Intelligent Male survived a pair of riders' objections over bumping in the stretch to score the biggest victory of his life in the $145,500 Claiming Crown Jewel, the highlight of Saturday's series for racing's blue-collar workers at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.
Led by a record number of pre-entries, Saturday's Claiming Crown at Canterbury Park is expected to be the biggest ever in the five-year history of the event, according the Nat Wess, director of live racing operations at Canterbury Park.
Hal's Hope earned his first graded stakes win since the Florida Derby (gr. I) on March 11, 2000, when he went wire-to-wire to win Sunday's $100,000 Crème Fraiche Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Norman Pointer had his stakes-winning gelding Rize work an easy three furlongs in :39 4/5 breezing Thursday morning. Rize is slated to start in Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. 1) at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park and was the lone Donn starter among the 14 entrants to work at Gulfstream on Thursday.
Trainer John T. Ward Jr. sent Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos on a five-furlong work from the starting gate at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning. "We wanted to tweak his interest," said Ward of the drill.
An overflow field of 14 turf runners has been entered for the one-mile, $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park Saturday. The field includes two horses owned and bred by Arthur Appleton, for whom the race is named.
Fappie's Notebook rallied to beat General Grant by half-length Sunday in the $75,000 Seminole Handicap at Hialeah Park. Ridden by Abdiel Toribio, Fappie's Notebook ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.66 on the fast track and paid $6, $4.80, and $3.60.
North East Bound took the lead after six furlongs run in 1:09.46 and pulled away down the stretch for a 3 1/2-length victory Saturday in the $400,000 Meadowlands Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Vision and Verse was installed Thursday as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday night's $400,000 Meadowlands Cup Handicap (gr. II). 10 horses are entered for the 1 1/8-mile Meadowlands feature, including Leave It to Beezer, the starting highweight at 117 pounds.
James Jackson's Valhol put in a bullet work at Colonial Downs Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday night's $400,000 Meadowlands Cup (gr. II). The 4-year-old gelded son of Diazo will be making his second start since bone chip surgery following his third-place finish in the 1999 Ohio Derby (gr. II).
The Bobby Frankel-trained Skimming was assigned highweight of 122 pounds for the $400,000 Meadowlands Cup Handicap (gr. II), a pound more than Golden Missile and three more than Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Each of the three top weighted horses, however, are under consideration for other races.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus highlights the list of 23 horses nominated to the $400,000 Meadowlands Cup Handicap (gr. II). The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up will be run Oct. 7 at Meadowlands.
Shane Sellers put Captain Steve on the lead going into the stretch and held off Golden Missile to win the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) on Saturday at Turfway Park. This was the third win in four races for Captain Steve, the only 3-year-old in the six-horse field. The victory gave trainer Bob Baffert three Kentucky Cup Classic winners in the past four years.
The last time Golden Missile raced in Kentucky, he came away with a 2 3/4-length victory in June's Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. II) over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. On Saturday, the 5-year-old son of A.P. Indy will face five rivals as the 121-pound highweight in the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap (gr. II) at Turfway Park.
Rize, the nine-length winner of the Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II) in his most recent start, will breeze Monday morning at Turfway Park in a work that will determine his status for Saturday's $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II). If he is entered, the 4-year-old son of Theatrical will likely face Golden Missile, Cat Thief, Early Pioneer, and Captain Steve in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Although Runnin Horse Farm’s Rize emerged from his front-running upset victory in Sunday’s Iselin Handicap (gr. II) without any problems, the gelding’s career is on hold as offers pour in to owners Les Steiner and Peter Lombardi.
Rize, the starting lightweight at 112 pounds, drew off through the Monmouth Park stretch to a nine-length win in the $350,000 Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II).
Sir Bear, the 118-pound highweight for Sunday's $350,000 Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II), drew post position three for the 1 1/8-mile race.
Stronach Stable's Golden Missile, only considered a "possible" entrant for Sunday's $350,000 Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II) at Monmouth Park, was assigned top weight of 121 pounds for the race. Ecton Park and Sir Bear are listed next at 118 pounds.
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