Wit

Gunite Looks to Give Asmussen Second Straight Champagne

Last year Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen captured both the GI Hopeful S. at Saratoga and GI Champagne S. at Belmont with the fleet-footed Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) and he looks to repeat that feat Saturday when he saddles Gunite (Gun Runner) in this year's Champagne. The stallion-making race offers a spot in the gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November. A third-out graduate going six panels at Churchill Downs June 26, Gunite finished second behind 'TDN Rising Star' High Oak (Gormley) in the GII Saratoga Special S....

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Sept. 25 Belmont Park Breeze Report

A number of runners aiming for prestigious events at Belmont Park and/or the Breeders' Cup breezed Saturday morning at Belmont Park. Godolphin's Maxfield (Street Sense) covered a half-mile on the main track in :49.55 (35/50) with an eye towards next Saturday's GII Woodward S. "It was a very good work," said trainer Brendan Walsh. "We just wanted to give him a feel for the track. He did all of his serious work in Saratoga. It was just a routine half-mile. He galloped out really well. We're all set for the...

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Sunday Morning Luck Strikes Again at Keeneland

Less than 48 hours after what was arguably her greatest achievements in the horse business, Rosilyn Polan was back at Keeneland with a pair of yearlings slated to go through the ring on Sunday. Earlier in the week during Book 2 of the Keeneland September Sale, her City of Light colt out of the Tapit mare Anchorage became the probable sale topper when he sold for $1.7 million to Woodford Racing, Talla Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds. But now it was on to Book 3 and the spirited breeder and...

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Gunite Caps Grade I Double For Gun Runner in Hopeful

Gunite (Gun Runner) capped off a remarkable summer for both his freshman sire and his trainer on closing day Monday at Saratoga, shaking off pace pressure and kicking away in the stretch to an 11-1 upset of the GI Hopeful S. His well-earned victory made it a clean sweep of the Spa's annual marquee 2-year-old races for Three Chimneys Farm's freshman sensation Gun Runner after Echo Zulu dominated the GI Spinaway S. Sunday, and was the icing on the cake for Steve Asmussen, who had his most successful Saratoga season...

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'High' Hopes in Hopeful Showdown

No less than five undefeated 2-year-olds--including two graded winners--line up for Saratoga's Labor Day finale in the GI Hopeful S. Hard to separate, at least on paper, are Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable and Gainesway's Wit (Practical Joke) and LRE Racing and JEH Racing's High Oak (Gormley). The former earned TDN Rising Star billing when kicking off his career with a six-length score at Belmont June 5. Equally impressive in his return in the July 17 GIII Sanford S., the Todd Pletcher trainee cruised home an easy eight-length winner in...

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Wit Finds It Easy Like a Sunday Morning

The whole place was overgrown, and there was just so much work to be done. But among the weeds and dilapidation were rampant wild roses, and hedge apples; and they had each other, and they had a dream. For all the toil ahead, Rosilyn Polan and her husband Kenneth felt such a sense of homecoming that she had to scroll all the way back to girlhood for an answering chord of memory. "When I was little, waking up on a Sunday morning, you'd smell coffee brewing in the kitchen, and...

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Wit Helps Everyone to Get the Joke

Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat. Even setting aside the fact that our industry--with the complicity of the media--devotes disproportionate attention and resources to freshman sires, July is way too early to be deciding which few will ultimately build a sustainable career in Kentucky. True, it can only be auspicious to see Gun Runner already perched at the top of their prizemoney table. Though he put together his Horse of the Year campaign as a 4-year-old, he has already had eight winners from 18 starters. But other...

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Practical Joke Rising Star to Beat in Sanford

Reflective of a murky early-season 2-year-old male pecking order, a full dozen will line up in Saturday's GIII Sanford S. at Saratoga, with 'TDN Rising Star' Wit (Practical Joke) expected to go favored from the rail. Easily the most expensive of 88 yearlings to sell from his freshman sire in 2020 when hammering for $575,000 at Keeneland September, the dark bay was hammered down to 45 cents on the dollar debuting June 5 at Belmont only to break last. That was no matter though, as the Todd Pletcher trainee advanced...

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Repole Keeping His 'Wits' About Him

How badly does New York native Mike Repole want to win the GI Belmont Stakes? Well, if the scene in the winner's circle following the eye-catching unveiling of 'TDN Rising Star' Wit (c, 2, Practical Joke--Numero d'Oro, by Medaglia d'Oro) after a tardy start in the blockbuster card's 11:35 a.m. lidlifter was any indication, NYRA may have to start constructing a larger enclosure. "I had six horses running on Belmont day and had 50 family and friends there," Repole said. "Here he is at 2-5 and eighth after spotting the...

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