A dozen older fillies and mares take a shot at grade I glory in a deeply contentious renewal of the $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 14.
High Resolve opened up an early lead and never looked back, going wire-to-wire for a 2 1/4-length victory in the $300,000 Hill 'n' Dale Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint Jan. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Doug O'Neill will be looking for back-to-back wins in the $250,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup with his newly minted grade I winner Mistical Plan Aug. 24 at Saratoga.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Prior to the weekend, Mistical Plan had tried for grade one glory on five occasions. On four of those she had failed to hit the board, and in the fifth, she had gained a third, but had been beaten nearly nine lengths. On Saturday, at the Summit of Speed, Mistical Plan cut back to six furlongs and produced the performance of her life to take the Princess Rooney Handicap.
J. Paul Reddam's Mistical Plan upset even-money favorite Dream Rush to win the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Calder Race Course July 12 as part of the Florida track's Summit of Speed program.
Stronach Stables' Ginger Punch, keen on defending her champion older female title of 2007, made it look easy in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap with a commanding victory in the Belmont Park fixture June 14.
The countdown to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) is on and the connections of the 14 fillies expected in the starting gate are eager to race for the lilies on the First Friday in May at Churchill Downs.
A full field of 14, led by California grade I winner Rags to Riches, is set to go postward in Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender High Again breezed a strong half-mile in :47 4/5 at Churchill Downs Monday for trainer Bill Mott. Jockey Larry Melancon deputized for Cornelio Velasquez in the saddle.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's Rags to Riches, the Todd Pletcher-trained winner of the Las Virgenes (gr. I) and Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), will be a heavy favorite when the third and final pool Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager ("KOFW") launches its four-day run April 12.
It felt a little like Christmas at Keeneland Saturday, where temperatures approached freezing. Naturally, Christmas Kid felt right at home in winning the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies and becoming a major contender for next month's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Octave and Mistical Plan are set for a rematch in the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 7, going 1 1/16 miles over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland Race Course. In addition to Octave and Mistical Plan, seven other fillies, including High Again and Christmas Kid, are expected in the starting gate.
Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's Rags to Riches, the Todd Pletcher-trained dominating winner in Sunday's Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), stood as a solid favorite in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2007 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager when wagering on the four-day pool concluded on Sunday evening.
J. Paul Reddam's Mistical Plan emerged from a strong pace battle with the lead and was never headed while leaving the field behind in the stretch run of the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday.
Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Appealing Zophie has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite among eight 3-year-old fillies for the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 10 at Fair Grounds Race Course.
J. Paul Reddam's favored Mistical Plan, in spite of lugging in through the lane, got the nod by a nose over outsider Tiz Elemental to win the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita Saturday.
Lava Man, the most prosperous claim in racing history, turns his attention back to grass racing on Saturday when the defending Sunshine Millions Classic champion lends his star power to the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf event at Santa Anita.
Zayat Stables' Baroness Thatcher, running Saturday for the first time for trainer Patrick Biancone, took advantage of a stalking trip under Garrett Gomez to win the $108,200 Santa Ysabel (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.
Mistical Plan, beaten favorite in Hollywood Park's Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) last month, can make amends in Saturday's $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.
Runway Rosie goes for her third successive victory with the services of the country's leading money-winning jockey in Garrett Gomez when she faces her toughest career test in Sunday's $459,250 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
Favored Change Up gave jockey Garrett Gomez a sweep of Saturday's opening-day stakes for juveniles when she wore down the stubborn Mistical Plan in the stretch and scored a two-length victory in the $114,300 Pocahontas (gr. III) for fillies at Churchill Downs.
Richard, Elaine and Bert Klein's Change Up, on the outside looking in at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), finds a challenging spot as the probable favorite in Sunday's $100,000-added Pocahontas at Churchill Downs.
Undefeated stakes winners Untouched Talent and Pinata headline a field of nine 2-year-old fillies in Monday's $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) at 7 furlongs on the main track.
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