Surprises mark some headline events in weekend U.S. horse racing

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
Coachwhip flies to victory in Saturday's Grade III Arlington Matron at Arlington Park. Photo courtesy of Arlington Park
Coachwhip flies to victory in Saturday's Grade III Arlington Matron at Arlington Park. Photo courtesy of Arlington Park

June 3 (UPI) -- Some rattling upsets afflicted North American racing during the weekend, including Paradise Woods's loss to La Force in California and Moon Landing springing the surprise in the $500,000 Penn Mile.

We've got all of that, plus more. Pink Lloyd has started another winning streak. Wondering where the runner-up in the 2017 Kentucky Derby is these days? Check out the "Around the ovals" section under Sunray Park.


But first, the big races:


La Force, whose connections passed up a trip to Chicago for the Grade III Arlington Matron, made the move pay off with an upset victory in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita. La Force, a 5-year-old, German-bred mare by Power, raced last of five into the stretch turn, came four-wide to gain the lead and got clear, winning by 1 1/4 lengths. The odds-on favorite, Paradise Woods, bobbled at the start, then could not stay with the winner down the stretch, finishing second. La Force, with Drayden Van Dyke riding for trainer Paddy Gallagher, got 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.91.


"Yes, anything can happen in racing and something just happened," said Gallagher. "The favorite was 1-5 and she didn't probably have her best shot today. La Force has been running in these spots for quite a while now and she's been close and then ... sometimes you get disappointed and you really shouldn't. If you're running second or third in a graded stakes with a filly, you should always be very happy."

The race Gallagher passed on turned up a pretty good winner of its own as Coachwhip, making her first start on anything other than turf, posted a late-running victory in Saturday's $100,000 Grade III Arlington Matron at Arlington Park. With Tyler Baze in for the ride, Coachwhip kept pressure on the pacesetter, Daddy's Boo, went by that one easily at the top of the lane and won off by 3 1/2 lengths. Strawberry Tequila was second and Na Pali Spirit third.

Coachwhip came to the Matron on the back of a third-place finish in the Grade III Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland. Trainer Jack Sisterson said Baze learned a lot about the Calumet Farm homebred daughter of So You Think in the Bewitch. "All credit to Tyler Baze. He got her to relax," Sisterson said.


The trainer said Calumet will be back at Arlington to contest the grass stakes events this summer, but the exact makeup of the raiding parties remains in flux.


Demarchelier and Seismic Wave rolled down the stretch together from the back of the pack to finish 1-2 in Saturday's $200,000 Grade III Pennine Ridge Stakes for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park. The favorite, Social Paranoia, was third. Demarchelier, a British-bred colt by Dubawi out of the Sadler's Wells mare Loveisallyouneed, ran 1 1/8 miles on good turf in 1:48.20 with Javier Castellano up for trainer Chad Brown. The colt remains undefeated in three starts.

"After he broke his maiden we had mapped out a plan to get to the Belmont Derby and fortunately it looks like the plan is coming together," Brown said, referring to the $1 million Grade I event July 6. "He's a really top-quality colt. Obviously well-bred and well-ridden each time. It's exciting to have a horse headed to that big race."

In Sunday's $150,000 Cinema Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita, Neptune's Storm pressed the pace made by King of Speed, came to even terms turning for home and edged clear to a 1-length victory. Parsimony was third, a neck in front of King of Speed. Neptune's Storm, a Stormy Atlantic gelding, ran 9 furlongs on firm turf in 1:48.65 with Drayden Van Dyke in the irons. He won the Singletary Stakes in April and was second in the Pasadena Stakes before that for trainer Richard Baltas.


Part-owner Mike Nentwig said Baltas "is pushing to go a little farther and there is this mile and a quarter race at Belmont for some big money coming up and we may want to take a shot at it."

Filly & Mare Turf

Lady Prancelot rallied way out to the middle of the course at the top of the stretch and wore down Hostess in the final yards to take Saturday's $150,000 Grade III Honeymoon Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita by 3/4 length. Over Emphasize was 1 1/2 lengths back of Hostess in third. Lady Prancealot, an Irish-bred daughter of Sir Prancealot, finished 9 furlongs on firm going in 1:49.08 with Joe Talamo up. Earlier in the season, she finished third in the Grade III Providencia Stakes and second in the Grade III Senorita.

Noting Talamo's extremely wide arc through the turn, Lady Prancelot's trainer, Richard Baltas, said, "Joe rode a great race. He cut the corner -- yeah, right! It set up well and Joe was very patient. She ran huge."

Back east, Regal Glory was the heaviest of favorites in Saturday's $200,000 Penn Oaks at Penn National and ran to her notices. After waiting patiently for jockey Luis Saez to give the go-ahead, the Animal Kingdom filly quickly put charge and put matters to rest, winning by 2 3/4 lengths, well in hand. Alasaayil and Jennifer's Dream completed the trifecta. Regal Glory, trained by Chad Brown, finished 1 mile on yielding turf in 1:39.43. She now has three wins and two seconds from five starts, including a runner-up finish in the Grade II Appalachian at Keeneland in April.


Turf Mile

Moon Colony found a soft landing spot in Saturday's $500,000 Grade II Penn Mile for 3-year-olds at Penn National. After trailing the leaders and saving ground, Julien Leparoux got the Uncle Mo colt rolling in the stretch and he shook clear late, winning by 1 1/4 lengths. Casa Creed also rallied by pacesetting Real News to take second by 3/4 length over that rival. Moon Colony finished in 1:37.45 over yielding turf. It was his third win, first in a stakes event.

"You know what? He's a pretty good horse," The Blood-Horse quoted winning trainer Mark Casse. "He was kind of an underachiever early on. I thought his last race at Gulfstream was really good. We brought him home to our training center, and I saw a different horse. I thought he'd run really well."

Turf Sprint

Extravagant Kid pressed the pace made by 30-1 long shot Jazzy Times in Saturday evening's $120,000 Mighty Beau Stakes at Churchill Downs, eased by that one late and won by 3/4 length. Texas Wedge was third and the favorite, tired to finish last of eight. Extravagant Kid, a 6-year-old Kiss the Kid gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 56.79 seconds with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons. A consistent in-the-money finisher, Extravagent Kid was coming off a second-place finish in the Grade III Jacques Cartier Stakes at Woodbine. He has hit the board in 25 of 34 career starts.


El Tormenta won a stretch-long duel with Emmaus in Saturday's $210,000 (Canadian) Connaught Stakes at Woodbine, scoring by a neck with Curlin's Honor third. Blocked entering the lane, jockey Luis Contreras urged El Tormenta through a narrow opening, bumping with a rival, before reaching contention. The 4-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding went on to finish 7 furlongs on firm going in 1:20.29, winning for the third time in his first appearance at the graded stakes level.

Around the ovals:


Pink Lloyd rallied to the lead at the top of the stretch in Saturday's weather-delayed $125,000 (Canadian) Greenwood Stakes for Ontario-breds, opened a daylight lead and coasted home first by 1 3/4 lengths over Marten Lake. The 7-year-old Old Forester gelding, who compiled an 11-race winning streak extending from 2017 through most of 2018, now has won two in a row.

Souper Hot stalked the pace set by Souper Success in Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian) Bold Ruckus Stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds, then slowly got the advantage while battling through the final furlong and won by a neck. Corduroy Road was third. Souper Hot, a Souper Speedy colt, ran 6 furlongs on firm turf in 1:09.42 with Eurico Da Silva up.

Monmouth Park


Bronzed and Sombeyay hooked up in a long duel from the turn through the stretch in Sunday's $75,000 Lookin At Lucky Stakes for 3-year-olds with Bronzed prevailing by a head bob under the wire. The favorite, The Big S, was third, 5 1/2 lengths up the track. Bronzed, a Fed Biz gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.07 with Nik Juarez riding.

Standard Deviation rallied four-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $75,000 Tale of the Cat Stakes for 3-year-olds and won by 2 lengths over the favorite, Empire of War. Solidify came from last of six to finish third. Standard Deviation, a Curlin colt, finished 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:41.85 under Antonio Gallardo.

Penn National

A strong stakes program, both open and state-bred, supported Saturday's Grade II Penn Mile.

Bronx Beauty pressed the pace set by the favorite, Ms Locust Point, in the $100,000 Penn Ladies Dash, got by that one and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Bronx Beauty, a 4-year-old Liaison filly, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.57 under Manny Franco, just missing the track record by 0.14 second.

Midtowncharlybrown showed the way in the $100,000 Chocolate Town Sprint and held on to win by a neck over Killybegs Captain. Midtowncharlybrown, a 5-year-old son of Uptowncharlybrown, reported in 1:08.83 with Roberto Rosado in the irons.


Dynatail tracked right behind a long shot leader in the $100,000 Susquehanna Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf, assumed the lead when that one had enough and ran on strongly to win by 2 lengths over Enchanted Ghost. Dynatail, a 5-year-old Hightail mare out of the Dynaformer mare Southern Dynamo, finished 1 1/16 miles over yielding going in 1:46.12 with Luis Saez up.

Pure Sensation was quickly on the lead in the $100,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at 5 furlongs on the yielding grass, then just did hold off Completed Pass, winning by a neck. The 8-year-old Zensational gelding reported in 58.03 seconds with Kendrick Carmouche riding.

On the state-bred front: Gotta Be Strong split rivals in the lane in the $100,000 New Start Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and beat the favorite, I'm the Talent, by 1/2 length. Call Paul, the prohibitive favorite, ran to his notices in the $100,000 Danzig Stakes for 3-year-olds, winning by 6 lengths.

Lone Star Park

Mr Money Bags kicked away strongly down the lane in Saturday's $65,000 Stymie Division of the Texas Stallion Stakes for eligible 3-year-old colts and geldings, winning by 11 1/2 lengths. Gold Buyer and Moro Charlie were second and third. Mr Money Bags, a Silver City gelding, got 1 mile on a fast track in 1:36.56 under Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez.


Prairie Meadows

Uncle Chad took a quick lead in Saturday's $62,500 Gray's Lake Stakes for 3-year-old, Iowa-bred colts and gelding and rolled on to win by 2 lengths over Knight Commander. Kauai, the odds-on favorite, was third. Uncle Chad, a Majestic Warrior gelding, finished 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.52 with Walter De La Cruz in the irons.

Run With the Brave rallied bravely after a bad start left her last of six in Friday's $62,500 Bob Bryant Stakes for 3-year-old, Iowa-bred fillies, then was along just in time to win by a neck from Stella Marie. It was 2 more lengths back to Snappy Gal in third. Run With the Brave, a daughter of Warrior's Reward, reported in 1:11.64 with Glenn Corbett at the controls.


Proper Discretion showed her heels to three rivals in Saturday's $75,000 Michael G. Mackey Angenora Memorial Stakes for Ohio-bred fillies and mares, winning by 9 lengths. True Cinder, Ali Blue and My Belle Michelle completed the order of finish. Proper Discretion, a 6-year-old mare by Discreetly Mine, got 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.68 with Scott Speith up.

Emerald Downs

Anyportinastorm, the odds-on favorite, led most of the way to a 2 1/2-lengths victory in Sunday's $50,000 Governor's Stakes. Oh Marvelous Me and Grinder Sparksaglow (really!) were second and third. Anyportinastorm, a 5-year-old, Florida-bred son of City Zip, zipped 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:07.54 under Juan Hernandez.


Hastings Racecourse

Summerland, the heavy favorite, won Saturday's $50,000 (Canadian) Emerald Downs Handicap for 3-year-old fillies by an easy 6 lengths with Warrior's Promise beating the other two. Summerland, a daughter of He's Tops, stopped the timer at 1:16.21 after 6 1/2 furlongs over a fast track with Enrique Gonzalez riding.

Explode delivered a stout run through the lane in Sunday's $50,000 (Canadian) River Rock Casino Handicap for 3-year-olds, then drew off to win by 4 1/2 lengths as the odds-on choice. Dat Day and Dr John H filled the trifecta slots. Explode, a Trappe Shot gelding, got home in 1:17.19 with Amadeo Perez in the irons.

Sunray Park

Pendleton crushed four rivals in Sunday's $75,000 San Juan County Commissioners Stakes, kicking away to win by 14 1/2 lengths. Lookin At Lee was second, another 6 3/4 lengths to the good of Bokeelia Island. Pendleton, a 5-year-old Giant's Causeway gelding, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.50 with Frank Reyes up. And yes, that is the same Lookin At Lee who finished second behind Always Dreaming in the 2017 Kentucky Derby. He still has only three wins from 24 career starts but earnings north of $1.2 million.


Kram took an early lead in Saturday's $50,000 Dr. O.G. Fischer Memorial for fillies and mares and exended the advantage to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Lake Time and Performance Review completed the trifecta. Kram, a 4-year-old Colonel John filly, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.79 with Alfredo Juarez Jr. riding.

Century Mile

Im Evin Im Leavin took over in the final furlongs of Sunday's $50,000 (Canadian) Chariot Chaser Handicap for 3-year-old fillies and drew off to win by 3 1/2 lengths over Exactly. Something About Me was another 8 lengths back in third with another gap of 19 3/4 lengths to Maxcee. Gem of Inception did not finish but walked off. Im Evin Im Leavin, a Can the Man filly, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.22 with Prayvin Badrie in the irons.

Sharp Dressed Beau found good late speed in Sunday's $50,000 (Canadian) Western Canada Handicap for 3-year-olds, rallying to win by 2 lengths. Call It a Wrap and Coco Tiger were second and third. Sharp Dressed Beau, an Oregon-bred gelding by Car Talk, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.06 with Rigo Sarmiento up.

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