Highland Falls Should Sit The Right Trip In Oaklawn 'Cap

Proxy (Tapit) provided Godolphin with its first winner of the GII Oaklawn H. just 12 months ago and the progressive Highland Falls (Curlin) has legitimate claims to double that tally when he squares off with 10 others in the nine-furlong contest. Trained by Brad Cox--who somewhat surprisingly has never saddled an Oaklawn H. winner--the homebred son of GI Breeders' Cup Distaff upsetter Round Pond (Awesome Again) won three of his first four trips to the post in maiden and allowance company back east and was scarcely disgraced last time in...

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Fincher Back To 'Bread & Butter' After Dubai, Oaklawn Road Beckons

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico--Todd Fincher cuts an easy path along the apron through the Sunday crowd at Sunland Park, giving nods and an occasional smile as he goes. It's closing day at the track and a homebred owned by Kirk and Judy Robison from his shedrow just won the Island Fashion S. Sporting his standard duds, including a ball cap, creased jeans and shades, Fincher has his modular phone slung on his belt, ready to be drawn from its holster. "Busy," replies the New-Mexico based trainer when asked about how...

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History Astride As Pegasus Card Promises Once Again To Slay Graded Weekend

Named for the owner, an immigrant from Scotland who realized a Carnegie-kind of American Dream, it began as a 12-furlong turf race. Five years later in 1964 it was cut back to nine and moved to the dirt. The roll call of Donn H. winners through 2016 at Gulfstream Park reflects a roster of unique equine and human personalities, which is peppered with some magnificent performances that shouldn't be forgotten. Hall of Fame jockey Braulio Baeza won his first of three victories in 1969 aboard Funny Fellow and took home...

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First Mission Completes Pegasus Preparations in Big Easy

'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 (2/52) Saturday morning at the Fair Grounds in preparation for next Saturday's $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream Park. The 4-year-old colt, who was put through his paces by exercise rider Kevin Perez, was clocked in 1:13.60 for six furlongs, according to trainer Brad Cox. "He's been doing very well week after week," Cox said of the Godolphin homebred, a latest second to the re-opposing Trademark (Upstart) in the GII Clark S. at Churchill Downs...

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Saffie Joseph-Trained Invitees Breeze for Pegasus World Cup

Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator) and O'Connor (Chi) (Boboman), multiple graded stakes winners trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., breezed at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning in preparation for scheduled starts in the $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational Jan. 27. Skippylongstocking and O'Connor were joined on the worktab at Gulfstream Park's satellite training facility by Ny Traffic (Cross Traffic), who is on the reserve invitational list for the Pegasus World Cup. Skippylongstocking breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.25 (1/21) ahead of his first start since finishing third in the Nov. 4 GI Breeders'...

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Joseph-Trained Pegasus Hopefuls Gear Up

Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator) and O'Connor (Chi) (Boboman) each turned in works Saturday morning at Palm Meadows towards an intended appearance in the $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. Owned by Daniel Alonso, Skippylongstocking won this year's GII Charles Town Classic and was last seen finishing third to Cody's Wish (Curlin) in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Nov. 4. The soon-to-be 5-year-old covered a half-mile in :49.40 (20/64). O'Connor, campaigned by Mike Iavarone and partners, was a sound fourth in last year's Pegasus and is arguably in better form this...

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Happily Ever After for Cody's Wish Fairy Tale in Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

What a way to kick off Saturday's Breeders' Cup action as the sport's favorite fairy tale got its happily-ever-after ending. Cody's Wish (Curlin--Dance Card, by Tapit) made it back-to-back GI Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile wins in a dramatic running of the first World Championships race on the card Saturday. Cody's Wish had captured the heart of the racing world last year as the story of his incredibly special connection with Cody Dorman, a boy suffering from Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, emerged and grew. There were few dry eyes among...

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Exaggerator Colt 'Skips' to $1-Million Charles Town Classic Win

Last year's GI Belmont S. third Skippylongstocking (c, 4, Exagggerator--Twinkling, by War Chant), a three-time graded winner since, added Friday's late-night $1-million GII Charles Town Classic S. to his steadily growing CV. Under Tyler Gaffalione, the 7-5 favorite hustled straight to the front, set fractions of :24.82 and :48.88, and wasn't for catching, drawing clear in the stretch by five lengths. The winner's Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.-trained stablemate O'Connor (Chi) (Boboman), a Group 1 winner in his native Chile, closed from the rear of the field to finish second, while...

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Showdown at the Spa as Personal Ensign Heads Friday's Graded Action

A compelling Grade I race with year-end title implications and it's not even a Saturday? Such is the magic of Saratoga. Friday's $500,000 GI Personal Ensign S. at nine furlongs has attracted older mare division leaders Nest (Curlin) and Clairiere (Curlin). Both are multiple Grade I winners with stellar records; the two will meet for the third time. Nest, last year's Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly, is the 4-5 choice after besting Clairiere in a bang-up GII Shuvee S. July 23 over track and trip. It was her first start of...

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Saturday Preview: Charge It Gets Blinkers On For Oaklawn 'Cap

He is the most talented horse--pound for pound--in a field of seven that was drawn earlier this week, but Whisper Hill Farm's 'TDN Rising Star' Charge It (Tapit) nevertheless has a fair bit to prove as the 8-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $1-million GII Oaklawn H. in Hot Springs. The 23-length winner of last year's GIII Dwyer S., the homebred returned with a stylish Gulfstream allowance victory first off a seven-month absence Feb. 5, but exits a disappointing runner-up effort in the GII Gulfstream Park Mile Mar. 4. The blinkers...

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Cyberknife Named 5-2 Favorite For Career Finale In Pegasus World Cup

Gold Square LLC's MGISW Cyberknife (Gun Runner), last seen finishing a narrow second to Cody's Wish (Curlin) in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, is scheduled to make the final start of his racing career Saturday at Gulfstream Park as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational. The Pegasus World Cup will headline a 13-race program also featuring the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, the GIII TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and four other graded-stakes races totaling $5.3 million...

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GISW Proxy Heads Pegasus Workers

Godolphin's Proxy (Tapit) had his last major workout at the Fair Grounds Saturday in preparation for the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Jan. 28. The 5-year-old official time for the six-furlong move to the seven-eighths pole was 1:13.20, the fastest of two works at the distance Saturday morning. Working in tandem with stablemate Global Sensation (Into Mischief), the pair covered five-eighths in 1:00.40, with Proxy working an additional eighth-mile past the wire. With a crush of horses working right after the track's renovation break, exercise rider Arturo Aparicio...

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