John Velazquez Joins TDN Writers' Room Podcast

The credit for the win in the GI Preakness S. goes to National Treasure (Quality Road), but the assist goes to Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Able to get to the lead and then slow the pace down to a crawl, Velazquez put in a perfect ride on his way to his first ever win in the Preakness. Fresh off his victory, Velazquez joined this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. He was this week's Green Group Guest of the Week. "It was just one of those...

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The Week In Review: So Many Storylines On Preakness Day But None Bigger Than Another Tragedy

There was an exciting race, a thrilling stretch duel between winner National Treasure (Quality Road) and runner-up Blazing Sevens (Good Magic), and the first-ever win in the GI Preakness S. by classy Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. And think what you want of Bob Baffert, but his winning the first Triple Crown race he entered since the suspensions and bans had ended was a compelling chapter to this story. The man sure can train a race horse. But those stories will start to drift away as we head to...

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Ryvit Takes Chick Lang, Favored Havnameltdown Euthanized

The day's graded stakes action at Pimlico got off inauspicious start with the injury and subsequent euthanasia of 4-5 choice Havnameltdown (Uncaptured) in the GIII Chick Lang S. Havnameltdown appeared flat-footed at the start but sped into contention as 5-1 Ryvit (Competitive Edge) assumed the helm through a :22.23 opening quarter. Exiting the far turn, the favorite took a bad step, unseating jockey Luis Saez and leaving the front-runner in the clear as 5-2 second choice Super Chow (Lord Nelson) found himself in a very wide second. Several lengths ahead...

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Preakness 148: Could It Be Magic?

Continuing on the heels of a stacked card Friday, Pimlico offers a robust eight-stakes offering Saturday, led by the $1.5 million GI Preakness S. With GI Kentucky Derby winning Mage (Good Magic) looming as the one to beat, the race suffered a notable blow Friday with the defection of Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense), shaving the field back to seven. Having not only showed a recency in form but also the ability to win at the highest level, none of the chestnut's rivals can really make the...

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Commissioner King Outslugs Havnameltdown In Saudi Derby

The locally trained American-bred Commissioner King (Commissioner) engaged in a race-long battle with favored US shipper Havnameltdown (Uncaptured) in Saturday's G3 Saudi Derby Cup and proved narrowly best in a war of attrition to scoop the winner's share of the $1.5-million pot. Unraced since defeating Almurtajiz (Good Magic) by four lengths in the Ministry of the National Guard Cup over this course and 1600-meter distance Dec. 16, the $9,000 Keeneland January graduate would not allow Frankie Dettori to steal away on Havnameltdown, last-out winner of the GII San Vicente S.,...

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Strength In Numbers For Japan In Saudi Cup

by Brian Sheerin in Riyadh, Heather Anderson & Alan Carasso Wherever and whenever horses from Japan show up on the world stage, recent history dictates that they are to be taken very seriously. As recently as 12 months ago at the Saudi Cup meeting, horses representing the island nation accounted for four of the evening's six big races, and a month later in yet another desert destination, they somehow managed to one-up themselves with a spectacular five-timer on Dubai World Cup night. The nation has yet--repeat, yet--to break through in...

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Havnameltdown Wires the San Vicente

Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman's Havnameltdown set all the fractions and held stablemate and co-favorite Faustin at bay to the wire to win the GII San Vicente S. by 1 1 /2 lengths at Santa Anita Sunday. Off a tad awkwardly from his inside post, Havnameltdown recovered quickly to pull himself to the early lead and was in control after a quarter in :22.46, with longshot Man Child (Creative Cause), the lone non-Baffert runner in the four-horse field, in close attendance. The bay colt inched further clear entering...

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Uncaptured's Havnameltdown Gives Bob Baffert 1-2 in Bob Hope

Looking to collect his second graded stakes win of the season, Havnameltdown proved he was up to the task with a professional score over stablemate Newgate in Sunday's GIII Bob Hope S. at Del Mar. One of three Baffert trainees in the short five-horse field, Havnameltdown and Hard to Figure (Hard Spun), breaking from the inside two gates, broke cleanly while Practical Move, exiting stall 6, was pinched back as the converging Newgate and Mixto (Good Magic) made their exit. The overly headstrong Hard to Figure proved hard to handle...

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Baffert Has Strong Hand In Bob Hope

Trainer Bob Baffert has accounted for seven of the last 11 winners of the GIII Bob Hope S., including two of the final three renewals when the race was known as the Hollywood Prevue S., and three out of the last four during the Bing Crosby meet capped by 'TDN Rising Star' Messier (Empire Maker) 12 months ago. It would appear that this year's running also goes through the Baffert shedrow, which sends out three of the seven entrants. Havnameltdown (Uncaptured) is the most accomplished of the trio and is...

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Cave Rock Rolls in Runhappy Del Mar Futurity

Made the 2-5 jolly to follow up on a giant, 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut, for which he earned a towering 101 Beyer Speed Figure, Watson, Weitman and Pegram's Cave Rock (Arrogate) made it a sweep of the weekend main-track juvenile Grade Is for his late sire and gave trainer Bob Baffert an unprecedented 16th victory in the GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity. Having graduated by a half-dozen lengths on his Aug. 13 debut, the $210,000 Keeneland November weanling and $550,000 Keeneland September yearling was squeezed back between fellow 'Rising Star'...

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Baffert Trio Leads Runhappy Del Mar Futurity

Del Mar will play host to a pair of competitive juvenile events Sunday in the GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity and GIII Del Mar Juvenile Turf. The day's main event looks to be Bob Baffert's race to lose as the conditioner sends out three well-regarded runners in 'TDN Rising Stars' Newgate (Into Mischief) and Cave Rock (Arrogate), and unbeaten GIII Best Pal S. winner Havnameltdown (Uncaptured). Cave Rock produced the field's best Beyer Speed Figure of 101 when blitzing the field in his Aug. 13 debut at this venue. The...

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Havnameltdown Gives Baffert a Ninth Best Pal

Sent off the 1-2 chalk on the strength of a 2 1/4-length debut victory going five furlongs July 24, Mike Pegram, Karl Watson & Paul Weitman's Havnameltdown (Uncaptured) was made to work for it, but in the end proved too classy for his rivals in Sunday's GIII Best Pal S., coming away late to take it by open lengths. Drawn widest of all, the $16,000 OBS October Yearling turned $200,000 OBS April breezer (:9 4/5) pinged the stalls and showed good early speed to get down into the three path,...

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