Goldencents, Secret Circle Eye Santa Anita Sprint Championship

Goldencents set a track record at Del Mar in his last start.

Goldencents set a track record in his last start, the 7-furlong G2 Pat O’Brien at Del Mar.

Save for the margin of a scant nose, there could be three Breeders’ Cup winners running in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000, “Win and You’re In” Santa Anita Sprint Championship for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs.

They would be Goldencents, last year’s Dirt Mile winner; Secret Circle, last year’s Sprint winner; and Merit Man, who missed by a nose of winning the defunct Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint in 2012.

Watch: Goldencents Record Breaking Run in the G2 Pat O’Brien

Playing it as straight as Princess Kate’s teeth, trainer Bob Hess Jr. said he plans to enter Merit Man in Saturday’s race, marking the Florida-bred son of With Distinction’s first start since winning the five-furlong Green Flash at Del Mar August 13th.

“Merit Man is by no means a good work horse, but he’s working well for Kent… Read the rest of this entry >>

Stopchargingmaria Headed For Sales Ring at Fasig-Tipton in November

Stopchargingmaria will join Beholder and Princess of Sylmar in the sales ring at Fasig-Tipton in November

Stopchargingmaria will join Beholder and Princess of Sylmar in the sales ring at Fasig-Tipton in November

By Jim Charvat

If you took all of the racing/broodmares that have been targeted for the Fasig-Tipton November Sale, you would have quite a race, one comparable to a Breeders’ Cup Distaff. You have Beholder, Princess of Sylmar, and Rosalind. Now add Stopchargingmaria into the mix. Up until last weekend, she was considered the next best 3-year old filly in the country behind Untapable.

Mike Repole announced Tuesday that he has decided to put the talented daughter of Tale of the Cat up for sale as a racing/broodmare prospect.

Stopchargingmaria won three straight graded stakes earlier this year, the G2 Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico on Preakness Weekend, and the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks and G1 Alabama Stakes both at Saratoga. Read the rest of this entry >>

Kentucky Downs Numbers Up, Churchill’s Down For September Meets

Kentucky Downs concludes its record setting meet with increased numbers across the board

Kentucky Downs concluded its record setting meet with increased numbers across the board

By Jim Charvat

It’s a tale of two cities in Kentucky in September as one offering a unique brand of turf racing found its numbers increasing to record proportions, while the other, more conventional track, saw its numbers fall. And the battle between the two tracks is just heating up.

In the wake of its record setting meet, Kentucky Downs has requested two more dates for its 2015 meet, both Saturdays that would run in direct competition with Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Horse Racing Board was considering that request on Tuesday.

Churchill Downs just concluded its second September meet and with the exception of one day, handle was down daily. There was a 16% decline in wagering and a 13% drop in purses during the… Read the rest of this entry >>

James Graham, Larry Rivelli Win 2014 Arlington Park Titles

James Graham captures the riding title at Arlington Park with 101 wins

James Graham captures the riding title at Arlington Park with 101 wins

The 89-day meeting at Arlington International Racecourse ended Sunday, Sept. 28, with trainer Larry Rivelli, jockey James Graham and owner William Stiritz each capturing their second titles in races won.

Graham led all riders with 101 victories from 480 starts, topped by stakes scores with Ike and Dawn Thrash and Janet and Sam Alley’s filly Istanford who beat the boys in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Classic; and Nancy Vanier and Lyda Williamson’s Kepi in the $83,700 Lincoln Heritage Handicap. An Arlington mainstay since his rookie season in 2004, Graham earned his first riding title in races won in 2011.

A three-time leading jockey in purses earned, Graham had to settle for second in that category as his $2,318,477 came up a tad shy to the $2,457,228 in purses earned by Florent Geroux whose season included four stakes scores – the American St. Leger with The Pizza Man and three on Million Preview Day: the Grade III $200,000 American Derby with Let’s Go Stable’s Divine Oath, the Modesty with I’m Already Sexy and the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes with The Pizza Man.

Rivelli enjoyed a strong meet, leading from start to finish, ending the season with 59 victories from 184… Read the rest of this entry >>

Keeneland Opens Fall Meet Friday

Keeneland will run its first meet on the new dirt track.

Keeneland will run its first meet on the new dirt track.

Keeneland thunders out of the starting gate for its Fall race meet on Friday with world-class racing on a new dirt track.

For the first time in its storied history Keeneland will offer a $1 million race, the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), on Saturday, Oct. 4 as part of the opening Fall Stars Weekend that features nine graded stakes races with purses totaling $3.6 million. Many horses bound for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Santa Anita will be showcased in Fall Stars stakes as the nation’s most accomplished jockeys and trainers converge upon Keeneland.

Fall Stars Weekend also features the debut of Keeneland’s new dirt track, which was… Read the rest of this entry >>

Smith to Espinoza: “Keep Walking or I’ll Cut Your Head Off”

Things would get a little testy inside the Santa Anita Jockey room when everyone returned from the Awesome Again Stakes

Things would get a little testy inside the Santa Anita Jockey room when everyone returned from the Awesome Again Stakes

By Jim Charvat

According to the Pasadena Star News Monday, things got a little testy inside the Jocks Room at Santa Anita following the running of the G1 Awesome Again Stakes Saturday. In a race, Victor Espinoza, aboard Sky Kingdom, fanned heavy favorite, Shared Belief and jockey Mike Smith five wide in the first turn, Smith apparently was not too happy with the bullying tactics.

Espinoza told the Star News that afterward Smith cursed at him in the jockey’s room, telling Espinoza to “keep walking or I’ll cut your head off.” This was far removed from the business-like statements Smith made to reporters immediatedly after he guided the gutsy Shared Belief to a remarkable victory. 

“They tried to use some tactics on me which made the win today even sweeter.”…   Read the rest of this entry >>

Desormeaux Kicked By Horse, Suffers Rib And Lung Injuries

Kent Desormeaux will miss an undetermined amount of time after being injured in a mishap before race 8 at Santa Anita Sunday

Kent Desormeaux will miss an undetermined amount of time after being injured in a mishap before race 8 at Santa Anita Sunday

Update:

As of Monday night, still no word on the extent of rider, Kent Desormeaux’s injuries or how long he’ll be out of action. His sister wrote on the Kent Desormeaux facebook page tonight…

The events of yesterday have everyone at Team DesOrmeaux and everyone close to Kent in shock, myself included. I, myself, will continue to be dark until I am given the green light to release information. I will continue to check the page and pass on any and all messages that you may have!

Thank you,
-Christa

sdhorserace will also pass along any information on these pages as it becomes available to us.

Arcadia, Ca  9-28-14

Kent Desormeaux is expected to miss some time riding after he was kicked by a horse… Read the rest of this entry >>

Rosalind to Join Beholder and Princess of Sylmar in the Sales Ring

Rosalind will be up for sale at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale

Rosalind will be up for sale at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale

By Jim Charvat

The Fasig-Tipton November Sale is shaping up to be a quite an event for those looking to purchase a Marquee Filly. Rosalind, the co-winner of last spring’s, G1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, will be up for sale as a racing/broodmare prospect, joining two other high-profile fillies, Beholder and Princess of Sylmar.

Rosalind finished in a dead heat with Room Service in the Ashland last April. It was her first stakes win and her first win since she broke her maiden at Ellis Park in August of 2013. Since then, she has run nine times, eight of those races in graded stakes company, seven of those races in Grade 1′s. The daughter of Broken Vow was 3rd in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile… Read the rest of this entry >>

Itsmyluckyday to Skip Breeders’ Cup: Will Go Next in G1 Cigar Mile

Itsmyluckyday holds off Moreno to win the G1 Woodward at Saratoga.

Itsmyluckyday holds off Moreno to win the G1 Woodward at Saratoga.

By Jim Charvat

The connections for Itsmyluckyday announced Monday that they are not going to ship their Grade 1 winner out west to the Breeders’ Cup at the end of next month, but instead will point him toward the G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct at the end of November.

Itsmyluckyday has had a spectacular 2014. After a fourth place finish in the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in March, he won four of his next five races including the G1 Woodward at Saratoga. The 4-year old son of Lawyer Ron also won the Best of the Rest Stakes at Gulfstream, the Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth Park, the G3 Salvador Mile before finishing second to Moreno in the G1 Whitney.

In his last outing, he finished a disappointing third in the G2 Kelso. Trainer, Edward… Read the rest of this entry >>

Victor Espinoza Get Days For Rough Ride in Awesome Again Stakes

Espinoza, aboard Sky Kingdom, was handed a 7-day suspension Sunday

Espinoza, aboard Sky Kingdom, was handed a 7-day suspension Sunday

By Jim Charvat

Victor Espinoza was not too happy about the way he and California Chrome were manhandled in the Pennsylvania Derby. Whether it was taking out frustrations or just some instructed race riding, his move on board Sky Kingdom in the Awesome Again did not go unnoticed and Sunday the stewards at Santa Anita suspended Espinoza for 7-days.

The incident occurred in the first turn of Saturday’s Grade 1 race. Espinoza and Sky Kingdom fanned the heavy favorite, Shared Belief, four or five wide in the first turn. Sky Kingdom, trained by Bob Baffert, was the longest shot in the field at 36-1. Some observers noted and there were many accusations after the race that the move was a planned maneuver designed to… Read the rest of this entry >>

Tonito M Captures G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

Tonito M crosses the wire first in the G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

Tonito M crosses the wire first in the G3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

Tonito M. rallied wide off the final turn then pulled clear with an impressive 2-3/4 length score in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday afternoon at Remington Park.

Owned by Mickey Gonzalez of M Racing Group LLC of San Juan, Puerto Rico and trained by National Racing Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Tonito M. was ridden to victory by Rafael Bejarano.

Relaxed just six lengths off the lead for the first half of the race, Tonito M. waited until midway through the final turn before accelerating for the front. Moving into the homestretch Bejarano angled his colt outside of three rivals for his big run to the finish where he covered the 1-1/8 miles in 1:50.41 over a fast track.

“I had a very good trip. The horse broke really good. This time I tried to get him… Read the rest of this entry >>

Rajiv Maragh Out With Broken Arm: May Miss Breeders’ Cup

Rajiv Maragh suffered a broken arm in Saturday's spill at Belmont Park

Rajiv Maragh suffered a broken arm in Saturday’s spill at Belmont Park

Update: Monday, 9-29-14

Rajiv Maragh was expected to be released from the hospital at noon EDT Monday. He underwent surgery Sunday to have plates and screws inserted in his broken arm.

His agent, Tony Micallef, told DRF.com’s, David Grening, that the Breeders’ Cup is not out of the question for Maragh, that he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

 

By Jim Charvat

Jockey Rajiv Maragh will miss some time after he suffered a broken arm in Saturday’s spill during the running of the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. The 29-year old rider broke his right arm when his mount, Wicked Strong, clipped heels with Moreno at the top of the far turn.

Maragh went to the ground with a crowd of horses behind him but avoided any contact with the other runners. He was taken to a Long Island hospital for treatment. Wicked Strong… Read the rest of this entry >>