Nicole H pulled clear through the stretch to become the first mare to win three consecutive editions of the $75,000 Interborough at Aqueduct Jan. 1. On the undercard, Arena Elvira won the $75,000 Ladies' Handicap.
Led by a trio of in-form New York invaders, a field of nine was drawn for the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) Feb. 18 at Laurel Park.
J P's Gusto, a grade I-winning juvenile and successful 3-year-old sprinter, has been retired from racing and will stand in 2012 at Brent and Crystal Fernung's Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla.
GEM Inc.'s J P's Gusto, who hadn't won a race since the grade I Del Mar Futurity last September, signaled his fondness for sprinting with a blowout victory in the $400,000 Red Legend Stakes at Charles Town June 18.
Nicole H picked up her third straight victory and first in a graded stakes with an easy 2 1/2-length score in the $150,000 Distaff Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares April 16 at Aqueduct.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela earned his first California stakes victory since the fall of 2007 when he guided J P's Gusto to a front-running half-length win in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar Aug. 8.
The grade III Hollywood Juvenile Champion is the son of Successful Appeal's second stakes win in three starts.
Southern California shipper Harissa got hot at the right time when she pulled away from pacesetter Hayley's Halo to win the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks in New Mexico March 28.
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