Carl J. Odegaard's Hoovergetthekeys -- racing for the first time since winning the Golden Gate Derby (gr. III) by five lengths in January -- rallied to win Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields. Despite blazing early fractions, 3-5 favorite Startac failed to reach contention, finishing seven lengths behind the winner. The Turf Paradise Derby winner closed from last and just managed to finish second, a head in front of Mo Mon, who raced two lengths off hot the early pace.
The pace was hot, and she'd been running hard from the moment the flag fell. Those who stayed close early had paid a painful price. Now, with just a quarter-mile left to run, Golden Ballet was being put to the test. A new challenge, the Seattle Slew filly Flute, had come peeling around the bend, braced to blow right on by. To that point in her career, Golden Ballet had sparkled. She had been flashy, breaking her maiden in a stakes and doing it in record time. She had been coveted, purchased privately by high rollers looking for the next superstar. She had been resilient, roaring back from a summertime illness to completely flatten her competition. And when she finally caught sight of Flute turning for home in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks, the daughter of Moscow Ballet let everyone know what she's made of.
California-bred Lazy Slusan rallied gamely through the stretch to catch Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Spain in the final sixteenth-mile, winning Saturday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) by a half-length at Santa Anita.
Sunday at Gulfstream Park
It will go down in Florida Derby (gr. I) history as "The Move." As a dozen tightly-bunched 3-year-olds jostled for position nearing the far turn in the golden anniversary edition of the Florida Derby, one horse was running by the rest of the field with electrifying ease. THE horse, making THE move, was Monarchos.
Windrush remained undefeated for the year, winning his third straight race Saturday with a half-length victory in the $109,800 Stymie Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. Ridden by Joe Bravo, Windrush wore down front-running Turnofthecentury in the final furlong of the race.
Fog City Stable's D'Wildcat settled behind the early pace, moved outside approaching the stretch, and drew off to win the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. III) by 10 1/2 lengths in a dominating performance Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Under jockey Corey Nakatani, the 3-year-old colt completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.25 on a fast track.
Under jockey Jerry Bailey, Gerald W. Leigh's 6-year-old homebred mare Innuendo stalked early leader Alybgood before drawing off in the stretch to win the $200,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) by 3 1/2 lengths, Saturday at Gulfstream Park. For Bailey, the win marks his 12th in a stakes on the current Gulfstream meet, tying his own record.
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