June 10, 2016 |
THE AFLEET Alex entourage had swelled to a small city by the 2005 Belmont Stakes. A large tent was rented that Saturday at Belmont Park to congregate, entertain and simply revel in the moment. There will be a Cathryn Sophia tent right by the Belmont Park paddock this Saturday. The Kentucky Oaks winner is running in the Acorn Stakes on the Belmont undercard and owner Chuck Zacney is bringing 120 people with him. "I had a chance to see her work out last Wednesday," Zacney said.
May 9, 2016 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A day later, the glow from Cathryn Sophia's overwhelming win in Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks before a record Oaks Day crowd of nearly 125,000 had not come close to wearing off for her Philadelphia connections. "There is the queen," her groom, Harry Harcourt, said early Saturday morning. Friends of Cathryn Sophia owner Chuck Zacney repaired to the Galt House downtown for a fairly subdued Friday night celebration. Trainer John Servis could not get a restaurant reservation for Friday but called a friend who told him about a place on Bardstown Road that was practically empty.
May 5, 2016 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Before Tuesday, John Servis had not started a horse at Churchill Downs since May 1, 2004. Biblical rains came back then, a few hours prior to the Kentucky Derby post time of 6:12 p.m. Nothing, however, was going to stop the Servis-trained Smarty Jones from winning that Derby. This Friday, the Parx Racing-based Servis will try to pull off a career double typically reserved for Hall of Famer trainers like D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert - win the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.
November 2, 2014 |
ARCADIA, Calif. - The biggest day in Pennsylvania racing history resonated across the country yesterday when the brilliant 3-year-old filly Untapable, winner of the Cotillion Stakes at Parx 6 weeks ago, circled the field to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita, capping off a brilliant season. Ninety minutes before the Distaff, Tapiture, second in the Pennsylvania Derby which was run right after the Cotillion on Sept. 20, ran a race that probably would have beaten any miler in the country except for defending Dirt Mile champion Goldencents.
September 19, 2014 |
WHEN UNTAPABLE won four consecutive stakes by a combined 31 lengths in three states from February to June, there were Rachel Alexandra whispers. The great Rachel, destined for the Hall of Fame, put together perhaps the best year ever by a 3-year-old filly in 2009 - going unbeaten, winning the Kentucky Oaks by the length of the stretch, winning the Preakness, the Haskell and the Woodward against males, showing tremendous speed in every race and...
July 15, 2014 |
STANTON, Del. - How races are run often is more determinant in results than what horses are running in those races. How horses undergo subtle changes over time also matters every bit as much as the history of those horses. When 2014 began, the idea of Belle Gallantey beating Princess of Sylmar in any race, much less Saturday's Grade I $750,000 Delaware Handicap would have been laughable. In 2013, Belle Gallantey was 1-for-14 and was claimed for $35,000 from her final race of the year.
November 2, 2013 |
Ed Stanco is an actuary. If anyone's going to calculate the odds of a first-time breeder's producing North America's best female horse, it should be him. "There are no odds," said Stanco. "It doesn't happen. Period. We're in uncharted territory. " An East Goshen, Chester County, resident who has dabbled for barely a decade in the sport he discovered as a boy, Stanco was talking about his 3-year-old filly, Princess of Sylmar, the Pennsylvania-bred who won four Grade I stakes races between May and September.
October 30, 2013 |
WHEN STORM Dixie's career came to an end 5 years ago, Ed Stanco and his five partners in King of Prussia Stable decided they might want to breed their mare. She had won her first race, but never won again. Their superstar trainer, Todd Pletcher, did not exactly give her a rousing endorsement, Stanco remembering him saying, "I wouldn't put a $10,000 stud fee into her. " Pletcher, one of the most intelligent and prudent people in horse racing, got Storm Dixie appraised for about $20,000.
July 12, 2012
Grace Hall is the big favorite in the Grade II Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park on Saturday. The mile-and-a-sixteenth, $400,000 filly classic has attracted a field of seven. In her most recent race, the locally based daughter of Empire Maker, who broke her maiden at Delaware Park in her career debut July 11, 2011, finished third in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 4. The winner of the Kentucky Oaks, Believe You Can, and the second-place finisher, Broadway's Alibi, also broke their maidens at Delaware Park in 2011.
June 6, 2012 |
Writer Linny Scott is a small-time horse breeder in Chester County. She buys horses, sells horses, hoping to come out on the right end of enough deals to make more deals. She is what would be called a backyard breeder, rarely with more than three or four mares at a time. Horses are, in many ways, 1,000-pound lottery tickets. You always hope it is your turn. The odds of one person once owning the mother of the 2011 Kentucky Oaks winner and the 2012 Kentucky Derby winner are roughly the equivalent of hitting Powerball.