Caroline Thomas picked up the first stakes win of her career when moved up in the $200,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) due to the disqualification of original winner Nellie Cashman Aug. 18 at Saratoga.
Bit of Whimsy, one of the top 3-year-old turf fillies of 2007, has been retired because of an injury suffered in the July 26 Diana Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga.
Four grade I winners, including Christophe Clement trainees Rutherienne and Vacare, headline what looks to be a very competitive and wide-open 70th edition of the $500,000 Diana (gr. IT) July 26 on the Saratoga turf.
Jon and Sarah Kelly's Vacare has aced nearly every test thrown at her thus far, from her most recent win in the First Lady Stakes (gr. IIT) last October to a score in the 2006 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (gr. IT). But trainer Christophe Clement is asking for a career-best effort from the 5-year-old daughter of Lear Fan when he brings her back for her first start of the season in the $400,000 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park June 7.
A long wait for the spring thaw and the return of top-level turf racing to Kentucky helped produce an extraordinarily tough group of 10 older fillies and mares for the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland April 12. Grade I winners Precious Kitten, Rutherienne, and Bit of Whimsy and the last two Canadian Horse of the Year winners, Arravale and Sealy Hill, account for half of the field.
Bit of Whimsy had already accomplished her major goal of the year for trainer Barclay Tagg when the 3-year-old filly captured the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last month. She put an exclamation point on a strong campaign with her hard-fought victory in the $174,900 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) on the Churchill Downs lawn Nov. 10.
Bit of Whimsy, upset winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) Oct. 13 at Keeneland, will carry her highest weight ever and take on a field of 13 other 3-year-old fillies, including two previously beaten competitors, in the $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) Nov. 10 at Churchill Downs.
For much of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. I), there seemed to be no denying classy champion Dreaming of Anna, who was seeking her fourth consecutive stakes victory. But after a ground-saving trip from Javier Castellano, Bit of Whimsy made a late rally along the rail, angled three wide and caught the 2006 Juvenile Fillies Eclipse Award winner in the final 16th to win on Keeneland's Haggin turf course Oct. 13.
Champion filly Dreaming of Anna will put her three-race win streak on the line and get her final prep for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 13 on Keeneland's Haggin Turf Course.
Making her first start in America, Noel O'Callaghan's Alexander Tango rated far off the pace and then came charging down the middle of the Belmont Park turf stretch to capture the $250,000 Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) by three-quarters of a length Sept. 8.
Dreaming of Anna, the 2006 champion juvenile filly who struggled earlier this year, appears to be back on her game with a return to the turf, as the Frank Calabrese homebred went gate to wire to win the $210,000 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs by a half-length Saturday.
Favored Rutherienne got up in the final stride to catch Bit of Whimsy and earn a share of the dead-heated $109,000 Sands Point (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Belmont Park inner turf Saturday.
Sheila and Fred Mead's Classic Neel snapped to life earlier this year after trainer Kiaran McLaughlin switched her to the turf. Now the $250,000 El Corredor filly is one of the key contenders in Saturday's $100,000-added Sands Point (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park.
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