Irish-bred Ashkal Way, a winner of five of six starts in the U.S., makes his Hollywood Park debut Friday in the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IT) to kick off the 15th Turf Festival.
With Corey Nakatani aboard for the first time, Place Cowboy emerged from a stretch-long duel with Unfurl the Flag as a one-half length winner of Oak Tree's $69,100 War Chant Stakes Monday at one mile on turf at Santa Anita.
The majority of the American challengers for next Saturday's Dubai World Cup meeting had their first look at the Nad Al Sheba track on Saturday morning, led by Fred Bradley's World Cup (UAE-I) hope, Brass Hat.
The 8-year-old gelding The Tin Man showed plenty of heart in Sunday's San Marcos (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park, registering his first stakes victory in nearly three years.
Irish-bred Whilly, who provided 40-year-old journeyman jockey Felipe Martinez with his first graded stakes victory in last year's San Marcos (gr. IIT), will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the 1 1/4-mile event over Santa Anita's turf course on Sunday.
Triple B Farms' Whilly, who won a pair of grade II races in front-running fashion in 2005 for trainer Doug O'Neill and jockey Felipe Martinez, can start the new year in the same way in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita Park grass Sunday.
Stevie Wonderboy, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29, will be back on the Hollywood Park track next week, trainer Doug O'Neill said Friday.
Favored Fourty Niners Son, who has pounced on the American grass handicap division with passion this summer, scored his first graded stakes victory in Sunday's $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.
Trainer Mike Mitchell still gets emotional when he speaks of Leprechaun Kid, who runs in Sunday's Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at 1 ¼ miles. The gray gelding reminds Mitchell of his best claim, Star Over The Bay, a horse that became a multiple stakes winner after being claimed for $80,000. Unfortunately, Star Over The Bay was euthanized after being injured racing in Singapore.
A trio of runners trained by Laura de Seroux will challenge Del Mar stakes winner Tsigane to highlight a field of 10 Sunday in the $350,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at a mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The Arlington Million (gr. IT) Saturday at Arlington Park could easily be mistaken for an all-star game, with group and graded stakes-caliber runners filling every post and Kitten's Joy and European shipper Powerscourt highlighting the field.
One year ago trainer Dale Romans saddled 3-year-old Kitten's Joy to an impressive 3 1/4-length win in the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park. This year the Kentucky-based trainer hopes to return to the winner's circle when the son of El Prado takes the gate for the Aug. 13 Arlington Million (gr. IT).
The pacesetter Whilly refused to give in when headed in the stretch by favorite King of Happiness and outlasted his rival to win the $250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday.
King of Happiness, who lost the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) a month ago by one-half length to Castledale, has been accorded 9-5 favoritism among nine entrants in the $250,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park turf Sunday.
An impressive stretch burst made Castledale a grade I winner on the turf when he captured the $369,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Monday at Hollywood Park.
Trainer Julio Canani, who has dominated the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) the last six years, seeks his fourth victory in the $350,000 turf test at Hollywood Park on Monday when he saddles veteran Special Ring.
They always say that the best place to be when there is a slow pace is at the front. Elvstroem's win in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) over nine furlongs on grass Saturday at Nad Al Sheba was the perfect illustration.
Crafty rider Felipe Martinez milked an easy lead with Irish-bred Whilly and had just enough left to hold off Puppeteer in the $150,000 San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/4 miles on the Santa Anita Park turf Saturday.
Eight evenly-matched older turf specialists are set to go postward in Saturday's San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Made the favorite in his turf debut Sunday at Santa Anita Park, 2003 juvenile champion Action This Day failed to fire while finishing ninth. In other stakes on opening day of the winter meeting, Whilly prevailed in the $112,700 Sir Beaufort Stakes and Uncle Denny took the $138,625 California Breeders' Champion Stakes.
Laura's Lucky Boy, who has lost three in a row since winning the Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park in May, is part of a contentious field in Sunday's $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
Peter Angelos' undefeated Greek Sun, ridden by Alex Solis, swept past 3-5 favorite Laura's Lucky Boy with a sixteenth of a mile to go on his way to a powerful two-length triumph in the $153,450 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Laura's Lucky Boy, a four-length winner of last month's Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) in stakes record time, will seek his fourth straight victory on Saturday in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Rome-based Groom Tesse kicked away from the field in the final furlong to register a 2 1/2-length victory over German stayer Dayano in Sunday's Derby Italiano (Ity-I) at the Campannelle.
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