Mr. Nightlinger, one of the better turf sprinters in the country, overcame a wide starting berth under Jamie Theriot to post a 1 1/2-length win in the $98,500 Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico May 15.
The biggest head-scratcher of the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships could well be the inaugural running of the $1-million Turf Sprint Oct. 25.
The wire got there just in time for True to Tradition, who nosed 52-1 shot Rouse the Cat for victory in the Nearctic Stakes (Can-II), a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race on the Woodbine turf Oct. 4.
Heros Reward, winner of last year's Nearctic (Can-II), returns to defend his title in the $500,000 event on the Woodbine lawn as part of the stakes program on Pattison Canadian International Day Oct. 4. In addition, eight 2-year-olds are to line up for the $300,000 Summer Stakes (Can-III) at one mile, with a berth in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on the line.
Anak Nakal, rallying from far back for jockey Joe Bravo, got up in the final strides to defeat Acai in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park Sept. 1.
First Defence made his initial effort on grass a winning one for trainer Bobby Frankel and became a graded stakes winner in the process, just holding on by a head to capture the $162,966 Jaipur (gr. III) on Belmont Park's yielding course June 15.
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