Coming off a record-shattering performance in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes at seven furlongs, Sam-Son Farm's Soaring Free returns to his favorite turf course at Woodbine Saturday for the $173,400 Play the King Stakes (Can-III).
Stan Fulton's Fire Slam survived a strong challenge by Unbridled America to win his third straight race in Saturday's $97,500 Don Bernhardt Memorial Stakes at Ellis Park by a head.
John Velazquez was on some speedballs Saturday at Belmont. A race after he guided Bear Fan to a track record going 6 1/2 furlongs, he took Speightstown on a tour-de-force at six furlongs.
Laura and Eugene Melnyk's Speightstown, who surprised Congaree with a convincing win in the May 1 Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II), is the 119-pound high weight in Saturday's $200,000-added True North Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
Cat Genius held off a late charge from Mountain General to win the $125,000 Pelleteri Breeders' Cup Handicap by a half-length Sunday at Fair Grounds.
An open field of seven sprinters is set to square off in the $125,000 Pelleteri Breeders' Cup Handicap Sunday at Fair Grounds.
Out of My Way, dismissed at odds of 28-1, outfought Cat Genius to win the $75,000 Taylor's Special Handicap Sunday by a nose at Fair Grounds.
Posse, ridden by Corey Lanerie, wore down Bossanova in the final strides for a half-length victory in Saturday's $111,900 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Last of 12 after the opening half-mile, 55-1 shot Sir Cherokee charged home with a powerful kick in the stretch to win the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) over Eugene's Third Son at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
This weekend's big Derby prep extravaganza looks pretty clear cut on paper, with Empire Maker, Peace Rules, Badge of Silver, Eugene's Third Son, Region of Merit, Man Among Men, and Aristocat expected to dominate the three races. But don't ignore several others, including one D. Wayne Lukas.
Saturday's Arkansas Derby has 12 colts scheduled to contest its nine furlong distance for a shot at the $500,000 purse.
Churchill Downs brings down the curtain on its 113th Fall Meet on Saturday with a pair of $200,000-added stakes races for 2-year-olds, the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) for colts and geldings and the Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies.
A pair of unbeaten contenders for Saturday's $250,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), Cat Genius and Ten Cents A Shine, turned in their final pre-race works on Tuesday at Churchill Downs.
The promised improvement in weather didn't arrive at Arlington Park, Saturday's host for the 2002 Breeders' Cup, in time for racing Friday, where three one hundred grand stakes were run on a sloppy main track and yielding turf course.
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