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SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2015

Triple Crown News & Notes

Tale of Verve, Mubtaahij and Frammento post final major Belmont moves

Belmont S. (G1) hopeful Tale of Verve (Tale of Ekati) took to the Belmont Park main track early Saturday morning to log his final breeze in advance of the $1.5 million "Test of the Champion" on June 6.

With exercise rider and jockey Kortez Walker up for the work, the bay colt clocked a bullet five furlongs in :59, the fastest of 23 recorded works at the distance.

"He galloped out good and came back blowing, which is good because it means he got something out of it," said Dallas Stewart, who trains Tale of Verve for owner/breeder Charles Fipke. "He came back great and looked awesome."

Coming off solitary maiden win on April 23 at Keeneland, Tale of Verve was entered as an also-eligible for the May 2 Kentucky Derby (G1) but failed to make the race. He was then sent to Pimlico for the Preakness S. (G1) two weeks later and finished second -- seven lengths behind Derby victor American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) -- at odds of 28-1.

"I hope he has another step forward in him; that's what we're here for," said Stewart, who finished second in a Triple Crown race for the third year in a row.

The Fipke homebred will have a long way to travel if he is to vanquish Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah, who galloped 1 1/2 miles over the Churchill Downs main track on Saturday morning. The 1 1/2 miles of the Belmont is considerably farther than Tale of Verve has ever raced, but Stewart sees that as a positive.

"It's in his breeding," the Kentucky-based horseman stated. "He's a big horse and has a great stride, so hopefully it will add up. It's going to be a matter of stamina, and hopefully the best horse will win."

Widely traveled Belmont Stakes entrant Mubtaahij (Dubawi) continued his preparations for next Saturday's race, turning working five-eighths in 1:01 on the Belmont main track Saturday morning to record the seventh-fastest time at the distance.

The Irish-bred colt was scheduled to work on the turf, but the move to the main track was made because the turf was too firm, according to Trevor Brown, assistant to trainer Mike de Kock. Brown said he was very pleased with Mubtaahij's effort over the main track and is positive the bay colt has taken more kindly to the surface when compared with Churchill Downs, where he finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby in his first start in America.

With de Kock's arrival to New York expected for Monday, Brown said the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) winner would have an easy week.

"We'll freshen him up now this week," Brown explained. "We've been pretty hard on him; that's our normal routine. Two weeks out we work him hard and the last week freshen him up, but he's going good and we're very happy with him."

At Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, Mossarossa's Grade 2-placed Frammento (Midshipman) put in his final timed work for the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

Working in company with maiden three-year-old Hard Scuffle (Hard Spun), Frammento was clocked in :48 for a half-mile over the fast Oklahoma training track. Going out at 7:45 a.m. (EDT) in the first set after the maintenance break, he galloped out five furlongs in 1:02 1/5.

"He looked great," Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito said. "They got him in :12, :24, :48 -- you can't beat that. I even got him a little quicker, but that was OK. I'm happy. It was good."

Regular exercise rider and Zito assistant trainer Maxine Correa was aboard for the work, Frammento's third since an 11th-place finish in the May 2 Kentucky Derby and all coming on the Oklahoma training track.

"He felt great. He started off real cool and relaxed and he picked it up at the quarter pole and flew home. He galloped out beautiful and finished up strong," Correa said. "He started off just behind a horse and stayed a little wide. He was happy to stay behind the horse until the quarter-pole and as soon as I asked him to go, he kicked on. It was really good."

Frammento was given a half-mile in :49 1/5 on May 23 and blew out three furlongs about two weeks after the Derby in :36 4/5.

"Last Saturday when he worked, he just kept going. Max does a good job on him. He went pretty darn good last weekend, and this is what we wanted him to do today, just sharpen him up a little bit. He's over-ready," Zito said.

"Everything is good. He's developed nice, he's held his flesh and he's held himself. He's doing everything right."

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Frammento in the Belmont for Zito, who won the race with Birdstone in 2004 and Da' Tara in 2008, both times spoiling a Triple Crown bid.

Prior to the Derby, Frammento was sixth in the Holy Bull S. (G2) and third in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, and fourth in the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland. He will be racing for the first time at Belmont Park.

"In the times I've breezed him, sometimes with company and sometimes without, he seems to have matured a lot over the winter and sort of got his head together, realizing what he's supposed to do," Correa said. "He's coming around nicely."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Tale of Verve, Mubtaahij and Frammento post final major Belmont moves

Belmont S. (G1) hopeful Tale of Verve (Tale of Ekati) took to the Belmont Park main track early Saturday morning to log his final breeze in advance of the $1.5 million "Test of the Champion" on June 6.

With exercise rider and jockey Kortez Walker up for the work, the bay colt clocked a bullet five furlongs in :59, the fastest of 23 recorded works at the distance.

"He galloped out good and came back blowing, which is good because it means he got something out of it," said Dallas Stewart, who trains Tale of Verve for owner/breeder Charles Fipke. "He came back great and looked awesome."

Coming off solitary maiden win on April 23 at Keeneland, Tale of Verve was entered as an also-eligible for the May 2 Kentucky Derby (G1) but failed to make the race. He was then sent to Pimlico for the Preakness S. (G1) two weeks later and finished second -- seven lengths behind Derby victor American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) -- at odds of 28-1.

"I hope he has another step forward in him; that's what we're here for," said Stewart, who finished second in a Triple Crown race for the third year in a row.

The Fipke homebred will have a long way to travel if he is to vanquish Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah, who galloped 1 1/2 miles over the Churchill Downs main track on Saturday morning. The 1 1/2 miles of the Belmont is considerably farther than Tale of Verve has ever raced, but Stewart sees that as a positive.

"It's in his breeding," the Kentucky-based horseman stated. "He's a big horse and has a great stride, so hopefully it will add up. It's going to be a matter of stamina, and hopefully the best horse will win."

Widely traveled Belmont Stakes entrant Mubtaahij (Dubawi) continued his preparations for next Saturday's race, turning working five-eighths in 1:01 on the Belmont main track Saturday morning to record the seventh-fastest time at the distance.

The Irish-bred colt was scheduled to work on the turf, but the move to the main track was made because the turf was too firm, according to Trevor Brown, assistant to trainer Mike de Kock. Brown said he was very pleased with Mubtaahij's effort over the main track and is positive the bay colt has taken more kindly to the surface when compared with Churchill Downs, where he finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby in his first start in America.

With de Kock's arrival to New York expected for Monday, Brown said the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) winner would have an easy week.

"We'll freshen him up now this week," Brown explained. "We've been pretty hard on him; that's our normal routine. Two weeks out we work him hard and the last week freshen him up, but he's going good and we're very happy with him."

At Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, Mossarossa's Grade 2-placed Frammento (Midshipman) put in his final timed work for the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

Working in company with maiden three-year-old Hard Scuffle (Hard Spun), Frammento was clocked in :48 for a half-mile over the fast Oklahoma training track. Going out at 7:45 a.m. (EDT) in the first set after the maintenance break, he galloped out five furlongs in 1:02 1/5.

"He looked great," Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito said. "They got him in :12, :24, :48 -- you can't beat that. I even got him a little quicker, but that was OK. I'm happy. It was good."

Regular exercise rider and Zito assistant trainer Maxine Correa was aboard for the work, Frammento's third since an 11th-place finish in the May 2 Kentucky Derby and all coming on the Oklahoma training track.

"He felt great. He started off real cool and relaxed and he picked it up at the quarter pole and flew home. He galloped out beautiful and finished up strong," Correa said. "He started off just behind a horse and stayed a little wide. He was happy to stay behind the horse until the quarter-pole and as soon as I asked him to go, he kicked on. It was really good."

Frammento was given a half-mile in :49 1/5 on May 23 and blew out three furlongs about two weeks after the Derby in :36 4/5.

"Last Saturday when he worked, he just kept going. Max does a good job on him. He went pretty darn good last weekend, and this is what we wanted him to do today, just sharpen him up a little bit. He's over-ready," Zito said.

"Everything is good. He's developed nice, he's held his flesh and he's held himself. He's doing everything right."

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Frammento in the Belmont for Zito, who won the race with Birdstone in 2004 and Da' Tara in 2008, both times spoiling a Triple Crown bid.

Prior to the Derby, Frammento was sixth in the Holy Bull S. (G2) and third in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, and fourth in the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland. He will be racing for the first time at Belmont Park.

"In the times I've breezed him, sometimes with company and sometimes without, he seems to have matured a lot over the winter and sort of got his head together, realizing what he's supposed to do," Correa said. "He's coming around nicely."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

American Pharoah turns in routine gallop at Churchill

American Pharoah galloped 12 furlongs on a sunny Louisville morning (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

With only one week until the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1), Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) stepped up his training on Saturday morning with a 1 1/2-mile gallop on the Churchill Downs main track at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

"It was another good day," said Jorge Alvarez, American Pharoah's regular exercise rider. "He was a little more aggressive this morning and wanted to do more, but I just kept doing my thing. I'm feeling more excited than nervous. We just feel that we have the right horse and he's doing well. We're all staying positive."

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's assistant Jimmy Barnes also liked what he saw and maintains a relaxed and positive attitude.

"We're back to our normal training routine and he looked good again," Barnes said. "We feel no nerves; we're just doing our job. We get more anxious the closer to the race, but there's a difference between anxious and nervous."

Bob Baffert is scheduled to fly into Louisville Saturday night from his Southern California base to oversee his string of 12 horses stabled at Churchill the following morning. Baffert confirmed via text Saturday morning that American Pharoah would gallop Sunday and breeze at Churchill Downs on Monday.

In other Belmont news, Keen Ice (Curlin), seventh in the Kentucky Derby, galloped two miles with exercise rider Faustino Aguilar up for trainer Dale Romans.

"We're going into the race with no physical excuses," Romans said. "If he's good enough then he'll win. He's fit and he's ready to go the distance."

Keen Ice will likely breeze a half-mile on Tuesday morning before leaving for Belmont.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

American Pharoah turns in routine gallop at Churchill

American Pharoah galloped 12 furlongs on a sunny Louisville morning (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

With only one week until the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1), Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) stepped up his training on Saturday morning with a 1 1/2-mile gallop on the Churchill Downs main track at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

"It was another good day," said Jorge Alvarez, American Pharoah's regular exercise rider. "He was a little more aggressive this morning and wanted to do more, but I just kept doing my thing. I'm feeling more excited than nervous. We just feel that we have the right horse and he's doing well. We're all staying positive."

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's assistant Jimmy Barnes also liked what he saw and maintains a relaxed and positive attitude.

"We're back to our normal training routine and he looked good again," Barnes said. "We feel no nerves; we're just doing our job. We get more anxious the closer to the race, but there's a difference between anxious and nervous."

Bob Baffert is scheduled to fly into Louisville Saturday night from his Southern California base to oversee his string of 12 horses stabled at Churchill the following morning. Baffert confirmed via text Saturday morning that American Pharoah would gallop Sunday and breeze at Churchill Downs on Monday.

In other Belmont news, Keen Ice (Curlin), seventh in the Kentucky Derby, galloped two miles with exercise rider Faustino Aguilar up for trainer Dale Romans.

"We're going into the race with no physical excuses," Romans said. "If he's good enough then he'll win. He's fit and he's ready to go the distance."

Keen Ice will likely breeze a half-mile on Tuesday morning before leaving for Belmont.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Racing Headlines

Fourteen confirmed for Oaks at Epsom

Legatissimo (Danehill Dancer) headlines 14 six-day confirmations for the Oaks (Eng-G1) at Epsom Downs on June 5. The David Wachman-trained filly is the 3-1 favorite with Coral to follow up her victory in the mile One Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) at Newmarket on May 3.

There are seven Irish-trained acceptors for the classic, worth £450,000, and Aidan O'Brien's contingent is headed by close Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-G1) runner-up Found (Galileo) and last season's Fillies' Mile winner (Eng-G1) Together Forever (Galileo). O'Brien has also confirmed impressive Cheshire Oaks scorer Diamondsandrubies (Fastnet Rock), Lingfield Oaks Trial third Wedding Vow (Galileo) and Qualify (Fastnet Rock) as he bids for a fifth Oaks victory.

Jessica Harrington is planning to run Jack Naylor (Champs Elysses), who put up an eye-catching performance when fourth on her comeback in the Irish One Thousand Guineas on May 24.

Newmarket trainer John Gosden landed the spoils with Taghrooda 12 months ago and looks to have good chances again, courtesy of progressive trial winners Jazzi Top (Danehill Dancer) and Star of Seville (Duke of Marmalade).

Jazzi Top captured the Pretty Polly S. in early May at Newmarket, the race which has produced the last two Oaks winners, while Star Of Seville got the better of Together Forever in the Musidora S. (Eng-G3) at York on May 13.

Crystal Zvezda (Dubawi) laid down her marker for classic glory when taking a Listed event impressively by 3 1/2 lengths earlier this month at Newbury, while Lady of Dubai (Dubawi) captured the Height of Fashion S. in similar fashion at Goodwood on May 21.

Ralph Beckett sent out Look Here (2008) and Talent (2014) to win the Oaks and is set to be represented by Bellajeu (Montjeu) this time around. She was beaten a head in a Newbury maiden on her first outing for Beckett in October after being trained by Olly Stevens for her first two starts. She finished second on her reappearance in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield on May 9.

"Bellajeu has been training well since Lingfield and I am happy with her condition and how she is looking," Beckett said. "I wouldn't say we are tilting at windmills but she is still a maiden and we are coming off only a placed effort in the Lingfield trial. Having said that, I think she is still coming forward and it's worth a shot."

There is one remaining entry from France, Al Naamah (Galileo), who was sold for a record five million guineas as a yearling. Owned by Al Shaqab Racing, she's a full-sister to 2012 Oaks scorer Was and went down narrowly on her seasonal reappearance when the short-neck runner-up in the Prix Cleopatre (Fr-G3) at Saint-Cloud on May 13.

Like Jazzi Top and Star of Seville, Al Naamah worked at Epsom Downs during the "Breakfast With The Stars" on Tuesday morning, gaining experience around the undulating course for herself and jockey Gregory Benoist, who was also having his first experience of the Surrey track.

The confirmations are completed by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Local Time (Invincible Time), who has already enjoyed a pair of classic wins for Godolphin on dirt in Dubai this year -- the UAE One Thousand Guineas and UAE Oaks (UAE-G3).

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Fourteen confirmed for Oaks at Epsom

Legatissimo (Danehill Dancer) headlines 14 six-day confirmations for the Oaks (Eng-G1) at Epsom Downs on June 5. The David Wachman-trained filly is the 3-1 favorite with Coral to follow up her victory in the mile One Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) at Newmarket on May 3.

There are seven Irish-trained acceptors for the classic, worth £450,000, and Aidan O'Brien's contingent is headed by close Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-G1) runner-up Found (Galileo) and last season's Fillies' Mile winner (Eng-G1) Together Forever (Galileo). O'Brien has also confirmed impressive Cheshire Oaks scorer Diamondsandrubies (Fastnet Rock), Lingfield Oaks Trial third Wedding Vow (Galileo) and Qualify (Fastnet Rock) as he bids for a fifth Oaks victory.

Jessica Harrington is planning to run Jack Naylor (Champs Elysses), who put up an eye-catching performance when fourth on her comeback in the Irish One Thousand Guineas on May 24.

Newmarket trainer John Gosden landed the spoils with Taghrooda 12 months ago and looks to have good chances again, courtesy of progressive trial winners Jazzi Top (Danehill Dancer) and Star of Seville (Duke of Marmalade).

Jazzi Top captured the Pretty Polly S. in early May at Newmarket, the race which has produced the last two Oaks winners, while Star Of Seville got the better of Together Forever in the Musidora S. (Eng-G3) at York on May 13.

Crystal Zvezda (Dubawi) laid down her marker for classic glory when taking a Listed event impressively by 3 1/2 lengths earlier this month at Newbury, while Lady of Dubai (Dubawi) captured the Height of Fashion S. in similar fashion at Goodwood on May 21.

Ralph Beckett sent out Look Here (2008) and Talent (2014) to win the Oaks and is set to be represented by Bellajeu (Montjeu) this time around. She was beaten a head in a Newbury maiden on her first outing for Beckett in October after being trained by Olly Stevens for her first two starts. She finished second on her reappearance in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield on May 9.

"Bellajeu has been training well since Lingfield and I am happy with her condition and how she is looking," Beckett said. "I wouldn't say we are tilting at windmills but she is still a maiden and we are coming off only a placed effort in the Lingfield trial. Having said that, I think she is still coming forward and it's worth a shot."

There is one remaining entry from France, Al Naamah (Galileo), who was sold for a record five million guineas as a yearling. Owned by Al Shaqab Racing, she's a full-sister to 2012 Oaks scorer Was and went down narrowly on her seasonal reappearance when the short-neck runner-up in the Prix Cleopatre (Fr-G3) at Saint-Cloud on May 13.

Like Jazzi Top and Star of Seville, Al Naamah worked at Epsom Downs during the "Breakfast With The Stars" on Tuesday morning, gaining experience around the undulating course for herself and jockey Gregory Benoist, who was also having his first experience of the Surrey track.

The confirmations are completed by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Local Time (Invincible Time), who has already enjoyed a pair of classic wins for Godolphin on dirt in Dubai this year -- the UAE One Thousand Guineas and UAE Oaks (UAE-G3).

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Triple Crown News & Notes

American Pharoah gate schools, Keen Ice jogs two miles at Churchill

American Pharoah galloped under the Twin Spires on Friday (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1) winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), preparing for a sweep of the Triple Crown in the 147th running of the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1) on June 6, had a schooling session in the Churchill Downs starting gate and resumed galloping around the one-mile oval on Friday morning.

To watch YouTube video of American Pharoah's May 29 gallop please click here.

Zayat Stables' Kentucky homebred went to the fast main track under regular exercise rider Jorge Alvarez at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) during Churchill Downs' special 15-minute training session exclusive to Belmont Stakes contenders after the renovation break. American Pharoah spent a brief period standing in the auxiliary starting gate at the top of the stretch and then galloped 1 1/8 miles, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's assistant Jimmy Barnes.

"Everything was great this morning -- no problem," Alvarez said. "He looked real professional. This is good what they're doing by closing the track for us and letting us train. That makes my job a lot easier."

Barnes said that American Pharoah would likely gallop 1 1/4 miles on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

"You see everything that you expect to see," Barnes said. "Nothing alarming; everything is super positive. This is absolutely normal going into any race the way that we're doing. We have really nothing to deal with other than keeping him happy. Everything is going smooth."

Baffert is scheduled to return to Louisville, California, from his Southern California base on Saturday night, and American Pharoah could breeze Sunday or Monday with the former the more likely of the two, according to Barnes.

Also at Churchill on Friday, Donegal Racing's multiple Grade 2-placed Keen Ice (Curlin) jogged two miles at 8:30 a.m. with regular exercise rider Faustino Aguilar in the irons for trainer Dale Romans.

The possible 10-horse Belmont Stakes lineup (with jockey and trainer) currently stands at American Pharoah (Victor Espinoza, Baffert); Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway) (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Frammento (Midshipman) (Mike Smith, Nick Zito); Frosted (Tapit) (Joel Rosario, Kiaran McLaughlin); Keen Ice (Kent Desormeaux, Romans); Madefromlucky (Lookin at Lucky) (TBA, Pletcher); Materiality (Afleet Alex) (TBA, Pletcher); Mubtaahij (Dubawi) (Irad Ortiz Jr., Mike de Kock); Tale of Verve (Tale of Ekati) (Gary Stevens, Dallas Stewart); and The Truth or Else (Yes It's True) (Edgar Prado, Kenny McPeek).

In other Belmont Stakes news:

The Truth or Else is seeking his first stakes win in the "Test of the Champion" (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Trainer Kenny McPeek and jockey Edgar Prado are no strangers to spoiling Triple Crown bids. It was 13 years ago that they teamed to ruin trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza's Triple Crown chance with War Emblem when Sarava scored a 70-1 shocker in the 2002 Belmont Stakes.

Harold Lerner's The Truth or Else, who won a first-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park on May 22, entered this year's Belmont fray Thursday and hopes to deliver a crushing blow to American Pharoah. The chestnut colt has a 12-2-1-3, $294,137 career record but, more importantly, boasts two wins and a third in three starts over the massive Belmont oval.

On Friday, McPeek sent a text message with 11 reasons as to why he's running The Truth or Else in the Belmont Stakes:

  • My horse loves the Belmont track. (He has) two starts and two wins over a dry Belmont.
  • (He is out of a) Colonial Affair mare and should get the distance.
  • He is a very sturdy horse. He eats well and is completely sound. He's a throwback type of horse.
  • We've got nothing to lose, they pay down to eighth place.
  • Edgar Prado has been there before and he knows the track and distance.
  • The Truth or Else is bigger and stronger than Sarava and Atigun (third in 2012 Belmont).
  • Confidence builder last race in a good time and excellent speed figure. His last two races set him up for this.
  • Harold and Helen Lerner are from the New York area. This would be special for them.
  • The Truth or Else has been based at Belmont most of his career, we don't have to ship him.
  • Weird things happen in the Belmont. Never duck one horse. American Pharoah could possibly not handle the surface.
  • I'm completely crazy, but I have no fear of failure. We only live once. Let's do this!
  • Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

    American Pharoah gate schools, Keen Ice jogs two miles at Churchill

    American Pharoah galloped under the Twin Spires on Friday (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
    Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1) winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), preparing for a sweep of the Triple Crown in the 147th running of the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1) on June 6, had a schooling session in the Churchill Downs starting gate and resumed galloping around the one-mile oval on Friday morning.

    To watch YouTube video of American Pharoah's May 29 gallop please click here.

    Zayat Stables' Kentucky homebred went to the fast main track under regular exercise rider Jorge Alvarez at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) during Churchill Downs' special 15-minute training session exclusive to Belmont Stakes contenders after the renovation break. American Pharoah spent a brief period standing in the auxiliary starting gate at the top of the stretch and then galloped 1 1/8 miles, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's assistant Jimmy Barnes.

    "Everything was great this morning -- no problem," Alvarez said. "He looked real professional. This is good what they're doing by closing the track for us and letting us train. That makes my job a lot easier."

    Barnes said that American Pharoah would likely gallop 1 1/4 miles on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

    "You see everything that you expect to see," Barnes said. "Nothing alarming; everything is super positive. This is absolutely normal going into any race the way that we're doing. We have really nothing to deal with other than keeping him happy. Everything is going smooth."

    Baffert is scheduled to return to Louisville, California, from his Southern California base on Saturday night, and American Pharoah could breeze Sunday or Monday with the former the more likely of the two, according to Barnes.

    Also at Churchill on Friday, Donegal Racing's multiple Grade 2-placed Keen Ice (Curlin) jogged two miles at 8:30 a.m. with regular exercise rider Faustino Aguilar in the irons for trainer Dale Romans.

    The possible 10-horse Belmont Stakes lineup (with jockey and trainer) currently stands at American Pharoah (Victor Espinoza, Baffert); Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway) (TBA, Todd Pletcher); Frammento (Midshipman) (Mike Smith, Nick Zito); Frosted (Tapit) (Joel Rosario, Kiaran McLaughlin); Keen Ice (Kent Desormeaux, Romans); Madefromlucky (Lookin at Lucky) (TBA, Pletcher); Materiality (Afleet Alex) (TBA, Pletcher); Mubtaahij (Dubawi) (Irad Ortiz Jr., Mike de Kock); Tale of Verve (Tale of Ekati) (Gary Stevens, Dallas Stewart); and The Truth or Else (Yes It's True) (Edgar Prado, Kenny McPeek).

    In other Belmont Stakes news:

    The Truth or Else is seeking his first stakes win in the "Test of the Champion" (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
    Trainer Kenny McPeek and jockey Edgar Prado are no strangers to spoiling Triple Crown bids. It was 13 years ago that they teamed to ruin trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza's Triple Crown chance with War Emblem when Sarava scored a 70-1 shocker in the 2002 Belmont Stakes.

    Harold Lerner's The Truth or Else, who won a first-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park on May 22, entered this year's Belmont fray Thursday and hopes to deliver a crushing blow to American Pharoah. The chestnut colt has a 12-2-1-3, $294,137 career record but, more importantly, boasts two wins and a third in three starts over the massive Belmont oval.

    On Friday, McPeek sent a text message with 11 reasons as to why he's running The Truth or Else in the Belmont Stakes:

  • My horse loves the Belmont track. (He has) two starts and two wins over a dry Belmont.
  • (He is out of a) Colonial Affair mare and should get the distance.
  • He is a very sturdy horse. He eats well and is completely sound. He's a throwback type of horse.
  • We've got nothing to lose, they pay down to eighth place.
  • Edgar Prado has been there before and he knows the track and distance.
  • The Truth or Else is bigger and stronger than Sarava and Atigun (third in 2012 Belmont).
  • Confidence builder last race in a good time and excellent speed figure. His last two races set him up for this.
  • Harold and Helen Lerner are from the New York area. This would be special for them.
  • The Truth or Else has been based at Belmont most of his career, we don't have to ship him.
  • Weird things happen in the Belmont. Never duck one horse. American Pharoah could possibly not handle the surface.
  • I'm completely crazy, but I have no fear of failure. We only live once. Let's do this!
  • Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

    Pletcher works trio of Belmont contenders

    Florida Derby winner Materiality (outside) worked in company with stablemate Stanford (Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography)
    Following the workouts Friday morning from a trio of Todd Pletcher-trained horses for the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1), it appears the two-time Belmont winning trainer will be represented by all three in the final leg of the Triple Crown on June 6.

    "I need to talk to all the connections, but I'm sure everyone is on board with all three of them (running). We intend to run all three at this moment," Pletcher said outside his Belmont Park barn.

    Rider assignments for Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway), Madefromlucky (Lookin at Lucky), and Materiality (Afleet Alex) are still to be determined. Pletcher said John Velazquez and Javier Castellano have both been retained by him for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, but it has yet to be decided whom will ride which horse. Pletcher said he would wait "a day or two" before any further jockey commitments would be made because he wants to evaluate how the horses come out of their works.

    Carpe Diem and Madefromlucky were the first to breeze for Pletcher, shortly after 6 a.m. (EDT).

    With Velazquez aboard Carpe Diem and exercise rider Patti Krotenko on Madefromlucky, the pair worked four furlongs over the main track, which was labeled fast.

    Carpe Diem worked to the outside of his stablemate and finished about a couple lengths in front of Madefromlucky. Carpe Diem's final time was :47.66, and Madefromlucky, who was under urging from Krotenko, completed the distance in :47.84, according to NYRA clockers. Carpe Diem's gallop-out time for five-eighths was 1:00 2/5, while Madefromlucky was clocked in 1:01.

    "I thought both horses worked well enough today to continue considering the Belmont," Pletcher said. "I didn't see anything that would deter me from it. I'll see how they come out of it, and talk with everybody, but we worked with the intention of running in the Belmont, and I thought they both worked well."

    Pletcher remarked that Madefromlucky's work on Friday wasn't as impressive as last Friday's move when he worked in company with Carpe Diem. That day they both worked a bullet :59 for five furlongs, the fastest of 20 works at the distance.

    "I don't think this work was as impressive from (Madefromlucky) as last week," Pletcher said. "I think, like a lot of horses, they will tend to work better when they are on the outside (rather) than the inside."

    After the renovation break on the main track, Materiality, with Velazquez up, worked in company with Stanford (Malibu Moon), who is under consideration for the Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

    Materiality worked to the inside of Stanford. The final time was :47 3/5 for both horses. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:00 1/5.

    "I thought (Materiality) worked very well," Pletcher said. "You know, he's the kind of horse who kind of does what his workmate does. It was a very good, progressive breeze, picking it up as they went along, with a very strong gallop out. (Materiality) came back and he wasn't even blowing. He just took it all very well."

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    Pletcher works trio of Belmont contenders

    Florida Derby winner Materiality (outside) worked in company with stablemate Stanford (Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography)
    Following the workouts Friday morning from a trio of Todd Pletcher-trained horses for the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1), it appears the two-time Belmont winning trainer will be represented by all three in the final leg of the Triple Crown on June 6.

    "I need to talk to all the connections, but I'm sure everyone is on board with all three of them (running). We intend to run all three at this moment," Pletcher said outside his Belmont Park barn.

    Rider assignments for Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway), Madefromlucky (Lookin at Lucky), and Materiality (Afleet Alex) are still to be determined. Pletcher said John Velazquez and Javier Castellano have both been retained by him for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, but it has yet to be decided whom will ride which horse. Pletcher said he would wait "a day or two" before any further jockey commitments would be made because he wants to evaluate how the horses come out of their works.

    Carpe Diem and Madefromlucky were the first to breeze for Pletcher, shortly after 6 a.m. (EDT).

    With Velazquez aboard Carpe Diem and exercise rider Patti Krotenko on Madefromlucky, the pair worked four furlongs over the main track, which was labeled fast.

    Carpe Diem worked to the outside of his stablemate and finished about a couple lengths in front of Madefromlucky. Carpe Diem's final time was :47.66, and Madefromlucky, who was under urging from Krotenko, completed the distance in :47.84, according to NYRA clockers. Carpe Diem's gallop-out time for five-eighths was 1:00 2/5, while Madefromlucky was clocked in 1:01.

    "I thought both horses worked well enough today to continue considering the Belmont," Pletcher said. "I didn't see anything that would deter me from it. I'll see how they come out of it, and talk with everybody, but we worked with the intention of running in the Belmont, and I thought they both worked well."

    Pletcher remarked that Madefromlucky's work on Friday wasn't as impressive as last Friday's move when he worked in company with Carpe Diem. That day they both worked a bullet :59 for five furlongs, the fastest of 20 works at the distance.

    "I don't think this work was as impressive from (Madefromlucky) as last week," Pletcher said. "I think, like a lot of horses, they will tend to work better when they are on the outside (rather) than the inside."

    After the renovation break on the main track, Materiality, with Velazquez up, worked in company with Stanford (Malibu Moon), who is under consideration for the Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

    Materiality worked to the inside of Stanford. The final time was :47 3/5 for both horses. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:00 1/5.

    "I thought (Materiality) worked very well," Pletcher said. "You know, he's the kind of horse who kind of does what his workmate does. It was a very good, progressive breeze, picking it up as they went along, with a very strong gallop out. (Materiality) came back and he wasn't even blowing. He just took it all very well."

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    Belmont hopeful Frosted clocks half-mile in company with Tamarkuz

    Frosted (gray) and Tamarkuz ready for their Belmont Stakes Racing Festival starts (NYRA/Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography)
    Godolphin Racing's Grade 1 hero Frosted (Tapit) wrapped up his major preparations for the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1) with a half-mile drill in company with $1.25 million Met Mile (G1) contender Tamarkuz (Speightstown) on Friday morning.

    The Kiaran McLaughlin trainees took to the fast Belmont Park main track shortly after the renovation break, minutes after fellow Belmont Stakes hopeful Materiality Afleet Alex) turned in his final work for Todd Pletcher.

    Frosted, piloted by exercise rider Lorenzo Morales, broke from the half-mile pole a length ahead of his older workmate, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Frosted led throughout the move and hit the wire a half-length in front.

    The pair earned an official time of :47 4/5 while never under asking and galloped out five furlongs together.

    "They went great," McLaughlin remarked after the breeze. "(Frosted) worked so well last week with Tamarkuz we decided to do the same thing today. They went 47 and four and (out in five furlongs) in a minute and three-fifths. It couldn't have gone better. We're all set."

    Godolphin Mile (UAE-G2) winner Tamarkuz is slated to make his North American debut in the Metropolitan H. along with fellow McLaughlin charge Bay of Plenty (Medaglia d'Oro). Bay of Plenty, runner-up while making his stakes bow in the Discovery H. (G3) last fall at Aqueduct, returned with a gate-to-wire, two-length allowance/optional victory last month over the local course in his seasonal debut.

    "He had some time off and he came back and won his last race impressively," McLaughlin said. "It's a tough race but we've got to give him a chance."

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    Belmont hopeful Frosted clocks half-mile in company with Tamarkuz

    Frosted (gray) and Tamarkuz ready for their Belmont Stakes Racing Festival starts (NYRA/Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography)
    Godolphin Racing's Grade 1 hero Frosted (Tapit) wrapped up his major preparations for the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1) with a half-mile drill in company with $1.25 million Met Mile (G1) contender Tamarkuz (Speightstown) on Friday morning.

    The Kiaran McLaughlin trainees took to the fast Belmont Park main track shortly after the renovation break, minutes after fellow Belmont Stakes hopeful Materiality Afleet Alex) turned in his final work for Todd Pletcher.

    Frosted, piloted by exercise rider Lorenzo Morales, broke from the half-mile pole a length ahead of his older workmate, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Frosted led throughout the move and hit the wire a half-length in front.

    The pair earned an official time of :47 4/5 while never under asking and galloped out five furlongs together.

    "They went great," McLaughlin remarked after the breeze. "(Frosted) worked so well last week with Tamarkuz we decided to do the same thing today. They went 47 and four and (out in five furlongs) in a minute and three-fifths. It couldn't have gone better. We're all set."

    Godolphin Mile (UAE-G2) winner Tamarkuz is slated to make his North American debut in the Metropolitan H. along with fellow McLaughlin charge Bay of Plenty (Medaglia d'Oro). Bay of Plenty, runner-up while making his stakes bow in the Discovery H. (G3) last fall at Aqueduct, returned with a gate-to-wire, two-length allowance/optional victory last month over the local course in his seasonal debut.

    "He had some time off and he came back and won his last race impressively," McLaughlin said. "It's a tough race but we've got to give him a chance."

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    Breeding & Sales News

    J P's Gusto colt commands $230,000 at Barretts juvenile sale

    The $230,000 sales topper was a successful pinhook, having brought $72,000 in April (Benoit Photos)
    CHICKEN HAWK (J P's Gusto), a Florida-bred juvenile offered by Wavertree Stables (Ciaran Dunne), agent, was gaveled down to Dennis O'Neill for $230,000 at Barretts' May Two-Year-Old in Training Sale, held Thursday at Del Mar.

    Sporting Hip No. 65, the March 23 colt is out of Iny Belle (Lord Carson), who has also reared the multiple stakes-placed Smoky Belle (Macho Uno). Iny Belle is herself a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Ocala Flame (Fire Dancer), stakes-winning producer Paula's Girl (Phone Trick), and the Grade 3-placed stakes winner Princess Belle (Mr. Greeley).

    Chicken Hawk was a successful pinhook after bringing $72,000 at last month's OBS juvenile sale. He also sold for $35,000 as a yearling last August at Ocala. The March 23 colt worked a quarter-mile in :21 1/5 at the under tack show.

    At the conclusion of trading, 92 juveniles sold for $4,199,000, an increase of 38.5 percent from last year when 70 head brought $3,031,500. The average was up 5.4 percent, from $43,307 to $45,641, while the median remained level at $30,000.

    Also on Thursday, two horses of racing age were sold for a cumulative $17,000, for an average and median of $8,500.

    Full results can be found at barretts.com.

    Racing Headlines

    Treve encounters little difficulty in Prix Corrida

    Treve is gearing up for another bid at the Arc de Triomphe (Frank Sorge/Horsephotos.com)
    Sent off at a generous 7-10 carrying a penalty for her tumultuous second win in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) at Longchamp in October, Treve (Motivator) served notice that a ground-breaking third is still very much on the cards when coasting to a bloodless comeback win in Saint-Cloud's Prix Corrida (Fr-G2) on Friday.

    Anchored with two behind early by Thierry Jarnet, the bay moved into contention without turning a hair in early straight and when eased off the rail passing the quarter pole began her finishing effort with the leader Mayhem (Whipper) in her sights. Given a shake of the reins and a quick slap on the neck, she duly swept that rival aside with a furlong left and after scooting clear in her inimitable style was geared down late to score with her ears pricked by four lengths from last year's Prix de l'Opera (Fr-G1) heroine We Are (Dansili), who edged out Mayhem for second by a short head.

    "As I have said many times before, she had spent a good winter at the farm and looked great when she came back," Criquette Head-Maarek said. "She had trained superbly going into this race, but of course you have to see how they behave at the races and today she proved she has lost nothing of her quality. She still has that great power of acceleration and with new shoes fitted, she is moving really well and I loved her action.

    "It is too early to talk about another Arc and we'll take it race-by-race with her next appointment being the (June 28) Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-G1)."

    Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, the French racing manager for Al Shaqab, added, "It was lovely to see her return like that and she is a true champion. Sheikh Joaan loves challenges and that's why he kept her in training as a five-year-old. It is for the public as well as for him and we are really delighted."

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    Treve encounters little difficulty in Prix Corrida

    Treve is gearing up for another bid at the Arc de Triomphe (Frank Sorge/Horsephotos.com)
    Sent off at a generous 7-10 carrying a penalty for her tumultuous second win in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) at Longchamp in October, Treve (Motivator) served notice that a ground-breaking third is still very much on the cards when coasting to a bloodless comeback win in Saint-Cloud's Prix Corrida (Fr-G2) on Friday.

    Anchored with two behind early by Thierry Jarnet, the bay moved into contention without turning a hair in early straight and when eased off the rail passing the quarter pole began her finishing effort with the leader Mayhem (Whipper) in her sights. Given a shake of the reins and a quick slap on the neck, she duly swept that rival aside with a furlong left and after scooting clear in her inimitable style was geared down late to score with her ears pricked by four lengths from last year's Prix de l'Opera (Fr-G1) heroine We Are (Dansili), who edged out Mayhem for second by a short head.

    "As I have said many times before, she had spent a good winter at the farm and looked great when she came back," Criquette Head-Maarek said. "She had trained superbly going into this race, but of course you have to see how they behave at the races and today she proved she has lost nothing of her quality. She still has that great power of acceleration and with new shoes fitted, she is moving really well and I loved her action.

    "It is too early to talk about another Arc and we'll take it race-by-race with her next appointment being the (June 28) Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-G1)."

    Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, the French racing manager for Al Shaqab, added, "It was lovely to see her return like that and she is a true champion. Sheikh Joaan loves challenges and that's why he kept her in training as a five-year-old. It is for the public as well as for him and we are really delighted."

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    Brueggemann: 'We're all hoping for another big year'

    Florent Geroux celebrates after Work All Week's BC Sprint triumph (Breeders' Cup Ltd.)
    Trainer Roger Brueggemann looks to have a big day on Saturday with two of his Illinois-bred superstars both making their 2015 debut. He sends out reigning champion sprinter Work All Week (City Zip) in the $100,000 Aristides S. (G3) and The Pizza Man (English Channel) in the $65,000 Opening Verse overnight stakes.

    Both horses are owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds and coming off breaks of over six months. Work All Week has not run since his triumph in the November 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita Park and The Pizza Man has not been seen in competition since a third-place effort in the November 27 Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar.

    Nevertheless, Brueggemann is not much concerned with their amount of time off.

    "The layoff should not be a problem for either of them," he stated. "I think (Work All Week) is coming into the race well and he should be OK, but they have both been training well."

    Brueggemann said that their layoffs was not intentional as harsh weather this winter at Oaklawn Park set back training for both horses.

    "We wanted to get them out earlier but it just didn't work out," the horseman explained. "This was probably the soonest we could get them out."

    The Brueggemann-trained duo had stellar campaigns last year. Work All Week won five of his six starts, which ended with a Breeders' Cup Sprint victory. The Pizza Man won his first three starts last year, which included his first graded victory in the Stars and Stripes S. (G3) at Arlington on July 12, before finishing fourth and fifth in a pair of Canadian Grade 1s prior to his Del Mar finale.

    "We're all hoping for another big year," Brueggemann admitted. "You just never know what might happen, but I hope so."

    Jockey Florent Geroux has the mount on both horses entered for Saturday.

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    Brueggemann: 'We're all hoping for another big year'

    Florent Geroux celebrates after Work All Week's BC Sprint triumph (Breeders' Cup Ltd.)
    Trainer Roger Brueggemann looks to have a big day on Saturday with two of his Illinois-bred superstars both making their 2015 debut. He sends out reigning champion sprinter Work All Week (City Zip) in the $100,000 Aristides S. (G3) and The Pizza Man (English Channel) in the $65,000 Opening Verse overnight stakes.

    Both horses are owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds and coming off breaks of over six months. Work All Week has not run since his triumph in the November 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita Park and The Pizza Man has not been seen in competition since a third-place effort in the November 27 Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar.

    Nevertheless, Brueggemann is not much concerned with their amount of time off.

    "The layoff should not be a problem for either of them," he stated. "I think (Work All Week) is coming into the race well and he should be OK, but they have both been training well."

    Brueggemann said that their layoffs was not intentional as harsh weather this winter at Oaklawn Park set back training for both horses.

    "We wanted to get them out earlier but it just didn't work out," the horseman explained. "This was probably the soonest we could get them out."

    The Brueggemann-trained duo had stellar campaigns last year. Work All Week won five of his six starts, which ended with a Breeders' Cup Sprint victory. The Pizza Man won his first three starts last year, which included his first graded victory in the Stars and Stripes S. (G3) at Arlington on July 12, before finishing fourth and fifth in a pair of Canadian Grade 1s prior to his Del Mar finale.

    "We're all hoping for another big year," Brueggemann admitted. "You just never know what might happen, but I hope so."

    Jockey Florent Geroux has the mount on both horses entered for Saturday.

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    Promise Me Silver fires bullet five furlongs for Acorn

    Promise Me Silver will put her perfect mark on the line in the Acorn (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
    Robert Luttrell's unbeaten Promise Me Silver (Silver City) -- 1 1/4-length winner of the Eight Belles S. (G3) on May 1, Kentucky Oaks Day, -- breezed a bullet five furlongs in :59 2/5 with Brian Hernandez Jr. in the irons for trainer Bret Calhoun on Friday over the fast main track at Churchill Downs.

    Assistant trainer Dennis "Peaches" Geier oversaw the work while Calhoun was in Texas visiting family and said he was happy with the filly's work.

    "She looked very good," Geier remarked. "Everything was perfect, she galloped out good."

    Promise Me Silver rattled off fractions of :12, :23 4/5 and :35 3/5 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 1/5.

    "She went great," Hernandez added. "She did everything Bret (Calhoun) wanted her to do. Everything went smooth."

    The Texas-bred filly, who is eight-for-eight thus far having racked up $434,915 in career earnings, remains on target for the $750,000 Acorn S. (G1) on the June 6 Belmont Stakes Day program at Belmont Park. The gray miss broke her maiden last May at Lone Star Park and has faced stakes company in every start since while competing at six different tracks.

    Mike Smith will ride Promise Me Silver, who is likely to ship to New York on Wednesday, in the Acorn. Her Eight Belles jockey, Robby Albarado, will pilot Kentucky Oaks (G1) runner-up Shook Up (Tapit).

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    Promise Me Silver fires bullet five furlongs for Acorn

    Promise Me Silver will put her perfect mark on the line in the Acorn (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
    Robert Luttrell's unbeaten Promise Me Silver (Silver City) -- 1 1/4-length winner of the Eight Belles S. (G3) on May 1, Kentucky Oaks Day, -- breezed a bullet five furlongs in :59 2/5 with Brian Hernandez Jr. in the irons for trainer Bret Calhoun on Friday over the fast main track at Churchill Downs.

    Assistant trainer Dennis "Peaches" Geier oversaw the work while Calhoun was in Texas visiting family and said he was happy with the filly's work.

    "She looked very good," Geier remarked. "Everything was perfect, she galloped out good."

    Promise Me Silver rattled off fractions of :12, :23 4/5 and :35 3/5 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 1/5.

    "She went great," Hernandez added. "She did everything Bret (Calhoun) wanted her to do. Everything went smooth."

    The Texas-bred filly, who is eight-for-eight thus far having racked up $434,915 in career earnings, remains on target for the $750,000 Acorn S. (G1) on the June 6 Belmont Stakes Day program at Belmont Park. The gray miss broke her maiden last May at Lone Star Park and has faced stakes company in every start since while competing at six different tracks.

    Mike Smith will ride Promise Me Silver, who is likely to ship to New York on Wednesday, in the Acorn. Her Eight Belles jockey, Robby Albarado, will pilot Kentucky Oaks (G1) runner-up Shook Up (Tapit).

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    Royal Ascot-bound Brazen Beau, Wandjina work at Flemington

    Two Australian sprinters have pleased their trainers in advance of a trip to Royal Ascot next month.

    The Chris Waller trained Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible) worked four furlongs at Flemington Friday morning under Craig Williams. Waller was delighted with what he saw of the dual Group 1-winning sprinter who has the option of running in the Kings Stand S. (Eng-G1) or the Diamond Jubilee S. (Eng-G1).

    Waller commented, "That was exactly what we wanted to see a few weeks away from a very big race on the other side of the world. We're unlikely to make a decision on which race he contests until acceptance time.

    "Brazen Beau needs a good track so it's very important that he runs on a good surface so I guess the weather will determine which way we head. If the weather forecast suggested that it was going to be a really fine week then I'd be leaning towards the Diamond Jubilee over the 1200 meters, but he's ready to run in either race."

    Brazen Beau was accompanied in his gallop by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina (Snitzel), who is bound for the Diamond Jubilee S. Damien Oliver guided the Australian Guineas (Aus-G1) winner through his paces and Waterhouse believes the colt's proven stamina will be a key asset when he faces the European sprinters.

    "Wandjina's a horse that's won the Australian Guineas over 1600 meters, that is also very effective over 1400 meters which is important", Waterhouse told www.racing.com. "Even though the distance is 1200 (meters) it's not like what we have in Australia, it's quite grueling and it needs a horse that can finish off and he certainly can. We wouldn't be going unless we were confident and Ollie will be the right man for the job, he's a great thinking jockey and he's riding on the Tuesday before, which I'm very pleased about."

    In other Royal Ascot news:

    A total of 24 horses -- including some with Royal Ascot entries -- will be offered during the horses-in-training portion of the Goffs London Sale in association with QIPCO, held at The Orangery at Kensington Palace June 15. This brings the total lots on offer up to 44, as there are also 20 two-year-olds during the breeze-up section that was announced last week.

    Anchoring the horses-in-training selections is Group 3 winner Majestic Queen (Kheleyf) (Lot No. 37), consigned by Conyngham Lodge Stables. The five-year-old was most recently an eye-catching third at the Curragh in the Greenlands S. (Ire-G2) May 23.

    Fellow Group 3 winner Master Apprentice (Mastercraftsman) (Lot 38), trained by Andrew Balding, will also attract deserved attention, as he took the Classic Trial S. (Eng-G3) at Sandown last time April 24.

    One of the horses with Royal Ascot aspirations, Lot 41, the Group 3 scorer Sir Maximilian (Royal Applause) is being pointed to the King's Stand. The next lot of note amongst these choice entries is the French Group 2 winner Smoking Sun (Smart Strike) (Lot 42), who earned a placing at the highest level when second in the 2014 Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-G1) during his travels.

    Other horses with Royal Ascot goals include the Norfolk S. (Eng-G2)-pointed colts Zebstar (Zebedee) (Lot 23), a winner at Newmarket and Lot 27, Ard San Aer (Acclamation), who landed a maiden at Leopardstown May 10.

    Entrants among the fairer sex include Vallance Road (Kheleyf) (Lot 44) and Pink Angel (Dark Angel) (Lot 39).

    Henry Beeby, Chief Executive of Goffs commented, "Our second Goffs London Sale in association with QIPCO takes up where we left off last year, with a quality catalog full of Royal Ascot potential. This is a sale that offers buyers something quite unique as they can literally go from sales ring to Royal Ascot within 24 hours."

    Once again though an agreement with the BHA, Weatherbys and Goffs, horses who sell during the Goffs London Sale may run in the name and silks of the new connections, as long as they are registered with the BHA or another racing jurisdiction.

    To view the catalogue or for more information, go to www.goffs.com.

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    Royal Ascot-bound Brazen Beau, Wandjina work at Flemington

    Two Australian sprinters have pleased their trainers in advance of a trip to Royal Ascot next month.

    The Chris Waller trained Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible) worked four furlongs at Flemington Friday morning under Craig Williams. Waller was delighted with what he saw of the dual Group 1-winning sprinter who has the option of running in the Kings Stand S. (Eng-G1) or the Diamond Jubilee S. (Eng-G1).

    Waller commented, "That was exactly what we wanted to see a few weeks away from a very big race on the other side of the world. We're unlikely to make a decision on which race he contests until acceptance time.

    "Brazen Beau needs a good track so it's very important that he runs on a good surface so I guess the weather will determine which way we head. If the weather forecast suggested that it was going to be a really fine week then I'd be leaning towards the Diamond Jubilee over the 1200 meters, but he's ready to run in either race."

    Brazen Beau was accompanied in his gallop by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina (Snitzel), who is bound for the Diamond Jubilee S. Damien Oliver guided the Australian Guineas (Aus-G1) winner through his paces and Waterhouse believes the colt's proven stamina will be a key asset when he faces the European sprinters.

    "Wandjina's a horse that's won the Australian Guineas over 1600 meters, that is also very effective over 1400 meters which is important", Waterhouse told www.racing.com. "Even though the distance is 1200 (meters) it's not like what we have in Australia, it's quite grueling and it needs a horse that can finish off and he certainly can. We wouldn't be going unless we were confident and Ollie will be the right man for the job, he's a great thinking jockey and he's riding on the Tuesday before, which I'm very pleased about."

    In other Royal Ascot news:

    A total of 24 horses -- including some with Royal Ascot entries -- will be offered during the horses-in-training portion of the Goffs London Sale in association with QIPCO, held at The Orangery at Kensington Palace June 15. This brings the total lots on offer up to 44, as there are also 20 two-year-olds during the breeze-up section that was announced last week.

    Anchoring the horses-in-training selections is Group 3 winner Majestic Queen (Kheleyf) (Lot No. 37), consigned by Conyngham Lodge Stables. The five-year-old was most recently an eye-catching third at the Curragh in the Greenlands S. (Ire-G2) May 23.

    Fellow Group 3 winner Master Apprentice (Mastercraftsman) (Lot 38), trained by Andrew Balding, will also attract deserved attention, as he took the Classic Trial S. (Eng-G3) at Sandown last time April 24.

    One of the horses with Royal Ascot aspirations, Lot 41, the Group 3 scorer Sir Maximilian (Royal Applause) is being pointed to the King's Stand. The next lot of note amongst these choice entries is the French Group 2 winner Smoking Sun (Smart Strike) (Lot 42), who earned a placing at the highest level when second in the 2014 Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-G1) during his travels.

    Other horses with Royal Ascot goals include the Norfolk S. (Eng-G2)-pointed colts Zebstar (Zebedee) (Lot 23), a winner at Newmarket and Lot 27, Ard San Aer (Acclamation), who landed a maiden at Leopardstown May 10.

    Entrants among the fairer sex include Vallance Road (Kheleyf) (Lot 44) and Pink Angel (Dark Angel) (Lot 39).

    Henry Beeby, Chief Executive of Goffs commented, "Our second Goffs London Sale in association with QIPCO takes up where we left off last year, with a quality catalog full of Royal Ascot potential. This is a sale that offers buyers something quite unique as they can literally go from sales ring to Royal Ascot within 24 hours."

    Once again though an agreement with the BHA, Weatherbys and Goffs, horses who sell during the Goffs London Sale may run in the name and silks of the new connections, as long as they are registered with the BHA or another racing jurisdiction.

    To view the catalogue or for more information, go to www.goffs.com.

    Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

    New Bay faces another wide draw in French Derby

    So eyecatching when closing into second in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-G1), Khalid Abdullah's New Bay (Dubawi) will have to overcome another wide impost in Sunday's Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-G1) at Chantilly.

    Positioned in 16 for that May 10 Longchamp classic, the homebred still managed to end up just three lengths adrift of stable companion Make Believe (Makfi) and has been handed the unfavorable 13 stall in this contest, which is so often influenced by the draw. As on his last two starts, he will be partnered by the jump-racing sensation Vincent Cheminaud as Andre Fabre puts more big opportunities on the level his way.

    "I think he's going to have a very good chance," said the master of Chantilly, who is after a fourth renewal, in his typically understated way. "He proved himself in the Poulains. He was drawn wide and finished well. He is a horse that should enjoy the extra distance and all is well with him. New Bay enjoys the good ground, which it will be on Sunday."

    Another drawn high is the Aga Khan's Karaktar (High Chaparral) in stall 12, while the fortunes have favored the unbeaten Sumbal (Danehill Dancer) in 5. Qatar Racing's bay comes here on the back of an easy win in a soft renewal of the 10-furlong Prix Greffulhe (Fr-G2) at Saint-Cloud May 5 and conditioner Francis-Henri Graffard admits he is in the dark regarding his true chances.

    "He's in good form, but the problem with this horse is that he doesn't have any form because he has only beaten small fields in each race," he said. "I think he will run well, but I don't know how good he is. We will find out on Sunday. He is improving all the time."

    Other leading protagonists to have fared well from the draw are the impressive April 6 Prix la Force (Fr-G3) winner Silverwave (Silver Frost) in 1 and his next-door neighbor, Joseph Allen's May 8 Prix de Guiche (Fr-G3) scorer War Dispatch (War Front).

    Also at Chantilly Sunday, a five-strong British challenge, headed by Muthmir (Invincible Spirit) will line up for the Prix Du Gros-Chene (Fr-G2).

    Trainer William Haggas had originally intended to run Muthmir in the Achilles S. at Haydock Saturday, but the prospect of fast ground at Haydock has seen Hamdan al Maktoum's five-year-old rerouted to France.

    "Mr. Haggas didn't like the sound of the ground at Haydock, he felt it would be too quick, so he's going to go to France on Sunday," said Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum. "I'm told he's in good form. The race at York should just have taken the sting out of him, he was too keen on the day, and hopefully he'll run a normal race this time."

    Muthmir was beaten only a length into fifth in his last outing in the Duke of York S. (Eng-G2) at York and he will face stiff competition Sunday from fellow U.K. challengers Stepper Point (Kyllachy) and Mirza (Oasis Dream). Stepper Point is appearing in the dash race for the fourth consecutive year.

    Trainer William Muir said, "We like this race. He's been second in it and fourth in it. He's in good shape with himself at home. When he came back from Dubai his coat went a little bit. It's not exactly gleaming, but he's come on a bundle and he's working well. It's a competitive race as you'd expect for a Group 2, but this time we've not got a penalty."

    Mirza is a regular in France for trainer Rae Guest, but he feels being drawn 7 of 11 is not beneficial to the chances of his good money-spinner.

    Guest commented, "I think you need to be drawn near the stands rail, Christophe Soumillon rides him and he's in great form. We're hoping for a good run."

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    New Bay faces another wide draw in French Derby

    So eyecatching when closing into second in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-G1), Khalid Abdullah's New Bay (Dubawi) will have to overcome another wide impost in Sunday's Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-G1) at Chantilly.

    Positioned in 16 for that May 10 Longchamp classic, the homebred still managed to end up just three lengths adrift of stable companion Make Believe (Makfi) and has been handed the unfavorable 13 stall in this contest, which is so often influenced by the draw. As on his last two starts, he will be partnered by the jump-racing sensation Vincent Cheminaud as Andre Fabre puts more big opportunities on the level his way.

    "I think he's going to have a very good chance," said the master of Chantilly, who is after a fourth renewal, in his typically understated way. "He proved himself in the Poulains. He was drawn wide and finished well. He is a horse that should enjoy the extra distance and all is well with him. New Bay enjoys the good ground, which it will be on Sunday."

    Another drawn high is the Aga Khan's Karaktar (High Chaparral) in stall 12, while the fortunes have favored the unbeaten Sumbal (Danehill Dancer) in 5. Qatar Racing's bay comes here on the back of an easy win in a soft renewal of the 10-furlong Prix Greffulhe (Fr-G2) at Saint-Cloud May 5 and conditioner Francis-Henri Graffard admits he is in the dark regarding his true chances.

    "He's in good form, but the problem with this horse is that he doesn't have any form because he has only beaten small fields in each race," he said. "I think he will run well, but I don't know how good he is. We will find out on Sunday. He is improving all the time."

    Other leading protagonists to have fared well from the draw are the impressive April 6 Prix la Force (Fr-G3) winner Silverwave (Silver Frost) in 1 and his next-door neighbor, Joseph Allen's May 8 Prix de Guiche (Fr-G3) scorer War Dispatch (War Front).

    Also at Chantilly Sunday, a five-strong British challenge, headed by Muthmir (Invincible Spirit) will line up for the Prix Du Gros-Chene (Fr-G2).

    Trainer William Haggas had originally intended to run Muthmir in the Achilles S. at Haydock Saturday, but the prospect of fast ground at Haydock has seen Hamdan al Maktoum's five-year-old rerouted to France.

    "Mr. Haggas didn't like the sound of the ground at Haydock, he felt it would be too quick, so he's going to go to France on Sunday," said Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum. "I'm told he's in good form. The race at York should just have taken the sting out of him, he was too keen on the day, and hopefully he'll run a normal race this time."

    Muthmir was beaten only a length into fifth in his last outing in the Duke of York S. (Eng-G2) at York and he will face stiff competition Sunday from fellow U.K. challengers Stepper Point (Kyllachy) and Mirza (Oasis Dream). Stepper Point is appearing in the dash race for the fourth consecutive year.

    Trainer William Muir said, "We like this race. He's been second in it and fourth in it. He's in good shape with himself at home. When he came back from Dubai his coat went a little bit. It's not exactly gleaming, but he's come on a bundle and he's working well. It's a competitive race as you'd expect for a Group 2, but this time we've not got a penalty."

    Mirza is a regular in France for trainer Rae Guest, but he feels being drawn 7 of 11 is not beneficial to the chances of his good money-spinner.

    Guest commented, "I think you need to be drawn near the stands rail, Christophe Soumillon rides him and he's in great form. We're hoping for a good run."

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    Duramente hopes for classic double in Japanese Derby

    The 82nd running of the 2400-meter Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (Jpn-G1) sees a full field of 18 colts go to the post Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan.

    The stakes record of 2:23.3 is held jointly by King Kamehameha -- who landed the 2004 edition -- and Japanese Triple Crown hero Deep Impact, who equaled that time a year later. Both Derby victors have multiple colts looking to pad their future stallion credentials in this second jewel of the 2015 Japanese Triple Crown.

    The King Kamehameha-sired Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) winner Duramente appears to have all the momentum as he aims to add another classic as the morning line even-money crowd's pick Sunday. First or second in all five racetrack appearances to date--including the Saintpaulia Sho at Tokyo February 1 and a runner-up effort to the reopposing Satsuki Sho second-place finisher Real Steel (Deep Impact) in the Tokinominoru Kinen (Jpn-G3) February 15-- the bay has talent to spare.

    However, his biggest hurdle may be himself, with his quirky behavior in his latest run in the Japanese Two Thousand Guineas forcing the stewards to hand pilot Mirco Demuro a short suspension, after he swerved markedly away from the rail in the short Nakayama straight April 19.

    "Going around the last two turns in the Satsuki Sho, he was so far inside that I thought there was no way we could win, especially with the time over the first 1,000 meters," said Atsunori Hashimoto, assistant to trainer Norimuki Hori. "But he showed great acceleration down the stretch and because he was so fast, I was worried about him. We took our time making sure he was OK and there wasn't a thing wrong with him."

    If Duramente should falter, there are several other colts looking to make a name for themselves in the Tokyo feature. The aforementioned Real Steel is back for more, as is the Satsuki Sho third Kitasan Black (Black Tide), who leaves from stall 17. The recent Kyoto Shimbun Hai (Jpn-G2) one-two of Satono Rasen (Deep Impact), and Cyclomen Sho winner Porte d'Auteuil (Deep Impact) will both be making their initial forays at the highest level when stretched out an additional 200 meters Sunday.

    The course and distance May 2 TV Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho (Jpn-G2) hero Reve Mistral (King Kamehameha) could also have a say in the outcome and exits stall 7.

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    Lady Eli aims to stay perfect in Wonder Again

    Lady Eli is prepping for the July 4 Belmont Oaks (Coady Photography)
    Undefeated Grade 1 star Lady Eli (Divine Park) towers over the field in Sunday's $200,000 Wonder Again S. at Belmont Park, the designed prep for the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) on July 4. While her opponents include such promising turf fillies as Miss Chatelaine (Pulpit), Pine Needles (Giant's Causeway), Heath (Pulpit) and Itsonlyactingdad (Giant's Causeway), as well as alumnae from the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail in Puca (Big Brown) and Pangburn (Congrats), they all need to step up their game considerably to trouble the undisputed head of the class.

    Lady Eli's only close scrape came in her debut, when she overcame a world of trouble to get up by a nose. Since then, the Chad Brown filly has dispatched her foes with consummate ease. After rallying to a three-length decision in last September's Miss Grillo (G3) here, Lady Eli dismantled an international cast in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. She picked up right where she left off with another convincing display in the April 12 Appalachian (G3) at Keeneland, and seeks to run up her score to 5-0 on Sunday. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. should carve out another stalk-and-pounce trip from post 7.

    Her rivals hope that Lady Eli's finishing burst won't be quite so potent over 1 1/8 miles. Four are already proven at this distance (or beyond) on turf -- Heath, Pine Needles, Itsonlyactingdad and My Sweet Girl (Bernardini) -- while Puca has experience at this trip on dirt.

    Heath, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and Gulfstream track record-setter Lea (First Samurai), has won two straight for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider homebred booked her ticket to stakes company by storming 3 1/4 lengths clear in a 1 3/16-mile Keeneland turf allowance. The improving chestnut keeps Jose Lezcano aboard.

    Mott also sends out Puca, the runner-up in the April 4 Gazelle (G2) who was a disappointing 12th in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks. As a half-sister to current Grade 1-winning millionaire Finnegans Wake (Powerscourt), however, Puca could enjoy a surface switch. The Donegal Racing runner has tried turf only once, finishing third as a juvenile -- in the same Saratoga maiden won by Lady Eli.

    Trainer Christophe Clement likewise has two chances in Miss Chatelaine and Pine Needles. Miss Chatelaine brings a perfect two-for-two record, but has not raced since capturing the Chelsea Flower here last October. She adds Lasix for this sophomore bow, and her first start beyond a mile.

    Pine Needles is a neck away from being unbeaten herself. Successful in her first two outings at Gulfstream this winter, Pine Needles was a troubled second, beaten a scant neck by Consumer Credit (More Than Ready), in the April 23 Memories of Silver at Aqueduct. Out of Italian classic queen Meridiana (Lomitas), she is a full sister to Grade 1-placed turf performer Center Divider and a half-sister to Chamois (Smart Strike).

    The Todd Pletcher-trained Itsonlyactingdad steps up in class off a Gulfstream maiden score and a game decision in a Keeneland allowance. My Sweet Girl (Bernardini), a close third to Pine Needles at Gulfstream two back, was a fast-finishing third in a 1 3/16-mile turf allowance at Keeneland. The half-sister to Grade 2 heroine Caroline Thomas (Giant's Causeway) out of Grade 1 vixen Bit of Whimsy (Distorted Humor), should have more to offer for Barclay Tagg.

    Pangburn reverts to turf for the first time since her debut victory at Ellis Park last summer. The Ken McPeek trainee subsequently paid her way on the dirt. Second in the Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill, Pangburn went on to have a useful Oaklawn meet, with an allowance score, a third in the March 7 Honeybee (G3) and a fourth in the April 4 Fantasy (G3). She picks up Jose Ortiz for this assignment, but note that she's cross-entered to Saturday's $150,000 Penn Oaks.

    Rounding out the field is the main-track-only Doinwhatshelikes (Include).

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    Duramente hopes for classic double in Japanese Derby

    The 82nd running of the 2400-meter Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (Jpn-G1) sees a full field of 18 colts go to the post Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan.

    The stakes record of 2:23.3 is held jointly by King Kamehameha -- who landed the 2004 edition -- and Japanese Triple Crown hero Deep Impact, who equaled that time a year later. Both Derby victors have multiple colts looking to pad their future stallion credentials in this second jewel of the 2015 Japanese Triple Crown.

    The King Kamehameha-sired Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) winner Duramente appears to have all the momentum as he aims to add another classic as the morning line even-money crowd's pick Sunday. First or second in all five racetrack appearances to date--including the Saintpaulia Sho at Tokyo February 1 and a runner-up effort to the reopposing Satsuki Sho second-place finisher Real Steel (Deep Impact) in the Tokinominoru Kinen (Jpn-G3) February 15-- the bay has talent to spare.

    However, his biggest hurdle may be himself, with his quirky behavior in his latest run in the Japanese Two Thousand Guineas forcing the stewards to hand pilot Mirco Demuro a short suspension, after he swerved markedly away from the rail in the short Nakayama straight April 19.

    "Going around the last two turns in the Satsuki Sho, he was so far inside that I thought there was no way we could win, especially with the time over the first 1,000 meters," said Atsunori Hashimoto, assistant to trainer Norimuki Hori. "But he showed great acceleration down the stretch and because he was so fast, I was worried about him. We took our time making sure he was OK and there wasn't a thing wrong with him."

    If Duramente should falter, there are several other colts looking to make a name for themselves in the Tokyo feature. The aforementioned Real Steel is back for more, as is the Satsuki Sho third Kitasan Black (Black Tide), who leaves from stall 17. The recent Kyoto Shimbun Hai (Jpn-G2) one-two of Satono Rasen (Deep Impact), and Cyclomen Sho winner Porte d'Auteuil (Deep Impact) will both be making their initial forays at the highest level when stretched out an additional 200 meters Sunday.

    The course and distance May 2 TV Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho (Jpn-G2) hero Reve Mistral (King Kamehameha) could also have a say in the outcome and exits stall 7.

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    Work All Week back in the Aristides

    A six-time stakes winner, Work All Week owns an 11-9-2-0 record at six furlongs (Keeneland/Coady Photography)
    Unraced since a half-length tally in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), champion sprinter Work All Week (City Zip) will launch his six-year-old campaign in Saturday's $100,000 Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Roger Brueggemann-trained gelding will face six rivals in the six-furlong test from his outside post and Florent Geroux retains the mount.

    A winner in nine of his last 10 starts, the Illinois-bred Work All Week recorded his first Grade 1 triumph in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, scoring by a half-length as a 19-1 longshot, and netted a 104 BRIS Speed rating. His Speed figures ran as high as 106 last season and the chestnut will be making his first appearance at Churchill Downs in the Aristides, which is named in honor of the first Kentucky Derby winner.

    Alsvid (Officer) looms as a dangerous challenger following his win in the Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Chris Hartman, the six-year-old gelding registered a career-best 106 Speed rating scoring by nearly a length last time and Chris Landeros will be back aboard the early presser. A nine-time winner at the distance, the Kentucky-bred Alsvid will also be making his start under the Twin Spires.

    Grade 2 winner Nates Mineshaft (Mineshaft) enters on the upswing for Anne Smith, posting a runner-up finish against a deep field in the Churchill Downs S. (G2), and the eight-year-old will be piloted by Rafael Mojica Jr. Multiple stakes hero Gentlemen's Bet (Half Ours), third in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint, also merits respect following a fourth in the Churchill Downs. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount for Ron Moquett.

    The Pizza Man, who likes to race on or close to the early lead, recorded three stakes wins last season (Four Footed Fotos)
    Good Lord (Greatness), Googleado (Southern Halo) and Viva Majorca (Tiago) complete the field.

    One race after the Aristides, 10 older horses will contest the $65,000 Opening Verse at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Departing (War Front), unraced since a seventh in the Clark H. (G1) last November, is scheduled to make his turf debut for trainer Al Stall Jr. with regular rider Robby Albarado.

    The five-year-old gelding will meet a nice group of challengers that includes The Pizza Man (English Channel), winner of the American St. Leger and Stars and Stripes (G3) last season. Conditioned by Brueggemann, the Illinois-bred gelding will make his first start since a close third in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) last November. Geroux has the call aboard the six-year-old.

    Grade 2 scorer Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy), last seen finishing fourth in the San Diego (G2) in late July, returns for Kenny McPeek and just missed when making his lone appearance on Churchill's grass course in the 2013 Commonwealth Turf (G3), finishing a half-length second. Multiple stakes victor Hip Four Sixtynine (Southern Image) tries turf again following an encouraging runner-up in the May 1 Texas Mile (G3) and Guys Reward (Grand Reward) is a five-time winner over the local turf, including the 2012 editions of the Firecracker (G2) and Opening Verse.

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    Lady Eli aims to stay perfect in Wonder Again

    Lady Eli is prepping for the July 4 Belmont Oaks (Coady Photography)
    Undefeated Grade 1 star Lady Eli (Divine Park) towers over the field in Sunday's $200,000 Wonder Again S. at Belmont Park, the designed prep for the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) on July 4. While her opponents include such promising turf fillies as Miss Chatelaine (Pulpit), Pine Needles (Giant's Causeway), Heath (Pulpit) and Itsonlyactingdad (Giant's Causeway), as well as alumnae from the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail in Puca (Big Brown) and Pangburn (Congrats), they all need to step up their game considerably to trouble the undisputed head of the class.

    Lady Eli's only close scrape came in her debut, when she overcame a world of trouble to get up by a nose. Since then, the Chad Brown filly has dispatched her foes with consummate ease. After rallying to a three-length decision in last September's Miss Grillo (G3) here, Lady Eli dismantled an international cast in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. She picked up right where she left off with another convincing display in the April 12 Appalachian (G3) at Keeneland, and seeks to run up her score to 5-0 on Sunday. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. should carve out another stalk-and-pounce trip from post 7.

    Her rivals hope that Lady Eli's finishing burst won't be quite so potent over 1 1/8 miles. Four are already proven at this distance (or beyond) on turf -- Heath, Pine Needles, Itsonlyactingdad and My Sweet Girl (Bernardini) -- while Puca has experience at this trip on dirt.

    Heath, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and Gulfstream track record-setter Lea (First Samurai), has won two straight for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider homebred booked her ticket to stakes company by storming 3 1/4 lengths clear in a 1 3/16-mile Keeneland turf allowance. The improving chestnut keeps Jose Lezcano aboard.

    Mott also sends out Puca, the runner-up in the April 4 Gazelle (G2) who was a disappointing 12th in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks. As a half-sister to current Grade 1-winning millionaire Finnegans Wake (Powerscourt), however, Puca could enjoy a surface switch. The Donegal Racing runner has tried turf only once, finishing third as a juvenile -- in the same Saratoga maiden won by Lady Eli.

    Trainer Christophe Clement likewise has two chances in Miss Chatelaine and Pine Needles. Miss Chatelaine brings a perfect two-for-two record, but has not raced since capturing the Chelsea Flower here last October. She adds Lasix for this sophomore bow, and her first start beyond a mile.

    Pine Needles is a neck away from being unbeaten herself. Successful in her first two outings at Gulfstream this winter, Pine Needles was a troubled second, beaten a scant neck by Consumer Credit (More Than Ready), in the April 23 Memories of Silver at Aqueduct. Out of Italian classic queen Meridiana (Lomitas), she is a full sister to Grade 1-placed turf performer Center Divider and a half-sister to Chamois (Smart Strike).

    The Todd Pletcher-trained Itsonlyactingdad steps up in class off a Gulfstream maiden score and a game decision in a Keeneland allowance. My Sweet Girl (Bernardini), a close third to Pine Needles at Gulfstream two back, was a fast-finishing third in a 1 3/16-mile turf allowance at Keeneland. The half-sister to Grade 2 heroine Caroline Thomas (Giant's Causeway) out of Grade 1 vixen Bit of Whimsy (Distorted Humor), should have more to offer for Barclay Tagg.

    Pangburn reverts to turf for the first time since her debut victory at Ellis Park last summer. The Ken McPeek trainee subsequently paid her way on the dirt. Second in the Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill, Pangburn went on to have a useful Oaklawn meet, with an allowance score, a third in the March 7 Honeybee (G3) and a fourth in the April 4 Fantasy (G3). She picks up Jose Ortiz for this assignment, but note that she's cross-entered to Saturday's $150,000 Penn Oaks.

    Rounding out the field is the main-track-only Doinwhatshelikes (Include).

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    Work All Week back in the Aristides

    A six-time stakes winner, Work All Week owns an 11-9-2-0 record at six furlongs (Keeneland/Coady Photography)
    Unraced since a half-length tally in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), champion sprinter Work All Week (City Zip) will launch his six-year-old campaign in Saturday's $100,000 Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Roger Brueggemann-trained gelding will face six rivals in the six-furlong test from his outside post and Florent Geroux retains the mount.

    A winner in nine of his last 10 starts, the Illinois-bred Work All Week recorded his first Grade 1 triumph in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, scoring by a half-length as a 19-1 longshot, and netted a 104 BRIS Speed rating. His Speed figures ran as high as 106 last season and the chestnut will be making his first appearance at Churchill Downs in the Aristides, which is named in honor of the first Kentucky Derby winner.

    Alsvid (Officer) looms as a dangerous challenger following his win in the Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Chris Hartman, the six-year-old gelding registered a career-best 106 Speed rating scoring by nearly a length last time and Chris Landeros will be back aboard the early presser. A nine-time winner at the distance, the Kentucky-bred Alsvid will also be making his start under the Twin Spires.

    Grade 2 winner Nates Mineshaft (Mineshaft) enters on the upswing for Anne Smith, posting a runner-up finish against a deep field in the Churchill Downs S. (G2), and the eight-year-old will be piloted by Rafael Mojica Jr. Multiple stakes hero Gentlemen's Bet (Half Ours), third in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint, also merits respect following a fourth in the Churchill Downs. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount for Ron Moquett.

    The Pizza Man, who likes to race on or close to the early lead, recorded three stakes wins last season (Four Footed Fotos)
    Good Lord (Greatness), Googleado (Southern Halo) and Viva Majorca (Tiago) complete the field.

    One race after the Aristides, 10 older horses will contest the $65,000 Opening Verse at 1 1/16 miles on turf. Multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Departing (War Front), unraced since a seventh in the Clark H. (G1) last November, is scheduled to make his turf debut for trainer Al Stall Jr. with regular rider Robby Albarado.

    The five-year-old gelding will meet a nice group of challengers that includes The Pizza Man (English Channel), winner of the American St. Leger and Stars and Stripes (G3) last season. Conditioned by Brueggemann, the Illinois-bred gelding will make his first start since a close third in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) last November. Geroux has the call aboard the six-year-old.

    Grade 2 scorer Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy), last seen finishing fourth in the San Diego (G2) in late July, returns for Kenny McPeek and just missed when making his lone appearance on Churchill's grass course in the 2013 Commonwealth Turf (G3), finishing a half-length second. Multiple stakes victor Hip Four Sixtynine (Southern Image) tries turf again following an encouraging runner-up in the May 1 Texas Mile (G3) and Guys Reward (Grand Reward) is a five-time winner over the local turf, including the 2012 editions of the Firecracker (G2) and Opening Verse.

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    Eleven to compete in wide-open Penn Mile

    Night Prowler enters the Penn Mile with a pair of Grade 3 wins, including the Transylvania (Keeneland/Coady Photography)
    Saturday's $500,000 Penn Mile (G3) at Penn National, elevated this year to Grade 3 status, figures to be a fascinating handicapping and betting exercise. Eleven three-year-olds have entered the grass test, and a majority are worthy win candidates.

    The most familiar name in the lineup is Ocho Ocho Ocho (Street Sense), who captured the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) in November but faltered as a classic candidate this spring. Third in the Blue Grass (G1) two back, he finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last time. However, the dark bay has never run on turf, although he has the potential to handle it descending from Street Cry and Horse Chestnut.

    "I think he'll like the grass. The distance he'll like. I don't have any doubts. He's pretty keen to go. I don't see any negativity," trainer Jim Cassidy said.

    Also invading from the West Coast is Papacoolpapacool (Temple City), a comfortable winner of the $80,000 Pasadena and $79,000 La Puente at Santa Anita, the latter at odds of 1-2. He is undefeated in three outings since joining the Phil D'Amato barn.

    "He handles his foes pretty easily in his races, and he's just been training lights out," D'Amato said. "It made my decision to ship out there easy to test the waters."

    Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway), the morning line favorite at 3-1, will be looking to add to his graded stakes trophy collection after wins in the Transylvania (G3) and Dania Beach (G3) earlier this season. In between those wins, the Chad Brown trainee was a rough-trip fifth in the Palm Beach (G3).

    Woodwin W (More Than Ready) has started his career with four straight wins, the most recent being a three-quarters of a length score in the $100,000 James W. Murphy at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard two weeks ago. The runner-up, stakes winner Force the Pass (Speightstown), is back to oppose.

    Others who might move forward are Granny's Kitten (Kitten's Joy), who has won both starts including a Churchill Downs allowance May 10; Commanche's Storm (Pollard's Vision), runner-up in the $75,000 English Channel at Gulfstream last time; and High Noon Rider (Distorted Humor), runner-up to Force the Pass in the $60,000 Cutler Bay at Gulfstream prior to a recent allowance win.

    Ben's Cat slipped inside Bold Thunder to take the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico two weeks ago (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)
    Grass stakes winners My Point Exactly (Concord Point) and Tuba (Magna Graduate) have also been entered.

    The venerable Ben's Cat (Parkers's Storm Cat), who earned his 24th career stakes win May 15 when taking the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico, headlines the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup, a five-furlong turf dash.

    This will be Ben's Cat's fourth appearance in the Governor's Cup. The nine-year-old, King Leatherbury charge won in 2011, was fourth in 2012, and third in 2013.

    His main rivals figure to be the pair he just defeated at Old Hilltop -- Jim McKay runner-up Bold Thunder (Bold n' Flashy) and third-placer Amelia's Wild Ride (D'wildcat). Trying turf for a second time is Fabulous Kid (Congrats), a sharp second-level allowance winner over the main track at Parx last time.

    The $200,000 Mountainview H., a nine-furlong, main-track test for older horses, has attracted a number of graded stakes winners. Early favorites on the morning line are Grade 3 scorers Albano (Istan), who won the Maxxam Gold Cup two back and was second in the New Orleans H. (G2) last time, and Golden Lad (Medaglia d'Oro), who captured the Essex H. in February prior to a fourth in the Oaklawn H. (G2).

    Other notables include Dwyer (G3) winner Kid Cruz (Lemon Drop Kid); Indiana Derby (G2) hero East Hall (Graeme Hall); Mineshaft H. (G3) victor Street Babe (Street Sense); and the competitive-looking trio of Farhaan (Jazil), Cousin Stephen (Proud Citizen), and Nowalking (Hard Spun).

    Strict Compliance (Into Mischief), who was entered in Saturday's American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita, will reportedly skip that race in favor of the $150,000 Penn Oaks over a mile on the turf. The Chad Brown pupil missed by a neck in her debut before reeling off back-to-back wins at Gulfstream and Keeneland.

    Quality Rocks (Rock Hard Ten), winner of the Florida Oaks (G3) and runner-up in the Sweetest Chant (G3) and Edgewood (G3) this term, looks like the one to beat. Also among the field of eight are multiple stakes winner Red Sashay (Big Brown) and the Grade/Group 3-placed Prize Exhibit (Showcasing) and Pangburn (Congrats).

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    Eleven to compete in wide-open Penn Mile

    Night Prowler enters the Penn Mile with a pair of Grade 3 wins, including the Transylvania (Keeneland/Coady Photography)
    Saturday's $500,000 Penn Mile (G3) at Penn National, elevated this year to Grade 3 status, figures to be a fascinating handicapping and betting exercise. Eleven three-year-olds have entered the grass test, and a majority are worthy win candidates.

    The most familiar name in the lineup is Ocho Ocho Ocho (Street Sense), who captured the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) in November but faltered as a classic candidate this spring. Third in the Blue Grass (G1) two back, he finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last time. However, the dark bay has never run on turf, although he has the potential to handle it descending from Street Cry and Horse Chestnut.

    "I think he'll like the grass. The distance he'll like. I don't have any doubts. He's pretty keen to go. I don't see any negativity," trainer Jim Cassidy said.

    Also invading from the West Coast is Papacoolpapacool (Temple City), a comfortable winner of the $80,000 Pasadena and $79,000 La Puente at Santa Anita, the latter at odds of 1-2. He is undefeated in three outings since joining the Phil D'Amato barn.

    "He handles his foes pretty easily in his races, and he's just been training lights out," D'Amato said. "It made my decision to ship out there easy to test the waters."

    Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway), the morning line favorite at 3-1, will be looking to add to his graded stakes trophy collection after wins in the Transylvania (G3) and Dania Beach (G3) earlier this season. In between those wins, the Chad Brown trainee was a rough-trip fifth in the Palm Beach (G3).

    Woodwin W (More Than Ready) has started his career with four straight wins, the most recent being a three-quarters of a length score in the $100,000 James W. Murphy at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard two weeks ago. The runner-up, stakes winner Force the Pass (Speightstown), is back to oppose.

    Others who might move forward are Granny's Kitten (Kitten's Joy), who has won both starts including a Churchill Downs allowance May 10; Commanche's Storm (Pollard's Vision), runner-up in the $75,000 English Channel at Gulfstream last time; and High Noon Rider (Distorted Humor), runner-up to Force the Pass in the $60,000 Cutler Bay at Gulfstream prior to a recent allowance win.

    Ben's Cat slipped inside Bold Thunder to take the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico two weeks ago (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)
    Grass stakes winners My Point Exactly (Concord Point) and Tuba (Magna Graduate) have also been entered.

    The venerable Ben's Cat (Parkers's Storm Cat), who earned his 24th career stakes win May 15 when taking the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico, headlines the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup, a five-furlong turf dash.

    This will be Ben's Cat's fourth appearance in the Governor's Cup. The nine-year-old, King Leatherbury charge won in 2011, was fourth in 2012, and third in 2013.

    His main rivals figure to be the pair he just defeated at Old Hilltop -- Jim McKay runner-up Bold Thunder (Bold n' Flashy) and third-placer Amelia's Wild Ride (D'wildcat). Trying turf for a second time is Fabulous Kid (Congrats), a sharp second-level allowance winner over the main track at Parx last time.

    The $200,000 Mountainview H., a nine-furlong, main-track test for older horses, has attracted a number of graded stakes winners. Early favorites on the morning line are Grade 3 scorers Albano (Istan), who won the Maxxam Gold Cup two back and was second in the New Orleans H. (G2) last time, and Golden Lad (Medaglia d'Oro), who captured the Essex H. in February prior to a fourth in the Oaklawn H. (G2).

    Other notables include Dwyer (G3) winner Kid Cruz (Lemon Drop Kid); Indiana Derby (G2) hero East Hall (Graeme Hall); Mineshaft H. (G3) victor Street Babe (Street Sense); and the competitive-looking trio of Farhaan (Jazil), Cousin Stephen (Proud Citizen), and Nowalking (Hard Spun).

    Strict Compliance (Into Mischief), who was entered in Saturday's American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita, will reportedly skip that race in favor of the $150,000 Penn Oaks over a mile on the turf. The Chad Brown pupil missed by a neck in her debut before reeling off back-to-back wins at Gulfstream and Keeneland.

    Quality Rocks (Rock Hard Ten), winner of the Florida Oaks (G3) and runner-up in the Sweetest Chant (G3) and Edgewood (G3) this term, looks like the one to beat. Also among the field of eight are multiple stakes winner Red Sashay (Big Brown) and the Grade/Group 3-placed Prize Exhibit (Showcasing) and Pangburn (Congrats).

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    Brown sends two to California for American Oaks

    American Oaks candidate Consumer Credit has won three of her four stakes appearances (Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)
    Not only does trainer Chad Brown have the nation's leading three-year-old turf filly in Lady Eli (Divine Park), but the young conditioner has his eye set on plundering other divisional races Lady Eli is not targeting. A case in point is Saturday's $400,000 American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita, where Brown will saddle two of the six entrants in the 1 1/4-mile test.

    The most accomplished of the trio is Consumer Credit (More Than Ready), who has already won three of her four stakes appearances. Opening her black type account with a 3 3/4-length score in the $75,000 Wait a While at Gulfstream Park West in November, she next captured the Sweetest Chant (G3) at Gulfstream by a length two months later.

    Second by three-quarters of a length in the March 7 Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, Consumer Credit rebounded to take the $98,000 Memories of Silver at Aqueduct April 23, but only by a neck on yielding ground.

    Brown's will also be represented by Mrs McDougal (Medaglia d'Oro), who is two-for-three after romping by more than seven lengths over good ground at Aqueduct. Brown also entered Strict Compliance (Into Mischief), but will instead run that filly in Saturday's $150,000 Penn Oaks at Penn National.

    The home defense is led by Spanish Queen (Tribal Rule) and Sharla Rae (Afleet Alex), one-two in the May 3 Honeymoon (G2) over nine furlongs. The 1 1/2-length score by Spanish Queen was her second in three starts, the only setback being a neck loss in the Providencia (G3) two back.

    Sharla Rae, 48-1 in the Honeymoon, had previously captured the California Oaks and Pike Place Dancer on Golden Gate Fields' Tapeta, and the Barretts Debutante on the dirt at Los Alamitos.

    Moreno looks to end his Santa Anita losing streak in the Californian (Coady Photography)
    Invading the West Coast for a third time is the Todd Pletcher-trained Feathered (Indian Charlie), exiting a two-length win in the Edgewood (G3) at Churchill Downs in her turf debut. Last fall, she finished fourth by a length in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita and second by a half-length in the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos.

    The field is completed by Dating Lady Luck (Arch), a last-out maiden winner at Keeneland for Al Stall.

    The speedy older male star Moreno (Ghostzapper) seeks to snap his eight-race losing skid at Santa Anita when he takes on eight rivals in the $200,000 Californian (G2) at 1 1/8 miles.

    Hero of last year's Whitney (G1), Moreno has had a positive campaign thus far. Runner-up to Shared Belief (Candy Ride) in the Santa Anita H. (G1) off a four-month layoff, Moreno next finished a close third in the New Orleans H. (G2) and then won the Charles Town Classic (G2) by two lengths after Shared Belief was pulled up midway through the race.

    Moreno has finished second four times in eight starts at Santa Anita, but has never won over the main track. One who has, Catch a Flight (Giant's Causeway), figures to be his most serious rival. The Brazilian import finished third in the Big 'Cap in his third U.S. appearance, and most recently captured the Precisionist (G3) over returning rivals Sammy Mandeville (Rock Hard Ten) and Blue Tone (Birdstone).

    Also lining up for the Californian are Big Cazanova (Giant's Causeway), who captured the Native Diver (G3) at Del Mar two back but was only fifth in the January 10 San Pasqual (G2) in his only outing so far this year, and Louisiana H. winner Hard Aces (Hard Spun), who adds blinkers after a fourth in the Big 'Cap and a sixth in the Oaklawn H. (G2).

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    Heitai tops Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint

    Heitai (Fusaichi Pegasus) was only eighth of 10 in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3), but merits serious consideration when he defends his title Saturday in the $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint.

    The field for the five-furlong dash will be reduced to at least seven with the scratch of early favorite Power Alert (Alert) due to the likelihood of soft turf. The Australian import, who captured the Twin Spires Turf Sprint in course-record time, will instead point for the Jaipur S. (G3) at Belmont Park June 6.

    Prior to his flub at Churchill Downs, Heitai had finished first or second in his previous 11 starts. Heitai is two-for-two over the Evangeline turf, and took the inaugural edition of this sprint by 3 3/4 lengths.

    The established sprinter Gantry (Pulpit) was only fifth in the local prep, the $60,000 Need for Speed on May 2, but it was his first start in nearly five months and figures to be much sharper for this. However, he failed to fire here last year when a dull fifth.

    Also exiting the Need for Speed is the winner, Reflector (Ready's Image), and the Quick Dagger (Northern Afleet) and Ty's Bandit (Time Bandit), who finished in a dead heat for second three-quarters of a length behind Reflector. A threat to improve is Great Minds (Stroll), who has finished first or second in three outings since joining the Al Stall barn.

    Evangeline's richest card of the season also features two other open stakes. A wide-open renewal of the $100,000 Evangeline Mile for older horses on the main track features Argentinean import Mystery Train (Not for Sale), the Mineshaft H. (G3) runner-up looking to rebound off tiring seventh-place performance in the Precisionist (G3) at Santa Anita.

    Stormdriver (Discreet Cat) enters off a freakish performance in the off-the-turf, $60,000 John Henry April 25. Preceding the win with a score over $30,000 claimers, the five-year-old took a  huge step forward to deliver the knockout by 5 3/4 lengths.

    Others of interest are last-out allowance winners Only in America (Tiznow), Ide Be Cool (Ide), and Galveston Harbor (Belgravia), and the stakes-winning Holiday Mischief (Into Mischief), who was overmatched in the Texas Mile (G3) last time.

    The $100,000 Opelousas, a 1 1/16-mile grass stakes for fillies and mares, features the top three finishers from the $60,000 Matron on April 24 -- Tensas Harbor (Private Vow), Hot Tempo (Heatseeker), and Synapse (Fairbanks). However, that prep was rained off the turf and contested on a sloppy track, which might have aided Tensas Harbor more. Hot Tempo won the 2014 Matron on turf, while Synapse was only a half-length away from victory in last year's Opelousas.

    Other likely contenders are Satin Gold (English Channel), a close fourth in the 2014 Opelousas prior to winning a stakes on the Remington turf, and Treaty Oak (War Chant), a two-time allowance winner on grass at Fair Grounds last winter.

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    Brown sends two to California for American Oaks

    American Oaks candidate Consumer Credit has won three of her four stakes appearances (Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)
    Not only does trainer Chad Brown have the nation's leading three-year-old turf filly in Lady Eli (Divine Park), but the young conditioner has his eye set on plundering other divisional races Lady Eli is not targeting. A case in point is Saturday's $400,000 American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita, where Brown will saddle two of the six entrants in the 1 1/4-mile test.

    The most accomplished of the trio is Consumer Credit (More Than Ready), who has already won three of her four stakes appearances. Opening her black type account with a 3 3/4-length score in the $75,000 Wait a While at Gulfstream Park West in November, she next captured the Sweetest Chant (G3) at Gulfstream by a length two months later.

    Second by three-quarters of a length in the March 7 Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, Consumer Credit rebounded to take the $98,000 Memories of Silver at Aqueduct April 23, but only by a neck on yielding ground.

    Brown's will also be represented by Mrs McDougal (Medaglia d'Oro), who is two-for-three after romping by more than seven lengths over good ground at Aqueduct. Brown also entered Strict Compliance (Into Mischief), but will instead run that filly in Saturday's $150,000 Penn Oaks at Penn National.

    The home defense is led by Spanish Queen (Tribal Rule) and Sharla Rae (Afleet Alex), one-two in the May 3 Honeymoon (G2) over nine furlongs. The 1 1/2-length score by Spanish Queen was her second in three starts, the only setback being a neck loss in the Providencia (G3) two back.

    Sharla Rae, 48-1 in the Honeymoon, had previously captured the California Oaks and Pike Place Dancer on Golden Gate Fields' Tapeta, and the Barretts Debutante on the dirt at Los Alamitos.

    Moreno looks to end his Santa Anita losing streak in the Californian (Coady Photography)
    Invading the West Coast for a third time is the Todd Pletcher-trained Feathered (Indian Charlie), exiting a two-length win in the Edgewood (G3) at Churchill Downs in her turf debut. Last fall, she finished fourth by a length in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita and second by a half-length in the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos.

    The field is completed by Dating Lady Luck (Arch), a last-out maiden winner at Keeneland for Al Stall.

    The speedy older male star Moreno (Ghostzapper) seeks to snap his eight-race losing skid at Santa Anita when he takes on eight rivals in the $200,000 Californian (G2) at 1 1/8 miles.

    Hero of last year's Whitney (G1), Moreno has had a positive campaign thus far. Runner-up to Shared Belief (Candy Ride) in the Santa Anita H. (G1) off a four-month layoff, Moreno next finished a close third in the New Orleans H. (G2) and then won the Charles Town Classic (G2) by two lengths after Shared Belief was pulled up midway through the race.

    Moreno has finished second four times in eight starts at Santa Anita, but has never won over the main track. One who has, Catch a Flight (Giant's Causeway), figures to be his most serious rival. The Brazilian import finished third in the Big 'Cap in his third U.S. appearance, and most recently captured the Precisionist (G3) over returning rivals Sammy Mandeville (Rock Hard Ten) and Blue Tone (Birdstone).

    Also lining up for the Californian are Big Cazanova (Giant's Causeway), who captured the Native Diver (G3) at Del Mar two back but was only fifth in the January 10 San Pasqual (G2) in his only outing so far this year, and Louisiana H. winner Hard Aces (Hard Spun), who adds blinkers after a fourth in the Big 'Cap and a sixth in the Oaklawn H. (G2).

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    In brief

    Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus, on Friday announced plans to introduce the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015 to establish uniform standards for drugs and medication in the American Thoroughbred industry. "The racing industry has taken significant steps toward medication reform in the past several years, and this legislation will build on that progress by providing a uniform, national solution that sets the highest standards of independence, fairness and integrity -- ensuring the future health of the sport and protecting thousands of jobs across the country," Tonko said. Medication in the Thoroughbred industry is currently regulated on state-by-state basis. The planned legislation would grant independent authority over rule-making, testing and enforcement oversight regarding drugs and medication to an entity created by the non-profit, non-governmental U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). This legislation will not create an ongoing role for the federal government in horse racing or use taxpayer dollars to fund the program. The funds necessary for the establishment and administration of the horse racing anti-doping program would be paid entirely by the industry, at zero cost to the taxpayer. "A single, national approach to medication and drug testing with strong independent oversight and enforcement is long overdue and will help ensure the industry's long-term viability, including enhancing the care and welfare of horses," Tonko said. "There is much at stake, with the Thoroughbred industry contributing $25 billion to the U.S. economy annually and nearly 400,000 jobs, including many in the Saratoga Springs area that I represent."...

    Making his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher, Grade 2 runner-up Mylute (Midnight Lute) opened his five-year-old season a winner at Belmont Park on Friday, closing from off the pace to capture a one-mile allowance/optional claiming event by 2 1/4 lengths. Jockey John Velazquez was up on the 4-5 favorite, who was making his first appearance since a third in the West Virginia Governor's at Mountaineer in early August, and the gray horse snapped a four-race losing streak when stopping the teletimer in 1:35. Fifth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1), Mylute has placed in six stakes races while earning $738,020 from a 18-4-3-4 record...

    Jacks or Better Farm Inc.'s homebred Brighton Lane (Hear No Evil), a juvenile full brother to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Jackson Bend, broke his maiden in his career debut on Friday in the 4TH race at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Stanley Gold, the bay colt set his sights on clear leader and 4-5 favorite Wild Pussycat (Wildcat Heir) early on in the five-furlong contest before ending up dueling with Graphite Strike (With Distinction) after overtaking the front runner. Brighton Lane inched away from his rival in deep stretch under jockey Jesus Rios to record a three-quarter length victory while stopping the clock in 1:00 1/5 over the fast main track. The Florida-bred is out of Sexy Stockings (Tabasco Cat), who is best known for producing Jackson Bend and is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 hero Fort Loudon (Awesome of Course). Jackson Bend, who was transferred between Gold and trainer Nick Zito depending on what part of the country he was competing in, went 5-1-0 from six starts in his juvenile season after breaking his maiden in his second try. The talented chestnut would go on to win both the Carter H. (G1) and Forego S. (G1), as well as placed in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), while racking up more than $1.8 million in lifetime earnings...

    Startup Nation (Temple City) is set to make his 2015 debut facing seven rivals in the $200,000 Pennine Ridge for three-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf Saturday at Belmont Park. One of three entrants from the barn of Chad Brown, Startup Nation broke his maiden at first asking last summer and went on to win the With Anticipation (G2) at Saratoga. The New York-bred will be making his first start since finishing a troubled 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall at Santa Anita. Brown will also saddle coupled entrymate Takeover Target (Harlan's Holiday), as well as Chief Kitten (Kitten's Joy). Undefeated in his two starts, both of Takeover Target's wins have come over the Belmont turf, most recently in an allowance on May 7. Chief Kitten, whose two career wins have come at a mile on the grass, captured the Pulpity S. at Gulfstream Park West last November. Divisidero (Kitten's Joy) is among those set to challenge the Brown trio. He's coming off of a win in the American Turf (G2) on May 2 at Churchill Downs. Also in the lineup are Palm Beach (G3) winner Eh Cumpari (Elusive Quality), stakes winner and American Turf third World Approval (Northern Afleet), and recent Woodhaven runner-up Made in Detroit (Arch)...

    Something Extra (Indian Charlie) could make his fourth appearance in the Connaught Cup (Can-G2) at Woodbine on Saturday, although he has also been invited to the June 6 Japiur S. (G3) at Belmont park over six furlongs. Something Extra won the Connaught Cup, a seven-furlong turf sprint, in 2012 and 2013, but could not hold off Excaper (Exchange Rate) in last year's renewal after a thrilling stretch run. He has two starts under his belt in 2015, a half-length win in the Shakertown (G3) at Keeneland and a third-place run in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) at Churchill Downs. Excaper arrives at Saturday's test off a series of strong works including a bullet four panel breeze in :46 4/5 over the Woodbine training turf on May 24. He's raced twice this year, both at Gulfstream Park, finishing fifth in the Canadian Turf (G3) and sixth in the Appleton (G3). Multiple Grade 3 winner River Seven (Johannesburg) will be making his first start since winning the Labeeb S. at Woodbine on October 26. Grade 3 veteran Dimension (Medicean) scored his lone win last season in the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash, where he prevailing by a neck over Something Extra.

    Pure Tactics (Pure Prize) mounts a title defense in Sunday's $75,000 Siren Lure S., an about 6 1/2-furlong scramble on Santa Anita's downhill turf. Up at the wire here one year ago, the Doug O'Neill charge later carried his speed for a mile in the October 26 Lure and also added the January 25 Clocker's Corner back at this trip. Pure Tactics was most recently sixth in the April 19 San Simeon (G3), but he rebounded off a similar effort in the same race last year. He faces only four challengers, but all have credentials -- Holy Lute (Midnight Lute) exits a closing second in the San Simeon; County Lineman (Silent Name), third in the 2014 Siren Lure, tuned up with a last-stride optional claiming score; Oliver's Tale (E Dubai) just wired a course-and-distance optional claimer by 3 1/2 lengths; and course specialist Bobby Z Man (Unusual Heat) hails from the Barry Abrams barn...

    Inglis, which is approaching its 150-year anniversary, will relocate its head office and auction facilities from Newmarket in Randwick to Warwick Farm, the sales company announced Friday. The new 26-acre plot was acquired in 2009 from the Australian Turf Club and is adjacent to Warwick Farm Racecourse. The target move date is during the spring of 2018 and the facility will be operational in time for the major yearling sales of 2019. The location was selected after an intense review period that determined that the new placement of Inglis' facilities will benefit from the close proximity to Warwick Farm, the Sydney International Airport and the forthcoming second Sydney Airport at Badgery's Creek, which will also be capable of handling international traffic. The West Connex project, to improve the ring road network around Sydney, was also a factor in the selection process. "Our goal is to create the best Thoroughbred horse sales facility in the world that honors our heritage and services the Australasian Throughbred industry for the next 100 years, full stop," Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said. For more information, go to www.inglis.com.au.

    Heitai tops Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint

    Heitai (Fusaichi Pegasus) was only eighth of 10 in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3), but merits serious consideration when he defends his title Saturday in the $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint.

    The field for the five-furlong dash will be reduced to at least seven with the scratch of early favorite Power Alert (Alert) due to the likelihood of soft turf. The Australian import, who captured the Twin Spires Turf Sprint in course-record time, will instead point for the Jaipur S. (G3) at Belmont Park June 6.

    Prior to his flub at Churchill Downs, Heitai had finished first or second in his previous 11 starts. Heitai is two-for-two over the Evangeline turf, and took the inaugural edition of this sprint by 3 3/4 lengths.

    The established sprinter Gantry (Pulpit) was only fifth in the local prep, the $60,000 Need for Speed on May 2, but it was his first start in nearly five months and figures to be much sharper for this. However, he failed to fire here last year when a dull fifth.

    Also exiting the Need for Speed is the winner, Reflector (Ready's Image), and the Quick Dagger (Northern Afleet) and Ty's Bandit (Time Bandit), who finished in a dead heat for second three-quarters of a length behind Reflector. A threat to improve is Great Minds (Stroll), who has finished first or second in three outings since joining the Al Stall barn.

    Evangeline's richest card of the season also features two other open stakes. A wide-open renewal of the $100,000 Evangeline Mile for older horses on the main track features Argentinean import Mystery Train (Not for Sale), the Mineshaft H. (G3) runner-up looking to rebound off tiring seventh-place performance in the Precisionist (G3) at Santa Anita.

    Stormdriver (Discreet Cat) enters off a freakish performance in the off-the-turf, $60,000 John Henry April 25. Preceding the win with a score over $30,000 claimers, the five-year-old took a  huge step forward to deliver the knockout by 5 3/4 lengths.

    Others of interest are last-out allowance winners Only in America (Tiznow), Ide Be Cool (Ide), and Galveston Harbor (Belgravia), and the stakes-winning Holiday Mischief (Into Mischief), who was overmatched in the Texas Mile (G3) last time.

    The $100,000 Opelousas, a 1 1/16-mile grass stakes for fillies and mares, features the top three finishers from the $60,000 Matron on April 24 -- Tensas Harbor (Private Vow), Hot Tempo (Heatseeker), and Synapse (Fairbanks). However, that prep was rained off the turf and contested on a sloppy track, which might have aided Tensas Harbor more. Hot Tempo won the 2014 Matron on turf, while Synapse was only a half-length away from victory in last year's Opelousas.

    Other likely contenders are Satin Gold (English Channel), a close fourth in the 2014 Opelousas prior to winning a stakes on the Remington turf, and Treaty Oak (War Chant), a two-time allowance winner on grass at Fair Grounds last winter.

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    In brief

    Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus, on Friday announced plans to introduce the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015 to establish uniform standards for drugs and medication in the American Thoroughbred industry. "The racing industry has taken significant steps toward medication reform in the past several years, and this legislation will build on that progress by providing a uniform, national solution that sets the highest standards of independence, fairness and integrity -- ensuring the future health of the sport and protecting thousands of jobs across the country," Tonko said. Medication in the Thoroughbred industry is currently regulated on state-by-state basis. The planned legislation would grant independent authority over rule-making, testing and enforcement oversight regarding drugs and medication to an entity created by the non-profit, non-governmental U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). This legislation will not create an ongoing role for the federal government in horse racing or use taxpayer dollars to fund the program. The funds necessary for the establishment and administration of the horse racing anti-doping program would be paid entirely by the industry, at zero cost to the taxpayer. "A single, national approach to medication and drug testing with strong independent oversight and enforcement is long overdue and will help ensure the industry's long-term viability, including enhancing the care and welfare of horses," Tonko said. "There is much at stake, with the Thoroughbred industry contributing $25 billion to the U.S. economy annually and nearly 400,000 jobs, including many in the Saratoga Springs area that I represent."...

    Making his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher, Grade 2 runner-up Mylute (Midnight Lute) opened his five-year-old season a winner at Belmont Park on Friday, closing from off the pace to capture a one-mile allowance/optional claiming event by 2 1/4 lengths. Jockey John Velazquez was up on the 4-5 favorite, who was making his first appearance since a third in the West Virginia Governor's at Mountaineer in early August, and the gray horse snapped a four-race losing streak when stopping the teletimer in 1:35. Fifth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1), Mylute has placed in six stakes races while earning $738,020 from a 18-4-3-4 record...

    Jacks or Better Farm Inc.'s homebred Brighton Lane (Hear No Evil), a juvenile full brother to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Jackson Bend, broke his maiden in his career debut on Friday in the 4TH race at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Stanley Gold, the bay colt set his sights on clear leader and 4-5 favorite Wild Pussycat (Wildcat Heir) early on in the five-furlong contest before ending up dueling with Graphite Strike (With Distinction) after overtaking the front runner. Brighton Lane inched away from his rival in deep stretch under jockey Jesus Rios to record a three-quarter length victory while stopping the clock in 1:00 1/5 over the fast main track. The Florida-bred is out of Sexy Stockings (Tabasco Cat), who is best known for producing Jackson Bend and is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 hero Fort Loudon (Awesome of Course). Jackson Bend, who was transferred between Gold and trainer Nick Zito depending on what part of the country he was competing in, went 5-1-0 from six starts in his juvenile season after breaking his maiden in his second try. The talented chestnut would go on to win both the Carter H. (G1) and Forego S. (G1), as well as placed in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), while racking up more than $1.8 million in lifetime earnings...

    Startup Nation (Temple City) is set to make his 2015 debut facing seven rivals in the $200,000 Pennine Ridge for three-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf Saturday at Belmont Park. One of three entrants from the barn of Chad Brown, Startup Nation broke his maiden at first asking last summer and went on to win the With Anticipation (G2) at Saratoga. The New York-bred will be making his first start since finishing a troubled 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall at Santa Anita. Brown will also saddle coupled entrymate Takeover Target (Harlan's Holiday), as well as Chief Kitten (Kitten's Joy). Undefeated in his two starts, both of Takeover Target's wins have come over the Belmont turf, most recently in an allowance on May 7. Chief Kitten, whose two career wins have come at a mile on the grass, captured the Pulpity S. at Gulfstream Park West last November. Divisidero (Kitten's Joy) is among those set to challenge the Brown trio. He's coming off of a win in the American Turf (G2) on May 2 at Churchill Downs. Also in the lineup are Palm Beach (G3) winner Eh Cumpari (Elusive Quality), stakes winner and American Turf third World Approval (Northern Afleet), and recent Woodhaven runner-up Made in Detroit (Arch)...

    Something Extra (Indian Charlie) could make his fourth appearance in the Connaught Cup (Can-G2) at Woodbine on Saturday, although he has also been invited to the June 6 Japiur S. (G3) at Belmont park over six furlongs. Something Extra won the Connaught Cup, a seven-furlong turf sprint, in 2012 and 2013, but could not hold off Excaper (Exchange Rate) in last year's renewal after a thrilling stretch run. He has two starts under his belt in 2015, a half-length win in the Shakertown (G3) at Keeneland and a third-place run in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) at Churchill Downs. Excaper arrives at Saturday's test off a series of strong works including a bullet four panel breeze in :46 4/5 over the Woodbine training turf on May 24. He's raced twice this year, both at Gulfstream Park, finishing fifth in the Canadian Turf (G3) and sixth in the Appleton (G3). Multiple Grade 3 winner River Seven (Johannesburg) will be making his first start since winning the Labeeb S. at Woodbine on October 26. Grade 3 veteran Dimension (Medicean) scored his lone win last season in the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash, where he prevailing by a neck over Something Extra.

    Pure Tactics (Pure Prize) mounts a title defense in Sunday's $75,000 Siren Lure S., an about 6 1/2-furlong scramble on Santa Anita's downhill turf. Up at the wire here one year ago, the Doug O'Neill charge later carried his speed for a mile in the October 26 Lure and also added the January 25 Clocker's Corner back at this trip. Pure Tactics was most recently sixth in the April 19 San Simeon (G3), but he rebounded off a similar effort in the same race last year. He faces only four challengers, but all have credentials -- Holy Lute (Midnight Lute) exits a closing second in the San Simeon; County Lineman (Silent Name), third in the 2014 Siren Lure, tuned up with a last-stride optional claiming score; Oliver's Tale (E Dubai) just wired a course-and-distance optional claimer by 3 1/2 lengths; and course specialist Bobby Z Man (Unusual Heat) hails from the Barry Abrams barn...

    Inglis, which is approaching its 150-year anniversary, will relocate its head office and auction facilities from Newmarket in Randwick to Warwick Farm, the sales company announced Friday. The new 26-acre plot was acquired in 2009 from the Australian Turf Club and is adjacent to Warwick Farm Racecourse. The target move date is during the spring of 2018 and the facility will be operational in time for the major yearling sales of 2019. The location was selected after an intense review period that determined that the new placement of Inglis' facilities will benefit from the close proximity to Warwick Farm, the Sydney International Airport and the forthcoming second Sydney Airport at Badgery's Creek, which will also be capable of handling international traffic. The West Connex project, to improve the ring road network around Sydney, was also a factor in the selection process. "Our goal is to create the best Thoroughbred horse sales facility in the world that honors our heritage and services the Australasian Throughbred industry for the next 100 years, full stop," Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said. For more information, go to www.inglis.com.au.

    Features

    HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

    MAY 29, 2015

    by Dick Powell

    I have some theories about the Belmont S. (G1) and the pursuit of the Triple Crown that are out there where the buses don't run.

    We focus on the three races in five weeks angle as the main reason why today's horses cannot get the job done.

    What it ignores is the 25-year gap between CITATION (Bull Lea) in 1948 to SECRETARIAT (Bold Ruler) in 1973 during a period where horses raced much more than they did today. Three races in five weeks didn't seem to be the factor then that it is made out to be today.

    In the 1970s, there were three Triple Crown winners and looking back, that stretch is as unexplainable as to the dearth of winners before or since. The drought was over and after SPECTACULAR BID (Bold Bidder) just missed in 1979, it seemed that there would not be any more big gaps between Triple Crown winners.

    How wrong we were as AFFIRMED (Exclusive Native) in 1978 is the last Triple Crown winner. So what else could it be?

    Let's bring out "Ole Reliable" and blame it on Lasix. Ignoring the 25-year gap from 1948 to 1973, it has to be Lasix and raceday medication that keeps a horse from winning all three races in a short period of time.

    This conveniently ignores how the British Triple Crown, where Lasix and raceday medications are banned, has not been won since 1970 when NIJINSKY II (Northern Dancer) did it. And, Lasix was not available on raceday in New York, the site of the Belmont Stakes, until 1995, so why wasn't it hit between 1978 and 1995?

    I can go through various horses that recently failed to win the Belmont after winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown and come up with various reasons and factors that affected the outcome.

    One factor that I believe was true happened in 2003 and 2004. We think that if there were more time between races, the winning horses would have more time to recover and run better. But what if the Belmont were run two weeks after the Preakness S. (G1) instead of three?

    In 2003, FUNNY CIDE (Distorted Humor) won the Derby and then blew away the field in the Preakness. He came out of the Preakness in great shape and on the weekend before the Belmont, he breezed five furlongs in :59 and change while being hard restrained. It looked like he could not be coming into the Belmont any better but on the day of the race, a week later, he was not the same horse.

    What if the horse that had all that energy two weeks after the Preakness was able to race in the Belmont that day and not a week later? In Funny Cide's case, he still might not have been able to beat EMPIRE MAKER (Unbridled) that day but all that energy he wasted in that final workout would have been put to much better use.

    In 2004, I was convinced that we had the next Triple Crown winner and his name was SMARTY JONES (Elusive Quality). The undefeated winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness, he looked like he had the field at this mercy. In the weeks leading up to the Belmont, his gallops were brilliant and there was no way he could get beat. But, could he?

    The weekend before the Belmont, he worked sensational with a 170-pound exercise rider aboard. But on the big day, the other riders ganged up on Stew Elliott but even then, he looked like a winner on the far turn. A record crowd of 120,319 roared thinking they were going to see racing history but in the deep stretch, Smarty Jones began to run out of gas and BIRDSTONE (Grindstone) went by him. His fatigue was mostly due to the energy that his rider expended early but even so, he was right there with a hundred yards to go. Was it the three races in five weeks or would he have won had the race been held a week before?

    We will never know but I could not help but think at the time that had the Belmont been held the week before, both horses' chances of winning would have been greater. They come out of the Preakness dead fit and the extra week worked against them.

    Can I prove it? No. That is why it is called a theory.

    Which brings us to AMERICAN PHAROAH's (Pioneerof the Nile) workout at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. The workout was officially a half-mile in :48 flat but he never really let up when he hit the wire and covered six furlongs in 1:13 1/5. Considering that he was at least four paths off the rail on both turns and did not have company, he probably shaded 1:12.

    Visually, any concerns about how he came out of the Preakness were dispelled as his stride looked better than ever. My initial reaction was start engraving the Belmont Stakes trophy.

    However, before I anoint him racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, let's see how he does in the days leading up to the Belmont on June 6. This is not Bob Baffert's first rodeo and Victor Espinoza is battle tested, so I am sure they will press all the right buttons. I would rather Baffert do what he did on Tuesday than train him lightly while worrying about his energy level. A solid workout like that should take the edge off him and have him ready on the big day.

    Results

    NORTH AMERICAN NON-GRADED STAKES RESULTS

    AMELIA ISLAND H., GP, $60,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16MT, 5-29.
    3—STREET OF GOLD, m, 5, Street Sense--Harriett Lane, by Giant's Causeway. ($70,000 2012 KEEAPR). O-Elm Racing LLC, B-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC (KY), T-Eric R. Reed, J-Edgar S. Prado, $36,084.
    10—E B Ryder, m, 5, Bluegrass Cat--Back to Earth, by Theatrical (IRE). O-Miller Racing LLC, B-Farnsworth Stables LLC (FL), $11,640.
    6—Weekend Appeal, m, 5, Weekend Cruise--Waiting Appeal, by Successful Appeal. ($20,000 2012 OBSJUN). O-Celeste Stevens, B-John & Celeste Stevens (FL), $5,820.
    Also Ran: Will to Shine, She Drives Me Wild, Devious Maddy, Miss Margaret, Creative License.
    Winning Time: 1:39 4/5 (fm)
    Margins: 3 1/4, 7 1/4, 3/4.
    Odds: 2.80, 1.20, 26.30.

    Features

    INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

    MAY 29, 2015

    Royal Ascot awaits "Magic" show

    by Andrew Hawkins for TDN

    Racing is full of Hollywood-esque stories -- the inconceivable, the implausible, the unrealistic.

    On a global scale, the story of Joao Moreira is right up there with the most astonishing: the jockey they call the "Magic Man," the Brazilian-born wizard who has taken Asia by storm, now looks set to make a true splash on the world stage.

    An unrivaled rags-to-riches tale, Moreira has risen from the slums of Brazil, from a destiny of poverty and crime, to the very top of his game, to become arguably Brazil's most successful non-soccer sportsman since the champion Formula One driver, the late Ayrton Senna.

    And yet, while Moreira made a big splash in Brazil, broke every record in a remarkable stint in Singapore and is now setting Hong Kong alight, he still doesn't receive the plaudits he deserves globally.

    For those who have seen the Magic Man at work, his name is one of a number bandied about as the world's best jockey, deserving of a spot alongside Moore and Soumillon, a rider with that potent combination of balance, poise and tactical awareness that only champions possess.

    His star is slowly rising in Australia, having ridden three Group 1 winners down under, and dual success in Dubai in 2014 brought him further acclaim. He's ridden in England's Shergar Cup and partnered a number of graded stakes placegetters in two short stints in the United States. He estimates he's ridden in about 20 countries.

    But for all that, Moreira remains still somewhat of a mystery to most in traditional racing heartland s-- so much so that a Google search turns up the wrong age for the rider, putting him 12 months younger than his 31 years. The relative obscurity is set to change in the next month as his association with the world's highest ranked turf galloper Able Friend (Shamardal) thrusts him into the spotlight at arguably the biggest turf meeting on the planet, Royal Ascot.

    It is the continuation of a whirlwind journey for the Brazilian, who was once turned down for an apprenticeship and came within a nose of losing his license in the early days of his career. Anyone who meets Moreira for little more than a fleeting moment has the same story to report: the nicest man in racing, humble, gentle, kind -- the antithesis of his warrior persona on-track. It's a modesty brought about by his humble upbringing.

    "I don't think anyone would believe where I come from," Moreira said recently. "I grew up in a small village near Curitiba, and we had very little. It was tough, and we did what we had to do to get by, but I always loved horses."

    At the age of 14, he quit his job, working in a factory, to pursue a career with horses. He worked as a stablehand for no pay and was knocked back from joining the jockey ranks in his home town before being offered the chance to join a jockey academy in Sao Paulo.

    "In my early days of riding in Sao Paulo, while I was still in the academy, I was considered the worst jockey there," he explained. "No one would give me a ride and I had some bad luck. My first two winners were both disqualified. I was told I was not born to ride and that I should be getting another job. I only just kept my license. I was almost on my way back to Curitiba and then my luck turned."

    Moreira was a full-fledged jockey by 2003, and by the time of his departure in 2009, he had racked up over 1000 winners, mainly at Sao Paulo's Cidade Jardim racetrack. He was a two-time Trofeu Mossoro (Brazilian Eclipse Award) winner and it was his early association with champion South American three-year-old Eu Tambem, the winner of the 2006 Gran Premio Nacional (Arg-G1) -- the Argentine Derby -- and later bought by Godolphin, that catapulted Moreira to stardom. And yet, already, the young rider was looking outside Brazil.

    "I knew the world was a big place and I knew I wanted to ride elsewhere," Moreira says. "I had ridden in France, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay, but I had big dreams."

    In March 2009, he left Brazil for Singapore. By year's end, he was seen as a rising star in the Lion City, having finished third in the jockey rankings despite missing almost half the season. It was here that the Moreira myth was borne, where he was nicknamed "Magic" by former commentator Michael Maxworthy, a nickname that quickly developed into the "Magic Man."

    In 2010, he set a new Singaporean record with 116 wins, capturing his first premiership in the process. A year later, he set a new benchmark with 153 wins. And then, in 2012, he blew those two marks out of the water with a whopping 206 victories in a season. He claimed a fourth title in 2013 with 179 wins, despite leaving for his new contract in Hong Kong with just over two months left to go in the season. But as a parting gift to Singapore, he managed to win eight races from eight rides at Kranji in September 2013, a feat just as remarkable as Dettori's Magnificent Seven.

    They may not be too distant, geographically or culturally, but in racing circles, Singapore and Hong Kong are worlds apart. Hong Kong is the ultimate test for a rider. Not only is there a higher concentration of top jockeys at their peak, but the intensity of the racing community is unmatched anywhere else worldwide. There may be only two meetings a week -- and only 83 across the whole season -- but the level of scrutiny is extreme, especially for a jockey.

    The political climate is not unlike a scene out of House of Cards as jockeys fight for rides, with every move watched by the local media and the punters who splurge, on average, US$17 million on every single race. It's a dog-eat-dog environment that has claimed some notable scalps over the years.

    And yet the Brazilian has thrived.

    With last season's champion jockey, Australian Zac Purton, Moreira has brought about the end of an era -- the end of the dominance of South African master Douglas Whyte, who had won 13 straight championships before he was dethroned by Purton last season. And yet, Moreira believes he's only starting to find his best form now, despite riding winners at a seemingly unsustainable strike rate of 23 percent.

    "I struggled to get it right in Hong Kong at first," Moreira admitted. "I was used to riding on left-handed tracks, so when I switched to go right-handed at Sha Tin and Happy Valley, my horses were shifting in and causing interference. I missed 18 meetings (out of 83) because of suspension last season, and I also started late, so I was really happy to finish second to Zac."

    He continued, "This season I've really tried to stay out of trouble and to just focus on riding winners, and now I think I've got it right. And it's still getting better, although it will be hard to beat this season."

    And what a season it has been. Moreira has not only got the Hong Kong jockeys' championship wrapped up with 13 meetings to go in the term, he's already surpassed Whyte's previous record of 113 wins in a season. There is talk that the 150 mark could be under threat, an achievement previously thought impossible in the pressure cooker environment of Hong Kong racing.

    Moreira's biggest moment will come in the Queen Anne S. (Eng-G1) June 16, when he partners the John Moore-trained Able Friend in the opening event at the Royal meeting. It will be the 1300-pound chestnut's biggest test against horses of the ilk of Dubai Turf (UAE-G1) winner Solow (Singspiel), last season's Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) victor Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) and potentially Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) hero Karakontie (Bernstein), but Moreira seems unperturbed by the likely opposition -- in fact, he is relishing the chance to test Able Friend against the world's best milers.

    "He's the best horse I've ridden, he's just outstanding," he opines. "He's the easiest ride, he is just so uncomplicated. He goes to sleep, and then you ask him to quicken and the response is instant. Is he the best horse in the world? I think so, he's just a dream horse to ride -- every jockey wants a horse like him. Hopefully he can take his best to England and the world can see how good he is."

    Perhaps the same can be said for his unassuming rider, with the world finally set to witness how lethal Joao Moreira can be.

    Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

    SPOT PLAYS

    For Saturday

    TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
    Arlington   (3rd) Wildwood Dancer, 9-2
        (8th) Sweep E Prado, 6-1
    Belmont Park   (1st) Galroyale, 3-1
        (5th) Longfor the City, 7-2
    Belterra Park   (7th) Schoolmistress, 7-2
        (8th) Our Bailiwick, 5-1
    Delaware Park   (5th) Oxford Street, 7-2
        (6th) Arangol, 3-1
    Emerald Downs   (4th) In Private, 9-2
        (7th) Epic Electorate, 5-1
    Evangeline Downs   (1st) Black N Gold, 7-2
        (3rd) Ide Be Silly, 6-1
    Finger Lakes   (4th) French Cruller, 5-1
        (6th) Sky Fortune, 3-1
    Golden Gate Fields   (1st) Sister Hubert, 9-2
        (5th) Deputy Copycat, 3-1
    Gulfstream Park   (2nd) Huehuetoca, 4-1
        (5th) Valid Wildfire, 3-1
    Hastings Park   (4th) Roy's Dream, 4-1
        (5th) Makawao, 7-2
    Indiana Grand   (2nd) Heavenly Zing, 9-2
        (5th) Serious Talk, 4-1
    Lone Star Park   (1st) Pa Loli, 3-1
        (8th) Witt's Demon, 3-1
    Louisiana Downs   (3rd) Udoknowjack, 3-1
        (7th) Eddie's Deal, 4-1
    Monmouth Park   (2nd) Tricky Game, 3-1
        (5th) Freestyler, 7-2
    Mountaineer   (2nd) Vickie's Joy, 5-1
        (8th) Turkish Lies, 9-2
    Parx Racing   (2nd) Kensington Kid, 7-2
        (5th) Indian Defence, 3-1
    Penn National   (1st) Prize Exhibit, 7-2
        (6th) Silver and Onions, 3-1
    Pimlico   (8th) I.E. Flash, 6-1
        (9th) Cusabo, 6-1
    Prairie Meadows   (3rd) Crazy Jacito, 3-1
        (6th) Take What You Can, 9-2
    Santa Anita   (4th) Go Jeremiah, 7-2
        (9th) Pay the Fine, 4-1
    Thistledown   (2nd) Big Roques, 7-2
        (5th) Red River Heidi, 7-2
    Woodbine   (2nd) Harveys in Court, 3-1
        (4th) Hutchy, 6-1

    Results

    NORTH AMERICAN ALLOWANCE RESULTS

    BEL, 3RD, AOC, $85,000, 3YO/UP, 1M, 5-29.
    2—MYLUTE, h, 5, Midnight Lute--Stage Stop, by Valid Expectations. ($150,000 '11 FTKJUL). O-GoldMark Farm, LLC and Whisper Hill Farm, B-Mike G Rutherford (KY), T-Todd A. Pletcher, J-John R. Velazquez, $51,000.
    6—Lucky Lotto, g, 7, Pure Prize--Kirsche, by Defrere. O-Danny J Chen, B-Martin Cherry (KY), $17,000.
    3—Mail, h, 5, Medaglia d'Oro--Tap Dance, by Pleasant Tap. ($470,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Warren, Jr, Mr and Mrs William K, B-Edward P Evans (VA), $8,500.
    Winning Time: 1:35 (ft)
     
    BEL, 8TH, ALW, $77,000, 3YO, 1MT, 5-29.
    7—FACE THE MUSIC, c, 3, Stormy Atlantic--Voyage, by Rahy. O-Phipps Stable, B-Phipps Stable (KY), T-Claude R. McGaughey III, J-Joel Rosario, $46,200.
    9—Johnson City Kid, c, 3, Lemon Drop Kid--Shadow of Mine, by Belong to Me. O-Sagamore Farm, B-Sagamore Farm (MD), $15,400.
    8—Canadian Flyer, c, 3, Canadian Frontier--Executricker, by El Prado (IRE). ($42,000 '12 KEENOV; $140,000 '13 KEESEP). O-Shanley, Michael P, Shanley, Lyn and Leveen, Leonard, B-Mr & Mrs Theodore Kuster (KY), $7,700.
    Winning Time: 1:35 1/5 (fm)
     
    BEL, 7TH, AOC, $68,000, 3YO/UP, A6FT, 5-29.
    4—SANCTIFY, c, 4, Pulpit--Averymerrymoment, by Distorted Humor. O-Parting Glass Racing (Thomas J Gallo), B-Mia Gallo & Mary Kopley (NY), T-William I. Mott, J-Manuel Franco, $40,800.
    2—Asset Inflation, g, 5, Greeley's Galaxy--Avie's Jill, by Lord Avie. ($5,000 '11 FTMOCT; $100,000 2012 OBSAPR). O-Three Diamonds Farm, B-Better Days Farm & Pat Costello (NY), $13,600.
    6—Wake Up in Malibu, g, 4, Malibu Moon--Wake Up Kiss, by Cure the Blues. ($100,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Hill, Jim and Susan, B-Edition Farm (NY), $6,800.
    Winning Time: 1:08 (fm)
     
    WO, 8TH, ALW, $65,343, 3YO/UP, 1MT, 5-29.
    3—BEST COUNTRY, g, 4, Best of the Bests (IRE)--Concert Country, by Concerto. O-Roger Laurin, B-Laurin Stable Inc (ON), T-Roger Laurin, J-Steven Ronald Bahen, $45,207.
    6—Dupes, g, 6, Shakespeare--Comfort a Belle, by Red Ransom. O-Al Lupcho, Jr, B-William C Schettine (KY), $9,424.
    4—Flashaway, c, 3, Eskendereya--Call Me Fleet, by Afleet. ($100,000 '13 KEESEP; $500,000 2014 FTFMAR). O-John C Oxley, B-Dell Ridge Farm, LLC (KY), $5,183.
    Winning Time: 1:34 1/5 (fm)
     
    CD, 3RD, ALW, $53,328, 3YO, F, 5FT, 5-29.
    5—SUPER SAKS, f, 3, Sky Mesa--Broadway Debut, by Unbridled's Song. ($80,000 '12 KEENOV; $250,000 '13 FTSAUG). O-Baker, Robert C and Mack, William L, B-Kennelot Stables Ltd (KY), T-D. Wayne Lukas, J-James Graham, $32,400.
    2—Paige, f, 3, Sky Mesa--Perfect Story, by Tale of the Cat. ($125,000 '13 FTKJUL; $75,000 2014 OBSAPR). O-Wells, Jim and Cheyenne Stables, B-John C Oxley (KY), $10,800.
    6—Pretty Perfection, f, 3, Majesticperfection--Suchaprettygirl, by Mazel Trick. ($155,000 '13 KEESEP). O-Stoneway Farm, B-Brereton C Jones (KY), $5,400.
    Winning Time: :56 4/5 (fm)
     
    CD, 8TH, AOC, $51,784, 3YO, 1M, 5-29.
    2—BENT ON BOURBON, c, 3, Arch--Little Luxury, by Seeking the Gold. ($90,000 '13 KEESEP). O-Bourbon Lane Stable, B-Northwest Farms LLC (KY), T-Eddie Kenneally, J-Corey J. Lanerie, $31,200.
    6—Roll Tide Roll, c, 3, Elusive Quality--Lightfoot Lane, by Phone Trick. ($92,000 '12 KEENOV; $250,000 '13 KEESEP). O-West, Gary and Mary, B-Hidden Brook Farm, Jonathan Mills &Darley (KY), $10,400.
    3—Quality Bird, c, 3, Quality Road--Caged Glory, by Honour and Glory. O-Marylou Whitney Stables LLC, B-Marylou Whitney Stables LLC (KY), $5,200.
    Winning Time: 1:36 (ft)
     
    CD, 7TH, AOC, $51,128, 3YO, F, 1M, 5-28.
    8—PLEASANT TALES, f, 3, Tale of Ekati--S' Avall, by Awesome Again. O-Charles E Fipke, B-Charles Fipke (KY), T-Dallas Stewart, J-Jamie Theriot, $31,200.
    1—Hone In, f, 3, Smart Strike--Direct Line, by Tiznow. O-Humphrey, Jr, G Watts and St George Farm Racing LLC, B-G Watts Humphrey Jr & St George Farm Racing, LLC (KY), $10,400.
    7—You Should Be Here, f, 3, Niagara Causeway--Splendid Bloom, by A.P. Indy. ($8,000 '13 TEXAUG; $15,500 2014 TEXAPR). O-Morrison, Bill and Denise, B-La Bahia Stud, Inc (KY), $5,200.
    Winning Time: 1:36 1/5 (ft)
     
    PIM, 8TH, AOC, $46,485, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16M, 5-29.
    *1—FOURSOUTHERNBELLES, m, 6, Stephen Got Even--Toni DeNitto, by Quiet American. ($1,000 '10 FTKOCT). O-Franklin G Smith, Sr, B-Runnymede Farm Inc & Catesby W Clay (KY), T-Hamilton A. Smith, J-Victor R. Carrasco, $25,650.
    5—Miss Moonshine, m, 5, Malibu Moon--Shiny Sheet, by Press Card. ($70,000 '10 KEENOV; $56,000 '11 FTMOCT). O-Country Life Farm, B-Haymarket Farm LLC (KY), $9,450.
    6—Scip's Sonata, m, 5, Scipion--Sonata (GB), by Polish Precedent. O-C J Racing, B-Mr & Mrs E Allen Murray Jr (MD), $6,435.
    Winning Time: 1:47 2/5 (ft)
         ***Scip's Sonata finished first but was disqualified and placed third.
     
    IND, 7TH, AOC, $44,880, 3YO/UP, 5FT, 5-29.
    2—DANCE PROUDLY, g, 5, Quick Action--Lady Newton, by Conscience Clear. O-Riddle, James E and Vicki J, B-Vicki J & James E Riddle (IN), T-James E. Riddle, J-Juan P. Vargas, $28,560.
    9—Runaway Raj, g, 5, Run Away and Hide--Rajadiddle, by Raja's Revenge. ($32,000 '11 FTKOCT). O-Johnson, Marvin A, Gibler, Lou and McCloud, Gene, B-Joe Dodgen (IN), $9,520.
    6—Bottle Rocket, c, 3, Intense Focus--Shoes to Match, by Songandaprayer. ($5,500 '12 KEENOV). O-Racebrook Stables LLC, B-Cerca Trova (KY), $3,400.
    Winning Time: :56 1/5 (fm)
     
    IND, 5TH, AOC, $38,880, 3YO/UP, 6F, 5-29.
    4—MOVING STYLE, g, 6, Meadow Prayer--Stylish Factor, by Native Factor. O-Merril L Spiess, B-Marcia Arnold & James Arnold (MI), T-Tracey J. Wisner, J-Alejandro L. Contreras, $21,600.
    6—Sucess Is Racing, g, 5, Major Success--Lady Benchmark, by Benchmark. O-Watt, Charles and Willowbrook Stables, Ltd (Neiman), B-Everett Hammond (IN), $10,080.
    2—El Grande Rojo, g, 7, Bowman's Band--Theheartofdixie, by Crafty Prospector. ($2,500 '09 KEESEP). O-Nebraska Racing Partners, B-Nicole Zitani & Ramon Rangel (KY), $3,600.
    Winning Time: 1:09 (ft)
     
    WO, 2ND, ALW, $38,517, 3YO, F, 6F, 5-29.
    5—SHE'S EXPLOSIVE, f, 3, Old Forester--Grenade, by Lite the Fuse. O-Norseman Racing Stable, B-Norseman Racing Stables Inc (ON), T-Sid C. Attard, J-Luis Contreras, $22,917.
    6—Juicycrest, f, 3, Trajectory--Juicey, by Notebook. (C$620 '12 ONTDEC). O-Langcrest Farm, B-Paradox Farm, Inc (ON), $7,639.
    2—D Forty Four, f, 3, Rebellion (GB)--Promise Ring, by Broken Vow. (C$26,000 '13 ONTSEP). O-Di Giulio, Jr, Frank and Tiller, Robert P, B-Barry & Helen Irving (ON), $4,201.
    Winning Time: 1:11 1/5 (ft)
     
    IND, 6TH, AOC, $38,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 5 1/2F, 5-29.
    8—COMFORTER, f, 3, Nobiz Like Shobiz--Shepherd's Girl, by Rod and Staff. ($16,000 2014 FTMMAY). O-Romar LLC, B-Jim Plemmons (IN), T-Paul E. Holthus, J-Rodney A. Prescott, $22,800.
    6—Smart Kit, m, 5, Kitalpha--Repeating Star, by Manastash Ridge. O-Royal Ten Racing (Means), B-Royal Ten Racing (IN), $7,600.
    4—Joyella, f, 4, Sharp Humor--Glory High, by Honour and Glory. O-Elliott, Amy and James R, B-James R & Amy Elliott (IN), $3,800.
    Winning Time: 1:04 1/5 (ft)
     
    PRM, 4TH, AOC, $37,848, 3YO/UP, 1 1/16M, 5-28.
    6—EXCESSIVE, g, 4, Zanjero--Be Good Or Be Gone, by Gulch. O-Poindexter Thoroughbreds LLC, B-Allen Poindexter T'Breds (IA), T-Lynn Chleborad, J-Alex Birzer, $22,725.
    4—Lively's Last Ride, g, 6, Winter Glitter--Lively Spirit, by Storm Boot. O-Bogash Racing Stables LLC, B-Gene Bogash (IA), $7,575.
    5—Peggy's Star, g, 4, Star Dabbler--Slew Peggy Slew, by Evansville Slew. O-Donald E Schrage, B-Donald Schrage (IA), $4,545.
    Winning Time: 1:46 3/5 (ft)
     
    IND, 2ND, ALW, $36,000, 3YO/UP, 6F, 5-29.
    8—THURMAN, g, 4, Run Away and Hide--Tee's Pleasure, by Lil E. Tee. ($10,000 '12 INDOCT). O-Elliott, Amy and James R, B-Jonathan W Meredith (IN), T-Barbara I. McBride, J-Malcolm Franklin, $21,600.
    4—Read the Cards, g, 4, Run Away and Hide--Foolish Tee, by Lil E. Tee. ($35,000 '12 FTKOCT). O-Preston Stables LLC, B-Jonathan W Meredith (IN), $7,200.
    1—Weeper Ofthe House, g, 4, Sold to Wallstreet--Flashy I. D., by Caller I. D.. O-Wright, Don R and Wright, Pepper, B-Don Wright (IN), $3,600.
    Winning Time: 1:10 1/5 (ft)
     
    PRM, 8TH, AOC, $32,570, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16M, 5-28.
    4—HARD CIDER, m, 5, Liquor Cabinet (IRE)--Alley's Account, by Alamocitos. O-7 Cedars Farm LLC, B-7 Cedars Farm (OK), T-Clinton C. Stuart, J-Ken S. Tohill, $18,240.
    3—Bylia, f, 4, Bandini--Defuhr, by Langfuhr. O-Sharon R Morgan, B-Terry L Morgan DVM (IL), $6,080.
    7—I Tour, m, 5, Colorful Tour--Close to Glory, by I Enclose. O-Gene Jacquot, B-Lynn Chleborad (IA), $5,118.
    Winning Time: 1:46 1/5 (ft)
     
    EVD, 7TH, ALW, $29,500, 3YO/UP, 1M, 5-28.
    3—BEN'S MAGIC STONE, g, 4, Sorcerer's Stone--Kiss the Lips, by Kissin Kris. O-Richard Tate, B-Richard Tate (LA), T-Thomas W. Sam, J-Joseph Walter Patin, Jr., $17,700.
    7—Shyloh's Friend, g, 4, Scrimshaw--Howdy Do, by Rubiano. O-Wolf Creek Farm, B-Alamae Schultz (LA), $5,900.
    5—Chocopologie, c, 3, Candy Ride (ARG)--Highest Class, by Mineshaft. O-Preston Stables LLC, B-Coteau Grove Farms, LLC (LA), $3,245.
    Winning Time: 1:39 4/5 (ft)
     
    TDN, 7TH, ALW, $28,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 5 1/2F, 5-29.
    5—TILT THE BALANCE, f, 4, Purge--Woodside, by Forestry. ($2,700 '12 FTKOCT). O-Bryan Porter, B-Jayeff B Stables (KY), T-Bryan Porter, J-Dean A. Sarvis, $16,200.
    9—Read It and Weep, f, 4, Read the Footnotes--Bauhaus Bourbon, by Behrens. ($55,000 '12 FTKJUL; $120,000 2013 OBSJUN). O-Tom Schafer, B-Delahanty Stock Farm (NY), $5,400.
    10—Gypsy Be Wild, f, 4, Offlee Wild--My Stray Cat, by Chimes Band. O-Hannah J Tak, B-Eric Heyman (OH), $3,700.
    Winning Time: 1:06 (ft)
     
    CT, 7TH, ALW, $27,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6 1/2F, 5-28.
    2—MOMMY DID IT, f, 4, Luftikus--Farsi Strada, by Awesome Again. O-Kristy Petty, B-Kristy Petty (WV), T-John A. Casey, J-Luis Raul Rivera, $16,080.
    1—Candy Man's Girl, f, 3, Charitable Man--Candy One, by Yankee Victor. O-Taylor Mountain Farm LLC, B-James W Casey (WV), $5,360.
    8—Scattin' Girl, f, 4, Scat Daddy--Miswaki Girl, by Miswaki. O-Michael Furr, B-Michael S Furr & Linda Sours (WV), $2,680.
    Winning Time: 1:19 3/5 (ft)
     
    BTP, 4TH, ALW, $19,500, 3YO/UP, 6F, 5-29.
    5—BLUE BULL, g, 4, Holy Bull--Conjuress, by Indian Charlie. ($80,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Antonio M Otero, B-Langsem Farm, Inc (OH), T-John R. Dyer, J-Geovany Garcia, $12,090.
    2—Rockstar Day, c, 4, Five Star Day--Timely Choice, by Gilded Time. ($5,000 '12 FTKOCT). O-Dotson Stable LLC and Anderson, Susan L, B-William R & Peter J Sheppell (OH), $3,900.
    1—Dave Baby, g, 5, It's No Joke--Chubbs Last Call, by Dixieland Heat. O-Robert C Bennett, B-Mr & Mrs Robert C Bennett III (OH), $1,950.
    Winning Time: 1:12 (ft)

    North American Maiden Winners
    Benny the Bull--Richiesgirlgotgame by Five Star Day; RICHIE THE BULL, c, 2, AP, Msw, 5-29, 4 1/2f, :52 . B-Richard Ravin & Larry Rivelli (IL.).
    Freud--French Link by Orientate; DR. SHANE, c, 2, BEL, Msw, 5-29, 5f, :59 2/5. B-Dutchess Views Farm, Inc. (NY.).
    Hear No Evil--Sexy Stockings by Tabasco Cat; BRIGHTON LANE, c, 2, GP, Msw, 5-29, 5f, 1:00 1/5. B-Jacks or Better Farm Inc. (FL.). *Full to Jackson Bend (MG1 $1,806,750) *1/2 to Grande Shores (G3P $395,241).
    Notional--So Beautiful by Arch; IWANTAPRONOTION, f, 2, PIM, Mcl 40000, 5-29, 4 1/2f, :54 . B-University of Kentucky (KY.). $2,200 '14 FTKOCT.
    A. P. Warrior--Word O' Ransom by Red Ransom; ANSWER THE CALL, g, 3, CT, Mcl 10000, 5-28, 4 1/2f, :52 3/5. B-Mr. & Mrs. Samuel H. Rogers Jr. (FL.). *1/2 to Polonius (G3 $173,231).
    A. P. Warrior--Keep Me Straight by Straight Man; MIGHTY WARRIOR, g, 3, GP, Mcl 10000, 5-29, 5 1/2f, 1:06 4/5. B-Cheryl A. Curtin (FL.).
    Bellamy Road--Officer Angel by Officer; TITANIUM, f, 3, CD, Mcl 30000, 5-29, 1m, 1:36 . B-Paradise Productions, LLC, & Winstar Farm LLC (KY.). $4,200 '12 KEENOV.
    Bluegrass Cat--Burren by Rahy; SAND PIT ROAD, g, 3, EVD, Mcl 15000, 5-28, 1m, 1:41 1/5. B-Circle H Farms & Carrol J. Castille (LA.).
    Candy Ride (ARG)--Westling by Gone West; DECEPTIVE ATTITUDE, f, 3, PEN, Mcl 20000, 5-28, 5 1/2f, 1:05 4/5. B-Pin Oak Stud, LLC (KY.). $40,000 '13 KEESEP.
    Colonel John--In Seconds by Giant's Causeway; CHAMPIONOFJUSTICE, c, 3, IND, Msw, 5-29, 6f, 1:10 4/5. B-D. J. Stable, LLC & WinStar Farm, LLC (KY.). $55,000 '13 KEESEP; $75,000 2014 KEEAPR.
    Cowboy Cal--This Is Dixie by Dixieland Band; PAPER DOLLIE, f, 3, PIM, Mcl 25000, 5-29, 5fT, :57 3/5. B-H. Steve Conboy (KY.). $5,000 '13 FTKOCT.
    Gouldings Green--Angelica Facci by Itaka; GO ON GREEN, f, 3, PEN, Mcl 15000, 5-28, 6f, 1:12 4/5. B-Robert M Bouse & Flint W Stites (PA.).
    Harlan's Holiday--Diva's Seastar by Broken Vow; GNARLY HARLY, g, 3, PRM, Msw, 5-28, 6f, 1:10 1/5. B-Branch Family Trust, Allen & Susan (KY.).
    Ile St. Louis (CHI)--Spunky Star by Five Star Day; CHILEAN QUEEN, f, 3, PRM, Msw, 5-28, 6f, 1:11 2/5. B-James H. Glover (AR.).
    Ish Ar--Count on Lynn by Count the Time; FRENCH COUNTESS, f, 3, LAD, Mcl 12500, 5-29, 5 1/2f, 1:07 3/5. B-P & D Racing Stables (LA.).
    Lampedusa--A Little Respect by In All Respects; LA REINA ISABEL, f, 3, EVD, Mcl 20000, 5-28, 5 1/2f, 1:06 2/5. B-Holly Lamarche (LA.).
    Mass Media--I'm So Blessed by Repent; BLESSED AT MASS, c, 3, CT, Msw, 5-28, 6 1/2f, 1:20 2/5. B-Dr. Myron Wilson (FL.). $2,700 '13 OBSAUG; $7,000 2014 OBSJUN.
    Mass Media--Silversider by Wekiva Springs; NOCTURNAL Q, f, 3, GP, Mcl 16000, 5-29, 6f, 1:13 1/5. B-Louis Quercia (FL.).
    Porto Foricos--Foxy Leggs by Bayou Hebert; DRESS WESTERN, g, 3, LAD, Msw, 5-28, 5f, :58 . B-Jerold Murrell (LA.).
    Rebellion (GB)--Otra Vez by Rahy; BLURRICANE, f, 3, WO, Msw, 5-29, 6f, 1:11 . B-Bernard & Karen McCormack (ON.). C$15,000 '13 ONTSEP. *1/2 to Sugar Bay (MSW $715,193).
    Red Giant--Go Mercedes by Gold Fever; CAUSERIE, f, 3, BTP, Mcl 5000, 5-29, 6f, 1:11 4/5. B-Valerie & David Blethen (KY.).
    Sky Mesa--Pretty Valentine by Macho Uno; STAR OF SKY, c, 3, CD, Mcl 10000, 5-29, 6f, 1:10 3/5. B-John C. Oxley (KY.). $80,000 '13 FTKJUL.
    Speightstown--Hishikatsu Ballado by Saint Ballado; BEANTOWN SAINT, c, 3, PIM, Msw, 5-29, 5fT, :56 3/5. B-Masaichiro Abe (KY.).
    Spring At Last--Sago by Valid Expectations; SPRING LIGHTNING, f, 3, WO, Mcl 32000, 5-29, 5 1/2f, 1:04 1/5. B-James A. & Janeane A. Everatt & J. Arika Everatt - Meeuse (ON.). $62,000 '13 FTKOCT.
    Tale of Ekati--Lady at Peace (MG2$350,590), by Lord at War (ARG); LADY EKATI, f, 3, WO, Msw, 5-29, 6f, 1:11 1/5. B-Charles Fipke (KY.).
    Warrior's Reward--Inside Passage by Tiznow; GOLD TREASURE, c, 3, TDN, Mcl 10000, 5-29, 5 1/2f, 1:06 4/5. B-Eurowest Bloodstock Services (KY.). $100,000 '13 KEESEP.
    Birdstone--Clifton Bay by Gone West; ROCK THAT BIRD, c, 4, GP, Msw, 5-29, 1 1/16mT, 1:42 2/5. B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. (KY.). $150,000 '12 KEESEP.
    Dixie Union--Friendly Michelle (G1$404,544), by Artax; DIXIE VICTORY, f, 4, PIM, Mcl 25000, 5-29, 5fT, :57 4/5. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY.). $110,000 '12 KEESEP.
    Evansville Slew--Kikika by Prince Forli; OWN THE NIGHT, f, 4, CD, Mcl 30000, 5-28, 6f, 1:11 2/5. B-Gedda Quinonez (OK.).
    Hap--Scarlet Crown by Crown Ambassador; HAP E VIXEN, g, 4, IND, Mcl 5000, 5-29, 5 1/2f, 1:06 3/5. B-Polish Rose Stables, Inc. (IN.).
    Major Success--Cat Back by Put It Back; MY NANA ANNA, f, 4, IND, Mcl 10000, 5-29, 6f, 1:12 4/5. B-Martin and the Irish Stables LLC (IN.).
    Mauk Four--Salti by Twining; FAST SALT, g, 4, LAD, Mcl 12500, 5-29, 5 1/2f, 1:06 3/5. B-Jerry D. Cart (LA.).
    My Friend Max--Mystic Journey by Finest Hour; MYSTIC MADELINE, f, 4, LAD, Mcl 5000, 5-29, 5 1/2f, 1:07 2/5. B-Margie K Averett (LA.).
    Roaring Fever--Leary Lass by Lear Fan; TOTTIE ROYER, c, 4, BEL, Mcl 25000, 5-29, 6f, 1:11 3/5. B-Harry Grant (NY.).
    Sound the Alarm--Pardon My French by Finest Hour; FIRST LADY LAURI, f, 4, EVD, Mcl 7500, 5-28, 6f, 1:14 2/5. B-Randy D Benedetto (LA.).
    Street Sense--Lenawee by Albert the Great; THATCHER STREET, g, 4, CD, Msw, 5-29, 1 1/16mT, 1:44 1/5. B-Randy Bloch, et al (KY.).
    Toca Araken--Icanseeclearly by Beau Genius; AIKEN'S DREAM, f, 4, CT, Mcl 5000, 5-28, 1 1/16m, 1:49 2/5. B-Risen Star Farm (SC.).
    Bertrando--Sidestepping by Moscow Ballet; SIR PERSERVERE, g, 5, GG, Mcl 8000, 5-29, 6f, 1:12 2/5. B-Donald Valpredo (CA.).
    Saintly Look--Maxy's Gold by Max's Pal; MAXAINTASAINT, g, 5, BTP, Mcl 7500, 5-29, 1 1/16m, 1:47 2/5. B-Alan & Lisa DeBruhl (IN.).
    Suave--Girlsgonewild by Wild Again; SIR MAURICE, g, 5, BEL, Mcl 40000, 5-29, 1 1/16mT, 1:45 2/5. B-Irish Hill Century Farm (NY.).

    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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    Features

    HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

    MAY 29, 2015

    by Dick Powell

    I have some theories about the Belmont S. (G1) and the pursuit of the Triple Crown that are out there where the buses don't run.

    We focus on the three races in five weeks angle as the main reason why today's horses cannot get the job done.

    What it ignores is the 25-year gap between CITATION (Bull Lea) in 1948 to SECRETARIAT (Bold Ruler) in 1973 during a period where horses raced much more than they did today. Three races in five weeks didn't seem to be the factor then that it is made out to be today.

    In the 1970s, there were three Triple Crown winners and looking back, that stretch is as unexplainable as to the dearth of winners before or since. The drought was over and after SPECTACULAR BID (Bold Bidder) just missed in 1979, it seemed that there would not be any more big gaps between Triple Crown winners.

    How wrong we were as AFFIRMED (Exclusive Native) in 1978 is the last Triple Crown winner. So what else could it be?

    Let's bring out "Ole Reliable" and blame it on Lasix. Ignoring the 25-year gap from 1948 to 1973, it has to be Lasix and raceday medication that keeps a horse from winning all three races in a short period of time.

    This conveniently ignores how the British Triple Crown, where Lasix and raceday medications are banned, has not been won since 1970 when NIJINSKY II (Northern Dancer) did it. And, Lasix was not available on raceday in New York, the site of the Belmont Stakes, until 1995, so why wasn't it hit between 1978 and 1995?

    I can go through various horses that recently failed to win the Belmont after winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown and come up with various reasons and factors that affected the outcome.

    One factor that I believe was true happened in 2003 and 2004. We think that if there were more time between races, the winning horses would have more time to recover and run better. But what if the Belmont were run two weeks after the Preakness S. (G1) instead of three?

    In 2003, FUNNY CIDE (Distorted Humor) won the Derby and then blew away the field in the Preakness. He came out of the Preakness in great shape and on the weekend before the Belmont, he breezed five furlongs in :59 and change while being hard restrained. It looked like he could not be coming into the Belmont any better but on the day of the race, a week later, he was not the same horse.

    What if the horse that had all that energy two weeks after the Preakness was able to race in the Belmont that day and not a week later? In Funny Cide's case, he still might not have been able to beat EMPIRE MAKER (Unbridled) that day but all that energy he wasted in that final workout would have been put to much better use.

    In 2004, I was convinced that we had the next Triple Crown winner and his name was SMARTY JONES (Elusive Quality). The undefeated winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness, he looked like he had the field at this mercy. In the weeks leading up to the Belmont, his gallops were brilliant and there was no way he could get beat. But, could he?

    The weekend before the Belmont, he worked sensational with a 170-pound exercise rider aboard. But on the big day, the other riders ganged up on Stew Elliott but even then, he looked like a winner on the far turn. A record crowd of 120,319 roared thinking they were going to see racing history but in the deep stretch, Smarty Jones began to run out of gas and BIRDSTONE (Grindstone) went by him. His fatigue was mostly due to the energy that his rider expended early but even so, he was right there with a hundred yards to go. Was it the three races in five weeks or would he have won had the race been held a week before?

    We will never know but I could not help but think at the time that had the Belmont been held the week before, both horses' chances of winning would have been greater. They come out of the Preakness dead fit and the extra week worked against them.

    Can I prove it? No. That is why it is called a theory.

    Which brings us to AMERICAN PHAROAH's (Pioneerof the Nile) workout at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. The workout was officially a half-mile in :48 flat but he never really let up when he hit the wire and covered six furlongs in 1:13 1/5. Considering that he was at least four paths off the rail on both turns and did not have company, he probably shaded 1:12.

    Visually, any concerns about how he came out of the Preakness were dispelled as his stride looked better than ever. My initial reaction was start engraving the Belmont Stakes trophy.

    However, before I anoint him racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, let's see how he does in the days leading up to the Belmont on June 6. This is not Bob Baffert's first rodeo and Victor Espinoza is battle tested, so I am sure they will press all the right buttons. I would rather Baffert do what he did on Tuesday than train him lightly while worrying about his energy level. A solid workout like that should take the edge off him and have him ready on the big day.

    INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

    MAY 29, 2015

    Royal Ascot awaits "Magic" show

    by Andrew Hawkins for TDN

    Racing is full of Hollywood-esque stories -- the inconceivable, the implausible, the unrealistic.

    On a global scale, the story of Joao Moreira is right up there with the most astonishing: the jockey they call the "Magic Man," the Brazilian-born wizard who has taken Asia by storm, now looks set to make a true splash on the world stage.

    An unrivaled rags-to-riches tale, Moreira has risen from the slums of Brazil, from a destiny of poverty and crime, to the very top of his game, to become arguably Brazil's most successful non-soccer sportsman since the champion Formula One driver, the late Ayrton Senna.

    And yet, while Moreira made a big splash in Brazil, broke every record in a remarkable stint in Singapore and is now setting Hong Kong alight, he still doesn't receive the plaudits he deserves globally.

    For those who have seen the Magic Man at work, his name is one of a number bandied about as the world's best jockey, deserving of a spot alongside Moore and Soumillon, a rider with that potent combination of balance, poise and tactical awareness that only champions possess.

    His star is slowly rising in Australia, having ridden three Group 1 winners down under, and dual success in Dubai in 2014 brought him further acclaim. He's ridden in England's Shergar Cup and partnered a number of graded stakes placegetters in two short stints in the United States. He estimates he's ridden in about 20 countries.

    But for all that, Moreira remains still somewhat of a mystery to most in traditional racing heartland s-- so much so that a Google search turns up the wrong age for the rider, putting him 12 months younger than his 31 years. The relative obscurity is set to change in the next month as his association with the world's highest ranked turf galloper Able Friend (Shamardal) thrusts him into the spotlight at arguably the biggest turf meeting on the planet, Royal Ascot.

    It is the continuation of a whirlwind journey for the Brazilian, who was once turned down for an apprenticeship and came within a nose of losing his license in the early days of his career. Anyone who meets Moreira for little more than a fleeting moment has the same story to report: the nicest man in racing, humble, gentle, kind -- the antithesis of his warrior persona on-track. It's a modesty brought about by his humble upbringing.

    "I don't think anyone would believe where I come from," Moreira said recently. "I grew up in a small village near Curitiba, and we had very little. It was tough, and we did what we had to do to get by, but I always loved horses."

    At the age of 14, he quit his job, working in a factory, to pursue a career with horses. He worked as a stablehand for no pay and was knocked back from joining the jockey ranks in his home town before being offered the chance to join a jockey academy in Sao Paulo.

    "In my early days of riding in Sao Paulo, while I was still in the academy, I was considered the worst jockey there," he explained. "No one would give me a ride and I had some bad luck. My first two winners were both disqualified. I was told I was not born to ride and that I should be getting another job. I only just kept my license. I was almost on my way back to Curitiba and then my luck turned."

    Moreira was a full-fledged jockey by 2003, and by the time of his departure in 2009, he had racked up over 1000 winners, mainly at Sao Paulo's Cidade Jardim racetrack. He was a two-time Trofeu Mossoro (Brazilian Eclipse Award) winner and it was his early association with champion South American three-year-old Eu Tambem, the winner of the 2006 Gran Premio Nacional (Arg-G1) -- the Argentine Derby -- and later bought by Godolphin, that catapulted Moreira to stardom. And yet, already, the young rider was looking outside Brazil.

    "I knew the world was a big place and I knew I wanted to ride elsewhere," Moreira says. "I had ridden in France, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay, but I had big dreams."

    In March 2009, he left Brazil for Singapore. By year's end, he was seen as a rising star in the Lion City, having finished third in the jockey rankings despite missing almost half the season. It was here that the Moreira myth was borne, where he was nicknamed "Magic" by former commentator Michael Maxworthy, a nickname that quickly developed into the "Magic Man."

    In 2010, he set a new Singaporean record with 116 wins, capturing his first premiership in the process. A year later, he set a new benchmark with 153 wins. And then, in 2012, he blew those two marks out of the water with a whopping 206 victories in a season. He claimed a fourth title in 2013 with 179 wins, despite leaving for his new contract in Hong Kong with just over two months left to go in the season. But as a parting gift to Singapore, he managed to win eight races from eight rides at Kranji in September 2013, a feat just as remarkable as Dettori's Magnificent Seven.

    They may not be too distant, geographically or culturally, but in racing circles, Singapore and Hong Kong are worlds apart. Hong Kong is the ultimate test for a rider. Not only is there a higher concentration of top jockeys at their peak, but the intensity of the racing community is unmatched anywhere else worldwide. There may be only two meetings a week -- and only 83 across the whole season -- but the level of scrutiny is extreme, especially for a jockey.

    The political climate is not unlike a scene out of House of Cards as jockeys fight for rides, with every move watched by the local media and the punters who splurge, on average, US$17 million on every single race. It's a dog-eat-dog environment that has claimed some notable scalps over the years.

    And yet the Brazilian has thrived.

    With last season's champion jockey, Australian Zac Purton, Moreira has brought about the end of an era -- the end of the dominance of South African master Douglas Whyte, who had won 13 straight championships before he was dethroned by Purton last season. And yet, Moreira believes he's only starting to find his best form now, despite riding winners at a seemingly unsustainable strike rate of 23 percent.

    "I struggled to get it right in Hong Kong at first," Moreira admitted. "I was used to riding on left-handed tracks, so when I switched to go right-handed at Sha Tin and Happy Valley, my horses were shifting in and causing interference. I missed 18 meetings (out of 83) because of suspension last season, and I also started late, so I was really happy to finish second to Zac."

    He continued, "This season I've really tried to stay out of trouble and to just focus on riding winners, and now I think I've got it right. And it's still getting better, although it will be hard to beat this season."

    And what a season it has been. Moreira has not only got the Hong Kong jockeys' championship wrapped up with 13 meetings to go in the term, he's already surpassed Whyte's previous record of 113 wins in a season. There is talk that the 150 mark could be under threat, an achievement previously thought impossible in the pressure cooker environment of Hong Kong racing.

    Moreira's biggest moment will come in the Queen Anne S. (Eng-G1) June 16, when he partners the John Moore-trained Able Friend in the opening event at the Royal meeting. It will be the 1300-pound chestnut's biggest test against horses of the ilk of Dubai Turf (UAE-G1) winner Solow (Singspiel), last season's Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) victor Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) and potentially Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) hero Karakontie (Bernstein), but Moreira seems unperturbed by the likely opposition -- in fact, he is relishing the chance to test Able Friend against the world's best milers.

    "He's the best horse I've ridden, he's just outstanding," he opines. "He's the easiest ride, he is just so uncomplicated. He goes to sleep, and then you ask him to quicken and the response is instant. Is he the best horse in the world? I think so, he's just a dream horse to ride -- every jockey wants a horse like him. Hopefully he can take his best to England and the world can see how good he is."

    Perhaps the same can be said for his unassuming rider, with the world finally set to witness how lethal Joao Moreira can be.

    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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