Front-running favorite Polonius gamely repelled the late charge of Indian Sun to post a half-length victory in the $106,800 Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Hollywood Park turf.
After making a detour for the Triple Crown trail this spring, Cecil Peacock's Indian Sun gets back on the grass May 17 at Hollywood Park, facing five sophomore rivals in the $100,000 Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) at one mile.
Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Gayego is to be flown to Louisville, Ky., on April 14, to prepare for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). He will be joined on the flight by second and third-place finishers, Z Fortune and Tres Borrachos.
After doing all of his running on Southern California's synthetic tracks, favored Gayego proved he has no problem with a conventional dirt surface, either. The Paulo Lobo-trained invader repelled Z Fortune in the stretch run for a three-quarter-length victory in the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
Looking for a new favorite for the Derby after the disappointing efforts by 3-year-old stars War Pass and Z Fortune? Why not Georgie Boy? A grade I winner at 2, the favored California-bred son of Tribal Rule used a late burst to pass Gayego in deep stretch and win the $200,000 San Felipe (gr. II) in his first try around two turns March 15 at Santa Anita.
The most accomplished entrants in the $200,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 15 have done all their work sprinting. So the question is which of them is ready to stretch out in Southern California's last major prep race before the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Be careful how you handle Crown of Thorns. As we're well aware, the impressive winner of the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) has never run on a real dirt track. But with that said, let's pretend it will make no difference, and that he will be as good on dirt as he looked in the Bob Lewis.
While he may be light in seasoning, Crown of Thorns showed a world of potential in handily stretching out to two turns Feb. 2 at Santa Anita, scoring a dynamic 2 1/2-length victory as the favorite in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II).
B. Wayne Hughes' Crown of Thorns, a seven-length maiden winner in his most recent start for trainer Richard Mandella, warrants plenty of attention for his first route try in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Feb. 2.
Unbeaten El Gato Malo took advantage of a blistering pace to register a runaway 6 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) as the West Coast Triple Crown campaign got underway at Santa Anita Jan. 12.
Massive Drama, who ran third in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park last month, holds the edge in experience against six up-and-coming rivals entered in the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III), which kicks off the 2008 3-year-old season at Santa Anita Jan. 12.
Odds-on favorite The Leopard got the firm going he wanted, and responded with an overpowering win in the $111,800 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 24. With the victory, winning trainer Todd Pletcher broke the single-season record for purse earnings he set last year.
Six of the 10 2-year-olds entered in the $100,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park on Nov. 23 are coming into the one-mile turf event off victories. But the winner could very well be a colt whose record shows the worst effort of the group last time out -- Todd Pletcher trainee The Leopard, whose seventh-place finish in the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf came over a soggy grass course that left many floundering.
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