WinStar Farm

Malathaat to Target Alabama

Shadwell Stable's Malathaat (Curlin), who suffered her first career defeat when second behind Maracuja (Honor Code) as the heavy favorite in the four-horse GI Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday, will be aimed at a likely rematch with that filly in the Aug. 21 GI Alabama S. "We had a difficult time analyzing the race beforehand and how we thought it might unfold," admitted trainer Todd Pletcher. "There wasn't a lot of speed on paper and we were in the one post with a target on our backs, so our strategy...

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Malathaat Works for CCA Oaks

Shadwell Stable's undefeated Malathaat (Curlin), last seen winning the GI Kentucky Oaks Apr. 30, turned in a four-furlong work in :49.96 (22/36) over the dirt training track at Belmont Park Sunday ahead of an expected tilt at the July 24 GI Coaching Club American Oaks. "She went great. I'm really pleased with the way she's doing," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "She worked well with a big, strong gallop out. We'll probably have one breeze at Saratoga and she'll be ready to go." Also working from the Pletcher barn was WinStar...

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Baffert Reveals Names of Owners Allegedly on Verge of Leaving Him

In response to an order from a federal judge for trainer Bob Baffert to reveal specifically which of his existing clients have told him they may pull horses from his care if his banishment by the New York Racing Association (NYRA) is allowed to continue, Baffert's legal team on Friday provided the court with a list of five Thoroughbred owners who are allegedly considering splitting with the Hall of Fame conditioner. According to a one-page letter filed electronically by attorney W. Craig Robertson just minutes before the judge's mandated noon...

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Judge Says Baffert Reply is Admissible

The federal judge presiding over the Bob Baffert versus the New York Racing Association ban case ruled Thursday that Baffert's affidavit, filed Wednesday as part of a 434-page "reply memorandum of law in further support of motion for preliminary injunction" of NYRA's ban, would not be stricken or disregarded, as NYRA had requested. NYRA's attorney, Henry Greenberg, argued that the reply included new information that the NYRA did not have time to investigate and that the entire filing or the affidavit should be stricken or disregarded. NYRA informed Baffert on...

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Life Is Good to Pletcher, Returns to Worktab

by Bill Finley and Steve Sherack Undefeated and considered one of the most promising horses in the sport, Life Is Good (Into Mischief) will soon join the Todd Pletcher stable. He had been trained by Bob Baffert, who has lost a number of top horses due to his ongoing problems involving the Medina Spirit (Protonico) positive in the GI Kentucky Derby for betamethasone. After winning the GII San Felipe S., Mar. 6 at Santa Anita, Life Is Good was sidelined and ruled out of the Triple Crown races after coming...

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Country Grammer Battles Back In Gold Cup

Narrowly favored at 9-5 in Monday's GI Hollywood Gold Cup, WinStar Farm's Country Grammer (Tonalist) became his Lane's End-based stallion's first Grade I winner, narrowly outbattling Royal Ship (Brz) (Midshipman) in a rousing finish. Away alertly, the former Paul Pompa runner was taken hold of to sit second as longshot Brown Storm (Chi) (Scat Daddy) rolled to the front showed the way through moderate splits of :22.92 and :47.16. Switched off nicely in the two path for the run down the backstretch, Country Grammer was asked for a bit of...

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Sainthood Game to Get Mshawish First Stakes Win in Pennine Ridge

Sainthood, 11th last time in the GI Kentucky Derby, became the first black-type and graded stakes winner for his sire (by Medaglia d'Oro) with a resilient victory in this off-turf prep for the GI Belmont Derby Invitational S. Beaten a head dirt sprinting at Gulfstream Jan. 9, the dark bay scored by a nose around two turns on the Fair Grounds main track Feb. 13. He earned a spot into the Derby starting gate with a runner-up finish in the GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks over Turfway Tapeta Mar. 27, and...

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This Side Up: Mourning Two Exceptions, Lamenting the Rule

The shocking loss this week of the young gun Laoban, preceded just days earlier by that of the venerable Malibu Moon, could not fail to renew the kind of questions we should all keep asking themselves about how a stallion can make an enduring reputation. Both had started out in a regional program, having shown only marginal eligibility for a stud career on the racetrack, before quickly earning migration to Kentucky. If that was just about all they had in common, then their different roles on two of the biggest...

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Distorted Humor's Ebaiyra On Top at Saint-Cloud

His Highness The Aga Khan's 4-year-old filly Ebaiyra (Distorted Humor) made light of a seven-month absence to collar Raabihah (Sea the Stars {Ire}) by a neck in the May 2 G3 Prix Allez France Longines at ParisLongchamp on seasonal return and doubled up on that rival in Wednesday's G2 Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud. Her sophomore campaign highlight reel also includes victories in the G2 Prix de Pomone and G3 Prix de Royaumont, as well as a sixth-place effort in last year's G1 Prix de Diane, and she claimed a fourth...

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WinStar Stallion Laoban Dies

Laoban (Uncle Mo--Chattertown, by Speightstown), a leading second-crop sire, passed away unexpectedly, officials at WinStar Farm said Monday. He was eight years old. "It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce that we lost Laoban this morning," said Elliott Walden, WinStar's president, CEO, and racing manager. "He had quickly become one of our favorite stallions, and it's sad that we will not have the opportunity to see how influential he could have been as a sire. His passing will leave a tremendous void for all of us, and...

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Speightstown Firster Overcomes Wide Trip at Churchill

6th-Churchill Downs, $100,000, Msw, 5-23, 3yo/up, f/m, 5 1/2fT, 1:04.51, fm, neck. TOWN AVENGER (f, 3, Speightstown--Unavenged, by Empire Maker) was crunched into 7-2 at post time from a morning line of 12-1 and was up in the shadow of the post for a good-looking victory at first asking. Settled behind midfield, but trapped out wide after departing the 10 hole, the $380,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase looped rivals four deep on the turn and carried a full head of steam into the lane despite the significant ground loss. The...

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Harvard Has Them Seeing 'Red' In Maiden Romp

3rd-Indiana Grand, $31,000, Msw, 5-12, 3yo/up, 1m 70y, 1:43.45, ft, 4 1/2 lengths. HARVARD (c, 3, Pioneerof the Nile--Sambuca Classica, by Cat Thief) finished second behind a good-looking debut from American Prince (Liam's Map) at Gulfstream Feb. 28 and was stretching out to two turns off a distant runner-up effort behind Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy)'s 'TDN Rising Star' half-brother Stage Raider (Pioneerof the Nile) in a sloppy seven-furlong maiden at Keeneland Apr. 10. Stage Raider, incidentally, is the morning-line 2-5 favorite for a one-mile Belmont allowance Friday afternoon....

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