Bill Mott

Out of the Shadows, Drury Could Collect First Graded Win in Blue Grass

There is paying your dues and then there is the story of Tom Drury, Jr. Thirty-eight years after he started his training career at age 18, Drury will go into Saturday's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland with an outstanding chance of winning a prestigious $600,000 race that could be a gateway to the GI Kentucky Derby. His Art Collector (Bernardini) is the co-second choice on the morning line at 5-1 and is coming off a 6 1/2-length win in an allowance race at Churchill Downs. A win would...

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Into Mischief Filly Finally Makes the Grade in Quickly Run Victory Ride

TDN Rising Star Frank's Rockette (Into Mischief) wasn't given the easiest of tasks in the early going of Saturday's GIII Victory Ride S., but she showed her grit and class late with a hard-fought head score over the well-meant Reagan's Edge (Competitive Edge). Off a hair slow, the Bill Mott trainee raced out to take an early advantage from her inside draw and was closely attended by Reagan's Edge, an allowance winner at Churchill in May, and Center Aisle (Into Mischief), a $1.5-million Fasig-Tipton Florida sale graduate who scored first...

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Churchill Downs Spring Meet Concludes on a High

All-sources wagering on Churchill Downs' abbreviated 27-date Spring Meet totaled $240.5 million, which was a 53.3% increase from the 32 days of racing that followed last year's Kentucky Derby. Additionally, the average daily handle was up 81.7% from $4.9 million one year ago to $8.9 million this season. Shortened to seven weeks from May 16-June 28, the 2020 meet was staged under strict government-sanctioned protocols and without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, Churchill Downs experienced four of the track's six largest non-Derby, Oaks or Breeders' Cup betting...

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American Pharoah’s Harvey’s Lil Goil Takes the GIII Regret

On a day of stellar open-length graded performances under the Twin Spires on the dirt, Harvey's Lil Goil reminded us that the grass can be just as exciting as she gave a heart-stopping performance to win by a head. One of several in the field of 13 who already had black-type experience, the gray was prominent early and always up with the leaders, keenly tracking longshot Eve of War (Declaration of War) from the outside behind fractions of :23.26 and :47.48. Harvey's Lil Goil collared that one at the quarter...

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Curlin Filly makes it two straight at Churchill Downs

6th-Churchill Downs, $79,465, Alw, 6-27, (NW1X), 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:43.74, ft. PARIS LIGHTS (f, 3, Curlin--Paris Bikini, by Bernardini), sent off the 3-5 choice, settled in a two-wide second behind Enjoyitwhilewecan (Quality Road) through splits of :24.56 and :48.59. Taking over approaching the quarter pole, the WinStar hombred was clear in upper stretch and rolled home a 3 1/4-length winner over the pacesetter. Subsequent to Paris Lights, dam Paris Bikini foaled Cousteau, a colt by Into Mischief, and a filly by Distorted Humor last season. She produced a colt...

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Tiz the Law Tunes Up for Belmont

Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law (Constitution) breezed a half-mile Sunday at Belmont Park in his final work ahead of next Saturday's GI Belmont S. Jockey Manny Franco was aboard the bay colt who, working solo from the half-mile pole, breezed through splits of :26.50, :50.42 (41/46) and out in 1:03.12. "He went well. We weren't looking for anything special today," said trainer Barclay Tagg, who ponied Tiz the Law to and from the work. Franco added, "When Barclay turned me loose, he got strong a little bit, but when we...

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Mott Closes In on 5000th Win

When it comes to training racehorses, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has pretty much seen it all over the past half a century. In 2019, however, Churchill Downs served as a backdrop for a rare first for the Hall of Famer, who captured his first GI Kentucky Derby with 'TDN Rising Star' Country House (Lookin At Lucky). Fast forward a year and Mott closes in on another personal first, namely his 5,000th career win, which places him seventh overall, and fourth among leading active trainers. "I am proud of...

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Bernardini Filly Off the Mark at First Asking in Gulfstream Slop

4th-Gulfstream, $40,000, Msw, 5-24, 3yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:10.83, sy. GRAND CRU CLASSE (f, 3, Bernardini--Christmas Lass, by Lemon Drop Kid), a $335,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic pick-up last year off a :22 1/5 breeze, sported a steady series of drills at Payson Park but was let go at 6-1 for this first go as the money poured in on regally bred sixth-time starter Doll Collection (Tapit--Groupie Doll). Away last but not by much, Grand Cru Classe was scrubbed on to vie for position early before eventually settling in along the fence as...

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Authentic’s Flawless Start Rings True to Blum

Authentic has already carved one significant milestone for his sire, his debut success at Del Mar last November having qualified Into Mischief as the first North American stallion to accumulate 200 individual winners in a calendar year. If he can also become a Classic winner, however, he will need a chapter to himself in the Spendthrift phenomenon's epic tale. Because the rise of Into Mischief, sealed by a first general sires' championship in 2019, has primarily been powered by speed. As his books have gained in quality, the last big...

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Apr. 26 Insights: Mott Unveils Curlin Filly

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 8th-GP, $60K, Msw, 3yo, f, 7f, 4:25 p.m. Bill Mott sends out first-timer and WinStar homebred PARIS LIGHTS (Curlin) in this test. Her dam Paris Bikini (Bernardini), a $425,000 purchase at Keeneland January in 2016, is a three-quarter sister to Grade III winner and dual Grade I-placed America (A.P. Indy). The latter is the dam of the now 2-year-old colt Virtuous Intention (Curlin), who fetched $1.5 million from West Point, Woodford, Siena, Valdes, Singleton, Sandbrook & Freeman at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. This is...

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This Side Up: Counting on Fleet-Footed Whitmore

Lots of people have been borrowing wartime terminology and metaphors for the current crisis. Yet it has long worried me that global leaders now belong to a generation with no memory of the second World War, never mind any direct involvement. Hardly a coincidence, perhaps, if populism and nationalism around the world are driven by people without their parents' visceral grasp of the stakes involved, when those sources of political energy overheat. Whether a pandemic-indifferent to borders, race or creed-will renew their sense of the collective interests of the species...

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Let’s Make the Maximum of What We Have

How innocent we all were, in hindsight. Maybe you, like me, were in town from colder climes; feeling your whole soul opening, flower-like, to the unaccustomed warmth of the Miami springtime. From the upper arcade I gazed superciliously at Maximum Security (New Year's Day) as he strolled round the parade ring. The hometown upstart had won three sprints by an aggregate 35 lengths, but you could have claimed him for $16,000 on his debut. Yes, everyone cautioned that Jason Servis, at a 45% clip through the meet, could do unexpected...

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