Horse Racing

Sunday Insights: Practical Joke's First Runner Looks Live

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-KEE, $60K, Msw, 2yo, 4 1/2f, post time: 2:45 p.m. ET Tom Durant's TEJANO TWIST becomes the first starter for the much-hyped freshman sire Practical Joke for the potent 2-year-old barn of Bret Calhoun. A son of the Grade III-placed Haley's Lolipop (Cuvee), the homebred is a half-brother to Game Day Play (Violence), a second-out maiden winner last August and two starts later victorious in the Clevor Trevor S. at Remington Park. Second dam Two Foxie (Fair Skies) produced the fleet GSW & GISP Maddalena...

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Efforia Looks To Remain Undefeated in Satsuki Sho

Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) will look to take his career mark to a perfect four-from-four and will attempt to give the Carrot Farm syndicate a second victory in three years in the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) over the metric 10 furlongs Sunday afternoon at Nakayama Racecourse. Descending from the family of G1 Japan Cup hero Admire Mooon (Jpn) (End Sweep) and champion Hishi Amazon (Theatrical {Ire}), Efforia made a successful debut over a right-handed 2000-metre trip at Sapporo last August and made it two straight with a Tokyo...

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American Pharoah's Maven Wires Keeneland Allowance

7th-Keeneland, $78,525, Alw, 4-15, (C), 4yo/up, 5 1/2fT, 1:02.60, gd, 2 1/4 lengths. MAVEN (g, 4, American Pharoah--Richies Party Girl {MSW, $357,085}, by Any Given Saturday) became the first North American winner for his sire on debut over the Aqueduct main track just shy of two years ago and was the last of 22 lots to go through the ring for the boutique Goffs London Sale, but was retained by owner Richard Ravin on a bid of £725,000 (about $912,000) that would otherwise have topped the event. The chestnut rewarded...

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Goichman Hoping For Some 'Devine' Intervention

When entries were taken the previous Friday for a six-furlong Aqueduct turf maiden scheduled for Thursday, Apr. 8, you can safely assume that owner Larry Goichman wasn't necessarily brimming with confidence. After all, he was pitching his 200,000gns Tattersalls October Book 1 purchase Star Devine (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) in against two well-meant runners from the all-conquering Chad Brown barn, a Godolphin homebred trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and a second-timer from the always potent Christophe Clement shedrow. Goichman approached the start with a can-do attitude. "You've got...

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Midshipman Firster Gives Ward Another at Keeneland

1st-Keeneland, $59,286, Msw, 4-15, 2yo, f, 4 1/2f, :51.84, gd, 8 3/4 lengths. AVERLY JANE (f, 2, Midshipman--Sh Sh Shakin', by Richter Scale) gave her trainer a third juvenile winner in as many days at Keeneland, rolling home to score as much the best in the Thursday opener. Sent along to vie for the lead from between rivals, the half-sister to Chattel (Giant Oak), SW, $111,540, ultimately settled outside of pacesetting Royal County through an opening quarter in a quick :21.68. She wrested command from that one in upper stretch,...

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Friday's Insights: 'Rising Star' Resumes at Keeneland

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 7th-Keeneland, $81K, Alw (N2L), 3yo, 6f, post time: 4:24 p.m. ET THERIDEOFALIFETIME (Candy Ride {Arg}) sandwiched a 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy graduation over this strip last July between runner-up efforts to top juvenile Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music), finishing 2 1/2 lengths behind that one on Churchill debut in June and three lengths adrift in the GII Saratoga Special S. in August. Stretched out to the one-turn mile for the GIII Iroquois S. on the Derby undercard Sept. 5, the homebred was sent to the front and...

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Notable US-Bred & -Sired Runners in Japan: Apr. 18, 2021

In this continuing series, we take a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this Sunday running at Hanshin, Niigata and Nakayama Racecourses, the last of which stages the first colts' Classic of 2021, the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) over the metric 10 furlongs: Sunday, April 18, 2021 1st-NII, ¥9,680,000 ($89k), Maiden, 3yo, 1800m ALIENOR (JPN)...

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Cuomo Announces Fans Can Return to New York Tracks April 22

In a surprising development, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that fans may return to the state's racetracks starting Apr. 22. Attendance will be capped at 20% capacity. A few hours after Cuomo's announcement, NYRA officials were still considering their options and would not commit to allowing fans to attend as soon as Apr. 22. "The New York Racing Association, Inc. looks forward to welcoming fans back to Belmont Park this spring and to Saratoga Race Course this summer," NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke. "We thank Governor Cuomo...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 For April 13

The long prep season is over, but some jostling for a starting spot remains among the horses on the cusp of the qualifying points cutoff. Please note the rankings below are independent from the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. That list can be accessed here. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN...

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Curlin Colt Rallies 'Fury'-ously To Win the Lexington

Fern Circle Stable & Three Chimneys Farm's King Fury (Curlin) took advantage of a fast early pace in Saturday's GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. over a sloppy Keeneland main track and closed off fastest of all to cause an 18-1 upset, earning 20 points towards a potential appearance in the GI Kentucky Derby in three weeks' time. A maiden winner at first asking over a distance of ground at Churchill Sept. 3, King Fury could not overcome a wide trip when eighth of nine behind Essential Quality (Tapit) in the GI...

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Hot Rod Charlie Tunes Up at Santa Anita

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), front-running winner of the GII TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby in his most recent trip to the races, prepped for the May 1 GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong breeze Saturday morning over the Santa Anita main track. The half-brother to champion Mitole (Eskendereya) stopped the clock in 1:01.20 to the satisfaction of trainer Doug O'Neill. "'Charlie' had company with a horse named Hammering Lemon (Square Eddie) [clocked in 1:01.60] who broke off in front of him," the two-time Derby-winning trainer commented. "They both finished up good, but...

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Like the King Works on the Grass

Like the King (Palace Malice), who earned a berth in the field for the Kentucky Derby by virtue of his last-out victory in the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks over the Turfway synthetic track Mar. 27, drilled six furlongs over a firm Keeneland turf course in 1:16 Saturday morning under the watchful eye of trainer Wesley Ward. With Drayden Van Dyke in the irons, Like the King started off his work well behind MSW & GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf third Outadore (Outwork) and GIII Futurity S. runner-up After Five (The...

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