Flashy Maiden Winners Take on Saratoga Stakes Winners in Loaded Spinaway

'TDN Rising Star' Ways and Means (Practical Joke), one of the more impressive maiden winners this summer at Saratoga, will square off with unbeaten GIII Adirondack S. heroine Brightwork (Outwork) in a deep renewal of Sunday's GI Spinaway S. at the Spa. Ways and Means, a homebred for Klaravich Stables, earned a field-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure for her geared-down 12 3/4-length debut victory going six furlongs Aug. 6. She'll take on an additional furlong in the Spinaway. "She's had two easy works since, and she looks fine," trainer Chad...

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Ways and Means “Leader of Her Crop” Since Day One

Klaravich Stables homebred Ways and Means wowed the crowd in her 'TDN Rising Star'-worthy debut on Sunday at Saratoga, but for the connections who have worked with the daughter of Practical Joke leading up to that 12 3/4-length romp, her impressive performance came as no surprise. Out of the Klaravich-campaigned stakes winner Strong Incentive (Warrior's Reward), Ways and Means was a standout at Dell Ridge Farm since the day she was foaled. Sent to Nick de Meric's in Ocala to go through her early training, again she was one of...

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Becky's Joker from 'Questionable to Probable' for Adirondack

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After watching GIII Schuylerville S. winner Becky's Joker (Practical Joke) work a bullet half-mile Wednesday, trainer Gary Contessa said he may buck convention, take a step back in time and run her in the GIII Adirondack on Aug. 6. Becky's Joker turned in a stunning performance on opening day, July 13, easily winning the six-furlong Schuylerville by 3 1/4 lengths at 21-1 in the first start of her career. According to Equibase, she is the fifth horse since 1991 to win a graded stakes in her...

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Forte Works Towards Jim Dandy; Becky's Joker To Spinaway

Reigning Champion 2-Year-Old colt Forte (Violence) logged his first breeze of the summer at Saratoga Race Course when covering a half-mile in :48.90 seconds over the Oklahoma dirt training track Friday with regular jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. up for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt worked in company with graded stakes-winner Grand Sonata (Medaglia d'Oro) in preparation for the GII Jim Dandy July 29 at the Spa. "He jumped on the bridle a little early, so I kind of took a little hold away from the horse," said...

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Background Check: Spinaway

In this continuing series, we examine the past winners of significant filly/mare races by the lasting influence they've had on the breed. Up today is the GI Spinaway S., currently the first Grade I of the year for 2-year-olds in the country. Dating to 1881, back when the Kentucky Derby was running for just the seventh time, President James Garfield was assassinated in office, and there was what would become a legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral, the Spinaway has seen its share of history. The race itself is named...

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Juvenile Fillies Take Centerstage at the Spa Sunday

A talented field of 10 juvenile fillies will throw down in Sunday's featured GI Spinaway S. at Saratoga. Kaling (Practical Joke) will exit from the rail following a 'TDN Rising Star' performance on debut for Todd Pletcher at the Spa July 24. Pletcher's former boss D. Wayne Lukas will be very well-represented as well via last out GIII Adirondack S. Aug. 7 heroine Naughty Gal (Into Mischief). The duo share a co-leading six Spinaway victories. "I enjoy it and I pull for him," Lukas said of facing the aforementioned fellow...

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There's No Cooling Off Sub-Zero's Jim Bakke

Owner Jim Bakke's experience in horse racing has been fairly typical. He started off with a small stable, didn't have much success and waited for his day to come. It looks like he's not going to have to wait any longer. Along with Gerald Isbister, Bakke is the co-owner of 'TDN Rising Star' Jack Christopher (Munnings), a Chad Brown-trained colt who brought down the house Saturday with an 8 3/4-length maiden win at Saratoga. Jack Christopher, who is named for Bakke's six-month-old grandson, will head to the GI Champagne S.,...

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Juvenile Fillies in Spotlight at Del Mar and Saratoga Sunday

Juvenile fillies take center stage in a pair of Grade I events at Del Mar and Saratoga Sunday. Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.'s Princess Noor (Not This Time) headlines a field of six set for the GI Del Mar Debutante S. After topping the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training at $1.35 million, she ran to the billing with a 'TDN Rising Star' performance on debut for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert at Del Mar Aug. 22. She takes on the unbeaten My Girl Red (Texas Red),...

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Runhappy Travers Moved to Aug. 8 in Newly Released Saratoga Stakes Schedule

The GI Runhappy Travers S, normally run on the next-to-last weekend of the Saratoga meet, has been moved up to Aug. 8. The shift of the Travers date was one of a handful of changes made to the 2020 Saratoga stakes schedule, which was released Friday by the New York Racing Association. Had the Travers stayed in its normal slot on the calendar, it would have been run Aug. 29, just one week before the repositioned GI Kentucky Derby. With the race having been moved back three weeks, it sets...

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