Santa Teresita, with just a minor stakes win previously, pulled a big surprise when she bettered a top-notch field of older fillies and mares in the Valentine's Day $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 14.
Chocolate Candy sweetened trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's Triple Crown hopes on Valentine's Day with the colt's first graded stakes win in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields.
Duke of Homberg shook free in the homestretch under jockey Alan Garcia to capture the $125,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes on the Gulfstream Park turf for his first American win in four starts Feb. 14.
Thomas McCarthy's General Quarters pulled a shocker and threw his name into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) mix, as he stalked the pace, took over rounding the far turn and pulled away for a convincing 3 1/2-length score in the $221,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 14.
Royale Michele came from off the pace to win the $150,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) Feb. 14 at Laurel Park, holding sway over unlucky favorite Seventh Street for her first graded victory.
Ballymore Lady made a late burst in the final yards and got the jump over three rivals at the shadow of the wire to take a thrilling edition of the $125,000 Endeavour Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 14 on the Tampa Bay Downs turf.
Unbeaten Old Fashioned, at the top of many early prognostications for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), makes his 2009 debut in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Feb. 16.
How's Your Halo, off at odds of 47-1, caught Ikigai in the final strides to earn his first graded stakes win in the $150,000 Richter Scale (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 14.
As the field crossed the line in the $400,000 Australia Stakes (Aust-I) over six furlongs Feb. 14 at Moonee Valley, the race caller Greg Miles excitedly roared: "Always beware of a cat backed into a corner."
Thoroughbred horsewomen Caroline Dodwell of Texas and Carole Ann Rio of Florida had entries in the recent Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York that took Best of Breed honors.
The $150,000 General George Handicap (gr. II) has attracted a short, but stellar band of older runners. The seven furlong headliner at Laurel Park Feb. 16 features Fabulous Strike, one of the top sprinters in the country.
Adrienne Sanders, a member of the Ocala, Fla. Thoroughbred community, died Feb. 9 in an auto accident.
Curlin, North America's richest horse with earnings of more than $10.5 million, began his new career Feb. 13 when he covered his first mare at Will S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.
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