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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

Racing Headlines

Will Take Charge retired with suspensory injury

Will Take Charge began to assert control over last year's three-year-old division in the Travers (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Last year's champion three-year-old colt Will Take Charge, who was expected to contest Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup en route to the Breeders' Cup Classic, has sustained a suspensory injury prompting his retirement. The well-bred son of Unbridled's Song and multiple Grade 1-winning Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady will enter stud at Three Chimneys near Midway, Kentucky, in 2015.

"Will Take Charge's retirement is particularly disappointing as we were primed, as an older horse, to win the Classic this year which we lost by a whisker last year," Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas said, referring to the flashy chestnut's near-miss to the older Mucho Macho Man at Santa Anita last November. "If the race were a mile and a quarter and two inches, Will Take Charge's career earnings would be at nearly $6 million.

"This horse has done what few other horses can do any more. He is a different kind of Unbridled's Song. He defeated the best three year olds in the country in the Travers and then the best older horses in the Classic. He is a true champion who ran to his blue-blooded pedigree. He proved himself to be the best of his generation. He is a proud addition to my resume."

Co-owner Willis Horton, who sold a half-share in the colt to Three Chimneys late last year, sounded a similar theme.

"Will Take Charge is a horse of a lifetime, and I can't say enough about how 'hickory' he has been, starting 21 times all across the country against the stiffest competition time after time," Horton said.

The flashy chestnut came within inches of Mucho Macho Man (far right) in the BC Classic... (Breeders' Cup Ltd. Photo)
"We have had the time of our lives with him, and met wonderful people all across America. He's been a real fan favorite, and we think he'll be a Kentucky breeders' favorite too! I also can't compliment Wayne enough on developing this exceptionally talented horse into a champion. It's been one heck of a ride."

Purchased by Horton for $425,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Will Take Charge broke his maiden back at that venue in his second start at two. He found the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs to be a bridge too far next time, ending up last of 13, but rebounded with a solid second in Remington's Springboard Mile.

The strapping colt began to strengthen up when wintering at Oaklawn. A game winner of the Smarty Jones in his three-year-old debut, he was along for sixth in a sloppy renewal of the Southwest, and outdueled his tenacious stablemate Oxbow back on a fast track in the Rebel.

Will Take Charge competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown without success. He was hampered at a crucial stage in the Kentucky Derby, where he arguably would have finished closer than eighth with a clean trip. He was subsequently a non-threatening seventh to Oxbow in the Preakness and 10th behind Palace Malice in the Belmont.

But Will Take Charge turned the corner at Saratoga. Taking the blinkers off for the first time since his career debut, he was a hard-charging runner-up to Palace Malice in the Jim Dandy.

...and capped his championship season by defeating Game On Dude in the Clark (Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos)
The next piece of the puzzle came with a rider change to Luis Saez, and they proved quite a team. Will Take Charge surged late to deny Moreno in the Travers, leaving Orb back in third and Palace Malice in fourth. He continued his progress in the Pennsylvania Derby, rolling 2 1/4 lengths clear of Moreno.

After nearly beating Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders' Cup Classic -- his first attempt versus older horses -- Will Take Charge capped his remarkable, 11-race season by collaring venerable Game On Dude in the Clark Handicap at Churchill. His second half heroics clinched an Eclipse Award as champion three-year-old male.

Although a stud career ultimately beckoned for his new co-owners, Three Chimneys, connections kept him in training at four in hopes of further glory.

Will Take Charge opened 2014 with two superb runner-up efforts in defeat. Reappearing in the February 9 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream, he hooked a razor-sharp Lea, who blitzed 1 1/8 miles in a track-record 1:46.86 to beat him. Will Take Charge shipped out west for the March 8 Santa Anita Handicap for a rematch with Mucho Macho Man. While he easily turned the tables on that foe, Will Take Charge ran into Game On Dude at his best, and settled for second in a stakes-record 1:58 for the 1 1/4-mile Big 'Cap.

Back at his old stomping grounds in Hot Springs, Will Take Charge ground out a workmanlike victory in the April 12 Oaklawn Handicap. He wasn't quite the same thereafter, checking in sixth behind the unheralded Moonshine Mullin in the May 2 Alysheba at Churchill, closing for second to the same rival in the June 14 Stephen Foster, and reporting home a lackluster third to Moreno in the August 2 Whitney at the Spa.

Will Take Charge was freshened in advance of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and he had been training sharply. His last recorded work was a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 at Churchill on September 10, which earned a rave review from Lukas.

"The work was excellent," Lukas said at the time. "It was one of his best on this track. I was really pleased with it."

Will Take Charge, led in by a delighted Willis Horton, rates as a premier recruit for Three Chimneys (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
Unfortunately, Will Take Charge was later found to have a mild strain to a branch of his suspensory apparatus. He retires with a record of 21-7-6-1 and career earnings of $3,924,648.

The news comes on the heels of the recent retirements of familiar foes Palace Malice and Game On Dude as well as Princess of Sylmar.

Will Take Charge boasts a top-flight pedigree. His dam, $2.4 million earner Take Charge Lady, captured the 2002 Ashland and back-to-back runnings of the Spinster in 2002-03. Her other highlights include victories in the Alcibiades and Fair Grounds Oaks and placings in the Kentucky Oaks, Apple Blossom, Ogden Phipps, Gazelle and Delaware Handicaps.

Take Charge Lady is excelling herself as a broodmare, producing Grade 1-winning millionaire Take Charge Indy prior to Will Take Charge. The Dehere mare's influence is already reaching a second generation, as she is the second dam of current juvenile Take Charge Brandi, runner-up in the July 18 Schuylerville.

"Will Take Charge is a serious racehorse and is an even more important stallion prospect," said Doug Cauthen, vice-chair of the Three Chimneys board.

"His body of work on the racetrack is remarkable and unique, and his magnificent pedigree anchors a physical presence that will impress any breeder that sees him. To me, he's as good as it can get.

"Three Chimneys is armed and ready with an impressive array of quality mares to launch Will Take Charge's stud career. No stone will be left unturned to help make him a success."

"As we forge a new path forward at Three Chimneys," Chairman Gonçalo Borges Torrealba said, "we feel very fortunate to announce that a champion like Will Take Charge will help us write the next chapter in the farm's storied history whose foundation as a stallion operation was built on the shoulders of such towering breed changers as Seattle Slew, Dynaformer, Rahy, and the like."

A stud fee has not yet been announced.

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Florida Won, Sweater Weather give Husbands Woodbine stakes double

Florida Won passed his main track test with flying colors (WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Jockey Patrick Husbands had a stellar day on Sunday at Woodbine, sweeping the two stakes contests in relatively easy fashion.

The main attraction on the day was the Grade 3, $160,401 Ontario Derby, which featured Prince of Wales hero Coltimus Prime and Breeders' victor Ami's Holiday. Neither could overcome Live Oak Plantation's Florida Won, though, as he separated himself from the field in the stretch to post a 1 1/2-length victory.

The Birdstone colt, who was making his first start on something other than turf, was last through the opening half-mile set by Lunar Rover in :24 4/5 and :49 2/5. Coltimus Prime drafted just off the leader's flank while Ami's Holiday ran in front of Florida Won in the tightly bunched group.

Ami's Holiday was urged into contention through the turn, with Florida Won following his lead four wide. They challenged Lunar Rover and the stalking Coltimus Prime, who was resurgent on the rail and stayed on gamely down the stretch but could not fend off the energetic rally of Florida Won.

The Mark Casse trainee swept on by and stopped the clock in 1:50 4/5 for nine Polytrack furlongs under Husbands, who was expecting a big outing from the colt making his first start on the Woodbine main track.

"I breezed him last week (on the Polytrack) and he breezed like a winner," Husbands noted. "Today, I rode him with confidence. I wasn't worried about the horses in front of him, I knew what type of horse I was sitting on. I waited until Luis (Contreras on Ami's Holiday) went and I had plenty of horse."

Kathryn Sullivan, assistant to Casse, agreed with Husbands' assessment.

"He's been traveling really well over the Poly. He's looked great and came into the race in good order," Sullivan remarked. "He got a little hot in the paddock, but that's a bit him. When I saw him going down the backside, I thought Patrick had him nice and relaxed and I was very confident."

Florida Won paid $22.30 as the 10-1 second longest shot in the seven-sophomore field. Coltimus Prime lost the war but won the battle over 3-2 favorite Ami's Holiday, holding that one to third by a half-length. Squeeze the King came next and was followed by Jose Sea View, Lunar Rover and Picozza. Freitag was withdrawn.

Bred in Kentucky by Gainesway Farm, Florida Won brought $385,000 as a Keeneland September yearling and now boasts a 2-1-2 scorecard from seven lifetime starts having banked $147,608. He began his career with trainer Bill Mott last August, running fourth at Saratoga, before moving to Casse's barn for his next outing, a third-place finish at Keeneland on April 6 of this year.

The chestnut broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on May 11, two races later ran third in the Charlie Barley at Woodbine and entered the Ontario Derby off a fifth-place effort in the Toronto Cup in late July.

Florida Won is out of the winning Grand Slam mare Grand Portege, who is a half-sister to Preakness hero Shackleford, Grade 1 queen Lady Joanne, Grade 2 diva Afleeting Lady, multiple Grade 3 victress Baghdaria and Grade 2-placed stakes winner Stephanoatsee. Being a son of Birdstone, Florida Won is bred 3x3 to Unbridled.

Sweather Weather capped Husbands' stakes double in the La Lorgnette (WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Earlier on the card, Frank D. Di Giulio Jr.'s Sweater Weather lived up to her near 2-1 favoritism in the $156,707 La Lorgnette with a 1 1/2-length win. The sophomore miss rallied to collar Unspurned and finish 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather in :43 3/5.

Paradise Alley led the way through splits of :23 4/5, :48 and 1:11 2/5 while tracked by Enhanced and Unspurned. Husbands had Sweater Weather settled in midpack before sending her wide around the turn to chase Unspurned, who had taken command in the lane. Sweater Weather caught up and passed that rival to earn her second stakes win.

The Bob Tiller-trained daughter of Milwaukee Brew captured the Eternal Search two back and entered the La Lorgnette off a third in the Algoma. She just missed by a nose when making her stakes bow in the Lady Angela on June 7.

"I didn't get any turn of foot (in the Algoma)," Husbands noted. "When I went back and watched the race, I realized we were too close.

"Today, she broke sharp, I took her out of the race and she relaxed. I made sure I spotted them six or seven lengths. Last time, I spotted them four lengths and had no turn of foot. Today she gave me all the turn of foot I wanted."

Sweater Weather has yet to finish worse than third, sporting a 9-4-3-1, $287,384, career mark.

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Saratoga Heater, Temper Mint Patty dominate in juvenile stakes at Belmont

Saratoga Heater wired the Bertram F. Bongard by four lengths (NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)

There were two stakes races for two-year-old state-breds at Belmont on Sunday and both scorers won convincingly.

In the first stakes race, P.R. Racing's Saratoga Heater wired the field in the $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes as he made his first start for trainer Lisa Lewis.

"I know (his former connections) were very high on Saratoga Heater, and when we got him there was nothing that we didn't like about him," Lewis said. "He's done everything right; he had a beautiful breeze here the other day. I was quietly confident going into this race." 

Saratoga Heater was exiting his maiden victory at Saratoga last month in his second start and was previously trained by Al Stall Jr.

The bay colt carved out fractions of :22 1/5 and :45 3/5 along his way to a four-length score. The 3-1 third choice covered seven furlongs over the muddy-sealed track in 1:24 3/5 and paid $8.80 to his backers.

"I thought I would be a little bit off the pace, since he came from way off the pace last time," jockey Joel Rosario said. "He was really sharp today and broke on top. I let him be happy and cruise along. He took me all the way, so it was a good race for him. It didn't seem anyone was trying to go with me, so that was good, too." 

The son of Temple City grabbed $90,000 for the victory to boost his bankroll to $134,287 from a 3-2-0-0 line.

Irad Ortiz Jr. guided Temper Mint Patty to a 13 1/2-length romp in the Joseph A. Gimma (NYRA/Nicole Digiovanni/Adam Coglianese Photography)

In the companion race for two-year-old fillies, Mark H. Stanley's Temper Mint Patty absolutely demolished her competition by an astounding 13 1/2 lengths in the $147,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes.

The Dale Roman charge tracked the pace along the inside, took command around the far turn and continued to widen her margin in the stretch with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons.

"The horse in front of me tried to get out bad" Ortiz said. "I had some horse and I took a chance, and when I asked her she went right through. I think she can go further, too. She's all right."

Temper Mint Patty crossed the wire in 1:23 3/5 -- almost a full second faster than the boys -- going seven furlongs over the muddy-sealed track. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice she returned $6.40 to her loyal supporters for the score.

"I thought in the first race she showed a lot of talent, but she matured before this one in just three weeks," Stanley said. "Hopefully before the first Friday in May she'll be even better. Friday (Kentucky Oaks), not Saturday."

The dark bay was entering in here off her maiden win in her racing debut on August 29 at Saratoga and now has career earnings of $133,800.

"I like (her sire) Congrats a lot; I think he's very underrated," Stanley said. "The main thing is, Becky Thomas, who consigned (Temper Mint Patty) in the two-year-old sale, had a lot of confidence in her, and she actually bought her back in the sale. I went and talked to her after, and she was high on her. She's a pretty filly, so we felt like she was worth the money. She's been a lot of fun so far."

Temper Mint Patty initially sold for $30,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Preferred Yearlings Sale and was then purchased by her current connections for $90,000 at the Fasig-Tipton The Florida Sale.

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Homecoming Classic could be stepping stone to BC Classic for Cigar Street

Lightly raced Cigar Street captured the Skip Away in his second, and final, start of 2013 (Courtney Heeney/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Jake Ballis and Rashard Lewis' Grade 3 winner Cigar Street is expected to ship to Churchill Downs on Thursday in advance of Saturday's $125,000 Homecoming Classic for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

Cigar Street's second-place finish in an August 22 allowance at Saratoga was his first start in 17 months. Sent off as the odds-on favorite, the Street Sense five-year-old got out to an early lead on the muddy track, posting modest fractions of :24 4/5, :49 2/5 and 1:13 3/5. He held onto the lead until the final stages before being caught by Pick of the Litter, who crossed the wire a half-length in front.

"There really wasn't a plan for him in Saratoga since he had been off for 17 months," Ballis said. "No one knew if he was going to like the mud either, but he's always either been on the lead or lay pretty close.

"Before the race, (jockey) Johnny Velasquez just said he was going to let him break and get in a comfortable spot. He said he wasn't going to beat him up down the lane or anything; he just wanted to get him around and see how he would do after 17 months. He ran as well or better than I expected him to run though."

Ballis said he would let the horse and rider dictate their own running style on Saturday, but expects them to be close.

"I think it will be similar on Saturday," Ballis remarked. "We can go to the lead or lay off. He's won going gate-to-wire at Gulfstream and Fair Grounds, and then his other two wins he sat off, so he's versatile.

Departing is hoping to return to the form that saw him romp in last year's WV Derby (Mountaineer Park/Coady Photography)

"I think it will be a good stepping stone for him. I think it's good to have him back in stakes-company even though it's not graded. We'll see how he does and how he comes out of it and then we'll get a plan together for him for the rest of the year and early next year."

Ballis said he would wait and see how the Homecoming Classic goes before making a decision on his colt's next start, but that the November 1 Breeders' Cup Classic was not out of the question. He also mentioned that the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Classic would be ideal for Cigar Street.

"He can run all day long," Ballis asserted. "I think a mile-and-a-quarter is an ideal distance for him; he has a high-cruising speed. If he wins impressively I don't think the Breeders' Cup Classic is out of the question. We'll see how it goes."

One of those Cigar Street will face in the Homecoming Classic is Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's multiple Grade 2 victor Departing, who worked a half-mile in :48 4/5 Sunday morning over Churchill's fast dirt. It was the War Front gelding's final move ahead of Saturday's race.

In addition to Cigar Street and Departing, who will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan and Robby Albarado, respectively, others entered in the Homecoming Classic are Call Me George (Leandro Goncalves), Carve (Jesus Castanon), Perfect Title (Brian Hernandez Jr.) and Pick of the Litter (Julien Leparoux).

Almost Famous is seeking a first stakes win while making his turf debut in the Jefferson Cup (Rickelle Nelson/Horsephotos.com)

Also scheduled on Saturday at Churchill is the Grade 3, $100,000 Jefferson Cup, and the one-mile grass will feature the turf debut of Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC's Almost Famous.

The Unbridled's Song sophomore exits a fourth-place effort in the Smarty Jones at Parx Racing, which followed third-place runs in the Ohio Derby and Matt Winn.

"He's been doing great," trainer Pat Byrne said. "Unfortunately we haven't been able to work him on the turf, but he has two siblings that have both won on turf, so we're hoping he takes to it well.

"We thought about some other races, but with this one being restricted to three-year-olds, we figured we'd take a shot. We'll see how it goes. If he likes the grass he should be right there."

While Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel has ridden Almost Famous in three of his five starts under the Twin Spires, Byrne said Joe Rocco Jr. would get the call for Saturday's Jefferson Cup. Rocco was aboard when the dark bay made his stakes debut a fourth-place effort in last October's Street Sense under the Twin Spires.

"I think we're going to get Joe Rocco to ride him just to mix things up," Byrne said. "He's been on him once before so hopefully he can guide him to a win on Saturday."

Seven other three-year-old colts were entered Sunday for the Jefferson Cup -- Battlefront, Captain Dixie, Heart to Heart, Hesinfront, Speightsland, Sportscaster and Stormy Pacific.

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Work All Week readies for Phoenix, possible BC Sprint run

Reigning Illinois Horse of the Year Work All Week put the finishing touches Sunday on preparations for his next start, and later on a possible run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 1. The The Midwest Thoroughbreds homebred is set to embark for Keeneland at the end of the Arlington meet for its marquee Sprint prep.

"He's being pointed to the (Grade 3, $200,000) Phoenix (on October 3) in Kentucky," said Richard Papiese, principal of Midwest Thoroughbreds. "If he keeps working well and all goes well there, we'll look at the Breeders' Cup."

The Phoenix has a history of being conquered by some of the fastest horses around, including Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-ups Xtra Heat, an Eclipse Award winner, and Fatal Bullet, a Canadian Horse of the Year; Bet on Sunshine, third in two editions of the Breeders' Cup Sprint; and reigning dual Horse of the Year Wise Dan, who annexed the event in his sophomore year to give fans a glimpse of what was to come.

Work All Week, who has won 10 of 13 and comes off a tough beat when giving 11 pounds to the winner as the 130-pound highweight in the July 26 Addison Cammack Handicap at Arlington, has continued to train extremely well in Illinois.

After a series of moves over the Chicago oval's synthetic Polytrack, the Illinois-bred son of City Zip switched to Hawthorne's fast dirt course on Sunday morning to prepare him for Keeneland's newly installed dirt course, going five furlongs in a swift :59 3/5.

"He's working really well," Papiese said. "I expect a big race on the dirt with him. It's probably his best surface. He ships well and he doesn't care where he's at -- he runs his race. I would say right now he's training like a million dollars and I'm very happy with him and confident in his chances."

The Phoenix, which will be Work All Week's graded debut, is a Breeders' Cup Challenge Series "Win & You're In" race, allotting the winner guaranteed entry to the Sprint and a substantial travel allowance.

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Fields shaping up for Belmont's Super Saturday extravaganza

In less than a week, Belmont Park will host Super Saturday, which will include six graded stakes worth a total of $3.4 million. Topping the list is the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup for three-year-olds and up.

The 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup is expected to attract V. E. Day, Wicked Strong and Tonalist, the respective top three finishers of the August 23 Travers at Saratoga. Also probable are Whitney winner Moreno, Suburban Handicap victor Zivo, Grade 2-scoring millionaires Last Gunfighter and Prayer for Relief, multiple Group 1-placed Big Cazanova and Grade 2-placed stakes hero Stephanoatsee. Fellow Grade 2-placed stakes winner Speak Logistics is possible.

Fillies and mares will travel 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame. Stopchargingmaria, victorious in the Alabama and Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, was scratched from Saturday's Cotillion at Parx Racing against her own age group to take on older runners for the first time in the Beldame. Probables also include Delaware Handicap vixen Belle Gallantey as well as Grade 3 scorers Hot Stones and Stanwyck.

A star-studded field is expected for the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. The prospective lineup for the 1 1/2-mile turf marathon is likely to feature last year's runner-up and two-time Grade 1 king Big Blue Kitten as well as Main Sequence.

Big Blue Kitten, trained by Chad Brown for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, returned off a nine-month layoff to take the 1 1/16-mile Lure Stakes on August 2 at Saratoga and was a fast-closing second in the 1 1/8-mile Cliff Hanger at Monmouth Park. Main Sequence enters the Turf Classic off Grade 1 victories in the United Nations at Monmouth and Sword Dancer, both races having been won by Big Blue Kitten in 2013.

The field is also likely to include multiple Grade 1 winner Real Solution, whose lone win this year came in the Manhattan at Belmont; multiple Grade 2 veteran and former 1 1/2-mile world record holder Twilight Eclipse; Grade 2 scorer Hangover Kid; and Grade 3 victors Medal Count and Micromanage.

Another Brown/Ramsey horse, Stephanie's Kitten, is likely to headline the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl at 1 1/4 miles on turf for fillies and mares.

The Kitten's Joy mare is winless in 2014 but has finished close seconds in each of her past two Grade 1 starts, the Diana at Saratoga and Beverly D. at Arlington. Stephanie's Kitten became a Grade 1 winner last season in the Just a Game at Belmont, but her season ended prematurely after a third-place run in the Diana on July 27.

The 1-2 finishers from the August 23 Ballston Spa at Saratoga are both expected to enter the Flower Bowl. Abaco, a neck winner of the Ballston Spa, will likely represent Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey while runner-up and Grade 3 vixen Strathnaver is probable for trainer Graham Motion.

Rounding out the list of probables are Grade 1 winners Alterite, also trained by Brown, and Tannery, second in this race a year ago. Either Aigue Marine or Irish Mission, both Grade 3 winners trained by Christophe Clement, is anticipated to be among the field, with the other going to Santa Anita Park's Grade 1, $300,000 Rodeo Drive.

In the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh, a "Win & You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Sprint, New York-bred Palace will shoot for his third straight Grade 1 victory. Expected to line up against the Alfred G. Vanderbilt and Forego winner are Happy My Way, unraced since finishing second as the favorite in the Vanderbilt on August 2; Clearly Now, beaten favorite in the Forego; three-year-old Coup de Grace, winner of the Amsterdam who next was third as the 2-1 choice in the King's Bishop; Carter hero Dads Caps; Vosburgh defending champion Private Zone; and multiple stakes king Ribo Bobo, who will be making his Belmont debut.

Woodward winner Itsmyluckyday will be taking an unconventional route to the Breeders' Cup Classic as he heads the field for the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso at a mile. Likely to challenge the Lawyer Ron colt are Ack Ack winner Bradester, 3-2-0 in seven starts this year; last year's King's Bishop victor Capo Bastone, most recently fourth in the Forego; River Rocks, returning to graded company off a career-best 109 BRIS Speed figure last out at Saratoga; Scarly Charly, winner of a one-mile allowance in July at Belmont; and Vyjack, stretching out a furlong after finishing third in the Forego.

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Graded Recaps

Miss Behaviour wires Charles Town Oaks

Miss Behaviour was never challenged in her Charles Town Oaks romp Saturday night (Charles Town/Coady Photography)

Cal MacWilliam and Neil Teitelbaum's Miss Behaviour took command of Saturday night's Grade 3, $500,000 Charles Town Oaks and never looked back en route to a dominating 9 3/4-length victory for trainer Phil Schoenthal.

Miss Behaviour was never challenged while setting splits of :23, :46 2/5 and 1:11, drawing away by 11 lengths in the stretch before gearing down under jockey Jevian Toldeo. The bay daughter of Jump Start was sent off the even-money favorite against her nine rivals and returned $4.20 for finishing seven furlongs on the fast dirt in 1:24 3/5.

Kiss to Remember rallied from midpack and dueled with fellow late runner Nesso to take second by a length over that opponent. Stormy Novel filled out the top four another 4 3/4 lengths back and was followed under the wire by Executive Allure, Honey's Ryan, Saintly Joan, Size, Aqua Regia and Pixie Dust. Discreetly Elusive and Sky Crew were both withdrawn.

Miss Behaviour entered the Charles Town Oaks off a trio of runner-up performances against graded company in the Victory Ride, Test and Prioress. She recorded a front-running score in the Miss Preakness prior to those three and was third in the Stormy Blues to open her sophomore season.

The Pennsylvania homebred has finished off-the-board just once in her 11 races to date, with that coming as a fifth-placing while making her juvenile finale in the Delta Downs Princess last November. Miss Behaviour began her career with three straight wins -- taking her maiden debut at Parx Racing, posting an 8 1/4-length romp in the Sorority at Monmouth Park and scoring in Belmont Park's Matron -- before finishing a close second in the Sharp Cat followed by her Delta Downs effort.

With Saturday night's win, she's now banked $790,000 lifetime to go along with her 11-5-4-1 career mark.

Miss Behaviour is the only registered stakes winner out of the stakes-placed Successful Appeal mare Successful Romance, and comes from the same female family as Grade 2 heroes Twilight Time and Park Avenue Ball.

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Racing Headlines

In brief

Barry K. Schwartz's Jacaranda (Congrats), a juvenile half-sister to unbeaten Florida Derby (G1) winner Constitution (Tapit), drew off by five lengths in her debut in Belmont Park's 7TH race on Sunday. Trained by Michael Hushion and ridden by Jose Ortiz, the 5-1 chance was headstrong off the pace early, but grabbed command through a half-mile in :45 4/5 on the muddy, sealed track and widened her margin to the wire. Jacaranda negotiated 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18. Bred by Vinery in Kentucky, the chestnut was a $250,000 Keeneland September yearling. She is the third registered foal, and second runner, produced by stakes-placed Baffled (Distorted Humor), who is in turn a full sister to Group 1-placed Surfer. Baffled is also a half-sister to Grade 1 victor Emcee (Unbridled's Song) and stakes scorer Spring Party (Smart Strike). Constitution was knocked off the Triple Crown trail by a hairline fracture in his right front cannon bone, but he has been working regularly toward a comeback. After posting three works in August at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Kentucky, Constitution rejoined the Todd Pletcher barn at Belmont Park, where he already has four drills to his credit...

Two-time Canadian champion Marchfield (A.P. Indy) was represented by his first winner when John C. Oxley's Field of Courage prevailed in Sunday's 1ST race at Woodbine. Eighth in the August 27 Simcoe in his unveiling at 6 1/2 furlongs, the Mark Casse pupil predictably thrived on the stretch-out to one mile and 70 yards here. The 6-5 favorite was reserved within striking position early by Patrick Husbands before pouncing in the stretch, and despite lugging in, pulled two lengths clear in a final time of 1:43 4/5 on the Polytrack. A $66,367 Ontario September yearling, Field of Courage was bred in that province by Cavendish Investing Ltd. He is out of the multiple stakes-winning and Grade 3-placed Miss Crissy (Bold n' Flashy), who is also responsible for stakes scorers Mesa Cielo (Sky Mesa) and Good Better Best (Best of the Bests) as well as stakes-placed More Miss Crissy (More Than Ready). Casse also trained Marchfield for owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk. The blueblood landed the 2007 Breeders' S., 2008 Autumn S. (Can-G2) and the 2009 Sky Classic (Can-G2) and Dominion Day H. (Can-G3), garnering Sovereign Awards as Canada's champion older male in his latter two campaigns. Out of multiple Grade 3 vixen and Canadian Broodmare of the Year Pico Teneriffe (Red Ransom), Marchfield was exported to South Africa last year. The 10-year-old stands at Moutonshoek Stud in the Western Cape, and his first South African foals are now arriving...

Salvador Hernandez's multiple Grade 3 queen La Tia (City Place) has exited her third in the September 14 Canadian (Can-G2) at Woodbine in fine fashion. After setting out for her usual spot on the lead, the five-year-old mare was pressed by 71-1 longshot Skylander Girl (Stroll) through testing fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 1/5 on the good going under new jockey Joel Rosario. Entering the sizable Woodbine stretch, she fought gamely with eventual winner Deceptive Vision (A.P. Indy) before eventually finishing behind Royal Fury (Langfuhr) in third, beaten 4 1/4 lengths. "She came back pretty good," trainer Armando De La Cerda said. "She came back home OK and has been galloping good and feels strong and happy. Joel said she was a nice filly to ride and they never stopped pressuring her, but she never gave up and has a lot of heart. It was really soft and the stretch was very long. I don't know if I would have beaten the winner but I probably could have been second." Having to race in the Canadian in lieu of a $100,000 overnight handicap the previous week which didn't fill, De La Cerda now will be forced to make some tough decisions regarding the future. "I don't think I want to run at Keeneland (in the $400,000 First Lady [G1] on October 4) -- it's too close. I think I will probably wait and train her up to the ($200,000) Goldikova (G2) at Santa Anita on Breeders' Cup weekend."...

Japan's three-pronged Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) team, including the world's current highest-rated horse Just a Way (Heart's Cry), arrived in Chantilly Saturday, according to Racing Post. The trio were forced to travel by road from Amsterdam after their direct Tokyo to Paris flight was canceled.  Just a Way, winner of this year's Dubai Duty Free (UAE-G1) and Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-G1) most recently June 8, is joined by Oka Sho (Japanese  Guineas) winner Harp Star (Deep Impact), who warmed up with a victory over the third of the group, Gold Ship (Stay Gold), in the Sapporo Kinen (Jpn-G2) August 24. Just a Way is currently the joint second choice for the Arc at 7-1, while Harp Star is 8-1 and Gold Ship 16-1...

Nuovo Record (Heart's Cry) had not raced since famously upsetting Arc hopeful Harp Star (Deep Impact) in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (Jpn-G1) May 25, but enjoyed a smooth return to the races in Sunday's Sho Rose (Jpn-G2), a prep for the October 19 Shuka Sho (Jpn-G1). Racing in fourth, about four lengths off the lead, along the fence through the opening stages, Nuovo Record responded to a few slaps of the stick to overhaul the pacesetter at the 200-meter mark and was driven out to score...

Reigning Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) (Jpn-G1) winner Isla Bonita (Fuji Kiseki), last seen finishing second in the June 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (Jpn-G1), launched his fall campaign Sunday with a driving score in the Asahi Hai St Lite Kinen (Jpn-G2) at Niigata. Settling one slot off the fence in a stalking position, Isla Bonita moved through a gap at the top of the lane, overhauled the pacesetter in midstretch, and held off a handful of facile closers in this trial for the October 26 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) (Jpn-G1). The classy sophomore has not finished outside the top two in eight starts to date...

After scoring by 9 1/2 lengths on debut over an extended mile at Galway July 30, Brooch (Empire Maker) was sent to Killarney to annex the Ruby S. over the same trip August 20 and continued the thread in game fashion in Sunday's Denny Cordell Fillies S. (Ire-G3) at Gowran. Second early tracking the pace, the Juddmonte homebred worked her way past Regardez (Champs Elysees) inside the last furlong and stayed on to maintain her perfect tally and provide jockey Pat Smullen with his first century. "That's wonderful. It's Pat's 100th winner of the season and my 15th Group winner this season," trainer Dermot Weld told Irish Racing Online. "She has progressed nicely through the ranks, winning her maiden then a listed race and now a Group race." Weld added that Brooch will now likely get a holiday. "I imagine that'll probably be it for the year," he said. "She always appreciates a nice ease in the ground and when I came here and walked the track I was delighted. She could develop into a Group 1 filly next year. The two English fillies she beat have been running at the top level."...

Three-year-old filly Kaldera (Sinndar) underscored her stamina in the 130th running of the Deutsches St Leger (Ger-G3) Sunday. Successful once in four juvenile starts, the bay stepped up from garnering an April 25 Fontainebleau claimer on sophomore return to annex handicap events at Saint-Cloud May 23 and Longchamp June 19. She then ran fourth in the July 8 Hamburger Stutenpreis (Ger-G3) and lined up for this stamina test coming off a first black-type score in the 14-furlong Steherpreis at Baden-Baden September 6. The nosebanded distaffer was settled in rear, with just one behind, after receiving a bump at the break here. Relegated to last of the 10 at halfway, she inched closer rounding the home turn and kept on relentlessly under continued urging in the straight to inhale Virginia Sun (Doyen) in the dying strides for a career high...

Dylan Mouth (Dylan Thomas) left well behind him a disappointing performance in the King Edward VII S. (Eng-G2) at Royal Ascot with an emphatic triumph in his comeback in Sunday's Premio Federico Tesio (Ity-G2) at Milan. The May 18 Derby Italiano (Ity-G2) winner, who was still unbeaten in his home country, faced a two-pound penalty for his classic success, but nonetheless proved much better than the 2013 Derby Italiano winner Biz the Nurse (Oratorio). Dylan Mouth stalked the pace set by his rabbit, Orpello (Orpen), and found the gap inside the last 400 meters. He ran on strongly to score by three lengths and finished with something left in the tank. Biz the Nurse ran out of speed at the crucial moment and stayed on well to snatch second over the German raider Oil Of England (Lord Of England). "Dylan Mouth was very unlucky at Royal Ascot, where he had a terrible trip," jockey Fabio Branca said. "Today he proved that he is a strong colt and stays well. The Gran Premio Del Jockey Club ([Ity-G1] October 19) is an obvious target and he will improve a lot." Dylan Mouth is the first winner out of the Group 3 winner Cottonmouth (Noverre), who enjoyed her second winner 20 minutes later at the Capannelle when her two-year-old filly Promissory Note (Rock of Gibraltar) outbattled a field of 14 newcomers...

George and Lori Hall's Pants On Fire (Jump Start) was much the best as the 4-5 favorite in Saturday night's $100,000 Wild and Wonderful S. at Charles Town. The Kelly Breen pupil captured his first race since winning the Ack Ack H. (G3) at Churchill last September. He was exiting a neck second in the Left Bank S. at Belmont earlier this month. The six-year-old horse rolled past the leader with a furlong to go and drew clear under a hand ride from jockey Paco Lopez to win by 2 /14 lengths. The dark bay crossed the wire in 1:23 3/5 for the seven-furlong test over the fast main track. Pants On Fire banked $60,000 for his sixth stakes score to boost his bankroll to $1,327,635 from a 28-9-5-5 career line...

In the last stakes race on the Charles Town card, Geeky Gorgeous (Devil His Due) captured back-to-back stakes races by coming away victorious in the $100,000 Pink Ribbon S. as the 3-5 chalk. Owned and trained by Daniel J. Lopez, the five-year-old mare was coming off a win earlier this month at Monmouth Park in the Eleven North H. for state-breds and received a 100 BRIS Speed rating. The dark bay stalked the pace, took over around the far turn and held on in the end for a 1 3/4-length victory. With Angel Serpa in the irons, she covered seven furlongs over the main track in 1:25 2/5 for her sixth stakes score. Geeky Gorgeous has a career record that stands at 21-11-3-4, $519,354...

In the 5TH race on the Charles Town card, Kristy Petty's Hear the Chatter (Mass Media) pulled off the upset in the $51,200 Henry Mercer Memorial S. for two-year-old state-breds. The John Casey charge was sent off as the 11-1 fourth choice and returned $24.40 to his supporters for the win. Hear the Chatter dueled to the front in midstretch and widened his lead late to prevail by 2 3/4 lengths. The gelding went 4 1/2 furlongs over the main track in :52 1/5 with Gerald Almodovar up. The dark bay broke his maiden at first asking over this track in July and was exiting a runner-up finish against allowance foes last month at Delaware Park. Hear the Chatter has a career mark of 3-2-1-0, $52,520...

In the companion race for juvenile fillies, James F. Miller's homebred Harlan's Destiny (Harlan's Holiday) broke her maiden as the even-money favorite in her second start in the $51,100 Rachel's Turn S. for state-breds. The Wayne Catalano trainee claimed the lead in midstretch and pulled away to a 5 1/2 score. The bay stopped the teletimer in :53 2/5 going 4 1/2 furlongs on the main track. Harlan's Destiny finished third in her racing debut at Arlington on September 4 and now has $34,070 in career earnings...

Later on the Charles Town card, Taylor Mountain Farm LLC's Greenway Court (Windsor Castle) defended his title in the $50,900 It's Only Money S. for state-breds as the 3-5 public's betting choice. The James Casey pupil wired the field by a length in :51 3/5 for the 4 1/2-furlong contest over the main track. The bay gelding grabbed $30,540 for his third stakes victory to increase his lifetime earnings to $240,530 from a line of 20-9-6-2...

Magnier, Tabor and Smith's Ol' Man River (Montjeu), currently among the favorites for next year's Derby (Eng-G1), could make his second start in the Royal Lodge S. (Eng-G2) at Newmarket September 27. He also holds an entry in the Somerville Tattersall S. (Eng-G3) there two days earlier. "Ol' Man River is a possible for the Royal Lodge, we'll know more (Monday)," trainer Aidan O'Brien said. Ol' Man River topped last year's Goffs Orby Sale, and became the second-highest priced yearling in Irish history, when fetching 2.85 million from M.V. Magnier. He earned "TDN Rising Star" status for his August 31 first-out victory at the Curragh...

Molecomb S. (Eng-G3) winner Cotai Glory (Exceed and Excel), who unseated rider George Baker while in front yards before the finish line in the Flying Childers S. (Eng-G2) at Doncaster September 12, could seek redemption for that unfortunate loss in the Prix de l'Abbaye (Fr-G1) at Longchamp October 5. Trainer Charlie Hills noted he is considering supplementing the juvenile to run against elders over five furlongs. "He's come out of Doncaster in really good form, despite what happened," Hills said. "He's absolutely thriving on his racing at present -- his homework has improved after each race. If the ground stays on the faster side of good, then I'd say we'll probably supplement him for the Abbaye just because he's in such good form."...

Fittocks Stud and Andrew Bengough's Silk Sari (Dalakhani), the five-length winner of the Park Hill S. (Eng-G2) at Doncaster Sept. 11, is likely to be supplemented for the British Champions Fillies and Mares S. (Eng-G1) at Ascot October 18. Trainer Luca Cumani noted that he is seeking a decent pace for the four-year-old filly. "There was talk after the race that she might head to France for the Prix de Royallieu ([Fr-G2] October 4), but a likely lack of pace in France -- she would have to make the running herself -- has made us think again and she'll probably head now for the Fillies and Mares on Champions Day," Cumani said. "Obviously, we run the risk back in trip of ending up in a race in which there might not be much pace, but she's exceeded expectations this year and seeing as it will be her last race we have nothing to lose."...

After suffering a broken right hand in the final race at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, jockey Jon Court is awaiting medical clearance Tuesday and hopes to return to race riding as early as Friday. "The hand's been feeling a lot better," Court said. "I've been galloping a few horses and it's been just a little sore, but hopefully I can get back on some mounts next weekend." Court, 53, said he is taking calls for next weekend, although he still is awaiting clearance from a medical examiner on Tuesday. "I have to take calls since next weekend is the last one here," he explained. "I talked to my doctor (Saturday) and asked him if I'd be good to go; he answered 'I'll see you Tuesday.'" Court is the 15th-ranked jockey in career wins at Churchill Downs with 448...

Body soreness caused jockey Francisco Torres to take off of all mounts on Sunday's Churchill Downs card due to an incident that occurred Saturday at Indiana Grand...

Happy birthday to trainer Charlie LoPresti, who celebrated No. 57 on Sunday.

Carryover Watch

For Monday or Next Raceday

GULFSTREAM:   Pick 6 -- $50,000
ARLINGTON:   Pick 9 -- $42,628
    Pick 6 -- $11,390
    Pick 5 -- $11,278
    High 5 -- $9,490
BELMONT:   Pick 6 -- $29,459
LAUREL:   Pick 5 -- $19,297
CHURCHILL:   Pick 6 -- $11,424
PARX RACING:   Pick 6 -- $9,840

At a Glance
MONMOUTH PARK AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 5.08 - 1
Favorite Win%: 33%, Favorite Itm%: 69%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Exacta88.54
Daily Double83.86
Trifecta495.42
Pick 3758.48
Superfecta4,051.55
Pick 45,434.01
Pick 524,479.74
Pick 6 Jackpot104,291.34
TRACK BIAS MEET(05/10 - 09/20)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 49 33% E Inside
6.0fDirt 199 38% E Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 64 19% E/P Rail/Ins
1m 70yDirt 50 16% E/P Outside
Turf Sprint 42 45% E Inside
Turf Routes 129 16% E/P Middle
TRACK BIAS WEEK(09/14 - 09/20)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 2 50% E Inside
6.0fDirt 7 29% E/P Outside
1 MileDirt 3 33% P Inside
1m 70yDirt 1 0% E Middle
Turf Sprint 0 0% - na
Turf Routes 6 0% E/P Middle
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Navarro Jorge 14 6 2 2 2.54 3 32%
Servis Jason 8 3 2 3 2.74 2 23%
Lopez Daniel J. 3 2 0 0 5.40 1 20%
Catalano Wayne M. 5 2 1 0 6.86 1 21%
Kelly Timothy James 5 2 0 1 18.36 1 13%
Mullin Michael S. 5 2 0 0 20.14 1 11%
Wilson Tony 5 2 0 0 12.58 0 15%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Saez Gabriel 25 7 2 5 7.64 2 15%
Moya Ramon F. 10 3 1 1 18.49 1 15%
Serpa Angel 12 3 0 1 8.24 1 14%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Juarez Nik 19 0 0 1 14.02 3 9%
Zayas Jonathan 18 0 2 1 21.01 0 7%
               
REMINGTON PARK AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 6.33 - 1
Favorite Win%: 36%, Favorite Itm%: 67%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Exacta132.94
Daily Double108.95
Trifecta947.39
Pick 3862.63
Superfecta6,227.87
Pick 43,113.78
TRACK BIAS MEET(08/15 - 09/20)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 40 28% E Rail
6.0fDirt 39 31% E Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 24 25% E/P Rail/Ins
1m 70yDirt 10 30% E Rail/Ins
Turf Sprint 24 21% P Rail/Ins
Turf Routes 28 32% E Middle
TRACK BIAS WEEK(09/14 - 09/20)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 6 0% E/P Rail/Ins
6.0fDirt 5 20% E Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 6 0% E/P Middle
1m 70yDirt 2 0% E/P Mid/Out
Turf Sprint 3 33% E/P Rail/Ins
Turf Routes 8 13% P Middle
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Downey Francis L. 6 3 0 0 24.17 0 13%
Biehler Michael E. 7 3 0 2 12.06 0 15%
Von Hemel Don 4 2 0 0 12.23 0 16%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Vazquez Ramon A. 23 7 6 4 4.71 2 16%
 
COLD TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Smith Kenny P. 10 0 0 1 12.12 2 14%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Tohill Ken S. 17 0 1 3 19.79 2 17%
Johnstone Chya 13 0 1 0 30.57 0 8%
Loveberry Jareth 13 0 0 1 6.75 4 15%
McNeil Erik 10 0 2 0 31.69 1 9%

AT A GLANCE SCHEDULE

MONDAY:   Monmouth Park and Remington Park
TUESDAY:   Arlington and Los Alamitos
WEDNESDAY:   Indiana Downs and Woodbine
THURSDAY:   Delaware Park and Gulfstream Park
FRIDAY:   Belmont Park and Churchill Downs

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Monday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Finger Lakes   (1st) Platinum Bombshell, 9-2
    (2nd) Rock Hard Legacy, 4-1
Mountaineer   (2nd) Crack Your Whip, 9-2
    (5th) Appealing Yankee, 6-1
Parx Racing   (2nd) I'm Sure, 3-1
    (9th) Two Times a Nite, 4-1
Presque Isle Downs   (2nd) Holy Heartly, 4-1
    (6th) Our Burning Faith, 5-1
Suffolk Downs   (1st) Churn Notice, 5-1
    (6th) Ventura Bar, 7-2

HIGHLIGHTS

For Monday

FINGER LAKES (1:10): $19,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6f (8TH).
MOUNTAINEER (7:00): $20,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 7fT (2ND).
PARX RACING (12:25): $46,000 ocl, 3&up, 6 1/2f (8TH).
PRESQUE ISLE DOWNS (5:25): $30,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6 1/2f (1ST); $30,000 ocl, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f (4TH).

*all times Eastern

HANDICAPPER'S EDGE is compiled by Bloodstock Research Information Services. This newsletter may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Copyright 2011, Bloodstock Research Information Services. Information as to the races, race results and earnings was obtained from Equibase Company LLC and is utilized herein with the permission of the copyright owner, Equibase Company LLC.

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