Del Mar Borrows Three Stakes From Santa Anita for 2015 Fall Meet

Del Mar's Fall Meet opens the Thursday before the Breeders' Cup, October 29th

Del Mar’s Fall Meet opens the Thursday before the Breeders’ Cup, October 29th

Three new stakes races will be presented during Del Mar’s second fall racing season, which begins on October 29 and continues through to November 29. The additional races – each with a value of $200,000 – mean that the stakes roster for the 20-day session will swell to $2,700,000.

The races – the Golden State Juvenile Fillies, the Golden State Juvenile and the Goldikova Stakes – are, in effect, being “borrowed” from Santa Anita for one season and allow Del Mar to offer 17 stakes during its five-week stand. The Los Angeles-area track has a shorter fall season this year and timing issues were not going to permit it to present the three named stakes. With encouragement from the California Horse Racing Board and the Thoroughbred Owners of California, Del Mar took on the races for 2015 to ensure that they’d continue to be offered to Southern California horsemen.

In 2014, when Del Mar presented 15 days of racing over four weeks, the track offered 14 stakes worth $2,250,000.

In 2015 the track will be the Southern California host for the two Breeders’ Cup race… Read the rest of this entry >>

La Verdad Puts Undefeated Streak On the Line in G1 Ballerina Saturday

La Verdad made it four in a row this year with a win in the G2 Honorable Miss

La Verdad made it four in a row this year with a win in the G2 Honorable Miss

By Lynn Snierson

La Verdad, who is undefeated this season, puts her four straight stakes-winning streak squarely on the line in the $500,000 Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday as she attempts to notch the first Grade 1 victory of her career and earn her place in the gate at the Breeders’ Cup.

The Ballerina, which will be contested over the main track at seven furlongs and has drawn a tremendously talented field of eight, is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

The only omission on the resume of the New York-bred La Verdad, who is owned by Lady Sheila Racing Stable and trained by Linda Rice, is Grade 1… Read the rest of this entry >>

Palace Malice Retired From Racing: Will Stand at Three Chimneys in 2016

Palace Malice has been retired from racing

Palace Malice has been retired from racing

2013 Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice, has been retired after nagging ailments refused to heal and allow him back in the races. The one time Horse of the Year candidate raced twice in 2015, a 3rd place finish in the Diablo Stakes at Belmont Park and earlier this month, a 4th place finish in the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga, both non-graded races.

Quite a contrast from the dominating performances Palace Malice displayed in 2014 when he won the Gulfstream Park Handicap, the New Orleans Handicap, the Westchester and the Met Mile consecutively from March until June, making him the top handicap horse in the country. He was the first horse in 30-years to win both the Belmont and Met Mile in the same year and would post the highest Beyer number of the year for the 1 1/8 mile.

But Palace Malice finished a disappointing sixth in the G1 Whitney at Saratoga and didn’t race again until May of this year after developing a cannon bone bruise. That was followed by a foot bruise… Read the rest of this entry >>

American Pharoah Watch For Thursday: Takes Test Run on Saratoga Track

American Pharoah puts in  a one mile, five minute gallop this morning at Saratoga

American Pharoah puts in a one mile, five minute gallop this morning at Saratoga

American Pharoah was out and about at Saratoga Race Course Thursday, less than 24-hours since arriving in upstate New York. The Triple Crown winner did a one mile gallop around the track and after his bath, schooled in the paddock.

Assistant trainer, Jimmy Barnes, told Bloodhorse.com that he was just going to jog the colt Thursday, but after American Pharoah acted-up the way he did shortly after arriving Wednesday, leaping in the air a couple of times, he knew a jog wasn’t going to suffice. A jog has been Baffert’s routine with ‘Pharoah’ on days after shipping-in, but they decided the colt had some energy he needed to burn.

George Alvarez was up for the ride and said, like always, American Pharoah took right to the track. It’s something they always look for first time out and at every stop along this incredible year for the Eclipse Award winner, he has had no problems with whatever… Read the rest of this entry >>

Private Zone on Display in G1 Forego at Saratoga Saturday

Private Zone most recently won the G3 Belmont Sprint Championship

Private Zone most recently won the G3 Belmont Sprint Championship

By Phil Janack

Over a five-year career that began in Panama in 2011, Private Zone has raced at 10 different tracks in five states and three countries, winning six graded or group stakes and more than $2.2 million in purse earnings from 29 starts.

Nowhere has the well-traveled 6-year-old gelding felt more at home than in New York. A Grade 1 winner at both Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park, Private Zone looks to add Saratoga Race Course to the list in Saturday’s Grade 1, $700,000 Forego.

Trained by Jorge Navarro, Private Zone will be making his Saratoga debut in the Forego, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” challenge race in the Sprint division. He was last seen winning the Grade 3 Belmont Sprint Championship July 4 at the Forego distance.    Read the rest of this entry >>

American Pharoah Arrives at Saratoga After Cross-Country Trip

American Pharoah gets a drink of water shortly after arriving at Saratoga

American Pharoah gets a drink of water shortly after arriving at Saratoga

By Jim Charvat

American Pharoah is tucked away, snug in the barn of John Terranova at Saratoga Race Course after a cross-country flight that began early Wednesday morning at Del Mar and ended shortly after 3PM EDT in upstate New York.

‘Pharoah’ did not look any worse for wear as he took a couple of turns in the walking area in front of his barn after exiting the van that brought him to Saratoga from Albany Int’l Airport.

A large crowd of media and fans got several close ups of the Triple Crown winner. Assistant trainer, Jimmy Barnes, as he always does upon… Read the rest of this entry >>

Untapable Seeks Redemption in G1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga

Untapable is the defending champion in the G1 Personal Ensign

Untapable is the defending champion in the G1 Personal Ensign and will defend her title Saturday

By Lynn Snierson

A stellar sextet of fillies and mares including reigning 3-Year-Old Filly champion Untapable is set to battle in the Grade 1, $750,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, with a berth in the Breeders’ Cup up for the taking along with the trophy. It’s a “Win and You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and will be contested over the main track at 1 1/8 miles.

Untapable has run four times this year but only won once, though she’s finished second in the other three races. It’s still a far cry from her dominating form of 2014 when her only loss came at the hands of the… Read the rest of this entry >>

American Pharoah Draws Post #2 in G1 Travers at Saratoga Saturday

The last time American Pharoah ran in New York he was making a bit of history

The last time American Pharoah ran in New York he was making a bit of history

By Sean Morris

American Pharoah, who will make his highly anticipated return to the NYRA circuit Saturday, drew the #2 post Tuesday for the Grade 1 Travers, his first start in New York since winning the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes to cap his historic run.

The 1 ¼-mile Travers, worth $1.6 million if American Pharoah makes it to the starting gate, highlights a star-studded card at the Spa that also includes the Grade 1, $1 million Sword Dancer Invitational; Grade 1, $750,000 Personal Ensign Invitational; Grade 1, $700,000 Forego; Grade 1, $500,000 King’s Bishop and Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina, as well as the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa. The Travers anchors an NBC broadcast… Read the rest of this entry >>

Victor Espinoza To Compete on Dancing With the Stars This Season

Victor Espinoza will attempt to conquer the dance floor next

Wtih horse racing’s Triple Crown already on his resume, jockey Victor Espinoza will attempt to conquer the dance floor next

Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza has achieved about everything a jockey can accomplish in the horse racing world, so the veteran rider is going to try a different sport.

Espinoza will join the cast of Dancing with the Stars Season 21. While he doesn’t know who he will be competing against one thing’s for sure, the professional dancer he’ll be teamed-up with has her work cut out for her.

During an interview on ESPN2, when Espinoza announced his new venture, he said he can’t dance and has no rhythm.

The rest of the ‘stars’ for this season will be announced September 2nd.   Read the rest of this entry >>

American Pharoah Watch: Travel Plans For Wednesday

Another travel day for American Pharoah Wednesday as he heads cross-country again, this time to Saratoga

Another travel day for American Pharoah Wednesday as he heads cross-country again, this time to Saratoga

By Jim Charvat

American Pharoah was back out on the Del Mar track Tuesday for his morning jog, part of his routine two days after a workout. It will be the last time the folks at the seaside track will see the Triple Crown winner for at least a week.

The champ was taken back to his barn on the Del Mar backside while the connections finalized travel plans for New York. American Pharoah’s expected to leave early in the morning. Contrary to the transparent nature of  ‘Pharoah’s’ life these days, the departure time from Del Mar is generally kept close to the vest and not released to the public.

He’ll van up to Ontario International Airport where he will board a flight to Lexington, Kentucky for a stopover and refueling. They did the same thing on the flight back to Jersey last month. From Lexington, it is on to Albany where American Pharoah is expected to arrive around 2pm.

They’ll park in a restricted area where the colt will again be loaded on a van and taken, by police escort of course, to Saratoga. He’ll be accompanied by at least two other horses. Smokey, his constant companion, and Funny Cide. The 2003 Kentucky Derby winner is making a special appearance at Saratoga on Thursday.    Read the rest of this entry >>