Fueled by record wagering on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), strong growth in simulcast betting and a rebound in on-track support, Churchill Downs reported total wagering surpass $600 million for the first time during the 129th Spring Meet that ended on July 6.
Richard Englander's undefeated Just Too Too will be looking for graded stakes company after her easy front-running victory in the $112,300 Flawlessly for 3-year-old fillies on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday, her fifth straight victory.
Dimitrova, winner of the second running of the $750,000 American Oaks Saturday, is scheduled to be flown back to Ireland this week but could return this autumn for the Matriarch (gr. IT), trainer Dermot Weld said. Weld won the Matriarch last year with Dress To Thrill.
Harlan's Holiday, scratched Saturday from the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park, will be flown from New York to California on Thursday to compete in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) Sunday, trainer Todd Pletcher informed the racing office.
Trainer Murray Johnson said Perfect Drift's first race since his June 14 victory over Mineshaft in the Stephen Foster (gr. I) would come at Arlington Park on July 19 in the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II).
In the much-anticipated return of Sky Mesa, it was Eugene and Laura Melnyk's rapidly-improving Strong Hope who held on for victory in Sunday's $150,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) by a head over Nacheezmo, with Sky Mesa settling for a non-threatening third.
Jockey Frank Olivares, riding his first race since 1990, finished second aboard Laffit in Sunday's fifth race at Hollywood Park.
Dogwood Stable's unbeaten Limehouse overcame a troubled trip in Sunday's $162,750 Bashford Manor (gr. III) to win by a widening 4 1/2 lengths in a roughly run closing day feature for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Anstu Stable's Balto Star, a 37-1 shot making the most of his inside post, took command at the start and repulsed all challengers in the stretch to score an upset victory in the $750,000 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Mineshaft showed he is still a force to be reckoned with in the handicap ranks with an impressive victory over Volponi and Dollar Bill in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Saturday.
The Jerry Frankel homebred Joey Franco took advantage of a perfect trip to capture the $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) by a head over a fast-closing Publication Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds' popular homebred Sky Jack, who won for the first time since capturing last year's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) in Saturday's sixth race at Hollywood Park, was in good shape Sunday morning, trainer Doug O'Neill said.
The 4-year-old female Sarah Nelson won Sunday's Alameda County Fair Mule Championship at Pleasanton, Cal., dethroning the queen of the summer circuit Black Ruby, who was third.
Overcoming a slow start, Dai Jin, with Olivier Peslier riding, launched a powerful run on the outside to blow past Ransom O'War and Storm Trooper to win the BMW Deutsches Derby (Ger-I) at Hamburg Sunday.
Canadian champion and classic winner Archers Bay came up with his first winner when his son Kent Ridge won July 5
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