Carl T. Grether, who raced California graded stakes winners Crafty C. T. and Madame Pietra, died July 1 of complications from Parkinson's disease.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, who was considering the Sunshine Million Classic instead of the $300,000 Padua Stables Sprint at Gulfstream Park for Midas Eyes, called another audible Sunday morning. He said the son of Touch Gold would be pointed to the $300,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Feb. 7.
Bobby Frankel, who did not participate in last year's inaugural $3.6 million Sunshine Millions, plans to have four startes in the 2004 series, which pits Florida and California breds in a series of eight stakes races at Gulfstream and Santa Anita parks.
Secret Liaison wasn't supposed to go to the lead in Saturday's $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, but when she did, jockey Corey Nakatani decided he'd tag along for what proved to be a dominating four-length victory.
Madame Pietra was part of the "seconditis" felt by Howard Zucker's Del Mar barn last season, but the veteran trainer never lost faith in the mare, who now has four straight stakes victories.
Thanks to a well-timed ride from Tyler Baze, Old Friends Inc.'s Quero Quero hit the front at just the correct moment to upset favored Atlantic Ocean by a neck in Saturday's $215,950 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Hollywood Park turf.
Atlantic Ocean, The Thoroughbred Corporation's $1.9-million filly, returns to to the grass in Saturday's $200,000-added Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park.
Madame Pietra, a 6-year-old mare who has quietly developed into one of the better female sprinters in the nation, seeks her fourth straight stakes victory in the $100,000-added Desert Stormer Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs on Saturday.
Carl H. Grether's favored Madame Pietra wore down Shameful and Chispiski in the stretch to win by a head in the $250,000 Filly & Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
The verdict is in and Madame Pietra has been flown to Florida to participate in the Filly and Mare Sprint on Sunshine Millions Day.
A total of 96 California and Florida breds were entered for Saturday's $3.6 million Sunshine Millions eight-race series at Gulfstream and Santa Anita.
Grey Memo, set to depart California Wednesday morning for Saturday's $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, had his final prep for the 1 1/8-mile event Tuesday by working five furlongs in 1:00 1/5, handily, at Santa Anita.
Favorite Madame Pietra came from off the pace under Patrick Valenzuela to post a 2 1/2-length victory over Habibti in Sunday's $71,950 Corona Handicap at Hollywood Park.
Seeking to recapture the form she displayed last winter and spring, The Thoroughbred Corporation's Habibti will tangle with Madame Pietra in the $70,000-added Corona Handicap for fillies and mares Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Madame Pietra rallied under jockey Pat Valenzuela for a convincing 2 1/2-length victory Thursday in the $82,250 Cascapedia Stakes for fillies and mares at Oak Tree.
Heavy show pool wagering on 2-5 favorite Love At Noon in Santa Anita's feature race Wednesday resulted in exorbitant show payouts for the top three finishers in the six-furlong sprint when Mike Pegram's filly finished off the board.
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