Barbaro Updates: 350
updates are now here.
Update 2272: I just watched the replay of the Haskell (I was at a play) and Any Given Saturday was impressive drawing away from Hard Spun and Curlin, by 5 or 6 lengths. Did not look like there were any excuses in the race, just one dominating performance. Fair Hill's Xchanger was close up through the first three quarters but then faded down the lane.
Update 2271: The three year old division is looking more interesting with an upset in the Haskell. Any Given Saturday took the honors, with Hard Spun and Curlin completing the first three.
Update 2270: We have a terrific update from Fans of Barbaro visit to Arlington Park yesterday: Gretchen Jackson to be honored.
I swung by Fair Hill this morning and caught up with Tim at Prizzios. There were also a couple of FOBs having breakfast. My journey begins tomorrow!
Update 2269: Rags to Riches worked an easy half mile this morning under Angel Cordero Jr.: Rags to Riches Works at Saratoga; Next Start Undetermined, excerpt:
"I thought the work went very well," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "Obviously we weren't looking for anything overly exciting, just wanted to give her a chance to stretch her legs. It went as expected. She's a tremendous athlete and mover, when you watch her train she's so powerful from behind. She's not a fast work horse, the main thing we're trying to do is keep her happy."
The big race today is the Haskell, with the return of Curlin: Curlin returns in $1-million Haskell Invitational.
Update 2268: Racing media coverage of the major races yesterday:
Update 2267: Another great update from Today at Saratoga, excerpt:
Favored Dream Rush won the race in sizzling wire-to-wire fashion--she just took off and no one could catch her. Anyone want to guess what happened to my exacta? Yup, first and third. If I bet on how my bets would turn out, I'd probably be more successful! I have liked Boca Grande for a long time but thought she was over her head today, and I was clearly wrong. That said, she beat Baroness Thatcher by about a neck right at the wire for second, so I was close...but that, unfortunately, doesn't count.
Update 2266: Zanjero held on in a tight finish to win the West Virginia Derby. This could set up to be a big weekend for Steve Asmussen who has Curlin in tomorrow for the Haskell. Delighful Kiss was the favourite, he came from far back and made a huge move around the turn, then faded in the stretch.
Update 2265: Dream Rush won the Test Stakes in a very fast, wire-to-wire performance.
Update 2264: This morning's Fair Hill update from Penny at timwoolleyracing.com:
Just heard from Tim. Very hot and humid morning for the horses and they were enjoying their soapy baths. Mass Romanic worked her first 3/8ths with us this morning and she went nicely. Robby Walsh took Nautical Agent to the track this morning and she did her usual high stepping all the way home. Tim is trying something new with Quick Quest. This morning he had blinkers on for the first time. This hopefully will help him focus and concentrate a little bit more. This little horse can run he just needs to figure things out. Some horses get it all together very quickly and some need time. He does continue to improve and hopefully we can get him to win a race soon. Quick is a great horse to be around and has tons of personality.
Update 2263: Tomorrow's Haskell field has been reduced by one as Stormello has come down with a bout of colic: Colic Knocks Stormello out of Haskell, excerpt:
Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Presented by Vonage (gr. I) lost one of its starters when California invader Stormello developed colic soon after arriving at Monmouth Park Friday night. The son of Stormy Atlantic was taken to Mid Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Ringoes, New Jersey, some 70 miles away.
Bill Currin, trainer, breeder, and co-owner of the colt said Dr. Rick Duran of Mid Atlantic told him Stormello was past the worst of the colic Saturday morning, but would likely remain at the clinic for at least a week before being returned to his home base at Del Mar.
Update 2262: An update from Penny (who is currently in Saratoga) at timwoolleyracing.com:
Scenes from Saratoga. Just a quick update on my dinner with Barclay Tagg and Robin Smullen last night. Yesterday they won a race with a first time starter "Rebounded".
The owners had dinner with us and could not have been happier with thier horse. They were so excited that he handled himself like a professional. Robounded even picked grass and had a roll after the race. Robin reports in that Funny Cide is doing well as a pony but still has to be let down just a little more. He got quite excited on the turf course yesterday. She is so happy that Funny got to stay with them as a pony. No Biz Like Show Biz was resting in his stall when I visited. What a gorgeous animal.
Update 2261: Jeannine Edwards sent this e-mail from Saratoga yesterday:
We actually got bumped off of ESPN for tomorrow's show because of the Barry Bonds watch. So we're now on ESPN Classic from 5-6pm, with re-airs on ESPN early Sunday morning. We're doing a split show, one race from Saratoga and one from Mountaineer Park in WV. Rob Stone and I are handling the Darley Test at Saratoga....
The Test is a Gr. 1 event for 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs, and there aren't too many races like that around. It's a prestigious race, one with a rich history, and one that owners and breeders covet having on their fillies' resumes. This year we have a 13-horse field featuring Dream Rush and Cotton Blossom. Dream Rush has the edge on her raw talent and controlling speed, although she may face some pace pressure tomorrow. Akronism has speed, as do Astor Park and Sheets. So Cotton Blossom, Down, and Boca Grande may come running. Rick Violette is confident in Dream Rush, and Bobby Frankel loves his filly Down.... even though she's taking a HUGE step up from breaking her maiden into a quality-laden Gr. 1. Todd Pletcher thinks Cotton Blossom will do better than her 3rd-place finish in the Delaware Oaks three weeks ago.
We're also televising the West Virginia Derby from Mountaineer Park and the boys of the crew (Randy Moss, Jerry Bailey, and Jay Privman) are handing that end of the show.
Speaking of Dream Rush and Rick Violette.... Joan Ciampi, one of our feature producers, and I spent about 5 1/2 hours with Rick this morning at Saratoga. We were shooting a feature about the morning routine of a trainer (with all the behind the scenes access you could ever want!) that will air next week on the Arlington Million telecast. Rick was most gracious with his time and patience as we followed him throughout his morning.... in the barn, in the stalls, in his office, out on the track. It was a really fun shoot. But, we got there at 4:45am..... so it's been a LONG day!!
We'll also have an update on Rags To Riches in tomorrow's show.... we watched her gallop here at Saratoga the last 2 mornings and I can tell you she looks fantastic! Very eager, happy, and hitting the ground well. I know Todd Pletcher is happy to have her back in training.