The March 8 El Camino Real Derby program at Bay Meadows was marred by a four-horse spill in the fifth race. Jockeys David Lopez and Luis Martinez were taken to Stanford Hospital following the race.
Ariege, racing for the first time on a synthetic track, took the overland route to victory in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), holding off favored Golden Doc A by a half-length March 8.
The Aus$1million Australian Cup (Aus-I) at Flemington on 8 March marked the end of a magnificent career and the emergence of a new staying superstar.
Tracy Farmer's Commentator proved to be back in the top form he was nearly three years ago when he won the 2005 Whitney Handicap (gr. I), this time trouncing five rivals to take the $200,000 Richter Scale Sprint Handicap (gr. II) by 13 3/4-lengths March 8 at Gulfstream Park.
Odds-on choice Jonesboro finally shook loose of a stubborn Gouldings Green in the final furlong to post a front-running victory in the $149,000 Razorback Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park March 8.
Robert Scarborough's 5-year-old Mauralakana dove through a narrow gap between horses to score trainer Christophe Clement a sixth career victory in the $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park March 8.
The doubters said that Pyro's last-to-first victory in the Risen Star (gr. III) was not as good as it looked. There won't be much for the skeptics to say after the Pulpit colt's latest performance, a commanding three-length score in the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 8 at Fair Grounds, a victory that cemented the Steve Asmussen trainee as one of the top two 3-year-olds in the country.
Three days ago, trainer Larry Jones said he hoped Proud Spell would pressure Indian Blessing through the early lead in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). Although Brereton Jones' homebred Proud Citizen filly didn't exactly do that, she did manage to wear down the Eclipse Award winner and get her own score in the March 8 event in New Orleans.
The 3-year-old picture in New York was about as foggy as the weather conditions at Aqueduct March 8, but Visionaire helped clear things up a bit with a late burst to capture the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) by a nose over Texas Wildcatter.
Betting favorite Sir Greeley saved ground in the early going, moved along that same path in the upper stretch to take the lead, and held on gamely under Eibar Coa for a 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Toboggan Handicap (gr. II) March 8 in the slop at Aqueduct.
Last December, Gary Tanaka's Proudinsky lost the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) to the Dan Hendricks-trained Daytona by just three-quarters of a length. But roles were reversed March 8, as Proudinsky nipped Daytona in the stretch of the $600,000 Mervyn Munitz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT).
Sometimes change is a good thing. Just ask trainer Todd Pletcher, who not only added blinkers to his struggling 4-year-old colt Circular Quay, but shipped him back to Fair Grounds, the site of his only win in eight previous starts. The moves paid off, as Circular Quay outfought a stubborn Grasshopper in a terrific stretch duel to take the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) by a half-length March 8.
With as much as 10 inches of snow on the ground in Northern Kentucky, Turfway Park has canceled live racing March 9.
The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) and the Jockeys' Guild have agreed to a new scale of mount fees for jockeys at tracks run by the New York Racing Association which will take effect April 2, the Guild announced in a March 8 press release.
After taking the $1 million Newmarket Handicap (Aus-I) on March 8, Weekend Hussler became Australia's best 3-year-old sprinter. He carried the highest weight ever by a 3-year-old and beat older horses.
Thirty-two days ago a horse named Light Fantastic raced at a lowly Victorian country track named Kyneton. On March 8 at Flemington in the group I Australian Cadbury Guineas worth $750,000, that same horse held off some of the best 3-year-olds in Australia.
The average price fell nearly 5% at Goffs' second breeze-up sale at Kempton Park on March 7.
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