Articles posted March 3, 2012

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Willyconker turns the tables to conquer Kilroe

Unlike the Arcadia, where Willyconker rallied too late, the Irish-bred gelding enjoyed a better tactical position for new rider Joel Rosario. Jimmy Simms carved out splits of :23, :46 4/5 and 1:10 3/5, with Compari in close attendance, and Willyconker well placed in third. Jeranimo was anchored in midpack, but Mr. Commons was unhurried near the tail of the field.

Ron the Greek conquers Big 'Cap

Wachtel Stable, Brous Stable and breeder Jack T. Hammer's Ron the Greek bided his time as 2-1 favorite Ultimate Eagle set suicidal fractions on the front end of Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap before putting in a furious rally down the center of the track to take the prestigious event by 3 1/2 lengths.

Doubles Partner aces Canadian Turf off layoff

Doubles Partner had not raced since his third-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day. The Grade 2 veteran was dispatched as the 7-2 third choice, with Juddmonte's French Group 1 winner Mutual Trust garnering second choice status at 3-1.

Hansen rebounds with strong Gotham win

Any suggestion that Hansen was a mere a one-dimensional speedball proved unfounded in Saturday's Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham at Aqueduct, as last year's juvenile colt champion overcame an outside post, a wide journey into the clubhouse turn, and having a little dirt kicked in his face for the first time to register an emphatic three-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile inner dirt event.

Calibrachoa hangs on over Caleb's Posse in Tom Fool

Despite possessing a perfect four-for-four mark over Aqueduct's inner dirt leading into Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap, Mike Repole's Calibrachoa was let go at a nifty 7-2 going up against the likes of multiple Grade 1 winner Caleb's Posse and the imposing stakes newbie Emcee. Calibrachoa's loyal backers were rewarded when the five-year-old earned his second consecutive Tom Fool triumph, gutting out a neck victory over a fast-charging Caleb's Posse in the six-furlong contest over a tiring surface labeled good.

Pants on Fire sizzles in comeback; Dialed In fourth

George and Lori Hall's Pants on Fire, who bled when ninth in the Kentucky Derby, was last seen finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 31. The Kelly Breen charge had been entered, and scratched, from a couple of other potential reappearances, most recently in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds last Saturday. Despite the fact that the speedy colt figured to get the jump on the deep-closing Dialed In, Pants on Fire was sent off as the 5-2 second choice.

It's Tricky takes Top Flight in return

It's Tricky broke a three-race streak of seconds on Saturday when making her return in the Grade 2, $196,000 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct. The Godolphin colorbearer had to work over the tiring track to get the 2 3/4-length victory in her first race since running second in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic last November, but gutted out the win under jockey Ramon Dominguez as the near 2-5 favorite.

Scatman, On Fire Baby ready for Oaklawn engagements

Grade 3 Southwest Stakes runner-up Scatman, preparing for the Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel Stakes on March 17, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 over the fast track at Oaklawn Park Saturday. Michael Lauer instructed jockey Luis Quinonez to work the colt between 1:01 and 1:02, and the veteran rider executed it perfectly.

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