Unheralded as the 17-1 second longest shot on the board, Dye and Venneri Racing’s homebred Midnight Storm quickly made an impression with a 3 1/4-length wire job in his stakes debut in Sunday’s Grade 2, $300,750 Del Mar Derby.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Midnight Storm won the $300,000 Del Mar Derby by 3¼ lengths on Sunday, and Rafael Bejarano rode six winners on the card.
Sunset Glow won the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante for 2-year-old fillies by a neck over Her Emmynency on Saturday. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Sunset Glow ran seven furlongs on Polytrack in 1:23.12 and paid $3.80, $3 and $2.40 as the 4-5 favorite. She got a little tired at the end, but she’s the kind that will probably run on.” Sunset Glow led all the way in winning the Sorrento Stakes earlier in the Del Mar meet for trainer Wesley Ward, who plans to return the filly to his Kentucky base.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Miss Frost led from start to finish in a 4 3/4-length victory Friday in the $100,000 Riskaverse at Saratoga Race Course.
Sunset Glow handled her rivals in the Sorrento Stakes with consummate ease over the Del Mar Polytrack, and she is a standout among the field of untried 2-year-old fillies entered for the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante Aug. 30.
New Zealand jockey David Walker has been charged with betting on a rival horse and restraining his own mount to ensure he won the wager in a race at Palmerston North two weeks ago. “It is the Race Integrity Unit (RIU)’s contention that Mr Walker placed bets on another horse “St Ransom” and deliberately rode his horse to ensure his bets were successful,” the RIU said in a statement on Thursday. RIU general manager Mike Godber has recommended to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing that Walker’s racing licence be suspended pending the investigation. “The allegations before Mr Walker are serious and threaten the very fabric of thoroughbred racing,” he said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Horse Makari fell after clipping the final fence and died on the track Monday during the Grade 1 $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup.
Shared Belief recorded his sixth victory from as many career starts while facing his sternest test to date — Sunday’s Grade 1, $1,001,250 Pacific Classic going 1 1/4 miles against older, more experienced runners.
One week after Hardest Core won the Arlington Million, another son of Hard Spun locked up a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf — Big John B, who turned Saturday’s Grade 2, $201,250 Del Mar Handicap into a rout.
Big John B swept to the lead in the upper stretch and cruised to a 5¼-length victory in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap on Saturday, earning an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf this fall. Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Big John B ran 1 3/8 on the turf in 2:12.81 and paid $5.20, $3.80 and $2.80 as the 8-5 favorite. Bench Light returned $8.40 and $5, while Bright Thought was another neck back in third and paid $3.80 to show. The 5-year-old gelding is trained by Phil D’Amato.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Ann of the Dance rallied to win the $95,600 CTT & TOC Handicap by a nose at Del Mar on Friday.
Close Hatches took command on the opening turn and never looked back in the $500,0000 Personal Ensign Stakes, romping by five lengths over a muddy track at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 22 for her third Grade 1 triumph in a row.
BENSALEM, Pa. (AP) — Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome will return to racing in September, when the colt is set to run in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby.
Shared Belief has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the TVG Pacific Classic as the undefeated 3-year-old seeks to prevent older horse Game On Dude from a repeat victory in the $1 million race Aug. 24 at Del Mar.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert still isn’t sure how far his talented speedster Bayern can run, but he is willing to find out. Baffert is shipping the 3-year-old colt from California to Saratoga Race Course, where he is the 2-1 favorite for Saturday’s Grade 1 $1.25 million Travers Stakes. Owned by Kaleem Shah, Bayern leads a field of 10 3-year-olds entered Tuesday for the 145th renewal of the Mid-Summer Derby, followed by Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist at 3-1 and Jim Dandy winner Wicked Strong at 7-2. Bayern enters the 1 1/4-mile Travers off a dominant victory in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational last month at Monmouth Park, hitting the wire 7 1/4 lengths in front with a time of 1:47.82 for 1 1/8 miles.
If all goes well, two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan will begin his road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in the $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 30.
Elisabeth Garrido stacks bales of hay into the shape of a horse, straps reins around a mock head and sets off on an imaginary but energetic ride, whipping the hay with a riding crop. It’s part of the do-it-yourself training for her dream: to be one of the few women ever to become a full-fledged jockey at Mexico’s only major horse racetrack, and perhaps move north of the border as well. The 27-year-old is one of two female apprentice jockeys now training to break into the historically male-dominated sport in Mexico, which hasn’t seen a woman ride professionally since 2005. Garrido is so committed to joining the approximately 200 registered jockeys here who are skilled enough to ride a half-ton thoroughbred at 55 mph that she moved in to the Hippodrome of the Americas in Mexico City.
Favored Main Sequence, slow out of the gate to trail the field, charged home on the outside to nip Imagining at the wire in the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Aug. 17 on the inner lawn at Saratoga Race Course.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Main Sequence beat Imagining by a head Sunday in the Grade 1 $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga Race Course.
Even-money choice Stopchargingmaria, always prominent for jockey John Velazquez, prevailed in the $600,000 Alabama Stakes for her second top-level win in a row at the Saratoga Race Course meet Aug. 16.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens was seated on a bench at Del Mar near the stable area racing office the morning of Aug. 15.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Istanford led all the way in winning the $96,350 Sandy Blue Handicap for 3-year-old fillies by 3 1/4 lengths at Del Mar on Friday.
Champion mare and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta never set foot in New York or in the upstate town of Saratoga Springs, but her firstborn son Cozmic One arrived at the renowned spa city’s legendary racetrack last month.
Larry Collmus’ tenure as track announcer at Churchill Downs barely got past the starting gate. Collmus, who took over in the spring as race caller at the home of the Kentucky Derby, on Wednesday accepted the job as track announcer for the New York Racing Association, starting in the spring of 2015. ”I’m trading one dream job for another,” Collmus said. Collmus, 47, will start calling races on the New York circuit in April, the final month of the Aqueduct Racetrack spring meet, the NYRA said in its announcement.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Miss Frost took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a late bid from Final Redemption to win the $100,000 Tenski by a half-length on Monday at Saratoga Race Course.
Moulin de Mougin secured the biggest win of her career and gave jockey Mike Smith a reason to celebrate his 49th birthday in the $250,000 John Mabee Stakes on the grass Aug. 10 at Del Mar.
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — Moulin de Mougin rallied to win the $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes for older fillies and mares by a half-length at Del Mar on Sunday.
With celebration and nostalgia, the 2014 Hall of Fame class that began tinged with controversy was inducted Aug. 8 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in a ceremony that honored two equine champions, Ashado and Curlin.