Tonalist’s Shape

Saying ‘Grace’ In the Raven Run

A competitive group of 10 sophomore fillies line up in Saturday's GII Lexus Raven Run S. at Keeneland. Among the expected favorites for the seven-furlong test is Whitham Thoroughbreds' Four Graces (Majesticperfection). Trained by Ian Wilkes, the homebred has won four of five starts at the Raven Run distance, including Churchill's GIII Dogwood S. in June followed by the GIII Beaumont S. over the local Beard Course July 10. Given some time off following that effort, she speed-loving filly weakened late to be second behind Sconsin (Include) in the Sept....

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Ny Traffic Possible for Preakness

Ny Traffic (Cross Traffic), who exited an eighth-place finish in last Saturday's GI Kentucky Derby with a cut in his left front ankle, remains possible for the GI Preakness S. Oct. 3, according to Saffie Joseph Jr. "We got a couple cuts," said Joseph. "He has a staple in his ankle from a cut he got. It looks like he should be OK. Within seven to 10 days we'll decide. The main thing is the staple and when it gets taken out, how it's going to be." Ny Traffic also...

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Tonalist’s Shape Foregoes Lilies for CT Oaks

Dual graded winner Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist) bypassed the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks in favor of running in Friday's GIII Charles Town Oaks. Victorious in the GIII Forward Gal S. and GII Davona Dale S. in February at Gulfstream, the chestnut was off the board as the favorite behind leading Oaks contender Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) in the GII Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks Mar. 28. Returning to winning ways in Hollywood Wildcat S. in Hallandale May 15, she was fourth last time in the nine-panel GI CCA Oaks in Saratoga July...

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NY Traffic Works Towards Derby

GI Haskell Invitational S. runner-up NY Traffic (Cross Traffic) prepped for a probable start in the GI Kentucky Derby with a five-panel bullet in 1:00.38 (1/8) in company with GISW Math Wizard (Algorithms) on the main track at Saratoga Thursday. "Math Wizard is a good work horse and with Ny Traffic, we wanted something not speedy but more for endurance. It was a steady work, but next week will probably be his stiffest work," trainer Saffie Joseph said. NY Traffic was also second in the GII Louisiana Derby and GIII...

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Lightly Raced Runners Loom Large in CCA Oaks

While two-time GSW Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist) is favored at 9-5 on the morning line for Saturday's GI Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, she'll have to fend off several well-bred and promising up-and-comers if she's to get the job done. Perhaps the most formidable challenger is WinStar Stablemates Racing's Paris Lights (Curlin). The Bill Mott trainee was third in a sloppy-track sprint at Gulfstream on debut Apr. 26, but took a big step forward to romp on the stretch-out at Churchill May 31 and then paired up 85 Beyer Speed...

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The TDN Oaks Top 10 For July 16

It was a busy Saturday at Keeneland for the nation's top 3-year-old fillies, as a field of five contested the GI Ashland S. and Swiss Skydiver (Daredveil) ventured outside her division as her connections boldly took on males in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. At the end of the day, the deck was shuffled some, but not much. Speech (Mr. Speaker), already a highly regarded Oaks contender, won the Ashland and Swiss Skydiver was terrific in a second-place finish against the boys. With the Oaks less than eight weeks...

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Venetian Harbor to Catch in Ashland

The speedy Venetian Harbor (Munnings) will look to run five rivals off their feet in Saturday's GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland. A runaway heroine of Santa Anita's GII Las Virgenes S. Feb. 8, she set a fast pace and only found the streaking GII Toyota Blue Grass S.- bound Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) too tough as the 4-5 favorite in the GIII Fantasy S. going this same distance at Oaklawn last time May 1. Venetian Harbor fired a five-furlong warning shot in :58 3/5 (1/29) for trainer Richie Baltas...

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Joseph Sophomores Tune Up

A pair of sophomores from trainer Saffie Joseph's barn tuned up for graded stakes engagements with five-furlong works at Gulfstream Park Sunday. Ny Traffic (Cross Traffic), currently seventh in the Sept. 5 GI Kentucky Derby qualifying-points standings, breezed five furlongs in :58.64 (1/12) in preparation for a likely start in the July 18 GI Haskell S. at Monmouth Park. "I worked him Monday last week, so he came back in six days. I wanted to get a good work into him and he worked super. He finished up really good....

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Marketing Entrepreneur Turned Horsewoman Hits the Mark With Sabana Farms

Just under a decade ago, Migdaly Serra was busy building up her marketing and human resource company in Venezuela. The successful businesswoman and entrepreneur knew next to nothing about Thoroughbred horse racing. But Serra caught the horseracing bug, and in just a short time became not only a successful farm owner and manager, but also the breeder of last year's GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Spun to Run (Hard Spun), as well as Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist), a leading 3-year-old filly in 2020. A native of Venezuela, Serra graduated with...

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Tonalist’s Shape, Spice Is Nice Rematch in Full Gulfstream Oaks

In the Feb. 29 GII Davona Dale S. at Gulfstream, two unbeaten fillies squared off while taking the majority of the public support, with the second choice narrow edging the favorite. Saturday, Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist) and Spice Is Nice (Curlin) will do battle again, alongside 10 other 3-year-old fillies, in the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks at the Hallandale oval. Rallying to a 19-1 upset on debut for Sabana Farms and Juan Avila here last September, Tonalist's Shape was privately purchased and transferred to Saffie Joseph, for whom she captured a...

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TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10 For March 5

Since we were last heard from, Bast (Uncle Mo) has been retired due to a soft tissue injury and Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist) did it again, staying undefeated with a win in the GII Davona Dale S. at Gulfstream. Also in Florida, Eve of War (Declaration of War) couldn't get the job done in an allowance after winning her debut for the Todd Pletcher Stable by 7 1/2 lengths. A fourth-place finish likely knocked her off the road to the GI Kentucky Oaks. This coming weekend, the top 3-year-old fillies will...

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Tonalist Filly Remains Unbeaten

The 70 Beyer Speed figure Tonalist's Shape earned last time for her GIII Forward Gal S. score might have scared some bettors off of her and onto 'TDN Rising Star' Spice is Nice--who earned an 84 Beyer for her head-turning 12-length debut romp--but the Saffie Joseph, Jr. pupil proved plenty fast as she upped her record to five-for-five and continued her march towards the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks. A 19-1 debut winner for Juan Avila and Sabana Racing Stable Corp sprinting here last September, Tonalist's Shape was subsequently sold privately...

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