Mandaloun (inside) won Saturday's Grade I Haskell after Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified for interference. Photo courtesy of Monmouth Park
July 19 (UPI) -- Another nonstandard outcome of a major 3-year-old race found Mandaloun awarded victory in the $1 million Haskell -- potentially the second time the colt will be named winner of a race in which he finished second.
The Haskell was the centerpiece of an impressive day of racing at the Jersey Shore. In the other Grade I feature, Tribhuvan captured the United Nations Stakes on the grass. And speaking of grass, Arlington Park's "Million Preview Day" produced at least two likely candidates for its (final?) big day of racing Aug. 14.
Godolphin fillies finished 1-2 in the Grade I Diana at Saratoga.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, bid welcome to another star -- Snowfall.
We've got all that and more and we'll catch up with goings on at Canterbury Park and Indiana Grand.
In the beginning, there was nothing but rock. Then somebody invented the wheel and things just began to roll. So ... let's rock and roll.
A wacky 3-year-old season added another wacky chapter Saturday at Monmouth Park as Mandaloun was awarded the victory in the $1 million Grade I TVG.com Haskell Stakes, thanks to the disqualification of first-place finisher Hot Rod Charlie.
Hot Rod Charlie's infraction involved cutting in front of Midnight Bourbon midway down the stretch, causing that one to clip heels, stumble and dislodge jockey Paco Lopez.
Neither Lopez nor Midnight Bourbon suffered serious injury, but when all was sorted out, Mandaloun, the Kentucky Derby runner-up, was the official Haskell winner, pacesetter Following Sea was second and 56-1 chance Antigravity was promoted to third. Following Sea and Antigravity were all but pulled up after mishap.
"We didn't have our nose down at the wire, but it worked out," said Mandaloun's trainer, Brad Cox. "I'm proud of the effort and the performance. He's always been a good colt. He has always been highly thought of. He deserves a Grade I victory. He's a Grade I horse and I'm glad it worked out today."
Mandaloun earned a "Win and You're In" spot in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic in November at Del Mar and still stands to inherit the victory in the Kentucky Derby if likely lengthy proceedings result in the disqualification of first-place finisher Medina Spirit's after a positive drug test result.
So the Haskell could turn out to be a key race in determining year-end honors.
Another aspect to the Haskell: Monmouth Park is operating under "no whip" rules this season thanks to a new state directive. The debate will rage whether jockey Flavien Prat could have kept Hot Rod Charlie on a straighter path with a judicious tap.
"Yes, the lack of a crop came into play," Blood-Horse's Bob Ehalt quoted Prat as saying. "I was trying to correct him as much as I could. If I could have hit him just one time, left-handed, we would have been just fine, But, it is what it is."
Really? The lives of both Lopez and Midnight Bourbon hung in the balance there.
The older horses were on display in Saturday's $250,000 Grade II San Diego Handicap at Del Mar with Express Train scoring a 1/2-length win after a stalking trip.
Tripoli was up late to finish second and the favorite, Royal Ship, docked third. Express Train, a 4-year-old Union Rags colt, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.37 under Juan Hernandez. He came to the San Diego off back-to-back third-place finishes in the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap and the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup.
"I thought he was in a good spot the whole way," trainer John Shirreffs said of Express Train." And then when he was asked in the stretch, he responded well. The Pacific Classic, that would be the goal if everything works out."
Dr Post raced next-last of six in Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Monmouth Cup, rallied widest of all coming into the stretch run and got the job done, winning by 1 1/4 lengths.
Night Ops, charging home from dead last, finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Bankit. The favorite, Ny Traffic, got home fourth.
Dr Post, a Quality Road colt, finished 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:47.35 for jockey Joel Rosario. He finished third in last year's Haskell and most recently was fifth in the Grade I Met Mile.
Tizamagician, the odds-on favorite, stalked the pace in Sunday's $100,000 Grade III Cougar II Stakes at Del Mar, took the lead when asked by jockey Flavien Prat and pulled away from late rival Cupid's Claws, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over that rival. It was another 5 1/4 lengths to Heywoods Beach in third.
Tizamagician, a 4-year-old Tiznow colt, ran 1 1/2 miles on a fast track in 2:31.45. He traveled cross country for his last race, finishing second in the Grade II Brooklyn Stakes at Belmont Park.
Graceful Princess and Bajan Girl both found late speed in Saturday's $255,000 Grade III Molly Pitcher Stakes at Monmouth Park with the former crossing the line 3/4 length in front. Our Super Freak seized the lead turning for home, then settled for third.
Graceful Princess, a 5-year-old Tapit mare, covered 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:41.67 with Joel Rosario riding. It was her third career win and first since April 2020.
Tribhuvan made all in Saturday's $515,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park, showed no signs of weakening through the stretch and won by 2 lengths. Long shots Imperador and Epic Bromance were second and third.
The favorite, Arklow, clipped heels nearing the turn and lost momentum, eventually finishing sixth. Tribhuvan, a 5-year-old, French-bred gelding by Toronado, toured 1 1/2 miles of firm turf in 2:15.48 with Flavien Prat up.
The Chad Brown charge now is 3-for-6 in the United States with the losses including a DNF in the Grade II Fort Marcy at Belmont Park last June with an equipment malfunction.
"He did great," Brown said of Tribhuvan. "We're really proud of him. He ran a great race. He continues to improve and prove that he can go around three turns at the mile and three-eighths distance and Flavien rode him really well."
Larry Rivelli has won the Arlington Park trainer's title eight times but never had a runner in the track's biggest event, the Arlington Million. That looks to change after he saddled Bizzee Channel to a determined victory in Saturday's $100,000 Grade III Arlington Stakes.
"We haven't won it -- yet," Rivelli said after the 5-year-old English Channel gelding edged Two Emmys by a neck. "But you can bet we're going to be there this time. I wouldn't have a horse in the race if I didn't think I could win it. This time, I do."
Rivelli's enthusiasm was not dimmed in the slightest by Churchill Downs Inc.'s plans to sell Arlington Park for redevelopment. It has downgraded the Million, renaming it the Mr. D. Stakes in honor of former track owner Richard Duchossois and reducing the purse to $600,000.
Rivelli's enthusiasm is supported by CDI reportedly not being authorized incentives to lure international raiders for the race, that Bizzee Channel now is 4-for-5 on the Arlington turf and that the very accomplished Zulu Alpha finished fifth in Saturday's race, 6 3/4 lengths behind Bizzee Channel.
Saturday's $100,000 American Derby at Arlington, an historic race by any measure, went to a colt who entered as a maiden, Tango Tango Tango, by a sire, Tourist, who notched his first "black type" stakes winner.
With Declan Cannon in the irons, Tango Tango Tango raced just back of the early longshot speed, gained the lead early in the stretch run and won by 2 lengths from the favorite, Accredit. Red Hornet, making just his second career start, loomed boldly on the stretch turn and just missed place money by a neck.
The American Derby, won by some of the sport's biggest names during Arlington Park's heyday, now is the local prep for the Grade I Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds on the Million program.
Tango Tango Tango's best previous effort came on the Ellis Park turf in his last outing and Cannon said the colt not only is "progressing" but could handle any assignment trainer Jack Sisterton might set for him.
At Gulfstream Park, Renaissance Frolic outfinished Max K. O. to win Saturday's $75,000 Mr. Steele Stakes by a nose with Noble Indy third. Renaissance Frolic, a 6-year-old Paynter gelding, closed with a rush to reach contention and finished the 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:40.87. Edgard Zayas had the mount for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.
Filly & Mare Turf
Godolphin runners Althiqa and Summer Romance, 1-2 in the Grade I Just a Game at Belmont Park last month, were just as game in Saturday's Grade I Diana at Saratoga, again finishing first and second in the same order, separated by 3/4 length. Summer Romance led most of the way before giving way to her stablemate.
La Signare was third. Althiqa, a 4-year-old daughter of Dark Angel, ran 9 furlongs on the good inner turf course in 1:47.65 for jockey Manny Franco.
"We've been in America since the first of May," said Sophie Chretien, assistant to Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby. "It's the 17th of July and we had two big targets in Grade I's and we just couldn't do better.
"It's my first time coming to America and you don't know the tracks. But these horses are smart. You just have to listen to them."
Naval Laughter earned at least consideration for the Group 1 Beverly D. Stakes on Aug. 14 with a late-running victory Saturday in the $100,000 Grade III Modesty Stakes at Arlington Park.
With Sophie Doyle in for the ride, the 4-year-old Midshipman filly raced in mid-pack, found room to run and a burst of speed entering the stretch and won by 1/2 length over Joy Epifora. Bramble Queen was third as trainer Chris Davis scored his first-ever graded stakes win.
"She was absolutely fantastic," Doyle said. "She took me right into the race. When I called on her, she showed me more gears than I ever imagined she could have."
Davis said he consulted the filly's owner, Anthony Braddock of Two Heart Farm LLC, about plans, adding, "The best thing about this is that she's a homebred, he owns the mare and there's a sibling on the ground. But I know we'll be nominating to the Beverly D."
In Saturday's $75,000 Hatoof Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Arlington Park, Core Values rallied five-wide to challenge favorite Flown in the final sixteenth and prevailed by a head over that rival. Double Blessed came from last of seven to finish third.
Core Values, an Honor Code filly, ran 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:44.81 with Rocco Bowen in the irons, scoring her second straight win.
Great Island raced last of six through much of Saturday's $150,000 Grade III WinStar Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park, launched a strong rally through the stretch and won by 1/2 length over Kalifornia Queen. The even-money favorite, Juliet Foxtrot, finished third.
Great Island, a 5-year-old Scat Daddy mare out of the Rahy mare Voyage, ran 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:48.89 with Joel Rosario up, winning for the fourth time from seven starts.
Rinaldi seized the lead right out of the No. 1 gate in Friday's $150,000 Grade III Forbidden Apple Stakes at Saratoga, shook off a long shot challenger midway through and got home first by 1/2 length over Value Proposition. Delaware rallied late to finish third, another neck back.
Rinaldi, a 5-year-old Posse gelding out of the Dynaformer mare Dynamite Cocktail, ran 1 mile on the firm inner turf in 1:35.70. Luis Saez rode for trainer H. James Bond as Rinaldi picked up his fifth career win.
Flashiest was last away in Friday's $100,000 Runhappy Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds on Opening Day at Del Mar, moved up during the backstretch run and rallied wide down the stretch to get home first by a head over Crew Dragon. A nose and a neck separated No Foolery Here and Hockey Dad in third and fourth.
Flashiest, a Mizzen Mast gelding, got 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.88. Abel Cedillo rode for trainer Leonard Powell. Flashiest won for the third time in four starts while making his stakes debut.
Saturday at Del Mar, Ippodamia's Girl survived an erratic start and a bit of a wide trip to win the $100,000 Osunitas Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 1/2 length over Brooke. The favorite, Tapwater, was gaining late from well back but settled for third.
And on Sunday at Del Mar, Neptune's Storm was a gate-to-wire winner in the $100,000 Wickerr Stakes, reporting 1 3/4 lengths to the good of Majestic Eagle.
The other six horses finished in a bunch, separated by less than 2 lengths. Neptune's Storm, a 5-year-old gelding by Stormy Atlantic, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.56. Flavien Prat had the mount for trainer Peter Miller.
Avie's Flatter rallied to the lead in the stretch run of Sunday's $210,000 (Canadian) Grade II Connaught Cup at Woodbine and held off a late bid by Olympic Runner to eke out a neck victory. Proven Strategies was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.
Avie's Flatter, a 5-year-old Flatter entire, ran 7 furlongs on good turf in 1:20.99 with Luis Contreras up. After an 0-for-3 campaign last year, the 2019 Queen's Plate runner-up now is 2-for-2 this season with both wins at 7 furlongs on the turf.
The Critical Way rallied three-wide to win Saturday's $100,000 Wolf Hill Stakes at Monmouth Park, working by pacesetting The Connector through the final sixteenth. That one held second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of Cajun Casanova.
The Critical Way, a 7-year-old Tizway gelding, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:01.11 with Paco Lopez up.
Sunday's $120,000 Coronation Cup for 3-year-old fillies was switched from the Saratoga greensward to the sloppy main track with six attendant scratches. Of the four remaining to face the starter, Goin' Good was goin' best at the end, rallying to win by 1/2 length over Farsighted. Mischiefful and Shop Girl completed the order of finish.
Sunday's $75,000 Pea Patch Stakes for 3-year-old fillies was washed off the Ellis Park turf but New Boss was plenty happy with the sloppy main track, winning off by 6 lengths under Adam Beschizza. Southern Grace was second with Beachside Bunny third.
New Boss, a Street Boss filly, finished 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.11.
Bango ran right by pacesetting Sir Alfred James leaving the furlong grounds in Saturday's $75,000 Good Lord Stakes at Ellis Park and ran on to win by 5 lengths. Bango reported second, 1 length better than Guest Suite.
Bango, a 4-year-old Congrats colt, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:14.63 with Marcelino Pedroza up. It was his third straight win following scores in the Aristides and Kelly's Landing at Churchill Downs.
Wit, the heavy favorite, got rolling turning into the stretch run in Saturday's $150,000 Grade III Sanford Stakes at Saratoga, blew right by the front-runners and ran on to win by 8 lengths. Headline Report was second, another 5 1/2 lengths ahead of third-place Dance Code, who stumbled out of the gate.
Wit, a Practical Joke colt trained by Todd Pletcher, ran 6 furlongs on a good track in 1:11.20 with Irad Ortiz in the irons. He's 2-for-2 after a debut win at Belmont Park, but Ortiz said he can do better if he can get a decent start.
"He's not a great horse breaking out of there," Ortiz said. "He stands there quiet but he broke a step slow out of there. I think down the road he'll figure it out."
Sunday at Emerald Downs near Seattle, Cobra Jet went to the post as the prohibitive favorite in the $50,000 King County Express Stakes and more than justified the support, kicking away to win by 13 1/2 lengths while finishing 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.03 under Juan Gutierrez. Chumly beat the other three with Firewalker third.
Cobra Jet, a Curlin to Mischief gelding, made it 2-for-2 after winning his first start by 6 3/4 lengths June 30.
Slack Tide battled to the lead in Sunday's $50,000 Angie C. Stakes at Emerald Downs, gave up the advantage and then got serious, drawing clear to win by 3 lengths. First-timer Akasi was second, 1 length better than Smiling Salsa.
Slack Tide, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Shaman Ghost, ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.94 with Heribert Martinez in the irons.
Around the world, around the clock:
Snowfall burst through between rivals 2 furlongs out in Saturday's Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh and rolled home an 8 1/2-lengths winner, franking her 16-lengths blowout win in the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom in her previous start.
Divinely, a stablemate in the Aidan O'Brien yard, was second and Nicest, trained for the same Coolmore partners by Donnacha O'Brien, finished third.
It's worth noting those first three were sired, respectively, by Japanese Derby winner Deep Impact, Epsom Derby winner Galileo and Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah. Snowfall, by Deep Impact, was produced by the Galileo mare Best In The World.
"She's an unbelievable filly with an unbelievable pedigree," Aidan O'Brien said in great understatement.
There wasn't much to the Irish Oaks running. Another from the bottomless Coolmore well, La Joconde, made the early going. A huge gap appeared for Snowfall and jockey
Ryan Moore at just the right time and that was, as they say someplace other than Ireland, all she wrote. The 8 1/2-lengths margin of victory was barely more than half the historic Epsom performance but good enough to be the biggest Irish Oaks score since 1905.
Coolmore and O'Brien already have another star filly, Love, primed for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The trainer wouldn't dismiss the chance of having Snowfall join that one in a Longchamp showdown but emphasized the Coolmore "lads" make those calls.
"I've never seen them before not run against each other if it suits the horse," O'Brien said. "It's a long way away and we'll take one step at a time. Wouldn't it be great if it did fall like that? We'd be over the moon but the lads will make the decision."
It was a warm day at the Curragh, but a cool ride by Moore on Snowfall, and no wonder. His previous win in the race came in 2010 aboard Snow Fairy.
It was warm again Sunday at the Irish track, but not as warm as another O'Brien star, Order of Australia, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland.
The Australia colt, a half-sibling to Santa Barbara, drove powerfully through the stretch to win the Minstrel Stakes under Moore, promising a disappointing Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot was a fluke.
"He's a horse that takes his racing well so we were thinking of coming here and then going for the Sussex Stakes," Racing Post quoted O'Brien as saying in reference to Order of Australia. "He has plenty of speed and gets a mile well. He can go to the U.S. later in the year and maybe races after that too."
Meanwhile, back in the States:
Sunday's $85,000 Jersey Girl Handicap for state-bred fillies and mares was moved off the turf to the muddy main track where Groovy Surprise was no surprise to the punters.
Sent off the favorite, the 4-year-old Giant Surprise filly opened a daylight lead, fought back when engaged by Bramble Bay and held on to win by a head over that rival. Eleven and a half lengths farther back, Diamond Play earned show money. Groovy Surprise, with Mychel Sanchez riding, finished 1 mile in 1:39.11.
The Minnesota oval had four nice races for state-breds on Wednesday, two of which unfortunately were moved from the turf to the muddy main track.
Star of the North also was the star of the $50,000 Frances Genter Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, leading all the way as the odds-on favorite and winning by 3 3/4 lengths.
Owen's Pleasure put a nose in front of Hell of the North at the wire to finish second. Star of the North, by The Hunk, ran six furlongs in 1:10.43 with Ry Eikleberry in the irons
Thealligatorhunter, another odds-on choice, romped to a 4-lengths win in the $50,000 Victor S. Myers Stakes for 3-year-olds. Kid's Inheritance was a long shot second with Bayou Benny third. Thealligatorhunter, an Overanalyze colt, reported in 1:10.95 with Alonzo Quinonez aboard.
Cinco Star came from a pace-stalking trip to win the off-the-turf Ralph Strangis Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths with Twoko Bay rallying for second.
Cinco Star, a 6-year-old Three Hour Nap gelding, got 1 mile in 1:37.14 with Roimes Chirinos in the irons. And Ready to Runaway got first run to the lead in the stretch in the Minnesota Turf Distaff and easily held off the favorite, Clickbait, for the victory.
Ready to Runaway, a 5-year-old daughter of First Dude, got home in 1:37.15 for Chirinos.
Troubled Justice was along late to snatch victory from pacesetting Nobody Listens in Wednesday's $75,000 Snack Stakes for Indiana-bred 3-year-olds. A Few Too Many contested the early pace and held on for third as Troubled Justice, a Dominus gelding, ran 1 mile on yielding turf in 1:37.86 with Samuel Bermudez in the kip.
Voodoo Justice was on the lead but under pressure most of the way in Wednesday's $75,000 Ellen's Lucky Star Stakes for state-bred 3-year-old fillies, shook off the persistent challenger and rolled home first by 1 3/4 lengths.
Taperinea was best of the rest. Voodoo Justice, a Harry's Holiday filly, ran 1 mile on the yielding going in 1:39.75 with Orlando Mojica up.
Sir Wally Wally pressed the pace in Saturday's $90,000 Iowa Stallion Stakes for 3-year-old state-breds, took the lead midway through the 1 mile and 70 yards and won by 1 1/2 lengths. Number One Dude was No. 2, 5 lengths ahead of Apollo Bay in third.
Sir Wally Wally, a Revolutionary gelding, finished in 1:41.55 with Glenn Corbett up.
The filly division went to odds-on favorite Bobbin Tail, who had to rally smartly through the final furlong to get home first by a neck. Shesabidformidable was second, 6 1/2 lengths better than Sassy Ain't I. Bobbin Tail, a Tale of Ekati filly, needed 1:43.79 for the same trip with Alex Birzer riding.
Golden Vision rallied from the back of a four-horse field to win Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Ballade Stakes for Canadian-bred fillies and mares by 1/2 length over the favorite, Summer Holiday. Spanish Ballerina and Sav completed the order of finish.
Golden Vision, a 5-year-old Court Vision mare, ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:10.75 under Omar Morena.