Thursday, August 23, 2012
AMERICA'S BEST RACING Thoroughbred Notebook
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FEATURING
Bob Baffert
PHOTOS
This Week
Fan Photo
VOICES
From the Grandstand
Multi-Media
In the News
In the Blogosphere
NHC NEWS
CALENDAR
Weekend Stakes Races
Racing to History
Racing On the Air
TURN OF FOOT
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK  top 
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A festive crowd attended this year’s Arlington Million Day (image via Global Adrenaline’s Facebook page)

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The son of Deep Impact and Grade I winner Gozzip Girl (Image via @Three_Chimneys Twitter feed)
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The Racing 101 Fan Hub draws new fans eager to learn about horse racing at Saratoga (Image via the @HorsePlayerNow Twitter page)
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Point of Entry takes over national trends on Twitter following his win in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga
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Little Mike and the Arlington Million trend simultaneously after his win in Chicago
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Frankel trends nationally after his breathtaking win on Wednesday in the Juddmonte International at York
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Image courtesy of HorsePhotos.com

For the past 15 years, if you used the phrase “the most recognizable man in racing,” there was only one fellow you could reference – Bob Baffert. It hasn’t changed. The 59-year-old Arizonan, who headquarters in California but races all over the country (and you can throw in Dubai, too), still has that head full of silver hair, the irreverent wit and a barn full of the best horses a conditioner could hope for. If you say the word “Derby,” Baffert’s eyes sparkle. He has won three Runs for the Roses and trained 11 champions.  Baffert owns three Eclipse Awards (1997,1998,1999) as the nation’s Outstanding Trainer and in 2009, he was inducted into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame. And, despite a heart scare this past March while in Dubai, he’s going just as strong as ever.

TWO MINUTE LICK WITH BOB BAFFERT top

Name: Bob Baffert

Birthplace: Nogales, AZ

Most influential person in my career: My Dad, who got me involved with horses.

My out-of-the-box idea for Thoroughbred racing: Limited artificial insemination (so breeders don’t have to transport mares.)

My favorite racetrack: Santa Anita

My fantasy job: Olympic skier

What I like most about my job: I’m always around horses and outdoors

Others sports/teams I follow: Lakers, Angels and U of A (Arizona)

My Heroes: The doctor who saved me in Dubai (Dr. Rajesh)

What about myself would surprise those who know me: I don’t drink or smoke.

My favorite athlete of all-time: Muhammad Ali

Most treasured possession/memento: Derby trophies

A pet peeve: People who wear ball caps with coat and tie

What book(s) I am reading or have recently read:  The Black Hand

Favorite magazines: Car and Driver

Favorite websites I visit daily/weekly:  Blood-horse and Paulick Report

Gadget I cannot live without: Laptop

Hobbies away from Thoroughbred racing: Playing guitar

Last concert I attended: The Eagles

Favorite foods: Used to be Mexican food

What I drive: Range Rover Autobiography

If I could be a guest on any TV talk show it would be: Jay Leno

If I could appear on any television show it would be: Hawaii Five-O

If I could be a guest on any talk radio show it would be: Jim Rome

If I could be on stage I would play what instrument:  Guitar

Favorite musician/band: The Eagles and Pink Floyd

Favorite actor: Russell Crowe

Newspaper I read daily: DRF

I’d like to have dinner with: Charles Barkley

Best racetrack food can be found at: Saratoga (Shake Shack)

Accomplishment I am most proud of: Being inducted into the Hall of Fame

My philosophy on life: Media is great as long as you don’t say what you really think.

Favorite quote or motto: If you’re going to be a bear, be a Grizzly.

Things I collect: Guitars

Celebrity/prominent personality friends include: Bode Miller, Michael Phelps, Joe Torre, Indian Charlie

Favorite authors:  Ernest Hemingway

Favorite animal other than a horse: Dolphin

What actor would play me in a movie: Steve Martin

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended: Lakers playoffs, World Series

What historical figure do you most identify with: Harry S Truman

What living person do you most admire:  Joe Torre and Michael Phelps

Twitter handle: @Midnightlute

People I follow on Twitter: Michael Phelps

No. 1 Bucket List item: See the big waves on the North Shore in Hawaii
FAN PHOTO OF THE WEEK top
NTRA

Congratulations to photographer Amara Kranz, winner of the August 22 Fan Photo Contest! From Amara: "Here is All For Thee in the Illinois Owners Stakes. As she went around the paddock she kept looking into the crowd, she even looked at me a few times with her ears up looking right at the camera. Wonder if she knew I was taking her picture?" Want in? E-mail your submissions with a brief caption to photos@NTRA.com!

VOICES top
FROM THE GRANDSTAND top

Kiaran McLaughlin light-heartedly responding to a media question on what Alpha’s status as one of only two Kentucky Derby starters this year to make it to the Travers says about this year’s Run for the Roses:
“Other than I'm a real good trainer?  No, I don't know what it says.”

Trainer Sir Henry Cecil, who has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments, quoted in Thoroughbred Daily News on Frankel’s win yesterday in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York:
“It makes me feel 20 years better.”

Bob McNair, owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans and part-owner of Travers Stakes hopeful Street Life, telling Bill Finley on ESPN.com why he dislikes handicap racing:
"In the NFL we try to create stars. We don't handicap our stars. In horse racing we handicap our stars. We put more weight on our best horses to slow them down and as a result of that they don't win as many races and as a result of that they're not as big a star. As a result of that there's not as much fan interest. But it's being done to satisfy the gaming interests. The emphasis is on the wrong place. Do away with handicap races, especially if it's a graded stakes race."


MULTI-MEDIA top

Video: Jockey Joe Talamo talks Pacific Classic and racing strategy (KUSI News)

Video: Frankel, arguably the best horse in the world, dominates the competition in yesterday’s Juddmonte International Stakes (RUKTV1 YouTube channel)

Photos: Frankel shines in the Juddmonte International (Thoroughbred Daily News)

Video: Interview with jockey Tom Queally after Frankel wins the Juddmonte International Stakes (RUKTV1’s YouTube channel)

Video: Racing UK’s feature on Kind, Frankel’s mother (RUKTV1’s YouTube channel)

Video: From Lingfield, the first-ever dead heat in a two horse race? (TheTimeshare1991’s YouTube channel)

Video: An overserved New Zealand man hops the fence to race against the horses at Otaki Race Course (The Dominion Post)

Video: Replay of Questing’s blowout win in the Alabama at Saratoga (NBC News)

Video: Zenyatta’s son gets his first bath (ZenyattaOfficial’s YouTube channel)

Photos: 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace at Taylor Made Farm (Taylor Made Sales Agency’s Facebook Page)

Video: Team Valor horse Meistersinger plays in his Fair Hill round pen before heading to work (TeamValorStable’s YouTube channel)

Photos: Horse Racing improves ways to attract new fans (Bleacherreport.com)

Photos: Reader-submitted photos to the Albany Times-Union are heavy on Saratoga scenes (Albany Times-Union)


IN THE NEWS top

Alpha made 5-2 for Travers Stakes (USA Today)

Tackling the 2012 Travers (The Kansas City Star)

Texans owner eyes Travers win (ESPN.com)

Turbulent Descent runs for new outfit in the Ballerina (Horse Racing Nation)

NYRA’s efforts impressive for this summer’s meet (The Saratogian)

New York racing a good bet (The Saratogian)

A visit with Saratoga jockey Rosie Napravnik (New York Times)

Couple who met at Saratoga gets engaged on Alabama Day (Capital Region YNN)

Area horse farm, local trainer finding success at Saratoga (PostStar.com)

Pacific Classic headed by Game on Dude (Bradenton Herald)

Dullahan’s racing style could fit TVG Pacific Classic (UT San Diego.com)

Game on Dude favored in Pacific Classic (FoxSports.net)

For many at Del Mar, horseracing trails fashion and fun (The Sacramento Bee)

Jack Wolf helps lead the way for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (The Saratogian)

Breeders’ Cup host tracks must meet rigorous standards (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Q&A: Nick Nicholson reflects on career at Keeneland (Lexington Herald Leader)

Questing and Little Mike enter the NTRA Poll (Bradenton Herald)

Frankel shines in the Juddmonte International (Bleacherreport.com)

Wonder horse Frankel extends winning run to 13 with Juddmonte Victory (CNN.com)

Jockey Club launches interactive game (Brisnet.com)

On being a female sports fan (Forbes)

Can horse racing catch up? (ChicagoSide)

Bodemeister retired; to stud at WinStar (Lexington-Herald Leader)

Hansen injures tendon, likely retired (The Blood-Horse)

Three-Year-Old retirements: Tough Choices, Sleepless Nights (The Paulick Report)

Questing wins the Alabama Stakes (Albany Times Union)

Little Mike stands tall at Arlington Million (Boston.com)

Nebraska track announcer says job lets him get paid while enjoying his hobby (The Republic)

Las Vegas dispute putting race book pari-mutuel betting in jeopardy (Daily Racing Form)

Oldest jockey fights to keep racing (Huffington Post)

Q&A with Thoroughbred owner/breeder Charlotte Weber (The Business Review Journal)

Trainer Jason Servis enjoying banner 2012 (Brisnet.com)

Charity golf tournament to benefit injured son of Morris (Thoroughbred Times)

Help us count all the horses across the commonwealth (Lexington Herald Leader)


IN THE BLOGOSPHERE top

Victor Espinoza to ride the newly purchased Richard’s Kid in Pacific Classic  (North County Times)

Sensational Sisters: Winding Way and Kauai Katie (HorseRaceNation.com)

Injuries take toll on the Travers (Xpressbet.com)

Wayne Lukas invites young fan into winner’s circle at Saratoga (Horse Racing Nation)

Saratoga state of mind (The Blood-Horse)

The fix is in for New York to cut purses (Tenoonan.com)

Two-year-old stakes winners Maybe So, Circle Unbroken and Blueeyesintherein all sidelined for remainder of the year (Courier Journal)

A perspective on the retirement of three-year-olds (All Equine All the time)

Win a VIP experience at Maryland Million Day (Maryland Million)

New Vocations granted $50,000 to help retired Thoroughbreds (The Horse)

OTTB Showcase: King of Spain (A.K.A. “King”) (The Paulick Report)

An all-Thoroughbred show is scheduled at the Kentucky Horse Park on October 6-7 (Thoroughbred Horse Show Association)
NHC NEWS top
NTRA

AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER ON-TRACK NHC CONTEST DATES
 

Play in the Woodbine Thoroughbred Handicapping Challenge on August 25-26.  The contest entry fee is $330.  Three NHC spots will be awarded plus up to $50,000 in cash prizes.  Click here for more details.

Surfside Race Place will be conducting its next series of NHC qualifiers on September 7-9. The Friday mini tournament, September 7 will be followed by a two-day contest, September 8-9.  Click here for Surfside Race Place contest information.

The Kentucky Downs Turf Handicapping Challenge is set for September 15.  Three NHC spots and $15,000 in cash prizes will be up for grabs.  The entry fee is $150.  The Handicapping Challenge will be held on the marquee day of the Kentucky Downs meeting, which features the running of the Grade III, $200,000 Kentucky Turf Cup.  Contact Bill Flesher at billflesher@kentuckydowns.com or 270.586.6667.

Monmouth Park is hosting the $200 Monmouth/Woodbine Handicapping Challenge on September 16.  For more information contact Brian Skirka at bskirka@monmouthpark.com

Fairplex Park will be returning in 2012 with a re-formatted three-day event during the weekend of September 21-23.  Each of the three days will award two NHC spots and NHC Tour points.  Click here to read more.
The Greenwood Teletheatre Handicapping Challenge will be taking place in Toronto on September 23.  Two NHC berths will be awarded.  Click here for more details.

AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER ONLINE NHC CONTEST DATES

Horsetourneys.com will also be conducting NHC Qualifiers on August 26, September 8,16 and 22.

Horse Players Qualify is conducting Players Challenge qualifiers on August 25 and September 3, 9 and 15.  The final event will be held on September 28-29.   For more details on the Players Challenge and a schedule of Players Challenge qualifiers click here

NHCQualify.com is hosting an online qualifier Saturday, August 25.  A maximum of five NHC berths will be awarded in this $160 one-day qualifier.  Register now!  NHCQualify.com is also conducting three online events in September.  Click here to view the current NHCQualify.com schedule.

Check out the TwinSpires.com tournament schedule.  Contests are being run weekly to gain entry into NHC 14.

Click here to view the current Daily Racing Form NHC Tour schedule.
 
Click here to view the current list of NHC 14 qualifiers.
 
SOVEREIGN STABLE ON A ROLL AT SARATOGA

Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship presenting sponsor Sovereign Stable is heating up at Saratoga. After the first half of the meeting, Sovereign has hit the board at an 80 percent clip, with a win, two seconds and a third-place finish from five starts. Shankopotamus got the Sovereign Stable partners to the Winner’s Circle at the Spa with an impressive wire-to-wire victory on August 11. Sovereign is expecting to roll out some exciting two-year-old prospects in the final half of the Saratoga meeting.

DAILY RACING FORM NHC TOUR LEADER BOARDS

Paul Parker (Norcross, GA) has started off the second-half of the DRF NHC Tour with two top-five online contest scores.  He finished first in the August 12 NHCQualify.com  contest and fifth in the August 5 Horsetourneys.com tournament.  Emad Himaya (Lindenhurst, NY) is in second place with 3,954 points earned at the Saratoga Handicapping Challenge.
 
Click here to view the overall full Leader Board standings.

Click here to view the second-half full Leader Board standings.


Name 

2H LB Points

Name 

Full LB Points

Paul Parker 

4,479 

Mark McGuire

11,217

Emad Himaya 

3,954 

Mark Streiff

10,323

Dan Shugar 

3,893 

Rhonda Sylvester

10,186

Judy Wagner 

3,120 

Christopher Larmey

9,349

Paul Caltigirone 

2,625 

Edmund Teicht

 8,984

     

Player Profile

 

 

Eric Moomey

  

Judy Wagner

Judy, 2001 NHC Champion, lives in New Orleans, LA.  Judy will be making her tenth NHC appearance this January at the Treasure Island.  She is currently in fourth place on the second-half DRF NHC Leader Board.  Judy is no stranger to being on top of the Leader Board.  In 2009 she finished in second place behind only her husband, Bryan. 

Click here to read Judy's complete NHC player biography.
CALENDAR top
RACING TO HISTORY top

Aug. 23, 1956: Carl Gambardella had his first career winner, aboard Rollin Warm, at Hagerstown.

Aug. 23, 1974: Frank Whiteley-trained Ruffian won the Spinaway Stakes by 13 lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, ending her two-year-old season with a 5-for-5 record. Ruffian was subsequently voted champion juvenile filly of 1974.

Aug. 23, 2003: Trainer King Leatherbury became just the third trainer in history to win 6,000 races after saddling Cherokee Sunrise to victory in the seventh race at Timonium.

Aug. 24, 1968: Carrying 134 pounds, Dr. Fager set the then-world record for a mile in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park. The time for his 10-length victory was 1:32 1/5. The previous record was 1:32 3/5, set by three-year-old Buckpasser on June 25, 1966 at Arlington Park.

Aug. 24, 1989: Jockey Larry Snyder won his 6,000th career race, aboard a filly named Speedski, in the first race at Louisiana Downs. Snyder was the sixth rider in history to accomplish that feat.

Aug. 24, 2003: Jockey Julie Krone became the first female rider to win a million-dollar race when she piloted Candy Ride to victory in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Aug. 25, 1987: Julie Krone won her 1,000th career victory, aboard Tiger Higgins in the second race at Monmouth Park.

Aug. 25, 1997: Jockey Pat Day gained his 7,000th career victory aboard Bay Harbor in the second race at Saratoga Racecourse. Day became the fifth rider to reach the 7,000-win plateau.

Aug. 25, 2001: A record Travers Stakes day attendance of 60,486 watched Point Given win the race dubbed the “Midsmummer Derby.” The day’s total betting handle of $34,529,273 was also a Saratoga record.

Aug. 26, 1953: A syndicate headed by Howard E. Booker of San Francisco, unveiled a proposal for an off-track betting system in New York. Booker’s group, planning to use Western Union to compile off-track bets, sought to establish 139 betting offices, to be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Aug. 26, 1972: Secretariat won the Hopeful Stakes by five lengths at Saratoga Racecourse, for his second stakes win in as many tries.

Aug. 27, 1953: The Thoroughbred Racing Associations denounced a plan for off-track betting in New York. John A. Morris, the TRA president, declared: “Although it could mean increased profits for the race tracks, off-course betting would inevitably subordinate racing and bring on an adverse public reaction which would kill a traditionally great sport and an economically significant industry.”

Aug. 28, 1988: A winning ride aboard Precisionist in the Cabrillo Handicap at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club made Chris McCarron the fifth jockey to surpass $100 million in career earnings.

Aug. 29, 1987: Charlie Whittingham became the first trainer to surpass 500 stakes wins when he sent Ferdinand to victory in the Cabrillo Handicap at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Aug. 29, 1993: Laffit Pincay Jr., 46, became the second rider in North American racing history to ride 8,000 winners when he rode El Toreo to victory in the seventh race at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Bill Shoemaker was the first to hit 8,000, a feat he accomplished in 1981 at age 49.

Aug. 30, 1981: Bill Shoemaker became the first jockey to win a $1 million race when he rode John Henry to a nose victory over The Bart in the inaugural Arlington Million at Arlington Park.

Aug. 31, 1955: In an East versus West showdown, Nashua, ridden by Eddie Arcaro, went wire-to-wire to defeat Swaps, ridden by Bill Shoemaker in a match race at Washington Park. Nashua’s victory avenged his second-place finish, behind Swaps, in the 1955 Kentucky Derby.

Aug. 31, 1985: Angel Cordero Jr., 42, became the third rider in history—behind Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr.—to have his mounts earn $100 million, while riding at Belmont Park.

Sept. 1, 1881: The Dwyer Brothers’ three-year-old Hindoo won his 19th consecutive race, a purse event at Sheepshead Bay. His winning streak was snapped six days later in the September Handicap at Sheepshead, in which he finished third.

Sept. 1, 1924: A French colt, Epinard, headed the field for the first of three Internationals, of progressively longer distances, to be run at Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Latonia. Epinard finished second in the six-furlong race, which was witnessed by the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII.

Sept. 1, 1947: With a victory by Armed in the Washington Park Handicap, Calumet Farm became the first stable to surpass $1 million in annual earnings. Calumet led all owners for 1947, with total earnings of $1,402,436.

Sept. 1, 2001: Jockey Tim Moccasin capped a streak of 14 consecutive victories, a North American record, at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. His fourteenth straight win came aboard Intricate Stitch in the fifth race.

Sept. 1, 2005: Due to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans announced that it would conduct its 2005-2006 meet at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.

Sept. 2, 1901: Seven-year-old Ogden won two races in a single day at Coney Island.

Sept. 2, 2001: Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Jones, best known as the conditioner of Citation, died at age 94 after a lengthy illness.

Sept. 3, 2011: Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer gained his 6,000th career victory when he sent out Just Tappin It to win the sixth race at Golden Gate Fields.

Sept. 3, 1956: Swaps ended his racing career with a victory in the Washington Park Handicap at Washington Park. He was subsequently named Horse of the Year.

Sept. 3, 1956: Jockey John Longden surpassed Sir Gordon Richards’ then-record number of wins when he rode Arrogate to victory in the Del Mar Handicap to attain his 4,871st victory.

Sept. 3, 1960: Kelso, ridden for the first time by Eddie Arcaro, won the Jerome Handicap.

Sept. 3, 2001: Jockey John Velazquez became the first jockey in history to ride six winners on a single card at Saratoga Racecourse.

Sept. 3, 2001: For the first time in Saratoga Racecourse history, attendance hit the million mark, with a total of 1,011,669 fans going through the turnstiles during the 36-day meet. 

Sept. 3, 2004: Jockey John Velazquez rode his record 62nd winner at the Saratoga meeting.

Sept. 4, 1920: Man o’ War won the 1 5/8-mile Lawrence Realization Stakes at Belmont Park by 100 lengths, the largest winning margin in modern racing history. His time for the race, 2:40 4/5, shattered the world record by 6 4/5 seconds and was his fifth record-setting performance of that year.

Sept. 4, 1959: Allaire du Pont’s two-year-old Kelso won his maiden race by 1 1/4 lengths at Atlantic City. In the following year, Kelso was voted the first of his record five consecutive Horse of the Year titles.

Sept. 5, 2009: Three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra became the first female ever to win the Grade I Woodward Stakes when she held off Macho Again by a head at Saratoga.


WEEKEND STAKES RACES top

THURSDAY, AUGUST 23
New York Turfwriters Cup Steeplechase, 4&up, $150,000, Grade I, 2 3-8M (Steeplechase), Saratoga

FRIDAY, AUGUST 24
Ballerina Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $500,000, Grade I, 7F, Saratoga

CTT & Thoroughbred Owners of California Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $85,000, 1 3-8M (T), Del Mar

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25
Travers Stakes, 3yo, $1,000,000, Grade I, 1 1-4M, Saratoga

Foxwoods King’s Bishop Stakes, 3yo, $500,000, Grade I, 7F, Saratoga

Test Stakes, 3yo fillies, $500,000, Grade I, 7F, Saratoga

Ballston Spa Handicap, 3&up (f&m), $250,000, Grade II, 1 1-16M (T), Saratoga

Del Mar Handicap, 3&up, $200,000, Grade II, 1 3-8M (T), Del Mar

Canadian Derby, 3yo, $200,000, 1 3-8M, Northlands Park

Ontario Colleen Stakes, 3yo fillies, $150,000, Grade III, 1M (T), Woodbine

Catcharisingstar Stakes, 2yo fillies, $75,000, 5F (T), Calder

Edmonton Distaff, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1-16M, Northlands Park

Fasig-Tipton Turf Dash, 2yo, $75,000, 5F (T), Calder

Lindsay Frolic Stakes, 2yo fillies, $75,000, 1M, Calder

Seacliff Stakes, 2yo, $75,000, 1M, Calder

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26
TVG Pacific Classic, 3&up, $1,000,000, Grade I, 1 1-4M, Del Mar

Personal Ensign Invitational, 3&up (f&m), $600,000, Grade I, 1 1-8M, Saratoga

Pat O’Brien Handicap, 3&up, $250,000, Grade II, 7F, Del Mar

Del Mar Mile, 3&up, $200,000, Grade II, 1M (T), Del Mar

Play the King Stakes, 3&up, $200,000, Grade II, 7F (T), Woodbine

Lady’s Secret Stakes, 3&up (f&m), $75,000, 1 1-16M, Monmouth Park

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29
With Anticipation Stakes, 2yo fillies, $100,000, 1 1-16M (T), Saratoga

THURSDAY, AUGUST 30
With Anticipation Stakes, 2yo, $200,000, Grade II, 1 1-16M (T), Saratoga

Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords Stakes, 4&up (f&m), $75,000, 2 1-16M (Steeplechase), Saratoga


RACING ON THE AIR (All times Eastern) top

August 25 Travers Stakes, Foxwoods King’s Bishop Stakes, Test Stakes and Ballston Spa Handicap (Saratoga), 4:00-6:00 p.m., NBC

September 1 Woodward Stakes, Forego Stakes and Bernard Baruch Handicap (Saratoga), 5:00-6:00 p.m., NBC

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TURN OF FOOT top
Who’s your pick in the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic on Sunday? Tweet your answers to @ABRLive!