Rendezvous, a 22-1 outsider, tagged favorite Battle of Hastings at the wire to win the $350,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) by a nose at the seaside track Sept. 6.
It keeps getting easier for the flashy sprinter Zensational, who cruised to his third consecutive grade I victory under Victor Espinoza in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Stakes at Del Mar Sept. 6.
The 4-year-old fillies Allicansayis Wow and Lethal Heat, second and third respectively against males in the Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) late last month, are back with their own sex in a contentious renewal of the Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) on closing day at Del Mar Sept. 9.
Gran Estreno, claimed twice for $20,000 this year, earned a starting berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) when he led all the way to win the $200,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Sept.5.
Odds-on choice Dixie Band remained undefeated in three starts when he won the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) by 1 3/4 lengths at Arlington Park Sept. 5.
Front-running Tribal Belle held off the hard-charging favorite Simply Splendid by a diminishing neck to register her first stakes score for sizzling trainer Terry Jordan in the $141,879 Seaway Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine Sept. 5.
Jockey Tyler Baze, in his first race since breaking the little finger on his left hand two weeks ago, guided heavily favored Carlsbad to a track-record victory in the Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar Sept. 4.
- By Jack Shinar
An auction scheduled Sept. 8 on properties owned by bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp. will not go forward after the company withdrew Santa Anita Park, Lone Star Park, and other assets from the bidding in court documents filed in U.S. bankruptcy court.
Lookin At Lucky, winner of the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II), will have to overcome the rail draw when he puts his unbeaten record on the line against eight juvenile rivals in the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) Sept. 7.
Old-timers Brass Hat, Silverfoot, and Rumor Has It figure to fight it out in the $125,000 Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 12 furlongs on Labor Day at Arlington Park Sept. 7.
Papa Clem faced plenty of hurdles during his Triple Crown campaign, and the road doesn't figure to get much easier when he makes his turf debut against a strong field in the $350,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Sept. 6.
Zensational, who has vaulted to the top of the national rankings for sprinters, goes for his third consecutive grade I win as the heavy favorite in the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Stakes at Del Mar Sept. 6.
Tribal Belle goes after her first stakes score in the $150,000 Seaway Stakes (Can-III) Sept. 5 at Woodbine.
Mi Sueno, who left odds-on choice Necessary Evil far behind when she captured the Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) one month ago, headlines a field of 10 2-year-old fillies in the $300,000 Darley Debutante Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar Sept. 5.
Regardless of how you slice it, the average on-track figures for the 2009 Del Mar meet continue to run ahead of last year as the 37-day stand heads into the final week of action.
Unbeaten She Be Wild, winner of the Top Flight Stakes and two-for-two in her career on the Arlington Park Polytrack, leads a field of nine entered for the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies Sept. 5.
Undefeated Dixie Band, winner of the Spectacular Bid Stakes last month and perfect in two starts on the Arlington Park Polytrack, heads a field of seven 2-year-olds entered for the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) Sept. 5.
Favored Icon Project, ridden by Julien Leparoux, demolished her rivals with a Rachel Alexandra-type performance Aug. 30 in the $400,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race course.
Spring House earned a repeat victory in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) when he came from far off the pace Aug. 30 to catch the outsider Sir Dave by an extremely short nose on the turf.
Luna Vega overcame Spritely in the homestretch to post a mild surprise in the $223,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 30 for her second win in as many starts on the Monmouth Park main track.
After a couple of close tries earlier this year, trainer Ben Cecil warned that Ferneley would win a big race before all was said and done. That day came Aug. 29 when the Irish-bred 5-year-old swept past his tiring rivals to score a 1 1/2-length win in the $238,000 Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT).
Favored Jungle Wave shook loose in upper stretch and held off Field Commission by three-quarters of a length in the $189,754 Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) on a "yielding" Woodbine turf Aug. 29, making him a major contender in next month's Woodbine Mile (Can-IT).
Capt. Candyman Can gained victory in the $300,000 NetJets King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 29 when the original winner Vineyard Haven was disqualified for drifting out into the path of his challenger in deep stretch on a "sloppy" Saratoga main track.
Salve Germania, the longest shot in the $200,000 Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT), charged down the center of the stretch to tag favored Rutherienne by a head at the wire on a soggy Saratoga Melon Turf Course Aug. 29.
A post-mortem report presented to the California Horse Racing Board Aug. 27 at Del Mar tends to support trainers who complain that synthetic tracks lead to more hind leg injuries.
Monterey Jazz gets back to his favorite distance and is reunited with former jockey David Flores for the $300,000 Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT) Aug. 29.
Trainer Sid Attard, tied for the top spot among trainers at the 2009 Woodbine meet, sends out a tough duo in the $200,000 Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) for turf sprinters at Woodbine Aug. 29.
Hard-charging Marchfield outfought a game Champs Elysees in a gritty stretch duel to register a half-length win in the $256,100 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) on the Woodbine lawn Aug. 23.
Greeley's Conquest opened a three-length lead in the stretch and held on to win the $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup on the night of Aug. 22 at the Oklahoma City track.
Internallyflawless, making her second start of the year for trainer Bob Baffert, took the lead into the stretch and held off challenges from heavy favorite Well Monied and outsider Nan to win the $350,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) on turf Aug. 22.
Tommy Danzigger, ridden by Pedro Alvarado, won the $300,000 Canadian Derby (Can-III) Aug. 22 in an 8-1 surprise at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta.
D' Funnybone, purchased privately one month ago by Paul Pompa Jr., provided an immediate return on the investment when he crushed his rivals in the $150,000 Saratoga Special (gr. II) at the Spa Aug. 20.
- By Jack Shinar
Whether it's the Osbournes or the Jon-Kate Eight, Americans love watching the real-life tension of personal relationships played out on their television screens. For jockeys Mike Smith and Chantal Sutherland, whose romantic affair was a primary focus during the first season of "Jockeys," it was enough to give them second thoughts about their involvement in the documentary series.
American Oaks (gr. IT) runner-up Well Monied heads a full field of 3-year-old fillies for the $350,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 22 on the turf at the seaside track.
Worstcasescenario enjoyed a best-case trip with jockey Alan Garcia to spring a 13-1 surprise in the $150,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 19.
Delaware shipper It Happened Again, making his first start for trainer Terry Jordan, is among the favorites for the $300,000 Canadian Derby (Can-III) Aug. 22 at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alberta.
Former California Horse Racing Board chairman Richard B. Shapiro pleaded "no contest" Aug. 18 to a misdemeanor charge of vandalism in connection with the "keying" of a vehicle owned by one of Shapiro's harshest critics during his time on the board.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux made it back-to-back grade I wins on a soggy Arlington Park turf course when he guided Dynaforce to victory in the $750,000 Beverly D. Aug. 8.
She's beaten most of them before, but undefeated Zenyatta won't be lonely in the starting gate when she defends her title in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar on Aug. 9.
Unusual Suspect, the second-longest shot on the board at 24-1, won a head-bobbing decision over Richard's Kid to capture the $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar and sew up a starting berth in the Breeders' Cup Marathon.
Recent grade I winner Zensational is the clear standout in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 8 at Del Mar in a field that was buoyed by the surprise addition of Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) victor Global Hunter.
European group winners Alnadana and Mad About You challenge top American-based runners Pure Clan, Black Mamba and others in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT).
Undefeated Cat Moves, who became a grade I winner in just her third start when she landed the Prioress at Belmont Park last month, is the one to beat in the $300,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 8.
Necessary Evil, who ran away from her four male rivals in last month's Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III), is back with her own sex for the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar Aug. 7.
Informed nosed pacesetter Mast Track to win the $250,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) Aug. 2 when 3-5 favorite Well Armed failed to fire in his first start since capturing the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March.
Rachel Alexandra turned in yet another dominating performance in a campaign for the ages when she captured the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park Aug. 2.
Coming out of a low-level maiden claiming win, Perfect Shower shocked the best 3-year-olds in Canada at 46-1 when he came from off the pace to score a three-quarters of a length win in the $467,020 Breeders' Stakes on the Woodbine turf Aug. 2.
Jockey Alan Garcia guided Justenuffhumor through heavy traffic in the stretch to win the $158,750 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) in the 4-year-old colt's stakes debut Aug. 2 at rainy Saratoga.
Trainer John Sadler's Zappa, a 6 1/4-length winner of the 2008 Cougar II Handicap, is back to defend his title against Mike Mitchell's top-weighted duo of Big Booster and Church Service in the $150,000 renewal of the 1 1/2-mile event Aug. 5.
Heading for a second appearance in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) this fall, the brilliant filly Goldikova showed that she is at the top of her game following a smashing repeat victory in the Prix Rothschild (Fr-I) at Deauville Aug 2.
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