Grade I winner Daisy Devine, seeking to snap a three-race losing skid, is a standout among six older fillies and mares entered in the $100,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf June 8 at Churchill Downs.
Defending winner Heavenly Landing takes on nine older fillies and mares Jan. 5 in the $100,000 Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park, including Team Block's highly consistent Leading Astray.
Grade I winner Summer Soiree, last seen finishing second in the Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) last November, makes her 2012 debut in the $250,000 Ballston Spa Stakes Presented by Jose Cuervo (gr. IIT) on Saratoga's inner turf.
Gaining the services of jockey Jose Espinoza for the first time, Silver Screamer kicked clear under urging in the stretch to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths in the June 30 Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park.
The June 30 Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park has attracted a diverse group of fillies and mares, with graded stakes winners Ruthenia, Heavenly Landing, and Unbridled Humor being the standouts.
Favored Bizzy Caroline, making her second start of the year, dug in late to edge outsider Heavenly Landing by a neck in the $111,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf June 2.
Frank L. Jones Jr's Tapitsfly, who has started four times this year in graded events and has won or placed in all of them, will carry top weight of 121 pounds in the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs.
Zagora, who ran third in last year's Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland, is back for this year running, but this time she's coming off two straight graded stakes wins.
Team Valor International's Animal Kingdom worked an easy five-eighths of a mile on turf in 1:04 4/5 at Palm Meadows Training Center March 10 as he preps for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on March 31.
Heavenly Landing, a 19-1 upsetter in last month's Marshua's River (gr. IIIT), will try to keep her perfect turf record intact Feb. 11 when she goes in the $150,000 Suwannee River (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
- By Esther Marr
Heavenly Landing is a perfect example of the patience of trainer Eddie Kenneally. read blog
Summerplace Farm's Heavenly Landing remained perfect on turf when she rallied late and denied La Reine Lionne at the wire to win the $100,000 Marshua's River (gr. IIIT) at odds of 19-1 Jan. 7 at Gulfstream Park.
Jason Shandler, Tom LaMarra and Ian Tapp handicap the Marshua's River Stakes at Gulfstream Park this week. watch video
Though her breeding wouldn't suggest it, Worstcasescenario has shown best-case sprinting ability, winning her two starts to date by a combined margin of 10 lengths, including an upset victory in Saratoga's Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) one month ago. Trainer Richard Violette hopes his unbeaten daughter of Forbidden Apple can do it again in the $250,000 Matron Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sept. 19.
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