Gun Runner Filly a 'Rising Star' at Gulfstream

Bandita (f, 3, Gun Runner--Tricky One, by Unbridled's Song), coming off her first set of works for now-eight-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, cemented her status as a 'TDN Rising Star' at Gulfstream Park on Sunday afternoon. The bay filly, backed down to even-money favoritism, did not disappoint her connections or the bettors in what was a sparkling debut. Breaking alertly, the Bass Stables colorbearer set the tone early by controlling the pace up front. Despite being challenged by Arrow Bolt (Arrogate) just before the far turn, the $350,000 KEESEP...

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Art Collector Draws The Upset In Pegasus World Cup

Bruce Lunsford homebred Art Collector (Bernardini) sat the trip beneath Junior Alvarado and sprung a 15-1 upset in Saturday's $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream. California invader Defunded (Dialed In), winner of last fall's GI Awesome Again S. and off as the 5-2 second choice, was 4 1/2 lengths back in second. Pacesetter Stilleto Boy (Shackleford) stayed on for third, the same position he filled in last year's renewal. Alvarado, who rode the Bill Mott-trained Olympiad (Speightstown) to four graded-stakes victories and a runner-up finish behind Flightline...

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Queen Goddess Takes The Pegasus F&M Turf

Lightly raced Queen Goddess (Empire Maker) rewarded her connections' faith to successfully invade from California and annex Saturday's GIII Pegasus F/M Turf. Originally campaigned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and her breeder, Geoff Nixon's TOLO Thoroughbreds, after RNA'ing for $285,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, the Michael McCarthy trainee made the grade in the rained-off GI American Oaks two Decembers ago and added the GIII Santa Ana S. on the Arcadia lawn last March. She was second in May's 1 1/2-mile GIII Santa Barbara S., but hadn't been back on the...

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Good Magic's Mage Opens His Account On Pegasus Undercard

2nd-Gulfstream, $70,000, Msw, 1-28, 3yo, 7f, 1:22.54, ft, 3 3/4 lengths. MAGE (c, 3, Good Magic--Puca {SW & GSP, $299,406}, by Big Brown), dismissed by the betting public at 11-1 in his debut start despite selling for $290,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale, avoided trouble with a forward ride out of the gate, setting the early pace from just off the rail. Positioned inside of pressure from Perform (Good Magic) through the half-mile in :45.88, Mage hit his best stride past the quarter pole and drew off nicely down...

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Friday Insights: Wesley Ward Unveils $560k Turf Sprinter

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-GP, $84K, Msw, 3yo, f, 5fT, 3:07 p.m. A $560,000 2-year-old purchase by China Horse Club out of the 2022 Keeneland Horses of Racing Age Sale, TACTICAL JOKE (Practical Joke) debuts Friday for trainer Wesley Ward. Already a half-sister to a trio of stakes  horses in MSP Afleet Accompli (Afleet Alex), GSP Desert Dynamo (Desert Party), and GSP Ambusher (Stephen Got Even), the filly is out of a half-sister to the dam of GI Central Bank Ashland S. winner Sailor's Valentine (Mizzen Mast)--who brought $1.25m...

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Saturday Insights: Ready to Make a 'Grande' Entrance

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 2nd-FG, $65k, Msw, 3yo, f, 6f, 1:30 p.m. ET EVERGRANDE (Uncle Mo) cost Don Adam's Courtlandt Farms $1.1 million at Keeneland September in 2021, the priciest of the operation's 12 purchases (for $7.55 million) over the course of the opening week of the sale. Produced by a winning Forestry mare, the Apr. 6 foal is bred on the exact cross as champion and GI Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and hails from the deeper female family of Grade I-winning juvenile Greenwood Lake (Meadowlake). A then-yearling full-brother...

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GISW Proxy Heads Pegasus Workers

Godolphin's Proxy (Tapit) had his last major workout at the Fair Grounds Saturday in preparation for the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Jan. 28. The 5-year-old official time for the six-furlong move to the seven-eighths pole was 1:13.20, the fastest of two works at the distance Saturday morning. Working in tandem with stablemate Global Sensation (Into Mischief), the pair covered five-eighths in 1:00.40, with Proxy working an additional eighth-mile past the wire. With a crush of horses working right after the track's renovation break, exercise rider Arturo Aparicio...

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Pletcher Confirms Colonel Liam For '23 Pegasus

Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) remains on course for a three-peat effort in the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Jan. 28.  Now 6-years-old, Colonel Liam was among a dozen horses on the initial invite list to the Pegasus Turf, released Wednesday. "He seems like he's in good shape, so we're still planning on the Pegasus Turf assuming that he trains accordingly," Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. Pletcher also said the Pegasus World Cup is under consideration for Pioneer of Medina (Pioneerof the Nile). "I think it's on the...

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Weekly Stewards & Commissions Rulings – Dec. 27-Jan. 2

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky. Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where. With the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) having gone into effect on July 1, the TDN will also post a roundup of the relevant HISA-related rulings from the same week. California Track: Santa Anita Date: 12/31/2022 Licensee: Kazushi Kimura, jockey Penalty:...

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Skippylongstocking Preps For Pegasus With Win In Harlan's Holiday

As the 3-year-olds line up to duke it out for next season's older- horse honors, Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator) proved he's rounding back into form at just the right time when taking GII Harlan's Holiday S., the local prep for next year's GI Pegasus World Cup. A consistent presence on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year, Skippylongstocking was always right there in the year's biggest races--third to Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) in both the GII Wood Memorial S. and the GI Belmont S. and fifth behind Early Voting (Gun Runner) in...

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Violence's Shesterkin Wires The Field On Debut At Gulfstream

2nd-Gulfstream, $70,000, Msw, 12-31, 2yo, 7f, 1:24.18, ft, 2 1/4 lengths. SHESTERKIN (c, 2, Violence--Freedom Star {GSW, $332,972}, by Street Cry {Ire}), 3-1 in his first start since bringing $330,000 at OBS March earlier this year, was sent to the lead under Irad Ortiz, Jr. and set the pace through a :22.54 opening quarter. Shaken up from just off the rail when Case (Sky Mesa) challenged in a tight spot against the rail, Shesterkin held his ground as the pair exchanged bumps and dug in to turn back that rival,...

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Kanthari Surges Late To Debut A Winner For Kantharos

4th-Gulfstream, $60,000, Msw, 12-16, 3yo/up, 5fT, :56.10, fm, 1 length. KANTHARI (c, 3, Kantharos--Ari the Adventurer, by Pioneerof the Nile), a $575,000 OBS March grad last year, was given the 6-5 nod in his afternoon debut but trailed the pace early in fourth. Allen Diggs set a determined pace up front but Kanthari rallied with a three-wide move midway around the turn to get himself into contention despite contact with Cajun Puzzler (Cajun Breeze) at the top of the lane. Showing a good turn of foot up the outside, he...

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