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FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014

Racing Headlines

La Verdad looking to withstand speed duel in Honorable Miss

La Verdad scorched to a facile victory in the Distaff Handicap in April (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

The New York-bred La Verdad has used her awesome speed to overwhelm her competition in winning nine of 11 career starts. Her talent for doing so will be put to the test on Monday at Saratoga when she heads a field of seven in the Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap over six furlongs.

The daughter of Yes It's True turned in a breakout performance against open company with a 3 3/4-length romp in the Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct in mid-April, and has since captured her third and fourth stakes wins in succession, against state-bred foes, in the $200,000 Critical Eye and $95,000 Dancin Renee. Only in the Critical Eye, when she came under pressure late attempting to last a mile, have things gotten dicey for the Linda Rice trainee.

La Verdad breaks from post 1 and figures to be under the gun from the start. R Free Roll, who invades from Florida, enters off back-to-back stakes wins at Gulfstream and Calder, and proved herself capable in graded stakes company last December when a close second in the Sugar Swirl.

Also likely to show early foot, but perhaps not classy enough to take it all, is Red Velvet, the lone three-year-old in the lineup. An easy winner of the $100,000 Jersey Girl two back, the daughter of City Zip was a weakening fourth in the Victory Ride last time.

Among those who would appreciate a pace meltdown are Merry Meadow, a stalk-and-pounce winner of the Vagrancy Handicap two back and second by a nose in the Bed o' Roses Handicap last time. My Wandy's Girl, who wore down La Verdad in the seven-furlong Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel in February, is another who would appreciate the speed coming back to her. She was most recently a close third in the one-mile Ruffian Handicap at Belmont.

Speedinthruthecity, a winner in three of her last four including the Carousel at Oaklawn and the Roxelana at Churchill Downs, is another who will be coming from off the pace. The field is rounded out by Calistoga, four lengths third in the Bed o' Roses after hitting the gate at the start.

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La Verdad looking to withstand speed duel in Honorable Miss

La Verdad scorched to a facile victory in the Distaff Handicap in April (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

The New York-bred La Verdad has used her awesome speed to overwhelm her competition in winning nine of 11 career starts. Her talent for doing so will be put to the test on Monday at Saratoga when she heads a field of seven in the Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap over six furlongs.

The daughter of Yes It's True turned in a breakout performance against open company with a 3 3/4-length romp in the Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct in mid-April, and has since captured her third and fourth stakes wins in succession, against state-bred foes, in the $200,000 Critical Eye and $95,000 Dancin Renee. Only in the Critical Eye, when she came under pressure late attempting to last a mile, have things gotten dicey for the Linda Rice trainee.

La Verdad breaks from post 1 and figures to be under the gun from the start. R Free Roll, who invades from Florida, enters off back-to-back stakes wins at Gulfstream and Calder, and proved herself capable in graded stakes company last December when a close second in the Sugar Swirl.

Also likely to show early foot, but perhaps not classy enough to take it all, is Red Velvet, the lone three-year-old in the lineup. An easy winner of the $100,000 Jersey Girl two back, the daughter of City Zip was a weakening fourth in the Victory Ride last time.

Among those who would appreciate a pace meltdown are Merry Meadow, a stalk-and-pounce winner of the Vagrancy Handicap two back and second by a nose in the Bed o' Roses Handicap last time. My Wandy's Girl, who wore down La Verdad in the seven-furlong Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel in February, is another who would appreciate the speed coming back to her. She was most recently a close third in the one-mile Ruffian Handicap at Belmont.

Speedinthruthecity, a winner in three of her last four including the Carousel at Oaklawn and the Roxelana at Churchill Downs, is another who will be coming from off the pace. The field is rounded out by Calistoga, four lengths third in the Bed o' Roses after hitting the gate at the start.

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Untapable installed as 2-1 choice in nine-horse Haskell

Untapable settled in at Monmouth after arriving Thursday morning (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)

Untapable will make her first start against males in Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park and the star three-year-old filly is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in a nine-horse field that includes last-out stakes winners Bayern, Wildcat Red, Albano and Irish You Well as well as classic-placed sophomores Medal Count and Social Inclusion.

She will attempt to become only the third filly to win the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, joining Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and Hall of Famer Serena's Song, and the stalker drew well in post No. 7 in the speed-laden field.

"I think it's an excellent draw considering the field," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "With the performance she gave in the Kentucky Oaks and how she's trained since we felt that this was the right time to give the Haskell a chance."

Untapable has dominated her own division in spectacular fashion. She's captured all four starts this year by a combined 31 lengths, with the smallest winning margin being 4 1/2 lengths as she's garnered a pair of Grade 1s, a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 stakes, and the bay lass earned career-best 108 BRIS Speed rating in her lone attempt at Sunday's distance, the May 2 Kentucky Oaks.

Rosie Napravnik missed her last outing, a facile 9 1/4-length triumph in the June 28 Mother Goose, due to an injury, but she'll be back aboard the daughter of Tapit.

Albano exits a sharp Pegasus score over the New Jersey track (William Osborn/Equi-Photo)

"We've had a great year with her so far," Asmussen added. "We're very pleased that she could continue to give more of the same as far as just being a nice talented filly that's doing extremely well."

Bob Baffert, who has trained a record six Haskell winners, will send out Bayern, an impressive 7 1/2-length romper in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes undercard. The Offlee Wild colt will be stretching back out in distance, earning a 108 Speed figure at seven furlongs last time, but he recorded a 15-length allowance win going two turns earlier this season and also finished third in the Arkansas Derby.

"The Haskell is basically an addition to the Classics," Baffert said. "It's so important to win, and it's very exciting. I really enjoy when I have a horse that's good enough to run in the Haskell."

Martin Garcia replaces Gary Stevens aboard the improving front-runner and Bayern is the early 5-2 second choice. Exercise

Albano enters on the upswing for conditioner Larry Jones, registering a smashing 6 1/2-length victory in the June 15 Pegasus at Monmouth. That marked the first start since March for the son of Istan, who recorded a nose second in the Risen Star earlier this season, and Albano will look to carry his momentum forward with regular rider Kerwin Clark. He's the 6-1 third choice on the morning line.

Medal Count exercising at Monmouth (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)

Belmont third-placer Medal Count and Preakness third-placer Social Inclusion both come next at 8-1. Medal Count captured the Transylvania and finished second in the Blue Grass at Keeneland before a troubled eighth in the Kentucky Derby, and the Dale Romans-trained colt showed he could handle dirt when finishing only a length back of Tonalist in the final leg of the Triple Crown. Robby Albarado rides. Social Inclusion stretches back out to a route following a third in the Woody Stephens and brings plenty of speed to the Haskell equation. Edgar Prado picks up the assignment.

Wildcat Red also possesses an abundance of speed and the Grade 2-winning colt rebounded nicely from an 18th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, posting a 10-length tally in the June 28 Quality Road at Gulfstream Park. Luis Saez sticks with the Jose Garoffalo charge and Wildcat Red is listed at 10-1 along with stakes victor Just Call Kenny, who exits a close second in the July 5 Long Branch at Monmouth.

Long Branch winner Irish You Well has captured two straight starts locally and the early 12-1 eighth choice picks up a new jockey in Jose Lezcano. Pegasus runner-up and Long Branch third Encryption, an outsider at 20-1 on the morning line, rounds out the field.

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Untapable installed as 2-1 choice in nine-horse Haskell

Untapable settled in at Monmouth after arriving Thursday morning (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)

Untapable will make her first start against males in Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park and the star three-year-old filly is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite in a nine-horse field that includes last-out stakes winners Bayern, Wildcat Red, Albano and Irish You Well as well as classic-placed sophomores Medal Count and Social Inclusion.

She will attempt to become only the third filly to win the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, joining Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and Hall of Famer Serena's Song, and the stalker drew well in post No. 7 in the speed-laden field.

"I think it's an excellent draw considering the field," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "With the performance she gave in the Kentucky Oaks and how she's trained since we felt that this was the right time to give the Haskell a chance."

Untapable has dominated her own division in spectacular fashion. She's captured all four starts this year by a combined 31 lengths, with the smallest winning margin being 4 1/2 lengths as she's garnered a pair of Grade 1s, a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 stakes, and the bay lass earned career-best 108 BRIS Speed rating in her lone attempt at Sunday's distance, the May 2 Kentucky Oaks.

Rosie Napravnik missed her last outing, a facile 9 1/4-length triumph in the June 28 Mother Goose, due to an injury, but she'll be back aboard the daughter of Tapit.

Albano exits a sharp Pegasus score over the New Jersey track (William Osborn/Equi-Photo)

"We've had a great year with her so far," Asmussen added. "We're very pleased that she could continue to give more of the same as far as just being a nice talented filly that's doing extremely well."

Bob Baffert, who has trained a record six Haskell winners, will send out Bayern, an impressive 7 1/2-length romper in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the Belmont Stakes undercard. The Offlee Wild colt will be stretching back out in distance, earning a 108 Speed figure at seven furlongs last time, but he recorded a 15-length allowance win going two turns earlier this season and also finished third in the Arkansas Derby.

"The Haskell is basically an addition to the Classics," Baffert said. "It's so important to win, and it's very exciting. I really enjoy when I have a horse that's good enough to run in the Haskell."

Martin Garcia replaces Gary Stevens aboard the improving front-runner and Bayern is the early 5-2 second choice. Exercise

Albano enters on the upswing for conditioner Larry Jones, registering a smashing 6 1/2-length victory in the June 15 Pegasus at Monmouth. That marked the first start since March for the son of Istan, who recorded a nose second in the Risen Star earlier this season, and Albano will look to carry his momentum forward with regular rider Kerwin Clark. He's the 6-1 third choice on the morning line.

Medal Count exercising at Monmouth (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)

Belmont third-placer Medal Count and Preakness third-placer Social Inclusion both come next at 8-1. Medal Count captured the Transylvania and finished second in the Blue Grass at Keeneland before a troubled eighth in the Kentucky Derby, and the Dale Romans-trained colt showed he could handle dirt when finishing only a length back of Tonalist in the final leg of the Triple Crown. Robby Albarado rides. Social Inclusion stretches back out to a route following a third in the Woody Stephens and brings plenty of speed to the Haskell equation. Edgar Prado picks up the assignment.

Wildcat Red also possesses an abundance of speed and the Grade 2-winning colt rebounded nicely from an 18th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, posting a 10-length tally in the June 28 Quality Road at Gulfstream Park. Luis Saez sticks with the Jose Garoffalo charge and Wildcat Red is listed at 10-1 along with stakes victor Just Call Kenny, who exits a close second in the July 5 Long Branch at Monmouth.

Long Branch winner Irish You Well has captured two straight starts locally and the early 12-1 eighth choice picks up a new jockey in Jose Lezcano. Pegasus runner-up and Long Branch third Encryption, an outsider at 20-1 on the morning line, rounds out the field.

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Dance With Fate suffers fatal injuries in training

Dance With Fate sadly didn't have the chance to fulfill his considerable potential (Rickelle Nelson/Horsephotos.com)
Blue Grass hero Dance with Fate, a top contender in Saturday's Grade 2 San Diego Handicap, suffered fatal injuries in a freak accident during training hours Thursday at Del Mar. Veterinarians attempted to save him, but sadly, trainer Peter Eurton reported via Twitter that the colt lost his life.

"Words can't express what we're feeling right now," Eurton posted on Twitter. "With an extremely heavy heart we report Dance With Fate was unable to survive his injuries.

"Thank you for all of the support during a rough time like this. The joy he gave us will never be forgotten."

The tragic incident occurred when Dance With Fate bolted, unseated exercise rider Joe Durant, and collided with the outside fence. Durant was himself injured and transported to Scripps La Jolla Hospital.

Eurton later tweeted an update about Durant's condition after speaking with the exercise rider's wife, Janice.

Durant "suffered fractures in his spine and ribs. Will have surgery tomm. Wishing him a speedy recovery," Eurton wrote.

Reports suggest that Dance With Fate was apparently spooked by something he saw on the far turn. Eurton told Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form that the bridle came off, and the colt was running loose when he ran into the rail. Eurton did say that he was not an eyewitness, but others on the scene told him what happened.

Earlier Thursday, Eurton had spoken with Del Mar's track publicity.

"I don't know exactly how it happened or why," the trainer said. "He tore some ligaments pretty severely in behind (right rear leg). We've taken X-rays and they've been sent to Dr. (C. Wayne) McIlwraith for evaluation. We are still searching for a way to go here. We will explore all possibilities. We are not giving up until we run out of options."

Dance With Fate was last seen finishing sixth in the May 3 Kentucky Derby. Shipped to New York for the July 5 Belmont Derby, the nearly-black son of Two Step Salsa came down with a case of colic and had to be scratched.

One of last season's prominent two-year-olds, Dance With Fate was runner-up in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner and eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He kicked off his 2014 campaign with a brilliant score in a Santa Anita turf allowance and subsequently reverted to synthetic for the February 15 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, where he finished a fine second.

Dance With Fate was freshened ahead of his long-term aim, the April 12 Blue Grass at Keeneland, and he responded with a career-defining victory. Runner-up Medal Count has since gone on to finish third in the June 7 Belmont Stakes.

Campaigned by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, Dance With Fate bankrolled $680,050 from his 9-3-3-0 line.

Dance With Fate suffers fatal injuries in training

Dance With Fate sadly didn't have the chance to fulfill his considerable potential (Rickelle Nelson/Horsephotos.com)
Blue Grass hero Dance with Fate, a top contender in Saturday's Grade 2 San Diego Handicap, suffered fatal injuries in a freak accident during training hours Thursday at Del Mar. Veterinarians attempted to save him, but sadly, trainer Peter Eurton reported via Twitter that the colt lost his life.

"Words can't express what we're feeling right now," Eurton posted on Twitter. "With an extremely heavy heart we report Dance With Fate was unable to survive his injuries.

"Thank you for all of the support during a rough time like this. The joy he gave us will never be forgotten."

The tragic incident occurred when Dance With Fate bolted, unseated exercise rider Joe Durant, and collided with the outside fence. Durant was himself injured and transported to Scripps La Jolla Hospital.

Eurton later tweeted an update about Durant's condition after speaking with the exercise rider's wife, Janice.

Durant "suffered fractures in his spine and ribs. Will have surgery tomm. Wishing him a speedy recovery," Eurton wrote.

Reports suggest that Dance With Fate was apparently spooked by something he saw on the far turn. Eurton told Steve Andersen of Daily Racing Form that the bridle came off, and the colt was running loose when he ran into the rail. Eurton did say that he was not an eyewitness, but others on the scene told him what happened.

Earlier Thursday, Eurton had spoken with Del Mar's track publicity.

"I don't know exactly how it happened or why," the trainer said. "He tore some ligaments pretty severely in behind (right rear leg). We've taken X-rays and they've been sent to Dr. (C. Wayne) McIlwraith for evaluation. We are still searching for a way to go here. We will explore all possibilities. We are not giving up until we run out of options."

Dance With Fate was last seen finishing sixth in the May 3 Kentucky Derby. Shipped to New York for the July 5 Belmont Derby, the nearly-black son of Two Step Salsa came down with a case of colic and had to be scratched.

One of last season's prominent two-year-olds, Dance With Fate was runner-up in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner and eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He kicked off his 2014 campaign with a brilliant score in a Santa Anita turf allowance and subsequently reverted to synthetic for the February 15 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, where he finished a fine second.

Dance With Fate was freshened ahead of his long-term aim, the April 12 Blue Grass at Keeneland, and he responded with a career-defining victory. Runner-up Medal Count has since gone on to finish third in the June 7 Belmont Stakes.

Campaigned by Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, Dance With Fate bankrolled $680,050 from his 9-3-3-0 line.

Monmouth Cup, Molly Pitcher highlight Haskell undercard

Pants on Fire returns to defend his title in the Monmouth Cup (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)

Sunday's Haskell Invitational undercard at Monmouth Park features five stakes races worth a combined $800,000 and a pair of Grade 2 events, the $200,000 Monmouth Cup and $200,000 Molly Pitcher, are the biggest attractions.

The Monmouth Cup marks the return of multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Pants on Fire, who will make his first start since an unplaced finish overseas in the Japan Cup Dirt Mile. The six-year-old horse will be making a title defense in the 1 1/16-mile race, scoring by 1 3/4 lengths in last year's edition at a surprising 7-1, and Pants on Fire also produced a sharp 2 3/4-length tally in the Ack Ack last fall before finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. A three-time stakes winner at the New Jersey track, the Kelly Breen charge will break from post No. 2 with regular rider Paco Lopez.

Micromanage, winner of the Skip Away earlier this season for trainer Todd Pletcher, is another leading contender in the 10-horse field. A neck second in the Brooklyn two starts back, the four-year-old colt will look to make amends for a seventh most recently in the Suburban H. Winner of last year's Long Branch at Monmouth and third in the Haskell, Micromanage will receive a jockey switch to Martin Garcia.

Multiple stakes victor Long River should appreciate the class relief following a seventh in the Stephen Foster and a fifth in the Charles Town Classic. Rosie Napravnik takes over the reins aboard the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee. Bradester and Valid, the second- and third-place finishers in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile on July 6, will both return in this spot and Grade 3 hero Easter Gift, unraced since a third in the Clark H. last November, is set to make his 2014 bow for Chad Brown.

Natalie Victoria can continue her rags-to-riches story when she lines up for the 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher. Claimed for $12,500 in late December, the six-year-old mare has flourished under the care of trainer Michelle Nevin, winning four of her last five starts, and earned a field-best 102 BRIS Speed rating while garnering her first stakes victory in the May 25 Monmouth Beach last out. Jose Lezcano takes the call.

Majestic River will attract plenty of support following her two-length tally in the June 28 Lighthouse. The Pletcher filly has captured two straight starts at Monmouth and adds Napravnik to the saddle. Other runners of note in the nine-horse field include local stakes queen Zucchini Flower and recent Obeah runner-up Montana Native.

Starstruck (yellow cap) seeks a second straight win in the Matchmaker (Mark Wyville/Equi-Photo)

The Grade 3, $150,000 Oceanport has attracted a nice field of 10 for 1 1/16 miles on turf. Grade 1 winner Lochte was no factor when 13th as the favorite in the Monmouth Cup on June 8, but the four-year-old gelding exits an improved showing at Belmont Park and merits serious respect here for Marcus Vitali. Grade 2 hero Guys Reward exits a fast-closing second in the Firecracker at Churchill Downs and could prove dangerous for Dale Romans, and Group 2 winner Mshawish is set to make his U.S. debut for new trainer Pletcher. Slim Shadey, Under Control, Fredericksburg and Joe Tess add further depth to the line-up.

Watsdachances, who exits a close second to Somali Lemonade in the May 17 Gallorette, is a top draw in the Grade 3, $150,000 Matchmaker at nine furlongs on turf. A Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 runner-up, the four-year-old filly hails from the Brown stable and will receive a rider switch to Lezcano. Grade 2 queen Emotional Kitten will attempt to rebound from a troubled eighth in the prestigious Gamely at Santa Anita and Starstruck is back for a title defense. Eatontown winner Medea and dual Canadian champion Irish Mission, who exits a runner-up versus males in the inaugural Belmont Gold Cup Invitational, are also part of the 11-horse field.

The $100,000 Teddy Drone, a six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds and up, will also be offered and Ribo Bobo is the likely favorite in the 11-horse field. The hard-hitting gelding captured the Decathlon over the track two starts back and exits a close second in the June 29 Mr. Prospector.

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Monmouth Cup, Molly Pitcher highlight Haskell undercard

Pants on Fire returns to defend his title in the Monmouth Cup (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)

Sunday's Haskell Invitational undercard at Monmouth Park features five stakes races worth a combined $800,000 and a pair of Grade 2 events, the $200,000 Monmouth Cup and $200,000 Molly Pitcher, are the biggest attractions.

The Monmouth Cup marks the return of multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Pants on Fire, who will make his first start since an unplaced finish overseas in the Japan Cup Dirt Mile. The six-year-old horse will be making a title defense in the 1 1/16-mile race, scoring by 1 3/4 lengths in last year's edition at a surprising 7-1, and Pants on Fire also produced a sharp 2 3/4-length tally in the Ack Ack last fall before finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. A three-time stakes winner at the New Jersey track, the Kelly Breen charge will break from post No. 2 with regular rider Paco Lopez.

Micromanage, winner of the Skip Away earlier this season for trainer Todd Pletcher, is another leading contender in the 10-horse field. A neck second in the Brooklyn two starts back, the four-year-old colt will look to make amends for a seventh most recently in the Suburban H. Winner of last year's Long Branch at Monmouth and third in the Haskell, Micromanage will receive a jockey switch to Martin Garcia.

Multiple stakes victor Long River should appreciate the class relief following a seventh in the Stephen Foster and a fifth in the Charles Town Classic. Rosie Napravnik takes over the reins aboard the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee. Bradester and Valid, the second- and third-place finishers in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile on July 6, will both return in this spot and Grade 3 hero Easter Gift, unraced since a third in the Clark H. last November, is set to make his 2014 bow for Chad Brown.

Natalie Victoria can continue her rags-to-riches story when she lines up for the 1 1/16-mile Molly Pitcher. Claimed for $12,500 in late December, the six-year-old mare has flourished under the care of trainer Michelle Nevin, winning four of her last five starts, and earned a field-best 102 BRIS Speed rating while garnering her first stakes victory in the May 25 Monmouth Beach last out. Jose Lezcano takes the call.

Majestic River will attract plenty of support following her two-length tally in the June 28 Lighthouse. The Pletcher filly has captured two straight starts at Monmouth and adds Napravnik to the saddle. Other runners of note in the nine-horse field include local stakes queen Zucchini Flower and recent Obeah runner-up Montana Native.

Starstruck (yellow cap) seeks a second straight win in the Matchmaker (Mark Wyville/Equi-Photo)

The Grade 3, $150,000 Oceanport has attracted a nice field of 10 for 1 1/16 miles on turf. Grade 1 winner Lochte was no factor when 13th as the favorite in the Monmouth Cup on June 8, but the four-year-old gelding exits an improved showing at Belmont Park and merits serious respect here for Marcus Vitali. Grade 2 hero Guys Reward exits a fast-closing second in the Firecracker at Churchill Downs and could prove dangerous for Dale Romans, and Group 2 winner Mshawish is set to make his U.S. debut for new trainer Pletcher. Slim Shadey, Under Control, Fredericksburg and Joe Tess add further depth to the line-up.

Watsdachances, who exits a close second to Somali Lemonade in the May 17 Gallorette, is a top draw in the Grade 3, $150,000 Matchmaker at nine furlongs on turf. A Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 runner-up, the four-year-old filly hails from the Brown stable and will receive a rider switch to Lezcano. Grade 2 queen Emotional Kitten will attempt to rebound from a troubled eighth in the prestigious Gamely at Santa Anita and Starstruck is back for a title defense. Eatontown winner Medea and dual Canadian champion Irish Mission, who exits a runner-up versus males in the inaugural Belmont Gold Cup Invitational, are also part of the 11-horse field.

The $100,000 Teddy Drone, a six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds and up, will also be offered and Ribo Bobo is the likely favorite in the 11-horse field. The hard-hitting gelding captured the Decathlon over the track two starts back and exits a close second in the June 29 Mr. Prospector.

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Goldencents takes another tilt at Bing Crosby

Goldencents, who came up a head short of winning the Grade 1, $300,000 Bing Crosby as a three-year-old last summer, returns older and wiser for Sunday's renewal of the six-furlong dash on Del Mar's Polytrack.

At this time in 2013, the Doug O'Neill trainee was reinventing himself after the Triple Crown trail. Although Goldencents performed well in the spring preps, culminating in a victory in the Santa Anita Derby, he faded to 17th in the Kentucky Derby and checked in a well-beaten fifth in the Preakness. A cutback in distance was prescribed, and the son of Into Mischief thrived as a one-turn artist.

Goldencents reverted to sprinting in the Bing Crosby for the first time since his sensational debut win. Rallying furiously, he just missed to the ill-fated Points Offthebench, who posthumously earned an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. Goldencents was subsequently second in the Pat O'Brien at Del Mar and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, beaten a half-length by Points Offthebench in the latter.

Stretching back out for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Goldencents rolled to a front-running, 2 3/4-length victory at Santa Anita. He came right back in the November 30 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, but got bumped at the start and wound up seventh.

Goldencents did not reappear until the June 7 Metropolitan Handicap over a mile at Belmont Park, finishing a fine second to the streaking Palace Malice. He has fired a pair of recent bullets in preparation for this second start of the year -- a :59 1/5 five-furlong move on July 17 and a blistering three furlongs in :34 1/5 on Thursday -- and renews his former partnership with Rafael Bejarano.

The only other Grade 1 winner in the field is Declassify, who earned his laurel in a hard-fought decision in the June 28 Triple Bend at Santa Anita. That came in just his fifth career start. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Declassify won his first two outings by a combined margin of 18 1/2 lengths. The sparingly raced son of Orientate then dropped his two attempts at a second-level allowance before showing tremendous determination in the Triple Bend. With regular rider Martin Garcia at Monmouth to ride Bayern in the Haskell, Declassify gets a new pilot in Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

Seeking the Sherif beat Declassify two starts back, and the reformed claimer looms as the speed of the speed, if he can transfer his game to the Polytrack. The Ron Ellis charge brings a four-race winning streak into his biggest class test so far. A starter allowance winner at Santa Anita in February, the Officer gelding has methodically climbed the class ladder at the Great Race Place, all in wire-to-wire style. Edwin Maldonado will be back aboard the likely front runner, who receives four pounds from the 123-pound highweights, Goldencents and Declassify.

Big Macher is another much improved performer for Richard Baltas. The gelded son of Beau Genius, who lost a trio of maiden claimers here last year, blossomed over the winter at Santa Anita. Victorious in the Cal Cup Sprint in January, he was a close second to Sahara Sky in the March 8 San Carlos, and captured a Grade 2 photo-finish in the April 12 Potrero Grande. Freshened in the interim, Big Macher aims to resume his ascent here.

A triumvirate of three-year-olds hope to upstage their elders -- Kobe's Back, Pablo Del Monte and Indexical.

Kobe's Back has been a work in progress, but the John Sadler colt is clearly dangerous when on his game, as evidenced by his last-to-first romps in the 2013 Willard Proctor Memorial and the February 16 San Vicente. Kobe's Back has tended to hurt his own chances with slow or otherwise troubled starts, and he especially can't afford that at this level. Third in the Bay Shore and fourth in both the Laz Barrera and Woody Stephens in his past three, the Flatter colt has to step it up while tackling older horses for the first time.

Pablo Del Monte is likewise untested against the older generation, but the Wesley Ward runner is speedy and adept on Polytrack. The son of Giant's Causeway and world record-setter One Hot Wish crushed both of his starts in Keeneland sprints, and he suffered his only loss on the surface when trying to carry his speed over 1 1/8 miles in the Blue Grass. Pablo Del Monte did well to hold third, yielding only to such classy rivals as the ill-fated Dance With Fate and Medal Count. Last seen finishing sixth in the Preakness, he is taking the same trajectory that Goldencents did last year. Victor Espinoza, who carved out a lovely trip in the Blue Grass, regains the mount.

Indexical has already mixed it up with his elders. Most recently third to Declassify in the Triple Bend, he previously defeated older rivals in a turf sprint allowance at Santa Anita. The Ben Cecil trainee also has prior form over the track, having dominated a maiden here and finished seventh in the 2013 Del Mar Futurity, one spot behind California Chrome.

Rounding out the field is the six-year-old veteran Wine Police, fifth in both the Triple Bend and Potrero Grande. In between, however, he was runner-up in the Los Angeles, and he ran well in his only two starts at Del Mar a year ago.

The Bing Crosby is a "Win & You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, but only three entrants have even tried turf in their careers, and Indexical is the only entrant to have won on turf.

Earlier on the card, state-bred turfers will line up in the $150,000 California Dreamin' Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante course.

Ethnic Dance, who stole the 2013 Del Mar Derby, makes his second start off a lengthy layoff for Sadler. A Tribal Rule half-brother to Twirling Candy, Ethnic Dance was sidelined for nine months until the June 8 Crystal Water, where he set the pace and yielded grudgingly for third. He promises to be fitter for this rematch with the two who collared him, Unusual Heatwave and Mega Heat.

As their names imply, the latter two are by Unusual Heat. That ace California turf sire is responsible for no fewer than five of the 12-strong field, including another top contender in Starspangled Heat. Third in this race a year ago, Starspangled Heat drops back dramatically in distance off his third in the about 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano.

Rock Me Baby was a head second in last year's California Dreamin' and bids to go one better this time around for trainer Craig Dollase. The West Point Thoroughbreds colorbearer exits a troubled third in the Bertrando on the dirt at Los Alamitos. The respective top four from the Bertrando are all entered in the California Dreamin' -- Soi Phet, Spirit Rules, Rock Me Baby and Better Bet -- but note that Soi Phet is cross-entered to Friday's Grade 3 Cougar II as well as Saturday's Grade 2 San Diego.

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Goldencents takes another tilt at Bing Crosby

Goldencents, who came up a head short of winning the Grade 1, $300,000 Bing Crosby as a three-year-old last summer, returns older and wiser for Sunday's renewal of the six-furlong dash on Del Mar's Polytrack.

At this time in 2013, the Doug O'Neill trainee was reinventing himself after the Triple Crown trail. Although Goldencents performed well in the spring preps, culminating in a victory in the Santa Anita Derby, he faded to 17th in the Kentucky Derby and checked in a well-beaten fifth in the Preakness. A cutback in distance was prescribed, and the son of Into Mischief thrived as a one-turn artist.

Goldencents reverted to sprinting in the Bing Crosby for the first time since his sensational debut win. Rallying furiously, he just missed to the ill-fated Points Offthebench, who posthumously earned an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. Goldencents was subsequently second in the Pat O'Brien at Del Mar and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, beaten a half-length by Points Offthebench in the latter.

Stretching back out for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Goldencents rolled to a front-running, 2 3/4-length victory at Santa Anita. He came right back in the November 30 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, but got bumped at the start and wound up seventh.

Goldencents did not reappear until the June 7 Metropolitan Handicap over a mile at Belmont Park, finishing a fine second to the streaking Palace Malice. He has fired a pair of recent bullets in preparation for this second start of the year -- a :59 1/5 five-furlong move on July 17 and a blistering three furlongs in :34 1/5 on Thursday -- and renews his former partnership with Rafael Bejarano.

The only other Grade 1 winner in the field is Declassify, who earned his laurel in a hard-fought decision in the June 28 Triple Bend at Santa Anita. That came in just his fifth career start. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Declassify won his first two outings by a combined margin of 18 1/2 lengths. The sparingly raced son of Orientate then dropped his two attempts at a second-level allowance before showing tremendous determination in the Triple Bend. With regular rider Martin Garcia at Monmouth to ride Bayern in the Haskell, Declassify gets a new pilot in Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

Seeking the Sherif beat Declassify two starts back, and the reformed claimer looms as the speed of the speed, if he can transfer his game to the Polytrack. The Ron Ellis charge brings a four-race winning streak into his biggest class test so far. A starter allowance winner at Santa Anita in February, the Officer gelding has methodically climbed the class ladder at the Great Race Place, all in wire-to-wire style. Edwin Maldonado will be back aboard the likely front runner, who receives four pounds from the 123-pound highweights, Goldencents and Declassify.

Big Macher is another much improved performer for Richard Baltas. The gelded son of Beau Genius, who lost a trio of maiden claimers here last year, blossomed over the winter at Santa Anita. Victorious in the Cal Cup Sprint in January, he was a close second to Sahara Sky in the March 8 San Carlos, and captured a Grade 2 photo-finish in the April 12 Potrero Grande. Freshened in the interim, Big Macher aims to resume his ascent here.

A triumvirate of three-year-olds hope to upstage their elders -- Kobe's Back, Pablo Del Monte and Indexical.

Kobe's Back has been a work in progress, but the John Sadler colt is clearly dangerous when on his game, as evidenced by his last-to-first romps in the 2013 Willard Proctor Memorial and the February 16 San Vicente. Kobe's Back has tended to hurt his own chances with slow or otherwise troubled starts, and he especially can't afford that at this level. Third in the Bay Shore and fourth in both the Laz Barrera and Woody Stephens in his past three, the Flatter colt has to step it up while tackling older horses for the first time.

Pablo Del Monte is likewise untested against the older generation, but the Wesley Ward runner is speedy and adept on Polytrack. The son of Giant's Causeway and world record-setter One Hot Wish crushed both of his starts in Keeneland sprints, and he suffered his only loss on the surface when trying to carry his speed over 1 1/8 miles in the Blue Grass. Pablo Del Monte did well to hold third, yielding only to such classy rivals as the ill-fated Dance With Fate and Medal Count. Last seen finishing sixth in the Preakness, he is taking the same trajectory that Goldencents did last year. Victor Espinoza, who carved out a lovely trip in the Blue Grass, regains the mount.

Indexical has already mixed it up with his elders. Most recently third to Declassify in the Triple Bend, he previously defeated older rivals in a turf sprint allowance at Santa Anita. The Ben Cecil trainee also has prior form over the track, having dominated a maiden here and finished seventh in the 2013 Del Mar Futurity, one spot behind California Chrome.

Rounding out the field is the six-year-old veteran Wine Police, fifth in both the Triple Bend and Potrero Grande. In between, however, he was runner-up in the Los Angeles, and he ran well in his only two starts at Del Mar a year ago.

The Bing Crosby is a "Win & You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, but only three entrants have even tried turf in their careers, and Indexical is the only entrant to have won on turf.

Earlier on the card, state-bred turfers will line up in the $150,000 California Dreamin' Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante course.

Ethnic Dance, who stole the 2013 Del Mar Derby, makes his second start off a lengthy layoff for Sadler. A Tribal Rule half-brother to Twirling Candy, Ethnic Dance was sidelined for nine months until the June 8 Crystal Water, where he set the pace and yielded grudgingly for third. He promises to be fitter for this rematch with the two who collared him, Unusual Heatwave and Mega Heat.

As their names imply, the latter two are by Unusual Heat. That ace California turf sire is responsible for no fewer than five of the 12-strong field, including another top contender in Starspangled Heat. Third in this race a year ago, Starspangled Heat drops back dramatically in distance off his third in the about 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano.

Rock Me Baby was a head second in last year's California Dreamin' and bids to go one better this time around for trainer Craig Dollase. The West Point Thoroughbreds colorbearer exits a troubled third in the Bertrando on the dirt at Los Alamitos. The respective top four from the Bertrando are all entered in the California Dreamin' -- Soi Phet, Spirit Rules, Rock Me Baby and Better Bet -- but note that Soi Phet is cross-entered to Friday's Grade 3 Cougar II as well as Saturday's Grade 2 San Diego.

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Flashy American, Hot Stones square off in Shuvee

Flashy American has criss-crossed the country during her career (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Grade 3 heroines Flashy American and Hot Stones are part of a seven-distaffer field entered Sunday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga. The 1 1/8-mile contest also includes recent Grade 1-placed winners Antipathy and Stanwyck.

Flashy American will be trying the Shuvee for the second straight year for trainer Kenny McPeek. The Flashy Bull mare was second in the 2013 edition prior to back-to-back victories in the Alada and Locust Grove at Saratoga and Churchill Downs, respectively. She closed out 2013 with a fourth in the Zenyatta at Santa Anita and a third under the Twin Spires in the Falls City Handicap.

Flashy American was a subpar sixth in her five-year-old opener, the Azeri at Oaklawn Park, but rebounded nicely to take the Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne. The well-traveled Kentucky-bred returned to Churchill to be second in the Fleur de Lis Handicap and then shipped to Delaware Park for a third-place effort in the Delaware Handicap just two weeks ago.

Julien Leparoux was aboard for Flashy American's Zenyatta and Fleur de Lis efforts and takes the saddle on Sunday.

Hot Stones has been first or second in nine of her 11 career starts, including a last-out nose victory in the June 21 Bed o' Roses at Belmont Park. The bay daughter of Bustin Stones has faced state-bred competition for much of her time on track, including a half-length second two back in her stakes bow, the Critical Eye, against fellow New York-bred distaffers, but proved herself capable of handling open competition in the Bed o' Roses.

Hot Stones was a gutsy winner of the Bed o' Roses last out (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

"She started slow and finished up good (in the Bed o' Roses)," trainer Bruce Levine noted. "We just kind of wanted to put some stamina and a little air in her. We know she's fast. The mile and an eighth is a question mark. She came out of (her last race) good. I couldn't be happier. We'll keep our fingers crossed."

Hot Stones will have John Velazquez in the irons as she seeks a second straight Grade 3 score.

Like Hot Stones, Antipathy has little experience against stakes rivals. In fact, the Kiaran McLaughlin pupil faced black-type company for the first time last out but reputed herself very well when third by a neck in the Ogden Phipps Handicap behind Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar.

"She surprised us that day," McLaughlin admitted. "When we enter, we always hope that we have a chance to win, but in that spot, it was really hopeful that we had a chance to win -- at 30-1. We were very happy to be third, just beaten, because it's a Grade 1 placing, but we did try and win and she ran great."

The A.P. Indy four-year-old hasn't been unplaced since her maiden debut at Saratoga last September, when she ran fifth, and keeps Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard against this bunch.

Antipathy (blue hat inside) just missed in the Ogden Phipps to top fillies Close Hatches (center) and Princess of Sylmar (outside) (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

"I think the two-turn, 1 1/8 miles (of the Shuvee) will suit her," McLaughlin remarked. "She was coming back on to finish well (in the Ogden Phipps) and galloped out strong, and being by A.P. Indy, the further the better. She'll probably be on or near the lead and we'll hope she duplicates her (Ogden Phipps) performance."

Stanwyk was a proven stakes performer when she took on Grade 1 rivals in her past two, finishing third in both the Santa Margarita and Apple Blossom Handicap. The Empire Maker mare closed out her four-year-old season with a head victory in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont and then just missed by that same margin when second in the Paseana on January 12. In addition to her two Grade 1 thirds, the John Shirreffs charge filled that same spot in the Santa Maria in February and could breakthrough with another graded triumph in this spot. Joel Rosario has the call.

"She's coming into the race very well," Shirreffs said. "I think two turns and a mile and an eighth is good for her. She runs well almost everywhere -- New York, California, Arkansas. I think she's gotten to the place where she repeats her performances."

Unlimited Budget captured her first four starts and ran third in the Kentucky Oaks last year, but her connections decided to toss her to the wolves next out and entered her against the boys in the Belmont Stakes. The Todd Pletcher trainee hasn't been the same since that sixth-place run, though she did show signs of her former self when a close second in the Rampart at Gulfstream Park in late March. The four-year-old daughter of Street Sense has been well beaten in her past two against Grade 1 company and is in need of a confidence-building win here. Javier Castellano has piloting duties this time around.

The Shuvee field is completed by dual stakes-placed Swinger's Party and Ambusher, a half-length third in the Obeah last month.

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Flashy American, Hot Stones square off in Shuvee

Flashy American has criss-crossed the country during her career (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Grade 3 heroines Flashy American and Hot Stones are part of a seven-distaffer field entered Sunday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga. The 1 1/8-mile contest also includes recent Grade 1-placed winners Antipathy and Stanwyck.

Flashy American will be trying the Shuvee for the second straight year for trainer Kenny McPeek. The Flashy Bull mare was second in the 2013 edition prior to back-to-back victories in the Alada and Locust Grove at Saratoga and Churchill Downs, respectively. She closed out 2013 with a fourth in the Zenyatta at Santa Anita and a third under the Twin Spires in the Falls City Handicap.

Flashy American was a subpar sixth in her five-year-old opener, the Azeri at Oaklawn Park, but rebounded nicely to take the Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne. The well-traveled Kentucky-bred returned to Churchill to be second in the Fleur de Lis Handicap and then shipped to Delaware Park for a third-place effort in the Delaware Handicap just two weeks ago.

Julien Leparoux was aboard for Flashy American's Zenyatta and Fleur de Lis efforts and takes the saddle on Sunday.

Hot Stones has been first or second in nine of her 11 career starts, including a last-out nose victory in the June 21 Bed o' Roses at Belmont Park. The bay daughter of Bustin Stones has faced state-bred competition for much of her time on track, including a half-length second two back in her stakes bow, the Critical Eye, against fellow New York-bred distaffers, but proved herself capable of handling open competition in the Bed o' Roses.

Hot Stones was a gutsy winner of the Bed o' Roses last out (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

"She started slow and finished up good (in the Bed o' Roses)," trainer Bruce Levine noted. "We just kind of wanted to put some stamina and a little air in her. We know she's fast. The mile and an eighth is a question mark. She came out of (her last race) good. I couldn't be happier. We'll keep our fingers crossed."

Hot Stones will have John Velazquez in the irons as she seeks a second straight Grade 3 score.

Like Hot Stones, Antipathy has little experience against stakes rivals. In fact, the Kiaran McLaughlin pupil faced black-type company for the first time last out but reputed herself very well when third by a neck in the Ogden Phipps Handicap behind Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar.

"She surprised us that day," McLaughlin admitted. "When we enter, we always hope that we have a chance to win, but in that spot, it was really hopeful that we had a chance to win -- at 30-1. We were very happy to be third, just beaten, because it's a Grade 1 placing, but we did try and win and she ran great."

The A.P. Indy four-year-old hasn't been unplaced since her maiden debut at Saratoga last September, when she ran fifth, and keeps Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard against this bunch.

Antipathy (blue hat inside) just missed in the Ogden Phipps to top fillies Close Hatches (center) and Princess of Sylmar (outside) (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

"I think the two-turn, 1 1/8 miles (of the Shuvee) will suit her," McLaughlin remarked. "She was coming back on to finish well (in the Ogden Phipps) and galloped out strong, and being by A.P. Indy, the further the better. She'll probably be on or near the lead and we'll hope she duplicates her (Ogden Phipps) performance."

Stanwyk was a proven stakes performer when she took on Grade 1 rivals in her past two, finishing third in both the Santa Margarita and Apple Blossom Handicap. The Empire Maker mare closed out her four-year-old season with a head victory in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont and then just missed by that same margin when second in the Paseana on January 12. In addition to her two Grade 1 thirds, the John Shirreffs charge filled that same spot in the Santa Maria in February and could breakthrough with another graded triumph in this spot. Joel Rosario has the call.

"She's coming into the race very well," Shirreffs said. "I think two turns and a mile and an eighth is good for her. She runs well almost everywhere -- New York, California, Arkansas. I think she's gotten to the place where she repeats her performances."

Unlimited Budget captured her first four starts and ran third in the Kentucky Oaks last year, but her connections decided to toss her to the wolves next out and entered her against the boys in the Belmont Stakes. The Todd Pletcher trainee hasn't been the same since that sixth-place run, though she did show signs of her former self when a close second in the Rampart at Gulfstream Park in late March. The four-year-old daughter of Street Sense has been well beaten in her past two against Grade 1 company and is in need of a confidence-building win here. Javier Castellano has piloting duties this time around.

The Shuvee field is completed by dual stakes-placed Swinger's Party and Ambusher, a half-length third in the Obeah last month.

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Stewart tabs Jim Dandy for Commanding Curve

Finally climbing off the fence, trainer Dallas Stewart committed Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve to a run in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on Saturday instead of the $100,000 Curlin the day before.

The West Point Thoroughbred runner is coming off a ninth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, and Stewart said his Master Command ridgling has flourished in his training at Saratoga.

"I wanted to be in the (Curlin) if the Jim Dandy was a much larger field (seven are entered), or we didn't draw the way we want to or weather," Stewart explained. "But I feel like this all fits together.

"Tonalist is a great horse. He won the Belmont, but he hasn't won here. He hasn't beaten us here. We had a bad race at Belmont. I feel like my horse likes this racetrack."

Commanding Curve will carry 117 pounds, six pounds fewer than Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and Wood Memorial hero Wicked Strong. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Commanding Curve.

"(Bridgmohan) worked him, and he's very positive about him, and everything I can see in the stall -- eating well, all that stuff -- is good for me," Stewart added. "If we get beat, we get beat. We want to give him a chance to swing forward to the Travers."

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Stewart tabs Jim Dandy for Commanding Curve

Finally climbing off the fence, trainer Dallas Stewart committed Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve to a run in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on Saturday instead of the $100,000 Curlin the day before.

The West Point Thoroughbred runner is coming off a ninth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, and Stewart said his Master Command ridgling has flourished in his training at Saratoga.

"I wanted to be in the (Curlin) if the Jim Dandy was a much larger field (seven are entered), or we didn't draw the way we want to or weather," Stewart explained. "But I feel like this all fits together.

"Tonalist is a great horse. He won the Belmont, but he hasn't won here. He hasn't beaten us here. We had a bad race at Belmont. I feel like my horse likes this racetrack."

Commanding Curve will carry 117 pounds, six pounds fewer than Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist and Wood Memorial hero Wicked Strong. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Commanding Curve.

"(Bridgmohan) worked him, and he's very positive about him, and everything I can see in the stall -- eating well, all that stuff -- is good for me," Stewart added. "If we get beat, we get beat. We want to give him a chance to swing forward to the Travers."

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I'm Already Sexy gets back to work; Vancouverite out of Million

Hit the Board Stable's I'm Already Sexy worked Thursday morning in her first major move since improving to four-for-four at Arlington International Racecourse in the Grade 3, $200,000 Modesty Handicap on July 12. The daughter of Ready's Image had been taking it easy, as expected since her fine tally, but enjoyed getting back to work, according to her connections. 

I'm Already Sexy breezed a half-mile in :48 over the Polytrack with exercise rider Fabian Hernandez aboard. 

"She worked pretty nice and was happy," reported assistant trainer Fernando Canteria, who oversaw the work while trainer Wayne Catalano is in the hospital. "She went nice and easy -- a half-mile maintenance work and galloped out (five furlongs) in 1:02." 

Her trainer, Wayne Catalano, the 11-time Arlington champion conditioner, is currently hospitalized with acute pneumonia at Saint Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The former jockey and winner of 995 Arlington races was admitted Tuesday.

Canteria mentioned that a couple of options are on the table for I'm Already Sexy, the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. at Arlington on August 16 and the Grade 2, $250,000 John Mabee at Del Mar on August 10.

"We have her nominated to the Beverly D. here and the John Mabee out in California," Canteria noted. "We do not know for sure at the moment where we're going, but we will figure that out soon after we talk to Anna (Seitz, principal of Hit the Board Stable)."

I'm Already Sexy earned an automatic berth into the Beverly  D. with her course and distance win in the Modesty on Million Preview Day. Her three other local victories comprise a division of the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes on Million Day 2013, an allowance event last summer and the Pucker Up in September.

In Arlington Million news, Godolphin's Vancouverite -- once considered probable to make the 32nd running of the summertime centerpiece of Chicago racing on August 16 -- has now changed course and will no longer make the trip. The middle-distance specializing son of Dansili won the Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville last summer and was second earlier this year in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan.

Juddmonte Farm's Noble Mission, who has been mentioned as a possible contender for the Million, is skipping Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 1 1/2 miles at Ascot. The son of Galileo -- and full brother to the great Frankel -- will instead run in Sunday's Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich. 

The 1 1/4-mile Dallmayr-Preis is a Festival Free Pass race, guaranteeing entry to the Million for the winner.  A victory Sunday would be the second in a qualifying event for the Khalid Abdullah homebred, following his score in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh in May over Breeders' Cup Turf winner Magician. 

Noble Mission is trained by Lady Cecil, widow of the legendary Sir Henry Cecil. He holds an early entry in another major event next month, the August 20 Juddmonte International at York, sponsored by his owner/breeder.

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I'm Already Sexy gets back to work; Vancouverite out of Million

Hit the Board Stable's I'm Already Sexy worked Thursday morning in her first major move since improving to four-for-four at Arlington International Racecourse in the Grade 3, $200,000 Modesty Handicap on July 12. The daughter of Ready's Image had been taking it easy, as expected since her fine tally, but enjoyed getting back to work, according to her connections. 

I'm Already Sexy breezed a half-mile in :48 over the Polytrack with exercise rider Fabian Hernandez aboard. 

"She worked pretty nice and was happy," reported assistant trainer Fernando Canteria, who oversaw the work while trainer Wayne Catalano is in the hospital. "She went nice and easy -- a half-mile maintenance work and galloped out (five furlongs) in 1:02." 

Her trainer, Wayne Catalano, the 11-time Arlington champion conditioner, is currently hospitalized with acute pneumonia at Saint Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The former jockey and winner of 995 Arlington races was admitted Tuesday.

Canteria mentioned that a couple of options are on the table for I'm Already Sexy, the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D. at Arlington on August 16 and the Grade 2, $250,000 John Mabee at Del Mar on August 10.

"We have her nominated to the Beverly D. here and the John Mabee out in California," Canteria noted. "We do not know for sure at the moment where we're going, but we will figure that out soon after we talk to Anna (Seitz, principal of Hit the Board Stable)."

I'm Already Sexy earned an automatic berth into the Beverly  D. with her course and distance win in the Modesty on Million Preview Day. Her three other local victories comprise a division of the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes on Million Day 2013, an allowance event last summer and the Pucker Up in September.

In Arlington Million news, Godolphin's Vancouverite -- once considered probable to make the 32nd running of the summertime centerpiece of Chicago racing on August 16 -- has now changed course and will no longer make the trip. The middle-distance specializing son of Dansili won the Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville last summer and was second earlier this year in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan.

Juddmonte Farm's Noble Mission, who has been mentioned as a possible contender for the Million, is skipping Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 1 1/2 miles at Ascot. The son of Galileo -- and full brother to the great Frankel -- will instead run in Sunday's Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich. 

The 1 1/4-mile Dallmayr-Preis is a Festival Free Pass race, guaranteeing entry to the Million for the winner.  A victory Sunday would be the second in a qualifying event for the Khalid Abdullah homebred, following his score in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh in May over Breeders' Cup Turf winner Magician. 

Noble Mission is trained by Lady Cecil, widow of the legendary Sir Henry Cecil. He holds an early entry in another major event next month, the August 20 Juddmonte International at York, sponsored by his owner/breeder.

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Tracks step up on PDJF Awareness Day

Saturday is the first Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) Awareness Day, and tracks around the country are participating with different events lined up for fans, who can also text 50555 to make a $10 donation. If 5,000 people across the country text a donation, they would raise $50,000 for the PDJF.

The riding stars of Saratoga will line up in the starting gate Saturday for a special "Jockey Foot Race" to raise money for the PDJF. Post time for the Jockey Foot Race, race 5A in the program, is scheduled for 3:20 p.m. (EDT).

Race fans are invited to make a "bet" -- a $5 donation to the fund -- by picking a winner from a special promo card in the 13-jockey field for the 110-yard race, which ends at the finish line. Those who pick the winner will receive a Saratoga baseball cap and their names will be entered in a special drawing for a VIP Day at the races later in the meet.

Former top rider and present New York Racing Association (NYRA) analyst Richard Migliore has handicapped the 12 entries -- including the coupled Ortiz brothers, Irad Jr. and Jose, the 8-5 morning-line favorites. Comprising the rest of the field are the Spa's leading rider, Javier Castellano (6-1), as well as Joel Rosario (9-2), Julien Leparoux (10-1), Mike Luzzi (15-1), Luis Saez (8-1), Taylor Rice (5-1), Dylan Davis (4-1), Manny Franco (2-1), Corey Lanerie (3-1), Robby Albarado (7-1) and Hall of Famer John Velazquez (15-1), who finished second in the last jockey race held at Saratoga in 1995, won by Filiberto Leon in :13 2/5.

In addition to the Jockey Foot Race, all Saratoga jockeys will participate in an autograph and photo session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Jockey Silks Porch outside the jockeys room. For a $5 donation to the PDJF, fans can collect every rider's autograph.

"This organization is dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of men and women who face lifelong challenges due to their disabilities," said Velazquez, who is chairman of the Jockeys' Guild and a board member of the PDJF. "They can no longer compete or provide adequately for their families. PDJF Day Across America is an opportunity to educate our fans about the PDJF and emphasize the importance of raising funds."

Gulfstream Park will be offering fans a chance to meet jockeys, participate in a silent auction and get autographs on Saturday.

The track's celebration will include a meet-and-greet with jockeys from 11 a.m. to noon and a silent auction that will include the saddle towel of Breeders' Cup Classic champion Mucho Macho Man, four "Day at the Races" packages, posters by noted equine cartoonist Peb and "Gulfstream Park Celebrating 75 Years" hardbound books.

Jockeys taking part in the festivities at Gulfstream include Edgard Zayas, Ramsey Zimmerman, Jose Valdivia Jr., Juan Leyva, Luca Panici and others.

For a minimum $5 donation that will go to the PDJF, Arapahoe Park will be giving away a group photo of the jockeys at the Aurora, Colorado, racetrack that the riders will sign on Saturday. In addition to the "real" races, jockeys will also take part in inflatable horse and bouncy ball races. First post is at 1 p.m. (MDT).

Just in time for "PDJF Awareness Day", NYRA announced that every horse who breaks from the starting gate in a race at one of the organization's three New York tracks will now generate a $1 donation to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The board of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) voted to adopt the $1 per start contribution to help establish a reliable source of income for the PDJF.

"We want to do our part to ensure that the permanently disabled jockeys have the assistance they need," NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr. said. "The coverage provided by workers' compensation and the revenue raised by benefit events only go so far. Donations made through per-start programs will create a steady stream of funding earmarked for the people who really need it."

NYTHA will present the PDJF with its first per-start donation, retroactive to the beginning of 2014, during a ceremony in the winner's circle at Saratoga on Saturday. The PDJF will receive additional checks after each NYRA meet.

"We have to raise almost a million dollars every year to support the jockeys who have been permanently disabled -- who are no longer able to work, who can't support their families or themselves," Velazquez explained. "That's a tough task without a guaranteed source of funding. The jockeys in New York and many other tracks around the country give $1 per mount to the PDJF, and it's great that the New York horsemen want to help, too. We hope this idea will spread around the country. It's a much better way to raise the money we need."

The PDJF is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Founded in 2006, PDJF has disbursed more than $5 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries. The fund is a cooperative effort among race tracks, jockeys, horsemen and enthusiasts.

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Tracks step up on PDJF Awareness Day

Saturday is the first Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) Awareness Day, and tracks around the country are participating with different events lined up for fans, who can also text 50555 to make a $10 donation. If 5,000 people across the country text a donation, they would raise $50,000 for the PDJF.

The riding stars of Saratoga will line up in the starting gate Saturday for a special "Jockey Foot Race" to raise money for the PDJF. Post time for the Jockey Foot Race, race 5A in the program, is scheduled for 3:20 p.m. (EDT).

Race fans are invited to make a "bet" -- a $5 donation to the fund -- by picking a winner from a special promo card in the 13-jockey field for the 110-yard race, which ends at the finish line. Those who pick the winner will receive a Saratoga baseball cap and their names will be entered in a special drawing for a VIP Day at the races later in the meet.

Former top rider and present New York Racing Association (NYRA) analyst Richard Migliore has handicapped the 12 entries -- including the coupled Ortiz brothers, Irad Jr. and Jose, the 8-5 morning-line favorites. Comprising the rest of the field are the Spa's leading rider, Javier Castellano (6-1), as well as Joel Rosario (9-2), Julien Leparoux (10-1), Mike Luzzi (15-1), Luis Saez (8-1), Taylor Rice (5-1), Dylan Davis (4-1), Manny Franco (2-1), Corey Lanerie (3-1), Robby Albarado (7-1) and Hall of Famer John Velazquez (15-1), who finished second in the last jockey race held at Saratoga in 1995, won by Filiberto Leon in :13 2/5.

In addition to the Jockey Foot Race, all Saratoga jockeys will participate in an autograph and photo session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Jockey Silks Porch outside the jockeys room. For a $5 donation to the PDJF, fans can collect every rider's autograph.

"This organization is dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of men and women who face lifelong challenges due to their disabilities," said Velazquez, who is chairman of the Jockeys' Guild and a board member of the PDJF. "They can no longer compete or provide adequately for their families. PDJF Day Across America is an opportunity to educate our fans about the PDJF and emphasize the importance of raising funds."

Gulfstream Park will be offering fans a chance to meet jockeys, participate in a silent auction and get autographs on Saturday.

The track's celebration will include a meet-and-greet with jockeys from 11 a.m. to noon and a silent auction that will include the saddle towel of Breeders' Cup Classic champion Mucho Macho Man, four "Day at the Races" packages, posters by noted equine cartoonist Peb and "Gulfstream Park Celebrating 75 Years" hardbound books.

Jockeys taking part in the festivities at Gulfstream include Edgard Zayas, Ramsey Zimmerman, Jose Valdivia Jr., Juan Leyva, Luca Panici and others.

For a minimum $5 donation that will go to the PDJF, Arapahoe Park will be giving away a group photo of the jockeys at the Aurora, Colorado, racetrack that the riders will sign on Saturday. In addition to the "real" races, jockeys will also take part in inflatable horse and bouncy ball races. First post is at 1 p.m. (MDT).

Just in time for "PDJF Awareness Day", NYRA announced that every horse who breaks from the starting gate in a race at one of the organization's three New York tracks will now generate a $1 donation to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

The board of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) voted to adopt the $1 per start contribution to help establish a reliable source of income for the PDJF.

"We want to do our part to ensure that the permanently disabled jockeys have the assistance they need," NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr. said. "The coverage provided by workers' compensation and the revenue raised by benefit events only go so far. Donations made through per-start programs will create a steady stream of funding earmarked for the people who really need it."

NYTHA will present the PDJF with its first per-start donation, retroactive to the beginning of 2014, during a ceremony in the winner's circle at Saratoga on Saturday. The PDJF will receive additional checks after each NYRA meet.

"We have to raise almost a million dollars every year to support the jockeys who have been permanently disabled -- who are no longer able to work, who can't support their families or themselves," Velazquez explained. "That's a tough task without a guaranteed source of funding. The jockeys in New York and many other tracks around the country give $1 per mount to the PDJF, and it's great that the New York horsemen want to help, too. We hope this idea will spread around the country. It's a much better way to raise the money we need."

The PDJF is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Founded in 2006, PDJF has disbursed more than $5 million to permanently disabled jockeys, most of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries. The fund is a cooperative effort among race tracks, jockeys, horsemen and enthusiasts.

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Pure Sensation prevails in Quick Call; Awesome Pearl shines in Novice hurdle

Pure Sensation (outside) just got the best of Choctaw Chuck (center) and Favorite Tale (inside) (NYRA/Adam Mooshian/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Patricia Generazio's Pure Sensation overcame a troubled-filled trip in Thursday's $100,000 Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga to just get up for a nose victory on the wire under jockey Jose Lezcano.

The three-year-old colt settled into a stalking spot toward the inside and found himself blocked entering the stretch. Lezcano was forced to take the Christophe Clement pupil back and angle him outside of the front runners, subsequently carrying out Favorite Tale. Finally given his cue, Pure Sensation hit warp drive to get up and stick his nose in front of 17-1 longshot Choctaw Chuck on the line with Favorite Tale another head back in third.

"I was on the inside, and had nowhere to go," Lezcano noted. "I didn't want to go outside too quick, so I took it little by little. Once he got in the clear, he took off. It was close but I knew I had it."

Pure Sensation earned just his second career win in this spot but previously had finished off-the-board just once when fifth in the June 7 Woody Stephens last out.

"He ran a great race; he was moving very well at the end. He's a nice horse. When they're good enough, they can just get out of trouble, which is wonderful," Clement praised his charge.

"(Last year) he raced against some really tough two-year-olds and kept getting beat, but he always ran a nice race and he's never disappointed me. Even in the Woody Stephens when he finished fifth, probably going farther than he wants, he actually ran a really good race."

Pure Sensation was making his turf debut in the Quick Call, finishing the 5 1/2-furlong, firm-grass contest in 1:01 4/5.

"We tried him once at Belmont (on the turf) and he trained very well," Clement added. "You can see the way they move, they move really, really well."

The gray son of Zensational, who owns placings from the Gold Fever, Don Rickles and James F. Lewis III Stakes, is now 8-2-4-1 and has banked $199,000 in career earnings.

Awesome Pearl just got up to take his first win of the year (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Saratoga kicked off Thursday's program with the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes sending runners 2 1/16 miles over the fences. Awesome Pearl scored his first victory of the year in the race, rallying from far back to edge Kingdom by a nose and giving jockey Kieran Norris his first win at the Spa.

The five-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again was content to run ninth, just ahead of Kingdom, as favored Saint Jerome led the field of 10 to the far turn before fading. At the top of the stretch, Top Striker took command but yielded the lead after leaping awkwardly over the final hurdle, setting the stage for Awesome Pearl and Kingdom to battle to the wire. Awesome Pearl prevailed in the end, stopping the clock in 3:48 1/5 on the firm turf.

"He's more of a hunt-meet horse who likes a mile-and-a-half track," Norris said of the Richard Valentine trainee. "It took him a while to adjust to the tightness of the track, but the farther we got into the race, the better he got. I was stuck in traffic, and once I got an opening I let him go. He just went away from me. He's a very versatile horse, but I didn't expect him to win the way he did today."

Awesome Pearl improved his career record to 15-5-1-1 and doubled his lifetime earnings to $87,289.

"His (second-place) run in the (April 26) Queens Cup was huge. I was very, very proud of him. Then, I probably ran him back a little quickly," Valentine said. "I thought this race might be a little too short for Awesome Pearl, actually. We hope to see him again at the end of the meet here.

"It was nice to be in a photo with (Kingdom); (trainer) Elizabeth Voss (Murray) has done such a wonderful job taking over for her father (the late Tom Voss)," he added.

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Pure Sensation prevails in Quick Call; Awesome Pearl shines in Novice hurdle

Pure Sensation (outside) just got the best of Choctaw Chuck (center) and Favorite Tale (inside) (NYRA/Adam Mooshian/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Patricia Generazio's Pure Sensation overcame a troubled-filled trip in Thursday's $100,000 Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga to just get up for a nose victory on the wire under jockey Jose Lezcano.

The three-year-old colt settled into a stalking spot toward the inside and found himself blocked entering the stretch. Lezcano was forced to take the Christophe Clement pupil back and angle him outside of the front runners, subsequently carrying out Favorite Tale. Finally given his cue, Pure Sensation hit warp drive to get up and stick his nose in front of 17-1 longshot Choctaw Chuck on the line with Favorite Tale another head back in third.

"I was on the inside, and had nowhere to go," Lezcano noted. "I didn't want to go outside too quick, so I took it little by little. Once he got in the clear, he took off. It was close but I knew I had it."

Pure Sensation earned just his second career win in this spot but previously had finished off-the-board just once when fifth in the June 7 Woody Stephens last out.

"He ran a great race; he was moving very well at the end. He's a nice horse. When they're good enough, they can just get out of trouble, which is wonderful," Clement praised his charge.

"(Last year) he raced against some really tough two-year-olds and kept getting beat, but he always ran a nice race and he's never disappointed me. Even in the Woody Stephens when he finished fifth, probably going farther than he wants, he actually ran a really good race."

Pure Sensation was making his turf debut in the Quick Call, finishing the 5 1/2-furlong, firm-grass contest in 1:01 4/5.

"We tried him once at Belmont (on the turf) and he trained very well," Clement added. "You can see the way they move, they move really, really well."

The gray son of Zensational, who owns placings from the Gold Fever, Don Rickles and James F. Lewis III Stakes, is now 8-2-4-1 and has banked $199,000 in career earnings.

Awesome Pearl just got up to take his first win of the year (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Saratoga kicked off Thursday's program with the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes sending runners 2 1/16 miles over the fences. Awesome Pearl scored his first victory of the year in the race, rallying from far back to edge Kingdom by a nose and giving jockey Kieran Norris his first win at the Spa.

The five-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again was content to run ninth, just ahead of Kingdom, as favored Saint Jerome led the field of 10 to the far turn before fading. At the top of the stretch, Top Striker took command but yielded the lead after leaping awkwardly over the final hurdle, setting the stage for Awesome Pearl and Kingdom to battle to the wire. Awesome Pearl prevailed in the end, stopping the clock in 3:48 1/5 on the firm turf.

"He's more of a hunt-meet horse who likes a mile-and-a-half track," Norris said of the Richard Valentine trainee. "It took him a while to adjust to the tightness of the track, but the farther we got into the race, the better he got. I was stuck in traffic, and once I got an opening I let him go. He just went away from me. He's a very versatile horse, but I didn't expect him to win the way he did today."

Awesome Pearl improved his career record to 15-5-1-1 and doubled his lifetime earnings to $87,289.

"His (second-place) run in the (April 26) Queens Cup was huge. I was very, very proud of him. Then, I probably ran him back a little quickly," Valentine said. "I thought this race might be a little too short for Awesome Pearl, actually. We hope to see him again at the end of the meet here.

"It was nice to be in a photo with (Kingdom); (trainer) Elizabeth Voss (Murray) has done such a wonderful job taking over for her father (the late Tom Voss)," he added.

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Big Guy Ian 'should have enough speed to be competitive' in Amsterdam

Michael Dilger spent seven years as an assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher before going out on his own last summer. His solo career got off to a fast start when he won with his first stakes starter, New York-bred Wired Bryan, in last July's Sanford.

On Saturday, the 38-year-old native of Ireland will send out another Anstu Stables-owned colt in Big Guy Ian in the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for three-year-old sprinters on Saratoga's main track.

Big Guy Ian drew the outside post 9 in the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam, which serves as Saratoga's local prep for the Grade 1, $500,000 King's Bishop on August 23. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard for the first time.

"It's better than being in the one hole, and it gives him the opportunity to see what everybody else does," Dilger said. "We've liked him all along; that's why we bought him. We're just hoping he can live up to the potential that we think we've seen in him."

Purchased for $375,000 as a two-year-old in training last April, the chestnut son of Birdstone hasn't sprinted since his debut in December at Gulfstream Park. He broke his maiden going a mile in his next start and ran fourth by 2 1/2 lengths to Amsterdam contender C Zee in the Sir Bear before leaving Florida. Most recently, Big Guy Ian was third in a one-mile optional claimer on June 25 at Belmont.

"He's training very well," Dilger asserted. "I'm not concerned about him cutting back because he's shown so much speed in his races. It seems like he should have enough speed to be competitive in this spot.

"I guess with his pedigree we expected him to stretch out, but it seems like a mile would be his limit. He's gotten stronger as the year has gone on and he continues to do well. He's developing into quite a big, strong horse and hopefully that continues."

Dilger also mentioned that romping Calder Derby winner Our Caravan, who is back on a regular work schedule following his sixth-place finish in the May 10 Peter Pan at Belmont, is progressing toward his next start.

The horseman arrived at Saratoga in May and will stay through the end of October. He currently has 18 horses at the Spa and another 20 stabled at Belmont Park.

"It's taken off," he said. "We've got some New York-bred fillies that are going to start running here shortly. Last year we stayed until the 31st of October and went straight to Florida. This year we'll leave again on the 31st but we'll probably have a bigger string at Belmont and see what we do from there. We plan on keeping some horses in New York for the winter, as well."

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Big Guy Ian 'should have enough speed to be competitive' in Amsterdam

Michael Dilger spent seven years as an assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher before going out on his own last summer. His solo career got off to a fast start when he won with his first stakes starter, New York-bred Wired Bryan, in last July's Sanford.

On Saturday, the 38-year-old native of Ireland will send out another Anstu Stables-owned colt in Big Guy Ian in the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for three-year-old sprinters on Saratoga's main track.

Big Guy Ian drew the outside post 9 in the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam, which serves as Saratoga's local prep for the Grade 1, $500,000 King's Bishop on August 23. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard for the first time.

"It's better than being in the one hole, and it gives him the opportunity to see what everybody else does," Dilger said. "We've liked him all along; that's why we bought him. We're just hoping he can live up to the potential that we think we've seen in him."

Purchased for $375,000 as a two-year-old in training last April, the chestnut son of Birdstone hasn't sprinted since his debut in December at Gulfstream Park. He broke his maiden going a mile in his next start and ran fourth by 2 1/2 lengths to Amsterdam contender C Zee in the Sir Bear before leaving Florida. Most recently, Big Guy Ian was third in a one-mile optional claimer on June 25 at Belmont.

"He's training very well," Dilger asserted. "I'm not concerned about him cutting back because he's shown so much speed in his races. It seems like he should have enough speed to be competitive in this spot.

"I guess with his pedigree we expected him to stretch out, but it seems like a mile would be his limit. He's gotten stronger as the year has gone on and he continues to do well. He's developing into quite a big, strong horse and hopefully that continues."

Dilger also mentioned that romping Calder Derby winner Our Caravan, who is back on a regular work schedule following his sixth-place finish in the May 10 Peter Pan at Belmont, is progressing toward his next start.

The horseman arrived at Saratoga in May and will stay through the end of October. He currently has 18 horses at the Spa and another 20 stabled at Belmont Park.

"It's taken off," he said. "We've got some New York-bred fillies that are going to start running here shortly. Last year we stayed until the 31st of October and went straight to Florida. This year we'll leave again on the 31st but we'll probably have a bigger string at Belmont and see what we do from there. We plan on keeping some horses in New York for the winter, as well."

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R Free Roll ships out of Florida for only second time for Honorable Miss

Grade 3-placed multiple stakes queen R Free Roll has ventured outside of her native Florida in search of her first graded victory in Monday's Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap for female sprinters at Saratoga.

Trained by Kirk Ziadie in south Florida, the speedy Rockport Harbor filly arrived at the barn of trainer Danny Gargan on July 16 at the Spa. This will be just the second time in 17 lifetime starts that R Free Roll will race outside of the Sunshine State.

"She's doing really well," Gargan said. "She was sent in here doing unbelievable, and we're just trying to keep doing exactly what Kirk was doing with her. He's helped a lot. I'm just glad to have the opportunity to run her here."

R Free Roll sailed through a half-mile work in a bullet :46 over Saratoga's fast main track on Tuesday, the fastest of 39 horses.

"The rider was just sitting on her and never asked her to go at all. I think she really liked the track. She just skipped across it. It was pretty amazing to watch," Gargan remarked. "She's a real calm, laid-back filly. It's hard to believe, as fast as she is, but around the barn she's so sweet and good-natured."

Co-owner Rich Averill is in Saratoga with R Free Roll, a winner of back-to-back six-furlong stakes, the Hollywood Beach at Gulfstream Park in April and the U Can Do It Handicap at Calder, both in front-running fashion, the latter on May 31.

"I had this race picked out two months ago since I knew there were rumblings of the Summit of Speed not going," Averill said. "She's done enough down in Florida to prove who she is. I honestly believe she's one of the top fillies in the country, and I think she'll show that. Traditionally, Calder horses come here and do well. I'm very happy. She couldn't be any better."

R Free Roll came within a neck of winning the Sugar Swirl, a Grade 3, at Gulfstream in mid-December but finished second to Heart Stealer. She was ridden that day by Paco Lopez, who is making the trip from Florida to ride in the Honorable Miss.

"We want to control the race; hopefully, everybody knows that going in," Gargan said. "We're not being shy. We know we're going to the lead. Definitely print that."

The Honorable Miss is shaping up into a duel between R Free Roll and fellow speedball La Verdad, a Grade 2 winner who has nine victories in 11 lifetime starts including her last four in a row.

R Free Roll is an Averill homebred who gets her name from the circumstances surrounding her breeding. Averill won a race in Ocala sponsored by Darley, and the purse included a free share to one of the farm's stallions. Averill bred his mare Jules N Gems to Rockport Harbor in Kentucky and brought her back to Florida to foal.

"The night after the race, they had a huge party; it was unbelievable," Averill said. "Lobster, sushi, all you could eat. Open bar. Everything you could possibly want. I win this race, I get a stud fee, I'm at this party with like seven buddies. I name all my horses 'R' something, and I said, 'This is the greatest free roll of all time.' That's her."

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R Free Roll ships out of Florida for only second time for Honorable Miss

Grade 3-placed multiple stakes queen R Free Roll has ventured outside of her native Florida in search of her first graded victory in Monday's Grade 2, $200,000 Honorable Miss Handicap for female sprinters at Saratoga.

Trained by Kirk Ziadie in south Florida, the speedy Rockport Harbor filly arrived at the barn of trainer Danny Gargan on July 16 at the Spa. This will be just the second time in 17 lifetime starts that R Free Roll will race outside of the Sunshine State.

"She's doing really well," Gargan said. "She was sent in here doing unbelievable, and we're just trying to keep doing exactly what Kirk was doing with her. He's helped a lot. I'm just glad to have the opportunity to run her here."

R Free Roll sailed through a half-mile work in a bullet :46 over Saratoga's fast main track on Tuesday, the fastest of 39 horses.

"The rider was just sitting on her and never asked her to go at all. I think she really liked the track. She just skipped across it. It was pretty amazing to watch," Gargan remarked. "She's a real calm, laid-back filly. It's hard to believe, as fast as she is, but around the barn she's so sweet and good-natured."

Co-owner Rich Averill is in Saratoga with R Free Roll, a winner of back-to-back six-furlong stakes, the Hollywood Beach at Gulfstream Park in April and the U Can Do It Handicap at Calder, both in front-running fashion, the latter on May 31.

"I had this race picked out two months ago since I knew there were rumblings of the Summit of Speed not going," Averill said. "She's done enough down in Florida to prove who she is. I honestly believe she's one of the top fillies in the country, and I think she'll show that. Traditionally, Calder horses come here and do well. I'm very happy. She couldn't be any better."

R Free Roll came within a neck of winning the Sugar Swirl, a Grade 3, at Gulfstream in mid-December but finished second to Heart Stealer. She was ridden that day by Paco Lopez, who is making the trip from Florida to ride in the Honorable Miss.

"We want to control the race; hopefully, everybody knows that going in," Gargan said. "We're not being shy. We know we're going to the lead. Definitely print that."

The Honorable Miss is shaping up into a duel between R Free Roll and fellow speedball La Verdad, a Grade 2 winner who has nine victories in 11 lifetime starts including her last four in a row.

R Free Roll is an Averill homebred who gets her name from the circumstances surrounding her breeding. Averill won a race in Ocala sponsored by Darley, and the purse included a free share to one of the farm's stallions. Averill bred his mare Jules N Gems to Rockport Harbor in Kentucky and brought her back to Florida to foal.

"The night after the race, they had a huge party; it was unbelievable," Averill said. "Lobster, sushi, all you could eat. Open bar. Everything you could possibly want. I win this race, I get a stud fee, I'm at this party with like seven buddies. I name all my horses 'R' something, and I said, 'This is the greatest free roll of all time.' That's her."

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Artemis Agrotera returns to her winning ways at the Spa

Aside from the day's stakes action in the Lake George, the standout performance from Saratoga on Wednesday may well have belonged to Artemis Agrotera's commanding return in the 6TH race, an optional claiming event for New York-bred fillies and mares, three-years-old and up.

The Grade 1 star proved that she was back to her winning ways, taking control early to lead the field gate-to-wire under a respectable pace of :22 3/5 for the first-quarter mile, :45 1/5 for the half and 1:09 for three-quarters. Unthreatened by her peers, Artemis Agrotera entered the stretch with an impressive lead and drew off to a 10 1/4-length victory under little urging from jockey Jose Ortiz to finish the seven furlongs in 1:22 1/5.

The bay daughter of Roman Ruler turned heads with a maiden-breaking debut at Saratoga last August and followed with a Grade 1 win in the Frizette in October at Belmont Park. The filly finished off-the-board as she took on tougher competition in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall and in her 2014 debut in the Acorn on June 7 at Belmont.

Trainer Michael Hushion acknowledged that he was unsure of what to expect in Wednesday's race, but was pleased.

"I think she showed that (she's back) today," he said. "She wasn't even running to the quarter-pole when she didn't run well. I'm not sure exactly what it was. Every day I get up, I know less. She had shown all that talent and not to get it out of her again, I was just worried."

Hushion expects Artemis Agrotera to stretch out again in the future, although not perhaps right away.

"I think we're going to want to go farther," he said. "I don't think we'll jump to a mile and an eighth the next time, but I still think she can go a mile and an eighth."

Chester and Mary Broman's homebred boasts a career record of three wins in five starts and earnings of $463,800. Even with her slump seemingly behind her, Hushion said the team was not yet thinking about where to go next.

"We're going to get through today and take a deep breath," he said. "I haven't even opened the book to look."

Artemis Agrotera's win capped a successful day for her connections as the Bromans, Hushion and Ortiz teamed up in the race before with Girlaboutown. The three-year-old daughter of A. P. Indy had finished a solid second to entrymate Star Grazing in her debut at Belmont on July 5.

On Wednesday, however, Girlaboutown was not to be denied, kicking clear to win by 10 1/4 lengths over the favored Verismilitude in a six-furlong maiden special weight.

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Artemis Agrotera returns to her winning ways at the Spa

Aside from the day's stakes action in the Lake George, the standout performance from Saratoga on Wednesday may well have belonged to Artemis Agrotera's commanding return in the 6TH race, an optional claiming event for New York-bred fillies and mares, three-years-old and up.

The Grade 1 star proved that she was back to her winning ways, taking control early to lead the field gate-to-wire under a respectable pace of :22 3/5 for the first-quarter mile, :45 1/5 for the half and 1:09 for three-quarters. Unthreatened by her peers, Artemis Agrotera entered the stretch with an impressive lead and drew off to a 10 1/4-length victory under little urging from jockey Jose Ortiz to finish the seven furlongs in 1:22 1/5.

The bay daughter of Roman Ruler turned heads with a maiden-breaking debut at Saratoga last August and followed with a Grade 1 win in the Frizette in October at Belmont Park. The filly finished off-the-board as she took on tougher competition in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall and in her 2014 debut in the Acorn on June 7 at Belmont.

Trainer Michael Hushion acknowledged that he was unsure of what to expect in Wednesday's race, but was pleased.

"I think she showed that (she's back) today," he said. "She wasn't even running to the quarter-pole when she didn't run well. I'm not sure exactly what it was. Every day I get up, I know less. She had shown all that talent and not to get it out of her again, I was just worried."

Hushion expects Artemis Agrotera to stretch out again in the future, although not perhaps right away.

"I think we're going to want to go farther," he said. "I don't think we'll jump to a mile and an eighth the next time, but I still think she can go a mile and an eighth."

Chester and Mary Broman's homebred boasts a career record of three wins in five starts and earnings of $463,800. Even with her slump seemingly behind her, Hushion said the team was not yet thinking about where to go next.

"We're going to get through today and take a deep breath," he said. "I haven't even opened the book to look."

Artemis Agrotera's win capped a successful day for her connections as the Bromans, Hushion and Ortiz teamed up in the race before with Girlaboutown. The three-year-old daughter of A. P. Indy had finished a solid second to entrymate Star Grazing in her debut at Belmont on July 5.

On Wednesday, however, Girlaboutown was not to be denied, kicking clear to win by 10 1/4 lengths over the favored Verismilitude in a six-furlong maiden special weight.

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Brown, Guillot excited about prospects in Saratoga maiden

Trainer Chad Brown looked at Saratoga's past performances for Saturday's 3RD race, a maiden special weight for two-year-olds, and marveled at the potential talent on display.

"Tyson and Holyfield, Round One," Brown said.

Brown's $1 million Malibu Moon colt Aldrin, one of the "buzz" horses on the Spa grounds and a three-quarter brother to top sire Tapit, was made the even-money favorite by NYRA oddsmaker Eric Donovan. The only horse on the also-eligible list -- Competitive Edge -- is a $750,000 Todd Pletcher-trained son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. Donovan listed him at 9-5 if he can draw in to the field.

Da Jenius, a $350,000 Malibu Moon colt trained by Eric Guillot, is the final foal of Grade 1-scoring millionaire Madcap Escapade, who produced Guillot's Grade 1 winner Mi Sueno.

Four others in the field sold for more than $100,000 at auction.

"The horse is really nice," Brown said of Aldrin. "So, we'll see what happens. The longer, the better, but he's quick enough to run three-quarters (of a mile) if you need him to."

Asked if he's excited, Brown stated, "A horse like this? For sure.

"He's done everything right. You get batches of two-year-olds in, and you're kind of seeing who's going to be in what division, turf or dirt, and could this one be a Derby horse, and normally that group is not that big. He acts like he'll run all day, but he's got a big turn of foot and will sprint if you need him to; those horses are very rare, in my opinion. Right now, he looks like that kind of horse."

On the front of Guillot's golf cart at Saratoga it says, "Eric Jenius Guillot," and his debut horse in the race is Da Jenius. When he first started training at Saratoga in 2010, the cart just said, "Eric J. Guillot."

While Guillot's real middle name is Jude, there is an origin story behind Jenius and now the horse Da Jenius.

"The first year when I got here when I rented the golf cart, they put my name, Eric J. Guillot," he said. "David (Grening) of the Racing Form comes up and was interviewing me about (dual Grade 1 heorine) Champagne d'Oro at the Oklahoma track. He starts asking questions, looks down at the golf cart and says, 'Eric, what's the 'J' stand for?'

"Right off, I go, 'Genius!' He thought I was from Louisiana, and I thought genius started with a 'J.' So, he hesitated for a while and finally goes, 'Eric, uh, genius starts with a 'G.' I said, 'I know that! That's what makes it so funny!"

Guillot would like Da Jenius to make him look like a genius, but he doesn't expect the race Saturday to be much more than a learning experience for the colt, who has been working steadily at Saratoga since early June.

"This will be good to use as a measuring stick," he said.

Asked if he felt any pressure for the horse to do well, considering he sort of named it after himself, Guillot said, "Pressure is for people who can't get the job done. Like Mickey Mantle, when he pointed the bat, he wasn't planning on a double. He pointed his bat to the fences."

That was Babe Ruth who called the shot, but with Guillot, these mix-ups can happen.

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Brown, Guillot excited about prospects in Saratoga maiden

Trainer Chad Brown looked at Saratoga's past performances for Saturday's 3RD race, a maiden special weight for two-year-olds, and marveled at the potential talent on display.

"Tyson and Holyfield, Round One," Brown said.

Brown's $1 million Malibu Moon colt Aldrin, one of the "buzz" horses on the Spa grounds and a three-quarter brother to top sire Tapit, was made the even-money favorite by NYRA oddsmaker Eric Donovan. The only horse on the also-eligible list -- Competitive Edge -- is a $750,000 Todd Pletcher-trained son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. Donovan listed him at 9-5 if he can draw in to the field.

Da Jenius, a $350,000 Malibu Moon colt trained by Eric Guillot, is the final foal of Grade 1-scoring millionaire Madcap Escapade, who produced Guillot's Grade 1 winner Mi Sueno.

Four others in the field sold for more than $100,000 at auction.

"The horse is really nice," Brown said of Aldrin. "So, we'll see what happens. The longer, the better, but he's quick enough to run three-quarters (of a mile) if you need him to."

Asked if he's excited, Brown stated, "A horse like this? For sure.

"He's done everything right. You get batches of two-year-olds in, and you're kind of seeing who's going to be in what division, turf or dirt, and could this one be a Derby horse, and normally that group is not that big. He acts like he'll run all day, but he's got a big turn of foot and will sprint if you need him to; those horses are very rare, in my opinion. Right now, he looks like that kind of horse."

On the front of Guillot's golf cart at Saratoga it says, "Eric Jenius Guillot," and his debut horse in the race is Da Jenius. When he first started training at Saratoga in 2010, the cart just said, "Eric J. Guillot."

While Guillot's real middle name is Jude, there is an origin story behind Jenius and now the horse Da Jenius.

"The first year when I got here when I rented the golf cart, they put my name, Eric J. Guillot," he said. "David (Grening) of the Racing Form comes up and was interviewing me about (dual Grade 1 heorine) Champagne d'Oro at the Oklahoma track. He starts asking questions, looks down at the golf cart and says, 'Eric, what's the 'J' stand for?'

"Right off, I go, 'Genius!' He thought I was from Louisiana, and I thought genius started with a 'J.' So, he hesitated for a while and finally goes, 'Eric, uh, genius starts with a 'G.' I said, 'I know that! That's what makes it so funny!"

Guillot would like Da Jenius to make him look like a genius, but he doesn't expect the race Saturday to be much more than a learning experience for the colt, who has been working steadily at Saratoga since early June.

"This will be good to use as a measuring stick," he said.

Asked if he felt any pressure for the horse to do well, considering he sort of named it after himself, Guillot said, "Pressure is for people who can't get the job done. Like Mickey Mantle, when he pointed the bat, he wasn't planning on a double. He pointed his bat to the fences."

That was Babe Ruth who called the shot, but with Guillot, these mix-ups can happen.

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Englehart off to a good start at Saratoga

After needing 59 starts to win his first race at Saratoga, trainer Jeremiah Englehart didn't need much time to double his Saratoga tally, as Shankopotamus gave the trainer his second win at the track with a victory in the 8TH race on Wednesday.

Englehart won the first race of the meet, a $25,000 claiming event for horses who haven't won two races, with Winter Games before winning his second straight race at Saratoga six days later with Shankopotamus, who took an open $25,000 claimer.

"The start is better than we were expecting," Englehart noted. "It had been a long time waiting (for the first win). To win the first race of the meet makes it a little more special."

Englehart, who took out his trainer's license in 2003, currently leads the trainer standings at Finger Lakes, where he is three races ahead of his father, Chris Englehart. In addition, Jeremiah Englehart has maintained strings year-round on the NYRA circuit since the autumn of 2011, winning 50 races, including five stakes with King Kreesa, at Aqueduct and Belmont Park during that span before finally getting his first score at Saratoga last Friday.

For Englehart, winning at Saratoga was the logical next step in his trainer career, which includes a win in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with Ria Antonia via disqualification.

"Winning my first Breeders' Cup race last year was special," Englehart said. "Saratoga is like no other in terms of competition, and I believe in setting goals and making new goals after you meet them. I've been blessed with a good year, and it wouldn't be possible without my staff, considering all the travel I do."

On Wednesday, Shankopotamus went to the lead and dug in to hold off Street Shark by a half-length in a protracted stretch battle. It was Shankopotamus' first start for Englehart, who claimed the six-year-old for $12,500 on behalf of owner Neal Allread in his previous start.

Englehart said Shankpotamus' record at Saratoga, which he improved to 3-2-1 in six starts with Wednesday's win, was a major factor in the decision to claim the gelding.

"Neal wanted him because he runs well in Saratoga," Englehart explained. "That's the main reason why we claimed him. He's been nice for everyone who has trained him, and it's been my job to not screw him up."

Five horses were claimed out of Wednesday's 8TH race, but not Shankopotamus, and Englehart says he hopes to run the Florida-bred son of Greatness at Saratoga one more time before the end of the meet.

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Englehart off to a good start at Saratoga

After needing 59 starts to win his first race at Saratoga, trainer Jeremiah Englehart didn't need much time to double his Saratoga tally, as Shankopotamus gave the trainer his second win at the track with a victory in the 8TH race on Wednesday.

Englehart won the first race of the meet, a $25,000 claiming event for horses who haven't won two races, with Winter Games before winning his second straight race at Saratoga six days later with Shankopotamus, who took an open $25,000 claimer.

"The start is better than we were expecting," Englehart noted. "It had been a long time waiting (for the first win). To win the first race of the meet makes it a little more special."

Englehart, who took out his trainer's license in 2003, currently leads the trainer standings at Finger Lakes, where he is three races ahead of his father, Chris Englehart. In addition, Jeremiah Englehart has maintained strings year-round on the NYRA circuit since the autumn of 2011, winning 50 races, including five stakes with King Kreesa, at Aqueduct and Belmont Park during that span before finally getting his first score at Saratoga last Friday.

For Englehart, winning at Saratoga was the logical next step in his trainer career, which includes a win in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with Ria Antonia via disqualification.

"Winning my first Breeders' Cup race last year was special," Englehart said. "Saratoga is like no other in terms of competition, and I believe in setting goals and making new goals after you meet them. I've been blessed with a good year, and it wouldn't be possible without my staff, considering all the travel I do."

On Wednesday, Shankopotamus went to the lead and dug in to hold off Street Shark by a half-length in a protracted stretch battle. It was Shankopotamus' first start for Englehart, who claimed the six-year-old for $12,500 on behalf of owner Neal Allread in his previous start.

Englehart said Shankpotamus' record at Saratoga, which he improved to 3-2-1 in six starts with Wednesday's win, was a major factor in the decision to claim the gelding.

"Neal wanted him because he runs well in Saratoga," Englehart explained. "That's the main reason why we claimed him. He's been nice for everyone who has trained him, and it's been my job to not screw him up."

Five horses were claimed out of Wednesday's 8TH race, but not Shankopotamus, and Englehart says he hopes to run the Florida-bred son of Greatness at Saratoga one more time before the end of the meet.

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Gleneagles captures Tyros; Jack Naylor upsets Silver Flash

Off the mark in a significant maiden for the Ballydoyle stable at the Curragh June 29, Gleneagles subdued his two rivals in Thursday's Group 3 Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown. The full brother to Marvellous, this term's Irish One Thousand Guineas winner, added his name to the Tyros alumni, which include the esteemed Galileo foursome of Cape Blanco, Rip Van Winkle, New Approach and Teofilo.

Fourth behind one of this trio, Convergence, over this track and seven-furlong trip June 6, the bay went on to capture the same maiden that Australia was introduced in 12 months ago. Settled last of the trio early by Joseph O'Brien here, Gleneagles swooped to lead with 1 1/2 furlongs remaining and was kept up to his work to best Tombelaine and the longtime leader Convergence in a tight finish.

"They steadied it up in the middle of the race and sprinted up the straight, but my lad has a bit of pace and handles fast ground," O'Brien said. "He has a good attitude and will progress with racing. I like him and he's going the right way -- I don't think a mile will be any problem to him. It's hard coming from behind in a three-horse race."

Trainer Aidan O'Brien, who was enjoying an eighth renewal, added, "He would probably have learned plenty from that, as Joseph relaxed him and educated him. He is still babyish, so will improve and staying at seven will do him no harm for the moment. He could run in the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (at the Curragh September 14)."

Gleneagles' dam, You'resothrilling, is by Storm Cat and out of multiple Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Mariah's Storm, making her a full-sister to six-time Group 1 winner and leading sire Giant's Causeway.

The 14-1 Jack Naylor sprang an upset in the companion race for fillies, the Group 3 Silver Flash.

Unable to show her true wares when sixth on her six-furlong debut here May 11, the daughter of Champs Elysees  put that nervy first experience -- which involved ditching her rider before the start and missing the break badly -- behind her with a professional second over that trip at Fairyhouse 18 days later. Stepping up markedly when scoring decisively in a seven-furlong maiden at Roscommon July 7, the bargain bay lived up to her macho title to master some well-regarded filly contemporaries here.

Slowly away, she was bustled along to take a position in fifth out wide and was under a drive on the home turn while still several lengths adrift. Answering Fran Berry's every call, Jack Naylor worked her way past the longtime leader, Qualify, with 100 yards remaining and drew away as Agnes Stewart led the chase from behind.

"Her work at home was always good and she was unlucky to get chinned at Fairyhouse," her rider said of the winner, who is under consideration for The Curragh's Debutante Stakes August 23 and the Moyglare Stud, for which she would have to be supplemented, September 14.

"They went a really good gallop and she hit a flat spot off the bend, but when she got going she lengthened very well and finished out very strongly. She was very good and tough and is crying out for a mile."

Jack Naylor's third dam, De Stael, produced four stakes winners, headed by triple Grade 1 winner Wandesta.

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Gleneagles captures Tyros; Jack Naylor upsets Silver Flash

Off the mark in a significant maiden for the Ballydoyle stable at the Curragh June 29, Gleneagles subdued his two rivals in Thursday's Group 3 Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown. The full brother to Marvellous, this term's Irish One Thousand Guineas winner, added his name to the Tyros alumni, which include the esteemed Galileo foursome of Cape Blanco, Rip Van Winkle, New Approach and Teofilo.

Fourth behind one of this trio, Convergence, over this track and seven-furlong trip June 6, the bay went on to capture the same maiden that Australia was introduced in 12 months ago. Settled last of the trio early by Joseph O'Brien here, Gleneagles swooped to lead with 1 1/2 furlongs remaining and was kept up to his work to best Tombelaine and the longtime leader Convergence in a tight finish.

"They steadied it up in the middle of the race and sprinted up the straight, but my lad has a bit of pace and handles fast ground," O'Brien said. "He has a good attitude and will progress with racing. I like him and he's going the right way -- I don't think a mile will be any problem to him. It's hard coming from behind in a three-horse race."

Trainer Aidan O'Brien, who was enjoying an eighth renewal, added, "He would probably have learned plenty from that, as Joseph relaxed him and educated him. He is still babyish, so will improve and staying at seven will do him no harm for the moment. He could run in the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (at the Curragh September 14)."

Gleneagles' dam, You'resothrilling, is by Storm Cat and out of multiple Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Mariah's Storm, making her a full-sister to six-time Group 1 winner and leading sire Giant's Causeway.

The 14-1 Jack Naylor sprang an upset in the companion race for fillies, the Group 3 Silver Flash.

Unable to show her true wares when sixth on her six-furlong debut here May 11, the daughter of Champs Elysees  put that nervy first experience -- which involved ditching her rider before the start and missing the break badly -- behind her with a professional second over that trip at Fairyhouse 18 days later. Stepping up markedly when scoring decisively in a seven-furlong maiden at Roscommon July 7, the bargain bay lived up to her macho title to master some well-regarded filly contemporaries here.

Slowly away, she was bustled along to take a position in fifth out wide and was under a drive on the home turn while still several lengths adrift. Answering Fran Berry's every call, Jack Naylor worked her way past the longtime leader, Qualify, with 100 yards remaining and drew away as Agnes Stewart led the chase from behind.

"Her work at home was always good and she was unlucky to get chinned at Fairyhouse," her rider said of the winner, who is under consideration for The Curragh's Debutante Stakes August 23 and the Moyglare Stud, for which she would have to be supplemented, September 14.

"They went a really good gallop and she hit a flat spot off the bend, but when she got going she lengthened very well and finished out very strongly. She was very good and tough and is crying out for a mile."

Jack Naylor's third dam, De Stael, produced four stakes winners, headed by triple Grade 1 winner Wandesta.

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Eagle Top's participation in King George depends on ground

Saturday's Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth could be missing a leading protagonist after trainer John Gosden revealed that the supplementary entry Eagle Top might swerve the Ascot feature.

Lady Bamford's three-year-old colt was one of nine declared Thursday, having been added at a cost of £75,000 Monday, but the homebred -- who was so impressive when winning the June 20 King Edward VII at the Royal meeting -- will not be risked if the ground is deemed too quick.

"Eagle Top is in very good form, but unfortunately our supplementary system is five days before the race, and at that point there was talk of thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday," Gosden explained. "Now it looks like the rain is much more likely on Sunday.

"We'll make a decision with the owners, who know the family well and know the horse well. I'll be at Ascot tomorrow and walk the track and then we will be making our decision."

Gosden added that while his charge performed admirably over a quick surface at Ascot, he likely prefers otherwise.

"He's a very nice horse, but I didn't really want to run him twice on ground that was too fast," Gosden said. "He did it well at Royal Ascot, but he's bred more for good, good-to-soft ground."

With or without Eagle Top, Gosden's Clarehaven Stables will field a strong hand of sophomores. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's June 6 Epsom Oaks heroine Taghrooda will be joined by Princess Haya of Jordan's June 7 Epsom Derby third Romsdal as they seek to exploit the weight-for-age concession.

Also representing Shadwell will be the July 5 Eclipse winner Mukhadram, who will exit from the inside post alongside Telescope. That Highclere Thoroughbred Racing four-year-old is likely to start favorite after his emphatic seven-length success in the Hardwicke S. over this course and distance last time June 21, even allowing for the strength of the classic generation and a strong Irish presence.

The latter is made up of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier's 2013 Irish Two Thousand Guineas and Breeders' Cup Turf scorer Magician and last year's Irish Derby winner Trading Leather. Godolphin's Trading Leather was runner-up to Mukhadram in the Eclipse and jockey Kevin Manning believes he can make an impact, as he did when runner-up to Novellist in this 12 months ago.

"You could make a case for basically every horse in the race," Manning said. "It's a very good race. He's going there in good shape and I'm looking forward to riding him. I think he'll put up a big show."

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Eagle Top's participation in King George depends on ground

Saturday's Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth could be missing a leading protagonist after trainer John Gosden revealed that the supplementary entry Eagle Top might swerve the Ascot feature.

Lady Bamford's three-year-old colt was one of nine declared Thursday, having been added at a cost of £75,000 Monday, but the homebred -- who was so impressive when winning the June 20 King Edward VII at the Royal meeting -- will not be risked if the ground is deemed too quick.

"Eagle Top is in very good form, but unfortunately our supplementary system is five days before the race, and at that point there was talk of thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday," Gosden explained. "Now it looks like the rain is much more likely on Sunday.

"We'll make a decision with the owners, who know the family well and know the horse well. I'll be at Ascot tomorrow and walk the track and then we will be making our decision."

Gosden added that while his charge performed admirably over a quick surface at Ascot, he likely prefers otherwise.

"He's a very nice horse, but I didn't really want to run him twice on ground that was too fast," Gosden said. "He did it well at Royal Ascot, but he's bred more for good, good-to-soft ground."

With or without Eagle Top, Gosden's Clarehaven Stables will field a strong hand of sophomores. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's June 6 Epsom Oaks heroine Taghrooda will be joined by Princess Haya of Jordan's June 7 Epsom Derby third Romsdal as they seek to exploit the weight-for-age concession.

Also representing Shadwell will be the July 5 Eclipse winner Mukhadram, who will exit from the inside post alongside Telescope. That Highclere Thoroughbred Racing four-year-old is likely to start favorite after his emphatic seven-length success in the Hardwicke S. over this course and distance last time June 21, even allowing for the strength of the classic generation and a strong Irish presence.

The latter is made up of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier's 2013 Irish Two Thousand Guineas and Breeders' Cup Turf scorer Magician and last year's Irish Derby winner Trading Leather. Godolphin's Trading Leather was runner-up to Mukhadram in the Eclipse and jockey Kevin Manning believes he can make an impact, as he did when runner-up to Novellist in this 12 months ago.

"You could make a case for basically every horse in the race," Manning said. "It's a very good race. He's going there in good shape and I'm looking forward to riding him. I think he'll put up a big show."

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Kingman, Toronado on course for Sussex clash of generations

Kingman and Toronado are on course for Wednesday's Group 1, £300,000 Sussex Stakes, the highlight on the second day of Glorious Goodwood, after the six-day confirmation stage. The clash, the latest "Duel on the Downs," has been the focal point of the five-day meeting since the pair both triumphed at Royal Ascot, where they cemented their status as Europe's leading three-year-old and older miler respectively.

Kingman, trained by John Gosden, spectacularly turned the tables on his Two Thousand Guineas conqueror Night of Thunder in the St James's Palace Stakes, while Toronado defied a 300-day absence in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Kingman is the odds-on favorite to continue the good recent record of three-year-olds, who have won five of the last six renewals of the Sussex over a mile. Toronado on the other hand is bidding to join the mighty Frankel as the only other horse to win two runnings of the Sussex Stakes, having got the better of Dawn Approach in a fantastic renewal 12 months ago.

Toronado's trainer Richard Hannon has also left in three-time Group 1 winner Olympic Glory and Shifting Power, who found Kingman five lengths too strong in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas at the Curragh on May 24.

A return to Glorious Goodwood is on the cards for Outstrip, who was beaten a neck in the Vintage Stakes at the meeting last year. The son of Exceed and Excel subsequently provided Charlie Appleby with a first success at the highest level with a thrilling victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.

Outstrip produced a dirty scope after disappointing in the Two Thousand Guineas but returned to form with a battling third when 3 1/4 lengths behind Kingman at Royal Ascot. He could bid to provide Godolphin with a third Sussex Stakes victory following Noverre (2001) and Ramonti (2007).

"If it is good or quick racing ground, then Outstrip will run at Goodwood -- anything on the slow side of good and he won't be taking his chance," Appleby reported Thursday.

"He's an athletic horse and handled the course at Goodwood well last year. We felt that he hit the front a little too soon in the Vintage Stakes but we learned a lot from that run.

"We were disappointed with him in the Guineas but he had a genuine excuse that day as he scoped very badly afterwards. I had been pleased with his preparation going into Newmarket and I was very happy going into Royal Ascot, where he produced what I thought was a career-best performance.

"He has come out of the St James's Palace Stakes very well. You have to respect Kingman and Toronado but we would be happy to let Outstrip take them on provided the ground is good or faster."

The nine confirmations are completed by Falmouth Stakes heroine Integral and the Aidan O'Brien-trained trio of War Command, winner of last season's Dewhurst Stakes, along with Darwin and Illusive.

Goodwood's seven-race card on Wednesday also features the Group 3, £80,000 Gordon Stakes over 12 furlongs, a leading trial for the final British classic, the St Leger at Doncaster on September 13. The 11 confirmations are topped by Bahrain Trophy victor Hartnell and Eclipse Stakes third Somewhat, both trained by North Yorkshire handler Mark Johnston.

Other notables include King Edward VII Stakes third Scotland (trained by Andrew Balding), Derby fifth Red Galileo (Ed Dunlop) and Observational (Roger Charlton), winner of the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood on May 23.

Some of the leading contenders for next year's classics could be on show in the Group 2, £80,000 Vintage Stakes. The seven-furlong contest has gone the way of subsequent stars Olympic Glory (2012), Sir Percy (2005) and Shamardal (2004) in recent years.

The Hannon team, successful in the last four renewals, have three possible representatives in the shape of impressive Group 2 winner Ivawood, Coventry Stakes seventh Dr No and Sandown maiden winner Tupi.

Also engaged are Norfolk Stakes third Ahlan Emarati (Peter Chapple-Hyam) and Highland Reel (O'Brien), who won a mile maiden by 12 lengths at Gowran Park on July 1.

Seamus Buckley, Goodwood's clerk of the course, walked the course Thursday afternoon and reported the going remains good, good to firm in places.

"I am pleased with the condition of the course and happy with where we are with the going," Buckley said.

"We have been watering overnight for the last week as daytime temperatures have been high, reaching 31 degrees Celsius yesterday. There is still plenty of moisture in the ground and we will continue the watering program at night.

"The forecast is for predominantly dry weather. There is the possibility of showers on Sunday into Monday but we are expecting dry conditions throughout Glorious Goodwood which starts on Tuesday, July 29, though with slightly lower temperatures of between 20 & 22 degrees Celsius."

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Kingman, Toronado on course for Sussex clash of generations

Kingman and Toronado are on course for Wednesday's Group 1, £300,000 Sussex Stakes, the highlight on the second day of Glorious Goodwood, after the six-day confirmation stage. The clash, the latest "Duel on the Downs," has been the focal point of the five-day meeting since the pair both triumphed at Royal Ascot, where they cemented their status as Europe's leading three-year-old and older miler respectively.

Kingman, trained by John Gosden, spectacularly turned the tables on his Two Thousand Guineas conqueror Night of Thunder in the St James's Palace Stakes, while Toronado defied a 300-day absence in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Kingman is the odds-on favorite to continue the good recent record of three-year-olds, who have won five of the last six renewals of the Sussex over a mile. Toronado on the other hand is bidding to join the mighty Frankel as the only other horse to win two runnings of the Sussex Stakes, having got the better of Dawn Approach in a fantastic renewal 12 months ago.

Toronado's trainer Richard Hannon has also left in three-time Group 1 winner Olympic Glory and Shifting Power, who found Kingman five lengths too strong in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas at the Curragh on May 24.

A return to Glorious Goodwood is on the cards for Outstrip, who was beaten a neck in the Vintage Stakes at the meeting last year. The son of Exceed and Excel subsequently provided Charlie Appleby with a first success at the highest level with a thrilling victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita.

Outstrip produced a dirty scope after disappointing in the Two Thousand Guineas but returned to form with a battling third when 3 1/4 lengths behind Kingman at Royal Ascot. He could bid to provide Godolphin with a third Sussex Stakes victory following Noverre (2001) and Ramonti (2007).

"If it is good or quick racing ground, then Outstrip will run at Goodwood -- anything on the slow side of good and he won't be taking his chance," Appleby reported Thursday.

"He's an athletic horse and handled the course at Goodwood well last year. We felt that he hit the front a little too soon in the Vintage Stakes but we learned a lot from that run.

"We were disappointed with him in the Guineas but he had a genuine excuse that day as he scoped very badly afterwards. I had been pleased with his preparation going into Newmarket and I was very happy going into Royal Ascot, where he produced what I thought was a career-best performance.

"He has come out of the St James's Palace Stakes very well. You have to respect Kingman and Toronado but we would be happy to let Outstrip take them on provided the ground is good or faster."

The nine confirmations are completed by Falmouth Stakes heroine Integral and the Aidan O'Brien-trained trio of War Command, winner of last season's Dewhurst Stakes, along with Darwin and Illusive.

Goodwood's seven-race card on Wednesday also features the Group 3, £80,000 Gordon Stakes over 12 furlongs, a leading trial for the final British classic, the St Leger at Doncaster on September 13. The 11 confirmations are topped by Bahrain Trophy victor Hartnell and Eclipse Stakes third Somewhat, both trained by North Yorkshire handler Mark Johnston.

Other notables include King Edward VII Stakes third Scotland (trained by Andrew Balding), Derby fifth Red Galileo (Ed Dunlop) and Observational (Roger Charlton), winner of the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood on May 23.

Some of the leading contenders for next year's classics could be on show in the Group 2, £80,000 Vintage Stakes. The seven-furlong contest has gone the way of subsequent stars Olympic Glory (2012), Sir Percy (2005) and Shamardal (2004) in recent years.

The Hannon team, successful in the last four renewals, have three possible representatives in the shape of impressive Group 2 winner Ivawood, Coventry Stakes seventh Dr No and Sandown maiden winner Tupi.

Also engaged are Norfolk Stakes third Ahlan Emarati (Peter Chapple-Hyam) and Highland Reel (O'Brien), who won a mile maiden by 12 lengths at Gowran Park on July 1.

Seamus Buckley, Goodwood's clerk of the course, walked the course Thursday afternoon and reported the going remains good, good to firm in places.

"I am pleased with the condition of the course and happy with where we are with the going," Buckley said.

"We have been watering overnight for the last week as daytime temperatures have been high, reaching 31 degrees Celsius yesterday. There is still plenty of moisture in the ground and we will continue the watering program at night.

"The forecast is for predominantly dry weather. There is the possibility of showers on Sunday into Monday but we are expecting dry conditions throughout Glorious Goodwood which starts on Tuesday, July 29, though with slightly lower temperatures of between 20 & 22 degrees Celsius."

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The Wow Signal, Anthem Alexander top probables for Phoenix

A fantastic renewal of the Group 1, €200,000 Phoenix Stakes is in prospect at the Curragh on August 10, with Royal Ascot winners The Wow Signal and Anthem Alexander set to be joined by many of this season's best juveniles.

Anthem Alexander beat the high-class Tiggy Wiggy in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and her trainer, Eddie Lynam, is looking forward to stepping the winner up in trip to six furlongs in the Phoenix Stakes, the first European Group 1 two-year-old contest of 2014.

"We have been very happy with Anthem Alexander since Ascot and she will definitely take her chance in the Phoenix Stakes," Lynam said. "I don't think the extra furlong will be any problem to her at all."

North Yorkshire handler John Quinn confirmed that The Wow Signal, winner of the Coventry Stakes over six furlongs at Royal Ascot for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing, is set to travel to the Curragh.

"I've spoken to (Al Shaqab racing manager) Harry Herbert and if the ground is nice at the Curragh then the Phoenix Stakes is where we'll go," Quinn said. "He's really well at home and has a great mind and a real appetite for work."

Aidan O'Brien is responsible for 11 of the remaining 27 entries in the Phoenix Stakes, and among his potential runners are last Saturday's Anglesey Stakes winner Dick Whittington, Grangecon Stud Stakes heroine I Am Beautiful and dual-winning Keeneland graduate The Great War.

"At the moment Dick Whittington, The Great War and I Am Beautiful are the three horses we have up for consideration," O'Brien said. "They are all in great form and the plan is to make a final decision nearer the time."

Trainer Kevin Prendergast Thursday confirmed that the unbeaten Beach Belle, winner of a Curragh maiden in March and a listed contest at Naas last month, will also line up at the Curragh.

"She is a smashing filly and will take her chance in the Phoenix Stakes. She has plenty of speed and really saw out the six-furlong trip at Naas," Prendergast said.

Three-time winner Cappella Sansevero, who changed hands for £1.3 million before finishing second in the Coventry, is set to line up for trainer Ger Lyons and owner Qatar Racing.

"Cappella Sansevero is in really good form and the plan is to run in the Phoenix Stakes," said Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother.

There is a supplementary entry stage for the Phoenix Stakes on August 5.

The Phoenix Stakes is sponsored by Kentucky-based Keeneland, home to both the world's largest Thoroughbred sales company and one of America's most beautiful racecourses, which will play host to the 2015 Breeders' Cup.

"We are thrilled that so many of this season's top juveniles are being aimed at the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and it promises to be the standout two-year-old race of the season so far," Geoffrey Russell, director of sales at Keeneland, commented.

Admission for families will be free at the Curragh on August 10, courtesy of Keeneland, and younger racegoers will be able to enjoy a variety of free entertainment in the Kids Zone.

"We are very grateful to Keeneland for its proactive approach in working with us to ensure as many people as possible come to the Curragh to see what promises to be one of the racing highlights of our season," said Evan Arkwright, commercial manager of the Curragh Racecourse.

"Previous winners of the Phoenix Stakes have included some of the very best juveniles in Europe since the race was first run in 1902, and this year will certainly be no exception."

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The Wow Signal, Anthem Alexander top probables for Phoenix

A fantastic renewal of the Group 1, €200,000 Phoenix Stakes is in prospect at the Curragh on August 10, with Royal Ascot winners The Wow Signal and Anthem Alexander set to be joined by many of this season's best juveniles.

Anthem Alexander beat the high-class Tiggy Wiggy in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and her trainer, Eddie Lynam, is looking forward to stepping the winner up in trip to six furlongs in the Phoenix Stakes, the first European Group 1 two-year-old contest of 2014.

"We have been very happy with Anthem Alexander since Ascot and she will definitely take her chance in the Phoenix Stakes," Lynam said. "I don't think the extra furlong will be any problem to her at all."

North Yorkshire handler John Quinn confirmed that The Wow Signal, winner of the Coventry Stakes over six furlongs at Royal Ascot for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing, is set to travel to the Curragh.

"I've spoken to (Al Shaqab racing manager) Harry Herbert and if the ground is nice at the Curragh then the Phoenix Stakes is where we'll go," Quinn said. "He's really well at home and has a great mind and a real appetite for work."

Aidan O'Brien is responsible for 11 of the remaining 27 entries in the Phoenix Stakes, and among his potential runners are last Saturday's Anglesey Stakes winner Dick Whittington, Grangecon Stud Stakes heroine I Am Beautiful and dual-winning Keeneland graduate The Great War.

"At the moment Dick Whittington, The Great War and I Am Beautiful are the three horses we have up for consideration," O'Brien said. "They are all in great form and the plan is to make a final decision nearer the time."

Trainer Kevin Prendergast Thursday confirmed that the unbeaten Beach Belle, winner of a Curragh maiden in March and a listed contest at Naas last month, will also line up at the Curragh.

"She is a smashing filly and will take her chance in the Phoenix Stakes. She has plenty of speed and really saw out the six-furlong trip at Naas," Prendergast said.

Three-time winner Cappella Sansevero, who changed hands for £1.3 million before finishing second in the Coventry, is set to line up for trainer Ger Lyons and owner Qatar Racing.

"Cappella Sansevero is in really good form and the plan is to run in the Phoenix Stakes," said Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother.

There is a supplementary entry stage for the Phoenix Stakes on August 5.

The Phoenix Stakes is sponsored by Kentucky-based Keeneland, home to both the world's largest Thoroughbred sales company and one of America's most beautiful racecourses, which will play host to the 2015 Breeders' Cup.

"We are thrilled that so many of this season's top juveniles are being aimed at the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and it promises to be the standout two-year-old race of the season so far," Geoffrey Russell, director of sales at Keeneland, commented.

Admission for families will be free at the Curragh on August 10, courtesy of Keeneland, and younger racegoers will be able to enjoy a variety of free entertainment in the Kids Zone.

"We are very grateful to Keeneland for its proactive approach in working with us to ensure as many people as possible come to the Curragh to see what promises to be one of the racing highlights of our season," said Evan Arkwright, commercial manager of the Curragh Racecourse.

"Previous winners of the Phoenix Stakes have included some of the very best juveniles in Europe since the race was first run in 1902, and this year will certainly be no exception."

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Doncaster's Champagne attracts 92 entries

Exciting juveniles Ivawood, Faydhan and Richard Pankhurst feature among 92 entries (up from 76 in 2013) for this year's Group 2, £75,000 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. The seven-furlong contest is staged on the final day of the St Leger Festival, September 13.

The trio currently head the market for next year's Two Thousand Guineas, following impressive starts to their careers, with Ivawood having stormed to a decisive victory in the July Stakes at Newmarket's July meeting.

Faydhan posted a six-length victory on his debut for John Gosden in a Haydock Park maiden on July 3, while his stable companion Richard Pankhurst easily captured the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest appearance.

Ivawood's trainer Richard Hannon is responsible for eight entries in all, with Kool Kompany, a Group 2 winner in France and Ireland already this season; Norfolk Stakes hero Baitha Alga; and Superlative Stakes scorer Estidhkaar also among a formidable team from the first-season handler.

A total of 18 entries from Aidan O'Brien include Gleneagles, who just won Thursday's Tyros at Leopardstown; debut maiden winner East India; the regally-bred John F Kennedy; and recent Anglesey Stakes scorer Dick Whittington.

Trainer Karl Burke has made three entries headlined by the once-raced Glenalmond, who is a full brother to French highweight and Group 1 winner Wootton Bassett. The son of Iffraaj was all the rage ahead of his debut in a six-furlong maiden at Ayr on July 21, starting the 11-8 favourite, and duly obliged with a decisive half-length victory.

"We were very pleased with Glenalmond at Ayr," Burke reported. "It's hard to know what he beat but the runner-up (My Dream Boat) had previously finished second in a maiden that is working out well.

"The Acomb Stakes or Gimcrack Stakes at York are definitely possibilities for him now. He has got an entry in the Gimcrack, but I think the owner is keen to step up him up a furlong and we certainly think he will stay.

"Obviously, if he came through one of those race in good order then the Champagne Stakes will be on the agenda.

"He has a very nice pedigree, being a full brother to Wootton Bassett, and is very much one for the future. Wootton Bassett had quite a hard time of it as a three-year-old, but Glenalmond won't and we think he will train on."

The Middleham handler has also entered Superlative Stakes fourth Natural Order and Toocoolforschool, who was third on debut in a six-furlong maiden at Nottingham on July 18.

"Natural Order ran very well to be fourth in the Superlative Stakes," Burke added. "He is having a little break at the moment and will be out again at the end of August. We will see how he gets on there, but he would have to improve to go for another Group 2.

"Toocoolforschool is potentially a very nice horse and possibly goes for a maiden at York this weekend. It's early days yet but they are all potentially nice colts."

Charlie Appleby, successful in the 2013 Champagne Stakes with subsequent Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf scorer Outstrip, has a quartet of contenders including Newmarket winner Zephorus and Hawkesbury, who posted a seven-length success in a Doncaster maiden.

Flaming Spear (Kevin Ryan) made an impressive start to his career with a decisive victory in a York maiden on July 12, while Aktabantay (Hugo Palmer) and Brocklesby winner Cock Of The North (Scott Dixon) have both run well in Group company this season.

Also on September 13, Doncaster will offer the Group 2, £100,000 Park Stakes, which has attracted 53 entries.

American import Verrazano was second in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot before disappointing in the Eclipse, and the Aidan O'Brien charge has the seven-furlong Park as yet another option in his itinerary.

O'Brien has also entered Darwin along with the sophomores Due Diligence and Cougar Mountain. Due Diligence was an excellent second in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, while Cougar Mountain was a creditable fifth in the July Cup in only his second career start.

Other notable entries include multiple Group 1 veteran Gordon Lord Byron; the John Gosden-trained Gregorian; Jersey hero Mustajeeb; fellow Royal Ascot scorers Muteela and Field of Dream; dual Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder; Glory Awaits; recent Summer Mile winner Guest of Honour; Garswood; and last year's winner Viztoria.

Viztoria, stayed on strongly to beat Lockwood by three-quarters of a length in 2013 and rounded off the campaign with a good third to stablemate Slade Power on British Champions Day at Ascot. Her only outing this season came when finishing fourth to the same rival in the Greenlands Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh on May 24.

"Viztoria is entered for the Park Stakes and it's a possibility," trainer Eddie Lynam said. "She's in great form -- everything is fine with her -- and we will see nearer the time."

County Kildrae handler Sabrina Harty is also eyeing the prize with Ansgar. The improving six-year-old enjoyed a first Group 3 success when making all in the seven-furlong Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on July 19, beating Darwin by a length.

"The Park Stakes is an option for Ansgar," Harty said. "He is ground dependent and doesn't want it any worse than good to yielding, but if it's nice ground we would be looking to come over because there aren't many options.

"We were delighted with him at the weekend and he has come out of it well. He won with a bit in hand and I could not believe what price he was (8-1), even with Darwin in the race, because we beat him last year.

"We were a bit worried after because during the race Pat (Smullen) felt that he could still be feeling a splint that came up at Ascot, but he seems well.

"Maybe the ground was quick enough for him at the weekend, but he has been out in the field and seems really fresh, so hopefully everything has settled down.

"We think he's a good horse. If you watch the race at Ascot, he was one of the last off the bridle but then he started switching legs. We think he would have been in the first five or six if he didn't have the splints.

"He had a kissing spine last season, which meant he wasn't 100 percent, but he was still able to run Gordon Lord Byron to a neck off level weights. The kissing spine settled properly over the winter, so we thought he would improve this year and he has.

"He is in the Desmond Stakes over a mile next month (August 14) and, although seven furlongs is his best trip, he will probably take his chance in that first because there isn't anything else for him."

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Doncaster's Champagne attracts 92 entries

Exciting juveniles Ivawood, Faydhan and Richard Pankhurst feature among 92 entries (up from 76 in 2013) for this year's Group 2, £75,000 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. The seven-furlong contest is staged on the final day of the St Leger Festival, September 13.

The trio currently head the market for next year's Two Thousand Guineas, following impressive starts to their careers, with Ivawood having stormed to a decisive victory in the July Stakes at Newmarket's July meeting.

Faydhan posted a six-length victory on his debut for John Gosden in a Haydock Park maiden on July 3, while his stable companion Richard Pankhurst easily captured the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest appearance.

Ivawood's trainer Richard Hannon is responsible for eight entries in all, with Kool Kompany, a Group 2 winner in France and Ireland already this season; Norfolk Stakes hero Baitha Alga; and Superlative Stakes scorer Estidhkaar also among a formidable team from the first-season handler.

A total of 18 entries from Aidan O'Brien include Gleneagles, who just won Thursday's Tyros at Leopardstown; debut maiden winner East India; the regally-bred John F Kennedy; and recent Anglesey Stakes scorer Dick Whittington.

Trainer Karl Burke has made three entries headlined by the once-raced Glenalmond, who is a full brother to French highweight and Group 1 winner Wootton Bassett. The son of Iffraaj was all the rage ahead of his debut in a six-furlong maiden at Ayr on July 21, starting the 11-8 favourite, and duly obliged with a decisive half-length victory.

"We were very pleased with Glenalmond at Ayr," Burke reported. "It's hard to know what he beat but the runner-up (My Dream Boat) had previously finished second in a maiden that is working out well.

"The Acomb Stakes or Gimcrack Stakes at York are definitely possibilities for him now. He has got an entry in the Gimcrack, but I think the owner is keen to step up him up a furlong and we certainly think he will stay.

"Obviously, if he came through one of those race in good order then the Champagne Stakes will be on the agenda.

"He has a very nice pedigree, being a full brother to Wootton Bassett, and is very much one for the future. Wootton Bassett had quite a hard time of it as a three-year-old, but Glenalmond won't and we think he will train on."

The Middleham handler has also entered Superlative Stakes fourth Natural Order and Toocoolforschool, who was third on debut in a six-furlong maiden at Nottingham on July 18.

"Natural Order ran very well to be fourth in the Superlative Stakes," Burke added. "He is having a little break at the moment and will be out again at the end of August. We will see how he gets on there, but he would have to improve to go for another Group 2.

"Toocoolforschool is potentially a very nice horse and possibly goes for a maiden at York this weekend. It's early days yet but they are all potentially nice colts."

Charlie Appleby, successful in the 2013 Champagne Stakes with subsequent Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf scorer Outstrip, has a quartet of contenders including Newmarket winner Zephorus and Hawkesbury, who posted a seven-length success in a Doncaster maiden.

Flaming Spear (Kevin Ryan) made an impressive start to his career with a decisive victory in a York maiden on July 12, while Aktabantay (Hugo Palmer) and Brocklesby winner Cock Of The North (Scott Dixon) have both run well in Group company this season.

Also on September 13, Doncaster will offer the Group 2, £100,000 Park Stakes, which has attracted 53 entries.

American import Verrazano was second in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot before disappointing in the Eclipse, and the Aidan O'Brien charge has the seven-furlong Park as yet another option in his itinerary.

O'Brien has also entered Darwin along with the sophomores Due Diligence and Cougar Mountain. Due Diligence was an excellent second in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, while Cougar Mountain was a creditable fifth in the July Cup in only his second career start.

Other notable entries include multiple Group 1 veteran Gordon Lord Byron; the John Gosden-trained Gregorian; Jersey hero Mustajeeb; fellow Royal Ascot scorers Muteela and Field of Dream; dual Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder; Glory Awaits; recent Summer Mile winner Guest of Honour; Garswood; and last year's winner Viztoria.

Viztoria, stayed on strongly to beat Lockwood by three-quarters of a length in 2013 and rounded off the campaign with a good third to stablemate Slade Power on British Champions Day at Ascot. Her only outing this season came when finishing fourth to the same rival in the Greenlands Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh on May 24.

"Viztoria is entered for the Park Stakes and it's a possibility," trainer Eddie Lynam said. "She's in great form -- everything is fine with her -- and we will see nearer the time."

County Kildrae handler Sabrina Harty is also eyeing the prize with Ansgar. The improving six-year-old enjoyed a first Group 3 success when making all in the seven-furlong Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on July 19, beating Darwin by a length.

"The Park Stakes is an option for Ansgar," Harty said. "He is ground dependent and doesn't want it any worse than good to yielding, but if it's nice ground we would be looking to come over because there aren't many options.

"We were delighted with him at the weekend and he has come out of it well. He won with a bit in hand and I could not believe what price he was (8-1), even with Darwin in the race, because we beat him last year.

"We were a bit worried after because during the race Pat (Smullen) felt that he could still be feeling a splint that came up at Ascot, but he seems well.

"Maybe the ground was quick enough for him at the weekend, but he has been out in the field and seems really fresh, so hopefully everything has settled down.

"We think he's a good horse. If you watch the race at Ascot, he was one of the last off the bridle but then he started switching legs. We think he would have been in the first five or six if he didn't have the splints.

"He had a kissing spine last season, which meant he wasn't 100 percent, but he was still able to run Gordon Lord Byron to a neck off level weights. The kissing spine settled properly over the winter, so we thought he would improve this year and he has.

"He is in the Desmond Stakes over a mile next month (August 14) and, although seven furlongs is his best trip, he will probably take his chance in that first because there isn't anything else for him."

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Two more British trainers report morphine positives

The tally of positive morphine tests in Britain in recent weeks has risen to seven, continuing a saga that has seen trainers across the country affected by what is suspected to be a case of contaminated feed.

Trainer Tony Carroll revealed Thursday that Ocean Legend was one of those affected. The nine-year-old gelding tested positive after winning a Brighton handicap June 24.

"It was news to us and quite a surprise for it to come up," Carroll said. "It's just one of those things and I'm sure it will be sorted out. I don't know enough about it to comment on it. I'm sure it's just something that's gone through the food chain. Obviously a lot of trainers have had it and that's how it is."

Trainer Gay Kelleway also revealed Thursday she had a horse test positive, putting her name on the list alongside Carroll as well as Sir Michael Stoute, Eve Johnson Houghton and Charlie Hills.

The most high-profile horse involved in the case is the Queen's Estimate. The Stoute-trained five-year-old returned a positive test after finishing second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot June 19. The Stoute-trained Russian Realm also returned traces of morphine after finishing ninth in the Buckingham Palace at Royal Ascot.

The source of the drug is thought to be a feed product from manufacturer Dodson & Horrell, and the company has undertaken an investigation.

Kelleway told the Telegraph, "I was told three weeks later and acted straightaway. I had my food independently tested a day later (and) I was told the alfalfa chaff was full of it. I get my feed delivered every week because I don't have much storage, but there seem to be pockets in some bags. But if my feed last week tested positive for it, how long has it been going on?

"I feel sorry for the feed company, because how can you check every particle of food that leaves the place? It may just have been wind blowing some poppies 200 yards down the road from the alfalfa."

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Two more British trainers report morphine positives

The tally of positive morphine tests in Britain in recent weeks has risen to seven, continuing a saga that has seen trainers across the country affected by what is suspected to be a case of contaminated feed.

Trainer Tony Carroll revealed Thursday that Ocean Legend was one of those affected. The nine-year-old gelding tested positive after winning a Brighton handicap June 24.

"It was news to us and quite a surprise for it to come up," Carroll said. "It's just one of those things and I'm sure it will be sorted out. I don't know enough about it to comment on it. I'm sure it's just something that's gone through the food chain. Obviously a lot of trainers have had it and that's how it is."

Trainer Gay Kelleway also revealed Thursday she had a horse test positive, putting her name on the list alongside Carroll as well as Sir Michael Stoute, Eve Johnson Houghton and Charlie Hills.

The most high-profile horse involved in the case is the Queen's Estimate. The Stoute-trained five-year-old returned a positive test after finishing second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot June 19. The Stoute-trained Russian Realm also returned traces of morphine after finishing ninth in the Buckingham Palace at Royal Ascot.

The source of the drug is thought to be a feed product from manufacturer Dodson & Horrell, and the company has undertaken an investigation.

Kelleway told the Telegraph, "I was told three weeks later and acted straightaway. I had my food independently tested a day later (and) I was told the alfalfa chaff was full of it. I get my feed delivered every week because I don't have much storage, but there seem to be pockets in some bags. But if my feed last week tested positive for it, how long has it been going on?

"I feel sorry for the feed company, because how can you check every particle of food that leaves the place? It may just have been wind blowing some poppies 200 yards down the road from the alfalfa."

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Belmont winner Tonalist returns in Jim Dandy

Tonalist remained undefeated in stakes company when taking the third leg of the Triple Crown (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

The discussion surrounding the three-year-old championship race has justifiably centered around two West Coast-based colts -- dual classic winner California Chrome and Los Alamitos Derby hero Shared Belief, last year's juvenile champion. Not to be ignored, however, is Tonalist, the Belmont Stakes winner who returns to action Saturday in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

An overlaid 9-1 in 1 1/2-mile Belmont on June 7 following a dominating performance in the Peter Pan four weeks earlier, the Tapit colt will be a strong favorite to retain his unblemished stakes record in the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy, a prep for next month's Travers.

Stamping himself as a colt with a future when a good second to eventual Florida Derby winner Constitution in a Gulfstream allowance in February, Tonalist missed an intended start in the Wood Memorial, and thus the Kentucky Derby, due to a lung infection.

When back to ideal health, the Christophe Clement trainee skipped through the slop when taking the May 10 Peter Pan by four lengths, and was game in wearing down a determined Commissioner by a head in the Belmont, denying California Chrome's bid for the Triple Crown.

"It's great when your patience pays off, and that's a credit to his owner (Robert S. Evans) who gave me the freedom to do that," Clement said. "To be competing on this level is very exciting for me.

"I think he's fit, but I think he can move up from the race, too," Clement added. "He had a break after the Belmont and he put on quite a bit of weight. He's been very playful and he thinks life is great. Unfortunately for him over the last three weeks he's been back to work, but he still thinks that life is great. He's a very playful kind of a horse, and that's a great thing. He's taking his work very well."

Tonalist is seeking to become the fifth horse to win the Belmont and Jim Dandy. Arts and Letters (1969), Affirmed (1978), and Conquistador Cielo (1982) turned the double en route to Horse of the Year honors, while Palace Malice, who won both stakes in 2013, is a leading candidate for Horse of the Year honors as a four-year-old this season.

Wicked Strong, who thus far has been most accomplished at Aqueduct by winning the Wood Memorial and finishing a close third in the last fall's Remsen, will attempt to revert to the form that saw him win the nine-furlong Wood by 3 1/2 lengths. The Jimmy Jerkens pupil finished fourth in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont, dead-heating with California Chrome in the latter.

A winner at the other two NYRA tracks, Wicked Strong will be making his first Saratoga appearance in the Jim Dandy (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

"I was a little disappointed. He ran OK, but I didn't think he ran as good as we thought he would," Jerkens said of the Belmont. "He was a little lackluster. He spit the bit out down the backside for some reason. I thought he'd be sitting there with a nice pull, but for some reason he spit the bit and (jockey Rajiv Maragh) had to get after him. He finished OK. All in all, I guess he finished slightly better than the rest of them did."

Another Derby-Belmont veteran in the Jim Dandy is Commanding Curve, who will run Saturday instead of in Friday's $100,000 Curlin. The deep-closing son of Master Command rallied to finish second at Churchill Downs, but showed little in the "Test of the Champion" when settling for ninth in the field of 11.

Kid Cruz, a four-time stakes winner this term for Linda Rice, made a favorable impression on the Belmont Stakes undercard by taking the $150,000 Easy Goer by 3 1/4 lengths with a last-to-first rally, but was not as dominant over the same track and distance in last month's Dwyer. Seemingly under serious pressure to keep pace around the far turn, the son of Lemon Drop Kid eventually got going and won, but by a modest three-quarters of a length.

"The Easy Goer really turned him around," Rice said. "He needed that race, and it was a pretty attractive spot. It helped him and got him back in the game, and he's really turned the corner since."

Also in the Jim Dandy are two colts Kid Cruz has beaten this summer, Easy Goer runner-up Legend and Dwyer third Ulanbator. Completing the field is the Grade 3-placed Cousin Stephen, a recent Parx allowance winner who was also entered in Friday's Curlin.

Rock Fall, a maiden and allowance winner during the Belmont spring meet by a combined margin of 12 1/2 lengths, takes on stakes company for the first time Saturday in the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam, a 6 1/2-furlong prep for next month's King's Bishop.

The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Speightstown cruised to a six-furlong maiden win by 9 1/4 lengths on May 11, and then returned on June 4 to beat allowance company by 3 1/4 lengths after leading by nearly twice that margin with a furlong to go.

Among the stakes veterans set to face Rock Fall are Noble Moon, hero of the Jerome in early January and most recently sixth in the Wood Memorial; Bay Shore victor Coup de Grace, a rough-trip sixth in the Woody Stephens and winner of the Oh Say at Delaware Park subsequently; and Captain Serious, who led for nearly all of the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer before conceding the race late to entrymate Kid Cruz.

Also lining up are Tiznowforamerica, an allowance scorer at Belmont last time for Tom Albertrani; C. Zee and Casiguapo, one-two in the $90,000 Cherokee Run at Gulfstream on July 5; and New York-bred allowance winner John's Island.

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Belmont winner Tonalist returns in Jim Dandy

Tonalist remained undefeated in stakes company when taking the third leg of the Triple Crown (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

The discussion surrounding the three-year-old championship race has justifiably centered around two West Coast-based colts -- dual classic winner California Chrome and Los Alamitos Derby hero Shared Belief, last year's juvenile champion. Not to be ignored, however, is Tonalist, the Belmont Stakes winner who returns to action Saturday in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.

An overlaid 9-1 in 1 1/2-mile Belmont on June 7 following a dominating performance in the Peter Pan four weeks earlier, the Tapit colt will be a strong favorite to retain his unblemished stakes record in the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy, a prep for next month's Travers.

Stamping himself as a colt with a future when a good second to eventual Florida Derby winner Constitution in a Gulfstream allowance in February, Tonalist missed an intended start in the Wood Memorial, and thus the Kentucky Derby, due to a lung infection.

When back to ideal health, the Christophe Clement trainee skipped through the slop when taking the May 10 Peter Pan by four lengths, and was game in wearing down a determined Commissioner by a head in the Belmont, denying California Chrome's bid for the Triple Crown.

"It's great when your patience pays off, and that's a credit to his owner (Robert S. Evans) who gave me the freedom to do that," Clement said. "To be competing on this level is very exciting for me.

"I think he's fit, but I think he can move up from the race, too," Clement added. "He had a break after the Belmont and he put on quite a bit of weight. He's been very playful and he thinks life is great. Unfortunately for him over the last three weeks he's been back to work, but he still thinks that life is great. He's a very playful kind of a horse, and that's a great thing. He's taking his work very well."

Tonalist is seeking to become the fifth horse to win the Belmont and Jim Dandy. Arts and Letters (1969), Affirmed (1978), and Conquistador Cielo (1982) turned the double en route to Horse of the Year honors, while Palace Malice, who won both stakes in 2013, is a leading candidate for Horse of the Year honors as a four-year-old this season.

Wicked Strong, who thus far has been most accomplished at Aqueduct by winning the Wood Memorial and finishing a close third in the last fall's Remsen, will attempt to revert to the form that saw him win the nine-furlong Wood by 3 1/2 lengths. The Jimmy Jerkens pupil finished fourth in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont, dead-heating with California Chrome in the latter.

A winner at the other two NYRA tracks, Wicked Strong will be making his first Saratoga appearance in the Jim Dandy (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

"I was a little disappointed. He ran OK, but I didn't think he ran as good as we thought he would," Jerkens said of the Belmont. "He was a little lackluster. He spit the bit out down the backside for some reason. I thought he'd be sitting there with a nice pull, but for some reason he spit the bit and (jockey Rajiv Maragh) had to get after him. He finished OK. All in all, I guess he finished slightly better than the rest of them did."

Another Derby-Belmont veteran in the Jim Dandy is Commanding Curve, who will run Saturday instead of in Friday's $100,000 Curlin. The deep-closing son of Master Command rallied to finish second at Churchill Downs, but showed little in the "Test of the Champion" when settling for ninth in the field of 11.

Kid Cruz, a four-time stakes winner this term for Linda Rice, made a favorable impression on the Belmont Stakes undercard by taking the $150,000 Easy Goer by 3 1/4 lengths with a last-to-first rally, but was not as dominant over the same track and distance in last month's Dwyer. Seemingly under serious pressure to keep pace around the far turn, the son of Lemon Drop Kid eventually got going and won, but by a modest three-quarters of a length.

"The Easy Goer really turned him around," Rice said. "He needed that race, and it was a pretty attractive spot. It helped him and got him back in the game, and he's really turned the corner since."

Also in the Jim Dandy are two colts Kid Cruz has beaten this summer, Easy Goer runner-up Legend and Dwyer third Ulanbator. Completing the field is the Grade 3-placed Cousin Stephen, a recent Parx allowance winner who was also entered in Friday's Curlin.

Rock Fall, a maiden and allowance winner during the Belmont spring meet by a combined margin of 12 1/2 lengths, takes on stakes company for the first time Saturday in the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam, a 6 1/2-furlong prep for next month's King's Bishop.

The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Speightstown cruised to a six-furlong maiden win by 9 1/4 lengths on May 11, and then returned on June 4 to beat allowance company by 3 1/4 lengths after leading by nearly twice that margin with a furlong to go.

Among the stakes veterans set to face Rock Fall are Noble Moon, hero of the Jerome in early January and most recently sixth in the Wood Memorial; Bay Shore victor Coup de Grace, a rough-trip sixth in the Woody Stephens and winner of the Oh Say at Delaware Park subsequently; and Captain Serious, who led for nearly all of the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer before conceding the race late to entrymate Kid Cruz.

Also lining up are Tiznowforamerica, an allowance scorer at Belmont last time for Tom Albertrani; C. Zee and Casiguapo, one-two in the $90,000 Cherokee Run at Gulfstream on July 5; and New York-bred allowance winner John's Island.

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Frac Daddy inherits San Diego favoritism

Frac Daddy is three-for-four on Polytrack (WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 San Diego Handicap was supposed to mark Dance With Fate's first foray versus older horses, until tragedy intervened. The Blue Grass winner was involved in a freak training accident Thursday morning, and unfortunately, his injuries proved too severe to save him.

Dance With Fate was the likely favorite for the 1 1/16-mile San Diego. With the void left by his sudden passing, synthetic specialist Frac Daddy now inherits the favorite's mantle in this local prep for the track's centerpiece event, the $1 million Pacific Classic on August 24.

Frac Daddy invades for conditioner Kenny McPeek following a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Dominion Day at Woodbine July 1. The gray four-year-old posted a sharp tally in the Grade 3 Ben Ali on Keeneland's Polytrack earlier this season, scoring by 4 3/4 lengths, and romped by five lengths in the Grade 2 Eclipse at Woodbine two starts back. The front-running Scat Daddy colt will pick up a new rider in Joe Talamo.

Imperative was unplaced in his lone previous appearance over Del Mar's Polytrack, but the Bernardini gelding is two for four on all-weather tracks and can't be dismissed from win consideration in this spot. Trained by George Papaprodromou, the four-year-old has really come on since being claimed last December, recording a win in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic and a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 San Antonio, and Imperative exits a decent third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. Regular rider Kent Desormeaux will be up.

Fed Biz posted a game win over Goldencents in his last appearance on Del Mar's Polytrack (Benoit Photo)

Fed Biz, who captured the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien going seven furlongs at Del Mar two starts back, will make his 2014 debut for Bob Baffert. The five-year-old horse was last seen finishing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, but he's a perfect two for two at Del Mar and rates as a dangerous contender if ready to go off the shelf. Martin Garcia rides.

Multiple Grade 3 winner Summer Hit is a hard-hitting gelding from the barn of Jerry Hollendorfer and won last year's Harry Brubaker in his lone start on Del Mar's Polytrack. You Know I Know finished third in last year Pacific Classic and defeated allowance/optional claiming foes in his other start locally.

Soi Phet is three for three on Del Mar's main track and enters in good form, posting an easy win over state-bred stakes foes at Los Alamitos on July 3. He is cross-entered to Friday's Grade 3 Cougar II.

Earlier on the program, eight California-bred sophomore fillies will square off in the Fleet Treat at seven furlongs and unbeaten Sunday Rules figures to be a prohibitive favorite. A smashing 8 1/2-length winner of the restricted Generous Portion at Del Mar last year, the Philip d'Amato-trained daughter of Tribal Rules returned to the races this year with an 8 3/4-length allowance romp at Santa Anita June 26. She earned a field-best 100 BRIS Speed rating for the effort and will keep Mike Smith in the irons for her second start back.

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Frac Daddy inherits San Diego favoritism

Frac Daddy is three-for-four on Polytrack (WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 San Diego Handicap was supposed to mark Dance With Fate's first foray versus older horses, until tragedy intervened. The Blue Grass winner was involved in a freak training accident Thursday morning, and unfortunately, his injuries proved too severe to save him.

Dance With Fate was the likely favorite for the 1 1/16-mile San Diego. With the void left by his sudden passing, synthetic specialist Frac Daddy now inherits the favorite's mantle in this local prep for the track's centerpiece event, the $1 million Pacific Classic on August 24.

Frac Daddy invades for conditioner Kenny McPeek following a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Dominion Day at Woodbine July 1. The gray four-year-old posted a sharp tally in the Grade 3 Ben Ali on Keeneland's Polytrack earlier this season, scoring by 4 3/4 lengths, and romped by five lengths in the Grade 2 Eclipse at Woodbine two starts back. The front-running Scat Daddy colt will pick up a new rider in Joe Talamo.

Imperative was unplaced in his lone previous appearance over Del Mar's Polytrack, but the Bernardini gelding is two for four on all-weather tracks and can't be dismissed from win consideration in this spot. Trained by George Papaprodromou, the four-year-old has really come on since being claimed last December, recording a win in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic and a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 San Antonio, and Imperative exits a decent third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. Regular rider Kent Desormeaux will be up.

Fed Biz posted a game win over Goldencents in his last appearance on Del Mar's Polytrack (Benoit Photo)

Fed Biz, who captured the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien going seven furlongs at Del Mar two starts back, will make his 2014 debut for Bob Baffert. The five-year-old horse was last seen finishing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, but he's a perfect two for two at Del Mar and rates as a dangerous contender if ready to go off the shelf. Martin Garcia rides.

Multiple Grade 3 winner Summer Hit is a hard-hitting gelding from the barn of Jerry Hollendorfer and won last year's Harry Brubaker in his lone start on Del Mar's Polytrack. You Know I Know finished third in last year Pacific Classic and defeated allowance/optional claiming foes in his other start locally.

Soi Phet is three for three on Del Mar's main track and enters in good form, posting an easy win over state-bred stakes foes at Los Alamitos on July 3. He is cross-entered to Friday's Grade 3 Cougar II.

Earlier on the program, eight California-bred sophomore fillies will square off in the Fleet Treat at seven furlongs and unbeaten Sunday Rules figures to be a prohibitive favorite. A smashing 8 1/2-length winner of the restricted Generous Portion at Del Mar last year, the Philip d'Amato-trained daughter of Tribal Rules returned to the races this year with an 8 3/4-length allowance romp at Santa Anita June 26. She earned a field-best 100 BRIS Speed rating for the effort and will keep Mike Smith in the irons for her second start back.

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Commanding Curve among 10 entered in Curlin

Commanding Curve is prepping for his main summer goal, the Travers (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, looking to turn the page on a disappointing performance in the Belmont Stakes, has been entered in Friday's $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga. Held the day before the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy over the same 1 1/8-mile trip, the Curlin offers a relatively easier stepping stone to the August 23 Travers. But like a typical stakes at the Spa, it remains quite competitive, with such useful stakes runners as Life in Shambles, Joint Custody, Spot and Cousin Stephen as well as up-and-comers Charge Now, Protonico, Viva Majorca and V. E. Day.

Commanding Curve is still seeking his first win outside of maiden company. After breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs last November, the Dallas Stewart trainee finished sixth in the Risen Star and a troubled third in the Louisiana Derby. Commanding Curve was overlooked at 37-1 in the Kentucky Derby, but outperformed his odds when storming from 18th to second, reducing California Chrome's margin to 1 3/4 lengths. The West Point Thoroughbreds colorbearer showed little, however, in the June 7 Belmont, where he wound up ninth, beating only the two who were eased.

Training forwardly since that subpar effort, Commanding Curve just breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 here last Saturday. Connections were also considering the Jim Dandy before entering the Curlin, which appears to have more pace on tap. The deep closer has drawn the rail with regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan.

Life in Shambles, a stablemate and frequent work companion for Belmont Stakes hero Tonalist, will likely be on or near the early lead from post 10. Beaten just a head in his stakes bow in the May 17 Sir Barton, the Christophe Clement pupil set a demanding tempo in the June 7 Easy Goer and paid for it late. The gritty gelding wound up third to Kid Cruz and Legend, who could square off in the Jim Dandy (Kid Cruz has the August 2 West Virginia Derby as another possibility). Joel Rosario, aboard for both of his stakes attempts, will guide Life in Shambles from the outside post 10.

The Kid Cruz formline is also represented by Joint Custody and Spot. Joint Custody placed behind Kid Cruz in the Private Terms and Federico Tesio in his home state of Maryland. Venturing to Delaware Park for the Grover (Buddy) Delp Memorial, Joint Custody was outdueled by Tiz'naz, but rebounded with a convincing win in the off-the-turf Stanton in his latest. He renews rivalry with Tiz'naz, who comes to Saratoga off a dismal seventh in the July 5 Long Branch at Monmouth. As the only two stakes winners at a mile or more in the field, Joint Custody and Tiz'naz are the co-highweights at 123 pounds.

Spot made an auspicious start for new connections -- owner Joseph Moss and trainer Nick Zito -- in the Swale at Gulfstream Park, stunning the hitherto unbeaten No Nay Never. But the well-bred son of Pulpit hasn't managed to hit the board in four ensuing races. His best result in that span was his most recent, a closing fourth to Kid Cruz in the July 5 Dwyer, and he could be on the verge of another move forward. Note that Spot gets a rider switch to Jose Ortiz.

The Chad Brown-trained Cousin Stephen aims to fulfill his early promise. Stamping himself as one to watch when crushing an Aqueduct maiden last November, he was the 8-5 favorite in a loaded allowance at Gulfstream in January, but wound up fifth to Commissioner and Top Billing. Cousin Stephen exited that loss with a lung infection. He was back on track in the Sam F. Davis, finishing a battling-on third, but flopped in the Tampa Bay Derby and headed to the sidelines. The Proud Citizen colt made a winning return in a June 16 Parx allowance, where he led throughout before holding on by a desperate nose, and now he gets Hall of Famer John Velazquez in his corner.

Charge Now has always inspired hopes as a half-brother to 2010 Kentucky Derby hero Super Saver. The Bill Mott colt captured a Gulfstream maiden and promptly wired an entry-level allowance at Belmont, earning his way into the Grade 3 ranks in the Iowa Derby. But Charge Now never got involved after breaking slowly and trudged home seventh in the Prairie Meadows slop. The son of Tiznow is eligible to make amends.

Protonico is another blueblood who is likely better than his lone stakes result, a sixth in last fall's Nashua. By Giant's Causeway and out of an A.P. Indy mare, Protonico has won both of his other starts. He romped in his debut at Delaware, captured a Belmont allowance most recently in his first outing for Todd Pletcher, and keeps Javier Castellano in the saddle.

Viva Majorca and V. E. Day are stepping up to face stakes rivals, but both have the right profile to make an impact. Viva Majorca, a Marylou Whitney homebred, trounced a Gulfstream maiden by 12 lengths and rolled to a 3 1/2-length allowance win at Churchill Downs. Although he has raced only in sprints so far, the son of Tiago is bred to prefer a route. V. E. Day comes off two straight wins at Belmont for Jimmy Jerkens, in a sloppy, off-the-turf maiden and a turf allowance at this trip. The English Channel colt's preferred surface is yet to be determined, for he is untested on a fast main track.

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Commanding Curve among 10 entered in Curlin

Commanding Curve is prepping for his main summer goal, the Travers (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, looking to turn the page on a disappointing performance in the Belmont Stakes, has been entered in Friday's $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga. Held the day before the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy over the same 1 1/8-mile trip, the Curlin offers a relatively easier stepping stone to the August 23 Travers. But like a typical stakes at the Spa, it remains quite competitive, with such useful stakes runners as Life in Shambles, Joint Custody, Spot and Cousin Stephen as well as up-and-comers Charge Now, Protonico, Viva Majorca and V. E. Day.

Commanding Curve is still seeking his first win outside of maiden company. After breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs last November, the Dallas Stewart trainee finished sixth in the Risen Star and a troubled third in the Louisiana Derby. Commanding Curve was overlooked at 37-1 in the Kentucky Derby, but outperformed his odds when storming from 18th to second, reducing California Chrome's margin to 1 3/4 lengths. The West Point Thoroughbreds colorbearer showed little, however, in the June 7 Belmont, where he wound up ninth, beating only the two who were eased.

Training forwardly since that subpar effort, Commanding Curve just breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 here last Saturday. Connections were also considering the Jim Dandy before entering the Curlin, which appears to have more pace on tap. The deep closer has drawn the rail with regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan.

Life in Shambles, a stablemate and frequent work companion for Belmont Stakes hero Tonalist, will likely be on or near the early lead from post 10. Beaten just a head in his stakes bow in the May 17 Sir Barton, the Christophe Clement pupil set a demanding tempo in the June 7 Easy Goer and paid for it late. The gritty gelding wound up third to Kid Cruz and Legend, who could square off in the Jim Dandy (Kid Cruz has the August 2 West Virginia Derby as another possibility). Joel Rosario, aboard for both of his stakes attempts, will guide Life in Shambles from the outside post 10.

The Kid Cruz formline is also represented by Joint Custody and Spot. Joint Custody placed behind Kid Cruz in the Private Terms and Federico Tesio in his home state of Maryland. Venturing to Delaware Park for the Grover (Buddy) Delp Memorial, Joint Custody was outdueled by Tiz'naz, but rebounded with a convincing win in the off-the-turf Stanton in his latest. He renews rivalry with Tiz'naz, who comes to Saratoga off a dismal seventh in the July 5 Long Branch at Monmouth. As the only two stakes winners at a mile or more in the field, Joint Custody and Tiz'naz are the co-highweights at 123 pounds.

Spot made an auspicious start for new connections -- owner Joseph Moss and trainer Nick Zito -- in the Swale at Gulfstream Park, stunning the hitherto unbeaten No Nay Never. But the well-bred son of Pulpit hasn't managed to hit the board in four ensuing races. His best result in that span was his most recent, a closing fourth to Kid Cruz in the July 5 Dwyer, and he could be on the verge of another move forward. Note that Spot gets a rider switch to Jose Ortiz.

The Chad Brown-trained Cousin Stephen aims to fulfill his early promise. Stamping himself as one to watch when crushing an Aqueduct maiden last November, he was the 8-5 favorite in a loaded allowance at Gulfstream in January, but wound up fifth to Commissioner and Top Billing. Cousin Stephen exited that loss with a lung infection. He was back on track in the Sam F. Davis, finishing a battling-on third, but flopped in the Tampa Bay Derby and headed to the sidelines. The Proud Citizen colt made a winning return in a June 16 Parx allowance, where he led throughout before holding on by a desperate nose, and now he gets Hall of Famer John Velazquez in his corner.

Charge Now has always inspired hopes as a half-brother to 2010 Kentucky Derby hero Super Saver. The Bill Mott colt captured a Gulfstream maiden and promptly wired an entry-level allowance at Belmont, earning his way into the Grade 3 ranks in the Iowa Derby. But Charge Now never got involved after breaking slowly and trudged home seventh in the Prairie Meadows slop. The son of Tiznow is eligible to make amends.

Protonico is another blueblood who is likely better than his lone stakes result, a sixth in last fall's Nashua. By Giant's Causeway and out of an A.P. Indy mare, Protonico has won both of his other starts. He romped in his debut at Delaware, captured a Belmont allowance most recently in his first outing for Todd Pletcher, and keeps Javier Castellano in the saddle.

Viva Majorca and V. E. Day are stepping up to face stakes rivals, but both have the right profile to make an impact. Viva Majorca, a Marylou Whitney homebred, trounced a Gulfstream maiden by 12 lengths and rolled to a 3 1/2-length allowance win at Churchill Downs. Although he has raced only in sprints so far, the son of Tiago is bred to prefer a route. V. E. Day comes off two straight wins at Belmont for Jimmy Jerkens, in a sloppy, off-the-turf maiden and a turf allowance at this trip. The English Channel colt's preferred surface is yet to be determined, for he is untested on a fast main track.

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Sky Kingdom, Soi Phet top 11-horse Cougar II field

Sky Kingdom's last Grade 3 victory came in the 2013 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita (Benoit Photos)

Sky Kingdom, whose only placing in four attempts over Del Mar's main track was a close second-place finish in last season's Grade 3, $100,000 Cougar II Handicap, will attempt to make amends when the 1 1/2-mile fixture is renewed on Friday at the San Diego-area course.

The even-money favorite in the Cougar II a year ago, Sky Kingdom's half-length defeat was no disgrace. He was beaten that afternoon by Richard's Kid, a local Polytrack legend who was winning the Cougar II for a second time to go along with two prior triumphs in the Pacific Classic.

Fourth in Del Mar's one-mile Harry F. Brubaker to close out his 2013 campaign, the Bob Baffert-trained Sky Kingdom made his return to action on Independence Day at Los Alamitos, where he landed the $83,000 American Flag by a half-length going 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

The only one in the 11-horse Cougar II field with a victory over the Del Mar Polytrack is Soi Phet, who is actually undefeated in three outings over the surface. All three occurred against allowance company at the 2013 meet, and the Leonard Powell charge recently scored his first stakes win taking the $101,000 Bertrando for California-breds at Los Alamitos.

Longview Drive, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, exits a one-length victory in the $100,000 Oak Tree Handicap at Pleasanton, which followed a head loss against Grade 3 company in the All American over Golden Gate Fields' Tapeta track.

Old Time Hockey, winner of the La Jolla Handicap over the Del Mar turf two years ago, tries a synthetic surface for the first time in the Cougar II. Hero of the Florida Cup Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs in April, the gelded son of Smarty Jones recently rallied for fourth in the American Flag at Los Alamitos after a slow start.

Other notables lining up in the Cougar II are Peruvian Group 1 winner Lideris, a distant fifth in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita in his U.S. bow, and the Grade 2-placed American Blend, who debuts for trainer John Sadler after being claimed for $75,000 at Santa Anita on June 15.

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Sky Kingdom, Soi Phet top 11-horse Cougar II field

Sky Kingdom's last Grade 3 victory came in the 2013 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita (Benoit Photos)

Sky Kingdom, whose only placing in four attempts over Del Mar's main track was a close second-place finish in last season's Grade 3, $100,000 Cougar II Handicap, will attempt to make amends when the 1 1/2-mile fixture is renewed on Friday at the San Diego-area course.

The even-money favorite in the Cougar II a year ago, Sky Kingdom's half-length defeat was no disgrace. He was beaten that afternoon by Richard's Kid, a local Polytrack legend who was winning the Cougar II for a second time to go along with two prior triumphs in the Pacific Classic.

Fourth in Del Mar's one-mile Harry F. Brubaker to close out his 2013 campaign, the Bob Baffert-trained Sky Kingdom made his return to action on Independence Day at Los Alamitos, where he landed the $83,000 American Flag by a half-length going 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

The only one in the 11-horse Cougar II field with a victory over the Del Mar Polytrack is Soi Phet, who is actually undefeated in three outings over the surface. All three occurred against allowance company at the 2013 meet, and the Leonard Powell charge recently scored his first stakes win taking the $101,000 Bertrando for California-breds at Los Alamitos.

Longview Drive, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, exits a one-length victory in the $100,000 Oak Tree Handicap at Pleasanton, which followed a head loss against Grade 3 company in the All American over Golden Gate Fields' Tapeta track.

Old Time Hockey, winner of the La Jolla Handicap over the Del Mar turf two years ago, tries a synthetic surface for the first time in the Cougar II. Hero of the Florida Cup Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs in April, the gelded son of Smarty Jones recently rallied for fourth in the American Flag at Los Alamitos after a slow start.

Other notables lining up in the Cougar II are Peruvian Group 1 winner Lideris, a distant fifth in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita in his U.S. bow, and the Grade 2-placed American Blend, who debuts for trainer John Sadler after being claimed for $75,000 at Santa Anita on June 15.

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In brief

Just a Way (Heart's Cry), the world's highest-rated horse and the winner of the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-G1) and Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-G1), will be pointed toward the October 5 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) along with stablemate Gold Ship (Stay Gold), trainer Naosuke Sugai told Racing Post. That pair could be joined by Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas) (Jpn-G1) winner Harp Star (Deep Impact) in a bid to bring the Arc trophy to Japan for the first time. Gold Ship, who became the first horse to win back-to-back editions of the Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-G1) June 29, will face Harp Star in the Sapporo Kinen (Jpn-G2) August 24. Just a Way, last seen winning the Yasuda Kinen June 8, will train up to the Arc. Just a Way and Gold Ship will travel to France two weeks out from the Arc and be stabled in Chantilly. "I have decided to let the two go there together," Sugai told Racing Post. "They have a good relationship so it would work to keep them together. Just a Way will be able to run his best without a prep race and I plan to train him to get the trip in the Arc. Gold Ship will run in the Sapporo Kinen because his owner wants to let (the) fans in Hokkaido see him."...

Lil Bit O'Fun (Langfuhr) upset Wednesday's $95,500 Wickerr S. at Del Mar when rallying from the back and pulling off a 2 1/2-length victory under jockey Aaron Gryder. Sent off the 20-1 second longest shot in the nine-horse field, the Philip D'Amato trainee came out in the lane, split foes in midstretch and took command before drawing off to finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:32.35, just missing the course record of 1:32.10 set by Obviously in the 2012 Del Mar Mile H. (G2). Lil Bit O'Fun paid $43.60 for the win, his third straight victory and first stakes score since the 2011 Oliver. Claimed last September at Del Mar, the chestnut gelding closed out his five-year-old season in a $40,000 claiming contest for trainer Mike Mitchell, who retired in April and passed on full time training duties to assistant D'Amato. Lil Bit O'Fun -- campaigned by Philip Belmonte, Henry Cohen, Mark Gorman and Sterling Stables -- improved his career record in the Wickerr to read 7-5-1 from 32 starts and has banked $392,773 lifetime...

My Option (Belong to Me), a 6 1/2-length winner of the Chicago H. (G3) last out, will take on Illinois-bred champion La Tia (City Place) at Woodbine on Saturday in the C$150,000 Ontario Matron (Can-G3). Each is proficient on Polytrack, though My Option's one try over Woodbine's version of the synthetic resulted in a close sixth two back in the Hendrie (Can-G3). La Tia, on the other hand, captured the 2012 La Lorgnette in her one start on the Canadian's track's all-weather. The five-year-old mare was a front-running winner of the Arlington Matron (G3) by 6 1/4 lengths two back and gets Justin Stein aboard while Eduardo Perez has the call on My Option. Also entered in the 1 1/16-mile affair is Canadian champion Spring in the Air (Spring at Last), winner of the Hendrie two back. Earlier on Woodbine's Saturday program, six juveniles will line up in the C$125,000 Colin going six furlongs on the Polytrack including unbeaten likely favorite Conquest Tsunami (Stormy Atlantic)...

Secret Gesture (Galileo), runner-up in the 2013 Oaks (Eng-G1) behind her stable companion Talent (New Approach), will take on males in Saturday's York S. (Eng-G2). The Ralph Beckett filly has made two appearances in 2014, finishing runner-up in the Middleton (Eng-G2) over this course and extended 10-furlong trip before comfortably winning the Warwickshire Oaks over 10 furlongs at Nottingham on June 16. "Secret Gesture is in good shape and the trip, track and ground should all suit," Beckett said. "We decided to go for the York Stakes instead of the Nassau (Eng-G1) because at Goodwood it's likely that she would be taking on the fillies that have already beaten her. Saturday's race is a Group 2 and she has been getting beaten up at Group 1 level all of her life. There's no Farraaj (Dubai Destination) in there and, although it's full of nice horses, they are Group 2 horses. I'm looking forward to running her." Her rivals include Danadana (Dubawi), the 3-1 favorite with sponsor Sky Bet, who was third to Noble Mission (Galileo) and Telescope (Galileo) when trying to defend his title in the May 8 Huxley (Eng-G3). Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor is doubly represented with Windhoek (Cape Cross), an impressive winner of a 10-furlong listed contest at Sandown Park on July 4, and Sharestan (Shamardal), who was successful in the Brigadier Gerard (Eng-G3) two back, edging Sheikhzayedroad (Dubawi). Godolphin's trio is completed by the Charlie Appleby-trained Long John (Street Cry), the Caulfield Guineas (Aus-G1) and U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-G3) victor who was third in the Summer Mile (Eng-G2) in his British debut...

Saratoga Race Course will welcome college students back to their favorite course during the sixth annual College Day on Friday. Track goers of all ages are encouraged to don their alma mater's colors or favorite collegiate team's gear for the chance to win special prizes. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will offer college students enrolled in the upcoming academic year the chance to win one of numerous $1,000 scholarships offered throughout the day. Toyota and Northeastern Fine Jewelry will present two of the day's scholarships. College students will also have the opportunity to win Saratoga grandstand season passes. Students may register for the chance to win the scholarships, season passes and other prizes in the backyard near the Big Red Spring beginning at 11 a.m. (EDT). All college students who register will receive a $5 voucher that may be used for food or merchandise at any on-track concession. The first 1,000 college students to register will receive a Toyota drawstring bag and a personalized bag of Saratoga Chips. NYRA will pay tribute to the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Champions from Union College with a race named in their honor on College Day. Head Coach Rick Bennett will present the trophy to the winner of the day's 3RD race. Additional scholarships awarded on College Day and scholarship-related highlights include the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund awarding six scholarships of $2,500 each for a total of $15,000 to students who will be pursuing careers in New York State's Thoroughbred racing or breeding industries. Northeastern Fine Jewelry will also offer racing fans the opportunity to win a picnic lunch for 20 people at Saratoga Race Course through the #CollegeDay SELFIE Contest. For more information, visit nyra.com/saratogaevents...

Equine enthusiasts of all levels -- but especially those with little experience -- are invited to enjoy free horseback rides at the Kentucky Horse Park's "Hats Off to Kentucky" event on Saturday from 4-8 p.m. (EDT). The rides come courtesy of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), The Jockey Club and Keeneland as part of "Time To Ride," an initiative of the American Horse Council's marketing alliance. Eight experienced and docile horses will be available to teach adults and children over 12 the joys of riding and horsemanship. "Time to Ride" is in the midst of a nationwide effort known as the 100-Day Horse Challenge, offering 100,000 free or affordable horse experiences in 100 days. More information may be found at TimeToRide.com.

In brief

Just a Way (Heart's Cry), the world's highest-rated horse and the winner of the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-G1) and Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-G1), will be pointed toward the October 5 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) along with stablemate Gold Ship (Stay Gold), trainer Naosuke Sugai told Racing Post. That pair could be joined by Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas) (Jpn-G1) winner Harp Star (Deep Impact) in a bid to bring the Arc trophy to Japan for the first time. Gold Ship, who became the first horse to win back-to-back editions of the Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-G1) June 29, will face Harp Star in the Sapporo Kinen (Jpn-G2) August 24. Just a Way, last seen winning the Yasuda Kinen June 8, will train up to the Arc. Just a Way and Gold Ship will travel to France two weeks out from the Arc and be stabled in Chantilly. "I have decided to let the two go there together," Sugai told Racing Post. "They have a good relationship so it would work to keep them together. Just a Way will be able to run his best without a prep race and I plan to train him to get the trip in the Arc. Gold Ship will run in the Sapporo Kinen because his owner wants to let (the) fans in Hokkaido see him."...

Lil Bit O'Fun (Langfuhr) upset Wednesday's $95,500 Wickerr S. at Del Mar when rallying from the back and pulling off a 2 1/2-length victory under jockey Aaron Gryder. Sent off the 20-1 second longest shot in the nine-horse field, the Philip D'Amato trainee came out in the lane, split foes in midstretch and took command before drawing off to finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:32.35, just missing the course record of 1:32.10 set by Obviously in the 2012 Del Mar Mile H. (G2). Lil Bit O'Fun paid $43.60 for the win, his third straight victory and first stakes score since the 2011 Oliver. Claimed last September at Del Mar, the chestnut gelding closed out his five-year-old season in a $40,000 claiming contest for trainer Mike Mitchell, who retired in April and passed on full time training duties to assistant D'Amato. Lil Bit O'Fun -- campaigned by Philip Belmonte, Henry Cohen, Mark Gorman and Sterling Stables -- improved his career record in the Wickerr to read 7-5-1 from 32 starts and has banked $392,773 lifetime...

My Option (Belong to Me), a 6 1/2-length winner of the Chicago H. (G3) last out, will take on Illinois-bred champion La Tia (City Place) at Woodbine on Saturday in the C$150,000 Ontario Matron (Can-G3). Each is proficient on Polytrack, though My Option's one try over Woodbine's version of the synthetic resulted in a close sixth two back in the Hendrie (Can-G3). La Tia, on the other hand, captured the 2012 La Lorgnette in her one start on the Canadian's track's all-weather. The five-year-old mare was a front-running winner of the Arlington Matron (G3) by 6 1/4 lengths two back and gets Justin Stein aboard while Eduardo Perez has the call on My Option. Also entered in the 1 1/16-mile affair is Canadian champion Spring in the Air (Spring at Last), winner of the Hendrie two back. Earlier on Woodbine's Saturday program, six juveniles will line up in the C$125,000 Colin going six furlongs on the Polytrack including unbeaten likely favorite Conquest Tsunami (Stormy Atlantic)...

Secret Gesture (Galileo), runner-up in the 2013 Oaks (Eng-G1) behind her stable companion Talent (New Approach), will take on males in Saturday's York S. (Eng-G2). The Ralph Beckett filly has made two appearances in 2014, finishing runner-up in the Middleton (Eng-G2) over this course and extended 10-furlong trip before comfortably winning the Warwickshire Oaks over 10 furlongs at Nottingham on June 16. "Secret Gesture is in good shape and the trip, track and ground should all suit," Beckett said. "We decided to go for the York Stakes instead of the Nassau (Eng-G1) because at Goodwood it's likely that she would be taking on the fillies that have already beaten her. Saturday's race is a Group 2 and she has been getting beaten up at Group 1 level all of her life. There's no Farraaj (Dubai Destination) in there and, although it's full of nice horses, they are Group 2 horses. I'm looking forward to running her." Her rivals include Danadana (Dubawi), the 3-1 favorite with sponsor Sky Bet, who was third to Noble Mission (Galileo) and Telescope (Galileo) when trying to defend his title in the May 8 Huxley (Eng-G3). Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor is doubly represented with Windhoek (Cape Cross), an impressive winner of a 10-furlong listed contest at Sandown Park on July 4, and Sharestan (Shamardal), who was successful in the Brigadier Gerard (Eng-G3) two back, edging Sheikhzayedroad (Dubawi). Godolphin's trio is completed by the Charlie Appleby-trained Long John (Street Cry), the Caulfield Guineas (Aus-G1) and U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-G3) victor who was third in the Summer Mile (Eng-G2) in his British debut...

Saratoga Race Course will welcome college students back to their favorite course during the sixth annual College Day on Friday. Track goers of all ages are encouraged to don their alma mater's colors or favorite collegiate team's gear for the chance to win special prizes. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will offer college students enrolled in the upcoming academic year the chance to win one of numerous $1,000 scholarships offered throughout the day. Toyota and Northeastern Fine Jewelry will present two of the day's scholarships. College students will also have the opportunity to win Saratoga grandstand season passes. Students may register for the chance to win the scholarships, season passes and other prizes in the backyard near the Big Red Spring beginning at 11 a.m. (EDT). All college students who register will receive a $5 voucher that may be used for food or merchandise at any on-track concession. The first 1,000 college students to register will receive a Toyota drawstring bag and a personalized bag of Saratoga Chips. NYRA will pay tribute to the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Champions from Union College with a race named in their honor on College Day. Head Coach Rick Bennett will present the trophy to the winner of the day's 3RD race. Additional scholarships awarded on College Day and scholarship-related highlights include the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund awarding six scholarships of $2,500 each for a total of $15,000 to students who will be pursuing careers in New York State's Thoroughbred racing or breeding industries. Northeastern Fine Jewelry will also offer racing fans the opportunity to win a picnic lunch for 20 people at Saratoga Race Course through the #CollegeDay SELFIE Contest. For more information, visit nyra.com/saratogaevents...

Equine enthusiasts of all levels -- but especially those with little experience -- are invited to enjoy free horseback rides at the Kentucky Horse Park's "Hats Off to Kentucky" event on Saturday from 4-8 p.m. (EDT). The rides come courtesy of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), The Jockey Club and Keeneland as part of "Time To Ride," an initiative of the American Horse Council's marketing alliance. Eight experienced and docile horses will be available to teach adults and children over 12 the joys of riding and horsemanship. "Time to Ride" is in the midst of a nationwide effort known as the 100-Day Horse Challenge, offering 100,000 free or affordable horse experiences in 100 days. More information may be found at TimeToRide.com.

Carryover Watch

For Friday or Next Raceday

WOODBINE:   High 5 -- $57,581
MONMOUTH:   Pick 6 -- $39,190
GULFSTREAM:   Pick 6 -- $13,675
ARLINGTON:   Pick 6 -- $9,425

Results

NORTH AMERICAN NON-GRADED STAKES RESULTS

DEPUTY MINISTER S., WO, $116,400, 3YO, 7F, 7-23.
2—SPADINA ROAD, g, 3, Where's the Ring--Scarlet's Castle, by Sea Wall. (C$76,000 '12 ONTSEP). O-Rolph A Davis, B-Minshall Farms (ON), T-Robert P. Tiller, J-Eurico Rosa Da Silva, $69,840.
5—Forester's Destiny, c, 3, Old Forester--Victoria's Destiny, by Doneraile Court. (C$20,000 '12 ONTSEP). O-Buttigieg Training Centre, B-Paradox Farm, Inc (ON), $23,280.
4—Eighty Nine Red, g, 3, Bold Executive--Timeless Silver, by Silver Deputy. (C$55,000 '12 ONTSEP). O-Russell, John and Schramm, George, B-Osprey Stable (ON), $12,804.
Also Ran: Marten Lake, Wickstead, Flashy Margaritta, Tulio's Brew.
Winning Time: 1:22 4/5 (ft)
Margins: 3/4, NK, 3.
Odds: 3.05, 12.80, 3.70.
 
QUICK CALL S., SAR, $100,000, 3YO, 5 1/2FT, 7-24.
1—PURE SENSATION, c, 3, Zensational--Pure Disco, by Disco Rico. O-Patricia A Generazio, B-Patricia Generazio (FL), T-Christophe Clement, J-Jose Lezcano, $60,000.
7—Choctaw Chuck, g, 3, Bwana Charlie--Taylor's Choice, by Conquistador Cielo. ($4,000 '11 OBSOCT). O-Clyde D Rice, B-Virgilio Lopez (FL), $20,000.
5—Favorite Tale, g, 3, Tale of the Cat--Tricky Elaine, by Grindstone. O-PJG Stable, B-Paul Conaway (PA), $10,000.
Also Ran: Glacken Too, Good Bye Greg, Escapist, Harpoon.
Winning Time: 1:01 4/5 (fm)
Margins: NO, HD, 2.
Odds: 3.65, 17.40, 5.80.
 
WICKERR S., DMR, $95,500, 3YO/UP, 1MT, 7-23.
8—LIL BIT O'FUN, g, 6, Langfuhr--Dash of Humor, by Distorted Humor. O-Belmonte, Philip, Cohen, Henry, Gorman, Mark and Sterling Stables, B-Jim Conway (KY), T-Philip D'Amato, J-Aaron T. Gryder, $56,700.
9—Rangi (GB), g, 4, New Approach (IRE)--Miss Queen, by Miswaki. (125,000gns '11 TATOCT; $75,000 2013 BESJUL; 32,000gns 2013 TATFEB). O-Panic Stable, B-Sheikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa (GB), $18,900.
4—Bright Thought, r, 5, Hat Trick (JPN)--Smart Thought, by Smart Strike. O-Dye and Venneri Racing, Inc, B-Postum Farm & Venneri Racing, Inc (KY), $11,340.
Also Ran: Boyett, Dry Summer, Te Rapa, Safety Belt (ARG), No Jet Lag, Barocci (JPN).
Winning Time: 1:32 1/5 (fm)
Margins: 2HF, NO, 1 1/4.
Odds: 20.80, 19.20, 4.20.
 
JONATHAN KISER NOVICE S., SAR, $75,000, 4YO/UP, A2 1/16MT, 7-24.
9—AWESOME PEARL, g, 5, Awesome Again--Gottcha Last, by Pleasant Tap. ($210,000 '10 KEESEP; 32,000gns 2012 TATHIT). O-Mrs S K Johnston, Jr, B-Centaur Farms, Inc (KY), T-Richard L. Valentine, J-Kieran Norris, $45,000.
1—Kingdom, g, 5, Louis Quatorze--Distant Drumroll, by Eastern Echo. O-The Fields Stable, B-Mary Voss (MD), $13,500.
6—Sporty, g, 7, Smarty Jones--Byzantine, by Quiet American. ($350,000 '08 KEESEP). O-Rock Ford Stables LLC, B-Nursery Place (KY), $7,500.
Also Ran: Bluegrass Summer, Fog Island, Bob Le Beau (IRE), Top Striker, Saint Jerome (IRE), Tempt Me Alex, Schoodic.
Winning Time: 3:48 1/5 (fm)
Margins: NO, 6 1/4, NK.
Odds: 35.00, 10.70, 31.75.

Features

COMMENTARY

JULY 25, 2014

Palace Malice in driver's seat but Horse of the Year race far from settled

by James Scully

Palace Malice has established himself as the clear front-runner entering the second half of the racing season (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photogrpahy)

With the opening of Del Mar and Saratoga, the second half of the racing season is underway and the chase for Horse of the Year will be in full swing over the next six weeks.

Palace Malice, who displayed his remarkable versatility defeating a deep field in the June 7 Met Mile, can tighten his grip upon the pole position when he returns to action in the August 2 Whitney Handicap. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt has risen to the top via a four-for-four mark this year, and will look to close out the year with four more wins (Whitney-Woodward-Jockey Club Gold Cup-Breeders' Cup Classic), but a number of storylines remain possible if he falters.

His main older rival on the East Coast, Will Take Charge, can't be dismissed -- he captured last year's Travers at Saratoga and closed 2013 with three wins in his final four starts, the lone setback being a nose second in the Breeders' Cup Classic. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt can close the Horse of the Year gap with a Whitney upset.

Three-year-olds also remain highly relevant, with the November 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita likely serving as the deciding element.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome showed a preference for Santa Anita earlier this year, capping a sensational three-race winning streak with a 5 1/4-length triumph in the Santa Anita Derby, and he'll attempt to come back strong this fall.

Shared Belief is now hot on the dual classic winner's heels, marching forward with a head of steam following a superb 4 1/4-length win in the July 5 Los Alamitos Derby, and he'll enter the Horse of the Year picture with a victory over elders in the August 24 Pacific Classic. The two-year-old champ is unbeaten in five career starts.

Tonalist is not out of the equation, earning big BRIS Speed numbers (107 and 108) for victories in his first two stakes attempts, the May 10 Peter Pan and June 7 Belmont Stakes. Saturday's Jim Dandy is next and the August 23 Travers will be important to his credentials.

The filly Untapable rates as an interesting wildcard. Her first test against males comes in Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park and she's bred for longer distances on her female side (out of a Prized mare). Anything's possible with an impressive performance Sunday.

Wise Dan is also lying in wait. The turf miler has taken advantage of a jumbled landscape the past two seasons, earning back-to-back Horse of the Year titles, and appears fully recovered from a recent health scare, readying for his next start at Saratoga. With a third consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile victory this fall, Wise Dan figures to be perfectly positioned once again should the dirt horses knock each other out.

Here are some more thoughts on Horse of the Year hopefuls:

Palace Malice: Sixth in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic, Palace Malice has become much more formidable at age four and looks tough to beat going forward. He handles longer distances, capturing last year's 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, and the Curlin colt netted a 113 BRIS Speed rating for his victory in the 1 1/8-mile New Orleans earlier this season, the top number among Horse of the Year contenders. Palace Malice may not have to ship to Santa Anita if he reels off wins in the Whitney, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup, potentially guaranteeing himself the title in the process, but Dogwood Stable's Cot Campbell is the ultimate sportsman.

Will Take Charge: He ran well when opening the year with seconds in the Donn and Santa Anita Handicap but began to tail off in the spring, zigzagging through the stretch of a narrow win in the Oaklawn Handicap before tossing in a clunker with a sixth in the Alysheba. Will Take Charge showed signs of rebounding in the June 14 Stephen Foster, rallying for second, and remains intriguing given that he peaked at this time last year en route to three-year-old championship honors and likes the track at Santa Anita. He will need to run faster in upcoming starts, especially since trainer D. Wayne Lukas probably has the same races on his radar as Palace Malice, but count out at this last-season specialist your own risk.

Shared Belief: Plenty hinges on his appearance in the Pacific Classic and I won't be surprised to see him overwhelm the competition. Shared Belief drew off stylishly through the stretch while making his dirt debut in the 1 1/8-mile Los Alamitos Derby, earning a career-best 105 Speed rating, and left every indication that there's more to tap. He's an exciting prospect -- let's hope the lightly-raced gelding remains healthy -- and his affinity for synthetics should help as he continues to stretch out in the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic. Ten furlongs on Santa Anita's dirt track represents a different proposition, with Shared Belief sustaining a foot injury while training at Santa Anita during the winter, but we'll see if that matters. There's a lot to like about his future.

Tonalist: He still has much to prove, winning the Peter Pan in the slop and out-finishing tiring rivals in the stretch of the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, but Tonalist's ceiling could run very high. He'll need to keep improving to defeat older horses this fall, maximizing his potential over the next few months, and there's a chance he'll need more time before offering his best form down the road like a Palace Malice. Let's see how Tonalist performs in his upcoming tests at Saratoga first.

Untapable: She's run roughshod over her own division, winning all four starts this season by a combined 31 lengths, and will be favored over male rivals in the Haskell. The possibility exists that she's the best three-year-old of any gender in training and it's interesting to note that her career-best Speed rating (108) came in her lone appearance at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Oaks) -- there's no reason to fear added ground with Untapable. With a Haskell victory, she could make things interesting this fall.

Wise Dan: He's won 12 straight turf races and his North American competition needs a subpar performance or they don't stand any chance of beating him prior to the Breeders' Cup. The international contingent could be deeper in this year's Mile but if Wise Dan is able to maintain his form, nobody will be surprised to see the seven-year-old gelding win out in 2014. He needed some help to be named Horse of the Year the last two seasons (Game On Dude had to lose the Classic) and more than one horse this year could grab the hardware with a Classic victory, but it would be foolish to count out Wise Dan.

California Chrome: Connections are keeping an eye on Shared Belief -- they want to avoid losing to that rival at all costs -- and it will difficult to take California Chrome seriously for the Breeders' Cup Classic if he makes his lone prep in a new one-mile stakes at Los Alamitos in September. Other options are still on the table and California Chrome could come back better than ever this fall, but it was a serious grind earlier this year and California Chrome's best races this season could be behind him.

Game On Dude: He's won only one of four starts this year, leading to speculation that he's lost a step at age six, but the gelding's Santa Anita Handicap score was impressive (10 furlongs in 1:58; 108 Speed rating). The key for him is being able to relax up front, a luxury he didn't experience in the last two runnings of the Breeders' Cup Classic, and chances are slim that he'll be lone speed in this year's Classic. Game On Dude can still move back into the Horse of the Year discussion with a successful title defense in the Pacific Classic.

Results

NORTH AMERICAN ALLOWANCE RESULTS

DMR, 7TH, AOC, $98,116, 3YO/UP, 6 1/2F, 7-23.
2—MY SLEW, g, 6, Anziyan Royalty--My Bouquet, by Slewpy. O-McDonald, Stephen, Skinner, Joan and Weigel, James, B-Nick Cafarchia (CA), T-Victor L. Garcia, J-Elvis Trujillo, $60,060.
3—Raised a Secret, c, 4, Songandaprayer--Sensitive Soul, by Bernstein. ($15,000 '11 BESOCT). O-Rodney E Orr, B-Dahlberg Farms LLC (CA), $20,020.
5—My Samurai Warrior, g, 5, First Samurai--Sophie's Trophy, by Valid Wager. ($130,000 '10 KEESEP). O-Lucky Charm Stable, B-Budget Stable (KY), $9,240.
Winning Time: 1:15 2/5 (ft)
 
SAR, 4TH, AOC, $90,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 7F, 7-24.
5—KATIE'S GARDEN, f, 4, Elusive Quality--Tarlow, by Stormin Fever. O-Moss, Mr and Mrs Jerome S, B-Mr & Mrs Jerome S Moss (KY), T-John A. Shirreffs, J-John R. Velazquez, $54,000.
1—Evening Show, m, 5, Master Command--Good Evening, by Dixieland Heat. O-Whisper Hill Farm, B-Whisper Hill Farm LLC (PA), $18,000.
6—Misszippityslewda, f, 4, City Zip--Maggie O'Slew, by Seattle Slew. O-Terra Di Sienna Stables, B-Sienna Farms LLC (FL), $9,000.
Winning Time: 1:23 (ft)
 
DMR, 5TH, AOC, $78,250, 3YO/UP, 5FT, 7-23.
5—PULLA TRAIN, g, 4, Tribal Rule--Blonde Fever, by Flying Paster. ($7,000 '10 BWYGOD). O-Kings River Ranch, B-Pam & Martin Wygod (CA), T-J. Eric Kruljac, J-Martin A. Pedroza, $46,200.
12—Three Vases, g, 5, In Excess (IRE)--Breezy Music, by Cure the Blues. O-Steve Moger, B-William D Thead (CA), $15,400.
7—Mal Verde, g, 3, Whatsthescript (IRE)--Bachelorette One, by Perfect Mandate. O-John W Sadler, Inc, B-John Sadler (CA), $9,240.
Winning Time: :55 1/5 (fm)
 
SAR, 7TH, AOC, $78,000, 3YO/UP, 1 1/16MT, 7-24.
8—POWERFUL INSTINCT, g, 5, Smooth Jazz--Basic Instinct, by Polish Numbers. ($7,000 '10 FTNAUG). O-Dubb, Michael, Bethlehem Stables LLC, Aisquith, Gary and Cioffi, Michael, B-Michael A Slezak & Basic Instinct Partners (NY), T-Chad C. Brown, J-Javier Castellano, $46,800.
3—Sneaky Kitten, h, 5, Kitten's Joy--Southern Alibi, by Elusive Quality. O-Ramsey, Kenneth L and Sarah K, B-Kenneth L Ramsey & Sarah K Ramsey (NY), $15,600.
9—Why Not Whiskey, h, 5, Whywhywhy--Roshneti, by Anet. ($18,000 2011 OBSAPR; $35,000 2011 OBSJUN). O-Chalk Racing, B-Bella Inizio Farm, LLC &D & G Thoroughbreds (NY), $7,800.
Winning Time: 1:41 2/5 (fm)
 
IND, 7TH, AOC, $42,160, 3YO/UP, 5FT, 7-24.
12—BUSTER ROSE, g, 6, Pioneering--Sister Rose, by Service Stripe. O-Michael Ball, B-Michael W Ball (IN), T-Stephen D. Dunn, J-Jeremy Rose, $28,560.
1—Discreet Treat, g, 4, Discreet Cat--Garden City, by Carson City. ($35,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Gibler, Lou, Johnson, Marvin A and Widman, Larry A, B-Dr Ted Folkerth (KY), $6,800.
5—Cielo Classic, g, 8, Sky Classic--Cielo's Finest, by Conquistador Cielo. ($5,000 '07 KEESEP). O-Donald R Grego, B-Alistin Farms (KY), $3,400.
Winning Time: :57 2/5 (fm)
 
DEL, 6TH, ALW, $37,250, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16M, 7-24.
3—MY MERRY WAY, f, 3, Tiznow--The Hess Express, by Lord Carson. ($235,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Tracy Farmer, B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY), T-H. Graham Motion, J-Daniel Centeno, $22,200.
11—Party Starter, m, 5, Medaglia d'Oro--Speeding Star (ARG), by Fitzcarraldo (ARG). ($45,000 '09 KEENOV; $100,000 '10 KEESEP; $16,000 2013 OBSJAN). O-Donato Lanni, B-Liberation Farm & Stonewall Farm (KY), $7,400.
2—Nickyrocksforpops, f, 3, Rock Slide--Haveyouheard, by Oh Say. O-William T Shook, B-Bill Shook (MD), $4,070.
Winning Time: 1:45 1/5 (ft)
 
DEL, 7TH, AOC, $37,125, 3YO/UP, 1 1/16M, 7-24.
1—AIN'T GOT TIME, c, 3, Roman Ruler--It's True Love, by Yes It's True. ($135,000 '11 KEENOV; $435,000 '12 FTSAUG). O-Lonesome Dove Farm, B-Edward A Seltzer & Beverly Anderson (KY), T-Michael R. Matz, J-Julian Pimentel, $22,200.
4—Lawyer Dave, g, 5, Lawyer Ron--Noworriesforme, by El Corredor. O-Lady Olivia Northcliff LLC, B-Lady Olivia at North Cliff LLC (VA), $7,400.
3—Parody, g, 6, Posse--Sister Soup, by Alphabet Soup. O-Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc, B-Don Mattox & Pam Mattox (KY), $4,070.
Winning Time: 1:42 4/5 (ft)
 
GP, 4TH, AOC, $36,000, 3YO/UP, 1MT, 7-24.
10—GOLDEN JASON, c, 4, Kitten's Joy--On the Bus, by Ghazi. O-Olympia Star, Inc, B-Mikhail Yanakov (KY), T-Edward J. Coletti, Sr., J-Jose Valdivia, Jr., $21,600.
8—Drover Road, g, 3, Dixie Union--Tattletale, by Quiet American. ($35,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Cairoli Racing Stable and Vicente Stella Stables LLC, B-Farish and Farish, TGP & GasparillaStable LLC (KY), $7,560.
4—Tale of the Heart, c, 4, Tale of the Cat--Dancing Josefina, by Belong to Me. ($35,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Just for Fun Stable (Ruben Sierra), B-JiCo, Inc (KY), $3,600.
Winning Time: 1:36 1/5 (fm)
 
PID, 3RD, AOC, $34,850, 3YO, F, 6F, 7-24.
6—COSMIC EMERGENCY, f, 3, Any Given Saturday--Our Nancy Lee, by Touch Gold. O-The Elkstone Group LLC, B-The Elkstone Group LLC (PA), T-Ron G. Potts, J-Huber Villa-Gomez, $23,400.
2—Carolina Shag, f, 3, Bop--Carolina Cousin, by Clever Trick. O-Susan S Cooney, B-Susan S Cooney (WV), $6,000.
1—Panda Power, f, 3, Globalize--Marketable, by Gold Market. O-Wayne W Rice, B-Litt Family Horse Trust (CA), $3,000.
Winning Time: 1:10 2/5 (ft)
 
PID, 7TH, ALW, $33,900, 3YO/UP, 6F, 7-23.
6—RAPID DAN, g, 3, More Than Ready--Rivanna, by El Corredor. O-Dianne Manning, B-Edward Schuler & Diane Manning (PA), T-Dale Capuano, J-Antonio A. Gallardo, $23,400.
2—Seventh Son, g, 6, Closing Argument--Abduckted, by Red Ransom. O-Daniel J Feiss, B-Jim Patten (FL), $6,000.
1A—Cee 'n O, c, 3, Silver Train--Gone Bye Bye, by Smart Strike. O-Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc, B-Mckee Stables, Inc (KY), $3,000.
Winning Time: 1:09 2/5 (ft)
 
AP, 7TH, ALW, $31,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6 1/2F, 7-24.
1—BELLA ANN, f, 4, Artie Schiller--Avalos, by Holy Bull. ($40,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Robertson, Hugh H and Hulse, Shirley, B-Paul Tackett (KY), T-Hugh H. Robertson, J-Florent Geroux, $18,600.
6—Tamazula, f, 3, Two Step Salsa--Sleeping Bird, by Strong Hope. ($25,000 '12 OBSAUG; $60,000 2013 OBSAPR). O-Hernandez Racing Club, B-Get Away Farm (FL), $6,200.
7—Town Tour, f, 4, Speightstown--Unenchantedevening, by Unbridled's Song. O-Summer Wind Farm, B-Summer Wind Farm (KY), $3,100.
Winning Time: 1:20 (ft)
 
EVD, 7TH, ALW, $31,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1MT, 7-23.
2—TUNICA GIRL, f, 4, Gold Tribute--Forge Ahead, by Sunny's Halo. ($700 '11 LOUAUG). O-Sheri Hill Kitchens, B-Neal McFadden & Mary McFadden (LA), T-Karl Broberg, J-Gerard Melancon, $18,600.
3—Prissy Bele, f, 3, Yankee Gentleman--My Friend Bele, by My Friend Max. O-Jeff L Delhomme, B-Heiligbrodt Racing Stable (LA), $6,200.
7—Glamoride, f, 3, Ide--Driven, by Forestry. ($5,500 '12 KEESEP). O-Horseplayers Racing Club LLC, B-R L Reineman Stable, Inc (LA), $3,410.
Winning Time: 1:38 4/5 (fm)
 
PEN, 4TH, ALW, $29,500, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1MT, 7-23.
1—WAR RELIC, f, 4, Pulpit--Seoul, by Deputy Minister. O-Mueller Thoroughbred Stable, Ltd, B-Mueller Thoroughbred Stable, Ltd (KY), T-Cathal A. Lynch, J-Frankie Pennington, $17,700.
8—Amelia Mar, f, 4, Corinthian--Vecchia Cita (CHI), by Winning. ($22,000 2012 OBSAPR). O-Steven D Keil, B-Brian M Villardito (KY), $5,900.
10—Sallyport, f, 3, Flower Alley--Lisieux, by Steady Growth. ($65,000 '11 KEENOV; $210,000 '12 FTSAUG). O-Timothy E Salzman, B-Dr Patricia Ziefle (KY), $3,245.
Winning Time: 1:35 (fm)
 
CT, 8TH, ALW, $26,400, 3YO/UP, 6 1/2F, 7-23.
4—STRAWBERRY CUPCAKE, g, 6, Luftikus--Short Cake Lass, by Goldminers Gold. O-Taylor Mountain Farm LLC, B-James W Casey (WV), T-James W. Casey, J-Antonio Lopez, $15,600.
9—Mr. Ripken, g, 4, Fiber Sonde--Safe at First, by Honour and Glory. O-Cynthia E O'Bannon, B-Cynthia O'Bannon (WV), $5,200.
7—Highntheskymercury, g, 8, Western Cat--Compliance Issue, by Polish Numbers. O-Donna Jean Swaim, B-Donna Jean Swaim (WV), $2,600.
Winning Time: 1:19 2/5 (sy)
 
MNR, 3RD, ALW, $25,300, 3YO/UP, F/M, 7FT, 7-23.
3—HILL'S OF GOLD, f, 3, Ballado's Gold--End of the Hill, by Ends Well. O-Wilson C Langley, B-Wilson C Langley (WV), T-Wilson C. Langley, J-Brandon Whitacre, $15,180.
5—Lexi Tap, m, 6, Pleasant Tap--Irish Connection, by Mr. Greeley. ($3,500 '08 KEENOV). O-Tracey Jones, B-Mr & Mrs Robert E Courtney Sr (KY), $5,060.
2—More Sweet Secrets, m, 5, Wiseman's Ferry--Secret Sweety, by Secreto. O-Hubel Farms LLC (E J Hubel), B-Arbaway Farms LLC (KY), $2,530.
Winning Time: 1:24 1/5 (fm)
 
LAD, 1ST, ALW, $22,370, 3YO/UP, F/M, A1MT, 7-24.
4—PRETTY SUSPECT, f, 3, Primary Suspect--Pretty Toni, by Bold Anthony. O-Five Star Racing Stable, B-FIVE STAR RACING (AR), T-Al Cates, J-Alexander Castillo, $12,900.
2—Midge Four, m, 5, Mauk Four--Midge Too, by Regal Conquest. O-Cart, Jerry D and Burns, Lynette K, B-Jerry D Cart & Lynette Burns (LA), $4,900.
5—Eulogize Fashion, m, 8, Eulogize--Sportin Fashion, by Mr. Shawklit. O-John Donaghey, B-John Donaghey (LA), $2,365.
Winning Time: 1:39 2/5 (gd)
 
BTP, 6TH, ALW, $19,500, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1M, 7-24.
5—TIMEFADESTHEPAGES, f, 4, Spring At Last--Nodie No Drop, by Lively One. ($8,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Michael Rosen, B-Meadow Springs Farm, LLC (OH), T-Rodrigo Madrigal, Sr., J-Albin Jimenez, $11,700.
4—Startin Something, m, 6, Musical Dreamer--Nothin But a Thing, by Marquetry. O-Blazing Meadows Farm LLC, B-Blazing Meadows Farm (OH), $3,900.
3—Uptown Gal, f, 4, Don't Get Mad--Great Goin Rose, by Albert the Great. O-Lavrich, Nancy and Rankin, Elizabeth, B-Nancy J Lavrich & Donn Rowe (OH), $1,950.
Winning Time: 1:40 (ft)

Features

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

JULY 25, 2014

by Dick Powell

Saratoga has been open for five days as I write this and it is amazing how well trends continue from year to year. We talked about how post one does so poorly in 5 1/2-furlong turf sprints. Last year, they only won four of 62 races.

This year, with seven turf sprint races run, there have not been any winners breaking from post one. So, we are now looking at four for 69 -- 6 percent. It's not impossible to win from there but it's kind of like the 8 hole on a half-mile harness track. You can use them but you better get a price.

As usual, Todd Pletcher had six winners in the first five days of racing. Three were ridden by Johnny Velazquez and three were ridden by Javier Castellano. Five were favorites and four were odds-on.

The Ortiz brothers were red hot, winning a combined 10 races out of 50 available. Jose has six winners and only one of them was a favorite. Irad won four races and none of them were favorites. Only one of their wins came on the turf and that was a turf sprint. Interesting since Irad does so well going long.

In the trend that we saw last year, perfect weather has led to a record number of turf races being carded and run. This year, 26 of the first 51 races were run on the turf. Take out the first jump race and it is 25 of 50. So far, it looks like the turf course is holding up since we had so much rain preceding the meet, which led to fantastic growing conditions for it.

On Wednesday afternoon, late in the day, violent thunderstorms blew through the area. Saratoga Race Course had a direct hit that saw lightning blow up a tree in the picnic area that had been occupied only 15 minutes before. While the rest of the area got heavy rain in the thunderstorms, we did not get much rain and Thursday's card was conducted under fast and firm conditions.

NYRA has some new racing conditions and you need to understand their fine print to put them into context. You will see horses coming out of Belmont Park that raced in starter allowance races. One for $20K and another for $40K, but there is a huge difference between them.

One race is listed as follows:
Alw40000s
It is a starter allowance event for horses who broke their maiden for $40K or less or $50K or less if they are New York-breds AND have never won two races.

The second race is listed as follows:
Alw20000s
It is a starter allowance event for horses who have started for a claiming price of $20K or less AND since that start, have not won a race other than maiden, claiming or starter.

Normally, when you examine past performances, you would think that the first race for Alw40000s is a higher quality race than the one for Alw20000s. But it is not.

The non-winners of two condition that is part of the Alw40000s essentially limits the race to horses who have only won one race lifetime and broke their maiden for either $50K or $40K.

On July 3, 2014, at Belmont Park, an "Alw20000s" race was run for older horses going seven furlongs. Let's examine the number of career wins and top BRIS Speed rating on the dirt. It shows how tough these races are.

HORSE   WINS   BRIS SPEED
Denzel   2   97
Bug Juice   11   100
Glory Game   10   92
Joan's Choice   7   106
Reserved Quality   4   102
Noble Doss   5   95
Apex   3   91
Bet The Power   10   102
Cast a Doubt   4   99
Demon's Deputy   3   98

Needless to say, a pretty salty bunch.

On June 6, 2014 at Belmont Park, an "Alw40000s" race was run for older horses going six furlongs.

HORSE   WINS   BRIS SPEED
Native Hero   1   94
Jackson N Lorimer   1   83
Captain Toews   1   79
Spango   1   82
Alysaro   1   85
American Creed   1   82
Get Busted   1   83

Clearly, the "Alw20000s" is way tougher than the "Alw40000s but you would not know that just going by the conditions that are listed in the past performances.

North American Maiden Winners
Artie Schiller--No Serenading by Cure the Blues; PEACENLUVPEACENLUV, r, 2, DMR, Mcl 50000, 7-24, 5f, :57 4/5. B-Eico Stable (FL.). $50,000 2014 OBSAPR.
City Zip--Miracle Mover by Giant's Causeway; ZIP'S MOONDANCE, c, 2, SAR, Msw, 7-24, 5f, :57 4/5. B-V. Gail Ray (KY.). $16,000 '13 KEESEP; $50,000 2014 OBSAPR.
Rosetti--Classa Red Wine by Baquero; XTREME DENIGRAY, g, 2, NP, Mcl 12000, 7-23, 5 1/2f, 1:09 . B-Calmar Stables and Ranch (AB.). C$1,000 '13 ALBOCT.
A. P. Warrior--Deer Berry by Deerhound; TALK TO ME, f, 3, DEL, Mcl 20000, 7-24, 1 1/16m, 1:47 1/5. B-Steeplechase Farm (NY.). *1/2 to Wild Berry(MSP$254,288).
Bop--Belle Boyd by Jolie's Halo; J. S. MOSBY, g, 3, CT, Mcl 10000, 7-23, 6 1/2f, 1:21 3/5. B-Ernest C. Frohboese (WV.).
Chief Seattle--Wyl Mountain Thyme by Mountain Cat; SEATTLE MOUNTAIN, f, 3, IND, Mcl 5000, 7-24, 1m, 1:41 3/5. B-House's Thoroughbreds (IN.).
Circular Quay--Just Right Ashley by Just Right Classi; THIS QUAY HOME, f, 3, GP, Mcl 8000, 7-24, 7f, 1:27 2/5. B-Charles A. Caronia (FL.).
En Dixie--Bipity by Tour d'Or; HICLASS DIXIE, g, 3, EVD, Mcl 7500, 7-23, 7f, 1:26 3/5. B-Israel Flores Horses LLC (LA.).
English Channel--Hannabarbera (FR) by Darshaan (GB); DEPART DOVER, f, 3, AP, Mcl 80000, 7-24, a1 1/16mT, 1:44 3/5. B-Orchard Hill (IL.). $12,000 '12 FTKOCT.
Fiber Sonde--Reappearance by Kafwain; COHONGAROOTA, c, 3, CT, Msw, 7-23, 4 1/2f, :52 3/5. B-Ken Lowe (WV.).
First Samurai--Quiet Harbor (G3$274,670), by Silver Deputy; ORIENT HARBOR, f, 3, SAR, Msw, 7-24, 5 1/2fT, 1:02 3/5. B-Stuart S. Janney, III LLC (KY.).
Good and Tough--Read the Label by Successful Appeal; LABEL ME TOUGH, f, 3, LAD, Msw, 7-24, a5fT, :59 2/5. B-Gary W Joffrion (LA.).
Harlan's Holiday--Leawood by Cape Canaveral; ALL OVER ME, g, 3, SAR, Mcl 40000, 7-24, 1 1/16mT, 1:44 1/5. B-Donald Brooks (NY.).
Jiggs Coz--Bold Course by Trajectory; BAMBARRA BOLD, f, 3, WO, Msw, 7-23, 6f, 1:10 4/5. B-John Unger (ON.). *1/2 to Strut the Course(MSW$307,216).
K One King--Grand Cap D by Grand Slam; ONE GRAND KING, g, 3, EVD, Mcl 7500, 7-23, 7f, 1:26 . B-David C. Peek (LA.). $1,000 '12 LTBSEP.
Kentucky Bear--Bear Dixiecat by Dixie Union; BEAR'S ROMEO, c, 3, WO, Mcl 10000, 7-23, 6f, 1:10 3/5. B-Bear Stables LTD. (ON.).
Kitten's Joy--Nashwan Rose (GB) by Nashwan; NASH'S JOY, f, 3, WO, Mcl 50000, 7-23, 1mT, 1:36 1/5. B-Chiefswood Stables Limited (ON.).
Pollard's Vision--Ice Storm Coming by Storm Boot; SHARP AS ICE, g, 3, CT, Msw, 7-23, 6 1/2f, 1:20 2/5. B-Joe Mulholland Sr., Joe Mulholland Jr.,John Mulholland & Karen Mulholland (KY.).
Pulpit--Supah Jackie by Mecke; JACKIE'S DAUGHTER, f, 3, IND, Msw, 7-24, 7 1/2fT, 1:28 4/5. B-Bryan Hicks & Melodee Hicks (FL.). $52,000 2013 OBSAPR.
Roman Ruler--R Obsession by Notebook; MISS ELECTRONICA, f, 3, SAR, Mcl 40000, 7-24, 6f, 1:10 4/5. B-JMJ Racing Stables, LLC (NY.). $65,000 '12 FTNAUG.
Salute the Sarge--Tiz T'was by Tiznow; IKNEWUWERETROUBLE, f, 3, EVD, Mcl 15000, 7-23, 5 1/2f, 1:04 3/5. B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC (KY.).
Singing Saint--Stalled Inthe Rear by Stalwart; BUD N JOE, g, 3, IND, Mcl 5000, 7-24, 6f, 1:11 4/5. B-South River Ranch Inc. (IN.).
Smoke Warning--Shakedown Street by Trippi; SHAKEDOWN WARNING, f, 3, AP, Mcl 15000, 7-24, 1m, 1:43 . B-ANJ Farms Marengo, LLC (IL.).
Tiznow--Be Smart by Smarty Jones; BEATIFIC, f, 3, IND, Msw, 7-24, 1m, 1:38 1/5. B-T. F. VanMeter & Ken A. Meng (KY.). $140,000 '12 KEESEP.
Alluvial--Geri's Gaiety by Geri; LUCAS JORDAN, c, 4, AP, Msw, 7-24, a1 1/16mT, 1:46 4/5. B-Phillip Partlow (IL.).
Big Brown--Evil's Pic (G3$437,877), by Piccolino; VICTORY BRINGER, g, 4, PID, Mcl 16000, 7-23, 1m 70y, 1:42 2/5. B-Stillmeadow Farm LLC & Big Brown Syndicate (KY.). *1/2 to Evil Minister(G3).
Captain Bodgit--Candid Beauty by Candid Cameron; COFFEE BEANZ, g, 4, NP, Mcl 7000, 7-23, 1m, 1:43 . B-Edward Welsh & Marilyn Welsh (AB.).
Distinction--Just Chirp by War Deputy; WAR CHIRP, g, 4, FMT, Msw, 7-23, 1m, 1:43 1/5. B-Rendell Saddler (OK.).
Freud--Cercis by Forty Niner; MR. FREUD, c, 4, PID, Msw, 7-23, 5 1/2f, 1:04 3/5. B-Emma Bell & Kurt Conroy (NY.). $18,000 '11 FTKOCT; $4,000 2014 OBSJAN.
Kipling--Royal Fandango by Slew O' Gold; STORMIN KENNEDY, f, 4, IND, Moc 15000, 7-24, 6f, 1:12 2/5. B-Joanna Dearth (IN.).
Mingun--Dippity Deal by Plain Dealing; KAT'S CADY JO, f, 4, LAD, Mcl 5000, 7-24, 1m 70y, 1:48 2/5. B-Michael Collins (LA.).
Not for Love--Fostoria by Tiznow; FORT COLLINS, c, 4, PEN, Msw, 7-23, 1mT, 1:36 1/5. B-Spirit Lake Enterprises (PA.).
Sligo Bay (IRE)--Macdashi by Kiridashi; MARCH STAR, g, 4, PEN, Mcl 18000, 7-24, 1mT, 1:37 2/5. B-Lucky Chance Stable (ON.).
Tiz Wonderful--Diablerie by Deputy Minister; SAINTLY DEED, j, 4, DEL, Mcl 12500, 7-24, 1m 70y, 1:45 . B-Wayne Morris & Juanita Morris (MD.).
Western Outlaw--Roolynn by Ruhlmann; ROOLYNN RULER, g, 4, AP, Mcl 7500, 7-24, 6 1/2f, 1:21 3/5. B-J. B. Stables Inc. (IL.).
Zanjero--Natural Carma by Valiant Nature; REENIE, f, 4, CT, Mcl 10000, 7-23, 4 1/2f, :53 1/5. B-Hugo Moore (VA.). $25,000 2012 FTMMAY.
Candy Ride (ARG)--No End in Sight by Straight Man; DRISCOLL, h, 5, PID, Mcl 7500, 7-23, 5 1/2f, 1:05 1/5. B-Heiligbrodt Racing Stable (LA.). $105,000 2011 FTHRSD.
Kadabra--Lady Niner by Royal Empire; NINER FOUR D, g, 5, FMT, Mcl 10000, 7-23, 6f, 1:15 4/5. B-Ralph Duncan & Audra Duncan (OK.).

Features

COMMENTARY

JULY 25, 2014

Palace Malice in driver's seat but Horse of the Year race far from settled

by James Scully

Palace Malice has established himself as the clear front-runner entering the second half of the racing season (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photogrpahy)

With the opening of Del Mar and Saratoga, the second half of the racing season is underway and the chase for Horse of the Year will be in full swing over the next six weeks.

Palace Malice, who displayed his remarkable versatility defeating a deep field in the June 7 Met Mile, can tighten his grip upon the pole position when he returns to action in the August 2 Whitney Handicap. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt has risen to the top via a four-for-four mark this year, and will look to close out the year with four more wins (Whitney-Woodward-Jockey Club Gold Cup-Breeders' Cup Classic), but a number of storylines remain possible if he falters.

His main older rival on the East Coast, Will Take Charge, can't be dismissed -- he captured last year's Travers at Saratoga and closed 2013 with three wins in his final four starts, the lone setback being a nose second in the Breeders' Cup Classic. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt can close the Horse of the Year gap with a Whitney upset.

Three-year-olds also remain highly relevant, with the November 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita likely serving as the deciding element.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome showed a preference for Santa Anita earlier this year, capping a sensational three-race winning streak with a 5 1/4-length triumph in the Santa Anita Derby, and he'll attempt to come back strong this fall.

Shared Belief is now hot on the dual classic winner's heels, marching forward with a head of steam following a superb 4 1/4-length win in the July 5 Los Alamitos Derby, and he'll enter the Horse of the Year picture with a victory over elders in the August 24 Pacific Classic. The two-year-old champ is unbeaten in five career starts.

Tonalist is not out of the equation, earning big BRIS Speed numbers (107 and 108) for victories in his first two stakes attempts, the May 10 Peter Pan and June 7 Belmont Stakes. Saturday's Jim Dandy is next and the August 23 Travers will be important to his credentials.

The filly Untapable rates as an interesting wildcard. Her first test against males comes in Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park and she's bred for longer distances on her female side (out of a Prized mare). Anything's possible with an impressive performance Sunday.

Wise Dan is also lying in wait. The turf miler has taken advantage of a jumbled landscape the past two seasons, earning back-to-back Horse of the Year titles, and appears fully recovered from a recent health scare, readying for his next start at Saratoga. With a third consecutive Breeders' Cup Mile victory this fall, Wise Dan figures to be perfectly positioned once again should the dirt horses knock each other out.

Here are some more thoughts on Horse of the Year hopefuls:

Palace Malice: Sixth in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic, Palace Malice has become much more formidable at age four and looks tough to beat going forward. He handles longer distances, capturing last year's 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, and the Curlin colt netted a 113 BRIS Speed rating for his victory in the 1 1/8-mile New Orleans earlier this season, the top number among Horse of the Year contenders. Palace Malice may not have to ship to Santa Anita if he reels off wins in the Whitney, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup, potentially guaranteeing himself the title in the process, but Dogwood Stable's Cot Campbell is the ultimate sportsman.

Will Take Charge: He ran well when opening the year with seconds in the Donn and Santa Anita Handicap but began to tail off in the spring, zigzagging through the stretch of a narrow win in the Oaklawn Handicap before tossing in a clunker with a sixth in the Alysheba. Will Take Charge showed signs of rebounding in the June 14 Stephen Foster, rallying for second, and remains intriguing given that he peaked at this time last year en route to three-year-old championship honors and likes the track at Santa Anita. He will need to run faster in upcoming starts, especially since trainer D. Wayne Lukas probably has the same races on his radar as Palace Malice, but count out at this last-season specialist your own risk.

Shared Belief: Plenty hinges on his appearance in the Pacific Classic and I won't be surprised to see him overwhelm the competition. Shared Belief drew off stylishly through the stretch while making his dirt debut in the 1 1/8-mile Los Alamitos Derby, earning a career-best 105 Speed rating, and left every indication that there's more to tap. He's an exciting prospect -- let's hope the lightly-raced gelding remains healthy -- and his affinity for synthetics should help as he continues to stretch out in the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic. Ten furlongs on Santa Anita's dirt track represents a different proposition, with Shared Belief sustaining a foot injury while training at Santa Anita during the winter, but we'll see if that matters. There's a lot to like about his future.

Tonalist: He still has much to prove, winning the Peter Pan in the slop and out-finishing tiring rivals in the stretch of the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, but Tonalist's ceiling could run very high. He'll need to keep improving to defeat older horses this fall, maximizing his potential over the next few months, and there's a chance he'll need more time before offering his best form down the road like a Palace Malice. Let's see how Tonalist performs in his upcoming tests at Saratoga first.

Untapable: She's run roughshod over her own division, winning all four starts this season by a combined 31 lengths, and will be favored over male rivals in the Haskell. The possibility exists that she's the best three-year-old of any gender in training and it's interesting to note that her career-best Speed rating (108) came in her lone appearance at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Oaks) -- there's no reason to fear added ground with Untapable. With a Haskell victory, she could make things interesting this fall.

Wise Dan: He's won 12 straight turf races and his North American competition needs a subpar performance or they don't stand any chance of beating him prior to the Breeders' Cup. The international contingent could be deeper in this year's Mile but if Wise Dan is able to maintain his form, nobody will be surprised to see the seven-year-old gelding win out in 2014. He needed some help to be named Horse of the Year the last two seasons (Game On Dude had to lose the Classic) and more than one horse this year could grab the hardware with a Classic victory, but it would be foolish to count out Wise Dan.

California Chrome: Connections are keeping an eye on Shared Belief -- they want to avoid losing to that rival at all costs -- and it will difficult to take California Chrome seriously for the Breeders' Cup Classic if he makes his lone prep in a new one-mile stakes at Los Alamitos in September. Other options are still on the table and California Chrome could come back better than ever this fall, but it was a serious grind earlier this year and California Chrome's best races this season could be behind him.

Game On Dude: He's won only one of four starts this year, leading to speculation that he's lost a step at age six, but the gelding's Santa Anita Handicap score was impressive (10 furlongs in 1:58; 108 Speed rating). The key for him is being able to relax up front, a luxury he didn't experience in the last two runnings of the Breeders' Cup Classic, and chances are slim that he'll be lone speed in this year's Classic. Game On Dude can still move back into the Horse of the Year discussion with a successful title defense in the Pacific Classic.

RACING ON TV

Sunday, July 27   Haskell Invitational (G1)
    5 - 6 p.m.
    NBC

all times Eastern

RACING ON RADIO

Monday thru Friday   At the Races w/ Steve Byk
    10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 209
     
Thursdays   Brisnet.com Call-In Show
    6 - 7 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 209
     
Saturdays   Down the Stretch w/ Don Knobel
    10 - 11 a.m.
    790 AM (WKRD)
     
Saturdays   Down the Stretch
    10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 209
     
Saturdays   Equine Forum
    8 - 10 a.m.
    HRRN
     
Sunday, July 27   Haskell Invitational (G1)
    Matchmaker (G3)
    Oceanport (G3)
    4 - 6 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 208/HRRN website

all times Eastern

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

JULY 25, 2014

by Dick Powell

Saratoga has been open for five days as I write this and it is amazing how well trends continue from year to year. We talked about how post one does so poorly in 5 1/2-furlong turf sprints. Last year, they only won four of 62 races.

This year, with seven turf sprint races run, there have not been any winners breaking from post one. So, we are now looking at four for 69 -- 6 percent. It's not impossible to win from there but it's kind of like the 8 hole on a half-mile harness track. You can use them but you better get a price.

As usual, Todd Pletcher had six winners in the first five days of racing. Three were ridden by Johnny Velazquez and three were ridden by Javier Castellano. Five were favorites and four were odds-on.

The Ortiz brothers were red hot, winning a combined 10 races out of 50 available. Jose has six winners and only one of them was a favorite. Irad won four races and none of them were favorites. Only one of their wins came on the turf and that was a turf sprint. Interesting since Irad does so well going long.

In the trend that we saw last year, perfect weather has led to a record number of turf races being carded and run. This year, 26 of the first 51 races were run on the turf. Take out the first jump race and it is 25 of 50. So far, it looks like the turf course is holding up since we had so much rain preceding the meet, which led to fantastic growing conditions for it.

On Wednesday afternoon, late in the day, violent thunderstorms blew through the area. Saratoga Race Course had a direct hit that saw lightning blow up a tree in the picnic area that had been occupied only 15 minutes before. While the rest of the area got heavy rain in the thunderstorms, we did not get much rain and Thursday's card was conducted under fast and firm conditions.

NYRA has some new racing conditions and you need to understand their fine print to put them into context. You will see horses coming out of Belmont Park that raced in starter allowance races. One for $20K and another for $40K, but there is a huge difference between them.

One race is listed as follows:
Alw40000s
It is a starter allowance event for horses who broke their maiden for $40K or less or $50K or less if they are New York-breds AND have never won two races.

The second race is listed as follows:
Alw20000s
It is a starter allowance event for horses who have started for a claiming price of $20K or less AND since that start, have not won a race other than maiden, claiming or starter.

Normally, when you examine past performances, you would think that the first race for Alw40000s is a higher quality race than the one for Alw20000s. But it is not.

The non-winners of two condition that is part of the Alw40000s essentially limits the race to horses who have only won one race lifetime and broke their maiden for either $50K or $40K.

On July 3, 2014, at Belmont Park, an "Alw20000s" race was run for older horses going seven furlongs. Let's examine the number of career wins and top BRIS Speed rating on the dirt. It shows how tough these races are.

HORSE   WINS   BRIS SPEED
Denzel   2   97
Bug Juice   11   100
Glory Game   10   92
Joan's Choice   7   106
Reserved Quality   4   102
Noble Doss   5   95
Apex   3   91
Bet The Power   10   102
Cast a Doubt   4   99
Demon's Deputy   3   98

Needless to say, a pretty salty bunch.

On June 6, 2014 at Belmont Park, an "Alw40000s" race was run for older horses going six furlongs.

HORSE   WINS   BRIS SPEED
Native Hero   1   94
Jackson N Lorimer   1   83
Captain Toews   1   79
Spango   1   82
Alysaro   1   85
American Creed   1   82
Get Busted   1   83

Clearly, the "Alw20000s" is way tougher than the "Alw40000s but you would not know that just going by the conditions that are listed in the past performances.

INTERNATIONAL RACING CALENDAR

Click here for July's International Racing Calendar

At a Glance
ELLIS PARK AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 3.66 - 1
Favorite Win%: 36%, Favorite Itm%: 71%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Exacta49.14
Daily Double61.45
Trifecta256.39
Pick 3272.86
Superfecta1,331.38
Pick 6584.20
Pick 41,291.13
Pick 54,856.35
Super High Five3,230.96
TRACK BIAS MEET(07/03 - 07/20)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 10 80% E Middle
6.0fDirt 16 50% E Rail/Ins
Turf Sprint 14 29% P Rail/Ins
Turf Routes 26 19% E/P Middle
TRACK BIAS WEEK(07/14 - 07/20)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
5.5fDirt 4 75% E Middle
6.0fDirt 8 63% E Rail/Ins
Turf Sprint 5 0% P Rail/Ins
Turf Routes 7 14% E/P Middle
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
McPeek Kenneth G. 8 3 1 3 3.94 1 15%
Martinez Ralph 2 2 0 0 2.50 0 17%
Campbell Donald H. 4 2 0 0 30.05 0 7%
McGee Paul J. 4 2 1 0 6.53 1 12%
Jurado Luis A. 5 2 0 1 8.60 0 13%
Moquett Ron 5 2 0 0 4.36 1 14%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Goncalves Leandro R. 17 5 2 4 7.58 3 15%
 
COLD TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Orm Cory 10 0 0 2 15.86 0 7%
               

Features

RACING ON TV

Sunday, July 27   Haskell Invitational (G1)
    5 - 6 p.m.
    NBC

all times Eastern

At a Glance
SARATOGA AT A GLANCE
 
Avg. Winning Odds: 5.21 - 1
Favorite Win%: 39%, Favorite Itm%: 70%
 
EXOTICS PAYOFF
Quinella41.33
Exacta96.10
Daily Double71.93
Trifecta656.89
Pick 3443.71
Superfecta4,204.81
Pick 668,730.88
Pick 42,653.17
Pick 520,158.25
Grand Slam176.38
TRACK BIAS MEET(07/19 - 09/02)
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
6.0fDirt 56 38% E Mid/Out
7.0fDirt 55 25% E Mid/Out
1 1/8mDirt 41 15% E/P Middle
TRACK BIAS WEEK()
Distance #
Race
%
Wire
Best
Style
Best
Posts
6.0fDirt 10 40% E Middle
7.0fDirt 8 25% S Middle
1 1/8mDirt 5 40% E Rail/Ins
Who's HOT, Who's NOT
 
HOT TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Maker Michael J. 15 5 4 0 3.11 3 23%
Weaver George 9 3 1 1 8.23 1 17%
Nevin Michelle 5 2 0 0 9.34 0 22%
Schosberg Richard E. 5 2 1 0 7.41 1 12%
Dutrow Anthony W. 6 2 1 0 8.33 0 20%
Zito Nicholas P. 6 2 1 1 9.18 1 10%
 
HOT JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Winning
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
 
COLD TRAINERS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Rice Linda 12 0 0 3 7.42 1 20%
Schettino Dominick 11 0 1 0 11.88 0 11%
 
COLD JOCKEYS Starts WinsPlace ShowAvg.
Odds
Beaten
Favorites
'13-' 14
Win%
Rice Taylor B. 17 0 2 1 20.34 2 17%

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

Features

RACING ON RADIO

Monday thru Friday   At the Races w/ Steve Byk
    10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 209
     
Thursdays   Brisnet.com Call-In Show
    6 - 7 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 209
     
Saturdays   Down the Stretch w/ Don Knobel
    10 - 11 a.m.
    790 AM (WKRD)
     
Saturdays   Down the Stretch
    10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 209
     
Saturdays   Equine Forum
    8 - 10 a.m.
    HRRN
     
Sunday, July 27   Haskell Invitational (G1)
    Matchmaker (G3)
    Oceanport (G3)
    4 - 6 p.m.
    Sirius 93 - XM 208/HRRN website

all times Eastern

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Friday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Arlington Park   (5th) Room for Aptitude, 5-1
    (7th) La Pinata, 8-1
Belterra Park   (1st) Romp With Pomp, 3-1
    (2nd) Ghost Time, 5-1
Canterbury Park   (4th) Waytogo Trish, 5-1
    (8th) Hawkeye Honey, 7-2
Charles Town   (3rd) Run Jac Run, 10-1
    (4th) Gin's Dandy Girl, 3-1
Del Mar   (4th) Mikes Lion, 7-2
    (6th) Upbeat Mood, 4-1
Ellis Park   (3rd) Silver Exchange, 7-2
    (5th) Grace and Grit, 10-1
Emerald Downs   (3rd) Sharp Focus, 7-2
    (5th) He's All Heart, 3-1
Evangeline Downs   (1st) Smartasawhip, 6-1
    (7th) Fairy Missile, 8-1
Finger Lakes   (6th) Absolute Paradise, 3-1
    (9th) U Whippersnapper, 10-1
Gulfstream Park   (6th) Tres Hermanas, 4-1
    (7th) Soccerholic, 7-2
Indiana Downs   (1st) Running Rapid, 4-1
    (3rd) Hadda Notion, 3-1
Louisiana Downs   (2nd) Sorcerer's Appeal, 4-1
    (9th) Sequoia's Cue, 6-1
Monmouth Park   (2nd) Charlie Bull, 3-1
    (4th) Maggie's Lad, 3-1
Penn National   (3rd) Bright Skies, 3-1
    (4th) Hardly Patient, 8-1
Prairie Meadows   (4th) Edge of Thievery, 4-1
    (7th) Truly Royal, 6-1
Saratoga   (2nd) Shaunna Alexandra, 7-2
    (8th) Regulus, 10-1
Thistledown   (6th) Halo Miss Kitty, 4-1
    (8th) Hot in Any Way, 4-1
Woodbine   (3rd) Celtic Conviction, 8-1
    (6th) Ezzthetic, 3-1

Racing Highlights

For Friday

ARLINGTON PARK (4:00): $34,000 alw, 3&up, 7f (4TH).
BELTERRA PARK (3:00): $17,400 alw, 3&up, 6f (6TH).
CANTERBURY PARK (7:32): $30,000 ocl, 3&up, 1 1/16mT (5TH).
CHARLES TOWN (7:00): $27,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 4 1/2f (8TH).
DEL MAR (7:00): $100,000 Cougar II H. (G3), 3&up, 1 1/2m (7TH).
ELLIS PARK (1:50): $32,500 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 1m (7TH).
EVANGELINE DOWNS (6:45): $29,500 alw, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f (9TH).
FINGER LAKES (12:35): $23,200 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m (1ST).
INDIANA DOWNS (5:05): $34,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 5fT (5TH); $34,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 5fT (7TH).
LOUISIANA DOWNS (3:50): $20,500 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6 1/2f (5TH).
MONMOUTH PARK (12:50): $40,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1mT (7TH); $40,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1mT (9TH).
PENN NATIONAL (6:00): $29,500 alw, 3&up, 6f (5TH).
PRAIRIE MEADOWS (7:30): $30,500 ocl, 3&up, 6f (8TH).
SARATOGA (1:00): $100,000 Curlin S., 3yo, 1 1/8m (9TH).
THISTLEDOWN (12:55): $24,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6f (7TH).
WOODBINE (1:00): $58,600 alw, 3&up, 7f (4TH); $58,600 alw, 3&up, f&m 6fT (8TH).

*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.

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

HIGHLIGHTS

For Friday

ARLINGTON PARK (4:00): $34,000 alw, 3&up, 7f (4TH).
BELTERRA PARK (3:00): $17,400 alw, 3&up, 6f (6TH).
CANTERBURY PARK (7:32): $30,000 ocl, 3&up, 1 1/16mT (5TH).
CHARLES TOWN (7:00): $27,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 4 1/2f (8TH).
DEL MAR (7:00): $100,000 Cougar II H. (G3), 3&up, 1 1/2m (7TH).
ELLIS PARK (1:50): $32,500 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 1m (7TH).
EVANGELINE DOWNS (6:45): $29,500 alw, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f (9TH).
FINGER LAKES (12:35): $23,200 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1 1/16m (1ST).
INDIANA DOWNS (5:05): $34,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 5fT (5TH); $34,000 ocl, 3&up, f&m, 5fT (7TH).
LOUISIANA DOWNS (3:50): $20,500 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6 1/2f (5TH).
MONMOUTH PARK (12:50): $40,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1mT (7TH); $40,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 1mT (9TH).
PENN NATIONAL (6:00): $29,500 alw, 3&up, 6f (5TH).
PRAIRIE MEADOWS (7:30): $30,500 ocl, 3&up, 6f (8TH).
SARATOGA (1:00): $100,000 Curlin S., 3yo, 1 1/8m (9TH).
THISTLEDOWN (12:55): $24,000 alw, 3&up, f&m, 6f (7TH).
WOODBINE (1:00): $58,600 alw, 3&up, 7f (4TH); $58,600 alw, 3&up, f&m 6fT (8TH).

*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.