The prep races are behind us and it’s full speed ahead to the Breeders’ Cup and we’re not going to kid ya, the number of big races will diminish considerable over the next couple of weeks leading up to the big day at Keeneland.
But that’s not to say the quality of racing diminishes. Keeneland is still running as well as Belmont Park and Santa Anita. All serve up tantalizing stakes races this Saturday including the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in Lexington.
And to fill the void, tracks like Charles Town in West Virginia and Thistledown in Cleveland, Ohio are offering stakes filled cards featuring their respective statebreds.
So if you’ve been delaying that family outing over the past couple of weeks so you don’t… Read the rest of this entry >>
American Pharoah worked 5-furlongs at Santa Anita Friday morning.
American Pharoah put in an unexpected work Friday as trainer Bob Baffert indicated he was trying to beat the heat that’s expected to envelop Southern California this weekend. The Triple Crown winner put in an easy 5-furlongs in 1:01.2 over Santa Anita’s fast main track as he draws nearer to a start in his final race, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31.
“He looked good and he’s happy,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “We’ve been training him early to avoid this hot weather. I see a big change in him. He’s happier now.”
Asked when the son of Pioneerof the Nile would ship to Kentucky, Baffert said, “I have a few dates in mind, but I haven’t really zeroed in on it. I have options.”
Read the rest of this entry >>
Beholder worked 5-furlongs in 1:02 at Santa Anita Friday
Following a sunrise that burst in brilliant hues of red and orange over the San Gabriel Mountains Friday morning, Beholder’s owner B. Wayne Hughes was on hand at Clockers’ Corner to watch his two-time Eclipse Award-winning champion work “an easy five furlongs” as she prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.
The Pacific Classic winner went 1:02 over the Santa Anita main track just minutes before her chief rival in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, American Pharoah, put in a 5-furlong work just a tick faster.
“We’re excited about the prospect of her running there and we’re looking forward to it,” said Hughes, who races as Spendthrift Farm out of… Read the rest of this entry >>
Free As A Bird has made a living as a turf sprinter with an impressive turn of foot.
Free as a Bird is set to defend her title in Friday’s $100,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County in what will be the final race of her career.
Trained by Ian Wilkes, the 6-year-old daughter of Hard Spun enters the stakes with one win in five starts this year. Her schedule of races has nearly matched her 2014 campaign in which she won six races, including five consecutive stakes, and earned $354,628. Free as a Bird captured last year’s Buffalo Trace Franklin County by a half-length over Ageless.
Keeneland fans should be familiar with the two mares. Ageless, who returns for Friday’s race, has two triumphs over Free as a Bird here, winning the 2014 and 2015 Giant’s Causeway during the Spring Meet.
Owner Elizabeth Valando’s racing manager, Michael Levine, said she has a particular… Read the rest of this entry >>
Eclipse Award winning sprinter, Work All Week has been retired from racing.
Champion sprinter, Work All Week has been retired after xrays showed a stress fracture in his knee following his disappointing 3rd place finish in the G3 Phoenix last week at Keeneland.
Midwest Thoroughbreds owner, Richard Papeise told Bloodhorse.com that they noticed some heat in Work All Week’s ankles following the race last Friday and while checking on that, they decided to check the 6-year old gelding’s knees, “just to be thorough.” That’s when they discovered the stress fracture. Papiese said there was no heat, but “just enough to have to stop on him.”
Papiese says they were very lucky to find the injury when they did, realizing it could have led to a slab fracture and possible catastrophe out on the race track. He says they will keep Work All Week in trainer… Read the rest of this entry >>
Sentiero Italia hopes to bring her New York form to Kentucky fof the Q.E.II Challenge Cup Saturday
LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 7, 2015) – Godolphin Racing’s Sentiero Italia, coming off Grade 2 victories as the favorite at Saratoga and Belmont, headlines a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered Wednesday for the 32nd running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Lane’s End.
The QE II, run at 1 1/8 miles on the grass, will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:30 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Sentiero Italia finished fourth in her stakes debut in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) behind the undefeated Lady Eli. Following that effort, she posted victories in the Maker’s Mark Lake Placid at Saratoga and the Sands Point at Belmont.
Sentiero Italia will try to give McLaughlin his second victory in the race to go with the… Read the rest of this entry >>
Trainer Shug McGaughey says he has no regrets running Honor Code in last Saturday’s G2 Kelso
One day removed from multiple graded stakes winner Honor Code’s third-place finish in Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso, Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey reported the colt returned from the race in good order and that he had no regrets opting for the one-mile race instead of the 1 ¼-mile Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in preparation for an upcoming start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“Do I have second thoughts [about running in the Jockey Club Gold Cup]? No, but I thought Tonalist ran a very nice race,” said McGaughey.
Speaking on Honor Code’s trip over the sloppy main track, McGaughey acknowledged the lack of pace and track conditions as reasons why he might not have run his best race, but was nonetheless convinced he would move forward from the start. Read the rest of this entry >>
Got Lucky (left) will meet Untapable (purple silks) again in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff
On Sunday, Got Lucky stuck her neck in front at the finish to pass champion Untapable and win the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1). Monday, trainer Todd Pletcher said the 4-year-old A.P. Indy filly came out of the race well and will be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and a possible rematch with Untapable.
“I was very pleased with the way she looked this morning,” Pletcher said. “She seemed bright, alert and happy. It was a great run from her and we’re very happy and proud that she was able to accomplish that.”
The $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 30 is likely to be next for Got Lucky.
“She got a great race over the track and assuming she trains accordingly, that would be the next goal,” Pletcher said.
Read the rest of this entry >>
Liam’s Map wil cut back in distance from the 1 1/8 in the Woodward to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
Everyone kind of expected it but for a horse that just won the 1 1/8 mile G1 Woodward Stakes it’s still a bit of a surprise. Trainer Todd Pletcher announced Wednesday that Liam’s Map will run in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile instead of the Classic, which probably says more about the quality of the Classic than anything else.
Liam’s Map has run seven times in his career. Three of those races were at the one mile distance and he won all three, his maiden, an entry level allowance he won by eleven lengths at Gulfstream Park and then a tough optional allowance race for NW4. He would follow that race with a runner-up finish in the G1 Whitney when he was nailed on the wire by Honor Code and then win the Woodward.
Pletcher told Bloodhorse.com that they just felt the mile suited Liam’s Map and didn’t mention the contentious Classic only to say that you don’t anticipate any race in the Breeders’ Cup “to be easy.”
Read the rest of this entry >>
Tonalist will prepare for the Breeders’ Cup at his home base at Belmont Park
With his second consecutive Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup win under his belt, Robert S. Evans’ Tonalist has emerged from his victory in tip-top shape, according to trainer Christophe Clement.
“Tonalist seems to have come back from his race in good order,” Clement said Sunday morning. “He looks OK to me.”
On track for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on October 31, Clement reported that the 4-year-old Tapit colt will make his major preparations for the year-end championships at his New York base at Belmont Park before shipping to Keeneland the week of the race.
“He trains really well at Belmont, so I’d like to keep him here as long as I can,” he said. “He’s got to be there Wednesday, so we can either fly him on Monday or we can van him Tuesday. I’d have to think about it. We’ll check the weather and everything and decide.” Read the rest of this entry >>