John Placzankis, 41, tossed a perfect ringer and won first prize of $1 million in Santa Anita's annual St. Patrick's Day Horseshoe Pitch contest following the seventh race.
Looking for a new favorite for the Derby after the disappointing efforts by 3-year-old stars War Pass and Z Fortune? Why not Georgie Boy? A grade I winner at 2, the favored California-bred son of Tribal Rule used a late burst to pass Gayego in deep stretch and win the $200,000 San Felipe (gr. II) in his first try around two turns March 15 at Santa Anita.
California-bred Sierra Sunset threw his name smack into the middle of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) mix March 15 at Oaklawn Park, dominating eight rivals to win by three lengths in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II).
Trainer Barclay Tagg had prophetic words of wisdom for jockey Eibar Coa before he sent Eric Fein's Big Truck to the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III). He told Coa to ride for second, remarking that they'd win if 1-9 favorite War Pass did not. And that's exactly what happened.
Gottcha Gold often likes to set the pace, but the Centaur Farms Florida homebred stalked his way straight to the winner's circle March 15 in the $150,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Favorites Tribesman and Vicarino dueled each other into submission in the $100,000 Bay Meadows Sprint (gr. III), allowing the late-running Bonfante to earn an easy 4 1/2-length win for trainer Ron McAnally March 15 in San Mateo, Calif.
Aurora Springs Stable's Awesome Chic used a perfect ground-saving trip under Irwin Rosendo, took over at the top of the stretch, and drew away to win the $200,000 Florida Oaks (gr. III) by 4 1/2 commanding lengths March 15 at Tampa Bay Downs.
A Full Mandate filly turned in the fastest quarter mile work Saturday during the last under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. (OBS) select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida.
Wayne Catalano met with some resistance when he told owner Frank Calabrese that he wanted to run Kentucky homebred Dreaming of Anna in the $175,000 Hillsborough Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Tampa Bay Downs. But the 4-year-old filly proved that her trainer knew best when she rolled to a 6 3/4-length victory over Tampa's yielding turf March 15.
Portland Meadows, which concluded its 2007-08 live meet on March 11, reported a 22.3% increase in gross handle from all sources compared to a year ago.
Carolyn's Cat won the expected early speed duel from Dill Or No Dill and then never looked back, going wire-to-wire for a 3 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) March 15 on the inner dirt course at Aqueduct.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez set a single-season record for wins on Aqueduct's inner track when he rode Winning Move Stable's Oedipus O'Neal to victory for trainer Gary Contessa in the fourth race on Aqueduct's March 15 card.
Horses held up in Australia because of equine influenza are sold in Hong Kong at another blockbuster sale in that country.
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