Log In

XB Today

7.2.2020:

Monday, July 6: $447,361 Assiniboia Downs Mandatory Payout

WINNIPEG, July 2, 2020 – The $447,361.22 carryover for the Assiniboia Downs Jackpot Pick 5 pool will be paid out on Monday, July 6.  “The stage is set now for the mandatory payout event,” said Darren Dunn, CEO.  “Assiniboia Downs has the highest carryover for any pool in North America right now and we are paying it all out on Monday.” The single winner Jackpot Pick 5 pool has not been won after 18 consecutive racing programs and it is scheduled for a mandatory payout day. A mandatory payout day requires that the entire jackpot and the current day’s pool must be paid out to the winners that day. These events draw substantially more wagering as everyone is trying to win their share of the jackpot bonus.  “Players have been chasing the jackpot for weeks now and have been eager to claim a share of that carryover,” said Dunn.  “They know the wagering will be huge on that day, which just adds to the excitement.  This will most likely be a record setting day.” Estimations for the pool size vary widely but it could possibly exceed $1,000,000 for that one pool.  The Jackpot Pick 5 bet requires the selection of the winners of the last 5 races in the program.  The cost of a ticket is only 20 cents. Assiniboia Downs racing product is available throughout North America and it is now being broadcast internationally to places such as Australia and Europe. The Downs also has a Jackpot Hi-5 bet with a carryover now of $63,000. This pool requires the correct selection of the first 5 finishers of the last race of every racing program.  Racing continues every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 15 at 7:30 pm (Central Time).  

Read Article
7.2.2020:

Saturday: July 4: Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont & Delaware

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will team with Delaware Park to host a Cross Country Pick 5 encompassing all graded stakes on Saturday, July 4. The wager will feature the first two legs at Delaware Park and the concluding three at Belmont Park. Live coverage of Saturday's stakes action from Belmont Park will be available with America's Day at the Races on FS1 and MSG+. NBC, which will air live coverage from 5-6 p.m. Eastern, will show the sequence's third leg with the Grade 1, $500,000 Runhappy Metropolitan at 5:47 p.m. Delaware Park will kick off the wager at 4:45 p.m. with the Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks for sophomore fillies going 1 1/16 miles in Race 8. The eight-horse field will be part of a historic Delaware Oaks edition, as the race will offer 50-20-10-5 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Oaks in September at Churchill Downs for the first time. Piece of My Heart, the winner of the Gardenia in May, has been training at Delaware Park and will compete against a field that includes Comical, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. Action will stay at Delaware for Race 9 in the Grade 3, $125,000 Kent for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on turf. Gufo, 5-2 on the morning line, enters with three straight wins. The Christophe Clement trainee made his debut in November at Aqueduct Racetrack and won the English Channel last out in May at Gulfstream Park. Post time is 5:15 p.m. Belmont Park, which offers a total of five graded stakes on Runhappy Met Mile Day, will close out the Independence Day wager by hosting the final three legs, starting with the Runhappy Met Mile in Race 9. An eight-horse field boasting a combined 20 graded stakes victories will look to capture the Runhappy Met Mile and in the process earn an automatic entry to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in November at Keeneland. The race's 127th edition features Code of Honor, a $2.4-million earner and winner of last year's Grade 1 Runhappy Travers at Saratoga and Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup; and four-time Grade 1-winner McKinzie, who captured last year's Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga and boasts lifetime earnings of over $3.4 million. The penultimate leg of the Cross Country Pick 5 will offer another Grade 1, with the $400,000 Manhattan for 4-year-olds and up going 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf in Race 10 at 6:20 p.m. Seven-time winner Sadler's Joy will be making his third career start in the Manhattan, coming tantalizingly close to a win for trainer Tom Albertrani by finishing a neck behind Spring Quality as part of a blanket finish in 2018. The year prior, the son of Kitten's Joy ran third, 1 ½-lengths back to winner Ascend. Sadler's Joy ended his 2019 year with a two-length win in the Grade 3 Red Smith in November at Aqueduct Racetrack and started his 7-year-old campaign against top-tier competition, running sixth in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf in January at Gulfstream Park. Two-time Grade 1-winner Channel Maker will return to the site of his most recent win, when he bested Arklow by a neck to win the Grade 1 Man o'War in May 2019. Trainer Chad Brown has won the Manhattan four of the last six runnings and entered a troika of contenders for his bid to repeat after Bricks and Mortar's triumph last year. This year, he will saddle Instilled Regard, Devamani and Rockemperor. Closing out the sequence will be the Grade 2, $200,000 Suburban in Race 11 at 6:51 p.m.  The 1 1/4-mile test on Big Sandy, will feature the one-two-three finishers of last year's Grade 1 Belmont Stakes as Sir Winston, Tacitus and Joevia rematch in the 134th edition of the 10-furlong Suburban. Sir Winston, who won the 2019 Belmont Stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, made his belated return on June 11 on a sloppy Belmont strip in the 1 3/8-mile Flat Out, running second by 5 ¼-lengths to Suburban rival Moretti. Tacitus will make his third start of the season and first since running fourth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on May 2. Joevia was fourth last out in the Grade 3 Westchester off a three-month layoff. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool. Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, July 4: Leg 1 - Delaware Park, Race 8: Grade 3 Delaware Oaks (4:45 p.m.)Leg 2 - Delaware Park, Race 9: Grade 3 Kent (5:15 p.m.)Leg 3 - Belmont, Race 9: Grade 1 Runhappy Met Mile (5:47 p.m.)Leg 4 - Belmont, Race 10: Grade 1 Manhattan (6:20 p.m.)Leg 5 - Belmont, Race 11: Grade 2 Suburban (6:51 p.m.)

Read Article
7.1.2020:

McKinzie, Code of Honor Square Off in G1 Metropolitan Handicap

ELMONT, N.Y. - An eight-horse field boasting a combined 20 graded stakes victories, led by Grade 1-winning multimillionaires Code of Honor and McKinzie, make up a talented group assembled for Saturday's 127th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Runhappy Met Mile on July 4 at Belmont Park. The Grade 1 Runhappy Met Mile, open to 3-year-olds and up and offering a berth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in November at Keeneland, headlines a Runhappy Met Mile Day card offering five graded stakes on Independence Day. Also featured is the Grade 1, $400,000 Manhattan for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/4-miles on turf; the Grade 2, $200,000 Suburban, a 10-furlong test for 4-year-olds and upward; the Grade 3, $150,000 Poker, a one-mile turf test for older horses; and the Grade 3, $100,000 Victory Ride, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint for sophomore fillies. Slated as Race 9 at 5:47 p.m. Eastern on Saturday's 11-race card, which offers a first post of 1:15 p.m., the Runhappy Met Mile will feature live on NBC from 5 - 6 p.m. Eastern. An exciting renewal of the Runhappy Met Mile features a showdown between Code of Honor, a $2.4-million earner and winner of last year's Grade 1 Runhappy Travers at Saratoga and Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup; and four-time Grade 1-winner McKinzie, who captured last year's Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga and boasts lifetime earnings of over $3.4 million. Following a winter freshening after a distant seventh in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic in November, the W.S. Farish homebred continued to build on his graded stakes winning form in his 2020 bow when scoring a third overall victory over Big Sandy in the Grade 3 Westchester on June 6. McGaughey said Code of Honor has matured physically and mentally as a 4-year-old. "He just grew up physically in his body and his mind," said McGaughey. "He's gotten more aggressive and he's caught onto what it's all about now. He was still figuring things out last year, especially earlier in the year. Everything he's done this year has been good. "He acts like he's ready to run," continued McGaughey, who teamed up with Farish to win the Met Mile with eventual Champion Older Horse Honor Code in 2015. "He's had plenty of time off over the winter and it seems to have done him some good, so we'll just see what he does." Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the winningest jockey in Met Mile history, seeks a sixth triumph, guiding Code of Honor from post 5. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will be seeking redemption in the Met Mile when he sends four-time Grade 1 winner McKinzie to Big Sandy. Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the 5-year-old son of Street Sense was a troubled second beaten three-quarters of a length to Mitole in last year's running, where he lacked racing room down the stretch, found a hole to the inside of runners and made a late move to complete the exacta. A Met Mile triumph would make McKinzie the first North American-based male to win a Grade 1 race at ages 2, 3, 4 and 5. As a 2-year-old, McKinzie won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity before winning the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby and Grade 1 Malibu as a sophomore. Following last year's Met Mile, McKinzie took the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational at Saratoga, where he defeated multiple Grade 1-winner Yoshida and eventual Champion Older Horse Vino Rosso while registering a career-best 111 Beyer Speed Figure. "I think any time you win a Grade 1 on the east coast it's pretty important, especially at Belmont and Saratoga. It's like hitting a home run in Yankee Stadium, it means something," Baffert said. Bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm, McKinzie arrives at the Met Mile off a victory at his home base in the Grade 2 Triple Bend on June 7 at Santa Anita and has been training forwardly for Baffert at his southern California base. His most recent two works were a five-furlong drill in 59.60 seconds on June 22 and a six-furlong move in 1:12.20 on June 28. "His comeback race was just perfect," Baffert said of the Triple Bend. "We just need to draw well and find some racing luck and good weather. If he brings his A game that's what we're looking for. He's doing really well. He breezed well, we're happy with it." McKinzie holds sentimental value to his connections having been named after the late racetrack executive and close friend Brad McKinzie, who attended college with Baffert at the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program. "It's exciting having such a good horse named after our dear friend Brad McKinzie and his mother is still alive and so it keeps her going," Baffert said. "She loves watching him run and it brings a tear to her eye when he runs. There's a little added pressure when he runs. When you have a nice horse like this it's so enjoying. Like his namesake, the horse has a great personality and when he performs, we're always thinking of Brad." Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who piloted Baffert's Mor Spirit (2017) and Holy Bull (1994) to Runhappy Met Mile triumphs, will return to the irons from post 3. Fresh off the best performance of his career in the Grade 1 Runhappy Carter is Vekoma, who registered a 110 Beyer for the 7 1/4-length victory in the seven-furlong event at Big Sandy. The Runhappy Carter marked the first Grade 1 victory for the George Weaver-trained Candy Ride chestnut colt, following a successful seasonal bow in the Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream Park. Also a graded stakes winner at ages 2 and 3, Vekoma won the 2018 Grade 3 Nashua at Aqueduct following a win on debut and took the 2019 Grade 2 Blue Grass last April at Keeneland en route to a 12th-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. Owned by R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stable, Vekoma was bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stable and is out of the Speightstown broodmare Mona de Momma, who also was a Grade 1-winner going seven furlongs. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano piloted subsequent champions Ghostzapper (2004) and Honor Code (2015) to Met Mile triumphs and seeks his third victory in the race aboard Vekoma from post 2. Bakster Farm's Mr Freeze has come close to Grade 1 success in the past but will try to secure his first victory at such caliber for trainer Dale Romans, who trained 2012 Met Mile champ Shackleford. The 5-year-old chestnut son of To Honor and Serve, bred in Kentucky by Siena Farms, finished third in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap in November at Churchill Downs and third in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational in January at Gulfstream Park. Mr Freeze notched two of his three graded stakes wins going the one-turn mile when taking the Grade 3 Ack Ack on September 28 at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile two starts back on February 29. Jockey Manny Franco will guide Mr Freeze from post 7. No stranger to Grade 1 success at Belmont Park, Hog Creek Hustle will attempt to find the winner's circle for the first time since an 18-1 triumph in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens last June over Big Sandy. Trained by Vickie Foley, the Something Special Racing-owned 4-year-old son of Overanalyze has maintained a consistent record since then having placed in four of his seven starts since striking Grade 1 gold. Hog Creek Hustle will leave from post 4 under jockey Jose Ortiz. Trainer Brad Cox will attempt to win his first Met Mile when he saddles the frontrunning Warrior's Charge, who arrives off a second-place finish to By My Standards in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on May 2. Owned by Ten Strike Racing in partnership with Sol Kumin and Jason Monteleone's Madaket Stables, Warrior's Charge led at every point of call in his only graded stakes victory two starts back in the Grade 3 Razorback on February 17 at Oaklawn Park. In nine career starts, the dark bay son of Munnings has only finished off the board once when running a game fourth to War of Will in last year's Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, which came after a maiden special weight and optional claiming victories at Oaklawn Park by open lengths. Leaving from post 8, Warrior's Charge will receive the riding services of jockey Florent Geroux. No horse since 1983 winner Star Choice has won the Met Mile without having already won a graded stakes race, but Network Effect will step up to the task for four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown. The three-time graded stakes placed son of Mark Valeski was a distant second to Vekoma in the Grade 2 Carter last out. Owned by Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables, Network Effect has only been worse than second once in eight starts, which was a distant eighth in last year's Grade 1 Cigar Mile. Second in the Grade 3 Nashua and Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct as a juvenile, Network Effect defeated winners in November going the one-turn mile at the Big A three starts before becoming a stakes winner against fellow Florida-breds in the Big Drama at Gulfstream Park. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be aboard Network Effect from the inside post. Godolphin homebred Endorsed, a 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro colt trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, earned a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure last out in a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Westchester. Out of 2012 Grade 1 Gazelle winner Dance Card, Endorsed boasts a record of four wins and two seconds from nine starts. He will be searching for his first career stakes win when leaving post 6 under Joel Rosario. The Runhappy Met Mile has developed the reputation of being an important breeding-value enhancer potential stallion prospects. Many recent winners of the event have gone on to become Grade 1 and/or champion-producing sires such as Honor Code (2015), Palace Malice (2014), Shackleford (2012), Quality Road (2010), Divine Park (2008) and Ghostzapper (2005). During its earlier years, the Runhappy Met Mile was championed by all-time greats such as Equipoise (1932-33), Gallorette (1946), Stymie (1947-48), Tom Fool (1953), Native Dancer (1954), Kelso (1961), Carry Back (1962), Buckpasser (1967) and Forego (1976-77).

Read Article
6.25.2020:

Saturday, June 27: Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont, Churchill & Thistledown

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will partner with Churchill Downs and Thistledown to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, June 27.  The wager, featuring all graded stakes races across the three tracks, will have live coverage of all the races in the sequence available with America's Day at the Races on Fox Sports and MSG+. Thistledown, located in North Randall, Ohio, will kick off the sequence with the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby. The Buckeye State's premier race will be a Kentucky Derby prep race for the first time with the "Run for the Roses" being moved to September due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Carded as Race 8 at 4:22 p.m. Eastern, the Ohio Derby will award 20-8-4-2 qualifying points to the top-four finishers. Among the contenders is Storm the Court, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November who is winless in three starts this year, though he did finish third in the Grade 2 San Felipe in March at Santa Anita. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will enter a pair of contenders in Rowdy Yates and Code Runner, who ran eighth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby before defeating allowance company earlier this month at Lone Star. Action will shift to Belmont Park for the second leg, with the Grade 2, $150,000 True North for 4-year-olds and up in Race 9 at 5:36 p.m. Grade 1-winner Promises Fulfilled returns off a more than eight month layoff as part of an eight-horse field that also includes Yorkton, a multiple graded-stakes winner on synthetic, who is seeking his first win on the main track. For the Pick 5's third race, Churchill will take its star turn with the Grade 2, $500,000 Stephen Foster in Race 10 at 5:47 p.m. A "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Keeneland, the Stephen Foster, for 4-year-olds and up contesting at 1 1/8 miles, will see Tom's d'Etat, a winner of three straight, including the Grade 1 Clark in November over the same track, breaking from post 5 for trainer Al Stall, Jr. Other contenders include By My Standards, the winner of the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic and the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, and Owendale, the winner of the Blame at Churchill on May 23. Belmont will host the fourth leg with the Grade 1, $250,000 Just a Game for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up going one mile on the Widener turf in Race 10 at 6:08 p.m. Trainer Chad Brown, seeking his fourth straight win in the race, will saddle three of the seven contenders, including the top-two morning line selections in 7-5 Uni and 8-5 Newspaperofrecord, along with Regal Glory [10-1]. Defending Champion Turf Mare Uni will make her 2020 debut in the Just a Game, having not raced since taking last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita, where she became the sixth female to score a win in the race. Newspaperofrecord arrives off a win Grade 3 Intercontinental on June 6 over the Widener turf. Other contenders include Got Stormy, Beau Recall, Valedictorian and Zofelle. Closing out the sequence will be the Grade 3, $100,000 Regret at Churchill in Race 11 at 6:20 p.m. Two-time stakes-winning filly Micheline will be in search of her first graded stakes victory as part of a 13-horse field. Harvey's Lil Goil, winner of the Busanda in February at Aqueduct Racetrack, drew post 10. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool. Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, June 27: Leg 1 - Thistledown, Race 8: Grade 3 Ohio Derby (4:22 p.m.)Leg 2 - Belmont, Race 9: Grade 2 True North (5:36 p.m.)Leg 3 - Churchill, Race 10: Grade 2 Stephen Foster (5:47 p.m.)Leg 4 - Belmont, Race 10: Grade 1 Just a Game (6:08 p.m.)Leg 5 - Churchill, Race 11: Grade 3 Regret (6:20 p.m.)

Read Article
6.25.2020:

Charles Town has Mandatory Pick 6 Payout on Saturday, June 27

This Saturday, June 27, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is pleased to offer a mandatory payout of the Charles Town 6-12 carryover which currently stands at $140,718 with only two cards remaining before the weekend.  The Charles Town 6-12 is a jackpot style Pick 6 covering the final six races on each Charles Town card and carries a low 12-percent takeout. Due to the low takeout and size of the carryover, should the Charles Town 6-12 not be hit prior to the weekend, the wager stands a good chance of paying out more to Saturday’s players than is bet into the pool as the last three forced payouts have seen a resulting players advantage of 8%, 3% and 13% respectively.  Live racing at Charles Town will take place Thursday through Saturday this week with each program kicking off at 7:00 P.M. EST.  

Read Article
6.21.2020:

Tiz the Law Dominates 152nd Belmont Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - The traditional playing of "New York, New York" is a hallmark of the prelude to the Belmont Stakes. Frank Sinatra's refrain resonated strongly on Saturday, as Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law overtook Tap It to Win coming out of the turn and drew away for a 3 ¾-length triumph in the 152nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, becoming the first state-bred in 138 years to win the American Classic. Tiz the Law became just the fourth New York-bred and first since Forester in 1882 to earn a trip to the Belmont Stakes winner circle. The Constitution colt already has registered three Grade 1 victories, adding scores in the Champagne as a juvenile and a last-out win in the Florida Derby in March at Gulfstream Park and now has five wins in six career starts and is 3-for-3 as a sophomore. To garner the traditional carnation blanket, Tiz the Law, the 4-5 mutuel favorite, broke well under jockey Manny Franco and settled in third position as Tap It to Win led the 10-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 23.11 seconds and the half in 46.16 over the fast main track. Franco tipped out his charge slightly entering the turn, putting Tiz the Law in prime position to overtake Tap It to Win to his outside at the top of the stretch. Tiz the Law took over from there and pressed strong to the wire, completing the one-turn 1 1/8-mile course in a final time of 1:46.53. "It looked to me like everything just went like clockwork," said winning trainer Barclay Tagg. "That's the way the horse likes to run and that's the position the horse likes to be in. Manny knows the horse very well. We discussed it quickly before I put him up on the horse and I felt very confident Manny would ride him that way. I felt pretty solid about halfway down the lane. It's a good feeling." The Belmont Stakes - being contested as the Tripe Crown's first leg for the first time in history and run at a distance other than 1 ½ miles for the first time since 1925 - offered 150-60-30-15 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby, slated for September 5 at Churchill Downs. It was held without spectators. The ageless Tagg said he will consider Tiz the Law for the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers on August 8 at Saratoga Race Course to facilitate what he hopes is a run in the re-ordered Triple Crown series, with the Derby scheduled for the following month and concluding with the Preakness on October 3 at Pimlico. "The long-range plan would be the Travers, the Derby and then the Preakness. After that, they'll probably want me to take him to the Breeders' Cup," Tagg said. For Tagg, the Belmont Stakes was the only remaining Classic that eluded him. He teamed with Sackatoga Stable in 2003 to campaign Funny Cide, who won that year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness before running third in that year's Belmont. Now, the veteran conditioner can claim a career Triple Crown, adding another milestone to an illustrious career that saw him train his first winner in 1972. "For a lot longer before that I was hoping to win the Belmont," Tagg said. "Funny Cide got us close anyway and we topped it off with Tiz the Law here today." Franco, NYRA's leading rider the last two years, ensured Saturday was a memorable day for him. The 25-year-old won his first career Triple Crown race and has piloted Tiz the Law to all four of his graded stakes victories, including three in a row starting with the Grade 3 Holy Bully in February at Gulfstream Park. "I was pretty confident by the time we hit the seven-eighths pole. He was so kind and relaxed for me," Franco said. "He was so comfortable and never got keen, so I think that was the key. "I'm not going to lie I was little bit nervous [in the gate], but at the same time I was confident because I know what I have under me. Like I said, I'm in good hands with Barclay," he added. Tiz the Law, bred in the Empire State by Twin Creeks Farm, returned $3.60 on a $2 win wager, increasing his career earnings to more than $1.5 million. A $110,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred sale in Saratoga, he also improved to 5-for-5 on fast tracks, with his only non-winning effort coming with a third-place effort in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November on a sloppy and sealed Churchill Downs track that capped his 2-year-old year. "It's tremendous [to win the Belmont with a New York-bred]," said Jack Knowlton, Sackatoga Stable's operations manager. "We've been with Barclay Tagg for 25 years and I keep telling everybody, Barclay doesn't get a lot of big horses, big opportunities, but when he does he knows what to do. He's got his and Sackatoga's got theirs. Triple Crown, two different horses, two different years [Funny Cide, 2003], and not a lot of people can say that."Dr Post, trained by three-time Belmont winner Todd Pletcher, bested Max Player by 1 ½ lengths for second in his graded stakes debut. "He ran great. No excuse," said Dr Post jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. "He got beat by a good horse too. The winner is a nice horse, New York-bred and he ran great. My horse is improving. He's only had three races [going into the Belmont]. He just needs a little more time to figure things out." Linda Rice, whose Max Player bid to make her the first female to win a Triple Crown race, was 2 ½ lengths the best of Pneumatic for third, marking the fourth time in as many career starts he finished on the board. "He got shuffled back a little after the break and had a wide trip through the turn, but he was still running on at the end of it," Rice said. "He hasn't run in five months, so it was a pretty good effort." Tap It to Win, Sole Volante, Modernist, Farmington Road, Fore Left and Jungle Runner completed the order of finish.

Read Article
6.20.2020:

Gamine Records Fastest-Ever G1 Acorn Time in 18 3/4-Length Romp

ELMONT, N.Y. - Michael Lund Petersen's Gamine took social distancing directives to heart, ensuring none of her six competitors would get anywhere close in the stretch en route to an 18 ¾-length domination of the Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Acorn for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday at Belmont Park. Two-time Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert is used to Belmont Stakes Day providing special moments. Though the Hall of Fame conditioner does not have an entry in this year's American Classic, he added another race-for-the-ages moment to his resume, as Gamine led the seven-horse field wire-to-wire, completing the course in 1:32.55 that was the fastest of the 90 editions of the Acorn and just off Najran's track record of 1:32.24 set in May 2003. The Into Mischief filly earned 50 qualifying points to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in September at Churchill Downs, as the Acorn awarded a 50-20-10-5 point structure to the top-four finishers. Under Hall of Fame John Velazquez, Gamine broke well from the inside post and set fractions of 22.48 seconds for the opening-quarter mile and the half in 45.28 with Lucrezia in close pursuit. Out of the turn, Gamine quickly drew away and went the final quarter-mile in 23.22 seconds to cap a highly impressive stakes debut. She improved to 3-for-3 after starting her career with a 6 ¼-length score in March at Santa Anita and winning at 1 1/16 miles in May at Oaklawn Park. "It was an amazing race out of her," Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes said. "Especially coming into a Grade 1 and for it being only her third start.  Johnny rode her right to the way we told him to go. We told him to take advantage of her position and he certainly did. "I wanted to see her run the one turn just because of the way she runs," he added. "Two turns, one turn, she can handle either one. We'll go home, give her a little time and see what's next for her. I can imagine something at Saratoga." Off as the 3-5 favorite, she returned $3.40 on a $2 win wager while improving her career bankroll to $234,000. "She was very good. Nice ride. She did everything I wanted her to do," said Velazquez, whose fifth win in the Acorn tied fellow Hall of Famer Mike Smith for most in the race among jockeys. "She's a little bit on the aggressive side, but I let her relax around the backstretch. Once we got to the five-sixteenths pole I let her run. By the quarter-pole she opened up so quickly I had to look back. She's very nice and professional. I wish they were all that easy." Gamine came into her sophomore campaign high expectations, being purchased for $1.8 million at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic 2-year-old sale. She has lived up to that billing so far, unblemished competing at three different on three different tracks. "Bob does a great job at this," Barnes said. "He buys a very good horse and it makes it a lot easier to get the job done like this. Pleasant Orb, trained by Barclay Tagg, the conditioner of Belmont Stakes morning-line favorite Tiz the Law, earned blacktype for a second consecutive stakes appearance, edging Water White by a half-length for second, earning 20 Kentucky Oaks points. "I'm very pleased with the way she ran," said Pleasant Orb jockey Manny Franco. "The winner was very classy. She can run." Water White, who netted 10 Oaks points, has finished on the board in her last three starts, all against stakes company. "She tried hard. It was a very tough field. We're happy to be Grade 1-placed," Water White trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. Lucrezia finished fourth, garnering five Kentucky Oaks points. Perfect Alibi, Casual and Glass Ceiling completed the order of finish.

Read Article
6.20.2020:

Oleksandra Rallies to Win G1 Jaipur Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - Serving as a prelude to the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes one race later, the Grade 1, $250,000 Jaipur presented by America's Best Racing provided plenty of excitement in advance of the first American classic run this year, with the 6-year-old mare Oleksandra storming down the stretch of Belmont's inner turf course to edge a dead-game Kanthaka in a thrilling finish. Oleksandra's victory in the 'Win and You're In' Jaipur, run at six furlongs for older horses, will assure her an all-expenses paid trip to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in November at Keeneland. The lone mare in a field of eight turf sprinters, Oleksandra was off slowly under Joel Rosario and, as is her typical style, was content to sit at the back of the pack. The talented Hidden Scroll broke sharply and went immediately to the front but was joined in short order by speedball Pure Sensation, who was off a step slow but still flashed his customary early zip in his 9-year-old debut. The leading duo battled through taxing splits of 21.33 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 43.62 for the half with Stubbins and Texas Wedge assuming a stalking position in third and fourth, respectively. Oleksandra, meanwhile, was a dozen lengths off the frontrunners down the backstretch and continued to trail the field around the turn. As the octet of turf sprinters entered the stretch, Stubbins was the first to take aim at the pacesetters, which in turn set off a chain reaction of horses inheriting the lead only to relinquish it a short while later. Texas Wedge was next in line, grabbing the bull by the horns at the top of the stretch, but he was confronted shortly thereafter by Kanthaka, and the two proceeded to duel head-and-head at the eighth pole. Kanthaka, who was making his first start in more than a year in the Jaipur, put away Texas Wedge inside the sixteenth pole and looked home free, but he was the last domino to fall as Oleksandra and Rosario came with a relentless rally to get up to win by a neck in the shadow of the wire. "Coming out the gate, the horse to the inside [Kanthaka] got me a little bit," said Rosario. "I just let her be there, which she likes to do. She put up a great performance and did well in the end. She's an amazing horse. I'm very grateful that the connections have given me the opportunity to ride her. "The fast pace was probably why I was further back, but she came with a great run in the end," he added. "We do well together. You just need to understand her and what she wants to do during the race." Trained by Neil Drysdale for Team Valor International, Oleksandra completed the distance in 1:06.80, just milliseconds off the track record of 1:06.74. The win was her first Grade 1 victory and also upheld her unbeaten streak over the Belmont turf, which now stands at three. She picked up the winner's share of the purse of $137,500, which increased her lifetime earnings to $537,353, and returned $6.50 to win as the tepid 2-1 favorite. "She had been training really well into this race," said Drysdale. "She is so much fun to watch race. She makes life very exciting. At Santa Anita, going five and a half furlongs, it's very difficult to run down speed. We were pleased with the way she ran and that's why we sent her to Belmont." West Point Thoroughbreds' Kanthaka ran a gallant race in defeat to finish second, 1 ¼ lengths in front of Texas Wedge, who was three-quarters of a length ahead of Stubbins. White Flag, Lonhtwist, Pure Sensation and Hidden Scroll completed the order of finish. "I think my horse got a good trip and ran very good," said Jose Ortiz, jockey aboard Kanthaka. "The winner was very impressive. I knew she was going to come sooner or later, but I thought I had her. My horse never stopped running. We were just unlucky to be second-best. I don't think we have any excuses." As for Oleksandra's next assignment, Drysdale couldn't say; one thing he does know for certain, however, is where she'll make her 2020 swan song. "We'll have to discuss [her next move] with Mr. Barry Irwin. Obviously, her final call of the year would be the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland, and she's won there before," said the trainer.  

Read Article
6.20.2020:

No Parole Sprints to Front-Running Score in G1 Woody Stephens

ELMONT, N.Y. - Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin's No Parole took no prisoners and remained undefeated in sprints, breaking sharply from the inside post and leading at every point-of-call before surging home to a 3 3/4-length victory in the seven-furlong Grade 1, $250,000 Woody Stephens presented by Claiborne Farm at Belmont Park. The first of six graded stakes on a loaded Belmont Stakes Day card - and one of four Grade 1s - the 36th running of the Woody Stephens for 3-year-olds saw No Parole shoot out of the gate under jockey Luis Saez, leading the five-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.31 seconds, the half in 45.01 and three-quarters in 1:08.62 on a fast main track. No Parole stayed to the inside out of the turn and drew away from the competition, besting runner-up Echo Town and posting a final time of 1:21.42 in the gate-to-wire win for his second straight victory. The Violence colt improved to 4-for-4 in sprints and won for the fifth time in six starts overall. "He did it perfect. [Speed] was the game plan," Saez said. "You always want to slow the pace as much as you can, and today they gave me the opportunity, so we took it. I think it worked pretty good. "He came out of the gate perfect and he put me in a perfect spot," he added. "We came to the half-mile and I had a lot of horse. When we hit the stretch, he took off. I was sitting chilly and I knew I had a lot of horse. When everyone got close to him [turning for home], he took off again." Bred in Louisiana by Coteau Grove Farms, No Parole started his career with three straight wins, following a pair of six-furlong triumphs with a 6 1/2-furlong victory in the one-mile Premier Night Prince in February at Delta Downs. Amoss stretched him out to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 2 Rebel in March, where he finished eighth, before cutting him back to six furlongs next out, where he topped allowance company on April 24 at Oaklawn Park. Amoss said No Parole has found a comfort level in one-turn races and said he was already thinking about a potential Breeders' Cup spot in November at Keeneland. "I think No Parole's game is his speed," Amoss said. "He's shown that in all his races. To be able to draw the inside and take advantage of that with a good rider like Saez, everything played out as we hoped. "No Parole is a one-turn horse for sure," he added. "We'll get together with the ownership and we'll sit down and map out a plan. We're very excited about his future and we're already thinking about the first weekend in November." Off at 3-1, No Parole returned $8.20 on a $2 win wager. He nearly doubled his career earnings to $295,366. Echo Town, making his graded stakes debut for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, was 1 ¾-lengths the better of stablemate Shoplifted for second. The Speightstown colt, owned by L and N Racing, has never finished out of the money, moving to 3-2-1 in six starts. "He ran his race and made up ground good," said Echo Town jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. Mischevious Alex and Meru completed the order of finish. Fittingly, the Woody Stephens is run on Belmont Stakes Day, as the race's namesake trained a record five consecutive Belmont Stakes winners from 1982-86, with Conquistador Cielo, Caveat, Swale, Creme Fraiche and Danzig Connection. Stephens (1913-98) won the career Triple Crown, saddling Cannondale and Swale to Kentucky Derby wins and Blue Man to a win in the 1952 Preakness. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.

Read Article
6.18.2020:

Belmont Stakes Anchors Two-Day Pick 5 Wager

ELMONT, N.Y. - A special two-day Pick 5 wager, with a $1 base minimum and culminating with the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, will be offered by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) on Friday, June 19. The 152nd renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 20, as the first leg of the Triple Crown series, a historic first for the crown jewel of thoroughbred racing. Traditionally run at 1 1/2-miles, this year's edition of the Belmont Stakes, to be conducted without spectators, will be contested at nine furlongs and broadcast live from 2:45 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern on NBC, the exclusive broadcast partner of the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown.First post time on the 12-race Belmont Stakes Day card is 11:45 a.m. Eastern with the featured race, the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, slated for Race 10. The Belmont Stakes two-day Pick 5, with a low 15 percent takeout and mandatory payout, begins in Race 7 on Friday at 4:32 p.m. Eastern with a seven-furlong optional-claiming sprint on the Widener turf course for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up which drew field of 11, including one main-track only entrant. The sequence continues in Friday's Race 9 (5:36 p.m.) with the $80,000 Sir Cat, a six-furlong turf sprint for sophomores featuring the stakes-winning duo of Jack and Noah and Old Chestnut for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse. The Belmont Stakes two-day Pick 5 wager continues on Saturday in Race 8 at 4:15 p.m. with the Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Acorn, a one-turn mile for sophomore fillies led by Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse's Grade 1-winner Perfect Alibi and rising star Gamine, who ships in from California for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. The penultimate leg, the Grade 1, $250,000 Jaipur, presented by America's Best Racing, in Race 9 at 4:53 p.m. will see a field of eight 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on turf, chasing a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint via the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series. The sequence concludes with the 152nd running of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes in Race 10 at 5:42 p.m. Multiple Grade 1-winning New York-bred Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg for Sackatoga Stable, headlines a talented field of 10. Tiz the Law will face steep competition from the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Dr Post and Farmington Road as well as the late-running Sole Volante. Full advance wagering for the 12-race Belmont Stakes Day card will be available on Friday, June 19.

Read Article
6.17.2020:

NY-Bred Tiz the Law Bids for History in 152nd Belmont Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - A history-making Saturday will see the 152nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park serve as the Triple Crown's first leg for the first time in history. Sackatagoa Stable's Tiz the Law headlines the 10-horse field, and will look to become the first NY-bred in 138 years to win the American Classic. To align with required health and safety measures implemented in New York to mitigate risk and combat the spread of COVID-19, the Belmont Stakes will be held without spectators in attendance. To properly account for the schedule adjustments and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training, the race will be run at a distance of 1 1/8-miles, marking the first time since 1925 the contest will not feature its signature 1 1/2-mile test. The Belmont Stakes will now kick off the Triple Crown sequence as the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, the traditional opener, was moved to September 5 at Churchill Downs and the Grade 1 Preakness set to close the Classic series on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course. Saturday's 12-race card will feature six graded stakes and four Grade 1s, including the $250,000 Woody Stephens presented by Claiborne Farm, the $300,000 Longines Acorn and the $250,000 Jaipur [presented by America's Best Racing], a "Win and You're In" qualifier to the Breeders' Cup Turf, providing a full day of racing. The Belmont Stakes, offering 150-60-30-15 points Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers, is carded as Race 10, will have a post time of 5:42 p.m. Eastern. NBC will have live coverage starting at 2:45 p.m. Eastern. Tiz the Law, the 6-5 morning-line favorite who drew post 8, will bid to become just the fourth-ever state-bred Belmont winner and first since the 19th century, joining Ruthless [first winner in 1867], Fenian [1869] and Forester [1882].The Barclay Tagg trainee is the race's only multiple graded stakes winner and has already registered a pair of Grade 1 triumphs, starting with his only previous Belmont Park appearance when he followed a debut win by posting a four-length victory in the Champagne in October. After ending his juvenile year with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November at Churchill - his only non-winning effort in five career starts - the Constitution colt has dominated the start of his sophomore campaign, capturing the Grade 3 Holy Bull in February at Gulfstream by three lengths, earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure that makes him the only Belmont entrant to record a triple-digit number. The talented bay followed with a 4 ¼-length romp in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at the Belmont distance on March 28 at Gulfstream. Tiz the Law will now look to give Tagg a career Triple Crown, following the path of another New York bred in Funny Cide, who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness before running third in that year's Belmont. "It means a lot. You don't get top contenders all the time," Tagg said. "He's a nice horse. Hopefully he's as good we think. You work every day seven days a week, you just hope nothing happens and nothing goes wrong. But so far, so good. We're pleased with the way he's been doing and we're ready for the race." Tiz the Law is a perfect 4-for-4 on fast tracks in his career. He has continued to train forwardly at Belmont, including a half-mile breeze in 50.42 seconds over Big Sandy on Sunday in his last work before the start of Triple Crown season. "I asked him this morning and he said 'don't worry about it,'" Tagg joked. "Nothing seems to faze him in any way. I'd have rather been a little closer [post position-wise], but I don't think it makes much of a difference. He's coming in good; I can't be happier with him." Jockey Manny Franco, NYRA's leading rider the last two years, will have his first career Belmont start after piloting Tiz the Law to wins in three of his last four starts. "We love Manny," Tagg said. "He's been good for us. He's a very good rider." Sole Volante returned off a three-month layoff to best a six-horse optional-claiming field by three-quarters of a length on Wednesday at Gulfstream. That win showed trainer Patrick Biancone that the ultra-consistent son of Karakontie recaptured his early year form when he won the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis in February at Tampa before running second to King Guillermo in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7. Italian for "Flying Sun," Sole Volante has radiated success, going 4-1-1 in six career starts. Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Andie Biancone, Sole Volante drew post 2 at 9-2 odds. Luca Panici will ride. "He arrived last night and ate everything this morning. So far, so good," Biancone said. "He's very talented. He's been very good for us and trains his best all the time. We'll see how good he is Saturday. No question, Tiz the Law is the horse to beat, but he totally [deserves] this opportunity." Trainer Todd Pletcher, a three-time Belmont winner, will saddle a pair of contenders in St. Elias Stable's Dr Post and Farmington Road. Dr Post was given a seven-month respite off a fourth-place debut last July at Belmont and returned by winning a seven-furlong maiden sprint on March 29 at Gulfstream. The Quality Road colt was moved up to stakes company last out, overcoming a troubled trip to win the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled on April 25 at Gulfstream. "I think there's a lot of talent there. I was very impressed by his maiden win," said Pletcher. "With the amount of adversity he overcame in the Unbridled, it seems like he's made a lot of progress in a short period of time. He's a big, strong horse that seems to be improving. This is a big jump up in class and he's a little light on seasoning, but he seems to have the talent." Pletcher said the barn has always had faith in the $400,000 purchase at the 2018 Keeneland Sale. "Before Saratoga last year, we felt like he was one of our more promising 2-year-olds," said Pletcher. "He had a bit of a setback after his maiden race, but he's one we've always seen a lot of potential from." Dr Post, at odds of 5-1, drew post 9 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard. His stablemate, Farmington Road, has one win in six starts but has made his last three starts at the new Belmont distance, including a second in the Oaklawn on April 11 before running fourth in a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on May 2. Pletcher said the late-running colt would benefit from a solid early pace. "That would definitely help Farmington Road. He's a one-run horse," said Pletcher. "He likes to settle and come from off the pace. A true-run race would definitely be to his benefit." Farmington Road and Dr Post worked a half-mile in company in 48.87 seconds on the Belmont Park main track Saturday. Pletcher said he was impressed by how Farmington Road is training into Saturday's test. "He's training great into this race," said Pletcher. "I thought his breeze over the track was very good. It seems like he's in good form at the moment." Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Chrysalis Stables and Robert LaPenta, Farmington Road, 15-1, will break from post 5 in tandem with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano. George E. Hall's Max Player enters with a brief but impressive resume, going 2-1-0 in three starts, including back-to-back wins. Trainer Linda Rice, who will be looking to become the first female conditioner to win a Belmont Stakes, saw Max Player break his maiden by 4 ¼ lengths on December 17 at Parx and follow with a 3 ¼-length win in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 3 Withers, a Kentucky Derby prep race, in his 3-year-old bow on February 1 at Aqueduct. "It would be great to win a Belmont or any Triple Crown race," Rice said. "[The Withers] was on February 1 so we're looking at four and a half months. He has improved dramatically in his training the past 60 days. I'm excited about running him this week." The son of Honor Code is listed at 15-1 and will depart from post 3 in tandem with Joel Rosario, who will be in search of a third Belmont Stakes after wins last year with Sir Winston and in 2014 aboard Tonalist. "He was never very tactical before," Rice said. "We had to work him in company with another horse to get him to perform and get enough out of his workouts. At this point, he's seasoned, he no longer needs any company and he relaxes early in his workouts. When we ask him to respond, he responds, so we've been very happy with him. "I would prefer to be little further to the outside with a horse that doesn't like kickback but we are where we are," she added. Pam and Martin Wygod's Modernist has also earned a winner's circle trip in a graded stakes. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who won the 2010 Belmont with Drosselmeyer, Modernist broke his maiden at third asking in January at Aqueduct and used that as a springboard to capture a division of the 1 1/8-mile Grade 3 Risen Star on February 15 at Fair Grounds. The Uncle Mo colt ran third in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby last out on March 21, earning a personal-best 85 Beyer Speed Figure, and will be returning to Belmont for the first time since running fifth in his debut in September. Listed at 15-1, Modernist drew post 4 with Junior Alvarado on the call. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who won the 2016 Belmont with Creator, will saddle a pair of entrants in Calumet Farm's Jungle Runner and Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pneumatic. Pneumatic [8-1] has made just three starts and won two of them. Graduating to stakes company last out, the son of Uncle Mo ran third in the Grade 3 Matt Winn on May 23 at Churchill. Ricardo Santana, Jr. will have the call from post 10.Jungle Runner, the winner of the Clever Trevor as a sophomore, will be looking for his first blacktype in four starts as a sophomore, entering off an eighth in a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. New York native Reylu Gutierrez will have his first mount in a Classic, drawing post 7. The son of Candy Ride is listed at 50-1. Trainer Mark Casse, fresh off his election into the Hall of Fame, will look to repeat in the Belmont after winning last year's edition with Sir Winston. Casse, who also saw War of Will win the 2019 Preakness, will be going for his third Classic win in two years with Live Oak Plantation's Tap It to Win. The Tapit ridgling is on a two-race win streak against allowance company and will run in a graded stakes for the first time since running 10th in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity in October at Keeneland. Tap It to Win, at 6-1, will have the services of Hall of Famer John Velazquez, making his record 24th Belmont start, from post 1. "We're the speed in the race so the rail shouldn't hurt us as much as it might've hurt other horses in the race," said Casse assistant Jamie Begg. "There's speed outside of us, so it's not favorable necessarily, but I feel like with his style of running it shouldn't make as much of a difference. "He came out of his last race great," Begg added. "Initially the plan was to see if we could get his energy up coming back in two weeks, but the horse hasn't missed a beat and is probably training better coming out of that race than he was going into it. We're pretty excited." Reddam Racing's Fore Left, a bay son of Twirling Candy trained by Doug O'Neill, was expected to sprint seven furlongs in Saturday's Grade 1 Woody Stephens presented by Claiborne Farm before the connections decided to take a run at the Belmont. Fore Left, who made eight juvenile starts, graduated at first asking in May 2019 at Santa Anita and followed up in June 2019 with a 4 ½-length win in the Tremont, a 5 ½-furlong sprint at Saratoga Race Course. The versatile bay stretched out in distance in his next two starts at Del Mar finishing third in the six furlong Grade 2 Best Pal and fifth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs. After an off-the-board effort in the 1 1/16-miles American Pharoah in September at Santa Anita, Fore Left returned to sprinting with a win in the 6 ½-furlong Sunny Slope in October at Santa Anita and a third in the six-furlong Golden Nugget in November at Golden Gate. He completed a lengthy campaign with a tenth in his turf debut in the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille in December at Del Mar. Fore Left made a victorious seasonal debut last out in the Group 3 UAE Two Thousand Guineas in February, a one-turn mile at Meydan Racecourse. Assigned morning-line odds of 30-1, Fore Left will emerge from post 6 under Jose Ortiz, who won the 2017 Belmont aboard Tapwrit.

Read Article
6.11.2020:

Saturday, June 13: Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont, Churchill

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will again partner with Churchill Downs to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, June 13. The wager will include action from both Belmont Park and Churchill, with live coverage of all the races in the sequence available with America's Day at the Races on FS1 and MSG+. Belmont will kick off the sequence with Race 7 at 4:32 p.m. Eastern when a full field of filly and mare maidens compete on the Widener turf course going one mile. Action will alternate between the two tracks, with Churchill hosting the second leg with Race 8 at 4:46 p.m. Another full field will compete on the turf, with fillies and mares 3-years-old and up comprising the 5 ½-furlong allowance sprint. Race 8 at Belmont, set for 5:04 p.m., will see New York-bred fillies and mares run at six furlongs on Big Sandy. Churchill will then host the final two legs, with another allowance sprint in Race 10 at 5:50 p.m. that offers a full field of 12 going 6 ½ furlongs in the main track. The concluding race will be the Cross Country Pick 5's lone stakes; the Grade 3, $100,000 Louisville at 1 ½ miles on the turf headlined by Grade 1-winning $1.8 million earner Arklow, carded for 6:22 p.m. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool. The Cross Country Pick 5 will continue each Saturday throughout the year. Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, June 13: Leg 1 - Belmont, Race 7 (4:32 p.m.)Leg 2 - Churchill, Race 8 (4:46 p.m.)Leg 3 - Belmont, Race 8: (5:04 p.m.)Leg 4 - Churchill, Race 10 (5:50 p.m.)Leg 5 - Churchill, Race 11: Grade 3 Louisville (6:22 p.m.)

Read Article
6.6.2020:

Honor A.P. Rushes Past Authentic to Win RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 6, 2020) — Lee and Susan Searing’s rapidly improving Honor A.P. sat perfect trip and accelerated off the turn for home to take Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby by 2 ¾ lengths, providing Mike Smith with his third consecutive victory in the West’s most important Kentucky Derby prep.  Trained by John Shirreffs, Honor A.P., an $850,000 yearling purchase, got a mile and one eighth in 1:48.97. Well in-hand while fourth, about 2 ½ lengths off the early lead set by Shooters Shoot, Honor A.P. was a joint third, just outside of longshot Rushie three furlongs from home and with magnificent long strides, wheeled four-wide at the top of the stretch en route to a stirring victory, which also gave Shirreffs and Smith their second Santa Anita Derby win, dating back to Tiago’s win in 2007 and thus giving Smith his fourth win as well. “He ran great, it was a super effort,” said Shirreffs.  “I’m just happy for everybody involved, and I can’t thank Mike Smith enough for all that he has done.  Whatever I need, Mike, he’s always there for me… “We were happy with the way Honor A.P. was training for the race.  We knew that he has tactical speed and Mike can put him pretty much where he wants.  On the backside, we hoped he would get comfortable and to have a nice kick in the end, and it all worked out well.” With 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points in-hand as a result of today’s win, does Shirreff envision running the son of Honor Code again prior to the Run for the Roses on Sept. 5? “It’s up to him whether we run him again before the big dance,” he said.  “We have to see how the horse comes out and how he feels, but you’d always prefer to run.  Running is probably the best option rather than training up to it, but we’ll wait and see how it all happens.” A maiden winner in his second start here on Oct. 13, Honor A.P. was most recently second to today’s Derby favorite Authentic going a mile and one sixteenth in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March.  The second choice today at 2-1, Honor A.P. paid $6.40, $2.60 and $2.20. “The plan was to (break) well and to let him run into that first turn and hopefully I could get him behind Authentic, said Smith.  “If not right behind him, then just to his outside a little bit and use my horse’s big long stride to his advantage and maybe get a little brave a little early…He gives every indication that he can go a mile and a quarter, just the way he does it, the way he galloped out today.  I mean I had to pull him up, he just keeps going with that big stride, it’s almost as if horses have to take two (strides) to his one, it seems like…I’m excited, I miss the fans, but I just gotta pump myself up!” In only his fourth start, Honor A.P., who is out of the Grade I winning Wild Rush mare Hollywood Story, picked up $240,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $362,200. Unbeaten in three starts, Authentic broke outwards leaving the gate but was less than a length off the lead from his outside post position heading into the first turn.  From there, he pressed the pace while three-deep, was in a good position while second at the top of the lane, but was no match for the winner late. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke and trained by Bob Baffert, Authentic was heavily favored at 1-2 and paid $2.20 and $2.10 while finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Rushie. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Rushie showed attending speed, was three wide turning for home and finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of longshot Anneau d’Or.  Off at 12-1, Rushie paid $3.40 to show. With 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stakes, Authentic collected 40, Rushie, 20 and Anneau d’Or picked up 10. Fractions on the race were 23.07, 46.88, 1:10.97 and 1:36.10. RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY (GI)  $400,000 STAKES QUOTES JOCKEY QUOTES MIKE SMITH, HONOR A.P., WINNER: “The game plan was to jump well and to let him run into that first turn and hopefully I could get him behind Authentic. If not right behind him then just to his outside a little bit and use my horse’s big long stride to his advantage and maybe get a little brave a little early. Which I did, I kind of went a little bit too early but he was ready today. He missed him (Authentic) time and time before and ran a big race when he ran a very good second (last time out). It seems the further you go with him the better, he’s just got that big long, beautiful, powerful stride. John Shirreffs, all the crew and the owners I just want to thank everyone for letting me be a part of it. I don’t do a lot he’s doing all the running, all the work. “He gives every indication that he can go a mile and a quarter, just the way he galloped out today. I mean I had to pull him up.  He just keeps going with that big stride, it’s almost as if horses have to take two (strides) to his one, it seems like. He just really reaches. John has done a great job with just putting in some really good long works into him and really galloping him out. So he had a lot of air in him today. “He’s one of the ones you didn’t know about before this pandemic hit.  You didn’t know some horses were going to be peaking a whole lot better in May, which he probably wouldn’t have been, now that it (Kentucky Derby) is in September we should be seeing a bigger stronger horse by then. He should get every little bit of the mile and a quarter. I’m excited! I miss the fans, but I just gotta pump myself up!” TRAINER QUOTES JOHN SHIRREFFS, HONOR A.P., WINNER: “He ran great, it was a super effort. I’m just happy for everybody involved, and I can’t thank Mike Smith enough for all that he has done. Whenever I need Mike, he’s always there for me. I really appreciate that. “We were happy with the way Honor A.P. was training for the race. We knew that he has tactical speed and Mike can put him pretty much where he wants. On the backside, we hoped he would get comfortable to have a nice little kick in the end, and it all worked out well.“It’s up to him whether we run him again before the big dance. We have to see how the horse comes out and how he feels, but you’d always prefer to run. Running is probably the best option rather than training up to it, but we’ll wait and see how it all happens.” BOB BAFFERT, AUTHENTIC, SECOND: “I was afraid of being on the outside.  He broke out and then caught his stride.  He did all the heavy lifting all the way around to the stretch. Mike Smith just sat back there and does what he does.  The winner ran really well.” OWNER QUOTES LEE SEARING, HONOR A.P., WINNER: “I wish I was at Santa Anita, but we were home with family and friends in Claremont.  It was a thrill. “I have owned horses since I was 18 years old, so 54 years.  I’ve never had a Santa Anita Derby winner.  John (Shirreffs) knew we had the beginnings of a very nice horse.  We named him after his parents.  We knew he was special.  He is really special.  I’ve got to give John, Dave Ingordo and Mike Smith all the credit. “I had Candy Boy in the Kentucky Derby with Gary Stevens.  We have a long way to go still before the  Kentucky Derby.  We’ll probably have another race before then.  We will cherish each and every day with this special horse. He’s in great hands with Mike (Smith) and John (Shirreffs). NOTES: The winning owner is C R K Stable LLC.

Read Article
6.4.2020:

Saturday, June 6: Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont Park, Churchill Downs

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will partner with Churchill Downs to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, June 6. The wager will include action from both Belmont Park and Churchill, with live coverage of all the races in the sequence available with America's Day at the Races on FS1 and MSG+. Belmont will be the site of the sequence's first two races, starting with the Grade 3, $100,000 Westchester in Race 7 at 4:32 p.m. Eastern. Four-time graded stakes-winner Code of Honor will make his 2020 debut as part of an 11-horse field contesting at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Following will be the Grade 3, $100,000 Intercontinental for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up in Race 8 at 5:04 p.m. Trainer Chad Brown will send out four contenders, including Grade 1-winner Newspaperofrecord, as well as Viadera, Regal Glory and Significant Form. Action will then switch to Churchill for Race 9 at 5:18 p.m. for an allowance race going 5 ½ furlongs on turf. The penultimate leg will then switch back to Belmont for another stakes contest in the Grade 1 $250,000 Runhappy Carter Handicap. The seven-furlong main track sprint will see 11 contenders, including Mind Control, Performer, Vekoma, Firenze Fire and Nitrous, vie for an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Sprint in November. The Cross Country Pick 5 will conclude at Churchill with the Grade 3, $100,000 Dogwood for sophomore fillies going seven furlongs. The 10th race, with a post time of 5:50 p.m., offers eight contenders. The minimum bet for the multi-track, multi-race wager is 50 cents. Wagering on the Cross Country Pick 5 is also available on ADW platforms and at simulcast facilities across the country. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool. The Cross Country Pick 5 will continue each Saturday throughout the year. Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, June 6: Leg 1 - Belmont, Race 7, Grade 3 Westchester: (4:32 p.m.)Leg 2 - Belmont, Race 8, Grade 3 Intercontinental (5:04 p.m.)Leg 3 - Churchill, Race 9: (5:18 p.m.)Leg 4 - Belmont, Race 9, Grade 1 Runhappy Carter (5:36 p.m.)Leg 5 - Churchill, Race 10, Grade 3 Dogwood: (5:50 p.m.)

Read Article
6.3.2020:

Authentic Headlines G1 RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 3, 2020) — Unbeaten in three starts and a winner most recently of two graded stakes by a combined 10 lengths, Bob Baffert’s Authentic will renew his rivalry with talented Honor A.P. as they head a field of seven sophomores going a mile and one eighth in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. Separated by 2 ¼ lengths in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 7, Authentic has been nothing short of brilliant for Baffert in winning his past two races in gate to wire fashion. A long striding ridgling by Honor Code, Honor A.P. has trained well for John Shirreffs since the San Felipe and promises to run an improved race on Saturday. Trainer Michael McCarthy’s Rushie, a first condition allowance winner going a mile and one sixteenth at Oaklawn Park on May 2, appears to be on the improve and will be ridden for the first time by leading man Flavien Prat. Beyond the purse money, the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby carries added significance, as there are 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stake, with the winner to receive 100, second 40, third 20 and the fourth place finisher, 10 points toward a potential start in the Grade I Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5. AUTHENTIC Owner: SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding & Golconda StablesTrainer: Bob Baffert A first-out maiden winner at odds of 3-5 going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 9, this colt by Into Mischief aired by 7 ¾ front-running lengths going a flat mile in the Grade III Sham Stakes on Jan. 4, earning 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points while registering a 90 Beyer Speed figure.  A 2 ¼ length winner of the San Felipe, Authentic earned a 98 Beyer, and with a top three finish on Saturday, he would be assured a berth in the Run for the Roses Sept. 5. HONOR A.P. Owner: C R K Stable, LLCTrainer: John Shirreffs Off at 1-2 in his second start on Oct. 13, he led throughout to take a one mile maiden race by     5 ¼ lengths while earning a 91 Beyer.  Purchased for $850,000 as a yearling, Honor A.P. has a magnificent, long stride and has the look of colt who should continue to improve with added distance.  With his second place finish to Authentic in the San Felipe, he collected 20 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, so a first or second place finish on Saturday would assure him a place in the big dance.  He’ll be reunited with Mike Smith on Saturday, who has ridden him in all three of his previous starts.  RUSHIE Owner: Jim & Donna DaniellTrainer: Michael McCarthy A grey colt by Liam’s Map, he’ll be making his fifth overall start and his fourth in a row going a route of ground, which has to be considered a plus.  Although beaten 10 ¼ lengths by eventual Arkansas Derby winner Charlatan in a one mile allowance here two starts back on March 14, Rushie was an attentive second early en route to an authoritative 1 1/16 mile allowance score at Oaklawn May.  A modest $70,000 2-year-old in training sale purchase a year ago March, Rushie is colt on the improve who could prove dangerous off of his Arkansas win. THE GRADE I RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 8 of 11   Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT 1. Friar’s Road—Geovanni Franco--1242. Rushie—Flavien Prat—1243. Shooters Shoot—Abel Cedillo—1244. Anneau d’Oro—Victor Espinoza—1245. Azul Coast—Umberto Rispoli—1246. Honor A.P.—Mike Smith--1247. Authentic—Drayden Van Dyke—124 First post time for a blockbuster 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Read Article
5.28.2020:

Maryland Horsemen Resume Racing Effective Saturday, May 30

LAUREL, MD - The Maryland Jockey Club announced today that it has received approval from the Maryland Racing Commission to resume live racing at Laurel Park effective Saturday, May 30. The Summer 2020 meet begins with three days of live racing running through to Monday, June 1.  The Summer 2020 meet will be conducted under the industry’s most stringent health and safety protocols and Laurel Park will remain closed to the general public pending changes to the State’s further executive orders or guidance.  For more information on the Summer 2020 racing schedule please visit www.laurelpark.com, Maryland Jockey Club on Facebook or @MarylandJockeyClub on Instagram and Twitter.  

Read Article
5.16.2020:

Preakness 145 Set for Saturday, October 3

Baltimore, MD --- 1/ST Chairman and President Belinda Stronach together with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced today that Preakness 145 will be held on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The announcement was made during NBC Sports’ nationally televised broadcast, The Middle Jewel: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown.  The Preakness Stakes, typically held on the third Saturday in May was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and, as previously announced, will not include InfieldFest. Plans for Black Eyed Susan Day, traditionally held the day before the Preakness, will be announced at a later time.  “Under normal circumstances, I would have stood today at Pimlico Race Course with Ms. Stronach to present the Woodlawn Vase to the winner of the 145th Preakness Stakes. But, as we all know, these are not ordinary circumstances,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I am delighted that we were successful in working with 1/ST, the Maryland Jockey Club and all who are connected to Maryland’s Thoroughbred racing industry to set the new date of October 3rd.”  “We all wish we could have been together today to celebrate the Preakness but we stayed home and stayed safe and now we can look forward to Preakness 145 on October 3rd,” said Belinda Stronach, 1/ST Chairman and President. “I would like to thank Governor Hogan and all of the state and local leaders along with our industry stakeholders, racetrack communities and partners, including our broadcast partner NBC Sports, for the ongoing support and commitment to racing in Maryland.” NBC Sports will partner with 1/ST to air a live broadcast of Preakness 145 beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 3rd.  “We look forward to presenting the 145th Preakness Stakes in a prime spot on our fall sports schedule,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports & NBCSN. “We can’t wait to embrace racing at Pimlico when the leaves are changing colors.” More details on Preakness 145 and the 96th Black Eyed Susan Stakes will be released in the coming months. For more information visit www.preakness.com or check out the Preakness social channels at Facebook.com/Preakness or on Instagram and Twitter @PreaknessStakes, #PreaknessStakes.

Read Article
5.15.2020:

1/ST PREAKNESS AT HOME to Premiere Saturday, May 16 on Facebook Live

Baltimore, MD – The spirit of the legendary Preakness Stakes will be celebrated in unique fashion this year with the 1/ST Preakness At Home livestream event featuring a look back at the fun, festivities and world-class Thoroughbred racing of Preakness past. The one-hour show, hosted by NBC Sports’ Laffit Pincay III and XBTV’s Zoe Cadman, will air on Saturday, May 16th at 6 p.m. ET on Facebook.com/Preakness. The livestream event will feature appearances by some of racing’s biggest stars including, Hall of Fame trainer and seven-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert and Triple Crown winning jockey Mike Smith along with special messages from Maryland’s own baseball royalty, Cal Ripken Jr. and Jim Palmer. The livestream will include behind the scenes footage, never before seen content and a mashup of some of the best musical performances from previous InfieldFest concerts along with a special performance by the Naval Academy Glee Club. “The 1/ST Preakness At Home represents our company’s vision to expand and deliver unique entertainment and horse racing content to a new and wider audience,” said Belinda Stronach, 1/ST Chairman and President. “The coronavirus pandemic changed the Preakness celebrations this year, but it gave us the opportunity to enhance an already incredible event and to imagine what new traditions could be incorporated into the Preakness of the future. We look forward to being back at Pimlico when it is safe to do so.” The 1/ST Preakness At Home will follow NBC’s nationally televised broadcast, The Middle Jewel: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown, airing on May 16th at 5 p.m. ET.  NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico will open the show and will host a segment in which Belinda Stronach, 1/ST Chairman and President and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will announce the new date for Preakness 145 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness Stakes, typically held on the third Saturday in May, was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 1/ST Preakness At Home will also feature a Drive-InFieldFest, the nation’s first full-scale safe drive-in concert featuring a live DJ set by D-Nice exclusively benefitting first responders that will take place at 1/ST Racing’s Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, produced by 1/ST Live.  Respecting all social distancing requirements, D-Nice’s set will transmit live via guests’ car radios and will also stream live on YouTube via www.1stlivepresents.com.  The 1/ST Preakness At Home campaign was launched in collaboration with Hennegan Brothers Creative on the Preakness social channels featuring vignettes of Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill and Mike Smith preparing for this third Saturday in May in ways they never have before. Those vignettes can be found here. For more information please visit www.preakness.com. Follow all of the excitement of the Preakness Stakes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - @PreaknessStakes, #Preakness, #1STPreaknessAtHome.  

Read Article
5.14.2020:

Santa Anita Receives Approval to Continue Live Racing

Arcadia, CA (May 13, 2020) -- Santa Anita Park has received approval from the Los Angeles County Health Department to resume safe live racing beginning this Friday, May 15 as part of Los Angeles County’s revision of its Safer at Home guidelines. Racing will be conducted without spectators and with essential personnel following strict protocols to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Protocols instituted include mandatory face masks and daily health screening including temperature checks and mandatory social distancing while on the property, increased sanitation procedures, the creation of a Restricted Zone, housing jockeys, valets and other essential personnel who must have a negative COVID test to access, and revised saddling and pre-race protocol to increase physical distancing. “We are very grateful for the open and continuous communication with both the Health Department and Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office,” said Aidan Butler, Executive Director of California Racing Operations for The Stronach Group. “Supervisor Barger in particular, understood the importance of live racing to support thousands of individuals, and that we are able to accomplish it safely under these protocols. “We also want to thank our stakeholders, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers, the Jockeys Guild, our Santa Anita Park team and our fans for their patience during this pandemic. This has been a difficult time for all. Now we are focused on getting back to work in a safe and secure manner.”

Read Article
5.6.2020:

Golden Gate Fields Receives Provisional Approval to Resume Racing on May 14

BERKELEY, CA. (May 6, 2020) – Golden Gate Fields will resume live racing on Thursday, May 14, after receiving provisional approval this morning from the Alameda County Public Health Officer. Live racing was temporarily on April 2, following an order from Alameda County in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Live racing will be conducted under strict protocols and without spectators, to protect the health, safety and welfare of every person and every horse in the Golden Gate Fields community. The protocols are still being finalized with county officials and will be released in the coming days, as will the racing condition book. At this time, there have been no known cases of COVID-19 at Golden Gate Fields. “We are appreciative of the cooperation we received from the Alameda County Health officials to protect their citizens while providing us the opportunity to protect our community by continuing live racing in Northern California,” said Aidan Butler, Executive Director of California Racing Operations for The Stronach Group. “The health and safety of every person and every horse continues to be our North Star. As California begins the path to recovery, the best way for us to ensure their safety is to reengage the economic engine that provides for them.” At Golden Gate Fields, there are over 1,200 horses stabled who require daily care. That care is provided by the 400 backstretch team members, most who live on-site and are operating under stringent new measures for protection aligned with the best guidance from local and international health and government authorities on COVID-19. The track has been closed to the general public and to closed all but essential personnel since March 12, 2020.

Read Article
4.26.2020:

Exultant Grinds to Victory in G1 FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Zac Purton was elated and deflated at the end of Exultant’s glorious, grinding victory in the HK$25 million G1 FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday, 26 April. The brave bay’s willingness to stretch for his rider through every demanding stride of the 2000m feature meant the champion jockey became the only rider in history to have won every Group 1 race on the Hong Kong calendar.  “The feeling going over the line – it was a combination of everything!” Purton said. “I’ve come close to winning this race so many times, it’s been very frustrating and after missing the bob in the previous race, to win this was a sense of relief.” Purton’s day had not lived up to his hopes until the Tony Cruz-trained Exultant produced a typically rugged yet classy run to ensure the jockey finally got his hands on the one big trophy that had hitherto eluded him. Disappointment was raw less than two hours prior when he eased the defeated young gun sprinter Aethero across the line after the chestnut bled in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize, and then Beauty Generation’s head dipped down an exasperating second in the G1 Champions Mile. The Australian was not about to let the last of the three FWD Champions Day features slip away though. Last time out in the G1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), stablemate Time Warp, under Joao Moreira, stole a march and held Exultant’s late rattle; this time, wise to Moreira’s steadying of the pace up front, Purton made a long run from the 1200m point to press the Brazilian’s mount.  “I didn’t want a repeat of last time, that didn’t go well for us. I had planned to be outside in the run but my guy showed no speed early so I just had to wait until we got around that first corner and then allow him to move into the race,” Purton said. The tactic worked. By the time the two horses turned off the home turn, both were already under strong driving; Time Warp soon cried enough and Exultant, ever the warrior, battled into the clear – but with 200m remaining, Purton was not certain that success would be his. “I was flat, I was empty – I wasn’t that confident,” he said. “My fella, at the 300-metre mark, was just starting to struggle a little bit. Down to the 200 (metres) I knew there was a horse coming and I could sense my bloke was at his bottom, he didn't have anything else, so I was certainly worried, but my guy, he just kept galloping along and did enough. “It means a lot to now be the only jockey to have won every Group 1 race in Hong Kong. It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s an achievement I’m very proud of – a Group 1 race is hard to win, as I’ve found, but that’s why they’re Group 1, they’re not easy and they should never be easy. The competition is tough so to go home and have finally won this race today, I’m still going to go home a little bit flat but I’ll go home very thankful that this trophy is now on the mantelpiece.” Exultant held on by three-quarters of a length from Furore, who closed off grittily under Karis Teetan to give Cruz a stable one-two. The winning time was bang on two minutes. “Exultant’s a tough customer and I don’t think he’s at his best at the moment, I think he’s doing it on heart. He showed once again just how tough he is and it was a great performance, he just ran them into the ground and that’s what he’s best at,” Purton added. Cruz was pleased with Furore’s run, though disappointed that Time Warp faded out of the first three as old hand Eagle Way ran on for third under Neil Callan.  “I expected Exultant to win but if he didn't perform, Furore was always going to run a good race too and I’m very happy with his run,” the handler said. “Exultant will go the same route as last year. He’ll go to the Champions & Chater Cup next month, that’s the only race left. Furore will go there too.” Teetan could not add a second G1 on the day, having taken the Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) on Mr Stunning, but was delighted with Furore’s effort in chasing the winner right to the line.  “He ran so well,” the Mauritian said. “I had a perfect position and was just tracking them through. Exultant took on Time Warp earlier than expected so I didn't pressure my horse too hard. I got onto Exultant’s back to track him into the race and he just kicked three lengths clear as we turned into the straight. “My horse kept giving but Exultant is too good. He’d taken on Time Warp a long way out so I thought he’d have to come back but he didn’t, he just kept grinding in front. But all credit to Furore, he tried hard.” Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 29 April.

Read Article
4.26.2020:

Southern Legend Knocks Off Beauty Generation in G1 FWD Champions Mile

Southern Legend was supposed to be preparing for a third straight win in the Kranji Mile but Plan B worked out far better for the admirable stalwart at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 26 April). With the Singapore target off the radar due to the global pandemic, the Caspar Fownes-trained galloper instead snatched the biggest win of his career in the HK$20 million FWD Champions Mile.  And what a time it was to snare his first Group 1. In a head-bobbing victory, the seven-year-old scuppered the great Beauty Generation’s attempt to not only become the race’s only three-time winner but also the first Hong Kong-trained horse to win 19 races. “We had the opportunity to set Southern Legend and go for the Singapore race, to try and go for three wins in a row there, but when this virus hit we had to change plans pretty quickly,” trainer Caspar Fownes said. “He’s beaten the best on their day, there’s no doubt about that – when horses were flying, he beat Pakistan Star, Nothingilikemore and now the best horse Hong Kong’s ever seen, Beauty Generation.”  Ho’s first G1  The 9/1 shot held off the 1.6 favourite to give jockey Vincent Ho a first win in the elite grade, his breakthrough to the top table coming off the back of his Classic Series-dominating partnership with Golden Sixty. “This is all about Vincent, he deserves that more than anyone,” Fownes said of his former apprentice. “With hard work, if you keep plugging away, things will come your way. To get it on my horse, that’s extra special. “He’s been a great kid and he deserves all the success he can get and I think hopefully next season, if the local trainers and all of us can get behind him, we can certainly put him up there to fight it out with Zac (Purton) and Joao (Moreira).” Ho took the race to Purton and Beauty Generation with 300m to race as the rising star of the jockeys’ room drove his mount from off the pace to take a narrow lead over the superstar pairing; but while Beauty Generation is not the force of 12 months ago, he still has a champion’s will.  The big horse rallied; Southern Legend dug in; the old stagers flashed past the post together and the outsider had it by a short-head in a time of 1m 33.13s.  “It’s amazing,” a beaming Ho said. “There are no spectators here but it's a Group 1! I’ve been working really hard for it and hopefully there are plenty more to come. “The boss had prepared him for Singapore so I always felt he’d pick up really well. Last run, he ran really well, so I thought I could get close to Beauty Generation,” he continued. “I didn't jump that sharply, maybe because the visor was off, but I got a good spot and the pace was actually quite slow. Southern Legend had won at 1800 and he’d gone 2000 metres as well, so when they went that slowly I decided to take off at the 600 (metres) and he got a really good kick and sustained it to the end.” Bouncing back in style Southern Legend had performed below-par through the middle of this season, suggesting perhaps that time was catching up with him, but ran a sound race earlier this month when third to Beauty Generation in the G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m). “It’s like anything, as horses get older you’ve got to freshen them up a little bit, get their mind back on their job,” Fownes said. “I think his last run really showed us that he was up to giving a big effort this start.” The bay took his career record to eight wins from 31 races and improved upon his only previous Champions Mile run, when third to Beauty Generation in 2018. Fownes is looking forward to more good days with the Australian-bred. “I haven't told him he’s turning eight in August yet so we’ll keep that a bit of a secret!” the trainer joked. “I’ll just try to keep him happy and healthy and I always believe if horses are producing and have the ability to earn money for their owners, we keep going. When they’ve had enough, that’s when we retire them.” Brave in defeat Purton was disappointed with the outcome but appreciative of Beauty Generation’s brave effort.  “He ran well, he tried his hardest,” he said. Trainer John Moore, too, was deflated at the result but proud nonetheless. “We were gallant in defeat, look at the bobs, the bob is just against him – if he’d got the head down we’d have won. It could have gone the other way, it just wasn’t our day,” he said. “He’s beaten the rest by two and three quarter lengths and they’ve run a pretty good time so it’s a pity he can't go out on that but you’ve got to live with it.” Plans have yet to be made for Beauty Generation’s future, with Moore set to retire from Hong Kong racing at the end of the season and relocate his operation to Rosehill in Sydney.  “I’d like to take him back for a mile race in Australia and then have him stay there at the Living Legends Farm. That’s what I’d like to do but what the Kwok family wants to do is what counts, I don’t know whether they’ll keep racing him or retire him.” Purton became the first rider to win all of Hong Kong’s G1 races when he took the G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) on Exultant. Mr Stunning turned back the clock with a shock win for trainer Frankie Lor and jockey Karis Teetan in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 29 April.

Read Article
4.26.2020:

Mr Stunning Shocks in G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize

Mr Stunning lived up to his name and cemented his place as one of Hong Kong’s finest sprinters this afternoon (26 April) at Sha Tin with a 20/1 victory in the HK$18 million G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). The Frankie Lor-trained gelding put age and injury woes behind him to become only the third seven-year-old to succeed in the race’s 41-year history. Mr Stunning was withdrawn from this race last year due to a hairline fracture in his shoulder but today capped a successful return with the third G1 success of his career and first win since the 2018 G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint, also with Karis Teetan in the plate. The Australian-bred joined Dim Sum (2011) and Lucky Nine (2014) as seven-year-old winners of the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, while Joy And Fun landed the 2012 edition as an eight-year-old.  “He’s a seven-year-old now but this season, for me, he’s always been very close, unfortunately last season he had that shoulder problem but now everything’s good,” Lor said.  The race unfolded perfectly. A gap appeared at the 250m mark and the Exceed And Excel gelding burst through to score in a time of 1m 08.40s ahead of Big Time Baby and Thanks Forever, who rounded out the top three.  Lor’s masterful training, nursing the horse through a patient and measured process, paid handsomely in the form a first-prize cheque of HK$10.2 million.  “Because of the hairline fracture he had, I can’t push him too hard, especially as he is an older horse, that’s why this time I didn’t trial him before this race - we just freshened him up,” Lor said.  Slated to retire after this run, that decision may be put on hold.  “We planned this to be his last run but let me talk to the owner and we will decide and see what he thinks about the horse – he was my first G1 winner, I’m very happy for him,” Lor said.  The handler tallied 130 Hong Kong wins in his first two seasons, and this, his third season, has brought 33 wins so far but at a slower rate. “My stable this season has been so-so, the ratings go up and then the new horses cannot catch up so they need more time,” Lor said.  All heart  Karis Teetan was full of praise for Mr Stunning who took his career earnings to HK$60,843,100.  “I just had so much horse underneath me – I was tracking a few horses who are decent enough to take me into the race and I was just waiting for a gap to open. This horse, his heart is bigger than him, so I knew he would let down as soon as he got that run,” Teetan said.  “I planned to make sure he got a good jump, he’s getting older this horse so he can miss the jump, I spoke to Frankie (Lor) and said we need to give him a warm up first and make sure he gets the break again,” he continued. “Once he came out smartly, I just had to work him a little bit to get him into a handy position, I found myself three-deep and once I got in behind a few horses he dropped anchor and started travelling nicely.” The in-form rider’s second Hong Kong G1 win capped a treble, having scored aboard True Legend for Lor and Lakeshore Eagle for trainer Chris So.  Big Time Baby looked set to deliver trainer Manfred Man his first G1 success and first major since Eagle Regiment landed the second of his Centenary Sprint Cups in 2012, until Mr Stunning’s late dart.  “It was a nice, consistent run, he’s just come back from Dubai a little too fresh and he’s going to improve out of this run,” jockey Matthew Chadwick said.   “The winner was just able to get out, I was hoping he’d get stuck in traffic because I thought I had the others covered. He was a bit nervous in the gates so he wasn’t as sharp out as usual – maybe the trip over to Dubai and back was something to do with that.”  The John Moore-trained Thanks Forever notched his third G1 placing this season with a strong run from deep.  “He had to make up ground, he was in front at the 100 (metres) and he just folded,” Moore said.  “I think if he’d drawn a gate and laid up a little closer he could have won. He had to make it up from the 400 (metres).”  The Moore-trained race-favourite Aethero, who broke cleanly to lead, faded to last and was found to have bled.  “It’s disappointing but we’ll make sure he’s alright and then I’ll sit down with the owner and we’ll have to discuss the best thing for him,” Moore said.  Later in the day, the handler’s Beauty Generation placed a short-head second to the Caspar Fownes-trained Southern Legend in the G1 FWD Champions Mile, while the G1 FWD QEII Cup went to the Tony Cruz-trained Exultant. Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley this Wednesday (29 April). 

Read Article
4.6.2020:

2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #4 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #4 (April 3 - 5, 2020): 1. Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 10/1 ($22.60) 2. Basin (Steve Asmussen) - 56/1 ($114.40) 3. Charlatan (Bob Baffert) - 5/1 ($13.60)4. Enforceable (Mark Casse) - 33/1 ($69.00) 5. Ete Indien (Patrick Biancone) - 29/1 ($60.60) 6. Excession (Steve Asmussen) - 85/1 ($172.60) 7. Gouverneur Morris (Todd Pletcher) - 31/1 ($65.60) 8. Honor A.P. (John Shirreffs) - 15/1 ($33.80) 9. King Guillermo (Juan Avila) - 36/1 ($74.00) 10. Major Fed (Greg Foley) - 54/1 ($111.20)11. Max Player (Linda Rice) - 67/1 ($136.40)12. Maxfield (Brendan Walsh) - 9/1 ($21.20) 13. Mischevious Alex (John Servis) - 46/1 ($95.00) 14. Modernist (Bill Mott) - 50/1 ($103.40) 15. Nadal (Bob Baffert) - 9/1 ($21.80) 16. Ny Traffic (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 71/1 ($144.60) 17. Shivaree (Ralph Nicks) - 85/1 ($172.00) 18. Sole Volante (Patrick Biancone) - 34/1 ($70.60) 19. Storm the Court (Peter Eurton) - 53/1 ($109.20) 20. Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 45/1 ($93.20) 21. Three Technique (Jeremiah Englehart) - 63/1 ($128.00) 22. Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 5/1 ($13.60) 23. Wells Bayou (Brad Cox) - 28/1 ($58.20) 24. All Other 3YO's - 3/1 ($8.80) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

Read Article
3.28.2020:

Tiz the Law Dominates G1 Curlin Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law ruled at Gulfstream Park Saturday, scoring a dominating 4 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) while stamping himself as the leading prospect for the 2020 Triple Crown.The 69th Florida Derby headlined a 14-race program that featured 10 stakes, six graded, worth $1.825 million in purses.Tiz the Law gives his connections a very solid chance to win a second Kentucky Derby (G1). Jack Knowlton’s Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg captured the 2003 Derby and Preakness Stakes (G1) with Funny Cide.  “All we know is that we’ve got a horse that’s very special, and it’s pretty exciting for us. Unfortunately none of us could be there today. We were all watching it on TV from coast to coast,” said Knowlton, who couldn’t be in attendance due to health and safety protocols that prohibited spectators, even owners, from attending Saturday’s races.Sent to post as the 7-5 favorite on the strength of an impressive three-length victory in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 1, Tiz the Law sat a few lengths off the early pace set by Shivaree, an 80-1 long shot ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, and pressed by Ete Indien, the Feb. 29 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) winner and 5-2 second choice ridden by Florent Geroux.  Shivaree showed the way around the first turn and along the backstretch while setting fractions of 23.75 and 47.95 seconds for the first half-mile of the 1 1/8-mile stakes. Tiz the Law advanced on the leaders on the far turn and was taken three wide on the turn into the homestretch, before speeding past a gritty Shivaree and Ete Indien and drawing away to a comfortable victory.“I want to give all the credit to the horse. He broke out of there perfectly, like a shot, and I was able to let the horse on the outside clear me and I ended up in a great position,” Franco said. “I sat third and I just thought about waiting for the right moment, and I was happy by the five-sixteenths pole. All the time when I called on him a little bit, he was there for me.”Shivaree, who had finished second in the seven-furlong Swale (G3) and six-furlong Hutcheson in his two most recent races, held gamely while stretching out around two turns to prevail over Ete Indien by three-quarters of a length. Gouverneur Morris finished a neck back in fourth under John Velazquez.Jack or Better Farm’s Shivaree was racing without blinkers for the first time in nine starts.“He’s one tough little fella, that’s all I can say,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “There’s not many times when he doesn’t show up. He’s got speed, so we weren’t going to take him away from that if he broke well, and he broke well. The winner was awesome.Tiz the Law ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50 to win for the fourth time in five lifetime starts.“I was very impressed, but I’ve been impressed with everything he’s done,” Tagg said. “He just surprises me, everything he does. He just kind of rises to the occasion and does it with aplomb.”Shivaree’s alert beginning and early speed prevented Ete Indien from getting the early lead, as he did while winning the Fountain of Youth by 8 ¼ lengths.“I kept him second, I was really happy with that,” Geroux said. “He was a little more aggressive than I wanted. I’m not sure it cost me the win, but maybe second.” Tiz the Law broke his maiden at Saratoga by 4 ½ lengths last August, two month before capturing the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park. He sustained his first loss while finishing a troubled third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in November but rebounded with his impressive score in the Holy Bull.The New York-bred colt vaulted to the top of the Kentucky Derby qualifying standings with 122 points after earning 100 points Saturday. However, Knowlton and Tagg will have to wait until Sept. 5 to see if Tiz the Law will follow in the footsteps of Funny Cide due to the coronavirus pandemic that forced the postponement of the Run for the Roses.“He is something special. It would be a lot of fun going to Kentucky in five weeks, but that’s not happening, obviously,” Knowlton said. “Now we get to run some more races. Maybe the Wood will come back in play. Maybe we can do a Travers-Derby double. Right now it’s a blank slate. Nobody knows what’s going to happen where or when with all that’s going on in the country.”

Read Article
3.25.2020:

Tiz the Law Favored in Phenomenal Edition of G1 Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law surged to the top of the list of 2020 Triple Crown candidates with a dominating triumph in the  Feb. 1 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park, where the son of Constitution will try to cement his No. 1 ranking in Saturday’s $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1).The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby for 3-year-olds will be the main event on a sensational 14-race program (first-race post –11:30 a.m.) featuring 10 stakes, six graded, worth $1.825 million in purses. The $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) presented by Fasig-Tipton and the $200,000 Kitten’s Joy Pan American (G2) will be highlights on the Florida Derby undercard, along with the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3), the $100,000 Orchid presented by Rood & Riddle (G3) and the $100,000 Appleton (G3).The full Florida Derby Day program will be livestreamed at www.gulfstreampark.com with wagering available at www.xpressbet.com and www.1stbet.com.A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 has been scheduled for Saturday. There will also be guaranteed pools Saturday for the Late Pick 4 ($500,000) and the Late Pick 5 ($400,000).Tiz the Law’s smashing 2020 debut became all the more impressive when Ete Indien, who finished three lengths behind him in the Holy Bull, went on to produce an eye-catching 8 ½-length front-running victory in the Feb. 29 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his absence.The Barclay Tagg-trained colt will also try to cement a place in the starting gate for the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1), which has been postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5, when he takes on 12 rivals (not counting an also-eligible entrant), including Ete Indien, in the 69th running of the Florida Derby. The Florida Derby winner will earn 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.“One of the big reasons is we want to get our points and then not have to worry about that and hopefully keep him healthy and sound so we’re able to actually run the race on the first Saturday in September,” said Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, which campaigned Tagg-trained 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Funny Cide.Although Tiz the Law bypassed the Fountain of Youth, his connections are confident that their 6-5 morning-line favorite who drew post position No. 7 will be up to the task of maintaining his top ranking in the Florida Derby.“He certainly proved in his last race that he can run off a layoff, so I don’t think there’s any question about that. He showed he liked the track there at Gulfstream. Probably the top competitor there is a horse that we beat in Ete Indien. We beat him going a mile and a sixteenth and I think our horse is absolutely well suited to go more than a mile and a sixteenth,” Knowlton said. “A mile and an eighth to him, I don’t think is any challenge to him at all.”Tiz the Law distinguished himself as a top-tier horse last season, when he debuted with a 4 ½-length triumph in an Aug. 8 maiden special weight race at Saratoga before going on to capture the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park by four lengths a month later. His only loss in four career starts came in his 2019 finale in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), when he finished a close third over a sloppy Churchill Downs racetrack after lacking room entering the stretch.Manuel Franco has the return mount aboard Tiz the Law Saturday.Ete Indien’s triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth was particularly impressive considering that he had to break from the far-outside No. 10 post position. The son of Summer Front made quick work of the short run to the first turn with an alert break and a quick burst of speed. The Patrick Biancone-trained colt shook off early pressure while setting the pace on the backstretch and cruised to a comfortable victory under Florent Geroux.Biancone is confident that 1 1/8-mile distance will be well within Ete Indien’s capabilities Saturday. “I don’t think he has a problem with stamina,” Biancone said. “He’s very manageable. The other day [in the Fountain of Youth], we had to ask him to get out of a bad hole. When he got the lead, he relaxed immediately and he was very manageable. Florent said he came back to him very nicely. He slowed down and relaxed.”Ete Indien, who breeze four furlongs in 48.40 seconds at Palm Meadows Training Center Wednesday morning, has shown considerable versatility during his five-race career, which he kicked off with a fast-closing victory by a neck in a Sept. 13 maiden special weight victory over Gulfstream Park’s turf course. Following an extremely wide trip in an off-the-board finish in the Bourbon (G3) on Keeneland’s turf course, Ete Indien captured his dirt debut with a front-running 2 ½-length victory in a mile optional claiming allowance Dec. 20 at Gulfstream. He set a pressured pace in the Holy Bull before settling for second, 11 ½ lengths ahead of third-place finisher As Seen On Tv. Ete Indien made a considerable move forward in his Fountain of Youth victory.“The horse keeps improving from race to race,” Biancone said. “Hopefully, he’ll keep improving and we should have a really good horse in the summer.”Ete Indien once again drew a far-outside post position (No. 12) for the Florida Derby.Geroux has the return mount aboard Ete Indien, who is rated second at 4-1 and is owned by Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable Inc., Horse France America, D P Racing LLC and Patrick L. Biancone Racing LLC.Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has saddled a record five Florida Derby winners, will be represented by Gouverneur Morris and Candy Tycoon in his quest for a sixth winner of Gulfstream’s signature race for 3-year-olds that has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown events, including 24 Kentucky Derby winners.Team Valor International and WinStar Farm LLC’s Gouverneur Morris has raced only once this year, capturing a Feb. 14 optional claiming allowance at Tampa Bay Downs, where he came close to the track record for a mile and 40 yards while winning by 1 ½ lengths.“I thought it was a good comeback. It wasn’t a cupcake field. He finished up well and seemed to come out of it and has trained strongly since then. We weren’t 100 percent sure what his next start was going to be, but based on the strength of his last breeze and the fact that the Florida Derby is right in front of us we felt like we better go ahead and go now,” Pletcher said. Gouverneur Morris created a buzz at Saratoga when he debuted with a nine-length victory Sept. 2. The son of Constitution went on to finish second behind Maxfield in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland to finish off his juvenile campaign.“He’s training as well as ever. I thought in particular his last breeze was the one we were hoping for and kind of sold us on the time to go is now,” Pletcher said.Mathis Stable LLC’s Candy Tycoon closed to finish a distant second behind Ete Indien in the Fountain of Youth in his stakes debut. The son of Twirling Candy had broken his maiden by four lengths in his prior start at Gulfstream Park a month earlier while stretching out around two turns for the first time on dirt.“The last race was an improved performance by him. He’s one that we’ve kind of had high hopes for. He’s kind of frustrated us a little bit because he trained a little better than he had been running in the afternoons but that was kind of the first time he settled off the pace a little bit. He seemed to make a move forward doing that,” Pletcher said. “This race on paper appears to have plenty of pace so it could be a good setup for him, but once again he needs to step up and make another move forward to get a piece of it.”Hall of Famer John Velazquez has the mount aboard Gouverneur Morris, while Javier Castellano has the call on Candy Tycoon.Independence Hall, who is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creek Racing Stables LLC, Kathleen Verratti and Robert Verratti, will seek to make amends for his first career loss Saturday. The Michael Trombetta-trained son of Constitution, who had won his first three race by a combined 21 lengths, moved to the lead in the stretch before being caught by Sole Volante in the Feb. 8 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. Beaten by 2 ½ lengths in his first start around two turns, Independence Hall finished 11 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Ajaaweed.“Some circumstantial things went against him in the Sam Davis. He got beat that day on the square, but if you consider the trouble that he had in that race, between the tongue tie and losing his right front shoe, the race shape and setup playing against him, I thought it was a really strong effort,” Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Aron Wellman said. “He’s never run a bad race and since that time we’ve really put a circle around the Florida Derby and he’s trained exceptionally well. We’ve got reason to expect him not to show up and run his ‘A’ race come Saturday.”Previously, Independence Hall won his Sept. 21 debut at Parx by 4 ¾ lengths before capturing the Nov. 3 Nashua (G3) by 12 ¼ lengths and the Jan. 1 Jerome by four lengths, both at Aqueduct.“With the shift in the schedule and the Kentucky Derby pushed back four months, we’re really viewing this as our Kentucky Derby right now. It’s prestigious Grade 1 that’s very meaningful to his stallion potential. His sire won it, his dam’s sire won it, so it would be a huge feather in his cap to be able to add this to his resume,” Wellman said. “We’re treating this as though it’s the Kentucky Derby right now. Hopefully he’ll be able to use this to propel himself toward the first Saturday in September, but that’s a long way off. This is an important Grade 1 on the calendar right now.”Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners will also be represented by Soros, who is trained and co-owned by Gustavo Delgado. The son of Commissioner has been idle since breaking his maiden with a 2 ½-length victory in the Nov. 30 Smooth Air Stakes at Gulfstream. Soros had previously debuted with a second-place finish at Gulfstream Park West.Joel Rosario is scheduled to ride Independence Hall for the first time Saturday, while Hall of Famer Edgar Prado will have the return mount aboard Soros.Shadwell Stable’s Ajaaweed, who finished a close second in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct before finishing third in the Sam F. Davis; Screen Door Stables LLC’s As Seen On Tv, who lost a photo-finish in the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream prior to his third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth; Jacks or Better Farm’s Shivaree, who finished second in the Swale (G3) and the Hutcheson in his two most recent starts; Frank Carl Calabrese’s Disc Jockey, a son of Bodemeister who finished second in a Feb. 17 starter stakes at Gulfstream; Martha Borchetta’s Sassy But Smart, who finished fourth on turf in the Palm Beach (G3) last time out; and Maria Ines Mejia’s My First Grammy, a maiden; round out the main body of the field.  Calumet Farm’s Rogue Element, who finished second in a maiden special weight last time out, is an also-eligible entrant.           

Read Article
3.25.2020:

Tonalist's Shape Targets Rare Sweep in G2 Gulfstream Oaks

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Slam Dunk Racing, Legacy Ranch, Inc. and Doug Branham’s undefeated Tonalist’s Shape will attempt to keep her perfect record intact and become just the second horse to accomplish a rare stakes sweep in Saturday’s $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).The 50th running of the 1 1/16-mile Oaks for 3-year-old fillies is part of a blockbuster 14-race program that includes 10 stakes, six graded, worth $1.825 million anchored by the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1), one of the country’s premier Triple Crown preps. First-race post time is 11:30 a.m.Fans can live stream the action at www.gulfstreampark.com and also watch and wager at www.xpressbet.com and www.1stbet.com. Based at Gulfstream with trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., Tonalist’s Shape has won all five of her career starts starting with her Sept. 28 debut last fall. Each of her last three wins have come in stakes during the 2019-2020 Championship Meet – the Nov. 30 Hut Hut, Feb. 1 Forward Gal (G3) and Feb. 29 Davona Dale (G2). Since the Davona Dale was added to the calendar in 1988, the only horse to win all three of Gulfstream’s winter graded-stakes for 3-year-old fillies is Glitter Woman in 1997. The Oaks was renamed in 2011 after being run as the Bonnie Miss from its inception in 1971.Bshaprsonata (2008), Onlyforyou (2014) and Cathyrn Sophia (2016) each had a chance to complete the sweep after winning Forward Gal and Davona Dale, but none ran in the Oaks. Onlyforyou was retired after the Davona Dale with a perfect 4-0 record, while Cathryn Sophia went on to win the Kentucky Oaks (G1).Dame Mysterieuse (1981), Unaccompanied (1983), Miss Oceania (1984) and Lucy Manette (1985) all won the Forward Gal and Oaks before the Davona Dale was introduced. Nine other fillies have won two of the three legs in the series including two-time champion and Hall of Famer Open Mind in 1989 and 1999 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Cash Run in 2000, both trained by D. Wayne Lukas.“Just to be in that company is very nice. I never thought about [a sweep],” Joseph said. “That would be a good resume to follow. It’s an honor just to have a filly with this ability.”Tonalist’s Shape, by 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tonalist, sprinted to wins in each of her first two starts, including an October trip to Gulfstream Park West, before stepping up into stakes company in the one-mile Hut Hut, where she took over the lead after six furlongs and went on to a nine-length romp.“For me, her coming out race was the Hut Hut on opening day at Gulfstream. In that race, she showed that she was legit, to me,” Joseph said. “We just hope that she keeps doing what she’s been doing – winning. You would think she would get better with the longer distances and this time she gets to go two turns. We just hope she continues her natural progression so far.”Tonalist’s Shape stalked again before pouncing and sprinting clear to a 3 ¾-length triumph in the seven-furlong Forward Gal, then found herself on the lead and pressed for a half-mile until asserting her class and forging a 1 ¼-length score in the Davona Dale, also at one mile. The race was the first time since her debut when she wasn’t favored.“She seems to be getting better with each race and she keeps winning, which is the important thing. She does it all different ways. Last time was the first time she was on the lead the whole way,” Joseph said. “She just shows that she has different dimensions. She can do it from behind, she can do it from in front, and that’s a good attribute to have.”Tyler Gaffalione, up for the Davona Dale, rides back from Post 9. All fillies will carry 122 pounds.Robert and Lawana Low’s Spice Is Nice went off as the favorite in the Davona Dale, despite it being just her second career start and first against stakes competition following a 12-length maiden score Jan. 12, also at Gulfstream. She finished a solid and decisive second, 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Dream Marie in third.“I thought she ran well last time. She was still a little green and it was a lot to ask for her to jump from one start to a graded-stakes,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “She was giving up a little seasoning but I think she learned a little something and I think two turns is really what she’s wanting. We’ve always felt that more distance, two turns, was going to be what she’s best at, so we’re looking forward to doing that this time.”Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will be aboard the daughter of two-time Horse of the Year and 2014 Hall of Famer Curlin from Post 5.“We’ve had very high hopes for her all along,” Pletcher said. “She delivered with a big debut and was still running on at the end in her stakes debut, so we’ll hope that the stretchout brings her forward again.”Pletcher will also be represented by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Abbey Spearman’s Mrs. S, a front-running 2 ¼-length maiden winner going 1 1/8 miles Feb. 16 at Gulfstream. The Creative Cause filly had been second or third in three of her first four races dating back to last fall prior to graduating. Hall of Famer John Velazquez rides from Post 10.“She’s a filly that’s very talented and we’re hoping that she’s starting to come around mentally as well and putting it all together,” Eclipse managing partner Aron Wellman said. “The two turns will be no problem for her. She won going two turns at Gulfstream. We’d rather have a little bit softer landing for her, but she’s a quality filly with a lot of potential. If we could pick up some graded black type we’d be ecstatic.”Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s homebred Lucrezia makes the jump in distance and class in the Oaks, off back-to-back stakes scores at Tampa Bay Downs. The Into Mischief filly scored by 1 ¾ lengths in the six-furlong Sandpiper Dec. 7 to cap her 2-year-old season, then opened 2020 with a five-length decision in the one-mile, 40-yard Suncoast Feb. 8.A front-running maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs on turf last fall at Keeneland, Lucrezia has shown the ability to sit off the pace and come running in her two most recent efforts. Julien Leparoux has the assignment from Post 7.“That’s the fun thing with her, it looks like she’s got a lot of tactical speed but she can rate also. And she can be efficient on dirt or turf, so we were looking forward to a good summer with her,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said. “Not sure what’s going to happen but, hopefully, we can run on Saturday and figure her out a little bit more.”Delacour had initially targeted the Ashland (G1) but had to change course after Keeneland canceled its spring meet. She enters the race off successive bullet works at Tampa, the most recent a five-furlong move in 59.80 seconds March 22, fastest of 22 horses.“I really like her. She breezed terrific last weekend,” he said. “We had planned to go to the Ashland with her so we kind of timed it for that. I wish that I could have breezed her one more time, but I was very happy with how she did the other day.”Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver will make her third start of the year and second straight in graded company in the Oaks. A maiden winner in debut last November, she was most recently third in the 1 1/16-mile Rachel Alexandra (G2) Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds.“She’s a really good filly. We’re really excited about her,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “She ran a good third at Fair Grounds and we’ve given her plenty of time since. She’s had a good work at Gulfstream since and she’s set to fire. I think we have a big shot.”Second in a pair of turf stakes after being claimed for $50,000 out of a win on dirt last May at Gulfstream, David Staudacher’s Sunset Promise will get another shot on the main track in the Oaks. In her last start, the daughter of Broken Vow was sixth following a wide trip though beaten just three lengths in Gulfstream’s 1 1/16-mile Herecomesthebride (G3) Feb. 29.“She’s run some good races, she just hasn’t gotten paid for it [with wins],” trainer Mike Maker said. “The owner was looking to try her on the dirt. We claimed her out of a dirt race but we felt we were claiming a two-turn turf horse so that’s the direction we took. There’s very limited opportunities right now so we want to run while we can.”Godolphin homebred Lake Avenue, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle (G2) Dec. 7 at Aqueduct for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott; Dream Marie, third in the Davona Dale at 28-1 odds last out; Addilyn, fifth in the Davona Dale; and recent maiden winners Bajan Girl, Inveterate, Spartanka and also-eligibles Four Grands and Marialuisa complete the field.

Read Article
3.25.2020:

Pegasus Turf Winner Zulu Alpha Back in G2 Pan American

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Even if it wasn’t in the original plans, the connections for claimer-turned-Grade 1-winning multi-millionaire Zulu Alpha couldn’t have found a better landing spot than Saturday’s $200,000 Kitten’s Joy Pan American at Gulfstream Park.The 59th running of the 1 ½-mile Pan American for 4-year-olds and up on turf is part of a blockbuster 14-race program that includes 10 stakes, six graded, worth $1.825 million anchored by the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1), one of the country’s premier Triple Crown preps. First-race post time is 11:30 a.m.Fans can live stream the action at www.gulfstreampark.com and also watch and wager at www.xpressbet.com and www.1stbet.comTrainer Mike Maker had wanted to give Zulu Alpha some time following the 7-year-old gelding’s repeat victory in the Mac Diarmida (G2) Feb. 29. It was the second triumph of the Championship Meet for Zulu Alpha, who opened 2020 with a career-highlight victory in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) Jan. 25.“He continues to do excellent. I called an audible since the [Kentucky] Derby day stakes had been canceled, so we elected for the Pan American,” Maker said. “He’s had a great winter.”Zulu Alpha trailed all but two horses before using a patient rail-skimming trip to find room in the stretch and go on to a two-length victory in the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus. He got the exact opposite trip in the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida, making a sweeping five-wide move before getting up to win by a length.Both races came under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who returns to ride from Post 9 of 10 at co-topweight of 124 pounds.“It’s just the way the races shaped up. The bottom line is, the horse likes to win,” Maker said. “The last time he didn’t get away good and had a wide trip, but he was able to get the job done. We’re looking for another big performance this Saturday.”Zulu Alpha owns 11 wins and $2.02 million in purse earnings from 32 lifetime starts, hitting the board 20 times. Claimed for $80,000 out of a Sept. 14, 2018 win at Churchill Downs, he has run 12 times for Maker – all in graded-stakes. Five of them have been wins, including the 2019 W.L. McKnight (G3), and he owns four straight wins over the Gulfstream turf from five career starts.“I feel blessed. How often does an individual like me get this kind of horse with this kind of success and compete at this level?” Hui said. “You just don’t see it.”Added Maker: “Winning the Pegasus was exciting and the fact that Michael Hui got to experience it – he’s just been such a great client and a great guy that it was very well-deserved.”Maker will also send out Paradise Farm Corp.’s Bemma’s Boy, a 5-year-old Into Mischief gelding he claimed for $30,000 last May. Bemma’s Boy was fourth, beaten less than a length, in the 1 1/8-mile River City Handicap (G3) to end his 2019 campaign, and kicked off this year running third by the same three-quarter-length margin in the 1 ½-mile John B. Connally (G3) Jan. 26 at Sam Houston.“He’s another one that is on top of his game. He had some bad luck at Sam Houston last time, otherwise I felt he was the best horse in the race,” Maker said. “He’s been his own worst enemy at the gate.”Florent Geroux has the call on Bemma’s Boy from Post 2.A third Maker trainee, Paradise Farms Corp. and Mad Dog Racing Stable’s Go Poke the Bear, will make his stakes debut in the Pan American. He was a head winner of a 1 1/8-mile optional claiming allowance Jan. 1 at Gulfstream, his most recent start and first off a $50,000 claim last fall.Calumet Farm’s Channel Cat enters the Pan American with a lifetime bankroll just shy of the $1 million mark at $938,992 from 21 starts including his lone graded-stakes triumph in the 2019 Bowling Green (G2) last summer at Saratoga.A 5-year-old son of turf champion English Channel, who shared the same trainer in Todd Pletcher, Channel Cat ran into trouble early in the Pegasus Turf and was never in contention finishing 10th. It was one of only two off-the-board efforts in seven tries at Gulfstream, where he owns two wins, one second and two thirds.“He’s a cool horse. I think getting back to a mile and a half is sort of his specialty. He seems to be in good form, so we’re looking forward to getting him going again,” Pletcher said. “He’s run well over the Gulfstream course before, but I think most importantly getting back to a mile and a half is in his favor.”Channel Cat will carry 122 pounds including jockey Joel Rosario from Post 1.Pletcher also entered Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert LaPenta and Dixiana Farms’ Grade 3 winner Current. Fifth in last year’s Florida Derby, the 4-year-old Curlin colt returned from a six-month layoff to be third in a March 6 optional claiming allowance at Tampa Bay Downs.West Point Thoroughbreds, New Phoenix Stable, Louisa Stevenson and Tango Uniform Racing’s Focus Group was a popular nose winner of last year’s Pan American, which marked his third win and second stakes in four starts. He went winless in five subsequent tries to end the year, and will be racing for the first time in five months and first for trainer Christophe Clement.Terry Hamilton’s Spooky Channel, neck winner of the 1 ½-mile McKnight Jan. 25; six-time stakes winner Galleon Mast; Grade 2-placed Prince of Arabia and Manicomio are also entered.

Read Article
3.25.2020:

Harvey Wallbanger Headlines G3 Hal's Hope Field

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Consider Harvey Wallbanger, the cocktail.It experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, fell out of favor, and has now made a popular comeback.Consider Harvey Wallbanger, the horse.It experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, fell out of favor, and has now made a popular comeback.One of 11 older horses entered in Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream Park, Harvey Wallbanger burst onto the radar of racing fans in February of 2019 when he won the Holy Bull (G2) by a length at odds of 29-1. Suddenly, Harvey Wallbanger was considered a classic contender.But Harvey fell out of favor when he finished eighth in the Florida Derby (G1), seventh in the Lexington (G3), and went the remainder of the year without a victory.Now Harvey Wallbanger is back; signaling his return a month ago at Gulfstream with an impressive 5 ¼ length victory in which he burst through the rail around the turn before finishing going away.A winner of two of three starts at Gulfstream, Harvey Wallbanger’s competition will include Challenger (G3) winner Trophy Chaser, last year’s Florida Derby runner-up Bodexpress, and two from the barn of leading trainer Todd Pletcher – American Tattoo and You’re to Blame.Harvey Wallbanger, a 4-year-old son of Congrats, has been a “tricky horse,” according to Belmont (G1), Travers (G1), Alabama (G1), Ashland (G1) and two-time Florida Derby-winning trainer Ken McPeek. “He’s the kind of horse who needs a pace,” McPeek added. “If the pace sets up right, if it unfolds the right way, he will run huge. But if there’s no pace he has a harder time. But he’s doing good and he likes Gulfstream.”Pletcher, who has saddled the winner of the Hal’s Hope three of the past four years, will send out American Tattoo and You’re To Blame. American Tattoo, winner of the Allen Jerkens at Gulfstream in December and third in the Marathon (G2) at Santa Anita in November, enters the Hal’s Hope off a 11th-place finish in the 1 ½-mile McKnight  (G3) Jan. 25 at Gulfstream. It was American Tattoo’s first race on the turf after drawing the tough No. 11 post.“Last time he drew a bad post in there and it’s so difficult in those three-turn races to get hung out three or four wide on two or three turns,” Pletcher said. “It was just too much to overcome. I actually do think the horse handles the turf OK, but we just figured with this opportunity we’d go ahead and get back on the dirt and see if he can regain his best form. He’s proven that he can handle it.”You’re to Blame will be making his first start since October. The 6-year-old son of Distorted Humor, who finished second in last year’s Pimlico Special (G3) and was beaten only a length in the Brooklyn (G2), “needed a comeback spot,” Pletcher said.“I think he really found his specialty in a mile and a quarter-plus dirt races so we’re hoping he can run well here,” he added. “Who knows what the future brings, but it could set him up for something like the Pimlico Special, where he ran very well last year. He was right there.”The field also includes graded-stakes winner Sir Anthony, graded-stakes placed Just Whistle and Prompt, and stakes winners Realm and Eye of a Jedi.

Read Article
3.22.2020:

Independence Hall Takes to Surface in Final G1 Curlin Florida Derby Workout

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables, Kathleeen Verratti and Robert Verratti’s Grade 3 winner Independence Hall got acquainted with Gulfstream Park during a sharp half-mile breeze Sunday ahead of a scheduled start in the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) March 28.The 69th running of the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby for 3-year-olds anchors a blockbuster program featuring 10 stakes, six graded, worth $1.825 million on the final Saturday of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet. With trainer Mike Trombetta’s assistant and former jockey Sarah Shaffer aboard, Independence Hall went four furlongs over a fast Gulfstream main track in 48.31 seconds, ranking seventh of 67 horses at the distance. Watch Independence Hall's Workout on XBTV It was the fifth work for the son and grandson of Florida Derby winners Constitution (2014) and Cape Town (1998) since suffering his first loss in four career starts when second to Sole Volante in the Sam F. Davis (G3) Feb. 8 at his winter base of Tampa Bay Downs.“We’re certainly pleased with the horse in all respects,” Eclipse’s California-based managing partner Aron Wellman said. “I spoke to Mike and I spoke to Sarah; both of them were extremely pleased with the breeze. He had had his serious workout the week before last when we really put some air into him going seven [furlongs] and out a strong mile. All he needed this morning was a little maintenance move to sharpen him up.”The connections were particularly pleased with the way Independence Hall took to Gulfstream in his first spin over the surface, as well as the way the Kentucky-bred colt continued on in his gallop out.“Mike was very happy and Sarah executed the plan to precision. Sarah thought that Independence Hall really appreciated the surface at Gulfstream this morning,” Wellman said. “It’s a mixture of dirt and sand compared to what he’s been on all winter at Tampa, which is pure sand. Sarah was of the opinion that he got a hold of this surface better than how he’s been handling Tampa. That’s no knock on Tampa’s surface – it’s a great surface and he had a really good winter there. With the big goal being the Florida Derby right now ahead of us, we’re pleased to hear that Sarah believes that he really bounced over this surface nicely today.“I thought that the body of the work itself was very, very sharp and just what we wanted to see, especially for a young horse like him going by himself,” he added. “I thought from the wire to the mile-pole and then from the mile-pole to the seven-eighths I thought it was probably the best part of his work. He really started to find his stride and it seemed like he had a lot of energy galloping out, and that’s exactly what Mike was looking for this morning six days out from the Florida Derby.”At Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Sackatoga Stable’s Grade 1 winner Tiz the Law put in his final breeze for the Florida Derby with a five-furlong move in 1:02.65 over the main track for trainer Barclay Tagg.“I talked to Barclay and he said that the track was really, really dull, particularly on the front side where the finish line is, but he galloped out great and we’re ready to go, hopefully, on Saturday,” Sackatoga’s managing partner Jack Knowlton said.“We’ve been pointing for this race for eight or nine weeks now. This was the plan,” he added. “He had that little foot bruise back several weeks ago and that’s well, well behind us. We got the works in we wanted, which you can see. He’s fit and we’re anxious to get a chance to run, because nobody knows when the next chance is going to be.”Winner of the Feb. 1 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream in his 3-year-old debut and first start since a third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) Nov. 30, Tiz the Law is expected to be favored in a field that could also include Feb. 29 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Ete Indien; Ajaaweed, second in the Remsen (G2) and third in the Sam Davis; As Seen On Tv, third in the Fountain of Youth; and the Todd Pletcher-trained Gouverneur Morris, second in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Fountain of Youth runner-up Candy Tycoon and Gulfstream maiden winner Palm Springs.Frank Calabrese’s Disc Jockey, most recently second in the seven-furlong American Fabius Feb. 17 at Gulfstream, is also being pointed to the Florida Derby. The Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee worked five furlongs in 1:01.49 at Gulfstream Sunday.Also among a bevy of workers for Joseph Sunday at Gulfstream was undefeated 3-year-old filly Tonalist’s Shape, scheduled to make her next start in the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on the Derby undercard.Tonalist’s Shape breezed five furlongs in company in 1:00.56, third-fastest of 23 horses. The daughter of 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tonalist is 5-0 lifetime, her last three wins coming in stakes – the Hut Hut, Forward Gal (G3) and Davona Dale (G2) during the Championship Meet.“She had a good work. We weren’t looking for much. We just put her with a horse that we thought would just get around there and not make her overdo it, and she did it the right way. She went well,” Joseph said. “It was a solid work for her. We’re happy with where she’s at. She’s done good. She’s shown a lot of energy, so we’re excited to run her this week.”

Read Article
3.21.2020:

Tiz the Law, Ete Indien Headline Curlin Florida Derby Nominations

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Tiz the Law, a dominating winner of the Feb. 1 Holy Bull (G3) in his 2020 debut, and Ete Indien, who romped to an 8 ½-length victory in the Feb. 29 Fountain of Youth (G2), are prominent on a list of 39 3-year-olds nominated to the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park March 28.The Barclay Tagg-trained Tiz the Law, who ranked among the top juveniles of 2019 after winning the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park by four lengths last fall, scored by three lengths in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull at Gulfstream without fully extending himself under jockey Manuel Franco. The son of Tiznow is owned by Sackatoga Stable, which campaigned 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Funny Cide.The Patrick Biancone-trained Ete Indien, who finished second behind Tiz the Law in the Holy Bull, overcame a far-outside post position to produce an eye-catching front-running triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. Ete Indien is owned by a partnership that includes Linda Shanahan, D P Racing and Sanford Bacon.The 69th running of the Florida Derby will highlight a program with 10 stakes, six graded. The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown events, as well as 24 Derby winners, 19 Preakness winners and 16 Belmont winners.Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has nominated five horses to the Florida Derby, while Gulfstream’s leading trainer Todd Pletcher is represented by nine 3-year-olds on the nominations list.Authentic, the San Felipe (G2) winner who is undefeated in three starts for Starlight Racing et al.; Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Azul Coast, who captured the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in February; Eight Rings, the 2019 American Pharoah (G1) winner who is owned by SF Racing LLC et al; Gary and Mary West’s High Velocity, who finished third in the Robert Lewis (G3) last time out; and Gary and Mary West’s West Sider, an impressive debut winner at Santa Anita last month; are Southern California-based Baffert’s Florida Derby nominees.Pletcher’s Florida Derby nominations include Mathis Stable LLC’s Candy Tycoon, who closed from eighth to finish second in the Fountain of Youth; and Team Valor International and WinStar Farm LLC’s Gouverneur Morris, the 2019 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) runner-up who was impressive in winning his 2020 debut.Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners et al.’s Independence Hall, who was rated among the top 2-year-olds last year after winning the Nashua (G3) by 12 ¼ lengths, represents trainer Michael Trombetta on the Florida Derby nominations list. The son of Constitution, who began his sophomore season with a four-length victory in the Jerome at Aqueduct, is coming off a second-place finish in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.Biancone-trained Sole Volante, who defeated Independence Hall by 2 ½-lengths in the Sam F. Davis before finishing second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2); Steve Asmussen-trained Shoplifted, who finished second in the 2019 Hopeful (G1) and most recently finished fourth in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn; Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Ajaaweed, who finished third in the Sam F. Davis after finishing second in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct last fall; Kelly Breen-trained As Seen On Tv, who finished third in the Fountain of Youth; and Ralph Nicks-trained Shiveree, who finished second in the Hutcheson and third in the Swale (G3) at Gulfstream this year; are also prominent on the list of nominees.Curlin Florida Derby NominationsAjaaweed (Kiaran McLaughlin)Americanus (Mark Hennig)As Seen On Tv (Kelly Breen)Attachment Rate (Dale Romans)Authentic (Bob Baffert)Azul Coast (Bob Baffert)Candy Tycoon (Todd Pletcher)Chance It (Saffie Joseph Jr.)Dennis' Moment (Dale Romans)Disc Jockey (Saffie Joseph Jr.)Eight Rings (Bob Baffert)Ete Indien (Patrick Biancone)Farmington Road (Todd Pletcher)Fort Knox (Keith Desormeaux)Giocare (Todd Pletcher)Gouverneur Morris (Todd Pletcher)High Velocity (Bob Baffert)Independence Hall (Michael Trombetta)Makabim (Daniel Hurtak)Masterday (Gilberto Zerpa)Mukulwitz (Fausto Gutierrez)Ournationonparade (Kathy Ritvo)Palm Springs (Todd Pletcher)Portos (Todd Pletcher)Rogue Element (Dale Romans)Roman Empire (Todd Pletcher)Sassy But Smart (Kendall Condie)Shivaree (Ralph Nicks)Shoplifted (Steve Asmussen)Shotski (Jeremiah O'Dwyer)Silver Ratio (Todd Pletcher)Sir Rick (Robertino Diodoro)Sole Volante (Patrick Biancone)Soros (Gustavo Delgado)Swagsational (Heath Lawrence)Texas Swing (Todd Pletcher)Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg)Tons of Gold (Alexis Delgado)West Sider (Bob Baffert)

Read Article
3.21.2020:

Gouverneur Morris Confirmed for G1 Curlin Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Team Valor International and WinStar Farm LLC’s Gouverneur Morris was confirmed for next Saturday’s $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park following a five-furlong workout Saturday morning at Palm Beach Downs.“He worked as well as he ever has this morning,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I think we should take what's in front of us [Florida Derby], assuming they keep running at Gulfstream.”Gouverneur Morris breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 while covering the last quarter-mile in 24 seconds.The 3-year-old son of Constitution, who finished second in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland last year after winning by nine lengths in his debut at Saratoga, captured a Feb. 14 optional claiming allowance at Tampa Bay Downs in his 2020 debut.The 69th running of the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby will highlight a program with 10 stakes, six graded.Gouverneur Morris is expected to clash with Holy Bull (G3) winner Tiz the Law and Fountain of Youth (G2) victor Ete Indien in Gulfstream’s prestigious Triple Crown prep.

Read Article
3.13.2020:

March 14 Cross Country Pick 5 features Key Triple Crown Prep Races

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will partner with Oaklawn Park and Turfway Park to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by the Grade 2, $1 million Rebel in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the Grade 3, $250,000 Jeff Ruby from 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. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool. The sequence begins in Race 9 (5:35p.m. Eastern) from Aqueduct Racetrack with a maiden special weight for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies. Drawing a full field of 11, conditioner Linda Rice will saddle Honey Money for owners Darlene Bilinski and Harry Patten, who looks to improve after finishing second in her debut on February 22 at the Big A. The action will then switch to Turfway Park (Race 10, 5:55 p.m.) for the one-mile Bourbonette Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, a Kentucky Oaks qualifying race offering 20-8-4-2 points to the first four finishers. A field of 12 is led by Laura's Light, shipping in from California for owner Gary Barber and trainer Peter Miller, who will be in search of her third consecutive victory while switching surfaces following a victory on the turf in the Grade 3 Sweet Life on February 16 at Santa Anita Park. The Cross Country Pick 5 continues in Race 10 at Oaklawn (6:23 p.m.) with the $1 million Rebel, a Kentucky Derby prep race drawing a field of eight with 50-20-10-5 points for the first four finishers. Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen entered three contenders inncluding Basin for Jackpot Farm, who makes his first start of the season after winning the Grade 1 Runhappy Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course as a juvenile; Ed and Susie Orr 's Silver Prospector who captured the Grade 3 Southwest at Oaklawn on February 17; and Excession for Calumet Farm who will look to rebound off an eighth-place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on February 15.  The penultimate leg returns to Turfway for the Jeff Ruby (Race 12, 6:42 p.m.) for 3-year-olds. The Kentucky Derby prep race draws has drawn a field of 12 with trainer Wesley Ward entering Invader for owners Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables, and LNJ Foxwoods. The War Front colt, listed at odds of 7-2 on the morning-line, will look to win his third consecutive race and is 2-for-2 at Turfway including a score in the John Battaglia on February 14. Closing out the Cross Country Pick 5 is a maiden special weight race from Oaklawn, a six-furlong sprint featuring a 12-horse field. Cynical Girl for conditioner McLean Roberson and owners Zack Ames and John Mentz will look to improve in her third start coming in off a second-place finish on February 29. Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, March 14:Leg 1 - Aqueduct, Race 9: $60,000, Maiden Special Weight (5:35 p.m.)Leg 2 - Turfway Park, Race 10: $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks (5:55 p.m.)Leg 3 - Oaklawn, Race 10, Grade 2, $1 million Rebel (6:23 p.m.)Leg 4 - Turfway, Race 11, Grade 3, $250,000 Jeff Ruby (6:42 p.m.)Leg 5 - Oaklawn, Race 11, $87,000 Maiden Special Weight (6:55 p.m.)

Read Article
3.9.2020:

2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3 (March 6 - 8, 2020): 1. Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 6/1 ($14.80) 2. Basin (Steve Asmussen) - 38/1 ($79.20) 3. Chance It (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 53/1 ($108.20)4. Charlatan (Bob Baffert) - 12/1 ($27.20) 5. Enforceable (Mark Casse) - 23/1 ($48.00) 6. Ete Indien (Patrick Biancone) - 16/1 ($34.80) 7. Gouverneur Morris (Todd Pletcher) - 26/1 ($55.80) 8. Honor A.P. (John Shirreffs) - 14/1 ($31.60) 9. Independence Hall (Michael Trombetta) - 27/1 ($57.20) 10. Major Fed (Greg Foley) - 42/1 ($87.60)11. Max Player (Linda Rice) - 71/1 ($144.20)12. Maxfield (Brendan Walsh) - 15/1 ($33.60) 13. Modernist (Bill Mott) - 35/1 ($72.40) 14. Nadal (Bob Baffert) - 10/1 ($22.40) 15. Royal Act (Peter Eurton) - 68/1 ($138.60) 16. Silver Prospector (Steve Asmussen) - 24/1 ($51.00) 17. Sole Volante (Patrick Biancone) - 20/1 ($42.80) 18. Spa City (Kiaran McLaughlin) - 104/1 ($210.20) 19. Storm the Court (Peter Eurton) - 60/1 ($123.80) 20. Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 34/1 ($70.40) 21. Three Technique (Jeremiah Englehart) - 29/1 ($61.20) 22. Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 7/1 ($61.20) 23. Wells Bayou (Brad Cox) - 62/1 ($126.40) 24. All Other 3YO's - 4/1 ($10.20) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

Read Article
3.9.2020:

2020 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (March 6 - 8, 2020): 1. Alta's Award (Steve Asmussen) - 59/1 ($120.20) 2. Auberge (Bob Baffert) - 38/1 ($78.20) 3. British Idiom (Brad Cox) - 12/1 ($27.60) 4. Donna Veloce (Simon Callaghan) - 12/1 ($26.40) 5. Edgeway (John Sadler) - 23/1 ($48.20)6. Finite (Steve Asmussen) - 8/1 ($18.20) 7. Frank's Rockette (Bill Mott) - 27/1 ($56.20) 8. Gingham (Bob Baffert) - 50/1 ($103.60) 9. Harvey's Lil Goil (Bill Mott) - 11/1 ($25.20) 10. Ice Princess (Danny Gargan) - 47/1 ($97.80) 11. Lake Avenue (Bill Mott) - 18/1 ($38.20) 12. Lucrezia (Arnaud Delacour) - 55/1 ($112.00) 13. Maedean (Mark Hennig) - 71/1 ($145.80) 14. Magic Dance (Steve Asmussen) - 92/1 ($186.60) 15. Mo City (Michael Stidham) - 107/1 ($217.80) 16. Motu (Ken McPeek) - 113/1 ($229.20) 17. O Seraphina (Joe Sharp) - SCRATCHED18. Spice Is Nice (Todd Pletcher) - 16/1 ($34.40) 19. Swiss Skydiver (Ken McPeek) - 167/1 ($337.00) 20. Tonalist's Shape (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 9/1 ($21.00) 21. Turtle Trax (Ian Wilkes) - 112/1 ($226.00) 22. Venetian Harbor (Richard Baltas) - 4/1 ($10.60) 23. Wicked Whisper (Steve Asmussen) - 41/1 ($85.80) 24. All Other 3YO's - 3/1 ($8.80) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

Read Article
3.8.2020:

Gulfstream Park Announces $3.775 Million Spring & Summer Stakes Schedule

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park’s spring and summer stakes schedule will offer horsemen $3.775 million in purses featuring the $1.4 million Florida Sire Stakes and $300,000 Princess Rooney (G2), which will be moved from June to September along with the $200,000 Smile Sprint (G3).The spring racing season begins Thursday, April 2. The stakes schedule kicks off on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 2, with the $100,000 Big Drama for Florida-breds and the Honey Ryder and English Channel, both contested on the turf.The biggest change to the stakes schedule will be moving the Princess Rooney and Smile Sprint to September 5. The distance of the Princess Rooney has been changed from seven furlongs to six furlongs and the purse increased $50,000. The race day will also include the $75,000 Miss Gracie and $75,000 Bear’s Den.“Both the Princess Rooney and Smile were moved from the middle of the summer to September in hopes of more participation moving closer to the fall,” said Mike Lakow, Gulfstream’s Vice President of Racing. “We also noticed there was a void in filly and mare Grade 1 and 2 races under seven furlongs. Therefore we changed the distance of the Princess Rooney to six furlongs and brought the purse to $300,000.”This will be the 39th anniversary of the $1.4 million Florida Sire Stakes, for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions. The rich series, which has produced Awesome Feather, Three Ring, Big Drama, Smile and Jackson Bend, kicks off Aug. 1 with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and $100,000 Desert Vixen divisions. It continues Aug. 29 with the $200,000 Affirmed and $200,000 Susan’s Girl and culminates Sept. 26 with the $400,000 In Reality and $400,000 My Dear Girl.      Gulfstream’s live card on Preakness Day, May 16, will include the $100,000 Musical Romance for Florida-breds and the $75,000 Roar and $75,000 Powder Break, while Belmont Stakes Day, June 6, will feature the $100,000 Soldier’s Dancer and $100,000 Ginger Punch, both for Florida-breds.Gulfstream will also have stakes races on three Saturdays during Saratoga’s summer meet as well as three stakes on July 4 weekend.“We set the stakes schedule to accompany important racing days and holidays,” Lakow said.For more information go to GulfstreamPark.com.

Read Article
3.8.2020:

Authentic Gives Baffert His Seventh Win in G2 San Felipe Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 7, 2020) — Bob Baffert’s Authentic bounded straight to the lead and dominated his competition throughout in winning today’s Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, remaining unbeaten in three starts while projecting himself as the early favorite in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby April 4.  Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, the Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief easily prevailed by 2 1/4 lengths, while getting a mile and one sixteenth in 1:43.56. Heading to the three furlong pole, Authentic enjoyed a roughly 1 1/2 length advantage over Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court, while Honor A.P., with Smith up, were in hot pursuit.  Turning for home, it was apparent Authentic had plenty left in the tank and he seemed to find another gear late as he won in-hand with his ears pricked. A 7 3/4 length winner of the Grade III Sham Stakes at one mile here on Jan. 4, Authentic was the 6-5 favorite versus six rival sophomores today and paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.60. Owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, LLC, Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding and Golconda Stables, Authentic, who is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Flawless, picked up 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, virtually assuring him of starting berth in the Run for the Roses on May 2. With the winner’s share of $240,000, Authentic now has earnings of $331,200.Honor A.P., an impressive one mile maiden winner on Oct. 13, acquitted himself very well, finishing 3 ½ lengths in front of Storm the Court in a determined effort. Trained by John Shirreffs, Honor A.P. was off at 3-1 and paid $4.00 and $2.80.  Storm the Court, with Joel Rosario aboard, kept to his task but was third best, finishing 5 ½ lengths clear of previously unbeaten Thousand Words. Off at 4-1, Storm the Court paid $2.80 to show. The second, third and fourth place finishers received 20, 10 and five Derby qualifying points respectively. Fractions on the race were 22.84, 46.71, 1:11.32 and 1:36.89.JOCKEY QUOTES DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, AUTHENTIC, WINNER: “Beautiful trip. He took a little tiny stumble out of the gate, but it wasn’t enough to cost us. I was just in cruise control. I was seeing if anybody was going to test me to make me pick it up.“I kept him going a few times, just to keep him focused, but he got off amazing and it seems like there’s more in the tank.“I think he’s just getting more mature himself; that was his first time going two turns.” MIKE SMITH, HONOR A.P., SECOND: “I’m very proud of him, and I thought he ran extremely well. We were a bit behind coming in because he bruised his foot earlier, about a month and a half or two months ago. So we missed some time with him, but I thought if I could finish within a couple lengths of whoever won it today, then that would be a really good effort, and if I was to win it, that would be incredible. I was very happy with this effort, and he should move forward off this. He should have a better kick next time, so we’re excited.(On his maturity and progress toward the Kentucky Derby): “He’s an intelligent horse. Early on, I think a lot of it was that he’s just a big old colt and likes to play a lot and wants to rear up and do all that, but he’s starting to mature a whole lot and listening to what we’re trying to get him to do. So far, so good. He’s just getting smarter every race.” TRAINER QUOTES BOB BAFFERT, AUTHENTIC, WINNER, AND THOUSAND WORDS, THIRD: “He stumbled a little bit leaving there, and I anticipated that, but he’s so quick on his feet. Once he got him around the turn—I know they were going quick and I knew Thousand Words was closer, and I probably learned a lot from him; he doesn’t want to be that close. He sort of flattened out at the end. I was disappointed with him.“But when I saw the fractions, 22 and change, it was fast, but he was doing it so easy. The really good one do that and I just love the wah her looked down the backside. Turning for home I saw Mike Smith coming with that good horse (Honor A.P.) and I said, ‘We’ll see what he’s made of’ and I was hoping he wouldn’t do his shenanigans (ducking in).“But he handled it well and he wasn’t tired. He’s a special horse and this was probably one of the toughest prep races that we’ve seen so far. Those were really good horses in there. We hope to stay healthy and run in the Santa Anita Derby (April 4). He’ll stay here and run in that and I’ll figure something out with Thousand Words.“Drayden (Van Dyke) has been doing a magnificent job on him and I’m happy for him. I’m happy for the groom; a lot of sweat and hard work goes into these things and we are fortunate to find a horse like this.”On wearing earplugs: “I don’t want to give my secret away. That’s what calmed American Pharoah down. He was the same way, some horses are just really delicate to sound so we put em’ in it and it seemed like it worked. I don’t like to compare my horses; one race at a time. We still have a long way to go, but what I saw today, t you want to see him doing it as easy as he did. He looked like he was enjoying himself out there. I have to just keep him at this level until the first Saturday in May.” JOHN SHIRREFFS, HONOR A.P., SECOND: “He ran really great. I’m very happy with him.” JACK WOLF, AUTHENTIC, PART-OWNER WINNER: “On top of the way he tucked in in the last race, Bob seems to have it solved. I was sitting next to Bob during the race and when I saw the .22 and .44 I thought they were too quick and he said he’s doing it easy.” NOTES: This Was Baffert’s seventh San Felipe win, adding to his record of six previously.

Read Article
3.7.2020:

Mischevious Alex Scores in G3 Gotham Stakes

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Mischevious Alex entered Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham as the field's lone graded stakes winner and showed his class with a strong stretch run, posting his third consecutive victory to earn 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points via his two-length score at Aqueduct Racetrack.Owned by Cash is King Stable and LC Racing and bred by WinStar Farm, Mischevious Alex entered off a 9 3/4-length victory in the Parx Juvenile in November before starting his sophomore campaign by capturing his graded stakes bow by seven lengths in the Grade 3 Swale on February 1 at Gulfstream Park.Making his first start at a NYRA track, the Into Mischief colt sustained his momentum, tracking the early speed in fourth position as War Stopper led the 11-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 23.54 seconds and the half in 47.26 on the fast main track.Under jockey Kendrick Carmouche, bidding for his third win on the day's 10-race card, Mischevious Alex was urged up and took command entering the stretch. Staying near the rail, the 8-5 favorite repelled Untitled's stretch-drive bid from the outside, completing the one-turn mile in 1:38.80.Mischevious Alex improved to 3-for-3 since trainer John Servis added blinkers. It also marked the second stakes win Servis and Carmouche teamed for on the afternoon, joining Diamond King's effort in the $125,000 Stymie in Race 7."It was a great day for us. He handled the next step up really well and gave us a solid effort today," said Servis, whose only previous starter in the Kentucky Derby was a winning one with Smarty Jones in 2004. "We'll see how he comes out of this and Chuck [Zacney, Cash is King] and the other partners and I will discuss what's next. Ever since we put the blinkers on him, everything that we've handed him, he has handled very well."Offering 50-20-10-5 qualifying points towards the "Run for the Roses" on May 4 at Churchill Downs to the top-four finishers, Untitled edged Attachment Rate by a head for second. Montauk Traffic picked up the five points, finishing a half-length ahead of Necker Island.Flap Jack, Informative, First Deputy, Sixto, War Stopper and Celtic Striker completed the order of finish.All three of Mischevious Alex's previous wins have come in sprints. But Carmouche, who had the call aboard the $140,000 purchase at the 2019 Ocala Breeders' Sale for the first time, piloted him to his first win at a mile to register his first Gotham win."John pretty much told me this horse can do anything," Carmouche said. "He sits pretty good or can go to the lead. He told me the horse is a rocket out the gate, so the best thing that I can do is to take advantage. He left out of there running and I didn't want to panic. I wasn't in a rush. I thought I had the best horse in the race, so I wasn't in a hurry. I was pretty confident in my horse and John. He just told me to ride the way I feel and win the race."Mischevious Alex returned $5.50 on a $2 win wager and nearly doubled his career bankroll to $344,230. Servis said he could take another shot in the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 4 at the Big A, where 100-40-20-10 Derby points will be on the line."We'll discuss it, but as long as he comes out of it well, I think it's worth taking a shot," Servis said.Untitled, fourth in the Swale before running second against optional claimers last out at Tampa Bay Downs, earned stakes blacktype for the first time in his career."I thought he ran very well," said Untitled jockey Junior Alvarado, who won earlier in the day aboard Mind Control in the Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap. "We were a little bit wide, but we drew the 10 post, so we didn't have a lot of choices. He ran a great race. When I asked him, he gave me what he had, and he ran on to the wire. He held on pretty well for running three times in a month."If they want to run in the Wood Memorial, it will give him a chance to get strong again," he added. "The way he ran today, he should have no problem with two turns. He's a kind horse. He will do whatever you want."Attachment Rate, making his stakes debut in his fourth career start, ran third for trainer Dale Romans."I had a good trip. He broke well but I think more distance will be better for him," said Attachment Rate rider Luis Saez. "He was travelling pretty good but when we came to the top of the stretch he was a little intimidated because he was inside. But once he got clear he started running again. He's still young and improving. I think he will be all right."

Read Article
3.5.2020:

March 7 All-Stakes Cross Country Pick 5 features Gotham, Tampa Bay Derby

OZONE PARK, NY - The New York Racing Association will host an all sophomore stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday highlighted by a pair of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks qualifying races with action from Aqueduct Racetrack, Tampa Bay Downs and Oaklawn Park. The multi-race wager, hosted by NYRA and featuring a 50-cent minimum, will begin with the $200,000 Florida Oaks from Tampa Bay Downs for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 Miles, carded as Race 10 at 4:55 Eastern. Multiple stakes winner New York Groove will look to remain unbeaten in her fifth career start and first of the season for trainer Mike Trombetta following a 4 ½ length victory in the Glorious Song last November at Woodbine. Outburst, for conditioner Eddie Kenneally, will make her stakes debut and third career start in the Florida Oaks after capturing an allowance race on February 7 at Tampa. Also entered in the 11-horse field is Secure Connection for Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey, Secret Stash for trainer Mark Casse, and Blame Debbie for Graham Motion. The action then switches to Aqueduct Racetrack for the $250,000 Busher Invitational. A qualifying race toward the Kentucky Oaks, The Busher offers 50-20-10-5 points to the top four finishers. Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott entered the highly regarded Lake Avenue for Godolphin. The homebred Tapit filly out of multiple graded stakes winning mare Seventh Street will make her first start of the year following an impressive four-length victory in the Grade 2 Demoiselle on December 7 at Aqueduct. Challengers among the eight-horse field include Courtlandt Farm's graded stakes placed Maedean for trainer Mark Hennig who finished second in the Demoiselle, Mo City for trainer Michael Stidham who ships up from Tampa following a second-place finish in the Gasparilla on January 18, and Water White for local conditioner Rudy Rodriguez. The third leg of the sequence is the Grade 2, $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby with 50-20-10-5 qualifying points available to the first four finishers towards the Kentucky Derby. Graded-stakes winner Sole Volante for trainer Patrick Biancone, with three wins from four starts, enters following his 2 ½ length win in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis on February 8. Trainer Todd Pletcher entered a trio of contenders in Texas Swing for Harrell Ventures, Market Analysis for China Horse Club and WinStar Farm, and Unrighteous for Calumet Farm. The 12-horse field also includes recent maiden winner Spa City for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and Relentless Dancer and Mo Mosa for conditioner Mike Maker. The action then shifts to New York for the penultimate leg of the sequence, the Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham, the second Kentucky Derby prep in the sequence. Headlining the 11-horse field is graded stakes winner Mischevious Alex for trainer John Servis and Cash Is King and LC Racing. The Into Mischief colt enters the Gotham off a seventh-length win in the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream Park. Top challengers among the field include Sagamore Farm's Necker Island for trainer Stanley Hough, who will look to improve off a fifth-place finish in the Swale; impressive maiden winner Sixto for Southern Equine Stable and trainer Eric Guillot, and stakes winner Montauk Traffic for owner Chris Fountoukis and trainer Linda Rice. The sequence concludes with the Grade 3, $300,000 Honeybee for 3-year-old fillies from Oaklawn Park. The Kentucky Oaks qualifying race features a field of nine. Conditioner Ken McPeek will send out a talented pair of runners with graded stakes placed Motu for owners Susan Moulton, David Bernsen and Magdalena Racing and maiden winner Back in Charge for C&H Diamond Racing. Also entered is Alta's Ward for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen for owners Ed and Susie Orr, coming in off an allowance victory at Fair Grounds on February 14. Trainer Jason Servis will saddle stakes placed Fiftyshays Ofgreen for owners Leonard Green and Sean Shay.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 - Saturday, March 7Leg 1 - Tampa, Race 10: $200,000 Florida Oaks (4:55 p.m.)Leg 2 - Aqueduct, Race 9: $250,000 Busher Invitational (5:14 p.m.)Leg 3 - Tampa, Race 11: Grade 3, $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (5:32 p.m.)Leg 4 - Aqueduct, Race 10: Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham (5:42 p.m.)Leg 5 - Oaklawn Park, Race 9: $300,000 Honeybee (6:09 p.m.)

Read Article
3.4.2020:

Tiz the Law, Ete Indien, Nadal Headline Kentucky Derby Future Wager #3

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, March 4, 2020) – Sackatoga Stable’s $250,000 Holy Bull (Grade III) winner Tiz the Law, who has been the talk of the Road to the Kentucky Derby since his brilliant victory in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (GI) in early October, is the 8-1 individual favorite in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) 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 9-2 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 wagering menu. The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will close a half-hour later than the KDFW at 6:30 p.m. Tiz the Law, the Grade I-winning son of Constitution, sits at No. 6 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 22 points. Trained by veteran conditioner Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law is targeting the $1 million Florida Derby (GI) on Saturday, March 28 as his final steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby. Other top betting interests in Pool 3 of the KDFW include a quartet of horses from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn: SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding and Golconda Stables’ $100,000 Sham Stakes (GIII) winner Authentic (12-1) and dazzling debut winner Charlatan (12-1); George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau and Mark Mathiesen’s $200,000 San Vicente (GII) hero Nadal (10-1); and Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s undefeated Thousand Words (15-1).  Authentic and Thousand Words are both targeting Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe (GII) at Santa Anita. Other horses expected to take interest in Pool 3 are Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable, Horse France America, D P Racing and Patrick Biancone’s 8 ½-length winner of last Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth (GII) Ete Indien (10-1); Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone and Limelight Stables Corp.’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis (GIII) winner Sole Volante; and Godolphin’s come-backing $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) hero Maxfield.  There are nine new wagering interests in Pool 3 of the KDFW: Charlatan; Ete Indien; Lloyd Madison Farms’ $400,000 Risen Star (GII) runner-up Major Fed (50-1); Pam and Martin Wygod’s Risen Star winner Modernist (20-1); C R K Stable’s Robert B. Lewis (GIII) runner-up Royal Act (30-1); Ed and Susie Orr’s $750,000 Southwest Stakes (GIII) victor Silver Prospector (20-1); Sole Volante; Godolphin’s recent maiden winner Spa City (50-1) and Lance and Clint Gasaway’s Southwest runner-up Wells Bayou (30-1). Here’s the complete Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 field (with morning line odds): #1 Authentic (12-1)#2 Basin (30-1)#3 Chance It (30-1)#4 Charlatan (12-1)#5 Enforceable (30-1)#6 Ete Indien (10-1)#7 Gouverneur Morris (20-1)#8 Honor A. P. (20-1)#9 Independence Hall (20-1)#10 Major Fed (50-1)#11 Max Player (30-1)#12 Maxfield (15-1)#13 Modernist (20-1)#14 Nadal (10-1)#15 Royal Act (30-1)#16 Silver Prospector (20-1)#17 Sole Volante (12-1)#18 Spa City (50-1)#19 Storm the Court (30-1)#20 Thousand Words (15-1)#21 Three Technique (50-1)#22 Tiz the Law (8-1)#23 Wells Bayou (30-1)and #24 All Other 3-Year-Olds (9-2)  In the Oaks future wager, Ciaglia Racing, Highland Yard, River Oak Farm and Dominic Savides’ 9 ¼-length Las Virgenes (GII) winner Venetian Harbor was made the 8-1 individual morning line favorite while “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies” was made the overall 6-1 favorite.  Other top contenders expected to take money in the Kentucky Oaks future wager include: Kaleem Shah, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith’s $300,000 Starlet (GI) runner-up Donna Veloce (10-1); Winchell Thoroughbreds, Thomas Reiman, William Dickson and Deborah Easter’s $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (GII) winner Finite (10-1); and Slam Dunk Racing, Doug Branham and Legacy Ranch’s recent $200,000 Davona Dale (GII) champ Tonalist’s Shape (10-1).  Here is the field for this year’s Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (with morning line odds): #1 Alta’s Award (50-1)#2 Auberge (20-1)#3 British Idiom (12-1)#4 Donna Veloce (10-1)#5 Edgeway (15-1)#6 Finite (10-1)#7 Frank’s Rockette (12-1)#8 Gingham (20-1)#9 Harvey’s Lil Goil (30-1)#10 Ice Princess (30-1)#11 Lake Avenue (15-1)#12 Lucrezia (30-1)#13 Maedean (30-1)#14 Magic Dance (30-1)#15 Mo City (30-1)#16 Motu (30-1)#17 O Seraphina (50-1)#18 Spice Is Nice (15-1)#19 Swiss Skydiver (50-1)#20 Tonalist’s Shape (10-1)#21 Turtle Trax (50-1)#22 Venetian Harbor (8-1)#23 Wicked Whisper (15-1)#24 All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies (6-1). The Kentucky Derby Future Wagers, 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 (Grade I) at odds that could be far greater than those available on the day of the race. The 146th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 2 at Churchill Downs. The $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) will run the day before on Friday, May 1.   There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of the three-day pool that one of the wagering interests has experienced an injury, illness or other circumstance that would prevent the horse from participating in the Kentucky Derby, betting on the individual horse will be suspended immediately. Total handle for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Nov. 28-Dec. 1 was $350,312 ($284,317 in the Win pool and $65,995 in Exactas). “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” closed as the even-money favorite. Pool 2 once again saw “All Other 3-Year-Olds” close as favorite at 2-1. Betting totaled $590,911 ($439,694 in Win pool and $151,217 in Exactas), which was up 10.7% from the prior year. View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

Read Article
2.29.2020:

Ete Indien Romps in G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Ete Indien gave trainer Patrick Biancone a second hot Triple Crown prospect Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the son of Summer Front captured the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) with an overpowering  8 ½-length triumph.The Fountain of Youth, a key prep for the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) March 28, wrapped up Gulfstream’s fantastic 14-race program that offered 10 stakes, including nine graded stakes, worth $1.95 million in purses.Biancone, who saddled Sole Volante for an impressive winner in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa earlier in the February, sent out Ete Indien for a sensational front-running performance that virtually clinched a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs May 2.Ete Indien, who finished a clear second to Tiz the Law after setting the pace in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Feb. 1, earned 50 qualifying points for the Derby Saturday while ridden for the first time by Florent Geroux, who was subbing for injured Luca Panici, and breaking from the far-outside No. 10 post position.“We have been through a week of hiccups. First, we lose our jockey and second, we draw [outside] Good horses can overcome everything. I think he’s an exceptional horse,” Biancone said. “We look forward to the future.”Dennis’ Moment, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Flavien Prat, was never a serious factor and finished last.“He bobbled out of the gate but then after that he regrouped and I thought I was in a good spot. When I hit the five-eighths pole, he just dropped the bit and after that I was done,” Prat said. “After that, there was no reason to beat him up. He didn’t want to go.”Ete Indien, the 3-1 second choice, was on ‘go’ from the start, sprinting to the lead before the first turn and taking immediate control that he would never relinquish. The Kentucky-bred colt set fractions of 23:14 and 46.72 seconds for the first half mile, chased by Gear Jockey and As Seen On Tv. The pacesetter began to draw away on the turn into the homestretch and continued to separate himself from his rivals through the stretch.“As soon as I secured a spot, I just put the horse on cruise control and the horse was nice and easy and took a nice breather. When he got into a rhythm, he just felt very good,” said Geroux, who flew from New Orleans to gallop Ete Indien for the first time Wednesday at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. “He wanted to get out at first when he saw the lights, but he’s very professional. I didn’t think he was that quick, to be honest. I didn’t think he had this kind of speed, which gives us way more options in the future.”Candy Tycoon, ridden by Manuel Franco, finished second in a four-horse photo for second, a neck ahead of As Seen On Tv, who was another head in front of Shotski.Chance It, who was rated second at 7-2 in the morning line, was scratched by trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. earlier in the afternoon due to concerns about the Mucho Macho Man winner’s far-outside post position.Ete Indien, who ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.02, began his career on turf, winning a five-furlong sprint at first asking at Gulfstream in September. After finishing off the board following a troubled trip in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland, he won a mile optional claiming allowance on dirt by 2 ½ lengths at Gulfstream Dec. 20. He lost by three lengths to Tiz the Law in the Holy Bull but finished 11 ½ lengths clear of the third-place finisher in the Holy Bull.Ete Indien, who is owned by Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable Inc., Horse France America, D P Racing Inc. and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC, is likely to return in the Florida Derby, a final stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.“I want to see how he comes back and how he works next time,” Biancone said. “He’ll need to improve to win the Florida Derby, but we are in Florida, he trains in Florida and we love Florida, so I think we’ll take a shot if he is in good form.”Although he clinched a berth in the Derby starting gate, Ete Indien isn’t necessarily a cinch to run in the first leg of the Triple Crown.“He will have one more run before the Derby and if he wins next time, we’ll go to the Derby. And if he doesn’t win next time, he will stay home,” Biancone said. However, Biancone isn’t one to back away from a challenge.“At one stage of my life I was playing poker and what you say? no gamble, no future?. You have to gamble a little bit to have a future and I think that horse was the perfect horse to do it,” he said.Meanwhile, Sole Volante, who won the Pulpit Stakes on turf at Gulfstream in December before finishing third in the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream and winning the Davis, is expected to make his bid to join the Kentucky Derby field in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) next Saturday.

Read Article
2.27.2020:

February 29 Cross Country P5 Features Tampa, Aqueduct & Oaklawn

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will partner with Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by the $100,000 Bernardini from Aqueduct Racetrack. 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. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool. Each leg of Saturday's Cross Country Pick 5 will air live on America's Day at the Races on FS2. The sequence begins at Tampa Bay Downs with a starter handicap at 4:13 p.m. Eastern. The nine-furlong starter handicap offers a field of 10 turfers led by 7-2 morning-line favorite Hope Again, who has posted a record of 13-6-2-2 for trainer Jose Delgado. The action moves to the Big A for the second leg (Race 7, 4:20 p.m.) for a salty allowance event featuring a field of nine travelling a one-turn mile. The promising Freaky Styley, who graduated at the same distance in December for trainer Jorge Abreu, will make his seasonal debut as the likely favorite under hot rider Eric Cancel. The third leg will switch to Oaklawn Park (Race 6, 4:39 p.m.) and feature a field of eight allowance optional-claiming sprinters led by the Brad Cox-trained Irish Mischief, who exits a runner-up effort in the American Beauty at the Hot Springs, Arkansas oval. In the penultimate leg, Canadian-born trainer Rob Atras will send out a pair of top contenders in the $100,000 Bernardini (Race 8, 4:50 p.m.) from the Big A. Atras won the 2019 renewal with Royal Albert Hall and will be represented on Saturday by Dynamax Prime and Heavy Roller in the 1 5/16-mile stamina test. The sequence concludes at Oaklawn Park (Race 7, 5:09 p.m.) with a contentious 11-horse field of older filly and mare sprinters. Leading contenders in the wide-open affair include 3-1 morning-line favorite Exchange West, runner-up last out after a slow start; Tiz a Goddess, a first-time starter for trainer Mike Maker listed at 7-2; and Shocking Fast, who makes her first start for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen after a pair of efforts in California for Bob Baffert. The Cross Country Pick 5 will continue each Saturday throughout the year. Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, February 29: Leg A: Tampa - Race 8 (4:13 pm) Leg B: Aqueduct - Race 7 (4:20 pm) Leg C: Oaklawn - Race 6 (4:39 pm) Leg D: Aqueduct - Race 8 - $100K Bernardini (4:50 pm) Leg E: Oaklawn - Race 7 (5:09 pm)

Read Article
2.27.2020:

Gulfstream Park Announces Guaranteed Pools for Fountain of Youth Day

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Along with a remarkable program of 10 stakes races – nine graded – Gulfstream will offer guaranteed pools on Saturday’s 14-race Fountain of Youth Day program.If not hit Thursday and Friday, the 20-cent Rainbow 6 – featuring graded stakes races in the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2), $300,000 Gulfstream Mile (G2), Mac Diarmida (G2) and $200,000 Davona Dale (G2), $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3) and $150,000 Herecomesthebride (G3) – will have a guaranteed pool of $1 million.The Late Pick 4 will have a guaranteed pool of $750,000 and the Late Pick 5 a guaranteed pool of $500,000.The Fountain of Youth will feature Triple Crown contenders Dennis’ Moment and Chance It; the $200,000 Mac Diarmida is led by Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) winner Zulu Alpha; the Gulfstream Mile features Pegasus World Cup (G1) runner-up Mr Freeze; and the Davona Dale undefeated Tonalist’s Shape.First post is 11:30 a.m.

Read Article
2.26.2020:

Dennis' Moment Headlines G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Dennis’ Moment’s four-race career has been marked by equal measures of bountiful talent and dreadful luck.When Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s 3-year-old son of Tiznow has had the opportunity to give it his all, he has been nothing short of brilliant. A pair of eye-catching back-to-back victories, unfortunately, have been sandwiched in between two frightful starts.Trainer Dale Romans is hoping Dennis’ Moment will have the chance to strut his stuff in Saturday’s $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park and establish himself as a leading prospect for the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) March 28, as well as the 2020 Triple Crown. First-race post time for the 14-race card is set for 11:30 a.m.The Fountain of Youth will headline a program with 10 stakes, nine graded, worth $1.95 million Saturday, when the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2), the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) and the $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) will also be featured.On the strength of the two dominating victories on his resume, Dennis’ Moment has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite among 12 3-year-olds entered Wednesday in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth. “I’m feeling a lot of pressure. I’m not usually in this situation where I feel a pressure. I usually like being the underdog because there’s not much pressure,” said Romans, whose trainee drew Post No. 5. “With this horse, there’s so much hype with him – well deserved, he’s very talented. I put the pressure on myself because of what I think of him. I think he’s ready to roll.”Dennis’ Moment hasn’t run since finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 1, when he lost all chance while stumbling badly and going to his knees following the start.The Kentucky-bred colt, who was purchased for $400,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, was the recipient of bad luck in his debut at Churchill Downs in June when he lost his rider after clipping heels shortly after the start. He broke his maiden in spectacular fashion in his second career start July 27 at Ellis Park, scoring a 19 ¼-length triumph after running seven furlongs in 1:21.95. The Kentucky-bred colt came right back to win the Sept. 14 Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs by 1 ¾ lengths in his first start around two turns.Romans hasn’t been shy about revealing his high expectation for Dennis’ Moment.“All horses are different. Kitten’s Joy has always been my gold standard. He’s the best horse I ever had. This horse is good, right there with him,” Romans said. “There have been a lot of good ones. Not this Time was a good 2-year-old. I think this horse is right with him. He’s done everything right.”Dennis’ Moment hasn’t had the chance to fully compete in the race since September, which has given him five and a half months to grow up.“He’s been so cool from Day 1. I almost don’t want him to change. He’s been so perfect about everything he does,” Romans said. “He’s such a neat horse to be around.”Flavien Prat is scheduled to ride Dennis’ Moment for the first time Saturday.The Fountain of Youth offers 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby (G1), virtually guaranteeing the winner a spot in the 20-horse field for the first leg of the Triple Crown.Shooting Star Thoroughbreds’ Chance It, rated second at 7-2 after drawing Post No. 12, will enter the Fountain of Youth, having already won his 3-year-old debut. The Florida-bred colt, who hasn’t been worse than second in six career starts, fought back in deep stretch to capture the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Jan. 4.“That showed he had a lot of guts that day. I thought he was beat 100 percent, especially coming off the layoff. I didn’t expect him to find a little bit more because I knew he was coming off four months,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “We could only have him so fit. A race does so much more than training. He found a way. He only got in front at the wire, and he still galloped out big.”The Mucho Macho Man, which was contested at a mile around one turn, was Chance It’s first race since capturing the $400,000 In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile final of the 2019 Florida Sire Stakes series, by 7 ¼ lengths.“He always looked like he’d stretch out. I know it was against lesser competition than he’ll face Saturday, but to see him do it that day, I thought it was his most visually impressive race,” Joseph said. “It gives us a lot of confidence that he’ll stay the mile and a sixteenth, strongly.”Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Chance in both the In Reality and Mucho Macho Man, has the return mount Saturday.Ete Indien enters the Fountain of Youth off a solid second-place finish behind Grade 1 winner Tiz the Law in the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Feb. 1. The gelded son of Summer Front set a pressure pace into the stretch before succumbing to Tiz the Law but continuing on gamely to finish 11 ½ lengths clear of third-place finisher Toledo.“Tiz the Law was the best horse that day. We ran a big race and left the rest of the field far behind,” trainer Patrick Biancone said. “If he can’t do better than that, I don’t think he has a chance on Saturday, but I think he has improved enough.”Ete Indien, who his owned by Biancone Racing LLC, Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Breeze With Me Stable Inc., Horse France America and D P Racing LLC, debuted in September with a late-running victory in a five-furlong turf race at Gulfstream. After finishing off the board in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland, he made an auspicious dirt debut in a one-turn mile optional claiming allowance Dec. 20, producing a front-running 2 ½-length victory over heavily favored Toledo on the main track. “We are in America. Dirt is the tradition this time of year. There are no good turf races anyway until July. We tried him [on dirt] and he won brilliantly but was a bit green. He was much better the second time,” Biancone said. “He’s a big baby. He’s a very talented big horse who needs to learn and improve.”Jockey Florent Geroux will fill in for injured Luca Panici Saturday.Shotski will enter the Fountain of Youth with proven Grade 2 success around two turns, having captured the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct Dec. 7. The son of Blame, who is owned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and Howling Pigeon Farms LLC, led throughout the 1 1/8-mile Remsen.In his Feb. 13 return to action at Aqueduct, Shotski set a pressure pace before faltering in the stretch to finish second in the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct, 3 ¼ lengths behind Max Player.“It’ll be nice to get him away from the Aqueduct course – it’s pretty deep – and see if he can compete with the big boys on a faster surface, which I think he will,” trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer said.Although Shotski has set the pace in his two most recent starts, O’Dwyer doesn’t envision the Kentucky-bred colt to be the pacesetter Saturday.“I’d like to see him sit third or fourth. I believe there will be a lot more speed in the race. He can do it all. We’ve breezed him in behind horses to prepare for that,” O’Dwyer said. “I’d like to see him get a tow into the race and sit third or fourth behind the speed in the ideal world.”Hall of Famer John Velazquez will ride Shotski for the first time Saturday, subbing for Luis Saez, who is scheduled to ride 2019 Florida Derby winner Maximum Security in Saturday’s Saudi Cup.Screen Door Stables LLC’s As Seen On Tv, who finished a head behind Chance It after holding the lead late in the Mucho Macho Man, is set for a return in the Fountain of Youth. The Kelly Breen-trained son of Lookin At Lucky, who has finished no worse than second in four starts, had previously captured the 6 ½-furlong Juvenile Sprint for Florida- breds at Gulfstream Park West.Paco Lopez has the return mount Saturday.Stonehedge Farm LLC’s Liam’s Lucky Charm will try to rebound from a 10th-place finish in the Feb. 15 Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds Saturday. The Ralph Nicks-trained son of Khozan, who broke through the gate prior to the start of the Risen Star, had previously won the Pasco by 5 ½ lengths in the seven-furlong Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs.Liam’s Lucky Charm defeated Chance It in the $200,000 Florida Sire Stakes Affirmed at seven furlongs before finishing a well-beaten third behind Chance It in the 1 1/16-mile FSS In Reality.Edgard Zayas has the call aboard the homebred Liam’s Lucky Charm.Mathis Stable LLC’s Candy Tycoon, who broke through with a maiden victory on the undercard of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 25, is slated to make a return to action in the Fountain of Youth. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the son of Twirling Candy scored by four lengths at the 1 1/16-mile distance to graduate in his fifth career start.Paul Pompa Jr.’s Country Grammer is also slated to make the leap from maiden company to Grade 2 Company in the Fountain of Youth. The Chad Brown-trained son of Tonalist is coming off a 3 ¼-length victory at 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct Nov. 11.Gelfenstein Farm’s Masterday, a debut winner who recently finished second behind Ny Traffic in an optional claiming allowance, has been entered in the Fountain of Youth. Trainer Gilberto Zerpa gave the call to Cristian Torres.Calumet Farm’s Gear Jockey, who finished third on turf in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and Bourbon; and Ron Paolucci Racing LLC and Ashley Quartarolo’s The Falcon, who has been in the money in two career starts; are both scheduled for seek to break their respective maidens in the Fountain of Youth.Julien Leparoux has the mount on Rusty Arnold-trained Gear Jockey, while Marcos Meneses is slated to ride Bob Hess Jr.-trained The Falcon.Owner/trainer Danny Daniel Hurtak’s Makabim, unplaced in a starter stakes last time out, rounds out the field. Junior Alvarado has the call.

Read Article
2.22.2020:

'Golden Hour Double' to Debut at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2020) — Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields have combined forces to offer an exciting new wager beginning Saturday, Feb. 29.  Dubbed the “Golden Hour Double,” the new wager requires players to select the winners of the last race at each track.  With a five dollar minimum, the Golden Hour Double features a player friendly low 15 percent takeout. The wager will launch with a $50,000 guaranteed pool. “We’re constantly looking at new ways to bring excitement to our wagering customers and the Golden Hour Double will do just that,” said Aidan Butler, Acting Executive Director, California Racing Operations, TSG. “Our players want big pools to bet into with good field size and key betting value. With a low 15 percent takeout, this new wager provides them with a compelling and competitive way to finish out their race day.” Although post times will vary, the last race at Santa Anita will precede the finale at Golden Gate Fields every racing day, giving fans a much welcomed pari-mutuel crescendo on a daily basis. Entries for Saturday, Feb. 29 will be taken at both Santa Anita and Golden Gate on Wednesday, Feb. 26. For additional information on the new Golden Hour Double, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Read Article
2.21.2020:

Stronach 5 has $167K Carryover for Friday, February 28

LAUREL, MD - Mark Friday, Feb. 28 on your calendar. That’s the day the popular Stronach 5 will have a carryover of $167,951.23.Since there were no winners in Friday’s Stronach 5, the entire pool carries over to next week.Friday’s sequence kicked with a $17 winner in Laurel’s eighth race in Unequivocal. And the prices kept coming. Lovely Lucy ($12.40) won Gulfstream’s seventh race, Admiral Boom ($27.20) won Golden Gate’s third race and Encountress returned $46 in Santa Anita’s third race. The final leg, Gulfstream’s 10th race, was won by 5-2 favorite Gea.The In The Money podcast for next week’s Stronach 5 will be available Thursday by 2 p.m. at InTheMoneyPodcast.com. Friday's Stronach 5 Sequence Leg One: Laurel Park Race 8 - Unequivocal ($17.00) Leg Two: Gulfstream Park Race 7 - Lovely Lucy ($12.40) Leg Three: Golden Gate Fields Race 3 - Admiral Boom ($27.20) Leg Four: Santa Anita Park Race 3 - Encountress ($46.00) Leg Five: Gulfstream Park Race 10 - Gea ($7.00) 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.     

Read Article
2.20.2020:

February 22 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Tampa Bay, Aqueduct and Oaklawn

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will partner with Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by the $125,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders' from Oaklawn and the $100,000 Lightning City from Tampa. Free Equibase past performances for the Cross Country Pick 5 sequence are now available for download at https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/cross-country-wagers. 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. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.The sequence begins in Race 8 (4:15 p.m. Eastern) from Tampa Bay Downs with the five-furlong Lightning City turf sprint for fillies and mares. Drawing a full field of 14, conditioner Wesley Ward entered a pair of stakes winners in Mae Never No for Bridlewood Farm and Jo Jo Air for owners Andrew Farm and Mrs. Charlie O'Connor, each set to make their first start of the year. The action will then switch to Aqueduct (Race 7 4:20 p.m.) for a one-mile second-level allowance for New York-breds drawing a field of eight. Playwright for owner Morris Bailey and trainer Danny Gargan will be in search of his second consecutive victory following a 3 ¾ length triumph on January 31 at the distance.The Cross Country Pick 5 continues in Race 7 at Oaklawn (5:09 p.m.), for a competitive nine-horse second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles. August Dawn Farm's Forty Under, winner of the 2018 Grade 3 Pilgrim on turf, will be in search of his first win on the dirt. The Jeremiah Englehart trainee will look to improve off a third-place finish on January 31 at the Hot Springs, Arkansas oval.The penultimate leg returns to Tampa for a maiden claiming event (Race 10, 5:15 p.m.) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Agripino for owner and conditioner Jose Chavez, listed at odds of 7-2 on the morning-line, will look to break his maiden from post 8 in the 12 horse field.Closing out the Cross Country Pick 5 is the $125,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders' from Oaklawn, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares featuring a highly-competitive 11-horse field. The graded-stakes placed Bye Bye J, trained by Hall of Fames Steve Asmussen for owners Alex and JoAnn Lieblong, will make her first start of the season following a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in May. Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, February 20:Leg 1 - Tampa, Race 8: $100,000 Lightning City (4:15 p.m.)Leg 2 - Aqueduct, Race 7: Allowance (4:20 p.m.)Leg 3 - Oaklawn, Race 7, Allowance (5:09 p.m.)Leg 4 - Tampa, Race 10, Maiden Claiming (5:15 p.m.)Leg 5 - Oaklawn, Race 9, $125,000 Downthedustyroad Breeders' (6:09 p.m.)

Read Article
2.20.2020:

XBTV'S Triple Crown Portal has Exclusive Workout Videos, Interviews & More

February 20, 2020 (Arcadia, CA) – For the first time ever, videos of the top Triple Crown race contenders are now available in one place and on-demand as XBTV unveils Triple Crown Trail, a portal on the XBTV.com website specifically for the Classic-bound three-year-olds. The portal is loaded with exclusive workout videos, interviews and handicapping insights and analysis not available anywhere else, including: Workout videos from top horses stabled in California, Florida, New York and more. Trainer and jockey interviews and features. Interactive Kentucky Derby Points list, updated weekly. Replays of prep races. With fewer than 75 days until the Kentucky Derby, experienced handicappers and racing fans around the world are starting to build their own Triple Crown Watch Lists and XBTV’s Triple Crown Trail portal is the perfect tool for the task. Horses will move on and off of the Triple Crown Trail as their connections determine. The Triple Crown Trail also will feature Jeff Siegel’s weekly Top 20 Rankings, which will begin next Tuesday.  Siegel is not only a well-respected handicapper and bettor, but he has the unique distinction of being a successful, veteran owner in addition to being a lifelong racing fan. The horses listed on both Siegel’s ranking and the list of Kentucky Derby points leaders are linkable to the available XBTV video files of each horse. In just over three years, XBTV has accumulated a library of over 28,000 workouts from coast-to-coast.  These vast resources are searchable and are available anytime, free of charge on XBTV.  To access XBTV’s Triple Crown Trail section, visit https://www.xbtv.com/triple-crown-trail.

Read Article
2.13.2020:

February 15 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Tampa Bay, Aqueduct and Oaklawn

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will partner with Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by the $100,000 Pelican from Tampa.The sequence kicks off in Race 7 (3:55 p.m. Eastern) from Aqueduct, a six furlong highly competitive second-level allowance featuring a field on 12. Drawing Away Stable's has a formidable entry with Bronx Bomber, for conditioner John Toscano, and Freudian Slip for trainer Linda Rice, each coming in off claiming level victories last out. Racing action then switches to Tampa for the $100,000 Pelican for 4-year-olds and upward. Carded as Race 8 (3:59 p.m.), the six-furlong sprint will see the return of graded stakes-winner Killybegs Captain, trained by John Terranova for Curragh Stables, taking on a field of nine that includes the graded-stakes placed Mucho for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.The Cross Country Pick 5 continues in Race 9 (4:29 p.m.) at Tampa, a five-furlong maiden special weight turf sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. A loaded field of 10 is led by Miahsolomiah for owner JN Racing Stables and trainer Jorge Navarro. Oaklawn Park's Race 6 (4:39 p.m.) is a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds. Alpha Sixty Six will be making his first start of the year among the field of nine for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Paul Pompa, Jr. The Liam's Map colt will look to rebound off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Remsen in December.Closing out the Cross Country Pick 5 is the $50,000 Minaret from Tampa. Carded as Race 10 (4:59 p.m.), the six-furlong turf sprint for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward has a full field of 12. Lady's Island, a graded stakes winner for Matties Racing Stable and Averill Racing, will look to improve off a second-place finish in the Sunshine Millions Sprint on January 18 at Gulfstream Park. Top contenders in the field include Foxy Mischief entering off a 2 ¼ length optional-claiming victory on January 12 at Tampa and Lovesick, who will make her first start for conditioner Brendan Walsh coming off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks.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. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.Cross Country Pick 5 - Saturday, February 15:Leg 1 - Aqueduct, Race 7: $64,000 Allowance (3:55 p.m.)Leg 2 - Tampa, Race 8: $100,000 Pelican (3:59 p.m.)Leg 3 - Tampa, Race 9, Maiden Special Weight (4:29 p.m.)Leg 4 - Oaklawn, Race 6, Allowance (4:39 p.m.)Leg 5 - Tampa, Race 10, $50,000 Minaret (4:59)

Read Article
2.12.2020:

Bob Baffert's Azul Coast Headlines Golden Gate's El Camino Real Derby

Berkeley, Calif. (February 12, 2020) - A field of eleven 3-year-olds has been assembled to compete in this Saturday’s $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. The El Camino Real Derby, a one mile and one-furlong event on the Tapeta main track, offers 10 Kentucky Derby points to the winner and a free berth into the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 16. In order for the latter incentive to be granted to the El Camino Real Derby winner, he must be nominated to the 2020 Triple Crown series. Last year, trainer Bob Baffert saddled Grade 3 winner Kingly to a second place finish in the El Camino Real Derby. In the 2020 edition, Baffert is represented by Azul Coast, a son of Super Saver coming off a runner up performance in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita last month. The winner of the Sham, Authentic, is considered one of the top 3-year-olds on the West Coast for Baffert. Azul Coast makes his third lifetime start in the El Camino Real Derby and will be ridden by Southern California jockey Rafael Bejarano.   Czechmight is another Southern California shipper that is likely to attract interest in the wagering. Purchased for $190,000 by his current connections after a maiden special weight win at Keeneland last October, the son of Street Sense makes his 3-year-old debut and first career start for the Richard Baltas barn. Leading up to the El Camino Real Derby, Czechmight has posted a series of sharp workouts at Santa Anita, including a bullet drill on the morning of February 8. Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. flies up to ride for Team Baltas. In 2019, Anothertwistafate wowed racing fans with an eye-popping, eight-length runaway win in the El Camino Real Derby for trainer Blaine Wright and owner Peter Redekop. This year, Wright and Redekop send out the little brother to Anothertwistafate, Ajourneytofreedom. He, like Anothertwistafate, is out of the First Defence mare Imprecation and was purchased for $180,000 as a 2-year-old in training. In his most recent afternoon apperance, Ajourneytofreedom went off favored in a January 19 allowance race and finished fourth, only beaten by about a length. In fact, the top five finishers from the aforementioned January 19 affair enter back into the El Camino Real Derby. The Stiff, trained by Southern California conditioner Michael McCarthy, won the mile and one-sixteenth contest by a head and draws the outside post position for the El Camino Real Derby. Wine and Whisky, who put up a gallant showing when finishing a neck off The Stiff, will break from post position 4. Third place finisher Mysterious Stones is one of two El Camino Real Derby contenders campaigned by trainer Steve Sherman while the Bill McLean conditioned Final Final also takes a stab at a graded stakes placing after hitting the wire behind the top four finishers in last month’s allowance prep. The well-bred Sacred Rider, out of stakes winning race mare and producer Lady Railrider, finished an admirable second in the California Cup Derby for California-bred 3-year-olds on dirt at Santa Anita. Last December, Sacred Rider completed the exacta in the locally-run Gold Rush Stakes, indicating he is effective and versatile on multiple surfaces. Frank Alvarado teams up with trainer Steve Specht, who tuned up Zakaroff to a 48-1 shocker in the 2017 El Camino Real Derby. Impressive December allowance winner Indian Peak suffered a traffic-filled trip in the California Cup Derby and returns to the bayside oval in search of a graded stakes win. The highly-regarded California-bred colt has dazzled in the mornings with a pair of lightning quick five-furlong bullet workouts and impressed racegoers two starts ago with an eye-catching victory. Leading Golden Gate jockey Juan Hernandez has the call for trainer Quinn Howey. Recent maiden winner American Farmer is the second Steve Sherman entrant in the race, having most recently defeated a maiden special weight group on January 26. American Farmer is a full brother to Blue Diva, winner of the Miss America Stakes in December. Longshot Praise Loudly rounds out the field. The chestnut gelding was last seen hitting the board in a pair of starter allowance races and is taking a massive bump up in class. The El Camino Real Derby goes as Race 7 on the 9-race Saturday card, with an approximate post time of 3:45 PM. Saturday’s marquee event will be shown on “America’s Day at the Races” on Fox Sports 2 and TVG network. TVG’s Joaquin Jaime has been assigned to cover the Saturday action on-sight while XBTV’s Zoe Cadman will also be on hand providing handicapping analysis over the Golden Gate Fields track feed with GGF race caller Matt Dinerman. Saturday, February 15, 2020 Race 7: $100,000 2020 El Camino Real Derby (Post time: approximately 3:45 PM PT) #1 Indian Peak (Jockey Juan Hernandez, Quinn Howey) - 7/2#2 Praise Loudly (Silvio Amador, Daniel Franko) - 50/1#3 American Farmer (Kent Desormeaux, Steve Sherman) - 15/1 #4 Wine and Whisky (Cristobal Herrera, Felix Rondan) - 15/1#5 Mysterious Stones (William Antongeorgi III, Steve Sherman) - 15/1#6 Final Final (Kevin Krigger, Bill McLean) - 15/1#7 Sacred Rider (Frank Alvarado, Steve Specht) - 9/2 #8 Ajourneytofreedom (Ricky Gonzalez, Blaine Wright) - 12/1 #9 Azul Coast (Rafael Bejarano, Bob Baffert) - 2/1#10 Czechmight (Jose Valdivia Jr., Richard Baltas) - 6/1#11 The Stiff (Julien Couton, Michael McCarthy) - 8/1

Read Article
2.10.2020:

2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2 (February 7 - 9, 2020): 1. Anneau d'Or (Blaine Wright) - 28/1 ($58.00) 2. Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 15/1 ($32.20) 3. Basin (Steve Asmussen) - 39/1 ($81.60)4. Chance It (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 39/1 ($81.00) 5. Dennis' Moment (Dale Romans) - 10/1 ($23.80) 6. Enforceable (Mark Casse) - 29/1 ($60.40) 7. Exaulted (Pete Eurton) - 111/1 ($225.40) 8. Gold Street (Steve Asmussen) - 54/1 ($111.20) 9. Governeur Morris (Todd Pletcher) - 32/1 ($67.40) 10. Honor A P (John Shirreffs) - 24/1 ($51.60) 11. Independence Hall (Michael Trombetta) - 19/1 ($41.80) 12. Max Player (Linda Rice) - 49/1 ($101.00) 13. Maxfield (Brendan Walsh) - 13/1 ($28.80) 14. Nadal (Bob Baffert) - 8/1 ($19.00) 15. Palm Springs (Todd Pletcher) - 98/1 ($199.00) 16. Premier Star (Jorge Navarro) - 169/1 ($341.40) 17. Silver State (Steve Asmussen) - 50/1 ($103.80)18. Storm the Court (Peter Eurton) - 30/1 ($63.20) 19. Structor (Chad Brown) - 28/1 ($58.40) 20. Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 16/1 ($35.80) 21. Three Technique (Jeremiah Englehart) - 36/1 ($75.80) 22. Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 8/1 ($19.60) 23. Violent City (Ian Wilkes) - 145/1 ($293.20) 24. All Other 3YO's - 2/1 ($6.20) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

Read Article
2.9.2020:

Nadal Takes G2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2020) — Despite the fact he was making only his second start and was facing the reigning Eclipse Champion Juvenile Male, Bob Baffert’s Nadal was hammered down to 1-5 favoritism in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita and he responded with a gutty three quarter length win.  Ridden by Joel Rosario, he got seven furlongs in a rapid 1:22.59. Breaking sharply from post position four in a field of six sophomores, Nadal got early pressure from longshot Party Town to his inside and was seriously challenged to his outside around the far turn and to the sixteenth pole by a very tenacious Ginobili.  “Today, I told Joel, ‘Don’t get cute, just go,’” said Baffert, who registered his record 10th win in the iconic prep to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.  “‘We can rate him some other day.’  They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat.  I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work…I thought he was gonna get beat.  He got to gut it out today, so he’s got a good foundation now.  This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the Rebel (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park March 14).” A handy 3 ¾ length maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 19, Nadal paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. Owned by George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman and Mark Mathiesen, Nadal, a Kentucky-bred colt by Blame who sold for $700,000 at the Fasig Tipton Florida March Selected 2-year-olds in Training Sale, is out of the Pulpit mare Ascending Angel.  With the winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $153,000 while unbeaten in two starts. For his part, Ginobili, who had been idle since running a close fourth in a five furlong turf stakes here on Oct. 6, ran a massive race in defeat, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of longshot Fast Enough. Ridden by Abel Cedillo, Ginobili, who is trained by Richard Baltas, was off at 12-1 and paid $6.00 and $4.00. Last early, Fast Enough split horses turning for home and just held off Storm the Court by a neck for third money.  Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Fast Enough was off at 14-1 and paid $3.60 to show. Storm the Court, who had been idle since winning the Grade I Breeder’s Cup Juvenile here on Nov. 1, was the second choice at 3-1 and was beaten approximately 2 ½ lengths in a race that he likely needed. Fractions on the race were 21.81, 44.09 and 1:09.05. SAN VICENTE STAKES (GII) $200,000 QUOTES JOCKEY QUOTES  JOEL ROSARIO, NADAL, WINNER: “He broke sharp and he handled the pressure from the outside.  I was never worried about it.  My horse was moving very well and I was confident because I could feel I had a lot of horse under me.  He was very impressive.  He ran very fast today and he runs like he’ll like two turns, but you never know until they do it.”  TRAINER QUOTES BOB BAFFERT, NADAL, WINNER: “Today, I told Joel, don’t get cute, just go.  We can rate him some other day.  They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat.  I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work…I thought he was gonna get beat.  He got to gut it out today, so he’s got a good foundation now.  This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the Rebel (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park March 14).” RICHARD BALTAS, GINOBILI, SECOND:  “At the quarter pole, I thought I might get him.  We’ve got a nice colt, I just don’t think he wants to go very far.  He ran great and I’m very proud of him."   GEORGE BOLTON CO-OWNER, NADAL, WINNER: “I actually found out about Nadal through Kerri Radcliffe who bought the colt for us at the Fasig Tipton March sale a year ago. I think she bought a great horse for us and we hope Nadal is as proud of us as we are extremely proud of him today.“It is a huge step up and when you go to the Paddock and you’re one to nine, you are thinking of all the downside in the world. There were some nice looking horses in the Paddock, the six (Ginobili) looked fast and was fast. He really had to go the whole way and never got a breather. Going further (in distance) should be fun for Nadal.“This horse looks like it could be a special horse. You just want him to be happy and hold together. He will be on the road now. He’ll be on different surfaces and he’s going to go a different distance yet again, so he will go maybe go to the Rebel (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park March 14). I’m proud we got that chance. I’m extremely happy about everything that has happened here.”

Read Article
2.5.2020:

February 8 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Tampa Bay, Aqueduct and Oaklawn

OZONE PARK, NY - The New York Racing Association will host an all-stakes Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday with racing action from Aqueduct Racetrack, Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs. The multi-race wager, hosted by NYRA and featuring a 50-cent minimum, will begin with the $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield from Aqueduct for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, carded as Race 8 at 4:25 Eastern. Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott will send out Secret Rules in search of a third straight score following an impressive 8 ¾ length victory on January 10 at Aqueduct. Newstome, for trainer Mike Trombetta, will look to regroup off a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Nursey on December 7 at Parx. Other challengers in the seven-horse Jimmy Winfield include Quixotic for trainer Jonathan Thomas, who enters Saturdays' test from a 4 ¼ length maiden victory in which he recorded a field-high 80 Beyer Speed Figure and Montauk Traffic for Aqueduct meet-leading trainer Linda Rice. The action then switches to Tampa Bay Downs for the next three legs beginning with the $150,000 Suncoast, a Kentucky Oaks qualifying points race with a field of nine led by Gary Barber's multiple-stakes winner Two Sixty, who has banked $409,000 for trainer Mark Casse and the Grade 1-placed Comical, who captured the Grade 3 Schuylerville for trainer Steve Asmussen in a juvenile campaign that included a third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and a second in the Grade 1 Chandelier at Santa Anita.The third leg of the sequence is the Grade 3, $175,000 Tampa Bay for 4-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Multiple graded-stakes winner Caribou Club, trained by Tom Proctor, enters from a game second-place finish in the Artie Schiller at Aqueduct. Conditioner Mike Maker entered graded stakes winner Hembree for his seasonal debut in a talented field of nine that also includes March to the Arch for Casse and French-bred gelding Devamani for trainer Chad Brown. Closing out the action from Tampa is the 40th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Sam F. Davis where the undefeated Independence Hall, who captured the Grade 3 Nashua and $150,000 Jerome at the Big A for trainer Michael Trombetta, will continue his road to the Kentucky Derby. A talented eight-horse field includes Shadwell Stables recent Grade 2 Remsen runner-up Ajaaweed and the undefeated Premier Star for trainer Jorge Navarro.The last leg of the sequence is the King Cotton from Oaklawn Park, a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and upward carded as Race 8. Multiple graded-stakes winner Whitmore for conditioner Ron Moquett and owners Robert LaPenta, Southern Springs Stables and Head of Plains Partners will make his 2020 debut in the field of eight that includes multiple graded-stakes placed runners Nun the Less for trainer Cipriano Contreras and Wilbo for Chris Hartman. 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 - Saturday, February 8:Leg 1 - Aqueduct, Race 8: $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield (4:25 p.m.)Leg 2 - Tampa, Race 9: $150,000 Suncoast (4:29 p.m.)Leg 3 - Tampa, Race 10: Grade 3, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes (4:59 p.m.)Leg 4 - Tampa, Race 11: Grade 3, $200,000 Sam F. Davis (5:29 p.m.)Leg 5 - Oaklawn Park, Race 8: $125,000 King Cotton (5:38 p.m.)

Read Article
2.4.2020:

Tiz the Law Headlines 2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2

Bet the stars of the First Saturday in May this weekend as part of Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2, offered beginning at 12:00PM ET on Friday, February 7 and continuing through 6:00PM ET on Sunday, February 9.  23 individual horses have been named in the Future Wager, with Betting Interest #24 consisting of all other three-year-old horses.  Win and Exacta wagering are available. Here is the full field of betting interests: Anneau d'Or (Blaine Wright) - 30/1 Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 15/1 Basin (Steve Asmussen) - 30/1 Chance It (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 30/1 Dennis' Moment (Dale Romans) - 12/1 Enforceable (Mark Casse) - 30/1 Exaulted (Peter Eurton) - 50/1 Gold Street (Steve Asmussen) - 30/1 Gouverneur Morris (Todd Pletcher) - 30/1 Honor A.P. (John Shirreffs) - 30/1 Independence Hall (Michael Trombetta) - 10/1 Max Player (Linda Rice) - 20/1 Maxfield (Brendan Walsh) - 15/1 Nadal (Bob Baffert) - 12/1 Palm Springs (Todd Pletcher) - 50/1 Premier Star (Jorge Navarro) - 50/1 Silver State (Steve Asmussen) - 50/1 Storm the Court (Peter Eurton) - 30/1 Structor (Chad Brown) - 30/1 Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 15/1 Three Technique (Jeremiah Englehart) - 50/1 Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 8/1 Violent City (Ian Wilkes) - 50/1 All Other Three-Year-Olds - 5/2

Read Article
2.1.2020:

Thousand Words Wins G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2020) — “You can’t make this up.”  That, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, sums up his feelings in getting his 3,000th career win in today’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.  Named in honor of one of Baffert’s best all-time clients and an important prep to both the Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies, today’s Lewis was taken in stylish fashion by favored Thousand Words, who won by three quarters of a length while getting 1 1/16 miles under Flavien Prat in 1:43.64. An attentive fourth at the rail, about three lengths off the lead as the field headed up the backside, Thousand Words continued to save ground to the top of the lane, when he split horses and eventually overhauled stablemate High Velocity a sixteenth of a mile out. “He ran very well,” said Prat.  “He put me in a good spot and he was comfortable down there.  He took the dirt (in his face) well and when I asked him to run, he really accelerated.” A winner of the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 7, Thousand Words, who was purchased for $1 million at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, is now unbeaten in three starts and paid $3.20, $2.60 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite in a field of six sophomores.  “Being stuck down on the inside, he got the worst of it,” said Baffert, who also collected his record eighth Lewis win. “Usually, a young horse like that, they won’t run that well and they don’t respond, but he’s got that big long stride and the further the better with him.  You could tell about the last 50 yards, he was really getting going.  He came back and he wasn’t even tired, so that is a good sign. He is progressing with every race and to win three in a row like that is pretty impressive.” Regarding his 3,000th win, Baffert, who had six horses entered today, said “I had a feeling it was gonna happen in this race.  I’ve had a lot of good people work for me through the years, the first 50 wins were probably the hardest—100 were life changers.  I feel very blessed and fortunate that I’ve been able to last in this business and do so well after coming from the quarter horse business.” Owned by Albaugh Family Stables, LLC and Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Thousand Words, who is out of the Pomeroy mare Pomeroy’s Pistol, picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $211,000.With the victory, Thousand Words receives 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, while the second, third and fourth place finishers will get 4, 2, and 1 point(s) each. Trained by Peter Eurton, Royal Act, in his first start on dirt, ran a huge race to be second, out-finishing High Velocity by a neck.  Off at 18-1 with Abel Cedillo, Royal Act paid $8.60 and $4.40.  High Velocity, who set fractions of 23.65, 47.20, 1:11.44 and 1:37.14, held Tizamagician at bay by three quarters of a length and returned $2.40 to show with Joel Rosario up.ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES (GIII) $100,000 QUOTES     JOCKEY QUOTESFLAVIEN PRAT, THOUSAND WORDS, WINNER:  “He ran very well.  He put me in a good spot and he was comfortable down there.  He took the dirt (in his face) well and when I asked him to run, he really accelerated.”  ABEL CEDILLO, ROYAL ACT, SECOND: “He tried really hard and I put him in the position I wanted him to go. I was sitting perfect and when I made him move he started moving. He ran a big race.” TRAINER QUOTES BOB BAFFERT, THOUSAND WORDS, WINNER: “Prat knows him pretty well, I didn’t give him any instructions. Both riders were kind of on their own. Prat says he is getting better, he was a sort of immature colt. He grinds and you gotta really work at him. Being stuck down inside he got the worst of it. Usually a young horse like that they don’t run that well and they don’t respond. He’s got that big long stride and the further the better with him. You could tell about the last 50 yards he was really getting going. He came back he wasn’t even tired so that is a good sign. He is progressing with every race and to win three in a row like that it is pretty impressive.“I told Rosario don’t fight High Velocity if he wants to run, I really thought down the backside High Velocity was gonna steal it, he has a lot of speed and he hung in there well.( 3rd place finisher.)“We are just happy for them and the connections. The horses showed up and ran well.” On 3,000 wins: “I’ve always thought things happen for a reason. Running in the Bob Lewis, with a horse named Thousand Words and going for 3,000 wins. I mean you can’t make that up. I had a feeling it was gonna happen in this race, I’ve had a lot of good people work for me through the years, the first 50 wins were probably the hardest, 100 were life changers. I feel very blessed and fortunate that I’ve been able to last this in this business and do so well in this business after coming from the quarter horse business. I’ve never dreamt of coming into thoroughbreds, there was never one instant I was thinking about it. I came over with Mike Pegram and Hal Earnhardt who I still have after all these years, they are a big part of the team.” PETER EURTON, ROYAL ACT, SECOND: “Couldn’t be more happy. He’s just kind of a grinder, he’s just that cool kind of horse that keeps giving it to you. (On racing at San Felipe) “I think so, I’ll get with Mr. Searing and see what he wants to do. Anywhere we can get a mile and an eighth wouldn’t be a bad thing.”  NOTES: The winning owner is Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Spendthrift Farm LLC. Bob Baffert now has 3,000 North American victories.

Read Article
2.1.2020:

TIz the Law Victorious in 3YO Debut in G3 Holy Bull

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Tiz the Law rolled to a three-length victory in Saturday’s $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park, giving Sackatoga Stable’s Jack Knowlton and trainer Barclay Tagg a very serious prospect for a second Kentucky Derby (G1) victory.The 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds highlighted a 12-race program that also featured four other stakes, three graded, for sophomores.Knowlton and Tagg were in the winner’s circle with Funny Cide following the 2003 Kentucky Derby and 2003 Preakness Stakes (G1).Tiz the Law lived up to his 6-5 favoritism to add the Holy Bull to a resume that includes a debut victory, a Champagne Stakes (G1) score, and a troubled third-place on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), in which he lacked running room in heavy traffic.Tiz the Law broke alertly to take the lead into the first turn before Ete Indien and jockey Luca Panici made a sweeping move to the lead entering the backstretch. Ete Indien ran the first quarter of a mile in 23.31 seconds, pressed by Relentless Dancer and stalked by Clear Destination on the outside of Tiz the Law. Franco took a strong hold of Tiz the Law midway on the backstretch and managed to maneuver off the rail to get clear running room. Ete Indien continued to show the way into the far turn past a half-mile in 46.60 seconds as Franco asked Tiz the Law for some run. The favorite responded with a three-wide move to engage Ete Indien and take the lead on the turn into the homestretch before drawing off to a popular victory.“His race was perfect. We told [Franco], ‘Stay off the rail no matter what you have to do. Lose the ground and go around them,’” Tagg said. “It worked out perfectly.”The son of Constitution, a New York-bred like Funny Cide, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.04 over a fast track.“He ran like I expected him,” Franco said. “He got out of there and I was able to decide where I wanted to be. For a second, I had to make the turn and I was back on the rail, but when I saw those guys putting pressure on I was able to drop back and get outside where I wanted to be. After that, he jumped in the bit and I was traveling like I wanted.”The Holy Bull was run over a fast track on an afternoon that forecasted rain never developed.“I was a little bit [worried about the forecast for rain] You couldn’t tell if he didn’t have the kick [on a sloppy track] last time or whether they just kept him in and crowded so much that he couldn’t get away,” Tagg said. “I think it was more that than it was the track. You never know for sure, so why pray for rain.”Patrick Biancone-trained Ete Indien, the 4-1 third betting choice, continued gamely to finish second, 11 ½ lengths ahead of 8-5 second choice Toledo. Ete Indien was coming off a win over Toledo in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream.“He ran good and I have no complaints at all,” Panici said of Ete Indien. “He was relaxed in front. He likes to be in front. He ran a really, really good race. It was a good performance.”Gulfstream’s highly productive road to the Triple Crown continues Feb. 29 with the 74th running of the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) and March 28 with the 69th running of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1).However, Tiz the Law may not participate.“We’ll try to stretch it out a little bit. They’re just young horses. We’ll probably go to Louisiana [for the March 21 Louisiana Derby (G2)] but I’m not sure,” Tagg said.

Read Article
2.1.2020:

Max Player Delivers Max Effort in G3 Withers Stakes

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - George Hall's Max Player lived up to his name and went all in during the final furlong, overtaking Monday Morning Qb and 9-5 favorite Shotski with a strong run from the outside to capture the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers for sophomores on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.In his stakes debut - and just his third career start overall - the Honor Code colt earned 10 qualifying points to the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby with his 3 1/4-length score in the 1 1/8-mile route. The 140th edition of the Withers awarded 10-4-2-1 points to the top-four finishers towards qualifying for the "Run for the Roses" on May 2 at Churchill Downs.The Linda Rice trainee stayed in sixth position under jockey Dylan Davis, as Grade 2 Remsen-winner Shotski led the eight-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 23.96 seconds and the half in 49.16 on the main track labeled fast.Urged up near the final turn, Max Player had plenty in reserve for the final push, making a strong bid under Davis' left-handed encouragement in the five-path, passing Monday Morning Qb to his inside before gaining the edge on Shotski and finishing strong, hitting the wire in 1:53.87.Max Player ran second in his debut at one mile on November 12 at Parx and broke his maiden at the same distance over a sloppy and sealed Parx main track on December 17. In his 3-year-old bow, Max Player handled the stretch out in distance, earning Rice her 200th career stakes victory and first in the Withers."He's becoming more professional all the time in his morning workouts. Anyone that watched his two races at Parx could see he ran pretty green," Rice said. "He got pinched out a little bit into the first turn and Dylan did a nice job of getting him back into the race and into the clear. He had a bit of a wide trip, but it was a great ride by Dylan. He's shown us in the morning that he's had a lot of run at the end of his workouts."Rice said she will likely target the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial on April 4 at Aqueduct, where 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby points will be on the line for the 1 1/8-mile race."It's exciting. I would think the Wood Memorial would be the right spot," Rice said. "I don't want to shorten him up to one-turn in the Gotham [March 7 at Aqueduct]. We'll point towards the Wood and whether we do something in between, George and I will figure that out."Off at 5-1, Max Player returned $12.80 on a $2 win wager. Bred in Kentucky by K & G Stables, he improved his career bankroll to $173,500."It was a good thing I watched his replays coming into today. He doesn't like too much kickback," said Davis, who won three races on the card and tallied his third stakes of the winter meet. "He broke well for me today and right when the first kickback came to him into the first turn, he immediately got distracted. I got him back outside and he got on pace and started running well. Going into the second turn, he was traveling well and I had to get into him early because he started getting a little green. Once he got to the stretch, he was all business."Shotski, the field's lone previous graded stakes-winner, edged a late-charging Protos by a half-length for second. Trained by Jeremiah O'Dwyer, the son of Blame entered the day 10th on the Kentucky Derby points leaderboard and increased his total to 14, building on his Remsen victory that netted 10 points."He's a fighter for sure," O'Dwyer said. "Monday Morning Qb came to him but he fought back and wasn't going to let him go by. Linda's horse is obviously a nice horse and was a good bit away from him and didn't get a chance to see him coming to him. He doesn't know when to quit or lie down. I'm very proud of him."Portos, stepping up to stakes company for the first time in his fifth start, rallied from last to garner two points, earning blacktype for trainer Todd Pletcher."My horse was coming late but it was hard to make up ground today," said Portos jockey Jose Lezcano.Completing the order of finish was Monday Morning Qb, who earned one point, New Commission and Prince of Pharoahs. Mr. Shortandsimple and Vanzzy were eased at the finish.

Read Article
1.30.2020:

January 31 Stronach 5 Cancelled

LAUREL, MD – Due to racing at Golden Gate Fields being cancelled the remainder of the week due to repairs to the facility’s hot water system, Friday’s Stronach 5 has been cancelled.The third race at Golden Gate Fields was to be the fourth leg of Friday’s Stronach 5 sequence.The Stronach 5, featuring an industry-low 12-percent takeout and $100,000 guaranteed pool, will return Friday, Feb 7. 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. 

Read Article
1.30.2020:

Aqueduct has $46K Late Pick 5 Carryover on Friday, January 31

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Late Pick 5, covering the last five races of every card at NYRA tracks, went unsolved on Thursday resulting in a carryover of $46,315 when live racing resumes on Friday, January 31 at Aqueduct Racetrack.Thursday's Late Pick 5 sequence featured a shocking upset in the penultimate leg when Whyisshesolucky shot up the rail under apprentice Luis Cardenas to win as the longest shot on the board returning $94 for a $2 win ticket.The sequence kicked off in Race 4 with a resurgent Tom Morley-trained Overbold (No. 3, $7.80), under Kendrick Carmouche, fighting back along the rail to defeat Inclunation. In Race 5, Sixto (No. 3) returned a healthy $28.20 for a surprise score under Reylu Gutierrez.No Deal (No. 5, $8.20) captured the day's sixth race at odds of 3-1 for jockey Junior Alvarado and trainer Chris Englehart. In the final leg, with only Catazalionbythetale covered in the Late Pick 5, Tiz Kaz Now (No. 1, $9.70) prevailed with Catzalionbythetale settling for third.Friday's Late Pick 5 sequence will begin in Race 4 with an approximate 2:25 p.m. Eastern post time and will include a salty allowance tilt in Race 7 featuring Grade 1 Belmont Stakes-winner Sir Winston.The Empire 6 jackpot heading into Friday's card stands at $252,159.

Read Article
1.30.2020:

February 1 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Aqueduct and Oaklawn

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will team with Oaklawn Park to host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday, highlighted by the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers from Aqueduct Racetrack and the $125,000 American Beauty from Oaklawn.The New York path to the Kentucky Derby trail continues Saturday at the Big A with the 140th renewal of the Grade 3 Withers, which offers 10-4-2-1 qualifying points to the top-four finishers.Grade 2 Remsen winner Shotski will have to topple a talented field of eight in the Grade 3 Withers which will kick off the Cross Country Pick 5 in Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:25 p.m. Eastern.The Cross Country Pick 5 continues in Race 9 (4:56 p.m.) at Aqueduct, a 6 1/2-furlong claiming sprint for older horses that features a salty field of nine led by last-out winner O Shea Can U See.Racing action switches to Oaklawn Park to complete the sequence beginning in Race 7 (5:09 p.m.), a wide open allowance optional-claiming tilt with a field of 11 hard-knocking sprinters.Race 8 (5:38 p.m.) from Oaklawn is the American Beauty, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward led by the multiple Grade 1-placed Amy's Challenge. The field of eight also includes Grade 1-placed Special Relativity and the improving Mt. Brave.Closing out the Cross Country Pick 5 in Race 9 (6:09 p.m.) is a full field of 12 allowance sprinters, with two also-eligible entrants waiting in the wings. Sigalert, a $420,000 purchase at the March 2018 OBS, will make his Oaklawn debut for trainer John Sadler. After finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and fifth in the Grade 1 American Pharoah as a juvenile, Sigalert missed his sophomore season but returned to action in January when fourth in an optional-claiming sprint at Santa Anita. Sigalert will look to rally his way to victory over a field likely to be led to the turn by the Steve Asmussen-trained American Mandate.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. Every week will feature a mandatory payout of the net pool.

Read Article
1.30.2020:

Thousand Words Heads G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2020) — A Grade II winner in his second start on Dec. 7, Bob Baffert’s Thousand Words heads a field of six Derby hopefuls going a mile and one sixteenth in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. Also prominent are Baffert’s High Velocity, who finished third behind Thousand Words in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity and Richard Mandella’s recent maiden winner Tizamagician, who put it all together in a 2 ½ length score going a flat mile here on Jan. 1. The Lewis winner will receive 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, with four to second, two to third and one point to the fourth place finisher.    THOUSAND WORDS Owner:  Albaugh Family Stables, LLC and Spendthrift Farm, LLC                       Trainer:  Bob Baffert A first-out 6 ½ furlong maiden winner as the 6-5 favorite here Oct. 26, this $1 million Keeneland September Yearling by Pioneerof the Nile pressed a fast pace over an off track in the Los Alamitos Futurity and emerged with a hard fought neck win in a game effort.  Idle since, he’ll again be ridden by Flavien Prat and it looks like “All systems go,” for his third engagement on Saturday. HIGH VELOCITY Owner:  Gary & Mary West                                Trainer:  Bob Baffert A two length first-out maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs on Oct. 13, he then took the Grade III, seven furlong Bob Hope Stakes on Nov. 16 at Del Mar, going gate to wire and winning by 1 ¼ lengths.  Head and head to the top of the lane with Thousand Words in the Los Alamitos Futurity, this Quality Road colt tired late to be third, beaten 5 ¼ lengths.  He’ll get the first time services of leading man Joel Rosario on Saturday. TIZAMAGICIAN Owner: MyRacehorse.com & Spendthrift Farm, LLC                                Trainer:  Richard Mandella Second in four out of his first five starts, this colt by Tiznow, in his fourth consecutive one mile maiden assignment, made short work of seven rivals here on Jan. 1, as he pressed the early pace and went on to an impressive 2 ½ length win under regular rider Victor Espinoza.  With his seasoning, foundation and sharp recent win to his credit, Tizamagician has to be accorded a huge chance in the Lewis on Saturday. THE GRADE III ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 6 of 9  Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT  1. Encoder—Mike Smith—1242. Thousand Words—Flavien Prat—1243. Tizamagician—Victor Espinoza—1204. Royal Act—Abel Cedillo—1205. High Velocity—Joel Rosario—1206. Zimba Warrior—Jose Valdivia, Jr.—120  First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m., with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit https://www.santaanita.com/ or call (626) 574-RACE.

Read Article
1.29.2020:

Tiz the Law Returns to Action in G3 Holy Bull Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jack Knowlton lived every Thoroughbred owner’s dream when Funny Cide captured the 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1), as well as the Preakness Stakes (G1). Seventeen years later, the managing partner of Sackatoga Stable is well positioned to bid for a second victory in the Run for the Roses.Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law is expected to be solidly favored to win Saturday’s $250,000 Holy Bull (G1) at Gulfstream Park, where Funny Cide finished a troubled fifth in 2003 in the 1 1/16-mile stakes in his first start in open company.The Holy Bull, a 1 1/16-mile prep for the March 28 Florida Derby (G1), is one of five stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday’s program at Gulfstream. Tiz the Law, like Funny Cide, is a New York-bred who won at first asking for trainer Barclay Tagg, capturing an Aug. 8 maiden special weight event for New York-breds by 4 ½ lengths over Dream Bigger, who went on to win two stakes and place in two others. Unlike Funny Cide, who went on the win back-to-back stakes for state breds after his maiden score, Tiz the Law jumped right into Grade 1 company and scored a four-length victory in the Champagne (G1). “Funny Cide came in under the radar screen. Until he won the Derby, other than folks up around Saratoga and in the Capital District, nobody paid much attention to him,” Knowlton said. “Here, after [Tiz the Law] wins the Champagne, it turns out that he is the Derby favorite at this point, which is a little bit daunting to say the least. Everybody is looking at every move you make.”Tiz the Law tasted defeat for the first time in the Nov. 30 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs, where he lacked room into the stretch and came up short to finish third, beaten three-quarters of a length by Silver Prospector, over a sloppy track.“That was a tough spot with the track being what it was and caught down inside, but a lot of people think like I do and draw a line through this race. Even after he lost that race he was the favorite in the first Churchill Downs futures pool and he’s the lowest odds at William Hill in Vegas for the Derby,” Knowlton said. “There is a little more pressure than in the days of Funny Cide, who came in under the radar.”Tiz the Law has worked five times, including a ‘bullet’ half-mile in 48 seconds at Palm Meadows on Sunday that followed a five-furlong breeze at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the Holy Bull.“It was a nice break for him after the race in Kentucky. It came at a good time and is close to our home base up in Palm Meadows,” Knowlton said. “It’s a historic race for us. Funny Cide ran in it. We said, ‘Let’s go do it.’”If the son of Constitution captures the Holy Bull, the Gulfstream photographers may need to use a wide lens.“We have 26 shares in the horse. We bought him for $110,000 at the New York-bred sale, Fasig-Tipton, in Saratoga. We have a total of 32 people who have some interest in the horse,” Knowlton said. “We took 53 people to Kentucky when he ran there and we have over 60 coming to the Holy Bull.”Manuel Franco has the return mount.While Tiz the Law has already established himself as a serious candidate for the 2020 Triple Crown, Ete Indien will be tested for classic potential Saturday.“We’ve put him in the salty water, but we need to know where we are,” trainer Patrick Biancone said. “We’ll see where we are. We’ll know more after the race.”Ete Indien has demonstrated talent on dirt and turf during his three-race career, winning at first asking in a five-furlong turf sprint at Gulfstream Sept. 13. The son of Summer Front finished a troubled eighth in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland in his second start but went on to register an impressive victory in his Dec. 20 dirt debut over Gulfstream’s main track, scoring a 2 ½-length front-running victory at a mile.“He can go either way, but what he did the other day was very impressive to me,” said trainer Patrick Biancone, who owns Ete Indien in partnership with D P Racing LLC, Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable Inc., and Horse France American. “We hope he can carry it further. He has a lot of speed.“It’s early. We’re still in January. What we are going to do with him is see if he can show us the potential of a Derby horse. So far, so good,” Biancone added. “If he has it, he has it. If he doesn’t have it, we’re not going to force him to finish ninth in the Derby. My partners don’t have Derby fever, but they will have it, if he is one of the first four or five favorites.”Luca Panici has the return call on Ete Indien.Juddmonte Farm Inc.’s Toledo, who was a beaten favorite while finishing second behind Ete Indien Dec. 20, is set to make his stakes debut in the Holy Bull. The Chad Brown-trained son of Into Mischief, who was a 7-10 favorite in his Gulfstream debut, had previously finished second in his debut and captured a seven-furlong maiden race at Aqueduct Nov. 9.Irad Ortiz Jr. has been named to ride Toledo.Relentless Dancer debuted with a sixth-place finish on turf at Saratoga Aug. 15 but showed marked improvement in his next start while breaking his maiden on dirt at Churchill Downs, where he notched a dead-heat victory. The son of Midshipman came right back to score by 19 ½ lengths in a stakes for Louisiana-breds at Delta Downs Oct. 19.“He’s doing very good. After his last race he got sick on us and forced us to miss some time,” said Michael Maker, who trained Relentless Dancer for Paradise Farms Corp., Terry Raymond, Jana Wagner and Jeff Gardella. “We’re just happy to have him back. He had a rough go of it and had us really concerned there for a couple weeks.”Relentless Dancer as a strong string of six workouts, including a pair of ‘bullet’ five-furlong breezes at Gulfstream, in preparation for his return to action.“He’s always one that tipped his hand in the morning and we’re glad to see he’s back and training like he is,” Maker said.Jose Ortiz has the mount.Bassett Stable’s Uncork the Bottle, undefeated in three career starts, is slated to make his stakes debut Saturday. The 3-year-old son of Colonel John was claimed out of a victory in a $16,000 maiden claimer at Gulfstream Aug. 29.  The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained colt captured a 5 ½-furlong optional claiming starter allowance at Gulfstream Park before taking a mile turf stakes at Tampa Bay Downs last time out.“We’re going to take a chance with him. He’s a horse we claimed for $16,000. He hasn’t beat much, but he’s three-for-three so what we want to find out now is if we should be realistic or unrealistic. We’re going got take the chance now to see what kind of horse he is,” Joseph said.Edgard Zayas, who was aboard for Uncork the Bottle’s maiden score, has the mount Saturday.“He’s a homebred by [Ken and Sarah] Ramsey and they breed good horses and they normally spot their horses in the right spots. You know when you’re claiming from him, you’re getting good value,” he added. “The owner wanted to take a chance, so we’re taking a chance.”Colebrook Farms’ Clear Destination, an optional claiming allowance winner over Woodbine’s synthetic; and Walking L. Thoroughbreds’ Mayberry Deputy, an authoritative maiden winner last time out at Gulfstream; round out the field.

Read Article
1.26.2020:

Mucho Gusto Rolls to Victory in Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Mucho Gusto won with complete authority Saturday at Gulfstream Park, giving his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his second victory in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy.The 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup, run medication free, co-headlined Saturday’s 12-race program with nine stakes, six graded, with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy.Mucho Gusto’s first Grade 1 victory after several close calls capped a sun-splashed afternoon of world class Thoroughbred racing, entertainment, food and fashion.Baffert had previously won the Pegasus with multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Arrogate, who dominated the 2017 edition by 4 ¾ lengths as the 4-5 favorite. Mucho Gusto entered the Pegasus with four graded-stakes wins but had previously finished second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1), second in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth and third in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga in top-class company.“Those are the most exciting ones, when you don’t expect it,” said Baffert by phone from California.Mucho Gusto, who was saddled by assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, broke alertly and showed the way into the backstretch before Mr Freeze made a three-wide sweep to the lead at the top of the backstretch under Luis Saez. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. rated Mucho Gusto behind Mr. Freeze, who cut fractions of 23.77 and 47.78 seconds for the first half-mile under pressure from Bodexpress while showing the way into the far turn. Higher Power, the 5-2 favorite ridden by Flavien Prat, joined the fray briefly but came up empty as Mucho Gusto was eased to the outside on the turn into the stretch. The 4-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man quickly advanced three-wide on Mr Freeze and Bodexpress to take the lead at the top of the stretch, drawing away to a 4 ½ -length victory.“I had a great trip. He got a great start and felt good. He relaxed so well and we were able to save ground,” said Ortiz, the two-time defending Eclipse champion who rode Mucho Gusto for the first time Saturday. “At the three-eighths pole I tipped him out and he took off. He was much the best. I think he just took off and opened up easy. He’s a nice horse.”Mr Freeze held gamely to finish second three-quarters of a length ahead of late-rallying War Story and jockey Joel Rosario, who finished another three-quarters of a length ahead of Diamond Oops and Julien Leparoux. Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power faded to last in a field of 10.Mucho Gusto ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.85 while winning for the fifth time in 11 career starts.“He has a lot of speed but the key was to get a good break and get over right away. And I just left it up to him (Irad), just keep him in the clear,” Baffert said. “When he was down inside I thought, ‘I hope he knows what he’s doing,’ but he did, he knows that track really well. It was a great performance by him and the horse.”Mucho Gusto was purchased following his last start, a fourth-place finish at the 4-5 favorite in the Sept. 28 Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park, by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bid Khaled.“You know what, the horse shipped really well and I wasn’t really planning on taking him there but he worked really well the other day. I was going to run in the San Pasqual [at Santa Anita] next week but after he worked so well, I thought you know what, I’m just going to take a shot at the mile and an eighth and maybe that will get him ready,” Baffert said. “He didn’t get an invite to the Saudi Cup, so I thought maybe if he runs well enough he’ll get an invitation.”Mr Freeze, a multiple graded-stakes winner who most recently finished third in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs, didn’t demonstrated his usual early speed as he broke a step slowing from the gate but recovered quickly to take the lead. “That was the plan (to go to the front). He didn’t break as clean as I would have liked but he got there and he had a good pace and ran a good race,” trainer Dale Romans said. “He was training as good as a horse can train and he ran huge. I thought he ran a beautiful race. We’ve had confidence in him and he ran the way we thought he would.”War Story, the 8-year-old veteran who captured the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream in his last start, ran in the Pegasus for the third time to produce his best finish in the race Saturday.“He had a good trip. He went back like the way he wants to run and he came running nice in the end,” Rosario said. “I thought for a second we’d get second, but he ran well.”Favored Higher Power had finished third in the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in his most recent start.“We had a good trip. I thought I was in a good position and when the race started to develop by the half-mile pole, he just dropped the bit and sat back,” jockey Flavien Prat said. “I don’t know why.”

Read Article
1.26.2020:

Zulu Alpha Springs Upset in Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Michael Hui’s multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Zulu Alpha added another chapter to his success story, slipping through an opening along the rail in deep stretch to pass Irish import Magic Wand and go on to an 11-1 upset of Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.The second running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf and the fourth renewal of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt comprised the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series presented by Runhappy, headlining a blockbuster 12-race program featuring nine stakes, six graded, worth $5.2 million in purses.For the first time, both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turf were run free of any medications, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare.Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, born and raised in nearby Davie, Fla., Zulu Alpha ($25.60) completed the distance in 1:51.60 over a firm course for his fifth career graded-stakes victory and first in Grade 1 company. It was also the first Grade 1 win for Hui, who purchased his first horses in 2010 and has been working with Maker since 2015.“When he shot up the rail, I screamed my lungs out,” Hui said. “I just watched, stood and screamed. It’s just an unbelievable feeling. I never thought I would win a Grade 1.”Zulu Alpha, a 7-year-old son of Street Cry, was racing for the first time since making a six-wide move to rally from last to fourth, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, in the 1 ½-mile Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. He improved to three-for-four at Gulfstream, his other wins coming in the W. L. McKnight (G3) and Mac Diarmida (G2) last winter.“Just a great horse,” Maker said. “I thought he got unlucky in the Breeders’ Cup or he might have gotten a bigger slice there. He got some time off after that and he really thrived coming in.”Breaking from the rail in a full field of 12, Gaffalione settled Zulu Alpha in mid-pack on the inside as well-traveled Group 1 winner Magic Wand, a narrow second choice at 7-2, was directed to the lead from their far outside post by jockey Ryan Moore and set moderate fractions of 24.06 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.45 for the half, chased closest by Zulu Alpha’s stablemate, 25-1 long shot Henley’s Joy.Magic Wand continued to lead the way after six furlongs in 1:11.94 as Gaffalione remained patient while awaiting room on the inside. Henley’s Joy cut Magic Wand’s lead to a head straightening for home while Zulu Alpha loomed dangerously in third. Gaffalione pounced on the leader inside the eighth pole and sprinted clear to win by two lengths, while Magic Wand held on gamely for second by a neck over Instilled Regard.“The horse broke well and the speed set up in front of us. I was able to let my horse settle,” Gaffalione said. “They just kept opening up and I didn’t see any reason to go around them, so we just stayed on the fence. He really exploded down in there and finished the job. He honestly got more competitive down in there.”Sacred Life emerged from a four-way photo to get fourth by a head over Arklow. They were followed by Sadler’s Joy, who made a strong run after getting pinched back to last at the break; Henley’s Joy, Admission Office, Mo Forza, Channel Cat, 3-1 favorite Without Parole and Next Shares.Instilled Regard, Sacred Life and Without Parole are all trained by Chad Brown, who captured the inaugural running of the Pegasus Turf in 2019 with Bricks and Mortar. Bricks and Mortar would go on to a perfect 6-0 record and be voted Horse of the Year.Zulu Alpha earned his 10th win from 31 starts and pushed his career earnings near $2 million. Given a short break after the Breeders’ Cup, he had been working steadily for his return both at Gulfstream and its satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Palm Meadows.“Since he’s been back, he’s been a lot sharper,” Maker said. “For a million dollars, you have to take a shot, and it paid off.”

Read Article
1.23.2020:

Omaha Beach Scratched from Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Out of an abundance of caution, trainer Richard Mandella has scratched Omaha Beach from this Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy. “It was observed this morning that Omaha Beach had light swelling in his right hind fetlock,” Mandella said. “While we are disappointed to have to miss the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Omaha Beach’s safety and well-being comes first and we wanted to do what was best for him.  He has been a great pleasure to have around the barn and we are grateful for the opportunity to train such a magnificent horse.”“We appreciate the willingness of Mr. Mandella to put the safety of Omaha Beach above all else,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group.  “His decision was the right thing to do and reflects the new standard of care set for this year’s Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.” The Pegasus World Cup Invitational will now have 10 starters.

Read Article
1.23.2020:

Spun to Run Scratched from Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Spun to Run has been scratched from Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy, said trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero Thursday morning.“After he came to Palm Meadows [Training Center] we noticed he was a little hot so we clipped his hair,” Guerrero said. “Then two weeks later we noticed some spots, hives on his body. We wanted to run, but he’s a little hot and sore and we always want to do the right thing for the horse. It’s unfortunate, but we want the best for him.”Spun to Run was the second choice in the original Pegasus morning line at 7-2. The Pegasus will now have 11 starters. The Pegasus World Cup Field with Adjusted Morning Line 1 True Timber  15/1 2 Tax 8/1 3 Diamond Oops 15/1 4 Seeking the Soul     30/1 5 Omaha Beach 1/1 6 Higher Power 6/1 7 War Story 30/1 8 Mr Freeze 20/1 9 Spun to Run SCR 10 Mucho Gusto 9/2 11 Tenfold 30/1 12   Bodexpress 30/1

Read Article
1.22.2020:

Omaha Beach Headlines 2020 Pegasus World Cup; Full Field Announced

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Omaha Beach is scheduled to race for the final time Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the multiple Grade 1 stakes winner will have the opportunity to produce a career-defining performance in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy. The Pegasus World Cup will co-headline Saturday’s 12-race program with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy. The $4 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be supported by seven other stakes, including four other graded stakes, worth an additional $1.2 million in purses. First-race post time is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, kicking off an exciting day of world-class racing, entertainment, fashion and food. There will be a $1 million guaranteed pool in the Late Pick 4 and a $750,000 guaranteed pool in the Late Pick 5. Owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms Inc., Omaha Beach has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 12 entered Wednesday for the ground-breaking 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up whose participants will race medication-free. “It’s a great race. It’s interesting with no medication,” said trainer Richard Mandella, whose morning-line favorite drew No. 5 at Wednesday’s post-position draw. “It’s great to be a part of it.” Omaha Beach was the morning-line favorite for last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1), only to be scratched three days before the race with a throat condition. After undergoing surgery to address an entrapped epiglottis, the son of War Front was given rest and relaxation time before returning to action nearly six month later. The Richard Mandella-trained colt went on to show the same brilliance that had propelled him to victory in the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn, finishing off his interrupted 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1), a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and a sensational romp in the Malibu (G1), all at Santa Anita. Omaha Beach will have the chance to significantly bolster his reputation Saturday before heading off to Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, KY to begin his career as a stallion. Mandella’s confidence in Omaha Beach is as high as it was on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. “I thought he was a Triple Crown winner. I can say that now, anybody can, but he was a big healthy horse – except for that throat. I really thought he was strong enough to [win the Kentucky Derby] and healthy and strong enough to continue on, which is the difference between a horse winning the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown,” Mandella said. “You’ve got to have the mind and the constitution to take that kind of regimen. He was always strong and such a good minded horse I felt I had the chance.” Omaha Beach was Mandella’s best shot to add the Kentucky Derby to his Hall of Fame resume, which includes nine Breeders’ Cup victories and a long list of Grade 1 stakes winners, including four-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder, 1993 Horse of the Year Kotashaan, as well as unprecedented success with South American imports, most notably, Gentleman, Sandpit and Siphon. “What can you do? If you’re going to train horses you better put your seatbelt on. There are going to be rough bumps,” Mandella said. Omaha Beach, who is “bigger and stronger and continues to fill out,” is the picture of an elite Thoroughbred. “He’s got all the requirements. Extreme ability, terrific conformation, and a mind you can adjust like a radio,” he said. “You can turn him on, you can turn him off. You deal with those things you can do about anything, which he showed. He won the Arkansas Derby and the next time he ran he wins the Sprint Championship at Santa Anita and beats a really good top sprinter [Shancelot]. There are not many you can tune in and out like that.” Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Arrogate to a 4 ¾-length victory in the 2017 Pegasus World Cup, has the return mount aboard Omaha Beach. Hronis Racing LLC and trainer John Sadler, who will send out Higher Power for a run in the Pegasus, got a third-place finish in last year’s Pegasus World Cup from 2018 champion older horse Accelerate, the 3-2 favorite who encountered bumping at the start of the race that was run over a sloppy track and won by City of Light. “We got a deluge. I think Accelerate handled a muddy track OK, but City of Light adored it,” Sadler said. “He ran a good race. It was a step back for him, but circumstances worked against us.” Higher Power has blossomed into a Grade 1 winner since being purchased for $250,000 in April at Keeneland’s horses of racing age sale. In his fourth start for his new connections, the 5-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro offered a commanding 5 ¼-length victory in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar, defeating Pegasus World Cup contenders Tenfold (4th), War Story (6th) and Seeking the Soul (7th). “We ran him on turf the first time at Del Mar and he was an unlucky second and should have won. He was training so well over the Del Mar dirt we decided to try the Pacific Classic,” Sadler said. “We were just delighted. He got a good trip and won it. He has a lot of stamina and he’s improving. To my mind, he’s probably second choice in the Pegasus.” Higher Power was rated fourth in the morning line at 6-1. Higher Power finished third after poor starts in his two subsequent starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 2.  After starting slowly, he raced wide and could get no closer than 8 ½ lengths to victorious Vino Rosso. “In the Breeders’ Cup Classic he got away slowly and was third. I think with a good break in the Breeders’ Cup he’d probably have been right there close for second,” Sadler said. “Vino Rosso was going to be the winner that day. But all things considered, it wasn’t a bad race.” Flavien Prat has the return mount aboard Higher Power. Trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled Arrogate for his Pegasus World Cup victory has sent His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Khalid’s Mucho Gusto to Gulfstream for Saturday’s race. The 4-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man will be seeking his first Grade 1 victory, but the multiple graded-stakes winner has fared well in top-class company, finishing second behind Maximum Security in the Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park, eight lengths ahead of Pegasus entrant Spun to Run, and third in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga. “He always shows up. He runs well. He’s got a lot of heart. And he’s speed,” Baffert said. “Might as well go for it and see how he does.” Irad Ortiz Jr., who is expected to be honored at Thursday evening’s Eclipse Award dinner in Gulfstream’s Sport of King’s theater for the second straight year, will ride Mucho Gusto, who is rated third at 9-2 in the morning line, for the first time Saturday. Trainer Steve Asmussen, like Baffert, will be seeking his second Pegasus World Cup victory Saturday. The Hall of Fame trainer saddled 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner for victory in 2018. This year, he will saddle Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Tenfold, the third-place finisher in the 2018 Preakness Stakes (G1) who is winless in five starts since winning the Pimlico Special (G3). “He’s run some very big races. His third in the Preakness by three-quarters of a length to Justify, his Pimlico Special and the Jim Dandy. On his best day, he’s obviously capable of very good things, but he has not been as consistent as we would have hoped and don’t feel he’s completely taken advantage of all the chances he’s been given,” Asmussen said. “But he’s also a horse that’s an extremely good ‘doer,’ a very sound horse that’s doing really well right now. With the invitation to the Pegasus in a very wide-open year, excluding possibly one horse, here we go.” Tyler Gaffalione has the mount aboard the 5-year-old son of Curlin. Robert Donaldson’s Spun to Run will have the distinction of being the only horse in the Pegasus field to hold a decision over Omaha Beach. The 4-year-old son of Hard Spun defeated the Pegasus morning-line favorite by 2 ¾ lengths with a front-running performance in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 2. “Omaha Beach is getting all the hype,” said trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero. “But I’m okay with that. I don’t see why we can’t beat him again.” Spun to Run followed up his Dirt Mile win with a second-place finish behind Maximum Security in the Dec. 7 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano is slated to ride Spun to Run, who is rated second at 7-2 in the morning line, for the first time Saturday. Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul is scheduled to make his third start in the Pegasus World Cup (G1), in which the son of Perfect Soul finished second behind City of Light last year after checking in fifth in 2018. The Dallas Stewart-trained 7-year-old son of Perfect Soul has been winless in four starts since capturing the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs June 15. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who was aboard for the Foster score and last year’s runner-up finish in the Pegasus, will be back aboard. R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbreds Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable’s Tax will seek his first Grade 1 victory in the Pegasus. The 4-year-old gelded son of Arch was claimed for $50,000 at Keeneland in October 2018 and went on to win the Withers (G3) and finish second in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), in which he finished well back in the field. The Danny Gargan-trained gelding captured the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga before weakening to seventh in the Travers. Jose Ortiz will ride Tax for the first time Saturday. Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing Stable LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC’s Diamond Oops, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed 5-year-old gelding, enters the Pegasus off a swift victory in the seven-furlong Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 21. The son of Lookin At Lucky finished second back-to-back in the Alfred .G, Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga and the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland, before finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile following a troubled start. Julien Leparoux has the return mount on the Patrick Biancone-trained gelding. Calumet Farm’s True Timber, who finished third in the Cigar Mile last time out, will attempt to better last year’s seventh-place Pegasus finish. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin named Joe Bravo to ride the 6-year-old gelded son of Mineshaft. Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ War Story, who finished 10th in the 2018 Pegasus, will try to add to his $2.9 million career bankroll Saturday. The Elizabeth Dobles-trained 8-year-old gelding, who captured the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream in his most recent start, will be ridden by Joel Rosario. Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s Mr Freeze, a multiple graded-stakes winner, enters the Pegasus off a third-place finish in the Nov. 19 Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. Trainer Dale Romans award the mount to Luis Saez. Top Racing LLC and Global Thoroughbreds and GDS Racing’s Bodexpress, the runner-up in the Florida Derby (G1) behind Maximum Security before finishing off the board in the Kentucky Derby and unseating his rider at the start in the Preakness, brings a record of two wins from three subsequent starts into the Pegasus. Emisael Jaramillo has the return call. 2020 Pegasus World Cup Field True Timber (Kiaran McLaughlin/Joe Bravo) - 20/1 Tax (Danny Gargan/Jose Ortiz) - 12/1 Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone/Julien Leparoux) - 20/1 Seeking the Soul (Dallas Stewart/John Velazquez) - 30/1 Omaha Beach (Richard Mandella/Mike Smith) - 7/5 Higher Power (John Sadler/Flavien Prat) - 6/1 War Story (Elizabeth Dobles/Joel Rosario) - 30/1 Mr Freeze (Dale Romans/Luis Saez) - 30/1 Spun to Run (Juan Carlos Guerrero/Javier Castellano) - 7/2 Mucho Gusto (Bob Baffert/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 9/2 Tenfold (Steve Asmussen/Tyler Gaffalione) - 30/1 Bodexpress (Gustavo Delgado/Emisael Jaramillo) - 30/1 Want More Pegasus World Cup? Sign Up and Get a $100 Bonus Pegasus World Cup Handicapping HQ Meet the Pegasus World Cup Contenders Meet the Pegasus World Cup Turf Contenders Get the Pegasus World Cup Wager Guide

Read Article
1.22.2020:

Magic Wand Slight Pegasus World Cup Turf Favorite; Full Field Announced

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Well-traveled Irish import Magic Wand, second only to a subsequently undefeated rival expected to be crowned Horse of the Year later this week, returns to South Florida as the program favorite in Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The second running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf and the fourth renewal of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt comprise the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series presented by Runhappy, headlining a blockbuster 12-race program featuring nine stakes, six graded, worth $5.2 million in purses. First race post time is 11:30 a.m. EST. Post time for the Pegasus Turf is 4:51 p.m. EST. The race will be shown during NBC’s live national telecast from 4:30 to 6 p.m. For the first time, both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turf will be run free of any medications on race day, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. During Wednesday’s post-position draw in Frankey’s Sports Bar at Gulfstream, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier’s Magic Wand was made the 7-2 top choice for the Pegasus Turf and drew the far outside post in a field of 12 that includes fellow Grade 1 winners Arklow, Henley’s Joy, Mo Forza, Next Shares, Sadler’s Joy and Without Parole as well as graded-stakes winners Channel Cat, Instilled Regard and Sacred Life. Magic Wand had never faced males and raced only once in North America prior to last year’s Pegasus Turf, where she was sent off at 9-1 and ran second over a yielding course by 2 ¼ lengths behind Bricks and Mortar, who would go on to win his next five races, four of them Grade 1, making him the favorite to take home top honors during the 49th Eclipse Awards ceremony Thursday at Gulfstream. Since the Pegasus Turf, Magic Wand has raced almost exclusively against males with one victory, becoming a Group 1 winner in the MacKinnon Stakes Nov. 9 at Flemington in Australia, just four days after finishing 10th in the Melbourne Cup (G1). In all, Magic Wand ran three times in two weeks Down Under, also running fourth in the Cox Plate (G1). Following the MacKinnon, Magic Wand went to Sha Tin where she capped a busy 2019 campaign finishing second by a nose in the Hong Kong Cup (G1) Dec. 8. Though she went just 1-for-12 during the year, she earned nearly $3.5 million to push her career bankroll over $4.1 million. The 2019 Pegasus Turf was Magic Wand’s only race at 1 3/16 miles, though she has never been worse than fourth with one win, six seconds and a third in nine tries at 1 ¼ miles. She is still seeking her first stateside win, having finished fourth in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Last year she was third in the Man o’ War (G1) at Belmont Park and second in the Arlington Million (G1), both by three-quarters of a length. A 5-year-old daughter of three-time Group 1-winner Galileo, Magic Wand will have regular rider Ryan Moore aboard. Woodslane Farm’s multi-millionaire homebred Sadler’s Joy is set to make his 7-year-old debut in the Pegasus Turf. Trained by Tom Albertrani, the son of champion racehorse and stallion Kitten’s Joy snapped a 10-race losing streak by winning the 1 3/8-mile Red Smith (G3) Nov. 23 at Aqueduct. During his drought, the late-running 2017 Sword Dancer (G1) winner was second or third seven times, five of those by less than a length. “He actually had a really good campaign last year. We were just really beaten necks and heads again,” Albertrani said. “His only big defeat was in the Bowling Green his first start back where he encountered quite a bit of traffic when he made his late run and still didn’t get beat that far [1 ¼ lengths]. “But he came back and put up two good races in the Sword Dancer and Joe Hirsch and came back and won the Red Smith impressively,” he added. “He’s absolutely strong, as strong as he’s been from what I can see from last year to now, so I’m anticipating another good season with him.” Sadler’s Joy owns two wins and a second in four career tries at Gulfstream, taking the Pan American (G2) after losing the W. L. McKnight (G3) by a head in 2017. In 2018, he rallied to win the Mac Diarmida (G2) and was fourth in the Pan American. Overall, he has seven wins and nearly $2.5 million in purse earnings from 26 starts. Hall of Famer Javier Castellano rides Sadler’s Joy (8-1) from Post 4. “It’s going to be a good, challenging race for us but I think he’s got the ability to get it done if he runs any one of his big races,” Albertrani said. “He’s got it in him. If he comes back and puts in one of those big efforts, I don’t see why he couldn’t get the job done.” Mo Forza, bred and co-owned by Bardy Farm with OG Boss, brings a four-race win streak into the Pegasus Turf. From the barn of trainer Peter Miller, it will be the 4-year-old Uncle Mo colt’s first time racing outside of California. “I’m very pleased with the horse,” Miller said. “He’s just really come into his own in the last few months. He’s a very sound, healthy horse and we’re really looking forward to Saturday.” Unraced at 2, Mo Forza needed six tries to break his maiden but hasn’t lost since. He won the Twilight Derby (G2) and Hollywood Derby (G1), both at 1 1/8 miles, and Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) in succession to cap his 2019 campaign, and already owns a win over his elders, coming in his Sept. 29 graduation. “He had been unlucky. He could have won a couple races before breaking his maiden, but he just had some bad luck. It’s just been maturation. He’s starting to figure the game out. I really can’t put a finger on it other than experience and maturity,” Miller said. “He’s the kind of horse you can put anywhere in the race. He’s won from up close and he’s won from pretty far back, so he’s very versatile. I think the distance should suit him well.” Mo Forza (5-1) will carry jockey Joel Rosario from Post 10. Donegal Racing, Joseph Bulger and Peter Coneway’s 6-year-old Arklow will also be making his Gulfstream debut for trainer Brad Cox. The six-time winner of more than $1.8 million in purse earnings owns three graded-stakes wins, capped by the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) Oct. 5 at Belmont Park. “That day there wasn’t a lot of speed in the race, but the horse we thought would be on the lead that day was behind him,” Cox said. “He’s a little bit of a tricky horse to figure out where he’s going to place himself. I’ve seen him break and the rider content with where he’s sitting where he is and him taking the rider up into the race. Given that he’s 6 years old, we still haven’t figured him out. I just know he runs well.” Luis Saez has the call on Arklow (6-1) from Post 2. Bloom Racing Stable’s 4-year-old millionaire Henley’s Joy, another son of Kitten’s Joy, was beaten by Mo Forza in each of his final two starts of 2019 in California, capping a season where he had one win from 11 starts – the $1 million Belmont Derby (G1) going 1 ¼ miles on the grass. “If you win one of those races every year, it’s a good year. He had some tough luck in a few races that might have went the other way if he got through, but that’s racing. He shows up every single time,” trainer Mike Maker said. “He’s a picture and he’s been working well here. It’s a tough task to ask him in his first start against 4-year-olds, but he’s earned it.” Maker will also send out Michael Hui’s Zulu Alpha, a nine-time winner of more than $1.3 million in purses that has finished third or better in 18 of 30 lifetime starts. Two of his four graded-stakes wins have come at Gulfstream, in last winter’s McKnight and Mac Diarmida. The 7-year-old gelding was fourth, 1 ¾ lengths behind Bricks and Mortar, in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). “Zulu Alpha had some time off after the Breeders’ Cup and it’s really done him well,” Maker said. “I thought he had a very good year. I thought in the Breeders’ Cup he ran an outstanding race and if he had a little luck, who knows?” Julien Leparoux will ride Henley’s Joy (30-1) from Post 8 while Tyler Gaffalione is named on Zulu Alpha (12-1) from Post 1. Chad Brown, who won last year’s inaugural Pegasus Turf with Bricks and Mortar, will have three chances to defend his title led by OXO Equine’s Instilled Regard (10-1). The 5-year-old son of Arch was an impressive half-length winner of the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale (G2) Dec. 14 at Gulfstream in just his second start off a six-month layoff. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call from Post 6. Brown also has John Gunther and Tayna Gunther’s Without Parole, winner of the 2018 St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot; and Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ French Group 3 winner Sacred Life, second in two previous graded-stakes attempts in the U.S. including the 1 1/16-mile Seasbiscuit Handicap (G2) last out Nov. 30. Without Parole, second choice on the morning line at 4-1, will have the services of famed international jockey Frankie Dettori from Post 3, while Jose Ortiz rides Sacred Life (12-1) from Post 11. Debby and Richard Baltas, Christopher Dunn, Jules and Michael Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Ritchie Robershaw and Mark Taylor’s Next Shares (30-1) joins Magic Wand as the only returnees from the inaugural Pegasus Turf, where he encountered trouble on the first turn and wound up seventh. The 2018 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) winner went winless in five subsequent starts before ending 2019 with a victory in the Seabiscuit over Sacred Life. Jose Valdivia Jr. returns to ride from from Post 9. Calumet Farm homebred Channel Cat, by turf champion English Channel, has been third or better in five of six career tries at Gulfstream, most recently running third by less than a length in the Fort Lauderdale. Front-running winner of the 1 3/8-mile Bowling Green last summer at Saratoga, he won the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Grounds Derby and 1 ½-mile Bald Eagle Derby in subsequent starts in 2018. “We felt like we needed to see if he fit in a race like this, and I thought he ran a strong enough race last time to give it a try,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “If you look at his PP lines, he’s run against the best American horses all year. My concern is that he’s really at his best at a mile and three-eighths or a mile and a half, but we’ll give it a shot.” Hall of Famer John Velazquez has the mount on Channel Cat (10-1) from Post 5. Completing the main body of the field is Amerman Racing homebred Admission Office (30-1), second by a half-length to Instilled Regard in the Fort Lauderdale. It was the fourth loss by the same margin in a graded-stakes for the 5-year-old Point of Entry horse, also running second in the Dixie (G2) and third in the Wise Dan (G2) and River City Handicap (G3) last year. Flavien Prat has the call from Post 7. Jordan Wycoff’s Tusk, two-length winner of the one-mile Tropical Turf (G3) Jan. 11 at Gulfstream in his second start since being claimed by trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., is the lone also-eligible. 2020 Pegasus World Cup Turf Field Zulu Alpha (Mike Maker/Tyler Gaffalione) - 12/1 Arklow (Brad Cox/Luis Saez) - 6/1 Without Parole (GB) (Chad Brown/Frankie Dettori) - 4/1 Sadler's Joy (Tom Albertrani/Javier Castellano) - 8/1 Channel Cat (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 10/1 Instilled Regard (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 10/1 Admission Office (Brian Lynch/Flavien Prat) - 30/1 Henley's Joy (Mike Maker/Julien Leparoux) - 30/1 Next Shares (Richard Baltas/Jose Valdivia Jr.) - 30/1 Mo Forza (Peter Miller/Joel Rosario) - 5/1 Sacred Life (FR) (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) - 12/1 Magic Wand (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 7/2 Want More Pegasus World Cup? Sign Up and Get a $100 Bonus Pegasus World Cup Handicapping HQ Meet the Pegasus World Cup Contenders Meet the Pegasus World Cup Turf Contenders Get the Pegasus World Cup Wager Guide

Read Article
1.21.2020:

Bob Baffert Returns to the Pegasus World Cup with Mucho Gusto

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bob Baffert returns to the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy after a one-year absence Saturday with Mucho Gusto, a 4-year-old colt whose strong workout last week convinced the Hall of Fame trainer that he is ready for prime time.Baffert won the inaugural running of the Pegasus World Cup in 2017 with Arrogate and was second to Gun Runner in 2018 with West Coast. He is the only trainer in the short history of the race to have two horses hit the board and with $9.25 million he leads the way in earnings. After considering Mucho Gusto for the Fred W. Hooper (G3), a one-mile race with a $150,000 purse on the Pegasus Day program, Baffert decided instead to go big and send Mucho Gusto from California for the marquee race of the day. A sharp six-furlong breeze in 1:11.60 from the gate on Jan. 16 at Santa Anita was pivotal.“He worked well,” Baffert said, explaining his approach. “It’s a mile and an eighth and it’s a $3 million race.”Irad Ortiz, Jr., the leading rider in North America last year and the defending Gulfstream Park champ, will be up on Mucho Gusto for the first time.After the Pegasus World Cup, his first career test against older horses, Mucho Gusto, will go even further east to Rhiyad, Saudi Arabia in late February for the first Saudi Cup. But first he will tangle with three-time Grade 1 winner Omaha Beach and 10 other proven graded stakes horses in the Pegasus, the opener of the three major early season races for older horses.“It’s going to be tough, but there aren’t any easy spots,” Baffert said. “It’s a tough field, so you need a lot of racing luck leaving there. He’s quick. He’s got a lot of speed.”With that speed, Mucho Gusto has been on or very near to the lead in each of his 10 career starts. He has won five times – four of them Grade 3 stakes – and has finished in the top three in each of his three Grade 1 starts. After Baffert opted to bypass all of the Triple Crown races with him last year, Mucho Gusto won a pair of stakes in California and then proved that he could compete with the upper echelon of the 3-year-old division during the major summer races. He overcame trouble at the start of the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park and finished second to Maximum Security, the top contender for the division title who was disqualified from first in the Kentucky Derby (G1). A month later at Saratoga, Mucho Gusto battled with Tacitus for the lead in the Travers (G1) and finished third to Code of Honor.In his final start of 2019, Mucho Gusto was fourth, beaten two lengths, as the favorite in the Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 29. He was part of a three-way pace skirmish that neatly set up a late rally in the stretch by Owendale. Mucho Gusto is owned by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Khalid.Baffert played a prominent role in the 2017 Pegasus and has fond memories of the ground-breaking race that had plenty of star appeal. “It was the first year so there was a lot of buzz, a lot of excitement,” Baffert said. “I had some doubts six months before it that they would be able pull it off. It was exciting because it was a showdown. It was a rematch of California Chrome and Arrogate. It was a heavyweight rematch. Arrogate, he showed up. Unfortunately, Chrome just didn’t run his race that day, so it didn’t turn out that way.“It was still really exciting. There was a lot of buzz. They put on a really great show down there. It’s exciting. It’s an event and it’s become an event. I’m glad they still have it because we need those kind of races and I want to be part of it. It would be great to win it again.”

Read Article
1.21.2020:

Hui, Maker 'Taking a Shot' with Zulu Alpha in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Rather than have Zulu Alpha try for a repeat win in the W.L. McKnight (G3) on Jan. 25, owner Michael Hui is opting for a far bigger prize later that afternoon at Gulfstream Park, the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy.Hui said that when trainer Mike Maker laid out the possibilities for the 7-year-old’s first start of 2020 it was an easy decision. Though the McKnight launched a great 2019 season for Zulu Alpha, who won three graded stakes and $1.1 million in purses, Hui was eager to change course.“The way Mike put it to me is you can go in the McKnight again for $200,000 and you will be even money or you can take a shot,” Hui said. “He knew when he said that…I’m all about taking a shot. Why not?”That is pretty much the philosophy the Little Rock, Ark. resident has used since he made the transition from fan to owner in 2010. After a few seasons with lower-level claimers, Hui reached out to Maker, who has a sterling reputation for claiming horses that he develops into graded stakes-winning runners. Hui has degrees in math and physics and describes himself as a “black and white analytical guy.” He checked out Maker’s stats on the Internet and made his move in 2015.“I called him up one day and said, ‘I’d like to claim one with you. Are you open to it? How does it work?’ He walked me through it.”Through Maker, Hui, 56, bought a horse that won a stakes at Woodbine and claimed an allowance runner. Their relationship and success grew through the years. “Over time, he would point them out to me and he does what he does,” Hui said. “We’ve been very blessed. We got Greengrassofwyoming. Three weeks later he wins the Stars and Stripes (G3). We claimed a horse named Taghleeb at Saratoga. He ran well at Kentucky Downs. It took a little while to figure him out and he ended up winning the McKnight.”Taghleeb’s victory in the McKnight in 2017 was the first of Maker’s three straight wins in the Gulfstream Park fixture. Maker and Hui also did well with their claim of Shadow Rock, which led them to Hogy, who won a pair of Grade 3s for them. While at Fair Grounds in March 2018 to run Galton in the Muniz Memorial (G2), Hui said he was asking Maker what he looks for when scouting horses to claim.“He’s pointing all this out and Zulu walks by,” Hui said. “He said ‘That’s exactly what you are looking for.’ ”Zulu Alpha was third to Synchrony and Arklow in the Muniz at 91-1 and Hui put him in his stable mail. Nearly six months later, Hui saw that the son of Street Cry was entered in a claiming race at Churchill Downs. He had trainer John Ortiz claim him for $80,000. The Calumet Farm homebred won for fun by 9 ½ lengths the day he was claimed promptly rewarding Hui and Ortiz with a win in the Sycamore (G3).Hui subsequently moved Zulu Alpha to Maker to run in the grass stakes at last year’s Championship Meet at Gulfstream. After a well-beaten seventh in the Fort Lauderdale (G2), he won the McKnight and Mac Diarmida (G2) in what turned into a very good 2019 campaign.Two races before Zulu Alpha was claimed blinkers were removed, an equipment change that looks to have had a positive impact. And right after Hui made the claim, the long-striding gelding was stretched out to longer distances. His past performances show he has thrived. Hui and Maker thought enough of Zulu Alpha last year to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), where he was fourth, 1¾ lengths behind the winner, Bricks and Mortar, who surely will be named the champion male turf horse and is likely to be the Horse of the Year. Hui is quick to credit Maker and his keen eye for talent.“I’m biased, but I can’t see anyone any better spotting horses for two-turn or three-turn turf races, and getting the most bang for the buck,” Hui said. “I made the comment when we were in the Breeders’ Cup that you don’t usually see guys like me in this race. It’s typically dominated by Europeans or these larger farms.”Hui was a co-founder of Transportation Insight, a company based in Hickory, N.C. that he and his partners sold five years ago, about the time he started working with Maker. He has a boutique-type racing and breeding operation that currently consists of six runners, three broodmares and three babies. He bred and sold the Grade 1-winning filly Nickname.Zulu Alpha is Hui’s top earner, took him to the Breeders’ Cup and has delivered half of his eight graded stakes victories. The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, where he is taking a shot, is the starting point for what he hopes is another solid season.“Zulu has exceeded expectations,” Hui said. “I feel so fortunate to have a horse like this and one thing that I have picked up about this game is that it is race to race. He’s got to be competitive in this race. He’s got to come out of the race, come back and train again. Everything is on the table.”

Read Article
1.20.2020:

Richard Mandella Still a Prominent Player on Racing's Center Stage

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Richard Mandella built his Hall of Fame career on consummate horsemanship, a no-frills, all-class approach to training Thoroughbreds that has produced enduring success spanning more than four decades.“It’s always amazed me,” and Mandella, who saddled his first horse in 1974 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. “Since I first started out and had my first couple of good horses – Bad ‘n Big being the first real good one – as soon as one started to wear out, another good one would pop up. It’s kind of still going on.”More than 40 years after getting his first taste of graded-stakes success with Bad ‘n Big, Mandella will saddle Omaha Beach for Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy at Gulfstream Park – still very much a prominent player on Thoroughbred racing’s center stage.Omaha Beach, the latest in a long, long list of stars to pop up in Mandella’s stable, will be the likely post-time favorite for the 1 1/8-mile medication-free Pegasus World Cup.Remarkably, Mandella, who has saddled the winners of more than 2,150 races and $142 million in purses, has been blessed with a seemingly endless stream of Grade 1 stars without training huge numbers of horses.“We don’t have a real big outfit. I used to be bigger – I used to keep Hollywood Park and Santa Anita with about 60 to 75 horses. That was my top,” Mandella said. “I tried to get a little bigger than that, but I couldn’t handle it. When I turned 60, which was nine years ago, I took myself down to just one barn with 40 horses and we’re still there.”‘I Used to Think I was Stupid’The bigger his stable grew, the more uncomfortable Mandella felt, a development he attributes to a less-than-stellar academic background.“I barely made it through high school, seriously. I had a job before school and after school. I was riding horses before I went to school, exercising, breaking yearlings. I worked my tail off,” Mandella said. “I used to think I was stupid. Being a little more realistic looking back, I was working at 4:30 in the morning. I started school at 10:30 because I had a job at a farm breaking yearlings. At night, my father and I would meet and we’d train. We had a little track at home and we’d train until 9 o’clock at night. I rested in school and that’s about all I got out of it.”Mandella stressed the importance of getting an education to fall back on.“What a young person needs to realize is that if he ever has success, he’d better have a little education to work with the success, and I lacked that,” he said. “I could feel it as I got too big.“I haven’t figured it out yet how Todd Pletcher and those guys do it and how good they do. I can appreciate what they can do and be consistently successful. I could never feel comfortable once I got over that 65 number,” he added. “Two barns, dealing with people and horses, it was more than I could take in at one time.”Mandella’s stable surely would have grown into triple digits had he been more comfortable with a larger operation. “I’ve never applied for a job in my life and I’ve never asked for a horse to train. Somebody has always put things in front of me,” he said. “Either we bought good ones or, as in the case of Gentlemen, Siphon, Virginie, who won the Beverly Hills (G1), and Romarin, who won the Early Times at Churchill (G2), I was asked to train those horses by people who had seen something they liked about me and called me and said, ‘I’ve got a horse named Sandpit from Brazil.’ I got calls from people asking would I take a horse. I’ve been very fortunate that they were the right people with the right horses.”South America CallingGentlemen, Siphon, Virginie, Romarin and Sandpit, among several other graded-stakes winners, were imported from South America and flourished under Mandella’s care. “This first reason is, it was the horses that were sent to me. Below that, I would say it was because I grew up on a ranch and broke hundreds of yearlings over a six-year period. Dealing with the minds of horses – when you break horses you have to read horses’ minds to get along – that’s the thing,” Mandella said. “It’s your job to teach them how to gallop, change leads, and all that stuff. It’s an important part of training South Americans – you have to retrain them. If you make a mistake in that process, you have an outlaw, a bad actor, or they get hurt or they’re unhappy. That’s part of the transition from South America, more than Europe – to back up and rebuild and put an education with it.”Mandella, who also trained the French-bred 1993 Horse of the Year and turf champion Kotashaan, has experienced considerable success with veteran campaigners such as Gentlemen, Sandpit and The Tin Man through the years.“We’ve always been known to have these 7, 8, 9-year-olds,” he said. “Sandpit was 10, I think, when I went to Dubai with him. The Tin Man won the Arlington Million when he was 8. We’ve kind of had a few of those.”Mandella attributes his success with older campaigners with the lessons he learned working with his father, Gene, at their Cherry Valley, Calif. ranch while paying much less attention to his lessons in school earlier in the day.“The first reason is the horses I’ve had. The underlying reason would be growing up on my father’s ranch where we had horses hurt badly. We had a small little ranch. Dad was a blacksmith. We trained and took care of horses almost as a hobby more than a job. We’d get horses that were hurt. We’d try to rest them and get them back training and getting them back to the races,” Mandella said. “We could see that people didn’t know when to stop at the first warning. That was the lesson I learned from that. You learn not to push your injuries too far and ask too much of them. Stop and fix it, and maybe you get a better horse after it’s over. I think my career stands for that.”Keeping It ‘Old School’ While keeping current, Mandella has remained ‘old school’ in his training.  “I listen about every machine, every new vitamin and leg paint. You try it, but pretty soon you throw that out and go back to what you were doing. The basics are the most important things. I learned them from my father. The finer points I learned from Lefty Nickerson, V. J. Nickerson,” he said. “I only worked for him for one year, but he and I had a relationship where he could see me a little puzzled and he’d say three words and it would all come together for me. Everybody in life should have somebody like that. Lefty was very good for me.”His tried-and true training methods have always served Mandella and his array of stakes winners well. Pleasantly Perfect would hardly have been able to win the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and 2004 Dubai World Cup (G1) without the special attention paid to him by his trainer.“As a 2-year-old he had a virus that affected his heart. You’ve heard of people 35, 40-years old working out in the gym who drop dead of a heart attack and they don’t know why. They find out it’s Pericarditis, an inflammation of the heart sac and fluid around the heart. He had that as a 2-year-old,” Mandella said. “I turned him out for a year and he was better but not good enough. I turned him out again and at the end of his 3-year-old year he started running. He moved – Boom! Boom! Boom! – into some big stuff. He was that good of a horse.”Pleasantly Perfect capped a record-setting four-win day for his trainer in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup.“I’m sitting in the box with the owner and I’m thinking, ‘This poor guy doesn’t have a chance in hell. I’ve already won three of these. What chance has he got? He’s carrying 500 pounds going into the gate,’” Mandella said with a chuckle. “And he ran the race of his life.”Mandella also visited the Santa Anita winner’s circle after Halfbridled’s win in the Juvenile Fillies (G1), Action This Day’s triumph in the Juvenile (G1) and Johar’s dead-heat victory with High Chaparral in the Turf (G1).Pleasantly Perfect’s triumph in the Dubai World Cup ranks among Mandella’s favorite memories.“Winning the Dubai Cup [was special] because I had been there five times and we’d ran good. It kind of made you want to win it,” he said. “For Pleasantly Perfect, particularly, to win it was special.”Where It All BeganPleasantly Perfect, Gentlemen, Sandpit, Kotashaan, Siphon, Dare and Go, The Tin Man, and, of course, Beholder, among so many others, have provided much success and joy, but Mandella didn’t hesitate when asked if any horse stood out as he looks back on his career.“The one I owe probably the most is a horse called Bad ‘n Big – a horse I trained in the ‘70s. He won the Cinema Handicap and beat Iron Constitution. He won the Big Crosby Sprint in 1:07-and-4 at Del Mar. He ran against top competition and retired at 7 or 8 from being a 2-year-old,” he said. “Each one of his big races was as good as anything since, because it was new to me and I knew that if I didn’t get going then, it was going to be a long struggle. That’s the way this business goes. You don’t hang around for 20 years and all of a sudden just get going. You either make it or you don’t. I owe him so much.”Nearly four decades later, Beholder demonstrated the same longevity at the top, earning Eclipse championships at 2, 3, 5 and 6 before retiring with $6.1 million in earnings and 12 Grade 1 victories, including wins in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and 2012 Pacific Classic.“She had extreme freakish ability. She was a little hard-headed. When she was young, she was a challenge. As we got going, she wanted to leave the gate and run as far as she could as fast as she could, which was good enough most of the time,” Mandella said. “When she won the [2013] Breeders’ Cup [Distaff] and beat Royal Delta that was the day I told [jockey] Gary [Stevens] to take her back – we’d been training her that way for a year – she responded. She was a better horse and could do what you wanted her to do.”It is clearly not by accident that Beholder and Bad n’ Big’s long and fruitful careers mirrored that of their Hall of Fame trainer.

Read Article
1.20.2020:

Tenfold Prepares for Pegasus World Cup with Relaxed Workout

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold worked a leisurely half-mile in 51 seconds flat at the Fair Grounds on a frigid Monday morning, his last training session before flying from New Orleans to South Florida Tuesday for Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) presented by Runhappy.The workout time ranked 43 out of 52 works at the distance, but was typical of what Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen wants from his horses the Monday before a Saturday race. “He’s in a great rhythm,” said Asmussen, who on Saturday became the third trainer to win 1,000 career stakes when Finite won the Fair Grounds’ Silverbulletday. “The horse has trained with a lot of energy lately and heads out to Gulfstream tomorrow.”Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano has the mount on Tenfold, the trainer said.Asmussen won the 2018 Pegasus with 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner, whom Winchell co-owned with Three Chimneys Farm.In his only start this year, the 5-year-old Tenfold was a close fourth in the Fair Grounds’ $75,000 Tenacious Stakes, finishing a total of three-quarters of a length in the slop behind victorious Pioneer Spirit. Tenfold, a son of the Asmussen-trained two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, won Saratoga’s Jim Dandy (G2) at age 3 and the Pimlico Special (G3) last year. He also was a very good third, beaten less than a length, behind Triple Crown winner Justify in the 2018 Preakness (G1). Overall he is 4 for 15 for total earnings of $968,390. Regardless of placing, Tenfold will exit the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus as a millionaire, with the race conditions specifying a $50,000 minimum payout to horses that have won a graded stakes within in the past two years. 

Read Article
1.20.2020:

Arklow Fulfills Potential on Turf

HALLANDALE BARCH, FL – When Donegal Racing purchased a yearling colt in 2015 later named Arklow, it projected the son of Arch as a Triple Crown series prospect. Five years later, Donegal is an accomplished distance grass horse likely to be one the favorites in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy on Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.A bust on dirt with an 0-for-5 record, Arklow did not make it into the 2017 Kentucky Derby field, but he won the first of his three graded stakes earlier that day at Churchill Downs in the American Turf (G2). Since the switch in surfaces he has flourished, has compiled a 6-5-1 record in 19 starts – topped by a win in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) last year – and has picked up almost all of his $1.8 million in career earnings on turf.“We kind of always thought he would be a grass horse, but he was training well enough on the dirt and he was running well on the dirt to keep us trying,” Cox said. “When it looked like he wasn’t going to cut it, be a Kentucky Derby horse, we made the move to the grass in April. He had run in a few stakes as a maiden. He ran well and didn’t embarrass himself. “When we moved him over to the grass he took off.  That is obviously what he wanted. He ran well enough on the dirt, but it’s not his surface.”Luis Saez, twice the leading rider at Gulfstream Park, will be up on Arklow for the first time in the Pegasus World Cup Turf. The 1 3/16 miles race will be Arklow’s first since he was eighth but beaten less than three lengths during a wide trip in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Stats show he covered more ground than any of the 12 horses in the race. The Turf completed a strong season during which he finished in the top three in five consecutive graded stakes. Arklow is quite consistent, but his running style is anything but predictable.  “Honestly, it’s really with the break with him,” Cox said. “Sometimes he breaks really sloppy, doesn’t get involved at all and just comes running. Even if the pace is slow he will close into a slow pace. He’s honest. There are times when you think there is a lot of speed, or a little bit more speed for maybe a marathon route and you he’s going to be way in the back and he breaks and he’s mid-pack. He’s always throwing us a curve ball. He’s a hard horse to figure out and plot where he’s going to be in a race. He’ll just break and you never really know where he’s going to put himself. It’s kind of odd, but the main thing is he runs down the lane every time.”Donegal Racing, which owns Arklow in partnership with Joseph Bulger and Peter Coneway, usually gives its horses Irish names. Arklow is a town in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland south of Dublin. It was founded by the Vikings in the 9th century.Cox said the 6-year-old usually touts him on when he is ready to run a big race. Cox has liked what Arklow has shown him since he returned to the work tab last month. “We freshened him up as little bit in the barn. He never went anywhere,” Cox said. “We started cranking him back up when we decided to make this move to the Pegasus probably in late December. He’s just come back extremely well. He’s been working really well and when he works well he runs well. He’s a very, very honest horse and gives you what you want.”Arklow often runs in 1½-miles races. He will make his first career start at Gulfstream at a slightly shorter distance but with a jockey with loads of experience on the course.“Looking at it, I would think he’s going to need to be in the mix early,” Cox said. “Hopefully, coming off a little bit of a freshening he will be a little sharper than sometimes he normally is. Hopefully he will be in the mix.”

Read Article
1.19.2020:

Pegasus World Cup Favorite Omaha Beach 'Ready to Go' After Sunday Workout

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Omaha Beach cruised through a five-furlong work in 1:00.72 Sunday morning at Gulfstream Park, his final breeze for Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).Entries will be taken Wednesday for the $3 million Pegasus and Omaha Beach, owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, is expected to be the heavy morning-line favorite for the 1 1/8-mile race.  Trainer Mark Hennig’s exercise rider Fernando De La Cruz was aboard Omaha Beach for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. He went three furlongs in :36.66 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:114.01, according to Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch. Watch Omaha Beach's January 19 Workout “We didn’t want him to overdo it because we’re within a week of the race,” Mandella said. “The boy said he felt like a Cadillac. Actually, like a Porsche.”On Jan. 12 at Gulfstream, Omaha Beach covered five furlongs with jockey Julien Leparoux in  1:00.42. Mandella was pleased with what he saw of the 4-year-old War Front colt, who will complete his racing career in the Pegasus and move on to stud duty at Spendthrift Farm. “He looked great,” Mandella said. “We’re ready to go.”Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Omaha Beach in the Pegasus World Cup.Omaha Beach won the Rebel (G2) and the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park and was the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1). He was scratched from the Derby when he was found to have an entrapped epiglottis and his return was delayed by illness. Omaha Beach won the six-furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship by a head on Oct. 5, but ended up second as the even-money favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). He completed his 3-year-old season with an impressive 2 3/4-lengths win in the seven-furlong Malibu (G1) on Dec. 28 at Santa Anita.Mandella said he does not expect that Omaha Beach will have any trouble stretching out again a month after the Malibu.“He’s always been able to do what you want to do, short or long,” Mandella said. “I might have put him a little bit to sleep going into the mile of the Breeders’ Cup as a mistake. Coming out of that sprint, I was a little concerned that I jazzed him up quick to do that. I thought ‘Well I don’t want to overdo it going into the mile.’ I think I went a little bit too far the other way because leaving the gate he kind of galloped around there until he came around the field and ran a good finish. I think I had more to do with him getting beat than him.”Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won the inaugural Pegasus in 2017 with Arrogate, has confirmed to Gulfstream’s racing office that he will enter Mucho Gusto in Saturday’s Pegasus. The 4-year-old was third last summer in the Travers (G1) and was fourth last time out in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) in September at Remington.Meanwhile, the Virginia-bred Realm, trained by Barclay Tagg, has been added to the also eligible list. A 7-year-old son of Haynesfield, Realm was fourth over the summer in the Suburban (G2) and fifth in the Harlan’s Holiday at Gulfstream Dec. 14 after a wide trip. Pimlico Special (G3) winner Tenfold is expected to work Monday at Fair Grounds for trainer Steve Asmussen and ship to Gulfstream Tuesday.Henley’s Joy, winner of the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) last summer, breezed five furlongs Sunday at Gulfstream in 1:02.22 for trainer Mike Maker in preparation of the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).

Read Article
1.19.2020:

Not Your Typical ‘War Story’ for Pegasus Owner

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Long before he became a part owner in the Thoroughbred horse War Story, who is scheduled to run in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy on Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park, John Guarnere had a deep and personal connection to World War II through his uncle William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, a member of the famed “Band of Brothers.”Like many of the millions who served, William Guarnere, a native of South Philadelphia did not say much about his time in the biggest war in history. That changed when historian Stephen Ambrose profiled Guarnere and his colleagues in the 1992 best-seller “Band of Brothers, E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: From Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest.” The book was the foundation for the 2001 HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers.”“I didn’t know as many things about my uncle until the Band of Brothers came out,” John Guarnere said. “It’s simply amazing how big a hero he was and didn’t talk about it.”In the fourth running of the Pegasus World Cup, War Story is expected to be in a field led by three-time Grade 1 winner Omaha Beach, a 4-year-old son of War Front owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm.John Guarnere was tight with his uncle, who was part of the group of family members he started taking to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl just after the turn of the century. Soon the Super Bowl entourage he sponsored began to include his uncle’s buddies. “It grew to as many as 14 veterans coming out with us,” he said. “I had the time of my life with all the veterans out in Las Vegas. We didn’t basically talk about the war, but it was rewarding them with good times. I treated all of them. “One by one they started to pass away. My uncle and I were out there five years ago in February (2014) and flew back. About three weeks later, healthy as could be, an aneurism burst in his stomach and he died on the way to the hospital.”“Wild Bill” Guarnere, honored in 2019 with a statue in South Philadelphia, died a few weeks short of his 91st birthday.“He went out very healthy, traveling, had a great sense of humor,” John Guarnere said. “It was so much fun hanging around with him and the other veterans. After Band of Brothers you could start asking them things, but none of them ever volunteered stories. They all to a man said that they are not heroes; the heroes are the young kids who never made it home to have a life. It’s just chilling.”The 101st Airborne was dropped behind German lines as part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, and “Wild Bill” was quickly involved in important action to secure inland access from the beaches. Later that year, he was shot by a sniper and was sent to England to recover. A couple of months later he managed to get himself reassigned to his old company, just in time to see action in the Battle of the Bulge. His active time at war ended when he lost his right leg in a barrage while trying to drag a friend to safety. He received the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.John Guarnere, who operates as Imaginary Stables, grew up in Philadelphia and has owned the Hylton Paper Company in Bellmawr, N.J. since 1984. He and his wife became winter residents of South Florida in 2010. They spent time at Gulfstream Park and he eventually decided to own some racehorses, like his father had 20 to 25 years earlier.“I was down there near the winner’s circle when the horse won and I saw a bunch of people jumping and screaming,” John Guarnere said. “That night on the way back home I said to my wife, ‘I think I’m going to get one or two horses.’”He also told one of his pals back home that he was interested in getting into the sport, which led to the naming of his stable about a half-dozen years later.“Every time I went back up north my buddy would say, ‘Did you get any horses?’” John Guarnere said.  “I said, ‘It takes time.’ So he says ‘Johnny and his imaginary horses.’ When I finally hooked up with (trainer) Peter Walder, I went to get my license. They said, ‘You don’t want to use your real name, you most likely want to use a stable name.’ I hadn’t given it much thought, but then said, ‘I’ve got it. Since I’ve got imaginary horses, let me have an imaginary stable.’ It kind of stuck from there.’”Imaginary Stables was formed in late 2016 and has grown from two horses to more than 40, the majority of them with trainer Elizabeth Dobles, who now handles War Story. Guarnere said he really enjoys the challenge of claiming horses, but he also is involved in buying and developing young horses, is a partner in experienced stakes-caliber horses and is entering the breeding business this year. He was a co-owner of Imperative, winner of the Poseidon Handicap, a $400,000 stake on the inaugural Pegasus World Cup program in 2017. War Story, whose name traces to a character in “Gone With the Wind,” will be making his third start in the Pegasus.War Story won the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) December 14 to become a Pegasus candidate, and Fox Hill Farm’s Omaha Beach won the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita on Dec. 28 to set up an interesting connection of names.Guarnere recalls thinking ‘that’s kind of cool, War Story running against Omaha Beach. The owner of War Story has a tie to World War II and Omaha Beach.”Chuckling, Guarnere said he would like Omaha Beach, the expected Pegasus favorite, to deliver a good performance, just behind War Story. “I hope he runs well and runs second,” he said. “He’s a great horse, a fantastic looking horse. I love the story line.”

Read Article
1.16.2020:

Nominations Announced for Pegasus World Cup Undercard Stakes Races

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series presented by Runhappy has attracted a strong supporting cast for the Jan. 25 program that will offer nine stakes, six graded, worth a total of $4.2 million in purses, at Gulfstream Park.Judging from the nomination lists for the undercard stakes, the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), will highlight an already outstanding day of Thoroughbred racing. See All Gulfstream Park Stakes Nominations The $200,000 Inside Information (G2) presented by Runhappy Matchmaker Series, a seven-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares, attracted 22 nominations, including Spiced Perfection, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-winning 5-year-old daughter of Smiling Tiger. Trained by Peter Miller, Spiced Perfection, who captured the 2018 La Brea (G1) at Santa Anita and the 2019 Madison (G1) at Keeneland, is coming off a front-running victory in the Dec. 7 Go For Wand (G3) at Aqueduct. Pink Sands, who rallied from 10th to win the Dec. 14 Rampart (G3) at Gulfstream is also nominated for the 42nd running of the Inside Information.The $150,000 Fred W. Hooper drew 28 nominations for the 34th running of the mile stakes for older horses, including Pegasus World Cup invitees Mucho Gusto, Diamond Oops and Bodexpress. Peter Miller-trained Gray Magician, who finished second in the UAE Derby (G2) and the Indiana Derby (G2) last year, is among a strong list of nominees that includes three Jason Servis-trained horses: Leitone, a Grade 1 winner in Chile who is coming off a triumph in the Claiming Crown Jewel; Sunny Ridge, a graded-stakes winner with $1.4 million in earnings; and Monongahela, the 2019 Iselin (G3) winner.The $200,000 W. L. McKnight (G3), a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older horses that is a Longines Gran Premio Latinoamericano qualifying race, drew 32 nominations, including Pegasus World Cup Turf invitees Arklow, Sadler’s Joy, Channel Cat, Admission Office and Zulu Alpha. Richard Baltas-trained Oscar Dominguez, the winner of the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar last time out, is prominent among the other nominees for the 52nd running of the McKnight.The $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3), a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares, attracted 22 nominations, including multiple Group 2 stakes-placed Simply Beautiful, who is trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien. Touriga, a Graham Motion-trained Group 1 winner in Brazil who closed to win the Via Borghese Dec. 28 at Gulfstream; and Lady Paname, a Chad Brown-trained French import who captured the Long Island (G3) at Aqueduct last time out; are also prominent nominees for the 50th running of the Le Prevoyante.The $150,000 World of Trouble Turf Sprint, a five-furlong turf dash for older horses, received 23 nominations, including Shckky Shebaz, the third-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) who won the Claiming Crown Canterbury at Gulfstream last time out; and Pay Any Price, the multiple-stakes winner who holds the track record for five furlongs on turf.The $150,000 Ladies Turf Sprint, a five-furlong turf stakes for older fillies and mares, drew 27 nominations, including Jean Elizabeth, who won her fifth straight stakes in the Abundantia Stakes at Gulfstream Dec. 28,The $150,000 South Beach, a 7 ½-furlong turf stakes for older fillies and mares, received 28 nominations, including Mitchell Road, a Bill Mott-trained graded-stakes winner who captured the Dec. 14 My Charmer Stakes at Gulfstream last time out.

Read Article
1.12.2020:

Bodexpress, Tenfold and Midcourt Added to List of Pegasus World Cup Invitees

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Graded-stakes winners Tenfold and Midcourt and Grade 1-placed Bodexpress, a popular local favorite, were added Sunday to the formal list of horses invited to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Saturday, Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.The 1 1/8-mile Pegasus for 4-year-olds and up on the main track is part of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series along with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) for 4-year-olds and up at 1 3/16 miles on the grass, which also saw changes to its list of invitees.Overall, the Pegasus World Cup Day program will serve up nine stakes, six graded, worth $5.2 million in purses.The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced the equine athletes in both races would compete free of any medications on race day, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare.C R K Stable’s Midcourt, based in California with trainer John Shirreffs, was placed among a dozen horses on the main list. A 5-year-old son of champion sprinter Midnight Lute, Midcourt put together four straight wins last summer and fall capped by the Native Diver (G3) Nov. 23 Del Mar. Most recently, he finished third in the San Antonio (G2) Dec. 28 at Santa Anita.Also new to the Pegasus lineup are Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Tenfold and Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbreds LLC and GDS Racing Stable’s Bodexpress, each added to the list of reserve invitees.Winner of the 2018 Jim Dandy (G2) and 2019 Pimlico Special (G3) and third by a half-length to eventual Triple Crown champion Justify in the 2018 Preakness (G1), Tenfold is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who won the second renewal of the Pegasus in 2018 with 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner.Bodexpress, trained by Gulfstream Park West-based Gustavo Delgado, ran second behind Maximum Security in the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) last spring and made headlines after losing Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez at the start of the Preakness. After some time off, he returned with back to back victories against maiden special weight and allowance company prior to a third-place finish in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) Dec. 14 at Gulfstream.Maximum Security, Gift Box, Roadster and Bravazo are no longer on the list of invitees. Three horses that had been on the reserve list were moved up to the main body of the race – Diamond Oops, True Timber and War Story. Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ War Story, a multiple graded-stakes winner of nearly $3 million, ran fifth and 10th, respectively, in the 2017 and 2018 Pegasus.Calumet Farm’s True Timber has placed in seven career graded-stakes including the Cigar Mile (G1), where he ran second in 2018 and third behind Maximum Security Dec. 7 in his most recent start. In 2019, Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC’s Diamond Oops won the Smile Sprint (G3) and Mr. Prospector (G3) in 2019 at Gulfstream, the latter over Imperial Hint, and was second in the A.G. Vanderbilt (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). HORSE TRAINER DIAMOND OOPS Patrick Biancone HIGHER POWER John Sadler MATH WIZARD Saffie Joseph Jr. MCKINZIE Bob Baffert MIDCOURT John Shirreffs MR FREEZE Dale Romans OMAHA BEACH Richard Mandella SEEKING THE SOUL            Dallas Stewart SPUN TO RUN Juan Carlos Guerrero TAX Danny Gargan TRUE TIMBER Kiaran McLaughlin WAR STORY Elizabeth Dobles   Reserve Invitees in Order of Preference HORSE  TRAINER MUCHO GUSTO Bob Baffert MAGIC WAND (IRE)           Aidan O'Brien TENFOLD Steve Asmussen BODEXPRESS Gustavo Delgado   In the Pegasus Turf, Amerman Racing’s Admission Office and Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder Stables and Bethlehem Stables LLC’s Sacred Life were moved up from the also-eligible list to the main list of invitees.Admission Office is five-time stakes-placed, four in graded company, most recently in the Dec. 14 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream. Sacred Life won the Prix Thomas Bryon (G3) as a 2-year-old in his native France and owns one win from four starts in the U.S., finishing second in the Bernard Baruch (G2) and Seabiscuit handicaps last year.New to the list of Turf invitees are Pin Oak Stable’s Synchrony, Jordan Wycoff’s Tusk and Calumet Farm and John Anthony Stables LLC’s American Tattoo.Synchrony is a career nine-time winner of nearly $1 million in purses, taking the King Edward (G2) and Fair Grounds Handicap (G3) last year. Tusk, by Tapit, earned his eighth lifetime win and first in graded-stakes company in the one-mile Tropical Turf (G3) Jan. 11 at Gulfstream. A Group 1 winner in his native Argentina, American Tattoo most recently won the two-mile H. Allen Jerkens Stakes Dec. 28 at Gulfstream.United, Starship Jubilee, A Thread of Blue and Lucullan are no longer on the list of Turf invitees. HORSE TRAINER ADMISSION OFFICE Brian Lynch ARKLOW Brad Cox CHANNEL CAT Todd Pletcher HENLEY'S JOY Mike Maker INSTILLED REGARD Chad Brown MAGIC WAND (IRE) Aidan O'Brien MO FORZA Peter Miller NEXT SHARES Richard Baltas SACRED LIFE (FR) Chad Brown SADLER'S JOY Tom Albertrani WITHOUT PAROLE (GB)            Chad Brown ZULU ALPHA Mike Maker   Reserve Invitees in Order of Preference HORSE TRAINER MR. MISUNDERSTOOD Brad Cox SYNCHRONY Michael Stidham TUSK Saffie Joseph Jr. AMERICAN TATTOO (ARG)              Todd Pletcher   The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will offer a world-class level of safety and care for horses and riders along with a unique and fully engaging experience for fans and guests, both at the racetrack and online. Since it was launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar. It has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world and has featured some of the finest international and domestic runners, including Bricks and Mortar and Pegasus World Cup winners Arrogate (2017), Gun Runner (2018) and City of Light (2019).Past celebrity attendees include Snoop Dogg, Mark Ronson, Bella Thorne, Evander Holyfield, Dennis Rodman and Amanda Cerny (2019), Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Olivia Culpo, Prince Royce, Wilmer Valderrama, Post Malone, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, Carson Kressley and DJ Ruckus (2018) and Thomas Rhett, Vanessa Hudgens, Juanes, Karolina Kurkova, Aaron Paul, Gene Simmons, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Maria Menounos (2017).For a  third year, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will partner with Groot Hospitality, owners of the world famous LIV Nightclub, to offer a one-of-a-kind trackside party, the Pegasus LIV Stretch, featuring top tier entertainment, unique food and beverage concessions and the ultimate race-day views. Past performers at the Pegasus LIV Stretch include Snopp Dogg and Mark Ronson (2019), and Post Malone, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri (2018).The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30 to 6 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 25.For more information on the Pegasus World Cup and tickets go to PegasusWorldCup.com

Read Article
1.10.2020:

Omaha Beach Looking Good for G1 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Fox Hill Farms Inc.’s Omaha Beach galloped at Gulfstream Park Friday morning in preparation for his highly anticipated career finale in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 25. “He galloped about a mile and a half this morning and looked good,” trainer Richard Mandella said. Omaha Beach’s training for the Pegasus had been compromised for a few days due to a minor foot issue. “He had a bruise in his foot the other day. We took the shoes off. We poulticed it for a day and put some new shoes on [Thursday],” Mandella said. “I’ll give him a few days to get used to that. I’ll probably work him next Monday. It could be Sunday. We’ll just see how things go.” Omaha Beach concluded a highly successful 3-year-old campaign with a dominating 2 3/4-length victory in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita Dec. 28. The son of War Front won the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) to earn the role as morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1), only to be scratched from the first leg of the Triple Crown due to an entrapped epiglottis. He returned from a six-month layoff to win the six-furlong Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1), before finishing second behind Spun to Run in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita and winning the seven-furlong Malibu. “It’s a pleasure to have a horse like him. Not many people in the world get the chance to have a horse like him,” Mandella said. Following the Pegasus, Omaha Beach is scheduled to begin stud duty at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, KY for the 2020 breeding season. “I still haven’t given up the idea of kidnapping him,” Mandella quipped. Omaha Beach will vie for favoritism in the Pegasus in an invited field that includes Spun to Run, who defeated him in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. “I’m anxious get it on. It’s great for racing and there are a bunch of pretty nice horses,” Mandella said. A victory in the Pegasus World Cup would likely be the defining moment of an already productive career. “It would be very validating, but he’s already done a lot for us already and proven how good he is,” Mandella said. “But we expect something big on the day”

Read Article
1.8.2020:

Bricks and Mortar Wins 10th Annual Vox Populi Award

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2020) — A winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Nov. 2 and unbeaten in six starts last year, Bricks and Mortar has been named the winner of the 10th annual Vox Populi Award, which will be presented in a Winner’s Circle ceremony on Saturday at Santa Anita Park. Created by the late owner of 1973 Triple Crown Champion Secretariat, Penny Chenery, the inaugural Vox Populi (Voice of the People) Award was won by the legendary Zenyatta in 2010. Bricks and Mortar, a 6-year-old horse by Giants Causeway, who campaigned for owners Klaravich Stables, LLC and William H. Lawrence, was conditioned by Chad Brown was retired to stud following his magnificent 2019 season with earnings of $7,085,650. There will be a special poster giveaway celebrating all 10 winners of the Vox Populi Award and past winning connections will be on hand beginning at 11 a.m. to sign these posters in Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.  Among those scheduled to attend the poster signing are Bob Baffert (trainer of American Pharoah, Justify and Paynter), Art Sherman (trainer of two-time winner California Chrome) and Gary Stevens (jockey, Mucho Macho Man). Chris Tweedy, son of Penny Chenery, will also be on hand to represent his family.

Read Article
1.5.2020:

Bast Pulls Away Late to Win G2 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 5, 2020) — With three Grade I wins to her credit, Bob Baffert’s Bast shortened up in distance and rallied to take Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths under Drayden Van Dyke.  A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Uncle Mo, Bast got seven furlongs while geared down late in 1:23.42. Baffert, who collected his record fifth Santa Ynez victory, ran 1-2-3 in today’s edition, as Auberge and Golden Principal completed the trifecta.  With the win, Bast receives 10 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points, with four points going to the runner-up, three to third and one point to the fourth place finisher, Orquidias Biz. Bast, who was shortening up out of win in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos Dec. 7, broke from the far outside and was into contention coming out of the seven furlong chute, as she tracked her two stablemates while third heading into the far turn.  Mid-way around the turn however, it appeared she might be laboring when called upon by Van Dyke. “Bast looked like she was in trouble at the (five sixteenths pole)…” said Baffert.  I heard Frank (Mirahmadi) say she was coming under pressure and the other ones (Auberge and Golden Principal) were looking good.  She came out of the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies, third going 1 1/16 miles) well.  She’s a picture of health and that’s why we ran her today. “You hate to run three in a race like that but it’s a graded race and it’s $200,000.  I want to give all my clients a chance at it…As long as they are doing well and you enter them, the more races you get into ’em, it is better for them.  Especially those other two, there was no race for them, so I think they are going to get a lot out of it.” Off as the 3-5 favorite in a field of six sophomore fillies, Bast returned $3.20, $2.10 and $2.10. Owned by Baoma Corporation, Bast, who is out of the Arch mare Laffina, now has four wins, all graded stakes, from six lifetime starts.  With the winner’s share of $120,000, she now has earnings of $852,200. “The outside post gives you the option of being able to read the pace,” said Van Dyke, who gained the advantage a sixteenth out and has now guided Bast to three graded victories.  “When we got near the quarter pole, the other two were going easy, so I had to get after her.  She was shortening up out of a route, but she kicked it in.” Auberge was a bit slow into stride but was hustled out of the chute and appeared to be running comfortably on the lead with Golden Principal to her outside into and around the turn, however she was no match for the winner late. The second choice at 2-1 with Flavien Prat up, Auberge finished 2 ½ lengths in front of Golden Principal and paid $3.00 and $2.10. Ridden by Mike Smith, Golden Principal was off at 4-1 and paid $2.20 to show while finishing 9 ¼ lengths in front of Orquidias Biz. The win gave both Van Dyke and Baffert doubles on the day. Fractions on the race were 22.02, 44.59 and 1:09.99. SANTA YNEZ STAKES (GII) $200,000 QUOTES     JOCKEY QUOTES DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, BAST, WINNER: “The outside post gives you the option of being able to read the pace.  When we got near the quarter pole, the other two were going easy, so I had to get after her.  She was shortening up out of a route, but she kicked it in.“There was a concern, Bob said the horses were running a big race so I really had to get after her but she showed her class today. I’m very lucky to be in the position I’m in right now. I’m blessed, I am grateful.”  TRAINER QUOTES BOB BAFFERT, BAST, WINNER: “Bast looked like she was in trouble at the (five sixteenths pole)…I heard Frank (Mirahmadi) say she was coming under pressure and the other ones (Authentic and Golden Principal) were looking good.  She came out of the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies, third going 1 1/16 miles) well.  She’s a picture of health and that’s why we ran her today.“You hate to run three in a race like that but it’s a graded race and its $200,000. I want to give all my clients a chance at it. I’ve gone sort of easy on her for this race. Those are two really good fillies that she was chasing there, as you can tell by the way they were spread out.  They showed up, they ran well so here we are.“She was doing really well, she looks great and I just hate training them too long they could get hurt in the mornings. As long as they are doing well and you enter them, the more races you get into ‘em it is better for them. Especially those other two, there was no race for them, so I think they are going to get a lot out of it. They’ll move way up from this. Bast I can just freshen her up.”  NOTES: The winning owner is Baoma Corp. Baffert also sent out Auberge for place and Golden Principal for show.

Read Article
1.5.2020:

Thoroughbred Elite Garner Invitations to G1 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gary and Mary West’s Florida Derby (G1) winner and disqualified Kentucky Derby (G1) first-place finisher Maximum Security, and Fox Hill Farm’s Omaha Beach, a three-time Grade 1 winner and the Kentucky Derby favorite before being scratched three days before the race, lead a list of 17 horses formally invited Sunday to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park.The fourth running of the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, won previously by Longines World’s Best Racehorse Arrogate (2017), Horse of the Year Gun Runner (2018) and Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner City of Light (2019), will be run Saturday, Jan. 25 along with the second running of the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced the equine athletes in both races would compete free of any medications on race day, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare. HORSE TRAINER GIFT BOX John Sadler HIGHER POWER John Sadler MAGIC WAND (IRE) Aidan O'Brien MATH WIZARD Saffie Joseph Jr. MAXIMUM SECURITY Jason Servis MCKINZIE Bob Baffert MR FREEZE Dale Romans OMAHA BEACH Richard Mandella ROADSTER Bob Baffert SEEKING THE SOUL Dallas Stewart SPUN TO RUN Juan Carlos Guerrero TAX Danny Gargan   Reserve Invitees in Order of Preference HORSE  TRAINER MUCHO GUSTO Bob Baffert WAR STORY Elizabeth Dobles BRAVAZO D. Wayne Lukas DIAMOND OOPS         Patrick Biancone TRUE TIMBER Kiaran McLaughlin   Omaha Beach, who shipped from California to Gulfstream Park on New Year’s Eve, is trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Mike Smith. The son of War Front was favored in the Kentucky Derby off victories in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Rebel (G2) before being scratched three days before the race because of complications from an entrapped epiglottis. The 4-year-old colt returned in the fall to win the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and finish second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). He enters the Pegasus off an impressive victory Dec. 28 in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita.Maximum Security, undefeated in four starts at Gulfstream, broke his maiden Dec. 20, 2018 at Gulfstream under a claiming tag. The 4-year-old would go on to win the Florida Derby before being the only horse in the history of the Kentucky Derby to be disqualified from first on race day. The Jason Servis-trained colt would go on to win the Haskell Invitational (G1), Bold Ruler (G3) and Cigar Mile (G1). The colt is currently training at Gulfstream’s satellite training facility Palm Meadows in Palm Beach County.McKinzie, trained by Bob Baffert, who conditioned inaugural Pegasus winner Arrogate, has earned more than $3 million and is a four-time Grade 1 winner. Second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the 5-year-old won the Whitney (G1) last summer at Saratoga. McKinzie’s stablemate, Roadster, has also been invited to the Pegasus. Winner last year of the Santa Anita Derby (G1), the 4-year-old colt has since finished second in the Malibu and Affirmed (G3).Spun to Run, a 4-year-old son of Hard Spun who defeated Omaha Beach in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, followed that performance with a second-place finish behind Maximum Security in the Cigar Mile. The colt also won last year’s Smarty Jones (G3) and was third in the Haskell. Hronis Racing, LLC’s Gift Box and Higher Power, both trained by John Sadler, were offered invitations. Gift Box would enter the Pegasus off a victory Dec. 28 in the San Antonio (G1) at Santa Anita. He’s also a winner of last year’s Santa Anita Handicap (G1). Higher Power would enter the Pegasus off a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The 5-year-old previously won the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar and finished third in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita. Higher Power is a son of Medaglia d’Oro and a winner of $1.376 million.Magic Wand, a winner of $4.1 million, had been invited to both the Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). Trained by Aidan O’Brien and based in Ireland, Magic Wand finished second last year in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). The 5-year-old has raced in France, England, the U.S. and Japan. Second in last year’s Arlington Million (G1), Magic Wand comes to Florida off a second-place finish in the Longines Hong Kong Cup (G1) in December. Graded-stakes winner Tax has raced against the best during his career. A winner of the Jim Dandy (G2) last year at 3 and the Remsen (G2) at 2, the Danny Gargan-trained 4-year-old was second last year in the Discovery (G3) and Wood Memorial (G2) and fourth in the Belmont (G1). Locally-based Math Wizard, a former claimer trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., was fifth last time out in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He previously won the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and was second in the Ohio Derby (G3).Mr Freeze, trained by Dale Romans, finished third last time out in the Clark (G1). The 5-year-old won the Ack Ack (G3) in September at Churchill Downs and was second in the Fayette (G2) in October at Keeneland.                  Seeking the Soul is hoping the third time in the Pegasus will be the charm. The 7-year-old finished second to City of Light in last year’s Pegasus and was fifth in the 2018 edition. Winner of the 2017 Clark and second in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), the 7-year-old is being prepared at Fair Grounds with trainer Dallas Stewart.Horses on the also-eligible list are Calumet Farm’s Bravazo and True Timber, Diamond Oops, War Story and Mucho Gusto.Bravazo, bred and owned by Calumet Farm and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, was fourth in last year’s Pegasus. The 5-year-old’s resume includes a second-place finish in the 2018 Preakness (G1) and Clark and third-place finishes in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile and Travers (G1). The son of Awesome Again has only raced once since last year’s Pegasus, finishing eighth in the Nov. 29 Clark at Churchill Downs. True Timber, seventh in last year’s Pegasus, was third last time out in the Cigar Mile.War Story, a son of Northern Fleet who has earned nearly $3 million, was a winner last time out of the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream. He was fifth in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup. Mucho Gusto, trained by Baffert, finished third last summer in the Travers.             The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will offer a world-class level of safety and care for horses and riders along with a unique and fully engaging experience for our fans and guests at the race track and online. Since it was launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar. It has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world and has featured some of the finest international and domestic runners, including Arrogate (2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), Gun Runner (2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), City of Light (2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion) and Bricks and Mortar (inaugural 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Champion). Past celebrity attendees include Snoop Dogg, Mark Ronson, Bella Thorne, Evander Holyfield, Dennis Rodman and Amanda Cerny (2019), Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Olivia Culpo, Prince Royce, Wilmer Valderrama, Post Malone, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, Carson Kressley and DJ Ruckus (2018) and Thomas Rhett, Vanessa Hudgens, Juanes, Karolina Kurkova, Aaron Paul, Gene Simmons, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Maria Menounos (2017), to name just a few. For a  third year, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will partner with Groot Hospitality, owners of the world famous LIV Nightclub, to offer a one-of-a-kind trackside party, the Pegasus LIV Stretch, featuring top tier entertainment, unique food and beverage concessions and the ultimate race day views. Past performers at the Pegasus LIV Stretch include Snopp Dogg and Mark Ronson (2019), and Post Malone, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri (2018). The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30-6:00pm EST on Saturday, January 25th.For more information on the Pegasus World Cup and tickets go to PegasusWorldCup.com.

Read Article
1.5.2020:

Eight G1 Winners Among 17 Horses Invited to Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Eight Grade 1 winners, led by millionaires Arklow, Magic Wand, Henley’s Joy, Next Shares, Sadler’s Joy and Starship Jubilee, and seven other graded-stakes winners are among a list of 17 horses formally invited Sunday to the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park.The second running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf for 4-year-olds and up will be contested Saturday, Jan. 25 as part of a $5.2 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational program of nine stakes, six graded, led by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on dirt.Bricks and Mortar won the inaugural edition of the Pegasus Turf last January to launch a perfect 2019 season that has him favored to earn Eclipse Awards as both male grass champion and Horse of the Year.The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced the equine athletes in both races would compete free of any medications on race day, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare. The list of invitees for the Pegasus World Cup Turf are: HORSE TRAINER ARKLOW Brad Cox CHANNEL CAT Todd Pletcher MAGIC WAND (IRE)     Aidan O'Brien HENLEY'S JOY Mike Maker INSTILLED REGARD Chad Brown MO FORZA Peter Miller NEXT SHARES Richard Baltas SADLER'S JOY Tom Albertrani STARSHIP JUBILEE Kevin Attard UNITED Richard Mandella WITHOUT PAROLE (GB)  Chad Brown ZULU ALPHA Mike Maker   Reserve invitees in order of preference: HORSE TRAINER SACRED LIFE (FR) Chad Brown ADMISSION OFFICE Brian Lynch A THREAD OF BLUE Kiaran McLaughlin MR. MISUNDERSTOOD   Brad Cox LUCULLAN Kiaran McLaughlin   Irish-bred mare Magic Wand and 7-year-old gelding Next Shares each ran in the 2019 Pegasus Turf, respectively finishing second and seventh. Magic Wand went on to run third in the Man o’ War (G1) in May at Belmont Park and second in the Arlington Million (G1) in August at Arlington Park before winning the Seppelt MacKinnon Stakes (G1) Nov. 9 at Flemington in Australia to push her career earnings over $4 million from 22 starts. Magic Wand is also an invitee to the Pegasus World Cup.Next Shares, trained by Richard Baltas, capped his 2019 season by adding the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) Nov. 30 at Del Mar to his previous graded wins in the 2018 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and 2019 San Gabriel (G2). In his only other try at Gulfstream, he broke his maiden in his 3-year-old debut Jan. 9, 2016 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.Woodslane Farm’s 7-year-old homebred Sadler’s Joy is a two-time graded-stakes winner over the Gulfstream turf, capturing the 2017 Pan American (G2) and 2018 Mac Diarmida (G3). A top three finisher in 18 of his 26 lifetime starts with $2.47 million in purse earnings, Sadler’s Joy became a Grade 1 winner in the 2017 Sword Dancer at Saratoga and ended 2019 with a victory in the Red Smith (G3) Nov. 23 at Aqueduct.Blue Heaven Farm’s Florida-bred Starship Jubilee has raced 16 times previously at Gulfstream including wins in the 2018 and 2019 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf. The 7-year-old mare owns seven career stakes wins, four of them in Grade 2 company, and earned her first Grade 1 triumph in the E.P. Taylor (G1) Oct. 12 at Woodbine.Bloom Racing Stables’ Henley’s Joy ran twice at Gulfstream’s 2018-19 Championship Meet, winning the Pulpit Stakes and finishing second in the Kitten’s Joy, ultimately winning the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) July 6. Arklow, trained by Eclipse Award finalist Brad Cox, has never run at Gulfstream and also earned his lone Grade 1 triumph at Belmont Park in the 2019 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.Trainer Chad Brown won last year’s Pegasus Turf with Bricks and Mortar and has three horses on the invitation list – Instilled Regard, Without Parole and first alternate Sacred Life. Instilled Regard, on the Triple Crown trail in 2018, prepped for the Pegasus Turf with a half-length triumph in the Fort Lauderdale (G2) Dec. 14 at Gulfstream, his second start off a six-month layoff.Without Parole won the 2018 St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and made his North American debut Nov. 2 in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), running third to stablemate Uni, an Eclipse Award finalist for female turf champion. Sacred Life won the Prix Thomas Bryon (G3) as a 2-year-old in his native France and owns one win from four starts in the U.S., finishing second in the Bernard Baruch (G2) and Seabiscuit handicaps last year.Michael Hui’s Zulu Alpha is the other millionaire among invitees with four career graded-stakes wins, two of them coming on the Gulfstream turf in the 2019 W.L. McKnight (G3) and Mac Diarmida. Brady Farm and OG Boss’ Mo Forza has raced exclusively in California and has put together four consecutive wins, the last three in graded company, including the Hollywood Derby (G1) Nov. 30.Joining Sacred Life on the reserve invitation list are Amerman Racing’s Admission Office, Leonard Green’s A Thread of Blue, Flurry Racing Stables’ Mr. Misunderstood and Godolphin’s Lucullan.Admission Office is five-time stakes-placed, four in graded company, most recently in the Dec. 14 Fort Lauderdale. A Thread of Blue, winner of the 2019 Dania Beach and Palm Beach (G3) at Gulfstream, and 2019 Knickerbocker (G2) winner Lucullan are both trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. Mr. Misunderstood is a 13-time winner from 26 career starts, nine of them stakes wins, topped by the 2018 and 2019 River City Handicap (G3), 2018 Wise Dan (G2) and 2017 Commonwealth Turf (G3).The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will offer a world-class level of safety and care for horses and riders along with a unique and fully engaging experience for fans and guests, both at the racetrack and online. Since it was launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar. It has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world and has featured some of the finest international and domestic runners, including Bricks and Mortar and Pegasus World Cup winners Arrogate (2017), Gun Runner (2018) and City of Light (2019).Past celebrity attendees include Snoop Dogg, Mark Ronson, Bella Thorne, Evander Holyfield, Dennis Rodman and Amanda Cerny (2019), Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Olivia Culpo, Prince Royce, Wilmer Valderrama, Post Malone, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, Carson Kressley and DJ Ruckus (2018) and Thomas Rhett, Vanessa Hudgens, Juanes, Karolina Kurkova, Aaron Paul, Gene Simmons, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Maria Menounos (2017).For a  third year, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will partner with Groot Hospitality, owners of the world famous LIV Nightclub, to offer a one-of-a-kind trackside party, the Pegasus LIV Stretch, featuring top tier entertainment, unique food and beverage concessions and the ultimate race-day views. Past performers at the Pegasus LIV Stretch include Snopp Dogg and Mark Ronson (2019), and Post Malone, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri (2018).The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30 to 6 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 25.For more information on the Pegasus World Cup and tickets go to PegasusWorldCup.com

Read Article
1.4.2020:

2019 Eclipse Award Finalists Announced

The 2019 Eclipse Award finalists (in alphabetical order) are: Horse of the Year: Bricks and Mortar, Maximum Security, Mitole Two-Year-Old Male: Maxfield, Storm the Court, Structor Two-Year-Old Filly: Bast, British Idiom, Sharing Three-Year-Old Male: Code of Honor, Maximum Security, Omaha Beach Three-Year-Old Filly: Covfefe, Guarana, Serengeti Empress Older Dirt Male: McKinzie, Mitole, Vino Rosso Older Dirt Female: Blue Prize (ARG), Elate, Midnight Bisou Male Sprinter: Imperial Hint, Mitole, World of Trouble Female Sprinter: Belvoir Bay (GB), Come Dancing, Covfefe Male Turf Horse: Bricks and Mortar, Mo Forza, World of Trouble Female Turf Horse: Got Stormy, Sistercharlie (IRE), Uni (GB) Steeplechase Horse: Brain Power (IRE), Scorpiancer (IRE), Winston C (IRE) Owner: Gary Barber, Peter Brant, Klaravich Stables, Inc. and William H. Lawrence Breeder: Calumet Farm, Godolphin, George Strawbridge Jr. Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Chad Brown, Brad Cox Jockey: Javier Castellano, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Jose Ortiz Apprentice Jockey: Julio Correa, Angel Diaz, Kazushi Kimura

Read Article
1.4.2020:

Authentic Rolls to Victory in G3 Sham Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 4, 2020) — Although extremely green late, Bob Baffert’s Authentic stamped himself as a top tier Derby contender with a powerful gate to wire triumph in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.  Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke the Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief got a flat mile in 1:37.57.Sent from his rail post position, Authentic was all business on the front end until he approached the furlong pole, when he began to race erratically, altering course and nearly brushing the inner rail inside the sixteenth pole. “I think the noise from the crowd made him react the way he did there in the stretch,” said Van Dyke, who had ridden Authentic to his maiden victory going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar Nov. 9.  “His ears went toward the crowd, so I think that’s what caused it, but when he got down to the rail, he spooked himself again. “I told Bob when he broke his maiden he was my favorite 2-year-old.  He’s very talented.” In his second career start and his first try around two turns, Authentic was off as the 6-5 favorite in a field of six sophomores and paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.20. “When I ran him the first time down at Del Mar, he was a little bit green that day, because I was debating whether or not to put blinkers on him,” said Baffert.  “I didn’t, but he may need something to keep him a bit more focused. “He’s a really good horse, he’s really talented and that’s why I always work him by himself.  When you got a good one like this they are just easier to train.  He is just growing into himself, he’s like a gazelle…He’s all legs.  Today, he wasn’t blowing hard after the race and didn’t take a deep breath, so that is a good sign.” Owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding and Golconda Stables, Authentic, who is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Flawless, picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $91,200. Authentic also picks up 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, with four points to the second place finisher, two to third and one to fourth. Baffert, who has now won the Sham a record six times, also saddled the second place finisher, Azul Coast, who was last early and rallied nicely through the lane to finish 1 ½ lengths in front of Zimba Warrior. The second choice with Joel Rosario at 2-1, Azul Coast paid $3.20 and $2.40.       Third early, Zimba Warrior was second turning for home and proved third best on the day, finishing three quarters of a length clear of Taishan.  The biggest price in the field at 33-1 with Jose Valdivia, Jr. up, Zimba Warrior paid $5.40 to show.      Fractions on the race were 23.87, 47.94, 1:12.18 and 1:24.30. Named for the winner of the 1973 Santa Anita Derby, today’s Sham Stakes trophy was presented by his regular rider, retired Hall of Famer Laffit Pincay, Jr., who turned 73 this past Sunday. SHAM STAKES (GIII) $100,000 QUOTES   JOCKEY QUOTESDRAYDEN VAN DYKE, AUTHENTIC, WINNER: “The main thing was getting out of the gate; once we did it was a nice trip. I took the lead and I wasn’t going to go too fast but I’m happy I got the trip I did.“I told Bob when he broke his maiden (Nov. 9) he was my favorite two-year-old. He’s very talented. I think the noise from the crowd made him react the way he did there in the stretch. His ears went toward the crowd, so I think that’s what caused it, but then when he got down to the rail, he spooked himself again.” JOEL ROSARIO, AZUL COAST, SECOND: “He got a lot of dirt in his face early and then he came running. He’ll move forward off of this.”   TRAINER QUOTESBOB BAFFERT, AUTHENTIC, WINNER AND AZUL COAST, SECOND: “We thought if he’s a good horse, he should win. That’s what you’re hoping for, the way he was working and all. Drayden (Van Dyke) has always been really high on him. I joked with him when he came back. I said, ‘Do you think he’s a little bit too much horse for you? No, no, no he’s not!’“You want to see him run like that, especially this time of year. We’ve got some other ones back there, hopefully they’ll come along, but the timing is good for him now to run in the March race, whatever it is (Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 7).“He saw the crowd (when he lugged in midstretch). We had a decent crowd today. He saw something, but he’s never really acted that way before. He was just out there by himself and didn’t know what was going on . . . he wanted to throw the brakes on.’“I thought he was the quickest horse in the race. He won going 5 ½ in one oh three and change. He moves like a gazelle. He’s real light, he’s leggy. It was a big move forward. The second race is the toughest one to make.“When I ran him the first time at Del Mar he was a little bit green that day, because I was debating whether or not to put blinkers on him. I didn’t, but he may need something to keep him more focused . . . Today he wasn’t blowing hard after the race and didn’t take a deep breath so that is a good sign.“Azul Coast ran a decent race. He’s better than that. He got a little sick on me after Los Alamitos. He lost some time, lost some weight, but he ran second because he’s a class horse. He’ll move up after that.”Asked about Derby hopefuls: “Whichever one won that day is your Derby hopeful. That’s the way it works in this business. He’s got 10 points (see note below).” NOTES: The winning owners are SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing or Madaket Stables, LLC, et al. The winning horse gets 10 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby on May 2. Second is worth four points, third two and fourth one point.

Read Article
1.4.2020:

Chance It Wins Stretch Battle in Gulfstream's Mucho Macho Man Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC’s Chance It prevailed by a nose following a stretch-long battle with As Seen On Tv to capture the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park, capping three-stakes-win days for both trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. and jockey Tyler Gaffalione.The Mucho Macho Man, the first stop on the Road to the Florida Derby, was one of five stakes on the Sophomore Showcase card that also featured the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy (G3), the $100,000 Ginger Brew, the $75,000 Glitter Woman and the $75,000 Limehouse.Making his first start in open company after dominating the Florida Sire Stakes series, Chance It scored as the 3-5 favorite in a well-balanced field of seven 3-year-olds to give a third straight stakes victory to Gaffalione, who came into the one-turn mile stakes off winning rides aboard Sound Machine in the Glitter Woman and She’s My Type in the Ginger Brew. Joseph also visited the winner’s circle with Kitten’s Joy (G3) victor Island Commish and Sound Machine.“Today is great. This is the one I needed, though. If he got beat, I wouldn’t sleep,” said Joseph with tears of joy in his eyes. “I thought he was beat at the eighth pole, I really did. He switched leads and he just dug in for that something extra. That’s the heart of a champion. I don’t want to call him a champion, because he has to earn it, but that’s the quality of a horse that becomes a champion.”Chance it saved ground along the rail as Smash Factor opened up a clear lead along the backstretch under Jose Ortiz, stalked by As Seen On Tv with Paco Lopez aboard. Gaffalione bided his time around the far turn before making a decisive move inside of tiring Smash Factor entering the stretch to set up the dramatic stretch duel that resulted in a hard-fought victory.“He broke well, there were a couple horses in front. Paco was keeping an eye on us so I sat inside and had to wait. I was wanting to get outside of him but he was keeping an eye on us during the race. Jose stayed a little off the fence and I knew Paco wasn’t going to let me out so I took my shot and went inside,” Gaffalione said. “My horse fought gamely. Saffie did an incredible job. He’s been off since December. He did a great job.”As Seen On Tv’s trainer lodged an objection against the winner that was disallowed by the steward following a review. Sole Volante closed late to finish a distant third under Luca Panici.Chance It was making his first start since capturing the $400,000 In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile final of the 2019 Florida Sire Stakes Series at Gulfstream Sept. 28, by 7 ¼ lengths. The son of Currency Swap also won the $100,000 Dr. Fager and finished second in the $200,000 Affirmed in the lucrative series for Florida-bred 2-year-olds.Chance It, who finished second in his June 1 debut, bounced back to offer a brilliant 9 ¼-length triumph at Gulfstream June 29. The Florida-bred colt won the 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream in 1:03.95 while being wrapped up in the stretch, earning the fastest speed figure in the country produced by a 2-year-old at the time and one that he matched in the Dr. Fager.“I’m so proud of this horse. I’m glad we had him fit enough because I knew he would have to belly down, and he did belly down,” Joseph said. “He’s a special horse. Most horses would lay down there, especially off a layoff. The horse on the outside [As Seen On Tv] I have a lot of respect for; he’s obviously a good horse. Chance It is just special. Hopefully he comes back good. He’s the best horse I’ve ever had in my life.”With his victory in the Mucho Macho Man, in which he ran the one-turn mile in 1:35.53, Chance It stamped himself as a strong contender on the Road to the March 28 Florida Derby.“There’s the Holy Bull and the Fountain of Youth. We’ll decide which one we want to go to. We have plenty of options but I want to stay home,” Gulfstream-based Joseph said. “We’ll see which way we want to go.”The $350,000 Holy Bull (G3) is scheduled for Feb. 2, while the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) is slated for Feb. 29.

Read Article
1.3.2020:

Bob Baffert's Bast Towers Over Rivals in G2 Santa Ynez Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 2, 2020) — Bob Baffert’s brilliant 3-year-old filly Bast, a three-time Grade I stakes winner, heads a field of seven sophomore fillies going seven furlongs in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita.Baffert is also represented by a pair of impressive first-out maiden winners, Auberge and Golden Principal, as he seeks his fifth career win in the Santa Ynez, which provides the winner with 10 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points.  (The second place finisher will receive four points, the third place finisher two and the fourth place finisher one).  BAST Owner: Baoma Corporation                              Trainer: Bob BaffertA dazzling 8 ¾ length winner of the Grade I, seven furlong Del Mar Debutante in her second start on Aug. 31, this Kentucky-bred daughter of Uncle Mo then stretched out to 1 1/16 miles to take the Grade I Chandelier Stakes here on Sept. 27 at odds of 1-5.  Third, beaten two lengths in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 1, she bounced back to dominate the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos, winning by a half length over highly regarded Donna Veloce.  With Drayen Van Dyke riding her back in the Santa Ynez, she’ll no doubt be the prohibitive favorite. AUBERGE Owner: Speedway Stable, LLC                        Trainer: Bob Baffert A $570,000 Fasig Tipton Midatlantic 2-year-old in Training Sale purchase in May, this Iowa-bred daughter of the City Zip stallion Palace  sped to a lights-out six furlong maiden win here on Oct. 27, winning by 7 ¾ lengths under Drayden Van Dyke, who sticks with Bast.  With an 84 Beyer Speed figure in hand, Auberge, who will be ridden by Flavien Prat, could prove a menacing presence for her far more accomplished stablemate in her stakes debut. GOLDEN PRINCIPAL Owner: Mike Pegram, Karl Watson & Paul Weitman        Trainer: Bob Baffert A Florida-bred daughter of red hot stallion Constitution, she was purchased for $200,000 at the Ocala Breeders April 2-year-old in Training Sale.  Off at 1-2 in her six furlong bow on Nov. 30 at Del Mar, she opened up early and cruised to an impressive 1 ½ length win under Van Dyke while earning an 80 Beyer.  She’ll get the service of “Big Money” Mike Smith on Sunday and certainly rates a chance in her second start. THE GRADE II SANTA YNEZ STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 8 Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PT 1. Auberge—Flavien Prat—1202. Golden Principal—Mike Smith—1203. Lovely Lilia—Abel Cedillo—1204. Paige Anne—Joe Talamo—1205. K P Dreamin—Ruben Fuentes—1206. Orquidias Biz—Joel Rosario—1207. Bast—Drayen Van Dyke—124 First post time for an eight-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Read Article
1.2.2020:

Biancone Hoping Diamond Oops Receives Pegasus World Cup Invitation

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Should trainer Patrick Biancone receive an invitation to run multiple stakes-winner Diamond Oops in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 25, he will enthusiastically accept.Multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed Diamond Oops captured the seven-furlong Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream in his most recent start, drawing away to victory by a length after sitting off the pace in the seven-furlong sprint, in which multiple Grade 1 winner Imperial Hint finished third. Although a trip to Dubai was on his post-race radar, Biancone has become increasingly interested in targeting the Pegasus World Cup that is run on the racetrack over which the 5-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky also captured the Smile Sprint (G3) on the June 30 Summit of Speed program.“I’m not thinking about Dubai. I want to run him in the Pegasus,” Biancone said. “This is his home track, and there are 3 million reasons to run in the Pegasus.”Diamond Oops, who finished second in both the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga and the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland back to back following his Smile victory, ran only once around two turns on dirt, finishing off the board after stumbling at the start in the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. Biancone has confidence in the versatility of the horse he owns in partnership with Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy Dunne and D P Racing LLC.“I think he needs to have a fast pace in front of him,” Biancone said. “I’ve looked back at the Pegasus races and I’ve seen very fast half-miles were run.”Biancone also reported that highly promising 3-year-old Ete Indien will be pointed to the $350,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 2.The son of Summer Front impressively won his main-track debut at Gulfstream Park Dec. 20, capturing a mile optional claiming allowance with a front-running 2 ½-length victory over highly regarded Toledo, the Chad Brown-trained favorite.Ete Indien previously captured his debut on turf and finished off the board in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

Read Article
1.2.2020:

Chance It Set for 3YO Debut in Mucho Macho Man Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC’s Chance It was the undisputed king of the 2-year-olds in South Florida during the Spring and Summer Meets at Gulfstream Park while ranking among the fastest juveniles in the country in 2019.The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained colt is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream with the opportunity to establish himself as a 2020 Triple Crown prospect.The Mucho Macho Man, a mile stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds that will be one of five stakes for sophomores on Saturday’s card, will kick off Gulfstream’s highly productive program for 3-year-olds that will culminate with the running of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) March 28.“As we got nearer to the time, you get more edgy, you get more anxious to get him back started,” Joseph said. “You just want him to come back good and show that he’s the same horse as he was as a 2-year-old.”Chance It, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, most recently captured the $400,000 In Reality, the 1 1/16-mile final of the 2019 Florida Sire Stakes Series at Gulfstream Sept. 28, by 7 ¼ lengths. The son of Currency Swap also won the $100,000 Dr. Fager and finished second in the $200,000 Affirmed in the lucrative series for Florida-bred 2-year-olds.Chance It, who finished second in his June 1 debut, bounced back to offer a brilliant 9 ¼-length triumph at Gulfstream June 29. The Florida-bred colt won the 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream in 1:03.95 while being wrapped up in the stretch, earning the fastest speed figure in the country produced by 2-year-old at the time and one that he matched in the Dr. Fager.Joseph has been encouraged by Chance It’s training since the In Reality and is confident that the Florida-bred will prove to be more than merely a precious 2-year-old.“He’s relaxed a lot. In his works, we put him behind horses and he switches off and relaxes. When you ask him to go, he goes. I think that’s a good asset if he’s going to become a really, really good horse,” Joseph said. “He’s showing all those qualities.”    Chance It, who breezed a half-mile in 46.12 seconds to record the fastest of 112 workouts at the distance at Gulfstream Park Sunday, will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard for his In Reality romp.In the Mucho Macho Man, Sagamore Farm LLC’s South Bend will be looking to rebound from his first career loss that came off three straight victories, including a triumph in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs.“He’s doing good. It took him a little bit to adjust down here, but he’s doing fine. He’s worked three times and he’s worked well,” said trainer Stanley Hough, whose stable at Pal Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.The son of Algorithms debuted at Churchill Downs Sept. 14, closing from 10th on the turn into the stretch to prevail by a nose in a six-furlong sprint. The Hough trainee again closed from 10th to win a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance at Keeneland three weeks later before scoring at the Mucho Macho Man’s one-turn mile distance in the Street Sense, in which he lacked running room into the stretch before surging late to win by a length.“He trained very well and did everything asked of him. He overcame a lot in his early races, all three of them really,” Hough said. “It’s not like he ran like some freak, but he did come from way off of it and found a way to win.”South Bend tasted defeat for the first time in the Nov. 30 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), in which he raced close to the pace in the two-turn 1 1/16-mile stakes before weakening and finishing sixth.“It was a very disappointing race. It was on a very muddy racetrack. We had a lot of rain that whole week. I’m not sure if he disliked the track or the two turns or what,” Hough said. “The winner he had beaten the time before going seven seven-eighths. He didn’t run his race for whatever reason. He does have talent. Maybe he’s a one-turn horse and the two turns got him or maybe he didn’t like the track.”Regular rider Julien Leparoux has the mount aboard South Bend.Andie Biancone and Limelight Stables Corp.’s Sole Volante enters the Mucho Macho Man undefeated in two starts, both on turf.“We want to see if we can dream,” trainer Patrick Biancone said. “Hopefully, he can run as good on dirt as he does on turf. In the morning it makes no difference to him, but until you try you never know.”Sole Volante debuted over the Gulfstream Park West turf course Oct. 12, closing from off the pace to score by three lengths going away. The gelded son of Karakontie came back to score a by two lengths in the mile Pulpit Stakes at Gulfstream Park after rallying from 11th and last.  “I think in the future the longer the race the better for him. The timing is right,” Biancone said. “He has no problem with the kickback in the morning, but not under racing conditions. It’s more an education than anything else.“He doesn’t need to win. We hope he runs good and finishes well,” he added. “The time is the right time. We can go back to the turf or we start to dream.”Luca Panici, who was aboard for Sole Volante for his maiden-breaker, has the mount after recovering from a foot injury that had kept him out of action for the Pulpit, in which Jairo Rendon rode.Stonehedge LLC’s Smash Factor will enter the Mucho Macho Man with the distinction of having notched a victory over Chance It. The Michael Yates-trained gelded son of Khozan and Chance It both debuted June 1 with Smash Factor registering a 1 ½-length front-running victory. Smash Factor returned from a four-month layoff to finish second to Chance It in the In Reality. In has most recent start, he finished second in the Juvenile Sprint for Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 9. Jose Ortiz is scheduled to ride Smash Factor for the first time Saturday.Screen Door Stables LLC’s As Seen On Tv got the better of Smash Factor in the Juvenile Sprint and will seek back-to-back stakes victories in the Mucho Macho Man. The Kelly Breen-trained son of Lookin At Lucky dueled with Smash Factor before edging away to a 1 ½-length victory in the 6 ½-furlong sprint.As Seen On Tv, who had previously won his debut and finished second in the Smoke Glacken at Monmouth, will be ridden again by Paco Lopez. Shadwell Stable’s Ashaar, a sharp 2 ½-length winner in his Nov. 3 debut at Belmont Park, will be seeking to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin named Joe Bravo to ride the son of Into Mischief.Santa Rosa Racing Stables’ Inter Miami, an 8 ½-length debut winner in a Dec. 4 maiden race for $50,000 claimers, is slated to return in the Mucho Macho Man. The Alexis Delgado-trained son of Sky Mesa will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Read Article
1.1.2020:

Independence Hall Dominates $150,000 Jerome Stakes

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables and Robert and Kathleen Verratti's Independence Hall kicked off his journey to the Kentucky Derby by capturing Wednesday's $150,000 Jerome at Aqueduct Racetrack. Trained by Michael Trombetta, the dark bay son of Constitution was rambunctious in the paddock but all business on the track en route to a commanding four-length score in his 3-year-old debut to earn 10 qualifying points towards the "Run for the Roses." The one-mile Jerome is the second of five races at the Big A that are part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series. The runner-ups share four points for second, third-place garners two points and the fourth-place finisher notches one point. Up next on the Derby trail at the Big A is the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers, a nine-furlong test slated for February 1. Independence Hall arrived at the Jerome off a two-month break from his scintillating 12 ¼-length score in the Grade 3 Nashua on November 3 at Aqueduct. He broke last-of-six in the Jerome under returning pilot Jose Ortiz, but was quickly maneuvered outside rivals to stalk from second position as Dubai Bobby set splits of 23.79 seconds and 47.47 on the main track rated good. Independence Hall cruised four-wide through the turn and opened up a 2 ½-length advantage at the stretch call as Prince of Pharoahs launched his bid up the rail with Bourbon Bay cranking up the pressure from the outside. Under confident handling from Ortiz, Independence Hall continued to widen through the final sixteenth and was never threatened while stopping the clock in 1:37.27. Prince of Pharoahs and Bourbon Bay dead-heated for second to gain three Derby qualifying points each, while Celtic Striker completed the superfecta to earn a single point. Polar Bear Pete and Dubai Bobby rounded out the order of finish. Inside Risk was scratched. Ortiz said Independence Hall was professional once he stepped onto the racetrack. "He had a lot of energy here in the paddock, but last time he was like that too on the racetrack. Today, as soon as I got to the pony, he was very nice and relaxed," said Ortiz. "He broke a bit slow today because he wasn't standing the right way. "It was a small field and I was able to put him in the clear," he added. "I didn't want to get stuck in behind horses today and try to be a hero. I got the opportunity to ride him like he was the best horse and I did." Although the margin of victory was less than his stellar Nashua effort, Ortiz said Independence Hall finished off his race in good order. "From the quarter pole to the wire he did very well. He didn't look like he did last time, but these are a little better horses and I think the track is very tiring today," said Ortiz. Trombetta said he was pleased with the effort from Independence Hall off the layoff. "I thought it was good. Jose said it was a bit tiring. He didn't get away good, and this probably got to the bottom of him because it's been two months," said Trombetta. "This is a different track than he ran on last time. I'm just glad to get through it and it's one more step in the direction we want to go. "Truthfully, even if he didn't win and he was a little vulnerable, if he did things right and was still well, that's horse racing," he added. "As hard as it is to take sometimes, I would have been good with it. Everyone knows what our goals are and we're trying to get there one step at a time." Trombetta said Independence Hall is likely to make his next start in the Grade 3, $250,000 Sam F. Davis on February 8 at Tampa Bay Downs. "I'll talk to the partners but I think the plan will be next week to head down to Tampa and train down there and get out of this weather and get him ready for the next step," said Trombetta. "It could be the Sam F. Davis. It's on the radar in five weeks. But the intent after today was to head south." Independence Hall, bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, banked $82,500 in victory and remains undefeated in three starts. He returned $2.20 for a $2 win ticket. Live racing resumes on Saturday at the Big A with a nine-race card highlighted by the $100,000 La Verdad. First post is 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

Read Article
12.27.2019:

HRRN to Receive Media Eclipse Award for 2019 Breeders' Cup Broadcast

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY and official radio home of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships, announced today the network has won its second Eclipse Award in the Audio/Multimedia and Internet category for coverage of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  HRRN previously won the Eclipse Award in 2010 for its broadcast of the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. Providing listeners around the world with nearly 10 hours of live radio coverage of the 36th Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita Park, November 1-2, on Sirius 219/XM 201 along with terrestrial affiliates throughout the U.S. and streaming on the network’s website, HRRN deployed its talent and production team to cover all aspects of the event with pre-race analysis from key participants and special background features with jockeys trainers, and owners participating in each Breeders’ Cup race., “It really is surreal,” said HRRN president and host Mike Penna in describing what it means to win the Eclipse Award for the second time. “When I first started the network nearly 15 years ago, I just wanted to create something that would benefit our sport. I never imagined we would be putting together live programs on such a large scale, so to have our work recognized with an award of this stature is extremely humbling.”  “Our broadcasts are storyline driven and, because we are on radio, we have to find ways to paint the pictures we see through our words and try to find the stories that are most interesting and intriguing to our audience in the buildup to each race, then follow up with news and interviews afterward,” Penna continued. “The goal is always to make listeners feel as if they are sitting there with us. It was a lot of work but we had a great team to accomplish our goals. We thank the people at Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup, along with our sponsors and all the horsemen who were so cooperative with us.” The broadcast was anchored by Mike Penna along with analysts Kurt Becker, Bobby Neuman and Dan Mason. Ashley Mailloux provided paddock commentary and interviews. Lee Dellapina and Shawn Seay produced the broadcast, with production assistance contributed by Justin Taylor, Keith O’Brien, Jude Feld, Michelle Penna, Megan Devine and Howard Deneroff.  Race calls courtesy of Santa Anita Park track announcer Frank Mirahmadi. The winning entry may be accessed here: http://horseracingradio.net/episode/2019-hrrn-breeders-cup-turf-and-classic.

Read Article
12.23.2019:

Omaha Beach, Roadster Headline G1 Malibu Stakes on Santa Anita Opening Day

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 23, 2019) — The morning line favorite for this year’s Kentucky Derby, Richard Mandella’s Omaha Beach rates top billing in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Runhappy Malibu Stakes, one of four graded offerings on opening day at The Great Race Place.  The Runhappy Malibu, for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, has attracted a field of five, including this year’s Santa Anita Derby winner, Roadster and Chad Brown’s Grade I winning Complexity, who ships in from his South Florida base. OMAHA BEACHOwner:  Fox Hill Farms, Inc.                                Trainer:  Richard Mandella A striking dark bay or brown colt by War Front, Omaha Beach, who took both the Grade II Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby this past spring at Oaklawn Park, was forced to miss the Kentucky Derby due to an entrapped epiglottis.  Following surgery and a lengthy rehab, Omaha Beach resurfaced in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5 and he prevailed by a head over eventual Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Shancelot.  Subsequently second as the even money favorite in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile here on Nov. 2, Omaha Beach will be making his final Southern California start on Thursday, as he’s due to be retired to stud following the Grade I, $ 3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25. ROADSTEROwner:  Speedway Stable, LLC                                              Trainer:  Bob Baffert Winless in four starts since winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 6, this grey colt by Quality Road was a disappointing fourth as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade III Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 23 and will thus be cutting back in distance from a mile and one eighth.  A close third to stablemate Game Winner in his only try at seven furlongs, the Grade I Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 3, Roadster has trained well for the Malibu and will get the services of Joel Rosario. COMPLEXITYOwner:  Klaravich Stables, Inc.                        Trainer:  Chad Brown A winner of the Grade I Champagne Stakes going a one turn mile at Belmont Park in only his second start at age two, Complexity was then distanced in both the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2, 2018 and the Grade I Woody Stephens at Belmont Park two starts back on June 9.  Subsequently freshened by Brown, Complexity exits a freakish 7 ¼ length win going seven furlongs in a second condition allowance at Aqueduct Nov. 20. THE GRADE I RUNHAPPY MALIBU STAKES FROM THE RAIL OUT Race 9 of 11 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT 1. Much Better—Flavien Prat—1202. Complexity—Javier Castellano—1203. Manny Wah—Channing Hill--1204. Roadster—Joel Rosario—1225. Omaha Beach—Mike Smith--124Special early first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 11 a.m.  Admission gates open at 9 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Read Article
12.21.2019:

Santa Anita Postpones Opening Day Card to Saturday, December 28

The opening day of Santa Anita’s 83rd season will be postponed two days until Saturday, December 28th, ahead of next week’s declining weather forecast.  “Opening Day is traditionally one of our biggest days of the year, but our commitment to safety is first and foremost,” said Aidan Butler, Acting Executive Director of California for The Stronach Group.  “It was very important to make this call as early as possible for our horsemen, fans and employees.  There are many moving parts, especially in the training of these wonderful horses, and this decision is being made at this time out of respect to give all involved plenty of advance notice.” “It is very difficult to predict weather forecasts in Southern California more than 48 hours in advance,” said Dennis Moore, who has returned to his responsibilities overseeing Santa Anita track surfaces.  “Right now, they have rain Monday through Thursday morning.  But the models are continuing to change and when they do that, they are usually building up moisture.” It would be the first time since the 1973-74 winter season that Santa Anita has not opened on December 26th.  Santa Anita last opened on December 28th in 1971.  Last year’s opening day on-track attendance was 41,373, with an all-time opening day handle record of over $20-million. “The stakes races set for Thursday will be brought back on Saturday,” said Steve Lym, Santa Anita’s VP & Director of Racing.  “With the rain in the forecast, it was extremely likely that the races would be off the turf on Thursday.  Postponing opening day will allow for the high quality turf racing synonymous with Santa Anita.  We are planning on filling extra races throughout the opening week to give our horsemen the opportunity to run their horses.” Among the horses set to run is Fox Hill Farm’s Omaha Beach, the likely heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Runhappy Malibu Stakes, now set for Saturday.  “They are doing the right thing by moving the races,” said Richard Mandella, Omaha Beach’s Hall of Fame trainer. “I’m just very happy to be in the race with this horse.” Entries for Opening Day will be drawn on Monday, December 23rd, which was scheduled to be the entry day for that Saturday. Santa Anita’s revised Opening Week schedule has live racing Saturday, December 28th and Sunday, December 29th; New Year’s Day Wednesday, January 1st, and Friday, January 3rd through Sunday, January 5th. First post time on Saturday, December 28th, will be 11:00 a.m.

Read Article
12.21.2019:

2020 Pegasus World Cup Announces Runhappy as Presenting Sponsor

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – December 21, 2019 – The Stronach Group announced today that it has secured Runhappy as the presenting sponsor for the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series taking place on January 25 at Gulfstream Park. On December 14, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series introduced a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America with the announcement that the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) stakes races will be run medication-free, providing a new and lucrative opportunity for horse owners to showcase their equine athletes by competing free of any medications on race day.In 2015, Runhappy, an American Thoroughbred race horse, won six consecutive races including the King's Bishop Stakes, the Phoenix Stakes, the Breeders' Cup Sprint and the Malibu Stakes without use of the common race day medication, Lasix.  He was later named as the 2015 American Champion Sprint Horse and retired with seven wins in 10 lifetime starts, earning close to $1.5 million having never raced on medication. He has been retired to stud at the legendary Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky and occupies the same stall as the great Secretariat. Runhappy’s first foals will be 2 year-olds of 2020 and will make their racing debut next year.“We are thrilled to have Runhappy as the presenting sponsor for this year’s Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series,” said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, Racing, The Stronach Group. “The legacy of Runhappy coupled with this year’s medication-free platform is a fitting partnership as we set a new competitive standard while featuring the finest Thoroughbreds in our game.”“Team Runhappy is proud to be the presenting sponsor for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational stakes races,” said Jim McIngvale, owner of Runhappy. “The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series has become a highlight on the racing calendar and to be the presenting sponsor for the 2020 medication-free stakes races is the perfect partnership for us as we honor the great Runhappy.”This year’s medication-free format for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards and will go one step further by giving back two-percent of the purse winnings to Thoroughbred aftercare. “I know we’re facing competitive challenges from the Dubai World Cup and the Saudi Cup, but I am grateful that The Stronach Group has found a way to keep innovating the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series. It gives all of us a chance to keep our older, champion horses in training and competition here in the United States, which is great for the sport and for the fans,” said Bob Baffert, who trained Arrogate to win the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational in 2017.“I find it an interesting concept, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series with no medication and I’m excited to be part of it,” said Hall of Famer Richard Mandella. Mandella trains Omaha Beach, owned by Fox Hill Farm. It was announced in November that Omaha Beach will retire after the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational.  The Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be run on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles and will offer a $3 million total purse with 2 percent of the purse donated to Thoroughbred aftercare. The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be run on the turf at 1 3/16 miles and will offer a $1 million purse with 2 percent of that purse also donated to Thoroughbred Aftercare. The $4 million total purse contribution is entirely provided by The Stronach Group.In addition to the sponsorship of the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, and the sponsorship of the Runhappy Malibu Stakes (G1) taking place on Opening Day at Santa Anita Park on December 26, Team Runhappy and The Stronach Group will work together to further invest in and promote North American Thoroughbred racing in California, Florida and Maryland by rolling out the Runhappy Matchmaker Series. The Runhappy Matchmaker Series will feature a prestigious race at The Stronach Group owned Gulfstream Park (Florida), Santa Anita Park (California) and Pimlico Race Course (Maryland) with the winner of each race in the series receiving a free breeding, valued at over $25,000, to the great Runhappy at Claiborne Farm. The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series presented by Runhappy will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30-6:00pm EST on Saturday, January 25.Tickets are available online at www.pegasusworldcup.com, or by calling the Pegasus World Cup box office at Gulfstream Park at 1-833-464-7924 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. Tickets range from $49 to $1000+ per person and offer something for every race-day enthusiast and entertainment seeker. New ticket options for this year’s Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series include an Early Bird Classic General Admission for $49+ if purchased before December 25 and General Admission for children 12 and under for $23. Xpressbet.com is proud to be the official online betting platform of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.Follow all of the news and excitement of the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series presented by Runhappy on Twitter and Instagram @PegasusWorldCup and on Facebook at Pegasus World Cup.

Read Article
12.19.2019:

Imperial Hint, X Y Jet Square Off in Gulfstream's G3 Mr. Prospector

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Raymond Mamone’s Imperial Hint headlines an especially deep field of top-level sprinters in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park, where the multiple Grade 1 stakes winner will make his highly anticipated return to action after being scratched from the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 2.Imperial Hint, who was scratched on the morning of the Sprint at Santa Anita due to a minor foot issue, will ship across Alligator Alley from Tampa Bay Downs, where the 6-year-old son of Imperialism has produced three consecutive bullet workouts in preparation for his start in the seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up.“I can’t wait to see him race again, even though it’s seven-eighths,” trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. said. “I wish it was three-quarters. He is definitely a specialist going three-quarters, but he won at seven-eighths at Laurel [in the 2017 General George (G3)]. I have no doubt he can do seven-eighths.”Imperial Hint notched back-to-back six-furlong victories in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga and Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont for the second year in a row. The ‘Little Rocket’ shattered the Saratoga track-record while running six furlongs in 1:07.92 in the Vanderbilt July 27.Bred in Florida, Imperial Hint has raced only once at Gulfstream Park but made the most of the occasion, earning a berth in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a triumph in the $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3).“He definitely showed he liked the track,” Carvajal said. “I’m looking forward to bringing him back.”Javier Castellano has the return mount Imperial Hint, who has won 14 of 23 starts and nearly $2.2 million in purses.Two-time Mr. Prospector winner X Y Jet is scheduled to seek his third victory in the stakes that honors the champion sprinter and prolific sire. Rockingham Ranch and Gelfenstein Farm’s 7-year-old gelding, like Imperial Hint, has been a six-furlong specialist.“He’s stretching out and I’m stretching out,” said trainer Jorge Navarro, who saddled X Y Jet for Mr. Prospector wins in 2015 and 2017.X Y Jet will make his first start since capturing the $2.5 million Golden Shaheen (G1) on the March 30 Dubai World Cup (G1) program. The son of Kantharos has produced a series of six strong workouts at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, in preparation for his return.“This is the first time that X Y Jet has come out perfect out of everything,” Navarro said.X Y Jet, who has won 12 of 25 starts and nearly $3.1 million in purses, is being pointed toward a return trip to Dubai in late March.“From this race – we’ll see how he comes out – our next goal is the [Jan. 18] Sunshine Millions in January,” said Navarro, who awarded the return call aboard X Y Jet to Emisael Jaramillo.Diamond Oops will seek to rebound from a disappointing off-the-board finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G2) at Santa Anita Nov. 2. The 4-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky lost all chance when he stumbled at the start.Prior to the Breeders’ Cup disappointment, Diamond Oops captured the Smile Sprint (G3) on the June 30 Summit of Speed program before back-to-back Grade 1 runner-up finishes in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt and the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. In the Vanderbilt, Diamond Oops finished 3 ½ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Mitole.Julien Leparoux has the return mount aboard Diamond Oops, who is owned by Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC.LLP Performance Horse LLC’s Zenden makes his return to graded-stakes company off a sharp optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West Nov. 3. The 3-year-old son of Fed Biz, who had been idle nearly seven months, raced at Gulfstream Park three times during the 2018-2019 Championship Meet. He broke his maiden at first asking before capturing the Buffalo Man Stakes and finishing second in the Swale (G3).Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has the call.Gary and Mary West’s Lasting Legacy is slated to make his graded-stakes debut Saturday while seeking his fourth straight victory. Since being transferred to trainer Jason Servis this year, the 5-year-old son of Tapizar won back-to-back optional claiming allowances and the ungraded Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth Park.Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to ride Lasting Legacy for the first time Saturday.Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Home Base, who has won three of his last four starts, enters the Mr. Prospector off a victory in a seven-furlong optional claiming allowance at Churchill Downs. Chris Landeros has the mount aboard the 4-year-old son of Street Sense.

Read Article
12.15.2019:

2020 Pegasus World Cup Series to Be Run Medication-Free; Give to Thoroughbred Aftercare

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – December 14, 2019 – The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced today a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. On January 25th, the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) will provide new and exciting opportunities for horse owners to showcase their equine athletes by competing free of any medications on race day.This year’s medication-free format, for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards and will go one step further by giving back two-percent of the purse winnings to Thoroughbred aftercare. “We are investing in the future of our sport by creating new opportunities for horsemen and horses to run without medication,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. “The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series has always been about innovation. The new and exciting medication-free format, along with giving back to horse care, showcases the leadership our industry is taking together to evolve beyond past achievements to create a more modern, sustainable and safer sport.”“The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series is evolving toward a single goal - to provide a level of safety deserving of every horse and every rider, reflecting the new standard of care, on race day and beyond, while providing a lucrative opportunity for horse owners.” said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, Racing, The Stronach Group. The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series aims to attract the world’s best horses and riders, including top tier Grade 1 stakes horses, owners, trainers and jockeys. Owners of horses age 4 and up from North America and beyond will be invited to participate for their chance to showcase their medication-free horses and the opportunity to compete for their share of $4 million USD in purse winnings. All entry fees for the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be waived. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be run on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles and will offer a $3 million total purse with 2 percent of the purse donated to Thoroughbred aftercare. The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be run on the turf at 1 3/16 miles and will offer a $1 million purse with 2 percent of that purse also donated to Thoroughbred Aftercare. The $4 million total purse contribution is entirely provided by The Stronach Group.The Stronach Group, in collaboration with industry partners from around the country, has been at the forefront of unprecedented reforms touching all areas of the sport of Thoroughbred racing to prioritize the safety and welfare of horses and riders above all else. “Running the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational medication-free is a stepping stone to what will be the eventual phase out of the use of race day medications for all graded stakes races by 2021 and puts this event squarely in line with the changing culture of our sport,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer, The Stronach Group. “The health and safety of our athletes, equine and human, are our top priority.”Dr. Benson will be overseeing the Pegasus World Cup race day with an expanded team of veterinarians to monitor all horses, including those entered on the undercard races, in the barns, during training and on race day.  The house rules at Gulfstream Park, are consistent with IFHA standards and reflect the rules in place at other Stronach Group properties, including Santa Anita Park. In addition to stringent out-of-competition testing and enhanced medication protocols, including a 14-day stand down on intra articular injections and a 48-hour stand down of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory injections, the complete transparency of veterinary records for the 14-day period leading up to the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series races will be required for all horses. The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will offer a world-class level of safety and care for horses and riders along with a unique and fully engaging experience for our fans and guests at the race track and online. Since it was launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar. It has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world and has featured some of the finest international and domestic runners, including Arrogate (2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), Gun Runner (2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), City of Light (2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion) and Bricks and Mortar (inaugural 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Champion). Past celebrity attendees include Snoop Dogg, Mark Ronson, Bella Thorne, Evander Holyfield, Dennis Rodman and Amanda Cerny (2019), Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Olivia Culpo, Prince Royce, Wilmer Valderrama, Post Malone, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, Carson Kressley and DJ Ruckus (2018) and Thomas Rhett, Vanessa Hudgens, Juanes, Karolina Kurkova, Aaron Paul, Gene Simmons, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Maria Menounos (2017), to name just a few. For a  third year, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will partner with Groot Hospitality, owners of the world famous LIV Nightclub, to offer a one-of-a-kind trackside party, the Pegasus LIV Stretch, featuring top tier entertainment, unique food and beverage concessions and the ultimate race day views. Past performers at the Pegasus LIV Stretch include Snopp Dogg and Mark Ronson (2019), and Post Malone, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri (2018). The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30-6:00pm EST on Saturday, January 25th.Tickets are available online at www.pegasusworldcup.com, or by calling the Pegasus World Cup box office at Gulfstream Park at 1-833-464-7924 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. Tickets range from $49 to $1000+ per person and offer something for every race-day enthusiast and entertainment seeker. New ticket options for this year’s Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series include an Early Bird Classic General Admission for $49+ if purchased before December 25 and General Admission for children 12 and under for $23. Xpressbet.com is proud to be the official online betting platform of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.Follow all of the news and excitement of the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series on Twitter and Instagram @PegasusWorldCup and on Facebook at Pegasus World Cup.

Read Article
12.14.2019:

War Story Captures G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ War Story, a multiple-graded stakes winner with $2.9 million in earnings, turned in yet another game effort Saturday at Gulfstream Park to win the $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3).“This horse fires almost every time out. He’s named correctly. He’s a warrior,” said Imaginary Stables’ John Guarnere said.The Harlan’s Holiday, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds and up, was one of five stakes on Saturday’s 11-race card that also featured the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), $100,000 Rampart (G3), $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) and $100,000 My Charmer. The Harlan’s Holiday and Fort Lauderdale are preps for the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series at Gulfstream Jan. 25.“We may get an invite for the Pegasus,” Guarnere said. “He doesn’t traditionally run well at this track, but after that...If we get an invite, we’ll go.”War Story, who finished off-the-board in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup, lagged off a heated early pace between Bodexpress, the even-money favorite, and Prince Lucky, the 6-5 second betting choice. Bodexpress ran the first quarter in 22.82 seconds before Prince Lucky to his inside took a misstep and was pulled up by jockey John Velazquez. The favorite continued to show the way past a half-mile in 46.14 before being challenged by Red Crescent on the turn into the homestretch. Under an aggressive ride by Luis Saez, War Story mounted a wide rally through the stretch to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:42.45.“He’s a horse you have to keep busy all the way. At the half-mile pole, he responded to me. In the stretch, he switched leads and took off,” Saez said.Phat Man, ridden by Irad Ortiz, rallied to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths.ahead of a tiring Bodexpress.War Story was making his first start for trainer Elizabeth Dobles, providing the up-and-coming South Florida-based trainer with her first graded-stakes success.“It’s exciting. Like every other race I win, it’s a pleasure,” Dobles said. “He’s a hard-knocking horse.”

Read Article
12.14.2019:

Instilled Regard Scores in G2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – OXO Equine’s Instilled Regard, a graded-stakes winner on dirt as a 3-year-old, matched the feat on turf before the end of his 4-year-old season thanks to a heady ride from reigning Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. in Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream Park.The 63rd running of the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale for 3-year-olds and up on the grass was the richest of five stakes, four graded, worth $600,000 in purses on an 11-race program anchored by the $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) on dirt.Instilled Regard ($8.60) completed the distance in 1:47.18 over a firm course to snap an eight-race losing streak dating back to his triumph in the LeComte (G3) on the 2018 Triple Crown trail that ended for the Arch colt after finishing fourth to eventual Triple Crown champion Justify in the Kentucky Derby (G1).“This is the same horse that showed up for me [at 85-1] on Kentucky Derby day a year ago. I knew I had a better horse than that that day, and we ended up beating a lot of great horses,” OXO Equine’s Larry Best said. “This is a real horse.“He needed some time to mature a little bit. We knew he’d be better as a 3- and 4-year-old,” he added. “He’s fresh off the layoff, and this is the kind of race we needed to think about to go on to bigger things.”Sent off at 3-1 in a field of nine, Instilled Regard settled in third along the rail as Cross Border went the opening quarter-mile in 24.63 seconds pressed on the outside by his stablemate, Sycamore (G3) winner Marzo. Up the Ante joined the top group four wide for a half that went in 49.22.Ortiz was still stuck behind horses midway on the turn after a six-furlong split of 1:12.60, but had plenty of room between Marzo and Up the Ante once straightened for home to set Instilled Regard down for a drive to the wire and was able to hold off late bids from Admission Office, who finished second, and the 2-1 favorite Channel Cat, who wound up third.“I got a perfect trip,” Ortiz said. “My horse broke sharp and I used him a little bit to be close. I didn’t want to be too far and he put me in the right position. I was just waiting for the hole and finally at the end turning for home I got through and you could see how [he took off].”Instilled Regard, purchased for $1.05 million as a 2-year-old in training in March 2017, earned his third win from 14 career starts with purse earnings of nearly $600,000. The Fort Lauderdale marked his first victory in four grass attempts, to go along with one second and two thirds.Instilled Regard was beaten less than a length in his previous start Nov. 9, a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer on the Aqueduct grass, his first race following a distant sixth in the May 3 Alysheba (G3) on dirt. He was trained early in his career by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer.“He’s got a great pedigree. His grandmother is Heavenly Prize,” Best said. “We finally got the conditioning up and I got the right man to ride the horse. Over and above that, we had a lot of good luck.”

Read Article
12.12.2019:

Castellano & Baze Headline George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award Finalists

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2019) — Santa Anita Park has announced a distinguished group of five finalists for the 2020 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, with the winner to be announced in February. One of the most prestigious honors in all of American racing, the Woolf Award, which is determined by a vote of jockeys nationwide, can only be won once.  Jockeys Tyler Baze, Javier Castellano, Chris Emigh, James Graham and Luis M. Quinones, a highly respected group of veteran riders who represent various geographic regions, have been selected as Woolf finalists.  Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, the Woolf Award recognizes those riders whose careers and personal character garner esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The trophy is a replica of the life-sized statue of legendary Hall of Fame jockey George Woolf, which adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.  Woolf, who won the inaugural Santa Anita Handicap aboard Azucar on Feb. 23, 1935 and who  gained further international fame when he piloted the immortal Seabiscuit to victory over Triple Crown Champion  War Admiral in a 1 3/16 mile match race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD., on Nov. 1, 1938, was regarded as one of the top big-money riders of his era.  Known affectionately as “The Iceman,” he was revered by his fellow riders, members of the media and fans across America as a fierce competitor and consummate professional.  America’s Eclipse Champion Apprentice Jockey in the year 2000, Tyler Baze was born on Oct. 19, 1982 in Seattle, WA. The son of a former jockey, Earl, Baze hails from a legendary racing family that has also produced North America’s all-time leading rider, Russell Baze (2002 Woolf Award winner), who is Tyler’s second cousin and a retired member of racing’s Hall of Fame.  Tyler’s uncle, Gary Baze, was also a top rider, primarily in the Northwest.     With a work ethic that is second to none, Baze, who is currently based in Southern California, has consistently endeared himself to horsemen and fans alike as a tireless competitor that comes to work ready to ride. With more than 2,600 career wins to his credit, Baze has overcome personal adversity and become a true credit to his profession.  Arguably America’s most successful jockey over the past decade, Javier Castellano is a four-time Eclipse Award winner who was also the nation’s leading rider by money-won in each of his Eclipse Award-winning seasons, 2013, 14, 15 and 2016. Based on the east coast, Castellano was born Oct. 23, 1977 in Maracaibo, Venezuela and began riding full-time in 1996. Currently ranked third in 2019 purse earnings with $24.1 million, Castellano, who was elected to racing’s Hall of Fame in 2017, now has more than 5,200 career wins.  With career purse earnings of $341 million, Castellano is America’s second leading all-time money-winning jockey, behind only fellow Hall of Famer Johnny Velazquez, who has banked $414 million.   A 48-year-old native of Portsmouth, Virginia, Chris Emigh (pronounced Eh-mee) has been one of the most productive jockeys in the Chicago area for more than 20 years.  A seven-time leading rider at Hawthorne Race Course, he topped the jockey standings at Arlington Park in 2006.  Emigh broke his maiden at age 18 in 1989 at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana and now has more than 4,000 career victories.  Consistent, hard working and readily accessible to media, Emigh is one of the Windy City’s  most highly respected riders.  A 40-year-old native of Dublin, Ireland, James Graham has an enthusiasm for racing that has helped propel him to major successes while riding primarily in Chicago, Kentucky and Louisiana. A two-time leading rider (2011 & 14) at Arlington Park, Graham was consistently among the leaders at the Chicago area track dating back to 2004. The meet’s leading rider this past summer at Ellis Park, Graham has currently committed to a year-round schedule centered on Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Ellis. With more than 2,500 career wins to his credit, Graham’s mounts have earned nearly $85 million.   A major force at Mahoning Valley Race Course in Youngstown Ohio and at Thistledown near Cleveland, Luis M. Quinones is currently in a pitched battle with Irad Ortiz, Jr. for national leading rider honors in terms of races won. With more than 300 victories to his credit, Quinones will no doubt try to stay as busy as he possibly can through the end of the month. Born March 26, 1979 in Puerto Rico, Quinonez is currently atop the standings at Mountaineer Park in New Cumberland, West Virginia, and was leading rider at this year’s Mahoning Valley Winter/Spring Meet.  The 2019 Woolf Award was won by veteran jockey Scott Stevens and the 2020 winner will be announced in February.

Read Article
12.11.2019:

Bodexpress Hopes to Punch Pegasus World Cup Ticket in G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bodexpress is poised to make his return to graded-stakes competition at Gulfstream Park, where the fan favorite 3-year-old colt is scheduled to face seven rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3).The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 25 is the ultimate goal for the son of Bodemeister.“If he finishes first or second, he’ll go to the Pegasus – that is my plan,” said trainer Gustavo Delgado, who owns Bodexpress with Top Racing LLC and Global Thoroughbreds LLC. The Harlan’s Holiday, a mile stakes for 3-year-olds and up, will be one of five stakes, including four graded stakes, on Saturday’ 11-race card at Gulfstream that gets under way at noon. While Bodexpress will be making his fourth start in a graded stakes Saturday, he will be making his first graded-stakes start as a winner, having produced back-to-back eye-catching victories in his two most recent starts at Gulfstream Park West.Bodexpress earned his way into this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) with a second-place finish behind Maximum Security in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) as a 71-1 maiden. The Kentucky-bred colt stalked the early pace before being taken up on the turn into the homestretch and finishing 14th in the Derby. Bodexpress never game himself a chance in the Preakness (G1) two weeks later, rearing in the starting gate and unseating jockey John Velazquez.Bodexpress was subsequently taken out training and sent to Ocala, FL to regroup.Although demonstrating considerable talent in the Florida Derby and a prior second-place finish by a neck to future graded-stakes winner Shancelot, Bodexpress’ pre-race behavior had been less than exemplary. Since his return to racing, he has shown improved pre-race behavior that has resulted in back-to-back victories, a maiden-breaking three-length win in October and a record-breaking score in an optional claiming allowance in November. Bodexpress shattered an 18-year-old track record for a mile at Gulfstream Park West while drawing off to win by 6 ¾ lengths in his second victory.“The horse has been good since he went to the farm,” Delgado said. “The best decision after the Preakness Stakes was to send him to the farm. It was good for him. He’s come back strong and more focused.”Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount.Like Bodexpress, Daniel McConnell’s Prince Lucky could earn chance to run in the Pegasus World Cup with a strong performance in the Harlan’s Holiday.Prince Lucky was a back-to-back graded-stakes winner at Gulfstream during the 2018-2019 Championship Meet, The Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old gelding captured the Hal’s Hope (G3) by six lengths and the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) by 4 ¾ lengths, both at the one-turn mile distance.Most recently, the son of Corinthian finished fourth behind victorious Maximum Security in the seven-furlong Bold Ruler (G3) at Belmont Park.“Seven furlongs is a bit short for him. I think he’s probably at his very best at a one-turn mile, but we were sort of in a spot where we didn’t have too many options,” Pletcher said. “He’s another horse that’s had success at Gulfstream.”The stretch-out to two turns Saturday will likely decide his Pegasus World Cup status.“He was two-for-two early in the year here, so we were thinking if he could be a Pegasus horse, then how would we get there?” Pletcher said. “We felt like the Bold Ruler was sort of a bridge to get us to the Harlan’s Holiday, and that will be an opportunity for him to run two turns at Gulfstream for the first time and see how he handles that and see if he earns his way into a positon in the Pegasus.”    Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who was aboard for last season’s back-to-back graded-stakes scores, has the mount.Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ War Story, who has earned $2.9 million during his 37-race career, is scheduled to make his first start for trainer Elizabeth Dobles. The 7-year-old gelding, who ran in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup without success, achieved a career high while winning the 2017 Brooklyn Invitational (G2) at Belmont.The son of Northern Afleet, who most recently finished second in the Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx, is scheduled to be ridden by Luis Saez, who scored aboard for his triumph in the Monmouth Cup (G3) three starts back.Multiple graded stakes-placed Realm is set to seek his first success in a graded-stakes in the Harlan’s Holiday. Owner by trainer Barclay Tagg, Eric Dattner, and Harry Astarita, the 6-year-old gelding, who has been second or third in four graded-stakes, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.Equine Authority Inc.’s Red Crescent, the winner of the Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park West last time out; Marianne Stribling, Force Five Racing LLC and Two Rivers Racing Stable LLC’s Phat Man, who won the Good Magic Stakes at Monmouth two starts back; Flying P Stable’s Flowers for Lisa, the 2017 Claiming Crown Jewel winner who was stakes-place in his most recent start at Delaware Park; and Steve Budhoo’s Eye of a Jedi, a stakes winner at Gulfstream two starts back; round out the field.

Read Article
12.11.2019:

Channel Cat Shortens Up for Gulfstream Park's G2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Calumet Farm’s multiple stakes-winning homebred Channel Cat will back up to his shortest distance in seven months with an eye on January’s Pegasus World Cup International Day program for his next start in Saturday’s $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream Park.The 63rd running of the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale for 3-year-olds and up on the grass is the richest of five stakes, four graded, worth $600,000 in purses on the 11-race program. First-race post time is noon.Channel Cat will be making his 20th lifetime start in the Fort Lauderdale and sixth at Gulfstream, but first since an optional claiming allowance win over the turf course in March 2018. He is trained by 15-time Championship Meet leader Todd Pletcher, who also had his Eclipse Award-winning sire, English Channel.A win in the Fort Lauderdale would push Channel Cat over $1 million in purse earnings, having banked $894,792 and become a graded-stakes winner with a front-running triumph in the 1 3/8-mile Bowling Green (G2) this summer at Saratoga. The 4-year-old colt exits the 1 ½-mile Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) where rallied to be seventh, beaten 2 ½ lengths, by Bricks and Mortar.“He’s training super. He came out of the Breeders’ Cup in good shape. I actually thought he ran a pretty credible race,” Pletcher said. “We’re going to shorten him up here and see how he likes that with the idea that it could put him in position to possibly go in the Pegasus Turf if he proves effective at a mile and an eighth. If not, then we’ll go back to what we know he’s had success at in the past, which is the mile and three-eighths, mile and a half-type races.”Gulfstream will host the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) for 4-year-olds and up Jan. 25 as part of a program offering nine stakes highlighted by the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup (G1) on dirt. This year’s inaugural Pegasus Turf was won by undefeated Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar.Channel Cat has raced exclusively in graded company in 2019 after ending his sophomore season with back-to-back stakes victories 17 days apart in the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs and Bald Eagle Derby at Laurel Park.He was fifth to Bricks and Mortar in the Manhattan (G1), beaten less than a length when third behind Hunter O’Riley in the United Nations (G1), and ran third in the Sword Dancer (G1) and fourth in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1). Channel Cat hasn’t raced at shorter than 1 3/8 miles since opening this year finishing fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Fort Marcy (G3) May 4 over a soft Belmont Park course.“He’s run against the best horses on the East Coast all year and has certainly shown that, on his day, he fits with the best of them,” Pletcher said. “We’re just hoping he can shorten up a little bit and be as effective at a mile and an eighth.”Pletcher is a two-time winner of the Fort Lauderdale, with Mshawish in 2015 and Silver Medallion in 2012. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez is named to ride from Post 5 of nine at 126 pounds, sharing topweight with Grade 3 winner Marzo.“He seems to be the kind of horse that runs over any ground,” Pletcher said. “He won over a complete bog at Laurel before and he’s won over firm ground, as well, so he’s very honest. He always shows up [and] tries hard, so we’re hoping he can do that on Saturday.”Trainer Brian Lynch won the 2016 Fort Lauderdale with Heart to Heart, a 13-time stakes winner of more than $2 million in purse earnings whose first of two Grade 1 wins among 11 graded victories came in the 2018 Gulfstream Park Turf.Lynch entered two for Saturday’s renewal, Amerman Racing homebred Admission Office and Spooky Channel who, like Heart to Heart, is owned by Terry Hamilton. Spooky Channel, also by English Channel, put together a five-race win streak this winter and spring at Turfway Park, two of them in stakes, but has not raced since finishing seventh in the Arlington Handicap (G3) July 13.Admission Office is still seeking his first career stakes win, having come within a half-length three times this year – the May 18 Dixie (G2) at Pimlico, June 15 Wise Dan (G2) and Nov. 16 River City Handicap (G2), both at Churchill Downs. He found trouble in both the Dixie and Wise Dan, and was unable to make up enough ground after racing far back in the River City.“He’s a very talented horse and we’re just waiting for a breakthrough race for him,” Lynch said. “He’s just been one of them guys where if there’s a way for him to get shuffled back, get a wide trip, get stuck inside, get stopped, he’s found a way how to do it. We’d like to see him one of these days get a clean trip.”Admission Office tuned up for the Fort Lauderdale with a bullet five-furlong work in 59.75 seconds Dec. 7 on the turf at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. He has finished third or better in eight of nine lifetime starts.“I’m waiting for that big, breakthrough race where he gets his head in front on the wire, but he’s been a model of consistency for certain,” Lynch said. “This sort of turf course here, we’re going to get a genuine pace to run at so we look forward to running him. I think the mile and an eighth is right up his alley.”Castleton Lyons’ Up the Ante returns to action for the first time since finishing fourth by less than a length in the one-mile Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) Sept. 21 at Laurel Park. Trainer Christophe Clement won the Fort Lauderdale with Summer Front (2014) and Statesmanship (1998).“He’s training well,” Clement’s son and assistant, Miguel, said. “He’s going into this race with no setbacks in his preparation.”OXO Equine’s Instilled Regard, fourth as an 85-1 long shot behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify in the 2018 Kentucky Derby (G1), is entered to make his fourth career start on turf. The Arch colt returned from a six-month break between races to be third by a half-length in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance Nov. 9 on the grass at Aqueduct.Mike Maker-trained stablemates Marzo, winner of the Sycamore (G3) two starts back, turf and dirt stakes winner Exulting and Cross Border, a winner of four of his last five starts; and Flavius, making just his fifth career start and second in North America, complete the field.

Read Article
12.4.2019:

“Droopy” Looks to be Top Dog in Sunday’s Clasico Internacional del Caribe

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - When friends first began calling him “Droopy,” a nickname that stemmed from his likeness to the animated hound dog with saggy cheeks, it angered Alberto Paz Rodriguez. He would lash back in protest, only to make matters worse.“I used to get real mad when they called me Droopy,” he said. “But when you get angry because they call you something, the more they call you that. So that was a mistake.”That was decades ago.Nowadays, Panama’s all-time leading Thoroughbred trainer not only embraces his nickname, but promotes it. The three horses Rodriguez brought to South Florida to represent Panama in Sunday’s Clasico Internacional del Caribe at Gulfstream Park all wear saddlecloths that spell out Droopy in white stitching.“I introduce myself as Droopy,” Rodriguez said. “I’m proud of it.”Rodriguez has no reason to be ashamed. With nearly 6,500 victories in Panamanian racing, Rodriguez is a giant of the sport in his home country. He won his first “Clasico del Caribe” in 1974 with Berremina, two more after that, and hopes to add a fourth victory in the Caribbean’s most prized race on Sunday with Fix in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds.“Horses are everything,” said Rodriguez, who turns 80 on Thursday. “Horses are a passion. I feel like I’m running myself every time I run a horse in a race. It’s a thrill, even now. Even a cheap claimer, I enjoy it the same.”Rodriguez has long had an affection for Thoroughbred racing. The same couldn’t be said for his parents, who not only frowned on his passion, but tried to steer him away from it. His father, who was the president of Standard Oil in New Jersey, encouraged his son to follow in his footsteps as a businessman.“They didn’t like the idea at all,” Rodriguez said of racing. “So they sent me to military school to get me away from the race track. But they made a mistake by sending me to Louisville, to the Kentucky Military Institute.”To the heart of horse country, in other words.Ultimately, though, Rodriguez went to the University of Alabama before transferring to Saint Bernard College in Cullman, Alabama, where he earned his degree in economics while also developing into a top golfer. Rodriguez and John Dowd, the former legal advisor to President Trump and whose investigation into betting by Pete Rose led to his lifetime banishment from baseball, were teammates on the Saint Bernard golf team.“We had a helluva good team,” Rodriguez said.After graduation, Rodriguez went to work for Columbia Pictures, eventually becoming the film firm’s supervisor overseeing Central America.But it didn’t take long before the pull of horses and racing became too strong for Rodriguez to resist. He bought his first horse in 1965 and never looked back.Rodriguez’s racing success hasn’t been confined to Panama.He set up a stable in South Florida in the mid-80s due to political unrest in Panama, winning races at Gulfstream, Calder and Hialeah, before moving back to Panama once matters had settled.In 1993, he sent El Bakan to the U.S. to race in the Kentucky Derby for new trainer Alfredo Callajas and owner Robert Perez. The colt finished next-to-last in a field of 19.“I wasn’t the trainer, but I noticed that the horse wasn’t wearing a tongue tie in the Derby,” Rodriguez said. “So I told the trainer, ‘This horse runs with a tongue tie.’”Outfitted with the equipment on Rodriguez’s advice, El Bakan returned two weeks later in the Preakness and turned in a better performance at odds of 51-1.“He led most of the way and finished third,” Rodriguez said.Rodriguez is hoping for winning results on Sunday. He has three horses entered on the day’s stakes card. In addition to Fix, he also intends to send out Fray Angelico in the Copa Confraternidad del Caribe and California Music in the Copa Invitacional del Caribe.“Every race is a big deal,” Rodriguez said. “This is like the World Cup. Our horses are identified by their countries. They don’t say such-and-such a horse won it. They say the horse from Panama won it, the horse from Mexico won it. We represent the country.”

Read Article
12.3.2019:

After Long Absence, Jamaica Returns to Clasico Internacional del Caribe

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - For an island nation that many call the “Heart of the Caribbean,” Jamaica has in recent years been largely invisible in the eyes of the racing world, an annual no-show in the Clasico Internacional del Caribe.No longer.Two Jamaican-bred colts are expected to take part in Sunday’s Clasico at Gulfstream Park, ending a long absence from one of the most important events on the region’s racing calendar.The pair of 3-year-olds - Supreme Soul and Juice Man - are set to take on rivals from Panama, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe, one of five races with purses totaling nearly $700,000 for the top Thoroughbreds from Latin America and the Caribbean.At stake: regional bragging rights.“If we were to win here, that would be huge,” said Anthony Nunes, trainer of Supreme Soul, which this year became the 13th horse to sweep Jamaica’s Triple Crown. “We’re hoping we’ll just run well and represent our country well, and everything is a bonus after that.Glenn Mendez, trainer of Trinidad Derby winner Juice Man, added that a victory by either of the Jamaican-bred horses “would be a major, major boost” to a sport that has suffered through some tough times.“It’s big,” Mendez said.Jamaica was once a regular participant in the event. But Nunes said Jamaican horses stopped showing up during a period when the sport was operated by the government.“We haven’t been here for 10 or 15 years,” Nunes said. “We were owned by the government and they didn’t want to spend the money.”Private interests took over a couple of years ago, though, Nunes said, and “they’ve taken it to another level.”And a win by either Juice Man or Supreme Soul in the 1 1/8-mile stakes would put Jamaica back on the map internationally. Rooting interest in the two colts is expected to be strong.“It’s huge there,” Nunes said of racing in Jamaica while watching his colt school in the Gulfstream paddock. “It’s a culture. (The track) is packed to capacity, twice a week, all year long. And a lot of Jamaicans live in Florida, so I’m sure there will be a lot of people here.”Nunes, who was born into a racing background, attended high school in Canada and earned a degree in management and marketing from the University of South Florida in Tampa.But, after college, he returned to Jamaica, where he now operates a stable of 70 horses. Though he has never won Jamaica’s training title (which is based on stakes earnings), Nunes has been the runner-up 11 times.“Like the Buffalo Bills, right?” Nunes said with a laugh. “Went to the Super Bowl four times and kept losing it. Don’t worry. I’ve thought about it.”Supreme Soul could end all concerns for Nunes.“I always wanted to be on the national stage and this is somewhat national,” he said of the Caribbean Classic.Mendez would be equally joyed if Juice Man comes through with a win.Juice Man began his racing career in Jamaica for Nunes before being turned over to Mendez in Trinidad in April.“In Jamaica and Trinidad, we have gone through trying times with racing,” Mendez said. “Racing is back on its feet in Jamaica. In Trinidad, we’re still struggling.”A win by Juice Man could do more than lift spirits in Trinidad, Mendez said.“It would probably re-energize investing in horses and help build back up the (horse population). It would be huge.”Mendez said there should be no shortage of supporters in either horse.“I would expect Jamaica would want any one of their Jamaican horses to win,” Mendez said. “It is big and we have a lot of support.”

Read Article
12.2.2019:

2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #1 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #1 (November 28 - December 1, 2019): 1. American Theorem (George Papaprodromou) - 54/1 ($110.80)2. Anneau d'Or (Blaine Wright) - 31/1 ($65.00) 3. Answer In (Brad Cox) - 64/1 ($130.60)4. Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 50/1 ($103.60) 5. Basin (Steve Asmussen) - 38/1 ($78.80) 6. Dennis' Moment (Dale Romans) - 12/1 ($26.00) 7. Eight Rings (Bob Baffert) - 24/1 ($50.40) 8. Gouverneur Morris (Todd Pletcher) - 29/1 ($61.40) 9. Great Power (Simon Callaghan) - 60/1 ($123.00) 10. Green Light Go (James Jerkens) - 46/1 ($94.20)11. High Velocity (Bob Baffert) - 40/1 ($82.60) 12. Honor A.P. (John Shirreffs) - 25/1 ($52.40) 13. Independence Hall (Michael Trombetta) - 13/1 ($29.60) 14. Maxfield (Brendan Walsh) - 13/1 ($28.20) 15. Scabbard (Eddie Kenneally) - 85/1 ($173.40) 16. South Bend (Stanley Hough) - 72/1 ($147.60) 17. Storm the Court (Peter Eurton) - 41/1 ($84.60) 18. Structor (Chad Brown) - 24/1 ($51.80) 19. Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 34/1 ($70.20) 20. Three Technique (Jeremiah Englehart) - 39/1 ($81.60) 21. Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 11/1 ($25.80) 22. Wrecking Crew (Peter Miller) - 86/1 ($175.00) 23. All 3YO Fillies - 57/1 ($117.20) 24. All Other 3YO's - 1/1 ($4.20)

Read Article
12.1.2019:

2020 Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager (November 28 - December 1, 2019): 1. American Pharoah - 12/1 ($26.00) 2. Bernardini - 37/1 ($76.00) 3. Bodemeister - 62/1 ($127.60)4. Candy Ride (ARG) - 38/1 ($78.60) 5. Constitution - 5/1 ($13.60) 6. Curlin - 9/1 ($21.80) 7. Declaration of War - 37/1 ($77.80) 8. Empire Maker - 28/1 ($59.80) 9. Hard Spun - 31/1 ($64.20) 10. Honor Code - 19/1 ($41.20) 11. Into Mischief - 17/1 ($36.20) 12. Liam's Map - 26/1 ($54.80) 13. Medaglia d'Oro - 21/1 ($45.00) 14. More Than Ready - 49/1 ($101.60) 15. Pioneerof the Nile - 32/1 ($66.40) 16. Quality Road - 30/1 ($63.80) 17. Shackleford - 77/1 ($156.20) 18. Speightstown - 73/1 ($149.20) 19. Street Sense - 14/1 ($30.40) 20. Tapit - 20/1 ($43.60) 21. Tiznow - 11/1 ($25.60) 22. Uncle Mo - 12/1 ($26.40) 23. Union Rags - 54/1 ($110.40.00) 24. All Others - 9/2 ($11.80)  

Read Article
11.27.2019:

Irad Ortiz Jr. Seeking Second Consecutive Riding Title at Gulfstream Park's Championship Meet

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Irad Ortiz Jr. both started and ended a career year at Gulfstream Park in 2018, one where he was recognized with his first Eclipse Award as North America’s leading rider.As Gulfstream prepares to open its 2019-2020 Championship Meet, the nation’s premier winter Thoroughbred meet which begins its 89-day stand Friday, Ortiz is poised to do it all over again.Favored to claim his second straight Eclipse Award during the Jan. 23 ceremony at Gulfstream, the eighth consecutive year the track has hosted the event, the 27-year-old Ortiz is set to return to South Florida to defend his 2018-2019 Championship Meet title.It will be the third straight winter Ortiz has ventured south, having previously ridden primarily in New York where the cold weather often plays havoc with the racing schedule. After honoring his commitments there, he is scheduled to begin riding at Gulfstream full-time Dec. 4.“I won last year and I felt so good to be able to win my first title there. I appreciate all the help from all the trainers and owners to be able to do it,” Ortiz said. “It really helped me because I got a good start. Before there were times when we didn’t have that many days of racing and I didn’t start like that. I think that helped me to keep going. I tried to get better and better every day and, of course, the horses helped me a lot. We were able to win some big races.”Already one of only four jockeys at Gulfstream to reach triple digits in single-season victories, Ortiz won 135 races last winter, one ahead of 2017-2018 champion Luis Saez and just two away from matching Saez’s track record total from that season.During one sizzling stretch, Ortiz notched 30 wins over a span of nine racing days in mid-February, highlighted by a six-win afternoon Feb. 18 that included four starter stakes, to overtake a suspended Saez for the meet lead. With Saez back and closing in, Ortiz won five times on the final weekend – four coming on Florida Derby Day, three in stakes, topped by the Pan American (G2) – to clinch the title.Ortiz was also first with $8,509,498 in purses earned, over $2 million more than the runner-up, five-time meet champion and Hall of Famer Javier Castellano. Of Ortiz’s wins, 24 came in stakes, nine of them graded, none bigger than the inaugural $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), the richest grass race in North American won by Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar, undefeated in six 2019 starts.“That day he ran an awesome race,” Ortiz said. “We really liked the way he was going into that race and the way he was doing everything. He had a little layoff and he came back so good and he never got beat the rest of the year.”Other graded wins for Ortiz last winter at Gulfstream came in the Mac Diarmida (G2), The Very One (G3), W.L. McKnight (G3), Forward Gal (G3), Swale (G3), Royal Delta (G3) and Orchid (G3). For the second consecutive year, Ortiz also won three races on the Clasico Internacional del Caribe program, including a repeat triumph in the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe.“It’s very nice to be able to win for my country, especially here in America, because a lot more people come to see it,” Ortiz said. “It’s like the Kentucky Derby for us. I feel so good to be able to win some of those races because I grew up watching those races.”Through Nov. 26, Ortiz had already established a career high with $32.3 million in purse earnings, breaking the North American record of $28.1 million set by Castellano in 2015. He also ranked second with 285 wins, keeping him on track for a fifth consecutive season of 300 or more.Ortiz earned the Bill Shoemaker Award as the leading jockey at the Breeders’ Cup for the second straight year, leading all riders with four victories including the $6 million Classic (G1) with Vino Rosso and $4 million Turf with Bricks and Mortar –Ortiz’s ninth win this year in races with purses of $1 million or more.After ranking among the top four riders in North America in wins and purses earned each year from 2014 to 2017, Ortiz took his game to another level last year. Represented by agent Steve Rushing, he led all jockeys in mounts (1,616), wins (346) and purses earned ($27.7 million), and easily outdistanced his younger brother, 2017 winner Jose Ortiz, for the Eclipse Award. “It meant a lot for me, for all the hard work and dedication. Thank God everything came out good, last year and this year,” Ortiz said. “I’m blessed and thankful to be able to be safe and to stay in one piece to be able to keep riding the whole year. Every jockey wants to win the Eclipse Award. It’s something that’s very important to us.”Since first coming to the U.S. in June 2011, Ortiz has established himself as one of the world’s top riders with more than 2,300 wins and nearly $177 million in purse earnings. He has won nine Breeders’ Cup races, and his lone Triple Crown victory came in the 2006 Belmont Stakes (G1) with Creator. He has led New York in races won in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and earned multiple riding titles at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga.At Gulfstream’s 2017-18 Championship Meet, his first full winter in South Florida, Irad Ortiz finished second with 101 wins – joining Castellano, Saez and Paco Lopez in the exclusive 100-win club – and third with $4.8 million in purses earned. He won a total of 16 stakes, six graded, including Promises Fulfilled in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2).Once again, Gulfstream’s Championship Meet jockey colony will include the best collection of racing’s top riders led by the Oritz brothers, Lopez, Castellano, fellow Hall of Famer John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux, Joe Bravo and Davie, Fla. native Tyler Gaffalione.“I want to work hard every day. I want to win the title again,” Ortiz said. “It’s a tough place to win because there are big fields and so many good riders. You need the horses first and you need the help from the trainers and owners, and they give me the help. If they give me the horses I can win races. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible.”

Read Article
11.26.2019:

Acacia Courtney, Ron Nicoletti and Jason Blewitt Discuss Gulfstream Park Tips & Strategies

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – While Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet provides fans an opportunity to see many of the top horses and jockeys in the world, it can also be a bit of a puzzle for bettors looking to cash tickets and make a score.“From a betting perspective, with so many top trainers and jockeys, it can be a little confusing,” said Gulfstream handicapper and host Acacia Courtney. “Positive statistics are important, but so are negative ones. For me, when you have two horses that both look competitive on paper coming into a race, that’s when recent statistics for trainers and jockeys can help.”“There’s also the question of trainers who might excel in sprints or distance races, turf or dirt, claiming races or stakes,” said Gulfstream handicapper and host Ron Nicoletti. “There’s also trainer-jockey combinations to look at when putting together tickets.”For instance, Nicoletti said, Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Jose Ortiz are a combined 7 for 17 (40 percent) over the past two years, trainer Kathleen O’Connell and jockey Luis Saez are 6 for 17 (35 percent) and the combination of Todd Pletcher and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez is 15 for 52 (29 percent).Courtney points to the combination of trainer Stanley Hough and jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who are 57 percent in the money with 23 starters the past year, while trainer Armando De la Cerda is 7 for 24 the past year with jockey Luis Saez in the saddle.Host and handicapper Jason Blewitt will be looking at some “young guns” and former assistants during the Championship Meet. Former Jason Servis assistant Carlos David is winning at a 33 percent clip first off a claim while former Gustavo Delgado assistant, Jorge Delgado, is 30 percent off the claim. Nicoletti adds that David’s average win payout was $16 while trainer Juan Rizo, went 7 for 31 with a $25 average payout.Blewitt is also looking at some more established trainers as well.“No news flash here, but looking back through last winter’s statistics I forgot just how dominant Jason Servis was,” he said.The trainer of Florida Derby (G1) winner Maximum Security, Servis finished third in the standings with a 35-13-9 record from 77 starters. Courtney points out that Servis was 18 for 30 with favorites on the dirt last year with 87 percent of those runners finishing in the money. Blewitt says to keep an eye on Lilli Kurtinecz. Of her 36 winners at Gulfstream since 2015, 31 have come on the turf (86 percent). Meanwhile, over the past six months, Peter Walder has won 18 of 58 races (31 percent).“He’s really dangerous in claiming races over the Gulfstream dirt with 75 wins over the last five years,” Blewitt added.“I think everyone wants to get off to a strong start,” Nicoletti said. “So I also look at trainers who start a meet strong with their first or second start at the meet.”Nicoletti points to Tom Bush (4 for 16), Jeremiah Englehart (5 for 24) and Mark Hennig (18 percent) who win with their first or second starter at the meet the past two years.

Read Article
11.26.2019:

Jorge Navarro Gearing Up for Gulfstream Park Championship Meet Title Defense

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – No matter how much success Jorge Navarro has enjoyed and how many more accomplishments may come his way, the 44-year-old native of Panama City, Panama will always embrace the humble beginnings of his burgeoning training career.Navarro looks back at his early days on the Calder Race Course backstretch with pride, using them as a gauge to judge just how far he has come in the world of thoroughbred racing. When he snapped Todd Pletcher’s 15-year Championship Meet reign at Gulfstream Park in April to claim the 2018-2019 training title, he was struck with memories of his modest start in the game.“It meant a lot. The meet has always been a prestigious meet with well-known trainers from all over the United States and top quality of horses,” Navarro said. “Being a trainer from South Florida, watching those guys building their reputations and seeing what they’ve done over the years, to win it was amazing.”            Navarro had to celebrate his 53-47 decision over defending 15-time titlist Todd Pletcher on closing day of the 2018-2019 Championship Meet March 31 from afar. He was in Dubai, where he was also able to celebrate X Y Jet’s triumph in the $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan March 30.“I was in Dubai [that week] and I really thought Todd Pletcher was going to catch me,” said Navarro, who had finished second behind Pletcher the previous three seasons. “Todd Pletcher has done amazing things all those 15 years. Winning the title meant so much to me.”Navarro is gearing up for a defense of his title during the 2019-2020 Championship Meet that will get under way Friday, Nov. 29 at Gulfstream Park.“About a month ago, 45 days ago, I mentioned something about cutting down on horses. As soon as I came down here to Florida, I kicked it into another gear – I’m getting stormed with horses,” he said. “My wife said, ‘Jorge, I thought you were going to slow down.’ I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I’m home and with my family, but I don’t feel like slowing down yet.”Fresh off his seventh consecutive training title at Monmouth Park, Navarro’s stable has gone through somewhat of a transition. Known for his considerable success with tough-as-nails warriors like X Y Jet, Private Zone, Sharp Azteca and War Story, Navarro has welcomed a lot of young horses into his barn.“I love the claiming game, but I’m getting a lot of nice 2-year-olds,” he said. “I’m going to prove I can train a young horse.”Navarro’s success with Shancelot during the 2019 campaign will likely encourage owners to entrust younger stock to him in the future. Shancelot, a 3-year-old son of Shanghai Bobby, won at first asking last February, scoring by a neck over Bodexpress, who would go on to finish second in the Florida Derby (G1) and compete in the Triple Crown. Shancelot returned to action three months later to win an optional claiming allowance at Monmouth Park.“When I pull the plug it’s for a good reason,” Navarro said. “With Shancelot, we weren’t going to the Derby with him, that’s why we pulled the plug – to give him time to mature. It’s paid off.”Shancelot captured the Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga by 12 ½ lengths in his third start before finishing third in the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga and second in both the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).“He’s one of the cleanest horses I’ve every trained. The speed he has, this little horse, it’s just amazing what he does,” Navarro said. “He comes back after his races like he’s done nothing.”Shancelot is being pointed to the $1.5 million Saudi Cup Sprint in Riyadh Feb. 29 with the hope he will earn his way to Dubai for a possible clash with defending champ X Y Jet in the Golden Shaheen. Both Shancelot and X Y Jet are likely to prep at Gulfstream Park during the 2019-2020 Championship Meet.Although Navarro now has increasing opportunities to develop young horses, he will still be very active with claiming horses during the Championship Meet, especially for the Dec. 7 Claiming Crown, for which he made 20 nominations.            Stabled at both Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows Training Center, Navarro is confident that a Championship Meet title defense is well within the realm of possibility..“I feel very good about it,” he said.

Read Article
11.21.2019:

Tickets to Preakness 145 On Sale Now

BALTIMORE, MD – November 21st, 2019 – The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club, owners of the legendary Pimlico Race Course, announced today that facility and Preakness Village tickets to Preakness 145 are on sale. The Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, will be held on Saturday, May 16th and the 96th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) will take place on Friday, May 15th, both at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.  Tickets are available now at www.preakness.com and range from $40 to $750 per person offering unique, curated experiences for every guest, including multi-day tickets, exciting trackside views and elevated race-day luxury options in the Preakness Village.“As we look toward Preakness 145 and beyond, The Stronach Group is committed to a bright and modern future for Thoroughbred racing in Maryland,” said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, Racing, The Stronach Group. “This has been a year of transformative change across the entire industry, and as the stewards of one of the world’s most renowned sporting events, The Stronach Group is steadfast in our commitment to delivering an unforgettable event that puts horse and rider safety at the forefront.” First contested in 1873, the Preakness is one of Thoroughbred racing's most valued Grade 1 stakes races. In 2019, a crowd of 131,256 witnessed War of Will and jockey Tyler Gaffalione win Preakness 144.  The total handle on Preakness day was a record-breaking $99.8 million, surpassing the $93.6 million wagered in 2018.  Celebrity fans in attendance included Grammy nominated recording artist Robin Thicke, actress and recording artist Victoria Justice, MLB Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, TV personality Carson Kressley, celebrity chef Bobby Flay, players from the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins, and legendary performer Vanessa Williams, who sang the national anthem, to name just a few. The fan favorite InfieldFest will return for the 12th year 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 the coming weeks. In 2019, Diplo made history by parachuting onto the racetrack and running in his jumpsuit to the stage for a stellar set that capped off an incredible day of performances featuring Kygo, Logic, Juice WRLD, Frank Walker and Fisher. Over the past decade 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). Preakness 145 will feature something for everyone including the popular Sunrise Tours that run from Tuesday through Friday during Preakness week; the Alibi Breakfast, an annual tradition that brings together fans and horsemen; and Rosé on the Rail, a trackside garden party focussed on fashion and fun on Black Eyed Susan Day. Follow all of the excitement of the Preakness Stakes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PreaknessStakes and at #Preakness. For more information please visit www.preakness.com.

Read Article
11.20.2019:

Bodexpress Shatters Gulfstream Park West Track Record

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Top Racing LLC and Global Thoroughbreds LLC’s Bodexpress, who made his name by running in the Triple Crown as a maiden, continued to build a reputation as a serious racehorse Wednesday at Gulfstream Park West, breaking an 18-year-old track record while romping to a 6 ¾ -length victory in a mile allowance race.The Gustavo Delgado-trained 3-year-old colt won his second straight race at Gulfstream Park West after losing his first seven races with a 1:35.58 clocking, eclipsing the old track record of 1:36.25 held by High Ideal.“This is a good horse. This is a good horse. Never in my life have I had a horse set a track record,” said Delgado, who was Venezuela’s all-time winningest trainer before venturing to South Florida 10 years ago. “The way he has come back has been perfect.”Bodexpress, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Emisael Jaramillo, broke alertly to outrush Todd Pletcher-trained Moretti heading into the first turn and established an uncontested lead on the first turn and along the backstretch, posting fractions of 24.09 and 47.64 for the first half-mile of the Race 7 feature. Moretti, the 7-2 second choice ridden by Joe Bravo, made a brief outside move on the far turn before backing up, leaving Bodexpress with a commanding four-length lead on the turn into the homestretch. After being set down for the drive, the son of Bodemeister drew off while extending his lead to the wire.“The way he was training the past 10 days, he looked like he had a good race coming,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr., who is the assistant trainer for his father’s stable. “He’s more mature now. We want to make him a winning horse. We’ll take it step by step up the ladder.”Gump, who stumbled at the start, saved ground under Jairo Rendon to finish second, 10 lengths ahead of Postino’s Vow and jockey Paco Lopez. Moretti, a $900,000 yearling purchase who was making his first start since Feb. 2, finished fifth.Delgado mentioned the $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 14 as a possible target for Bodexpress’ next start. Bodexpress had earned a Grade 1 placing at Gulfstream Park March 30 when he finished second in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) behind Maximum Security, who went on to finish first in the Kentucky Derby (G1), only to be controversially disqualified. He finished 3 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Code of Honor, who went on to finish third in the Kentucky Derby before being elevated to second due to the disqualification. Maximum Security went on to win the Haskell (G1) at Monmouth, while Code of Honor went on to win the Dwyer (G2), Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).His strong performance in the Florida Derby earned Bodexpress a berth in the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished 14th of 19 after being taken up in traffic on the turn into the homestretch. The “bad boy” unseated jockey John Velazquez at the start of the Preakness (G1) before going to the sidelines. Bodexpress returned to action at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 14, breaking his maiden with an impressive three-length victory. 

Read Article
11.20.2019:

Almond Eye Headlines World-Class Stars Selected for Hong Kong International Races

Almond Eye is among a stellar line-up of 50 horses selected for the HK$93 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin on Sunday, 8 December. Japan’s superstar filly is just one of the 26 G1 winners set to compete and the headliner among a brilliantly-talented contingent of 24 overseas raiders aiming at this year’s “Turf World Championships”.   The LONGINES HKIR is the sport’s global year-end Group 1 extravaganza and features the HK$28 million LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), the HK$25 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m), the HK$20 million LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) and the HK$20 million LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m). Almond Eye is one of 11 in a powerful cohort from Japan, which also features crack milers Indy Champ, Normcore and Admire Mars, this year’s classic heroine Loves Only You and further star fillies Lucky Lilac and the talented globe-trotter Deirdre, as well as G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) victor Win Bright.  The exciting fields for the four Group 1 features also include big-name Europeans: the six-strong Irish party includes G1 Irish Champion Stakes and G1 Champion Stakes heroine Magical - another outstanding filly on the world stage - who is set to lock horns with Almond Eye in what promises to be an enthralling Hong Kong Cup clash. Magical’s G1-winning stable mates Circus Maximus, Magic Wand and Anthony Van Dyck are also among the event’s selected runners - the last-named is set to become the first winner of the Derby at Epsom to compete at the LONGINES HKIR. G1 Preis von Europa winner Aspetar is one of four challengers from Britain, while France has two high-class selected runners including Edisa, winner of the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational at Belmont Park in New York. Australian representation comes in the form of the speedy mare In Her Time, a two-time G1 winner and third in the recent G1 Darley Sprint Classic (1200m). A strong Hong Kong team is headed by established G1 big guns Beauty Generation and Exultant, and the exhilarating rising star sprinter Aethero. Beauty Generation, Mr Stunning, Exultant and Glorious Forever completed an unprecedented Hong Kong clean-sweep of last year’s races and the quartet is engaged to defend their crowns. Beauty Generation in the Mile and Mr Stunning in the Sprint will attempt to match legendary miler Good Ba Ba’s record of three straight wins at the meeting.  Mr. Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director, Racing, said: “The LONGINES Hong Kong International Races is firmly established among a select handful of the world’s greatest international racing occasions. We are delighted that the quality of the selected runners for this year’s LONGINES Hong Kong International Races is in keeping with our long-held commitment to deliver sporting excellence. “Almond Eye’s participation is particularly exciting when viewed in the context of the other world-class horses selected - champions of the calibre of Beauty Generation and Exultant, other global stars like Magical and the Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, and the list is long and strong. Factor in the potential of rising stars like Aethero, Waikuku and our Derby winner Furore and everything points to a thrilling afternoon of sport on 8 December.”   Hong Kong Cup World superstar Almond Eye heads to Sha Tin with a record of eight wins from 10 starts, with six G1 victories to her name. After winning last year’s Fillies’ Triple Crown in Japan, the four-year-old smashed her rivals in the G1 Dubai Turf at Meydan and ran with merit at a mile when third in the G1 Yasuda Kinen. The daughter of two-time LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint winner Lord Kanaloa returned from a long summer break with an impressive success in the G1 Tenno Sho Autumn (2000m) in October. Compatriot Win Bright is one from one at the course and distance thanks to his G1 FWD QEII Cup win in April.  Among those out to prevent a sixth Japanese win in the race are the Aidan O’Brien-trained top-liner Magical, winner of the Irish and “British” Champion Stakes, and recent G1 Mackinnon Stakes winner Magic Wand. Last year’s winner Glorious Forever is engaged again, as is his full-brother and 2017 victor Time Warp but the biggest home contenders could be the improving G1-placed Rise High and last season’s BMW Hong Kong Derby hero Furore. Hong Kong Mile Good Ba Ba is the only horse in HKIR history to win three times and he achieved the feat in the Hong Kong Mile in consecutive years. Beauty Generation, imperious in making it two wins in a row last year and another star of world racing, will have to bounce back from two recent defeats if he is to make the hat-trick. The world’s top-rated miler will face his latest conqueror, the improving Waikuku, as well as some brilliant overseas raiders.  Japan’s assault has a formidable look to it: Indy Champ defeated Almond Eye when taking the G1 Yasuda Kinen in June and last weekend the colt saw off the highly-regarded Danon Premium to win the second of his country’s two big mile races, the G1 Mile Championship, the same two races the powerhouse champion Maurice won before taking this prize in 2015; two-time G1 winner Admire Mars, the G1-winning filly Normcore and the top-class Persian Knight are also selected for Japan. Ireland’s Circus Maximus represents the best European mile form, having won the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes and G1 Prix du Moulin this year. Hong Kong Sprint Mr Stunning has peaked for the last two editions of this race and will attempt to become the Hong Kong Sprint’s first three-time winner. But he faces the flash new kid on the Hong Kong sprinting block, Aethero, who will attempt to become the first Southern Hemisphere-bred three-year-old to win a G1 at the HKIR: the chestnut, sensational when winning the recent G2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m), has drawn comparisons to past champion Able Friend. The outstanding line-up includes plenty of other top-class contenders too: the talented grey Hot King Prawn is back from a setback and is a G2 winner of untapped potential at this level, while Hong Kong’s champion sprinter Beat The Clock is in, as is D B Pin, runner-up in the past two editions.  Japan’s Danon Smash and Australia’s In Her Time provide the overseas challenge. The former is a three-time G3 winner who has posted smart efforts in Japan’s two G1 sprints this year, placing fourth in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) and third in the Sprinters Stakes (1200m). In Her Time has won the G1 Galaxy and G1 Black Caviar Lightning and was a fine third in the G1 Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) last time. Hong Kong Vase Exultant has proven to be one of the world’s top stayers since winning last year’s Vase, which saw subsequent Cox Plate winner Lys Gracieux in second place and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Waldgeist in fifth. Hong Kong’s champion stayer is set to face another tough line-up with Japan and Europe offering strong contenders.  Anthony Van Dyck is set to become the first Derby (English) winner to contest the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase. The Ballydoyle-trained colt is selected alongside well-regarded stablemate Mount Everest who missed most of this year but returned in the autumn to run a promising sixth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf. The British raiders are Aspetar, winner of the G1 Preis von Europa, Prince Of Arran who has made the frame in the past two renewals of the G1 Melbourne Cup, and the well-regarded G3 winner Young Rascal. Japan has some of its best fillies and mares slated to take on Exultant: Deirdre, runner-up in the Hong Kong Cup last year, has been a marvel on her travels this year and won the G1 Nassau Stakes; Lucky Lilac won the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kyoto last time; G1 Yushun Himba winner Loves Only You met her first defeat in five starts when third that day; Glory Vase is a G2-winning and G1-placed stayer.

Read Article
11.19.2019:

Leading Thoroughbred Racing Organizations Launch Safety Coalition

LEXINGTON (November 19, 2019) – The nation’s leading Thoroughbred racing organizations today announced the creation of an industry-led effort to unify and enhance existing protections and work together to develop new reforms to ensure the safety of the sport’s equine and human athletes.  Partnering together under the name Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, the group seeks to create and implement a series of significant safety, medication, operational and integrity guidelines across Thoroughbred racing to ensure the well-being of horses and jockeys and increase transparency and accountability. The coalition is composed of organizations who have individually led efforts to modernize the sport, and are now using their combined resolve, expertise and resources to advocate for enhanced safety measures throughout Thoroughbred racing. Coalition founding members include Breeders’ Cup Limited, Churchill Downs Inc., Keeneland Association Inc., the New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA), Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and The Stronach Group. Together they represent more than 85% of graded stakes racing in America.  “Thoroughbred racing is steeped in tradition and we want the sport to live on for generations to come, and that is only possible with all of us working together to ensure that the safety and well-being of our athletes is our top priority,” said Drew Fleming, President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Limited. “We are passionate about these animals and this sport, and we are committed to working with our partners to ensure that together we are making sound and responsible decisions on behalf of our athletes, our fans and the racing community,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Many of us have taken concrete action at our own tracks and are individually working with regulators and lawmakers in our states to enhance safety protocols. The Thoroughbred Safety Coalition will help drive these needed reforms across the nation.” “Protecting the health and welfare of our athletes is a complicated question that requires a multi-faceted approach. That’s why we are implementing significant measures across the sport – from the quality of our track surfaces to ensuring horses are fit to run each and every time through medication reforms and enhanced veterinary examinations. There is no single solution and we are committed to finding the right answers, wherever that may lead us,” said Bill Thomason, President and CEO of Keeneland Association Inc.  The coalition will adopt best practices and set stricter guidelines for allowable medications, enact standards for crop use, encourage greater transparency and tracking of veterinarian exam records, and commit to the creation of new positions to implement and enforce these reforms.  A full list of these measures can be found at: www.thoroughbredsafetycoalition.com/reforms.  “The Thoroughbred Safety Coalition presents an opportunity for the sport to adopt a set of best practices with a unified approach to equine safety,” said David O’Rourke, CEO and President of NYRA. “We look forward to advancing these efforts, communicating directly with the public and broadening the coalition in the coming weeks and months.” “California racing has embraced progressive reforms over the last several years and we are pleased to join this group today to help push forward similar reforms in other jurisdictions in the US,” said Josh Rubinstein, President of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. “It is critically important that we work together to create the highest levels of safety, integrity and accountability at our tracks and it is also our responsibility to more proactively help the public understand the extensive steps we take to promote a safer environment for our human and equine athletes.” “The Thoroughbred horse racing industry has reached a watershed moment where unprecedented reforms touching all areas of the sport must continue to be advanced and implemented,” said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, Racing, The Stronach Group. “The Thoroughbred Safety Coalition represents a step toward greater accountability and transparency to put horse and rider safety and care at the forefront.” For all media inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloakfe8b4ee715edd81068067a596deb351f').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addyfe8b4ee715edd81068067a596deb351f = 'info' + '@'; addyfe8b4ee715edd81068067a596deb351f = addyfe8b4ee715edd81068067a596deb351f + 'thoroughbredsafetycoalition' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_textfe8b4ee715edd81068067a596deb351f = 'info' + '@' + 'thoroughbredsafetycoalition' + '.' + 'com';document.getElementById('cloakfe8b4ee715edd81068067a596deb351f').innerHTML += ''+addy_textfe8b4ee715edd81068067a596deb351f+''; . 

Read Article
11.11.2019:

Friday, November 15: Stronach 5 has $91,081 Carryover

LAUREL, MD – There will be a carryover of $91,081.85 in the Stronach 5 on Friday, Nov. 15.There were no winners in Friday’s popular Stronach 5, which has an industry-low 12-percent takeout. The sequence kicked off with Laurel Park’s eighth race and 20-1 longshot Shadow Boxer ($42.20) going wire-to-wire for the victory. In the fourth leg of the Stronach 5, Fruitfully, the 4-5 favorite in the third race at Golden Gate Fields, came up short behind race winner Warrens Lil Margie ($11.20). Gulfstream’s eighth race, the final leg of Friday’s Stronach 5, produced a $41.40 winner in 19-1 shot Alafia.  Friday’s races and sequence Leg One – Laurel Park 8th Race: Shadow Boxer $42.20 Leg Two – Gulfstream Park 7th Race: Morocco $6.60 Leg Three – Laurel Park 9th Race: Zitarrosa $7.80 Leg Four – Golden Gate Fields 3rdRace: Warrens Lil Margie $11.20 Leg Five –Gulfstream Park 8th Race: Alafia $41.40 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.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.

Read Article
11.7.2019:

Sunday, November 10: McWicked Highlights Rosecroft’s $100,000 Potomac Pace

FORT WASHINGTON, MD – The Horse of the Year is coming to Rosecroft. S S G Stable’s McWicked, harness racing’s 2018 Horse of the Year, headlines an all-star group of pacers Sunday evening in the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft.First race post time is 7:15 p.m. for the 13-race program. Rosecroft will offer a $10,000 bonus to any pacer who breaks the track record of 1:47.3,set by Keystone Victory in the 2017 Potomac Pace.In addition, there will be a $5,000 guaranteed pool on the Pick 5, races 7-11.The $100,000 Potomac Pace has become Rosecroft’s signature event. In its first three years, the Potomac has attracted some of the sport’s biggest stars including Split The House, Keystone Velocity Always B Miki, Wakizashi Hanover and All Bets Off. “We’re very excited and really looking forward to Sunday’s $100,000 Potomac Pace,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “Since the inaugural Potomac Pace in 2016, the event has grown and has attracted some of the best pacers in North America. We very appreciative of all the horsemen who have supported this great event.”McWicked joins that list as one of the sport’s top stars. A winner of 40 starts and $4.9 million, McWicked became the oldest pacer to be named Horse of the Year. Trained by Casie Coleman and driven by Brian Sears, McWicked has surpassed $1 million in purses for the third time in his career, joining Foiled Again as the only pacers with three million-dollar seasons. The 8-year-old won the Dan Rooney Invitational and Allerage Farms Open Pace earlier this year. McWicked will leave from post seven.McWicked came up short in his attempt to win a third Breeders Crown Oct. 26 when he finished fourth behind American History in the $655,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace. American History, bred by Brittany Farm, previously won the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial and has earned $437,291 this year. Those facing McWicked and American History in the Potomac include Dorsoduro Hanover, second to American History in the Breeders Crown and winner of last year’s $530,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers.Others entered in the Potomac include Dealt A Winner, fourth in last year’s Potomac, This Is The Plan, who turned in the fastest mile ever on a half-mile track in Canada earlier this year, and Maryland’s Slick Tony, a winner of 14 of 34 starts this season.     

Read Article
11.6.2019:

‘Art G’ All Heart for Start in Saturday’s Millions Classic Preview

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Winning would do the heart good for a trainer who underwent triple-bypass surgery less than three weeks ago.Monarch Stables’ Art G Is Back will be looking to get back to his winning ways in Saturday’s $75,000 Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park West and give trainer Ron Spatz a boost on the road to recovery.Not that Spatz has been training from the sidelines since undergoing the heart procedure.“I’m at work. I’ve been going to work all week. I’ll be there Saturday,” the veteran South Florida trainer said.The 1 1/16-mile Millions Classic Preview for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up, an early prep for the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park Jan. 18, is one of nine stakes worth $675,000 in purses on Saturday’s Sunshine Million Preview card.Art G Is Back, like his trainer, has shown a lot of heart during his career, becoming a multiple-stakes winner while showing high levels of talent and versatility on dirt, slop and turf. The 3-year-old throwback, who has finished in the money in nine of 12 starts, is coming off a subpar showing on turf in the Sept. 21 Bear’s Den Stakes at Gulfstream after winning back-to-back dirt starts in his two prior starts. The son of Exchange Rate finished seventh after lagging far off the pace in the 7 ½-furlong race for 3-year-olds.“I wasn’t happy with his trip. He was 100 miles out of it and got beat five lengths,” Spatz said.Prior to the disappointing effort, Art G Is Back defeated older rivals while prevailing by 13 ¾ lengths in an off-the-turf allowance and scoring gamely in the $100,000 Benny the Bull stakes for Florida-breds.“I think he’s a little better on dirt,” Spatz said. “I think his best distance is seven furlongs or a mile. He has been two turns once at a mile and a sixteenth at Gulfstream when he was younger. He led all the way and got beat in the last two jumps. It wasn’t a bad race. He’s an older horse now. He should be OK with that distance.“We’re going to try this and see if he deserves to go in the Sunshine Millions Classic,” he added. “We’re also experimenting with the [Gulfstream Park West] surface. He’s never been on it. We’ll see.”Art G Is Back, who is a nose and a neck away from being a multiple-stakes winner on turf as well as dirt, will be ridden for the first time Saturday by Edgard Zayas.David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s Mr. Jordan is coming off a pair of uncharacteristic off-the-board finishes at Gulfstream Park but will return to Gulfstream Park West Saturday, when the 7-year-old gelding will seek his fourth straight victory in the Millions Preview Classic.Mr. Jordan has won all five of his starts at Gulfstream Park West, all in stakes races. The gray veteran campaigner has gone winless in seven starts since capturing last year’s Classic Preview by 11 ½ lengths. The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained gelding, who has earned more than $850,000 in purses during his 41-race career, will be ridden by Paco Lopez.Arindel’s Richard the Great, who finished second behind Mr. Jordan in last year’s Classic Preview, came off a 13-month layoff to register a dominating front-running 8 ¾-length victory in a $35,000 claiming race at Gulfstream Park Sept. 12.“He’s a very nice horse, a great horse to be around. He had a little problem with his ankle,” trainer Juan Alvarado said. “The way that he’s training and the way that he came back from almost a year off, he’ll be tough in that race. He’ll be 1-2-3 in that race.”Rajiv Maragh has the mount aboard the 7-year-old stakes-winning son of Distorted Humor.Equine Authority’s Red Crescent, who finished fourth in last year’s Classic Preview, prepped for Saturday’s renewal with a 6 ½-length victory in an Oct. 3 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West. Trainer John Vinson has named Samy Camacho to ride the 5-year-old son of Overdriven.Mar Racing Stable’s Hy Riverside, who finished well behind Red Crescent Oct. 3, brings a resume with multiple stakes victories, including a triumph in the 2017 Sunshine Millions Classic, into Saturday’s Classic Preview. Jeffrey Sanchez has the mount aboard the 7-year-old gelded son of Macho Uno, who captured the Big Red Stakes three starts back.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Vino Rosso Romps in $6 Million Longines Breeders' Cup Classic

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Vino Rosso ($11.20) swept past favored McKinzie in the upper stretch and drew off to a 4 ¼-length victory in the 36th running of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic before a Saturday afternoon crowd of 67,811 at Santa Anita. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Vino Rosso covered the 1 ¼ miles over a fast main track in 2:02.80. It is the first win in the Classic for Pletcher and Ortiz. It is Pletcher’s 11th Breeders’ Cup victory and the ninth for Ortiz, who picked up four victories this weekend. Preakness winner War of Will set the pace with McKinzie in closest pursuit and Vino Rosso in the fourth. Going into the far turn, War of Will dropped off the pace leaving McKinzie in front as they hit the top of the stretch with Vino Rosso sweeping three-wide to quickly blow past McKinzie to the victory as the third choice in the field of 11. McKinzie finished 4 ¼ lengths in front of Higher Power who was another 2 ¼ lengths ahead of the mare Elate. Completing the field in order were Math Wizard, Seeking the Soul, Code of Honor, Yoshida, War of Will and Owendale. Mongolian Groom did not finish. Vino Rosso is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of 2007 Classic winner Curlin out of the Street Cry mare Mythical Bride. The victory was worth $3,300,000 and increased Vino Rosso’s earnings to $4,803,125 with a record of 15-6-1-3 that includes a Grade 1 victory in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita this May.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Bricks and Mortar Edges United to Win $4 Million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s even-money favorite Bricks and Mortar ($4) outdueled 50-1 longshot United by a head to win the 36th running of the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Bricks and Mortar completed the mile and a half on a firm turf course in 2:24.73. The victory was the third of the weekend for Brown and Ortiz and the first in the Longines Turf. It is Brown’s 15th Breeders’ Cup victory and the eighth for Ortiz. Acclimate set the pace with United tracking in third next to the rail and Bricks and Mortar a few lengths further back in mid-pack. Coming into the stretch, United cut the corner while Bricks and Mortar launched a six-wide move. Those two burst clear of the pack at the sixteenth pole with Bricks and Mortar prevailing in the run to the finish line. Bricks and Mortar is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway out of the Ocean Crest mare Beyond the Waves. A winner of seven consecutive starts and all six in 2019 with Ortiz aboard, Bricks and Mortar picked up $2,200,000 for the victory and boosted his earnings to $7,085,650 with a record of 13-11-0-2 with five Grade 1 victories.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Classic Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Classic Race Quotes: Winning trainer Todd Pletcher (Vino Rosso) – “It really wasn’t about the last race (DQ). It was about winning a Classic especially for Mike (Repole) and Vinnie (Viola) and their families.  We just felt like the last five weeks the horse has been training unbelievably well. I’ve been anxious for the race to get here and just nervous about it. It’s been a while since I came into a race of the magnitude with a horse doing this well. Every indication in his works, the way he shipped in, the way he galloped over the track. Everything was there indicating he was sitting on a lifetime best performance. So you always worry, did we ship in at the right time, but every indication was he was sitting on a big one and when it actually happens it’s very rewarding, very fulfilling, very emotional.” “We sensed it early on this year that he was a little more mature, more focused, more into his daily training. I think it’s really a case of him getting time to develop and mature. We always felt he would be a better 4-year-old than 3-year-old. Just happy it turned out to be right.” Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Vino Rosso) – “He was moving in the turn so, so good. He was moving so good at McKinzie. Going into the first turn I had to use him a little bit.  Going onto the backside I said, ‘I’ve got a good chance if McKinzie is going to come back to me at the distance. That worked out good, he came back to me and my horse responded to me the way I expected him to and he won off on his own at the end.” You said that Vino Rosso was improving with every work coming into this race:  “I really liked the way he was working going into the race. He was doing much better in the last race. I had a lot of confidence in him and you saw how he ran.” On his day with three wins: “Special day. I think Bricks and Mortar is definitely the Horse of the Year. I’m so happy.” Winning owner Mike Repole (Vino Rosso) – “This is unbelievable. Indescribable. We’ve won so many graded stakes, but this one feels different. Winning with Uncle Mo (Juvenile) was amazing and I knew it would take a special race to get a feeling even bigger than that. This is the one. This is the pinnacle. “I was confident the whole way, but you always have doubts until you cross the wire. With a half mile to go maybe I thought he was a little too far back, but Irad can walk on water today. He’s done everything right so I just felt really good. This is so special.” Is this vindication after being taken down in the Jockey Club Gold Cup? “I think it’s more that we had unfinished business. I remember saying that that loss will make this win feel 10 times better. And it really did. You have to go through adversity, and that was pretty low, to reach the highest of highs. It’s a great feeling.” Second-place trainer Bob Baffert (McKinzie, favorite) – “He ran his race. Joel rode him well. I told him to make sure he’s in front turning for home, that’s the way he likes it. But, Vino Rosso, after watching his last race I knew he’s been getting better and better and he won here going a  mile and a quarter. He was sitting there just perfect and I knew he was going to have a lot of horse left. When Joel hit McKinzie, and I told him don’t hit McKinzie unless you’re just really out of horse because he doesn’t like it, and when he hit him, that’s when I knew that was it. But, he did a lot of running. I told my wife (Jill) all week that Vino Rosso was the horse to beat. My horse showed up and I was proud of him. McKinzie ran his race. He just got beat. Turning for home I really thought...but Vino was right back there. McKinzie ran his heart out. He showed up.” Second-place jockey Joel Rosario (McKinzie, favorite) – “He ran great. On a couple of occasions we got slightly stopped in the run and had to take back. At the top of the stretch, I thought we might have had enough to get home, but he just got tired toward the end. I let him run a little bit on the backside just to get my spot. That might have cost him a little bit. He ran his heart out, so we can’t be too disappointed. We were just beaten by the best horse on the day.” Third-place trainer John Sadler (Higher Power) – “We were really happy with his race. He wasn’t as good out of the gate as I would have hoped and he got away a little poorly, but I was pleased overall with  his race. He ran a good race. I think with a little better luck he could have been second. But, congrats to the winner today. The winner was the winner. He was very impressive. But, I think I could have been second with a little different trip. But, I was very happy with my horse’s race. I thought he ran really well. He didn’t get the trip but he ran well.” Third-place jockey Flavien Prat (Higher Power) – “He didn’t feel at his sharpest today, but never the less, he ran a good race.” Fourth-place and seventh-place trainer Bill Mott (Elate and Yoshida (JPN) – “Elate got out of position a little bit down the backside. I didn't know if she was fighting the racetrack a little bit. Mike (Smith) said that Yoshida didn't care for it whatsoever. Elate has been great. We've had her four full seasons and she's won races each year at 3, 4, 5. She's been a really great mare. We asked her to do a tough job today and she represented us well, but we couldn't get the job done.”  Fourth-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Elate) – “Elate ran her heart out. I’m very lucky that I was able to ride a filly like her.” The trip:  “She kind of checked, backed up from the dirt on the backside. I had to stay after her, but she kept responding well around the turn and then she made a great move late. I’m just a little sad that it’s the last race for her. It’s been a great run. No complaints.” Fifth-place jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Math Wizard) – “I had a good trip. My horse ran his race. These were tough horses. I think he ran a really good race.” Sixth-place trainer Dallas Stewart (Seeking the Soul) – “He ran great, but he just got outrun. No excuse.” Sixth-place jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Seeking the Soul) – “We had a good trip.  Hè was in a good position and I thought we were at least going to get a piece of it, but hè just didn’t fire.”  Seventh-place jockey John Velazquez (Code of Honor) – “He didn’t run his race today.  At the half mile pole I jiggled the reins at him and he just wasn’t interested.  I don’t know if he cared for the track or not.” Eighth-place jockey Mike Smith (Yoshida (JPN)) – “He didn’t handle the kickback in his face and being back there. He just didn’t handle it at all.” Ninth-place jockey Tyler Gaffalione (War of Will) – “(Trainer) Mark (Casse) and I discussed it before the race and with the addition of blinkers we weren’t going to fight him today. We were just going to let him run his race. He got a little tired. They jumped on us pretty quick. He put up a good effort.” Tenth-place jockey Javier Castellano (Owendale) – “I saved all the ground, but he just didn’t handle the track. He didn’t appreciate all the kickback.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Sprint Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Sprint Race Quotes: Winning trainer Steve Asmussen (Mitole) – “I think that he is so easy to be around, nothing but class and the ability he has is just tremendous. I don’t know that people realize from where he was in the spring to stretching out to beating the field that he did in the Met Mile, to retract from that and beat the best sprinters in the world and run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint as opposed to the Mile, that’s twice as much money on his way out. But, it’s a very difficult job, one that a horse of his elite abilities is capable of doing.” “When he broke well, I loved it. And, Ricardo (Santana Jr.) knows the horse and the confidence he has in him. We talked about just doing whatever was right for Mitole. We have no control over who does anything or where they do it, just be sure you’re happy with him and he’s happy with you and the rest will take care of itself.” Winning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Mitole) – “I had a lot of confidence in my horse. He’s a horse I’ve been riding since he was 2 ears old. I changed my mind today. A lot of people thought he’d go to the lead. I took him back and made one move and got to the wire first.” Second-place trainer Jorge Navarro (Shancelot, beaten favorite) – “No complaints. Look at the horse who beat us. He’s the top sprinter in the nation, probably the world. To be second to him, guess what I have for next year, and by himself. It was fine. We’re good. I’m very proud of him. I feel like a winner. Look who he was running against. He’s had an amazing year for us and he’ll be by himself next year so we’re happy about that. This race was a big one for him. We’re going to do what’s best for the horse and there’s next year for him. I’m very proud of him.” Second-place jockey Jose Ortiz (Shancelot, beaten favorite) – “He broke well and got to the lead pretty easily.  The fractions weren’t too fast.  When we turned for home he was still going strong and I thought we had a good chance to win, but we just got caught near the wire.  This is a very nice horse.” Third-place trainer Ron Moquett (Whitmore) – “He tries hard. He’s a good horse. That’s the reason everyone loves him is he tries.” Third-place jockey Flavien Prat (Whitmore) – “He ran a great race. He got a good trip and he made a nice move around the turn. He got beat by two really good horses. He fought to hold on and run third.” Fifth-place trainer Jason Servis (Frienze Fire) – “He just ran a 106 and sometimes he doesn’t pair those big efforts. He was close. Irad (Ortiz Jr.) thought he maybe messed it up being too close to the speed, but you can’t ride like that. You just have to sit and make your run and whatever it is it is. They went 21 and three and my horse closed into that. When I saw that, I thought, well, he’s not going to punch. It’s all good. He ran a good race.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Mitole Wins 2019 Breeders' Cup Sprint

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s Mitole ($5.60) roared past favored Shancelot at the sixteenth pole and went on to a 1 1/4-length victory in the 36th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint for 3-year-olds and up at Santa Anita on Saturday afternoon. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Mitole covered the 6 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:09. For Santana, it is his first Breeders’ Cup victory and the seventh for Asmussen, first in the Sprint. Shancelot grabbed the lead shortly after the start and quickly opened a daylight advantage as Santana kept Mitole in the clear in fourth place in the field of eight. At the head of the stretch, Shancelot was still in control as Matera Sky and Firenze Fire began to fall back with Mitole coming four wide. Mitole drew even at the sixteenth pole and then pulled away. Mitole is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Eskendereya out of the Indian Charlie mare Indian Miss. The victory was worth $1,100,000 and increased Mitole’s earnings to $3,104,910 with a record of 14-10-2-2. It is the fourth Grade 1 victory of 2019 for Mitole.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Race Quotes: Winning trainer Joseph O’Brien (Iridessa (IRE)) – “That was fantastic. Wayne (Lordan) gave her a great ride and got into a really nice position early on. I’ve got a great team back home that work for me. This is unbelievable.” Winning jockey Wayne Lordan (Iridessa (IRE)) – “Unbelievable feeling. She was so tough to dig deep and hold on. It was some performance.” Mark Madgwick, representative of winning owner Mrs. C.C. Regalado-Gonzalez (Iridessa) – “That’s as good as it gets. Unfortunately the owners couldn’t make it, but I’m sure they will be over the moon. She will stay in training next year.” Second-place trainer Dan Ward (Vasilika) – “What a fantastic race. He (Flavien Prat) rode her perfect. He had her relaxed the whole way. They weren’t gaining ground on the turf so he felt like he had to be out closer (than where she usually is farther off the pace) and just put her where she was comfortable and she did not give up. She’s done everything we’ve asked from her since the day we got her (as a claim). She’s a super horse.” Vasilika is scheduled to be in the sale next week: “Hopefully, we don’t sell her. I don’t want to lose her. You know that.” Second-place jockey Flavien Prat (Vasilika) – “We had a good trip. She ran a great race. No excuses. It’s always disappointing to get beat by a neck, but she ran her race.” Third-place trainer Chad Brown (favorite Sistercharlie (IRE)) – “Johnny (Velazquez) said it might have been a little too firm for her. They weren’t really coming back today. But, not a bad trip. I loved her spot on the first turn. She ran a great race. I think the two horses who finished ahead of her ran outstanding. I don’t have any major excuses other than it seems like it’s a pretty firm turf and if you’re not in the mix turning for home it’s going to be hard to win on it. This was her first time running here and this might not be her course. Not taking anything away from the top two runners. They were really finishing through the wire.” Third-place owner Peter Brant (favorite Sistercharlie (IRE)) – “They just didn’t come back. She tried real hard. A good horse won and she was just a little too far back. But she ran really well. I’ll see how she comes back and we’ll see what we’ll do. She’s very special. We might try and keep her in training, we’ll see.” Third-place jockey John Velazquez (favorite Sistercharlie (IRE)) – “It was hard for her. The fast pace that they put in front of her, it’s hard for a horse to come back the way she is, with her style of running. She still ran well, but it wasn’t her.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Iridessa Nips Vasilika to Win Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Mrs. C.C. Regalado-Gonzalez’s Iridessa ($28.40) held off Vasilika by a neck after a duel in deep stretch to win the 21st running of the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita. Trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by Wayne Lordan, Iridessa covered the mile and a quarter on a firm turf course in 1:57.77. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for O’Brien and Lordan. Longshot Mirth raced off to an uncontested lead with Vasilika tracking in second and Iridessa just behind her. On the turn, Iridessa and Vasilika moved as a team and at the sixteenth pole stormed past Mirth with Iridessa moving fastest only to have Vasilika fight back along the rail and just miss at the wire. Defending champion and heavily favored Sistercharlie finished another 2 ¼ lengths back in third. Iridessa is a 3-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Ruler of the World (IRE) out of the Danehill mare Senta’s Dream (GB). The victory, her fourth Grade or Group 1 triumph, was worth $1,100,000 and increased Iridessa’s earnings to $1,988,198.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Race Quotes: Winning trainer Brad Cox (Covfefe) – “She’s a champion, hopefully. I feel like championship honors were on the line for champion filly and mare sprinter. I hope she locked that up. Two Grade 1s; two very prestigious races. She overcame a lot today too. I know this race hasn’t been around a long, long time but I think eight Test winners maybe have tried this and not been able to break through. One, two and three were all holes horses hadn’t performed well from, 3 year olds hadn’t performed well in the race. The list went on of all these things which hadn’t been done. But I didn’t waiver. I thought there was no shot of her not running her race. I knew she was going to run her race. You just stay optimistic and know your horse is doing well and the rest will take care of itself.” Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Covfefe) – “Coming out of the one hole, there were a couple horse that showed more speed out of there. I was able to work my way out and get her in the clear. After that, she did all the work.” Second-place trainer Simon Callaghan (Bellafina) – “I think Flavien didn't make the right move at a vital point. I think if he goes outside (instead of inside on the backstretch), I think she wins. She ran great. It’s disappointing.” Second-place jockey Flavian Prat (Bellafina) – “The filly broke just OK and I got squeezed out of the break. I decided to drop in. From there she was traveling well. She made a good move, I thought, turning for home. I thought I was going to catch him, but as soon as the winner saw me she re-engaged.” Third-place assistant trainer Roger Horgan (Dawn the Destroyer) – “She ran fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Those are two fabulous fillies who ran one-two. She was the best of the rest. We’re proud of her.” Third-place jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Dawn the Destroyer) – “It was a great effort by the filly today. She settled nicely. She put in a good run. The speed just got away from her.” Sixth-place jockey Javier Castellano (Second choice Come Dancing) – “I don’t think she liked this track surface.  I was in the perfect spot behind the leaders, and they were going fast.  It was just like I handicapped it.  But at the three-eighths pole when I asked her, there was nothing.  She never got into the bridle.  She is such a consistent filly, this just wasn’t her.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Covfefe Wins Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – LNJ Foxwoods’ Covfefe ($5) surged to the lead at the top of the stretch and held off a bid from Bellafina by three-quarters of a length to win the 13th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the first of nine World Championship races Saturday at Santa Anita. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Joel Rosario, Covfefe covered the 7 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.40. The victory was the second of the weekend for Cox who saddled British Idiom to victory in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. For Rosario, it is his 10th Breeders’ Cup victory and second in the Filly & Mare Sprint having won previously in 2015 on Wavell Avenue. Longshots Danuska’s My Girl and Heavenhasmynikki dueled for the early lead with Covfefe rating in third. Turning for home, Covfefe moved three wide to the front, shook off a challenge from Spiced Perfection and then had enough to hold off Bellafina. The victory was worth $550,000 and improved Covfefe’s earnings to $1,110,025 with a record of 8-6-0-1 that includes two Grade 1 victories. Covfefe is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Unbridled mare Antics.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint Race Quotes: Winning and second-place trainer Peter Miller (Belvoir Bay (GB) and Om) – “I was looking at Stormy, Om and Belvoir Bay and all three broke sharp, so that was key. I wanted them all to break sharp and they did. All three jockeys followed instructions to perfection. She’s just a tough filly. She’s just so tough. I was telling everyone all week that she ran second to Blue Point and Blue Point would be even money in this race. She got no respect. I don’t know what they were thinking, but Mr. Barber had confidence and he bet with both hands.  Om ran awesome. Stormy Liberal is not quite the horse he was the last two years, but he was right there. He ran his butt off. And then Om, I can’t say enough about how great he ran. To get his head down for second and run one-two in this race again after doing it two years ago is just phenomenal. I felt good at the eighth pole. I felt real good at the wire." Winning jockey Javier Castellano (Belvoir Bay (GB)) – “This horse just rocketed out of the gate, and the break is so important in these races.  She relaxed for me around the turn and it gave me confidence that we were going to win.  Peter told me the horse was training great and he had confidence in me.  I’m very lucky and happy to be part of this horse.” Second-place jockey Manny Franco (Om) – “I had a great trip. My horse broke clean. I was able to stalk the speed. I was in a good spot. The horse ran huge. I’m very happy with the way he ran.” Third-place trainer Jason Servis (Shekky Shebaz) – “Thrilled to death. I mean, he had never run against horses this good. But he tried, he ran hard. No excuses. But he ran a good race.” Third-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Shekky Shebaz) – “He didn’t break that good so I kind of had to take a hold, which isn’t his style. He still ran good. He fought for second.” Fifth-place jockey Paco Lopez (Beaten favorite Pure Sensation) – “He missed the break, so I had to use him just to get position.  He likes to be closer to the lead and this left us too much to do.  I think that cost us the race.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Belvoir Bay Beats The Boys In Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Gary Barber’s Belvoir Bay ($31.60), the only mare in the field of 12, grabbed the lead out of the gate and never trailed in winning the 12th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds and up by 1 ¼ lengths over Om Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita. Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Javier Castellano, Belvoir Bay covered the 5 furlongs on a firm turf course in :54.83, a course record. Miller, who also saddled Om to complete the exacta, won the race for the third consecutive year as Stormy Liberal had prevailed at Del Mar in 2017 and Churchill Downs in 2018. It is Miller’s fifth Breeders’ Cup victory and the 12th for Castellano and first in the Turf Sprint. Stormy Liberal finished eighth in this year’s renewal. Belvoir Bay is a 6-year-old British-bred daughter of Equiano (FR) out of the Rock of Gibraltar mare Path of Peace. The victory was worth $550,000 and increased her earnings to $1,699,787 with a record of 28-12-6-2.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Mile Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Mile Race Quotes: Winning and third-place trainer Chad Brown (Uni and Without Parole) – She broke right with the first pack and then they ran away from her. Joel did exactly what we planned, which was to break as well as you can and let her find herself in the first turn. Luckily Without Parole moved to the rail for us and we were in the two path and sort of raced as a team down the backside. I just loved where my spot was. Yes, the Turf seems to be very firm, but when they threw that fraction up, I absolutely loved where we were. Joel fits her so well. Hats off to him. Obviously, he’s a world class jockey and has won a lot of races, but the relationship between him and this horse is about as strong as you can get. The first time he saw her and breezed her we saw this little pint sized keg of dynamite and I didn’t think she would run a mile and a quarter but that’s what they wanted to do (in her first start in the U.S. in the Belmont Oaks) so well did it and surprisingly she ran well at Belmont, but it was always in my mind to cut her back. Last year after she won the Matriarch she was really stiff after the race so we just gave her the time. The partners were great. She laid down one of the fastest final quarters I’ve ever seen on a flat trip and she paid the price for it. She was just body sore. So we gave her plenty of time. The partners were great about that, so we waited until she was 100 percent and eased her back to training and got her sound and it all worked out. That was the plan. “Without Parole ran great. I thought he ran terrific. So proud of him. Then again he came to us in outstanding condition and I think he’ll improve. If I had a little more time and another piece of work or two and who knows what would have happened today. He could have been a little closer. I think he’s going to stretch out this horse. I really do. I spoke to John Gosden whom I have enormous respect for and he thought he would stretch out as well. I was really pleased with the condition I got this horse. It’s no surprise because it’s John Gosden. He takes great care of his horses.” Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Uni) – “We had a perfect trip. The speed got away from me a little on the backstretch, but she was comfortable and in a good spot so I just sat still with her.  I asked her at the three-eighths pole and she gave me a strong run.  That’s when I knew we would win. But when we got alongside of her (Got Stormy), she fought back a little. For a minute I thought oh-oh, because she’s a very nice filly who beat us this summer. But, my filly still had more left and we pulled cleared her in the last sixteenth.” Second-place trainer Mark Casse (Got Stormy, beaten favorite) – “You know, things didn’t go as planned in the first turn but I thought Tyler (Gaffalione) did a great job. I thought we might be on the lead or sitting right off of it but it looks like a few others had that idea. So he had to choose to sit back which, is her best race. (Tyler) said he could hear Uni coming and he shot a little early, but she just beat us. I’m proud of her. She’s turned out to be a hell of a filly.” “I don’t have any excuse for her, but she doesn’t need any excuse. She ran her butt off. She’s a hell of a horse and we’ll see what happens. (Owner) Gary (Barber) has her in the sale (Fasig-Tipton November), but she’ll make a great 5-year-old.”  Second-place jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Got Stormy, beaten favorite) – “It was a perfect trip. We were a little worried about the pace scenario after the scratches, but a couple horses jumped out in front of me and I was able to get her into a nice rhythm on the backside. She was there for me today. We just got outrun. She was second best.” Third-place jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Without Parole) – “I got a perfect trip. I can’t complain. Saved all the ground then tipped him out. No excuses. Probably a little short for him.” Fourth-place trainer Aiden O’Brien (Circus Maximus (Ire)) – “We lost a bit of ground at the start and I think at the end he was feeling the effects of the long season. He’ll be a really nice horse next year.” Fourth-place jockey Ryan Moore (Circus Maximus (Ire)) – “He ran OK. Things just didn’t work out early in the race.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Uni Rolls to Victory in Breeders' Cup Mile

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Head of Plains Partners, Michael Dubb, Robert LaPenta and Bethlehem Stables’ Uni ($9.20) roared past Got Stormy, the only other distaffer in the race, to score a 1 1/2-length victory in the 36th running of the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile for 3-year-olds and up at Santa Anita on Saturday afternoon. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Joel Rosario, Uni covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:32.45. For Rosario it is his second victory in the Championships this weekend and second in the Mile having won previously on Tourist in 2016. It is Brown’s 14th Breeders’ Cup victory and second of the weekend. Hey Gamon and El Tormenta led the field of 14 through the early going with Got Stormy in mid-pack and Uni a bit further back. Coming off the final turn, Got Stormy launched a four-wide move to the front only to be quickly joined by Uni who was moving five-wide. The two ran as a team to inside the sixteenth pole where Uni pulled away. Uni is 5-year-old British-bred daughter of More Than Ready out of the Dansili mare Unaided (GB). The victory was worth $1,100,000 and increased Uni’s earnings to $2,347,880 with a record of 18-10-3-3.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Race Quotes: Winning Trainer Peter Eurton (Storm the Court) – “It’s just so special to do this for this for Exline-Border, they’ve been so supportive through the years. They had a bit of a Champagne Room minute, so they had a taste of it here. (Bloodstock Agent) Marette Farrell just does such an awesome job buying horses. It just means a lot: my family, my daughter, my wife, my home...  “In the American Pharoah I still feel like he didn’t have a chance to run. I still felt a little uneasy about what happened in the prior race down south (losing the jockey at the start of the Del Mar Futurity), so we decided to put the blinkers on him on Flavien's (Prat) recommendation. It just seemed like it got him a little more focused and he probably would have been able to do it without them – but it did help out a lot. It's a lot of team work.” Winning Jockey Flavien Prat (Storm the Court) – “I got to ride him the entire race today.  I wanted to be on the lead today.  He relaxed for me nicely.  I think the blinkers helped him a lot.  He really battled all through the stretch.  I always thought he was going to win.” Second-Place Jockey Juan Hernandez (Anneau d’Or) – “At the three-eighths pole it wasn’t him, but when I started working him, he started running again. At the eighth pole, I thought he might win but the horse came back again and got me.” Third-Place Trainer Peter Miller (Wrecking Crew) – “It's been a great day. I think if we could have stayed inside it could have been a different story. We had to go wide and that cost us some momentum and ground (while) waiting. The horse ran super. That's horseracing. Great ride by Paco (Lopez). And, he had two months off, so he was short. We’ll definitely look at Los Al (-amitos Futurity). He showed the last sixteenth of a mile when he didn't kick that he was short, but the horse ran big.” Third-Place Jockey Paco Lopez (Wrecking Crew) – “At the 3/8-pole there were too many horses in front of him. I decided to go outside to go around everybody. I thought they might stop but they never stopped. My horse ran good today. He got a little tired, but he ran great.” Sixth-Place Trainer Bob Baffert (Eight Rings) – “He was in a good spot the whole way and Johnny (Velazquez) said at when they came to the three-eighths pole he took a deep breath and then he just didn’t go when  Johnny asked him.  He didn’t show up. That’s not like him. I thought he was training really well but for some reason he just didn’t show up today. He was perfect, he broke beautifully, he was right there. You’ve got to give credit to the winner. He just kept on going; they were going pretty quick on this deep track. When they turned for home my horse was completely out of it. “I always blame myself. Maybe I missed something but I thought he was ready. Everything was going great until the real race started. He didn’t show up. The winner ran a great race.” Sixth-Place Jockey John Velazquez (Eight Rings) – “Perfect position. I was just where I wanted to be. Sat well. Got to that second turn and I didn’t have anything.” Jason Loutsch, racing manager Albaugh Family Stables (Beaten Favorite Dennis’ Moment, eighth) – (On the stumble at the break) “It was over. We had no chance from the start. (Trainer) Dale (Romans) just about took off out of box when it started. We talk all the time about highs and lows of the game. I can tell you this is about as low as I’ve ever been in a horse race. But, we have a lot of confidence in this horse and I have no doubt he’ll bounce back. I don’t even know how Irad (Ortiz Jr.) stayed on to be honest. He went straight down all the way. It was unfortunate circumstances, but hopefully he came back good and we’ll live to fight another day. “That’s all that matters right now (is that he’s ok). We know we have a horse who can do anything. He had no chance. That’s the bottom line.” Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Beaten Favorite Dennis’ Moment, eighth) – “Out of the gate, I said to myself ‘Oh man.’ You don’t see too many horses like that stumble that badly out of the gate and come back to win the race. I asked him for run early, he gave it to me and put a good effort into the turn but then at the quarter pole he slowed down.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Storm the Court Pulls 45-1 Shocker in Breeders' Cup Juvenile

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2019) – Exline-Border Racing, David Bernsen, Susanna Wilson and Dan Hudock’s Storm the Court ($93.80) fought off a stretch-long bid from Anneau d’Or to post a neck victory in the 36th running of the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to highlight Future Stars Friday on the opening day of the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita before a crowd of 41,243. Trained by Peter Eurton and ridden by Flavien Prat, Storm the Court covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:44.93. The complexion of the race changed at the break as odds-on favorite Dennis’ Moment stumbled leaving the gate and trailed the field of eight as Storm the Court took the lead with Eight Rings and Anneau d’Or in closest pursuit. Storm the Court maintained a narrow advantage, but at the head of the lane Anneau d’Or ranged up alongside the leader and the battle was on. Storm the Court never let Anneau d’Or by and gutted out the neck victory. It was 3 ¼ lengths back to Wrecking Crew who finished another 4 ½ lengths in front of Scabbard. Full Flat, Eight Rings, Shoplifted and Dennis’ Moment completed the field in order. The victory was worth $1,100,000 and increased Storm the Court’s earnings to $1,172,951 with a record of 4-2-0-1. Storm the Court is a Kentucky-bred son of Court Vision out of the Tejano Run mare My Tejana Storm.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Race Quotes: Winning Trainer Wesley Ward (Four Wheel Drive) – “We got it. It’s great for the owners, fantastic for Coolmore, fantastic for everyone that put a lot of money behind American Pharoah. There is a lot riding on him as far as how his progeny will turn out. For this horse to turn out to be a Breeders’ Cup winner is sensational. He (Four Wheel Drive) is a real cool dude. He takes it all in. He popped right out like a real professional horse will and he kind of settled. When (Ortiz) called upon him, away he went.” Winning Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Four Wheel Drive) – “I got a good trip. He broke good and put me on the lead. He was relaxed and turning for home when I asked him, he responded. He ran really well. He’s a nice horse” Second-Place Trainer Mike Maker (Chimney Rock) – “He ran great. No complaints. We’ll get through today and figure it out tomorrow. I don’t think five furlongs is his best distance, so we have been trying to keep him a little sharper and close to the pace and that worked out.” Second-Place Jockey Jose Ortiz (Chimney Rock) – “He broke alertly, rated behind the leader and responded when I asked him.  I wasn’t sure if we were going to catch the winner, but he was really trying.  Good race.  They are both are really nice horses.” Third-Place Trainer Gary Contessa (Another Miracle) – “He’s smaller in stature and he really got beat up going down the backside. He was like a ping pong ball, just in the wrong place with three or four horses inside of him and three outside of him, and you see him beat up. Then to overcome that and come running and finish third, I thought he ran a heck of a race. I’m very proud of him today. “He goes back to New York Sunday morning and then probably on to Florida. I doubt he’s going to run again this year.” Third-Place Jockey Manuel Franco (Another Miracle) – “I had a very good trip. At the beginning, the two horse (Band Practice) was trying to get to the same hole I was and he kind of pushed me out a little bit. Then, I was able to do whatever I wanted after that. I couldn’t ask for a better trip. He ran great. He tried so hard today. He was there for me the whole way. He did his best.” Fifth-Place Trainer Thomas Dascombe (Dr. Simpson (FR)) – “She’s run an absolute stormer. She half missed the break, so she had to use a lot gas to get up there. She ran her heart out, probably a career best. She’s in the sales, so I’ll to speak tp her owner and decide what the best way forward is.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Four Wheel Drive Motors to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Victory

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2019) – Breeze Easy’s Four Wheel Drive ($5) was fastest out of the gate and led all the way to turn back Chimney Rock by three-quarters of a length to win the second running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Friday afternoon to kick off the 36th edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park. Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Four Wheel Drive covered the 5 furlongs on a firm turf course in :55.66. It is the third Breeders’ Cup victory for Ward and sixth for Ortiz. Four Wheel Drive, who did not make his debut until Aug. 31 in a stakes race at Colonial Downs, quickly opened a daylight advantage and maintained a safe advantage over Chimney Rock from start to finish. Now undefeated in three starts, Four Wheel Drive is a Kentucky-bred son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the More Than Ready mare Funfair. The victory was worth $550,000 and increased Four Wheel Drive’s earnings to $692,500.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Race Quotes: Winning Trainer Chad Brown (Structor) – “He’s just improving so much every week, this horse. We’ve always thought a lot of him and he’s come in here and been improving week to week. His last race was very impressive to me. We thought he was sitting on another good race. Irad (Ortiz) opted for the other horse and that’s how it goes. Jose was obviously a very capable replacement having been one of the leading jockeys now for the last couple years. We had a lot of confidence in him and I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. Yes, he had a great post but he made all the right calls. He just rode an outstanding race and the horse ran an outstanding race. My staff did a great job bringing this horse along. I’m going to try this horse on dirt at some point. He trains very well on it. He deserves it and he’s got the right running style to potentially run on both surfaces.”  Winning Jockey Jose Ortiz (Structor) – “He broke alertly and I was able to save ground all the way around.  I wanted to ask him to run sooner, but I had nowhere to go at the three-eighths pole.  Once we got into the clear, he really finished strong.  He’s a very nice horse.” Second-Place Trainer Peter Miller (Billy Batts) – “He ran huge. I knew he was coming into this race doing great and the key today was (Paco Lopez) got him to relax. He wasn’t fighting the jock. I knew he could get the trip. Coming into the lane, I was screaming to myself “he’s got horse!” and he only gave it up in the last 10 or 20 yards. He kicked and (Structor) just ran him down. He ran awesome.” “ Second-Place Jockey Paco Lopez (Billy Batts) – “At the eighth pole I thought I had it, but the other horse came flying on the outside and caught me. My horse ran a good race against the best horses in the world.” Third-Place Trainer Rusty Arnold (Gear Jockey) – “I thought he ran well. I haven’t seen a replay yet, but I thought he got into some traffic and had a little bit of issues, but he fought, and fought his way through. I thought it was a good race. There was a lot of traffic. I only saw the race with my naked eye so I haven’t seen a lot yet, but Tyler (Gaffalione) said he just got a little tired.” Third-Place Jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Gear Jockey) – “It was a good trip. I sat fifth, about in the two path most of the way, two or three lengths off the lead. I just sat there until we straightened away, picked a spot and he came home for me. I thought it was a huge race. He’s still a maiden, but he keeps stepping up big time and improving. Hopefully he will take the next step forward and we’ll be good in the future.” Fifth-Place Trainer Aiden O’Brien (Beaten Favorite Arizona (IRE)) – “With him getting a bit slowly away, Ryan (Moore) had to accept the position in which he found himself. I don’t think it was a fast pace, which also didn’t help him, but we’re not too disappointed. He’s going to be a lovely 3-year-old and I’d imagine he’ll go straight to the Guineas now.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Structor Takes Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2019) – Jeff Drown and Don Rachel’s Structor ($12.60) split horses in deep stretch and collared Billy Batts late to win by a three-quarters of a length in the 13th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America at Santa Anita Friday afternoon. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Structor covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:35.11. The victory for Brown is the 13th in the World Championships but first in the Juvenile Turf. For Ortiz, it is his third Breeders’ Cup victory and second in the Juvenile Turf to go with a triumph by Oscar Performance in 2016. Ortiz gave Structor a ground-saving trip in the run down the backstretch as Graceful Kitten set the pace with Billy Batts in closest pursuit. At the head of the stretch, Ortiz swung Structor off the rail and rallied four-wide to surge past Billy Batts for the victory. The victory was worth $550,000 and improved Structor’s earnings to $709,500 with three victories in as many starts. Structor is a Kentucky-bred son of Palace Malice out of the More Than Ready mare Miss Always Ready.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Race Quotes: Winning Trainer Brad Cox (British Idiom) – “She’s a really good filly and this was a great race. We were fortunate to come out on top, Javier (Castellano) did a great job. I’m not so sure she liked the racetrack. It looked like she was struggling a bit to me down the backside. She’s a tough horse, she’s 3 for 3. I liked where we were. But I thought Javier was kind of knuckling down on her as opposed to Keeneland (in the Aclibiades) when she was kind of taking him there a little bit easier. She was fit. She was ready to go today. She’s been touting us the last few weeks and I’m very proud of her.” Winning Jockey Javier Castellano (British Idiom) – “It was pretty rough in the first turn. We bounced around a little bit. That was not the idea. The idea was a clear trip and stalking a little bit early. Unfortunately, that’s the way it developed in the first turn. I took it from there and was very patient and confident because I had the best horse in the race. That’s what she proved in the last part of the running. She kept running in a nice way and she finished really well.” Second-Place Trainer Simon Callaghan (Beaten Favorite Donna Veloce) – “She ran terrific. You can’t ask for much more. She didn’t win, but she ran a courageous race and that’s all you can ask. The race unfolded the way it did. I think Flavien (Prat) did the right thing and went outside of them and she ran great.”   Third-Place Trainer Bob Baffert (Bast) – “When I saw the pace, I knew that it would be tough. I’m so proud of her. She ran her heart out to stick around. The time of 1:47 is way too slow. I’m so proud of her. She could have easily won it off the pace but I told Johnny (Velazquez) to just get her out there and put her in the race and he did. Unfortunately, we went too fast. But that’s horse racing. She’s got a big heart. She did not want to quit. She did not want to quit. She went five lengths too fast early. Otherwise I really think she would have been right there. She showed a lot of guts. She gutted it out to hang on in there. The quality is there. It was good race. These are good fillies” Third-Place Jockey John Velazquez (Bast) – “I ended up in a speed duel I didn’t want to be in, but I didn’t want to take away what she was doing easy. We went a little bit too fast early and she got a little tired down the lane.” Fourth-Place Trainer Mark Casse (Perfect Alibi) – “She ran good. She tried. She was running.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

British Idiom Outduels Donna Veloce to Win Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2019) – Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ British Idiom ($7.40) inched away late to defeat favored Donna Veloce by a neck to win the 36th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Friday afternoon at Santa Anita. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Javier Castellano, British Idiom covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:47.07. It is the second Breeders’ Cup victory for Cox, first in this race, and 11th for Castellano who also won the Juvenile Fillies in 2013 with Ria Antonia. British Idiom raced in fifth in the early going as Two Sixty, Bast and Wicked Whisper dueled for early supremacy. On the far turn, Donna Veloce moved four-wide and blew past the leaders at the head of the stretch with British Idiom right behind her. The two favorites hooked up at mid-stretch with British Idiom pushing ahead at the sixteenth pole and then repulsing another bid from Donna Veloce before pulling clear. The victory was worth $1,100,000 and increased British Idiom’s earnings to $1,381,250 with a spotless three-for-three record. British Idiom is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Flashback out of the Mr. Sekiguchi mare Rose and Shine.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Race Quotes: Winning Trainer Graham Motion (Sharing) – “It’s amazing. Her mother (Shared Account) was really the most special filly I’ve trained. I mean I’ve had some really nice fillies but she was very special. It’s so hard to win these races. Just to get here, it’s really surreal to be honest.” Winning Jockey Manny Franco (Sharing) – “She broke so nice out of the gate and got the position behind the speed I wanted. Down the backside, she settled pretty nicely. By the three-eighths pole, I waited for the right moment to make my move and she was there for me.” Second-Place Trainer Roger Varian (Daahyeh) – “She ran an absolutely fabulous race. They didn’t go a great pace. If they had gone faster, we would have been able to attack them. The winner got first run on us, which eventually won them the race. Our filly was learning to bend as well as trying to quicken. Unfortunately, she hasn’t quite got there. Finishing second is always a funny feeling. Obviously, we’re very disappointed, but at the same time, immensely proud.” Second-Place Jockey William Buick (Daahyeh) – “She ran fantastic. It’s a shame we finished runner-up. She’s very tough and a very good filly.” Third-Place Trainer Todd Pletcher (Sweet Melania) – “I thought she ran well. Jose (Ortiz) had to use her a little bit to get to the position he wanted. She was a little bit wide in the first turn, but they were able to back down the fractions pretty well in the second quarter. We waited, she responded, but we couldn’t quite fend off two really good fillies there in the end. It was a quality race where they went several ticks faster than the colts. “I was proud of her effort. I was a little concerned about coming back in 23 days, but she seemed like she did everything right. She did well.  “She’s a nice filly and we’re very proud of her. We”ll take her to Florida and freshen her up. She had a solid campaign this year.” Third-Place Jockey Jose Ortiz (Sweet Melania) – “No excuse. Very nice trip. It was a little fast early, but we had to take our position early.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Sharing Adds to Family Legacy in Winning Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2019) – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Stable’s Sharing ($29.60) swept to the lead in the upper stretch and then turned back a bid from favored Daahyeh by 1 ¼ lengths to win the 12th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday afternoon at Santa Anita. Trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Manny Franco, Sharing covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:34.59. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Franco and fourth for Motion, one of which was Sharing’s dam, Shared Account, in the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf. Abscond set the pace while being closely tracked by Sweet Melania as Sharing raced in the fifth spot with a ground-saving trip, Straightening into the homestretch, Sweet Melania pushed to the front but was soon joined and passed by Sharing who quickly opened a daylight margin and had more than enough to hold off Daahyeh. The victory was worth $550,000 and increased the Maryland-bred daughter of Speightstown’s earnings to $730,300 with a record of 4-3-0-1.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Turf Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Turf Race Quotes: Winning trainer Chad Brown (Bricks and Mortar) – “This horse is remarkable. This is the biggest win of my career, and the biggest for my team, for sure. He has a lot of guts. What an awesome horse. We’re so, so fortunate he’s in our barn. “I have to thank Mike Ryan, my partner, for finding the horses and picking them out. We do this together. Without Mike, we would have never bought this horse. “It takes a remarkable team of really talented men and women to hold a horse together like this (remain undefeated with five Grade 1 wins). I can’t say enough about the individuals who worked with this horse throughout this campaign. Without them we wouldn’t be here. “We just went race to race and when we got through each one it was, ‘OK, what are we going to do next? There were a lot of things to decide. A mile and a half, do we run him after the Arlington Million, can I get this horse ready after 13 weeks? I just reached down and talked to Bobby (Frankel). I have to thank him, too. We found the knowledge. I wouldn’t be here right now without Bobby Frankel. He launched me and to get to a training fest like this, you have to go into his textbook and pull out bits and pieces that maybe he used in the past. It certainly helped me today. Any doubts the horse would win: “ I wasn’t sure until he hit the wire. He needed every inch of the mile and a half. I was worried when he was in between horses. I talked to Irad and he said he was pulling the whole way so he gave him his head and let him get in the clear, and once he saw daylight he just went.” Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Bricks and Mortar) – “This is a special horse.  Hè might be the best I’ve ever ridden. Today, hè was a little keen with me, so we were closer to the pace than normal.  So, I just tried to get him to relax. When I asked him to run, I looked behind me and saw we were clear.  Hè saw that other horse in front of us and hè fought all the way to the wire.  I knew it was very close, but I thought we won it. I’m so happy!”  Second-place trainer Richard Mandella (United) – “He just needed a chance and he sure came through and gave it his all. It says a lot (about his ability). We knew it was a tough race but I just thought that other quarter of a mile would really help him and we had a little excuse going in our last race so we thought it was worth stepping up and he paid us back. I thought we were going to win there for a minute.” Second-place jockey Flavien Prat (United) – “He ran huge. We had a good trip. We raced right behind the pace. He made a huge run. I mean I thought I was going to win turning for home. A great horse beat us, but it was an amazing race from my horse.” Third-place and Sixth-place trainer Aidan O’Brien (Anthony Van Dyck and Mount Everest) – “Both my horses ran well, Sometimes the race goes for you and sometimes it goes against you. He’s (Anthony Van Dyck) a really nice horse and he’ll be a lovely horse next year.” Third-place jockey Ryan Moore (Anthony Van Dyck) – “It was quite rough out there.” 11th-place Trainer Charlie Appleby (Old Persian (GB)) – “Unfortunately, they’ve not gone the gallop that most of us expected. They went steady fractions and everyone was in a heap, whereas we normally know that they usually, down that backside, would have been starting to get strung out a little bit. They were all stacking up like they were going into that far turn and he got back into that position. To be fair, once they went past us the first time and I saw where we were, well, I thought there just wasn’t going to be anything positive today. And, there we are—unfortunately this is racing and hopefully the horse comes out of it fit and well and we will regroup with him. I'm sure he’ll probably make his way back to Dubai for the Carnival.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Distaff Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Distaff Race Quotes: Winning trainer Ignacio Correas, IV (Blue Prize (ARG)) – Winning jockey Joe Bravo (Blue Prize (ARG)) – Second-place trainer Steve Asmussen (Midnight Bisou, beaten favorite) – “Nothing Midnight Bisou does for us is disappointing. She had a tremendous amount to overcome with all the dirt she took early. A quality filly best her and got first run on her around the turn. It took Mike (Smith) quite a bit to get her out it that just left her too much to do. The filly came back completely covered (in dirt) and she’s such a champion that she never gave up. She continued to run and I’m unbelievably proud of her. She’s unbelievable. There is no give up in her.  For her to keep coming under those circumstances is unbelievable because around the turn she looked hopeless. But, she just showed her class. She kept coming.” Second-place jockey Mike Smith (Midnight Bisou, beaten favorite) – “It would have been nice to have been in the clear and taken a long run at it. I was bottled up. It’s hard to do on this track right now. The kickback is awful. I’m covered. She took a lot of it, where the winner was clear and got a good long run on me. It’s just hard to come back and catch them on this track right now. It’s safe, which is a good thing, it’s the main thing, but it’s hard to make up ground.” During the race did you realize it was going to be tough: “Yes. Going into the far turn she had already had enough of that kickback and was struggling a bit. But, she’s just got so much class. When I finally got her out she took another big breath and gave it a go. She tried hard. I was proud of her.” Third-place trainer Tom Amoss (Serengeti Empress) – “I feel much better after that. Very proud of my horse. Those are two very talented older mares who beat her. I’m very proud of my horse like I said and we’ll be back next year.” Third-place jockey Flavien Prat (Serengeti Empress) – “She’s a filly that likes to be in front.  We made the lead from a difficult outside post and she relaxed very nice for me.  We just got best by two very good older mares. She ran very well.” Trainer Chad Brown (Dunbar Road, fifth and Wow Cat, seventh) – “Both horses seemed to be struggling with the track. The jockeys got back to me and said they were climbing a bit and were never really involved. Dunbar Road made an admirable effort and we were able to pick up some pieces. Jose (Ortiz) said, as Irad (Ortiz Jr.) did, that they never really got ahold of the track. Dunbar Road will head down to Florida and point to next year and Wow Cat is in the Fasig-Tipton sale.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Blue Prize Holds Off Midnight Bisou to Win Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize ($19.80) surged to the front at the eighth pole and then held off a bid from even-money favorite Midnight Bisou by 1 1/2 lengths to win the 36th running of the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff for fillies and mares Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita. Trained by Ignacio Correas IV and ridden by Joe Bravo, Blue Prize covered the mile and one-eighth on a fast main track in 1:50.50. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Correas and Bravo. Serengeti Empress shot out to an uncontested lead with Paradise Woods, Mo See Cal and Ollie’s Candy in closest pursuit with Blue Prize and Midnight Bisou racing in seventh and eighth down the backside. Approaching the far turn, Bravo and Blue Prize got the jump on the favorite and began reeling in horses and hit the top of the stretch making a four-wide move that got her to the front at the eighth pole. Midnight Bisou moved into second but never threatened the winner. Fourth in the Longines Distaff last year at Churchill Downs, Blue Prize is a 6-year-old Argentine-bred daughter of Pure Prize out of the Not For Sale mare Blues for Sale (ARG). The victory was worth $1,100,000 and increased Blue Prize’s earnings to $2,692,253 with a record of 23-10-8-3. It is her third Grade 1 victory.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Post-Race Quotes

Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Race Quotes: Winning trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero (Spun to Run) – “This is a dream come true for me, this means everything to me. Everything. Since the minute we got him he’s been a special horse to us. He’s so good about everything. He’s a colt, but he’s not mean. He loves to run. He’s a dream horse. When I put the full cup blinkers on him (before the Haskell, third), the next day he galloped so perfect I thought ‘wow, this is going to be a fun road with him.’ He was a different horse after I put the blinkers on. I really expected him to go wire-to-wire today. I just wanted my rider to let him run and show how he can run. A horse who can do what he can do, you’ve just got to let him run. This means so much to me. So much. It puts me at a different level as a trainer.” Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Spun to Run) – “I just followed the instructions. He told me to break running. I broke running, then I thought I broke too hard. On the turn, I knew I was going a little too fast so I tried to slow it down, but he didn’t want to come back to me for a little while. I had to keep it together. I held it as long as I could. He was drifting out a little in the turn and I had to let him pick up it up earlier than I wanted to. He just kept going.” Second-place trainer Richard Mandella (favorite Omaha Beach) – “Very proud, very much so. Just had a little bad luck at the start. But, throughout this whole summer, if we didn’t have bad luck we wouldn’t have had any luck at all. You could see he didn’t get out of there running and in a good momentum. Mike (Smith) did the right thing, he let him get it together, didn’t try to rush him off his feet. And, he came on and ran a great race. The winner ran a great race also. In the Breeders’ Cup, you don’t get much second chances in these races. These are champions going in. “We’ll let them (the owners) talk about that (possibility staying in training for next year). Right now, we’ll probably point to the Malibu Stakes the day after Christmas.” Second-place jockey Mike Smith (favorite Omaha Beach) – “He had a bad break from the gate that probably cost us a couple of lengths.  As importantly, it also cost us position.  Then, I had to wait, wait, wait and kept losing position.  When he got clear at the three-eighths pole, the horse in front was long gone.  Hats off to the winner, but I think I rode the best horse today.” Ryu Seungho Ho, representative of third-place trainer Kim Young-Kwan (Blue Chipper) – “That was a great job. We had really hoped at best to finish third and we did. We’re really, really pleased.” Third-place jockey Flavien Prat (Blue Chipper) – “He ran a really good race. He broke well. We got a good early position. He was very brave to keep on going to get third. Entering the stretch, I thought I would definitely be among the first two, but he just got tired late.”

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Spun to Run Upsets Omaha Beach in Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Robert Donaldson’s Spun to Run ($20.20) was fastest out of the gate and never trailed in posting a 2 3/4-length victory over favored Omaha Beach in the 13th running of the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Saturday afternoon. Trained by Juan Carlos Guerrero and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Spun to Run covered the mile on a fast main track in 1:36.58. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Guerrero and seventh for Ortiz and second of this year’s Championships. Spun to Run was tracked in the early going by Blue Chipper, the first South Korean entrant in the World Championships, and those two ran 1-2 all the way until the eighth pole when Omaha Beach rallied to gain the place spot over Blue Chipper by 1 ¼ lengths. Spun to Run is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Hard Spun out of the Grand Slam mare Yawkey Way. The victory was worth $550,000 and improved Spun to Run’s earnings to $1,010,520 with a record of 11-5-1-3. The Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile is his first Grade 1 win.

Read Article
10.30.2019:

Breeders’ Cup: Guaranteed Pools, Head2Head & Special Doubles

On top of 14 Championship races, the Breeders’ Cup is also known for gigantic guaranteed pools, special Daily Doubles and an innovative Head2Head bet that features just 10% Takeout. Here’s a look at this year’s Wager Menu Fan-Favorite Wagering Menu The Breeders’ Cup wager menu features all of the bets you’ve come to love, including: Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta and Jackpot Super Hi-5 wagering on every race Rolling Daily Double and Pick 3 wagering on every race Three Friday Pick 4’s (Races 2, 6 and 7) Four Saturday Pick 4’s (Races 2, 4, 6 and 9) Breeders’ Cup Guaranteed Pools Breeders’ Cup is guaranteeing $7.5 million in pools across the two days: Friday $500,000 Guaranteed Early Pick 5 (Races 1 - 5) $1,000,000 Guaranteed All-Breeders’ Cup Late Pick 5 (Races 5 – 9) $1,000,000 Guaranteed All-Breeders’ Cup Pick 4 (Races 6 – 9) Saturday $1,000,000 Guaranteed All-Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick 6 (Races 7 – 12) $2,000,000 Guaranteed All-Breeders’ Cup Late Pick 5 (Races 8 – 12) $2,000,000 Guaranteed All-Breeders’ Cup Late Pick 4 (Race 9 – 12) Breeders’ Cup Friday/Saturday Doubles Breeders’ Cup offers three special Friday/Saturday Doubles combining the best races on Friday with Saturday’s top events. These include: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf/Breeders’ Cup Turf Double Race 6 on Friday (4:52PM ET) – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Race 11 on Saturday (7:40PM ET) – Breeders’ Cup Turf Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies/Breeders’ Cup Distaff Double Race 7 on Friday (5:32PM ET) – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Race 10 on Saturday (7:00PM ET) – Breeders’ Cup Distaff Breeders’ Cup Juvenile/Breeders’ Cup Classic Double Race 9 on Friday (7:03PM ET) – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Race 12 on Saturday (8:44PM ET) – Breeders’ Cup Classic Breeders’ Cup Head2Head Bets The Breeders’ Cup Head2Head wagers are easy to follow and feature a bettor-friendly takeout rate of just 10%! Get involved on the following races: Friday Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint – Race 5 (4:12PM ET) #1 USA Horses (#1 Chimney Rock, #3 Another Miracle, #5 Encoder, #7 Kimari, #9 Four Wheel Drive, #12 Cambria, #13 Bulletproof One (AE), #15 Fore Left (AE), #16 Karak (AE)) #2 Europe Horses (#2 Band Practice, #4 Dream Shot, #6 Alligator Alley, #8 Dr Simpson, #10 A’Ali, #11 King Neptune, #14 Air Force Jet (AE)) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf – Race 8 (6:12PM ET) #1 USA Horses (#2 Croughavouke, #4 Abscond, #7 Crystalle, #10 Fair Maiden, #11 Sharing, #12 Sweet Melania, #13 Selflessly) #2 Europe Horses (#1 Living In The Past, #3 Shadn, #5 Daahyeh, #6 Unforgetable, #8 Tango, #9 Albinga, #14 Etoile)- Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Race 9 (7:03PM ET) #1 East Coast (#1 Dennis’ Moment, #3 Shoplifted, #5 Scabbard, #9 Maxfield) #2 West Coast (#2 Wrecking Crew, #4 Storm the Court, #6 Eight Rings, #7 Anneau d’Or, #8 Full Flat) Saturday Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf – Race 7 (4:54PM ET) #1 USA Horses (#2 Sistercharlie, #5 Mirth, #6 Thais, #7 Vasilika, #10 Mrs. Sippy) #2 Europe Horses (#1 Iridessa, #3 Fleeting, #4 Billesdon Brook, #8 Castle Lady, #9 Villa Marina, #11 Just Wonderful, #12 Fanny Logan) Breeders’ Cup Mile – Race 9 (6:20PM ET) #1 USA Horses (#2 Lucullan, #5 True Valour, #6 Got Stormy, #7 Bolo, #8 El Tormenta, #11 Uni, #14 Bowies Hero, #15 Caribou Club (AE), #16 Next Shares (AE)) #2 Europe Horses (#1 Suedois, #3 Space Traveller, #4 Trais Fluors, #9 Circus Maximus, #10 Without Parole, #12 Lord Glitters, #13 Hey Gaman) Breeders’ Cup Classic – Race 12 (8:44PM ET) #1 Code of Honor #2 McKinzie

Read Article
10.30.2019:

$279K Empire 6 Mandatory Payout on Friday at Aqueduct

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) formally announced today that the Empire 6 mandatory payout originally scheduled for Sunday, October 27, will be brought back on Friday, November 1, opening day of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack. This action follows the cancellation of live racing on closing day of the Belmont Park fall meet, and the required approval of the New York State Gaming Commission The jackpot carryover heading into Friday stands at $279,432, and the Empire 6 will open in Race 5, which has an approximate post time of 2:00 p.m. Friday features a special first post time of 12 p.m. alongside a full simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park, anchored by the Grade 1, $2 million Juvenile, with a local post time of 7:04 p.m. Eastern. The Future Stars Friday Breeders' Cup card begins at 4:12 p.m. with the Grade 2, $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint. Featuring a $0.20 minimum wager and 20 percent takeout, the Empire 6 requires the bettor to select the first-place finisher of the final six races of the card. On non-mandatory payout days, if one unique ticket exists, then 100% of the net pool, plus the jackpot carryover if applicable, will be paid to the winner. If there is no unique wager selecting the first-place finisher in all six races, then 75% of the day's net pool will be distributed to those who selected the first-place finisher in the greatest number of races. The remainder will be added into the jackpot and carried to the next day's Empire 6.

Read Article
10.29.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Entries

Here are the entries for all of Friday and Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Championship races at Santa Anita Park. Friday's Races Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint ($1,000,000)2YO - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)1. Chimney Rock (Mike Maker/Jose Ortiz) - 10/12. Band Practice (IRE) (Archie Watson/Jamie Spencer) - 12/13. Another Miracle (Gary Contessa/Manny Franco) - 15/14. Dream Shot (IRE) (James Tate/Chris Hayes) - 15/15. Encoder (John Sadler/Flavien Prat) - 15/16. Alligator Alley (GB) (Joseph O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 12/17. Kimari (Wesley Ward/John Velazquez) - 7/28. Dr Simpson (FR) (Thomas Dascombe/Richard Kingscote) - 15/19. Four Wheel Drive (Wesley Ward/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 3/110. A'Ali (IRE) (Simon Crisford/Frankie Dettori) - 6/111. King Neptune (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 10/112. Cambria (Wesley Ward/Tyler Gaffalione) - 12/1Also Eligible13. Bulletproof One (Peter Miller/Javier Castellano) - 12/114. Air Force Jet (GB) (Joseph O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 12/115. Fore Left (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez) - 12/116. Karak (Wesley Ward/Julio Garcia) - 15/1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Grade 1, $1,000,000)2YO - 1 Mile (Turf)1. Our Country (George Weaver/John Velazquez) - 15/12. Structor (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) - 5/13. Peace Achieved (Mark Casse/Miguel Mena) - 10/14. Decorated Invader (Christophe Clement/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 4/15. Vitalogy (GB) (Brendan Walsh/Javier Castellano) - 10/16. Graceful Kitten (Amador Sanchez/Hector Berrios) - 15/17. Andesite (Brad Cox/Joel Rosario) - 12/18. Billy Batts (Peter Miller/Paco Lopez) - 20/19. Gear Jockey (George Arnold/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20/110. War Beast (Doug O'Neill/Abel Cedillo) - 20/111. Proven Strategies (Mark Casse/Edgard Zayas) - 30/112. Arizona (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 5/213. Fort Myers (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 12/114. Hit the Road (Dan Blacker/Flavien Prat) - 10/1 Also Eligible15. Deviant (Danny Pish/Lane Luzzi) - 30/1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Grade 1, $2,000,000)2YO Fillies - 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)1. Donna Veloce (Simon Callaghan/Flavien Prat) - 3/12. Two Sixty (Mark Casse/Edgard Zayas) - 15/13. Perfect Alibi (Mark Casse/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 10/14. British Idiom (Brad Cox/Javier Castellano) - 7/25. Lazy Daisy (Doug O'Neill/Rafael Bejarano) - 12/16. Bast (Bob Baffert/John Velazquez) - 7/27. Wicked Whisper (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) - 7/28. K P Dreamin (Jeff Mullins/Ruben Fuentes) - 20/19. Comical (Doug O'Neill/Abel Cedillo) - 8/1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1, $1,000,000)2YO Fillies - 1 Mile (Turf)1. Living In The Past (IRE) (Karl Burke/Daniel Tudhope) - 15/12. Croughavouke (IRE) (Jeff Mullins/Flavien Prat) - 20/13. Shadn (IRE) (Andrew Balding/Jamie Spencer) - 10/14. Abscond (Eddie Kenneally/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 15/15. Daahyeh (GB) (Roger Varian/William Buick) - 5/16. Unforgetable (IRE) (Joseph O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 20/17. Crystalle (John Kimmel/Joel Rosario) - 8/18. Tango (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 10/19. Albigna (IRE) (Jessica Harrington/Shane Foley) - 9/210. Fair Maiden (Eoin Harty/Drayden Van Dyke) - 12/111. Sharing (Graham Motion/Manny Franco) - 12/112. Sweet Melania (Todd Pletcher/Jose Ortiz) - 5/113. Selflessly (Chad Brown/Javier Castellano) - 8/114. Etoile (Aidan O'Brien/Frankie Dettori) - 12/1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade 1, $2,000,000) 2YO - 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)1. Dennis' Moment (Dale Romans/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 8/52. Wrecking Crew (Peter Miller/Paco Lopez) - 20/13. Shoplifted (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 20/14. Storm the Court (Peter Eurton/Flavien Prat) - 20/15. Scabbard (Eddie Kenneally/Mike Smith) - 8/1 6. Eight Rings (Bob Baffert/John Velazquez) - 2/17. Anneau d'Or (Blaine Wright/Juan Hernandez) - 15/18. Full Flat (Hideyuki Mori/Yutaka Take) - 30/19. Maxfield (Brendan Walsh/Jose Ortiz) - 3/1 Saturday's Races Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Grade 1, $1,000,000) 3YO+ Fillies & Mares - 7 Furlongs (Dirt)1. Covfefe (Brad Cox/Joel Rosario) - 2/12. Danuska's My Girl (Dan Ward/Geovanni Franco) - 20/13. Heavenhasmynikki (Bob Hess Jr./Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 20/14. Come Dancing (Carlos Martin/Javier Castellano) - 5/2 5. Lady Ninja (Richard Baltas/Drayden Van Dyke) - 10/1 6. Bellafina (Simon Callaghan/Flavien Prat) - 6/17. Selcourt (John Sadler/Luis Saez) - 10/1 8. Dawn the Destroyer (Kiaran McLaughlin/Tyler Gaffalione) - 12/19. Spiced Perfection (Peter Miller/John Velazquez) - 4/1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (Grade 1, $1,000,000)3YO+ - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)1. Totally Boss (George Arnold/Jose Ortiz) - 5/1 2. Pure Sensation (Christophe Clement/Paco Lopez) - 5/1 3. Imprimis (Joseph Orseno/Frankie Dettori) - 8/1 4. Shekky Shebaz (Jason Servis/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 12/15. Stubbins (Doug O'Neill/Flavien Prat) - 12/16. Stormy Liberal (Peter Miller/John Velazquez) - 8/1 7. Leinster (George Arnold/Tyler Gaffalione) - 8/18. Legends of War (Doug O'Neill/Rafael Bejarano) - 20/19. Final Frontier (Tom Albertrani/Luis Saez) - 6/110. Eddie Haskell (Mark Glatt/Joel Rosario) - 9/211. Om (Peter Miller/Manny Franco) - 15/1 12. Belvoir Bay (GB) (Peter Miller/Javier Castellano) - 12/1 Also Eligible13. Girls Know Best (Eddie Kenneally/Joe Bravo) - 20/114. Double Touch (GB) (John Sadler/John Velazquez) - 30/1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1, $1,000,000)3YO+ - 1 Mile (Dirt)1. Giant Expectations (Peter Eurton/Jose Ortiz) - 12/12. Improbable (Bob Baffert/Rafael Bejarano) - 3/1 3. Spun to Run (Juan Carlos Guerrero/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 6/1 4. Mr. Money (Bret Calhoun/Gabe Saez) - 6/15. Omaha Beach (Richard Mandella/Mike Smith) - 8/5 6. Ambassadorial (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Jamie Spencer) - 30/1 7. Coal Front (Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano) - 6/18. Blue Chipper (Kim Young-Kwan/Flavien Prat) - 20/1 9. Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone/Julien Leparoux) - 15/110. Snapper Sinclair (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 30/1Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1, $2,000,000) 3YO+ Fillies & Mares - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)1. Iridessa (IRE) (Joseph O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 8/12. Sistercharlie (IRE) (Chad Brown/John Velazquez) - 8/5 3. Fleeting (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 6/14. Billesdon Brook (GB) (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey) - 10/15. Mirth (Phil D'Amato/Mike Smith) - 20/16. Thais (FR) (Chad Brown/Manny Franco) - 30/1 7. Vasilika (Dan Ward/Flavien Prat) - 8/18. Castle Lady (IRE) (Henri-Alex Pantall/Mickael Barzalona) - 15/1 9. Villa Marina (GB) (Carlos Laffon-Parias/Olivier Peslier) - 8/1 10. Mrs. Sippy (Graham Motion/Joel Rosario) - 8/1 11. Just Wonderful (Aidan O'Brien/William Buick) - 20/1 12. Fanny Logan (IRE) (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) - 15/1 Breeders' Cup Sprint (Grade 1, $2,000,000)3YO+ - 6 Furlongs (Dirt)1. Catalina Cruiser (John Sadler/Joel Rosario) - 4/1 2. Hog Creek Hustle (Vickie Foley/Mike Smith) - 20/13. Firenze Fire (Jason Servis/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 12/14. Mitole (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 9/5 5. Engage (Steve Asmussen/John Velazquez) - 15/1 6. Shancelot (Jorge Navarro/Jose Ortiz) - 4/1 7. Whitmore (Ron Moquett/Flavien Prat) - 15/1 8. Landeskog (Doug O'Neill/Abel Cedillo) - 12/1 9. Imperial Hint (Luis Carvajal Jr./Javier Castellano) - 4/110. Matera Sky (Hideyuki Mori/Yutaka Take) - 30/1 Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade 1, $2,000,000)3YO+ - 1 Mile (Turf)1. Suedois (David O'Meara/Javier Castellano) - 20/1 2. Lucullan (Kiaran McLaughlin/Luis Saez) - 12/13. Space Traveller (GB) (Ricahrd Fahey/Daniel Tudhope) - 12/1 4. Trais Fluors (GB) (Ken Condon/William Lee) - 20/15. True Valour (IRE) (Simon Callaghan/Drayden Van Dyke) - 20/16. Got Stormy (Mark Casse/Tyler Gaffalione) - 7/2 7. Bolo (Carla Gaines/Julien Leparoux) - 30/1 8. El Tormenta (Gail Cox/Eurico Rosa Da Silva) - 12/1 9. Circus Maximus (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 3/1 10. Without Parole (GB) (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 20/1 11. Uni (GB) (Chad Brown/Joel Rosario) - 7/2 12. Lord Glitters (David O'Meara/Jamie Spencer) - 12/1 13. Hey Gaman (GB) (James Tate/Frankie Dettori) - 12/1 14. Bowies Hero (Phil D'Amato/Flavien Prat) - 12/1 Also Eligible15. Caribou Club (Tom Proctor/Joe Talamo) - 15/1 16. Next Shares (Ricahrd Baltas/John Velazquez) - 30/1 Breeders' Cup Distaff (Grade 1, $2,000,000)3YO+ Fillies & Mares - 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt) 1. Paradise Woods (John Shirreffs/Abel Cedillo) - 5/1 2. Ollie's Candy (John Sadler/Joel Rosario) - 15/1 3. Street Band (Larry Jones/Sophie Doyle) - 10/1 4. Midnight Bisou (Steve Asmussen/Mike Smith) - 6/5 5. Dunbar Road (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) - 6/1 6. Wow Cat (CHI) (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 15/1 7. Secret Spice (Richard Baltas/John Velazquez) - 10/1 8. La Force (GER) (Patrick Gallagher/Drayden Van Dyke) - 30/1 9. Serengeti Empress (Tom Amoss/Flavien Prat) - 12/1 10. Mo See Cal (Peter Miller/Paco Lopez) - 30/1 11. Blue Prize (ARG) (Ignacio Correas IV/Joe Bravo) - 6/1 Breeders' Cup Turf (Grade 1, $4,000,000) 3YO+ - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)1. Zulu Alpha (Mike Maker/Jose Ortiz) - 20/1 2. Acclimate (Phil D'Amato/Martin Garcia) - 20/1 3. United (Richard Mandella/Flavien Prat) - 20/1 4. Mount Everest (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan) - 15/1 5. Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) - 3/1 6. Channel Cat (Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez) - 15/1 7. Alounak (FR) (Waldemar Hickst/Clement Lecoeuvre) - 20/1 8. Bandua (Jack Sisterson/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20/1 9. Bricks and Mortar (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 9/5 10. Old Persian (GB) (Charles Appleby/William Buick) - 4/1 11. Arklow (Brad Cox/Javier Castellano) - 12/1 12. Channel Maker (Bill Mott/John Velazquez) - 10/1 Breeders' Cup Classic (Grade 1, $6,000,000)3YO+ - 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt)1. Math Wizard (Saffie Joseph Jr./Ricardo Santana Jr.) - 30/1 2. Seeking the Soul (Dallas Stewart/Brian Hernandez Jr.) - 20/1 3. Owendale (Brad Cox/Javier Castellano) - 15/1 4. War of Will (Mark Casse/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20/1 5. Yoshida (JPN) (Bill Mott/Mike Smith) - 8/1 6. Elate (Bill Mott/Jose Ortiz) - 6/1 7. Higher Power (John Sadler/Flavien Prat) - 6/1 8. McKinzie (Bob Baffert/Joel Rosario) - 3/1 9. Mongolian Groom (Enebish Ganbat/Abel Cedillo) - 12/1 10. Vino Rosso (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 4/1 11. Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey/John Velazquez) - 4/1

Read Article
10.25.2019:

Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) Named Official Aftercare Partner of 2019 Breeders' Cup

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance has been named the official aftercare partner of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park. The TAA is also an official charity of the Breeders’ Cup, along with TAA-accredited Old Friends, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and other nonprofits. During the World Championships, the TAA will present the Marathon Stakes (G2) and will also have a presence at the track with TAA aftercare partner California Retirement Management Account (CARMA). CARMA works with all 11 TAA-accredited organizations in the state of California to safely transition horses from California racetracks into the next phase of their lives. “The Breeders’ Cup has been a proud supporter of the TAA since inception” said Dora Delgado, Executive Vice President, Racing and Nominations, at Breeders’ Cup and a TAA board member. “The TAA is an official charity for Breeders’ Cup again this year and we hope that participants, connections, and fans will support their efforts in caring for our equine athletes after racing.” As a seed money donor, the Breeders’ Cup has been a supporter of the TAA since inception. “The TAA is grateful for the continued support from the Breeders’ Cup, and we are honored to be able to showcase aftercare on a global stage,” TAA President Mike Meuser said. “Best of luck to everyone at the World Championships.” If you're attending or watching the Breeders' Cup this year, consider a one-time $25 donation in honor of BC19 to the TAA and CARMA.    MAKE A DONATION    With a donation, you help: Build: Build an infrastructure of organizations operating with the highest standards. Award: Award millions of dollars in grants earmarked for equine care. Rehome: Assist thousands of horses in finding a new home or career.

Read Article
10.24.2019:

October 26 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont and Keeneland

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday with Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. It will mark the year's final Cross Country wager.The sequence will include two graded stakes: the Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler for 3-year-olds and upward at Belmont and the Grade 2, $200,000 Hagyard Fayette for 3-year-olds and up at Keeneland.The multi-race wager, hosted by NYRA and featuring a 50-cent minimum, will start with Race 7 at Belmont with a 4:07 p.m. Eastern post time. The allowance event for fillies and mares will see a 12-horse field competing at 1 1/16 miles on the Widener turf course.The second leg is the Bold Ruler, where Maximum Security, for owners Gary and Mary West and trainer Jason Servis, will make his first start since winning the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the Kentucky Derby but was demoted to 17th for interference approaching the five-sixteenths marker, will now face a talented field of eight, including graded stakes winners Prince Lucky, Tale of Silence, and Knicks Go in Race 8 at 4:40 p.m.Action will then shift to Keeneland for Race 8 at 4:57 p.m., with a nine-horse allowance field going seven furlongs. Alternating back to Belmont for the third leg, 11 juveniles will compete in the one-mile Awad on the turf at 5:13 p.m. In the Awad, Hall of Fame Trainer Bill Mott will send out two formidable contenders, including maiden debut winner Tiesto and No Lime for owners LRE Racing LLC. The Graham Motion-trained Irish Mias will look to win her second career stakes after capturing the Laurel Futurity on September 21 at Laurel Park.The final leg, the Hagyard Fayette from Keeneland, will feature a talented field of 10, highlighted by multiple graded stakes placed Tom's d'Etat for conditioner Al Stall, Jr. and G M B Racing looking to rebound off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga. Other contenders include the Todd Pletcher-trained Bal Harbour and the Dale Romans-conditioned Mr Freeze.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. Belmont Park/Keeneland Cross Country Pick 5 - October 26:Leg 1 - Belmont, Race 7: (4:07 p.m.)Leg 2 - Belmont, Race 8: Grade 3 Bold Ruler: (4:40 p.m.)Leg 3 - Keeneland, Race 8: (4:57 p.m.)Leg 4 - Belmont, Race 9: Awad (5:13 p.m.)Leg 5 - Keeneland, Grade 2 Haygard Fayette, Race 9: (5:30 p.m.)

Read Article
10.23.2019:

2019 Breeders' Cup Pre-Entries Announced

Pre-Entries for all 14 Breeders' Cup Championship Races have been announced.  188 horses were pre-entered for the two-day event. Fields will be drawn and finalized Monday, October 28.  Breeders' Cup ClassicCode of Honor (C. McGaughey III) Elate (W. Mott) - 2nd Preference, Distaff Higher Power (J. Sadler) Math Wizard (S. Joseph Jr. ) McKinzie (B. Baffert) Mongolian Groom (E. Ganbat) Owendale (B. Cox) Seeking the Soul (D. Stewart) Vino Rosso (T. Pletcher) War of Will (M. Casse) Yoshida (JPN) (W. Mott) Breeders' Cup TurfAcclimate (P. D'Amato)Alounak (FR) (W. Hickst) Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Arklow (B. Cox) Bandua (J. Sisterson) Bricks and Mortar (C. Brown) - 2nd Preference, Mile Channel Cat (T. Pletcher) Channel Maker (W. Mott) Magical (IRE) (A. O'Brien) - 2nd Preference, F&M Turf Mount Everest (IRE) (A. O'Brien)  Mrs. Sippy (G. Motion) - 1st Preference, F&M Turf Old Persian (GB) (C. Appleby) United (R. Mandella) Zulu Alpha (M. Maker) Breeders' Cup DistaffBlue Prize (ARG) (I. Correas)Dunbar Road (C. Brown)Elate (W. Mott) - 1st Preference, ClassicLa Force (GER) (P. Gallagher)Midnight Bisou (S. Asmussen)Mo See Cal (P. Miller) - 2nd Preference, F&M SprintOllie's Candy (J. Sadler)Paradise Woods (J. Shirreffs)Secret Spice (R. Baltas) - 2nd Preference, F&M SprintSerengeti Empress (T. Amoss) - 2nd Preference, F&M SprintStreet Band (L. Jones) Wow Cat (CHI) (C. Brown) Breeders' Cup MileBolo (C. Gaines) Bowies Hero (P. D'Amato) Bricks and Mortar - 1st Preference, Turf Circus Maximus (IRE) (A. O'Brien) El Tormenta (G. Cox) Got Stormy (J. Casse) Hey Gaman (GB) (J. Tate) Iridessa (IRE) (J. O'Brien) - 2nd Preference, F&M Turf Just Wonderful (A. O'Brien) - 1st Preference, F&M Turf Line of Duty (IRE) (C. Appleby)  Lord Glitters (FR) (D. O'Meara) Space Traveller (GB) (R. Fahey) True Valour (S. Callaghan) Uni (GB) (C. Brown) Not Selected - Listed in Order of Preference Suedois (FR) (D. O'Meara) Trais Fluors (GB) (K. Condon) - 2nd Preference, Dirt MileLucullan (K. McLaughlin)Without Parole (GB) (C. Brown)Caribou Club (T. Proctor)Next Shares (R. Baltas)Om (P. Miller) - 1st Preference, Turf Sprint Snapper Sinclair (S. Asmussen) - 1st Preference, Dirt Mile Breeders' Cup SprintCatalina Cruiser (J. Sadler) - 2nd Preference, Dirt Mile  Diamond Oops (P. Biancone) - 2nd Preference, Dirt Mile Engage (S. Asmussen)Firenze Fire (Ja. Servis) - 2nd Preference, Dirt Mile Hog Creek Hustle (V. Foley) - 2nd Preference, Dirt Mile Imperial Hint (L. Carvajal Jr.) Landeskog (D. O'Neill) Matera Sky (H. Mori)Mitole (S. Asmussen) Shancelot (J. Navarro) Whitmore (R. Moquett) - 2nd Preference, Dirt Mile Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Billesdon Brook (GB) (R. Hannon) Catle Lady (IRE) (H. Pantall) Fanny Logan (IRE) (J. Gosden) Fleeting (IRE) (A. O'Brien)Iridessa (IRE) (J. O'Brien) - 1st Preference, Mile  Just Wonderful (A. O'Brien) - 2nd Preference, Mile  Magical (IRE) (A. O'Brien) - 1st Preference, Turf Mirth (P. D'Amato) Mrs. Sippy (G. Motion) - 2nd Prference, Turf Sistercharlie (IRE) (C. Brown) Thais (FR) (C. Brown) Vasilika (D. Ward) V. Marina (GB) (C. Laffon-Parias) Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile BLue Chipper (K. Young Kwan) Catalina Cruiser (J. Sadler) - 1st Preference, Sprint Coal Front (T. Pletcher) Diamond Oops (P. Biancone) - 1st Preference, Sprint Firenze Fire (Ja. Servis) - 1st Preference, Sprint Giant Expectations (P. Eurton) Hog Creek Hustle (V. Foley) - 1st Preference, Sprint Improbable (B. Baffert) Mr. Money (B. Calhoun) Omaha Beach (R. Mandella) Spun to Run (C. Guerrero) Whitmore (R. Moquett) - 1st Preference, Sprint Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceSnapper Sinclair (S. Asmussen) - 1st Preference, MileTrais Fluors (GB) (K. Condon) - 1st Preference, MileAmbassadorial (J. Chapple-Hyam) Breeders' Cup Turf SprintBelvoir Bay (GB) (P. Miller) Eddie Haskell (M. Glatt) Fairland (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Imprimis (J. Orseno) Legends of War (D. O'Neill) Leinster (G. Arnold II) Om (P. Miller) - 2nd Preference, MilePure Sensation (C. Clement) So Perfect (A. O'Brien) Stormy Liberal (P. Miller) Stubbins (D. O'Neill) Totally Boss (G. Arnold II) Not Selected - Listed in Order of Preference Final Frontier (T. Albertrani) Shekky Shebaz (Ja. Servis) Girls Know Best (E. Kenneally) Double Touch (J. Sadler) Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Bellafina (S. Callaghan) Come Dancing (C. Martin) Covfefe (B. Cox) Danuska's My Girl (D. Ward) Dawn the Destroyer (K. McLaughlin) Heavenhasmynikki (R. Hess Jr.) Lady Ninja (R. Baltas) Mo See Cal (P. Miller) - 1st Preference, Distaff Secret Spice (R. Baltas) - 1st Preference, Distaff Selcourt (J. Sadler) Serengeti Empress (T. Amoss) - 1st Preference, DistaffSpiced Perfection (P. Miller) Breeders' Cup Juvenile American Theorem (G. Papaprodromou) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Turf Anneau d'Or (B. Wright) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Billy Batts (P. Miller) - 1st Preference, Juvenile TurfDennis' Moment (D. Romans) Eight Rings (B. Baffert) Full Flat (H. Mori) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint King Neptune (A. O'Brien) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Maxfield (B. Walsh) Scabbard (E. Kenneally) Shoplifted (S. Asmussen) Storm the Court (P. Eurton) Wrecking Crew (P. Miller) Breeders' Cup Juvenile TurfAmerican Theorem (G. Papaprodromou) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Andesite (B. Cox) Arizona (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Decorated Invader (C. Clement) Encoder (J. Sadler) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Fort Myers (A. O'Brien) Graceful Kitten (A.M. Sanchez) Hit the Road (D. Blacker) Our Country (G. Weaver) Peace Achieved (M. Casse) Royal Dornoch (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Structor (C. Brown) Vitalogy (GB) (B. Walsh) War Beast (D. O'Neill) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferenceBilly Batts (P. Miller) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Gear Jockey (G. Arnold II) Proven Strategies (M. Casse) Embolden (M. Stidham) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Deviant (D. Pish) New World Tapestry (A. O'Brien) Anneau d'Or (B. Wright) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Breeders' Cup Juvenile FilliesBast (B. Baffert) British Idiom (B. Cox) Comical (D. O'Neill) Donna Veloce (S. Callaghan) Etoile (A. O'Brien) - 1stPreference, Juvenile Fillies Turf  K P Dreamin (J. Mullins) Lazy Daisy (D. O'Neill) Perfect Alibi (M. Casse) Two Sixty (M. Casse) Wicked Whisper (S. Asmussen) Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies TurfAbscond (E. Kenneally) Albigna (IRE) (M.J. Harrington) Alms (M. Stidham) Crystalle (J. Kimmel) Daahyeh (GB) (R. Varian) Etoile (A. O'Brien) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Fillies Fair Maiden (E. Harty) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Turf Sprint Living In The Past (IRE) (K. Burke) Selflessly (C. Brown) Shadn (IRE) (A. Balding) Sharing (G. Motion) Sweet Melania (T. Pletcher) Tango (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Walk In Marrakesh (IRE) (I. Correas) Not Selected - Listed in Order of PreferencePrecious Moments (IRE) (A. O'Brien) Croughavouke (IRE) (J. Mullins) Princesa Caroline (C. Brown) Unforgetable (IRE) (J. O'Brien) Applecross (IRE) (R. Baltas) Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint A'Ali (IRE) (S. Crisford) Al Raya (S. Crisford) Another Miracle (G. Contessa) Band Practice (IRE) (A. Watson) Cambria (W. Ward) Chimney Rock (M. Maker) Dr Simpson (FR) (T. Dascombe) Dream Shot (IRE) (J. Tate) Fair Maiden (E. Harty) - 1st Preference, Juvenile Fillies Turf Four Wheel Drive (W. Ward) Kimari (W. Ward) King Neptune (A. O'Brien) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile Not Selected - Listed in Order of Preference Alligator Alley (GB) (J. O'Brien) Encoder (J. Sadler) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile TurfMiss J McKay (C. Lynch) Freewheeler (T. Pletcher)Bulletproof One (P. Miller)Air Force Jet (GB) (J. O'Brien)Embolden (M. Stidham) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile TurfPistoletto (A. O'Brien)Jack and Noah (FR) (M. Casse)Fore Left (D. O'Neill)Karak (W. Ward)Leucothea (P. Miller)Axiomo (M. Yanakov)Full Flat (H. Mori) - 2nd Preference, Juvenile

Read Article
10.23.2019:

Multiple G1 Winner Maximum Security Headlines G3 Bold Ruler

ELMONT, N.Y. - Gary and Mary West's multiple Grade 1-winner Maximum Security will make his Belmont Park debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and upward on closing weekend of the fall meet. Trained by Jason Servis, the New Year's Day colt has crossed the wire first in six of seven career starts, including Grade 1 scores in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in March and the Haskell Invitational last out on July 20 at Monmouth Park. The front-running bay graduated at first asking by 9 3/4-lengths in a key maiden $16,000 claimer in December at Gulfstream that saw third-place finisher Math Wizard also reach prominence in September with a score in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. Maximum Security dominated a pair of optional-claiming tilts at Gulfstream ahead of his Florida Derby coup and left the gate in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs as the 9-2 second choice. With regular pilot Luis Saez up, Maximum Security led gate-to-wire in the first leg of the Triple Crown, but was demoted to 17th for interference approaching the five-sixteenths marker. He returned to action on June 16 in the Pegasus at Monmouth Park, where he stumbled from the gate and was beaten to the wire for the first time by multiple stakes winner King for a Day. In the nine-furlong Haskell, Maximum Security returned to his dominant form when besting Mucho Gusto by 1 1/4-lengths. With victories ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8-miles, the versatile Maximum Security returns to a sprint distance for the first time since an 18 1/2-length score in a seven-furlong optional-claimer at Gulfstream on February 20. The Servis trainee, who had to scratch from the Pennsylvania Derby due to a bout of colic, enjoyed a strong gallop on the Belmont training track Sunday and the veteran conditioner said Maximum Security should enjoy a slight turnback as he prepares for a fall campaign. "It was great," said Servis of the training session. "I like the cut back. He's won at this distance. All systems are go." Saez retains the mount from the inside post. To capture the Bold Ruler, which will serve as key prep for the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile set for December 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack, Maximum Security will have to topple a talented field of eight, led by graded-stakes winners Tale of Silence, Killybegs Captain, Prince Lucky and Knicks Go. Charles Fipke homebred Tale of Silence, a 5-year-old Tale of the Cat bay, made the grade in the Grade 3 Westchester in May 2018. A Belmont specialist with a record of three wins and one second from seven starts on Big Sandy, Tale of Silence finished fourth last out in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap on September 21. In 2010, Tagg finished second in the Bold Ruler with Fipke homebred Jersey Town ahead of a 34-1 upset in the Cigar Mile. The veteran conditioner said Tale of Silence posted a strong bullet breeze in 48.33 on the Belmont main on Tuesday. "He had a sharp blowout. He's a fast horse," said Tagg. "He's not a top horse yet, but we're hoping he'll start to improve. I like the distance for him. Our goal with him is the Cigar Mile." Junior Alvarado will pilot the Barclay Tagg-trainee for the first time from post 2. Killybegs Captain, trained by John Terranova for Curragh Stables, boasts a record of 6-5-3 from 24 career starts. The 5-year-old Mizzen Mast gelding arrives at the Bold Ruler from a three-quarter length score in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, a six-furlong sprint held September 21 at Laurel Park. Eric Cancel retains the mount from post 6. Daniel McConnell's ultra-consistent homebred Prince Lucky, trained by Todd Pletcher, has won seven of 14 career starts while banking $593,570 in purse earnings. Bred in Pennsylvania, the 4-year-old Corinthian gelding is 3-for-6 this season, including scores in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope at Gulfstream and Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile. The versatile Prince Lucky captured the 1 1/16-mile State Dinner on July 7 at Belmont and last out finished a game second in the Kelso. Hall of Famer John Velazquez will guide Prince Lucky from the outermost post. KRA Stud Farm's Knicks Go enters the Bold Ruler seeking his first win since registering a gate-to-wire score last October in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland at odds of 70-1. Trained by Ben Colebrook, the 3-year-old Paynter colt was a game second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs before a string of five off-the-board efforts in graded events. Following a prominent second in the Ellis Park Derby in August, Knicks Go ran fourth in the Grade 3 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs in September and was second last out, on October 4, in a Keeneland allowance sprint won by well-regarded Looking At Bikinis. Knicks Go will emerge from post 5 under Dylan Davis. Calumet Farm's True Timber, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, ran second to No Dozing in this event last year. The 5-year-old son of Mineshaft has amassed $836,550 in purse earning despite never having won a stakes event. With a record of 4-4-5 from 20 starts, True Timber finished third in the Grade 3 Jerome and second in the Grade 3 Withers at the Big A as a sophomore. Last year, he rallied to be second in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. He ran third last out in the Kelso with a prominent trip under Joe Bravo. "He broke sharp last time and was there. Going seven-eighths, he probably won't be as close. We're just happy to have him back off the long layoff," said McLaughlin. "He ran pretty well in the Kelso and we're hoping he'll run well again on Saturday. "He just missed in the Cigar Mile last year. He's a beautiful horse," added McLaughlin. "It's hard to see him finish second, third and fourth in these races - he deserves a win." Bravo will pilot True Timber from post 4. Rounding out the field are Diamond King (Jose Ortiz, post 7) and Wonderful Light (Manny Franco, post 3). The Bold Ruler is slated as Race 8 on Saturday's 10-race card, which also features the $100,000 English Channel in Race 5 and $100,000 Awad in Race 9.

Read Article
10.22.2019:

G1 Pegasus Turf Still on Radar for Glorious Empire

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - An injury kept Matthew Schera’s Grade 1 winner Glorious Empire out of the inaugural $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park, but his connections are hoping to be there for the second go-around in January.Trainer James ‘Chuck’ Lawrence II said the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf for 3-year-olds and up – won in January by Bricks and Mortar, one of the leading contenders for 2019 Horse of the Year – remains on the radar for Glorious Empire.“The Pegasus is still our main goal, if he jumps back up to that status again,” Lawrence said. “That’s the goal right now, and we’ll see how he does.”Glorious Empire is winless in two starts this year, finishing sixth as the favorite in the one-mile Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) Sept. 21 at Laurel Park, his first race in more than nine months. Last out, he ran fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Knickerbocker (G3) Oct. 14 at Belmont Park.Last year, Glorious Empire was an Eclipse Award finalist for champion male turf horse following a campaign that saw him win four of six starts and $767,830 in purse earnings, including the Sword Dancer (G1) and Bowling Green (G2) at Saratoga. He capped the year with a convincing triumph in the Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream, besting a field that included 13 graded-stakes winners, five of them Grade 1.Glorious Empire exited the Fort Lauderdale with a tear in his right front suspensory ligament. He underwent an innovative procedure that included minor surgery Jan. 5 and a stem cell infusion to promote healing.“He ran the other day and we weren’t quite sure what happened,” Lawrence said. “He scoped good. He’s come back from the injury and you can tell from the works I’ve been a second or two slower with him, and maybe I just didn’t have him tight enough.”Lawrence said the suspensory has not been an issue and he is looking ahead to a possible return trip to Gulfstream for the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale Dec. 14, contested at 1 1/8 miles, as Glorious Empire’s Pegasus prep. The 1 3/8-mile Red Smith (G3) Nov. 23 at Aqueduct is also a possibility.“We scanned his suspensory and it’s 100 percent,” Lawrence said. “Whether we do the Red Smith or the Fort Lauderdale, we’ll leave it up to him.”

Read Article
10.17.2019:

October 19 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont and Far Hills

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and Far Hills will partner on Saturday to offer horseplayers an all-stakes Cross Country Pick 5. Saturday's card at Belmont is the unique all New York-bred Empire Showcase Day, including eight stakes races highlighted by the $300,000 Empire Classic for 3-year-olds and upward, while the Far Hills meet will also feature a seven-race all-stakes card. Far Hills will host the first three legs of the sequence, which begins with the $100,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Carded as Race 4 with a 3 p.m. Eastern post time, the 2 ½-mile event will feature graded stakes placed Snap Decision for conditioner Jack Fisher and owner Bruton Street-US. Snap Decision will seek his fourth consecutive victory facing nine competitors after most recently capturing the William Entenmann Memorial on September 18 at Belmont Park. A full field of 11 will compete in the next leg, the $50,000 New Jersey Hunt Cup. Scheduled as Race 5 with a 3:40 p.m. post. The 1 ½ mile race features graded stakes winner Renown for owner Jack Doyle and trainer Elizabeth Voss. Top contenders include Show Court for Hall of Fame trainer Kingsley Archibald; Douglas Road for trainer Arnaud Delacour; and Decisive Triumph for conditioner Mark Beecher. Concluding the sequence at Far Hills is the Grade 1, $450,000 Grand National. The 2 5/8 mile event carded as Race 6 with a 4:20 post features a full field of 12 runners. Conditioner Ricky Hendriks entered a formidable pair in Surprising Soul owned by his mother Wendy Hendriks, who won the Grade 1 Lonesome Glory Handicap on September 19 at Belmont in his most recent start and The Holy One for owner Rosbrian Farm with the 6-year-old entering off a third-place finish in a novice stakes at Killarney on August 23. Other top contenders include Modem for trainer Elizabeth Voss, who most recently finished sixth in the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap on August 22 at Saratoga; Scorpiancer for conditioner Jack Fisher, who won the Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois on May 11 at Percy Warner and followed with a fifth-place finish in the Lonesome Glory; and Jury Dury for trainer Gordon Elliott and Sideways Syndicate, who finished sixth in the PWC Champion Steeplechase on October 5 at Gowran Park. The Cross Country Pick 5 sequence will then shift to Belmont Park for the remaining two legs. The $200,000 Ticonderoga, carded as Race 9 with a 4:48 pm. post time, is a 1 1/16 mile event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward featuring graded stakes winner Fifty Five for owner Peter Brant and conditioner Chad Brown. The talented Fifty Five is in search of her fourth win from five starts this year coming in off a win in the John Hettinger on September 22 at Belmont, where she bested fellow entrant War Canoe by three-quarters of a length. Also entered among the nine-horse field is Kid Is Frosty for trainer Brad Cox for Bad Boy Racing LLC.; English Soul for trainer Ray Handal and Zilla Racing Stables; and Munchkin Money and Wegetsdamunnys for trainer Christophe Clement. Concluding the sequence will be the $250,000 Empire Distaff. The one-mile event for fillies and mares, carded as Race 10 on Saturday's Belmont card, features an 11-horse field led by multiple stakes winner Newly Minted for Beach Haven Thoroughbreds and conditioner Linda Rice.Listed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite, Newly Minted started her career with three straight victories before running third when trying turf for the first time in the Cupecoy's Joy on September 22. She returned to win the Fleet Indian on August 23 at Saratoga and will look to improve her record to five wins from six starts.Rice also entered Midnight Disguise for owners Dr. William Wilmot and Dr. Joan Taylor off a third-place finish in the Dancin Renee on June 15 at Belmont. Other standouts in the field include Out of Orbit and Held Accountable for trainer Phil Serpe; Bonita Bianca for trainer Jason Servis; and Ratajkowski for trainer Brian Lynch. 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.Belmont Park - Far Hills Cross Country Pick 5Leg 1: Far Hills (Race 4, 3:00 p.m; $100,000 Foxbrook Champion Hurdle)Leg 2: Far Hills (Race 5, 3:40 p.m.; $50,000 New Jersey Hunt Cup)Leg 3: Far Hills (Race 6; 4:20 p.m.; Grade 1, $450,000 Grand National)Leg 4: Belmont Park (Race 9; 4:48 p.m.; $200,000 Ticonderoga)Leg 5: Belmont Park (Race 10 5:20 p.m.; $250,00 Empire Distaff)

Read Article
10.17.2019:

Saratoga Bob Back to Defend Title in Maryland Million Classic

LAUREL, MD – Robert Manfuso, Wayne Harrison and Katy Voss’ Saratoga Bob, who earned the biggest victory of his career in last year’s Maryland Million, will make his first start in 20 weeks as he goes about defending his title in Saturday’s $150,000 Classic at Laurel Park.Run at 1 1/8 miles over the main track, the Classic for 3-year-olds and up serves to highlight the 34th annual Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program, one of seven stakes and four starter stakes worth $1.02 million in purses that help comprise ‘Maryland’s Day at the Races,’ named for the late Hall of Fame and 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster who helped launch the groundbreaking concept in 1986.Post time for the first of 12 races is noon.A total of 155 horses were entered on the program, an average of 12.9 per race. Five races are scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course, attracting 68 entries, an average of 13.6 per race.Bred by Manfuso and Voss, who also trains the 5-year-old Friesan Fire gelding, Saratoga Bob was third choice in a field of 10 for last year’s Classic, prevailing by a half-length in 1:51.28. It was Voss’ first Classic win and the third for jockey Edgar Prado, moving him past retired fellow Hall of Famer Ramon Dominguez for most Maryland Million wins with 18.“That was fantastic. It was very special,” Voss said. “I don’t know how tough a race it was last year and I don’t know that it’ll be much tougher this year. I think we’ve got a shot, but we don’t have any grand expectations with him not having a race under his belt for 4 ½ months. We’ll just have to see.”Saratoga Bob has raced exclusively at Laurel, with four wins, three seconds and four thirds from 16 starts, and a lifetime bankroll of $231,832. This will be his first time back in stakes company and only his second try at 1 1/8 miles since the Classic.This year, Saratoga Bob has one win from five starts, coming in his season opener Feb. 3. He last raced June 1 in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance, finishing fifth in only his second career try on the turf. Voss pre-entered Saratoga Bob in both the $125,000 Maryland Million Turf and $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint, run at eight and seven furlongs, respectively.“I actually considered running him in the Turf, just because it was a mile and he hasn’t run in so long,” Voss said. “He doesn’t deal with the hot weather very well, so we had planned to give him the summer off. We had hoped to get him a prep race but he had a couple different things to deal with and then the prep race didn’t go, so we’re going into the Classic without it. But, he’s doing good, knock on wood.”Without a prep, Voss adjusted Saratoga Bob’s training to include two longer works, both from the gate, leading up to the Classic. He went seven furlongs in 1:26.60 Oct. 5 and one mile in 1:40.80 Oct. 12.“A couple weeks ago I worked him gate to wire out of the starting gate and then, when it looked like we were heading to the Classic, I went ahead and worked him a mile last Saturday,” Voss said. “He’s doing well. He’s a decent work horse, [but] getting a race under his belt would have made a big difference.”Saratoga Bob, 9-2 in the morning line, will see four familiar faces from last year’s Classic – runner-up Dothat Dance, third-place finisher Clubman, Legend’s Hope and Tattooed. Burning Daylight Farms’ Dothat Dance will be making his third Maryland Million start, also having finished fifth in the 2017 Turf. His lone win this year came in a May 11 starter-optional claimer at Pimlico Race Course.Caonabo Stable’s multiple stakes winner Clubman, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, is back for his third straight try at the Classic but first for trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon. Last year and 2017, when he ran fourth, came for previous trainer Jonathan Maldonado.“He has run great in this race the last two years,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “He is doing great. We’ve got a really good shot in there. Hopefully, we get a little bit lucky and get a good trip and win the race.”A gelded 5-year-old son of Not For Love, the Maryland Million’s all-time leading sire with 36 wins, Clubman exits a fourth behind Grade 3-placed Cordmaker in the DTHA Governors Day Handicap Sept. 28 at Delaware Park, which came off a string of bullet workouts at Laurel.“The last race, he didn’t grab the bridle for some reason. He likes to be ridden a certain way, and he didn’t run that day,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “When he runs here, he’s a different horse. He’s doing awesome right now.”Clubman owns six of his nine career wins from 25 starts at Laurel, though his two stakes wins have come out of town. He won the seven-furlong Russell Road April 20 at Charles Town and romped by 9 ½ lengths in the 6 ½-furlong Maryland Coalition at Timonium Aug. 24. Julian Pimentel, aboard for that win, gets the return call. Pimentel ranks fifth as one of only five jockeys with double-digit Maryland Million wins (13), but has never won the Classic.“He won the Timonium race for fun. After the last race he ran at Delaware, he was kicking the stall down. He didn’t get to run at all, and it was disappointing because he was doing awesome,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “Julian came to two-minute lick him last Saturday, and he dragged him all the way around.”Among the newcomers is Shirley Lojeski’s homebred Forest Fire, looking to give Friesan Fire his second straight Classic win as a sire. The 4-year-old gelding comes in on a two-race win streak, both by a neck in optional claiming allowance spots at Parx going one mile and a mile and 70 yards.“He’s doing really good,” Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainer John Servis said. “He breezed the other day and went really good. I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s shown us that he deserves a shot.”Forest Fire raced twice at Laurel last winter, winning an optional claiming allowance in the mud and finishing second to V.I.P. Code, beaten less than a length in the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms Stakes. He missed some time after that race and again this year, but Servis said the horse has put those issues behind him.“He came up with a little issue last year and we had to stop on him. Then we brought him back and just thought that maybe he didn’t come back the same, but actually there was another issue that we had to address,” Servis said. “We got that straightened out and he came back and knocked out two wins, back to back. He’s back on track and doing good.”Servis also pre-entered Forest Fire in the Turf. Six-for-12 lifetime, he has always shown Servis the same kind of heart he displayed in each of his last two wins.“He loves to fight. He loves it. In the morning, even before he ever ran, he’d put a neck in front and then he’d throw his ears up and get to waiting on horses, and as soon as horses would come to him he’d jump right back in the bridle again. He’s always been a horse that’s been real game like that, Servis said.“When we first tried him in the [Private Terms], he got beat and he ran really game. He dug in and ran hard. And the race before that was the same kind of race. A horse hooked him, he looked like he was beat and he dug back in again,” he added. “He’s sitting on go. He’s ready.”Rounding out the field are Crouchelli; Prendemi, Monmouth Park stakes winner this spring and summer; Tappin Cat, second by a half-length in the Star de Naskra Stakes Aug. 17 at Laurel; Torch of Truth, racing third off the claim for trainer Jamie Ness; and Trifor Gold, a distant second to Alwaysmining in the Federico Tesio Stakes April 20.Maryland-breds on the also-eligible list, and only able to draw in if the main body of the race drops below eight Maryland Million-certified horses, are, in order: multiple stakes winner Cordmaker, third by two necks in the Pimlico Special (G3) in May; Top Line Growth, this summer’s promoted winner of the Iowa Derby who ran third in the Sept. 2 Smarty Jones (G3); and 2017 Classic winner Bonus Points.

Read Article
10.15.2019:

Gulfstream Park West has $163K Double Late Pick 5 Carryover on Thursday

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – For the second day in a row, there were no tickets with all five winners of the Late Pick 5 at Gulfstream Park West Monday, producing a double carryover of $163,572.30 for Thursday’s program.   There was a carryover of $31,618.53 when Late Pick 5 betting started Monday, when $206,987 was bet into the multi-race wager that spanned Race 5-9.Tickets will four of five winners were each worth $2,404.05.The Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 11th consecutive racing day at Gulfstream Park West, producing a $127,086.93 carryover jackpot for Thursday’s program.Rainbow 6 tickets with five out of six winners were each worth $3,600.86.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 was solved at Gulfstream Park for a $2.2 million jackpot Sept. 27 after going unsolved for 47 consecutive racing days.The Rainbow 6 will span Races 3-8, while the Late Pick 5 will span Races 4-8 on Thursday’s card.There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $1,109.50 heading into Thursday’s card.First-time starter Irish Expectations lit up the tote board in Race 9, paying $142.60 for a $2 win ticket and creating a double Late Pick 5 carryover for Thursday’s program,. Irish Expectations keyed a 10-11-4 trifecta that returned $52,335.60 for a 50-cent bet.

Read Article
10.13.2019:

Laurel Park Gearing Up for 34th Maryland Million Day Program

LAUREL, MD – Following a special nine-race Columbus Day holiday program Monday, Oct. 14, Laurel Park will begin gearing up for the 34th edition of the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program Saturday, Oct. 19.A total of 246 horses were pre-entered for ‘Maryland’s Day at the Races,’ which features seven stakes and four starter stakes worth $1.02 million as part of a 12-race program that serves to showcase the state’s rich horse industry which dates back to the founding of the Maryland Jockey Club in 1743.Entries will be taken and post positions drawn Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the Laurel Park clubhouse. Offering food, live music and race analysis and insights, the draw runs from 4 to 6 p.m. and will be streamed live at www.laurelpark.com. The Maryland Million Gala Reception and Auction takes place Friday, Oct. 18 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at The Maryland Club in downtown Baltimore, to benefit the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation. The MHIF was chartered in 1988 by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to serve various educational and charitable needs of the Maryland horse industry.Since 1986, Maryland Million Ltd. has paid more than $33 million in purses and awards. It was founded by the late Hall of Fame and 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Jim McKay as a Breeders’ Cup-style event to spotlight the stallions of his adopted home.The richest race of the day is the $150,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, where Saratoga Bob was pre-entered to defend his 2018 victory. Dothat Dance and Clubman, second and third, respectively, last year were also pre-entered, along with 2017 winner Bonus Points.My Sistersledge can become just the seventh horse in event history to capture three Maryland Million races with a third straight triumph in the $125,000 Ladies for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/8 miles over Laurel’s world-class turf course.The $125,000 Turf for 3-year-olds and up going one mile figures to be a wide-open affair with the recent retirement of two-time winners Phlash Phelps and Talk Show Man. Multiple Grade 3 winner Call Paul and defending champion Lewisfield are each pre-entered in the $100,000 Sprint for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.

Read Article
10.9.2019:

Sweet Melania Romps in G2 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine

Robert and Lawana Low’s Sweet Melania moved to the lead on the backstretch and then drew off in the stretch to post a 5½-length victory over Witez in the 29th running of the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) for 2-year-olds fillies before a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 9,583.The victory, by the largest margin in the history of the race, earned Sweet Melania a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be contested at a mile on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. The JPMorgan Chase Jessamine was the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for this year’s World Championships.Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Sweet Melania covered the 1 1/16 miles on a turf course labeled as good in 1:43.13. It is the fourth victory in the race for Pletcher, who won previously with Ocean Drive in 2002, Paddy’s Daisy in 2004 and J’ray in 2005.It is the 55th Keeneland stakes victory for Pletcher, the track’s leader in that category.It is the first victory in the race for Ortiz, who has won three graded stakes in the first four days of the Fall Meet.Favored Jezebel’s Kitten led the field into the first turn with Sweet Melania in closest pursuit through a first quarter-mile in :23.29. Midway on the backstretch, Sweet Melania moved to the front and maintained a comfortable advantage over Jezebel’s Kitten until the top of the stretch where Sweet Melania kicked clear to put the race away.The victory was worth $120,000 and increased Sweet Melania’s earnings to $204,000 with a record of 5-2-1-2.A graduate of Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale, Sweet Melania is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the Discreet Cat mare Sweet N Discreet.Sweet Melania returned $8, $5.20 and $3.80 as the second choice in the field of 14. Witez, ridden by Calvin Borel, returned $29.40 and $14.80 in finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Ask Bailey, who paid $8.20 to show under Corey Lanerie.Jezebel’s Kitten was another 1¼ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Eye of a Soldier, Morning Gold, Diamond Sparkles, Swanage, Indochine, High On Gin, Fujairah, Takeitback, Envied and Lemon Scat.

Read Article
10.7.2019:

Sistercharlie Wins Again; Takes Belmont's G1 Flower Bowl

ELMONT, N.Y. - For the sixth consecutive time, Peter Brant's ultra-consistent Sistercharlie outclassed a Grade 1 field. The Chad Brown trainee stayed off the speed set by stablemate Thais, gained command in the stretch and fended off Mrs. Sippy's late challenge from the outside for a three-quarter length victory in Sunday's Grade 1 $500,000 Flower Bowl for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Belmont Park.Sistercharlie's winning-streak extending effort in the Flower Bowl's 42nd running - one of three Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" races on Sunday's 10-race docket - earned the Irish-bred Myboycharlie mare an all-fees paid trip to the Grade 1, $2 million Filly and Mare Turf on November 2 at Santa Anita Park, where she will look to repeat after winning the 2018 edition at Churchill Downs.Off as the heavy 1-5 favorite, Sistercharlie, under Hall of Famer John Velazquez, settled in fourth position as the Brown-trained Thais opened up a large initial lead in the seven-horse field, going an opening quarter-mile in 24.21 seconds and the half in 49.17 on the firm inner turf.Velazquez tipped Sistercharlie out slightly along the backstretch, moving her up to third with three-quarters going in 1:15.31. Out of the final turn, Sistercharlie was set down and overtook Thais from the outside. Velazquez urged her to the wire with the Graham Motion-trained Mrs. Sippy making a strong bid to her outside, but it wasn't enough as Sistercharlie completed 1 ¼ miles in a final time of 1:39.35.Sistercharlie, who has finished off the board just once in 14 career starts, has not lost since running second to stablemate Fourstar Crook in the Grade 2 New York on June 8, 2018 at Belmont. Since then, the now 5-year-old has won a half-dozen Grade 1 starts at four different tracks [Belmont, Churchill, Arlington Park, Saratoga Race Course] and at four different distances ranging from 1 1/8 miles to 1 3/8 miles."We're very lucky to have her. She did everything she needed to do. She was 0-for-2 at Belmont going in. Even though it was only by short margins both times to two other of our nice horses, she was nevertheless winless here," said Brown, who saddled Fourstar Crook to a Flower Bowl win last year and has won the race five times in the last six runnings. "The case could be made that this isn't her favorite course, but she got the job done. "We're pretty confident [in the Breeders' Cup] as long as she stays healthy," Brown added. "I don't think we've reached the bottom of her. Some of the setbacks that she's had have been a bit disappointing, but it's kept her fresh so it really goes both ways." Sistercharlie returned $2.40 on a $2 win wager. She improved to 10-3-0 lifetime and increased her career bankroll to $3,482,003."She's been very good. She's done everything we've asked of her and I'm proud to be a part of it with Chad and Peter. She's incredible," said Velazquez, a now five-time Flower Bowl winner. "I didn't feel like they were going very fast in front," he continued. "The two horses in front of me kept slowing down and obviously [Thais] just opened up. She was on the bridle and she's never on the bridle. I tried to leave her where she was comfortable and let her go from there."Andrew Stone's Mrs. Sippy, fresh off a win in the Grade 2 Glens Falls on August 31 at Saratoga, finished 2 ½ lengths clear of Thais for second. It was the 4-year-old Blame filly's second North American start since arriving from England. "She really put a nice run in at the end," said Mrs. Sippy jockey Joel Rosario. "I followed Sistercharlie the whole time and she dug in and came with a run, but Sistercharlie was just too strong. It was a nice race."Completing the order of finish was Lantiz, Beau Belle, Ferdinanda and Empress of the Nile.

Read Article
10.7.2019:

Wicked Whisper Proves Uncatchable in Belmont's G1 Frizette

ELMONT, N.Y. - Alex and JoAnn Lieblong's Wicked Whisper remained undefeated with a convincing score in the 72nd running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette on Sunday to close out the two-day Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Racing Festival at Belmont Park.The one-turn mile for juvenile fillies offered an all-fees paid berth to the Grade 1, $2 million Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 1 at Santa Anita Park. It also serves as New York's first prep race on the "Road to the Kentucky Oaks," with Wicked Whisper earning 10 qualifying points for the 2020 Grade 1 contest on May 1 at Churchill Downs.Wicked Whisper broke sharply under Joel Rosario and set easy splits of 22.91 seconds and 46.49 for the half-mile on the main track rated fast. Miss Marissa pressed the pace in second with California shipper Quality Response in third and multiple graded-stakes placed Frank's Rockette, with Hall of Famer John Velazquez up, rating outside in fourth through the early stages.Wicked Whisper traveled comfortably through the turn, opening up a 1 ½-length lead at the stretch call as Frank's Rockette made a wide move with Ice Princess and Slam Dunk following her lead.Frank's Rockette rallied in vain down the lane but could not reel in a free-wheeling Wicked Whisper, who scored by 2 ¾-lengths in a final time of 1:35.92.Rosario was full of praise for Wicked Whisper's bold effort."She relaxed good and was able to have a little extra in the last part," said Rosario. "There was a lot of speed. I was going to break and see; if someone went, maybe [I'd] lay second or third. She had nice cruising speed right away and I just decided to go on with her."Every time I asked her, she was there for me," he added. "It was her first time going a mile, so you just want something for the last part. She responded and just kept going. The more I asked, the more she was going. She looks like she's real spirited and looking around and enjoying herself."Frank's Rockette earned 4 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points in second, finishing  3 ¼-lengths in front of Slam Dunk (2 points), with Ice Princess (1 point) in fourth. Rounding out the order of finish were Daphne Moon, Miss Marissa and Quality Response.Velazquez said he had a good trip with the hard-trying Frank's Rockette."She was real aggressive the first part of the race and I decided to stay there and lay fourth," said Velazquez. "I just sat there on the outside and made one run with her and she ran really well. The other horse just got the better of us."Toby Sheets, assistant to Asmussen, said the team will take some time before deciding if they venture on to the Breeders Cup with Wicked Whisper."We're going to enjoy the moment and go from there and take it one step at a time," said Sheets. "She's a very nice and classy horse. She does everything correct. All I said to Joel was she's classy and 'good luck'"I didn't have any concerns because they were going easy," he added. "That was very easy for her and she finished great."The chestnut daughter of Liam's Map, bred in Kentucky by Siena Farms, banked $220,000 in victory. She returned $7.90 for a $2 win ticket.

Read Article
10.7.2019:

Four Wheel Drive Cruises to Victory in G3 Futurity Stakes at Belmont

ELMONT, N.Y. - Sent off as the overwhelming 4-5 post-time favorite, Breeze Easy LLC's Four Wheel Drive powered by the competition to win Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Futurity at Belmont Park and earn an all-expenses paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 1 at Santa Anita Park.Breaking alertly from post 4 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, Four Wheel Drive grabbed an early lead before Jack and Noah shot to the front, setting swift fractions of 21.62 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half in 44.33. Jack and Noah remained in front late in the turn with Four Wheel Drive sent under a drive shifting to the four-path to meet the leader at the top of the stretch. Securing the lead at the eighth-pole, Four Wheel Drive extended away to win by 3 lengths. He completed the six-furlong distance in a final time of 1:08.07 over a firm turf course."I worked him before this race and I put him behind horses. He always worked good like that and relaxed. When I asked him, he would take off like an older horse. He has a good mind," said Ortiz, Jr. "So [today], I didn't panic. I just let him break wherever he is comfortable and then go from there because I know he didn't have to be on the lead. He relaxed well and when I asked, he turned on."Four Wheel Drive remains unbeaten in two career starts after successfully winning his debut in the Rosie's on August 31 at Colonial Downs. The Wesley Ward trained son of American Pharoah, bred in Kentucky by Glenvale Stud, returned $3.50 for a $2 win wager and boosted his career earnings to $142,500."Hopefully, he comes out of the race well," said Mike Hall, co-owner of Breeze Easy, LLC. "It will be our first Breeders' Cup starter. We had Shang Shang Shang last year, but he came up a little off the day of the race, so hopefully, this one makes the dream come true. The plan was for him to just sit chilly. Irad knew he had a lot of horse. He just made his move when he needed to."Freewheeler closed for second followed by Embolden, Jack and Noah, Another Miracle, and Tomato Bill completing the order of finish.

Read Article
10.7.2019:

El Tigre Terrible Flies Late to Win $100K Speakeasy Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2019) — Last turning for home in a field of 11 juveniles, trainer Peter Miller’s El Tigre Terrible hugged the rail throughout and split horses in the shadow of the wire to nail his stablemate Bulletproof One by a head in a thrilling finish to Sunday’s $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita.  Ridden for the first time by Ruben Fuentes, El Tigre Terrible got five furlongs on turf and survived a jockey’s claim of foul from Edwin Maldonado for interference in deep stretch. With Greg’s Diva and Alfie Solomons ensuring blazing splits of 20.76 and 43.99, El Tigre Terrible was content to make one run, and he made it count. “I had never been on this horse, not even in the morning,” said Fuentes, who inherited the mount when regular rider Joe Talamo committed to riding in New York today.  “They were going so quick up front that he settled on his own.  I saved ground at the rail and we had a dream trip.  It opened up and he finished strong. I didn’t think we bothered the other horse.” A first condition allowance winner going 5 ½ furlongs on dirt at Del Mar Sept. 1, El Tigre Terrible, a California-bred colt by Smiling Tiger, was trying turf for the first time in his fifth career start and paid $49.20, $21.20 and $12.20 while off at 23-1. Owned by Slam Dunk Racing and Michael Nentwig, El Tigre Terrible, by virtue of his win, is now eligible for a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. “I felt like one of my horses was going to win, both of them ran super and we couldn’t be prouder of the horses,” said Miller.  “It was one of those last minute entries.  It was about 10 o’clock in the morning before entries closed and I called Nick (Cosato, with Slam Dunk Racing) and said ‘Hey, I think we should take a shot.  If I owned the horse, I would do it.’  He said ‘go ahead,’ and lightning struck. “Ruben is a great young rider and a great young kid.  I’ve been riding him more and with rides like this, we will be riding him even more.” El Tigre Terrible, who is out of the Hold That Tiger mare King City Kitty, garnered his first stakes win and he now has three wins from overall five starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, his earnings zoomed to $118,300. The lone filly in the lineup, Bulletproof One was full of run around the turn and had to wait for room prior to making what appeared to be the winning move, but she couldn’t quite hold off the winner while finishing a half length in front of speedy Greg’s Diva.  Off at 5-1, Bulletproof One paid $7.60 and $5.00. Ridden by Tyler Baze, Greg’s Diva was off at 6-1 and paid $5.40 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of 5-2 favorite Ginobili. Speakeasy Stakes Quotes JOCKEY QUOTES RUBEN FUENTES, EL TIGRE TERRIBLE, WINNER: “I had never been on this horse, not even in the morning. They were going so quick up front that he settled on his own. I saved ground at the rail and we had a dream trip. It opened up and he finished strong.”  TRAINER QUOTES PETER MILLER, EL TIGRE TERRIBLE, WINNER: “I felt like one of my horses was going to win, both of them ran super and we couldn’t be prouder of the horses.“It was one of those last-minute entries it was about 10 o’clock in the morning before entries closed and I called Nick (Cosato) and said, ‘Hey, I think  we should take a shot. If I owned the horse I would do it.’ He said ‘go ahead’ and lightning struck.'“He showed a lot first time on the grass he was dead last and finished with a flourish, so onward and upward. My filly Bulletproof One deserved a shot as well. She ran super but we had to check and wait and came through. A horse freaked out at the gate (Mr. Tip) next to her so she didn’t break well. I’m just really proud of the horses and my whole team and I would like to thank the owners for the opportunity.“Ruben (Fuentes) is a great young rider and a great young kid. I’ve been riding him more and with rides like this we will be riding him even more.”'“Sometimes you take a shot and you win, sometimes you embarrass yourself, and sometimes you run one-two and it’s real sweet.“We’ll look at the Breeders’ Cup, absolutely ($1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint at five furlongs on Nov. 1).”NICK COSATO, OWNER, SLAM DUNK RACING: “It’s kind of crazy. You run the favorite in the race Ginobili), then you’ve got to survive an inquiry (with El Tigre Terrible). There was a lot going on, a lot of moving parts here. We bought this horse as a yearling at Pomona with the hopes of running him grass eventually.”

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Kimari Rallies Late to Win Keeneland's Indian Summer Stakes

INDIAN SUMMER STAKES QUOTESWesley Ward (winning trainer of Kimari)“She broke well in the race in England (Queen Mary-G2 at Royal Ascot in June) – and that’s the only race she broke well in. That’s really what I was concerned about. Julio Garcia has been breezing her from behind horses, knowing today that she’d probably break slow. Julio has been sitting back and coming around horses with her and kind of been teaching her to rate. I really didn’t think she was going to be that far back but thank God (jockey Mike Smith is) a cool sitter and a go-getter, and he rode a beautiful race. Everything came through today and we’re looking forward to Breeders’ Cup.”Mike Smith (winning rider)On not panicking after the slow start“A lot of it had to do with what Wesley told me. He told me although she’s extremely fast, she breaks horrible every time. Being in the 2 hole, I thought, ‘Wow, that could be bad.’ But he said she’ll be OK if that happens. ‘Don’t worry about it. Just ride her with confidence.’ I take my hat off to him. I did exactly what he told me to do. I rode her with a lot of confidence. When we came off the top of the turn, I just had to show her the stick a little and she just took off.”Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Chimney Rock)“I had a perfect trip. He tried and ran very good. They took the winner, Kimari, out of her game today, and she came from off the pace and made a hell of a run.”Adam Beschizza (rider of third-place finisher Axiomo)“I had a beautiful trip. He’s had quite a good campaign. He’s won on both dirt and turf and seems to be going the right direction. He seems to be getting faster. I worked him a couple of times, and he's definitely a horse going in the right direction. There's a nice stake in him somewhere. The winner (Kimari) just got beat at Royal Ascot, so she’s probably a Grade 1 2-year-old. He’s up against the best at the moment.”

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Peace Achieved Wins G3 Bourbon Stakes; On to Breeders' Cup

BOURBON STAKES QUOTESMark Casse (winning trainer of Peace Achieved)“Horses are like anybody. You start winning, and it helps (this is Peace Achieved’s third consecutive win). He’s gotten better and better. I think he’ll like Santa Anita. (Securing a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-G1 with the “Win & You’re In” Challenge series) “is great for so many reasons. It’s become such a big part of our planning now every year. This is our second (Challenge Series win) this year. It’s how we lay out our season. I’m not going to bring him out (to Santa Anita) until maybe a week before. We’ve had pretty good luck going west and most of the time it’s five or six days out (from the race) so we’re not going to change that.”Miguel Mena (winning rider)“The boss (Mark Casse) mentioned the inside being a little softer than the outside, so we had a great post position (10 of 14). He came out of there running, and I just stayed a little wider for better ground. He was the best horse today – he’s very nice.”Javier Castellano (rider of runner-up Vitalogy [GB]“He got close to the pace for being 14 wide. I'm very satisfied with the way he did it; in a 14-horse field he gave me a good run. If we had (left the gate) better, we could have won the race. He passed horses little by little.”Brendan Walsh (trainer of Vitalogy)“From the draw we had, I basically left it up to Javier (Castellano) and what do you do? (Vitalogy) was a little wide the whole way, and he traveled a lot farther than the winner. But he ran really good, and the whole objective was to get him into the (Breeders’ Cup) Juvenile Turf. I think we probably would get in after today. Maybe we can go there and rectify it.”Tyler Gaffalione (rider of third-place finisher Gear Jockey)“My horse ran a very good race coming off the maiden (special weight on Aug. 31), the race where he finished second at Saratoga. He’s in good hands with (trainer) Rusty (Arnold) and his team, so we expect great things from him. (The pace) was honest. Everybody was doing it comfortably and we were happy with where we were.”

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Blue Prize Shocks Elate in G1 Juddmonte Spinster

SPINSTER STAKES QUOTESIgnacio Correas IV (winning trainer of Blue Prize [ARG])“She means a lot to me. The horses of my country (he is also a native of Argentina) have made me look good. Thanks to the trainers that trained them before me – they did a great job developing them. To tell you that I thought I was going to beat Elate, I would be lying. I thought she (Blue Prize) was sitting on a great race. She was coming into form. When we went to Saratoga, we were looking to put her in winning mode. We accomplished that (with a victory in the Aug. 18 Summer Colony Stakes). I thought if (jockey Joe Bravo) could relax her and if she had a target, she’s going to run big. Elate is a great, great mare.”On racing in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1)“Midnight Bisou is a super filly. Elate is a super filly. There are others. If she gets the trip (in the race), I think she has a shot.”Joe Bravo (winning rider)“Ignacio had her very keen today. He said, ‘Try to keep her quiet. She’s ready to go.’ After she broke in front, she got back underneath me. There were some really good horses in there, but she was able to (have) a stalking trip and watch them (in front). We’ve always said she runs great at a target. She listens to me. I really didn’t have to do too much. It’s fun to be part of a good horse.”Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Elate)“These mares are very nice. I mean, the winner won the Spinster last year. I’ve ridden her before. If they run fast, she runs fast. If they run slow, she runs a little slower. But she always finds a way to get to the wire first. About this race, I think I was in a good position the whole way. (Elate) was very comfortable, and we were in a good rhythm. She just got beat.”Javier Castellano (rider of third-place finisher Dunbar Road)“She didn’t show much speed out of the gate and the (Steve) Asmussen horse (She’s a Julie) they sent to the lead and Elate was to my outside. I just kept tracking and saving a little ground and tried to go through.”Whit Beckman (assistant to Chad Brown, trainer of Dunbar Road)“She didn’t have the easiest post and trip on the inside, but she showed a lot of heart and made the best bid she could. The good news is she’s 3 and if all goes well, we’ll have her back next year. (The Breeders’ Cup) would be a decision that Chad and (owner) Peter (Brant) will figure out.”Ricardo Santana Jr. (rider of fourth-place finisher She’s a Julie)“We had a good trip. My filly got a little tired at the end. For a Grade 1, we walked (fractions were slow).”Adam Beschizza (rider of fifth-place finisher Vexatious)“I had a dream trip going around there. I followed She’s a Julie, who went a nice, honest gallop the whole way around. My filly probably just got a bit intimidated by Dunbar Road joining a little bit early. There was no room going by Jose (Ortiz on Elate), who obviously was ready to put the race to bed. My filly just wasn’t quite ready to go on at that stage. My filly does have her own running style, and she almost has to have her own space in a race. But she'll come back again and bounce back better.”

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Maxfield Dominates G1 Breeders' Futurity; Earns Breeders' Cup Berth

Maxfield, last in the field of 10 in the early going, exploded past favored Gouverneur Morris at the top of the stretch and cruised to a 5½-length victory in the 106th running of the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds. Maxfield not only gave trainer Brendan Walsh his first Keeneland stakes victory but also the first Grade 1 victory of his career. For jockey Jose Ortiz, it was his first win in the race and second stakes victory of Fall Stars Weekend. With the victory, Maxfield earned a berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. American Butterfly led the field through fractions of :24.01 and :47.78 as Maxfield bided his time near the back of the pack. On the far turn, Gouverneur Morris blew past American Butterfly but Maxfield was behind him winding up with his run. At the head of the lane, Maxfield surged past and quickly erased any doubt about the outcome. The victory was worth $300,000 and increased Maxfield’s earnings to $354,412 with a record of 2-2-0-0. Maxfield is a Kentucky-bred son of Street Sense out of the Bernardini mare Velvety. Maxfield returned $14.80, $5.60 and $3.80. Gouverneur Morris, ridden by Javier Castellano, returned $3.40 and $2.80 with Enforceable finishing a half-length back in third under Florent Geroux and paying $6.20 to show. It was another five lengths back to Ajaaweed with By Your Side, American Butterfly, January Won, King Theo, Life On the Road and Tap It to Win following in order. BREEDERS' FUTURITY QUOTES Brendan Walsh (winning trainer of Maxfield)“When he started rolling I was looking to see if he was going to get through – is there anything going to stop us? – because I knew he was going to run right to the wire. “He’s a very special horse. I’ve been around a lot of good horses, and good horses breathe different air. I think this horse is right there. I thought he might take a run or two to break his maiden, but we knew he was a super-talented horse. He overcame a lot the first day we ran him (a maiden special win Sept. 14 at Churchill Downs), and he came out of that race doing so good. To come back in three weeks for a horse that’s only run once is a big ask, but he answers every question. “Obviously, we’ll see how he comes out of this (before a decision on the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1), but if you don’t bring him, who do you bring?“I always knew (winning my first Grade 1 race) would be special but to win it here for these people (Godolphin) it’s extra special. Fantastic. Indescribable. “Jose Ortiz (winning rider)“He’s a very nice horse and he’s very smart. He broke slow first time, took dirt and came running at Churchill. Today, he did the same thing. Broke a bit slow, relaxed and when I asked him to go, he was there for me the whole time.”Javier Castellano (rider of runner-up and beaten favorite Gouverneur Morris)“It was a good trip. Unfortunately, we were kind of wide in the first turn, but that’s hard to deal with breaking from the outside post. He broke well enough to get into a good spot. We were just second best today. He earned it and fought for second place, but the winner was the best horse in the race.”Florent Geroux (rider of third-place finisher Enforceable)“I was going to save some ground on the first turn on the backside and I decided to tip him out by the three-eighths pole, but the winner (Maxfield) came by me pretty fast. My horse ran a great race to hang on for third. I was close for second place. He ran good. It was a good race for him.”

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Spiced Perfection Rallies to Win Keeneland's G1 TCA Stakes

Spiced Perfection stumbled leaving the gate, worked her way into contention and then split leaders Mia Mischief and Talk Veuve to Me at the eighth pole to go on to a head victory over a late-closing Dawn the Destroyer in the 39th running of the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2).Spiced Perfection, who won the race in her first start since May 4, is cataloged to sell Nov. 6 at Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale as a racing or broodmare prospect. She is consigned by ELiTE, agent.Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Javier Castellano, Spiced Perfection covered the 6 furlongs over a fast main track in 1:10.60. It is the first victory in the race for Miller and Castellano.With the victory, Spiced Perfection earned a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) to be run at 7 furlongs on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.The victory was worth $150,000 and boosted Spiced Perfection’s earnings to $1,026,905 with a record of 18-8-5-2. It is the third Grade 1 victory for the 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Smiling Tiger out of the Pleasantly Perfect mare Perfect Feat.Spiced Perfection joins Groupie Doll (2012) and Informed Decision (2009) as the only horses to sweep the Madison (G1) here in the spring and Thoroughbred Club of America in the same year.Spiced Perfection paid $10.20, $5.60 and $4. Dawn the Destroyer, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $8.40 and $5 and finished 1½ lengths in front of Mia Mischief, who paid $4.40 to show under Joel Rosario.It was another 1¾ lengths back to favored Chalon, who was followed in order by Ours to Run, Danuska’s My Girl, Talk Veuve to Me, Pretty Greeley and Razorback Lady.TCA STAKES QUOTESJavier Castellano (winning rider of Spiced Perfection)“She stumbled really bad coming out of the gate. She recovered pretty quick and we kept tracking the speed. We got through a little, tiny hole at the eighth pole. The filly was very brave to go through that hole and get it done.”Bob Flynn (part-owner of Spiced Perfection)“This horse has been great ever since she started racing. Eighteen races now, eight wins and she just never quits. (A secured spot in the starting gate of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint-G1) sounds great. Sounds wonderful. I’ve never had one in the Breeders’ Cup.”Tyler Gaffalione (rider of runner-up Dawn the Destroyer)“It went to plan. There was a ton of speed in the race. We just let them go on about their business and let her find her stride. Coming into the 5/16ths pole, I just took her out and let her run. She really finished up strong. I thought we were going to get there but congratulations and props to the winner (Spiced Perfection). It went pretty quick, it was an honest pace.”Joel Rosario (rider of third-place finisher Mia Mischief)“I was in a good position, and then she tried running hard – just third best.”Arnaud Delacour (trainer of fourth-place finisher and beaten favorite Chalon)“It looked like she was in a good spot, but she was not really traveling as well as she usually does. The track was a little deep. It never looked at any stage like she was traveling well.”On whether Chalon will compete in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships“Let’s see how she comes back. But it would be a little bit tough to go there off a race like that. She would have had to show something special today. We’ll probably regroup and pass on the Breeders’ Cup.”

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Arklow Prevails in Thrilling Edition of G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic

ELMONT, N.Y. -  The headline event of the two-day Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Festival did not disappoint as three horses crossed the wire together in a thrilling finish in the Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch on Saturday at Belmont Park, with trainer Brad Cox's Arklow coming out on top over last year's winner Channel Maker and Sadler's Joy. Run at 1 ½ miles over a firm Widener turf course at Belmont, the Joe Hirsch featured an evenly-matched field of older turf marathoners that also included millionaire Zulu Alpha, Chilean superhorse Ya Primo, and graded stakes winner Channel Cat. Breaking from outermost post 7 under Hall of Famer John Velazquez, it was Channel Maker who showed the way early through comfortable splits of 25.14 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 50.85 for the half. Typically a deep closer, Sadler's Joy found himself in second in the early going perched just to the outside of Channel Maker, while Arklow, after breaking near the back of the pack beneath Junior Alvarado, moved up to sit in third just off Sadler's Joy's flank. The leading triumvirate continued to amble along down the backstretch through three-quarters in 1:16.13 and a mile in 1:40.31, before the running began in earnest around the far turn. Arklow was the first to press the issue, launching a menacing bid on the outside heading into the stretch, but Channel Maker was unwavering on the lead and Sadler's Joy dug in determinedly between horses. The three were inseparable for nearly the length of the Belmont stretch until finally Arklow surged by in the final sixteenth and inched away to prevail by a half-length, stopping the clock in 2:27.34. "Every race, I try to do my homework and sometimes you just have to go with how the race is developing," said Alvarado. "One thing I was sure of was that I didn't want to get in his way. I wanted to save ground since it's a mile and a half race. Coming by the wire at the first turn, I knew we were going a little slow. I didn't want to go in behind those horses and then never be able to catch the frontrunner, so I just lost a little ground into the first turn but I never got in his way. I let him find his rhythm and he was there for me the whole way around." The victory was a long time coming for Arklow, who was winless in 2019 despite near misses in the Grade 1 Man O' War and Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup at Belmont. Prior to Saturday, the 5-year-old son of Arch's last win came more than a year ago in the Grade 3 Sycamore at Keeneland last September. He returned $10 to win and increased his career earnings to $1,776,382 for owners Donegal Racing, Joseph Bulger, and Peter Coneway. "It's been a long journey to get there, but he finally got it done," said Cox's assistant, Dustin Dugas. "He's had enough seconds in a row. He's a cool horse. He's a hard knocker for all of us. It's fun. "They had him right," Dugas added. "He shipped in from Kentucky. The guys in Kentucky did a great job with him. They had him on point and ready to run today."  Channel Maker, who won last year's edition of the Joe Hirsch over soft ground and bested Arklow by a neck earlier this year in the Man O' War, finished second, a neck in front of Sadler's Joy. It was another 1 ¾ lengths back to Channel Cat in fourth, followed by Cross Border, Zulu Alpha, and Ya Primo.

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Stubbins Sets Keeneland Record in G2 Woodford Stakes

In the 23rd running of the $200,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select, Joel Rosario had Stubbins at the rear of the field as Satellite Storm led the field of nine through fractions of :21.18 and :44.21 over the firm turf course.On the far turn, Stubbins eased off the rail, waited behind horses and swung five wide at the top of the lane for clear sailing. In midstretch, Leinster had emerged with a daylight advantage only to be nailed in the final sixteenth as Stubbins moved on to a three-quarters of a length victory.Stubbins finished the 5½ furlongs in 1:01.44 eclipsing the stakes record of 1:01.67 set by Sgt. Bert in 2006 and the course record of 1:01.53 established by Perfect Officer in 2012.Doug O’Neill trains Stubbins, who delivered the first Woodford victory for O’Neill and Rosario.The victory was worth $120,000 and improved Stubbins’ bankroll to $418,151 with a record of 10-4-2-2. It is the first graded stakes victory for the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Morning Line out of the Atraf (GB) mare Sierra Vista (GB).Stubbins, a Keeneland sales graduate, returned $17.20, $7 and $4.40. Leinster, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $4 and $3 and finished 1½ lengths in front of favored Imprimis, who paid $2.40 to show under Paco Lopez.It was another two lengths back to Smart Remark, who was followed in order by Extravagant Kid, Fareeq, Win Lion Win, Satellite Storm and Royal Commish.WOODFORD STAKES QUOTESJoel Rosario (winning rider of Stubbins)On the difference today and his last race on Sept. 12 at Kentucky Downs when he was second to Legends of War in the Nevada State Bank Franklin-Simpson (G3)“Today, it looked like there was good speed in front. There was good speed at Kentucky Downs, too, but it was a bit different – the horse that won (Legends of War) had a tremendous race. (My horse) came running and was a good second. Today, he came running and put in a good run there at the end. I tried to stay in (on the rail in the turn). I was saving ground and then when I had some room was able to turn him loose.”Tyler Gaffalione (rider of runner-up Leinster)“It worked out perfect. The speed went on. We were able to relax right off. When I asked him, he finished up strong. The other horse ran us down. My horse was in full flight and that horse (Stubbins) was finishing all the way to wire – he had a lot left.”Joe Orseno (trainer of third-place finisher and beaten favorite Imprimis)“He (jockey Paco Lopez) wanted to get to the outside and he couldn’t. The 9 (Leinster) was holding him in there, he said, and he couldn’t run his race. It’s not that (Imprimis) has to be on the outside but he was trying to run and he couldn’t.” On whether Imprimis will continue to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships“If he’s OK, then I think we should plan for it. He was running at the end.”

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Omaha Beach Nips Shancelot at Wire in G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2019) — The morning line favorite for this Kentucky Derby and idle since April 13, Richard Mandella’s Omaha Beach put on a tremendous exhibition in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, as he gradually overhauled heavily favored eastern invader Shancelot to prevail by a head in an astonishingly fast 1:08.79 under Mike Smith. The question now is, where does this immensely talented colt by War Front go next?  With today’s race a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier to the $2 million Sprint here on Nov. 2, that’s an obvious option, but given the scope and versatility Omaha Beach has exhibited in both the morning and afternoon, he could potentially run in any one of three races on Nov. 2. “I want to enjoy this one, but the Sprint, the ($2 million) Mile and the mile and a quarter ($6 million Classic) are all possible,” said Mandella, who had to stop on his stable star just days before the Run for the Roses due to an entrapped epiglotis.  “I’m just very relieved to have him back. At the eighth pole, I thought we were (going to be) clear, but it took some race riding…This horse has a heart of gold and he’s got the greatest personality of any horse I’ve ever had.  I would say anything’s possible.”Although he bobbled ever so slightly at the break, Omaha Beach was quickly into stride and was just a head off of Shancelot while full of run mid-way around the turn.  At the top of the lane, Shancelot, drifted a bit off the rail and Smith then stayed inside through an incredible stretch battle. “He broke extremely well, almost too well,” said Smith. “He slipped a little leaving there, but man he settled right in behind them really nice. He was loaded coming off that turn…His last work was brilliant and he ran the way he worked. “He’s a throwback to those classic horses. He can do anything. Three quarters to a mile and a quarter. He’s extremely fast and he’s got tremendous stamina…He can do it all. The only thing that surprised me today was that I had to stay inside. His last work was his best one, no question. Today, he hit his best stride late.” Overlayed at 5-2 off of a morning line of 8-5 in a field of six, Omaha Beach, who is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Charming, paid $7.20, $2.40 and $2.10. Owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Inc., Omaha Beach, who won the Grade I Arkansas Derby on April 13, now has a total of three graded stakes wins to his credit from an overall mark of 8-4-3-1.  With today’s winner’s share of $180,000, his earnings stand at $1,301,800. Although it would have been unfathomable to imagine any horse getting beat that essentially ran six furlongs today in 1:08 and 4/5s seconds, that’s exactly the fate that befell Shancelot, who shipped in from his Monmouth Park base and was ridden by Florida-based Emisael Jaramillo.  “I really don’t know what to think right now, to be honest,” said a visibly stunned Jorge Navarro, trainer of Shancelot. “I thought maybe he (Jaramillo) waited too long…What’s he looking back for?” A galloping 12 ½ length winner of a Grade II sprint stakes at Saratoga two starts back on July 28, Shancelot was just a head shy of being unbeaten in four starts and was thus made the 1-5 favorite, returning $2.10 and $2.10 while finishing 2 ½ lengths in front of John Sadler’s Flagstaff.  Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Flagstaff was off at 9-1 and paid $2.10 to show. Fractions, all set by the runner-up, were 21.87, 44.38 and 56.18.SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP (GI) $300,000 QUOTES   JOCKEY QUOTESMIKE SMITH, OMAHA BEACH, WINNER: “He broke extremely well, almost too well, he slipped a little leaving there but man he settled right in behind them really nice. He was loaded coming off that turn, Mr. Mandella really had him ready today. His last work was brilliant and he ran the way he worked.” “He’s a throwback to those classic horses.  He can do anything.  Three quarters to a mile and a quarter.  He’s extremely fast and he’s got tremendous stamina.  When you need him to be quick, he is.  He can do it all.  The only thing that surprised me today was that I had to stay inside.  His last work was his best one, no question.  Today, he hit his best stride late.”  TRAINER QUOTES RICHARD MANDELLA, OMAHA BEACH, WINNER: “He just does that for us all the time, he is a fabulous horse, I think little by little he will have the respect he deserves. “I’m just very relieved to have him back.  At the eighth pole, I thought we were (going to be) clear, but it took some race riding…This horse has a heart of gold and he’s got the greatest personality of any horse I’ve ever had.  I would say anything’s possible. “You never know until you run them back, he got a little fresh and hot going into the gate so that is always on the back of your mind. He is a very good horse and God knows how good he will be in the future. “We were just going to let him run his race, I took two weeks to make a sprinter out of him, so it is not like we practiced a lot, but the really good horses can adapt to whatever you ask. “I want to enjoy this one, but the (Breeders’ Cup) Sprint, the Mile and the mile and a quarter (Classic) are all possible…We’re gonna run in the Breeders’ Cup! For now I’ll just drink that big bottle of champagne and think it over.” JORGE NAVARRO, TRAINER OF SHANCELOT, SECOND:  “I really don’t know what to think right now, to be honest.  I thought maybe he (jockey Emisael Jaramillo) waited too long…What’s he looking back for?” 

Read Article
10.5.2019:

True Valour Scores in Santa Anita's G2 City of Hope Mile

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2019) — Idle since Feb. 9, trainer Simon Callaghan’s Irish-bred True Valour unleased a furious stretch rally to prevail by a head in a thrilling five-horse photo in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita.  Ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke, the 5-year-old full horse by Kodiac got a mile on turf in 1:32.82.Midpack while fifth in the run up the backside, Van Dyke saved ground at the rail around the far turn, split horses two deep turning for home and outran Restrainedvengence, Prince Earl and Kingly for the money. A winner of the Grade III Thunder Road at one mile on turf Feb. 9, True Valour was off at 16-1 in a field of 11 three year olds and up and paid $35.80, $16.20 and $7.00. Owned by Qatar Racing, Ltd., True Valour, who was making his third start of the year, picked up $120,000 for the win, boosting his earnings to $355,112 while improving his overall mark to 19-5-2-6.Restrainedvengence, fresh off a facile win in the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Sept. 2, pressed pacesetter Kingly throughout and outlasted favored Prince Earl by a nose for second money. Trained by Val Brinkerhoff and ridden by Martin Garcia, Restrainedvengence was off at 43-1 and paid $38.00 and $18.00. California-bred Prince Earl, third the entire trip, just missed while finishing a head in front of Kingly. Trained by Phil D’Amato and ridden by Geovanni Franco, Prince Earl was off at 5-2 and paid $3.60 to show. Fractions on the race were 22.58, 45.50, 1:09.04 and 1:20.82. CITY OF HOPE MILE (GII) $200,000 QUOTES  JOCKEY QUOTES DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, TRUE VALOUR, WINNER:  “Simon told me to keep him covered up, that’s the main thing. If he sees daylight, he gets aggressive, which he was early.  From there, I just tried to find a path and someone to follow. I knew I had won, they (the placing judges) were trying to figure out who was second and third."   TRAINER QUOTES  SIMON CALLAGHAN, TRUE VALOUR, WINNER: “He’s such a cool horse he always comes up and shows a big showing. It was nice to get the head bob today.“He had some time off after the Thunder Road stakes (Feb. 9) due to some minor bone bruising and we wanted to give him some time off.  We felt we had him really fit today. He was pretty fresh early, he pulled Drayden early, gave him a perfect ride, he sprint quick to the front and it worked out well. He needs to play his cards where they lay and Drayden certainly did that.“Qatar (Racing Limited) may want to go for the Breeders’ Cup Mile,  it’s here and he’s shown a pretty good affinity for the track as far as his last two races, it will be tougher but they might want to take a shot.”VAL BRINKERHOFF, CO-OWNER, TRAINER RESTRAINEDVENGENCE, SECOND: “I’m tickled to death. He’d been training great, lights out. I kept telling some of these agents that, but I had a heckuva time getting a jock. It worked out, ’cause Martin rode him great. Last time out up at Golden Gate, he didn’t even have to get off a gallop, that’s how easy he won up there. He’s just now coming into himself. He was still aggressive today, but he’s calming down.”

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Bowie's Hero Punches Breeders' Cup Ticket in Keeneland's G1 Shadwell Mile

Agave Racing Stable, ERJ Racing and Madaket Stables’ Bowies Hero emerged from a crowded pack in the stretch to win the 34th running of the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up by three-quarters of a length before a chamber of commerce Saturday afternoon crowd of 26,567. (Click here for a replay of the race.)Keeneland smashed its Fall Meet all-sources and Pick Five wagering records, both set on Fall Stars Saturday in 2018. All-sources handle totaled $18,392,756, eclipsing the previous record of $17,122,465. Wagering on the $300,000-guaranteed All-Stakes Pick Five totaled $794,689 to best the former record of $619,106.The blockbuster day featured five graded stakes worth $2.35 million, including the Shadwell Turf Mile and three other Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in which winners earned automatic berths in the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2.The Shadwell Turf Mile win earned Bowies Hero a fees-paid berth into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.Also earning Breeders’ Cup berths Saturday were Godolphin’s Maxfield, who took the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1); Robert LaPenta, Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners and Bethlehem Stables’ Uni (GB), who set a course record in the $400,000 First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare (G1); and Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable and Peter Deutsch’s Spiced Perfection, winner of the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2).Earlier on the 11-race program, McShane Racing’s Stubbins rallied from far off the pace to win the $200,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by Keeneland Select in course-record time.In the Shadwell Turf Mile, jockey Flavien Prat had Bowies Hero racing in midpack early on, swung seven wide at the head of the stretch for clear running and collared Diamond Oops in deep stretch to claim his second Grade 1 victory in his career.The victory is the first in a Keeneland stakes for Prat and trainer Phil D’Amato.Bowies Hero, a Keeneland sales graduate, covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:34.20 and added $600,000 to his bankroll that now totals $1,478,970 with a record of 21-8-1-3.A winner of four graded stakes, Bowies Hero is a Kentucky-bred son of Artie Schiller out of the Sky Mesa mare Remembered.Bowies Hero returned $18.40, $8.80 and $6.60. Diamond Oops, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $13 and $8.80 in finishing a nose in front of 2017 Shadwell winner Suedois (FR), who paid $11.80 to show under Jamie Spencer.It was another nose back to First Premio in fourth followed by March to the Arch, 2018 winner Next Shares and Divisidero. Van Beethoven and Bandua in a dead-heat for eighth with favored Valid Point, Admission Office, Vintager (GB), Robin of Navan (FR) and Real Story completing the field.SHADWELL MILE QUOTESJosh Flores (assistant to Phil D’Amato, winning trainer of Bowies Hero)On the decision to run here rather than at Santa Anita in today’s City of Hope Mile (G2)“About a million dollars (purse of Shadwell Turf Mile), compared to $200,000. We’ve always had the confidence in this horse. He’s had some tough trips. Today, (jockey) Flavien (Prat) was able to put him in the right spot and he was able to fly home.”On earning a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at D’Amato’s home track of Santa Anita.“It will be nice to walk over – probably (as) one of the favorites – right out of your own barn. And to win one at Keeneland is always special.”Flavien Prat (winning rider)“I thought I had a good trip. My horse broke well – better than the other day (when fifth at Del Mar in the Del Mar Mile-G2 on Aug. 18). I was able to put myself in the race, was able to tip him out around the turn and get him ready to make his run. And then he got the job done. (The battle between several horses right at the wire) was great. When you win, it’s great. When you get beat, it’s frustrating. He always gives you everything he has.”Julien Leparoux (rider of runner-up Diamond Oops)“We were close to the pace, broke very sharp. Settled nice on the backside. He ran big today. It was a close finish for second and he ran a big race for sure.”Jamie Spencer (rider of third-place finisher Suedois [FR])“The draw (12 hole) was a big handicap to my horse, probably the difference between winning and losing. He’s run good. He’s an 8-year-old. The trainer (David O’Meara) has done well with him.”Javier Castellano (rider of 10th-place finisher and beaten favorite Valid Point)“I tried to find room and get a spot in the race. Turning for home, I tried looking for a seam. It was a tough race, a lot of traffic, a lot of horses – a lot of good horses. I tried to get a jump but it was a lot of traffic. It was a big step up today for a young horse. I think he ran huge in the Secretariat (G1). We tried to step up a little bit and maybe get lucky but it was a tough race. I’m not disappointed, I think he’s a good horse. Sometimes you have to test the waters a little bit.”

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Uni Wins G1 First Lady Stakes; Expected to Supplement to Breeders' Cup Mile

Uni unleashed a furious run through the stretch to score a 2½-length victory over Juliet Foxtrot (GB) to win the 22nd running of the $400,000 First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare (G1) in course-record time of 1:32.87 for the mile on firm turf.Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Joel Rosario, Uni obliterated the stakes record of 1:34.08 set by Never Retreat in 2011 and the course record of 1:33.54 established by Perfect Soul (IRE) in 2004.It is the third win in the race for Brown, who saddled Dayatthespa in 2014 and A Raving Beauty (GER) last year. It is the first victory in the race for Rosario.Ms Bad Behavior rocketed out of the gate and led the field of 13 through fractions of :22.71, :45.40 and 1:09.47 as Rosario bided his time near the back of the pack.Turning for home, Rosario moved Uni out into the seven path for clear sailing, collared Juliet Foxtrot at the eighth pole and drew off.With the victory, Uni earned a berth in the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) to be run at 1 1/4 miles on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.The victory was worth $240,000 and increased Uni’s earnings to $1,247,880 with a record of 17-9-3-3. Since coming to the U.S. from Europe in 2017, she has won seven stakes, four of them graded, and won six of seven starts at the mile distance.Uni is a 5-year-old daughter of More Than Ready out of the Dansili (GB) mare Unaided (GB).Uni returned $8, $4.40 and $3. Juliet Foxtrot, with Florent Geroux aboard, returned $8.20 and $5 and finished 1¼ lengths in front of Vasilika, who paid $3.60 to show under Flavien Prat.It was another 1½ lengths back to favored Rushing Fall, who was followed in order by Hanalei Moon, Awesometank (GB), Just Wonderful, Mitchell Road, Storm the Hill, Ms Bad Behavior, Indian Blessing (GB), Marina’s Legacy and Conquest Hardcandy. FIRST LADY STAKES Whit Beckman (assistant to Chad Brown, winning trainer of Uni [GB])“It’s another addition to her tremendous career as a miler. She’s real solid when she’s put at this distance and she’s gone to multiple tracks and has shown that kick.”Joel Rosario (rider of Uni)“At some point I thought she (favorite Rushing Fall) would have a little more speed than me and I’d be looking to see where she was and probably follow her and she’d put me in a good spot. In the first turn, it looked like they were going pretty good speed, and I just followed Rushing Fall. (Uni) came with a nice run like she always does. She’s unbelievable. She has a long stride and she just kept coming and coming.”Florent Geroux (rider of runner-up Juliet Foxtrot [GB])“Good trip. I was on the inside to save ground. We got going pretty fast. She did good but moved earlier than I wanted, but the horses in front of me were getting tired so I had to make a quick move. I think she was second best today. I think Uni ran the best race. She ran by me pretty easy – still a nice effort from my filly.”Flavien Prat (rider of third-place finisher Vasilika)“We had a good trip and she made a good move.”Javier Castellano (rider of fourth-place finisher and beaten favorite Rushing Fall)“I had a beautiful trip all the way. It went pretty fast in :22 and :45. I was in midpack, traveled well, passed some horses. Just turning for home, I moved to pass a couple of horses, but at the top of the stretch, she didn’t give it to me. She was more flat today. For (whatever) reason she didn't respond.”Bob Edwards of e Five Racing Thoroughbreds (owner of Rushing Fall)“We’ll probably regroup, talk to Chad (Brown) and come up with a plan. Maybe (send) her down to Stonestreet (in Florida) and let her winter down there and then come back and run her next year.”On her trip“Javier was going to let the pace dictate where he was going to put her. She’s done everything: She’s led, she’s come off the pace, she can run any style you need her to. Maybe it was a little hot, maybe it was a little firm today. She likes a little give to the ground. It could have been a number of things. She ran lights out in the Just a Game (G1), lights out against Sistercharlie (IRE). It’s hard to be disappointed with a horse who has won two Grade 1s this year. I would have loved to win another Grade 1 at Keeneland, but I’m not disappointed in the horse at all. I’m happy the horse is sound and we get to fight another battle.”  

Read Article
10.4.2019:

Keeneland's G1 Darley Alcibiades Goes to British Idiom

Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables’ British Idiom swept to the lead at the head of the stretch and romped to a 6½-length victory to win the 68th running of the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) for 2-year-old fillies before a Fall Meet opening-day crowd of 16,427.In the race prior to the Darley Alcibiades, Woodford Racing’s Engage held off a late charge from 2017 victor Whitmore to win the 167th running of the $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2).Both winners earned fees-paid berths to the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita. British Idiom secured a spot in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 1 and Engage nailed down a spot in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) to be run at 6 furlongs on Nov. 2.Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Javier Castellano, British Idiom covered the 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:45.80. Cox and Castellano earned their first victory in the Darley Alcibiades.A debut winner going 6 furlongs at Saratoga in August, British Idiom rated in fourth place as Spitefulness and Sequin dueled through early fractions of :23.73 and :47.27.On the far turn, Sequin took over but was quickly joined and passed by British Idiom, who erased any doubt about the outcome. Perfect Alibi also made a big move on the turn from fifth to take over second but was no threat to the winner.The victory was worth $240,000 and increased British Idiom’s earnings to $281,250 with a record of 2-2-0-0. British Idiom is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Flashback out of the Mr. Sekiguchi mare Rose and Shine.British Idiom rewarded her backers with payoffs of $9.20, $4.40 and $3.20. Perfect Alibi, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $3.40 and $2.60 and finished three lengths in front of favored Alandra, who paid $2.60 to show under Joel Rosario.It was another three lengths back to Gone Glimmering, who was followed in order by Sequin, Three D Flag, Spitefulness, How Ironic, Micheline, Western Taffy and Heir of Light.Darley Alcibiades Stakes QuotesBrad Cox (winning trainer of British Idiom)On what gave him the confidence to start the filly, a winner of her only start, in a Grade 1 race“We were pointing for the Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill, but the week before she came down with a little bug. Nothing major, but (I) just wasn’t happy with her bloodwork so we gave her a little time. She’s a real laid-back filly. She’s a really nice filly that’s full of class. She never gets worked up. She does whatever you want in the mornings. She’s a good-sized filly, too, and obviously capable of getting around two turns. As long as she comes out of this in good shape, we’ll look at California (and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1).”Javier Castellano (winning rider)On how he got her to relax going two turns for the first time“I think good horses can do that. She broke good and got good position. She pulled a little bit, but I liked the way she did it on the backside. She relaxed, kept tracking the horses, and I liked the way she finished. She’s a good filly. She’s improved and stepped up in class. Credit to Mr. Brad (Cox) on the way he trained her. Made me look good today.”Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Perfect Alibi)“Perfect, clean trip, just second best. I was following Javier (Castellano on the winner) but he was still in a good position passing the three-eighths pole and I was already asking my filly to go. It took her a while to get going but when she did I wasn’t able to keep up with the winner.”Mark Casse (trainer of Perfect Alibi)“She ran well for her first time going two turns. I think she earned a (chance) in the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies). She sure didn’t embarrass us today.”Joel Rosario (rider of third-place finisher Alandra)“She broke a little slow. This is her first time going two turns and only her second start. She came running. She put in a good effort.”James Graham (rider of fourth-place finisher Gone Glimmering)“She felt fantastic, she traveled beautifully. She’s learning, she’s figuring it out. She’s still a little immature but she’s very willing. She wants to do right for you. It just takes her a couple of extra steps to realize it’s OK to settle.”

Read Article
10.4.2019:

Engage Earns Breeders' Cup Trip with G2 Phoenix Victory at Keeneland

In the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix, 2018 winner and favored Promises Fulfilled was first out of the gate, with Zipp On By applying pressure through fractions of :22.22 and :45.43 as Engage raced in mid pack.At the head of the lane, the pacesetters began to wilt as Engage, swinging six wide, steadily moved toward the front and had enough to hold off Whitmore, who had bobbled at the start and spotted the field nearly 10 lengths in the early running.Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Engage covered the 6 furlongs in 1:10.21 over a fast main track. It is the first victory in the race for Asmussen and OrtizThe victory was worth $150,000 and increased Engage’s earnings to $649,080 with a record of 12-5-4-0.Engage is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief out of the Speightstown mare Nefertiti.Engage returned $21, $8 and $6. Whitmore, ridden by Joel Rosario, returned $5.40 and $4.40. A nose back in third was Lexitonian, who paid $12.60 to show under Adam Beschizza.It was another three-quarters of a length back to Recruiting Ready with Hog Creek Hustle, Promises Fulfilled, Zipp On By, Cove Blue and American Pastime completing the order of finish. Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes Quotes Steve Asmussen (winning trainer of Engage)“We’re very pleased with the outcome. It’s great to see this horse dig in. Quality field, rush to the wire and he found enough. He’s always been a quality horse. Belmont Futurity (G3) winner as a 2-year-old, fresh horse, very sound horse. Loved the opportunity for him. We felt good about our chances when we saw him over the race track here at Keeneland. This is a big win.”Jose Ortiz (winning rider)“He’s a very game horse. I know him very well and I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to ride him back. (The race unfolded) very good. I was expecting an honest pace, but they weren’t going that fast so I was able to lay close. The last sixteenth, he felt some horses coming – he pins his ears back and keeps going.”Joel Rosario (rider of runner-up Whitmore)“He was very comfortable where he was, then when he made that run I thought for a second we were going to get there. Good effort.”Ron Moquett (trainer of runner-up Whitmore)“I think the (slightly slow) pace might have affected him a little. He has not run in a while and I was glad to get him back in action. If the race had been a little faster earlier, then (leaving the gate) that far back would not have affected him at all. Breeders’ Cup is still a possibility.”Adam Beschizza (rider of third-place finisher Lexitonian)“I was (on) the underdog in the race, but it was his first time taking on elders and he showed his grit. That’s the way he likes to do it. He's a solid horse. He's just probably getting to the end of his 3-year-old campaign now. Things are going to get harder for him but he showed his all. True heart there. He ran huge.”Dale Romans (trainer of sixth-place finisher and beaten favorite Promises Fulfilled)“(Jockey) Luis (Saez) said he was switching leads a couple times. I don’t know (what happened). We’ll figure it out. He said he thought he was traveling good early and that he had a lot of horse. I don’t know.”On whether the Breeders’ Cup is still in play“Oh yeah, we’ve got a Win and You’re in (from the John Nerud-G2). We’ll just have to figure something out over the next 30 days. Everything is still on the table (between the Sprint-G1 and Dirt Mile-G1).”

Read Article
10.4.2019:

Golden Gate 2019 Summer Season Marks 6th Straight Meet with Handle Gains

ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2019) — Golden Gate Fields’ 2019 Summer Meet, which concluded this past Sunday, posted a strong finish and positive gain in all sources pari-mutuel handle over its 2018 summer season. With all sources handle showing an increase, the accomplishment marked the bayside track’s sixth straight race meeting that ended with an increase in all sources handle over the previous season.At the 2018 Summer Meet, Golden Gate registered $49,056,628 in all sources handle.  One year later, the number increased to $55,357,826, a net gain of 11 percent. Golden Gate Fields General Manager and Vice President David Duggan was pleased with the final number. “After the lengthy break between June and August, it took us a little time to gain momentum at our Summer Meet,” said Duggan. “Needless to say, we were very pleased with our result. We finished our meeting very strong. “First and foremost, equine and rider health and safety is of the utmost importance to us,” continued Duggan. “We continue to work diligently at improving the health and safety of our equine and human athletes. It of course is also incumbent upon us to provide a good racing product for our customers, breeders, owners and trainers. I believe we have successfully managed to do that. We remain very positive regarding the future of racing in Northern California, with great anticipation for our big Fall and Winter/Spring Meets coming up.” Among the jockeys, Irving Orozco had a sensational Summer Meet, finishing atop the rider standings with 46 wins from 159 mounts, which equated to an incredible 29 percent in the win column. The veteran rider had a momentous weekend on Sept. 14 and 15, winning five races on the 14th and four more the following day. Orozco also had a terrific afternoon on closing day this past Sunday, winning a quartet of races to put an exclamation mark on a huge meet. William Antongeorgi III finished second in the jockey standings with 27 victories, while the venerable Frank Alvarado rounded out the top three placings with 26 wins. Jonathan Wong continued to dominate the trainer’s division, as he bagged his fourth consecutive Golden Gate training title with 23 wins from 96 starters—10 wins clear of Victor Trujillo. Bill Delia and Isidro Tamayo each had 10 wins, dead heating for third in the standings. The marquee race of the meet, the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes, at a mile and one sixteenth on grass, was won by Southern California shipper Restrainedvengance. Trained by Val Brinkerhoff and ridden by locally based Juan Hernandez, the Kentucky-bred son of Hold Me Back went to the lead and never looked back, winning by 3 ½ lengths.                     Live racing returns to Golden Gate Fields on Thursday, Oct. 17, with the 36-day Golden Gate Fall Meeting. Nine stakes races are on the calendar, with closing day on Sunday, Dec. 15. The highlight of the meet figures to be the Grade III, $100,000 Berkeley Handicap for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday, Nov. 30. For additional information, please visit Goldengatefields.com or call (510) 559-7300.

Read Article
9.29.2019:

Owendale Scores in G3 Oklahoma Derby

Jim Rupp made a decision in the past few years that has led to owning his first near-millionaire horse, Owendale, winner of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sunday.Rupp, a retired oilman from Bay City, Mich., met renowned bloodstock agent Mike Ryan at the Yearling Sale at Keeneland in 2017 and hit it off. The head of Rupp Racing eventually asked Ryan to pick out a horse for him and that keen eye came up with Owendale for $200,000. After winning the Oklahoma Derby, capturing the $240,000 first-place share of the purse, Owendale’s lifetime earnings are now $958,725. Nice profit from that decision to talk to Ryan, especially after only four years in the business as an owner.Jockey Florent Geroux came from eighth in the early going and didn’t make the lead until the stretch when he passed 40-1 longshot Sleepy Eyes Todd, 35-1 longshot Chess Chief and 4-5 wagering favorite Mucho Gusto, out of hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn. Owendale, trained by Brad Cox, drew off to a 1-3/4 lengths victory at 2-1 odds. Owendale ran the 1-1/8 miles in 1:49.29 seconds over a fast track. It was the first win for both Geroux and Cox in the Oklahoma Derby.“He’s a wonderful horse,” Geroux said. “I wanted to make sure he was not too wide down the backstretch, so I found a nice cozy spot to wait. I was keeping my eye on Mucho Gusto because I knew he was the horse to beat.”Sleepy Eyes Todd held on for second and was a neck ahead of third-place Chess Chief, who was a head in front of Mucho Gusto, who could only manage fourth place in the three-horse photo for second. The remaining order of finish for the derby, with a field of 10, was Bankit, Funny Guy, Long Range Toddy, Cairo Cat, Drifting West and View Magic.Owendale, was close to going to the Kentucky Derby this year, winning the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13, but the horse’s assistant trainer Ricky Giannini said he didn’t have enough points going into the Lexington to qualify for the Run for the Roses, and that turnaround after winning the Lexington would have been a little quick. So the colt was sent to the Preakness Stakes instead in Maryland and he came close to pulling off the upset. War of Will beat him by 1-1/4 lengths in the second leg of the Triple Crown. At that point the connections of Owendale knew they had something special.“He just keeps getting better and better,” said Rupp. “All the thanks go to Brad Cox and (his brother), Blake Cox, Ricky and the whole crew.” Owendale paid $6.20 to win, $3.80 to place and $2.80 to show. In winning the Oklahoma Derby from post-position 10, he becomes the second horse to win the race after leaving the gate, joining Golden Yank from 2008.Owendale showed how talented he is by cutting into the slow fractions set by the pace-setting Sleepy Eyes Todd. He was able to make his winning move despite the 23.95 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 48.03 by the half mile and 1:12.32 for six furlongs. The mile time was 1:36.29.Owendale, combined with the bomb of Sleepy Eyes Todd in second, the exacta paid $192 on a $2 exacta play. With Chess Chief in third at boxcar prices, the 50-cent trifecta paid $341.60. With the heavy favorite Mucho Gusto fourth, the 10-cent superfecta was worth $253.39.Owendale was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC. He is a 3-year-old colt by Into Mischief from the Bernardini mare Aspen Light. The score in the Oklahoma Derby is the fifth win from 12 starts for Owendale who also won the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown outside of Cleveland in June.

Read Article
9.29.2019:

Paradise Woods Gets Perfect Stalking Trip in G2 Zenyatta Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2019) — Paradise Woods, always long on ability, but limited at times by her own idiosyncrasies, was all business in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita, as she stalked favored Secret Spice early and took command a sixteenth of a mile from home en route to an impressive 1 ¾ length win under first-time pilot Abel Cedillo. Trained by John Shirreffs, the trainer of the legendary mare for whom today’s race was named, Paradise Woods, a 5-year-old mare by Union Rags, got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:44.31 and will now set her sights on the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.  (A Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race qualifier, the Zenyatta winner earns an automatic fees-paid berth into the Distaff). Most recently fourth in the Grade I Clement Hirsch July 28 at Del Mar, an unexpected decision was made to replace Hall of Famer Mike Smith with the recently arrived Cedillo, who bagged his third graded stakes win in the last two days. “Mike told me you’ve got to keep her calm and she’ll try hard,” said Cedillo, a 30-year-old native of Guatemala, who had been the perennial leading rider at Golden Gate Fields prior to shifting his tack this past summer. “I kept her outside that other filly (Secret Spice) and everything worked perfect. She was standing perfect in the gate and we knew that Prat (Flavien, aboard Secret Spice) was the speed and he would go. “We broke good and I got just (put run on her mind). I wanted to be close and not let him (Prat) go by himself. I just want to thank all the owners and trainers for letting me ride their horses.” Off at 7-2 in a field of six fillies and mares three and up, Paradise Woods paid $9.60, $4.20 and $2.80. Bred in Kentucky by Herman Sarkowsky, Paradise Woods, who is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Wild Forest, is owned by HS Stable and Pam and Martin Wygod. A winner of the Grade I Zenyatta at age three when trained by Richard Mandella in 2017, Paradise Woods now has four graded stakes wins to her credit and her overall mark stands at 17-5-3-3.  With today’s winner’s share of $120,000, her earnings went to $1,123,890. “We wanted her to break well and not get shuffled back and hopefully to be in the clear,” said Shirreffs. “In the past, she’s gotten shuffled back and got sucked behind horses, but today she broke well and was able to get to the outside. We weren’t sure if Mike (Smith) would be available for the Breeders’ Cup, so this was the time if you’re going to make a change.” When asked if it was Martin Wygod’s decision to keep her in training, instead of going to the breeding shed this year, Shirreffs responded, “Absolutely. He was the one who had so much faith in her and wanted to see her run another year. Turning for home, it seemed like she was maintaining her stride and she had good action the whole way…We will be taking it day by day to train for the Breeders’ Cup.” Ridden by Flavien Prat, Secret Spice made all the early running through splits of 23.14, 46.83, 1:11.30 and 1:37.33, but tired a bit late. Off as the 4-5 favorite, she paid $2.40 and $2.10 while finishing a neck in front of Ollie’s Candy. The second choice at 5-2 with Kent Desormeaux, Ollie’s Candy paid $2.40 to show. JOCKEY QUOTES ABEL CEDILLO, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “Mike (Smith) told me you’ve got to keep her calm and she’ll try hard. I kept her outside of Secret Spice and everything worked perfect. She was standing perfect in the gate and we knew that Prat (Flavien, aboard Secret Spice) was the speed and he would go. We broke good . . .  I wanted to be close and not let him (Prat) go by himself. I just want to thank all the owners and trainers for letting me ride their horses.” FLAVIEN PRAT, SECRET SPICE, SECOND: “She ran good. We just got beat by a better horse today.” TRAINER QUOTESJOHN SHIRREFFS, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “We wanted her to break well and not get shuffled back and hopefully to be in the clear. In the past she’s gotten shuffled back and got sucked behind horses, but today she broke well and was able to get to the outside.”Asked about the jockey switch: “We weren’t sure Mike (Smith) would be available for the Breeders’ Cup, so this was the time if you’re going to make a change.”Was it owner Marty Wygod’s decision to keep her in training? “Absolutely. He was the one who had so much faith in her and wanted to see her run another year. Turning for home, it seemed like she was maintaining her stride and she had good action all the way.”Asked if Abel had breezed her: “No. It was the first time (on her) today.” Did he tell him anything? “Win. It’s obviously very special to win a race named for Zenyatta. Walking down, my wife Dotti was almost in tears because we won the Classic on Zenyatta’s 10th anniversary (winning the BC Classic in 2009). It was a special moment“Abel has just been riding terrifically! We got the hot rider at the right time.“This race is so special you can’t even begin to fathom or believe that you will win the Zenyatta, it is so hard to do, having trained Zenyatta and to win the Zenyatta is really special.“We will be taking it day by day to train for the Breeders’ Cup.”DOTTIE INGORDO SHIRREFFS (JOHN’S WIFE): “It’s very thrilling to win it on Zenyatta’s 10th anniversary (of winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2009) . . .We’re very thrilled.”

Read Article
9.29.2019:

Selflessly Shines in G2 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park

ELMONT, N.Y. - Selflessly stalked a moderate pace and made a winning move at the top of the stretch to give trainer Chad Brown a fourth straight victory in Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000 Miss Grillo over a firm inner turf at Belmont Park. Owned by Klaravich Stables, the dark bay daughter of More Than Ready arrived at the 1 1/16-mile event for 2-year-old fillies as a maiden with only one start under her belt, which was a narrow runner-up effort to stablemate and fellow Miss Grillo aspirant Jazzique in a 5 ½-furlong maiden event over the Saratoga turf. Breaking from the outside post in a field of eight under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, Selflessly was fourth early as Ava K's Girl marked the opening quarter-mile in a leisurely 24.47 seconds with 73-1 longshot Wicked Title just to her outside.Wicked Title took command through a half-mile in 48.84 seconds as Ava K's Girl began backpedaling into second while Selflessly moved up into third. Selflessly moved three-wide approaching the far turn as Wicked Title began to retreat and opened up a length advantage at the stretch call with Jazzique advancing inside in second position. With an eighth of a mile remaining, Selflessly shook away from Jazzique and held off a late charge from P.G. Johnson winner Crystalle to win by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:42.32. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Jazzique in third. Rounding out the order of finish were Sparkling Sky, English Breeze, My Sassy Sarah, Wicked Title and Ava K's Girl. Castellano said he was expecting a strong effort from Selflessly."She did well. I had high expectations for her. She went 5 ½ [furlongs] the first time and I don't think that's the right distance for her," said Castellano, who scored his third Miss Grillo triumph. "Today, we stretched her out to a mile and a sixteenth, and I think she was in a more comfortable rhythm. I didn't have to hustle her too much. I liked the way she did it today. Very professional; she has a great mind and great body. I think she's a horse that's Breeders' Cup [caliber]. She can handle it. She's well-bred and has a great trainer in Chad Brown. I was very fortunate to be in this spot."It was a fourth straight and eighth overall Miss Grillo victory for Brown, who won previous editions with Maram (2008) Watsdachances (2012), Testa Rossi (2013), Lady Eli (2014), New Money Honey (2016), Significant Form (2017) and Newspaperofrecord (2018). "I think stretching out and the experience from that first start were the keys here. She ran a really good race on debut and was unlucky not to win," Brown said. "She galloped out well in the race and she has really done everything right since her debut. With these 2-year-olds, we get them started when they're ready and let them come along at their own pace. She came into this race really training well, and I just treated the debut as if she won."Selflessly is not nominated to the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 1 at Santa Anita, but Brown said the filly would likely be supplemented to the event. "I think so. We'll talk to the owner about it, but if she comes out of the race sound and doing well I'd be inclined to go," Brown said.Selflessly will look to become Brown's fourth filly to notch a Miss Grillo-Juvenile Fillies Turf double after Lady Eli, New Money Honey and Newspaperofrecord tackled the feat in their respective years. John Kimmel, trainer of beaten favorite Crystalle, said the lack of early speed impacted his filly's chances as she rallied from last of eight after three-quarters in 1:13.46."The slow pace didn't help," Kimmel said. "She was so relaxed coming out of there and with a couple horses coming out of sprint races, you would think that the pace would have been a little quicker than what it ended up being. But, for her to close into three-quarters in 1:13 and change, was impressive."Kimmel said that the newly-implemented Turf Tiara series for sophomore grass fillies would be a long term goal for Crystalle in 2020 and that she would ship to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup. "Another two jumps and she would have been in front everybody. Not only that, she had to give up some distance. I'm disappointed we didn't win the race, but I'm certainly not disappointed in the filly," Kimmel said. "Regardless of what she does at the Breeders' Cup going a mile, I think she has tremendous potential for next year. She looks like a filly that settles beautifully and will be able to run a mile and a quarter and be a factor in those nice Turf Tiara races."Returning $12.60 for a $2 win bet, Selflessly took home first prize of $110,000 which elevated her lifetime earnings to $119,000. Bred in Maryland by George Louis Doetsch, Jr., Selflessly is out of the Grand Slam broodmare Uniformly Yours, who also produced two-time stakes winner Enchanted Ghost. She was a $190,000 purchase from the 2017 Keeneland November Sale. Live racing resumes on Wednesday at Belmont with an eight-race card. First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

Read Article
9.28.2019:

Code of Honor Elevated to First in G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup

ELMONT, N.Y. - W.S. Farish's Code of Honor was once again part of a dramatic ending that saw a stewards decision change the final order of finish in a prestigious Grade 1, hitting the wire second to Vino Rosso by a nose before the stewards elevated him to first due to interference in the stretch run in Saturday's 101st running of the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.Code of Honor, who won the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers last month at Saratoga Race Course, posted his fourth victory in seven starts in his 3-year-old campaign and thrived in his first start against older horses, bolstering his case for top sophomore status in earning an all-fees paid trip to the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic on November 2 at Santa Anita Park. Off at 2-1, the trainee of Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey stayed off the lead as 2018 Grade 2 Wood Memorial-winner Vino Rosso led the five-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 24.02 seconds, the half in 47.73 and three-quarters in 1:11.63 on the fast main track with Code of Honor covered in fourth.Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. kept Vino Rosso near the rail out of the final turn, with Code of Honor gaining ground under Hall of Famer John Velazquez from the outside. The duo linked up in the stretch, with the rivals going eye-to-eye in the final furlong. Ortiz moved Vino Rosso out from the rail, bumping Code of Honor multiple times as the pair arrived at the wire in a final time of 2:00.30 for the 1 ¼-mile route.But the stewards disqualified Vino Rosso from first to second, elevating Code of Honor to first. In May, Code of Honor finished third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs but was elevated to second behind Country House when Maximum Security, who had crossed the wire first, was disqualified for interference."I thought maybe Johnny had to move a little sooner than he wanted to just because Tacitus and Preservationist weren't able to put the pressure on Vino Rosso." McGaughey said. "I thought we had him at every jump and he [Vino Rosso] kind of came out. I knew he had come out, but I didn't know they bumped because my view was watching sideways. When I saw the head on, then they threw the objection and inquiry, I thought there was a good chance they'd make a change. Johnny told me they got us twice pretty good." Added Velazquez: "Honestly, he came out and bumped my horse on me. I had put the head in front of him and he bumped him. It kind of got my horse off balance for the second time when he bumped him. And now he puts the head in front of me and I'm trying to get back in front of him and he beats me by a head or a nose or whatever it is."It was a perfect trip, no complaints at all. Just when we got to the eighth pole, he bumped me a little bit, just enough to get my horse off balance."McGaughey won his third career Jockey Club Gold Cup and first in 26 years, adding to his first with Hall of Famer Easy Goer in 1989 and Miner's Mark in 1993."This horse is a pretty good horse now," McGaughey said. "He's made so much improvement since the [Kentucky] Derby. I couldn't be any prouder of him than I am."The Noble Mission colt improved to 5-2-1 in nine career starts and could have a chance to solidify his case for an Eclipse Award in the Breeders' Cup Classic, contested at the Jockey Club Gold Cup distance, against contenders for Horse of the Year honors. "That's up in the air. This horse needs a little vacation but on the other hand, he comes out of his races well and that is certainly a possibility," said Farish on the possibility of running in the Classic. "I don't go after anybody, but this is a wonderful horse and he deserved it. I saw the pictures of it and it was definitely three bumps but bottom line, we're all very excited. It was a really meaningful win for us. We had our family here from all over the country and Shug is just a great, great friend, a wonderful trainer and he did a fabulous job with this horse. This is just fantastic."Code of Honor returned $6 on a $2 win wager. The Kentucky homebred improved his career bankroll to $2,298,320.Velazquez won the Jockey Club Gold Cup for the third time in five years, picked up victories in two of the day's four graded stakes, also piloting Midnight Bisou to victory in the Grade 2, $300,000 Beldame in Race 8."He's [Code Of Honor] been showing up the last three races. He's putting it together. I'm very proud of him. He's the top of the [3-year old) division now, I believe," said Velazquez, who broke Jerry Bailey's record of 660 career graded stakes wins on Friday at Santa Anita before flying back to New York.St. Elias Stable and Repole Stable's Vino Rosso, trained by Todd Pletcher, entered off a third-place finish last out in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 3 at Saratoga."He fought hard. I was proud of the way he ran," Ortiz said.Juddmonte Farms' Tacitus, who ran second to Code of Honor in the Runhappy Travers, earned blacktype for the fourth consecutive graded stakes race. The runner-up in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and the Grade 2 Jim Dandy finished one-length clear of Preservationist for third. Olympic Village completed the order of finish."He runs good every time. He shows up every time. There isn't one time he doesn't give it a try," Tacitus Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said.

Read Article
9.28.2019:

Structor Punches Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Ticket in G3 Pilgrim Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - Jeff Drown and Don Rachel's Structor, patiently piloted by Irad Ortiz, Jr., stalked and pounced to a head score in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim at Belmont Park.Conditioned by three-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, Structor settled comfortably in fifth position in the 1 1/16-mile test for juveniles as Tuggle marked the opening quarter-mile in 23.77 seconds on a firm Widener turf course.Tuggle, under pressure from Maxwell Esquire, led the field of nine down the backstretch as Structor inched into fourth position outside of Andesite and No Lime. No Word, the 2-1 mutuel favorite, advanced inside rivals to fifth as Tuggle reached the half-mile in 47.23.Ortiz, Jr. urged Structor into contention into the turn, traveling three-wide, as No Word and Andesite took an inside route into the stretch run. Structor enjoyed a one-length lead at the stretch call as Andesite zipped up the rail and angled outside of Maxwell Esquire for the stretch run. A determined Structor was kept to task to the wire to prevail over a surging Andesite by 1:41.46. Our Country, last-of-nine through three-quarters, arrived late to complete the trifecta. Rounding out the order of finish were Famished, No Word, Maxwell Esquire, No Lime, The Gray Blur and Tuggle.Ortiz was pleased with the trip he engineered for Structor."I didn't want to go that wide, but I didn't have any other option," said Ortiz, Jr. "If I wanted to drop in some more, I would have to keep taking him back and I didn't want to do that." Brown said a start in the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on November 1 at Santa Anita Park should suit Structor."I was proud of this horse [knowing] how wide he had to travel the whole way. No fault of the jockey, just his post and the way some horses wedged their way in there early. He gutted it out," said Brown. "This was a solid pace, 47 [seconds] and change traveling three deep into the turn. To have enough to gut it out, I think he wouldn't mind a cutback to a mile at all in the Breeders' Cup. He's an improving horse."Bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farm, Structor banked $110,000 in victory while remaining undefeated in two starts. He paid $7 for a $2 win ticket.

Read Article
9.28.2019:

Midnight Bisou Stays Hot, Wins G2 Beldame Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - Midnight Bisou continued to build on a sensational 4-year-old campaign when drawing away from Wow Cat in the final furlong to win Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Beldame by 3 1/4 lengths over the fast main track at Belmont Park. The talented dark bay daughter of Midnight Lute, who improved to 7-for-7 this year, arrived at the 1 1/8-mile event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward off a dramatic victory in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti, where she dueled at the top of the Saratoga stretch with Elate and getting a nose better of the dual Grade 1 winner last month. Sent off as the overwhelming mutuel favorite at 1-9 odds in the Beldame, Midnight Bisou broke sharply from the rail to the inside of 48-1 longshot Spring in the Wind, who led the tightly bunched five-horse field through an opening quarter-mile of 24.83 seconds with last year's Beldame victor Wow Cat just to their outside in third. With the half-mile in 48.09 seconds, Midnight Bisou began inching her way up under no asking from Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez and took command approaching the far turn. As Spring in the Wind gave way, Wow Cat challenged Midnight Bisou at the top of the stretch with the two fillies on even terms at the eighth-pole. But Midnight Bisou displayed her superiority and hit the wire first in final time of 1:48.86.Crimson Frost finished another 5 1/4 lengths back in third followed by Another Broad and Spring in the Wind. Vexatious was scratched.Owned by Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stable and Allen Racing and trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bisou added to an impressive 2019 ledger which includes Grade 1 wins in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park, the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park and the Personal Ensign at Saratoga. The victory was a first Beldame win for Asmussen and a fourth for Velazquez, who guided Yanks Music (1996), Ashado (2004) and Life At Ten (2010) to their respective Beldame wins. "It was pretty easy for her," Velazquez said. "I didn't have to do very much, just keep her out of trouble, and she did what she had to do. I didn't have to hit her or anything. I just showed her the whip, and let her know she had to run. That was it."Velazquez picked up the mount from Midnight Bisou's regular rider, Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who is in California scheduled to ride McKinzie in the Grade 1, $300,000 Awesome Again at Santa Anita. "She's a much better horse this year. She wasn't as consistent last year," Velazquez said. "After talking to Mike [Smith], when I rode her in the Breeders' Cup, he said, 'She's not too crazy about the track at Churchill Downs, anyway.' She came back this year and hasn't run bad yet."Asmussen's assistant trainer Scott Blasi saddled Midnight Bisou for Saturday's race and was pleased with the way the filly continues to dominate the older filly and mare division. "You're always a little worried drawing the one-hole in short fields, but I thought Johnny [Velazquez] rode her great and did a terrific job riding her to the wire," Blasi said. "She proved to be the best. She's just been an amazing horse this year. The way she's developed this year, she's turned a corner going from 3 to 4, and it's exciting. She's been training great since the Personal Ensign and hopefully we can just keep her happy going forward."Midnight Bisou's likely next start will take place in the Grade 1, $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff on November 2 at Santa Anita. She finished third in last year's Distaff which was contested at Churchill Downs. Returning $2.30 for a $2 win bet, Midnight Bisou cashed $165,000 from her Beldame triumph pushing her lifetime earnings up to $2,393,775. Never off the board in 18 career starts, the Beldame was a 12th career victory for Midnight Bisou. Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Midnight Bisou is out of the Repent broodmare Diva Delite and was purchased for $80,000 from the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April 2017.

Read Article
9.28.2019:

Imperial Hint Noses Out Firenze Fire to Win G1 Vosburgh Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - Raymond Mamone's Imperial Hint, sent to post at the 1-5 mutuel favorite, won a dramatic stretch battle with Firenze Fire to capture Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Vosburgh at Belmont Park. The win also earned Imperial Hint, trained by Luis Carvajal, Jr., an all-expenses paid berth to the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 2 at Santa Anita Park.Breaking alertly from post 3 with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano aboard, the pair went to the front from the four-horse field, marking the opening quarter-mile in 22.11 seconds and the half in 44.65 with Firenze Fire stalking closely in second on the fast main track. Firenze Fire, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, put a head in front at the stretch call but Imperial Hint battled back with the pair trading leads to the wire with Imperial Hint, under a vigorous ride by Castellano along the rail, putting a nose in front to complete six furlongs in 1:08.35.Castellano was full of praise for the game and determined effort by Imperial Hint."It was unbelievable," said Castellano. "You never know in this game, nothing is for sure. You have to ride your race, and this is a great horse. I loved the way he did it. He fought all the way to the end. He didn't want to get beat. I give all credit to the horse and trainer, he did a great job. Now we have the Breeders' Cup and I'm looking forward to it." With the scratch of pace presence Promises Fulfilled, Ortiz, Jr. said he wanted to pressure Imperial Hint early in the race."There was no speed in the race except the horse to beat, so I had to go for it," said Ortiz, Jr. "I took my horse out of his place too early. You don't want to do that, but I had to do it. I thought it was a little early to try and jump on him. It worked out good turning for home and at the three-sixteenths pole, but it didn't work out in the end. He [Imperial Hint] put his head in front."Returning $2.50 for a $2 win wager, the 6-year-old son of Imperialism bred in Florida by Shade Tree Thoroughbreds boosted his earnings to $2,199,155. It was the second consecutive win from four starts this year for Imperial Hint following an impressive four-length victory in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on July 27 at Saratoga in which he set a track record. Looking ahead, Carvajal, Jr. said Imperial Hint would return to his home base at Monmouth Park, where he will begin final preparations for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. "We'll go back to Monmouth Park and evaluate the horse and make sure he's good," said Carvajal, Jr. "We'll resume training and hopefully we'll see him at Santa Anita and leave in the middle of October or something like that. You don't have to do much now after this race. This will be enough."Following Firenze Fire in second was Brown Buckeye and American Power. Call Paul and Promises Fulfilled was scratched.

Read Article
9.28.2019:

Mirth Goes Gate-to-Wire to Win G1 Rodeo Drive Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2019) — With legendary “Big Money” Mike Smith dealing the cards on the front end, 9-1 longshot Mirth registered an impressive 1 ¼ length victory in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita.  Trained by Phil D’Amato, who won the Grade II John Henry Turf Championship earlier in the day, Mirth, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Colonel John, got a mile and one quarter on turf in 1:58.47. Most recently a non-threatening fifth at 1 3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar Aug. 16, Mirth, who was ridden for the first time today by Smith, paid $14.20, $6.20 and $3.40. Out of the French Deputy mare Di’s Delight, Mirth, who by virtue of her win today earns a fees-paid berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, picked up $180,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $315,563. Irish-bred Beau Recall, the 6-5 favorite with Drayden Van Dyke, rallied well for the place, overhauling fellow Irish-bred Elysea’s World close home by a neck. Beau Recall paid $3.00 and $2.20. Elysea’s World, who was unable to head the winner turning for home, finished 5 ¼ lengths in front of Siberian Iris and paid $2.40 to show. Fractions on the race were 23.72, 47.53, 1:11.05 and 1:35.00.JOCKEY QUOTESMIKE SMITH MIRTH, WINNER: (On riding Mirth for the first time): “I’ve watched her, and she’s been running dynamite. It looked like she wasn’t far from pulling one of these off, so I knew it was in her. It was just a matter of whether I could get a little brave and start marching a little early. She doesn’t really have a turn of foot; she just seems to keep staying and keep going. I felt like I had gotten away with that at the half-mile pole, so going into the turn I started marching on where I was going to lengthen everybody’s kick instead of trying to make an explosive move. It worked today. It might not work next time, but it worked today.” TRAINER QUOTES PHIL D’AMATO, MIRTH, WINNER: “She was kind of a late entry into the race. We were the lone speed and Mike (Smith) just kind of doled it out the right way and had plenty left.” BILLY KOCH, LITTLE RED FEATHER RACING: “When she turned for home she kept going at the same pace and I didn’t see anybody coming . . . It was really great.”

Read Article
9.28.2019:

Mongolian Groom Shocks McKinzie in G1 Awesome Again Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2019) — In the money in three graded stakes assignments this year but winless in his last seven starts, 25-1 longshot Mongolian Groom held a one length advantage over heavily favored McKinzie mid-way around the far turn and simply outran him through the lane to win Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes by a widening 2 ¼ lengths Saturday at Santa Anita. With Abel Cedillo picking up his second graded stakes win of the day, both Cedillo and owner/trainer Enebish Ganbat registered their first Grade I wins at Santa Anita as Ganbat’s 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Hightail got a mile and one eighth in 1:49.27. Ridden aggressively, Mongolian Groom went to the lead and was in control throughout. Pressured to his outside by longshot Isotherm up the backside, Mongolian Groom got some separation leaving the three furlong pole and although Mike Smith was trying to engage with McKinzie shortly thereafter, it was Mongolian Groom who was firmly in charge. Most recently fifth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths in the Grade I Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 31, Mongolian Groom paid $52.80, $8.80 and $3.00. With the Awesome Again being a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier, Mongolian Groom would’ve earned a fees-paid berth into the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2, but he is not Breeders’ Cup nominated and would therefore have to be supplemented by his owner.Out of the Dynaformer mare Bourbonesque, Mongolian Groom is now 16-3-2-3 and with the winner’s share of $180,000, now has earnings of $579,141. Trained by Bob Baffert and the early favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, McKinzie was second, 5 ¼ lengths clear of Higher Power.  Off at 1-5, he paid $2.10 and $2.10. The second choice with Flavien Prat up at 3-1, Higher Power paid $2.10 to show. Fractions on the race were 23.99, 48.29, 1:12.07 and 1:36.95.JOCKEY QUOTES ABEL CEDILLO, MONGOLIAN GROOM, WINNER: “I would like to thank the trainers and owners. I had a lot of help and thank you Enebish Ganbat, for trusting me. He told me don’t change anything, just do what you do with him . . . just stay close, and I saw McKinzie didn’t go so I took the lead.”  MIKE SMITH, McKINZIE, SECOND: “I thought I could go with the two outside horses, but they seemed like they were determined to get it. So I let them go figuring they’d entertain each other and we’d do what we do. That horse ran a huge race today. We lost the battle, but this ain’t the war. Hopefully we’ll come back and be ready.” TRAINER QUOTES  ENEBISH GANBAT, MONGOLIAN GROOM, WINNER: “Honestly, I didn’t expect he was going to win because he was running against two of the best horses on the dirt and the best two trainers, Baffert and Sadler. I told everyone I’m happy if he comes in third. I bet $500 on show. “I guess last time (Pacific Classic on Aug. 17) he got tired because it was very hot, he was sweaty and we did a hard jog. Today we did a light jog; he was fresher today. “I told the jockey to do what he had to and he did OK, the horse won at 25-1. That’s horse racing. I expected him to hold off McKinzie through the stretch (through interpreter Josie Goldberg). My horse was not stopping. He continued to go." “I didn’t think he’d win. He was up against the two best horses in America in McKinzie and Higher Power. I thought I’d be happy if the horse finished third. I didn’t think my horse would win.” Goldberg: “He (Ganbat) went to a university in Russia, and the Russian mentality is, ‘You fight to the end,’ and that’s what the horse did. He wasn’t going to stop until he won. He didn’t tell Abel anything, except, ‘You know your job.’” Asked about the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Ganbat said even though this was a “Win and You’re In” race, the horse has not been nominated to the Breeders’ Cup.  Breeders’ Cup rules state: “The winning horse in a Challenge Race shall receive automatic selection into the Championship race that corresponds with the division of the Challenge Race won, provided the horse is Breeders’ Cup nominated before the Championships pre-entry deadline.” Ganbat is a native of Mongolia who began training there in 1999. He began training in the United States in 2010. 

Read Article
9.27.2019:

Heavily-Favored Bast Wins G1 Chandelier Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2019) — Racing as a team from the quarter pole home, heavily favored Bast, who was ridden by John Velazquez, inched clear late to prevail by a head over K P Dreamin and Abel Cedillo in Friday’s Grade I, $300,000 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita.  Trained by Bob Baffert, Bast got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:46.10. A Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier, Bast has a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, to be run on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. In winning, Velazquez registered his 661st graded stakes victory, breaking a tie with fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey, making him North America’s all-time leading graded stakes winning jockey. Attentive to the early pace set by Been Studying Her, Bast was three-deep to the immediate  outside of Comical around the far turn and prevailed in a thriller. Off at 1-5 in a field of six juvenile fillies, Bast past paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10.                    Owned by Baoma Corp, Bast, Kentucky-bred filly by Uncle Mo, out of the Indian Charlie mare Laffina, came off a rousing 8 ¾ length win in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante and now has two wins from three starts. In her first try around two turns, she picked up $180,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $372,200. Third, beaten 9 ¼ lengths by Bast at Del Mar, Comical, who was ridden for the first time by Cedillo, was off at 11-1 and paid $5.00 and $2.80 while finishing three lengths in front of K P Dreamin. Ridden by Ruben Fuentes, K P Dreamin was off at 17-1 and paid $4.00 to show. Leucothea, a 24-1 longshot ridden by Norberto Arroyo, Jr., broke from the outside and unseated Arroyo coming out of the gate. Fractions on the race were 24.92, 49.54, 1:13.98 and 1:39.29.JOCKEY QUOTESJOHN VELAZQUEZ, BAST, WINNER: “This means a lot. (Jerry Bailey) is a guy who I rode with for so many years and have looked up to for so long. It’s incredible.”“Going to the backstretch, she looked really good, and I was pretty confident. We got to the turn and I thought we might go a little wide, but I said ‘no, no – you have to stay there.’ I got up to her and she cruised down the lane and put her head out in front of the other horse. She gave me a lot today. I felt she gave me what she could to win the race.”ABEL CEDILLO, COMICAL, SECOND: “I know the other horse was a tough one. I like my filly, though. I worked her last week and she worked really easy. She tried really hard today. She kept coming, but I think the better horse beat me.” RUBEN FUENTES, K P DREAMIN, THIRD: “My horse ran great. I wish there was a little more speed to run at because our pace was a little slow for anyone to make up some ground. I wish there was somebody pressing the favorite, she had a comfortable trip, nice and easy, but I think we’ll be way better in the Breeders’ Cup”(On the future for K P Dreamin) “She’s most likely going to the Breeders’ Cup. Like I said, we can get a bigger field there. We can probably get a better pace to run at there, too”. TRAINER QUOTES BOB BAFFERT, BAST, WINNER: Surrounded by media: “I’ve never seen so much press here on a Friday.” Asked about the stretch duel: “I thought, wow, man, she’s really going to have to fight for this, but if she’s a really good filly, like I think she is, she’ll get through it, and she got that last eighth of a mile. It just shows you how competitive these horses are.“Both of them were fighting to win. She got there, and at 1-9, you want to win. There’s one down and I’ve got a few more to go.“To be part of his (John Velazquez’s record 661st career graded stakes win, breaking the tie with Jerry Bailey’s 660) record is exciting, but Todd Pletcher is the one who got him all those graded wins. I played a very minor part. I really didn’t know he was up for the record until I read it the other day. That’s all I would have needed was a jinx like that to keep me from winning, because it’s always the last hurdle to get him over, but he’s such a professional.“Down the backside she was going nice, then turning for home, John was like, ‘Come on baby, we’ve got to go,’ and she wasn’t going. He thought she would respond, but I think this will get her ready for the next one (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 1 at Santa Anita).“This is a very demanding, deep, heavy race track. Not only do you have to be really good, you have to be ready . . . The Chus (owners Charles and Susan) are really excited and we’ve been really lucky together, winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Drefong, so they’ve already had a champion.“They’ve been great supporters of mine. I really think this race is going to move Bast up, so I feel pretty good about it. You’re supposed to get tired first time two turns. They’re a little bit confused; they’re two-year-olds and they probably thought, ‘What are we doing?’ We have to go around again? We just started from there.’ But she got the job done. I had gone a little light on her (training ) so I just told John she’s not going to be as tight, but she’s 1-9 so I felt there’d be a little room for error, but there wasn’t much room at all.”

Read Article
9.27.2019:

Pee Wee Reese Punches Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint Ticket in G2 Eddie D. Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2019) — Full of run while an attentive third around the far turn, Nick Alexander’s homebred Pee Wee Reese slipped through an opening turning for home en route to an impressive half length win over favored Eddie Haskell in Friday’s Grade III, $200,000 Eddie D Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat and trained by Phil D’Amato, Pee Wee Reese, named for the late Dodger Hall of Fame shortstop, got five furlongs on turf in 55.33, just .27 seconds off the track record set by Eddie Haskell on Feb. 22. Off at 5-2 in a field of eight 3-year-olds and up, Pee Wee Reese paid $7.00, $3.80 and $2.80. Bred in California, Pee Wee Reese is a 6-year-old full horse by Tribal Rule out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Bluegrass Belle.  In notching his second graded stakes win, Pee Wee Reese is now 15-8-2-1 and with the winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $532,901. Breaking sharply from post position two, Prat was content to let his mount run into the bridle as he tracked early leader Boa Nova into and around the turn and easily prevailed late over the runner-up. Ridden by Joel Rosario, Eddie Haskell was next to last turning for home and made a big run while wide out, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of two-time Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint winner and last year’s Eddie D victor, Stormy Liberal.  Off at 9-5, Eddie Haskell paid $3.00 and $2.20. Stormy Liberal, who was ridden by Norberto Arroyo, Jr., never threatened for the win but was game for the show at 6-1 and paid $3.40. Fractions on the race were 21.41 and 43.92.JOCKEY QUOTES  FLAVIEN PRAT, PEE WEE REESE, WINNER: “We had a good trip. He broke well and there were two horses that were off quicker than us, so we sort of sat in behind them. When we had the opening in the stretch, he gave me a good kick.(On the pace): It’s a five furlong race, so you don’t expect it to be slow at all.”  JOEL ROSARIO, EDDIE HASKELL, SECOND: “Yeah, he did (finish well). He tried really hard, just got beat by another fast horse. Second best, but he pulled his own.”(On the future for Eddie Haskell) “He tried really hard, and he’s a good horse, so we’ll see where they will go next”. TRAINER QUOTESPHILIP D’AMATO, PEE WEE REESE, WINNER: “Flavien had it in mind to stay at the back coming out of the jock’s room so I told him to play the break; to go suicidal in 21 is never a good thing, so I just told him to do what he thought was best and he got him in a nice spot in the pocket, found a hole there at the top of the lane and exploded through. “For turf horses, San Luis Rey Downs is a great place. They can get plenty fit down there and he really likes it there and he will probably go back down there.”  OWNER QUOTES NICK ALEXANDER, EDDIE D, WINNER: “When you see the Cal-breds fall out and you see them broken, then see them at the track, you never know which is going to be a good and one which one is not. This guy was nothing special for his first couple races on the dirt, broke his maiden on the dirt just barely, and when we switched to the turf he was a different horse. “Phil D’ Amato has done an unbelievable job with this horse. He has only run 14 times, he’s six years old, so in between races he’s really done a lot to help him. “Pee Wee Reese was the captain of the Dodgers and he was the one who befriended Jackie (Robinson) when he was first with the Dodgers. Pee Wee was part of the solution to get everyone to play together…that is why I named the horse after him.

Read Article
9.27.2019:

Favorite Eight Rings Goes Gate-to-Wire to Win G1 American Pharoah Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2019) — Sent to the front out of the gate by John Velazquez, Eight Rings dominated proceedings throughout in Friday’s Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita, winning by six lengths while getting 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.41.  Trained by Bob Baffert, Eight Rings made amends for a disastrous trip in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, a race in which he ducked in at the break, unseating Drayden Van Dyke as the 1-2 favorite. “I told Johnny V. to ride him with confidence,” said Baffert, who racked up his record ninth win in the race named for his 2015 Triple Crown winner.  “I thought he might be in front.  Johnny said let’s get him away from there, and he’s figured out this track.  He gigged him a little bit, but he said, ‘Wow, he’s really fast.’  He just got out there really quick and I was actually just watching his ears the whole way. “Johnny said he’ll be going good, then he’ll start looking around and lagging, and all the way down the stretch he was still looking around…My heart is still with American Pharoah, so I’m glad to see his babies are doing well.  I’m blessed and fortunate to get these kinds of horses.” Off as the 6-5 favorite in a field of nine juveniles, Eight Rings paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.80. Owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding and Golconda Stables, Eight Rings, a Kentucky-bred colt by Empire Maker, out of the Pure Prize mare Purely Hot, was trying two turns for the first time and now has two wins from three starts.  With the winner’s share of $180,000, he has earnings of $216,951. “He’s still not 100 percent confident in what he needs to do,” said Velazquez, who rode Eight Rings for the first time today and who won the Grade I Chandelier earlier in the day with Baffert’s Bast. “If he can put his mind to running, he’ll be a dangerous horse.”A Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier, the American Pharoah victory provides Eight Rings with a fees-paid berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1. Trained by George Papaprodomou and ridden by Tiago Pereira, American Theorem, a son of American Pharoah, was second throughout and finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Storm the Court. Off at 7-1, American Theorem paid $7.60 and $6.00. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Storm the Court was off at 19-1 and paid $8.80 to show. Fractions on the race were 23.72, 47.06, 1:11.71 and 1:38.11.JOCKEY QUOTES JOHN VELAZQUEZ, EIGHT RINGS, WINNER: “He’s still not 100 percent confident in what he needs to do. Obviously he’s very talented, but he needs to put it together and go on. He still ran a good race, but you can see he has some room to improve. If he can put his mind to running, he’ll be a dangerous horse.”(On going to the lead): “I wanted to put him into the race, and that way he could get his mind on running. I was pretty comfortable with the way he was moving in the backstretch. But he kept kind of wandering, so I felt like I had to keep reminding him to focus. It’s only his second start, so he’s still learning basically.” TIAGO PEREIRA, AMERICAN THEOREM, SECOND: “I hoped to win, obviously, but I think it was a great race. I followed a horse that was great as well. I am happy, second place is good, and I continue confident for the next race. I think I have a great horse. It will win many big races.” TRAINER QUOTES BOB BAFFERT, EIGHT RINGS, WINNER: “The horse was training really well. I told Johnny V. to ride him with confidence.I thought he might be in front. Johnny said let’s get him away from there, and he’s figured out this track. He gigged him a little bit, but he said, ‘Wow, he’s really fast.’ He just got out there really quick and I was actually just watching his ears the whole way. Johnny said he’ll be going good, then he’ll start looking around and lagging, and all the way down the stretch he was still looking around.“But it was a good race for him, coming off that last disastrous race. I’m just so fortunate that Drayden (Van Dyke) didn’t get hurt worse. I’ve got to thank my entire team. Everybody’s been on him; even Joe Talamo’s worked him for me. When you have a good one like this, you want him to really perform well.“I’m happy for George Papaprodromou that his American Pharoah (ridgling) ran second. My heart is still with American Pharoah so I’m glad to see his babies are doing well. I’m blessed and fortunate to get these kinds of horses.” OWNER QUOTES TOM RYAN (SF RACING), EIGHT RINGS, WINNER: “I guess I had more of a hand in putting the team together to select a colt. The colt was really selected by Bob Baffert, Henry Field, the Frankie brothers, a lot of great people involved in the syndication. We are big supporters of syndication and here are the results.“Baffert calls our syndication the Avengers. Bob gives you confidence; this morning he said we are ready. It’s an exciting month ahead of us more than any of us ever dreamed of.” 

Read Article
9.27.2019:

Golden Gate Fields Features $100K Guaranteed Closing Day Late Pick 4 on Sunday

BERKELEY, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2019) — Golden Gate Fields has announced it will guarantee $100,000 in its closing day Late Pick 4 pool this Sunday, Sept. 29.  With the 2019 Summer Meeting at Golden Gate drawing to a close, mandatory payouts in all exotic wagers, including the 20 cent Golden Pick Six Jackpot and both the Early and Late Pick 5 wagers, will be the order of the day. The popular Late Pick 4 is comprised of a 50 cent minimum wager which requires players to correctly tab the winners of the final four races on the program.                  “We are delighted to offer our horseplayers this $100,000 guarantee in our Late Pick 4 this Sunday,” said David Duggan, Golden Gate Fields Vice President and General Manager.  “Our fields on closing week are projected to be large and competitive, which will make the betting sequences very enticing.  We sincerely thank our horseplayers for their continued support of our product.” First post time on Sunday is slated for 1:15 p.m. PT.  For additional information on closing week at Golden Gate Fields, please visit Goldengatefields.com or call (510) 559-7300.

Read Article
9.26.2019:

Santa Anita Announces Autumn 2019 Meet Wager Menu

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2019) — With the beginning of its 23-day Autumn Meet this Friday, Sept. 27, Santa Anita Park will offer players a comprehensive wagering menu that includes the popular 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six each day and The Stronach Five, a 12 percent takeout wager with a one dollar minimum, each Friday. Santa Anita will also offer a $500,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 this Saturday, Sept. 28.  The Late 4 is comprised of the final four races on Saturday’s 11-race card. Additionally, Santa Anita will again offer the popular 50 cent Early Pick Five, with a 14 percent takeout, and the 50 cent Late Pick Five. The Stronach Five will offer fans a fast moving quintet of races from four Stronach Group properties, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields each Friday.  Providing there is no single ticket winner, the 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six is paid on a daily basis to those tickets with the highest number of winning horses. Thirty percent of the pool is then carried over to a jackpot pool, less takeout. This could create the possibility of a massive jackpot pool leading into a mandatory payout on closing day, Sunday, Nov. 3.        The track will also continue to offer one dollar exactas, two dollar rolling Daily Doubles, 50 cent  rolling Pick 3s, an early and late 50 cent Pick 4, as well as 10 cent Superfectas on all races with a minimum of six runners. 2019 AUTUMN MEET COMPLETE WAGERING MENU 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six offered on final six races each day The Stronach Five, a one dollar minimum wager with 12 percent takeout, offered each Friday Two separate 50 cent Pick 5s, to be offered on the first and last five races each day Two dollar Win, Place & Show wagering on each race, featuring the lowest takeout (15.43 percent) of any major racetrack in the nation 50 cent Trifectas on each race (minimum of four runners) 10 cent Superfectas will be offered on all races (minimum of six horses scheduled to start) One dollar Exactas on each race The 50 cent Early Pick 4 will cover races two through five, while the Late Pick 4 will cover the final four races on each card Rolling two dollar Daily Doubles, which feature a 20 percent takeout 50 cent rolling Pick 3s will be offered beginning with the first race each day All new 50 cent Jackpot Super High 5, in all races with seven or more declared starters.  The Jackpot Super High 5 requires players to select the first five finishers in each race, in exact order. In each race that fails to produce a single ticket winner, 75 percent of the net pool will be paid out to those tickets that have correctly selected the first five winners and 25 percent of the net pool will be carried over to the jackpot pool. If there are no tickets with five winners, 100 percent of the net pool will be carried over to the next Jackpot Super High 5 race.  Should there be no single ticket winners through Nov. 1, there will be a mandatory Jackpot Super High Five payout culminating with the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2.  For more information on Santa Anita’s 2019 Autumn Meet, please visit www.santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Read Article
9.25.2019:

Post Times for 2019 Breeders' Cup Announced

ARCADIA, Calif. (September 24, 2019) – The Breeders’ Cup today announced post times for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, which will be held on Nov. 1-2  at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.The official race order and wagering menu for both days of the Championships will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The 36th Breeders’ Cup begins on Friday, Nov. 1 with Future Stars Friday, featuring all five Breeders’ Cup World Championships races for 2-year-olds, which comprises half of the 10-race program. There will be four undercard races preceding the first Breeders’ Cup race, with first race post time at 10:45 a.m. PT.Friday’s first Breeders’ Cup race will be Race #5, which will have a post time of 1:12 p.m. PT. The $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will be the ninth race on the card, with a post time of 4:03 p.m. PT. Post time for the 10th and final race will be 4:43 p.m. PT.There will be 12 races on the Saturday, Nov. 2 program, featuring nine Breeders’ Cup World Championships races.  The day begins with three undercard races with a first race post time of 10:07 a.m. PT. The first Breeders’ Cup race will be Race #4, which will have a post time of 11:55 a.m. PT.Post time for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, Race #12, will be 5:44 p.m. PT.  2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships POST-TIMES All Times PacificFriday, November 1 Race 1: 10:45 AM Race 2: 11:20 AM Race 3: 11:55 PM Race 4: 12:32 PM Race 5: 1:12 PM Race 6: 1:52 PM Race 7: 2:32 PM Race 8: 3:12 PM Race 9: 4:03 PM Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Race 10: 4:43 PM Saturday, November 2 Race 1: 10:07 AM Race 2: 10:42 AM Race 3: 11:17 AM Race 4: 11:55 AM Race 5: 12:33 PM Race 6: 1:10 PM Race 7: 1:54 PM Race 8: 2:36 PM Race 9: 3:20 PM Race 10: 4:00 PM Race 11: 4:40 PM Race 12: 5:44 PM Breeders’ Cup Classic ALL POST-TIMES ARE PACIFIC TIME BOLD are Breeders’ Cup World Championships races

Read Article
9.23.2019:

Gulfstream has $1.8 Million Rainbow 6 Carryover Wednesday; Mandatory Payout Sunday

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –   The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 45th racing day in a row Sunday, producing a carryover jackpot to $1,852,653.42 for Wednesday’s program at Gulfstream Park. First-race post time Wednesday is set for 1:15 p.m.Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday were each worth $19,507.96.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 was last solved July 6, when one lucky bettor cashed a $173,583.90 jackpot payoff.The carryover jackpot stood at $1,763,111 at the start of Rainbow 6 wagering Sunday, when a total of $373,127 was bet into the multi-race pool.There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $2,481.74 heading into Wednesday’s cardEvents, Big Races and Mandatory Payouts Closing WeekThere will be lots to do during closing week of Gulfstream’s Summer Meet, which begins with a special eight-race program Wednesday.Saturday will mark the finals of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes featuring the $400,000 In Reality for 2-year-olds colts and geldings and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for 2-year-old fillies. The Saturday program will also include the $150,000 Wildcat Heir for 3-year-olds and up, as well as five others stakes each worth $75,000.The Flamingo Room will also play host Saturday to the third and final Taste of the Track – Bourbon, Beer & BBQ. Fans can sample hand-selected bourbons, local craft beers and BBQ bites and sliders while watching the races. The event starts at 1 p.m. For more information and tickets go to: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10427320And finally, closing day Sunday will feature mandatory payouts on the 20-cent Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 and Super Hi 5. If no one hits the Rainbow 6 through Saturday, the pool could be as high as $10 million Sunday afternoon.

Read Article
9.22.2019:

Come Dancing Finishes Breeders' Cup Preparations with Gallant Bloom Win

ELMONT, N.Y. - Sent off as the 1-5 post-time favorite, Blue Devil Racing Stable's Come Dancing didn't disappoint her backers earning her fourth win from five starts this year, capturing the Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap on Sunday at Belmont Park for fillies and mares over the main track.  Breaking form post 3 with Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano aboard, Come Dancing stalked from third position as Carrera Cat and Minit to Stardom battled early with the former leading the field of five through fractions of 22.54 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half in 44.99 on the fast main track.  Racing three-wide at the quarter-pole, Come Dancing began to make her winning move past the pair in front. Come Dancing, in hand, extended away to the wire for a 3 ¼-length win, completing the 6 1/2 furlong distance in 1:14.96. "My goal today was just to take it easy and put everything together for the Breeders' Cup," said Castellano. "I think this race is going to bridge the gap to the Breeders' Cup. I didn't want to squeeze the lemon. I wanted to win nice and easy, but I don't want to overdo it." Returning $2.50 for a $2 win wager, the 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon homebred reached millionaire status with the victory, boosting her bankroll to $1,046,700. Come Dancing was making her first start since winning the Grade 1 Ballerina on August 24 at Saratoga Race Course for conditioner Carlos Martin. "I initially had said I was going to wait until the Breeders' Cup, but she was just doing so well," said Martin. "I did some research with the team and it was a perfect prep, timing-wise. The more I thought about it, the more I felt confident in running her today. Marc Holliday and the Blue Devil team have stuck with us through some tough times, and I'm glad to see her at her best as a 5-year-old." Martin said this victory should set her up to next compete in the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on November 2 at Santa Anita Park.  "I was with my dad [trainer Jose Martin] when he trained Groovy. Unfortunately, we got beat as the favorite in the 1987 Breeders' Cup Sprint," added Martin. "Those are some bittersweet memories in California, so hopefully we can make it right after all those years and get a Breeders' Cup win for the family."  Following Minit to Stardom in second was Majestic Reason, Carrera Cat, and Jc's Shooting Star completing the order of finish.

Read Article
9.21.2019:

Math Wizard Springs Massive Upset in G1 Pennsylvania Derby

Bensalem, Pa. - Math Wizard, the second longest shot on the board in Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, pulled off a gigantic upset when he won the Grade 1 stakes by a neck at Parx Racing. Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and trained by 32-year-old South Florida-based Saffie Joseph Jr., Math Wizard rallied down the center of the track and shocked the field that included Preakness Stakes winner War of Will, the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in Improbable and a colt that came in with four straight wins in Mr. Money. Math Wizard went off at odds of 31-1 and paid $64.20, $12 and $4.80. He did not become the biggest longshot to win the Pennsylvania Derby in its 40-year history. That distinction belongs to Valley Crossing, who won at odds of 78-1 in 1991. “I’ve got to retire now!” an emotional Joseph said after Math Wizard became his first Grade 1 winner in first Grade 1 start. “I feel blessed. I’m at a loss for words.” Math Wizard won for the third time in 13 career starts. Math Wizard hadn’t won since Jan. 31 at Gulfstream, when he scored by 18 3/4 lengths and was claimed for $25,000 out of that race by his current ownership group led by John Fanelli, who calls Parx his home track. “This is my biggest win ever,” Fanelli said. “I was screaming so loud, I lost my voice.” Fanelli owns the son of Algorithms along with Collarmele Vitelli Stables LLC, Bassett Stables, Ioannis Zoumas, Wynwood Thoroughbreds and Joseph. Math Wizard won with a six-wide move into the stretch. He ran down the early pacemakers Mr. Money and War of Will, rallying into slow fractions. The first quarter-mile went in :24.50, the half in :49.60 and 6 furlongs in 1:13.44. With fractions that slow, it would not seem ideal for a closer. “To me, what was surprising was that the pace was not fast and that horse came from out of it,” said Mark Casse, the trainer of War of Will. The final time for the 1 1/8 mile race over a fast track was 1:50.94. Ortiz picked up the mount Saturday. Florida-based Edgard Zayas was named to ride Math Wizard at entry time, but he was not at Parx Saturday. “He ran hard,” Ortiz said. “When I turned for home and I opened the reins and he started taking off, I said, ‘I’m going to get there.” Math Wizard arrived at Parx Thursday with his trainer. The only horse that went off at longer odds in the field was the maiden Shanghai Superfly, who finished last at odds of 90-1. Every other horse in the field went off at single-digit odds. “We’ve got the horse going the right way,” Joseph, who is from Barbados. “We just got him at the right time.” Mr. Money, the 8-5 second choice, finished second for trainer Bret Calhoun and jockey Gabriel Saez and War of Will was third for Casse and Tyler Gaffalione. “Obviously disappointing,” Calhoun said after Mr. Money’s four-race winning streak ended in his first Grade 1 start. “No excuses. We just got outrun. Kind of surprising to be outrun by a horse we beat pretty handily a couple times.” Mr. Money beat Math Wizard by 11 3/4 lengths in the West Virginia Derby Aug. 3 and by 4 lengths in the Indiana Derby July 13. Improbable, the 6-5 favorite, got off to a slow start after acting up in the gate and finished fourth, a neck in front of Spun to Run, who was fifth. Improbable also encountered gate problems in the Preakness and he was a non-factor in that race. “I don’t know why he does it,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said by phone from California. “He doesn’t do it in California. Mike (Smith) said he was really good and then heard a noise and it set him off. It’s just frustrating when you go that far and he pulls that stuff.”

Read Article
9.21.2019:

Street Band Punches Breeders' Cup Distaff Ticket with G1 Cotillion Victory

Bensalem, Pa. – Street Band circled a field of one of the strongest groupings of 3-year-old fillies assembled in 2019 to win Saturday’s $1 million Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing, earning Sophie Doyle her first Grade 1 victory and securing an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The Larry Jones-trained Street Band, making her seventh start this year and sent off at 7-1 in the field of 11, tracked the field from the back of the pack early while Jaywalk set a quick opening quarter-mile in :22.75. The field progressed through a half in :46.27 and 6 furlongs in 1:11.19 as Bellafina took command. “I was very glad to hear (Parx announcer Keith Jones) say ‘very fast quarter’ because we were way back,” Jones said. “We knew there was a lot of speed in here and I was waiting to see those fractions and he called it. By the time I could locate her he already said ‘very fast’ so I said, ‘ok, we’re still alive.’ “When she was moving that strong, and I know Sophie doesn’t ask that hard that early, when she was going by horses that fast I thought that when we were heading for home, we were going to be close.” Turning for home Street Band was under a strong drive from Doyle with Guarana to her inside. Street Band took the lead in deep stretch by a head after a mile in 1:37.44, holding off Guarana by 2 1/4 lengths at the finish. Horologist, off her victory in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks, finished third 3 3/4 lengths back. Bellafina faded to fourth. Street Band won in 1:44.20 for the 1 1/16 miles. “I was feeling good right here (into the stretch),” said Jones. “When she was going by horses, she was running. We knew there was a lot of speed and we could let her run the whole way without taking her back. When I saw her come by last, I felt, ‘Boy, Sophie, you took her back pretty good.’ She had been relaxing in her works, it has been something we had been trying to do. Sophie told me she thought we had her where we wanted her. And I told her, if she doesn’t win, it’s her fault!” Doyle, the former top female apprentice rider in her native England in 2010, moved her tack to the U.S. in 2011. She couldn’t contain her enthusiasm for her breakthrough win and the filly’s trip. “Honestly my trip, I had to go to Plan B and C,” Doyle said. “She was a little worked up in the post parade. When she broke away from the gate I said, ‘you know what, there’s so much speed in here, I’m not going to rush her off her feet.’ I let her carry me into the race. I let her creep into the race in her own time. “When we were coming around the home turn I was like, ‘come on girl, let’s get into it.’ She really exploded for me. She gave me everything she’s got. She never gave up. She’s so tough. What an amazing filly. She’s come out here today and really proved how good she is. She deserves to be at these Grade 1 races. My first Grade 1. I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s fantastic. What an amazing opportunity. Fingers crossed now to the big one and the Breeders’ Cup.” Doyle became the third female to win the Cotillion since its inception in 1969, after Andrea Seefeldt won in 1992 with Star Minister and Rosie Napravnik piloted Untapable to victory in 2014. The Kentucky-bred Street Band entered off a third in the slop in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes Aug. 17 at Saratoga. The Istan filly split rivals to win the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks at Indiana Grand in her prior race, which followed her seventh in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 4 at Churchill Downs. Guarana, perfect through three career starts after being unraced at 2, won the Grade 1 Acorn by 6 lengths before adding the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks to her resume for trainer Chad Brown. “She got a pretty good trip,” Brown said. “I thought she was sitting real nice and she was close to a real honest pace. We had everyone where we wanted them. She was just second best. She just won a Grade 1 going two turns so I can’t blame that (the distance). Is she best around one? Probably. I can’t make any excuse. We gave her a little breather since the Coaching Club and maybe she was a little short as well. New track, too. But hats off to the winner. She really ran well. Both fillies did.” Owned by her trainer, Cindy Jones, Ray Francis, Medallion Racing and MyRaceHorse Stable, Street Band earned her trip to the Nov. 2 Distaff at Santa Anita Park through the Breeders' Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series.

Read Article
9.21.2019:

Killybegs Captain Wins G3 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash

LAUREL, MD – Jockey Eric Cancel’s instructions prior to Saturday’s $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel Park couldn’t have been simpler.Given the call on Curragh Stables’ Killybegs Captain, a horse he rode to a pair of third-place finishes in graded-stakes earlier this summer for trainer John Terranova, Cancel followed his orders perfectly.Settled in behind runaway pacesetter Old Time Revival for more than a half-mile, Killybegs Captain ($7.80) came with a steady run once straightened for home and fought off multiple stakes winner Altissimo for a three-quarter-length victory in the De Francis.The 28th running of the six-furlong De Francis for 3-year-olds and up served to highlight Round 1 of Laurel’s September to Remember Stakes Festival featuring eight stakes worth $1.3 million in purses, including Caribou Club’s victory in the $200,000 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3).Named for the late president and chairman of both Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, the De Francis’ roster of past winners includes Hall of Famer Housebuster, fellow sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thor’s Echo and Benny the Bull, and Lite the Fuse, the race’s only two-time winner (1995-96).It was the second career stakes win for Killybegs Captain, following the six-furlong Pelican Feb. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs, and first in graded company. He was third in the John A. Nerud (G2) July 6 at Belmont Park and the Forego (G1) Aug. 24 at Saratoga, both contested at seven furlongs.“John didn’t tell me really any instructions because I’ve ridden the horse a few times already. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well,” New York-based Cancel said. “He just told me to ride him with a lot of confidence and to bring home the winner and, thank God, he made it possible.“I had a lot of confidence. The horse has been training very good,” he added. “I’ve been watching him work in the mornings and he’s been running his last few races super good. He’s in very good shape. I never had a doubt that he could win this race.”Old Time Revival was intent on the lead from his outside post position and held it through fractions of 21.74 and 44.37 seconds, tracked by Altissimo, an eight-time Ohio-bred stakes winner. Killybegs Captain saved ground early and moved into a contending position on the turn, made a bid between rivals to take command nearing the eighth pole, and dig in when challenged by Altissimo on his outside.Altissimo was a decisive second, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of 6-5 favorite He Hate Me. It was two lengths back to program favorite and 2019 Maryland Sprint (G3) winner New York Central in fourth, followed by Bon Raison and Old Time Revival. Wonderful Light and Sparticle were scratched.The winning time of 1:08.10 over a fast main track was the fastest De Francis since Richter Scale’s course record of 1:07.95 on July 15, 2000.“The horse, sometimes he has his good breaks and sometimes he has his bad. Today, he broke pretty decent. I put him in the spot that I really wanted to be, laying close third or fourth, and once I asked him to run he just started going and never hesitated. I took advantage and it worked out very well.”

Read Article
9.21.2019:

Caribou Club Sets Record in G3 Baltimore/Washington International

LAUREL, MD – Glen Hill Farm’s Caribou Club rallied from off the pace to capture Saturday’s $200,000 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G3) at Laurel Park in record time. The Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup, a mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up, was one of eight stakes worth $1.3 million in purses on the September to Remember program that featured the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3). Trained by Tom Proctor, Caribou Club collected his fourth graded-stakes victory while running a mile in 1:33.35 to eclipse Tizzarunner’s 2017 Dahlia Turf Course record (1:33.40). Caribou Club, who captured the 2016 Laurel Futurity, was reserved off a solid early pace set by Macagone, who set fractions of 23.57 and 46.39 for the first half-mile, pressed by Grade 1 winner Glorious Empire, the 5-2 favorite who was making his first start of the year.Macagone and Glorious Empire continued to show the way on the turn into the homestretch while Caribou Club loomed boldly while making a sweeping move under Feargal Lynch. Caribou Club, the 7-2 second choice, continued his outside drive through the stretch and got to the wire first, a head in front of Frontier Market, who rallied from last under Julian Pimentel. Collum Road closed well to finish third under Alex Cintron, a half-length farther back.“There was a lot of speed in the race with the Jason Servis horse [Macagone] in it. He set a very fast track record last time out at Saratoga so there was going to be a lot of speed in there with the outside horse coming back, as well, Glorious Empire. We just decided to take our time,” Lynch said. “He’s a nice horse and he’s got a good turn of foot. He’s very adaptable. He won going 6 ½ downhill at Santa Anita and he won a mile going around here. He’s a cool little horse.” Caribou Club won the Henry Clark at Laurel on his way to a banner 2018 season. The son of City Zip concluded that campaign with a victory in the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) at Del Mar, before kicking off the 2019 season with a triumph in the Joe Hernandez (G3) to earn a trip to Dubai. The 5-year-old gelding was never a factor in the Al Quoz at Meydan in March. Following a three-month layoff, Caribou Club finished fifth in the Highlander (G1) at Woodbine before breaking through with a win in the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker’s Cup last time out. “He loves it here. I think he broke his maiden here and won his first stake here. He’s a cool horse. He’d been doing well in California,” Lynch said. “He went to Dubai this year and Dubai is a tough place to go. It’s a straight five furlongs and they don’t get a chance to get a breather; they jump and go.” Glorious Empire, who underwent therapy on a suspensory issue after winning the Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream in December, faded to sixth, while Macagone tired to last in the field of seven.

Read Article
9.19.2019:

September 21 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont, Parx and Woodbine

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 on Saturday with racing action from Belmont Park, Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pennsylvania and Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario. The special all-stakes edition of the Cross Country Pick 5 features the Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby; the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion; and Grade 2, $300,000 Gallant Bob from Parx as well as the Grade 2, $300,000 Kelso Handicap from Belmont and the $100,000 Sweet Briar Too from Woodbine.The multi-race wager, hosted by NYRA and featuring a 50-cent minimum, will start with the Gallant Bob from Parx, carded as Race 9 at 4:34 ET. Featuring a field of nine talented runners, 7-2 morning-line favorite Landeskog for conditioner Doug O'Neill enters off an impressive 4 ¾ length victory on August 4 at Del Mar Racetrack. Top challengers in the field include multiple graded stakes winner Bulletin for trainer Todd Pletcher, Trophy Chaser for conditioner J.C. Avila, and King Jack for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.  In the second leg, the Grade 1 Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies, undefeated multiple graded stakes winner Guarana for Three Chimneys Farm and conditioner Chad Brown will look to win her fourth straight race facing top contenders Serengeti Empress for trainer Tom Amoss; Bellafina for conditioner Simon Callaghan; and Jaywalk for trainer Jason Servis, who enters off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks.  The action then switches to Woodbine for the third leg where a field of nine is assembled for the Sweet Briar Too for fillies and mares going 6 ½ furlongs on the Tapeta.  Sister Peacock for conditioner Stuart Simon will look to improve off a third-place finish in the Galway Stakes at Saratoga Race Course taking on deep field led by Heavenly Hill for trainer Jose Carroll, who finished third last out in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap on June 29 at Arlington Park. The Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby, the penultimate leg of the sequence, will feature a talented field led by Gary Barber's Grade 1 Preakness winner War of Will. The Mark Casse trainee will make his first start since finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy in July at Saratoga. Steep opposition will be provided by Grade 1-winner Improbable and Mr. Money, who is riding a four-race win streak all in Grade 3 events. In the 39th running of the one-mile Grade 2 Kelso Handicap, the final leg of the Cross Country Pick 5, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will send out Calumet Farm's True Timber, who will make his first start since finishing ninth in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on March 30 at Meydan Racecourse. Trainer Todd Pletcher entered Prince Lucky for owner Daniel McConnell, who will make his first start since winning the State Dinner on closing day of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Other notable protagonists include Shortleaf Stable's Plainsman and Harold Lerner's Pat On the Back. 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. Belmont Park/Parx Racing/Woodbine Cross Country Pick 5 - September 21:Leg 1 - Parx, Race 9: Grade 2 Gallant Bob (4:34 p.m.)Leg 2 - Parx, Race 10: G1 Cotillon (5:14 p.m.)Leg 3 - Woodbine, Race 9: Sweet Briar Too (5:34 p.m.)Leg 4 - Parx, Race 11: G1 Penn Derby (5:48 p.m.)Leg 5 - Belmont Park, Race 10: G2 Kelso Handicap (5:57 p.m.)

Read Article
9.18.2019:

New York Central Seeks Rebound in G3 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash

LAUREL, MD – WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing’s Grade 3 winner New York Central, freshened off a disappointing effort last time out, returns to Maryland with a chance to rediscover his winning form in Saturday’s $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at Laurel Park. The 28th running of the six-furlong De Francis for sprinters 3 and up highlights eight stakes worth $1.3 million purses during Round 1 of September to Remember Stakes Festival that also features the return of Grade 1 winner Glorious Empire in the $200,000 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3). Five other stakes will also be contested over Laurel’s world-class turf course – the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Laurel Futurity and $200,000 Selima for 2-year-olds; $150,000 Bald Eagle Derby presented by B&B Commercial Interiors for 3-year-olds going 1 ½ miles; and $100,000 Laurel Dash presented by Fidelity First and Blackwell Real Estate and $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash, each 5 ½-furlong sprints for 3-year-olds and up. Completing the stakes action is the inaugural $100,000 Warrior’s Reward Weather Vane for 3-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs on the main track. Laurel will open its doors at 11 a.m. with a first-race post time of 12:25 p.m. The De Francis is carded as Race 8 of 12 with a 4 p.m. post. Named for the late president and chairman of both Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, and not run in 2008 or 2010, the De Francis’ illustrious roster of past winners includes Hall of Famer Housebuster, fellow sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thor’s Echo and Benny the Bull, and Lite the Fuse, the race’s only two-time winner (1995-96). Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen and Laurel-based jockey Feargal Lynch teamed up to win last year’s De Francis with Switzerland, and they unite again this year with New York Central. In his only previous visit to Maryland, the 4-year-old Tapit colt was a 1 ¾-length winner of the six-furlong Maryland Sprint (G3) on the Preakness (G1) undercard May 18 at Pimlico in a stakes-record 1:08.74. “He’s had a little freshening after his last race and he’s done well,” WinStar President and CEO Elliott Walden said. “He’s training well and he’s coming back to Maryland, where he had his best day this year. We’re looking forward to it.” New York Central followed the Maryland Sprint finishing last of seven in the seven-furlong John A. Nerud (G2) July 6 at Belmont Park, just the third time in 10 lifetime starts he ran worse than third. He has worked three times this month over Saratoga’s training track, most recently going a half-mile in 49.14 seconds Monday, ranking fifth of 21 horses. “It was really hot the day he ran in New York and he was kind of down on the inside and didn’t really get into a rhythm to run his race,” Walden said. “He’s always been a talented horse. We just felt the race at Pimlico was tailor-made for him. [Jockey] Ricardo [Santana Jr.] gave him a super ride, and hopefully he’ll get a good, stalking trip again and have similar results on Saturday.” Sagamore Farm’s He Hate Me can become just the fourth Maryland-bred to win the De Francis following Northern Wolf (1990), Smoke Glacken (1997) and Action Andy (2012). Sagamore, the historic Glyndon, Md. racing and breeding operation founded in 1925 and owned by Alfred G. Vanderbilt from 1933-86, and trainer Stanley Hough are each looking for their first De Francis victory. “We’re thrilled to be able to run in this race. It’s what you work for, especially working with Sagamore. Whatever we can do in Maryland is great,” Hough said. “I think He Hate Me will run a good race. We hope to make Sagamore proud.” He Hate Me won his only two starts as a juvenile in 2017 capped by the Tremont Stakes at Belmont. His career since has been interrupted by injuries and absences, but he has put together a solid 2019 campaign of two wins, two seconds and a third in six starts, one more than he had in his first two racing seasons combined. “He was a nice 2-year-old that showed a lot of promise. He had to have knee surgery and came back and had another little problem. But now as a 4-year-old he seems to be coming around again, so I think he’s come into form pretty well,” Hough said. “He’s a very honest horse. I think he’ll be a nice 5-year-old. I only plan to run him a time or two more this year and then give him a little break and look forward to next year.” He Hate Me, by Algorithms, is two-for-five lifetime at six furlongs, winning an optional claiming allowance by 2 ¼ lengths July 19 and running second by less than a length to Bon Raison in the Tale of the Cat Stakes Aug. 9, both at Saratoga. In his only career try at Laurel, he was fourth behind Still Having Fun in the 2018 Miracle Wood. “He’s been running good. He ran great last time at Saratoga. He got off a step slow and then kind of rushed up there. I thought he might have been the best horse that day,” Hough said. “He’s a little more comfortable tracking horses and making a little run. That seems to be where he’s at his best.” Bon Raison, owned and now trained by Peter Tournas, will be making his 31st career start and sixth in graded company in the De Francis. Claimed last summer at Saratoga, the 4-year-old has gone on to win a pair of stakes including the 6 ½-furlong Peeping Tom in March at Aqueduct. Fifth behind win machine Mitole in the Forego (G1) Aug. 24 at Saratoga, Bon Raison comes back 17 days after rallying from well back to be second by a half-length in the Bensalem Stakes Sept. 2 at Parx. “He’s one of those horses that you get blessed with once in a while that enjoys being on the track running more than he does sitting in the stall resting. He kind of needs to be out there,” Tournas said. “He wants it. If you ever see him out in the paddock, he’s just happy to be running, happy to be competing. “He loves to run and if we can get the right races for him, we love to run him,” he added. “This seems like it’s a good fit for him. I’d love to see how he does down that long Laurel stretch. I think this is a good place for him to run.” Nancy Lavrich and Ronald Zielinski’s Altissimo is a 16-time winner from 37 lifetime races, including eight stakes wins, the most recent coming in the July 13 Hockessin at Delaware Park. The Ohio-bred son of Noble Causeway returned to his home base to run second in the Honey Jay Stakes Aug. 10 at Thistledown last time out. Altissimo, which means “highest” in Italian, has raced once over Laurel’s main track, beaten a head when second to Colonel Sharp in the six-furlong Dave’s Friend last December. Regular rider Christian Pilares comes in for the mount. “He just seems to have that natural ability. Everything he’s done so far, he’s done easily,” trainer Richard Zielinski said. “I really think he’s a better horse if he can come from off the pace.  He’s a little bit of a temperamental kind of horse and the groom that takes care of him I think really got in his head and figured him out, how to make him happy and it’s worked.” Completing the De Francis field are Killybegs Captain, winner of the Pelican Stakes Feb. 16 who ran third in both the Forego and Nerud and fourth in the Tale of the Cat; Wonderful Light, a winner of two straight since finishing second in the five-furlong Rumson Stakes July 4 at Monmouth Park; Laurel-based Old Time Revival, whose three career wins have come in 13 tries over his home track; and stakes-placed Sparticle, racing first off the claim for trainer Carl O’Callaghan.

Read Article
9.18.2019:

Glorious Empire Returns in Laurel's G3 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup

LAUREL, MD – After romping to victory in the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream Park last December, Matthew Schera’s Glorious Empire was poised to match his Grade 1 credentials against those of many of the very best turf performers in the world in the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) over the same course six weeks later. The Irish-bred gelding, however, never got the chance to clash with the likes of Bricks and Mortar and Magic Wand, the 1-2 finishers, respectively. While preparing for the inaugural running of the accompanying stakes to the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (G1), Glorious Empire sustained a suspensory ligament injury. “That was our whole goal – running in the Pegasus [Turf] – but he came out of the Fort Lauderdale with the start of a tear in the suspensory,” said trainer James Lawrence II, whose gelding underwent treatment that included stem cell therapy. “We’ve done everything we can to make that 100 percent. Knock on wood, it’s been very good. He hasn’t missed a beat.” Glorious Empire is scheduled to make a highly anticipated return to action in Saturday’s $200,000 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G3) at Laurel Park. The mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up will be one of eight stakes worth $1.3 million on the September to Remember card that will be headlined by the $250,000 Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3). The 8-year-old gelding had been slated to run at Colonial Downs last month but came down with a virus that delayed his return until Saturday at Laurel Park. “He missed a week of training. I am playing catch-up because of that. The plan was to run at Colonial and this race. This race we’re using as a first race back. He’s worked really well,” Lawrence said. “A mile isn’t his best distance. I think he’s a lot better and a mile and an eighth or a mile and three-eighths, but I think it’s a good steppingstone back. He’s done everything right in his works. He’s eating well, looks tremendous.” Glorious Empire won five of his first nine career races in Europe and Hong Kong before going winless in his first seven starts in North America. The well-traveled gelding was claimed for $62,500 by Scherer out a 12th-place finish in a May 7, 2017 optional claiming allowance at Belmont in his seventh North American start. Trained by Carlos Martin, Glorious Empire won at first asking for his new connections in a $50,000 claiming race at Saratoga 10 weeks later. After finishing seventh in the Bernard Baruch (G2) at the Spa, the Irish-bred gelding was pulled up in the Baltimore/Washington International due to pulmonary bleeding. Transferred to Lawrence, Glorious Empire returned from a seven-month layoff to finish fifth in the Henry Clark at Laurel in April 2018 before scoring by four lengths in a Delaware allowance two months later. He scored his first graded-stakes victory in his next start, holding on to earn a dead-heat win with Channel Maker in the Bowling Green (G2) over a soft Saratoga course. He went on to claim Grade 1 credentials in the Sword Dancer, leading all the way over the same Saratoga course to defeat Channel Maker by two lengths. “It was a rewarding race for all the work I’ve put in since I was a little kid. I had my whole family, my wife and my kids, there. It was really rewarding. I’d been touting how talented this horse was, and he finally got to show it,” Lawrence said. “When you look back on his career, everybody thought he had talent. They couldn’t get everything together on it. Nobody tried this horse long. That’s why, in my opinion, I think this race is short for him. “I’m not saying he’s not good enough to win it, but I think he’s better at a mile and an eighth or further,” he added. “I don’t have him 100-percent fit for this race, but with his talent, he could jump up and win it.” The ‘Win and You’re In’ Sword Dancer victory earned Glorious Empire a fees-paid berth in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs. After showing the way early in the 1 ½-mile stakes over a ‘good’ turf course, he faltered badly and was eased. “The rider took him right to the rail – I’m not knocking him – and all the winners came from the outside. The course was much heavier down inside and he just didn’t handle it. Everybody thought that he had bled, but we scoped him and everything was 100 percent,” Lawrence said. “I told Matt the whole next week, ‘This horse is knocking the barn down.’ We usually put our horses away in the wintertime, but we picked out the Fort Lauderdale.” Glorious Empire bounced back from the Breeders’ Cup disappointment in dramatic fashion six weeks later, scoring a dominating 2 ½-length front-running victory over Qurbaan in the Fort Lauderdale under Edgar Prado. Daniel Centeno has been named to ride Glorious Empire for the first time in the Baltimore/Washington International.   Skeedattle Stable’s Just Howard won three consecutive stakes over Laurel turf in 2017, capturing the Commonwealth Derby (G3) after scoring back-to-back in the Caveat and Find. The 5-year-old son of English Channel went winless in 10 starts before returning to winning form in the Oceanport (G3) at Monmouth, two starts after finishing third in the Dixie (G2) on the Preakness (G1) undercard at Pimlico.  The Maryland-bred Just Howard finished fourth as the even-money favorite last time out at Laurel. “I was a little disappointed obviously with his last race. I don’t know if he came back a little too quick. He ran such a big race that night at Monmouth, possibly one of his best races. Maybe he regressed a little bit off that race,” Motion said. “He seems to have done well since so I think he needs to be in there.” Trevor McCarthy has the mount aboard Just Howard. Glen Hill Farm’s Caribou Club is scheduled to make a run at his fourth career win in a graded stakes in the Baltimore/Washington International. One of the top turf performers last fall and early winter, when he captured the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) at Del Mar and the Joe Hernandez (G3) at Santa Anita, the 5-year-old son of City Zip, who finished off the board in the six-furlong Al Quoz on the 2019 Dubai World Cup card, is coming off a victory in the West Virginia Speaker’s Cup. Caribou Club, who won the 2016 Laurel Futurity, will be ridden by Feargal Lynch. Klaravich Stables Inc. and William H. Lawrence’s Frontier Market is set to make his stakes debut Saturday after capturing an optional claiming allowance at Saratoga last time out. The Chad Brown-trained 6-year-old gelding finished second in five of his first six starts before winning back-to-back races at Belmont to close out his 5-year-old season. The son of Lemon Drop Kid finished second in a July 27 optional claiming allowance at Saratoga in his 2019 debut. Julian Pimentel has the mount. Three Diamonds Farm’s Cullum Road, second in the Old Friends at Kentucky Downs last time out, will seek his first stakes victory Saturday. The Michael Maker-trained graded stakes-placed 4-year-old gelding will be ridden by Alex Cintron. Castleton Lions’ Up the Ante, an allowance winner at Saratoga last time out; and Michael Napoli’s Macagone, who captured a state-bred allowance at Saratoga last time out; and ABL Stable and partners’ Golden Brown, who won three New Jersey-bred stakes from his last four starts; round out the field.

Read Article
9.18.2019:

Play the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Xpressbet

Players in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) can once again compete in the tournament from the comfort and convenience of home with Xpressbet.  And with an estimated $1 Million Prize Pool and as many as 15 NHC Seats on the line, this year’s BCBC is sure to be one of the ages.  Contested on November 1 & 2, 2019, the BCBC is one of horse racing’s premier handicapping tournaments.  Held in conjunction with racing’s preeminent year-end event, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the BCBC gives contestants the opportunity to play the world’s best races in a live-money handicapping format.  Please note, the BCBC features a $10,000 buy-in, of which $7,500 is the player’s bankroll and $2,500 is the entry fee.  For more information about playing in the BCBC with Xpressbet, please visit https://www.xpressbet.com/breeders-cup-betting-challenge.Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge Estimated Prizes (Based on 400 Participants) 1st – $300,0002nd - $200,0003rd - $110,0004th - $75,0005th - $60,0006th - $50,0007th - $40,0008th - $35,0009th - $30,00010th - $25,00011th - $20,00012th - $17,50013th - $15,00014th - $12,50015th - $10,000 Plus, in addition to cash prizes, berths to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) will be awarded to the top 15 finishers.  Additionally, a $3 Million Bonus will be awarded to any horseplayer who wins the BCBC and NHC.  Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge FormatTournament races will include ALL live races from Santa Anita Park on Friday, November 1, 2019 and live races through the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Wager types permitted are Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Daily Double.

Read Article
9.17.2019:

Maximum Security Out of Pennsylvania Derby

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Haskell Invitational and Florida Derby winner Maximum Security is out of Saturday’s Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx due to a large colon nephrosplenic entrapment that developed shortly after the colt returned from a morning work on Monday, trainer Jason Servis announced on Tuesday. Servis said that an issue developed with his star 3-year-old late Monday afternoon, and that Maximum Security was rushed to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Clinic in Ringoes, N.J., where the diagnosis was made by Dr. Janik Gasiorowski. The medical issue is not considered career threatening. “I’ve spoken to the Wests (owners Gary and Mary) and they understand that it’s all about the horse. That’s first and foremost,” said Servis. “There’s nothing that anyone could have done to prevent it. It’s one of those things that just happens. It’s unfortunate and the timing is terrible but that’s horse racing.” Maximum Security had gone a one-mile lick at Parx early Monday morning without incident, with Servis saying he was summoned to his barn around 3:30 p.m. because something was amiss with the horse. “He was doing great,” Servis said. “But I soon as I saw him I could tell he was in trouble so we got him right on the van and sent him to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Clinic.” Servis said he did not have a time frame for a possible racing return for Maximum Security, holding out hope, he said, for the Breeders’ Cup “or something else that might be out there.” Maximum Security is currently back in Servis’ barn at Monmouth Park. Updated Pennsylvania Derby Field with Odds1 - Math Wizard - 6/12 - Improbable - 8/53 - Shanghai Superfly - 30/14 - War of Will - 5/15 - Spun to Run - 8/16 - Mr. Money - 2/17 - Maximum Security - SCR

Read Article
9.15.2019:

Abscond Battles Back to Win G1 Natalma Stakes

TORONTO, September 15, 2019 — Abscond, battling throughout on the outside, got the bob over a dead game Walk In Marrakesh in the final stride to prevail by a nose in a thrilling conclusion to the Grade 1, $250,000 Natalma Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack. Irad Ortiz Jr., completing a sweep of Sunday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races for two-year-olds over one mile of turf after capturing the Summer Stakes two races earlier, punched the Eddie Kenneally-trained Abscond’s ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with her dramatic performance. “(Assistant trainer Kelly Wheeler) told me she’s a nice filly, she probably needed a little more ground last time,” said Ortiz. “She was acting really good, she broke out of there and she broke sharp and just stayed in the middle of the turf course and she was relaxed. She was going relaxed in the middle of the track so I left her there, I didn’t fight too much with her. “And then by the time I start saving some ground in the turn and when I asked her to go, she’s a fighter. She fought with the outside horse and came back on the inside. She fought back and she put a head in front in the last couple of jumps. Everything worked out good for us.” Abscond got the first call after breaking from the outside but was soon joined by Walk In Marrakesh. That Irish-bred filly Walk In Marrakesh, looking to become the third consecutive European invader to win the Natalma Stakes, ran too well to lose under Jamie Spencer, who had guided La Pelosa to win last year’s renewal. Taking the express route on the inside, Walk In Marrakesh had raced up to join Abscond and held a fractional lead as they went the opening quarter in :23.99 and the half in :48.24 on a course rated “yielding.” Walk In Marrakesh had opened up a length on her dogged pursuer as she reached the six furlongs in 1:12.56 but had to settle for second money when the teletimer stopped at 1:36.51. “I knew it was really close, but I knew she won because I put the head in front in the last jump,” said Ortiz. “It’s always a challenge when you’re at the wire in that position.” Fair Maiden, sent off at 3-5 on the strength of her 7 ½-length victory here in the 6-½ furlong Catch A Glimpse, raced within striking range throughout and looked to be in with a good chance to repeat as she rallied around the final turn. The Chicago-based invader battled hard down the lane only to tire slightly while racing erratically in the closing stages to be beaten just a nose and a neck for all the money. Diamond Express, making her first start in North America and her first for trainer Mark Casse, loomed into contention as they straightened out for home but had to settle for fourth money, a length behind Fair Maiden and just a nose before stablemate Secret Stash. Casse had Secret Stash in training at Keeneland but the Irish-bred, who like Diamond Sparkles was a private purchase overseas, was making her first start on this side of the pond. Locally-based maidens Saratoga Vision and Runway Dreamer rounded out the order of finish. Coach Lori, a third Casse entrant in the Natalma, was scratched. Abscond, making her third career appearance but her first beyond 5 ½ furlongs, is owned by Apogee Bloodstock and Mike Anderson Racing LLC. Based in her native state of Kentucky, the daughter of Blame had kicked off her career at Ellis Park with a maiden win and then a second-place finish in the listed Bolton Stakes at Saratoga, with both races over 5 ½ furlongs of turf. She had returned to Keeneland before shipping north and giving her trainer his first local victory. “I’m really impressed with her,” said Wheeler. “She’s done everything right since she broke her maiden. Really, we’ve asked a lot of her shipping her up to Saratoga – she handled that great. So we shipped her up here, it looked like a good spot, and she came through.” Wheeler added that it was too soon to say for sure that a Breeders’ Cup appearance would be in the cards. “I guess it’s up to Eddie and the owner,” said the assistant. “She’ll tell us, how she comes out of the race. She’ll ship back to Kentucky and we’ll go from there.” Abscond returned $21.00, $6.60 and $2.80 and keyed an 8-1 exacta of $89.30 with Walk In Marrakesh ($5.60, $2.90). Fair Maiden ($2.10) completed an 8-1-3 trifecta of $103.00 with Diamond Sparkles rounding out the 8-1-3-4 superfecta of $348.60 for a $1 outlay.

Read Article
9.15.2019:

Decorated Invader Punches Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Ticket in G1 Summer Stakes

TORONTO, September 15, 2019 – Christophe Clement charge Decorated Invader wasn’t in the picture early, but was in full view at Woodbine when it counted most, rallying stoutly to take Sunday’s Grade 1, $251,300 Summer Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event. Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, William Freeman and William Sandbrook, Decorated Invader didn’t have the smoothest of starts in the one-mile Summer, getting away last of 10 (Secret Stash was scratched) in the two-year-old event. It was 109-1 longshot Cadet Connelly, under Pablo Morales, who crossed over from the outside gate to grab the early lead. The son of Grey Swallow, who won a mile and 70 yard main track race at Woodbine on September 8 to break his maiden, took the field through an opening quarter-mile in :24.26 over an E.P. Taylor Turf Course listed as ‘yielding.’ Irad Ortiz Jr. and Decorated Invader, seventh after the opening quarter, were still seventh after a half-mile timed in :48.43, as Cadet Connelly still led the way, holding a two-length advantage over Pleasecallmeback. Cadet Connelly continued to grind away on the front end, one-length to the good over Proven Strategies at the stretch call, as Ortiz asked Decorated Invader for his best run. The duo eventually wore down the game front-runner to cross the wire 1 ¾-length victors. Cadet Connelly, trained by Teresa Connelly and owned by Endeavor Bloodstock, headed Vitalogy for runner-up honours. Proven Strategies was a further head back in fourth. The final time for the Summer was 1:36.34. “We were just looking for him to relax in the first part of the race and then let him run in the end,” said Ortiz. “We know he can run so we just want to relax him and teach him the first part.” That education ultimately paid off with a winner’s circle trip, and a likely trip to California. “I know he broke a touch poorly but with the rain we had and everything, I was pretty comfortable he was moving well and was happy where he was,” said assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul. “We were just very confident with our ride. He was just biding his time, and he showed up today.” Next stop, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile? “We talked about it beforehand,” said Lorieul. “It would be the obvious next target for him. Today was the big test, and he completed it so we’re very happy for the partnership of West Point.” The son of Declaration of War just missed in his debut at Saratoga on July 13, closing strongly to finish second in a 1 1/16-mile turf race. A month later, the Kentucky-bred broke his maiden via a 3 ¼-length victory, also at 1 1/16-miles on the Saratoga grass. “He’s only had three races so I think he’s getting better and better,” offered Ortiz. “Today, I really liked the way he did it. He was floating in a little bit in the stretch, he always does, but hopefully he learns and if he just keeps a little more straight in the stretch that would be great. He keeps learning.” Decorated Invader paid $6.80, $4 and $3. The exactor with Cadet Connelly ($55.20, $17.20) came back $341.80. Vitalogy finished off a triactor worth $2,727.20, with fourth-place Proven Strategies completing a $1 superfecta worth $9,773.50.

Read Article
9.14.2019:

El Tormenta Pulls Off Major Upset in G1 Woodbine Mile

TORONTO, September 14, 2019 – El Tormenta, who had endured a string of troubled trips, found clear sailing under jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva and rallied for a half-length victory at 44-1 in Saturday’s 23rd running of the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Grade 1).The Woodbine Mile is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race and earned El Tormenta a fees-paid berth in the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 3.“This was my last opportunity to win this race – it was the only one left,” said Da Silva, who has announced that he will be retiring from the saddle at the end of this season.“And this was my opportunity, and here we are. I was fully focused. It was a little tough with Pink Lloyd (declared a non-starter in the Grade 3 Bold Venture, earlier in the card) when he broke from the gate today, but I keep talking to myself, ‘Just focus on what you need to focus on, and keep faith in your horse. And never give up.’”“This horse ran so beautifully,” added Da Silva, before closing with his signature phrase, “Good luck to everybody!”El Tormenta, who had saved ground after breaking from the one-hole swung out for racing room in early stretch and closed resolutely to edge the 3-2 favourite Got Stormy, who was one of two fillies in the race.Got Stormy, a four-year-old, performed nobly in defeat when looking to give trainer Mark Casse his third win in the last four runnings of the Woodbine Mile, following Tepin in 2016 and World Approval in 2017. Racing just off the early leaders, Got Stormy had hit the front when they reached the six-furlong mark in 1:08.33 and maintained a half-length lead with a furlong to run before coming up just short.“I was proud of her,” said Casse. “I knew, this is a tough place to win. There is a huge home field advantage.“I was just a little worried that they weren’t going to carry her far enough and that she’d make the lead. But the winner ran very well, showed a lot of guts down inside. I was proud of our filly. I’ve lost no respect for her and I feel extremely confident that we’ll be right there in the Breeders’ Cup.”Regular rider Tyler Gaffalione also believes his charge lost no lustre in defeat.“Mark and I were just walking around the rail and it’s rock hard, it seems like it might be the best spot on the track,” said Gaffalione.“The post position (No. 5) was good, we got a beautiful trip. She ran her heart out. She gave us everything she had. She’s an incredible filly.”“I’m looking forward to her in the Breeders’ Cup. I think she’ll be dynamite out there. This track is a one-turn mile, it’s a long course. She has a lot of quickness to her and I think Santa Anita will fit her perfectly. She laid it all out there today. Congratulations to the winner, they ran a big race. It took a nice horse to beat her today.”Got Stormy finished a half-length prior to Lucullan, who had started putting in his run with a quarter mile to go and ended third only to be disqualified and placed fourth for interfering with Raging Bull in the closing stages.Raging Bull, the second choice at 3.80-1, had finished a half-length behind Lucullan and a half-length prior to fifth-place Synchrony, the third favorite at 3.90-1.Emmaus, Admiralty Pier, Made You Look, Silent Poet, the filly Awesometank, and American Guru rounded out the order of finish.Silent Poet had set a rapid pace of :22.84 and :44.43 while being pressed hard by Admiralty Pier and Awesometank.El Tormenta was giving his trainer, Gail Cox, the biggest win of her career.“Oh, it’s huge. It’s a Grade 1 win and it’s a ‘Win and You’re In,’ so it’s huge.”“I was a little worried with the one-hole and being on the rail because if you’ve seen his past three starts, they’ve been troubled. I just think he was laying closer and really bullied his way through a little bit. He’s a very, very nice horse, and was probably overlooked here.”“Last year, I thought he was a sprinter. He ran shorter and he ran a different style. This year, every start, we thought he’d probably like to go a little farther.”El Tormenta, a gelding by Stormy Atlantic out of Torreadora, had become a stakes winner when making his second start of 2019 in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup over seven furlongs of turf at Woodbine on June 1 but had encountered varying degrees of trouble in three subsequent stakes starts here.The Woodbine Mile, raced over a turf course upgraded to “good” after being rated “yielding” earlier on the program, featured a swift pace. The front-runners were nowhere to be found at the finish. The final time was 1:32.60.Michael Balaz, son of Sam-Son Farm president Rick Balaz and an integral part of the operation, said a decision will be pending on the winner’s Breeders’ Cup participation.“I think that will be a decision that the higher-ups will have to make, and everyone will have to get together,” he said. “I don’t see why not after running like that.”El Tormenta was the record third Woodbine Mile winner for owner/breeder Sam-Son Farm, who won the race with Quiet Resolve (via a disqualification) in 1999 and Soaring Free in 2004.El Tormenta’s $91.40 win mutuel was the largest in Woodbine Mile history, edging the $91.10 returned by Quiet Resolve.The winner returned $21.40 to place and $9.50 to show and combined with runner-up Get Stormy ($3.90, $2.80) for a 5-1 exacta worth $344.70. The 5-1-7 trifecta with Raging Bull ($2.80) returned $2.880.60 and the 5-1-7-2 superfecta completed by Lucullan checked in at $4,741.10.

Read Article
9.14.2019:

Lazy Daisy Wins Pocahontas Stakes; Next Stop Breeders' Cup?

Southern California invader Lazy Daisy and 43-1 longshot His Glory took turns sharing the lead throughout Saturday’s 51st running of the $200,000 Pocahontas (Grade II) at Churchill Downs but it was Lazy Daisy who emerged as 1 ¼-length winner when the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies reached its conclusion. Portrait, the 6-5 favorite, finished another 3 ½ lengths back in third.Ridden by Abel Cedillo and trained by Doug O’Neill, Lazy Daisy ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.89 to prevail over seven rivals for owners ERJ Racing (Erik Johnson), Great Friends Stable LLC (Scott Kaplan) and Tom Mansor.Lazy Daisy broke fast from post position No. 4 and raced one off the rail as His Glory put pressure on the leader from the inside. After a quarter mile in :23.99, His Glory took a narrow lead down the backstretch. They crossed the half-mile marker in :47.90 and Lazy Daisy decided to take over again. His Glory dropped a half-length back and Portrait loomed three-wide as Lazy Daisy came away with the lead on the far turn with three furlongs to run. In the end, Portrait couldn’t keep up but a determined and rail-riding His Glory wasn’t done yet and re-rallied at the top of the stretch to give the winner a test. Lazy Daisy, however, proved best and edged away in the final stages.“When I turned in the stretch, I put my filly close (to the inside horse), and she got a little intimidated,” Cedillo said. “And that’s where my filly kept going, and going. I got lucky there. Doug (O’Neill) has a lot of good horses, and he knows where to put his horses in a good spot, like a live mount.”Lazy Daisy, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Paynter out of the Bellamy Road mare Romantic Intention, banked $120,280 for the win and guaranteed herself a starting spot in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. The Pocahontas is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Juvenile Fillies Challenge Division, which means the winner will also will have her entry fees and a travel allowance paid by Breeders’ Cup.Lazy Daisy also is the early points-leader on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks after collecting 10 points. The Pocahontas was the first of 30 qualifying races to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) to be run next May, and points were awarded to the Top 4 finishers on a 10-4-2-1 scale.Lazy Daisy (3-2-0-0—$174,880), saddled Saturday by O’Neill assistant Sabas Rivera, paid $16.40, $8.20 and $4 as the 7-1 third favorite. His Glory, ridden by James Graham, paid $30.60 and $9.80. Portrait, with Shaun Bridgmohan up, paid $3 to show.The order of finish was completed by Blood Curdling, Morning Gold, Lotta Ott, Shadilee and Addilyn. British Idion was scratched.The winner was bred by John Elder and Paynter Syndicate.POCAHONTAS QUOTESAbel Cedillo, jockey of LAZY DAISY (winner): “When I turned in the stretch, I put my filly close (to the inside horse), and she got a little intimidated. And that’s where my filly kept going, and going. I got lucky there. Doug (O’Neill) has a lot of good horses, and he knows where to put his horses in a good spot, like a live mount. The owner (Erik Johnson), we had a really good Del Mar meet, and he was really happy with the way I rode his horses, so he gave me the opportunity to ride this filly.”Shaun Bridgmohan, jockey of PORTRAIT (third): “I don’t think she gave me what she’s capable of. At about the eighth pole, where I was getting into her a bit, she ducked in. She’s a young horse (who’s) learning.”

Read Article
9.14.2019:

Dennis' Moment Wins Iroquois; Punches Breeders' Cup Ticket

Albaugh Family Stables’ Dennis’ Moment is the early points leader on the 2020 “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve” after the promising colt confirmed his runway maiden victory with an easy 1 ¾-length win over Scabbard in Saturday’s 38th running of the $200,000 Iroquois (Grade III) for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.Sent to post as the odds-on 2-5 favorite following his 19 ¼-length maiden win at Ellis Park on July 27, Dennis’ Moment covered 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in a stakes record 1:43.58 to bank $117,800 and 10 points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” point system that will determine the field for next year’s 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) on May 2, 2020 at Churchill Downs. The Iroquois was the first in a series of 35 select races on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” which is now entering its eighth year.The Iroquois also is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Juvenile Division” Challenge and the win by Dennis’ Moment earned the Kentucky-bred son of Tiznow a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at Santa Anita on “Future Stars Friday,” Nov. 1. Dennis’ Moment’s $60,000 entry fees will be paid by Breeders’ Cup Ltd. and his connections will receive a travel stipend.“Right here in my hand is the invitation to the Breeders’ Cup,” Albaugh said. “They officially delivered it, so that’s exciting. His name came from his sire, Tiznow — the “now” — and we went with Dennis’ Moment. We’re very happy with him now, and they named him after me, which was a surprise. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, of course, but getting 10 points toward getting into the Derby, that’s a big help. We’ll give this horse plenty of time. Dale Romans has been excellent on what’s the timing, where do we go. We’ll start looking at things next week, once we see how he came out of this race, although he looked like he’s perfect after the finish.”Juggernaut led the field of 10 juveniles through early fractions of :23.35, :47.31 and 1:11.96 as Lebda pressured the pace just off his right hip with Zyramid covered up down on the inside and Dennis’ Moment tracking from fourth in the clear on the outside. Lebda briefly poked his head in front of a fading Juggernaut midway around the far turn but a looming Dennis’ Moment was making a bold three-wide move on the far turn to assert his presence. It was all over from there. The winner drew well clear in the stretch and his jockey, national earnings leader Irad Ortiz Jr., geared down Dennis’ Moment to a gallop inside the final sixteenth of a mile. Scabbard, who briefly checked his run into the far turn, recovered to rally down the lane but was clearly second best.“This horse is speaking for himself, I don’t have to build him up anymore,” trainer Dale Romans said. “He’s just an amazing animal. He goes out there and does it, his ears up, like he’s just galloping around out there. The jock was shutting him down with a sixteenth of a mile to go, and he still finished in the time he did. He’s something special.“It’s important going into these big races, to be versatile. That’s what I was worried about today, I was concerned about him getting in a speed duel, with this being the first time around two turns for all these 2-year-olds. And it worked out perfect, he sat outside a horse that didn’t bother him at all, and went three-wide, which is not easy to do on this racetrack and keep on going, and he kicked home good. We’ll be going straight to the Breeders’ Cup from here.”Added Ortiz: “He’s good, he’s a nice horse, he’s done everything he’s been asked to do, we’ll see what’s next (Breeders’ Cup). He felt great, really great for a 2-year-old. He did everything right. I asked him to run and he was going really well. He had some more, but I saved it for the end. He was going to win going away, so I didn’t ask him for any more.”Dennis’ Moment paid $2.80, $2.60 and $2.20 to give Romans his third win in the race. He won in 2013 with Cleburne and again in 2016 with Not This Time, who would go on to finish second to Classic Empire in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.Scabbard, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $6 and $4. Lebda was another 5 ¼ lengths back in third under Trevor McCarthy and paid $6.Letmeno, Rowdy Yates, January Won, Flute Maker, Automate, Juggernaut and Zyramid completed the order of finish.Dennis’ Moment’s earnings total $147,800.Dennis’ Moment, a $400,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton’s 2018 Saratoga Sale, was bred in Kentucky by Tolo Thoroughbreds. The Tiznow colt is out of the Elusive Quality mare Transplendid.IROQUOIS QUOTESDale Romans, trainer of DENNIS’ MOMENT (winner): “This horse is speaking for himself, I don’t have to build him up anymore. He’s just an amazing animal. He goes out there and does it, his ears up, like he’s just galloping around out there. The jock was shutting him down with a sixteenth of a mile to go, and he still finished in the time he did. He’s something special.“It’s important going into these big races, to be versatile. That’s what I was worried about today, I was concerned about him getting in a speed duel, with this being the first time around two turns for all these 2-year-olds. And it worked out perfect, he sat outside a horse that didn’t bother him at all, and went three-wide, which is not easy to do on this racetrack and keep on going, and he kicked home good. We’ll be going straight to the Breeders’ Cup from here.”Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey of DENNIS’ MOMENT (winner): “He’s good, he’s a nice horse, he’s done everything he’s been asked to do, we’ll see what’s next (Breeders’ Cup). He felt great, really great for a 2-year-old. He did everything right. I asked him to run and he was going really well. He had some more, but I saved it for the end. He was going to win going away, so I didn’t ask him for any more.”Dennis Albaugh, owner of DENNIS’ MOMENT (winner): “Right here in my hand is the invitation to the Breeders’ Cup. They officially delivered it, so that’s exciting. His name came from his sire, Tiznow — the “now” — and we went with Dennis’ Moment. We’re very happy with him now, and they named him after me, which was a surprise. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, of course, but getting 10 points toward getting into the Derby, that’s a big help. We’ll give this horse plenty of time. Dale Romans has been excellent on what’s the timing, where do we go. We’ll start looking at things next week, once we see how he came out of this race, although he looked like he’s perfect after the finish.”Corey Lanerie, jockey of SCABBARD (second): “He’s done nothing wrong right now, he’s a superstar. He wasn’t encouraging him that much in the last part of the race, and it looked like won the way he wanted him to. My horse was finishing fast. It looked like (Dennis’ Moment) had had it, so I was trying to sneak up on him a little bit in the middle of the racetrack. But my horse is improving every time. This was a big race for him; he’s a good horse.”Trevor McCarthy, jockey of LEDBA (third): “I was very happy with my horse. He was in a great position, I had to move a little earlier than I wanted to because (Dennis’ Moment) was pretty loaded. It was a privilege to ride him. He gave us a good run and I was very pleased with his performance.”

Read Article
9.14.2019:

Old Persian Easily Wins Woodbine's G1 Northern Dancer

TORONTO, September 14, 2019 – It wasn’t the smoothest of starts, but Godolphin homebred Old Persian finished in style to make his Canadian debut a winning one in the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Grade 1) on Saturday at Woodbine.Sent off as the 3-5 choice, Old Persian sprinted away from his rivals in the late going to notch an impressive score in the 1 ½-mile marathon contested over ‘good’ going on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.It was longshot Cooler Mike who seized the lead from the outset, as the four-year-old son of Giant Gizmo was given ‘catch me if you can’ orders from jockey Patrick Husbands. Old Persian, under James Doyle, broke sluggishly from the gate, but quickly recovered to settle in third, as the leader, ahead by open lengths already, took the field through an opening quarter-mile in :24.82.Cooler Mike and Husbands continued to widen their advantage through a half-mile in :47.63, with Tiz a Slam, Old Persian, and Sir Sahib running second, third, and fourth, respectively.As the front-runner began to fade – a 12-length lead had been trimmed to a 1 ½-length advantage at the mile mark – Tiz a Slam soon took over top spot, with Focus Group and Old Persian picking up the chase. Ahead of the stretch call, timed in 2:03.09, Doyle asked Old Persian for his best, and the four-year-old son of Dubawi responded in kind.At the wire, Old Persian was 2 ½-lengths in front of Nessy, who finished a nose ahead of Focus Group. Tiz a Slam was a head further back in fourth. Sir Sahib was fifth, and Cooler Mike finished sixth.The final time was 2:27.78.“From the minute he stepped foot on the track, he wasn’t really 100 per cent concentrating,” noted Doyle. “He was more enjoying the crowd rather than what was going on in front of him, which is amazing because he’s run some cracking races at Meydan and there is no bigger stand than that. But obviously we were a bit concerned early. He missed the break, but they went pretty quick and we were able to muster some speed down the fence to secure a bit of space. We had a very clean trip all the way through. He’s a powerful stayer at this trip with a good turn of foot and when the pace came up in the stretch, he exceled and sprinted away nicely.”Friday’s inclement weather in the Toronto area was certainly not a negative for Old Persian.“I think the rain that you guys had during the week definitely played to our strengths,” said Doyle. “The track is in beautiful condition, it’s dried out throughout the day. We had a beautiful racing surface and I think there were no complaints on that front.”A British-bred, Old Persian came into the Northern Dancer off a third-place performance in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin over a mile and a half at Hoppegarten, Germany, on August 11.The bay colt was at the top of his game in Dubai earlier this season, taking a pair of 1 ½-mile turf events, the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic on March 30, and the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold three weeks earlier.Now he can add a Canadian score to a racing resume that features nine wins, one second, and a pair of thirds from 16 starts.“He didn’t run great in the Coronation back at Epsom there after a good run in Dubai,” said Alex Merriam, assistant to trainer Charlie Appleby. “We were pleased enough with his run in Germany and I think the ground was a bit on the soft side for him there. But James gave him a nice ride today and it worked out well.”A return to Woodbine might be in the cards, specifically, a spot in the starting gate for the Grade 1, $800,000 Pattison Canadian International on October 12.“Not quite sure at the minute,” offered Merriam. “I spoke to Charlie and he said we’ll go back to Europe, see how he is, see how he comes out of the race and make a plan from there. No immediate plans at the minute.”Old Persian paid $3.30, $2.80 and $2.20. The exactor with Nessy ($9.60, $4.70) returned $38. Focus Group completed a triactor worth $106.50, with fourth-place Tiz a Slam completing a $1 superfecta worth $84.85.

Read Article
9.13.2019:

Craig Fravel to Join the Stronach Group

LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 13, 2019) – Craig R. Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and Chief Executive Officer since 2011, will depart the organization at the conclusion of this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 1-2. Fravel has been appointed as The Stronach Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Racing Operations. “I can think of no greater privilege than to have had the opportunity to preside over what I consider the greatest championships in Thoroughbred racing. Every race comprising the Breeders’ Cup World Championships provides the chance to witness the splendid horses that reflect the hard work of breeders, trainers, jockeys, owners and backstretch workers. It has been an honor to serve them all during my time at the Breeders’ Cup. I want to thank the women and men of the Breeders’ Cup for their dedication and passion for our event. My particular gratitude goes to the Breeders’ Cup Board led in recent years by Bill Farish and Fred Hertrich whose support has been invaluable. I now look forward to new and important challenges and opportunities and the chance to join my family back in California.” “On behalf of our Board and Members, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Craig for his outstanding leadership and enormous accomplishments as our President and CEO these past eight years,” said Breeders’ Cup Chairman, Fred Hertrich III. “His management and stewardship of the organization, not to mention his quick wit and calm demeanor, will be greatly missed by all of us. We wish Craig continued success in his new venture with one of our most valuable host site partners, The Stronach Group.” “I am delighted to have Craig join our company at this pivotal moment in our sport,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. “Craig’s stellar reputation and proven track record of leadership will enable us to further our goal to become North America’s preeminent horse racing organization as we work lock step with industry partners to prioritize horse and rider safety.” As Chief Executive Officer, Racing Operations, Fravel will assume management and oversight of all racing operations across Stronach Group owned tracks and training facilities. He will focus on implementing and enforcing global best practices and integrity standards for horse and rider safety in collaboration with key industry stakeholders while driving a new standard of excellence in Thoroughbred horse racing with a commitment to creating an unparalled experience for both horsemen and guests. Among his many achievements during his time as President and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup, Fravel developed and executed a long-term host site strategy and successfully brought the World Championships to two first time tracks in Keeneland (2015) and Del Mar (2017). Fravel expanded international participation in the World Championships to its highest levels ever and struck an unprecedented 10-year partnership with NBC Sports to televise the World Championships through 2025. Working with industry stakeholders, Fravel also spearheaded plans to increase horse safety and welfare measures. The Board of Directors is evaluating the appropriate next steps to fill Fravel’s position.

Read Article
9.7.2019:

Totally Boss Wins 'Win and You're In' Kentucky Downs Runhappy Turf Sprint

FRANKLIN, KY. (Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019) -- When Totally Boss first came into trainer Rusty Arnold’s barn last fall, he was a horse in need of a change in scenery and, most importantly, a dose of fire in his belly.“(Trainer) Brian (Lynch) had him and he asked me to take him,” Arnold recalled. “Brian gave him to me because at the time he wasn’t winning on the dirt and he didn’t go anywhere on the dirt for me, but he ran well on the grass last year.”Less than a year after settling in with his new surroundings, Totally Boss has indeed changed the narrative of his career. The one time underachieving gelding is now a graded stakes winner and Breeders’ Cup contender after running off to a 1 ¼-length victory over Smart Remark in the Grade 3, $700,000 RUNHAPPY Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs on Saturday. The six-furlong Turf Sprint was a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and one of five stakes races – four of which were graded – on the Kentucky Downs lineup.After finishing sixth beaten more than 30 lengths in the Allied Forces Stakes at Belmont Park last September – his sixth loss from his first eight starts – Totally Boss was sent to Arnold’s shedrow in hopes that the venerable horseman could somehow get the son of Street Boss to right the ship in terms of his form. His first two outings for the Kentucky-based conditioner resulted in two more defeats but after getting the winter off at owner Jim and Susan Hill’s Margaux Farm, the bay gelding returned as the best version of himself yet.A victory in his seasonal bow at Keeneland in April was followed promptly by another win at Churchill Downs going 5 ½ furlongs on the grass. What really signaled to Arnold that he had something heady to work with, however, was when Totally Boss was beaten just a nose by multiple graded stakes-winner Om in an allowance race under the Twin Spires on June 29.“We thought his race at Churchill showed he belonged, the race where he got beat,” Arnold said. “His first two were condition allowance races but when he got beat in that race, that was a good field. We thought at that point he was a good horse.“Jim Hill picked the Ellis Park race after that. He said ‘I’m afraid if we go to New York, it may rain and things may go wrong.’ He said ‘Let’s go to Ellis’…and he barely got up there (for the win) but it was great because it got us in for this race.”That trip to Ellis Park yielded a half-length victory in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint Stakes on August 4, the first stakes win of his career. Facing a loaded field in the Saturday’s Turf Sprint that included champion Stormy Liberal, Totally Boss pressed early front-runner and eventual second-place finisher Smart Remark through fractions of 23.54 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.66 for the half before edging past at the furlong marker to prevail in a final six-furlong time of 1:09.21 and give jockey Florent Geroux his first win of the day, and his fifth of the meet.“He was loaded today,” Geroux said. “He broke sharp. Actually, to be honest, there was not a lot of speed in the race. When he broke sharp, I just took it from there. He put me closer to normal, but he was traveling great. And when I asked him turning for home, he gave me his usual kick. He’s a nice horse, and I think Rusty has him near the top of his form right now.”Dismissed at odds of 69-1, Smart Remark held on for second to give Ellis Park the exacta of having the top two come off races at its track. Leinster, stablemate to Totally Boss and a half-brother to Stormy Liberal, checked in third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths and edging fourth-place finisher and 2-1 post-time favorite Imprimus by a nose.“He’s a really nice horse. He’s always shown a lot of ability,” said Vicki Oliver, trainer of Smart Remark. “I was surprised he was on the lead to be truthful. But he actually loved the course and moved really well. I think 6, 6 ½ (furlongs) is a better distance than 5, 5 ½, which is a little too short for him.”Stormy Liberal ended up fifth, his fifth straight loss since winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for a second straight year. Undrafted, Wet Your Whistle, White Flag, Cautious Giant and Jazzy Times completed the order of finish.The winner returned $2 bettors $10.80 to win, $6.40 to show and $4.40 to place. It was the sixth victory in 15 starts for Totally Boss, who bolstered his bankroll to $666,658.“He just turned into a good horse,” Arnold said, adding that Totally Boss would not have another race between his expected start in the Breeders’ Cup. “He’s been unfortunate not to win them all this year actually. Mr. Hill takes him back to his farm after every race (Margaux Farm), freshens him up and keeps him 2-3 weeks depending on how much space we have and then he sends him back to me and it works. They say he loves it there, they turn him out and he’s a happy horse and he has really, really trained well.”Totally Boss was bred in Kentucky by Mike Pressley and was purchased by the Hills for $180,000 out of the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.“Everybody was so high on him, and that’s when you think something is going to go wrong,” Jim Hill said. “He was so cool in the paddock. I had high expectations for sure in this race. He’s really turned it around, figured it out. He’s having a great time. He spends half the time at our farm, Margaux, the other half with Rusty at the track. That just seems to suit him perfectly. He gets stronger every race, so we’re happy.”

Read Article
9.4.2019:

Laurel Fall Meet Opens September 6; Features 40 Stakes Races + Clubhouse Festival

LAUREL, MD – Launched by a September to Remember Stakes Festival featuring back-to-back Super Saturdays serving up 14 stakes worth $1.8 million in purses topped by the Xpressbet Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) and Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3), live racing returns to Laurel Park for its calendar year-ending fall meet starting Friday, Sept. 6. A nine-race program, with six races scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course, will kick off the 61-day fall stand that concludes Sunday, Dec. 29. Racing will be conducted Friday through Sunday in September and December and Thursday through Sunday in October and November. There will be no racing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and special holiday programs Monday, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11 as well as Thursday, Nov. 28 and Dec. 26. Post time will be 1:10 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 20 before reverting to a 12:35 p.m. first post Thursday, Oct. 24 for the remainder of the meet. Overall, Laurel’s fall meet offers 40 stakes worth $4.27 million in purses including the 34th Jim McKay Maryland Million program Saturday, Oct. 19 of 11 stakes worth $1.07 million. Also part of the festivities is the second annual Clubhouse Festival featuring 2018 Breakout Artist of the Year Rezz and internationally acclaimed DJs Alan Walker, Madeon, Two Friends and Elephante. Tickets and information can be found at https://www.tixr.com/groups/clubhousefest/events/clubhouse-fest-2019-14107 “The fall meet at Laurel is always one of the highlights on the Maryland racing calendar,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “Our stakes schedule always attracts some of the country’s top horsemen and horses. We’re looking forward to some incredible performances on the track, on our world-class turf course, and our events are going to be memorable starting with our opening weekend.” The 28th running of the $250,000 Xpressbet De Francis Dash for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs and $200,000 BWI Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up at one mile highlight Part I of the September to Remember Stakes Festival on a Saturday, Sept. 21 card of eight stakes worth $1.2 million. Named for the late president and chairman of both Laurel and Pimlico Race Course, the De Francis’ roster of past winners includes 2013 Hall of Famer Housebuster and fellow sprint champions Cherokee Run, Smoke Glacken, Thor’s Echo and Benny the Bull. Debuting in 2005 debut as the Colonial Turf Cup and run as the Commonwealth Cup in 2015 and Commonwealth Turf Cup in 2016, the BWI Turf Cup was renamed in 2017 and has been won by horses such as champion English Channel and Grade 1 winners Showing Up, Paddy O’Prado, Turbo Compressor and Mr Speaker. Supporting the graded events Sept. 21 are the $100,000 Weathervane for 3-year-old fillies on dirt and five turf stakes – the $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Laurel Futurity and $200,000 Selima for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; $150,000 Bald Eagle Derby presented by B&B Commercial Interiors for 3-year-olds at 1 ½ miles; and $100,000 Laurel Dash presented by Fidelity First and Blackwell Real Estate and $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash, each at 5 ½ furlongs. Also part of the Sept. 21 card is the second installment of Laurel’s On the Rail series, Reds on the Rail, offering fans the chance to sip and savor in a garden party tent from 1 to 5 p.m. A $28 general admission ticket includes six red wine tastings, souvenir wine glass, live racing program and tip sheet, with upgraded VIP tickets including Charcuterie box for $40 available. For tickets and information, visit http://www.laurelpark.com/events/2019-09-21/reds-rail On Saturday, Sept. 28, the $150,000 All Along for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the grass tops a September to Remember Stakes Festival Part II program of six stakes worth $600,000 in purses that includes the $100,000 Japan Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ½ miles; $100,000 Howard County and $100,000 Anne Arundel County, turf sprints for juveniles going 5 ½ furlongs; and $75,000 Challedon and $75,000 Shine Again, seven-furlong main track sprints for non-winners of a sweepstakes. In addition to live racing, Sept. 28 will also feature Ciders & Seltzers from 1 to 5 p.m., offering samples of hard ciders, spiked seltzers and apple cider plus a souvenir glass, program and tip sheet for $28 general admission. Upgraded VIP tickets with snack box are available for $40. Tickets and information can be found at http://www.laurelpark.com/events/2019-09-28/ciders-seltzers-rail Juveniles will be in the spotlight Saturday, Nov. 16 with the $100,000 Smart Halo for fillies and $100,000 James F. Lewis III, each going six furlongs. Four $100,000 stakes are on tap Saturday, Nov. 30 – the seven-furlong City of Laurel and Safely Kept for 3-year-olds, the latter for fillies; 1 1/8-mile Richard W. Small for 3-year-olds and up; and Thirty Eight Go Go for females 3 and older at about 1 1/16 miles. Maryland-bred/sired horses get their day Saturday, Dec. 7 with the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity and $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship at seven furlongs, the $75,000 Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial for 3-year-olds and up and $75,000 Politely for fillies and mares 3 and older, both at six furlongs. The final Super Saturday of 2019 comes Dec. 28 with a quintet of $100,000 stakes – the Dave’s Friend for 3-year-olds and up and Willa On the Move for females 3 and older at six furlongs, 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer for 3-year-olds and up, and Heft for 2-year-olds and Gin Talking for 2-year-old fillies, each at seven furlongs. Friday’s featured events come in Race 5, a $42,000 entry-level optional claiming allowance for 2-year-old fillies going 5 ½ furlongs on the Exceller turf course; Race 6, a $40,000 maiden special weight for females 3 and up at a mile on the main track led by $575,000 yearling Hunting Season, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey; and Race 9, a $40,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies, also at 5 ½ furlongs on the Exceller, which drew a field of 11 including debut runners by Grade 1 winners The Factor, Hard Spun and Palace Malice. The opening day card also marks the return of the $1 Stronach 5, a $1 minimum multi-race wager unveiled at the start of last year’s fall meet. Offering an industry-low 12 percent takeout and a guaranteed pool of $100,000, the Stronach 5 will feature races from Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park and Golden Gate Fields, starting with Laurel’s Race 8. The Maryland Jockey Club serves as host for the Stronach 5. Opening Saturday, Sept. 7, will have 10 races highlighted by a $42,000 entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up scheduled for one mile over the Bowl Game turf course in Race 4, one of six grass races that attracted a total of 64 entries, an average of 10.7 horses per race. Saturday’s program will also feature the Crackin’ Crab Feast from 1 to 5 p.m. in the apron tent. Tickets cost $60 and include all you can eat crabs, beer and wine specials, perfect crab feast sides and souvenir Laurel Park crab mallet. For tickets and information, visit http://www.laurelpark.com/events/2019-09-07/crackin-crab-feast Jockey Julio Correa, the nation’s leading apprentice rider, is named in four races Friday and seven races Saturday in his attempt to follow up on a Laurel summer meet where he defeated two-time Maryland champion Trevor McCarthy by a 35-30 margin. Claudio Gonzalez, Maryland’s leading trainer the past two years, goes after his eighth title in nine Laurel Park meets and 11th overall, having captured the summer stand over Mike Trombetta, 24-14. Gonzalez entered Nico Bree N Teej in Friday’s eighth race and has a pair of maidens, Olive’s Bumpa and Imagine Winning, entered on Saturday. Other highlights of Laurel’s fall meet include:  The BIG ONE Handicapping Tournament, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22 Fall and Oystoberfest, Saturday, Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup wagering, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-2 Military Appreciation Day, Saturday, Nov. 16 Guys' Day Out, Saturday, Nov. 30 Give Back at the Track, Saturday, Dec. 7 Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 14 For the complete fall stakes schedule, visit http://www.laurelpark.com/horsemen/stakes-schedule.

Read Article
9.2.2019:

Basin Tops Steve Asmussen-Trained Trifecta in G1 Hopeful Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jackpot Farm's Basin overtook 6-5 favorite and stablemate Gozilla at the top of the stretch from the outside and cruised to a 6 ½-length win for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who saddled each member of the trifecta in the 115th running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Runhappy Hopeful on Monday, Closing Day, at Saratoga Race Course.In the last of 76 stakes during the 40-day Saratoga meet, the Hopeful saw Gozilla led the six-horse field of juveniles through the opening quarter-mile in 22.66 seconds and the half in 45.84 on the sloppy and sealed main track as Basin, breaking from the outermost post, stayed in third position. Out of the turn, Basin, three-wide of the leaders, made a strong move under jockey Jose Ortiz and gained separation in outkicking fellow Asmussen trainee Shoplifted. The meet-leading jockey, who clinched his third career Angel Cordero, Jr. riding title earlier in the day, registered his 60th win as Basin completed seven furlongs in 1:23.48, improving to 2-for-3 after breaking his maiden at second asking last out on July 21 at the Spa."I think that the day suited him with the post-position draw and the way that it came out. Those are three very talented horses and hopefully that's the last time they'll run against each other for a while," Asmussen said. Basin, bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood Stables, was a $150,000 purchased at the 2018 Keeneland September Sale. Off at 3-1, he returned $8.20 on a $2 win wager. The Liam's Map colt improved his career earnings to $260,500."I've always been surprised with how much speed [Basin] showed," Asmussen said. "Physically, and pedigree wise, we were excited about him running long and we were surprised at how sharp he was the first time he ran."Ortiz, who won the Saratoga riding title in 2015-16, recorded his third Grade 1 victory of the meet, adding to Dunbar Road in the Alabama presented by NYRA Bets and Guarana's win in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Ortiz won the Hopeful for a third time, joining Strong Mandate in 2013 and Practical Joke in 2016."I saw them going at it and it was the first time going seven furlongs, so you've got to be a little careful," Ortiz said. "I just took my time. I could have moved a little earlier, but I didn't want to since they were fighting. I gave my horse a really nice breather from the half mile to the quarter pole and that made a difference. I made just one move with him."Shoplifted, a debut winner on July 27 at Saratoga, edged Gozilla by a neck for second."He ran well," said Shoplifted jockey Joel Rosario. "Turning for home, I thought I had a little more time to get him together in a rhythm, but the winner was much the best today. He came running at the end and we were second best."American Butterfly, By Your Side and Inside Risk completed the order of finish. Green Light Go, the winner of the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on August 10, was scratched. The Hopeful, first run in 1903, counts Hall of Famers among its previous winners, including legends such as Peter Pan (1906), Man o' War (1919), Nashua (1954), Buckpasser (1965), Secretariat (1972), Foolish Pleasure (1974) and Affirmed (1977). Thoroughbred action moves to Belmont Park on Friday for the 37-day Fall Championship meet that includes 45 stakes worth $11.525 million in purse money - an increase of $1.45 million over 2018 - and will be highlighted by eight Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" qualifiers held over two weekends.

Read Article
9.1.2019:

Perfect Alibi Kicks Away Late to Win G1 Spinaway Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Tracy Farmer's Perfect Alibi linked up with 9-5 favorite Frank's Rockette in the stretch and prevailed with a strong rail-riding push by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. to overtake her rival in the final sixteenth, clearing away by 1 ¼ lengths to win the 128th running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Spinaway for juvenile fillies on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.Before the draw, Perfect Alibi trainer Mark Casse said he preferred an off-the-pace trip akin to one she used to win the Grade 2 Adirondack on August 4. The Canadian Hall of Fame conditioner got his wish, with Perfect Alibi rating second-last as Mundaye Call led the seven-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 22.65 seconds, with the half in 45.45 on the fast main track.Jockey Julien Leparoux positioned Frank's Rockette to the front out of the turn, with Perfect Alibi moving strong to her inside past the eighth pole. In deep stretch, Perfect Alibi, under Ortiz, Jr.'s left-handed encouragement, got the better of her rival for a second straight start, completing seven furlongs in 1:23.44, mirroring the exacta in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack last month."She amazes me because she's just so laid back and doesn't get excited about anything. When the gate opens, she's tough," said Casse, who won the Spinaway for the second time after Pretty City Dancer dead-heated Sweet Loretta in 2016. "I wasn't sure if she was going to get through [on the rail]. I knew if she could just get her head in front, she would probably be fine. What a nice filly."This filly is just a fighter. She keeps coming," he added. "I think the farther she runs, the better she likes it."Casse said a pair of Grade 1 races that serve as "Win and You're In" qualifiers to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in November at Santa Anita Park remain a possibility for her next spot, including the $400,00 Frizette at one mile on October 6 at Belmont Park or the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades on October 4 at Keeneland.Off at 5-1, Perfect Alibi returned $12.40 on a $2 win wager. The Sky Mesa filly improved to 3-1 in four career starts, with her only non-win coming with a second-place finish in the Astoria on June 6 at Belmont. Bred by Pin Oak Stud in Kentucky, she more than doubled her career earnings to $380,988."She has a lot of heart. She showed she had a lot of fight in her last time out as well," said Ortiz, Jr., who piloted Pretty City Dancer three years ago and also won the Spinaway with Lady Ivanka in 2017. "So, I wasn't afraid to make that tight space [along the rail] with her. I didn't have too many options and when I saw the space along the rail, I went for it." Frank's Rockette, one of four Into Mischief fillies in the race, was five lengths clear of Figure of Speech for second. The trainee of Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who posted an 8 ¾-length win in her debut on June 21 at Churchill Downs, earned a pair of second-place graded stakes effort for the Saratoga meet."She ran a good race as planned," Leparoux said. "I think the distance might have got me today. Other than that, she ran a good race. It looks like, so far, she might want to go a little shorter. Maybe keep her at six, six and a half [furlongs]. She can do seven [furlongs], but she got a little tired."Miss Peppina, Shippy, Risky Mischief and Mundaye Call completed the order of finish.First run in 1881, the Spinaway has numerous Hall of Famers among its all-time winners list, including Maskette (1908), Top Flight (1931) and Ruffian (1974).

Read Article
8.31.2019:

Preservationist Surges to Win G1 Woodward Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Centennial Farms' Preservationist capitalized on an aggressive mid-stretch move from jockey Junior Alvarado, splitting rivals between Tom's d'Etat and Bal Harbour before kicking on for a half-length score in the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. The last of four graded stakes on the final Saturday of the summer meet, the Woodward's 66th renewal saw New York-bred Mr. Buff surge to the front, leading the eight-horse field of 3-year-olds and up through an opening quarter-mile in 23.98 seconds and the half in 47.97 on the fast main track with Preservationist tracking in third behind Bal Harbour. Out of the final turn, 16-1 Bar Harbour took the lead in a tightly packed field, with Preservationist still near the inside. Inside the eighth pole, Alvarado tipped out Preservationist slightly when a seam opened, allowing the Jimmy Jerkens trainee to overtake Tom's d'Etat from his outside and Bal Harbour, ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, to his inside. Defending Woodward-winner Yoshida made a late bid from the outside, but Preservationist held strong to the wire, completing 1 1/8 miles in a 1:48.11 final time. Alvarado, who rode Preservationist to a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Whitney earlier in the month at Saratoga, earned his first career Woodward victory. "I had a great trip. I tried to find my way through and have something turning for home, but it was hard," Alvarado said. "Javier had some horse turning for home and I wanted to follow him but I know he didn't want to move because then I would be in the clear. So, he tried to hold me there as long as he could. Turning for home, I had some run in between horses. They made it a little bit tight for me there, but at that point, I thought I had it." Off at 3-1, Preservationist returned $8.10 on a $2 win wager. The 6-year-old son of Arch won for the fourth time in five starts, including a 4 ½-length victory in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 6 at Belmont Park, and gave Jerkens his second career Woodward win [Shaman Ghost, 2016]. "It was a nice, even race from him. Perfect for the kind of horse that he is - even paced," Jerkens said. "He's got a good cruising speed, but it looked like he was just galloping. When he gets into a nice rhythm like that, he's going to run his race. Junior was able to switch him to his outside lead and I thought he really took over after that. I didn't think he was going to get there at first, but when one of the horses started to fade and it began to open up a little bit, I was pretty confident after that." Preservationist improved to 6-1-2 in 10 career starts and earned millionaire status with the victory, bringing his career bankroll to $1,037,300. "He was a little more settled today than when he was in the Whitney. I thought he was much better in the post parade," Jerkens said. "He was able to stay with the pony. Last time, he wasted a lot of energy. He's been doing well since that last race in his workouts and his whole demeanor. Physically, I thought he looked terrific." Jerkens left open the possibility of Preservationist running in the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28 at Belmont, but said the long-range goal remains the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita Park. "I'm sure we'll take a look at the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but he's run pretty close together his last three starts," Jerkens said." Obviously, the year-end goal you have to look at the Breeders' Cup Classic as to where we want to be. We'll come up with a plan to get there ready." Red Oak Stable's Bal Harbour, conditioned by Todd Pletcher, finished a half-length ahead of 2-1 favorite Yoshida, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, for second. It was the third consecutive runner-up effort in a graded stakes for the 4-year-old Bal Harbour, who also earned blacktype in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup in July and the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin in June at Monmouth Park. "You never know in these types of races. They're all good horses," Castellano said. "I think my horse belonged in this race and I'm so happy with how he did things today. We broke well out of the gate and got a good spot in the race. I'm happy with how he did it every single step of the way. He put up a good fight." Yoshida, who ran second in the Whitney, again finished on the board, three-quarters of a length clear of Tom's d'Etat. "We were a little bit further out than I wanted to be," Yoshida jockey Joel Rosario said. "He ran his race. He came over and I thought we were going to get there. The pace just wasn't as fast up front." Rounding out the field was Mongolian Groom, Wooderson, Mr. Buff and Forewarned. Vino Rosso was scratched.

Read Article
8.31.2019:

Vasilika Noses Out Juliet Foxtrot to Win G2 John C. Mabee Stakes

Even-money favored Vasilika, seemingly beaten in mid-stretch, unleashed a brilliant burst of speed in the final furlong to get up in the final stride and nose out Eastern invader Juliet Foxtrot in a thrilling renewal of the Grade II $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes Saturday.Vasilika, upset as the 9-10 choice when a close third in the Yellow Ribbon Handicap August 3, was outrun in the early stages while positioned in the middle of the pack, was taken to the outside for running room by regular rider Flavien Prat in upper stretch and responded explosively to win the Mabee Stakes for the second straight year.Juliet Foxtrot, winner of the Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park in mid-July, appeared home free in the stretch after opening a clear lead for jockey Drayden Van Dyke, only to lose the closest of photos.Toinette was third, a length and one-quarter behind Juliet Foxtrot, with longshot Paved fourth another length and one-half farther back in the field of ten older fillies and mares.Vasilika, owned by the partnership of All Schlaich Stables and Gatto Racing  and trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, was scoring her 18th victory in 34 career races and first money of $120,000 increased the five-year-old Skipshot mare’s earnings to $1,502,595. Since being claimed for $40,000 in February of 2018, the mare has won seven stakes.Vasilika paid $4, $2.60 and $2.20, while runner-up Juliet Foxtrot at 7-2 returned $3.80 and $2.80, and third-place Toinette, also at 7-2, paid $3.20. Final time for the nine furlongs on the grass was a fast 1:46.46.FLAVIEN PRAT (Vasilika, winner) – “She put me in a good position today. Then she picked it up and started coming. (Third-place finisher Toinette) bothered me just a little in the stretch; she was drifting out. It almost cost me the race. When we hit the wire, I thought I’d won. But when I came back and saw the replay, I thought I was just headed back to the room.”DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Juliet Foxtrot, second) – “I just let her do her thing and she was rolling along. But the other mare (Vasilika) came to us outside, too far out for my horse to see. If she’d come in closer, it might have made a difference for my horse.”RAFAEL BEJARANO (Toinette, third) – “We had a good trip today. We were right where we wanted to be. When we moved turning for home, I thought we were going to win it. But maybe it was just a little too far for her today.”JERRY HOLLENDORFER (Vasilika, winner) – “When they came back (Flavien) Prat told me ‘She finds a way,’ and that’s true. He knows how to ride this filly and it looked like he felt comfortable the whole way. He didn’t get her jammed down on the rail where she couldn’t get out. He was out where he needed to be. I thought she was going to get there. It didn’t look as close to me as it was. I’d like to see the photo. Sometimes you get a horse like this and you’re just so grateful.”

Read Article
8.31.2019:

Mrs. Sippy Wins US Debut in G2 Glens Falls

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Andrew Stone's Mrs. Sippy made her North American debut a winning one in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls, a 1 3/8-mile inner turf route for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up at Saratoga Race Course.The Glens Falls was one of four stakes on the lucrative Woodford Racing Festival card including the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward won by Preservationist; the Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress captured by Royal Charlotte; and the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac taken by Global Access. Trained by Graham Motion, the 4-year-old Blame bay launched her career in England under the tutelage of David Simcock winning two of nine starts along with a good second in the Group 3 Princess Royal Nayef at Newmarket in September.Sent to post at odds of 6-1 in the Glens Falls under jockey Joel Rosario, Mrs. Sippy settled at the back of the pack as defending champion Lady Montdore led the field through a half-mile in 49.80 seconds and three-quarters in 1:15.13 over the firm turf with recent Grade 3 Waya winner Fools Gold tracking in second.Rosario urged Mrs. Sippy up the rail into the final turn as Santa Monica, the 8-5 mutuel favorite, rallied wide under Jose Ortiz. Lady Montdore kicked on strong at the top of the lane and battled briefly with Santa Monica before Rosario angled Mrs. Sippy off the rail to split the front-runners en route to a three-quarter length win in a final time of 2:13.62.Empressof the Nile, also trained by Motion, rallied resolutely down the lane to complete the exacta 2 ½-lengths in front of Santa Monica. Rounding out the order of finish were Get Explicit, Fools Gold, Lady Montdore and Violet Blue. Night of England and main-track only entrant Indy Union were scratched.It was the third Glens Falls score for Motion, who previously won with Rosinka [2007] and Humaita [2004]."Every time I looked away at my other filly Empressof the Nile, Joel had crept up a couple of spots," said Motion. "It was an impressive performance and an impressive ride by Joel. She did everything right. I'll have to look for bigger fish because I thought her win today was very nice."Rosario, who picked up his first Glens Falls win and eighth stakes win of the meet, said he felt confident in Mrs. Sippy throughout."She broke a little bit slow and then after that it was all her. It looked like she just wanted to follow somebody the whole time," said Rosario. "I just thought that's the way she's probably used to running in Europe. She did well for her first time here. Graham just told me to be comfortable where you are and take it from there. I knew I had to wait a little bit going into the turn, but she was able to pick up again and get going kicking on to the wire."Mrs. Sippy, bred in Kentucky by her owner, banked $137,500 in victory while improving her record to three wins and two seconds from 10 starts. She paid $14.60 for a $2 win ticket.

Read Article
8.28.2019:

Tom's d'Etat Takes on Pletcher Trio & Yoshida in G1 Woodward Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Older horses will seek their final chance to win a graded stakes at the prestigious Saratoga Race Course meet when a field of nine assembles for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward. Named in honor of William Woodward Sr., who owned the prestigious Bel Air Stud, the 1 1/8-mile event over the main track has been used as a resume builder on recent Horse of the Year campaigns for the likes of Cigar, Skip Away, Mineshaft, Ghostzapper, Saint Liam, Curlin, Rachel Alexandra, Havre De Grace and most recently, Gun Runner. Inaugurated at Aqueduct and previously run at Belmont Park, the Woodward has been contested at the Spa since 2006. G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat will attempt to keep his undefeated record at Saratoga alive while also looking to net his first graded stakes win. The lightly-raced 6-year-old son of Smart Strike has won all three of his starts at Saratoga, which include a maiden victory at third asking in August 2016, a nine-length victory against winners the following year where he garnered a career best 106 Beyer Speed Figure and defeated stakes winners Far From Over and Bodhisattva. In his most recent start, he won the Alydar on August 2 at Saratoga. "We've hit everything we've wanted to hit. He's been training over the Oklahoma training track with two nice breezes and seems pretty comfortable over there," Stall Jr. said. "We've always felt he has Grade 1 talent, we just hope he has the chance to prove it. The New York-bred [Mr. Buff] is in there with some speed, so we definitely want a stalking trip. We don't have any interest in being on the lead. He did that in a couple of races and we feel like he's a better finisher coming from off the pace with a target." A two-time stakes winner, Tom's d'Etat won his stakes debut in December in the Tenacious at Fair Grounds. Prior to the Alydar, he was twice graded stakes placed at Churchill Downs when finishing second in the Grade 2 Alysheba and third in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster. Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, Tom's d'Etat is out of the stakes winning Giant's Causeway broodmare Julia Tuttle, whose dam Candy Cane is a full-sister to multiple champion producing stallion Candy Ride. Tom's d'Etat will leave from post 9 under two-time Saratoga leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., who seeks his first Woodward victory. Trainer Todd Pletcher has saddled three Woodward winners in Lawyer Ron (2007), Quality Road (2010) and Liam's Map (2015) and will send out a trio of contenders for this year's Woodward. Already a Grade 1 winner, Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's Vino Rosso won the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in May and was a recent third behind McKinzie in the Grade 1 Whitney. The chestnut son of 2008 Woodward winner Curlin has recorded two works since the Whitney, the most recent being a five-furlong bullet in 58.60 over the main track on Friday morning - the fastest of 22 recorded works at the distance. "He breezed super on Friday," Pletcher said. "It was a real strong breeze. He came out of it with some good energy and has been galloping well this week. It seems like he's in good form. I think he's become a more consistent workhorse, although I thought his last breeze was arguably the best breeze he ever had. He galloped out real strongly and looks great. His appetite has been good and his energy has been good." Pletcher said he looks forward to giving Vino Rosso another chance to become a multiple Grade 1-winner. "It would be another Grade 1 and it's a prestigious race with a horse that's a big-time stallion prospect," Pletcher said. "It would be another feather in his cap and he looks great." Vino Rosso will emerge from post 3 under Hall of Famer John Velazquez, a four-time winner of the Woodward. Pletcher also will saddle Let's Go Stable's Wooderson, who was a recent second behind Tom's d'Etat in the Alydar. The son of Awesome Again and half-brother to 2009 Horse of the Year and Woodward winner Rachel Alexandra has won three times, one of which was a third out graduation at Saratoga last July. "It was a good race. He was closing a bit at the end but just got there too late," Pletcher said of the Alydar effort. "He's a horse that we figured would get better with age all along and it seems like he's starting to find his rhythm." Two-time Saratoga leading jockey Jose Ortiz will guide Wooderson from post 8. Rounding out the Pletcher trio is Bal Harbour, who recorded a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure when finishing second by a head to War Story in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup in July. Owned by Red Oak Stable, the chestnut son of First Samurai seeks his first graded stakes win, but has been a stakes winner three times having notched wins in the 2017 Sapling at Monmouth, the 2017 Smooth Air at Gulfstream and the 2018 Gio Ponti at Aqueduct. "He lost a tough one to a warrior in War Story," Pletcher said. "He's training great, so we'll see what he does." Bal Harbour will break from post 2 under two-time Saratoga leading rider and Hall of Famer Javier Castellano who seeks his third Woodward triumph. Hall of Famer Bill Mott will send out Yoshida in search of a record fifth Woodward victory for the conditioner. Owned by China Horse Club, WinStar Farm and Head of Plains Partners, Yoshida won last year's Woodward and will attempt to be the first horse to score back-to-back triumphs since Lido Palace [2001-02]. The 5-year-old Japanese-bred son of Heart's Cry, out of graded stakes winner Hilda's Passion, was second in the Grade 1 Whitney last out and boasts the highest lifetime earnings in the field with $2,370,770. The well-rounded Yoshida owns Grade 1 triumphs on both dirt and turf. Three starts prior to winning last year's Woodward, he won his 4-year-old debut in the Grade 1 Old Forester Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. Jockey Joel Rosario will pilot Yoshida from post 7. Chester and Mary Broman's Mr. Buff has found plenty of success against his New York-bred counterparts but will seek his first graded stakes victory when breaking from the rail. The gelded chestnut son of Friend Or Foe is a four-time stakes winner, last out taking the Evan Shipman over the Spa main track in runaway fashion. He captured the Jazil against open company on January 26 at Aqueduct, where he recorded a 102 Beyer. Mr. Buff is trained by John Kimmel, who saddled Premium Tap to a Woodward victory in 2006. He will be piloted by Jose Lezcano. Completing the field for the Woodward are Mongolian Groom [post 4, Luis Saez], Preservationist [post 5, Junior Alvarado] and Forewarned [post 6, Anthony Salgado]. The Woodward is slated as Race 11 on Saturday's 12-race Woodward Racing Festival card, which also features the Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress in Race 3, the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac in Race 6 and the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls in Race 10. First post is 12:30. The Woodward will be the centerpiece of Saturday's Saratoga Live broadcast airing on FS2 from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern, and regionally on MSG+ from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern.

Read Article
8.24.2019:

Code of Honor Storms Home to Win G1 Travers Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Shug McGaughey won his first Travers in 21 years and joined a select group of Hall of Fame conditioners with his fourth "Mid-Summer Derby" triumph when Code of Honor made a strong move to the outside around the final turn and picked off six rivals en route to a three-length victory in the 150th renewal of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. The sesquicentennial iteration of the Travers, highlighting a packed seven-stakes card that featured six Grade 1s, saw McGaughey saddle his first Travers winner since Coronado's Quest in 1998 and fourth overall, joining Elliott Burch (four) and Winbert F. "Bert" Mulholland (five) as the only trainers with four or more Travers wins. Extending the Hall of Fame connection was jockey John Velazquez, who kept W.S. Farish's Code of Honor settled on the inside in ninth position as 2-1 favorite Tacitus led the 12-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 23.11 seconds before Mucho Gusto took command with the half in 47.26 and three-quarters in 1:11.21 on the fast main track. Out of the far turn, Velazquez urged Code of Honor on, and the Noble Mission colt responded by thundering up from the outside, outkicking Mucho Gusto and Tacitus inside the final furlong and surging to the wire to complete 1 ¼ miles in 2:01.05. Code of Honor, off at 4-1, was coming off a win by a head in the Grade 3 Dwyer on July 6 at Belmont Park, which followed his impressive Grade 1 Kentucky Derby in which he was placed second following the disqualification of Maximum Security. The Kentucky homebred returned $10.80 on a $2 win wager and improved his career earnings to $1,885,820. "It doesn't get old, but it can't take that long again," said McGaughey, who won his first Travers 30 years ago with Easy Goer and also won in 1990 with Rhythm. "He's been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde horse. Today, he put it all together. He trained really well. The Dwyer was a really good race, so we were hoping we were going to see what we saw." In a wide-open 3-year-old division that saw three different winners of the Classics, and now with Code of Honor taking the Travers, McGaughey said Code of Honor continues to make a strong case to be considered the top of the division. "The way he won today, you have to put him up there with them. We'll see what happens," McGaughey said. Code of Honor improved to 4-2-1 in eight starts. "I never had any doubts about distance as a problem, just him putting his mind to running," said Velazquez, who notched his second Travers win and first since Flower Alley in 2005. "Today, I made sure, when I got him out to the clear, he responded right away, so I was very happy for him. Obviously, we've been looking for this kind of performance for a long time. He's a late foal, not really knowing what to do [even though he's] run some really big races. He's never really put it together until today." Juddmonte Farms' Tacitus, placed third in the Kentucky Derby, logged a third consecutive runner-up effort. By finishing a half-length clear of Mucho Gusto, he added to his hard-running second in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 8 and the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, both presented by NYRA Bets. Tacitus won the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets in April at Aqueduct Racetrack and has finished first or second in six of his eight starts for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. "We made the choice beforehand to go ahead and try and get him in the race, let him break and if they want to try to outrun you, make them work for it a little bit," Mott said. "Our horse was just there. He got the rail trip. We thought when Mucho Gusto kind of went, you'd have thought he'd have come over to the fence but he stayed out, so that gave us the rail on the second turn. Hey, the winner came running." Mott also saddled Elate, who ran second by a nose to Midnight Bisou two races prior in the Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti in a thrilling stretch-drive duel. "The horses ran good. When the day is over, I don't think we really have any excuses," Mott said "My horses both were second, one by maybe a hair and the other was a good second. No excuses. Looking back, I don't know what else we could have done." Michael Lund Petersen's Mucho Gusto, who ran second in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 20 at Monmouth Park, was jockey Joseph Talamo 's first Travers mount. The Bob Baffert trainee was 1 ¼ lengths the best of Endorsed for third. The horses comprising the trifecta were all trained by Hall of Famers. "I was surprised to see Tacitus that close, but we were going pretty easy. I stayed out to where we were both going easy enough," Talamo said. "Turning for home, he really gave me a thrill when he opened up a little bit. I really thought I was going to keep going. Every start I've ridden him, he really lays it downs on them and that's all you can ask of a horse like him." Owendale, Highest Honors, Tax, Chess Chief, Laughing Fox, Scars Are Cool, Looking At Bikinis and Everfast completed the order of finish. Live racing resumes Sunday with a 10-race card that features the $100,000 Better Talk Now in Race 8 at 4:46 p.m. Eastern. First post is set for 1 p.m.

Read Article
8.24.2019:

Annals of Time Prevails in G1 Sword Dancer Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Annals of Time came from far off the pace to capture the 45th running of the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer and complete his comeback from an injury that sidelined him for almost two years as he prevailed by a neck at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. The victory, which was the first top level score for the 6-year-old horse owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence since he won the 2016 Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar, also guarantees him an all-expenses paid berth in the starting gate for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf in November at Santa Anita Park as part of the "Win and You're In" Challenge Series. Annals of Time, who had never before traveled as far as the 1 ½ miles distance of the three-turn test over the inner turf course, was game in victory, holding off by a neck the hard-charging Sadler's Joy, who was attempting a comeback of his own after winning the 2017 edition of the Sword Dancer and finishing 6th last year in this spot. Channel Cat was third, another two lengths behind. "When he tipped out, I thought we had a good chance because he has a really good, strong closing kick. But it was a little tight near the finish. I'm glad he got up in time." said defending three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, who earlier in the day won the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa with Significant Form on the 150th Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers card offering six Grade 1 races and one Grade 2 affair. "It's been a real team effort. A guy named Nick de Meric down in Ocala picked him out as a baby, and every time he has gone to the sidelines, he's gone to rehab with him and his team. He sent him back to us, now as a 6-year-old, in fine shape. We finally have had an uninterrupted training schedule and campaign with him. He's back to his old form when he won the [Grade 1] Hollywood Derby when he was a 3-year-old. He's probably better now, so I'm just so grateful to have him back healthy," Brown continued. Brown also saddled Ya Primo, was raced up on the pace and led the field into the home stretch, and Proven Reserves, who figured to race on the lead but was never a factor in the outcome. Ya Primo wound up last in the nine-horse field and Proven Reserves finished seventh. Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who also won the Grade 1, $400,000 Ketel One Ballerina on Come Dancing on the card, gave Annals of Time a perfect ride in the long-distance race. "He's a good horse. I don't know if I've seen a horse that, no matter if the pace is slow or fast, he always finishes really well. I'm very proud of him. Some horses have to have pace in the race but this horse doesn't need one," said Castellano, who sat behind fractions of 23.36; 47.96; 1:14.82; and 1:40.52 before they finished up in 2:04.70. "You can see the pace was very slow, but he still responded and passed all the horses. I took my time. It's a mile-and-a-half and it's the first time he's gone a mile-and-a-half. You don't want to rush it to be close to the pace. I rode with a lot of patience and it paid off today," Castellano continued. Jose Lezcano, the jockey aboard runner-up Sadler's Joy, was philosophical in defeat, saying, "He broke good in a spot where I wanted to be. The last eighth, he gave me a good race. He ran hard. He gave me his race. We just came up short." With the victory, Brown tied Hall of Famer Bill Mott for the most training wins in race history with three as he also took the 2016 edition with Flintshire and the 2013 running with Big Blue Kitten. Castellano has also won the Sword Dancer three times, scoring with Flintshire and Telling in 2009.

Read Article
8.24.2019:

Midnight Bisou Nips Elate at Wire in G1 Personal Ensign

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Midnight Bisou kept her perfect record this season intact by running down fellow multiple Grade 1-winning multi-millionaire Elate through an epic stretch battle and emerging a nose in front at the wire in Saturday's Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti at Saratoga Race Course. The 70th running of the 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign for fillies and mares 3 and older on the main track was the fifth of seven graded-stakes, six of them Grade 1, worth $4.8 million in purses on a blockbuster 13-race program highlighted by the 150th renewal of the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing's Midnight Bisou extended her win streak to six races since opening her 4-year-old campaign in January, completing the distance in 1:47.92 over a fast main track. Elate, the 4-5 favorite in an accomplished field of six, was 8 ¾ lengths ahead of She's a Julie - Midnight Bisou's Grade 1-winning stablemate also trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen - in third. "Two great mares hooked up at Saratoga in a Grade 1," Asmussen said. "A beautiful day, a beautiful setting, and two great mares." Grade and Group 1 winner Wow Cat checked in fourth, followed by graded-stakes winners Golden Award and pacesetter Coach Rocks. Sent off as the 8-5 second choice, Midnight Bisou returned $5.40 for a $2 win bet. It was the 11th career win and fifth in Grade 1 company from 17 lifetime starts for Midnight Bisou, earning the daughter of 2007 champion sprinter Midnight Lute an automatic berth to the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff November 2 at Santa Anita. Coach Rocks, second by a length behind Midnight Bisou in the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher July 20 in the last start for both fillies, was quickest from the gate under Luis Saez and took the field through a quarter-mile in 23.46 seconds, a half in 47.88 and six furlongs in 1:11.58. She's a Julie pressed the pace in second with Elate in the clear three wide and Midnight Bisou biding her time at the rear. Elate and regular rider Jose Ortiz launched their bid midway on the far turn and assumed the lead as Coach Rocks weakened. Hall of Famer Mike Smith tipped Midnight Bisou to the far outside and followed Elate's move, setting up the highly anticipated stretch duel. As their rivals began to fade into the background, Midnight Bisou came with a steady run and set her sights on a determined Elate, not edging past until the final moments. "The mare ran a tremendous race," Smith said. "It was a fight to get by Elate, who is a champion in her own right. With the extra four pounds there it took me a bit to get going, but once I got her going I was really happy that she handled the mile-and-an-eighth. I thought I got there at the wire, but there have been times before when I thought I did and didn't. You don't know the bob exactly, but I felt like I got it anyway. I'm happy to know that I did." Winner of the Grade 1 Alabama in 2017, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's homebred Elate suffered her third career tough beat at Saratoga. She was a neck behind Abel Tasman's stakes-record 1:47.19 performance in last year's Personal Ensign, and lost by a head in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks prior to her Alabama triumph. Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds and purchased for $80,000 as a 2-year-old in training in April 2017, Midnight Bisou earned $375,000 for the victory, pushing her lifetime bankroll to $3,255,000. The Personal Ensign marked her first win at Saratoga after finishing second in the Coaching Club American Oaks and third in the Alabama last summer, and her first in four tries at 1 1/8 miles. "The filly didn't run her best races here last summer and she came into this one in great form. And for her to win here at Saratoga against Elate in the Personal Ensign, at a mile-and-an-eighth ... check marks," Asmussen said. "I have a ton of respect for the effort she gave today. We'll evaluate how she's doing. I do think she is the leader of the division." Run as the Firenze from 1948-85 and the John A. Morris from 1986-97, the Personal Ensign was renamed in honor of the undefeated champion filly owned and bred by Ogden Phipps. Her dramatic victory in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff capped a 13-0 career, making her the first major horse in more than 80 years to accomplish the feat. Personal Ensign was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 1993, followed 11 years later by her trainer, Shug McGaughey.

Read Article
8.24.2019:

Come Dancing Charges Home to Win G1 Ballerina Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Taking charge in the stretch, Come Dancing came prancing across the finish line to win the $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. The 41st running of the Ketel One Ballerina, a "Win and You're In" qualifier to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in November at Santa Anita Park, was one of seven stakes and six Grade 1s on a packed card highlighted by the 150th Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. The seven-furlong Ballerina for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward was whittled to five starters after the scratches of Pacific Gale and Mint to Stardom. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, Blue Devil Racing Stables' Come Dancing sat off the early pace set by Separationofpowers and Mia Mischief. The early fractions were 23.31 seconds for the quarter and 45.86 for the half-mile on the main track rated fast. Come Dancing, under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, made her move around the turn and took command, winning by 3 ½ lengths in 1:21.48. Trainer Carlos Martin said he felt confident throughout. "When I saw her just sit out there in third, I said, 'She's so comfortable.' When she gets into that comfortable rhythm, it means she has a lot left coming back,'' said Martin. "She trained so brilliantly the whole time here. Sitting around the turn, I felt pretty comfortable." So did Castellano, even with a start that wasn't so great. "She didn't break sharp out of the gate. I took my time to move up and control the race,'' said Castellano. "She's a wonderful filly and she's so kind. You can do whatever you want with her. In the stretch, she proved she was much the best the way she did it." Come Dancing ran second in her last race, finishing 3 ½ lengths behind Midnight Bisou in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park on June 8. Come Dancing opened her 5-year-old year with back-to-back wins, first with a 7 ¾-length romp in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap. The daughter of Malibu Moon followed with a 6 ¾-length victory in the Grade 2 Ruffian at Belmont on May 5. The win marked the first Grade 1 for Martin, now 50, since he became the youngest trainer to win at the top level in New York, when Buy the Firm captured the 1991 Top Flight. "I was thinking we won a Grade 1 at Saratoga and we kept the Martin family and the Blue Devil family in a good frame of mind going into the Breeders' Cup,'' said Martin. "I think she's shown that, when given time between races, that she fires her best shot." Come Dancing, with her seventh win in 12 career starts, returned $3.50, $2.80 and $2.30. Dawn the Destroyer was second and returned $6.10 and $3.70, with Special Relativity yielding $4.20 to show. Separationofpowers was fourth and Mia Mischief fifth. The five-horse field matched the smallest for the Ballerina since 2009. "We're thrilled to be second. It's a Grade 1 and she's so well bred and a beautiful filly, so Johnny did a great job trying to win and got second,'' said Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Dawn the Destroyer. "She put in a big run, but a very nice filly won it. Congratulations to Carlos Martin and his team."

Read Article
8.24.2019:

Mitole Gets Back to Winning Ways in G1 Forego Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - William and Corrine Heiligbrodt's Mitole dueled up front with Grade 1-winner Promises Fulfilled and successfully shook away from his rival to net his third career Grade 1 win in the 40th running of the $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. The seven-furlong sprint for older horses on the main track pays homage to the three-time Horse of the Year (1974-76) and four-time Champion Older Horse (1974-77). Before building a champion-caliber resume, he finished fourth behind fellow Hall of Famer and Secretariat in the 1973 Kentucky Derby. The sensational Forego was a 14-time Grade 1 winner. Guided by jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., who piloted last year's Forego victor Whitmore, Mitole broke sharply from post 3 and went straight to the front in tandem with Promises Fulfilled to his inside and the two multiple Grade 1 winners laid down a moderate opening quarter-mile of 23.05 seconds on the main track rated fast. Around the turn, the two continued to duel through a half-mile in 45.58 but Promises Fulfilled began to give way with Santana, Jr. asking for more from Mitole. At the the of the stretch, Mitole extended his lead to three lengths with Killybegs Captain looming to his outside. In the final furlong, Mitole was the clear leader and sailed home under the wire, maintaining his three-length advantage in a stakes-record time of 1:20.80. Firenze Fire made a late bid to catch second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Killybegs Captain who rounded out the trifecta. Air Strike, Bon Raison and Promises Fulfilled completed the order of finish. The win was the second stakes victory of the meet for Santana, who previously guided Got Stormy to a track-record setting performance against males in the Grade 1 Fourstardave two weeks ago. "Today he broke sharp and put himself in a position where he wanted to be," Santana Jr. said. "He's a really nice horse to ride, and he does everything right. We [went] slow in the first couple of quarters. My horse was comfortable in the position he was [in]. He put himself in a great spot." Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Mitole made amends in the Forego following a disappointing third in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt earlier in the meet, where he was beaten 7 ½ lengths as the heavy favorite. The Forego was a third Grade 1 win for the 4-year-old Eskendereya chestnut, who earlier in the year captured the Churchill Downs and Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap. "I think the circumstances for the Vanderbilt just didn't suit him; coming off the huge run in the Met Mile and cutting back to three-quarters," Asmussen said. "But he came out of the race in good shape, trained beautifully for this, and the results speak for themselves. "Just like going into the Churchill Downs and the Met Mile, Ricardo [Santana, Jr.] knows the horse, lets him be himself, and the best version of Mitole usually takes care of itself," Asmussen added. Asmussen said the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on November 2 is the long term goal for Mitole. "I think that this was very significant coming off the loss in the Vanderbilt," Asmussen said. "We'll speak with the Heiligbrodts and see how he comes out of the race and see how he trains. Obviously, we'll try to align ourselves for the Breeders' Cup." Mitole racked up $320,000 from Saturday's win, which enhanced his lifetime earnings to $2,004,910. Never off the board in 13 career starts, the ultra-consistent Mitole has a record of 9-2-2. Mitole returned $3.80 as the 4-5 mutuel favorite. Bred in Kentucky by Edward A. Cox, Jr., Mitole was a $140,000 acquisition from the Ocala Breeders Sales Company's 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in 2017. He is out of the Indian Charlie broodmare Indian Miss.

Read Article
8.24.2019:

Catalina Cruiser Digs Deep to Punch Breeders' Cup Ticket in G2 Pat O'Brien

Hronis Racing’s Catalina Cruiser, the 1-2 favorite piloted for the first time by Flavien Prat, had to dig deep Saturday to fight off the tenacious challenge of Giant Expectations in an epic stretch battle and win the featured Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes.Hooked at the top of the stretch and passed briefly in mid-stretch by Giant Expectations, Catalina Cruiser determinedly battled back to assert himself in the final strides and win by a desperate head.American Anthem was a distant third, four and three-quarter lengths behind the runner-up and six and one-quarter lengths ahead of fourth-place Jalen Journey in the field of six horses. Lieutenant Dan was withdrawn.Catalina Cruiser thus completed the San Diego Handicap-Pat O’Brien Stakes double for the second year in a row, an unprecedented feat at Del Mar.  He won the San Diego July 20. The five-year-old son of Union Rags also secured a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile for the second time since the Pat O’Brien is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for that event in November at Santa Anita.Catalina Cruiser was timed in 1:22.00 Saturday; his winning time last summer was 1:22.13.Catalina Cruiser, providing trainer John Sadler with his eighth stakes success of the Del Mar meeting, returned $3, $2.20 and $2.10 after his seventh win in eight starts. His only defeat came in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile when he was sixth as the 9-10 favorite behind City of Light. First money of $120,000 increased Catalina Cruiser’s earnings to $691,100.Giant Expectations, who was ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, won the O’Brien in 2017 and his game performance Saturday signaled a return to his best form. Sent postward as second choice at 7-2, Giant Expectations paid $3.40 and $2.80, while American Anthem returned $2.60 to show.PAT O'BRIEN STAKES QUOTESFLAVIEN PRAT (Catalina Cruiser, winner) – “We were wide (through the first four furlongs), but I was comfortable. He was going easy. At the quarter pole, Giant Expectations made a good move to get by me. He was in front but my horse fought back. He accelerated and ran well to win.”DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Giant Expectations, second) – “He made the lead (in the stretch). We were a head in front. He ran great. Tough loss.”RAFAEL BEJARANO (American Anthem, third) -- “My horse broke good and I was in a good position. He ran well, but the two best horses beat me today.”JOHN SADLER (Catalina Cruiser, winner) – “I think he ran a really good Beyer, a really good Ragozin figure. That’s a fast race, I could tell, on this track. He was wide all the way, was involved in the running all the way, so I was really pleased. He’s a big horse and he’s got a big heart; I really thought that (when headed in the stretch) he would fight.”

Read Article
8.21.2019:

Tax, Tacitus Renew Rivalry in G1 Travers Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable's former claimer Tax and Juddmonte Farms regally bred Tacitus, the one-two finishers of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, renew their rivalry on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course in the 150th running of Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. The familiar foes - the 5-2 favorite Tacitus and the 6-1 Tax - will be meeting for the fifth time this year, headlining an august group of 12 sophomores entered Tuesday for the 1 ¼-mile race, including multiple graded-stakes winners Code of Honor, Mucho Gusto and Owendale and a pair of formidable contenders from Saratoga leading trainer Chad Brown in Highest Honors and Looking At Bikinis. The "Mid-Summer Derby" will be televised live on FOX from 5-6 p.m. Eastern. Undercard coverage will also be televised on a special Travers Day edition of Saratoga Live, airing nationally on FS2 from 11:30-5 p.m. ET. Regional coverage of Saturday's Saratoga Live can be found on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and Altitude. The Travers is the centerpiece of a card featuring seven stakes and six Grade 1s, including the, $850,000 Sword Dancer; $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor; and $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa. Tacitus, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, struck the first blow between the rugged rivals in capturing the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by NYRA Bets on April 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack when 1 ¼-lengths the better of Tax. The grey son of Tapit, out of 2014 Eclipse Award winner Close Hatches, followed up with a strong rally to be placed third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby with Tax placed 14th after a troubled trip. Garrett O'Rourke, General Manager of Juddmonte Farms, said a win in the Travers would be a huge boost to Tacitus' stallion credentials. "He couldn't be bred any better," said O'Rourke. "I think everyone appreciates that when they look at a pedigree and see that you're the first foal out of a champion mare, inbred to Unbridled and by the best dirt stallion around. He physically resembles Unbridled, but is also same color as Tapit and has a lot of Tapit traits in him." Both Tacitus and Tax, conditioned by Danny Gargan, skipped the middle leg of the Triple Crown and continued their battle in the final jewel, the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, where Tax dueled pacesetter Joevia as Tacitus rallied from seventh to finish second behind Sir Winston, with Tax settling for fourth. Last out, in a dramatic edition of the Jim Dandy, Tacitus stumbled badly at the start of the nine-furlong route as Tax tracked Grade 1 Preakness winner War of Will through swift splits. Although Tacitus gamely made up ground down the backstretch, and surged strongly the final 70 yards, Tax got first jump turning for home and held on strong for a three-quarter length score. With one win apiece, the Travers will serve as a lucrative tie-breaker as both rivals arrive in search of a first Grade 1 victory. Tacitus, winner of the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March, will add blinkers for the first time as he departs from post 6 under Jose Ortiz. O'Rourke said Tacitus should continue to improve as he matures. "I think, at the end of the day, good horses will overcome things and a big horse like him, he ran tremendously well in the Derby and the Belmont and again in the Jim Dandy," said O'Rourke. "He's gradually getting there, but he's not a horse that was fully mature in May. He's gradually getting to that point. When he does get there, he'll be able to work around his bad luck events and get himself in the race early and use that big, long stride effectively." Tax, claimed for $50,000 out of a winning effort at Keeneland on October 21, finished third in the Grade 2 Remsen in his first start for new connections ahead of a narrow head score in the Grade 3 Withers, both at the Big A. Gargan said he relishes the underdog role with Tax, a dark bay son of Arch. "Well, I haven't taught him how to read yet, so he doesn't know he's an underdog," said Gargan, with a laugh. "Nobody wrote about us going into the Jim Dandy and we did just fine and nobody's really written about us now, but I think he's in his best form today. "Tacitus has beaten us once [Wood Memorial], but I think that was a misjudgment by me not to train him up for that race from Florida," added Gargan. "We stayed with him in New York and missed some time. In the Derby, he didn't really go over the track well and that race took a lot out of him. I don't think I had him 100 percent fit for the Belmont, but if I did, I think we would have won that race as well. Since then, he's been doing great and training forwardly. We're excited and ready to run." Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the call aboard Tax from the outside post. W.S. Farish's Code of Honor, a chestnut son of Noble Mission, won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park in February. Following a good third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, Code of Honor rallied strongly along the rail in the Kentucky Derby in which he was placed second. Code of Honor will have the benefit of two Hall of Fame connections, with trainer Shug McGaughey seeking his fourth Travers win and jockey John Velazquez. "I think he's come a long way in the last two or three months and I don't think the distance will be a problem," said McGaughey. "He's a laid-back, one-run type of horse and that's what we'll try to do with him. Hopefully, at the quarter pole, we're in a decent position where he can go on and make his run and see what happens." Velazquez, aboard Flower Alley for a victory in the 2005 Travers, will guide Code of Honor, 4-1, from post 2. Michael Lund Petersen's Mucho Gusto, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, arrives at the Travers from a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. The four-time Grade 3 winner, who captured the Bob Hope at Del Mar at 2 years old, as well as the Robert Lewis, Affirmed and Laz Barrera this year at Santa Anita Park, has never finished off the board in eight starts. The chestnut son of Mucho Macho Man will look to give Baffert his fourth Travers win and third in four runnings, with Arrogate taking the 2016 edition in a Travers record time for 1 ¼ miles, and West Coast in 2017. Baffert said he relishes a chance at another Travers score. "It's always great to be a part of the Travers. It's an event," said Baffert. "The city embraces it and everyone is into it. It'll be an exciting race, with a lot of good horses." Joe Talamo has the call from post 7 at odds of 6-1. A $200,000 purchase at the 2017 Keeneland September Sale, Rupp Racing's Owendale appears to be peaking at the right time, capturing the Grade 3 Ohio Derby last out after running third in the Preakness. Trained by Brad Cox, Owendale has recorded Beyer Speed Figures in excess of 90 in each of his last three starts, starting with a 98 for his 1 ¾-length win in the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland in April, setting him up for his start in the Triple Crown's middle jewel. The son of Into Mischief, who has been training at Churchill Downs, will be making his Saratoga debut at odds of 6-1. Florent Geroux retains the mount from post 1. Chad Brown, a three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer, is in search of his first Travers win and will have two chances. Highest Honors, also owned by Farish and listed at 10-1, has been stretched out in distance in each of his three previous starts, which includes back-to-back wins after running second in his debut at 6 ½ furlongs in April at Keeneland. The Tapit colt broke his maiden going 1 1/16 miles on June 1 at Belmont and then won the 1 1/8-mile Curlin last month at the Spa. Jockey Luis Saez will be attempting to earn his second Travers victory aboard Highest Honors after winning six years ago aboard Will Take Charge, the 2013 Champion 3-Year-Old Male. Highest Honors will depart from post 3. Long Lake Stable, Madaket Stables, Thomas Coleman and Doheny Racing Stable's Looking At Bikinis, also 10-1, finished third in his stakes debut in the Curlin. Purchased for $240,000 from the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale last April, Looking At Bikinis won his first two starts, besting eventual graded-stakes winner Cutting Humor in his debut in September at Belmont Park. Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will be looking to add to his record six Travers victories, including his triumphant ride last year aboard Catholic Boy. They will depart from post 9. Godolphin's Endorsed, at 15-1, is coming off his best stakes effort, running second to Highest Honors in the 1 1/8-mile Curlin. Out of the Grade 1 winning Tapit broodmare Dance Card, Endorsed broke his maiden at Saratoga at first asking. He is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, who won the 2012 Travers when Alpha dead-heated with Golden Ticket. The son of 2002 Travers winner Medaglia d'Oro will look to become the first son of a Travers winner to take the "Mid-Summer Derby" since Alpha, a son of 2006 hero Bernardini. Joel Rosario has the call from post 11. McLaughlin said Endorsed, who exited a six-furlong allowance win into his runner-up Curlin effort, should enjoy the added distance on Saturday. "He went from six to nine furlongs; we think he wants the distance," said McLaughlin. "He's doing fabulous coming out of the Curlin. I don't think there's any bad post in a 1 1/4 mile race. We'll leave it to Joel to decide whether we'll be forwardly placed or take back." Dale Romans will saddle graded-stakes veteran Everfast for Calumet Farm, entering off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational in July at Monmouth Park. His runner-up effort to War of Will in the Preakness, at odds of 29-1, earned him a personal-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure. A son of Take Charge Indy, he has been ambitiously placed throughout his career, running in the Grade 3 Iroquois in his second career start and following with the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity a month later. On the Derby trail, Everfast ran second in the Grade 2 Holy Bull. A seventh-place finisher in the Belmont Stakes, Everfast will be making his fourth consecutive Grade 1 appearance. Martin Chuan will pilot Everfast, a 30-1 choice, from post 5. Alex and JoAnn Lieblong's Laughing Fox, who finished fifth in the Grade 1 Preakness, returned to Saratoga for the first time since his debut in August 2018 to run fourth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy in July. The son of Union Rags has trained at the Spa since and will be Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen's fourth Travers starter since 2016. Asmussen said the notable defections of Maximum Security and Game Winner from the Travers have changed the pace scenario for the 1 1/4-mile test. "Obviously, the complexion of the race has changed considerably the past couple of weeks. It's a very interesting group of three-year-olds meeting," said Asmussen. "I think the conditions in which the race is run under will be interesting. Most of these three-year-olds' last races, whether it was the weather here in the Jim Dandy or the heat in the Haskell, or not run since the Belmont, whatever the conditions were, they weren't favorable. I think the race lacks a lot of pace; Saratoga speed seems to be so effective. That'll be a huge concern." Purchased for $375,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sale, the Kentucky bred earned stakes blacktype for the first time when capturing the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn Invitational on May 4. Ricardo Santana, Jr. will guide Laughing Fox, 30-1, from post 4. Rounding out the field are maiden winners Chess Chief, trained by Dallas Stewart for the Estate of James Coleman, Jr. at odds of 30-1; and Scars Are Cool, trained by Stanley Hough for Sagamore Farm, also at 30-1. Hall of Famer Mike Smith, a four-time Travers winner, rides Chess Chief from post 8, while Scars Are Cool will leave from post 10 under Tyler Gaffalione.

Read Article
8.21.2019:

Mitole, Promises Fulfilled Square Off in G1 Forego Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Two of the country's finest sprinters will go head-to-head in Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor at Saratoga Race Course. The seven-furlong sprint over the main track is named in honor of the three-time Horse of the Year (1974-76) and four-time Champion Older Horse (1974-77). Before building a champion-caliber resume, he finished fourth behind fellow Hall of Famer Secretariat in the 1973 Kentucky Derby. The sensational Forego was a 14-time Grade 1 winner. Looking to make amends after finishing third as the heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Bill and Corrine Heiligbrodt's Mitole will attempt to add a third Grade 1 win to his resume after winning the Churchill Downs and the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap over subsequent Grade 1 Whitney winner McKinzie. Prior to running third in the Vanderbilt, the 4-year-old Eskendreya chestnut had won seven straight races, six of which resulted in triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. In addition to his pair of Grade 1 triumphs, he took the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap on April 13 at Oaklawn Park, his second start off of a ten-month layoff. Last year, Mitole won a pair of stakes events in Oaklawn's Bachelor and the Chick Lang at Pimlico. Mitole has a field-best $1,684,910 in career earnings and a record of 12-8-2-2. Mitole is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who seeks his first Forego victory. Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. will attempt his second straight win in the Forego when he guides Mitole from post 3. Robert Baron's Promises Fulfilled was a two-time graded stakes winner at the Spa last meet when taking the Grade 3 Amsterdam and Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial and will seek to keep his perfect record at Saratoga alive when breaking from post 1. Trained by Dale Romans, Promises Fulfilled enters the Forego off of a victory in the Grade 2 John A. Nerud at Belmont Park, where he garnered a career-best 108 Beyer. Promises Fulfilled has put together a strong series of works over the main track at Saratoga, including a bullet on August 10 where he went five furlongs in 58.85 seconds. "He's capable of it. I got great respect for Mitole, he's been a great horse this year so we'll have to see how he bounces back, but I think that we're moving forward," Romans said. "It should be a good race. He trains well everywhere. He doesn't have to take his racetrack with him, he's a good horse anywhere he goes. [The sprint division] is the strongest division in the country, not just with parity but with good horses." Jockey Luis Saez, the current leading rider in stakes wins this meet, will pilot Promises Fulfilled. Invading from the west coast is Air Strike who won the Grade 2 Triple Bend two starts back for trainer Phil D'Amato. Owned by Madaket Stables, Slam Dunk Racing and Michael Nentwig, the son of Street Sense enters the Forego off of a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar Racetrack. Air Strike will attempt his fourth career victory. He broke his maiden at fourth asking at Del Mar last August before defeating winners at Santa Anita a month and a half later. Air Strike will leave from post 2 under jockey Joel Rosario. Mr. Amore Stable's Firenze Fire will attempt to reel in a second Grade 1 victory when breaking from post 6. As a 2-year-old, the Florida-bred son of Poseidon's Warrior won the Champagne at Belmont Park and would go on to win two more graded stakes, one of which was the Grade 3 Dwyer last year at Belmont Park, where he recorded a career-best 106 Beyer. Firenze Fire is trained by Jason Servis and will have the riding services of two-time Saratoga leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. Empire State Racing's Bon Raison takes a massive jump up in class after winning the Tale of the Cat on August 9, where he equaled a 100 Beyer that he recorded four starts back when beating starter allowance company at Belmont Park. A veteran of 28 career starts, the Carlos Martin-trained Raison d'Etat bay makes his Grade 1 debut in the Forego, which will be his 14th start this year. Earlier in March, he won the Peeping Tom at Aqueduct, which was his first stakes victory. Two-time Saratoga leading rider Jose Ortiz picks up the mount aboard Bon Raison, who breaks from post 5. Completing the field is Curragh Stables' Killybegs Captain, who was third two starts back in his graded stakes debut for trainer John Terranova, which took place in the Grade 2 John A. Nerud at Belmont Park. A winner of 5-of-22 starts, Killybegs Captain will break from post 4 under jockey Eric Cancel. The Forego is slated as Race 5 on Saturday's 13-race Travers Day card which features seven stakes and six Grade 1s, including the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers; $850,000 Sword Dancer; $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; and $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. Rounding out the blockbuster card is the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa. First post is 1 p.m. The "Mid-Summer Derby" will be televised live on FOX from 5-6 p.m. Eastern. Undercard coverage will also be televised on a special Travers Day edition of Saratoga Live, airing nationally on FS2 from 11:30-5 p.m. ET. Regional coverage of Saturday's Saratoga Live can be found on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and Altitude.

Read Article
8.21.2019:

Leading Trainer Chad Brown Enters Three in G2 Ballston Spa

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N. Y. - A select field with a decided international flavor will assemble Saturday for the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa for turf fillies and mares, one of six stakes on the undercard of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers at Saratoga Race Course. Saratoga's leading trainer, Chad Brown, who has won four of the past seven editions of the Ballston Spa, has entered three: European import Mascha, multiple graded stakes winner Significant Form, and Fifty Five, whom he may scratch from Friday's Yaddo to run on Saturday. Mascha went from last to first in her stateside and 4-year-old debut, a 1 1/16-mile allowance on July 31. In four starts last year in Europe, she won the Kronimus Diana-Trial at Baden Baden and finished second in the Group 3 Prix de Psyche at Deauville. "She's an exciting prospect," said Brown, who also had been pointing Rushing Fall to the Ballston Spa but withdrew her from consideration after she posted a sub-par workout. "I think she's earned the right to step up in this Grade 2 race." Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be aboard Mascha, who drew Post 9, while Significant Form, fifth in the Caress on July 21 after winning the Grade 3 Intercontinental at Belmont Park, was assigned Post 4 with John Velazquez. Fifty Five, winner of four of her past five starts, including the Ticonderoga, Plenty of Grace, John Hettinger and Mount Vernon, drew Post 2. Javier Castellano was named to ride. Indian Blessing returns to the Spa for a second shot in the 1 1/16-mile race, having finished third last year. Trained by Ed Walker for Mr. P. K. Siu, the 5-year-old Sepoy mare racked up two other thirds in her 2018 American foray, including the Grade 3 Athenia at Belmont Park and the Grade 1 First Lady at Keeneland. Most recently, she was second in the Group 2 RaceBets.de Meilen Trophy on July 21 at Hamburg, having finished third in the Group 2 Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse a week earlier. Her lone victory this year came in the Maggie Dickson Stobo Castle Ladies Day Gold Cup on June 1 at Musselberg. Florent Geroux will ride from Post 5 The stakes-placed Scottish Jig will make her third stateside start and first in a graded stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Winner of an optional claimer in her debut on May 19 at Belmont, the Juddmonte Farms color-bearer returned to finish third in the 1 1/2-mile River Memories on July 5. She will leave from Post 7 with Joel Rosario in the irons. Representing trainer Graham Motion will be the Heider Family Stables' Secret Message, who enters off a fourth-place finish behind Sistercharlie, Rushing Fall and Homerique in the Grade 1 Diana on June 13. Prior to that, the Hat Trick filly won the Grade 2 Nassau at Woodbine and the listed Dahlia at Laurel Park. "I think she was a little unlucky in the Diana; she got into a bit of trouble at the top of the stretch," said Motion. "She could have gotten third. She did well, and I feel very good about running her." Jose Ortiz has the mount and the pair will leave from Post 3. Starship Jubilee, beaten less than a length by Secret Message in the Nassau, makes her first appearance at the Spa for Canadian trainer Kevin Attard. Claimed for $16,000 by Attard's father, Tino, in February 2016 at Gulfstream Park, the Indy Wind mare went on to claim Grade 2 victories at Woodbine in the Nassau and Dance Smartly in 2017 and the Canadian last year. "I think she's been able to stay at the top of her game for a while," said Attard, whose lone start at the Spa came in 2016 when Calgary Cat finished fifth in the Troy. "Her best race, in my opinion, was the Canadian last year. This will be her first start outside south Florida and Canada, and the competition will be different, but I believe she's earned a shot." She will leave from post 8 and will have the services of Jose Lezcano. Rounding out the field are Hogans Holiday, winner of the Miss Liberty on May 26 at Monmouth Park, who will be ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., from the rail, and Conquest Hardcandy, a recent allowance winner at the Spa seeking her first stakes victory. Trained by Jim Ryerson, she drew Post 6 under Tyler Gaffalione. The Ballston Spa is slated as Race 8 on Saturday's 13-race Travers Day card which features seven stakes and six Grade 1s, including the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers; $850,000 Sword Dancer; $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor; $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; and $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy. First post is 11:35 a.m. The "Mid-Summer Derby" will be televised live on FOX from 5-6 p.m. Eastern. Undercard coverage will also be televised on a special Travers Day edition of Saratoga Live, airing nationally on FS2 from 11:30-5 p.m. ET. Regional coverage of Saturday's Saratoga Live can be found on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and Altitude.

Read Article
8.21.2019:

Midnight Bisou, Elate Headline Loaded G1 Personal Ensign Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing's Midnight Bisou, undefeated in five starts this season, looks to keep her perfect record intact while seeking her first career victory at Saratoga Race Course in Saturday's Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti. The 70th running of the 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up on the main track is among seven stakes, six of them Grade 1s, worth $4.8 million in purses on a blockbuster 13-race program highlighted by the 150th renewal of the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. Saturday's card will be televised nationally from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern on FS2 as part of a special Travers Day edition of Saratoga Live, with regional coverage available on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and Altitude. The Travers will be shown live on FOX from 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern. First race post time Saturday is 11:35 a.m., while the Personal Ensign - a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff - is carded as Race 9 scheduled to go off at 4:12 p.m. Never worse than third, with $2.87 million in purse earnings from 16 lifetime starts, all 10 of Midnight Bisou's wins have come in graded stakes. Four of those victories were at Grade 1 caliber, including the Apple Blossom April 19 at Oaklawn Park and the Ogden Phipps June 8 at Belmont Park in back-to-back outings. Most recently, she was a one-length winner of the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher July 20 at Monmouth Park. "She's an amazingly consistent mare that has maintained a very high level for an extended period of time," Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said. "We're expecting and want more of the same." Midnight Bisou kicked off her 4-year-old season with a workmanlike three-quarter-length triumph in the Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic Jan. 27 under regular Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith. She similarly won the Grade 2 Azeri by a length March 16 at Oaklawn prior to her nose triumph in the Apple Blossom. "She gave herself a lot do off the bench in the Ladies at Sam Houston. Since then she has been very sharp," Asmussen said. "I think examples [of her adjustments] are very subtle within the individual races. It's almost like Mike will think, 'I want to be there,' and she gets there without a lot of obvious visual adjustment. Those are the things you really admire, especially at this level." Midnight Bisou raced twice at Saratoga last summer, finishing second to champion 3-year-old filly Monomoy Girl in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks before returning to be third as the favorite in the Grade 1 Alabama behind Eskimo Kisses and Asmussen-trained stablemate She's a Julie. "Her talent goes without question, but she's obviously very intelligent. Her relationship with Mike, you can see the evolution of it, where they're at now and how responsive she is to him," Asmussen said. "You get into some of these older races, and the number of horses in them has so much to do with how the race shapes up. She and Mike have been making beautiful adjustments, regardless of who she is in with, for where she needs to be in a race." Madaket Stables also has an ownership stake in 4-year-old She's a Julie, herself a five-time graded-stakes winner $73,120 shy of the $1 million mark for career purse earnings. A relentless half-length winner of the Grade 1 La Troienne May 3 at Churchill Downs, She's a Julie ran third in each of her past two starts - the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis June 15, also at Churchill, and the Grade 3 Shuvee July 21 at Saratoga, also run at 1 1/8 miles. "I feel like she's sitting on the best race of her year," Asmussen said. Smith and Midnight Bisou will depart from post 1 as the 124-pound highweight, while Ricardo Santana Jr. rides She's a Julie from post 3 carrying 122 pounds. A threat to Midnight Bisou's streak is Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm's Elate, one of two contenders entered by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who is seeking his fourth Personal Ensign victory. Mott won the 1994 edition with Link River, then took back-to-back runnings with Royal Delta in 2013 and 2014 with Close Hatches. Elate also enters the Personal Ensign on a roll, having won her last two starts in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis and a second straight triumph in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap, contested at 1 ¼ miles, on July 13. "She's done well since the Delaware race and I'm very happy with her," Mott said. "She put in a very good run in that race. She exploded and put in the kind of run that she's capable of. We've been able to get a little racing in her this year and a little seasoning. She's fit and ready to go, so hopefully that will carry on to the Personal Ensign." Elate's two losses came this year to Midnight Bisou, finishing second in the Azeri and third in the Apple Blossom. The Azeri was Elate's first race since being beaten a neck by arch-rival Abel Tasman in last year's Personal Ensign; a margin that stood up following a stewards' inquiry following contact between the two in deep stretch. "I think she's been unlucky maybe not to win a championship. Maybe her career has been a little shortened. If she won the Personal Ensign last year, she could have been champion,' Mott said. "We've run big races with her off the shelf before. Last year we won the Delaware Handicap off an eight- or nine-month layoff, so six weeks I don't think is a big deal for her. It's a nice amount of time." Mott will also send out Summer Wind Equine's Golden Award in the Personal Ensign off a decisive victory over Wow Cat and She's a Julie in the Grade 3 Shuvee July 21 at Saratoga. The stablemates are the only horses in the field with a win over the main track, with Elate's coming in the 2017 Grade 1 Alabama. "She's doing well and there's nowhere else to run. It's a major race and it's an opportunity to pick up for her to pick up some black type in a Grade 1 race," Mott said of Golden Award. "It's not something I like to do. I don't really like running against myself, but by the same token I've got to do what's right for both horses and both owners. "Her last race was very good. She really stepped up. She took it to them and put them away. She really moved forward in that last race. It was very good," he added. "I think Golden Award seems to have a bit more early speed, so I don't think it's going to hurt Elate." Jose Ortiz returns to ride Elate from post 4 at 120 pounds, with Golden Award carrying 120 pounds including Tyler Gaffalione from far outside post 6. Peter Brant and Stud Vendaval's Wow Cat, a three-time Group 1 winner in her native Chile, ran third in last year's Personal Ensign in her second North American trip. Second in her debut last summer in the Shuvee, she left Saratoga and won the Grade 1 Beldame Oct. 6 at Belmont Park and was second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, a length behind Monomoy Girl and a half-length ahead of Midnight Bisou. Wow Cat didn't run again until returning in the Shuvee, racing three-wide on both turns and being outfinished by Golden Award. Since then, the 5-year-old daughter of two-time champion Lookin At Lucky has breezed three times at Saratoga for trainer Chad Brown, the most recent a five-furlong move in 1:00.50 August 17. "She got a lot out of that last race. Hopefully she's going to move forward. She's going to need to to run against Elate, but I really liked the way she came out of the race. Her last breeze in particular was very strong," Brown said. "The key to her is the pace in front of her. She prefers some pace in front of her and to sit back a little bit and make one run." Hall of Famer John Velazquez, aboard for both Saratoga starts last summer, has the return call from post position 5 at 122 pounds. Completing the field is Roddy Valente, RAP Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds' Coach Rocks. By 2013 Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow, Coach Rocks went winless from her victory in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks last March until a commanding five-length optional claiming allowance triumph June 23 at Churchill Downs. She followed up with another solid effort in the Molly Pitcher, setting the pace before being caught late by Midnight Bisou on a day where several racetracks in the East cancelled racing due to extreme heat. "She's doing super. This filly is training just as good as she possibly can," trainer Dale Romans said. "It was a great win for her at Churchill. The race the other day at Monmouth, there were a lot of odd circumstances that she stood up to, so she's mentally tough right now, too. This is a good race. [There's] some good fillies and some good mares, so you've got to come out of there running. It's one of the best fields on a great day." Luis Saez will ride Coach Rocks from post 2 carrying the low weight of 118 pounds. Run as the Firenze from 1948-85 and the John A. Morris from 1986-97, the Personal Ensign was renamed in honor of the undefeated champion filly owned and bred by Ogden Phipps. Her dramatic victory in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff capped a 13-0 career, making her the first major horse in more than 80 years to accomplish the feat. Personal Ensign was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 1993, followed 11 years later by her trainer, Shug McGaughey.

Read Article
8.21.2019:

Annals of Time Returns to Stakes Competition in G1 Sword Dancer

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Entering off an impressive optional claiming allowance win on July 24, Klaravich Stables' and William Lawrence's Annals of Time will make his first graded-stakes start since winning the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in 2016 as a 3-year-old in the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer going 1 ½ miles on the inner turf course on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. The Sword Dancer is one of seven stakes races on Saturday's card, including six Grade 1's highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers. National television coverage of Travers Day will be featured on FOX from 5-6 p.m ET. Undercard coverage will also be televised on a special Travers Day edition of Saratoga Live, airing nationally on FS2 from 11:30-5 p.m. ET. Regional coverage of Saturday's Saratoga Live can be found on MSG+, FOX Sports Prime Ticket and Altitude. A 6-year-old son of Temple City in the care of meet-leading conditioner Chad Brown, Annals of Time graduated in his debut at Aqueduct Racetrack in 2015 and finished third in the Grade 3 Hill Prince at Belmont as a 3-year-old before winning the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar Race Track. Sidelined for nine months following that win due to a soft tissue injury, he has only raced three times since, winning a second-level allowance race as a 4-year-old at Belmont Park followed by a runner-up third level allowance finish before subsequently winning last out by 4 ½ lengths at the Spa. Although concerned with the mile and a half distance, Brown said he is looking forward to bringing Annals of Time back against top level competition. "A mile and a half will be a test for him," said Brown. "He's never run in a three-turn race before. I'd prefer there to be some pace in the race, but he has a really good turn of foot and he's going need to." Annals of Time will leave from post 7 with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano aboard. Also entering for Brown is Proven Reserves for Klaravich Stables and Chilean-bred Ya Primo for Madaket Stables and Don Alberto Stables. A 4-year-old son of Flatter, Proven Reserves will try turf for the first time making his third start of the year following a pair of fourth-place finishes in second-level allowance company events, on June 19 at Belmont and on July 19 at Saratoga. Ya Primo, a Mastercraftsman 4-year-old colt and multiple graded stakes winner in South America where he made his firs nine career starts, finished a game second to fellow entrant Channel Cat beaten by a half-length in the Grade 2 Bowling Green on July 27 in his North American debut. "He ran super in that race and just came up a little bit short at the end," said Brown. "He's been training particularly well since and we're looking to running in the Sword Dancer. It was always our plan." Drawing the rail, Proven Reserves will leave with Manny Franco aboard. Ya Primo will depart from post 6 with meet-leading rider Jose Ortiz in the irons. Trainer Todd Pletcher entered a pair of formidable contenders in Bowling Green winner Channel Cat for Calumet Farm and Pillar Mountain for Team Valor. Sired by English Channel, the 4-year-old colt began his campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy on May 4 at Belmont. Following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Manhattan he finished third beaten by three-quarters of a length before breaking through to win his first graded stakes in the Bowling Green, going wire-to-wire. "He's doing well," said Pletcher. "He's training good. I think