California Chrome Arrives Back in the States, In Quarantine

California Chrome stepped off the van and went straight into quarantine at Arlington Park.

California Chrome stepped off the van and went straight into quarantine at Arlington Park. Photo by Ryan Thompson

California Chrome stepped off the van at Arlington Park and was met by a familiar face and then led straight into the quarantine barn where he will reside for the next 24 to 72 hours.

The reigning Horse of the Year was met by exercise rider, Anna Wells, dressed in a white sterilized coat and was promptly led away. It was the end of a long eight hour journey that began Tuesday morning in Holland, included a plane ride over the pond and directly to O’Hare Field in Chicago where the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was loaded on a van and brought to where he will race next.

But before he can get to work on preparing for the Arlington Million on August 12th, California Chrome must hang out in quarantine. It’s normal procedure for any horse that ships in from Europe. They’re… Read the rest of this entry >>

Ky Oaks Winner, Lovely Maria Returns in G3 Delaware Oaks Saturday

Kentucky Oaks winner, Lovely Maria makes her return to the races Saturday at Delaware Park

Kentucky Oaks winner, Lovely Maria makes her return to the races Saturday at Delaware Park

Locally-stabled Lovely Maria, the recent winner of the Kentucky Oaks, tops the $300,000 Grade III Delaware Oaks this Saturday.  The mile and a sixteenth affair has attracted a field of eight.

In her last start, Lovely Maria posted a 2 ¾-length triumph in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 1.  Previously, the daughter of Majesticperfection owned by the former Governor of Kentucky Brereton Jones, notched a 3 ¼-length score in the Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on April 4.

“She is here and she is ready to go,” said trainer J. Larry Jones.  “Everything looks good right now.  I am not saying we got her cranked up to 110% or anything, but surely we think she is ready and good to go.  We are ready to kick off the second half of the year campaign starting… Read the rest of this entry >>

California Chrome Returns Stateside on Tuesday: Heading to Arlington Park

Update: 7/6/15  10pm PDT

Cal Chrome#4

 

The Coburns tweeted California Chrome’s location Monday evening.

Click here to follow ‘Chrome’s’ flight across the pond.

Read the rest of this entry >>

American Pharoah Works at Santa Anita Monday

American Pharoah puts in a second work in preparation for the G1 Haskell next month

American Pharoah puts in a second work in preparation for the G1 Haskell next month. Photo by Reed Palmer

Triple Crown champion, American Pharoah, put in his second work since his Belmont Stakes win on Monday at Santa Anita. The colt went four furlongs in 47.3, the 12th fastest of fifty other works at the distance.

Trainer Bob Baffert was quite pleased with A.P’s work, saying they could run him next week if they wanted to.  ‘Pharoah’ got into a nice cruising speed during the work with jockey Martin Garcia in the saddle.

It all in preparation for next month’s Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Owner Ahmed Zayat announced last week they would run in the Grade One event restricted to 3-year old colts on August 2nd. In the meantime, Baffert is expected to take American Pharoah with a full string of horses to Del Mar next week.   Read the rest of this entry >>

Cozmic One to Make Second Start Wednesday at Belmont Park

Cozmic One runs again Wednesday at Belmont Park

Cozmic One runs again Wednesday at Belmont 

By Jim Charvat

Cozmic One, the oldest son of retired champion, Zenyatta, has been entered in a tough Maiden Special Weight at Belmont Park Wednesday. It’s the 7th race on the card, a 1 1/16 mile contest on the main track. Nine horses are entered, Cozmic One will leave from post #8. He will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh and is 4-1 on the morning line.

In his debut at Santa Anita in April, the son of Bernardini finished a disappointing last at a similar level. But trainer John Shirreffs thought it was a good experience for the 3-year old colt. Lately, Cozmic One has really come around, firing back-to-back bullets in his last two works at Belmont Park.

This being Cozmic One’s second race is significant. Young maiden horses will usually improve off the initial effort for no other reason than they now know what to expect. The bullet works may also indicate not only Cozmic One’s readiness, but his liking for “Big Sandy.”

Shirreffs says Cozmic One will accompany the rest of his stable up to Saratoga this summer.

Shaman Ghost Gets Up Late to Win the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine

Shaman Ghost runs down Danish Dynaformer to win the $1M Queen's Plate at Woodbine

Shaman Ghost runs down Danish Dynaformer to win the $1M Queen’s Plate at Woodbine

Shaman Ghost, ridden by Rafael Hernandez, hauled down Danish Dynaformer inside the sixteenth pole to win a thrilling 156th edition of the $1 million  Queen’s Plate, Canada’s most famous horse race, by one and one-quarter lengths, Sunday at Woodbine.

Watch: Ghost Shaman runs em down

It marked the third Plate win for Frank Stronach, following two other homebreds, Basqueian in 1994 and Awesome Again in 1997, but it was the first for trainer Brian Lynch and the first for Hernandez, with his first Plate mount.

It was also the fourth consecutive win for Shaman Ghost, who hadn’t raced since… Read the rest of this entry >>

Big Blue Kitten Wins Second G1 United Nations at Monmouth Park

Big Blue Kitten scores for the second time in three years in the G1 Untied Nations

Big Blue Kitten scores for the second time in three years in the G1 Untied Nations

A defending champion unleashed a devastating kick in the lane to win the G1 United Nations at Monmouth Park, but it wasn’t the defending champion everyone expected to make it back into the winner’s circle.

Watch: Big Blue Kitten blows by em all

While Main Sequence labored in the back of the pack, finishing out of the money, it was 2013 winner, Big Blue Kitten who roared into the lead in mid stretch and won the race for the second time in three years.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Big Blue Kitten showed his usual quick turn of foot at the top of the lane and powered home to a length a half victory in the $500,000 United Nations Stakes.

Big Blue Kitten found his usual spot near the rear of the field, swung out around the… Read the rest of this entry >>

Favorite Tale Holds Off Work All Week to Win G2 Smile at Gulfstream Park

Favorite Tale and jockey Floent Geroux gear down after winning the G2 Smile Sprint

Favorite Tale and jockey Floent Geroux gear down after winning the G2 Smile Sprint

Favorite Tale broke alertly from the starting gate to get the jump on Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) champion Work All Week and continued on to a commanding 4 ¼-length victory in Sunday’s $250,000 Smile Sprint (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

Watch: Favorite Tale smokes em in the Smile

The Parx-based shipper, out of a half-sister to 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, earned a fees-paid berth in this year’s $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland with Sunday’s victory. The Smile and the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), which highlighted Sunday’s $1.175 million Summit of Speed program, were both Breeders’ Cup Win & You’re In events.

“We hoped he could run a good race here, because last year the owners wanted to go… Read the rest of this entry >>

Lady Eli Puts in Smashing Performance in G1 Belmont Oaks

Lady Eli is in a class all her own as she crushes em in the G1 Belmont Oaks. Photo by Adam Coglianese

Lady Eli is in a class all her own as she crushes em in the G1 Belmont Oaks. Photo by Adam Coglianese

By Sean Morris

When you have a horse as good as Lady Eli it just isn’t fair to other horses and their connections. Irad Ortiz Jr. kept the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf winner outside and clear of any trouble and the filly burst by the pack in midstretch like they were standing still to win the G1 Belmont Oaks at Belmont Park.

Watch: Lady Eli dominates the Oaks

Two races after Force the Pass dominated the Grade 1, $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational, Lady Eli turned in an equally dazzling performance in the Derby’s counterpart – the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks – to remain perfect through six lifetime starts.

Trained by Chad Brown for Sheep Pond Partners, Lady Eli entered the 1 ¼-mile Oaks for… Read the rest of this entry >>

Effinex Noses Out Tonalist to Capture G2 Suburban at Belmont Park

They don't get much closer as Effiinex noses out Tonalist in the G2 Suburban

They don’t get much closer as Effiinex noses out Tonalist in the G2 Suburban. Photo by Adam Coglianese

By Jenny Keller

New York-bred Effinex stunned multiple Grade 1 winner Tonalist in the Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Handicap on Stars & Stripes Day at Belmont Park, outdueling the heavily favored 2014 Belmont Stakes winner in a fierce battle through the final yards to prevail by a head.

Watch: Tonalist Misses By a Nose to Effinex

With Coach Inge and Street Babe barreling to the front and opening up by six lengths through an opening half-mile in 46.13 seconds, Effinex was content to run in fourth along the rail, with Tonalist running wide towards the back of the pack. As Street Babe began to tire, Coach Inge took command on the turn and swept into the stretch with a 1 ½-length lead, only to be overtaken by Effinex and Tonalist mid-stretch. Battling… Read the rest of this entry >>

Texas Red Second-Best to Speightster in Return in G3 Dwyer

Speightster holds Texas Red at bay in the G3 Dwyer

Speightster holds Texas Red at bay in the G3 Dwyer

Update:

Texas Red’s long awaited return could hardly be termed a disappointment though the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner had to settle for second best in the G3 Dwyer at Belmont Park. Speightster was just too good on this day as he holds Texas Red at bay through the lane.

Watch: Speightster is too much for Texas Red

 

Race Previews by Sean Morris

The Grade 3, $500,000 Dwyer – to be run on the second annual Stars & Stripes Day at Belmont Park – will feature the return of last year’s… Read the rest of this entry >>