July 13 (UPI) -- Art Collector jumped into the Kentucky Derby picture with a victory in the Blue Grass at Keeneland's abbreviated summer meet, highlighting a full weekend of international horse racing action.
War of Will scored in the Maker's Mark Mile, Zulu Alpha continued his winning ways going longer on the grass, and trainer Chad Brown passed the century mark of Grade I wins with another fantastic weekend.
In the Distaff division, Monomoy Girl showed she's back in form at age 6 while 4-year-olds Dunbar Road and Guarana served notice they'll have to be dealt with during the second half of the year.
Excitement continued in Europe and the UK. Pinatubo returned to winning ways in Sunday's Prix Jean Prat. Mohaather won the Summer Mile at Ascot and there were some classy 2-year-olds on display. We'll detail all that in the international section, below.
But first, this:
The Road to the Roses
The buzz was about the filly, Swiss Skydiver, taking on the boys in Saturday's $600,000 Grade II Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland but the victory -- and the 100 Kentucky Derby points that went with it -- were collected by Art Collector, who scored his first stakes win.
Swiss Skydiver was quite wide on the clubhouse turn while gunning for the lead in the Blue Grass. The Daredevil filly then held the advantage down the backstretch and turned for home on top.
But Art Collector, with Brian Hernandez Jr. up for trainer Thomas Drury Jr., was turning up the pressure. He quickly came to terms with the filly and she had no answer as Art Collector ran on to win by 3 1/2 lengths.
It appeared more a case of Art Collector finding another gear than Swiss Skydiver tiring, though, as she held on to be a clear second, 4 3/4 lengths in front of the tightly bunched threesome of Enforceable, Attachment Rate and Mr. Big News. Art Collector finished the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.11.
The victory ensured Art Collector of a spot in the new, 20-horse starting gate for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby. Hernandez said he sees no issue with Art Collector getting the 1 1/4 miles of the Derby, but trainer Tom Drury was too intent on savoring the moment to think about it.
"It took me my whole life just to get to this one win," said Drury, who notched his first graded stakes victory. "I'm going to enjoy this one, and we'll worry about that tomorrow."
Art Collector's owner/breeder, Art Lunsford, agreed his colt would never have been ready for the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May. "Divine intervention," he said of the Covid-crazy schedule disruptions.
Swiss Skydiver earned 40 Kentucky Derby points, likely enough to get her into that race. She is the runaway leader in the points standing for the Kentucky Oaks, and trainer Kenny McPeek said, "We might lean against going to the Derby. We might go to the Alabama ($500,000 Grade I at Saratoga Aug. 15) and consider waiting for the Kentucky Oaks."
The Road to the Oaks
Speech made her voice heard two races before the Blue Grass as the Florida-bred daughter of Mr Speaker eased by pacesetting favorite Venetian Harbor and ran on to win the $400,000 Grade I Central Bank Ashland Stakes by 3 lengths.
Venetian Harbor held on for second, 3 3/4 lengths better than Evoutante. Speech finished 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:41.26 -- a track record.
Speech came to Keeneland after four straight runner-up finishes, the most recent of which found her 4 lengths adrift of Swiss Skydiver in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks June 6. In the start before that, she was second in an Oaklawn Park allowance race, just as neck behind Gamine, another top Kentucky Oaks contender.
Venetian Harbor also was second to Swiss Skydiver in her last start, the Grade I Fantasy at Oaklawn Park on May 1.
Trainer Michael McCarthy said he had his "mind set" for weeks on running Speech in the Grade III Beaumont Stakes at 7 furlongs Friday.
"At the last minute, we kind of called an audible and sometimes these things work out," McCarthy said. To come back today and think we would set a track record in a race we weren't especially pointing to says something about Speech. She trained well. She shows up every time. I call her the ultimate overachiever."
Asked if Speech could handle the 1 1/8 miles of the Kentucky Oaks, jockey Javier Castellano said, "The way I rode her today, I think she can go that far."
Monomoy Girl continued her remarkable return from a year's absence, cruising to an easy victory in Saturday's $150,000 Grade II Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park.
After easing by the early leader, Mother Mother, Monomomy Girl and jockey Florent Geroux quickly put matters to rest and won by 2 lengths. Vexatious was second, 8 3/4 lengths in front of the next rival, Piedi Bianchi. Mother Mother and Always Shopping completed the order of finish.
Monomoy Girl, a 5-year-old Tapizar mare, covered 1 mile on a fast track in 1:34.13. After winning the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff in 2018, capping a fabulous year that also included a Kentucky Oaks victory, a variety of aliments including colic and a hamstring injury cost her a full season of racing.
She did not return until May 16 of this year, when she won an allowance optional claiming event at Churchill Downs. The Ruffian win was her seventh graded stakes win, five of those coming in Grade I events.
"Now, with this race under her belt, we can tackle some of the two-turn, mile-and-an-eighth type of races with her," Geroux said. "I think she's just as good [as in 2018].
"I'm hoping she's better. She's been training nicely in the morning and working extremely well. She's showing all of the signs that she is still the filly that she was in 2018."
At Delaware Park, Dunbar Road came rolling when she found room in the stretch run of Saturday's $400,000 Grade II Delaware Handicap and kicked away to win by 3 lengths, ridden out by Irad Ortiz Jr.
Saracosa was second, 1 length in front of Belara. Dunbar Road, a 4-year-old daughter of Quality Road, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.02.
Dunbar Road, a Chad Brown trainee, won last year's Grade II Mother Goose and Grade I Alabama, then finished third in the Grade I Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland and fifth in the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff. She returned in May to win at Churchill Downs.
"I got a perfect trip," Ortiz said. "She broke really good, I was right behind the early speed right where I wanted to be. I wanted to save some ground and then I got her out.
"By the three-eighths pole, I started working my way out and I had no trouble, so I just got her clear and she responded. ... This is a really nice filly. You are going to hear a lot from her. Trust me."
At Keeneland on Saturday, Guarana served notice she will be a force to be reckoned with as she battled gamely to a 1/2-length victory in the $250,000 Grade I Madison Stakes.
The Chad Brown-trained Ghostzapper filly led through the early furlongs of the 7-furlong test, was headed by Mia Mischief and then came again to post her fifth win from six career starts.
Mia Mischief was second, 3 1/4 lengths to the good of Bell's the One. Guarana reported in 1:21.70 over a fast track. The win was No. 100 at the Grade I level for Brown.
Guarana now has two straight wins at 7 furlongs. But as a 3-year-old, she won around two turns in the Grade I Acorn at 1 mile and the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks at 1 1/8 miles before finishing second to Street Band in the Grade I Cotillion.
Brown said he originally feared his filly's chances were compromised by post position and the challenge from Mia Mischief. Downplaying his 100th top-level win with credit to his staff, he said Guarana "showed her heart. She showed that she's a very special horse, which we've known for a long time."
And looking forward to November, he added, "To get another win over Keeneland's track ahead of the Breeders' Cup is very important, too."
The Maker's Mark Mile traditionally is a highlight of the spring season at Keeneland and, in this very non-traditional year, the $300,000 Grade I feature also provided an early highlight to the abbreviated replacement summer session.
War of Will assumed a good stalking position from the outside gate, raced third down the backstretch and was forced to come around rivals to challenge for the lead turning for home.
Parlor, after pressing the early pace, assumed a brief lead but, despite drifting out, was unable to hold off the late advance of War of Will, who prevailed by a nose in a multi-horse blanket finish.
Raging Bull found good late speed to finish third, followed by Without Parole, Emmaus and English Bee. Only 1 length separated the first six finishers as War of Will, a 4-year-old War Front colt, stopped the timer at 1:34.55 under Tyler Gaffalione.
The colt's career took a sharp turn this season. He contested all three legs of last year's Triple Crown, winning the Preakness, and then went on to the Jim Dandy, Pennsylvania Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic. This season, he has run twice and won twice going 1 mile on the turf.
"I didn't think he was training quite as sharp as he could. But his last work was like, okay, he's back. I felt a lot more confident. We're happy to see him back on turf -- he's bred for it. Felt like today with the pace scenario he'd be laying close, and what a ride for Tyler. It was an unbelievable race."
Filly & Mare Turf
Rushing Fall just keeps rushing right along. The 5-year-old More Than Ready mare, with regular rider Javier Castellano up, uncharacteristically let Jolie Olimpica take the lead in Saturday's $350,000 Grade I Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland, and then took the measure of that rival in the final furlongs.
Edging clear, she won by 3/4 length with Juliet Foxtrot in third, 1/2 length back of Jolie Olimpica. Rushing Fall covered 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:39.02, demolishing the course record.
Rushing Fall, trained by Chad Brown, now has 10 wins, five of them at the Grade I level, and two seconds from 13 starts. Her record shows Grade I wins at ages 2, 3, 4 and now 5. She won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2017 at Del Mar, but has not appeared in the World Championships since then.
Although Rushing Fall's past performances show her most often on the lead, Castellano said, "She's the type of horse that she doesn't have to be on the lead. Today it worked out great. I could keep track of the front-runners. The way she did it is amazing. She's a really nice filly."
Enola Gay, making just her third career start, kicked in strongly in deep stretch to take Saturday's $150,000 Grade II Appalachian Stakes Presented by Japan Racing Association by a nose.
Walk in Marrakesh had grabbed the lead earlier in the run down the Keeneland turf course lane and just missed holding on. Alms, the favorite in the Appalachian, restricted to 3-year-old fillies, also had a narrow advantage before settling for third, just another head back.
Enola Gay, a Joseph Allen homebred daughter of Uncle Mo, traveled 1 mile on firm turf in 1:33.97 with Julien Leparoux riding for trainer Shug McGaughey.
Enola Gay won at first asking at Kentucky Downs last September, and then was fourth with a very wide trip in her only other start on Nov. 10 at Aqueduct.
"We were taking a little shot," McGaughey said. "She hadn't run for a while, but she had trained so well. ... It looks like to me now that she wants to run a little bit farther. So we'll see how she comes out of it. She'll go to Saratoga tomorrow."
Saturday's $125,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial came off the Delaware Park turf and was run on the fast main track at 1 1/4 miles, rather than the originally slated 1 3/8 miles.
Half the original field of 10 scratched, and the survivor was Gentle Ruler, by 4 lengths over Tightly Twisted. The 5-year-old Colonel John mare stalked the pace, took over when turned loose by jockey Chris Landeros and finished in 2:06.51.
"I really did not know what to expect because of the dirt," Landeros said. "She was drawing along nicely and I just tried to stay out of her way. ... I just had to hang on and point her in the right direction.
"But I am really proud of her today because the dirt is not her surface. But sometimes we have to go to plan B. And she handled everything beautifully."
Sunday, closing day at Belmont Park, Civil Union stalked the pace in the $80,000 River Memories Stakes, pounced nearing the quarter pole and drew clear in the final furlong to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Olympic Games.
Beau Belle was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Civil Union, a 5-year-old War Front mare, covered 1 1/2 miles of firm turf in 2:29.49 with Jose Ortiz doing the honors.
Zulu Alpha closed out Keeneland's incredibly brief summer meeting Sunday with a late-running, well-timed, 3/4-length victory in the $175,000 Grade II TVG Elkhorn Stakes.
With Tyler Gaffalione riding confidently, Zulu Alpha raced near the back of the field until well down the backstretch for the second time. Quickly gathering steam, he came wide into the stretch and was just up in time for the win.
Postulation, who led most of the 1 1/2 miles, held second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Nakamura. Zulu Alpha, a 7-year-old Street Cry gelding, finished in 1:30.82 over good turf.
Zulu Alpha won the Grade I Pegasus World Cup Turf and the Grade II Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park this winter and was second in the Grade II Pan American.
"After Gulfstream, we sent him to the farm again," said winning trainer Mike Maker. "We got delayed with the virus. Going a mile and a half, you're always a little bit concerned. But even I can't mess this one up."
He said plans call for a race at Kentucky Downs' unique all-turf meeting, then the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf back at Keeneland.
Field Pass, the outside slice in a stretch-drive sandwich, put his nose in front in the final jump to win Sunday's $100,000 Grade III Kentucky Utilities Transylvania Stakes. Street Ready was second, a neck in front of Fancy Liquor.
Field Pass, a Lemon Drop Kid colt, had to wait for running room on the turn while Street Ready found a gaping hole on the rail to launch his bid. Field Pass ran 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:42.56 with Ricardo Santana Jr. up.
"He was sitting behind the speed, perfect," Santana said. "Turning for home, I took him out. He got in the clear and started running. Every time he saw those two horses on the inside he kept fighting."
Saturday's $150,000 Grade II Shakertown at Keeneland looked pretty wide open, with 13 rivals tackling 5 1/2 grassy furlongs, and it played out that way.
Leinster and Totally Boss, both relative long shots, just did get by pacesetting Bound for Nowhere in the final jumps with Leinster a head in front of Totally Boss and Bound for Nowhere another neck back. The favorite, Wildman Jack, was bound for nowhere, trailing throughout and finishing last.
Leinster, a 5-year-old entire son of Majestic Warrior, finished in course-record time of 1:00.86 with Tyler Gaffalione up for trainer Rusty Arnold, who also trains Totally Boss. He was seventh, beaten less than 5 lengths, in last November's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, then was second in a comeback race at Churchill Downs on May 29.
"It was probably the first time in my life I was begging for a dead heat," Arnold said. "I've watched it three times and I couldn't tell. It was going to work good for me either way, but it would have worked really good for me if it was a dead heat."
He said he will work backward from the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on the assumption that Saturday's effort was good enough to get both horses into that race.
At Woodbine, Silent Poet dueled with Admiralty Pier through most of the 7-furlongs Connaught Cup, gained a narrow lead early in the stretch run and won by 1/2 length.
Blind Ambition was third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Admiralty Pier. Silent Poet, a 5-year-old Silent Name gelding, finished in 1:23.62 over soft turf with Justin Stein in the irons. Raced exclusively at Woodbine, Silent Poet improved to eight wins from 15 starts for trainer Nicholas Gonzalez and Stronach Stables.
Saturday's $78,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes for 3-year-old fillies was switched from the Monmouth Park grass to the fast main track -- no issue for Shippy, who went quickly to the fore and drew off to win by 4 1/2 lengths.
Fujairah was second, a head in front of Fast Scene. Shippy, a daughter of Midshipman, ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.09 with Paco Lopez aboard.
Conditions improved enough at Monmouth to run Sunday's $79,000 My Frenchman Stakes for 3-year-olds on the greensward. Another Miracle spotted most of his rivals a start, and then worked forward to outfinish Jack the Umpire by 1/2 length for the win.
The favorite, Kingpin, led much of the way and finished third, another head behind. Another Miracle, an American Pharoah colt, reported in 1:01.50 over turf rated good with Lopez riding.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Four Graces led from the early strides in Friday's $100,000 Grade III Beaumont Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland, took full command in the stretch and won by 4 3/4 lengths.
Sconsin launched a bid shortly after turning for home but kept lugging right and couldn't build up a head of steam to challenge the winner while finishing second, another 4 3/4 lengths in front of Turtle Tax.
Four Graces, a daughter of Majesticperfection, ran about 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:24.90 -- a course record -- with Julien Leparoux up.
Four Graces won the Grade III Dogwood at Churchill Downs in her last start and now has four wins from five trips.
"She's a fast filly," Leparoux said. "The track is pretty quick today too. But she was doing it very nicely for me in a good rhythm. That's the way she likes to run -- free -- and she makes that big kick at the end. I'm surprised we broke the track record, really.
"But she's getting much better right now and she's doing very good."
Trainer Ian Wilkes said Four Graces will be pointed to the Grade I Test Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 8.
At Delaware Park on Saturday, Chalon won a three-way battle for the lead in the $75,000 Dashing Beauty Stakes, then steadily kicked away from her rivals, winning by 2 1/4 lengths.
The favorite, A Bit of Both, was part of the early tussle and held on for second, 1 3/4 lengths clear of Anna's Bandit. Chalon, a 6-year-old Dialed In mare, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.16 with Trevor McCarthy aboard.
Chalon has been second six times in graded stakes, including the 2018 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, but has never won one.
Around the world, around the clock:
Pinatubo returned to winning ways for William Buick, Charlie Appleby and Godolphin on Sunday, blazing through the final 100 meters of the Group 1 Qatar Prix Jean Prat to see off Coolmore challenger Lope Y Fernandez by 3/4 length. The rest of the field was well back of the first two.
Pinatubo, a homebred Shamardal colt, was the most highly anticipated 3-year-old at the beginning of the 2020 season after going undefeated in six starts in 2019.
Questions arose as he finished third in the 2000 Guineas in his seasonal debut, then multiplied as he was unable to hold the lead in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing second.
Asked on Saturday at Newmarket about Pinatubo and the Jean Prat, Appleby paused and said he was "very confident."
That confidence might have taken a hit through the first half of the 1,400 meters as Pinatubo was well boxed amid rivals near the back of the 11 3-year-olds. But the seas parted and Pinatubo responded, kicking away from Lope Y Fernandez in the closing strides.
"It sounds strange, but I felt he lost nothing in defeat in the Guineas or at Ascot," Appleby said. "He went out with his heart on his sleeve and just got outgunned in the last 50 yards of both races.
"If we decided we wanted to stretch him out to a mile again, the obvious race is the Prix du Moulin, or if we wanted to stick at seven we could just wait for the Prix de la Foret before looking at taking him to Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Mile."
Nazeef, with Jim Crowley up for trainer John Gosden, was just along in the final strides to take Friday's Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes for fillies and mares by a neck. Billesdon Brook also rallied late to nip pacesetting favorite Terebellum for second.
Nazeef, a 4-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit, racing for Sheikh Hamdan, covered 1 mile on soft going in 1:40.14. She won the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot and now has won six straight since finishing third in her career debut. Two of the wins came on all-weather tracks.
Gosden trains the first- and third-place finishers and confessed to being surprised at the outcome.
"I just don't think Terebellum ran her race, but she'll be fine," Racing Post quoted Gosden as saying. "She seemed to have it won, but didn't finish the race off in the way you would have expected. The winner is a lovely, brave filly but I thought Terebellum had it under control."
Also on Friday, even-money favorite Dandella found just enough to edge Fev Rover by a head in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
Santosha and Time Scale were close-up third and fourth. Dandella, a daughter of Dandy Man, covered 6 furlongs on the soft turf in 1:11.93 with Ben Curtis riding and remains undefeated after three starts.
Saturday, Oxted pulled off the upset in the Group 1 Darley July Cup, rallying late to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Sceptical with the tiring favorite, Golden Horde, settling for third after having to alter course in the final furlong.
Oxted, a 4-year-old gelding by Mayson, upped his record to four wins from nine starts while making his first foray into Group 1 territory. Cieren Fallon, 21-year-old son of veteran jockey Kieren Fallon, had the winning ride for trainer Roger Teal.
"When he hit the front I thought, 'He is going away here,'" Teal said. "I saw Adam [Kirby, riding Golden Horde] in a drive and I thought, "We are pulling away here, keep him going Cieren!' What a cracking ride."
Teal mentioned the Nunthorpe Stakes in August at York as a potential target while interviewed by Nick Luck on "Luck on Sunday." Earlier, he nodded to the Sprint Cup at Haydock and the Prix Maurice de Gheest as potential targets.
In Saturday's Group 2 bet365 Superlative Stakes for 2-year-olds, Master Of The Seas overcame some antics in the stalls and some bumping right out of the gates, raced well enough and got clear in the final furlong, winning with authority.
Devious Company was second, 3 lengths in arrears, and Seventh Kingdom was third. Master Of The Seas, a Godolphin homebred son of Dubawi out of the Danehill mare Firth of Lorne, now is 2-for-2. William Buick had the mount for trainer Charlie Appleby.
"William said he wasn't for stopping there," Appleby told Racing TV of Master Of The Seas' effort in the Superlative. "It is a bit early to be getting too excited where we might be next year, but he is definitely a horse that has got the right attitude and physique to see him go beyond a mile with a bit of luck."
Mohaather was impressive in winning Saturday's Group 2 Betfred Summer Mile, drawing away from the field in the final furlong to win by an easy 3 3/4 lengths. San Donato and Duke of Hazzard were second and third.
Mohaather, with Dane O'Neill riding for trainer Marcus Tregoning and owner Sheik Hamdan, picked up his fourth win from seven starts but first since April of 2019. The 4-year-old Showcasing colt came into the race off a seventh-place finish in the Group 1 Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, won by Circus Maximus.
"Hopefully, we'll get a Group 1 or two with him, if we're clever," Tregoning told Racing TV. "We should be able to do it. It hasn't been easy, but luckily he's got a very good owner. ... We had to come back to Ascot as obviously he got no run [in the Queen Anne]. It was just the way the race panned out."
Tregoning said Mohaather might reappear in the Group 1 Sussex at Glorious Goodwood.
Sunday's Group 1 IDEE 151st Deutches Derby produced a parade of long shots in front at the end of 2,400 meters.
In Swoop, an Irish-bred, French-trained colt by the German sire Adlerflug, outfinished 22-1 chance Torquator Tasso with Grocer Jack, at 12-1 odds, third. The favorite, three-time Group stakes winner Wonderful Moon, checked in sixth.
In Swoop, trained by Francis-Henri Garffard, won at first asking at Lyon Parilly May 15, then was third in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe over the same course June 6 in his only other start.
Meanwhile, back in North America:
Hit the Road, the favorite in a field of 12 3-year-olds, saved ground behind the lead pack in Friday's $100,000 Runhappy Oceanside Stakes, found a narrow opening at the top of the stretch and shot through to a 1 3/4-lengths victory.
Kanderel was second, 1 length in front of Ajourneytofreedom. Hit the Road, a More Than Ready colt, got the 1 mile over firm turf in 1:35.09 with Umberto Rispoli up for trainer Dan Blacker.
Hit the Road now has four wins from seven starts. After an initial outing on the dirt, all of his races have been on the green course.
"I'm just thrilled to win a big race on opening day at Del Mar," Blacker said. The Oceanside is like my Kentucky Derby. It's unfortunate that there were no fans, but that's the way things are.
"Umberto ran a faultless race and the horse is super talented. You can put him on the lead or take him back and Umberto put him in a perfect spot."
On Saturday, Bob and Jackie chased down Australian-bred Kiwi's Dream in the closing strides of the restricted $91,000 Wickerr Stakes, winning by a neck.
French-bred Murad Kahn was third, another 1/2 length back. Bob and Jackie, a Kentucky-bred, 4-year-old colt by Twirling Candy, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:33.35 with Heriberto Figueroa up.
Sunday's feature was the $89,000 Osunitas Handicap for fillies and mares, similarly restricted. Cordiality led in that from gate to wire, winning by 1 length from the favorite, Super Patriot.
Don't Blame Judy was another 3/4 length behind in third. Cordiality, a 7-year-old mare by Papa Clem, finished in 1:33.61 under Umberto Rispoli.
Liam's Pride was just up in the final strides to take Friday's $80,000 Gold Fever Stakes for 3-year-olds by a head over Wonderwherecraigis.
The odds-on favorite, Long Weekend, finished third, another 1/2 length in arrears but the stewards reversed that order of finish, placing Long Weekend second and Wonderwherecraigis third as a result of repeated bumping in the stretch.
Liam's Pride, a Liam's Map colt, covered 6 furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:10.70 for jockey Dylan Davis.
Alexandria, the massive favorite, nonetheless had to work for the victory in Friday's $75,000 Jim Morgan Memorial Tah Dah Dash for 2-year-old, Ohio-bred fillies.
With Gerardo Corrales riding, the Constitution filly dueled with Gonnabegood through most of the 5 1/2 furlongs, swapping the lead at one point, before winning by 1 length over that rival. Angel's Sassy, a first-time starter, was third. Alexandria finished in 1:07.27 over a fast track, improving to 2-for-2.
Distinctive Flower opened a big early lead in Friday's $75,000 Vivacious Handicap for state-bred fillies and mares and had enough left to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
Birdacious was second, 1/2 length better than Leona's Reward. Distinctive Flower, a 5-year-old Flower Alley mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.96 with Rafael Mojica Jr. in the irons.