Frontrunner Zakocity saved ground all the way during his trip around the 1 1/8-mile Aqueduct main track and won the 60th running of the $110,100 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on opening day Wednesday.
My Snookie's Boy, who spent most of the summer chasing Lion Heart in the Long Branch (gr. III) and Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth, returns after a freshening for Wednesday's $100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds, the season-opening stakes at Aqueduct.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has the strong entry of Value Plus and Forest Danger entered in Saturday's Riva Ridge Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park, but only one is expected to answer the call to post. A field of nine 3-year-old colts has been entered in the seven-furlong contest.
Under a steady rain, top Kentucky Derby prospect Birdstone never got going in Saturday's $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), clunking home fifth as 16-1 frontrunner Sinister G scored a major surprise at Turfway Park.
In February, it looked as if Fort Calder was about to unleash the most potent corps of Kentucky Derby contenders ever assembled there. But most of the big names are gone, and it's now down to a pair of unlikely heroes to carry on the Calder name on this year's Triple Crown trail.
On paper, The 33rd running of the Grade II, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes looks like a one horse race. You guessed it, Birdstone, the even money morning line favorite.
Here we are a week into March and the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) picture is still pretty muddled, with many of the leading contenders either lightly raced and lightly tested this year or uncertain to get the mile and a quarter. But at least the San Rafael (gr. II) and Louisiana Derby (gr. II) provided some stimulating performances.
A field of 11, including shippers from Florida and California, was entered for Sunday's $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), with the William S. Farish entry of Gradepoint and Breakaway heading a strong local contingent.
Frisky Spider, an up-and-coming colt on the 3-year-old South Florida trail, remained undefeated in three starts with a conditioned allowance victory Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
The Irish-bred Macaw, often second in major stakes, tries to get back on the winning track at Gulfstream Park Sunday. He heads a field of 13 older horses in the $100,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 3/8 mile on the turf. In an allowance race on the card, promising 3-year-old Stolen Time takes on Frisky Spider.
In a battle of unbeaten 2-year-old colts, Sir Oscar edged heavily-favored Wynn Dot Comma by a length in Saturdya's $150,000 Jack Price Juvenile at Calder.
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