Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Last train to Derby leaves station today Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

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The Lexington Stakes, the last major prep race for the Kentucky Derby, is also the last chance for some prominent horses and trainers to earn a spot in the first part of the Triple Crown.Rockport Harbor must win the race today at Keeneland, trainer John Servis said. Bob Baffert needs Sort It Out to win to return Baffert to the May 7 Derby after a one-year absence.D. Wayne Lukas believes Going Wild will bounce back from a last-place finish in the Wood Memorial two weeks ago. Lukas also has entered lightly raced Skye'n Thunder.Todd Pletcher, with Blue Grass Stakes champion Bandini and Arkansas Derby runner-up Flower Alley already headed for the Derby, will saddle Coin Silver.The $325,000 Grade II Lexington -- run at 1 1/16th miles -- is important not only for conditioning and confidence but also for compiling graded-stakes earnings. If more than 20 horses enter the Derby, horses with the highest graded-stakes earnings receive preference.The Lexington winner will receive $201,500, with $65,000 going to the second-place finisher and $32,500, $16,250 and $9,750 going to the third- through fifth-place finishers.Six of the race's eight horses -- Actxecutive, Going Wild, Coin Silver, Sky'n Thunder, Forever Wild, and Sort It Out -- are outside of the top 20. Sort It Out, Coin Silver, and Sky'n Thunder have no graded-stakes earnings. and the Kentucky derby is comming!!"It's a little bit of a reality check whether or not you're good," said trainer Dallas Stewart, who will saddle Storm Surge in the race, "because we all have the aspirations of running in the Kentucky Derby."Lukas has fared well in the Lexington in recent years. In 1999, he won with Charismatic, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.In 2002, Lukas saddled Proud Citizen, who won the Lexington and was second in the Derby. In 2003, Lukas' Scrimshaw won the Lexington to make the Derby field.

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Friday, April 01, 2005

Derby countdown Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Each week leading up to the Kentucky Derby May 7, the Globe's Ron Indrisano will preview the top 10 contenders:
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1. Sweet Catomine -- The 2-year-old filly champion was an easy winner of the Santa Anita Oaks. She has no more to prove against fillies, and if she defeats males in the Santa Anita Derby, she could join Regret, Genuine Risk, and Winning Colors as a female Kentucky Derby winner. It would make a great story. Next: Santa Anita Derby, April 9.
2. Sun King -- He took a stroll in the park winning the Tampa Bay Derby. Trainer Nick Zito believes Sun King could be exceptional. If he wins the Blue Grass, he can be considered the best of the colts. Next: Blue Grass at Keeneland, April 16.
3. Greater Good -- He has won both the Southwest and Rebel with closing moves. He may be underrated, but he will be considered a major player if he runs well in the Arkansas Derby. Next: Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, April 16.
4. Consolidator -- He dominated the San Felipe, winning in a fast time. His performances have been in and out, but he is very dangerous. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is leaning toward the Blue Grass at Keeneland, where Consolidator won the Breeders' Futurity last year, but has not ruled out the Santa Anita Derby. Next: Blue Grass or Santa Anita Derby.
5. Survivalist -- He is beautifully bred and in top hands. He can close ground and must be respected under the training of Shug McGaughey. Next: Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, April 9.
6. High Limit -- He won the Louisiana Derby in front-running fashion, and is undefeated at 3 for 3. He is a speed horse being developed by Bobby Frankel, who relishes early speed. Next: Blue Grass.
7. High Fly -- He looked good winning the Fountain of Youth, and is heavily favored for the Florida Derby after overcoming a recent fever. If he gets the job done tomorrow, he'll move up the list. Next: Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
8. Rockport Harbor -- He continues to battle a severe cut on his right rear foot after finishing second in the Rebel in his 3-year-old debut. Trainer John Servis still believes the talented colt, who is ridden by Stewart Elliott, will be ready for the Arkansas Derby. Next: Arkansas Derby.
9. Afleet Alex -- He ran last at 3-5 in the Rebel while suffering a lung infection. He has recovered but has been set back in his training. Trainer Tim Ritchey wants him to go in the Arkansas Derby, but he may have to settle for the Lexington at Keeneland, the last train out of the station on the Kentucky Derby trail. Next: Arkansas Derby or Lexington, April 23.
10. Bandini -- He ran second in the Fountain of Youth, and was being pointed for the Florida Derby. However, trainer Todd Pletcher did not enter him, saying, "He's not sick, but he's not 100 percent, either." Pletcher declined to say what was wrong, but it may be a minor foot problem. "He's going to be fine," said Pletcher. Next: Wood Memorial or Blue Grass.

Derby countdown Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Each week leading up to the Kentucky Derby May 7, the Globe's Ron Indrisano will preview the top 10 contenders:
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1. Sweet Catomine -- The 2-year-old filly champion was an easy winner of the Santa Anita Oaks. She has no more to prove against fillies, and if she defeats males in the Santa Anita Derby, she could join Regret, Genuine Risk, and Winning Colors as a female Kentucky Derby winner. It would make a great story. Next: Santa Anita Derby, April 9.
2. Sun King -- He took a stroll in the park winning the Tampa Bay Derby. Trainer Nick Zito believes Sun King could be exceptional. If he wins the Blue Grass, he can be considered the best of the colts. Next: Blue Grass at Keeneland, April 16.
3. Greater Good -- He has won both the Southwest and Rebel with closing moves. He may be underrated, but he will be considered a major player if he runs well in the Arkansas Derby. Next: Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, April 16.
4. Consolidator -- He dominated the San Felipe, winning in a fast time. His performances have been in and out, but he is very dangerous. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is leaning toward the Blue Grass at Keeneland, where Consolidator won the Breeders' Futurity last year, but has not ruled out the Santa Anita Derby. Next: Blue Grass or Santa Anita Derby.
5. Survivalist -- He is beautifully bred and in top hands. He can close ground and must be respected under the training of Shug McGaughey. Next: Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, April 9.
6. High Limit -- He won the Louisiana Derby in front-running fashion, and is undefeated at 3 for 3. He is a speed horse being developed by Bobby Frankel, who relishes early speed. Next: Blue Grass.
7. High Fly -- He looked good winning the Fountain of Youth, and is heavily favored for the Florida Derby after overcoming a recent fever. If he gets the job done tomorrow, he'll move up the list. Next: Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
8. Rockport Harbor -- He continues to battle a severe cut on his right rear foot after finishing second in the Rebel in his 3-year-old debut. Trainer John Servis still believes the talented colt, who is ridden by Stewart Elliott, will be ready for the Arkansas Derby. Next: Arkansas Derby.
9. Afleet Alex -- He ran last at 3-5 in the Rebel while suffering a lung infection. He has recovered but has been set back in his training. Trainer Tim Ritchey wants him to go in the Arkansas Derby, but he may have to settle for the Lexington at Keeneland, the last train out of the station on the Kentucky Derby trail. Next: Arkansas Derby or Lexington, April 23.
10. Bandini -- He ran second in the Fountain of Youth, and was being pointed for the Florida Derby. However, trainer Todd Pletcher did not enter him, saying, "He's not sick, but he's not 100 percent, either." Pletcher declined to say what was wrong, but it may be a minor foot problem. "He's going to be fine," said Pletcher. Next: Wood Memorial or Blue Grass.

Derby countdown Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Each week leading up to the Kentucky Derby May 7, the Globe's Ron Indrisano will preview the top 10 contenders:
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1. Sweet Catomine -- The 2-year-old filly champion was an easy winner of the Santa Anita Oaks. She has no more to prove against fillies, and if she defeats males in the Santa Anita Derby, she could join Regret, Genuine Risk, and Winning Colors as a female Kentucky Derby winner. It would make a great story. Next: Santa Anita Derby, April 9.
2. Sun King -- He took a stroll in the park winning the Tampa Bay Derby. Trainer Nick Zito believes Sun King could be exceptional. If he wins the Blue Grass, he can be considered the best of the colts. Next: Blue Grass at Keeneland, April 16.
3. Greater Good -- He has won both the Southwest and Rebel with closing moves. He may be underrated, but he will be considered a major player if he runs well in the Arkansas Derby. Next: Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, April 16.
4. Consolidator -- He dominated the San Felipe, winning in a fast time. His performances have been in and out, but he is very dangerous. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is leaning toward the Blue Grass at Keeneland, where Consolidator won the Breeders' Futurity last year, but has not ruled out the Santa Anita Derby. Next: Blue Grass or Santa Anita Derby.
5. Survivalist -- He is beautifully bred and in top hands. He can close ground and must be respected under the training of Shug McGaughey. Next: Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, April 9.
6. High Limit -- He won the Louisiana Derby in front-running fashion, and is undefeated at 3 for 3. He is a speed horse being developed by Bobby Frankel, who relishes early speed. Next: Blue Grass.
7. High Fly -- He looked good winning the Fountain of Youth, and is heavily favored for the Florida Derby after overcoming a recent fever. If he gets the job done tomorrow, he'll move up the list. Next: Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
8. Rockport Harbor -- He continues to battle a severe cut on his right rear foot after finishing second in the Rebel in his 3-year-old debut. Trainer John Servis still believes the talented colt, who is ridden by Stewart Elliott, will be ready for the Arkansas Derby. Next: Arkansas Derby.
9. Afleet Alex -- He ran last at 3-5 in the Rebel while suffering a lung infection. He has recovered but has been set back in his training. Trainer Tim Ritchey wants him to go in the Arkansas Derby, but he may have to settle for the Lexington at Keeneland, the last train out of the station on the Kentucky Derby trail. Next: Arkansas Derby or Lexington, April 23.
10. Bandini -- He ran second in the Fountain of Youth, and was being pointed for the Florida Derby. However, trainer Todd Pletcher did not enter him, saying, "He's not sick, but he's not 100 percent, either." Pletcher declined to say what was wrong, but it may be a minor foot problem. "He's going to be fine," said Pletcher. Next: Wood Memorial or Blue Grass.

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

David Cassidy Wants to Win Kentucky Derby Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

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David Cassidy isn't horsing around when he says his life's passion is to win the Kentucky Derby.
The 1970s teen idol has a contender in Mayan King, an undefeated 3-year-old who will run Saturday in the Lane's End Stakes at Kentucky's Turfway Park. Cassidy owns the horse with several partners.
"If I could win the Kentucky Derby, there would be nothing on the face of the earth, other than the birth of my son 14 years ago, to compare to the thrill and the high of it," he said Tuesday by phone from Florida.
The colt is named for a street near Cassidy's home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"The day we bought him I thought he was a Derby horse. It's the only time I've ever high-fived anyone in the sales ring," he said. "I've already turned down quite a lot of money for him."
Cassidy, 54, has bred thoroughbreds since the 1970s, when he rose to stardom playing Keith Partridge on "The Partridge Family." He has used a different name because he didn't want to draw attention to his celebrity.
Trainer Paul Aguirre, who will saddle Texcess on Saturday, remembers Cassidy's teen idol days. "It makes it hard to root against him," he said.
Cassidy can't attend Saturday's race because he's doing a concert at a Connecticut casino that night.
"I'm free May 7," he said, laughing. The 131st Kentucky Derby will be run that day at Churchill Downs.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Injured Declan's Moon off Kentucky Derby trail Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

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The path to the Kentucky Derby took a few unexpected twists and turns during the weekend: High Limit soared into contention by winning the Louisiana Derby, and top prospect Declan's Moon dropped out with a slight knee fracture.
"It's still early to get excited," trainer Bobby Frankel said the day before High Limit won Saturday's Louisiana Derby in his first race in more than four months. "Strawberries today, jam tomorrow."
But Frankel was pretty pumped up after he got his first look at High Limit in action. Now 3-for-3, the three-year-old colt won his first two races for trainer Tony Dutrow last October before owners Gary and Mary West sent High Limit to Frankel's barn.
High Limit moves into this week's Run to the Roses Top 10 at No. 4. Meanwhile, undefeated Declan's Moon will be sidelined about five months, trainer Ron Ellis said. The two-year-old champion, No. 2 last week, was injured after winning the Santa Catalina Stakes on March 5.
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Also moving onto the Derby trail is Bellamy Road, yet another colt from Nick Zito's barn, this one owned by Yankees boss George Steinbrenner. Bellamy Road won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park by a whopping 153/4 lengths Saturday, and his next start is likely the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9. Zito's other Derby hopefuls include No. 3 High Fly, No. 7 Sun King, Noble Causeway and Andromeda's Hero.
Sweet Catomine continued her domination of fillies Sunday by winning the Santa Anita Oaks, and now is likely to challenge the boys in the Santa Anita Derby on April 9. A strong showing in that race, and the two-year-old champion filly might have a chance to become just the fourth filly to win the Kentucky Derby.
Coming up this weekend is a full slate of Derby preps, topped by the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita and the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Wilko takes on the likes of Roman Ruler, Consolidator, Don't Get Mad, Giacomo and Golden Shine in the 1 1-16th-mile San Felipe, while unbeaten Rockport Harbor is set to take on top-ranked Afleet Alex in the 1 1-16th-mile Rebel.
Rockport Harbor was flavouring his right rear leg Saturday — the same leg that was gashed during the Remsen Stakes in November and needed six weeks to heal. Trainer John Servis said "instead of being 75 to 80 per cent for the Rebel, Rocky will be maybe 65 to 70 percent."
Also, Galloping Grocer is scheduled to run in the one-mile Gotham at Aqueduct, and Sun King should be the favourite for the 1 1-16th-mile Tampa Bay Derby.
———
This week's top 10, with updated Derby future wager odds through Sunday:
1. Afleet Alex (Tim Ritchey, trainer; John Velazquez, jockey): Velazquez ready for first trip aboard son of Northern Afleet ... Winner in five of seven starts, with two seconds, for earnings of $710,800 ... Next start: Rebel ... Odds: 8-1.
2. Rockport Harbor (John Servis, Stewart Elliott): Hopefully set for three-year-old debut after winning all four starts last year ... Worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 at Oaklawn on Friday, but right rear leg problem could be factor ... Next start: Rebel ... Odds: 14-1.
3. High Fly (Nick Zito, Jerry Bailey): Fountain of Youth winner has four victories in five starts ... Training solidly for final prep ... Next start: Florida Derby (April 2) ... Odds: 21-1.
4. High Limit (Bobby Frankel, Ramon Dominguez): Won 1 1-16th-mile Louisiana Derby by four lengths in near stakes record time ... Won despite 138 days between races ... Next start: Wood Memorial (April 9) or Blue Grass (April 16) ... Odds: 9-1.
5. Sweet Catomine (Julio Canani, Corey Nakatani): Cruised to victory in Sunday's Santa Anita Oaks ... Next test may be against boys ... Only three fillies have won Kentucky Derby; Winning Colors in 1988 was the last ... Next start: Santa Anita Derby (April 9) ... Odds: 16-1.
6. Roman Ruler (Bob Baffert, Bailey): Passed on Gotham in favour of staying at Santa Anita for 3-year-old debut ... Last race was BC Juvenile on Oct. 30 — he was fifth ... Worked a mile in 1:38.60 last week ... Next start: San Felipe ... Odds: 18-1.
7. Sun King (Zito, Edgar Prado): Won allowance by 53/4 lengths at Gulfstream on Feb. 26 ... Tuned up for next race with five-furlong work in 59.49 at Palm Meadows ... Next start: Tampa Bay Derby ... Odds: 10-1.
8. Wilko (Craig Dollase, Nakatani): BC Juvenile winner worked seven furlongs in 1:28 at Hollywood Park on Saturday ... A solid third in Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 18 in last race ... Next start: San Felipe ... Odds: 21-1.
9. Lost in the Fog (Greg Gilchrist, Russell Baze): Swale Stakes winner just 50-50 for Derby ... Undefeated colt shipped from Florida back to Northern California last week ... Next start: Undecided ... Odds: 13-1.
10. Bandini (Todd Pletcher, Velazquez): Fountain of Youth runner-up may be trainer's best Derby prospect ... Next start: Florida Derby ... Odds: 14-1.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Bellamy Road, Consolidator, Don't Get Mad, Galloping Grocer, Noble Causeway.

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Declan's Moon won't run in Kentucky Derby Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

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Undefeated Declan's Moon is off the Kentucky Derby trail because of a minor knee injury and won't return to the races for at least five months.Trainer Ron Ellis said Friday that the injury ---- a hairline fracture to a bone that runs from the shoulder to the knee ---- was discovered several days after Declan's Moon won the Santa Catalina at Santa Anita on March 5 in his 3-year-old debut.
The injury is not career-threatening, Ellis said in a phone interview from California, but "it looks like he's probably going to be out of training about 60 days, and we don't have 60 days to spare."
The Kentucky Derby is May 7.Ellis said once Declan's Moon returns to training, it could be another three months before the gelding races again."Realistically, we're looking at September," he said.Declan's Moon, unbeaten in five races and considered one of the top Derby contenders, becomes the latest 2-year-old champion who couldn't win the race. The most recent Eclipse Award winner as best 2-year-old male to take the Derby was Spectacular Bid in 1979.Ellis said Declan's Moon came out of the Santa Catalina in great shape, but there was "a little heat in his left knee, which is unusual for him."I just kind of chalked it up to running a race and not a real big deal," Ellis said.A few days later, X-rays were taken."He's a hundred percent sound," Ellis said. "He's bouncing around the barn and he came out of the race great physically and mentally, other than what we discovered to be a displaced chip."Surgery remains uncertain pending more X-rays next week.Ellis still has a Derby contender in Don't Get Mad.Meanwhile, the Derby trail will swing through the Fair Grounds today. High Limit drew the No. 3 post position in the nine-horse field for the $600,000 Louisiana Derby. The recently purchased 3-year-old of Bobby Frankel, a four-time Eclipse Award winner, was an early 5-2 favorite.Scipion, winner of the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds last month and a 4-1 second choice, will start from post position 7 with Gary Stevens in the saddle.

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Friday, March 04, 2005

Derby winners don't surface early Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

It has become evident during the last 20 years that attempting to identify the winner of the Kentucky Derby, difficult enough on the first Saturday of May, is an exercise in futility in early March.None of the six horses who won the Derby and Preakness only to be denied the Triple Crown in the last eight years were prominent at age 2. Only one, Smarty Jones a year ago, was the betting favorite in Kentucky.Yet, Smarty Jones was considered little more than an exceptionally fast Pennsylvania-bred. Funny Cide, the New York-bred gelding, was on no short list of potential champions at this stage two years ago. War Emblem, winner of the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2002, was profoundly obscure at this stage of the season.Charismatic, star of the 1999 Triple Crown, was known as an underachiever in Southern California, where, offered for a claiming price, found no takers. Neither Real Quiet nor Silver Charm, Derby and Preakness winners in 1998 and '97 respectively, emerged from the gaggle of contenders until they arrived in Louisville.Nowadays, a Derby winner can come from anywhere, and the handicapper inclined to view what happens in February as having even a shred of significance, has learned little from the events of the last decade. During that time, only one pre-race favorite, Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000, has met expectations at Churchill Downs. Interestingly, he is one of only two Derby winners since 1997 to fail in the Preakness.The early efforts of a handful of potential Derby contenders have been promising. Proud Accolade won the Hutchison Stakes at Gulfstream Park with a degree of authority. Sun King, making his first start of the year for trainer Nick Zito, was an impressive allowance winner last week in Florida. Zito also sent Andromeda's Hero to Tampa Bay Downs, and won the Sam Davis. Scipion made a wild late run that carried him to a victory in the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds. The culling process, however, really begins on Saturday, when Gulfstream hosts the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Declan's Moon makes his first start of the year in the Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita.Declan's Moon was clearly the best 2-year-old of last season, winning all four of his starts, including the Hollywood Futurity, in which Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Wilko finished third. His early-season training, though interrupted by an unusually wet Southern California winter, has been strong and trainer Ron Ellis, said this week that the Maryland-bred by the upwardly mobile young sire Malibu Moon is between 90 and 95 percent fit going into the Santa Catalina. Ellis may be getting a bit ahead of himself, however. After four wins, Declan's Moon's streak has become a consideration."I've always felt that this could be one of the great horses," Ellis said, "and I'd love to keep him undefeated."There is a good chance that the streak is safe for the time being. Only four horses are expected to oppose him in the Santa Catalina.The Fountain of Youth will draw a larger group headed by High Fly, winner of three of four starts and now in the hands of Zito, who took over the colt's training from Miami-based Bill White after High Fly was defeated in the Holy Bull Stakes last month, his first loss after three wins.Of the 3-year-olds in Zito's barn, however, this one may be the least likely to make an impact in the Triple Crown.Most of last year's prominent 2-year-olds have yet to begin their seasons. Undefeated Remsen Stakes winner Rockport Harbor and Hopeful Stakes winner Afleet Alex, the Breeders' Cup runner-up, are expected to meet in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park later this month. Roman Ruler and New York-bred Galloping Grocer are bound for the March 19 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Last year's champion 2-year-old filly, Sweet Catomine, who may be on equal footing with her male contemporaries, returns in the March 13 Santa Anita Oaks.But these are the obvious contenders. If the trend of recent years holds, the eventual Derby winner and perhaps the horse who will hold racing fans spellbound until Belmont Stakes day in June is not among them.

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Horse Racing: Pittsburgh man leading Eclipse runner-up to Derby Betting Belmont Stakes belmont stakes betting online

Belmont Stakes betting bonus

The man leading Eclipse Award runner-up Afleet Alex down the road to the Kentucky Derby is a Pittsburgher.
Delaware Park-based trainer Tim Ritchey, 53, was born in Emsworth and grew up in Ross. He graduated from North Hills High School in 1969 and learned horsemanship at his uncle's academy, William Beatty Riding Academy, Gibsonia.
It seems a long way from a North Hills riding academy and the world of hunters and jumpers to the highest echelon of thoroughbred racing, but it was a natural progression.
After high school, Ritchey went to the Potomac Horse Center in Potomac, Md., for a 90-day riding course. "I ended up staying two years as head show rider," Ritchey said in a phone call from Oaklawn Park, where he's preparing Afleet Alex for his season debut in the Rebel Stakes March 19. "I rode hunters, jumpers, three-day event and dressage, and they sponsored me for the USET [United States Equestrian Team.]"
Ritchey was short-listed for the U.S. Olympic team, but missed out when his mount was sold.
"That's what led me to the racetrack," he said. "I was riding steeplechasers at the same time I was at Potomac."
He packed up and went to the old Liberty Bell race track in Eastern Pennsylvania, where he worked as a groom, exercise rider and assistant trainer. Then, he returned to Maryland and rode steeplechasers while training a few of them.
About a year later, he bought three flat runners and, equipped with a $1,200 savings account, moved to Waterford Park, which is now Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort in Chester, W.Va.
"When I left, I sold 22 or 23 horses to Dale Baird," Ritchey said. "I bought two from him and went to Penn National."
He stayed there for 18 years and was the second-leading trainer. But he moved to Delaware Park in 1993, a time when Penn National was stagnating while slots were sending Delaware purses soaring. He has been there ever since.
"I stay in Delaware and run in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey," he said. "My main stable is between 45 and 50 head at Delaware Park."
The star of that stable is Afleet Alex, who lost the Eclipse Award 2-year-old championship, 188-44, to Declan's Moon. Purchased for $75,000 at the Timonium 2-year-olds-in-training sale last May, the son of Northern Afleet and the Hawkster mare Maggy Hawk went on to score four victories and two seconds and earn $680,800 in six starts. His victories included the Grade 2 Sanford and Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga.
"I thought he was the best 2-year-old," Ritchey said. "We'll find out eventually. We'll hook up [with Declan's Moon] and we'll see."
Harness Horse of Year
Once-beaten filly pacer Rainbow Blue edged Trotting Triple Crown winner Windsong's Legacy, 119-98, to win the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Dan Patch Award as Harness Horse of the Year.
It was the closest vote in 30 years.
Cup founder dies
John Gaines, a Kentucky breeder who founded the Breeders' Cup championships, died from complications of diabetes Feb. 11 in a Lexington, Ky., hospital.
Gaines, who also built Gainesway Farm into a leading stallion operation, was 76.
Two hit 4,000
Jockeys Richard Migliore and Calvin Borel each hit the 4,000 career victory mark this month.
The New York-based Migliore, 40, got his 4,000th Feb. 4, aboard Benjamin Baby in the seventh race at Aqueduct.
Borel, 38, who rides mostly in Kentucky, Louisiana and Arkansas, got his 4,000th Wednesday aboard Jet Angel in the third race at Oaklawn Park.
$4.5 million colt out
Fusaichi Samurai -- purchased for a record $4.5 million last year -- is off the Derby trail because of a pulled muscle in his left hind leg. Trainer Neil Drysdale had been pointing Fusao Sekiguchi's colt to the San Vicente Stakes last Sunday at Santa Anita Park. The sum Sekiguchi paid for Fusaichi Samurai at the Fastig-Tipton Calder sale of selected 2-year-olds in training, was the highest ever paid for a juvenile at public auction.

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