Trainer Bill Mott's team swooped into Southern California with Ron the Greek to snare the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in convincing style March 3.
Former claimer Willyconker became a grade I winner when he outlasted odds-on choice Mr. Commons in a thrilling finish to the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) at odds of 10-1 March 3 on the Santa Anita turf course.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby rolled through another fast workout the morning of March 3 at Oaklawn as the 3-year-old daughter of Smoke Glacken prepares for the March 11 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III).
Eden's Moon took a major step toward the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) when she drew away from 6-5 favorite Reneesgotzip in the homestretch to take the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) in her stakes debut March 3 at Santa Anita.
After a long stretch duel and a fortuitous head-bob at the wire, State of Play prevailed in the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes March 3 at Turfway Park.
Kelly Breen indicated early in the week that Pants On Fire was more than ready for his first start since late July, and the 4-year-old colt confirmed that March 3 at Gulfstream Park when winning by more than four lengths.
The champion son of Tapit relaxed in the early going before using his brilliant speed en route to a convincing three-length victory in the $400,000 Gotham (gr. III) March 3 at Aqueduct.
Doubles Partner showed little effect from a 10-month layoff when he charged home late to register a three-quarters of a length victory in the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 3 on the Gulfstream Park turf.
Calibrachoa took over from the pacesetters in the stretch and held off a late run from Caleb's Posse to win the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. III) by a neck March 3.
A rare "no contest" was declared after Santa Anita's third race March 3 when the starting gate malfunctioned and only three of the seven horses came out of the gate properly.
The synergy of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) weekend coupled with the kick-off of the national schedule of 2-year-old auctions positions the Barretts March sale well for a good showing.
Godolphin Racing's two-time grade I winner It's Tricky made her season debut successful in the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) when she took over from pacesetter Love and Pride at the top of the lane and cruised to victory.
A bill that would allow California racetracks and simulcast wagering facilities to conduct betting on professional and collegiate sporting events has been introduced in the state legislature.
Union Rags attracted strong support during first of three days of betting in the second pool of Churchill Downs' 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, but the mutuel field ended the day as a narrow favorite March 2.
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