- After Henny Hughes showed up in the entries for a seven furlong race on the opening day of the Dubai Festival, word comes that he will not run.
- Nick Zito tells the Daily Racing Form "It's January 16.....See me on April 16, and then we'll talk about where we stand." And who knows; by then he could once again have four contenders. He was pleased with the two-turn win of Hesanoldsalt this past weekend, and pointed out that “he has to be a good horse since he already has beaten [Count Fleet Stakes winner] Achilles of Troy." Fabled deserves another shot when he stretches out. Then he has two undefeated colts – Doc Cheney, headed for the Pasco Stakes at Tampa on Jan 28; and Hemingway’s Key, of whom he said is “one of my favorites.....I'm very high on him, but I need to get a two-other-than allowance race to go for him around two turns."
- Undefeated (on turf) Barbaro (Dynaformer) will try the dirt in the Holy Bull on Jan 28, but the Form’s Dick Jerardi is already sold.
I saw this horse win his maiden at Delaware Park on Oct. 4 and was dazzled. I saw him overwhelm the Nov. 19 Laurel Futurity and was amazed. I saw him crush the field in the Jan. 1 Tropical Park Derby and was sold.I went back on the Cal Racing site and watched all three efforts, and they are every bit as devastating as Jerardi notes. In the Laurel race at a mile and a sixteenth, in which he earned a Beyer of 102, he got the 4th quarter in :23.51 and the final sixteenth in 5.85 seconds; and in the mile and an eighth Tropical Park Derby (97 Beyer), he got his last three furlongs in :34 2/5 seconds. But whether he can replicate that form on the dirt remains to be seen. He breezed five furlongs in 1:02 in preparation for the Holy Bull on Tuesday.
Three races. Three wins by a combined 20 lengths with 33 horses strung out behind him.
- Penn National is the latest track to raise its insurance coverage for jockeys to $1 million.
- Hollywood Starlet S. (G1) runner-up BALANCE (Thunder Gulch) will target the February 11 Las Virgenes S. (G1), according to trainer David Hofmans. [Brisnet]
- Neil Howard’s highly-regarded three-year old Music School continues to prep for his 2006 debut at Oaklawn, breezing six furlongs in 1:16 3/5 for Neil Howard. He won his debut at Churchill last June and then had surgery to remove a bone chip. He’s by A.P. Indy out of Delta Music, a half-sister to champion Mineshaft.