A raft of new contenders emerged during the weekend for year-end races around the world.
Departing piled up his third derby win and could advance to the Breeders' Cup Classic. Pants On Fire atoned for his 2011 Kentucky Derby flop and could go to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile -- and on further to Japan.
Saturday's four stakes at Churchill Downs may have produced four or more Breeders' Cup contenders, among them some surprising juveniles. And at least one Arlington Park weekend juvenile winner is targeted for the Breeders' Cup -- but will it be on the dirt or the grass?
In Europe, the Aidan O'Brien juggernaut also plowed up a promising youngster named Australia, whose record and pedigree might promise a Breeders' Cup expedition.
In Asia, star Japanese sprinter Lord Kanaloa fell a bit short in a Group 2 event. And Hong Kong kicked off its racing season with record turnout and turnover on opening day.
The racing season clearly is rounding the turn and heading for home. So pay close attention as we start with those 2-year-olds.
Solitary Ranger came to Saturday's $150,000, Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity with only two seconds in two previous races -- both in the spring at Keeneland. However, in the second of those starts, the U S Ranger colt finished behind only No Nay Never, who since has proved to be one of the best 2-year-olds running in Europe. So it was no surprise with Solitary Ranger, with Florent Geroux up, moved to the lead turning for home over the Arlington Park Polytrack and opened up to win by 5 1/2 lengths. Whyruawesome beat the other five with Cee 'n O third. Irish import Captain's Affair struggled with the artificial surface and finished fourth. Solitary Ranger ran the mile in 1:38.17. He suffered a minor injury after the Keeneland races and was sold to Susan Moulton "with the intention of going to the Breeders' Cup," trainer Wayne Catalano said. But he said it's likely the colt will be cross-entered in both the Juvenile and the Juvenile Turf. He is out of the Lil E Tee mare Galileo's Star.
Saturday night's $150,000, Grade III Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs produced a "go figure" result as Cleburn, at 34-1, and Smart Cover, at 26-1, got home first and second, respectively. Both recently broke their maiden at Ellis Park. The favorites, Tapiture and Ride On Curlin, settled for third and fourth, respectively. Cleburn, a Dixie Union colt, ran 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:45.65 with Corie Laneire in the irons. The $2 exacta -- both horses owned by the ambitious Iowa-based Donegal Racing partnership and trained by Dale Romans -- paid $500 exactly and the $2 trifecta returned $4,256.80. "They both ran super races," Romans said of Cleburn and Smart Cover. They're both nice horses, they want to run long and I couldn't be happier with them ... . I thought they were both underbet." The race was a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. "We'll at least go with the winner, and we might go with both," Romans said. Asked if he's also thinking about the 2014 Kentucky Derby, the trainer predictably replied, "We're thinking about May right now."
Trainer Gary Hartlage is high on Wry, a Distorted Humor colt who broke his maiden in Saturday night's 11th race. The colt paid $15.80 for what turned out to be a convincing win. Hartlage admitted he was "no cinch or anything like that. But he acts like he's a good horse. He's going to be OK. We're thinking pretty big about him." But he has no immediate plans for the colt.
Got Shades got the win in Saturday's $100,000 Sunday Silence Stakes on the grass at Louisiana Downs, coming around the pace to win by a well-judged 3/4 of a length over Mighty Brown. Thunder Run finished third. Got Shades, a cleverly named Pollard's Vision colt, ran the mile on firm going in 1:37.01 with Roman Chapa in the irons. He now has two straight stakes wins, both over the local green.
Jessethemarine won Thursday's $50,000 Whirling Ash Stakes at Delaware Park when first-finisher Interchange was set down to second for interference in the stretch. Tashir, being 7 lengths back in third at the finish, was not involved in the trouble. Interchange is a Florida-bred With Distinction colt who had the services of Jose Caraballo. The 1 mile on a fast track went in 1:38.70.
Zdeno was along in time to take Saturday's $50,000 (Canadian) Winnipeg Futurity at Assiniboia Downs by a half length over pacesetting favorite Maddie's Gold. For Old Times Sake took show money. Zdeno, a Milwaukee Brew gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:13 1/5 with Janine Smith riding.
Montbrooks Miracle led all the way in Saturday night's $50,000 John Franks Memorial Sales Stakes at Evangeline Downs and beat odds-on favorite Risky Forest by 2 1/2 lengths. Stay Friendly finished third. Montbrooks Miracle, a Montbrook colt, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:05.32 for jockey Kerwin Clark.
Keep an eye cocked to the Emerald Isle. Saturday's Group III ICON Breeders' Cup Turf Trial Stakes at Leopardstown in Ireland was a qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and, given that the winner, Australia, is trained by Joseph O'Brien and was ridden by his son, Joseph, it's not impossible the Galileo colt will show up in Santa Anita. Adding to the attraction -- Australia's dam is Ouija Board, who won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in both 2004 and 2006. In the Leopardstown race, Australia surged to the lead a quarter mile out and won by 6 lengths. Free Eagle, the favorite, finished second and Kingfisher, another O'Brien charge, got home third. O'Brien also saddled The United States to a win in the Group III KPMG Enterprise Stakes on the same card.
Untapable came with a late, outside run in Saturday night's $150,000, Grade II Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs and got by Stonetastic in the final yards to win by a half length. Rosalind closed from farther back to finish third, another 2 lengths in arrears. Untapable, a Tapit filly out of the Prized mare Fun House, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.38 with Rosie Napravnik in the irons. She won at first asking over the same course in June, going 5 1/2 furlongs and had been idle since. "She's a very, very talented filly and it was a lot to ask of her," Napravnik said. "Second time out, she hadn't run in a couple of months, and running two turns against winners." Trainer Steve Asmussen said he had planned to run Untapable at Saratoga "but it didn't work out. She's not short on ability but definitely is a little short on experience." The race was a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Asmussen said he plans to have Untapable there at Santa Anita.
Saturday's $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie was a wide-open affair, with many of the 11 starters coming off maiden wins. So it was no shock when She's Offlee Good, an Offlee Wild filly who broke her maiden at first asking over the course five weeks ago, shot to the lead in the stretch and won by 2 lengths. Sweetsoutherndame, who came from Woodbine for the race, came down the outside to take second, a half length better than the favorite, Maria Maria. She's Offlee Good, with Eddie Castro up for trainer Richard Scherer, finished the mile on the all-weather course in 1:37.98. "It was an impressive race and a nice ride by Eddie," Scherer said. "For a second, I thought she was getting late and tired. But then she dug in and went on by."
Solid Sender pressed the pace in Saturday night's $50,000 John Franks Memorial Sales Stakes at Evangeline Downs, went by Sweet Alice Benbow when asked and drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths, well in hand. Streaming Live was third, 6 lengths farther back. Solid Sender, a daughter of Early Flyer, got 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:05.79 with Gerard Melancon in the irons.
On the Louisiana Downs turf, Thegirlinthatsong started last of 11, circled six-wide around the leaders and got home first by a neck over Bern Legacy. Ima Three Blinger finished third, 2 lengths farther in arrears. Thegirlinthatsong, a Texas-bred filly by My Golden Song, ran the mile on firm turf in 1:36.90 with Donald Simington aboard. It was her second win to go with a pair of seconds.
Departing easily added Saturday's $500,000, Grade II Super Derby to his earlier victories in the Grade III Illinois Derby and Grade II West Virginia Derby. After waiting outside behind the early leaders, the War Front gelding picked them up entering the stretch turn and was by far the best down the lane, drawing off to win by 4 lengths. Ruler of Love led the way early and finished second, just as he did in the West Virginia race. Cameo Appearance finished third. Departing, with Robby Albarado in the irons, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:50.08. Except for a sixth-place finish in the Preakness Stakes, Departing would be considered among the leaders in the 3-year-old division. Trainer Al Stall Jr. said the gelding's next start has yet to be determined. He said the Grade III Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 29 and the Grade II Indiana Derby the following weekend are under consideration. And, he added to The Blood-Horse, "The Breeders' Cup Classic could be on the table. But we'll take it one race at a time."
Flashy American outfinished Wine Princess to win Saturday night's $100,000 Locust Grove Stakes for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs by 1 1/4 lengths with Awesome Flower third. Flashy American, a 4-year-old Flashy Bull filly, ran 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:43.53 with Corie Lanerie up. After starting the year running for a $62,000 tag, she has four wins and a second in her last five starts and trainer Kenny McPeek is looking forward with a smile. "We're thinking Breeders' Cup Distaff with her," McPeek said. "She just keeps getting better and better. Thank goodness they didn't claim her off me." He said he may consider the Zenyatta Stakes as a prep for the big race.
Hyper came running late in Saturday's $250,000, Grade II Bowling Green Handicap as Belmont Park resumed operations and outfinished Finnegan's Wake for a half-length victory. The favorite, Boisterous, finished third, 2 lengths back, under John Velazquez but had an excuse after being forced to check and hitting the hedge as the field entered the stretch turn. Hyper, a 6-year-old son of Victory Gallop, is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey. He ran 1 1/4 miles on the firm inner turf course in 2:01.37 with Javier Castellano up. "When Boisterous and my horse made their moves at the same time, at the quarter pole, Johnny didn't have a choice," Castellano said. "He had to go inside. I had a choice, to go around horses. My horse took off and did it the right way. He hung a little bit, but when he saw the other horse come on the outside, he came on again." Cherie De Vaux, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown, added, "What's so enjoyable about watching him run is that he seems to get better every time. He always finds a way to find a little more, and as he's gotten older he keeps finding ways to step up."
Are You Kidding Me led from the start in Saturday's $200,000, Grade III Kent Stakes for 3-year-olds at Delaware Park and kicked clear at the end to win by 4 lengths. Michael With Us was second and Hard Enough was a head back in third. Are You Kidding Me, a Florida-bred by Run Away and Hide, finished 9 furlongs on firm turf in a quick 1:47.61 with Rajiv Maragh in the irons. Trained at Woodbine by Roger Attfield, the colt picked up just his third career win and first in seven starts this year. He finished eighth in the Florida Derby. "The trip was pretty straightforward," Maragh said. "He broke really willing, he got comfortable on the lead, and he had a lot left at the finish."
Filly & Mare Turf
Dancing to Town led all the way to a 1-length victory over Lily the Pink in Saturday's $150,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf. Nashindy was a non-threatening third in the 1-mile event, clocked in 1:35.52. Joe Rocco Jr. had the mount on Dancing to Town, a 5-year-old Speightstown mare out of the Dynaformer mare Choreograph. It was her fourth win from 14 lifetime starts and second in four tries this season.
Mystical Star collared Preferential at the end of the long Kentucky Downs stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 Ladies Marathon by a neck. Angel Terrace finished third and the favorite, Prissy, faded from the early pace to finish next-last of 11. Mystical Star, a 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare, ran 1 5/16 miles on firm going in course-record time of 2:11.30 with Brice Blanc in the irons. Mystical Star had not won since June of 2012, when she captured the Grade II New York Handicap at Belmont Park, with Aruna second.
Grandma's Rules stalked the pace in Saturday's $100,000 River Cities Stakes at Louisiana Downs, went by Queenie Vic turning for home and drew clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths over that one. Miss Addison finished third and the favorite, Artemus Kitten, strugged home last of seven while never in contention. Grandma's Rules, a 4-year-old Orientate filly, finished 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:42.06 with Robby Albarado in the irons.
To My Valentine led the way in Saturday's $150,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint and held on at the end to win by a head over the favorite, Magical Moon. Soft Whisper was third. To My Valentine, a 3-year-old, French-bred filly by Dyhim Diamond, ran 6 furlongs on the undulating course in 1:17.15 under David Flores. She came off a win in an optional claimer at Saratoga and also has three thirds since being imported from France for trainer Wesley Ward.
Major Marvel stalked a soft pace in Saturday's $100,000 Unbridled Stakes at Louisiana Downs, took over the lead in the stretch and held off the favorite, String King, to win by a neck. Global Power led early and held on for third. Major Marvel, a 7-year-old Bernstein gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:41.00 with Chris Landeros up. He now has won seven of his last eight starts but was stepping up in class for the effort.
Pants On Fire ran by Taptowne in the stretch run of Saturday night's $100,000, Grade III Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs and went on to win by 2 3/4 lengths over that rival. Good Morning Diva finished third. Pants On Fire, who finished ninth in the 2011 Kentucky Derby in his last appearance under the Twin Spires, ran the mile on a fast track in 1:33.78 with Paco Lopez in the irons. The 5-year-old son of Jump Start struggled earlier in the year but now has two graded stakes wins in a row, this one following the Grade II Monmouth Cup, going1 1/16 miles on the Jersey Shore. "I think he redeemed himself," Breen said. "We were all a little disappointed after the Kentucky Derby. He was the second choice in the Derby and we're happy that the Kentuckians got to cash a ticket on him." Breen added Pants On Fire might have some frequent flyer miles in his future. "We're talking about the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. We're coming off of a couple of good wins and, knock on wood, he stays healthy, we could go there. George and I have been talking about a possible trip to Japan. They've been talking to us about coming over for a race there and I know it's a different direction they run in, but it would be really neat to have a horse take you to places I've never been to. So, we'll see." The JRA has been aggressive in seeking overseas entries for the Dec. 1 Japan Cup Dirt, run at 1,800 meters at Hanshin. The race is worth 130 million yen, or about US$3.4 million.
Sunday at Presque Isle Downs, Hogy rallied from far back to win the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile by a length over Super Chunky. Hoofit, Mongolian View and Occasional Sunday were a nose and two heads farther back in the contentious field. Hogy, a 4-year-old Offlee Wild gelding, got home in 1:36.72 on the all-weather track with Joe Rocco Jr. riding. Hogy has won four of six starts this year, also including the Grade III Hanshin Cup at Arlington Park.
Gantry drew off in the stretch to win Saturday's $50,000 Temperence Hill Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths over Louisiana Glory. Joe Hollywood finished third. Gantry, a 6-year-old Pulpit gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.60 under Richard Eramia. It was his first win after four consecutive runner-up finishes and his first start since the Grade III Commonwealth during the Keeneland spring meeting.
Elsewhere around the ovals:
The Fugue, a 4-year-old Dansili filly owned by composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, took down Saturday's Group 1 Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, beating the favorite, Al Kazeem, by 1 1/4 lengths. Trading Leather, the Group 1 Irish Derby winner, made the early going and held on to finish third. The 1 1/4 miles went in 2:05.22. Al Kazeem had defeated The Fugue earlier in both the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group 1 Coral Eclipse at Sandown. The disappointment of the field was Kingsbarns, a one-time high hope for trainer Aidan O'Brien who has been nursed along slowly from injuries. He was never in the mix and eased at the end. Declaration of War, O'Brien's other runner, was scratched. The win qualified The Fugue for a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf through the "Win and You're In" program. She qualified for the Filly & Mare Turf with a victory last month in the Yorkshire Oaks. "She is a very fine filly and we are really thrilled with her," trainer John Gosden told the Racing Post. "She won the Yorkshire Oaks in great style last time and we showed it wasn't a fluke against the colts.
In the Group 1 Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Stakes at Leopardstown, La Collina posted a huge upset, winning a three-way tussle by a half length over Lily's Angel. Say was third. The 1 mile of good turf took 1:39. La Collina had been winless in 11 races prior to Saturday's victory. She is by Strategic Prince, who in turn is by Dansili, who had a big day.
Another Dansili offspring, Foreteller, posted a last-jump upset of Puissance de Lune in Saturday's Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington. Puissance de Lune, with a long winning streak on the line, took the lead into the straight but could not shake off the simultaneous challenge of Forteller, who just put a short head in front under the wire. Moudre finished third at astronomical odds while Sea Moon stumbled badly at the start and was never in the mix, finishing 12th.
Gordon Lord Byron skimmed over rain-softened ground to a 3-length win in Saturday's Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock as the heavy favorite, Lethal Force, struggled with the going and finished ninth. Gordon Lord Byron, with Johnny Murtagh at the controls, got to the lead with a quarter mile to run and the result was not in doubt thereafter. Slade Power finished second and it was another 3/4 of a length back to Hoof It in third. Gordon Lord Byron was no rank outsider, having finished third behind Moonlight Cloud and Lethal Force in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest last month at Deauville. He also was fourth behind Lethal Force in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot. Trainer Tom Hogan said Gordon Lord Byron will cross the Channel again to contest the Prix Foret on Oct. 10 at Longchamp and then might step up to the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Ascot on Oct. 19.
Lord Kanaloa came up a neck short of catching Hakusan Moon in the stretch run of Sunday's Group 2 Centaur Stakes at Hanshin. Those two were well in front of the rest of the field midway down the stretch in the 1,200-meters fixture but Lord Kanaloa could not produce the kick that has earned him international Group 1 victory. Hakusan Moon, a 4-year-old Admire Moon colt, finished in 1:07.5 over firm turf. All things equal, Lord Kanaloa could be expected to use the tightener in a return in the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes Sept. 29 at Nakayama. That race, which he won last year, is the third-last leg of the Global Sprint Challenge. Lord Kanaloa landed the second race in the series, the Takamatsunomiya, earlier in the year.
Racing resumed Sunday in Hong Kong with record crowd and turnover at Sha Tin racecourse. Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Officer Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges reported 66,257 showed up at the New Territories oval, up 4 percent from last year's inaugural. Turnover was $1.032 billion in Hong Kong dollars, up 11 percent. That's about $133.8 million in U.S. dollars. Cerise Cherry won the HKSAR Chief Executive's Cup, rallying from mid-pack under Zac Purton to score by 3/4 of a length over Best Eleven. The win avenged a narrow loss in the same race last season. Cerise Cherry finished second in last December's Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint, trailing only Japanese superstar Lord Kanaloa, and trainer Derek Cruz is eyeing a repeat. "He ran very well last year and I'll get him freshened up again for those big races," Cruz said. "He can run the same race again. I just need to keep him running fresh and keep away from running him in too many races at a time because he can taper off."
British-trained horses came from off the pace to win both international races on Sunday at Veliefendi in Istanbul. Lost In The Moment, a Godolphin runner trained by Saeed bin Suroor, lifted the Group 2 Bosphorus Cup while Producer, conditioned by Richard Hannon, was victorious in the Group 2 Topkaki Trophy.
Back in North America:
Professor's Ride got first run by the leaders in Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian) Prevoyante Stakes for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies and made the advantage stand up. The favorite, Strut the Course, could come no closer than a neck at the end with Primordia finishing third. Professor's Ride, a Silent Name filly, ran the mile on yielding turf in 1:39.36 with Michelle Rainford in the irons.
Alsvid, coming off an allowance win at Prairie Meadows, took out Warren's Knockout in the stretch run of Sunday's $100,000 Premier Cup Handicap, winning by a length over that rival. Safe Trip finished third. Alsvid, a 4-year-old Officer gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:07.99 with Ken Tohill up. It was his second win in three trips to the New Mexico oval.
Presque Isle Downs
Chippewawhitechief took command in the stretch run in Sunday's $75,000 Mark McDermott Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-olds and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Shiny Finish. Cosmic Emergency finished third. Chippewawhitechief, a Weigelia colt, ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:10.79 with Mario Pino up.
Ready Racer was ready to race in the stretch run of Saturday's $50,000 (Canadian) Sun Sprint Championship, kicking clear to score by 4 1/4 lengths over Boomtown Brat. Back Alley Rally rallied from well back to finish third. Ready Racer, a 7-year-old More Than Ready gelding, finished 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18 1/4 with Fernando Perez aboard.
Classy Coco rallied to the lead in the stretch in Saturday's $75,000 Dr. Teresa Garofolo Memorial Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-old fillies, opened up and then held off Power of Snunner at the end by a neck. Tetherball was third. Classy Coco, by Not For Love, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.32 with Matthew Rispoli up.
Norman Asbjornson rallied through some traffic issues to score an off-the-pace win in Saturday's $75,000 Roanoke Stakes for state-breds. Winchell was a length back in second with Arlo checking in third. Norman Asbjornson, a 5-year-old Real Quiet Ridgling, got 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.93 under Kendrick Carmouche.
This Ain't No Bull dueled favorite Madrilena into submission in Saturday's $75,000 Marshall Jenny Handicap for state-breds, then won a sprint to the wire by a nose over Love Those Boots. Merry's Honor was up for third while Madrilena faded to finish fifth. This Ain't No Bull, a 6-year-old Holy Bull gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 55.85 seconds with John Bisono riding.
Fersmiley led all the way in Saturday's $75,000 Banjo Picker Sprint Handicap for state-breds, turned back multiple challenges and won by 1 length over Officer Alex. Generally George finished third. Fersmiley, a 5-year-old Domestic Dispute gelding, ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.35 with Pedro Requena up.
Ski Holiday took the lead with a furlong left in Saturday's $75,000 Mrs. Penny Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred distaffers and held on to win by 1/2 length over Sixth and Arch. Defeet R Fleet finished third. Ski Holiday, a 4-year-old daughter of Harlan's Holiday, got 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.41 with Carmouche riding.
Anillo jumped out to a huge lead in Sunday's $50,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes for 3-year-olds and coasted home first by 3 1/2 lengths. Ebony Gold was second and Stormdriver was third in a strung-out order of finish. Anillo, an Aragorn gelding, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:18.07 with Martin Pedroza up.
Ondine rallied three-wide into the stretch in Friday's $50,000 Beverly J. Lewis Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and then outfinished Warren's Vendetta to score by a half length. It was 5 more lengths back to Fightin Mean Mad in third. Ondine, a Florida-bred Medaglia d'Oro filly, finished 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:17.53, with Martin Garcia in the irons.
Sunday was British Columbia Derby Day at Hastings Racecourse. The track was fast and all purse amounts are quoted in Canadian dollars.
Title Contender knocked out his opponents in the stretch in the $150,000 British Columbia Derby, rallying to the lead and kicking clear to a 4 3/4-length victory at 10-1 odds. Hopeseeker was second and the favorite, Reporting Star, took third. Title Contender, a Kentucky-bred Pulpit gelding, ran 9 furlongs in 1:48.24 with Rico Walcott riding.
Tempered Steel posted a relatively minor upset in the $100,000 British Columbia Oaks, coming from off the pace to win by 3 1/2 lengths over Locket. Miss Derek finished third. Tempered Steel, a British Columbia-bred filly by Tempered Appeal, ran 9 furlongs in 1:49.12 under Mario Gutierrez.
In the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity for BC-bred 2-year-olds, Andallthatitmeans, the even-money favorite, won a race-long duel with Neverabettercause before prevailing by a nose. The $100,000 Sadie Diamond Futurity for province-bred 2-year-old fillies went to the heavy favorite, Arabella's Muse, by 5 1/2 lengths over Architecture.
Madeira Peak rallied to the lead late in the $50,000 Delta Colleen for fillies and mares and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Wando Woman. And Wilo Cat came from last of just four runners to win the $50,000 S.W. Randall Plate by 2 lengths over Commander.
Washington-breds were the focus on Sunday in the shadow of Mount Rainier. The track was fast.
Stryker Phd was a degree better than five rivals in the $50,000 Muckelshoot Tribal Classic, winning by 3 1/4 lengths over Polish Dollar. Madame Pele kicked her rivals aside in the $50,000 Comcast SportsNet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies with Say Say a so-so second, 3 1/2 lengths back.
Chu and You drew off to a convincing, 7-length win over Sunpenny in the $50,000 Northwest Farms Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Noosito won a race-long struggle with Del Rio Harbor in the $50,000 Daily RacingForm Dennis Dodge Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings, prevailing by a neck.
He's Not Bluffin was up late to win the $50,000 Jim Beam Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings by 3/4 length over Somewhere With You. And E Z Kitty easily kicked clear late to win the $50,000 Pegasus Training Center Stakes for fillies and mares by 3 3/4 lengths over Cileator.
Bold Captain closed five-wide in Sunday's $50,000 Governor's Buckeye Cup for Ohio-breds and won by 1 1/2 lengths over Silver Tongued. Pyrite Personal finished third. Bold Captain, a 7-year-old Bold Truth gelding, ran 1 1/4 miles on a fast track in 2:05.82 under Luis Gonzalez. Twelve-year-old gelding Catlaunch, winner of 40 of his previous 107 starts and more than $1.12 million, stopped and was eased in the late going. He won as recently as June at Beulah Park.