Ron Moquett

Upstart Colt Graduates in Debut at Ellis

6th-Ellis, $46,200, Msw, 8-30, 2yo, 6 1/2f, 1:16.52, ft. UPSTRIKER (c, 2, Upstart--Casanova Striker, by Smart Strike) opened with the money on but drifted up to a generous 11-1 at the off while looking to become his first-crop sire's fifth winner and second in as many days after the impressive unveiling Saturday at Saratoga of pricey Founder. Showing good speed to chase in second, the dark bay confronted pacesetter Bluegrass Pharoah (American Pharoah) after a :45.98 half. He went by willingly at the top of the lane, and widened at...

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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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Cosato Hoping Sales Are a Slam Dunk, Too

Nick Cosato, who has made a habit of hitting the winner's circle with graded stakes victors from his Slam Dunk Racing partnership, will aim for big-time success in the sales ring when he offers a colt from the first crop of champion Arrogate during the second session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale Sept. 14. Consigned by War Horse Place, the gray yearling (hip 280) is a half-brother to Grade I winner Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect). The hard-trying speedster Whitmore has become a fan favorite with six graded stakes wins over...

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This Side Up: Whitmore Seeks Fresh Honors For Class of 2013

The seven-year itch, in the current racing herd, represents the best kind of mid-life crisis: reinventing yourself as a champion. An Eclipse Award would certainly be a credible aspiration for Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) should he derail the Volatile (Violence) express in the GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga Saturday. Next weekend, another flourishing 7-year-old, Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike), will seek to consolidate his ascent to the top of his own division in the GI Whitney S. Over the past two weeks, meanwhile, their contemporaries Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire})...

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Blue Grass-Bound Pair Fire Keeneland Bullets

Finnick the Fierce (Dialed In) and Man in the Can (Can the Man) were the recipients of Saturday morning bullets at Keeneland as each wrapped up their serious work ahead of next Saturday's GII Toyota Blue Grass S. in Lexington. The one-eyed Finnick the Fierce drilled a half-mile in :46.20, the fastest of 90 works at the distance Saturday morning. The gelding, an adjudicated allowance winner at Oaklawn Apr. 4, was a sound third to the now-retired Nadal (Blame) in the GI Arkansas Derby May 2. He exits a third...

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Man in the Can to Target Blue Grass

Jrita Young Thoroughbreds' Man in the Can (Can the Man) will be aimed at the July 11 GII Toyota Blue Grass S. at Keeneland following his allowance score as the 5-2 favorite at Churchill Friday (video). "That sure was an impressive turn of foot," trainer Ron  Moquett said of his charge's 1 1/2-length victory in the nine-furlong event. "I wasn't expecting him to go off as that big of a favorite, but he ran against some stiff Arky-bred competition in his last couple of starts at Oaklawn. I think the...

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Whitmore Triples-Up In Count Fleet

In 13 previous trips to the races at Oaklawn Park, Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) had never finished out of the top three, including a third-place effort to future GI Belmont S. hero Creator (Tapit) in the GI Arkansas Derby some four Aprils ago. Since reinvented as a top sprinter--not entirely shocking given that he won his first seven starts going one turn--the popular 7-year-old made history Saturday in Hot Springs, withstanding a run from last by Flagstaff (Speightstown) to land the GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. for the third time in...

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This Side Up: Counting on Fleet-Footed Whitmore

Lots of people have been borrowing wartime terminology and metaphors for the current crisis. Yet it has long worried me that global leaders now belong to a generation with no memory of the second World War, never mind any direct involvement. Hardly a coincidence, perhaps, if populism and nationalism around the world are driven by people without their parents' visceral grasp of the stakes involved, when those sources of political energy overheat. Whether a pandemic-indifferent to borders, race or creed-will renew their sense of the collective interests of the species...

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