Veteran campaigner Crafty Shaw reached the front on the final turn and refused to yield to pressure from Apt to Be to record his 15th career win in Saturday's $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
The Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday is expected to feature two previous winners of the 1 1/16-mile contest -- Crafty Shaw and Maysville Slew -- as well as 2002 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem, who is undefeated at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Peter Vestal has elected to keep Charles Cella's Crafty Shaw at home for Friday's $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Favored Crafty Shaw defended his title in the $100,000 Michael Schaefer Mile Saturday night at Hoosier Park with a 2 1/4-length win over Cool N Collective.
Crafty Shaw returned to the winner's circle after eight straight defeats, turning in a fine repeat performance in the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) Saturday.
A pair of possible contenders for Saturday's main event, the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), turned in sizzling works on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Defending champion Crafty Shaw heads a field of 10 for Saturday's featured $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III), the first hundred-grand stakes of the 2003 season at Oaklawn Park.
Crafty Shaw and rider James Lopez rallied to victory in the featured $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Mile Saturday at Hoosier Park.
Keeneland's closing-day feature, the $150,000-added Fayette Stakes (gr. III), brings out a tight-knit field of five, ready to run 1 1/8 mile on the main track.
Crafty Shaw rallied from off the pace to win the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) Saturday at 1 1/8 mile, snapping a four-race losing streak.
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