Rombauer

McCarthy in “a Nice Position” Ahead of Fall Blitz

If any ducks have been careless enough to stray at the Michael McCarthy barn at Santa Anita, they've been promptly herded back into row. The McCarthy office has a new lick of bright white paint and a navy accent wall to compliment the trainer's coat of arms. There's the fancy new desk--one of those good-for-the-back ergonomic types that moves to fit the owner and not the other way around--and a blazing new flatscreen high in one corner. Then there's the trainer himself, freshly shorn from an in-office trim--a precision 10-minute...

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'Quality' Over Quantity in Triple Crown Finale

ELMONT, NY -- What a difference a year makes. Back in its traditional spot on the calendar and 1 1/2-mile distance after the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world-and Triple Crown-completely upside down in 2020, Saturday's GI Belmont S. will feature a showdown between last year's champion 2-year-old colt Essential Quality (Tapit) and GI Preakness S. upsetter Rombauer (Twirling Candy). The Godolphin homebred was unstoppable in his first five career starts, headed by a win in the 2020 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the GI...

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TDN Belmont Preview

The trend of skipping the GI Preakness S. after a losing run in the GI Kentucky Derby has evolved as a standard 21st Century preparation for the GI Belmont S. This Saturday, five of the eight entrants follow that pattern. Over the past 20 years (not counting the pandemic-altered 2020), the Belmont has been won by nine horses that ran in Louisville then opted out of Baltimore. During that same time frame, seven horses won the Belmont after not having run in either the Derby or Preakness (only one entrant...

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Thursday's Trackside Belmont Stakes Report

ELMONT, NY - The handsome gray Knicks Go (Paynter) was among several high-profile runners spotted stretching their legs on an overcast and humid Thursday morning at beautiful Belmont Park ahead of this weekend's GI Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. The GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan Mile H.-bound GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and GI Pegasus World Cup winner wrapped up his exercise just before 6 a.m. With an on-and-off light drizzle falling throughout the morning as temperatures hovered in the low 60s, GI Preakness S. upsetter and Belmont S. second-choice Rombauer...

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Essential Quality Draws Post Two in Belmont

Godolphin's Essential Quality (Tapit) will break from post two and was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite when post positions were drawn Tuesday morning for Saturday's GI Belmont S. The Brad Cox trainee suffered the first loss of his career when fourth in the GI Kentucky Derby, but had previously been undefeated in five starts and was named last year's champion 2-year-old male. "He ran what I thought was a winning race in the Derby; he didn't have the trip, but he showed up and he's been improving in every...

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Friday's Belmont Stakes Update

• John and Diane Fradkin's GI Preakness S. winner Rombauer (Twirling Candy) worked a half-mile in company Friday on the Belmont Park main track in preparation for the GI Belmont S. Rombauer, trained by Michael McCarthy, was clocked in :50.01 (53/86) beneath John Velazquez over the fast main track. "I was very happy with the work," McCarthy said. "I just wanted him to go ahead and get familiar with Johnny. It seemed like he was well in hand at all times. Johnny asked him to gallop out a little bit going...

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Berger Shepherds Duo Into the Belmont Fold

What are the chances? Well, actually, it's easy enough to do the math. There were 21,181 Thoroughbred foals in the North American crop of 2018. Of these, Woodstock Farm took in its usual dozen or so colts. And, of these, two will line up next Saturday among the favorites for the final leg of the Triple Crown. "I'm sure it's happened before," says the farm's owner Ben Berger. "At Gainesway and Claiborne, Taylor Made and Lane's End, Darby Dan, all these farms. I'm sure they've had some really good horses...

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An 'Ultra' Compliment to Twirling Candy

Curious how we can always explain what makes a pedigree work once a horse has shown he can actually run. They call it "ex post rationalization" or sometimes "hindsight bias". Working backward from a high-functioning racehorse, you isolate whatever elements of the page flatter your prejudices and methodology, and triumphantly announce that you have found the key to the genetic engine. You could, of course, perform pretty much the same exercise with countless slow horses whose antecedents contain equally plausible elements. Funnily enough, however, we don't bother doing that quite...

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Michael McCarthy Joins Writers' Room

Fresh off the first Classic win of his career with his first Triple Crown starter, trainer Michael McCarthy joined the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by JPMorgan Private Bank Wednesday morning. Calling in via Zoom from his Santa Anita stable as the Green Group Guest of the Week, McCarthy discussed getting Rombauer (Twirling Candy) to run his peak race in Saturday's GI Preakness S., whether he has any regrets about not running in the GI Kentucky Derby, what he learned from former boss Todd Pletcher and more. "When the horses...

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Michael McCarthy Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Fresh off his first-ever Classic victory in last weekend's GI Preakness S., trainer Michael McCarthy joined this week's TDN Writers' Room to talk on his newly-crowned Grade I winner Rombauer.

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What's In A Name? Seize the Night, Someday Is Today, Caravel, Que Sera Sir Ralph, Heresy

As for intriguing names of winning horses, that was the week that was. Let's start with the seminal power of those two immortal little words Carpe Diem ('Seize The Day'} from Ancient Rome prince of poets Horace (65-8 BC)--also responsible for Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori ('It is sweet and fitting to die for the homeland'), written only a few years after having run away, throwing the shield on the ground, at the battle of Philippi (42 BC). Two horses creatively honored the WinStar stallion Carpe Diem (by...

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Rombauer, 'France' Ship Safely to Belmont

Classic hero Rombauer (Twirling Candy), who races for John and Diane Fradkin, shipped in to Belmont Park around 10 a.m. Monday ahead of an intended start in the June 5 $1.5-million GI Belmont S. presented by NYRA Bets. The colt earned a 102 Beyer for his GI Preakness S. heroics at Pimlico Saturday for trainer Michael McCarthy. He will be stabled with trainer Jonathan Thomas. Groom Leonel Orantes Aguilar reported that Rombauer had vanned to New York "very well". "It seems like he's in good physical shape," McCarthy said, who...

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