Ricardo Santana Jr.

Unbeaten Brightwork Preps For Keeneland's Opening Day

WSS Racing's undefeated Brightwork (Outwork) completed her major preparations for next Friday's GI Darley Alcibiades by working a half-mile in :48.60 over a fast track Friday morning. With Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard, Brightwork produced fractions of :24.60, :48.60 and galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:01.40. Last Friday here, Brightwork produced a best-of-20 half-mile in :47. "That was very perfect, and I am grateful that Ricardo made the drive over from Louisville both times to work her," trainer John Ortiz said. "Last week was a good drill for speed, and this...

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Classic Empire Filly Delivers Untapable Upset

Crown Imperial (f, 2, Classic Empire--Mi Fiori, by Congrats), beaten just a nose by the streaking Amidst Waves (Midshipman) in Saratoga's Bolton Landing S. Aug. 20, delivered a 13-1 upset in Wednesday's $500,000 Pepsi Untapable S. at Kentucky Downs. She was outsprinted in eighth through scorching early fractions of :20.79 and :44.32, and, after diving toward an inviting opening toward the inside beneath Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the stretch, came alive to get the money by 1 1/4 lengths. Copper Em (Copper Bullet) was second; Buttercream Babe (Twirling Candy) was...

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On Whitney Weekend, Whitney Stables Captures Spa Maiden

It's been more than four years since Saratoga socialite Marylou Whitney passed away, but thanks to her husband John Hendrickson and trainer Norm Casse, her memory is never far away when it comes to the Saratoga season. Marylou Whitney Stables, now operated by Hendrickson, won with its first starter at the meet when homebred Empire Island (Classic Empire) won the day's sixth race by three-quarters of a length over Lady Moscato (Quality Road). A six-furlong maiden race for 2-year-old fillies that was run at six furlongs, it had a purse...

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Friday Insights: Pair Of Undefeated Fillies Square Off

2nd-CD, $134K, OC, 3yo, f, 6f, 6:28 p.m. A pair of fillies will look to stay unbeaten in their third career starts at Churchill Downs on Friday evening. 'TDN Rising Star' SUNDAY SHOES (Pioneerof the Nile) came from off the pace breaking her maiden sprinting at Turfway Park Feb. 15, then got up by 3/4 of a length in Florence Apr. 1 in the Serena's Song S. over next-out stakes winner Jill Jitterbug (Cross Traffic). The $500,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase trained by Wesley Ward counts among her female...

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Asmussen Picks Up Win 10,000

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen reached another personal milestone in his career on Monday at Oaklawn Park, winning his 10,000th race. The first North American trainer ever to reach that number, Asmussen recorded the historic win in the fifth race on the card with $40,000 maiden claimer Bet He's Ready (More Than Ready), an easy winner under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. "This is very hard to put into words," Asmussen said from the Oaklawn winner's circle. "There's all the support that we have continually gotten. This is a family...

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Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings – Nov. 1-7

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky.    Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where.    With the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) having gone into effect on July 1, the TDN will also post a roundup of the relevant HISA-related rulings from the same week. CALIFORNIA Track: Santa Anita Date: 11/06/2022 Licensee: Armando Aguilar,...

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Sunday Insights: Gun Runner Half To Twirling Candy Debuts For Three Chimneys

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency                          7th-CD, $120K, Msw, 2yo, f, 1 1/16m, 3:50 p.m.A Three Chimneys homebred, FLIRTING GIRL (Gun Runner) debuts Sunday at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen. Out of the Chester House mare House of Danzing, Flirting Girl is a half-sister to GISW & Lane's End sire Twirling Candy (Candy Ride {Arg}), GSW Dubai Sky (Candy Ride {Arg]), and GSW Ethnic Dance (Tribal Rule). TJCIS PPS

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Summer of 'Love' Continues for Gun Runner With Latest Spa Debut Winner

6th-Saratoga, $105,000, Msw, 8-21, 2yo, f, 6 1/2f, 1:17.93, ft, 4 3/4 lengths. GRAND LOVE (f, 2, Gun Runner--Grand Prayer {SW, $145,170}, by Grand Slam) continued the eternal hot streak for her superstar second-crop sire with a speedy debut score Sunday at Saratoga. Tipping her hand with a half-mile gate breeze in :47 2/5 (4/143) over this track July 31, the Three Chimneys homebred was let go as the 47-10 fourth choice and broke like a rocket from her inside post. Quickly two lengths clear, the bay showed the way...

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Friday Racing Insights: Maracuja Begins 2022 Campaign At Oaklawn

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 8th-OP, $108K, Alw/OC, 4yo/up, f, 1 1/16m, 5:39 p.m. GIW MARACUJA begins her 4-year-old campaign Friday against an allowance field at Oaklawn Park. She returns off a six-month freshening following a fourth-place effort behind Clairiere (Curlin) in the GI Cotillion S. Sep. 25 at Parx, where she seemed poised to strike but ultimately weakened down the stretch. The gray/roan daughter of Honor Code makes her first trip to Oaklawn after racing exclusively on the East Coast in her career thus far. Her crowning achievement came...

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No Doubt Echo Zulu Best in Spinaway

L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds' Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) became her freshman sire's first Grade I winner, third graded winner overall--and his second of the upstate meet--with a wire-to-wire victory in the GI Spinaway S. at Saratoga Sunday. "I can't measure how much I wanted to have Gun Runner's first Grade I winner," admitted Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who also conditioned the 2017 Horse of the Year. "Everything he did for the barn, he's obviously a tremendous sire and somebody had to be first, but I'm...

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Liam's Map's Beau Liam Brilliant Again at the Spa

8th-Saratoga, $105,000, Alw (NW2$X)/Opt. Clm ($80,000), 8-29, 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 1:15.05, ft, 6 lengths. BEAU LIAM (c, 3, Liam's Map--Belle of Perintown {GSW, $265,465}, by Dehere) showed Sunday just how well-stocked the Steve Asmussen barn is with top sprinters, as he zipped away to his third win from as many tries as day after stablemates Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) and Yaupon (Uncle Mo) annexed the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. and GI Forego S., respectively. A shoe-in for 'TDN Rising Star'-dom off a 7 1/2-length debut drubbing at Churchill...

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Savage! Yaupon Survives in Wild Stretch Battle in Forego

You had to see it to believe it. With Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) savaging favored Yaupon (c, 4, Uncle Mo--Modification, by Vindication) repeatedly down the stretch in Saturday's GI Forego S. at Saratoga, the 2-1 pacesetter battled on gamely along the rail to secure a dramatic head victory. Chance It (Currency Swap) was third. "I will watch that replay many times in my future," winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. "For that to happen in a Grade I at Saratoga with two horses on the lead, that will be memorable. I...

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