American Pharoah Watch: Gallops Saturday, Looks Fit and Happy

American Pharoah puts in his daily gallop at Churchill Downs. Photo by Reed Palmer

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 >>

Ziconic Checks Out His New Digs at Belmont Park

Ziconic's got the foot-stomp down just like his mother, Zenyatta

Ziconic’s got the foot-stomp down just like his mother

Ziconic arrived at Belmont Park this week to join his big half-brother, Cozmic One, in trainer John Shirreffs’ barn. The two year old son of Zenyatta and Tapit got to roam the grounds and judging by some of the pictures put out on Facebook and Twitter by NYRA Friday, he’s quite a showman, much like his mother.

NYRA posted a must see pictorial on Ziconic’s day at Belmont Park which you can access here.

Click here to go to NYRA’s Facebook page

As was the case with his brother, Shirreffs has not come out with a definitive plan for Ziconic. Shirreffs brought Cozmic One along slowly and one will assume he will do the same for the homebred of Jerry… Read the rest of this entry >>

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

Horses Generic#40This is that time during the Triple Crown where everybody takes a deep breathe. The excitement of the Preakness is dying down and the anticipation of the Belmont Stakes and the possibility of a Triple Crown winner is not yet ramping-up.

This Saturday’s racing is just what the doctor ordered for anyone who’s just a little burnt out from the first two legs of the Triple Crown, afterall, there were a lot of races to handicap in that two week period. The thing to remember is this is the Memorial Holiday weekend so much of the good racing is being saved for Monday.   Read the rest of this entry >>

Cal-Breds Showcased on Gold Rush Day at Santa Anita Saturday

Richards Boy heads up a solid cast in the Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita Saturday

Richard’s Boy heads up a solid cast in the Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita Saturday

A pair of $200,000 stakes, the Snow Chief, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf and the Melair Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, headline a total of five stakes restricted to horses bred or sired in California on Saturday, California Gold Rush Day, at Santa Anita.

The Snow Chief, which attracted a field of 11, is headed by Grazen Sky and Richard’s Boy, both recent stakes winners, along with allowance winners Rocko’s Wheel and Zinvor.

Owned and bred by Nick Alexander and trained by Steve Miyadi, Grazen Sky, a… Read the rest of this entry >>

Deceptive Vision, Overheard Renew Rivalry in G2 Nassau at Woodbine

Too close to call between Deceptive Vision and Overheard in the G2 Dance Smartly last year. michael burns photo

Too close to call between Deceptive Vision and Overheard in the G2 Dance Smartly last year. Photo by Michael Burns

Trainer Malcolm Pierce sends out multiple graded stakes winners Deceptive Vision and Overheard in Saturday’s Grade 2 $200,000 Nassau Stakes, at Woodbine.

Deceptive Vision, a five-year-old Sam-Son Farms homebred daughter of A.P. Indy – Eye of the Sphynx, posted a record of 2-1-2 from five starts in 2014. She opened her 2015 campaign with a head score in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes, at Keeneland.

Overheard, a five-year-old Pin Oak Stud homebred daughter of Macho Uno-Whisper to Me, posted a record of 1-2-1 from four starts in 2014. She made her seasonal debut with a fourth-place run over soft going in a loaded Keeneland allowance tilt.   Read the rest of this entry >>

Majestic Harbor Still Question Mark for G3 Louisville Saturday

Majestic Harbor's Pual McGee is still on othe fence about running in the G3 Louisville Saturday. Photo by Reed Palmer

Trainer Paul McGee is still on othe fence about running Majestic Harbor  in the G3 Louisville Saturday. Photo by Reed Palmer

By Darren Rogers

Majestic Harbor is the 116-pound high weight and was made the 7-2 morning line favorite against a competitive field of nine older horses for Saturday’s 78th running of the $100,000 Louisville Handicap (Grade III), but it remains unclear if the 7-year-old will start in the 1 ½-mile marathon on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

“I’m still not 100-percent sure that we’ll run, but we entered him,” said trainer Paul McGee, who also has the $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational (GII), a 1 ½-mile dirt race on the June 6 Belmont Stakes undercard under consideration. “I’ve got to get with the owners. We may still opt to run in the Brooklyn. I just haven’t consulted with the owners just yet, so that’s how it stands.”

Last year, Majestic Harbor sprang a 14-1 upset in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (GI) when under… Read the rest of this entry >>

Materiality, Carpe Diem, Others Put in Workouts Friday For Belmont Stakes

Materiality put in a visually impressive work Friday at Belmont Park

Materiality put in a visually impressive work Friday at Belmont Park. You can’t see him but Stanford is on the rail during the work

By Jim Charvat

Todd Pletcher had his trio of Belmont contenders out on the Belmont Park track Friday. All three put-in works, two of them together.

Watch: Materiality’ work Friday at Belmont Park

Carpe Diem and Madefromlucky set out on their five-furlong work in company and posted the same exact times, stopping the clock at 59.1. They posted splits of 12.7, 24.3 and 35.6 before galloping out.

Madefromlucky did not participate in the first two legs of the Triple Crown but stamped… Read the rest of this entry >>

American Pharoah Watch: Puts in First Post-Preakness Gallop Friday

American Pharoah and entourage at Churchill Downs. Photo by Reed Palmer

American Pharoah and entourage at Churchill Downs. Photo by Reed Palmer

American Pharoah put in his first Post Preakness gallop Friday as trainer Bob Baffert and assistant, Jim Barnes, ease the Derby and Preakness winner back into work mode.

‘Pharoah’ came out on the Churchill Downs track shortly after the break at 8:30, Barnes looking to take advantage of the freshly harrowed track. He backtracked to the 7-furlong pole where regular exercise rider, Jorge Alvarez proceeded to put AP through a 1 3/16 mile gallop. It was very routine and they were on-and-off the track in about six minutes.

“It went nice, didn’t seem like he was tired or anything,” said Alvarez, a native of Tijuana, Mexico. “He came back pretty much the same [after Derby]. So far, no difference.”

“It went very nice,” Barnes said. “He just had a 1 3/16-mile gallop today, but it went… Read the rest of this entry >>

Stevens, Smith Pick-up Rides in Belmont Stakes: Irad Ortiz on Mubtaahij

Gary Stevens and Mike Smith will ride in the Belmont Stakes

Gary Stevens and Mike Smith both pick-up rides in the Belmont Stakes June 6th

Two veteran riders have picked up mounts in this year’s Belmont Stakes. Mike Smith will ride Frammento for trainer, Nick Zito, and Gary Stevens has been named to ride Tale of Verve for trainer, Dallas Stewart.

Stevens rode Derby runner-up, Firing Line in the first two legs of the Triple Crown but after Firing Line’s disappointing run in the Preakness, he’s been sent back to California for some freshening, leaving Stevens available.

He picks up a live mount. Tale of Verve finished like “an express train” in the… Read the rest of this entry >>

Recycling Precious Water a High Priority at Del Mar

Keeping things green can be a challenge in drought conditions .

Keeping things green can be a challenge in drought conditions like the ones in California .

The recycling of water, a matter of high importance as the state of California navigates its way through a fourth consecutive year of drought conditions, is a cause that the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has embraced and expanded on for more than two decades.

Working hand-in-glove with the 22nd District Agricultural Association – the agency that runs the state fairgrounds on which DMTC’s famed Del Mar racetrack sits — track officials have transitioned from potable (drinkable) to recycled water in virtually every major area of usage possible for its main track and turf course, for its infield lakes and its infield landscaping on the 350-acre fairgrounds. Additionally, a native wetlands restoration project ongoing adjacent to the fairgrounds also currently uses its… Read the rest of this entry >>

American Pharoah Watch: Daily Updates on the Triple Crown Hopeful

This is the first of a series of daily updates we will post on American Pharoah leading up to the Belmont Stakes on June 6th when he attempts to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

American Pharoah jogs at Churchill Downs

American Pharoah jogs at Churchill Downs. Photo by Reed Palmer

American Pharoah made his first trip out to the track since running in the Preakness Stakes last Saturday and arriving at Churchill Downs Monday.

It was a ‘no-foolin’ around’ exercise for the Triple Crown hopeful. With exercise rider, Jorge Alvarez, onboard, American Pharoah came out on the track at the 5.5 furlong gap and immediately set-off on a one lap jog, going the wrong way, around the Churchill Downs main track.

When he finished, he stepped back through the 5.5 gap and walked back to Barn 33.

It was his first bit of exercise in four days if you don’t count walking the Barn 33 shedrow in the morning and afternoons on Tuesday and Wednesday. Jim Barnes, who is overseeing operations for trainer Bob Baffert who is back in Southern California, said he will talk to his boss about Friday but that he assumes they will pick up the pace and start galloping.

Barnes said American Pharoah is doing very good.

“He looked very good, I couldn’t be happier. His energy level is good.”

Barnes said the Preakness didn’t take a lot out of the horse, that once the track turned sloppy, ‘Pharoah’… Read the rest of this entry >>