John C. Oxley's Strong Contender posted an authoritative 7 3/4-length victory in Tuesday's grade II Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park as the lightly-raced 3-year-old son of Maria's Mon won his third race in only his fifth career start.
Too Much Bling returns to action for the first time since his powerful nine-length victory in Aqueduct's Bay Shore (gr. III) two months ago, facing eight rivals in the $250,000 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday.
Saturday's 127th renewal of the $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at a mile drew only four horses, so it will be carded as race three of 10 on the Aqueduct card.
Lael Stables' undefeated Barbaro was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite when a field of 11 3-year-olds was drawn for Saturday's Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
Squinting into the morning sun, Nick Zito stood outside his barn mulling over his Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) chances.
Several of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps fell apart last weekend, and the Southern California invaders got hammered by the boys up North in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), but we did see an honest, classy colt in Cause to Believe, and there was plenty of other news on the Derby trail.
The highly regarded Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prospect First Samurai continues to work toward his much-anticipated 3-year-old debut, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park.
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