Around The Backstretch

Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom has been cleared to resume exercise following surgery to repair damage in his left hind leg. His connections are pointing him towards the Dubai World Cup at Meydan next March.

I'm working on a recap of the juvenile races from this past weekend, as well as an overview of a few of the two-year-olds that appear to be on the path to the Breeders' Cup.  Until then, here are some of the items making that made news in horse racing this past weekend:

North America

Calder: Big Drama cruises in comeback victory in Whippleton | Daily Racing Form
reigning sprint champion Big Drama returned from an 8 ½-month layoff to easily defeat the red-hot but outclassed Black Diamond Cat and two other rivals in Sunday’s $75,000 Whippleton Handicap at Calder.

Saratoga: Currency Swap wears down Trinniberg in Hopeful | Daily Racing Form
In the ultimate local-girl-makes-good story, trainer Terri Pompay, a Saratoga native, won her first Grade 1 stakes Monday when Currency Swap wore down pacesetting longshot Trinniberg in the final strides to win the $250,000 Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds by three-quarters of a length.

Mister Marti Gras takes Washington Park - Thoroughbred Times
Mister Marti Gras closed from well off the pace on Saturday to capture the $100,000 Washington Park Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park.

Brilliant Speed an Easy Winner of Saranac | BloodHorse.com
Back on turf after trying the Triple Crown trail this spring, Charlotte Weber's Brilliant Speed kicked clear in the final eighth of a mile to win the $103,000 Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) by 2 1/2 lengths

Hollendorfer Clicks With Baze for 6,000th Win | BloodHorse.com
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer became the fourth trainer to reach 6,000 victories Sept. 3 when he teamed with fellow Hall of Fame member Russell Baze in winning the sixth race at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif.

Del Mar Derby: Banned noses out Midnight Interlude | Daily Racing Form
The well-traveled Banned found California as hospitable as some of the other places he has visited this year. He shipped in and made off with the Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Derby on Sunday, but he had to fight every inch of the stretch to outfinish a stubborn Midnight Interlude and win by a nose.

Del Mar: St Trinians starts slow, finishes fast in Adoration | Daily Racing Form
St. Trinians got the waiting ride trainer Mike Mitchell believes she needs, and overcame a slow start with a fast finish to capture the $95,385 Adoration Stakes for older fillies and mares on Sunday at Del Mar.

Claire Novak: Trainer McLaughlin runs drug free - ESPN
It was a quiet experiment begun by Kiaran McLaughlin with his 2-year-olds starting under the colors of Darley and Shadwell Stables.

Mister Marti Gras takes Washington Park - Thoroughbred Times
Mister Marti Gras closed from well off the pace on Saturday to capture the $100,000 Washington Park Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park.

Animal Kingdom Cleared for Exercise | BloodHorse.com
Team Valor International's winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) cleared to resume exercise 60 days after undergoing season-ending surgery on his left leg.

Total wagering handle down 12.3% in August - Thoroughbred Times
Continuing a trend established in previous months, total wagering handle on U.S. races declined 12.3% to $982,144,867 for August 2011, compared with $1,119,891,052 in August 2010.

Marquez fractures collarbone in Monmouth Park spill - PaulickReport.com
Jockey Carlos H. Marquez Jr. was injured when his horse Break the Glass went down during the running of the third race at Monmouth Park on Monday.

International

FRANCE Goldikova to go for Foret before Breeders' Cup - Horse Racing News | Racing Post
GOLDIKOVA will not bid to win her 15th top level race at Longchamp on Sunday as trainer Freddy Head has had a change of mind about the outstanding mare's autumn campaign.

Cape Blanco set to bid for US hat trick at Belmont - Horse Racing News | Racing Post
CAPE BLANCO is likely to bid for a hat trick of Grade 1 wins in the United States with trainer Aidan O Brien on Sunday confirming that the Joe Hirsch Memorial Turf Classic on October 2 is under serious consideration.

So You Think could clash with Frankel in QEII - Horse Racing News | Racing Post
AIDAN O'BRIEN has kept alive the possibility of Ballydoyle's southern hemisphere champion So You Think taking on the world's best horse Frankel at Ascot.

Delay to So You Think plans could be a negative September 5 - Horse Racing News | Racing Post
THE guessing and speculation over So You Think's autumn campaign is almost at an end but you have to wonder whether the delay in race selection might detract from his performances on the track.

Arc, Breeders’ Cup possible for Danedream after dominant German win - Thoroughbred Times
Trainer Peter Schiergen’s improving three-year-old filly Danedream soundly defeated older males in a German Group 1 for the second straight time on Sunday at Baden-Baden.

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