Sunday's $245,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park looked for all the world to be a two-horse duel between Adoration and Star Parade, but Victory Encounter and jockey Alex Solis had other ideas.
In one of the best performances of the early Woodbine racing season, Eye of the Sphynx, making her Toronto oval debut, and jockey Todd Kabel combined for a masterful effort in capturing the $16,200 Fury Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Two grade I winners highlight a field of six that will contest the $500,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I), the major event on Friday's stakes-packed pre-Preakness Day card at Pimlico Race Course.
Versatile California-bred mare Bear Fan hit the front near the quarter pole and bounded away to an easy five-length victory over Harmony Lodge in the $150,00 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sunday.
American-bred Coqueteria finished a strong third behind 54-1 stunner Shapira in the Henkel-Rennen German 1,000 Guineas (Ger-II) for 3-year-old fillies at Dusseldorf on Sunday.
Yeats, the slight early favorite for the June 5 Vodafone Derby at Epsom, turned in a workmanlike performance for trainer Aidan O'Brien in winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (Ire-II) at Leopardstown on Sunday.
What could have been a potential match race between
female titleholders One Fine Shweetie and Sharky's Review in Saturday's $60,000 Mamie Eisenhower Stakes became a gate-to-wire runaway for a third contender in the race, Only At Night.
The Cliff's Edge, who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after losing both his front shoes, turned in a solid half-mile breeze in :48 2/5 at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Yankee Victor, winner of the 2000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), was represented by his first winner when his son Miracle Man won May 8 at Churchill Downs at first asking.