Asked to go 12 furlongs for the first time in his career, Tap It Light answered the call in the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 27.
The biggest concern for trainer Paula Capestro heading into the $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) was how her red-hot filly River's Prayer would handle Del Mar's Polytrack in her first start on a synthetic surface. In spite of drifting out some late, the California-bred proved best while winning her fifth successive race Aug. 17 by a half-length over Strong Faith.
River's Prayer ran head and head with Shaggy Mane for the first five furlongs before assuming command for good in midstretch to win the $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. 1).
The speedy River's Prayer turned back favored Indian Flare in the stretch run to earn her first graded stakes win in Sunday's Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) for older fillies and mares on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.
Borderland Derby winner Indy Wildcat could have returned to New Mexico's Sunland Park for Saturday's rich WinStar Derby, but trainer and part owner Paula Capestro chose instead to stay home for the April 8 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
Winless in his three previous starts, Southern California invader Indy Wildcat surprised the field with an all-out effort to win the $100,000 Borderland Derby for 3-year-olds at Sunland Park.
California invader River's Prayer, a newcomer to Belmont Park, breezed a fast four furlongs in :46 4/5 Saturday morning in preparation for Saturday's $300,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
Unbeaten River's Prayer, a 3 1/2-length winner of the June 4 Cinderella Stakes as the odds-on favorite, figures to draw heavy support again on Saturday when facing eight rival 2-year-old fillies in Hollywood Park's $100,000 Landaluce Stakes at six furlongs.
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