Only three months ago, 5-year-old Ever a Friend was claimed for $62,500 at Hollywood Park. Now Mike Mitchell's gelding by Crafty Friend looks like a bargain considering Ever a Friend just won the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. I). It was Ever a Friend's second stakes win since Dec. 31.
In his first start since running second in the 2006 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), Anstu Stables' Friendly Island proved far too good for his three rivals in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Saturday.
Friendly Island attended the early pace, then took over in the stretch to win the $190,000 Emirates Airline Maryland Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Saturday by three-quarters of a length. It was the second stakes win in a row for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Garrett Gomez.
A Storm Boot filly and a Crafty Friend colt shared the honors for the fastest work at an eighth of a mile Sunday, covering the distance in :10 1/5 during the second session of the final under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March select auction of 2-year-olds in training. The weather in Central Florida was cloudy and warm, with a light wind.