It will be interesting to see whether Zenyatta's quest for a 20th straight victory will have any effect on the makeup of the field for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 6.
The big mare posted a heart-stopping victory in Saturday's $250,000 Lady's Secret at Hollywood Park for her 19th victory without a loss. In five weeks' time, she will try to end her racetrack career by defending her title in the Classic.
Thanks to some upsets elsewhere this weekend, and uncertainty about some European horses' target races, the field for this year's Classic remains a bit up in the air. And it's possible that some owners and trainers could look at Zenyatta's record and opt to tackle another challenge.
Zenyatta's 19th win tied her for the most ever by an undefeated thoroughbred. The other record-holder, Peppers Pride, races only in New Mexico.
Still, there were a few tense seconds during the stretch run when the huge crowd thought Zenyatta might not get the job done.
After tracking the pace from near the back of the field -- as usual -- jockey Mike Smith sent Zenyatta after the leaders as the field entered the stretch turn. By that time, though, a talented 3-year-old filly named Switch had got the jump on Zenyatta and opened a sizable lead. For just a few strides, it appeared Zenyatta wasn't gaining. Finally, she found the gear she needed, got by and won by a half length.
"She is just amazing," Smith said of Zenyatta, adding that Switch "ran great. She ran dynamite. I felt pretty confident through the lane and I was starting to hit my best stride toward the end and she galloped out strong.
"What can I say? She is what she is. She just seems to know where the wire is and she likes to make it a little dramatic. It is just incredible. To be honest with you, I try not to get too caught up into it because it's just too emotional."
Winning trainer John Shirreffs, asked if he had his doubts during the stretch run, said, "How could you ever doubt her? She's done some amazing things in the last 16th of a mile of races. Until the wire comes … she's got that ability to dig down. Her heart must be huge. She can always dig down and find a little more. She never gives up."
Switch's trainer, John Sadler, added, "I've been tip-toeing around the barn all morning, saying, 'I know we're going to give them a scare.' I'm just very, very proud of my horse. To run second to the best horse in the world and one of the greats of all time is huge."
Other races that could impact the field for the Classic:
-- If it's not too early to suggest a likely long shot for the Classic, take a look at Haynesfield, the convincing upset winner of Saturday's $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. In fact, if it weren't for Zenyatta, Haynesfield's performance in demolishing odds-on favorite Blame might make him one of the favorites for the Classic. With Ramon Dominguez up, Haynesfield shot right to the lead in the Gold Cup, opened up a daylight advantage and had plenty left at the end. Blame, winner of five straight graded stakes, rallied to take second but finished 4 lengths behind the winner. Fly Down, second in the Travers, was third in the Gold Cup, another 2 lengths back. Haynesfield, a 4-year-old son of noted sprinter Speightstown, could well have six straight wins himself had he not broken through the gate before his last start in the Whitney, where he eventually finished fourth. Toby Sheets, assistant to winning trainer Steve Asmussen, said he "wasn't sure if he would get the 1 1/4 miles. But he's won at 1 1/8 miles and kept on going. He made it look easy … . We'll see how he comes out of it and decide what's next." Sunday, Asmussen's assistant at Belmont, Toby Sheets, dismissed any notion that the competition might influence a Breeders' Cup decision. "I've never looked to see who's in there or said we're not running because so-and-so is in there," he said. Blame and Fly Down, both victimized by the lack of pressure on Haynesfield, also may move along to the Classic, their trainers say.
-- Lookin at Lucky overcame a long trip from California and a sloppy track to post a come-from-behind, 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday's $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park. Thiskyhasnolimit took the lead into the stretch but couldn't hold off the winner. Florida shipper St. Maximus Gato, finished third. Lookin at Lucky, with Martin Garcia up, ran the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:43 2/5. "I thought he would be a little closer," winning trainer Bob Baffert said. "Down the backside, I was a little worried. But he started making his run in the turn. The first thing I asked Martin was 'What happened? Did you think you were riding Secretariat?' And he said, 'Yes.' Lucky showed today just how good he is. He accomplished a lot today with the mud and all." The Preakness winner had missed some training due to a fever leading up to Saturday's race.
-- Richard's Kid seems to be coming to hand at just the right time. The 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, winner of the Pacific Classic in August, backed up that score with a stretch-running, half-length win in Saturday's $250,000 Goodwood Stakes at Hollywood Park. With Alonzo Quinonez up for trainer Bob Baffert, Richard's Kid saved ground early without losing touch with the leaders, then did his best running late. Crown of Thorns and the previously undefeated favorite, Twirling Candy, made the early going. Crown of Thorns held second, Dakota Phone was up for the show and Twirling Candy finished fourth. Richard's Kid got the 9 furlongs on the all-weather surface in 1:49.18. Baffert assistant Mike Marlow credited Quinonez. "What a smart ride," Marlow said. "He saved ground all the way. I think it was a winning ride just saving ground around the turn and riding on the fence. He ran tremendous. Alonso rode him very, very well."
-- Redding Colliery showed his heels to the field in Saturday's $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne Racecourse, then had just enough left at the end to win by 3/4 of a length over Giant Oak. A.U. Miner also closed well through the stretch to finish third. Redding Colliery, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Mineshaft colt, ran the 1 1/4 mile on a fast track on a beautiful Chicago fall afternoon in 2:04.16 with Rosie Napravnik up. "All I heard about Hawthorne was that it was speed favoring," Napravnik said. "They said that the stretch was so long, if you could put some distance between you and the other horses you were better off ... . I don't know where they are sending him next but I did hear the name Breeders' Cup and if he's going there I would love to be on him."
Workforce gamely held off Japanese standard-bearer Nakayama Festa to win Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris, finishing a head in front. Serafina rallied to finish third after an incident before the stretch run involving several runners. Jockey Gerald Mosse had to take up sharply with Serafina, retreating toward the back of the field. Fame and Glory later was forced to check at a crucial time in the drive, costing him crucial momentum. Workforce, dominant winner of the Epsom Darby but a disappointing fifth in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, had to squeeze out every ounce of run to hold off the late-charging Japanese challenger. Serafina rallied remarkably to regain contention and her stablemate for the Aga Khan, Behkabad, finished fourth. Workforce, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was ridden by Ryan Moore. "It is an ambition of every trainer to win the Arc," Sir Michael said. "I have had several good cracks at the race but never quite hammered it. I'm particularly happy that Workforce won as he has redeemed his reputation." He said he does not yet know whether the colt will remain in training next year.
Gilt Edge Girl posted a huge upset in Sunday's Prix de l'Abbaye, racing to the front early over the soft going and easily held off Lady of the Desert for the win. Although the race is a "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup, a transatlantic trip did not sound likely for Gilt Edge Girl.
Misty For Me moved strongly into contention for next year's 1,000 Guineas and Oaks with a handy victory over Helleborine in Sunday's Prix Marcel Boussac. Aidan O'Brien trains the Galileo filly for Moyglare Stud.
Wootton Basset remained undefeated in five starts and moved more strongly into consideration for the 2011 Classics with a front-running victory in Sunday's Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. Tin Horse and Maiguri dead-heated for second behind the winner. Wootton Basset, a son of Iffraaj, is nominated to the French, Irish and English Guineas and trainer Richard Fahey said consideration will be given to all three.
Other weekend races with potential implications for the Breeders' Cup World Championships Nov. 5-6 at Churchill Downs:
One of the races that could be an alternate for some "Zenyatta-shy" trainers is the Mile. Unfortunately, that's no safe haven as a tough field is shaping up headed by Goldikova, who will be trying to win the event for an unprecedented third straight year. The 5-year-old confirmed her form on Sunday in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in Paris as she exchanged the lead with Regal Parade before finally taking command and winning by a half length over a determined Paco Boy. Dick Turpin was another half length behind. Goldikova finished the 7 furlongs on soft turf in 1:22.10 under Olivier Peslier. "Olivier rode a great race," winning trainer Freddie Head said. "She's fantastic. We'll go to the Breeders' Cup now." Trainer Richard Hannon indicated Paco Boy still might go to the Breeders' Cup while Dick Turpin will stay in training for next year.
Amazing Results lived up to his name in Saturday's $100,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial at Hawthorne, rallying from well back to win by a neck over Tybalt at odds of 12-1. The pacesetter, Exchanging Kisses, held third, another neck back. The favorite, Vanquisher, faded to finish sixth. Amazing Results, a 5-year-old, Illinois-bred son of Grand Slam, got the mile on firm turf in 1:35.65 with Eddie Perez riding.
Havre de Grace won a stretch duel with favorite Blind Luck to take Saturday's $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Parx Racing. Awesome Maria was far back in third. Havre de Grace, a Kentucky-bred Saint Liam filly, raced close to the pace throughout, then opened a big lead by mid-stretch, while Blind Luck relied on typical come-from-behind tactics. At the end, Havre de Grace prevailed, getting the 11/16ths of a mile on a fast track in 1:40.93 under Jeremy Rose and avenging two photo-finish seconds to Blind Luck in previous races. "She's proven time and again that she's one of the best of her generation," winning trainer Tony Dutrow said. "And yet, she wasn't even a stakes winner yet. It is very special when you win a race like this and do so beating a horse the quality of Blind Luck."
Life at Ten stalked the pace in Saturday's $350,000 Beldame at Belmont Park, got to contention at the top of the stretch and went on to win by 2 lengths over the favorite, Unrivaled Belle. Persistently was third, 6 3/4 lengths farther back. The finish was evocative as Life at Ten ran third in her last outing while Persistently as defeating Rachel Alexandra in her final race, the Personal Ensign. Saturday, Life at Ten finished the 9 furlongs in 1:49.29 with John Velazquez up. She now has five wins from six starts this year -- a record marred only by the Personal Ensign outcome. "We made a tactical decision in her last race and it kind of backfired," winning trainer Todd Pletcher said. "So this time we had a better plan in letting her fall into a rhythm and hoped that the other two fillies would show some initiative and it worked out well. Hopefully we will be heading to Louisville if everything goes well."
Always A Princess led the way in Saturday's $200,000 Indiana Oaks at Hoosier Park, then drew clear in the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths over Ash Zee. Harissa finished third. Always A Princess, who shipped with Lookin at Lucky for trainer Bob Baffert, completed the 1 1/16 mile on the sloppy main track in 1:43 3/5 with Martin Garcia up. "She broke well and had a nice clean trip," Baffert said. "It's good to know she handled the track. You never know how a horse is going to handle these tighter turns, and she had no trouble."
Winchester ran by Paddy O'Prado in the final yards of Saturday's $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park and got home first, a length best. Paddy O'Prado, the only 3-year-old in the race, held on for second and Grassy finished third, giving trainer Christophe Clement a first- and third-place triumph. Winchester, a 5-year-old, Virginia-bred son of Theatrical, ran the 1 1/2-mile race over yielding turf in 2:36.09 with Cornelio Velasquez in the irons. Winchester, a Bertram Firestone home-bred, was second by a neck in the Bowling Green in his last outing. Earlier this year, he was third in the United Nations and won the Manhattan Handicap. He has never been out of the exacta in four starts over the Belmont lawn. "When the ground is soft, either they like it or they don't," Clement said. "He won the Manhattan on very firm ground, which slightly puzzled me because I've always thought he was better with a cut in the ground. We're very lucky to have won a Grade 1 on both types of turf. I think after this race, as long as he trains well, we'll have to think about the Breeders' Cup."
Champ Pegasus was well reserved through much of Sunday's $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship at Hollywood Park, advanced smoothly to the lead entering the stretch and outfinished Where's The Remote to win by 3/4 of a length. Bourbon Bay finished third. Champ Pegasus, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Fusaichi Pegasus colt, ran the 1 1/4 mile on firm going in 2:01.21 with Joel Rosario at the controls. "He just kind of keeps improving and getting better as we go," winning trainer Richard Mandella said. "We'll probably have to get a little bit better than this to win the Breeders' Cup."
Filly & Mare Turf
Ave rallied between rivals in deep stretch to win Saturday's $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park by a head over Changing Skies. Japanese star Red Desire was third, just 3/4 of a length farther back. The bulk of the race was run at a dawdling pace and Ave, a 4-year-old Danehill Dancer filly, finished the 1 1/4-mile race over yielding turf in 2:08.54. In her last start, Ave finished eighth in the Beverly D. at Arlington Park after a rough trip. Earlier, she had a second and two thirds in New York. "After what happened in the Beverly D., I was pleased for her," winning trainer Roger Attfield said from his Canadian base. "When I heard how much rain you had had down there over the past two days, I knew the course would be soft and it was obviously going to be a dawdle, but I didn't think it would bother her. I'm not sure what's next for her. She came into this race very, very well and we'll have to see how she comes out of it and then sit down and talk to the owners." The filly is campaigned by Three Chimneys Racing and Trevor Harris.
Hibaayeb, after struggling in her last three races in Ireland, German and England, had all she needed in Saturday's $250,000 Yellow Ribbon States at Hollywood. With Rafael Bejarano up for Godolphin's trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, Hibaayeb came to the lead three-wide in the stretch and scored by a length over Turning Top. Gypsy's Warning led the way and held on for third. Hibaayeb, a 3-year-old, British-bred Singspiel filly, got the 1 1/4 mile on firm turf in 2:00.44. The win was just her second this year and third overall and she came into the race off a 47-length loss in the Yorkshire Oaks. Suroor's assistant, Claire Sparkes, said the race strategy was perfect because, "she stays a mile and a half. She had a great position throughout and she just keeps staying on … . She doesn't look like she'd want fast ground, but she does go well on it. We've been very happy with how she's been since she shipped here."
Girolamo pressed the pace in Saturday's $350,000 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park, was steadied fairly sharply on the backstretch, then took over handily turning for home and won by 2 1/2 lengths over Riley Tucker. Wildcat Brief finished third. Girolamo, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of A.P. Indy, got the 6 furlongs in 1:09.41 with Alan Garcia aboard. Girolamo, owned by Godolphin, finished last in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic, then was idle until last month when he finished an even fifth in the Forego at Saratoga. "I just got off the phone with (trainer Saeed Bin Suroor) and we have multiple horses possible for the Breeders' Cup (Dirt) Mile," assistant trainer Rick Mettee said. "So a lot depends on what Regal Ransom does tomorrow. We have Gayego, and Vineyard Haven also, but he's not a Breeders' Cup nominee, so a lot is going to depend on Regal Ransom in the Kelso tomorrow."
Ultra Fantasy, representing Hong Kong, led all the way to victory Sunday in Japan's top sprint race, the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse. It was the first win in the event for a Hong Kong runner since Silent Witness in 2005. The win was all the more remarkable because trainer Ricky Yiu had questioned whether to start Ultra Fantasy on the rain-softened ground. Afterward, he was glad he did as his charge repelled several challenges and held on to win by a nose over Dasher Go Go. Kinshasa no Kiseki was third. William Nader, executive director of racing for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, noted the Sprinters Stakes was the fourth major overseas event taken down by a Hong Kong-based runner in the past 18 months, showing, he said, "the great depth of talent among the Hong Kong-based sprinters." Yiu said Ultra Fantasy will try the Cathay Pacific Jockey Club Sprint as a prep for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint on Dec. 12.
Tizway pressed the pace in Sunday's $250,000 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park, worked his way to the lead at the quarter pole and drew off to win by 5 lengths over Cool Coal Man. Jersey Town was third. Tizway, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Tiznow, got the mile on a fast track in 1:34.42 for jockey Rajiv Maragh. It was his first graded stakes win. "He did everything the way he was supposed to," winning trainer Jim Bond said. "If everything goes well, we'll look at the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. That's Plan A. We'll keep our fingers crossed."
Jardim stalked the early pace in Saturday's $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Mile at Hoosier Park, surged past pacesetting Z Humor and drew off impressively to win by 7 lengths. Demarcation was along for second, 2 1/2 lengths better than Z Humor. Jardim, a 4-year-old, Brazilian-bred Ski Champ colt, ran the mile on a sloppy track in 1:37.20, picking up his first win in four U.S. starts. He earlier raced in Brazil. "He ran big today," winning rider Jon Court said. "I had so many sets of goggles on because of the weather, my peripheral vision wasn't the greatest. I heard the announcer say someone was coming up on the outside and I couldn't see who it was or how close they were. So I was taking no prisoners."
Jaycito entered Saturday's $250,000 Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park as a maiden, with two second-place finishes in two starts. J P's Gusto had won his last four races, including a victory over Jacito in the last outing, the Del Mar Futurity. But the Norfolk was the first time at a route of ground for both and Jaycito made the most of it. While J P's Gusto attended the early pace, jockey Mike Smith asked Jaycito for his best run only when the field was charging down the lane. The Kentucky-bred Victory Gallop colt responded with a stout run that got him home first, a length better than J P's Gusto. Riveting Reason was third at a big price. Jaycito ran the 1 1/16 mile on the all-weather track in 1:44.17 and earned an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup through the "Win and You're In" program. "We just always thought he was a two-turn horse," winning trainer Mike Mitchell said. Asked about the Breeders' Cup, he said he will talk with owner Ahmad Zayatt. "The ultimate race we want to run in is the (Kentucky) Derby. So if he's sharp, we do that. If he's not, we wait."
Bug Juice bugged right out on the rest of the field in Saturday's $282,925 New York Breeders' Futurity for state-breds at Finger Lakes, winning off by 10 lengths over Hysterical Cat. Pin Number -- which is redundant -- finished third. Bug Juice, a Mingun gelding, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.24 with John Davila Jr. in the irons.
Bellamy Jones charged down the stretch to win Saturday's $84,000 Indiana Futurity for state-breds at Hoosier Park by 11 1/2 lengths over Northern Sweeper. Damion E.T. finished third but was disqualified to ninth for interference at the start, promoting Ellenberger Park to show money. Bellamy Jones, by Bellamy Road, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:12 1/5 with Fernando De La Cruz up.
Steady Warrior, at a dime to a dollar, romped in Saturday's $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery at Laurel Park, scooting off in the stretch to get home 7 1/4 lengths ahead of Skip the Trial. Lovetofinishfirst was content to finish third. Steady Warrior, a Maryland-bred Cherokee's Boy colt, finished 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.18 under Travis Dunkelberger. He now has won both his lifetime starts.
Jump Boots ran by pacesetting favorite Wild Bling easily in Saturday's $75,000 Best of Ohio Juvenile at Thistledown and continued to win by 6 3/4 lengths over that rival. Elroy J was third. Jump Boots, with Yamil Rosario riding, covered 1 1/16 mile on a "good" track in 1:49.20. He is by Medallist.
Air Support out-finished odds-on favorite Soldat to win Sunday's $150,000 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park by 1 1/2 lengths. Deciphering Dreams finished third. Air Support, a Kentucky-bred Smart Strike colt, got the 1 1/16 mile on the yielding inner turf course in 1:47.87 with Rajiv Maragh in the irons. Air Support had finished third behind Soldat in their last start at Saratoga. "I thought if I got him back to Belmont we'd catch a little bit fairer track and we obviously did," winning trainer Shug McGaughey said. "When we got towards the end, I thought he was going on and pulling away the way I was hoping." He said he is likely to use the automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup awarded to the winner of the Pilgrim. Soldat also likely will advance, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said.
It may not intersect with the Breeders' Cup but the Oct. 16 Dewhurst Stakes in England probably will identify the top juveniles in Europe has the yards hunker down for the winter and start scheduling next year's Classics contenders. The Dewhurse already is expected to attract Frankel, winner of last weekend's Royal Lodge Stakes by 10 easy lengths, and Saamidd, the current top prospect in the Godolphin barn. Possibilities now also include Dream Ahead, who confirmed his earlier victory in the Prix Morny with a dominating, 9-length score in Friday's Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. For all the hype about Frankel and Saamidd, Dream Ahead's rider, William Buick, said after the Middle Park, "He's given me a feel that I've not had from any other horse."
Rigoletto gamely out-dueled odds-on favorite Tell a Kelly in a gritty stretch run to win Sunday's $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes at Hollywood Park by a halflength. Indian Gracey was third. Rigoletto, a Florida-bred Concerto filly, ran the 1 1/16 mile on the all-weather track in 1:44.03 under David Flores. "I just tried to put her in a good position," Flores said. "She was in the bridle the whole way. Tell a Kelly bumped her and it got her into the race more. She got aggressive and fought back. I thought I was going to get beat, but that (bump) seemed to make her madder." Trainer Dan Hendricks said he hopes to use the "Win and You're In" berth in the Breeders' Cup earned by Rigoletto, who now is 2-for-4.
Summer Laugh dueled down the lane with Days Like This in Saturday's $75,000 Blue Hen Stakes at Delaware Park, finally winning by a head. It was another 19 1/4 lengths back to Summer Soiree and 25 3/4 more to the fourth-place finisher, War Prospector. Summer Laugh, a Virginia-bred daughter of Distorted Humor, ran the 1 1/16 mile on a fast track in 1:46.50 with Fernando Jara up. In her only other career start, Todd Pletcher trainee posted a 6 3/4-length victory in a maiden sprint at Saratoga.
Medabuck led all the way in Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian) Victorian Queen Stakes for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies and held at the end to win by a half length over Bubbles to the Top. Shadowsinthenight finished third. Medabuck, a Philanthropist filly, ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:10.16 with James McAleney up.
Perfectly Candid led most of the way in Saturday's $84,000 Miss Indiana Stakes for state-breds at Hoosier Park, getting clear at the end to win by 2 3/4 lengths over Dreamin Big. My Bellamy finished third. Perfectly Candid, a daughter of Pleasantly Perfect out of the Crafty Prospector mare Candor, ran 6 furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:11 4/5 with Leandro Goncalves in the irons.
Doing Great caught pacesetting favorite Twelve Pack Shelly in the stretch run to win Saturday's $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie by a half length. Love's Reason finished third. Doing Great, by Great Notion, got the 6 furlongs in 1:12.06 with Julian Pimentel aboard.
Startin Something pressed the pace in Saturday's $75,000 John W. Galbreath Memorial for Ohio-breds at Thistledown, took over when asked and won by 5 1/2 lengths over Night of Roma. Throws It Down was third. Startin Something, by Musical Dreamer, ran 1 1/16 mile on a "good" main track in 1:49.36 with Jason Lumpkins in the irons.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Winter Memories rallied from near the back of the pack in Sunday's $150,000 Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park, swung six-wide for racing room into the stretch and drew off powerfully to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Arch Support was best of the rest with Fancy Point third. Winter Memories, a Kentucky-bred El Prado filly, got the 1 1/16 mile on yielding going in 1:45.69 under Jose Lezcano. She now is unbeaten in two starts. "I was concerned around the turn when she started to drop back," winning trainer James Toner said. "But Jose said she was trying to take him, so he checked her," said Toner, who added he will accept the invitation to the Juvenile Fillies Turf. "She's a big, long-striding filly, so we wanted to keep her clear."
In other weekend racing:
Regal Solo rallied from last of six to win Saturday's $150,000 Maryland Million Classic by 1 1/4 length over Not Abroad. Regal Warrior finished third. Regal Solo, a 5-year-old Louis Quatorze gelding, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:51.43 for jockey Sheldon Russell. In the $100,000 Distaff, Blind Date out-finished odds-on favorite Love That Dance to score by a half length with Saxet Heights third. Blind Date, a 4-year-old Not For Love filly, got 7 furlongs in 1:23.82, also with Russell up.
Pocket Patch stalked the pace in the $100,000 Turf, rallied to the lead in the stretch and got home first by 3 1/2 lengths over a late-running Ham and Ernie. The pacesetter, Eightofasttocatch, held on for third. Pocket Patch, a 5-year-old Partner's Hero gelding, ran 9 furlongs of yielding turf in 1:52.30 under Jonathan Joyce. In the $100,000 Ladies, My Sweet Nenanna was sweet indeed to her backers, leading all the way to a 4-length win at odds of nearly 60-1. Love's Blush and Amelia's Brio were second and third. My Sweet Nenanna, a 4-year-old Jazz Club filly, completed the 11/8 mile on the grass in 1:54.67 with Christopher Ho up.
Jack On the Rocks led most of the way to a half length victory over veteran Celtic Innis in the $100,000 Sprint with Roaring Lion third as the odds-on choice. Jack On the Rocks, a 5-year-old, Maryland-bred son of Outflanker, got 6 furlongs on the main track in 1:09.85 for jockey Sheldon Russell. In the $100,000 Turf Sprint, Ben's Cat pressed the pace, then took over in the final furlongs to win by 4 1/2 lengths over If Not For Lust. Sandbagin' Lover was third. Ben's Cat, with Julian Pimentel aboard, got the 5 1/2 furlongs on yielding turf in 1:05.54. He is a 4-year-old Parker's Storm Cat gelding.
Blind Date rallied from near the back of the pack to win the $100,000 Distaff by a half length over Love That Dance. Saxet Heights was third. Blind Date, a 4-year-old Not For Love filly, ran 7 furlongs on the main track in 1:23.82 for Sheldon Russell, who had an excellent day.
Sugar Bay pressed the pace in Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Belle Geste Stakes for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares, got by and went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Mullins Beach. First Circle was third finisher. Sugar Bay, a 5-year-old Syncline mare out of the Rahy mare Otra Vez, ran the 7 furlongs on "good" turf in 1:24.05 under Luis Contreras.
Southdale rallied stoutly through the stretch in Sunday's $150,000 (Canadian) Durham Cup, overhauled pacesetting Barreling Home and won off by 3 1/4 lengths. Stunning Stag was third. Southdale, a 4-year-old, Ontario-bred Street Cry colt, ran the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:51.36 with James McAleney in the irons.
Jenny's So Great took charge in the stretch run of Sunday's $150,000 Carotene Stakes for 3-year-old, Ontario-foaled fillies once jockey Jose Ferrer found her running room and got home first, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Jacally. More Miss Crissy was third. Jenny's So Great, a daughter of Greatness, ran the 9 furongs on "good" turf in 1:51.58 with Ferrer up.
Hollywood Park, Oak Tree meeting
Unzip Me got the transplanted Oak Tree off with a chalk-lovers score in Thursday's $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap for fillies and mares. Quickly scrapping for the lead under Rafael Bejarano, the 4-year-old City Zip filly gained a daylight advantage on the turn, repelled a challenge in the stretch and came away with a 1 1/2-length victory over Waveline. Sent off as the odds-on favorite, Unzip Me got the 6 furlongs on firm turf in 1:08.50. Bonaficio finished third.
Colizeo stalked the pace in Saturday's $70,000 Star of Cozzene Stakes for 3-year-olds, rallied to the lead entering the stretch and drew clear, winning by 3 lengths over Stormy's Majesty. Our Dark Knight was third. Colizeo, a Kentucky-bred Distorted Humor colt, ran the 1 1/16 mile on a fast track in 1:43.05 with Ramon Dominguez up.
Karmageddon broke slowly in Saturday's $60,000 Princeton Stakes for 3-year-old fillies but quickly hustled into contention, rallied around rivals and drew off in the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths over Simple Words. Veuve was third. Karmageddon, a New Jersey-bred daughter of Wildcat Heir, got the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.64 with Dale Beckner riding.
Whistlin' Jean got through traffic to the lead in the stretch run in Saturday's $84,000 Hoosier Breeders' Sophomore Stakes for state-bred 3-year-old fillies and went on to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Cheer For Me Girls. Offlee Swift was third and the favorite, Serena's Reward, finished fourth. Whistlin' Jean, a Pure Prize filly, got the 1 1/16 mile on a sloppy track in 1:45 4/5 with Robby Albarado in the irons.
Northern Candyride stalked the pace in Saturday's $84,000 Hoosier Breeders' Sophomore for state-bred 3-year-olds, waited for running room in the stretch and then got free to win by 4 3/4 lengths. Motown Boy was second and Lucky Chuck finished third. Northern Candyride, a Candy Ride gelding, ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:45 4/5 under Leandro Goncalves.
On Best of Ohio Day for state-breds, Catlaunch led all the way to win the $75,000 Endurance by 4 lengths over Raise the Reward. Thats a Heckofacat finished third. Catlaunch, a 9-year-old, Noble Cat gelding, ran the 1 1/4 mile on a good main track in 2:04.36 with Luis Gonzales aboard.
Slides Choice dueled with Pay the Man before prevailing by a nose in the $75,000 Distaff, with Honey Be Fleet third. Slides Choice, a 4-year-old Devil His Due filly, was clocked in 1:52.22 for 9 furlongs under Jason Lumpkins.
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LOS ANGELES, May 21 (UPI) --Vinny Del Negro, who led the Los Angeles Clippers to their only two playoff appearances over the last seven seasons, was fired as the NBA's team coach Tuesday.
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