On the outskirts of boom-town Panama City, past tin roof houses and enterprising food vendors with their roadside stands, past soccer players who practice diligently in the cooler morning hours, Panama's only racetrack hums.
Maiden Tapiture put away early leader Laddie Boy in the stretch and then drew off to register a 4 1/4-length knockout victory in the $175,200 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 30 at Churchill Downs.
After tracking the leaders through the turn, Michael Langford's Dunkin Bend rallied three wide turning for home on his way to a clear victory in the $96,000 Sapling Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 1 at Monmouth Park.
Favored Prayer for Relief turned the tables on his local nemesis Alternation and held off a determined run from Worldly by a head in the $175,000 Governor's Cup Stakes on the night of Aug. 17.
Zayat Stables' Prayer for Relief, second in his only two starts this year, broke through with a victory in the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino June 29.
In a near replay of last month's Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III), Master Rick galloped past stablemate Prayer for Relief in the stretch to win the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) by one length May 27.
After racing along the rail in the backstretch, jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. angled Master Rick out in the far turn and the Master Command colt rallied from third in the stretch to win the $200,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III).
Average daily attendance dropped 2.4% from 10,579 to 10,319, but daily average handle increased 2.3% from $2,780,943 in 2012 to $2,845,768 in 2013. Overall, total attendance for the 54 days was 557,250.
Vuitton came from well off the pace to edge favored Beat the Blues by a nose in the $100,000 Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn Park April 11, capping a sensational afternoon for trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr.
Ricardo Santana Jr., the leading apprentice rider in Panama, has arrived in the United States and will have his first mount Sept. 15.
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