1 of 2 | Awesome Strong wins the Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds. Photo by Ryan Thompson, courtesy of Gulfstream Park
Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Life Is Good earned a "Win and You're In" spot in November's Breeders' Cup Classic with an impressive victory in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga, and if he continues to perform at that level, he will be a handful in that decisive, year-end showdown.
After the Whitney, Saratoga's premier race for older horses and the feature attraction on yet another stakes-filled day weekend around the country, Life Is Good's connections are eager for the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, the Godolphin invaders won both the rich turf events for 3-year-olds at Saratoga. American trainer Wesley Ward had a good weekend at the Spa, winning graded stakes with a heavy favorite and a big long shot.
Across the bounding seas, Little Big Bear put in a big, big effort in winning Saturday's Group 1 Phoenix Stakes for 2-year-olds at the Curragh in Ireland with more action in England, France and Germany.
But let's get right back to upstate New York and Life Is Good.
Life Is Good came out of the starting gate like a quarter horse in Saturday's $1 million Grade I Whitney at Saratoga, was well in front leaving the clubhouse turn and never seemed to be in trouble thereafter.
Shrugging off heat, humidity and a heavy rain shower that left the track in "good" condition, the Into Mischief colt turned back an outside challenge from old foe Hot Rod Charlie early in the stretch run, repulsed an inside bid from long shot Happy Saver and won by 2 lengths.
Happy Saver was second and Hot Rod Charlie finished third.
Olympiad, who entered the Whitney riding a five-race winning streak, was expected to test Life Is Good's "catch me if you can" running style but was never a threat and finished fourth.
"He does things easy," winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said. "He's fast out of the gate. He broke good and then I just let him do his thing."
Trainer Todd Pletcher added, "To me, it's the premier older horse race in the country outside of the Breeders' Cup Classic. So, it means a lot."
The race was a "Win and You're In" for the Classic, but trainer Todd Pletcher said the path to the November race at Keeneland hasn't been finalized. Life Is Good won last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar for fun.
Life Is Good, owned by WinStar Farm and the China Horse Club, now has eight wins in 10 starts.
On Saturday at Mountaineer Park, Skippylongstocking stalked the pace made by the favorite, We the People, in the $500,000 Grade III West Virginia Derby, eased by that rival at the top of the stretch and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths. We the People held second, 4 3/4 lengths better than Simplification.
Skippylongstocking, an Exaggerator colt, ran 1 1/8 miles on a sloppy, sealed track in 1:48.11 with Edwin Gonzalez up.
Skippylongstocking won for just the third time from 12 starts. Ambitiously placed by trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., he finished third in the Wood Memorial, fifth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes.
Older horses took their turn in Saturday's $200,000 Grade III West Virginia Governor's Stakes at 1 1/16 miles with the favorite, Fulsome, taking command in the stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Derby House was second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Silver Prospector.
Fulsome, a 4-year-old Juddmonte homebred colt by Into Mischief, finished in 1:43.48 with Paco Lopez riding. He won the Grade III Smarty Jones at Parx last year and the Grade III Oaklawn Mile earlier this year for trainer Brad Cox.
Trainer Kenny McPeek and jockey Julien Leparoux tried to spring another theft in Saturday's $1 million Grade I Saratoga Derby Invitational, but this time the international rivals were having none of it.
True, Leparoux got Classic Causeway out to a substantial lead, just as he did in winning the Grade I Belmont Derby last month as a long shot in his first race on grass. In that, Nation's Pride just missed with a late bid, finishing second by 3/4 length.
On Saturday, Nation's Pride took a bit closer order, tracking Classic Causeway in third position, ran by that rival with a furlong left and won by 1 3/4 lengths. Annapolis, an up-and-coming sort from the Todd Pletcher barn, edged Classic Causeway for second.
"I was happy where I was," said Nation's Pride's jockey, William Buick. "I knew there were a couple closers in the race but I knew my horse would stay well and the way that rain took the speed out of the track a little bit, so I was confident that my horse would stay well and hit the line well."
Nation's Pride, a Godolphin homebred colt by Teofilo, won for the fifth time in eight starts but first in a top-level event. He finished eighth in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom. Trainer Charlie Appleby said it's likely the colt will stick around for the $1 million Jockey Club Derby at Aqueduct in September.
Dynadrive rallied from far back in the field in Saturday's $135,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes at Saratoga, hooked up with Shifting Sands in the stretch and won that battle to the wire by a head. Duke of Hazard was third, 1 1/2 lengths farther back.
Dynadrive, a 5-year-old Temple City gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:39.83 under Eric Cancel. He now is 2-for-2 since switching to trainer Thomas Morley's barn earlier in the year.
Cabo Spirit came from last of six to win Sunday's $150,000 Grade III La Jolla Stakes for 3-year-olds at Del Mar by 1/2 length over Perfect Flight with the favorite, Sumter, another 3/4 length back in third.
Cabo Spirit, a Pioneerof the Nile gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.28 with Joe Bravo up for trainer George Papaprodromou. It was his third win from 11 starts, several of them on all-weather tracks.
Filly & Mare Turf
Buick, Appleby and Sheik Mohammed's Godolphin made it 2-for-2 Sunday as With the Moonlight stalked the pace in the $700,000 Grade III Saratoga Oaks Invitational, shot by Contemporary Art with ease and went on to a 1 3/4-length victory. McKulick was second, a neck in front of New Year's Eve.
With the Moonlight, a Frankel filly, finished 1 3/16 miles on firm going in 1:54.60. Like Nation's Pride in Saturday's Saratoga Derby, She improved from her last start, a second-place finish in the Grade I Belmont Oaks Invitational. Before that, she finished 11th in the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom.
"The more races she's got, the more experience she's got. She's learning how to do it. It was a good performance today," said Appleby, who, like Buick, was making his first appearance at Saratoga.
Appleby said With the Moonlight isn't a candidate for the 1 1/2 miles of the $700,000 Jockey Club Oaks o Sept. 17. "That's clearly not an option for her. William said that was far enough for her today. We might find one for it."
War Like Goddess raced behind a slow pace through the first two turns and down the backstretch of Saturday's $250,000 Grade II Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga, started her move in the upper stretch and won with ease, taking the race for the second straight year as the odds-on favorite.
Temple City Terror also came from off the pace to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths back of the winner and 1/2 lengths ahead of Virginia Joy.
War Like Goddess, a 5-year-old English Channel mare trained by Bill Mott, finished 1 1/2 miles on firm turf in 2:29.33, remaining undefeated at Saratoga.
Mott said the $600,000 Flower Bowl Stakes on Sept. 3 is "likely" the next race for War Like Goddess even though he mourned the decision to downgrade that historic heat to Grade II. The Grade I Sword Dancer against males Aug. 27 might be an option, he said.
On Saturday at Woodbine, Super Hoity Toity kicked in through the stretch run of the $180,000 (Canadian) Grade III Ontario Colleen Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and outfinished Vergara to win by a head.
The favorite, Ladywearsthering, made the early going and held on to finish third, 3/4 length farther back.
Super Hoity Toity, a Kentucky-bred Uncle Mo filly, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.01 under Patrick Husbands, winning for the fourth time from six starts.
On Sunday at the Spa, Our Flash Drive worked to the lead in the stretch and ran on to win by 1 length over Plum Ali with the favorite, Love and Thunder, reporting third.
Our Flash Drive, a 4-year-old Ghostzapper filly, finished 1 mile on the firm inner turf course in 1:35.42. Dylan Davis rode for trainer Mark Casse. It was her first victory since last year's Ontario Colleen Stakes.
Henrietta Topham and the favorite, Turner Loose, rallied together in the stretch run of Sunday's $100,000 Centennial Distaff Turf Mile at Ellis Park with Henrietta Topham getting the better of the battle by 1/2 length. Touch of Class was just a neck back of Turner Loose in third.
The winner, a 4-year-old filly by Lemon Drop Kid, ran 1 mile on firm going in 1:35.86. Gage Holmes rode for trainer Geoff Mulcahy.
Ready to Purrform was ready to run when the gates opened for Friday's $200,000 Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga. Sprinting right to the lead, the Kitten's Joy colt kept right on running, finishing first by 1 1/4 lengths with Wit second and Celestial City third.
Ready to Purrform finished the 1 mile on firm going in 1:33.99 with Joel Rosario riding for trainer Brad Cox. It was his first graded stakes victory and first win of any kind since the Laurel Futurity on Oct. 2.
"He's dead game," said Jerry Crawford of Donegal Racing, owner of Ready to Purrform. "I think we saw a whole new dimension today and don't be surprised if you see this horse at Kentucky Downs."
Gray's Fable surged between rivals in the stretch run of Sunday's $100,000 Evan Williams Turf Mile at Ellis Park and was up in time to pull off the 10-1 upset by a neck. The favorite, Mr Dumas, was second, but just a head in front of Tut's Revenge.
Gray's Fable, a 7-year-old Gio Ponti gelding, finished in 1:34.94 with Mickaelle Michel in the irons.
A miss, they say, is as good as a mile, and so is a head on the other end of that spectrum. That was never more clear than Golden Pal's late-running win, by a head, over True Valor in Friday's $300,000 Grade III Troy Stakes at Saratoga.
The 4-year-old Uncle Mo colt was never very far back of the pacesetting True Valor but then found getting past him in the stretch a bit more difficult than his 1-5 odds might have indicated.
He just did get the job done, with long shot Thin White Duke making up all kinds of ground through the final sixteenth to finish third, another 1/2 length back. The 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf went in 1:00.92.
In his previous start in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, Golden Pal, the reigning Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champ, was left at the gate, spotting the field a huge margin, and finished last.
The Troy was his return from that misadventure and trainer Wesley Ward said the rallying finish was the game plan.
"I'm glad he showed a little versatility today. When you get to the Breeders' Cup there's so many fast horses -- 14 of them in the race -- and you just want to be able to be tactical and not have to be in front. I think we showed that today," Ward said.
In Sunday's $100,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Ellis Park, long shot All in Sync launched a relentless stretch drive that resulted in perfectly timed victory by a neck over fellow late-runner Charcoal. Bad Beat Bryan was third, with the favorite, Totally Boss, fourth.
All in Sync, a 3-year-old Maclean's Music colt trained by Steve Asmussen, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on firm going in 1:02.44 for jockey Vincent Cheminaud.
The $100,000 Laguna Distaff Turf Sprint at Ellis went to front-running long shot Creative Credit.
The 5-year-old daughter of Creative Cause held well through the stretch to score by 2 lengths over Brooke Marie with Tobys Heart third and the favorite, Elle Z, fading from early contention to finish seventh. Creative Credit ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.35 with Thomas Pompell in the irons.
Bay Storm rallied smartly through the closing yards of Sunday's $100,000 Incredible Revenge Stakes for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park and was up to win by 1 length over Red Ghost. Honey Pants was just a nose farther behind in third.
Bay Storm, a 4-year-old Kantharos filly, finished 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:02.29 with Jaime Rodriguez riding.
Blue Stripe waited behind the better-fancied duo of Private Mission and Shedaresthedevil in Saturday's $400,000 Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar, came to challenge three-wide at the quarter pole and kept on to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Desert Dawn was along to finish second, a head in front of Shedaresthedevil.
Soothsay was a distant fourth, and Private Mission was eased through the final furlong. Blue Stripe, a 5-year-old, Argentine-bred mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.97 with Hector Berrios in the irons.
Blue Stripe was seventh in the Breeders' Cup Distaff last year at Del Mar in her first North American start and earned a "Win and You're In" automatic bid to this year's renewal of that race at Keeneland.
In two previous starts this season, she won the Grade II Santa Margarita and finished second in the Grade II Santa Maria.
"You know where we're going," said winning trainer Marcelo Polanco. Keeneland."
Filly & Mare Sprint
Chi Town Lady was reluctant to load before Saturday's $500,000 Grade I Longines Test Stakes at Saratoga and then was the last one out of the gate.
She came flying down the stretch, though, to get home first by 1 1/2 length over Hot Peppers with the prohibitive favorite, Matareya, relegated to third. Chi Town Lady, who came in sharply on Matereya during the stretch run, prompting an inquiry, finished 7 furlongs in 1:23.87 over a good, sealed track.
Chi Town Lady won for the first time in nearly a year while Matareya saw a four-race win streak snapped.
"I told the owners we were probably going to be running a [long] shot but I wanted to take one shot from way back and do what she's been asking me to do, which is make a big charge and a big grind," winning trainer Wesley Ward. said
"We were hoping for a second or third -- a graded placing -- to see if the race fell apart. And here we are in the winner's circle."
Provocateur drafted in behind the early speed in Saturday's $100,000 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park, rallied up the rail on the turn and took command in the stretch to win by 2 lengths. Witty came from last of eight to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Speaking.
Provocateur, an Into Mischief colt trained by Todd Pletcher for My Racehorse Stables and Spendthrift Farm, ran 6 furlongs on a fast strip in 1:08.81 with Jairo Rendon in the irons. He was last seen finishing third in the Grade I Woody Stephens at Belmont Park.
Awesome Strong was all of that in Saturday's $100,000 Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park, showing the way before drawing clear to a 4 3/4-length victory in the first leg of the three-race series. Turbo was best of the rest, 3/4 length in front of Cajun Hope.
Awesome Strong, an Awesome Slew colt out of the Pleasant Tap mare Pleasant Ring, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.00 with Miguel Vasquez at the controls. It was his second win from as many starts.
The result would have been a relief for his owners, CSLR Ranch Partners, who purchased the colt privately for $500,000 after his career debut.
Saturday's first race at Saratoga could have import. The winner, Battle of Normandy, was impressive in winning his career debut for trainer Shug McGaughey and owners West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing. He caught pacesetter Alexis Zorba in the stretch, relegating that one to second, 2 1/4 lengths back.
Two starts back at Naas in Ireland, Alexis Zorba finished second to Little Big Bear who was a dominant winner earlier Saturday in the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and advanced into the ranks of favorites for next year's Qipco 2,000 Guineas.
Disarm, another of those Gun Runner-Winchell Thoroughbreds-Asmussen prospects, rallied smartly from off the pace to win his career debut by 6 1/4 lengths in Saratoga's sixth race on Saturday.
It's Turbo ran by pacesetting Chuckanut Bay in the late going to win Sunday's $50,000 W.T.B.O.A. Lads Stakes for colts and geldings by 3/4 lengths. It's Turbo, a California-bred Curlin gelding, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.60 with Leslie Marwing riding.
Naughty Girl was good enough to overcome some naughty behavior in the stretch run and win Sunday's $200,000 Grade III Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga by 2 1/2 lengths.
Leading virtually all the way, the Into Mischief filly seemed intent on drifting out to the grandstand despite the best efforts of jockey Luis Saez.
Despite that, Janis Joplin was the closest competition at the end, finishing 2 1/2 lengths back in second and a head in front of Sabra Tuff. Naughty Girl ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:18.97.
Chimosa got through turning for home in Sunday's $120,000 CBOIF Stakes for California breds and ran on for an easy victory. Chedda Cash was second with Sell the Dream third. Chimosa, a daughter of Clubhouse Ride, finished 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.29, extending her record to 2-for-2.
Lynx rallied from near the back of the nine-filly field to take Saturday's $100,000 Desert Vixen Division of the Florida Sire Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths from Gemma's Curls. The favorite, Trust Me, checked in third.
Lynx, a Brethren filly out of the Red Bullet mare Darby Rose, ran 6 furlongs in 1:12.53 with Edgard Zayas riding. She improved to 2-for-2.
On Sunday at Emerald Downs in Washington, Aloha Breeze breezed to a 4 1/4-lengths victory in the $55,000 Barbara Shinpoch Shinpoch Stakes, shaking off a challenge midway through.
The Kentucky-bred filly by The Factor ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:18.01 with Heribert Martinez up. The stewards took a look at some bumping early in the race, but let the result stand.
Around the world, around the clock
Little Big Bear, a No Nay Never colt from the Coolmore connections, could not have been more impressive in winning Saturday's Group 1Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh for his fourth straight win.
With Ryan Moore up, Little Big Bear led the way from the start. Challenged strongly some 2 furlongs out, the colt almost visibly flipped a switch and was gone, winning by 7 lengths.
It was a quality field, too, with Persian Force second, Railway Stakes winner Shartash third and the previously undefeated favorite, Bradsell, fourth.
"He has serious class. I can't recall any winner we have had of this race winning like that," said trainer Aidan O'Brien, who now has 17 of those. Little Big Bear's odds for the 2023 Qipco 2,000 Guineas plummeted to the mid-single digits.
O'Brien said Little Big Bear almost didn't make the start after a prerace shoeing incident required emergency repair, leaving the colt the equivalent of a human being having lost a fingernail, O'Brien said.
Highfield Princess led a 1-2-3 sweep for English horses in Sunday's Group 1 Arc Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, leading 100 meters out and winning by 3/4 length. Minzaal was second with Garrus third.
The favorite, Perfect Power, never seemed to get into gear and reported seventh. Platinum Jubilee winner Naval Crown was fifth.
Highfield Princess has maintained a steady upward progression for trainer John Quinn, winning a Group 2 at York in May before getting in sixth in the Platinum Jubilee, beaten just 1 3/4 lengths.
Although the Night of Thunder mare was bred in France, the Gheest was her first run on French soil.
The "Great Britain and Ireland" team overwhelmed three other squads to win Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup with five wins from eight races and 132 points. Three of the four jockeys on the team recorded victories and Neil Callan's two wins earned him individual honors.
"The Ladies" team finished second with 81 points, trailed by "The Rest of the World" with 72 and "Europe" with 51.
"This is my third time and I have been on the wining team every year, so I am going to have to retire now!" Callan joked.
Toskana Belle wasted little time getting the lead in Sunday's Group 1 Henkel Preis der Diana or German Oaks at Dusseldorf, maintained the advantage into the final 100 meters and just did survive the late bid of Wagnis to win by a head.
Mylady, who loomed the apparent threat out in the middle of the track in the stretch run, finished third, another 3/4 length back.
Toskana Belle, a French-bred daughter of Shamalgan out of the Teofilo mare Tristane, ran 1 3/8 miles on good turf in 2:11.21 with Kerrin McAvoy riding for trainer Andreas Wohler.
Irish raider Toy was the initial pacesetter but went way wide on the first turn and jockey Ryan Moore wasn't able to get her back into contention, finishing seventh.
Toskana Belle's only previous win came in a maiden event at Evreax in France. She was third in the Diana Trial at Hoppegarten -- a race won by Wagnis.
Meanwhile, back in the States and around the ovals
Carmelita's Man survived a bumping start, then rallied up the rail through the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 California Dreamin' Stakes for state-breds by a head over Bang for Your Buck. The Chosen Vron also ran well late to finish third, a nose farther back.
Carmelita's Man, a 5-year-old gelding by Mucho Macho Man, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.64. Juan Hernandez rode for trainer Dean Pederson.
Big City Lights jumped last of eight in Friday's $175,000 Real Good Deal Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds but hustled right up to the lead and stayed there, winning by 1 1/4 lengths. Slow Down Andy was second, another 1 1/4 lengths better than Finneus.
Big City Lights, a Mr. Big colt trained by Richard Mandella, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.16 with Juan Hernandez up.
Vance Scholars led from the start in Saturday's $100,000, off-the-turf Bald Eagle Derby, repulsed a challenge from Undercover Kitty at mid-stretch and edged away to win by 2 1/2 lengths over that rival. Majestic Frontier was third.
Vance Scholars, a Maryland-bred gelding by Holy Boss, ran 1 3/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:58.29 with Jorge Ruiz in the irons.
Saturday's $100,000 Searching Stakes for 3-year-old fillies also came off the turf, which proved no issue for Music Amore. The Mshawish filly worked to an early lead, held off a bid by the favorite, Lady Puchi, and ran on to score by 2 1/2 lengths over that rival. It was another 9 1/4 lengths to Pharoah's Song in third.
Music Amore ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:38.88 with Jeiron Barbosa up.
Strong Eagle won a stretch battle with the favorite, Rightandjust, in Saturday's $50,000 Evangeline Mile, scoring by a neck. It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Vodka Gimlet in third. Strong Eagle, a 3-year-old colt by Lord Nelson, finished in 1:38.16 with Pedro Cotto Jr. up.
Becca's Rocket tracked the early pace in Friday's $50,000 Spotted Horse Stakes for fillies and mares, seized the lead in the lane and won off by 3 lengths over Lady Valentine. Hannah's Haven was third.
Becca's Rocket, an Orb filly, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:38.55 with Tim Thornton in the irons.
The West Virginia Derby was supported by a full slate of five $75,000 open stakes.
Price Talk rallied to the lead in the stretch in the 1 mile and 70 yards, off-the-turf House of Delegates Speaker's Cup and rolled on to win by 5 1/4 lengths as the odds-on favorite. It was only his second start on the dirt and first win.
In the companion Senate President's Cup for fillies and mares, Adventuring tracked the pace, then took over easily to win by 2 1/2 lengths as the favorite.
Special Reserve fought for the lead in the 6-furlongs Sen. Robert C. Byrd Memorial, then kicked away to win by 3 1/2 lengths. Command Strike led all the way to a 6-lengths score in the 6-furlong Secretary of State Stakes for fillies and mares.
Hollis came from off the pace in the 4 1/2-furlongs Legislature Chairman's Cup and won by 2 1/2 lengths.
The six races comprising Saturday's Louisiana Dup program were worth $67,000 each and restricted to state-bred horses. The conditions were "fast and firm."
Bisping worked to get the lead in the Juvenile and got clear in the lane, winning by 3 3/4 lengths with the favorite, King's Lute, finishing a well-beaten fourth.
Janet Is Ready wasn't at the start of the Juvenile Fillies, breaking last of nine, but recovered in plenty of time to pass the field and win by 1 length over Guitar Woman.
City Park rallied from well back in the field to win the Classic, run on the turf course, by 1 3/4 lengths from Charlie G. Cheapskate Diva got the advantage in the lane in the Distaff Turf and held off Fort Polk by 1/2 length for the win.
Takes Two to Tango led all the way to a 3 1/2-lengths victory in the Sprint with Black Sword coming from far back to finish second. Free Like a Girl got loose in the stretch run of the Filly & Mare Sprint and ran on to win by 6 1/2 lengths over Drop Dead Sexy.
Revenoor Woman came four-wide at the quarter pole to put in her bid in Saturday's $60,000 Pitre GMC Albuquerque Distaff and outfinished Raneem to win by 1 length. Our Iris Rose led into the lane, but could only finish third.
Revenoor Woman, a 5-year-old mare by Raison d'Etat, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.21 with Alejandro Medellin riding.
Injunction led from the start in Saturday's $70,000 R.A. "Cowboy" Jones Stakes with Last Samurai right on his flank. As Last Samurai faded, West Will Power was along to mount a challenge that fell just a head short. Last Samurai finished third.
Injunction, a 4-year-old Skipshot gelding, got 1 mile on a fast track course-record time of 1:34.33 for jockey Rafael Bejarano.