Iron Maidens

Chitu, Midnight Hawk give Baffert exacta in Sunland Derby

Mar 23rd, 2014 | By TrackSide View

Chitu275webTracksideview.com report

A little more than a week ago it looked like trainer Bob Baffert was going to be on the outside looking in at this year’s Kentucky Derby. But it takes time for some young colts to mature and now Baffert is sitting with three colts that have a lock on getting into the starting gate on May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Two of them, Hoppertunity and Chitu, have legitimate chances of winning the mile-and-a-quarter race.…



Cairo Prince tops 97 nominees for Florida Derby March 29

Mar 19th, 2014 | By TrackSide View

CairoPrince275webGulfstream Park report

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Cairo Prince, a convincing 5¾ -length winner of the $400,000 Miller Lite Holy Bull Stakes (G2) in his most recent start, tops a group of 97 3-year-olds nominated for the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) on March 29 at Gulfstream Park.

The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt has produced a solid series of workouts at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, since the Jan. 25 Holy Bull in preparation…



Constitution to make stakes debut in Florida Derby

Mar 13th, 2014 | By TrackSide View

Gulfstream Park report

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Lightly raced unbeaten colt Constitution will make his stakes debut in the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) on March 29 at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Todd Pletcher is pointing the 3-year-old son of Tapit to the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, Gulfstream’s signature race which carries a total of 170 qualifying points for the May 3 Kentucky Derby (G1), with 100 to the winner.

“He’s doing very well and we’re planning to run…



Ring Weekend springs upset in Tampa Bay Derby

Mar 8th, 2014 | By TrackSide View

Tampa Bay Downs report

OLDSMAR, Fla. – At the start of the week, the connections of 3-year-old gelding Ring Weekend planned to enter him in the $100,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park, close to trainer H. Graham Motion’s Fair Hill base.

What a difference five days can make.

Having broken his maiden only four weeks ago at Gulfstream, Ring Weekend went wire-to-wire to win the Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby by three lengths from the Sam F. Davis…



Sweet Reason comes back a winner in Aqueduct race

Mar 7th, 2014 | By TrackSide View

Sweet_Reason275webSean Morris
NYRA/Aqueduct Racetrack

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Sweet Reason, winner of the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga Race Course last summer, made a successful return to the races on Friday at Aqueduct Racetrack in the featured eighth race, a one-mile allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by Leah Gyarmati for Treadway Racing Stable, the precocious daughter of Street Sense tracked the tepid early pace in fourth under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., while racing in the clear. As the…



Bayern out of San Felipe

Mar 5th, 2014 | By TrackSide View

californiachrome275web(Trainer Bob Baffert announced Thursday that Bayern will be scratched from the San Felipe because of a bruised quarter)

Mike Willman
Santa Anita Park

ARCADIA, Calif. — Baffert will also saddle Midnight Hawk, a winner of the Grade III, one mile Sham Stakes two starts back who ran a disappointing third as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Robert B. Lewis Stakes Feb. 8.  Beaten 1¾ lengths by the highly regarded Candy Boy, Baffert is…



Large field entered for Tampa Bay Derby

Mar 5th, 2014 | By TrackSide View

Mike Henry
Tampa Bay Downs

OLDSMAR, Fla. – The 34th edition of the Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby will be contested at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, with a field of 10 3-year-olds set to go a mile-and-a-sixteenth and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 3.

Saturday is Festival Day 34 – the richest day in the track’s 88-year history, with 12 races on a card that begins at 12:25 p.m.…



Samraat heads to Florida to prep for Wood Memorial

Mar 2nd, 2014 | By TrackSide View

Samraat_275webNYRA release

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Undefeated Samraat was on his way to Florida Sunday afternoon, one day after running his winning streak to five and landing atop the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with his gritty victory over Uncle Sigh and In Trouble in the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack.

With 60 points – 50 for his Gotham victory and 10 for his win in the Grade 3 Withers – in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series,…



Samraat still unbeaten after winning Gotham thriller

Mar 1st, 2014 | By TrackSide View

Samraat_275webJenny Kellner
NYRA/Aqueduct Racetrack

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Undefeated Samraat fought his way to a narrow lead at the top of the stretch and held on grimly in a furious three-way battle to the wire on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack to win the 62nd running of the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham for 3-year-olds by a neck.

The victory – his fifth straight – gave the son of Noble Causeway 50 points in the “Road to the Kentucky



Havana misses Swale because of quarter crack on right front

Mar 1st, 2014 | By TrackSide View

havana-2-275webGulfstream Park report

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Champagne (G1) winner Havana, 9-5 program favorite for Saturday’s $200,000 Swale (G2) at Gulfstream Park, was scratched because of a quarter crack in his right front foot, trainer Todd Pletcher said.

The seven-furlong Swale was to be the first start of the year for the 3-year-old Dunkirk colt, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. His injury was discovered after a routine gallop this morning at Palm…