Lookin At Lucky never had a chance in the Kentucky Derby when his No. 1 post position proved impossible to overcome. In Sunday's $1 million Haskell, he again had the inside but, this time, it was no problem.
Jockey Martin Garcia eased Lookin At Lucky out to a comfortable position well off the Monmouth Park rail and just behind a quick early pace. When he asked the Smart Strike colt to run heading into the stretch, Lookin At Lucky quickly took charge of the race and won by 4 lengths.
Trappe Shot, a late-blooming type who won the Long Branch in his last outing, rallied for second with early leader First Dude edging Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver for third. Ice Box, winner of the Florida Derby and second in the Kentucky Derby, was never in the mix and finished sixth of seven.
Lookin At Lucky completed the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.83.
"He broke fine," said winning trainer Bob Baffert, "and Martin eased him to the outside. I knew we'd lose a little bit of ground, but that was the winning move. This was really a break-out race.
"At the three-eighths pole, that's when you know you've got a good horse because they'll be pulling you. Martin was still sitting, but when he pushed the button, the horse really took off. You can't make that move on synthetic, but on dirt it was the winning move. That's really what I like to see -- running fast horses on fast tracks."
Trappe Shot's trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, said he was "disappointed because we think an awful lot of this horse. But this race is the best of the best, and right now we're in second place."
The victory, on the heels of his gritty victory in the Preakness Stakes in his last start, not only confirmed Lookin At Lucky as the top 3-year-old at the start of the late summer races but also moved him squarely into contention for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
It also served as a reminder of what might have been, had Lookin At Lucky been, well, luckier in his Derby draw.
The difference between the rail in the Derby and the rail in the Haskell included the size of the field, the track condition and the pace. In the Derby, jockey Garrett Gomez had nowhere to go at the start and Lookin At Lucky was cut off twice in the early going through the slop. Before the field hit the clubhouse turn, he was 18th of 20. The fact he rallied to finish sixth, only 7 lengths behind Super Saver, showed fortitude and innate ability.
Now, should he make it to the Classic and draw inside again, owner Mike Pegram might think of a better name for his next promising yearling.
Other races that might impact the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs:
-- A Little Warm pressed the pace set by Miner's Reserve in Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga, went by when asked by jockey John Velazquez turning for home and drew off smartly to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Miner's Reserve held second at double-digit odds, 3/4 length ahead of Afleet Express. The favorite, Fly Down, raced last early and had traffic troubles late, finishing fifth. A Little Warm, a Virginia-bred Stormin Fever colt, got the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:47.98. A Little Warm now has four wins and four seconds from 10 starts, with the victories including the Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream Park and the seconds including the Louisiana Derby and the Hutcheson. The Jim Dandy is a traditional stepping stone to the Travers. Since 1964, eight Jim Dandy winners have gone on to win the "Midsummer Derby," including Flower Alley in 2005, Bernardini in 2006 and Street Sense in 2007. "If he comes out of this race great, count us in (for the Travers)," said winning trainer Tony Dutrow. "I felt strongly he was going to run a terrific race, but I didn't know if he was going to be good enough to win."
-- Pleasant Prince rallied from well back to win Saturday's $100,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown by a nose over Worldly. Capitol Appeal finished third. Pleasant Prince, a Florida-bred Indy King colt, ran the 1 1/6 miles on a fast track in 1:43.90 with Alex Solis up for trainer Wesley Ward. After finishing second in the Florida Derby, Pleasant Prince was a distant 11th in the Preakness before taking some time off. Trained by Wesley Ward, the colt likely will eye the Travers for his next effort.
Other races with implications for the Breeders' Cup World Championships:
Malibu Prayer, shadowed by odds-on favorite Unrivaled Belle, went out to the lead in Sunday's $250,000 Ruffian Invitational at Saratoga and refused to give in. At the wire, it was Malibu Prayer still 1 length to the good of her more highly regarded rival with Classofsixtythree a distant third. Malibu Prayer, a 4-year-old, Virginia-bred Malibu Moon filly, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:48.14 with John Velazquez up for trainer Todd Pletcher. "She ran a great race," said Tristan Barry, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. "When Unrivaled Belle stumbled at the start, that gave us a bit of an upper hand. She was able to get into a rhythm and just took it from there." The race was a "Win and You're In" guaranteed berth for the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic.
Filly & Mare Turf
Proviso raced off the pace into the final turn in Saturday's $500,000 Diana Stakes at Saratoga, got to the front around the leaders and held off a cavalry charge at the end to win by a head. Shared Account was a head back in second; the favorite, Forever Together, was a nose behind that one in third after some traffic issues at the top of the lane; and early leader Dynaslew was another head back in fourth, just a neck in front of Maram. Proviso, a 5-year-old, British-bred Dansili mare, finished the 9 furlongs on firm going in 1:47.04 with Mike Smith up. The Juddmonte homebred now has won three straight, with the Diana following triumphs in the Kilroe Handicap at Santa Anita and the Just a Game at Belmont. Forever Together had won the Diana two years in a row but finished second in each of her first two starts this year. "I knew it was going to be a tough race, and that no one was going to draw off and win it easily because they were all too good," Smith said. "She made a good move down the backside and that helped us win the race." Winning trainer Bill Mott added: "Whether we want to go beyond (9 furlongs), I don't know. She's run at a mile and a quarter before and been effective, but we'll have to sit down and decide whether we'll want to take the next step. At this moment, I don't think we have decided where we'll go."
In England, defending Filly & Mare Turf champion Midday won a stretch battle with Stacelita in Saturday's Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, finishing first by 1 1/4 lengths. But some erratic movement through the stretch resulted in an inquiry that eventually let the result stand. Midday, a 4-year-old, British-bred Oasis Dream filly, finished the "about" 1 1/4 miles in 2:07.25 under Thomas Queally. The Juddmonte Farms homebred now has five wins from 13 starts. "It was quite a good performance," winning trainer Henry Cecil told Racing Post. "She's very genuine and very tough."
Unbridled Essence got by the leaders in the stretch run of Sunday's $200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park and went on to post a huge upset, beating Quiet Meadow by 1/2 length. Tottie was third. The favorite, Cherokee Queen, stumbled badly at the start, unseating rider Elvis Trujillo. Unbridled Essence, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred Essence of Dubai filly, went to the post at odds of nearly 42-1 and ran the 9 furlongs on firm going in 1:47.97 under Paco Lopez. "We gave her the winter off," said winning trainer Gregg Sacco. "She came back bigger and stronger. In her first start back, she finished just behind Queen Martha, who gave Rachel Alexandra a race here last week. In her last start, she ran her eyeballs out."
Perfect Shirl stalked the pace in Wednesday's $150,000 Lake George Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga, challenged for the lead with a furlong to run and got home first, 3/4 lengths ahead of Exclusive Love. No Explaining rallied from far back to finish third while the favorite, Strike It Rich, faded badly in the lane and finished last of 12. Perfect Shirl, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Perfect Soul, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.28 with John Velazquez up. "They both ran the races they usually run," Sue Lorimer, assistant to trainer Roger Attfield, said of the first- and third-place finishers. "Roger had given the riders the instructions to just sit off it and let them come with one run, and both did that. It looked like No Explaining got into a little traffic there down the lane or they might have run one-two." She said both will return to Woodbine. Christophe Clement, trainer of Strike It Rich, commented, "I used to have an Irish friend who would say, 'She lost her way.' She lost her way – that's my explanation."
Free Fee Lady prompted the pace in Sunday's $250,000 (Canadian) Wonder Where Stakes for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, took the lead at the top of the lane and held off the late rush of Happy Clapper to win by a neck. Bodua finished third. Free Fee Lady, an Alberta-bred daughter of Victory Gallop out of the Slew o' Gold mare Atocha Queen, ran the 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 2:03.40 with Emma-Jayne Wilson up. "Down the backside, I thought she'd just gallop," said winning trainer Reade Baker. "I thought she'd win easy. But she got a heck of ride to win. They were closing in on her." Free Fee Lady dropped her first start on May 22 by a neck but now has won the next three in a row.
Smiling Tiger had his backers smiling after leading virtually all the way to a 1 1/2-lengths victory over Australian-bred Scenic Blast in Sunday's $250,000 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar. E Z's Gentleman was third. The odds-on favorite, Cost of Freedom, broke in the air and essentially lost all chance, finishing fourth. Smiling Tiger, a 3-year-old, Kentucky-bred Hold That Tiger colt, finished the 6 furlongs on the all-weather surface in 1:09.21 with Victor Espinoza handling the reins. "This is a special horse," said winning trainer Jeff Bonde. "I'm going to enjoy this today and then we'll see how he comes out of this race and plan for the future. Our goal is to get to the Breeders' Cup Sprint."
Roaring Lion prevailed in a three-horse speed duel in Sunday's $150,000 Teddy Drone Stakes at Monmouth Park, shaking loose in the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths. With the other speed collapsing, longshots He's So Chic and Uncle Gidge ran from off the pace to complete the trifecta. Roaring Lion, a 6-year-old, Maryland-bred Lion Hearted gelding, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:09.59 with Eddie Castro in the irons.
Race for Gold battled down the stretch with Arepeatee in Wednesday's $125,0000 (Canadian) Deputy Minister Stakes for 3-year-olds at Woodbine before prevailing by a head. Ten Lakes finished third after leading early in the 7-furlong sprint. Race for Gold, an Ontario-bred Where's the Ring colt, was clocked in 1:23.98 with Chantal Sutherland at the controls. Race for Gold came into the Deputy Minister off three straight second-place finishes.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Informed Decision, winner of the 2009 Filly & Mare Sprint and last year's champion female sprinter, went quickly to the lead in Wednesday's $100,000, 1-mile Windward Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, set a moderate pace under Julien Leparoux and won by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths over Hooh Why. Cure For Sale was third. Informed Decision, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred Monarchos mare, finished in 1:38.53 over the all-weather track in her first try at a two-turn mile. All of her 12 previous victories came in 6- or 7-furlong races. The Augustin Stable homebred is trained by Jonathan Sheppard.
Chamberlain Bridge is starting to look like a star running short on the turf. After a sparkling victory in the Arlington Sprint Handicap a month ago, the 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred War Chant gelding turned in almost a carbon copy in Saturday's $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap at Penn National. Coming from just behind a hot pace, Chamberlain Bridge got a clear lead in the final sixteenth and held off Phosphorescent at the end by 1/2 length. Sneaking Uponyou was third. The 5 furlongs on firm turf went in 55.06 seconds with Jamie Theriot riding the winner. Chamberlain Bridge now has eight turf sprint wins under his girth.
Rose Catherine took charge early in Saturday's $100,000 Mongo Queen Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Monmouth Park and went on to win by a comfortable 3 1/2 lengths over Spiteful Gypsy. Greeley's Rocket finished third. Rose Catherine, a Kentucky-bred Speightstown filly, finished the "about" 5 1/2 furlongs on firm going in 1:01.78 with Chris DeCarlo up. "She kind of pulled me to the lead," DeCarlo said. "I was just hanging on. I had a lot of horse the whole way." Rose Catherine finished second in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Trainer Todd Pletcher chose Thursday's King George Stakes at Goodwood for his first foray into the different waters of European racing, sending out Starfish Bay for the 5-furlong dash. It didn't work out too well as Starfish Bay found more traffic than success under Frankie Dettori and got home 10th. Borderlescott, an 8-year-old Compton Place gelding, got the lead a furlong out and held on to win by 1/2 length over Group Therapy. Astrophysical Jet was third. Trainer Robin Bastiman said the next stop for Borderlescott will be the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, a race he has won two straight years.
Goldikova, pointing toward her third straight victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile, easily captured her third straight edition of the Prix Rothschild at Deauville in France. Sent off as the heavy, odds-on favorite under Olivier Peslier, Goldikova took complete charge in the stretch run and won by 3 lengths in 1:37.50 over "good to soft" going. Music Show was second and Elusive Wave finished third. Trainer Freddie Head indicated Goldikova may start next in the Prix Jacques le Marois over the same course on Aug. 15.
Canford Cliffs caught Rip Van Winkle in the final yards in Wednedsay's Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, winning by a neck for his third straight Group 1 victory. Rip Van Winkle, making only his second start since last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, overhauled the early speed first but only set up the closing punch of Canford Cliffs, a 3-year-old Tagula colt. Under Richard Hughes, Canford Cliffs finished the 1 mile on good-to-firm turf in 1:37.44. Trainer Richard Hannon said if the colt is to retire at the end of the year, he will look to the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot or the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville. But, he said, he hopes a deal can be made to race Canford Cliffs at age 4 and, if so, he might put the colt away for the rest of the year. Before the Sussex triumph, Canford Cliffs annexed the Irish Two Thousand Guineas and the St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Get Serious was on the lead and under pressure the whole way around in Sunday's $200,000 Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park but handled it all and got home first, a neck in front of Violon Sacre. Roman Tiger was well back in third. Get Serious, a 6-year-old, New York-bred City Zip gelding, ran the 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:40.39. Pablo Fragoso had the mount for trainer John Forbes. "He just loves this racetrack and loves to win," Forbes said. "In the stretch, I was probably as nervous as I've ever been with this horse, but he just digs in."
Get Stormy stormed to the lead in Sunday's $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga and romped home a 1 1/4-lengths winner with Public Speaker second. Zifzaf was just a nose farther back in third. Get Stormy, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Stormy Atlantic colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:39.09 with Javier Castellano in the irons. "We got the kind of course he has proven himself on," said winning trainer Tom Bush. "He was really kind of rattling down the backside, and I wasn't sure if he'd have enough left. The fractions were pretty legit … We want to sit down and back up from the Breeders' Cup and figure out what he needs to do between now and then."
Temple City got away with an easy pace in Friday's $125,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar and had plenty left at the end of the 1 1/2-mile marathon, pulling away to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Unusual Suspect and Richard's Kid were poised to make moves at the top of the stretch but settled for second and third, respectively. Temple City, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Dynaformer, was timed in 2:30.46 as Joe Talamo ticked off the fractions in his mind. Temple City earned an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Marathon through the "Win and You're In" program. "I just kept hoping he'd keep going," said winning trainer Carla Gaines. "We got some soft fractions and he finished really well." Asked if she's planning on using the "get in free" card to the Breeders' Cup, she said, "At this stage, yes," and that the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 28 is still a possibility. Richard's Kid finished second in the Cougar II last year, then upset the Pacific Classic. Temple City's sire, Dynaformer, now 25 and still standing energetically at Three Chimneys Farm, now has 12 stakes winners this year around the world, 10 of them in graded events. He has produced a total of 50 lifetime graded stakes winners and got 70 percent of his mares in foal this spring.
Dakota Phone had faced the starter 16 straight times without winning when the gates opened for Saturday's $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. Early on, there was no sign the outcome would be anything different. But, rallying into the stretch widest of all, Dakota Phone stuck the front and stubbornly held off Battle of Hastings to win by 1/2 length. The pacesetter, Enriched, finished third. Dakota Phone, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred Zavata gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:43.55 under Joel Rosario. The win earned Dakota Phone a guaranteed berth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile but trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has bigger aspirations. "He picked a good time to win," Hollendorfer said. "We've had this horse a long time and made money but he's done it the hard way. With this win, maybe we can look at the big race (Aug. 8 Pacific Classic). This is the prep for that race, but it's a lot tougher."
Omniscient knew enough to press the pace in Sunday's $150,000 Majestic Light Stakes at Monmouth Park, then dueled with Cool Coal Man into the stretch before drawing off to win by 2 lengths. Cool Coal Man held second, 3 lengths ahead of Manteca. Omniscient, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Pulpit colt, got the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.31 with Calvin Borel aboard. The favorite, Arson Squad, stumbled at the start and had no closing kick, finishing fifth of seven starters.
Sensational Slam, sent off as the heavy, odds-on favorite, just did get by pacesetting longshot Ice Danger in the final yards of Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) Vandal Stakes at Woodbine. With Patrick Husbands up, the Ontario-bred Grand Slam colt pressed the pace most of the way. But in the lane, Ice Danger and jockey Eurico Da Silva weren't eager to melt. At the line, Sensational Slam won by a head bob. Wonder Phil was 2 1/2 lengths farther back in third. Sensational Slam completed the 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:11.21. Owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, the colt won his second straight stakes, following the Clarendon on July 3. Still, Husbands said he had to work to get Sensational Slam to run. "I left the gates last time and he didn't want to run and today, he didn't want to leave the gates," said Husbands. "I got him to the outside and I hustled him. But I couldn't get him on the bridle." Is there hope? "The more aggressive you are on him," Husbands added, "he will give you 110 percent."
Fort Hood battled his way to the lead in Saturday's $50,000 Stardust Stakes for Louisiana-breds at Louisiana Downs, opened a big lead at the top of the lane and prevailed at the end by 1 length over Unitas. Walter C finished third. Fort Hood, a Lone Star Sky colt, finished the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.07under Gerard Melancon.
Running Squall opened up in the stretch run of Sunday's $190,000 Rio Grande Senor Futurity for New Mexico-breds at Ruidoso Downs and won off by 1 3/4 lengths over Spartan Warrior. The Squall gelding ran the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:05.20 with Enrique Garcia up.
In a race restricted to colts and geldings sold at Evangeline Downs' March sale, Powerfully lived up to his name, drawing off powerfully in the stretch to win by 5 3/4 lengths. All Star Cotton was the best of the rest, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Smellinsmoke. Powerfully, a Texas-bred Intimidator gelding, covered 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:07.25 with Gerard Melancon up.
Take Me Home Too took jockey Jesse Campbell home in style in Saturday's $50,000 Laurel Lane Stakes for state-breds at Louisiana Downs. Leading all the way, the Came Home filly was quickly on the lead, opened a big advantage at the top of the stretch and was not threatened, winning by 3 1/2 lengths over Full Rigged. Take Me Home Too ran the 6 furlongs in 1:11.54.
In a race restricted to fillies sold at Evangeline Downs' sale, Reyina rallied by pacesetting favorite Intimidating Woman to win Friday's $100,000 John Franks Memorial Sale Stakes by 1/2 length. La Belle Te Fille was 4 lengths farther back in third despite her very cool name. Reyina, by Mr. John out of the A.P. Indy mare Feminine Heart, covered the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:06.64 under Donald Simington.
It was a maiden special for California-breds on the Saturday undercard but the way Faisca won Saturday's seventh race at Del Mar opened some eyes. On a day when a dry, deep track seemed to favor deep closers, the A.P. Warrior filly shot out to a generous lead under Christian Santiago Reyes and never looked back. At the end, 3 1/4 lengths separated the winner from the rest of the crowded field. Caesar Dominguez trains.
Comicsperfectstorm led all the way to a 4 1/4-lengths victory in Sunday's $200,000 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity for New Mexico-bred fillies at Ruidoso Downs. Colors of Pompeii was best of the rest. Comicsperfectstorm, a daughter of Comic Genius, finished the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.62 under Juan Ochoa.
In other weekend racing:
Enora, a local runner, came from off the pace to win Sunday's German Oaks at Dusseldorf by 1/2 length over Elle Shadow. Nicea was third. Hibaayeb, the favorite and a previous Group 1 winner for Godolphin, stayed near the lead until late in the going under Frankie Dettori, then faded to finish seventh. Enora, a daughter of Arlington Million winner Singspiel, finished 2,200 meters on "soft" turf in 2:14.68 with Terence Hellier up.
Hudson Steele rallied from well back to win Sunday's $150,000 Jersey Derby by 2 1/4 lengths over Audacity of Hope. With Jose Lezcano up, Hudson Steele saved ground into the final turn, came four-wide around his rivals and finished best. They Call Me Giant finished third and the favorite, Fantastico Roberto, faded badly to finish seventh after leading into the lane. Hudson Steele, a Kentucky-bred Johannesburg gelding, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.07.
Lady Alexander stalked the pace in Sunday's $150,000 Regret Stakes for fillies and mares, rallied to the lead three-wide into the stretch and cleared the field, winning by 1 3/4 lengths. The favorite, D'wild Ride, finished second with Rated Feisty third. Lady Alexander, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred Exchange Rate filly, completed 6 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:09.92 for jockey Carlos Marquez Jr.
Winslow Homer was right out front in Sunday's $75,000 Curlin Stakes for 3-year-olds and then blew the doors off five rivals, stepping off smartly at the end to win by 9 lengths. Westshore was the best of the rest, 3/4 lengths ahead of Winaholic. Winslow Homer, a Kentucky-bred colt by Unbridled's Song out of the Summer Squall mare Summer Raven, ran 9 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:49.69 under Robby Albarado and looks eligible to move up in class for trainer Tony Dutrow.
Exclusive Scheme pressed the pace in Saturday's $75,000 William B. Fasig Stakes for New York-bred distaffers, took a clear lead in the stretch and held on to win by a nose over Chestoria. It was another head back to You Go West Girl and another head to My Magic Moment. Exclusive Scheme, a 4-year-old Saarland filly, finished 11/16 miles on the firm inner turf in 1:42.07 with John Velazquez in the irons.
My Dinah rallied by the leaders on the turn for home in Friday's $70,000 Fleet Indian Stakes for New York-bred distaffers and was just up in time to win by a head over Meese Rocks. Eager Emma was third. My Dinah, a 5-year-old Victory Gallop mare, covered the 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.86 under Jose Espinoza.
Beau Choix stalked the pace in Thursday's $70,000 Quick Call Stakes for 3-year-olds, rallied to the leaders on the turn for home and closed steadily on the outside to win by a head over Lonesome Street. Lighthouse sound was another neck back in third. Beau Choix, a Kentucky-bred Elusive Quality colt, ran the 1 mile on the firm inner turf course in 1:35.57 under Javier Castellano. "It's always nice to win a stakes at Saratoga," said winning trainer Barclay Tagg. "He was a great, big, gawky colt who took forever to get to the races."
Devil By Design waited behind the speed in Thursday's $70,000 Lucy Scribner Stakes for fillies and mares, got through traffic at the top of the stretch and won by 2 1/2 lengths over Southern Accents. Worstcasescenario lived up to her name by stumbling badly at the start, then rallying belatedly to finish third. Devil By Design, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Medaglia d'Oro filly, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.55 for jockey Kent Desormeaux.
Giant Moon outfinished Icabad Crane in the stretch run of Wednesday's $70,000 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-breds, winning by a neck. Groomedforvictory was another head back in third. Giant Moon, a 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway, ran the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.31 with Edgar Prado up.
Blue Chagall overhauled pacesetting Aggie Engineer in the stretch run of Wednesday's conditioned $100,000 Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar and won off by 1 1/4 length over that rival. The favorite, Gallant Son, was third after a slow start. Blue Chagall, a 5-year-old, French-bred Testa Rosa gelding, finished the 1 mile on firm turf in 1:34.19 with David Flores taking the leg up from trainer Julio Canani. It was the fifth win in 22 starts for Blue Chagall.
La Nez rallied from last to win Saturday's $100,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for 3-year-old, California-bred fillies by 1/2 length over Thisoneforyou. Tornado Betty finished third. La Nez, a Storm Creek filly, ran the 7 furlongs in 1:23.45 under Victor Espinoza.
Canadian Ballet led virtually all the way to victory in Friday's $100,000 Jenny Wade Handicap for fillies and mares, surviving at the end by a neck over Out Post. If Not For Lust finished third. Canadian Ballet, a 5-year-old, New York-bred City Zip mare, got the 5 furlongs on firm turf in 55.64 seconds with Stewart Elliott up for trainer Linda Rice.
First Ascent went right to the lead in Friday's $75,000 Red Carpet Stakes for fillies and mares and held on to prevail in a four-way photo. The snapshot found Choice Play a neck back in second, Sea Wind a nose farther behind in third and Theda's Smile a neck farther off the winner in fourth. First Ascent, a 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred Cherokee Run mare, got the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.51 under Luis Garcia.
Even though it was Friday, Come Sunday came from last of four to win the $75,000 Femme Fatale Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by a neck over Angels In Arms. Offlee Blessed showed the way early and held on for third with Visavis fourth and last. Come Sunday, a Florida-bred daughter of Repent, got the 6 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:10.59 with Stewart Elliott riding.
Thunder Brew rallied from off the pace to win Saturday's $75,000 Capital City Handicap for 3-year-olds by 3/4 length over Bad Debt. My Elusive Star was 2 lengths farther back in third. Thunder Brew, a Florida-bred Milwaukee Brew colt, ran the 1 mile on firm turf in 1:33.12 with Rosie Napravnik in the irons.
Awesome Son led from gate to wire, posting an easy, 5-lengths win in Saturday's $75,000 East Hanover Township Handicap for 3-year-olds. The Florida-bred Pure Precision gelding glided home well in front of Peppi Knows with Rockin' Rockstar third. Awesome Son, under Francisco Maysonett, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.92 – just a few ticks off the track record. Peppi Knows was making his first start since finishing sixth in the Gotham at Aqueduct on March 6.
Love Ridge led all the way in Friday's $75,000 Roanoke Stakes for state-bred, 3-year-old fillies, then spurted away from the pack in the stretch to win by 8 1/2 lengths. Luvabull Me was second with Hygh Jacque third. Love Ridge, a daughter of Siphon, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.91 with Jose Ferrer up.
Calder Race Course
Saratoga Tango raced near the back of a compact field early in Saturday's $50,000 Ema Bovary Stakes for fillies and mares, then got to the front in the stretch run and won off by 1 3/4 lengths over Saintly Rose. The odds-on favorite, First Passage, was a neck further back in third. Saratoga Tango, a 6-year-old, Texas-bred mare by Successful Appeal, ran the 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:18.14 with Elmer Nunez riding.
Tsar Tops Dancer, a 30-1 chance, pressed the pace in Saturday's $60,000 Minnesota Derby for state-breds, kicked clear in the stretch and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Bet Your Boots. The early leader, Our Family, held third at long odds. Tsar Tops Dancer, a Top Win gelding, ran 1 mile and 70 yards on a fast track in 1:43.77 with Eddie Martin Jr. in the irons.
Hunter's Tiger Paw led all the way to a 1 1/2-lengths victory in Saturday's $60,000 Minnesota Oaks. Sasha's Fierce was second with Yonstar third. Hunter's Tiger Paw, a Military filly, finished the 1 mile and 70 yards on the fast track in 1:42.52 with Martin picking up the stakes double.
Christmas Ship stuck her nose in front on the wire to win Saturday's $50,000 Luther Burbank Handicap for fillies and mares. The favorite, You Lift Me Up, raced with the winner from off the pace but just missed at the end. Lady Railrider led at the top of the stretch and held on for third. Christmas Ship, a 5-year-old, Florida-bred Montbrook mare, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:43.23 with Leslie Mawing riding.
No Hesitation showed none in Saturday's $50,000 (Canadian) Count Latham Handicap for 3-year-olds, battling for the lead before taking charge to win by 2 lengths. Professor Pollard came from off the pace to finish second with Gold Winner third. No Hesitation, a California-bred Siberian Summer colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a "good" track in 1:44 3/5 with Rico Walcott in the irons.
Shakenwithanolive opened a big lead in Sunday's $50,000 (Canadian) Madamoiselle Handicap, then rationed out the advantage perfectly, winning by a nose over Alywyn. Miss Victoriana was third. Shakenwithanolive, a 4-year-old, Florida-bred Suave Prospect filly, got the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:46 under Jorge Carreno.
Clair Annette pressed the pace in Sunday's $50,000 Boeing Handicap, took the lead at the quarter pole and won off by 1 1/4 lengths over Gadget Queen. Barbara's Love finished third. Clair Annette, a 7-year-old, Washington-bred Beau Genius mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.40 with Kevin Krigger up.
Noosa Beach led all the way to a handy, 4 1/2-lengths victory over Senior Rojo in Sunday's $50,000 Mt. Ranier Handicap. Rooster City got home third. Noosa Beach, a 4-year-old, Washington-bred Harbor the Gold gelding, ran the 9 furlongs in 1:48 under Ricky Frazier.