Direct Line, battling West Hope all the way around, got up by a nose at the wire to win the $100,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) in an 11-1 surprise at Ellis Park Aug. 14.
Cosmonaut, the longest shot in the five-horse Golden Gate Fields Handicap, launched a huge bid on the far turn and drew away to an easy 4 1/4-length win in the off-the-turf stakes race worth $150,000 at the Albany, Calif., track Saturday.
Gary Tanaka's grade I winner Passinetti is back in training after a second lengthy layoff and the 9-year-old gelding is less than two weeks away from racing, according to trainer Ben Cecil.
Irish-bred Hoh Buzzard gained command in the stretch of the $100,000 Brown Bess Handicap, repelling a late challenge from Uraib to win the closing-day feature by 1 1/4 lengths on the grass at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
Michael Tabor's Zavata, a graded stakes winner last year who finished last in his first try as a 3-year-old, was all business Thursday at Monmouth Park as he outgamed Rockin on Ready to win the $41,000 allowance feature by a length.
Jockey Tony Farina, who rode Brancusi, was upset with criticism leveled at him after a foul claim by jockey Kent Desormeaux, aboard Crowned Dancer in Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
When Harlan's Holiday won last year's Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) in a time of 1:51.51, it was the slowest winning time in the 1 1/8-mile race since Granacus (1:52) beat Intensive Command by three lengths in 1988. On Saturday, Peace Rules creeped home slower than Harlan's Holiday, finishing the key Kentucky Derby prep race in 1:51.73 on the fast track.
Michael Tabor's Blue Grass Stakes bound Brancusi, a strong third in the March 16 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), had his first work since then on Wednesday morning. He went six furlongs in 1:12 3/5 handily over Santa Anita's fast main track.
Grade III winner Mayakovsky had his first official workout of 2003 Wednesday, logging five furlongs in :59 4/5 handily at Santa Anita under Tony Farina.
Michael Tabor's Brancusi was put through his final preparations for next Sunday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) with a bullet seven-furlong work in 1:27 2/5 handily over Santa Anita's fast main track Saturday morning.
Laffit Pincay Jr., who was involved in a spill during Saturday's fifth race at Santa Anita, was off all his mounts on Sunday because of lingering soreness, but is expected to be back in the irons on Wednesday, where he is named to ride five horses.
Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., who was involved in a spill during Saturday's 5th race at Santa Anita, suffered facial abrasions and body soreness, but was reported otherwise uninjured. The 56-year-old Pincay took off the remainder of his mounts on the day, but is expected to be back in the saddle on Sunday.
Whywhywhy, prepping for the Feb. 15 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita's fast track Sunday morning in a bullet :59.40, fastest of 22 drills at the distance.
Whywhywhy, 10th as the 5-2 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), had his first breeze Friday morning at Santa Anita since that Oct. 26 race at Arlington Park.
Mayakovsky, a strapping dark bay or brown son of Matty G, raced to a front-running one-length victory in a one-mile turf race at Santa Anita Thursday. After the race, trainer Patrick Biancone proclaimed the Florida-bred 4-year-old on course for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.
Not the least disheartened by Mayakovsky's ninth-place finish in the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita on opening day, trainer Patrick Biancone says the 4-year-old Florida-bred is ready to go as he prepares for the $1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Classic at 1 1/8 miles in the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.
Fabien Ouaki & Patrick Biancone's Whywhywhy and Michael Tabor's Zavata, a pair of 2-year-old colts being pointed for the $1 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by the French-born but internationally renowned trainer Biancone, both breezed five furlongs Thursday morning at Arlington Park.
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