Squirtle Squirt set scorching early fractions but was overtaken by Early Flyer in deep stretch in Monday's $108,600 Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park. Under Chris McCarron, Ron McAnally-trained Early Flyer completed the seven furlongs in 1:20.42 on a fast track to earn his first win since February's San Vicente Stakes (gr. II).
Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye completed a sweep of the two stakes races at Santa Anita Sunday when he piloted 9-10 favorite Go Go to a two-length win in the $109,500 Las Cienegas (gr. IIIT). Earlier on the card, the veteran rider guided 3-year-old Trailthefox to a one-length win as the 3-5 favorite in the $105,800 Zany Tactics Stakes.
Crafty C.T. and Early Flyer, possible entrants for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April seventh, put in works over the main track at Santa Anita on Saturday.
For a million-dollar purse, and with no clear-cut favorite, it's no surprise that 13 horses passed the entry box for Saturday's grade I Florida Derby. The likely choices will be Songandaprayer, Monarchos, and Outofthebox. The only real surprises in the field are California invader Trailthefox, last year's Arlington-Washington Futurity winner who was supposed to stay in sprint races, and the Nick Zito-trained It's So Simple, an impressive allowance winner at the meet whom Zito called "the best kept secret on the backstretch."
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) longshot Trailthefox will race for a new ownership group on Saturday after Dr. Thomas Liang of Hong Kong and partners bought controlling interest in the California-bred son of the first-crop sire Foxtrail.
Trailthefox earned a 1 1/4-length win over Starbury in the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. II) Saturday at Arlington International. The pair ran away from the field of 2-year-olds through the stretch as Starbury came home 7 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Blame It On Ruby.
Spectacular Bid Stakes winner Spectacular Cat adds Lasix for his first race at a distance of over six furlongs and has been installed as the 4-1 morning-line second choice for the $150,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. II) Saturday at Arlington International. The one-turn one-mile race features a field of 12 2-year-olds.
Gary M. Garber's Flame Thrower contested the early pace while four wide on the backstretch before displaying a burst of speed into the turn en route to a 2 3/4-length victory over fellow 2-year-olds in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes Wednesday at Del Mar.
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