Al Stall Jr

Friday's Insights: 'Rising Star' Returns for Allowance Test at Keeneland

4th-KEE, $81K, OC 75k/N1X, 3yo, f, 7f, 2:45 p.m. ET CARRIBEAN CAPER (Speightstown) takes on winners for the first time following a 'TDN Rising Star' performance on debut on the  GII Risen Star S. undercard at Fair Grounds Feb. 13. The dark bay, a $250,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by Columbine Stable LLC, earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure in that eight-length victory. "She's very smart and does everything right," trainer Al Stall, Jr. said in a recent column in TDN. "First, we'll just get a little bit more of a...

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Thursday's Racing Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 8th-Fair Grounds, $55K, Msw, 3yo, 6f, post time: 5:23 p.m. ET An intriguing cast of sophomore colts seek their diplomas at Fair Grounds Thursday. Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc. paid $500,000 for K C Rocket (Kantharos) at OBSAPR '20 off a powerful :10 flat breeze and strong gallop out before turning him over to Al Stall, Jr. A $75,000 KEENOV weanling and $165,000 KEESEP yearling, the chestnut is out of a Midnight Lute daughter of dual champion Silverbulletday (Silver Deputy). While that Hall of Famer...

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Impressive Maiden Winners Begin to Take 'Charge' in Stall Barn

As former stable star and popular GISW Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) gets his career at stud underway at WinStar Farm, a pair of flashy 3-year-old maiden winners and an emotional stakes victory have helped propel the 2021 season for veteran trainer Al Stall, Jr. "Trying to fill the shoes of horses like Blame and Tom's d'Etat are awfully tough," said Stall, who trained the former to a heart-stopping victory over Zenyatta in the 2010 GI Breeders' Cup Classic. "When horses like that leave the barn to go to Claiborne Farm...

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Medaglia d'Oro Filly Off the Mark at First Asking in NOLA

6th-Fair Grounds, $47,000, Msw, 11-27, 2yo, f, 1m 70y, 1:45.79, ft, 3 1/2 lengths. SOCIAL DILEMMA (f, 2, Medaglia d'Oro--Singing Kitty {MSW & GSP, $398,478}, by Ministers Wild Cat) was let go at debut odds of 21-5, better than twice her morning line of 2-1, and worked out a good trip beneath Colby Hernandez to graduate at first asking going an extended mile Friday afternoon at the Fair Grounds. Four wide around the first turn, the $575,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga buyback stalked the pace outside and poked her nose in front...

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This Side Up: A Coup d'Etat to Benefit Us All

In these days of wilful division and reluctant separation, perhaps the wider world could for once learn something from our own community. For while our preoccupations may be frivolous, relative to such momentous challenges as the securing of democracy or public health, they do at least inculcate precisely the kind of calm forbearance most needed, right now, to quell the hysteria and despair infecting national wellbeing. It's pouring with rain? Go feed your horse and clean out the stall. Middle of a heatwave? Go feed your horse and clean out...

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Tiz the Law Completes Classic Preparations at Keeneland

Sackatoga Stables' GI Belmont S. winner and GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Tiz the Law (Constitution) capped off his serious work ahead of next Saturday's GI Breeders' Cup Classic with a five-furlong breeze at Keeneland Saturday morning. With his regular work rider Heather Smullen in the irons, the New York-bred drilled five furlongs in :59.20 and galloped out an extra eighth of a mile in 1:12.20 (video). "I saw just what I wanted. He went perfectly," said trainer Barclay Tagg who will send out his 11th Breeders' Cup starter next weekend....

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Breeders' Cup Contenders Light Up Saturday's Worktab

The worktab at Churchill Downs Saturday morning was replete with many of racing's biggest names scheduled to make an upcoming start during next month's Breeders' Cup, including champion Monomoy Girl (Tapizar), GI Preakness S. heroine Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) and Grade I-winner Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike). Targeting the Distaff, the 2018 3-year-old champion filly completed six furlongs in 1:12. Working in tandem with GSW and GISP Owendale (Into Mischief, 6f 1:13), the 5-year-old carved out eighth-mile splits of :12, :24.40, :36.20, :47.80 and 1:00, galloping out in front of her stablemate...

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Another First-Time Starter Winner for American Pharoah

10th-Saratoga, $72,000, Msw, 7-29, 3yo/up, f/m, 5 1/2fT, 1:02.63, fm. ZERO TO SIXTY (f, 3, American Pharoah--Cat Moves {GISW, $315,350}, by Tale of the Cat) eased out to 7-1 after being as low as 5-1 and kicked it in an eighth of a mile from home to graduate in sparkling fashion in the Wednesday finale from Saratoga. Drawn widest in the field of nine, the $320,000 Keeneland September was beaten for speed and raced in the latter half of the field for the opening furlong before advancing outside into midpack...

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This Side Up: Whitmore Seeks Fresh Honors For Class of 2013

The seven-year itch, in the current racing herd, represents the best kind of mid-life crisis: reinventing yourself as a champion. An Eclipse Award would certainly be a credible aspiration for Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) should he derail the Volatile (Violence) express in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga Saturday. Next weekend, another flourishing 7-year-old, Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike), will seek to consolidate his ascent to the top of his own division in the GI Whitney S. Over the past two weeks, meanwhile, their contemporaries Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire})...

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Tom's d'Etat to WinStar Farm

Leading GI Breeders' Cup Classic contender Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike--Julia Tuttle, by Giant's Causeway), hero of the 2019 GI Clark S. and an impressive last out winner of the GII Stephen Foster S. with a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure, will stand at WinStar Farm upon the conclusion of his racing career. Campaigned by Gayle Benson's G M B Racing and trainer Al Stall, Jr., he has compiled a record of 18-11-2-1 and earnings of $1,627,272. Tom's d'Etat is currently on a four-race winning streak and has his sights set...

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Easy Win for Tom's d'Etat in the GII Stephen Foster

Tom's d'Etat made his case for one of the top older horses of 2020 with a blowout performance in Churchill's GII Stephen Foster S. coming on the heels of three straight wins, including in last November's GI Clark H. under the Twin Spires. Allowing longshot Pirate's Punch (Shanghai Bobby) to dictate terms through initial fractions of :23.89 and :48.13, the 7-year-old loomed menacingly just to his outside before overtaking the pacesetter on the far turn following six furlongs in 1:11.67. Two lengths in front turning for home, the 6-5 choice...

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Tom's d'Etat Preps for Foster

G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) breezed six furlongs in a strong 1:12.80 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs as he continues his preparations for the GII Stephen Foster S. June 27. "The most incredible thing about his work this morning was it hardly looked like he even did anything but he just cruised out there," trainer Al Stall, Jr. told the Churchill notes team. "Now, he's back in his stall and doesn't even seemed like any of it phased him one bit." The 7-year-old entire, third to Seeking...

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