Belmont S.

Spa Notebook: Essential Quality Tunes Up for Jim Dandy

Champion Essential Quality (Tapit) drilled five furlongs over the Saratoga main track in 1:01.81 (7/13) Saturday morning, two weeks out from his expected start in the GII Jim Dandy S. at the Spa. Last seen outgaming Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the GI Belmont S. June 5, the Godolphin-owned 'TDN Rising Star' worked in the company of New York-bred maiden winner Bingo John (Oxbow) and was caught in sectional times of :25 flate and :48.3 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.2 and seven-eighths in 1:28.3. "It was a solid...

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Tapwrit Well-Represented by First Yearlings at Fasig-Tipton July

After 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality's sound victory in the GI Belmont S., his sire Tapit became one of only two stallions in history to produce four winners of the Classic test. In doing so, the champion sire did one of his other Belmont-winning sons, this one also a fellow Gainesway stallion, a favor by reinforcing the market's every-growing esteem for Tapit bloodlines. The achievements of Essential Quality and Tapit came at just the right time for Tapwrit (Tapit -Appealing Zophie, by Successful Appeal), who will have his first crop...

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Catching Up With Chris McCarron

Chris McCarron won his first of two Belmont Stakes in 1986 with Danzig Connection (Danzig) at odds of 8-1, unexpectedly defeating that year's Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Ferdinand (Nijinsky II) and giving trainer Woody Stephens the last of five consecutive victories in the Test of the Champion. The next year, he found himself on the other side of the fence aboard Alysheba (Alydar). Alysheba and McCarron had won the first two legs of the Triple Crown and were on track to complete the series when, coming around the...

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Two-Day Special Wagers for Belmont Festival

The upcoming Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, to be held June 3-5, will include a selection of six two-day special wagers, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced Saturday. Headlined by the GI Belmont S. presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, June 5, the three-day festival will include 17 stakes races, with eight Grade I contests on Belmont Day. The two-day Pick 6 begins Friday, June 4, with the GIII True North S. and concludes with the Saturday, June 5 Belmont S. It will feature 15% takeout and a $0.20 base...

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NYRA Suspends Baffert

There was more bad news for Bob Baffert Monday, as the New York Racing Association announced that it has temporarily suspended the trainer, which means he will not be allowed to enter any horses at NYRA tracks or occupy stall space. "In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants," NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke said in a statement. "That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best...

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Pneumatic Breezes Bullet for Preakness

'TDN Rising Star' Pneumatic (Uncle Mo), last-out winner of the Aug. 15 Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park, breezed five furlongs in company in a bullet 1:00.85 over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Monday morning as he continues towards a start in the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico Oct. 3. With exercise rider Angel Garcia up, Pneumatic went in fractions of :12, :23.80, :36 and galloped out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15. "On this track, that's about as good as horses work," said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve...

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Birdstone Pensioned to Old Friends

Birdstone (Grindstone--Dear Birdie, by Storm Bird), who sired the winners of two-thirds of the 2009 Triple Crown with runners from his first crop to race, has been retired from stud duties at Gainesway. He will live out his days at Old Friends Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY. Bred by the late Marylou Whitney and trained by Nick Zito, the year-older half-brother to GI Kentucky Oaks winner Bird Town (Cape Town) won two of his three starts as a juvenile, including a 2 1/2-length success in the GI Champagne S. Eighth...

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Tiz the Law Breezes Towards, Max Player Aiming For Runhappy Travers

Tiz the Law (Constitution) continued his preparations for the $1-million GI Runhappy Travers S. Wednesday morning, working five furlongs in a solid 1:01.10 over a Belmont main track labeled as fast. It was the New York-bred's second breeze since winning the GI Belmont S. June 20. He went a maintenance half-mile in :50.06 July 1. "He looked perfect," trainer Barclay Tagg said. "He's got a lot of energy. He wouldn't blow out a candle." Tiz the Law is perfect in three starts this season, having won the GIII Holy Bull...

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Sir Winston Tries to Regain Belmont Glory in Suburban

Last season's GI Belmont S. winner Sir Winston (Awesome Again) will attempt to return to the scene of his most important victory and try to add Saturday's GII Suburban S. to his resume. Runner up in the GIII Peter Pan S. prior to his win in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, the Tracy Farmer hombred was sidelined because of a left front ankle injury last summer. Resurfacing with a forgettable 12th after a troubled trip in a soggy renewal of the one-mile Woodchopper S. over the Fair Grounds...

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'Sole' Gives Panici Deserved Day in the Sun

At 46, Luca Panici is far too deep into his career for anyone to talk sensibly of breakthroughs. But if it is unusual to find the second favorite for a Classic ridden by a jockey who has otherwise partnered a single graded stakes winner, then let nobody be deceived. Luca Panici was born and raised for days like Saturday, and his horsemanship and character are absolutely commensurate with the opportunity awaiting him on Sole Volante (Karakontie {Jpn}) in the GI Belmont S. The one pity, of course, is that this...

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Belmont S. to Anchor Two-Day Pick 5 Wager

A Pick 5 wager spanning Friday and Saturday and culminating with the running of the GI Belmont S., will be offered by the New York Racing Association. The sequence will be a $1 base minimum and will feature a low takeout of 15% and a mandatory payout. The Pick 5 will kick off with Friday's seventh race at Belmont, a seven-furlong optional-claiming event on the turf for older fillies and mares, with post time at 4:32 p.m. ET. The race has drawn a field of 11, with one main-track-only entrant....

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Classic-Placed Commissioner Sold to Saudi Arabia

Commissioner (A.P. Indy--Flaming Heart, by Touch Gold), the sire of 22 winners from his first crop including the Grade III-winning Island Commish, has been acquired by HRH Prince Saud bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud for his new farm in Saudi Arabia. The deal was brokered by Andrew Cary of Cary Bloodstock in Lexington. Bred and raced by WinStar Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, Commissioner-a member of the final crop for his legendary sire-was beaten four lengths into second by Tonalist (Tapit) in the 2014 GII Peter Pan S....

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