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Thanksgiving Racing

It’s a great holiday/racing weekend coming up — Laurel’s Festival of Racing includes the De Francis Dash which features Breeders’ Cup Sprint
winner Thor’s Echo and the Laurel Futurity, a nice little two-year-old race won in the past by horses named Count Fleet, Citation, Riva Ridge, Secretariat, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid and most recently by Barbaro. You may have heard of some of them. This year’s edition garnered 42 nominations, among them the interesting Chelokee…we’ll see who makes it to the gate.

In New York, two-year olds will also be making their mark in the Remsen (including the Barclay Tagg-trained Nobiz Like Shobiz, if the track is all right); Day Pass, winner of the Nashua, is skipping the race to head to Florida, and, in all likelihood, Dubai. The day’s local headliner will certainly be Discreet Cat in the Cigar Mile.

California offers the Hollywood Derby (not to mention the Matriarch and the Citation) which sees turf star Showing Up facing off against grass novice Brother Derek. Expect some European horses in the mix as well.

Don’t overlook Kentucky; Churchill Downs plays host to the Clark Handicap and the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. The Clark features the frequently-overlooked (often by me, I admit) Premium Tap and Tiz Wonderful will be appearing in the latter race.

Perhaps the most interesting race all weekend takes place in Japan: Ouija Board takes on Deep Impact and Heart’s Cry in the Japan Cup on Sunday. There are not enough supurlatives in English to describe her, so perhaps the Japanese press will be required to supply some.

Bottom line: There’s a lot of racing this weekend. None of it is on television. Can you tell I can’t get TVG?

In other news, Fleet Indian has had her fetlock fused and is said to be doing well. So, for all our US readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

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