Jockey Stewart Elliott reached the milestone of 4,000 North American wins Jan. 18 when he guided Jake's Bandaid to a victory in the seventh race at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack.
Marty and Pam Wygod's homebred Life Is Sweet returned from a more than seven-month layoff to become a graded stakes winner in her 4-year-old debut, coming from off the pace to take the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths Jan. 18 on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface.
It doesn't happen very often but Jan. 18 at Turfway Park, a white horse was led into the winner's circle when Patchen Prince broke his maiden in the last race on the card.
Just over a year after Game Face earned her first graded stakes victory at Gulfstream, the Menifee filly collected another blacktype win at the South Florida racetrack, as she rallied under John Velazquez to score by 2 3/4 lengths in the First Lady Handicap (gr. III).
A special Monday race card at Oaklawn Jan. 19 features the second running of the Smarty Jones Stakes. The one-mile race will feature a talented field of 3-year olds that could stamp their ticket for a chance at the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), and maybe a shot at the Triple Crown.
Dendrology, a 7-year-old son of Fusaichi Pegasus, will stand at Outlaw Farm near Harrodsburg, Ky.
Midnight Cry Stables' Einstein, a two-time winner of the Gulfstream Park Turf (gr. IT), won't go for the three-peat in that race, but will challenge the other grade I race that weekend, the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Gulfstream main track Jan. 31.
It should have happened 12 months earlier, but when opportunity knocked a second time there was only one result Christophe Soumillon would accept in the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Mile with his chance pick-up ride, Thumbs Up.
Odds-on favorite Chocolate Candy split horses as the field straightened away, struck the front nearing the eighth-pole and drew clear to post a 1 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 California Derby Jan. 17 at Golden Gate Fields.
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Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Alto Racing, LLC
Jockey: Javier Castellano