In a thrilling finish, Strategic Partner just got past Baptize, and then withstood an objection to win the $100,000 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. III) Friday at Churchill Downs.
As expected, Raging Fever was scratched Friday morning from the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Don't believe Bobby Frankel. That was the message from rival trainer Mark Hennig Wednesday morning. He said his decision to increase his Oaks entry from two fillies to three was an insurance policy to make sure his client, Edward P. Evans, would have a runner in the big race. It was not, as Frankel claimed, a strategic maneuver to knock out the highly-regarded Flute.
Istintaj, the 4-5 favorite in Sunday's Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, took a slim lead just inside the eighth pole to win the 6 1/2-furlong bout by a half-length. Among his rivals were 3-1 second choice Fappie's Notebook, who finished second, and 21-1 longshot Fantastic Finish, who led for most of the race before giving way in the last yards to finish third. The winner paid $3.80, the exacta returned $15.20, and the trifecta was worth $692.00.
Edward Evans’ 2-year-old filly With Ability will miss the remainder of the year due to a saucer fracture of her left front shin.
Raging Fever, one of several fast juvenile fillies owned by Edward Evans, heads a field of six 2-year-old fillies entered in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) Monday at Saratoga.
Edward Evans' homebred 2-year-old filly Gold Mover remained undefeated from four career races after narrowly holding off maiden Seeking It All in the $108,200 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. II), the opening day feature Wednesday at Saratoga.
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