Lava Man, a former claiming horse, became the first runner since Native Diver in 1967 to win back-to-back editions of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) when he won a heart-pounding finish by a nose Saturday over the longest shot in the field, Ace Blue.
Dynamic California-bred Lava Man, on a four-race winning streak, was assigned 124 pounds for Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I). But after everything the 5-year-old gelding has accomplished this year, that probably wasn't enough -- just four rivals are signed on to challenge him.
Cosmonaut, the longest shot in the five-horse Golden Gate Fields Handicap, launched a huge bid on the far turn and drew away to an easy 4 1/4-length win in the off-the-turf stakes race worth $150,000 at the Albany, Calif., track Saturday.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has entered half of the six older horses expected to start in Saturday's $150,000 Golden Gate Fields Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf course, including the top-weighted Adreamisborn.
Looking for his first victory since last year's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Buzzards Bay kept the pressure on the speedy Trickey Trevor from the outset and then pulled away in the stretch to win the $150,000 All American Handicap (gr. III) Monday at Golden Gate Fields.
Buzzards Bay and Greeley's Galaxy, major stakes winners as 3-year-olds last year who are coming off disappointing efforts in Southern California, can make amends Monday in the $150,000 All American Handicap (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields.
Trickey Trevor, the 7-5 favorite, led from gate to wire under jockey Russell Baze to win Friday's $100,000 Forty-Niner Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Lava Man and outstanding 3-year-old Surf Cat head a field of 12 assigned post positions Wednesday night for Sunday's 15th running of the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Perfect Drift, who shipped in from Kentucky on Monday, met the Del Mar track for the first time since last year by jogging and galloping with a pony over the strip Wednesday morning in preparation for Sunday's Pacific Classic (gr. I).
The $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Sunday expanded to 12 prospects when outsiders Oceanus and Polish Times joined 10 others as entries closed at mid-morning Wednesday.
Borrego, multiple graded-stakes performer and runner-up to Lava Man in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), wound up his preparations for Sunday's $1-million, grade I Pacific Classic with a solid five furlong work in 1:01.40 at Santa Anita.
Hollywood Gold Cup winner Lava Man heads a list of 14 nominations to Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 21. Of those, a field of 10 seems likely for the 1 1/4-mile test.
Preachinatthebar, Musique Toujours, and Super Frolic turned in sharp workouts Monday morning as they moved a step closer to running in Del Mar's grade I, $1-million Pacific Classic Sunday, Aug. 21.
Surf Cat and Bruce Headley will pass on the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Sunday to stay home and run in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Coming off the worst race of his career, Robert Bone's Choctaw Nation displayed all of his old late charge to annihilate the field in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) Sunday for his second straight victory in the stakes at Del Mar.
Owner Robert Bone and trainer Jeff Mullins bring back Choctaw Nation Sunday at Del Mar in hopes the 5-year-old can reprise his San Diego Handicap (gr. II) victory of last year.
Although he will be saddling a horse in England on Saturday, trainer Jeff Mullins will hold a strong hand in a pair of graded stakes races that day at Hollywood Park: the Californian (gr. II) with Choctaw Nation and the Affirmed (gr. III) with Buzzards Bay.
Brazilian-bred Ace Blue, ridden by David Flores, battled the pacesetter Ender's Shadow and Rene Douglas all the way through a sensational stretch drive, emerging with a head victory in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Borrego, a 4-year-old colt who finished third behind Rock Hard Ten and Congrats in the March 5 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), returns to action as the 119-pound high weight among eight entered in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II), a stepping-stone to the July 9 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
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