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Del Mar's numbers rise during shorter first week 3:30 am

Del Mar began its 75th summer season on a Thursday this year, but just as it has for the better part of two decades, the shore track broke running with "up" numbers proving boss despite the opening day shift.Whereas the seaside oval bypassed its normal Wednesday beginning in order to have an extra day to ready itself following an extended San Diego Fair season, the opening four days of the...

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Heir Kitty commands $750,000 from Narvick International 3:30 am

Heir Kitty is bound for Japan (Benoit Photos) Grade 1 winner Heir Kitty was far and away the top seller at Sunday evening's Paddock Sale after racing at Del Mar, bringing a bid of $750,000 from Narvick International on behalf of undisclosed Japanese interests. Sporting Hip No. 22, the four-year-old filly was consigned by SGV Thoroughbreds (Steven Venosa), agent for David A...

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Taghrooda seeking rare Oaks-King George double 3:30 am

Taghrooda would be only the second Oaks winner to capture the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the same year if successful at Ascot on Saturday.The three-year-old filly, owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, trained by John Gosden and likely to be ridden by the owner's retained jockey Paul Hanagan, is out to follow in the footsteps of Pawneese who won the fillies' classic at Epsom Downs by...

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Harpoon takes stab at turf sprint in Quick Call 3:30 am

Harpoon (gray) has lost his way since his near-miss in the Sam F. Davis last winter (SV Photography) Trainer Todd Pletcher's Harpoon will look to break through in the $100,000 Quick Call on Thursday at Saratoga.The 5 1/2-furlong Quick Call, a turf sprint for three-year-olds, will be the shortest Harpoon has run since his debut, which came last summer on closing day at the...

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Sky Kingdom, Soi Phet top 11-horse Cougar II field 3:30 am

Sky Kingdom's last Grade 3 victory came in the 2013 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita (Benoit Photos) Sky Kingdom, whose only placing in four attempts over Del Mar's main track was a close second-place finish in last season's Grade 3, $100,000Cougar II Handicap, will attempt to make amends when the 1 1/2-mile fixture is renewed on Friday at the San Diego-area course.The...

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Commanding Curve among 10 entered in Curlin 3:30 am

Commanding Curve is prepping for his main summer goal, the Travers (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography) Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, looking to turn the page on a disappointing performance in the Belmont Stakes, has been entered in Friday's $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga. Held the day before the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy over the same 1 1/8-mile...

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Will Take Charge works; Lukas unafraid of Whitney competition 3:30 am

Champion Will Take Charge has just one win in five outings this year (Barbara Weidl/Equi-Photo) At 5:30 a.m. (EDT) on Monday, Will Take Charge turned in what likely will be his penultimate work for the $1.5 million Whitney on August 2, breezing five furlongs in 1:01 on the Oklahoma dirt training track at Saratoga.Back at his office later on, Hall of Fame trainer D....

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Untapable puts finishing touches on Haskell preparations 3:30 am

Untapable and jockey Rosie Napravnik will try to make history at Monmouth (Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com) Top three-year-old filly Untapable breezed an easy half-mile in :50 1/5 over Saratoga's fast Oklahoma training track on Monday, completing her major preparations for her tilt versus males in Sunday's Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth. Exercise rider Mike...

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