Tom's d'Etat

Week in Review: Faves Fail to Show on Saturday, but Excuses Abound

This past Saturday wasn't a great day to be a favorite in an open stakes race at the nation's premier race meets. Chalk horses went a collective one-for-seven at Saratoga and Del Mar, and the list of excuses included stutter-step starts, bumps leaving the gate, stretch-run roughhousing, getting disqualified, and being dueled into defeat in internal pace battles. Tight finishes in several stakes elevated the interest level, although the results in general did not lend clarity to the nationwide divisional races with the GI Kentucky Derby inside the five-week mark...

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Code of Honor Attempts Travers-Whitney Double

Last year's GI Travers S. hero Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) looks to become the first horse since Medaglia d'Oro in 2002/2003 to complete the Travers-GI Whitney S. double Saturday at Saratoga and secure a spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Capturing the GIII Dwyer S. last term prior to his Travers score, the W.S. Farish homebred came up a nose short of champion Vino Rosso (Curlin) in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S. in September, but was promoted to first via DQ....

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McGaughey Looks to Add to Whitney 'Honor' Roll

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Following the draw for the GI Whitney S. Wednesday morning, trainer Shug McGaughey answered more questions about his previous Whitney winners than this year's runner, Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}). McGaughey, a member of racing's Hall of Fame since 2004, will try for his fourth victory in Saratoga's premier dirt race for older horses Saturday with William Farish's 4-year-old homebred colt. The chestnut drew in the middle of the strong five-horse field, that features Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike), who has won four straight stakes, and...

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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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Tom's d'Etat to WinStar Farm

Leading GI Breeders' Cup Classic contender Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike--Julia Tuttle, by Giant's Causeway), hero of the 2019 GI Clark S. and an impressive last out winner of the GII Stephen Foster S. with a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure, will stand at WinStar Farm upon the conclusion of his racing career. Campaigned by Gayle Benson's G M B Racing and trainer Al Stall, Jr., he has compiled a record of 18-11-2-1 and earnings of $1,627,272. Tom's d'Etat is currently on a four-race winning streak and has his sights set...

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Ghaiyyath Leads World Rankings

Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who won his second consecutive Group 1 on Sunday when turning back Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) in the G1 Coral-Eclipse, leads the latest edition of the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings for 2020 with a mark of 127 for that latest effort. Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) finished 2019 as the world's highest-rated stayer, and he maintains that position after earning a rating of 125 for his third victory in the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. Japan's Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) and...

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Midnight Bisou in the Classic? Why Not?

The Week in Review, by Bill Finley There was no word Sunday from the camp of Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) regarding where their mare would run next and what the long-term goals are for the season. But we know this much: Midnight Bisou is outstanding, her connections took on males once, in the Saudi Cup, and the GI Breeders' Cup Classic is a lot bigger deal than the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. Does that add up to her starting in the Classic? Fans of this sport can only hope that...

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Easy Win for Tom's d'Etat in the GII Stephen Foster

Tom's d'Etat made his case for one of the top older horses of 2020 with a blowout performance in Churchill's GII Stephen Foster S. coming on the heels of three straight wins, including in last November's GI Clark H. under the Twin Spires. Allowing longshot Pirate's Punch (Shanghai Bobby) to dictate terms through initial fractions of :23.89 and :48.13, the 7-year-old loomed menacingly just to his outside before overtaking the pacesetter on the far turn following six furlongs in 1:11.67. Two lengths in front turning for home, the 6-5 choice...

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Tom Rides Hot Streak Into Foster

Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) has been on a streak over the last few months and is heavily favored on the morning-line to secure his fourth straight victory in Saturday's GII Stephen Foster S. at Churchill Downs, which grants the winner a spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Capturing a sloppy renewal of the GII Fayette S. at Keeneland in October, the bay followed suit with a decisive score in the track-and-trip GI Clark S. Nov. 29. He kicked off 2020 with a 3/4-length score in...

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Tom's d'Etat Preps for Foster

G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike) breezed six furlongs in a strong 1:12.80 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs as he continues his preparations for the GII Stephen Foster S. June 27. "The most incredible thing about his work this morning was it hardly looked like he even did anything but he just cruised out there," trainer Al Stall, Jr. told the Churchill notes team. "Now, he's back in his stall and doesn't even seemed like any of it phased him one bit." The 7-year-old entire, third to Seeking...

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Tom's Showing Where Credit Lay for Blame

It takes a lot of prospecting, a lot of false leads, a lot of patient drilling. When you do strike oil, however, the fulfilment of a single moment will suddenly indemnify all the barren endeavour in between. And that's equally true whether you are a geologist, trying to read the complexion of the land above mineral deposits; or a horseman, trying to find that latent seam of class beneath the surface hints of pedigree and conformation. Al Stall, Jr., having filled both roles in his time, recognizes the analogy. "Oh,...

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Nothing Amiss With Bobby's Wicked One Following Count Fleet

Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc.'s Bobby's Wicked One (Speightstown), who was eased home last of 11 as the 9-2 fourth choice after attending a hot early pace in Saturday's GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. at Oaklawn, has emerged none the worse for wear from the effort, trainer Al Stall, Jr. said Monday. "Not so far, he's had a couple of days off, but he goes back to the track [Tuesday]," the conditioner said when asked if anything came to hand post-race. "He will throw in a clunker sometimes. He...

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