Wake Forest (GER) was given plenty of time to recover from his 2016 campaign by trainer Chad Brown, and the 7-year-old runner rewarded that patience March 4 with a narrow victory in the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) at Gulfstream Park.
TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) winner Wavell Avenue got to the winner's circle for the first time in 2016 with a significant class drop Aug. 3 in the $100,000 Shine Again Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Weaving through horses in the stretch under John Velazquez, Wake Forest displayed a powerful late kick to surge past rivals in the final furlong to win the $400,000 Man o' War Stakes May 14 at Belmont Park.
Rudy Rodriguez passed the Nov. 2 Tempted Stakes (gr. III) with Condo Commando to wait for the $400,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II), and his patience paid off as she crushed her opposition at Aqueduct Racetrack Nov. 29.
In a movie, Belle Gallantey's rags to riches 2014 season would end with a victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), but in real life her connections are taking time before committing to the race.
Major Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Grace Hall posted her final workout before the Run for the Lilies when she breezed four furlongs in :52:10 over a sloppy track at Palm Meadows Training Center April 29.
Untried Grace Hall won the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) like a true professional Sept. 4, stalking the leaders into the stretch and sweeping past favored Judy the Beauty to handily win the $250,000 event at Saratoga.