First Mares in Foal for New Stallions at Pleasant Acres

The four first-year stallions at Pleasant Acres Stallions in Florida--Verifying, Doppelganger, Simplification, and Chess Chief--as well as Bodexpress, who is new to Florida after standing three years in California, all have had multiple mares confirmed in foal to kick off their stud careers. "Since the breeding shed opened this season, we have had a very active stallion barn," said Christine Jones, the farm's director of stallion services. "We have recently received confirmation that all five of our exciting new stallions have mares in foal, so we are off to a...

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Pleasant Acres Optimistic on New Sire Quintet

Pleasant Acres Farm outside of Morriston, Florida launched its stallion division in 2013 with the vision of bringing top-class sires to the Sunshine State. Over a decade later, the operation founded by Joe and Helen Barbazon is still working toward that same goal. This year they've provided a major boost to the Florida stallion ranks with the addition of five newcomers for 2024, bringing their stallion roster up to a total count of 13 members. With his first-crop of 2-year-olds hitting the track this year, Bodexpress (Bodemeister) has relocated from...

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'TDN Rising Star' Doppelganger Arrives At Pleasant Acres Stallions For Stud Duty

Pleasant Acres Stallions welcomes to their roster 'TDN Rising Star' and GISW Doppelganger (Into Mischief) who will stand in 2024 for $10,000 LFSN, the Florida farm said in a release Thursday morning. "Doppleganger exudes class in every sense. He's an eye-catching individual with more natural power and strength than his namesake Authentic. Commercially, he gives breeders an excellent chance to get a proper ROI, especially with the precocious nature of the broodmare base in Florida," said Tom Ryan. A $570,000 Fasig-Tipton Selected Showcase yearling, Doppelganger is out of the Quiet...

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Showdown at the Spa as Personal Ensign Heads Friday's Graded Action

A compelling Grade I race with year-end title implications and it's not even a Saturday? Such is the magic of Saratoga. Friday's $500,000 GI Personal Ensign S. at nine furlongs has attracted older mare division leaders Nest (Curlin) and Clairiere (Curlin). Both are multiple Grade I winners with stellar records; the two will meet for the third time. Nest, last year's Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly, is the 4-5 choice after besting Clairiere in a bang-up GII Shuvee S. July 23 over track and trip. It was her first start of...

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Doppelganger On Target For Met Mile

Doppelganger (Into Mischief), last seen recording a 17-1 upset over Repo Rocks (Tapiture) in the GI Carter H. at Aqueduct Apr. 8, remains on target for a rematch with that foe in the GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan H. at Belmont Park June 10. The $570,000 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase purchase has registered his three most recent works over the Laurel main track, including a best-of-12 five furlongs that was timed in 1:01.60 May 24. "Since the Carter, he's quite sharp," trainer Brittany Russell said. "He thinks he's a bear....

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Into Mischief's Doppelganger Upsets Carter

'TDN Rising Star' Doppelganger (c, 4, Into Mischief--Twice the Lady, by Quiet American) finished up full of run down the stretch to upset Saturday's GI Carter H. at the Big A. The longest shot on the board at odds of 17-1, he caboosed the field of six early and was up a spot into fifth through an opening quarter in :22.40. Under a ride on the far turn, the bay had his work cut out for him a quarter of a mile from home. Steered out and into the clear...

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With Two Stakes Wins Already, Brittany Russell on Track for Another Big Year

Riding high off an exceptional year in 2022, where she was the leading trainer at Laurel Park's fall and spring meet and tied for the lead at the Preakness Meet at Pimlico, Brittany Russell is poised for another strong showing this year. The Laurel-based conditioner got the season off to a good start two weeks ago when Prince of Jericho and L Street Lady, both by Munnings, swept the two $100,000 stakes races for 3-year-olds on Jan. 21 at Laurel. "It was really exciting to have two stakes winners in...

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Hopper Tops Affirmed Exacta for McCarthy at Santa Anita

While the 3-year-old picture was focused primarily in New York Saturday with the GI Belmont S. and the GI Woody Stephens S., Hopper (Declaration of War) threw his hat into the ring from the other coast with a facile victory in the GIII Affirmed S. at Santa Anita. It was a short field, but the exacta horses both hailed from the Sean McCarthy barn while the trifecta was filled out by three former Bob Baffert pupils. When the stall doors flew, Hopper immediately hightailed it the front from the one...

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Baffert's Ownership Group Clarifies Move of Horses

SF Bloodstock's Tom Ryan, representing the ownership group which moved four top three-year-olds to other barns last week, posted a statement on Twitter Friday night clarifying the impetus of the move. "In light of recent commentary, our ownership group wishes to clear up a couple of misconceptions that have arisen about the transfer of our potential Derby horses to Rodolphe Brisset and Tim Yakteen," Ryan wrote. "The owners alone made this decision, and they did so in order to give the horses the opportunity they deserve to compete in this...

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This Side Up: No Points for Freshness

There was a time when you would load as much experience and conditioning as possible into a Kentucky Derby horse, as a mere adolescent required to jostle with 19 others through 10 furlongs. Nowadays, however, trainers are trying to reach Churchill Downs across a highwire stretched to a thread by two diametrically opposed imperatives. One is their conviction, whether through perception or presumption, that the typical, commercial-bred Thoroughbred of today can only stand up to a much lighter schedule. The other is to secure enough gate points in the trials....

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Messier Fires Bullet in First Work for Yakteen

Top GI Kentucky Derby contender Messier (Empire Maker), recently transferred from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to his former assistant Tim Yakteen, breezed six furlongs Sunday for a start in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Apr. 9 in a bullet 1:11.40, fastest by nearly three seconds of five recorded works at the distance. "He worked lights out," Yakteen said of Messier. "We had Johnny [Velazquez] work him and he'll ride him in the Santa Anita Derby. He gave us a thumbs up. The horse looked great, although he...

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Horses, Not Humans, Back at the Epicenter

First things first: let's give their chance to the guys off the bench. Okay, so there are going to be plenty of eyeballs rolled now that three of Bob Baffert's four Derby migrants are joining a former assistant, on the same circuit, with a total of 38 starters to his name this year—especially as it was the handling of another Baffert medication violation that reportedly caused the scuffle between this same gentleman and a fellow trainer at Clocker's Corner one morning last April. (Both were fined $500.)

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