Horse Racing

The TDN Kentucky Derby Top 12 For Jan. 26

Two new shooters debut on the Top 12 this week and there was a large leap forward from the previously ranked No. 10 contender all the way up to the No. 2 spot. Four qualifying races on the Road to the GI Kentucky Derby points series are on the docket for the next two weekends. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (Ky); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144. Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6 Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Claiborne Breeders'...

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Friendless 'Proposal' Makes Amends in Hong Kong Classic Mile

Those who got stuck into Sunday's Hong Kong Classic Mile from a pari-mutuel standpoint very much adopted a 'what-have-you-done-for-me-lately' approach, failing to give the talented Excellent Proposal (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) the benefit of the doubt for a dismal last-out performance in Class 2 company Jan. 10. Dismissed at 22-1, a massive overlay given the promise he'd shown previously, the chestnut rallied wide beneath Blake Shinn and charged home to cause the boilover. Lucky Express (Aus) (Toronado {Ire}) lasted for second from a desperately unlucky Tourbillon Diamond (Aus) (Olympic...

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At Long Last, Hot King Prawn Gets His Group 1

Entering Sunday's G1 Centenary Sprint Cup at Sha Tin, the likeable Hot King Prawn (Aus) (Denman {Aus}) had won half of his 22 career starts and had been out of the top three on just four occasions. His record at Group 1 level left more to be desired, as he had been blanked from seven previous tries, but the John Size trainee righted that wrong with a convincing success Sunday. Drawn gate two for Joao Moreira, Hot King Prawn was driven along early and found himself in the perfect spot...

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A Dozen On the Trot For Golden Sixty

Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) had to channel his inner Usain Bolt in Sunday's G1 Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin, as the 5-year-old sprinted his final half-mile in a mind-boggling :44.18 and final 400 metres in a staggering :21.80 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. His record now stands at 16 starts for 15 wins and his 12th consecutive score draws him ever closer to the local record of 17 straight held by the legendary Silent Witness (Aus). Very little went according to script. With Zac Purton steering,...

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Knicks Go Runs 'Em Ragged In Pegasus World Cup

With many of his would-be divisional challengers already off to the breeding shed, Korea Racing Authority's Knicks Go (Paynter) asserted himself as a major 2021 force while scoring his fourth straight victory in Saturday's $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream. Last seen besting Jesus' Team (Tapiture) by 3 1/2 lengths in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland Nov. 7, the 6-5 chalk zipped right to the lead as expected and clicked off opening splits of :22.90 and :46.16. Still in cruise control...

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Colonel Liam Marches To Pegasus Turf Tally

The 2020 campaign of Robert and Lawana Low's Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) picked up steam as it rolled along and the athletic gray colt picked up where he left off Saturday, as he found his way out of a jackpot and into the clear with time ticking away in Saturday's GI Pegasus World Cup Turf and outfinished stablemate Largent (Into Mischief) to win the $1-million event. Cross Border (English Channel) rounded out the trifecta, while the outposted Social Paranoia (Street Boss) completed a 1-2-4 finish for trainer Todd Pletcher. Off...

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Fownes Sends Out 'Delight'-ful Duo In Classic Mile

Ten years on from his lone success in the Hong Kong Classic Mile with Lucky Nine (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), trainer Caspar Fownes starts two of the three top-rated gallopers in the first of the three legs of the 4YO Classic Series at Sha Tin Sunday afternoon. Enrich Delight (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) will try to give his sire back-to-back winners of the Classic Mile, following on the success of Golden Sixty (Aus) last year, and has done little wrong in two Class 2 appearances over 1400 metres. A maiden winner and...

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Golden Sixty Back To Work at Sha Tin

Exiting an imperious victory in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile Dec. 13, Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) goes in search of his 12th consecutive victory and 15th from 16 starts overall when he takes on a field of mostly familiar faces in Sunday's G1 Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. Winner of seven straight during the 2019/2020 season, including a sweep of the 4-year-old Classics, the Queensland-bred gelding has yet to be tested in four runs this term and his Hong Kong Mile success came at the expense of...

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Eclipse Buys Into 'Rising Star' Annex

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners has acquired a part-interest in recent 'TDN Rising Star' Annex (Constitution) from LNJ Foxwoods, Aron Wellman, Eclipse's managing partner tweeted and then later confirmed via phone Thursday afternoon. "We're in a fortunate position where we've got a good relationship with the Roth family, with Jaime, and I go way, way back with Alex Solis [III] and Jason Litt, their advisors," said Wellman. "That existing relationship certainly helped to be able to open the door for the opportunity to buy into the colt." Sent off at debut odds...

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Request to Escrow $4.9M in 'Recaptured' Arlington Purses Again Shot Down By State

For the second time in four months, the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) Jan. 21 declined a request by the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) to put $4.9 million of "recaptured" purse funds in escrow so that money can only be collected by Arlington Park if the track runs its entire slate of 68 dates in 2021. During Thursday's IRB meeting, the ITHA restated the same argument it articulated back on Sept. 16, when the 2021 dates were initially granted: that the Illinois racing community doesn't have faith that Churchill Downs,...

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Notable US-Bred & -Sired Runners in Japan: Jan. 23 & 24, 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 weekend running at Chukyo and Nakayama Racecourses: Saturday, January 23, 2021 4th-NKY, ¥11,400,000 ($110k), Newcomers, 3yo, 1200m MIRATIO (f, 3, Verrazano--My Fast One, by Elusive Quality) is the latest to make the races from her dam, a half-sister to SW No Mo Dough...

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Elusive State on Dubai World Cup Trajectory

Elusive State (Aus) (All American {Aus}) missed a crack at Dubai World Cup night in 2020 when the meeting was canceled at the 11th hour, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the 7-year-old could take his chance this year following a victory in a rare Class 1 handicap over the Sha Tin all-weather track Sunday afternoon. Slow to start, Elusive State raced in a share of last into and around the first turn, but was asked to improve by Joao Moreira at the 1100-meter mark and by the end of...

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