In the International Jockey Challenge Sunday at Santa Anita, Laffit Pincay Jr. rode two winners to lead a team of American riders to victory over a team of European jockeys.
Racing for the first time since a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap in September, Fog City Stable's Blueprint rallied from off the pace to win Sunday's $250,000 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. Under Gary Stevens, the 6-year-old Irish-bred held off a determined late run from Devon Deputy to ensure the victory, completing the 1 ½ miles in 2:28.57 on a good turf course.
Whata Brainstorm saved ground along the hedge under jockey John Velazquez before swinging out for the stretch run en route to winning Sunday's $250,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) on a firm turf course at Gulfstream Park. Whata Brainstorm completed the 1 1/2 miles in 2:23.75 -- three-fifths of a second off the course record -- after running the final quarter-mile in :23.75.
A Bertrando--St. Helens Shadow colt worked the fastest quarter-mile in 20.7 seconds during Sunday's preview show for Barretts Equine's 2-year-olds in training sale that will be held Tuesday at Fairplex Racetrack. The colt consigned by Becky Thomas' Sequel Bloodstock was timed in 9.8 seconds for his first eighth of a mile, a time faster than any ever recorded for an eighth mile workout at a Barretts under tack show.
It took a giant leap of faith to see Fifty Stars as a contender in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), much less the $43 winner. Looking down the barrel at Dollar Bill, Millennium Wind, and Hero's Tribute, the late running son of Quiet American was in deep water. Fifty Stars had not made a lasting impression in his two previous races. His late run in the Jan. 27 LeComte was good for fourth place, but three weeks later he took a step backward in the Risen Star with a dull fifth-place finish.
Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs
Pool two of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) future wager closed at 4:30 p.m.(EST) Sunday, prior to the running of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), with Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos the 5-1 favorite. Point Given was the narrow 6-1 second choice, with slightly more money wagered on the Bob Baffert-trained colt than the mutuel field, which also closed at 6-1.
A colt by Wild Zone zipped an eighth in :10 1/5, the fastest work at the distance Sunday among horses slated to sell next week. The workout was during the first session of the Under Tack Preview for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale of Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training.
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