Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nov 26-30 - Thanksgiving

Let's Go To The Races - Nov 26-30, 2015
This is a non-commercial blog


You can return here after the races, click on the CARD, to watch replay of race.


Race Index - Entries

12:50 ET  Furlough S  Aqu  $150,000 2yo f  6f     R3  CARD
3:20 ET  FALL HIGHWEIGHT H G3  AQU  $250,000 3+ 6f   R8  CARD
3:53 ET  River City H G3  CD  $100,000 3+ 9f T    R10  CARD
4:22 ET  FALLS CITY H G2  CD  $200,000 3+F/M  9f     R11  CARD
5:00 ET  HOLLYWOOD TURF CUP G2 DMR  $250,000 3+ 12f T    R7  CARD

Also, you can click on the CARD for the replay at BloodHorse
Heart to Heart wins River City Handicap

12:50 ET  King's Swan S  Aqu  $150,000 2yo  6f   R3  CARD
3:20 ET  GO FOR WAND H G3  AQU  $300,000 3+F/M  8f    R8  CARD
5:05 ET  Commonwealth Turf G3  CD  $100,000 3yo  8.5f T    R10  CARD
5:35 ET  CLARK H G1  CD  $500,000 3+ 9F   R11  CARD 
7:00 ET  SEABISCUIT H G2  DMR  $250,000 3+ 8.5f T    R 8 CARD

Bal a Bali headlines strong field in the Seabiscuit Handicap 

Also, you can click on the CARD for the replay at BloodHorse
Midnight Storm Race Replay Seabiscuit Handicap
Clark Handicap - Effinex shines

12:50 ET  DEMOISELLE S G2  AQU  $300,000 2yo F  9f   (OAKS PREP)  R3  CARD
1:50 ET  REMSEN S G2  AQU  $300,000 2YO  9f  (DERBY PREP)   R5  CARD
2:50 ET  COMELY S G3  AQU  $300,000 3YO F  9f     R7  CARD
3:50 ET  CIGAR MILE H G1  AQU  $500,000 3+ 8f     R9  CARD
4:22 ET  KY JOCKEY CLUB S G2  CD  $200,000 2yo  8.5f   (DERBY PREP)  R11  CARD
4:35 ET  GOLDEN ROD S G2  CD  $200,000 2yo F  8.5f   (OAKS PREP)  R9  CARD
5:30 ET  Jimmy Durante S G3  Dmr  $100,000 2yo f  8f T   R5  CARD
5:45 ET  HAWTHORNE GOLD CUP H G2  HAW  $250,000 3+ 10f   R8  CARD 
6:30 ET  HOLLYWOOD DERBY G1  DMR  $300,000 3yo  9f T    R7  CARD
7:00 ET  Native Diver H G3  Dmr  $150,000 3+ 9f     R8  CARD

Tribute to Native Diver
Airoforce competitive in the Kentucky Jockey Club 
Sharla Rae takes on males in Hollywood Derby

Or, click on the CARD for each race to watch the BloodHorse replay
Golden Rod Carina Mia
Airoforce in Kentucky Jockey Club

6:00 ET  Cecil B. DeMille S G3  Dmr  $100,000 2yo  8f T   R6  CARD
7:00 ET  MATRIARCH S G1  DMR  $300,000 3+F/M  8f T    R8  CARD

International - Japan
1:40 a.m. ET Japan Cup G1  JRA  $5,426,000 3+ 12f T    R11  CARD

Japan Cup Preview
Invaders set to have impact in Japan Cup
A field of 18 is set for the Nov. 29 Japan Cup (Jpn-I), with the foreign contingent showing promise against a home team generally regarded as slightly less imposing than usual for a Japan Cup.
Japanese horses have dominated the 2,400-meter challenge around the left-handed Tokyo Racecourse track throughout its previous 34 editions. But after a rash of retirements and injuries, the local contingent is without a definitive star.

Another Japan Cup winner for champion sire, Deep Impact


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tough Sunday


Photo: Nick Alexander

Photo: Gary Tasich

Photo: Nick Alexander

This one will steal your heart...  for some reason, this horse reminds me of Your Host, who Abigail Anderson has written about on her blog in March 2011. My hope is that Tough Sunday is as successful as the tough Your Host who had many obstacles to overcome, both on and off the track. Who knows if Tough Sunday will ever make any history in the breeding shed, as did Your Host, who sired one of the greatest geldings of all time, five-time Horse of the Year, Kelso. One thing for sure, though, he has done enough already to prove that miracles can happen and he has certainly defied the odds.

Tough Sunday - Pedigree
His pedigree is considered to be "modest", although his broodmare sire, General Meeting x Seattle Slew was a leading California sire for several years, and they don't come much tougher than Alydar who is on the top and bottom of his pedigree in the 3rd and 4th generation. Also on the bottom, in the 5th generation is none other than old Halo himself, the original "Big Toughie," Sunday Silence's papa. Halo sired two KY Derby winners, including Sunday Silence.

Toughie is so lovable... you would have to have a heart of stone to not love and appreciate just being able to survive the tough beginning he had. He was so lucky to have an owner that was sensitive enough to look for signals that the foal wanted to live. It tugs at my heart strings every time I read about his owner wrestling with decisions daily as to what to do with him, when Nick walks up to his stall and sees the little fellow's eyes following him. It was at that moment Nick made a commitment to see it through and give him every chance.

Tough Sunday has his own Facebook page with almost 3,000 followers. It's no wonder, with his full story as told by his owner/breeder, Nicholas Alexander, it's really hard to believe this colt not only survived, but has continued to surprise and amaze by winning a couple of races, and finishing in the money in 6 of his 8 starts. 

Although Toughie's story has been told in several horse racing publications, including the Daily News, BloodHorse, and Fox Sports (see links below), his owner and benefactor, Nick Alexander, has posted Toughie's story at his Facebook page, and is told in his own words:

"This colt had a tough beginning. He was very big and got stuck during delivery, and in struggling to get out his (umbilical) cord was severed and by the time we pulled him out, he had been without oxygen for some time.

"We rushed him and his mom (Sunday Dress, by General Meeting) to Alamo Pintado Clinic just a few minutes from our ranch in Santa Ynez. The news was bad: He was blind, deaf, had no nursing instinct, and a heart murmur.

"Dr. Erin Burn and her staff worked around the clock to stabilize him, but he developed pneumonia. He could stand up but couldn't lie back down. He looked like a pin cushion with so many tubes, IVs, etc.

"Because he didn't know how to nurse, his mom abandoned him. About the fifth day, he wasn't improving and I was told to make a decision whether or not to keep at it. The next morning I went to the clinic, and as I walked up to his stall, his eyes followed me.

"That was enough progress for me, but he still was in an ICU almost a month before he was strong enough to bring home. We pail-fed him and eventually got his mom to accept him, although he never did learn to nurse.

"A month or so later, we turned him out with other foals and mares."

"The colt made steady progress toward his breakthrough victory. He was third in his career debut Oct. 29 [last fall] at Santa Anita, and then second Dec. 18 at Los Alamitos Race Course, both at six furlongs, before finding the winner's circle when stretching out a furlong further.

"With Tyler Baze aboard, Tough Sunday dueled for the early lead before settling into a stalking trip in the maiden special weight race. He bid for command again off the turn and led in early stretch by two lengths before drawing off unchallenged as the 7-10 favorite in the seven-horse field. The time was 1:21.90 on a fast track.

Second setback: "In January Tough Sunday sustained a cracked cannon bone in his leg while racing at Santa Anita in the California Cup that required several months of rest and rehab.. he finally returned to racing on July 10th at Los Alamitos and came in 2nd in his comeback race.

"If there were an Eclipse Award for courage, Tough Sunday would be a prime candidate."

He's Back!  In his comeback race in July, Toughie ran an impressive second and finished well ahead of the rest of the field.

In August, he ran in a couple more allowance races, coming in a fourth in which he got caught wide, and then he ran a third at Del Mar.

Then, on October 4, it was almost too much to hope for. The "horse that could" made it back to the winner's circle at Santa Anita, his recovery from his second setback apparently complete. For most of the race, attending the pace up close to the leaders, he duked it out to the wire, prevailing by a neck. Toughie's not afraid of a fight!  Replay

Whatever he does from now until he retires, whether he ever wins another race or not, he has been successful beyond anything anyone could ever have imagined. He's won or finished in the money in 6 of his 8 starts so far, and he seems to try every time.

Tough Sunday's Facebook page reported that he's being considered for a race at Santa Anita on October 25th, or possibly at Del Mar on November 14th, both allowance races at 1 1/16 miles. Nick reported that he had a strong 5 furlong workout on Saturday, October 17, and a decision will be made in the next few days on which race he will be entered. GO TOUGHIE!

Tough Sunday Facebook page


NEWS COVERAGE - A few of the many articles about this remarkable horse
BloodHorse: Courageous Cal-bred colt wins at Santa Anita
Fox Sports: Born deaf and blind, horse makes it to the winner's circle 
Daily Racing Form: Deaf Colt, Tough Sunday, proves to be a survivor

Santa Anita, 10/4/2015, R7, AOC, 1st, Chart   Replay
Del Mar, 8/28/2015, R4, AOC, 3rd, Chart   Replay
Del Mar, 8/2/2015, R3, AOC, 4th, Chart   Replay
Los Alamitos, 7/10/15, R7, AOC, 2nd, Chart  Replay
Santa Anita, 1/24/15, R6, Cal Cup Derby, 7th, Chart   Replay
Santa Anita, 12/28/14, R2, MSW, 1st, Chart  Replay
Los Alamitos, 12/18/14, R6, MSW, 2nd, Chart  Replay
Santa Anita, 10/29/14, R8, MSW, 3rd, Chart   Replay


Photo: Nick Alexander

Friday, October 16, 2015

Oct. 17-18, 2015 - BRITISH CHAMPIONS DAY

Let's Go To The Races - October 17-18, 2015
This is a non-commercial blog


Jack Hobbs forced to overcome disappointing Champion Stakes draw
Gleneagles and Solow possible QEII clash at Ascot
O'Brien: Any rain at all, and Gleneagles out

The British Champions Series is a series of 35 top British flat races, which culminates in a day-long festival of championship races, known as British Champions Day. It was inaugurated in the 2011 season to draw together some of Britain's key flat races into a meaningful championship, with the hope of generating coverage and stimulating interest among the more casual sports fan.
Oct. 12, 2015

Official Champions Day site

Champions Day, Noble Mission and the American Dream
NOBLE MISSION, full brother to super horse, Frankel, and his career-defining finale on British Champions Day a year ago, is reviewed, along with his first year at stud in the U.S. (By the way, there is another full brother to Frankel/Noble Mission out there, Proconsul, foaled 2013.)


      Jim McKay’s vision for a sires stakes program for Maryland, like the Breeders’ Cup, has proven to be an unqualified success. Also known as Maryland’s Day at the Races, this special race day is an annual reminder of all that is good in Maryland’s Thoroughbred industry.

     This year’s landmark event has given us a special opportunity to take a walk down memory lane. The bumps in the road and milestones, both met and conquered, have contributed to the uniqueness of this extraordinary day of racing.
     These recollections begin with the concept in 1984, the formation of a productive partnership and wander through the years, noting many of the novel ideas pioneered by Maryland Million Limited that are now considered traditions. Jim McKay Maryland Million Day is a tribute to the many people who came together and worked so hard to bring a dream to reality.
    The event, now truly a Maryland tradition, was conceived, produced, established and now celebrated here. This year is the time to enjoy the memories as we look forward to the future. Read more at source

Two England-based horses with impressive recent records will challenge reigning Eclipse Award champion Demonstrative and four runners from Irv Naylor’s formidable stable in Saturday’s $300,000 Grand National (Gr. 1), the featured race of the 95th annual Far Hills Races in New Jersey.
The 2 5/8-mile Grand National, America’s richest steeplechase race, headlines a seven-race program that features full fields and $600,000 in purses, the highest ever for a National Steeplechase Association race meet.

Leading the British invasion is William Salthouse’s and Mark McKay’s Eshtiaal, a Kentucky-bred who scored three consecutive victories by open lengths in Irish handicaps last spring. Trainer Gordon Elliott placed the five-year-old Dynaformer horse in long-distance turf races over the summer, and Eshtiaal won the John Smith Stayers Stakes at York in July. Barry Geraghty, a top jockey and brother of U.S.-based Ross Geraghty, will ride.

Making a return trip to New Jersey and the Grand National is Atlantic Equine’s HUNT BALL, who scored three straight victories in English allowance hurdles over the summer. In 2013, Hunt Ball shipped into Far Hills and finished ninth in the Grand National. Regular jockey Andrew Tinkler will be in the saddle for trainer Nicky Henderson.

Carrying the American hopes will be Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, last year’s Grand National winner and American champion. The stalwart Elusive Quality gelding will have something to prove after two lackluster efforts at Saratoga.
Read more at source

Nicky Henderson proud of Hunt Ball (Far Hills Grand National)

For U.S., race replays posted after the completion of a race at the CARD (about a 20-minute time delays)



Time Ordered Races / Entries - printable file
Race Index


Go here to check on the Caulfield Cup in Australia Race 9 - wee hours of the morning in U.S.
Melbourne is 15 hours ahead of New York time, so the Caulfield Cup should have a post time of 2:40 a.m. ET.
Caulfield Cup: Hokko Brave in perfect order for first task on the way to Melbourne Cup

Mongolian Khan takes Caulfield Cup
Considered one of the more important races leading up to the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November, with its $3 Million Aus purse, the international status of the $3m Caulfield feature has grown in recent years with overseas raiders winning two of the past three Cups.

Admire Rakti charged home to win the 2,400m Caulfield classic last year, giving Japan its first victory in the race. The horse went on to start favourite in the Melbourne Cup but finished last after suffering heart failure and had to be put down after the race.

In 2012, French galloper Dunaden backed up his 2011 victory in the Melbourne Cup when jockey Craig Williams overcame a wide barrier to score an impressive win at Caulfield. Read more at source

Mongolian Khan’s win stamps him as one of Australia’s best modern day stayers. Last season as a three-year-old colt the son of Holy Roman Emperor became the first horse since the great Bonecrusher in 1986 to win the New Zealand and Australian Derbies. "He’s a very good stayer,” Baker said. "We wanted to make this a staying test and he just kept kicking. "He’s got a beautiful relaxed temperament and I think he loves being a racehorse.”

Upcoming: Cox Plate Oct. 24, then Melbourne Cup Nov. 3.
Cox Plate Preview                    Melbourne Cup Preview

International - Great Britain - British Champions Day
Times in U.S. are in the morning - British time is in ( )
7:45 ET  (12:45)Champions Long Distance Cup G2 $468k  3+ 16f T R1 CARD
8:20 ET  (1:20)  Champions Sprint Stakes G1 $936k    3+  6f T R2 CARD
8:55 ET  (1:55)  Champions Fillies & Mares S G1  $858k 3+ f/m 12f T R3 CARD
9:30 ET  (2:30)  Queen Elizabeth II Stakes SG1 $1,560k 3+ 8f T R4  CARD
10:05 ET (3:05) Champion Stakes G1 $2,028k3+ 10f T R5  CARD

Race 1 Long Distance flying start for Dettori and Gosden
John Gosden praised his jockey's "brilliant ride":  "He was too far back and Frankie knew that, so he did something about it and it was a race-winning move" was Gosden's review of his stablejockey's brilliant ride.  Dettori himself was keen to pass the credit onto the five-year-old he was sat astride. He said: "He was very brave for me and he took every gap. He's got a very low mileage and is unbeaten this season so he's on the up. He's a big unit that's for sure."  More at RacingUK

Race 2: Muhaarar blasts rivals away in Sprint
He turned an apparently competitive race, for which he was the 5-2 favourite, into a procession.
"I'm so delighted for everyone and it's a great effort by Charlie and the whole team," said Hanagan. "He's got such a fantastic temperament. I always thought he wanted a bit of cut in the ground and the race was never in doubt."

Race 3: Simple Verse wears down Journey to win at the wire
No need for stewards this time, Simple Verse wears down Journey to win at the wire. This is the filly that won the St Leger, only to lose it in the Stewards' room, and then regain it on appeal. She really showed her class here...she had to work for it, and she refused to give up.
More at RacingUK

Race 4: Solow routs the field as Gleneagles flops in QEII
O'Brien says if he had it to do over, he would not run. Reasoning was if he is going to go to Breeders Cup, Gleneagles needed the race, so they took a chance. Does this mean Gleneagles is coming to the Breeders Cup?  More at RacingUK

Race 5: Fascinating Rock takes Champions Stakes in style
Found, the filly, was runner up and ran a very good race.
Found, who sat last under Ryan Moore, had to follow Fascinating Rock through before switching to the inside rail and the 9-2 shot could do no better than fill the same runner's-up spot she has also occupied on four of her previous six starts.  Jack Hobbs was sent off the even-money favourite but unlike stablemate Golden Horn in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe he was unable to overcome his wide draw, finishing third.  More at RacingUK

2:01 ET  FUTURITY S G2, Bel, $200,000, 2yo, 6f  R3  CARD
2:03 ET  Maryland Million Sprint (r) Lrl, $100,000, 3+, 6f, R4  CARD
3:00 ET  Grand National Hurdle G1, Far Hills, $300,000, 4+, 2 3/4mT R4  CARD
5:19 ET  ATHENIA S G3, Bel, $200,000, 3+, f&m, 1 1/16mT  R9  CARD
5:30 ET  RAVEN RUN S G2, Kee, $250,000, 3yo, f, 7f R9  CARD
5:37 ET  Maryland Million Classic (r), Lrl, $150,000, 3+, 1 1/8m  R10  CARD
5:40 ET  HAWTHORNE  DERBY G3, Haw, $150,000, 3yo, 1 1/8mT  R8  CARD
7:30 ET  AUTUMN MISS S G3, SA, $100,000, 3yo, f, 1mT  R8  CARD

More on today's races
Click here for all race entries for the Grand National

International - Japan
2:40 a.m. ET  Shuka Sho G1  JRA Oct 18 $1.6 Million a 3yo f 10f T R11  CARD

North America
2:34 ET  Matron S, G2, Bel, $200,000, 2yo, f, 6f   R4  CARD
2:42 ET  Nearctic S G2  WO  $300,000 3&up  6f T  R4  CARD
3:49 ET  Ontario Fashion S G3 WO  $150,000 3&up f/m  6f AW R6  CARD
4:57 ET  E.P. Taylor S  G1  WO  $500,000 g 3&up f/m  10f T  R8  CARD
5:42 ET  Canadian Internat'l G1 WO  $1,000,000 g 3&up  12f T R9  CARD

First of two part story about Beholder, by Vance Hanson.
Steve Haskin: 'Happy' days for Maria Borell

Espinoza to join Zayats and Bafferts for charity event