By Ray Wallin The year is 1898. It is the middle of summer in the south of England, the Summer Bank Holiday which is one of the busiest racing and betting days in England. You’ve perused the paper and made your picks. The only thing left is to ring up your local bookie and place your bets, especially the ones at the new Trodmore Hunt meet, which was to begin on Aug. 1. All well and good — that is, if the track you are betting actually exists. As long as there have been sporting events, there have been hoaxes.
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By Richard Rosenblatt If all goes well over the next seven weeks, and in the case of Maximum Security that’s asking a lot, racing fans may find themselves cheering on a most unlikely hero. First things first, though. And that would be that Maximum Security came out of his dominating victory in the $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap no worse for the wear in the final race of a 3-year-old campaign that’s worthy of a Hollywood script. The win, the third Grade 1 for Gary and Mary West’s colt, all but clinched the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male for a
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By Richard Rosenblatt So there! With a dominating stretch run, Maximum Security cruised to victory in the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) on Saturday at chilly Aqueduct Racetrack and likely clinched an Eclipse Award as 3-year-old champion. Not even quick fractions in the early going (22.80 seconds for the first quarter-mile) could deter the 3-year-old colt from taking charge over Spun to Run and winning by 3 ½ lengths under Luis Saez. The victory was the third Grade 1 for the Gary and Mary West-owned Maximum Security ($4.60 for a $2 win bet), the most of sophomore male. In one of
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By Margaret Ransom Bob Baffert looks to continue his dominance of the Southern California juvenile scene as he seeks a third consecutive sweep of the Starlet and Los Alamitos Futurity on Saturday. The two-time Triple Crown winning trainer sent out Dream Tree and McKinzie to take the two races in 2017 and Chasing Yesterday and Improbable a year ago. This time, he’ll be represented by a pair in each race — Bast and Gingham in the Starlet, and High Velocity and Thousand Words in the Futurity. Overall, he’s saddled five Starlet winners and 11 Futurity winners dating back to before
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By Lynne Snierson Five weeks ago, the sport’s flashy, international equine stars were spotlighted in the $28 million Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. On Saturday the blue-collar horses, those who are the foundation for the day-to-day racing programs at racetracks all across the country from Suffolk Downs to Emerald Downs, get their day in the sun as they vie for championships of their own in the $1.1 million Claiming Crown at Gulfstream Park. The Claiming Crown, which was the brainchild of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (HBPA) and the Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association (TOBA) as a partnership
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By Ed McNamara The late, great Ed Comerford was the turf writer at Newsday when I started my 36-year career there in 1983, and I learned a lot from him. Besides being a wordsmith, Ed was a funny guy who pulled no punches. He spent six months each year covering Aqueduct, that deliciously seedy track in Queens not far from blustery Jamaica Bay. When the winds whip up, the Big A’s parking lot can feel like the North Pole. Ed would say, “Whenever you think about going to Aqueduct in the winter, ask yourself why.” Most of the time, that’s
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Grants Pass Downs wrapped a safe and successful inaugural commercial race meet on Nov. 4, drawing horsemen and fans from across the west to Southern Oregon Grants Pass, Ore. – Dec. 2, 2019 – Grants Pass Downs, Oregon’s premier horse racing track, concluded its first commercial meet on November 4, following a successful seven-week run of Sunday and Monday racing. The meet, which began September 22, carded 123 races over 14 dates and drew about 25,000 racing fans to Grants Pass Downs. Hundreds of horsemen from around Oregon and across the West participated, with competitors coming from as far away
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By Mike Farrell Maximum Security concludes a tumultuous season Saturday in the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct. You need a journey in the Wayback Machine — to the eras of Dancer’s Image and Spectacular Bid — to unearth a 3-year-old immersed in so much controversy. The former $16,000 claimer became the talk of racing, and the sport’s world in general, with his disqualification in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He was unquestionably the best horse on that sloppy afternoon at Churchill Downs. The stewards found fault, and placed him 17th for interference. The lawsuits by owners Gary and Mary West
By Richard Rosenblatt Maximum Security may have his toughest race of the year when he takes on older horses for the first time as well as Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Spun to Run in the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack. A formidable field of 11 has been entered for the prestigious race, and could help determine the Eclipse Award winner for champion 3-year-old male. Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security, who finished first the Kentucky Derby (G1) but was DQ’d for interference and placed 17th, comes into the race off victories in the Haskell Invitational
By Jenny Kellner Sometimes a Cigar is more than just a Cigar. Such was the case with Allen Paulson’s inestimable racehorse, for whom Saturday’s 31st running of the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct Racetrack is named. Cigar was at the close of his 4-year-old season when he ran in the then-NYRA Mile back in 1994, dismissed at nearly 9-1 after going 1-for-5 for his new trainer, Bill Mott. A mediocre grass horse for trainer Alex Hassinger in California, Cigar had been shipped east in the hopes the change of courses would be to his benefit. The results were not