Foxysox and Black Mamba, separated by a nose when they ran first and second, respectively, in last year's Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, return in what should be an intriguing renewal of the $200,000 grass event April 18.
Misty Ocean and Bel Air Sizzle, the first two finishers in last month's Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT), will be among the favorites in an evenly matched field for the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar July 26.
Favored Sky Mom overcame a stewards' inquiry and jockey objection to win the $200,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks in come-from-behind fashion by 4 3/4 lengths in New Mexico March 16.
Steve Asmussen's 3-year-old colts have been in full view on the trail to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The trainer's fillies have been less visible, but his 3-year-old Sky Mom may get her chance to shine in the $200,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks March 16.
Seven 3-year-old fillies, including a pair of Breeders' Cup starters, will contest the Feb. 9 event at Santa Anita.
Final Fling came off the rail in the home stretch to overtake Grace Anatomy en route to an upset win in the $108,900 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Jan. 13. Odds-on favorite Turn Away was pulled out of the race on the final turn.
The $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita, postponed Jan. 5 due to the unsafe condition of the course's new Cushion Track following a powerful storm, returns with its original field of 3-year-old fillies intact Jan. 13.
Trainer Bobby Frankel brings out another of his Empire Maker youngsters, Juddmonte Farms' homebred Turn Away, in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies on the Santa Anita Cushion Track Jan. 5.
Country Star and Set Play, both grade I winners on synthetic surfaces, lead a field of nine 2-year-old fillies entered for the $421,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 15.
When it comes to Grace Anatomy, trainer Doug O'Neill has her all figured out. She is a filly with "above average" talent and likes to come from off the pace.
Six horses expected to race in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park received their final works at Keeneland Oct. 20.
The preps are over and the journey to Jersey begins. This past weekend's stakes orgy did not measure up to the stirring stretch battles and top-class performances we saw the previous week. While there were some big efforts and exciting finishes, it was not a good weekend for favorites, with several big-name stars and division leaders going down to defeat.
Stonerside Stable's Country Star entered the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) as one of only two juveniles without a win to her credit. It did not matter, as the Empire Maker filly showed a finishing kick that was plenty good enough to earn a one-length victory on Keeneland's Polytrack in the opening day feature Oct. 5.
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