Big Brown, rebounding from his stunning upset in the Belmont Stakes, earned a tough victory in Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. But it wasn't easy and the big colt showed a big heart as he got to the lead at mid-stretch and held on.
At the wire, Big Brown was 1 3/4 lengths ahead of longshot Coal Play, a Nick Zito-trained runner who nearly stole the race on the front end. Jockey Kent Desormeaux had to kick Big Brown into gear on the turn and he didn't seem to be accelerating until he had straightened out into the stretch. Then, he drifted out to the middle of the track in the final sixteenth.
Still, it was a win and it puts the bay son of Boundary back in the game, with the $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita now a realistic goal.
"He found a new gear and just kept sticking his neck out," Desormeaux said. "I knew he was going to get there. At the top of the stretch that horse (Coal Play) took off, but Big Brown took off after him. He just kept coming, and I knew we'd get him."
"He showed up today," trainer Richard Dutrow said of Big Brown. "That other horse ran a huge, huge race. The last eighth, he got himself together and showed us what he's made of."
"Big Brown is the best horse I've ever ridden," said Desormeaux, who last week notched his 5,000th career win.
In other races with potential impact on the Classic:
Ready Set took advantage of a very brisk early pace in Saturday's $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park, rallying down the lane to win by a head over another closer, Web Gem. Real Appeal finished third. Ready Set, a Kentucky-bred colt by Touch Gold, ran the 9 furlongs in 1:52.03 with Julien Leparoux aboard for trainer Michael Matz. Coming off a victory in the Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park, Ready Set now has won four of his 11 career starts. He had been on the Derby trail until he finished 10th in the Fountain of Youth late this past winter at Gulfstream Park.
On the Mountaineer undercard, Zanjero, the even-money favorite, stalked the pace in the $125,000 West Virginia Governor's Stakes, surged to the lead on the turn and romped home unchallenged, winning by 4 3/4 lengths over Better Than Bonds. Barbican was third. Zanjero ran 12th in last year's Kentucky Derby, then came back to win both the West Virginia and the Indiana derbies. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, the A.P. Indy colt got the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.65.
Other races with potential impact on the Breeders' Cup World Championships:
$2 million Ladies Classic
Zenyatta remained undefeated with a workman-like, 1-length victory in Saturday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar. After rating well back under Mike Smith, the 4-year-old Street Cry filly rallied to challenge for the lead at mid-stretch and won convincingly. Model had the lead at the top of the stretch but couldn't hold it and Tough Tiz's Sis finished third. Zenyatta, trained by John Shirreffs, ran the 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:41.48. "She ran the way she always does," Shirreffs said.
"I wasn't worried down the backside with her being a little far back. That's the way she likes to run. She was moving beautifully throughout the race."
Sky Mom caught pace-setting Dreaming of Liz at mid-stretch in Saturday's $100,000 Arlington Oaks at Arlington Park and went on to win by 1 length. Dreaming of Liz held second and Apple Martini finished third. Sky Mom, a Kentucky-bred filly by Maria's Mon out of the Sky Classic mare Swiftly Classic, ran the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:52.92. Ramsey Zimmerman rode for trainer Steve Asmussen.
$2 million Mile (turf)
Red Giant won a tight stretch battle with Stalingrad in Sunday's $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga, scoring by a neck with Thorn Song third. The favorite, Danak, was pulled up in the stretch and vanned off. Red Giant, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred colt by Giant's Causeway, ran the 1 1/16 miles on yielding turf in 1:41.93. John Velazquez rode for trainer Todd Pletcher. "We gave him plenty of time for a summer campaign," said Pletcher. "I had entered him in an allowance race that didn't fill. We nominated him to this race as a back-up plan." He said he will keep Red Giant at Saratoga for now.
Quiet Queen sat just behind the leaders until the stretch turn in Saturday's $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes at Canterbury Park, got to the lead at mid-stretch and won by a neck, holding off the late run of Angel Smoke by a neck. Tears I Cry finished third. Quiet Queen, a 31-1 longshot, ran the 1 mile on firm turf in 1:34.99. Tracy Hebert rode for trainer David Kassen. Quiet Queen is a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred mare by Real Quiet.
$2 million Emirates Airlines Filly & Mare Turf
Black Mamba had to wait for running room in Sunday's $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap at Del Mar. Once she found it at midstretch, the 5-year-old, New Zealand-bred mare rallied to the front under urging by jockey Garrett Gomez and went on to win by 1/2 length over I Can See. Passified finished third. "Yes, I was concerned down inside there," Gomez said. "I had a great ground-saving trip, but, of course, you've got to get out and be able to run at the end." Black Mamba ran the 9 furlongs on firm turf in 1:47.11 and earned an automatic berth in the Filly and Mare Turf -- although she will have to be supplemented if she is to run in the event. "We'll run in the Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita and then the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf," said winning trainer John Sadler. "We got in today with this win, but we'll have to supplement her ($300,000). We'll do that."
$2 million Sentient Flight Group Sprint
Kodiak Kowboy nailed pace-setting Desert Key in the final yards to win Monday's $150,000 Amsterdam Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga by a head. The son of Posse finished the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.56 under Gabriel Saez after closing into a hot pace and reprised his 2007 Saratoga Special victory. Devereux was third Winning trainer Larry Jones said Kodiak Kowboy likely will start next in the King's Bishop, going 7 furlongs on Travers Day at the Spa.
$1 million Sentient Flight Group Filly & Mare Sprint
Whatever else she may eventually be able to do, Indian Blessing sure can sprint. The Indian Charlie filly ran off and hid from five rivals in Saturday's $250,000 Test Stakes at Saratoga, finishing 7 lengths ahead of runner-up Sweet Hope, with Ms. Margaret H. taking third. Under a hand ride by John Velazquez, Indian Blessing finished the 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.7.
Any Limit jumped out to the lead in Friday's $150,000 Honorable Miss Stakes at Saratoga, extended the advantage around the turn and down the stretch and won by 5 3/4 lengths over Zada Belle. Graeme Six was third and the favorite, Miss Macy Sue, faded late to finish fourth. Any Limit, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred mare by Limit Out, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.98. Corenlio Velasquez rode for trainer H. Allen Jerkens. It was the eighth victory in 21 lifetime starts for Any Limit and her second straight stakes win. "We're going to be trying for the (Aug. 24) Ballerina if she's well," said Jerkens.
$1 million Turf Sprint
Hero's Reward rated through the early furlongs of Friday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap at Penn National, then drew off in the stretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Rouse the Cat. Heas Big Star pleased the show bettors. Hero's Reward, a 6-year-old, Maryland-bred gelding by Partner's Hero, ran the 5 furlongs on firm turf in 55.14 seconds with Javier Castellano in the irons for trainer Dale Capuano.
Akronism stalked the pace in Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) Royal North Stakes for fillies and mares at Woodbine, came around the leaders on the turn to take the lead and drew off smartly to win by 3 3/4 lengths. Becky Sharp was second and the favorite, Marina Ballerina, dance home third. Akronism, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Not For Love filly, got the 6 furlongs on firm turf in 1:07.88 with Eurico Da Silva riding for trainer Tim Ritchey.
$2 million Bessemer Trust Juvenile
Terrain tracked the pace in Saturday's $85,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes, led at the quarter pole and held on to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Retap. Wynning Pursuit was third. Terrain, a Kentucky-bred gelding by Sky Mesa, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:11.13 with Jamie Theriot up for trainer Al Stall Jr. The youngster, an Adele Dilschneider homebred, now has two wins from two starts.
Gaston rallied by entrymate Cajun Thunder to win Saturday's $75,000 Stardust Stakes for Louisiana-breds at Louisiana Downs by 1 length. The Count the Time gelding counted 1:12.7 for the 6 furlongs.
$2 million Bessemer Trust Juvenile Fillies
Cawaja Beach got the lead in the stretch in Sunday's $125,000 (Canadian) Nandi Stakes at Woodbine, then held on gamely to beat Koonuga Hill by 3/4 length. Cataleenda was third. Cawaja Beach, an Ontario-bred daughter of Where's the Ring, ran the 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:11.01 under Daniel David. She now is perfect in three trips to the track.
So Vain had plenty to be proud of after Saturday's $60,000 Jamestown Stakes for Virginia-breds at Colonial Downs. After being bumped at the start, the Mr. Greeley filly, running against males, drew off in the stretch to win by 6 1/2 lengths over Perfect Pet. Purrfect Smoke finished third. So Vain, with Julian Pimentel in the irons, got the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.59.
Corlett got to the lead on the turn in Saturday's $85,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes and easily drew clear, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Lola B. Corlett, with Jamie Theriot up for trainer Darrin Miller, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:12.32. The Outflanker filly, a $50,000 Keeneland purchase, won for the second time in four starts.
Run Don't Stroll got running in the lane to win Saturday's $75,000 Laurel Lane Stakes for Louisiana-breds at Louisiana Downs by 3 3/4 lengths over Reckon. The Stoll filly got the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.48.
Zappa was frankly too good on the lead for a half dozen rivals in Wednesday's $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar, winning by 6 1/4 lengths over Tissy Fit. Big Booster was third. Zappa ran the 1 1/2 miles on the all-weather track in 2:30.53, earning an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Marathon should trainer John Sadler so choose. Garrett Gomez was up for Cougar II. "We just literally tried to steal it and Garrett did a beautiful job of it," Sadler said.
In other weekend racing:
The Claiming Crown returned to Canterbury Park Saturday, again spotlighting horses whose usual venues are the claiming ranks that populate most cards on most tracks on most days. Each of the races was restricted under starter allowance rules to horses that had run for a tag during the past year.
Won Awesome Dude lived up to his name, wearing down the leader in the stretch to win the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel by 1 length over R Clear Victory. With Casey Lambert up for trainer Dalton Nedrick, the 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding had been running at Delaware Park.
Self Made Man won a long stretch duel with Shipwatch in the $100,000 Emerald at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, scoring by a neck with Canard third. Self Made Man, a 4-year-old Catienus gelding off the Kentucky circuit, finished in 1:42.28 with Miguel Mena up. The New York-bred is trained by Michael Maker.
Locally based Eagle Storm swooped quickly to the lead in the $75,000 Rapid Transit and led the way to a 2-lengths win over Erdiston. Tempo Five finished third. Eagle Storm, a 5-year-old Florida-bred Stormy Atlantic gelding, ran 6 furlongs in 1:08.9 with Jesse Garcia riding for trainer Justin Evans.
Cat Hop was just up in the final hops to win the $100,000 Tiara for distaffers at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Couple Whiles just missed and Simply Run was third. Cat Hop, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred mare by Cat Thief, was clocked in 1:42.39 under Eusebio Razo Jr. Trainer Merrill Scherer brought Cat Hop north from Kentucky for the race.
Extra Exclusive hardly has a home base as the 6-year-old son of Awesome Again was running in his sixth different track in his past six races when he won the $50,000 Express. With Corey Lanerie up for trainer Cody Autrey, Extra Exclusive tracked the pace, got through an opening at the top of the stretch and drew off to win by 5 lengths in 1:09.48.
Another Scherer steed from Kentucky won the $75,000 Glass Slipper for filly and mare sprinters. Chippewa Court pressed the pace, then won a tight battle to the wire to score by a neck over Morghyn. Adore You finished third. Chippewa Court, a 4-year-old Doneraile Court filly, got the 6 furlongs in 1:09.75 under Razo.
Antrim County took charge in the stretch drive to win the $50,000 Iron Horse by 3 1/2 lengths over House of Usher. Deputy Tice was third, 10 1/2 lengths farther back. Antrim County, a 5-year-old Giant's Causeway gelding, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.09 under Fernando De La Cruz. Although his last start came at Arlington, Antrim County had been racing at Churchill Downs for trainer Clifford Wilkinson.
Mr Maccool was up at the wire to win Sunday's $100,000 Jersey Derby by a head over Atwell, with Roman Tiger a neck back in third. Mr Maccool, a Kentucky-bred colt by Giant's Causeway, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.01. Eddie Castro rode for trainer David Fawkes.
Cuba came from off the pace, caught early leader Bythebeautifulsea at midstretch and went on to win Sunday's $100,000 Charles Hess III Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths. Bythebeautifulsea held second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Trueamericanspirit. Cuba, a 7-year-old, Jersey-bred son of Not For Love, ran 1 mile and 70 yards on a fast track in 1:41.51.
Rockerfeller led most of the way to a 3 3/4-lengths win over favorite Joey P. in Sunday's $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes. Rockerfeller, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred gelding by Maria's Mon, got the 6 furlongs in 1:08.09 with Eddie Castro up.
Hungarian Boatbaby surrendered the early lead to Solarana, then came back to win by 1 length over that rival in Sunday's $100,000 Regret Stakes for fillies and mares. My Sister Sue, who also held the lead for time, settled for third. Hungarian Boatbaby, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred filly by Silver Ghost, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.62. Kent Desormeaux rode for trainer Tony Dutrow.
J'ray came from the clouds to win Sunday's $100,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes for fillies and mares by 1 3/4 lengths. Dyna's Lassie was a neck ahead of Cozzi Capital for second. J'ray, a 5-year-old, New York-bred mare by Distant View, ran 9 furlongs on the firm turf in 1:46.39 with Joe Bravo in the irons for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Salty Response tracked Devil House into the stretch run of Sunday's $100,000 Lady's Secret Stakes for fillies and mares, then went by in the final furlong to win by 5 lengths. Devil House held second and Rolling Sea finished third. Salty Response, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred mare by Cozzene, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.2 for jockey Elvis Trujillo.
Silver Tree was just up at the wire in Sunday's $100,000 Oceanport Stakes, beating pace-setter Giant Wrecker by a neck. Hotstuffandthensome was third, just another head back. Silver Tree, an 8-year-old, Florida-bred son of Hennessey, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.05. Kent Desormeaux rode for Bill Mott.
One Man to Beat beat five rivals with a gate-to-wire effort in Saturday's $65,000 Staybridge Suites Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. At the wire, the Menifee filly was 1 1/2 lengths to the good of Open Skies, with the favorite, Yippety Yip, settling for third. The 1 1/16 miles on "good" turf took 1:41.32.
Kosmo's Buddy rallied from a pace-stalking trip to win Saturday's $60,000 Crank It Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 1 1/4 lengths over Ready for Fortune. The favorite, Dicey D J, finished third. Kosmo's Buddy, a Maryland-bred daughter of Outflanker, ran the "about" 5 1/2 furlongs on "good" turf in 1:02.58.
Smokin Bayou dueled for the lead in Saturday's $65,000 Colleen Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, shook clear on the turn and got home first, 5 lengths ahead of the favorite, Sky Haven. Fools in Love finished third. Smokin Bayou, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Smoke Glacken, got the 5 1/2 furlongs on a good, sealed main track in 1:04.89.
Merlang ran out to the lead in Sunday's $500,000 (Canadian) Breeders' Stakes for 3-year-olds, took his time about things and held on nicely at the end to win by 2 3/4 lengths over Sligovitz. Solitare, the favorite, ran third all the way and finished there, as he had in the Queen's Plate. Merlang, a son of Langfuhr, finished the 1 1/2 miles on firm turf in 2:28.58. Richard Dos Ramos had the mount for trainer Deborah England. It was the second stakes win for Marlang, who won the Charlie Barley Stakes on the grass June 21.
"When we finally had the shot (to try grass) in the Charlie Barley, he ran like the way we thought he would," said Dos Ramos. "He likes to feel his feet rattle underneath him. Going into the first turn, he was enjoying himself. I had a lot left at the top of the stretch."
England said she decided to try the Breeders' because, "He was doing so well. He worked so well, by himself. It's the last 3-year-old stakes for Canadian-breds. So, we said, 'Go for it.'"
Shyloe Lafeet rallied in deep stretch in Saturday's $110,000 West Virginia Senate President's Stakes for fillies and mares, nipping pace-setting favorite Si Si Mon Amie by a nose. Beautiful Venue finished third. Shyloe Lafeet, a 5-year-old daughter of King of Kings, ran the 1 mile and 70 yards on firm turf in 1:39.53.
Salinja came from off the pace to catch pace-setter Jungle Fighter and win the $85,000 House of Delegates Speaker's Cup by 3/4 length. Buckeye Buddy finished third. Salinja, a 6-year-old Boundary gelding, got the 1 mile and 70 yards on the lawn in 1:38.
Are You Serious rallied from a pace-stalking trip to win the $110,000 Harvey Arsenault Memorial by 3/4 length over Vicarian, getting the 6 furlongs in 1:09.99. P. Kerney was third. Are You Serious is a 6-year-old, Ontario-bred You and I gelding.
Lacewell stalked the pace in the $85,000 Legislature Chairman's Cup, then put a neck in front of Pete's Wonder at the wire, finishing the 4 1/2-furlong charge in 51.59 seconds. In the $85,000 Secretary of State Stakes for distaffers, Awsugahnow came from last to win by 1 length over Pola's Place, running 6 furlongs in 1:11.1.
Star Production led all the way to an 8-lengths victory over the favorite, Ide Like a Double, in Saturday's $100,000 Louisiana Breeders' Derby for state-breds. Lee's Spirit was third. Star Production, a gelded son of Run Production, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.18 under Carlos Gonzalez.
Royal Madame upset the $100,000 Walmac Farm Matchmaker Stakes for state-breds, leading all the way to win by 3/4 length over Tensas Yucatan at odds of 23-1. The odds-on favorite, Tortuga Flats, was third in a flat effort. Royal Madame, a 5-year-old Royal Strand mare, got the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:43.14 with Cody Meche up.
Calmed caught the leader in the late going to win the $100,000 Victoria Stakes for Louisiana-bred distaffers by 1/2 length. Coach Mike was second and Leesa Lee third. Calmed, a 5-year-old Belek mare, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:10.59 for jockey Kerwin Clark.
Tortuga Straits put a head in front of Captain Buddy at the end of the $100,000 Cajun Stakes for state-breds. Stoney Gold was third. Tortuga Straits, a 4-year-old Gold Tribute gelding, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.76 with Luis Quinonez in the irons.
Diggy Fresh came from last in the stretch to win the $100,000 Shiskabob Stakes for Louisiana-breds by a head over Autobeacat. Desert Wheat also rallied from far back to take third. Diggy Fresh, a 7-year-old Indian Charlie gelding, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.19. Gerard Melancon had the mount.
Superior Storm put in a superior effort in the stretch run of the $100,000 Louisiana Breeders' Oaks, drawing off to win by 5 lengths over Go Atm. E Z Time finished third. Superior Storm, a daughter of Stormy Atlantic, got the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.26. John Jacinto rode for trainer Richard Jackson.
Porte Bonheur took charge in the stretch run of Saturday's $80,000 Flanders Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, winning by 2 lengths over Lovely Isle. Morakami finished third. Porte Bonheur, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Hennessey, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.57. Ramon Dominguez rode for trainer David Duggan.
Bold Chieftain led Comoros draw off to a huge lead on the backstretch in Saturday's $125,000 California Dreamin' Handicap for state-breds, then reeled him back in late to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Comoros held second, followed by Epic Power. Mr. Wolverine, the only other starter, was 16 lengths farther back in last. Bold Chieftain, a 5-year-old son of Chief Seattle, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.23. Russell Baze had the mount for trainer William Morey Jr.
Greeley's Conquest circled four-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $75,000 Prairie Meadows Sprint and spurted away from the field to win by 4 1/4 lengths. Native Ruler, the odds-on favorite, rallied from well back to finish second, 3/4 length ahead of The Big Wave. Greeley's Conquest, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred colt by Mr. Greeley, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.2 under Quincy Hamilton.
Stones River came from the middle of the pack to capture Saturday's $75,000 Nick Shuk Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds by 4 1/2 lengths. Knight in Armour was second and Sinners Repent third. Stones River, a Kentucky-bred colt by Monarchos, got the 1 1/16 miles on a wet-fast track in 1:44.47 with Terry Thompson up.
Papa Time rallied from last to win Saturday's $75,000 (Canadian) Count Lathum Handicap for 3-year-olds by 1/2 length over Saratoga Avenue. Ballintoy finished third. Papa Time, a Kentucky-bred gelding by Gilded Time, finished 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.8 under Jake Barton.
Chasin Tiger dueled for the lead in Saturday's $60,000 Chesapeake Stakes, then edged clear in the late going to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Great Seneca couldn't keep up but held on for second, 1/2 length ahead of Celtic Innis. Chasin Tiger, a 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred Jade Hunter gelding, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.94.
Calder Race Course
Awesome Alexandra was bumped at the start of Sunday's $55,000 Ema Bovary Stakes for fillies and mares but got the job done in the stretch, winning by 1 length over Saratoga Tango. Slewfoundmoney was third. Awesome Alexandra, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred filly by Awesome Again, got the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.87 under Pascacio Lopez.
Hypocrite came from well back to win Saturday's $55,000 Valid Video Stakes for 3-year-olds by 1 3/4 lengths over Wise Answer. Make Me Zach finished third. Hypocrite, a Florida-bred colt by Outofthebox, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:18.23 under Pedro Monterrey Jr.
Joffe's Run stalked the pace in Saturdays' $55,000 Regal Gal Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, then went by early leader Amazing to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Amazing held second, 1/2 length ahead of Tidal Dance. Joffe's Run, a Kentucky-bred filly by Giant's Causeway, ran the 1 mile on a fast track in 1:40.77 with Jermaine Bridgmohan in the irons.
My Sweet Natalie led all the way to a 5-lengths win in Saturday's $75,000 GTOBA Juvenile Filly Turf Dash. Jungle Jill was best of nine others with Wild Actress third. My Sweet Natalie, a California-bred filly by Bring the Heat, ran the 5 furlongs on "good" turf in 57.23 seconds.
Nergal came from well back in the pack to catch runaway pace-setter Riversrunrylee turning for home in Saturday's $50,000 Old Ironsides Stakes and got by to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Riversrunrylee held second by 1 length over British Event. Nergal, a 5-year-old, French-bred gelding by Simon Du Desert, ran the "about" 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:47.41 with Tammi Piermarini up for trainer Christophe Clement.
Cherokee Triangle was just up in the final jumps to win Saturday's $50,000 Cliff Guilliams Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds by a head over Veiled Prophet. He, in turn, was just a neck to the good of El Aleman in third. Cherokee Triangle, a Kentucky-bred son of Cherokee Run, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:45.43 with Victor Lebron riding for trainer Michael Maker. The race is named for the late Daily Racing Form chart caller and publicist.
Fear No Evil apparently feared no foe in Sunday's $60,000 Seattle Slew Handicap for 3-year-olds. The Kentucky-bred son of Trust N Luck went out to a quick lead, set a hot pace and held on to win by 1 length over Real Prime. Anotation was third. Fear No Evil, with Gary Baze riding, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.
News and notes
Horses running in October's Breeders' Cup World Championships won't have the benefit of dirt or steroids. Breeders' Cup announced Friday any trainer whose horse tests positive while running over Santa Anita's synthetic surface during the Oct. 24-25 events will face a one-year suspension from the program. In addition, Breeders' Cup will no longer offer purse supplements for races where either the state or the track regulate steroids. "The Breeders' Cup Board believes it's crucial that we take a leadership role in eliminating anabolic steroids from our sport," Chairman William Farish Jr. said.