In his first start since running second in the 2006 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), Anstu Stables' Friendly Island proved far too good for his three rivals in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Saturday.
Friendly Island makes his Santa Anita debut Saturday in his first start since finishing second in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), heading a small field of four in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs.
Unbeaten After Market, showing some greenness while making his stakes debut in his third start, collared Carnera in mid-stretch Sunday and went on to victory in the $107,400 Lexington (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on Belmont Park's firm inner turf course.
After Market, bred by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod from their dual grade I winner Tranquility Lake, makes his stakes debut in the $100,000-added Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Belmont Park inner turf course Sunday.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin packs a solid one-two punch in Spider Power and Carnera, part of a puzzler that kicks off Belmont Park's big stakes weekend on Friday in the $100,000 Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) on the turf.
Neil Pessin is from Lexington and has stabled at Keeneland for years. On the opening day of the spring meeting Friday, his Chin High pulled a major upset in the $150,000 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds.
To Sender, unbeaten in his two starts in this country for leading trainer Bobby Frankel, should be favored Friday in the opening day feature at Keeneland.
Trainer Bob Baffert's Da Stoops, winner of his last two stakes races by a combined 16 ¼ lengths, is expected to be a prohibitive favorite in the Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Saturday on the Santa Anita Park turf.
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