French group III winner Puppeteer invades Calder Race Course for his new trainer, California-based Jeff Mullins, in the $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT), a 1 1/2-mile turf event on Saturday.
Former hurdler Dreadnaught won an all-out stretch duel with Certifiably Crazy for his first graded stakes victory in the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the Aqueduct turf Saturday.
Five-year-old Irish Colonial, who snapped a nine-race losing streak in his last start when he prevailed in the Mohawk Handicap for New York-breds, returns to open company in Saturday's $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Aqueduct turf.
On the Bus took the express lane to victory in the $150,000 Ticonderoga Handicap, one of the highlights of New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park Saturday.
Golden Commander swung to the outside for room in the upper stretch and closed steadily in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $114,700 West Point Handicap for New York breds on turf at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday.
Jockey Jerry Bailey and trainer Bill Mott, once the hottest combination on the national stage, still form a powerful duo in the Bernard Baruch Handicap. They won the $150,000 event for the fifth time in seven years when Silver Tree prevailed over even-money favorite Nothing to Lose on a yielding Saratoga turf course Friday.
William Sorokolit Sr.'s Union Place, and Blue Sky Farm and Fred Martin's Irish Colonial make trainer Randy Shulhofer a double threat for Friday's feature at Saratoga, the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT). The nine-furlong feature has drawn a field of eight, with Nothing to Lose the 117-pound highweight.
Allen Paulson Living Trust's Del Mar Show and Double S Stable, Ken Avanzino and Joe Sullivan's French Charmer will likely vie for favoritism in Saturday's $100,000 Tropical Turf (gr. IIIT) at Calder.
Irish Colonial took the lead at the start and maintained his advantage throughout to win by four lengths Sunday in the $113,600 Kingston Handicap at Belmont Park.
Saturday's $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 mile at Aqueduct is supposed to be the first stakes race run on grass in New York this year. With forecasts calling for more than an inch of rain from Friday night into Saturday, horses entered for the main track only may be in luck.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Fisher Pond drew into the Lawrence Realization Handicap (gr. III) when it was shifted from the turf to a sloppy main track and took full advantage, handily winning the 1 1/2-mile stakes.
When studying the past performances for Saturday's grade III, $150,000 Lawrence Realization for 3-year-olds at 1 1/2 miles on the turf, handicappers will have a difficult task trying to separate Chiselling, Finality, and Irish Colonial, the top three finishers from the Lexington over the summer.
Ibn Al Haitham, eight times a loser as a maiden on dirt, won his second straight race on the Saratoga turf, taking the $100,000 Saranac Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at 1 3/16 miles on closing day Monday.
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