Trainer Neil Drysdale was the coolest character at Hollywood Park as his turf horses King of Happiness and Red Fort battled to a desperate finish in the $107,200 Inglewood Handicap (gr. III) Saturday. King of Happiness won the head bob by a nose.
High Strike Zone held off even-money favorite Supah Blitz to win his first graded stakes race, the $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park Saturday.
Wend won the $150,000 Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap at Calder Race Course on Saturday for her owner/breeder Claiborne Farm of Kentucky and trainer Bill Mott.
Homebred Hal's Image won the $100,000 Unbridled Stakes for 3-year-olds at Calder Race Course on Saturday for the Rose Family Stable and trainer Barry Rose.
After saddling second-place finishers in three of the first four stakes races of the Woodbine meet, a last-to-first surge from Judiths Wild Rush in Saturday's Grade 3 $166,100 Vigil Stakes put trainer Reade Baker in the winner's circle for the first time in 2005.
When Dan Schaap, a 50-year-old attorney from Canyon, Texas, passed through the Lone Star Park turnstiles at 12:45 p.m. to watch Saturday's $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III), he became the Grand Prairie racetrack's 10 millionth visitor since the facility first opened for business on May 3, 1996.
Trainer James Jackson said Elkhorn Oaks Inc.'s Gallant Secret, a contender in Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), breezed five-eighths of a mile over the Keeneland training track Saturday morning in 1:03 3/5.
Trainer Barclay Tagg said Saturday that Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide will not make his 2005 debut against New York breds in Aqueduct's Kings Point Handicap on Sunday's closing day card.
B. Wayne Hughes' Don't Get Mad blew past favored Vicarage at the eighth pole to register an eye-catching seven-length victory Saturday in the $113,100 Derby Trial, the finale on opening day of Churchill Down's spring-summer meeting.
It was another routine morning, with Nick Zito electing to put his works off until Sunday, due to the wet track. So, let's take a break and turn our attention to the California horses, who are being talked about by most everyone at Churchill Downs as if they had leprosy, even by people from California.
Kentucky Derby 131 Headlines: Wilko works 5/8 in :59.80 at Hollywood; Blanc named to ride Sort It Out; Five horses to work Sunday.
Scrappy T, a distant third behind Bellamy Road in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) three weeks ago, found Saturday's $150,000 Withers (gr. III) more to his liking. The Fit to Fight gelding seized the lead from War Plan at the quarter pole and outlasted Park Avenue Ball for a one-length victory at foggy Aqueduct Park Saturday.
Finery, making her first start in more than five months, collared the favorite Changing World in the final strides to win the $112,800 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf at fog-shrouded Aqueduct Saturday.
With the Churchill Downs track soaked from overnight rains, trainer Nick Zito called off the works for three of his five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) candidates Saturday morning and moved them to Sunday – weather permitting. Scheduled to breeze tomorrow are Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road and the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I): High Fly and Noble Causeway.
Pletcher says Bandini doesn't need a rabbit to do well in Run for the Roses.
Sort It Out hasn't won since February's Whirlaway Stakes, but don't count him out of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) just yet.
In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby two years ago, all the action swirled around Barn 43, where trainer Bobby Frankel gave daily press conferences that were only a chorus or two of "Hail to the Chief" short of presidential.
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