Mike Kane

Kodiac Wintergreen Could Be Home Run For Alex Bregman

Edited Press Release, Mike Kane/Kentucky Downs All the essential timing elements for Sunday have dovetailed for Houston Astros star third baseman Alex Bregman and his very promising filly Kodiac Wintergreen (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}). By the time Kodiac Wintergreen goes to the starting gate for the $500,000 Global Tote Juvenile Fillies S. at Kentucky Downs at 5:28 p.m. (CT), the Astros's home game with the San Diego Padres should be long finished. His day's work on the diamond at Minute Maid Field done, Bregman will be parked in front of a...

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Kane, Team Cody's Wish Among NTWAB Awardees

TDN contributor Mike Kane, the human connections surrounding Cody's Wish, the Gregson Foundation and noted television personality Kenny Rice will be honored with various awards during the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters 63rd Annual Awards Dinner, Wednesday, Nov. 1, at The Woolf Den by The Derby in Arcadia, CA. Kane, who has been this publication's on-site correspondent at Saratoga for several years, has been an NTWAB member since 1996 and is in his fifth decade of covering racing in print, radio, television and online. Kane will be honored with the...

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New York Thunder Takes Perfect Record To GI Jerkens

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Unbeaten and hardly challenged so far through four starts, New York Thunder (Nyquist) will not be an unknown Saturday in his second visit this summer to Saratoga Race Course. New York Thunder made a grand entry on the big stage at the Spa on July 28 with a resounding victory in the GII Amsterdam S. Sent off at 11-2 in his first race on dirt, he rolled to a 7 1/2-length score under jockey Tyler Gaffalione. Though he was eased up in the stretch when the...

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Defining Purpose Has Written A Rags-To-Riches Story

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N. Y. - Katsumi Yoshida's Defining Purpose (Cross Traffic) brings a solid resume and a sounds-like-fiction backstory to the GI Alabama S. on Saturday. Now owned by one of the world's top breeding operations, Yoshida's Northern Farm, the gray 3-year-old filly was rejected by buyers when she was offered at sale as a short yearling at Keeneland in January 2021. Colette VanMatre, the Indiana businesswomen who runs a tiny breeding business, decided she would race Defining Purpose. Last year, VanMatre reached out to trainer Kenny McPeek, who agreed...

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“He's Here and He's Ready;” Golden Pal Restarts Final Campaign in Friday's Troy

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Trainer Wesley Ward turned to football to explain why Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) has turned out to be what he has said is the best horse he has handled during his 32-year career. "Look at all the special running backs in history," Ward said. "What makes them so special? They are naturally blessed with talent is what it comes down to. They are extremely fast and a lot of them have the mind for it as well. He's got both." Nearly two months after a disappointing...

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With “No Real Soft Spots to Land,” Corniche Returns

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Nearly nine months after his last race, champion and 'TDN Rising Star' Corniche (Quality Road) will return to competition Sunday, starting the late-developing next chapter in his thus-far unbeaten career with a big test in the GII Amsterdam S. Corniche will again be carrying the white and red colors of his owner, Speedway Stables, the partnership of Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner. Beyond that, pretty much everything else has changed since his 1 3/4-length victory in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Nov. 5 at Del Mar....

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From Turf Writer to Trainer: Gutierrez Writes His Own Story

DEL MAR, CA--It's fair to say that former turf writer Fausto Gutierrez does not fit the mold of a typical trainer at the Breeders' Cup World Championships. While the background in media sets the outgoing 54-year-old Gutierrez apart, he is a veteran horseman with loads of experience and massive success in Mexico. His first starter in the Breeders' Cup is Letruska (Super Saver), the 5-year-old mare who is the 8-5 favorite on the morning line in the $2-million Distaff. Gutierrez has developed the Kentucky-bred for St George Stable LLC, owned...

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Lexitonian's Spa Challenge: Back-to-Back Victories

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--When he goes to the post Saturday for the GI Forego S., Lexitonian (Speightstown) will try to do something new: follow a win with a win. Lexitonian picked up his fifth victory in 19 career starts July 31 in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. as the longest shot in the field of nine at 34-1 and paid $70. It was his second graded stakes win and pushed the Calumet Farm homebred's earnings to $687,682, but was it just a one-off at the historic Graveyard of Favorites? Trainer...

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Gritty Whitmore 'Still There Being Honest'

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--To illustrate his point about Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect), trainer Ron Moquett stepped into the Eclipse Award winner's stall Sunday morning saying, "This is not the time to do this," and rubbed his star's coat with a small towel. Showing his displeasure, Whitmore promptly kicked the wall. Hard. "He is as consistent as the day is long," Moquett said, smiling. "He will do everything the exact same way. Our job is to get done, working with him, knowing his idiosyncrasies." Moquett and his staff live in Whitmore's world, ruled...

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Brown Looks to Keep Streak Alive in Diana

One of these years, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) may have to switch the name of the GI Diana S. to the Chad Brown. With five straight victories, six wins overall and 17 in-the-money finishes since he saddled his first runner in the race in 2009, Brown has, well, dominated the 1 1/8 mile race for fillies and mares on the inner turf course. Brown will try to extend his unprecedented Saratoga graded-stakes streak Saturday with a pair of runners, Juddmonte's Pocket Square (GB) (Night of Thunder {Ire}) and...

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Winner for Whitney a Fitting Way to Kick off Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Four days short of two years after her death, Marylou Whitney managed to upstage Thursday's feel-good, season-opener at Saratoga Race Course. Pretty Birdie (Bird Song), bred and owned by Marylou Whitney Stables, struck just the right emotional note--bridging the past and the present--with her gate-to-wire victory in the 103rd running of the GIII Schuylerville S. "It's a little bittersweet. I wish she was here," Whitney's husband John Hendrickson said. "She would love this. Saratoga is open and she's won a race. Things are the way they...

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Strong Start to Saratoga Meeting for Clement

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though he is quick to dismiss any talk that he might win the trainer's title at Saratoga Race Course, veteran Christophe Clement acknowledges that most everything has gone very well for his stable in the first half of the season. Entering Wednesday's card, the midway point of the 40-day meet, Clement was second, two wins behind Todd Pletcher, in the competitive standings with 15 victories, matching his career-best at the Spa in 2015. He already has a personal-best six stakes wins. The Clement runners top the...

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