Lava Man, who was on the verge of Horse of the Year honors last year, kicked off his 2007 campaign with a sparkling two-length win in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino Turf Saturday at Santa Anita.
Odds-on favorite King's Drama provided some intrigue in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf before the classy veteran overtook the front-running Railroad in deep stretch to win by a half-length Sunday.
Irish-bred King's Drama will be favored to provide trainer Bobby Frankel with his second graded stakes victory of the young Santa Anita Park winter meet in Sunday's $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the grass.
Irish-bred Rebel Rebel, shipped to Southern California from Rick Dutrow Jr.'s Eastern stable after a neck loss to Becrux in the Woodbine Mile (Can-I) in Canada, heads a field of 11 in Sunday's Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT), closing day of the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita.
A muddy track was just what General John B ordered as he ground to a front-running six-length victory in the $100,000 Turf Paradise Derby for 3-year-olds Saturday in Phoenix.
Undefeated juvenile Cajun Pepper won his fifth in a row, overpowering the field by 4 1/4 lengths in the $161,331 Riley Allison Futurity Sunday at Sunland Park.
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