1 of 2 | Malathaat wins Saturday's Grade I Alabama at Saratoga. Photo by Chelsea Durant, courtesy of New York Racing Association
Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Two 3-year-old fillies half a world apart avenged their only losses in dramatic fashion in weekend horse racing with Malathaat victorious at Saratoga and pure-white Sodashi handling older rivals at Sapporo Racecourse in Japan.
A busy weekend saw upsets in some major graded events. Tripoli took down the Pacific Classic and Astronaut won the Del Mar Handicap, both earning spots in November's Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Mo Forza, meanwhile, was a popular winner in the Del Mar Mile and Safe Conduct won the Queen's Plate at Woodbine.
Sodashi's impressive performance was only one stop on the weekend's international tour, which also included stops in Australia, France and England. We've got all that an much more. Read on ...
Tripoli, making just his second stakes start, rolled home a comfortable winner in Saturday's $1 million Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar, earning a "Win and You're In" spot in the November Breeders' Cup Classic over the same track.
With Tiago Periera up, the 4-year-old Kitten's Joy colt broke well from the inside gate, then took back to track the leaders while saving ground. Exiting the second turn, Periera moved Tripoli out to challenge pacesetting Tizamagician, eased by that one and was unchallenged thereafter.
Tizamagician held second by 4 1/2 lengths over Dr Post with the favorite, Express Train, finishing sixth.
Tripoli was clocked in 2:02.37 over a fast track as he improved on his second-place finish behind Express Train in the Grade II San Diego Handicap in his last start. The win was his fourth from 14 starts.
"He had a perfect trip," said Tripoli's trainer, John Sadler. "Give the rider a lot of credit. He rode him perfectly."
Owner Kostas Hronis agreed Periera "rode a great race. It's the only race he rode today because he wanted to focus on it. This horse has matured and just keeps coming along and today he proved himself. We didn't know if he could go a mile and a quarter but today we found out."
At Monmouth Park, Code of Honor took charge in the stretch in Saturday's $250,000 Grade III Philip H. Iselin Stakes and went on to win by 2 1/2 lengths as the even-money favorite. West Will Power was second, a neck better than Phat Man.
Code of Honor, a 5-year-old son of Noble Mission, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.38 for jockey Paco Lopez. The W.S. Farish homebred, trained by Shug McGaughey, has been a consistent graded stakes performer but had not raced since finishing fifth in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in January.
Rated R Superstar charged from the back of the pack in Friday night's $192,500 Governor's Cup Stakes at Remington Park, hooked up with the favorite, Plainsman, and dueled that one into submission by a neck under the wire. It was another 1 3/4 lengths to Trident Hit in third.
Rated R Superstar, an 8-year-old Kodiak Kowboy gelding, got 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:50.30 with Ramon Vazquez in the irons. It was his first stakes win since the Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park in March of 2019.
The Queen's Plate at Woodbine is Canada's signature race and, as the oldest continually run stakes race in North America, a source of pride for horsemen north of the border. But, since it's restricted to 3-year-olds foaled in Canada, it seldom has much impact in the big U.S. races. Nonetheless, Sunday's 162nd renewal was plenty exciting.
When Safe Conduct seized the lead turning for home, it looked as if the Bodemeister colt had a safe passage to victory. But that was before Riptide Rock got rolling from the back of the pack, circled the embattled field midway down the lane and did everything but catch Safe Conduct, finishing second by a head. H C Holiday also ran well late to take third.
Safe Conduct, with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, got his third win but first in a stakes race. He came to Woodbine for the first time after finishing eighth in the Grade I Belmont Derby Invitational, proving that butting heads in open company might be a better preparation for the Plate than contesting restricted races at home.
"Thank God it worked out good," Ortiz said. "I got the right horse. He was working good and everything came out perfect in the race. I was up close in a good spot and when I asked him to go, he responded really well.
Saturday's $600,000 Grade I Alabama for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga was billed as a rematch between Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat and Maracuja, whose upset win in the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks put paid to Malathaat's unblemished record. It didn't quite work out that way.
Instead, the Alabama got off to a troubled start as both fillies were slow out of the gate and started well behind the long shot leaders. Jockey John Velazquez confidently kept Malathaat wide the whole way and asked her for her best turning into the stretch.
The Curlin filly responded willingly, driving to a 1 1/2-lengths victory. Clairiere got by Army Wife in the final yards to finish a promising second. Malathaat, obviously enjoying her first 1 1/4-miles effort, finished in 2:02.59.
Velazquez said racing from off the pace, as opposed to making the pace in the CCAA, made a big difference.
"Today, it was easier," Velazquez said. "The speed showed up. I saved the ground in the first turn. I didn't chase. I knew I was comfortable where I was and she did it for me."
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said the impressive effort over a deep and tiring track may change his plans for Malathaat heading for the Breeders' Cup.
"We wanted to go Coaching Club and Alabama and, similar to what she did with the Ashland and the Kentucky Oaks, she ran better with a race under her belt. Originally, we had talked about going straight to the Breeders' Cup. We'll play it by ear."
Sunday's $120,000 Summer Colony Stakes at Saratoga was little more than a well-funded workout for Horologist. The 5-year-old Gemologist mare showed the way and extended her advantage through the stretch to win by 8 1/2 lengths. Gold Spirit and So Darn Hot filled out the trifecta.
Horologist ran 8 1/8 miles on a good, sealed track in 1:51.57 with Junior Alvarado in the irons. The multiple graded stakes winner was last seen finishing third in the Grade III Shuvee Stakes on July 25.
Private Mission pressed the pace in Saturday's $100,000 Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar, quickly took over when prompted by jockey Flavien Prat and drew off to win by 6 lengths in a hand ride. I'm So Anna was second, another 7 3/4 lengths in front of Forest Carraway.
Private Mission, an Into Mischief filly trained by Bob Baffert, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:37.89. It was her second start and second win of the year.
Astronaut led a trio of long shots across the finish line in Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Del Mar Handicap, landing a "Win and You're In" spot in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf.
The race devolved to a mad scramble to the wire at the end of 1 3/8 miles with a few hard-luck stories, including the favorite, United, who was short of room at the critical juncture and could only finish fourth, beaten less than 1 length. Less than 2 lengths separated the first eight finishers.
Astronaut, with Victor Espinoza in the irons, raced well off the pace, picked things up on the stretch turn while four-wide and grabbed a narrow lead.
Aided by the traffic behind him, the 4-year-old Quality Road colt held off Master Piece by 1/2 length with pacesetter Acclimate just a neck behind that one and United a nose farther back. Astronaut was clocked in 2:15.95 over firm going.
Astronaut was sent off a 24-1 long shot while seeking his first-ever stakes win. The colt had only one previous win, that in a 1 1/8-miles maiden event at Santa Anita on March 26. He finished second in the Grade III San Juan Capistrano June 19.
"We wanted to run him long, but we weren't sure how long," said Astronaut's trainer, John Shirreffs. "And when he ran so well going a mile and three-quarters (in the San Juan Capistrano) it seemed like this was possible."
Saratoga shipper Corelli could see all seven rivals heading into the stretch run of Saturday's $180,000 (Canadian) Grade III Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine, found a handy opening between rivals and shot through to win by 1 3/4 lengths. English Conqueror vanquished the others with Belichick another 1 length back after enjoying a brief turn on the lead.
Corelli, a 6-year-old Point of Entry gelding, ran 1 1/4 miles on firm going in 2:01.70 with Kazushi Kimura in the irons. Previously trained in England by John Gosden, Corelli won for the second time in North America under the tutelage of Jonathan Thomas.
Filly & Mare Turf
Trainer Chad Brown was at it again in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga, saddling Technical Analysis to a front-running victory.
The Irish-bred Kingman filly was never troubled in the 1 1/16-miles event, run on the yielding inner turf, defeating Runaway Rumor by 3 1/2 lengths. Ego Trip was another 1/2 length back in third.
Technical Analysis, under Jose Ortiz, reported in 1:46.49 for her second straight win and fourth from her last five starts.
Going Global rallied into contention in the stretch drive of Saturday's $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Oaks and got clear to win by 1 length. Closing Remarks closed well enough to earn place money, 3/4 length in front of Fluffy Socks.
Going Global, an Irish-bred filly by Mehmas, ran 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:48.91 for jockey Flavien Prat. She posted her fifth win from six U.S. starts for trainer Phil D'Amato.
Her only loss since arriving from Ireland was a 1/2-length decision to Madone in the Grade II San Clemente July 24. Madone finished fifth Saturday with a belated rally.
"We got a dream ride there and this filly showed that she's just the class of the field against a really good bunch of horses," D'Amato said.
"She showed her turn of foot and got it done. She's just special. She takes on every challenge we give her and keeps on going."
Mutamakina pressed the early pace in Sunday's $210,000 (Canadian) Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine, got to the front early in the stretch run and gamely held off the favorite, Etoile, to win by 1/2 length. It was just a neck more to Mervilleux in third.
Mutamakina, a 5-year-old, British-bred mare by Nathaniel, ran 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 2:01.26 with Dylan Davis riding for trainer Christophe Clement. It was her second win in six starts since coming from France.
Our Flash Drive extended her winning streak to three with a 1 1/2-lengths victory in Sunday's $150,000 (Canadian) Grade III Ontario Colleen for 3-year-old fillies.
The Live Oak Plantation homebred daughter of Ghostzapper out of the Dynaformer mare Dynamotor shadowed the pacesetting longshot before taking command. Seasons was second with Speightstown Shirl third.
Our Flash Drive, with Patrick Husbands riding, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:34.76. She now is a graded stakes winner on both turf and the all-weather course.
Mo Forza raced well back through the early furlongs of Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Del Mar Mile, angled four wide turning for home and was along to win by a head over Smooth Like Strait. Hit the Road was third, another 1 length in arrears.
Mo Forza, a 5-year-old son of Uncle Mo, finished in 1:35.05 over firm turf with Flavien Prat in the irons It was Mo Forza's first start of the season after a 2020 that wound up with wins in this race and the Grade II City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita.
Trainer Peter Miller said he was "worried if I had him fit enough. I really was. But he's a champion and he's got that heart of a champion. I'm just glad I had him fit enough -- just enough."
Silent Poet couldn't hold the lead going 7 furlongs in his last two starts but found the 6 furlongs of Sunday's $350,000 (Canadian) Grade I Highlander Stakes at Woodbine just peachy.
After stalking the pace for jockey Justin Stein, the 6-year-old Silent Name gelding took a narrow advantage in the stretch and held it, winning by 1/2 length. Admiralty Pier closed stoutly to get by pacesetting favorite Caravel for second. S
Silent Poet got the 6 furlongs on firm turf in 1:07.98 and now has three wins and a second from four starts at the distance.
Lieutenant Dan battled with Give Me the Lute through most of Sunday's $100,000 Grade III Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar, finally asserted himself and got away to a 2 1/4-lengths victory. Give Me the Lute held on take second by a neck from Gregorian Chant.
Lieutenant Dan, a 5-year-old Grazen gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 55.98 seconds. Geovanni Franco had the mount for trainer Steven Miyadi.
Piedi Bianchi raced just off the pace set by odds-on favorite Robin Sparkles in Saturday's $120,000 Smart N Fancy Stakes for fillies and mares at Saratoga, got by that one inside the furlong marker and got away to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
Lead Guitar also passed Robin Sparkles to finish second while Hydra completed the order of finish.
Piede Bianchi, a 6-year-old Overanalyze mare, finished 5 1/2 furlongs on yielding turf in 1:04.95 with Tyler Gaffalione up.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Edgeway dueled for the lead in Friday's $100,000 Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar, eventually took the advantage for good and edged away to a 1-length victory. Proud Emma, Stellar Sound and Scotish Star completed the order of finish.
Edgeway, a 4-year-old daughter of Competitive Edge, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:16.80 with Joe Bravo riding.
Saturday at Woodbine, Boardroom chased the early pace in the $180,000 (Canadian) Seaway Stakes, took command in the stretch and won by 4 1/2 lengths, ridden out by Luis Contreras. Our Secret Agent was second, 2 lengths in front of Amalfi Coast.
Boardroom, a Commissioner filly trained by Josie Carroll, ran 7 furlongs on the all-weather course in 1:22.02. She now has five wins, a second and a third from seven starts, all on the same surface.
My Prankster, a $600,000 juvenile purchase, sparkled in his career debut Saturday at Saratoga, scooting off to win by 10 lengths in a 6 1/2-furlongs maiden race. The Into Mischief colt, owned by Robert and Lawana Low, is trained by Todd Pletcher. Luis Saez took the mount.
Friday's $120,000 Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga came off the turf but that was just fine for Averly Jane, who got quickly to the front and splashed her way to a 7 1/4-length victory, remaining undefeated after three starts. Pure Panic was second with Overbore third. Kaufymaker was scratched.
Averly Jane, a Midshipman filly trained by Wesley Ward, ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.79 with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons. Her earlier wins came on the dirt at Keeneland and in the Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs. Ward said the $400,000 Grade I Alcibiades on the Keeneland dirt oval Oct. 8 is the likely next stop.
See the international section for Perfect Power's run to victory in France, which earned a "Win and You're In" spot in the Breeders' Cup.
First Empire got rolling midway through Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) Soaring Free Stakes at Woodbine and won by 1 3/4 lengths, ridden out by jockey Patrick Husbands. Degree of Risk was second, 7 1/4 lengths ahead of Heaven Street.
First Empire, a Classic Empire colt, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:15.44. The Mark Casse trainee scored his second straight win, both over the Woodbine green.
At Gulfstream Park, it was Ontario-bred Eldon's Prince kicking away from six rivals to win Saturday's $75,000 Proud Man Stakes by a clear 6 lengths. The favorite, Winging It, was second, 3/4 length to the good of Fulton Street.
Eldon's Prince, a Cairo Prince colt trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:36.79. Edgard Zayas was along for the ride as Eldon's Prince scored his first win after a career-opening second.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Diabolic was next-last as the field rounded the turn in Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) Catch a Glimpse Stakes at Woodbine, skimmed the rail to reach contention in upper stretch and won by 1 length from Royal Engagement. It was another 1 3/4 length to Mrs. Barbara in third.
Diabolic, an Irish-bred Dark Angel filly, got 6 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:15.81 with Antonio Gallardo riding. She won at first asking on the Gulfstream Park turf May 20 for trainer Mark Casse and returned to win on the Woodbine all-weather course July 31.
Around the world, around the clock:
Winter Power powered to the lead 2 furlongs out in Friday's Group 1 Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York and ran on strongly to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Emaraaty Ana, earning a "Win and You're In" berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Dragon Symbol was third and the favorites, Suesa and Golden Pal, reported fourth and seventh, respectively.
Winter Power, a 3-year-old Bungle Inthejungle filly, was a well-beaten ninth in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in her previous appearance in a group event. For those unfamiliar with Bungle Inthejungle, he is by noted Australian-bred Exceed and Excel. He was a Group 3 winner twice as a 2-year-old but never delivered on the promise.
The outcome of the Nunthorpe was a bitter pill for the connections of the favorites. Wesley Ward, in particular, had predicted a standout performance from Golden Pal, who finished second in last year's Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and went on to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
With Frankie Dettori up, Golden Pal set a blistering early pace in the Nunthorpe before folding. Suesa won the Group 2 King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood in his previous start.
Dettori had a better experience -- much better -- in Friday's Group 2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup as Stradivarius returned to winning ways. The veteran got his third win in the race but only after a ding-dong stretch battle, swapping the lead with a stubborn Spanish Mission.
"It was a battle," Racing Post quoted Dettori as saying. "Spanish Mission passed me, I passed him back, he passed me back again. But I think my horse knows where the line is and he popped his head in front at the line.
"He's getting older and wiser, so I don't think you'll see him winning by very far these days. But he got the job done."
Owner-breeder Bjorn Nielsen has not ruled out the possibility Stradivarius might return for an 8-year-old season and trainer John Gosden obviously is not averse to that possibility. Meanwhile, the odds plummeted for Stradivarius in the Qipco Long Distance Cup on Champions Day.
Saturday at York, Sonnyboyliston got home a head in front of Quickthorn after the 1 3/4 miles of the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap, at 500,000 pounds sterling the richest of Europe's handicap races. Trainer Johnny Murtagh now eyes the option of trying the Group 1 Irish St Leger and the Melbourne Cup -- pending, of course, completion of all the new import requirements.
Sodashi, the striking white filly who has captured the imagination of Japanese fans, now shows herself to be the real deal -- well beyond anything related to her distinctive coloration.
Already the first Japanese white horse to win a graded turf race, to have multiple graded victories and to have a Grade 1 win, Sodashi took on older rivals and males for the first time in Sunday's Grade 1 Sapporo Kinen -- a field that included proven international star Loves Only You and one-time Grade 1 performer Persian Knight. She dominated them.
After racing just off the pace in the 2,000-meter contest, Sodashi got going when a rival ranged up alongside at the end of the backstretch run. Once in full flight, she was not for catching and Loves Only You's late rally fell 3/4 length short. Sodashi did not appear to be fading, either, as she finished in a snappy 1:59.5 with Hayato Yoshida riding.
Sodashi's only previous loss came in her last start in the 2,000-meters Yushun Himba or Japanese Oaks so the victory at the same distance was meaningful going forward.
"I am relieved," Racing Post quoted Yoshida as saying. "I couldn't meet fans' expectations on the Oaks, which was regrettable. But she has run well here on her return and I am looking forward to the autumn."
Perfect Power looked flat out of luck twice in the final 200 meters of Sunday's Group 1 Darley Prix Morny for 2-year-olds at Deauville as traffic closed in on the Ardad colt. But, just in time, there was just enough daylight and jockey Christophe Soumillon got Perfect Power through the openings and on to a 1 1/4-lengths victory.
Trident also put in a late bid to finish second with Asymmetric third and Armor fourth. Perfect Power, trained by Richard Fahey, posted his third win from five starts with the wins including the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.
"I was panicking there," trainer Richard Fahey said of Perfect Power's problematic passage. "Maybe Christophe wasn't but he's a better jockey than I ever was or ever will be - but it was just great to see him coming through."
The victory was worth a "Win and You're In" spot for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in November but Fahey said the immediate target is the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes Sept. 25 at Newmarket.
In Sunday's other Group 1 alongside the English Channel, long shot Grand Glory nailed the favorite, Audarya, in the final strides to take the Darley Prix Jean Romanet by a short head. Thundering Nights was third and the favorite, Lady Bowthorpe, beat only one rival in the field of eight fillies and mares.
Grand Glory, a 4-year-old Olympic Glory mare, had never previously prevailed above the Group 3 level while Audarya's resume included a victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and Lady Bowthorpe was last seen winning the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
Mo'unga edged favorite Verry Elleegant by a neck in a rather chaotic end of 1,400 meters in Saturday's Winx Stakes at Royal Randwick with She's Ideel in close attendance in third.
The two emerged from a tight grouping inside the final 150 meters and looked to have things between them, only to have a swarm of rivals rally down the middle of the track, just missing catching Verry Elleegant.
Meanwhile, Brandenburg and jockey Rachel King fell midway down the stretch, further complicating the run. Brandenburg reportedly was euthanized, but King avoided serious injury.
Mo'unga, a 4-year-old Savabeel colt, won the Group 1 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas in the Southern Hemisphere autumn, then came up short in two subsequent top-level engagements. The Winx was his first start of the spring.
Verry Elleegant, a 6-year-old mare by Zed, has a much more accomplished CV, including a win in last year's Winx Stakes.
Meanwhile, back in the States:
Awesome Debate pressed the pace in Thursday's $100,000 Union Avenue Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares, came out to challenge and got clear, winning by 4 1/4 lengths. Irish Constitution and Hannah Dances also ran well late to take second and third.
Awesome Debate, a 5-year-old Honorable Dillion mare, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:17.48 with Luis Saez in the irons.
Saturday's card included four $75,000 stakes, all for Maryland-breds.
Malibu Beauty led from the early strides in the Miss Disco for 3-year-old fillies and won by 4 1/2 lengths as the odds-on favorite. The Buffum filly, trained by Gary Capuano, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.48 with Sheldon Russell riding.
Only three 3-year-olds faced the starter in the Star de Naskra, and Jaxon Traveler, the odds-on favorite, proved best by 3 lengths after kicking clear of the early pace duel. With Russell up, the Munnings colt ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.21.
Kiss the Girl ran down clear leader Awesome Jazz in the final furlong of the All Brandy Stakes for fillies and mares, winning by a neck over that rival. Kiss the Girl, a 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief, negotiated 1 1/16 miles of yielding turf in 1:48.53 for jockey Victor Carrasco.
Somekindofmagician pulled a bit of a rabbit out of his hat in the Find Stakes, rallying from next-last to win by 1 3/4 length over Nick Papagiorgio (National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation reference). Somekindofmagician, a 7-year-old Street Magician gelding, was clocked in 1:48.13 over the yielding turf with Angel Cruz up.
Saturday was Louisiana Cup with six $50,000 heats for state-bred steeds. The conditions were fast and firm.
On the 2-year-old front, True Deal dueled with the favorite, Family Creed, before prevailing by a neck over that rival. In the Juvenile Fillies, Wholelottamo pressed the pace, and then took command in the stretch to win by 2 1/2 lengths.
Carlea's Dream split rivals in the stretch en route to a 1 1/4-lengths win as the favorite in the Classic. The Distaff, at 1 1/16 miles on the green course, went to Net a Bear. The Awesome Bet mare outfinished Offspring by 1 length.
Chu Chu's Legacy was up in the final yards to win the Sprint by 1 1/2 lengths over Scarlettsblackjack. Strong Beauty won in similar fashion in the Filly & Mare Sprint, defeating Crescentcitypretty by 1 1/4 lengths.
Golden Band rallied from next-last of seven to capture Saturday's $100,000 Casey Darnell Stakes for New Mexico-breds by 1/2 length over Wheredoesthecashgo. The pacesetter, Hollywood Henry, settled for third, a neck farther back.
Golden Band, a 6-year-old Quinton's Gold gelding, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:02.87 with Rodolfo Guerra up.
Slammed kicked away from the field in the stretch drive of Sunday's $100,000 Carlos Salazar Stakes for state-bred fillies and mares, winning by 4 1/2 lengths. Count Them Again was second, 1 length better than Proofsinthepuddin.
Slammed, a 3-year-old Marking filly, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.67 with Tracy Hebert riding.
A View From Above took the early lead in Sunday's $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings, turned back a challenge from Cobra Jet and went on to win by 1 1/4 lengths over that one. The Abraaj gelding ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:17.33 with Julien Couton up.
Koron dueled the odds-on favorite, Gold N Glitter, into submission in Sunday's $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and scooted away, defeating that rival by 5 1/2 lengths.
Koron, a daughter of Nationhood, reported in 1:19.04 with Kevin Orozco riding.