Shadwell Turf Mile purse upped to $1 million
The Shadwell Turf Mile, which serves as the cornerstone of Keeneland's signature Fall Stars Weekend, is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, with the winner automatically qualifying for the Breeders' Cup Mile. The Shadwell Turf Mile has been won by such champions as Wise Dan, Gio Ponti (twice), Favorite Trick, Itsallgreektome and Steinlen and major stakes winners Court Vision, Thorn Song, Perfect Soul and Landseer. Shadwell Stable (Rick Nichols, lessee) won three editions of the race, with Dumaani in 1995-96 and Altibr in 2000.
"Sheikh Hamdan and all of us at Shadwell have enjoyed working with Keeneland to develop the Shadwell Turf Mile," Nichols said. "A special tribute to the late Howard Battle who, as Keeneland's racing secretary, worked very hard in the early days of sponsorship to elevate the Turf Mile from a Grade 3 to a Grade 1 event. Sheikh Hamdan has always felt that our best breeding stock comes from horses that compete successfully at a mile. Keeneland has provided the opportunity and the stage for him to develop a world-class race at that distance that will draw and test horses from all over the globe."
Es Que Love denies Toormore in Lennox
Trainer Clive Cox is hopeful that Es Que Love could have a productive second half to 2014 after the five-year-old got up by a neck to defeat odds-on favorite Toormore in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes as the five-day Glorious Goodwood meeting commenced on Tuesday.
"I'm delighted to win this because we've missed out a couple of times before with Dunelight and it's a race I've always wanted to win so it's nice to get it in the bag," Cox said. "We've won a Group 2 and he's well-entered now for the rest of the year. I'm not sure where we'll go but he's versatile on trip, he's even run over five furlongs but I think (seven furlongs) is his best distance.
"He is in the Hungerford and the Park Stakes and we will see how we go in between."
The five-year-old had not won since April last year when in the care of Mark Johnston, but today's victory was not a shock to jockey Adam Kirby.
"I'm really pleased with him, but coming here we felt he had a massive chance," Kirby said. "He does travel very strongly, and he came there on the bridle, but it's never easy to time it just right at this track."
Trainer Richard Hannon Jr. remains confident Toormore can make his mark at Group 1 level again following his second-place effort. The three-year-old, who was the champion two-year-old of Europe last season, had not run up to expectations since winning the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April. He was last seen finishing sixth of seven in the St James's Palace Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot.
"Toormore has run a good race. It probably suited the winner because he has better turn of foot," Hannon said. "Our horse has run better than he did at Ascot, so we will probably look at something similar.
"Obviously, he was a very good two-year-old but is not as good a three-year-old. That's all there is to it. He is still a very good horse and there are plenty of big days left in him. He will get back to his Group 1 days but we need to win something and then go back up there."
The trainer was also responsible for the third home Anjaal, who was a half-length behind his stablemate. The son of Bahamian Bounty was also coming in on the back of a run at Royal Ascot, where he finished 12th in the Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs.
"That is the first time Anjaal has run a decent race since winning the July Stakes last year," Hannon said. "He has lost his Group 2 penalty now, so we will look at something similar for him at either seven furlongs or a mile."
Trainer Charlie Hills celebrated his first Glorious Goodwood winner when Cotai Glory broke the two-year-old course record in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes over five furlongs. The son of Exceed and Excel held on gamely inside the final furlong to repel the challenge of the Kevin Ryan-trained Fast Act by a half-length, with Beacon, sent off the 10-11 favorite, a head further back in third.
Cotal Glory recorded a time of :57.30, bettering Requinto's time of :57.51 set in the 2011 Molecomb.
"Cotai Glory has a lot of speed and we knew the track would suit him," Hills said. "We were just slightly worried that his last race was quite recent and today might come too soon. He is quite highly-strung but, with racing, he has certainly got better. He's all about speed -- he's from a very fast family in his pedigree.
"I think we will have a look at Doncaster and possibly the Flying Childers. He is also in the Prix Morny and there is also the Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot. I think he got the six furlongs last time but we will have a look and choose our way with him now."
A stewards' inquiry considered possible interference between runner-up Fast Act and Beacon, but the placings remained unaltered.
Harry Herbert, who heads Highclere Thoroughbred Racing whose Albany Syndicate owns Beacon, said: "He was a bit unlucky, possibly, and (jockey Richard Hughes) said he would have gone very close otherwise -- and is a bit frustrated.
"The ground was plenty quick enough for him, particularly going down the hill. He's run really well and we will have to consider stepping him up to six furlongs on a flatter track."
Kevin Ryan trains one of the best three-year-old sprinters in Hot Streak, but he admitted today's second Fast Act -- a chestnut like his stablemate -- has some way to go before comparisons with that colt can be justified.
"I'm delighted with him (Fast Act). He is starting to grow up and is improving with every run," Ryan said. "He jumped from the stalls and got on the wrong leg today, which meant he was lugging away from the other horses, but Jamie (Spencer) said that once he changed legs and got on an even keel he finished really well. That may have cost him.
"He has loads of options, including a five-furlong race at York and the DBS race over six furlongs at Doncaster. There are also races abroad -- he's improving, and we've learned that like the whole family he needs fast ground. This place can be overpowering for a horse, but he's shown today that he can handle it.
"He's not Hot Streak yet, but he is a very good horse in his own right."
R Free rolls wire to wire in Honorable Miss
R Free Roll kept winging it down the stretch. La Verdad angled out a bit in hopes of offering a challenge, but none was forthcoming. Although My Wandy's Girl made good headway, R Free Roll was always doing enough to hold her at bay by 1 1/4 lengths. After splashing six furlongs in 1:10, R Free Roll rewarded her supporters with a $15 win mutuel.
"I hit her a couple of times, waiting for the other horses, but nobody came," Lopez recapped. "I had a lot of horse and she ran really well today."
Gargan had made no secret of the fact that R Free Roll was intent on taking the lead.
"We knew (going to the lead) was the only way we were going to beat (La Verdad)," the trainer said. "We took control of the race and made her have to chase. That was the game plan, and (Averill) is a pretty smart handicapper, and he's a pretty sharp guy to pick those things out."
Merry Meadow checked in third by a half-length from Speedinthruthecity, who edged La Verdad by a neck for fourth. Calistoga trailed home another 7 1/2 lengths astern. Red Velvet, the only sophomore in the field, was scratched.
She would have had a top chance at a Grade 3 victory back among her own division in the Azalea on Summit of Speed Day. But connections boldly decided to keep her in against the boys in the Carry Back, where she tired to fifth. That was the only unplaced effort of her three-year-old campaign. R Free Roll went on to take the Bold World at Calder and finished second in both the Charles Town Oaks and Sugar Swirl, missing a Grade 3 trophy by a neck in the latter.
Fourth in the January 18 Florida Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint and third in the February 6 Awesome Feather at Gulfstream, R Free Roll later found the winner's circle in the April 12 Hollywood Beach at the same track. Next came her victory in the aforementioned U Can Do It, in the same free-wheeling style on the front end, and the Honorable Miss made it three in a row.
"It's always fun when one comes in and they are doing this good," Gargan said of recently welcoming the in-form filly to his barn.
"We've had her for about two weeks and we worked her once. Kirk (Ziadie) pretty much told us everything that there is. It's nice having a coach like that -- anyone can be the quarterback."
The next logical step for the Honorable Miss winner would be bidding for Grade 1 glory in the Ballerina over seven furlongs.
"We don't know," Gargan said. "It's obviously up to the owners where the next game is. The way she ran today with this bunch, maybe. I don't think they were catching her late."
The Florida-bred was produced by the multiple stakes-winning Acceptable mare Jewels n Gems, who is also responsible for the stakes-placed R Bling. Her success at the Spa is apt, given her female line. R Free Roll's second dam is Saratoga Campaign, and her third dam is stakes scorer Saratoga Sizzle, a daughter of Saratoga Six who was third in the 1989 Adirondack and Spinaway.
Bayern ponders Travers or Penn Derby
"It takes a good one (to win the Travers)," Baffert said. "We'll know in a couple weeks. We'll give him a couple weeks and see how he's doing."
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Bayern has four wins from six starts this year, including a 7 1/2-length victory in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens at Belmont Park on June 7. He finished ninth of 10 after a rough trip in the Preakness and was disqualified from a win in the Derby Trial and placed second for interference.
In the Haskell, Bayern broke on top and led through fractions of :23 2/5 for a quarter-mile, :47 3/5 for the half and six furlongs in 1:11 before hitting the wire in 1:47 4/5.
"He really showed me a lot," said Baffert, who won the Haskell for the seventh time. "I was expecting a good race out of him, but he just kept on kicking and showed me that two turns isn't going to be a problem. He showed us a lot early on, and then he took a couple steps backward, and I was losing a little confidence in him.
"When he ran in the Derby Trial I lost a little confidence in him and in the Preakness he got completely wiped out and never had a chance. The Belmont race was off the charts. He's got two off-the-charts races in a row and I just want to keep him in that mindset. I don't want to rush him."
Candy Boy hoping to make his own mark in WV Derby
It will not be an easy task. Tapiture has three graded stakes wins to his credit, including a 4 1 /4-length tally in the Southwest at Oaklawn in February. Last time, the Tapit colt rebounded from a poor showing in the Kentucky Derby to claim the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs by two lengths.
Vicar's in Trouble, the Louisiana Derby winner, could be the most dangerous of the three. The Mike Maker trainee did not show his customary foot as the 7-5 favorite in the Iowa Derby last out, and ultimately faded to third over a sloppy track. If able to outbreak the other speed, which have less class, Vicar's in Trouble could replicate the form that produced two graded stakes wins at Fair Grounds last winter.
The big three all raced in the Kentucky Derby, though none were much of a factor. Candy Boy finished 13th and Tapiture 15th after meeting trouble in the first turn, while Vicar's in Trouble also was roughed up en route to trailing the field of 19.
Likely to keep the ex-claimer on his toes is multiple Grade 3 winner Falling Sky, who stretches back out after taking the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship and Donald LeVine Memorial in two of his last four starts.
A swift pace might aid Carve, last-out winner of the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, and the classic-placed Mylute, unplaced twice behind Moonshine Mullin at Churchill Downs and in the Suburban Handicap last time.
Noted sprint star Delaunay figures to be an overwhelming favorite in the $100,000 Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial over six furlongs. The Tom Amoss-trained seven-year-old has won numerous stakes throughout the Midwest and Louisiana, highlighted by graded scores in the Churchill Downs and Aristides in Louisville.
The $100,000 West Virginia House of Delegates, at one mile and 70 yards on turf, features Regally Ready, a past winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint who has developed into a capable miler in the region. He earned back-to-back wins at Churchill Downs in May, including the $64,000 Opening Verse.
Free World, hero of the $207,000 Centaur at Indiana Downs last season, was a solid fifth in the Firecracker at Churchill last time and might prove tough to catch. Coalport, a multiple stakes winner campaigned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is another leading contender in his second start off a layoff.
The top two finishers from Mountaineer's version of the Firecracker, a $75,000 stakes for fillies and mares run on July 2, highlight a contentious renewal of the $100,000 West Virginia Senate President's Cup at one mile and 70 yards on the turf. La Malaguena and Sassy Kitten were separated by a neck in that heat, but will need their running shoes on to cope with graded stakes-placed veterans Moment in Dixie and Queen's Award, as well as Canadian invader Surtsey and the capable pair of Quiet Success and Soft Whisper.
Divine Fortune in search of A.P. Smithwick hat trick
Divine Fortune, co-owned by Sheppard and William Pape, will be part of a heavily favored three-horse entry along with Italian Wedding and Barnstorming, two geldings Sheppard owns outright.
Italian Wedding finished second in last year's Smithwick before taking the New York Turf Writers Cup, but has placed in only two of five starts since then. Barnstorming captured the Michael G. Walsh for novice at Saratoga last year and later finished second in the Colonial Cup. However, the eight-year-old fell in his only previous start this year against allowance company at Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Likely to keep Divine Fortune honest on the front end is Pleasant Woodman, hero of the Imperial Cup and Marcellus Frost earlier this year. Another with early foot is Wanganui, twice stakes-placed in novice company at Saratoga two years ago. Wanganui is trained by Elizabeth Voss, who also saddles English import Makari for his U.S. debut.
Triple Grade 1 winner Demonstrative, winner of the New York Turf Writers Cup in 2012, has been unplaced in four of his last five starts, while Spy in the Sky, winner of the 2012 Smithwick and 2009 Turf Writers Cup, was pulled up in his last two efforts over hurdles.
The Smithwick field is rounded out by All Together, second in the Turf Writers Cup and Lonesome Glory last season, and multiple stakes winner Staying On.
The featured flat event of Saratoga's Thursday program is the $100,000 Evan Shipman, a nine-furlong test for older New York-breds. The likely favorite is Big Business, a multiple allowance winner who just missed to subsequent Suburban Handicap winner Zivo in the Commentator Handicap at Belmont Park two back.
Also in with a shot is Grade 3-placed Escapefromreality, winner of the Albany at Saratoga last year and second by a neck to returning rival Sailmate in an May 23 allowance marking his season debut. Awesome Vision, runner-up by a head in the 2013 Evan Shipman, enters off a photo-finish loss to the returning Fox Rules in a $50,000 state-bred stakes at Finger Lakes on Independence Day.
Romansh postpones Whitney work due to heavy rain; Antipathy eyes Personal Ensign
"If we could just get an easy breeze in him before Wednesday even, we've still got time to do it," Albertrani said. "I'm not really concerned about it. At this point, he's fresh and ready to go."
Romansh opened his 2014 campaign finishing last of 11 in the Donn Handicap but bounced back to win the Excelsior at Aqueduct. He followed up by running third in the Metropolitan Handicap, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Whitney contender Palace Malice, prior to the Suburban.
"He's kind of been a little bit inconsistent all through his career, but hopefully this is the one he bounces back in," Albertrani said.
Thistle Bird among those remaining in Nassau
The £200,000 Nassau Stakes is the Group 1 highlight on the fifth and final day of Glorious Goodwood Saturday, and 10 fillies and mares remain engaged in the prestigious contest, which takes place over just short of 10 furlongs.
Thistle Bird was runner-up 12 months ago to Winsili and recorded a first Group 1 victory on her latest appearance in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on June 29.
Amazing Maria scored twice last season at Goodwood, including the Prestige Stakes, but was a disappointment on her reappearance in the premier fillies' classic, the Oaks at Epsom Downs in June.
"Amazing Maria is pretty likely to run on Saturday, all being well," Dunlop said Monday. "It will depend on the ground as I don't want it to be rattling, but hopefully the ground is nice as the plan has always been to go to Goodwood.
"The Oaks didn't go as we hoped -- it was a bad time for all my horses -- and we didn't learn anything because she didn't stay.
"We have been very happy with her recently. She was a very good two-year-old and is obviously two from two at Goodwood, but we are still finding out about her. We have always rated her very highly and hopefully we will learn something about her at the weekend."
Trainer of the moment John Gosden, triumphant in 2013 with Winsili and The Fugue the year before, has two possible representatives this time around in the Nassau. Sultanina was successful on her first two starts before taking runner-up spot in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock on July 5, while three-year-old Eastern Belle finished second over the Goodwood course and distance in the Height of Fashion Stakes on May 22 before landing a Listed contest at Newbury on June 12.
Mango Diva is a lightly-raced four-year-old but showed she is still on an upward curve when winning a Group 2 event over nine furlongs at the Curragh on July 20.
Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien could be doubly represented with Venus de Milo, runner-up to Thistle Bird in the Pretty Polly, and Palace.
There is a likely challenger from France in Narniyn. Owned by the Aga Khan, the four-year-old recorded four consecutive victories between 10 and 11 furlongs, including two successes at Group 3 level, before coming home fourth on her first start in Group 1 company in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud over 12 furlongs on June 29.
Completing the possible line-up are Lustrous, who was second in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot but only seventh in the Irish Oaks, and Madame Chiang, who won the Musidora Stakes at York in May before finishing 10th in the Oaks.
2015 Preakness logo unveiled
Tickets for Preakness 140 will go on sale and renewal invoices sent October 1. The renewal deadline is January 16, 2015.
As in previous years, there will be tiers of pricing: October 2014, November-December 2014, January-April 2015 and May 2015, for Infield and MUG Club tickets. The lowest prices will be during the month of October ($40 General Admission/$60 MUG Club).
Ami's Holiday likely choice in Prince of Wales
Ami's Holiday, who overcame post 15 to finish a rallying second to the filly Lexie Lou in the July 6 Queen's Plate, is the likely favorite to secure the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the C$500,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, early Tuesday evening.
The 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales is the only leg of the Canadian classics, restricted to three-year-olds bred in Canada, contested on dirt. With most of the country's major main track races run over Polytrack at Woodbine, several of the main contenders, including Ami's Holiday, will be making their debut on the surface.
Winner of his first two starts as a juvenile, including a Grade 3 score in the Grey, Ami's Holiday has earned checks in each of his first three outings this term. Preceding his second in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, where he finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Lexie Lou, were a fourth in the Lexington at Keeneland and a second, beaten a neck, in the Marine at Woodbine.
Three other Queen's Plate also-rans are in the Prince of Wales field. Seventh-place finisher Matador, who captured the Cup & Saucer on turf last season, competed without success last winter in Florida, missing the board in such American classic preps as the Florida Derby, Tampa Bay Derby, and Sam F. Davis.
Coltimus Prime, runner-up by a neck in the Display last term, fared poorly in two U.S. starts last winter, but captured an allowance at Woodbine prior to a fading ninth-place effort in the Queen's Plate. Lions Bay, sixth in the Queen's Plate in his stakes debut, is a veteran of only four starts and has room for progression.
Other leading candidates include a pair who both broke their maiden over dirt at Parx. Lynx, who graduated on May 25 by three lengths, subsequently finished a distant third to Albano in the Pegasus at Monmouth Park. Rhythm Blues has been successful in attempting his first allowance condition at Woodbine recently, but might appreciate the return to dirt.
The field is rounded out by dual allowance winner Money Talks; East Side, a maiden winner in his third attempt at Woodbine on June 13; and the maidens Ascot Martin and Smart Spree.
The $100,000 Graduation S. at Del Mar was the launching pad to eventual stardom for California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) last summer, and on Wednesday, seven California-bred juveniles hope to follow in his hoofsteps. Undefeated Wake Up Nick (Cindago) is the most accomplished of the group. A 9 1/4-length maiden romper for Doug O'Neill, the Reddam Racing runner went on to take the Santa Anita Juvenile, besting next-out Willard Proctor winner Story to Tell (Bluegrass Cat). Peradventure (Papa Clem) exits a tiring third in the six-furlong Proctor, and the Scott Rollins pupil could benefit from the slight cutback to 5 1/2 furlongs here. Two starts back in his debut, Peradventure wired a five-furlong maiden for state-breds at Santa Anita. Note that he was offered at the July Del Mar Paddock Sale, but did not reach his reserve at a bid of $240,000 and remained in the ownership of C T R Stables. The same connections will be represented by Colorado Strong (Lucky Pulpit), who gamely prevailed in a photo in his first try. Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer sends out 7 3/4-length debut winner Atta' Boy Woody (Atticus), the most dangerous of the stakes newcomers. Rounding out the septet are Global Magician (Globalize) and Local Reason (Olmodavor), respectively a near-miss second and a closing fourth in the Everett Nevin, and London Legacy (Grace Upon Grace), runner-up in all three of his starts...
Stars Above Me (Exceed and Excel) makes her U.S. debut for Graham Motion in the $100,000 Coronation Cup, a 5 1/2-furlong turf dash for three-year-old fillies at Saratoga. Formerly in the care of Roger Charlton, the speedy filly was most recently third to the well-regarded colt Extortionist (Dandy Man) in a June 21 handicap at Newmarket. Extortionist has since beaten older sprinters in the July 5 Sprint (aka Coral Charge) at Sandown. Her rivals include Recoupe (Indian Charlie), three-for-three in turf sprints in the Mid-Atlantic region for Mike Trombetta; the Todd Pletcher-trained Elena Strikes (Smart Strike), who tries turf off a wire job in a second-level allowance at Belmont; Hot Squeeze (Latent Heat), a course-and-distance allowance winner over New York-breds just a week ago; Scatcapade (Scat Daddy), who shortens up for Christophe Clement; Burn Control (Bernstein), unbeaten in two starts on the Parx dirt; and Isabelle (Successful Appeal) and Fat Kat (Weigelia), both coming off unplaced efforts in the Victory Ride (G3) on the main track. Wesley Ward has all bases covered, with turf/synthetic performer Ruslana (City Zip) and the main-track-only entrant Sweetmarys Success (Teuflesberg) engaged...
With La Verdad (Yes It's True) running in Monday's Honorable Miss H. (G2), Willet (Jump Start) will get class relief when she competes in Wednesday's 3RD race at the Spa, a six-furlong no-conditions allowance race for New York-bred fillies and mares. The six-year-old has won four New York-bred stakes in her career, but in two of her past four starts she has had the misfortune of running into graded stakes winners Cluster of Stars and La Verdad. She was second, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by La Verdad, in her lone start this year, the July 3 Dancin Renee at Belmont. "She's had one race in eight months, which was by design," said trainer Jimmy Iselin, who owns Willet in partnership with Charlotte Assoulin and Eli Gindi. "We give her the winters off, and when she returned she had to run against La Verdad. I thought Willet acquitted herself well against La Verdad. Linda Rice said it was a tougher race than she expected for La Verdad." Iselin, who will be based at Belmont for the duration of the Saratoga meet, hopes the Wednesday allowance will help him decide Willet's next start and prepare her for a return to stakes competition. "It's her second race of the layoff, but in horse racing you can never count your chickens until they hatch," Iselin said. "That said, if she runs well we'll look at the Union Avenue (August 21), and if she runs really well we might shoot for the stars and run in the Ballerina ([G1] on August 23). If she doesn't run well, we'll wait for something else."...
The live racing card scheduled for Monday at Delaware Park was canceled after overnight storms caused caused a washout at the eighth pole. The entire eight-race program has been rescheduled to be run Wednesday, a program that had previously been canceled due to lack of entries. Meanwhile, Delaware Park is reducing purses for higher-level overnight races to enable completion of the scheduled 81-day meet for 2014. Delaware Park management and the condition book committee of the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association agreed to a reduction in purses for the higher-level overnight races which will take effect on Saturday and will offset a drop in available purse money from Delaware Park's casino revenues, which are under pressure from increased casino competition in the Mid-Atlantic region and the effect of the temporary closing of Interstate 495. All overnight stakes have been eliminated from the schedule. A maiden special weight has been reduced to $30,000 from $35,000, a non-winner of one-other-than-allowance has been reduced to $31,000 from $37,000, a non-winner of two has been reduced to $33,000 from $38,000 and the bottom-level claiming race will have a minimum purse of $10,000...
Last season's British Champions Fillies and Mares S. (Eng-G1) heroine Seal of Approval (Authorized)'s connections are considering a start in the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-G1) August 21 or the Geoffrey Freer S. (Eng-G2) at Newbury August 16, to get the five-year-old back on track, according to PA Sport. The bay reported home fourth in the Yorkshire Cup (Eng-G2) May 16 before a sub-par eighth in the Lancashire Oaks (Eng-G2) at Haydock July 5. "Obviously she was disappointing (at Haydock)," commented trainer James Fanshawe to At The Races. "Going into the race she hadn't really got to her best weight. Since then she has come on well and she's moving well. We've got the forfeit for the Yorkshire Oaks next week so we'll probably leave her in that, and there is also the Geoffrey Freer, which is a week before. We couldn't have run her anywhere (recently) with the way the ground is. We've still got plenty of time with her as she loves soft ground."...
Shanghai Bobby (Harlan's Holiday), the champion two-year-old male of 2012, will stand the 2014 and 2015 Southern Hemisphere breeding seasons at Fazenda Mondesir near Bage, Brazil. Shanghai Bobby will be leased by a group of prominent Brazilian breeders which include Stud Eternamente Rio, Haras Regina, Stud Capitao, Haras Old Friends and Di Cellius, among others. Shanghai Bobby stands at Ashford Stud for a fee of $20,000 and his first foals will arrive in 2015. The deal was brokered by Lexington-based bloodstock agent Priscila Beloch of Immensity Bloodstock...
Reigning Saratoga champion trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano will sign autographs to benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation on Sunday as part of Fasig-Tipton's Festival of Racing. Pletcher and Castellano will be available from 11 a.m. to noon (EDT) during the special event, to be held at the Jockeys' Silks Room porch. Only one item per guest will be signed. Guests who make a voluntary donation to benefit children's cancer research will receive an autographed hat, poster or T-shirt donated by Princess of Sylmar, with all proceeds going to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. "I have always thought Princess of Sylmar is a blessing and gift to be shared," said the filly's principal owner, Ed Stanco. "St. Baldrick's Foundation is a true miracle and I am appreciative that the Princess is able to contribute to the race for a cure for childhood cancer."
For Tuesday or Next Raceday
DEL MAR NOTEBOOK
JULY 30, 2014
by John Mucciolo
A trio of graded races led the way this week at Del Mar Race Course.
Bing Crosby S. (G1): Tom Mansor's BIG MACHER (Beau Genius) sat a fine trip behind a dueling pair, took a short lead in midstretch and inched clear to to post a fine half-length score under Tyler Baze. The Richard Baltas trainee finished off six panels in a swift 1:08 4/5.
San Diego H. (G2): Kaleem Shah's FED BIZ (Giant's Causeway) went to the lead as the gates opened and never looked back in posting a decisive 5 1/4-length tally with Martin Garcia. The Bob Baffert trainee sped 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack surface in a stakes record 1:41 under hand urging.
Cougar III H. (G3): Gainesway Stable et al's IRISH SURF (Giant's Causeway) was sent to the lead as the gates opened and romped in the most convincing fashion, leading by a clear margin every step of the way under Elvis Trujillo. The well-bred Dan Hendricks trainee finished 8 1/4 lengths clear and 1 1/2 miles on Polytrack in a stakes-record 2:29.
From a total of 46 races held over at Southern California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 17 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 34 percent of the wins. From 35 frays contested on the Polytrack oval, nine animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (26 percent), while two of the 11 grassy tussles went all the way on the lead (18 percent).
The main oval was pretty good to speed sorts once again, though we saw more winners rally from well off the pace during the second week of racing. We still prefer horse that can sit in the first, or even second flight, early on and will continue to give those and edge if they make any kind of sense.
Turf sprints are really leaning to speed horse on this very firm oval, but at route races, all types can win as we saw a few very deep closers come through. Both wire jobs came at five furlongs this past week.
However, they canceled turf racing Sunday to improve the surface and will be adding wax soon to alter the main track, so conditions could continue to change in the coming weeks.
We witnessed no winning favorites from Wednesday-through-Friday, proving how hard this meeting is for the bettors right now.
Kent Desormeaux (9) and Mike Smith (5) are both bringing home winners at a rate of 20 percent or more, and they bear following going forward on this quirky surface.
On the trainer's front, Peter Miller went atop the standing after a strong week with nine overall winners, though saddling the second amount of starters here has a little something to do with it. Michael Pender (33 percent), Vann Belvoir (27 percent), Mark Glatt (24 percent) and Bob Baffert (21 percent) have all saddled at least three winners while retaining a good win rate.
HORSES TO WATCH
1ST -- STEALTH DRONE (Smoke Glacken) was awfully game at first asking when battling back in the lane after being passed en route to a nice debut tally. This looks like a heady claim for conditioner Doug O'Neill.
2ND -- Owner/trainer Bobby Wayne Grayson had STYLISH IN BLACK (Street Hero) ready for sure off the 15-month absence as the rolled past this field in a daylight maiden romp under Elvis Trujillo. Keep an eye on this one going forward, as horses who win at this meeting often come back with big efforts.
6TH -- DUBLIN DANCER (Thewayyouare) left little doubt in this claiming run for trainer Andy Mathis after a big score today. The Golden Gate shipper was last early but put in a punishing run and finished more than eight lengths clear under the wire. We'd say this lass appreciated the Polytrack surface in this affair.
8TH -- BENCH LIGHT (Benchmark) turned in one of the better performances of the week when destroying this field late on his way to a 6 1/4-length tally for conditioner Michael Pender. We'd imagine the five-year-old gelding will stay at longer trips going forward after this impressive late kick.
2ND -- NEWFOUND GOLD (Newfoundland) got off of his hanging ways recently with a very sharp run in this well-matched claiming field for Jeff Bonde. The seven-year-old always flashes speed and is well placed turning for home nearly every outing, and he should be a useful claim for Kristin Mulhall.
8TH -- SAM'S SISTER (Brother Derek) overcame a tough rail draw in a sharp debut with a good field to graduate at first asking. The Jerry Hollendorfer charge finished up six panels on the main oval in 1:09 4/5, but it was the professional manner more than the final time we were impressed by. The filly might be a nice one going forward.
3RD -- OLYMPIC LADY (Fusaichi Pegasus) ran about as well as a first timer can without winning, but this Victor Garcia pupil should be graduating before long after this big second-place finish.
5TH -- WINNING RHYTHM (Giant's Causeway) was eased in her latest effort prior to the finish, but the Paddy Gallagher trainee finished this one, and well at that, in reeling in a clear leader in the lane en route to victory. The well-bred four-year-old is a pretty consistent closing type and might even get a stakes chance on this course during the meeting.
6TH -- We tabbed BATTLE OF EVERMORE (Scat Daddy) in here and the Salder first timer fell just shy in a sharp third-place run. We consider this to be another one who should be in the winners' circle before long.
1ST -- The Blake Heap-conditioned TRIBALIST (Tribal Rule) sped to the front early and held a safe edge throughout in posting a maiden tally in this opener. The lightly raced filly has run big in all three lifetime outings and could evolve into a stakes runner for these connections with steady improvement.
5TH -- ROCK ME BABY (Rock Hard Ten) turned his form around in a big way in this spot with a rallying win to pull away late for trainer Craig Dollase. Second in this race last summer, the five-year-old left little doubt on this occasion. We've long admired this hard knocker.
7TH -- Trainer Eoin Harty rarely wins with first-time starters, so when REDSHIRT (Distorted Humor) made a big late run to be third after a slow start, it caught our eye. The Darley homebred will be tough with a bit more experience and likely more ground to work with.
8TH -- GODLENCENTS (Into Mischief) sat a nice trip and rallied well to be a fine second in this race for the second straight season. The Doug O'Neill trainee may have needed the race off the pine and will be tough right back as he is consistently very good.
A Look Ahead
Saturday will play host to the Grade 1, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, while the Sunday topper is the Grade 2, $250,000 Best Pal Stakes.
Top Speed/Class ratings
TOP BRIS CLASS RATINGS
(through July 28, 2014)
Note: Figures are for North American-based racing
At a Glance
AT A GLANCE SCHEDULE
*all times Eastern
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