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Taiba's Pennsylvania Derby win could pay big dividends

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
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Taiba wins the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. Photo courtesy of Parx Racing
Taiba wins the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. Photo courtesy of Parx Racing

Sept/ 26 (UPI) -- Another weekend, another wrinkle in the ever-evolving chase for the 3-year-old championship as Taiba romped home first over some talented rivals in the $1 million Grade I Pennsylvania Derby.

The Santa Anita Derby winner won the Parx Racing feature by 3 lengths under "Big Money" Mike Smith, leaving in his wake five other Kentucky Derby runners and the third- and fourth-place finishers from the Belmont Stakes.

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That race was the highlight of a weekend that also saw some of Europe's top 2-year-old prospects on display in races that included two Group 1 events, two Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" races and the first two legs of the "European Road to the Kentucky Derby".

There's lots more, too, so read on ...

RELATED Godolphin looks forward to Breeders' Cup after massive weekend of Grade I wins

Classic

Taiba got the perfect trip in Saturday's $1 million Grade I Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing. After breaking well, jockey Mike Smith took him back to fourth, saved ground into and around the stretch turn and then let him go.

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Moving outside rivals, the Gun Runner colt quickly took the lead and easily drew off to win by 3 lengths. Zandon, third in both the Kentucky Derby and Travers, was second. Cyberknife, winner of the Grade I Arkansas Derby and Grade I Haskell, was third.

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"He proved today he is a good horse," trainer Bob Baffert said. "It was the last chance to run a Grade I against 3-year-olds and it was a tough race, a good field.

"The main thing is that he ran his race. I was a little worried when he was down on the inside because he doesn't like being on the inside. When he tipped to the outside, he just took off."

Taiba was making just his fifth start. He won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby off a maiden win, and then finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby. He bounced back from that to finish second in the Haskell, just a head behind Cyberknife.

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Saturday's win puts him squarely in the mix for year-end 3-year-old honors although everyone at this point is chasing Travers winner Epicenter.

About the 3-year-old title chase, Baffert said, "You want to be the best 3-year-old. This was the spot that puts him right there."

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On Sunday at Remington Park, Rattle N Roll rolled from last of eight to win the $400,000 Grade III Oklahoma Derby by 1 1/2 lengths, backing up his last-out win in the $250,000 St. Louis Derby at FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing. King Ottoman was second, 9 1/4 lengths ahead of the third-place horse, Best Actor.

Rattle N Roll, a Connect colt trained by Kenny McPeek, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.50 with Brian Hernandez Jr. in for the ride.

Rattle N Roll also won the American Derby at Churchill Downs but finished seventh in the Grade III Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

On Saturday at Pimlico, Benevengo led all the way in the $100,000 Polynesian Stakes at Pimlico and showed his heels to five rivals in the lane, winning by 7 1/2 lengths over Double Crown.

Benevengo, a 3-year-old Gormley colt trained by Jesus Cruz, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.62 with Angel Cruz up.

At Churchill Downs, Home Brew won a three-way photo at the conclusion of Saturday's $275,000 Bourbon Trail Stakes for 3-year-olds, edging Creative Minister by a nose with War Campaign just another nose back in third.

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Home Brew, a Gary and Mary West homebred by Street Sense, ran 1 3/16 miles on a fast track in 1:56.39 with Ricardo Santana Jr. riding for trainer Brad Cox.

Home Brew won the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park two starts back, but then was fourth in the Grade III West Virginia Derby. Creative Minister was third in the Preakness and fifth in the Belmont but has yet to win a stakes race at any level.

Distaff

Society demonstrated clearly she's the real deal with a dominating win in the $1 million Grade I Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing. The Gun Runner filly shot right to the front in the 1 1/16-miles challenge, opened up a big lead for jockey Florent Geroux and coasted home first by 5 3/4 lengths.

Morning Matcha was second at a big price and the Kentucky Oaks winner, Secret Oath, was third, another 2 lengths back. Society finished in 1:42.95.

Society, owned by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, improved to 5-for-6. Her only loss came in the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks two starts back, won by Nest with Secret Oath second. In that, she stumbled at the start, was bumped around and faded. She returned to win the Charles Town Oaks by 6 3/4 lengths in her last start.

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"I was content just to keep her off of the pace if it was honest enough," Geroux said. "But, honestly, after three jumps I was already in the lead. I was clear. Everything went very nicely. I just tried to relax as much as I could.

"She's extremely quick. Those horses have a ton of speed so the worst thing you can do is ... get them off rhythm. You want to try and stay the same tempo and keep them relaxed."

Sixtythreecaliber caught pacesetting Falconet in the shadow of the wire to win Saturday's $160,000 Seneca Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs by a neck.

A Gun Runner filly trained by Tom Amoss, Sixtythreecaliber ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.22 with Edgar Morales up. He's won four of his last five.

Hits Pricey Legacy had only one rival behind her halfway home in Sunday's $200,000 Grade III Remington Park Oaks, came around most of the field with a five-wide move and edged clear through the stretch, winning by 2 lengths. Free Like a Girl and odds-on favorite Juju's Map finished second and third.

Hits Pricey Legacy, an Oklahoma-bred filly by Den's Legacy, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.38.

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Sprint

Gunite, the odds-on favorite, stalked the pace made by Conagher in Saturday's $275,000 Harrod's Creek Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs, moved past that one when prompted by jockey Tyler Gaffalione and won by 3 lengths. Conagher was second, another 2 3/4 lengths to the good of Strava.

Gunite, a Gun Runner colt trained by Steve Asmussen for owner-breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:21.95. He now has a record of 5-4-1 from 11 starts.

"He's one of my favorite horses to ride," Gaffalione said. His last few races he's really proved his talent. He has a lot of grit late in his races and shows that each time he runs."

Scaramouche rallied around rivals into the stretch in Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Gallant Bob Stakes for 3-year-olds at Parx Racing, got clear and held on to win by 1/2 length from Of a Revolution. The favorite, Provocateur, finished eighth.

Scaramouche, a Munnings gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.38 with John Velazquez up, winning his first graded stakes effort.

Lucky Score had the best of the stretch run in Sunday's $180,000 (Canadian) Vigil Stakes at Woodbine. The 4-year-old Lookin at Lucky gelding was last of eight early, swung out six-wide into the lane and was along to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

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With Leo Salles up, Lucky Score ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:08.63.

Filly & Mare Sprint

Echo Zulu returned to the winner's circle after a smashing victory in Saturday's $275,000 Grade III Dogwood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs. It was the first start for last year's juvenile fillies champ since a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks and she now is 6-for-7.

Three of those wins came last year in Grade I events, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Yet another of those Gun Runner progeny trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds, Echo Zulu led all the way to a 5 1/4-lengths victory with Tarabi best of the rest. The 7 furlongs on a fast track went in 1:22.43 with Ricardo Santana Jr. up on the winner.

"Gun Runner has had five stakes winners today and two Grade I wins," said Asmussen, who also trained Gun Runner. "It's unbelievable. She is such a special filly. She's a champion and it's very thrilling seeing her get back to her winning ways. It's unbelievably exciting for the entire team."

Kimari had no trouble winning Sunday's $250,000 Grade II Gallant Bloom Stakes at Aqueduct. After a patient stalking trip, the 5-year-old Munnings mare took charge when asked by jockey Joel Rosario and worked clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Lady Rocket. It was another 9 1/2 lengths to Sterling Silver in third.

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Kimari, trained by Wesley Ward, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:16.58.

A two-time runner-up at Royal Ascot, Kimari doubled up on her victory in the Grade II Honorable Miss at Saratoga and now is headed back to her home base at Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

"That's what you want to see, right?" Ward asked rhetorically. "This race set up beautifully for her timewise to get from here to the Breeders' Cup."

Smash Ticket worked quickly to the lead in Saturday's $100,000 Weathervane Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico and drew off through the stretch to win by 6 1/4 lengths. Famed and Moody Woman filled the trifecta.

Smash Ticket, a daughter of Midnight Lute, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.99 with Kendrick Carmouche riding for trainer Rob Atras.

Dirt Mile

It took a stewards' ruling but Mind Control scored his second straight win in Saturday's $200,000 Parx Dirt Mile. The 6-year-old son of Stay Thirsty, the odds-on favorite, dueled with long shot Far Mo Power through the whole mile, swapping the lead in the lane, before getting home second, a neck back of that rival.

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"Nope," said the stewards, reversing that finish after a review of the stretch run.

Mind Control, trained by Todd Pletcher, entered off a third-place finish in the Grade II Charles Town Classic at 1 1/8 miles but has been much more effective at the straight mile, now with four wins and a second from five starts at that trip.

Marathon

Riden With Biden went out to the front in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Greenwood Cup at Parx Racing, set a measured pace under Paco Lopez and held on to win by 1 length over Magic Michael. The favorite, Fearless, finished next-last of eight.

Riden With Biden, a 4-year-old Constitution gelding, finished in 2:32.92 in his first race at 1 1/2 miles.

Turf

Price Talk edged past pacesetting Sunlit Song in the stretch run of Sunday's $100,000 Remington Green Stakes, winning by 1/2 length over that one. Price Talk, a 4-year-old Kitten's Joy gelding trained by Brad Cox, ran 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:48.88 with Florent Geroux up.

He was last seen winning the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup at Mountaineer on Aug. 6.

Filly & Mare Turf

Love and Thunder raced last of five through most of Saturday's $175,000 Grade III Athenia Stakes at Aqueduct, came with a stout challenge through the stretch and just caught pacesetting Evvie Jets to win by a neck. Kalifornia Queen was third.

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Love and Thunder, a 5-year-old, Irish-bred mare by Siyouni, ran 1 1/8 miles on firm inner turf in 1:50.05 with Jose Ortiz in the irons. It was her first graded stakes win.

City Man shadowed the early speed in Saturday's $125,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes for New York-breds, rallied to the lead in upper stretch and held off a late bid by Sanctuary City to win by 3/4 length. Cold Hard Cash was just a nose behind that one in third.

City Man, a 5-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man, ran 1 1/8 miles on the firm outer turf loop in course-record time of 1:46.95.

Turf Sprint

That's Right dictated terms in Saturday's $300,000 Grade III Turf Monster Stakes at Parx Racing, leading throughout and winning off by 1 1/2 lengths. Boat's a Rockin was second, 1/2 length better than Dr. Duke.

That's Right, a 3-year-old Goldencents colt, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 57.66 seconds with Andy Hernandez in the irons. It was his fourth win from five starts since trainer Michael Moore put him on the grass in May.

Carotari led early in Saturday's $100,000 Laurel Dash Stakes at Pimlico, was hooked by Comedy Town a furlong out and battled with that rival to the finish before winning by a nose. It was just 1 length more to Matta in third.

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Carotari, a 6-year-old Artie Schiller gelding out of the Rahy mare Soother, ran 5 furlongs on firm going in 56.20 seconds with Kendrick Carmouche up. He's won four of his last six starts but finished seventh in the other two.

Can the Queen stalked the pace in Saturday's $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash at Pimlico, took the lead inside the sixteenth pole and rolled home first by 1 3/4 lengths. Whispurring Kitten was second with a late move and Can't Buy Love was third from even farther back.

Can the Queen, a 6-year-old Can the Man mare, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 56.60 seconds with Jean Alvelo up.

Juvenile

Lights of Broadway found his best stride in the final strides of Saturday's $65,000 Armed Forces Stakes at Gulfstream Park, rallying to win by a neck over Cheerful Charlie. Tigre was third.

Lights of Broadway, a Kentucky-bred colt by City of Light, ran 1 mile and 70 yards on the all-weather track in 1:41.97. Sonny Leon rode for Mark Casse. The win was his second straight, both on the same surface.

On Sunday at Los Alamitos, Baffert saddled the first two finishers in the $75,000 Capote Stakes -- Hard to Figure and Massimo. Hard to Figure, a Hard Spun colt, drew off to win by 3 lengths over his odds-on favorite stablemate.

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With Ramon Vazquez up, he got 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:15.91. It was his first win after two thirds at Del Mar.

Campfire Creed rallied by pacesetting favorite Wildatlanticstorm in the late going to win Sunday's $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes at Remington Park by 1 3/4. Wildatlanticstorm held second, another 1 3/4 lengths in front of Toddchero.

Campfire Creed, a Kentucky-bred colt by Jimmy Creed, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track with Gerardo Mora up.

Juvenile Fillies

Gambling Girl got the jump on the favorite, Miracle, in the stretch run in Friday's $125,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes for New York-bred fillies at Aqueduct, and then held off that one handily to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Les Bon Temps, the early leader, finished third.

Gambling Girl, a daughter of Dialed in from Todd Pletcher's barn, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:27.62 with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.

Jackpot Baby stalked the pace in Sunday's $55,000 Gaylord Memorial at Remington Park, moved four-wide to get the lead and won by 1 length over Mor Lively.

Jackpot Baby, an Oklahoma-bred filly by Goldencents, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.20 with Jose Alvarez up.

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Around the world, around the clock

The European 2-year-olds

There was enough juvenile action in England and Ireland as to be confusing -- especially for Americans who realized two of the races were Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" events and two were the initial legs of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby.

One of those was both. Other weekend juvenile races normally are key indicators for the following year's British, Irish and French Classics.

Let's sort it out.

The "dual qualifier" was Saturday's Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket, where Godolphin's Flying Honours and Coolmore's Greenland were the favorites.

But it was The Foxes, a well-bred Churchill colt, who came powering through on the inside rail to score an impressive victory for King Power Racing and trainer Andrew Balding. Dubai Mile was third with Flying Honours and Greenland close behind in the four-horse field.

The Foxes made it back-to-back wins after two unimpressive efforts to open his account and earned 10 points on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard and a pass to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

The other "European Road" race was the Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes Saturday at the Curragh in Ireland. That one went the way of Crypto Force, a Time Test colt, who caught Coolmore's front-running favorite, Adelaide River, in the final furlong and ran on to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

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The effort was impressive and earned 10 points on the leaderboard but, like the Royal Lodge, the Beresford was conducted over the turf and is much more likely to point to local glory in 2023 than to Churchill Downs.

Friday's Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Rockfel Stakes for 2-year-old fillies provided a free pass to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf for Commissioning, a Kingman colt trained by John and Thady Gosden.

The younger Gosden said the filly, now undefeated after two outings, likely will have another run at Newmarket with a decision to follow about any further plans for the autumn.

A pair of Group 1 events on Newmarket's Saturday card were bigger deals for the 2023 Classics.

Although the Coolmore forces were hammered in the lesser races, Aidan O'Brien's trainees came through in spades in the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes as Blackbeard, a No Nay Never colt, and The Antarctic, by Dark Angel, rolled home 1-2.

Persian Force, Mischief Magic and the favorite, Marshman, followed in that order.

Blackbeard won for the sixth time in eight starts, collecting back-to-back Group 1 wins following the Prix Morny in Deauville Aug. 21.

O'Brien wouldn't commit to Blackbeard's autumn plans, but noted he's been a busy boy already, hinting at a lay-by for the springtime. Trainer Richard Hannon said the Breeders' Cup is a possibility for Persian Force.

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Lezoo, with William Buick up, made steady progress after a slow start in the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and got home first by 3/4 length over the favorite, Meditate.

Lezoo, a Zoustar filly trained by Ralph Beckett, scored her fourth win from five starts. Beckett said she is unlikely to see out a mile but suggested the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland might not be out of the question.

Australia

Alligator Blood bravely completed a three-race progression to his first win of the season Sunday at Sandown, scoring a mild upset in the Group 1 Quayclean Underwood Stakes at 1 mile.

After leading into the turn, Alligator Blood battled head-to-head with last year's winner, Zaaki, then found another gear and pulled away as Mo'unga edged Zaaki for second and the favorite, I'm Thunderstruck, finished fourth.

Alligator Blood, a 6-year-old gelding by All Too Hard, was seventh in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes Aug. 27 and second in the Group Makybe Diva Stakes on Sept. 10 to kick off the season.

Is Alligator Blood primed for the Oct. 22 Cox Plate now? "This race, apart from Anamoe, all the big guns were there," winning rider Tim Clark said. "He's proven himself over 1,800 (meters) on a big, roomy track like this so, 2,040 around the Valley? Bring it on."

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On Saturday at Rosehill, Jacquinot edged the favorite, In Secret, by a head at the end of 1,400 meters in the Group 1 Chandon Golden Rose Stakes for 3-year-olds. Zou Tiger was third at a big price.

Jacquinot, a Rubick colt trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr., made it 2-for-2 on the spring season after winning just once in the previous term. In Secret, by I Am Invincible, was 2-for-2 last season and now has a win and two seconds this time around.

Germany

Rebel's Romance continued his remarkable rebound from a remarkably disappointing Dubai season -- and furthered a possible Breeders' Cup run -- with a late-running score Sunday in the Group 1 Preis von Europa at Cologne.

With William Buick dropping in for the ride, the 4-year-old Dubawi gelding raced in the back pair in a seven-horse field, rallied through the final 400 meters and was along comfortably to win by 3/4 length from Sammarco.

Rebel's Romance won the Group 2 UAE Derby in 2021 but then was put away for more than a year by trainer Charlie Appleby. He returned at Meydan this season to flop badly in two starts.

A switch to the grass after another four-months break did the trick as the Godolphin homebred now has reeled off four straight wins, two in England and two Group 1 affairs in Germany.

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Before the race, Appleby was quoted by Daily Racing Form as saying, "If he happens to win that, then it will be strongly considered about him being a Breeders' Cup Turf horse."

Japan

Sunday's Grade 2 Sankei Sho All Comers Stakes at Nakayama produced an all-long shot finish as 19-1 chance Geraldina led home a procession of four double-digit chances. The favorite, Daring Tact, raced well back in the field and could only advance to finish fifth.

Although she has not lived up to it yet, Geraldina a 4-year-old filly, was bred to be great. She is by Maurice, a six-time Grade/Group 1 winner in both Japan and Hong Kong, out of Gentildonna. Gentildonna was a seven-time winner at the top levels, including two Japan Cups and the Dubai Sheema Classic.

On Sunday at Chukyo Racecourse, Justin Palace got clear in the stretch run to win the Grade 2 Kobe Simbun Hai, a Japanese St. Leger Trial, by 3 1/2 lengths.

The Deep Impact colt finished second in last year's Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes, but was ninth in both the Grade I Satsuki Sho or Japanese 2,000 Guineas and Tokyo Yushun or Japanese Derby in his only previous starts this year.

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong superstar Golden Sixty looks to have another challenger on the horizon as California Spangle's easy win in Sunday's Group 3 Celebration Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse has trainer Tony Cruz pointing the 4-year-old, Irish-bred Starspangledbanner gelding to a showdown with the champ in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile in December.

California Spangle wasn't tested in Sunday's romp and Cruz said the front-running victory at 1,400 meters proves his gelding can be a quality miler.

California Spangle now has seven wins and four seconds from 11 starts. However, one of those seconds was behind Golden Sixty in the Group 1 FWD Champions Mile in April. Golden Sixty has won the last two editions of the Longines Hong Kong Mile.

Meanwhile, back in the States:

Remington Park

Denver City led all the way to a 2 3/4-lengths win in Friday's $70,000 Remington Park Turf Sprint for Oklahoma-breds with Pomeroy Haze second, 1/2 length better than the favorite, Shannon C.

Denver City, a 6-year-old Silver City gelding, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 55.38 seconds with Weston Hamilton in the irons.

Run Slewpy Run used a stout stretch run to hit the lead in Friday's $70,000 Bob Barry Memorial for state-bred fillies and mares and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Morning Twilight.

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Run Slewpy Run, a 4-year-old Den's Legacy filly dispatched as the odds-on favorite, finished 7 1/2 furlongs on the lawn in 1:29.51 with Luis Quinonez up.

Number One Dude enjoyed a ground-saving trip early in Friday's $70,000 Red Earth Stakes for Oklahoma-breds, split rivals in deep stretch and got home first by a neck over the favorite, That's Something. Number One Dude, a 4-year-old American Lion gelding, toured 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf in 1:29.37 with Leandro Goncalves riding.

Lastchanceforlove kicked away in the stretch run of Sunday's $55,000 Flashy Lady Stakes for fillies and mares, winning by 10 1/2 lengths. Distorted Flash was second as Lastchanceforlove, a 5-year-old Violence mare, finished 6 furlongs on the fast track in 1:10.85 with David Cabrera in the irons.

Island Hideaway angled four-wide at the furlong pole to find running room in Sunday's $75,000 Rick's Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares and rallied to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Angel Palm was second.

Island Hideaway, a 5-year-old, British-bred mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.15 with Cristian Torres aboard.

Flash of Mischief flashed through the stretch in Sunday's $150,000 David M. Vance Stakes, winning by 6 1/2 lengths over Empire of Gold with El Pando third.

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Flash of Mischief, a 4-year-old colt by Into Mischief, negotiated 6 furlongs on the fast track in 1:08.78, also with Torres riding.

Belterra Park

Star Rules, the odds-on favorite, raced well back early in Friday's $75,000 Miss Southern Ohio Stakes for state-bred fillies and mares, came around rivals and got home first by 1 1/2 lengths over Goodness Sakes.

Star Rules, a 5-year-old Mobil mare, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:43.48 for jockey John McKee.

Sammy and Shorty tracked the early pace in Friday's $75,000 Loyalty Stakes for Ohio-bred 2-year-olds, rallied around rivals and owned the stretch run, winning by 4 1/4 lengths as the even-money pick. Excitement was best of the rest.

Sammy and Shorty, a Mobil gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:13.78 with Luis Rivera up.

Woodbine

Poulin in O T took a big early lead in Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Bull Page Stakes for Ontario-sired 2-year-old colts and geldings, turned back a bid by Awesome Bourbon and went on to win by 2 1/2 lengths. One Bay Hemingway was up to deny Awesome Bourbon for second.

Poulin in O T, a Reload gelding, ran 7 furlongs on firm turf in 1:22.02. Patrick Husbands rode for trainer Steven Owens.

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Ancient Spirit waited patiently in second place through the first half of Saturday's $100,000 Victorian Queen Stakes for Ontario-bred 2-year-old fillies, got the lead with a three-wide move and cleared to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Tito's Calling rallied from last of eight to finish second with Friends for Life third.

Ancient Spirit, by Signature Red, ran 7 furlongs on firm going in 1:21.80 under Rafael Hernandez.

Parx Racing

Midnight Parade came with a steady rally in the lane to win Saturday's $200,000 Imply Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old fillies by 2 lengths over Pachelbel. The odds-on favorite, Flor de Sambra, faded from the lead to finish third.

Midnight Parade, a Hoppertunity filly, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:19.41 with David Cora up.

Gordian Knot took a big lead in the stretch in the $200,000 Prince Lucky Stakes for state-bred 2-year-olds and held it despite drifting late to win by 2 lengths over a horse whose name is so ridiculous we'll skip it (but it's Keithsendsheloooo). Veeson was third.

Gordian Knot, a Social Inclusion gelding was clocked in 1:18.19 with Mychel Sanchez up.

Love in the Air led all the way in Saturday's $200,000 Plum Pretty Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares and held gamely to win by 2 lengths over the odds-on favorite, Leader of the Band.

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Love in the Air, a Constitution filly, ran 1 mile and 70 yards on a fast track in 1:42.69 with Paco Lopez aboard.

By Land and See worked quickly to the lead in Saturday's $200,000 Alphabet Soup Handicap, dictated the pace and had no worries down the stretch, winning by 3 1/4 lengths. Midnight Hauler was up for second, a nose in front of late-running Crisper.

By Land and See, a 5-year-old son of Cairo Prince, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf on 1:42.27 with Sanchez riding.

Albuquerque

Sheriff Brown rallied from last of 11 to win Saturday's $200,000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap by a neck over Mine That Star. Fleetridge was third.

Sheriff Brown, a 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred Curlin gelding, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.59 with Oscar Ceballos in the irons.

Better Believe led from the start in Sunday's $329,947 New Mexico State Fair Thoroughbred Futurity for state-bred 2-year-olds and held well to win by 1 3/4 lengths. The favorite, Storm Leader, was second with Musics My Vice third.

Better Believe, a Marking filly, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.64 with Drayden Van Dyke up. Todd Fincher trained all of the first three finishers.

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