June 14, 2016
ELMONT, N.Y. - When unbeaten Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist finishes third in the Preakness after getting involved in an enervating pace duel and incredibly consistent Preakness winner Exaggerator finishes 11th in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, appreciation grows for what American Pharoah did last year by winning the first Triple Crown in 37 years. Either something goes wrong during a race or a horse hits the Triple Crown wall in the Belmont Stakes racing for the third time in 5 weeks, a concept completely foreign to top class American racehorses in the 21st century, or we get American Pharoah who manages to survive the Derby when he was at less than his best and dominate the final two legs with his speed, power and stamina.
November 1, 2015 |
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Liam's Map had just run the best losing race of the year when Terry Finley's old friend, Vincent Viola, a fellow West Point graduate, explained that Finley became a part owner of Liam's Map before the race. A nice gift between friends after Liam's Map ran a brilliant second in the Aug. 8 Whitney at Saratoga. Finley, a Truman High graduate who grew up going to the races at Liberty Bell and runs one of the most successful horse partnerships in America (West Point Thoroughbreds)
August 3, 2015 |
American Pharoah's ending up at the Jersey Shore this weekend? No great surprise. His owner is from New Jersey, and his trainer has won this particular race so often they may eventually have to rename it the Baffert Invitational. For now it's still the Haskell, annually one of horse racing's most important summer stops, and Oceanport will be the center of the racing world again on Sunday. They're predicting up to 60,000 will invade Monmouth Park Racetrack to watch the Triple Crown winner in his first race after his historic Belmont Stakes triumph.
October 30, 2014 |
ARCADIA, Calif. _ Bob Baffert is one trainer who never hides his feelings. When he thinks he has a special horse, he lets everybody know. It has been clear for weeks he is in love with American Pharoah, the certain favorite for Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita and the trainer's best hope for the 2015 Kentucky Derby. The Derby is still possible, but Baffert announced yesterday morning that American Pharoah won't make the Juvenile. "He has a deep foot bruise in his left front," Baffert said.
June 9, 2014 |
ELMONT, N.Y. - Princess of Sylmar, the Kentucky Oaks-winning filly owned by West Chester's Ed Stanco, lost by a head in a stirring stretch duel that ended with Close Hatches winning the $1 million Ogden Phipps Stakes on Saturday. Last after a quick half-mile of 45 seconds, Princess of Sylmar moved up and halfway through the long stretch was battling furiously with archrival Beholder, Antipathy, and the eventual winner. After a side-by-side duel through the final furlong of the 11/16-mile event, the 4-year-old lost by a head bob. Antipathy was third and the favored Beholder fourth.
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.
June 10, 2013 |
ELMONT. N.Y. - In the last 15 years, as American training methods have changed dramatically and top horses never race three times in 5 weeks except during the Triple Crown, only two horses that ran in each of the events during racing's marquee series have been able to win the Belmont Stakes. In this era, to survive the series and come out the other side with a victory, it takes sensational animals like 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given and Philly's own 2005 3-year-old champion Afleet Alex.
June 9, 2013 |
ELMONT, N.Y. - The horses were making the turn to the homestretch at Belmont Park, and two had separated. Oxbow had led much of the race and Palace Malice had stalked behind, and now the two horses were even. Aboard Palace Malice, Mike Smith turned to his left, to Oxbow and Gary Stevens. "It was like a movie scene," Smith said. "I could just see [Stevens'] face clear as day, and he says: 'Go on with it, little brother. You're moving better than me.' " With that, Palace Malice peeled away from Oxbow and a charging Orb to take Saturday's 145th Belmont Stakes by 31/4 lengths.
May 31, 2013 |
PENN NATIONAL, the track a few miles north of Harrisburg, opened in 1972. Tomorrow night will be the biggest in the track's history, with the $500,000 Penn Mile and five other stakes on a $1 million card. The Mile for 3-year-olds on grass will be the signature race, with some really good, young horses potentially on their way to stardom. Even with a race of that quality, there is no doubt about the signature horse. It is the incredible Ben's Cat, the 7-year-old trained by Maryland legend King Leatherbury.
May 5, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The four of them will be sitting on Millionaires Row, which only begins to hint at their real worth, and rooting for a horse named Normandy Invasion. "If he's as lucky as the rest of us," said 90-year-old Ray Woods, with a nod toward his friends, "he'll win. " Woods and the others will be rooting for Rick Porter's bay at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday because of what the horse owner has done for vets. For most of his 20 years in the business, the ex-soldier has been naming horses to honor veterans.