Frosted confirmed his standing in the top ranks among older horses with another impressive win, Cupid won his second Derby, Paola Queen upset the Test Stakes at Saratoga at big odds and several 2-year-olds showed promise in a full midsummer weekend of Thoroughbred racing.
On the international front, Signs of Blessing won a tragedy-marred Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville in France. And Aidan O'Brien saddled the first two finishers in the Group 1 feature in Ireland.
Meanwhile, saddle up for this ride:
Frosted left nothing to chance in Saturday's $1.25 million Grade I Whitney at Saratoga, setting a brisk pace with only mild pressure and carrying on to win by 2 lengths. Comfort, an improving 4-year-old, was along to finish second, 1/2 length in front of Upstart. He, in turn, was a nose in front of Effinex. Frosted, a 4-year-old Tapit colt, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:47.77 with Joel Rosario at the controls. The Darley-bred, Godolphin-owned colt was making his first start since winning the Grade I Met Mile by 14 1/4 lengths. Before that, he finished fifth in the Dubai World Cup and, overall, the gray colt has six wins and six seconds from 16 starts.
"It wasn't the plan to take the lead," said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "We have a top rider and we let Joel kind of dictate what he wanted to do and figure it out when the gates open. He thought he would be further back if they went fast and close if they weren't going fast. He went fast and he was on the lead and I knew if he was there he would have plenty of horse."
Frosted "is right up at the top" among horses he has trained, McLaughlin said "Invasor was the best, I'll always say, but he is creeping up now and if he can go on and win the Breeders' Cup or World Cup, he'll (Frosted) be right there with him or pass him."
Invasor won 11 of 12 lifetime starts, including the 2006 Breeders' Cup Classic and the 2007 Dubai World Cup. Frosted's options now are the Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup as stepping stones to the Breeders' Cup Classic, McLaughlin said. The Whitney was a "Win and You're In" for the Classic. Frosted already earned a spot in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile via his win the "Win and You're In" Met Mile but McLaughlin said the Classic is the more likely option.
Cupid backed up his Indiana Derby win with a front-running, 4-lengths victory in Saturday's $750,000, Grade II West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer. With Rafael Bejarano in for the ride, the gray Tapit colt ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in an unhurried 1:50.54. Whateverybodywants, at 74-1 odds, finished second, followed by fellow long shots Name Changer and Anaximandros. Ohio Derby winner Mo Tom and Dwyer runner-up Economic Model were scratched. Trainer Bob Baffert abandoned Triple Crown hopes for Cupid, who underwent minor throat surgery after he finished 10th in the Grade I Arkansas Derby but he has bounced back nicely in the two subsequent Derbies. Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes, who saddled the colt Saturday, said he will return to California and Baffert will puzzle out the rest of his 3-year-old schedule.
Texas Chrome let the favorite, Sharp Azteca, do all the early work in Saturday's $100,000 Super Derby Prelude at Louisiana Downs, challenged that one in the stretch and won a prolonged duel by 1/2 length with a final surge. Mending Fences was 6 3/4 lengths farther back in third. Texas Chrome, a Texas-bred colt by Grasshopper, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.83 with C.J. McMahon in the irons. Texas Chrome came to the race after a second-place finish behind American Freedom in the Grade III Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows. The $400,000, Grade III Super Derby is Sept. 10.
Camelot Kitten battled down the lane with Airoforce in Friday's $200,000 Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga, prevailing only in the final yards and only by a nose. Strike Midnight struck late to snatch third from pacesetter Giant Run. Camelot Kitten, a Kitten's Joy colt, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.76 with Irad Ortiz Jr. up. He had a modest, two-race winning streak snapped with a fourth-place showing in the Grade I Belmont Derby Invitational in his previous start. Winning trainer Chad Brown, off to a spectacular start at the Saratoga meet, was in full Spa mode after the race.
"It's Saratoga," he said. "Sometimes you walk out of here on top of the world and you have a great day and other days are like, 'What happened?' It's tough up here, so we'll just enjoy this day. It's hard to have days like this."
Shining Copper pressed the pace in Saturday's $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes at Saratoga, then hooked up with most of the rest of the field in a charge down the stretch, winning by a nose over Jay Gatsby and another nose from Full Mast. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz, according to the Equibase chart footnotes, dropped his left rein late in the stretch run. Shining Copper, often used as a rabbit for others owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, finished Saturday's 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.80. The 6-year-old gelding by Aragorn scored his first win since February of 2015. Ortiz said he discussed with trainer Chad Brown the option of taking Shining Copper back and outside the early leader and that's how the race played out.
"It was a tight finish there," the rider said. "I know this horse and when he gets hooked in deep stretch, he's tough."
Free Rose led all the way to a 29-1 upset win in Saturday's $150,000 Grade III La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-olds at Del Mar, winning by 1/2 length over Lucky Brian. Moonlight Drive was another 1/2 length back in third and 1/2 length to the good of the favorite, Monster Bea. Free Rose, a Munnings gelding, got 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.73 under Joe Talamo. The La Jolla was his stakes debut and only his third career win.
"We were going fast, but his ears were up and he was relaxed," said Talamo, who rode Free Rose for the first time. "The key to the race was at the three-eighths pole. A horse came up alongside, but then he let us go. My horse took a couple of breaths and then he went. Felt good."
Filly & Mare Turf
Saturday's $200,000, Grade III Fasig-Tipton Waya Stakes for fillies and mares was, as forecast, a wide-open affair. Nonetheless, the lukewarm favorite, Guapaza, got the job done, surging to the lead four-wide early in the stretch run, then holding on to win by a head over Suffused. Achnaha finished third -- the trifecta bred in Chile, England and Ireland, respectively. Guapaza, a 5-year-old daughter of Seeking the Dia, ran 1 1/2 miles on the firm inner turf course in 2:25.96 with Javier Castellano up. Previously raced in Chile, she now has two wins, a second and two thirds from five U.S. starts. Winning trainer Chad Brown commented: "She went wide part of the race, and had to move a little sooner than he wanted, Javier said, because someone came outside of him and kind of forced him to go. She really ran the best race today."
Filly & Mare Sprint
Paola Queen took four tries to break into the win column, then produced a pair of lackluster efforts in her two most recent starts. Bettors at Saratoga, however, overlooked the fact those two races were the Kentucky Oaks and the Grade I Acorn and that the Flatter filly hadn't run all that poorly in them. So, she was allowed to go to the post at odds of 55-1 in Saturday's $500,000 Grade I Test Stakes and promptly rallied four-wide down the stretch to overhaul the leaders and win by 3/4 length. Lightstream drafted along behind to take second away from Off the Tracks. The favorite, previously undefeated Kareena, retreated steadily through the lane and finished sixth of seven. Paola Queen, with Luis Saez in the irons, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.32.
"I'm a grown man, and I cry," said winning trainer Gustavo Delgado. "Thank you very much, I love all of Venezuela. This is a very important race for me. I'm very happy. The pace was very important for us. I'm happy, everybody is happy."
Holding Gold put a head in front of Commend at the wire to win Thursday's $100,000 Quick Call Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga. Too Discreet led until the final yards and finished third, 1 length back of Commend. Holding Gold, a Lonhro colt, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:01.84 with Julien Leparoux in the irons. He has missed the exacta only once in six career starts -- that a fifth-place finish in last year's Grade II Saratoga Special.
So Sweetitiz emerged from a pace-stalking trip to win Friday's $75,000 Daisycutter Handicap for fillies and mares at Del Mar by 1/2 length over Late Spring. Long Hot Summer finished third and the favorite, Shrinking Violet, was seventh. So Sweetitiz, a 4-year-old Grand Slam filly, ran 5 furlongs on firm turf in 56.32 seconds under Flavien Prat.
Lady Lara, already in foal to Uncle Mo and making her final start, outfinished Stormy Victoria to take Saturday's $100,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes for fillies and mares at Saratoga by 1 length. Zindaya was third and the favorite, Roca Rojo, finished fourth. Lady Lara, a 5-year-old, Irish-bred daughter of Excellent Art, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.88 under Jose Lezcano. It was her first win in four outings this year. "She actually has really blossomed since she's become pregnant," said winning trainer Bill Mott. "She started working faster and become stronger. It worked out well with her. I'm sure maybe it's not for all of them."
Innovative Idea shadowed the pace in Saturday's $100,000, Grade III Groupie Doll Stakes at Ellis Park, took over the lead in the lane and inched ahead to win by 1/2 length over Emmajestic. The favorite, Ahh Chocolate, settled for third with a mild late gain. Innovative Idea, a 4-year-old Bernardini filly bred by Darley and owned by Godolphin, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:36.33 with Marlon St. Julien in the irons.
Greatbullsoffire pressed the pace in Thursday's $50,000 Strike Your Colors Stakes at Delaware Park, went by the early leader and ran on to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Brahms Secret and Prince of Kentucky both found their best stride late to finish second and third. Greatbullsoffire, a Maryland-bred Bullsbay colt, ran 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:04.55 under Victor Carrasco.
Lookin at Lee tracked the leaders in Saturday's $75,000 Ellis Park Juvenile, surged to the front in the lane when asked by jockey Albin Jimenez and went on to win by 3/4 length over Caroline Test. The odds-on favorite, Honor Thy Father, held on for show money. Lookin at Lee, a Lookin at Lucky colt, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.34. It was his second straight win.
Three Rules dominated eight rivals, winning Saturday's $200,000 Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park by 7 lengths. Blessed Halo and Front Loaded filled the trifecta slots. Three Rules, a Gone Astray colt, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.49 with Cornelio Velasquez up. He remains undefeated after three starts.
Gentlemengentlemen set a pressured pace in Saturday's $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for state-breds at Louisiana Downs, then held gamely to win by 3/4 length over Street Honor. Just Due was third and the favorite, Tigerstorm, faded to finish seventh. The winner, a Yankee Gentleman gelding, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.63 for jockey Williams Naupac.
So Lucky was too good for four rivals in Sunday's $50,000 W.T.B.O.A. Stakes at Emerald Downs, leading most of the way to a 5 1/4-lengths victory. Distortedatthebar was second and Mixo finished third. So Lucky, a Coast Guard colt, finished 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.50 with Rocco Bowen up.
Jocker Justice advanced rapidly outside rivals turning for home in Saturday's $75,000 Cleveland Kindergarten at Thistledown, then battled to the line for a head victory over Cake Pop. Crazycan'tberighted finished third. Jocker Justice, a Stay Thirsty colt, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:12.82 with Eduardo Perez riding.
Champagne Room got by pacesetting Miss Southern Miss in the stretch run of Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar and went on to win by 1 1/4 lengths over that rival. Auntjenn, Rooms and Unforgivable U completed the order of finish. Champagne Room, a Broken Vow filly, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:16.35 with Mario Gutierrez up. She finished second in her only previous start. Trainer Peter Eurton credited advisors who suggested he supplement Champagne Room to the race.
"They brought some things to my attention that this has been a very influential race for the Debutante, the Chandelier and others. So, instead of me being conservative and putting bubble wrap around her and wait for (the Debutante), we decided to go here," he said.
Cajun Delta Dawn stayed close to the leaders in Saturday's $200,000 Desert Vixen Division of the Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park, got by in the lane and won by a neck over Lu Lu Laura. U S Diva was third and the favorite, R Incredible Life, finished next-last of 12. Cajun Delta Dawn, a Kantharos filly, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.94 with Juan Leyva in the irons. She remains undefeated after three starts.
Blazinbeauty found her best stride in the stretch run in Sunday's $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at Emerald Downs, passed the leaders and got away to a 1 1/4-lengths victory. Pacesetting Getting Joellenned held second with Afleet Hope third. Blazinbeauty, a Tale of Ekati filly, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.16 with Isaias Enriquez in the irons.
Chases Dixie Belle spotted the field several lengths at the start of Saturday's $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Filles at Louisiana Downs, advanced steadily to the lead and drew clear to a 2-lengths victory. Long Legged Model was best of the rest with Taking Tips another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Chases Dixie Belle, a My Pal Charlie filly, ran 6 furlongs on a fast strip in 1:12.78 with Diego Saenz up.
Ardmore Bay rallied four-wide into the lane in Sunday's $60,000 Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park and cleared the field in the final sixteenth, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over Bay Numbers. Follow the Rainbow was third and the favorite, Lightning Dove, beat only one rival. Ardmore Bay, a New York-bred colt by Bluegrass Cat, ran about 5 1/2 furlongs on the firm turf course in 1:04.12. He now is 2-for-2 after winning at first asking at Belmont Park.
"I saw how he ran at Belmont and it was an impressive race," said winning rider Victor Lebron. "Around the turn, I had him rolling. We were three or four wide but I just didn't want to stop him because of how fast he was coming and I knew I had a lot left."
Juvenile Filly Turf
Red Lodge, an also-ran for trainer Wesley Ward at Royal Ascot, had no problems landing Saturday's $60,000 Colleen Stakes over the Monmouth Park grass. The Midshipman filly went right to the lead under Paco Lopez and drew off when asked, winning by 3 1/2 lengths over Iron Mizz. Harlands Thunder was third. Red Lodge finished 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:02.98. She finished second in her career debut at Keeneland, then won at Belmont Park before finishing ninth in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes in England.
"She is a very nice filly," Lopez said. "She had a great break and went to the lead. I hit her one time going around the turn and I knew I had a lot of horse left."
Over the waves:
Signs of Blessing made all the going in Sunday's Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over Donjuan Triumphant as the favorite, Hong Kong raider Gold-Fun, fell inside the final 100 yards and was fatally injured. The race was off to an ominous start when one of the 15 starters reared in the stalls springing the barrier for several others and creating a false start. Once things were sorted out, jockey Stephane Pasquier sent his 5-year-old Invincible Spirit gelding right to the fore and he wasn't troubled thereafter, finishing the 6 1/2 furlongs on good turf in 1:16.74. Signs of Blessing was coming off a third-place finish in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot -- behind Twilight Son and Gold-Fun. Ironically, winning trainer Francois Rohaut said Signs of Blessing, after a return to Ascot, could go on to contest the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint in December at Sha Tin, a race in which Gold-Fun finished second last year.
Only five faced the starter in Sunday's Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes for 2-year-olds at the Curragh and it's no surprise that Aidan O'Brien saddled the first two home -- Caravaggio and Courage Under Fire. O'Brien's son, Joseph Patrick, sent out Ambiguity, who reported last. Caravaggio, now 4-for-4, was the prohibitive favorite and ran like it under Seamie Heffernan. After waiting patiently for his cue, the American-bred Scat Daddy colt accelerated smoothly to the lead and drew off to win by 4 lengths over his stablemate. Medicine Jack was another 2 3/4 lengths back in third. Caravaggio's other victories include the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and his future seems wide open.
Serienholde moved to the lead with some 100 yards to run in Sunday's Group 1 German Oaks at Dusseldorf and went on to win by 1/2 length over the early leader, Sarandia. The even-money favorite, English raider Architecture, the Irish Oaks second, settled for third this time, another 1 3/4 lengths back. Serienholde, a Soldier Hollow filly, posted her second win from three starts for trainer Andreas Wohler. Markus Klug saddled seven of the 16 starters but his best showing was a fourth by Kasalla
For those who like this sort of thing, "The Rest of the World" held on desperately for victory in Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup jockeys competition at Ascot. Going into the final race, the team headed by Brazilian-born Silvestre De Souza seemed comfortably ahead. But Frenchmen Thierry Jarnet and Pierre-Charles Boudot, the mates of "Team Europe" Captain Frankie Dettori, finished 1-2 in the finale and it took a fourth-place showing by Kenichi Ikezoe to cement the proposition for "The Rest of the World". The final standings were: The Rest of the World, 68; Europe, 65; The Girls, 54; and Ireland and Great Britain, 53. Jarnet took individual honors with 38 points with South African Gavin Larena second at 30.
Caren led from the first jump in Sunday's $250,000 (Canadian) Wonder Where Stakes for Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies and edged clear in the stretch to win by 3 lengths. Conquest Dynasty tracked the leader all the way and finished second, a neck in front of Swoop and Strike, while the favorite, Woodbine Oaks runner-up Gamble's Ghost, was never involved and finished seventh. Caren, a daughter of Society's Chairman, ran about 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 2:03.10 with Jesse Campbell up. Caren finished third in the Woodbine Oaks, then won the Bison City Stakes last month.
"She was comfortable out there," said Campbell. "The filly learned how to rate herself nice. She's just a pro."
Tiz Imaginary stalked the pace in Sunday's $125,000 (Canadian) Duchess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, moved to the lead early in the stretch run and edged clear in the final sixteenth to score by 1 1/2 lengths over the favorite, Moonlit Promise. Calling Rhy Rhy finished third. Tiz Imaginary, a daughter of Tizway, ran 7 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:23.56 under Emma-Jayne Wilson.
Kingsport was off a step slowly in Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian) Shepperton Stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up, quickly took a stalking position and was just up at the end to beat Jacks Escarpment by a head. Sweet Grass Creek was another neck back in third. Kingsport, a 4-year-old Milwaukee Brew colt, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:16.57 for jockey Patrick Husbands.
"I was worried that 6 1/2 furlongs was a little too short for him," said winning trainer Sid Attard. "But he's a nice horse and he'll do whatever you ask him to do. He can do turf, main track, mile and a sixteenth, seven-eighths. It doesn't matter. Just put him in the gate," Attard said.
Royal Posse waited in a stalking position until the turn in Sunday's $100,000 Alydar Stakes, moved up to challenge pacesetter Touchofstarquality near the sixteenth pole and went on to win by 1 1/4 lengths over that rival. It was another 5 1/2 lengths back to Mylute in third. The odds-on favorite, Far From Over, was done early, beating only one tired rival. Royal Posse, a 5-year-old Posse gelding, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.93 while toting Irad Ortiz Jr.
Sobradora Inc raced at the back of the pack in Sunday's restricted, $75,000 Osunitas Stakes for fillies and mares, swung out around rivals into the stretch and was up for a 1/2-length win over Prize Exhibit. Elektrum finished third. Sobradora Inc, a 4-year-old, Argentine-bred filly by Include, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.89 with Rafael Bejarano in the irons.
Dream of Me hooked up in a speed duel with prohibitive favorite Awesome Banner in Saturday's $150,000 Unbridled Division of the Florida Sire Stakes for state-bred 3-year-olds and put that one away in the lane, winning by 2 1/2 lengths. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Call to Honor in third. Dream of Me, a High Cotton colt, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.30 for jockey Juan Leyva.
R Kinsley Doll came five-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $150,000 Three Ring Division of the Florida Sire Stakes for state-bred 3-year-old fillies and cleared, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over Sweet Khaleesi. Dixieland Dudes finished third. R Kinsley Doll, a Big Drama filly, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.55, just 2.43 seconds off the course record set by her sire in 2011.
Daring Kathy led all the way to a 5 1/4-lengths victory over Pancake in Saturday's $75,000 Soaring Softly Stakes for Florida-bred fillies and mares. E B Ryder checked in third. Daring Kathy, a 5-year-old daughter of Wildcat Heir, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.08 with Tyler Gaffalione aboard.
Presque Isle Downs
Lucabunny outfinished fellow long shot Hey Monba by 3/4 length in Sunday's $100,000 Malvern Rose Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-old fillies. War Baby finished third and the heavy favorite, Behrnik's Bank, faded to finish last, providing a trifecta return of $7,790.60 for a $2 investment -- minus the IRS cut, of course. Lucabunny, a Silver Train filly out of a Touch Gold mare, ran 1 mile on the all-weather track in 1:38.64 with Willie Martinez in the irons.
There were stakes, stakes and more stakes on the West Virginia Derby undercard Saturday, with $100,000 the default purse level.
Watchyourownbobber stalked the pace in the House of Delegates Speakers Cup, then outfinished Rose Briar, winning by 3/4 length. The 4-year-old Hard Spun colt ran 1 mile and 70 yards on firm turf in 1:37.63, winning his second straight race.
Hawaakom upset the $200,000 Governor's Stakes, outfinishing favorite Departing by 1 1/4 lengths while completing 1 1/16 miles on the main track in 1:44.64. Miguel Mena rold the 6-year-old Jazil gelding, who won for the third time this season.
W.B. Smudge got first run to the lead in the Sen. Robert C. Byrd memorial and held off the favorite, Wilbo, by a head. With Corey Lanerie up, the 7-year-old Grand Reward gelding ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.86.
Catcha Rising Star led all the way to a 1 1/4-lengths victory over the favorite, Susie Bee, in the Senate President's Cup for fillies and mares on the turf. The 4-year-old Red Giant filly got 1 mile and 70 yards on firm going in 1:39.22 with Edgar Prado up.
I'm a Looker took charge in the lane in the Secretary of State Stakes, drawing off to win by 3 3/4 lengths over Athena. The 4-year-old Henny Hughes filly, with Robby Albarado aboard, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.49.
Roman Officer opened a huge lead turning for home in the Legislature Chairman's Cup and coasted home first by 1 1/2 length over the favorite, Black Bear. Roman Officer, a 5-year-old Roman Ruler gelding, blasted 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.35 seconds with Gerard Almodovar up.
Spa Creek came from last of 11 to win the Hancock County Stakes for state-bred fillies and mares. And In the Fairway took the Northern Panhandle Stakes for West Virginia-breds by 6 1/2 lengths over the venerable Russell Road.
Smack Smack led throughout Saturday's $175,000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap, turned back a challenge and then held on to win by 1/2 length over an onrushing Forest Mouse. Code West finished third. Smack Smack, a 5-year-old Closing Argument gelding, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:49.90 with Shane Laviolette riding. It was his second straight win, following the Grade III Prairie Meadows Cornhusker.
Edge of Reality raced near the back of the pack early in Saturday's $100,000 Robellino Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds, circled five-wide into the stretch and was up in time to win by 1 length. Raging Market and Granny's Kitten got the minor awards. Edge of Reality, a 6-year-old Lawyer Ron gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.06 with Jeremy Rose up.
Bullets Fever, the odds-on favorite, led from gate to wire in Saturday's $50,000 Robert G. Leavitt Stakes for West Virginia-bred 3-year-olds. The Fiber Sonde colt finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Castle Bound with North Atlantic well back in third. Bullets Fever, with Arnaldo Bocachica up, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:24.04.
Sunbean came from well back in Saturday's $75,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic for state-breds and emerged from the scrum in the final yards to win by 1 length. Benwill, Berniestrike and Well's Gold were all within 1 length in the next three positions. The favorite, String King, finished seventh and was never a factor. Sunbean, a 6-year-old Brahms gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm going in 1:41.89 with Richard Eramia in the irons. Always a tough competitor in the state-bred ranks down south, Sunbean was making his first Louisiana Downs appearance since finishing second in the 2013 Super Derby Prelude.
Calamity Jane outfinished Kinky Vow by 3/4 length in Saturday's $75,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff for state-breds with White Oak Swamp and Safari Calamari another pair of necks back in third and fourth. Calamity Jane, a 3-year-old Cowboy Cal filly, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.83 with Diego Saenz up.
Greeley's Wish was just up in the final yards to win Saturday's $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint for Louisiana-breds by 1/2 length from So Sorry Ruston. Maaster Chef Ron was third with a late bid. Greeley's Wish, a 3-year-old Greeley's Galaxy gelding, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.93 with John Jacinto up.
Look Into My Eyes took charge in the lane in Saturday's $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint for state-bred distaffers, winning by 2 1/2 lengths over Smitty's Cougar. The favorite, Wheatfield, finished third. Look Into My Eyes, a 4-year-old City Zip filly, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.35 for jockey Edgard Zayas.
School Board Prez was all out in the final yards to land Sunday's $75,000 Vivacious Handicap for Ohio-bred distaffers by a neck over Hope's Frog Song. Morant Bay was just 1/2 length farther back in third. School Board Prez, a 3-year-old daughter of Courageous Cat, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.75 with Olaf Hernandez up.