Bottled up on the inside and running at a slow pace, Ginger Punch showed her grit as a true champion by splitting horses just outside the eighth-pole and finally taking over at the top of the stretch to earn a hard-fought 1 1/4-length victory in the $250,000 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) July 26 at Saratoga.
Last year, Stronach Stables' Ginger Punch romped to a six-length victory in the Go For Wand (gr. I) en route to her Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) win and being named champion older female. The scary part for her competition is that trainer Bobby Frankel says the daughter of Awesome Again is vastly improved as a 5-year-old.
Edward Seltzer's Wow Me Free started slowly and trailed the field around the first turn, but the poor start did little to deter the daughter of Menifee, as she took over in mid-stretch and powered to a convincing 3 -length victory in the $104,400 Next Move Handicap (gr. III) March 29 at Aqueduct.
Kiaran McLaughlin will certainly have the odds in his favor March 29, as the veteran trainer will saddle three of the five entrants in the $100,000 Next Move Handicap (gr. III), a 1 1/8-mile dirt test for fillies and mares at Aqueduct.
Victory Pool, third in last year's Affectionately Handicap, gives the $75,000 stakes for fillies and mares another whirl in her final career start at Aqueduct Jan. 12.
Victory Pool takes a second shot at Affectionately Handicap in final start at Aqueduct.
Rags to Riches, who went from a maiden victory to grade I success in the Las Virgenes Stakes, will attempt to further enhance her reputation in Sunday's $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
The $1.9 million filly Rags to Riches staged a dramatic come-from-behind rally to win the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Saturday.
Cash Included and Romance Is Diane, both grade I winners as 2-year-olds, are among the leading contenders in the $250,000 Las Virgenes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Saturday.
Zayat Stables' Baroness Thatcher, running Saturday for the first time for trainer Patrick Biancone, took advantage of a stalking trip under Garrett Gomez to win the $108,200 Santa Ysabel (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park.
Mistical Plan, beaten favorite in Hollywood Park's Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) last month, can make amends in Saturday's $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita.
Runway Rosie goes for her third successive victory with the services of the country's leading money-winning jockey in Garrett Gomez when she faces her toughest career test in Sunday's $459,250 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
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