Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23-25 - MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND


Let's Go To The Races - May 23-25
Note: This blog is non-commercial and was developed for my own personal use to organize my racing viewing activity.  Your comments as to its usefulness to you are welcomed & would be appreciated.  Thanks!

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Time Ordered List and Entries - printable format


UPI Weekend Racing Preview 
Plenty of top racing action around the globe this Memorial Day weekend.  Some nice turf faces in the U.S. at a variety of distances, including the Grade 1 Gamely at Santa Anita, plus some important races in France, England, Japan and Australia  including some of the winnersas from World Cup night in Dubai resume their campaigns.

France - Sunday's Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp will see CIRRUS DES AIGLES, fresh from a win in the G1 Prix Ganay inhis 9 yr old debut off what has been termed a brilliant ride by Christophe Soumillon.  Among his competition in this small field of 5 will be Solow, trying for his 6th straight win, including his G1 Dubai Turf on World Cup night at Meydan.  If they perform well here, Cirrus will be headed to the Coronation Cup at Epsom, and Solow will point to the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.

Ireland -Aiden O'Brien usually has his hand filled with talented prospects for the three year old events, however, this spring has brought some disappointments, with several of his sophomores failing in their three year old debuts.  However, in Saturday's Irish 2,000 Guineas, at the Curragh, GLENEAGLES has carried the day in a not-so-easy triumph, with the trainer declaring Gleneagles his best miler ever.  Gleneagles best miler he's had - O'Brien

 O'Brien has a stronger hand in Sunday's 1,000 Guineas over the same course, with a five-filly team headed by FOUND. Also Sunday is the Group 1 Curragh Tattersalls Gold Cup at just over 1 1/4 miles.

Japan - Sunday's Group 1 Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks, is the second leg of the filly Triple Crown and will determine whether Let's Go Donki's victory in the first leg, the Oka Sho, or 1,000 Guineas, was a pace-dictated fluke or the emergence of a potential star.

In the U.S.   The races range from 4 1/2 furlongs out to 1 1/2 miles, from Charles Town to Santa Anita and from Gulfstream Park to Woodbine.

The longer races include Sunday's $200,000, Grade II Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita, at 1 1/12 miles. Divine Oath, the winner of the 2014 American Derby at Arlington, shipped in for this by Todd Pletcher. Ashleyluvssugar comes off a win in the Grade II San Luis Rey. Ganesh makes his third U.S. start, up from South America. Going Somewhere, a Brazilian-bred, makes his first start after arriving from France.

Saturday's $100,000, Grade III Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs is another 1 1/2-miles affair that drew a very contentious field of nine. The morning line has five of them -- Calvados, Majestic Harbor, Xtra Luck, Golden Soul and Patrioticandproud -- clustered between 7-2 and 5-1. The Florida stay-behinds have Monday's $60,000 Raymond Earl Stakes at the same distance at Gulfstream Park.

Turf milers are on tap in Saturday's $200,000 (Canadian), Grade II Nassau Stakes at Woodbine. Deceptive Vision, Stellar Path and Overheard are among the fancied.

The fillies and mares are not forgotten, with the weekend's sole American Grade I, the $300,000 Gamely Stakes at 9 furlongs at Santa Anita. Monmouth Park on Sunday has the $75,000 Miss Liberty at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares.

Looking ahead to the big races in the International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park August 15. The Aug. 15 extravaganza features the 33rd running of the Grade I Arlington Million and includes two other Grade I events on the lawn -- the $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares and the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds. The $400,000 American St. Leger, run as a Grade III for the first time this year, also is on the card, along with the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Read more

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ALERT FOR SUNDAY SILENCE FANS: VERY RARE TO FIND TWO ENTRIES IN A RACE IN THE U.S. BY TWO DIFFERENT SONS OF SUNDAY SILENCE. The GRADE 1 GAMELY S for fillies and mares at Santa Anita, 7:00 p.m. EDT, Race 8: THREE HEARTS 6-1 (Hat Trick by Sunday Silence) Gary Stevens; FANTICOLA 6-1 (Silent Name by Sunday Silence), Joe Talamo. Go Sunday!   The two faves are Hard Not to Like (Hard Spun) Victor Espinoza at 7-2; and Danza Cavallo at 4-1; also Moulin de Mougin (Curlin) Mike Smith, at 8-1; Others include a 30-1 and a 12-1 longshot.

NOTE: The CARD below will have the replay once a race has completed.
 
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FEATURED RACES

Time Ordered List and Entries - printable format
Race Index

SATURDAY
4:18 ET  Louisville H G3  CD   $100,000  3+  1 1/2 mi T R8  CARD
4:30 ET  Spring Fever S  SA   $150,000  4+ f/m S  6f  R3  CARD
4:45 ET  Nassau S G2  WO   $200,000  3+ f/m  1 mi T   R8  CARD
4:57 ET  Paradise Creek S  Bel   $100,000  3yo  7f T R8  CARD
6:00 ET  Fran's Valentine S  SA   $125,000  4+ f/m S  1 mi T R6  CARD
6:30 ET  Melair S  SA   $200,000  3yo f S  1 1/16 mi  R7  CARD
7:00 ET  Snow Chief S  SA   $200,000  3yo S  1 1/8 mi T R8  CARD
7:30 ET  Tiznow S  SA   $150,000  4+ S  1 mi  R9  CARD

SUNDAY
4:30 ET  Charles Whittingham S G2  SA   $200,000  3+  1 1/2 mi T $100/May 14  R3  CARD
4:45 ET  Selene S  G3 WO   $150,000  3yo f  1 1/16 mi AW $150/May 6  R8  CARD
 
2:40 a.m. ET  Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) G1  JRA   $1,757,000 a 3yo f  1 1/2 mi T CARD

 
 

MONDAY - MEMORIAL DAY

1:51 ET  Mount Vernon S  Bel   $125,000  3+ f/m S  1 mi T R2  CARD
2:22 ET  Commentator S  Bel   $200,000  3+ S  1 mi   R3  CARD
3:24 ET  Mike Lee S Bel   $125,000  3yo S  7f  R5  CARD
4:26 ET  Bouwerie S  Bel   $125,000  3yo f S  7f  R7  CARD
4:30 ET  Los Angeles S G3  SA   $100,000  3+  6f  R3  CARD
4:57 ET  Kingston S  Bel   $125,000  3+ S  1 mi T R8  CARD
5:20 ET  Winning Colors S G3  CD   $100,000  3+ f/m  6f   R10  CARD
5:28 ET  Critical Eye  Bel   $200,000  3+ f/m S  1 mi   R9  CARD
6:19 ET  Lone Star Park H G3 LS   $200,000  3+  1 1/16 mi  R9  CARD
7:00 ET  Gamely S G1  SA   $300,000  3+ f/m  1 1/8 mi T  R8  CARD
7:15 ET  All American G3  GG   $100,000  3+  1 mi AW R8  CARD

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 15-17 - Preakness

 
Let's Go To The Races!  May 15-17


Time Ordered Races / Entries - printable file
 
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IT'S MR. BOB-TAIL IN THE PREAKNESS!!!





The day after...

American Pharoah a little 'tired" but in good health day after
USA Today: American Pharoah romps in Preakness; Triple Crown try next
Bleacher Report, Videos, Interviews: Final results, standings, payouts, video highlights
How the race unfolded, sequence
Mike Watchmaker, DRF, effusive in praise for American Pharoah's performance
Jay Privman, DRF - Preakness wrap
Washington Post - Dave Sheinin
Beyer - Washington Post
Preakness, call by call photos
Rinaldi breaks down American Pharoah's win
American Pharoah Romps in the Rain in the Preakness: GI Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) reigns in the rain in the GI Preakness S.
Brisnet: Preakness recap

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PREAKNESS ON TV
Date Time Event Network
Fri., May 153 p.m.Black Eyed Susan StakesNBCSN
Sat., May 162:30 p.m.Preakness SaturdayNBCSN
Sat., May 164:30 p.m.Preakness StakesNBC
Sat., May 166:30 p.m.Preakness Post-Race ShowNBCSN

 
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140TH PREAKNESS STAKES
PP HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY  ODDS
1 American Pharoah Bob Baffert Victor Espinoza 4-5
2 Dortmund Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 7-2
3 Mr. Z D. Wayne Lukas Corey Nakatani 20-1
4 Danzig Moon Mark Casse Julien Leparoux 15-1
5 Tale of Verve Dallas Stewart Joel Rosario 30-1
6 Bodhisattva Jose Corrales Trevor McCarthy 20-1
7 Divining Rod Arnaud Delacour Javier Castellano 12-1
8 Firing Line Simon Callaghan Gary Stevens 4-1

Preakness post positions: Do they matter? 
Short answer: Yes and no! Day to day racing at Pimlico in two turn races have had the winner on the rail 24% of the time., by far better than any of the other positions. The numbers that show a bias toward the rail being a negative are skewed by the fact that in the Preakness since 1987, most of the long shots have been on the rail, making any conclusion likely to be a statistical aberration. Read more

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California horses thrive on big scene
If the surroundings were taken away and the focus was solely on the horses, the stretch run of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) might as well have occured at Santa Anita Parkwhere speed reigns supreme.

American Pharoah, Firing Line, and Dortmund were all going at it on the font end, and almost every other horse trailing looked as if they were treading through wet cement. Read more

Baffert's training brings Classic success
"In eight of the past 14 years, horses have won successive races in the Triple Crown, but no trainer in recent times has done it as often as Baffert.

"The key, he said, lies in his training methods.

"While more and more, modern trainers are relying on handicapping tools such as Len Ragozin's The Sheets and Thoro-Graph to determine where to run their horses, Baffert said they are not part of his arsenal. Where some trainers see lighter training regimens leading to a fresh and ready horse on race day, Baffert said fitness is paramount to the success of his horses, and they either stand up to the rigors of his program or they do not."  Read more

Weekend Racing Preview - Robert Kieckhefer

More on sale of Mr. Z at the 11th hour - Both horses wear earplugs
"Coach really put hard work into the horse and he said, 'I have a client who is interested in buying him, are you interested in selling?' I'm a businessman; this is a business for us. Obviously, I still love Mr. Z. I'll go kiss him if he won. He's named after my dad.
"They put a good offer in front of us, an offer we couldn't refuse. I don't want to keep Coach from running in the race. It's not fair to him. He worked so hard with this horse every single day. So we made the sale. Both parties are happy."

Also, Baffert runs both American Pharoah and Dortmund with earplugs:
Crowds are part of the Triple Crown series, but it turns out American Pharoah and Dortmund have sensitive ears. They wear ear plugs, and Baffert says they'll be wearing them for the Preakness.
American Pharoah wears them every time he goes to the track, whether for a race or a training session and he wears them throughout every race. Dortmund, a big horse Baffert said would "walk over the top of you" if he got too excited, wears them until he's in the starting gate and then his jockey pulls a string to remove them.

"Having a lot of people, a crowd around makes Pharoah nervous," Baffert admitted. "After his first race, in which he was terrible, we determined he was sensitive to sound. He's a very gentle horse, but his ears are so sensitive. We started putting cotton in them."

When Baffert felt the visible cotton looked less than sophisticated, he decided to get a pair of earplugs for both his Preakness contenders. Baffert referenced Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year who raced with cotton in her ears, and other trainers who use hoods with blinkers to accomplish the same purpose.

Since they don't make earplugs for Thoroughbreds, Baffert bought plugs made for show horses.
"They cost about $6 a pair," he said.  Read more at Brisnet

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 Preakness News

Lights, Camera...Lukas?
Matt Bernier / Dan Illman preview the Preakness - Video
DRF - Preakness Preview - Field Analysis Mike W & Jay Privman
Countdown to the Crown - Preakness edition
D. Wayne Lukas deals into Preakness
Preakness Notebook: Baltimore Sun
Mr. Z to race in Preakness for Calumet
Danzig Moon confirmed for Preakness
AP: Lookin' at trainer Bob Baffert's five Preakness wins
Baffert: 'To me, the Preakness is the easiest of the three legs'
Preakness Stakes shaping up as a Derby rematch
Preakness notes: Final breeze for Divining Rod
Firing Line provides Santamaria ride of a career

Preakness: D. Wayne Lukas knows it all, from A to Mr. Z 
Lukas: "People have opinions, but horses have facts."
Thoroughbred racing knows him as the trainer who trains the trainers — so many of them he has to think about it before the names come spilling out with the force of Old Faithful in mid-gush:
"Todd Pletcher, Mike Maker, Mark Henning, Dallas Stewart, Randy Bradshaw, Kiaran McLaughlin, Bobby Burnett, Mark Wells and Gerland Butler, both in Europe, Peter Hutton. Randy Bradshaw, George Weaver, and Mike Marlow out in California.'' To all of them, he was the sensei and they were the grasshoppers.  Read more

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Once a race has been run, you can watch the replay at the CARD below, which takes you to the BloodHorse results page.

Friday, May 8, 2015

May 9-10, 2015


Let's Go To The Races!   May 9-10

Time Ordered Races - printable file

UPI Weekend Preview - Significant races in the U.S. and overseas.

Jeremy Plonk's Countdown to the Crown
He recaps the Derby, and looks down towards the Preakness

TCI Insider - 5-7-15 - Video
Jon and Joel recap the Derby and look toward the Preakness

Dick Powell's Handicapping Insights - May 8
He analyzes the Derby and speculates on the Preakness. From Dick Powell's Handicapping Insights, May 8:- He raises a couple of questions I've not seen addressed previously: "The question for American Pharoah is how does he handle another grueling race in two weeks. Baffert had him trained to the minute for the Derby but it sure looked like the foot/ankle was bothering him turning for home. I was always concerned about Firing Line's ability to get 10 furlongs and he will appreciate the shorter distance. Don't know why he raced most of the Churchill Downs stretch on the wrong lead but coming off a six-week rest, he should be super tough in Baltimore."

Catch up on Derby weekend, with the Derby and the Oaks, as well as the undercards.  Results are posted at the "CARDS" in addition to links for reports and videos.  Check it out here

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FEATURED RACES
Time Ordered Races - printable file
Race Index

SATURDAY MAY 9

North America
2:22 ET  Peter Pan S G2  Bel  $200,000  3yo  1 1/8 mi R3  CARD                          
2:53 ET  Ruffian H G2  Bel  $250,000  4+ f/m  1 mi    R4  CARD 
4:26 ET  Beaugay S G3  Bel  $150,000  4+ f/m  1 1/16 mi T R7  CARD 
4:41 ET  Hendrie S G3  WO  $150,000  4+ f/m  6.5f AW R8  CARD
5:28 ET  Man o' War G1  Bel  $400,000  4+  1 3/8 mi T   R9  CARD 
5:30 ET  Vanity S G1  SA  $300,000  3+ f/m  1 1/8 mi    R5  CARD 
7:00 ET  American S G3  SA  $100,000  3+  1 mi T     R8  CARD  

Results
Twilight Eclipse gets his Grade 1 in Man O'War
Bal A Bali lives up to billing with stellar U.S. bow in American


International - Japan
? a.m. ET  Kyoto Shimbun Hai G2  JRA  $942,000 a 3yo  1 3/8 mi T   R11  CARD
Preview 
   
More on today's races
Beholder scratched from Vanity due to illness
Beholder, Warren's Veneda face off in Vanity
Bal a Bali in American Stakes
 
SUNDAY MAY 10

North America
4:45 ET  New Providence S  WO   $125,000  3+ S  6f AW   R8  CARD 
4:57 ET  Diablo S Bel   $100,000  4+  6f    R8  CARD 
6:30 ET  Lazaro Barrera S G3  SA   $100,000  3yo  7f    R7  CARD 

International - Japan
2:40 a.m. ET  NHK Mile Cup G1 JRA   $1,667,000 3yo  1 mi T   R11  CARD 
Preview    Result/Replay  Kurofune's Clarity Sky Takes the NHK Mile Cup
? a.m. ET  Niigata Daishoten G3  JRA   $723,000 4+  1 1/4 mi T   R11  CARD
Preview     Result / Video replay  D'Accord takes the Niigata Daishoten

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140th Preakness news
Brisnet Preakness Report - James Scully - 5-8-15
Cot Campbell - Summer Squall 1990 Preakness - BHorse Longform article
Evaluating American Pharoah's Preakness chances