Category

January

20
Updated Pegasus World Cup 2022: Who’s in? Who’s out?

This week the connections for eight of the 17 horses invited, counting two on the also-eligible list, confirmed they planned to run in the 1 1/8-miles event at Gulfstream Park. The Pegasus has a maximum field size of 12. The final invitation list will be issued on Sunday with the race set to be drawn Tuesday. Below is an updated status report on the prospective field. In: Knicks Go, Life Is Good, Sir Winston, Chess Chief, Stilleto Boy, Title Ready, Commandeer (also eligible), Endorsed (also eligible). The new names confirmed since last week’s report are Chess Chief and Title Ready for trainer Dallas […]

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January

04
Fighting Fifth hero Not So Sleepy to head straight to Champion Hurdle

Not So Sleepy, who shared the spoils with Epatante in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle in November, will head straight to the Unibet Champion Hurdle on the back of a below-par effort at Kempton. The Hughie Morrison-trained ten-year-old concluded last of five to Epatante in the Christmas Hurdle on December 26, having dead-heated with the 2020 Champion Hurdle winner to gain a first top-level success at Newcastle. A nine-time winner from 55 starts, Not So Sleepy finished fifth in last season’s Champion Hurdle at 125-1 and Morrison is hoping for another good show by using the coming weeks to freshen up his jumping stable star. […]

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December

22
With storms coming, Santa Anita looks ‘OK’ for opening day

Under somewhat similar circumstances two years ago, Santa Anita made the pre-emptive move five days early to push back the beginning of its marquee winter-spring meet to Dec. 28 from its traditional day-after-Christmas opening. It was the first time since 1976 the track did not open on Dec. 26. This time around – as things currently stand – Santa Anita plans to open as planned on Sunday. “The track guys pay for a couple of different weather services that give them pretty good information, and right now they think we’re going to be OK,” Santa Anita general manager Nate Newby […]

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December

14
Fincher looks for Springboard Mile repeat with Bye Bye Bobby

For trainer Todd Fincher and Bye Bye Bobby, the choices were limited. Fincher decided to run the Quality Road colt in the Zia Park Juvenile Stakes on Nov. 23. “My only option was to run him in the stake or don’t run him,” Fincher said. “Opportunities aren’t very good for 2-year-olds in some places, but it turned out good.” For the late-developing Bye Bye Bobby, the trial by fire went as well as it could have. He started off the pace in the six-furlong race before making up ground down the stretch and winning by 1 1/2 lengths. The result was […]

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December

07
Medina Spirit Collapses, Dies After Santa Anita Workout

This year’s Kentucky Derby first-place finisher Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout at Santa Anita Park on Monday morning, the California Horse Racing Board’s Equine Medical Director Jeff Blea confirmed. Trained by Bob Baffert, the 3-year-old son of Protonico had just completed five furlongs in 1:01.40 in his second work since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. “I spoke to the attending veterinarian, and when they got to him on the track he had already expired,” stated Dr. Blea, former American Association of Equine Practitioners president, speaking from the AAEP convention in Nashville, Tenn. “Not sure where […]

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November

30
Smile Happy Gives McPeek Another Kentucky Jockey Club Win

The horse that brought Kenny McPeek to the winner’s circle for the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs was not the one that most fans would have expected. Instead of Tiz the Bomb, who scratched out of the G2 stakes earlier Saturday, it was Smile Happy, a son of Runhappy, who gave McPeek his third victory in the early prep race for the 2022 Kentucky Derby. In a field scratched down from 14 to 11, Smile Happy broke from post eight, taking up position in fifth around the first turn and onto the backstretch. Setting early fractions of […]

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November

23
Jockey Geovanni Franco To Return To Oaklawn For 2022

Southern California-based jockey Geovanni Franco announced on Twitter Saturday that he is returning to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2021-2022 meeting that starts Dec. 3. Franco will be represented by retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens. Franco rode regularly in 2016 and 2017 at Oaklawn, amassing 61 victories, including four stakes, and $2,573,621 in purse earnings. He rode 16 winners in his 2016 debut and 45 in 2017 to tie for third in the standings. Franco capped his 2017 meeting with a closing-day double, guiding Inside Straight ($41.40) to an upset in the $750,000 Grade 2 […]

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November

16
Belle Street Stars Saturday at Keeneland

With Godolphin’s Belle Street (Street Sense) leading the way at $550,000, the Book 3 section of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale opened Saturday with strong results as the 10-day auction continues to track well ahead of 2020 figures. During Saturday’s session, 252 head grossed $19,981,500. The session average of $79,292 was up 36.37% from the corresponding 2020 figure and the median of $65,000 was up 49.43%. With 78 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 23.64%. It was 24.67% a year ago. Through four sessions, 838 head have sold for $146,615,500. The average of $174,959 is up 12.99% from a […]

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November

09
State Upholds Race Ban for McPeek Tied to Quarantine

New York State regulators denied a bid for a declaratory relief by trainer Kenny McPeek,who argued that a steward made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision that kept seven of his horses from racing in the days after an equine herpesvirus-1 quarantine ended last summer at Saratoga Race Course. The state Gaming Commission unanimously sided with Peter Moschetti Jr.— a board member of the commission —who on Oct. 28 ruled versus McPeek’s appeal of the steward’s decision to restrict the trainer from entering the horses Aug. 1, 3 and 4 after a quarantine at Saratoga’s Barn 86 had ended. An outbreak of […]

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November

01
Ferguson Riding High Into Del Mar After First Group 1 Win

There’s grey, cloud-stuffed sky hanging over Newmarket as the mild autumn is bustled along by an impatient winter. A week ago, it felt like spring was still in the air in Paris as a sun-dappled day saw second-season trainer James Ferguson revealed his presence in the international stage with a first Group 1 winner. The diminutive El Bodegon (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) passed almost literally under the noses of observers on the paddock rails who mostly had eyes for his bigger, stronger rivals, but the little colt has the heart to match his talent and kept his upward climb to the […]

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