For European racing fans, Royal Ascot has always been the premiere meeting, each of the five day’s races steeped in history and filled with the best horses, trainers and jockeys, not to mention fashion, tradition and royal pageantry. Now with the increased participation of more horses from around the globe – especially America – Royal Ascot has arguably never been more popular. This year, Royal Ascot runs from Tuesday, June 18, through Saturday, June 22. More than 300,000 patrons are expected to attend the races each day, including Queen Elizabeth II, who arrives promptly 30 minutes before the first race
It has been quite a year for horse racing. It began with equine fatalities at Santa Anita Park. At present, there have been 29. In May and June, we witnessed what can be surmised as an interesting Triple Crown season. We saw Maximum Security “win” the Kentucky Derby, only to get disqualified; we saw the jockeyless Bodexpress run wildly at the Preakness and then we saw the unheralded horse with the cool name, Sir Winston, win the Belmont at 10-1 odds. We will head to summer with everything in the air. For Santa Anita, their winter-spring meet can’t end soon
These days, it’s all about Chad. Chad Brown heads into Father’s Day weekend following a remarkable three-day run at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival – and the three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer didn’t even have a horse in the Belmont Stakes. Sporting expensive, tailor-made suits, the 40-year-old Brown strolled in and out of the Belmont Park winner’s circle seven times in 18 stakes races at the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from June 6-8. His biggest scores occurred last Saturday, when he won three Grade 1 races — the $1 million Manhattan with the sensational Bricks and Mortar, the $700,000 Acorn
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Saturday’s $600,000 Stephen Foster Stakes (GII) at Churchill Downs marks the last major stakes at the Louisville oval for the spring meeting and the first time the nine-furlong feature for the older horse division will be run under stakes conditions after being held under handicap status since its first running in 1982. Also, the race received a downgrade to a grade 2 this year after having been a grade 1 since 2002, but that didn’t stop the connections of some of the best horses from the older route division from dropping their names into the entry box. The Foster is
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Whether you make a living playing the races or pocket some serious folding money when you aren’t working your day job you need to be mentally strong. So what sets apart the winning from the losing horseplayers? #1 They Move On It is the twelfth and last race of the day as you head to the Monmouth Park paddock to look at the field of green maidens. There is Rail Guy again, still talking about the troubled trip in the first that cost him a ton of money. “Dat five horse knocked out my four and cost me a couple
Who says horses aren’t sensitive? Who says that they don’t know what’s going on? If you have any doubts as to the equine’s awareness, it might be time to have a conversation with Sir Winston, the 2019 Belmont Stakes Champion. All week long, Sir Winston hung out in his stall, a few doors down from the 2019 Preakness Stakes Champion, War of Will. All week, reporters assembled at that barn, asking trainer Mark Casse and his staff if that colt could take the Preakness and thus, two-thirds of the Triple Crown. And if so, the questions would begin—had Maximum Security
And that’s that. One of the strangest Triple Crown seasons I can think of ended Saturday evening at Belmont Park, when the party of the second part (Mark Casse) defeated the party of the first part (Bill Mott) in the third and final chapter of three days at the races. The above, of course, is a reference the Marx Brothers’ “A Night at the Opera,” that perhaps best describes this year’s kooky Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. And, as Chico said to Groucho in “A Day at the Races,” you must have a code book to figure it all
Robert and Lawana Low’s Intrepid Heart will run in the Belmont Stakes off a third-place finish in the Peter Pan Stakes a month ago. He is a son of leading sire Tapit, who has sired the Belmont Stakes winner in three of the last five years (Tapwrit, 2017; Creator, 2016; and Tonalist, 2014) and is lightly raced, having only three starts to his credit. The $750,000 OBS 2-year-old in training purchase is conditioned by Todd Pletcher, who seeks his fourth Belmont winner after saddling the filly Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017. He
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Wertheimer and Frere’s homebred Spinoff is one of trainer Todd Pletcher’s two Belmont runners and makes his first start since finishing 18th of 19 in the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago. He is a son on of grade 1 winner Hard Spun, who was fourth in the 2007 Belmont Stakes, and the grade 1-winning Gone West mare Zaftig, so the 12 furlongs of the Belmont falls well within his range of probable ability. Before the Derby, Spinoff had won an allowance race at Tampa and then was second in the Louisiana Derby, so an argument can be made about his fitness
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From soccer player and equine business student at the University of Louisville to hot walker, to assistant trainer for Todd Pletcher, Eddie Kenneally and Doug O’Neill, to private trainer for iconic Calumet Farm—what a journey it’s been. That’s the path Englishman Jack Sisterson has taken over the years, and now he’s ready for what could be the biggest day of his nearly-one-year career as trainer for one of the world’s most famous thoroughbred stables. Sisterson will send out horses in two of the eight Grade 1 stakes on Belmont Stakes Day – Bandua in the $1 million Manhattan and Lexitonian