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Untapable, Stopchargingmaria square off in Shuvee

Untapable (Tapit), last year's champion three-year-old filly, has a belated first-ever meeting Sunday with Stopchargingmaria (Tale of the Cat) Sunday in the $200,000 Shuvee H. (G3) at Saratoga.

Despite winning the Apple Blossom H. (G1) in April, Untapable hasn't looked quite as sharp this season dropping two of her three starts. Stopchargingmaria brings a three-for-record over the Saratoga strip into Shuvee.

Earlier in the card, fillies and mares will sprint 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf in the $100,000 Caress.

For the complete story, visit the TwinSpires blog.

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Daughter of Rachel Alexandra set for Saratoga debut

Rachel's Valentina (Bernardini) will be 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra's first starter when the two-year-old filly takes to the track for Sunday's second race at Saratoga, a six-furlong maiden special weight.

The juvenile is a homebred racing for Stonestreet Stable and is trained by Todd Pletcher.

For the full story, visit the TwinSpires blog.

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Smart Transition scores in Curlin; Gangster impressive in maiden win

Smart Transition could be Travers bound(NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
A pair of nice three-year-olds earned back-to-back wins at Saratoga on Friday.

First-up in the day's featured $100,000 Curlin S., Smart Transition (Smart Strike) recorded a 4 3/4-length victory under Junior Alvarado for trainer John Shirreffs. Next up in a maiden special weight, Gangster (Street Boss) wired the field for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Jose Ortiz.

Smart Transition ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.40 but Gangster got the same distance in 1:49.71.

For the complete story on the blog, please click here.

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Gio Ponti sends out Most Inspiring winner

Triple Eclipse Award champion Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat) registered his first North American winner as a freshman sire Friday when Most Inspiring dominated the 5TH race at Woodbine. His first overall winner was Genis, an export to Russia who won at Rostov-on-Don May 11.

The 7-2 second choice in her unveiling, the Daniel Vella pupil broke like a shot, but eased back to stalk through fractions of :23.36 and :46.58. Most Inspiring was full of run behind the leader entering the stretch, and jockey Luis Contreras altered course for clear sailing on the fence. Punching through decisively despite still appearing a tad green, Most Inspiring drew off by 3 1/4 lengths. She completed the six-furlong maiden special weight in 1:10.36 on the firm turf.

Most Inspiring maintained the perfect record of her 20-year-old dam, Chemise (Secret Hello), whose 13 racing-age foals are all winners. Four of them are stakes performers -- multiple Grade 3-placed Hello Lover (Not for Love) as well as stakes heroines Coquettish (Not for Love), Dress Grey (Lion Hearted) and Miss Lombardi (Unbridled Jet). The mare's leading earner with $301,670 in the bank, Miss Lombardi is herself the dam of stakes scorer Miss Bullistic (Bullsbay).

Bred by Corner Farm and John Behrendt in Virginia, Most Inspiring was purchased by her current owner, Derek Chin, for $57,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling.

Gio Ponti reigned as the champion turf and older male of 2009 and repeated as turf champion in 2010, amassing $6,169,800 in earnings from a record of 29-12-10-1. Eleven of those victories came in stakes, and no fewer than seven at the Grade 1 level, from a mile to 11 furlongs. That septet includes the Arlington Million (G1), Manhattan (G1), Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1), and repeat wins in both the Man o' War (G1) and the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

Of his 11 stakes placings, two stand out: runner-up efforts to the legendary Zenyatta and Goldikova in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) and 2010 Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), respectively.

Gio Ponti is a half-brother to Grade 1-placed multiple stakes winner Bon Jovi Girl (Malibu Moon), multiple Grade 3-placed stakes scorer Fisher Pond (A.P. Indy), and current Grade 3-placed stakes victress Antonia Autumn (Bernstein). They were all produced by the stakes-placed Alydar mare Chipeta Springs, a daughter of Argentine Group 1 star Salt Spring (Salt Marsh), from the further family of Hall of Famer Cigar (Palace Music).

A Castleton Lyons homebred, the 10-year-old Gio Ponti stands at the Lexington, Kentucky, farm for $15,000, live foal.

For video of the Woodbine race and speculation about what the near future may hold for Most Inspiring, see the blog post.

American Pharoah installed as 1-5 choice in eight-horse Haskell

American Pharoah took his first spin around the Monmouth Park track on Thursday morning (Ryan Denver/Equi-Photo)
American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), the first American Triple Crown winner in 37 years, will return to the races as an overwhelming favorite in Sunday's $1.75 million Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park. The Zayat Stabes homebred drew post 4 among eight three-year-olds in the 1 1/8-mile race and was installed as the 1-5 choice on the morning line by oddsmaker Brad Thomas.

Trained by Bob Baffert, American Pharoah brings a seven-race winning streak into the Haskell and is expected to receive one more prep before concluding his racing career in the October 31 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland. Jockey Victor Espinoza has been up for all seven victories and will accompany the sublime bay colt to the Jersey Shore.

Other entrants include Upstart (Flatter), Competitive Edge (Super Saver) and Keen Ice (Curlin). For more, visit the TwinSpires Blog.

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Haskell undercard attracts Protonico, 'Sexy,' Wildcat Red

Protonico (Giant's Causeway) takes on Bradester (Lion Heart), Pants on Fire (Jump Start) and Valid (Medaglia d'Oro) in the $200,000 Monmouth Cup (G2), on Sunday, one of five supporting stakes on Haskell Day.

The Oceanport (G3) features Kharafa (Kitalpha) and Lochte (Medaglia d'Oro), while I'm Already Sexy (Ready's Image) and Testa Rossi (Dr Fong) are the marquee attractions in the Matchmaker (G3). Wildcat Red (D'wildcat) tops the Teddy Drone, and Got Lucky (A.P. Indy) seeks to double up in the Lady's Secret.

For the full preview, visit this blog post on

Beholder, Warren's Veneda square off yet again

Beholder (right) and Warren's Veneda (left) meet again (Benoit Photos)
Dual champion Beholder (Henny Hughes) and Grade 1 heroine Warren's Veneda (Affirmative) will face off the second time on Saturday in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1) at Del Mar.

The duo were first expected to meet up in the Vanity S. (G1) in early May, but a fever forced Beholder to stay in the barn as Warren's Veneda ran third to the re-opposing My Sweet Addiction (Tiznow).

The Adoration S. (G3) saw the pair lining up against each other, with Beholder prevailing in a hand ride over Warren's Veneda.

For the complete story on the blog, please click here.

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Frosted, Texas Red square off in Jim Dandy

Grade 1 winners Frosted (Tapit) and Texas Red (Afleet Alex) are the top draws in Saturday's $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga. The 1 1/8-mile test also features Japan (Medaglia d'Oro), an exciting prospect for Bill Mott who will be making his graded stakes debut.

The Jim Dandy attracted a short field of seven but three of the cross-entered runners are expected to depart for either the Haskell Invitational (G1) and West Virginia Derby (G2). Friday's $100,000 Curlin at Saratoga, a 1 1/8-mile event for three-year-olds who haven't captured a graded stakes in 2015, has the same problem, with several of its seven entrants expected to scratch for other races this weekend.

For more information, visit the TwinSpires Blog.

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Madefromlucky heads West Virginia Derby

Eleven horses were entered for Saturday's $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2), but the participation rate figures to be much less with nearly half the field cross-entered to other lucrative stakes for three-year-olds this weekend.

Peter Pan (G2) winner Madefromlucky (Lookin at Lucky), one of three entrants for Todd Pletcher, has been confirmed for the 1 1/8-mile event and is listed as the 3-1 favorite on the morning line with new rider Joe Bravo.

The West Virginia Derby is one of nine races on the all-stakes program at Mountaineer. For more, visit the TwinSpires Blog.

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Rock Fall meets Salutos Amigos in Vanderbilt

Rock Fall (Speightstown), convincing winner of the June 6 True North (G2) for his fifth consecutive win, could face his stiffest test to date when he takes on Salutos Amigos (Salute the Sarge) and five others in the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday.

Other stakes on the Jim Dandy (G2) undercard include the $250,000 Bowling Green H. (G2) for older horses on the turf and the $200,000 Amsterdam (G2) for three-year-old sprinters.

For the full story, visit the TwinSpires blog.

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Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather


For Saturday

Arlington Park   (1st) Rio Chama, 9-2
    (6th) Away Westward, 3-1
Belterra Park   (2nd) Four Scips, 7-2
    (7th) The Native Blaze, 9-2
Canterbury   (2nd) Another Gear, 6-1
    (10th) Willow Spring, 8-1
Charles Town   (3rd) Golden Joe, 6-1
    (6th) Foolish Flower, 5-1
Delaware Park   (6th) Intrepid Citizen, 8-1
    (7th) Showmeiseter, 6-1
Del Mar   (2nd) Warren's Rail Bird, 5-1
    (10th) Rosicky, 7-2
Ellis Park   (1st) Starship Skipper, 6-1
    (5th) Drawbridge, 9-2
Emerald Downs   (3rd) Justitia, 10-1
    (7th) Bodacious, 6-1
Evangeline Downs   (1st) Jerry's Pride, 7-2
    (7th) Annie Had a Baby, 9-2
Finger Lakes   (3rd) Kitchi Warrior, 4-1
    (5th) All Class, 6-1
Gulfstream Park   (6th) Phirst Phoebe, 5-1
    (11th) Come Up Rosie, 7-2
Laurel   (3rd) Sweet Sway, 6-1
    (9th) Barnards Galaxy, 5-1
Louisiana Downs   (3rd) You're Joking, 7-2
    (6th) Bella Rae Rae, 9-2
Monmouth Park   (3rd) O'Lucey, 7-2
    (7th) Dubai Time, 9-2
Mountaineer   (3rd) Lucky Mary G., 9-2
    (9th) Rose Brier, 3-1
Parx Racing   (6th) Savvy Joe, 10-1
    (8th) Steel Sky, 4-1
Penn National   (3rd) Fuego Del Sol, 9-2
    (4th) My Tootsy, 4-1
Prairie Meadows   (2nd) Southern Parkway, 7-2
    (7th) Dazzling Pioneer, 3-1
Santa Rosa   (7th) Bountiful Desert, 3-1
    (10th) Monsajem Manege, 8-1
Saratoga   (3rd) Political Justice, 8-1
    (11th) Rico Capote, 8-1
Thistledown   (1st) R Skinnys Chick, 7-2
    (8th) Ncc Thunderandice, 10-1
Woodbine   (5th) Generous Consort, 7-2
    (9th) Why Tie the Knot, 3-1

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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