Bill Mott

Constitution's Annex Remains Unbeaten in Cutler Bay

Annex took his record to three-for-three with his second straight stakes victory in Gulfstream's Cutler Bay S. Rallying to victory in his career bow over course and distance Jan. 16, the 'TDN Rising Star' captured the Palm Beach S. in Hallandale next out Feb. 27 and was favored to repeat here. Sitting a bit closer to the pace in a joint fourth, the flashy chestnut raced off the fence through a :24.06 opening quarter and :47.78 half-mile. Swung out three wide turning for home, the even-money favorite surged up alongside...

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Twirling Candy Firster Flies Home in GP Opener

1st-Gulfstream, $45,000, Msw, 3-27, 3yo, 1mT, 1:34.82, fm, 3 3/4 lengths. COLTON'S COMMAND (c, 3, Twirling Candy--Baublette, by Unbridled's Song), well liked at 7-2 in this unveiling, raced straight past even-money fourth-timer Shaftesbury (Uncle Mo) inside the final eighth of a mile and sprinted away to graduate smartly at first asking. Settled in about midpack as the debuting Fortified (American Pharoah) cut out a moderate pace from Shaftesbury and War Bomber (Ire) (War Front), Colton's Command improved a few spots while making eye-catching progress on the turn. Shifted out for...

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Cross Border Faces Seven in Pan American

Three Diamonds Farm's Cross Border (English Channel), a late-closing third behind Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) in the Jan. 23 GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, will try to take advantage of that foe's absence and some extra real estate when he goes postward in the 1 1/2-mile GII Pan American S. at Gulfstream Park Saturday. "He ran another big race last time and was flattered the other day by Colonel Liam," trainer Mike Maker said. "We expect another strong effort from him." Colonel Liam returned from the Pegasus to win...

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McPeek Looks for Back-to-Back GP Oaks Wins

Trainer Ken McPeek, who won last year's GII Gulfstream Park Oaks with 3-year-old filly champion Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil), will look to take a second straight renewal of the 1 1/16-mile race when he saddles Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Crazy Beautiful (Liam's Map) Saturday in Hallandale. The gray filly, the 5-2 morning-line favorite, was second in both the GIII Pocahontas S. and GI Darley Alcibiades S. last fall before ending her juvenile campaign with a sixth-place effort in the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She rallied from well back to finish...

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Larry Melancon: A Remembrance

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Larry Melancon might not have been the top jockey at Churchill Downs during his long career, though he ranks among the winningest riders at the historic Louisville track even a decade after his retirement. But no Churchill Downs jockey can match the resilience and longevity of Melancon, whose tenure of riding full-time under the Twin Spires for 36 consecutive years is unprecedented. Melancon, whose first official race was in 1971, arrived at Churchill Downs for the 1974 spring session. Up through his retirement on July 4, 2010 at Churchill...

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Sunday's Racing Insights: Pricey In Utero Buy Gets Going

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 11th-GP, $55K, Msw, 3yo, f, 6f, 5:48 p.m. ET Giverny (Tapit) makes her first start here for Bill Mott and owner/breeder Alpha Delta Stable. She was being carried by her SW and MGSP dam Oscar Party (Dixie Union) when Jon Clay's operation purchased that one for $1.9 million at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. Giverny is the half-sister to MGISW Room Service (More Than Ready)'s second foal--a year-older Tapit colt RNA'd for $675,000 at the same KEENOV renewal. Chad Brown pupil Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper), a...

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Candy Man Rocket to Beat in Tampa Bay Derby

After recording a stalk-and-pounce victory in the GIII Sam F. Davis S. Feb. 6, Candy Man Rocket (Candy Ride {Arg}) will have 11 rivals standing in his way to double up in Saturday's GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. The Tampa Bay Derby carries 50-20-10-5 qualifying points on the road to the GI Kentucky Derby. The Frank Fletcher colorbearer previously romped by 9 1/4 lengths at second asking going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park Jan. 9. He received 85 Beyer Speed Figures in both efforts. The Sam Davis was Candy...

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Banner Year Decades in the Making for Wachtel

The 2020 racing season was fraught with many challenges, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and halted racing in New York for about three months, continuing to wreak havoc with on-track attendance at many of the nation's racing venues throughout the remainder of the year. And while for many it was a time of turmoil and struggle, it proved to be a banner season for Wachtel Stable, campaigning not one but two Eclipse champions in 2020--Vequist (Nyquist, Champion Juvenile Filly) and Channel Maker (English Channel, Champion Turf Male). "Unfortunately, I...

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Constitution Colt Remains Perfect in Palm Beach

Annex took his record to two-for-two with a late-closing kick to take the Palm Beach S. at Gulfstream Saturday. Tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' when rallying from well back to graduate on debut going a mile here Jan. 16, he was favored at 6-5 to repeat in this black-type bow. Racing in sixth, the chestnut was well back off the pace as Arzak (Not This Time) shot out to a clear lead with about 10 lengths on his closest pursuer Hot Blooded (Declaration of War), who also had daylight on...

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Champion Vequist Kicks Off Sophomore Season in Davona Dale

Eleven rivals will be waiting to take on recently crowned champion Vequist (Nyquist) in Saturday's GII Davona Dale S. going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park. The GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine, campaigned in partnership by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and breeder Swilcan Stable, earned her diploma at second asking with a daylight tally in Saratoga's GI Spinaway S. Sept. 6. Second behind Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief) as the 4-5 favorite in the GI Frizette S. at Belmont Oct. 10, she turned the tables on that rival with a two-length...

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U.S. Quintet Tunes Up For Saudi Cup

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—A number of trainers with horses engaged in Saturday's Saudi Cup have been unable to travel but their horses and exercise riders have shipped in, mostly over last weekend, for the second running of the $20 million contest at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. The 14-strong field includes two locally-trained horses, Great Scot (GB) (Requinto {Ire}) and Alzahzaah (KSA) (Worldly), who face competition from Britain, Japan and Bahrain as well as five runners from the United States. For most of the American contingent, stronger work had taken place on the...

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After Missing Remsen, Key Race Winner Speaker's Corner Back in Training

Now that's a key race. Subsequent runaway Smarty Jones S. winner and 'TDN Rising Star' Caddo River (Hard Spun) and authoritative GIII Holy Bull S. hero Greatest Honour (Tapit) were both defeated in second and third, respectively, in a salty, seven-furlong maiden special weight at Belmont Park last fall Oct. 11 (video). But what happened to the impressive winner that day, the highly regarded Godolphin homebred Speaker's Corner (Street Sense--Tyburn Brook, by Bernardini)? "After a minor setback, he is back jogging and hacking at Payson Park with Bill Mott," Godolphin...

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