Lava Man is back at the Doug O'Neill barn at Hollywood Park to prepare for a 2008 campaign.
While he may be light in seasoning, Crown of Thorns showed a world of potential in handily stretching out to two turns Feb. 2 at Santa Anita, scoring a dynamic 2 1/2-length victory as the favorite in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II).
The 3-year-old Johannesburg colt cut back in distance to earn his first graded stakes win Feb. 2 at Gulfstream Park.
Passion, under a determined ride from Rafael Bejarano, outlasted favored Ariege in a fierce stretch duel, taking the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose Feb. 2 on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita.
Spring At Last had only one start under his belt after winning the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) last March, and that was a Dec. 26 allowance race over the Santa Anita turf. But Doug O'Neill had no qualms about sending the Silver Deputy colt into the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I), and the trainer's faith was rewarded when his 4-year-old runner returned with a solid victory at Gulfstream Park Feb. 2.
Monterey Jazz made the transition from graded turf winner to Cushion Track with aplomb, going gate to wire to sneak away with the $300,000 Strub (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 2.
David and Jill Heerensperger's Sky Mystic reeled in the field and returned to her winning ways for trainer Greg Gilchrist when she won the $100,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields in a late rally Feb. 2.
Big Glen, eighth after a half-mile, made a sweeping, six-wide move around the second turn, caught the leader at the top of the stretch, and drew away to win by 1 1/4 lengths Feb. 2 in the WEBN Stakes on the Turfway Park Polytrack.
Hystericalady, the 3-10 favorite, just didn't have it in her first start since the Breeders' Cup, opening the door for Intangaroo, the longest shot in the field at 26-1, to win the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Feb. 2.
Trainer Tom Albertrani may have a promising 3-year-old on the Derby trail for Darley Stable-or so it would seem after the $109,000 Whirlaway Stakes. Going 1 1/16-miles over Aqueduct's inner track, Darley's Barrier Reef battled it down to the wire with a tenacious Roman Emperor and eked out a determined half-length win Feb. 2.
The racing career of Australia's iron maiden, multiple group I winner Gold Edition, is over after she resumed from a spell in the group I Lightning Stakes on 2 February at Flemington and failed to run a place.
Robert LaPenta's undefeated Eclipse champion War Pass continued to prep for his seasonal debut when he worked a bullet half-mile in :46.80 at Palm Meadows training center Feb. 2. Anak Nakal and Tale of Ekati also worked.
Trainer Michael Stidham won the 1,000th race of his career Feb. 1 when Exoteric captured the second race at Sam Houston Race Park the evening of Feb. 1.
Leading trainer Doug O'Neill has been named in a California Horse Racing Board complaint alleging that a horse in his care exceeded the allowable level of total carbon dioxide in winning a race at Santa Anita last month.
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