Serengeti Empress

Serengeti Empress Scores Gutsy Victory in Ballerina

Last year's GI Longines Kentucky Oaks heroine Serengeti Empress (Alternation) punched her ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint with an ultra-game, front-running performance while turning back in distance in Saturday's GI Ballerina S. at the Spa. The dark bay wasn't off to the sharpest of beginnings from her rail draw, but was quarter-horsed to the front by Luis Saez to hold a narrow advantage over the pride of Mexico Letruska (Super Saver) through an opening quarter in a blazing :21.75. Getting scrubbed on and appearing to...

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Many Chances in Ballerina

A well-matched field of seven fillies and mares coming from different directions in Saturday's GI Ballerina S. at Saratoga, the first of three top-level events on the GI Runhappy Travers day card at the spectator-less Spa and a "Win and You're In" event for the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint. Made the lukewarm favorite on the morning line is Kaleem Shah's Bellafina (Quality Road). A three-time Grade I winner in her first eight career starts, the $800,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream buy was a dull fifth as the favorite in the GI...

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Midnight Bisou Back to Her Best GII Fleur de Lis

Champion Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) was back to her best form Saturday at Churchill Downs, winning the GII Fleur de Lis H. with ease in her first start back on U.S. soil since finishing an ultra-game second in the Saudi Cup in February. GI Kentucky Oaks victress Serengeti Empress (Alternation) jetted straight to the lead, while favored Midnight Bisou bided her time back in mid-pack through a brisk :23.18 first quarter. Inched closer by Mike Smith, Midnight Bisou moved up into third, while still several lengths off the pacesetter, as...

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Tom Amoss Joins TDN Writers’ Room to Talk No Parole, Serengeti Empress, Racing Broadcasts and More

With a newly-minted Grade I winner in his barn and another set to hit the track this weekend, trainer Tom Amoss joined the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning for an illuminating discussion that covered a wide variety of topics, big and small. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Amoss explained the success of barn stars No Parole (Violence) and Serengeti Empress (Alternation), talked about what he's learned from branching out into broadcasting and offered his take on why racing has...

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Tom Amoss Joins the TDN Writers’ Room Podcast

Trainer Tom Amoss joins the TDN Writers' Room Podcast to discuss barn stars No Parole and Serengeti Empress, what he's learned from the broadcasting business, and his take on why racing has a difficult time catching cheating trainers.

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Empress Tops Loaded Apple Blossom

GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Serengeti Empress (Alternation) tops a field littered with talent--and Grade I winners--in Saturday's GI Apple Blossom S. at Oaklawn. After taking home the lilies in May, the fleet-footed filly completed the exacta in the GI Acorn S. at Belmont June 8 and missed by a half-length after a gritty stretch battle with two-time champion Covfefe (Into Mischief) in the GI Test S. at the Spa Aug. 3. Third in the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff Nov. 2, the dark bay was second to the re-opposing Lady Apple...

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Street Band Can Turn Tables in Azeri

The first four home from the Jan. 26 GIII Houston Ladies' Classic square off yet again in Saturday's GII Azeri S. at Oaklawn Park, and, having drawn widest of the sextet in Texas last time, Street Band (Istan) gets pole position here as she looks to make amends. Third in last year's GI Alabama S. over a 10-furlong trip that potentially stretched her stamina, the chestnut got a perfect set-up in the GI Cotillion S. and blew past 'TDN Rising Star' Guarana (Ghostzapper) to score by 2 1/4 lengths. Eighth...

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Serengeti Empress Looks for 2020 Liftoff in Houston

Last January, following a promising sophomore season that fell short of a divisional title, Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) made her 4-year-old debut with a win in the GIII Houston Ladies Classic S., using it as a springboard to a championship campaign. Sunday at Sam Houston, Joel Politi's Eclipse finalist Serengeti Empress (Alternation) will attempt to replicate her predecessor's feat against five rivals as she opens her auspicious 4-year-old account. Catching the racing world's attention with back-to-back stakes wins by a combined 33 lengths in the summer of 2018, the $70,000...

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Spa Notebook: A Thread of Blue Likely for Jockey Club Derby

A Thread of Blue (Hard Spun), who led every step of the way to cause a 13-1 upset in the 9 1/2-furlong Saratoga Derby Aug. 4, will be pointed for a start in the final leg of the Turf Trinity, the inaugural Jockey Club Derby to be contested over a mile and a half at Belmont Park Sept. 7. "He came out of the race really well, we'll look at [the Jockey Club Derby]," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin told the NYRA notes team. "We weren't sure if he'd get a mile-and-three-sixteenths...

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Inside the Winner’s Circle: Covfefe

"Inside the Winner's Circle, Presented by Keeneland" is a series showcasing graduates of the Keeneland September sale who have gone on to achieve success on racing's biggest stages. When Covfefe (Into Mischief) arrived at Brad Cox's barn at the Fair Grounds to begin training for her 2019 campaign, the trainer could have circled just about any race on his calendar. He had a talented, fast, well-bred filly and might have entertained thoughts of trying the GI Kentucky Oaks. But what makes Cox one of the fastest rising stars in his...

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Into Mischief Filly Passes the Test

For several weeks, astute racing fans had tabbed Saturday's GI Longines Test S. as one of the potential highlights of the Saratoga meeting. Often times, the bark is bigger than the bite, but this particular renewal lived up to the considerable hype, as Covfefe (Into Mischief) and GI Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress (Alternation) hooked up early on and never let the other out of their sights. At the conclusion of 71 seconds and change, Covfefe won the battle and the war, decisioning a very game Serengeti Empress by a hard-fought...

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