Articles posted January 7, 2001

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Santa Anita Race Report: From Claimer to Grade II Winner

It was a priceless moment of ecstasy. Freedom Crest, the erstwhile claimer and pride of the six-horse Richard Baltas stable, had just wrestled the lead from Bosque Redondo in the $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II). Now, with just over a furlong to run, the game was over. But the real action was in the stands. His composure long lost, Baltas had broken into a windsprint, a spirited dash down the aisle interrupted only by an occasional glance at the track, a check to make sure his dream hadn't ended.

Spook Express Rallies for Honey Fox Win

South African champion Spook Express closed from 11th-place in the 12-horse field to win Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), catching pacesetter Please Sign In near the wire of the one-mile turf race. Under jockey Mike Smith, the Thomas Skiffington-trained mare completed the Gulfstream Park feature in 1:35.60 on a firm course.

Xtra Heat Wins Ruthless Stakes

Xtra Heat, who capped her nearly perfect juvenile season with a stakes win at Laurel Park on Dec. 29, began her 3-year-old campaign on a similar note Sunday, winning the $80,575 Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct. The win was the ninth in 10 career starts for Xtra Heat, whose only loss was a 10th-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

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