By Mike Farrell What a difference a horse makes, especially one as talented as Volatile. His abrupt retirement Monday with a hairline fracture stripped the Sprint Division of a leading performer. The loss will be felt all the way to the Breeders’ Cup. The gray son of Violence goes out a winner, having captured the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga in his final start. He now moves on to the next chapter, stud duty in 2021 at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky. Steve Asmussen, his trainer, compared Volatile to Mitole, last year’s sprint champion, and said “Volatile is
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By Margaret Ransom A betting bonanza is set for Santa Anita on the first Saturday of the autumn meet, with seven stakes carded including five with Breeders’ Cup implications. Overall, 11 races are on tap with a first-race post time of:30 p.m. PT. Here’s a look at the fields, with the feature attraction race 10 –the Awesome Again headlined by champion Maximum Security. $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes (G1), 1 1/8 miles, 3-year-olds and up (race 10) The main event – the Awesome Again – is a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup challenge event that guarantees the winner a spot
By Ed McNamara Ever since the first Breeders’ Cup in 1984, California-based horses have been major players on championship weekend. Home advantage in 14 Cups on the West Coast – Santa Anita (10), Hollywood Park (3) and Del Mar – helped, but SoCal runners have held their own elsewhere. Five years ago, they won four races at Keeneland, which will host the 37th Cup Nov. 6 and 7. Santa Anita was scheduled to reopen last weekend, but a raging wildfire near the mountains overlooking the track postponed it to Friday. Smoke from the blaze canceled training hours for a week
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By Richard Rosenblatt Another day, another update to the list of contenders for the 145th Preakness (G1) on Saturday (Oct. 3) at Pimlico Race Course. A day after Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Tiz the Law was declared out of the Preakness, Max Player on Wednesday (Sept. 23) became the latest probable for what in 2020 is the final leg of the Triple Crown. Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 20 – the first leg after the Triple Crown schedule was reshuffled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Derby on Sept. 5, the colt who had
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By Margaret Ransom Santa Anita’s autumn racing season finally gets underway Friday (Sept. 25), a week later than originally scheduled due to the Bobcat Fire – the largest in Los Angeles County history – which created poor air quality and unsafe breathing conditions for humans and horses. For days since the gates opened following the Del Mar meet, Santa Anita was either closed for training, or training hours were cut short to protect the animals and people stabled at the track. Though the fire still rages, the smoke has pushed away from the Arcadia area and racing will go on.
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By John Furgele The harness racing season continues to move forward, and this week’s big event is the Little Brown Jug on Thursday that caps off a most prestigious few days of pacing at the Delaware County Fair. What’s usually a week in which 40,000 fans flock to the fair in Delaware, Ohio, but in 2020 it’s been spectator-free due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Little Brown Jug is one of the few true American throwback racing events left (despite no fair-goers this week). Race week provides not only families showing up to feed the chickens, have their kids get
By Richard Rosenblatt Without a Triple Crown on the line, Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law will skip the Preakness on Oct. 3 and train up to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov. 7. The decision to pass on the Preakness – the final leg of the refashioned 2020 Triple Crown due to the COVID-19 pandemic – is not a surprise. Right after Tiz the Law finished second to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on Sept. 5 – the second Triple Crown race after the Belmont on June 20 – trainer Barclay Tagg hinted as
By Noel Michaels Fans of New York racing looking for leading riders Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Jose Ortiz were left flipping through their past performances and scratching their heads last weekend at Belmont Park. If you were wondering what happened to the top Belmont jockeys, here’s the rundown: Brothers Irad and Jose Ortiz were off serving suspensions dating back to the Saratoga and Belmont spring/summer meets. Other top riders, including Javier Castellano, Joel Rosario, and Junior Alvarado also missed days and were limited for the first three days of the Belmont fall meet. Irad Ortiz is serving a total suspension
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By Ray Wallin Risks are everywhere. Any money you invest in the stock market has the potential to return a profit or lose you money when that clinical trial fails. You take a risk every time you get behind the wheel of your car. You take a risk when you buy yesterday’s sushi at half price at a gas station. There are also plenty of risks in playing the races. Folks that make their living playing the races know them all too well. Most importantly they know how to identify, measure, and mitigate them to remain profitable. What types of
By Richard Rosenblatt In Europe, top-flight fillies and mares take on the fellas on a regular basis (Enable, Magical of late). Not so in North America, where there are more than enough races to keep the boys and girls separated most of the time. So when it does happen, it’s probably a good idea to pay attention — and invest a few dollars just for fun. After all, Rags to Riches beat the boys in the 2007 Belmont Stakes (G1); Rachel Alexandra won the 2009 Preakness (G1), and Zenyatta soared from last to first in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic
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