Breeders' Cup hopefuls mark weekend horse racing

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
Pink Lloyd, age 9, gets back on the winning track in Saturday's Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine. Photo courtesy of Woodbine
Pink Lloyd, age 9, gets back on the winning track in Saturday's Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine. Photo courtesy of Woodbine

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon went at it again in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby with yet another controversy attached as top racing action around the world continued to build intrigue for the Breeders' Cup and other year-end showdowns.

Clairiere won the $1 million Cotillion at Parx Racing. Life Is Good is all the way back. Bella Sofia passed her exam against elders. There was 2-year-old action all over the place.


And speaking of 2-year-old action, both Breeders' Cup spots and points in the "European Road to the Kentucky Derby" were on offer during the weekend in England and Ireland. Benbatl won again and could be headed to Del Mar.

And next weekend is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe -- the 100th edition of that race and looking like a good one.


Meanwhile, RIP Arlington Park. The suburban Chicago track, on the auction block for redevelopment, wound up its 2021 meeting Saturday and looks headed for a date with the wrecking ball.


You didn't have to be right there at Parx Racing to know what was going through trainer Doug O'Neill's mind in the minutes after Saturday's $1million Grade I Pennsylvania Derby. You also probably couldn't print much of it in a family newspaper.

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But things all worked out and O'Neill was allowed to celebrate Hot Rod Charlie's front-running, 2 1/4-lengths victory. Midnight Bourbon was second, 4 1/2 lengths in front of Americanrevolution. Hot Rod Charlie, an Oxbow colt, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.63 with Flavien Prat riding.

The angst and déjà vu came courtesy of an objection filed by Midnight Bourbon's rider, Ricardo Santana Jr. He claimed Hot Rod Charlie drifted his mount out toward the middle of the track turning into the stretch, disrupting his momentum.

That was true, as endless replays showed. But the stewards ruled in favor of Hot Rod Charlie, likely because the interference didn't affect the outcome.

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In the Grade I Haskell at Monmouth Park in June, Hot Rod Charlie cut in front of Midnight Bourbon, causing him to clip heels, stumble and dislodge jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. In that case, Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified from the win to seventh place.


"I was pretty confident they were not going to take him down," O'Neill said after Saturday's race.

"Flavien said he got a little distracted being on the lead. He was kind of looking around and that might have caused him not to corner as well as he could have. For this to come on top of his last race, this was definitely exaggerated. Thank God he was clear and didn't cause any interference."

Midnight Bourbon's trainer, Steve Asmussen, was less sanguine about the incident.

"Flavien Prat almost drops Midnight Bourbon for the second time," Asmussen said. "My horse ran well. He survived."

Elsewhere in the Classic ranks:

Warrant got by pacesetting long shot Flash of Mischief in the stretch run of Sunday's $400,000 Grade III Remington Park Derby and kept going to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Flash of Mischief held second with the favorite, Super Stock, 1/2 length behind.

Warrant, a Constitution colt trained by Brad Cox, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:50.76. Warrant earlier won the Texas Derby and finished second in the Oaklawn Stakes and Grade III West Virginia Derby.

Trainer Kenny McPeek's faith in King Fury might be starting to pay off. The Curlin colt kicked away in the stretch run of Saturday's $275,000 Bourbon Trail Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs and ran on to win by 13 lengths over Bourbon Thunder. Dr Jack was third.


King Fury, with Brian Hernandez Jr. up, ran 1 3/16 miles on a fast track in 1:56.01.


Clairiere bided her time in Saturday's $1 million Grade I Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies at Parx Racing, circled most of the field and drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Obligatory and Army Wife filled out the trifecta.

Clairiere, a Curlin filly, finished 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.31 with Ricardo Santana Jr. up. The Steve Asmussen trainee has been competing at the highest levels all year but had not won since the Grade II Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds the day before Valentine's Day.

It would be a surprise not to see Clairiere in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, but Asmussen said he will consult with the owners, Stonestreet Stables, about plans.

"She's kept herself in great company all year and getting good when it matters most," Asmussen said. "Obviously, we're going to speak to Stonestreet and stuff, but with the numbers she's got, she's consistently getting faster at the right time."

Lady Mystify took charge in the stretch run in Sunday's $200,000 Grade III Remington Park Oaks and drove home first, 3 lengths ahead of the favorite, Pauline's Pearl. Amendment Nineteen came from last of seven to finish third, just another head in arrears.


Lady Mystify, a Bernardini filly, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.13 with Flavien Prat riding. The California-based filly, trained by Peter Eurton, won for the third time after finishing fifth in the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar in her previous start.

Filly & Mare Turf

Pocket Square rallied four-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $200,000 Grade III Athenia Stakes for fillies and mares at Belmont Park and spurted away to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Miss Teheran. Lake Lucerne was third.

Pocket Square, a 4-year-old, British-bred filly by Night of Thunder, ran 1 1/8 miles on the good inner turf course in 1:51.19 with Irad Ortiz at the controls.

Tamahere led virtually all the way to a 7 1/4-lengths victory over a small but talented field in Saturday's $100,000 Violet Stakes at Monmouth Park. The favorite, Vigilantes Way was second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Counterparty Risk.

Tamahere, a 4-year-old, French-bred filly by Wootton Bassett, ran 1 1/16 miles on yielding turf in 1:45.74 with Jose Ferrer riding for trainer Chad Brown. It was her second win from seven starts since coming over from France.


Turf Sprint

Hollywood Talent is 10 years old and was taken for a $8,000 claiming price last September at Delaware Park. He had not won in six starts since that race, toiling at the same low rung on the class ladder -- until Saturday.

Then, the Talent Search gelding, at odds slightly north of 108-1, came from well back in the nine-horse field to win the $300,000 Grade III Turf Monster Stakes at Parx Racing by 1 1/4 lengths. Beer Can Man was second with Admiral Abe third.

The favorites, Carotari and Caravel, dead-heated for sixth and seventh. With Ricardo Santana Jr. in the irons, Hollywood Talent finished 5 furlongs on good going in 59.51 seconds.


Spooky Channel and Sunlit song both rallied from the back of the pack in Sunday's $100,000 Remington Green Stakes at Remington Park with Spooky Channel leading that duo across the wire by 3/4 length. Tut's Revenge was third.

Spooky Channel, a 6-year-old English Channel gelding, ran 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:47.01 with James Graham riding.

Sprint / Dirt Mile

Jackie's Warrior had little more than a paid workout in Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Gallant Bob Stakes for 3-year-olds at Parx Racing.


Sent off a huge odds-on favorite, the Mclean's Music colt surged quickly to the lead and was not threatened, winning by 6 3/4 lengths, wrapped up by jockey Joel Rosario. He ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.64. It was his third straight win and fourth from his last five.

At Churchill Downs on Saturday, Everett's Song relentlessly gained on the leaders down the long stretch, finally got the advantage at the sixteenth pole and went on to win the $275,000 Harrod's Creek Stakes for 3-year-olds by 2 3/4 lengths. He'smyhoneybadger was second, 1 length in front of Ram.

Everett's Song, a Liam's Map gelding, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.68 for jockey Pablo Morales.

Life Is Good clearly is all the way back from the injury that kept him out of the Triple Crown races. The Into Mischief colt, making just his second start since March, shot quickly to the lead in Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park, led comfortably with only minimal encouragement from jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and won by 5 1/2 lengths.

Fort Peck and Doubly Blessed completed the order of finish. Chance It was pulled up and vanned off. Life Is Good ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:34.37 in a preview of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.


Mind Control took the lead in the stretch in Saturday's $200,000 Parx Dirt Mile, surrendered the advantage to the favorite, Silver State, and then came again to win by a head over that one. Warrior's Charge was 2 1/2 lengths farther back in third.

Mind Control, a 5-year-old son of Stay Thirsty, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:36.59 with John Velazquez riding. He now is 2-for-3 since Todd Pletcher took over the training chores.

Carribean Caper took charge in the stretch in Saturday's $275,000 Grade III Dogwood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park, scooting away from five rivals to win by 6 lengths. Someone Said So and Malloy were second and third.

Carribean Caper, a Speightstown filly, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.57. Colby Hernandez had the ride for trainer Al Stall Jr.

Pro Quality had a poor-quality start in Saturday's $125,000 Wildcat Heir Stakes for Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park, but still was able to rally in time to win by a head over Shivaree. The odds-on favorite, Noble Drama, put in a mild late rally to finish third.

Pro Quality, a 4-year-old gelding by Exclusive Quality, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:36.15 with Luca Panici up.


Filly & Mare Sprint

Bella Sofia went right to the lead in Sunday's $250,000 Grade II Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park and wasn't seriously challenged, winning by 3 1/2 lengths with only mild encouragement from jockey Luis Saez. Lady Rocket was second, 9 lengths in front of Lake Avenue.

Bella Sofia, a 3-year-old daughter of Awesome Patriot, finished 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:15.69. She won the Grade I Test Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga in her previous start and now is 4-for-5 overall.


Magic Michael circled the field in the final half mile of Saturday's $200,000, 1 1/2-miles Greenwood Cup at Parx Racing and outfinished long shot Last Samurai to win by a neck. Sheer Flattery was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and the favorite, Moretti, was a dull fifth.

Magic Michael, a 4-year-old Dramedy gelding, finished in 2:32.01 with Frankie Pennington in the irons.


Octane dueled to the lead in Saturday's $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park, then worked clear and went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Cajun's Magic. It was another 6 1/2 lengths to Cattin in third.

Octane, a Brethren gelding, toured 1 1/4 miles on a fast track in 1:43.97 with Emisael Jaramillo up.


Owners' representative Brian Cohen said the two-turn success will fuel discussion about the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. "No rush. But we'll make a decision in the next week or so," he said.

Sunday at Remington Park, Concept got quickly to the front in the $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes and dueled with the favorite, Tejano Twist, before edging clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths over that rival.

Concept, a Gun Runner colt trained by Steve Asmussen, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.12, notching his first win from three starts with Ricardo Santana Jr. riding.

Speaking made an impressive statement in Sunday's $100,000 Smoke Glacken Stakes at Monmouth Park, leading comfortably most of the way and winning by 3 1/4 lengths, well in hand. The Mr Speaker gelding, with Geraldo Corrales up, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.12, improving to 2-for-2.

Shipsational blew by pacesetting favorite Senbei in the stretch run of Sunday's $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes for New York-breds at Belmont Park and won by 2 lengths over that one. It was another 16 1/2 lengths back to the nearest rival.

Shipsational, a Midshipman colt, finished 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.64 with Luis Saez riding.


Juvenile Fillies

Outfoxed was way too good for seven rivals in Saturday's $400,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The Valiant Minister filly got going turning for home and quickly opened up a big lead, eventually coasting home first by 9 1/4 lengths. Veiled Prophet was second, another 8 3/4 lengths in front of My Sassenach.

Edgard Zayas rode Outfoxed over 1 1/16 miles of fast track in 1:45.34. Bill Mott trains for LNJ Foxwoods and assistant trainer Ralph Nicks said any decision about stepping up to the Breeders' Cup is above his pay grade.

"I think I'd have to talk to the powers that be," he said. "We'll talk to the owners and managers. That would be a big step but we'll see what they want to do."

In Sunday's $75,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial at Remington Park, Sea Level raced in mid-pack, advanced in the stretch and went on to win by 3 3/4 lengths over the favorite, Hits Pricey Legacy.

Sea Level, an Exaggerator filly trained by Brad Cox, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.41 with Joel Rosario riding. She won at first asking at Indiana Grand in her only previous start.


Juvenile Turf

Dakota Gold came three-wide turning for home in Sunday's $500,000 Nownownow Stakes on the Monmouth Park turf and ran on to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Royal Spirit. The favorite, Coinage, was 6 lengths farther back in third.

Dakota Gold ran 1 mile on good turf in 1:36.31, earning $300,000 for 1 minute, 36.31 seconds of work. Isaac Castillo rode the New York-bred Freud colt for trainer Danny Gargan. He won his only previous start on the Saratoga dirt.

Juvenile Turf Sprint

Last Leaf chased down pacesetting Nerve through the final furlong of Saturday's $75,000 Hollywood Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park to win by a head over that rival. Barone Cesco ran well late to finish third, just another head back.

Last Leaf, a Not This Time filly, ran 5 furlongs on firm going in 57.46 seconds for jockey Miguel Vasquez.

Around the world, around the clock:


Saturday was for 2-year-olds at Newmarket with Royal Patronage pulling a shocker in the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes to earn a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" spot as the highlight.

The Wootton Basset colt, with Jason Hart riding, appeared relegated to second as favorite Coroebus opened a big lead with a furlong to go. Then, like a fighter jet with the afterburners kick in, Royal Patronage closed the gap and won by a neck.


In addition to the Breeders' Cup entry, Royal Patronage earned 10 points for winning the first race in the "European Road to the Kentucky Derby" series.

Friday's Group 2 Unibet Rockfell Stakes at Newmarket also was a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In", offering an Annie Oakley for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Hello You, an Invincible Spirit filly, jumped up to upset the 7-furlongs affair, winning by 1 1/2 lengths over Cachet.

It was just the second win for Hello You, following her maiden voyage in May. She had been competitive in the interim in several tough pattern races.

The Group 2 Juddmonte Middle Park, restricted to 2-year-old colts, went to Perfect Power, an Ardad colt trained by Richard Fahey. With Christophe Soumilion up, Perfect Power powered along from the rear of the field, was in contention the final furlong and won by 1/2 length from Castle Star.

That backed up his victory in the Group 2 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville in his previous start. The disappointment was Coolmore's HMS Endeavour, a War Front colt out of the American champion Lady Eli, who finished last in his first start at the Group level.

Tenebrism overcame a tardy beginning to take Saturday's Group 2 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, rushing up along the rail for jockey Ryan Moore to win by 1 length over Flotus. Sandrine was third and the favorite, Sacred Bridge, reported eighth for the race sponsors, Juddmonte Farms.


Tenebrism, a Caravagio colt racing for a Coolmore partnership, improved to 2-for-2 for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

On Friday at Newmarket, Benbatl renewed the faith of Godolphin, trainer Saeed bin Suroor and jockey Oisin Murphy with a hard-fought victory in the Group 2 Joel Stakes, potentially giving him a shot at the Breeders' Cup Mile in November.

The 7-year-old Dubawi entire was always prominent in the 1-mile contest and finally prevailed by 3/4 length over Pogo, with Godolphin stablemate Master of the Seas third.

Benbatl has compiled a record of 11 wins from 24 starts while facing top-shelf rivals from Australia to Saudi Arabia, Germany and Dubai. Bin Suroor said a decision about the rest of the year will be taken soon with Del Mar one of the possibilities.


Perhaps the most impressive of the weekend's 2-year-old performances was turned in Saturday at the Curragh as Luxembourg, under a supremely confident ride by Seamie Heffernan, came from last of five in the Group 2 Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes, swept by his rivals with ease and won by 4 1/2 lengths.

The Camelot colt improved to 2-for-2 for the Coolmore partners and trainer Aidan O'Brien while earning 10 points on the "European Road to the Kentucky Derby." He more likely will be under consideration for the 2022 Guineas and Cazoo Derby, for which his odds plummeted after the Beresford.



Alpinista, the massive favorite, worked to the lead some 100 meters from the finish in Sunday's Group 1 Preis von Europa at Cologne and ran on well to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Nerium.

Luke Morris had the call from trainer Sir Mark Prescott aboard the 4-year-old Frankel filly who scored her fourth win from as many starts this year.

That skein includes the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin and the Lancashire Oaks at York. The score might be higher but for her withdrawal from the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom due to course conditions.


In the Congo pulled off a mild upset, leading throughout in Saturday's Group 1 XXXX Golden Rose Stakes at Rosehill and edging the late-running favorite, Anamoe, by a head. In the process, he turned in a stakes-record time of 1:21.46 for 1,400 meters over good turf.

Owned by Newgate Bloodstock and China Horse Club, In the Congo improved to three wins from six starts. He is a 3-year-old son of champion Snitzel and the victory stamps his potential to continue that sire line into the future.

Cox Plate leading prospect Zaaki easily held off Probabeel through the final few hundred meters to win Saturday's Group 1 Quayclean Underwood Stakes by 2 lengths to run his winning streak to five.


Zaaki was heavily backed for the Underwood even though all four rivals were Group 1 winners in their own right. Stay tuned to see how this 7-year-old fares as he heads for his biggest challenge. He was sired by Leroidesanimaux, who also was responsible for Animal Kingdom.


Stella Veloce took back to next-last in Sunday's Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun, a St. Leger trial, at Chukyo Racecourse, stayed there until the field straightened into the stretch and then needed running room.

As rivals spread out, jockey Hayato Yoshida found a seam, urged Stella Veloce through it and the Bago colt outfinished Red Genesis to win by 1/2 length.

The victory was his first since last October but, in the interim, Stella Veloce has been second in the Grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity and third in both the Grade 1 Satsuki Sho or Japanese 2,000 Guineas and the Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun or Japanese Derby.

The Grade 1 Kikuka Sho or Japanese St. Leger is contested Oct. 24 at Hanshin Racecourse.

Hong Kong

The first Group race of the 2021-22 season produced a surprise -- for most, anyway -- as Buddies, at 23-1 odds, took advantage of a light impost to beat a group of better-credentialed rivals rather decisively in Sunday's Group 3 Celebration Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse.


"Not really a surprise because I expected to be up the front," winning trainer Tony Cruz said. "I expected him to lead this race and, on this track today, I think it was an advantage to lead.

Tourbillon Diamond was second and last season's BMW Hong Kong Derby winner, Sky Darci, settled for third.

Meanwhile, back in North America:


Canada's favorite horse, Pink Lloyd, ended what for him was a long losing streak with a hard-fought win in Saturday's $180,000 (Canadian) Grade III Bold Venture Stakes.

The 9-year-old Old Forester gelding dueled head-to-head with Lucky Curlin through much of the 6 1/2 furlongs over the all-weather track, then inched ahead in the final yards to prevail by 3/4 length. He finished in a snappy 1:15.13, belying his years.

Pink Lloyd, owner of some incredible winning streaks at the Ontario track, had been defeated in all three previous 2021 starts, the longest dry spell in his 35 previous races. He now has 27 wins from 36 starts, all at Woodbine.

"It's an amazing story," said Pink Lloyd's trainer, Robert Tiller. "I don't think any horse is going to come along soon and do what he's done. He's running because he's so happy. He's sounder now than he's ever been. ... We're blessed to have had this horse. He's an icon."


Also Saturday, Miss Speedy was quickly on the lead in the $150,000 (Canadian) Duchess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and was never really challenged, rolling home first by 2 lengths. Aug Lutes was second, another 2 lengths in front of Salty as Can Be.

Miss Speedy, a daughter of Souper Speedy, sped 7 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:21.10 with Rafael Hernandez up.

Parx Racing

Chub Wagon pressed the pace in Saturday's $200,000 Plum Pretty Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares, got out to a daylight lead in the lane and persevered by 1/2 length. Vault was second, 1 1/2 lengths better than Marion Francis. Chub Wagon, a 4-year-old filly by Hey Chub, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.80 with Jomar Torres aboard, winning for the 10th time from 11 starts.

You Must Chill was along with a late surge to win Saturday's $200,000 Alphabet Soup Handicap for state-breds by 1 1/2 lengths over Wait For it. Someday Jones was another 3 lengths back in third.

You Must Chill, a 5-year-old Winchill gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:47.37 with Frankie Pennington up.

Belmont Park

Friday's $125,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes for New York-breds came off the turf and four of the seven prospective starters defected. Tiergen trailed early and finished first whilst the odds-on favorite, City Man, led early and finished last.


Three Jokers took a brief advantage before yielding to Tiergen by a head in the final strides. Tiergen, a 5-year-old Afleet Alex gelding, ran 1 1/8 miles on a muddy, sealed track in 1:51.15 with Luis Saez up.

Classy Edition rallied from last of six to take the lead turning for home in Friday's $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park, hit the gas and got away to win by 8 lengths.

The Classic Empire filly, trained by Todd Pletcher, got 7 furlongs on a muddy track in 1:24.42 with Irad Ortiz Jr. riding. She now is 2-for-2 after winning by 6 3/4 lengths at first asking at Saratoga, also against New York-breds. Pletcher said the $250,000 Maid of the Mist on Oct. 30 would be "a nice progression."

Los Alamitos

Livingmybestlife led all the way to a 2-lengths victory over Stella Noir in Friday's $75,000 Lucky Spell Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Livingmybestlife, a Florida-bred daughter of The Big Beast, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.64. Juan Hernandez had the mount for trainer John Sadler.


Direct Deceit was in full flight as the favorite, Mobil Solution took a brief lead in the stretch run of Thursday's $75,000 Catlaunch Stakes for Ohio-bred and simply blew by that rival, going on to win by 2 lengths. Firsthandjustice finished third.


Direct Deceit, a 6-year-old Twinspired gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on a good track in 1:46.62 with Angel Diaz up.

Belterra Park

Thedayofthegrey worked quickly to the front in Friday's $75,000 Loyalty Stakes for Ohio-bred 2-year-olds and rolled home first by 1 3/4 lengths as the solid, odds-on favorite. The Twinspired gelding, trained by co-owner Robert Cline, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.58 with Sonny Leon up.

Mobil Lady was along in the stretch run to capture Friday's off-the-turf $75,000 Miss Southern Ohio Stakes for state-bred fillies and mares by 3/4 length over Star Rules. The favorite, Edge of Night, led early, then faded to finish third, another 8 3/4 lengths behind. Mobil Lady, a 5-year-old Mobil mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:47.48 with Leon notching the stakes double.

Remington Park

Shannon C rallied to the lead in the closing stages of Friday's $70,000 Remington Park Turf Sprint for Oklahoma-breds and held on to win by a neck over No Lak of Speed. Pomeroy Haze was third.

Shannon C, a 6-year-old Latent Heat gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 56.05 with Floyd Wethey Jr. riding.

Quality Rocket pursued pacesetting Quarky into the stretch drive of Friday's $70,000 Red Earth Stakes for state-breds and got by to win by 1 length over that one. Tommyhawk was third.


Quality Rocket, a 7-year-old gelding by Backstabber, ran 7 1/2 furlongs on firm going in 1:28.45 with Ramon Vazquez up.

Cinnabunny rallied three-wide into the stretch in Sunday's $55,000 Flashy Lady Stakes for fillies and mares and drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths. The odds-on favorite, Casual, was off last and her rally only netted second place.

Cinnabunny, a 4-year-old Golden Lad filly, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.69 with Joel Rosario riding for trainer Brad Cox.

Golden Curl pressed the pace in Sunday's $75,000 Rick's Memorial for fillies and mares, got the lead in the lane and held off Valentine's Day to win by 1/2 length.

Golden Curl, a 5-year-old Curlin mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.51 with David Cabrera up.

Greeley and Ben surged to the lead in the stretch in Sunday's $150,000 David M. Vance Stakes and kept going to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Mr Money Bags was second as Greeley and Ben, a 7-year-old gelding by Greeley's Conquest, ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.79 with Joe Talamo in the irons.

Delaware Park

Saturday's program was chockablock with stakes races for state-bred steeds.


Murph, a daughter of Malibu Moon, came from off the pace to win the $100,000 Small Wonder Stakes for 2-year-old fillies by 4 1/2 lengths over Whiteknuckleflyer. Street Lute was along in the late going to take the $100,000 Tax Free Shopping Distaff by 3/4 length from Malibu Beauty.

No Sabe Nada caught pacesetting favorite Rebel Empire late to land the $100,000 First State Dash by 1/2 length. Whereshetoldmetogo got home first by a neck in a hotly contested blanket finish to the $100,000 New Castle Stakes at the same 6 furlongs.

Tappin Cat outfinished Senior Investment by a head in the $75,000 DTHA Governors Day Handicap. And La Babia was along late to take the $75,000 George Rosenberger Memorial for fillies and mares.

Prairie Meadows

Saturday's card was even more chockablock with events for Iowa-bred horses.

The 2-year-old stakes went to heavy favorites. Demidanu, a Formidable filly, lived up to her name as the easiest of winners in the $100,000 Iowa Sorority for 2-year-old fillies, coasting in 3 3/4 lengths in front.

Ain't Life Grand, a Not This Time colt, battled to the lead in the $100,000 Iowa Cradle Stakes before edging clear to win by 2 3/4 lengths.


Bossy Moment kicked clear in the stretch to win the $100,000 Iowa Breeders' Oaks by 6 3/4 lengths over the odds-on favorite, Kela's Turn. You Talkin to Me put in a late run to deny favorite Time Goes on by 4 1/4 lengths in the $100,000 Iowa Breeders' Derby.

Topper T led all the way to a 1/2-length win in the $85,000 Dan Johnson Sprint as trainer William Martin saddled the first three finishers.

Topless came from last to first in the $100,000 Donna Reed Stakes for fillies and mares, winning by 2 3/4 lengths over Olive Oyl. Minecraft Maniac stalked and pounced to capture the $100,000 Governor Terry E. Branstad Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths from the favorite, Kauai.

Emerald Downs

Coastal Kid chased the early speed in Sunday's $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, seized the lead when asked and coasted home first by 3 1/4 lengths. Stay Fantastic finished second.

Coastal Kid, a 3-year-old gelding by Coast Guard, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.61 for jockey Wayne Barnett.

Bayakoas Image dueled down the stretch with long shot Brilliant Bird in Sunday's $50,000 Washington Cup Filly & Mare Stakes before finally getting home first, a neck in front of that rival.


Bayakoas Image, a Lent filly, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.94 under Alexander Marti.

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