Santa Anita's leading trainer Doug O'Neill won his seventh stakes of the meeting Sunday when Grand Appointment took the $137,875 Sensational Star Handicap for older horses bred in California.
Proven in sloppy conditions, Congrats relished the off track Saturday at waterlogged Santa Anita Park, splashing away to an easy victory in the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II).
Trainer Bobby Frankel, just three wins short of 800 career victories at Santa Anita Park, saddles horses in both the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) and the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) Saturday.
More than $1.3 million in purses are up for grabs Saturday and the best California-breds will duel it out over an entire day at Hollywood Park as part of the Citibank Gold Rush V program. A total of 100 horses were entered for the 10-race card, which is headlined by the $250,000 Citibank Snow Chief Stakes, a nine-furlong main track event for sophomores.
Excessivepleasure became the latest California-bred millionaire Saturday when he finished third in the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) at Nad al Sheba.
Godolphin's Firebreak, a 5-year-old son of Charnwood Forest, ran out a facile winner of the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) on the Nad Al Sheba dirt Saturday night.
TVG will televise the ninth annual Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) during a three hour presentation that will run from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. ET Saturday, March 27.
Jerry Frankel's Joey Franco, who won the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) and the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) in 2003, was named the California-bred Horse of the Year.
California will announce its 2003 Horse of the Year Monday; the three finalists are Continental Red, Excessivepleasure, and Joey Franco The annual awards dinner will be held at the Sacramento Sheraton Grande Hotel.
The entry of Peace Rules and Midas Eyes was installed the 9-5 morning line favorite by odds maker Jeff Tufts for Saturday's $1 million Barretts/CTBA Classic, marquee event on Sunshine Millions Day at Santa Anita Park.
Bob Baffert, who won the 1998 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) with Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, has 30% of the10-horse field set to go in the $200,000 middle leg of the prestigious Strub Series at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Comic Truth made a laugher out of Sunday's $160,700 Oklahoma Derby (gr. III) at Remington Park with a 10-length triumph over favored Excessivepleasure.
"Derby" specialist Excessivepleasure leads a field of six for the $150,000 Oklahoma Derby (gr. III) over 1 1/8 miles at Remington Park Sunday.
Peace Rules, ridden by Edgar Prado, was an easy front-running winner of Sunday's $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, giving owner Edmund Gann and trainer Bobby Frankel a sweep of the nation's weekend grade I stakes.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Funny Cide drew the number five post position and was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite when seven horses were entered for Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
Managing partner Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stable said Funny Cide will accept the 123 pounds assigned Friday for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 3 at Monmouth Park.
Excessivepleasure, ridden by Jon Court, upset 1-2 favorite Champali with a gate-to-wire track-record romp in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows Saturday night.
Champali, June's winner of the Northern Dancer stakes at Churchill Downs, emerges as the slight favorite in Saturday's fifth running of the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.
Excessivepleasure, a 3-year-old bordering on stardom after capturing last month's $500,000 WinStar Derby, and comebacking General Challenge, unraced in over 2 1/2 years following triumphs in such classic events as the Santa Anita Handicap, will be the focus of Saturday's fourth annual Citibank California Gold Rush at Hollywood Park.
Having to cope with a slow week like this right before the final push to Louisville is like being a little kid staring out the window on a rainy, summer day, trying to figure out what to do. So, what better time to indulge in a potpourri of minutia.
Under strong urging from jockey Pat Day, Excessivepleasure fought off favored Spensive and Apalachian Thunder to record a neck victory in Sunday's $500,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico.
Sunland Park's inaugural WinStar Derby, with the attractive scent of a $500,000 purse, has drawn a field of eight 3-year-olds to the New Mexico track just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
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