Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga yearling sale is on pace to break last year's all-time record average price of $305,847, defying the conventional wisdom that many observers took into this year's start of the yearling sale season in July. Wednesday's numbers were up 70% from the second night session's gross in 2000, the average was up 56%, and the median 29%.
Turf distaff star Tranquility Lake glided over the main track at Del Mar Sunday to win the $294,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) by three lengths, continuing a stellar weekend for owners Mr. and Mrs. Martin J. Wygod.
The quantity is low but the quality is high for Sunday's grade II, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's main track.
This week's two graded stakes for female runners at Del Mar are expected to draw quality over quantity.
Secret Status, winner of the 2000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), heads a long list of nominees to the July 22 $600,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares. The Del 'Cap will be run across 10 furlongs and headlines the Del 'Cap Festival that includes the grade III Kent Breeders' Cup and the grade III Delaware Oaks.
Secret Status and Saudi Poetry will continue their rivalry in Saturday's 27th running of the $300,000-added, Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. The pair last tangled in the grade II Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap on Kentucky Oaks Day 2001, where Saudi Poetry pulled the upset and Secret Status finished two lengths back in sixth.
Secret Status won the Kentucky Oaks a year ago. This year on Kentucky Oaks Day, she ran out as the 4-to-5 favorite in the $250,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup (gr. II). The winner in a photo was the Bob Baffert-trained Saudi Poetry over a fast closing Royal Fair.
Overbrook Farm's Surfside worked six furlongs from the gate at Churchill Downs on Thursday in company with WHAS-11 Stakes winner Unbridled Time. Surfside's 3/4-sister Sanibel Island also worked at Churchill on Thursday.
Gary Seidler's 3-year-old Cal-bred filly Queenie Belle pressed the early pace and pulled away to a two-length win in the $150,000 Princess Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park.
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