In the Money

Horse racing insight that's loose on the lead

Rick Pitino’s Avare entered at Turfway Park; Shane Sellers to ride

February 27th, 2013

Avare part of 12-horse field in John Battaglia

By J.J. Hysell

Avare, the 3-year-old son of Johannesburg part-owned by Rick Pitino’s RAP Racing and former pitinoSanta Anita Park CEO Mark Verge, is entered Saturday at Turfway Park.

Avare drew post 11 in a 12-horse field in Saturday’s John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at 1 1/16-miles. Jockey Shane Sellers is named to ride.

Avare is 2 of 5 and was seventh in the Smarty Jones in his last start. He broke his maiden on turf at Santa Anita and won over a sloppy track in the Eddie Logan Stakes.

The John Battaglia Memorial is not a Kentucky Derby points race.


Uncaptured’s synthetic path to Derby could be genius

February 27th, 2013

By J.J. Hysell

Kentucky Jockey Club champ Uncaptured has fallen out of Kentucky Derby radar range since his first start as a 3-year-old was delayed by hoof issues.

The son of Lion Heart, who was 6 of 7 as a 2-year-old, is back in training and looks to be catching up quickly. Trainer Mark Casse has mentioned a possible prep campaign on synthetic: the Spiral Stakes at Turfway and/or the Blue Grass at Keeneland.

While many bettors have shied from the all-weather to Churchill angle, Team Valor and Graham Motion have singlehandedly proved it not only can be done, it produces results.



Animal Kingdom had raced solely on turf and synthetic when he arrived at Churchill for the 2011 Derby. He had one work over the Churchill track a week out – a spectacular move that drew everyone’s attention. After winning the Derby, he was a strong second to Shackleford in the Preakness.

In 2012, Went the Day Well – who had previously tried dirt – took a similar path, going straight from his Spiral Stakes win to the Derby. He finished a good fourth in the race, closing well after being trapped in 14th a mile into the trip.

Uncaptured has even more checks in the plus column than his predecessors. He’s won two stakes races on Churchill dirt, so there’s no worries about the surface. He’s also proven on synthetic, where he began his career at Woodbine, signaling his chances of doing well in this type of prep.

With his recent hoof issues, the synthetic could be a better starting point for his 3-year-old campaign. The time off might have been a blessing as well. The Derby could wind up being perfect timing with one to two races off the layoff.

The only obstacle facing Uncaptured is the new Derby point system. His current 10 points will drop him significantly as the “championship” phase moves forward and others garner additional points, so there is pressure to secure a spot in the gate.




National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame finalists announced

February 27th, 2013

From: National Museum of Racing press release

Jockeys Chris Antley, Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez, Craig Perret, and Alex Solis; Thoroughbreds Ashado, Housebuster, Invasor, and Lure; and trainer Gary Jones are the ten finalists on the National Museum of Racing’s 2013 Hall of Fame ballot, as selected by the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee.

The four candidates with the highest vote totals will be elected.

Hall of Fame voters may select as many candidates as they believe are worthy of induction to the Hall of Fame.

The results will be announed on April 26 and the induction ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 9.

Antley won 3,480 races and had purse earnings of $92,261,894 in a career that spanned from 1983 to 2000. He won 127 graded stakes races and 293 overall stakes. The leading North American rider by wins in 1985 with 469, Antley was a two-time Kentucky Derby winner, taking the Run for the Roses with Strike the Gold in 1991 and with Charismatic in 1999. He also won the Preakness with Charismatic.

Other major victories for Antley included the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Woodward, Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Derby, Alabama, Wood Memorial, Manhattan Handicap, Carter Handicap, Louisiana Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, Coaching Club American Oaks, and Jerome Handicap.

Borel, as of today, is one victory shy of 5,000 for his career and has purse earnings of $120,044,775. In a career that began in 1983, he has won 286 stakes races and is the only jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby three times in a four-year span, accomplishing the feat with Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009), and Super Saver (2010). His three victories in the Run for the Roses are surpassed only by Hall of Famers Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack with five each and Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker with four.

One of only two riders with more than 1,000 wins at Churchill Downs (Hall of Famer Pat Day is the other), Borel won the Preakness, Woodward, Haskell, Mother Goose, and Kentucky Oaks with 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Among Borel’s other major victories are the Travers, Alabama, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Sword Dancer, Florida Derby, and Stephen Foster. He also won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2010.Gomez has won 3,713 races and has purse earnings of $200,291,954 in a career that began in 1988. He has won 308 graded stakes and 550 overall stakes. Gomez won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2007 and 2008 and led all North American riders in earnings each year from 2006 through 2009.

Gomez won a record 76 stakes races in 2007 and has 13 Breeders’ Cup wins to his credit, including the 2010 Classic with champion Blame. Among Gomez’s major victories are the Pacific Classic, Travers, Santa Anita Derby, Whitney Handicap, Stephen Foster, Kentucky Oaks, and Jockey Club Gold Cup. He won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2011.

Perret won 4,415 races and had purse earnings of $113,837,299 in a career that spanned from 1967 through 2005. He was the leading apprentice jockey in earnings in 1967 and won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1990. Perret won the Kentucky Derby with Unbridled in 1990 and the Belmont Stakes with Bet Twice in 1987.

Along with four Breeders’ Cup victories, Perret also won the Travers, Florida Derby, Haskell Invitational, Coaching Club American Oaks, Jerome Handicap, Withers, Carter Handicap, Wood Memorial, Hopeful, Clark Handicap, and Queen’s Plate. He won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1988.

Solis has won 4,938 races and has purse earnings of $230,959,903 in a career that began in 1982. He has won 319 graded stakes and 629 overall stakes. Solis has won three Breeders’ Cup races, including the 2003 Classic with Pleasantly Perfect. He won the 1986 Preakness with Snow Chief.

Major victories for Solis include the Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby, Hollywood Derby, Malibu, Pacific Classic, Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Handicap, Dubai World Cup, Bing Crosby Handicap, Manhattan Handicap, Metropolitan Handicap, and Jockey Club Gold Cup. He won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1997. Ashado (Saint Ballado—Goulash, by Mari’s Book), bred in Kentucky and owned by Starlight Stables, Paul Saylor, and Johns Martin, won 12 of her 21 career starts with purse earnings of $3,931,440. She was named Champion 3-Year-Old Female in 2004 and Champion Older Female in 2005. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Ashado won the Spinaway, Schuylerville, and Demoiselle at 2. At 3, she won the Kentucky Oaks, Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Coaching Club American Oaks, Fair Grounds Oaks, and Cotillion Handicap. In her final season, at age 4 in 2005, Ashado won the Go for Wand Handicap, Ogden Phipps Handicap, and the Beldame.

Housebuster (Mt. Livermore—Big Dreams, by Great Above) won 15 times in 22 career starts and earned $1,229,696. He was named Champion Sprinter in 1990 and 1991. Bred in Kentucky by Blanche P. Levy and owned by her son, Robert P. Levy, Housebuster won the Jerome Handicap, King’s Bishop, Spectacular Bid, Swale, Hutcheson, Withers, Lafayette, and Derby Trial in 1990 at age 3 en route to an 8-for-10 campaign. A winner of eight consecutive races at one point in his career, Housebuster won the Carter Handicap, Forego Handicap, and Vosburgh Stakes at 4 in 1991. Eleven of his 15 wins were in graded stakes races. He was trained by Hall of Famer Warren A. Croll, Jr.

Invasor (Candy Stripes—Quendom, by Interprete), was bred in Argentina and won 11 of 12 career starts with earnings of $7,804,070. He was named Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male in 2006 when he won the Pimlico Special, Suburban Handicap, Whitney Handicap, and Breeders’ Cup Classic. At age 5 in 2007, Invasor won the Donn Handicap and Dubai World Cup. He was trained at ages 4 and 5 by Kiaran P. McLaughlin. Prior to that, Invasor won the Uruguyan Triple Crown in 2005 for trainer Anibal San Martin. Following the Uruguyan Triple Crown victories, Invasor was purchased by Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum to run for Shadwell Stable. Nine of his wins were in Grade/Group 1 events.

Lure (Danzig—Endear, by Alydar) won 14 of 25 career starts with earnings of $2,515,289. Bred and owned by Claiborne Farm, Lure won the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1992 and 1993. He won nine graded stakes, including four Grade 1 events. Trained by Hall of Famer Claude R. McGaughey III, Lure set track records at 5 furlongs and 1 mile. He also won the Gotham, Kelso Handicap, Turf Classic, Dixie Handicap, Caesars International Handicap, Elkhorn, Fourstardave Handicap, Bernard Baruch Handicap, and Daryl’s Joy.

Jones won 1,465 races and had purse earnings of $52,672,611 in a career that spanned from 1975 to 1996. He won 102 graded stakes and 233 overall stakes. Jones trained 104 stakes-winning horses, including Turkoman, the 1986 Champion Older Male. Jones trained Turkoman to victories in the Marlboro Cup, Oaklawn Handicap, and Widener Handicap. He conditioned Hall of Famer Best Pal to wins in the Santa Anita Handicap, Oaklawn Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Strub. Jones also trained Kostroma to a world turf record of 1:43 4/5 in the 1 1/8-mile Las Palmas Handicap.

Other major victories for Jones include the Mother Goose, Santa Barbara Handicap, Hollywood Oaks, Del Mar Futurity, Hollywood Futurity, Yellow Ribbon, Swaps, Apple Blossom Handicap, San Antonio Handicap, La Brea, San Felipe, and Norfolk.

In the Money: 3-year-olds to Watch

February 27th, 2013

ITM analysis of the top 3-year-olds to watch from Feb. 20 – 26 (* denotes a previous ITM Horse to Watch)


*Orb (colt, Malibu Moon – Lady Liberty by Unbridled) – The Fountain of Youth winner jumped up from the allowance ranks to claim the 50-point prize for trainer Shug McGaughey. He benefited from the meteoric pace scenario set by Majestic Hussar, with Violence right behind – the perfect setup for the closing finish and the astute tactics by John Velazquez, who got him off the rail and put him on the outside in the stretch. Solid final time of 1:42.24 for the 1 1/16-miles. The race didn’t quite simulate what you’ll likely see on the first Saturday in May, however, and this colt has a few quirks that could prove bumps in the road; mainly gate issues in the past and slow starts (which seem to have been rectified) and his penchant for “needing to be on the outside.” Versatility is an important necessity for a Derby winner. McGaughey said Orb could go in the Florida Derby; taking a wait-and-see approach. High dosage of 3.21.

“I would never have thought when I brought him down here that he’d be where he is today,” McGaughey said. “He just kind of grew up.”

Violence suffered a fracture in his left front leg and is off the Kentucky Derby trail. Speak Logistics ran well for third, but he doesn’t boast a strong long-distance pedigree moving forward. Majestic Hussar must learn to relax if he’s going to try to wire a field in route races.

Ive Struck A Nerve (colt, Yankee Gentleman – Ranaway by Cryptoclearance) – Surprise longshot winner of the Risen Star appears to have come out of nowhere, but should he have been 135-1? He boasted more back class than many of his foes, as several were allowance and maiden winners. The move to James Graham – one of the top riders at Fair Grounds – and an affinity for the surface were also elements of the win. Is the new Derby points leader a contender or pretender? He has a solid pedigree with some stamina influences on the dam side, but his dosage is a borderline 3.67. If all goes to plan, he’ll be going into the Derby with 10 starts, so there’s the element of fatigue. Dirt is his preferred surface. Overall, he looks to be a better 3-year-old who’s matured and finally got a clean trip. Derby material? Tough to take him for the first Saturday in May.

The ones to watch out of this race are Normandy Invasion (explained here: and Code West, who was beat by just a nose.

*Countess Curlin (filly, Curlin – Profit Column by Private Account) – In the Money tabbed this filly as one to watch after her impressive debut win, and since then, she’s notched two more victories, including the Island Fashion Stakes at Sunland. This filly looks to be very talented and will be a top contender in the Sunland Oaks, her likely next start for Steve Asmussen. Could the Kentucky Oaks be in her future?

*Unlimited Budget (filly, Street Sense – Unlimited Pleasure by Valid Appeal) – Todd Pletcher’s Florida-bred showed no rust from the layoff and powered her way home in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes. Good final time of 1:45.38 for the 1 1/16-miles (compared to 1:44.52 for the Risen Star). No flaws in three starts, she handles long distances and has had a well-timed campaign headed to the first Friday in May. Good late run from runner-up Promise Me More in her second start off the layoff.

*Live Lively (filly, Medaglia d’Oro – Glacken’s Gal by Smoke Glacken) – She was expected to do well in the Davona Dale, but this? Mark Hennig’s freewheeling filly got the jump on the rest of the field – including classy Dreaming of Julia and promising Private Ensign – and never looked back. She posted an eye-catching final time of 1:42.30, just shades off the Fountain of Youth. Her times have always been above par. Legitimate Kentucky Oaks contender due to her speed, versatility and ability to adapt to various pace scenarios.

Agent Scully (filly, Johannesburg – Causin a Storm by Giant’s Causeway) – A multi-surface runner, 3 of 4 at Turf Paradise, who romped by more than six lengths in the Arizona Oaks for trainer Robertino Diodoro.

Persuasive Paul (colt, Olmodavor – Witch of the Air by Lure) – Another one of Super Ninety Nine’s victims who returns to win, this Doug O’Neill runner sat mid-pack while a host of rivals battled for the lead on a solid pace in the Turf Paradise Derby. He made his move to power past Brokered and was doing his best running late in the 1 1/16-mile jaunt.

*Dry Summer (ridgling, Any Given Saturday – Greenstreet by Street Cry) – Formerly based in California, he’s found a home at Sunland Park, where he’s 2 for 2 after a 1 1/2-length win in the Mine That Bird Derby. Show Some Magic put up a fight until the final strides, when this Joel Marr runner pulled away. Not a strong field and the top two set themselves apart.



*Reaching Out (colt, Big Brown – Touch too Much by Holy Bull) – This New York-bred didn’t fire on the off track in the Damon Runyon, but he bounced back to win over a track rated ‘good’ in an allowance at one mile, 70-yards. He won in front-running style and by a 7 1/2-length margin. The field wasn’t strong, but he certainly looks like one who could handle added distance.

*Keep Bustin (filly, Bustin Stones – Shuffle the Deck by High Yield) – Bruce Levine’s undefeated New York-bred filly continues to dominate her state-bred competition. She’s 3 for 3 and has posted two wins at the allowance level. One of many nice prospects for sire Bustin Stones.

Fair Grounds

*Ground Transport (colt, Big Brown – Extry by Broad Brush) – Michael Stidham’s very promising runner has put together two straight impressive performances at one mile, 70 yards at Fair Grounds. In his most recent allowance win, he stalked until late in the stretch, when he caught Winning Note who was freewheeling on the lead. Although he’s yet to be tested, this colt exudes talent. His times are solid and he should have no trouble stretching out to at least 1 1/8-miles. His only loss was in his debut – behind Departing. He’ll be a live contender if he tries the Louisiana Derby.

Sunbean (colt, Brahms – X Strawdnair by Malagra) – Who knows what this spunky Louisiana-bred would’ve done in the Risen Star, as he scratched from the main show because of a far outside post. Instead, he played against the local competition and dealt them another lopsided loss, rambling home by more than four lengths in the Gentilly Stakes. That increases his win streak to three.

When asked if Sunbean would’ve tried the Risen Star if not for the post, owner Evelyn Benoit of Brittlyn Stable said: “Yes, I wasn’t scared. It’s not about whether we would have won or lost; it’s about showing that Louisiana can put an animal out there that’s as competitive as Kentucky or New York and we will do that.” He could get his chance in the Louisiana Derby.

*Deceptive Vision (filly, A.P. Indy – Eye of the Sphynx by Smart Strike) – The classy Ontario-bred needed every step of the one mile, 70 yards to get past a game Irish Lute over the muddy surface, and she came through for her second straight win.

Tread (filly, Arch – Scoot Yer Boots by Seeking the Gold) – The Claiborne/Al Stall connection strikes again with this lightly raced filly. She flashed promise in a runner-up showing in her debut and followed up with a wire-to-wire romp at six furlongs. Final time of 1:10.32 is solid for the surface and class level.

Illusion Confusion (colt, Mineshaft – Classy Charm by Silver Charm) – It was obvious from the start this first-timer was getting acquainted with his new job. He was left unprepared at the gate, breaking last after missing the start, but made up ground in the 1 mile, 70-yard challenge. He finished third behind winner Hard Aces and runner up Smooth Stone. The win by Hard Aces flatters ITM Horse to Watch Perfect Title, as he was third to him last out. Great routing pedigree for this Edward Johnson runner.

Golden Gate

Irish Presence (filly, Midnight Lute – Proper Form by Deputy Minister) – These Midnight Lute runners are fierce. The Eoin Harty trainee, after being mid-pack in the six-furlong race, dropped to last with five-sixteenths left and appeared done. She re-rallied, forcing her way through a small seam. She checked off heels but kept going, meeting up for a head-to-head duel with Power of Ten to the wire. One gutsy filly who is 2 for 2 at Golden Gate.

Gulfstream Park

Crop Report (turf) (colt, Medaglia d’Oro – Amarillo by Crafty Propector) – Last-to-third voyage was an excellent educational experience in the U.S. debut of this highly-regarded Team Valor product. He hit the gate at the start and was left far behind the field, but mustered a head-turning rally in the stretch. Note when Joel Rosario elects to split horses instead of going wide in the final sixteenth. He looks talented; dirt is an unknown.

Black Onyx (turf) (colt, Rock Hard Ten – Kalahari Cat by Cape Town) – A Rock Hard Ten first-time turf is almost as appealing as a Kitten’s Joy turf/poly debut, and with a consistent colt like this Kelly Breen runner, it’s a good bet. A toss race for sixth-place runner Starship Zorro, who clipped heels and almost went down in the first turn.

Forever Thing (turf) (colt, Tapit – Liberty Flag by Kingmambo) – The connections of Violence campaign this good-looking prospect, who was a rallying second in a one-mile turf test in his debut. Pedigree leans turf, but dirt certainly not out of the question and he has an outstanding dosage (1.96).

*Ruble (colt, Exchange Rate – Silent Street by Street Cry) – Efficient, front-running win for this blinkered Ian Wilkes trainee in his fourth start; he covered the six furlongs in an impressive 1:09.89. A definite for the virtual stable.

Hot Tempo (turf) (filly, Heatseeker – Garden Music by Pivotal) – A move from dirt to Gulfstream turf has produced results for this Barclay Tagg runner. She was a good fourth in her second start and followed up with a fast-closing win from the back of the pack going a mile.

Oaklawn Park

Devious d’Oro (filly, Medaglia d’Oro – Hafifah by Machiavellian) – Drawn wide and sent off in her debut at 19-1, this Donnie von Hemel runner gobbled up ground in the stretch with a late rally from fifth to win going six furlongs. Outstanding pedigree is versatile and could also lean turf.

Sam Houston

Double Tapped

Double Tapped

*Double Tapped (filly, Tapit – Fun House by Prized) – Paddy O’Prado’s half-sister looked rested and ready after a long layoff, winning by more than three lengths in front-running fashion on dirt. Tough to gauge if she’s a multi-surface talent as she hasn’t fared as well on turf, but was taking on tough foes on grass. Steve Asmussen is loaded with promising fillies.

Summerstar Bird (turf) (colt, Birdstone – Smashing Halo by Halo) – Very impressed by this first-time starter for Michael Stidham, whose super stride was on display in the stretch of the one-mile race. He benefited from a smart rail run by jockey Paul Nolan; good time of 1:38.45 as the only newcomer against a field of experienced foes. Pedigree loaded with stars like Halo and Explodent. Note that due to the rains in New Orleans affecting the turf, many Fair Grounds-based trainers are shipping their grass contenders to Sam Houston. Keep a close eye on that track’s turf races.

Santa Anita

Spellbound (filly, Bernardini – Layreebelle by Tale of the Cat) – She’s really come into her own as a 3-year-old, winning two straight and running confidently from off the pace in sprints at Santa Anita. Both wins for the Richard Mandella trainee were at a mile and with similar times, but her closing split was faster in this most recent start against winners (11.97, compared to 13.27 on Jan. 4).



Dads Caps (colt, Discreet Cat – Seeking the Silver by Grindstone) – Notable debut at the claiming ranks – and nobody grabbed him from trainer Rudy Rodriguez. He bolted to the lead and drew off to win by nearly nine lengths; time of 1:10.05 for the six furlongs is strong for the surface and class level.

*Glowing Ember (colt, Bernstein – Fanfare by Elusive Quality) – This New York-bred continues to improve with each start and has won two straight at Aqueduct for trainer Gary Contessa.

Golden Gate

Harlan’s Sweetie (filly, Harlan’s Holiday – Sierra Sweetie by Old Topper) – This Jeff Bonde runner took the inside path to make her late rally, but it proved a troubled trip as she was forced to check sharply, taking her out of stride. She regained momentum, but it was too late, and she wound up fifth behind Life is a Stone. Without the check and traffic trouble, she would’ve had an impact on the trifecta and looks to be an improving filly.

Oaklawn Park

Magical Flute (filly, Midnight Lute – Dahlia Dearest by A.P. Indy) – A runner-up in the claiming ranks in her debut, she has an outstanding pedigree and could develop over time. She was claimed by Lon Wiggins.

Sam Houston

Omnitap (filly, Tapit – Classic Olympio by Olympio) – Returning from a long layoff and going back to dirt, this Steve Asmussen trainee gave the best performance of her career so far with a fast-closing second to Alert in Class. This filly started out at Churchill and Saratoga and looks to be improving as a 3-year-old stretching out.

*Chuffed to Bits (turf)  (gelding, English Channel – Laurafina by Cozzene) – Tabbed as one to watch after his third-place debut at Hawthorne, he followed up just as expected with a win at Sam Houston going a mile on the grass. He has a trademark late-closing style; another turf winner for jockey Paul Nolan.

Turfway Park

*Cash is Queen (filly, Unbridled’s Song – Cash’s Girl by Northern Afleet) – Tabbed after her debut win, she followed up with another good performance on the synthetic. Sedecrem pulled a head in front midway through the stretch, but this Stephen Lyster runner refused to lose and re-rallied to win by more than two lengths.


Kentucky Derby Daily: Feb. 26

February 26th, 2013

Uncaptured busy on the work tab

Kentucky Jockey Club champ Uncaptured posted his third work in two weeks at the Ocala Training Center. derby 2

Delayed returning from his winter respite by some hoof issues, the son of Lion Heart is back on track toward his 3-year-old debut, which is likely to be in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway on March 23.

Uncaptured worked five furlongs in :59.80 for trainer Mark Casse.

San Vicente runners back to work

War Academy and Belvin, fourth and sixth in the San Vicente respectively, returned to the work tab for the first time since that race.

The Bob Baffert trainees worked four furlongs, with Belvin going in :48.40 and War Academy finishing in :48.20.

Baffert’s maiden-winning son of Curlin, Curly Top, worked three furlongs in :37.20 on synthetic at Hollywood Park.

San Vicente runner-up Treasury Bill also worked on the synthetic, going four furlongs in :49.40.

Micromanage returns

Micromanage, who has been off since his 10th place finish in the Remsen, posted his first published work since that race at Palm Meadows.

The Todd Pletcher trainee went three furlongs in :39.98. At last report, the son of Medaglia d’Oro was targeting a spring/summer campaign.

Oaklawn-based runners tune up

The D. Wayne Lukas contingent tuned up at Oaklawn Tuesday. Will Take Charge, the Smarty Jones winner who was sixth in the Southwest, worked four furlongs in :48.80. He is likely to start in the Rebel on March 16.

Titletown Five continues to work toward his three-year-old debut, posting a bullet four furlongs in :48.00.



Paynter posts first published work since battling illnesses

February 26th, 2013

Paynter, the 2012 Haskell winner who battled laminits and colitis last year, posted his first work since returning to the track Tuesday.

Paynter, in company with stablemate Carving, went three furlongs in :36.00. He started about two lengths behind Carving, caught him and passed him at the end of the energetic work.

Owned by Zayat Stables and under the care of trainer Bob Baffert, Paynter has been steadily training since he returned to California from Fair Hill Training Center in January.


Undefeated So Many Ways to make 3-year-old debut

February 26th, 2013

By J.J. Hysell

Undefeated filly So Many Ways, off since her Grade 1 Spinaway win in September, is set to make her 3-year-old debut on Friday in the Primal Force Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The daughter of Sightseeing drew post six in an eight-horse field in the six-and-a-half furlong test. Javier Castellano is named to ride.

The Pennsylvania-bred broke her maiden in a romp at Parx in June. Trainer Tony Dutrow took her to Saratoga, where she won the Grade 3 Schuylerville by one-and-a-half lengths. Up against the heralded Teen Pauline in the Spinaway, she closed from off the pace to catch that rival and win by two-and-a-half lengths.

Dutrow and owner Maggi Moss elected to skip the Breeders’ Cup with So Many Ways and give her the winter off. She rested at Fair Hill Training Center before recently resuming training toward her 3-year-old campaign.

She’ll face some accomplished fillies in the Primal Force, including Vitameta, who is coming off a win in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay and is 3 for 5 for trainer David Fawkes.

Also entered are Todd Pletcher’s Fusaichiswonderful, who was undefeated in five starts in Puerto Rico before a fourth-place finish in the Forward Gal,  and Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Stakes winner Crumb.


Fed Biz could try turf in Kilroe Mile

February 26th, 2013

Strong Suit, Akkadian, Silentio and possibly Fed Biz are lining up for Saturday’s Grade 1 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita.

Bob Baffert reported Fed Biz, who would be making his turf debut, is being considered for the race. The San Fernando winner worked four furlongs in :48.40 on grass Saturday at Santa Anita.

Fed Biz, a son of Giant’s Causeway, was third in the Strub Stakes in his last start.

It’s all systems go for Suggestive Boy, who overcame a wide post (no. 12) in the Grade 2 Arcadia going a mile on turf in his last start.

The 5-year-old went five furlongs in 1:01.40 on turf Saturday.

“He did it really nice and I don’t think we’ll get the 13 post position again,” said trainer Ron McAnally.

Kentucky Derby Daily: Feb. 25

February 25th, 2013

Pletcher hopefuls return to the work tab

After a somber Sunday announcement that Fountain of Youth runner-up Violence was injured and off the Derby trail, it was back to the track for the Todd Pletcher Derby hopefuls at Palm Meadows.

The contingent of 3-year-olds was led by a bullet work from Tampa Bay Derby probable Verrazano. The son of More Than Ready blazed five furlongs in :59.21. derby 2

Also going five furlongs was Delhomme, who is possible for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. The son of Dixie Union stopped the clock in 1:00.09.

Withers champ Revolutionary, whose next start is undetermined, and Park City covered four furlongs in :48.43. Gotham hopeful Overanalyze posted a time of :48.75 for the same distance.

Florida Derby candidate Shanghai Bobby and Forty Tales both worked four furlongs in :49.61.

Other workers included: Doherty (:48.75) and filly Kauai Katie (:49.68).

Baffert workers on the West Coast

On the West Coast, Bob Baffert sent a few top contenders to the track Monday morning.

Flashback continued his preparations for the Robert B. Lewis with a bullet work of 1:11 for six furlongs at Santa Anita.

Also on the tab were Power Broker, who went four furlongs in :47.80, and Den’s Legacy, who posted a time of 1:11.40 for six furlongs.

Nominees for Tampa Bay Derby

Todd Pletcher nominated 15 3-year-olds to the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9. At this point, the one confirmed Pletcher runner is impressive allowance winner Verrazano.

Pletcher also nominated two to the Suncoast Stakes for fillies, including Fusaichiswonderful, who was fourth in the Forward Gal after going undefeated in Puerto Rico.

More from Tampa Bay:




Paynter set for first work Tuesday

February 25th, 2013

By J.J. Hysell

Graded stakes winner Paynter, who battled serious illness last year, is set to have his first work since he resumed training. paynter3

The son of Awesome Again, owned by Zayat Stables, is scheduled to go three furlongs Tuesday at Santa Anita.

Paynter overcame laminitis and colitis and spent time in recovery at Fair Hill before returning to California. The 2012 Haskell winner was awarded the Secretariat Vox Populi Award, an award determined by fan vote.

Zayat Stables reported the work will be posted on its website: