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SPORTS
March 20, 2012
Bob Baffert's Arkansas Shuttle keeps rolling, likely carrying a couple of his 3-year-old colts to the Kentucky Derby in less than seven weeks. The Hall of Fame trainer had another successful weekend at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., with Secret Circle winning the $500,000 Rebel Stakes by three-quarters of a length over fast-closing Optimizer on Saturday. The bay colt will return to California this week but is scheduled to be shuttled back for the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 7 and shoot for an Oaklawn sweep.
SPORTS
March 6, 2012 | By Richard Rosenblatt, Associated Press
With a few equipment tweaks and a new running style, Hansen is on his way to becoming one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby. Fitted with a new bit and running without blinkers for the first time, the near-white Hansen showed he can run from off the pace, too, by winning the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday. It marked the first time in his four wins the speedy 3-year-old colt didn't lead wire-to-wire. "That's my job," Hansen's trainer Mike Maker said, referring to the changes he made after the colt's only defeat, a second-place finish in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan. 29 following a stumble at the start.
SPORTS
February 27, 2012 | By Dick Jerardi, Daily News Staff Writer
HALLANDALE, Fla. - Phyllis Wyeth was seated in her scooter by the rail, not far from the finish line, her husband Jamie standing next to her, trainer Michael Matz and assistant trainer Peter Brette just a few rows back in Gulfstream Park's outdoor grandstand. Union Rags, the colt they had been waiting four months to see race again, was walking slowly to the starting gate for the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes. The horse, massive as a 2-year-old, had grown dramatically over the winter and towered over the six opponents that had just shared the paddock and walking ring with him. What, they all had to wonder, were they about to see?
SPORTS
February 27, 2012 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer
HALLANDALE, Fla. - Phyllis Wyeth was seated in her scooter by the rail, not far from the finish line, her husband Jamie standing next to her, trainer Michael Matz and assistant trainer Peter Brette just a few rows back in Gulfstream Park's outdoor grandstand. Union Rags, the colt they had been waiting 4 months to see race again, was walking slowly to the starting gate for the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes. The horse, massive as a 2-year-old, had grown dramatically over the winter and towered over the six opponents that had just shared the paddock and walking ring with him. What, they all had to wonder, were they about to see?
SPORTS
November 30, 2011 | BY DICK JERARDI, jerardd@phillynews.com
UNION RAGS HAS been relaxing in South Florida since the day after his dramatic late run in the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs fell just short. The first loss of his career did not change the colt's status as the early favorite for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. While Union Rags gets some rest and time to grow, trainer Michael Matz has mapped out a two-race plan to get the colt back to Churchill for the May 5 Derby. Matz is looking at the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Sunday, Feb. 26, and the $1 million Florida Derby on Saturday, March 31. Both races are at Gulfstream Park.
SPORTS
September 25, 2011 | By Craig Donnelly, For The Inquirer
To Honor and Serve, considered among the nation's top Kentucky Derby prospects earlier this year, continued his climb toward the top of the current 3-year-old crop when he dominated eight opponents in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby Saturday at Parx Racing. Ruler On Ice, this year's 24-1 upset winner of the Belmont Stakes, rallied powerfully to finish second, 21/4 lengths behind the winner and 31/2 lengths before Rattlesnake Bridge. Arthur's Tale, J W Blue, Norman Asbjornson, the pacesetting Rush Now, Pender Harbour, and Isn't He Perfect followed in that order.
SPORTS
September 24, 2011 | By Craig Donnelly, For The Inquirer
Ruler On Ice stunned millions of observers when he captured the Belmont Stakes over a sloppy track at 24-1 in June. On Saturday, Ruler On Ice will be the first winner of a Triple Crown event ever to enter the starting gate for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (Grade II) at Parx Racing. Since the stunning upset, Ruler On Ice competed well but was defeated in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park and the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, both Grade I, $1-million events. Despite his credentials, which include an impressive victory over the Parx course in February, Ruler On Ice might not be the favorite in the 11/8-mile Derby.
SPORTS
May 19, 2011
Graham Motion was hoping Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom got a post from the middle to the outside of the 14-horse Preakness field. So, Post 11 for Saturday's 1 3/16 mile-race was just about what the trainer wanted. "It's great," Motion said. "I couldn't be happier, really. I just would rather be on the outside than stuck down on the inside. I was a little worried when 1 and 14 were left. I've started from 14 before and you're almost on the outside rail. That's a tough spot. " Animal Kingdom was 20-1 when he won the Derby.
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