Arrogate set a track record in a breakthrough performance in the Travers Stakes, Flintshire continued to roll in the Sword Dancer, Lady Eli returned from a near-fatal injury and Hong Kong's "Magic Man" won six straight races in Japan -- all in one big weekend of Thoroughbred racing.
There's plenty more, too. So, without further ado, away we go:
With many of the major Triple Crown contenders in the field, Saturday's $1.25 million, Grade I Travers at Saratoga had the potential to identify a leader in the 3-year-old male division. Instead, Arrogate, making his stakes debut, led from the first turn, drew off in the lane to win by 13 1/2 lengths and set a Saratoga record for 1 1/4 miles -- 1:59.36. His stablemate, American Freedom, the Iowa Derby winner, pressed the pace for the first mile and held on for second, defeating perpetual bridesmaid Gun Runner by another 1 1/2 lengths. The favorite, Santa Anita Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator, never ran a step and beat only two of his 12 rivals.
Winning jockey Mike Smith noted he rode Arrogate's sire, Unbridled's Song, adding, "He might be even more talented than his father ... I was amazed how he lengthened his stride in the last sixteenth of a mile."
Winning trainer Bob Baffert, who a year earlier watched American Pharoah suffer his only defeat in the Travers, trained both Arrogate and American Freedom.
"I'm just glad to be back here with another chance at it," he said. "What he did today is pretty incredible. He looks like a superstar in the making. So I think the fans, they'll remember watching a horse like this because I know, when I see performances like this -- very rare."
Baffert said he hadn't made plans for Arrogate beyond the Travers. The colt ships back to California on Monday and he will pause to take stock.
"There's no rush. I think that he's the kind of horse that, after what he did today, he could go into the Breeders' Cup fresh, like Pharaoh did," Baffert said.
Arrogate is owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms and represents a new presence in California for that world-renowned organization, which earlier used the late Bobby Frankel.
"You feel like it was an honor even to be involved with them," Baffert said.
Arrogate took two tries to win, then reeled off back-to-back victories in allowance company at Santa Anita and Del Mar before shipping to New York shortly before the Travers. The victory immediately sparked speculation about how Arrogate's Travers stacked up against undefeated Songbird's victory a week earlier in the Grade I Alabama. Songbird won that race by 7 lengths, finishing in 2:03.00, also with Smith up.
"As a matter of fact," Smith said, "after Songbird won, Bob sent me a text. That text said, 'We need an Alabama-Travers double.' I texted him back, 'Thumbs up. That sounds great.'"
Baffert now has an embarrassment of riches for the rapidly approaching Breeders' Cup Classic with Arrogate, American Freedom, Dortmund, Hoppertunity and Cupid all in the mix.
"He can run with those other horses," Baffert said of Arrogate.
While the main action in the division was north of New York City, Baccelo shipped south from Saratoga to Monmouth Park to land Saturday's $100,000 Grade III Philip H. Iselin Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths over Mr. Jordan. The odds-on favorite, Watershed, finished third. Baccelo, a 6-year-old, Brazilian-bred gelding by Northern Afleet, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:48.55 with Nik Juarez in the irons. The stewards denied an objection over the stretch run. It was his third straight win following allowance-level victories at Santa Anita and Saratoga.
Flintshire needed just a little running room turning for home in Saturday's $1 million, Grade I Longines Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Once he got that, right along the hedge, the 6-year-old son of Dansili shot right through and went on to win easily, by 1 3/4 lengths over Money Multiplier. Twilight Eclipse was third and Grand Tito fourth. The opening on the inside was provided by Inordinate, Flintshire's stablemate, who set a quick early pace and then, tiring, cleared the way as jockey Aaron Gryder looked over his left shoulder to see Flintshire looking for a place to go.
"Aaron's horse got a little tired and with the tight corners, he drifted out a little bit," winning rider Javier Castellano said. "I saw my best opportunity to go forward and it worked out for me today."
Flintshire, trained by Chad Brown, ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:23.45. He also won last year's Sword Dancer, then finished second in both the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France and the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin. He has won all three starts since being moved to New York by his owner, Juddmonte Farms, and turned over to Brown. In his last race, the Grade II Bowling Green, Flintshire had to come from behind a glacial pace -- a mile in 1:44 1/5. Saturday, thanks to his stablemate, that same distance went in 1:36.0 and Castellano had Flintshire in last place much of the way.
"He came to me a great racehorse," Brown said. "I just try to keep him happy and healthy. Give credit to my team. They have kept him in top form."
Gryder's move on Inordinate at the top of the lane caused some bumping and a trainer's objection but there was no change in the order of finish.
One Mean Man saved ground through most of Saturday's $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park, found a narrow opening on the inside at the top of the lane and got through to win in a four-horse blanket finish. Whatawonderflworld was just a nose off the winner with Hey Dakota and Way Striking a pair of necks back in third and fourth. One Mean Man, a Mizzen Mast colt who finished fourth in the Grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in his previous start, finished 1 mile on good turf in 1:39.71 with Orlando Mojica aboard for trainer Bernie Flint.
In a dramatic finish, Cavorting came from last of five to snag Saturday's $750,000 Grade I Personal Ensign at Saratoga, winning by 1/2 length over Curalina. Forever Unbridled was third and the pacesetter, I'm a Chatterbox, surrendered in the final sixteenth, finishing fourth, beaten only a little more than 1 length. Cavorting, with Javier Castellano up, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.61. She is a 4-year-old daughter of Bernardini, owned by Stonestreet Stables. She now has won three straight, following the Grade II Ruffian and the Grade I Ogden Phipps. She finished fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and earned a trip to this year's Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff through the "Win and You're In" initiative.
"She ran terrific," said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "Javier got her back and the others went four-wide. He saved ground and I think that was the key to race. He gets along great with this filly. That was an important move he made into the first turn."
Asked what's next, he said, "Not sure if we'll go straight to the Breeders' Cup or run back at Belmont."
The $200,000 purse attracted horses from all around the Midwest and East Coast to Thistledown near Cleveland for Saturday's Lady Jacqueline Stakes for fillies and mares and it was New Jersey import Genre holding off the late bid of the favorite, Saratoga-based Penwith, to take the trophy. Romantic Vision, trained at Keeneland and last seen at Ellis Park, finished third. Genre, a 4-year-old Bernardini filly, ran 1 1/4 miles on a fast track in 2:05.48 with Trevor McCarthy at the controls, backing up her last-out victory in the Grade III Molly Pitcher at Monmouth.
Belvoir Bay took the lead early in Sunday's $100,000, Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar, shook loose from the favorite, Bellamentary, turning for home and got away to a 1 1/4-lengths victory over that rival. She's a Warrior was another 2 lengths back in third. Belvoir Bay, a British-bred Equiano filly, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:36.56 with Norberto Arroyo Jr. up.
Filly & Mare Turf
Strike Charmer spoiled Lady Eli's long-awaited comeback, rallying outside everyone to win Saturday's $400,000, Grade II Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa at Saratoga by 3/4 length. Lady Eli, making her first start in 14 months after overcoming life-threatening foot issues, appeared to have nailed down her seventh win without a loss but just could not sustain the effort in the final yards. Sentiero Italiana was third with Onus and Miss Temple City close in fourth and fifth. Strike Charmer, a 6-year-old Smart Strike mare, benefitted from a fast early pace and finished in 1:38.77 -- just 0.23 second off the track record for 1 1/16 miles. She won for just the second time this year after finishing off the board in the Grade I Just a Gleam and the Grade I Diana. Trainer Mark Hennig said he told jockey Junior Alvarado not to get stuck behind a tiring pacesetter.
"Lady Eli took the overland route and I thought he did a great job of just kind of hiding out behind her and then trying to pounce. We were fortunate enough to run her down today," Hennig said.
He said he is thrilled for the entire industry that Lady Eli overcame such long odds to survive and return to training. "But we don't mind raining on her parade today."
Lady Eli's trainer, Chad Brown, said, "I'm a little disappointed she got beat. But I'm happy that she's back to the races."
A.P. Indian pressed the pace in Saturday's $700,000 Grade I Priority One Jets Forego at Saratoga, took the lead on the turn and quickly opened a daylight lead before winning by 2 1/2 lengths over Tamarkuz. Stallwalkin Dude was third. A.P. Indian, a 6-year-old Indian Charlie gelding, covered 6 furlongs in stakes-record time of 1:20.99 without too much encouragement from jockey Joe Bravo. It was his fourth win in a row, following the LeVine Memorial at Parx, the Grade III Belmont Sprint and the Grade I A.G. Vanderbilt and earned a guaranteed spot in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita this fall. Will he go?
"I will have to talk to the owner," said winning trainer Arnaud Delacour. "We will map out a plan if it is what we want to do. He needs to bring us there. I just want to make sure he is still going well and happy. In that case, we will consider." He noted A.P. Indian is "having a lot of fun at what he does."
Mike Smith only had to point Drefong in the right direction and hang on for the victory in Saturday's $500,000, Grade I Ketel One King's Bishop for 3-year-olds at Saratoga. The Gio Ponti colt crossed over from the outside gate, set a reasonable pace and shook clear in the stretch, winning by 3 1/4 lengths over Economic Model. Noholdinback Bear, more accustomed to the all-weather surface at Woodbine, nonetheless held on for third after chasing the winner through most of the 7 furlongs. Drefong finished in 1:21.25 for his fourth straight win and first outside California.
"He's fast, he looks the part," said winning trainer Bob Baffert. "He's got a great mind. I've always thought he was cut out to be this kind of horse, but he had to prove it today. That was a tough little bunch he was in there with ... We're trying to win these big races. I'm trying to get him to the Breeders' Cup Sprint and I didn't want to run him in the Bing Crosby, I had the other horse in there, this was the last chance (against) 3-year-olds."
After a couple of late scratches, Saturday's $200,000 Grade II Pat O'Brien at Del Mar came down to a field of three. That apparently was just fine with Masochistic, who led comfortably all the way and won by 3 3/4 lengths over Vyjack. It was another 7 1/2 lengths back to Indexical in third and last place. Masochistic, a 6-year-old Sought After gelding, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:20.31 under Tyler Baze and earned a place in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile through the "Win and You're In" offering but trainer Ron Ellis said he will be pointed to the Sprint instead.
"Last year he just wanted to run as fast and as far as he could," Ellis said. "This year he's really conserving his energy and I think he can go even farther. Now we've got nine weeks to the Breeders' Cup and we'll train him up for the Sprint."
Sunday's $60,000 New Jersey Breeders' Handicap at Monmouth Park came up, as they say, pretty salty. Chublicious, a two-time stakes winner during the Shore season and last seen at Saratoga, got by Green Gratto in the late going to win by 3 1/2 lengths with Play It Again third. Chublicious, a 5-year-old gelding by Hey Chub, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.76 under Antonio Gallardo.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Haveyougoneaway roared down the stretch outside rivals in Saturday's $500,000 Grade I Ballerina for fillies and mares at Saratoga and nipped By the Moon by 1/2 length. The even-money favorite, Carina Mia, drifted wide around the turn and settled for third and Birdatthewire was a close fourth. Haveyougoneaway, a 5-year-old Congrats mare, started on the outside of 10 but closed to race three wide around the turn before mounting the winning rally. She ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:21.63 under John Velazquez. Haveyougoneaway has stepped things up this season, winning the Dancing Renee for state-breds at Belmont, then besting open company in the Grade II Honorable Miss early in the Saratoga meeting. She earned a spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint by dint of the win. Wavell Avenue, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup, finished sixth in the Ballerina. Trainer Tom Morley said he will have to plan carefully for Haveyougoneaway.
"She's had three big efforts in relatively quick succession, so we might just train up to the Breeders' Cup," he said.
Midnight Miley opened a big early lead in Saturday's $125,000 (Canadian), Grade III Seaway Stakes at Woodbine, then held on to win by 3/4 length over Elusive Collection. Regia Marina was third with the favorite, Cactus Kris, fourth. Midnight Miley, a 4-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute, finished 7 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:22.07 with Rafael Hernandez riding. It was her second straight win following the Grade III Ontario Matron. An allowance winner on the turf at Golden Gate Fields last year, Midnight Miley could see her next start in the grassy Grade II Canadian Stakes, a 1 1/8-miles Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" event Sept. 17 on the Ricoh Woodbine Mile undercard, said trainer Julia Carey.
Accelerate tracked the pace in Friday's $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes for 3-year-olds at Del Mar and gamely outfinished Semper Fortis, winning by 1/2 length. Taman Guard was third and the favorite, Who's Out, finished a fading sixth. Accelerate, a Lookin at Lucky colt, ran 1 mile on a fast track in 1:35.74 with Tyler Baze riding. He took four tries to get to the winner's circle but now has two straight wins for trainer John Sadler.
Syndergaard dominated three New York-bred rivals in Friday's $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes for state-breds at Saratoga, leading all the way and winning by 10 1/4 lengths. Bobby On Fleek was second, 3 lengths ahead of Gold for the King. Tribecca was another 11 1/4 lengths back in last in an easy one for the placing judges. Syndergaard, a Majesticperfection colt, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a muddy, sealed track in 1:16.75 with John Velazquez up for trainer Todd Pletcher. He won at first asking less than three weeks ago over the same track and Pletcher said the Grade I Hopeful on Oct. 8 is a possibility.
"I think so," he said of that option. "He's run well enough in both of his starts. It's worth the conversation."
Thegreatcollection closed with a rush to win Saturday's $60,000 Evangeline Downs Prince Stakes in Louisiana, beating Dixieland Native by 4 1/4 lengths. The favorite, U S Officer, settled for third. Thegreatcollection, a Florida-bred colt by Saint Anddan, ran 6 furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:12.81 with Colby Hernandez aboard. He now is 2-for-2 for trainer Efren Loza Jr.
Iron Mizz waited just behind the early pace battle in Friday's $200,000 Seeking the Ante Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies at Saratoga, rallied to the lead by the sixteenth pole and outfinished Code Red by 3/4 length. Tiznow's Smile, the favorite, rallied from last of seven to get show money. Iron Mizz, a daughter of Mizzen Mast, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:19.52 with Velazquez up. It was her second win from four starts, also for Pletcher, and her first try on the main track.
"This opens up plenty of options as well as giving us the added confidence in the event a race would come off the turf," Pletcher said. "I believe her best surface is turf, but it's nice to see her win a nice race like this on the dirt as well."
Miss Sunset dominated Saturday's $75,000 Generous Portion for California-sired juvenile fillies at Del Mar, drawing off from a pace-stalking trip to win by 5 1/4 lengths over first-time starter How About Zero. Rocketann was third. Miss Sunset, a daughter of Into Mischief, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.46 with Fernando Perez in the irons. She now is 2-for-2.
Country Candy took the lead from the gate in Saturday's $60,000 Evangeline Downs Princess, turned back one challenge on the turn and another in the final strides, winning by 1/2 length over Chases Dixie Belle. Empire Strikes was 3/4 length farther back in third. Country Candy, a Texas-bred filly by Intimidator, finished in 1:13.25 with Colby Hernandez riding. The J.R. Caldwell trainee finished third in the Debutante at Churchill Downs on July 2 and second in the Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows on July 28.
A Cox Plate hopeful won Saturday's Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield while the reigning Melbourne Cup winner beat only one horse. None of that might matter in the longer run. The winner was Black Heart Bart, the star of Darren Weir's stable. Weir said the owners are keen to get the 6-year-old gelding to the Cox Plate but have told him they will understand if that doesn't work out.
"Really, who wants to take Winx on?" the trainer asked philosophically. Prince of Penzance, winner of the last year's Melbourne Cup under Michelle Payne, slogged home 11th of a dozen starters but the 7 furlongs clearly was too short for his best effort. Weir trains him, too. Stay tuned as spring racing gets fully cranked up.
Last year's Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Werther, is sidelined for at least three months with a freak injury and will miss the Longines Hong Kong International Races in December, South China Morning Post's Alan Aitken reports. Werther won the Derby and QE II Cup last year, cracking the ranks of the world's top-rated horses.
"He is a very aggressive horse and he can do this sort of thing at times," the SCMP quoted trainer John Moore. "He was coming off the track after working and tried to kick another horse, a horse from another stable, and he missed and slipped over."
On a brighter note, Moore said crack miler Able Friend has recovered from a foot injury and is expected back in training with the Longines Hong Kong Mile on his dance card. Hong Kong's 2016-17 season commences next weekend.
Savoir Vivre opened a big lead in the late going in Sunday's Group 2 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville, then held on gamely under Maxime Guyon to win by a head over the Siljan's Saga. The favorite, Erupt, lacked the needed punch in the final furlong and finished third, another 1 1/2 lengths back. Garlingari completed the order of finish. Savoir Vivre, a 3-year-old gelding by Adlerflug, scored his first-ever win, following a runner-up showing in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby at Hamburg.
Hong Kong's "Magic Man," Joao Moreira, rode the first six winners Sunday at Sapporo, yet finished a distant fifth in the World All-Star Jockeys competition. None of the six winners was part of the two-day jockey challenge and Moreira mustered only a second and a third in the two races that counted. Mirco Demuro took down the trophy for the home team. Nonetheless, Moreira was the star of the day. His six wins, plus a victory in the final race on Saturday, equaled the 11-year-old Japanese record for consecutive wins set 11 years ago by Yutaka Take. American rider Victor Espinoza, who partnered American Pharoah to last year's Triple Crown and also rides California Chrome, missed the competition because he misplaced his passport.
In other action:
Fair Point outfinished Miss Ella by a head in Sunday's $100,000 Smart N Fancy Stakes for fillies and mares, rallying from well off the pace to finish 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:01.18 with Jose Ortiz aboard. Miss Ella was 1 1/4 lengths to the good of Animal Appeal in third.
The three favorites all came running late in Thursday's $100,000 Riskaverse Stakes for 3-year-old fillies but it was On Leave drawing off in the final sixteenth to win by 2 1/2 lengths. She Doesn't Mind and Priced to Perfection filled the trifecta slots. On Leave, a War Front filly, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.74 with Jose Ortiz up for trainer Shug McGaughey.
"It was a big performance," Ortiz said. "I told Shug I didn't think it was my best ride and she overcame that. She did it in good fractions so I think she's a serious horse."
Saturday was New York Showcase Day at the Spa. The rains stopped and the track was upgraded to fast midway through the card. See the 2-year-old events above. The day was a triumph for jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher, who is chasing Chad Brown in an effort to extend his streak of training championships at the Spa. The duo won four races, including three of the stakes, all of which for state-breds.
Hit It Once More led from the start in the $350,000 Albany Stakes for 3-year-olds and extended the lead in the stretch to win by 3 3/4 lengths. Extinct Charm was second with Celtic Chaos third. Hit It Once More, a Hard Spun colt, ran 9 furlongs on a track rated good in 1:50.38 with Kendrick Carmouche riding. Trainer Gary Sciacca said he probably will eye the Pennsylvania Derby as the colt's next start.
Fourstar Crook hit the stretch run in a multihorse scrum in the $150,000 Yaddo Stakes for fillies and mares, inched clear at the furlong pole and held on gamely to win by 3/4 length over Flipcup. The Tea Cups was just a neck farther back in third, closely followed by Neck of the Moon and Freudie Anne. Fourstar Crook, a 4-year-old daughter of Freud, got 1 1/16 miles of yielding turf in 1:43.56 under Javier Castellano and gave Brown a small answer on the training charts.
King Kreesa led all the way in the $150,000 West Point Stakes and the wire could not have arrived at a better time as he defeated Kharafa by nose, Offering Plan by another neck and Tapitation by yet another neck. With Jose Ortiz up for trainer David "Slam" Donk, the 7-year-old King Cougat gelding ran 1 1/16 miles on the yielding inner turf course in 1:42.96.
"Listen, this is a really good horse," Donk said.
Super Surprise wheeled four-wide into the stretch in the $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and quickly put paid to the issue, winning off by 4 lengths. Riot Worthy was best of the rest, a nose in front of Highway Star. Super Surprise, a Giant Surprise filly, finished 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:51.67 -- putting an exclamation point on the day for Pletcher and Velazquez.
Shake Down Baby tracked the leaders in Sunday's $125,000 (Canadian) La Prevoyante Stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, came four-wide around the turn and drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Nigon's Eclipse was best of the rest, a neck in front of Pure Purity. Shake Down Baby, a daughter of Wando, ran 1 mile on firm turf in 1:35.70 with Alan Garcia riding.
Prado's Sweet Ride shadowed the early pace in Saturday's $75,000 Minnesota H.B.P.A. Distaff Stakes, rallied to the lead at the top of the stretch and held off the favorite, Meshell, by 1/2 length on the line. American Mon Ami finished third. Prado's Sweet Ride, a 4-year-old, Illinois-bred filly by Fort Prado, ran 1 mile on good turf in 1:38.43 with Francisco Torres up for Chicago-based trainer Chris Block.
Majestic Pride led from the start in Saturday's $75,000 Brooks Fields Stakes and just did hold off the favorite, Go Around, winning by a neck. Nun the Less was third with a late run. Majestic Pride, a 4-year-old Artie Schiller colt, ran 1 mile on good turf in 1:37.93 with Dean Butler in the irons.
Desert Gambler dueled to the lead in the stretch run in Saturday's $60,000 Carlos Salazar Stakes for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares, then drew off to win by 1 3/4 lengths. My Bikini Fell Off was second with a late bid, edging 1-10 favorite Diabolical Dame. Desert Gambler, a 4-year-old daughter of Desert God, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:18.07 with Gonzalo Nicolas in the irons.
Bustin Out came right out of the gate running in Sunday's $60,000 Eleven North Handicap for Jersey-bred fillies and mares and wasn't caught. At the wire, the 4-year-old Bustin Stones filly was out front by 3 lengths over Let's Parlay. She's Hot Wired was another 1/2 length back in third. Bustin Out, with Jose Ferrer up, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.20.
Jersey Blues pressed the pace set by Fuzzy Muzzle in Sunday's $60,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap for state-breds, went by that rival and on to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Fuzzy Muzzle held second, 3/4 length ahead of Don's Marsh. Jersey Blues, a 5-year-old Eddington gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.57 with Paco Lopez riding.
Yukon Belle, a first-time starter, ran by the leaders in the final furlong to win Friday's $50,000 (Canadian) CTHS Sales Stakes for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies by 1/2 length over Spirit Bay. The favorite, Something Better, faded to finish fourth. Yukon Belle, a British Columbia-bred daughter of Drosselmeyer, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:19.84 with Antonio Reyes up.
In the companion heat for juvenile colts and geldings, Strate Remark and Kermode raced side-by-side though most of the 6 1/2 furlongs with the former edging away in the final yards to win by 3/4 length. Silent Eagle finished third. Strate Remark, a BC-bred Sungold gelding, finished in 1:19.42 with Silvino Morales handling the reins.
Curlin's Approval dueled with Moment of Delight through most of Sunday's $75,000 Added Elegance Stakes for fillies and mares, finally getting clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Moment of Delight held second, 2 1/2 lengths to the good of the favorite, Miss Hollywood. Curlin's Approval, a 3-year-old Curlin filly, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.17 with Tyler Gaffalione up.
Yourdreamsormine edged by pacesetting favorite El Deal in the final sixteenth and went on to win Saturday's $75,000 Groomstick Stakes by 3/4 length over that foe. Bullet Gone Astray finished third. Yourdreamsormine, a 4-year-old colt by Mr. Sekiguchi, ran 7 furlongs on a good track in 1:22.22 with Gaffalione riding.
Bold Cait got the best of a four-horse blanket finish in Saturday's $75,000 Pay the Man Stakes for Ohio-bred distaffers with the photo showing the 4-year-old Sun King filly a nose in front of Fast Justice and another nose to the good of Morant Bay. Needmore Flattery was only a neck farther back in fourth. Bold Cait ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:53.84 with Edgar Paucar in the irons.
Halona set a pressured pace in Saturday's $75,000 Ta Dah Stakes for Ohio-bred 2-year-old fillies and held well, winning by 3/4 length over Someday Soon. True Cinder was third and Nikki My Darling, the favorite, finished fourth. Halona, a daughter of Parading, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.74 with Ricardo Feliciano aboard.
Return to Denis outfinished T Rex Express in the final yards of Saturday's $50,000 Sylvia Bishop Memorial for West Virginia-bred 3-year-old fillies, winning by 1/2 length over the favorite. All About Attitude was third. Return to Denis, a daughter of Denis of Cork, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:26.50 with Christian Hiraldo up.
Sunday was Washington Cup day for state-breds with the track fast and each race worth $50,000.
So Lucky led all the way to a 9-lengths victory in the 2-year-old Colts and Geldings Stakes, finishing 6 furlongs in 1:09.02 under Rocco Bowen. Risque's Legacy also made all the going in the 2-year-old Fillies Stakes, winning by 3 lengths in 1:11.33 with Bowen up again.
Ethan's Baby was another gate-to-wire winner in the Filly & Mare Stakes, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths over Maggie's Special. And Stryker Phd was a popular, off-the-pace winner in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic, winning by 5 3/4 lengths over extreme long shot Grinder Sparksaglo.
The Press rallied by pacesetting Mach One Rules to land the 3-year-old Colts and Geldings Stakes by a neck over that one. My Heart Goes On was a gate-to-wire winner in the 3-year-old Fillies Stakes.