Mind Control

Firenze Fire Looks to Stay Hot in Nerud

Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) has scored half of his 14 lifetime victories at Belmont and looks to add to that Saturday as the favorite in the GII John A. Nerud S., a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint S. Victorious in this event last year in his second start for the Kelly Breen barn, the Mr. Amore Stable homebred was off the board in his next two attempts in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. and GI Forego S. at Saratoga. Returning to winning ways back...

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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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Happy Saver Returns Friday at Belmont

Wertheimer and Frere's unbeaten Happy Saver (Super Saver), last seen winning the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup last October, will make his 4-year-old debut in an allowance at Belmont Park Friday. "I'm happy to get his season under way," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "Hopefully, we've done enough with him to have him ready, but I'm looking forward to getting him going." Following some down time at WinStar Farm, Happy Saver began working regularly at Palm Beach Downs in early April before shipping to Pletcher's division in Saratoga. His most recent...

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Mischevious Alex Returns to Grade I Company in Carter

Last winter, Cash is King and LC Racing's Mischevious Alex (Into Mischief) created a buzz with back-to-back graded stakes victories, but was unable to sustain that momentum while making just two more starts in his 3-year-old season. The buzz is back for him after two more good-looking triumphs to start 2021, and he'll get another chance to prove his mettle in Saturday's GI Carter H. at Aqueduct, the first Grade I race in New York this year. Romping by seven lengths in last February's GIII Swale S., Mischevious Alex successfully...

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Cigar Mile Scratches Resurface in Mr. Prospector

Grade I winners Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) and Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) were both scratched from GI Cigar Mile Dec. 5 after heavy rains soaked the Aqueduct main track and will instead start in Saturday's GIII Mr. Prospector S. at Gulfstream. A Grade I winner at two, Firenze Fire won several graded stakes during his tenure for Jason Servis and was transferred to Kelly Breen after the former was federally indicted and removed from the racetrack. Fourth in the slop in the GI Carter H. in his first start for...

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Performer Seeks Grade I Glory in Cigar Mile

Phipps Stable and Claiborne Farm's Performer (Speightstown) looks to continue his hot streak as he takes his first crack at the highest level Saturday in Aqueduct's GI Cigar Mile. Graduating at second asking at Belmont in June 2019, the chestnut captured a 6 1/2-panel allowance at Saratoga that August and a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer at Belmont last September. Closing out his sophomore season with a victory in this venue's GIII Discovery S. just over a year ago, Performer was subsequently shelved and resurfaced with an optional claimer score in...

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Whitmore Seeks Second Forego Score

The hard-knocking Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) captured the 2018 GI Forego S. and, after missing last year's Saratoga meet, he looks to take home the trophy again in this year's renewal Saturday. Runner-up in the King Cotton S. at the start of this term Feb. 8, the chestnut captured the Hot Springs S. Mar. 7 and followed suit with a win in the GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. Apr. 18. He completed the exacta behind Volatile (Violence) in this venue's GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt S. last time July 25. "Pace makes...

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Fleet-Footed Volatile Goes for Grade I Glory in Vanderbilt

Of the five horses signed on for Saturday's GI A. G. Vanderbilt H., two are already winners of Grade I races at Saratoga, and a third has been successful at Grade III level while placing in Grade I company. In a different year, any of the three could go favored in the six-furlong dash, but not this one, as they all have the very exciting and very fast Volatile (Violence) to beat. His sire's priciest offspring, having fetched $850,000 as a Keeneland September yearling nearly three years ago, the gray...

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Performer Seeks Grade I Glory in the Carter

After Shug McGaughey saddles the likely favorite Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) in the GIII Westchester S. Saturday, he will send out on of the top choices in Belmont's GI Runhapppy Carter H. in the talented Performer (Speightstown). The Carter is typically run in April at Aqueduct, but was rescheduled and relocated due to the COVID-19 racing shutdown. It is a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint. Graduating at second asking going six panels at this oval last June, Performer followed suit with an...

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