Firenze Fire

Performer Seeks Grade I Glory in Cigar Mile

Phipps Stable and Claiborne Farm's Performer (Speightstown) looks to continue his hot streak as he takes his first crack at the highest level Saturday in Aqueduct's GI Cigar Mile. Graduating at second asking at Belmont in June 2019, the chestnut captured a 6 1/2-panel allowance at Saratoga that August and a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Belmont last September. Closing out his sophomore season with a victory in this venue's GIII Discovery S. just over a year ago, Performer was subsequently shelved and resurfaced with an optional claimer score in...

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Firenze Fire to Target Cigar Mile

Mr. Amore Stable's Firenze Fire (Poseidan's Warrior), a late-closing third in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, will make his next start in the Dec. 5 GI Cigar Mile. "He's back at Belmont and that's what we're pointing for," trainer Kelly Breen said of the Cigar Mile. The 5-year-old rallied from 11th to finish third under jockey Jose Lezcano in the Nov. 7 Sprint at Keeneland. "It was a good race," Breen said of the veteran's most recent start. Breen said Lezcano, aboard for Firenze Fire's GII Vosburgh Invitational win Sept....

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Horse For Course Firenze Fire Scores in Vosburgh

Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior), just a nose shy in a heart-stopping renewal of the GII Vosburgh S. last year, contested then as a Grade I, continued his love affair with Belmont Park in this 'Win and You're In' for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland. Firenze Fire sat a stalking trip in second through an opening quarter in :22.33, made his move at the leader as they stacked up four across the track past the quarter pole, and kicked home nicely to punch his ticket to Lexington. Favored Funny...

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BC Sprint Berth on the Line in Vosburgh

Following the untimely retirement of the ultra-talented GISW Volatile (Violence) earlier this week, an evenly matched field of six will line up for Saturday's GII Vosburgh S. at Belmont Park, a 'Win and You're In' for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. The 2-1 morning-line favorite Engage (Into Mischief), winner of last fall's GII Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. at Keeneland, makes his first start since finishing a non-threatening fourth in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. He's been training steadily at Steve Asmussen's Churchill base for this. Belmont...

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Whitmore Seeks Second Forego Score

The hard-knocking Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) captured the 2018 GI Forego S. and, after missing last year's Saratoga meet, he looks to take home the trophy again in this year's renewal Saturday. Runner-up in the King Cotton S. at the start of this term Feb. 8, the chestnut captured the Hot Springs S. Mar. 7 and followed suit with a win in the GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. Apr. 18. He completed the exacta behind Volatile (Violence) in this venue's GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt S. last time July 25. "Pace makes...

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Fleet-Footed Volatile Goes for Grade I Glory in Vanderbilt

Of the five horses signed on for Saturday's GI A. G. Vanderbilt H., two are already winners of Grade I races at Saratoga, and a third has been successful at Grade III level while placing in Grade I company. In a different year, any of the three could go favored in the six-furlong dash, but not this one, as they all have the very exciting and very fast Volatile (Violence) to beat. His sire's priciest offspring, having fetched $850,000 as a Keeneland September yearling nearly three years ago, the gray...

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Midnight Bisou in the Classic? Why Not?

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley There was no word Sunday from the camp of Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) regarding where their mare would run next and what the long-term goals are for the season. But we know this much: Midnight Bisou is outstanding, her connections took on males once, in the Saudi Cup, and the GI Breeders' Cup Classic is a lot bigger deal than the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. Does that add up to her starting in the Classic? Fans of this sport can only hope that...

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Promises Fulfilled Makes Seasonal Bow in True North

Grade I winner Promises Fulfilled (Shackleford) makes his first racetrack appearance of 2020 Saturday in Belmont's GII True North S. Victorious in the 2018 GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S., the chestnut was fourth in a loaded renewal of the prestigious GI Met Mile last summer and romped in the track-and-trip GII John A. Nerud S. last July. Fading to sixth behind champion Mitole (Eskendereya) and the re-opposing Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) in Saratoga's GI Forego S. Aug. 24, Promises Fulfilled was last seen finishing sixth when trying to defend...

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Former Navarro, Servis Horses Back in Winner’s Circle

When Note to Selfie (Big Drama) showed up in the seventh race last Wednesday at Gulfstream, many handicappers surely dismissed the $8,000 claimer. In her most recent start, she finished a non-threatening sixth at the same $8,000 claiming level Feb. 16, and that was for trainer Jorge Navarro. Since that race, Navarro was indicted for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs on virtually every horse he started. If Note to Selfie couldn't win for Navarro, how would she do for her new trainer, Elizabeth Dobles? Dobles is competent, but has never produced...

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Performer Seeks Grade I Glory in the Carter

After Shug McGaughey saddles the likely favorite Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) in the GIII Westchester S. Saturday, he will send out on of the top choices in Belmont's GI Runhapppy Carter H. in the talented Performer (Speightstown). The Carter is typically run in April at Aqueduct, but was rescheduled and relocated due to the COVID-19 racing shutdown. It is a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. Graduating at second asking going six panels at this oval last June, Performer followed suit with an...

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Cox Refuses to Take Rockingham Ranch Horses

Following a tweet from Rockingham Ranch owner Gary Hartunian that he was sending the horses he had with Jorge Navarro to trainer Brad Cox, Cox told the TDN that he would not be accepting the horses. "It's not true," Cox said of Hartunians's tweet. "After everything that has been going on the last day and a half, I don't feel comfortable accepting any of the horses that are involved in this situation." Cox's statement came after Hartunian tweeted the following Tuesday morning: "All of my horses with Jorge are being...

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