,000 Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan (G2) Quotes Kellyn Gorder (Winning Trainer, Red Ruby) – “We knew she liked the off going. In the Honeybee she got really hot in the post parade, so I trained her this morning. That's just about the only thing I did different. Normally, I don't do that; it depends on the horse. I just took her out there and jogged her right off the straight the right way and let her slow gallop around the backside and the turn and let her go through her gears, up to third gear, and shut her down. I think that might have helped her. She was really good in the paddock. She was kind of pushing the pony around and was a little nervous but then she would walk a little while and settle. “She broke really well. (Jockey) Paco (Lopez) had her really relaxed out there on the outside. When he started looking around where everyone else was, I was confident. I've had good luck with Paco and he's kind of got that style that would fit her. He takes that long hold and just raises his hands up their neck and I figured she might like that.” “The ultimate goal would be the Alabama. How we get there, I'm not sure.” Paco Lopez (Winning Jockey, Red Ruby) – “They told me to come from a little behind, not too close, but she broke very good. I put her second and she was very comfortable. I waited for her until the three-eighths, I looked and no one was coming. I said, ‘I got to go,’ and she finished very well today.” “I knew I had that much horse and I was waiting for somebody to show up, but they never showed up, so I let her go.” Dale Romans (Trainer, Coach Rocks, 2nd) – “I thought Coach Rocks ran super. She ran a good race. She’s just going to get better and better and we’ll head to the Alabama (at Saratoga) next probably. That’s a good filly that beat us, but we’ll fight another day. I was real happy with her. “She redeemed herself for the last race [seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks]. I knew she was better than that. She had a few little issues, but nothing major. She came back today and redeemed herself.” Luis Saez (Jockey, Coach Rocks, 2nd) – “She ran pretty nice. The winner was tough. I was there, very comfortable. Right there, but when I tried to get some momentum, the winner was gone.” Jose Ortiz (Jockey, Indy Union, 3rd) – “She ran pretty well. She closed from last and ran her eyeballs out to get third.  The two fillies in front of me were clearly the best in the race.” Dylan Davis (Jockey, Sara Street, 4th) – “It was the surface for her. She hadn’t been on this before and that was the question coming in. I thought she’d go OK, but today she just had some trouble.”

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5.15.2018:

Dale Romans has Powerful 1-2 Punch in Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan

BALTIMORE – Trainer Dale Romans, who has enjoyed considerable success through the years at legendary Pimlico Race Course, will send out a pair of talented stakes winners on Friday as he goes in search of his third victory in the $250,000 Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan (G2). The 94th running of the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies highlights a 14-race program that includes seven stakes, four graded, worth $1.15 million in purses on the eve of the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Romans, who won the 136th Preakness with Shackleford in 2011, is 2-2-0 in four editions of the Black-Eyed Susan. He was first and second with Go Maggie Go and 50-1 shot Ma Can Do It in 2016, won in 2015 with Keen Pauline, finished first but was disqualified to second in 2006 with Smart N Pretty, and came in fifth in 2008 with Pious Ashley. Friday, he will be represented by Roddy Valente, RAP Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Coach Rocks, a come-from-behind winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on March 31 and subsequently seventh in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 4 at Churchill Downs, and William Pacella, Frank L. Jones and Frank Shoop’s C. S. Incharge, victorious in the Suncoast Stakes in February at Tampa Bay Downs and then sixth in the Ashland (G1) on April 7 at Keeneland. “They're both nice fillies,” Romans said. “C.S. Incharge is an improving filly, and Coach came out of the Kentucky Oaks in good shape. I didn't like the way she ran, but we're going to wheel her right back the same way we did with Maggie. It'd be nice if we got the same kind of finish in the race as we did that year; it's a great race and I've always liked it.” Among the more accomplished members of the field is William B. Wilmot and Joan M. Taylor's Midnight Disguise, a multiple stakes winner of more than $270,000 in New York. The Midnight Lute filly has won four of her six career starts, including back-to-back stakes victories in the $100,000 Busanda and $200,000 Busher at Aqueduct. In her most recent start, she was fourth as the beaten favorite in the Gazelle (G2), finishing 13 lengths behind My Miss Lilly. “She ran two great races in the Busanda and Busher - a lifetime best in the Busher - and then bounced in the Gazelle,” trainer Linda Rice said. “She had enough points to go to the Kentucky Oaks but we had no interest in going there off her performance in the Gazelle. But, since then, she's had a couple of nice breezes. We'll be putting blinkers on her and Irad Ortiz, Jr., who was two-for-two in her first two starts, will be back on her. So, we're looking to turn the tables from her last race." The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Sara Street will be making the journey from New York as well as she goes in search of her second victory in four starts this year. Bred and owned by Godolphin, the daughter of 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense out of the graded stakes winning mare Sara Louise broke her maiden on Feb. 4 at Aqueduct, then finished second in the Busher and second in the Gazelle. “She went straight from a maiden to a stakes, and ran a really good second in the Busher and another really good second in the Gazelle,” McLaughlin said. “We were thinking about the Kentucky Oaks but thought this would be a somewhat easier spot in addition to being an important race. She's a smallish filly, but always tries hard and is very competitive. She should run well.” RMJ Stables' Mihrab returns to stakes company after turning in an eye-catching allowance win on April 28 at Laurel Park, where she rallied from sixth to win by eight lengths going 1 1/16 miles. “I was very impressed with her last race,” trainer Graham Motion said. “The number didn’t come back that strong but you certainly couldn’t fault the way she did it. We ran her at Gulfstream in their version of the Oaks and she had a terrible post that day [finishing ninth from post position 10]. I probably shouldn’t even have run her, so I was pleased with her recent effort. She’s done very well since she got back to Fair Hill. We’ll be taking a shot here but if she can duplicate that allowance win she can be competitive.” Expected to attract attention is local standout Goodonehoney, who has won both her races by a combined margin of 11 3/4 lengths, albeit in decidedly different styles. In her first start on March 24 at Laurel, the Maryland-bred daughter of Great Notion was off slowly, but revved up once clear to score by 4 3/4 lengths. Four weeks later, she made her stakes debut a winning one for owners Kasey K Racing Stable LLC, Final Turn Racing Stable LLC and Michael R. Day, grabbing the lead soon after the start and drawing off to a seven-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss, earning her an automatic berth in the Black-Eyed Susan. “We are asking a lot of her,” trainer Jason Egan said. “She'll be facing probably the best group of horses she's ever had to, and she's never experienced that kind of atmosphere, either. She has earned it, and we are really happy with where she's at right now.” Robert G. Hahn’s Indy Union will be making her second start of the year in the Black-Eyed Susan, having finished second, seven lengths back, in the Weber City Miss. The Union Rags filly won one of her five starts in 2017, scoring by seven in a one-mile maiden around one turn at Belmont Park, then concluded her juvenile campaign with a sixth in the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack. Also entered is Loooch Racing Stables’ maiden Tell Your Mama, who finished fourth behind Coach Rocks in the Gulfstream Park Oaks in her East coast debut and returned to run second, beaten a half-length, in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on April 22 at Keeneland. Rounding out the field are Red Ruby, winner of the Martha Washington Stakes in February at Oaklawn Park, and Stakes On a Plane, most recently fourth in the Weber City Miss.

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5.13.2018:

Good Magic Confirmed for 143rd Preakness Stakes

BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Good Magic will run in the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, trainer Chad Brown announced on Sunday. The morning after Good Magic finished 2½ lengths behind Justify over the sloppy track at Churchill Downs, Brown said he would take the colt back to his base at Belmont Park, spend a week observing how he came out of the race, consult with the owners and then make a decision. “The horse has just been training very well since the Derby,” Brown said. “He bounced out of the race in great condition and I think he deserves a chance in the race. He’s doing great.” Like most trainers, Brown does not typically run a horse back in two weeks, but he said Good Magic had shown him that he is ready for the Preakness. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the horse,” he said. “I really don’t have anything else planned for him before, say, either the Haskell (G1) or the Jim Dandy (G2) anyway. That said, I wouldn’t do it just because he’s going to get a bit of a freshening. He has to be doing well, and he’s doing exceptionally well. He’s doing far better than I expected exiting the Derby. It’s remarkable to see how well the horse is moving and his energy level. He already has his weight back. He just looks great. I’m excited about it." This will be the fourth consecutive year that the top two finishers in the Kentucky Derby have a rematch in the Preakness. In each of the last two years, the Derby runner-up finished ahead of the Derby winner in the Preakness. Brown acknowledged that Justify presents an imposing challenge for his colt.  “It’s a tall order,” he said. “The horse is unbeaten and to a degree untested. He ran a great race in the Derby and he is clearly the horse to beat. We’re going to need to close the gap on him somehow. We’re going to need to improve. Even though our horse ran an excellent race in the Derby and earned a lot of respect from everybody, he needs to again move forward and we need to have Justify come back to us a little bit. I think that the margin that I saw between the two horses is not out of the question that we’ll be able to make up that difference.” Good Magic, co-owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Farm, broke his maiden winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and was voted the Eclipse Award as the 2-year-old male champion. This year, he was third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and won the Blue Grass (G2) prior to the Kentucky Derby. e Five purchased Good Magic for $1,000,000 as a yearling at Keeneland and subsequently sold a 50 percent share to Stonestreet, which bred the colt. Brown, 39, has won the Eclipse Award as the champion trainer the past two years. He won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing in his debut in the race. Good Magic is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Monday and will gallop on the track Tuesday morning. Barnes in ‘Awesome Position’ with Baffert, Justify Justify made a visit to the starting gate and had a routine gallop Sunday morning at Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby winner prepares for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes and an attempt to stay on course for a Triple Crown sweep. “He stood in the gate, we jogged down the stretch a little ways and then galloped a mile and a half,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, who is overseeing Justify’s training while Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is in California. Baffert is expected to arrive in Louisville Sunday night, with Justify flying to Baltimore on Wednesday. As Baffert’s chief assistant, Barnes is a familiar sight at Churchill Downs – and everywhere from Monmouth Park to Mountaineer, from Oaklawn Park to Belmont Park, Saratoga in August and Dubai in March, wherever Baffert has a quality stakes horse hitting the road. Justify, the heavy favorite to annex the Preakness Stakes after running his record to 4-for-4 with his coronation in the Kentucky Derby, is yet another Baffert star placed in Barnes’ care while on the road.  He’s the latest in an almost unfathomable sequence where Baffert has had American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown champion, Arrogate, the world’s all-time money-earner who raced in 2016-17 and now, Justify, who became the first horse since Apollo (1882) to win the Kentucky Derby without racing at 2. The stable has uncorked so many record-setting horses that a horse such as 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Bayern barely makes the discussion. “It’s an awesome position to have, and I’m just blessed to be here,” said Barnes, whose first full year with Baffert was 1999, when the barn had the champion filly Silverbulletday. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. These horses are like once in a lifetime horses coming through the barn. We just keep enjoying it while they come, because you never know when you might have a slow year. “I’ve trained on my own; it’s a tough go. I like dealing with this caliber of horses, prefer to be at this level. So I’d rather just stay right here. You put in a lot of hours. It’s a dedication thing. Luckily my wife works with us, so I get to spend a lot of time with her. Maybe not at home, but we’re at the barn every day together. It’s worked out for us, we’ve been married 32 years. Just keep going along here as long as it lasts,” he added. Barnes’ wife, top-notch exercise rider Dana Barnes, has worked for Baffert since 1998. Jimmy heard there could be an opening for an assistant in the stable, asked Baffert to keep him in mind, was hired and wound up being the chief assistant when Eoin Harty went on his own in 2000. Barnes previously had worked for Hall of Famers Charlie Whittingham and Jerry Hollendorfer, as well as David Hofmans, who saddled Touch Gold for a 1997 Belmont Stakes (G1) victory over the Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm. “I tend to point myself toward good stables, yes, absolutely,” Barnes said. “I’ve been very fortunate to end up dealing with great horses for a long time now.” Diamond King ‘Right on the Money’ in 5F Breeze     Cash is King, LC Racing and D.J. Stable’s Diamond King turned in his final work for the 143rd Preakness with a five-furlong breeze Sunday morning at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa. Frankie Pennington was aboard as the stakes-winning son of Grade 1 winner Quality Road went in 1:01.50 over a sloppy main track in company with 4-year-old gelding Colonel Juan. Diamond King galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.53. “Everything went super, very good. It was exactly what I was looking for,” trainer John Servis said. “I told him I was looking for around 1:01 and then let him gallop out on his own … so it was right on the money.” Diamond King has worked twice since his victory in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes April 21 at Laurel Park that earned him an automatic berth into the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. He breezed a half-mile on his own in 50.21 seconds May 6 at Parx. “He went in company today because he works better in company than he does by himself. He can be a bit lazy,” Servis said. “I’m very happy with him. I’m tickled to death. I think he’s doing great.” Considering the weather and the forecast, Servis was relieved to get Sunday’s work in as planned,  rather than have to push it back to Monday. “Very much so,” he said. “It was a sealed racetrack. It wasn’t the best racetrack in the world but the bottom was good. I would have preferred a fast racetrack, but for a wet track it was very good, actually.” Diamond King will have an easy day Monday and will remain at Parx until later in the week. All Preakness horses must be on the grounds by noon on Thursday, May 17. “He’ll walk tomorrow and then I’ll just play it by ear after that,” Servis said. “I’ll see how he comes out of this work and how everything is and adjust his schedule.” Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who notched his second Preakness victory last year aboard Cloud Computing, has been named to ride. Justify figures to be a strong favorite in the Preakness, and Servis was complimentary of the Kentucky Derby winner. “He’s very impressive. Especially as good as he did it, and as good as he looks, it’s just hard to imagine that was only his fourth start,” he said. “He’s a good horse. He might be a great horse. I think we’re finding that out.” Lone Sailor Confirmed for Preakness; Ortiz Jr. to Ride Owner G M B Racing on Saturday evening tweeted that the Tom Amoss-trained Lone Sailor, its Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up and Kentucky Derby eighth-place finisher, will run in the Preakness and that Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount.  “When we got into this thing in 2014, on the back of our silks are three crowns, the Triple Crown,” said Greg Bensel, the senior vice president for communications for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA Pelicans, who also oversees G M B Racing for Gayle Benson, now the owner of the Saints and Pelicans following husband Tom Benson’s death March 15.  “A lot of people don’t particularly know that’s what it stands for,” Bensel said of the G M B’s silks design. “But our goal is always to run in the Triple Crown races, to run at the highest level. We’ve always dreamt of the Kentucky Derby, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have three in the last three years. We’ve won the Woody Stephens at Belmont, but the Preakness and Baltimore have always been a place we’ve wanted to run and be a part of that.” G M B Racing was represented in the 2016 Kentucky Derby by Mo Tom (8th) and Tom’s Ready (12th), who went on to win the Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard. “Our horses, although they ran eighth and 12th in 2016 (in the Derby), our head guy, Mo Tom, was a guy who’d lose a lot of weight and couldn’t really bounce back. This guy, Tom Amoss gave us a good report Derby night, a great report the next day. I’m talking about him eating his whole tub, lively, got the look in his eye, went out for a full gallop a couple days later, full of energy, full of spunk. So no reason to not think about the Preakness,” Bensel said. “Then you want to take a peek at the field. You want to see what Justify is doing; you want to see who else is entered; you want to see how big the field is because he’s a deep closer,” he added. “You saw how he got held up by (a stopping) Free Drop Billy in the Derby, and then he lost a shoe. So he was running against all odds in that Derby, and still he came fighting hard in the slop to be eighth. We’re hearing that we’re probably going to have a lot of wetness and moisture in Baltimore this week. We hear the field will be somewhat lighter. Justify or no Justify, we are on go. All systems point to go for us.” Irad Ortiz Jr. has picked up the mount aboard Lone Sailor, who was ridden by James Graham in the Derby. “We called on Irad Ortiz here. No disrespect to James Graham. We love James Graham; he’s been great to us. But we’re going to try something a little different here and take our chance,” Bensel said. “We’ve got a horse with a big engine, who is healthy, who’s sound, who’s full of energy. And why not?” Lone Sailor galloped Sunday morning at Churchill Downs and will fly to Baltimore Wednesday. Amoss said the colt definitely deserves another chance with the cards reshuffled. “The caveat here is that it was a very sloppy track Derby Day,” Amoss said. “But having said that, it’s hard to not want to take a chance against a group that didn’t come home very fast in the Kentucky Derby. Our horse, like many others, got in trouble in the race and we’d like another shot at this group. I have great respect for the group, and I thought going into the Kentucky Derby that the race went through California – which it turned out to do. But I’m looking forward to getting another chance at what hopefully is a fast track, although looking at the weather ahead, it looks like more rain.” Quip Ready, Fit Sunday after Breezing 4F With trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard, Quip turned in his final timed work for the 143rd Preakness Stakes Sunday morning, breezing a half-mile in 48.20 seconds at Keeneland. The WinStar Farm homebred son of Distorted Humor, co-owned by WinStar, China Horse Club and SF Racing, covered the first quarter of a mile in 24.40 and was timed in 23.80 for the second quarter. Quip was alone on the track at Keeneland at 6:30 a.m. and beat the heat that spiked later in the morning. “He did exactly what we wanted and exactly his usual half-mile, out five-eighths,” Brisset said. “There was nothing fancy. We don’t need anything fancy anyway. We’re ready. He’s fit. We let him go off a little faster than 25 and came home in 23, and he galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:12 2/5. That’s his usual. He was by himself. We didn’t want to do more than this.” Quip won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and was second in the Arkansas Derby(G1) to accumulate more than enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, but his connections opted to pass on the Derby and point to the Preakness. A primary reason was that the colt needed more time between races than three weeks from the Arkansas Derby to Kentucky Derby. Also WinStar had interests in three other Derby runners, including the eventual winner, Justify. Brisset said he likes how Quip looks and is training entering the Preakness.  “He’s shown all the signs that he is back to his own self,” Brisset said. “The race in Arkansas and the trip was pretty hard on him. We gave him an easy week and a half after the Arkansas Derby. We didn’t lose anything because he has been galloping on a daily basis. Then we decided to pick the weather last week – breezing on Thursday (May 3) before the Kentucky Derby to beat the rain. That gives us a good 10 days between his last breeze and this one today. It’s good timing. Now we don’t have to do anything much, just keep him on his basic, regular galloping.” Quip will be flown to Baltimore on Wednesday. Florent Geroux, who has been aboard for his five career starts, will ride Quip in the Preakness. Bravazo Turns in 4F Maintenance Breeze Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, the winner of Fair Grounds’ Risen Star (G2) who was sixth in the Kentucky Derby after being well-beaten in the Louisiana Derby, worked a half-mile in 50 3/5 seconds at Churchill Downs early Sunday morning in preparation for the Preakness Stakes. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hadn’t seen the official time but had wanted something in the range of 50 seconds. He didn’t need the clocker’s splits to know Bravazo finished nicely. “I don’t know what the splits were, have no idea,” he said. “I don’t pay any attention to that. I just want to see how they go. What were the splits? Had to be slow first.” The official splits were 13 seconds for the first eighth-mile, 25 2/5 for the quarter-mile, 38 for three-eighths, with Bravazo going the final eighth-mile in 12 3/5 seconds and galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:04 4/5. “He just ran eight days ago,” Lukas said. “He doesn’t need much.” Calumet Farm and Lukas teamed in 2013 to win the Preakness with Oxbow, extending the historic Lexington farm’s record number of victories in the race to eight. It was the sixth for Lukas, who along with trainer Bob Baffert would tie the all-time record with another win. R.W. Walden won the Preakness seven times from 1875-1888. Lukas’ other Preakness candidate, last summer’s Grade 1 Hopeful winner Sporting Chance, who was a troubled fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard, was scheduled to work a slow half-mile but wound up galloping. Lukas and his duo are scheduled to leave Churchill Downs at 3:30 a.m. Monday for the van drive to Pimlico. Tenfold Slated for 4F Breeze Monday Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold had a routine gallop at Churchill Downs Sunday morning and is scheduled to work the easy half-mile on Monday that trainer Steve Asmussen generally gives his horses five days before a race. Tenfold had his big work for the Preakness the previous Monday, powering five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 1/5, seventh-fastest of 23 works at the distance that day. Tenfold, who did not race last year, won his first two races before finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby. ALSO: Trainer Todd Pletcher has opted to bypass the Preakness Stakes with Calumet Farm’s Pony Up in favor of a start in the $100,000 LARC Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds on the Preakness undercard. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will have the mount.  Ruis Racing’s Bolt d’Oro, who finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby, was also taken out of Preakness consideration Sunday.

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5.11.2018:

Josh Kamody is Xpressbet's $25K Preakness Big Bet Sweepstakes Winner

May 11, 2018 (Washington, PA) – Xpressbet is pleased to announce the Grand Prize Winner of its $25K Preakness Big Bet Sweepstakes is Josh Kamody of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Josh and a guest will attend this year’s Preakness Stakes, where he will make a potentially life-changing $25,000 bet on the race.  Kamody was selected from thousands of entrants and millions of entries to travel to this year’s Preakness Stakes to make his $25,000 bet.  The Grand Prize Package also includes tickets for two at Pimlico on Black-Eyed Susan Day (May 18) and Preakness Day (May 19) as well as transportation and hotel accommodations.  Kamody will be attending the Preakness Stakes for the first time and is looking forward to experiencing the Second Jewel of the Triple Crown.  He won the opportunity to make his ‘Big Bet’ by playing the races with Xpressbet from April 2 – May 6, 2018.  Additionally, 50 Second Prize Winners each won a $100 Xpressbet Wagering Voucher.  ‘We’re excited to have Josh as our guest at the Preakness Stakes and we look forward to giving him VIP treatment at one of North America’s great sporting events,” said Xpressbet Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kerry Carlson.  “We wish him the best of luck with his $25,000 Big Bet and hope he is able to turn this once-in-a-lifetime experience into a life-changing score.”  This is the sixth year Xpressbet has offered its Big Bet Sweepstakes and past winners have cashed their ‘Big Bets’ on California Chrome and American Pharoah.  For more information about the Preakness and to purchase tickets, please visit www.preakness.com.  

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5.11.2018:

Download our FREE Preakness Wager Guide

Can Justify continue his assault on the Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes?  Or will Good Magic, Lone Sailor, Bravazo or Bolt d'Oro turn the tables on him in the Preakness Stakes?  Find out what the experts think in our FREE Preakness Stakes Wager Guide!  Our Guide is loaded with the expert picks, wagering strategies and stats and trends you need to bet the Preakness like a pro.  This year’s team of Wager Guide experts features six horseplayers with decades of experience handicapping and betting the races:  Bob Neumeier, Horse Player NOW Millie Ball, XBTV Jeff Siegel, XBTV Jon White, Santa Anita Park Dick Jerardi, Daily Racing Form Steve Byk, At the Races (SiriusXM) Ready to download?  Here’s how: Have an Xpressbet Account?Simply log in to your account and click the banner to download your Wager Guide.  Don’t Have an Xpressbet Account? Visit https://www.xpressbet.com/preakness-stakes-picks and fill out the form to download your free copy of the Wager Guide.  Just provide your Name, Email Address and State of Residence!  Or, sign up for a Full Xpressbet account to bet the Triple Crown and receive a $500, $100 or $20 Sign Up Bonus.  Visit Xpressbet.com to learn more.  

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5.10.2018:

Bolt d'Oro Under Preakness Consideration; Justify Gallops at Churchill Downs

BALTIMORE – Owner/trainer Mick Ruis confirmed Thursday that Bolt d’Oro is a candidate for the May 19 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course. Bolt d’Oro, who finished 12th behind victorious Justify in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) over a sloppy Churchill Downs track, galloped a mile and a half at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Thursday morning. “We’re going to see how he’s training up to it, and it doesn’t matter if Justify runs or not. We know we’re going to have to run against him,” said Ruis, whose multiple Grade 1 stakes winner had been scheduled to ship to Southern California Tuesday. “If we feel we’re good to go in there, we’re going.” Bolt d’Oro, who had finished second behind Justify in the April 7 Santa Anita Derby (G1), chased the pace outside the undefeated Bob Baffert trainee before starting to tire on the turn into the homestretch. Ruis received visual evidence that the son of Medaglia d’Oro’s first off-the-board finish was the result of a dislike for the sloppy, sealed racetrack. “Someone just sent me a Twitter photo of Justify and Bolt when they were next to each other. Justify is skipping over the track, pasterns up. Bolt’s [hooves], all the way below the pasterns, were just sucked into that track. Absolutely he didn’t like it,” Ruis said. “It would be like one running on the freeway and one running in sand.” Ruis said Bolt d’Oro won’t run in the Preakness if the Pimlico track comes up muddy or sloppy for the 143rd edition of the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Ruis, who purchased a 169-acre farm in Woodford County in Kentucky prior to the Kentucky Derby, reported that Bolt d’Oro has recovered nicely from his subpar performance. “He is doing really, really good. It doesn’t look like he even lost a pound. He’s really good and really happy,” Ruis said. “I’m glad I’m here at Keeneland, because our farm is only four miles away. It’s so mellow for him here. I couldn’t be happier. We’re going to try to make our residence in Kentucky.” Justify Impressive in First Gallop since Derby Win Preakness Stakes favorite Justify resumed training Thursday morning at Churchill Downs for the first time since taking last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, his good-looking gallop dispelling any concerns about a minor hind-foot condition. Justify was the center of attention on the Churchill backside Thursday morning as he was the first horse to step onto the track when it reopened at 7:30 following the first of two daily track renovation breaks. After the massive chestnut’s routine gallop under Humberto Gomez, Jack Wolf, head of the Starlight Racing partnership that owns a minority interests in Justify, joked that his only concern now is securing enough tickets for the Preakness. Wolf told the assembled media that he has “zero” concern about the Bob Baffert-trained Justify’s condition. “I thought he looked great,” he said. “Bob has been telling me the horse is fine.” Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, who is overseeing Justify’s care in Kentucky while his boss is in California, was clearly delighted with what he saw. “Very happy,” he said. “The horse came onto the track perfect, galloped perfect and came back very good, so I couldn’t be happier. He was ready to go back to the track. He was getting a little pushy in the stall, and you could tell it was time for him to get back out there.” Barnes said Justify came out of the Derby with a little bruising and a bit of a cracked heel that briefly left sensitivity in his left hind foot that quickly responded to treatment. “Each day we got better and we were 100 percent, so no reason to hold my breath,” Barnes said. “The good ones seem to come up with little issues now and then. Other ones that don’t put out that much, they don’t show signs of anything. But the track was very wet that day and he had to run fast and far. These are things you have to deal with, and we’re ready to move on and go to Baltimore.” Barnes said Justify never backed off his feed after the Derby, in spite of the taxing effort that included being part of a swift early pace and then having to fend off runner-up Good Magic and third-place Audible. “It’s never a problem eating with him,” he said. “He’s a chowhound.  Within an hour and a half to two hours, he’s always finished up.” Justify pressed long shot Promises Fulfilled during a first half-mile in a swift 45.77 seconds and ran six furlongs in 1:11.01 before asserting himself against 19 leg-weary rivals through the stretch. “He went very fast early (in the Derby). Watching the fractions, you’re going 22 (seconds for a quarter-mile), 45 4/5,” Barnes said. “I’m thinking, ‘Well, that’s almost 46, so that’s not too bad.’ The horses were coming to him, but they were kind of dropping off. For only being his fourth start and having to make it in the Kentucky Derby that was just awesome.” Barnes said Justify doesn’t require much training heading into the Preakness. “We just stick with our same program,” he said. “You come off a mile and a quarter race, just go a little light into Baltimore. You don’t need to do much. The main thing is to keep him healthy and happy.” Barnes said he anticipates Justify will continue to train at 7:30 a.m. while at Churchill Downs before flying out to Baltimore next Wednesday. Elliott Walden, president and CEO of co-owner WinStar Farm, also used the word “great” to describe Justify’s Thursday morning training session. “He went great,” Walden said. “The last couple of days he’s looked good. You never know until you go to the track, but he looked super.” Walden, who twice finished second in the Preakness with Victory Gallop in 1998 and Menifee in 1999 as a trainer, said Justify has had a cracked heel, a common and minor foot affliction, on and off. “A lot of horses get that,” he said. “That track was rough on Saturday, not from a standpoint of anything anybody could do, just three inches of rain and a muddy racetrack. He just jammed his heel up a little bit. The first time they saw anything (was potentially amiss) was when he came out here for you guys (the media Sunday morning). It took some time to figure out what was going on, and that’s being a good horseman, trying to evaluate the thing and work on it. But the horse looked great this morning, and I’m very happy with him. He looked super every step.” Preakness Decision for Good Magic Expected Monday Trainer Chad Brown said Thursday morning that Derby runner-up Good Magic remains a candidate for the Preakness. Brown said he expects to make his decision whether to run the son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin in the Middle Jewel by Monday. “I’m on the fence,” said Brown, who trains Good Magic for e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables. “It’s still under consideration.” Good Magic, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner and the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male, finished 2 ½ lengths behind Justify over the sloppy track at Churchill Downs. He was shipped to Brown’s base at Belmont Park on Monday. “He’s fine,” Brown said. “He’s back on the track. He jogged sound this morning.” Diamond King Confirmed for Preakness Run Trainer John Servis Thursday confirmed Cash is King, D.J. Stable and LC Racing’s stakes winner Diamond King will make his next start in the Preakness. Diamond King earned automatic entry into the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown by virtue of his victory in the Federico Tesio Stakes April 21 at Laurel Park but had been entered in the Peter Pan (G3) Saturday at Belmont Park. After consulting with the ownership, led by Cash is King’s Chuck Zacney, the decision was made to point to the Preakness, a race the Parx-based Servis won with his only previous starter – 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Smarty Jones. “It looks like we’re heading to the Preakness,” Servis said. “It’s always exciting to be able to come back and be a part of it. He didn’t get a chance to run in the Derby because he didn’t have the points, but the winner was very impressive. I’m excited about it.” Servis plans to give Diamond King, a bay son of Grade 1 winner Quality Road, one final breeze for the Preakness this weekend at Parx. He returned to the work tab for the first time since the Tesio with a half-mile move in 50.21 seconds May 6. “He came out of it great. It was just a maintenance work, just a nice, easy half-mile by himself. We just wanted to let him stretch his legs a little bit,” Servis said. “He’ll work again this weekend but I don’t know what day. I’m planning on Sunday, but I’m not sure. We’ll have to see how the weather shakes out.” With other horses to run over the weekend, Servis said he plans to ship to Pimlico on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 18. Barbara Fritchie (G2) winner Ms Locust Point is being pointed to the $100,000 Skipat for fillies and mares 3 and older going six furlongs on the undercard of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2). “As of right now I’m planning on coming in early Friday morning,” Servis said. “I have a couple to run Friday there anyway, so I think I’ll ship them all early Friday morning and beat the traffic and let [Diamond King] get there and just settle in and get ready for Saturday.” Lukas Names Jockeys for Bravazo, Sporting Chance D. Wayne Lukas reported Thursday that Luis Contreras will ride Grade 1 winner Sporting Chance in the Preakness and Luis Saez will be on Bravazo, the Fair Grounds’ Risen Star (G2) winner who after a poor showing in the Louisiana Derby (G2) finished a sneaky good sixth in the Kentucky Derby. Contreras rode Calumet Farm’s Bravazo in the Derby and Robert Baker and William Mack’s Sporting Chance in the Pat Day Mile (G3), in which he finished a troubled fourth. “We don’t let them choose,” Lukas said with a laugh. “That’s like letting your team put out the lineup…. It gets down to gut reaction to what you think fits — and a combination of trying to appease your owners a little bit. “Luis Contreras is getting along awful good with Sporting Chance. Having said that, I think Luis Saez is a better fit on Bravazo, even though he’s ridden Sporting Chance to a Grade 1 win (in Saratoga’s Hopeful Stakes)…. You never in these races lead with your heart, (but) always with your business sense.” The Lukas duo will van to Baltimore Monday. “It’s 12 hours,” Lukas said. “I see Steve (Asmussen) is going to van (Tenfold and other Preakness weekend stakes candidates) now. It’s getting to be more popular. We started vanning and now that’s the choice.” Lukas, who generally rides shotgun in the truck’s cab on the trip to Pimlico, touted satellite radio channels for those making the drive. “Fifty-eight is Prime Country and 59 is Willie’s Roadhouse,” he said, “And if you’re really wondering if you’re going to win it, you go to 128 — and that’s Joel Osteen.” Justify impresses Lone Sailor’s trainer Justify certainly caught the attention of Tom Amoss, trainer of possible Preakness candidate Lone Sailor, who finished eighth in the Derby. “I thought he looked identical to how he looked for the Kentucky Derby when I watched him train, and I don’t think that’s very good news for anybody who wants to run against him in Baltimore,” Amoss said of Justify.  “I’m not bubbling over with confidence that the Derby winner is going to get beat. (But) I think (running in the Preakness or not) is still going to boil down to how our horse is doing.” Amoss reiterated that he expects a decision on Lone Sailor will be made Saturday after a discussion with owner Gayle Benson. Other horses being considered for the Preakness are Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold, Valene Farms’ Givemeaminit, and Quip. Quip, whose ownership also includes Justify’s partners WinStar and China Horse Club, galloped 1 3/8 miles under trainer Rodolphe Brisset Thursday and also schooled in the starting gate at Keeneland. Brisset said the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner and Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up is on schedule to work Sunday at the Lexington track. “Quip is a very good horse, and I think he deserves a chance,” WinStar CEO and president Elliott Walden said. “It’s going to be exciting to see him run, as well. He’s a horse who has done nothing wrong except for one bad start here in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2; last November). Every other start has been really good, and he’s doing well, so we’ll see what he does next Saturday.”

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5.8.2018:

Racing Returns to Pimlico Thursday; Preakness Set for May 19

BALTIMORE – Championship racing returns to legendary Pimlico Race Course Thursday for the opening of its 12-day Preakness Meet at Pimlico, highlighted by the 143rd running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday, May 19. The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the 1 3/16-mile Preakness anchors eight stakes on a 14-race card that includes the $250,000 Dixie (G2), $150,000 Gallorette Stakes (G3) and $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3). Post time on Preakness Day is 10:30 a.m. Justify, undefeated winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) May 5, will attempt to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record-tying seventh victory in the Preakness. All four of Baffert’s previous Derby winners have gone on to win the Preakness, including 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. The 94th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies is the focal point of a 14-race program on Friday, May 18 that offers seven stakes including the historic $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3), $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3) and $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3). Post time is 11:30 a.m. Racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday with the exception of Sunday, May 20. The meet wraps up with a special Memorial Day program on Monday, May 28. “We’re thrilled to get the Preakness Meet at Pimlico started Thursday,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “Pimlico is legendary, and the Preakness, Black-Eyed Susan and Pimlico Special are historic and significant events on the sporting calendar. The Stronach Group has done an incredible job improving the customer experience here with upgrades in food and beverage, a revamped infield layout that will connect Infield guests with the races, upgrades to the Preakness Village and Turfside Terrace and new Wi-Fi throughout the clubhouse and infield. “Horsemen throughout North America are committed to providing world-class racing during the Preakness Meet at Pimlico, full fields, and great racing on the main track and turf course. We’re excited about what has become one of the best boutique race meets in the country.” A field of seven 3-year-olds and up will go 1 1/16 miles over the turf course in a $23,000 claiming event to open Thursday’s nine-race program that begins at 1:10 p.m. Five races have been carded for the grass attracting 54 entries, an average of 10.8 per race. Thursday’s feature comes in Race 5, a $47,000 third-level optional claiming allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the grass that drew multiple stakes winner O Dionysus and stakes-placed Grandiflora, Barney Rebel, Dattt Melody and Southside Warrior. Warrioroftheroses, third in the 2016 Pimlico Special, is entered for main track only. Pimlico will also serve up a nine-race program Friday, May 11 that features five turf races that saw 68 horses entered, an average of 13.6 per race. Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado enters the Pimlico meet on the verge of becoming only the eighth rider in Thoroughbred history to reach 7,000 career victories. A 24-time leading rider in Maryland from 1991-99, he stands at 6,997 and is named in two of nine races both Thursday and Friday. Pimlico is once again offering bonus money totaling $100,000 to trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 15 stakes races during Preakness weekend. The trainer with the most points will receive $50,000, second $25,000, third $12,000, fourth $7,000, fifth $4,000 and sixth $2,000. Points are accumulated for finishing first (10 points), second (seven), third (five), fourth (three) and having a starter (one) in the Skipat, Miss Preakness, Allaire DuPont Distaff, Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special, Hilltop, Jim McKay Turf Sprint, Maryland Sprint, LARC Sir Barton, Chick Lang, Preakness, Gallorette, James W. Murphy, Dixie and The Very One. There will also be bonus money totaling $50,000 for trainers with the most points in non-stakes races during Preakness weekend. The points are accumulated in similar fashion with $25,000 going to the leader, $10,000 to second, $7,500 to third, $2,500 to fourth and $1,000 to fifth. Pimlico will serve as the launching pad for the renewed Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, an assortment of 25 races at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania which originally debuted in 1997 and ran for five years. The Maryland Sprint and Skipat, the latter for fillies and mares, open the dirt sprint division of the MATCH Series on May 18 and 19, respectively. The turf sprint division is kicked off with the Jim McKay Turf Sprint May 18 and The Very One for females May 19. Seven guaranteed multi-race wagering pools will be offered over Preakness weekend. On Friday, May 18 the Late Pick 5 (Races 7-11), offering an industry-low 12 percent takeout, and Pick 4 wagers covering Races 8-11 and 11-14 will each be guaranteed at $300,000. On Preakness Day there will be guaranteed pools of $2 million in the Pick covering Races 10-13, $1 million in the Late Pick 5 (Races 9-13), $500,000 in the Pick 4 spanning Races 6-9 and $250,000 in the early Pick 5 (Races 2-6). Preakness Week at Pimlico offers several events including Sunrise at Old Hilltop, where fans can have breakfast trackside while watching horses go through their morning exercise Tuesday, May 15 through Friday, May 18; the traditional Alibi Breakfast on Thursday, May 17; and Budweiser InfieldFest, one of the country’s most eclectic outdoor music festivals. Headlining this year’s InfieldFest on Preakness Day are Post Malone, 21 Savage and Odesza on the event’s new 65-foot mega-stage designed to give attendees a view of the live racing. Also scheduled to perform are DJs Vice and Frank Walker. Additional information can be found at www.preakness.com.

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5.6.2018:

Justify Delivers as Kentucky Derby Favorite

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, May 5, 2018) – WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners’ favored Justify took command at the half-mile pole and roared away to a 2 ½-length victory over Good Magic under the lights at Churchill Downs to win the 144th running of the $2,192,000 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) for 3-year-olds on a soggy Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 157,813, the seventh largest crowd in Derby history. Justify became the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882. He made his debut Feb. 18 and only one other Derby winner broke his maiden at a later date: Brokers Tip when he won the Derby on May 6, 1933. He also became the second horse in the past 100 years to win the Derby with only three career starts prior to the race, joining Big Brown in 2008. Justify gave trainer Bob Baffert his fifth Kentucky Derby victory and jockey Mike Smith his second. Baffert now trails only Ben Jones (six Derby wins). Baffert’s other victories came with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (2015). Smith’s other Derby victory came in 2005 with Giacomo. Starlight becomes the first Louisville ownership group to win the Derby since Old Rosebud in 1914. Promises Fulfilled led the field of 20 through the first six furlongs with fractions of :22.24, :45.77 and 1:11.01 with Justify in closest pursuit. Approaching the half-mile pole, Smith pulled the trigger and sent Justify to the front with last year’s champion 2-year-old Good Magic taking up the chase. Justify maintained his daylight advantage through the stretch and completed the 1 ¼ miles on a sloppy track in 2:04.20. The victory was worth $1,432,000 and increased Justify’s earnings to $2,098,000 with an unblemished record of four wins in four starts. Justify became the first undefeated Derby winner since Nyquist in 2016 and the ninth since 1915. Justify is a Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy out of the Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic. In becoming a record-extending sixth consecutive favorite to win the Run for the Roses, Justify returned $7.80, $6 and $4.40. Good Magic, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $9.20 and $6.60 and finished a head in front of Audible, who paid $5.80 to show under Javier Castellano. Instilled Regard rallied to finish another 1 ¾ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by My Boy Jack, Bravazo, Hofburg, Lone Sailor, Vino Rosso, Solomini, Firenze Fire, Bolt d’Oro, Flameaway, Enticed, Promises Fulfilled, Free Drop Billy, Noble Indy, Combatant, Magnum Moon and Mendelssohn.

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5.4.2018:

Kentucky Derby Day Account FAQs

Thanks for choosing to bet the Triple Crown with Xpressbet!  If you need help this weekend, here are the answers to some common questions regarding your account.  If you need any additional information, don’t hesitate in giving us a call (866.889.7737) or emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloak0074d8a2309bc04bd692ac2227992034').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy0074d8a2309bc04bd692ac2227992034 = 'custmerservice' + '@'; addy0074d8a2309bc04bd692ac2227992034 = addy0074d8a2309bc04bd692ac2227992034 + 'xpressbet' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_text0074d8a2309bc04bd692ac2227992034 = 'custmerservice' + '@' + 'xpressbet' + '.' + 'com';document.getElementById('cloak0074d8a2309bc04bd692ac2227992034').innerHTML += ''+addy_text0074d8a2309bc04bd692ac2227992034+''; .  Free Kentucky Derby Picks We’re often asked who we like in the Kentucky Derby.  We’re awfully flattered by your confidence in us, but we leave the handicapping to the experts.  That’s why picks from our team of handicappers are FREE.  Check them out: Johnny D's Kentucky Derby Picks Jon White's Kentucky Derby Picks Kentucky Derby Wager Guide Speaking of free picks!  Whether or not you’re an Xpressbet customer, our FREE Kentucky Derby Wager Guide is available to you.  If you have an account, simply Log In and click a banner to download it.  If you don’t have an account, no worries!  Just fill out the simple form on www.xpressbet.com/kentucky-derby-picks to get yours.  How to Find Your Account Number Need help finding your account number?  Simply Log In to your account and follow these easy steps: Click 'My Account' >> Select 'Balance' Your account number will be visible, along with your current account balance.  Forgot Password? Been away for a while and forgot your password?  Simply click ‘Log In’ in the upper right corner of the screen and select ‘Forgot Password?’  You’ll be prompted to verify your account and we’ll provide your password. Kentucky Derby Future Wagers Did you jump into the Kentucky Derby Future Wagers?  If so, visit www.xpressbet.com/kdfw to learn how to find your wagers, odds, etc.  Advance Wagering Can’t join us for wagering on Saturday?  We’ll offer Advance Wagering on the Kentucky Derby card all day Friday.  Check for it out on the Tracklist, listed as ‘KY Derby Advance.’  Once you’ve made your Advance Wagers, you can view them by following these simple steps: Log In >> Go to ‘My Account’ >> Click ‘Statement’ >> Enter the Date you made the Wagers >> Submit Kentucky Oaks/Derby Double & Kentucky Derby Pick 3 Xpressbet customers have enjoyed playing the ‘special’ Kentucky Derby wagers for years!  Here’s a quick look at what they are and how to find them.  The Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double is a special Daily Double combining Friday’s Kentucky Oaks (Race 11) and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (Race 12).  Wagers must be made on Friday.  Look for it as ‘KY Derby Double’ on the Tracklist. Plus, there’s a special Kentucky Oaks/Turf Classic/Kentucky Derby Pick 3 also offered on Friday.  It consists of the Kentucky Oaks (Race 11) on Friday and the Old Forester Turf Classic (Race 11) and Kentucky Derby (Race 12) on Saturday.  Look for it as ‘KY Derby Pick 3’ on the Tracklist.  XBTV LIVE Show Join Jeff Siegel, Aaron Vercruysse, Millie Ball, Zoe Cadman and Richie Migliore for live coverage of the Kentucky Oaks & Kentucky Derby cards, exclusively at Xpressbet!  To watch, simply log in to your wagering account.   Friday’s coverage starts at 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT. Saturday’s show starts at 10:00PM ET / 7:00AM PT.   We hope that covers everything, but if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting us.  We’re here to serve you and ensure your Kentucky Derby wagering experience is second to none. Good luck betting the races!       

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4.26.2018:

Download our FREE Kentucky Derby Wager Guide

Betting the Kentucky Derby? Of course you are! And to help you separate the contenders from the pretenders in this year's 'Run for the Roses,' we've once again assembled our FREE Kentucky Derby Wager Guide.  Our Guide is loaded with expert picks, wagering strategies and stats and trends you won't find anywhere else. This year’s team of Wager Guide experts features six horseplayers with decades of experience handicapping and betting the races:  Bob Neumeier, Horse Player NOW Millie Ball, XBTV Jeff Siegel, XBTV Jon White, Santa Anita Park Dick Jerardi, Daily Racing Form Steve Byk, At the Races (SiriusXM) Ready to download?  Here’s how: Have an Xpressbet Account?Simply log in to your account and click the banner to download your Wager Guide.  Don’t Have an Xpressbet Account? Visit https://www.xpressbet.com/kentucky-derby-picks and fill out the form to download your free copy of the Wager Guide.  Just provide your Name, Email Address and State of Residence!  Or, sign up for a Full Xpressbet account to bet the Triple Crown and receive a $500, $100 or $20 Sign Up Bonus.  Visit Xpressbet.com to learn more.  

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4.21.2018:

Diamond King Sparkles in Xpressbet Federico Tesio Stakes

LAUREL, MD – It’s likely on to the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) next month for Cash is King, D.J. Stable and LC Racing’s Diamond King after the 3-year-old put away unbeaten stakes winner Noble Commander and held off late-running Holland Park to win Saturday’s $125,000 Xpressbet Federico Tesio at Laurel Park. The 37th running of the Tesio for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles was the last of five stakes worth $550,000 in purses on an 11-race Spring Stakes Spectacular program. For the third straight year, the Tesio offered Triple Crown-nominated horses such as Diamond King an automatic berth into the $1.5 million Preakness, the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, May 19 at legendary Pimlico Race Course. “That’s the plan. That’s why we aimed for this [race],” Cash is King managing partner Chuck Zacney said. “We never lost faith in this horse.” Diamond King ($6.60), favored at 2-1 among nine sophomores, completed the distance in 1:50.31 over a fast main track to win by three-quarters of a length. Holland Park closed fast on the far outside for second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Noble Commander. It was another 3 ¼ lengths back to American Lincoln in fourth. They were followed under the line by Takedown, two-time stakes winner and 5-2 second choice Still Having Fun, 36-1 Private Terms winner V. I. P. Code, Not Fake News and Dynamic Asset. “I’m tickled to death. It was very impressive,” trainer John Servis said. “I was a little worried about the distance off a long layoff and he’s never really been that far because the only time he was he had that incident. I thought he did great. He handled himself well, relaxed really good, got to loafing a little bit in the stretch which I like to see because that tells me there’s more there. I’m happy with him.” Servis took over training of Diamond King after Leonard Green’s D.J. Stable bought into the horse following his victory in the Dec. 30 Heft Stakes at Laurel, which came one start after he clipped heels and lost rider Frankie Pennington in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). The Quality Road colt hadn’t run since finishing third in the seven-furlong Swale (G3) Feb. 3 at Gulfstream Park, missing Laurel’s Private Terms March 17 with a fever. “He started with a couple wins, and had a troubled trip in the Swale. We were looking forward to the next race and he got sick right before the race,” said Zacney, who campaigned Afleet Alex to wins in the 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes (G1). “He did everything right going into this race. I guess the only concern going into this race was the mile and an eighth, but there’s certainly no doubt after that.” Noble Commander, a winner of his only two starts including the OBS Sophomore Stakes March 25 at Tampa Bay Downs, settled into an easy rhythm up front under jockey Julien Leparoux through fractions of :23.93, :48.33 and 1:13.27 with mild pressure from Diamond King to his outside. By the time they rounded the turn Diamond King had straightened for home with a lead he would not relinquish, as Noble Commander dug in to give chase but was unable to hold off Holland Park’s late bid. “I didn’t tell Frankie a whole lot. I told him Julien is very good at controlling pace and just don’t let him get out there and put everybody to sleep, because he can do it,” Servis said. “Sure enough, he got out there quick and slowed it down the second quarter and Frankie lapped right on him, so it was good.” Pennington has been aboard for all six of Diamond King’s starts, and was impressed with the way his horse handled the stretch out after back-to-back races going seven furlongs. “He did it very nicely. He settled in nice going the mile and an eighth, which was fantastic,” Pennington said. “When it was time to go, I asked him and he gave it to me.”

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4.16.2018:

Xpressbet, Santa Anita to Offer $35K Guaranteed Tournament on April 21

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 13, 2018) - Santa Anita’s $500 April Handicapping Challenge shapes up as a “must play” for handicappers, as The Great Race Place and Xpressbet will guarantee $35,000 in prizes on Saturday, April 21.  The guaranteed prize pool includes: (3) Entries into Santa Anita’s Preakness Challenge on May 19 and May 20, 2018 (2) Entries into the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) A $10,000 Cash Prize Pool to the top four finishers, courtesy of Xpressbet.com The total value of the prize pool will increase to $45,000 at 150 total entrants in the contest and $55,000 at 200 total entrants. Horseplayers will be able to compete on-track at Santa Anita with VIP accommodations, or online through Xpressbet.com. Buy-in is just $500 per entry, with $300 going to the player’s bankroll and $200 directed toward the prize pool.  The contest format includes win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and Daily Double wagers on Santa Anita races on April 21.  Players are encouraged to signup online at santaanita.com/contests or by logging in to their Xpressbet account.  For additional information, please call Santa Anita Marketing at (626) 574-6384. Log In and Register at Xpressbet.com

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4.14.2018:

City of Light Outduels Accelerate in Oaklawn Handicap

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 14, 2018) – Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren’s City of Lights made a successful first trip out of California by winning Saturday’s $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap in front of a crowd of 64,500.City of Light, who was also making his first career start beyond seven furlongs, settled off the pace under Drayden Van Dyke as Untrapped set early fractions of :22.97 and :46.63 for the first half mile. He made his bid at the half-mile pole and was able to hold off 6-5 favorite Accelerate by a neck in a finale time of 1:48.26 for 1 1/8 miles over a fast track. Untrapped held on for third. City of Light, a 4-year-old Quality Road colt trained by Mike McCarthy, returned $11.40, $5.80 and $4.20 as the 9-2 third choice. One race earlier on the card, Whitmore repeated his victory in the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3), closing from last to win by 1 ¾ lengths over Wilbo. He completed the six furlongs in 1:09.77 over a fast track. Wynn Time was third. The Ron Moquett-trained Whitmore, who races for Southern Springs Stables, Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners LLC., returned $3.60, $2.80 and $2.20. Saturday was closing day of Oaklawn. Live racing resumes January 25, 2018. $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) Quotes:Winning trainer Mike McCarthy (City of Light) – “I didn’t think the distance would be a problem. I should say this, I didn’t think a mile and an eighth would be a problem, the added distance would be a problem. I was a little worried obviously drawing the 11 hole, with the speed inside of us. I was worried about getting caught wide in the first turn. He kind of stumbled stepped out of there and let the other horses get the jump on him. Drayden was able to dictate his trip. He was loaded at the half mile pole. At the time I was nervous, because you worry if they are going to show up after the running starts, but when they got to the quarter pole and Drayden hadn’t moved his hands, I had the utmost confidence in my horse.”Winning jockey Dryden Van Dyke (City of Light) – “He broke sharp and put me in a good spot. Down the backside he was completely loaded and had a lot of horse the entire way. Just had to wait for the home stretch to let him loose and he did the rest himself. He’s a talented horse and glad I could sit on him.”Trainer John Sadler (Accelerate, second) – “He’s a little gawky. We schooled him at home and he did really well. He’s been a little tricky in the gate. I just think he was looking around at this strange environment and 65,000 fans. He broke ok. First time out of town and I thought he ran a great race. I was pleased. Remember, it was a handicap and we were giving away the weight.”Jockey Victor Espinoza (Accelerate, second) – “He ran good. It set up like I wanted. He didn’t want to load, but broke sharp and I was tracking the leaders. I just couldn’t keep up with the winner. He tried to come back pretty good, but I just ran out of room.”Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Untrapped, third) – “He had a good trip. He tried hard, so no excuses. He ran a good race.”

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4.14.2018:

Magnum Moon Stays Perfect, Wins G1 Arkansas Derby

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, April 14, 2018) – Robert and Lawana Low’s Magnum Moon is now a perfect four for four and holds the top position on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard after scoring an impressive victory in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) before a crowd of 64,500. The Todd Pletcher-trainee added 100 points to his 50 from winning Oaklawn’s March 17 Rebel Stakes (G2) to bring his total to 150 points, 16 more than champion Good Magic. Total handle for the 12-race card was $16,159,771.31, a record for a single day card in Oaklawn’s 114 history. Ridden by Luis Saez, Magnum Moon, the 4-5 favorite, grabbed the lead from the break and never looked back, proceeding to set fractions of :23.34 and :48.60 for the first half mile, while being tracked closely by Quip. The winner shied in the stretch, but quickly overcame it to draw off to win by four lengths over Quip, who earned 40 points for second, in 1:49.86 over a fast track. Solomini, the Rebel Stakes runner-up, came from sixth in the nine-horse field to finish third and earned 20 points. He was followed by Combatant, Tenfold, Plainsman, Dream Baby Dream, Beautiful Shot and Machismo. Magnum Moon, a Malibu Moon colt, has now earned $1,177,800. He returned $3.60, $2.80 and $2.40 as the heavy favorite. Live racing will resume January 25, 2019. $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) Quotes: Todd Pletcher (Magnum Moon) – “I thought it (his race) was very good. I’m very pleased with the outcome. A little concerned that he drifted out the last part, but it looked like he sort of halfway thought about jumping over the tire marks when he went the by the eighth pole where the gate was and sort of skipped over those. I think he was maybe just drifting away from that. Aside from that, I thought he finished with good energy and was pulling away from some nice horses. He showed his versatility. He's won a number of different ways now and I think he's proven that he's the kind of horse that doesn't need the race to unfold a certain way, that he's able to kind of make his own race.” Magnum Moon is scheduled to return to Palm Beach Downs on Sunday, Pletcher said, and “tentatively” fly to Churchill Downs on April 23. Will breeze once at Churchill Downs - “probably” eight days before the Kentucky Derby. Winning owner Robert Low (Magnum Moon) – “He had me worried to death when I saw we were on the lead. But, Luis (Saez) gave him a masterful ride.” Winning Jockey Luis Saez (Magnum Moon) – ”I thought there was going to be a little speed. We were in a good position, he broke really sharp. I’m not going to choke him. I am just going to stay there and he was very comfortable into the turn. He was traveling pretty good. When I came to the stretch I felt like he was looking at the gate marks so when we got there I touched him a little and he went. We will see what happens.” Trainer Rodolphe Brisset (Quip, second) – “I guess that's just the way the race set up (when asked if he expected Magnum Moon to be on the lead). We could have tried to go on the lead. I think Florent (Geroux) did the right thing.” Jockey Florent Geroux (Quip, second) –”We had a good trip. He always breaks sharp and is always forwardly placed. When Luis (Saez on Magnum Moon) smooched to his horse, I knew he wanted the lead. I let my horse settle and he did very nicely. My horse ran hard. Solomini is a nice horse too. I’m very satisfied with his race.” Racing Manager Justin Zayat (Zayat Stables LLC. co-owner of Solomini) – “He didn’t break as sharply as we would have liked. He was third best today. The winner is a really nice horse. We’ll talk to Bob (Baffert), but I thought it was a good race and now it’s on to Kentucky.” Jockey Flavien Prat (Solomini, third) – ”We broke well and then settled off the pace. He ran a nice one.”

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4.14.2018:

My Boy Jack Wins G3 Lexington; Earns Spot in KY Derby Field

Trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by his brother Kent Desormeaux, My Boy Jack covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.22. Greyvitos led the field of 10 through early fractions of :23.28 and :47.11 while under no pressure as My Boy Jack raced far back in next to last. Approaching the far turn, Telekinesis went after Greyvitos while Desormeaux began picking off horses on the outside. Turning into the short stretch, Telekinesis put away Greyvitos, but was quickly joined by My Boy Jack, who surged past in the final yards. The victory was worth $120,000 and increased My Boy Jack’s earnings to $645,145 with a record of 10-3-3-2. It marked the second Grade 3 victory for My Boy Jack, who took the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park in February. A Keeneland sales graduate, My Boy Jack is a Kentucky-bred son of Creative Cause out of the Mineshaft mare Gold N Shaft. My Boy Jack returned $5, $3.20 and $2.40. Telekinesis, ridden by Javier Castellano, returned $4.60 and $3.40 with Pony Up finishing another 2½ lengths back in third under John Velazquez and paying $3.40 to show. It was another half-length back to Greyvitos, who was followed in order by Seven Trumpets, Zanesville, Honor Up, Navy Armed Guard, Gracida and Arched Feather. Stonestreet Lexington Stakes Quotes Kirk Godby (whose Don’t Tell My Wife Stables co-owns winner My Boy Jack with Sol Kumin’s Monomoy Stables) On My Boy Jack earning 20 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby to increase his total to 52 and secure a place in the Kentucky Derby “Unbelievable. Everyone knows we came here to get points and he got the job done today. We’re just thrilled. When I saw (jockey) Kent (Desormeaux) bring him out down the backstretch and we were within six or seven lengths, I felt pretty good about it. I was just hoping he had the gas to get home in the short stretch.” Kent Desormeaux (winning rider of My Boy Jack) “He was very, very comfortable in his stride and that was pretty much a repeat of his last start. Fortunately I didn’t grab a hot dog at the quarter pole and that made the difference.” (My Boy Jack closed from the back in the Louisiana Derby-G2 to finish third by three-quarters of a length.). On the effects of his come-from-behind style in the Kentucky Derby “I think it will (suit him) probably even better. We always tend to get a true, honest pace in the Kentucky Derby and I think he’ll enjoy that.” Javier Castellano (rider of runner-up Telekinesis) “My trip was perfect. I was in a beautiful position – it was what I was looking for. I cut the corner and saved a lot of ground. I tried to get the jump, but the other horse (My Boy Jack) came way from the outside. Unfortunately, the other horse has been running more lately. My horse has great potential for only running three times.” Mark Casse (trainer of Telekinesis) “I was very proud of him. He is playing catch-up. This is only his third start, so for him to run as well as he did, I think he is a superstar.” John Velazquez (rider of third-place finisher Pony Up) “The first part he seemed like he was a little bit sluggish. The first eighth of a mile was like, 'Come on, buddy, we need to be a little bit closer here.' Then, geez, the last part he came running. I needed to be a little bit closer the first part. But he ran well.” Joel Rosario (rider of fourth-place finisher Greyvitos) “He broke sharp and it seemed like he had a lot of energy. He looked good the whole way, it just looked like in the last part they ran by me. I kept trying but he got a little tired in the last part.” Robby Albarado (rider of fifth-place finisher Seven Trumpets) “He ran well. It was a nice bunch of horses he ran with out there today, but he’ll catch up to them.”       

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4.9.2018:

Big Bet Sweepstakes Returns; Winner Receives Preakness Trip & $25K Bet

April 9, 2018 (Washington, PA) – Interested in making the bet of a lifetime?  Is a VIP trip to the Preakness Stakes on your horse racing bucket list?  If so, then Xpressbet’s $25K Big Bet Sweepstakes is for you!  For the sixth consecutive year, Xpressbet is rewarding a lucky customer with a trip to the Preakness, as well as the opportunity to make a $25,000 Win bet on the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.  One of Xpressbet’s most popular promotions, the Big Bet Sweepstakes has taken five prior winners to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes, where they’ve enjoyed lavish VIP accommodations while cheering their horse down the stretch at Pimlico.  Two previous winners even parlayed winning the Sweepstakes into a life-changing score, while all five left Baltimore with memories they’ll never forget.  “The Big Bet is not just an opportunity for us to reward one of our customers with a trip and a potentially life-changing bet, but it also allows us to connect a passionate fan with one of our sport’s most prestigious and historic races,” said Xpressbet Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kerry Carlson.  “It gives us a lot of pride to see our winner experience the Preakness and soak up everything that makes it one of the world’s greatest sporting events.”  In addition to the opportunity to make a $25,000 bet, the Grand Prize Package also includes a trip for two to Baltimore for the Preakness, complete with hotel, airfare and tickets on Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan Days.  Fifty Second Prize Winners each receive a $100 Xpressbet wagering voucher.  To play, Xpressbet customers just need to register and bet the races.  Customers receive an entry for every bet they make between April 2 and May 6, 2018, and can earn bonus entries for wagers made on weekdays and on Stronach Group tracks, including Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Laurel, Pimlico and Golden Gate Fields.  For more information and to sign up for an Xpressbet online wagering account, simply visit https://www.xpressbet.com/preakness-stakes-big-bet.  To learn more about the Preakness and to purchase tickets and merchandise, please visit https://www.preakness.com/. About Xpressbet Xpressbet provides legal and secure online wagering services to horseplayers in the United States.  It is the industry’s most comprehensive and user-friendly wagering site, allowing customers to wager on more than 300 of the world’s best racetracks from their computer, phone or mobile device.  Xpressbet operates XB SELECT, the industry’s premier destination for high-volume wagering, and XB Net, which connects bet shops and wagering sites from around the world to North American racing.  Xpressbet is a Stronach Group company, which also owns and operates Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Rosecroft Raceway, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness Stakes.  The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, the award-winning Adena Springs operation, AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and Monarch Content Management, horse racing’s leading simulcast purchase and sales agent.   

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4.9.2018:

2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #4 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #4 (April 6 - 8, 2018): 1. Audible (Pletcher) - 7/1 ($16.60)2. Bolt d'Oro (Ruis) - 9/1 ($21.00) 3. Bravazo (Lukas) - 65/1 ($133.20) 4. Combatant (Asmussen) - 66/1 ($135.60) 5. Enticed (McLaughlin) - 27/1 ($56.80) 6. Flameaway (Casse) - 42/1 ($87.60)  7. Free Drop Billy (Romans) - 47/1 ($96.40) 8. Good Magic (Brown) - 9/1 ($20.60) 9. Gronkowski (J. Noseda) - 61/1 ($124.60) 10. Hofburg (Mott) - 22/1 ($47.80) 11. Instilled Regard (Hollendorfer) - 104/1 ($210.80) 12. Justify (Baffert) - 3/1 ($8.40) 13. Lone Sailor (Amoss) - 78/1 ($159.40) 14. Magnum Moon (Pletcher) - 8/1 ($19.80) 15. Mendelssohn (O'Brien) - 5/1 ($12.60) 16. Mississippi (Casse) - SCRATCHED17. My Boy Jack (Desormeaux) - 27/1 ($57.60) 18. Noble Indy (Pletcher) - 31/1 ($64.60) 19. Promises Fulfilled (Romans) - 98/1 ($198.80) 20. Quip (Brisset) - 31/1 ($64.80) 21. Runaway Ghost (Fincher) - 53/1 ($109.40) 22. Solomini (Baffert) - 25/1 ($53.80) 23. Title Ready (Asmussen) - 285/1 ($573.80) 24. All Other 3YO's - 17/1 ($36.80)   Printer-Friendly Version, with Exacta Will Pays  

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4.9.2018:

Laurel has Record $295K Pick 6 Carryover Friday

LAUREL, MD – A Maryland state record 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot carryover of $295,762.95 will greet bettors when live racing returns to Laurel Park Friday, April 13 with a nine-race program. The popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the 28th consecutive program Sunday, when $129,183 was bet on top of a carryover of $254,426.59 from Saturday’s card. Multiple tickets were sold with all six winners, each worth $304.60. The previous state record for the largest Pick 6 carryover was $275,322, reached heading into closing day of Pimlico Race Course’s spring meet on June 6, 2015. A mandatory payout that day produced multiple returns of $12,518.28. In the Rainbow 6, the carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 60 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 40 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. No single bettor has taken down Laurel’s Rainbow 6 since it was solved for a $5,896.30 payout on Feb. 4. Friday’s Rainbow 6 covers Races 4-9, highlighted by a $35,000 entry-level allowance for Maryland-bred 3-year-olds and up going one mile in Race 7 and a $45,000 second-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up at 5 ½ furlongs in Race 8. There will also be a carryover of $2,404.11 in the $1 Super Hi-5 for Friday’s opener. First race post time is 1:10 p.m. Private Terms Winner V. I. P. Code Working This Weekend for Federico Tesio Everest Stables’ homebred V. I. P. Code, the 36-1 upset winner of the Private Terms Stakes March 17, is scheduled to return to the work tab this weekend ahead of an anticipated start in the $125,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds April 21. The 1 1/16-mile Private Terms was the third win with two seconds and two thirds from nine starts for V. I. P. Code, a Maryland-bred City Zip colt who beat a field that included multiple stakes winners Still Having Fun, the betting favorite, and Whirlin Curlin. All three are among 37 sophomores nominated to the Tesio. V. I. P. Code was third in the Frank Whiteley Jr. Jan. 27 and fifth in the Miracle Wood Feb. 17, the first two of four races in Laurel’s series for 3-year-olds on the way to the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) May 19 at historic Pimlico Race Course. “He’s been doing good. I was really happy to have this time between races instead of running him right back on three weeks’ rest. Like horses at this time of year, he’s growing a lot,” trainer Phil Schoenthal said. “As he gets taller he gets leaner, so you’re trying to keep weight on him. We’ve been kind of backing off him a little bit. He’s eating really good and he’s gaining weight. I’m going to breeze him this coming weekend and then we’ll plan to run on the 21st.” For the third straight year, the 1 1/8-mile Tesio offers Triple Crown-nominated horses such as V. I. P. Code a ‘Win and You’re In’ berth to the Preakness, the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. “I think it’s going to be a good race. I think you’ll probably get most of the horses that were in there the last time to come back, and there’s always going to be one or two new shooters from New York or wherever else. It’s just a good race,” Schoenthal said. “If he were to win I think we are intending on running in the Preakness, which is a once in a lifetime kind of thing for guys like us. You kind of feel like you’re right on the doorstep, you’re in the Elite Eight and one more win will get you to the big dance so there’s a little bit of anticipation and excitement that way that you wouldn’t normally have. “It would be a lot of fun to have a local Maryland-bred horse in the Preakness,” he added. “I’m not going to put the cart before the horse; he’s still got to win and it’s going to be a good race. Let the best horse win and if it’s us, thank God and if not, then God bless the winner and good luck to him. It’s just fun to be a part of it and to have a horse of that caliber.” Notes: Jockey Julien Pimentel rode a pair of winners for the second straight day, finishing first with Springtime Wind ($14.60) in the second race and Big City Blues ($2.40) in the eighth.

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4.7.2018:

Good Magic Cruises to Victory in Keeneland's G2 Blue Grass

E Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables’ champion Good Magic roared past Flameaway in the upper stretch and went on to score a 1½-length victory in the 94th running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) for 3-year-olds before a crowd of 14,269 on a brisk Saturday afternoon. For the day, Keeneland set wagering records for all-sources handle, Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools. Total all-sources handle was $22,634,861, eclipsing the previous record of $21,736,983 set on April 9, 2016. The All-Stakes Pick Four ending in the Toyota Blue Grass did $1,065,002 versus the previous record of $733,800 set on April 8, 2017. The All-Stakes Pick Five handled $899,196, smashing the previous record of $653,827 on April 20, 2013. On Sunday, Keeneland will offer a Pick 6 carryover of $30,688. In the Toyota Blue Grass, Good Magic, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, covered the 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:50.18. It was the first victory in the race for Brown and Ortiz. The victory also gave Good Magic 100 points toward the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) to be run May 5 at Churchill Downs. Good Magic has 134 points toward the Derby, a total that will safely get him in the Derby starting gate that is limited to 20 starters. The victory was worth $600,000 and increased Good Magic’s earnings to $1,855,000 with a record of 5-2-2-1. His other victory came in last fall’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) that earned him the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old of 2017. Purchased for $1 million at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Good Magic is a Kentucky-bred son of Curlin out of the Hard Spun mare Glinda the Good. Longshot Arawak led the field of 14 through early fractions of :23.55 and :47.40, with Flameaway in closest pursuit. Meanwhile, Ortiz had Good Magic racing in the clear in fifth place. As the field reached the far turn, Flameaway took over with Good Magic moving to his immediate outside and Sporting Chance ranging up in third. Good Magic took charge early in the stretch and erased any doubt of the outcome. However, in deep stretch, Sporting Chance veered to the outside under Luis Saez and forced Free Drop Billy and Irad Ortiz Jr. to alter course. Sporting Chance finished three-quarters of a length in front of Free Drop Billy but was disqualified from third to fourth because of interference. The elevation of Free Drop Billy gave him 20 Derby points and 44 overall. Sporting Chance received 10 points to raise his total to 12. Good Magic returned $5.20, $3.60 and $2.80. Flameaway, who has 70 points toward the Derby, returned $5 and $3.80 under Jose Lezcano with Free Drop Billy returning $3.60 to show. Following Sporting Chance in order were Blended Citizen, Kanthaka, Tiz Mischief, Marconi, Zing Zang, California Night, Gotta Go, Machismo, Determinant and Arawak. Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET. Headlining the card are two stakes for 3-year-old fillies, the $200,000 Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association at a mile on the turf and the $150,000 Beaumont (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select contested over the Beard Course of 7 furlongs, 184 feet on the main track. Quotes from the $1 Million Toyota Blue Grass (G2) Chad Brown (winning trainer of 8-5 favorite Good Magic) On the difference between Good Magic’s Toyota Blue Grass victory and his third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) on March 3 in his last start “In hindsight, (heading into the Fountain of Youth) he was probably a couple of works short.  If you want to stay on the (Kentucky) Derby (G1) trail, you have to run when it’s time to get started. This horse came out of that race real well – bigger, stronger and has had some impressive workouts since. We were pretty confident coming into this race. I love the way he did it today. “We’ll get him over to Churchill (Downs) and give him at least one work over the track and hopefully get him out to a mile and a quarter and hopefully he can handle it.” On whether today’s performance resembled Good Magic’s win in the 2017 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) “It did remind me of it. Jose (Ortiz) rides this horse so well, and once again he put him in a position to win the race. I loved where he was all throughout the race – became a matter of is he good enough and fit enough today? “I thought it was an outstanding performance. He was well-placed early and kept steady throughout. Maybe we dock one point where it looked like he jumped a shadow near the wire, but that’s him. He’s going to look around a little bit. I was really happy how he ran today. For only two starts this year, I was hoping to be peaking for the Derby and hopefully we’ll advance another step on Derby Day. Looks like is a very good crop of horses this year and it’s going to be a tough race. “This is our first Blue Grass – we ran second the last two years. Once you get a little taste of that – Keeneland in the spring – you start looking to bring one back next year to win this race. It’s important – I’m so happy to win this race.” On seeing snow on the ground this morning “I was worried. The timing for the Derby – I really don’t’ want to run (Good Magic in a Derby prep) beyond today. As happens in Kentucky, (the weather) can change by the hour. Thankfully it turned out to be a wonderful day. “He seems to love Keeneland. I’m going to think about (his schedule leading to the Derby), talk to my staff about it, talk to my team. Right now, I’m leaning toward leaving him here a couple of weeks, maybe getting his first breeze out of the way here, on a track I know he likes. Then get him over to Churchill – he’ll have at least one work at Churchill.” Jose Ortiz (winning rider) “It was perfect, we had a good trip. We broke really well and everything went really well. The way I planned was to sit back a little bit off the front and everything turned out perfect. I was pretty confident on him because I know he’s a good horse out of the gate. I knew he was going to help me a lot and I was going to have a clear road to the first turn.” On the meaning of winning the Toyota Blue Grass for Chad Brown “It means a lot. I really love Keeneland, I’m going to stay here for the whole meet. I really want to win a title here.” Jose Lezcano (rider of runner-up Flameaway) “I got pressured the whole way around; (Flameaway) never got a breather. And you see, he's very tough. He keeps running and he kept trying. I was happy to see him do well.” Mark Casse (trainer of Flameaway) “He never gave up. He’s just so classy, you’ve got to love him. I got what I asked for. I said I wanted a fight at the top of the lane, and we got one. Unfortunately, we were second-best today. I think Chad (Brown) did a tremendous job. It’s one thing to train a horse to be a champion, and another to train them after they’re champions. We’ve beaten the winner of the Wood (Memorial-G2, Vino Rosso) twice already. I think we can hold our head high. (Flameaway will) be heading home (to Churchill Downs) probably tomorrow.” Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of Free Drop Bill, who finished fourth and was elevated to third following the disqualification of Sporting Chance) “He ran a good race. When I ask him, he goes. I finished fourth, but he ran a good race. He did everything I wanted him to do. I'm pretty happy with him. He'll be all right in the Derby.”  Luis Saez (rider of Sporting Chance, who finished third and was disqualified to fourth) “I thought he was going to win. He was perfect (until) we came to the wire. When I hit him he (veered) out. He did it twice today. I don't know why he does that. He was perfect today up until then.” D. Wayne Lukas (trainer of Sporting Chance) “He has shied twice with Luis with the left-handed stick and I guess he doesn’t like it. He has never given any indication in the morning (training sessions). He is probably the easiest horse in the barn to train. “We needed those 40 points (for second place) to get to the Derby and now we only have 12.” Julien Leparoux (rider of sixth-place finisher Kanthaka) “We had a good trip. He traveled very nice for me. The winner came from the outside of me, and went by pretty early. I just could not keep up with him.” Corey Lanerie (rider of seventh-place finisher Tiz Mischief) “I had a good trip. My horse didn’t show any speed. I was lucky enough to find a path on the rail, but when he got through, he just couldn’t get it done today.”

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4.7.2018:

Vino Rosso Punches Kentucky Derby Ticket by Winning G2 Wood Memorial

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's Vino Rosso got his breakthrough victory on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack, surging from off the pace to outkick Grade 3 Gotham winner Enticed to win the 94th running of the Grade 2, $1 million Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets by three lengths and pick up 100 points, securing a bid in the Kentucky Derby. It was the first stakes victory in three tries for Vino Rosso, who finished a close third in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis and was fourth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, where he added blinkers for the first time and stalked the early pace before dropping back under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Saturday's win also gave trainer Todd Pletcher his fifth in the Wood Memorial. In the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial, Vino Rosso settled in mid-pack through the early going as Gotham runner-up Old Time Revival seized the early lead in the field of nine. Old Time Revival drew off up the backstretch by six lengths or more ahead of Enticed, the 6-5 favorite, and California import Restoring Hope through an opening quarter-mile in 22.96 seconds and a half in 46.68. Vino Rosso, a chestnut colt by Curlin, began his march toward the leaders in the far turn as Old Time Revival relinquished control to Enticed and Restoring Hope after six furlongs in 1:11.44. Turning for home, Restoring Hope backed off slightly, leaving Vino Rosso and Enticed, ridden by Junior Alvarado, to lock horns in heated stretch duel. Vino Rosso shook clear in the final strides to complete the route in 1:49.79. There was a stewards' inquiry and a jockey's objection lodged by Alvarado into the stretch run of the race, but no action was taken. "I got close to him and he was coming out," said Velazquez. "So, I made my horse switch leads and when he switched, I leaned on him a little bit, and then he pushed me out and my horse went right back on him. That's what happened. I got him easy, anyway. He was holding his ground out and I was holding him back in. He was the horse to beat and I wasn't going to give him a chance." Sent off at 4-1, Vino Rosso returned $10.40 for a $2 win wager. Vino Rosso was a $410,000 yearling purchase at the 2016 Keeneland September sale and has bankrolled $620,500 in five career starts, including back-to-back maiden and optional claimer wins last fall. "I was a little worried right at the start, because his hind-end kind of slipped out leaving the gate, and it looked [like] it took him about a hundred yards to get engaged," said Pletcher, who also won the Wood Memorial with Eskendereya (2010), Gemologist (2012), Verrazano (2013), and Outwork (2016). "He was a little farther back than I thought he would be, but when you take the pacesetter out, he really was close to the contenders," he continued. "I felt good about it. I was just hoping he would sustain his momentum around the turn, and he finished up and did great. We're feeling like we're seeing a horse that has that talent, and he's doing well, and we felt like that mile and an eighth is something he's looking for. This is the performance we've been looking for." As part of the official Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, the Wood Memorial awarded Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Enticed an additional 40 qualifying points to bring his total to 103. "We ran very well to finish second, but I thought [the stewards] could have put us up," said McLaughlin. "It was an excellent race, we finished second, and he deserved to win. I'm sure there will be no change [in our plans to continue to the Kentucky Derby]. He ran a great race." Restoring Hope held on for third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Enticed, to earn 20 Derby points. It was another six lengths back to Grade 1 Champagne winner Firenze Fire, who earned an additional 10 points for a total of 39. Heartfullofstars, King Zachary, Evaluator, Old Time Revival, and Catch Twenty Two completed the order of finish.

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4.1.2018:

Audible Captures G1 Xpressbet Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –  Audible roared to a three-length victory in Saturday’s $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1), establishing himself as an imposing candidate for this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) while providing trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez their record fifth wins of Gulfstream Park’s signature race for 3-year-old Triple Crown prospects. Pletcher, who has clinched his 15th consecutive training title at Gulfstream’s Championship Meet, saddled Always Dreaming for a five-length triumph in the 2017 Florida Derby before coming right back to score in the Kentucky Derby five weeks later.           Owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains 2018, Audible entered the 1 1/8-mile centerpiece of Saturday’s 14-race program (five graded stakes) off a 5 ½-length romp in the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream in his 2018 debut Feb. 3. “Everyone at the end of the day is only going to remember the Kentucky Derby winner as the most important horse now, but the one thing that I’ve seen over the years, and we’ve been fortunate to win a lot of the prep races and two Derbys now, I think the excitement level for the owners is that this is what really drives them, this is what motivates them, this is what excites them,” said Pletcher, who also won the Kentucky Derby with Super Saver (2010). “These are the races they want to win. To get to Churchill I think is kind of everyone’s ultimate goal or ultimate dream.” Audible picked up 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby to easily earn his way into the field for the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. “It was similar to what we did with Always Dreaming last year. We knew we had to perform well in the Florida Derby or we weren’t going to accumulate enough points to get in, but we also all felt like if you don’t run well in your final prep then you’re probably not going to Churchill anyway,” Pletcher said. “The most important thing is we thought he ran a huge race in the Holy Bull, we didn’t feel that there was a benefit to running him back in between, that we could hopefully take another step forward by giving him some space between those races and the fact that the Florida Derby is a Grade 1 is super-important to a stallion like he’s going to be.” Pletcher-trained duo of Noble Indy, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner, and Magnum Moon, who captured the Rebel (G3) at Oaklawn, have also picked up enough qualifying points to run in the Kentucky Derby. “We’re fortunate to have the ones that we do but the next one is super tough,” said Pletcher, who won the Florida Derby with Materiality (2015), Constitution (2014) and Scat Daddy (2007), as well as Audible and Always Dreaming. “It looks like a really deep crop and some very impressive horses so the main thing you’ve just go to hope you have a good five weeks from here and everybody stay healthy and handle the surface there.” Audible sat several lengths behind a torrid early pace contested by Swale (G3) winner Strike Power and Fountain of Youth victor Promises Fulfilled, who battled around the first turn before the former took the lead leaving the turn into the backstretch and was clocked in 21.95 (seconds) for the first quarter of a mile under Robby Albarado.  Promises Fulfilled continued to lead the way past a half-mile in 46.37 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.68 before weakening on the far turn. Mississippi, who had settled in third on the backstretch, briefly took the lead leaving the turn into the homestretch, only to be swallowed up by Audible, who made a wide sweeping move on the turn after steadily advancing on the backstretch under jockey John Velazquez. Audible drew away under mild pressure to a comfortable victory, while Hofburg and jockey Jose Ortiz closed well to finish second, 7 ¾ lengths ahead of Mississippi and jockey Julien Leparoux. Catholic Boy finished fourth, another 1 ½ lengths back, while Promises Fulfilled and Strike Power finished last and next-to-last, respectively, in the nine-horse field. “The race unfolded with the pace that we were hoping for and we wanted to get some position into the first turn, which he was able to do beautifully. Just watching the race I was a little concerned at the five-eighths pole because he started to drop back a little bit, but I could tell Johnny wasn’t panicked,” Pletcher said. “He kind of grabbed him up and sometime midway down the backstretch he started to pick up horses and I started to feel better and better. You could tell the pace up front had developed pretty swiftly so you felt like those horses were going to start to come back at some stage.” New York-bred Audible ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.48 to win his fourth consecutive race after finishing third in his debut at Belmont in September. “Once he got to the horses on the lead I just tried to keep him busy down the lane and he kicked pretty good. I didn’t ride him last time but he way he ran today he was definitely impressive. [The distance] didn’t seem to bother him at all. I think the farther he goes the better he gets,” said Velazquez, who picked up the mount when Javier Castellano opted to ride in the Dubai World Cup aboard West Coast, who finished second behind Thunder Snow. The Florida Derby has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown events, including 24 Kentucky Derby champions. Three of the last five Kentucky Derby winners – Always Dreaming, Nyquist (2016) and Orb (2013) -- also won the Florida Derby. Hofburg picked up 50 qualifying points to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby field with his second-place finish in his Grade 1 debut after breaking his maiden at Gulfstream March 3 in his second lifetime start. “I think we’re all pleased.  Naturally, winning would have been the only thing that would have been better, but he ran well and he galloped out well.  He took a lot of dirt and was very professional.  He was much more seasoned today and did everything right.  He was the perfect gentleman and just much better behaved today” Mott said. “We’ve got to think about (the Kentucky Derby) he ran well enough and galloped out good enough that we’ve got to take everything into consideration but we’re not going to rule anything out at this point.”  Although Promises Fulfilled brought up the rear in the Florida Derby, the son of Shackleford could well show up in the Kentucky Derby. “You live by the sword, you die by the sword,” trainer Dale Romans said. “We went wire to wire last time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t regroup and go back in the Derby.”

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3.30.2018:

Download our FREE Xpressbet Florida Derby Wager Guide

It's finally here - our FREE 2018 Xpressbet Florida Derby Wager Guide!  Download it today to access expert handicapping advice, insights, picks and wagering strategies for Gulfstream Park's Xpressbet Florida Derby card on Saturday, March 31.  This year’s team of Wager Guide experts features seven horseplayers with decades of experience handicapping and betting the races:  Eddie Olczyk, NBC Sports Jeff Siegel, XBTV Aaron Vercruysse, XBTV Anthony Stabile, Xpressbet Radio on HRRN Stan Salter, Maryland Horse Radio Jeremy Plonk, Xpressbet Johnny D, Xpressbet Dustin Fabian, Xpressbet The Guide features invaluable Stats and Trends for each race, as well as picks and insights for every stakes race on the card.  Plus, get expert thoughts on the Dubai World Cup and Gulfstream's Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout.  Ready to download?  Here’s how: Have an Xpressbet Account?Simply log in to your account and click the banner to download your Wager Guide.  Don’t Have an Xpressbet Account? Visit https://www.xpressbet.com/florida-derby-picks and sign up for a free Xpressbet Trial Account to access the Guide.  Xpressbet Trial Accounts don’t require a SSN or phone number and are the best way to ‘test drive’ Xpressbet before signing up for a full account.  Or, sign up for a Full Xpressbet account to bet the Pegasus World Cup and receive a $500, $100 or $20 Sign Up Bonus.  Visit Xpressbet.com to learn more.  

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3.30.2018:

Dubai World Cup Night Picks

Finally the Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan on Saturday is upon us and each of the nice races are of tremendous interest. The international challengers have arrived and have all been seen at morning trackwork and, added to the mix, are some top quality domestic horses who springboard from a Carnival that can be rated as the best we have seen for a number of years.  The dirt track here poses a difficult conundrum for punters. There has been a strong inside rail advantage for the last few weeks and it has been hard for closers to get to those who can secure the rail. It would be dangerous to assume, however, that the advantage will be the same on World Cup night. For a start such things are a movable feast and secondly Bob Baffert gave his opinion earlier this week that the track had been fluffed up, which may mitigate what has been happening on the dirt track of late. The opening Godolphin Mile will be crucial in discovering how the dirt track will ride. I have six fancies on the night, which will hopefully help us to turn £20 into a profit.  Race 1 (7:45AM ET) - Godolphin Mile (Gr 2; $1 Million) - #9 Heavy Metal (GB) (2/1) Heavy Metal has already had a fabulous season at Meydan for the now-banned Salem Bin Ghadayer and he can cap it all off with a win in the Godolphin Mile for new trainer Sandeep Jadhav, Bin Ghadyer’s former assistant. One thing is for sure, this horse will lead early on, despite his draw in gate nine, and if the rail is the place to be he will take plenty of catching. Ryan Moore needs to send him early on and get the lead as was the case when Mickael Barzalona won on him last time out. He is a tremendously fast horse, who is ideally suited by a one-turn mile and this track really suits him. Given his early pace he will be clinging on in the closing stages but I think he will take enough petrol out of his rivals early on to negate their finishing efforts. Race 3 (8:50AM ET) - Dubai Gold Cup (Gr 2; $1 Million) - #5 Vazirabad (FR) (2/1) Vazirabad can win the Dubai Gold Cup for the third year in a row. The race this year is full of early pace and that will suit this hold up performer. He was beaten in his prep run for this in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy by Godolphin’s Rare Rhythm and with that horse in the field again we are set for a tremendous clash between two classy stayers. The doubt about Rare Rhythm confirming the form is the fact that he is unproven at two miles and he did rather ambush Vazirabad last time out, with Christophe Soumillon getting caught somewhat unaware of what was happening wide out on the track. Soumillon will be on his guard this time and Vazirabad should be sharper for that run. He can become the first thoroughbred to win a World Cup race three times. Race 5 (10:05AM ET) - Al Quoz Sprint (Gr 1; $1 Million) - #9 Conquest Tsunami (15/1) Conquest Tsunami is a fascinating runner in the Al Quoz Sprint. He is trained by California sprint guru Peter Miller and it would be fair to say this horse has improved a good deal for the switch to Miller from Mark Casse. Since making the move he has won two out of two for his new trainer at Santa Anita, progressing from claiming company to Graded stakes. This is a deep race and Blue Point has an obvious chance, but he is a short price but it is worth opposing him with this fast improving American sprinter. Race 7 (11:35AM ET) - Dubai Turf (Gr 1; $6 Million) - #5 Benbatl (GB) (7/2) Benbatl can win the Dubai Turf. His two wins at the Dubai World Cup Carnival this year marked him out as a classy performer and he showed that his win in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last season was no fluke. His time figure at Ascot was that of a Group One horse, as were his closing sectionals when he thrashed Bay Of Poets in the Al Rashidiya last month. He should be three from three at the Carnival, but he endured a wide trip from gate 10 of 11 last time out in the Group One Jebel Hatta, when he made a big move on the bend under James Doyle and he eventually paid for that and flattened out. He can bounce back here from a decent draw in five.  Race 8 (12:10PM ET) - Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (Gr 1; $6 Million) - #7 Hawkbill (8/1) Hawkbill is about 8/