Champion sprinter Kona Gold is all set to begin his new career on Monday when he's being shipped to a Southern California farm where he'll train as a rodeo horse and prepare for his future duties as a stable pony, trainer Bruce Headley said.
Preparing Kona Gold for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) is old hat for Bruce Headley, who is preparing the 8-year-old for his fifth run at the Sprint.
A field of eight has entered Sunday's $150,000 San Carlos Handicap for older horses sprinting seven furlongs. The San Carlos has been upgraded to grade I status by the graded stakes committee for 2001. Kona Gold will carry high weight of 125 pounds, spotting the field from 11 to 14 pounds and will break from outside post No. 8 under regular rider Alex Solis.
While Kona Gold rightfully deserves the majority of the attention in the sprint division following his Eclipse Award-winning season in 2000, it's stablemate Son of a Pistol who will be defending his crown in the 63rd running of the grade I San Carlos Handicap Sunday.
Freespool set quick fractions en route to winning the $108,700 El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) by 1 1/2 lengths Sunday at Santa Anita. Under jockey Chris McCarron, Freespool completed the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.50 on a fast track. McCarron and Freespool teamed to win the last running of the El Conejo, Jan. 2, making this the second time in 2000 the two have won the race.
On the anniversary of breaking Bill Shoemaker's all time record of 8,833 wins, Laffit Pincay Jr. won on his only mount of the day, a three-length triumph aboard Men's Exclusive in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III), Sunday at Hollywood Park.
In his first race since May of 1999, 1998 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Reraise led at every call to win an allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths Sunday at Hollywood Park.
1998 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Reraise returns from an 18-month layoff to run in a six-furlong allowance race Sunday at Hollywood Park. The Craig Dollase-trained 5-year-old gelding has won seven of eight career starts and will be ridden by Corey Nakatnai.
Under jockey Corey Nakatani, 8-5 favorite Love That Red used an inside stalking trip to win the $150,000 Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II) Sunday at Del Mar.
Last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) second-place finisher Kona Gold returns to the races after a 3 1/2 month freshening in the $200,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Del Mar.
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