With Martin Garcia in the irons, American Pharoah puts in his first post-Preakness work. Photo by Reed Palmer
By Jim Charvat
Trainer Bob Baffert didn’t waste anytime getting down to business at Churchill Downs. Less than 12-hours after arriving in Louisville, he put his Triple Crown hopeful to work, breezing American Pharoah for the first time since the Preakness.
The colt worked 4-furlongs in :48 with splits of :24 and 35.8, galloping out 1:00.4 and 1:13.2. The common consensus of those in attendance was the work looked good visually. He was moving smoothly and appeared as good as he ever looks in his morning… Read the rest of this entry >>
Hong Kong’s Happy Valley Racecourse
We’re moving closer to summer, a time when many of horse racing’s most beautiful race tracks run. Whether or not you’re trying to come up with an idea for a place to summer vacation, you’ll enjoy this picture gallery of the most beautiful horse race tracks in the world put together by Architectural Digest.
We find it hard to argue with any of the selections but as with any list, somebody is going to be left out…and one of our favorites didn’t make the list for some reason. Del Mar is noticably absent from the list which we’re sure was just an over-sight on their part.
Hard Not to Like stings Fanticola on the wire in the G1 Gamely at Santa Anita
Classy Hard Not to Like sat mid-pack early, bided her time at the rail for an eighth of a mile late and was rewarded with a hard fought neck victory under Victor Espinoza in Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita.
With Fanticola, ridden by Joe Talamo, dictating moderate fractions, Hard Not to Like, who is trained by Christophe Clement, moved into contention around the far turn and was just up at the wire, getting 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:49.87.
“When she broke and crossed the dirt, everyone was going a different direction so I dropped her all the way down to the rail,” said Espinoza. “I was going to stay there and if it opened, it opened. In the stretch,… Read the rest of this entry >>
American Pharoah back on the surface he loves…sloppy Monday morning
American Pharoah put in his daily gallop Monday morning on a surface he loves to run on…muddy. A downpour about an hour before the Kentucky Derby winner came out for his morning routine left the track soaked.
Needless to say, ‘Pharoah’ didn’t mind. He has run some of his best races on a wet surface, the G2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park and the Preakness at Pimlico. Exercise rider, Jorge Alvarez noted last week… Read the rest of this entry >>
Saratoga Snacks always gives an honest effort, one that may be good enough to win Monday. Photo by Chelsea Durand
Full fields abound on Memorial Day at Belmont Park for Big Apple Showcase Day, which features six stakes races worth $900,000 highlighted by hard-knocking New York-breds Saratoga Snacks and Lubash. The 10-race program, with a scheduled first post of 1:20 p.m., is comprised entirely of New York-bred races.
In the $200,000 Commentator for older horses at a mile, Saratoga Snacks is listed as the 2-1 favorite for owner/trainer Gary Sciacca. Originally trained by Sciacca before being transferred to Hall of Famer Bill Mott for the majority of his 2014 campaign, the 6-year-old son of Tale of the Cat was bought back by Sciacca at the end of last year.
Since rejoining Sciacca, Saratoga Snacks has a win and a third-place finish to his credit in two starts this year. In his career, the bay ridgling has won eight of 19 career starts, including the 2013 edition of the Empire Classic – the most prestigious race restricted to New York-breds. Read the rest of this entry >>
Ashleyluvssugar (far left) rolls in the G2 Charles Whittingham at Santa Anita
California-bred Ashleyluvssugar wheeled four-wide turning for home and went on to a half length win under Gary Stevens in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Peter Eurton, the 4-year-old Game Plan gelding steadied mid-way around the far turn en route to covering 1 ½ miles on turf in 2:30.10.
“It looked like it was going to be messy on paper and it was,” said Stevens. “There was no real speed in the race and he was very fresh today. I wasn’t afraid to put him on the lead if that’s where he wanted to be, but Mike (Smith, aboard Brazilian-bred Going Somewhere) sent his horse away from there pretty hard and… Read the rest of this entry >>
American Pharoah has kept his weight throughout the Triple Crown grind. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski
For the third straight morning, American Pharoah put in a one mile-plus gallop around the Churchill Down’s racecourse. He started at the seven furlongs pole with regular exercise rider, Jorge Alvarez in the saddle.
The Derby winner galloped a full lap around the track before finishing up near the 5.5 gap. He was met there by Assistant Trainer Jim Barnes on his pony and he escorted American Pharoah back to the barn. In all, the exercise took about six minutes
Barnes hinted they might pick up the pace later this week. Bob Baffert is expected to arrive in Louisville Tuesday at which time he will assess the situation with the Triple Crown hopeful and lay out a plan. They are considering one work before leaving for New York
Barnes said they have decided to leave for New York the Tuesday, June 2nd, before the Belmont Stakes… Read the rest of this entry >>
Jockey Gary Boulanger guides Sky Treasure (far left) to victory in the G2 Nassau Stakes. michael burns photo
Sky Treasure rallied from near the back of the pack in a 12-horse field to capture Saturday’s $211,200 Grade 2 Nassau Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Mark Casse, the five-year-old Sky Mesa chestnut earned her first added-money score with a determined drive under Gary Boulanger in the one-mile tilt over a firm E.P. Taylor Turf Course, fending off the late run of Deceptive Vision by a length.
Sky Treasure was making her fourth start of the season following three off-the-board efforts at Santa Anita.
Read the rest of this entry >>
Xtra Luck holds em at bay to win the G3 Louisville Handicap. Photo by Reed Palmer
By Darren Rogers
Xtra Luck grabbed the lead from pacesetter Majestic Harbor on the final turn and drew away in the stretch to beat For Greater Glory by 1 ½ lengths in Saturday’s 78th running of the $100,000 Louisville Handicap (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Xtra Luck, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and trained by Neil Howard, covered 1 ½ miles over a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 2:28.24.
Majestic Harbor, last year’s Gold Cup at Santa Anita (GI) winner, led the field of nine older horses through the first 1 1/16 miles of the grass marathon through fractions of :24.62, :48.73, 1:14.23 and 1:40.34 with Xtra Luck about… Read the rest of this entry >>
American Pharoah puts in his daily gallop at Churchill Downs. Photo by Reed Palmer
Another morning, another gallop for American Pharoah who repeated Friday’s exercise almost to a tee on Saturday.
With exercise rider, Jorge Alvarez in the saddle, the Derby and Preakness winner came out on the track right after it was harrowed at about 8:30 local time. They sauntered to the 7-furlong pole and then when to work, going once around the Churchill Downs track, eventually putting in a 1 1/8 gallop.
Alvarez says one of the biggest qualities that American Pharoah has is his ability to cover a lot of ground.
“His stride is very different from a lot of horses – that’s an advantage,” he said.
Alvarez, who has worked horses for trainer Bob Baffert for seven years, also was the… Read the rest of this entry >>