UPI Thoroughbred Racing Roundup

By ROBERT KIECKHEFER, UPI Racing Writer  |  Aug. 6, 2012 at 6:15 AM
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Saturday's Whitney Invitational at Saratoga was a fine race but it failed in its promise to sort out the best older horses in the East.

Instead, Fort Larned's upset win added yet another note of uncertainty to a division still seeking a clear leader. And, among the 3-year-olds, Hansen fumbled another chance to take a leadership position by finishing off the board in the West Virginia Derby.

By contrast, the West Coast handicap contingent is replete with proven commodities, many of whom are expected to meet in the Pacific Classic on Aug. 26. Among them, Game on Dude, Richard's Kid, Acclamation, Dullahan, Rail Trip and others.

Some of the other weekend results, including the Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt, provided little more enlightenment.

But why wait? Here's the scoop:


Endorsement and Trickmeister went at it on the lead in the $750,000, Grade I Whitney at 9 furlongs over the Saratoga main track. But when they were done, it was Fort Larned and not the favorite, Ron the Greek, who surged to the lead and coasted home first by 1 1/4 lengths. Ron the Greek was up for second with his late run, beating Flat Out by a head. Hymn Book was fourth. Fort Larned got home in 1:47.76 with Brian Hernandez Jr. up for trainer Ian Wilkes. He came into the race off a win in the Grade III Prairie Meadows Cornhusker and before that finished eighth in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. The Whitney was his first Grade I win and came at an opportune time, earning him a trip to the Breeders' Cup Classic through the "Win and You're In" program. Wilkes said he is not sure where Fort Larned, a 4-year-old E Dubai colt, will start next but mentioned the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on Sep. 1 at Saratoga. "Let's enjoy today," he said. "Obviously, you've got the Woodward. But let's see how he comes out of this." Bill Mott, who trains both Ron the Greek and Flat Out, said, "Both horses ran well and tried hard."

Macho Macho rallied from behind the pace to win Saturday's $750,000, Grade II West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer as last year's juvenile champ, Hansen, folded after setting a tepid but contested pace. Macho Macho, a Macho Uno colt, got home a half length ahead of Bourbon Courage with Called to Serve third. Hansen finished fourth and the rival who ran with him, Hero of Order, settled for fifth. Macho Macho, with Corey Nakatani up, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.98. Mike Smith rode Hansen for the first time. Macho Macho could be one to watch going forward. He has not missed the top three since his first race, posting three wins, two seconds and a third in his last six outings.

Tapizar led from the git go in Saturday's $200,000 West Virginia Governor's Stakes, was headed briefly but then found another gear and went on to win by 4 1/2 lengths over Headache. Seruni, who applied the pressure to the winner, held on for third. Tapizar, a 4-year-old Tapit colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.57 with Corey Nakatani up for trainer Steve Asmussen. Tapizar had been idle since finishing second to Alternation in the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park in March. He won the Grade II San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita in January after finishing a respectable fifth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile last fall. Another one to watch.

Key Donation put in his key run in deep stretch in Saturday's $100,000 Super Derby Prelude at Louisiana Downs and kicked clear to win by 2 lengths over the favorite Tensas Cold Front. Mr Bluegrass Music finished third. Key Donation, a Lawyer Ron colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.65 with Richard Eramia in the irons.


The Fugue, under a well-time ride by Richard Hughes, got to the front in the final 50 yards of Saturday's Group 1 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, shook clear and won by a length over pacesetting Timepiece. Aidan O'Brien's Was finished third and Izzi Top was fourth. The Fugue, a 3-year-old daughter of Dansili, improved on her second-place finish last time out in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot and now has three wins from six starts. Two races back, she was third, behind Was, in the Investec Oaks at Epsom. Saturday, she finished slightly over 1 1/4 miles on good ground in a leisurely 2:09.61. Hughes said winning trainer John Gosden told him to be mindful that the Oaks and the Ribblesdale were hard races for The Fugue and not to ask too much of her. "I managed to win without giving her a belt," he said. Any or all of the top four could resurface in the Yorkshire Oaks on Aug. 23.


Moonlight Cloud easily bypassed pacesetting The Cheka with about 250 yards to run in Sunday's Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville and quickly was clear, winning by 5 lengths over Whizz Kid. American Devil finished third but was demoted for interference, leaving The Checka with third-place honors. Moonlight Cloud, a 4-year-old Invincible Spirit filly trainer by Freddie Head and ridden by Thierry Jarnet, finished the 6 1/2 furlongs over going rated "very soft" in a good 1:15.50. Moonlight Cloud nearly made -- or ended, depending on point of view -- history by finishing second by a head to Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. She now has six wins and two seconds from 11 starts.

Other Breeders' Cup divisions:


It was a nautical kind of weekend amongst the speedsters, with Poseidon's Warrior and Guam Typhoon gracing winners' circles.

Poseidon's Warrior, at 36-1, outfinished Justin Phillip and Emcee to win Sunday's $400,000, Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. Only a neck separated first from second and second from third. The heavy favorite, Shackleford, was used early and gave up the ghost, finishing last of eight. Poseidon's Warrior, a 4-year-old Speightstown colt, ran the 6 furlongs on a muddy track in 1:09.40 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons. He had not been close at the end of three previous starts this year and finished sixth in his only previous graded stakes effort, the Grade I King's Bishop, also at Saratoga, last year. "This was a race we've been looking at for a long time," said winning trainer Butch Reid, who is based in Pennsylvania. "He was a notch below the top horses last year. If we had known Shackleford was coming, we'd probably have made other plans." Shackleford's trainer, Dale Romans, said jockey John Velazquez reported his mount was "spinning his wheels" on the off track. "We'll try 'em again in the Forego," Romans said. "But I don't think I'll ever run him back on a sloppy racetrack, no matter the circumstances ... . He is kind of finicky about what he runs on, and it's been the only thing he's been finicky about."

Guam Typhoon surged to the lead early in the stretch run in Saturday's $100,000 Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial at Mountaineer, then held on to win by a neck over St. Maximus Gato. Mega Rush finished third. Guam Typhoon, a 6-year-old Distorted Humor gelding, ran the 6 furlongs on the main track in 1:08.58 with Daniel Centeno up. It was the seventh straight win for Guam Typhoon on four different tracks while slowly climbing the class ladder. He had won the $50,000 Chesapeake Stakes at Colonial Downs in his last previous outing.

Filly & Mare Sprint

C C's Pal ran short of running room in the stretch run in Friday's $200,000, Grade II Honorable Miss Handicap at Saratoga. But once jockey Junior Alvarado got her a place to run, the 5-year-old Alex's Pal mare went about her business, putting a neck in front of Island Bound at the wire. Beat the Blues was a long shot third and the favorite, It's Me Mom, faded after setting a rapid early clip (21.14 seconds for the first quarter mile and a half in 43.78) and finished next-last of eight. C C's Pal ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.88. "They went real, real fast, and I was in a nice spot saving ground," Alvarado said. "She really gave me a nice kick at the end." Winning trainer Richard Dutrow said he hasn't slated a next race. "Right now, we'll keep her running short," he said.

Emma's Encore rallied by the pacesetting favorite, Agave Kiss, in the final sixteenth in Saturday's $300,000, Grade I Prioress Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and went on to win by a nose over Judy the Beauty. Agave Kiss finished third, 1 3/4 lengths farther in arrears. Emma's Encore, a Congrats filly, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.35 with Alvarado continuing a hot streak in the irons. "She really had to run today," winning trainer H. Allen Jerkens said. "Nothing was in her favor today ... . It looked like speed was holding on pretty good." Ramon Dominguez, aboard Agave Kiss, said, "I don't know. She ran good. She tried."


Harrod's Creek got to the front in the lane in Friday's $100,000 John's Call Stakes at Saratoga and waved goodbye to his five rivals, winning off by 3 3/4 lengths. The favorite, Tahoe Lake, finished second and Hailstone was third. Harrod's Creek, a 5-year-old son of Langfuhr, got the 1 5/8 miles on firm turf in 2:38.55 with Junior Alvarado riding. Harrod's Creek had been running well against graded stakes company but had not won since last October in a Keeneland allowance race. He was sixth in the Grade III Stars and Stripes in his last previous outing. Trainer Bill Mott said the grass at Arlington that day was "kind of slippery ... and he didn't seem to like it. I thought the conditions today would probably suit him a little better."

Turf Sprint

Chamberlain Bridge rallied to the lead three-wide in the stretch run of Saturday's $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes at Monmouth Park and shot clear, winning by 2 1/2 lengths over Ju Jitsu Jax. Just Chillin Boss finished third. Chamberlain Bridge, the 2010 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner, ran the 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:01.92 with Paco Lopez aboard. It was a rare win for the 8-year-old War Chant gelding, though. It was only his third win since the Breeders' Cup triumph.

Ladies Classic

Include Me Out got to the lead at midstretch in Saturday's $300,000, Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes for fillies and mares and held off Star Billing by a neck for the victory. Amani came from well back to finish third, 3/4 of a length ahead of the pacesetter, Switch. Include Me Out, a 4-year-old Include filly, ran the 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:41.96 with Joe Talamo aboard and earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic through the "Win and You're In" program. She won her first three starts this year, all graded stakes, before finishing second to Love Theway Youare in the Grade I Vanity in her last previous outing. She now has six wins and three seconds from 11 career starts. Asked about the Breeders' Cup, winning trainer Ron Ellis said Include Me Out is better on dirt than synthetic courses. "We're really excited she's in good form right how and she'll have a couple months before she has to run again at Santa Anita," Ellis said. "We're very excited about that."

Wondering what happened to last year's undefeated 2-year-old filly champ, My Miss Aurelia? Well, she's set to make her first start of 2012 on Wednesday in the $100,000 Mandy's Gold Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs over the Saratoga main track, where she won the first two races of her career. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner has been sidelined with a shin problem but resumed working in May. Julien Leparoux is set to ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.


We said we'd know more about Know More after trainer Doug O'Neill saddled him to his career debut in Sunday's $150,000, Grade II Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar. What we know now is that Know More is pretty good. The Lion Heart colt, out of the Seattle Slew mare Seattle Qui, rallied from mid-pack to win by a half length, despite trying to get in late in the stretch run. Heir Kitty was second, Miss Empire third and the favorite, Iowa-bred phenom Scherer Magic, a dull fifth. Know Now ran the 6 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:16.14 with Garrett Gomez up. Gomez said the colt has been "a work in progress" in training but, "Today, he did it right ... . It takes a special kind of horse to do what he did. We just have to be hopeful that he's all that we think he is." O'Neill said the result "exceeded our expectations" and that Know More will be pointed to the Del Mar Futurity.

Maybe So won a stretch duel with Circle Unbroken in Saturday's $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile, scoring by a neck over the odds-on favorite. Both came off wins at Churchill Downs. Pitch N Roll was third. Maybe So, a More Than Ready colt out of the Grand Slam mare Wish On, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.09 with Mike Smith up. Maybe So now is 2-for-2.

Cagey Rascal wore down pacesetting Wolf Pack Jack in the late going to win Saturday's $75,000 Iowa Cradle state for state-breds at Prairie Meadows by a length. The odds-on favorite, Senor Captain, came up empty when asked and settled for third. Cagey Rascal, a gelded son of Added Edge, ran the 6 furlongs on a good track in 1:11.14 for jockey Ken Tohill. He now has won two in a row as the Iowa oval.

Strong Wind bobbled a bit at the start of Wednesday's $100,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds at Del Mar but recovered quickly and went on to win by 4 1/4 lengths over Just Call Me Al. Lovmeister finished third and the favorite, Law Dog, was eased after stumbling at the start. Strong Wind, a Tribal Rule colt out of the Memo mare Chalk Face, ran the 5 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:04.14 with Kevin Krigger up. "There's so much money in the Cal-bred stakes, I don't know why we would want to go against open company at this point," winning trainer Steve Knapp said.

Muppet Man stalked the pace in Saturday's $65,000 Meadowlake Stakes at Arlington Park, shot to the lead in the stretch and went on to win by 4 3/4 lengths. Triple Cross ran best late to finish second and Stormin Monarcho finished third. Muppet Man, a Corinthian colt, got the 7 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:23.97 with Jeffrey Sanchez in the irons. Muppet Man remained perfect in two starts. He wired the field in his maiden-breaker.

Special Skills got home first by a nose in Saturday's $50,000 Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware Park but was set down to second for impeding Private Tutor in the final furlong. Tru Greek finished third at a long price. Private Tutor, the adjudged winner, is a Student Council colt, trained by Alan Goldberg. The "about" 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf went in 1:32.48.

Brown Almighty gave sire Big Brown his first stakes winner by taking Saturday's $50,000 Sunny's Halo at Louisiana Downs. Brown Almighty stayed near the early pace under Mark Guidry, saved ground the whole way and won by 2 3/4 lengths over Mr. Bandini's Band. Unbridled's Score finished third. Brown Almighty ran the 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:30.92 and ran his record to 2-for-2.

Rip Roarin Ritchie was quickly on the lead in Sunday's $60,000 Tyro Stakes on the Monmouth Park turf, set a good clip and got home first by a half length over I'm Boundtoscore. Itsmyluckyday finished third. Rip Roarin Ritchie, a Bring the Heat gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm going in 56.46 seconds with Elvis Trujillo up. He came into the race off a win at Churchill Downs.

Juvenile Fillies

One to watch: Tara From the Cape ran through a gap between the leaders with ease in the stretch run of Thursday's $50,000 Thomas "Tuck" Greene Memorial at Delaware Park, opened up and won by 2 1/2 lengths over pacesetting Laila Baby. Political Pupil finished third. Tara From the Cape, a Leroidesanimaux filly from the Saint Ballado mare Royal Irish Lass, ran the "about" 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:31.96 with Joe Bravo up for trainer Todd Pletcher. It was her second win without a loss, following a 4-lengths romp going 4 1/2 furlongs on Woodbine's all-weather track on June 9.

Gold Edge edged All Her Class by 3/4 length in Saturday's $65,000 Lisa M Stakes at Arlington Park, making up ground on the outside in deep stretch to secure the win. Bridgette Bordeaux was third and the favorite, Bluegrass Ellie, faded from the lead to finish eighth. Gold Edge, an Eddington filly, ran the 7 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:25.93 under Chris Emigh. She now has won both her career starts.

Cryptic Message was sent to the front early in Sunday's $125,000 (Canadian) Nandi Stakes for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies and got home first by a length. Professor's Ride was second and Silent Star third. Cryptic Message, a Cryptograph filly, ran the 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:11.15 with Eurico Da Silva up. She remains undefeated in three starts.

Promise Me More won at first asking in Saturday's $50,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial at Louisiana Downs, rallying from last of eight to win by 2 lengths over the early leader, My Daughter's Song. Fleet Dawn finished third. Promise Me More, a More Than Ready filly, ran 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:31.35 with Mark Guidry in the irons. She was the only first-timer in the field.

Significant Bling dueled to the lead in Saturday's $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies, then held off the odds-on favorite, Scammony, at the end to win by a half length. Brook's Secret finished third. Significant Bling, a daughter of Too Much Bling, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:10.89 with Deshawn Parker riding and now is undefeated after four starts. Two of the wins have come in added-money races.

Contessa's Moment came three-wide at the furlong marker in Saturday's $75,000 Iowa Sorority for state-breds at Prairie Meadows and drew off to break her maiden by 2 1/2 lengths at odds of 36-1. Lady Kee led for a while and finished second with Cat Five' O third. Contessa's Moment, a Kafwain filly, got the 6 furlongs on a good track in 1:12.24 with Ken Tohill in the irons.

Goin to the Window raced just in front of Blueberry Smoothie into the stretch run in Sunday's $50,000 Angie C. Stakes at Emerald Downs, then edged clear in the late going to win by 1 length over that rival. Valid Vixen Queen finished third. Goin to the Window, a Tapit filly out of the Indian Charlie mare Queens Full, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.01 with Juan Gutierrez in the irons. She now has won both of her starts.


Lookin' around:


Irish Mission bid for the lead at mid-stretch in Sunday's $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the final jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, and held on to win by a half length over stretch-running Aldous Snow. Quaesitor finished third and the favorite, Dixie Strike, faded in the stretch after contending and finished sixth of 14. Irish Mission, a Giant's Causeway filly running against males, ran the 1 1/2 miles on firm turf in 2:30.90 with Alex Solis up for trainer Mark Frostad. Irish Mission won the Woodbine Oaks on June 3, then finished second in the Queen's Plate and sixth in the Prince of Wales, the first two jewels of the Triple Crown. Overall, she now has three wins from seven starts. "I don't think you've seen the best of this filly," said Frostad. "I think as a 4- and 5-year-old, she could be any kind of horse."

Alpha Bettor caught City Wolf in the final yards of Saturday's $150,000, Grade III Seagram Cup, winning by a half length at 23-1 odds. James Street finished third and the favorite, Pool Play, was fourth. Alpha Bettor, a 4-year-old Alphabet Soup colt, ran the 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather track in 1:43.79 with Tyler Pizarro riding. "He's an overachiever kind of horse, and on the right day, when he lays it right down, he'll beat the good guys," winning trainer Daniel Vella said.



Julie's Love outran Dealbata to win Saturday's $100,000 De La Rose Stakes for fillies and mares by a half length. The early leader, Dancing to Town, finished third. Julie's Love, a 4-year-old, British-bred Ad Valorem filly, ran the mile on firm turf in 1:34.87 with Julien Leparoux in the irons.

San Pablo pressed the pace set by Isn't He Perfect in Thursday's $100,000 Birdstone Stakes, got by on the outside and went on to win by 3 lengths over that rival. Alma d'Oro finished third. San Pablo, a 4-year-old Jump Start colt, ran the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:48.68 with John Velazquez aboard.

Saginaw drew off smartly in the stretch run to upset Wednesday's $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes for New York-breds, winning by 5 lengths over Be Bullish. Mine Over Matter was third and the favorite, Bandbox, finished fifth. Saginaw, a 6-year-old gelding by Peruvian, ran the 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:15.17 with David Cohen up.

Beautiful But Blue got by pacesetting favorite Ricky Rachel in the stretch in Wednesday's $100,000 Fleet Indian Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares and won by 2 3/4 lengths over that rival. Miss Valentine finished third. Beautiful But Blue, a 3-year-old El Corredor filly, finished 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.43 for jockey Junior Alvarado.

Del Mar

Unusual Heatwave kicked in just when jockey Rafael Bejarano asked him to, and when it counted, in Friday's $200,000 Real Big Deal Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds and outfinished Rousing Sermon to win by 3/4 of a length. Got Even finished third and the favorite, Derby Gold, finished fifth. Unusual Heatwave, an Unusual Heat colt, ran the 7 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:22.35. "You know, you can do almost anything when you're on the best horse," Bejarano said.


Golden Country won a three-way battle to the wire in Saturday's $100,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup, scoring by a half length over Immortal Eyes. Time for a Winner finished third. Golden Country, a 7-year-old son of Menifee, got the 4 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 50.95 seconds.

Sweet Cassiopeia kicked clear in the stretch run in Saturday's $100,000 West Virginia Secretary of State, winning off by 4 1/4 lengths over Tamarind Hall. Speedacious finished third. Sweet Cassiopeia, a 4-year-old Five Star Day filly, finished 6 furlongs in 1:09.27 with Daniel Centeno aboard.

Frontside showed her backside to 10 rivals in Saturday's $100,000 West Virginia Senate President's Cup, leading all the way and winning by 3 1/4 lengths. Counterparty finished second and Brilliant Future was home third. Frontside, a 4-year-old War Front filly, ran 1 mile and 70 yards on firm turf in 1:37.29 under Leandro Goncalves.

Major Marvel rallied from just off the pace to win Saturday's $100,000 West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Cup by 1 3/4 lengths over Tonto Fontenot. Sneakin Thru came wide around rivals to take third at 60-1 odds. Major Marvel, a 6-year-old Bernstein gelding, ran 1 mile and 70 yards of firm turf in 1:36.21 with Mike Smith up.

Canterbury Park

Ruthville got first run to the lead in the stretch in Saturday's $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes, opened up a sizable lead and coasted home first, a length ahead of the favorite, Bryan's Jewel. Zaphyra finished third. Ruthville, a 5-year-old Afleet Alex mare, ran the mile on good turf in 1:37.45 with Dean Butler at the controls for trainer Mike Stidham. Hooh Why and Our Lady in Red were late scratches.

Starlite Starbrite led virtually from the first twinkle in Saturday's $50,000 Hoist Her Flag Stakes for fillies and mares and had no trouble, coasting home first by 2 3/4 lengths over Burst of Life. Polar Plunge finished third. Starlite Starbrite, a 5-year-old Mutakddim mare, finished the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.19 under Derek Bell.

Tickleyourfancy drew off in the final furlong to win Saturday's $50,000 Princess Elaine Stakes for Minnesota-bred fillies and mares by 2 3/4 lengths over Tez Savitri. Grace of Greatness finished third. Tickleyourfancy, a 5-year-old Forest Camp mare, got the 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:44.26 with Butler up.

Calder Race Course

Spectacular Sky waltzed to the lead in Sunday's $55,000 Barb's Dancer Stakes for fillies and mares and cruised on home first by 4 1/2 lengths. Indulgence and Nakano filled out the trifecta. Spectacular Sky, a 4-year-old Sky Mesa filly, got the 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:17.04 with Luis Saez up.

Prairie Meadows

Jokes N Jazz outfinished Gray Edge to win Saturday's $75,000 Iowa Breeders' Oaks for stsate-breds by a head. Here Comes Polly finished third. Jokes N Jazz, a daughter of It's No Joke, ran the 1 mile and 70 yards over a good track in 1:42.90 with Terry Thompson aboard.

Hes Not You worked his was to the lead on the turn in Saturday's $75,000 Iowa Breeders' Derby for state-breds, then won a battle to the wire by a neck over Freeze Your Kela. Beware the Devil finished third. Hes Not You, a Pollard's Vision gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on a good track in 1:44.23 with Israel Ocampo in the irons.

Someplace Else got to the lead between rivals turning for home in Saturday's $85,000 Donna Reed Stakes for Iowa-bred fillies and mares and maintained a steady clip down the lane to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Jeffell was second and Rico's Posse finished third. Someplace Else, a 4-year-old Harlan's Holiday filly, ran the 1 mile and 70 yards on a good track in 1:42.11 with Thompson up.

Cresco Direct Hit set a pressured pace in Saturday's $70,000 Iowa Classic Sprint for Iowa-breds, then edged clear at the end, winning by 1 1/2 lengths over Runaway Walkaway. Stormin River finished third. Cresco Direct Hit, a 7-year-old One Hundred Slews gelding, ran the 6 furlongs in 1:09.85 under Thompson.

Wings of War was up late to win Saturday's $85,000 Ralph Hayes Stakes for state-breds by 3/4 of a length over Ice Hockey. Kate's Main Man finished third. Wings of War, a 5-year-old Kafwain gelding, finished the 1 1/16 miles on a good track in 1:43.60 with Shane Laviolette in the irons.

Penn National

You needed to have You Need Me on top to cash the exacta after Friday's $75,000 Russian Rhythm Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares. With Emilio Flores riding, the 5-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie bided her time, then got by pacesetting Madrilena in the final yards to win by 3/4 of a length. Amnesian was third. The 5 furlongs on firm turf took 56.03 seconds.

Roadhog outlasted odds-on favorite Philly Ace -- and isn't that how it's gone this season for the Phillies? -- to win Friday's $75,000 Robellino Stakes for state-breds by 2 1/4 lengths. Gondwanan was a neck farther back in third. Roadhog, a 5-year-old Bowman's Band gelding, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.89 for jockey Horacio Karamanos.

Northlands Park

Devil in Disguise took a daylight lead early in the stretch run in Saturday's $50,000 Count Lathum Handicap for 3-year-olds, then survived a challenge by Toccetive to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Dougs Buddy finished third. Devil in Disguise, a Smarty Jones colt, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44 4/5 with Mario Gutierrez in the irons.

Tempered Sapphire got to the lead early in the stretch run of Friday's $50,000 (Canadian) Northlands Oaks and was all out to prevail by half a length over the favorite, Madeira Park. Plethora finished third. Tempered Sapphire, a daughter of Tempered Appeal, ran the mile on a fast track in 1:40 with Rico Walcott in the irons.

Calder Race Course

Indiano went by pacesetting Abdel's Ghost easily in the stretch run in Saturday's $55,000 Giant Ryan Stakes and 5 1/2 lengths. Close It Out closed out the trifecta. Indiano, despite being drifted out five-wide on the turn by the early leader, finished the 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:16.84 with Luis Saez up.

Louisiana Downs

Go Tiger Jack found running room on the rail late in Saturday's $50,000 Barksdale Stakes and was just up to beat the pacesetter, Regions Reward, by a half length. Heavenville made up ground in the lane to finish third. Go Tiger Jack, a 5-year-old Victory Gallop gelding, got the mile on firm turf in 1:36.80 with Mark Guidry riding.

Santa Rosa

Tribal Tribute won a bumping stretch duel with the favorite, Tiz Point, in Saturday's $50,000 Robert Dupret Derby, scoring by 3/4 of a length. He's Cagey finished third. Tribal Tribute, a Tribal Rule gelding, ran the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:45.04 with Frank Alvarado riding.

Shudacudawudya rallied four-wide on the turn in Sunday's $50,000 Jess Jackson Owners Handicap and was just along in time to score by a neck over Ain't No Other. The early leader, Starboardlights, finished third. Shudacudawudya, a 5-year-old Marino Marini gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 58.04 seconds with Julien Couton up.

Control Seeker let others control the pace in Sunday's $50,000 Joseph T. Grace Handicap, then came along late to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Acafella ran from the back of the pack to finish second with pacesetting Royal Dream settling for third. Control Seeker, a 6-year-old Sought After gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:44.84 with Francisco Duran riding.

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