Celtic Dreamin, runner-up in this year's $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, was given the green light to make his turf debut this Sunday in Santa Anita's $100,000 added Crystal Water Handicap against California-breds after a sharp grass workout March 10.
Southern California shipper Celtic Dreamin successfully invaded Canada for his first graded stakes win, romping to victory in the CAN$263,780 British Columbia Breeders' Cup Derby (Can-III) Sept. 23 at Hastings Race Course.
True Xena, a game second in the Moccasin Stakes in her last start, worked a bullet five furlongs at Santa Anita on Sunday in her final drill for the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles next Sunday.
Stan Fulton's El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Uncle Denny is back in full training after undergoing surgery to remove a chip from his left front ankle in March.
Stan E. Fulton's favored Uncle Denny surged to the front on the home turn and won drawing off for jockey Russell Baze, capturing Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Bay Meadows.
California Breeders' Championship Stakes winner Uncle Denny is the morning line choice in a contentious field of ten 3-year-olds included for the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Bay Meadows Saturday.
Stan Fulton's grade II winner St Averil has returned to Southern California and the care of trainer Rafael Becerra after spending several months in Kentucky and Louisiana with trainer David Carroll.
Special Matter, a rags-to-riches gelding that has earned $200,000 since being claimed for $12,500 two years ago by trainer Rafael Becerra, headlines the $100,000 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Saturday on the Santa Anita turf.
Royal Place, ridden by Gerry Olguin, surged to the lead in deep stretch Thursday to capture the $103,598 Lieutenant Governors' Handicap (Can-III) at Hastings Park by a neck, spoiling Lord Nelson's bid for his third straight win in the stakes race.
Just a few hours after Wimbledon was scratched from Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr, I), St Averil was withdrawn from the race.
Rafael Becerra Jr. never wanted to be a horse trainer. Despite spending much of his youth going to the races and visiting the backside often with his trainer father, the 22-year-old was more interested in a career in finance, not furlongs. Until, that is, a horse named St Averil came along.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Castledale and Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) hero St Averil both arrived safely at Churchill Downs Monday afternoon from their home bases of Santa Anita and visited the Louisville oval's main track for the first time Tuesday.
Despite negative X-rays on St Averil's problem feet, Rafael Becerra remained uncommitted on the colt's participation in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 1.
Even though Rafael Becerra feels St Averil could be the best 3-year-old he's ever trained, the 49-year-old native of Mexico prefers not to look past Sunday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles.
Santa Catalina Stakes winner St Averil worked five furlongs in an easy 1:02 over Santa Anita's fast main track Sunday morning, after which trainer Rafael Becerra confirmed that the son of Saint Ballado's next start would be the March 13 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
Stan Fulton's Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) winner St Averil will continue on down the California trail to the Triple Crown, trainer Rafael Becerra said Sunday morning.
On Saturday, Great State Challenge winner Crackup worked for the first time since bleeding badly while finishing fourth in the Jan. 18 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II), logging a half-mile in :48 1/5. Trainer Rafael Becerra is considering the El Camino Real Derby for his next start.
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