Chilean-bred Cocoa Beach, runner-up to Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) last out, makes her return to the track to face a loaded field of nine fillies and mares in the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) Nov. 30 on the Hollywood Park turf.
Criminologist, a multiple graded stakes winner, will be supplemented to the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) on Nov. 30 at Hollywood Park, trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed Nov. 19 from New York. The fee is $10,000 for the one-mile turf test for fillies and mares.
Sunshine for Life, sent off as the longest shot in a field of seven fillies and mares, took advantage of a soft pace and uncontested lead, going gate-to-wire while pulling off a shocking upset in the $110,300 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) Oct. 11 at Belmont Park.
Waquoit's Love, dismissed at odds 13-1 in Belmont Park's Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT) one month ago only to lose by a head to Criminologist, will get another crack at her nemesis in the $100,000 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf Oct. 11.
Criminologist needed the length of the stretch to catch Waquoit's Love, but the 5-year-old Maria's Mon mare finally ran down the pacesetter, getting up in the final stride to win the $100,000 Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT) by a head Sept. 13 on the Belmont turf.
Criminologist, the only graded stakes winner in a field of nine fillies and mares, has the advantage in the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sept. 13 on the Belmont turf.
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.
Last after a half-mile, Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable's Criminologist began her assault on the lead into the final turn and needed only half the stretch to strike the front, as the 5-year-old mare won by a measured half-length under John Velazquez in the $100,000 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT) April 26 on the Aqueduct turf.
Only four other runners will go up against the Shug McGaughey-trained Criminologist in her second start of the season, but those four have solid credentials and equal chances at taking the $100,000 Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct April 26.
Continuing to display her turf dominance, Criminologist came from off the pace to shed seven rivals Nov. 17 at Churchill Downs, scoring by 2 1/2 lengths in the $150,000 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) to earn her fourth consecutive victory.
Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable homebred Criminologist searches for her sixth victory of the campaign and fourth in a row as she battles seven contenders in the $150,000 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf Nov. 17.
With the Breeders' Cup only days away, the American racing front has been relatively quiet. Still, this does give us the opportunity to turn the spotlight on a filly that appears to be a rising star, and in doing so, pay tribute to her recently deceased sire, Maria's Mon.
The improving Criminologist got the soft going she relishes and rolled to her third consecutive victory Oct. 13 in the $109,100 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Belmont Park Widener Turf Course.
Criminologist has four turf victories this year. Dance Away Capote is the lone starter with a graded stakes win to her credit. Those two headline a field of six in the 30th running of the $100,000 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares Oct. 13 on the Belmont turf.
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