Horse Racing

Breeders' Cup Introduces Dirt Incentive Program

The 'Breeders' Cup Dirt Dozen', a series comprised of existing graded stakes races at a variety of distances taking place from May through October at six U.S. tracks, will award monetary credits--funded by Breeders' Cup--for first- through third-place finishers in selected races for horsemen to use for entry fees in six Grade I Breeders' Cup Dirt races--the $2-million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff, the $2-million Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint, the $2-million TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the $2-million NetJets Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, the $1-million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint...

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Arc Hero Torquator Tasso 'Working Well' Ahead of Return

Marcel Weiss, trainer of the reigning Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Torquator Tasso (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}), has provided an upbeat bulletin on the 5-year-old ahead of his eagerly-anticipated return to action at Baden-Baden on Sunday.  Torquator Tasso shocked the racing world by becoming the longest-priced winner in Arc history when returning a 72-1 chance in a race where he had Dermot Weld's globetrotting mare Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal) and Irish Derby hero Hurricane Lane (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) in behind.  The poster boy of German racing will return in the...

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'Emperor', Shinn Shine in Champions and Chater Cup

The mental strain and inner turmoil that COVID-19 has caused in Hong Kong over the past 26 months dictate that the talented Blake Shinn will return to Australia at the end of the current racing season. The 34-year-old, winner at home of the 2008 G1 Melbourne Cup and 2016 G1 Golden Slipper, among other feature races, decided to give Hong Kong a go a couple of years back, and while it has not always been smooth sailing, Shinn has done the hard yards. He improved from 15 wins in his...

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First Captain Turns In 'Special' Performance at Pimlico

'TDN Rising Star' First Captain (Curlin) looked to have it all to do with a quarter-mile to go in Friday's GIII Pimlico Special S., but he called on his class in the final 50 yards to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Adding blinkers for the first time off a disappointing seventh in the GI Carter H. Apr. 9, the $1.5-million joint-topper at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale was off alertly and settled in fifth position passing under the wire for the first time as recent Excelsior S. runner-up...

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Pletcher Sophs Work Towards Belmont Day Spots
Pletcher Sophs Work Towards Belmont Day Spots

A trio of 3-year-olds from the barn of Todd Pletcher took to the Belmont dirt training track Friday morning as they prepare for stakes engagements during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo), who defeated GI Preakness S. hopeful Early Voting (Gun Runner) in the GII Wood Memorial S. Apr. 9 ahead of a closing fifth in the GI Kentucky Derby May 7, breezed a half-mile in the company of his GI Central Bank Ashland S.-winning stable companion Nest (Curlin) in :50.02. Owned by Donegal Racing and Repole...

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Dinner Party Goes Through Cox, Maker

Between them, trainers Brad Cox and Mike Maker have won the two most recent runnings of the GII Dinner Party (ex Dixie S.) on the Preakness S. undercard and the accomplished conditioners look to have Saturday's renewal surrounded as well. The reigning Eclipse Award winner Cox is represented by Juddmonte's Set Piece (GB) (Dansili {GB}), who was rerouted to this spot after scratching from a potential defense of his title in the May 5 Opening Verse S. at Churchill Downs. Winner of that track's GII Wise Dan S. last June,...

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Notable US-Sired Runners in Japan: May 22, 2022

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 Tokyo Racecourse, where the featured event is the second leg of the Japanese Filly Triple Crown, the G1 Yushun Himba over 2400 meters: Sunday, May 22, 2022 2nd-TOK, ¥9,900,000 ($77k), Maiden, 3yo, 1600m CHAMP DE MARS (JPN) (c, 3, Arrogate--Pressurizing,...

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Circle of Life Can Turn The Tables in Yushun Himba

Masatake Iida homebred Circle of Life (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) was perfect in three starts last term to secure champion juvenile filly honours, but will be looking for her first victory as a 3-year-old in a well-matched renewal of the G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse. Winner of the 1600-metre G3 Artemis S. at headquarters last October, the bay--whose sire has accounted for 2020 Oaks heroine Daring Tact (Jpn) and reigning Horse of the Year Efforia (Jpn)--came from worse than midfield to post a half-length success in the...

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Pletcher Saddles Strong Pair in Pim Special

Todd Pletcher saddles a pair of strong contenders in Friday's GIII Pimlico Special S. in Vindictive (Uncle Mo) and Untreated (Nyquist). A two-time winner at Saratoga last year, the well-related Vindictive closed 2021 with a third in Aqueduct's Discovery S. Nov. 27. He kicked off this season with an optional claimer win at that venue Mar. 25. His stablemate Untreated captured an Aqueduct allowance in November and won a muddy optional claimer at that venue a month later. Sixth behind recent GII Alysheba S. romper Olympiad (Speightstown) in the GIII...

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Queen Serenity Gives Sioux Nation a Sixth Winner

1st-Napoli, €12,100, Debutantes, 2yo, f, 1000mT, time: n/a, gd. QUEEN SERENITY (IRE) (f, 2, Sioux Nation--Maybe I Will {Ire}, by Hawk Wing) validated a debut quote of 59-100 to provide her sire (by Scat Daddy) with already a sixth individual first-crop winner. Away fairly, the bay filly was pulled to the outside and chased the early exchanges from second. Asked to win her race 200 metres from home, Queen Serenity quickened up nicely and had a margin of 1 1/2 lengths on pacesetting Balayage (Ity) (Pounced) at the line. The...

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Hawthorne Cuts Back to Two Days Weekly

Citing an inability to support three days of racing per week, Hawthorne Race Course asked for and received permission from the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) to drop the remaining five Sundays from its current Thoroughbred meet that runs through June 25. This is the first season in recent Illinois history with the scheduled-to-be-sold Arlington International Racecourse not running a summer meet, which has led to a thinned horse population this spring at Hawthorne. The Hawthorne season started Apr. 2 with just Saturday and Sunday racing. Fridays were added May 6,...

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NYRA In No Hurry To Change Triple Crown Set Up

Though he said NYRA is willing to be part of a dialogue involving changing the dates of the Triple Crown races, a hot topic since GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice) opted out of the GI Preakness S., NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke has made it clear that the racing organization has no immediate plans to sign off on proposals that would alter the status quo. "We are touching on tradition here," O'Rourke told the TDN Wednesday. "We are touching on the one thing that is sacrosanct...

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