English Channel

Classy, Durable Channel Maker Ready For Sixth Sword Dancer

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--On the subject of the resilience of 9-year-old Channel Maker (English Channel) approaching his sixth-consecutive start in the GI Sword Dancer S. Saturday, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott made his point in a few words. "I can't say enough," he said. Mott was smiling, but he wasn't joking. "What can you say?" Mott said. "He sort of seems like an oddity in this day and age that he's able to stay around and still be in somewhat close to top form." Channel Maker has stood the tests...

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Stars Come Out To Play on Travers Day

It's a bit of Christmas in August Saturday at venerable Saratoga Race Course, which plays host to no fewer than five Grade I events for horses of all ages--on dirt and on turf--topped by the main event on the summer calendar, the $1.25-million GI Travers S. While the fields are short on numbers, they are long on quality, as three of the races have attracted reigning Eclipse Award winners, none of whom are anything close to a cinch in their respective heats. Champion and 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence) has...

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Program Trading Tenacious In Saratoga Derby Invitational

Klaravich Stables' Program Trading (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) showed grit and determination that belied his relative inexperience and dug down deep to stave off a bid from tough-trip Webslinger (Constitution) to win Saturday's GI Saratoga Derby Invitational over a Mellon Turf Course left yielding by torrential rains that spelled doom to the final four races on Friday's program. Favored Far Bridge (English Channel) plugged on at one pace to be third. It was a second Saratoga Derby for Seth Klarman's operation following on from Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB})...

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War Like Goddess Defends Turf In Glens Falls

The influence of Champion grass horse and MGISW English Channel both on the racetrack and in the breeding shed cannot be overstated. After stints at Hurricane Hall, Lane's End and finally, Calumet, we sadly lost him late in 2021, but he still has an active group that continues to carry home his legacy. Who is his most successful offspring? Maybe it's Chicago's own, MGISW The Pizza Man? Or how about MGISW Channel Maker, who just added another graded trophy to his collection last weekend at the ripe old age of...

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GISW V. E. Day Arrives At Old Friends

Old Friends in Georgetown, Kentucky, welcomed V. E. Day this week, the retirement farm said in a release Friday. The 2014 GI Travers S. hero, V. E. Day (English Channel--California Sunset, by Deputy Minister) came to Old Friends following the death of his owner-breeder Magalen O. Bryant in 2021. Bryant's representative, Johnathan Miller, and her daughter, K. C. Graham, visited Old Friends earlier this year when it was decided that the stallion would retire from stud duty. "V. E. Day was a courageous Travers winner and we inquired about his...

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Kentucky Oaks Winner Returns on Belmont's 'Pretty' Stacked Friday Card

ELMONT, NY - After canceling Thursday's card at Belmont Park amid poor air quality issues, there is optimism that live racing will return with Friday's 11-race program featuring a trio of Grade I events. Pretty Mischievous (Into Mischief), last seen pulling off a dramatic 10-1 upset with first-time blinkers in the GI Kentucky Oaks, will take on seven rivals in the GI Acorn S. "She's doing great and hasn't missed a beat since she came out of the Oaks," trainer Brendan Walsh said. "This was the obvious next step for...

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Stephen Foster Preview Day Headlines Saturday's Graded Action

Lucky Seven Stable's Rattle N Roll (Connect), winner of this term's GIII Ben Ali S. Apr. 22 and GIII Pimlico Special S. May 19, is the horse to beat returning on short notice in Saturday's GIII Blame S., the featured race on "Stephen Foster Preview Day" at Churchill Downs. The $1-million GI Stephen Foster will now be held four weeks later at Ellis Park. The Ken McPeek-trained 2021 GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity winner will face seven rivals from his rail draw, including the re-opposing Ben Ali second and third-place finishers...

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Red Knight Earns Grade I Glory In Man o' War S.

By the age of nine, most racehorses have left their best days well behind them. However, 5-1 shot Red Knight (Pure Prize) clearly did not get that memo, pulling off the most important victory of his career in Saturday's GI Man o' War S. at Belmont. Breaking from the inside gate under Irad Ortiz, Jr., the chestnut trailed the field early while racing inside of favored 3-5 European import Warren Point (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who was caught napping at the start with Frankie Dettori in the irons. Up front, Channel...

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War Like Goddess Takes a Historic Third Straight Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland

Racegoers can be forgiven a bit of deju vu when War Like Goddess (m, 6, English Channel--Misty North, by North Light {Ire}) won the GIII Bewitch S. at Keeneland Friday as it was, indeed, the third straight year she won the race. She is only the third horse in Keeneland history--and first in nearly 50 years--to win the same race at the storied Central Kentucky track three consecutive times. The five-horse field broke with recent GIII La Prevoyante S. winner Personal Best (Tapit) tumbling out of the stalls, but the...

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English Channel's Far Bridge Earns 'Rising Star' Nod at Gulfstream

Calumet Farm's unbeaten homebred Far Bridge (c, 3, English Channel--Fitpitcher, by Kitten's Joy) kicked home impressively for 'TDN Rising Star' honors in a grassy optional claimer at Gulfstream Park Saturday. The bay was a head better than the promising Carl Spackler (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) over the same course and distance on debut Jan. 21. Carl Spackler returned to earn a 'Rising Star' tag of his own with a smashing, 8 3/4-length maiden victory here Feb. 25. Hammered down to 1-2 here, Far Bridge raced under cover passing the...

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English Channel's Last Call Upsets the Natalma

X-Men Racing 2 LLC and SF Racing's Last Call (English Channel) broke her maiden in style with a 21-1 upset in the GI Natalma S. at Woodbine, a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November at Keeneland. Second on debut at this venue July 23, Last Call was fourth last out going seven panels over this course Aug. 20. Dismissed by the bettors while shedding blinkers here, the $30,000 KEESEP acquisition was unhurried early, racing in second last off the rail as Star...

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Eyeing a Championship with War Like Goddess

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--With a sterling race record that befits her very distinctive name all wrapped in an engaging story, War Like Goddess (English Channel) is an impossible-to-ignore race mare bidding for a championship. Though her late sire was a champion on the track and a top turf stallion for many years, the first foal out of Misty North (North Light {Ire}) brought a mere $1,200 at auction as a weanling and did not draw a single bid at the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale. At the June 2019 OBS sale,...

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