The addition of blinkers and a dawdling pace may have helped, but in any event the consistent 3-year-old Red Giant colt Surgical Strike finally broke through for his first grade stakes victory May 28 at Arlington International Racecourse.
Race Day, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) and Razorback Handicap (gr. III) in consecutive graded scores, is the 123-pound highweight for the $150,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) July 5 at Monmouth Park.
Honor Code turned on the afterburners and flew home June 6 in the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park, with last year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist getting up for second.
Kaleem Shah's Bayern, last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner, will make his 4-year-old debut in the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) undercard May 2.
Lea left no doubts he's back, posting an impressive 1/2-length victory over Confrontation to take the $150,000 Hal's Hope Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 10. It was his second Hal's Hope score.
After flying through a half mile in :44.80, Goldencents dug deep to hold off a determined Tapiture in the stretch to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I), successfully defending his 2013 win in the race.