Midnight Bourbon

One Last Go for Maxfield in Clark

Godolphin homebred Maxfield (Street Sense) will look to take one more trip to the Churchill Downs winner's circle in Friday's GI Clark H. before he joins Darley's stallion roster for next year. The Grade I winner boasts a perfect four-for-four record under the Twin Spires, having most recently dominated the GII Stephen Foster S. over this same distance in June. Second to expected Horse of the Year Knicks Go (Paynter) in Saratoga's Aug. 7 GI Whitney S. and again to streaking Art Collector (Bernardini) in the GI Woodward S. at...

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The Week in Review: Does the Path to the Classic Run Through Parx

It was 35 years ago this weekend that Broad Brush bolted to the outside fence at the top of the stretch while on a clear lead in the Pennsylvania Derby, then amazingly re-rallied to claw back the lead for an improbable win. They've long since rebranded Philadelphia Park to Parx, added a racino, and been awarded an upgrade of that track's premier stakes from Grade II to Grade I. But history tends to repeat, and that same quirky spot at the quarter pole proved eerily enigmatic yet again on Saturday,...

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Hot Rod Charlie Outbattles Midnight Bourbon in PA Derby

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), among the most talented horses in training yet to have officially reached the highest level, got his Grade I in Saturday's Pennsylvania Derby--but not without some more drama. He had last been seen getting DQ'd from first to seventh in the GI Haskell Invitational S. at Monmouth July 17 when he crossed over on and clipped heels with Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow), causing that runner to drop Paco Lopez. And it was Midnight Bourbon who again was involved in a controversial stretch drive with Hot Rod Charlie....

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'Spirit'-less PA Derby Weekend's Main Event

The decision to withdraw GI Kentucky Derby first-past-the-post Medina Spirit (Protonico) from Saturday's $1-million GI Pennsylvania Derby is certainly a disappointing development, but eight of the nine remaining entrants already have at least one stakes win to their credit, six of those at the graded-stakes level, with a couple of new shooters that have earned their chance to contest a race of this magnitude. Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) is a deserving favorite based on his body of work, one that could look dramatically more sparkling with a few different bounces...

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Quality Road Colt Takes the Lead at Keeneland

The offspring of Quality Road continued to be much sought-after at the Keeneland September Sale, and the stallion's colt out of the tremendous producer Catch The Moon (Malibu Moon) became the sale's most-coveted offering, selling for $1.6 million. Lane's End's Bill Farish signed the winning ticket seated alongside West Point Thoroughbreds' Terry Finley. Consigned by Eaton Sales for Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Bred & Raised as hip 300, the handsome dark bay is out of an unraced mare who has the distinction of accounting for four full graded stakes winners from...

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Hot Rod Charlie, Medina Spirit Among Early PA Derby Noms

GSW Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) heads the early nominations for the Sept 25 GI Pennsylvania Derby. The nine-furlong marquee race for 3-year-olds highlights a stacked card which features eight stakes races, including five at the graded level. The Pennsylvania Derby was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. "We're still a few works away, but we're real optimistic about Charlie's next stop, the Pennsylvania Derby," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "The race looks to be coming up tough, which one would expect with a million dollars on the line." Winner...

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Team Asmussen Celebrates Big Day

While Steve Asmussen was on the road to the Texas yearling sales Sunday morning, his team was still celebrating a pair of Grade I victories at Saratoga Saturday. Yaupon (Uncle Mo) captured the GI Forego S.  in a dramatic stretch run shortly before stablemate Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) battled to a determined victory in the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. Asmussen also saddled Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) to a runner-up effort in the GI Runhappy Travers S. "I was so proud of how our horses ran yesterday. It was a...

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The Week in Review: Numbers Don't Lie, But They Can Be Perplexing

If you like to sift through numbers, a few stand out from Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. card at Saratoga Race Course. How about six Grade I stakes, whose winners all earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures? They weren't big-figure blowouts either. Five of those ultra-competitive races were decided by a half-length or less at the wire. Nine winning favorites from 13 races also catches the eye. As does the four-win performance by jockey Joel Rosario. But the most mind-boggling numeric notation from the summer's biggest day of racing appeared in...

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Essential Quality Fights Past Midnight Bourbon in Runhappy Travers

Champion Essential Quality (Tapit) came into Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. as the heavy favorite with three other Grade I victories to his credit, in addition to his Eclipse Award. Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow), on the other hand, entered with a point to prove as he never had a chance to show his stuff last time in Monmouth's GI Haskell Invitational S. July 17, after clipping heels and almost going down in the stretch. Essential Quality got the better of his rival at Saratoga Saturday, but not before Midnight Bourbon gave...

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Champ Tops 'Quality' Travers Field

Eclipse winner Essential Quality (Tapit) headlines a strong field of seven in Saratoga's prestigious GI Runhappy Travers S. Saturday evening. Should he succeed he would be the second colt in as many as years to complete the GI Belmont S./Travers double and the first juvenile champion to take the Midsummer Derby since Street Sense won the 2007 renewal. Opening his sophomore account with wins in the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 27 and GII Toyota Bluegrass S. Apr. 3, the Godolphin homebred was fourth as the favorite in the GI Kentucky...

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Midnight Bourbon Tunes Up for Runhappy Travers

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow), who most recently clipped heels and nearly fell to the track in the stretch run of the July 17 GI Betfair.com Haskell S. at Monmouth Park, tuned up for an expected start in next Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. with a four-furlong work in :49.77 (17/68) over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Sunday. "He's a very impressive horse," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "I think we're obviously very fortunate that he came out of the mishap in the Haskell in good shape and he's training...

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Flavien Prat Suspended Seven Days for Haskell Ride

The Monmouth Park stewards have handed jockey Flavien Prat a seven-day suspension for his ride aboard Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the July 17 GI TVG.com Haskell S. The ruling was issued Sunday, three days after the stewards granted Prat a hearing. The suspension runs from Sept. 7 through Sept. 13. The timing may not be a coincidence, as the suspension starts the day after the Del Mar meet closes. California racing then shift to Los Alamitos, where Prat doesn't normally ride on a regular basis. It will, however, keep...

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