Aug. 5 (UPI) -- McKinzie was a dominating winner in the Whitney, Mr. Money got the money in West Virgina and Leinster continued his rapid rise in the ranks of turf sprinters -- just the headlines in a big summer weekend of Thoroughbred racing.
Along the way, trainer Brad Cox had graded stakes winners at both Saratoga and Del Mar Saturday and added another stakes tally in West Virginia. He also had a stakes winner on the turf Sunday at Ellis Park.
Around the world, around the clock -- here's all the action:
Everything worked out perfectly for McKinzie in Saturday's $1 million, Grade I Whitney at Saratota. Two-time Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow was scratched hours before the race with a fever, eliminating one of the tougher opponents. Then jockey Mike Smith gave McKinzie the perfect ride, positioning him second behind the early speed. When the time came, the 4-year-old Street Sense colt had the needed kick, taking the lead and cruising to a 1 3/4-lengths win.
Yoshida came running a bit too late, finishing second after trailing the field. It was another 4 3/4 lengths back to Vino Rosso in third as McKinzie finished the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:47.10.
McKinzie now has seven wins and four seconds from 12 starts. The sole blot on his resume is a 12th-place finish in last fall's Breeders' Cup Classic. The Whitney victory, his fourth Grade I, gives the colt a "Win and You're In" shot at redemption when the Breeders' Cup World Championships return to Santa Anita this fall and trainer Bob Baffert and the Watson-Pegram-Weitman ownership team are eager to avail themselves of that opportunity.
"I don't know where we'll go from here," said Baffert, who won the Whitney for the first time. "I'd like to run him one more time before the Breeders' Cup Classic. Originally, my plan was to run him in the Met Mile and keep him in California. I said I need to get a sexy win in him and the Whitney -- it doesn't get sexier than that."
Yoshida, a 5-year-old son of Heart's Cry, has not won since last year's Woodward although he was a close-up fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic. Saturday's run might give him a new lease on life. "We were pleased enough to probably go on to the next one, maybe the Woodward," trainer Bill Mott said. We'll see.
Down in West Virginia, odds-on favorite Mr. Money got the money in Saturday's $500,000 Grade III West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer. The Goldencents colt, with Gabriel Saez in for the ride, tracked the early pace and then asserted himself around the final turn, drawing off to win by 6 lengths. Chess Chief edged the early leader, UAE Derby winner Plus Que Parfait, for second. Mr. Money finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.28. It was his fourth straight win, all Grade III events.
One race earlier on the Mountaineer card, Silver Dust seized the lead late in the $200,000 Grade III West Virginia Governor's Stakes for 3-year-olds and up and edged former Mexican champion Kukulkan by 1/2 length. Snapper Sinclair was another 1/2 length back in third. Silver Dust, a 5-year-old Tapit gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.85 with Jack Gilligan up.
Tom's d'Etat tracked the pace in Friday's $100,000 Alydar Stakes at Saratoga, surged to a daylight lead early in the stretch run and held gamely to win by 1 length over Wooderson. It was 6 3/4 lengths back to Golden Brown in third. Tom's d'Etat, a 6-year-old son of Smart Strike, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:45.45 with Joel Rosario riding. Absent from the winner's circle after his last three starts, Tom's d'Etat was third in the Grade II Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs in his most recent effort.
"It gives us a little confidence thinking about the Woodward, possibly," said Tom's d'Etat's trainer, Al Stall Jr. "We'll keep an eye on him and take it minute to minute from here. He's in good form and this is a confidence builder for me and him." The $750,000 Grade I Woodward is scheduled for Aug. 31 and last year's Travers and Belmont Derby winner, Catholic Boy, is one of those still under consideration for that one.
Out west in New Mexico, Lookin At Lee rallied from last of five to win Saturday's $200,000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap by 1/2 length. Bokeelia Island was second after taking a brief late lead and the odds-on favorite, Pendleton, settled for third, another 3 1/4 lengths back. Lookin At Lee, a 5-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky from Steve Asmussen's far-flung brigades, ran 9 furlongs on a muddy, sealed track in 1:51.76 with Alfredo Juarez Jr. at the controls.
If the name sounds familiar, it's because Lookin At Lee was the 33-1 runner-up to Always Dreaming in the 2017 Kentucky Derby -- the cream in the Oreo cookie of a trifecta, also including Battle of Midway, that returned $16,594.40 for a $2 investment. Oh yeah, THAT Lookin At Lee.
A Thread of Blue took the lead early in Sunday's $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational and held it through the whole 1 3/16 miles, winning by 1 length over Digital Age. The Aidan O'Brien-trained Irish raider, Cape of Good Hope, gave it a go in the stretch after lagging well back but settled for third, another 1 1/4 lengths back. A Thread of Blue, a Hard Spun colt, reported in 1:52.02 with Luis Saez riding for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
The top four from the $1 million Belmont Derby -- Henley's Joy, Social Paranoia, Rock Emperor and Digital Age -- finished fifth, fourth, sixth and second in the second leg of the new NYRA series. A Thread of Blue, meanwhile, won three in a row at Gulfstream Park this winter, finished second in the Grade II American Turf at Churchill Downs on Derby Day and fourth in the Grade II Penn Mile before this breakthrough.
He's a very talented horse and we thought he could get the distance," McLaughlin said. "Now the next one (the $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational Sept. 7 at Belmont Park), we might have to talk about a mile and a half. But we got this one. We're happy with this."
Kingly, making his first start on the grass, led the way in Sunday's $150,000 Grade II La Jolla Stakes for 3-year-olds at Del Mar, shook off one challenge from Neptune's Storm, then had to deal with that one again in the final strides, winning by a neck. Jasikan finished third 3 3/4 lengths farther up the grassy stretch. Kingly, a Tapit colt, gave trainer Bob Baffert a rare turf winner, finishing 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:39.95 with Mario Gutierrez in the irons.
"His prior races have been a little erratic," Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes said of Kingly. "We tried to cover him up, take him back and a few things. But at the end of the day, I think it's best to just let him run. He's a Tapit and they're all different but I think he wants to be free on the lead. When he rebroke when the other horse got close, I was very happy with him. Mario knew what to do, he had a plan and he executed it."
Lucullan made it 2-for-2 after a 14-months absence with a pace-stalking victory in Saturday's $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes at Saratoga. With Luis Saez up, the 5-year-old son of Hard Spun rallied to the lead entering the stretch, cleared the field and held on to preserve victory by nose over Sacred Life, a French import making his first start for trainer Chad Brown. Ticonderoga was third. Lucullan, racing in Godolphin blue, completed 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:39.63, just 0.56 second shy of the course record.
"The owners are patient and gave us a long time off with him," said Lucullan's trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin. "But he's a beautiful horse and trains great and does everything right. It's neat to see him in the winner's circle here." He said he will look around for the right place for Lucullan, adding, "and try to duck Bricks and Mortar."
Ellis Park on Sunday carded five $100,000 turf stakes, all leading directly to corresponding events on next month's rich Kentucky Downs card. Judging by the times, the Ellis turf was a virtual springboard.
Factor This dueled down the lane with Botswana before capturing the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes by a head from the rival. My Boy Jack came running late but got only show money, another head back. Factor This, a 4-year-old colt by The Factor, finished 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in course-record time of 1:59.12 under Florent Geroux, earning a spot in the big race next month at Kentucky Downs. Brad Cox trained another winner.
Mr. Cub edged by pacesetting long shot Siem Riep in the final strides of Sunday's $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Tourist Mile, winning by a neck. The favorite, Mr. Misunderstood, rallied from far back to get third. Mr. Cub, a 5-year-old Artie Schiller gelding, got the 1 mile on firm turf in 1:32.70, missing the course record by 0.10 second, with Brian Hernandez Jr. up, earning a spot in the Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs.
Totally Boss, the even-money favorite, came with a late rush to take Sunday's $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint by 1/2 length from Jazzy Times. Fast Boat was third. Totally Boss, a 4-year-old Street Boss gelding, ran 5 1/2 furlongs in course-record time of 1:00.26 with Geroux riding.
Of the course record, Geroux said: "We weren't expecting it but we knew the course was pretty quick today and this is a very nice horse."
Filly & Mare Turf
Beau Recall came down the stretch under a full head of steam in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar and was up just in time to win by a nose over front-running long shot Storm the Hill. The odds-on favorite, Vasilika, ran evenly but settled for third. Beau Recall, a 5-year-old, Irish-bred mare by Sir Prancealot, ran 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:41.23 with Drayden van Dyke riding for trainer Brad Cox.
Beau Recall won the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs in May and finished second in the Grade I Just a Game at Belmont Park before getting the Yellow Ribbon blue ribbon. She was sixth in last year's running and had to survive an objection before Saturday's result was made official.
"I was nervous at the finish and then it got even more nerve-wracking with the objection," said Cox assistant Danny Balthazar.
Sunday at the Spa, Fools Gold shadowed the early pace in the $200,000 Grade III Fasig-Tipton Waya Stakes for fillies and mares, got by to a clear lead in the stretch and held off Get Explicit late for the 3/4-length win. The favorite, Santa Monica, was a neck behind Get Explicit in third. Fools Gold, a 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly, ran 1 1/2 miles on firm going in 2:27.21 with Javier Castellano at the controls. It was her first stakes win and third of any kind.
"She really ran great," said Fools Gold's trainer, Chad Brown. "She's been an improving horse. I'm really proud of the way she's come along. She's progressed all season and now she's a player in this division."
Concrete Rose looked head and shoulders better than the four rivals lined up for Friday's $750,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational and looks were not deceiving. The Twirling Candy filly jumped quickly to the lead and put the matter to rest early, drawing off finally to win by 4 3/4 lengths. Irish invader Happen rallied to finish second, a nose in front of Kelsey's Cross and another head to the good of stablemate Coral Beach. Concrete Rose finished 1 3/16 miles on firm turf in 1:55.34. Julien Leparoux rode for trainer Rusty Arnold.
Concrete Rose now has won six of seven starts, the only loss coming in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last fall at Churchill Downs, where she ran eighth. She came to Saratoga on the back of a victory in the Grade I Belmont Oaks Invitational July 6, giving her two-thirds of the inaugural NYRA Turf Tiara. The Turf Tiara will conclude on Saturday, September 7 at Belmont Park, with the $1 million Jockey Club Oaks.
"It was a nice year for me to come up with a nice horse," Arnold said. "We're excited. She's so easy. I'm just on for the ride." Arnold said he was "always intrigued" with the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland, set this year for Oct. 6. However, it is going to be tough not to try to win these three races the first year they have it. To win all three, that would be awful special, so there will be a lot of talking going on."
There were two filly-mare events at Ellis Park Sunday, also offering entry to corresponding Kentucky Downs stakes.
Kallio came from mid-pack in the stretch run to take the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Turf Stakes by a neck from pacesetter Classy Act with Smart Emma another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Kallio, a 4-year-old Scat Daddy filly from the Dynaformer mare Smokey Diplomacy, ran 1 mile in 1:32.62, 0.02 second off the course record.
May Lily won a four-way battle to the wire in the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Sprint, winning by a head over Surrender Now. Coexistence and Arabella Bella were another pair of heads back in third and fourth. May Lily, a 5-year-old Broken Vow mare, ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:00.81, missing the record by 0.28 second with Gabriel Saez in the irons.
Casa Creed hooked up in a tight stretch duel with Sombeyay in Friday's $200,000 Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes for 3-year-olds, holding a slim lead through the final furlongs and winning by a head. Sombeyay held second, 1 3/4 lengths to the good of Global Access. Casa Creed, a Jimmy Creed colt, reported in 1:33.72 with Junior Alvarado riding. That time missed the course record by just 0.59 second. It was his first win since the Kitten's Joy at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 5.
"We've run him pretty hard," said winning trainer Bill Mott, whose Royal Delta was inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier Friday. "I don't think we'll be running him back at the meet. It's probably over for him for this meet. He has given us a lot, so we'll probably give him a short little break."
Got Stormy stormed home in Saturday's $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga, passing the leading trio and drawing off to win by 4 lengths. Capla Temptress came from even farther back to finish second, edging another deep closer, Stella di Camelot, by a nose for show money. Got Stormy, a 4-year-old filly by Get Stormy, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:33.15, just 0.05 second off the one-day-old course record. She had been idle since finishing second in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day in Louisville.
Got Stormy's trainer, Mark Casse, said, "This week here, I've had everything go wrong, so I was just watching. I've run some horses this week I thought would run well, and they didn't run any good, so I lost a little confidence. She made it good."
Filly & Mare Sprint
Covfefe got the best of both Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Princess and Santa Anita Oaks winner Bellafina in Saturday's $500,000 Grade I Longines Test Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga. Covfefe, a daughter of Into Mischief, let Serengeti Princess carve out the early fractions, got to a narrow lead a furlong from the line and held on to win by 1/2 length. Bellafina, away last of seven, made up a little ground late but finished third, another 8 3/4 lengths back of Covfefe, who covered 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:21.26. Joel Rosario had the mount for trainer Brad Cox.
Covfefe won the Grade III Miss Preakness at Pimlico May 17 but then faded to get home third in the Roxelana at Churchill Downs June 22. Her only previous effort beyond 6 furlongs resulted in a fading fourth-place finish in the Grade I Frizette at the Spa last fall so her persistence at 7 panels provides encouragement.
"We had to get by a Kentucky Oaks winner," said a jubilant Cox. "That's a Grade 1 winning filly on the inside and now we have a Grade 1 winner. It was a big effort and I'm super proud of her."
At Woodbine on Saturday, La Feve tracked the pace in the $120,000 (Canadian) Duchess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, took the lead late and ran on to win by 3/4 length. Intanga Rose was second, a neck better than Wings of Dawn. La Feve, a French-bred filly by George Vancouver, ran 7 furlongs on the all-weather track with Rafael Hernandez aboard for trainer Graham Motion. It was her first U.S. win in five starts although she has been competitive in all.
It took Leinster 14 tries to find the winner's circle but that first victory ignited a three-race winning streak, culminating in Saturday's $200,000 Grade III Troy Stakes. The 4-year-old Majestic Warrior colt defeated some of the nation's top turf sprinters into the bargain, rallying through the lane to win by 3/4 length from Disco Partner with the favorite, Pure Sensation, third. He finished 5 1/2 furlongs on firm going in course-record time of 1:00.23 under Tyler Gaffalione.
Not bad for a colt defeated in each of his first 13 starts. The key, obviously, was going short on the green course. His only previous experience on the grass was a troubled and fading trip at 7 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park in January although, to be fair to his connections, three of his starts last year were off-the-turf races.
"I guess it took it a long time for us to figure out what he wanted to do," said trainer Rusty Arnold. "But he figured it out. It's obviously a fast course and he seemed to like it. The plan is to go to Kentucky Downs. We were going to go there anyway (but) we wanted to see how he fit before he did it, and he fit pretty well."
Amalfi Sunrise quickly dueled her main rival into submission in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar, then took full command and won off by 6 lengths as the odds-on favorite. Powerfulattraction and Shedaresthedevil filled the trifecta while Comical, the early challenger, faded to finish last. Amalfi Sunrise, a Constitution filly trained by Simon Callaghan, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.96 with Norberto Arroyo Jr. in the irons. She improved to 2-for-2.
"It really was impressive the way she drew away at the end," Callaghan said. "She's a naturally fast filly and that's the way she likes to run, up near the pace. She took a lot of heat and still was able to pull away which was very professional."
It's worth noting that Sorrento is on Italy's Amalfi Coast, overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. From Sorrento, the Amalfi sunrise would be roughly in the direction of Pompeii.
On Sunday at Saratoga, Perfect Alibi outfinished the odds-on favorite, Frank's Rockette, to win the $200,000 Grade II Adirondack by 1/2 length. Both came from well off the pace and the winner got the better trip in the late going. Perfect Alibi, a Sky Mesa filly, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:18.39 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons. She won at first asking at Churchill Downs in May, then finished second in the Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park before the Spa effort.
Perfect Alibi's trainer, Mark Casse, said you'd never know by her lackadaisical work ethic that the filly was worth anything. "This is why you run them," he said, "because if you watched her train the past couple of weeks, you would think she wouldn't be any good."
Lenzi's Lucky Lady kicked away in the stretch run of Saturday's $100,000 Desert Vixen Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park and went on to win by 4 1/4 lengths. Sweetheart Deal was second and, 7 lengths later, Two Sixty completed the trifecta. Lenzi's Lucky Lady, a With Distinction filly, ran 6 furlongs on a sloppy, sealed track in 1:13.55 for jockey Jairo Rendon. She remains undefeated after three starts and is targeted for the remainder of the series.
First U Make Aroux rated behind the early speed in Saturday's $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies for state-breds at Louisiana Downs, went to the lead in the stretch and worked clear for a 2 1/4-lengths victory. Sarah's Passion led through the early furlongs and held second as First U Make Aroux, a daughter of Due Date out of the Indian Charlie mare Chef Bertie, finished 6 furlongs in 1:12.40. Edgar Prado had the mount for trainer Justin Jeansonne.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Trainer Wesley Ward approached the weekend's juvenile stakes at Monmouth Park with runners who finished 15th and 20th in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot -- and watched both of them win.
Karak, a Karakontie filly, got the best of her male opposition in Saturday's $75,000 Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park. Karak, 15th in England, showed no ill effects of that experience, pressing the pace under Nik Juarez before drawing off to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Now Is was second, 1 3/4 lengths to the good of Shield of Faith. The 5 furlongs on firm turf went in 57.08.
Foolish Humor, 20th in the Windsor Castle, was promoted to victory in Sunday's $76,000 Colleen Stakes when the first finisher, Miss J McKay, was set down to third for stretch interference. The disqualification also promoted Strongerthanuknow to second. Foolish Humor, a Distorted Humor filly and the odds-on favorite, led most of the way before Miss J McKay drifted in, dealing solid bumps to her two rivals. The 5 furlongs on the firm turf course went in 56.38 seconds.
Keep On Truckin kept on running through the stretch drive in Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian) Clarendon Stakes for Ontario-bred 2-year-olds at Woodbine and won off by 7 3/4 lengths as the odds-on favorite. With Emma-Jayne Wilson up, the Society's Chairman gelding ran 5 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:03.07. Meyer, Gelato Amore and Forester's Fortune completed the order of finish. Keep On Truckin improved to 2-for-2 for trainer Catherine Day Phillips. "This horse is a beast," Wilson said. "He knows what he's doing."
Chance It, the heavy favorite, won Saturday's $100,000 Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Sire Stakes by a comfortable 3 1/4 lengths despite wandering a bit through the final furlong. Liam's Lucky Charm was second and it was another 10 1/4 lengths to Absolute Grit in third. Chance It, a Currency Swap colt, negotiated 6 furlongs on a good, sealed track in 1:11.22 with Edgard Zayas in the irons. He now has won two since finishing second in his career debut.
Chance It, owned by the Shooting Star Syndicate, earned the fastest Beyer Speed Figure (92) of any 2-year-old in the country at the time while breaking his maiden on June 29. "We have had a little bit of interest, the phone has been ringing a few times, but we're a racing syndicate and we wanted to do right by all these people," Shooting Star manager Mary Lightner said. "It's hard to get a really good horse. So that's the direction we decided to go. To keep him and see what we can do in the Sire Stakes."
Liberate was all alone through most of Saturday's $75,000 Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes for Ohio-bred 2-year-olds at Thistledown, leading by as much as 13 lengths before coasting home first by 8 1/4. It's Official was best of the rest, 2 length ahead of Dr. Zarnett. Liberate, a Gemologist gelding, was the odds-on favorite and finished in 1:12.42 for jockey Alfredo Clemente. Liberate now is 3-for-3 with all the victories by huge margins.
Big Returns inherited the win when Square Deal was demoted from first to third in Friday's $100,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds at Del Mar. Square Deal, after rallying from near the back of the field, drifted in during the stretch run, bumping with Pas de Panique, then forcing that rider to take up, losing momentum. Big Returns then edged Pas de Panique for second before both were promoted due to the stewards' ruling. Big Returns, the favorite, is a Mr. Big colt, now 2-for-2.
At Louisiana Downs, Scotty Boy kicked away to an 8 1/2-lengths victory in Saturday's $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for state-breds. The Fast Anna gelding ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.46 with Alexander Castillo up. He now is 2-for-3 with a fourth in the D.S. Shine Young Futurity at Evangeline Downs his only loss.
Around the ovals:
Celtic Chaos and Build to Suit raced to the wire as a team in Sunday's $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes for New York-breds with Celtic Chaos getting his nose down first. The favorite, Gold for the King, was another 1 length back in third. Celtic Chaos, a 6-year-old entire son of Dublin, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:15.45 under Dylan Davis. He won this event two years ago and was third in 2018.
Pink Lloyd ran his new winning streak to four with a 4 1/4-lengths victory in Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian) Shepperton Stakes. The 7-year-old Old Forester gelding, with Eurico Da Silva riding, sat third behind the speed in to the lane, then easily drew off. Dixie's Gamble outfinished the early leader, Spanish Express, for place month. Pink Lloyd finished 6 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:15.40.
Pink Lloyd ran off 11 consecutive wins during 2017-18. "This is his 17th stakes win and his 20th win, said trainer Robert Tiller. "I don't remember having any horses close to winning 20 races. I've never had a horse win more than three or four or five stakes. I've been doing this for 48 years and I've never seen a horse at Woodbine run like him and you never will again in the sprint races.
"I've lost words for explaining what he is," Tiller added.
Saturday's program featured five stakes races for Pennsylvania-breds, each worth $100,000.
Afleet Tizzy outfinished the favorite, Sweet Bye and Bye, to win the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial for fillies and mares at 6 furlongs on the dirt. Imply edged away to a 2-lengths victory over Pink Elephant in the Mrs. Penny Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Someday Jones dominated the stretch run in the $100,000 Roanoke Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the green course, winning by 6 1/4 lengths over 8-year-old Grasshoppin.
Midtowncharlybrown edged stablemate Midnightcharly by a neck in the Banjo Picker Stakes at 6 furlongs on the main course. And Hollywood Talent put a nose in front of Amblin Man in a battle of long shots in the Marshall Jenny Handicap, winning the 5-furlongs turf test by that margin.
A full slate of stakes, each worth $75,000, supported Saturday's Derby.
Caribou Club rallied to a late-running win in the House of Delegates Speakers Cup, defeating More Than Good by 1 1/4 lengths after 1 mile and 70 yards on the turf. Lift Up took the Senate President's Cup for filly and mare turfers by 1 1/4 lengths over front-running Cool Beans.
The Secretary of State Stakes for fillies and mares at 6 furlongs on the dirt went to Maybe Wicked, who drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths, giving trainer Brad Cox a third stakes winner on the day at a third track. Always Sunshine took the 6-furlongs Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial by 2 lengths from Fairweather Friend.
The real quick sprinters contested the 4 1/2-furlongs Legislature Chairman's Cup with Zipp On By zipping out to win by 6 3/4 lengths in 51.50 seconds.
The favorites did noting in Saturday's $50,000 Super Derby Prelude, partly because one of them, Rotation, stumbled to his knees at the start. That left things open for Leader of Men to close stoutly through the stretch run and score by 1 length over Trevilion. Paynt Battle was third. Leader of Men, a War Front gelding, finished 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.96 with Hector Del-Cid up.
Laughingsaintssong said goodbye to six rivals in the stretch run of the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint, winning off by 5 1/2 lengths as the favorite Monte Man, finished fourth with some traffic issues. Is Too set a pressured pace in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, opened a daylight lead and held on to win by 1/2 length from Bermuda Star. Theoryintopractice was up in the final strides to catch In the Navy and win the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic. And Diamond Cutter finished the program with 3 1/2-lengths upset win in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Birdacious came from next-last of 11 to win Sunday's $75,000 Vivacious Handicap for Ohio-bred fillies and mares by 1 1/4 over Mayas Queen Neetee. Grizabella was just a head farther back in third. Birdacious, a 4-year-old Birdrun filly, got 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.59 with Sonny Leon aboard.