Bill Mott

Tacitus Tackles Competitive Woodward

Five of the six runners slated to contest Saratoga's marquee handicap event--the GI Woodward S.--enter into Saturday's 10-furlong affair having won their latest starts. Heading the group is Juddmonte Farm's Tacitus (Tapit), who bounded home an easy 8 3/4-length winner in the 10-furlong Suburban July 4. For that race, trainer Bill Mott gave blinkers another try--even though an earlier equipment experiment failed to result in victory--and was duly rewarded. Last spring, the son of multiple Grade I-winning Close Hatches (First Defence) reeled off consecutive graded scores in the GII Tampa...

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Friday Insights: Pair of $850K Babies Debut On Oaks Undercard

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 2nd-CD, $97K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, 11:30 a.m. ET Gary Barber and Baccari Racing Stable's SALTY AS CAN BE (Into Mischief) opens her account in this sprint, the second event on a star-studded GI Longines Kentucky Oaks day card at Churchill. Bought for $850,000 at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, the bay is a half-sister to Salty (Quality Road), who won the GI La Troienne S. over this track for these connections in 2018 before selling for $3 million to Don Alberto at Fasig-Tipton November. Other interesting firsters...

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This Side Up: Maximum Respect for Security ‘Measures’

It's not his fault. But the fact is that Maximum Security (New Year's Day) has become one of the most chronicled, most contentious Thoroughbreds of recent times. From a lawsuit over his disqualification at Churchill, to the scandal engulfing his former trainer, to his frozen Arabian treasures, to the merit (or otherwise) of his debut for a new barn, one way or another, this extraordinary creature cannot keep out of the headlines. If feeling mischievous, indeed, one might almost say that he will not be the only polarizing incumbent facing...

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Hard Spun’s Antoinette Upsets Saratoga Oaks

Godolphin homebred Antoinette (Hard Spun) made all the running in Sunday's $500,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational S. to more than double her bankroll with a half-length victory over Stunning Sky (Declaration of War). A second-out winner on the Belmont grass last October, the Bill Mott pupil took Aqueduct's rained-off Tepin S. in December. That effort likely had her connections thinking GI Kentucky Oaks, and she resurfaced to be third in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks Mar. 21 behind Saturday's GI Alabama S. runner-up Bonny South (Munnings). Third again when favored in...

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Country House to Stand at Darby Dan in 2021

Reigning GI Kentucky Derby winner Country House (Lookin At Lucky-Quake Lake, by War Chant) has been secured for stud duty by John Phillips's Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Country House will be participating in Darby Dan's "Share the Upside" program, and his fee for the 2021 season has been set at $7,500 S&N. "We are excited to stand Country House and to provide breeders the opportunity to breed to a Kentucky Derby winner through our "Share the Upside" program," said Ryan Norton, Darby Dan Farm's stallion director. "There is...

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Recent Private Buy South Bend Works Towards Travers

South Bend (Algorithms), a recent addition to the Bill Mott barn, turned in his final breeze Sunday over Saratoga's Oklahoma Training Track as he eyes next Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. The colt was acquired privately from Sagamore Farm and trainer Stanley Hough after finishing second in the June 27 GIII Ohio Derby by a group that includes Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel, Peter Deutsch and Leonard Schleifer of Pantofel Stable. Working outside of recent GII Suburban S. romper Tacitus (Tapit), South Bend was credited with five furlongs in a best-of-11...

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New Owners Consider Runhappy Travers for South Bend

South Bend (Algorithms), purchased privately by a partnership group that includes Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel, Peter Deutsch and Leonard Schleifer of Pantofel Stable following a runner-up effort in the June 27 GIII Ohio Derby, could make his first start for the new connections in the Aug. 8 GI Runhappy Travers S. "We're leaning toward the Travers," confirmed the colt's new trainer Bill Mott. "The partnership group wants to have a good look at that. He'll work probably the first part of the week." Previously campaigned by Sagamore Farm and trainer...

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Curlin’s Paris Lights Wins CCA Oaks Stretch Duel

Paris Lights (Curlin), an impressive winner of two straight at Churchill Downs, made her stakes debut a winning one with a ultra-game decision in Saturday's GI Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. The 2-1 chance pressed runaway Bob Baffert-trained Santa Anita maiden winner Crystal Ball (Malibu Moon) from second through fractions of :24.43 and :47.82, and turned up the pressure as they hit the quarter pole. Paris Lights and Crystal Ball, both owned by WinStar Stablemates Racing, turned for home on even terms, and after a dramatic stretch duel, it...

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‘Invader’ Looks Imposing in Hall of Fame

Four-for-six Decorated Invader (Declaration of War) appears awful tough to beat in Saturday's GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. at Saratoga. Second to subsequent MGSW Field Pass (Lemon Drop Kid) on local debut here a year ago, he broke through convincingly next out before notching a big win in Woodbine's GI Summer S. in September. He could only manage fourth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf after a tough trip that had many arguing that he might've been best, and he's lent support to that claim...

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Lightly Raced Runners Loom Large in CCA Oaks

While two-time GSW Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist) is favored at 9-5 on the morning line for Saturday's GI Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, she'll have to fend off several well-bred and promising up-and-comers if she's to get the job done. Perhaps the most formidable challenger is WinStar Stablemates Racing's Paris Lights (Curlin). The Bill Mott trainee was third in a sloppy-track sprint at Gulfstream on debut Apr. 26, but took a big step forward to romp on the stretch-out at Churchill May 31 and then paired up 85 Beyer Speed...

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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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