Unheralded Medici Code got the stalking trip trainer Darrell Vienna was hoping for in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-olds. The result was a convincing 1 1/4-length victory over a solid field on the Del Mar turf Aug. 11.
Bear Now, the 4-5 favorite, made easy work of six rivals in Saturday's CAN$150,000 Duchess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.
Dead Red advanced along the hedge to upset favored Mach Ride by three-quarters of a length at odds of 70-1 in the $250,000 Turf Sprint Championship at Calder Race Course on Saturday.
On a day when nothing seemed to go right for American turf horses, it seemed only fitting that one of the nation's best was narrowly defeated in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 11. After leading in deep stretch, last year's Million champion The Tin Man was overtaken in the final few strides by Canadian-bred Jambalaya, who rallied from well off the pace to win by a three-quarters of a length and earn a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf later this year at Monmouth Park.
The $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) was setting up perfectly for heavy favorite English Channel. After coming from well off the pace, the 5-year-old son of Smart Strike made his usual late kick, rallying under jockey John Velazquez to take the lead as they headed for home. The only problem was, Grand Couturier had a finishing kick that was too much even for one of America's top turf horses, as the 4-year-old English-bred colt came flying along the rail to take Saratoga's feature in dramatic fashion.
Defending Pacific Classic (gr. I) champion Lava Man had his final major prep for the $1 million test on Aug. 19 when he breezed six furlongs before the first race Saturday in 1:14 4/5 over Del Mar's Polytrack surface.
Coming into the $750,000 Beverly D. (gr. IT), all the talk was about Citronnade and Lady of Venice, two talented American fillies who were undefeated this year. But when the field of seven reached the Arlington Park stretch Aug. 11, a European mare with only one win in the past two years stole the show.
The French-bred Shamdinan, making his United States debut for new trainer Doug O'Neill and owner Triple B Farms, caught a game Red Giant in the final strides to win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) for 3-year-olds at Arlington Park Aug. 11.
The next start for 7-year-old campaigner Silver Tree is yet to be determined, but trainer Bill Mott said he will consider sending the son of Hennessy to Australia this fall to compete in the Oct. 27 Tattersalls Cox Plate (group I).
Flying Circle turned the tables on Smitty's Sunshine in the $250,000 Distaff Turf Sprint Championship at Calder Race Course on Saturday, rallying from sixth in the stretch under jockey Manny Aguilar to win by three-quarters of a length over Unbridled Sidney.
Jockey Fernando Jara, who has experienced a rough year on the New York circuit since parting with agent Randy Romero in February, will leave New York Aug. 15 and ship his tack to California in September.
The Leopard, a Storm Cat colt purchased for $2.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-olds in training sale earlier this year, scored in an impressive maiden special weight victory at Saratoga Aug. 11.
Jeffrey Skerrett, who 10 years ago was Thistledown's top apprentice rider, registered the 1,000th victory of his career when he scored a wire-to-wire victory aboard Little Nicky Regs in the sixth race Aug. 10 at the North Randall, Ohio, oval.
Pam and Martin Wygod's After Market, the 2-1 morning line favorite for Saturday's Arlington Million XXV (gr. IT), was unexpectedly withdrawn the morning of the race due to the yielding condition of the turf course.
- By Claire Novak
Last night at Fasig-Tipton's preferred sale of New York-breds, Nancy Purcell and Pat Crampton leaned on the rail outside the walking ring and eyeballed hip number 342.
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