Around the Backstretch: All Things Lead To Kentucky Edition

Lots of news floating around the world wide web horse racing circle, and much of it is coming out of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Let's first look at the items making news off the track:

FIRST AN ADW, NOW TV. KEENELAND GOING FOR WORLD DOMINATION...SORT OF
Keeneland Association and the NBC Sports Group announced Aug. 18 a partnership to broadcast "Autumn at Keeneland," over two weekends this fall beginning Oct. 7 on VERSUS and culminating with an hour-long live broadcast of Keeneland’s 75th anniversary Oct. 15 on NBC.[BloodHorse]

PICK FIVE COMES TO TURFWAY
Turfway Park plans to add the pick five wager at its upcoming fall meeting that begins September 8, a meet that also will feature a new later post time on Saturdays. [Thoroughbred Times]

MORE FROM TURFWAY!
The grade II Kentucky Cup Classic, which returns to Turfway Park in September after a one-year hiatus, will have a new distance and new name, track officials said Aug. 18. [BloodHorse]

REBEL GETS MORE MONEY; OAKLAWN COMPRESSES RACING FESTIVAL OF THE SOUTH
A $200,000 bump to the Rebel S. (G2) and a condensed four-day, nine stakes Racing Festival of the South highlight Oaklawn Park's 2012 live racing season, which kicks off January 13. In total, there will be 34 stakes races worth nearly $5.2 million during the season, beginning with the $75,000 Fifth Season S. on opening day. [Brisnet]

DON'T EXPECT FIELD SIZES TO CHANGE MUCH IN THE NEAR FUTURE
The Jockey Club is projecting a 2012 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop of 24,700, a decline of 8.5% from the estimate of 27,000 registered foals for 2011, according to Matt Iuliano, the organization’s executive vice president and executive director. [Thoroughbred Times]

BUSINESS MIXED AT PRAIRIE MEADOWS
On-track handle at Prairie Meadows Racetrack increased by 5.7% during its 2011 Thoroughbred meeting, which concluded on August 13. However, total handle dropped 2.7% due to declining simulcast figures. [Thoroughbred Times]

GULFSTREAM BACKS OFF MEDICATION BAN FOR 2011-2012 MEETING
The 2011-2012 Gulfstream Park race meet, which begins December 3, will not include a ban on race day medications, track president Tim Ritvo told the Daily Racing Form Wednesday. [Paulick Report]

Turning to matters taking place on the track:

THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLIES ARE BACK IN ACTION IN THE ALABAMA
Godolphin Racing’s It’s Tricky will try for her third consecutive Grade 1 victory and solidify her position as the country’s top three-year-old filly as she takes on five challengers, including Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Plum Pretty, in the $500,000 TVG Alabama Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. [Thoroughbred Times]

AND ANOTHER ALABAMA PREVIEW FROM THE DRF
This Saturday at Saratoga, the powerful 3-year-old filly division takes another step toward deciding a champion with a heavily stacked field in the Alabama Stakes. [Daily Racing Form]

I GUESS HE'S RECOVERED FROM HIS TRIP TO ASCOT
Graded stakes winner Bridgetown overwhelmed the opposition in the $76,000 Troy Stakes on Wednesday at Saratoga Race Course, surging to a commanding 3 1/2-length advantage in early stretch and coasting through the final sixteenth under John Velazquez. [Thoroughbred Times]

YOU GO FIRST.  NO, YOU GO FIRST.  NO, YOU.
On opposite sides of the nation Wednesday, Blind Luck and Havre de Grace had workouts as their owners and trainers contemplate options, which include a possible seventh head-to-head meeting or both 4-year-old fillies facing males in separate races during the coming weeks. [Daily Racing Form]

And not to leave out our friends across the Atlantic:

THE JUDDMONTE IS SIR HENRY CECIL'S WORLD
A determined Twice Over outlasted a stubborn Midday to claim victory in the $1,092,000 Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York Aug. 17. The International was the highlight on the first day of York’s Ebor Festival, a four-day meeting that lasts through Saturday. [BloodHorse]

BLUE BUNTING AND DETTORI ROLL IN THE YORKSHIRE OAKS
Blue Bunting won a third Group 1 and a first against older horses with a gutsy effort on the Knavesmire to fend off the persistent challenge of the Sir Henry Cecil trained Vita Nova. [Racing Post]

MORE GROUP 1 ACTION ON THE AGENDA IN DEAUVILLE
Snow Fairy (IRE) was one of seven fillies and mares declared for the Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville on Sunday. [Racing Post]

WORLD CUP WINNER VICTORIE PISA IS OFF THE ARC TRAIL
The three-time Group 1 winner, who won the world's richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup this year, was discovered to have a leg problem after a workout in France. [Racing Post]

YOU WANT TO READ A UK PUNTER'S DAILY HANDICAPPING THOUGHTS? CHECK OUT THIS INSIGHTFUL BLOG
A great day for followers of the blog yesterday. I rated TWICE OVER a 9/4 chance in the Juddmonte International being by far the best value in the race at the (then) odds of 5/1. Well, he started at longer odds than that, 11/2 and was 6/1 in places, and won in convincing style. [Wayward Lad]

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