Private Emblem shook off a victory draught of nearly 11 months to post a 1 1/4-length triumph in Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III), keeping his record perfect in four starts at Oaklawn Park.
Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park is shaping up as a showdown between the speedy Crafty Shaw, winner of the race in 2002, and Pie N Burger, a late comer to the race when a field of eight was entered Thursday.
The Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday is expected to feature two previous winners of the 1 1/16-mile contest -- Crafty Shaw and Maysville Slew -- as well as 2002 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem, who is undefeated at Oaklawn Park.
Shadwell Stable's Almuhathir, who missed time over the summer because of nagging foot problems, figures to be a fair price Tuesday on Aqueduct's special Veterans' Day card when he starts in the $100,000 Stuyvesant (gr. III) at 1 1/8 mile.
The photo finish camera became the final arbiter of the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park and last year's winner, Mrs. Bernard J Daney's Docent, emerged on top once again – this time by a nose.
In Saturday's $200,000 Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park, 2002 winner Docent will try to join Timely Warning (1990 & 1991) and Algar (1997 & 1998) as back-to-back winners of the race. The Classic is the headline event of a day featuring 11 stakes races and purses of $1,025,000.
A total of 167 offspring of Maryland stallions have been pre-entered in the 11 races which comprise the 2003 Maryland Million Oct. 11 at Laurel Park.
Berkshire Stud's Snake Mountain and jockey Jose Santos made a four-wide move on the final turn and then surged through the lane for a 1 ¼-length victory over Docent in the $110,000 Queens County Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday on Aqueduct's inner dirt track.
Mrs. Bernard J. Daney's Docent left the pack in his wake and won the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic.
Theodore W. Hoover's Sumerset, a 30-to-1 longshot, overtook Lightning Paces down the stretch to win by a neck in the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic, the feature race in the 16th running of the Maryland Million at Pimlico.
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