Joel Rosario

Curlin's 'Rising Star' Malathaat Up In the Nick of Time in the Ashland

With principal Sheikh Hamdan having passed away just 10 days earlier, unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) provided the Shadwell team with a major pick-me-up as she ran down Pass the Champagne (Flatter) in Keeneland's GI Central Bank Ashland S. Saturday under red-hot Joel Rosario. "I can't put it into words," said an emotional Rick Nichols--Vice President and General Manager of Shadwell--after the race. "I am sure [Sheikh Hamdan] is up there with a big smile on his face looking down on us. We really needed this." Already with 10...

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Concert Tour Runs Away From Rebel Rivals

The further we get down the GI Kentucky Derby trail, the more evident it becomes that Bob Baffert will saddle the favorite on the First Saturday in May. The only question is which of his super star colts it will be. 'TDN Rising Star' Life is Good (Into Mischief) kept his unbeaten record in tact with a dominant score in the GII San Felipe S. last weekend with barnmate Medina Spirit (Protonico) in second. On Saturday, Baffert sent out another undefeated colt to a sensational victory in a Derby prep...

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Whether Riding in The Big 'Cap or the Nightcap, Rosario Is a Master of Timing

The Week in Review, by T.D. Thornton Generally speaking, when your horse is parked near last for most of the trip, fanned six wide on the far turn, fifth with a furlong to go, and still third 100 yards from the wire, your chances of winning are slim. Unless Joel Rosario is riding, of course. That was the exact scenario facing Idol (Curlin) in deep stretch of Saturday's GI Santa Anita H. at Santa Anita Park. Yet "Judicious Joel," who at age 36 is without fanfare blossoming into the absolute...

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Idol Finishes Best of All To Take the Big 'Cap

Calvin Nguyen's Idol (Curlin) seemed to relish the 10 furlongs of Saturday's GI Santa Anita H. as he turned the tables on Express Train (Union Rags) to post a mild 5-1 upset. Even-money invader Maxfield (Street Sense) could only manage third with no obvious excuse. Last seen finishing third as the favorite behind Express Train when trapped behind a slow pace in the Jan. 30 GII San Pasqual S., the bay was kept off the inside and unhurried as he sat second last. Last year's GII Lambholm South Tampa Bay...

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Jackie's Warrior, Former King of the Hill, Looks to Reclaim His Perch

In the world's current state of affairs, a lot can change in a few months' time. Racing is no different. One only has to go back to November to remember when Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) was the undisputed leader of his age group. But an odds-on loss on the sport's biggest stage took the bloom off of his rose for some, and these days, despite being a multiple Grade I winner, one could argue he is a forgotten colt as the GI Kentucky Derby trail kicks...

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Rispoli, Stevens Removed From Plane En Route to Saudi Cup; Velazquez Stymied in Miami

Several major shifts in riding assignments were underway Friday morning after Umberto Rispoli and John Velazquez were not allowed to fly to Saudi Arabia due to a mixup in flight arrangements Wednesday and problems with COVID-19 restrictions Thursday. Ron Anderson, the agent for Velazquez and Rosario, said that Mickael Barzalona would ride Max Player (Honor Code), that William Buick would be aboard Tacitus (Tapit) in the Saudi Cup, and that Joel Rosario would ride New York Central (Tapit) in defense of his title in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint. In the...

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Knicks Go Headed to Saudi Cup; DWC Possible

Coming off a dominant win in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Knicks Go (Paynter) is scheduled to make his next start in the $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 20 in Riyadh. "As long as he breezes well this weekend, we're going to the Saudi Cup," trainer Brad Cox said. "We plan to ship him out Monday [Feb. 8]." Cox said the decision became easier when it became clear that Knicks Go came out of the Pegasus in perfect shape. "The owners [the Korea Racing Authority] would like to...

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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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Performer Returns Running at Belmont

3rd-Belmont, $67,900, Alw (C), Opt. Clm ($80,000), 10-17, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:33.93, my, 1 3/4 lengths. PERFORMER (c, 4, Speightstown--Protesting {GSP, $213,050}, by A.P. Indy) made light work of his first start since taking the GIII Discovery S. last November, galloping home as easy as you please in a one-mile Belmont allowance Saturday afternoon. Quickly into stride beneath Joel Rosario, the attractive chestnut colt raced a touch keenly from third while hugging the rail through solid opening splits. Rosario decided he could wait no longer rounding the turn and allowed the...

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Appeals Court Overturns Fipke's 2017 BC Double Jockey Ruling

Nearly three years ago, the Johnny Velazquez-ridden Forever Unbridled (Unbridled's Song) produced a performance in the $2-million GI Breeders' Cup Distaff at Del Mar resounding enough to catapult her toward Champion Older Dirt Female honors at the subsequent Eclipse Awards. The sweet taste of victory had been somewhat soured for owner Charles Fipke, however, due to a prior California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) stewards double jockey fee ruling which required him to pay Joel Rosario $100,000 as a result of the victory. In the race entries, Rosario had been named...

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Jaw-Dropping Jackie's Warrior Romps in Runhappy Hopeful

J Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music), breathtaking winner of the Aug. 7 GII Saratoga Special S., added another superlative to his resume with a jaw-dropping victory in the GI Runhappy Hopeful S. at Saratoga Monday. Sent off at 9-5, the bay colt was away sharply and almost immediately had a two-length advantage on the field through an opening quarter in :22.56. Pepetu (Dialed In) and even-money favorite Reinvestment Risk (Upstart) were his closest pursuers, but as that duo tried to inch closer, Jackie's Warrior spurted further clear,...

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Churchill May Require Derby Jockeys to be in Kentucky by Aug. 24

Churchill Downs may require all jockeys riding during the short meet surrounding the GI Kentucky Derby to be in the state of Kentucky by Aug. 24. Churchill Downs Senior Director, Communication & Media Services Darren Rogers said the rule is being considered but no official decision will be announced until later in week. Rogers added that Churchill is also expected to announce shortly a complete list of protocols that will be in place for the Derby, including how many fans will be allowed to attend the race. For jockeys who...

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