Juddmonte Farms' First Defence punched his ticket for the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Saturday, leading every step to win the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds by 2 1/4 lengths at Monmouth Park.
Juddmonte Farms homebred First Defence, a late-developing 3-year-old who was not ready for this year's Triple Crown events, steps it up Saturday for trainer Bobby Frankel in the $150,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup, Monmouth's local prep for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 5.
Circle Z Stables' Xchanger opened up by eight lengths and cruised to victory in the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes for 3-year-olds, while odds-on favorite Etude had nothing to offer when asked and finished off the board.
Fitzhugh LLC's Etude, winner of the Private Terms at Laurel Park last month, looms as the one to beat in Saturday's $125,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds at Pimlico Race Course.
Trainer Richard Small has an emerging star in Etude, who galloped away to a 5 3/4-length victory in the $72,000 Private Terms Stakes for 3-year-olds at Laurel Park Saturday.
With a case to be made for most of the 10 colts or geldings entered in Saturday's $100,000 Private Terms Stakes for 3-year-olds at Laurel Park, it won't be easy for fans to separate the field for the one-mile test.
Crafty Bear, the longest shot in a four-horse field, motored up the rail and won $50,900 Miracle Wood Stakes for 3-year-olds Saturday afternoon at Laurel Park.
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