This year, Patricia Pavlish has been on "fire" -- literally. Pavlish bred Fire with Fire, who has been a dominant presence on the turf.
Predawn Raid was allowed to set a lonely pace and the Jorge Chavez-ridden gelding got brave in the stretch, stealing off to a 4 1/4-length victory at odds of 15-1 in the $100,000 Fred Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Calder.
Bea Oxenberg's 8-year-old Best of the Rest is expected to make the final start of his standout career in Saturday's $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) at Calder, but faces one his biggest challenges as he concedes plenty of weight to several highly accomplished rivals.
Quest was the declared the winner of Friday's $582,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) on a sloppy track after Churchill Downs stewards disqualified favored Evening Attire from his nose victory for drifting out in the stretch run and repeatedly bumping with the 17-1 upstart.
Joseph Vitello's ultra-consistent Tenpins, a multiple stakes winner that has been worse than second only twice in 15 career races, is a slight favorite in a strong field of 14 older horses entered in Friday's 129th and richest running of Churchill Downs' $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II).
The field for Friday's 129th running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) added another member on Tuesday when trainer Jerry Hollendorfer notified Churchill Downs officials that Cappuchino, winner of the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs on opening day, would likely run in the 1 1/8-mile test for older horses.
Perfect Drift edged away from Tenpins in the stretch to win Sunday's $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) on opening day at the Illinois track, but his trainer remained doubtful about a run in the Breeders's Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
Multiple graded stakes winner Perfect Drift is a clear standout in a six-horse field for Sunday's 67th running of the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Joseph Vitello's Tenpins turned in quite a game effort Saturday as he scored a one-length victory in the $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.
Saturday's $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) has come up strong this year with nine solid older horses passing the entry box.
Stonecrest Farm's homebred Perfect Drift burst from the pack in mid-stretch for an impressive five-length victory in the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Mineshaft, a winner of five of six starts since moving stateside, is the 121 topweight and 8-5 morning-line favorite for Friday's Pimlico Special (gr. I).
Gilbert Campbell's 3-year-old filly Ivanavinalot worked a good mile at Calder Saturday morning in 1:45 3/5 and trainer Kathleen O'Connell is ready to take her on a road trip to Pimlico for her next start.
With handicap division leader Harlan's Holiday several thousand miles away in Dubai, John Oxley's favored Hero's Tribute took full advantage to tally an easy victory in Saturday's $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II).
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