Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Code of Honor won the Jockey Club Gold Cup on a disqualification and Mongolian Groom took the Awesome Again Stakes in a shocking upset, both earning guaranteed spots in the Breeders' Cup Classic in highlights of weekend horse racing.
European contenders for the Breeders' Cup 2-year-old races -- and even the 2020 Derbys in Epsom and Louisville -- were on display, including another surprise or two. But is anyone surprised that Bob Baffert saddled the big 2-year-old winners at Santa Anita?
Midnight Bisou made it seven straight.
Too much to cover to waste time so here we go:
The final two "Win and You're In" races for the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic turned out to be pips.
In New York, Vino Rosso showed the way in the $750,000 Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup until Travers winner Code of Honor launched an all-out assault early in the stretch run. Vino Rosso drifted out under left-handed whipping, bumping with Vino Rosso once, twice and a third time before hanging on to cross the wire first by a nose.
Un-uh, said the stewards, ruling the interference warranted a reversal of the placings. Tacitus finished third with the favorite, Preservationist, fourth.
Code of Honor finished third in the Kentucky Derby and benefitted from the disqualification of Maximum Security, moving up to second. He then won the Grade III Dwyer at Belmont Park and the Grade I Travers at Saratoga.
Trainer Shug McGaughey said that should be enough to make him the nation's top 3-year-old. "Who's done more?" the veteran trainer asked. "Maximum Security has won a couple of Grade 1's but where's he now? We've been going since the first of January. I think that says a lot."
Owner W. S. Farish said it's "up in the air" whether Code of Honor will use the "get in free" card for the Breeders' Cup." This horse needs a little vacation but on the other hand, he comes out of his races well and that is certainly a possibility."
Things were even stranger out west at Santa Anita where Mongolian Groom, owner of only two previous wins, went quickly to the lead in the $300,000 Grade I Awesome Again Stakes and led comfortably through the run down the backstretch.
When Mike Smith sent odds-on favorite McKinzie to challenge turning into the stretch, Mongolian Groom suddenly found a whole new gear and kicked away to win by 2 1/4 lengths at odds of 25-1. McKinzie was second for the eighth time in 13 career starts and Higher Power was another 5 1/4 lengths back in third.
Mongolian Groom, a 4-year-old gelding by Hightail out of the Dynaformer mare Bourbonesque, finished the 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.27 with Abel Cedillo riding for trainer Enebish Ganbat. It was the biggest win for Ganbat and owner Mongolian Stable since Mongolian Saturday upset the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint a Keeneland in 2015.
"I didn't think he'd win," Ganbat said of Mongolian Groom. "He was up against the two best horses in America in McKinzie and Higher Power. I thought I'd be happy if the horse finished third. I didn't think my horse would win."
Although Mongolian Groom grabbed a "Win and You're In" slot for the Breeders' Cup Classic, Ganbat said he is not nominated to the program and would have to be nominated before the pre-entry deadline.
Smith, meanwhile, said he still has faith in McKinzie, who has become something of a hard-luck case for trainer Bob Baffert.
"I thought I could go with the two outside horses, but they seemed like they were determined to get it," Smith said. "So I let them go, figuring they'd entertain each other and we'd do what we do. That horse ran a huge race today. We lost the battle, but this ain't the war. Hopefully we'll come back and be ready."
At Churchill Downs, Mocito Rojo shipped in from Louisiana to upset Saturday's $250,000 Grade III Lukas Classic, outfinishing Silver Dust by a neck after a long stretch battle. It was another 4 lengths to Sir Anthony in third and the favorite, Quip, finished fifth. Mocito Rojo, a 5-year-old son of Mutadda, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:48.91 with Gerard Melancon up. It was his fifth straight win, following scores at Delta Downs, Lone Star, Evangeline Downs and Remington Park.
Mocito Rojo's 90-year-old owner, Wayne Davis, said, "I think I'm still dreaming. I've been waiting all my life to have a horse like this. He won't be ignored anymore. I think he has more heart than Secretariat, just doesn't weigh nearly as much. We'll take things one step at a time but I am just so thrilled to be here."
Sunday at Remington Park in Oklahoma, Owendale swept by the early leader, Sleepy Eyes Todd, in the stretch run of the $400,000 Grade III Oklahoma Derby and ran on to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Sleepy Eyes Todd held second by a neck over Chess Chief while California invader Mucho Gusto lost a bit of gusto late, finishing another head back in fourth.
Owendale, an Into Mischief colt trained by Brad Cox, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.29 with Florent Geroux up. He came to Remington after a third in the Preakness, victory in the Ohio Derby and fifth in the Travers at Saratoga.
Up north at Woodbine, Argentine-bred The Great Day made all the going in Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian) Durham Cup Stakes and held off odds-on favorite Special Forces late by a nose. Thor's Rocket was third. The Great Day, a 5-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday, ran 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:49.68 with Patrick Husbands riding.
On the same program at Woodbine, Global Access stalked the pace made by favorite Avie's Flatter in the $150,000 Ontario Derby, went to the lead turning for home and won off by 1 1/4 lengths. Armistice Day and Jungle Fighter were along to take the minor awards while Avie's Flatter flattened out and finished fifth. Global Access, a Giant's Causeway colt, finished the 9 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:48.24 with Husbands up.
Midnight Bisou rolled to her seventh straight win without too much effort in Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Beldame at Belmont Park. With John Velazquez back from the West Coast to ride, the 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly shadowed Spring in the Wind through the early furlongs.
As that rival faded, Wow Cat was along to provide the opposition before Midnight Bisou finally took over and drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Wow Cat was second, 5 1/4 lengths in front of Crimson Frost. Midnight Bisou completed 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:48.86. She has not been defeated since a third-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff.
"She's just been an amazing horse this year, said Scott Blasi, assistant to winning trainer Steve Asmussen. "The way she's developed this year, she's turned a corner going from 3 to 4, and it's exciting. She's been training great since the Personal Ensign and hopefully we can just keep her happy going forward."
Paradise Woods drafted right behind odds-on favorite Secret Spice until the sixteenth pole in Sunday's $200,000 Grade II Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita, took the lead at that point and won by 1 3/4 lengths. Secret Spice then was all out to hold second by a neck over late-running Ollie's Candy. Paradise Woods, a 5-year-old Union Rags mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.31 under Abel Cedillo, who had a fabulous weekend at The Great Race Place.
The Zenyatta was a "Win and You're In" for the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff, a race in which Paradise Woods finished third in 2017 at Del Mar. She has made only one of her 17 career starts outside California -- that an 11th in the 2017 Kentucky Oaks.
Asked why he switched jockeys on Paradise Woods, trainer John Shirriffs made it plain he is looking to this year's Breeders' Cup right at home at Santa Anita. Asked about the jockey switch, he said, "We weren't sure Mike (Smith) would be available for the Breeders' Cup, so this was the time if you're going to make a change."
At Remington Park in Oklahoma, Lady Apple seized the lead in the stretch run in Sunday's $200,000 Grade III Remington Park Oaks and held off the odds-on favorite, Gold Standard, for a 1/2-length victory. Classic Fit and She's Shiney were a distant third and fourth, completing the order of finish. Lady Apple, a Curlin filly, was third in the Kentucky Oaks, won the Grade III Iowa Oaks and then finished eighth in the Grade I Alabama earlier in the year.
Imperial Hint showed the way in Saturday's $300,000 Grade I Vosburgh at Belmont Park, was joined by Firenze Fire in the stretch and those two battled to the finish, Imperial Hint winning by a nose. Two others might as well have been in the next race. Imperial Hint, as he did last year, won the A.G. Vandervilt as a prep for winning the Vosburgh.
The difference this year is he started off in Dubai, finishing third behind X Y Jet in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen. Last year, the 6-year-old son of Imperialism went on to report third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs. The Vosburgh was his ticket back to that race at Santa Anita through the "Win and You're In" deal.
"We'll go back to Monmouth Park and evaluate the horse and make sure he's good," said Imperial Hint's trainer, Luis Carvajal Jr. "We'll resume training and hopefully we'll see him at Santa Anita and leave in the middle of October or something like that. You don't have to do much now after this race. This will be enough ... "I think, besides the Classic or maybe a turf race, the Sprint will be one of the greatest races that (Breeders' Cup) Saturday. There are a lot of great elements in that race."
Lasting Legacy rallied between rivals to take a late lead in Saturday's $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Monmouth Park and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Whyruawesome led briefly and held second, 3/4 lengths in front of Benefactor. Lasting Legacy, a 5-year-old son of Tapizar, toured 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.81 with Paco Lopez in the irons.
Cleopatra's Strike reeled in pacesetting Acclimate turning for home in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita and battled that one into grudging submission, winning by 1 length. The favorite, United, got show money with a mild, late rally. Cleopatra's Strike, a 6-year-old Smart Strike gelding, ran 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in a snappy 1:58.22 with Abel Cedillo aboard. Cleopatra's Strike, out of the Sky Classic mare Cleopatra's Needle, finished second, beaten just a nose, in the Grade II San Gabriel in January, had an extended rest and returned with another second Sept 19 at Del Mar.
Phil D'Amato, who trains both Cleopatra's Strike and Grade II Del Mar Handicap winner Acclimate, called the outcome "bittersweet" and said at least one will go on to the Breeders' Cup. "For sure Acclimate will go, because he already is eligible," D'Amato said. "But we'll have to see about Cleopatra. There might be something for him at Del Mar."
At Churchill Downs on Saturday evening, Mr Freeze got back to the winner's circle after a long absence, rallying from a pace-stalking trip to win the $150,000 Grade III Ack Ack Stakes at 1 mile by 1 1/2 lengths. Thirst for Life was second, a similar margin in front of Mr Darcy. Mr Freeze, a 4-year-old To Honor and Serve colt, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:34.11 with Robby Albarado doing the honor for trainer Dale Romans. "We'll have to see moving forward where we could end up with him," Romans said. "But the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile could certainly be in the discussion."
Space Mountain and Mr. Misunderstood came down the stretch together in Sunday night's $100,000 Remington Green Stakes with Space Mountain having the final say by 1/2 length. Keep Quiet was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third. Space Mountain, a 6-year-old Street Cry gelding, ran 9 furlongs on firm turf in 1:47.45 with Ramon Vasquez in the irons.
Spectacular Gem wasted little time getting to the lead in Saturday night's $125,000 Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs, then showed the way without much pressure, winning by 1 3/4 lengths. Tracksmith was best of the rest, a nose in front of Faraway Kitten. Specacular Gem, a Can the Man colt, ran 9 furlongs on firm turf in 1:48.14 with James Graham in the irons. It was his third win from seven starts. In his previous outing at Indiana Grand, he finished first only to be disqualified to fourth. "This horse really settled well today taking off the blinkers," Graham said.
Filly & Mare Turf
Mirth got an easy early lead in Saturday's $300,000 Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes for fillies and mares at Santa Anita and cashed that in for an equally easy 1 1/4-length vicory. The favorite, Beau Recall, gave belated chase but could only edge Elysea's World for second by a neck.
Mirth, a 4-year-old Colonel John filly, ran 1 1/4 miles on firm going in 1:58.47 with Mike Smith up for the first time. It was her first start in a graded stakes and first stakes win of any kind but earned her a spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf via the "Win and You're In" program.
"I've watched her," Smith said, "and she's been running dynamite. It looked like she wasn't far from pulling one of these off, so I knew it was in her. It was just a matter of whether I could get a little brave and start marching a little early. She doesn't really have a turn of foot. She just seems to keep staying and keep going."
At Monmouth Park on Saturday, Andina Del Sur rallied from well back to win a three-way sprint to the wire in the $100,000 Violet Stakes for fillies and mares. The camera showed the 4-year-old Giant's Causeway filly a nose better than Theodora B. with Barkaa another neck back in third. Andina Del Sur, with Hecor Diaz Jr. up, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:44.91.
Eight Rings ran rings around eight rivals in Friday's $300,000 Grade I American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita, leading all the way to a 6-lengths victory as trainer Bob Baffert swept the day's Grade I events for 2-year-olds. Eight Rings, with John Velazquez up, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.41. American Theorum, an American Pharoah ridgling, was second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of Storm the Court. Eight Rings, an Empire Maker colt, earned a free pass to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile through the "Win and You're In" program.
"He's still not 100 percent confident in what he needs to do," Velazquez said of Eight Rings. "Obviously he's very talented but he needs to put it together and go on. He still ran a good race, but you can see he has some room to improve. If he can put his mind to running, he'll be a dangerous horse."
Eight Rings won his first start Aug. 4 at Del Mar, then lost jockey Drayden Van Dyke in a bizarre bumping incident shortly after the start of the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 2 in his only other start.
At Gulfstream Park, Chance It, the odds-on favorite in Saturday's $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Sire Stakes, pressed the early pace, took over when asked by jockey Tyler Gaffalione and ran on smoothly to win by 7 1/4 lengths. Smash Factor, the early leader, held second, 3 1/2 lengths in front of Liam's Lucky Charm. Chance It, a Currency Swap colt, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.26. He has three wins and two seconds. The wins include the first and this, the last, segments of the Sire Stakes series.
Structor struck the front in the stretch drive in Saturday's $200,000 Grade III Pilgrim at Belmont Park, then battled on to win by a head over fast-closing Andesite. Our Country was third and the favorite, No Word, finished fifth while trying to pick through traffic in the lane. Structor, a Palace Malice colt trained by Chad Brown, got 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.46 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the kip.
Graceful Kitten went right to the front in Saturday's $75,000 Armed Forces Stakes at Gulfstream Park, dictated terms and rolled on, winning by 2 lengths. Jolting Joe (there's a baseball theme this weekend!) was second, a neck in front of Captain D. Graceful Kitten, a Kitten's Joy colt, finished 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.92 with Hector Berrios riding. He improved to 3-for-3, all on the Gulfstream Park greensward.
Over in Jolly Old England, long shot Royal Dornach snagged a spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf through the "Win and You're In" scheme with victory in Saturday's Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket. See the International roundup for more.
Bast was best in Friday's $300,000 Grade I Chandelier as Santa Anita returned to action. The Uncle Mo filly, conditioned by Bob Baffert, hooked up in a three-way battle early, then dueled to the wire with Comical before prevailing by a neck as the prohibitive favorite. K P Dreamin was third.
Bast ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:46.10 with John Velazquez up for his 661st graded stakes win, breaking a tie with Jerry Bailey. The victory backed up her win last time out in the Grade I Del Mar Debuante and earned her a "Win and You're In" spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies over the same surface Nov. 1.
Baffert said he had gone "a little light on her" in training. "Down the backside she was going nice, then turning for home, John was like, 'Come on baby, we've got to go,' and she wasn't going," Baffert said. "He thought she would respond, but I think this will get her ready for the next one. That would be the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 1 over the same track. She earned a "Win and You're In" spot for that with the Chandelier win.
At Gulfstream Park, Two Sixty seized the early lead in Saturday's $400,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida sire stakes for state-bred 2-year-old fillies and kept on running, eventually winning off by 6 1/4 lengths.
Filly Jean King was second in the 12-filly field, Ceci Valentina was third and the favorite, Cajun Delight was last. Two Sixty, a daughter of Uncaptured, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.41 with Edgard Zayas in the irons.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Selflessly came wide around the leaders turning for home in Sunday's $200,000 Grade II Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park and edged away to a 3/4-length victory. Crystalle was second, another 3/4 length to the good of Jazzique. Selflessly, by More Than Ready, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.32 for jockey Javier Castellano. The Chad Brown trainee scored her first win after reporting second in her career bow at Saratoga.
Onyx earned some black type with a come-from-behind win in Saturday's $75,000 Our Dear Peggy Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The Dialed In filly made up a lot of ground on the turn and drew off late to finish 3 lengths in front of runner-up Madame Bourbon. Gran Brandy was third. Onyx, trained by Juan Alvarado, ran 1 mile on firm going in 1:35.43 under Emisael Jaramillo. She now has three straight wins.
In England, Daahyeh earned a Breeders' Cup Spot with a Friday score. See the International Roundup for more.
As baseball's regular season grinds to a halt, Pee Wee Reese rallied to the lead late in Friday's $200,000 Grade II Eddie D. at Santa Anita and held off the late run of Eddie Haskell by 1/2 length. Stormy Liberal ran evenly to finish third, another 1 1/4 lengths back. Pee Wee Reese ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 55.33 seconds with Flavien Prat up for trainer Phil D'Amato. It was his first start since March 3, when he won the restricted Sensational Star Stakes down the now-mothballed hillside course.
For the curious: The human Pee Wee Reese did, in fact, accompany the Dodgers on their move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles prior to the 1958 season and played his final season there. "Pee Wee Reese was the captain of the Dodgers and he was the one who befriended Jackie (Robinson) when he was first with the Dodgers," said the winner's owner, Nick Alexander. "Pee Wee was part of the solution to get everyone to play together. That is why I named the horse after him."
Don't Sell, the 3-1 favorite, rallied from a stalking position to win Saturday's $75,000 Unzip Me Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita by 1 1/4 lengths. Apache Princess was second, 1 length in front of Holly Hundy and another 3/4 length to the good of Miss Hot Legs. Don't Sell, a Square Eddie filly, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:01.58 with Evin Roman up. It was only her second start outside the Cal-bred ranks and she has won both of them.
Justaholic led early and easily through Saturday's $112,000 Rainbow Heir Stakes at Monmouth Park, edging away to win by 4 3/4 lengths over Fig Jelly. Australian-bred Paret checked in third. Justaholic, a 4-year-old colt by Justin Phillip, ran about 5 1/2 furlongs on firm going in 1:02.23 under Jose Ferrer. He was last seen finishing fifth in the Grade III Turf Monster at Parx.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Bronx Beauty pressed the pace in Saturday's $100,000 Regret Stakes for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park, edged to the front and held on to win by 1 length over Ms Locust Point. Last True Love was third and the favorite, Satisfy, didn't, finishing fifth. Bronx Beauty, a 4-year-old daughter of Liaison, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.39 with Paco Lopez in the irons. She's won three of her last four starts
Juvenile Turf Sprint
So Street pulled his way to the lead in Saturday's $100,000 Howard County Stakes at Laurel Park, opened a big lead and held on to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Me and Mr. C. Muchmorethanthis was third. So Street, a Street Magician gelding, finished 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:03.55 with Trevor McCarthy riding.
Miss J McKay kicked clear in the stretch run of Saturday's $100,000 Anne Arundel County Stakes at Laurel Park and won off by 5 lengths. Queen of Shades was second, another 1 1/4 lengths in front of Bella Aurora. Miss J McKay, a daughter of Hangover Kid, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:02.49 with McCarthy up.
On Saturday at Gulfstream Park, Cajun Casanova went quickly to the lead in The $75,000 Hollywood Beach Stakes for 2-year-olds and drew clear late, winning by 3 1/2 lengths. Man With a Plan was second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Song River. Cajun Casanova, a Cajun Breeze colt, got 5 furlongs on firm turf in 55.66 seconds with Miguel Vasquez in the irons and now boasts back-to-back wins.
Around the ovals:
Brave Nation rallied belatedly through the stretch in Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian) Grade III BC Premier's Handicap and got by Final Jeopardy to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Explode finished third and the favorite, He's the Reason, tired from the lead to finish fourth. Brave Nation, a Kentucky-bred Pioneerof the Nile colt, ran 1 3/8 miles on a fast track in 2:18.00 with Anonio Reyes up.
On Saturday, Here's Hannah led from the early jumps in the $100,000 (Canadian) Grade III Ballerina Stakes for fillies and mares, briefly gave up the lead to Sunburst and then came again, winning by 1 length over that rival. Here's Hannah, a 4-year-old filly by Numaany, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.91 with Richard Hamel in the irons.
Perfect to Please rallied from near the back of the field to take Friday night's $70,000 Remington Park Turf Sprint for Oklahoma-breds by a head over pacesetting Sladens Dream. Dance to My Song advanced late to get show money. Perfect to Please, a 9-year-old Perfectly Pleasant gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 56.21 seconds with Bryan McNeil up.
Alternative Slew tracked the pace in Friday night's $70,000 Bob Barry Memorial for state-bred fillies and mares, exchanged some bumps with pacesetting Hawaiian Typhoon before running by that one for a 1/2-length victory. Alternative Slew, a 3-year-old Alternation filly, got 7 1/2 furlongs on firm going in 1:28.26 with Iram Diego up.
Timely Reply led a parade of long shots across the line at the end of Friday's $70,000 Red Earth Stakes for Oklahoma-breds, winning by a neck over Quality Rocket. Hallelujah Hit was third. Timely Reply, a 6-year-old gelding by Wood Reply, ran 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:27.69 with Freddy Manrrique in the irons.
Extraordinary Jerry loomed boldly from far back on the turn in Saturday's $150,000 Florida Sire Wildcat Heir Stakes, hit the front in full stride and kicked clear, winning by 10 1/4 lengths. Wildwood's Beauty beat the other six. Extraordinary Jerry, a 4-year-old Overdriven ridgling, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:35.75 with Edgard Zayas riding.
In Saturday's $75, 000 Monroe Stakes for fillies and mares, Great Sister Diane was along late to pull out a 1 1/4-lengths victory over Bienvielle Street. Lady Alida dueled in the lane and salvaged third. Great Siter Diane, a 3-year-old daughter of Will Take Charge, finished in 1:39.81 over firm turf with Miguel Vasquez up.
Marshall Eddy proved best of three late closers in Saturday's $75,000 Mr. Steele Stakes, edging the favorite, Grand Journey, by 1/2 length and Second Mate by another 3/4 length. The pacesetter, Cheyenne's Colonel, faded to finish fourth. Marshall Eddy, a 6-year-old City Zip gelding, finished 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:39.97 under Luca Panici.
Tiz He the One was along late to be the one in Saturday's $75,000 Challedon Stakes, winning by 3 1/4 lengths over Taco Supream. The odds-on favorite, Wonderful Light, was third. Tiz He the One, a 5-year-old Tiz Wonderful gelding, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.17 with Trevor McCarthy riding.
Our Super Freak stalked the pace in Saturday's $75,000 Shine Again Stakes for fillies and mares, dueled to the lead and inched up to a 3/4-length victory. Steamy Hot was second, a neck in front of the favorite, Saguaro Row. McCarthy had the winning ride, covering 7 furlongs in 1:22.98.
O Dionysus led most of the way in Saturday's $100,000 Japan Cup Turf, then survived in a four-way dash to the wire, winning by a head. Lemon Zip was second, another head in front of Postulation, who then was demoted to fifth for interference. Nakamura was placed third. O Dionysus, a 5-year-old Bodemeister gelding, finished 1 1/2 miles on firm turf in 2:28.42 under Jevian Toledo.
Notapradaprice shot to the lead in Saturday's $150,000 Fasig-Tipon All Along Stakes for fillies and mares, turned back a challenge from Not In Jeopardy and then held off the favorite, Colonia, by 1/2 length under the wire. Not In Jeopardy finished third. Notapradaprice, a 5-year-old Paddy O'Prado mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.27 with Jorge Ruiz up.
Verissimo stalked the pace in Saturday's $75,000 Catlaunch Stakes for Ohio-breds and wore down Mobil Solution in the final yards to win by a head. Pat's Karma was third. Verissimo, a 3-year-old Vertiformer gelding, was clocked in 1:47.28 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast track under Scott Speith.
Saturday was Owners Day with most of the stakes restricted to Delaware-breds.
The exception was the $75,000 DTHA Governor's Day Handicap, restricted to horses with a previous start over the track in 2019. Cordmaker, the odds-on favorite, stalked the pace, then got by to win by 1/2 length for Flowers for Lisa. Cordmaker, a Maryland-bred Curlin gelding, ran 1 mile and 70 yards on a fast track in 1:41.09 with Victor Carrasco up.
Otherwise: Pink Caddy, an El Padrino filly, won the $100,000 Small Wonder Stakes for 2-year-old fillies by 6 3/4 lengths as the odds-on choice and Golden Candy, another odds-on pick, drew off to win the First State Dash for 2-year-olds by 4 lengths.
Shimmering Aspen was the popular winner of the $100,000 Tax Free Shopping Distaff and Caul Paul, an even heavier favorite, took the $100,000 New Castle Stakes by 3 lengths. Tightly Twisted pulled a 21-1 upset in the $75,000 George Rosenberger Memorial for fillies and mares on the firm turf course and