Spook Express, second in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf last month, was euthanized Sunday after falling near the finish line in the Matriarch at Hollywood Park.
Jockey John Velazquez's hot streak continued on the West Coast Sunday, when he picked up his fifth graded stakes win in succession aboard Starine in the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Spook Express, the probable favorite for the $500,000 Matriarch next Sunday, worked an easy half mile on the Hollywood Park turf course in :50.60 under regular rider Mike Smith.
Spook Express, with Mike Smith up, charged from the back of the pack to win the $500,000 Winstar Galaxy Stakes for older fillies and mares that was co-feature on Keeneland's opening day card.
England's Legend, fully recovered from a splint problem, beat Gaviola by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday in the $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
Gaviola has seen her share of bad luck in her past few outings, but the 4-year-old daughter of Cozzene is looking to change that in Saturday's $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Like any worthwhile Broadway production, the 2001 version of "Perfect Sting: The Sequel" took its show on the road for tune-ups on April 14 in an effort to iron out any kinks in the act before hitting the Great White Way. And, somewhat to the surprise of the show's director -- trainer Joe Orseno -- the kinks were few.
Stronach Stables 2000 Eclipse champion turf mare Perfect Sting will make her first start of the year in the $200,000 Black Helen Handicap (gr. IIT) Saturday at Hialeah Park. A field of 10 fillies and mares will contest the 1 1/16 mile event.
Spook Express rallied from last place to overtake pacesetter Gaviola in the deep stretch, winning the $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length Sunday at Gulfstream Park. The win was the second straight graded stakes win for the 1998 South African champion.
South African champion Spook Express closed from 11th-place in the 12-horse field to win Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), catching pacesetter Please Sign In near the wire of the one-mile turf race. Under jockey Mike Smith, the Thomas Skiffington-trained mare completed the Gulfstream Park feature in 1:35.60 on a firm course.
Jockey Jorge Chavez won the $112,500 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) for the second straight year, riding front-running Wild Heart Dancing to a half-length victory Sunday at Aqueduct. Chavez won the Athenia last year aboard Antoniette.
Hall of Fame trainer Philip Johnson will saddle two fillies in the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Belmont Park, including Storm Dream, the lone 3-year-old in the field.
Boiling Spring Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Storm Dream and Fictitious, winner of the De La Rose Handicap (gr. IIIT), head the six horses listed as probable for the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT). The one-mile turf race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up will be run Saturday at Belmont Park.
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