The Pamplemousse, one of the early favorites for the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been retired from racing and will stand in 2011 at Tom and Nancy Clark's Rancho San Miguel near San Miguel, Calif.
Trainer Julio Canani insists he doesn't have Derby fever yet. But after the way his The Pamplemousse glided to victory as the 1-2 choice in the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Feb. 28, that's going to be more difficult to believe as time marches on toward the first Saturday in May.
Reliable Daytona earned his third consecutive major victory in Southern California with a front-running effort in Santa Anita's $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the grass Dec. 30.
Front-running Daytona wasn't supposed to be able to take the field all the way in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Derby, but nobody told jockey Mike Smith. They controlled the pace to win the $500,000 turf test for 3-year-olds, defeating Medici Code by a half-length at Hollywood Park Nov. 25.
The improving Daytona put it all together for trainer Dan Hendricks on the Santa Anita turf course Oct. 13, kicking clear of the field in upper stretch to register an easy 4 1/4-length win in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT).
Magnificience, a long-striding 3-year-old filly trained by Bruce Headley, flashed just a peek of what might be expected from her when she streaked to a five-length win in the $100,597 Santa Paula (gr. III) in stakes-record time at Santa Anita Sunday.
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