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MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014

Racing Headlines

Irish Mission looking to bounce back in La Prevoyante

La Prevoyante candidate Irish Mission prevailed as the favorite in the Glens Falls at Saratoga (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Overmatched by some of the world's best in last month's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Irish Mission figures to improve dropping in class for Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 La Prevoyante Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

The La Prevoyante is joined by another ex-Calder fixture, the Grade 3, $100,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap, also at 12 furlongs on the grass, as well as the Grade 3, $100,000 Mr. Prospector, a six-furlong sprint, on Saturday's program.

Irish Mission trailed the field of 11 in the Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita, but only by a margin of 6 1/4 lengths. Previously, the Giant's Causeway mare had scored a Grade 3 win in the Glens Falls at Saratoga and placed in the Rodeo Drive, Matchmaker, Sheepshead Bay, and Belmont Gold Cup, the latter against males going two miles at Belmont.

Irish import Photo Call appears to have loads of upside. The Graham Motion-trained sophomore captured her U.S. debut in an October 24 entry-level allowance at Keeneland. Overcoming an early hop, the daughter of Galileo cruised home by 3 1/2 lengths over a pair of next-out winners, including Costenia, who won by five lengths at Gulfstream earlier this month.

Trainer Chad Brown has entered the sophomore Cay Dancer, who makes her U.S. debut after handicap wins at Sandown and Newbury in England over the summer. The Danehill Dancer miss will have Lasix administered for the La Prevoyante.

In addition to Irish Mission, Clement will also saddle his Grade 3-placed pair of Maximova and Tabreed, while Brown is also represented by Clearbrook, who ran third in the Orchid in her last trip over the local sod.

The three-year-old Divine Oath will face older horses for the first time in the W.L. McKnight (Four Footed Fotos)

The Todd Pletcher stable has two strong candidates for the W.L. McKnight in Unitarian and Divine Oath. Unitarian overcame a slow pace to upset the Elkhorn at Keeneland last April, but was not as his best over considerably softer ground in the Sycamore and Red Smith Handicap in his last two starts. The Pulpit colt loves Gulfstream, though, winning twice in three previous attempts over the course.

Divine Oath, a three-year-old, registered wins in the American Derby at Arlington and Kent at Delaware Park earlier this year, and most recently finished a half-length third in the Twilight Derby on the Breeders' Cup Friday undercard. The Broken Vow colt will race beyond 1 1/4 miles for the first time in the McKnight.

North Slope and Slumber, separated by a neck in the $100,000 Bowl Game at Belmont October 19, renew acquaintance on Saturday, as will Manchurian High, Calvados, and St. Albans Boy, who occupied the top three slots in the Laurel Turf Cup in late September.

Others of note in the McKnight lineup are PTHA President's Cup winner Margano, third in the Red Smith last time, and Fixador, a multiple Group 1-winning Brazilian who adds Lasix after finishing up the track in his U.S. bow at Gulfstream Park West on November 30.

The Mr. Prospector has attracted a field of eight, including three of the top four finishers from the November 16 Kenny Noe Jr. at Gulfstream Park West. Victorious that day by 3 3/4 lengths was Speechify, who began his career winning three of his first five starts at Gulfstream.

Defending his title in the Mr. Prospector is Singanothersong, who has placed just once in three subsequent outings and trailed the field of eight in the Kenny Noe. The Mr. Prospector field also includes 2013 Kenny Noe hero Simmstown, Risk Factor, Little Daddy, Calamondin, Mongolian Saturday, and stakes debuter Master Blender.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Irish Mission looking to bounce back in La Prevoyante

La Prevoyante candidate Irish Mission prevailed as the favorite in the Glens Falls at Saratoga (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Overmatched by some of the world's best in last month's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, Irish Mission figures to improve dropping in class for Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 La Prevoyante Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

The La Prevoyante is joined by another ex-Calder fixture, the Grade 3, $100,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap, also at 12 furlongs on the grass, as well as the Grade 3, $100,000 Mr. Prospector, a six-furlong sprint, on Saturday's program.

Irish Mission trailed the field of 11 in the Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita, but only by a margin of 6 1/4 lengths. Previously, the Giant's Causeway mare had scored a Grade 3 win in the Glens Falls at Saratoga and placed in the Rodeo Drive, Matchmaker, Sheepshead Bay, and Belmont Gold Cup, the latter against males going two miles at Belmont.

Irish import Photo Call appears to have loads of upside. The Graham Motion-trained sophomore captured her U.S. debut in an October 24 entry-level allowance at Keeneland. Overcoming an early hop, the daughter of Galileo cruised home by 3 1/2 lengths over a pair of next-out winners, including Costenia, who won by five lengths at Gulfstream earlier this month.

Trainer Chad Brown has entered the sophomore Cay Dancer, who makes her U.S. debut after handicap wins at Sandown and Newbury in England over the summer. The Danehill Dancer miss will have Lasix administered for the La Prevoyante.

In addition to Irish Mission, Clement will also saddle his Grade 3-placed pair of Maximova and Tabreed, while Brown is also represented by Clearbrook, who ran third in the Orchid in her last trip over the local sod.

The three-year-old Divine Oath will face older horses for the first time in the W.L. McKnight (Four Footed Fotos)

The Todd Pletcher stable has two strong candidates for the W.L. McKnight in Unitarian and Divine Oath. Unitarian overcame a slow pace to upset the Elkhorn at Keeneland last April, but was not as his best over considerably softer ground in the Sycamore and Red Smith Handicap in his last two starts. The Pulpit colt loves Gulfstream, though, winning twice in three previous attempts over the course.

Divine Oath, a three-year-old, registered wins in the American Derby at Arlington and Kent at Delaware Park earlier this year, and most recently finished a half-length third in the Twilight Derby on the Breeders' Cup Friday undercard. The Broken Vow colt will race beyond 1 1/4 miles for the first time in the McKnight.

North Slope and Slumber, separated by a neck in the $100,000 Bowl Game at Belmont October 19, renew acquaintance on Saturday, as will Manchurian High, Calvados, and St. Albans Boy, who occupied the top three slots in the Laurel Turf Cup in late September.

Others of note in the McKnight lineup are PTHA President's Cup winner Margano, third in the Red Smith last time, and Fixador, a multiple Group 1-winning Brazilian who adds Lasix after finishing up the track in his U.S. bow at Gulfstream Park West on November 30.

The Mr. Prospector has attracted a field of eight, including three of the top four finishers from the November 16 Kenny Noe Jr. at Gulfstream Park West. Victorious that day by 3 3/4 lengths was Speechify, who began his career winning three of his first five starts at Gulfstream.

Defending his title in the Mr. Prospector is Singanothersong, who has placed just once in three subsequent outings and trailed the field of eight in the Kenny Noe. The Mr. Prospector field also includes 2013 Kenny Noe hero Simmstown, Risk Factor, Little Daddy, Calamondin, Mongolian Saturday, and stakes debuter Master Blender.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Don't Tell Sophia gearing up for another Oaklawn campaign

Don't Tell Sophia is scheduled to work soon for an upcoming Oaklawn campaign (Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography)

Don't Tell Sophia, the most accomplished older female runner based at Oaklawn the last two years, arrived Saturday and is scheduled to work this weekend in preparation for her 2015 debut, possibly the $100,000 Pippin Stakes on January 17, trainer Phil Sims said.

"She looks great right now," said Sims, who also co-owns Don't Tell Sophia. "She's all dappled out."

Don't Tell Sophia is the two-time defending champion of the Pippin and Bayakoa -- Oaklawn's second major two-turn race for older fillies and mares -- and also finished second in the 2013 Azeri, third in the 2013 Apple Blossom Handicap and third in the 2014 Azeri.

"We'll try the series of stakes here again and see how it goes," Sims said.

A quarter-crack forced Don't Tell Sophia to miss the 2014 Apple Blossom and sidelined her until the fall.

She resurfaced in Kentucky and made a late bid for divisional honors with a comeback victory in the $100,000 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs on September 6, then her most important career triumph to date, the $500,000 Spinster at Keeneland on October 5.

Don't Tell Sophia closed 2014 with runner-up finishes in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita and the $200,000 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. She has earned $909,597 this year, pushing her career total to $1,382,479.

Sims purchased the six-year-old daughter of Congaree for only $1,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Sims said there was thought of retiring Don't Tell Sophia at the end of 2014, but he decided against it because the mare continues to flourish physically. He said she was in light training in Kentucky before arriving in Hot Springs to prepare for what will be her final year of racing.

"We'll take her through the series here, and if she does well, we'll give her the summer off and then bring her back for a few races in the fall," Sims said. "That will be it."

Sims said Joe Rocco Jr., who is scheduled ride at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, will continue as Don't Tell Sophia's regular pilot. Rocco was aboard Don't Tell Sophia for her victories in the Locust Grove and Spinster.

Following the Pippin, Oaklawn's series of two-turn stakes race for older fillies and mares continues with the $100,000 Bayakoa on February 15; the $300,000 Azeri on March 14; and the $600,000 Apple Blossom on April 10.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Don't Tell Sophia gearing up for another Oaklawn campaign

Don't Tell Sophia is scheduled to work soon for an upcoming Oaklawn campaign (Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography)

Don't Tell Sophia, the most accomplished older female runner based at Oaklawn the last two years, arrived Saturday and is scheduled to work this weekend in preparation for her 2015 debut, possibly the $100,000 Pippin Stakes on January 17, trainer Phil Sims said.

"She looks great right now," said Sims, who also co-owns Don't Tell Sophia. "She's all dappled out."

Don't Tell Sophia is the two-time defending champion of the Pippin and Bayakoa -- Oaklawn's second major two-turn race for older fillies and mares -- and also finished second in the 2013 Azeri, third in the 2013 Apple Blossom Handicap and third in the 2014 Azeri.

"We'll try the series of stakes here again and see how it goes," Sims said.

A quarter-crack forced Don't Tell Sophia to miss the 2014 Apple Blossom and sidelined her until the fall.

She resurfaced in Kentucky and made a late bid for divisional honors with a comeback victory in the $100,000 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs on September 6, then her most important career triumph to date, the $500,000 Spinster at Keeneland on October 5.

Don't Tell Sophia closed 2014 with runner-up finishes in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita and the $200,000 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. She has earned $909,597 this year, pushing her career total to $1,382,479.

Sims purchased the six-year-old daughter of Congaree for only $1,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Sims said there was thought of retiring Don't Tell Sophia at the end of 2014, but he decided against it because the mare continues to flourish physically. He said she was in light training in Kentucky before arriving in Hot Springs to prepare for what will be her final year of racing.

"We'll take her through the series here, and if she does well, we'll give her the summer off and then bring her back for a few races in the fall," Sims said. "That will be it."

Sims said Joe Rocco Jr., who is scheduled ride at the 2015 Oaklawn meeting, will continue as Don't Tell Sophia's regular pilot. Rocco was aboard Don't Tell Sophia for her victories in the Locust Grove and Spinster.

Following the Pippin, Oaklawn's series of two-turn stakes race for older fillies and mares continues with the $100,000 Bayakoa on February 15; the $300,000 Azeri on March 14; and the $600,000 Apple Blossom on April 10.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Charles Town reveals 2015 stakes schedule

The Grade 2, $1,500,000 Charles Town Classic, Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks and West Virginia Breeders' Classics XXIX will again headline the stakes calendar at Charles Town in the upcoming year following the schedule's recent approval provided by the West Virginia Racing Commission.

The 2015 stakes action at Charles Town will kick off on April 18 with the centerpiece of the track's season -- the Charles Town Classic -- as well as six other stakes on the 13-race program. With its $1,500,000 purse, the Charles Town Classic continues to occupy the top spot as the richest race in the United States outside of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, a distinction it shared in 2014 with the Whitney at Saratoga.

The 2014 Charles Town Classic saw Game On Dude's attempt to break John Henry's record as racing's all-time money earner among geldings derailed by Kent Desormeaux and Imperative, who stunned the defending champ by sweeping by him on the far turn and posting the biggest upset in the race's history at odds of 26-1. The show spot in the 2014 Charles Town Classic went to Moreno who would go on to take the Whitney later in the year.

While the Charles Town Classic will carry the same purse as it has the previous two years, the manner in which the purse is distributed will undergo a change for 2015.

The first $500,000 of the guaranteed purse will be set aside for horses having won some of the country's most prestigious races. The connections of a Kentucky Derby or Breeders' Cup Classic winner will each receive $200,000 of that amount for finishing the Charles Town Classic. Winners of the Preakness, Belmont Stakes, Breeders' Cup Distaff and Pacific Classic would be eligible to receive $100,000, with the connections of any other Grade 1 winner in the field eligible to receive $50,000 depending on how many winners of the aforementioned races compete. Any money not paid out from the original $500,000 will be added back to the remaining $1,000,000 and competed for among all runners as a standard purse would be.

"We want to lure some of the top horses in the division to Charles Town for the Charles Town Classic and hope this added wrinkle helps in doing so," said Erich Zimny, Charles Town's Vice President of Racing Operations. "We've seen how our fans responded to a Game On Dude, Commentator and some of the other top handicap horses who came into our race as accomplished as they did and see this as a more pointed and direct effort in terms of inducing the connections of those types of horses to send them here."

As has been the case since the Charles Town Classic's inception, the most lucrative race on the April 18 undercard will again be the $150,000 Sugar Maple for fillies and mares going seven furlongs. Joining the Sugar Maple will be the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial and a quartet of $50,000 stakes for accredited West Virginia-breds.

While the purse division for the Charles Town Classic is new, so too is the day's start time, moved up to 12:45 p.m. (EDT) and run in the daytime versus the track's standard evening program.

The Charles Town Oaks will again serve as the marquee attraction on the track's seventh Race for the Ribbon card taking place on September 19. The Charles Town Oaks, run for the first time as a Grade 3 in 2014, will be run with a purse of $350,000, down from the $500,000 it its most recent renewal. Joining the Charles Town Oaks on September 19 will be the $100,000 Wild & Wonderful and the $100,000 Pink Ribbon as well as the three stakes for West Virginia-breds.

Including the seven restricted stakes conducted on the Charles Town Classic and Race for the Ribbon days, 16 stakes for West Virginia-breds, totaling $800,000 in purses are currently scheduled in 2015. Not included in that figure is the Tri-State Futurity, open to horses bred in West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, which will take place on October 31.

Also not included in those totals is the third of Charles Town's event days -- West Virginia Breeders' Classics XXIX, which is slated for October 10, up one week from its traditional spot on the third Saturday in October. The races and purses for the day showcasing the top West Virginia-bred horses in training will be released at a later date. In 2014, West Virginia Breeders' Classics XXVIII was comprised of 9 races and $1,280,000 in available purse money. The evening's signature race, the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic, was won for a third time by Mark Russell's incredible eight-year-old gelding Russell Road.

All told, the 2015 Charles Town Stakes schedule is made up of 23 races worth a total of $3,150,000, excluding the West Virginia Breeders' Classics whose purses have not yet been finalized.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Charles Town reveals 2015 stakes schedule

The Grade 2, $1,500,000 Charles Town Classic, Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks and West Virginia Breeders' Classics XXIX will again headline the stakes calendar at Charles Town in the upcoming year following the schedule's recent approval provided by the West Virginia Racing Commission.

The 2015 stakes action at Charles Town will kick off on April 18 with the centerpiece of the track's season -- the Charles Town Classic -- as well as six other stakes on the 13-race program. With its $1,500,000 purse, the Charles Town Classic continues to occupy the top spot as the richest race in the United States outside of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, a distinction it shared in 2014 with the Whitney at Saratoga.

The 2014 Charles Town Classic saw Game On Dude's attempt to break John Henry's record as racing's all-time money earner among geldings derailed by Kent Desormeaux and Imperative, who stunned the defending champ by sweeping by him on the far turn and posting the biggest upset in the race's history at odds of 26-1. The show spot in the 2014 Charles Town Classic went to Moreno who would go on to take the Whitney later in the year.

While the Charles Town Classic will carry the same purse as it has the previous two years, the manner in which the purse is distributed will undergo a change for 2015.

The first $500,000 of the guaranteed purse will be set aside for horses having won some of the country's most prestigious races. The connections of a Kentucky Derby or Breeders' Cup Classic winner will each receive $200,000 of that amount for finishing the Charles Town Classic. Winners of the Preakness, Belmont Stakes, Breeders' Cup Distaff and Pacific Classic would be eligible to receive $100,000, with the connections of any other Grade 1 winner in the field eligible to receive $50,000 depending on how many winners of the aforementioned races compete. Any money not paid out from the original $500,000 will be added back to the remaining $1,000,000 and competed for among all runners as a standard purse would be.

"We want to lure some of the top horses in the division to Charles Town for the Charles Town Classic and hope this added wrinkle helps in doing so," said Erich Zimny, Charles Town's Vice President of Racing Operations. "We've seen how our fans responded to a Game On Dude, Commentator and some of the other top handicap horses who came into our race as accomplished as they did and see this as a more pointed and direct effort in terms of inducing the connections of those types of horses to send them here."

As has been the case since the Charles Town Classic's inception, the most lucrative race on the April 18 undercard will again be the $150,000 Sugar Maple for fillies and mares going seven furlongs. Joining the Sugar Maple will be the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial and a quartet of $50,000 stakes for accredited West Virginia-breds.

While the purse division for the Charles Town Classic is new, so too is the day's start time, moved up to 12:45 p.m. (EDT) and run in the daytime versus the track's standard evening program.

The Charles Town Oaks will again serve as the marquee attraction on the track's seventh Race for the Ribbon card taking place on September 19. The Charles Town Oaks, run for the first time as a Grade 3 in 2014, will be run with a purse of $350,000, down from the $500,000 it its most recent renewal. Joining the Charles Town Oaks on September 19 will be the $100,000 Wild & Wonderful and the $100,000 Pink Ribbon as well as the three stakes for West Virginia-breds.

Including the seven restricted stakes conducted on the Charles Town Classic and Race for the Ribbon days, 16 stakes for West Virginia-breds, totaling $800,000 in purses are currently scheduled in 2015. Not included in that figure is the Tri-State Futurity, open to horses bred in West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, which will take place on October 31.

Also not included in those totals is the third of Charles Town's event days -- West Virginia Breeders' Classics XXIX, which is slated for October 10, up one week from its traditional spot on the third Saturday in October. The races and purses for the day showcasing the top West Virginia-bred horses in training will be released at a later date. In 2014, West Virginia Breeders' Classics XXVIII was comprised of 9 races and $1,280,000 in available purse money. The evening's signature race, the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic, was won for a third time by Mark Russell's incredible eight-year-old gelding Russell Road.

All told, the 2015 Charles Town Stakes schedule is made up of 23 races worth a total of $3,150,000, excluding the West Virginia Breeders' Classics whose purses have not yet been finalized.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Pedroza, Baltas have altercation at Los Alamitos

It wasn't the Thrilla in Manila, but it was the Row at Los Al.

Jockey Martin Pedroza and trainer Richard Baltas got into verbal and physical confrontations at Los Alamitos Sunday in incidents apparently spurred because Pedroza had been removed from a Baltas-trained horse at the owners' request.

It started in the first race, in which the favorite, Armensky, trained by Baltas and ridden by the meet's leading rider, Rafael Bejarano, broke from post 3 in the mile race for $20,000 maiden claimers, and Mojave Desert, ridden by Pedroza, broke from post 2. Pedroza had ridden Armensky in his last start, finishing second by a half-length at 12-1 on November 27 at Del Mar.

Armensky, the 2-5 favorite, finished fifth on Sunday, beaten 12 1/2 lengths by Mojave Desert, who ran fourth.

"Martin told me and (Rafael) Bejarano he was going to take my horse out of the race," Baltas said Monday morning. "The stewards were warned about it. After the fifth race, Pedroza told me that was going to 'f— with me all year long' and after the seventh, I was minding my own business, when he came up to me and started cussing me out, then he bumped me in the chest and I put him a headlock before security came.

"But before they did, he hit me in the face with his helmet and cut my nose (Baltas was treated and had it covered with a bandage Monday). I'm not a confrontational guy but I am competitive and I was upset. I'm thinking of taking out a restraining order against him and my owners are filing a complaint."

Pedroza said he came over to Baltas after the seventh when the trainer motioned to him as though he wanted to talk to him, and Baltas bumped his chest. From that point, the incident grew more violent.

Richie Silverstein, Pedroza's long-time agent, had this version. "Baltas called Martin over after the seventh race as if to discuss business. The next thing you know, Baltas had Martin in a headlock and security was called to break it up. Martin did hit him with his helmet, but it was in self defense.

"The police came and suggested Martin file a restraining order against Baltas. There's no need to take sides here. Everyone there saw what happened."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Pedroza, Baltas have altercation at Los Alamitos

It wasn't the Thrilla in Manila, but it was the Row at Los Al.

Jockey Martin Pedroza and trainer Richard Baltas got into verbal and physical confrontations at Los Alamitos Sunday in incidents apparently spurred because Pedroza had been removed from a Baltas-trained horse at the owners' request.

It started in the first race, in which the favorite, Armensky, trained by Baltas and ridden by the meet's leading rider, Rafael Bejarano, broke from post 3 in the mile race for $20,000 maiden claimers, and Mojave Desert, ridden by Pedroza, broke from post 2. Pedroza had ridden Armensky in his last start, finishing second by a half-length at 12-1 on November 27 at Del Mar.

Armensky, the 2-5 favorite, finished fifth on Sunday, beaten 12 1/2 lengths by Mojave Desert, who ran fourth.

"Martin told me and (Rafael) Bejarano he was going to take my horse out of the race," Baltas said Monday morning. "The stewards were warned about it. After the fifth race, Pedroza told me that was going to 'f— with me all year long' and after the seventh, I was minding my own business, when he came up to me and started cussing me out, then he bumped me in the chest and I put him a headlock before security came.

"But before they did, he hit me in the face with his helmet and cut my nose (Baltas was treated and had it covered with a bandage Monday). I'm not a confrontational guy but I am competitive and I was upset. I'm thinking of taking out a restraining order against him and my owners are filing a complaint."

Pedroza said he came over to Baltas after the seventh when the trainer motioned to him as though he wanted to talk to him, and Baltas bumped his chest. From that point, the incident grew more violent.

Richie Silverstein, Pedroza's long-time agent, had this version. "Baltas called Martin over after the seventh race as if to discuss business. The next thing you know, Baltas had Martin in a headlock and security was called to break it up. Martin did hit him with his helmet, but it was in self defense.

"The police came and suggested Martin file a restraining order against Baltas. There's no need to take sides here. Everyone there saw what happened."

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Los Alamitos meet averages $5.6 million in daily handle

Los Alamitos ended a successful first Winter Thoroughbred meet Sunday, averaging $5,640,866 in daily total combined mutuel handle and showing a sizable gain in wagering out of state.

"This meet did exactly what we hoped it would do in that we continued to show growth, most particularly out-of-state handle," said Brad McKinzie, vice president and general manager of the Los Alamitos Racing Association. "Through Saturday (December 20), we were up over $320,000 a day out of state if you look at the numbers from the (September) Fall meet to this meet ($1,850,163 in December compared to $1,526,553 three months earlier).

"We accomplished exactly what we set out to do. I'm happy."

Rainy weather contributed to a slight decline in average field size from the Fall meet, but the average of 7.46 starters per race was up over the Summer Thoroughbred Festival (6.99 starters) in July.

The highlights of the 12-day Winter season were Grade 1 victories by Take Charge Brandi in the $350,500 Starlet December 13 and Dortmund in the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity one week later.

"If the Starlet and the Los Alamitos Futurity don't give us credibility around the country that we are running quality races, I don't know what will," McKinzie said.

Thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos next July. The second Summer Thoroughbred Festival, which will begin July 2 and continue through July 12, is the first of three scheduled meets in the coming year.

The Fall season will commence September 10 and conclude September 25, while the Winter meet begins December 3 and wraps up December 20.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Los Alamitos meet averages $5.6 million in daily handle

Los Alamitos ended a successful first Winter Thoroughbred meet Sunday, averaging $5,640,866 in daily total combined mutuel handle and showing a sizable gain in wagering out of state.

"This meet did exactly what we hoped it would do in that we continued to show growth, most particularly out-of-state handle," said Brad McKinzie, vice president and general manager of the Los Alamitos Racing Association. "Through Saturday (December 20), we were up over $320,000 a day out of state if you look at the numbers from the (September) Fall meet to this meet ($1,850,163 in December compared to $1,526,553 three months earlier).

"We accomplished exactly what we set out to do. I'm happy."

Rainy weather contributed to a slight decline in average field size from the Fall meet, but the average of 7.46 starters per race was up over the Summer Thoroughbred Festival (6.99 starters) in July.

The highlights of the 12-day Winter season were Grade 1 victories by Take Charge Brandi in the $350,500 Starlet December 13 and Dortmund in the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity one week later.

"If the Starlet and the Los Alamitos Futurity don't give us credibility around the country that we are running quality races, I don't know what will," McKinzie said.

Thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos next July. The second Summer Thoroughbred Festival, which will begin July 2 and continue through July 12, is the first of three scheduled meets in the coming year.

The Fall season will commence September 10 and conclude September 25, while the Winter meet begins December 3 and wraps up December 20.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

Shared Belief tops 10-strong Malibu field on Santa Anita's opening day

Shared Belief and Mike Smith will attempt to end 2014 on a winning note in the Malibu (Benoit Photos)

More than $30 million in purse money is up for grabs during Santa Anita Park's winter meet, and the track gets the action started in stellar fashion on opening day Friday, December 26, with a trio of graded stakes.

The biggest draw on the opening day card is champion Shared Belief, who will make his final start as a sophomore in the Grade 1, $300,000 Malibu. The seven-furlong contest will go as the penultimate race on the program and features a field of 10.

Shared Belief is drastically cutting back in distance for the Malibu, having run his last four races at nine furlongs or more. The Candy Ride gelding suffered his first career loss last out in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders' Cup Classic after being slammed at the start by eventual race winner Bayern. That followed four straight wins on the year that include the Grade 1 Awesome Again going nine furlongs at Santa Anita and Grade 1 Pacific Classic at 1 1/4 miles on Del Mar's synthetic Polytrack.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief also captured the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby over the summer. He was crowned champion two-year-old male of 2013 after a 5 3/4-length romp in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at the now defunct Hollywood Park.

Jockey Mike Smith has been aboard for Shared Belief's past four races and will guide the dark bay from post 7 on Friday as the 123-pound top weight. The rest of the field only has to tote 118 pounds.

Among those hoping to take advantage of the weight spread is fellow Hollendorfer trainee Tamarando. The Bertrando colt showed promise as a two-year-old, taking the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, but his best effort this season came when he added the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby to his resume last February. Ridden in his past two races by Smith, including his most recent seventh on November 29 in the Grade 3 Native Diver at Del Mar, the California-bred will have Julien Leparoux in the irons as he breaks just to the inside of Shared Belief.

Midnight Hawk (outside) and Chitu face off for a fourth time this year in the Malibu (Sunland Park/Coady Photography)

Midnight Hawk is one of four Bob Baffert entrants in the Malibu, and will be getting the blinkers taken off following a third-place finish in an optional claiming contest on November 30 at Del Mar. The gray son of Midnight Lute captured his career debut in December 2013 by 6 1/4 lengths and, up until two races back, had finished third or better in his five 2014 efforts.

Midnight Hawk opened his sophomore season with victory in the Grade 3 Sham and proceeded to place in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis, Grade 2 San Felipe, Grade 3 Sunland Derby and Grade 3 Illinois Derby. That latter race came in April, and the gray colt wouldn't be seen in competition again until trying the Damascus on the Breeders' Cup Friday undercard. He wound up 11th in that seven-furlong event, his first off-the-board run, before returning to the top three last at Del Mar. Victor Espinoza has the call.

Fellow Baffert pupil Chitu also took a summer break after finishing ninth in the Kentucky Derby. The chestnut posted just two starts before that classic, finishing second in the Robert B. Lewis and defeating Midnight Hawk by 2 1/4 length when taking the Sunland Derby. The duo stayed paired up as Chitu also contested the Damascus in his most recent race, but the Henny Hughes colt proved much better than his stablemate with a 2 1/2-length win. Joel Rosario stays aboard.

The other two Baffert runners in the Malibu are stakes winner Indianapolis, who suffered his first loss from four career starts when unplaced in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last out, and Pimpernel. Gary Stevens will be holding the reins on Indianapolis while Martin Garcia will be in Pimpernel's saddle.

The rest of the Malibu field are dual stakes-placed Conquest Two Step, stakes scorer Diamond Bachelor, Grade 2-placed Rprettyboyfloyd and Frensham.

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Shared Belief tops 10-strong Malibu field on Santa Anita's opening day

Shared Belief and Mike Smith will attempt to end 2014 on a winning note in the Malibu (Benoit Photos)

More than $30 million in purse money is up for grabs during Santa Anita Park's winter meet, and the track gets the action started in stellar fashion on opening day Friday, December 26, with a trio of graded stakes.

The biggest draw on the opening day card is champion Shared Belief, who will make his final start as a sophomore in the Grade 1, $300,000 Malibu. The seven-furlong contest will go as the penultimate race on the program and features a field of 10.

Shared Belief is drastically cutting back in distance for the Malibu, having run his last four races at nine furlongs or more. The Candy Ride gelding suffered his first career loss last out in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders' Cup Classic after being slammed at the start by eventual race winner Bayern. That followed four straight wins on the year that include the Grade 1 Awesome Again going nine furlongs at Santa Anita and Grade 1 Pacific Classic at 1 1/4 miles on Del Mar's synthetic Polytrack.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief also captured the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby over the summer. He was crowned champion two-year-old male of 2013 after a 5 3/4-length romp in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at the now defunct Hollywood Park.

Jockey Mike Smith has been aboard for Shared Belief's past four races and will guide the dark bay from post 7 on Friday as the 123-pound top weight. The rest of the field only has to tote 118 pounds.

Among those hoping to take advantage of the weight spread is fellow Hollendorfer trainee Tamarando. The Bertrando colt showed promise as a two-year-old, taking the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, but his best effort this season came when he added the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby to his resume last February. Ridden in his past two races by Smith, including his most recent seventh on November 29 in the Grade 3 Native Diver at Del Mar, the California-bred will have Julien Leparoux in the irons as he breaks just to the inside of Shared Belief.

Midnight Hawk (outside) and Chitu face off for a fourth time this year in the Malibu (Sunland Park/Coady Photography)

Midnight Hawk is one of four Bob Baffert entrants in the Malibu, and will be getting the blinkers taken off following a third-place finish in an optional claiming contest on November 30 at Del Mar. The gray son of Midnight Lute captured his career debut in December 2013 by 6 1/4 lengths and, up until two races back, had finished third or better in his five 2014 efforts.

Midnight Hawk opened his sophomore season with victory in the Grade 3 Sham and proceeded to place in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis, Grade 2 San Felipe, Grade 3 Sunland Derby and Grade 3 Illinois Derby. That latter race came in April, and the gray colt wouldn't be seen in competition again until trying the Damascus on the Breeders' Cup Friday undercard. He wound up 11th in that seven-furlong event, his first off-the-board run, before returning to the top three last at Del Mar. Victor Espinoza has the call.

Fellow Baffert pupil Chitu also took a summer break after finishing ninth in the Kentucky Derby. The chestnut posted just two starts before that classic, finishing second in the Robert B. Lewis and defeating Midnight Hawk by 2 1/4 length when taking the Sunland Derby. The duo stayed paired up as Chitu also contested the Damascus in his most recent race, but the Henny Hughes colt proved much better than his stablemate with a 2 1/2-length win. Joel Rosario stays aboard.

The other two Baffert runners in the Malibu are stakes winner Indianapolis, who suffered his first loss from four career starts when unplaced in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last out, and Pimpernel. Gary Stevens will be holding the reins on Indianapolis while Martin Garcia will be in Pimpernel's saddle.

The rest of the Malibu field are dual stakes-placed Conquest Two Step, stakes scorer Diamond Bachelor, Grade 2-placed Rprettyboyfloyd and Frensham.

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Competitive field assembled for La Brea; Heart to Heart highlights Mathis Bros Mile

Taris is making her first start for new connections in the La Brea (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Friday's opening day card at Santa Anita Park features three graded contest, with the Grade 1, $300,000 Malibu drawing much of the attention thanks to the presence of Horse of the Year candidate Shared Belief.

However, the Malibu shares the card with another Grade 1 in the $300,000 La Brea, which attracted 10 three-year-old fillies going seven furlongs, including Grade 2 Raven Run romper Taris.

The bay miss scored by 7 3/4 lengths in a Presque Isle Downs allowance before her nine-length Raven Run tour de force on October 18 at Keeneland. The Flatter filly, trained by Todd Beattie and ridden by Clinton Potts in her initial four-for-five line, was purchased for $2.35 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale and now races under the tutelage of conditioner Simon Callaghan. Rafael Bejarano will be aboard as Taris makes her first start for her new connections.

Another top draw in the La Brea is Thank You Marylou, winner of the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs on September 20 by 6 1/2 lengths. The Mike Maker charge followed up with third-place efforts in the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the latter of which took place over track and distance. Joel Rosario takes the reins on the Birdstone filly for the first time in the La Brea.

Stonetastic, who dominated by 8 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga before a nice third in Keeneland's Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America, finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. The Kelly Breen-trained daughter of Mizzen Mast keeps Paco Lopez aboard as she returns to facing her own age group.

Trainer Bob Baffert has been pointing Awesome Baby and Jojo Warrior to the La Brea for quite some time. The former, a daughter of Awesome Again, is three-for-three on the year, including the Grade 2 Santa Ynez and Grade 3 Santa Ysabel, but hasn't raced since a 4 1/4-length decision in the Sunland Park Oaks on March 23.

Jojo Warrior, on the other hand, captured the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks in June by 5 1/4 lengths, the Grade 3 Torrey Pines in August and is exiting a nice third behind presumptive champion three-year-old filly Untapable in the Grade 1 Cotillion on September 20.

Smith has the call on Awesome Baby while Jojo Warrior will be ridden by Garcia.

Stakes scorers winners Uzziel and Ramona's Wildcat were one-two, respectively, in the Beverly J. Lewis in September, but have both been off-the-board in their subsequent starts. In contrast, More Complexity and Amaranth enter the La Brea off stakes wins in the Betty Grable and Senator Ken Maddy, respectively, in their past pair.

That leaves Sam's Sister to complete the La Brea field, and the Brother Derek filly will be looking to get back to her winning ways in this stakes bow after going three-for-four thus far in her career.

Heart to Heart flew home in the Commonwealth Turf last out (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Sandwiched between the Malibu and La Brea is the Grade 2, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile, formerly run as the Sir Beaufort Stakes, for sophomores on the turf. An overflow field of 14 was drawn for that eight-furlong grass contest, which feature a showdown between Alert Bay and Tonito M.

The top draw in the Mathis Brothers Mile, however, is Heart to Heart. The English Channel colt has easily captured his last three races -- the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf, Grade 3 Jefferson Cup and Better Talk Now -- in wire-to-wire fashion. The Brian Lynch pupil had Julien Leparoux aboard for the two graded victories and the duo will try to make it three in a row on Friday.

Grade 3 scorers Alert Bay and Tonito M. met up last out in the Zia Park Derby, with the former earning his third straight stakes win by three lengths. Tonito M. rallied five wide from midpack to take second and will have to be closer if he hopes to factor in this sprint.

Also in with a chance are Home Run Kitten, a nose winner of the Grade 3 Eddie D. two back; Long On Value, victor of the Grade 2 Twilight Derby; Talco, third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby and Grade 2 Del Mar Derby in his past two; and Sawyer's Hill, fourth in the Hollywood Derby off seconds in the Twilight Derby and Del Mar Derby. The latter three runners are cutting back off nine-furlong races while Home Run Kitten sprinted in the Eddie D.

Santa Anita's popular free online "Showvivor" will mark its return on the track's opening day, and will again offer fans $10,000 in prize money, highlighted by a $5,000 top prize -- to be awarded to the longest "show streak" over the course of Santa Anita's winter and spring meetings, which will conclude on June 28.

The track is also offering fans free weekend Infield admission and parking, beginning opening day. A special early first post time is set for noon (PST) on Friday, with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.

Santa Anita Park's 68-day 2014-15 winter meet will offer fans a wide array of admission and seating options, including the track's popular "Gallop Out," which features trackside seating on the Club House turn, food and beverage options, and entertainment throughout the race day.

Santa Anita's winter meet will conclude April 19 and be followed by the track's 38-day summer meet, which runs from April 25 through June 28.

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Competitive field assembled for La Brea; Heart to Heart highlights Mathis Bros Mile

Taris is making her first start for new connections in the La Brea (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Friday's opening day card at Santa Anita Park features three graded contest, with the Grade 1, $300,000 Malibu drawing much of the attention thanks to the presence of Horse of the Year candidate Shared Belief.

However, the Malibu shares the card with another Grade 1 in the $300,000 La Brea, which attracted 10 three-year-old fillies going seven furlongs, including Grade 2 Raven Run romper Taris.

The bay miss scored by 7 3/4 lengths in a Presque Isle Downs allowance before her nine-length Raven Run tour de force on October 18 at Keeneland. The Flatter filly, trained by Todd Beattie and ridden by Clinton Potts in her initial four-for-five line, was purchased for $2.35 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale and now races under the tutelage of conditioner Simon Callaghan. Rafael Bejarano will be aboard as Taris makes her first start for her new connections.

Another top draw in the La Brea is Thank You Marylou, winner of the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs on September 20 by 6 1/2 lengths. The Mike Maker charge followed up with third-place efforts in the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the latter of which took place over track and distance. Joel Rosario takes the reins on the Birdstone filly for the first time in the La Brea.

Stonetastic, who dominated by 8 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga before a nice third in Keeneland's Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America, finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. The Kelly Breen-trained daughter of Mizzen Mast keeps Paco Lopez aboard as she returns to facing her own age group.

Trainer Bob Baffert has been pointing Awesome Baby and Jojo Warrior to the La Brea for quite some time. The former, a daughter of Awesome Again, is three-for-three on the year, including the Grade 2 Santa Ynez and Grade 3 Santa Ysabel, but hasn't raced since a 4 1/4-length decision in the Sunland Park Oaks on March 23.

Jojo Warrior, on the other hand, captured the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks in June by 5 1/4 lengths, the Grade 3 Torrey Pines in August and is exiting a nice third behind presumptive champion three-year-old filly Untapable in the Grade 1 Cotillion on September 20.

Smith has the call on Awesome Baby while Jojo Warrior will be ridden by Garcia.

Stakes scorers winners Uzziel and Ramona's Wildcat were one-two, respectively, in the Beverly J. Lewis in September, but have both been off-the-board in their subsequent starts. In contrast, More Complexity and Amaranth enter the La Brea off stakes wins in the Betty Grable and Senator Ken Maddy, respectively, in their past pair.

That leaves Sam's Sister to complete the La Brea field, and the Brother Derek filly will be looking to get back to her winning ways in this stakes bow after going three-for-four thus far in her career.

Heart to Heart flew home in the Commonwealth Turf last out (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Sandwiched between the Malibu and La Brea is the Grade 2, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile, formerly run as the Sir Beaufort Stakes, for sophomores on the turf. An overflow field of 14 was drawn for that eight-furlong grass contest, which feature a showdown between Alert Bay and Tonito M.

The top draw in the Mathis Brothers Mile, however, is Heart to Heart. The English Channel colt has easily captured his last three races -- the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf, Grade 3 Jefferson Cup and Better Talk Now -- in wire-to-wire fashion. The Brian Lynch pupil had Julien Leparoux aboard for the two graded victories and the duo will try to make it three in a row on Friday.

Grade 3 scorers Alert Bay and Tonito M. met up last out in the Zia Park Derby, with the former earning his third straight stakes win by three lengths. Tonito M. rallied five wide from midpack to take second and will have to be closer if he hopes to factor in this sprint.

Also in with a chance are Home Run Kitten, a nose winner of the Grade 3 Eddie D. two back; Long On Value, victor of the Grade 2 Twilight Derby; Talco, third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby and Grade 2 Del Mar Derby in his past two; and Sawyer's Hill, fourth in the Hollywood Derby off seconds in the Twilight Derby and Del Mar Derby. The latter three runners are cutting back off nine-furlong races while Home Run Kitten sprinted in the Eddie D.

Santa Anita's popular free online "Showvivor" will mark its return on the track's opening day, and will again offer fans $10,000 in prize money, highlighted by a $5,000 top prize -- to be awarded to the longest "show streak" over the course of Santa Anita's winter and spring meetings, which will conclude on June 28.

The track is also offering fans free weekend Infield admission and parking, beginning opening day. A special early first post time is set for noon (PST) on Friday, with admission gates opening at 10 a.m.

Santa Anita Park's 68-day 2014-15 winter meet will offer fans a wide array of admission and seating options, including the track's popular "Gallop Out," which features trackside seating on the Club House turn, food and beverage options, and entertainment throughout the race day.

Santa Anita's winter meet will conclude April 19 and be followed by the track's 38-day summer meet, which runs from April 25 through June 28.

Bet Horseracing Free Online at TwinSpires.com

In brief

Jerry Hollendorfer hopes Shared Belief (Candy Ride) runs to his workout when the male juvenile champion of 2013 makes his next start in Friday's Malibu S. (G1) at Santa Anita. If he does, his rivals may not know which way he went. After all, Hollendorfer hardly knew which way the gelding went in a four-furlong drill at Golden Gate Fields Monday morning, due a heavy fog. "I didn't actually see the work until the last eighth of a mile because of fog," Hollendorfer said by phone Monday morning. "But I did get him in :12 for the last eighth of a mile. I haven't talked yet with Russell (Baze, who was aboard for the work), but it seemed fine." Shared Belief is scheduled to arrive from the Bay Area at Santa Anita on Tuesday. Shared Belief drew post 8 with ample speed in the race that should benefit his stalking style, Hollendorfer wasn't about to count any chickens before they hatched, perhaps still mindful of Shared Belief's rough start in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) in which he suffered his first defeat after seven victories. "We'll see what happens," Hollendorfer said. "But I think we're bringing down a very good horse."...

Trainer Richard Mandella said X-rays of Beholder's (Henny Hughes) lungs "were perfect" after the two-time Eclipse Award winner returned to his barn last week following recovery from a fever which necessitated her scratch from the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) October 31. "I've sent her Julie Adair Stack's facility in Chino," Mandella said. "She'll be there a couple weeks just to get the edge off and get started back jogging. Then I'll bring her back. She looks like 10 million dollars."...

Sean McCarthy reports Majestic Harbor (Rockport Harbor) is doing well as he prepares for the New Year. "He worked a half Monday in :47 2/5 and went super," the trainer said of the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) winner. "We're hoping to run him in the San Pasqual S. ([G2] January 11)."...

After an 11-day holiday break, the Aqueduct winter meet resumes Friday with the $100,000 Gravesend H. as the feature. The six-furlong dash has attracted a graded stakes-quality field of five, featuring Fall Highweight H. (G3) and Bold Ruler H. (G3) winner Salutos Amigos (Salute the Sarge) and Carter H. (G1) scorer and Vosburgh S. (G1) runner-up Dads Caps (Discreet Cat), who was a last-out fourth in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel. Also in the field of five is Mewannarose (Bwana Charlie), who rallied to finish second at odds of 20-1 in the Fall Highweight on Thanksgiving...

Wake Up Joe (Zensational), second in a photo when trying dirt for the first time in a Churchill Downs allowance last month, makes his stakes debut on Saturday in the $100,000 Pasco S., a seven-furlong dash for two-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs. Among the eight rivals joining the gray are Catalina Red (Munnings), who broke his maiden by 7 1.4 lengths in the Inaugural S. over the Tampa strip on December 6, and Big Family (Any Given Saturday), a 6 1/4-length debut winner at Gulfstream Park West last month. X Y Jet (Kantharos), who bested Catalina Red in a state-bred maiden on November 8 in his fifth career start, enters the Pasco off a fourth-place effort in the Buffalo Man S. at Gulfstream Park West. Earlier in the card, 10 juvenile fillies square off over seven-eighths in the $100,000 Gasparilla S. A. P.'s Glory (Mineshaft), an Arlington debut winner who later took the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, will be making her first start since August. Huasca (Tiz Wonderful), who won by 9 3/4 lengths at first asking in a Gulfstream Park West maiden in October, and recent Sandpiper S. one-two R Sassy Lass (Exclusive Quality) and Coco's Wildcat (Wildcat Heir) are other contenders...

Three-year-old grass horses will be in action at Fair Grounds on Saturday in the $60,000 Woodchopper S. and the $60,000 Pago Hop S. for fillies, both at about one mile. Trainer Wayne Catalano has two of the main contenders in the Woodchopper, 2013 Bourbon S. (G3) winner Poker Player (Harlan's Holiday) and Grade 3-placed Highball (Lemon Drop Kid), while Tom Amoss will saddle Grade 3 veteran Rise Up (Rockport Harbor), who finished far back in his only prior turf attempt. Aztec Brave (Pyrus), a five-length allowance winner over the local turf on November 28, and stakes-placed Pumpkin Rumble (English Channel) are other intriguing candidates. Among the leading contenders in the Pago Hop are stakes winner Divine Beauty (Divine Park), who makes her turf debut; Kiss to Remember (Big Brown), who captured the Battle of New Orleans S. in February and has run second in four stakes since; and recent allowance scorers High Wire Kitten (Kitten's Joy), In My Time (Scat Daddy), and Mizzen Moon (Mizzen Mast).

Goodwood Racecourse and Qatar have entered into a 10-year sponsorship deal that is the most significant in the history of British racing. The deal will result in over £2 million being invested into prize money for eight races during the Goodwood Festival -- also known as Glorious Goodwood -- in 2015, with a commitment to increases year-on-year. Total prize money for the festival will total £4.5 million next year. The meeting's flagship race, the Sussex S. (Eng-G1), will be worth £1 million, up from £300,000 this year. The meeting's other Group 1, the Nassau S. for fillies and mares, is up to £600,000 from £200,000. The week's three feature Group 2 races -- the Lennox S., the Goodwood Cup and the King George S. -- will each be worth £300,000, and Qatar has guaranteed that if any of those events reaches Group 1 status the purse will rise to at least £500,000. The meeting's two Group 2s for two-year-olds -- the Vintage S. and the Richmond S. -- will each be run for £200,000 next year. The Stewards Cup, the headline handicap of the week, will be worth £250,000. The Goodwood Festival will take place July 28 through August 1, 2015. "I am delighted that Qatar have decided to play a significant part in Goodwood's position as one of the finest racing experiences in the world," said Lord March, owner of Goodwood. "Goodwood has, for more than 200 years, been about the best racing in the most English of settings, accessible to everyone. Our partnership with Qatar will make an enormous contribution to horse racing in the UK." It was also revealed that at least two Arabian races would be contested at the Goodwood Festival.

In brief

Jerry Hollendorfer hopes Shared Belief (Candy Ride) runs to his workout when the male juvenile champion of 2013 makes his next start in Friday's Malibu S. (G1) at Santa Anita. If he does, his rivals may not know which way he went. After all, Hollendorfer hardly knew which way the gelding went in a four-furlong drill at Golden Gate Fields Monday morning, due a heavy fog. "I didn't actually see the work until the last eighth of a mile because of fog," Hollendorfer said by phone Monday morning. "But I did get him in :12 for the last eighth of a mile. I haven't talked yet with Russell (Baze, who was aboard for the work), but it seemed fine." Shared Belief is scheduled to arrive from the Bay Area at Santa Anita on Tuesday. Shared Belief drew post 8 with ample speed in the race that should benefit his stalking style, Hollendorfer wasn't about to count any chickens before they hatched, perhaps still mindful of Shared Belief's rough start in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) in which he suffered his first defeat after seven victories. "We'll see what happens," Hollendorfer said. "But I think we're bringing down a very good horse."...

Trainer Richard Mandella said X-rays of Beholder's (Henny Hughes) lungs "were perfect" after the two-time Eclipse Award winner returned to his barn last week following recovery from a fever which necessitated her scratch from the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) October 31. "I've sent her Julie Adair Stack's facility in Chino," Mandella said. "She'll be there a couple weeks just to get the edge off and get started back jogging. Then I'll bring her back. She looks like 10 million dollars."...

Sean McCarthy reports Majestic Harbor (Rockport Harbor) is doing well as he prepares for the New Year. "He worked a half Monday in :47 2/5 and went super," the trainer said of the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) winner. "We're hoping to run him in the San Pasqual S. ([G2] January 11)."...

After an 11-day holiday break, the Aqueduct winter meet resumes Friday with the $100,000 Gravesend H. as the feature. The six-furlong dash has attracted a graded stakes-quality field of five, featuring Fall Highweight H. (G3) and Bold Ruler H. (G3) winner Salutos Amigos (Salute the Sarge) and Carter H. (G1) scorer and Vosburgh S. (G1) runner-up Dads Caps (Discreet Cat), who was a last-out fourth in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel. Also in the field of five is Mewannarose (Bwana Charlie), who rallied to finish second at odds of 20-1 in the Fall Highweight on Thanksgiving...

Wake Up Joe (Zensational), second in a photo when trying dirt for the first time in a Churchill Downs allowance last month, makes his stakes debut on Saturday in the $100,000 Pasco S., a seven-furlong dash for two-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs. Among the eight rivals joining the gray are Catalina Red (Munnings), who broke his maiden by 7 1.4 lengths in the Inaugural S. over the Tampa strip on December 6, and Big Family (Any Given Saturday), a 6 1/4-length debut winner at Gulfstream Park West last month. X Y Jet (Kantharos), who bested Catalina Red in a state-bred maiden on November 8 in his fifth career start, enters the Pasco off a fourth-place effort in the Buffalo Man S. at Gulfstream Park West. Earlier in the card, 10 juvenile fillies square off over seven-eighths in the $100,000 Gasparilla S. A. P.'s Glory (Mineshaft), an Arlington debut winner who later took the Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, will be making her first start since August. Huasca (Tiz Wonderful), who won by 9 3/4 lengths at first asking in a Gulfstream Park West maiden in October, and recent Sandpiper S. one-two R Sassy Lass (Exclusive Quality) and Coco's Wildcat (Wildcat Heir) are other contenders...

Three-year-old grass horses will be in action at Fair Grounds on Saturday in the $60,000 Woodchopper S. and the $60,000 Pago Hop S. for fillies, both at about one mile. Trainer Wayne Catalano has two of the main contenders in the Woodchopper, 2013 Bourbon S. (G3) winner Poker Player (Harlan's Holiday) and Grade 3-placed Highball (Lemon Drop Kid), while Tom Amoss will saddle Grade 3 veteran Rise Up (Rockport Harbor), who finished far back in his only prior turf attempt. Aztec Brave (Pyrus), a five-length allowance winner over the local turf on November 28, and stakes-placed Pumpkin Rumble (English Channel) are other intriguing candidates. Among the leading contenders in the Pago Hop are stakes winner Divine Beauty (Divine Park), who makes her turf debut; Kiss to Remember (Big Brown), who captured the Battle of New Orleans S. in February and has run second in four stakes since; and recent allowance scorers High Wire Kitten (Kitten's Joy), In My Time (Scat Daddy), and Mizzen Moon (Mizzen Mast).

Goodwood Racecourse and Qatar have entered into a 10-year sponsorship deal that is the most significant in the history of British racing. The deal will result in over £2 million being invested into prize money for eight races during the Goodwood Festival -- also known as Glorious Goodwood -- in 2015, with a commitment to increases year-on-year. Total prize money for the festival will total £4.5 million next year. The meeting's flagship race, the Sussex S. (Eng-G1), will be worth £1 million, up from £300,000 this year. The meeting's other Group 1, the Nassau S. for fillies and mares, is up to £600,000 from £200,000. The week's three feature Group 2 races -- the Lennox S., the Goodwood Cup and the King George S. -- will each be worth £300,000, and Qatar has guaranteed that if any of those events reaches Group 1 status the purse will rise to at least £500,000. The meeting's two Group 2s for two-year-olds -- the Vintage S. and the Richmond S. -- will each be run for £200,000 next year. The Stewards Cup, the headline handicap of the week, will be worth £250,000. The Goodwood Festival will take place July 28 through August 1, 2015. "I am delighted that Qatar have decided to play a significant part in Goodwood's position as one of the finest racing experiences in the world," said Lord March, owner of Goodwood. "Goodwood has, for more than 200 years, been about the best racing in the most English of settings, accessible to everyone. Our partnership with Qatar will make an enormous contribution to horse racing in the UK." It was also revealed that at least two Arabian races would be contested at the Goodwood Festival.

Trainer Stats

BRIS TRAINER STATS FROM PAST 60 DAYS

Trainer   Starts   Wins   Win %
Hugh H. Robertson   21   9   43
C. R. Trout   18   7   39
Jack O. Fisher   21   8   38
Rigoberto Velasquez   62   23   37
Marcos Zulueta   31   11   35
Randy Oberlander   17   6   35
Kevin S. Patterson   23   8   35
Thomas M. Amoss   118   40   34
Joe Sharp   36   12   33
Josie Carroll   27   9   33
Anthony F. Rini   18   6   33
Robert A. Young   15   5   33
Robertino Diodoro   182   60   33
Michael S. Ferraro   88   29   33
Michelle Nevin   34   11   32
William E. Morey   56   18   32
John F. Martin   53   17   32
Andy Mathis   25   8   32
Pedro Hernandez-Sandoval   22   7   32
Victor Arceneaux   16   5   31
Larry R. Reed   29   9   31
Roger F. Engel   42   13   31
Ray Spencer   26   8   31
Keith G. Bourgeois   75   23   31
Jane Cibelli   49   15   31

Results

NORTH AMERICAN ALLOWANCE RESULTS

PRX, 8TH, ALW, $62,880, 3YO/UP, 1M 70Y, 12-22.
7—KOBEL, c, 3, Sequoyah--April Lady, by Smart Strike. O-Vince Campanella, B-Donald Clifford Wilson (PA), T-Keith W. LeBarron, J-J. D. Acosta, $37,800.
4—Grasshoppin, g, 3, Cat Thief--Sweetheart Sami, by Broad Brush. O-Michael W Jester, B-Michael W Jester (PA), $12,600.
8—Waynesborough, g, 4, Curlin--Bloomy, by Polish Numbers. O-Kasey K Racing Stable, B-Brushwood Stable (PA), $6,930.
Winning Time: 1:48 2/5 (ft)
 
SUN, 9TH, ALW, $27,100, 2YO, F, 5 1/2F, 12-22.
8—TEA LIGHT, f, 2, Right Rigger--Tea Rona, by Dry Gulch. O-Teague, Larry R and Harry, B-Larry R Teague (NM), T-Weston Martin, J-Irwin J. Rosendo, $16,260.
4—Truth in Science, f, 2, Diabolical--Road to Reason, by Redattore (BRZ). O-Robison, J Kirk and Judy, B-J Kirk Robison & Henry Dominquez (NM), $5,962.
10—Miss Belly Who, f, 2, The Way Home--Belly Dance, by Robyn Dancer. O-Stevens, Sam E and Sammy L, B-Sam E Stevens & Sammy L Stevens (NM), $2,710.
Winning Time: 1:04 2/5 (ft)

North American Maiden Winners
Intimidator--Lavender Lass (MSW$256,406), by Skip Trial; LADY LAVENDATOR, f, 2, DED, Mcl 10000, 12-22, 5f, 1:01 1/5. B-Judice Farms Inc (LA.). $5,000 '13 ESLSEP; $12,000 2014 ESLAPR.
My Pal Charlie--Huckleberry's Gal by Toolighttoquit; RANDIJOEGOFORDGOLD, f, 2, DED, Mcl 10000, 12-22, 7f, 1:33 3/5. B-Vincent Amico (LA.).
Old Forester--Majestic Nurse by Grand Slam; MY PET, f, 2, MVR, Mcl 25000, 12-22, 6f, 1:16 . B-Doris Carey (ON.). C$4,500 '13 ONTSEP.
Albert the Great--Sigonella by Coastal Storm; THE GREAT SEVEN, c, 3, PRX, Mcl 10000, 12-22, 6f, 1:17 4/5. B-Fred Dimeo (PA.).
Awesome Dividend--Resilient by Wild Again; MAY RUN COULD FLY, c, 3, SUN, Mcl 7500, 12-22, 1m, 1:42 2/5. B-Kamil Ozhan (NM.).
Sky Terrace--Escapade Lass by Ice Age; RED TERRACE, g, 3, TUP, Mcl 5000, 12-22, 6f, 1:10 2/5. B-William L. Hedrick & Judy Hedrick (CA.). *1/2 to Summer Lass(SP$261,333).
Too Much Bling--Prado Lady by El Prado (IRE); HE'S A BLING, g, 3, SUN, Msw, 12-22, 1m 70y, 1:41 4/5. B-Kathryn I. East (TX.).
Parker B.--Choose Rain by Choosing Choice; SHAY PARKER B., f, 4, DED, Mcl 10000, 12-22, 6 1/2f, 1:26 . B-Roy F. Bellard (LA.).   ***FIRST WINNER FOR SIRE
Prince of the Mt.--Huffs Champagne by Huff; PRINCE CHAMPAGNE, h, 5, DED, Mcl 10000, 12-22, 1m, 1:47 2/5. B-John Girault Bird (LA.).

Trainer/Jockey Stats

BRIS TRAINER/JOCKEY STATS FROM PAST 60 DAYS

Trainer/Jockey Combo   Starts   Wins   Win %
Roger F. Engel/M. Clifton Berry   18   11   61%
William E. Morey/Russell A. Baze   19   10   53%
Scott Becker/Santo Sanjur   19   9   47%
Samuel Breaux/Gerard Melancon   15   7   47%
Rigoberto Velasquez/Leonel Camacho-Flores   28   13   46%
Thomas M. Amoss/James Graham   31   14   45%
Kiaran P. McLaughlin/Irad Ortiz, Jr.   18   8   44%
Thomas M. Amoss/Gerard Melancon   32   14   44%
Robertino Diodoro/Geovanni Franco   49   21   43%
Ian R. Wilkes/Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.   19   8   42%
Samuel Breaux/C.J. McMahon   15   6   40%
Josie Carroll/Luis Contreras   15   6   40%
Jack O. Fisher/Sean McDermott   15   6   40%
Joel H. Marr/Alfredo J. Juarez, Jr.   15   6   40%
Kevin S. Patterson/Gerald Almodovar   15   6   40%
J. R. Caldwell/Jareth Loveberry   38   15   39%
Timothy C. Grams/Oscar Flores   23   9   39%
Bob Baffert/Martin Garcia   42   16   38%
Michael S. Ferraro/David Michael Lopez   67   25   37%
James P. DiVito/Emmanuel Esquivel   27   10   37%
Jevon D. Crumley/William P. Otero   17   6   35%
John F. Martin/Silvio Ruiz Amador   17   6   35%
Hugh I. McMahon/Daniel Centeno   17   6   35%
Tammy Domenosky/Emmanuel Esquivel   20   7   35%
Justin R. Evans/Irwin J. Rosendo   23   8   35%
William N. Martin/Noel Vigil   23   8   35%

Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Tuesday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Delta Downs   (2nd) Wesley's Girl, 10-1
    (5th) Earl and Vinegar, 3-1
Gulfstream Park   (1st) Peter Castleboy, 10-1
    (8th) Dragonberry, 3-1
Mahoning Valley   (1st) Smooth Arrival, 7-2
    (2nd) Sugah Sweet, 9-2
Parx Racing   (6th) Mine the Store, 7-2
    (7th) James Lee, 7-2
Turf Paradise   (2nd) Tilted Lady, 9-2
    (6th) Cantaffordanother, 7-2

Sire Lists
LEADING SIRES BY CURRENT YEAR EARNINGS
RNK SIREYB CFls StrsWnrs/% SWs/%SPI 2014
Earnings
1 Galileo (IRE) 1998 10 1546 308 139/45 39/12 4.84 $16,552,037
2 Tapit 2001 7 752 312 147/47 17/5 2.88 $16,538,546
3 Giant's Causeway 1997 11 1775 342 161/47 23/6 2.65 $12,416,275
4 Kitten's Joy 2001 6 631 283 144/50 25/8 1.85 $11,531,929
5 City Zip 1998 10 810 269 158/58 17/6 1.70 $11,069,191
6 Pivotal (GB) 1993 15 1289 220 104/47 9/4 2.52 $10,038,840
7 Candy Ride (ARG) 1999 7 801 263 145/55 13/4 2.02 $9,948,126
8 Shamardal 2002 7 744 253 133/52 24/9 1.91 $9,010,777
9 Medaglia d'Oro 1999 7 882 258 114/44 19/7 2.42 $8,945,316
10 Invincible Spirit (IRE) 1997 9 1029 318 144/45 17/5 1.68 $8,801,182

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.

Sire Lists
LEADING BROODMARE SIRES BY CURRENT YEAR EARNINGS
RNK SIREYB DmsSps/% StsWnrs SWsBSPI ABSPI Earnings
1 Storm Cat 1983 355 87/24 586 267 33 2.06 0.82 $18,661,294
2 A.P. Indy 1989 296 77/26 492 231 31 2.04 0.81 $16,160,980
3 Sadler's Wells 1981 454 116/25 710 258 38 2.19 1.13 $15,225,312
4 Danehill 1986 345 140/40 535 229 56 2.01 0.80 $12,994,088
5 Gone West 1984 270 53/19 404 179 14 1.71 1.06 $12,743,965
6 Unbridled's Song 1993 263 68/25 425 215 18 1.64 1.01 $11,687,356
7 Seeking the Gold 1985 268 58/21 443 195 18 2.22 0.89 $10,830,992
8 Thunder Gulch 1992 202 53/26 341 150 17 1.29 0.80 $10,630,814
9 Deputy Minister 1979 236 66/27 404 213 18 1.96 1.01 $10,590,915
10 Dixieland Band 1980 242 66/27 389 188 14 1.69 1.04 $9,306,012
LEADING FRESHMAN SIRES BY CURRENT YEAR EARNINGS
RNK SIREYB FlsStrs %StsWnrs %WnrSWs %SW 2014
Earnings
1 Quality Road 2006 99 40 40 14 14 2 2 $1,550,086
2 Super Saver 2007 102 54 52 13 12 4 3 $1,489,029
3 Lookin At Lucky 2007 89 33 37 20 22 4 4 $1,355,185
4 Lope De Vega (IRE) 2007 59 53 89 23 38 4 6 $1,232,524
5 Munnings 2006 95 51 53 25 26 3 3 $1,119,923
6 Siyouni (FR) 2007 59 40 67 18 30 4 6 $975,153
7 Showcasing (GB) 2007 60 57 95 29 48 4 6 $934,687
8 Majesticperfection 2006 69 36 52 19 27 0 0 $865,081
9 Kantharos 2008 47 29 61 17 36 1 2 $841,818
10 Temple City 2005 83 34 40 11 13 2 2 $840,257
LEADING JUVENILE SIRES BY CURRENT YEAR EARNINGS
RNK SIREYB 2yoSts WnrSws C2yo %WnrCsw Earnings
1 Giant's Causeway 1997 146 50 15 3 1725 30 25 $2,946,923
2 Tiz Wonderful 2004 96 33 20 4 285 60 6 $1,884,867
3 Galileo (IRE) 1998 174 67 27 5 1442 40 32 $1,776,209
4 Kodiac (GB) 2001 108 87 41 4 308 47 11 $1,764,522
5 Afleet Alex 2002 113 36 15 2 585 41 7 $1,747,357
6 Congrats 2000 227 68 18 2 425 26 9 $1,711,411
7 Indian Charlie 1995 94 36 17 4 939 47 27 $1,589,708
8 Quality Road 2006 107 40 14 2 99 35 2 $1,550,086
9 Stormy Atlantic 1994 79 36 15 5 1281 41 35 $1,540,038
10 Kitten's Joy 2001 111 53 23 5 610 43 23 $1,506,314
LEADING SECOND-CROP SIRES BY LIFETIME EARNINGS
RNK SIREYB FlsSts %StsWnrs %WnrSWs %SWEarnings
1 Mastercraftsman (IRE) 2006 171 159 92 75 43 11 6 $6,724,263
2 Sea the Stars (IRE) 2006 137 108 78 61 44 11 8 $5,795,613
3 Pioneerof the Nile 2006 143 88 61 48 33 6 4 $4,736,451
4 Le Havre (IRE) 2006 156 93 59 37 23 6 3 $3,697,141
5 Thewayyouare 2005 110 86 78 39 35 4 3 $3,317,941
6 Old Fashioned 2006 139 77 55 47 33 4 2 $2,962,732
7 Dunkirk 2006 176 99 56 51 28 6 3 $2,780,394
8 Colonel John 2005 170 104 61 52 30 3 1 $2,700,088
9 Zensational 2006 128 86 67 49 38 3 2 $2,296,167
10 Two Step Salsa 2005 82 47 57 30 36 1 1 $2,178,772
LEADING THIRD-CROP SIRES BY LIFETIME EARNINGS
RNK SIREYB FlsSts %StsWnrs %WnrSWs %SWEarnings
1 Curlin 2004 299 191 63 113 37 14 4 $12,527,748
2 Midnight Lute 2003 229 157 68 95 41 12 5 $9,855,002
3 Majestic Warrior 2005 285 183 64 117 41 11 3 $9,743,815
4 Into Mischief 2005 103 72 69 47 45 10 9 $9,038,846
5 Tiz Wonderful 2004 285 169 59 123 43 12 4 $8,520,169
6 Street Boss 2004 230 164 71 117 50 11 4 $7,885,201
7 Big Brown 2005 222 155 69 100 45 14 6 $6,882,637
8 New Approach (IRE) 2005 247 188 76 104 42 15 6 $6,835,159
9 First Defence 2004 130 103 79 69 53 4 3 $6,081,487
10 Spring At Last 2003 160 119 74 71 44 9 5 $5,342,318
LEADING ALL-WEATHER SIRES BY CURRENT YEAR EARNINGS
RNK SIREYB StrSts WnrSWnr WnsSWns %WSEarnings
1 Pivotal (GB) 1993 112 321 42 23 57 35 18 $6,824,379
2 Shamardal 2002 122 276 35 18 46 26 17 $2,914,635
3 Street Cry (IRE) 1998 103 255 31 18 45 27 18 $2,196,848
4 Philanthropist 2001 67 292 26 4 40 7 14 $2,149,257
5 Sligo Bay (IRE) 1998 55 256 22 2 33 3 13 $2,143,949
6 Old Forester 2001 78 374 32 3 43 3 11 $2,032,911
7 Milwaukee Brew 1997 76 317 29 3 43 4 14 $1,951,330
8 Where's the Ring 1999 83 411 29 1 44 1 11 $1,893,666
9 Candy Ride (ARG) 1999 88 225 29 5 42 6 19 $1,831,593
10 Tribal Rule 1996 94 279 44 1 59 2 21 $1,588,801

(North American statistics in above lists updated through December 21)

EXPLANATION OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN BLOODSTOCK JOURNAL SIRE LISTS

YB-Year of birth   C-Number of foal crops of racing age
Fls-Number of foals   Sts-Number of starters
%Str-Percentage of starters from foals   Wnrs-Number of winners
%Wnr-Percentage of winners from foals   SWs-Number of stakes winners
2yo-Number of two-year-old named foals   Dms-Number of dams
SPs-Number of stakes producers   %SP-Percentage of stakes producers
CumEarnings-Lifetime earnings   SPI-Sire Production Index
BSPI-Broodmare Sire Production Index   ABSPI-Adjusted Broodmare Sire Production Index
%SW-Percentage of stakes winners from foals   C2yo-Lifetime (cumulative) number of two-year-olds
CWnr-Lifetime (cumulative) number of two-year-old winners   CSW-Lifetime (cumulative) number of two-year-old stakes winners

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.