Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Louisiana Derby preview

The Lousiana Derby, scheduled for this Saturday at the Fair Grounds, is shaping up to be the competition. Among the entrants are Pyro, Majestic Warrior, Tale of Ekati. The Louisiana Derby is a G2 event, with a purse of $600,000.

And now, for a little book reccomendation! :) I just finished reading Merryland, a book by Josh Pons of Maryland's Country Life Farm. The book is a diary of two years in the life of a training farm, and it's a must for any racing fan. It's a fast-paced, cover-to-cover read, with beautiful, poetic detail alongside the truths of the racing world. Go pick it up; you won't regret it. :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sham Stakes

The Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita was won by Colonel John. The Tiznow colt beat El Gato Malo by a half-length in the $200,000 race. Colonel John and Garrett Gomez went the nine furlongs in 1:50. Third was Victory Pete. Colonel John is trained by Eoin Harty and owned by WinStar Farms.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Big Cap

Santa Anita held the $1 million Big Cap (Santa Anita Handicap [G1]) this past Saturday, with Heatseeker winning by 3/4 of a length. Going the 1 1/4m in 2:00 2/5, Heatseeker beat the likes of Go Between and Monterey Jazz. Heatseaker is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who expects big things out of the colt.

In other racing news, Curlin made his four-year-old debut at Nad Al-Sheba on Thursday. He won the $175k, 2000-m handicap by 2 3/4, Robby Albarado sitting chilly in the irons. The race was used as a prep for the Dubai World Cup, to be run on March 29.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fountain of Youth stakes

Cool Coal Man captured Saturday's Fountain of Youth stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The Nick Zito-trained three year old handled the 1 1/8 well, striking from a few back in the pack to win by a half-length. The son of Mineshaft exhibited tactical speed and confidence, waiting until the time was right to swing three-wide and win.

War Pass, also trained by Nick Zito and sired by the speedster Cherokee Run, kept his record perfect in his three-year-old debut. He romped by 7 1/2, handling the $60k allowance company with excessive ease. I viewed a recap of the race, and was quite impressed. War Pass rocketed from the gate and kept the lead the whole time, the picture of a horse dead on the muscle. War Pass is all class.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

War Pass & allowance

Some of the nation's top three-year-olds are entered in Sunday's Fountain of Youth (G2) stakes at Gulfstream Park. War Pass, winner of the 2007 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) is in on Sunday as well, but not in a stakes race. Trainer Nick Zito has chosen to run War Pass in a $60,000 allowance, at the distance of 1m. What do you think of this? Do you think it shows uncertainty on Zito's part of War Pass's ability? Will you still have the same amount of respect for War Pass if he remains unbeaten in an allowance, while others are currently gaining G1 & G2 experience? I can understand using the race as a stepping stone, but I think War Pass loses an advantage of experience by using allowance company as a prep. Of course, he showed ability against G1 competiters in the BC Juvenile, but did he make it through the turn of his third year without that ability being affected? Shouldn't he be able to perform in G1 events if he's headed for the Derby? Tell me what you think :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Derby Trail loses one

Crown of Thorns, the Richard Mandella-trained three year old, has dropped off of the Derby trail due to a stress fracture. Until he's ready to return to training, Crown of Thorns will rest at his owner, B. Wayne Hughes's farm.

Best wishes to Crown of Thorns and connection for a safe recovery. :)

In other news, the late Irish star George Washington is the reported sire of a filly born at the Irish National Stud this February 4th. The filly, out of Flawlessly (by Rainbow Quest), is the only reported offspring of George Washington.

George Washington ran and won against G1 company and was a Cartier Award winner. The aforementioned filly was probably conceived during George Washington's brief stint at stud before he returned to campaign for Aidan O'Brien. George Washington broke down int the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic--Powered by Dodge (gr1), and was euthanized immediately.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Winning Colors

Winning Colors, the lovely gray filly who won the 1988 Kentucky Derby, has passed away. She was euthanized Sunday, February 17, due to colic. Winning Colors, 23 at the time of her death, was in foal to Mr. Greeley.

Rest in peace, Winning Colors. You will be missed.