Eight Rings

C Z Rocket Seeks O'Brien Repeat

C Z Rocket (City Zip) will be looking to earn another automatic berth to the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint when he attempts to defend his title in the 'Win and You're In' GII Pat O'Brien S. at Del Mar Saturday night. The 7-year-old gelding has hit the board in all 10 starts--with seven wins--since being claimed for $40,000 last April. He earned his first graded score in last year's Pat O'Brien and followed up with a win in the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. before concluding the year with...

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Many Chances in Deep Bing

Handicappers will have a tough time tossing many horses from their tickets as a competitive nine-horse field lines up for Saturday's six-furlong GI Bing Crosby S. at Del Mar, a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. Given a slight nod on the morning line at 5-2 is C Z Rocket (City Zip). Claimed for $40,000 last spring at Oaklawn by Peter Miller, the gelding has been a new horse since, winning seven of nine races while finishing second in the other two. That streak includes...

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Woody Stephens Top Four Return in Jerkens

Four out of the five runners from the GI Woody Stephens S., topped by winner No Parole (Violence), will face off again Saturday in a loaded renewal of the GI H. Allen Jerkens S. at Saratoga. 'TDN Rising Star' No Parole won his first three races against fellow LA-breds by a combined 34 lengths. Facing defeat for the first time when trying two turns in the GII Rebel S. Mar. 14, the bay returned to the winner's circle when cut back to six panels in an Oaklawn optional claimer Apr....

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Irishman Hore Is Derby Dreaming Again

Most Irishmen that go to Kentucky didn't plan to stay there. And yet, the story seems to be ripped from a template that is repeatedly recycled: they knew someone working on a farm there and decided to go for six months to a year. And then made it another year. Then 10 or 20 more. Many end up staying their whole lives. Dr. Michael Hore may have followed a well-trodden path from his birthplace in County Wexford to Lexington, but in the ensuing 15 years he has set himself apart...

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This Side Up: Sparkling Rings Required For Bachelor Engagement

Even Richard Wagner would have struggled to make anything of this particular "ring cycle". In four starts, Eight Rings (Empire Maker) has so far abruptly alternated the full works--strings, horns, kettle drums--with a timid clink of the triangle. As such, he certainly can't afford to break the cycle when surfacing for the first time since his Breeders' Cup bust in the Bachelor S. at Oaklawn Saturday. Dropping in grade and distance, in fact, he needs to produce the dominant sophomore performance of a day that also features a new stakes...

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Eight Rings Returns in Bachelor S.

Grade I-winning 'TDN Rising Star' Eight Rings (Empire Maker) makes his seasonal bow Saturday in Oaklawn's Bachelor S. An impressive debut winner at Del Mar Aug. 4, the $520,000 KEESEP buy ducked in sharply at the start of the GI Del Mar Futurity S. Sept. 2, bumping his neighbor and losing his rider. The dark bay returned with a decisive score in the GI American Pharoah S. at Santa Anita Sept. 27 and could only manage sixth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile in Arcadia when last seen Nov. 1....

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Empire Maker Colt First Winner, First 'Rising Star' for Powerful Partnership

The powerful ownership group involved with juvenile colt Eight Rings (Empire Maker) celebrated their first win as a team Sunday as the buzzed-about Bob Baffert trainee blitzed Del Mar maiden company to become a no-brainer 'TDN Rising Star'. A $520,000 Keeneland September yearling, the dark bay prepped for this with a bullet five-furlong drill from the gate in 1:00 flat here July 25 in company with unraced Garth (Into Mischief--Country Star) (Click for XBTV Video) and was crushed down to 3-5 favoritism despite the presence of several other well-bred and...

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