Horse Racing

Midnight Lute’s Keeper Ofthe Stars Gamest in the Gamely

Keeper Ofthe Stars, a shocking 36-1 winner of the GII Buena Vista S. last out, proved that effort was no fluke and overcame a wide draw to score convincingly in Monday's GI Gamely S. at Santa Anita. Fourth in both the GII San Clemente S. and GI Del Mar Oaks last summer, the gray annexed the local GIII Autumn Miss S. two starts later and sandwiched a runner-up try in the local Lady Shamrock S. between sixth-place runs in the GIII Red Carpet H. and GIII Megahertz S. Off as...

[ Read More ]
Raging Bull Much the Best in Shoemaker Mile

Taking advantage of a scorching pace in front of him, Peter Brant's Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) produced a slingshot, wide move on the far turn and kept on going to dominate the GI Shoemaker Mile S. Monday at Santa Anita, the first Grade I event at the Arcadia oval since it reopened for racing. The victory in the Win & You're In event punched Raging Bull's ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Mile. Winning four of six to start his career as a 3-year-old, including victories in the...

[ Read More ]
Into Mischief Firster Foils Heavy Fave at Santa Anita

8th-Santa Anita, $51,500, Msw, 5-25, 3yo/up, f/m, 5 1/2f, 1:03.61, ft. SECRET KEEPER (f, 3, Into Mischief--Candy Drawer, by Candy Ride {Arg}) propped and dropped jockey Abel Cedillo as they were beginning to parade for Monday's eighth race at Santa Anita, but she was all business during the running of the 5 1/2-furlong maiden, driving past heavily favored Fierce for Sul (Speightstown) in the final sixteenth of a mile to score by 2 1/4 lengths. Let go at 10-1, the homebred was relegated to a chasing and hard-ridden second as...

[ Read More ]
Curlin Homebred Romps in Churchill Maiden

7th-Churchill Downs, $78,268, Msw, 5-25, 3yo/up, f/m, 6 1/2f, 1:16.56, ft. OCEAN BREEZE (f, 3, Curlin--Oceanwave {MGSP, $245,449}, by Harlan's Holiday) the actual post-time favorite at 9-5 over Union Maiden (Union Rags), powered away from her rivals to graduate by 8 1/4 lengths Monday at Churchill. Quickly into stride from her high draw, Ocean Breeze settled in an early fifth and got under way in earnest three wide at the half-mile. Cruising up while traveling well nearing the stretch, she was cut loose by Martin Garcia to take over three-sixteenths...

[ Read More ]
‘Ex’-clamation Point!

Like a championship-level pugilist deep into the 12th round of a heavyweight bout, Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) was a spent force entering the final furlong of Sunday's G1 Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin. But, calling on the resiliency, determination and toughness that have come to characterise his time in Hong Kong, the 6-year-old willed himself to the wire to win the 12-furlong affair for the second year running. His second Group 1 win of the season--he was exiting a similarly tough victory in the Apr....

[ Read More ]
Longacres Mile Anchors Emerald Stakes Schedule

Officials at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington, have released a revised stakes schedule for a 44-day meeting that runs June 22 through Oct. 4. The 85th running of the $100,000 GIII Longacres Mile S., as usual, is the focal point of the meet, but has been moved back to be run Sept. 13 on a program that also includes the Emerald Distaff S. The richest of the 14 remaining stakes is the $60,000 Gottstein Futurity S. for the 2-year-olds on closing day. The schedule features six stakes for 3-year-olds and...

[ Read More ]
Owner Perspectives on Trainer Business Model: “The Current System Is Broken”

The TDN recently took a lengthy dive into the business model of the average American trainer, and asked this question: "What, if anything, can be done to make this model a healthier, more efficiently run affair?" The answers garnered revolved around two central issues. One concerned reduced race-day opportunities leading to shrinking earnings, and the possible raising of day-rates to compensate. The other concerned the possible payment of monthly invoices up-front, to save trainers the pressure of covering the daily expenses for a minimum of 40-45 days. Other topics raised...

[ Read More ]
Exultant Looks to ‘Cruz’ in Champions and Chater Cup

Just two trainers account for the seven runners signed on for Sunday's final Group 1 of the season in Hong Kong, the Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup over the metric mile and a half. One of them, the legendary Tony Cruz, sends out the three top-rated runners, including Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}), who--with a successful defence of his title--could earn front-runner status for local Horse of the Year. As strong as even in 2019-2020, the 6-year-old was third when looking for the repeat in the G1 Longines Hong Kong...

[ Read More ]
Two Races Added to Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, which awards the horse that accumulates the most points an automatic berth in the gate for the 'Run for the Roses' Sept. 5, has been extended to include two additional races, officials at Churchill Downs announced Friday. The G3 Unicorn S. (1600m) at Tokyo Racecourse Sunday, June 21, has been added to the series, as has the July 8 Japan Dirt Derby, a 10-furlong listed test at Ohi Racecourse. Both races will offer points on a scale of 40-16-8-4 for the top four...

[ Read More ]
Ballygallon-Bred Exultant Still Delivering in Hong Kong

Sunday's Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin Racecourse is the last of 12 Group 1 events on the annual racing calendar in Hong Kong, one that has been significantly impacted first by social unrest in the region and more recently--and currently--by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) is emblematic of racing in the Special Administrative Region--a racehorse possessed of an iron constitution, showing up with his 'A' game time and again. One that can deliver his best even when the deck is...

[ Read More ]
Maxfield Back for Meaningful Matt Winn

A few weeks ago, the GIII Matt Winn S. was added as a points race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, reconstituted when Churchill Downs relocated the 2020 'Run for the Roses' to Sept. 5. The race took on added importance earlier this week, when officials at Belmont Park announced that its marquee race, the GI Belmont S., would be the first of this year's Triple Crown races and take place June 20. Saturday's first graded stakes of the season beneath the Twin Spires therefore takes on added importance...

[ Read More ]
Notable US-Bred & -Sired Runners in Japan: May 23 & 24, 2020

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 weekend running at Kyoto, Niigata and Tokyo Racecourses. The latter venue hosts the G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) Sunday, and while there are no US-bred runners, among the field of 18 are daughters of GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine Ria Antonia (Rockport...

[ Read More ]