Battle of Hastings, an English-bred import making his second North American start for trainer Jeff Mullins, overhauled favored Flashmans Papers inside the final furlong en route to a 7-1 surprise in the $100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita hillside turf course March 1.
West Point Thoroughbreds and partners' Justwhistledixie stalked the pace, took over leaving the turn, and cruised to a 3 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park March 1.
The stretch-running Tiago is expected to face 13 rivals in the $1- million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7, but as far as jockey Mike Smith is concerned, the packed field will be better for the 5-year-old son of Pleasant Tap.
The dust wasn't completely settled from the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 28 when trainer Todd Pletcher threw another 3-year-old on to the stage in a big way as the Wertheimer Brothers' Affirmatif rolled to a nine-length victory in his career debut.
Marble Cliff, the Ohio-bred turned Kentucky-bred stripped of stakes wins in 2008 after a racing commission investigation, finally got his first "official" victory--in West Virginia.
Stardom Bound, champion 2-year-old filly of 2008, breezed five furlongs on Pro-Ride in 1:01 2/5 March 1 for the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 7, which is expected to be her second start of the year.
Trainer Neil Drysdale has decided that the best target for grade I winner Marsh Side would be the $5-million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) at Nad al Sheba on March 28.
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