Trainer Jimmy Takter exudes confidence in his trio of trotters heading into the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Takter sends out the first three choices in the stakes for 3-year-olds, starting with Father Patrick, the 4-5 favorite. Should Father Patrick, the winner of 15 in a row, unexpectedly falter, Takter is well fortified with Trixton, the 7-2 second choice, and Nuncio at 9-2. All that horsepower has Takter thinking big.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced it will be moving its turf races to the main track through the upcoming weekend after another breakdown on the newly installed course July 31.
Will Take Charge and Palace Malice meet again Aug. 2 in the $1.5 million Whitney Handicap, squaring off at Saratoga Race Course as the top two choices in a field of nine drawn for the 1 1/8-mile test.
Father Patrick puts a 15-race winning streak on the line as the 4-5 favorite in the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. A winner of 16 of 17 races, Father Patrick drew post No. 10. Father Patrick is one of three entrants for trainer Jimmy Takter who is well positioned to capture his third Hambletonian. Takter also sends out 7-2 second choice Trixton from post No. 7 and 9-2 third choice Nuncio from post No. 5.
Ron Sanchez will send former hype horse Social Inclusion –coming off a career-worst seventh in the July 27 William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes — to trainer Chad Brown in hopes of hitting the restart button, the owner announced July 28 via Twitter.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Big Macher won the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes by a half-length Sunday at Del Mar.
Kaleem Shah’s Bayern ran them off their feet July 27 in the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational, taking eight other sophomores gate-to-wire at Monmouth Park. Longines Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable, favored at 7-5, finished fifth.
Del Mar will shift two turf races scheduled for Sunday to the dirt and make other adjustments after the deaths of some horses, including two Saturday, since the summer meet began nearly two weeks ago. Four of the deaths have occurred on the seaside track’s new turf course. Two horses were euthanized Saturday as the result of catastrophic injuries sustained in separate turf races. Lil Swiss Echo hurt her right foreleg in the stretch of the fifth race, unseating apprentice jockey Drayden Van Dyke.
Social Inclusion, Rontos Racing Stable’s runner who has drawn post position 6 for the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, will race without the anti-bleeding medication Lasix in the July 27 event.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — V.E. Day won in his stakes debut to give jockey Jose Lezcano his 2,000th victory, rallying from last to edge Charge Now by a head Friday in the $100,000 Curlin at Saratoga Race Course.
Grade 1 winner Dance With Fate was euthanized after sustaining a serious injury July 24 when he bolted and crashed into a fence while on the track at Del Mar prepping for the upcoming San Diego Handicap.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Lil Bit O’Fun rallied from far back to win the $95,500 Wickerr Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths at Del Mar on Wednesday.
With a late stretch move, favored Daring Dancer caught A Little Bit Sassy to win by a head in the $200,000 Lake George Stakes July 23 over the inner turf at Saratoga Race Course.
With the discontinuation of the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, you could say the 11 horses entered in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar Racetrack July 25 are all dressed up with no place to go.
A racehorse owned by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II that won the prestigious Gold Cup at Royal Ascot last year has tested positive for the banned painkiller, morphine. On Tuesday, the queen’s bloodstock and racing adviser, John Warren, said that the monarch’s five-year-old filly Estimate was one of the five. Warren said in a statement that Estimate’s trainer Michael Stoute ”is working closely with the feed company involved to discover how the product may have become contaminated prior to delivery to his stables.” Estimate finished second in this year’s Gold Cup behind Leading Light. Warren added: ”Her Majesty has been informed of the situation.” Previously, Britain’s most publicized case of a horse testing positive for morphine was Be My Royal after he had won the 2002 Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Late-running Better Lucky rallied from far back in a field of four and ran down fellow Grade 1 winners Grace Hall and My Miss Aurelia to win the $100,000 Shine Again at Saratoga Race Course.
Tom’s Tribute became a grade I winner July 20 when he held even-money favorite Summer Front safe through the homestretch to register a 1 ¼-length victory in the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes on the Del Mar turf.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Istanford led all the way in winning the $200,000 San Clemente Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths at Del Mar on Saturday.
Somali Lemonade passed one Grade 1 winner in deep stretch and held off a two-time Grade 1 winner at the wire to win the $500,000 TVG Diana Stakes July 19 at Saratoga Race Course.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — My Fiona, a daughter of 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, defeated 7-10 favorite Lost Bus by a neck to win the $100,000 C.T.B.A. Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies on Friday.
George Bolton and Barry Hall’s Fashion Alert remained undefeated in two starts and picked up her first graded stakes victory in the process July 18, but had to work hard to do it in the $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Saratoga Race Course opens its 146th summer of thoroughbred racing Friday with a richer stakes lineup. Saratoga’s major races have heftier purses. Grade 1 winners Palace Malice, Will Take Charge and Moonshine Mullin are all pointing to the race. ”The purse structure is second to none,” said Todd Pletcher, the 10-time Saratoga training champion who trains Palace Malice.
Mucho Macho Man, dramatic winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs Farm near Paris, Ky., for the 2015 season. A fee will be announced at a later date.
Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable will face males in the July 27 William Hill Haskell Invitational, trainer Steve Asmussen told Monmouth Park officials July 14.
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (AP) — La Grange won the $100,000 Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-olds by 2 3/4 lengths on closing day of Los Alamitos’ brief summer meet on Sunday.
OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) — Ju Ju Eyeballs took the lead in the stretch and drew off to win the $60,000 Klassy Briefcase Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday, beating Indian Splendor by 1 3/4 lengths.
Belle Gallantey, a $35,000 claim just seven months ago, lulled her rivals to sleep on the front end and carried on to upset the $750,000 Delaware Handicap July 12 at Delaware Park.
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (AP) — Valdirone swept past Night Badger midway through the stretch and went on to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $46,000 feature on Friday at Los Alamitos.
Trainer Charlie LoPresti was breathing a little easier and exercise rider Damien Rock was smiling a little wider the morning of July 11 after two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan sailed through his first breeze since undergoing colic surgery May 16.