Defining Purpose

Value Sires For 2024, Part 3: The $10k Club

Somehow this is a real sweet spot in the market. For a stallion farm, the $10,000 cover is a particular pitch: you're a cent away from offering a horse at four figures, but you feel that dropping him into a low-rent neighborhood might be beneath his dignity. You're offering a very accessible fee, but you're not going to let him look cheap. That makes this a surprisingly congested zone, ample for separate assessment. And since clinging to a five-figure fee somewhat represents a show of faith, some of these sires...

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No Distaff But Xigera Still A Winner In Mother Goose

In just her second start on the dirt, Rigney Racing's Xigera (Nyquist) impressed her connections with a 6 1/4-length win in Churchill's Seneca Overnight S. Sept. 23. The effort was enough to prompt a Breeders' Cup discussion and the daughter of Nyquist was pre-entered in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff only to be withdrawn from consideration early week and rerouted to Saturday's GII Mother Goose S. The move proved to be a smart one as Xigera rewarded her connections with another open-length win at even money. Switched to the main...

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Alabama Rolls Strong Draw Amid This Weekend's Graded Stakes

"What's in a name?" Spurning Master Shakespeare and embracing anecdotal evidence, consider the tale of how Saratoga's Oklahoma Training Track got its name. Horsemen complained that the distance across Union Avenue to the main course was such a hike that it might as well be in Boomer Sooner land. Another piece from the past concerns the name of the Alabama S. Dating to 1872, the race was given that moniker after the Derby-winning owner William Cottrell of Mobile asked if it could be dubbed after his home state, instead of...

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Defining Purpose Has Written A Rags-To-Riches Story

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N. Y. - Katsumi Yoshida's Defining Purpose (Cross Traffic) brings a solid resume and a sounds-like-fiction backstory to the GI Alabama S. on Saturday. Now owned by one of the world's top breeding operations, Yoshida's Northern Farm, the gray 3-year-old filly was rejected by buyers when she was offered at sale as a short yearling at Keeneland in January 2021. Colette VanMatre, the Indiana businesswomen who runs a tiny breeding business, decided she would race Defining Purpose. Last year, VanMatre reached out to trainer Kenny McPeek, who agreed...

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Taxed For $50,000? Great Deal For Bahde

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--Credit owner Richard Bahde with nailing the description of Taxed's (Collected) climb from modest beginnings to a start Saturday in the historic GI Alabama S. at Saratoga Race Course. "It is a Cinderella story. It's something that doesn't happen very often," Bahde said. "I'm sure that over time there have been $50,000 claiming horses that have gone on to win graded stakes races, but there's just not that many." Veteran trainer Randy Morse claimed the gray filly for Bahde at Churchill Downs on Nov. 20 in her third...

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The Kentucky Oaks Top 10: Lack of Points Have Big Names on Outside Looking In

The last of the prep races for the GI Kentucky Oaks have been run, which means we have a pretty good idea who will be in the starting gate come May 5 in a race that is limited to 14 starters. As of now, you need 50 points to make the field, which is not good news for a handful of fillies who once looked like locks to make the race. Last year's 2-year-old filly champion, Wonder Wheel (Into Mischief), who held the top spot in this poll for several...

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Defining Purpose To Prep For Oaks at Churchill

Defining Purpose (Cross Traffic), upset winner of the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Apr. 7, will ship to Churchill Downs either this coming Monday or Tuesday to prepare for a start in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks May 5. "Defining Purpose came to us in late spring last year," said trainer Ken McPeek, who was unsaddling an Ashland winner for the third time in his career. "She is the first horse I have received from Collete Vanmatre. She told me to see what I thought of her and...

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Cross Traffic Filly Upsets Ashland for McPeek

Defining Purpose (f, 3, Cross Traffic--Defining Hope, by Strong Hope) lit up the tote board at 20-1 to upset Friday's GI Central Bank Ashland S. on opening day at Keeneland. The gray sat a dream trip in a stalking second behind a longshot leader through fractions of :23.62 and :47.25. She turned up the heat rounding the far turn, gained command at the top of the stretch, and, after enjoying a clear lead down the lane, held the rallying duo of previously unbeaten and favored Punchbowl (Uncle Mo) and 'TDN...

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