Luis Saez

Brown, Saez, Klaravich Win Saratoga Meet Titles; Record Handle Tops $800M

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--After accepting his fourth H. Allen Jerkens training title late Monday afternoon, Chad Brown spoke to a common theme on the final day of a joyous season following the COVID-19 summer without fans at Saratoga Race Course "Happy to have everybody back at the meet. That was the big thing," Brown said. "The most rewarding part of the meet was having everybody back. Last year, win or lose, it just wasn't any fun. I can speak for me and a lot of people around me that it just...

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Kiaran McLaughlin Talks Saez, Saratoga Training Memories On Writers' Room

Kiaran McLaughlin surprised much of the racing world last year when he abruptly decided to halt his massively successful training career in order to become the jockey's agent for Luis Saez. But it shouldn't surprise anyone to see the success McLaughlin has had handling Saez's book, as the 29-year-old Panamanian is poised to win his first Saratoga riding title. Wednesday, McLaughlin joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland to talk about why he made his career shift, the booming results of his partnership with Saez, memories of triumphs in...

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Kiaran McLaughlin Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Kiaran McLaughlin, agent for Saratoga's current leading jockey Luis Saez, joined this week's TDN Writers'' Room to talk on the success Saez is having this meet and relive some of his most memorable moments as a trainer.

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Empire Maker Filly Flies Home First Time Out

2nd-Saratoga, $100,000, Msw, 8-1, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:45.77, fm, head. BLISSFUL (f, 2, Empire Maker--Belleski {MGSW, $374,586}, by Polish Numbers)    flashed some ability in her morning trials over the Keeneland main track last month, including a sharp half-mile gate move in :47 4/5 (3/62) in her penultimate move July 14. Off at an overlaid 32-5 off a 7-2 morning line, the attractive bay filly hopped slightly at the break and was clearly last to make the first turn before setting into a good rhythm at the tail for the...

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Pletcher Double Tough in Wonder Again

Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher offers a two-pronged attack--Con Lima (Commisioner) and Jouster (Noble Mission {GB})--in Thursday's GIII Wonder Again S. at Belmont. Drawing the two hole in the nine-furlong event, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Joseph Graffeo, Del Toro, Eric Nikolaus and Troy Johnson's Con Lima will attempt to collect her fourth stakes victory of the season after placing in a pair of blakc-type tests last term. The Texas-bred kicked off 2021 with a score in Gulfstream's one-mile Ginger Brew S. Jan. 2 before finishing runner-up to White Frost (Candy Ride...

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Flagstaff Takes Wild Finish In Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, KY - Flagstaff (Speightstown) kicked on gamely in a wild, blanket finish to lead home a one-two for his leading sire in the GI Churchill Downs S. Saturday. It was a head back to Lexitonian (Speightstown) in second; and another nose to champion sprinter Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) in third. "I'm thrilled," winning trainer John Sadler said. "He's a real hard knocker; he always runs his race. He knocked it out today." Flagstaff, a last out winner of Keeneland's GIII Commonwealth S. Apr. 3, his first win in 13 months,...

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All-Sources, Average Daily Wagering Jumps at Keeneland

The 15-day Spring meet at Keeneland Race Course concluded Friday, with total all-sources wagering reaching $164,680,229, an improvement of 7.55% versus the 2019 Spring meet, when all-sources handle totaled $153,116,119. The 2020 Spring meet was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Average daily wagering on the Keeneland product was $10,978,682, an increase of 14.72 when compared to $9,569,757 during Spring 2019. A limited number of patrons were allowed on track during the 15-day stand. Attendance totaled 96,243 for a daily average of 6,416. With four winners on Friday's closing-day program,...

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Busy Saturday Beneath the Twin Spires

With just two weeks remaining to the running of the GI Kentucky Derby, the Saturday worktab at Churchill Downs was dotted with the names of top sophomores headed towards the first jewel of racing's Triple Crown. Godolphin's reigning Eclipse Award-winning juvenile colt and 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) took to the Churchill main track at 5:15 a.m. with big-race rider Luis Saez in from Keeneland to put the colt through his paces. The homebred went five furlongs in :59.60 after breaking off about a length behind 4-year-old stablemate Spa...

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Essential Quality Guts It Out in the Blue Grass

Godolphin homebred Essential Quality (Tapit) gave his connections a few anxious moments in the stretch, but, in the end, he proved why he is a champion with a gutsy score in Keeneland's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Saturday evening. Hustling up to contest the early pace, the 1-2 favorite allowed Highly Motivated (Into Mischief) to take control, settling on his outside hip through a :23.83 first quarter and :48.21 half-mile. The top two continued to duke it out as three-quarters went in 1:12.08 with the rest of the field watching...

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'Rising Star' Makes the Grade in Appalachian

Just a nose short of getting her first graded win in the Mar. 6 GIII Florida Oaks, Jouster offered no anxious moments this time, rolling home a comfortable winner in Saturday's GII Appalachian S. at Keeneland. Signaling her readiness with a sharp four-furlong move in :48.46 at Palm Beach Downs Mar. 27, the 8-5 favorite went straight to the front as her partner, Luis Saez, lulled the field to sleep through initial splits of :24.82 and :49.87. With plenty in reserve kicking for home, the Starlight Racing runner built a...

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Solid Cast of Overachievers Shines in Claiming Crown

Short-money favorites getting class relief while dropping out of graded stakes company set the tone in the nine-race Claiming Crown (CC) series Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Luis Saez won six races overall (five in CC stakes), and trainer Mike Maker was one of nine separate trainers to hit the winner's circle in the CC races, posting his 18th career CC win to lead the series that began back in 1999 as a blue-collar version of the Breeders' Cup. Conducted under starter-allowance conditions pegged to previous-race claiming prices, the CC is...

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Improbable Romps In the Awesome Again

The lesser-fancied of the Bob Baffert-trained duo, 'TDN Rising Star' Improbable (City Zip) was uncustomarily taken well off a fast early pace, began to hit his best stride while wide on the second turn, inhaled the leading group in upper stretch and rolled home to defeat odds-on Maximum Security (New Year's Day) by 4 1/2 lengths in the GI Awesome Again S. at Santa Anita. Though he hadn't been more than two lengths off the early pace in any of his last four races, Improbable was taken back to last...

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