Tonalist: Has Target on His Back in G2 Suburban Saturday at Belmont Park

Tonalist has been made the heavy 3-5 favorite for the G2 Suburban

Tonalist has been made the heavy 3-5 favorite for the G2 Suburban

By Jenny Keller

Under high weight of 123 pounds including Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist has been made the 3-5 favorite over five foes for Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Handicap, one of six graded stakes on the second annual Star & Stripes Day at Belmont Park.

The 1 ¼-mile Suburban will be run as race 9 of 11 on the Independence Day card and will be televised on NBC from 5-6 p.m. along with the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational.

The 4-year-old Tonalist, who is 4-for-5 at his home track – all in graded stakes – will be shedding blinkers as he looks to rebound from his only loss at Belmont, a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day. Last year, the Tapit colt won the… Read the rest of this entry >>

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

horses-generic joe labozettaThere are few weekends in horseracing that will pack the kind of fireworks we’re expecting out of this July 4th holiday weekend. If you don’t get enough good horseracing action on Saturday, you’ll get another heavy dose of quality racing on Sunday.

But for now we will focus on Saturday, a day that starts with the Stars & Stripes Day at Belmont Park and ends with Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs.

Belmont Park is serving up another one of it’s graded stakes extravaganzas featuring the return of Texas Red in G3 Dwyer, Tonalist in the G2 Suburban… Read the rest of this entry >>

The 156th Edition of the Queen’s Plate Set For Sunday at Woodbine

Jockey Luis Contreras guides Danish Dynaformer to victory in the $150,000 dollar Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine.  michael burns photo

Jockey Luis Contreras guides Danish Dynaformer to victory in the $150,000 dollar Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine. michael burns photo

Charles Fipke’s Danish Dynaformer, Stronach Stables’ Shaman Ghost and Bear Stables’ Academic head an ultra-competitive field of 14 for the $1 million Queen’s Plate, Canada’s most famous horse race, Sunday at Woodbine. The 156th edition of the Plate for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds, the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, will be will be run Sunday. Post time is 5:38 pm.

All starters carry 126 pounds, except the lone filly Academic, who will tote 121 pounds for the 1 1/4 mile classic over Woodbine’s Polytrack.  The winner will receive $600,000.

Danish Dynaformer (PP7, 3-1), one of two (Billy’s Star is the other) trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, will try to give his conditioner a record ninth Plate win and has been established as the… Read the rest of this entry >>

Texas Red Returns in G3 Dwyer on Stars & Stripes Day at Belmont Park

Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, Texas Red, returns in the G3 dwyer Saturday.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, Texas Red, returns in the G3 Dwyer Saturday. Photo by Susie Raisher

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 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red, who has not raced since finishing second in the Grade 2 San Vicente on February 1 at Santa Anita Park.

The one-mile Dwyer is carded as the seventh race on Saturday, July 4, and is part of an 11-race program that features six graded stakes races anchored by the Grade 1, $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational and Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational.

Trained by Keith Desormeaux, West Coast invader Texas Red showed marked improvement throughout his 2-year-old campaign, breaking his… Read the rest of this entry >>

Water Main Break Forces Cancelation of Opening Day at Laurel Park

Laurel Park opens for business Friday, its first summer racing in five years.

Laurel Park opens for business Friday, its first summer racing in five years. Photo by Jim McCue

Laurel Park has been forced to cancel opening day of its new Summer Meet because of a water main break that has cut off water to the racetrack and 40,000 homes in the neighborhoods around the track.

“Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed that we won’t be able to run our opening day program and our first twilight program of the summer,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “We were looking forward to a big day, a great crowd, and the start of an exciting summer program, but our first priority is the safety and health of our horses and our fans.”

“Right now, we’re cautiously optimistic that we will be able to run our Saturday and Sunday programs.”

County water official say repairs would take at least 12 hours.

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American Pharoah to Make Next Start in G1 Haskell at Monmouth Park

American Pharoah will run next in the G1 Haskell at Monmouth Park August 2nd

American Pharoah will run next in the G1 Haskell at Monmouth Park August 2nd

By Jim Charvat

ESPN is reporting that owner Ahmed Zayat and Bob Baffert have decided to run American Pharoah next in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on August 2nd.

Bob Baffert told the sports network that they were waiting to see how ‘Pharoah’ worked and after a 3-furlong breeze at Santa Anita on June 29th he felt his Triple Crown winner was ready for a return to racing. Baffert noted that American Pharoah had lost some weight after the Belmont Stakes but that he’s put the weight back on and appears keen to return to the race track.

Zayat had initially hinted about running A.P. next in the Haskell as early as the… Read the rest of this entry >>

Main Sequence Returns Sunday in G1 United Nations at Monmouth Park

Main Sequence has worked twice since returning to the states from Dubai

Main Sequence has worked twice since returning to the states from Dubai

Horse of the Year finalist and Breeders Cup Turf champion Main Sequence makes his return to the Jersey Shore to defend his title in Sunday’s Grade 1, $500,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park going a mile and three-eighths on the turf. The UN is a part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” series for the Turf division.

“He is a very professional horse and is always straight forward,” said trainer H. Graham Motion, who conditions the horse for Flaxman Holdings Ltd. “He’s had no problems since coming back from Dubai.”

The 6-year-old gelding by Aldebaran by the Pivotal mare Ikat was last seen in the Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan Racecourse in… Read the rest of this entry >>

Work All Week Faces Stiff Challenge in G2 Smile at Gulfstream Park Sunday

Work All Week looks for his first win in 2015 in the 'Win and You're In' Smile Stakes Sunday

Work All Week looks for his first win in 2015 in the ‘Win and You’re In’ Smile Stakes Sunday

Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Work All Week figures to be the most accomplished performer in Sunday’s $250,000 Smile Sprint (G2) on the $1.175 million Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream Park.

The six-furlong Smile is a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win & You’re In’ event on the Summit of Speed program that also includes the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), the $150,000 Azalea (G3), the $150,000 Carry Back (G3) and five other stakes.

Sunday’s Summit of Speed program (First Post: 12:30 p.m.) will include 12 races that drew full fields with a total of 128 entries. The Smile is carded as the 11th race.

The 2014 Eclipse Award sprint champion’s streak of 15 straight starts with only… Read the rest of this entry >>

Los Alamitos Opens Summer Festival Thursday

The Southern California racing scene shifts to Los Alamitos Thursday.

The Southern California racing scene shifts to Los Alamitos Thursday.

By Jim Charvat

Los Alamitos kicks off its eight-day Summer Festival Thursday. This is the second year of daytime thoroughbred racing at the Orange County race track and officials are hoping to improve on last year’s mildly surprising debut.

Last year when Los Alamitos stepped in and assumed a portion of the dates left vacant by the closing of Hollywood Park they averaged about 34-hundred in attendance and wound-up with a handle of over $5 million so while track officials were quite pleased with the results, there’s is room for improvement this year.

Opening Day will get them off to a good start with eighty horses entered for the eight race program, highlighted by one of three stakes race at the… Read the rest of this entry >>

Lady Eli Takes on Spanish Queen in G1 Belmont Oaks Saturday

Lady Eli's comeback race, the Wonder Again, was nothing short of marvelous

Lady Eli’s comeback race, the Wonder Again, was nothing short of marvelous

By Sean Morris

Trainer Chad Brown has a strong chance to notch his second victory in as many runnings of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational on Saturday at Belmont Park, in which he will send out three horses led by undefeated filly Lady Eli.

The 1 ¼-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies is part of the second annual Stars & Stripes Day, which will also feature the Grade 1, $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational, as well as the Grade 2, $500,000 Suburban Handicap, the Grade 3, $500,000 Dwyer, the Grade 3, $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship and the Grade 3, $150,000 Victory Ride.

The Oaks, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, will be televised live by NBC, with coverage starting at 5 p.m.

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