Swift Temper got the jump on five rivals in Sunday's $1 million Delaware Handicap and went on to post a mild upset, winning by 2 1/4 lengths and further complicating an already contentious distaff division.
Neither of the top two distaffers was in the race. Zenyetta is racing in California for now and Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Kentucky Oaks and the Preakness Stakes, is prepping for another try against males in the Haskell.
With those two out, Unbridled Belle went to the post as the favorite in the Delaware Handicap. But it was Swift Temper, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred daughter of Giant's Causeway, who stole the show. Under Alan Garcia, Swift Temper set a measured pace and was never seriously threatened.
Icon Project ran well late to take second and Unbridled Belle finished third. Swift Temper, trained by Dale Romans, completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.41.
Swift Temper was second, beaten only 3/4 length in the Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs in her last start. Her only other win this year was the Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne Park in April. She now has five wins from 27 starts and pushed her earnings just north of $1 million.
"We were planning on just getting comfortable wherever we were, but it worked out perfectly for us," Romans said. "When they left us out there two in front going that slow, I knew they were in trouble. I was looking at the fractions and it did not look like at any point anybody wanted to challenge us. I knew if it was going to be a sprint from the quarter pole home, we were going to have plenty left."
Unbridled Belle's trainer, Todd Pletcher, had no excuses for her failure to fire. "She kind of rated in a stalking position and the fractions were moderate early and she just finished evenly," said trainer Todd Pletcher.
$3 million Emirates Airline Turf
Battle of Hastings rated behind the leaders in Saturday's $750,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs, came five-wide around the leaders entering the stretch and was up in time, under strong handling by jockey Tyler Baze, to win by a head over Straight Story. Take the Points was third and the favorite, Hold Me Back, ran evenly to finish fifth. Nicantor was a late scratch. Battle of Hastings, a British-bred son of Royal Applause, is trained by Jeff Mullins. He completed the 1 1/4 miles on "good" turf in 2:03.29. Battle of Hastings now has won the first two legs of the $5 million Jacobs Investments Grand Slam of Grass for 3-year-olds. The first was the Colonial Turf Cup last month. Asked if the gelding would continue on to the third leg, the Aug. 8 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park, owner Michael House said, "Whatever the horse is doing is what we'll do. But, of course, we should think about it. We won't make any decisions for a week or two."
Black Astor jumped out to a huge early lead in Sunday's $150,000 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park, turned back an early challenge and went on to win by 2 lengths over the odds-on favorite, Spring House. Porfido was second and Obrigado completed the order of finish. Black Astor, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred gelding by Black Minnaloushe, finished the 1 1/2 miles in 2:27.1. Joe Talamo rode for trainer Lisa Lewis. Black Astor won for the fourth time in 16 starts, making his first start since January. "I thought that the horse is a marathon type horse, but until they actually go the distance, you don't know," Lewis said. "I can't say this was my plan, first race back to go a mile and a half, so I was a little concerned about that. I thought he was training pretty good, but until they go a mile and a half, you just don't know. He's a fast horse. He's not just a plodder. He's a real fast horse."
In Germany, Getaway scored a 3/4-length victory over Flamingo Fantasy in Sunday's Deutschland Preis, finishing the 1 1/2 miles in 2:28.51 over soft going. Getaway, a 6-year-old son of Monsun, entered the Dusseldorf race off a second-place finish in the Hansa Preis at Hamburg. Sunday's effort was his first win since last August, when he scored in a Group 2 event in Deauville, France. Trainer Jens Hirschberger said the winner now may target the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He finished eighth in that event last year.
$2 million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf
Caprice was bottled up on the inside in Saturday's $200,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Handicap at Delaware Park until jockey Jeremy Rose finally found an opening on the inside with about a furlong to run. At that point, the German-bred mare, a 6-year-old daughter of Monsun, spurted through and got home first, a neck in front of Trensa. Dyna's Lassie was third and the favorite, Astrologie, led but faded to finish fourth. Only about 1 length separated the first six finishers. Caprice, trained by Graham Motion, ran the 1 3/8 miles on firm turf in 2:12.56.
Blind Date dawdled behind horses until the stretch turn in Saturday's $150,000 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs, advanced along the inside on the turn and then came out for running room entering the stretch. Roused by jockey Kent Desormeaux at mid-stretch, the Maryland-bred Not For Love filly got home first, a head in front of Shared Account. Katara finished third. Blind Date, trained by Hamilton Smith, ran the 1 1/8 miles on "soft" turf in 1:49.59. "Four in a line were all stakes winners," winning owner/breeder William Backner said of Blind Date's breeding. "She's a lovely filly. Best of the line, by far."
$5 million Classic
Misremembered led all the way to post an upset victory in Saturday's $300,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park. The favorite, Grazen, chased all the way and came up 1 3/4 lengths short, with Scorewithcater third. Misremembered, a Kentucky-bred Candy Ride ridgling, ran the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:49.02. Victor Espinoza rode for trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert also bred the winner. "Victor, that was his," Baffert said. "I said get him in a nice easy mode and he beat those guys to the punch. He's got that huge long stride, so hopefully we can keep him healthy."
Our Edge led all the way to a 7-lengths victory Sunday in the $150,000 Barbaro Stakes for 3-year-olds at Delaware Park. The favorite, It Happened Again, got rolling on the far turn, threatened the leader but then faded and held on for second. Denver was third. Our Edge, a Florida-bred colt by The Cliff's Edge, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.7 under Alan Garcia. Nick Zito trains the winner for Robert LaPenta. Our Edge raised his career record to three wins from five starts. Garcia said Zito just told me let him break and get good position and go from there. My horse broke very well and after that he just kept it going. I had tons of horse at the end."
$2 million Ladies Classic
Peach Brew settled in mid-pack in Saturday's $150,000 Arlington Oaks at Arlington Park, came five-wide into the stretch and wore down the leaders, winning by 1/2 length over Sweet and Flawless. Hot Cha Cha was third after taking the lead at the top of the lane and the favorite, C.S. Silk, faded to finish fifth after setting the early pace. Peach Brew, an Oklahoma-bred daughter of Milwaukee Brew, finished the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:50.89 under Quincy Hamilton. Donnie Von Hemel trains Peach Brew. "I was very concerned," said Von Hemel. "The favorite is on the lead by herself, and with the way the racetrack was playing I was very concerned, but she got the job done."
Careless Jewel, invading from Canada and making her stakes debut, led all the way to an upset victory in Saturday's $250,000 Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park, drawing off at the end to win by 7 1/4 lengths over Malibu Prayer. Missunitednations was third and the odds-on favorite, Bon Jovi Girl, finished fourth, never mounting a challenge. Careless Jewel, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit, finished the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.96. Robert Landry had the mount for trainer Josie Carroll. "I was a little surprised nobody went with us," Landry said. "It looked like speed, but sometimes when you see that, a lot of horses end up taking a hold … I just let the filly be where she was comfortable and she kicked on and she is the real deal."
Smart Surprise rallied smartly down the stretch to win Sunday's $150,000 (Canadian) Ontario Matron at Woodbine, scoring by 4 lengths over Tell It as It Is. Arden Belle was third. Smart Surprise, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred daughter of Smart Strike, ran the 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:43.55 under Patrick Husbands.
$1 million TVG Dirt Mile
Acting Zippy led through distinctly un-zippy fractions in Saturday's $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Jr. Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park, then had more than enough to hang on at the end, winning by 3 lengths over the odds-on favorite, Resesarcher. Kurbat finished third. Acting Zippy, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred City Zip gelding, got away with a half mile in 50.83 seconds under Justin Shepherd and that left plenty in the tank for the stretch. He finished the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.87.
$1 million Turf Sprint
Silver Timber shadowed pace-setting favorite Heros Reward into the stretch in Saturday's $150,000 Jaipur Stakes at Belmont Park, edged to the lead at mid-stretch and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Heros Reward held second with Due Date third. Silver Timber, a 6-year-old, New York-bred gelding by Prime Timber, ran the 6 furlongs on firm turf in 1:07.6 with Eibar Coa up for trainer Chad Brown. Brown claimed Silver Timber for $25,000 at Gulfstream Park this spring. "When he was in for $25,000 in Florida, with the whole sprint season ahead of us, it seemed like a bargain," said owner Michael Dubb. "Of course, everything seems easy on paper."
Just Rushing rushed up in the late going to win Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Ontario Jockey Club stakes at Woodbine by a neck over the favorite, Sterwins. Sand Cove was another neck back in third. Just Rushing, an 8-year-old, gelded son of Wild Rush, ran the 7 furlongs on firm turf in 1:20.66 under Emma-Jayne Wilson.
Kitty Cat Express was quickly on the lead in Sunday's $75,000 Light Hearted Stakes for fillies and mares at Delaware Park and held on to post a big upset, winning by a neck over Julia Tuttle. Drop a Line was third and the favorite, Miss Challenge, finished third. Kitty Cat Express, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred Cat Thief filly, ran the 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:29.82 with Brian Hernandez Jr. in the irons. Kitty Cat Express went to the post at odds of better than 28-1.
Libor Lady shot to the lead in Sunday's $60,000 Klassy Briefcase Stakes for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park, then held well at the end to win by 3/4 length over Anofficerandalady. My Kim was third. Libor Lady, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred Exchange Rate filly, finished the "about" 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:01.34 under Daniel Centeno.
$1 million Sentient Filly & Mare Sprint
Evita Argentina rallied from last of nine to win Saturday's $150,000 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park, scoring by 2 lengths over Silver Swallow. Lady Lumberjack finished third and the favorite, Coco Belle, faded from the lead to finish sixth. Evita Argentina, a 3-year-old, Kentucky-bred daughter of Candy Ride, got the 7 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:21.8 with Joel Rosario up for trainer John Sadler. "I rode her last time going longer and she really didn't have much punch in the stretch," Rosario said. "I think she's better going short. Today, when I asked her, she really responded."
Alcomo rated off the pace in Saturday's $250,000 Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park, got to the lead at the quarter pole and drew clear to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Alaazo. Eldaafer completed a "lots of A's" trifecta while the "A-challenged" odds-on favorite, Nite Light, never got in the mix and finished fifth. Alcomo, a 6-year-old, Brazilian-bred son of Rainbow Corner, ran the 1 1/2 miles on a fast track in 2:31.88 with Willie Martinez riding. The victory carries a guaranteed spot in the Breeders' Cup Marathon, thanks to the "Win and You're In" program.
$2 million Bessemer Trust Juvenile
Western Smoke led all the way in Saturday's $50,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile at Prairie Meadows, then drew off in the stretch to win by 6 3/4 lengths over Cainam. Bet Your Boots was third. Western Smoke, a Kentucky-bred Smoke Glacken colt, finished the 5 furlongs on a fast track in 57.12 seconds with Israel Ocampo in the irons.
Fearless Cowboy rallied to the lead at the top of the stretch in Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) Colin Stakes at Woodbine and then held on to beat the favorite, Who's Big Daddy, by a neck. Always Wildcatin' finished third. Fearless Cowboy, a Kentucky-bred El Corredor colt, ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:10.88 under Slade Callaghan.
$1 million Grey Goose Juvenile Turf
Vito Filitto stalked the pace in Saturday's $50,000 Minstrel Stakes at Louisiana Downs and then went on to win by a clear 1 1/2 lengths over Chance Meister. Perfect Lou finished third while the favorite, Fly South, settled for fourth. Vito Filitto, a Kentucky-bred Mutakddim gelding, ran the "about" 5 furlongs on firm turf in 57.04 seconds with Francisco Torres riding.
$2 million Bessemer Trust Juvenile Fillies
Vertical Vision led from start to finish in Saturday's $50,000 Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows, getting clear to win by 5 lengths. Miss Diane was second and Bronx City Girl finished third. Vertical Vision, an Oklahoma-bred daughter of Pollard's Vision, ran the 5 furlongs on a fast track in 57.52 seconds. Alex Birzer was up.
$1 million Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies Turf
Red Hot Buddah sat behind the early leaders in Saturday's $50,000 Princess Stakes at Louisiana Downs, got to the outside at top of the stretch and won off by 2 lengths over Blading Gold Ring. Lemondropsmypop was third and the favorite, Right to Rule, finished fifth. Red Hot Buddah, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Buddah, ran the "about" 5 furlongs on firm turf in 56.82 seconds. Lonnie Meche rode.
In other weekend racing:
All of Her Twist found more in the stretch run of Saturday's $70,000 Dearly Precious Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, getting up in the final sixteenth to win by 1 length over Pretty Prolific. Gemswick Park finished third. All of Her Twist, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Forest Wildcat, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.6 with Stewart Elliot in the irons.
Slides Choice took complete charge in the stretch run of Saturday's $100,000 Norm Barron Queen City Oaks for Ohio-breds, drawing off to win by 3 1/2 lengths over Honey Be Fleet. Gathering Dreams finished third. Slides Choice, a daughter of Devil His Due, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:58.2. Hector Rosario Jr. applied the winning ride.
Fatal Bullet shot to the lead in Sunday's $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes, then extended the lead to win by 2 1/4 lengths at the wire. Jungle Wave was second and True Vindication finished third. Fatal Bullet, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred daughter of Red Bullet, ran the 6 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:14.9 with Eurico Da Silva in the irons.