TDN Weekend

Today’s Edition

Irap Outgames Girvin in Ohio Derby

Reddam Racing's Irap (Tiznow), upset winner of the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. two starts back, came out on top in Saturday's GIII Ohio Derby after a gritty stretch duel and very tight photo finish with MGSW Girvin (Tale of Ekati). Away alertly, the 5-2 choice was settled to track in a joint fourth as GIII Spiral S. winner Fast and Accurate (Hansen) sprinted up to take control, clocking opening splits of :23.06 and :48.04 with Vibe (Astrology) and 4-5 favorite Girvin close behind. Girvin swept to the lead with Vibe hot on his heels as Fast and Accurate called it quits on the backstretch run. Irap had that pair in his sights, however, and charged up two wide to...

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No ‘Battle’ for ‘Midway’ in the Affirmed

"TDN Rising Star" Battle of Midway (Smart Strike) simply cantered around the track at Santa Anita Saturday, skipping home the easiest of winners in the GIII Affirmed S. Last seen finishing third in the GI Kentucky Derby May 6, the hulking bay was hammered down to 1-9 favoritism while facing just three rivals in this test. Seizing the early advantage, Battle of Midway loped along through leisurely early fractions of :24.50 and :48.88 with California-bred B Squared (Square Eddie) glued to his outside hip and a comfortable lead on his remaining two foes. B Squared drew even with the chalk turning for home, but that did not last for more than a stride of two. Battle of Midway effortlessly drew...

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Tin Man All Heart in Diamond Jubilee

One of the biggest developments in recent years has been the rise of syndicates and the relatively cheap purchase The Tin Man (GB) (Equiano {Fr}) provided another one with a huge result on Saturday as Fred Archer Racing's Ascot specialist added the G1 Diamond Jubilee S. to last year's G1 British Champions Sprint S. Upgrading his form from his return fifth in the G2 Duke of York S. at York May 17, the 9-2 second favourite arrived from mid-division under Tom Queally and swooped late to beat Tasleet (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) by a neck, with the 2-1 favourite Limato (Ire) (Tagula {Ire}) 3/4 of a length behind in third. He had to survive an inquiry after taking the line of...

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Letter from Ascot: Jockey Dreams

If you are reading this column, you probably wanted to be a jockey when you were a kid, right? Who didn't want to ride in a race if you went to your local track with family and friends. I rode the back of the couch, like you did, while listening to the race call. I even rode my bicycle with a whip. One Indian summer evening, I needed a bit more from my Schwinn, and gave it a crack. The stick went through the back wheel and I damn near killed myself. Today, I found out the most talented rider in Europe, William Buick, also rode the back of the sofa. But, at age 10 and the son Walter Buick,...

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Down the Shedrow with Christophe Clement

Christophe Clement made the move from France to the U.S. in 1991 and quickly established himself as a top turf trainer. He has churned out top grass runners, such as three-time champion Gio Ponti; MGISWs Voodoo Dancer, Winchester and Hard Not to Like; and Grade I winners Rutherienne and Discreet Marq. In 2014, Clement proved his talent also extended to dirt runners when Tonalist captured that year's GI Belmont S., ending now four-time Eclipse winner California Chrome's bid for Triple Crown glory. The "TDN Rising Star" also provided his conditioner with back-to-back victories in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and closed out his career with an exciting score in the 2015 GI Cigar Mile. While Tonalist has since retired...

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Scat Daddy’s Caravaggio Wins Commonwealth Cup Battle

It was billed by many as the race of the current Royal meeting and Friday's G1 Commonwealth Cup did not disappoint, with Caravaggio (Scat Daddy) getting the better of the Godolphin pair of Harry Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Blue Point (Ire) (Shamardal) close home to provide the middle part of a group 1 treble for Ballydoyle this week. Hardening into 5-6 favouritism despite the healthy respect shown to his opponents, Susan Magnier's unbeaten grey who had given notice that he was back when powering to success in Naas's G3 Lacken S. gave a moment of concern when rearing in the stalls before racing mid-pack as Harry Angel served it up on the front end. It took until the...

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Horses Saving Vets, Vets Saving Horses

The goals of the Man O' War project, which is spearheaded by horse owner and philanthropist Earle Mack, may seem almost too big, too much to reasonably hope for. Not only does Mack want to make major progress when it comes to dealing with the epidemic that is veterans returning from combat with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he wants to use horses as the mechanism to do so. And if the Man O' War project can prove unequivocally that equine assisted therapy (EAT) is a valuable tool for combating PTSD, there should be a great demand for horses to work with the veterans, including off-the-track Thoroughbreds. That has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of race horses...

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Oppenheim: Scat Daddy

After the first race at Royal Ascot Thursday, the five-furlong G2 Norfolk S. for 2-year-olds, Coolmore Ashford's late great Scat Daddy had already chalked up three winners in the first 13 races--one a day, so far. Two were for 3-year-old fillies for trainer Wesley Ward: Lady Aurelia, whose second 5-furlong Royal Ascot win came in the G1 King's Stand on Tuesday; followed by Wednesday's last-race winner Con Te Partiro in the Listed Sandringham H. at a mile. In Thursday's opener, Sioux Nation, trained by a certain Aidan O'Brien, became Scat Daddy's fourth Royal Ascot 5-furlong 2-year-old Group winner, his fifth 2-year-old Group winner total, and marked the seventh win for Scat Daddy at Royal Ascot in five years. Five have...

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Duke of Marmalade’s Big Orange Clings on in a Pulsating Gold Cup

   Surprisingly making his first attempt at Royal Ascot's showpiece G1 Gold Cup, popular journeyman Big Orange (GB) (Duke of Marmalade {Ire}) slugged out a pulsating finish with reigning champion Order of St George (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) to gain a career high in Thursday's feature event. The gelded bay, who was last seen annexing Sandown's G3 Henry II S. four weeks earlier, adopted his customary frontrunning role--racing in his now familiar cheekpieces--passing the judge first time in this marathon contest and remained in situ thereafter. Seeing off all rivals and poaching a decisive advantage when stoked up approaching the final quarter mile, the 5-1 chance appeared vulnerable quarry as Ryan Moore loomed large on the 5-6 favourite at the eighth...

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Letter from Ascot: Royal Hunt Cup

When I was Fred Capossela's assistant announcer for NYRA in 1971, Cappy used to tell stories about the Widener chute at Belmont Park, named in honor of Joseph E. Widener, President of the Westchester Racing Association. Wednesday's Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot reminded me of the of stories, because it was a straight mile with a field of 30 entered. There was one scratch, a field of 29 contested the Wednesday event jumping out of three starting gates spread from inner rail to outer rail. The Widener chute was a straight wide course that started where the Belmont training track is now. It crossed where the clubhouse turn met the backstretch, and continued on straight through the infield, right to...

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