Another sprinter heard from: In a division where rivals continue to beat each other and pop up from the fringes, the latest graded stakes winner is Bordonaro, victor in Saturday's $100,000 Vernon Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park.
Sent to the front right out of the gate by jockey Patrick Valenzuela, the 4-year-old son of Memo was never seriously challenged and won by 3 lengths over Turnbolt. The favorite, Captain Squire, who won the Ancient Title two races earlier, finished third. Lifestyle completed the order of finish as Indian Country was a late scratch.
Bordonaro ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.11. He has five wins from seven starts this year, including a victory in the Cal Cup Sprint in its last previous start. The Underwood was its first try in open stakes company.
Winning trainer Bill Spawr said Bordonaro had some trouble with its action. "When he would go to the turn and go to the left lead, he wouldn't switch behind." He said he walked the horse, "jogged and galloped, jogged and galloped and started breezing him a little bit. When I started breezing him again, all my riders said he's not doing that behind anymore."
He said he told Valenzuela, "If he makes the lead, to just go on and open up on them."
In other weekend racing:
Calder Race Course
Jockey Jerry Bailey had to search for running room for Silver Tree in Saturday's $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap. But when the opening came, Silver Tree made the most of it, going through and on to win by a neck over Demeteor. Settle Up was third. Silver Tree, a 5-year-old, Florida-bred son of Hennessy, finished the 9 furlongs on firm going in 1:46.28 in the headline event of Calder's Grand Slam I, posting its first victory in seven starts this year and seventh win in 23 career events. Winning trainer Bill Mott said he has tried Silver Tree against top competition and he's proved a bit light. "So we decided to pass on the Breeders' Cup this year, recognizing his limitations. ... He's eligible for the Sunshine Millions, so we'll be looking at that."
Snowdrops rallied around rivals turning into the stretch in Saturday's $100,000 My Charmer Handicap for fillies and mares and was just up in time to win by 1/2 length over La Reina. Ticker Tape was third. Snowdrops, with Brice Blanc riding, finished 9 furlongs on the firm turf course in 1:48.33. "Once we got clear running room, she took off," Blanc said. "Then, the closer we got to the leader, the faster she was running."
Saint Augustus rallied from off the pace to upset Saturday's $100,000 What a Pleasure Stakes for 2-year-olds. The Saint Ballado colt got to the lead at the top of the lane and drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Big Lover. Rehoboth was third. Saint Augustus, with Ramon Dominguez aboard for his 2,500th win, ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:47.94. "I was able to get him back to relaxing," said Dominguez, "and when it was time to let him run, I just swung him around a couple of horses and he took off."
In the $100,000 Three Ring Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, Stolen Prayer pressed the early pace, then got to the fore and held on to win by 1 length over the favorite, Capozzene. El Bank Robber was third. Stolen Prayer, a Florida-bred daughter of Songandaprayer, ran 1 1/16 mile under Eddie Castro in 1:50.01. Winner trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who also trained Three Ring, said, "Of all the races with names on them, this is naturally the one I wanted to win the most." He said he doesn't have specific plans for the filly. "We'll let her tell us."
Lilah stayed off the pace in Saturday's $75,000 Garland of Roses Handicap for fillies and mares, rallied four-wide into the stretch and got up in time to beat Secret Forest by a head. Bank Audit was third as the favorite. Channing Hill rode the winner over 6 furlongs in 1:11.23. Lilah is an 8-year-old mare by Defrere, bred in Kentucky.
Home and Away swept the competition in Sunday's $75,000 East View Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies, rallying from last in a field of nine to win by 4 1/2 lengths over the favorite, Zippy Missy. Bee in a Bonnet was third. Home and Away, a chestnut daughter of Skip Away, finished the 1 1/16 mile on a fast track in 1:47.95 under Jose Espinoza.
In Sunday's $65,000 Go For Gin Stakes for 3-year-olds, Spanish Mission came along on the outside in the stretch run, caught pace-setting favorite Gold and Roses and drew off to win by 1 1/2 lengths over that rival. Mr Sword was third with a late run. Spanish Mission is a Kentucky-bred son of Coronado's Quest. Mike Luzzi rode for trainer Shug McGaughey and owner Stuart Janney III.
House of Fortune dueled for the lead early in Sunday's $75,000 Cat's Cradle Handicap for Cal-bred fillies and mares, edged clear and went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Western Hemisphere. Strut Your Stuff was third. House of Fortune, a 4-year-old filly by Free House, got the 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:27.24 under Patrick Valenzuela.
Proud Tower got the jump on the competition in Sunday's $95,000 On Trust Handicap for 3-year-old Cal-breds and held on at the end to win by a neck over Jack's Wild. The favorite, Areyoutalkintome, was third, another 1/2 length back. Proud Tower, a son of Proud Irish, ran the 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:27.37 with David Cohen riding.
Our Madison upset Sunday's $150,000 (Canadian) Ontario Lassie Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Rallying from a pace-stalking position under Emma-Jayne Wilson, the Ontario-bred daughter of Tactical Cat overtook the early leaders in deep stretch to win by a neck over Like a Gem. The heavy favorite, Sugar Swirl, had the lead for a time and finished just a neck farther back in third. Our Madison ran the 1 1/16 mile on a fast track in 1:49.26.
Saturday, Miss Concerto rallied nicely through the stretch and drew off to post a 30-1 upset of the $150,000 (Canadian) Bessarabian Handicap. Colonial Surprise was second, 2 lengths back, and Hatpin completed the $3,616.70 triactor. Miss Concerto, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred daughter of Concerto, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:25.00 with Corey Fraser up for trainer Sid Attard.
Cherokee's Boy justified its odds-on status in Saturday's $75,000 Jennings Handicap for Maryland-breds, rallying from off the pace between rivals and racing clear to win by 6 1/4 lengths. George's Gain was second and Water Cannon third. Cherokee's Boy, a 5-year-old son of Citidancer, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:52.49. Travis Dunkelberger was up. Cherokee's Boy has won 12 stakes in 40 lifetime starts. "He's an amazing horse," said Dunkelberger. "He just does what you ask him to all the time and you always have horse."
Fair Grounds at Louisiana Downs
Silver Crown got through on the rail after stalking the early pace in Saturday's $75,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial for fillies and mares, then drew clear to win by 2 lengths over Red Lifesaver. Josh's Madelyn finished third. Silver Crown, a 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor, ran 7 furlongs under Calvin Borel in 1:23.34. The Kentucky-bred filly is trained by Frank Springer for Russell Reineman.
Mr. Trieste prompted the pace in Sunday's $100,000 Zia Park Distance Championship, got to the lead turning for home and won off by 4 lengths over the favorite, Silver Axe. Don't Strike Out was third home. Mr. Trieste is a 4-year-old son of Old Trieste, bred in Kentucky. Ken Tohill applied the winning ride for trainer Gary Cross.
Jungle Prince won Sunday's $80,000 Zia Park Express, rallying from a pace-pressing spot to draw clear. At the wire, the 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Sir Cat was 5 lengths to the good of Nuttyboom. Komax was fourth in a field of five starters. The 6 1/2 furlongs went in 1:15.
Saturday, Real Dandy came from last of six to win the $100,000 Zia Park Derby by 2 3/4 lengths over Lumbre. Broke Sharply didn't, but pressed the pace before fading to finish third. Real Dandy, a Kentucky-bred son of Yankee Victor, ran the 1 1/16 mile on a fast track in 1:45 3/5 with Luis Quinonez aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Indigo Girl had things all its own way in Saturday's $75,000 Louisiana HBPA Stakes for fillies and mares, leading all the way to a 4 1/2-length win over Shes Dixies Eskimo. Living Lavida Lisa was third. Indigo Girl, a daughter of Leestown, ran the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:03.70 with Jason Eads in the irons.
Hot Storm was the hot ticket in Saturday's $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes for fillies and mares. Dispatched as the odds-on favorite, the 3-year-old, Florida-bred daughter of Stormy Atlantic rallied past pace-setting Dewey's Trick on the turn and went on to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Dewey's Trick held second and Mocha Queen finished third. Hot Storm ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:11.60 with Jesus Castanon aboard for trainer Dallas Stewart. Castanon said Hot Storm "was pretty excited before the race. In the gate, she was moving a little bit and she didn't break as she usually does. But she put herself in the right spot."
Golden Gate Fields
Thrilling Victory threaded through traffic in the stretch run of Saturday's $50,000 Angel Island Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and just got up to beat Lunachick in the last strides by a nose. Double D Appeal was third. Thrilling Victory, a California-bred daughter of Event of the Year, got the 6 furlongs in 1:09.32 under Chad Schvaneveldt.
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