Affluent and Golden Apples emerged from a tight pack in mid-stretch in Saturday's $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland and battled to the wire with Affluent arriving a neck in front.
The result reversed the finish of the Del Mar Oaks in August and generated a budding rivalry. But it is unlikely to impact the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Belmont Park as neither trainer said he current plans to send his filly to that race.
Affluent is a granddaughter of Bayakoa, who won twice at the Breeders' Cup Championships. Ron McAnally trains Affluent and trained Bayakoa.
Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye said Affluent "runs better from behind and we got that pace scenario today. She tried real hard."
Affluent ran the 9 furlongs on yielding turf in 1:50.03, winning for the fourth time in 10 starts.
Garret Gomez, who rode Golden Apples, said his filly "kind of lunged leaving there and we got stuck down on the inside. I wasn't really liking my spot. When I got out, she split horses like a professional. The last part, she tried hard."
Snow Dance, with Craig Perret up, was third.
Notes on the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park:
--Pre-entries will be announced on Wednesday, giving an initial look at the fields for the eight races.
--Sakhee, winner of last weekend's Arc d'Triomphe at Longchamp, has been shipped to Belmont as part of a trio of contenders from Godolphin Racing. He will be cross-entered in both the $4 million Classic and the $2 million Turf -- both legs of the Emirates World Series. Godolphin for some time has been pointing Fantastic Light for the Classic. Galileo also is expected to run in that event, looking for revenge for his loss to Fantastic Light in the Irish Champion Stakes. That rematch gives the Classic an unusually heavy European flavor.
--Three Chimneys Farm will be pulling for an upset by Albert the Great in the Classic. Owner Tracy Farmer announced Friday the son of Go For Gin will retire after the Classic to stud duty at Three Chimneys near Midway, Ky. The farm, owned by Robert Clay, already is home to Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm and several winners of Breeders' Cup Championship races -- including the exacta finish (after Gate Dancer's DQ) of Wild Again and Slew o' Gold. Point Given, whose planned participation in this year's Classic was derailed by injury, also arrived at Three Chimneys a few weeks ago.
In other weekend racing:
Calder Race Course
Booklet waited for the big one to get involved in the Florida Stallion Stakes -- but made the wait worthwhile. Shipping in from Delaware, the Notebook colt led almost all the way to win Saturday's $400,000 In Reality Division by 4 ¼ lengths over longshot Rulebook -- another son of Notebook. The undefeated winner of the first two legs of the series, Carey's Gold, closed well to finish third after starting from the No. 14 hole. Sent off as a 4-5 favorite, Booklet ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:46.56. "I knew that I had the race at the half mile already because I had plenty of horse left," said winning rider Eibar Coa. "When I asked him in the stretch, I knew he was going to take off. So I rode him with confidence." Trainer Steve Klesaris said the Breeders' Cup Juvenile is not in the picture. "Too quick back," he said.
Blissful Kiss posted a major upset in the My Dear Girl Division, sitting off the early leader, then running off in the stretch to win by 3 lengths over Miss Brookski. Sweep Princess was third and the favored entry of Pharmstar and Redoubled Miss finished fourth and fifth. Blissful Kiss, by Kissin Kris, was clocked in 1:46.08. Trainer Bill White said the filly recovered from a lung infection since her last race but is unlikely for the Breeders' Cup. "We tried that with Kiss A Native and brought him back in the Juvenile two weeks later and that didn't work out very well," he said. "We'll discuss the options.
Also on the Festival of the Sun card:
--Sara's Success was bumped at the start of the $200,000 Calder Oaks but still came running on the outside to beat Grey Ballet by ¾ length at the wire. Sheppard's Watch was third. Sara's Success, a daughter of Concorde's Tune, got the 9 furlongs on firm turf in 1:49.22. "Every time I asked her to run, she gave me some more," said winning rider Cornelio Velasquez. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said he may take Sara's Success to the Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17.
--Fappie's Notebook rallied from last of 12 to win the $200,000 Smile Sprint aHandicap by ½ length over Thrillin Discovery. Salty Glance was third. Fappie's Notebook -- another by Notebook -- ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.89. "We figured there would be a lot of speed in there, so we just set back with him," said winning trainer Manny Tortora. Jockey Jorge Chavez said he just kept the 4-year-old colt outside. "When the speed stopped, I asked him to run. He was full of run."
--Best of the Rest was best of them all in the $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap, taking over the lead midway down the backstretch and winning off by 2 ¾ lengths. Dancing Guy was second, followed by two fading stars, Sir Bear and Hal's Hope. Best of the Rest, a 6-year-old by Skip Trial, got the 1 1/16 mile in 1:36.17. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said if it hadn't been for repeated knee problems, "It think he could have been a factor in the top tier of the handicap ranks over the years." Eibar Coa rode.
--Coolbythepool took command in the stretch to win the $100,000 Shocker T. Handicap for fillies and mares by 2 ½ lengths over Happily Unbridled. Vague Memory was third. Coolbythepool, a 4-year-old daughter of (again) Notebook, was timed in 1:43.90 and survived double objections before the result was made official. Jerry Bailey rode for trainer Marty Wolfson.
--A Brazilian-bred, Mr. Pleasantfar, outfinished Just Listen to win the $100,000 Flying Pidgeon Handicap by a neck. Kassar was third. Mr. Pleasantfar, with Jose Santos up, ran the 1 3/8 mile on the grass in 2:16.39. Trainer Marty Wolfson said the 4-year-old will get a short rest and stay in Florida.
Ginger Gold was a dominating winner in Saturday's $250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, winning as jockey Richard Dos Ramos pleased in stakes-record time of 1:43.48. Mulrainy was second and Gonetofar third. "It was an awesome race," said Dos Ramos. "She's been a very mature filly since day one. She was very strong." Despite the easy win, trainer Sid Attard said the daughter of Golden Gear will not try the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. "We're saving her for next year," he said. "She's a really nice filly. She does everything right. She's just beautiful." She now has won three of four starts.
Sunday, Madame Red took full advantage of her affinity for a sloppy track, winning the $110,000 La Lorgnette Stakes by 9 ¼ lengths. Royal Fact was second and Miss Benny third. "I had a lot of horse," said jockey Patrick Husbands. "She was really dragging me. When we turned for home, she just took off. She was a different horse. She loves the slop." Madame Red is a 3-year-old daughter of Forest Wildcat.
Santa Anita -- Oak Tree
No Slip came four-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $150,000 Oak Tree Derby, closed quickly and won by a nose over Sligo Bay. Romanceishope, the favorite, was another neck back in third. Startac was sixth. No Slip, a French-bred son of Exit to Nowhere, ran 9 furlongs on firm turf in 1:46.56. "The race set up very nice," said winning rider Kent Desormeaux. "I was very delighted to see the slow pace (24.06, 47.95 and 1:10.86). Startac was in front of me, so I knew we had to be going slow." Owner John Amerman said No Slip may go next in the Hollywood Derby.
In Sunday's $100,000 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap, Cindy's Hero got outside position in the stretch and battled home first by a nose over Gabriellina Giof. Walts Wharf was third in the 1-mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies. Cindy's Hero, by Sea Hero, was clocked in 1:33.70. "My filly just kept tryin' and tryin' and tryin'," said winning rider Garrett Gomez. "She just wears 'em down." Trainer David Hofmans said the filly will probably stay on the grass, probably in Southern California.
Sharp Performance turned in one in Saturday's $150,000 Lawrence Realization Handicap for 3-year-olds, taking command on the second turn and drawing off to win by 4 ¼ lengths over Tiger Trap. Whitmore's Conn was third. Sharp Performance, a Kentucky-bred son of Kris S., ran 1 ½ mile on firm turf in 2:27.04. "He's not the Awad type that has to make one run," said winning trainer David "Slam" Donk, who also trained Awad. "No pace won't kill him. I'll have to consider the (Nov. 25) Hollywood Derby because it's a Grade I."
Sunday's Pebbles Handicap for 3-year-old fillies went in two $100,000 divisions, with Heads Will Roll copping the first and Love n' Kiss S. scoring in the second. Heads Will Roll, an English-bred filly by Efisio, won by 1 length over New Economy with a late run from mid-pack. Love n' Kiss S. finished a head in front of Calista in a four-filly photo.
Deeliteful Irving, with Eddie Delahoussaye up, nosed Silver Spear for the victory in Saturday's $75,000 Franklin Stakes for 3-year-olds. Wudantunoit was third, another neck back. Deeliteful Irving finished in 1:38.39 on the yielding turf course.
Sunday, Only to You barely held on to win the $100,000 Dowager Stakes in a three-horse photo. Leading by 3 lengths early in the stretch run, Only to You was only a nose in front of Bowl of Emeralds at the wire. Krisada was just another nose back in third. "I really liked her at this distance (1 ½ mile) because she's the kind of filly that likes to gallop along and make the lead turning for home, which is just what she did," said winning jockey Robby Albarado, who won four races on the card. The race took 2:35 1/5 over yielding turf.
As Daily Racing Form's Marty McGee likes to say (some days), "It's an easy game." Trainer Tim Ritchey claimed Sumerset out of his last start for $50,000, then wheeled him right back in Saturday's $200,000 Maryland Million Classic. It being "an easy game," Sumerset rallied along he rail from a stalking position to win by a neck over Lightning Paces. P Day was third. With apprentice Jeremy Rose up, Sumerset ran the 1 3/16 mile in 1:57 2/5, only 5 seconds off the course record set by Farma Way in 1991. "I'm very surprised," said Rose. "Tim said he was a nice horse and I knew they would come back to me. But I didn't know how much." Ritchey explained: "I thought we could improve the horse and I made quite a few changes. I changed his shoes. I changes his equipment and I changed his atmosphere and his environment." The 4-year-old son of Allen's Prospect changed some bankrolls, too, paying $63.60 to win.
In other races on the Maryland Million Day card, each worth $100,000:
--Jorgie Stover nailed In CC's Honor at the wire to win the 6-furlong Maryland Million Sprint. The 6 furlongs took 1:10.47.
--Elberton scored by 2 ¼ lengths over Watchman's Warning in the Maryland Million Turf, running the 9 furlongs in 1:48.52.
--Pal's Partner split the early leaders in the final furlong and went on to win the Maryland Million Nursery for 2-year-olds by 4 lengths. Private Opening was second and Square Cut Diamond third. The 6 furlongs took 1:11.70.
--Stal Quest drew off in the lane to win the Maryland Million Ladies on the grass by 2 ¼ lengths over Purrfect Punch in 1:48.40.
--In her first start in Maryland, Along Came Mary won the Maryland Million Oaks by 1 length over a late-closing Magic Stream. Along Came Mary won the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes in her previous start.
--Case of the Blues won the Maryland Million Distaff Handicap by 1 ½ lengths over Summer Shenanigans, running 6 furlongs in 1:11.54.
--Night Breeze took the Maryland Millions Lassie for 2-year-old fillies by 1 ¾ lengths over Madame X Ski. The 6 furlongs took 1:11.85.
Confucius Say was an easy, 4 ¼-lengths winner in Saturday's $250,000 West Virginia Breeeders Classic for West Virginia-breds. The 3-year-old son of Eastover Court took a quick lead, shook off a challenge from stablemate Spanishinquisition and won with authority, running the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:51.75. Coolmars was second and Rebellious Dreamer third.
In the $150,000 F&M Bank-WV 'Cavada' Breeeders Classic for fillies and mares, Longfield Star came from the back of the field to win by ¾ length over Siouxperhoney, with Aye Got a Secret third. The favorite, Sweet Annuity, contended before fading to finish sixth. Longfield Star, a 5-year-old daughter of Allen's Prospect, ran 7 furlongs in 2:26.78.
First Again ran down Lady Shari in the closing strides of Sunday's $100,000 Polly Drummond Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, winning by ½ length. Short Note was third. First Again, by Outflanker, needed 1:47.36 to negotiate the 1 1/16 mile. "She has shown all along that she has ability," said trainer Javier Contreras. "We just knew she needed a little more distance." He said the filly may run in Florida or Maryland.
Sky Mart took the inside path to the lead as they turned for home in Saturday's $60,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby for state-breds, then won a long stretch battle with Prince Slew by 1 length. Herecomesdafuzz was a longshot third while the favorite, Pink Duck, never reached a challenging position and finished seventh. Sky Mart, a son of Sky Classic, rolled the 1 1/16 mile on a muddy track in 1:47.29.
White Star led all the way in the $60,000 Shiskabob Stakes for state-bred 3-year-olds and up, winning by 5 lengths over Doctor Mike. Cyrus was third. White Star, a 4-year-old Scottsville colt, ran the 1 1/16 mile in the mud in 1:46.07. There were four scratches when the race came off the green course.
Sunday, Wild Squaw was the favorite and the winner in the $60,000 Louisiana Breeders' Oaks, rallying from mid-pack to win by 3 ½ lengths over Autobesarah. Miss Nitap was third. Wild Squaw, by Wild Gale, ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:47.77.
Mrs. Mac led from gate to wire in Sunday's $60,000 Walmac Farm Matchmaker Stakes for fillies and mares, winning by 2 lengths over Mysia Jo. Go Zippy Go was third. Mrs. Mac, a 4-year-old daughter of Derby Wish, stopped the timer at 1:46.95.
Brittsker moved to the lead at the top of the stretch in Saturday's $50,000 Lazer Show Stakes for fillies and mares, then outran Diablos First Lady to the wire. The margin was ¾ length and the 5 furlongs on a sloppy track took 59.21 seconds. The race had been scheduled for the turf before a steady, daylong downpour hit, forcing the surface switch and four scratches. Brittsker, ridden by Chris Emigh, is a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred daughter of Bounding Basque.
Take Achance On Me handsomely rewarded those who did in Saturday's $50,000 Matt Scudder Stakes for 3-year-olds at 5 furlongs on the turf. The American Chance colt, dispatched at 17-1 odds, scooted off to a clear lead and the favorite, Pirate's Gold, couldn't catch him. The margin was 2 ¾ lengths, with Rock finished third. Take Achance On Me finished in 55.83 seconds over firm going.
Slow Down didn't in the stretch drive of Saturday's $50,000 Hillsborough Handicap, circling seven rivals and racing way wide before winning by a nose. Aviate was second and Shericaine third. Slow Down, a 4-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew, ran the 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:44.30. Jockey Randy Valdez scored his first stakes win.