Undefeated Nashoba's Key had to overcome an anxious moment in Sunday's $294,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares on the Del Mar Polytrack, but she came thundering home under Joe Talamo for her sixth successive victory.
Although beaten in back-to-back graded stakes starts by the undefeated Nashoba's Key, Balance still brings a beaming smile from her trainer, David Hofmans, as he prepares the 4-year-old filly for the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares Aug. 5.
Coming off a sixth-place finish in last month's Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), the Brazilian-bred River Savage bounded away from the 13-10 favorite Cantabria in the stretch for a two-length upset win the $107,300 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track Sunday.
Seafree, hampered by a poor start in her last start, will try to make amends in Sunday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares on the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park.
Fox Hill Farm's Round Pond, winner of last year's Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and five of six career starts at Oaklawn Park, will return with her "home court advantage" as she heads a tough field of eight older mares in the 42nd running of the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 7.
Fox Hill Farm's Round Pond, winner of the 2006 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and five of her six career starts at Oaklawn Park, is expected to return for her "home court advantage" next month. She heads a list of fifteen older fillies and mares nominated for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap.
Balance, the nation's leading 3-year-old filly last year before going off kilter, continued her ascent toward the top of the older female division on Saturday while overcoming obstacles to win Santa Anita's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles.
Balance should be considered a solid favorite among seven entrants in Saturday's 70th running of Santa Anita's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
The 4-year-old eastern invader Ermine, the most accomplished runner in a field of eight older fillies and mares, is the probable favorite in the $150,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Saturday.
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