The Todd Pletcher-trained Commissioner stamped himself as a prime candidate for the 2014 Triple Crown Friday at Gulfstream Park, where he prevailed over a strong field of three-year-old prospects.
The son of A.P. Indy surged between horses in the stretch to defeat Top Billing by a neck in the $48,750 entry-level allowance.
"We're pretty pleased with that -- a horse with a big pedigree like that, good looking," Pletcher said. "It seems like he has all the right ingredients."
Off his hard-fought runner-up finish in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year's Day, Florida-bred Wildcat Red earned his way into the mix for the track's key races for three-year-olds.
Trainer Jose Garaffalo is pointing the D'wildcat colt to the Grade 2, $400,000 Holy Bull on January 25, with an eye on the Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on February 22. Both races are run at 1 1/16 miles.
J. Armando Rodriguez's General a Rod opened his three-year-old season with an encouraging win in Wednesday's $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby, capturing his stakes debut by a head after a hard-fought battle with Wildcat Red. Trained by Mike Maker, the newly turned three-year-old was ridden by Joel Rosario, who won four races on the New Year's Day program including both stakes.
Noble Moon overcame a slow start and a wide trip to finish a good third in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes and the Malibu Moon colt will make his second stakes start in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome at Aqueduct. He heads a field of eight three-year-olds in the one-mile and 70-yard event on the inner track.
As part of the "Prep Season" portion of the Road to the Kentucky Derby scoring system, the Jerome will offer points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner New Year's Day has been retired after sustaining a sesamoid injury, Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form reports. Campaigned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Bob Baffert, the son of Street Cry was expected to be a major player on the Triple Crown trail.
Instead, New Year's Day will embark upon a new career at stud in 2014. According to Thoroughbred Daily News, he will stand at Hill 'n' Dale near Lexington, Kentucky.
As the hectic swirl of holiday shopping heads into the homestretch, here’s a reminder that you can still place the ultimate gift – tickets to the 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Longines Kentucky Oaks – beneath the tree in a neatly-wrapped package or in the stocking of a loved one.
After appearing beaten in the stretch, Honor Code re-rallied up the rail to edge Cairo Prince in the final jumps of Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. The well-regarded Kentucky Derby prospect earned his first stakes victory with the nose decision.
Owned by Lane's End Racing and Dell Ridge Farm LLC, the Shug McGaughey trainee netted 10 points for winning the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" event, increasing his total to 14. Honor Code was exiting a head second in the Grade 1 Champagne on October 5.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey saddled eventual Kentucky Derby winner Orb to a maiden victory on the 2012 Cigar Mile undercard at Aqueduct, and is certainly hoping the future is equally as bright for the similarly blue-blooded colt Honor Code, who will start as the favorite in Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen on Cigar Mile Day at the Big A.
The Remsen, at 1 1/8 miles, features a cast of nine two-year-olds, but much of the pre-race buzz will be on Honor Code and the undefeated Cairo Prince.
Thanksgiving Weekend racing fans looking for great deals on contenders for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) have opportunities this week to do their earliest shopping ever as Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) opens a four-day run on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The first Thanksgiving weekend KDFW pool will close Saturday, Nov.
Rise Up turned in a dominating performance in Saturday's Grade 3, $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot, leading wire to wire for a six-length decision. Now a three-time stakes victor for trainer Tom Amoss, the two-year-old colt put himself on the leaderboard for next year's Run for the Roses, picking up 10 points for winning the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" event.
Coastline, a three-length winner of the October 27 Street Sense at Churchill Downs, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday's $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. The 11th running of the Grade 3 event will feature a full field of 10 two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
The Delta Downs Jackpot is the featured event on an 11-race card that contains eight stakes and is part of the "Prep Season" portion of the 2013-2014 Road to the Kentucky Derby series, offering points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the first four finishers.
Fans can now back their opinion on the prospects for next year’s Kentucky Derby sooner rather than later. For the first time, Churchill Downs Racetrack will add a fourth pool to its popular Kentucky Derby Future Wager and it will coincide with closing week of the racetrack’s 25-day Fall Meet: Wednesday, Nov. 27 through Saturday, Nov. 30.
Gary and Mary West's New Year's Day utilized a ground-saving rail trip under jockey Martin Garcia to post a 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $1,840,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. The Bob Baffert trainee just got the best of a tiring Havana on the wire to stop the clock in 1:43 2/5 for 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track.
If you have not registered to take part in Churchill Downs Racetrack’s (“CDRT”) November online sale of seating for the 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Longines Kentucky Oaks, the opportunity to participate in the sale will disappear very soon
Ever been that fan who spent the day at the Kentucky Oaks or Kentucky Derby but never saw a horse? That won’t be a problem starting with next year’s races as Churchill Downs gets the “Big Picture”.
Churchill Downs has teamed with Panasonic in a $12 million project to install a 15,224-square-foot, high-definition (HD) LED video board in time for the 2014 Longines Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Ivan Dalos' Ami's Holiday (Harlan's Holiday) ran down a loose-on-the-lead Big Bazinga (Bluegrass Cat) to take Sunday's $174,400 Grey S. (Can-G3) over Woodbine's Polytrack by a half-length.
Coolmore's Havana drew away to a large lead in midstretch but had to dig deep to withstand the fast-finishing Honor Code in the final yards of Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne at Belmont Park, scoring by a neck on the wire. An impressive debut winner in his previous start, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt remained perfect and sealed a bid for the November 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita in the "Win & You're In" race.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's We Miss Artie rallied wide into contention in upper stretch and powered away to a 2 3/4-length victory in the Grade 1, $400,000 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. Ridden by John Velazquez, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt earned a berth in the November 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita for capturing the "Win & You're In" event.