Texas Red Makes 3-Year Old Debut in G2 San Vicente Sunday

Texas Red takes his first step on the Derby trail in the G2 San Vicente Sunday at Santa Anita

Texas Red takes his first step on the Derby trail in the G2 San Vicente Sunday at Santa Anita

A runaway winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 1, Texas Red will make his 3-year-old debut in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs. Trained by Keith Desormeaux, the Kentucky-bred colt by Afleet Alex heads a field of eight in the San Vicente, an important steppingstone to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 4.

A scintillating 6 ½ length winner of the 1 1/16 miles Juvenile, Texas Red made an eye catching run from dead last under Desormeaux’s brother, Kent, who will be back aboard on Sunday. Although winless in two sprints last summer on synthetic surfaces at Arlington Park (July 3, five furlongs) and at Del Mar (July 26), “Red” made forward moves in both races and should be plenty… Read the rest of this entry >>

Take Charge Brandi Stays on Hot Streak, Wins Martha Washington

Take Charge Brandi holds off Sarah Sis to win the Martha Washington. Coady Photo

Take Charge Brandi holds off Sarah Sis to win the Martha Washington. Coady Photo

Champion 2-year-old Filly Take Charge Brandi extended her win streak to four in a row and put herself on a possible path toward the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) against males after surviving a late charge by Sarah Sis to win Saturday’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes by a head. The Giant’s Causeway filly completed the one-mile race in 1:39 3/5 over a fast track, her first start as a 3-year-old.

Take Charge Brandi, ridden by Jon Court and carrying top weight of 122 pounds, broke on top and was allowed to set a relaxed pace of :23 3/5 and :48 for the first half mile. She shook off most of her competition rounding the turn into the homestretch and was able to escape a late charge by the stakes-placed Sarah Sis, who came up to inside to nearly catch the winner. The runner-up finished eight lengths in front of third-place finisher Indian… Read the rest of this entry >>

Callback Sheds the Blinkers, Wins the G1 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita

Bob Baffert's, Callback, takes the G1 Las Virgenes

Bob Baffert’s, Callback, takes the G1 Las Virgenes

Sent to the lead, Callback opened up leaving the three furlong pole under Martin Garcia and went on to a hard-fought half length win in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes as she ran a mile in 1:36.92 while outrunning eight rival 3-year-old fillies.

Watch: Callback Wins the Las Virgenes

Trained by Bob Baffert, lightly raced Callback ran without blinkers for the first time in her four-race career.

“I was just cruising all the way around there,” said Garcia, who has ridden her in all of her starts. “I asked her a little going into the far turn and then again when (second place finisher) Light the City… Read the rest of this entry >>

Avanzare Tops in the G2 Arcadia at Santa Anita

Avanzare gives rider, Gary Stevens a Grade 2 win in the Arcadia

Avanzare gives rider, Gary Stevens, another Grade 2 win in the Arcadia

Consistent Avanzare pressed the pace and went on to an impressive 1 ¼ length win in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Gary Stevens and trained by Tom Proctor, Avanzare bested a half dozen older horses and got one mile on turf in 1:34.17.

Watch: Avanzare Takes the G2 Arcadia

A close third two starts back in Santa Anita’s Grade II City of Hope Mile (turf) on Oct. 4, the 5-year-old Grand Reward gelding came off a third place run on synthetic Polytrack in the Grade III Native Diver Stakes Nov. 29.

“I breezed him five days ago on the dirt and when I looked at the work, he had the second fastest work that morning,” said Stevens, in reference to a… Read the rest of this entry >>

Conquest Two Step Picks Up the Pieces in G2 Palos Verdes at Santa Anita

Conquest Two Step with Joe Talamo aboard takes advantage of a hot pace and gets up to win the G2 Palos Verdes

Conquest Two Step with Joe Talamo aboard takes advantage of a hot pace and gets up to win 

With fast fractions to run at, trainer Mark Casse’s Conquest Two Step flew through the stretch to win Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths under a high-riding Joe Talamo who registered his third win on the card.

Watch: Conquest Two Step Run ‘em Down

With favored Distinctiv Passion carving out fractions of 21.21, 43.54 and 55.61, Conquest Two Step was fourth, approximately eight lengths off the lead with three furlongs to run and he stopped the clock at 1:08.10 for six furlongs.

“I was very happy to see three horses (Distinctiv Passion, Big Macher and Secret Circle) in a speed duel,” said Talamo. “I just stayed outside and he wasn’t even getting any dirt in his face. What a race he… Read the rest of this entry >>

Aqueduct, Turf Paradise, Parx Cancel Racing Saturday

Too cold in New York, too wet in Phoenix

Too cold in New York and Philly, too wet in Phoenix

Due to extreme winter weather conditions including high winds, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the jockeys and horses, the New York Racing Association will be canceling live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday, January 31.

It’s the seventh cancelation at Aqueduct since January 7th.

Live racing is scheduled to resume at Aqueduct Racetrack on Sunday, February 1.

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The Menu: Post Times and TV Listings for Saturday’s Top Races

Horses Generic#25What this week lacks in quantity of big races, it makes up with in quality. There are no Kentucky Derby preps, at least none that provide points toward the Derby Standings. Gulfstream Park and Fairgrounds both are void of any graded races.

But, that being said, there are a couple of tantalizing cards that will give you plenty of chances to play. Tampa Bay is serving up a three stakes afternoon, two of those are graded. Santa Anita has a trio of graded stakes races including a key prep for the Kentucky Oaks.

This is Super Bowl weekend so… Read the rest of this entry >>

Tampa Bay Downs Serves Up A Triple-Stakes Saturday

Catalina Red has won back-to-back stakes races at Tampa Bay

Catalina Red, winner of  back-to-back stakes races, heads up the field in the G3 Sam Davis.

Promise and potential will take a back seat to performance late Saturday afternoon when 12 3-year-olds line up to face the starter in the 35th edition of the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, the main event on Tampa Bay Downs’ Festival Preview Day.

Saturday’s powerhouse program also includes the 16th running of the Grade III, $150,000 Endeavour Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf, and the 35th renewal of the $100,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile-and-40-yards on the dirt.

At least one horse from the Sam F. Davis has competed in the Kentucky Derby in 10 of the last 11 years. And although Catalina Red is the only stakes winner among the entrants, it’s too early to dismiss any as unworthy of the attempt.

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Monmouth Park Releases Stakes Schedule for 2015: Opens May 9th

Monmouth Park is offering a $3.5 million graded stakes schedule in 2015

Monmouth Park is offering a $3.5 million graded stakes schedule in 2015

Led by the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational on Sunday, Aug. 2, Monmouth Park announced a graded stakes schedule worth $3.5 million for 2015.  In addition, the popular bonus programs for owners and trainers will return this season, which begins for the 70th time on Saturday, May 9.

Throughout the 58 days of live racing at Monmouth Park in 2015, all trainers will receive a $300 bonus for every non-state-bred starter regardless of surface.  Further, owners will receive a minimum of $700 for every non-state-bred dirt starter and a minimum of $500 for every open turf runner.

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Palace Malice: Bruised Foot Leads to Minor Setback in Return

Palace Malice suffers a minor setback in his return to the races.

Palace Malice suffers a minor setback in his return 

Palace Malice threw a shoe while training Wednesday, resulting in a bruise in the sole of his foot.   Therefore, he did not train Thursday morning and will not breeze Friday morning as originally planned. In addition, plans to ship the son of Curlin to Palm Beach Downs and Todd Pletcher’s barn Sunday have also been scratched.

Dogwood Stable’s president, Cot Campbell said when the bruise has dissipated, Palace Malice will resume training and will either have another breeze in Aiken and then ship to Florida, or he will leave once he’s sound.

Campbell said Palace Malice will still target a five-stake 2015 campaign, starting with the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes in May. The hero of the… Read the rest of this entry >>

Aqueduct: More Scratches Lead to Embarrassingly Small Fields Thursday

Aqueduct re-opens today with extra small fields again

Aqueduct re-opens today with extra small fields again

By Jim Charvat

The good news is the horses are racing again at Aqueduct after numerous cancelations due to the weather. The bad news is, there are not that many of them running.

An error by the racing office, allowing horses that had raced within the past 14-days to enter Thursday’s races, has led to multiple scratches leading to depleted fields. Eleven horses had to be scratched because they were in violation of the new rule prohibiting horses to run within 15-days of their last race, a resolution enacted last… Read the rest of this entry >>

Rachel Alexandra Turns 9-Years Old Today

Rachel