Val Royal, winner of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship Mile in his last start Oct. 27 at Belmont Park, will run in the $500,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park Saturday, trainer Julio Canani confirmed.
It was a priceless moment of ecstasy. Freedom Crest, the erstwhile claimer and pride of the six-horse Richard Baltas stable, had just wrestled the lead from Bosque Redondo in the $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II). Now, with just over a furlong to run, the game was over. But the real action was in the stands. His composure long lost, Baltas had broken into a windsprint, a spirited dash down the aisle interrupted only by an occasional glance at the track, a check to make sure his dream hadn't ended.
Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) winner Manndar and Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) winner Walkslikeaduck each worked five furlongs Wednesday at Hollywood Park. Also working Wednesday morning were Lady at Peace, Caffe Latte, Tribunal, and Purely Cozzene.
Jockey Gary Stevens earned his first stakes victory since November of 1999, riding War Chant to a 1 1/4-length victory over Road to Slew in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) Saturday at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Hobeau Farms' Kelly Kip put in a four-furlong drill over a sloppy Belmont Park strip Wednesday morning, his third work since returning to trainer Allen Jerkens' barn after recovering from his second hock infection in as many years. Also working Wednesday were Caffee Lattee, King Cugat, License Fee, and Purely Cozzene.
Walkslikeaduck rallied in the stretch to win the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) by 2 1/2 lengths Sunday at Del Mar. With Eddie Delahoussaye in the irons, the Patrick Gallagher trainee completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.66 while racing over firm turf. The time equals the course record of 1:46 3/5 set when 5-year-old Al Mamoon won the 1986 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IIT).
La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Purely Cozzene and runner-up Duke of Green will renew their rivalry in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Sunday at Del Mar. The 1 1/8-mile turf race drew a field of 10 3-year-olds.
Over firm turf, Purely Cozzene led at every call of the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Del Mar, completing the 1 1/16-mile race in 1:41.50 under David Flores.
A field of nine 3-year-old colts and geldings will contest the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) to be run Saturday on Del Mar’s turf course.
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