If Bing Crosby had been around to see champion sprinter Amazombie line up in
the race run in his honor Sunday at Del Mar, he might have crooned a few bars of
"Just One More Chance." Only third in last year's running of the Grade 1 dash,
the Bill Spawr charge took a different path this time, and made the most of his
second chance in the $300,000 renewal of the
Crosby. Amazombie capitalized on a speed duel that softened up even-money
favorite The Factor, and ran him down late to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths.
Bouncing back from a heart-breaking loss in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) last month, Paynter romped to victory in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) July 29 at Monmouth Park for trainer Bob Baffert.
Sprint champion Amazombie returned to his best form in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I), sitting just off a hot pace and coming to get the leaders in deep stretch to win going away on the Polytrack at Del Mar July 29.
Patricia Generazio's Tune Me In pulled off a massive upset Sunday in the
Grade 3, $152,500
Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth Park, holding off rivals Queen'splatekitten and
Get Serious to score his first stakes victory by a half-length as the 25-1
longest shot on the board.
Zayat Stables' Paynter romped to a 3 3/4-length triumph over Nonios in
Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million
Invitational, furthering Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's stranglehold on
Monmouth Park's signature race. Baffert, who already owned the record, has now
sent out an unprecedented sixth Haskell winner, and his third in a row.
Richard Santulli's Laughing scored her first graded coup in front-running
fashion in Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000
Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park. Under a heady ride by the on-fire Rafael
Bejarano, the half-sister to former Hong Kong superstar Viva Pataca enhanced her
broodmare value, and earned a visit to a Taylor Made stallion.
Team Forster's Brushed by a Star took command of Sunday's Grade 2, $202,500
Molly Pitcher Stakes at Monmouth Park soon after the gates opened and never
relinquished her hold on the lead to post a 1 1/2-length victory over Successful
Song. The bay daughter of Eddington was sent off the 9-1 fifth choice in the
eight-distaffer field and rewarded her faithful backers with payouts of $21.20,
$9 and $5.40.
Klaravich Stables Inc. and William H. Lawrence's Currency Swap asserted his
class in Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000
Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga, drawing off in the lane to be 1 3/4 lengths
clear on the wire under jockey Rajiv Maragh. The Terri Pompay trainee easily
lived up to his 9-5 favoritism to pay $5.60, $3.20 and $2.60.
Awesome Fire closed from the back of the pack to post a half-length victory
in the $249,599
Wonder Where Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine. The three-year-old miss sported
the colors of Hugh Sutherland's Urban Fire Corp. and was ridden by his sister,
jockey Chantal Sutherland, to finish 1 1/4 miles on the firm turf in 2:04.
Team Forster's Brushed by a Star took her first graded stake in front-running fashion, going wire to wire under Corey Nakatani to win the $202,500 Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) at Monmouth Park July 29.
Currency Swap showed his affinity for Saratoga Race Course July 29, making his first start since winning the 2011 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) a profitable one when he dashed to victory in the $200,000 Amsterdam (gr. II).
Awesome Fire, under a brilliant ride from Chantal Sutherland, unleashed her closing kick rounding the far turn and overcame traffic problems en route to a game half-length victory in the $249,599 Wonder Where Stakes.
Our Sugar Bear Stable's Gourmet Dinner halted an eight-race losing skid with
a battling victory in Sunday's $100,000
Majestic Light, the first stakes race on Haskell Day at Monmouth. Winless
since taking the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot in 2010, the 7-1 chance rallied beneath
Javier Castellano to deny Ponzi Scheme by a neck. South American import Brujo de
Olleros, the 3-2 favorite in his U.S. debut, wound up fourth.
Several key contenders for the Aug. 4 Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I) breezed July 29 on the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course, and trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed Mike Repole's Caixa Eletronica.
Pastorius proved that his win in the Deutsches Derby (Ger-I) wasn't a fluke when he sailed to an eight-length victory over older rivals in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis-Bayeriches Zuchtrennen (Ger-I) in Munich July 29.
Happy vibrations surrounded the barn of trainer Jimmy Toner Sunday morning as
his big, gray turf star Winter Memories relaxed in her stall the morning after
taking the Grade 1, $600,000 Diana, her most lucrative win to date.
Godolphin Racing's Alpha emerged from his victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Jim
Dandy at Saratoga in fine fettle and is definitely bound for the Grade 1, $1
million Travers Stakes on August 25, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Sunday.
Trainer Eoin Harty said he was pleased with the progress of
multiple Grade 3 hero Endorsement, a five-year-old son of Distorted Humor who is pointing to Saturday's
Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap at Saratoga.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has confirmed both WinStar Farm's Rule and Mike
Repole's Caixa Eletronica for next Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney
Invitational Handicap at Saratoga, with the former posting a five-furlong breeze on the
fast Oklahoma training track Sunday.
Great Britain-based Elusive Kate proved her affinity for French racecourses as she notched her second group I victory with a decisive 1 3/4-length win in the Prix Rothschild (Fr-I) at Deauville July 29.
Horse racing's graded stakes committee may wake up to the reality that the graded stakes of summer and fall for 3-year-old horses fail to meet the criteria of grade I competition. But it's likely the committee won't.