Shortleaf Stable's Benner Island, a 3-year-old daughter of Speightstown, holds off the late surge of Union Strike to win the Eight Belles Stakes (G2) May 5 at Churchill Downs. She covers the trip in 1:24.28.
The undercard for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 5 at Churchill Downs drew 14 sophomore fillies sprinting seven furlongs in the Eight Belles, named for the last filly to compete in the Kentucky Derby.
What may have looked like a prep race on paper for Ruis Racing's Union Strike turned into an easy victory for the Union Rags filly April 9 in the $75,000 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Back to serious training in 2017, the only horse to beat Unique Bella will make her return to racing April 9 in the $75,000 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita.
Clearsky Farms' Abel Tasman continued her upward trajectory with an upset victory in the $300,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 10 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Two high-quality horses who had less-than-ideal trips during the Nov. 5 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) will return to the track Dec. 10 in the $300,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) at Los Alamitos Race Course.
As the barn areas at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland were abuzz over the excitement on display Santa Anita during the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships, results of some races also impcated the upcoming November sales.
Champagne Room rewarded her backers handsomely, running back to her Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) form and winning the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filles (gr. I) to kick off the Nov. 5 World Championships card at Santa Anita Park.
As the deluge of workers lined up, eagerly awaiting the second training session to begin near the top of the Santa Anita stretch, trainer John Shirreffs held back Jerry and Ann Moss' Gormley for a few minutes to let the track clear.
Craig Dollase, who recently received 19 horses from Mick Ruis, worked one of them Oct. 15 at Santa Anita Park: Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) winner Union Strike. Grade I winner Melatonin was also on the tab.
Union Strike became freshman sire Union Rags' first graded stakes winner at the highest level in the Sept. 3 Debutante Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar. American Cleopatra, a full sister to American Pharoah, was second. The final time was 1:23.22.
Champagne Room broke her maiden in the grade II Sorrento by 1 1/4 lengths and now heads a field of the most impressive fillies from Del Mar's loaded 2-year-old summer slate in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I).
Trainer Steve Asmussen tied his own North American record for 555 wins by a trainer in a calendar year when Padua Stables' Union Strike won a Nov. 22 maiden event on turf at Fair Grounds. Asmussen also won 555 races in 2004.
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