A Look at Some of the Latest US Horse Racing Stories
Added on: Aug. 23, 2016
American Cleopatra, being the full sister to Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah, lived up to high expectations in her debut race towards the end of July at Del Mar. The Kentucky homebred, which is trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Zayat Stables, too the early lead straight out of the gate and then War Factor overtook rounding the bend. American Cleopatra stayed close, all the while heaping pressure on War Factory, eventually overtaking and winning by two lengths. Her next big test will come on September 3rd in the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (grade 1).
Two other horses to make their recent graded debuts included Thirstforlife and Ever So Clever, a couple of 2-year-old maiden winners at Churchill Downs. They follow in the hoof steps of two notable maiden winners, Classic Empire and Bitumen, who both claimed graded stakes victories this summer. Ever So Clever won the maiden special weight under the Twin Spires in a confident 7 ¼ length victory and Thirstforlife also won the Kentucky Juvenile in 6 ¼ length at Churchill earlier on in the year.
There was also Songbird who remained unbeaten last week in Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama at Saratoga. Pacesetter Go Maggie Go took an early break from post four, but Songbird remained close despite the early pace from Go Maggie Go and ended up overtaking and winning in style. “I can't honestly tell you I wasn't concerned,” said jockey Mike Smith.
Trained Jerry Hollendorfer, also commented, “I never like to say it's easy, but she's just got a lot of talent and makes it look easy, but it's not easy.” Songbird’s owner, Rick Porter, wasn’t able to see the race after being hospitalized in Delaware. “Mr. Porter is having a little bit of a hard time of it right now, but he's a real tough guy and we expect him to come through with flying colors,” said Hollendorfer. “It was our hope and wish that we could win for him today and we did.”
Finally, the 2014 Horse of the Year, California Chrome, took the lead early last week (Sat. August 20th) and dominated in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Grade I at Del Mar under jockey Victor Espinoza. California Chrome won 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Grade 1 winner Dortmund. “I wanted to see where everyone was, to see how far they were behind me,” said Espinoza.
“The pace was pretty decent. ... It's not like he was galloping on the front. I felt like he was running, but it was hard to see the other ones behind me,” added the jockey. All of the comments contained within this article were taken directly from the ESPN website. Keep checking back with us on a regular basis for more roundups of the latest US horse racing stories.