Even-money favorite Rockport Harbor, making his first start in more than nine months, put away the challenge of Cougar Cat in the final eighth of a mile to post his first win since 2004 in the $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
Greater Good and Rockport Harbor, who provided the most exciting finish of the 2005 Oaklawn meet in the Rebel Stakes (gr. III), square off again at the Arkansas track Saturday in the $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III).
A balanced field of eight, half of them graded stakes winners, was entered for Saturday's 81st running of the $400,000-added grade II New Orleans Handicap, the marquee race of the Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Mr. Trieste won his eighth straight race when he pulled away from four rivals to post a four-length win in the $106,000 Zia Park Distance Championship to highlight closing day of the inaugural season Sunday at the Hobbs, N.M. track.
Even-money choice Shaniko, given a confident hand ride by Rafael Bejarano, disposed of pacesetter Ball Four approaching the furlong pole and drew off to a commanding 4 1/2-length victory in the $342,500 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Saturday.
William Slevin's 4-year-old colt Lord of the Game pounded home to win Saturday's $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) by a head over three tightly-bunched finishers,.
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