Articles posted May 26, 2012

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Wilkinson upsets American; Mr. Commons second

In his first California start for new trainer Jeff Mullins, Wilkinson scored a 44-1 upset in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 American Handicap at Hollywood Park. The four-year-old colt stalked a couple of lengths off the early leaders, advanced to challenge on the far turn and then surged to a clear lead in midstretch. Mr. Commons, the overwhelming 3-5 favorite, came charging late from far off the pace in the final furlongs to grab second while never seriously threatening the winner, who cruised to a comfortable 1 1/4-length decision under the wire.

Upperline scores in Arlington Matron

Stone Farm, John H. Adger, Oakcrest Farm and trainer Michael Stidham's Upperline was content to stalk the early pace set by Hooh Why in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington Matron over the Polytrack at Arlington Park, but asserted her authority in the lane to take over and draw off for a four-length win. Jockey James Graham had piloting duties aboard the Maria's Mon mare, and the duo completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 3/5 to return $5.80, $3.80 and $2.60.

Simmard shows class in Louisville 'Cap

Mowed down after taking a lead in his prior two starts, the seven-year-old Simmard hit the front three furlongs from home in Saturday's Grade 3, $115,200 Louisville Handicap on the Churchill Downs turf, but did not relinquish control this time. Under Gabriel Saez, the veteran held off a late charge from Joinem to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a time of 2:27, the fastest edition of the Louisville Handicap since the race was extended to 1 1/2 miles in 2007.

Grit and Grace has big shoes to fill

Trainer Gary Hartlage knew On Fire Baby was special from the moment last spring when she walked off the van into his Churchill Downs barn. The gray daughter of Smoke Glacken validated that early opinion later in the year with wins in the Pocahontas and Golden Rod, both Grade 2s, at Churchill Downs and a victory this spring in the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park.

Homecoming Queen looking for second Guineas crown

She may not have been an obvious leading lady a few weeks ago, but Homecoming Queen put herself firmly in the spotlight with a sensational victory at Newmarket in the Group 1 English One Thousand Guineas and is poised to complete the double in Sunday's Group 1 Irish One Thousand Guineas at The Curragh.

Kailani supplemented to Oaks

The Mahmood al Zarooni-trained Kailani was supplemented to the Group 1 Oaks at a cost of £20,000, making 14 three-year-old fillies still eligible to contest Friday's classic at Epsom Downs. Kailani is out of the 2002 Oaks heroine Kazzia and like her dam is owned by Godolphin, which has also enjoyed Oaks success with Balanchine (1994) and Moonshell (1995).

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