Malathaat

Malathaat to Target Alabama

Shadwell Stable's Malathaat (Curlin), who suffered her first career defeat when second behind Maracuja (Honor Code) as the heavy favorite in the four-horse GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday, will be aimed at a likely rematch with that filly in the Aug. 21 GI Alabama S. "We had a difficult time analyzing the race beforehand and how we thought it might unfold," admitted trainer Todd Pletcher. "There wasn't a lot of speed on paper and we were in the one post with a target on our backs, so our strategy...

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Maracuja a Standout for Beach Haven

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-Even if she had not pulled off the biggest upset of the still-young Saratoga season Saturday afternoon, Maracuja (Honor Code) would have received a major dose of love from her owners Sunday morning. The gentle gray is, after all, Beach Haven Thoroughbreds's only horse. While her status in the stable didn't change, Maracuja's victory by a head over Malathaat (Curlin) in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks no doubt raised her stature in the 3-year-old filly division. She isn't likely to be the longest shot in the field...

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Maracuja Upsets Malathaat In CCA Oaks

With a perfect five-for-five record topped by an impressive score in the GI Kentucky Oaks, 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) was bet like she could not lose a four-horse renewal of Saratoga's GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday. However, in the final strides of the nine-furlong event, it was the longest shot on the board, 14-1 shot Maracuja (Honor Code), who dethroned the mighty Malathaat with a narrow upset. All four broke in tandem with Malathaat assuming a narrow lead rounding the clubhouse turn. Maracuja kept the favorite honest through...

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This Side Up: Overcrowding One Weekend, Isolation The Next

No man an island, huh? Not so sure about that, after the last year or so, when even a family household has sometimes felt like a peninsula at best. So, the very last thing anyone wanted on returning to Saratoga, after being denied its unique balm of fellowship last year, was to hear "the Q word" yet again. A 21-day quarantine for horses stabled in Barn 86, after one of Jorge Abreu's fillies tested positive to EHV-1, must have felt like Groundhog Day for Abreu and neighbor Kenny McPeek. Here...

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Malathaat Tops Short Field in CCA Oaks

Undefeated divisional leader Malathaat (Curlin) headlines a four-horse renewal of Saratoga's prestigious GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday. A perfect five-for-five, the 'TDN Rising Star' kicked off 2021 with a gutsy score in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Apr. 3 and rallied to victory in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks last out Apr. 30, defeating next-out GI Acorn S. heroine Search Results (Flatter) by a hard-fought neck. "She's a very gifted filly," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "She's just been perfect so far and she's a pleasure to...

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Spa Notebook: Essential Quality Tunes Up for Jim Dandy

Champion Essential Quality (Tapit) drilled five furlongs over the Saratoga main track in 1:01.81 (7/13) Saturday morning, two weeks out from his expected start in the GII Jim Dandy S. at the Spa. Last seen outgaming Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the GI Belmont S. June 5, the Godolphin-owned 'TDN Rising Star' worked in the company of New York-bred maiden winner Bingo John (Oxbow) and was caught in sectional times of :25 flate and :48.3 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.2 and seven-eighths in 1:28.3. "It was a solid...

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Normalcy Returns as Saratoga Meet Opens

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Once again, Saratoga opens its world-renowned race meet with the question: How many? During the COVID-19 summer of 2020, the issue was whether there might be some loosening on the ban on spectators during the 40-day season. That never happened, though a limited number of owners were allowed to see their horses run, and some of the world's best Thoroughbreds played to a oh-so quiet empty house at America's oldest race track. With restrictions completely lifted in New York State in time for the 153rd season,...

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Malathaat Works for CCA Oaks

Shadwell Stable's undefeated Malathaat (Curlin), last seen winning the GI Kentucky Oaks Apr. 30, turned in a four-furlong work in :49.96 (22/36) over the dirt training track at Belmont Park Sunday ahead of an expected tilt at the July 24 GI Coaching Club American Oaks. "She went great. I'm really pleased with the way she's doing," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "She worked well with a big, strong gallop out. We'll probably have one breeze at Saratoga and she'll be ready to go." Also working from the Pletcher barn was WinStar...

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This Side Up: Happy Days Here Again

A year that began with the loss of two of the most lavish, Prince Khaled Abdullah and Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, is aptly measuring the reinvigoration of the breed achieved by modern investors from the same deserts where it first took root. Godolphin owes Derby wins at both Epsom and the Curragh to colts by Prince Khaled's greatest bequest, Frankel (GB); while its U.S. division laid down a marker of continuity and vitality when Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper) won the G1 Dubai World Cup just three days after its founder's brother...

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Malathaat Pointing for CCA Oaks

Undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin) will make her next start in Saratoga's GI CCA Oaks July 24 instead of the June 5 GI Belmont S., which was initially under consideration following her Apr. 30 GI Kentucky Oaks victory. The long range goal for the regally bred filly is the Breeders' Cup in November at Del Mar. "Todd [Pletcher] and I have talked and have elected to bypass the Belmont," Shadwell's Rick Nichols said. "She is a little light right now because she is still growing into the frame that...

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Belmont Stakes Under Consideration for Malathaat

Malathaat (Curlin), the undefeated filly who is coming off a win in the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks, could go next in the June 5 GI Belmont S. "It has crossed our minds," Shadwell Farms Vice President and General Manager Rick Nichols said of the Belmont. "One issue would be whether or not we could get John Velazquez. If Medina Spirit (Protonico) wins the [GI] Preakness Stakes., obviously John will have to choose him for the Belmont. No one would blame him for choosing that horse." Nichols said a final decision...

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Fresh Off Derby/Oaks Double, John Velazquez Joins Writers' Room

There's been a lot of attention, rightfully so, on Bob Baffert in the wake of his record-breaking seventh GI Kentucky Derby conquest Saturday. But John Velazquez made a little history of his own under the Twin Spires this weekend, becoming just the eighth jockey ever to win both the GI Kentucky Oaks and Derby in the same year. Wednesday, the Hall of Fame rider joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by J.P. Morgan Private Banking and Keeneland to talk Malathaat (Curlin), Medina Spirit (Protonico), his approach to race-riding, potential plans...

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