Monday, September 12 2016


Recap of Dueling Grounds Derby and Oaks


Maker staking claim to fame
Wins 3rd, 4th stakes of meet — all former claimers -
Oscar Nominated rolls in Dueling Grounds Derby,
Try Your Luck Dueling also romps in Grounds Oaks

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2016)
— Trainer Mike Maker won his third and fourth stakes at this Kentucky Downs meet Sunday, and all four came with horses that he’d claimed.

The latest were Try Your Luck taking the $200,000 Dueling Grounds Oaks by 7 1/2 lengths over Taralena. Thirty-three minutes later, Oscar Nominated won the $350,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks by 6 1/4 lengths over Path of David. They followed Saturday’s big haul when the Maker-trained Watchyourownbobber took the $400,000 More Than Ready and Da Big Hoss the $600,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup.





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Laurel’s Opening Weekend a Success


Elusive Joni Sneaks Up Rail to Capture Laurel’s Sunday Feature
Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 Carryovers for Friday’s Nine-Race Program

LAUREL, MD
– The opening weekend of Laurel Park’s fall meet was a success with a 50-percent increase over last year’s opening weekend while racing an additional day.

Total handle on Laurel’s three-day opening weekend was $7 million, compared to last year’s two-day opening of $3.5 million. Laurel’s Saturday program included six stakes and $525,000 in stakes purses.





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Sunday, September 11 2016


Seattle Slew Quotes


Byron Hughes, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher, of Comfort (No. 1): "It was very close. [The ] track's been a little quick today. Johnny did a great job of saving ground, swung him wide, and the horse got up just in time. I knew our horse would come running; he's been very consistent. He's run well on every track he's run on, is 3-for-3 here too. The Jockey Club Gold Cup [Grade 1, October 8] would seem to be very high on the radar. We'll see how he comes back and go from there."





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It’s Da Big Hoss again


He rallies to take second Kentucky Turf Cup
‘All I can say is he’s second-best marathon horse in U.S.’

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2016) —With a convincing win going 12 furlongs in Saturday’s $600,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup – the meet’s richest race – Skychai Racing’s Da Big Hoss asserted himself as the top U.S.-bred marathoner in advance of the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), less than two months away. Under regular rider Florent Geroux, the odds-on favorite took command near the three-sixteenths pole and held off a stubborn Bullards Alley by 1 1/4-lengths.

“All I can say is he’s the second-best marathon horse in the United States,” said trainer Mike Maker, ceding the top position to five-time Group/Grade 1 winner Flintshire.





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Onus Sets Course Record in $150,000 Lady Baltimore Win


Renown Strong as Favorite in $100,000 Turf Cup

LAUREL, MD
– Stuart S. Janney III’s homebred Grade 3 winner Onus kept her perfect local record intact with a record-setting 1 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Lady Baltimore at Laurel Park.

The 45th running of the Lady Baltimore for fillies and mares 3 and up at 1 1/16 miles on the grass was the richest of six stakes worth $575,000 in purses on an 11-race Laurel Turf Festival program.





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Tuesday, September 06 2016


Practical Joke gets serious in G1 Hopeful


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Chad Brown and jockey Jose Ortiz put the finishing touches on their championship summers on closing day at Saratoga Race Course, teaming up to win the 112 th running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Hopeful with the late-running Practical Joke.

Practical Joke's half-length win over Royal Copy gave Brown his record 40th victory of the meet and Ortiz his 65th winner during the 40-day span, with both having clinched their respective titles earlier.





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Ring Weekend sets course record in winning G2 Bernard Baruch


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Ring Weekend overtook Take the Stand in deep stretch en route to setting a course record in Monday's Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Graham Motion, Ring Weekend hit the wire in 1:38.29 over 1 1/16 miles on the firm Mellon turf, breaking Ironicus' previous mark of 1:38.54 set in last year's edition of the Bernard Baruch.





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Del Mar’s 77th Summer Season Races to a Solid Finish


Highlighted by its most successful single day ever, by a sparkling parade of stakes races and by a continuing enhancement of its reputation as a sporting/entertainment venue without peer in the west, Del Mar raced to an uplifting finish to its 77th summer season Monday.

The quality rich stakes schedule concluded with Klimt smartly winning the Grade I Del Mar Futurity – the race that has produced the last three winners of the Kentucky Derby.





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Sunday, September 04 2016


Shaman Ghost conjures up G1 Woodward upset in blanket finish


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The 63rd edition of the Grade 1, $600,000 Woodward came down to the final exciting yards as Stronach Stable's Shaman Ghost prevailed in a four-horse dash to the wire Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course.

Bradester led the field of nine through an opening quarter-mile in 24.38 seconds and the half in 48.43 as Shaman Ghost saved ground early along the rail in fifth, about three lengths behind the leader and two lengths ahead of 2-5 favorite Frosted on the backstretch.





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Exacta Systems Juv. Fillies: Lull passes Test


Winner stays on feet and runs down Caroline Test

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2016)
— Lull got tripped up in her last start, clipping heels and falling in Saratoga’s $100,000 Bolton Landing. But she stayed on her feet in the $343,429 Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies to run down talented pacesetter Caroline Test for a 1 1/4-length victory.

The victory capped a huge opener to Kentucky Downs’ five-date meet, with betting on the 10-race card totaling $4,603,239.82 — up 26 percent over 2015. On-track betting totaled $238,118.10 — up 50 percent over a year ago. On a picture-perfect day, there was a huge and enthusiastic crowd. Because Kentucky Downs does not charge admission, there is no attendance count.





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Friday, September 02 2016


Saturday’s Ky. Downs opener: full fields rule


At least 12 entries in 9 of 10 races, including three stakes
‘It sets the tone for a great meet,’ track president says

FRANKLIN, Ky.
— A total of 189 horses were entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 10-race opening card at all-turf Kentucky Downs — with nine races luring a capacity 12 horses or more, including three out of four stakes.

The stakes are each worth $350,000, which includes $200,000 of purse supplements from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund for horses born in the commonwealth and sired by a Kentucky stallion. The lone race not to get at least a dozen was the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint, for which nine fillies and mares were entered.





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Hope springs eternal in first Grade 1 for juvenile males


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Man o' War, Buckpasser, Nashua, Secretariat and Affirmed are among the roster of winners, so it's fair to say the Hopeful has long been a showcase for thoroughbred immortals.

Monday's $350,000 Hopeful - the 16th and final Grade 1 flat race at Saratoga Race Course, and the first of the season for 2-year-old males - attracted a field of seven juveniles looking to see how they measure up to fabled footprints.





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