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    • Unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Doncho (g, 3, Mo Town–Sassy Redhead, by Henny Hughes), an eye-catching winner in a pair of attempts going six furlongs at Fair Grounds this winter, is aiming to make his next start in the $400,000 Lafayette S. at Keeneland Apr. 5. “We've got the Lafayette circled as his next spot opening day at Keeneland,” trainer Michelle Lovell said. “We'll see if he'll stretch out to seven furlongs. I think that he will.” Gelded as a juvenile last September, Doncho lit up the tote board with a powerful, five-length tally in front-running fashion at 21-1 on debut Dec. 30. He earned his 'Rising Star' badge by 4 1/2 lengths–this time as the even-money favorite–with a press-and-pounce victory in an optional claimer Feb. 13. Both performances netted matching 94 Beyer Speed Figures. “I think he could be anything,” Lovell said. “We've never really asked him for anything yet. Everything that he's done has been on his own.” She continued, “He hasn't been a surprise because he's been a good horse, but it was a surprise that he went so fast, so easily, in his first race. To come back, I thought that he could win, but you never know, they're babies and they could make mistakes. But he's so professional. So far, everything has gone so well.” As for the decision to geld Doncho as an unraced 2-year-old last year, Lovell added, “We just thought it was best for him physically and mentally at the time.” Doncho brought $72,000 from Jose A. Lopez's JAL Racing following a :9 4/5 bullet breeze out of the GOP Racing Stable consignment at last year's OBS June sale. Bred in Kentucky by Susan Young, he was previously a $32,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by GGS Legal Racing. He RNA'd for $12,000 as a short yearling at Keeneland January. The first 'Rising Star' for young Coolmore sire Mo Town, Doncho was produced by the unraced mare Sassy Redhead. This is the extended female family of GISWs Madcap Escapade (Hennessy), Mi Sueno (Pulpit) and Dubai Escapade (Awesome Again). Members of the press haven't been the only ones ringing Lovell's phone to chat about Doncho. “After his first race we got a ton of interest,” Lovell said. “Mr. Lopez thought about it. He definitely had some offers that would make you sit back and think for a bit. It took him a few days and he said, 'Nope, I'm keeping him.'” Damon's Mound & Michelle Lovell following the 2022 Saratoga Special | Susie Raisher She continued, “We're super excited about him. He's a young horse and is still developing and we're really proud of the way he behaves. He's a big bodied and very muscular horse and he's letting his front end catch up to his hind end the last couple of months. He's a lot of fun.” Fellow Lovell-trained 'Rising Star' Damon's Mound (Girvin), meanwhile, is currently enjoying some “deserved downtime” at Apple Ridge Farm in Kentucky. The 2022 GII Saratoga Special S. winner and 2023 GII Gallant Bob S. winner was last seen finishing fourth in the GI Malibu S. at Santa Anita Dec. 26. “We'll have him back at Churchill before too long,” Lovell said.   The post ‘He Could Be Anything’ – Unbeaten Doncho Targeting Keeneland’s Lafayette appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
    • Observations on the European Racing Scene turns the spotlight on the best European races of the day, highlighting well-pedigreed horses early in their careers, horses of note returning to action and young runners that achieved notable results in the sales ring. Sunday's Observations features a half-brother to undefeated Arc hero Ace Impact (Ire) (Cracksman {GB}). 13.03 Cagnes-sur-Mer, Cond, €26,000, 3yo, 10f (AWT) ARROW EAGLE (FR) (Gleneagles {Ire}) made an instant impression at this track last month and is turned out again at the venue that saw the launch of his illustrious half-brother Ace Impact (Ire) (Cracksman {GB}) 12 months ago. Waltraut Spanner's homebred colt, who is also under the care of Jean-Claude Rouget, meets five rivals including the fellow course winner Shaloha (Ger) (Le Havre {Ire}), a Philippe Decouz-trained daughter of the G2 German 1000 Guineas third Shalona (Fr) (Soldier Hollow {GB}). The post Next Step For Ace Impact’s Half-Brother appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
    • Welch Racing's Epic Ride will look to continue his dominance over the Turfway Park 3-year-old male division with a third straight victory in the $150,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes March 2.View the full article
    • Hayasugi wins Blue Diamond Stakes (G1) at Caulfield to become the second filly, after Midnight Fever in 1987, to sweep the Blue Diamond's Preview (G3), Prelude (G2) and main event. View the full article
    • By Jonny Turner Pinseeker goes into his toughest career test in the Fruit Bowl Handicap at Cromwell on Sunday as ready as he can be. The four-year-old returns to racing after creating a big impression in his three starts late last year for trainer-driver Jonny Cox. Pinseeker will step up to race hardy opposition in the pacing feature on the second day of Cromwell’s big two-day February meeting. Cox thinks he has the pacer as ready as he can be for his returning assignment. “We think he is a pretty handy horse and in the right grade,” the trainer-driver said. “While he isn’t any sort of certainty, if he can step and do things right they will know he is there.” Pinseeker warmed up for his Cromwell trip with a strong trial win on grass at Methven recently. “We gave him a freshen up and earmarked this race for him.” “We brought him down to Cromwell on Thursday and he has settled in well.” “The trial was good, without being disrespectful it probably wasn’t a strong field but he did run a pretty good last 400m.” Pinseeker is two-from-two on grass tracks and two-from-two in standing start races heading into Sunday’s feature. While the horse is a safe beginner, he is yet to show he is a standing start flyer. “He has been safely away in his two starts, but he hasn’t been fast out.” “That probably isn’t ideal, but hopefully he can get away safely again and he can settle handy enough to them.” Pinseeker opened the $4 favourite for the Fruit Bowl Handicap before he was quickly backed into $2.70 odds. Cox’s fiancé Kimberly Butt drives one of the main threats to Pinseeker in the third favourite Lester ($6). The pacer led and fought on gamely behind Jordy at Cromwell on Friday. Done Rockn looks another big chance following his eye-catching third in the same race. Handicaps are set to play a crucial role in the feature trot at Cromwell on Sunday. Maui was a powerful winner of the corresponding race at the same track on Friday. The trotter overcame a 20m handicap with the help of a brilliant beginning to beat race rivals Pyramid Mystic and Sally Lindenny. The pair both meet Maui 10m better off when he goes back to a 30m handicap on Sunday. One Two Menny missed Friday’s trot but comes into Sunday’s second day after producing a powerful win in his last start on the Cromwell track in January. View the full article
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