Areyoutalkintome was under pressure all the way in the $110,500 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) on a soupy Santa Anita Park main track, but he refused to give way and pulled off under Tyler Baze in the closing stage to win handily Sunday.
Jockey Ariel Smith, racing on the lead in Sunday's second race at Aqueduct, was injured in a four-horse spill that began when the maiden filly he was riding, Patriotic Princess, broke down at the five-sixteenths pole.
Malibu Stakes (gr. I) winner Rock Hard Ten, who breezed three furlongs Sunday in :36 4/5, may not be ready for the second leg of the Strub series for 4-year-olds, the $200,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 15.
Bad weather in Southern California will keep Fusaichi Samurai, the much-publicized $4.5 million colt who broke his maiden in his only start thus far, out of Sunday's San Miguel Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Bob Baffert, off to a solid start at Santa Anita Park, said Yearly Report is on course for the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita on Jan. 29 despite missing the La Brea Stakes (gr. I) last week due to a minor ankle ailment.
Robert L. Beck's Megascape got the jump on three rivals Sunday afternoon and took jockey Stewart Elliott to an easy victory over Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track in the $76,450 Ruthless Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
It's still four months and numerous heartaches and disappointments until the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but with so many exciting 2-year-olds in 2004, this is a good time for Steve Haskin to take a very early look at the leading contenders.
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