Jockey Edgar Prado had a hunch and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. let him play it as Rebel Rebel came from well off the pace to score a 2 1/4-length win in the $110,900 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds.
Remarkable News, a 4-year-old Venezuelan-bred trained by Angel Penna Jr., seeks his second stakes win in the $100,000 Poker Handicap (gr. III) Sunday on the turf at Belmont Park.
Comebacking Sky Conqueror is one of seven locals who will defend the E.P. Taylor Turf Course against two American invaders in Sunday's $150,000 Connaught Cup (Can-III), the first turf stakes race of the season at Woodbine.
Multiple graded stakes winner Artie Schiller tunes up for a return trip to the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) when he faces a deep field of American-based turf horses in the $350,000 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at one mile on the Belmont Park turf Sunday.
With Richard Migliore back aboard Artie Schiller, trainer James Jerkens is hoping that a familiar rider will bring familiar results in Monday's $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Saratoga grass course.
Argentine-bred Mr. Light found a lightning pace to his liking in Sunday's $100,000-added Poker Handicap, sweeping past the field in mid-stretch and holding off the late closer Willard Straight on the Belmont Park Widener turf course.
In the Texas Hold 'Em style of poker, what is referred to as the "turn" is the next-to-last community card dealt to the table. For Willard Straight, the turn of Sunday's, $100,000 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) at one mile on the Belmont Park turf, is where he will begin his closing run.
John Velazquez rode three winners Friday, including two for leading trainer Todd Pletcher, to break the single-season jockey victory total at Saratoga Race Course that he set last year.
Team Block's Mystery Giver is the 120-pound highweight in a wide-open field of ten turf specialists entered in the $500,000 Mervin G. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds Sunday.
Todd Pletcher, the second-leading trainer in the nation with $11.5 million in purse earnings, seeks further riches in the two biggest races of the Hollywood Park Turf Festival next weekend.
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