Uncle Mo, who missed the Kentucky Derby with a liver ailment, and Havre de Grace both posted impressive victories on Saturday's "super" program at Belmont Park. Stay Thirsty didn't win but did well enough to punch his ticket to the big race.
Meanwhile, in California, trainer Bob Baffert served notice he might have something to say about the Classic, too. And in France, some significant upsets marked the Prix de l'Arc de Triomph meeting at Longchamp.
Weekend races with potential impact on the Breeders' Cup World Championships and other year-end races:
Uncle Mo led the way in Saturday's $200,000, Grade II Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park, turning back a challenge from Jackson Bend with relative ease and going on to win by 3 lengths over that rival. It was another 8 lengths back to Jersey Town in third and another 7 1/2 lengths to Golddigger's Boy in fourth. Sangaree was a late scratch. Uncle Mo, a 3-year-old Indian Charlie colt, ran the mile on a muddy track in 1:33.82 with John Velazquez in the irons. The win completed a long comeback effort. Uncle Mo, last year's 2-year-old champion, was sidelined after finishing third in the Wood Memorial with what eventually was diagnosed as a liver malady. Returned to training, he finished second by a nose to Caleb's Posse in the 7-furlong, Grade I King's Bishop at Saratoga in his comeback debut and his wins at 7 furlongs and 1 mile give trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole some juicy options.
One race after the Kelso on Saturday's Belmont card, Havre de Grace toyed with a quartet of rivals in the $350,000, Grade I Beldame Invitational, stalking the pace before easily drawing clear in the stretch to win by 8 1/4 lengths. Royal Delta was the best of the rest, finishing 5 3/4 lengths ahead of Satan's Quick Chick. Life at Ten, last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic enigma, continued her slide, finishing last after setting the pace. Havre de Grace, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Saint Liam filly, ran the 9 furlongs on a muddy track in 1:49.39 with Ramon Dominguez up. Combined with her victory over males in the Grade I Woodward in her last outing, Saturday's win made Havre de Grace a viable candidate for the Classic and potential Horse of the Year honors. Winning trainer Larry Jones was neither bashful about boasting on his charge nor concerned about potential competition in the Classic. "I seriously think this is the closest I've ever witnessed the perfect race horse," Jones said. "I thought Secretariat was that when he retired. If she has a flaw anywhere, anyhow, I haven't found it." And about the Classic, he said, "She has the speed to match up with them. I'm sure we will see Uncle Mo in there. He was very impressive 30 minutes ago, and it should make it very interesting."
But if the 3-year-old and the filly hope to take it all in the Classic, they almost certainly will have to contend with some of the top finishers in Saturday's Belmont feature, the $750,000, Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup – especially the winner, Flat Out. Flat Out, a 5-year-old, Florida-bred son of Flatter, got by pacesetting Rodman on the stretch turn and extended his lead through the lane to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Last year's Belmont winner, Drosselmeyer, was up for second and the favorite, Uncle Mo's stablemate, Stay Thirsty, finished third with an even effort. Flat Out ran the 1 1/4 mile on a muddy track in 2:03.17 for jockey Alex Solis. He was coming off second-place finishes to Tizway and Havre de Grace in the Whitney and Woodward at Saratoga. Tizway missed the Gold Cup after a fever led to a canceled workout earlier in the week. Trainer Charles "Scooter" Dickey said he's not intimidated by the potential tough lineup in the Classic. "We're going to be there and try them," he said after the Gold Cup. "We'll go back to Monmouth tonight and ship to Kentucky the day after tomorrow." If there is a downside, Flat Out finished sixth in his only previous start at Churchill Downs -- the Stephen Foster back in June. Stay Thirsty's trainer, Todd Pletcher, noted his charge was running against horses who have great records at Belmont and didn't handle the muddy, drying track well. "At the end of the day, it was his first time against older horses and we think he can improve on this," Pletcher said.
In California, trainer Bob Baffert served notice he might have something to say about the Breeders' Cup Classic as his barn finished first and third in Saturday's $250,000, Grade I Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita. Game On Dude, who had been knocking on the door since winning the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap in March, got the job done with a nice stretch effort under Chantal Sutherland. After opening a good lead, the 4-year-old Awesome Again gelding held off Awesome Gem by a half length at the wire. Baffert's other star, Coil, bounced back from a 10th-place finish in the Travers to take the show spot. Game On Dude ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:47.36. "I told Chantal to have the lead at all costs," Baffert said. "And I thought down the backside I shouldn't have said at all costs. She rides the horse with a lot of confidence. You just have to let him run because that's the way he wants to run." He said he thought Coil might come on late "but he got a little tired."
Wilburn got the first run at the leaders in Saturday's $500,000, Grade II Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park and got home first, 4 3/4 lengths to the good of the favorite, Shackleford. Caleb's Posse finished third. Wilburn, a Kentucky-bred Bernardini colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43 3/5 with Julien Leparoux riding for trainer SteveAsmussen.
Zazu, another Z-named filly from the owners of Zenyatta, stepped up with a big, come-from-behind win in Saturday's $250,000, Grade I Lady's Secret Stakes at Santa Anita, winning by a half length over Ultra Blend. Great Hot was third as the favorite, Blind Luck, had no luck and finished last, eased through the final furlong with no visible excuse. Zazu, a 3-year-old, Kentucky-bred Tapit filly, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:41.59 with Joel Rosario aboard. She now has hit the board in six straight races, all graded stakes and including a third in the Kentucky Oaks. Blind Luck, meanwhile, failed to finish in the top three for the first time in 22 trips to the track. Winning trainer John Sadler said, "I mean obviously Blind Luck didn't run her best. I'm making the case for Zazu. I hope the other filly comes out okay. Zazu, she brings it every time. She's never run a bad race this year." Blind Luck's rider, Garrett Gomez, and trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, said they had no reason for her failure. "I couldn't keep up. That's pretty much it," Gomez said. "I don't know," Hollendorfer replied to a question about what went wrong. "Bad training job." He later said Blind Luck is out of consideration for any Breeders' Cup race.
Plum Pretty had things all her own way in Saturday's $750,000, Grade II Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Parx Racing, leading virtually from the start and clearing at the end to score by 7 1/2 lengths over the favorite, It's Tricky. Daring Reality added a kicker to the trifecta at 72-1 odds. Plum Pretty, a Kentucky-bred Medaglia d'Oro filly, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:41.19 with Rafael Bejarano at the controls for trainer Bob Baffert. It was her first win since the Kentucky Oaks and leaves Plum Pretty with a record of four wins from nine starts. It's Tricky, a Godolphin Racing filly, won the Acorn and the Coaching Club American Oaks earlier in the year under the care of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
Juanita led all the way to a mild upset win in Saturday's $200,000, Grade II Indiana Oaks at Hoosier Park, winning by 4 3/4 lengths over Withgreatpleasure. Daisy Devine was third and the odds-on favorite, A Z Warrior, got home fourth. Juanita, a Kentucky-bred Mineshaft filly, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45 1/5 under Julien Leparoux.
Cape Blanco stalked the pace in Saturday's $500,000, Grade I Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park, worked to the lead turning for home and then held on to win by a nose over Dean's Kitten. Grassy was third, 8 3/4 lengths farther back. The early leader, Mission Approved, finished fourth and Winchester raced last all the way around. Cape Blanco, a 4-year-old Galileo colt, finished the 1 1/2 miles on yielding turf in 2:36.61 for jockey Jamie Spencer. He now has won three straight Grade I starts in the United States, the previous two being the Man O'War and the Arlington Million. Earlier this year, he was fourth in the Dubai World Cup, beaten just 1 length for it all. Charlie O'Connor of Ashford Stud, representing the winning owners and trainer Aidan O'Brien, was asked about another trip back to the States for the Breeders' Cup Turf. "I'd imagine that will be the drill," he replied. "But they'll bring him home and Aidan will see how he comes out of the race and Aidan will decide. He's done just another wonderful training job, and Jamie gave him a great ride under difficult conditions." Dean's Kitten, who finished third in the Arlington Million, also might be back for another try at the Breeders' Cup, said trainer Mike Maker. "Maybe we'll get them at Churchill," he said.
In Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris, Danedream flattered German racing and particularly the Grosser Prix von Baden, by jumping to the front with a furlong left and drawing clear to win by 5 lengths. Extreme long shot Shareta got home second. Among the favorites, Snow Fairy was third and So You Think fourth. Danedream, a 3-year-old filly, finished the "about" 1 1/2 miles on firm going in 2:24.49 with Andreas Starke up for trainer Peter Schiergen. She now has won three straight races, including two easy wins in German Group 1's. "I don't believe she was such an easy winner," Schiergen said. "She's the best horse I've ever trained." Ed Dunlop, trainer of the multiple international Group 1 winning Snow Fairy, said he was pleased with his filly's effort, adding, "She will go back to Japan for [the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup] or the Japan Cup, and then back to Hong Kong. She stays in training next year."
Acclamation stalked the pace in Sunday's $150,000, Grade II Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita, went to the lead when asked by jockey Pat Valenzuela and got home first on cruise control, 3/4 of a length ahead of Champ Pegasus. Imponente Purse finished third. Acclamation, winning his fourth straight graded event, covered the 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 1:59.45. Winning trainer Don Warren said Acclamation, a 5-year-old son of Unusual Heat, now can go to either the Breeders' Cup Turf or try the Classic. "Weather's going to play a part in it, because we like the firm turf," He said. "We think we would have a big shot on firm turf. We don't think the Europeans are all that great, unless it's soft. Then they have a big advantage … I would prefer the Breeders' Turf. If it rains, then we might go Classic." All eight of Acclamation's lifetime wins have come on the green course. Trainer Richard Mandella said Champ Pegasus also might get at chance in the Breeders' Cup Turf off Sunday's showing.
Filly & Mare Turf
Stacelita trailed the field after a half mile of Saturday's $500,000, Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park, came around rivals into the stretch and easily cleared the field, winning by 2 lengths, ridden out. Extreme longshot Distorted Legacy raced evenly to finish second despite jockey Rajiv Maragh losing his whip. Dynaslew led the way and held third. Stacelita, coming off an equally impressive win in the Beverly D. at Arlington Park, traveled the 1 1/4 miles on yielding turf in 2:10.39 under Ramon Dominguez. She now is 2-for-3 in the United States after racing earlier in France. "She is a remarkable horse and she's had an outstanding career to this point," trainer Chad Brown said of the 5-year-old Monsun mare. Hopefully she can cap it off with a win in the Breeders' Cup."
At Santa Anita, Dubawi Heights, who finished second in the Beverly D., got the job done in Saturday's $250,000, Grade I Yellow Ribbon, stalking the pace before taking the lead in the late going to win by 3/4 length over Cozi Rosie. Harmonious finished third. Dubawi Heights, a 4-year-old, British-bred filly by Dubawi, ran the 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 2:00.52 with Joel Rosario riding. "I think we'll probably head toward the Breeders' Cup," said winning trainer Simon Callaghan. "She's improved with every race, and she'll go there I'm sure with a great chance. The form stacks up good. It makes sense, I think, to go there."
Goldikova's came up a nose short in her final prep before trying for an unprecedented fourth straight win in the Mile. In Sunday's Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, on the Arc undercard, The dependable 6-year-old mare surged to the lead with a rail move with a furlong and a half to run, turned back one challenge but then couldn't hold off longshot Dream Ahead in the final strides.
After winning Saturday's $100,000 Jim McKay Maryland Million Turf Sprint at Laurel Park, Ben's Cat has every credential needed for a trip to the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint -- except for the price of admission. The 5-year-old already qualified for the big race with a victory in the Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing on Labor Day and validated his credentials by beating Steady Warrior Saturday by a length in 1:06.07, winning for the 13th time in 18 starts. But he is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and trainer King Leatherbury is trying to find a sponsor. "We will start to get more serious on it now and see what we can do," Leatherbury said after the Maryland Million win. Jockey Jeremy Rose said Ben's Cat is "one of the three best horses I have ever ridden" -- a group that includes Afleet Alex. "He certainly deserves a shot at the Breeders' Cup."
Giant Ryan sprang a giant upset in Saturday's $350,000, Grade I Vosburgh Handicap at Belmont Park, leading all the way to a half-length win over Force Freeze. Caixa Eletronica finished third and the favorite, Trappe Shot, settled for fourth. Euroears, winner of the Bing Crosby at Del Mar and second to Rocket Man in the Dubai Golden Shaheen back in March, got the worst of some bumping at the start and never recovered, finishing last of eight. Giant Ryan, a 4-year-old, New York-bred son of Freud, got the 6 furlongs on a muddy track in 1:09.10 with Cornelio Velasquez aboard. He has moved up the ladder from optional claimers for New York-breds at Aqueduct in the winter through a win last time out in a Grade II event at Calder, and now has won six straight. Winning owner Shivananda Parbhoo, said the upset really wasn't so shocking because, "This is his home track. He loves Belmont Park. I will keep him here for a week or two and then he will ship directly to Churchill Downs. He will leave three weeks before the Breeders' Cup. This was to see if he could compete with the best horses." Defending Sprint champ Big Drama missed the race with a temperature but trainer David Fawkes said he will train the horse up to the Breeders' Cup.
Broken Dreams kicked off the Santa Anita fall meeting with a come-from-behind, a half-length victory over Givine in Friday's $100,000, Grade III Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes for fillies and mares. With Garrett Gomez in the irons, the 5-year-old, Florida-bred Broken Vow mare came through traffic in the stretch, settled along the rail and was just up. Tanda finished third and the odds-on favorite, Unzip Me, settled for fourth. Broken Dreams ran the 6 1/2 furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:12.23.
Creative Cause got the jump on odds-on favorite Drill in Saturday's $250,000, Grade I Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita and prevailed at the end by 3 1/4 lengths. Ruler of Dubai finished third. Creative Cause, a Kentucky-bred Giant's Causeway colt out of the Siberian Summer mare Dream of Summer, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.66 with Joel Rosario up. Creative Cause came into the race off a close third behind Drill in the Del Mar Futurity. He now has three wins from four starts for trainer Mike Harrington. "Yes, we will take him to the Breeders' Cup off of this race," Harrington said. "That's the reason we ran him. It's a 'Win and You're In' race."
Vexor, the longest price on the board, caught Trinniberg in the stretch run of Sunday's $150,000, Grade II Nashua Stakes at Belmont Park and went by to win by 3/4 of a length. Seeker was third and the favorite, She Digs Me, finished last of six. Vexor, a Florida-bred Wildcat Heir colt, ran the 6 furlongs on a good track in 1:10.71 with David Cohen up. Trainer John Kimmel said Vexor's recent disappointment in the Hopeful obviously was a fluke. "It's nice to get back and get a good performance out of him," the trainer said. "He's obviously earned his way into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint."
Hello Prince marked himself one to watch with a 6-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Birdonthewire Stakes at Calder Racecourse. Seattle Ex finished second and Angelofdistinction was third. Hello Prince, a Florida-bred Halo's Image colt out of the Doneraile Court mare Jestress, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:11.60 with Jose Garcia in the irons.
Wildcat's Smile came around the leaders entering the stretch run in Saturday's $260,000 New York Breeders' Futurity for state-breds at Finger Lakes and won going away by 1 1/4 lengths over French Wine. Bay Park Boy finished third and the favorite, Zow, unseated rider Elvis Trujilo with a stumbling start. Wildcat's Smile, a Forest Wildcat filly out of the Dixie Brass mare Serenity's Smile, got the 6 furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:12.65 with John Davila Jr. up.
Big Wednesday had a big Saturday at even bigger odds, rallying from off the pace to win the $100,000 Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile at Presque Isle Downs by 2 1/4 lengths over Mr. Prankster. The Florida-bred Repent colt, dispatched at 22-1, finished the 6 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:17.13 with Pablo Morales up.
Shkspeare Shaliyah rallied from last of a half dozen to win Sunday's $100,000, Grade III Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park by 1 length over Kitten's Kid. Fantastic Song finished third. Shkspeare Shaliyah, a Florida-bred Shakespeare colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on soft turf in 1:51.59 with Alex Solis up. Winning owner/trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal, who named the horse for his daughter, Shaliyah, said he has turned down significant offers for the colt and that he is definitely headed for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
At Longchamp in France, Dabirsim, a French-bred son of Hat Trick, won the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium with Frankie Dettori up for trainer Christophe Ferland. The race is a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
Weemissfrankie rallied from well off the pace in Sunday's $250,000, Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita, came three-wide into the stretch and outfinished Candrea to win by a half length. Charm the Maker finished third. Weemissfrankie, a New York-bred Sunriver filly, got the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.92 with Rafael Bejarano up. Winning trainer Peter Eurton said the win gives him some choices for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile filly races. "She's still going to go dirt," he said. "But turf is something to think about. It's still a consideration, especially when you figure out who's going and who's not, but it's probably going to be dirt."
Grace Hall drew off smartly in the stretch run in Saturday's $75,000 Blue Hen Stakes at Delaware Park, winning by 5 3/4 lengths as the odds-on favorite. Glinda the Good was next-best. Grace Hall, a Kentucky-bred Empire Maker filly out of the Ezzoud mare Season's Greetings, ran the 1 mile and 70 yards on a fast track in 1:42.36 with Joe Rocco Jr. up. "She still has a lot to prove just like the rest of them," winning trainer Tony Dutrow said. "But I am feeling very good that she is well prepared going into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies."
Exclusively Maria was quickly on the lead in Saturday's $100,000 Cassidy Stakes at Calder Race Course and made the advantage stand up, winning by a neck over Another Romance. The favorite, Live Every Day, was third after some late bumping. Exclusively Maria, a Florida-bred Exclusive Quality filly out of the Cure the Blues mare Going Away Blues, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:12.80 with Jose Alvarez up and the track fast. The stewards considered an objection but let the result stand.
Say a Novena tracked the early pace in Saturday's $150,000 Brandywine Stakes at Parx Racing, surged to the lead with a furlong to run and drew clear, winning by 6 1/2 lengths over Flor de Amelia. Pink Candy was third. Say a Novena, a Kentucky-bred Songandaprayer filly out of the Dynaformer mare Rabiadella, got the 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.83 with Rafael Bejarano up.
Believe You Can relaxed off a speed duel in Sunday's $100,000, Grade III Tempted Stakes at Belmont Park, got to the front past the tiring leaders and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Perennial Song was second with Georgie's Angel third. Believe You Can, a Kentucky-bred Proud Citizen filly, got the 6 furlongs on a muddy track in 1:11.20 under Gabriel Saez. Trainer Larry Jones said he would have to confer with owner/breeder Brereton Jones before deciding on which Breeders' Cup race to choose for Believe You Can.
Kitty's Got Class drew off at the end of Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian) Victorian Queen Stakes for Ontario-breds at Woodbine, winning by 6 lengths over Nikkis Bold Gelato. I'veatigerinmy tank finished third. Kitty's Got Class, an Old Forester filly, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:11.20 with Eurico Da Silva riding.
Citizen Advocate pressed the pace in Saturday's $100,000 Presque Isle Debutante, took over the lead in the stretch and edged clear to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Las Malvegas. The Florida-bred Proud Citizen filly, with Luis Jurado in the irons, ran the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:11.46.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Pure Gossip drew off smartly in the stretch run of Sunday's $100,000, Grade III Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park, winning by 6 1/2 lengths over Bonnie Royal, who then was disqualified to fourth for stretch interference. That promoted Mystic Mama and Bourbonstreetgirl to second and third. Pure Gossip, a New York-bred Pure Prize filly, got the 1 1/16 miles on soft turf in 1:47.71 with Ryan Curatolo up. Asked about the Breeders' Cup, winning trainer Phil Serpe said he would have to consult the owner, "but absolutely. That's why we do this, for sure."
Elusive Kate led from the start in Sunday's Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches at Longchamp and easily bested Fire Lily for the win. The heavily favored Zantender finished third as the only French runner in the field of five. With William Buick riding for trainer John Gosden, Elusive Kate covered the mile on good ground in 1:38.10. The Elusive Quality filly now has four win from five starts.
Ambitious Dragon was last year's Horse of the Year in Hong Kong and his seasonal bow on Sunday served notice he's more than ready for a repeat -- if not for some international raids. Returning to the track by the admission of trainer Tony Millard "nowhere near his peak," Ambitious Dragon blew off a good field in Saturday's Group 3 National Day Cup, winning by 2 1/2 lengths over Destined For Glory with last season's champion miler, Beauty Flash, in third. But it was no contest. "He's improved. He's actually improved," Millard said of the steed who accounted for seven wins last season, including the Group 1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby and the Group 1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup. "I thought he might run third or fourth and I'd have been very pleased with that because this was just the start of his preparation for the international meeting in December. But to beat horses like that ridden hands and heels was just unbelievable."
In the day's other feature, Entrapment, returning from a year on the sidelines with a rare neurological malady after winning seven races the previous season, got home first in the Group 3 Sha Tin Sprint Trophy under Douglas Whyte. Owner Benson Lo said he was so touched by the comeback by the popular runner, "When I saw Douglas moving him up to the front, my heart was beating so hard I wasn't aware of anything around me until my wife Patsy said, "Wah! You've won!" Last year's Trophy winner, Sacred Kingdom, finished second by a half length.
Curran Chan, a 4-year-old Kurofune filly, knocked off a tough field in Sunday's Group 1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse, beating Pas De Trois by 1 3/4 lengths. The heavy favorite and winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen, Singapore sensation Rocket Man, finished fourth and trainer Felix Coetzee said he "got caught up in traffic." Hong Kong favorite Lucky Nine sustained some bumping in the final furlong and finished fifth. Hong Kong's Green Birdie finished eighth. The 1,200 meters on firm turf took 1:07.4. Winning trainer Takayuki Yasuda said he will discuss plans with the owner, including any possible overseas efforts. "But I don't want to ask too much as she is just a filly," he added.
Nahrain narrowly bested Announce to win Sunday's Group 1 Prix de l'Opera for fillies and mares at Longchamp. Nahrain, a 3-year-old Selkirk filly, got through a tight gap to the lead and turned back the challenge from Announce to win by a nose. Banimpire finished third. Nahrain, trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Frankie Dettori, ran the 10 furlongs in 2:02.47 over turf rated good. She remains undefeated in five lifetime starts.
Tangerine Trees led the field through the 5 furlongs of Sunday's Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp, winning by a short neck over Secret Asset. Sole Power was a nose farther back in third. Tangerine Trees, a 6-year-old Mind Games gelding, finished in 55.53 seconds on "good" turf under Tom Eaves, who picked his first Group 1 victory.
Kasbah Bliss, in his fourth run at the race, finally won the Group 1 Prix Du Cadran on Sunday, rallying from last under Gerald Mosse. Tres Rock Danon was 1 1/4 lengths back in second and Ley Hunter finished third as the race went in 4:30.52 after a dawdling early pace. Kasbah Bliss, a 9-year-old son of Kahyasi, previously had finished second, third and fourth in the 20-furlong marathon. Trainer Francois Doumen said he now has an eye on the Hong Kong Vase for the veteran campaigner.
City Wolf took charge in the stretch in Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian), Grade III Durham Cup Handicap, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over James Street. Stately Victor finished third. City Wolf, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred Giant's Causeway colt, ran the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:50.38 with Emma-Jayne Wilson riding.
Indian Pond rallied from well back in Sunday's $150,000 Carotene Stakes for 3-year-old, Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies and got home first by 2 lengths over Calibration. Burmah Star finished third. Indian Pond, a Speightstown filly, ran the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:51.47 for jockey Patrick Husbands. The race came off the turf.
Humble Smarty pressed the pace in Friday's $100,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes, took the lead a furlong from the wire and then was all out to hold on by a nose over Herecomesbert and another nose over Native Ruler. The favorite, Chief of Affairs, led into the lane and then folded, finishing last of seven. Humble Smarty, a 7-year-old, Arkansas-bred son of Mutakddim, got the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.72 under Dean Butler.
Orchid's Silver bested Class Included by a neck at the end of Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian), Grade III Ballerina Stakes for fillies and mares. Dashing Daisy finished third. Orchid's Silver, a 5-year-old, British Columbia-bred mare by Orchid's Devil, got the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:50.30 with Isaias Cardinas in the irons.
Jebrica rallied four-wide in the stretch run to win Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian), Grade III British Columbia Premier's Handicap by 1/2 length over Winning Machine. Assessment led until late in the stretch and held on for third. Jebrica, a 3-year-old, Washington-bred Liberty Gold gelding, ran the 1 3/8 miles on a fast track in 2:17.76 with Russell Baze in the irons.
Gabigotherway shook loose in the stretch run in Saturday's $75,000 (Canadian) Fantasy Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and won off by 5 1/4 lengths over Five Yard Penalty. Gabigotherway, a British Columbia-bred daughter of Quiet Cash out of the Go For Gin mare Kaluki, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.91 with Richard Hamel in the irons.
With Counsel bested Lord Henry in the stretch run in Saturday's $75,000 (Canadian) Ascot Graduation Stakes for 2-year-olds, winning by 1 1/2 lengths. With Counsel, a Kentucky-bred Lawyer Ron gelding out of the Broad Brush mare With Flair, got the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.19 for jockey Francisco Fuentes.
Taptam rallied through the stretch to win Saturday's $100,000 Mari Hulman George Stakes for fillies and mares by 1 3/4 lengths over Texas Country Doll. Taptam, a 6-year-old, Texas-bred PleasantTap mare, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45 3/5 for jockey Jamie Theriot.
Glenwood Canyon put a neck in front of Hurricane Ike at the end of Saturday's $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Mile. Glenwood Canyon, a 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred Silver Deputy gelding, was clocked in 1:33 under Robby Albarado.
Coco's Sweetie had the early lead in Saturday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Horse Breeders' Distaff for state-breds, gave it up and then came again to win by a neck over Diva's Gold. Coco's Sweetie, a 3-year-old daughter of Tenpins, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.14 with Josiah Hampshire Jr. riding.
Eighttofasttocatch stalked the pace in Saturday's $150,000 Maryland Million Classic, got by and went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Cactus Charlie. The 5-year-old Not For Love gelding finished the 9 furlongs on a good main track in 1:50.65. The race highlighted the rich card for Maryland-breds with the other races each worth $100,000. Also:
Brushed By Love got clear at the end to win the Oaks by 2 1/4 lengths over Blushing B.J., running the mile in 1:38.68. Ben's Cat came from off the pace to win the Turf Sprint by a length over Steady Warrior in 1:06.07. Bluegrass Atatude had the best stretch kick in winning the Lassie by 3 lengths, running 6 furlongs in 1:12.45. Love That Dance showed the way and held on to win by a head in the 7-furlong Distaff. Glib was quickly in charge in the Nursery for 2-year-old and won by a comfortable 4 1/2 lengths over Coach Fridge in 1:10.95.
Also: Love's Blush took the Ladies at 9 furlongs on the turf by 3 1/2 lengths over the favorite, Baltimore Belle. Slone Ranger got the lead in the stretch and went on to win the Sprint by 1/2 length over Regal Solo in 1:10.15. Pocket Patch led most of the way in the Turf and scored by 4 3/4 lengths over Day Flight.
Presque Isle Downs
Fugitive Angel stalked the pace in Saturday's $100,000 H.B.P.A. Stakes for fillies and mares, advanced to the front when prompted by jockey Mario Pino and won by a length over a fast-closing Grecian Maiden. Fugitive Angel, a 4-year-old, Pennsylvania-bred Alphabet Soup filly, got the 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:42.32.