Played Hard

Churchill Downs And Fasig-Tipton Partner For Three-Race Series, Includes La Troienne

Churchill Downs and Fasig-Tipton have formed a new three-year partnership where the sales company will be the official sponsor of the GI La Troienne S., the GII Fleur de Lis S. and the GII Locust Grove S., the track said in a release Friday. The $1 million Fasig-Tipton La Troienne will kick off the series on Kentucky Oaks Day. The Fasig-Tipton Fleur de Lis is scheduled for Saturday, June 29 during Stephen Foster Day. That race is part of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Dozen Bonus Series, which awards the top...

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Mating Plans, Presented by Spendthrift: Denali Stud

The TDN's popular annual series 'Mating Plans, presented by Spendthrift,' continues today in a conversation with Denali Stud's Conrad Bandoroff. FLAG DAY (8, Giant's Causeway--Sense  to Compete, by Street Sense) to be bred to Good Magic. This mare's first foal, Hall of Fame, broke his maiden in very impressive fashion and was tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' for his effort. The son of Gun Runner and Flag Day's first foal has been a special horse from the day he was born. He was just one of those foals that, when...

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GISW Played Hard Retired

Rigney Racing's Played Hard (Into Mischief--Well Lived, by Tiznow), winner of the GI La Troienne S. in May, has been retired from racing, trainer Phil Bauer confirmed the news first reported in Blood-Horse Thursday. "She had a summer that just nothing bounced her way," Bauer said. "We took her to Saratoga and missed the Shuvee with illness. We planned on bringing her back to Churchill, but in her last breeze up there, she got an injury in her right hind ankle. So we had the discussion with Mr. [Richard] Rigney...

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Keeneland Breeder Spotlight: Rigney Savoring Sweet Flavor of Success

Richard Rigney says that nothing in life gives him a bigger kick than his horses. To understand just what that means, it might help to know his idea of a vacation. A few years ago, for instance, he went on a shooting range in Russia. Not that startling, perhaps: this was obviously before the war in Ukraine. It's just the caliber of the ordnance that was a little unusual. "Shooting a bazooka is so fun," Rigney says. "My wife Tammy was like, 'You know what? I think it's okay that...

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Played Hard Could Start Next in Grade I Personal Ensign

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though Rigney Racing's Played Hard (Into Mischief) will miss the GII Shuvee because of a fever, trainer Phillip Bauer said Friday that she might run in the GI Personal Ensign on Aug. 25. Bauer said it's a moving target that he could set his sights on. "We'll hopefully get time to get a breeze into her next week and see what she does," he said. Another possible start could be in the GIII Locust Grove on Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs in the race she won...

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Skipping Shuvee, Secret Oath Targets Personal Ensign

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas rarely passes on big stakes opportunities, he is skipping the GII Shuvee S. Sunday with Secret Oath (Arrogate). After she turned in an uncharacteristic dull performance in the June 10 GI Ogden Phipps S., Lukas and the 4-year-old filly's breeder-owners Robert and Stacy Mitchell are using a little-bit-less-is-more approach at Saratoga Race Course. "She's really, really doing well," Lukas said Wednesday morning, "but we have made a decision to run here only once. We're trying to space her...

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Champion Nest Primed for Seasonal Debut in Shuvee

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - There will be no easing back into competition for champion Nest (Curlin). Certainly not on a Sunday in July at Saratoga Race Course. In the first start of her 4-year-old season--which was delayed by illness--in the GII Shuvee S., Nest is likely to face Clairiere (Curlin), the leader of the older female dirt division, and GI La Troienne winner Played Hard (Into Mischief). "It's not the position we set out to be on at the beginning of this year, but it's kind of where we are,"...

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Played Hard Carries the Rigney Motto to Ogden Phipps

One short elevator ride from the top of the Churchill Downs grandstand down to the ground floor was all the time it took for Phil Bauer to officially become a Grade I-winning trainer. On Kentucky Oaks Friday, Bauer was watching from upstairs as his trainee Played Hard (Into Mischief) took the lead going into the stretch of the GI La Troienne S. and, with Johnny Velazquez aboard, fought off last year's Oaks victress Secret Oath (Arrogate) to win by a neck. When Bauer and an elated crew of Rigney Racing...

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Into Mischief Filly Not Playing in La Troienne

Making her first start since winning last fall's GIII Falls City S. at 45 cents on the dollar, Rigney Racing's Played Hard (Into Mischief) rewarded those that remained loyal to her from a pari-mutuel perspective with a near 9-1 upset in Friday's GI La Troienne S. at Churchill Downs. For the second time in as many races, Briland Farm's Secret Oath (Arrogate)--who won the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks on this program 12 months ago--took a dirty beat in Grade I company, having been pipped on the post in the Apple...

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Thanksgiving Brings Trio of Graded Stakes To The Table

Horse racing fans will tuck in to a traditional helping of graded stakes on Thursday at both Churchill Downs and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Coast-to-coast Grade III gatherings include a dirt and turf race in the GIII Falls City S. and the GIII Cardinal S. before swinging out west to the Jimmy Durante Turf Course for the GIII Red Carpet S. Into Mischief's Played Hard the Favorite in Falls City With only six drawn for the Falls City under the Twin Spires, there is no question that trainer Phil...

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Distaffers and Juveniles in the Spotlight Sunday

With two graded events for distaffers and four for juveniles, including including four Breeders' Cup qualifiers, Sunday is basically Saturday part two from coast-to-coast. The day's main event is the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. at Keeneland, a "Win and You're In" event, where champions Malathaat (Curlin) and Letruska (Super Saver) face off yet again. 'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat looks to make amends for a solid third in last year's GI Breeders' Cup Distaff and she enters off a win in Saratoga's GI Personal Ensign S. Aug. 27. Letruska, who won...

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