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Free Drop Billy wins Futurity - Union Rags has two qualified for the Breeders Cup

Free Drop Billy, by Union Rags, won the "win and you're in" $500,000, G1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 7 to qualify for the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar in California on Nov. 3-4.

Paradise Woods, a filly by Union Rags, also is qualified for the Breeders' Cup by virtue of her win in the $300,000, G1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 30.

Free Drop Billy at SaratogaFree Drop Billy at SaratogaFree Drop Billy's win capped off a week that saw eight of Union Rags' get win, from Paradise Woods on a G1 on Sept 30 to the 2 year 0lds Navajo, Saquero and Aristteles and the 3 year olds Hot Dixie Dame, Catalina Cruiser, Aiden's Rag and Union Blues to Free Drop billy on Oct. 7.

"It's unbelievable what a roll Union Rags is on," said Russell Jones, who owned the top bloodstock agency Walnut Green which he sold about six years ago. He now advises Union Rags' breeder and owner, Phyllis Wyeth, who is Jones' wife Donnan's cousin.

Union Rags is now the second Leading Second-Crop Sire behind Bodemeister, with 41 winners from124 starters and earnings of $3.72 million, to Bodemeister's 46 winners from 123 starters and $4.42 million.

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All the Way Jose wins the Lonesome Glory, throws race to Eclipse Award wide open

Buttonwood Farm's All the Way Jose won the G1, $150,000 Lonesome Glory Stakes at Belmont on Sept. 21, throwing the already muddled race to the Eclipse Award wide open.

All the Way Jose Darren Nagle Rod Moorhead victory lane 1All the Way Jose, ridden by Darren Nagle Trained by Jonathan Sheppard and ridden in the Lonesome Glory by Darren Nagle, All the Way Jose, who was also bred by Sheppard, now has one win and one third in G1 races, as does Flying Elvis Stale's Diplomat, trained by Kate Dalton and ridden by Bernie Dalton, who won the $150,000 New York Turf Writers and was third in the $150,000 A.P. Smithwick, both at Saratoga.

Rosbrian Farm's Swansea Mile, trained by Ricky Hendriks and ridden by Michael Mitchell, won the Smithwick, was third in the Lonesome Glory and fifth in the Turf Writers, while Modem has been third in all three of those G1 races.

Scorpiancer, who won the only other G1 held so far this year, the $200,000 Iroquois last May, was hurt and hasn't run since.

With only one G1 remaining, now that the Colonial Cup has moved to the spring, everything comes down to the Grand National at Far Hills in New Jersey on Oct. 21.

"Winning the Lonesome Glory was great," said Sheppard."It was a nice shot in the arm for the whole barn. We've been through a tough time, with losing a couple of our big owners."

"First it was George Strawbridge, then Mrs. Pape took her three nice flat horses out a couple of months ago," said Sheppard. "I still have four horses for Bill (Pape, who has partered with Sheppard for years in steeplechase horses).

"And another big owner, Mr. Bill Backer passed away," said Sheppard. "He had a big farm in Virginia, and he was the head of the Virginia Breeders Association."

"So now everything comes down to the Grand National, now that the Colonial Cup has moved to the spring," said Sheppard.

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West Coast wins G1 Pa. Derby, making a strong argument to be Eclipse 3 y.o. champ

Drawing away to win the nine furlong, newly minted G1 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 23, West Coast made a strong claim to be the 3-year-old Eclipse Champion, having now won five straight races, including the Travers.

West CoastWest CoastWith Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, Preakness winner Cloud Computing and Belmont winner Tapwrit all sidelined for the rest of the year, West Coast now dominates the division.

Owned by Gary and Mary West, trained by Bob Baffert, ridden by Mike Smith, West Coast sat second to the outside of Outplay down the backstretch but passed the tiring Outplay and opened up a wide lead to win by 7 1/4 lengths over Irap, with Giuseppe the Great a length further back in third.

"This horse is just getting better and better," said Baffert. "We thought he would run a big race, and he was calm in the paddock. He is just a big boy. It was nice he way he ran. He did it pretty easily."

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Page McKenny wins the $100,000 Roanoke Stakes, goes over $1.5 million in earnings

Page McKenney ran his career wins to 19 and his earnings to over $1.6 million with his gritty win in the $100,000 Roanoke Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt on Pennsylvania's Day at the Races at Parx Racing on Sept. 2, a day that drew a good crowd despite rainy conditions.

09 02 17 P 07 Page McKenney Page McKenney Owned by Adam Staple and Jalin Stable, trained by Mary E. Eppler and ridden by Horacio Karamanos, the 7-year-old gelding by Eavesdropper, the heavy favorite at 3-5, sat third for mostof the race behind pace maker Grasshoppin, owned by Michael W. Jester, trained by Francisco Machado Jr. and ridden by Hector Caballero.

With no other pace in the race, Grasshoppin set slow fractions of 24,69 and a half in 50.17.

Edgar Prado on Augustin Stable's Spring Quality, trained by Graham Motion, realizing the pace was slow, made an aggressive early move, charging from fifth to challenge Grasshoppin at the half mile pole.

Still 3 lengths back at the top of the stretch, Page McKenney had a lot to do, with the leaders having plenty left because of the slow pace, but grinding away he took the lead near the wire and won by a hard fought neck over Spring Quality, with Grasshoppin 1 1/4 lengths further back in third.


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Diplomat wins N.Y. Turf Writers to lead in race for Eclipse Award

Flying Elvis Stable's Diplomat, trained by Kate Dalton and ridden by her husband Bernie, settled ninth in the 11 horse field and moved powerfully forward through the stretch to win the G1, $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24.

Bernie Dalton DiplomatBernie Dalton celebrates after winning on Diplomat"That was special," said Kate Dalton, who started training Diplomat in October of 2015.

Diplomat's win in the Turf Writers along with his third place finish in the A.P. Smithwick on July 27 makes him a lukewarm early favorite for the Eclipse Award as Swansea Mile, who won the Smithwick, finished fifth in the Turf Writers and Scorpiance, who won the G! at Iroquois hasn't run since.

"We'll go to Belmont for the Lonesome Glory," said Dalton. "He had a nice light weight for the Smithwick and Turf Writers, which was good because he's not an overly big horse. He'll be weighted down a bit now, so we'll see how he carries weight."

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More Articles ...

  1. Oldzfourfortytwo wins the $100,000 Mark McDermott Stakes at Presque Isle
  2. Union Rags' get continue to win, two placed in Stakes
  3. Bernie Houghton has second stakes winner at Presque Isle
  4. NSA rule banning apprentice riders at Saratoga roils steeplechase world
  5. Swansea Mile wins G1 Smithwick Stakes, Show Court takes the Novice Stakes
  6. Imply, trained by Bernie Houghton, won the Northern Fling Stakes to become a multiple stakes winning mare
  7. Sheppard's Parx winner has him anticipating Saratoga
  8. Successful June stakes day at Penn National overshadowed by Rojas drug trial
  9. Miss Inclusive and Eighth Wonder named co-winners of 2016 Parx Oaks
  10. N.J-bred Irish War Cry second in the Belmont, Mor Spirit wins $1.2 million Metropolitan
  11. Amy Rowe’s For Goodness Sake and Buttonwood Farm’s All The Way Jose won featured races at Fair Hill Spring meet
  12. 2 Pa-breds win on undercards of Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness
  13. Hendriks-trained Mystic Strike wins Radnor Hunt Cup
  14. Orchestra Leader and Winter House win at High Hope
  15. Fenwick’s Doc Cebu wins Willowdale Steeplechase Stakes
  16. Jack Fisher wins three, including $200,000 Stakes, at Iroquois
  17. Ebanour wins Gold Cup for second consecutive year
  18. Neilson sisters and Cyril Murphy saddle winners at Winterthur
  19. Union Rags' get on Oaks and Derby days
  20. Sheppard wins three of four races at Atlanta, Hendriks wins two more for his Mother, Wendy, Lord Shanakill’s son sets course record
  21. Air Maggy, McLane Hendriks win Va. p-to-p championships
  22. Derwins Prospector wins Maryland Hunt Cup in two-horse duel
  23. Pa-bred winners include Page McKinney, Discreet Senorita and Rose Tree
  24. Photo Gallery from Maryland Hunt Cup, 2017
  25. Hendriks saddled three winners at Aiken, Sheppard had winners at Charleston and Carolina Cup
  26. Lemony Bay wins My Lady’s Manor, giving Jack Fisher two wins for the day.
  27. Fair Hill point-to-Point crowned Joshua G Overall champion in the Delaware Valley Point-to-Point series
  28. Md. Hunt Cup winner Senior Senator wins at Elkridge-Harford In prep for this year’s Hunt Cup
  29. Eventing star wins first time out in timber race at Brandywine Hills
  30. Sheppard, Brion, Neilson and Valentine successful in Maryland and Virginia Point-to-Points
  31. Kathy Neilson to defend her Leading Trainer title at DelVal Point-to-Points
  32. 2 turns may be next for hot Union Rags filly Tequilita
  33. Sheppard still breaking records after 50 years

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