Bottled up on the inside and running at a slow pace, Ginger Punch showed her grit as a true champion by splitting horses just outside the eighth-pole and finally taking over at the top of the stretch to earn a hard-fought 1 1/4-length victory in the $250,000 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) July 26 at Saratoga.
Since her tough luck loss in last year's Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I), all Ginger Punch has done is reel off five grade I or II victories and collect the Eclipse Award for top older female. On June 14 the Awesome Again mare will return to Belmont for some unfinished business as the overwhelming favorite in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps.
Sugar Swirl remains a heavy favorite in the rescheduled $200,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. II), which Gulfstream Park had to cancel last weekend due to a day-long rain deluge. But her job could be a little tougher March 29.
Heros Reward was named 2007 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, as well as champion older male, sprinter, and turf runner, in the annual poll conducted by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.
Three horses sell for seven-figure prices during January sale's second session.
Evil Storm, Akronism, and Moon Catcher were among the winners on the Oct. 13 Maryland Million program at Laurel Park.
Leading trainer Todd Pletcher will try for his fourth Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) title, as two-time Grade I winner Octave leads a field of eight 3-year-old fillies for the 1 1/16-mile event at Philadelphia Park.
For a long time, it looked as though Octave would never break her reputation as a bridesmaid. Five consecutive second-place finishes -- all in graded-stakes competition -- earned her that tag. But two grade I wins later, all that talk is in the past.
Moon Catcher, a winner at Delaware Park in her last start, came right back to go gate-to-wire in the $505,600 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) Saturday, desperately holding off the surging Winning Point by a head at the wire.
The July 14 Delaware Oaks (gr. II) is shaping up to be a continental showdown at Delaware Park. The $500,000, 1 1/16-mile race has attracted a field of eight entrants from points across North America. Appearing to head the field are Cotton Blossom, High Heels, and Tough Tiz's Sis.
The raid was on at cloudy Pimlico Friday. Panty Raid, under Edgar Prado, came from off the pace to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) with authority.
Baroness Thatcher heads a field of eight entered for Friday's Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) at Pimlico, one of five stakes on the Preakness eve race card.
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