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Four Grade 1 winners highlight outstanding Travers field

Bayern served notice that he'll be a force to be reckoned with when dominating the Haskell on the front end (Carl J. Sari/Equi-Photo)

A quartet of Grade 1 winners will square off in Saturday's 145th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course and the 1 1/4-mile race could have serious championship implications in the three-year-old division.

Live coverage of the Travers will be part of NBC Sports Network's national telecast from 4:30 to 6 p.m. (EDT). The Travers has a scheduled post time of 5:46 p.m.

The strong 10-horse field is headed by the up-and-coming Bayern, who broke through with his first official graded stakes victory (disqualified from a narrow win in the Derby Trial) when capturing the seven-furlong Woody Stephens by a resounding 7 1/2-length margin on the June 7 Belmont Stakes undercard.

The Bob Baffert-trained colt prove to be no one-turn wonder when stretching back out to a route in the July 27 Haskell Invitational, romping by 7 1/4 lengths in the prestigious 1 1/8-mile test at Monmouth Park, and Bayern will now attempt to carry his speed an extra furlong Saturday.

Favored at 2-1 on the morning line, the son of Offlee Wild drew well on the inside for his front-running style (post No. 2) and Martin Garcia retains the mount.

"The Haskell was pretty impressive," Baffert said of Bayern, who made his career debut on January 4 and has earned more than $1 million while winning four of seven starts. "Will he take a step backward? I don't' know, but he looks good.

"He's not a really big horse, but he's fast. He's a handy horse, and he's got a lot of speed. I'm not totally convinced he can go a mile and a quarter, but he's pretty fast. You just have to let him go and what happens, happens. You can't worry about it. When you have a horse with that kind of brilliant speed, you have to use it."

Wicked Strong thrived with the addition of blinkers in the Jim Dandy while Tonalist may have been a race short in second (NYRA/Coglianese Photo/Chelsea Durand)

The Travers marks the third stakes match-up between Tonalist and Wicked Strong, who have split their past meetings and are listed as the respective 3-1 and 7-2 second and third choices on the morning line.

Tonalist made his stakes debut a winning one in the May 10 Peter Pan, scoring by four easy lengths in the slop at Belmont Park, and the Tapit colt followed with an excellent tally in the final jewel of the Triple Crown, gamely capturing the Belmont Stakes by a head with Wicked Strong two lengths back in fourth. Tonalist was favored at 4-5 in his Travers prep, the July 26 Jim Dandy, but wound up finishing second, 2 1/4 lengths behind Wicked Strong.

Joel Rosario rides the classic winner for trainer Christophe Clement.

"From (post) 5 on up, that was good for us," assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul said after Tonalist received post 6. "We didn't want to get stuck on the inside. He has tactical speed, but it really is his game being close up and behind horses. He wants to be in the clear. He has a very long stride.

"(Bayern) probably will go for it. We've got Wicked Strong outside of us (in post 7), and he might go a little bit, too. It could be a good set-up. We don't want to be as wide as we were in the Jim Dandy, so (Rosario) will have to tuck him in a bit more. It's an extra furlong (compared to the Jim Dandy), but I think the horse needed the race last time. He's had two good works since then."

Wicked Strong added blinkers for the Jim Dandy and raced more forwardly than his previous starts. A close third when concluding his juvenile campaign in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct, the Hard Spun colt returned this year with a pair of disappointing efforts at Gulfstream Park. He rebounded back in New York, taking the Wood Memorial by 3 1/2 lengths, but experienced a troubled trip finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby.

Mr Speaker (right) accelerated on the inside to deny a classy Adelaide in the $1.25 million Belmont Derby (NYRA/Coglianese Photo/Chelsea Durand)

After a fourth in the Belmont Stakes, Jimmy Jerkens stated his disappointment, noting that Wicked Strong ran only in spots, and the trainer decided to add blinkers for the Jim Dandy. Wicked Strong closely tracked the pacesetter in second before seizing control at the conclusion of the far turn, and proceeded to easily repel the rally of Tonalist in midstretch.

"It definitely made him get on the bit," Jerkens said of the decision to add blinkers. "Rajiv (Maragh) sent him away from there a little bit, too, so I think it was a little bit of both. I don't think they made him rank by any means. It was a combination of blinkers and Rajiv sending him from there because he wanted to get a nice spot going into the turn that made him close to the pace.

"I don't think it's going to make him rank by any means. I can't deny that he does seem to run straighter and truer with them on, no question."

Wicked Strong is attempting to become the 11th horse since 1960 and sixth in the last 12 years to complete the Jim Dandy-Travers double. Seven of the past 10 Travers winners have exited the Jim Dandy, most recently done by Alpha, who dead-heated with Golden Ticket in 2012. 

Maragh was pleased post 7.

"I think it's a great post. It gives us some options," the jockey said. "We're posted outside most of the speed horses, and it seems like a very ideal situation. I would think that Tonalist might show a little more speed; he was pretty close to the lead in the Belmont. The No. 7 post gives me a lot of options to see how the race unfolds and pick a good spot. We'll play it by ear and see how the race is going.

"The great thing with Wicked Strong is you can adjust with him; he doesn't have one specific running style. He's won close to the lead like last time and also has won from pretty much off the pace. Our hands aren't tied to doing anything specific."

Rice believes Kid Cruz will move forward off his Jim Dandy third (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photo)

Mr Speaker will be seeking his first win on dirt following a terrific turf victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby, defeating Irish invader Adelaide by a length. He was flattered when that rival came back to capture last Saturday's Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington as the heavy favorite.

By Pulpit and out of an Unbridled mare, Mr Speaker is bred to relish the main track. But his successes have come strictly on turf and synthetics so far, including a four-length triumph in the Lexington on Keeneland's Polytrack. He didn't run well when trying Gulfstream Park's main track earlier this season, finishing a well-beaten seventh in the Holy Bull, but Shug McGaughey is hopeful that his charge will show more on Saratoga's dirt track.

"It's just a matter of whether he takes to the dirt or not," McGaughey said. "He'll be fine if he takes to the dirt. You never know on the dirt when you turn their head loose and ask them to run what they're going to do or if the dirt gets to hitting them. I don't think that will be a problem. If he takes to it and does fine, I think we'll be in the ballgame."

The Hall of Famer McGaughey is one of only eight trainers with three victories in the Mid-Summer Derby, having won with Easy Goer (1989), Rhythm (1990) and Coronado's Quest (1998).

Mr Speaker shows a couple of fast works on the Saratoga main track this month and will break from the far outside post Saturday with Jose Lezcano.

Jerkens, who won with his only other Travers starter, Afleet Express, in 2010, will also send out V. E. Day in the Travers. The chestnut son of grass champion English Channel has won three straight starts, including the 1 1/8-mile Curlin Stakes at Saratoga on the eve of the Jim Dandy.

Four-time stakes hero Kid Cruz will look to improve upon his third-place effort in the Jim Dandy. A sharp winner of the Grade 3 Dwyer and the Easy Goer in his two previous outings at Belmont Park, the late-running son of Lemon Drop Kid will keep Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle.

"He's coming in great," trainer Linda Rice said of Kid Cruz, who was claimed for $50,000 from his second career start in late November. "We struggled this spring with him with a shoulder and a pinched nerve at the base of his neck. We missed the Wood Memorial and went to the (April 19) Tesio (at Pimlico) instead.

"The Preakness went poorly but frankly he's coming into this race very well. Despite the fact that the Jim Dandy was kind of an ugly race for us, the goal was to get to the Travers. Hopefully, we'll be ready."

Kid Cruz, who can provide Rice with the first Travers victory by a female trainer, raced closer than normal during the early stages of the Jim Dandy, dropped back going down the backstretch, and came again late for third.

Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, fourth in the Jim Dandy, is also entered. The Dallas Stewart trainee breaks from the innermost post with Shaun Bridmohan.

Rounding out the Travers field are Charge Now and Viva Majorca, the second- and fourth-place finishers in the Curlin; and Jim Dandy fifth-placer and Grade 3 runner-up Ulanbator.

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Wildcat Red reverts in distance for King's Bishop

Wildcat Red hasn't competed at less than 1 1/16 miles since taking the Hutcheson in February (Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Wildcat Red hasn't competed at less than 1 1/16 miles in five races since taking the February 1 Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park, but on Saturday will show his versatility by cutting back to seven furlongs for the Grade 1, $500,000 King's Bishop on the Travers Day undercard at Saratoga.

The Jose Garoffalo trainee nearly swept the three major sophomore stakes at Gulfstream Park over the spring, taking the seventh-furlong Hutcheson by 4 3/4 lengths and the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth by a head, but just missed when a neck second in the nine-furlong Florida Derby. He would go on to suffer his only unplaced run when 18th following a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby on May 3, and was given some time off following that effort.

Wildcat Red proved ready for action when returning June 28 with a 10-length romp in the Quality Road at Gulfstream, then shipped to Monmouth Park for a third-place run in the Haskell Invitational last out. The bay sophomore has been getting familiar with Saratoga's track, clocking a half-mile in :49 2/5 last Saturday, and keeps Luis Saez in the saddle for the King's Bishop.

Coup de Grace is seeking his third straight stakes win for trainer Larry Jones after posting a three-length victory in the July 26 Amsterdam, the major local prep for the King's Bishop.

The Tapit chestnut entered that contest off a neck score in the Oh Say at Delaware Park just 21 days earlier in what was his first start for Jones after being conditioned by Chad Brown in his first five lifetime races. During that period of time, Coup de Grace sandwiched a win in the seven-furlong Bay Shore at Aqueduct between unplaced efforts in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull and seven-furlong Woody Stephens. Rosie Napravnik was aboard for the Amsterdam and retains the mount in this spot.

C. Zee earned his shot at the King's Bishop after running second in the Amsterdam last out. Transferred from Stanley Gold to Nick Zito when shipped to Saratoga, the Florida-bred son of Elusive Bluff finished second in the Hutcheson and 10th in the Fountain of Youth behind Wildcat Red. He would go on to take the Sir Bear and Cherokee Run Stakes at Gulfstream while placing in a pair of listed events at Tampa Bay Downs and Calder.

Amsterdam one-two Coup de Grace (far left red cap) and C. Zee (far right purple cap) renew their rivalry in the King's Bishop (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

C. Zee was making his first start outside of Florida in the Amsterdam, and has really taken to the Spa's main track, turning in a bullet, best-of-106, half-mile in :46 2/5 last Saturday. Joel Rosario has the call in the King's Bishop.

Stakes debuters The Big Beast and Fast Anna are something of a puzzle in the race after taking their past pair of races by huge margins.

The Big Beast broke his maiden and captured an allowance, both at six furlongs, by a combined 10 1/2 lengths in his last two. The Tony Dutrow charge's most recent win, which came at Saratoga, earned him a 102 BRIS Speed rating, tying Wildcat Red's number earned in the Quality Road as a field best. The Yes It's True colt is taking a big step up in class for the King's Bishop but brings along jockey Javier Castellano to help him successfully navigate untried stakes waters.

The lightly raced Kathy Ritvo trainee Fast Anna is unbeaten in two Gulfstream starts, which he scored by a combined 15 1/4 lengths. Though the Medaglia d'Oro colt didn't break the triple-digit Speed rating mark for the two wins, he did earn a respectable 95 for each. John Velazquez will be aboard for the first time in the King's Bishop.

Myositis Dan, Noble Cornerstone and Noble Moon complete the field for the King's Bishop. The former triumphed in a pair of seven-furlong all-weather allowances at Keeneland and Arlington, with a head third in the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs tucked in between. New York-bred Noble Cornerstone is exiting a pair of victories against state-bred rivals, while Grade 2 hero Noble Moon will be going less than a mile for the first time since taking his maiden debut last September.

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Australia comfortably handles elders in Juddmonte International

Australia, planted at the back of the field while his stable companion Kingfisher made the running, eased through to lead with over a furlong to run and stamped his authority on the Group 1, £800,000 Juddmonte International at York on Tuesday.

Jockey Joseph O'Brien had said before the race that he would come on for it and his trainer, Aidan O'Brien, said afterwards that what he really needed was a racecourse gallop after being let down following the Irish Derby.

The lure of York prevailed and the English and Irish Derby winner was always in control, winning by an easy two lengths from French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby. Telescope was over two lengths back in third with the disappointing Mukhadram in fourth after pulling too hard early in the race. Arod was fifth and Kingfisher last.

"He was a bit fresh, his first run back after a while, but it was never really in doubt," Joseph O'Brien said.

"We're delighted. I couldn't be happier," trainer Aidan O'Brien said. "He was ready for a racecourse gallop, that was where he was at.

"The lads will decide what's next, but we had in our head to come here and then Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes on September 13) if everything went well.

"My heart starts beating at 4 a.m. every morning because of this horse. Everyone at Ballydoyle and Coolmore make this happen and I'm privileged to be part of it."

Without Epsom Derby runner-up Kingston Hill, the Group 2 Great Voltigeur earlier in the card lost much luster, but was salvaged by a high-class performance from the up-and-comer Postponed. Last seen winning the 11-furlong Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton July 18, the bay proved this 12-furlong trip held no fears as he spread-eagled a seemingly competitive affair in the absence of the Derby runner-up.

Always traveling easily behind the leading trio, the 5-2 favorite moved through rivals without being extended to take over from the long-time leader Odeon with a quarter mile-remaining. Despite veering right in the closing stages, the colt who was also third in the Craven Stakes and Tercentenary Stakes and does not hold an entry in the St Leger, was always comfortably on top of Snow Sky and had 2 1/4 lengths to spare over that rival at the line, with Odeon eight lengths away in third in what amounted to a true test.

Progressing from an August 2 breakthrough score at Goodwood, 16-1 outsider Dutch Connection caused a stir when breaking the track record to claim the Group 3 Acomb Stakes for two-year-olds.

Settled fifth in the second rank through the early fractions, the chestnut came under pressure with three furlongs remaining and kept on resolutely under a late drive to nail Toocoolforschool by a head in the dying strides. Star Basateen attempted to make all and finished 1 1/4 lengths further adrift in third.

"It was a good race, they went quick and he has stepped up on what he's done in the past," jockey William Buick said. "He gave me a nice feel when he won at Goodwood last time and he tries very hard. He is uncomplicated, which is a great trait in a two-year-old, and nothing fazes him. He is going in the right direction and it's very nice to get a York winner."

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Taghrooda heavily favored in Yorkshire Oaks

Taghrooda will use the Yorkshire Oaks as her final prep for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Courtesy of Champion Series via Twitter)

Racegoers at York on Thursday are in for a treat when they will get to see star filly, Taghrooda, in action in the day's feature, the Group 1, £330,000 Yorkshire Oaks.

The unbeaten John Gosden-trained filly has carried all before her this season with three victories to her name, including the Oaks at Epsom. She topped that when she claimed the notable scalps of Hardwicke Stake hero Telescope and Eclipse Stakes winner Mukhadram in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Even before her sizzling Ascot display, York's mile and a half showdown for fillies and mares had been on the agenda for the Sheikh Hamdan-owned daughter of Sea the Stars.

"She took the King George very well," Gosden confirmed. "The Yorkshire Oaks was always the plan for her. After her win in the Oaks it was a race we had in our mind. There was a slight change of plan in the middle when we changed from Ireland to Ascot but she has handled it all very well.

"In terms of herself I am very happy with her. It should be good racing ground and we are looking forward to it."

Taghrooda's imperious display at Ascot was the first time a filly had triumphed in the Ascot summer showpiece since 1976 and even her trainer was surprised by the style in which she landed the prize.

"I was surprised that she came to those good older horses under a hand ride," Gosden said. "To come to horses that had just won a Hardwicke and an Eclipse in the manner that she did was what surprised me. I knew she was a nice filly but that was impressive. And also the way she took the race in her stride. Many horses after running a race like that are quiet for a few days, but not her -- she ate up and was soon trying to get rid of her rider."

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has long been voiced as Taghrooda's end of season target and she is unlikely to be seen on a racecourse in between York and Longchamp on  October 5.

"If she runs a nice race at York we'll aim for the Arc and I think we would go straight there rather than taking in a race such as the (Prix) Vermeille, which would mean traveling to France twice in three weeks," Gosden said.

Aidan O'Brien plans to take on Taghrooda with both Venus de Milo and Tapestry. The pair have some fine form to their names and should help ensure the mile and a half race is a memorable one.

Venus de Milo is back for a second tilt at the Yorkshire Oaks, having finished runner-up to The Fugue twelve months ago. The four-year-old comes into her latest assignment off the back of a third place in the Nassau Stakes earlier this month at Glorious Goodwood.

Tapestry was last seen a month ago, running a fine race to be second to stable mate Bracelet in the Irish Oaks.

"Both of them seem to be in good form since their last run. Obviously, we are hoping that they run well," O'Brien said.

The supporting feature on the second day of the Ebor Festival is the Lowther Stakes, a Group 2 event for juvenile fillies at six furlongs.

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Six new members elected to Jockey Club

The Jockey Club has announced the election of six new members: Ian G. Banwell, Everett R. Dobson, Helen Groves, Roy Jackson, William Shively, and Frank Stronach.

Banwell and his wife, Caroline, own St. George Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, and race their horses as St. George Farm Racing. Banwell, the CEO and owner of Round Table Investment Management Company, became involved in Thoroughbred racing as a result of a boyhood friendship with veterinarian Bryan Boone. He is a member of the Keeneland Board of Directors and races many horses in partnership with G. Watts Humphrey Jr.

Dobson has owned and raced Thoroughbreds since 1996. He owns Cheyenne Stables and a commercial breeding operation, Candy Meadows, as well as a minority investment in Three Chimneys Stallions. In 1989, he founded Dobson Communications Corporation which became one of the largest wireless service providers in the U.S. before its sale to AT&T in November 2007.

Groves, a direct descendent of Richard King of the legendary King Ranch in Texas, breeds and raises Thoroughbreds and also owns several ranches and raises Quarter Horses. She is an accomplished equestrian and a former director of King Ranch Incorporated. Her father, Robert J. Kleberg Jr., was a member of The Jockey Club and a founding Director of The Keeneland Association. Her daughters, Helen Alexander, Emory Hamilton, Caroline Forgason, Henrietta Alexander and Dorothy Matz, have been actively involved in the Thoroughbred industry as well.

Jackson and his wife, Gretchen, began breeding racehorses in 1978 at Lael Farm, located in the midst of steeplechase and show horse country in West Grove, Pennsylvania. Roy Jackson, after his career in the management end of professional baseball ended in 2004, began devoting his full attention to breeding and racing in the United States and Europe. Lael Stable campaigned the popular 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.

Shively and his wife, Donna, purchased Dixiana Farm in Lexington in 2004, Woodlynn Farm (later renamed to Woodland Farm) in 2006, and Domino Stud in 2009. He is a Keeneland director and a member of the Breeders’ Cup. He is Chairman and CEO of Tower Hill Insurance Group in Gainesville, Florida, a group of five property and casualty insurance companies. Tower Hill is a leading provider of homeowner’s insurance in Florida.

Stronach, who owns the commercial breeding operation Adena Springs, has been involved in Thoroughbred racing for more than 40 years. He has earned eight Eclipse Awards as the nation’s outstanding breeder and four others as outstanding owner. The Stronach family and Adena Springs have bred and/or campaigned more than 200 stakes winners, including winners of two of the three U.S. classic races and all three classics in Canada. He is the Founder and Honorary Chairman of The Stronach Group, which operates Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, the Maryland Jockey Club, Golden Gate Fields, and Portland Meadows.

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Close Hatches looking to stay on top in Personal Ensign

Close Hatches (pink cap) edged Personal Ensign rivals Princess of Sylmar and Antipathy in the Ogden Phipps (Jamie Newell/

Having risen to the top of the older female division this season, Close Hatches will attempt to maintain her position on Friday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga over 1 1/8 miles.

In the shadow of Beholder and Princess of Sylmar in 2013, Close Hatches has started her four-year-old campaign with three straight wins, including a narrow score in the $1 million Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park on June 7. In that 1 1/16-mile heat, which pitted last year's leading three-year-old fillies in their first rematch since the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Close Hatches prevailed by a neck over Princess of Sylmar, with Beholder only a length behind in fourth.

It's been 2 1/2 months since the Ogden Phipps, a victory that followed wire-to-wire scores in the Apple Blossom Handicap and Azeri, both at Oaklawn Park. However, trainer Bill Mott is not concerned about the layoff.

"She's always run pretty good off the bench," Mott said. "Her works have been good, and I think we've got enough in her. She's always run very well when she's had time between races."

Princess of Sylmar, a clear leader in the three-year-old championship race before her loss to Beholder in the Breeders' Cup last November, captured a minor stakes at Aqueduct prior to her loss to the Ogden Phipps. Last time, she was a 1-5 favorite in the 1 1/4-mile Delaware Handicap, but was beaten nearly three lengths by a loose-on-the-lead Belle Gallantey.

"She just missed in the Phipps," trainer Todd Pletcher said of Princess of Sylmar. "She ran a big race (in the Phipps) and didn't get a proper set-up in the Delaware Handicap and maybe didn't run her 'A' race, but she has been training exceptionally well and we believe she is sitting on a good effort."

Princess of Sylmar will wear blinkers for the first time on Friday.

Antipathy rebounded from her Ogden Phipps loss to take last month's Shuvee Handicap (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Belle Gallantey took advantage of a paceless affair at Delaware Park, but probably yields early control of the Personal Ensign to Antipathy, who was a surprise third in the Ogden Phipps, a neck behind Close Hatches at 30-1. The late-blooming A.P. Indy filly followed up that stakes debut with a two-length score in the Shuvee Handicap, contested over a muddy Saratoga strip on July 27.

"We need some racing luck and for her to run her 'A' race (to win the Personal Ensign)," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "It's a tough group, but we're happy to be in there, and we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, we'll have a good day. I think she (belongs among the best in the division). She missed by only a half-length in the Phipps and came back and won."

Stanwyck was runner-up in the Shuvee and also placed in the Apple Blossom, Santa Margarita and Santa Maria earlier this year. The well-built daughter of Empire Maker earned her signature win last October in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont, but has seen her bids flatten out in the final furlong of recent starts.

Fiftyshadesofhay, whose graded stakes scores include the May 11 Ruffian and 2013 editions of the Black-Eyed Susan and Iowa Oaks, returns to dirt following a fourth-place finish in the Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar.

The stellar Personal Ensign field is rounded out by the speedy, Todd Pletcher-trained Majestic River, who exits a 2 1/2-length score in sub-standard renewal of the Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park.

The supporting feature is the $100,000 Tale of the Cat, a six-furlong dash for older horses that have not won a graded stakes in 2014. Grade 2 victors Bahamian Squall and Bern Identity are joined by stakes winners Traffic Light, Sensational Slam, and Royal Currier, as well as General George Handicap runner-up Tenango.

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Makari seeks another big win in New York Turf Writers Cup

Makari (right) won his U.S. debut, the A.P. Smithwick Memorial, by a nose (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

A thrilling and emotional victory by English import Makari in last month's A.P. Smithwick Memorial has put the seven-year-old gelding in line for a sweep of Saratoga's leading steeplechase stakes when he faces eight rivals in the Grade 1, $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup on Thursday.

Makari's photo-finish win in the July 31 Smithwick over Demonstrative was the first winner trained by Elizabeth Voss Murray, the daughter of legendary trainer Tom Voss, who passed away in January and whose stable Elizabeth Voss Murray inherited.

A winner in five of his final seven starts in England, mostly in low-level chases, Makari was nonetheless backed down to 9-2 for his U.S. debut. He proved more than adequate to the task, besting a field that included last year's divisional champion Divine Fortune.

The latter will not return for the about 2 3/8-mile Turf Writers Cup, but otherwise the race looks very much like the Smithwick. Demonstrative, who ran his best race in more than a year when beaten a nose by Makari, captured this race by a length in 2012 over Charminster, who enters this renewal off a neck loss against optional claiming company on July 30 in his first outing in 14 months.

Grade 3 winner Pleasant Woodman, third by 7 1/4 lengths after setting the pace in the Smithwick, is joined by Italian Wedding and All Together, sixth and fourth in the Smithwick, respectively. That pair finished one-two in the Turf Writers Cup last season, with Italian Wedding the victor by a length.

Novice stakes winners Barnstorming and Staying On, both also-rans in the Smithwick, will line up Thursday as will For Non Stop, a nine-year-old who won by more than 27 lengths in his U.S. debut at Stone Mountain, Georgia, in April, and followed with a third-place finish behind Divine Fortune in the Iroquois, a Grade 1 event at Percy Warner Park in Nashville

The flat feature on Thursday's program is the $100,000 Union Avenue, a six-furlong dash for New York-bred fillies and mares. Risky Rachel, the 2012 Union Avenue winner, and multiple stakes winner Sunny Desert are the probable favorites.

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In brief

Bayern (Offlee Wild), who exits smashing victories in the Haskell Invitational (G1) and Woody Stephens (G2), worked four furlongs in :47 2/5 on the Polytrack at Del Mar Tuesday morning and trainer Bob Baffert confirmed a few hours later during the NTRA teleconference that he will run in Saturday's $1 million Travers (G1) at Saratoga. Bayern, who posted the second-fastest work among 34 at the distance, earned his first stakes victory when recording a 7 1/2-length score in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens on June 7. He stretched out to two turns in the 1 1/8-mile Haskell on July 27 and romped to a 7 1/4-length decision in wire-to-wire fashion. The dark bay colt registered excellent BRIS Speed ratings of 108 and 106, respectively, for those efforts...

Jockey Mike Smith said during Tuesday's NTRA teleconference that it was a tough decision opting to ride Shared Belief over Game On Dude (Awesome Again) in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar. "It was an extremely difficult decision," the Hall of Fame jockey said. "When Game On Dude shows up and runs his A-plus race, there are not too many in the world who can outrun him. He's going to be very, very difficult to beat. The decision just came down to, more than anything, that Shared Belief is three and has a few good years ahead of him. I'm planning on sticking with him." Trainer Bob Baffert had to replace Smith with Martin Garcia in last year's Pacific Classic due to a riding commitment and Game On Dude romped by 8 1/2 lengths. He will turn to Garcia once again on Sunday. Game On Dude is seven and the Hall of Fame trainer understood Smith's decision. "I really can't blame Mike. Mike's been great," Baffert noted. "He's helped out, taught me a lot of things about this horse when he got on him that we didn't know about. He's been a big factor in the success of Game On Dude. And he knows we have Martin as back up. Mike is a real classy guy, gentleman. He's going with the younger gelding. Nobody knows how good Shared Belief is. This is going to be the toughest test he's had. (Smith) knew if he did it, I wasn't going to throw a fit about it. I understood." Smith said he still has the utmost respect for Game On Dude: "I know if he gets things his own way, he's going to be extremely difficult. I hope we get some help."...

Having won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Fr-G1) at Longchamp May 11 and Prix de Diane (Fr-G1) at Chantilly June 15, Avenir Certain (Le Havre) had little to prove other than her fitness in her comeback from a short holiday in Tuesday's Prix de la Nonette (Fr-G2) at Deauville, and she duly won with a degree of comfort to book a ticket to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1). Settled towards the rear of mid-division early by Gregory Benoist, the 3-5 pick did not have to engage top gear to cut down Crisolles (Le Havre) with just over a furlong remaining and score by 1 1/2 lengths, with Lavender Lane (Shamardal) 2 1/2 lengths back in third. "That was easy, like a piece of work," trainer Jean-Claude Rouget commented. "She will go to the Arc now and her stamina for a mile and a half has to be proven, but she won’t run in the Prix Vermeille (Fr-G1) beforehand."...

Patricia Generazio's homebred Pure Sensation (Zensational) will attempt to stretch his speed to one mile on Saratoga's inner turf in Wednesday's $100,000 Better Talk Now S. for three-year-olds. After seven dirt starts and one victory, Pure Sensation was switched to turf by trainer Christophe Clement on July 24 in the Quick Call Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint. He got caught in traffic racing on the inside, was taken back near the top of the stretch and then burst past the leaders to win by a nose in a time of 1:01 4/5. "He's not a fast horse; he's a really fast horse," Clement said. "I think he's a top-class sprinter at six, seven furlongs. I'm not sure if he's a one-turn, six- or seven-furlong (colt) or if he wants to go two turns and a mile. It's a big difference, and the only way to find out is to try. The quality and class he's got, for sure. I'm just not sure if he has the same quality and class going a mile. The idea is to try to stretch him out going two turns at a mile, which might be too ambitious, but he had a very nice work several days ago on the grass. And he rated well in the morning, so let's try and see what happens in the afternoon. There are no sprints for straight three-year-olds on the grass, and if there's any way for him to get a mile, we'll have a lot more options." His rivals include multiple stakes veteran Storming Inti (Stormy Atlantic), most recently third in the July 18 Sir Cat to eventual Secretariat (G1) runner-up Tourist (Tiznow); Irish Group 3 scorer Craftsman (Mastercraftsman), who exits his first U.S. win in the July 10 Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware; Mark My Way (Noonmark), winner of two straight divisions of the New York Stallion S. on turf; Toronto Cup third Heart to Heart (English Channel); and the Bill Mott-trained Los Borrachos (Pulpit)...

A new National Handicapping Championship online qualifier open exclusively to "rookie" NHC Tour members -- those that joined for the first time in 2014 -- has been set for September 21. The top three finishers will receive seats to the NHC, hotel accommodations and airfare reimbursement to Las Vegas for up to $400. Secondary prizes include credits for future play in upcoming online tournaments. The entry fee is $25. Registration will open at as the contest date draws nearer. NHC Tour points will not be awarded since eligibility is restricted to newbies.

Carryover Watch

For Wednesday or Next Raceday

WOODBINE:   High 5 -- $200,009
ARLINGTON:   High 5 -- $58,216
    Pick 6 -- $56,669
GULFSTREAM:   Pick 6 -- $50,000
    Pick 5 -- $14,583



AUGUST 21, 2014

by John Mucciolo

A trio of graded stakes races took the spotlight during the fifth week of racing at Saratoga Race Course.

Alabama S. (G1): Repole Stable's STOPCHARGINGMARIA (Tale of the Cat) was roused to the lead at the top of the lane and gamely dug in through the stretch to secure a three-parts of a length score with John Velazquez in the irons. The top sophomore filly from the barn of Todd Pletcher endured 1 1/4 miles on the fast main oval in 2:05.

Sword Dancer Invitational S. (G1): Flaxman Holding LLC's homebred MAIN SEQUENCE (Aldebaran) picked up steam in early stretch and exploded late in earning a head tally under a well-time ride from Rajiv Maragh. The Graham Motion concluded 1 1/2 miles on the firm turf course in 2:24 3/5 in posting a second straight Grade 1 score on U.S. soil.

Lake Placid S. (G2): Besilu Stables' CROWN QUEEN (Smart Strike) was always well-placed before being asked for run in the lane and she responded with a half-length win under Velazquez. The blue-blooded filly finished off nine furlongs on the firm turf oval in 1:47 4/5.

Track Stats

A total of 61 races were held at the Saratoga Springs, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 30 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 56 percent of the wins during the week. From 33 races on the main oval, seven animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (21 percent), while four of the 28 races on the lawn were taken all the way on the front (14 percent).

We thought both ovals played fairly to most or all types, with a well-balanced week of racing on both surfaces. Six of the seven dirt wire jobs came in sprint runs, while three of the four grassy wire-to-wire winners came in route events.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin made us look good in saddling a trio of winners last week, including a pair that went off at nice prices. Continue to tab this barn going forward. Conditioner Chad Brown unveiled a few nice prospects on the turf but has a long way to go to reel in Todd Pletcher in the trainers' race.

Irad Ortiz Jr. is now within eight of reeling in Javier Castellano and bagging his first jockeys' win at Saratoga, and this fine young rider is capable for sure. His 20 percent win rate is excellent at this competitive meeting, and he also tops the earnings mark with more than $3.1 million in purses brought in.

Meet Totals

RACES:   283
DIRT:   151
TURF:   132
FAVORITES:   99 (36 percent)
2ND CHOICES:   64 (22 percent)
TURF WIRE:   29 (24 percent)
DIRT WIRE:   42 (30 percent)


Wednesday (8/13)

6TH -- ZEE BROS (Brother Derek) showed big early speed and while he was no match for the very sharp winner, this was a nice try for the stakes winner in his 2014 debut. Tab the Seth Benzel pupil for improvement in his subsequent outing.

9TH -- SPRING TO THE SKY (Langfuhr) didn't mind the move to the main oval on this occasion when leading throughout in a fine sprint score over a Grade 1 winner. The Bruce Brown trainee has won two in succession and is back in very good form, obviously.

Thursday (8/14)

5TH -- The John Kimmel-trained BAR OF GOLD (Medaglia d'Oro) overcame a tardy start to roll past this field late in a fine debut tally beneath Junior Alvarado. The juvenile filly won for a conditioner not know for his prowess for first-time starters, so we envision this one being a nice prospect going forward, especially as the distances increase.

6TH -- BLOFELD (Quality Road) was stuck chasing lone speed to midstretch but never gave way en route to a strong one-length debut tally for conditioner Todd Pletcher. The well-backed colt, who was hammered to 1-2 odds at first asking, was professional and we think he might become a nice one with a hint more seasoning.

SIGNATURE CAT (Discreet Cat) opened up a huge early lead and stayed on well throughout in a pretty sharp debut offering for trainer Eric Guillot. The homebred shouldn't be a maiden for long.

Friday (8/15)

2ND -- UPSTART (Flatter) swept to the lead in early stretch and left little doubt late in posting a fine 5 1/4-length score in this debut for Richard Violette. The juvenile ridgling should make a ton of noise with fellow Empire State-bred runners with any kind of progression off of this.

9TH -- WEEKEND HIDEAWAY (Speightstown) shot to the lead soon after the start, shrugged off a test at the top of the lane and finished up well to post a two-length stakes score for Phil Serpe. The four-year-old colt is fine form current form and loves this venue -- we hope he gets one more race under his belt at the meeting.

Saturday (8/16)

4TH -- We have no idea what CAN'T HAPPEN HERE (Desert Party) beat in this debut run, but we're confident that this is a nice prospect going forward. The Chad Brown trainee tracked in fourth early, took the lead nearing midstretch and finished up well in a fine first offering. The juvenile colt got his final five-sixteenths in a superb :28 4/5 and could be a serious player this season, and beyond.

Sunday (8/17)

5TH -- RING KNOCKER (Birdstone) dueled on the front and was passed in early stretch, but she dug deep and made it a race all the way to the finish while being more than nine lengths clear of the third-place finishers. The Tom Albertrani pupil should be graduating soon after a pair of fine tries at this venue.

Monday (8/18)

3RD -- Trainer George Weaver had CYCLOGENESIS (Stormy Atlantic) geared up for this debut and it showed, as the juvenile colt powered home in posting a pretty easy win under Corey Lanerie. The Kentucky-bred is cut out to run longer and potentially handle the turf, so he should have a lot of options going forward.

A Look Ahead

The Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers S. (G1) on Saturday is the centerpiece of the Saratoga meet, and the stellar Travers undercard features a trio of graded runs -- the Grade 1, $500,000 King's Bishop Stakes, the Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina Stakes and the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa Handicap.

A big race is on tap Friday, with Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar squaring off in the Grade 1, $500,000 Personal Ensign Stakes.



Click here for the monthly August Calendar

Thursday, August 21
New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase (NSA-G1), Saratoga, $150,000, 4&up, 2 3/8mT.
Union Avenue S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 6 1/2f.
Friday, August 22
PERSONAL ENSIGN S. (G1), Saratoga, $500,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/8m.
Tale of the Cat S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, 6f.
CTT & Thoroughbred Owners of California H., Del Mar, $90,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 3/8mT.
Hong Kong Jockey Club H., Hastings Park, $50,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m.
Richmond Derby Trial, Hastings Park, $50,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m.
Red Earth S. (r), Remington Park, $50,000, 3&up, 7 1/2f.
Saturday, August 23
TRAVERS S. (G1), Saratoga, $1,250,000, 3yo, 1 1/4m.
BALLERINA S. (G1), Saratoga, $500,000, 3&up, f&m, 7f.
KING'S BISHOP S. (G1), Saratoga, $500,000, 3yo, 7f.
BALLSTON SPA S. (G2), Saratoga, $250,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.
DEL MAR H. (G2), Del Mar, $200,000, 3&up, 1 3/8mT.
VIOLET S. (G3), Monmouth Park, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/8mT.
Ontario Colleen S. (Can-G3), Woodbine, $150,000, 3yo, f, 1mT.
Forty Niner S., Gulfstream Park, $75,000, 3yo, 1 1/16mT.
Turning for Home S., Parx Racing, $75,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial H., Remington Park, $75,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
Albuquerque Journal S. (r), Albuquerque Downs, $60,000, 3yo, 6f.
Bank of Albuquerque S. (r), Albuquerque Downs, $60,000, 3yo, f, 6f.
Carlos Salazar S. (r), Albuquerque Downs, $60,000, 3&up, f&m, 6 1/2f.
Casey Darnel Pony Express S. (r), Albuquerque Downs, $60,000, 3&up, 5 1/2f.
Lineage Classic S. (r), Albuquerque Downs, $60,000, 3&up, 1 1/16m.
Frank Gall Memorial (r), Charles Town, $50,000, 3&up, 7f.
Sunday, August 24
PACIFIC CLASSIC (G1), Del Mar, $1,000,000, 3&up, 1 1/4m.
DEL MAR MILE (G2), Del Mar, $250,000, 3&up, 1mT.
PAT O'BRIEN S. (G2), Del Mar, $250,000, 3&up, 7f.
LONGACRES MILE (G3), Emerald Downs, $200,000, 3&up, 1m.
CLIFF HANGER S. (G3), Monmouth Park, $100,000, 3&up, 1 1/8mT.
Seaway S. (Can-G3), Woodbine, $150,000, 3&up, f&m, 7f.
Albany S. (r), Saratoga, $250,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m.
Fleet Indian S. (r), Saratoga, $200,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m.
Funny Cide S. (r), Saratoga, $200,000, 2yo, 6 1/2f.
Seeking the Ante S. (r), Saratoga, $200,000, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f.
West Point S. (r), Saratoga, $150,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
Yaddo S. (r), Saratoga, $150,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.
Emerald Distaff S., Emerald Downs, $65,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/8m.
Monday, August 25
Smart N Fancy S., Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 5 1/2fT.
Wednesday, August 27
Muskoka S. (r), Woodbine, $200,000, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f.
Simcoe S. (r), Woodbine, $200,000, 2yo, c&g, 6 1/2f.
Generous Portion S. (r), Del Mar, $150,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
Algoma S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m.
Elgin S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3&up, c&g, 1 1/16m.
Halton S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3&up, 1mT.
Kenora S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3&up, 6f.
P.G. Johnson S., Saratoga, $100,000, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT.
ITOBA Stallion Season C&G S. (r), Indiana Downs, $75,000, 3yo, c&g, 1m.
ITOBA Stallion Season Fillies S. (r), Indiana Downs, $75,000, 3yo, f, 1m.


Current Meetings
ARLINGTON:   May 2 - Sept. 28
BELTERRA PARK:   May 8 - Oct. 19
CANTERBURY PARK:   May 16 - Sept. 13
CHARLES TOWN:   Jan. 2 - Dec. 31
DELAWARE PARK:   May 17 - Oct. 22
DEL MAR:   July 17 - Sept. 3
ELLIS PARK:   July 3 - Sept. 1
EMERALD DOWNS:   April 12 - Sept. 28
EVANGELINE DOWNS:   April 9 - Aug. 30
FINGER LAKES:   April 18 - Dec. 5
FORT ERIE:   May 27 - Sept. 30
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS:   Aug. 15 - Sept. 14
GULFSTREAM PARK:   July 1 - Jan. 5
HASTINGS PARK:   April 27 - Oct. 26
HAZEL PARK:   June 29 - Oct. 11
INDIANA DOWNS:   May 6 - Nov. 1
LOUISIANA DOWNS:   May 2 - Sept. 21
MONMOUTH PARK:   May 10 - Sept. 28
MOUNTAINEER PARK:   March 1 - Dec. 20
NORTHLANDS PARK:   May 2 - Oct. 25
PARX RACING:   Jan. 1 - Dec. 31
PENN NATIONAL:   Jan. 2 - Dec. 27
PRESQUE ISLE DOWNS:   May 11 - Sept. 25
REMINGTON PARK:   Aug. 15 - Dec. 14
SARATOGA:   July 18 - Sept. 1
SUFFOLK DOWNS:   May 3 - Sept. 29
THISTLEDOWN:   April 18 - Nov. 16
WOODBINE:   April 12 - Dec. 7
Upcoming Meetings
BELMONT PARK:   Sept. 5 - Oct. 26
CHURCHILL DOWNS:   Sept. 5 - 28
KENTUCKY DOWNS:   Sept. 6 - 24
LAUREL PARK:   Sept. 5 - Dec. 31
MEADOWLANDS:   Sept. 18 - Nov. 1
SANTA ANITA PARK:   Sept. 26 - Nov. 2
ZIA PARK:   Sept. 6 - Dec. 2

Top Speed/Class ratings


Top Winning Stakes Speed Ratings (8/11-8/17) - 3&up Dirt Routes
Horse A/S Dist Trk Date Race Bris Speed
Farhaan 5H 1 1/8m (ft) SAR 8/17 Alydar S. 107
Balance of Power 4G 1 1/8m (ft) MTH 8/17 Philip H. Iselin S. 103
Code West 4R 1 1/8m (ft) RP 8/16 Governor's Cup S. 100
Killin Me Smalls 4G 1 1/16m (ft) NP 8/16 Westerner H. 99
Get Happy Mister 4G 1 1/8m (ft) ARP 8/16 Arapahoe Park Classic S. 98
Tempered Sapphire 5M 1 1/16m (ft) NP 8/15 City of Edmonton Distaff H. 96
Carameaway 4F 1 1/8m (gd) SAR 8/14 Saratoga Dew S. 94
Stalking Lion 5G 1m 70y (ft) ELY 8/17 Norm Goeringer Memorial S. 86
Calitor 5G 1m (ft) ASD 8/16 Agassiz S. 85
Bridlewood Angel 3F 1 1/16m (ft) ARP 8/16 Spicy S. 83
Runaway Delite 3F 1m (ft) ASD 8/16 Distaff S. 76
Top Winning Stakes Speed Ratings (8/11-8/17) - 3&up Dirt Sprints
Horse A/S Dist Trk Date Race Bris Speed
Rivers Run Deep 3C 6f (gd) TDN 8/17 Honey Jay S. 99
Weekend Hideaway 4C 6 1/2f (ft) SAR 8/15 John Morrissey S. 99
Ivan Fallunovalot 4G 6f (ft) RP 8/16 David M. Vance Sprint S. 98
Judy the Beauty 5M 6 1/2f (ft) DMR 8/17 Rancho Bernardo H. 97
Spring to the Sky 5H 5 1/2f (sy) SAR 8/13 Troy S. 96
Merit Man 4C 5f (ft) DMR 8/13 Green Flash H. 91
Down Town Allen 7M 7f (ft) CT 8/16 Sadie Hawkins S. 89
Purl's Gray Ego 8G 6f (ft) SWF 8/17 Bill Earll Memorial S. 82
Nic a Jack 6G 6 1/2f (ft) CLS 8/16 Amadevil S. 78
Apply 6G 7f (ft) ELY 8/16 Governor's H. 75
Button Em Up 9M 6 1/2f (ft) GPR 8/16 Evergreen Park / ACTRA / Troyer Town- Distaff Seri 73
Top Winning Stakes Speed Ratings (8/11-8/17) - 3&up Turf
Horse A/S Dist Trk Date Race Bris Speed
Main Sequence 5G 1 1/2m (fm) SAR 8/17 Sword Dancer Invitational S. 108
The Pizza Man 5G 1 11/16m (fm) AP 8/16 American St. Leger S. 103
Karibu Gardens 4C 1 1/4m (fm) WO 8/16 Sky Classic S. 101
Heat Du Jour 4F 1m (fm) DMR 8/17 Solana Beach H. 97
Euro Charline (GB) 3F 1 3/16m (fm) AP 8/16 Beverly D. S. 89
Hardest Core 4G 1 1/4m (fm) AP 8/16 Arlington Million XXXII S. 89
Silver Wabbit 4F 7f (fm) ABT 8/17 Beulah Mae S. 77
Just Gone 4G 1m 70y (fm) ABT 8/17 Commodore Allen Memorial S. 69
Top Winning Stakes Speed Ratings (8/11-8/17) - 2 year olds (Dirt)
Horse A/S Dist Trk Date Race Bris Speed
Imperial Dream 2C 6f (ft) WO 8/16 Vandal S. 91
Trackattacker 2G 6 1/2f (ft) EMD 8/16 W.T.B.O.A. Lads S. 82
Party Pooper 2C 6 1/2f (ft) HST 8/15 New Westminster H. 81
Passed Due 2C 6f (ft) ARP 8/17 Gold Rush Futurity 74
Pippa Bou Peep 2F 6 1/2f (ft) EMD 8/17 Barbara Shinpoch S. 72
Seedle Surprise 2F 6 1/2f (ft) HST 8/15 Hard Rock Casino Vancouver H. 62
Top Winning Stakes Speed Ratings (8/11-8/17) - 3 year olds (Dirt & Turf)
Horse A/S Dist Trk Date Race Bris Speed
Kiss Moon 3F a1 1/16m (fm) AP 8/16 Hatoof S. 105
Ami's Holiday 3C 1 1/2m (fm) WO 8/17 Breeders' S. 100
Geaux Mets 3G 6f (ft) FL 8/16 Ontario County S. 99
Personal Diary 3F 1 1/8m (fm) DMR 8/16 Del Mar Oaks 97
Prudhoe Bay 3C 6f (ft) MTH 8/16 Jersey Shore S. 97
Stopchargingmaria 3F 1 1/4m (ft) SAR 8/16 Alabama S. 96
Istanford 3F 1m (fm) DMR 8/15 Sandy Blue H. 95
Crown Queen 3F 1 1/8m (fm) SAR 8/16 Knob Creek Lake Placid S. 92
I Got It All 3G 1m (ft) AP 8/16 Straight Line S. 90
Annulment 3F a1 1/16m (fm) AP 8/16 Hatoof S. 88
Miss Frost 3F 1m (fm) SAR 8/11 Tenski S. 86
Adelaide (IRE) 3C 1 1/4m (fm) AP 8/16 Secretariat S. 83
Edison 3C 1 3/8m (ft) NP 8/16 Canadian Derby 82
Time for a Memory 3F 1 1/16m (ft) NP 8/16 Sonoma H. 79
Abeel 3C 1m (fm) ABT 8/17 Alberta Derby 74


Horse   Track   Dist(Cond)   Date   BRIS Class
Farhaan   SAR   1 1/8m (ft)   8/17   123.6
The Pizza Man   AP   1 11/16m (fm)   8/16   123.0
Hardest Core   AP   1 1/4m (fm)   8/16   122.4
Eastwood   SAR   5 1/2f (sy)   8/13   121.8
Euro Charline (GB)   AP   1 3/16m (fm)   8/16   121.3
Weekend Hideaway   SAR   6 1/2f (ft)   8/15   121.1
Judy the Beauty   DMR   6 1/2f (ft)   8/17   121.1
City of Weston   GP   6f (ft)   8/15   121.0
Main Sequence   SAR   1 1/2m (fm)   8/17   120.8
Balance of Power   MTH   1 1/8m (ft)   8/17   120.6
Code West   RP   1 1/8m (ft)   8/16   120.5
Ivan Fallunovalot   RP   6f (ft)   8/16   120.3
Killin Me Smalls   NP   1 1/16m (ft)   8/16   120.3
Get Happy Mister   ARP   1 1/8m (ft)   8/16   120.2
Edison   NP   1 3/8m (ft)   8/16   120.1



(through August 18, 2014)



Name   Starts   1st   2nd   3rd  


1. California Chrome   6   5   0   0   $3,317,800
2. Palace Malice   5   4   0   0   1,195,000
3. Untapable   5   4   0   0   1,146,600
4. Imperative   7   1   2   2   1,139,700
5. Wicked Strong   6   2   0   0   1,131,610
6. Bayern   7   4   1   1   1,077,680
7. Tonalist   5   3   2   0   1,073,250
8. Moreno   5   1   1   1   1,040,500
9. Close Hatches   3   3   0   0   1,015,000
10. Lexie Lou   5   3   0   1   999,109


Name   Starts   1st   2nd   3rd  


1. Todd Pletcher   696   166   119   101   $16,000,371
2. Jerry Hollendorfer   684   163   138   95   7,829,765
3. Steve Asmussen   854   201   142   128   7,582,275
4. Bob Baffert   259   59   43   36   7,349,414
5. Mark Casse   518   90   92   67   7,217,274
6. Chad Brown   308   80   54   47   6,963,244
7. Bill Mott   445   64   69   66   6,703,841
8. Mike Maker   586   143   84   81   6,017,110
9. Graham Motion   466   96   73   67   5,720,444
10. Christophe Clement   301   60   60   48   5,459,014


Name   Mounts   1st   2nd   3rd  


1. Javier Castellano   856   227   157   124   $16,306,513
2. Joel Rosario   824   138   142   121   13,626,462
3. Irad Ortiz Jr.   891   175   154   134   11,640,429
4. John Velazquez   549   98   89   76   9,872,729
5. Jose Ortiz   749   142   129   113   9,248,300
6. Mike Smith   356   76   51   46   8,619,776
7. Rosie Napravnik   628   138   96   89   7,912,584
8. Jose Lezcano   580   91   97   102   7,631,068
9. Victor Espinoza   399   70   58   44   7,569,097
10. Joe Talamo   769   119   115   111   7,562,642

Note: Figures are for North American-based racing

At a Glance
Avg. Winning Odds: 4.44 - 1
Favorite Win%: 38%, Favorite Itm%: 77%
Daily Double67.93
Pick 3510.26
Pick 43,139.40
Pick 58,621.30
TRACK BIAS MEET(05/17 - 08/18)
Distance #
5.5fDirt 65 32% E Outside
6.0fDirt 96 35% E Middle
1 MileDirt 33 15% E/P Mid/Out
1m 70yDirt 47 38% E Rail/Ins
Turf Sprint 32 41% E Inside
Turf Routes 50 26% E Rail/Ins
TRACK BIAS WEEK(08/12 - 08/18)
Distance #
5.5fDirt 5 0% E/P Middle
6.0fDirt 7 43% P Inside
1 MileDirt 3 67% E Rail
1m 70yDirt 2 50% E Rail/Ins
Turf Sprint 4 50% E Ins/Mid
Turf Routes 4 75% E Rail/Ins
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Smith Hamilton A. 14 6 3 2 4.62 2 15%
Pecoraro Anthony 9 3 1 4 3.94 2 19%
Preciado Guadalupe 2 2 0 0 1.90 1 16%
Rigattieri John 3 2 0 0 3.00 2 24%
Morgan Carla L. 5 2 0 0 8.52 1 14%
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Cintron Alex 16 6 2 2 6.30 2 20%
Cedeno Carol 14 4 0 1 14.66 2 12%
Chiappe Ricardo 15 4 2 2 7.37 3 14%
Centeno Daniel 9 3 1 1 4.83 0 19%
COLD TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Romero Rodolfo 14 0 1 1 23.29 0 8%
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Avg. Winning Odds: 5.26 - 1
Favorite Win%: 37%, Favorite Itm%: 72%
Daily Double86.26
Pick 3742.98
Pick 44,692.97
Pick 522,853.14
Pick 6 Jackpot467,628.18
Pick 8602,352.90
Super High Five6,602.63
Z-5 Super Hi-59,770.90
TRACK BIAS MEET(06/25 - 08/17)
Distance #
5.5fDirt 111 43% E Rail/Ins
6.0fDirt 392 35% E Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 268 25% E Rail/Ins
1 1/16mDirt 91 24% E/P Inside
Turf Sprint 171 29% E Middle
Turf Routes 507 18% P Rail
TRACK BIAS WEEK(08/11 - 08/17)
Distance #
5.5fDirt 5 40% P Middle
6.0fDirt 7 29% P Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 6 33% E Rail/Ins
1 1/16mDirt 2 0% E/P Rail/Ins
Turf Sprint 1 100% E Inside
Turf Routes 11 9% E/P Rail/Ins
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Kaplan William A. 9 4 1 1 9.93 2 12%
Wolfson Milton W. 5 3 1 0 5.88 1 11%
Nicks Ralph E. 7 3 0 1 6.17 3 19%
Loza, Jr. Efren 3 2 0 1 2.43 1 35%
Richardson Tim 5 2 0 0 12.04 0 6%
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Gonzalez Santiago 11 3 0 1 15.15 1 14%
COLD TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Dorochenko Gennadi 31 0 5 0 27.60 4 9%
Lutchman Padarath 16 0 1 1 51.25 0 8%
Rose Barry R. 13 0 2 1 45.84 0 3%
Persaud Randi 10 0 1 2 21.42 0 7%
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
'13-' 14
Jara Fernando 13 0 1 1 13.22 1 13%
Argueta Ever 12 0 2 0 57.90 1 5%


MONDAY:   Golden Gate Fields and Monmouth Park
TUESDAY:   Arlington and Del Mar
WEDNESDAY:   Louisiana Downs and Woodbine
THURSDAY:   Delaware Park and Gulfstream Park
FRIDAY:   Ellis Park and Saratoga

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather


For Wednesday

Charles Town   (1st) Michael's Gunner, 7-2
    (8th) Foxfield Drive, 4-1
Del Mar   (4th) Smart Journey, 3-1
    (8th) Full of Spice, 3-1
Delaware Park   (5th) Aces Are Wild, 3-1
    (7th) Hear the Chatter, 9-2
Evangeline Downs   (3rd) Genes Lil Wrangler, 4-1
    (6th) Valid Play, 5-1
Indiana Downs   (1st) Lady Dozer, 5-1
    (5th) Greys Indy Princes, 4-1
Mountaineer Park   (2nd) Hathraan, 7-2
    (9th) Goldswish, 3-1
Penn National   (2nd) Desert Notion, 3-1
    (4th) Allegheny Moon, 3-1
Presque Isle Downs   (2nd) Cooper's Crescent, 7-2
    (4th) Abou, 7-2
Remington Park   (4th) Lookslikeahit, 3-1
    (7th) Justsignthecheck, 7-2
Saratoga   (5th) Lemon and Honey, 7-2
    (6th) Bridgeville, 3-1
Suffolk Downs   (1st) Yankee Swap, 4-1
    (6th) Mr. Watanabe Too, 9-2
Thistledown   (1st) No Marbles, 7-2
    (6th) Maxie Mac, 4-1
Woodbine   (2nd) Warbred, 3-1
    (7th) Anfield Park, 3-1


For Wednesday

CHARLES TOWN (7:00): $26,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m (7TH).
DEL MAR (5:00): $77,000 alw, 3yo, f, 1mT (7TH).
DELAWARE PARK (1:15): $31,000 ocl, 2yo, 5 1/2f (7TH).
EVANGELINE DOWNS (6:45): $29,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6f (8TH).
INDIANA DOWNS (2:05): $36,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6f (7TH).
MOUNTAINEER (7:00): $20,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1m70ydT (3RD).
PENN NATIONAL (6:00): $29,500 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1m (6TH).
PRESQUE ISLE DOWNS (5:25): $30,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 5 1/2f (4TH).
REMINGTON PARK (8:00): $30,000 alw, 3&up, 1mT (8TH).
SARATOGA (12:25): $100,000 Better Talk Now, 3yo, 1mT (9TH).
SUFFOLK DOWNS (12:45): $20,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 1m70ydT (8TH).
THISTLEDOWN (12:55): $21,000 alw, 3&up, 1m (7TH).
WOODBINE (6:45): $47,500 alw, 3&up, 7fT (2ND).

*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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