Lazy Lode dueled with Eagleton through the early going before pulling away to win the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) on a yielding turf course. The win marks the second graded stakes win on the Santa Anita card for The Thoroughbred Corporation, which also owns Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Point Given. The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Poetic also won the track's second race, an allowance race on turf, giving the stable three winners on the card.
Sunday at Keeneland
Ogden Phipps' 4-year-old homebred Traditionally earned his first stakes win Saturday, upsetting 6-5 favorite Wooden Phone and Sir Bear in the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. The win marks the third in four starts on the year for the regally bred Traditionally, a son of leading sire Mr. Prospector and broodmare of the year and champion Personal Ensign.
The road to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runs through...Cicero, Illinois? That's the untested theory that has Dogwood Stable chief Cot Campbell and trainer Todd Pletcher scratching their heads after their late-developing colt Distilled rolled to a convincing 1 3/4-length victory in the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) on April 7.
With its purse ratcheted up to $500,000, its distance stretched out to 1 1/8 miles, and its date moved to a more convenient spot on the calendar, Lone Star Park's derby became a genuine prep for the famed roseate run in Kentucky. The Grand Prairie, Texas, racetrack even created a $1-million bonus, to be paid to any horse that parlays a Lone Star Derby win into a victory in any of the Triple Crown races. It was a meaningful prep indeed--an ironic one, too. Percy Hope served up generous portions of both meaning and irony. The field, which included four stakes winners, had earned $1.2 million, or an average of $154,429 per starter, more than twice as much as the field for the grade II Illinois Derby. And Percy Hope, who previously had won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park, once again made winning look easy.
Michael Dickinson surprised us in 1996, when Da Hoss conquered the heavy favorite, Mark of Esteem, in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I). He surprised us again in 1998, when Da Hoss won the same race after a long layoff and just one prep. But this time the trainer surprised even himself. After he saddled Fleet Renee to upset the formidable Golden Ballet in the April 7 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, Dickinson looked a little bit stunned.
Though it is always there, shrouding the grounds like the thick Miami springtime humidity, history is never more omnipresent at Hialeah Park than on the day of the Flamingo Stakes (gr. III). The track proudly displayed the epic runs of heroes of old such as Nashua, Northern Dancer, and Spectacular Bid--the last Flamingo winner, in 1979, to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--and trotted out Citation's trainer Jimmy Jones to adoring fans. However, the focus on the 2001 edition, held April 7, was on Hialeah's future.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s homebred Point Given tracked pacesetter Crafty C.T. through the early going, went by the leader approaching the second turn, and pulled clear in the stretch to an impressive 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). On a track listed as muddy, Point Given completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.77 under jockey Gary Stevens.
Cat's At Home, at almost 14-1, came from off the pace to win Saturday's 73rd running of the $108,200 Westchester Handicap for horses three and older at Aqueduct. In the co-feature, Dat You Miz Blue scored a front-running 7 1/4 length victory as the odds-on favorite in the 22nd running of the $81,125 Broadway Handicap.
Futural earned his first graded stakes win Saturday, upsetting the field in the $150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) on a sloppy track at Santa Anita.
With foot-and-mouth disease cases in Britain moving beyond 1,100 and some 170 meetings canceled by the outbreak or the weather this winter, British racing needed some joy. At least there was the Martell Grand National, April 7, and the rescheduled Cheltenham Festival, April 17-19, to look forward to. Then, on April 2, it was announced Cheltenham was off again because of a foot and mouth outbreak nearby, putting the course in a British Horseracing Board-designated exclusion zone.
If it were just that Heritage of Gold and Lu Ravi were continuing their rivalry in Sunday's $500,000 Apple Blossom, that would be enough of a story, but this race may very well be the best filly and mare race in the country this year. Heritage of Gold and Lu Ravi have finished one-two, in that order, in all three of their Oaklawn meetings, but this time they will have to face Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Spain, who has to carry the topweight of 122 pounds.
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