Gary and Mary West's Casino Host got first run on 6-5 favorite Dhaamer in
Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000
Handicap, and that prompt move by jockey Joe Talamo made the crucial
difference. Pouncing to the front in the stretch, the 7-2 chance withstood
Dhaamer's furious late rally by a neck and returned $9.60, $4.20 and $3.40.
Casino Host, a recent addition to the Southern California male turf division, conquered the 1 3/8-mile distance in his first try with a late-running victory in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 25.
Favored Zagora found firm going much to her liking in capturing the $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes (gr. IIT), presented by Jose Cuervo, in record time on the inner turf course Aug. 25 at Saratoga Race Course.
The conclusion of Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million
Stakes was so tight that a photo was needed to determine the winner, and it turned out that Alpha and Golden Ticket had reached the finish line together,
resulting in the first dead-heat victory in the 143-year history of the
For the first time since 2007, neither division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course will be swept as D'nied Permission won the Affirmed and Putyourdreamsaway took the Susan's Girl.
Martin S. Schwartz's Zagora bounced right back to her very best in Saturday's
Grade 2, $250,000
Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga, smashing the course record in the process.
By sizzling 1 1/16 miles on the firm inner turf in 1:39.07, the Chad Brown mare
eclipsed the old mark of 1:39.92 established by turf champ Leroidesanimaux here
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon that featured a historic dead-heat in the
143rd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers, attendance and handle, both
on-track and all-sources, were up substantially from 2011 figures.
Natalie J. Baffert's Contested propped at the break of Saturday's Grade 1,
Test at Saratoga and found herself in the unusual spot of running off the
pace, but that didn't stop the bay miss from a rallying two-length win on the
wire. With jockey Rafael Bejarano aboard, the Bob Baffert-trained sophomore
finished seven furlongs in 1:22 2/5 to return $4, $3.60 and $2.60 as the
D'nied Permission was sent off the 21-1 third longest shot on the board in
Affirmed division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder, but that didn't
stop the D'wildcat gelding from gutting out a neck victory over fellow 25-1
longshot Joshua's Comprise on the wire of the seven-furlong contest.
Firing for a second time this season on very short rest, Willy Beamin rallied
from off the pace to upset Saturday's Grade 1 $500,000
King's Bishop at Saratoga at odds of 11-1 for owner James Riccio and trainer
Rick Dutrow. The New York-bred son of Suave returned $24.80, $11.80 and $6.90 as
race favorites Currency Swap and Trinniberg both finished out of the money.
Bouncing right back from a restricted stakes romp just three days earlier, Willy Beamin closed with a rush to capture the $500,000 Foxwoods King's Bishop (gr. I) in his graded stakes debut Aug. 25 at Saratoga Race Course.
Contested overcame a flat-footed start and closed from slightly off the pace to win the $500,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 25, nabbing her second grade I victory in New York this year.