Modern Games Returns To Keeneland In Friday's Maker's Mark

Last year's Eclipse champion turf male returns to the place of his Breeders' Cup glory Friday with an expected start in the GI Maker's Mark Mile S. Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), trained by Charlie Appleby, makes his 4-year-old debut since taking the GI FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland last November. Off the board in only two of his 13 prior starts, the chestnut just missed in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. at Ascot leading into the Breeders' Cup, took the GI Woodbine Mile by 5 1/4 lengths...

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Pletcher 'Rising Star' Pair Work For Belmont Derby

The Todd Pletcher-trained 'TDN Rising Star' duo of Emmanuel (More Than Ready) and Annapolis (War Front) worked in company in :48.04 over the inner turf course at Belmont Park Friday as they prepare for the $1-million GI Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational S. July 9. "It was a good work. They went in 48 and change, finished up nicely and galloped out well. I was happy with it," Pletcher said. Owned by WinStar Farm and Siena Farm, Emmanuel acquitted himself well on the dirt during the buildup to the Triple Crown,...

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The Week in Review: Beyond Derby Aspirations, Pletcher Duo Blooms

Getting a 3-year-old to peak precisely on the first Saturday of May is an over-arching goal in our sport. But even for the very upper crust of colts, a brush with GI Kentucky Derby aspirations ends up being nothing more than an early diversion on a much longer development arc. It's always intriguing to watch how one-time Derby hopefuls progress over months and even years, and two of them from Todd Pletcher's barn signaled Saturday that they might be A-level factors in the second half of this season. Within the...

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More Than Ready's Emmanuel Takes Turf Debut in Pennine Ridge

'TDN Rising Star' Emmanuel (More Than Ready), at one point considered a leading Triple Crown contender, looks to have found a new home on the lawn after leading at all calls Saturday to justify 19-10 odds in Belmont Park's nine-furlong GII Pennine Ridge S. A 6 3/4-length debut winner at Gulfstream going a mile in December followed by an easy Tampa optional claiming tally in January, the WinStar Farm and Siena Farm representative was fourth in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. Mar. 5 and third after showing the...

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Unanimous Consent Looks To Stay Undefeated In Pennine Ridge

Trainer Chad Brown sends out undefeated Unanimous Consent (GB) (Almanzor {Fr}) in Saturday's GII Pennine Ridge S. at Belmont Park. After breaking his maiden on debut as a 2-year-old Sept. 11 over one mile on the grass at Monmouth, he returned off a six- month layoff to beat allowance company Feb. 4 over the grass at Tampa. Stepped up into stakes company for the first time, he took Aqueduct's Woodhaven S. when last seen Apr. 23. Making his first start on turf for Todd Pletcher after exiting the Derby Trail...

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Rising Stars Square Off in the Blue Grass

'TDN Rising Stars' Smile Happy (Runhappy) and Emmanuel (More Than Ready) face off Saturday as they try to secure their spots in the GI Kentucky Derby starting gate at Keeneland in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S. Smile Happy rallied past rivals with ease to take his career bow in style going two turns at Keeneland Oct. 29 and followed suit with a decisive victory in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Nov. 27. Splitting foes, the dark bay closed from well back to be second to next-out GII Louisiana...

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Fountain of Youth Has A Little Something For Everyone

If variety is the spice of life, Saturday's GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park is certain to set your taste buds on fire, as a legitimate case can be made for as many as seven of the 11 horses left in the final local lead-up for the GI Curlin Florida Derby in four weeks' time. With the mid-week scratching of GII Remsen S. winner Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo), Fountain of Youth favoritism could fall to Simplification, one of three in the race by boom sire Not This...

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Mo Donegal to Scratch from Fountain of Youth

   Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo), the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream, will be scratched from the race, reports owner Jerry Crawford. His next start will most likely be in the GII Wood Memorial S. Apr. 9 at Aqueduct. Crawford said he and trainer Todd Pletcher were considering scratching after Mo Donegal drew the 12 post for the Fountain of Youth, but the decision became more clear cut after the colt developed a minor virus. "We are going to scratch," Crawford said. "In...

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FOY Contenders Breeze in South Florida

The South Florida worktab was dotted with several horses tuning up Saturday morning for a possible start in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park Mar. 5. WinStar Farm and Siena Farm LLC's 'TDN Rising Star' Emmanuel (More Than Ready) will be in search of a third win in as many starts in the Fountain of Youth and tuned up for the 8 1/2-furlong test with a bullet half-mile in :48.05 (1/32) Saturday morning at trainer Todd Pletcher's base at Palm Beach Downs. He worked great, I...

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Pletcher Lays Out Plans For Top 3-Year-Olds

With less than three months remaining before the running of the GI Kentucky Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher, with 42 horses nominated to the Triple Crown, will be active in a number of Derby preps as he prepares his troops for his annual invasion of Churchill Downs. Pletcher divulged his plans during this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast, which will be available Wednesday afternoon. Despite finishing third as the favorite in last Saturday's GIII Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream, Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) may represent Pletcher's best chance of winning a...

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Emmanuel Impresses in Tampa Two-Turn Test

6th-Tampa Bay Downs, $31,000, Alw (NW1X)/Opt. Clm ($75,000), 1-30, 3yo, 1m 40y, 1:40.24, ft, 4 1/2 lengths. EMMANUEL (c, 3, More Than Ready--Hard Cloth, by Hard Spun) backed up the 'TDN Rising Star' moniker and his place at number five on T.D. Thornton's GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 Sunday as he handled a salty Tampa allowance field with aplomb. A 6 3/4-length debut scorer going a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Dec. 11, he was forced to scratch from a spot similar to this one Jan. 7 when he spiked a...

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Insights: Pletcher Sends out Noteworthy Runners on Both Florida Coasts

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-GP, $60K, Msw, 3yo, 1 1/16mT, 12:58 p.m. ET Todd Pletcher-trained Native Thunder (American Pharoah) is one of a trio of well-bred sophomores who makes their debuts here. Out of 2002 GI Del Mar Debutante S. heroine Miss Houdini (Belong to Me), the $200,000 Keeneland September yearling is half to MGSW millionaire Papa Clem (Smart Strike) and Ce Ce (Elusive Quality), last year's GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint winner and an Eclipse Award finalist. There's some turf in the Lazy F Ranch colorbearer's family as...

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