Woodbine opened for its 2001 season Saturday with a resurfaced dirt track and witnessed an increase in handle compared to opening day of the 2000 meet.
The 7-year-old gelding Kona Gold had plenty to contend with when the $200,900 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) got underway on April 1. But in the end, the champ prevailed by a desperate neck. Hollycombe and Explicit finished in a dead heat.
Saturday at Keeneland
Frank Adams' Al Skywalker upset Campanile, winning Saturday's $100,000 Bank of America Carolina Cup (NSA-I) by 12 lengths in a strung out finish in front of about 70,000 spectators at Camden, South Carolina. Campanile came home second, 69 lengths ahead Assurance. Addinson was another 60 1/4 lengths back in fourth.
With the annual last weekend in March lull, the only news on the racing front was the impressive 3-year-old debut by Ommadon in an Aqueduct allowance race on March 28. This gives us an opportunity to sit back, take a deep breath, and reflect on...well, anything that will keep the Derby electrodes charged during this unwelcomed break in the action. With most of the horses here pretty much embedded in our minds already, we're going to concentrate a good deal on the two Godolphin horses, whom we feel will be legitimate threats, despite the questions surrounding them.
Turf Paradise Derby winner Startac, two-time grade II stakes runner-up Palmeiro, and San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) runner-up I Love Silver each worked at Santa Anita Sunday morning. All three are listed by the track as probable for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Outofthebox, preparing for $250,000 Flamingo Stakes (gr. III), worked five furlongs over a sloppy Gulfstream Park strip Sunday in 1:00 flat, handily. Gotham Stakes (gr. III) third-place finisher Voodoo worked three furlongs in :36 2/5 while breezing on a Belmont Park training track listed as "good."
Three of the leading Triple Crown hopefuls –- Monarchos, Dollar Bill, and Hero's Tribute -- worked over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs Sunday, with Hero's Tribute earning a bullet for his five furlong work. Hero's Tribute completed his five furlongs in 1:01 1/5, the co-fastest of nine works at the distance.
William T. Young's homebred champion filly Surfside, who was retired the last week in March, might be bred to prominent sire Unbridled.
The British Horseracing Board ruled Sunday that the rescheduled Cheltenham Festival cannot take place April 17-19 because the Gloucestershire, England course falls within a foot and mouth infected area. According to Racenews, a foot and mouth outbreak has been confirmed at Woolstone, about five miles from the course.
The show opens with a drumbeat, a horse running, and the words: "In the world of the thoroughbred, one thing you can count on is the unexpected." The show is "Thoroughbred," a 13-part series about life at Bonita Farm, the Boniface family's pride and joy in Maryland -- home to Deputed Testamony, winner of the 1983 Preakness. The first 30-minute episode begins at 8 p.m. (ET) Tuesday (April 3) on the cable channel Animal Planet. Subsequent episodes will be televised Tuesdays at that hour through June 19 (and also at 7 p.m. Saturdays).
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel saddled the winners of both stakes races Saturday at Santa Anita Park. Frankel sent out Juddmonte Farms' Marine for a half-length victory in the $83,475 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds. And in the $81,975 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, Frankel-trained horses ran one-two as Dr. John Chandler's Dynamous held off stable mate and 4-to-5 favorite Heads Will Roll for a half-length victory.
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