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9.8.2021:

Gulfstream Park: Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout Set | Saturday, September 11

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool has been scheduled for Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The Rainbow 6 has gone unsolved for 19 consecutive racing days since a July 31 mandatory payout. Gulfstream Park will return to a four-day racing week schedule starting with Thursday’s eight-race program that will offer a $700,000 Rainbow 6 jackpot pool guarantee. If not hit before Saturday, the Rainbow 6 could grow to approximately $3 million. Live racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday for the remainder of the Spring/Summer Meet that runs through Sept. 30. Thursday’s first-race post time is set for 12:50 p.m. Thursday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 3-8, headlined by a six-furlong optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds in Race 7. Ralph Nicks-trained American Prince, who hasn’t raced since scoring a very impressive debut victory Feb. 28 at Gulfstream, is scheduled to return to action while taking on five rivals. The riding assignment goes to Emisael Jaramillo, who was aboard for the son of Liam’s Map’s 3 ½-length victory during the Championship Meet. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Bailey, a winner in a state-bred optional claiming allowance last time out, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite over 7-2 American Prince. The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is usually 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 usually goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. However, on mandatory-payout days, the entire pool is paid out to the bettor or bettors with the most winners in the six-race sequence. The four-day racing week will continue Friday with the return of the Stronach 5, a multi-race, multi-track wager with a $1 base. The five-race Stronach 5 will include two races at Gulfstream Park, as well as a pair of races at Laurel Park and one race at Golden Gate Fields.Gulfstream’s Race 5, a 7 ½-furlong maiden special weight race for juvenile fillies on turf, will kick off the Stronach 5, followed by Races 8 and 9 at Laurel Park. Gulfstream’s Race 7, a $12,500 claiming race at a mile on turf, and Golden Gate Fields’ Race 3 will conclude the sequence. Saturday’s program will feature the $75,000 Sheer Drama, a seven-furlong sprint for Florida-bred fillies and mares, and the $60,000 North Bay Village, an overnight handicap for fillies and mares at a mile on turf. Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Sound Machine, who finished third in the July 3 Princess Rooney (G2), is entered to return to action in the Sheer Drama. Tom Proctor-trained Summering, a multiple-stakes winner by War Front, is scheduled to carry highweight of 124 pounds in the North Bay Village.

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8.17.2021:

XBTV Bypasses 1,000 Workout Video Milestone for 2021 Saratoga & Del Mar Meets

ARCADIA, CA (Aug. 17, 2021) – Barely one month into this summer’s Saratoga and Del Mar meets, XBTV.com has already successfully captured, cataloged and uploaded more than 1,000 morning video workouts for racing’s marquee meets. This milestone provides handicappers with ‘behind the scenes’ access to the nation’s top horses and future stars and remains available without cost to 1/ST account holders. “You can refer to published workouts and form assumptions based only on final time, but the opportunity to view the video and gain an understanding of how the drill was accomplished can turn an educated guess into a confident wager,” said Jeff Siegel, Xpressbet.com handicapper and analyst.  “Especially at Saratoga and Del Mar, where fitness, quickness and readiness among two-year-olds and layoff runners must be accurately evaluated, the videos at XBTV.com provide the missing link to the handicapping process that the serious horseplayer simply cannot be without.” With the tracks’ two premier days on tap for later this month – Del Mar’s Pacific Classic on August 21 and Saratoga’s Travers on August 28 – now is the perfect time to browse XBTV’s video library to gain an edge while handicapping races.  XBTV teams in California and New York have been hard at work since before both tracks opened in July, capturing workouts for horses of all talent levels, from graded stakes winners to the unraced two-year-olds looking to join them.  XBTV’s video workout library is available at no cost for 1/ST account holders. To setup a free 1/ST account, simply visit XBTV.com and provide your name, email address and date of birth. A 1/ST account also allows customers to access the 1/ST BET and Xpressbet betting platforms as well as BETMIX handicapping software.  As happens at Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park during the Winter and Spring, two XBTV camera operators are trackside each morning working with the Official Clockers at each track to record the workouts.  The full XBTV library extends beyond two years of workout footage, which allows handicappers the opportunity to look at how a horse’s work pattern might have changed – positively or negatively – throughout its career.  XBTV’s exclusive video workouts will return to Santa Anita and Gulfstream this fall prior to both tracks’ the October meets.

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8.11.2021:

Jeremy Plonk: 'First Family of Mutuels' Honored Wednesday at Saratoga | Wednesday, August 11

Whether you backed Sir Barton in 1919, Citation in 1948 or American Pharoah in 2015, the Mahony family was there to take your bet. Saratoga honors horse racing’s ‘First Family of Mutuels’ with the third running of the Mahony Stakes on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. The namesake race may only take a minute over its turf-dash distance, but the Mahony family has been instrumental in the tote business for more than a century. The Mahony Stakes honors former NYRA Senior Vice President of Mutuels Pat Mahony, whose 50-year personal run in the business came to a close in 2016. His lineage in the tote business preceded through his father, Riggs, and his grandfather, Mortimer ‘Mort’ Mahony. The eldest Mahony began taking bets in the late 1800s as a bookmaker at New York tracks like Sheepshead Bay, Morris Park, Brighton Beach and, yes, even Saratoga. He helped see the racing business through its transition to totalisator machines, which started in 1932 at historic Hialeah Park in Florida, and aided Harry L. Straus, founder of the American Totalisator Company, known still today as AmTote, the industry leader under the 1/ST TECHNOLOGY portfolio. The ‘Mahony Pari-Mutuel College’ taught many of North America’s early mutuel managers about the operation, spreading the family’s influence to all shores. And that hands-on mentorship ensures that the impact of the Mahony family will be felt far longer than the three generations in name. Pat Mahony became an ardent student and researcher of America’s history of betting the horses…and he’s helped shape much of it on his own. Said AmTote President and 1/ST TECHNOLOGY Chief Revenue Officer, Keith Johnson, “When I joined this industry just out of college as a part-time employee, not knowing what my career path was to be, I had the great fortune of starting at Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park, where Pat Mahony ran the mutuel operations. I cannot overstate how valuable and enjoyable it was working for and with someone with that depth of knowledge, professionalism, and sincere love for the industry. It directly influenced what would become my own lifelong career in this business. It has been an honor and a privilege to know and learn from Pat throughout the years. He and his family contributed immeasurably to our collective business from its very beginnings. The Mahony Stakes is an awesome way for NYRA and our industry to honor Pat and his family’s legacy.  I am, and I think I can confidently say our entire industry is, forever grateful.” The Mahony family is honored with a plaque in the clubhouse at Belmont Park. But on Wednesday, its namesake race will once again focus the racing world’s attention on venerable Saratoga. And all eyes will be on the toteboard in search of the right horse at the right price. That much you can bet on.

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7.22.2021:

Press Release: 1/ST TECHNOLOGY Announces Abel Cedillo as Brand Ambassador | Thursday, July 22

Washington, Pennsylvania, July 22, 2021 – 1/ST TECHNOLOGY is excited to announce its newest brand ambassador, leading jockey Abel Cedillo. 1/ST TECHNOLOGY’s signature product, 1/ST BET, the official app of Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate Fields and the Maryland Jockey Club, will leverage Cedillo in promotional and advertising campaigns, and Cedillo will represent 1/ST BET while riding in races throughout Southern California. Cedillo, the leading rider during Del Mar’s 2019 and 2020 Fall Meets, has won more than 1,400 races during his career and is a popular figure on the Southern California circuit. The multiple Grade 1 winning jockey enjoyed a breakout season in 2020, winning a dozen stakes races, including the G1 Pacific Classic, G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile and G1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes. “Abel Cedillo is a passionate, popular, and savvy rider and his success on the track made him an obvious addition to the 1/ST TECHNOLOGY ambassador team,” said Zachary Leifer, Chief Marketing Officer, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY. “As the Official App of Santa Anita Park – Abel’s home track for more than half of the year – 1/ST BET is excited to help connect fans and horseplayers with one of the sport’s superstar riders.” 1/ST BET will feature Abel Cedillo in numerous initiatives and promotions, including: ‘Win When Abel Wins’ Sweepstakes during Del Mar in which a 1/ST BET or Xpressbet customer will receive a $100 Bonus each time Cedillo wins Exclusive pre-race interviews with Cedillo prior to marquee events Opportunity for 1/ST BET and Xpressbet followers to win merchandise autographed by Cedillo Cedillo will appear alongside other brand ambassadors in 1/ST TECHNOLOGY advertising “I appreciate the support of 1/ST TECHNOLOGY and 1/ST BET,” said Abel Cedillo. “1/ST has prioritized the health and wellness of equine and human athletes at tracks across the country and I’m proud to represent their brand.” 1/ST supports many of horse racing’s leading charities, including the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), Beyond the Wire, After the Impact and the Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (Florida TRAC). For more information, visit https://www.1st.com/bet.

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7.22.2021:

Press Release: Assiniboia Downs Offering $1 Million Payout on August 2 | Thursday, July 22

  WINNIPEG, July 22, 2021 – Assiniboia Downs is offering a $1 million payout on Manitoba Derby Day, Monday, Aug. 2 if there is a player who has the only winning ticket of the Jackpot Pick 5. If there is more than one winning ticket, all winners will share in the mandatory jackpot payout scheduled for that day which could exceed $1 million.   The $1 million guarantee payout on Derby Day will be offered providing the Jackpot Pick 5 pool is not won before then. If that happens, the Derby Day guarantee will be $250,000 to a sole ticket holder and it will not be a mandatory payout.   “We really wanted to make a big bang this year with the Derby”, said CEO Darren Dunn.  “And what better way to do that than with an unprecedented $1 million guarantee for a player with a single winning ticket. With the excitement from this, it is quite possible that the pool could even be more!   The pool requires the correct selection of the winners of the last five races of the program.  Tickets cost just 20-cents per combination.   Following this event, the pool will have a $250,000 single winner payout guarantee every race day (Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) starting on Tuesday, Aug. 3 through the remainder of the meet on Sep. 15 or until it is won.   “We are so excited to be able to offer this $250k guarantee on all race days,” continued Dunn.  “This offer will certainly stand out during our weekday racing schedule and add some real value for fans.”   As of this writing, the Jackpot Pick 5 pool--which is offered on each day’s race card--has grown to $269,614 because there hasn’t been a single correct ticket to win the whole pool. That amount will form part of the mandatory payout of the Jackpot Pick 5 on Derby Day.    Racing continues every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 15 at 7:30 pm (Central Time).     

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6.4.2021:

$3 Million Expected for Santa Anita's June 6 Mandatory Payout

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 4, 2021) — There will be a mandatory payout in Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot this Sunday and with a carryover of $379,233 heading into Saturday’s nine-race program, track officials project Sunday’s total Rainbow Six pool could approach $3 million.           First post time on Sunday, the day after the third and final jewel in racing’s Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will be at 1 p.m., with the Rainbow Six set to begin with Sunday’s fourth race, which has an assigned post time of 2:41 p.m. PT. Sunday’s entries, along with complete morning line information, are available at santaanita.com. Additionally, Santa Anita will be open early on Saturday to facilitate simulcast wagering from Belmont Park.  Admission gates will open at 8 a.m., the Club House will open at 9 a.m. and Infield admission gates will open at 10 a.m. First live race post time for a nine-race card on Saturday will also be at 1 p.m. Although there is still no walk-up admission, Santa Anita is now open to the public on a limited basis by visiting santaanita.com.  For those not attending in person, all of Santa Anita’s races are available free of charge at santaanita.com/live and fans can watch and wager via several ADW platforms, including 1ST.com/bet. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE.

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5.28.2021:

Rock Your World Fires Bullet Workout for 2021 Belmont Stakes

Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World worked five furlongs Friday in a bullet 58.40, fastest of 32 drills at the distance and quicker by almost three seconds than the average time of 1:01.28.Watch Rock Your World's Workout, from XBTV “It was a good work,” said John Sadler, who trains the son of Candy Ride. “He ships to New York tomorrow.” Rock Your World won his first two races on turf, then made his main track debut in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby April 3, leading throughout the mile and one-eighth classic and earning a spot in the Kentucky Derby on May 1. Unfortunately, he was sandwiched at the start of the Run for Roses, never got untracked and finished 17th of 19. “We hope to right the ship in the Belmont,” Sadler said.

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5.28.2021:

Hot Rod Charlie Drills for Belmont Stakes with Flavien Prat Aboard

ARCADIA, Calif. (May 28, 2021) — Idle since a close third in the Kentucky Derby on May 1, Doug O’Neill’s Hot Rod Charlie drilled five furlongs before Friday’s first race at Santa Anita in 1:00.48, his final prep for the Grade I Belmont Stakes at a mile and one half a week from Saturday, June 5. With Flavien Prat aboard, Hot Rod Charlie, who was accompanied by O’Neill’s Hall of Fame gelding Lava Man and workmate Liam’s Pride, came on Santa Anita’s main track via the quarter mile chute at 12:14 p.m. PT, jogged by the Grandstand and was then set down for his work at the five furlong pole with Liam’s Pride positioned about two lengths in front of him as a target.Watch Hot Rod Charlie's Workout, from XBTV With Prat sitting still, Hot Rod Charlie rattled off splits of 24.06 and 48.32 while gaining the advantage an eighth of a mile from the wire.  With Prat remaining motionless, Hot Rod Charlie galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.62. “Very happy with his breeze today,” said O’Neill.  “Flavien was happy with the way he did it and that makes me happy.  He had a good strong gallop going into this work and now he’s got a strong work and gallop-out going into the race. “We just want to stay injury-free and we’re pumped up and optimistic about a week from tomorrow.  This horse is getting more and more confident and he’s starting to separate himself from the others.  He’ll leave Saturday morning at about 3 a.m., along with Lava Man, who’s going to take him to the post for the Belmont.” A winner of the Grade II Louisiana Derby two starts back on March 20, Hot Rod Charlie, who broke his maiden at Santa Anita going a flat mile in his fourth start on Oct. 2, was third, beaten a neck three starts back by eventual Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes here on Jan. 30. Owned by Roadrunner Racing, Boat Racing, LLC, Strauss Bros Racing and Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Ltd, Hot Rod Charlie, who is a Kentucky-bred colt by Oxbow, out of the Indian Charlie mare Indian Miss, is 8-2-1-3, has earnings of $1,305,700. Prat, who won the Grade I Preakness Stakes on May 15 aboard the Santa Anita-based Rombauer, made the decision to stick with Hot Rod Charlie, who skipped the Preakness, for racing’s third and final jewel.  

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5.22.2021:

2021 Belmont Stakes Field Taking Shape

From the New York Racing Association press office notes on May 20: Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes Probable: Bourbonic (Todd Pletcher), Brooklyn Strong (Danny Velazquez), France Go de Ina (Hideyuki Mori), Hot Rod Charlie (Doug O'Neill), Known Agenda (Pletcher), Overtook (Pletcher), Rebel's Romance (Charlie Appleby), Rock Your World (John Sadler), Rombauer (Michael McCarthy) Possible: Essential Quality (Brad Cox), Get Her Number (Peter Miller), Keepmeinmind (Robertino Diodoro), Midnight Bourbon (Steve Asmussen)

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5.15.2021:

Rombauer Pulls Off Upset in Preakness 146

BALTIMORE, MD – John and Diane Fradkin’s Rombauer staged a powerful rally through the stretch of Pimlico Race Course to register an 11-1 upset victory in Saturday’s 146th Preakness Stakes (G1). The $1 million Preakness Stakes, renewed under sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s, highlighted a 14-race program with 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.25 million. Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit, who led throughout the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, faded to third after setting the pace in Saturday’s Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Rombauer ($25.60), who was withheld from the Kentucky Derby by his owners in favor of waiting for the Preakness, provided trainer Michael McCarthy with his first success in the Triple Crown series with his very first starter. Rombauer, who scored a 3 1/2-length decision over Midnight Bourbon while running the 1 3/16-mile distance in 1:53.62, had earned a fees-paid berth into the Preakness by winning the Feb 13 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, a ‘Win & In’ event. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Rombauer raced between horses in sixth-place in the 10-horse field that was led by Medina Spirit along the front stretch and around the first turn. The pacesetting 2-1 favorite, who set fractions of 23.77 and 46.93 seconds for the first half-mile, was closely shadowed to his outside by Midnight Bourbon along the backstretch and into the far turn. Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon showed the way into the stretch as Rombauer began to launch a strong bid on the final turn. Midnight Bourbon edged past the pacesetter in mid-stretch, but Rombauer loomed boldly on the far outside and continued on to register a decisive victory. Rombauer, who finished third in the April 3 Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland in his previous start, claimed his third victory in six career starts, which include a close second-place finish in the American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita last year. Midnight Bourbon, the 3-1 second betting choice ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., finished two lengths ahead of Medina Spirit, who was ridden by John Velazquez. Keepmeinmind finished fourth, four more lengths back, followed by Crowded Trade, Unbridled Honor, France Go de Ina, Risk Taking, Concert Tour and Ram. McCarthy, a former longtime assistant to Todd Pletcher, was enthusiastically congratulated by his former boss, the Hall of Fame trainer-elect who saddled Unbridled Honor in a quest to saddle his first Preakness winner. Although they bypassed the Kentucky Derby, the Fradkins, who bred the Preakness winner, and McCarthy indicated their intentions to run Rombauer in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (G1), the 1 1/2-mile third jewel of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park. 146th Preakness Stakes (G1) Quotes Winning Trainer Michael McCarthy (Rombauer): (NBC Telecast) “I’m so proud of this horse, everybody involved. It means a lot to be here and participate on a day like this. I’m happy for the Fradkins [owners John and Diane Fradkin]. It just goes to show you that small players in the game can be successful, as well. Hats off to everybody. I wish my family could be here. Fantastic.” “That’s been him all along. I reached over my shoulder and said to somebody, ‘You know what? He’s a little bit closer today but it looks like he’s traveling well. At the three-and-a-half furlong pole I saw some horses around him moving and not really going anywhere. Coming to the quarter pole, I started to get a little excited. The two horses in front of him were traveling well. At the eighth pole, I’ve said it before, it was like an out-of-body experience.” First congratulations came from former boss Todd Pletcher – “Everything we do sort of channels what we did when I worked there. I kind of always try to refer to something he would do. Strange to believe that I’ve won something he hasn’t. I’m sure that won’t last for long. It means the world to me.” “It’s great. I wish my family was here.” On talking to Pletcher and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas before race – “You’ve got one icon and one living legend. I didn’t want to leave there flat-footed so I had to surprise them.” Winning Jockey Flavien Prat (Rombauer): (NBC Telecast) “It does feel different. Oh, what a feeling. I’m so thankful to [trainer] Michael [McCarthy] and all his team. I want to thank the groom and the pony girl, because he was quite on his toes before the race and I thought they did a great job.” “To be honest, when I left France it was to do better than what I was doing in France. I didn’t know the magnitude of these races. I knew a lot about the Breeders’ Cup but the Triple Crown I didn’t know much about it. I realize how important it is. There’s so much history behind these races. To win one is amazing. To win the Preakness, it’s even better.” Trainer Steve Asmussen (Midnight Bourbon; 2nd): “Irad gave him a dream trip. When he went under the wire the first time, I was thinking, ‘Man, I wish the Derby would have looked like that.’ But he ran hard; he really did. You want to win them all and stuff. And with their [Winchell Thoroughbreds’ program], we’ll get here. But I thought he ran extremely well. He showed up and he ran his race. Congratulations to the winner. But he took it to Medina Spirit. I think he showed some true ability, and he’s a very good horse that’s getting better.” Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Midnight Bourbon; 2nd): “ He broke sharp and I didn't have to use him. We were sitting second, running easy, nice and relaxed without chasing. I felt like I had a good shot to win. It was perfect. He changed leads and did everything right. Off the turn, I asked him for run and he took off. ‘If they gonna beat me today, somebody really gonna have to come running.’ And that was Flavien [Prat], flying on the outside. My horse ran great, he just got beat.”. Jimmy Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert (Medina Spirit; 3rd and Concert Tour, 9th): “It looked like [Medina Spirit’s Jockey] Johnny [Velazquez] got him into the spot where he wanted to be. That horse was right on him the whole way and never really gave him a break. It’s tough going back in two weeks off of that race. A little disappointed, but we go on from here. “I still need to talk with [Concert Tour’s jockey] Mike [Smith] a little bit. He said he was out of horse turning for home at around the three-eighths pole.” Jockey John Velazquez (Medina Spirit; 3rd): “I knew he was going to be pressed today and I was hoping he wasn’t going to overdo it but he did. By the quarter pole, the other horse put his head in front but he kept fighting. He didn’t stop he just got beat. He kept running he still finished third. Most horses at the quarter-pole like when they get passed they just give up and he kept running. You gotta give it to him.” Jockey Mike Smith (Concert Tour, 9th): “As far as Concert Tour goes, I am at a loss for words. He didn’t seem to participate at all down the backside. He just wasn’t going anywhere and when I put my hands down he just backed right off, it was very strange.” Trainer Robertino Diodoro (Keepmeinmind; 4th): “He ran well. He ran his race. No excuse. He was running at the end. We’re happy. Don’t want to be happy with fourth. You always want to win. He ran well, though.” Jockey David Cohen (Keepmeinmind; 4th): “We got the setup we were hoping for. My horse really turned off and relaxed well. I started making a move, saved ground and tipped out. Just like the Derby, he was the only horse running and closing at the end. He galloped out well and not tired. When it comes time for the Belmont, I don't think he will have any problem getting the distance.” Trainer Chad Brown (Crowded Trade; 5th and Risk Taking, 8th): “Neither one of them ran well. It was disappointing. They just didn’t fire at all. They ran very poorly. I’m disappointed. It is what it is. We’ll just have to bring them home and regroup with them." Jockey Javier Castellano (Crowded Trade; 5th): “We had a good trip and broke well out of the gate. I put him in a good spot and saved ground on the first turn. On the backside he just couldn’t keep up with the pace.” Jockey Jose Ortiz (Risk Taking, 8th): “I broke good and wanted to go forward on the first turn. I tried to put him as close as I could. I tried to give him a break on the backside, but when we hit the far turn, I knew it was over.” Trainer Todd Pletcher (Unbridled Honor; 6th): “The one thing we were hoping we could do, we knew we would be a little bit further back early on. But we were hoping we could get some position down on the rail. It seemed like it was a better part of the track. But, he closed with mild interest. He just got too far back on a track you really can't do that on.” (Pletcher on former assistant Michael McCarthy): “I’m very, very happy for him. He deserved it. Very happy. Like I said earlier – all those guys that were part of the team – so I was rooting for him if we couldn't do it.” Jockey Luis Saez (Unbridled Honor; 6th): “It was a good trip, he broke pretty nice but he didn’t like the dirt in his face. He kind of kept going back and back and at the half mile pole I was riding him and he gave me a little kick but it wasn’t much. The winner and the other horses were already gone.” Trainer Hideyuki Mori (France Go de Ina; 7th): [Through an interpreter] “He started pretty well but the position he ended up taking there was a bit of kickback and he hates kickback. He was fighting it. It's a little disappointing. We really hoped he would get a spot outside of horses where he wouldn't get any dirt kicked in his face and I think that would have helped him focus more on the race. He didn't show his full potential today." Jockey Joel Rosario (France Go de Ina; 7th): “He ran good, better than last time. He was sitting good for a little while and then he got a little tired. This was a little different for him, he was looking around and checking everything out, he wasn’t sure. But you know he did fine.” “[Jockey] Ricardo [Santana Jr.] just said that he felt flat and said that he came up empty. He was making a big move at the half-mile pole and he pulled him out, said that he just felt flat and eased him up. He said he was perfectly sound. He felt like he came up empty.” Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Ram; 10th): “I wasn’t in a great spot. It was my first time riding him so I didn’t know much about him. He tried hard. Just got outrun.”

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5.10.2021:

Video: Medina Spirit Arrives at Pimlico for Preakness 146

BALTIMORE, MD – Medina Spirit and Concert Tour, candidates for Saturday’s 146th Preakness Stakes (G1), completed their journey from Churchill Downs to Pimlico Race Course Monday afternoon shortly after 2 p.m. Under the direction of veteran assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, the pair of 3-year-olds were led off the van to their stalls in the Preakness Stakes Barn. Barnes said the truck left Churchill Downs at approximately 4:45 a.m. and had no problems. “It seemed simple,” he said. “Actually, we’re here even earlier than we fly sometimes. If you are on the second flight they have to come here and go back. Other than having to drive 600 miles, it went very smooth.” Medina Spirit Arrival Video Medina Spirit and Concert Tour were accompanied on the van by stablemates Beautiful Gift, who is scheduled to run in Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan (G2); Following Sea, who is slated to run in Saturday’s Chick Lang (G3); and Hozier, who is pointed to Saturday’s Sir Barton. Concert Tour Arrival Video Barnes said he expects that the Preakness horses will go out to the track Tuesday morning between 7 and 9 a.m. Lukas-Trained Ram Travels to Pimlico in Record Time Monday brought a personal record for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and, in the speedy process, Christina Baker and William Mack’s Ram is on the grounds at Pimlico in advance of Saturday’s Preakness. Ram and D. Wayne Lukas Video  The 85-year-old Lukas, a six-time winner of the Preakness, will go for No. 7 with the chestnut Ram, a son of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. Lukas, who rode shotgun in the van, arrived at Pimlico at 2 p.m., nine hours after he left Churchill Downs in Kentucky. “The ship was easy,” said Lukas, wearing a white cowboy hat. “No trouble at all. I think this was the quickest we ever made it. It is beautiful country. You almost want to make the drive just to see the country. I told my wife if we are going to move anywhere, it's going to be West Virginia.” Lukas said he will probably bring Ram to the track at 6 a.m. Tuesday so he can “stretch his legs.”  

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5.10.2021:

Adventuring Seeks First Graded Win in G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

BALTIMORE – Godolphin homebred Adventuring, riding a two-race win streak for reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox, and BB Horses’ Miss Leslie, a local stakes winner in her only two tries around two turns, each make the jump into graded company in Friday’s $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course. The 97th running of the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies highlights a spectacular 14-race program that includes six stakes, four graded, worth $1 million in purses. It returns to its traditional spot on the eve of the Preakness Stakes (G1) after sharing the program with the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown when the races were delayed from mid-May to early October amid the coronavirus pandemic. Other graded stakes on the program are the historic $250,000 Pimlico Special for 3-year-olds and up at the Preakness distance of 1 3/16 miles, $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) for 3-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs, and $150,000 Allaire du Pont (G3) for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/8 miles. Rounding out the stakes action are a pair of turf events, the $100,000 Hilltop for 3-year-old fillies at one mile, and $100,000 The Very One, a five-furlong dash for females 3 and older. First-race post time Friday is 11:30 a.m. Post time for the Black-Eyed Susan, carded as Race 13, is scheduled for 5:44 p.m. Adventuring, second choice on the morning line at 4-1, enters the Black-Eyed Susan off back-to-back wins, graduating by 6 ½ lengths in a one-mile, 70-yard maiden special weight rained off the Fair Grounds turf Feb. 16. Most recently, she was a popular two-length winner of the one-mile Bourbonette Oaks on the all-weather surface at Turfway Park. “Obviously, she’s very well bred … and we’re hopeful that she’ll be able to handle the  mile and an eighth. She certainly appears that she can,” Cox said. “She broke her maiden in an off the turf race on the dirt and performed extremely well. She was able to get the job done on the synthetic and she works well enough on the dirt to give us the confidence to try a graded stake on the dirt. We’re looking forward getting her up there.” By Pioneerof the Nile out of the Hard Spun mare Questing, all Grade 1 winners, Adventuring – like Beautiful Gift – will be stretching out to her longest race yet. She was second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight Dec. 20 at Fair Grounds to Will’s Secret, who went on to be third by two necks in the Kentucky Oaks. “She had enough points to go in the Kentucky Oaks, but we thought the Black-Eyed Susan made more sense. Plus, she wasn’t nominated to we’d have had an extra large fee to run,” Cox said. “I really like her … She’s already a stakes winner, but we need to hopefully get some graded wins.” Florent Geroux, up in the Bourbonette Oaks, gets the return call from Post 9 in a field of 10. All fillies will carry 120 pounds. Miss Leslie earned an automatic berth in the Black-Eyed Susan by virtue of her 1 ½-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss April 24 at Pimlico. Listed at 15-1 in the program, she is aiming to become the first Weber City Miss winner to parlay that victory into a repeat in the Black-Eyed Susan. Also facing her longest race to date, Miss Leslie is unbeaten around two turns having also won the 1 1/16-mile Anne Arundel County Dec. 26 at Laurel Park in her 2-year-old finale. She owns four wins, two seconds and a third in eight career starts, three of those wins – and both stakes – coming since being claimed for $25,000 last November by Maryland’s four-time defending leading trainer, Claudio Gonzalez. “When she ran the first time long, she proved right away that she loved the distance. And, she did it again the last time, too. She loves it,” Gonzalez said. “It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be different fillies coming from outside, not only local fillies. They are coming from everywhere. It’s a big race. I believe she has to show how she can handle the tough fillies.” J.D. Acosta rode in the Weber City and will again have the assignment from Post 7. Boama Corporation’s Beautiful Gift won one of two starts at 2, a one-mile maiden special weight last October at Santa Anita. Both her races this year have come there, as well – a gutsy head victory over Moraz in the Santa Ysabel (G3) and half-length loss to Soothsay while second in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) April 3. Both races were contested at 1 1/16 miles. Rather than send Beautiful Gift to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) April 30, the connections opted to wait for the Black-Eyed Susan. Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be aboard for the third straight race, breaking from outside Post 10, and are the 9-5 program favorite. “She’s run well,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said. “I was going to run her in the Kentucky Oaks, but it came up way too tough. That’s one of the toughest Kentucky Oaks I’ve seen. I didn’t want to put her through that. I said, ‘We’ll wait for the Black-Eyed Susan. You try to spot your horses, give them a chance where they have a chance to win.” Recently elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, trainer Todd Pletcher is a four-time winner of the Black-Eyed Susan with Spun Sugar (2005), Panty Raid (2007), In Lingerie (2012) and Stopchargingmaria (2014). He will be represented this year by Repole Stable’s Iced Latte, making her stakes debut. Iced Latte, another Pioneerof the Nile filly, won impressively at second asking in a one-mile maiden special weight March 14 at Gulfstream Park. She stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in an optional claimer April 25 at Belmont Park, leading all the way until caught late by Midnight Obsession and running second by a length in the slop. “It seemed like she handled it OK,” Pletcher said. “I don’t think it is indicative of her quality. We were impressed by her maiden win. She’s always trained very forward and I liked the way she breezed [the other] morning.” Luis Saez is named on Iced Latte, 8-1 on the morning line, from Post 6. Army Wife and Lady Traveler, both Grade 3 placed, look to break through with their first graded triumphs. Three Diamonds Farm’s Army Wife went winless in her first three starts last year, all on turf, before graduating in her first try on dirt. She hasn’t been worse than third since, winning an optional claimer March 13 at Gulfstream and running third behind Search Results and Maracuja, respectively second and seventh in the Kentucky Oaks, in a 1 1/8-mile Gazelle (G3) April 3 at Aqueduct. “She’s a filly we’ve always been high on. She makes a fabulous impression,” trainer Mike Maker said. “She had a couple of months off and got a little behind, but she’s doing well and we’re looking forward to it.” Joel Rosario rides Army Wife (8-1) from Post 1. West Point Thoroughbreds, John Ballantyne, William Freeman and Michael Valdes’ Lady Traveler is well-tested against graded company, having run second in the Jan. 30 Forward Gal (G3) at Gulfstream and fourth last out in the April 2 Beaumont (G3) at Keeneland, both at seven furlongs. Her trainer, Dale Romans, won back-to-back editions of the Black-Eyed Susan with Keen Pauline in 2015 and Go Maggie Go in 2016. “Last time, even though she didn’t hit the board, she ran a nice number and really showed improvement,” West Point COO Tom Bellhouse said. “In the middle of the race she started making a big move and, unfortunately, the horse that was in front of her when she started to make the move kind of drifted out and got in her way a little and kind of broke her momentum. Lady Traveler (15-1) is a half-sister to two-time Grade 1-winning turf multi-millionaire Heart to Heart. She will be ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano from Post 5. “She’s a cool filly. She hasn’t been able to put it all together yet. She shows you glimpses of greatness at different times in the race,” he added. “She runs in snippets. She’s like the darling of the workout report guys. She works out great, everybody’s in love with her, she looks beautiful – and she’s finicky. She doesn’t tell you when she’s really going to run her race or not. We’re due. We’re ready to have some fun.” SF Racing’s Spritz, second to Adventuring in the Bourbonette Oaks, is making her return to the dirt in the Black-Eyed Susan after spending the winter at Turfway Park. She was off the board in two dirt races last fall, one each at Monmouth Park and Delaware Park, before being moved to trainer Rodolphe Brisset. “Our filly is doing really good,” Brisset said. “We saw the filly getting better, I thought, with each race. I don’t think we had the perfect trip in the Bourbonette. Maybe the five-eighths move was a little too soon after going 23 [seconds] flat the first quarter. We were second-best. Since that, the filly’s been working on the dirt very good. “She’s definitely a two-turn horse and she’s tactical out of the gate. She’s shown us that the more we’ve run her, and we know that on the dirt it’s a pretty good weapon,” he added. “Based on the way she’s breezing on the dirt, it’s time to take a shot at it and see what she wants to do.” Flavien Prat has the call on Spritz (20-1) from Post 3. Stephen Baker, David Bernsen and Magdalena Racing’s Forever Boss (15-1) was sixth in the Bourbonette Oaks but bounced back impressively with a 4 ¼-length score in an 1 1/8-mile off-the-turf allowance April 21 at Keeneland. Her trainer, Ken McPeek, upset last year’s Preakness with filly Swiss Skydiver. Jose Ortiz rides from Post 4. Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Willful Woman (12-1) can give Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen his first Black-Eyed Susan win. The daughter of Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist is a half-sister to 2007 Fantasy (G3) winner Ever So Clever and was seventh in her only previous graded attempt in the March 6 Honeybee (G3) to Will’s Secret. A maiden winner one race prior to the Honeybee, Willful Woman rebounded to capture a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance April 9 in the slop at Oaklawn Park by 1 ½ lengths under Ricardo Santana Jr., who rides back from Post 2. “She lost it at the break,” Alex Lieblong said of the Honeybee. “She was looking at something in the infield when they popped the gate and then got flustered when she missed it. It was just one of those deals where we were like, ‘Ok. Let’s start over.’ That’s what we did with the allowance. I hated that we missed the series there but it might wind up being one of those deals where it worked out for the best, if you just give them time.” Completing the Black-Eyed Susan field is Louis Lazzinnaro’s The Grass Is Blue (6-1), who respectively ran fourth and third to her Chad Brown-trained stablemate Search Results in the Gazelle and March 6 Busher Invitational. A stakes winner in the 1 1/8-mile Busanda Jan. 24 to kick off her 3-year-old season, she was beaten two heads when third behind Miss Leslie in the Anne Arundel County. The Grass Is Blue will carry three-time Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. from Post 8. First run in 1919 as the Pimlico Oaks, the Black-Eyed Susan was renamed in 1952 to honor the Preakness and Maryland’s state flower. Among its winners are Nellie Morse, who later became the only filly to then win the Preakness; Hall of Famers Gallorette, Twilight Tear, Davona Dale, Real Delight, Royal Delta, Serena’s Song and Silverbulletday; and divisional champions Vagrancy, But Why Not and Wistful.

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5.10.2021:

Harpers First Ride Seeks Repeat in G3 Pimlico Special

BALTIMORE – His owner, trainer and jockey will be different, but the scenery will be the same for Harpers First Ride when the defending champion returns to the site of his biggest victory in the historic $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3) Friday at Pimlico Race Course. The 51st running of the Pimlico Special, on the eve of the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1), is one of six stakes, four graded, worth $1 million in purses on a spectacular 14-race card headlined by the 97th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies. Other graded stakes on the program are the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) for 3-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs, and $150,000 Allaire du Pont (G3) for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/8 miles. Rounding out the stakes action are a pair of turf events, the $100,000 Hilltop for 3-year-old fillies at one mile, and $100,000 The Very One, a five-furlong dash for females 3 and older. First race post time is 11:30 a.m. Harpers First Ride had raced five straight times in Maryland with wins in the Deputed Testamony, Pimlico Special, Richard W. Small and Native Dancer to cap his 4-year-old campaign when he was sold by owner-trainer Claudio Gonzalez prior to a start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park, won by Knicks Go. GTMP Stables, Arnold Bennewith and Cypress Creek Equine moved the Paynter gelding to trainer Robertino Diodoro in the Midwest, where he finished fourth in the March 13 Essex Handicap and third in a 1 ½-mile allowance April 11, both at Oaklawn Park under Diodoro’s go-to rider, David Cohen. “We had some issues with his feet, and we got those fixed up,” Diodoro said. “To be honest, this is the best he’s been doing since we’ve had him. He’s doing really well. He worked really good at Churchill. Ever since we got some different shoes on him, the last couple of weeks he’s been like a completely different horse. We’re actually pretty excited about next Friday.” According to Diodoro, the 1:03 official time for Harpers First Ride’s five-furlong work May 7 was misleading. The trainer said the horse actually worked seven-eighths of a mile, a move designed to continue past the wire and into the turn. “David Cohen and I were talking that the time is definitely deceiving,” he said. “He did it very well. I would read absolutely nothing into the time.… I think we had the horse maybe 80, 90 percent the last couple of times. I feel like we’ve got him 100 percent now.” Cohen will ride back from Post 7 in a field of 11 at 122 pounds. Also returning from last year’s Pimlico Special are Forewarned and Cordmaker. Trin-Brook Stables, Inc.’s Forewarned, a 6-year-old Flat Out gelding, is a three-time stakes winner against fellow Ohio-breds who ran third in the Westchester (G3) last summer at Belmont Park and was fifth in the 2019 Whitney (G1) and Woodward (G1) as well as the Pimlico Special. He carries topweight of 126 pounds including 2020 Eclipse Award-winning apprentice Alexander Crispin from Post 3. Hillwood Stable’s multiple stakes-winning Maryland-bred Cordmaker is making his third straight appearance in the Pimlico Special, having run third by two necks in 2019 and 2 ½ lengths in 2020. Last year’s race came during a career-long winless drought for Cordmaker of 10 races spanning more than 17 months. Second or third in six of those starts, all of them in stakes, he returned to the winner’s circle with a front-running one-length triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Harrison E. Johnson Memorial March 13 at Laurel Park. “It had to be good for him because it got him more confidence. He ran a really nice race. We hope between that and the way he’s been training that he’s up to this,” trainer Rodney Jenkins said. “He’s doing really well. The horse is probably has never done better in his life than he’s doing now … I hope he runs as good as he’s training.” Regular rider Victor Carrasco has the call from Post 8. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen won the 2019 Pimlico Special with Tenfold, who ran fourth last year in his title defense. Asmussen returns this year with George Hall and BLX Thoroughbreds Corp.’s Max Player, racing for the first time since running 11th in the $20 million Saudi Cup Feb. 20. Max Player won the Withers (G3) in his third career start last February, then ran third in the Belmont (G1) and Travers (G1) and fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) during a Triple Crown trail reshuffled amid the coronavirus pandemic. He came to Baltimore for the Preakness (G1), where he rallied to be fifth behind filly Swiss Skydiver. “Physically, he’s as good as he’s ever been,” Asmussen’s assistant, Scott Blasi, said. “His works have been solid. It should be a good spot for him. And, the Special has been good to us.” Ricardo Santana Jr. will be aboard from Post 5 for Asmussen, who also won the then-Grade 1 Pimlico Special with Student Council in 2008. Newly elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, trainer Todd Pletcher will be going after his third Pimlico Special victory after winning previously in successive years with Revolutionary (2014) and Commissioner (2015). His candidate this year is WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Fearless, winner of the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) Feb. 27 in his first start in eight months. Last time out, he rallied to be second by a half-length to Silver State in the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 17. “[He’s doing] very good,” Pletcher said. “He was very good in his first start and just missed in his second. He seems to be in good form.” Three-time defending Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. has the assignment from Post 2. Trainer Mike Maker will send out the pair of Last Judgment and Treasure Trove. Michael Dubb, Steve Hornstock, Bethlehem Stables and Nice Guys Stables’ Last Judgment has two wins from four starts this year, both in Florida – the 1 1/8-mile Sunshine Classic Jan. 16 at Gulfstream and the 1 1/16-mile Challenger (G3) March 6 at Tampa Bay Downs. Most recently he was second after setting the pace in the 1 1/8-mile Ghostzapper (G3) March 27 at Gulfstream. Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Treasure Trove was claimed for $40,000 out of a win last fall at Indiana Downs. Though he has gone winless in five tries since, three of his losses have been by less than three lengths including a three-quarter-length loss when fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Ben Ali (G3) April 10 at Keeneland, his most recent start. He was fourth by 2 ¼ lengths in the 1 ½-mile Temperence Hill March 13 at Oaklawn. “We should be well-represented there,” Maker said. “Treasure Trove got beat maybe three-quarters of a length in the Ben Ali and ran last, had a wide trip … He ran fourth in the mile-and-a-half at Oaklawn, got beat a couple of lengths. The race before in an allowance race there, he came up the rail and had to take up a little and wait and just got beat.” Jose Ortiz will ride Last Judgment from outside Post 11, while Luis Saez has the call on Treasure Trove from Post 9. Pam and Martin Wygod’s Modernist is a two-time graded-stakes winner, having taken the 2020 Risen Star (G2) and the 1 1/8-mile Excelsior (G3) April 3 at Aqueduct last time out. Junior Alvarado rides from Post 1 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, whose lone previous Pimlico Special victory came with Hall of Famer Cigar in 1995. Completing the field are multiple stakes winner Alwaysmining; 2020 Lecomte (G3) winner Enforceable, third by a half-length in the New Orleans Classic (G2) March 20; and Prioritize, third in the 2020 Woodward (G1) and unraced since running fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last October. The Pimlico Special was created in 1937 by Alfred Vanderbilt, the master of Sagamore Farm, as the first major stakes in the United States set up as an invitational, and was won by Triple Crown champion War Admiral. The following year, War Admiral was upset by Seabiscuit in what Sports Illustrated called the ‘Race of the Century.’ Revived in 1988 by late Maryland Jockey Club president Frank De Francis, the Special’s illustrious roster of winners also includes Triple Crown winners Whirlaway, Citation and Assault, and modern-day Horses of the Year Criminal Type, Cigar, Skip Away, Mineshaft and Invasor.

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5.6.2021:

Luke Peltz is 2021 Preakness Big Bet Sweeps Winner

Xpressbet and 1/ST BET are thrilled to congratulate its 2021 Preakness Big Bet Sweepstakes Grand Prize Winner, Luke Peltz.  Luke has won the opportunity to make a $20,000 Win bet on a singular horse of his choosing in Preakness 146 on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at Pimlico Race Course. Preakness Big Bet entrants received sweepstakes entries for every bet they made with Xpressbet and 1/ST BET between April 2 – May 2, 2021, along with bonus entries for bets made on weekdays and on 1/ST tracks – Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Maryland Jockey Club and Golden Gate Fields. With well over one million entries received, Luke’s victory is truly a ‘once in a million’ score.  In addition to a $20,000 Grand Prize bet, Xpressbet and 1/ST BET also selected ten (10) Second Prize Winners to receive a $500 Wagering Credit and fifty (50) Third Prize Winners each received a $100 Wagering Credit.  As of Thursday, May 6, Preakness probables include Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, as well as Concert Tour, Midnight Bourbon, Unbridled Honor, Keepmeinmind, Rombauer, Crowded Trade and Japanese invader, France Go De Ina.  Visit xpressbet.com/promotions for the latest offers. 

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4.15.2021:

Saturday, April 17: Gulfstream Set for Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A mandatory 20-cent Rainbow 6 payout is set for Saturday’s program at Gulfstream Park, where the pool is expected to swell into the multi-millions should the popular multi-race wager go unsolved Friday. The Rainbow 6 went unsolved Thursday for the 10th racing day in a row since a mandatory payout on the March 27 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) program. Friday’s Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $800,000. Tickets with all six winners were each worth $31,240.54 Thursday. The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is usually 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 usually goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool. However, on mandatory-payout days, the entire pool is paid out to the bettor or bettors with the most winners in the six-race sequence.         Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-12, including full fields and four turf races, with a weekend forecast calling for sunny skies and a negligible chance of rain. Friday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9 and will also include four highly competitive turf races. Todd Pletcher-trained Exact will seek his third-straight victory in Race 4 while taking a jump from claiming company into the five-furlong optional claiming starter allowance on turf for 3-year-old fillies. The daughter of Competitive Edge graduated by 4 ¾ lengths in a $16,000 maiden claiming race while going from dirt to turf. She came right back to win a $35,000 claiming race by 4 ¾ lengths in a five-furlong turf dash last time out. In Race 6, a field of 3-year-olds will contest a five-furlong optional claiming allowance on turf featuring the 2021 debut of Mark Casse-trained Bright Devil. The Irish-bred son of Dark Angel, who broke his maiden at first asking last June at Newmarket, has been unraced since finishing seventh in the Futurity (G3) at Belmont in his U.S. debut Oct. 11. Grade 1 stakes-placed Kroy will make his first start since joining Carlos David’s stable through a claim in Race 8, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance for Florida-breds on turf. Kroy, who finished second in the 2017 Mathis Mile (G1) at Del Mar, is coming off a front-running victory in the same condition. A maiden special weight race for fillies and mares at five furlongs on turf will wrap up the Rainbow 6 sequence. Ralph Nicks-trained Wise Memories, a daughter of Tapit who is scheduled to make her debut, is a half sister to Wickedly Perfect, who captured the 2010 Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland. Earlier on Friday’s Program, the 2021 juvenile racing season at Gulfstream will kick off in Race 2, a $65,000 maiden special weight race that attracted four colts and three fillies.

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4.4.2021:

Jose Morelos Notches First US Win at Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A rising star in Panama, jockey Jose Morelos notched his first victory in the United States Sunday at Gulfstream Park. The 20-year-old jockey, who had ridden 503 winners in Panama after launching his career at the age of 16, guided Wild Cat West ($12.40) to victory in Race 5, a mile maiden race for $12,500 claimers. “I’m very grateful to the trainer for giving me the opportunity,” Morelos said through an interpreter. “I’m looking forward to a lot of better things to come in the future.” Morelos saved ground aboard the Luis Ramirez trainee while rating behind a contested pace into the homestretch turn. Wildcat Cat West, who lacked room entering the stretch, was taken four wide for the stretch drive, and the son of Mineshaft kicked in through the stretch to graduate by a neck. Morelos’ victory came on his 10th mount since his U.S. debut April 1. Jay Rushing is his agent.

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3.31.2021:

Medina Spirit Headlines Field of 10 for Grade 1 RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 31, 2021) — A truly dominant force in American racing, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will send out likely favorite Medina Spirit in Saturday’s Grade I, $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, a race that he’s won a record nine times.  Baffert will also saddle longshot Defunded as 10 sophomores go a mile and one eighth in the race that has produced a total of 19 Kentucky Derby winners. First run in 1935, Saturday will mark the 84th running of the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, which will be broadcast live on NBCSN.  With 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stakes, 100 go to the winner, with 40, 20 and 10 points awarded to the next three finishers. Medina Spirit, who was second, beaten eight lengths by his recently sidelined stablemate Life is Good in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, was a gate to wire winner of the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes two starts back on Jan. 30 and is regarded as a hard-trying over-achiever. A Florida-bred colt by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Protonico, Medina Spirit was purchased for a bargain $35,000 out of 2-year-old in training sale last year and has done nothing wrong in four starts.  A first-out maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs at Los Alamitos Dec. 11, he then flew to be second, beaten three quarters of a length by Life Is Good going a flat mile in the Grade III Sham Stakes here on Jan. 2. With plenty of natural speed and two wins from four starts, Medina Spirit, who will be ridden by John Velazquez, looms the horse to beat as tries a mile and one eighth for the first time.  Owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., Medina Spirit has earnings of $165,200. The biggest question mark in the Runhappy Derby field is John Sadler’s Rock Your World.  Unbeaten in two starts, both on grass, this $650,000 Keeneland September Yearling comes off a rousing win in the one mile Pasadena Stakes Feb. 27.  If he can act on dirt like he has on turf, Rock Your World, who was bred in Kentucky by Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally and his wife Debbie, rates a huge chance with Umberto Rispoli up. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC and Talla Racing, LLC, Rock Your World is out of the multiple graded stakes producing Charm the Maker, who is by Empire Maker.  With four works since his Pasadena win, Rock Your World’s most recent drill came on Sunday, when he smoked a bullet five eighths on the main track in 59.20, best of 82 at the distance. Bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation and owned by Don Alberto and Qatar Racing, LLC, Roman Centurian was never a factor when beaten 13 ½ lengths by Life Is Good in the Grade II San Felipe March 6, but it was a race in which everyone seemingly conceded the lead to the winner early and the race was for all intents and purposes, over when the field turned up the backstretch.  An impressive second, beaten a neck by Medina Spirit two starts back in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Jan. 30, Roman Centurian broke his maiden at a mile and one sixteenth by 3 ¾ lengths on Jan. 3 and appears poised to bring his best for trainer Simon Callaghan on Saturday. Out of the Bernardini mare Spare Change, Roman Centurian would certainly benefit from a fast early pace and will hope to be finishing as he was in the Lewis. Second, beaten a nose by Derby hopeful Speilberg three starts back as a maiden in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 19, the Doug O’Neill-trained The Great One was subsequently a smashing 14 length maiden going a flat mile here on Jan. 23, earning a career-top 92 Beyer Speed figure. Fifth, beaten 16 ¾ lengths by Life Is Good in the San Felipe, The Great One need only run back to his maiden win to be a major force on Saturday.  Owned in-part by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson’s ERJ Racing, LLC, Train Wreck Al Racing Stables, Niall Brennan, Tom Fritz and William Strauss, The Great One is well seasoned, with six starts to his credit, four of them dirt routes. While passively handled in the San Felipe, look for The Great One to again utilize his considerable speed and press or make the early lead on Saturday with regular rider Abel Cedillo up.  Bred in Louisiana, The Great One, named for NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, is by O’Neill’s 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.  A lights-out first time maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 7, trainer Peter Eurton’s Dream Shake was subsequently third, beaten 10 ¼ lengths by Life Is Good in the San Felipe March 6.  Dismissed at 20-1 in his debut, Dream Shake earned a lofty 96 Beyer and was suddenly in the Derby conversation.  A $75,000 2-year-old in training sale purchase last April, Dream Shake has trained well since the San Felipe, with a bullet five furlongs in 58.20 on March 20 (best of 75) and another five eighths in 59.80 on March 27. With the San Felipe behind him, Dream Shake will be making his second route start and be ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat.  By Twirling Candy out of the Street Cry mare Even Song, Dream Shake, according to Eurton has done everything right since he first arrived and could improve by many lengths in what will be his third start. Like Dream Shake, Baffert’s Defunded will also be making his third start, but he’ll be trying two turns for the first time.  In his second start here on March 6, Defunded acted like a colt that will relish a route, as he rallied from far back into splits of 21.60, 44.80 and 57.40 en route to an impressive 2 ½ length win.  Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Defunded looms a dangerous commodity as “The Other Baffert.”  By Dialed In out of the Touch Gold mare Wind Caper, Defunded was purchased for $210,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling.  THE GRADE I RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 8 of 12  Approximate post time 4:15 p.m. PT 1. Roman Centurian — Juan Hernandez — 1242. Dream Shake—Flavien Prat — 1243. Rock Your World — Umberto Rispoli — 1244. Parnelli — Edwin Maldonado — 1245. Back Ring Luck — Tyler Baze — 1246. Ottothelegend — Mario Gutierrez — 1247. Medina Spirit — John Velazquez — 1248. Law Professor — Kent Desormeaux — 1249. The Great One — Abel Cedillo — 12410. Defunded — Mike Smith — 124

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3.29.2021:

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 Results

Here are the results from the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 Program # Sire Name Final Odds $2 Payoff 1Caddo River16 $35.00 2Candy Man Rocket71 $145.00 3Collaborate29 $61.60 4 Concert Tour 17 $37.60 5 Dream Shake 71 $145.40 6 Essential Quality 5 $13.80 7 Freedom Fighter 84 $171.20 8 Greatest Honour 6 $15.60 9 Highly Motivated 36 $75.40 10 Hot Rod Charlie 53 $108.00 11 Hush of a Storm 99 $295.00 12 Keepmeinmind 30 $62.40 13 Life Is Good 2 $6.00 14 Mandaloun 17 $36.20 15 Medina Spirit 39 $81.00 16 Midnight Bourbon 52 $107.20 17 Prevalence 29 $61.00 18 Proxy 41 $85.80 19 Risk Taking 42 $86.80 20 Roman Centurian 94 $191.00 21 Rombauer 99 $220.80 22 Spielberg 63 $128.40 23 The Great One 79 $160.00 24 All Other Three Year Olds 7 $16.00 More 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info.

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3.29.2021:

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5 Results

Here are the results from the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5 Program # Sire Name Final Odds $2 Payoff 1 Big Lake SCR $2.00 2 Caddo River 33 $69.40 3 Collaborate 36 $74.40 4 Concert Tour 5 $13.00 5 Crowded Trade 38 $78.40 6 Dream Shake 45 $92.00 7 Essential Quality 4 $10.20 8 Greatest Honour 9 $20.80 9 Helium 28 $59.80 10 Hidden Stash 53 $109.60 11 Highly Motivated 25 $53.80 12 Hot Rod Charlie 12 $26.20 13 Hozier 44 $91.40 14 Mandaloun 36 $75.40 15 Medina Spirit 13 $28.80 16 Midnight Bourbon 27 $56.80 17 O Besos 50 $102.20 18 Prevalence 21 $45.40 19 Proxy 51 $105.60 20 Risk Taking 30 $62.80 21 Rock Your World 31 $65.00 22 Spielberg 46 $95.00 23 Weyburn 35 $72.80 24 All Other Three Year Olds 5 $12.80 More 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info.

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3.23.2021:

Bob Baffert Makes Curlin Florida Derby Debut with Spielberg

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A mix of talent, opportunity and timing has produced Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s first venture to Gulfstream Park for the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa. Baffert, the most successful trainer in Triple Crown history, will make his debut Saturday in Gulfstream Park’s steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby (G1) with Spielberg, a chestnut son of Union Rags. Spielberg, who will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano in the 70th Florida Derby, won the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) on Dec. 19. In his most recent start, Spielberg finished second to Essential Quality, the 2020 2-year-old male champion, in the Southwest (G3) on Feb. 27 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Based in Southern California, Baffert has recorded some important victories in his 21 starts at Gulfstream Park. Twenty-nine years ago, he picked up his first Breeders’ Cup win with Thirty Slews in the Sprint (G1). More recently, he has won two runnings of the Pegasus World Cup (G1). Again this year, Baffert has a deep lineup of Kentucky Derby prospects vying for qualifying points for the May 1 Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs. He said the Florida Derby, with its 170 qualifying points contested five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, fit his schedule. Though unbeaten San Felipe (G2) winner Life is Good will miss the Triple Crown while recovering from an injury that required surgery, Baffert has San Felipe runner-up Medina Spirit for the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and the first two finishers in the Rebel (G2), Concert Tour and Hozier, for the Arkansas Derby (G1). He opted to send Spielberg to South Florida, where he will face Greatest Honour, whose three victories over the track include the Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Holy Bull (G3). “I have all these horses and I’m going to separate them out,” Baffert said. “[Spielberg] ran well at Arkansas. Broke horribly, came on and ran second. He wasn’t going to beat the winner. We’ll take him down there [to Florida]. See how he ships down there and see how he stacks up. The California horses, I think, are pretty strong. Maybe I can get lucky if I can win or run second. That would be nice. But it’s a tough task. We’ll give it a try.” The partnership of SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm LLC and Robert E. Masterson purchased Spielberg for $1 million as a yearling as the 2019 Keeneland September sale. He developed nicely and Baffert sent him out for his first race on Aug. 8 at Del Mar. After that second-place finish, Baffert moved him into Grade 1 company, where he was second in the Del Mar Futurity and third as the favorite in the American Pharoah. He stepped back into a maiden race to capture his first win by a neck and has been in graded stakes since. The Florida Derby will be his ninth career start, the most for any of the horses expected to be entered for the 1 1/8 miles race. Spielberg had problems at the start of his last two races, which left him far off the early pace and compromised his chances. He was bumped at the start of the Robert Lewis (G3) on Jan. 30 and ended up fourth. In the Southwest under Martin Garcia, he was not prepared when the gates opened. Repeating his mantra, what he typically offers in his pre-race analysis, Baffert said, “They’ve got to get away. To me, it’s all about getting away. They’ve got to get away from there.” Baffert did say that Spielberg ran well in the Southwest after the poor start. Through the years while amassing a record-tying six wins in the Kentucky Derby and a record 16 victories in the Triple Crown, Baffert has won prep races in New York, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. He selected the Florida Derby for Spielberg because of its place on the calendar five weeks ahead of the Kentucky Derby, rather than four-week options. Spielberg’s sire, Union Rags, was third as the favorite in the 2012 Florida Derby. He went on to capture the Belmont Stakes (G1) and is one of the 60 winners of Triple Crown races who have competed in the Florida Derby. According to Equibase statistics, Baffert has a 4-4-2 record in his 21 starts, all in stakes races, at Gulfstream Park and has earned $12,362,950 in purse money. Each of the victories was in a Grade 1 race. Baffert won with his first Gulfstream runner, Thirty Slews in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup, and with his his most recent starter, Mucho Gusto in the 2020 Pegasus World Cup. He also won the 2001 Donn Handicap with Captain Steve and the inaugural Pegasus World Cup with Arrogate. Prior to Arrogate’s victory in 2017, the trainer’s first Gulfstream starter in 10 years, Baffert reflected on Thirty Slews’ victory. He said it was “just like a fairy tale race for me,” with the first Thoroughbred he had purchased – for $30,000 – as he transitioned from training Quarter Horses. “When he hit the wire, I was up there in the box and I thought that I had reached just the pinnacle of my career,” he said, laughing. “I thought, ‘Man, this is not going to get any better than this.’ I had just won a Breeders’ Cup Sprint. I was just jumping up and down.” Post positions for the Florida Derby will be drawn Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. and can be viewed at GulfstreamPark.com.    

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3.21.2021:

Spielberg 'Doing Well' for Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Spielberg breezed five furlongs Sunday morning at Santa Anita Park while tuning up for a scheduled start at Gulfstream Park in Saturday’s $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, the son of Union Rags was timed in 59.40 seconds, the second fastest clocking of 81 workouts recorded at the distance.Workout Video from XBTV “He went well. He’s very workmanlike and he’s steady,” Baffert said. “He’s doing well.” Spielberg is slated to make his third 2021 start in the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, which has produced the winners of 60 Triple Crown events. In his 2021 debut, the Kentucky-bred colt stumbled at the start of the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita before finishing fourth behind Baffert-trained winner Medina Spirit. He then finished second Feb. 27 in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park behind unbeaten Essential Quality. Spielberg had a productive six-race juvenile campaign, in which he finished second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and third in the American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita before breaking his maiden in his fourth start. He went on to win the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) two starts later. Javier Castellano has the mount on Spielberg, who is owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm LLC and Robert Masterson.

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3.20.2021:

Known Agenda Works Ahead of Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda breezed five furlongs in 1:02.52 Saturday morning at Palm Beach Downs, tuning up for next Saturday’s $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa. “I thought he went great. The first eighth was a little slow. He went off in like 14 (seconds) and went the last half in 48-and-1. He looked good and seemed happy,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I’ve liked the way he’s been training since his last race.” Known Agenda is coming off a sharp 11-length optional claiming allowance victory Feb. 26 at Gulfstream Park at the 1 1/18-mile distance of the Florida Derby. After getting away last and finishing fifth in the Feb. 6 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, the son of Curlin was equipped with blinkers for the first time for his last start. Known Agenda holds the distinction of owning a decision over likely Florida Derby favorite Greatest Honour, whom he defeated by a head while graduating in a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight race Nov. 8 at Aqueduct. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount. At Gulfstream Park West, Papetu, who finished third in the Fountain of Youth following a very wide trip, breezed five furlongs in 1:12.80 Saturday morning in preparation for the Florida Derby. Sigiloso, a stablemate of Papetu, in the Antonio Sano barn, Siglioso was timed in 1:13.80 for five furlongs for the Florida Derby. Gustavo Delgado-trained Jirafales, who finished fifth in the Fountain of Youth following an awkward start, breezed five furlongs in 1:13.20.

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3.16.2021:

Greatest Honour Headlines G1 Curlin Florida Derby Nominations

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Courtlandt Farms’ Greatest Honour, an impressive winner of the Jan. 30 Holy Bull (G3) and Feb. 27 Fountain of Youth (G2), is atop the list of 25 Triple Crown hopefuls nominated to the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa at Gulfstream Park March 27. Greatest Honour, who also broke his maiden at Gulfstream Dec. 26, is trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who saddled Orb for victories in the 2013 Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby prior to his triumph in the Kentucky Derby (G1). The 70th running of the Florida Derby will highlight a program with 10 stakes, six graded, worth $1.85 million in purses. The tradition-rich 1 1/8-mile stakes has produced the winners of 60 Triple Crown events, as well as 24 Kentucky Derby winners, 19 Preakness Stakes (G1) winners and 17 Belmont Stakes (G1) champions. Last year’s Florida Derby winner Tiz the Law captured the Belmont. Greatest Honour has won all three of his starts at Gulfstream over the 1 1/16-mile distance while rallying from well off the pace. The son of Tapit was fourth at the top of the stretch in the Fountain of Youth before surging to a 1 ½-length victory. A total of 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points will be up for grabs in the Florida Derby on a 100-40-20-10 basis. Godolphin LLC’s Prevalence is among the most prominent 3-year-olds on the Florida Derby nominations list, having won his only two starts impressively, both at Gulfstream Park. The Brendan Walsh trainee debuted Jan. 23, winning a seven-furlong maiden special weight race by 8 ¼ lengths, handily. The homebred son of Medaglia d’Oro came back to win a mile optional claiming allowance by three lengths March 11. A decision on the Kentucky-bred colt’s next start has yet to be announced. Juddmonte Farms, Inc.’s Mandaloun, the winner of Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds, is nominated to the Florida Derby but is entered in Saturday’s Louisiana Derby (G2). John and Diane Franklin’s Rombauer, the Michael McCarthy-trained winner of the El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields, is also nominated but is not expected to run. St. Elias Stable’s Known Agenda is among the likely starters in this year’s Florida Derby, which has been won a record five times by the son of Curlin’s trainer, Todd Pletcher. The homebred colt, who finished third in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct in his juvenile season finale, rebounded from a fifth-place finish in his 2021 debut in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs with an eye-catching 11-length victory at Gulfstream in a Feb. 26 optional claiming allowance at the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby distance. Pletcher is also represented on the Florida Derby noms list by WinStar Farm LLC and CHC Inc.’s Sainthood, a Feb. 12 maiden winner at Fair Grounds following a narrow loss his Jan. 9 debut at Gulfstream. Michael Shanley’s Nova Rags, who finished second behind stablemate Candy Man Rocket in the Sam F. Davis, is expected to run in the Florida Derby. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the son of Union Rags had previously won the seven-furlong Pasco at Tampa. Three Chimneys Farm and eFive Racing Thoroughbreds’ Collaborate, a $600,000 yearling purchase, is scheduled to make the jump from the maiden special weight ranks to Grade 1 company after rebounding from a troubled debut to graduate in spectacular fashion Feb. 27, scoring by 12 ½ lengths under wraps. The son of Into Mischief is trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., who is also represented on the nominations list by Moonlite Strike, who finished third in the March 6 Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse is expected to be represented in the Florida Derby field by undefeated Soup and Sandwich, a Live Oak Plantation homebred who debuted at Gulfstream Jan. 29 with a dominating 7 ¼-length victory in a 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight event. The son of Into Mischief came back to capture a two-turn optional claiming allowance at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 24 by 2 ¾ lengths. Soup and Sandwich will be among the Florida-bred nominees who will be eligible for $100,000 in Florida-bred bonus money. Magic Stables LLC’s Papetu, who finished third in the Fountain of Youth following a very wide trip from his outside post position, is expected to return in the Florida Derby. The Antonio Sano-trained son of Dialed In had previously finished second in the Jan. 2 Mucho Macho Man and fourth in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream. Sano-trained Sigiloso, a son of Khozan owned by Gelfenstein Farm, is also nominated to the Florida Derby. The Florida-bred, who finished third in the Kitten’s Joy (G3) on turf two starts back, is eligible for a $100,000 ‘Win Only’ bonus offered to Florida Sire Stakes-nominated horses. Trainer Dale Romans is represented by four 3-year-olds on the Florida Derby nominations list, including Albaugh Family Stables LLC’s Sittin on Go and Smiley Sobotka, West Point Thoroughbreds and Peacock Stable’s King’s Ovation and Jim Bakke and Gerry Isbister’s Ultimate Badger. The Florida Derby will be supported by an undercard with nine other stakes – $200,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), $200,000 Pan American (G2), $100,000 Ghostzapper (G3), $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Appleton (G3), $100,000 Orchid (G3), the $100,000 Sir Shackleton, $100,000 Sand Springs, the $100,000 Cutler Bay, and $100,000 Sanibel Island.

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3.3.2021:

$6 Million Pool Looms for Santa Anita Pick 6 Mandatory Payout

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2021) — Providing there is no Single Ticket winner on Sunday or Friday, Santa Anita Park has announced there will be a mandatory payout in its popular 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot on Santa Anita Handicap day, next Saturday, March 6 and track officials project the total Rainbow Six pool could reach $6 million. There was no Single Ticket winner today, resulting in a carryover of $509,265 into Sunday’s nine-race card, which gets underway at 12:30 p.m.  Approximate post time for Sunday’s fourth race, the beginning of the Rainbow Six, is at 2:06 p.m. PT. With a carryover from Friday of $460,345, there was $213,688 in new money wagered today, creating a total Jackpot pool of $674,033.  Although there was no Single Ticket winner, there were 34 consolation tickets with six winners, each worth $3,399.25. Sunday’s main event is the $100,000 Tiznow Stakes, for California-bred or sired horses four and up at one mile.  Santa Anita morning line maker Jon White has installed the Harris Farms homebred Fashionably Fast as the 6-5 morning line favorite. All of Santa Anita’s races are offered free of charge at santaanita.com/live, as is a pre-race seminar hosted by Tom Quigley, which will get underway at 11:20 a.m.  For entries, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.

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2.25.2021:

Fountain of Youth Sweepstakes Grand Prize Winner Announced

Xpressbet and 1/ST BET would like to thank all customers who participated in its $15,000 Fountain of Youth Sweepstakes between February 12 and February 21, 2021. Participating customers received Sweepstakes entries for every bet they made with Xpressbet and 1/ST BET during the promo period, with bonus entries awarded for bets made on weekdays and on 1/ST racetracks and bets.  All winners have been notified and we are pleased to announce that our $5,000 Grand Prize Winner is Warren T. from Rowland Heights, CA.  Warren has been an Xpressbet customer for more than a decade and is ‘extremely excited’ to be the Grand Prize Winner.  In addition to the $5,000 Grand Prize, ten Second Prize Winners each received a $500 Betting Voucher and fifty Third Prize Winners received $100 Betting Vouchers.   Thanks again to everyone who played and be sure to check out future Sweepstakes, Promotions and Tournaments offered by Xpressbet and 1/ST BET.    Sweepstakes Official Rules

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2.14.2021:

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 Results

Here are the results from the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Program # Sire Name Final Odds $2 Payoff 1Caddo River15 $33.00 2Candy Man Rocket35 $73.60 3Concert Tour17 $36.60 4Dream Shake28 $58.60 5Essential Quality8 $18.80 6Fire At Will30 $62.60 7Freedom Fighter52 $106.80 8Greatest Honour9 $21.80 9Highly Motivated37 $77.00 10Hot Rod Charlie35 $73.60 11Jackie's Warrior26 $55.20 12Keepmeinmind25 $52.20 13Life Is Good7 $17.40 14Mandaloun16 $34.60 15Medina Spirit25 $53.00 16Midnight Bourbon41 $84.20 17Nova Rags91 $184.40 18Prevalence14 $31.80 19Risk Taking25 $52.40 20Roman Centurian41 $85.00 21Senor Buscador39 $81.60 22Swiftsure74 $150.20 23The Great One38 $79.80 24All Other Three Year Olds3 $8.60 More 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info.

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1.25.2021:

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Results

Here are the results from the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Program # Sire Name Final Odds $2 Payoff 1Bezos2655.2 2Caddo River1329.6 3Capo Kane66135.4 4Concert Tour1634.4 5Essential Quality818.8 6Fire At Will4592 7Greatest Honour4083.2 8Highly Motivated2451.4 9Hot Rod Charlie4083.8 10Jackie's Warrior2349.6 11Keepmeinmind1940.8 12Life Is Good716.4 13Mandaloun4286.6 14Medina Spirit2451.4 15Midnight Bourbon2654 16Mutasaabeq4797.4 17Olympiad64131.8 18Prate4899.2 19Prime Factor2144.2 20Proxy76154.8 21Senor Buscador3470.8 22Spielberg4797 23Wipe the Slate87176.8 24All Other Three Year Olds9/55.8 More 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info.

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1.23.2021:

Knicks Go Dominates 2021 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 2021 racing season started the same way last year ended for Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) unleashed another display of sheer brilliance and class to capture the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1). The Pegasus, a 1 1/8-mile event for 4-year-olds and up, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) co-headlined a 12 -race program that also included five other graded stakes. Brad Cox-trained Knicks Go, who set a Keeneland track record with a front-running performance in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, showed his heels to his 11 rivals while capturing the 5th running of the Pegasus by 2 ¾ lengths. “He is one of the top handicap horses in the country now. He’s a top horse. This is what you get up for every day, seven days a week, long days for moments like this,” Cox said. “I’m very proud of the horse and my team and thank the Korea Racing Authority for the opportunity with this horse.” Knicks Go broke alertly to round the first turn on top to show the way along the backstretch while pressed briefly by Last Judgment and stalked by Tax. After setting fractions of 22.90 and 46.16 seconds for the first half mile, Knicks Go maintained complete control under a motionless Joel Rosario on the far turn and on the turn into the homestretch. Under just mild encouragement from Rosario, the 5-year-old son of Paynter offered a powerful kick at the top of the stretch and drew clear under wraps. “He’s a very special horse. He just goes faster and faster,” Rosario said. “He was really enjoying what he was doing out there, so I was never worried about somebody getting close to me.” Jesus’ Team, who finished second behind Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, settled behind the pace in fifth along the backstretch before making a wide move into the stretch and closing steadily in to finish second under Irad Ortiz Jr.  Independence Hall saved ground in fourth before making a bid in the stretch, falling just a neck short of holding off Jesus’s Team. Knicks Go was timed in 1:47.89 while carrying his brilliant speed over 1 1/8 miles. “I felt comfortable. Joel had a hold on him. He had a little pressure on the outside, but he was fresh from the Breeders’ Cup, so I was confident he would stay on,” Cox said. Knicks Go, a Grade 1 winner at 2, was winless in eight starts in 2019 before being transferred to Cox for the 2020 season. The Maryland-bred speedster won all three starts last year by a combined 21 ½ lengths, all in front-running fashion. “It’s a very prestigious race. I know it hasn’t been around that long, but when you look at past winners, it’s a very prestigious list of horses that have won it – world champions, actually, with Gun Runner and Arrogate,” Cox said. “They weren’t just national horses. They competed and won on the world stage, so it’s a big race.”

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1.23.2021:

Colonel Liam Flies Late to Win Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam, the least experienced contender in the richest grass race of the winter season, looked like a seasoned pro in his graded-stakes debut, powering through the stretch to edge Grade 2-winning stablemate Largent by a neck in Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The third running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf and the fifth renewal of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt, both for 4-year-olds and up, comprised the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, headlining a blockbuster 12-race program that featured seven graded-stakes worth $4.725 million in purses. Colonel Liam ($7) completed the distance in 1:53.09 over a firm course to lead a Todd Pletcher-trained exacta with Largent, winner of the Fort Lauderdale (G2) Dec. 12 at Gulfstream in his previous start. Cross Border, trying to give trainer Mike Maker his second straight Pegasus Turf victory, was third followed by multiple graded-stakes winner Social Paranoia – the third of Pletcher’s talented trio. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the way they all ran,” Pletcher said. “It was a heck of a race between Largent and Colonel Liam at the end. I thought Social Paranoia put in a huge effort from the 12 post. Just really, really happy with all three of them.” It was the first Pegasus win for Pletcher and second in three editions of the Turf for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., also winning with eventual 2019 Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar. Ortiz won the 2020 Pegasus World Cup with Mucho Gusto. “This is just unreal. It’s fantastic,” Robert Low said. “We just had a great combination. We had the horse, we had the trainer, we had the rider, and they got it done. We’re just very, very thankful and very grateful. It’s a wonderful feeling.” Sent off as the 5-2 top choice, Colonial Liam was unhurried racing in mid-pack as Storm the Court, winless since being named the 2-year-old male champion of 2019, and multiple graded-stakes winner Anothertwistafate took the field through splits of 23.59 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 48.69 for a half and six furlongs in 1:12.85. Largent saved ground in fourth with Social Paranoia right behind after working his way over from outside Post 12. Ortiz sat chilly on Colonial Liam while waiting for room around the turn, advancing to fourth just a half-length off the lead. Ortiz found an opening and tipped outside approaching the stretch, setting down for a drive once straightened for home. They were able to get by Social Paranoia, who briefly held a lead near the eighth pole, then outsprinted Largent, who snuck through a seam along the rail and dug in under Paco Lopez. “In the second and third quarter everybody slowed down and I got good position. I waited inside and got through a little late,” Lopez said. “If I was able to get through earlier, it might have been different.” Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Largent, a two-time Virginia-bred stakes winner in addition to his Fort Lauderdale triumph, now has six wins and four seconds in 10 lifetime tries. “He’s run 10 times now and has never been worse than second,” Pletcher said. “He ran a hell of a race today and just was on the tough side of a stretch duel there.” Tyler Gaffalione had to navigate through traffic to get up for third with Three Diamonds Farm’s Cross Border, promoted winner of the Bowling Green (G2) and second as the favorite in the Sword Dancer (G1) last summer at Saratoga. They were two lengths behind Largent. “It wasn’t an ideal trip. He didn’t get away the smoothest and there was a lot of traffic around the first turn and down the backside,” Gaffalione said. “We were just trying to wait for a spot but nothing really developed until we came into the stretch and then a spot opened up. He really finished up well. It’s a shame. I felt like I had more horse and I could have finished better but definitely a very encouraging race moving forward.” The Elkstone Group’s Social Paranoia was only a half-length behind Cross Border in fourth. He won the Appleton (G3) over the Gulfstream course last winter and was coming in off back-to-back victories five months apart – the Poker (G3) at Belmont Park last July and an optional claiming allowance Dec. 16 at Gulfstream. “He still dug in and put his head in front at one point. He made everyone run and it was a great effort from him,” Pletcher said. “I think with a little better draw he would have been a little closer.” Following Social Paranoia under the wire were Pixelate, Next Shares, Storm the Court, Aquaphobia, Breaking the Rules, North Dakota, Say the Word and Anothertwistafate. Colonel Liam was purchased for $1.2 million as a 2-year-old in training in April 2019 and began his career on dirt, with one win via disqualification and a third in two tries, both last spring at Gulfstream. He has since won three of four on the grass, including a 3 ¼-length triumph in the Dec. 26 Tropical Park Derby to punch his Pegasus ticket. The lone loss came by less than a length in the Saratoga Derby (G1). “We really were [confident]. He showed us a lot of ability in his couple of starts on the grass. We felt like he was getting better and better,” Pletcher said. “We loved the way he handled the turf in the Tropical Derby and he had trained great. We were very optimistic, He’s a little less experienced than some of the other horses, but I think this proves his quality.”

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1.20.2021:

Knicks Go Headlines Field for 2021 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go is scheduled to seek the biggest payday of his career in Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park while also pursuing lucrative future considerations. “It’s a very prestigious race. It hasn’t been around that long, but with the likes of Gun Runner, Arrogate and City of Light, there are champions that have won this race. It means a whole lot. It’s a race that can make a stallion, and we’re still trying to do that with Knicks Go,” trainer Brad Cox said. “He’ll be a stallion at some point. This would mean a lot and do a lot for his value as a stallion. Not only is it a great purse, but it’s going to add a lot of value if he’s able to win the race.” The Pegasus, which will be contested at 1 1/8 miles for the richest purse for older horses in North America not associated with the Breeders’ Cup, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), a 1 3/16-mile turf feature for older horses, will co-headline a 12-race program that will also offer the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), $125.000 Fred W. Hooper (G3), $125,000 William. L. McKnight (G3), $125,000 La Prevoyante (G3) and the $125,000 Marsha’s River (G3). First-race post time is set for 11:40 a.m. Advance wagering on the Pegasus program will be available on Friday. The late Pick 4 and Late Pick 5 pools will both be guaranteed at $750,000. Knicks Go will enter the fifth running of the Pegasus off three straight victories in as many starts in 2020, including a track record-breaking triumph under Joel Rosario in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt (G2) at Keeneland. Installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a field of 12 after drawing Post. No. 4 Wednesday, Knicks Go will have to prove himself by trying to carry his abundant speed beyond 1 1/16-miles, the longest distance he has run during his 17-race career.   “I haven’t raced a lot at Gulfstream, but I think speed is always a good thing there. I’m a big believer that speed is good at a mile and an eighth and beyond - obviously it depends on how much other speed is in the race. But I think he can get it. I think he’s a horse that once he gets free and loose, he runs with a lot of confidence,” Cox said. “I’m excited. I really do think he’ll handle a mile and an eighth. In his three races with us last year, there was horse left,” he added. “In the Breeders’ Cup, Joel reached up and grabbed him four or five jumps from the wire, so he was still going.” Knicks Go is in the middle of a career resurgence since joining Cox’s stable in 2020. The Maryland-bred son of Paynter was a top 2-year-old in 2018, capturing the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland by 5 ½ lengths and finishing second behind Game Winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs. However, he went winless in 10 starts after his Breeders’ Futurity score. Knicks Go registered a front-running 7 ½-length victory for Cox in a Feb. 22 optional claiming allowance at Oaklawn Park before heading to the sidelines for seven months. He returned to action with a sensational 10 ¼-length romp in a Oct. 4 optional claiming allowance at Keeneland, encouraging his connections to give the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile a try. Knicks Go came through with a spectacular 3 ½-length, front-running victory in the track-record time of 1:33.85. Rosario has been awarded the return call aboard Knicks Go. W. S. Farish’s Code of Honor, a graded-stakes winner over the Gulfstream Park track, was rated second in the morning-line at 9-2 after drawing Post. No. 10. The Shug McGaughey-trained 5-year-old captured the 2019 Fountain of Youth (G2) before finishing third behind Maximum Security in the both the Florida Derby (G1) and the Kentucky Derby (G1). He went on to win the Travers (G1) at Saratoga and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) via the disqualification of Vino Rossi at Belmont Park. After winning the June 6 Westchester at Belmont to open his 2021 campaign, Code of Honor has been winless in four starts that include a third-place finish in the Met Mile (G1) at Belmont, a troubled fourth in the Whitney (G1) at Keeneland, a runner-up finish in the Kelso at Belmont, and a second-place finish in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. “In the Clark, he was bottled up there. By the time he got loose, the race was pretty much over. Before that, going a mile, Chad’s horse [Complexity] kind of controlled what was going on. I think Javier [Castellano] knew he had to be closer and move a little sooner,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “The Whitney was a throw out. His first race was good. I probably shouldn’t have run him in the Metropolitan Mile. He was wide and Vekoma got the trip. He’s a nice horse. Maybe this will be his day.” Tyler Gaffalione is scheduled to ride Code of Honor for the first time Saturday. “Obviously, he rides this racetrack very well and he’s very familiar with it,” McGaughey said. “He’s a very patient rider and that’s what Code of Honor wants, so I’m pleased to have him.” Randy Hill, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Hugh Lynch’s Tax is set to make his second straight start in the Pegasus, in which he finished off the board after stumbling at the start last year. The 5-year-old son of Arch, one of two returning Pegasus entrants, is coming off a dominating 4 ½-length victory in the Dec. 12 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream. “He’s better now than he’s ever been. We always knew he was a really good horse. He’s grown and developed into a better horse than he was last year. I think with age he’s getting better and getting stronger, healthier,” Gargan said. “He has a few little issues we had to work through, and he’s gotten through them. I’m expecting a big performance.” Luis Saez has the return mount aboard Tax, who drew Post No. 7 and was rated third at 5-1. Jim Bakke and Jerry Isbister’s Mr Freeze will seek to improve on a second-place finish behind Mucho Gusto in last year’s Pegasus. The Dale Romans-trained 6-year-old came right back from his big run in the Pegasus with a three-length victory in the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2). The son of To Honor and Serve has won one of six subsequent graded-stakes starts, capturing the 1 1/8-mile Fayette (G2) Oct. 10 sat Keeneland before finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and fifth in the Clark. Mr Freeze was rated at 15-1 after drawing the Post No. 11. “Mr Freeze has plenty of gas, so he can get out and settle where he needs to be. It’s a pretty fair race going a mile and an eighth here no matter where you draw,” said Romans, who named John Velazquez to ride Mr Freeze. “He loves this racetrack.” Romans is also scheduled to saddle Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust’s Coastal Defense for the Pegasus. The 5-year-old son of Curlin finished fourth in both the Fayette and Clark in his last two starts and is also rated at 15-1. Corey Lanerie has the mount. He is a grinder, so hopefully he can drop over before the first turn, Romans added. Thumbs Up Racing LLC’s Sleepy Eyes Todd, who is rated at 8-1 in the morning line, enters the Pegasus off a half-length victory in the seven-furlong Mr. Prospector Dec. 19 at Gulfstream, but the 5-year-old son of Paddy O’Prado was a front-running winner in the 1 1/8-mile Charles Town Classic (G2) in August. “I love the mile and an eighth,” trainer Miguel Silva said. “He already won at that distance and he performed really good at that distance. We’re just hoping that we have a different kind of trip. We don’t want to be on the lead and hopefully we can pick up horses at the end.” Jose Ortiz is scheduled to ride Sleepy Eyes Todd for the first time. Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Jesus’ Team is rated at 10-1 in the morning-line for the Pegasus on the strength of a pair of Grade 1 placings last year. After winning a $32,000 maiden claiming race at Gulfstream last March, the son of Tapiture went on the road to finish third in the Preakness (G1) and second behind Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The 4-year-old over-achiever returned to Gulfstream to prepare for a start in the Pegasus with a victory in the Claiming Crown Jewel Dec. 5. Jesus’ Team is trained by Jose D’Angelo, a former leading trainer in Venezuela before venturing to South Florida in 2019. “It’s very exciting. It is the most important race of our calendar in South Florida at Gulfstream Park,” D’Angelo said. “I think it’s a big test for both me and Jesus.” Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode Mucho Gusto to victory last year, is scheduled to ride Jesus’ Team for the first time Saturday. Trainer Michael McCarthy, who saddled City of Light for a 5 ¾-length romp in the 2019 Pegasus, is scheduled to saddle Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Twin Creek Racing Stables LLC, Robert and Kathleen Verratti’s Independence Hall. The 4-year-old son of Constitution, who finished fifth in last year’s Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream, came off a seven-month layoff to win a Nov. 8 allowance at Del Mar before finishing fifth in the seven-furlong Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita last time out. “There are a lot of unknowns with the horse. Can he handle a mile and an eighth? His one race at Gulfstream was just OK,” McCarthy said. “So, there are a lot of unknowns going into this.” Flavien Prat has the call. John Sondereker’s Kiss Today Goodbye enters the Pegasus after winning his first stakes in the Dec. 26 San Antonio (G2) at Santa Anita. The Eric Kruljac-trained 4-year-old son of Cairo Prince is rated at 12-1. Mike Smith, who rode Arrogate to victory in the 2018 Pegasus, has the call on Kiss Today Goodbye. Harpers First Ride, who has been privately purchased since his last start by GMP Stables LLC, Cypress Creek Equine and Arnold Bennewith, will seek his fifth stakes victory in six starts Saturday. The Claudio Gonzalez-trained 5-year-old son of Paynter will be ridden by regular jockey Angel Cruz. John Fanelli and partners’ Math Wizard will seek his first victory since capturing the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) in the Pegasus. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained 5-year-old son of Algorithms will be ridden by Edgard Zayas. Michael Dubb, Steve Hornstock, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Nice Guys Racing’s Last Judgment, who captured the Jan. 16 Sunshine Classic by 6 ½ lengths at Gulfstream Park, drew into the field upon the withdrawal of True Timber. The Michael Maker trainee will be ridden by Paco Lopez.

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1.20.2021:

Pletcher's Colonel Liam Installed as 2021 Pegasus Turf Favorite

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam, making just his sixth career start and first in graded company, figures to garner plenty of support in the richest grass stakes of the winter season, Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The third running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf and the fifth renewal of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt comprise the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, headlining a blockbuster 12-race program featuring seven graded-stakes worth $4.725 million in purses. First race post time is 11:40 a.m. EST. The Pegasus Turf will be part of NBC’s live national telecast from 4:30 to 6 p.m. This year, the Pegasus Turf will serve as a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for the $1 million Middle Distance Turf Handicap Feb. 20 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In addition, the Pegasus World Cup is a ‘Win and In’ race for the $20 million Saudi Cup. During Wednesday’s post-position draw inside Gulfstream’s Sport of Kings Theatre, Colonel Liam was made the narrow 7-2 program favorite over stablemate Largent (9-2) in a field of a dozen stakes winners, 10 of them graded, including Grade 1 winners Aquaphobia, Next Shares, Say the Word and Storm the Court, the 2-year-old male champion of 2019. Colonel Liam and Largent are part of trainer Todd Pletcher’s triple threat that includes Social Paranoia (8-1), also among the five horses listed at less than double-digit odds. The others are Anothertwistafate (5-1) and Say the Word (6-1). “The mile and three-sixteenths is a little different distance for Largent. He’s never been quite that far but the way he ran in the Fort Lauderdale going a mile and an eighth certainly gives you confidence he’ll handle it,” Pletcher said. “Social Paranoia has won as far as a mile and five-sixteenths, and Colonel Liam was a little bit unlucky in the Saratoga Derby at a mile and a quarter. I think [the distance] should work for all three of them,” he added. Colonel Liam, a 4-year-old son of Liam’s Map, is the least experienced runner in the Pegasus Turf.  Liam’s Map was a two-time Grade 1 winner on dirt for Pletcher, taking the 2015 Woodward and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. “It’s always fun when you’re training the offspring of a horse that you’ve trained,” Pletcher said. “It’s great to see Liam’s Map doing well as a stallion and showing his versatility of getting dirt horses and turf horses and good 2-year-olds, and showing that he’s capable of siring just about any type of horse.” A $1.2 million purchase as a 2-year-old in training in April 2019, Colonel Liam went unraced as a juvenile before debuting against older horses going a mile on dirt last April at Gulfstream, where he was placed first after finishing a troubled second. Moved to the grass for the first time in his third start, he beat his elders again in an open allowance at Saratoga, then encountered trouble again while running fourth, beaten less than a length, in the Saratoga Derby. Colonel Liam turned in his best performance to date last time out, rating in mid-pack off a moderate pace before coming with a four-wide move to take the lead and widen his advantage through the stretch to win the 1 1/16-mile Tropical Park Derby by 3 ¼ lengths Dec. 26 at Gulfstream. “Very impressed,” Pletcher said. “I loved the way he pulled away at the end. We’ve always had high hopes for him, so it’s nice to see him living up to those.” Irad Ortiz Jr., up in the Tropical Park Derby, rides back from Post 5. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s Largent also had a career-best effort in his most recent start, saving ground inside before forging a short lead at the top of the stretch and drawing clear to a two-length triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale (G2) Dec. 12. The 5-year-old Into Mischief gelding, never worse than second in nine starts with six wins, beat Virginia-breds in turf stakes at Laurel Park and Colonial Downs last summer. “That was his breakthrough performance,” Pletcher said. “He’s always been very consistent. He’s run against some really nice horses. We took advantage of his Virginia-bred status because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you have those kinds of options. It wasn’t so much that we felt like he didn’t belong at Saratoga or some bigger races; we had the opportunity and wanted to take advantage of it.” Paco Lopez gets the return call on Largent from Post 6. Winner of the one-mile Poker (G3) in July, The Elkstone Group’s Social Paranoia, 5, went unraced until capturing a 7 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance Dec. 16 on the Gulfstream turf. The son of Street Boss owns three wins in four tries on the local surface including the one-mile Appleton (G3) last winter. He won the Dueling Grounds Derby going 1 5/16 miles at Kentucky Downs in 2019. “He’s consistent and likes this course, and he’s proven at the distance,” Pletcher said. “The key, for him and Colonial Liam both, was we needed a race under their belt to kind of set them up for this. They were both coming off short layoffs so a prep race was important for both of them.” Luis Saez, whose previous trip aboard Social Paranoia came in his March 2019 maiden triumph at Gulfstream, has the assignment from outside Post 12. Peter Redekop’s Anothertwistafate, based in California with trainer Peter Miller, is a stakes winner on three surfaces. He won the El Camino Real on Golden Gate’s all-weather track and was second by a neck in the Sunland Derby (G3) on dirt, both going 1 1/8 miles, while on the 2019 Triple Crown trail. The 5-year-old son of Scat Daddy won the Longacres Mile (G3) going a mile at Emerald Downs last September in one of only two 2020 starts, and in just his second race for Miller captured the 1 1/8-mile San Gabriel (G2) on the Santa Anita turf Jan. 2. Joel Rosario rides for the third straight race from Post 8. “I don’t think [distance] will be an issue,” Miller said. “He’s the type of horse that doesn’t seem to get tired. He’s got a lot of stamina and is built like a horse that can get a mile and a half.” A win by homebred Say the Word would be a fitting sendoff for Sam-Son Farm, the legendary owner and breeder of 84 Sovereign Award winners and four Eclipse Award winners, which is undergoing a complete dispersal of its racing and breeding stock. The 6-year-old gelding became a Grade 1 winner in the 1 ½-mile Northern Dancer (G1) last October on the Woodbine turf and exits a third, beaten one length, in the 1 ½-mile Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) Nov. 27 at Del Mar. Flavien Prat, up in the Turf Cup, rides Say the Word (6-1) from Post 11. Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will send out a pair of contenders in North Dakota (10-1) and Breaking the Rules (20-1). Allen Stable Inc. homebred North Dakota, a 5-year-old half-brother to Grade 2 winner and influential sire War Front, needed seven tries to break his maiden but has won four of his last six races. The most recent came in the 1 3/8-mile Red Smith (G3) Nov. 21 at Aqueduct. “He’s been kind of a late bloomer but he’s been doing well. His races, really all [last] year, have been good so we’re looking forward to running him here,” McGaughey said. “He’s a true distance horse, probably even a little more than a mile and three-sixteenths. The way he’s doing and the way he’s been coming around, all year really, [is great], and his races have been spaced and he’s fresh and we’re ready to give it a try.” Another homebred, Phipps Stable’s Breaking the Rules is a 6-year-old son of War Front that has three career races over the Gulfstream turf, winning the Tropical Park Derby and finishing second by a head in the Canadian Turf (G3) during the 2018-2019 Championship Meet. He went two-for-five in 2020, running fourth in the Lure and Knickerbocker (G2) in New York and third by two lengths in the Fort Lauderdale under jockey Edgard Zayas after being bumped at the start. “I think he’s had a pretty good year. I was disappointed in his race at Saratoga in the Lure. Then he came back and I thought he ran fine on a track he doesn’t prefer. He wants it hard and it had more give to it than I thought,” McGaughey said. “I thought his race here in the Fort Lauderdale was pretty good. I think that Edgard was not familiar with him and he told me he thought he was too far back and I think he moved a little bit soon on him. He got caught up on the outside and didn’t get beat far. It was a fast race, so I’m looking forward to getting him stretched out.” Hall of Famer John Velazquez is named on Breaking the Rules from Post 2, while Jose Ortiz has the call on North Dakota from Post 4. Exline-Border Racing, David Bernsen, Susanna Wilson and Dan Hudock’s Storm the Court (12-1) went winless in eight 2020 starts, including a sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), after clinching his Eclipse Award with a front-running head triumph in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He has raced three times on the turf for trainer Peter Eurton, running second in the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla (G3) last summer at Del Mar as well as the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) Dec. 26 at Santa Anita. Julien Leparoux gets the assignment from Post 3. Trainer Mike Maker upset the 2020 Pegasus Turf with Zulu Alpha, and while that horse continues to recover from an injury that knocked him out of the Breeders’ Cup last fall, Maker will be represented by the pair of Cross Border (15-1) and Aquaphobia (20-1). “It was cool to win it last year, it’d be cooler to win this year and even cooler than that to win it again next year,” Maker said. Three Diamonds Farm’s Cross Border owns nine wins from 30 lifetime starts and became a graded winner when elevated to first in the 1 3/8-mile Bowling Green (G2) last summer at Saratoga following the disqualification of Grade 1 winner Sadler’s Joy, who edged Cross Border by a neck. Last time out, the gelded 7-year-old son of turf champion English Channel was beaten a head when second in the 1 1/16-mile Buddy Diliberto Memorial Dec. 19 at Fair Grounds. “I like his chances. He’s doing great and shipped over well. We’re looking forward to running him,” Maker said. “He’s been a very solid horse. We’ve had luck with him from 6 ½ furlongs to a mile and a half. He just loves his job and he’s easy to train.” Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher, Hooties Racing and Skychai Racing’s Aquaphobia is the most experienced runner in the Pegasus Turf with 39 career starts, nine of them wins, none bigger than his one-length triumph in the 1 3/8-mile United Nations (G1) last July at Monmouth Park. The 8-year-old Giant’s Causeway horse has raced exclusive in stakes since being claimed by Maker for $62,500 last winter at Gulfstream, most recently running sixth by two lengths behind North Dakota in the Red Smith. “He’s a horse we were trying to get for quite some time and we were fortunate to get him,” Maker said. “We gave him some freshening. He just got outrun last time and he’s doing super now. He’ll get a firmer course here which he likes and I think the distance is favorable for him.” Tyler Gaffalione will ride Cross Border from Post 9. Joe Bravo, aboard in the United Nations, returns from Post 7. Godolphin’s well-traveled homebred Pixelate (15-1) was a popular head winner of the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Derby (G2) last September, and is coming off a half-length victory in the one-mile Woodchopper Dec. 26 at Fair Grounds. The 4-year-old City Zip colt will be making his Gulfstream debut in his 15th career start, having raced at nine different tracks in seven states. Edgard Zayas gets the assignment from Post 10. Co-owned by a partnership that includes trainer Richard Baltas and his wife, Debby, Next Shares (20-1) is the richest horse in the Pegasus Turf with a $1.85 million bankroll and one of two millionaires in the field, along with Storm the Court. The 8-year-old Archarcharch gelding and 2018 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) victor is winless since his triumph in the November 2019 Seabiscuit Handicap (G2). Next Shares will be making his third straight appearance in the Pegasus Turf, having finished seventh in 2019 and 12th in 2020. Drayden Van Dyke has the call from Post 1.

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1.10.2021:

Independence Hall, Ride a Comet Receive Pegasus Invitations

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –Gulfstream Park officials announced Sunday additional invitations to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), to be held Saturday, Jan. 23. Independence Hall, a 12 ¼-length winner of the Nashua (G2) at two and runner-up in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at three, and Coastal Defense, fourth Nov. 27 in the Clark (G1), have received invitations for the 1 1/8-(G1mile Pegasus World Cup and have been added to the also-eligible list. Moving into the main body of the Pegasus World Cup from the also-eligible list are Grade 1 winner Math Wizard and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner King Guillermo. Ride a Comet, an impressive winner Saturday of the Tropical Turf (G3), has been invited to the 1 3/16 mile Pegasus World Cup Turf and was placed on the also-eligible list. Moving into the main body of the Pegasus Turf is Next Shares and Field Pass.  Limited seating is available and tickets can be purchased at Pegasusworldcup.com. Fans can watch and wager on the Pegasus World Cup at 1stbet.com and xpressbet.com. Independence Hall, a 4-year-old son of Constitution, returned from an eight-month layoff to win under allowance conditions in November at Del Mar before finishing fifth Dec. 26 behind Charlatan in the Malibu (G1). Independence Hall is trained by Michael McCarthy, who trained 2019 Pegasus World Cup winner City of Light. Dale Romans, who saddled Mr Freeze to a second-place finish last year behind Mucho Gusto in the Pegasus World Cup, trains Coastal Defense. A 5-year-old son of Curlin, Coastal Defense was fourth in the Clark as well as the Oct. 10 Fayette (G2). John Oxley and My Meadowview Farm LLC’s Ride a Comet is undefeated in four starts since returning from a two-year layoff. The 6-year-old son of Candy Ride, trained by Mark Casse, also won the Kennedy Road (G2) in November at Woodbine.

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1.9.2021:

True Timber Takes Sisterson by Surprise with Pegasus Preparation

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Calumet Farm’s True Timber took trainer Jack Sisterson by surprise Saturday morning during his five-furlong breeze in preparation for a third start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park. Working in company with multiple-stakes winner American Tattoo, True Timber covered five furlongs in 1:00.20 under exercise rider Mark O’Dwyer at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. “He worked great this morning. It was probably one of the better breezes he’s done with us. He went in company with another older horse, American Tattoo, and Mark sort of tapped his hip and he came home in 11 [seconds] and galloped out very strong,” Sisterson said. “I was quite surprised the way he went. Usually, he’s rather workmanlike and … slow, but he was extremely fast this morning.” The 7-year-old son of Mineshaft, who captured the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct had previously turned in two half-mile workouts in 53.45 seconds and 51 seconds, respectively. “He’s 7 years old and he knows exactly what his job is. We just train him the way he wants to be trained and keep him happy,” said Sisterson, who took over the training of True Timber following the retirement of previous trainer Kiaran McLaughlin toward the middle of 2020. “He seems to be turning the corner for us.” In his two previous starts in the Pegasus, True Timber finished seventh in 2019 and eighth last year. Jesus’ Team Breezes ‘Easy’ Six Furlongs at Palm Meadows Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Jesus’ Team breezed six furlongs Saturday morning in preparation for a planned start in the Pegasus World Cup. The multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed son of Tapiture was timed in 1:13.40 at Palm Meadows. Regular exercise rider Simon Rodriguez was aboard for the workout. “The hard work was last week. He did it in the way I want,” said trainer Jose D’Angelo, who 4-year-old colt produced a five-furlong bullet workout Jan. 2. “I wanted an easy work. I think he’s ready. He’ll just have one more four-furlong work to main his condition.” Jesus’ Team, who broke his maiden for a $32,000 claiming price at Gulfstream last March, has been stakes-placed in his last five starts, including a third-place finish in the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) and a second-place finish in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland. The Kentucky-bred colt most recently captured the Dec. 2 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream. “It’s very exciting. It is the most important race of our calendar in South Florida at Gulfstream Park,” D’Angelo said. “I think it’s a big test for both me and Jesus.”Victoria’s Ranch’s King Guillermo breezed five furlongs in 1:00.93 Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park for a possible start in the Pegasus World Cup. The son of Uncle Mo, the 2020 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner, finished fourth behind True Timber in the Cigar Mile while coming off a seven-month layoff. Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Knicks Go breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Fair Grounds Saturday morning in preparation for the Pegasus.

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1.8.2021:

Live Racing Returns to Golden Gate Fields on January 15

BERKELEY, CA – 1/ST RACING is pleased to announce that Golden Gate Fields will resume live racing on Friday, January 15. After extensive testing in collaboration with the Berkeley Public Health Division, it has been determined that the COVID-19 concerns on the campus have decreased to levels to allow the resumption of live racing. Golden Gate Fields is indebted to both the Berkeley Public Health Division and the Alameda County Public Health Department for their assistance and advice during the period of temporary closure. As the Golden Gate Fields Racing Office remains closed for in-person business, entries will be taken via telephone for racing on Friday, January 15 on Tuesday, January 12. As part of the continued COVID-19 safety protocols in place at Golden Gate Fields, we are unable to allow owners to attend training or live racing as we begin this meet. We will continue to monitor this situation and will update the Thoroughbred Owners of California of any changes to this policy. For more information, please visit www.goldengatefields.com or @GGFRacing.

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1.4.2021:

Charlatan, Mucho Gusto Top Pegasus World Cup Invite List

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto and Charlatan are among a dozen Grade 1 and Grade 2 winners on a list of 16 horses invited Sunday to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The fifth 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), Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner City of Light and Mucho Gusto (2020), will be run Saturday, Jan. 23 along with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). Limited seating is available and tickets can be purchased at Pegasusworldcup.com. Fans can watch and wager on the Pegasus World Cup at 1stbet.com and xpressbet.com. The Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf will be part of an extraordinary program featuring seven graded stakes, four contested on the turf. Stakes on Pegasus Day will also include the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), $125,000 William L. McKnight (G3), $125,000 Marshua’s River (G3), $125,000 La Prevoyante (G3) and $125,000 Fred Hooper (G3). The 12 horses given first preference for the Pegasus World Cup were (in alphabetical order): Charlatan – Owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding, Golconda Stables. Trained by Bob Baffert Code of Honor – Owned by W.S. Farish. Trained by Shug McGaughey Harpers First Ride – Owned by MCA Racing Stable LLC. Trained by Claudio Gonzalez Jesus’ Team – Owned by Grupo 7C Racing Stable. Trained by Jose D’Angelo Kiss Today Goodbye – Owned by John Sondereker. Trained by J. Eric Kruljac Knicks Go – Owned by Korea Racing Authority. Trained by Brad Cox Mr Freeze – Owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister. Trained by Dale Romans Mucho Gusto – Owned by HRH Prince Faisal Bin Khaled. Trained by Bob Baffert Sharp Samurai – Owned by Red Baron’s Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Mark Glatt. Trained by Mark Glatt Sleepy Eyes Todd – Owned by Thumbs Up Racing, LLC. Trained by Miguel Angel Silva Tax – Owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch. Trained by Danny Gargan True Timber – Owned by Calumet Farm. Trained by Jack Sisterson The also eligibles are (in order of preference) Anothertwistafate – Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd. Trained by Peter Miller Math Wizard – Owned by John Fanelli, Khalid Mishref, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing LLC, Collarmele Vitelli Stables LLC, Ioannis, Zouas, Bassett Stables. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. King Guillermo – Owned by Victoria’s Ranch. Trained by Juan Carlos Avila Idol – Owned by Calvin Nguyen. Trained by Richard Baltas Baffert, who won the Pegasus last year with Mucho Gusto and the inaugural running with Arrogate, has two chances for a hat trick with his defending champion and Charlatan. After his victory in the Pegasus last year Mucho Gusto finished fourth Feb. 29 in the Saudi Cup before Baffert gave the 5-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man time off. He returned Dec. 26 to finish fourth of six in the San Antonio (G2). Charlatan was regarded as one of the country’s top 3-year-olds after his performance in the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1) but he was sidelined with an ankle injury before returning off a seven-month layoff to win the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita. Multiple Grade 1 winner Knicks Go enters the Pegasus off three consecutive victories since being moved to the stable of Brad Cox.  The 5-year-old Maryland-bred son of Paynter was an impressive winner last time out of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). Jesus’ Team, second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and beaten less than a length by Knicks Go, sold for $30,000 as a yearling and has earned $508,940. The Jose D’Angelo-trained 4-year-old finished third in the Preakness (G1) and Jim Dandy (G2) last year. Sharp Samurai was beaten a nose by Jesus’ Team for the place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 7-year-old gelding, based at Santa Anita with trainer Mark Glatt, was second last year in the Pacific Classic (G1), Eddie Read (G2) and City of Hope (G2). His last victory was the 2018 City of Hope. Sharp Samurai is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf. W.S. Farish’s homebred Code of Honor will be making his 13th consecutive start in a graded race, his ninth in a Grade 1 event. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor was placed second in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) and went on to win the Travers (G1) and Jockey Club (G1). Code of Honor’s 4-year-old season included a victory in the Westchester (G3) and second-place finishes in the Clark (G1) and Kelso (G2). Tax, claimed for $50,000 out of his second career start by trainer Danny Gargan for co-owner Hugh Lynch, will run in his second consecutive Pegasus. The 5-year-old, an impressive winner of the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 12 off a seven-month layoff, was fourth in the 2019 Belmont (G1) and won that year’s Jim Dandy (G2). The son of Arch finished ninth in last year’s Pegasus after stumbling at the start. Mr Freeze finished second in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, 4 ½ lengths behind winner Mucho Gusto. Trained by Dale Romans, Mr Freeze went on to win the Fayette Stakes (G2) before wide trips resulted in a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and fifth-place finish in the Clark last time out. Calumet Farm is hoping the third time is the charm for True Timber. Seventh in the 2019 edition of the Pegasus and eighth last year, the 7-year-old enters this year’s $3 million edition off a popular victory in the Cigar Mile (G1) Dec. 5 at Aqueduct. It was his first win in 13 starts, since September of 2018. Sleepy Eyes Todd won the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 19. The 5-year-old son of Paddy O’Prado, who won the Charles Town Classic (G2) in August, has been a model of consistency, winning eight of 15 races while racing at 11 different tracks for trainer Miguel Angel Silva.  John Sondereker’s Kiss Today Goodbye, a lightly-raced 4-year-old, upset Mucho Gusto and four others Dec. 26 in the Malibu when he closed from last. Trained by J. Eric Kruljak, Kiss Today Goodbye had finished fifth in the Del Mar Derby (G2) and fourth in the Twilight Derby (G2) earlier in the year. Harpers First Ride, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred, enters the Pegasus having won four of his last five starts including a victory in the Pimlico Special (G3). Maryland’s perennial leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez will saddle the son of Paynter. Anothertwistafate, winner of the Jan. 2 San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita and Sept. 10 Longacres Mile (G3), is No. 1 on the also eligible list. The son of Scat Daddy is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf. Locally-based Math Wizard, a Grade 1 winner who finished second last summer to Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) show finisher Global Campaign in the Monmouth Cup, is second on the AE list while King Guillermo, owned by former Major League Baseball all-star Victor Martinez, and Idol, second in the San Antonio, round out the list.

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1.4.2021:

Say the Word, Storm the Court among Pegasus Turf Invites

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grade 1 winners Say the Word and Storm the Court, and three stakes winners from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher, lead a list of 16 horses invited Sunday to the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The third running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus World Cup Turf, introduced in 2019 to serve as a companion race to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), will be run Jan. 23. The Pegasus Turf has been won previously by eventual Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar (2019) and Zulu Alpha (2020). The Pegasus World Cup Turf and Pegasus World Cup will be part of an extraordinary program featuring seven graded stakes, four contested on the turf. Stakes on Pegasus Day will also include the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), $125,000 William L. McKnight (G3), $125,000 Marshua’s River (G3), $125,000 La Prevoyante (G3) and $125,000 Fred Hooper (G3). The 12 horses given first preference for the Pegasus World Cup Turf are (in alphabetical order): Anothertwistafate – Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd. Trained by Peter Miller Breaking the Rules – Owned by Phipps Stables. Trained by Shug McGaughey Colonel Liam – Owner by Robert and Lawana Low. Trained by Todd Pletcher Cross Border – Owned by Three Diamonds Farm. Trained by Mike Maker Doswell – Owned by Joseph Allen LLC. Trained by Barclay Tagg Largent – Owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Trained by Todd Pletcher North Dakota – Owned by Allen Stable Inc. Trained by Shug McGaughey Pixelate – Owned by Godolphin, LLC. Trained by Michael Stidham Say the Word – Owned by Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm. Trained by Philip D’Amato Sharp Samurai – Owned by Owned by Red Baron’s Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Mark Glatt. Trained by Mark Glatt Social Paranoia – Owned by The Elkstone Group, LLC. Trained by Todd Pletcher Storm the Court – Owned by Exline-Border Racing, LLC, David Bernsen LLC, Susanna Wilson and Dan Hudock. Trained by Peter Eurton The also eligible horses (in order of preference): Next Shares – Owned by Debby Baltas, Richard Baltas, Christopher Dunn, Jules Iavarone, Michael Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan, Ritchie Robershaw, Mark Taylor. Trained by Richard Baltas Field Pass – Owned by Three Diamonds Farm. Trained by Mike Maker Analyze It – Owned by William H. Lawrence. Trained by Chad Brown Greyes Creek – Owned by OXO Equine LLC. Trained by Chad Brown                             Limited seating is available and tickets can be purchased at Pegasusworldcup.com. Fans can watch and wager on the Pegasus World Cup at 1stbet.com and xpressbet.com. Trainer Todd Pletcher, winner of 16 of the past 17 Championship Meet titles at Gulfstream Park, has an intriguing trio of contenders for the Turf in Largent, Social Paranoia and Colonel Liam. Largent is an improving son of Into Mischief who enters the Pegasus off a victory Dec. 12 in the Fort Lauderdale (G2). The gelding has won six of nine career starts and has won four of his five starts at Gulfstream. Pletcher-trained Social Paranoia, a 4-year-old son of Street Boss, prepped for the Pegasus at Gulfstream Dec. 16 by winning an allowance optional claiming event off a five-month layoff. Social Paranoia earlier in the year won the Appleton (G3) at Gulfstream. Pletcher’s third entry is the lightly raced Colonel Liam, a 4-year-old son of Liam’s Map who enters the Pegasus off an impressive 3 ¼-length victory Dec. 26 in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Barclay Tagg, who trained the recently retired Tiz the Law to victories in last year’s Florida Derby (G1), Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers (G1), comes into the Turf with Doswell. The lightly raced 6-year-old raced only once as a 2-year-old. The son of Giant’s Causeway broke his maiden as a 5-year-old and ended 2020 with a second-place finish behind Largent in the Fort Lauderdale. It took seven races for North Dakota to win his first race, but the Shug McGaughey-trained 5-year-old has since won three of five races with his last being the Nov. 21 Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct. McGaughey will also send out Breaking the Rules, a 6-year-old son of War Front who comes off a fourth-place finish in the Knickerbocker (G2) in October and a third-place finish in the Fort Lauderdale (G2). Say the Word, a 6-year-old Ontario-bred by More Than Ready, enters off a third-place finish Nov. 27 in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) for trainer Philip D’Amato after winning the Northern Dancer Turf (G1) in October at Woodbine. The gelding finished fourth in his only other race at Gulfstream, that coming in 2018. Storm the Court ships in from Santa Anita for trainer Peter Eurton. Winner of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), the son of Court Vision was sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last year before moving to turf and finishing seventh in the Hollywood Derby (G1) and second last time out in the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) Cross Border will attempt to give trainer Mike Maker back-to-back wins in the Pegasus Turf after saddling last year’s winner, Zulu Alpha. The 7-year-old son of English Channel was second in last year’s Sword Dancer (G1) and won the Bowling Green (G2), both at Saratoga. He comes into the Pegasus off a second-place finish in the Buddy Diliberto Memorial Dec. 19 at Fair Grounds. Sharp Samurai was beaten a nose by Jesus’ Team for the place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 7-year-old gelding, based at Santa Anita with trainer Mark Glatt, was second last year in the Pacific Classic (G1), Eddie Read (G2) and City of Hope (G2). His last victory was the 2018 City of Hope. Sharp Samurai is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus.     Pixelate, trained by Michael Stidham, comes into the Pegasus off a victory Dec. 26 in the Woodchopper at Fair Grounds. The Godolphin homebred and son of City Zip won the Del Mar Derby (G2) in September and was fifth in the Belmont Derby (G1) in October. Anothertwistafate, winner Jan. 2 of the San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita and Sept. 10 Longacres Mile (G3), is invited to the Turf and is on the reserve inviation list for the Pegasus. The Pegasus Turf also-eligible list is led by Next Shares, who will try to make his third trip to the Pegasus Turf the charm after a seventh-place finish in the 2019 edition and a 12th place finish last year. The 8-year-old would enter this year’s event off a third-place finish Jan. 2 in the San Gabriel. The reserve invitation list also includes Field Pass. The Ontario Derby (G3) winner is trained by Mike Maker, who saddled last year’s Pegasus Turf winner Zulu Alpha. Trainer Chad Brown, who won the inaugural Pegasus Turf with Bricks and Mortar, has two on the reserve list in Red Bank (G3) winner Analyze It and OXO Equine’s Greyes Creek.

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12.3.2020:

Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series Returns to Gulfstream Park in 2021

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL (December 3, 2020) - The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series is returning to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Launched in 2017 as part of 1/ST’s mission to modernize the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing, the $4 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities, and fans from around the world and has cemented itself as a premier event on the racing calendar. Evolving into a Championship Invitational Series featuring two Grade 1 (G1) stakes races, the Pegasus World Cup in 2021 will feature a combined $4 million purse. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), run on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles, offers a $3 million total purse. The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), run on the turf at 1 3/16 miles, offers a $1 million purse. 1/ST entirely provides the $4 million total purse contribution.  This year’s event will provide exciting opportunities in North American Thoroughbred racing for horse owners by showcasing their equine athletes competing free of medications on race day while providing the winner of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational with an automatic entry into the 2021 $20 million Saudi Cup. The 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 reflects the commitment that 1/ST, along with other major racing organizations and associations, made in April 2019 to eliminate Lasix in all graded stakes races in 2021. In 2021, the Pegasus World Cup continues to innovate by redefining the guest experience with limited, socially distanced ticket offerings for every race day enthusiast. From the action of the Grandstand to elegant dining in Ten Palms to the luxury of the Flamingo Room and Suites, guests will enjoy a day of world-class Thoroughbred racing excitement and gourmet food and hospitality in safety. Reserved seating tickets and packages range in price from $100.00 - $1,150.00+. Tickets are available online at www.pegasusworldcup.com/tickets or by calling the Pegasus World Cup Box Office at Gulfstream Park at 1-833-464-7924 between 9:00 am - 6:00 pm ET, daily. Wagering on the 2021 Pegasus World Cup can be enjoyed regardless of where fans view the race day card with handicapping tools available on the 1/ST BET app. Part of the 1/ST TECHNOLOGY suite of handicapping and betting products, 1/ST BET is changing the game by delivering a user-friendly experience that suits everyone from the experienced horseplayer to the first-timer. Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, 1/ST has developed and implemented industry-leading COVID-19 safety measures at its tracks and facilities across the United States. The 2021 Pegasus World Cup will implement strict social distancing protocols and new health and safety guidelines for riders and spectators. On-premise, attendance for this year’s event has been reduced to 20% to allow all guests to socially distance accordingly. Thermal sensing cameras at all entrances check guest temperatures, and masks are required. Cleaning protocols provide regular sanitizing of public spaces, and cashless wagering via 1/ST BET eliminates handling of currency. For more information on the health and safety measures for the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, please visit www.pegasusworldcup.com/health-safety.   At the 2020 Pegasus World Cup, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk, DJ Cassidy, Jake Paul, Dr. Mike, Zion, Alec Monopoly and Cedric Gervais witnessed Mucho Gusto win the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational purse and Zulu Alpha win the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf Invitational. Afterward, guests and stars alike enjoyed a concert with performances by Nelly and T-Pain. NBC Sports returns as the official broadcast partner of the 2021 Pegasus World Cup and will broadcast the race day excitement live from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm ET.  For more information about Pegasus World Cup, please visit www.pegasusworldcup.com and follow the excitement on social media @PegasusWorldCup and #PegasusWorldCup #RunWithUs.

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12.3.2020:

Pro Shop Sale: Eddie Olczyk Signed Book

The perfect gift this holiday season for the horse racing or hockey fan in your life. Get a hardcover edition of Eddie Olczyk’s autobiography, Beating the Odds in Hockey and in Life, hand-signed by Edzo himself! Available exclusively in our Pro Shop, this autographed book is offered for just 25,000 XB Rewards Points and fewer than 65 copies are available. Log In Now to Buy Your Copy: Log In to your Xpressbet account on your Desktop Computer. Click PRO SHOP beneath your account balance. Select XB REWARDS SHOP from the home screen, then GENERAL MERCHANDISE. Click 25,000 POINTS next Eddie Olczyk Signed Book, then BUY NOW once it's in your Shopping Cart. You will receive your copy via FedEx in 10-14 days.   Act fast - this offer expires once all 65 copies are sold!

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12.2.2020:

Jesus' Team Headlines Gulfstream's Claiming Crown Jewel

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grade 1 stakes-placed in his two most recent starts, Jesus’ Team will return to his roots Saturday with a start in the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream Park. Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s 3-year-old gelding, who became eligible for the Jewel while winning a claiming race for maidens at Gulfstream last March, is scheduled to use the Claiming Crown headliner as a prep for a planned start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Jan. 23. The Jewel, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-olds and up that started for a claiming price of $35,000 or lower, will be featured among nine stakes restricted to horses that have started for a claiming price at least once. Jesus’ Team enters the Jewel off a third-place finish in the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico and a second-place finish Nov. 7 in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland – unlikely results from a horse that broke his maiden for a $32,000 claiming price in his fifth career start March 18. “He went to Ocala for 10 days after the Breeders’ Cup. He is training very good for the Claiming Crown,” sand trainer Jose D’Angelo, whose stable is based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. “I think this is a good race for him before the Pegasus. He needs a race before the Pegasus.” After his breakthrough 3 ¾-length maiden win, Jesus’ Team was transferred to D’Angelo, for whom the son of Tapiture came right back to score a dominating 6 ¾-length victory in a $25,000 claiming race May 8. A most promising second-place finish behind graded-stakes winner Sole Volante in a stakes-quality June 10 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream raised the expectations of his connections. Following a creditable fourth behind future Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Authentic in the Haskell (G1) and a runner-up finish in the ungraded Pegasus at Monmouth, Jesus’ Team finished third in the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga while equipped with blinkers for the first time. The Kentucky-bred gelding, who was purchased for $30,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September sale, overcame traffic on the far turn to finish a distant third behind Gulfstream Park Oaks winner Swiss Skydiver and Authentic at 40-1 in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Sent to post at 62-1 for the Dirt Mile, Jesus’ Team closed to finish second behind runaway winner Knicks Go.” “I am very proud of my horse. He’s getting better and better with every race,” D’Angelo said. “I think he will run a very good race Saturday.” D’Angelo was the leading trainer in Venezuela before joining his father Francisco, also a former titlist in Venezuela, in South Florida in 2019. “I’m happy for the races Jesus’s Team has run. He has made me very proud,” said D’Angelo, who saddled his first horse in the U.S. in June 2019 and saddled his first winner with his second starter three weeks later. “I’m happy to be training in this amazing country.” Luis Saez, who was aboard for the Dirt Mile, has the return mount Saturday. Calumet Farm’s Dack Janiel’s, also a horse who performed extremely well on Breeders’ Cup Weekend at Keeneland, is scheduled to seek his first stakes victory in the Claiming Crown Jewel.The Jack Sisterson-trained 3-year-old gelding is coming off a third-place finish in the $200,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G2). Dack Janiel’s set or pressed the pace to hold a narrow lead in mid-stretch before weakening late in the 1 5/8-mile route. “Dack Janiel’s is a horse that has always overachieved for us, but he really thrives on racing. He just won 10 days before the Thoroughbred [Aftercare] Alliance, but we wheeled him back in a week at Oaklawn [in April] and he won bringing him back quick,” Sisterson said. “He seems to thrive on his training and running, so we ran him [at Keeneland] and he ran a competitive race against some tough horses. Fortunately, he’s eligible for Claiming Crown Jewel.” Dack Janiel’s became eligible for the Jewel in January when he ran third in a $30,000 maiden claiming race on turf at Fair Grounds. The son of Tonalist came right back to win an off-the-turf maiden special weight race at Fair Grounds a month later. After finishing off the board in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway, Dack Janiel’s followed up a fourth-place allowance finish at Oaklawn with a starter allowance victory eight days later. Winless in his next three starts, he returned to winning form in a $50,000 claiming race at Keeneland that set him up for his strong showing in the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. “He’s very straightforward. He trains himself. There’s no hiding his running style. He goes right to the front,” said Sisterson, who will train in South Florida for the first time this winter. “He seems to run his best races forwardly placed, so we’re obviously not hiding any tactics heading into next Saturday.” Julien Leparoux has the mount on the Calumet Farm homebred. Team Valor International and David Burnett’s Storm Runner, who finished seventh in the 2018 Florida Derby (G1), has returned to Gulfstream to run in the Jewel. The Dale Romans-trained son of Get Stormy became eligible for the Jewel by coming off a seven-month layoff to win a $20,000 claiming race at Churchill Downs June 28. Following a four-month layoff, Storm Runner captured a Nov. 4 starter allowance on turf at Churchill Downs. Corey Lanerie has the call aboard Storm Runner. Trainer Michael Maker, who has saddled a record 17 Claiming Crown winners, will send out Paradise Farms Corp.’s Treasure Trove for a start in the Jewel. The 4-year-old son of Tapizar was claimed for $40,000 out of his most recent start, a second-place finish in an optional claiming allowance at Indiana Downs. Tyler Gaffalione, who captured titles at all six meeting in Kentucky this year, has the call. Leitone, the defending Jewel champion, will defend his title for owner/trainer Victor Carrasco Jr., who claimed the Chilean-bred 6-year-old for $40,000 out of a victory at Belmont Park June 20. The son of Dunkirk has been off-the-board in his two starts since being claimed. Hector Berrios has the call aboard Leitone. Stakes-placed on turf last time out, D P Racing LLC’s Prince of Arabia will move to dirt for the Jewel. The 7-year-old gelding, who finished a troubled third in the Ricard Henry Lee last out, achieved his most recent victory in an off-the-turf Feb. 20 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream. Robby Albarado is scheduled to ride Prince of Arabia for the first time. My Purple Haze Stable’s Rebelde and Flying Pheasant Farm LLC’s Toughest ‘Ombre round out the field.

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12.1.2020:

2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #1 Results

Here are the results from the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 (November 26th - November 29th, 2020). Program # Horse Final Odds $2 Payoff 1Caddo River27 $57.40 2Dr. Schivel72 $146.80 3Essential Quality8 $18.40 4Fire At Will30 $62.80 5Get Her Number64 $130.40 6Highly Motivated18 $39.80 7Hot Rod Charlie34 $71.40 8Jackie's Warrior18 $38.20 9Keepmeinmind19 $40.00 10King Fury60 $122.40 11Life Is Good5 $12.80 12Midnight Bourbon59 $120.40 13Pickin' Time96 $194.60 14Red Flag35 $72.00 15Reinvestment Risk35 $72.60 16Rombauer88 $178.80 17Savile Row36 $75.80 18Scarred49 $100.40 19Sittin On Go68 $139.20 20Speaker's Corner29 $61.00 21Super Stock99 $209.60 22Ten for Ten51 $105.80 23All Other 3 Year Old Fillies56 $114.40 24All Other Three Year Olds6/5 $4.60 More 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info.

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12.1.2020:

2021 Derby Future Wager Sire Pool Results

Here are the results from the Derby Future Wager Sire Pool (November 26th - November 29th, 2020). Program # Sire Name Final Odds $2 Payoff 1American Pharoah13 $29.00 2Bernardini36 $74.20 3Bodemeister60 $123.60 4Candy Ride47 $97.80 5Constitution17 $36.40 6Curlin12 $27.80 7Flatter80 $162.80 8Frosted21 $44.80 9Ghostzapper27 $56.80 10Hard Spun24 $50.00 11Honor Code44 $91.40 12Into Mischief4 $10.20 13Liam's Map49 $100.40 14Medaglia D' Oro35 $72.00 15Munnings47 $97.00 16Not this Time30 $63.80 17Pioneerof the Nile30 $62.60 18Quality Road22 $47.40 19Street Sense25 $53.20 20Tapit6 $15.20 21Tiznow35 $73.20 22Uncle Mo19 $41.20 23Union Rags43 $89.80 24All Other Sires5 $12.00 More 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Info.

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11.23.2020:

2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Kicks Off Thursday, November 26

Godolphin’s undefeated $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Essential Quality is the 10-1 individual favorite among 24 betting interests in Pool 1 of the 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which kicks off a four-day run at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day. The pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” is expected to be the overall first-pool favorite for the 23rd consecutive year and veteran odds maker Mike Battaglia has installed it as the 6-5 favorite. In addition to Essential Quality, other promising juveniles that are expected to take interest are CHC INC and WinStar Farm’s recent 9 ½-length maiden winner Life Is Good, who cruised 6 ½ furlongs on debut in 1:15.40 Sunday for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, and Klaravich Stable’s $125,000 Nyquist Stakes winner Highly Motivated, who is conditioned by top trainer Chad Brown. Both colts were made 15-1 on Battaglia’s morning line odds. Here’s the complete Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 field (with trainer and morning line odds): CADDO RIVER (Brad Cox, 30/1) DR. SCHIVEL (Mark Glatt, 30/1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (Brad Cox, 10/1) FIRE AT WILL (Mike Maker, 30/1) GET HER NUMBER (Peter Miller, 20/1) HIGHLY MOTIVATED (Chad Brown, 15/1) HOT ROD CHARLIE (Doug O'Neill, 20/1) JACKIE'S WARRIOR (Steve Asmussen, 20/1) KEEPMEINMIND (Robertino Diodoro, 20/1) KING FURY (Ken McPeek, 50/1) LIFE IS GOOD (Bob Baffert, 15/1) MIDNIGHT BOURBON (Steve Asmussen, 30/1) PICKIN TIME (Kelly Breen, 20/1) RED FLAG (John Shirreffs, 30/1) REINVESTMENT RISK (Chad Brown, 30/1) ROMBAUER (Mike McCarthy, 30/1) SAVILE ROW (Bob Baffert, 20/1) SCARRED (Steve Asmussen, 30/1) SITTIN ON GO (Dale Romans, 30/1) SPEAKER'S CORNER (Bill Mott, 50/1) SUPER STOCK (Steve Asmussen, 30/1) TEN FOR TEN (Shug McGaughey, 50/1) ALL OTHER 3YO FILLIES (50/1) ALL OTHER 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS (6/5)  The pool, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, opens Thursday at noon and will close Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. The Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered concurrently with the sixth annual Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, which provides bettors with a unique opportunity to wager on select breeding stars and their entire crop of juveniles with the hope of winning next year’s Kentucky Derby. Offspring sired by Into Mischief and Tapit were made the co-individual favorites at 6-1 on the morning line by Battaglia. The overall favorite is the “All Other Sires” betting interest, which was made 9-2.  Here’s the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager field (with morning line odds): AMERICAN PHAROAH (20/1) BERNARDINI (30/1) BODEMEISTER (30/1) CANDY RIDE (ARG) (30/1) CONSTITUTION (20/1) CURLIN (15/1) FLATTER (30/1) FROSTED (30/1) GHOSTZAPPER (30/1) HARD SPUN (20/1) HONOR CODE (20/1) INTO MISCHIEF (6/1) LIAM'S MAP (30/1) MEDAGLIA D'ORO (20/1) MUNNINGS (30/1) NOT THIS TIME (20/1) PIONEEROF THE NILE (30/1) QUALITY ROAD (30/1) STREET SENSE (15/1) TAPIT (6/1) TIZNOW (15/1) UNCLE MO (15/1) UNION RAGS (50/1) ALL OTHER SIRES (4/1)  This marks the eighth consecutive year that Churchill Downs has hosted Future Wager pools in November on closing weekend of its Fall Meet. In last year’s wager, eventual Kentucky Derby winner Authentic closed at 50-1 odds and returned $103.60 for a $2 wager. His sire, Into Mischief, closed at 17-1 and returned $36.20. The Kentucky Derby Future Wagers provide fans of Thoroughbred racing with opportunities to place bets on possible entrants in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) at odds that could be far greater and more attractive than those available on the day of the race. The 147th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Churchill Downs.  There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of this week’s four-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. 

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11.20.2020:

1/ST Appoints Paul Williams CEO, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY and CTO, 1/ST

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL (November 20, 2020) – 1/ST announced today the appointment of Paul Williams to Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY and to Chief Technology Officer, 1/ST. Williams joined The Stronach Group in 2018 as the company’s first Chief Technology Officer, focused on building and delivering the digital and technology road map to maximize the company’s world-class platforms and to expand the opportunities for innovation across The Stronach Group’s racing and gaming verticals. As Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY, Williams will work directly with 1/ST RACING and 1/ST CONTENT to amplify the company’s innovative racing and content programs. He will lead the consolidation of 1/ST’s digital businesses to drive revenue for some of horse racing’s largest and most recognized racing and gaming brands including, AmTote, Xpressbet, 1/ST BET, XB SELECT, XB NET, PariMAX and Betmix.  In addition, Williams will continue his responsibilities as Chief Technology Officer, 1/ST to build on the industry-leading internal and external IT infrastructure that is currently in place at 1/ST. He will focus on strengthening and improving the digital systems that support company-wide platforms to increase cyber defense capabilities, digital efficiencies and innovative customer interfaces.  “Paul’s added appointment to Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY, represents the ongoing evolution of 1/ST as Thoroughbred horse racing’s premier operator,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, 1/ST. “I have tremendous confidence in the 1/ST team and their collective commitment to evolving our racing and gaming platforms with continued forward-thinking that will drive our company’s growth for the future.” “As we look to the future of Thoroughbred horse racing and to gaming in general, the opportunities for expansion and innovation are endless,” said Williams. “By structuring the 1/ST TECHNOLOGY, 1/ST RACING and 1/ST CONTENT businesses as congruent brands, we will be able to offer our customers world-class racing and gaming products that reflect the new era in our sport.” Since joining The Stronach Group, Williams has improved the Xpressbet legacy platform and has successfully engaged a new generation of customers with the development and roll out of the 1/ST BET app, an innovative mobile platform that has changed the wagering experience for everyone from the first-timer to the experienced horse player. Williams has a passion for building immersive technologies supported by world-class infrastructure and has led several large-scale global technology teams throughout his career. He formerly served as Chief Information Officer of IBEXGlobal and Chief Information Officer at Cantor Gaming and as Global Director of Trading Infrastructure at Cantor Fitzgerald, LLC.  For more information on 1/ST and 1/ST BET please visit www.1st.com and www.1stbet.com or @1ST_Racing and @1stbet. 

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11.19.2020:

Galleon Mast Chasing Three-Peat in Millions Turf Preview Stakes

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – Anne D. Scott’s multiple stakes-winning gelding Galleon Mast, unraced since Labor Day, gets the chance to end one streak and continue another when he makes his return in Saturday’s $60,000 Millions Turf Sprint at Gulfstream Park West. The 1 1/16-mile Turf Preview for 3-year-olds and up is one of two Florida-bred grass stakes on the nine-race program, joined by the $60,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf going one mile. First race post time is 12:35 p.m. Galleon Mast has yet to win a race in five scattered starts this year, all in stakes, with one second and three thirds. The 7-year-old has won at least once in each of his first five seasons, including back-to-back editions of the Turf Preview at Gulfstream West, where he has three wins and a second from seven career ties. “It’s been a little frustrating this year,” trainer David Fawkes said. “I gave him a lot of time and when he came back I don’t think he got back into his game like I thought he would. But, I’ll tell you what. Right now, he’s as good as I’ve ever seen him. He’s put weight on. Everything’s great about what he’s doing.” Galleon Mast won the 2018 Turf Preview by a nose and last year’s edition by a head. He hasn’t won since, finishing second in the Soldier’s Dancer in June and third in the Jan. 18 Sunshine Millions Turf, July 25 Mecke and Sept. 7 Mr. Steele, all at Gulfstream. “He’s training excellent. I’m really excited about running him,” Fawkes said. “He’s doing really, really good.” Galleon Mast has been first or second in 23 of 38 career races, 10 of them wins, with eight thirds and $657,370 in purse earnings. Second in the 2018 Canadian Turf (G3) during the Championship Meet, he has shown Fawkes no signs of slowing down. “We always spaced his races out pretty good. At the same time, the way things have been going this year there’s been races I’ve wanted to run him in and haven’t had the opportunity,” Fawkes said. “His longevity is incredible. He’s been with me for so long. He’s a real cool horse. It’d be great to win this race a third time.” Paco Lopez, aboard for each of his previous Turf Preview wins, rides back from Post 7 in a field of 10. Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables’ Muggsamatic beat Galleon Mast by a length in the Soldier’s Dancer and returns as one of two horses entered by trainer Mike Maker, along with Second Mate. Muggsamatic, 6, is a 10-time career winner exiting a third-place effort Sept. 16 at Kentucky Downs. Eccentric Club Racing Stable’s Second Mate finished off the board in a one-mile optional claiming allowance Oct. 29 at Gulfstream West behind Max K.O., who also returns in the Turf Preview. Another 7-year-old gelding who, like Galleon Mast, is by Mizzen Mast, Second Mate was beaten a head and neck when third in last year’s Turf Preview. Network Stables’ Sir Seamus had a three-race win streak snapped when fourth in an off-the-turf optional claiming allowance going 1 1/8 miles Sept. 12 at Gulfstream. The 4-year-old gelding has won four of six starts since trainer Carlos David – who won two stakes at Gulfstream West last weekend – claimed him from Maker for $16,000 in February. “He’s not easy to train but I think we’ve got his number, and he’s done well. He’s been amazing. His second start for us he didn’t run well. He got a little bumped around the turn and he just kind of gave up that day,” David said. “He might have twisted his knee a little bit or something, because he was a little sore the next day. But after that we did a little work with him and he won three in a row. “They were cheaper races, but he had great numbers,” he added. “He likes to be on the lead and he’s very hard to rate, so if you’re going to have a horse pressing him he’s going to have a hard time. He’s won at a mile and a sixteenth before, and if we get a good trip he should be able to do it.” Rancho Alegre’s 3-year-old Monforte has yet to race at Gulfstream West but is six-for-11 lifetime including a victory in the 7 ½-furlong Bear’s Den Sept. 5 and has won four of five starts since being claimed for $35,000 by trainer Ruben Gracida last fall. Scraps, winner of the 2019 Bear’s Den, Hero Up, Sassy But Smart and Venezuelan Hug complete the field.

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11.12.2020:

Shivaree Takes His ‘Turn’ in Saturday’s Millions Sprint Preview

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After competing in major stakes for 3-year-olds out of town during the spring and summer months, Jacks or Better Farm Inc.’s Shivaree is scheduled for a return home and one-turn racing in Saturday’s $60,000 Millions Sprint Preview at Gulfstream Park West. The homebred son of Awesome Again will face older rivals for the first time Saturday while making his first start since finishing well back in the 1 ¼-mile Travers (G1) at Saratoga Aug. 8. “He’s doing great,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “He’s training great.” Shivaree, a multiple-stakes winner around one turn, stepped up to Grade 1 company and finished second behind Tiz the Law at 80-1 in the 1 1/8-mile Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park March 28. He went on to finish third in a one-turn optional claiming allowance behind Sole Volante, the Sam F. Davis (G3) winner and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) runner-up, and Jesus’ Team, who finished second in last Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland and third in the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico. He got a well-earned break after finishing off the board in the Blue Grass (G2) and Travers. “We’ll see how he goes, but his best races have been one turn,” Nicks said. “His Florida Derby was good, but if you look, other than Tiz the Law, everybody else hasn’t done anything.” After racing competitively in Florida Sire Stakes action during his juvenile campaign, Shivaree broke his maiden in his fifth career start, but it didn’t take him long to find the winner’s circle again. He followed up his maiden score last fall at Gulfstream Park West with victories in the Buffalo Man and the Limehouse to start out Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet. He went on to finish second in both the Swale (G3) and Hutcheson to earn a run in the Florida Derby. “Six to seven furlongs is where he’s at his best,” Nicks said. “He’s pretty genuine.” Emisael Jaramillo has the mount for Shivaree’s South Florida homecoming. Eric Wirth’s With Verve, who defeated Shivaree by a neck in the Hutcheson, will clash with the Nicks trainee in the Sprint Preview. The Larry Bates-trained 3-year-old is winless in four subsequent starts but has run well to finish a close second to Double Crown in the Carry Back and fourth in the Smile Sprint (G3) in his first start against older horses. Hall of Famer Edgar Prado has the return call aboard the son of Kantharos. Tracy Pinchin ‘s Jackson, who scored an upset victory in the six-furlong World Of Trouble Sprint (G3) during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet, will make his second start off a seven-month layoff Saturday. The Jose Pinchin-trained 4-year-old son of Kantharos showed speed before tiring and finishing fifth in the mile FSS Wildcat Heir in his recent return at Gulfstream. Cristian Torres has been named to ride Jackson. Michele Rosa and Lawrence Sargent’s Legal Deal is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the Sprint Preview. The Carlos David-trained 3-year-old gelding is coming off a sharp second-place finish in a state-bred optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West in his second start since being claimed out of a winning effort for $12,500. The son of Khozan set pressured fractions of 21.91 and 44.56 seconds for a half-mile before falling a half-length short of victory. “He ran second going three-quarters, and they ran in 1:09 and change and it was a fast race. He’s going to be a little bit of a longshot but I think I’m going to give it a go,”David said. “It’s like a state-bred allowance race. There’s another state-bred allowance going 6 ½ but I think he’s more like a six-furlong horse. He’s got a lot of speed, so I want to use that speed to his advantage. He doesn’t necessarily have to be on the lead.” Paco Lopez has the return call aboard Legal Deal. Stage Door Stables LLC’s As Seen On Tv, who finished third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet, will seek to rebound from three subpar showings in the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) and a pair of ungraded stakes at Monmouth Park. Trainer Kelly Breen awarded the mount aboard the 3-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky to Edgard Zayas. David Bemsen LLC and Jeffrey Lambert’s Vinnie Van Go and Yvette Perez Chambless’ Front Loaded round out the field. Cory Gal Set for Stakes Return in Saturday’s Millions Distaff Preview        Fresh off a track record-breaking performance, Paradise Farms Corp.’s Cory Gal is set to make her return to stakes competition in Saturday’s $60,000 Millions Distaff Preview at Gulfstream Park West. Making her first start since being claimed for $25,000 out of a 8 ½-length victory in a 6 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance Sept. 12, Cory Gal captured an Oct. 4 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West while running five furlongs in 56.58 seconds. In her debut for her new connections, the 4-year-old daughter of Corfu won by six lengths after setting a blistering pace in a race that was transferred from turf to a sloppy sealed racetrack. “She knows where the finish line is. She’s in really good form. I just thought she’d be a good one to claim and run back in the same condition and make a nice chunk of change,” trainer Peter Walder said. “But we took a shot and ran her in the optional $62,500 that came off the grass and she broke the track record. This race would be the next logical spot, being a restricted race.” Walder expects Cory Gal to set the pace Saturday while stretching out to seven furlongs. “God bless anyone who tries to run with her, because it will hurt their own chances,” Walder said. “Whether she can carry it seven-eighths or not, I don’t know, but she did win at 6 ½ when we claimed her. I don’t see why the extra half could bother her.” Cory Gal, who finished fifth in an overnight stakes in her May 2019 stakes debut and only stakes start, has won six of her last eight starts, including her last three races. Paco Lopez has the return mount aboard Cory Gal. Walder also entered Paradise Farms Corp.’s Tiz Possible Dear, and optional claiming allowance winner in two of her last three starts. Santiago Gonzalez has the mount aboard the 5-year-old daughter of Prospective. My Purple Haze Stables LLC’s Heiressall, who notched her long-overdue first stakes victory in the Sept. 6 Sheer Drama at Gulfstream Park, is scheduled to make a run at back-to-back stakes scores Saturday. The Terri Pompay-trained 5-year-old daughter of Wildcat Heir had been stakes-placed on five previous occasions, including a runner-up finish behind Wildwood’s Beauty in last year’s Distaff Preview. In the seven-furlong Sheer Drama, Heiressall stalked the pace under Miguel Vazquez before kicking in through the stretch to score by a length. Vazquez has the return mount. e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ Sound Machine has also been entered in the Distaff after finishing a troubled third in the Miss Preakness (G3) at Pimlico Oct. 3. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained 3-year-old filly encountered bumping at the start and rallied late to finish less than two lengths behind victorious Wicked Whisper. Previously, the daughter of Into Mischief finished fifth in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga off a 6 ½-month layoff. In her two most recent South Florida starts, she finished second behind Frank’s Rockette in the Any Limit and won the Glitter Woman during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet. Edgard Zayas has the call aboard Sound Machine. D J Stable LLC and Jonathan Green’s Ceci Valentina, J. Kent Sweezey’s Foxy Mischief, P and G Stable’s Picara, and Jerry Caroom’s High On Gin round out the field.

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11.11.2020:

Noble Drama 'Going Good' Ahead of Millions Classic Preview Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH FL – Noble Drama’s accomplishments may pale in comparison to those of his kin, but Harold Queen’s homebred 5-year-old gelding has carved out quite a profitable niche for himself. Out of Queen Drama, a half-sister to 2010 Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Big Drama and a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Sheer Drama, Noble Drama has established himself as a dominating force in the Florida-bred ranks, amassing nearly $600,000 in purse earnings during a 22-race career that includes five stakes wins and 10 stakes placings. The David Fawkes-trained son of Gone Astray will seek to continue his dominance in Saturday’s $60,000 Millions Classic Preview, a mile event for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up on the nine-race Sunshine Millions Preview card at Gulfstream Park West that include four other stakes. “Hopefully, this will be the steppingstone to the next one. He’s doing really good,” said Fawkes, referring to the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park Jan. 16. Noble Drama enters the Classic Preview in career-best form, coming off back-to-back victories at Gulfstream in the Sept. 6 Benny The Bull at seven furlongs and the Sept. 26 FSS Wildcat Heir at a mile around one turn. “He’s been really good to us recently,” Fawkes said. “He’s gotten older and smarter and he really likes what he’s doing.” In the Benny The Bull, Noble Drama overcame bumping at the start and rallied from seventh to win going away by 2 ½ lengths. In the Wildcat Heir, he settled in mid-pack before kicking in through the stretch to win by a length. The very versatile gelding has won multiple stakes around two turns, including a victory in the 1 1/8-mile Sunshine Millions Classic last year. “He beat some nice horses last time. He’s really turned into a decent horse. You’d love to have a barn full of horses like him,” Fawkes said. Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount aboard Noble Drama. Jacks or Better Farm’s Garter and Tie, one of the nice horses beaten by Noble Drama in the Wildcat Heir, is scheduled to return in the Classic Preview. The 4-year-old son of Brooks ‘n Down made a big move on the turn into the homestretch before making a strong stretch drive, in which he closed the gap from 3 ½ lengths to a length in the final eighth of a mile. “We’ve met Noble Drama four times and he’s beaten us three times,” trainer Ralph Nicks said. “So, we’ll have to improve.” The Nicks trainee was stakes-placed in his previous two starts despite encountering trouble at the start of both races. He rallied to finish second behind heavily favored Cool Arrow in the Opening Lead before checking in third behind Noble Drama in the Wildcat Heir. “He’s doing well. The only thing with him is: his two-turn races haven’t been as good as his one-turn races,” Nicks said. “That’s always a question with him. We’ll see what happens. Edgard Zayas has the mount aboard Garter and Tie, who broke his maiden in the 2018 FSS Affirmed and has won two other stakes. Equine Authority Inc.’s Red Crescent is set to title defense in the Millions Classic Preview, which he won by 1 ½ lengths last year. The 6-year-old son of Overdriven went on to finish second behind Noble Drama in the Sunshine Millions Classic, but is winless in five starts this year. The John Vinson-trained gelding finished fifth last time out in the Benny The Bull, in which he faded after stalking the pace while coming off a two-month layoff. In his two prior starts, he finished third behind victorious Eye of a Jedi, finishing 1 ¾ lengths behind runner-up Noble Drama in the Sea of Tranquility and finished a length behind runner-up and multiple-stakes winner Diamond Oops in an optional claiming allowance. Samy Camacho has the mount aboard Red Crescent. Raymond Mamone’s Debbie’s Passion, IAB Stables and Walter Fralick’s Quenane round out the field.

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10.29.2020:

Saturday, October 31: Gulfstream Park West Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 pool has been scheduled for Saturday’s program at Gulfstream Park West. Heading into Friday’s program, the popular multi-race wager has gone unsolved for seven consecutive programs following a $249,204 jackpot hit on Oct. 18. Multiple tickets with five out of six winners Thursday were each worth $843.22 Thursday. The Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $175,000 for Friday’s program. The carryover jackpot is usually 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. However, on mandatory payout days the whole pool is paid out to the bettor or bettors holding tickets with the most winners in the six-race sequence. Friday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 3-8, kicked off by a mile optional claiming allowance on turf for state-bred 3-year-olds and up in Race 3. Sassy But Smart, who was beaten by less than two lengths in a fourth-place finish in the Palm Beach (G3) during the Championship Meet, and Till the End, who has been 1-2-3 in last four starts at the level, appear to be the key contenders. Race 4 features a six-furlong sprint for $50,000 maiden claiming 2-year-old fillies. Terry’s Dream, a daughter of Jess’s Dream who finished second in her recent debut, will be taken on by a pair of first-time starters by California Chrome and Not This Time, and four others. A five-furlong turf dash for Florida-bred fillies and mares follows in Race 5, featuring the return of Daddy’s Joy, who graduated in her first start for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. in her first start at Gulfstream Park last time out. In only her third career start, the daughter of Daddy Long Legs will concede considerable experience to her eight rivals. A seven-furlong maiden special weight race for fillies and mares will start off the second half of the Rainbow 6 sequence in Race 6. Todd Pletcher-trained Abilene Trail, a 3-year-old daughter of Curlin, will return from a 13-month layoff while facing five rivals, including Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained Cozy Café, who finished a troubled third in her recent debut. The Rainbow 6 sequence will be wrapped up with a mile race for $8,000 claimers in Race 8 and a 1 1/16-mile turf race for $16,000 maiden claimers, 3-year-olds and up, in Race 9.

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10.26.2020:

Santa Anita Concludes 'Flawless' Autumn Meet

Arcadia, CA (Oct. 26, 2020) -- Santa Anita Park concluded the Autumn meet as the safest racetrack in the nation, without a single racing or training fatality since the horses returned from Del Mar on Sept. 5. During that time period, which includes the 16-day Autumn racing meet which was delayed because of the Bobcat Fire in the neighboring San Gabriel Mountains, 1,106 horses raced over the dirt track and turf course. Additionally, horses recorded over 51,200 training sessions, including 3,771 timed workouts over the main track and 487 over the training track. The main dirt track has not had a racing fatality in 2020, including the 2019-20 Winter/Spring meet which began in December. In 2020 there have been five racing fatalities from 5,069 starts, or 0.98 fatalities per 1,000 starters, well below the national average. In addition to hosting some of the most prestigious races in the nation, Santa Anita is home to the largest training facilities in the country, operating nearly year-round with over 400,000 annual training sessions. “These results are the efforts of the racing community to put the safety of the horse first at every turn, including additional veterinary regulations and observations, training approvals and analysis of entries,” said Aidan Butler, Chief Operating Officer of 1/ST Racing. “Last year, we set a course to reform the sport of horse racing for the next generation. This year, we are seeing the results of the hard work everyone has put into this effort. “We especially appreciate the dedication of the owners, trainers, veterinarians and hardworking men and women who care for the horses, of the jockeys who have adapted their riding styles, the California Horse Racing Board which regulates the sport, and veteran trackman Dennis Moore and the entire Santa Anita track crew, who tirelessly work the surface day and night with safety top of mind. We acknowledged last year that this modernization would likely lead to a short-term impact on Santa Anita’s field size, but as these reforms become the national standards, California is ahead of the implementation curve which strengthens the sport in our state. We sincerely thank the bettors who have continued to support our racing product during this transition. “On behalf of everyone at Santa Anita, we’d also like to let our fans know how much we’ve missed their passionate voices cheering these horses at The Great Race Place and we look forward to welcoming everyone back just as soon as we are able to do so.” Live racing will return to the Arcadia oval at Santa Anita Park as tradition dictates on Dec. 26.

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10.3.2020:

Swiss Skydiver Captures Preakness 145

BALTIMORE – Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver prevailed over Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic in a thrilling stretch duel to capture Saturday’s 145th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, becoming the sixth filly to win the 1 3/16-mile classic for 3-year-olds. The Preakness, traditionally the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, concluded the classic series for 3-year-olds after being postponed from May 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Jockey Club’s signature event was renewed without fans in attendance, as were the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 20 and the Kentucky Derby Sept. 5. Swiss Skydiver ($25.40) defeated Authentic by a neck to become the first filly since Rachel Alexandra (2009) to win the Preakness while thwarting the bid by the 3-2 favorite’s trainer, Bob Baffert, to win a record-breaking eighth Preakness. Trained by Kenny McPeek, the 3-year-old daughter of Daredevil joined Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906), Flocarline (1903), and Rachel Alexandra as the only fillies to beat the boys in the Preakness. She joined such a rare club while turning in a final running time of 1:53.28, second only to 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat’s 1:53 clocking. Swiss Skydiver, who had finished second in the July 11 Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland in her only previous start against colts, was the beneficiary of a quick decision by jockey Robby Albarado that helped propel her to the lead leaving the backstretch. From there, she fought off a relentless outside challenge from Authentic around the turn and throughout the stretch run to win her fifth graded stakes this year. “She is just a real bull. She loves what she does every day. She likes to go to work. She wants to go out early because she doesn't want to wait to go out,” McPeek said. “And Robby and I have had a great week here this week. We basically flew up together. We had breakfast, lunch, dinner. I think we were rowing in the same direction and the mojo was good and it happened.” Swiss Skydiver provided Albarado his first Grade 1 stakes victory since 2017. The veteran jockey, who rode Curlin to a Preakness score in 2007, has ridden more than 5,200 winners during his career, hadn’t won a graded stakes this year until Saturday. When Tyler Gaffalione opted out of traveling to Pimlico for the Preakness, McPeek decided to give Albarado a shot despite the fact that his business had slowed the past few years. “Well, owe it all to Kenny. I mean, he believed in me still and, sorry, it's Kenny. It's all Kenny,” Albarado said. “People started thinking I can't do it anymore and Kenny was there, just when I needed someone.” It looked like a genius decision by McPeek following his first success in the Preakness. Albarado saved ground aboard Swiss Skydiver around the first turn and along the backstretch before easing her around tiring pacesetter Thousand Words, who set fractions of 24.48 and 47.65 for the first half mile, nearing the half-mile pole. After splitting horses, Albarado sent Swiss Skydiver back to the rail, where she pulled alongside Authentic heading into the far turn and was talented and tough enough to beat the Derby winner to the finish. “I've had a lot of special horses in my career, but she's definitely right there at the top right now and I don't see a long time until another one does something like that to me,” McPeek said. “We work hard every day. And it's a game of failures is the thing about it. I've had actually a streak for Peter that I wasn't proud of. It seemed like we went six or seven years and we really didn't have the kind of horses we wanted.” Swiss Skydiver captured her fifth graded-stakes win in a season that included triumphs in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn, Santa Anita Oaks (G2) and Alabama (G1) at Saratoga. She was coming off a second-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs Sept. 5. Authentic, who captured the Kentucky Derby with a dominating front-running performance, was beaten to the lead by Thousand Words, and sat outside his Baffert-trained stablemate around the first turn and into the backstretch before taking a brief lead. “By the backstretch, I tried to open up, but he just stood there and Swiss Skydiver came to him,” said Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who was seeking his first Preakness win aboard Authentic. “I tried to get him rolling again, but he just stayed with that other horse from the half-mile pole to the wire.”When Baffert saddled Triple Crown champion Justify for a victory in the 2018 Preakness, he had tied the record for most wins by a trainer with Robert Wyndham Walden, who saddled seven winners between 1875 and 1888. Authentic finished 9 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Jesus’ Team, who was a neck ahead of Art Collector, the 5-2 second choice. “I was hoping he was on the lead. But he got beat. He had the whole stretch to get by her. She ran a gallant race,” Baffert said. “He’s a free-running horse and likes to be on the lead. I saw he wasn’t on the lead and was struggling a little bit.” Authentic’s second-place finish marked the first time that a Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner lost the Preakness. However, his previous five Derby winners came back in two weeks to win the Preakness. There was a four-week span between the two classics this year. “We had to get the lead. He runs better on the lead. He likes to be out there running fast. When I saw 24 [seconds] that’s really slow for him. That’s how he won the Derby, get him running. But [Velazquez] said when he went to pick it up he didn’t have it today,” Baffert said. “That’s why I like to come back in two weeks.” McPeek said the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) for fillies and mares at Keeneland Nov. 7 is the likely target for Swiss Skydiver but didn’t completely rule out the Breeder’s Cup Classic (G1) the same day. 145th Preakness Quotes    Winning Trainer Kenny McPeek (Swiss Skydiver) – (From NBC Broadcast) “I’m just proud of Robby. We had to call him in at the last minute. He did a great job. I’m really proud of him, her, [owner] Peter Callahan – I wish he was here. This is just a real honor to be around a horse like this. This is a special moment.” “It was a genius move by Robby coming up the fence. He saw a hole and went right at it. It felt like she took him there. If he waited, she would take him there. I think she should have won the Oaks too. Maybe if we stay inside, we win that one too, but it is what it is. She’s just really neat to be around. Robby and I have had a great week. We’ve been getting on her, walking her together, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together. This is a lifetime experience for both of us and we hope we’re back.” Winning Jockey Robby Albarado (Swiss Skydiver) – (From NBC broadcast) “I had an opportunity, a split second, to take advantage of the rail because Johnny was sitting off the fence there. I made a conscious decision on the backside. ‘It’s give or take now. Do I make that move now or do I wait to see if they come back to me?’ She’s been doing extremely well. Kenny’s been doing a great job. I’ve been around her all week. I figure she knows where she’s at, she’s in her surroundings. I said let me try and make this Jerry Bailey move and win.” Bob Baffert (trainer, Authentic, 2nd; Thousand Words, 8th) – “I was hoping he was on the lead. But he got beat. He had the whole stretch to get by her. She ran a gallant race. He’s a free-running horse and likes to be on the lead. I saw he wasn’t on the lead and was struggling a little bit.” “I thought I was going to be on the lead. [Jockey John Velazquez] said that it didn’t work out and he was rating him today. He doesn’t like rating. He wants to go fast.” “That’s a good filly. He had every chance to get by her. He got beat. He just couldn’t get by her. She dug in. She’s tough.’ “We had to get the lead. He runs better on the lead. He likes to be out there running fast. When I saw 24 [seconds] that’s really slow for him. That’s how he won the Derby, get him running. But he said when he went to pick it up he didn’t have it today. That’s why I like to come back in two weeks.” (On Thousand Words) “He was right there in a good spot, but he’s a funny horse. He’s in and out.” John Velazquez (jockey, Authentic, 2nd) – “We had a good start, no trouble at all. In the first turn we got by Art Collector. By the backstretch, I tried to open up, but he just stood there and Swiss Skydiver came to him. I tried to get him rolling again, but he just stayed with that other horse from the half-mile pole to the wire.” Jose D’Angelo (trainer, Jesus’ Team, 3rd) – “I feel very excited and I’m proud of my team and their work with Jesus’ Team. He’s really improved every day. I am very sure that he is going to be a great horse in the United States. I’m very happy for the result in this race, the Preakness Stakes, one of the most important races for 3-year-olds in this amazing country.” “I don’t know really what our next race will be, but maybe the Breeders’ Cup, maybe go to Florida to prepare him for the Pegasus. The horse ran so good and he came back good to the barn.” “I’m very, very proud of him. He’s like a kid, you know. Every day with him, we’re very proud.” Jockey Jevian Toledo (Jesus’ Team, 3rd): “He ran big. He’s a really nice horse. I got a really nice trip, I can’t complain. He gave me everything he had. We had no excuse. The other two horses were just much the best, but he was running all the way to the wire. It’s exciting; third in the Preakness. He’s a nice horse, a beautiful horse. He tries all the time.” Trainer Tommy Drury (Art Collector, 4th): “I thought he ran fine. He didn’t break quite as sharp as we hoped he would and that kind of had us playing catch-up a little bit. He was kind of in tight and it wasn’t the best trip; it’s not the trip we were hoping for. But we’ve got no excuse. The winner ran huge and we had our shot to get to them and just couldn’t do it.” Brian Hernandez Jr. (Art Collector, 4th): “It wasn’t the trip we were hoping for. We were kind of pinned in between horses the whole way. They jumped early, they moved early and we tried to go with them and we just weren’t able to. They sprinted on from about the three and a half on, and they never came back to us. You’ve got to be proud of the horse. Just to get to this level and for him to be fourth today, it was a big effort off of eight weeks. It wasn’t an ideal deal coming into this race off eight weeks but it is what it is.” Jockey Florent Geroux (Thousand Words, 8th): “I had a good trip. I broke on top and went right to the lead but at the half-mile [pole] I had no horse. The filly went outside of me and was the winner, but I was out of horse pretty much early on.”

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10.2.2020:

Authentic Headlines Preakness 145

BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic is favored at 9-5 in the morning line for Saturday’s 145th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, providing Hall of Famer Bob Baffert an excellent opportunity to become the most successful trainer in the storied history of the 1 3/16-mile classic. Authentic, who registered an impressive front-running victory in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, is scheduled to face 10 other 3-year-olds, including Thousand Words, who, at 6-1 in the morning line, figures to give Baffert a solid second chance to saddle his eighth Preakness winner. Authentic is owned by Spendthrift Farm LLC, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables LLC and Starlight Racing. Spendthrift Farm LLC also owns Thousand Words, who was scratched from the Derby after rearing and falling while being saddled in the paddock, in a partnership with Albaugh Family Stable LLC. The Preakness, traditionally the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, will conclude the series on Saturday after being postponed from May 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Jockey Club’s signature event will be run without fans in attendance, as were the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 20 and the Kentucky Derby Sept. 5. Fans can watch and wager on the entire 12-race Pimlico program at 1st.com/bet/ and xpressbet.com. The Preakness will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. “Without the fans, it sort of takes away from it. It didn’t feel like the Derby until the gates came open. Once the gates came open, I felt like it was on. Once he hit the wire, it felt like the Derby,” Baffert said. “It makes you forget about everything else.” Should Authentic or Thousand Words prevail Saturday, Baffert will surely be hit with that old Preakness feeling to which he has become all too accustomed. When Baffert saddled Triple Crown champion Justify for a victory in the 2018 Preakness, he tied the record for most wins by a trainer with Robert Wyndham Walden, who saddled seven winners between 1875 and 1888. From his seven Preakness winners, all five of Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winners won at Pimlico two weeks later. Authentic, however, will seek his second leg of the Triple Crown with four weeks between classics. “He would have been ready to roll in two weeks. I feel pressure now because I never lost a Preakness with a horse I won the Derby with,” Baffert said. “Now the pressure’s on me.” While he is well aware of his accomplishments at Pimlico, Baffert is making an effort to focus on the 2020 Preakness without reliving his past successes or his chance to become the winningest trainer in Preakness history Saturday. “The reason I’ve won it so many times is I’ve always had the best horse. That’s why I won. I’ve won the Derby with the best horse and I’ve lost the Derby with the best horse. The losses bother me. I think about the losses more – the ones that got away from me,” Baffert said. “The Preaknesses have never gotten away when I’m here with the best horse. Authentic will once again be guided by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who has ridden three Derby winners and two Belmont Stakes winners, but will be seeking his first Preakness success. Thousand Words will be ridden by Florent Geroux for the first time Saturday. Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector, who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby in the days leading up to the race due to a minor foot injury, is scheduled to join the Triple Crown fray Saturday. “We were going to miss a few days of training and that’s just not the way you want to go into the Kentucky Derby. I’ve been waiting for 30 years for this horse to come into my life. I’m sure not going to do anything to jeopardize his future for just one race,” trainer Tommy Drury said. “It certainly stung a little bit, but having this race right behind it, you kind of had to turn the page pretty quickly and start thinking about the next one.” Art Collector, who is rated second at 5-2 in the morning line, has finished first in his last five races (by a combined 23 ½ lengths), including four straight victories since being turned over to Drury this year. Art Collector, who won the July 11 Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland and the Aug. 9 Ellis Park Derby in his two most recent starts, has shown the ability to set the pace or stalk the pace under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. “He knows this horse like the back of his hand. I don’t think I’ve ever given him instructions on this horse,” said 49-year-old Drury, who celebrated his first career graded-stakes success in the Blue Grass. “I’ve just told him to ride as it comes to him. By doing that he’s gotten several different trips. That’s where having a horse that’s versatile enough that he will allow you to do that is very beneficial.” Drury has been impressed with the son of Bernardini’s preparation for the Preakness. “The Derby was disappointing because he was training so well leading up to it, but, gosh, I feel like he’s doing equally as well right now,” he said. “We’re ready to take our best shot.” Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver, who is rated at 6-1 in the morning line, is scheduled to clash with the boys for a second time in her career. The multiple graded-stakes winning daughter of Daredevil finished second as the favorite behind Art Collector in the Blue Grass. She will make a bid to join a group of five fillies who have captured the Preakness: Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906), and Flocarline (1903). “I don’t know if we have to differentiate genders. In Europe, fillies run against colts all the time. I don’t think Enable has run straight fillies [more than a few times] in several years,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “Here it seems to be more of a big deal, but for the most part when you bring a good one into the game, it doesn’t matter.” Swiss Skydiver captured the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) March 29 before going on win the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park and the Santa Anita Oaks (G2). She set a pressured pace in the Blue Grass before being overtaken by Art Collector, losing by 3 ½ lengths but finishing 4 ¾ lengths clear of the third-place finisher and next-out winner Rushie. The McPeek trainee bounced back to score a dominating 3 ½-length victory in the 1 ¼-mile Alabama (G1) at Saratoga before finishing second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. Swiss Skydiver is the latest in a long line of McPeek-trained Grade 1 stakes-winning fillies and mares, topped by Take Charge Lady, who earned nearly $2.5 million. “It seems to me I’ve had better fillies than I’ve had colts. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. If you look back on my career I’ve had some good colts,” said McPeek, who saddled Sarava for an upset victory in the 2002 Belmont Stakes. “We try to treat them all as individuals, but maybe my program does fit fillies better. I’m not sure.” Swiss Skydiver will have her sixth different jockey aboard for the Preakness when McPeek gives veteran Robby Albarado a leg up on his ultra-consistent filly. Albarado rode Curlin to a Preakness victory in 2007. Allied Racing Stable LLC’s Mr. Big News, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby at 46-1, is slated to take on Authentic again Saturday. The late-developing son of Giant’s Causeway broke his maiden Jan. 20 at Fair Grounds in his fourth career start. He earned a ‘Win & In’ berth in the Preakness when he won his first stakes in the Oaklawn Stakes April 11 before disappointing with an off-the-board finish in the Blue Grass. “Mentally, he’s always been a great-minded horse. He’s done everything the right way his whole career. Physically, he just wasn’t as strong as he is now. He had to fill out and get stronger. That’s what he’s done gradually,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “It’s been a continuous development over the past five, six months to get where he needed to be. To be strong enough to be at the top of his game.” Calhoun never lost faith in Mr. Big News. “The trainer has to be patient. The owner needs to be patient to allow the trainer to be patient. It’s kind of a team effort,” Calhoun said. “This horse showed talent early on. I know not everybody was a believer. I think a lot of people were wondering, ‘What do you see in him?’ We saw something in him in his early works. He was getting better and better, making big leaps forward in his development. I told some people, ‘You’re going to read about this horse someday.’” Gabriel Saez, who was aboard for the Oaklawn Stakes win, has the return call on Mr. Big News, who is rated at 12-1 in the morning line. Trainer Steve Asmussen, who saddled Rachel Alexandra and Curlin for their Preakness scores, is scheduled to saddle three starters Saturday in his bid for No. 3 – George Hall and Sport BLX Thoroughbreds Corp.’s Max Player, Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Pneumatic and Calumet Farm’s Excession. (Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, in 2013, was the last trainer to saddle three starters, including Calumet’s victorious Oxbow), Max Player is the only horse entered in all three Triple Crown races this year. The son of Honor Code, who finished a non-threatening third in the Belmont for trainer Linda Rice, was never able to get into the race in his first start for Asmussen in the Derby, in which he finished fifth after breaking from the rail post. “Obviously, I was a little bit disappointed in his race in the Derby but his post cost him considerably, just getting covered up early and being way too far back to be effective,” Asmussen said. Pneumatic, who finished fourth in the Belmont, is coming off a 2 ¼-length victory in the ungraded Pegasus at Monmouth Park; while Excession will make his first start since finishing second in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park March 14. Asmussen expressed gratitude to the participating Triple Crown tracks for making adjustments to make Triple Crown 2020 a reality. “They’re only 3 once and they deserve this opportunity. I’m glad the tracks got together and made sure the races were run,” Asmussen said. “We’re very excited to have three talented horses in such an important race.” Paco Lopez is scheduled to ride Max Player for the first time Saturday, while Joe Bravo and Sheldon Russell will have the mounts on Pneumatic (20-1) and Excession (30-1), respectively. Ny Traffic, who faded to eighth after attending the early pace in the Kentucky Derby, will seek a rebound effort in the Preakness for owners John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing, Paul Braverman and Team Hanley. The Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained son of Cross Traffic had finished second, beaten by a nose, behind Authentic in the Haskell (G1) at Monmouth.

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9.28.2020:

Swiss Skydiver to Compete in Preakness 145

BALTIMORE – Peter Callahan’s Grade 1 stakes-winning filly Swiss Skydiver will compete in the 145th Preakness (G1) at Pimlico on Oct. 3, trainer Kenny McPeek confirmed Sunday. Veteran jockey Robby Albarado will replace Tyler Gaffalione on the millionaire filly. Albarado won the Preakness in 2007 aboard future Hall of Famer Curlin. When she goes to the gate at historic Pimlico Race Course, Swiss Skydiver will be the 55th female to run in the Preakness. The most recent of the five filly winners of Maryland’s Triple Crown classic was Rachel Alexandra in 2009. Her success against males in Baltimore helped her capture the 3-year-old filly title and the Horse of the Year Award. McPeek had talked about the 1 3/16-mile Preakness as a possibility for Swiss Skydiver since the summer and decided to send her in against males for a second time when she worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 at Churchill Downs Saturday morning. In June, the chestnut daughter of Daredevil won the Santa Anita Oaks (G2), her third straight victory. In her first attempt against males, she ended up second to Preakness prospect Art Collector in the July 11 Blue Grass Stakes (G2). On August 15 at Saratoga, she won as she pleased in the 1 ¼ mile Alabama (G1). Three weeks later, she was second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).  “I know she will make the distance without any problem,” McPeek said. “I think she will like that racetrack. Of course, she has raced everywhere. Whatever racetrack she has raced over she has handled great. It was a tough call between racing against straight 3-year-olds or older fillies and mares or turf, which was briefly thought about. I think she will handle it fine. “My preference would have been if they wrote a race back like the Alabama back for this week. But that doesn’t exist. There are no 3-year-old filly Grade 1s. She gets a little bit of weight off and she’s continuing to do good,” he added. A victory against the boys would greatly enhance Swiss Skydiver’s quest for year-end honors. “I think if she wins a race like this you’ve got to include her possible Horse of the Year,” McPeek said. “She’s danced every dance and she’s been hickory and she had entertained the fan base like probably no filly in years. I think it’s a chance to make history.” The other dirt option for McPeek prior to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland on November 7 was the Spinster (G1) on Oct. 4, also at Keeneland. Preakness entries will be taken Monday. Swiss Skydiver will ship to Maryland from Kentucky on Tuesday. “It will be interesting to see where she draws,” McPeek said. “I think she runs better from the outside and I think drawing the one-hole cost her the Oaks. I think she got pinned down in there and if my rider had stayed inside he probably would have won. But he went around. Hindsight is 20/20. It is what it is.”

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9.27.2020:

Thousand Words Back on His Game for Preakness 145

BALTIMORE – With blinkers back on, Thousand Words turned in the type of work Saturday morning at Churchill Downs that Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert again is regarding him as a solid prospect for the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) at historic Pimlico Race Course. Under jockey Florent Geroux, the colt co-owned by Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm completed five furlongs in 1:00.60 and galloped out another furlong in 1:13.60. The look and time of the work was in sharp contrast to the effort he put in last weekend – a nothing-special 1:02.40 with blinkers off – that left Baffert questioning if the son of Pioneerof the Nile was ready for the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown series.  “We were hoping that he would do something like this,” Baffert said from California. “He had to work better than he did last week. Last week, he was just sort of lazy and didn’t get into it, but now he worked really well.” Baffert is aiming for his record-breaking eighth victory in the Preakness with Thousand Words and Authentic, winner of the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby (G1). Authentic is scheduled for his final pre-Preakness work on Monday, but Baffert said that he might move the breeze ahead to Sunday because there is rain in the forecast. Thousand Words, a three-time stakes winner, was on course for the Preakness, but the lackluster breeze put his status in question. Although Thousand Words typically works with blinkers on and had them on for two of his stakes victories, the equipment was not used last weekend. “I know we always work him in a blinkers and we should have worked him in blinkers the last time,” Baffert said. “That might have had something to do with it.” Baffert said that Geroux was excited about the work and told him that Thousand Words felt like a different horse. While he will wait to see how Thousand Words looks to him when he arrives in Louisville, Ky. on Sunday, Baffert acknowledged that he has to consider him for the Preakness.  “I feel better about it,” Baffert said. “This week he was very willing, which is very good. You want to see a horse that is very willing and he was very willing today.” Baffert said he has not decided whether Thousand Words will wear blinkers if he goes in the Preakness.

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9.26.2020:

Steve Asmussen to Saddle Three Horses in Preakness 145

 BALTIMORE - Steve Asmussen last week became only the second trainer to win 9,000 races, the landmark win coming on Troy Ounce in the second race at Oklahoma City’s Remington Park. That left him 446 victories — since whittled to 437 heading into Friday’s racing — shy of becoming the sport’s all-time winningest trainer, with the late Dale Baird accruing 9,445 in a career spanning 1961-2007. Only 15 of Asmussen’s wins have come at Pimlico Race Course, but they’ve accounted for 11 graded stakes and more than $3.3 million in purses, including Preakness (G1) victories in 2007 with two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and two years later with the filly and 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Asmussen’s Pimlico wins have come out of 57 starters after going 0 for 10 from 1998 through 2006. Now Asmussen will try to win the Preakness for the third time with a trio of horses: George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds’ Max Player, Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Pneumatic and Calumet Farm’s Excession. Asmussen also plans to run Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold in the Pimlico Special (G3), a race he won last year after finishing a close third in the 2018 Preakness to eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. Asmussen has nominated horses to other stakes at Pimlico and expects to again be a presence at Old Hilltop.  “We think we will have a lot of live action for the weekend, and I expect a couple of winners to add to the total,” said Asmussen, the 2017 and 2018 winner of Pimlico’s $50,000 bonus to the trainer whose horses earn the most points racing in the Preakness festival’s stakes. “At this stage, we’re just blessed with some extremely talented horses and it is an important event for us. Preakness weekend has always been a big deal to us, and we’ve been fortunate to have fastest-enough horses to run in the races they offer.”  Max Player officially entered the Preakness picture on Wednesday, two days after a sparkling workout of 1:00 1/5 at Churchill Downs, the fastest of 21 works that day at the distance. While Asmussen is well-known for putting a significant work into his horses 12 days before a race, he is not a trainer who drills his horses or goes in expecting an extremely fast work. So when his horses do that, handicappers have learned to pay extra attention. “He’s an extremely impressive horse and I think he’s doing really well,” Asmussen said. “His work Monday was excellent. His gallop-out was huge. He came out of it in very good shape, went back to the track with a whole lot of energy. Very exciting horse at the right time. Hall sent Max Player to Steve Asmussen a couple of weeks before the Kentucky Derby (G1), in which he closed from well back to be fifth. The colt had previously been trained by New York-based Linda Rice, including winning Aqueduct’s Withers (G3) and finishing third in the Belmont (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1), both won by Derby runner-up Tiz the Law. “We’ve secured Paco Lopez to ride him,” Asmussen said. “We’re hoping he’s able to stay a little closer, not give himself a margin that is impossible to overcome with the Preakness being a little shorter than the Derby. But he is doing really well. He’s a very clean-legged, good-moving horse with a great attitude.” Excession hasn’t raced since he was second by a fast-closing three-quarters of a length at 82-1 odds in Oaklawn Park’s Rebel Stakes (G2). That March 14 race was won by Nadal, who before being injured was one of the top choices for the Kentucky Derby. A son of Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, Excession will be ridden by Sheldon Russell, won of Maryland’s leading riders. “He needed some time after the Rebel,” Asmussen said of Excession. “He’s been working well recently. His race against Nadal was very impressive. Just a weird year that he’s allowed him to take a break and come back” and still make a Triple Crown race. Pneumatic won Monmouth Park’s TVG.com Pegasus Stakes in his last start to run his record to 3 for 5, with a fourth in the Belmont Stakes. Asmussen also is shooting for a third victory in the $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3), including a repeat with Tenfold. That son of Curlin loves Pimlico, having finished a close third in the foggy running of the 2018 Preakness Stakes won by Triple Crown hero Justify.  Like Pneumatic, Tenfold is owned by Asmussen’s long-time client Winchell Thoroughbreds. Joe Bravo, who was aboard for the Pegasus, will be back on Pneumatic for the Preakness, Asmussen said. “We feel great about how he’s doing, knowing that this is by far the toughest race he’s ever been in. “I believe it’s quite obvious there are some extremely talented 3-year-olds left that are doing very well. It ought to be a great race. Pneumatic, coming off his lifetime best, deserves the opportunity.” Tenfold has ground out $1.1 million the hard way, winning last year’s Pimlico Special and Saratoga’s Jim Dandy (G2) in 2018 while earning many more checks by finishing second, third and fourth in 19 career races. When he returns to Pimlico, Tenfold will be attempting to win for the first time since the 2019 Special 10 races ago. “Solid horse. Right now it’s not easy to find lucrative purses for horses that need to run as far as he does,” Asmussen said. “The Pimlico Special was probably equal to his Jim Dandy victory. He’s a Grade 2 winner of a million dollars. He’s a pretty damn good horse.” In his last two starts, Tenfold shipped to California for a third in Santa Anita’s Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) then second in the Charles Town Classic (G2). “He’s huge,” Asmussen said at Churchill Downs. “I don’t think the tight turns of the Charles Town Classic suited him. But this year’s calendar has made finding a suitable spot for most horses difficult.” Pneumatic and Tenfold will ship in from Saratoga, where their training is being overseen by Asmussen chief assistant Scott Blasi. Asmussen currently is the meet-leading trainer at Churchill Downs (where he became the all-time win leader in June), Lone Star Park, Remington Park and Louisiana Downs. The record-breaking and goal-oriented horseman isn’t shy about acknowledging he wants to be racing’s all-time win leader. “I read it or I heard it somewhere that if they don’t want it to be important, then why do they keep count?” he said with a laugh. “Right now, after reaching a goal as significant as 9,000 wins, you feel a great amount of gratitude for the opportunities that we’ve been given and the effort that all the help has put into it to get it done.” At his current strike rate, Asmussen figures to be the sport’s all-time win leader within 1 1/2 years. Then what? “The open-ended, unanswered question of what’s next, then every victory you lift your arms and say, ‘new world record,’” he said cheerfully. “Every one you win, if you get fortunate enough to get to it, and afterward, you’re the only one who ever did it.”

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9.26.2020:

'Sharper and Stronger' Mr. Big News Has Final Preakness Work

LOUISVILLE - Mr. Big News, third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in his last start, had his final major training session for the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1), cruising a half-mile in 50.40 seconds early Friday morning at Churchill Downs. Trainer Bret Calhoun termed it “just a maintenance work.” With exercise rider Tony Quinones aboard, Mr. Big News was clocked methodically picking up the pace in 13.20 seconds for the first eighth-mile and 25.60 for the half-mile, reflecting the last half-mile in 24.80. His gallop-out time of 1:03.20 for three-quarters of a mile reflects an eighth-mile past the wire and rounding into the turn in a strong 12.80 seconds “He galloped to the pole easy. I caught him from the three-eighths to the seven-eighths in 49-and-1,” Calhoun said. “He galloped out big. He was pretty strong at the quarter pole; Tony had a pretty good hold on him, and he was strong all the way — everything went like we wanted. “It was just a maintenance work. If he’s not ready by now, he never will be. We weren’t looking for much, just wanted him to stretch his legs a little bit. That’s pretty much what we got. He’s been strong in his gallops every day. He was pretty strong going to the pole today, and Tony had him relaxed. The first eighth he did nice and easy, and picked it up from there.” Mr. Big News will be the first Preakness starter for Calhoun and owner Chester Thomas’ Allied Racing. Gabriel Saez has the mount on the Giant’s Causeway colt, who earned a fees-pay spot in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness by virtue of winning Oaklawn Park’s $200,000 Oaklawn Stakes at 46-1 odds on April 11 in Arkansas. He came into the Kentucky Derby off a disappointing sixth-place finish in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (G2), won by Preakness contender Art Collector. But Mr. Big News’ subsequent strong training in the weeks leading up to the Derby convinced Calhoun and Thomas to swing for the fences, the result being a closing third (again at 46-1) behind Authentic and Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law. “I’m seeing what I saw going into the Derby,” Calhoun said. “He’s gotten sharper and stronger in his gallops every day since the Derby. I think that he’ll only get stronger or he isn’t going to the Preakness.” Asked about the field, which is burgeoning toward capacity, he said: “I guess there are a lot of people out there taking a shot. I don’t know a lot about them, and honestly don’t concern myself a lot with them. I obviously have upmost respect for Authentic, Thousand Words and Art Collector. They’re very proven horses. There are a lot of other good horses going in there. But I’m pretty much just focused on my horse.” He acknowledged that one or more of the horses jumping into the Preakness late could be like Mr. Big News heading into the Kentucky Derby. “Yeah, obviously those horses are doing good,” Calhoun said. “They wouldn’t be putting them in there if they didn’t think they were doing well and thriving. There will be some horses that haven’t been on the Triple Crown trail earlier, that have shown up in other places and are starting to peak coming around toward the end of the year. You always have to be worried about those.” Meanwhile, Thomas reiterated his sentiment that the free roll in the Preakness plays no role in the decision to go. He also wants to make clear his meaning of the word “going” in a recent video interview when he said in part, “There’s going to be a bunch of good horses in there, but we’re going to win that thing.”  While a recent headline that had excerpted “We’re going to win” could be taken a couple of ways, the overall context of the interview and story made clear that Thomas was not predicting a victory, just that Mr. Big News would be going to Pimlico with his team feeling that a Preakness victory is possible. “We’re going up there with the intent to win,” Thomas said by phone Friday morning. “But it’s a tough game. It takes a lot of luck…. (But) we’re not going up there hoping to finish second or third. We’re going up there hoping to win. “…We love the game, we’re competitive. We like to see our horses run well. But I’m the last guy who is going to be out here telling you I’m winning the Preakness. It’s going to be a full field. It’s going to be tough as heck. Hopefully our horse comes out of this work well, and I’m confident that Bret will take a horse up there ready to run. But who knows? You’ve got post position, set-up in the race, speed. You’ve got to get a good trip. There are so many factors in there that every horseman knows is important to winning a race.”

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9.24.2020:

Max Player Confirmed for Preakness 145

BALTIMORE - Max Player is headed to the Preakness Stakes (G1), which as it currently stands will stamp him as the only horse to compete in all three legs of the Triple Crown — plus Saratoga’s Travers Stakes (G1). Owned by George Hall and the SportBLX Thoroughbreds company he co-founded, Max Player finished third in the Belmont Stakes (G1), third in the Travers and most recently fifth in the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby (G1). Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, winner of the 2007 Preakness with Curlin and the 2009 edition with the filly Rachel Alexandra, ran Max Player for the first time in the Derby, with New York-based Linda Rice previously training the Honor Code colt. Hall won the 2011 Belmont Stakes with 24-1 shot Ruler On Ice. Max Player was his best finish out of four starters in the Kentucky Derby and his first to run in the Churchill Downs classic since Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Pants On Fire came in ninth in 2011. “I’m very excited because I haven’t been in the Preakness yet,” Hall said by phone. “Steve and I stay in close contact. He shares a lot of information with me, and we discuss things. So it’s been great. We both agreed we’d take a lot of things into consideration before there was a decision. “First, and most importantly, how was the horse feeling and was the horse up for it? Because we don’t want to do anything that is not in the interest of the horse. After the Kentucky Derby, he looked like he wanted to keep running. Steve watched him closely, and he was in great shape. He’s galloped well. He’s breezed well. We felt the horse was at the peak of his game and is ready to run.  “The next thing is, are we going to be competitive? I really feel like we will be competitive. If you look at the Belmont Stakes, where we were third, he didn’t have such a great trip. We got really caught behind a lot of horses and had to move around a lot and still wound up being third because he came on so strong at the end. In the Travers, he again came on strong to be third. It’s no shame to lose to Tiz the Law, as everybody knows. We feel like he’s a really good horse. “When we started to look at the Preakness, I think the view is that he’s in perfectly good health. He’s in good shape, and he needs to develop. Reviewing the Kentucky Derby, he really came out of the gate slow (from post 1) and was far behind in the first jump. If we can get a little better trip out of the gate, maybe get a better post position and not fall so far behind and give him so much work to do at the end, we think that we can be competitive.” Paco Lopez, known for getting horses into a race, has the Preakness mount on Max Player, Hall said. “That’s what Paco is known for. Obviously, we want to stay in the race, but we have to be careful because he is going to be a closer, no matter what. I’m sure Steve will give Paco the correct instructions.” Max Player won Aqueduct’s 1 1/8-mile Withers Stakes (G3) on Feb. 1 after winning a maiden race at Parx on his second attempt. He did not run again until the June 20 Belmont, which this year also was 1 1/8 miles instead of the traditional 1 1/2-miles because of the COVID-forced changes to the 2020 Triple Crown. “He had a long layoff before the Belmont, but then he’s had a robust campaign since,” Hall said. “What’s most important to us is that he stays healthy and has a good 4-year-old and hopefully 5-year-old career. We didn’t really think there was negative toward running in the Preakness that would affect his long-term prospects as a 4-year-old. We’re pretty excited about what he’s going to do be doing in the future, too.” Hall bred Max Player through his K & G Stables, named for his children Katherine and George, with the colt raised on his Annestes Farm in Versailles, Ky. Hall owns 86 percent of Max Player, with SportBLX Thoroughbreds owning the other 14 percent. Co-founded by Hall with Joe De Perio, SportBLX Thoroughbreds allows people to buy micro-shares in racehorses, similar in basic premise to Myracehorse, a minority owner in Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness favorite Authentic. More micro-shares in Max Player, which will come out of his majority interest, likely will be available for purchase next week, Hall said. Asmussen also is running Monmouth Park's Pegasus winner Pneumatic in the Preakness, with Joe Bravo to ride.

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9.23.2020:

Santa Anita Autumn Meet Betting Menu Includes New Golden Hour Pick 4

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2020) --- Santa Anita’s much anticipated Autumn meet, which opens this Friday, will offer a comprehensive betting menu including the new $1 Golden Hour Late Pick 4. The wager, which features a low 15% takeout popular with players, links the last two races from Santa Anita and the last two races from Golden Gate Fields each racing day. It complements the popular $5 Golden Hour Double, which premiered earlier this year during Santa Anita’s winter-spring season. While Santa Anita remains closed to the public due to Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 restrictions, fans can watch the live races streaming in HD free of charge on santaanita.com. There are several on-line wagering options available, including 1stBet.com, Santa Anita’s official wagering platform, which can be downloaded for free at the App Store. All of Santa Anita’s races also will be shown live on TVG. The heart of Santa Anita’s player friendly program belongs to the early Pick 5, linking the first five races offered each day. At 14%, the popular wager features one of the lowest takeout rates in the country on a multi-race wager.  Bookending the card is a late Pick 5, featuring the last five races each day.  Santa Anita’s 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot returns, consisting of the final six races on each day’s program. The 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six has developed a following as it has the propensity to grow into a massive jackpot pool of millions of dollars, paid out only to a single ticket with all six winners.  All bets, including the Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot, have mandatory payouts on closing day, Oct. 25. Friday’s opener, which was delayed a week due to the impact of the Bobcat Fire on the surrounding community, features the return of Santa Anita’s inclusion in The Stronach Five, offering a weekly guaranteed pool of $100,000.  Contested each Friday, The Stronach Five consists of a series of races from Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park and Golden Gate Fields, all running in quick succession. The $1 minimum, The Stronach Five is highlighted by an industry low 12% takeout. Santa Anita’s betting menu is rounded out by numerous wagering opportunities that players have come to expect from The Great Race Place, including $2 Win, Place and Show wagering featuring the lowest takeout of any major racetrack in North America, plus $1 Exactas, $2 rolling Daily Doubles, 50 cent rolling Pick 3s, early and late 50 cent Pick 4s, early and late 50 cent Pick 5s, the $1 Super High 5 and 10 cent Superfectas on all races with a minimum of six runners.

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9.20.2020:

'All Systems Go' for Authentic in Preakness Stakes

 LOUISVILLE— Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic had his first major training session Saturday morning to prepare for the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1), working five-eighths of a mile in 59.20 seconds at Churchill Downs. Jockey Martin Garcia filled in for John Velazquez, who won his third Kentucky Derby while riding Authentic for the first time. The once-beaten Authentic led all the way Sept. 5 through a swift pace to beat favored Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tiz the Law by 1 1/4 lengths, the 2:00.61 time was one of the fastest in Derby history while giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby. Owned by Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, Authentic now will try to make his trainer 6-for-6 in the Preakness Stakes with a Derby winner. Baffert owns a record-tying seven Preaknesses overall, with 2001 beaten Derby favorite Point Given regrouping to win two-thirds of the Triple Crown. Going to the track at 9 a.m. after the second renovation break, Authentic was timed by the Churchill Downs clockers in splits of 23.80 for a quarter-mile and 35.40 for three-eighths, then hitting six furlongs past the wire in 1:12.20 (for what the clockers considered part of the gallop-out) and seven-eighths of a mile in 1:25.20. The official 59.20 time was the fastest of 38 at the distance at Churchill throughout the morning. “It went very well. Martin has been with me,” trainer Bob Baffert of Garcia, whose victory aboard Lookin At Lucky in the 2010 Preakness is one of Baffert’s seven. “He knows what I expect. I told him we’re going to go three-quarters from the five (five-eighths pole), and he just went off, didn’t have to move on him. This horse, he gets over any track. He couldn’t have looked better, coming off a race like that. Everything is all systems go for the Preakness. Got a nice work out of him. I’ll come back, give him an easier work next week and he should be ready to go.” Authentic’s only defeat in six starts was a second to Honor A.P. in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The son of the Spendthrift Farm stallion Into Mischief won Monmouth Park’s Haskell Invitational (G1) by a nose in his race before the Derby Baffert planned to return to the Keeneland sales in Lexington after Saturday’s works by Authentic and stablemate Thousand Words, who was scratched from the Derby after flipping in the paddock. The Hall of Fame trainer said he’ll return to Churchill Downs for their final Preakness workouts.  The horses are scheduled to be on the Tex Sutton Forwarding Company equine charter (nicknamed Air Horse One) flying from Louisville to Baltimore on Tuesday Sept. 29. With jockey Florent Geroux up for the first time, Thousand Words worked what trainer Bob Baffert termed a seven-furlong work. The Churchill Downs clockers timed it as a five-furlong work, with Thousand Words galloping out the seven-eighths in 1:27.80. Starting out slowly, Thousand Words was clocked in eighth-mile splits of 13.40, 25.80, 60.60 and hitting five-furlongs in 1:02.40, while recording gallop out times around the turn of 1:14.60 and the 1:27.80. “He’s not a real good work horse,” Baffert said. “I usually have him in company, and today I had him by himself. He’s just a steady kind of horse. Distance is his friend. Flo got to know him today, and I think he’s going to work him back this week. Now he knows the horse a little bit better. But it was fine. I like the way he actually finished up. He started picking it up the last part. I worked him seven-eighths today. That’s him. He’ll never wow you in the mornings. Just steady. He’s funny in that if you try to rush him early, he gets discouraged.” Geroux was supposed to ride Thousand Words in the Kentucky Derby. But the $1 million yearling purchase acted up in the paddock and flipped, sending assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes to the ground, where he fractured his wrist trying to brace himself. (Thousand Words was scratched, which is why Geroux had never been on his back until the workout.) A half-hour later, Baffert had his record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby victory with Authentic. “It felt like we went to hell and back in 30 minutes, a friend told me,” Baffert said. “The emotions. Racing will do that to you. We went from being emotionally the low to all of a sudden, 20 minutes later, we’re on a super high — we win the Kentucky Derby. Every year there’s always something new that happens to me. A thousand things can go wrong. And with Thousand Words, that’s the first time I’ve ever had a horse that I had to scratch him for saddling. Ever in my life. And I’ve run thousands and thousands of quarter horses and Thoroughbreds and never had won scratched in the paddock.” For the record, Baffert through Friday had 13,429 Thoroughbred starters. Owned by Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm, Thousand Words earned his shot at the Kentucky Derby by upsetting Honor A.P. in Del Mar’s Shared Belief Stakes. Thousand Words’ mishap and the fact that Barnes was headed to the emergency room instead of the Derby winner’s circle clearly weighs on Baffert. “I really thought Thousand Words could have gotten a piece of it,” he said. “He was doing really, really well. But he got upset. He just got mad in the paddock. That’s why he blew up like that. I felt bad for the Albaugh family, who owns half the horse. He was coming off a big win. Everything was looking great. He was going to run a big race, and then that happens to him. The excitement of being able to be ready to run in a race like that, and then you get scratched. I felt really bad for them. And Jimmy getting hurt, that was just horrible. “But Jimmy is doing fine now. He got his arm patched up. He had a great surgeon who patched him up. He’s actually in pretty good spirits.”

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9.17.2020:

Claiming Crown to Return to Gulfstream Park in 2020

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Claiming Crown, a nine-race event offering $835,000 in purses to the blue-collar horses that are the backbone of the Thoroughbred industry’s day-to-day racing schedule, will return to Gulfstream Park for the ninth consecutive year Saturday, Dec. 5. The 22nd edition of the Claiming Crown, which has undergone a dramatic revitalization since being moved to Gulfstream in 2012, will highlight the opening weekend of the 2020-2021 Championship Meet that will get under way Wednesday, Dec. 2. Handle on the Claiming Crown has climbed each of the last eight years since being held at Gulfstream. The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). “The Claiming Crown from its inception has been a unique way to celebrate these blue-collar horses,” said Gulfstream’s Vice President of Racing Mike Lakow. “It’s a fantastic day of racing and a day racing fans look forward to. We’re excited to once again be part of this great event.” "We want to express our sincerest appreciation to Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA for their continued commitment to the Claiming Crown," said Dan Metzger, president of TOBA.  "With all of the challenges we're facing as a sport and country this year, it's very gratifying to be able to host the 22nd running of our event." Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA, said: “The National HBPA Board of Directors with President Leroy Gessmann and our Regional Vice Presidents are extremely pleased to once again announce the 2020 Claiming Crown, along with our partners TOBA, the Florida HBPA, and Gulfstream Park.  We continue to see this event grow in popularity with owners, trainers, and horseplayers, all of whom are without question the backbone of our industry. The Claiming Crown has always recognized the excellence of Thoroughbred racing's stalwarts. Even amid today's trying circumstances, it's a priority for us to provide this day showcasing the blue-collar horses and their owners and trainers who make racing programs across America possible. While we understand this year is a year like no other, we all feel it is important to also see this amazing day of races take place as it has been for over 20 years, and we hope by doing so to bring a sense of stability for horsemen.” “The FHBPA is also excited to work with our partners to present this year’s Claiming Crown series,” said Kevin Scheen, Executive Director of the Florida HBPA. “It’s a great concept. These hard hitting claiming horses will have a chance to be featured, racing for purses ranging from $75-150K. It should be a fun day of competitive racing; a great way to kick off the first Saturday of the Championship Meet.” The $150,000 Jewel will headline the Claiming Crown program. The 1 1/8-mile route will be contested by 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $35,000 or less. The $95,000 Tiara for fillies and mares that have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or less will be run at 1 1/16-miles on turf, as will the $95,000 Emerald, which will be contested by 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a $25,000 claiming price or less. The $90,000 Canterbury for 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or less and the $90,000 Distaff Dash for fillies and mares that have run for a claiming price of $25,000 or less are both scheduled to be run at five-furlongs on turf. The Claiming Crown program will also include the $85.000 Rapid Transit, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $16,000 or less; the $80,000 Glass Slipper a mile event for fillies and mares that have raced for a claiming price of $16,000 or less; the $75,000 Express, a six-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $8,000 or less; and the $75,000 Iron Horse, a 1 1/16-mile route for 3-year-olds and up that have raced for a claiming price of $8,000 or less.

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9.14.2020:

Santa Anita Opening Day Postponed to Friday, September 25

ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2020) -- The opening day of Santa Anita’s Autumn season will be pushed back a week until Friday, September 25, due to the impact of Bobcat Fire on the air quality and surrounding community.  “Our local community has been deeply impacted by the Bobcat Fire burning for more than a week in the mountains behind us,” said Aidan Butler, Executive Director of California Operations for The Stronach Group.  “The current weather pattern has kept the smoke in the valley and the air quality is quite poor right now. The Red Cross is using Santa Anita as the evacuation zone for people – including many of our horsemen – whose homes are less than two miles from here. As excited as we are to welcome back live racing, we are first and foremost committed to safety. This is the responsible decision to make at this time so people can plan accordingly.” “The stakes races set for this weekend will be brought back next weekend,” said Steve Lym, Santa Anita’s VP - Racing & Racing Secretary. “The smoke has impacted some training schedules, so postponing until next weekend will allow everyone a chance to be ready to go.  We are planning on filling extra races throughout the meet to give our horsemen the opportunity to run their horses.” The Opening Week now will feature a blockbuster schedule of outstanding stakes action, offering over $2-million in purse money.  The stakes schedule includes seven races which are “Win and You’re In” races for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The stakes races originally slotted for this weekend will be run as follows: the Chillingworth on Friday, September 25, the Speakeasy on Saturday, September 26 and the Tokyo City Cup on Sunday, September 27. Entries for Opening Day, September 25, will be drawn on Sunday, September 20, as scheduled. First post will be 12:30 p.m. PT.

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8.29.2020:

Channel Makers Powers to Victory in G1 Sword Dancer

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R.A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's multiple Grade 1-winner Channel Maker led at every point of call to capture Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer, a 12-furlong inner turf test for older horses at Saratoga Race Course. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the 6-year-old English Channel gelding flourished on the soft going and earned an automatic berth to the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders' Cup Turf on November 7 at Keeneland Race Course. Saturday's blockbuster card offered four graded events, including a last-to-first score by Win Win Win in the Grade 1, $300,000 Forego presented by America's Best Racing at seven furlongs on the main track for older sprinters; a gate-to-wire effort by Yaupon in the Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam at six furlongs for sophomore sprinters; and Bye Bye Melvin started the stakes action with a dramatic nose score over favored Don Juan Kitten in the Grade 3, $100,000 Saranac at one mile on the Mellon turf for 3-year-olds. Channel Maker, making his third appearance in the Sword Dancer following a runner-up effort in 2018 and a fourth last year, was sent straight to the lead by jockey Manny Franco to mark the opening quarter mile in 25.10, with Marzo racing inside in second position and Corelli in third. Bred in Ontario by Tall Oaks Farm, the hard-knocking chestnut maintained a length and a half advantage as he led the field past the finish line for the first time with Marzo and Corelli continuing to chase. Channel Maker dictated the pace through a mile in 1:42.33 with Corelli making a run up the rail and Aquaphobia, last-out winner of the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth Park, following suit as Marzo gave way. Cross Border, the lukewarm 3-1 mutuel favorite, brought a perfect 5-for-5 record at Saratoga into the Sword Dancer and jockey Jose Ortiz gave the New York-bred his cue to follow Aquaphobia as Channel Maker took the field around the final bend. Boasting a 5 ½-length advantage at the stretch call, Channel Maker continued to find more, easily covering the soft going with strong, smooth strides. Sadler's Joy, the 2017 Sword Dancer champ, launched his trademark move from the back of the pack but there was no reeling in a runaway Channel Maker, who strode through the wire a 5 ¾-length winner in a final time of 2:34.86. Cross Border found his best stride late to complete the exacta by 3 ½-lengths over Aquaphobia, who was four lengths clear of Sadler's Joy. Rounding out the order of finish were Corelli, Pedro Cara and Marzo. Highland Sky was scratched. Channel Maker, who captured the 2018 Grade 2 Bowling Green at the Spa, broke through at the top flight in the 2018 Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont and doubled up in the Grade 1 Man o' War in May 2019, which was his last winning effort prior to the Sword Dancer. "He was strong throughout the stretch. He ran a powerful race," said Mott. "He loves the going. He likes it here. He's tough when he turns for home on the lead." Mott credited Franco for making a winning move early in the race. "We thought Marzo could be on the lead and we might be laying second, but opportunity presented itself for him to be on the lead and the jockey accepted the opportunity and it worked out very well," said Mott. "Sometimes, you make the right decision and it worked out well today. "He's very tricky to ride," continued Mott. "You could see how level he was coming through the stretch and he was straight as an arrow, but if he gets in crowded, sometimes he'll get his head up or bear away from horses. So, he's not an easy horse. He wouldn't be what every rider wants, but in this particular case, everything went well for him and he finished up straight and strong." Last out, when elevated to third in the Grade 2 Bowling Green, Channel Maker was caught behind horses in the stretch run which saw Sadler's Joy demoted from first to fourth for lugging in late in the lane and Cross Border elevated to first. Today, Franco said he was intent on dictating his own terms. "I made the lead and tried to open up to let them know I wanted to go and they let me go. It worked out good for me," said Franco. Mott said he will take a wait-and-see approach with regard to the Breeders' Cup Turf, a race in which the gelding has finished off-the-board in the last two years. "That water gets very deep. We've tried it a couple times and it hasn't worked out with him," said Mott. "You get a whole different group of horses. But who knows? There was a year at Keeneland where it was a bottomless ground and if that situation came up, maybe he would benefit from it." Ortiz gave full credit to the classy winner. "We were facing a Grade 1-winner and he got loose today on the soft turf and he liked it. It was hard for everybody to catch up," said Ortiz. "It was very hard to get going from the half-mile to the three-eighths pole. The second time we passed the three-eighths pole, it was getting very messy, but Aquaphobia made a good move and I tried to follow him. But he struggled, too, and it was hard to make up ground. My horse gave me a little kick, but it was really late passing the three-sixteenths pole when he finally got a good grip on the outside part of the course and gave me a good run. But it wasn't good enough." Channel Maker banked $275,000 in victory while improving his record to 35-6-5-4. He returned $18 for a $2 win ticket.

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8.29.2020:

Win Win Win Rallies Late to Win G1 Forego at Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Despite a heavy downpour of rain just minutes before post time, Win Win Win did just that, coming from well off the pace and passing up five rivals through an assertive stretch run to take the 41st running of the seven-furlong Grade 1, $300,000 Forego presented by America's Best Racing at Saratoga Race Course. Owned by Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation and trained by Mike Trombetta, Win Win Win, a 4-year-old son of Hat Trick, arrived off a runner-up finish to fellow Forego contender Complexity in a one mile allowance optional claiming tilt on July 2 at Belmont Park. Breaking from post 7, Win Win Win was initially last in the 11-horse field, 16 ¼ lengths off the pace as Complexity dueled up front alongside True Timber through an opening quarter-mile in 22.28 seconds and a half in 44.63 over the sloppy and sealed main track. Around the far turn, Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano engaged his charge at the three-eighths pole while Complexity and True Timber continued their upfront battle. At the top of the stretch, Castellano angled Win Win Win, still last, nine wide and in pursuit as Complexity established a one-length lead with True Timber still fighting to the inside and Funny Guy putting in a bid to the outside. In the final strides to the wire, Win Win Win found a new gear and powered home a half-length winner in a final time of 1:21.71. Castellano, who scored his first Forego victory since piloting Mass Media to victory in 2005, picked up the mount aboard Win Win Win in his last out runner-up effort and said that his first time aboard the son of Hat Trick was a learning experience. "What an amazing horse. I'm truly honored to ride the horse and very blessed with the way everything went," Castellano said. "He was very far back and made a huge run to win the race. Not too many horses can do that. He did it and in a nice way. He's a really nice horse. I rode him last time at Belmont and he didn't break out of the gate. I rushed to get the spot I was looking for and didn't have the best result. I think I learned through that experience and today it paid off with a Grade 1 win in the Forego." Complexity finished another three-quarters of a length to True Timber, who garnered graded stakes black type for the eighth time in his career. Rounding out the order of finish were Funny Guy, Lexitonian, Everfast, 2018 Forego winner Whitmore, Mind Control, Majestic Dunhill, Fortin Hill and Firenze Fire. The victory was a first graded stakes triumph for Win Win Win, who was a stakes winner on dirt and turf. Last January, he won the Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs and broke the track record for seven-furlongs finishing the race in 1:20.89 and capped off his 3-year-old campaign with a victory in his turf debut in the Manila over the Widener turf last July at Belmont Park. Trombetta had been anxious to get his horse back to the seven-furlong distance over the main track and was thrilled to see him display such an effort. "It's a distance he likes, but he doesn't have the best gate speed," Trombetta said. "The way this track has been playing, it's very hard to close. Well, what he did, I haven't seen the whole meet." Trombetta said he was a bit concerned when Win Win Win was so far back. "I honestly don't know what to say; he dropped so far back, and his chicklet and number actually went off the screen and I couldn't even see across the track," Trombetta said. "I thought he was absolutely out of the race and might not have had a chance to even finish. But then turning for home, he came back on the screen. It's just unbelievable." Win Win Win was off the board in last year's Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 1 Preakness Stakes and Trombetta said that he had shorter races in the back of his mind for a while. "It's been on my mind for a long time," Trombetta said. "We got caught up in the Triple Crown, for which he made a good run at it. We tried him on the grass, and he won there. He's just a good horse. These races are a little hard to find, but he certainly deserves it." Returning $16.20 for a $2 win bet, Win Win Win enhanced his consistent lifetime record to 12-5-3-1 and his earnings past the half-million dollar mark to $601,600.

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8.28.2020:

Get the FREE 2020 Xpressbet Kentucky Derby Wager Guide

Whether you handicap with your thumbs or years of experience and research, the Xpressbet Kentucky Derby Wager Guide is a horseplayer’s best resource for preparing for the ‘greatest two minutes in sports.’ The free, 16-page Guide is available for download at Xpressbet and includes new technological handicapping approaches along with the all-star team of traditional racing experts across the 1/ST family, including Eddie Olczyk and Jeff Siegel. Xpressbet customer? Log In and Get the Guide  Not a Customer? Download it here The Xpressbet Kentucky Derby Wager Guide features an exclusive look at the ‘Run for the Roses’ from a handicapper’s and historical perspective as it pertains to the more than 50 handicapping factors incorporated by the 1/ST BET app. Inside the free downloadable guide, you’ll also ‘Meet the Contenders’ for Kentucky Derby 146 with the traditional forward from analyst John Desantis, and get detailed race analysis from veteran handicapper Jeff Siegel and Triple Crown researcher Jeremy Plonk. The 1/ST team’s workout analysts Zoe Cadman and Millie Ball have been stationed trackside coast-to-coast this summer and report on the morning movers. And you’ll get Derby top-4 selections from 1/ST handicappers across the country, including Jon White and Michelle Yu from Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park’s Ron Nicoletti, Stan Salter of the Maryland Jockey Club and Golden Gate Fields’ Matt Dinerman. An updated version of the Xpressbet Kentucky Derby Wager Guide will be made available Friday, Sept. 4 with the final 1/ST INDEX artificial intelligence percentages for each Derby 146 contender, as well as AI picks for the entire Churchill Downs Derby Day program. The updated Guide also features the final analysis from 1/ST and NBC Sports handicapper Eddie Olczyk as well as legendary sportscaster Brent Musburger of VSIN. Xpressbet customer? Log In and Get the Guide  Not a Customer? Download it here  

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8.27.2020:

Saturday, August 29: Cross Country Pick 5 Features Saratoga, Monmouth, Woodbine

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 that will offer three graded stakes in total, featuring action from historic Saratoga Race Course as well as Monmouth Park and Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday. Saratoga will start the wager with an exciting juvenile maiden sprint, with a field of 10 contesting at six furlongs on the main track in Race 6 at 3:57 p.m. Eastern. Trainer Chad Brown has a pair of entrants in Highly Motivated and Founder, while Hall of Fame trainers Mark Casse and Steve Asmussen will send out Majestic Street and Happymac, respectively. Trainer Todd Pletcher will see Newbomb depart from the inside post. Action will shift to Monmouth in Race 9 with a 4:14 p.m. post for the 1 1/2-mile turf route for 3-year-olds and up in an optional claimer. The 10-horse field will see trainer Kelly Breen saddle Epic Bromance, while Decisive Triumph and No Mans Land will be running with blinkers on. Woodbine will commence the stakes portion of the Cross Country Pick 5 in the third leg with the Grade 3, $125,000 Ontario Colleen for 3-year-old fillies going one mile. Slated as Race 7 at 4:17 p.m., the contest will ironically feature Saratoga Vision. Owned and trained by Alexander Patykewich, the Kentucky-bred won't be running at the Spa, but instead will be looking to break her maiden in her 13th start and is coming off a runner-up effort as an 84-1 longshot in the Grade 3 Selene last month at Woodbine. The field also includes stakes-placed Avie's Samurai and Fly So Pretty, who won last year's Stewart Manor, as well as multiple stakes-winner Two Sixty and multiple graded stakes-placed Walk In Marrakesh. Saratoga will close the sequence with a pair of Grade 1 contests, starting with the $300,000 Forego presented by America's Best Racing in Race 8 at 5:07 p.m. The seven-furlong contest for older horses on the main track will showcase Whitmore, who won the race's 2018 edition and will now attempt to join Groovy (1986-87) and Quick Call (1988-89) as the only horses to win multiple runnings of the Forego. The 7-year-old enters with a record of 35-14-11-3 and lifetime earnings of over $3.1 million. The Forego will also see Mind Control looking to become a Grade 1-winner at the Spa at ages 2, 3 and 4, while six-time graded stakes-winner Firenze Fire seeks his first Grade 1 triumph since taking the 2017 Champagne during his 2-year-old campaign. The wager concludes in Saratoga's Race 9 with the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/2 miles on the inner turf at 5:43 p.m. A "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Turf on November 7 at Keeneland Race Course, the Forego will see trainer Mike Maker send out a trio of contenders in Aquaphobia, Marzo and Cross Border. Also in the race will be Sadler's Joy, who will make his fourth appearance in the Sword Dancer for trainer Tom Albertrani. The 7-year-old Kitten's Joy horse won this event in 2017, finished sixth in 2018 and last year rallied bravely to finish second by a neck to Annals of Time. 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, August 29 Leg 1 - Saratoga, Race 6: (3:57 p.m.)Leg 2 - Monmouth, Race 9: (4:14 p.m.)Leg 3 - Woodbine, Race 7: G3 Ontario Colleen (4:17 p.m.)Leg 4 - Saratoga, Race 8: G1 Forego (5:07 p.m.)Leg 5 - Saratoga, Race 9: G1 Sword Dancer (5:43 p.m.)

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8.27.2020:

Full Field to do Battle in Charles Town Classic

Charles Town, WV (August 25, 2020) – An overflow field of ten runners, led by Grade 1 winner Math Wizard will take to the gate on Friday night at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races as the track hosts its premier event of the season – the rescheduled $600,000 Charles Town Classic (G2) for older horses going the three-turn distance of 1 1/8 miles. West Virginia’s most lucrative race highlights a card that includes seven stakes with purses totalling $1.25 million and marks the first time the track has held two graded events on the same day. Post time for the first race on the card is 5:00pm EST. After following up his signature win in the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) with a fifth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the Saffie Joseph trained Math Wizard spent some time on the sidelines before a return to the races produced a subpar performance in the Razorback (G3) at Oaklawn Park in February. After the ongoing Covid pandemic threw Math Wizard’s schedule up in the air, he spent another four months away from the races, resurfacing in a handicap at Gulfstream Park where he checked in fifth beaten 3 3/4 lengths. However, in his last start on Haskell day in the Monmouth Cup, Math Wizard signaled a potential return to form when he closed well to finish second, beaten 1 1/2-lengths for the top spot by Global Campaign. Since his effort at Monmouth, the son of Algorithms has flourished in his training up at Saratoga and his conditioner thought the lucrative Classic was a race that suited his colt well. “He ran one of the best races of his life last time out according to the numbers, and he’s been training great coming out of it,” said the native of Barbados who will saddle his first ever starters at Charles Town on Friday. “I think he’s going to continue to progress and take another step forward on Friday.” While Joseph has enjoyed a couple of breakout years as a trainer with 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) contender Ny Traffic, multiple stakes winner Chance it and multiple graded stakes winner and 2020 Charles Town Oaks starter Tonalist’s Shape, it’s still his lone Grade 1 winner to date that he credits for getting the ball rolling in his stable’s quest to join the sport’s upper echelon. “I think when we look back in 15 or 20 or however many years, we’ll say that Math Wizard will be the horse that put us on the map. He’s just an incredibly special horse to us and always will be.” This Friday evening, Math Wizard will have the services of jockey Christian Hiraldo as he breaks from Post 4 as the 3-to-1 favorite. Back for another run in the Charles Town Classic is Imaginary Stables and Glenn K. Ellis’ War Story, the eight-year-old gelding who was last seen finishing third in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park earlier this year. With his start in the Classic on Friday night, War Story will join two-time winner Imperative as the only horses to make four starts in Charles Town’s marquee race and the son of Northern Afleet has come tantalizingly close to adding a Charles Town Classic score to his resume which already includes three graded stakes victories and earnings of more than $3.2 million. Now trained by Elizabeth Dobles, War Story has checked in third in both the 2017 and 2019 runnings and second in 2018, a fact that led his connections to target this race after a trip to Dubai earlier in 2020 fell through. The handicap division veteran has shown few signs of slowing down over the past two years taking graded stakes at both Monmouth Park in the 2019 Monmouth Cup (G3) and Gulfstream Park in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) prior to his run behind Mucho Gusto and Mr. Freeze in the Pegasus. War Story will have his fourth different rider in the Charles Town Classic as J.D. Acosta jumps on board the 4-to-1 second choice. Much like his fellow Charles Town Classic runner Math Wizard, Allied Racing Stable LLC and Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Mr. Money is looking to recapture the 2019 form that eventually saw him sent off as the third choice in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) behind the likes of Omaha Beach and Improbable. After stringing together a four race winning streak in a quartet of Grade 3 events as a three-year-old, including the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer, the Bret Calhoun trainee came within a neck of becoming a Grade 1 winner when he was caught in the final strides of the Pennsylvania Derby by his rival on Friday night. When he emerged after five months on the sidelines, Mr. Money caught a wet track – as well as Tom’s d’Etat and Improbable – in the Oaklawn Mile and followed that up with a wide trip that resulted in a fourth place finish in the Blame at Churchill before only mustering a sixth place effort in a cutback to 6 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland in his most recent outing. In the Charles Town Classic, Mr. Money stretches back out to a distance that seems more to his liking but, either way, his trainer isn’t concerned about what he’s seen thus far in 2020. “He had a great year last year and has had a rocky start to this year, but it’s not really his doing,” said Calhoun. “He caught a sloppy track that he didn’t like at Oaklawn. I thought he ran a pretty good race in the Blame at Churchill with a really wide trip. Then we got stuck without a spot with so many races getting canceled. So we ran him in that race at Keeneland and 61/2 furlongs is not his deal. So it really hasn’t been his fault. He’s trained forwardly all along and we’re looking forward to getting him back on track this Friday.” Gerald Almodovar rides Mr. Money who breaks from Post 6. Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold is himself out to recapture some past form and find the winners’ circle for the first time since the 2019 Pimlico Special (G3) and provide trainer Steve Asmussen with a win in his first Charles Town Classic. Third, beaten less than a length by Justify, in the 2018 Preakness (G1) and a winner of the Jim Dandy (G2) later in his three-year-old season, the Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred eclipsed the $1 million mark in career earnings earlier this year and is looking to rebound from a third place finish in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) in June. While Tenfold marks Asmussen’s first Charles Town Classic runner, he’s developed a solid record over the years at Charles Town with 6 wins from 14 stakes outings, a run that started with Rock Slide back in the 1987 West Virginia Lottery Breeders’ Classic. Luis Batista rides Tenfold who stands at 5-to-1 on the morning line. 2019 Charles Town hero Runnin’toluvya is back to defend his crown and will seek to do what Duke of Mischief, Game on Dude, Imperative, Stanford and Something Awesome could not do - join Researcher as the only back-to-back winner of the Charles Town Classic. In 2019, the West Virginia-bred son of Fiber Sonde entered the race red hot after stringing together eight consecutive wins over the Charles Town oval. 2020 will be a bit of a different story, however, as the popular gelding has dropped four of his last five decisions and comes into the race without a start since May 30. However, neither his recent record nor the layoff is of great concern for Runnin’toluvya’s trainer Tim Grams who also owns the six-year-old along with his wife, Judy. “He’s doing really good. I breezed him last week, and he did it handily. It’s going to be a tough race, but we’re going in without hesitation because of how well he’s doing. It was an unfortunate trip last time out. You know, it’s hard even for the really good ones to have to start and stop three or four times like he did. Obviously for my peace of mind I would like to be coming in off of a good race, but that was the hand we were dealt.” As for the layoff, Friday will mark the fifth time Runnin’toluvya has started off a layoff of at least 90 days in his career, with the prior four outings resulting in three wins and a runner-up finish. Even without a race since the end of May, Grams has kept his stable star sharp and ready for his bid at a Classic repeat. “I felt like last year, we had him in training without a race to point towards and he got a little dull. But this year he’s been staying a lot sharper and he’s fit. We’ll just have to see how it goes. I just hope he breaks clean and gets a good position in the clear so that when it’s time to run, he can run.” Antonio Lopez has the call on Runnin’toluvya in the Charles Town Classic. Another Charles Town Classic entrant looking to find the winner’s circle once again is the well-traveled Multiplier, who came up just a neck short of posting an upset in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) earlier this year but has gone more than two years without a victory despite banking north of $500,000 in his career. A winner of the Illinois Derby (G3) back in 2017, Multiplier was most recently seen knocking heads with divisional heavyweights Tom’s d’Etat and By My Standards in the Stephen Foster (G2) – a race where the now six-year-old finished fourth, beaten eight lengths. Despite Multiplier only being trainer Peter Miller’s second ever starter over the Charles Town oval, there was a familiarity with some of the track’s leading connections that made the trip to West Virginia more appealing. “We’re excited and the horse is doing great,” said the California based Miller. “He’s been training up at Monmouth and doing really well over there. We’ve got the top rider [Arnaldo Bocachica] which is good and he’ll go to [Jeff] Runco’s barn for the week. I have worked with Jeff for a while and he’s great. So we’ll just hope for a good trip. We’re looking forward to it.” As Miller alluded to, Multiplier will have the services of Charles Town’s leading rider, Arnaldo Bocachica on Friday night and will break from Post 10. Plus Que Parfait, winner of the 2019 UAE Derby (G2) in Dubai, Sleepy Eyes Todd, and Ohiobreds Forewarned and Mo Dont No complete the body of the Charles Town Classic field with Awesome D J on the alsoeligible list. Post time for the Charles Town Classic is set for 10:18 PM EST and the race can be seen on TVG as well as heard on the Horse Racing Radio Network. The Classic will be the penultimate race in the Charles Town 6-12 sequence – a Pick 6 with a low 12% takeout – that sports a mandatory of the carryover on Classic day with a total of $111,750 in the carryover going into the track’s Thursday night card. $600,000 CHARLES TOWN CLASSIC (G2)August 28, 2020Race 11 – Post time 10:18 PM EST3&up, 1 1/8 MilesPP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Forewarned, Sunday Diaz, Jr., 118, Uriah St. Lewis2. Tenfold, Luis A. Batista, 118, Steven M. Asmussen3. Mo Dont No, Wesley Ho, 118, Jeffrey A. Radosevich4. Math Wizard, Christian Hiraldo, 118, Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.5. Runnin’toluvya, Antonio Lopez, 118, Timothy C. Grams6. Mr. Money, Gerald Almodovar, 118, W. Bret Calhoun7. Sleepy Eyes Todd, Open, 118, Miguel Angel Silva8. Plus Que Parfait, Reshawn Latchman, 118, Brendan P. Walsh9. War Story, J.D. Acosta, 118, Elizabeth L. Dobles10. Multiplier, Arnaldo Bocachica, 118, Peter Miller Also Eligible11. Awesome D J, Fredy Peltroche, 118, Jose Corrales

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8.22.2020:

Maximum Security Proves Best in G1 Pacific Classic

Heavily favored Maximum Security walked his beat in solid fashion Saturday at Del Mar as he came away a three-length winner of the Grade I, $500,000 Pacific Classic. He beat five rivals and earned a check for $300,000, pushing his bankroll north of $12-million. It was win No. 6 in Del Mar’s signature race for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, tying him with the late Hall of Fame trainer Robert Frankel, who won six of the first 11 Classics. It was also stakes win No. 137 at Del Mar for Baffert, far and away the most of any trainer. It was win No. 1 in the Pacific Classic for rider Abel Cedillo, who said afterwards he believes the 4-year-old by New Year’s Day is the best horse he’s ever sat on. Cedillo now has seven stakes wins at Del Mar with this being his biggest and best. The star-crossed colt is owned and was bred by Gary and Mary West, who have now brought in three European partners in Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. The well-built bay finished first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby but was disqualified and placed 17th. He also won the $20-million Saudi Cup earlier this year, but his rich purse there is on hold because of issues with his former trainer and the possible drugging of horses. Maximum Security, who went off at 2-5 in 30th edition of the Del Mar headliner, broke on top in the mile and one quarter and never relinquished the lead. He was pressed by Red Baron’s Barn, Rancho Temescal and Glatt’s Sharp Samurai all the way around, but shook off that determined opponent in the stretch and drew out to his handy score. The winner paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10 across the board and ran the 10 furlongs in 2:01.24. Sharp Samurai finished second, while C R K Stable’s Midcourt wound up third. Last year’s Pacific Classic winner, Higher Power, came in fourth. The Pacific Classic is a “Win and You’re In” race tied to the $7-million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run on Saturday, November 7 at Keeneland in Kentucky. Maximum Security now has an automatic entry into that race with all fees paid. Del Mar had a husky handle for its 11-race card that included five Graded stakes. The total was $24,491,319, up slightly from last year’s total of $24,416,045.  It was the fifth-highest non-Breeders’ Cup handle in track history.   GARY WEST (Owner/breeder, Maximum Security, winner) – “I’ve got tears in my eyes; I’m so happy. He looked so comfortable out there. There were a lot of good horses in that race, especially last year’s winner (Higher Power). Sharp Samurai stuck with us. But we were best. I’m really proud of him.” ABEL CEDILLO (Maximum Security, winner) — “The race went pretty much how I thought.  Bob (Baffert) told me to keep him off the rail, because the speed was inside.  If someone wanted to run up inside of us, I would have let them.  He just galloped around the track.  I was a little surprised that the outside horse (Sharp Samurai) was with us early and he stuck around.  He ran big, but whenever he would get close, my horse would pull away on his own.  He still had a little left at the end.  I have to say this is probably the best horse I’ve ever ridden.” BOB BAFFERT (Maximum Security, winner) – “We mapped it out that he’s the quickest horse, he’s ready and now you can ride him with a lot more confidence. Once he took the lead I figured he’d be fine. I just didn’t want any quarters in 22 (seconds). ‘Max’ was relaxing really nice. He was a totally different horse today. He (Abel Cedillo) got to know ‘Max’ last time and I’m happy for him. (Maximum Security) just does things effortlessly. He wasn’t even blowing when he came back. I’m just so happy for this horse. It’s not his fault what he went through. Today he showed that he is a great horse.” FRACTIONS:  :24.26  :48.14  1:12.34  1:36.76  1:48.64 The stakes win was the fifth of the meeting for rider Cedillo, but his first in the TVG Pacific Classic. He now has seven stakes wins at Del Mar. The stakes win was the fourth of the meeting for trainer Baffert, and his record-tying sixth in the TVG Pacific Classic. He now has a Del Mar leading 137 stakes wins. The winning owners are Gary and Mary West of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and their European partners, Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor.

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8.10.2020:

2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #7 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #7 (August 7 - 9, 2020): 1. Anneau d'Or (Blaine Wright) - 70/1 ($142.40)2. Art Collector (Tom Drury) - 8/1 ($19.60) 3. Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 11/1 ($25.80)4. Caracaro (Gustavo Delgado) - 29/1 ($60.80)5. Country Grammer (Chad Brown) - 55/1 ($112.20)6. Dean Martini (Tom Amoss) - 66/1 ($135.40) 7. Dr Post (Todd Pletcher) - 40/1 ($82.00) 8. Enforceable (Mark Casse) - 36/1 ($74.60)9. Finnick the Fierce (Rey Hernandez) - 164/1 ($330.80)10. Honor A.P. (John Shirreffs) - 8/1 ($18.20) 11. King Guillermo (Juan Avila) - 19/1 ($41.00) 12. Major Fed (Greg Foley) - 79/1 ($160.80) 13. Max Player (Linda Rice) - 38/1 ($78.20) 14. Ny Traffic (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 30/1 ($63.40) 15. Pneumatic (Steve Asmussen) - 140/1 ($283.00) 16. Rushie (Michael McCarthy) - 188/1 ($379.80) 17. Shared Sense (Brad Cox) - 65/1 ($132.20) 18. Shivaree (Ralph Nicks) - 285/1 ($572.40) 19. Sole Volante (Patrick Biancone) - 29/1 ($60.80) 20. South Bend (Bill Mott) - 127/1 ($256.80) 21. Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 25/1 ($53.60) 22. Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 1/1 ($4.20) 23. Uncle Chuck (Bob Baffert) - 15/1 ($33.20) 24. All Other 3YO's - 24/1 ($51.60) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

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8.9.2020:

Tiz the Law Dominates G1 Travers Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Six horses lined up late on a picturesque summer afternoon Saturday at Saratoga Race Course to fight the law, and the Law won. Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law further entrenched himself as the leading 3-year-old in the country, following up his dominant triumph in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 20 with a command performance in an historic 151st running of the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers. The 1 ¼-mile "Mid-Summer Derby" was contested for the first time without spectators, a byproduct of health protocols amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Exactly one year to the day following his debut victory at Saratoga, Tiz the Law became just the third New York-bred Travers winner and first since Thunder Rumble in 1992. The Constitution colt earned 100 qualifying points for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, postponed from May 2 to September 5 and re-positioned as the second leg in racing's Triple Crown following the Belmont. Shortened to 1 1/8 miles, Tiz the Law became the first New York-bred in 138 years to win the Belmont Stakes since Forester won in 1882. The Triple Crown concludes with the Grade 1 Preakness on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course. His fourth consecutive victory and third straight in a Grade 1 allowed Tiz the Law to sweep New York's two highest profile races, and provide redemption for Sackatoga and trainer Barclay Tagg, who campaigned 2003 Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide. Funny Cide was denied a Triple Crown when third behind Empire Maker in the Belmont, and a fever days before the race prevented him from running in the Travers. It was the first Travers win in his second try for Tagg, who went out on his own in 1972 and completed a career Triple Crown with Tiz the Law's Belmont triumph. He ran seventh with Tale of Ekati in 2008. "I've been doing this a long time and I've always wanted to win the Travers. This has been in my head my whole life. And now it happened so it couldn't be better," Tagg said. "You always have some doubt because many different things can happen. That's always in the back of you're a mind, but I was very confident in the horse."  A dozen of Sackatoga's 35 partners in Tiz the Law were on hand for the Travers led by operating manager Jack Knowlton, a Saratoga Springs resident and another holdover from the Funny Cide era. The Travers anchored five graded-stakes, three Grade 1, worth $1.95 million in purses on a spectacular Runhappy Travers Day program. Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Tiz the Law returned $3 for a $2 win bet. "It's just so exciting," Knowlton said. "To be in the race and to be 1-2, there's a lot of pressure. We had well-wishers from everywhere. We saw a performance today that just blows me away. We know we had a nice horse. We thought we had the best horse. To do what he did today, we're looking forward to going to Kentucky." With regular rider Manny Franco in the irons, Tiz the Law completed 10 furlongs in 2:00.95 over a fast main track to win the Travers by 5 ½ lengths over late-running Caracaro. Max Player got up for third, followed by South Bend, Country Grammer, Uncle Chuck and Shivaree. First Line was scratched. Franco had Tiz the Law in perfect position right out of the gate, settled in the clear in third racing three wide as California shipper Uncle Chuck hugged the rail through an opening quarter-mile in 23.65 seconds with 77-1 long shot Shivaree, second to Tiz the Law in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in March, nestled in between. The half went in 48.36 seconds without a change among the leaders, but Tiz the Law tugged Franco into second to challenge Uncle Chuck leaving the backstretch as Shivaree began to drop back. Tiz the Law and Uncle Chuck hooked up in earnest midway around the turn, and Franco hardly moved on Tiz the Law as he coasted past approaching the stretch. Tiz the Law straightened for home firmly in control, allowing Franco to wrap up on the talented bay midway down the lane and cruise unchallenged to the wire under a hand ride. The final time was the second-fastest Travers in 32 years, trailing only Arrogate's track record of 1:59.36 set in 2016. "I didn't expect a race like that, but we'll take it. He ran huge," Franco said. "He was there the whole way for me and I was just waiting for the moment because it is a long way to go - a mile and a quarter - and he hasn't gone that distance before, so I'm trying to save as much horse as I could before I made my move. "He gave me chills. When I pressed the button, he just took off," he added. "He accelerated really hard. After that, I took a peek back and he was going away and I just saved horse." His Travers victory kept Tiz the Law perfect in four starts as a 3-year-old, after opening his campaign with victories in the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Florida Derby over the winter at Gulfstream Park prior to the Belmont, which was moved this year to lead off the revised Triple Crown trail. The Travers also saw its spot on the calendar change from the fourth Saturday in August to the second and, for the first time, become a qualifying race for the Derby. Bred by Twin Creeks Farm and purchased for $110,000 out of Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga Preferred New York-bred Yearling Sale in August 2018, Tiz the Law burst on the scene with a 4 ¼-length maiden victory at first asking last August 8 at Saratoga, sprinting 6 ½ furlongs against fellow New York-breds. He stepped up to Grade 1 company second time out and captured the one-mile Champagne at Belmont Park by four lengths, but ran into a sloppy track at Churchill Downs and wound up third - beaten less than a length - in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club, the only blemish on his record. He improved to six wins and a third from seven starts and earned $535,000 for the Travers victory, pushing his career bankroll over the $2 million mark to $2,015,300. Earlier on Saturday's program Serengeti Empress earned an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint in November at Keeneland with her front-running victory in the Grade 1, $300,000 Ballerina presented by NYRA Bets; Gamine turned in a superstar performance in capturing the Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Test in 1:20.83 for seven furlongs on the main track; Laurel Park shipper American Sailor was promoted to victory via the disqualification of first-place finisher Imprimis in the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy for older turf sprinters; and My Sister Nat held off favored Mrs. Sippy in the Grade 3, $150,000 Waya on the inner turf.

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8.8.2020:

Gamine Romps in G1 Test Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The brilliant Gamine asserted her class once again on the NYRA circuit with a dominant performance in the Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Test on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, where she prevailed over Venetian Harbor in the 95th running of the prestigious race for 3-year-old fillies, which served as the prelude to the track's marquee event, the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers. After a record-setting 18 ¾-length victory last out in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 20 at Belmont Park, the racing world was anxiously awaiting an encore from Gamine. She did not disappoint.  Though many were hoping her connections would point to the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby against males after her tour de force in the one-mile Acorn, Gamine's connections, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and owner Michael Lund Petersen, remained steadfast in their pursuit of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, even turning the daughter of Into Mischief back in distance for the seven-furlong Test as a stepping stone to the race, a decision that paid immediate dividends. Breaking from post 5 with Hall of Famer John Velazquez in the irons, Gamine left the gate cleanly and immediately assumed control of the early lead. The scratch of Wicked Whisper earlier in the day left the Test a virtual match race between Gamine and Venetian Harbor, with only those two possessing the requisite early speed to set the pace. The opening stages figured to be a battle of strategy between Velazquez and Joel Rosario, rider of Venetian Harbor, but Rosario showed his hand early as he was content to ease his filly just off the flank of Gamine and allow her to dictate terms. In sharp contrast to the Grade 1, seven-furlong Ballerina run earlier on the card for older fillies and mares, Gamine set a much more measured pace of 22.70 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.14 for the half with Venetian Harbor in close pursuit and third choice in the wagering Mrs. Danvers sitting in the catbird seat just behind the top pair.  As the field turned for home neither Gamine nor Venetian Harbor had been asked for their best run, but as soon as the race began in earnest at the top of the stretch it was over in an instant. Velazquez simply nudged Gamine forward and the filly opened up a daylight lead in a matter of strides that she continued to add to for the duration of the stretch. On the wire she was seven lengths to the good of Venetian Harbor, stopping the clock in a snappy 1:20.83, which equaled the stakes record set by Lady Tak in 2003. "Obviously, she's very good. You love to be on these kinds of horses," said Velazquez. "I have to thank Bob and the owners for the opportunity. Bob said she breaks well and to kind of let her do her thing. If another horse wants to go too fast, we just let her sit second and she'll be fine sitting second. But she broke so good and the other horse [Venetian Harbor] kind of stayed right next to me and didn't press the pace very much, so I just kind of let her do what she wanted to do the first quarter-mile. Once we got to the turn, I let her get into the turn and she got really comfortable and really smooth and got away from the other horse and kept going. Very nice." As the odds-on favorite for the fourth time in her career from as many starts, Gamine returned $2.60 on a $2 win wager. The career earnings of the $1.8 million 2-year-old purchase now stand at $378,000. Venetian Harbor was forced to play bridesmaid once again, checking in a clear second ahead of Up in Smoke, who was followed by Perfect Alibi and Mrs. Danvers. The runner-up finish makes three straight for the bay daughter of Munnings, who also finished second last out in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland and two back in the Grade 3 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. "She's super fast," said Rosario of Venetian Harbor, who turned back in distance for the Test after a steady diet of two-turn racing. "She broke running fast and [Gamine] did, too. I just tried to sit off her. She ran a tremendous race, but the winner was just very impressive." Next up for the undeniably impressive Gamine is the Grade 1, $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks on September 4 at Churchill Downs, and given the lofty heights she's reached through just four career starts it'd be hard not to be bullish on her chances. "She's rising straight to the top," said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Baffert. "For what she's accomplished so far for such a lightly raced filly, we look forward to stretching her out and see what comes of that."

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8.8.2020:

Serengeti Empress Scores in G1 Ballerina Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -  Last year's Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks-winner Serengeti Empress got back to her winning ways on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course with a gutsy performance in the Grade 1, $300,000 Ballerina presented by NYRA Bets to kick off the graded stakes action on the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers undercard in thrilling fashion. As has been a common refrain in 2020, the year had not yet gone to plan for the speedy Serengeti Empress, who finished second in the Grade 1 Longines Test over this track and distance last year in addition to winning the Oaks. Although she began her 4-year-old campaign with a strong runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Houston Ladies Classic and a win in the Grade 2 Azeri at Oaklawn Park, the mercurial daughter of Alternation was well beaten in each of her last two starts, with all her prior 2020 starts coming around two turns. While she's won at distances up to 1 ⅛ miles and has had no trouble routing in the past, a return to one-turn racing in the seven-furlong Ballerina, a 'Win and You're In' race for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, proved to be the cure to her recent woes.  Serengeti Empress did not get away particularly sharply from the rail and was beaten to the punch by Mexican sensation Letruska on Saturday. But that did not stop jockey Luis Saez from hustling her to the early lead through a wicked opening quarter-mile in 21.75 seconds. After that rapid opening quarter, the pace did not slow down from there, with the half going in 43.73 as Letruska continued to dog the leader. While the enervating fractions took their toll on Letruska and she backed away leaving the far turn, Serengeti Empress dug in gamely with a host of pursuers lining up behind her. As the field turned for home, the favorite Bellafina and last year's Ballerina winner Come Dancing came with menacing runs on the outside while upstart Victim of Love loomed large on the rail, however Serengeti Empress refused to succumb. Three-quarters was posted in a rapid 1:08.32, and though her pace slowed down considerably in the final furlong, none were able to reach Serengeti Empress, who prevailed by a length in the end over Bellafina in a final time of 1:21.63. "The first jump, she was not that fast, but I asked her a little and she put me in that position," said Saez. "I know she was rolling. She was going pretty fast. When we came to the stretch, she was just waiting for the competition and when the horse came outside, she was fighting. She was really running." Serengeti Empress' trainer Tom Amoss was equally in awe of the courageous effort his filly put forth, one that makes it very likely she continues to focus on one-turn races with the Breeders' Cup now being the main objective. "That was very valiant," said Amoss, who trains Serengeti Empress for owner Joel Politi. "She didn't break on time. She was a step slow, but when you go seven-eighths and you have that opening on the track before you hit the main track, you get an opportunity to catch up, and she did. She was able to regain her position, but I really thought that opening half-mile in [43.74 seconds] was going to be her doing in. I thought we learned a lot about her today. What we learned is that this is a real good middle-distance filly. "You know, if you're a handicapper and you paid attention to last year's Test, when she got beat a head to Covfefe who ended up being a champion, you knew that seven-eighths had a real chance at being exactly what she wanted," Amoss added. "I look forward to staying at the seven-eighths distance, maybe getting one more start in her before the Breeders' Cup." Serengeti Empress returned $8.30 on a $2 win wager and nearly took her earnings over the $2 million dollar mark with the winner's share of the purse of $165,000. Her lifetime record now stands at 7-3-1 from 17 starts. California shipper Bellafina failed to add another Grade 1 victory to her resume, but she ran an admirable race in defeat finishing 1 ½ lengths ahead of third-place finisher Victim of Love, who proved her last-out 27-1 shocker in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap on June 27 at Belmont Park was no fluke. Come Dancing, meanwhile, couldn't quite capitalize on a great setup to repeat as Ballerina champ, but the 6-year-old mare finished a half-length behind Victim of Love in fourth as she continues to try to get back to her terrific 2019 form. Letruska, Pink Sands, and Cookie Dough completed the order of finish in the 42nd running of the Ballerina.

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8.5.2020:

Tiz the Law Looks to Extend Unbeaten Campaign in G1 Travers Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law, undefeated in his sophomore campaign with three consecutive graded stakes victories, will return to the site where his racing career began last summer as part of an eight-horse field of top 3-year-olds in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers at historic Saratoga Race Course. The 151st running of the Runhappy Travers, listed as Race 11 on a loaded 12-race card with a post time of 6:15 p.m. will be one of five graded stakes on the day. An enticing undercard includes the Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Test for sophomore fillies; the Grade 1, $300,000 Ballerina, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint; the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy for 4-year-olds and up on Mellon turf and the Grade 3, $150,000 Waya for older fillies and mares on the inner turf. FOX will have live coverage from 5-6:30 p.m. Tiz the Law made history in becoming the first New York bred in 138 years to win the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, capturing the nine-furlong American Classic on June 20 in the first leg of the revised Triple Crown schedule. With five wins in six career starts, the Barclay Tagg trainee is the even-money morning-line favorite from post 6 and enters the 1 1/4-mile "Mid-Summer Derby" leading all horses with 272 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby. He has a chance to add to that record-breaking total, as the Travers will offer 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers to the "Run for the Roses" on September 5. Tagg said he was pleased drawing near the outside. "I think he's matured enough now that outside or inside is not going to bother him too much," Tagg said. "I'd prefer that he's on the outside just because you have less chance of getting in trouble. Not that you can't, but you have less chance. I think post 6 is fine. Five would have been fine. Four would have been fine. Any of those three would have been fine with me." Tiz the Law burst onto the scene with a 4 1/4-length debut win at the Spa in a 6 ½-furlong New York-bred maiden sprint in August 2019. The Constitution colt parlayed that effort into a four-length triumph in the Grade 1 Champagne in October at Belmont Park and capped his juvenile year with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November at Churchill Downs. That marked the only time Tiz the Law has not earned a winner's circle trip. Bred by Twin Creeks Farm, he has gone 3-for-3 in 2020, racking up wins in the Grade 3 Holy Bull in February and the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 28, both at Gulfstream Park, before winning the Belmont Stakes that was run at 1 1/8 miles to accommodate the revised schedule for 3-year-olds in training due to COVID-19. The Belmont win gave Tagg a career Triple Crown. After Funny Cide, a fellow New York bred owned by Sackatoga Stable, won the 2003 Kentucky and Preakness before running third in that year's Belmont, Tagg earned glory in this year's Belmont edition with Tiz the Law and is now seeking his first Travers win to add to a career that started with his first victory in 1972. Tagg said competing at 10 furlongs shouldn't be an issue. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. We've been very fortunate," Tagg said. "I don't think any distance makes a difference for this horse. From what I've seen, I just don't have any feeling that he can't handle it. It would be nice to win it if we could." Manny Franco, who won his first Classic in the Belmont, has been aboard for all four of Tiz the Law's graded stakes wins and will have the return engagement. "I've never seen him take a deep breath," Tagg said of Tiz the Law. "I've never had him out of breath after a workout. I've never had him way out of breath after a race and he [cools] off very quickly. His lungs settle right down and nothing seems to be a hazard. I could be all wrong in that. It might change in another eighth of a mile, I don't know, but I've got no reason to worry about it." While Tiz the Law will have to wait to the fall to complete the Triple Crown trail [the Preakness is slated for October 3, just four weeks after the Kentucky Derby], he will be tested in the Travers by Uncle Chuck. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will ship the lightly raced but incredibly talented son of Uncle Mo, who enters 2-for-2.  Unraced as a juvenile, the quarter-million dollar purchase at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale won his debut by seven lengths on June 12 at Santa Anita and handled a step up in class with aplomb with a four-length victory at 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 3 Los Alamitios Derby on July 4. "He's quick," Baffert said. "He's a big, tall horse but he's really quick on his feet. He's got a tremendous stride. That's why I thought the mile and a quarter would suit him well. If you can win the Travers, it's a big thing. But Tiz the Law looks unbelievable. I watched his last work and he looked tremendous, so Uncle Chuck will have to step it up. It should be a great race." Baffert is a three-time Travers winner, including with Arrogate, who set both the stakes and track record when he dominated the field in 2016, hitting the wire in 1:59.36. Baffert won for a second year in a row with West Coast in 2017.Luis Saez, aboard for his stakes win, will be in the irons against from post 3. Uncle Chuck is listed at 5-2. "He's been training well, and I thought he deserves a chance to run in it," Baffert said. "He's only had two races, but they were pretty impressive. The talent is there, he's just still figuring it out and putting it together." Another upstart in the race is Max Player, the Belmont Stakes third-place finisher, for trainer Linda Rice. A winner of the Grade 3 Withers in February at Aqueduct Racetrack, Max Player has never finished off the board in four starts, posting a 2-1-1 ledger. Owned by George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds, Max Player is 15th on the Derby leaderboard with 40 points. Max Player will stretch out to a mile and a quarter for the first time after competing at 1 1/8 miles in his previous two starts. "He was closing ground at the end of the mile and an eighth in the Belmont, so I'm hoping the extra distance only works in his favor," Rice said. "It would be great if we had an honest pace in this race, so it would set up better for a horse coming from off the pace." The Honor Code colt is listed as 6-1 on the morning line and will break from post 4 under Joel Rosario, who will have a Travers mount for the fifth consecutive year. Rice was the first female to win a Saratoga training title when she paced all conditioners with 20 wins in 2009. She will be saddling her second Travers starter and first since Kid Cruz [fourth] in 2014. "For someone who has raced in New York year round for quite some time now, the Travers is one of those races on your bucket list that you'd really like to win," Rice said. "It's exciting to be in the race. It's disappointing that we won't have the crowds or the fanfare that goes with it, but I'd still be thrilled to win a race like the Travers." The top-two finishers of the Grade 3 Peter Pan on July 16 at Saratoga will make short turnarounds to rematch in the Travers, including the winner Country Grammer, who will bid to give four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown his first "Mid-Summer Derby" victory. Country Grammer, owned by Paul Pompa, Jr., worked a sharp half-mile Saturday in 47.66 seconds in company with last year's Grade 1 Secretariat winner Valid Point. A maiden winner at second asking when travelling nine furlongs in November at the Big A, Country Grammer was fifth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth in his seasonal debut in February at Gulfstream. Following a closing third in a one-turn, 1 1/16-mile allowance event on June 4 at Belmont, Country Grammer made his return to two turns a winning one in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan on Opening Day July 16 at Saratoga. Brown said the breeze, which was the colt's first since his Peter Pan win, went according to plan. "The work went super. He's not a great work horse but for him it was one of the better works I've seen. He's gotten a lot stronger," said Brown. "He's a May foal and he was always destined to fill out and get stronger as he goes along."Bred in Kentucky by Scott Pierce and Debbie Pierce, Brown said the bay son of 2014 Belmont Stakes-winner Tonalist should appreciate the additional furlong on Saturday. "He's looking for more ground," said Brown. "He's going to have to step it up obviously on short rest and the fact that it's a much tougher race. But the horse, physically, is doing everything you want him to do. We're excited to participate and give him a shot." Listed at 6-1, Irad Ortiz, Jr. will have the call from post 2. Global Thoroughbred and Top Racing's Caracaro was the Peter Pan runner-up, a neck behind Country Grammer. Conditioned by Gustavo Delgado, the son of Uncle Mo ran second in his debut in December at Gulfstream at seven furlongs and broke his maiden with a six-length win at one mile on January 11 at the Florida track before taking the step up in class last month. Delgado has won his native Venezuela's equivalent of the Triple Crown with Taconeo in 2007 and Water Jet in 2010. He will bid for Saratoga glory with Caracaro, who is listed at 10-1. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano holds a record six Travers wins, two more than the next-closest competitors all-time, and will aim for No. 7, piloting Caracaro from post 7. Jacks or Better Farm's Shivaree ran second to Tiz the Law in the Grade 1 Florida Derby and will make his first start at Saratoga after compiling two stakes wins, capping his 2-year-old year with a victory in the Buffalo Man at Gulfstream Park and starting 2020 with a Limehouse win on January 4 at Gulfstream. Trained by Ralph Nicks, Shivaree, a son of Awesome of Course, is listed at 30-1 with Junior Alvarado set to ride from post 5. South Bend, the runner-up to Dean Martini in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby last out on June 27 at Thistledown, will make his first start for his new connections. Owners Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Peter Deutsch and Pantofel Stable acquired South Bend and transferred him to the care of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. South Bend, an Algorithms colt, will go for his first graded stakes win, drawing post 8 with Jose Ortiz. He is listed at 15-1. First Line will make his first stakes appearance in his fifth career start for trainer Orlando Noda, who also co-owns the First Samurai gelding with his brother Jonathan as part of Noda Brothers, LLC. First Line broke his maiden at fourth asking on July 29 at the Spa and will return off a quick turnaround looking to give the 31-year-old Noda his first career stakes winner. David Cohen will ride from post 1 at 30-1. "I think we got a perfect post," Noda said. "He's going to come out running when the gates open and he might just fight the whole mile and a quarter. It is a quick turnaround, but I've hyped this horse up from before he even debuted. These are my points for the Derby. He's a longshot for a reason but he's going to outrun his odds and, God willing, we will win this race."

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8.5.2020:

2020 Travers Stakes Draw Quotes

Barclay Tagg, trainer of even-money favorite Tiz the Law (No. 6): "He's done everything we've asked him to do. We've been very fortunate. I don't think any distance makes a difference for this horse. From what I've seen, I just don't have any feeling that he can't handle it. It would be nice to win it if we could. "I think he's matured enough now that outside or inside is not going to bother him too much. I'd prefer that he's on the outside just because you have less chance of getting in trouble. Not that you can't, but you have less chance. I think post 6 is fine. Five would have been fine. Four would have been fine. Any of those three would have been fine with me. "I've never seen him take a deep breath. I've never had him out of breath after a workout. I've never had him way out of breath after a race and he [cools] off very quickly. His lungs settle right down and nothing seems to be a hazard. I could be all wrong in that. It might change in another eighth of a mile, I don't know, but I've got no reason to worry about it. "Bob Baffert [trainer of No. 3 Uncle Chuck] does very, very well. He's got fresh stock all the time and good horses, so you've always got to be concerned. But if you let the concern bother you too much, you wouldn't be racing horses. You can't worry about that. All I worry about his having my horse get there the best we can get him there. He's done everything we've asked him to do. Bob Baffert, trainer of 5-2 Uncle Chuck (No. 3): "I won it out of the one-hole once [Arrogate's track-setting win in 2016]. It doesn't matter, whatever the post is. Going a mile and a quarter, they've got plenty of time to sort things out. "He's been training well, and I thought he deserves a chance to run in it. He's only had two races, but they were pretty impressive. The talent is there, he's just still figuring it out and putting it together. He's still a little green, but I thought the mile and a quarter might be good for him. He's got a big, long stride. He's got speed, so as long as he gets in a nice, relaxed rhythm we'll see how he handles the mile and a quarter. You've got a horse like Tiz the Law in there, and he scared a lot of them away." Linda Rice, trainer of 6-1 Max Player (No. 4): "We'll try to save a little ground into both turns and I'd rather not get too far to the outside. "He's training fine. I've been training at Belmont, not at Saratoga, which is a little unusual. Coming in from the Belmont, he was coming off a bit of a brea,k so I trained pretty aggressively. Coming into this race, I backed off him a little bit and did more maintenance breezes. I wasn't quite as aggressive with him, but I think he's ready." Chad Brown, trainer of 6-1 Country Grammer (No. 2): "Hopefully, this horse can get the distance. I'm confident that he can. He'll have to step forward in this race and hope that maybe some of the top contenders can't go this far."I'm always concerned for more time in between races with my horses, but this is a rare opportunity to take a shot at a race like the Travers. It's a shorter field than it usually is. This is such a unique year to give this a shot and the horse just keeps improving. Even on short rest, I think the reward is greater than the risk." On drawing post 2 after winning from that post in the G3 Peter Pan on July 16: "This horse has been a real pro that way. A similar trip as last time would be good for me." On possibly winning first Travers: "It's been a race that I've wanted to win the most since I was a child here at the track. It's definitely a disappointing year to participate with no fans, but nevertheless, it's still the Travers, and it's still something that we would be extremely appreciative of if we were able to win." Orlando Noda, trainer of 30-1 First Line (No. 1): "I think we got a perfect post. He's going to come out running when the gates open and he might just fight the whole mile and a quarter. It is a quick turnaround, but I've hyped this horse up from before he even debuted. These are my points for the Derby. He's a longshot for a reason but he's going to outrun his odds and, God willing, we will win this race."

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7.30.2020:

Saturday, August 1: Cross Country Pick 5 Features Saratoga, Monmouth, Woodbine

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5 encompassing action from Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, Whitney Day, in addition to Monmouth Park and Woodbine Racetrack.  Woodbine will initiate the sequence in Race 9 at 5:26 p.m. Eastern with a 1 1/8-mile maiden allowance tilt for 3-year-olds and up. A full 12-horse field running on the Tapeta track will see a pair of entrants for Hall of Famer Mark Casse, who will saddle Malahini and Awesome Wok N Roll. Trainer Graham Motion will send out Red Storm Risen, while Olliemyboy, who ran second last out on July 11, will run for trainer Sid Attard. Monmouth Park, located in Oceanport, New Jersey, will host the first stakes of the sequence in the second race with the 96th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Monmouth Oaks in Race 11 at 5:31 p.m. Nine 3-year-old fillies will compete at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, with Project Whiskey, trained by Robert Reid, Jr., entering off a win in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks on July 4. Lucrezia, conditioned by Arnaud Delacour, ran fourth in the Grade 1 Acorn on Belmont Stakes Day June 20 and previously was the runner-up to Eclipse Award-contender Swiss Skydiver in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park on March 28. Historic Saratoga will add another chapter to its famed legacy in the third leg with the 93rd running of the 1 1/8-mile Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney in Race 9 at 5:42 p.m. A "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic, a field of five millionaire earners will compete, led by 6-5 morning-line favorite Tom's d'Etat for trainer Al Stall, Jr. Code of Honor, who won last year's Runhappy Travers at the Spa, will look for additional glory as a 4-year-old in the meet's primer race for 4-year-olds and up. Conditioned by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor will look to become the first horse since Hall of Famer Easy Goer in 1989 to win the Travers, Jockey Club Gold Up and Whitney in a career. Other contenders include Improbable, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, as well as New York-bred Mr. Buff and By My Standards. Action will shift back to Woodbine, in Rexdale, Ontario, for the penultimate leg in Race 10 at 5:58 p.m. when a full field of 13 horses 3-years-old and up will contest at 1 3/8 miles on the turf. Coleyville, who won last out in a race taken off the turf, earning an 84 Beyer Speed Figure for trainer Edwin Knight, is coming off a win, while Burning Man, who netted an 87 Beyer for his runner-up effort against optional claimers at 1 1/6 miles on the turf on June 20, returns for trainer Josie Carroll.  Another Grade 1 contest will close out the Cross Country Pick 5 with the $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens presented by Runhappy in Saratoga's Race 10 at 6:18 p.m. Eleven sophomores will contest the seven-furlong main-track sprint that will feature a rematch of the top-four finishers of the Grade 1 Woody Stephens presented by Claiborne Farm on Belmont Stakes Day last month. No Parole, the winner of that race, drew post 6 for trainer Tom Amoss as he looks to improve to 5-for-5 all-time in sprints. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle three in Echo Town and Shoplifted - the 2-3 finishers in the Woody Stephens - as well as Sonneman. Baffert entered Eight Rings, drawing post 2, while Tap It to Win, who ran fifth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes for Casse, will break from the outside post 11.  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, August 1: Leg 1 - Woodbine, Race 9: (5:26 p.m.)Leg 2 - Monmouth, Race 11: (5:31 p.m.)Leg 3 - Saratoga, Race 9: Grade 1 Whitney (5:42 p.m.)Leg 4 - Woodbine, Race 10: (5:58 p.m.)Leg 5 - Saratoga, Race 10: Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens (6:18 p.m.)

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7.30.2020:

Adios Day at The Meadows: Field, Mandatory Payout & Carryovers

WASHINGTON, PA, July 30, 2020 — Saturday’s $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids promises to be exciting, and now, The Meadows has upped the ante by adding a Super Hi-5 wager on the Adios with a $50,000 guarantee. Moreover, the entire pool will be paid out. Ordinarily, the Super Hi-5 jackpot is paid only if there is a single correct ticket with the top five finishers in their exact order of finish.  However, The Adios Super Hi-5 pool will be split among all those with correct tickets. The last time The Meadows offered a mandatory Super Hi-5 payout, players bet so enthusiastically that the pool exceeded $300,000 and provided a healthy return for all winning ticketholders. In addition to the Super Hi-5, the program offers two total-pool carryovers: $2,441.84 in the Early Pick 4 (race 3), $1,908.78 in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). The Adios Day card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM, with advance Adios wagering available beginning at noon Thursday. The Adios, which goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 PM, anchors a powerhouse card that also features the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, a $59,088 Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and a $35,690 Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $187,182 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. While the Adios will be staged without spectators, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is keeping the event festive with a number of digital activities.  First, the MSOA will live stream from the winners’ circle beginning at 11:15 AM Adios Day. The live stream, which will feature celebrity guests, will be available on the MSOA’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The MSOA also will offer free Adios Day programs and a virtual hat contest (sponsored by Altmeyer Wilder Racing) with a $250 top prize.  Visit meadowsharnessracing.com for your free program and the chapeau competition. And if you enter, think orchids, think purple. The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association is sponsoring the live stream and events along with: Altmeyer Wilder Racing; Amulet Equine Rehab & Conditioning Center; Betts Racing; Billboards on Wheels; Buxton Racing; Corkboard Concepts; Dentons Cohen & Grigsby; Dirk Simpson Stable; Hambletonian Society; Kahrig Racing; Keystone Films; Kristen’s Beauty Salon; Pacing for the Cure; Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association; Saxton & Stump; Silverstone Decorative Concrete; Twaddle Racing; Visit Washington County PA; Washington Wild Things and Winbak Farm. The MSOA gratefully acknowledges the support of all sponsors. Here's the field with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes (Brian Brown/David Miller) - 8/12. Capt Midnight (Tony Alagna/Andrew McCarthy) - 4/13. Catch The Fire (John Ackley/Mike wilder) - 3/14. The Greek Freak (Ron Burke/Matt Kakaley) - 5/15. No Lou Zing (Nancy Takter/Josert Fonseca) - 7/16. Sweet Truth (Ron Burke/Yannick Gingras) - 12/17. Chief Mate (Tony Alagna/Scott Zeron) - 20/18. Captain Barbossa (Tony Alabna/Brian Sears) - 6/19. Elver Hanover (Ron Burke/Chris Page) - 10/1  

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7.29.2020:

Code of Honor, Tom's d'Etat Clash in G1 Whitney

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A field comprised of five millionaires will make up a talented group of older horses assembled for the 93rd running of Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney going 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga Race Course. Whitney Day will feature three Grade 1 events, led by the historic Whitney, with an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 7 at Keeneland on the line. The card is bolstered by the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Distaff in November; and the Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs. The stakes-laden card also includes the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green for 4-year-olds and up on the turf and the $200,000 Caress, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares. The card will be broadcast on Saratoga Live beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. The Whitney pays homage to one of the Spa's most influential families, who for generations have had a profound effect on horse racing in upstate New York. The prominent Whitney family's involvement in thoroughbred racing began with Jockey Club co-founder William Collins Whitney, who began owning thoroughbreds in 1898. His son Harry Payne Whitney campaigned horses under the moniker of Greentree Stables, who hold the record for most victories in the family's namesake race with six winners. Horses owned by members of the Whitney family have gone on to win every major horse race in North America, including all three American Classics. This year's edition of the Whitney will feature W.S. Farish's two-time Grade 1-winner Code of Honor, who arrives off a late-closing third in the Grade 1 Runhappy Met Mile, where the 4-year-old chestnut son of Noble Mission settled at the rear of the field off a leisurely pace, went five wide around the turn and closed to finish 1 ½ lengths to frontrunning winner Vekoma. Last year, Code of Honor captured four graded stakes victories, including triumphs in the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers en route to a win in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. Code of Honor, trained by Hall of Famer and three-time Whitney-winner Shug McGaughey, will attempt to become the first horse to capture the Travers, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Whitney in a career since Easy Goer. The Hall of Fame horse, who was also conditioned by McGaughey, accomplished the feat in one calendar year in 1989. McGaughey said Code of Honor has proven capable of winning at one turn, but the horse is more suited for two turns. "Two turns going a mile and an eighth is what he wants to do," said McGaughey, whose other Whitney victors include champions Personal Ensign (1988) and Honor Code (2015). "I do think that last year, the [Grade 3] Dwyer [going one turn at Belmont Park] was one of his better races. But now that he's gotten older, and gotten stretched out, two turns going a mile and an eighth to a mile and a quarter is where he'll run his better races." Prior to the Runhappy Met Mile, Code of Honor made his seasonal bow a winning one, when taking the Grade 3 Westchester on June 6 at Belmont Park by a half-length. With an overall record of 12-6-2-2, Code of Honor brags the highest earnings in the field with $2,473,320. Code of Honor will attempt to maintain an unbeaten record at Saratoga. A year prior to winning the Runhappy Travers, he was a gate-to-wire maiden winner at the Spa during his 2-year-old campaign. "He's always liked it up here and liked training over the track. But it's a different main track up here now than it was in the Travers. How much different, I'm not sure," said McGaughey. "I think that Code of Honor has always liked it up here. He trained well here as a 2-year-old and ran well. He trained well here as a 3-year-old and ran well. He's been training well since we've come up here this year, so hopefully he runs well again." Breaking from post 3, Code of Honor will be ridden by jockey John Velazquez, who will attempt to tie fellow Hall of Famers Pat Day and Jerry Bailey with the most wins in the race with five. Trainer Al Stall, Jr. saddled subsequent Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Champion Older Horse Blame to victory in the 2010 Whitney off a four-race win streak. This year, the conditioner sends out red-hot Tom's d'Etat, who also arrives at the race off similar form with four straight wins. Owned by Gayle Benson's G M B Racing, the 7-year-old son of Smart Strike enters the Whitney off graded stakes triumphs in the Grade 2 Fayette on October 26 at Keeneland, the Grade 1 Clark on November 29 at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Stephen Foster on June 27 at Churchill Downs. Coincidentally, these were three of the same four races that Blame had won heading into his Whitney victory. "There's no substitute for class and they both have it," Stall, Jr. said. "He's a very classy horse. He's very laid back, easy to deal with, and easy to ride in the mornings." Tom's d'Etat leads all Whitney entrants with three victories at the Spa. As a 3-year-old, he broke his maiden at third asking by four lengths and won an allowance optional claiming event by nine lengths the following year. Last season, he was a one-length winner of the Alydar. Additionally, Tom's d'Etat also boasts the most wins at the distance, having won six times going nine furlongs, three of which were at the Spa. "Some horses just take to it," Stall, Jr. said. "I can tell in the couple weeks he's been here, his hair is great and his eye is just what you want and it seems like he knows just where he is. He's been here at 3, 4 and 6. He took off just one year and this will be his fourth year here and he seems to know his way around." His only defeat at Saratoga was in last year's Grade 1 Woodward, where he was a close but troubled fourth finishing 1 ¾ lengths to Preservationist. "We had an awful trip in that race, but he fired his best shot that day," Stall Jr. said. At the ripe age of 7, Stall, Jr. said Tom's d'Etat is better than ever. "We see no signs of him going the other direction on us, especially from a mental standpoint," Stall, Jr said. "He's one of the last great progenies of Smart Strike. We just feel fortunate to be in this situation all the way around. To be in this spot, to run in these types of races, run in these Grade 1s and more importantly, we're happy that he has a super nice place to go to when his racing career is over [WinStar Farm]." Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock, Tom's d'Etat is out the Giant's Causeway broodmare Julia Tuttle whose dam Candy Cane is a full sister to undefeated Grade 1 winner and multiple champion-producing sire Candy Ride. Tom's d'Etat has never lost in five starts with jockey Joel Rosario aboard and will attempt to keep an unscathed record intact from post 5 as the 6-5 morning line favorite. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will saddle Improbable in attempt to be the first trainer to notch back-to-back wins in the Whitney since Scotty Schulhofer with Colonial Affair and Unaccounted For in 1994-95. Owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing, the 4-year-old City Zip chestnut won the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita last out by 3 ¼ lengths, producing a career-best 105 Beyer. "He's doing really well," said Baffert, who won last year's Whitney with McKinzie. "I think he's a much bigger and stronger horse than last year." Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., who was aboard 2018 Whitney winner Diversify, will pilot Improbable from post 2. Allied Racing Stable's By My Standards will attempt to turn the tables on Tom's d'Etat after finishing second in the Stephen Foster. Trained by Bret Calhoun, the three-time graded stakes winning son of Goldencents began his 2020 campaign with three victories, including Grade 2 scores in the New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds and Oaklawn Handicap, en route to the Stephen Foster. During his sophomore campaign, By My Standards won the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby At Fair Grounds before a twelfth-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby - his only off-the-board finish in ten starts. "He's a good-minded horse and does everything the right way. He's a very smart horse and he's proved that he'll handle [shipping in], so we're confident sending him up there," Calhoun said. "Tom's d'Etat beat us last time with a great race, and we have the utmost respect for him and Code of Honor and all of them in there. But we think our horse is improving and we're hoping Whitney Day will be the day he brings his best." All three of By My Standards' graded stakes wins were at the nine-furlong distance. "That's another key. With a Grade 1, and a mile-and-an-eighth, and how he's training; they are all reasons why we're coming," Calhoun said. By My Standards will exit from post 1 under Jose Ortiz. Rounding out the field is Chester and May Broman's eight-time stakes-winning New York-bred millionaire Mr. Buff, who attempts his first graded stakes victory for trainer John Kimmel. Likely to show early speed, Mr. Buff will be looking for his first win since a runaway 20-length score in the Haynesfield on February 22 at Aqueduct. "We know this place has been known as the "Graveyard of Favorites," but Mr. Buff is stepping into some deep water in this race," Kimmel said. "People might look at his last race and just kind of think that he's a little bit off form. But this horse has run commensurate numbers with all the horses in this race when he's been running against New York-bred company. People obviously think he can't do it against open company." Mr. Buff arrives at the Whitney off a distant fifth in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 4 at Belmont Park. "This horse in his last race actually had a little bone bruise in his foot," Kimmel said. "We went into it thinking he was OK, but I definitely think it bothered him. The blacksmith after that race cut out a little area and he had a little area of blood and some damage and since we have re-shod him, he has been a very happy horse here. He's had two very nice breezes over the racetrack." Mr. Buff will leave from post 4 under jockey Junior Alvarado, who was the pilot aboard 2014 Whitney winner Moreno. The Whitney, one of the most important races in the North American handicap division, has been won by subsequent Champion Older Horses Gun Runner (2017), Honor Code (2015), Blame (2010), Lawyer Ron (2007), Invasor (2006), Left Bank (2002), Lemon Drop Kid (2000), Victory Gallop (1999), Criminal Type (1990) and Slew o' Gold (1984). Prominent Whitney victors during the early years of the race include all-time greats Equipoise (1932), Discovery (1934-36), War Admiral (1938), Stymie (1946), Tom Fool (1953), Carry Back (1962), Kelso (1961, 1963, 1965), Dr. Fager (1968) and Alydar (1978).

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7.29.2020:

Midnight Bisou Seeks Back-to-Back G1 Personal Ensign Wins

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Reigning Champion Older Dirt Female Midnight Bisou, crafting another Eclipse Award-worthy campaign, will seek a 14th graded stakes victory in the 71st running of Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign presented by NYRA Bets on Whitney Day at Saratoga Race Course. Whitney Day will feature three Grade 1 events, led by the historic Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney at 1 1/8 miles with an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 7 at Keeneland on the line. The card is bolstered by the Grade 1, Personal Ensign, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Distaff in November; and the Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs. The stakes-laden card also includes the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green for 4-year-olds and up on the turf and the $200,000 Caress, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares. The card will be broadcast on Saratoga Live beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. Midnight Bisou, a dark bay 5-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute, has put together a sensational record of 21-13-5-3 with purse earnings of $7,371,520. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bisou will attempt to be the first horse to score back-to-back Personal Ensign triumphs since John C. Oxley's champion Beautiful Pleasure did so in 1999-00. "It would be awesome," said Jeff Bloom, who owns Midnight Bisou in partnership with Madaket Stable and Allen Racing. "Anytime you run in those type of races, they're big regardless of what you've done in the past. She's training better than ever and we're ready for it." Midnight Bisou garnered a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure when taking last year's edition of the Personal Ensign in dramatic fashion by a nose over Elate following a tenuous stretch battle. Midnight Bisou is a five-time Grade 1-winner with each score taking place at different tracks. During her 3-year-old campaign, Midnight Bisou won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks while conditioned by west coast-based Bill Spawr before being transferred to Asmussen following a third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Three starts later, she picked up a victory in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx Racing en route to a third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff. At age four she came back bigger and stronger putting together an Eclipse Award-winning campaign which consisted of Grade 1 victories in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn, Ogden Phipps at Belmont and last year's Personal Ensign. This year, Midnight Bisou has sustained her winning form, displaying an inside-closing effort in the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup in February and last out won the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs by 8 1/4 lengths. Bloom said Midnight Bisou gives preference to certain main tracks, but noted that she has taken quite well to the new dirt surface at Saratoga. "At the end of the day, I think she probably likes certain tracks more than others," Bloom said. "She's a huge fan of Belmont, but she's run well over any surface and over any environment. Once you give her the chance to see what's going on around her, she's okay. I think with the changes they made at Saratoga this past season she's training even better over there. She has a great feel for the track, from what I've seen." Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. will be aboard Midnight Bisou for the first time from post 3. Following a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park, Point of Honor will be going back to two turns for the Personal Ensign. Owned by Aron Wellman's Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing, the 4-year-old chestnut Curlin filly added "graded stakes winner" to her consistent resume last May, taking the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico. She then followed up with two Grade 1-placings at the Spa in the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama. She then received a freshening after her runner-up effort in the Alabama to Dunbar Road and has placed in all three of her starts this year. Prior to the Ogden Phipps, she finished third in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom on April 18 at Oaklawn Park. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will attempt his fourth Personal Ensign win aboard Point of Honor, who will exit from post 6. Calumet Farm's Vexatious, a 6-year-old Giant's Causeway mare trained by Jack Sisterson, posted a career-best 100 Beyer when second last out on July 11 in the Grade 2 Ruffian won by Monomoy Girl traveling a one-turn mile at Belmont Park.Vexatious ran second in the Grade 3 Modesty on the Arlington Park turf last July in just her second start for Sisterson and followed up with a game second in the nine-furlong Summer Colony, defeated a neck to Blue Prize who exited that race to win the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita. Bred in Kentucky by James C. Weigel and Giant's Causeway Syndicate, the versatile and well-bred Vexatious is out of Grade 1-winning millionaire Dream of Summer and is a full-sister to Grade 1-winner Creative Cause and a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner Destin. Vexatious will stretch back out to nine furlongs for the Personal Ensign following her stellar effort at a one-turn mile in the Ruffian under Jose Lezcano. "She ran such a good race in the one-turn mile. My concern going into the Ruffian was it was a new dimension for her cutting back to one turn," said Sisterson. "That one-turn mile is an extended sprint and you don't get much of a breather chasing fast fractions. "Jose Lezcano rode her perfectly and he told me she's such a hard-trying filly and gave it her all," added Sisterson. "I think she'll stay whatever trip you put her over, it's just a matter of how fast she can stay the trip, but I do think the mile and an eighth will be better suited for her." Vexatious will emerge from post 4 under the returning Lezcano. Last weekend, Paris Lights and Crystal Ball gave members of WinStar Stablemates Racing a major thrill when battling down the stretch to a one-two finish in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. This weekend Abounding Joy will seek to keep their spirits high when breaking from post 1. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, Abounding Joy arrives at her graded stakes debut in the Personal Ensign off a 5 ½-length win in the Iowa Distaff on July 4 at Prairie Meadows. The 5-year-old bay mare is by Quality Road, who sired 2018 Personal Ensign hero Abel Tasman, and is out of the graded stakes winning Jump Start broodmare Jump On In.  Abounding Joy will be ridden by jockey Jose Ortiz. Abbondanza Racing, Mar DeDomenico and Medallion Racing's Motion Emotion will attempt to turn the table on Midnight Bisou after finishing second to the champion in the Fleur de Lis last out. Trained by west coast-based conditioner Richard Baltas, the Take Charge Indy bay filly was second in three of her four starts this season and will seek her first victory since taking the Zia Park Oaks on November 27. During her 3-year-old campaign, Motion Emotion was second in the Grade 3 Honeybee and Grade 3 Fantasy (both at Oaklawn Park) en route to a ninth-place finish to Serengeti Empress in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will pilot Motion Emotion from post 2. Rounding out the field is Lawrence P. Roman's Bossy Bride, who makes her graded stakes debut for trainer Rob Atras. The daughter of Malibu Moon is a three-time winner from 15 starts and arrives at the Personal Ensign off a three-length starter allowance victory on July 10 at Belmont Park. Jockey Junior Alvarado will pilot Bossy Bride form post 5. The Personal Ensign is named in honor of Ogden Phipps' undefeated champion mare who won all 13 of her lifetime starts, including a triumph against colts in the 1988 Whitney. Perhaps her most memorable performance was a rallying victory in that year's Breeders' Cup Distaff over a sloppy main track Churchill Downs, where she unleashed a devastating turn of foot to defeat Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Personal Ensign also enjoyed a successful career as a broodmare having produced 1995 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly My Flag (the dam of 2002 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Storm Flag Flying, who won the 2004 Personal Ensign), as well as Grade 1-winners Miner's Mark and Traditionally. 

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7.29.2020:

No Parole Seeks G1 Glory in H. Allen Jerkens Memorial

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A rematch featuring the superfecta of last month's Grade 1 Woody Stephens will highlight another high-caliber contest, with No Parole looking to propel his 3 ¾-length victory into more glory in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy on Whitney Day at Saratoga Race Course. The 36th running of the H. Allen Jerkens, a seven-furlong main track sprint for 3-year-olds, is one of five stakes overall on the 12-race card and part of three Grade 1s, joining the $500,000 Personal Ensign for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up, and the $750,000 Whitney for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/18 miles. The Personal Ensign is a "Win and You're In" qualifier to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff in November at Keeneland, while the Whitney will offer the winner an all-fees paid berth to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic. Carded as Race 10, the H. Allen Jerkens, formerly called the King's Bishop and renamed for the late Hall of Famer trainer known as the "Chief," will have a post time of 6:18 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern. Saratoga Live will present full coverage beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern on FOX Sports and MSG Networks. No Parole, owned by Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin, is unbeaten going one turn, registering a perfect 4-for-4 ledger in sprints. Overall, the Tom Amoss trainee has won 5-of-6 starts, including his gate-to-wire win in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens on June 20 over a fast Belmont track, earning his first triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure with an even 100. Ahead of his first Saratoga start, No Parole worked twice over the main track, going four furlongs in 50.50 seconds on July 16 before being ramped up on July 24, when he covered the same distance in 46.42. "He's doing well. He had a much more enthusiastic work last week, which was by design," Amoss said. "Everything he had been doing before then was just easy. To sharpen him up, we put a good piece of work in him with a sharp half mile. He came out of it well." The sophomore Louisiana-bred son of Violence is unbeaten going one turn. In the Woody Stephens, he went to the front and led at every point of call, outkicking the Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Echo Town and Shoplifted, who he will face again on Saturday. No Parole's only defeat took place in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park going a two-turn mile and a sixteenth. Amoss said his charge has continued to develop and improve from that effort, winning both of his starts. "I think what you're seeing is just a typical development of a talented horse, if you take away the experiment of going two turns," Amoss said. Amoss, who is also an analyst for Saratoga Live, will have Luis Saez back aboard after the jockey piloted No Parole in the Woody Stephens in his first time aboard the colt. He will be back in the irons, breaking from post 6. "I think he's the perfect rider for No Parole and he was my first choice when we came to Belmont and fortunately, we were able to get him," Amoss said. Bred by Coteau Grove Farms, No Parole is out of the stakes-placed Bluegrass Cat broodmare Plus One. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who will saddle Improbable in the Whitney in Race 9, will send out Grade 1-winner Eight Rings in the sprint contest. A debut winner last August at Del Mar, Eight Rings won a Grade 1 as a juvenile in the American Pharoah, named for Baffert's 2015 Triple Crown winner. After running sixth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November at Santa Anita, Baffert gave the son of Empire Maker five months off. But Baffert said he might have brought back the $520,000 purchase too soon, as Eight Rings ran fifth in the six-furlong Bachelor on April 25 at Oaklawn. He has since been training at Del Mar, and Baffert said he is expecting better things as he ships to New York for the first time. "He's doing good. I probably shouldn't have brought him back in that last one," Baffert said. "That might have been a trainer error there. But he's doing good and we're taking a shot." Eight Rings is owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Frederick Hertrich, III, John Golconda Stables and Coolmore Stud. Joel Rosario will be aboard from post 2. Asmussen will saddle three contenders, with the Hall of Famer sending out Woody Stephens runner-up Echo Town and third-place Shoplifted in addition to Sonneman. L and N Racing's Echo Town has never finished off the board in six starts, posting a 3-2-1 ledger. Making his graded stakes debut last out, the Speightstown colt stayed next-to-last in the five-horse field through six furlongs before rallying for second. He earned a 93 Beyer for the effort, marking his fourth consecutive race registering at least a 90. Ricardo Santana, Jr., aboard for Echo Town's last five starts, will have the return engagement from post 4. Shoplifted will return to the site of his debut win last July when he posted a 4 ½-length score. Owned by Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables and LNJ Foxwoods, the son of Into Mischief earned graded stakes blacktype with a second-place finish to Basin in the Grade 1 Hopeful last September at the Spa. After running out of the money in the Grade 3 Southwest and the Oaklawn Stakes in the spring at Oaklawn, the $800,000 purchase at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select Sale was cut back in distance and ran third in the Woody Stephens. Staying at seven furlongs, Shoplifted will have the services of jockey Tyler Gaffalione from post 7. Courtland Farm's Sonneman made his stakes debut in his fifth career appearance last out in what turned out to be a match race with Celtic Striker in the Easy Goer on June 25 at Belmont. Scratches whittled the field down to two, with Sonneman staying one length behind at the half-mile mark before Celtic Striker pulled away for a 19 3/4-length romp. After posting two wins and two runner-ups in his first four starts, the Curlin colt will get another opportunity at stakes action, drawing post 3 with Jose Lezcano aboard. Live Oak Plantation's Tap It to Win will make his first start since running in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 20. Trained by Mark Casse, Tap It to Win broke his maiden at Saratoga last August and won his first two starts to his sophomore campaign before being stretched out in the first leg of the Triple Crown. Tap It to Win is 2-for-2 in dirt sprints in his career and will try to extend that mark on Saturday. "We're excited to get him back out there in the Jerkens," Casse said. "His one race at Saratoga was extremely good in a sprint. We're hoping that going back there, he shows what he did last year." Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who has won this race four times, including last year aboard Mind Control, will ride from post 11. Mischevious Alex, a two-time graded stakes-winner for Cash is King and LC Racing, ran fourth in the Woody Stephens to break a three-race winning streak. Conditioned by John Servis, Mischevious Alex won the Grade 3 Swale in February at Gulfstream Park and followed with a two-length victory in the Grade 3 Gotham in March at Aqueduct Racetrack. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride, breaking from post 5. Trainer Jeremiah Englehart will send out New York-bred Captain Bombastic, the last-out winner against state breds in the Mike Lee, who carries a 3-2-1 record into his first graded stakes appearance. He picks up the services of Hall of Famer Javier Castellano for the first time, drawing post 10. His stablemate, Three Technique, has two wins and three-runner up finishes in six starts with his only off-the-board finish last out when fourth in the Grade 2 Rebel in March on a sloppy and sealed Oaklawn track. Jose Ortiz will depart from post 8. Rounding out the field is Liam's Pride, a last-out winner of the Gold Fever on a sloppy Belmont track on July 10, for trainer Doug O'Neill [post 9, Dylan Davis]; and Hopeful Treasure, conditioned by Michael Pino, who will make his first start against graded stakes company [post 1, Manny Franco].

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7.28.2020:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Tonight, Woodbine Mohawk Park has an 11-race card set to go. The 0.20 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 8 and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 85-On The Ropes (4-1)-This is the lowest level in a quite a while and draws well. Comes right back to race and Drury has options. Should be put in play early on and this is a good spot for an overdue picture.8-Steuben Hanover (3-1)-Blais trainee comes off a brutal trip in the Hambo Maturity and now faces a much easier task. McClure returns and he knows how to get this 4-year-old into striking range. Looks like a player with a smooth journey.Race 92-Happy Looker (9/2)-Was bet down last week like the race was already won and faltered down the stretch. Fits here and could make the most of starting inside of main foes.4-Whiskey To Wine (7/2)-It looked like Jamieson was sitting behind the winner, but he was locked in down the lane. This will be the 3rd start for the Pereira barn and fits well with this crew. Looking for a more aggressive steer and a better finish.8-Sound Idea (3-1)-Has been facing better and was stuck with the 9-hole in 2 of last 3 starts. Does need the right trip from this post but can snag 2nd lifetime win if within striking range at the top of the lane.Race 105-Grandma Heidi (5/2)-Drops and should like the company. McNnair blasted out last week but the quick fractions took its toll. Could use the same plan except the pilot will try to make sure her tank isn't drained too quickly.6-Refi (9/2)-Bumps up and missed a week but it's hard to dismiss. Baillargeon barn has been red-hot all year and this 4-year-old has hit the board in all 14 starts in 2020 with 4 wins. The week off may help and should offer a fair price.8-Mass Fortune K (4-1)-Auciello trainee comes out of the same race as #5 and gets some needed class relief. JMac has some options, has the gate speed to get a good seat and be in the hunt throughout.Race 115-Trix And Stones (5/2)-Dropped to this level last week, got jammed up and led to a DQ, so had an excuse plus missed a start. Tonight, should be different, draws better and comes right back so Jamieson should provide a confident drive.7-Sortie (5-1)-Drops to a soft spot, will toss last versus better and that start was after being idle 3 weeks. Has won 4 of 24 at Wbsb and should be a player if minds manners. The post draw shouldn't be a big issue and can roll by off cover.0.20 Late Pick 45,8/2,4,8/5,6,8/5,7Total Bet=$7.20Check me out on Twitter!

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7.20.2020:

2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #6 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #6 (July 17 - July 19, 2020): 1. Art Collector (Tom Drury) - 8/1 ($19.0) 2. Attachment Rate (Dale Romans) - 99/1 ($212.40) 3. Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 9/1 ($21.40)4. Cezanne (Bob Baffert) - 18/1 ($39.00) 5. Dean Martini (Tom Amoss) - 37/1 ($76.60) 6. Dr Post (Todd Pletcher) - 24/1 ($51.80) 7. Enforceable (Mark Casse) - 38/1 ($78.60) 8. Honor A.P. (John Shirreffs) - 6/1 ($14.00) 9. King Guillermo (Juan Avila) - 25/1 ($53.20) 10. Major Fed (Greg Foley) - 90/1 ($182.40)11. Max Player (Linda Rice) - 25/1 ($52.80)12. Modernist (Bill Mott) - 96/1 ($194.80) 13. Mystic Guide (Mike Stidham) - 50/1 ($103.00) 14. Ny Traffic (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 19/1 ($40.20) 15. Pneumatic (Steve Asmussen) - 87/1 ($176.80) 16. Rushie (Michael McCarthy) - 99/1 ($285.40)17. Shared Sense (Brad Cox) - 42/1 ($86.00) 18. South Bend (Stanley Hough) - 99/1 ($215.60) 19. Storm the Court (Peter Eurton) - 88/1 ($179.20)20. Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 65/1 ($132.20) 21. Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 5/2 ($7.20) 22. Uncle Chuck (Bob Baffert) - 6/1 ($15.80)23. All Other 3YO Fillies - 52/1 ($107.80) 24. All Other 3YO's - 14/1 ($31.60) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

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7.20.2020:

2020 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool #2 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool #2 (July 17 - 19, 2020): 1. Altaf (Chad Brown) - 17/1 ($37.00) 2. Bayerness (Cherie DeVaux) - 91/1 ($185.20) 3. Bonny South (Brad Cox) - 27/1 ($56.60) 4. Donna Veloce (Simon Callaghan) - 14/1 ($31.40) 5. Dream Marie (Matthew Williams) - 92/1 ($186.20)6. Envoutante (Ken McPeek) - 72/1 ($147.20) 7. Finite (Steve Asmussen) - 24/1 ($51.00) 8. Gamine (Bob Baffert) - 2/1 ($6.20) 9. Harvey's Lil Goil (Bill Mott) - 24/1 ($51.40) 10. Impeccable Style (Ken McPeek) - 99/1 ($320.80) 11. Mundaye Call (Brad Cox) - 37/1 ($77.00)12. Paris Lights (Bill Mott) - 14/1 ($31.00) 13. Pleasant Orb (Barclay Tagg) - 78/1 ($158.00)14. Project Whiskey (Bob Reid Jr.) - 97/1 ($197.60) 15.Queen of God (Mike Maker) - 99/1 ($255.60) 16. Shedaresthedevil (Brad Cox) - 19/1 ($40.40) 17. Speech (Michael McCarthy) - 10/1 ($23.80)18. Spice Is Nice (Todd Pletcher) - 21/1 ($45.00) 19. Swiss Skydiver (Ken McPeek) - 9/2 ($11.20) 20. Tempers Rising (Dallas Stewart) - 99/1 ($353.80) 21. Tonalist's Shape (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 19/1 ($40.00)22. Venetian Harbor (Richard Baltas) - 27/1 ($56.00) 23. Water White (Rudy Rodriguez) - 99/1 ($215.60) 24. All Other 3YO's - 22/1 ($46.60) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

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7.18.2020:

Authentic Holds Off Ny Traffic to Win G1 Haskell Stakes

On a day that saw Monmouth Park set a handle record for a non-Breeders’ Cup card, heavily-favored Authentic extended Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s record for victories in the Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Stakes to nine by digging in gamely on Saturday to hold off a fast-closing Ny Traffic by a nose. Despite limitations to on-track attendance because of protocols put in place to stem the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of $20,479,392 was wagered from all sources on the 14-race card. That surpassed the previous mark for a non-Breeders’ Cup card of $20,024,509 set on Haskell Day on Aug. 2, 2015. “The reality is that this will go down in history as one of the most challenging yet gratifying Haskell Days in history,” said John Heims, Monmouth Park’s racing secretary and director of racing. “We are grateful to the Governor for his leadership and for permitting us the ability to have race fans to enjoy this terrific experience and be part of a day that will long be remembered.” Racing outside of Southern California for the first time in his five-race career, Authentic led from start to finish in the $1 million race, earning 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, leaving him in second place behind Tiz the Law with a total of 200 points. For the first time, the Haskell had Kentucky Derby qualifying points of 100-40-20-10 up for the taking for the top four finishers because of the reshuffled Triple Crown race schedule in this year of the pandemic. In addition, Authentic’s victory guarantees the son of Into Mischief a spot in the starting gate for the $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov. 7 as part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series. Although Authentic has secured his spots in the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which are both contested at 1¼ miles, the 3-5 favorite in the field of seven didn’t make it easy in the Haskell at a mile and an eighth. It required all of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith’s guile and ability to hold off Ny Traffic and Paco Lopez. “He’s a colt with an abundance of talent. Ability is something he does not lack. He’s got a lot of it,” said Smith. “But what he is lacking right now, he’s learning. He’s growing up. He sees things. Down the backside if you get a chance to look at the head on there are a lot of shadows back there from the sun at this point. He looked at every single one of them and he wouldn’t let me get him down close to the fence because he was looking at them too much. “Then he kicked away like I wanted him to heading for home. Once that horse started to come at him, I wanted to get into him a little bit just to get him going. If he was going to start playing again I thought `I just better stay riding and hope he could hang on at that point’ – which he did.  I rode him well past the wire just to show him to keep running. I didn’t want to think it was over when he hit the wire.” Authentic, the 3-5 favorite in the field of seven, and Ny Traffic raced 1-2 throughout the course of the nine furlongs. Ny Traffic, looking for his first stakes win, had lost ground in upper stretch, got his second wind at the sixteenth pole and came powering through the lane while gobbling up ground fast under Lopez, who said afterward he was “100 percent sure” he had won the race. Smith, who had piloted Authentic out to what seemed a comfortable 2½-length lead, went to his right-handed stick to get Authentic back to the job at hand. Ny Traffic never let up and just missed, as Authentic just got his nose down on the wire in 1:50.45. “I’m just so proud of him, but I was like everybody else telling Mike ‘You better stay after him. You’d better keep busy.’ He (Authentic) looks at everything, as we’ve seen in his past races,” said Baffert, who watched the race from his home in Southern California. “I could tell he wasn’t focused going down the stretch but he held on. He saw that horse coming to him and he took off again. “Jimmy (assistant trainer Barnes) said he came back not really that tired. We had to ship. We’re learning about the horse. He might need a little blinker, though. He was playing in the stretch; I could tell he wasn’t laying it down. He was just playing out there and that horse came to him and kept him going. But when he got (out on an easy lead) by himself like that I thought for sure he was just going to go on. But he ran a great race.” Dr Post, trained by Todd Pletcher, finished third, 4½ lengths behind Ny Traffic. The end result was a tough loss for the connections of Ny Traffic, but trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. found solace in the performance and the 40 Kentucky Derby qualifying points earned’ “I thought he ran good,” said Joseph. “Coming into this race he missed a work and I was a little concerned: Did we have enough? At the quarter pole you could see Authentic was cruising and my horse was off the bridle. “To dig down and dig deep you can’t be any more proud of that. I was pretty sure we lost when I first saw it. We were a head in front right after the bob at the wire. I just want to keep going forward. That’s the important thing. Hopefully all goes well to the Kentucky Derby and we’re living the dream.” The Kentucky-bred Authentic, who is owned by Spendthrift Farm, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, and Myracehorse.com, returned $3.20 for a $2 wager and became a millionaire with the winner’s share of the purse that boosted his bankroll to $1,011,200. His record is now 4-1-0 from five starts and his other wins include the Grade 3 Sham Stakes and the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.

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7.18.2020:

Paris Lights Outduels Crystal Ball in G1 CCA Oaks

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Saturday's 104th running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks saw a dramatic stretch battle between WinStar Stablemates color-bearers Paris Lights and Crystal Ball, with the former getting her head on the wire at the right time in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course. Paris Lights broke sharply from the outside post under jockey Tyler Gaffalione and was in the clear heading into the first turn before Crystal Ball assumed command to lead the five-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 24.43 seconds. Paris Lights kept close company just to her outside with Tonalist's Shape, who checked going into the turn, moving over to the three-path while under a tight hold from jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. Approaching the far turn, Crystal Ball was put under a drive from Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano, while Gaffalione remain cool, calm and collected aboard his filly and did not begin asking her until they reached the quarter pole. At the top of the Saratoga stretch, Paris Lights put a head in front, but a stubborn Crystal Ball was resilient and fought gamely to her inside. The two fillies duked it out and remained nip and tuck throughout the remaining furlong and a half, but Paris Lights came out on the winning end, completing the journey in a final time of 1:50.81 on the fast main track. Crystal Ball finished 4 ¾ lengths ahead of Antoinette who rounded out the trifecta. Tonalist's Shape and Velvet Crush, who walked out of the gate and was never a factor, completed the order of finish. Altaf was scratched. Paris Lights made her stakes debut in the CCA Oaks, arriving at the event off a pair of victories going 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs. She now boasts a record of 4-3-0-1 and earnings of $287,912. The bay daughter of Curlin earned 100 qualifying points towards the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on September 4 at Churchill Downs. The win was a redeeming one for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who turned the tables on Crystal Ball's Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert three years after coming out on the losing end of a memorable stretch battle in the 2017 CCA Oaks when Elate finished a head behind the Baffert-trained Abel Tasman. "I think the fact we had another allowance race in her at Churchill [helped]," said Mott, who saddled Ajina to victory in the 1997 CCA Oaks. "She broke her maiden and we were able to get another allowance race in her for experience and build on that experience a bit and on her confidence level. It paid off today." The Grade 1, $500,000 Alabama on August 15, which also is a Kentucky Oaks qualifier, is in play for Paris Lights, Mott said. "I don't see any reason we wouldn't make that her potential goal. We've been lucky enough to win it a couple of times and naturally, I'd like to try it again," said Mott - a three-time winner of the Alabama. The victory marked the first Grade 1 win at Saratoga for Gaffalione, who has been aboard Paris Lights in all four of her starts. "My filly just kept digging in. The other filly [Crystal Ball, No. 5] was a little stubborn to get by, but my filly is all class," said Gaffalione. "All credit to Mr. Mott and his team. As usual, they do such a fabulous job and I'm just thankful I got the opportunity to ride her." Gaffalione took advantage of a clean trip, which he said was key to securing the win. "My filly jumped out really well. I looked over and saw the Baffert horse [Crystal Ball] go to the lead and I figured she was the speed on form," Gaffalione said. "I thought maybe [Velvet Crush, No. 4] would go with her, but she didn't get away that clean. So, I took advantage of it, and my filly was there for me the whole way." Castellano, aboard Crystal Ball, said he was far from disappointed in his filly's effort. "She's a young horse and it was just the third start of her career," Castellano said. "The way it developed, with better horses in this race, she hooked up and battled with one of the best horses. I'm not disappointed. I'm happy the way she did it. We just got beat on the [head] bob." Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Paris Lights is out of the Bernardini broodmare Paris Bikini, who is a half-sister to graded stakes winner America and is a direct descendant of prolific broodmare Best In Show.

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7.16.2020:

Saturday, July 18 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Saratoga, Monmouth & Woodbine

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host an all-graded-stakes Cross Country Pick 5, featuring action from Saratoga Race Course, Monmouth Park and Woodbine Racetrack.  Live coverage of all the races in the sequence for the first Saturday of the Saratoga summer meet will be available with America's Day at the Races on FS1 and MSG+. Monmouth, located in Oceanport, New Jersey, will host the first two legs of the sequence, starting with the Grade 3, $300,000 Monmouth Cup for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles in Race 10 at 4:40 p.m. Eastern. As part of the Grade 1 Haskell undercard, the Monmouth Cup will see Joevia, the 2019 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes third-place finisher, return to the track where he broke his maiden in July 2018 and also where he captured last year's Long Branch. The Gregg Sacco trainee will be part of a 10-horse field that includes Global Campaign, the 2019 Grade 3 Peter Pan winner at Belmont Park who also ran third in last year's Grade 2 Jim Dandy for trainer Stanley Hough.  The action will continue at Monmouth for the Grade 1, $300,000 United Nations in Race 11 at 5:12 p.m. The 1 3/8-mile turf route will see Current, the third-place finisher in the Grade 2 Kitten's Joy Pan American in March, as part of a nine-horse field. Current, the Todd Pletcher trainee who captured the 2018 Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon, will go up against a field that includes Standard Deviation, who ran third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November at Del Mar for conditioner Graham Motion. Standard Deviation ran second this year in Qatar in the Group 1 H.H. The Amir Trophy. An international flavor will be added to the Cross Country Pick 5 when it shifts to Woodbine for the Grade 2, $175,000 Royal North in Race 9 at 5:28 p.m. Summer Sunday, one of two entrants for trainer Stuart Simon, will look to repeat as winner in defending her 2019 victory. Summer Sunday was named Canada's champion female sprinter in 2019 and made her 5-year-old debut by running third in the Grade 3 Whimsical on June 21 at Woodbine. Simon will also saddle Sister Peacock in the six-furlong Royal North. The penultimate leg will be Monmouth's signature race, the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell in Race 12 at 5:48 p.m. A "Win and You're In" qualifier to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Keeneland, the Haskell will also offer qualifying points to September's Grade 1 Kentucky Derby for the first time in history. The top four-finishers will receive 100-40-20-10 points towards the "Run for the Roses," with seven sophomores competing at 1 1/8 miles. Authentic, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, is the 4-5 morning-line favorite after starting his year with victories in the Grade 3 Sham and the Grade 2 San Felipe before running second in the Grade 1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on June 6. He will face a talented seven-horse field that includes the Pletcher trained Dr Post, who ran second to Tiz the Law in last month's Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. The rest of the field includes Jesus' Team, Ancient Warrior, Fame To Famous, Lebda and NY Traffic.  Historic Saratoga Race Course will conclude the sequence with the third Grade 1, offering the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies in Race 10 at 6:16 p.m. Offering 100-40-20-10 qualifying points to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, the Coaching Club American Oaks will see multiple graded-stakes winner Tonalist's Shape, who boasts six wins from seven starts, sent out by trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. Baffert will send out  will send out Crystal Ball, who graduated last out by 6 ¼ lengths on June 14 in a 1 1/16-miles maiden at Santa Anita. Antoinette, Altaf, Velvet Crush and Paris Lights will also attempt the 1 ¼-mile test. 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 18: Leg 1 - Monmouth, Race 10: Grade 3 Monmouth Park (4:40 p.m.)Leg 2 - Monmouth, Race 11: Grade 1 United Nations (5:12 p.m.)Leg 3 - Woodbine, Race 9: Grade 2 Royal North (5:28 p.m.)Leg 4 - Monmouth, Race 12: Grade 1 Haskell (5:48 p.m.)Leg 5 - Saratoga, Race 10: Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks (6:16 p.m.)

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7.9.2020:

Saturday, July 11 Cross Country Pick 5 Features Belmont, Delaware & Keeneland

ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host a Cross Country Pick 5, featuring a combined four graded stakes among Keeneland and Delaware Park, on Saturday, July 11.  Live coverage of races in the sequence on the final Saturday of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet will be available with America's Day at the Races on FS1 and MSG+. Keeneland will start the wager with Race 6 at 3:51 p.m. with the Grade 2, $150,000 Shakertown for 3-year-olds and up going 5 ½ furlongs on turf. Wildman Jack, trained by Doug O'Neill, is listed at 5-2 on the morning line as part of an overflow 14-horse field. Wildman Jack enters off a win in the Grade 3 Daytona on May 23 at Santa Anita. In March, he set a track record at Meydan Racecourse with his win in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, completing six furlongs on the turf course in 1:07.61. Delaware Park will host the second leg, with the Grade 3, $125,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up in Race 7 at 4:15 p.m. Gentle Ruler will be seeking a repeat victory in the 1 3/8-mile turf route, which attracted a 10-horse field. Gentle Ruler, trained by Ian Wilkes, made an appearance at Saratoga Race Couse following her 2019 victory at Delaware Park, running fourth in the Grade 3 Fasig-Tipton Waya in August. She then won back-to-back stakes, including the Grade 3 Dowager in October at Keeneland to cap her campaign. She started her 5-year-old year with a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Orchid in March at Gulfstream Park before besting allowance company in June at Churchill Downs.  Action shifts back to Keeneland for the next two races, starting with the Grade 1, $350,000 Jenny Wiley for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf in Race 8 at 4:57 p.m. Rushing Fall, a four-time Grade 1-winner trained by Chad Brown, made her first start since October when she won the Grade 3 Beaugay by two lengths on June 3 at Belmont. She now enters the Jenny Wiley as the 6-5 favorite in the eight-horse field that also includes the Brazilin-bred Jolie Olimpica [5-2 morning line], who has two graded stakes wins already this year. Trained by Richard Mandella, the 4-year-old Drosselmeyer filly captured the Grade 3 Las Cienegas in January and the Grade 2 Monrovia last out on May 25, with both wins coming at Santa Anita.  Race 9, at 5:30 p.m., will showcase the Grade 2, $600,000 Blue Grass for sophomores. Offering 100-40-20-10 qualifying points to the top-four finishers towards September's Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, the 96th running of the Blue Grass will see filly Swiss Skydiver take on the boys in the 1 1/8-mile contest as part of a 13-horse field. Trained by Kenneth McPeek, two-time Blue Grass winner, Swiss Skydiver will look to earn her first Derby qualifying points after winning three graded stakes this year and securing a spot in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on September 4, racking up 310 points towards the "Lilies for the fillies."  No filly has ever won the Blue Grass, but a strong showing could see Swiss Skydiver dream of running for the roses instead. To get there, she will take on a field that includes Basin, who won last year's Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga and most recently ran second in a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Basin is ninth on the Derby leaderboard with 50 points. Belmont Park, on the final Saturday of the spring/summer meet, will close out the sequence with Race 9 at 5:36 p.m. A 14-horse field of New York-bred 3-year-olds and up will contest at seven furlongs on the turf and includes Uncle George, listed at 7-2 on the morning line, and Big Wonder, at 6-1.  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 11: Leg 1 - Keeneland, Race 6: Grade 2 Shakertown (3:51 p.m.)Leg 2 - Delaware Park, Race 7: Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial (4:15 p.m.)Leg 3 - Keeneland, Race 8: Grade 1 Jenny Wiley (4:57 p.m.)Leg 4 - Keeneland, Race 9: Grade 2 Blue Grass (5:30 p.m.)Leg 5 - Belmont, Race 9: (5:36 p.m.)

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7.4.2020:

Tacitus Romps in G2 Suburban

ELMONT, N.Y. - Juddmonte Farms' Tacitus rewarded the patience of Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott with a smashing return to the winner's circle in the 134th running of Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Suburban for older horses over the Belmont Park main track. The 1 ¼-mile event rounded out an action packed program of five graded stakes on Runhappy Met Mile Day at beautiful Belmont Park, which was spearheaded by a wire-to-wire triumph from Vekoma in the Grade 1 Runhappy Met Mile. Tacitus, a gray or roan son of multiple champion-producing stallion Tapit, arrived at the Suburban off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on May 2, where he chased a leisurely pace over a speed-favoring track and made a four-wide move at the top of the stretch, closing enough ground to get fourth. Guided by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who piloted E Dubai to a 2002 Suburban score, Tacitus broke sharply from his inside post and took back off a tepid pace set by 57-1 longshot Parsimony, who produced an opening quarter-mile in 24.68 seconds with eight-time stakes winner Mr. Buff just to his outside in second over the fast main track. Parsimony and Mr. Buff raced alongside one another and extended their advantage to two lengths through a half-mile in 48.36 seconds with Tacitus in fourth just to the inside of Moretti. Around the far turn, Tacitus began making up ground under no urging from Velazquez and made a three-wide move through three-quarters in 1:10.82. At the quarter-pole, Mr. Buff gave way while Parsimony was under an all-out drive by jockey Kendrick Carmouche. Velazquez remained cool, calm and collected aboard Tacitus who effortlessly went by the pacesetter around the three-sixteenths pole and glided home to a 8 ¾-length score in a final time of 1:59.51. Moretti closed to get second, a neck to the better of Parsimony in third. Just Whistle, Mr. Buff and 2019 Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston completed the order of finish. Forewarned was a late scratch in the post parade. "He was going comfortable the whole way," said Velazquez, who notched a fifth stakes victory this meet aboard Tacitus. "We had a little pressure in the first part of the race and little by little we kept reaching back and reaching back. I just wanted to be a little further back. Once we passed the five-eighths pole, I put my hands down and he got into a great rhythm. From there on, I knew he was comfortable, and in a position to win." The Suburban was a first trip to the winner's circle for Tacitus since taking the Grade 2 Wood Memorial last April at Aqueduct Racetrack. He followed said victory with five straight placings against graded stakes company, including a third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and runner-up finishes in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Runhappy Travers. Tacitus also owns a graded stakes triumph in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby last March at Tampa Bay Downs. In his 4-year-old debut, Tacitus ran fifth in the inaugural edition of the Group 1 Saudi Cup on February 29 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. "We've put a lot into this horse," said Mott, who previously won the Suburban with Wekiva Springs (1996) and Flat Out (2013). "We took him to some big races, and he's run some good races. We took him halfway around the world earlier this year looking for something like that [winning effort] in Saudi and in Dubai before they canceled the race [Dubai World Cup]." Perhaps it was a change of equipment that made a difference for Tacitus, who raced with blinkers on for Saturday's race. "It seems to make him level off a little more and stay in the bridle a little more," Mott said. The win marked a second stakes triumph on Runhappy Met Mile Day for Mott and Velazquez, who teamed up earlier on the card with Frank's Rockette to a victory in the Grade 3 Victory Ride. Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano had no complaints regarding his trip aboard runner-up Moretti. "Beautiful trip. That's just where we wanted to be; behind the two speeds. The race set up beautifully. We were just second-best today. Tacitus is a great horse," Castellano said.   Returning $4.20 for a $2 win bet, Tacitus banked $110,000 in victory while enhancing his lifetime earnings to $2,817,500. Named after an ancient Roman senator, the Kentucky homebred Tacitus is out of 2014 Champion Older Filly Close Hatches and is a direct descendant of 1982 Broodmare of the Year Best In Show.

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7.4.2020:

Vekoma Wins G1 Metropolitan Handicap

ELMONT, N.Y. - Vekoma stayed undefeated in his 4-year-old campaign, breaking on top and never relinquishing the lead to post a 1 ¼-length win in the 127th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Runhappy Met Mile on Saturday at Belmont Park.Vekoma, owned by R.A. Hill Stable and Gastas Stables, vanquished a talented eight-horse field that boasted a combined 20 graded stakes victories, improving to 5-for-5 going around one turn. In the process, the Candy Ride colt earned an all-fees paid entry to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in November at Keeneland. Under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, Vekoma broke sharp from post 2 and was sent to the front, going the opening quarter-mile in a leisurely 22.73 seconds and the half in 45.87 on the main track labeled fast. Out of the turn, Vekoma kept to the inside and thundered for home, outkicking a game Network Effect in hitting the wire in 1:32.88 to give trainer George Weaver his first Met Mile victory. It also marked the second straight time Vekoma bested Network Effect over Belmont's Big Sandy, with the duo running 1-2 in the Grade 1 Runhappy Carter on June 6. "I was happy with our trip around the backside," Weaver said. "I knew we had natural speed, and no one really went with us, so I was happy with the fact that he was there. At the quarter pole, it seemed like all comers were coming and I thought 'Man, does he have anything left in the tank or not?'. When they got to the eighth pole and I saw him rebreak and keep going, I got excited. It was fun." Vekoma has won graded stakes as a 2, 3 and 4-year-old, and remained undefeated in 2020 after capturing the Sir Shackleton in March at Gulfstream Park. The Kentucky bred won his second Grade 1 over Belmont's Big Sandy in as many months, adding to his 7 1/4-length triumph in the seven-furlong Runhappy Carter. "As the race unfolded it looked like a lot of horses were trying to make a run and come at us," Weaver said. "At the quarter pole, for a brief moment, I didn't know if he had any horse in the tank or not, but at the eighth pole I saw him re-break and I was so proud of him." Off as the slight 9-5 second choice behind McKinzie, Vekoma returned $5.90 on a $2 win bet. Vekoma improved to 6-0-1 in eight career starts with four graded stakes wins and earned millionaire status, increasing his career bankroll to $1.24 million. The Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney is slated for August 1 at Saratoga Race Course, with Weaver leaving open the possibility to running in the 1 1/8 mile contest or the Grade 1, $300,000 Forego presented by America's Best Racing on August 29 if Vekoma needs more time after his pair of big efforts at Belmont. "We're going to nominate to the Whitney for sure, but he's run two huge races back-to-back," Weaver said. "The most likely scenario, to me, is that he would come back in a race like the Forego. We want to plot a campaign to get us to the Breeders' Cup, so we'll take a look at the calendar and go from there."Castellano notched his third career Met Mile win, joining Honor Code in 2015 and Ghostzapper in 2005. "Sometimes you handicap the race and then you have to throw it out when you break out of the gate. I made a decision and used my best judgement and I think it paid off today," Castellano said. "They came after me at the three-eighths pole, but he's such a great horse and such an honest horse. The further he went the stronger he got." Klaravich Stables' Network Effect ran second for the third time in four starts this year. The 4-year-old son of Mark Valeski, who won the Big Drama on May 2 at Gulfstream, edged 2019 Grade 1 Runhappy Travers-winner Code of Honor by a neck for runner-up honors. "Perfect trip, I can't complain," said Irad Ortiz, Jr., Network Effect's jockey. "I got a good trip and the horse ran big today on a dry track. They went a little fast. Vekoma is a nice horse, we just got beat. We were second best today." Warrior's Charge finished fourth, followed by 2019 Grade 1 Whitney-winner and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up McKinzie in fifth. Mr Freeze, Endorsed and Hog Creek Hustle completed the order of finish.

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7.4.2020:

Social Paranoia Rallies Late to Win G3 Poker Stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Elkstone Group's Social Paranoia closed from out of the clouds to capture Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Poker, a one-mile turf test for older horses on Runhappy Met Mile Day at Belmont Park. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 4-year-old Street Boss colt was turning back in distance following an off-the-board effort in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Fort Marcy on June 6 at Belmont. Jockey Jose Ortiz guided Social Paranoia to victory in the Grade 3 Appleton on March 28 at Gulfstream Park in his seasonal debut and was reunited with the versatile dark bay on Saturday as Dream Friend set swift splits of 24.50 seconds and 49.28 on the firm Widener turf. Multiple Grade 1-winning mare Got Stormy, with Hall of Famer John Velazquez up, tracked from second position with Valid Point to his inside. Got Stormy took aim at the pacesetter into the turn with Seismic Wave and Value Proposition, the 5-2 mutuel favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr., launching their bids. Social Paranoia, distanced in seventh through three-quarters, was tipped out wide for the stretch run by Ortiz and quickly circled the pack with Hawkish, piloted by Manny Franco, trying an inside charge at the leaders. Ortiz and Social Paranoia soon took command while Hawkish, full of run, failed to find a hole outside a fading Got Stormy and inside a lugging in Value Proposition. Social Paranoia, in the clear, found the wire first by one length in a final time of 1:36.30. Seismic Wave completed the exacta by 1 ¾-lengths over Value Proposition, who was a half-length in front of Got Stormy. Rounding out the order of finish were Dream Friend and Hawkish, who dead-heated for fifth, Eons and Valid Point. Main-track only entrant Its All Relevant was scratched. A stewards inquiry and jockey's objection by Franco against Ortiz, Jr.  into the incident just inside the sixteenth pole was denied. Pletcher said the turnback in distance suited Social Paranoia despite being further back than desired in the early running. "I thought we were a tick further back than I thought we would be and they were going a tick slower than I had hoped," said Pletcher, who captured the 2014 Poker with Jack Milton. "I thought we made a mistake last time in trying to use him a little bit early on to get into position from the outside post going a mile-and-an-eighth. He showed us in his first start back at Gulfstream that he just wants to settle and make one run. Jose executed the plan very well and it was a good performance." Ortiz said he felt comfortable throughout and that he played his hand perfectly. "It was a good trip. I knew they were going slow but he was very relaxed. When we made our move, I had to go wide because they were going so slow," said Ortiz, who previously won the Poker with King Kreesa [2015] and Oscar Performance [2018.]. "I knew everyone was going to have a really good run to the end but when I passed the eighth pole, he was going really nice. He put his head down and rolled home." Social Paranoia finished second in the 2019 Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational over 1 ¼-miles on the Widener turf to kick off the Turf Triple series and was an even fourth in the Saratoga Derby Invitational, second leg of the Turf Triple, before winning the Dueling Grounds Derby at 1 5/16-miles at Kentucky Downs in a productive sophomore campaign. He made the grade in his seasonal debut with a rousing last-to-first charge in the Grade 3 Appleton, and was third in the Sunshine Forever at the Hallandale oval ahead of the Fort Marcy. A $75,000 purchase at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Select Kentucky Yearling Sale, Social Paranoia is out of the Deputy Minister mare Shutterbug. Bred in Kentucky by Mineola Farm II & Silent Grove Farm, Social Paranoia banked $55,000 in victory while improving his record to 14-4-4-5. He paid $11.80 for a $2 win ticket.

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7.4.2020:

Instilled Regard Tops Stablemate Rockemperor in G1 Manhattan

ELMONT, N.Y. - As is quickly becoming custom, the Grade 1, $400,000 Manhattan was dominated by four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, who saddled Instilled Regard and Rockemperor to a one-two finish in the prestigious 1 ¼-mile turf race on Saturday at Belmont Park on Runhappy Met Mile Day. The win was Brown's sixth Manhattan victory in nine years. He first won the race in 2012 with Desert Blanc and in 2019 saw his barn complete the trifecta, with champion Bricks and Mortar taking home the top prize. Mirroring the tight finish on the track, OXO Equine's Instilled Regard and Rockemperor were practically inseparable in the betting as both went off at 2-1 in Brown's quest to win back-to-back editions of the Manhattan for a third time, with Rockemperor the slight favorite as they each sought their first Grade 1 victory.When the gates opened, Rockemperor gained a distinct advantage over his stablemate heading into the clubhouse turn as Hall of Famer John Velazquez piloted the 4-year-old colt into the garden spot, just off the pace while hugging the fence. Instilled Regard was forced to settle in midpack with the meet's leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard as Cross Border led the eight-horse field through modest splits of 24.56 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 50.46 for the half, and 1:15.93 for three-quarters on Belmont's firm inner turf course. From the back of the pack, Sadler's Joy uncorked a menacing rally on the outside, while Rockemperor's fortuitous run continued as he tipped out from behind horses into the stretch and a chasm opened up in front of him. But Ortiz, Jr. deftly navigated Instilled Regard through traffic, making a decisive move to split the pair at the sixteenth pole and then charging home to a neck victory over his stablemate, hitting the wire in 2:02.59. "They both got really good trips," said Brown. "Both jockeys did a great job and both horses responded super. It's unfortunate one of them had to lose. In the end, Instilled Regard just made the last move of the chess match. I'm so proud of the horse. He keeps getting better." Brown credited his staff for the success in the Manhattan."It's a testament to my team," Brown said after the race. "Through the years a lot of different horses have passed through our hands but much of my same team is intact and they've been working with all these horses. All the credit goes to them." The Manhattan marked the second win of the year for Instilled Regard, who also finished third in the Grade 1 Pegasus Turf Invitational in his 2020 debut. After he started on dirt, running a late-closing fourth-place finish in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, Instilled Regard has only once finished outside the trifecta on the surface. The Manhattan score bumped his earnings to $983,240, just shy of the million dollar mark, and he returned $6.30 on a $2 win wager. "His mind is getting better and better every time he runs on the grass," said Ortiz. "With this horse, he does everything you want. I like that. I can use it to get in position and he comes back to me so well. He saved all the energy until the end. When I asked him for it, he gave it. I had to work so hard but when I tipped him out, he responded so well. I knew I had a chance to get there, and he got there on time." Hard-knocking veteran Sadler's Joy came up just short yet again on the Belmont turf, finishing a half-length behind Rockemperor in third. "Unfortunately for him, he was at a disadvantage going a mile and a quarter with no pace," said Javier Castellano, rider of Sadler's Joy. "He was closing very well. I was not disappointed at all in the horse. He always tries and one day, we're going to catch up." Channel Maker, Cross Border, Spooky Channel, Devamani and Dot Matrix completed the order of finish.  

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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).  

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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.)

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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).

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6.29.2020:

2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #5 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #5 (June 26 - 28, 2020): 1. Art Collector (Tom Drury) - 20/1 ($43.60) 2. Authentic (Bob Baffert) - 11/1 ($25.80) 3. Basin (Steve Asmussen) - 53/1 ($108.60)4. Cafe Pharoah (Noriyuki Hori) - 14/1 ($31.80) 5. Cezanne (Bob Baffert) - 19/1 ($40.00) 6. Creed (Shug McGaughey) - 54/1 ($110.60) 7. Dr Post (Todd Pletcher) - 20/1 ($43.80) 8. Enforceable (Mark Casse) - 46/1 ($95.60) 9. Ete Indien (Patrick Biancone) - 53/1 ($109.40) 10. Honor A.P. (John Shirreffs) - 6/1 ($14.60)11. King Guillermo (Juan Avila) - 29/1 ($60.00)12. Man in the Can (Ron Moquett) - 69/1 ($140.60) 13. Max Player (Linda Rice) - 24/1 ($50.40) 14. Money Moves (Todd Pletcher) - 75/1 ($153.20) 15. Mr. Big News (Bret Calhoun) - 78/1 ($158.60) 16. Mystic Guide (Mike Stidham) - 54/1 ($111.80) 17. Ny Traffic (Saffie Joseph Jr.) - 57/1 ($117.00) 18. Pneumatic (Steve Asmussen) - 56/1 ($114.40) 19. Rushie (Michael McCarthy) - 99/1 ($210.60)20. Thousand Words (Bob Baffert) - 47/1 ($96.60) 21. Tiz the Law (Barclay Tagg) - 2/1 ($6.40) 22. Uncle Chuck (Bob Baffert) - 13/1 ($29.60)23. All Other 3YO Fillies - 24/1 ($50.40) 24. All Other 3YO's - 8/1 ($18.60) View more Kentucky Derby Futures information.

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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.)

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.  

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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). 

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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.

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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.”

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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.           

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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)

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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3.9.2020:

2020 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool #1 Results

Here are the full results for Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool #1 (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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.     

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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.)

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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.

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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)

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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.)

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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

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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? 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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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. 

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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.”

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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).

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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)

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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)  

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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('cloak06d4a13f2b5c297b63689a69c546875b').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy06d4a13f2b5c297b63689a69c546875b = 'info' + '@'; addy06d4a13f2b5c297b63689a69c546875b = addy06d4a13f2b5c297b63689a69c546875b + 'thoroughbredsafetycoalition' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_text06d4a13f2b5c297b63689a69c546875b = 'info' + '@' + 'thoroughbredsafetycoalition' + '.' + 'com';document.getElementById('cloak06d4a13f2b5c297b63689a69c546875b').innerHTML += ''+addy_text06d4a13f2b5c297b63689a69c546875b+''; . 

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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.

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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.     

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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