A combination of talent and home-field advantage helped Researcher produce a powerful victory in the inaugural Charles Town Classic at Charles Town Races & Slots the evening of April 18. And he vanquished a few grade I winners in the process.
In spite of being blocked on the final turn, Magical Fantasy scored an incredibly close victory in the $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) over hard-luck Black Mamba, who lost this race by the barest of margins for the second straight year at Santa Anita April 18.
The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training, which is the largest auction of the juvenile selling season, opens April 20 in Central Florida. There are 1,389 horses cataloged for the sale's four-day run.
A Pure Precision -- B. J. Telicus filly and a Dixie Union -- Duet gelding named General Staff were the fastest workers at a quarter mile April 18 during the fourth and final session of the under tack show for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida. They each covered the distance in :20 3/5.
Two jockeys suspended at Charles Town Races & Slots picked up mounts at the West Virginia track April 18 in the wake of a court order allowing them to access the grounds and to compete in races pending a hearing.
Front-running Mr Gruff won his stakes debut in style, turning back a brief challenge in the lane to win the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita April 18.
Mark Stanley's Swift Temper fought back along the inside in deep stretch to post a gutsy head victory over California shipper Santa Teresita in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) April 18 at Hawthorne Race Course.
Dancing Allstar, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly two years ago, won the first graded stakes race of the 2009 Woodbine season when she dictated the pace en route to a 1 3/4-length win in the $124,108 Whimsical Stakes (Can-III) April 18.
Six weeks ago, WinStar Farm looked as though it would be without a starter in the upcoming Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Now, the powerful outfit could have three, the final potential starter coming thanks to a eye-catching, last-to-first victory by Advice in the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) April 18 on the Keeneland Polytrack.
Some of the most accomplished jockeys in Thoroughbred racing participated in Riders Up!, a karaoke competition at Keeneland April 17 that raised more than $50,000 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. The event attracted a capacity crowd of some 500 people.
Even-money favorite Seattle Smooth took over coming off the turn and rolled to a dominating 5 3/4-length victory in a scratch-filled running of the $142,500 Bed o' Roses Handicap (gr. II) April 18 at Aqueduct.
Dunkirk, runner-up in the Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park March 28, worked a solid five furlongs in :59.9 April 18 at Palm Meadows.
Multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Western Pride sired the first winner from his debut crop when his 2-year-old filly Straight Western went gate-to-wire in a trial race April 17 at Turf Paradise.
Godolphin's pair of contenders for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Desert Party and Regal Ransom turned in sharp works April 18 in their first serious training at Churchill Downs, while Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Musket Man worked a strong six furlongs under Derby jockey Eibar Coa.
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Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Alto Racing, LLC
Jockey: Javier Castellano