An electric day's trade in Newmarket at the December Sale yesterday produced an aggregate of over 36 million gns ($70,718,740), the highest turnover ever seen in a day at a European bloodstock auction with no less than three lots making 3 million gns ($5.89 million) or more.
Riskaverse, making her second start following a seven-moth layoff, figures to be the one to beat in Churchill Downs' $150,000-added Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday.
German-bred Meridiana, a disappointment in the United States last year after winning the Italian Oaks (Ity-I) in May, took a big step forward with a front-running victory in the $200,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) Sunday at 12 furlongs on the Gulfstream Park turf course.
Ocean Silk, who finished second in the Feb. 28 Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park last time out, has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for Sunday's $200,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Gulfstream.
Trainer Pat Byrne has had the date Sunday, March 21 circled on his calendar since his Ocean Silk finished second in her 2004 debut in the Feb. 28 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park. This Sunday she is set to start in the Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT), also at Gulfstream Park.
Five-year-old Gerrman-bred mare Binya won her second straight in the United States Saturday at Gulfstream Park, recording a sharp 2 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf.
Trainer Rick Hiles is hoping that a repeat win by San Dare in Saturday's $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park will be just what the doctor ordered to get the filly back on target. But she must first get past an improving Ocean Silk.
Spice Island and jockey Cornelio Velasquez stalked patiently, seized the lead with an eighth of a mile remaining and drew away in the closing stages to win the $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes Sunday at Keeneland.
Ten fillies and mares were entered for Keeneland's $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager on Sunday with Robert Sangster's Ocean Silk worthy of marquee billing.
Islington, last year's highweighted 3-year-old filly in England from 9 1/2 to 11 furlongs and from 11 to 14 furlongs, won the Aston Upthorpe Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) for the second year in a row Wednesday afternoon at the Ebor-at-York meeting in England.
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