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THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2014

Racing Headlines

Travers still on the table as Wildcat Red targets King's Bishop

Wildcat Red could cut back for the King's Bishop (Kenny Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Grade 2 hero Wildcat Red is being pointed to the Grade 1, $500,000 King's Bishop on August 23, trainer Jose Garoffalo said Thursday morning.

Third in Sunday's Haskell Invitational, the three-year-old son of D'wildcat will leave New Jersey for Saratoga around August 10, the trainer said.

The seven-furlong King's Bishop is one of three supporting graded stakes for the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, run at 1 1/4 miles, on August 23. Garoffalo, who returned to his Gulfstream Park base on Tuesday, said he would also keep an eye on how the Travers develops.

"I'm going to nominate to both races, but I'm leaning toward the King's Bishop," he said. "I want to look and see what horses are going to the race. It looks like it's going to be a very tough group of horses, and the Travers is going to be even tougher. But he's doing good so we are going to head up there and see.

"He's already run seven-eighths this year and he won easy, so I think that'll be a good race for him."

Wildcat Red won the seven-furlong Hutcheson at Gulfstream by 4 3/4 lengths on February 1, then captured the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth three weeks later and was second by a neck in the Florida Derby going 1 1/8 miles on March 30.

"We'll get him up there and work him the week before the race," Garoffalo said. "He's very good. I gave him some days off after the Haskell, and we'll bring him back to the track on Friday or Saturday. He's doing great."

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Travers still on the table as Wildcat Red targets King's Bishop

Wildcat Red could cut back for the King's Bishop (Kenny Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Grade 2 hero Wildcat Red is being pointed to the Grade 1, $500,000 King's Bishop on August 23, trainer Jose Garoffalo said Thursday morning.

Third in Sunday's Haskell Invitational, the three-year-old son of D'wildcat will leave New Jersey for Saratoga around August 10, the trainer said.

The seven-furlong King's Bishop is one of three supporting graded stakes for the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, run at 1 1/4 miles, on August 23. Garoffalo, who returned to his Gulfstream Park base on Tuesday, said he would also keep an eye on how the Travers develops.

"I'm going to nominate to both races, but I'm leaning toward the King's Bishop," he said. "I want to look and see what horses are going to the race. It looks like it's going to be a very tough group of horses, and the Travers is going to be even tougher. But he's doing good so we are going to head up there and see.

"He's already run seven-eighths this year and he won easy, so I think that'll be a good race for him."

Wildcat Red won the seven-furlong Hutcheson at Gulfstream by 4 3/4 lengths on February 1, then captured the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth three weeks later and was second by a neck in the Florida Derby going 1 1/8 miles on March 30.

"We'll get him up there and work him the week before the race," Garoffalo said. "He's very good. I gave him some days off after the Haskell, and we'll bring him back to the track on Friday or Saturday. He's doing great."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Magician under consideration for Arlington Million

Magician has won just once since his victory in the BC Turf (Breeders' Cup Ltd. Photo)
Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier's Magician is now possible to make the trip from his Irish base of Ballydoyle and the yard of trainer Aidan O'Brien for the Grade 1 Arlington Million on August 16. The son of Galileo would be making his first start in America since pulling off a 12-1 upset in the Breeders' Cup Turf last November -- defeating recently retired star mare The Fugue in the process.

Since the Breeders' Cup, Magician has proven victorious in only one of five starts, the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh on May 5, and has two seconds and two off-the-board finishes in his four other attempts, all in Group 1 company.  Included was a runner-up finish in the Tattersalls Gold Cup behind fellow Million possible Noble Mission on May 25, as well as same placing in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, where The Fugue got her revenge. It is worth noting that the Irish-bred four-year-old's aforementioned three best performances this year all came at the Million's 1 1/4-mile distance. 

A lover of firm going, Magician did not appreciate the good going at Ascot Racecourse last time, while finishing a distant sixth in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes behind sophomore filly phenom Taghrooda, while also giving the winner 15 pounds. His performance in November at Santa Anita was on that course's typical firm ground and his marquee victory before November was in the classic Irish Two Thousand Guineas over a mile of good-to-firm going at the Curragh in May 2013.

If Magician joins the field, he will be part of a star-studded event that already likely includes defending champion Real Solution -- whom he soundly defeated at Santa Anita -- as well as Canadian Horse of the Year Up with the Birds, globetrotting Group 1-placed French horse Smoking Sun and last year's Secretariat Stakes winner Admiral Kitten.

Magician's three aforementioned owners have won a combined three prior editions of the Million. In 1997, Tabor's Marlin made all the running in a sharp victory for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. In 2005, Magnier's Powerscourt won the marquee Chicagoland event and she teamed with Tabor, Smith and Mrs. Fitriani Hay to decisively capture the meet centerpiece with Cape Blanco in 2011. Both Powerscourt and Cape Blanco were trained by O'Brien. 

In other International Festival of Racing news, Caroline Forgason's four-time graded stakes winner Somali Lemonade, the 11-1 upsetter of the Diana Stakes last out at Saratoga, is now possible for the Beverly D. on August 16. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid defeated five Grade 1 winners in the July 19 event - her third win of five 2014 starts.

"She's come out of the race well," trainer Michael Matz reported. "It's certainly a big possibility. We're not sure yet, but she is doing well right now. She has been a good horse since the beginning, but is probably in her best form now."

Somali Lemonade has always been highly regarded. As a two-year-old, she was the 4-1 second choice in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2011, which was coincidentally won by the filly she nosed out in the Diana, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Stephanie's Kitten. 

"My sister-in-law owns the horse and would like to go to the Breeders' Cup at the end of the season," Matz said. "Whether the Beverly D. works with those plans or not, I'm not sure, yet.

"You want to run her while she's doing well, but don't want to do too much," he continued. "But, she did come out of the race well and sometimes you wait and the horse gets hurt and you kick yourself for not going. At this point, this will be one of the major options. We'll look at the other aspects like what kind of travel arrangements there are and how she trains the next couple of weeks."

This year, Somali Lemonade has not only doubled her win total to six, but also has done so while showing impressive speed.  After a good second in the Marshua's River at Gulfstream to kick off her season, she wired a good allowance at Keeneland and took the Galorette Handicap as the highweight at Pimlico on Preakness Day. 

"This has been kind of a funny year," Matz explained.  "We haven't really done anything different with her except put the blinkers on.  It made me feel a little stupid for not doing it sooner. It was the first time she showed any kind of speed at all.  Before, she would completely drop out of the race, but now she has done very well now showing more speed."

The bay mare could have a chance to show that pace again versus similar company. Stephanie's Kitten and Chad Brown-trained stablemate Alterite -- who finished off the board in the Diana (her first start since finishing third in the  Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf) -- are also planning to run in the Beverly D.  Alterite will try to become an unprecedented fourth winner of the Midwestern filly and mare turf centerpiece for owner Martin Schwartz, following Angara (2005), Gorella (2006) and Stacelita (2011).

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Magician under consideration for Arlington Million

Magician has won just once since his victory in the BC Turf (Breeders' Cup Ltd. Photo)
Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier's Magician is now possible to make the trip from his Irish base of Ballydoyle and the yard of trainer Aidan O'Brien for the Grade 1 Arlington Million on August 16. The son of Galileo would be making his first start in America since pulling off a 12-1 upset in the Breeders' Cup Turf last November -- defeating recently retired star mare The Fugue in the process.

Since the Breeders' Cup, Magician has proven victorious in only one of five starts, the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh on May 5, and has two seconds and two off-the-board finishes in his four other attempts, all in Group 1 company.  Included was a runner-up finish in the Tattersalls Gold Cup behind fellow Million possible Noble Mission on May 25, as well as same placing in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, where The Fugue got her revenge. It is worth noting that the Irish-bred four-year-old's aforementioned three best performances this year all came at the Million's 1 1/4-mile distance. 

A lover of firm going, Magician did not appreciate the good going at Ascot Racecourse last time, while finishing a distant sixth in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes behind sophomore filly phenom Taghrooda, while also giving the winner 15 pounds. His performance in November at Santa Anita was on that course's typical firm ground and his marquee victory before November was in the classic Irish Two Thousand Guineas over a mile of good-to-firm going at the Curragh in May 2013.

If Magician joins the field, he will be part of a star-studded event that already likely includes defending champion Real Solution -- whom he soundly defeated at Santa Anita -- as well as Canadian Horse of the Year Up with the Birds, globetrotting Group 1-placed French horse Smoking Sun and last year's Secretariat Stakes winner Admiral Kitten.

Magician's three aforementioned owners have won a combined three prior editions of the Million. In 1997, Tabor's Marlin made all the running in a sharp victory for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. In 2005, Magnier's Powerscourt won the marquee Chicagoland event and she teamed with Tabor, Smith and Mrs. Fitriani Hay to decisively capture the meet centerpiece with Cape Blanco in 2011. Both Powerscourt and Cape Blanco were trained by O'Brien. 

In other International Festival of Racing news, Caroline Forgason's four-time graded stakes winner Somali Lemonade, the 11-1 upsetter of the Diana Stakes last out at Saratoga, is now possible for the Beverly D. on August 16. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid defeated five Grade 1 winners in the July 19 event - her third win of five 2014 starts.

"She's come out of the race well," trainer Michael Matz reported. "It's certainly a big possibility. We're not sure yet, but she is doing well right now. She has been a good horse since the beginning, but is probably in her best form now."

Somali Lemonade has always been highly regarded. As a two-year-old, she was the 4-1 second choice in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2011, which was coincidentally won by the filly she nosed out in the Diana, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Stephanie's Kitten. 

"My sister-in-law owns the horse and would like to go to the Breeders' Cup at the end of the season," Matz said. "Whether the Beverly D. works with those plans or not, I'm not sure, yet.

"You want to run her while she's doing well, but don't want to do too much," he continued. "But, she did come out of the race well and sometimes you wait and the horse gets hurt and you kick yourself for not going. At this point, this will be one of the major options. We'll look at the other aspects like what kind of travel arrangements there are and how she trains the next couple of weeks."

This year, Somali Lemonade has not only doubled her win total to six, but also has done so while showing impressive speed.  After a good second in the Marshua's River at Gulfstream to kick off her season, she wired a good allowance at Keeneland and took the Galorette Handicap as the highweight at Pimlico on Preakness Day. 

"This has been kind of a funny year," Matz explained.  "We haven't really done anything different with her except put the blinkers on.  It made me feel a little stupid for not doing it sooner. It was the first time she showed any kind of speed at all.  Before, she would completely drop out of the race, but now she has done very well now showing more speed."

The bay mare could have a chance to show that pace again versus similar company. Stephanie's Kitten and Chad Brown-trained stablemate Alterite -- who finished off the board in the Diana (her first start since finishing third in the  Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf) -- are also planning to run in the Beverly D.  Alterite will try to become an unprecedented fourth winner of the Midwestern filly and mare turf centerpiece for owner Martin Schwartz, following Angara (2005), Gorella (2006) and Stacelita (2011).

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Makari nips Demonstrative in Smithwick photo

Makari (right) handed jockey Jack Doyle and trainer Elizabeth Voss their biggest career victory (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Recent import Makari made a memorable debut for Merriebelle Stable and trainer Elizabeth Voss in Thursday's Grade 1, $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase at Saratoga. The about 2 1/16-mile test over national fences was decided after a pulsating stretch duel, with Makari prevailing in a dramatic head-bob over Demonstrative. Two-time champion Divine Fortune was eased out of the race and left the course before the last jump.

Voss is the daughter of legendary trainer Thomas Voss, who died in January. She subsequently took over his training duties, and it hasn't taken long for her to break through at the top level in the Smithwick. Makari's triumph also handed jockey Jack Doyle the biggest win of his career.

Makari had romped in his last two starts in England for Nicky Henderson. An 11-length winner of a two-mile beginners' chase at Uttoxeter on May 3, the seven-year-old gelding next routed a novices' chase at Newton Abbot by nine lengths, breaking the course record in the process.

Those performances earned him status as the 9-2 second choice in the Smithwick. All the rage was the three-pronged Jonathan Sheppard entry -- Divine Fortune, Italian Wedding and Barnstorming -- which garnered 3-5 favoritism.

Divine Fortune, the 158-pound highweight, stalked the pacesetter Pleasant Woodman in the early stages. Makari was reserved in the latter part of the field until the second circuit, when Doyle gave him the cue to improve his position, and he advanced into better than midpack.

But just as Makari was on the move, Divine Fortune was being driven along. Favorite backers had cause for concern as Divine Fortune was unable to maintain his spot on the final passage down the backstretch, and by the time the field rounded the last turn, he was wrapped up on and ultimately bowed off the course.

Meanwhile, Pleasant Woodman was besieged on both sides. Makari cruised up to the inside of the longtime leader, and Demonstrative rolled up on the outside. They engulfed Pleasant Woodman over the final flight and set down to an all-out battle in deep stretch.

Demonstrative, who was conceding Makari 12 pounds under his 154-pound impost, briefly appeared to have the slimmest of advantages. But Makari was up for the duel, and the two flashed past the wire together. The camera proved that Makari timed it to perfection to get his nose down first, completing the course on firm turf in 3:48 1/5.

"We had a perfect way around," Doyle said. "He traveled like a dream the whole way, never missed a beat. I actually didn't think I got there, another couple of strides and I would have. It was brilliant.

"This was my first Grade 1, my first winner in America as well," the rider added. "I've only been here a couple of weeks. I've had a few good winners at home, but never a Grade 1. It was brilliant to get that."

"This is my first graded win," Voss said. "It's exciting to have it be in Saratoga, a place we love so much.

"We can't take a lot of credit for this horse; we've only had him two weeks. My husband picked him out for his owners. He got off the plane, and he seemed pretty straightforward. It means so much. We took a chance and it worked out. The last jump always makes me nervous -- I thought we got the bob last week, and that we missed it this week."

The top two were in a race of their own in the concluding stages, drawing 7 1/4 lengths clear of Pleasant Woodman. All Together checked in fourth, followed by Staying On; Italian Wedding; Spy in the Sky; Wanganui, Voss' other runner; and Barnstorming.

Makari paid $11.60 to win and improved his scorecard to 15-7-3-1, $121,572. Bred by Longdon Stud in Great Britain, the son of Makbul sold for $154,430 as a four-year-old at DBS' Hennessy Sales at Newbury in November 2011. The auction came one week after he finished second in his debut at Haydock. He RNA'd for $79,049 at Doncaster in May.

Makari's dam, Seraphim, is a winning daughter of Lashkari from a solid German family. Maternal relatives include French Group 2 hero and Austrian co-champion Speedmaster; German classic victress Slenderella; German Group 1-winning highweight Solon; Group 2 scorers Soto-Grande and Scatina; and current three-year-old filly Savanne, successful in the June 1 Prix de Royaumont and most recently runner-up in the June 29 Prix de Malleret.

Voss indicated that Makari could return for the Spa's other Grade 1 steeplechase, the August 21 New York Turf Writers' Cup. Another victory there would be especially poignant, for the 2 3/8-mile event is being run in honor of her father.

Later on Thursday's card at Saratoga, Chevalier Stable's Sinistra surprised the $100,000 Evan Shipman as the 27-1 longest shot on the board. Stalking and pouncing late beneath Rosie Napravnik, the Karl Grusmark charge prevailed in a three-way scrum with 8-5 favorite Big Business and Escapefromreality.

Pacesetter Escapefromreality, who carved out fractions of :24 2/5, :49 4/5 and 1:14 2/5 on the muddy, sealed track, dug in valiantly when accosted by Big Business in the stretch. Sinistra watched them slug it out before arriving on the scene in the closing strides and forcing his head in front. He negotiated 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 4/5 and rewarded his loyalists with a $56 payout.

"We weren't considered to be a good choice by the public," Grusmark said, "but we knew this horse loved the mud and he loved the distance. We've never had a chance to run him a mile and an eighth. This was his first opportunity and he ran like we thought he would.

"He's just kind of a plodder. You get him in a good position early and he just kind of stays and wears horses down."

"We sat pretty close to the pace," Napravnik recapped, "and I think he's the type of horse where he doesn't have a huge kick but he'll keep grinding away, and he was sticking his neck out. Karl told me he was kind of one-paced. He just kept grinding away. He's a horse with a lot of heart."

Big Business subdued the stubborn Escapefromreality by a neck for second. Awesome Vision was a creditable fourth after a wide trip.

Sinistra had competed in only one prior stakes, just missing to future Suburban winner Zivo in the Kings Point back in February at Aqueduct. This first stakes score boosted his bankroll to $258,259 from his 22-4-6-3 line.

The Evan Shipman was also Grusmark's first career stakes win at the Spa.

"I've won races here through the years since the '70s and this is the first stake (I've won) at this track," the trainer said. "It's very exciting. Anytime you win a good race, it's very satisfying."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Makari nips Demonstrative in Smithwick photo

Makari (right) handed jockey Jack Doyle and trainer Elizabeth Voss their biggest career victory (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Recent import Makari made a memorable debut for Merriebelle Stable and trainer Elizabeth Voss in Thursday's Grade 1, $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase at Saratoga. The about 2 1/16-mile test over national fences was decided after a pulsating stretch duel, with Makari prevailing in a dramatic head-bob over Demonstrative. Two-time champion Divine Fortune was eased out of the race and left the course before the last jump.

Voss is the daughter of legendary trainer Thomas Voss, who died in January. She subsequently took over his training duties, and it hasn't taken long for her to break through at the top level in the Smithwick. Makari's triumph also handed jockey Jack Doyle the biggest win of his career.

Makari had romped in his last two starts in England for Nicky Henderson. An 11-length winner of a two-mile beginners' chase at Uttoxeter on May 3, the seven-year-old gelding next routed a novices' chase at Newton Abbot by nine lengths, breaking the course record in the process.

Those performances earned him status as the 9-2 second choice in the Smithwick. All the rage was the three-pronged Jonathan Sheppard entry -- Divine Fortune, Italian Wedding and Barnstorming -- which garnered 3-5 favoritism.

Divine Fortune, the 158-pound highweight, stalked the pacesetter Pleasant Woodman in the early stages. Makari was reserved in the latter part of the field until the second circuit, when Doyle gave him the cue to improve his position, and he advanced into better than midpack.

But just as Makari was on the move, Divine Fortune was being driven along. Favorite backers had cause for concern as Divine Fortune was unable to maintain his spot on the final passage down the backstretch, and by the time the field rounded the last turn, he was wrapped up on and ultimately bowed off the course.

Meanwhile, Pleasant Woodman was besieged on both sides. Makari cruised up to the inside of the longtime leader, and Demonstrative rolled up on the outside. They engulfed Pleasant Woodman over the final flight and set down to an all-out battle in deep stretch.

Demonstrative, who was conceding Makari 12 pounds under his 154-pound impost, briefly appeared to have the slimmest of advantages. But Makari was up for the duel, and the two flashed past the wire together. The camera proved that Makari timed it to perfection to get his nose down first, completing the course on firm turf in 3:48 1/5.

"We had a perfect way around," Doyle said. "He traveled like a dream the whole way, never missed a beat. I actually didn't think I got there, another couple of strides and I would have. It was brilliant.

"This was my first Grade 1, my first winner in America as well," the rider added. "I've only been here a couple of weeks. I've had a few good winners at home, but never a Grade 1. It was brilliant to get that."

"This is my first graded win," Voss said. "It's exciting to have it be in Saratoga, a place we love so much.

"We can't take a lot of credit for this horse; we've only had him two weeks. My husband picked him out for his owners. He got off the plane, and he seemed pretty straightforward. It means so much. We took a chance and it worked out. The last jump always makes me nervous -- I thought we got the bob last week, and that we missed it this week."

The top two were in a race of their own in the concluding stages, drawing 7 1/4 lengths clear of Pleasant Woodman. All Together checked in fourth, followed by Staying On; Italian Wedding; Spy in the Sky; Wanganui, Voss' other runner; and Barnstorming.

Makari paid $11.60 to win and improved his scorecard to 15-7-3-1, $121,572. Bred by Longdon Stud in Great Britain, the son of Makbul sold for $154,430 as a four-year-old at DBS' Hennessy Sales at Newbury in November 2011. The auction came one week after he finished second in his debut at Haydock. He RNA'd for $79,049 at Doncaster in May.

Makari's dam, Seraphim, is a winning daughter of Lashkari from a solid German family. Maternal relatives include French Group 2 hero and Austrian co-champion Speedmaster; German classic victress Slenderella; German Group 1-winning highweight Solon; Group 2 scorers Soto-Grande and Scatina; and current three-year-old filly Savanne, successful in the June 1 Prix de Royaumont and most recently runner-up in the June 29 Prix de Malleret.

Voss indicated that Makari could return for the Spa's other Grade 1 steeplechase, the August 21 New York Turf Writers' Cup. Another victory there would be especially poignant, for the 2 3/8-mile event is being run in honor of her father.

Later on Thursday's card at Saratoga, Chevalier Stable's Sinistra surprised the $100,000 Evan Shipman as the 27-1 longest shot on the board. Stalking and pouncing late beneath Rosie Napravnik, the Karl Grusmark charge prevailed in a three-way scrum with 8-5 favorite Big Business and Escapefromreality.

Pacesetter Escapefromreality, who carved out fractions of :24 2/5, :49 4/5 and 1:14 2/5 on the muddy, sealed track, dug in valiantly when accosted by Big Business in the stretch. Sinistra watched them slug it out before arriving on the scene in the closing strides and forcing his head in front. He negotiated 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 4/5 and rewarded his loyalists with a $56 payout.

"We weren't considered to be a good choice by the public," Grusmark said, "but we knew this horse loved the mud and he loved the distance. We've never had a chance to run him a mile and an eighth. This was his first opportunity and he ran like we thought he would.

"He's just kind of a plodder. You get him in a good position early and he just kind of stays and wears horses down."

"We sat pretty close to the pace," Napravnik recapped, "and I think he's the type of horse where he doesn't have a huge kick but he'll keep grinding away, and he was sticking his neck out. Karl told me he was kind of one-paced. He just kept grinding away. He's a horse with a lot of heart."

Big Business subdued the stubborn Escapefromreality by a neck for second. Awesome Vision was a creditable fourth after a wide trip.

Sinistra had competed in only one prior stakes, just missing to future Suburban winner Zivo in the Kings Point back in February at Aqueduct. This first stakes score boosted his bankroll to $258,259 from his 22-4-6-3 line.

The Evan Shipman was also Grusmark's first career stakes win at the Spa.

"I've won races here through the years since the '70s and this is the first stake (I've won) at this track," the trainer said. "It's very exciting. Anytime you win a good race, it's very satisfying."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Lavender Road euthanized

Lavender Road, who was scratched prior to the running of Wednesday's 7TH race at Saratoga on the advice on the track veterinarian due to what was later identified as heat stroke, was euthanized early Thursday afternoon at Rood & Riddle Hospital in Saratoga after being diagnosed with a fracture in her neck.

The horse, owned by Kallenberg Farms and trained by Abigail Adsit, fractured a vertebra when she fell on the horse path returning from the track, according to Dr. Travis Tull, the attending physician.

"The filly was transported to Rood & Riddle Hospital adjacent to the racetrack," said Dr. Scott Palmer, the New York State Equine Medical Director and a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

"At the time of admission, she was examined by Dr. Tull and was treated throughout the afternoon and evening with fluids and medication to reduce swelling related to an acute, traumatic injury. Extensive diagnostic tests were performed and ultimately revealed a fracture of the seventh cervical vertebra (in her neck).

"Her owners and trainer were advised of the diagnosis, for which, tragically, there is no successful medical or surgical treatment. She was humanely euthanized."

Lavender Road was scratched from the race when jockey Junior Alvarado reportedly informed the veterinarians the three-year-old filly was making unusual noises during warm up. On the way back from the track she fell and hit her head. The dark bay miss regained her feet several times only to fall, and was eventually sedated and put on the horse ambulance.

Lavender Road, a daughter of First Defence, had one victory in six lifetime starts.

Lavender Road euthanized

Lavender Road, who was scratched prior to the running of Wednesday's 7TH race at Saratoga on the advice on the track veterinarian due to what was later identified as heat stroke, was euthanized early Thursday afternoon at Rood & Riddle Hospital in Saratoga after being diagnosed with a fracture in her neck.

The horse, owned by Kallenberg Farms and trained by Abigail Adsit, fractured a vertebra when she fell on the horse path returning from the track, according to Dr. Travis Tull, the attending physician.

"The filly was transported to Rood & Riddle Hospital adjacent to the racetrack," said Dr. Scott Palmer, the New York State Equine Medical Director and a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

"At the time of admission, she was examined by Dr. Tull and was treated throughout the afternoon and evening with fluids and medication to reduce swelling related to an acute, traumatic injury. Extensive diagnostic tests were performed and ultimately revealed a fracture of the seventh cervical vertebra (in her neck).

"Her owners and trainer were advised of the diagnosis, for which, tragically, there is no successful medical or surgical treatment. She was humanely euthanized."

Lavender Road was scratched from the race when jockey Junior Alvarado reportedly informed the veterinarians the three-year-old filly was making unusual noises during warm up. On the way back from the track she fell and hit her head. The dark bay miss regained her feet several times only to fall, and was eventually sedated and put on the horse ambulance.

Lavender Road, a daughter of First Defence, had one victory in six lifetime starts.

Brown: 'We decided to just take a shot' with Last Gunfighter in the Whitney

Since being turned over to trainer Chad Brown in the fall of 2012, Last Gunfighter has been a model of consistency with nine wins -- seven in stakes, four of them graded -- and one second from 13 starts.

A disappointing ninth in his most recent race, the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park on July 5, the five-year-old son of First Samurai will look to rebound in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Whitney on Saturday at Saratoga.

Brown initially had considered the Whitney for Zivo, the New York-bred Suburban winner who is undefeated in five starts this year, but decided to enter Last Gunfighter when post positions were drawn on Wednesday.

"Zivo is going to wait for the (Grade 1, $600,000) Woodward (on August 30)," Brown explained. "Last Gunfighter, we decided to just take a shot. The owners want to run and I don't disagree with them. It's a lot of money and the horse has really shown up for us every race except for his last one. We're just going to draw a line through it. He had a little bit of a challenging trip and got a little discouraged, and (jockey) Javier (Castellano) just took care of him the last half of the race."

Last Gunfighter drew post 9 on the outside in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney, a "Win & You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge race that earns the winner a fees-paid trip to the Breeders' Cup Classic. The John D. Gunther homebred has never run at Saratoga but is three-for-four lifetime at nine furlongs.

"He's been training really good, and I think he deserves a shot. Maybe he can grab a piece of it," Brown remarked. "He's a workmanlike horse and he normally shows up in any situation I ask him to. His last race was the only time he didn't. I have to give him a free pass one time. He's had two good breezes since the Suburban. It's a big purse, and why not take a shot in here? I don't see any other race for him that makes more sense. We'll run him and see what happens."

On the Whitney undercard, Brown will also send out two-time Grade 1 winner Big Blue Kitten for his season debut in the $100,000 Lure for four-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon Turf.

The six-year-old son of Kitten's Joy has not raced since finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf in November. Last summer, he won the United Nations at Monmouth Park and Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga in successive starts.

"The horse was quite sore after the Breeders' Cup, and he required a lot of time off, so we're getting him started later than we would like," Brown explained. "When I saw this race and I started to evaluate his fitness level, I don't think we can have this horse fit enough to run effectively at a mile and a half."

Each of Big Blue Kitten's last three races have been at 1 1/2 miles, the distance of the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer on August 17. His most recent race at 1 1/16 miles came in an optional claimer last May at Churchill Downs, which he won.

"I think the Sword Dancer is coming up a little soon for me," Brown maintained, "but to give him a race at a mile and a sixteenth might be a better option in the long run for this horse, just to get a race in him and see. If he's good enough to win, great; if he's not, it should set us up hopefully for something better the next time we run him."

Though ungraded, the Lure attracted a salty group of older turf horses. One of those looking to oppose Big Blue Kitten in the contest is the Greg DiPrima-trained Plainview.

"I think we fit well in (the Lure)," DiPrima said. "It's no secret, I think we'll be on the lead, and he looks like the lone speed. He's training great; we had a nice work the other day -- (four furlongs in) :48 and change, real easy."

DiPrima claimed Plainview on May 18, 2012, for $25,000 with modest ambitions -- he was merely hoping the son of Street Cry could advance through his non-winners-of-two and non-winners-of-three-lifetime conditions. The savvy DiPrima, who wins at a 15 percent clip with horses first off the claim in the past five years, never foresaw how good Plainview would become.

More than two years later, the bay gelding has won seven of 16 starts for the trainer and earned $435,091 in his career, the majority of which has come on the NYRA circuit.

Plainview -- owned by Jesse Iglesias and Michael Imperio -- has been a model of consistency in both his running style and finishes, hitting the board in 11 of those 16 starts. The six-year-old is a free-running type, often opening up a few lengths on his competition in the early stages of a race before bearing down for the stretch drive. Regardless of pace, track, or surface, the reliable gelding almost always has something left.

Plainview, who is undefeated for DiPrima at Saratoga, has shown no signs of slowing down. He began his year in the May 26 Poker, finishing fourth after uncharacteristically coming from off the pace, and rediscovered his front-running style to score by three-quarters of a length in a graded-caliber optional claimer on July 9, both at Belmont.

"We give him a little bit of a break over the winter," DiPrima explained. "He winters in Florida, so we send him to Ocala for four to six weeks to do nothing but be a horse. He really seems to relish the vacation; he's come back just as good."

Despite his extensive resume, one title has eluded Plainview in his career: graded stakes winner. DiPrima is hoping that will change before his star pupil's career is over.

"He tries so hard, we'd love to get him a graded stakes win. He deserves it," the trainer said.

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Brown: 'We decided to just take a shot' with Last Gunfighter in the Whitney

Since being turned over to trainer Chad Brown in the fall of 2012, Last Gunfighter has been a model of consistency with nine wins -- seven in stakes, four of them graded -- and one second from 13 starts.

A disappointing ninth in his most recent race, the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park on July 5, the five-year-old son of First Samurai will look to rebound in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Whitney on Saturday at Saratoga.

Brown initially had considered the Whitney for Zivo, the New York-bred Suburban winner who is undefeated in five starts this year, but decided to enter Last Gunfighter when post positions were drawn on Wednesday.

"Zivo is going to wait for the (Grade 1, $600,000) Woodward (on August 30)," Brown explained. "Last Gunfighter, we decided to just take a shot. The owners want to run and I don't disagree with them. It's a lot of money and the horse has really shown up for us every race except for his last one. We're just going to draw a line through it. He had a little bit of a challenging trip and got a little discouraged, and (jockey) Javier (Castellano) just took care of him the last half of the race."

Last Gunfighter drew post 9 on the outside in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney, a "Win & You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge race that earns the winner a fees-paid trip to the Breeders' Cup Classic. The John D. Gunther homebred has never run at Saratoga but is three-for-four lifetime at nine furlongs.

"He's been training really good, and I think he deserves a shot. Maybe he can grab a piece of it," Brown remarked. "He's a workmanlike horse and he normally shows up in any situation I ask him to. His last race was the only time he didn't. I have to give him a free pass one time. He's had two good breezes since the Suburban. It's a big purse, and why not take a shot in here? I don't see any other race for him that makes more sense. We'll run him and see what happens."

On the Whitney undercard, Brown will also send out two-time Grade 1 winner Big Blue Kitten for his season debut in the $100,000 Lure for four-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon Turf.

The six-year-old son of Kitten's Joy has not raced since finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf in November. Last summer, he won the United Nations at Monmouth Park and Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga in successive starts.

"The horse was quite sore after the Breeders' Cup, and he required a lot of time off, so we're getting him started later than we would like," Brown explained. "When I saw this race and I started to evaluate his fitness level, I don't think we can have this horse fit enough to run effectively at a mile and a half."

Each of Big Blue Kitten's last three races have been at 1 1/2 miles, the distance of the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer on August 17. His most recent race at 1 1/16 miles came in an optional claimer last May at Churchill Downs, which he won.

"I think the Sword Dancer is coming up a little soon for me," Brown maintained, "but to give him a race at a mile and a sixteenth might be a better option in the long run for this horse, just to get a race in him and see. If he's good enough to win, great; if he's not, it should set us up hopefully for something better the next time we run him."

Though ungraded, the Lure attracted a salty group of older turf horses. One of those looking to oppose Big Blue Kitten in the contest is the Greg DiPrima-trained Plainview.

"I think we fit well in (the Lure)," DiPrima said. "It's no secret, I think we'll be on the lead, and he looks like the lone speed. He's training great; we had a nice work the other day -- (four furlongs in) :48 and change, real easy."

DiPrima claimed Plainview on May 18, 2012, for $25,000 with modest ambitions -- he was merely hoping the son of Street Cry could advance through his non-winners-of-two and non-winners-of-three-lifetime conditions. The savvy DiPrima, who wins at a 15 percent clip with horses first off the claim in the past five years, never foresaw how good Plainview would become.

More than two years later, the bay gelding has won seven of 16 starts for the trainer and earned $435,091 in his career, the majority of which has come on the NYRA circuit.

Plainview -- owned by Jesse Iglesias and Michael Imperio -- has been a model of consistency in both his running style and finishes, hitting the board in 11 of those 16 starts. The six-year-old is a free-running type, often opening up a few lengths on his competition in the early stages of a race before bearing down for the stretch drive. Regardless of pace, track, or surface, the reliable gelding almost always has something left.

Plainview, who is undefeated for DiPrima at Saratoga, has shown no signs of slowing down. He began his year in the May 26 Poker, finishing fourth after uncharacteristically coming from off the pace, and rediscovered his front-running style to score by three-quarters of a length in a graded-caliber optional claimer on July 9, both at Belmont.

"We give him a little bit of a break over the winter," DiPrima explained. "He winters in Florida, so we send him to Ocala for four to six weeks to do nothing but be a horse. He really seems to relish the vacation; he's come back just as good."

Despite his extensive resume, one title has eluded Plainview in his career: graded stakes winner. DiPrima is hoping that will change before his star pupil's career is over.

"He tries so hard, we'd love to get him a graded stakes win. He deserves it," the trainer said.

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Test has been the goal all along for Southern Honey

Having shown a steady progression through the spring, Grade 3 winner Southern Honey can take another step forward in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Test for three-year-old filly sprinters at Saratoga.

Trained by Rusty Arnold, the daughter of Colonel John has put together a three-race win streak capped by the Winning Colors against elders on May 26 at Churchill Downs.

Arnold had hoped to use the 6 1/2-furlong Victory Ride on June 29 at Belmont Park as a steppingstone to the Test but was forced to Plan B when Southern Honey got sick the week of the race.

"She got a temperature two days before the plane was leaving (Kentucky) and I couldn't ship her," Arnold explained. "We missed the Victory Ride, so we had no chance to go anywhere else. This race was the target for a long time. The Victory Ride was a target because I trained her and I wanted to win that race, but it just didn't happen.

"It bothers me a little bit that we're going into a race of this quality off nine weeks off, but that was the option I was left with. I didn't have a chance to do anything else. By the time she missed the Victory Ride, any other race would have put her too close to this race. It was all or nothing, and we think we've got her ready."

Southern Honey will carry regular rider Julien Leparoux and 118 pounds from post 5 of 12 in the Test, which will be her sixth career start. Second in her debut last fall at Churchill, she was fourth at Gulfstream Park during the winter before breaking her maiden on April 5 at Keeneland to kick off her streak.

"We've always liked her," Arnold said. "She got a shin when she ran at Churchill in November, and we got that taken care of. A lot of horses didn't handle Gulfstream. I don't know what the deal was; it wasn't just mine. She just didn't run well to what we expected. She came out of it fabulous, we moved to Keeneland and everything has gone exceptional since then. She's just gone right up the ladder."

Arnold added that Grade 1 queen Centre Court is being pointed to the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa sending turf distaffers 1 1/16 miles on August 23.

The five-year-old daughter of Smart Strike has had two works over the Saratoga turf course, including a bullet half-mile in :48 3/5 on July 25, the fastest of 40 horses.

"Centre Court is doing fabulous," Arnold stated. "She does great here every year. I think I've got her back right. She'll run in the Ballston Spa if the next three weeks go good."

Just $71,452 shy of reaching the $1 million mark in career earnings, Centre Court kicked off her 2014 campaign by winning the Honey Fox at Gulfstream, her second straight victory in that race and sixth in a graded stakes. She subsequently ran fifth in the April 12 Jenny Wiley by just three parts of a length and filled that same spot in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on May 3.

"She hurt her foot in the race at Churchill pretty badly and had to probably get walked three weeks and it's taken her this long to get her back, but it looks great right now. Everything in the last month has been good, and we'll be ready by then if nothing bad happens," Arnold said.

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Test has been the goal all along for Southern Honey

Having shown a steady progression through the spring, Grade 3 winner Southern Honey can take another step forward in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Test for three-year-old filly sprinters at Saratoga.

Trained by Rusty Arnold, the daughter of Colonel John has put together a three-race win streak capped by the Winning Colors against elders on May 26 at Churchill Downs.

Arnold had hoped to use the 6 1/2-furlong Victory Ride on June 29 at Belmont Park as a steppingstone to the Test but was forced to Plan B when Southern Honey got sick the week of the race.

"She got a temperature two days before the plane was leaving (Kentucky) and I couldn't ship her," Arnold explained. "We missed the Victory Ride, so we had no chance to go anywhere else. This race was the target for a long time. The Victory Ride was a target because I trained her and I wanted to win that race, but it just didn't happen.

"It bothers me a little bit that we're going into a race of this quality off nine weeks off, but that was the option I was left with. I didn't have a chance to do anything else. By the time she missed the Victory Ride, any other race would have put her too close to this race. It was all or nothing, and we think we've got her ready."

Southern Honey will carry regular rider Julien Leparoux and 118 pounds from post 5 of 12 in the Test, which will be her sixth career start. Second in her debut last fall at Churchill, she was fourth at Gulfstream Park during the winter before breaking her maiden on April 5 at Keeneland to kick off her streak.

"We've always liked her," Arnold said. "She got a shin when she ran at Churchill in November, and we got that taken care of. A lot of horses didn't handle Gulfstream. I don't know what the deal was; it wasn't just mine. She just didn't run well to what we expected. She came out of it fabulous, we moved to Keeneland and everything has gone exceptional since then. She's just gone right up the ladder."

Arnold added that Grade 1 queen Centre Court is being pointed to the Grade 2, $250,000 Ballston Spa sending turf distaffers 1 1/16 miles on August 23.

The five-year-old daughter of Smart Strike has had two works over the Saratoga turf course, including a bullet half-mile in :48 3/5 on July 25, the fastest of 40 horses.

"Centre Court is doing fabulous," Arnold stated. "She does great here every year. I think I've got her back right. She'll run in the Ballston Spa if the next three weeks go good."

Just $71,452 shy of reaching the $1 million mark in career earnings, Centre Court kicked off her 2014 campaign by winning the Honey Fox at Gulfstream, her second straight victory in that race and sixth in a graded stakes. She subsequently ran fifth in the April 12 Jenny Wiley by just three parts of a length and filled that same spot in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile on May 3.

"She hurt her foot in the race at Churchill pretty badly and had to probably get walked three weeks and it's taken her this long to get her back, but it looks great right now. Everything in the last month has been good, and we'll be ready by then if nothing bad happens," Arnold said.

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Melbourne Cup in the cards for Cavalryman following Goodwood Cup win

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor has his sights set on the Melbourne Cup after Cavalryman led home a 1-2 for the stable when finishing a neck in front of Ahzeemah in Thursday's Group 2, £120,000 Goodwood Cup on the third day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting.

"Cavalryman is a good fighter," praised bin Suroor, who earned his 72nd Goodwood winner and 20th at Glorious Goodwood. "He won over two miles in Dubai on firmer ground and also he won last time over a mile and a half at Newmarket on the soft. He runs on any ground and is doing really well. He improves with age.

"He is very easy to train, very simple. Whatever you ask of him in the morning, he does it really well. When he work over seven furlongs or a mile, he doesn't show you a lot because he is a stayer. I think a mile and a six furlongs or two miles is the best trip for him."

Jockey Kieren Fallon and Cavalryman looked set to win decisively approaching the final furlong but Ahzeemah stayed on stoutly from the chasing pack under Harry Bentley to be beaten only a neck. Brown Panther was 4 1/2 lengths farther back in third.

"I said to Kieren (Fallon) to keep the horse where he is happy but the best way, like when he ran and won in Dubai, is to come from behind. He is a tough horse and always runs well," bin Suroor commented.

Fallon was celebrating his first Goodwood Cup and his 40th winner at Glorious Good with Cavalryman

"Cavalryman is a real, tough horse," the reinsman agreed. "He was campaigned during the Carnival successfully in Dubai all winter and he has come here and won a Goodwood Cup, which is a very difficult race to win. This horse has just gone from strength to strength.

"This horse, when he hit the front, thought that he had done enough. I thought I was clear and I didn't realize we had another horse coming but he had enough done.

"It's a great race, a great meeting and it's great to be in the winner's enclosure."

Cavalryman was a Group 1 winner during his sophomore campaign and adds the Goodwood Cup to wins in the Princess of Wales's Stakes and Nad al Sheba Trophy this season. The eight-year-old son of Halling's only loss from four starts this year came as a second in the Dubai Gold Cup.

"He has shown some turn of foot and now we will take him to York for the Lonsdale and then, for the end of the season, we will talk to Shiekh Mohammed but it could be the Melbourne Cup," bin Suroor said. "Ahzeemah could be another option for the Melbourne Cup and I would like to take three horses down to Australia. For Australia you need to have a horse with class and speed.

"Two miles is his best trip and he won well last time over and a mile and a half on soft ground."

"It would depend what weight he got for him to go for the Melbourne Cup," Fallon said of Cavalryman running on the first Tuesday in November. "All our good horses that go over there get killed by the handicapper and the best Australian best horses get in light. The race is framed to suit their horses.

"I rode in the Melbourne Cup once and was seventh on Yeats, who went there with every chance. I thought I could win it but he was another horse who was given too much weight. It's a very difficult race to ride because it is a massive field and everybody wants the same position.

"It's very rough for the first half-mile until they stretch out and then they seem to take their time. They pull it up all the way down the back and then the Australian horses seem to have a better turn of foot."

"(Cavalryman) would be suited by it because he has got the speed and he stays but my concern would be the weight as he is an exposed eight-year-old."

Bentley came close to riding a major winner -- and first at Glorious Goodwood -- when driving Ahzeemah into a close second in the Goodwood Cup behind fellow Godolphin silkbearer Cavalryman.

"Ahzeemah could also go to Australia," bin Suroor said. "He needed his first race then he didn't stay two and a half miles last time -- I think two miles is his best trip as well."

Bentley, whose services have been called upon by Godolphin on a number of occasions this season, has ridden three winners at Goodwood, but none at the feature meeting.

"It's disappointing to be touched off by such a short margin, but he's run a great race -- he did nothing wrong," Bentley said after unsaddling his mount, who was finishing second in the Goodwood Cup for the second year running. "I knew he would stay, but he just keeps galloping all the way to the line. He's a hardy old thing. At one stage I thought I would get there, and the winner was always coming back to me, so it was frustrating not to get there."

Goodwood Cup 2-1 favorite Estimate, a mare owned by The Queen, finished last of the eight runners. She was not only popular in the ring, but also with her rival Brown Panther, who finished third.

"Every time I got in behind Estimate he latched on to her -- I couldn't get him to truly settle and he was using a little too much gas," explained Richard Kingscote, who rode Brown Panther. "It was frustrating because it was a messy race and they got racing a long way out, but we were beaten fair and square.

"He let himself down on the ground so I'm not using that as an excuse."

Brown Panther may head for the Irish St Leger in September after failing to defend his Goodwood Cup crown. Trainer Tom Dascombe was clearly disappointed with his six-year-old charge's third successive placing, after his fourth in the Ascot Gold Cup and second in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil.

"He ran a bit free, never really settled," Dascombe said. "Richard (Kingscote) said he was being pestered all the way round. He seems as good as ever but he's the sort that needs everything to go right and it's a bit frustrating to keep hitting the bar. But that's racing, I suppose."

Brown Panther finished a close third, beaten a head and a short-head, in the Irish St Leger two years ago.

The course was set to be watered after racing on Thursday following another dry day.

"The ground rode as advertised, it was good, fast Flat-racing ground after we watered extensively last night," said Seamus Buckley, Goodwood's clerk of the course. "Most of the jockeys were of the opinion that the watering that was carried out had certainly eased the ground.

"And I must pay tribute to the groundstaff who worked a solid 12 hours to get some water back on the course before it dried out during racing today.

"Our plan for watering this evening will be similar to last night but with a lesser amount of water. We want to get some water on the lower bend, top bend and down the straight but we won't be putting as much on as we did last night. We'll begin watering about 7 p.m. and the groundstaff will be working in 8-10 hour shifts.

"I feel we need to retain some water in the ground in light of the rain that may materialize on Friday evening. I want moisture in the ground so that we don't get rain lying on top of firm ground.

"There's a possibility of a bit of rain on Friday night going into Saturday morning. There's a chance of four to five millimeters on Saturday. We'll review the situation again tomorrow.

"The dolled-out rail on the lower bend (from the six-furlong to the three-furlong marker) will be taken down after racing and there will be fresh ground for the Betfred Mile tomorrow."

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Melbourne Cup in the cards for Cavalryman following Goodwood Cup win

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor has his sights set on the Melbourne Cup after Cavalryman led home a 1-2 for the stable when finishing a neck in front of Ahzeemah in Thursday's Group 2, £120,000 Goodwood Cup on the third day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting.

"Cavalryman is a good fighter," praised bin Suroor, who earned his 72nd Goodwood winner and 20th at Glorious Goodwood. "He won over two miles in Dubai on firmer ground and also he won last time over a mile and a half at Newmarket on the soft. He runs on any ground and is doing really well. He improves with age.

"He is very easy to train, very simple. Whatever you ask of him in the morning, he does it really well. When he work over seven furlongs or a mile, he doesn't show you a lot because he is a stayer. I think a mile and a six furlongs or two miles is the best trip for him."

Jockey Kieren Fallon and Cavalryman looked set to win decisively approaching the final furlong but Ahzeemah stayed on stoutly from the chasing pack under Harry Bentley to be beaten only a neck. Brown Panther was 4 1/2 lengths farther back in third.

"I said to Kieren (Fallon) to keep the horse where he is happy but the best way, like when he ran and won in Dubai, is to come from behind. He is a tough horse and always runs well," bin Suroor commented.

Fallon was celebrating his first Goodwood Cup and his 40th winner at Glorious Good with Cavalryman

"Cavalryman is a real, tough horse," the reinsman agreed. "He was campaigned during the Carnival successfully in Dubai all winter and he has come here and won a Goodwood Cup, which is a very difficult race to win. This horse has just gone from strength to strength.

"This horse, when he hit the front, thought that he had done enough. I thought I was clear and I didn't realize we had another horse coming but he had enough done.

"It's a great race, a great meeting and it's great to be in the winner's enclosure."

Cavalryman was a Group 1 winner during his sophomore campaign and adds the Goodwood Cup to wins in the Princess of Wales's Stakes and Nad al Sheba Trophy this season. The eight-year-old son of Halling's only loss from four starts this year came as a second in the Dubai Gold Cup.

"He has shown some turn of foot and now we will take him to York for the Lonsdale and then, for the end of the season, we will talk to Shiekh Mohammed but it could be the Melbourne Cup," bin Suroor said. "Ahzeemah could be another option for the Melbourne Cup and I would like to take three horses down to Australia. For Australia you need to have a horse with class and speed.

"Two miles is his best trip and he won well last time over and a mile and a half on soft ground."

"It would depend what weight he got for him to go for the Melbourne Cup," Fallon said of Cavalryman running on the first Tuesday in November. "All our good horses that go over there get killed by the handicapper and the best Australian best horses get in light. The race is framed to suit their horses.

"I rode in the Melbourne Cup once and was seventh on Yeats, who went there with every chance. I thought I could win it but he was another horse who was given too much weight. It's a very difficult race to ride because it is a massive field and everybody wants the same position.

"It's very rough for the first half-mile until they stretch out and then they seem to take their time. They pull it up all the way down the back and then the Australian horses seem to have a better turn of foot."

"(Cavalryman) would be suited by it because he has got the speed and he stays but my concern would be the weight as he is an exposed eight-year-old."

Bentley came close to riding a major winner -- and first at Glorious Goodwood -- when driving Ahzeemah into a close second in the Goodwood Cup behind fellow Godolphin silkbearer Cavalryman.

"Ahzeemah could also go to Australia," bin Suroor said. "He needed his first race then he didn't stay two and a half miles last time -- I think two miles is his best trip as well."

Bentley, whose services have been called upon by Godolphin on a number of occasions this season, has ridden three winners at Goodwood, but none at the feature meeting.

"It's disappointing to be touched off by such a short margin, but he's run a great race -- he did nothing wrong," Bentley said after unsaddling his mount, who was finishing second in the Goodwood Cup for the second year running. "I knew he would stay, but he just keeps galloping all the way to the line. He's a hardy old thing. At one stage I thought I would get there, and the winner was always coming back to me, so it was frustrating not to get there."

Goodwood Cup 2-1 favorite Estimate, a mare owned by The Queen, finished last of the eight runners. She was not only popular in the ring, but also with her rival Brown Panther, who finished third.

"Every time I got in behind Estimate he latched on to her -- I couldn't get him to truly settle and he was using a little too much gas," explained Richard Kingscote, who rode Brown Panther. "It was frustrating because it was a messy race and they got racing a long way out, but we were beaten fair and square.

"He let himself down on the ground so I'm not using that as an excuse."

Brown Panther may head for the Irish St Leger in September after failing to defend his Goodwood Cup crown. Trainer Tom Dascombe was clearly disappointed with his six-year-old charge's third successive placing, after his fourth in the Ascot Gold Cup and second in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil.

"He ran a bit free, never really settled," Dascombe said. "Richard (Kingscote) said he was being pestered all the way round. He seems as good as ever but he's the sort that needs everything to go right and it's a bit frustrating to keep hitting the bar. But that's racing, I suppose."

Brown Panther finished a close third, beaten a head and a short-head, in the Irish St Leger two years ago.

The course was set to be watered after racing on Thursday following another dry day.

"The ground rode as advertised, it was good, fast Flat-racing ground after we watered extensively last night," said Seamus Buckley, Goodwood's clerk of the course. "Most of the jockeys were of the opinion that the watering that was carried out had certainly eased the ground.

"And I must pay tribute to the groundstaff who worked a solid 12 hours to get some water back on the course before it dried out during racing today.

"Our plan for watering this evening will be similar to last night but with a lesser amount of water. We want to get some water on the lower bend, top bend and down the straight but we won't be putting as much on as we did last night. We'll begin watering about 7 p.m. and the groundstaff will be working in 8-10 hour shifts.

"I feel we need to retain some water in the ground in light of the rain that may materialize on Friday evening. I want moisture in the ground so that we don't get rain lying on top of firm ground.

"There's a possibility of a bit of rain on Friday night going into Saturday morning. There's a chance of four to five millimeters on Saturday. We'll review the situation again tomorrow.

"The dolled-out rail on the lower bend (from the six-furlong to the three-furlong marker) will be taken down after racing and there will be fresh ground for the Betfred Mile tomorrow."

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Missunited retired after pulling up lame from gutsy Lillie Langtry score

Missunited, the star of trainer Michael Winters' small Co. Cork stable, was flat to the boards at the finish of the Group 3, £60,000 Lillie Langtry Stakes on Thursday at Glorious Goodwood, but repelled all comers to beat Arabian Comet and Waila by a half-length and a head, with Talent close behind in fourth.

However, the seven-year-old daughter of Golan paid dearly for her heroic effort. Jockey Jim Crowley dismounted after pulling up and Missunited walked away feelingly.

"In fairness, absolutely no," Winters asserted when asked if there was a tougher, braver horse in training than Missunited.

"She owes us nothing," he added. "She's one of a lifetime, and every day's a day with her, and it's great to be able to share her with everyone. She's treated everyone on the National Hunt scene and it's great for her to do the same for the Flat people.

"But we look at life in a broader sense and when you think of what goes on in the world, the lads in Iraq and places getting shot, we're just happy to enjoy these good days and thank God for them.

"As for today, I have to say I was a bit worried when I saw her using her knee action high going to the start. She was galloping as fast as she could the whole way but she has the heart of a lion and that's what saw her through. I hope that she will be fine after this but if there is anything wrong with her, she won't be asked to go again."

Missunited didn't enter the winner's enclosure after the race, instead heading straight to the stables for veterinary attention. She was reported to have strained a suspensory ligament and was immediately retired.

Owned and bred by Dan and Vanessa Hutch, neighbors of Winters, Missunited will retire to their farm in Co. Cork. a winner of 12 races on the Flat and under NH rules, including the Galway Plate, one of Ireland's most famous handicap hurdles, a year to the day before her Goodwood victory.

She could hardly have ended her career more gloriously. In her previous run, the dark bay led the Ascot Gold Cup field until inside the final furlong, with only Leading Light and Estimate able to get past her.

Crowley joined in wide approval of Missunited after she bravely clung on for victory.

"I've never ridden a gamer horse in my life and doubt that I ever will. She is unbelievably tough," he said, clearly affected by the mare's gutsy display. "She wasn't loving the ground, but every time another horse came to her she kept trying. I kept pulling her into the other horse, keeping her interested and she has battled so well. She was never going to be passed."

Crowley said he was given no indication that she might be feeling sore during the race.

"She was getting tired, and it was only when I eased up after the line that I felt she was wrong. The ground is plenty quick enough, but she tried so hard," he explained. "She's a very unique horse, and that run in the Gold Cup proves how good she is."

The Stewards held an enquiry into Crowley's use of the whip from approaching two furlongs out. Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found that he had used his whip above the permitted level and suspended him for two days (August 14-15).

Connections of Arabian Comet and Waila were thrilled after their fillies came home second and third, respectively. Arabian Comet, trained by William Haggas, was coming in on the back of a 12-furlong handicap success at Ascot on July 11. The three-year-old is proving versatile, having also captured a mile handicap at Carlisle on June 2.

"It was another good effort from Arabian Comet," Haggas said. "She was stepping up in trip (to 14 furlongs) again but I think any trip is fine for her. Joe (Fanning, jockey) said she would probably get further as well.

"She is a very genuine filly and the aim now is to make her a stakes winner. I think we will look at Galtres Stakes at York next."

Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of Waila, added, "We were pleased with Waila. She has now been placed in a group race, which is good to get. I haven't got any plans for her because she is ground dependant. She needs fast ground."

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Missunited retired after pulling up lame from gutsy Lillie Langtry score

Missunited, the star of trainer Michael Winters' small Co. Cork stable, was flat to the boards at the finish of the Group 3, £60,000 Lillie Langtry Stakes on Thursday at Glorious Goodwood, but repelled all comers to beat Arabian Comet and Waila by a half-length and a head, with Talent close behind in fourth.

However, the seven-year-old daughter of Golan paid dearly for her heroic effort. Jockey Jim Crowley dismounted after pulling up and Missunited walked away feelingly.

"In fairness, absolutely no," Winters asserted when asked if there was a tougher, braver horse in training than Missunited.

"She owes us nothing," he added. "She's one of a lifetime, and every day's a day with her, and it's great to be able to share her with everyone. She's treated everyone on the National Hunt scene and it's great for her to do the same for the Flat people.

"But we look at life in a broader sense and when you think of what goes on in the world, the lads in Iraq and places getting shot, we're just happy to enjoy these good days and thank God for them.

"As for today, I have to say I was a bit worried when I saw her using her knee action high going to the start. She was galloping as fast as she could the whole way but she has the heart of a lion and that's what saw her through. I hope that she will be fine after this but if there is anything wrong with her, she won't be asked to go again."

Missunited didn't enter the winner's enclosure after the race, instead heading straight to the stables for veterinary attention. She was reported to have strained a suspensory ligament and was immediately retired.

Owned and bred by Dan and Vanessa Hutch, neighbors of Winters, Missunited will retire to their farm in Co. Cork. a winner of 12 races on the Flat and under NH rules, including the Galway Plate, one of Ireland's most famous handicap hurdles, a year to the day before her Goodwood victory.

She could hardly have ended her career more gloriously. In her previous run, the dark bay led the Ascot Gold Cup field until inside the final furlong, with only Leading Light and Estimate able to get past her.

Crowley joined in wide approval of Missunited after she bravely clung on for victory.

"I've never ridden a gamer horse in my life and doubt that I ever will. She is unbelievably tough," he said, clearly affected by the mare's gutsy display. "She wasn't loving the ground, but every time another horse came to her she kept trying. I kept pulling her into the other horse, keeping her interested and she has battled so well. She was never going to be passed."

Crowley said he was given no indication that she might be feeling sore during the race.

"She was getting tired, and it was only when I eased up after the line that I felt she was wrong. The ground is plenty quick enough, but she tried so hard," he explained. "She's a very unique horse, and that run in the Gold Cup proves how good she is."

The Stewards held an enquiry into Crowley's use of the whip from approaching two furlongs out. Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found that he had used his whip above the permitted level and suspended him for two days (August 14-15).

Connections of Arabian Comet and Waila were thrilled after their fillies came home second and third, respectively. Arabian Comet, trained by William Haggas, was coming in on the back of a 12-furlong handicap success at Ascot on July 11. The three-year-old is proving versatile, having also captured a mile handicap at Carlisle on June 2.

"It was another good effort from Arabian Comet," Haggas said. "She was stepping up in trip (to 14 furlongs) again but I think any trip is fine for her. Joe (Fanning, jockey) said she would probably get further as well.

"She is a very genuine filly and the aim now is to make her a stakes winner. I think we will look at Galtres Stakes at York next."

Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of Waila, added, "We were pleased with Waila. She has now been placed in a group race, which is good to get. I haven't got any plans for her because she is ground dependant. She needs fast ground."

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Hannon triumphs at Glorious Goodwood with Ivawood in Richmond

Trainer Richard Hannon, long associated with countless Glorious Goodwood winners conditioned by his father, Richard Hannon Sr., gained his first success at the meeting on Thursday.

"This is a happier occasion, but the other horses have run well and we were very proud of Toronado yesterday (when second in the Sussex Stakes)," Hannon said, reflecting on two luckless days at this meeting, and his first Glorious Goodwood victory. "I'm a very lucky man and have nothing to be sad about. I'm delighted to have a first Glorious Goodwood win and hope it's the first of many -- you never know, I may have another one this afternoon."

Hannon gained his own license when his father retired at the turn of the year, and was expected to follow in his father's glorious footsteps this week -- but he suffered eight places during the first two days and seemed hopelessly out of luck. Ivawood came to the rescue on Thursday, however, when winning the Group 2, £80,000 Richmond Stakes.

"Physically he looks streets ahead of a lot of two-year-olds, and I don't think he will become 'just a two-year-old,'" Hannon said. "We will probably keep him at six furlongs, although seven is an option and he looks a Guineas horse until proving otherwise.

"We don't need to do a lot with him -- he's fit now and all we have to do is keep the ball rolling until the Prix Morny, or Middle Park or Dewhurst Stakes -- or wherever we go. We'll let the dust settle, but he will now go for a Group 1, whether at six or seven furlongs. The Morny comes a little soon."

Not only was it the first win for Hannon, it was also champion jockey Richard Hughes' first winner of Glorious Goodwood 2014. Hughes had hit the crossbar with four seconds and a third over the last two days but made no mistake on Ivawood, who made all under a three-pound penalty to score by 4 1/2 in 1:10.09.

"Ivawood is very good. He's a big, powerful horse, he's fast and stays well -- he's got everything really," said Hughes, notching his 51st Glorious Goodwood winner and 160th in all at the course. "I thought he coped with the ground at Newmarket last time but he loved it today. He went down like a bird on it and traveled ever so easily.

"He looks like Toronado and is made like him. I think that he is ahead of the other two-year-olds at the moment because he is so powerful. He's quite a fast horse, he's a lot faster than Toronado was at this stage.

"It took a while to get a winner but at least the horses are running well," he added. "I felt that the only one that should have won was Beacon, and that was my fault, and the rest are all running big, competitive races."

Now unbeaten in three races, Ivawood was given quotes for next year's Two Thousand Guineas of 8-1 by Paddy Power and William Hill, and 10-1 by Betfred. The colt is by Hannon Sr. trainee Zebedee, an outstanding two-year-old who was retired to stud after his juvenile season.

"His dad won the Molecomb Stakes at this meeting over five furlongs, but this horse is different from his dad," Hannon explained. "Physically he is very different -- at two his dad wasn't very big and was much sharper. This horse has loads of speed, but has a lot more scope than Zebedee had.

"I would say he is one of the best two-year-olds we have -- I don't like to say he is the best, but he is up there. He's very sound and will have one or two more races this year."

Louie de Palma came home in second under Adam Kirby with a neck back to Coventry Stakes third Jungle Cat. Trainer Clive Cox was absolutely delighted with Louie de Palma's runner-up effort in his first step up to group company after winning a nursery at Ascot earlier in the month.

"Normally I wouldn't be happy with second, as second is first loser," Cox admitted. "But this time we're over the moon. He came out of Ascot really well but this was a big step up and he's taken it against a horse (Ivawood) who is more than a bit special.

"He is improving, he has a lot of scope and another furlong will be no problem. Today was the plan so far - we wanted to see if he was up to this sort of company. Now he's proved he is we can start to think of where we might go next."

Thursday attendance at Glorious Goodwood on Ladies' Day came to 23,524, which is the highest seen on the day since at least the turn of the century. That number was probably helped by the appearance of actor Tom Cruise, who presented the prized following The Magnolia Cup, the meeting's charity race for lady riders.

Cruise obligingly became the must-have "selfie" when attempting to exit the presentation, at which he had given the winner's trophy to model Edie Campbell, who piloted the Ian Williams-trained See the Storm. The horse was winning a ladies' race for the second time in five days having triumphed in Ascot's Longines Handicap on Saturday.

Campbell, this year's Goodwood race ambassador, had won The Magnolia Cup in 2011 and been fourth in 2012. She and the other eight who took part were raising money for The Reading Agency, which is dedicated to aiding reading and literacy skills, and Best Beginnings, which breaks down inequalities in child health.

See The Storm won pulling clear, and model Campbell said:

"Moving the finishing post (forward half a furlong to give riders more time to pull up) definitely helped and gave us more time -- and if there hadn't been a rail at the end of the pull-up I would have been in the next county!" Campbell said.

"I've been riding out at Ian Williams for a couple of months and I was so grateful to him and the horse's owners for allowing me to ride. I watched a recording of (See the Storm) at Ascot and that gave me confidence knowing he wanted to win. I was more nervous than ever this year, because you know it's frightening and scary, and you put a lot of work in to get here.

"Raising money for The Reading Agency means a lot - it's one of my favorite charities," she added.

"Edie's put a lot of hard work and many early mornings into it," Williams praised. "She was in every time she was due to ride first lot and has really put in a lot of effort. He ran so well in the ladies' race at Ascot on Saturday and it seemed perfect to come here."

Event-rider Tina Cook, second on Better Balance, said, "I absolutely loved it. He is a lovely horse and a real gentleman. He was fantastic going down to the start and we just kept picking them up through the race. We were never really going to catch Edie unfortunately, but it was a great thrill. It's completely different to eventing and I had never ridden a Flat horse before over five or six furlongs, so it was a whole new experience."

Ireland's Maggie Buggie had a challenge in getting Harrods Extra Mile to the start -- he dug his toes in and she had to dismount and jog to the start -- but finished third.

"It was absolutely fantastic and he was a wonderful horse. He did brilliantly considering he lost two front shoes during the race," Buggie remarked. "I did a race like this last year and came fifth, and that started the addiction -- now I want gold! It's not every day you ride at the most beautiful racecourse in the world, and the best part was that we raised a lot of money for two wonderful charities."

Mum-of-three Laura Redvers finished unplaced on Bellevue Beauty, but enjoyed the thrill.

"It was the most incredible experience," she said. "The noise and the crowds were amazing, and while the horse was not so keen to play he was a lovely ride all the same. My husband, David, put me in for this, but I said 'yes' straight away. My children were rather worried when they heard, and hugged me like they were never going to see me again!"

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Hannon triumphs at Glorious Goodwood with Ivawood in Richmond

Trainer Richard Hannon, long associated with countless Glorious Goodwood winners conditioned by his father, Richard Hannon Sr., gained his first success at the meeting on Thursday.

"This is a happier occasion, but the other horses have run well and we were very proud of Toronado yesterday (when second in the Sussex Stakes)," Hannon said, reflecting on two luckless days at this meeting, and his first Glorious Goodwood victory. "I'm a very lucky man and have nothing to be sad about. I'm delighted to have a first Glorious Goodwood win and hope it's the first of many -- you never know, I may have another one this afternoon."

Hannon gained his own license when his father retired at the turn of the year, and was expected to follow in his father's glorious footsteps this week -- but he suffered eight places during the first two days and seemed hopelessly out of luck. Ivawood came to the rescue on Thursday, however, when winning the Group 2, £80,000 Richmond Stakes.

"Physically he looks streets ahead of a lot of two-year-olds, and I don't think he will become 'just a two-year-old,'" Hannon said. "We will probably keep him at six furlongs, although seven is an option and he looks a Guineas horse until proving otherwise.

"We don't need to do a lot with him -- he's fit now and all we have to do is keep the ball rolling until the Prix Morny, or Middle Park or Dewhurst Stakes -- or wherever we go. We'll let the dust settle, but he will now go for a Group 1, whether at six or seven furlongs. The Morny comes a little soon."

Not only was it the first win for Hannon, it was also champion jockey Richard Hughes' first winner of Glorious Goodwood 2014. Hughes had hit the crossbar with four seconds and a third over the last two days but made no mistake on Ivawood, who made all under a three-pound penalty to score by 4 1/2 in 1:10.09.

"Ivawood is very good. He's a big, powerful horse, he's fast and stays well -- he's got everything really," said Hughes, notching his 51st Glorious Goodwood winner and 160th in all at the course. "I thought he coped with the ground at Newmarket last time but he loved it today. He went down like a bird on it and traveled ever so easily.

"He looks like Toronado and is made like him. I think that he is ahead of the other two-year-olds at the moment because he is so powerful. He's quite a fast horse, he's a lot faster than Toronado was at this stage.

"It took a while to get a winner but at least the horses are running well," he added. "I felt that the only one that should have won was Beacon, and that was my fault, and the rest are all running big, competitive races."

Now unbeaten in three races, Ivawood was given quotes for next year's Two Thousand Guineas of 8-1 by Paddy Power and William Hill, and 10-1 by Betfred. The colt is by Hannon Sr. trainee Zebedee, an outstanding two-year-old who was retired to stud after his juvenile season.

"His dad won the Molecomb Stakes at this meeting over five furlongs, but this horse is different from his dad," Hannon explained. "Physically he is very different -- at two his dad wasn't very big and was much sharper. This horse has loads of speed, but has a lot more scope than Zebedee had.

"I would say he is one of the best two-year-olds we have -- I don't like to say he is the best, but he is up there. He's very sound and will have one or two more races this year."

Louie de Palma came home in second under Adam Kirby with a neck back to Coventry Stakes third Jungle Cat. Trainer Clive Cox was absolutely delighted with Louie de Palma's runner-up effort in his first step up to group company after winning a nursery at Ascot earlier in the month.

"Normally I wouldn't be happy with second, as second is first loser," Cox admitted. "But this time we're over the moon. He came out of Ascot really well but this was a big step up and he's taken it against a horse (Ivawood) who is more than a bit special.

"He is improving, he has a lot of scope and another furlong will be no problem. Today was the plan so far - we wanted to see if he was up to this sort of company. Now he's proved he is we can start to think of where we might go next."

Thursday attendance at Glorious Goodwood on Ladies' Day came to 23,524, which is the highest seen on the day since at least the turn of the century. That number was probably helped by the appearance of actor Tom Cruise, who presented the prized following The Magnolia Cup, the meeting's charity race for lady riders.

Cruise obligingly became the must-have "selfie" when attempting to exit the presentation, at which he had given the winner's trophy to model Edie Campbell, who piloted the Ian Williams-trained See the Storm. The horse was winning a ladies' race for the second time in five days having triumphed in Ascot's Longines Handicap on Saturday.

Campbell, this year's Goodwood race ambassador, had won The Magnolia Cup in 2011 and been fourth in 2012. She and the other eight who took part were raising money for The Reading Agency, which is dedicated to aiding reading and literacy skills, and Best Beginnings, which breaks down inequalities in child health.

See The Storm won pulling clear, and model Campbell said:

"Moving the finishing post (forward half a furlong to give riders more time to pull up) definitely helped and gave us more time -- and if there hadn't been a rail at the end of the pull-up I would have been in the next county!" Campbell said.

"I've been riding out at Ian Williams for a couple of months and I was so grateful to him and the horse's owners for allowing me to ride. I watched a recording of (See the Storm) at Ascot and that gave me confidence knowing he wanted to win. I was more nervous than ever this year, because you know it's frightening and scary, and you put a lot of work in to get here.

"Raising money for The Reading Agency means a lot - it's one of my favorite charities," she added.

"Edie's put a lot of hard work and many early mornings into it," Williams praised. "She was in every time she was due to ride first lot and has really put in a lot of effort. He ran so well in the ladies' race at Ascot on Saturday and it seemed perfect to come here."

Event-rider Tina Cook, second on Better Balance, said, "I absolutely loved it. He is a lovely horse and a real gentleman. He was fantastic going down to the start and we just kept picking them up through the race. We were never really going to catch Edie unfortunately, but it was a great thrill. It's completely different to eventing and I had never ridden a Flat horse before over five or six furlongs, so it was a whole new experience."

Ireland's Maggie Buggie had a challenge in getting Harrods Extra Mile to the start -- he dug his toes in and she had to dismount and jog to the start -- but finished third.

"It was absolutely fantastic and he was a wonderful horse. He did brilliantly considering he lost two front shoes during the race," Buggie remarked. "I did a race like this last year and came fifth, and that started the addiction -- now I want gold! It's not every day you ride at the most beautiful racecourse in the world, and the best part was that we raised a lot of money for two wonderful charities."

Mum-of-three Laura Redvers finished unplaced on Bellevue Beauty, but enjoyed the thrill.

"It was the most incredible experience," she said. "The noise and the crowds were amazing, and while the horse was not so keen to play he was a lovely ride all the same. My husband, David, put me in for this, but I said 'yes' straight away. My children were rather worried when they heard, and hugged me like they were never going to see me again!"

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Seven to line up in Nassau

Saturday's Group 1 Nassau Stakes on the fifth and final day of Glorious Goodwood is the mid-summer highlight for Europe's leading fillies and mares. Run over nearly 10 furlongs, the £200,000 contest boasts an outstanding roll of honor with star performers such as The Fugue, Midday and Ouija Board all scoring since the turn of the century.

This year's renewal will see a field of seven go to post, all of whom will be chasing a first Group 1 success. Sir Michael Stoute is the most successful current trainer with seven triumphs and will be represented by Mango Diva, who was last seen out when taking the Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh on July 20.

Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien, who recorded back-to-back successes with Peeping Fawn (2007) and Halfway to Heaven (2008), is relying on last year's Irish Oaks runner-up Venus de Milo. The Duke of Marmalade four-year-old comes in on the back of a second to Thistle Bird in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on June 29.

John Gosden has established a £500,000 lead in the trainers' championship and is seeking a hat-trick in the Nassau, following on from Winsili (2013) and The Fugue (2012), with the lightly-raced pair of Group 3 heroine and Lancashire Oaks runner-up Sultanina, and Newbury listed scorer Eastern Belle.

International interest comes in the shape of the Aga Khan-owned Narniyn, representing leading French handler Alain de Royer-Dupre. The four-year-old recorded four consecutive victories between 10 and 11 furlongs, including two successes at Group 3 level, before coming home fourth in her first start against Group 1 company in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud going 12 furlongs on June 29.

Completing the line-up is the Ed Dunlop-conditioned course scorer Amazing Maria and the Richard Hannon-trained Lustrous. Amazing Maria captured a maiden and the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood last season, while Lustrous was second in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot but only seventh in the Irish Oaks last out.

"Lustrous has plenty on her plate in the Nassau Stakes," Hannon reported on his website. "She ran as well as we could have hoped in the Irish Oaks -- she split the Epsom Oaks runner-up (Tarfasha) and Irish One Thousand Guineas winner (Marvellous)."

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Seven to line up in Nassau

Saturday's Group 1 Nassau Stakes on the fifth and final day of Glorious Goodwood is the mid-summer highlight for Europe's leading fillies and mares. Run over nearly 10 furlongs, the £200,000 contest boasts an outstanding roll of honor with star performers such as The Fugue, Midday and Ouija Board all scoring since the turn of the century.

This year's renewal will see a field of seven go to post, all of whom will be chasing a first Group 1 success. Sir Michael Stoute is the most successful current trainer with seven triumphs and will be represented by Mango Diva, who was last seen out when taking the Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh on July 20.

Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien, who recorded back-to-back successes with Peeping Fawn (2007) and Halfway to Heaven (2008), is relying on last year's Irish Oaks runner-up Venus de Milo. The Duke of Marmalade four-year-old comes in on the back of a second to Thistle Bird in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on June 29.

John Gosden has established a £500,000 lead in the trainers' championship and is seeking a hat-trick in the Nassau, following on from Winsili (2013) and The Fugue (2012), with the lightly-raced pair of Group 3 heroine and Lancashire Oaks runner-up Sultanina, and Newbury listed scorer Eastern Belle.

International interest comes in the shape of the Aga Khan-owned Narniyn, representing leading French handler Alain de Royer-Dupre. The four-year-old recorded four consecutive victories between 10 and 11 furlongs, including two successes at Group 3 level, before coming home fourth in her first start against Group 1 company in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud going 12 furlongs on June 29.

Completing the line-up is the Ed Dunlop-conditioned course scorer Amazing Maria and the Richard Hannon-trained Lustrous. Amazing Maria captured a maiden and the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood last season, while Lustrous was second in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot but only seventh in the Irish Oaks last out.

"Lustrous has plenty on her plate in the Nassau Stakes," Hannon reported on his website. "She ran as well as we could have hoped in the Irish Oaks -- she split the Epsom Oaks runner-up (Tarfasha) and Irish One Thousand Guineas winner (Marvellous)."

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Bullsbay's first winner comes at Saratoga

Bullsbay, who scored his signature win in the 2009 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, celebrated a fitting first winner when Gary Barber's Bullheaded Boy captured his debut at the Spa. Hammered into 3-5 favoritism in Thursday's 6TH race, the Todd Pletcher juvenile chased the pace for John Velazquez before asserting by a half-length. Bullheaded Boy finished the six-furlong maiden special weight for New York-breds in :58 3/5 on the sloppy track.

Bred by Zeke Kobak and Danny Bramer, the dark bay colt has toured three auction rings so far. Bullheaded Boy RNA'd for $9,500 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February yearling, sold for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Sale at Saratoga last August, and finally just commanded $115,000 at OBS in June. Justin Casse was the successful pinhooker. The two-year-old is the first registered foal of the Pulpit mare Sister Dyer, and his second dam is Grade 2 winner Belterra.

Bullsbay was a progressive type in Southern California for Eric Kruljac. A track record-setter at Del Mar in 2008, covering a Polytrack mile in 1:36.23, he later joined Graham Motion.

The son of Tiznow reached his peak at five in 2009, with victories in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at Laurel and the Alysheba at Churchill Downs leading up to his career high in the Whitney. Bullsbay placed in four stakes over the course of his career, most notably when third to Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the Woodward, and he retired with a record of 25-7-6-2, $923,245.

Bullsbay is out of the multiple stakes-placed Lord Carson mare The Hess Express, making him a half-brother to three stakes winners -- Grade 3 heroine Our Khrysty, Hidden Expression and Vegas No Show, who was also Grade 2-placed. This is the family of Grade 1-winning millionaire Grecian Flight.

The 10-year-old Bullsbay stands at Northview Stallions' Pennsylvania division near Peach Bottom for $3,000, stands and nurses.

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Bullsbay's first winner comes at Saratoga

Bullsbay, who scored his signature win in the 2009 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, celebrated a fitting first winner when Gary Barber's Bullheaded Boy captured his debut at the Spa. Hammered into 3-5 favoritism in Thursday's 6TH race, the Todd Pletcher juvenile chased the pace for John Velazquez before asserting by a half-length. Bullheaded Boy finished the six-furlong maiden special weight for New York-breds in :58 3/5 on the sloppy track.

Bred by Zeke Kobak and Danny Bramer, the dark bay colt has toured three auction rings so far. Bullheaded Boy RNA'd for $9,500 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February yearling, sold for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Sale at Saratoga last August, and finally just commanded $115,000 at OBS in June. Justin Casse was the successful pinhooker. The two-year-old is the first registered foal of the Pulpit mare Sister Dyer, and his second dam is Grade 2 winner Belterra.

Bullsbay was a progressive type in Southern California for Eric Kruljac. A track record-setter at Del Mar in 2008, covering a Polytrack mile in 1:36.23, he later joined Graham Motion.

The son of Tiznow reached his peak at five in 2009, with victories in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at Laurel and the Alysheba at Churchill Downs leading up to his career high in the Whitney. Bullsbay placed in four stakes over the course of his career, most notably when third to Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the Woodward, and he retired with a record of 25-7-6-2, $923,245.

Bullsbay is out of the multiple stakes-placed Lord Carson mare The Hess Express, making him a half-brother to three stakes winners -- Grade 3 heroine Our Khrysty, Hidden Expression and Vegas No Show, who was also Grade 2-placed. This is the family of Grade 1-winning millionaire Grecian Flight.

The 10-year-old Bullsbay stands at Northview Stallions' Pennsylvania division near Peach Bottom for $3,000, stands and nurses.

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Concord Point hits the mark with first winner

Grade 2 hero Concord Point was represented by his first winner as a sire on Thursday when King Star's Sizzling Quatorze crushed the 5TH race at Delaware Park. After arguing through the opening quarter, the Juan Vazquez pupil spurted clear and extended his margin to 7 3/4 lengths at the wire. Carlos Gutierrez guided the 2-1 chance through six furlongs in 1:11 1/5.

Sizzling Quatorze is now the fifth runner, and winner, produced by the winning Louis Quatorze mare Hope's Diamond. Bred by Ernest C. Frohboese in Kentucky, the bay colt sold for $32,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. His current connections purchased him for $10,000 at OBS in April, and he was in for a $20,000 tag here.

Concord Point immediately got off the mark for trainer Bob Baffert, taking his debut by 1 1/4 lengths as a juvenile at Santa Anita on December 26, 2009. The gray ran fourth in his sophomore bow at that track against optional claiming rivals before capturing an allowance in April by 1 1/4 lengths.

The son of Tapit made his stakes and Hollywood Park bow in the Lazaro Barrera Memorial and just missed when second by a half-length in that Grade 3 contest. Next out, he romped by 8 1/2 lengths in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby, setting a new track record at Prairie Meadows when finishing that 1 1/16-mile affair in 1:40.37.

Concord Point went on to score a length win in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby and was under consideration for the upcoming Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. However, an ankle problem flared up and the Kentucky-bred was retired, heading to the breeding shed with a 6-4-1-0 mark and $669,260 in career earnings.

Concord Point was bred by Lee McMillin and Ed Rudley, and made his first start for Oxbow Racing and Peter R. Bradley III before being purchased and campaigned by Kaleem Shah for the remainder of his career.

He is out of the winning Boston Harbor mare Harve de Grace, not to be confused with 2011 Horse of the Year and champion older female Havre de Grace. Concord Point's dam never actually competed in any stakes, but some of her half-siblings did including multiple Grade 3 heroine Tasha's Miracle, Grade 2-placed Deb's Charm and stakes-placed Early Vintage (dam of current multiple stakes winner Conquest Top Gun). His third dam is multiple Grade 3 queen A Penny is a Penny.

Concord Point retired to stud at Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington, Kentucky, for a fee of $7,500 in 2011, with nothing changed for the 2014 breeding season.

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Concord Point hits the mark with first winner

Grade 2 hero Concord Point was represented by his first winner as a sire on Thursday when King Star's Sizzling Quatorze crushed the 5TH race at Delaware Park. After arguing through the opening quarter, the Juan Vazquez pupil spurted clear and extended his margin to 7 3/4 lengths at the wire. Carlos Gutierrez guided the 2-1 chance through six furlongs in 1:11 1/5.

Sizzling Quatorze is now the fifth runner, and winner, produced by the winning Louis Quatorze mare Hope's Diamond. Bred by Ernest C. Frohboese in Kentucky, the bay colt sold for $32,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. His current connections purchased him for $10,000 at OBS in April, and he was in for a $20,000 tag here.

Concord Point immediately got off the mark for trainer Bob Baffert, taking his debut by 1 1/4 lengths as a juvenile at Santa Anita on December 26, 2009. The gray ran fourth in his sophomore bow at that track against optional claiming rivals before capturing an allowance in April by 1 1/4 lengths.

The son of Tapit made his stakes and Hollywood Park bow in the Lazaro Barrera Memorial and just missed when second by a half-length in that Grade 3 contest. Next out, he romped by 8 1/2 lengths in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby, setting a new track record at Prairie Meadows when finishing that 1 1/16-mile affair in 1:40.37.

Concord Point went on to score a length win in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby and was under consideration for the upcoming Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. However, an ankle problem flared up and the Kentucky-bred was retired, heading to the breeding shed with a 6-4-1-0 mark and $669,260 in career earnings.

Concord Point was bred by Lee McMillin and Ed Rudley, and made his first start for Oxbow Racing and Peter R. Bradley III before being purchased and campaigned by Kaleem Shah for the remainder of his career.

He is out of the winning Boston Harbor mare Harve de Grace, not to be confused with 2011 Horse of the Year and champion older female Havre de Grace. Concord Point's dam never actually competed in any stakes, but some of her half-siblings did including multiple Grade 3 heroine Tasha's Miracle, Grade 2-placed Deb's Charm and stakes-placed Early Vintage (dam of current multiple stakes winner Conquest Top Gun). His third dam is multiple Grade 3 queen A Penny is a Penny.

Concord Point retired to stud at Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington, Kentucky, for a fee of $7,500 in 2011, with nothing changed for the 2014 breeding season.

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Palace Malice faces stern test in nine-horse Whitney

Palace Malice stretches back out nine furlongs following a sensational win in the Met Mile (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photo)

A terrific winner of the June 7 Met Mile and unbeaten from four starts this year, Palace Malice will attempt to enhance his outstanding resume in Saturday's Grade 1, $1.5 million Whitney. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt will face a talented group of eight rivals in the 1 1/8-mile event at Saratoga, which serves as a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"I think you certainly have to put the Whitney up there as one of the most coveted prizes in American racing," Pletcher said. "It's a historic race. It's the focal race for older horses at our most prestigious meet. It carries a lot of weight for championship honors. It's a race we hold in very high regard."

A four-year-old son of Curlin, Palace Malice earned his first stakes victory in last year's Belmont Stakes. Other highlights of his sophomore season included a win in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga and a runner-up in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but Palace Malice had something to prove this season after concluding 2013 with a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

He's established himself as the front-runner for Horse of the Year honors.

"He really is (an iron horse)," Pletcher said of Palace Malice, who made 10 starts last year. "He's an uncomplicated horse. He's hearty, he stays in the feed tub, you can train him however you want. I think he actually thrives on action."

Palace Malice returned to the races this year with a hard-fought head decision in the March 8 Gulfstream Park H. and has performed spectacularly since then, registering a 113 BRIS Speed rating for his 4 3/4-length triumph in the New Orleans H. prior to a 9 3/4-length romp in the Westchester. The bay Kentucky-bred squared off against an all-star field at the tricky one-mile distance last time in the Metropolitan H. and showed his class in the final furlongs, driving to a one-length win over Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile hero Goldencents.

Will Take Charge really came on last fall & trainer D. Wayne Lukas is looking forward to the second half of 2014 for the Eclipse Award winner (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

"We ran him back pretty quickly in New Orleans after his first start of the year," Pletcher said. "It was back in three weeks and we were concerned about that, and he actually ran enormous that day. I think he likes the action. We were worried about the Met Mile, drawing the one hole and carrying top weight, and he's just gotten more professional."

Owned by Dogwood Stables, Palace Malice will break from post No. 5 with regular rider John Velazquez and is listed as the even-money favorite on the morning line.

"Mr. (Cot) Campbell and Dogwood (Stable) have supported me for a long time and it's great to have a horse of this caliber for them," the trainer added.

Will Take Charge, last year's champion three-year-old male, will make his first start against Palace Malice this year and breaks from the innermost post position. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee finished in front of his rival three times from five starts last season, with each owning one win, and Will Take Charge's biggest career victory, the Travers at Saratoga, came at the expense of Saturday's favorite. A son of Unbridled's Song and out of the outstanding broodmare Take Charge Lady, Will Take Charge will be seeking his second stakes win of 2014.

"I hate to have an upset stomach this early in the morning," Lukas said about drawing the rail. "Not good. I never really have much luck on the rail in any big race, not really in (a race) of this magnitude."

A top performer in the first half of 2013, Itsmyluckyday is hitting his best stride at age four, winning three straight stakes in facile fashion (Equi-Photo/Aubrey Therkelsen)

After concluding 2013 with a head score over Game On Dude in the Clark H., the chestnut colt opened the year with a pair of respectable seconds against Grade 1 foes in the Donn H. and Santa Anita H. Will Take Charge returned to the winner's circle in the April 12 Oaklawn H. but took a step back in the May 2 Alysheba, checking in sixth. He rebounded from that disappointment with a rallying second in the June 14 Stephen Foster and will attempt to carry his momentum forward in the Whitney. Luis Saez, who was replaced by Gary Stevens in the last two starts, regains the mount.

Will Take Charge ran 11 times last year and will be making his sixth appearance of 2014.

"He's thrived on it," Lukas said when asked about the rigorous schedule. "He's done really well. It was last year when we saw a real change in him when he came up here. He got into the feed tub, he trained well. I think he has an affinity for this racetrack. You can say the same thing this year. I think he's put on weight since we last ran him.

"We're the champion until someone dethrones us. We're the champion, we earned it last year, we're not making apologies for anything. I really think it's wonderful that we decide (championships) on the racetrack, not in the press box, not by guys on television. We get them out there, we get them all on the track, we've got a wonderful field here. It's probably going to be the first of many through the fall. John Nerud told me years ago, 'Championships are always decided in the fall, never in the spring.'"

Will Take Charge is the early 4-1 second choice and shares 124-pound highweight duties with Palace Malice.

Itsmyluckyday will enter the Whiney on the upswing for conditioner Eddie Plesa Jr. Runner-up in last year's Preakness, the Lawyer Ron colt has reeled off three convincing stakes wins since returning from a nine-month layoff earlier this year with a fourth in the Gulfstream Park H., most recently posting a sharp 1 1/2-length tally in the July 6 Salvator Mile. He was flattered when the runner-up and third-place finishers, Bradester and Valid, came back to run one-two in reverse order in last Sunday's Monmouth Cup, and Itsmyluckyday earned his top Speed rating of the year last time (103).

Departing, a four-time stakes winner at age three, will be seeking his first Grade 1 triumph (Coady Photography)

The speedy colt retains the services of Paco Lopez and Itsmyluckyday is 12-1 on the morning line.

"I think the speed is on the inside of me, which is probably a good thing," Plesa said of drawing post 4. "I'm just real pleased with the way the horse is going, and I'm pleased to be able to come up there and see what we have. It's going to be his sternest test, no ifs, ands or buts about that, but he deserves an opportunity and he's training up to it great."

Departing is listed as the 6-1 third choice. A four-time stakes winner at age three, the War Front gelding came back this season with a nice win over allowance/optional claiming opponents at Churchill Downs on April 30. The Al Stall Jr. charge loomed large turning for home in the Stephen Foster before weakening slightly in the final furlongs, finishing two lengths back in third, but that tough effort could benefit him. Departing shows a nice series of works for his third start of 2014.

"It's almost the same training pattern as he did last year for the West Virginia Derby," Stall said of the gelding's preparations. "He flourished and won that race by almost 10 lengths. He's going to step into a tougher race than the West Virginia Derby. He seems to thrive up here, even though he has never run over the racetrack. We sure love the way he gets over it.

"We think he's a Grade 1 type of horse. The Stephen Foster was his second race in 8 1/2 months and his first race around two turns (this year). He went from just an allowance race into that race. I think he acquitted himself quite well. He had the lead between calls in the stretch, and he got a little heavy right there toward the end. It did knock him down, but I think it built him up a little bit. I think he's ready for a big race in his third off the layoff."

Moreno, who finished a nose second in last year's Travers, brings plenty of speed to the Whitney equation from post 2. The Ghostzapper gelding exits an encouraging effort for trainer Eric Guillot, finishing second in the July 5 Suburban, and will keep Junior Alvarado in the saddle. Moreno has been installed as the 10-1 co-fourth choice.

Romansh, winner of last year's Curlin at Saratoga via disqualification, is also 10-1 on the morning line. The Tom Albertrani trainee captured the Excelsior at Aqueduct earlier this season and recorded a good third to Palace Malice in the Met Mile two starts back. The four-year-old son of Bernardini will look to make amends for a fifth as the favorite in the Suburban last time.

Grade 2 hero Last Gunfighter, a seven-time stakes winner for Chad Brown, drew the far outside post with leading rider Javier Castellano and comes next on the morning line at 15-1. Rounding out the field at 20-1 are Golden Ticket, who dead-heated for the win in the 2012 Travers; and Suburban third-placer Prayer for Relief.

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Palace Malice faces stern test in nine-horse Whitney

Palace Malice stretches back out nine furlongs following a sensational win in the Met Mile (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photo)

A terrific winner of the June 7 Met Mile and unbeaten from four starts this year, Palace Malice will attempt to enhance his outstanding resume in Saturday's Grade 1, $1.5 million Whitney. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt will face a talented group of eight rivals in the 1 1/8-mile event at Saratoga, which serves as a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"I think you certainly have to put the Whitney up there as one of the most coveted prizes in American racing," Pletcher said. "It's a historic race. It's the focal race for older horses at our most prestigious meet. It carries a lot of weight for championship honors. It's a race we hold in very high regard."

A four-year-old son of Curlin, Palace Malice earned his first stakes victory in last year's Belmont Stakes. Other highlights of his sophomore season included a win in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga and a runner-up in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but Palace Malice had something to prove this season after concluding 2013 with a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

He's established himself as the front-runner for Horse of the Year honors.

"He really is (an iron horse)," Pletcher said of Palace Malice, who made 10 starts last year. "He's an uncomplicated horse. He's hearty, he stays in the feed tub, you can train him however you want. I think he actually thrives on action."

Palace Malice returned to the races this year with a hard-fought head decision in the March 8 Gulfstream Park H. and has performed spectacularly since then, registering a 113 BRIS Speed rating for his 4 3/4-length triumph in the New Orleans H. prior to a 9 3/4-length romp in the Westchester. The bay Kentucky-bred squared off against an all-star field at the tricky one-mile distance last time in the Metropolitan H. and showed his class in the final furlongs, driving to a one-length win over Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile hero Goldencents.

Will Take Charge really came on last fall & trainer D. Wayne Lukas is looking forward to the second half of 2014 for the Eclipse Award winner (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

"We ran him back pretty quickly in New Orleans after his first start of the year," Pletcher said. "It was back in three weeks and we were concerned about that, and he actually ran enormous that day. I think he likes the action. We were worried about the Met Mile, drawing the one hole and carrying top weight, and he's just gotten more professional."

Owned by Dogwood Stables, Palace Malice will break from post No. 5 with regular rider John Velazquez and is listed as the even-money favorite on the morning line.

"Mr. (Cot) Campbell and Dogwood (Stable) have supported me for a long time and it's great to have a horse of this caliber for them," the trainer added.

Will Take Charge, last year's champion three-year-old male, will make his first start against Palace Malice this year and breaks from the innermost post position. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee finished in front of his rival three times from five starts last season, with each owning one win, and Will Take Charge's biggest career victory, the Travers at Saratoga, came at the expense of Saturday's favorite. A son of Unbridled's Song and out of the outstanding broodmare Take Charge Lady, Will Take Charge will be seeking his second stakes win of 2014.

"I hate to have an upset stomach this early in the morning," Lukas said about drawing the rail. "Not good. I never really have much luck on the rail in any big race, not really in (a race) of this magnitude."

A top performer in the first half of 2013, Itsmyluckyday is hitting his best stride at age four, winning three straight stakes in facile fashion (Equi-Photo/Aubrey Therkelsen)

After concluding 2013 with a head score over Game On Dude in the Clark H., the chestnut colt opened the year with a pair of respectable seconds against Grade 1 foes in the Donn H. and Santa Anita H. Will Take Charge returned to the winner's circle in the April 12 Oaklawn H. but took a step back in the May 2 Alysheba, checking in sixth. He rebounded from that disappointment with a rallying second in the June 14 Stephen Foster and will attempt to carry his momentum forward in the Whitney. Luis Saez, who was replaced by Gary Stevens in the last two starts, regains the mount.

Will Take Charge ran 11 times last year and will be making his sixth appearance of 2014.

"He's thrived on it," Lukas said when asked about the rigorous schedule. "He's done really well. It was last year when we saw a real change in him when he came up here. He got into the feed tub, he trained well. I think he has an affinity for this racetrack. You can say the same thing this year. I think he's put on weight since we last ran him.

"We're the champion until someone dethrones us. We're the champion, we earned it last year, we're not making apologies for anything. I really think it's wonderful that we decide (championships) on the racetrack, not in the press box, not by guys on television. We get them out there, we get them all on the track, we've got a wonderful field here. It's probably going to be the first of many through the fall. John Nerud told me years ago, 'Championships are always decided in the fall, never in the spring.'"

Will Take Charge is the early 4-1 second choice and shares 124-pound highweight duties with Palace Malice.

Itsmyluckyday will enter the Whiney on the upswing for conditioner Eddie Plesa Jr. Runner-up in last year's Preakness, the Lawyer Ron colt has reeled off three convincing stakes wins since returning from a nine-month layoff earlier this year with a fourth in the Gulfstream Park H., most recently posting a sharp 1 1/2-length tally in the July 6 Salvator Mile. He was flattered when the runner-up and third-place finishers, Bradester and Valid, came back to run one-two in reverse order in last Sunday's Monmouth Cup, and Itsmyluckyday earned his top Speed rating of the year last time (103).

Departing, a four-time stakes winner at age three, will be seeking his first Grade 1 triumph (Coady Photography)

The speedy colt retains the services of Paco Lopez and Itsmyluckyday is 12-1 on the morning line.

"I think the speed is on the inside of me, which is probably a good thing," Plesa said of drawing post 4. "I'm just real pleased with the way the horse is going, and I'm pleased to be able to come up there and see what we have. It's going to be his sternest test, no ifs, ands or buts about that, but he deserves an opportunity and he's training up to it great."

Departing is listed as the 6-1 third choice. A four-time stakes winner at age three, the War Front gelding came back this season with a nice win over allowance/optional claiming opponents at Churchill Downs on April 30. The Al Stall Jr. charge loomed large turning for home in the Stephen Foster before weakening slightly in the final furlongs, finishing two lengths back in third, but that tough effort could benefit him. Departing shows a nice series of works for his third start of 2014.

"It's almost the same training pattern as he did last year for the West Virginia Derby," Stall said of the gelding's preparations. "He flourished and won that race by almost 10 lengths. He's going to step into a tougher race than the West Virginia Derby. He seems to thrive up here, even though he has never run over the racetrack. We sure love the way he gets over it.

"We think he's a Grade 1 type of horse. The Stephen Foster was his second race in 8 1/2 months and his first race around two turns (this year). He went from just an allowance race into that race. I think he acquitted himself quite well. He had the lead between calls in the stretch, and he got a little heavy right there toward the end. It did knock him down, but I think it built him up a little bit. I think he's ready for a big race in his third off the layoff."

Moreno, who finished a nose second in last year's Travers, brings plenty of speed to the Whitney equation from post 2. The Ghostzapper gelding exits an encouraging effort for trainer Eric Guillot, finishing second in the July 5 Suburban, and will keep Junior Alvarado in the saddle. Moreno has been installed as the 10-1 co-fourth choice.

Romansh, winner of last year's Curlin at Saratoga via disqualification, is also 10-1 on the morning line. The Tom Albertrani trainee captured the Excelsior at Aqueduct earlier this season and recorded a good third to Palace Malice in the Met Mile two starts back. The four-year-old son of Bernardini will look to make amends for a fifth as the favorite in the Suburban last time.

Grade 2 hero Last Gunfighter, a seven-time stakes winner for Chad Brown, drew the far outside post with leading rider Javier Castellano and comes next on the morning line at 15-1. Rounding out the field at 20-1 are Golden Ticket, who dead-heated for the win in the 2012 Travers; and Suburban third-placer Prayer for Relief.

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Competitive dozen line up for Test

Fiftyshadesofgold will try to take the gold in Saturday's Test (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

A strong field of 12 sprinting sophomore fillies has been entered in the Grade 1, $500,000 Test Saturday on the Whitney undercard, and any number in the seven-furlong affair could find themselves in the Saratoga winner's circle at the end.

One of the more well-known names of the bunch is Fiftyshadesofgold from trainer Bret Calhoun's barn. The My Golden Song filly was a dominate winner of her two initial starts last year, including Churchill Downs' Debutante, and closed out her juvenile campaign in the Adirondack Stakes at the Spa. She ran a good fourth that day after being in tight and steadied twice, and was eventually elevated to third via disqualification.

Fiftyshadesofgold made her three-year-old bow at Sam Houston, taking a state-bred stakes by 2 1/2 lengths, then was tried at a route in the 1 1/16-mile Fair Grounds Oaks. The gray lass reputed herself well in second behind current star filly Untapable but was cut back to seven furlongs for a nice win in the Eight Belles instead of trying the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks next out.

Fiftyshadesofgold led down the backstretch most recently in the Acorn at Belmont Park but was caught and passed by three runners to finish fourth. She'll get a jockey switch from Mike Smith to Robby Albarado in the Test.

Sweet Reason is another who's garnered a fair amount of attention, capturing the one-mile Acorn on June 7, and will cut back to seven furlongs for the first time on Saturday since a 5 3/4-length romp in last September's Spinaway over a sloppy, sealed Saratoga track. The Leah Gyarmati pupil is actually two-for-two at the Spa, having broken her maiden debut by 6 1/4 lengths on a similar sloppy surface before going on to be second in Belmont's Frizette and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The bay daughter of Street Sense began her sophomore campaign with a win against optional claiming rivals on March 7 at Aqueduct and has competed just twice more, running third in the Gazelle and scoring in the Acorn.

Sweet Reason (left) and Sweet Whiskey (right) will renew their rivalry on Saturday (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

"She's really turned a corner this year with her breezes," Gyarmati said. "She's never been this kind of work horse and now every time she works she's been right there. She's just growing up."

Sweet Reason may be poised to take another step forward, according to Gyarmati.

"She's just doing better and she's happier," Gyarmati said. "She loves it here, so that should be a good sign for August 2, we hope."

Irad Ortiz Jr. has been aboard for all three of Sweet Reason's 2014 starts and retains the mount on Saturday.

Sweet Whiskey gave Sweet Reason a run for her money in the Acorn and completed the "Sweet" exacta that day. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the bay miss has finished off-the-board just once in her seven-race career. Like Sweet Reason, she broke her maiden at Saratoga in her first outing then finished fourth to that rival in the Spinaway. A second in the Matron completed her juvenile season but she opened her three-year-old term by taking the Old Hat at Gulfstream Park.

Sweet Whiskey has placed in her other three starts this year, including the Beaumont at Keeneland, and keeps jockey John Velazquez aboard as she seeks to the turn the tables on a number entered in the Test.

Miss Behaviour has been working up a storm at Laurel Park to prepare for the Test (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

Miss Behaviour is one of those to hand Sweet Whiskey a defeat this year, and in turn has been beaten herself by others in this field. The Jump Start filly will break from the far outside post 12 and brings a win in the Miss Preakness as well as placings in the Victory Ride and Stormy Blues into the Test. Javier Castellano has the call on the Phil Schoenthal pupil.

"(The Victory Ride) is tough to gauge," Schoenthal noted. "You want to give her an excuse because the pace was so fast, so maybe that's why she flattened out."

Seven furlongs presents a unique challenge to Miss Behaviour, who was been farther than 6 1/2 furlongs only once in her career in the one-mile Delta Princess. Trying to coax an extra half-furlong out of his filly, Schoenthal has changed her training regimen leading up to the Test.

"She's sharp right now," he said. "I spent the past month training her a lot harder than I normally do. I've been training her like a route horse, and she's responded well."

Street Story got the best of Miss Behaviour in the Victory Ride last out and is riding a two-race win streak. The Steve Asmussen charge has proven to be inconsistent thus far in her career but still boasts four wins from eight career starts. Joel Rosario will be in the irons.

Southern Honey dropped her first two starts but has been unbeatable since breaking her maiden in April at Keeneland. The Rusty Arnold-trained daughter of Colonel John earned a very nice 101 BRIS Speed figure last out when capturing the Winning Colors at Churchill and has posted a pair of nice moves over the track in preparation for this one. Julien Leparoux stays aboard.

Princess Violet could rebound in this spot after a well-beaten second in the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose last out. The bay daughter of Officer romped in her prior two starts sprinting against state-bred foes, earning a 99 BRIS Speed rating in one of those, and keeps Jose Ortiz in the pilot's seat. Thank You Marylou could also benefit from a cut back in distance after facing top quality rivals at route distances. The Mike Maker trainee was an easy winner of the seven-furlong Any Limit in her season opener and gets Rajiv Maragh in the saddle for the first time here.

Bird Maker was well-beaten in her last try against graded rivals, but that came in the 1 1/8-mile Gazelle and the Ian Wilkes filly has since captured a six-furlong optional claimer under the Twin Spires by 11 lengths. She's not competed since that May 25 race but has been working at Saratoga since July 9. Tea Time and unbeaten Little Alexis both enter the Test off stakes wins and own comparable numbers to the field's best on Saturday, while Red Velvet completes the Test off a fourth in the Victory Ride.

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Competitive dozen line up for Test

Fiftyshadesofgold will try to take the gold in Saturday's Test (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

A strong field of 12 sprinting sophomore fillies has been entered in the Grade 1, $500,000 Test Saturday on the Whitney undercard, and any number in the seven-furlong affair could find themselves in the Saratoga winner's circle at the end.

One of the more well-known names of the bunch is Fiftyshadesofgold from trainer Bret Calhoun's barn. The My Golden Song filly was a dominate winner of her two initial starts last year, including Churchill Downs' Debutante, and closed out her juvenile campaign in the Adirondack Stakes at the Spa. She ran a good fourth that day after being in tight and steadied twice, and was eventually elevated to third via disqualification.

Fiftyshadesofgold made her three-year-old bow at Sam Houston, taking a state-bred stakes by 2 1/2 lengths, then was tried at a route in the 1 1/16-mile Fair Grounds Oaks. The gray lass reputed herself well in second behind current star filly Untapable but was cut back to seven furlongs for a nice win in the Eight Belles instead of trying the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks next out.

Fiftyshadesofgold led down the backstretch most recently in the Acorn at Belmont Park but was caught and passed by three runners to finish fourth. She'll get a jockey switch from Mike Smith to Robby Albarado in the Test.

Sweet Reason is another who's garnered a fair amount of attention, capturing the one-mile Acorn on June 7, and will cut back to seven furlongs for the first time on Saturday since a 5 3/4-length romp in last September's Spinaway over a sloppy, sealed Saratoga track. The Leah Gyarmati pupil is actually two-for-two at the Spa, having broken her maiden debut by 6 1/4 lengths on a similar sloppy surface before going on to be second in Belmont's Frizette and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The bay daughter of Street Sense began her sophomore campaign with a win against optional claiming rivals on March 7 at Aqueduct and has competed just twice more, running third in the Gazelle and scoring in the Acorn.

Sweet Reason (left) and Sweet Whiskey (right) will renew their rivalry on Saturday (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

"She's really turned a corner this year with her breezes," Gyarmati said. "She's never been this kind of work horse and now every time she works she's been right there. She's just growing up."

Sweet Reason may be poised to take another step forward, according to Gyarmati.

"She's just doing better and she's happier," Gyarmati said. "She loves it here, so that should be a good sign for August 2, we hope."

Irad Ortiz Jr. has been aboard for all three of Sweet Reason's 2014 starts and retains the mount on Saturday.

Sweet Whiskey gave Sweet Reason a run for her money in the Acorn and completed the "Sweet" exacta that day. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the bay miss has finished off-the-board just once in her seven-race career. Like Sweet Reason, she broke her maiden at Saratoga in her first outing then finished fourth to that rival in the Spinaway. A second in the Matron completed her juvenile season but she opened her three-year-old term by taking the Old Hat at Gulfstream Park.

Sweet Whiskey has placed in her other three starts this year, including the Beaumont at Keeneland, and keeps jockey John Velazquez aboard as she seeks to the turn the tables on a number entered in the Test.

Miss Behaviour has been working up a storm at Laurel Park to prepare for the Test (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

Miss Behaviour is one of those to hand Sweet Whiskey a defeat this year, and in turn has been beaten herself by others in this field. The Jump Start filly will break from the far outside post 12 and brings a win in the Miss Preakness as well as placings in the Victory Ride and Stormy Blues into the Test. Javier Castellano has the call on the Phil Schoenthal pupil.

"(The Victory Ride) is tough to gauge," Schoenthal noted. "You want to give her an excuse because the pace was so fast, so maybe that's why she flattened out."

Seven furlongs presents a unique challenge to Miss Behaviour, who was been farther than 6 1/2 furlongs only once in her career in the one-mile Delta Princess. Trying to coax an extra half-furlong out of his filly, Schoenthal has changed her training regimen leading up to the Test.

"She's sharp right now," he said. "I spent the past month training her a lot harder than I normally do. I've been training her like a route horse, and she's responded well."

Street Story got the best of Miss Behaviour in the Victory Ride last out and is riding a two-race win streak. The Steve Asmussen charge has proven to be inconsistent thus far in her career but still boasts four wins from eight career starts. Joel Rosario will be in the irons.

Southern Honey dropped her first two starts but has been unbeatable since breaking her maiden in April at Keeneland. The Rusty Arnold-trained daughter of Colonel John earned a very nice 101 BRIS Speed figure last out when capturing the Winning Colors at Churchill and has posted a pair of nice moves over the track in preparation for this one. Julien Leparoux stays aboard.

Princess Violet could rebound in this spot after a well-beaten second in the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose last out. The bay daughter of Officer romped in her prior two starts sprinting against state-bred foes, earning a 99 BRIS Speed rating in one of those, and keeps Jose Ortiz in the pilot's seat. Thank You Marylou could also benefit from a cut back in distance after facing top quality rivals at route distances. The Mike Maker trainee was an easy winner of the seven-furlong Any Limit in her season opener and gets Rajiv Maragh in the saddle for the first time here.

Bird Maker was well-beaten in her last try against graded rivals, but that came in the 1 1/8-mile Gazelle and the Ian Wilkes filly has since captured a six-furlong optional claimer under the Twin Spires by 11 lengths. She's not competed since that May 25 race but has been working at Saratoga since July 9. Tea Time and unbeaten Little Alexis both enter the Test off stakes wins and own comparable numbers to the field's best on Saturday, while Red Velvet completes the Test off a fourth in the Victory Ride.

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Happy hoping to have it his way in Alfred G. Vanderbilt

The speedy Happy My Way will be tested for class in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

Happy My Way, with four impressive victories in his last five starts, can prove he is one of the top sprinters in the country with a victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga.

Trained by Joe Orseno, the four-year-old Wilko gelding turned in a breakout performance last December when beating second-level allowance foes at Gulfstream. After a minor setback in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, where he finished second, Happy My Way has reeled off three straight, including 5 3/4-length scores in the Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream and the Maryland Sprint Handicap on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico.

"He's a very fast horse, but because of his breeding we tried to do something different with him," Orseno said. "We tried him going longer and we tried him on the grass, but he wants to be fast, and you can see what happened when we started running him in sprints."

Unraced since that May 17 dash over the Vanderbilt distance of six furlongs, Happy My Way is a threat to lead throughout under Joe Bravo. On paper, only two rivals seem like a serious threat to keep Happy My Way honest. Bakken, a veteran of only four starts, won his first two starts gate-to-wire and pressed the pace in the True North Handicap last time before settling for second in his first start since December.

"It was a good performance for his first start off the layoff, and it should have him a lot tighter for this one," said trainer Chad Brown.

The other, Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship hero Falling Sky, is cross-entered Saturday to a stakes at Mountaineer.

A fast, contested pace would help a number of contenders. Bahamian Squall, runner-up in the 2013 Vanderbilt following a score in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder, recently returned from a seventh-month layoff. Third in the $90,000 Housebuster at Gulfstream on July 5, the David Fawkes charge figures to be much sharper second time off the bench.

Palace, who counts wins in the True North Handicap and Fall Highweight Handicap, is another threat from mid-pack. He enters off a distant second-place finish in the seven-furlong Belmont Sprint Championship to Clearly Now, who finished up seven furlongs in a blistering 1:19 4/5.

Capo Bastone upset the course-and-distance King's Bishop at odds of 28-1 last August, but the Todd Pletcher trainee has done little of note since. Lemon Drop Dream, winner of the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn, was second to Happy My Way at Pimlico but only fifth in a grass stakes at Evangeline Downs last time. Vyjack, a dual graded stakes winner around two turns as a three-year-old, shortens up after being eased in the 1 1/4-mile Suburban Handicap on July 5.

Dayatthespa is one of several Chad Brown-trained graded stakes winners returning to action on the turf at the Spa (Adam Coglianese Photography)

Grade 1-winning New York-bred Dayatthespa will put her perfect record over the Saratoga turf on the line Saturday in the $100,000 De La Rose going a mile on the inner course. Unraced since finishing fourth in the Matriarch at Hollywood Park in December, the five-year-old City Zip mare has a won a stakes each of the last two Saratoga meets -- the $100,000 Riskaverse in 2012 and $150,000 Yaddo for state-breds last year.

Restricted to fillies and mares that have not won a graded stakes in 2014, the De La Rose has attracted another graded stakes veteran in Pianist. Like Dayatthespa, Pianist is trained by Chad Brown, who saddled the mare to Grade 3 wins in the Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico and Athenia at Belmont last term.

Other leading contenders are the Bill Mott-trained Filimbi, a French stakes winner who beat allowances foes when last seen May 21; Ready Signal, a two-time stakes winner at Gulfstream earlier this year; Baffle Me, fifth in the 2013 De La Rose prior to winning three stakes at Belmont and Gulfstream; Alaura Michele, third in the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx last time; and Joy, an 11-1 upset winner of the $95,000 Perfect Sting over yielding ground at Belmont on Independence Day.

Big Blue Kitten, who notched Grade 1 scores last season in the United Nations at Monmouth and Sword Dancer at Saratoga, headlines the $100,000 Lure over 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf. Subsequently second by a nose in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Big Blue Kitten has not been out since finishing a sub-par eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf in November.

Restricted to horses that have not won a graded stakes in 2014, the Lure has also attracted the Grade 3 turf winners Swift Warrior and Rogue Romance; 2013 Bernard Baruch runner-up Paris Vegas; 2013 Knickerbocker runner-up Plainview; and the capable New York-bred performer Kharafa.

Among those entered for the main track only is Alpha, dead-heat winner of the 2012 Travers and outright victor of the 2013 Woodward.

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Happy hoping to have it his way in Alfred G. Vanderbilt

The speedy Happy My Way will be tested for class in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

Happy My Way, with four impressive victories in his last five starts, can prove he is one of the top sprinters in the country with a victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga.

Trained by Joe Orseno, the four-year-old Wilko gelding turned in a breakout performance last December when beating second-level allowance foes at Gulfstream. After a minor setback in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, where he finished second, Happy My Way has reeled off three straight, including 5 3/4-length scores in the Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream and the Maryland Sprint Handicap on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico.

"He's a very fast horse, but because of his breeding we tried to do something different with him," Orseno said. "We tried him going longer and we tried him on the grass, but he wants to be fast, and you can see what happened when we started running him in sprints."

Unraced since that May 17 dash over the Vanderbilt distance of six furlongs, Happy My Way is a threat to lead throughout under Joe Bravo. On paper, only two rivals seem like a serious threat to keep Happy My Way honest. Bakken, a veteran of only four starts, won his first two starts gate-to-wire and pressed the pace in the True North Handicap last time before settling for second in his first start since December.

"It was a good performance for his first start off the layoff, and it should have him a lot tighter for this one," said trainer Chad Brown.

The other, Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship hero Falling Sky, is cross-entered Saturday to a stakes at Mountaineer.

A fast, contested pace would help a number of contenders. Bahamian Squall, runner-up in the 2013 Vanderbilt following a score in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder, recently returned from a seventh-month layoff. Third in the $90,000 Housebuster at Gulfstream on July 5, the David Fawkes charge figures to be much sharper second time off the bench.

Palace, who counts wins in the True North Handicap and Fall Highweight Handicap, is another threat from mid-pack. He enters off a distant second-place finish in the seven-furlong Belmont Sprint Championship to Clearly Now, who finished up seven furlongs in a blistering 1:19 4/5.

Capo Bastone upset the course-and-distance King's Bishop at odds of 28-1 last August, but the Todd Pletcher trainee has done little of note since. Lemon Drop Dream, winner of the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn, was second to Happy My Way at Pimlico but only fifth in a grass stakes at Evangeline Downs last time. Vyjack, a dual graded stakes winner around two turns as a three-year-old, shortens up after being eased in the 1 1/4-mile Suburban Handicap on July 5.

Dayatthespa is one of several Chad Brown-trained graded stakes winners returning to action on the turf at the Spa (Adam Coglianese Photography)

Grade 1-winning New York-bred Dayatthespa will put her perfect record over the Saratoga turf on the line Saturday in the $100,000 De La Rose going a mile on the inner course. Unraced since finishing fourth in the Matriarch at Hollywood Park in December, the five-year-old City Zip mare has a won a stakes each of the last two Saratoga meets -- the $100,000 Riskaverse in 2012 and $150,000 Yaddo for state-breds last year.

Restricted to fillies and mares that have not won a graded stakes in 2014, the De La Rose has attracted another graded stakes veteran in Pianist. Like Dayatthespa, Pianist is trained by Chad Brown, who saddled the mare to Grade 3 wins in the Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico and Athenia at Belmont last term.

Other leading contenders are the Bill Mott-trained Filimbi, a French stakes winner who beat allowances foes when last seen May 21; Ready Signal, a two-time stakes winner at Gulfstream earlier this year; Baffle Me, fifth in the 2013 De La Rose prior to winning three stakes at Belmont and Gulfstream; Alaura Michele, third in the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx last time; and Joy, an 11-1 upset winner of the $95,000 Perfect Sting over yielding ground at Belmont on Independence Day.

Big Blue Kitten, who notched Grade 1 scores last season in the United Nations at Monmouth and Sword Dancer at Saratoga, headlines the $100,000 Lure over 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf. Subsequently second by a nose in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Big Blue Kitten has not been out since finishing a sub-par eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf in November.

Restricted to horses that have not won a graded stakes in 2014, the Lure has also attracted the Grade 3 turf winners Swift Warrior and Rogue Romance; 2013 Bernard Baruch runner-up Paris Vegas; 2013 Knickerbocker runner-up Plainview; and the capable New York-bred performer Kharafa.

Among those entered for the main track only is Alpha, dead-heat winner of the 2012 Travers and outright victor of the 2013 Woodward.

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Baffert, Hollendorfer, Sadler runners comprise Hirsch field

Iotapa will earn a BC Distaff berth with victory in the Hirsch (Benoit Photos)

Iotapa, winner of the June 14 Vanity at Santa Anita in her last start, and multiple Grade 2 heroine winner Fiftyshadesofhay top a field of seven entered for Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar. The race is a "Win & You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Three trainers -- John Sadler, Jerry Hollendorfer and Bob Baffert -- account for all seven entrants, with Sadler and Hollendorfer putting in three each. In addition to likely favorite Iotapa, who is exiting 10-length romp in the Vanity, Sadler has entered More Chocolate and Legacy in the nine-furlong event. Hollendorfer's trio is Doinghardtimeagain, Broken Sword and Parranda.

Baffert conditions Fiftyshadesofhay, who readied for this contest with a five-eighths move in 1:00 3/5 on Monday over Del Mar's Polytrack and will be reunited with jockey Martin Garcia. The two last paired up to be sixth in the Santa Margarita, and will try to replace that poor performance with a win on Saturday. Fiftyshadesofhay followed up the Santa Margarita with victory in the Ruffian at Belmont Park and was last seen a one-paced third in the Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs in mid-June.

Iotapa will be making her Del Mar debut in this spot under jockey Joe Talamo. The Afleet Alex four-year-old has been unplaced just once in her 11-race career, with that coming two back on May 3 at Churchill Downs in the Humana Distaff. She's also scored in the Santa Maria and placed in the Santa Margarita and Santa Monica this season.

More Chocolate, who will be making her seasonal bow on Saturday, hasn't visited the winner's circle since taking the 2013 La Canada. Since then the Malibu Moon mare has run second in the Santa Margarita, Vanity Handicap and this contest last August, all Grade 1 contests. She was last finishing seventh in the Goldikova in November and gets a rider switch to Victor Espinoza.

Legacy is the lesser of the Sadler entrants and will be making just her fourth start against stakes foes in this spot. The Sightseeing four-year-old was a well-beaten second in the Santa Lucia and sixth in the Adoration at Santa Anita over the spring, but enters Saturday's contest off a nose victory in the July 6 Cypress at Los Alamitos.

Parranda was four-for-six last fall and early this spring in Florida before heading west (Adam Coglianese Photography)

Parranda will be trying something other than turf for only the second time in her career in the Hirsch. The English Channel chestnut was fourth in her prior effort in an off-the-turf optional claimer at Monmouth Park for former trainer Rodolfo Garcia, and has gone 2-0-1 in three grass starts since transferring to Hollendorfer and the West Coast.

The Florida-bred five-year-old captured the Wilshire in April, ran third in the Gamely a month later, and most recently posted a neck victory in the Royal Heroine. Elvis Trujillo, aboard for that latter gutsy effort, stays in the saddle.

Hollendorfer's other two runners, Doinghardtimeagain and Broken Sword, will break side-by-side under Mike Smith and Rafael Bejarano, respectively.

Doinghardtimeagain scored in the Great Lady M. last out in just her second start of the year. The Ministers Wild Cat four-year-old has competed three times at Del Mar -- running second in her career debut, finishing fourth in the Fleet Treat last July and fading to ninth in the Del Mar Oaks last August.

The lightly raced Broken Sword was fifth in her only attempt at Del Mar in August 2013. The Broken Vow filly broke her maiden by 11 lengths in the 2012 Juan Gonzalez Memorial at Pleasanton but wouldn't visit the winner's circle again until taking back-to-back wins in an optional claimer and the Bayakoa late last year at Golden Gate and Hollywood Park, respectively.

Broken Sword hasn't raced since a fifth in her seasonal bow, the January 19 La Canada, but has recorded three straight bullet works recently, including a half-mile in a best-of-60 :46 1/5 at Del Mar on Monday.

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Baffert, Hollendorfer, Sadler runners comprise Hirsch field

Iotapa will earn a BC Distaff berth with victory in the Hirsch (Benoit Photos)

Iotapa, winner of the June 14 Vanity at Santa Anita in her last start, and multiple Grade 2 heroine winner Fiftyshadesofhay top a field of seven entered for Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar. The race is a "Win & You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Three trainers -- John Sadler, Jerry Hollendorfer and Bob Baffert -- account for all seven entrants, with Sadler and Hollendorfer putting in three each. In addition to likely favorite Iotapa, who is exiting 10-length romp in the Vanity, Sadler has entered More Chocolate and Legacy in the nine-furlong event. Hollendorfer's trio is Doinghardtimeagain, Broken Sword and Parranda.

Baffert conditions Fiftyshadesofhay, who readied for this contest with a five-eighths move in 1:00 3/5 on Monday over Del Mar's Polytrack and will be reunited with jockey Martin Garcia. The two last paired up to be sixth in the Santa Margarita, and will try to replace that poor performance with a win on Saturday. Fiftyshadesofhay followed up the Santa Margarita with victory in the Ruffian at Belmont Park and was last seen a one-paced third in the Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs in mid-June.

Iotapa will be making her Del Mar debut in this spot under jockey Joe Talamo. The Afleet Alex four-year-old has been unplaced just once in her 11-race career, with that coming two back on May 3 at Churchill Downs in the Humana Distaff. She's also scored in the Santa Maria and placed in the Santa Margarita and Santa Monica this season.

More Chocolate, who will be making her seasonal bow on Saturday, hasn't visited the winner's circle since taking the 2013 La Canada. Since then the Malibu Moon mare has run second in the Santa Margarita, Vanity Handicap and this contest last August, all Grade 1 contests. She was last finishing seventh in the Goldikova in November and gets a rider switch to Victor Espinoza.

Legacy is the lesser of the Sadler entrants and will be making just her fourth start against stakes foes in this spot. The Sightseeing four-year-old was a well-beaten second in the Santa Lucia and sixth in the Adoration at Santa Anita over the spring, but enters Saturday's contest off a nose victory in the July 6 Cypress at Los Alamitos.

Parranda was four-for-six last fall and early this spring in Florida before heading west (Adam Coglianese Photography)

Parranda will be trying something other than turf for only the second time in her career in the Hirsch. The English Channel chestnut was fourth in her prior effort in an off-the-turf optional claimer at Monmouth Park for former trainer Rodolfo Garcia, and has gone 2-0-1 in three grass starts since transferring to Hollendorfer and the West Coast.

The Florida-bred five-year-old captured the Wilshire in April, ran third in the Gamely a month later, and most recently posted a neck victory in the Royal Heroine. Elvis Trujillo, aboard for that latter gutsy effort, stays in the saddle.

Hollendorfer's other two runners, Doinghardtimeagain and Broken Sword, will break side-by-side under Mike Smith and Rafael Bejarano, respectively.

Doinghardtimeagain scored in the Great Lady M. last out in just her second start of the year. The Ministers Wild Cat four-year-old has competed three times at Del Mar -- running second in her career debut, finishing fourth in the Fleet Treat last July and fading to ninth in the Del Mar Oaks last August.

The lightly raced Broken Sword was fifth in her only attempt at Del Mar in August 2013. The Broken Vow filly broke her maiden by 11 lengths in the 2012 Juan Gonzalez Memorial at Pleasanton but wouldn't visit the winner's circle again until taking back-to-back wins in an optional claimer and the Bayakoa late last year at Golden Gate and Hollywood Park, respectively.

Broken Sword hasn't raced since a fifth in her seasonal bow, the January 19 La Canada, but has recorded three straight bullet works recently, including a half-mile in a best-of-60 :46 1/5 at Del Mar on Monday.

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Kingman flies late to beat Toronado in Sussex

A scintillating surge of power carried Kingman to the lead and an emphatic, if relatively narrow, victory in Wednesday's Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Crossing the line in a time of 1:41.75, five seconds slower than standard and reflective of a tactical race and early steady pace, the John Gosden-trained Kingman won by a length from last year's victor, Toronado, with a head back to Darwin in third. Kingman, who was ridden by James Doyle for owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, was sent off the 2-5 favorite.

"I thought they would go a decent pace because they know he (Kingman) has a turn of foot, but I could see Aidan (O'Brien, trainer of third-placed Darwin) playing the same game," Gosden said. "It was as if they were saying, 'we know he'll come from last to first, and if we can nick two lengths it will take a lot of getting back.'

"Actually he has the class to do it under hands and heels. It reminds me of the fact I had him in the July Cup, and if truth be known he would have won it. I'm not just being loud-mouthed when I say that because I feel it's a statement of fact.

"James said the horse was happy on today's ground, but he just took a little organizing with two and a half furlongs to run -- at the furlong marker he was in control again. James has a cool head and didn't panic, and the horse has a gear and then another gear. Today he only had to use one gear, but that was the same for all the horses because they only had a chance to use one gear.

"He's in the Prix Jacques le Marois which comes up pretty quick on August 17, but the (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) has always been the big, big target and that remains the plan. So we will keep winding it back from there. I'm not keen on the Prix du Moulin, so he could go straight to the QEII."

Toronado looked to have the upper hand with a furlong to run, only to be caught by a flying Kingman in the final 50 yards.

"Toronado has run a brilliant race," said Harry Herbert, racing manager to Toronado's owner Al Shaqab Racing. "Richard (Hughes) felt before the race that if he could steal a length or two off a slow pace with Kingman possibly not letting himself on the ground, that we might have a chance. All credit to the winner though. He is some racehorse and was very impressive.

"I suppose either Toronado or Olympic Glory will take on the winner on Champions Day. If it's soft, that would obviously suit Olympic Glory, but right now I don't know where Toronado will go next."

Highland Reel justified his lofty reputation and a starting price of 10-11 with a decisive victory in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes for two-year-olds.

The son of Galileo had entered many notebooks when powering to a 12-length victory in a mile maiden at Gowran Park on July 1 and had no problem dropping back to seven furlongs, staying on strongly to score by 2 1/4 lengths. Tupi was second with Room Key three-quarters of a length farther back in third.

"Highland Reel could have gone for a winners' race at Naas over six next week, even though he won over a mile last time," trainer Aidan O'Brien said. "He is not short of pace and only ran over a mile last time because it fitted in well.

"He is a horse who learns quick and he will have learnt a lot today. He traveled well, quickened and went through the line strong. Joseph (O'Brien, jockey) said it was hard to pull him up.

"He could go to the Futurity or National Stakes next. All those type of races are open to him."

Snow Sky was given a quote of 12-1 for the St Leger by the sponsoring Ladbrokes following his narrow victory in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes.

The son of Nayef, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was coming in on the back of a fourth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, having missed the Derby with a setback.

He was produced to lead by James Doyle approaching the final furlong but had to resist the challenges of Windshear and the front-running Somewhat as the winning post loomed. The winning margin was a neck, with a head back to the third.

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Snow Sky's owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "Snow Sky has traveled well into the race but, looking at the head on, he saw the bend passing the winning post and just ducked a bit. James straightened him up and once Snow Sky changed his legs, he has gone on again.

"Obviously, the great man (Sir Michael) isn't here and I can't speak for him but I think we will consider the Great Voltigeur Stakes (at York) next. It's certainly a possibility now.

Windshear became boxed in, then flew down the outside to finish fast and too late into second, beaten a neck by the winner.

Mark Johnston, who trains third-placed Somewhat, had no such hard-luck story, for his colt made most of the running and was simply deprived of first prize in the closing stages, despite rallying.

"He's run a very good race and (jockey) Joe (Fanning) confirmed something we already knew that he is quite deceptive," Johnston said. "With his big, lumbering stride he looks flat out, and in hindsight Joe wishes he had gone a bit quicker. The horse's stride suggests he is flat out, but he has more to give.

"The St Leger is still on his agenda. Earlier this season we thought we would be sticking to a mile and a quarter with him, but as we've seen today he clearly stays. The Leger could be on the cards."

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Kingman flies late to beat Toronado in Sussex

A scintillating surge of power carried Kingman to the lead and an emphatic, if relatively narrow, victory in Wednesday's Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Crossing the line in a time of 1:41.75, five seconds slower than standard and reflective of a tactical race and early steady pace, the John Gosden-trained Kingman won by a length from last year's victor, Toronado, with a head back to Darwin in third. Kingman, who was ridden by James Doyle for owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, was sent off the 2-5 favorite.

"I thought they would go a decent pace because they know he (Kingman) has a turn of foot, but I could see Aidan (O'Brien, trainer of third-placed Darwin) playing the same game," Gosden said. "It was as if they were saying, 'we know he'll come from last to first, and if we can nick two lengths it will take a lot of getting back.'

"Actually he has the class to do it under hands and heels. It reminds me of the fact I had him in the July Cup, and if truth be known he would have won it. I'm not just being loud-mouthed when I say that because I feel it's a statement of fact.

"James said the horse was happy on today's ground, but he just took a little organizing with two and a half furlongs to run -- at the furlong marker he was in control again. James has a cool head and didn't panic, and the horse has a gear and then another gear. Today he only had to use one gear, but that was the same for all the horses because they only had a chance to use one gear.

"He's in the Prix Jacques le Marois which comes up pretty quick on August 17, but the (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) has always been the big, big target and that remains the plan. So we will keep winding it back from there. I'm not keen on the Prix du Moulin, so he could go straight to the QEII."

Toronado looked to have the upper hand with a furlong to run, only to be caught by a flying Kingman in the final 50 yards.

"Toronado has run a brilliant race," said Harry Herbert, racing manager to Toronado's owner Al Shaqab Racing. "Richard (Hughes) felt before the race that if he could steal a length or two off a slow pace with Kingman possibly not letting himself on the ground, that we might have a chance. All credit to the winner though. He is some racehorse and was very impressive.

"I suppose either Toronado or Olympic Glory will take on the winner on Champions Day. If it's soft, that would obviously suit Olympic Glory, but right now I don't know where Toronado will go next."

Highland Reel justified his lofty reputation and a starting price of 10-11 with a decisive victory in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes for two-year-olds.

The son of Galileo had entered many notebooks when powering to a 12-length victory in a mile maiden at Gowran Park on July 1 and had no problem dropping back to seven furlongs, staying on strongly to score by 2 1/4 lengths. Tupi was second with Room Key three-quarters of a length farther back in third.

"Highland Reel could have gone for a winners' race at Naas over six next week, even though he won over a mile last time," trainer Aidan O'Brien said. "He is not short of pace and only ran over a mile last time because it fitted in well.

"He is a horse who learns quick and he will have learnt a lot today. He traveled well, quickened and went through the line strong. Joseph (O'Brien, jockey) said it was hard to pull him up.

"He could go to the Futurity or National Stakes next. All those type of races are open to him."

Snow Sky was given a quote of 12-1 for the St Leger by the sponsoring Ladbrokes following his narrow victory in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes.

The son of Nayef, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was coming in on the back of a fourth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, having missed the Derby with a setback.

He was produced to lead by James Doyle approaching the final furlong but had to resist the challenges of Windshear and the front-running Somewhat as the winning post loomed. The winning margin was a neck, with a head back to the third.

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Snow Sky's owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "Snow Sky has traveled well into the race but, looking at the head on, he saw the bend passing the winning post and just ducked a bit. James straightened him up and once Snow Sky changed his legs, he has gone on again.

"Obviously, the great man (Sir Michael) isn't here and I can't speak for him but I think we will consider the Great Voltigeur Stakes (at York) next. It's certainly a possibility now.

Windshear became boxed in, then flew down the outside to finish fast and too late into second, beaten a neck by the winner.

Mark Johnston, who trains third-placed Somewhat, had no such hard-luck story, for his colt made most of the running and was simply deprived of first prize in the closing stages, despite rallying.

"He's run a very good race and (jockey) Joe (Fanning) confirmed something we already knew that he is quite deceptive," Johnston said. "With his big, lumbering stride he looks flat out, and in hindsight Joe wishes he had gone a bit quicker. The horse's stride suggests he is flat out, but he has more to give.

"The St Leger is still on his agenda. Earlier this season we thought we would be sticking to a mile and a quarter with him, but as we've seen today he clearly stays. The Leger could be on the cards."

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Amoss earns career win number 3,000 at Indiana Grand

Trainer Tom Amoss had five chances to hit his 3,000th career training win on Wednesday at Indiana Grand and notched that milestone with his very first starter of the day as Infinity of Humor, ridden by Jeremy Rose, romped home in the afternoon's 2ND race.

Starting from post 2, Infinity of Humor jumped out to an early lead and was never overtaken, rallying home to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $24,000 starter allowance.

"I remember my first win very well," said Amoss in a post-race interview with Rachel McLaughlin at Indiana Grand. "It was in 1987 and the filly's name was Prize Dream at Sportsman's Park in Chicago, which is now defunct, but I'm still here."

It is only fitting that the milestone win was with one of Amoss' longtime owners, Maggi Moss, who earned the leading owner title at Indiana Grand in 2013. Moss claimed Infinity of Humor at Fair Grounds earlier in the year. Since partnering up with the Amoss Stable, Infinity of Humor, a three-year-old daughter of Got the Last Laugh, has had two wins and two thirds in four starts.

The milestone by Amoss was followed by two more wins on the card, paired up with Rose in each of those races. Moss also earned an owner double on the early part of the card. Amoss' other wins were with Banner Bill for owner Loooch Racing Stable, followed by a win with Little Face owned by Moss.

"This is a group accomplishment," Amoss said. "Without a great staff, great owners and most importantly great athletes to train, it never would have happened and that is not lost on me. I also want to thank Indiana Grand who has always treated me with such hospitality. It shows how much they care about racing with everything they do and for them to go out of their way for me today, I am very humbled."

Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing, joined Amoss and his wife, Colleen, in the winner's circle after the race with a customized sign to signify the accomplishment. The Amoss' also had a sign designed by their daughters, Hayley and Ashley, who could not be in attendance. Both daughters are products of Louisiana State University, just like their parents.

The Amoss family splits their time between New Orleans and Louisville as their home bases.

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Amoss earns career win number 3,000 at Indiana Grand

Trainer Tom Amoss had five chances to hit his 3,000th career training win on Wednesday at Indiana Grand and notched that milestone with his very first starter of the day as Infinity of Humor, ridden by Jeremy Rose, romped home in the afternoon's 2ND race.

Starting from post 2, Infinity of Humor jumped out to an early lead and was never overtaken, rallying home to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $24,000 starter allowance.

"I remember my first win very well," said Amoss in a post-race interview with Rachel McLaughlin at Indiana Grand. "It was in 1987 and the filly's name was Prize Dream at Sportsman's Park in Chicago, which is now defunct, but I'm still here."

It is only fitting that the milestone win was with one of Amoss' longtime owners, Maggi Moss, who earned the leading owner title at Indiana Grand in 2013. Moss claimed Infinity of Humor at Fair Grounds earlier in the year. Since partnering up with the Amoss Stable, Infinity of Humor, a three-year-old daughter of Got the Last Laugh, has had two wins and two thirds in four starts.

The milestone by Amoss was followed by two more wins on the card, paired up with Rose in each of those races. Moss also earned an owner double on the early part of the card. Amoss' other wins were with Banner Bill for owner Loooch Racing Stable, followed by a win with Little Face owned by Moss.

"This is a group accomplishment," Amoss said. "Without a great staff, great owners and most importantly great athletes to train, it never would have happened and that is not lost on me. I also want to thank Indiana Grand who has always treated me with such hospitality. It shows how much they care about racing with everything they do and for them to go out of their way for me today, I am very humbled."

Kevin Greely, director of racing, and Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing, joined Amoss and his wife, Colleen, in the winner's circle after the race with a customized sign to signify the accomplishment. The Amoss' also had a sign designed by their daughters, Hayley and Ashley, who could not be in attendance. Both daughters are products of Louisiana State University, just like their parents.

The Amoss family splits their time between New Orleans and Louisville as their home bases.

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Churchill Downs Inc. signs agreement with Saratoga Harness

Saratoga Harness Racing Inc. (SHRI) and Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) announced they have executed a binding term sheet and are close to finalizing a five-year management contract wherein CDI will manage Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Saratoga Casino Black Hawk in Black Hawk, Colorado. Once finalized, the management contract will become effective as soon as CDI obtains necessary licenses and approvals in New York and Colorado.

Should CDI and SHRI be successful in their joint bid to build Capital View Casino & Resort, a proposed world class destination resort casino in East Greenbush, New York, CDI will also manage that facility. A binding term sheet for such management agreement was included with CDI and SHRI's New York casino license application that was submitted on June 30.

SHRI and CDI have also signed a binding term sheet and begun negotiations on a stock purchase agreement wherein CDI will purchase 25 percent of economic and voting interests of SHRI. In addition to its flagship Saratoga Casino and Raceway, SHRI owns a controlling interest in Saratoga Casino Black Hawk; a 50 percent interest in a joint venture with Delaware North Companies to manage the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, and a minority interest in Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky. SHRI, together with its partner Rush Street Gaming, filed a second application for a New York casino in Newburgh, New York, in the Hudson Valley-Catskills Region.

"We are very excited about the expansion of our relationship with Churchill Downs," said James D. Featherstonhaugh, Secretary & Chief Legal Officer of SHRI. "We look forward to a long and successful partnership between two iconic names in the racing and gaming world."

"We are proud to take an ownership interest in Saratoga Harness Racing Inc., which shares with us a passion for offering premier racing and gaming entertainment," said Bill Carstanjen, President and Chief Operating Officer of Churchill Downs Inc. "We are excited to expand our operations into New York and Colorado and hope to become more involved in the Capitol Region if we are fortunate enough to be awarded a license to build and operate Capital View Casino & Resort."

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Churchill Downs Inc. signs agreement with Saratoga Harness

Saratoga Harness Racing Inc. (SHRI) and Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) announced they have executed a binding term sheet and are close to finalizing a five-year management contract wherein CDI will manage Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Saratoga Casino Black Hawk in Black Hawk, Colorado. Once finalized, the management contract will become effective as soon as CDI obtains necessary licenses and approvals in New York and Colorado.

Should CDI and SHRI be successful in their joint bid to build Capital View Casino & Resort, a proposed world class destination resort casino in East Greenbush, New York, CDI will also manage that facility. A binding term sheet for such management agreement was included with CDI and SHRI's New York casino license application that was submitted on June 30.

SHRI and CDI have also signed a binding term sheet and begun negotiations on a stock purchase agreement wherein CDI will purchase 25 percent of economic and voting interests of SHRI. In addition to its flagship Saratoga Casino and Raceway, SHRI owns a controlling interest in Saratoga Casino Black Hawk; a 50 percent interest in a joint venture with Delaware North Companies to manage the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, and a minority interest in Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky. SHRI, together with its partner Rush Street Gaming, filed a second application for a New York casino in Newburgh, New York, in the Hudson Valley-Catskills Region.

"We are very excited about the expansion of our relationship with Churchill Downs," said James D. Featherstonhaugh, Secretary & Chief Legal Officer of SHRI. "We look forward to a long and successful partnership between two iconic names in the racing and gaming world."

"We are proud to take an ownership interest in Saratoga Harness Racing Inc., which shares with us a passion for offering premier racing and gaming entertainment," said Bill Carstanjen, President and Chief Operating Officer of Churchill Downs Inc. "We are excited to expand our operations into New York and Colorado and hope to become more involved in the Capitol Region if we are fortunate enough to be awarded a license to build and operate Capital View Casino & Resort."

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Candy Boy hoping to make his own mark in WV Derby

Candy Boy, shown winning the Robert B. Lewis, was runner-up in the Los Alamitos Derby last time (Benoit Photos)

A vintage year for California-based three-year-old colts could become even more memorable if Candy Boy makes a successful invasion of Mountaineer for the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby on Saturday.

The 1 1/8-mile feature, which attracted a field of nine, is the highlight of an all-stakes, nine-race card that is traditionally Mountaineer's lone foray into daytime racing during its extended Thoroughbred meet.

In the shadows of such standouts as California Chrome, whom he chased in the Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby, and champion Shared Belief, who he finished second to last out in the Los Alamitos Derby, Candy Boy will attempt to earn his first stakes win since taking the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in February and follow-up on the success of Bayern in last weekend's Haskell Invitational.

It will not be an easy task. Tapiture has three graded stakes wins to his credit, including a 4 1 /4-length tally in the Southwest at Oaklawn in February. Last time, the Tapit colt rebounded from a poor showing in the Kentucky Derby to claim the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs by two lengths.

Vicar's in Trouble, the Louisiana Derby winner, could be the most dangerous of the three. The Mike Maker trainee did not show his customary foot as the 7-5 favorite in the Iowa Derby last out, and ultimately faded to third over a sloppy track. If able to outbreak the other speed, which have less class, Vicar's in Trouble could replicate the form that produced two graded stakes wins at Fair Grounds last winter.

The big three all raced in the Kentucky Derby, though none were much of a factor. Candy Boy finished 13th and Tapiture 15th after meeting trouble in the first turn, while Vicar's in Trouble also was roughed up en route to trailing the field of 19.

Tapiture is a three-time graded stakes winners for trainer Steve Asmussen (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

The remainder of the field all have form to find. For Goodness Sake has landed in a tough spot for his stakes debut, but daylight maiden and allowance wins during the Churchill spring meet mark him as a progressive sort. Classic Giacnroll finished second in the Jerome back in January, but has picked up only minor checks against easier since.

Divine View, runner-up against allowance foes at Delaware Park last time, and the Louisiana-bred stakes winner Gold Appointment, complete the field along with extreme outsiders Only I Know and Key for Success.

Moonshine Mullin, whose five-race win streak includes back-to-back wins in the Churchill Downs' major spring stakes for older horses, the Stephen Foster Handicap and Alysheba, headlines the $200,000 West Virginia Governor's at 1 1/16 miles.

Likely to keep the ex-claimer on his toes is multiple Grade 3 winner Falling Sky, who stretches back out after taking the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship and Donald LeVine Memorial in two of his last four starts.

A swift pace might aid Carve, last-out winner of the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, and the classic-placed Mylute, unplaced twice behind Moonshine Mullin at Churchill Downs and in the Suburban Handicap last time.

Noted sprint star Delaunay figures to be an overwhelming favorite in the $100,000 Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial over six furlongs. The Tom Amoss-trained seven-year-old has won numerous stakes throughout the Midwest and Louisiana, highlighted by graded scores in the Churchill Downs and Aristides in Louisville.

Moonshine Mullin recently hit a peak upsetting the Stephen Foster Handicap (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Mico Margarita , who's finished behind Delaunay in their two recent outings, is back to oppose. Other possible contenders include multiple stakes veterans Star Harbour, Res Judicata, Ghost Is Clear, Russell Road and Lucy's Bob Boy.

A more contentious race might be the $100,000 West Virginia Secretary of State. The six-furlong dash for fillies and mares includes the venerable seven-year-old Winning Image, a prominent force on the Mid-Atlantic circuit, and Flattering Bea, who landed the Sugar Maple at Charles Town in April and was runner-up in this event last year.

The Kentucky invaders Sweet Cassiopeia, Aireofdistinction, and Anahauc also merit respect.

The $100,000 West Virginia House of Delegates, at one mile and 70 yards on turf, features Regally Ready, a past winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint who has developed into a capable miler in the region. He earned back-to-back wins at Churchill Downs in May, including the $64,000 Opening Verse.

Free World, hero of the $207,000 Centaur at Indiana Downs last season, was a solid fifth in the Firecracker at Churchill last time and might prove tough to catch. Coalport, a multiple stakes winner campaigned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is another leading contender in his second start off a layoff.

The top two finishers from Mountaineer's version of the Firecracker, a $75,000 stakes for fillies and mares run on July 2, highlight a contentious renewal of the $100,000 West Virginia Senate President's Cup at one mile and 70 yards on the turf. La Malaguena and Sassy Kitten were separated by a neck in that heat, but will need their running shoes on to cope with graded stakes-placed veterans Moment in Dixie and Queen's Award, as well as Canadian invader Surtsey and the capable pair of Quiet Success and Soft Whisper.

Delaunay is one of several graded stakes winners running on the Mountaineer program (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Recent maiden winners Tapitsphere and Gotta Get Paid should attract plenty of support in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile over six furlongs, but the respective Churchill and Indiana Grand graduates figure to be challenged by the swift Arlington-based colt Creaky Cricket, and Hashtag Bourbon, a son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver who could improve off his debut third at Churchill.

A. P.'s Glory figures to be an overwhelming favorite to follow up her 7 1/2-length Arlington debut victory with a score in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, also at six furlongs. Another daylight maiden winner, Brennan, exits an eight-length romp at Penn National, while Churchill maiden winner Rachel's Ready was never involved after a slow break in the $108,000 Debutante last time.

Uncle Todd, who has won three straight by a combined margin of 21 1/4 lengths, will try and outgun 10 rivals in the $100,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup going 4 1/2 furlongs. Among those hoping to keep pace with that one are Amarish, Debt Ceiling, No Distinction, Beat Seattle, and Grade 3 turf winner Berlino Di Tiger.

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Candy Boy hoping to make his own mark in WV Derby

Candy Boy, shown winning the Robert B. Lewis, was runner-up in the Los Alamitos Derby last time (Benoit Photos)

A vintage year for California-based three-year-old colts could become even more memorable if Candy Boy makes a successful invasion of Mountaineer for the Grade 2, $750,000 West Virginia Derby on Saturday.

The 1 1/8-mile feature, which attracted a field of nine, is the highlight of an all-stakes, nine-race card that is traditionally Mountaineer's lone foray into daytime racing during its extended Thoroughbred meet.

In the shadows of such standouts as California Chrome, whom he chased in the Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby, and champion Shared Belief, who he finished second to last out in the Los Alamitos Derby, Candy Boy will attempt to earn his first stakes win since taking the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in February and follow-up on the success of Bayern in last weekend's Haskell Invitational.

It will not be an easy task. Tapiture has three graded stakes wins to his credit, including a 4 1 /4-length tally in the Southwest at Oaklawn in February. Last time, the Tapit colt rebounded from a poor showing in the Kentucky Derby to claim the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs by two lengths.

Vicar's in Trouble, the Louisiana Derby winner, could be the most dangerous of the three. The Mike Maker trainee did not show his customary foot as the 7-5 favorite in the Iowa Derby last out, and ultimately faded to third over a sloppy track. If able to outbreak the other speed, which have less class, Vicar's in Trouble could replicate the form that produced two graded stakes wins at Fair Grounds last winter.

The big three all raced in the Kentucky Derby, though none were much of a factor. Candy Boy finished 13th and Tapiture 15th after meeting trouble in the first turn, while Vicar's in Trouble also was roughed up en route to trailing the field of 19.

Tapiture is a three-time graded stakes winners for trainer Steve Asmussen (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

The remainder of the field all have form to find. For Goodness Sake has landed in a tough spot for his stakes debut, but daylight maiden and allowance wins during the Churchill spring meet mark him as a progressive sort. Classic Giacnroll finished second in the Jerome back in January, but has picked up only minor checks against easier since.

Divine View, runner-up against allowance foes at Delaware Park last time, and the Louisiana-bred stakes winner Gold Appointment, complete the field along with extreme outsiders Only I Know and Key for Success.

Moonshine Mullin, whose five-race win streak includes back-to-back wins in the Churchill Downs' major spring stakes for older horses, the Stephen Foster Handicap and Alysheba, headlines the $200,000 West Virginia Governor's at 1 1/16 miles.

Likely to keep the ex-claimer on his toes is multiple Grade 3 winner Falling Sky, who stretches back out after taking the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship and Donald LeVine Memorial in two of his last four starts.

A swift pace might aid Carve, last-out winner of the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, and the classic-placed Mylute, unplaced twice behind Moonshine Mullin at Churchill Downs and in the Suburban Handicap last time.

Noted sprint star Delaunay figures to be an overwhelming favorite in the $100,000 Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial over six furlongs. The Tom Amoss-trained seven-year-old has won numerous stakes throughout the Midwest and Louisiana, highlighted by graded scores in the Churchill Downs and Aristides in Louisville.

Moonshine Mullin recently hit a peak upsetting the Stephen Foster Handicap (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Mico Margarita , who's finished behind Delaunay in their two recent outings, is back to oppose. Other possible contenders include multiple stakes veterans Star Harbour, Res Judicata, Ghost Is Clear, Russell Road and Lucy's Bob Boy.

A more contentious race might be the $100,000 West Virginia Secretary of State. The six-furlong dash for fillies and mares includes the venerable seven-year-old Winning Image, a prominent force on the Mid-Atlantic circuit, and Flattering Bea, who landed the Sugar Maple at Charles Town in April and was runner-up in this event last year.

The Kentucky invaders Sweet Cassiopeia, Aireofdistinction, and Anahauc also merit respect.

The $100,000 West Virginia House of Delegates, at one mile and 70 yards on turf, features Regally Ready, a past winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint who has developed into a capable miler in the region. He earned back-to-back wins at Churchill Downs in May, including the $64,000 Opening Verse.

Free World, hero of the $207,000 Centaur at Indiana Downs last season, was a solid fifth in the Firecracker at Churchill last time and might prove tough to catch. Coalport, a multiple stakes winner campaigned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is another leading contender in his second start off a layoff.

The top two finishers from Mountaineer's version of the Firecracker, a $75,000 stakes for fillies and mares run on July 2, highlight a contentious renewal of the $100,000 West Virginia Senate President's Cup at one mile and 70 yards on the turf. La Malaguena and Sassy Kitten were separated by a neck in that heat, but will need their running shoes on to cope with graded stakes-placed veterans Moment in Dixie and Queen's Award, as well as Canadian invader Surtsey and the capable pair of Quiet Success and Soft Whisper.

Delaunay is one of several graded stakes winners running on the Mountaineer program (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Recent maiden winners Tapitsphere and Gotta Get Paid should attract plenty of support in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile over six furlongs, but the respective Churchill and Indiana Grand graduates figure to be challenged by the swift Arlington-based colt Creaky Cricket, and Hashtag Bourbon, a son of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver who could improve off his debut third at Churchill.

A. P.'s Glory figures to be an overwhelming favorite to follow up her 7 1/2-length Arlington debut victory with a score in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, also at six furlongs. Another daylight maiden winner, Brennan, exits an eight-length romp at Penn National, while Churchill maiden winner Rachel's Ready was never involved after a slow break in the $108,000 Debutante last time.

Uncle Todd, who has won three straight by a combined margin of 21 1/4 lengths, will try and outgun 10 rivals in the $100,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup going 4 1/2 furlongs. Among those hoping to keep pace with that one are Amarish, Debt Ceiling, No Distinction, Beat Seattle, and Grade 3 turf winner Berlino Di Tiger.

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In brief

Elite Racing Club UK's Stars Above Me (Exceed and Excel) made her U.S. debut a winning one in Wednesday's $100,000 Coronation Cup at Saratoga, rallying boldly in deep stretch to triumph going away by 2 1/4 lengths. A maiden winner from five starts in England, the three-year-old filly was bumped hard at the start and had to wait in traffic in upper stretch, altering course to the inside for clear sailing late under Irad Ortiz Jr. Now 6-2-2-1 overall, Stars Above Me was making her first start for Graham Motion. "I was surprised she overcame (the trouble she had), but she really did it very easily," Motion said. "It was very impressive. You always wonder if they're going to overcome (not having a place to run in the stretch), but she did it well. For her European style, it didn't work out so badly. I didn't know if (Ortiz) had horse, but it turned out he had plenty." Off as the slight 2-1 favorite among seven rivals, Stars Above Me completed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02 on the "good" turf...

Dual Derby hero Australia (Galileo) is back in full work in preparation for the second half of his sophomore season, according to trainer Aidan O'Brien. Off since his Irish Derby (Ire-G1) score June 28 -- which followed a June 7 Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) victory -- Australia's possible targets include the Juddmonte International (Eng-G1) at York August 20 and the Irish Champion S. (Ire-G1) at Leopardstown September 13. "He's back in full work and everything has gone according to plan." O'Brien said. "The boys (owners John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Teo Ah Khing) have their eyes on a couple of races -- York and Leopardstown -- and they will decide nearer the time whether they go to York and Leopardstown or just York or just Leopardstown."...

Jockey Rosie Napravnik will be signing autographs from 11:30 to noon (EDT) at Saratoga on Thursday to benefit the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF)'s "Olivia's Herd." Napravnik will appear at the NYRA Charity Booth, located near the Jockeys' Room, for the autograph signing. The 5TH race on the Saratoga card that day will be named the "Olivia's Herd" in honor of Olivia Saylor, the late daughter of racehorse owner and breeder Paul Saylor. Saylor is a regular contributor to the TRF. He created the "Olivia's Herd" Fund in 2011 in Olivia's memory to provide for the horses in the TRF program who are most in need of special care or feeding because of age or other physical condition. "Caring for animals was Olivia's passion," Paul Saylor explained. "This day at the races will bring awareness to the mission of 'Olivia's Herd' and the work of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. I am thrilled that Rosie will be there to raise the profile of the cause and attract young people to the track and to the mission of 'Olivia's Herd.'" The TRF will be giving away commemorative gifts to anyone who comes and signs up for information about "Olivia's Herd" at the NYRA Charity Booth from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday...

Eddie's First (Square Eddie), entered in Friday's $200,000 Real Good Deal at Del Mar, is being examined and treated after collapsing during training on Tuesday morning during training. Jockey Amir Cedeno was momentarily pinned under the horse but fast action by trainers Phil D'Amato and Gary Mandella prevented major injury to either horse or rider. "(Eddie's First) looks great today," trainer Doug O'Neill said Wednesday. "He just had a bad nosebleed. I don't know if it was the humidity or what caused it, but it got to the point where he was struggling to breathe and that's what made him collapse. We're going to X-ray his lungs in the next few days and talk to the veterinarian about what it's going to take for his lungs to get healthy and start exercising again. Hopefully they're clean and it was an isolated incident. If there was any trauma to his lungs, then that can take a few months." The bay colt set a course record of 1:10.73 at Santa Anita when breaking his maiden by 9 1/4 lengths at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf on May 11. Eddie's First has been unplaced while tackling graded rivals in his two races since...

British-based Juddmonte stallions Oasis Dream, Dansili and Frankel will be made available to cover limited books Southern Hemisphere time this year. Dansili is the sire of dual Australian Group 1 winner Foreteller, and he will stand for £60,000. Oasis Dream had stakes winners Ominous and Opinion to his credit in Australia last year, and he will be offered for  £50,000. Frankel, whose first foals have already proven extremely popular at sales across the globe, covered 21 mares Southern Hemisphere time last year and will stand this year for £100,000...

Last-out Eddie Read (G1) winner Tom's Tribute (Lion Heart) traveled five-eighths in 1:01 3/5 over Del Mar's Polytrack on Wednesday. He was on the worktab by Grade 2 queen Pontchatrain (War Front), who posted three panels in :36 4/5...

Trainer Richard Baltas celebrated his first Grade 1, and first Del Mar, stakes victory with Big Macher (Beau Genius) in Sunday's Bing Crosby H. (G1) by taking some stable crew members out to dinner at a Ruth's Chris steakhouse and "had a nice time." Big Macher, a $16,000 claim at Del Mar a year ago, recorded his third stakes victory in his last four starts. Baltas said Big Macher came out of the race, a Breeders' Cup Challenge Win & You're In qualifier for the Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, in excellent shape. The decision that lies ahead is what path to take with the bay gelding to get to the big race. "It'll depend on how he is, day by day," Baltas said. "We'll have to talk it over with the owners." Options for a next start includes the Pat O'Brien (G2) on Pacific Classic Day, August 24, back at Del Mar; a top-level sprint stakes in New York; or the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) in October.

Owner Kaleem Shah owns both five-year-old Fed Biz (Giant's Causeway) and three-year-old Bayern (Offlee Wild). Both trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia. Both wire-to-wire winners, Fed Biz of Saturday's San Diego H. (G2) at Del Mar and Bayern of Sunday's Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park. Baffert reported that Shah had departed his San Diego residence for Vienna, Virginia, the headquarters of the CalNet communications company he founded. "He's very happy," Baffert said. "It was a perfect weekend for him. Both horses ran like they were training and both performances were just amazing really. They just dominated. That's why we're in the business, to see who's got the fastest horse." Bayern trained for the Haskell at Del Mar and returned to the California venue after the race. Baffert is looking at races in the east, possibly the August 23 Travers (G1) at Saratoga, for Bayern and scanning the country for a Grade 1 stakes for Fed Biz, who is zero-for-six at that level of competition...

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA)'s investigation into a handful of positive morphine tests in recent weeks is drawing to a close, BHA Chief Executive Paul Bittar revealed. Seven horses across Britain, and with various trainers, returned positive tests for morphine in what is believed to be a case of contaminated feed, although the source has yet to be officially confirmed. The most high-profile horse involved in the case is The Queen's five-year-old mare Estimate (Monsun), who tested positive following her second-place finish in the Gold Cup (Eng-G1) at Royal Ascot June 19. "At this stage all our information points towards a feed contamination, as has been reported," Bittar told Channel 4. "I'm not sure that we have been quiet through this because we broke with our normal protocol to advise about this before the horses were named, which is slightly unusual for us. We were conscious of the high-profile nature, particularly Estimate, and the fact there were multiple horses involved. It is fair to ask could we have done more to explain the difference between doping and medication issues, but we get caught between being the regulator and making sure that we play out the whole investigation and not ruling out any potential reason for the positive. While everything is pointing towards feed contamination, as the regulator we are forced to play that out right through the investigation."...

The winner of Wednesday's 63rd running of the Graduation Stakes for California-bred two-year-olds has a tough act to follow. California Chrome was a 2 3/4-length winner of the 2013 event and went on to victory in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. "He liked the racetrack and he handled it well (winning the Graduation)," trainer Art Sherman said. "He was still a little green when he was here last year. He never really developed and got strong as he is until he was a three-year-old. Down here last year he was a horse who enjoyed learning the game. He was cool and collected, at a growing age, and we never had any problems with him. We didn't rush him and he turned out the way he did. He was a decent horse at two. But not the kind you could say 'Wow, next year he's going to win the Derby.'"...

Time is running out for one lucky fan and three friends to win an all-expense-paid 48-hour dream trip to the Travers S. (G1) on August 23, and the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on August 24, in America's Best Racing's "Ultimate 48 Sweepstakes." The winner and their posse will be shuttled coast-to-coast in style for summer racing's two biggest days. The prize package includes airfare and limousine transportation to the big events, clubhouse seating, luxury hotel accommodations, fancy new clothes and $1,000 for gambling. Contest registration will remain open through Saturday, with the drawing to take place on Sunday. Additional entries can be earned by registering via multiple social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter...

Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) and Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) have teamed up to create the TCA Thoroughbred Marketplace on October 4-5 at Pimlico. The event is built into the RRP's second annual Thoroughbred Makeover, a national gathering of the farms, organizations and individuals who transition racehorses into second careers. The weekend includes educational seminars, demonstrations and the America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest. "The bridges to second careers for these horses include nonprofit placement organizations, professional trainers, amateur trainers, and direct sales from racing owners and breeders," said RRP founder Steuart Pittman. "This Marketplace invites participation from all of these and will attract a large pool of horse shoppers. If it succeeds we have created a model worth replicating." Each horse will be listed in an online and printed catalog with video links and photographs. Upon arrival at Pimlico they will be observed by a veterinarian whose notes will be posted online for potential buyers and adopters to consider. Blemishes, body condition score, and lameness will be noted. Educational materials will also be available to educate buyers and adopters about the relevance of various injuries and blemishes. Each horse will appear on Saturday in the main arena on the track to demonstrate either its skills or potential. None will be auctioned, and neither TCA, RRP, nor Maryland Jockey Club will be a party to any transactions that take place privately during or after the event. Interested sellers or buyers can find information about participation in the TCA Thoroughbred Marketplace and the Thoroughbred Makeover at RetiredRacehorseProject.org...

Apprentice jockey Carson Sullivan, 25, has been riding since May of last year. The victory he scored on Mon Petite on July 24 triggering a $108.80 return was the 12th of his career. His background triggers two questions: Where has he been, and what took him so long? "It's in my blood," Sullivan said. "I'm a fourth-generation rider. My great-grandfather (Carson Kirk), grandfather (James Kirk) and father (S.J. Sullivan) rode. My step-dad (Matt Vigliottti) also rode." His mother, Christine Kirk, was a backstretch worker who galloped horses for major stables like Jack Van Berg, D. Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito. Such a pedigree often leads to riding at the earliest possible opportunity, age 16. But Sullivan opted to go a different way. He went to college at Ohio University, majoring in psychology. He gave up academic pursuits to play guitar in a band that traveled and wound up in New York. "I've played rock, experimental, jazz, a little bit of everything," he said. But eventually, he returned to his roots. "It was calling to me even though I avoided it," Sullivan said. "I dreamed about riding races and one day I just packed up and headed down south to my grandfather's to learn." He rode at Gulfstream Park in Florida for a year, then came to California. Del Mar is his first West Coast meeting. He is represented by agent Mike Ciani...

Jockey Tyler Baze, needing three wins to reach the 2,000-win career milestone entering Wednesday's Del Mar card, had six mounts scheduled on the program. Jockey Joe Steiner, four away from 1,000 career wins, would par it to three with a victory aboard Peradventure (Papa Clem) in Wednesday's Graduation Stakes, his only mount of the day. Trainer Jack Carava started the week 10 away from career victory No. 1,000 and had three scheduled starters on Wednesday.

In brief

Elite Racing Club UK's Stars Above Me (Exceed and Excel) made her U.S. debut a winning one in Wednesday's $100,000 Coronation Cup at Saratoga, rallying boldly in deep stretch to triumph going away by 2 1/4 lengths. A maiden winner from five starts in England, the three-year-old filly was bumped hard at the start and had to wait in traffic in upper stretch, altering course to the inside for clear sailing late under Irad Ortiz Jr. Now 6-2-2-1 overall, Stars Above Me was making her first start for Graham Motion. "I was surprised she overcame (the trouble she had), but she really did it very easily," Motion said. "It was very impressive. You always wonder if they're going to overcome (not having a place to run in the stretch), but she did it well. For her European style, it didn't work out so badly. I didn't know if (Ortiz) had horse, but it turned out he had plenty." Off as the slight 2-1 favorite among seven rivals, Stars Above Me completed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02 on the "good" turf...

Dual Derby hero Australia (Galileo) is back in full work in preparation for the second half of his sophomore season, according to trainer Aidan O'Brien. Off since his Irish Derby (Ire-G1) score June 28 -- which followed a June 7 Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) victory -- Australia's possible targets include the Juddmonte International (Eng-G1) at York August 20 and the Irish Champion S. (Ire-G1) at Leopardstown September 13. "He's back in full work and everything has gone according to plan." O'Brien said. "The boys (owners John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Teo Ah Khing) have their eyes on a couple of races -- York and Leopardstown -- and they will decide nearer the time whether they go to York and Leopardstown or just York or just Leopardstown."...

Jockey Rosie Napravnik will be signing autographs from 11:30 to noon (EDT) at Saratoga on Thursday to benefit the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF)'s "Olivia's Herd." Napravnik will appear at the NYRA Charity Booth, located near the Jockeys' Room, for the autograph signing. The 5TH race on the Saratoga card that day will be named the "Olivia's Herd" in honor of Olivia Saylor, the late daughter of racehorse owner and breeder Paul Saylor. Saylor is a regular contributor to the TRF. He created the "Olivia's Herd" Fund in 2011 in Olivia's memory to provide for the horses in the TRF program who are most in need of special care or feeding because of age or other physical condition. "Caring for animals was Olivia's passion," Paul Saylor explained. "This day at the races will bring awareness to the mission of 'Olivia's Herd' and the work of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. I am thrilled that Rosie will be there to raise the profile of the cause and attract young people to the track and to the mission of 'Olivia's Herd.'" The TRF will be giving away commemorative gifts to anyone who comes and signs up for information about "Olivia's Herd" at the NYRA Charity Booth from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday...

Eddie's First (Square Eddie), entered in Friday's $200,000 Real Good Deal at Del Mar, is being examined and treated after collapsing during training on Tuesday morning during training. Jockey Amir Cedeno was momentarily pinned under the horse but fast action by trainers Phil D'Amato and Gary Mandella prevented major injury to either horse or rider. "(Eddie's First) looks great today," trainer Doug O'Neill said Wednesday. "He just had a bad nosebleed. I don't know if it was the humidity or what caused it, but it got to the point where he was struggling to breathe and that's what made him collapse. We're going to X-ray his lungs in the next few days and talk to the veterinarian about what it's going to take for his lungs to get healthy and start exercising again. Hopefully they're clean and it was an isolated incident. If there was any trauma to his lungs, then that can take a few months." The bay colt set a course record of 1:10.73 at Santa Anita when breaking his maiden by 9 1/4 lengths at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf on May 11. Eddie's First has been unplaced while tackling graded rivals in his two races since...

British-based Juddmonte stallions Oasis Dream, Dansili and Frankel will be made available to cover limited books Southern Hemisphere time this year. Dansili is the sire of dual Australian Group 1 winner Foreteller, and he will stand for £60,000. Oasis Dream had stakes winners Ominous and Opinion to his credit in Australia last year, and he will be offered for  £50,000. Frankel, whose first foals have already proven extremely popular at sales across the globe, covered 21 mares Southern Hemisphere time last year and will stand this year for £100,000...

Last-out Eddie Read (G1) winner Tom's Tribute (Lion Heart) traveled five-eighths in 1:01 3/5 over Del Mar's Polytrack on Wednesday. He was on the worktab by Grade 2 queen Pontchatrain (War Front), who posted three panels in :36 4/5...

Trainer Richard Baltas celebrated his first Grade 1, and first Del Mar, stakes victory with Big Macher (Beau Genius) in Sunday's Bing Crosby H. (G1) by taking some stable crew members out to dinner at a Ruth's Chris steakhouse and "had a nice time." Big Macher, a $16,000 claim at Del Mar a year ago, recorded his third stakes victory in his last four starts. Baltas said Big Macher came out of the race, a Breeders' Cup Challenge Win & You're In qualifier for the Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, in excellent shape. The decision that lies ahead is what path to take with the bay gelding to get to the big race. "It'll depend on how he is, day by day," Baltas said. "We'll have to talk it over with the owners." Options for a next start includes the Pat O'Brien (G2) on Pacific Classic Day, August 24, back at Del Mar; a top-level sprint stakes in New York; or the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) in October.

Owner Kaleem Shah owns both five-year-old Fed Biz (Giant's Causeway) and three-year-old Bayern (Offlee Wild). Both trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia. Both wire-to-wire winners, Fed Biz of Saturday's San Diego H. (G2) at Del Mar and Bayern of Sunday's Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park. Baffert reported that Shah had departed his San Diego residence for Vienna, Virginia, the headquarters of the CalNet communications company he founded. "He's very happy," Baffert said. "It was a perfect weekend for him. Both horses ran like they were training and both performances were just amazing really. They just dominated. That's why we're in the business, to see who's got the fastest horse." Bayern trained for the Haskell at Del Mar and returned to the California venue after the race. Baffert is looking at races in the east, possibly the August 23 Travers (G1) at Saratoga, for Bayern and scanning the country for a Grade 1 stakes for Fed Biz, who is zero-for-six at that level of competition...

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA)'s investigation into a handful of positive morphine tests in recent weeks is drawing to a close, BHA Chief Executive Paul Bittar revealed. Seven horses across Britain, and with various trainers, returned positive tests for morphine in what is believed to be a case of contaminated feed, although the source has yet to be officially confirmed. The most high-profile horse involved in the case is The Queen's five-year-old mare Estimate (Monsun), who tested positive following her second-place finish in the Gold Cup (Eng-G1) at Royal Ascot June 19. "At this stage all our information points towards a feed contamination, as has been reported," Bittar told Channel 4. "I'm not sure that we have been quiet through this because we broke with our normal protocol to advise about this before the horses were named, which is slightly unusual for us. We were conscious of the high-profile nature, particularly Estimate, and the fact there were multiple horses involved. It is fair to ask could we have done more to explain the difference between doping and medication issues, but we get caught between being the regulator and making sure that we play out the whole investigation and not ruling out any potential reason for the positive. While everything is pointing towards feed contamination, as the regulator we are forced to play that out right through the investigation."...

The winner of Wednesday's 63rd running of the Graduation Stakes for California-bred two-year-olds has a tough act to follow. California Chrome was a 2 3/4-length winner of the 2013 event and went on to victory in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. "He liked the racetrack and he handled it well (winning the Graduation)," trainer Art Sherman said. "He was still a little green when he was here last year. He never really developed and got strong as he is until he was a three-year-old. Down here last year he was a horse who enjoyed learning the game. He was cool and collected, at a growing age, and we never had any problems with him. We didn't rush him and he turned out the way he did. He was a decent horse at two. But not the kind you could say 'Wow, next year he's going to win the Derby.'"...

Time is running out for one lucky fan and three friends to win an all-expense-paid 48-hour dream trip to the Travers S. (G1) on August 23, and the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on August 24, in America's Best Racing's "Ultimate 48 Sweepstakes." The winner and their posse will be shuttled coast-to-coast in style for summer racing's two biggest days. The prize package includes airfare and limousine transportation to the big events, clubhouse seating, luxury hotel accommodations, fancy new clothes and $1,000 for gambling. Contest registration will remain open through Saturday, with the drawing to take place on Sunday. Additional entries can be earned by registering via multiple social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter...

Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) and Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) have teamed up to create the TCA Thoroughbred Marketplace on October 4-5 at Pimlico. The event is built into the RRP's second annual Thoroughbred Makeover, a national gathering of the farms, organizations and individuals who transition racehorses into second careers. The weekend includes educational seminars, demonstrations and the America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest. "The bridges to second careers for these horses include nonprofit placement organizations, professional trainers, amateur trainers, and direct sales from racing owners and breeders," said RRP founder Steuart Pittman. "This Marketplace invites participation from all of these and will attract a large pool of horse shoppers. If it succeeds we have created a model worth replicating." Each horse will be listed in an online and printed catalog with video links and photographs. Upon arrival at Pimlico they will be observed by a veterinarian whose notes will be posted online for potential buyers and adopters to consider. Blemishes, body condition score, and lameness will be noted. Educational materials will also be available to educate buyers and adopters about the relevance of various injuries and blemishes. Each horse will appear on Saturday in the main arena on the track to demonstrate either its skills or potential. None will be auctioned, and neither TCA, RRP, nor Maryland Jockey Club will be a party to any transactions that take place privately during or after the event. Interested sellers or buyers can find information about participation in the TCA Thoroughbred Marketplace and the Thoroughbred Makeover at RetiredRacehorseProject.org...

Apprentice jockey Carson Sullivan, 25, has been riding since May of last year. The victory he scored on Mon Petite on July 24 triggering a $108.80 return was the 12th of his career. His background triggers two questions: Where has he been, and what took him so long? "It's in my blood," Sullivan said. "I'm a fourth-generation rider. My great-grandfather (Carson Kirk), grandfather (James Kirk) and father (S.J. Sullivan) rode. My step-dad (Matt Vigliottti) also rode." His mother, Christine Kirk, was a backstretch worker who galloped horses for major stables like Jack Van Berg, D. Wayne Lukas and Nick Zito. Such a pedigree often leads to riding at the earliest possible opportunity, age 16. But Sullivan opted to go a different way. He went to college at Ohio University, majoring in psychology. He gave up academic pursuits to play guitar in a band that traveled and wound up in New York. "I've played rock, experimental, jazz, a little bit of everything," he said. But eventually, he returned to his roots. "It was calling to me even though I avoided it," Sullivan said. "I dreamed about riding races and one day I just packed up and headed down south to my grandfather's to learn." He rode at Gulfstream Park in Florida for a year, then came to California. Del Mar is his first West Coast meeting. He is represented by agent Mike Ciani...

Jockey Tyler Baze, needing three wins to reach the 2,000-win career milestone entering Wednesday's Del Mar card, had six mounts scheduled on the program. Jockey Joe Steiner, four away from 1,000 career wins, would par it to three with a victory aboard Peradventure (Papa Clem) in Wednesday's Graduation Stakes, his only mount of the day. Trainer Jack Carava started the week 10 away from career victory No. 1,000 and had three scheduled starters on Wednesday.

Carryover Watch

For Thursday or Next Raceday

MONMOUTH:   Pick 6 -- $67,036
GULFSTREAM:   Pick 6 -- $50,000

Results

NORTH AMERICAN NON-GRADED STAKES RESULTS

CORONATION CUP S., SAR, $100,000, 3YO, F, 5 1/2FT, 7-30.
7—STARS ABOVE ME (GB), f, 3, Exceed and Excel (AUS)--Kalinova (IRE), by Red Ransom. O-Elite Racing Club UK, B-Elite Racing Club (GB), T-H. Graham Motion, J-Irad Ortiz, Jr., $60,000.
5—Scatcapade, f, 3, Scat Daddy--Concorde Escapade, by Wild Escapade. O-Patricia A Generazio, B-Patricia Generazio (FL), $20,000.
3—Burn Control, f, 3, Bernstein--Essential Fear (IRE), by Pivotal (GB). ($12,000 '12 KEESEP; $40,000 2014 OBSJAN). O-Demasi, Kathleen A and Nestor, Matt, B-Castleton Lyons & Kilboy Estate (KY), $10,000.
Also Ran: Ruslana, Elena Strikes, Recoupe, Fat Kat.
Winning Time: 1:02 (gd)
Margins: 2 1/4, 1HF, HD.
Odds: 2.25, 2.95, 7.80.

Features

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

AUGUST 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Turf Courses (With apologies to Charles Dickens and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio)

by Dick Powell

It might not be the best of times nor the worst of times (depending on how you are betting) but the two turf courses at Saratoga have serious differences. Not enough to call for a revolution filled with beheadings but if you are sitting on a pile of losing pari-mutuel tickets, wondering what happened, this might help.

In the past two years, there have been an amazing 250 races run on the turf at Saratoga. 120 of them were run on the wider, Mellon turf course, named after one of horse racing's finest patrons of the turf, Paul Mellon of Rokeby Stable fame. 130 of them were run on the inner turf course, which doesn't have a title name but might be the scene of many results where you are called it some colorful names.

About 20 years ago, I did a study of the two turf courses and found radical differences. Twenty years later, little has changed.

On the Mellon turf course, an amazing 47 favorites have won the 120 races for a healthy win percentage of 39.16 percent. The average win mutuel odds was only $5.43 to 1 so the average win mutuel payoff for the 120 races run on the Mellon turf course was $12.86.

Part of the Mellon turf course playing so much to form is its wide turns allow horses to overcome poor trips and rally with less traffic congestion. The inner turf course, with its narrower configuration, figures to be the opposite and according to the data, it is.

There have been 130 races run on the inner turf course and only 35 favorites have won for a win percentage of only 26.92 percent. When you do pick a winner on the inner turf course, you are rewarded with an average mutuel payoff of $14.34.

Field sizes are comparable but you would not think that the inner turf course averages 9.22 starters per race while the Mellon turf course averages 8.71 starters per race. Somehow, you would think the opposite would be the case.

As far as betting strategy, it makes sense to spread out more in races on the inner turf course than the Mellon. On the inner turf course, bad trips seem to prevail and upsets occur more than expected so it's tough to go strong with one or two horses. Three or four might be more like it.

On the Mellon turf course, a strong favorite figures to have less of a chance of being hindered with traffic problems so you can bet them with more confidence. The sample size of 250 turf races certainly is statistically significant and it reflects prior research that I have done.

What does Saratoga have that Del Mar does not? Easy! Bad weather!

If you are up here or watching on a simulcast, you have seen three of the last four days lose all turf racing due to torrential rains. With at least five turf races scheduled each racing day, a rainy day means a lot of races off the turf and at least there have been enough of them to build up some data.

In 2013, we had weather never seen before with only 22 races washed off the turf in 40 days of racing. Part of that trend continued into this year with no weather issues in the first eight days of racing, but last Sunday and Monday's turf races were all lost so we have had 10 races washed off the turf in 10 days of racing this year.

Even with only an average field size of 7.25, favorites only won 31.25 percent. The average win mutuel was $11.08 so the races that have been taken off the turf are playing a little less to form than expected.

Results

NORTH AMERICAN ALLOWANCE RESULTS

DMR, 1ST, AOC, $85,780, 3YO/UP, 1 3/8MT, 7-30.
7—BIG JOHN B, g, 5, Hard Spun--Baldomera, by Doneraile Court. ($30,000 2011 OBSJUN). O-Michael House, B-BryLynn Farm, Inc (FL), T-Philip D'Amato, J-Mike E. Smith, $48,000.
5—Stoney Fleece, g, 5, Decarchy--Gold Fleece, by Deputed Testamony. ($1,200 2011 BESJAN). O-Chris Curtis, B-Joseph T Alvarez III (CA), $20,800.
3—American Act, g, 5, Quiet American--Revolutionary Act, by Boston Harbor. ($45,000 '10 KEESEP). O-Howard and Janet Siegel Racing LLC, B-Camelia Casby (KY), $9,600.
Winning Time: 2:12 4/5 (fm)
 
SAR, 3RD, ALW, $85,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 7-30.
6—WILLET, m, 6, Jump Start--Katina K, by Distinctive Pro. O-Iselin, James H, Assoulin, Charlotte and Gindi, Eli, B-Michael T Martin (NY), T-James H. Iselin, J-Joel Rosario, $51,000.
2—Risky Rachel, m, 7, Limehouse--Dancin Renee, by Distinctive Pro. O-Bacon Barn, B-Sanford Bacon (NY), $17,000.
4—Galiana, f, 4, Stonesider--Baby Jess (ARG), by Interprete (ARG). O-Rodolfo Romero, B-John T Behrendt & Charles Marquis (NY), $8,500.
Winning Time: 1:09 2/5 (ft)
 
SAR, 8TH, ALW, $85,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 7-30.
6—LA MADRINA, f, 3, Tapit--Enchanted Rock, by Giant's Causeway. O-Emory A Hamilton, B-Emory A Hamilton (KY), T-Claude R. McGaughey III, J-Javier Castellano, $51,000.
1—Predicate, f, 3, Congrats--Pelicus Affair, by Pentelicus. ($75,000 '11 KEENOV; $160,000 '12 KEESEP; $200,000 2013 FTFMAR). O-Reddam Racing LLC, B-William Arvin Jr, Crosshaven Bloodstock & Gabriel Duignan (KY), $17,000.
5—Eddy Gourmet, f, 4, Eddington--Mz. Ann, by Citidancer. ($20,000 '11 FTMOCT; $40,000 2013 KEENOV). O-Toby Roth, B-Michael P Cataneo (MD), $8,500.
Winning Time: 1:11 1/5 (ft)
 
SAR, 1ST, AOC, $65,000, 4YO/UP, A2 1/16MT, 7-30.
2—VIRSITO, g, 8, Dynaformer--Turkish Gipsy, by Turkoman. ($275,000 '07 KEESEP). O-Williams, Sheila J and Brewster, Andre W, B-Cardiff Farm Management Corp & Bobby Ng (KY), T-Jack O. Fisher, J-Paddy Young, $39,000.
1A—Charminster (IRE), g, 8, Broadway Flyer--Monteleena (IRE), by Montelimar. O-Irvin S Naylor, B-Raymond Cahalane (IRE), $11,700.
4—Bodie Island, g, 6, Kafwain--Sweet Carolina, by Deputy Minister. O-The Elkstone Group LLC, B-The Elkstone Group LLC (KY), $6,500.
Winning Time: 3:52 4/5 (gd)
 
DEL, 6TH, ALW, $37,375, 3YO, F, 1M 70YT, 7-30.
6—BUTTERCUP BAY, f, 3, Bluegrass Cat--Marwood, by Marlin. ($7,000 '11 KEENOV). O-LW XXI, LLC, B-Casner Racing LP (KY), T-Arnaud Delacour, J-Luis Garcia, $22,200.
5—Munirah, f, 3, Kitten's Joy--Speed to Burn, by Red Ransom. ($160,000 '11 KEENOV). O-Zanim R Meahjohn, B-B P Walden Jr (KY), $7,400.
1A—Sky Walk, f, 3, Unbridled's Song--Skye Castles, by Sky Classic. ($120,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Richard Santulli, B-Barry Weisbord, Colts Neck Stables, LLC & Unbridled's Song Syndicate (KY), $4,070.
Winning Time: 1:41 2/5 (fm)
 
IND, 7TH, ALW, $36,000, 3YO/UP, 6F, 7-30.
10—DANCE PROUDLY, g, 4, Quick Action--Lady Newton, by Conscience Clear. O-Riddle, James E and Vicki J, B-Vicki J Riddle & James E Riddle (IN), T-James E. Riddle, J-Juan P. Vargas, $21,600.
6—Pulling Away, g, 4, Spring At Last--Candy Kokand, by Kokand. O-Harley Frey, B-Lake Shore Farm (IN), $7,200.
3—Thurman, g, 3, 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), $3,600.
Winning Time: 1:09 4/5 (sy)
 
PID, 2ND, ALW, $30,300, 3YO/UP, 1M, 7-30.
1—SO KITTEN, g, 3, Kitten's Joy--Sobee, by A.P. Indy. O-Burkholder Stables LLC, B-George Strawbridge Jr (PA), T-Maria Bowersock, J-Ronald Dale Allen, Jr., $18,000.
7—Pyro City, g, 5, City Zip--Proven Form, by Partner's Hero. O-Brenda Pointer, B-Robert A Kinsley (PA), $6,000.
4—Winter's Gift, g, 3, Ghostzapper--Tease, by Crowd Pleaser. ($40,000 2013 FTMMAY). O-Norman Stables, LLC, B-EQB Inc (PA), $3,000.
Winning Time: 1:37 3/5 (ft)
 
PID, 5TH, ALW, $29,250, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1M, 7-29.
4—ONLY ONE FOR ME, m, 5, Senor Swinger--Fountain of Truth, by Proud and True. O-Thomas Elmer Schaeffer, B-Norman Dellheim & Peggy Dellheim (PA), T-Walter F. Bish, J-Antonio A. Gallardo, $18,000.
1A—Wisenbossy, f, 4, Wiseman's Ferry--Bold N' Bossy, by Nines Wild. O-RSL Racing Stable, B-RSL Racing Stable (PA), $6,000.
3—Taller Sister, f, 3, Red Giant--City Glitter, by Citidancer. O-Pape, William L and Sheppard, Jonathan E, B-Jonathan Sheppard & William L Pape (PA), $3,000.
Winning Time: 1:39 2/5 (ft)
 
TDN, 4TH, ALW, $22,500, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 7-30.
5—HISTORICAL FACT, m, 5, Seize the Day--Historical, by Pecos River. O-Morlona Racing LLC, B-Harry D Burns (FL), T-Nabu Morales, J-Walter De La Cruz, $13,500.
1—Seeking a Sunrise, m, 5, Seeking a Home--She'saholyterror, by Grand Jewel. O-Hamilton, Debbie and Skipper, B-Rolling Oaks Farm (TX), $4,500.
2—What Outa Who, f, 4, Valid Trefaire--Ma Come Pretendi, by Pentelicus. O-Lomor Stable Inc (Catherine Angelo), B-Lisa Campbell (MI), $2,250.
Winning Time: 1:11 2/5 (ft)
 
MNR, 8TH, ALW, $22,200, 3YO, F, 6F, 7-29.
6—DELIVER, f, 3, Article of Faith--B. 'n W. Delivery, by Dr. Caton. ($1,600 '12 INDOCT). O-Short, Tommy C and Simcoe, William, B-James R Elliott & Amy Elliott (IN), T-Tommy C. Short, J-Rex A. Stokes, III, $13,764.
4—Ms. Jean Elizabeth, f, 3, Old Fashioned--Souris, by Defrere. ($60,000 '11 KEENOV; $42,000 '12 KEESEP; $95,000 2013 OBSMAR). O-Krenz Stables, B-Springland Farm & Fox Hill Farms, Inc (KY), $4,440.
1—True Kinection, f, 3, Yes It's True--Tiztimetokinect, by Tiznow. ($4,200 '12 FTKOCT). O-Raymond L Davis, B-Katierich Farms (KY), $2,220.
Winning Time: 1:12 1/5 (ft)
 
TDN, 7TH, ALW, $21,000, 3YO/UP, 1M, 7-30.
1—ALEXANDER THEGREAT, g, 5, Cat Thief--Daddy's Petunia, by Run Softly. O-David Downard, B-Robert C Cartwright (KY), T-Jeffrey A. Radosevich, J-Jeffrey Skerrett, $12,600.
6—His Royal Highness, g, 5, Awesome Again--Royally Chosen, by In Excess (IRE). ($130,000 '10 KEESEP). O-Lomor Stable Inc (Catherine Angelo), B-Adena Springs (ON), $4,200.
2—Nice Shot, g, 5, Trajectory--Bow and Arrow, by Apalachee. O-Maribel Izarraraz, B-Pin Oak Stud, LLC (ON), $2,100.
Winning Time: 1:38 4/5 (ft)
 
SUF, 8TH, ALW, $18,620, 3YO/UP, F/M, A7 1/2FT, 7-30.
10—SWEET SHIRLEY MAE, f, 4, Broken Vow--Joyful Chaos, by Rahy. ($60,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Ice Wine Stable, B-Lewis Schaffel (KY), T-Wesley A. Ward, J-Edgard J. Zayas, $11,400.
7—Clara Lives Strong, f, 4, Forestry--Heir to the Queen, by King of Kings (IRE). ($5,000 '11 FTMOCT). O-Anthony Spadea, Jr, B-Hindman Limited Partnership, LLLP (KY), $3,800.
1—Darn Proud, m, 7, Proud and True--Lady Lisa, by Princely Pleasure. O-Joyce Kielty, B-Linda Robson (FL), $1,900.
Winning Time: 1:35 1/5 (fm)

North American Maiden Winners
Majestic Warrior--Spenny by Menifee; NONNA JO, f, 2, SAR, Msw, 7-30, 5f, :58 2/5. B-Vincent A. Vivolo Jr. (NY.).
Marino Marini--Sharoana by Lord Carson; TIP TOP LADY, f, 2, SR, Msw, 7-30, 5 1/2f, 1:05 . B-George Schmitt (CA.). $13,000 '13 CTNAUG.
Nobiz Like Shobiz--Shepherd's Girl by Rod and Staff; COMFORTER, f, 2, DEL, Msw, 7-30, 5f, :58 1/5. B-Jim Plemmons (IN.). $16,000 2014 FTMMAY.
Artie Schiller--Run Early Run Fast by Cherokee Run; BUSE BOY, c, 3, IND, Mcl 15000, 7-30, 1m, 1:40 2/5. B-Meadow Springs Farm, LLC (OH.).
Flatter--Fran's Glory by Friendly Lover; FRAN'S FLATTER, g, 3, IND, Msw, 7-30, 6f, 1:11 . B-Francis Tinkle (IN.).
Mr. Jester--Ashlee's Royal by Royal Academy; CLOWNS TO THE LEFT, f, 3, DEL, Mcl 5000, 7-30, 6f, 1:12 3/5. B-Colebrook Farms (ON.).
Run Away and Hide--Foolish Tee by Lil E. Tee; READ THE CARDS, c, 3, MNR, Msw, 7-29, 5f, :59 2/5. B-Jonathan W. Meredith (IN.). $35,000 '12 FTKOCT.
Tapit--Arradoul by Dixieland Band; WEST RIDING, f, 3, DMR, Msw, 7-30, 1m, 1:37 1/5. B-Greenwood Lodge Farm, Inc. (KY.). $280,000 '12 KEESEP.
Belong to Me--Chacana by Forest Camp; GRACEE GOO, f, 4, IND, Mcl 25000, 7-30, 5f, :57 2/5. B-DeSales Michael Cavey DVM (KY.).
Broken Vow--Majority Whip by Gulch; CARNIVAL KID, f, 4, TDN, Msw, 7-30, 6f, 1:12 . B-Daniel J. Burke (KY.). $32,000 '11 KEESEP.
Decarchy--Trick a Cat by High Yield; KEVIN'S KOOL KAT, f, 4, SUF, Mcl 12500, 7-30, 1m, 1:40 4/5. B-Gorman Racing Stable & Sterling Stables, LLC (CA.).
E Dubai--Mystical Lady by Behrens; BRANDINI, f, 4, SAR, Mcl 40000, 7-30, 1 1/8m, 1:55 3/5. B-Song Hill Thoroughbreds LLC (NY.).
Johannesburg--Separate Ways by Gone West; JOEYSBURG, f, 4, SR, Mcl 5000, 7-30, 6f, 1:12 3/5. B-Johannesburg Syndicate, Richard Reed & Tiffany Zammit (KY.). $7,000 '10 KEENOV.
Silk Broker--Gorgeous Indeed by Foolish Macduff; DIVA INDEED, f, 4, SUF, Mcl 5000, 7-30, 5 1/2f, 1:08 1/5. B-Adel Salim (MA.).
Street Cry (IRE)--Serena's Song (champion, $3,283,388), by Rahy; SERENE MELODY, f, 4, PID, Msw, 7-30, 1m 70y, 1:42 2/5. B-The Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust (KY.). *1/2 to Serena's Tune (MSW $337,260) *1/2 to Sophisticat (G1 $444,231) *1/2 to Grand Reward (G2 $548,995) *1/2 to Harlington (G2 $370,000) *1/2 to Schramsberg (G3 $394,626).

Notebooks

SARATOGA NOTEBOOK

JULY 31, 2014

by John Mucciolo

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

Jim Dandy S. (G2): Centennial Farms' WICKED STRONG (Hard Spun) attended the pace from the start, inched to the lead in early stretch and pulled away to a decisive 2 1/4-length tally for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Equipped with blinkers for the first time, the Grade 1 hero went nine panels on the fast main oval in 1:49 with Rajiv Maragh in the silks.

Honorable Miss S. (G2): Richard Averill's homebred R FREE ROLL (Rockport Harbor) got the jump on the favorite out of the gate and never relinquished her edge in posting a 1 1/4-length tally with Paco Lopez in the irons. The four-year-old filly sped six panels on the sloppy, sealed oval in 1:10 for conditioner Danny Gargan.

Lake George S. (G2): Sagamore Farm's homebred DARING DANCER (Empire Maker) tracked from behind runners, started to gain momentum in early stretch and turned it on late to get up by a head beneath Alan Garcia. The three-year-old filly went 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in a swift 1:40 4/5 for conditioner Graham Motion.

Amsterdam S. (G2): Fox Hill Farm's COUP DE GRACE (Tapit) broke slowest of all but began to accelerate nearing the turn for home and finished best of all in securing a three-length score under the guidance of Rosie Napravnik. Trained by Chad Brown, the three-year-old colt stopped the teletimer in 1:15 1/5 for 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast main oval.

Shuvee H. (G3): Godolphin Racing's ANTIPATHY (A.P. Indy) took command prior to the turn for home and never let it go in posting a measured two-length win in this affair for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The peaking four-year-old filly endured nine panels on the muddy, sealed main course in 1:52 4/5 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the silks.

Track Stats

A total of 60 races were held at the Saratoga Springs, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 40 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 62 percent of the wins during the week. From 41 races on the main oval, 15 animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (37 percent), while four of the 19 races on the lawn were taken all the way on the front (21 percent).

The main oval played fairly we thought until the surface was full of moisture over Sunday and Monday, when speed often has an edge on this surface. Eight winners led at every call on the dirt during those days from 19 races (42 percent).

Three of the four wire jobs on the lawn came on the outer surface, two of those coming in sprint races. From what we saw, closers may have had a bit of an edge on the lawn, especially at two turns.

Trainer Todd Pletcher doubled his win total to 10 after saddling five more winners this past week, and he holds a six-win edge on four other conditioners. Trainer George Weaver had a strong week with multiple winners, and we tabbed his as a barn to watch last week as his runners also wake up at Saratoga.

Meet Totals

RACES:   101
DIRT:   60
TURF:   41
FAVORITES:   39 (39 percent)
2ND CHOICES:   16 (16 percent)
TURF WIRE:   12 (21 percent)
DIRT WIRE:   20 (37 percent)

HORSES TO WATCH

Wednesday (7/23)

2ND -- EMPRESSIVE HUMOR (Distorted Humor) spotted the big favorite a head start but slowly reeled that one in and got it done at first asking for Steve Asmussen. The well-bred juvenile miss came home with energy and heart and could eventually be a nice one, and perhaps sooner than later.

6TH -- It was good to see Grade 1 heroine ARTEMIS AGROTERA (Roman Ruler) get back on track, dominating state-bred foes for conditioner Michael Hushion. We think the sophomore could have a solid second half of 2014 after this confidence builder.

Thursday (7/24)

4TH -- KATIE'S GARDEN (Elusive Quality) was a winner out west we liked this winter and the John Shirreffs pupil made good off the layoff with a convincing allowance tally under John Velazquez. The four-year-old filly has speed but can rate, and she could develop into a nice one with a bit more seasoning.

Friday (7/25)

4TH -- NOBLE CORNERSTONE (Noble Causeway) returns to this list after reeling in a clear leader late in posting a pretty sharp allowance victory beneath Jose Ortiz. The sophomore gelding is a versatile sort who could evolve into a stakes horse in the very near future for Thomas Morley.

9TH -- PROTONICO (Giant's Causeway) was near the sharp and contested pace early and was the only horse near it to be close at the wire, falling short by just a nose and head while third beneath Javier Castellano. The Todd Pletcher trainee will be tough right back at this meeting with a more fortunate trip.

Saturday (7/26)

2ND -- SANCTIFY (Pulpit) moved outside for the stretch run and came home with a ton of energy in a superb allowance win for trainer Bill Mott. The sophomore colt he is more than capable of handling two turns.

3RD -- The Todd Pletcher-trained COMPETITIVE EDGE (Super Saver) went into this race with some hype and left with a lot more following a 10 1/4-length tour-de-force under John Velazquez. The $750,000 juvenile buy proved why he was worth that sales price and it's hard to imagine seeing a juvenile as impressive at this meeting as the colt was at first asking in here

7TH -- THE BIG BEAST (Yes It's True) got the early jump on this field and left little doubt as to who was best here with a powerful 6 1/4-length romp for conditioner Tony Dutrow. The rapidly improving sophomore colt has now bagged two races with ease in succession and earned a hefty BRIS 102 Speed number for this effort.

10TH -- WICKED STRONG surely appreciate the addition of the blinkers that put him in the race early, a good idea for this grinding type who seems a lot more dangerous when into the race early. Although it was just a single sample race, the colt beat a nice field and could be headed for a big second half of the season.

TONALIST (Tapit) sat a fine trip and really had no excuse in this one but since it was a prep for the upcoming Travers S. (G1), he may have been a bit short. We haven't lost anything for this lightly raced Grade 1 winner.

Sunday (7/27)

3RD -- Pletcher's CURALINA (Curlin) could not catch the sharp winner in her debut run, but this juvenile lass showed a ton of interest in the lane and finished more than six lengths clear of her nearest foe. Tab the juvenile filly for a score next out, and she could evolve into a good one with steady growth and improvement. She earned an excellent 96 Speed figure for this fine first offering.

A Look Ahead

A trio of Grade 1 events will take place on Saturday at The Spa. The $1.5 million Whitney Handicap is the topper and will be accompanied by the $500,000 Test Stakes and the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes.

Features

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

AUGUST 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Turf Courses (With apologies to Charles Dickens and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio)

by Dick Powell

It might not be the best of times nor the worst of times (depending on how you are betting) but the two turf courses at Saratoga have serious differences. Not enough to call for a revolution filled with beheadings but if you are sitting on a pile of losing pari-mutuel tickets, wondering what happened, this might help.

In the past two years, there have been an amazing 250 races run on the turf at Saratoga. 120 of them were run on the wider, Mellon turf course, named after one of horse racing's finest patrons of the turf, Paul Mellon of Rokeby Stable fame. 130 of them were run on the inner turf course, which doesn't have a title name but might be the scene of many results where you are called it some colorful names.

About 20 years ago, I did a study of the two turf courses and found radical differences. Twenty years later, little has changed.

On the Mellon turf course, an amazing 47 favorites have won the 120 races for a healthy win percentage of 39.16 percent. The average win mutuel odds was only $5.43 to 1 so the average win mutuel payoff for the 120 races run on the Mellon turf course was $12.86.

Part of the Mellon turf course playing so much to form is its wide turns allow horses to overcome poor trips and rally with less traffic congestion. The inner turf course, with its narrower configuration, figures to be the opposite and according to the data, it is.

There have been 130 races run on the inner turf course and only 35 favorites have won for a win percentage of only 26.92 percent. When you do pick a winner on the inner turf course, you are rewarded with an average mutuel payoff of $14.34.

Field sizes are comparable but you would not think that the inner turf course averages 9.22 starters per race while the Mellon turf course averages 8.71 starters per race. Somehow, you would think the opposite would be the case.

As far as betting strategy, it makes sense to spread out more in races on the inner turf course than the Mellon. On the inner turf course, bad trips seem to prevail and upsets occur more than expected so it's tough to go strong with one or two horses. Three or four might be more like it.

On the Mellon turf course, a strong favorite figures to have less of a chance of being hindered with traffic problems so you can bet them with more confidence. The sample size of 250 turf races certainly is statistically significant and it reflects prior research that I have done.

What does Saratoga have that Del Mar does not? Easy! Bad weather!

If you are up here or watching on a simulcast, you have seen three of the last four days lose all turf racing due to torrential rains. With at least five turf races scheduled each racing day, a rainy day means a lot of races off the turf and at least there have been enough of them to build up some data.

In 2013, we had weather never seen before with only 22 races washed off the turf in 40 days of racing. Part of that trend continued into this year with no weather issues in the first eight days of racing, but last Sunday and Monday's turf races were all lost so we have had 10 races washed off the turf in 10 days of racing this year.

Even with only an average field size of 7.25, favorites only won 31.25 percent. The average win mutuel was $11.08 so the races that have been taken off the turf are playing a little less to form than expected.

UPCOMING STAKES

Click here for the monthly August Calendar

Thursday, July 31
 
A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase H. (NSA-G1), Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, 2 1/16mT.
Evan Shipman S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, 1 1/8m.
 
Friday, August 1
 
Real Good Deal S. (r), Del Mar, $200,000, 3yo, 7f.
Caress S., Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, f&m, 5 1/2fT.
 
Saturday, August 2
 
WHITNEY H. (G1), Saratoga, $1,500,000, 3&up, 1 1/8m.
TEST S. (G1), Saratoga, $500,000, 3yo, f, 7f.
ALFRED G. VANDERBILT H. (G1), Saratoga, $350,000, 3&up, 6f.
CLEMENT L. HIRSCH S. (G1), Del Mar, $300,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m.
WEST VIRGINIA DERBY (G2), Mountaineer Park, $750,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m.
West Virginia Governor's S., Mountaineer Park, $200,000, 3&up, 1 1/16m.
A.L. "Red" Erwin Sales Graduate (r), Louisiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, 1mT.
Elge Rasberry Sales Graduate (r), Louisiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, f, 1mT.
Eternal Search S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m.
Super Derby Prelude, Louisiana Downs, $100,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m.
Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
Mountaineer Juvenile, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 2yo, 6f.
Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, 6f.
West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup S., Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, 1m 70ydsT.
West Virginia Chairman's Cup, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, 4 1/2f.
West Virginia Secretary of State S., Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 6f.
West Virginia Senate President's Cup, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 1m 70ydsT.
De La Rose S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, f&m, 1mT.
Lure S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, 1 1/16mT.
Donna Reed S. (r), Prairie Meadows, $85,000, 4&up, f&m, 1m 70yds.
Ralph Hayes S. (r), Prairie Meadows, $85,000, 4&up, c&g, 1 1/16m.
Iowa Breeders' Derby (r), Prairie Meadows, $80,000, 3yo, c&g, 1 1/16m.
Iowa Breeders' Oaks (r), Prairie Meadows, $80,000, 3yo, f, 1m 70yds.
Soaring Softly S., Gulfstream Park, $75,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.
Louisiana Cup Distaff (r), Louisiana Downs, $75,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.
Louisiana Cup Turf Classic (r), Louisiana Downs, $75,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
Iowa Classic Sprint (r), Prairie Meadows, $75,000, 3&up, 6f.
Iowa Cradle S. (r), Prairie Meadows, $75,000, 2yo, c&g, 6f.
Iowa Sorority (r), Prairie Meadows, $75,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
My Frenchman S., Monmouth Park, $60,000, 3&up, 5 1/2fT.
Budweiser Special S., Albuquerque, $50,000, 3&up, 6 1/2f.
Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 3&up, f&m, 6f.
Louisiana Cup Juvenile (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 2yo, 6f.
Louisiana Cup Fillies (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
Louisiana Cup Sprint (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 3&up, 6f.
Robert Dupret Derby, Santa Rosa, $50,000, 3yo, 1 1/16mT.
 
Sunday, August 3
 
BEST PAL S. (G2), Del Mar, $200,000, 2yo, 6 1/2f.
Seagram Cup (Can-G3), Woodbine, $150,000, 3&up, 1 1/16m.
Nandi S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
Waya S., Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/2mT.
Tyro S., Monmouth Park, $60,000, 2yo, 5fT.
Joseph T. Grace H., Santa Rosa, $50,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
 
Monday, August 4
 
Shepperton S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3&up, 6 1/2f.
New York Stallion S. (Cab Calloway Division) (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3yo, 1mT.
New York Stallion S. (Statue of Liberty Division) (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3yo, f, 1mT.
Manitoba Derby, Assiniboia Downs, $75,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m.
British Columbia Cup Classic (r), Hastings Park, $75,000, 3&up, 1 1/8m.
Assiniboia Oaks, Assiniboia Downs, $50,000, 3yo, f, 1m.
British Columbia Cup Debutante (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f.
British Columbia Cup Distaff (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/8m.
British Columbia Cup Dogwood (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m.
British Columbia Cup Nursery (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 2yo, c&g, 6 1/2f.
British Columbia Cup Stellar's Jay (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 3yo, c&g, 1 1/16m.
Sun Sprint, Northlands Park, $50,000, 3&up, 6 1/2f.
 
Wednesday, August 6
 
SORRENTO S. (G2), Del Mar, $200,000, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f.
Governor's S. (r), Indiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, 1m 70yds.
Indiana First Lady S. (r), Indiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, f, 1m 70yds.
John's Call S., Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, 1 5/8mT.
A.J. Foyt S. (r), Indiana Downs, $85,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
Florence Henderson S. (r), Indiana Downs, $85,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.

Notebooks

SARATOGA NOTEBOOK

JULY 31, 2014

by John Mucciolo

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

Jim Dandy S. (G2): Centennial Farms' WICKED STRONG (Hard Spun) attended the pace from the start, inched to the lead in early stretch and pulled away to a decisive 2 1/4-length tally for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Equipped with blinkers for the first time, the Grade 1 hero went nine panels on the fast main oval in 1:49 with Rajiv Maragh in the silks.

Honorable Miss S. (G2): Richard Averill's homebred R FREE ROLL (Rockport Harbor) got the jump on the favorite out of the gate and never relinquished her edge in posting a 1 1/4-length tally with Paco Lopez in the irons. The four-year-old filly sped six panels on the sloppy, sealed oval in 1:10 for conditioner Danny Gargan.

Lake George S. (G2): Sagamore Farm's homebred DARING DANCER (Empire Maker) tracked from behind runners, started to gain momentum in early stretch and turned it on late to get up by a head beneath Alan Garcia. The three-year-old filly went 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in a swift 1:40 4/5 for conditioner Graham Motion.

Amsterdam S. (G2): Fox Hill Farm's COUP DE GRACE (Tapit) broke slowest of all but began to accelerate nearing the turn for home and finished best of all in securing a three-length score under the guidance of Rosie Napravnik. Trained by Chad Brown, the three-year-old colt stopped the teletimer in 1:15 1/5 for 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast main oval.

Shuvee H. (G3): Godolphin Racing's ANTIPATHY (A.P. Indy) took command prior to the turn for home and never let it go in posting a measured two-length win in this affair for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The peaking four-year-old filly endured nine panels on the muddy, sealed main course in 1:52 4/5 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the silks.

Track Stats

A total of 60 races were held at the Saratoga Springs, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 40 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 62 percent of the wins during the week. From 41 races on the main oval, 15 animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (37 percent), while four of the 19 races on the lawn were taken all the way on the front (21 percent).

The main oval played fairly we thought until the surface was full of moisture over Sunday and Monday, when speed often has an edge on this surface. Eight winners led at every call on the dirt during those days from 19 races (42 percent).

Three of the four wire jobs on the lawn came on the outer surface, two of those coming in sprint races. From what we saw, closers may have had a bit of an edge on the lawn, especially at two turns.

Trainer Todd Pletcher doubled his win total to 10 after saddling five more winners this past week, and he holds a six-win edge on four other conditioners. Trainer George Weaver had a strong week with multiple winners, and we tabbed his as a barn to watch last week as his runners also wake up at Saratoga.

Meet Totals

RACES:   101
DIRT:   60
TURF:   41
FAVORITES:   39 (39 percent)
2ND CHOICES:   16 (16 percent)
TURF WIRE:   12 (21 percent)
DIRT WIRE:   20 (37 percent)

HORSES TO WATCH

Wednesday (7/23)

2ND -- EMPRESSIVE HUMOR (Distorted Humor) spotted the big favorite a head start but slowly reeled that one in and got it done at first asking for Steve Asmussen. The well-bred juvenile miss came home with energy and heart and could eventually be a nice one, and perhaps sooner than later.

6TH -- It was good to see Grade 1 heroine ARTEMIS AGROTERA (Roman Ruler) get back on track, dominating state-bred foes for conditioner Michael Hushion. We think the sophomore could have a solid second half of 2014 after this confidence builder.

Thursday (7/24)

4TH -- KATIE'S GARDEN (Elusive Quality) was a winner out west we liked this winter and the John Shirreffs pupil made good off the layoff with a convincing allowance tally under John Velazquez. The four-year-old filly has speed but can rate, and she could develop into a nice one with a bit more seasoning.

Friday (7/25)

4TH -- NOBLE CORNERSTONE (Noble Causeway) returns to this list after reeling in a clear leader late in posting a pretty sharp allowance victory beneath Jose Ortiz. The sophomore gelding is a versatile sort who could evolve into a stakes horse in the very near future for Thomas Morley.

9TH -- PROTONICO (Giant's Causeway) was near the sharp and contested pace early and was the only horse near it to be close at the wire, falling short by just a nose and head while third beneath Javier Castellano. The Todd Pletcher trainee will be tough right back at this meeting with a more fortunate trip.

Saturday (7/26)

2ND -- SANCTIFY (Pulpit) moved outside for the stretch run and came home with a ton of energy in a superb allowance win for trainer Bill Mott. The sophomore colt he is more than capable of handling two turns.

3RD -- The Todd Pletcher-trained COMPETITIVE EDGE (Super Saver) went into this race with some hype and left with a lot more following a 10 1/4-length tour-de-force under John Velazquez. The $750,000 juvenile buy proved why he was worth that sales price and it's hard to imagine seeing a juvenile as impressive at this meeting as the colt was at first asking in here

7TH -- THE BIG BEAST (Yes It's True) got the early jump on this field and left little doubt as to who was best here with a powerful 6 1/4-length romp for conditioner Tony Dutrow. The rapidly improving sophomore colt has now bagged two races with ease in succession and earned a hefty BRIS 102 Speed number for this effort.

10TH -- WICKED STRONG surely appreciate the addition of the blinkers that put him in the race early, a good idea for this grinding type who seems a lot more dangerous when into the race early. Although it was just a single sample race, the colt beat a nice field and could be headed for a big second half of the season.

TONALIST (Tapit) sat a fine trip and really had no excuse in this one but since it was a prep for the upcoming Travers S. (G1), he may have been a bit short. We haven't lost anything for this lightly raced Grade 1 winner.

Sunday (7/27)

3RD -- Pletcher's CURALINA (Curlin) could not catch the sharp winner in her debut run, but this juvenile lass showed a ton of interest in the lane and finished more than six lengths clear of her nearest foe. Tab the juvenile filly for a score next out, and she could evolve into a good one with steady growth and improvement. She earned an excellent 96 Speed figure for this fine first offering.

A Look Ahead

A trio of Grade 1 events will take place on Saturday at The Spa. The $1.5 million Whitney Handicap is the topper and will be accompanied by the $500,000 Test Stakes and the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes.

Features

RACING DATES

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

UPCOMING STAKES

Click here for the monthly August Calendar

Thursday, July 31
 
A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase H. (NSA-G1), Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, 2 1/16mT.
Evan Shipman S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, 1 1/8m.
 
Friday, August 1
 
Real Good Deal S. (r), Del Mar, $200,000, 3yo, 7f.
Caress S., Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, f&m, 5 1/2fT.
 
Saturday, August 2
 
WHITNEY H. (G1), Saratoga, $1,500,000, 3&up, 1 1/8m.
TEST S. (G1), Saratoga, $500,000, 3yo, f, 7f.
ALFRED G. VANDERBILT H. (G1), Saratoga, $350,000, 3&up, 6f.
CLEMENT L. HIRSCH S. (G1), Del Mar, $300,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m.
WEST VIRGINIA DERBY (G2), Mountaineer Park, $750,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m.
West Virginia Governor's S., Mountaineer Park, $200,000, 3&up, 1 1/16m.
A.L. "Red" Erwin Sales Graduate (r), Louisiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, 1mT.
Elge Rasberry Sales Graduate (r), Louisiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, f, 1mT.
Eternal Search S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m.
Super Derby Prelude, Louisiana Downs, $100,000, 3yo, 1 1/16m.
Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
Mountaineer Juvenile, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 2yo, 6f.
Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, 6f.
West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup S., Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, 1m 70ydsT.
West Virginia Chairman's Cup, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, 4 1/2f.
West Virginia Secretary of State S., Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 6f.
West Virginia Senate President's Cup, Mountaineer Park, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 1m 70ydsT.
De La Rose S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, f&m, 1mT.
Lure S. (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 4&up, 1 1/16mT.
Donna Reed S. (r), Prairie Meadows, $85,000, 4&up, f&m, 1m 70yds.
Ralph Hayes S. (r), Prairie Meadows, $85,000, 4&up, c&g, 1 1/16m.
Iowa Breeders' Derby (r), Prairie Meadows, $80,000, 3yo, c&g, 1 1/16m.
Iowa Breeders' Oaks (r), Prairie Meadows, $80,000, 3yo, f, 1m 70yds.
Soaring Softly S., Gulfstream Park, $75,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.
Louisiana Cup Distaff (r), Louisiana Downs, $75,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.
Louisiana Cup Turf Classic (r), Louisiana Downs, $75,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
Iowa Classic Sprint (r), Prairie Meadows, $75,000, 3&up, 6f.
Iowa Cradle S. (r), Prairie Meadows, $75,000, 2yo, c&g, 6f.
Iowa Sorority (r), Prairie Meadows, $75,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
My Frenchman S., Monmouth Park, $60,000, 3&up, 5 1/2fT.
Budweiser Special S., Albuquerque, $50,000, 3&up, 6 1/2f.
Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 3&up, f&m, 6f.
Louisiana Cup Juvenile (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 2yo, 6f.
Louisiana Cup Fillies (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
Louisiana Cup Sprint (r), Louisiana Downs, $50,000, 3&up, 6f.
Robert Dupret Derby, Santa Rosa, $50,000, 3yo, 1 1/16mT.
 
Sunday, August 3
 
BEST PAL S. (G2), Del Mar, $200,000, 2yo, 6 1/2f.
Seagram Cup (Can-G3), Woodbine, $150,000, 3&up, 1 1/16m.
Nandi S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 2yo, f, 6f.
Waya S., Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/2mT.
Tyro S., Monmouth Park, $60,000, 2yo, 5fT.
Joseph T. Grace H., Santa Rosa, $50,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
 
Monday, August 4
 
Shepperton S. (r), Woodbine, $125,000, 3&up, 6 1/2f.
New York Stallion S. (Cab Calloway Division) (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3yo, 1mT.
New York Stallion S. (Statue of Liberty Division) (r), Saratoga, $100,000, 3yo, f, 1mT.
Manitoba Derby, Assiniboia Downs, $75,000, 3yo, 1 1/8m.
British Columbia Cup Classic (r), Hastings Park, $75,000, 3&up, 1 1/8m.
Assiniboia Oaks, Assiniboia Downs, $50,000, 3yo, f, 1m.
British Columbia Cup Debutante (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f.
British Columbia Cup Distaff (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/8m.
British Columbia Cup Dogwood (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 3yo, f, 1 1/16m.
British Columbia Cup Nursery (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 2yo, c&g, 6 1/2f.
British Columbia Cup Stellar's Jay (r), Hastings Park, $50,000, 3yo, c&g, 1 1/16m.
Sun Sprint, Northlands Park, $50,000, 3&up, 6 1/2f.
 
Wednesday, August 6
 
SORRENTO S. (G2), Del Mar, $200,000, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f.
Governor's S. (r), Indiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, 1m 70yds.
Indiana First Lady S. (r), Indiana Downs, $150,000, 3yo, f, 1m 70yds.
John's Call S., Saratoga, $100,000, 3&up, 1 5/8mT.
A.J. Foyt S. (r), Indiana Downs, $85,000, 3&up, 1 1/16mT.
Florence Henderson S. (r), Indiana Downs, $85,000, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT.

At a Glance
ELLIS PARK AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 3.53 - 1
Favorite Win%: 38%, Favorite Itm%: 70%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Exacta50.16
Daily Double52.30
Trifecta272.82
Pick 3258.03
Superfecta1,597.89
Pick 6584.20
Pick 41,164.62
Pick 54,184.58
Super High Five3,267.23
TRACK BIAS MEET(07/03 - 07/27)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 11 82% E Middle
6.0fDirt 22 55% E Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 17 35% E Outside
Turf Sprint 18 28% E Rail/Ins
Turf Routes 35 23% E/P Rail/Ins
TRACK BIAS WEEK(07/21 - 07/27)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 1 100% E Middle
6.0fDirt 6 67% E Rail/Ins
1 MileDirt 5 20% E Rail/Ins
Turf Sprint 4 25% E Outside
Turf Routes 9 33% E Inside
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Moquett Ron 5 4 0 0 7.56 2 15%
Romans Dale L. 5 3 1 0 1.78 1 14%
Bradley William B. 8 3 1 0 5.94 1 9%
Dodgen James A. 3 2 1 0 3.07 0 16%
Oliver Victoria H. 3 2 1 0 3.63 0 9%
Campbell Donald H. 4 2 1 0 14.88 0 8%
McPeek Kenneth G. 6 2 1 2 2.67 1 15%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Saez Juan C. 22 8 1 2 3.88 2 24%
Borel Calvin H. 7 3 0 0 3.89 2 14%
Mena Miguel 10 3 1 1 2.73 1 12%
 
COLD TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Walker Erin M. 12 0 1 2 17.98 0 7%
               
SARATOGA AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 5.06 - 1
Favorite Win%: 40%, Favorite Itm%: 73%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Quinella32.38
Exacta83.04
Daily Double76.11
Trifecta543.59
Pick 3463.82
Superfecta3,571.78
Pick 656,121.69
Pick 42,631.39
Pick 525,639.45
Grand Slam135.95
TRACK BIAS MEET(07/18 - 07/30)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
6.0fDirt 19 53% E Inside
7.0fDirt 16 38% E Rail
1 1/8mDirt 18 33% E Rail
TRACK BIAS WEEK()
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
6.0fDirt 12 58% E Inside
7.0fDirt 9 44% E Rail/Ins
1 1/8mDirt 13 31% E Mid/Out
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Dutrow Anthony W. 10 4 2 0 6.74 2 21%
Weaver George 12 4 1 1 8.53 2 17%
Matz Michael R. 5 3 1 0 12.36 1 16%
Bond H. James 6 3 0 0 10.25 1 13%
Cannizzo David A. 3 2 0 0 6.33 0 11%
Shirreffs John A. 5 2 1 0 5.03 0 15%
Englehart Jeremiah C. 6 2 3 0 8.18 0 24%
Jerkens James A. 6 2 0 1 17.53 0 23%
Nevin Michelle 6 2 1 0 7.99 0 22%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Castellano Javier 28 8 5 3 4.74 5 24%
 
COLD TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Schettino Dominick 15 0 3 0 11.50 0 11%
Kenneally Eddie 11 0 1 1 6.71 3 16%
Lukas D. Wayne 10 0 2 1 18.85 0 9%
Wilkes Ian R. 10 0 1 1 15.81 0 15%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Leparoux Julien R. 23 0 1 5 10.09 3 16%
Lanerie Corey J. 18 0 3 2 15.37 2 15%
Bravo Joe 11 0 1 1 16.41 0 15%

Features

RACING DATES

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

Racing Highlights

For Thursday

ARLINGTON (2:00): $33,000 alw, 3&up, 1m (7TH).
BELTERRA PARK (1:30): $14,000 alw, 3&up, 1m (6TH).
CANTERBURY PARK (7:33): $30,000 ocl, 3&up, 6 1/2f (7TH).
CHARLES TOWN (7:00): $27,000 alw, 3&up, 7f (7TH).
DEL MAR (5:00): $77,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 5fT (7TH).
EVANGELINE DOWNS (6:45): $23,500 ocl, 3&up, 1m (8TH).
FINGER LAKES (1:10): $19,200 alw, 3&up, 1m (8TH).
GULFSTREAM PARK (1:15): $39,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT (4TH).
INDIANA DOWNS (2:05): $34,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m (7TH).
LOUISIANA DOWNS (3:50): $22,000 ocl, 3&up, 5fT (3RD).
PENN NATIONAL (6:00): $33,300 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6f (7TH).
PRAIRIE MEADOWS (7:30): $35,000 ocl, 3&up, 6f (8TH).
SANTA ROSA (4:15): $27,000 ocl, 3&up, 1 1/16mT (7TH).
SARATOGA (12:25): $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-G1), 4&up, 2 1/16mT (1ST); $100,000 Evan Shipman, 3&up, 1 1/8m (9TH).

*all times Eastern

At a Glance

AT A GLANCE SCHEDULE

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

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Thursday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Arlington   (6th) Mongol Bull, 3-1
    (9th) Hawk's Image, 7-2
Belterra Park   (3rd) Anarchy, 7-2
    (5th) Givem Hell Harriet, 7-2
Canterbury Park   (2nd) A.K. Echo, 3-1
    (4th) Stealthy Traveler, 9-2
Charles Town   (2nd) Miracle Mookie, 3-1
    (5th) Runaway Brae, 4-1
Del Mar   (2nd) Ipolita, 3-1
    (5th) Shakahari, 9-2
Delaware Park   (4th) Avilord, 3-1
    (5th) Rumblin Kyle, 7-2
Evangeline Downs   (5th) Tough Honor, 5-1
    (7th) Materialist, 7-2
Finger Lakes   (4th) Warrior from Above, 4-1
    (5th) Maybry's Girl, 3-1
Gulfstream Park   (7th) Extreme Excess, 5-1
    (8th) Global Question, 3-1
Indiana Downs   (5th) R Miss Grace, 3-1
    (6th) Luvurita, 6-1
Louisiana Downs   (1st) Ms D' Oro an Gold, 7-2
    (8th) Like a Deputy, 7-2
Penn National   (1st) Desert Notion, 4-1
    (7th) One Fast Chick, 3-1
Prairie Meadows   (2nd) Don't Bluff, 7-2
    (6th) Silver Drop, 4-1
Presque Isle Downs   (2nd) Liquid Asset, 3-1
    (7th) Profit Preferred, 5-1
Santa Rosa   (5th) Strike Em' Out, 9-2
    (7th) So Elite, 4-1
Saratoga   (7th) Grand Rapport, 3-1
    (10th) Bold Challenger, 3-1

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

Announcements

Help Wanted

A horse racing website is currently hiring for part-time positions as a Customer Service Representative in Lexington, Kentucky. Must be available nights and weekends. Some weekdays may also be available. Computer literacy required, horse racing knowledge and customer service experience a plus. To schedule an interview, email or send your résumé to the following: Nancy.Kanaval@brisnet.com, P.O. Box 4097, Lexington, KY 40544.

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

HIGHLIGHTS

For Thursday

ARLINGTON (2:00): $33,000 alw, 3&up, 1m (7TH).
BELTERRA PARK (1:30): $14,000 alw, 3&up, 1m (6TH).
CANTERBURY PARK (7:33): $30,000 ocl, 3&up, 6 1/2f (7TH).
CHARLES TOWN (7:00): $27,000 alw, 3&up, 7f (7TH).
DEL MAR (5:00): $77,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 5fT (7TH).
EVANGELINE DOWNS (6:45): $23,500 ocl, 3&up, 1m (8TH).
FINGER LAKES (1:10): $19,200 alw, 3&up, 1m (8TH).
GULFSTREAM PARK (1:15): $39,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16mT (4TH).
INDIANA DOWNS (2:05): $34,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m (7TH).
LOUISIANA DOWNS (3:50): $22,000 ocl, 3&up, 5fT (3RD).
PENN NATIONAL (6:00): $33,300 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6f (7TH).
PRAIRIE MEADOWS (7:30): $35,000 ocl, 3&up, 6f (8TH).
SANTA ROSA (4:15): $27,000 ocl, 3&up, 1 1/16mT (7TH).
SARATOGA (12:25): $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase (NSA-G1), 4&up, 2 1/16mT (1ST); $100,000 Evan Shipman, 3&up, 1 1/8m (9TH).

*all times Eastern

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

Announcements

Help Wanted

A horse racing website is currently hiring for part-time positions as a Customer Service Representative in Lexington, Kentucky. Must be available nights and weekends. Some weekdays may also be available. Computer literacy required, horse racing knowledge and customer service experience a plus. To schedule an interview, email or send your résumé to the following: Nancy.Kanaval@brisnet.com, P.O. Box 4097, Lexington, KY 40544.