Handicapping

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Record-setting Dominguez takes Command in Saranac

Lakland Farms' Unbridled Command overtook bold front runner Skyring in the stretch of Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga, providing on-fire jockey Ramon Dominguez with another milestone. Dominguez's amazing sixth score on the day also ranked as his 66th win of the meet, a new single-season record for the Spa.

So Many Ways powers clear in Spinaway

In a manner reminiscent of her victory in the Grade 3 Schuylerville, Maggi Moss' unbeaten So Many Ways swooped off a fast pace and drew clear in Sunday's Grade 1, $294,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. The Tony Dutrow pupil was even more emphatic this time, however. Subduing the harried 3-5 favorite Teen Pauline in midstretch, So Many Ways stamped her authority by 2 1/2 lengths over the late-running Sweet Shirley Mae.

Brave Dave takes Sapling wire-to-wire

Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, the son of Put It Back finished the six furlongs in 1:10 2/5 over fast dirt, holding off challenger Special Jo by three-quarters of a length for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. and jockey Paco Lopez.

Know More to be tested in Del Mar Futurity

Know More made Del Mar history by winning the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes in his career debut, but the Reddam Racing colorbearer will be subjected to a stiffer test in Wednesday's Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity. The highlight of the closing-day program, the seven-furlong contest has lured such sharp maiden winners as Capo Bastone, Rolling Fog and Gabriel Charles.

McLaughlin plots path to BC for Godolphin runners

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin reported Sunday morning that Emcee, who registered Godolphin Racing's fourth Grade 1 win at Saratoga this summer when he captured Saturday's Forego, emerged from the race in fine fettle. The four-year-old Unbridled's Song colt will either run in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational on Super Saturday, September 29 at Belmont Park, or train up to the Breeders' Cup on November 3 at Santa Anita Park, McLaughlin said.

Shackleford looks ahead to Kelso

Scratched by trainer Dale Romans from the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego on Saturday because of a persistent cough, Shackleford now will be pointed toward a run in the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap, a one-mile race September 29 at Belmont Park.

Zayat posts Saturday update on Paynter

Owner Ahmed Zayat gave a Saturday night update on the condition of Paynter, the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner, who is being treated for colitis at Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, New York.

Emcee runs away with Forego

Godolphin Racing's Emcee established himself as one of the nation's premier sprinters with a dominant victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Forego Stakes, striding away to a 4 1/2-length victory at Saratoga. With Alan Garcia up, the improving four-year-old garnered his first stakes victory when completing seven furlongs in a quick 1:21, and the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt has now earned $479,900 from a 7-4-0-2 record.

To Honor and Serve fends off late charge in Woodward

Odds-on favorite Mucho Macho Man got to the throatlatch of Live Oak Plantation's To Honor and Serve inside the eighth pole in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward at Saratoga, but in a thrilling dogfight couldn't get past the gutsy son of Bernardini, who record the neck victory as the 7-2 second choice.

Middie wins Washington Park in record time

After splitting horses at the three-eighths pole, Middie drew away to a commanding advantage in upper stretch and cruised to the finish line in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Washington Park Handicap, winning by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:49.27 to establish a new 1 1/8-mile track record over Arlington Park's Polytrack. Overlooked at 14-1 in the seven-horse field, the Phil Oliver-trained gelding was guided to his first stakes victory by Francisco Torres.

Dominus masters turf debut in Bernard Baruch

Although Dominus had never raced on turf, his pedigree strongly suggested that he'd love the surface. Trainer Todd Pletcher took the hint, tried the lightly-raced four-year-old in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga, and the well-bred son of Smart Strike, from the family of Honey Ryder and Hit It Rich, dominated wire to wire.

The Green Monkey sires first winner

The Green Monkey, who sold for a record $16 million as a juvenile and never won a race, is back in the news after siring his first winner. His juvenile daughter Kinz Funky Monkey did the honors in Saturday's 2ND race at Del Mar.

Saez, Iadisernia top standings at Calder

Highlighting the Calder Meet was the 13th edition of the Summit of Speed on July 7. Thoroughbred racing's fastest day saw Musical Romance, the 2011 Eclipse Award winning champion female sprinter made amends for a neck defeat in last year's running of the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap when prevailing by a half-length in the 2012 renewal.

My Happy Face wins by more than 21 lengths

Owned by Michael Dubb and piloted by Ramon Dominguez, the Rudy Rodriguez trainee was away like a shot to quickly assume a three-length lead. Nearing the half-mile pole her four rivals began to edge closer, but she opened up again on the turn and came into the stretch with a commanding lead, drawing away under no encouragement from her jockey.

Bern Identity meets Pletcher trio in Hopeful

Grade 2 Sanford Stakes winner Bern Identity aims to follow up in Saratoga's most prestigious test for juveniles, the $300,000 Hopeful Stakes, on Monday's closing-day card. Demoted nevertheless to Grade 2 status for its 108th renewal, the seven-furlong affair also features three unbeaten colts from the Todd Pletcher barn -- Shanghai Bobby, Lawn Man and Overanalyze -- as well as debut rompers Fortify and Majestic Hussar.

Yellow Ribbon features Mabee top three

The Grade 2, $250,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar is the former Palomar Handicap and should not to be confused with the Grade 1 event at Santa Anita, which has been renamed the Rodeo Drive and will be held on September 29. Monday's Yellow Ribbon at 1 1/16 miles on turf will bring together a solid field of nine fillies and mares, including the top three finishers from the Grade 2 John C. Mabee at Del Mar earlier in the meet.

Fair Grounds cancels rest of QH meet in wake of Isaac

After consulting with the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association and the Louisiana State Racing Commission, Fair Grounds has canceled the remainder of the 2012 Summer Quarter Horse Meet due to complications caused by Hurricane Isaac, pending official LSRC approval.

Smarty Jones, Turf Monster highlight Labor Day at Parx

A quartet of colts who came undone in their most recent starts in the slop at Saratoga headline Monday's Grade 3, $350,000 Smarty Jones at Parx Racing. The newly upgraded stakes, contested over one mile and 70 yards, is the premier local prep for the Grade 2, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on September 22.

Balance the Books overcomes deficit in time in With Anticipation

Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Balance the Books uncorked a sustained last-to-first move in Thursday's Grade 2, $200,000 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga, denying the pacesetter Joha in the final strides to break his maiden. A fast-finishing second in his debut over the same 1 1/16-mile trip on the Mellon Turf, the Lemon Drop Kid colt got up by a head in a final time of 1:42 1/5 on the firm course.

Del Mar Derby features a well-matched field; Potesta heads Torrey Pines

Sunday's Grade 2, $300,000 Del Mar Derby at nine furlongs on turf came up very contentious, with the winners of the Grade 2 La Jolla (Old Time Hockey) and both divisions of the local Oceanside Stakes (Midnight Crooner and My Best Brother) present as well as dangerous East Coast shipper Howe Great, and Sunday's dynamite 11-race program at Del Mar also features well-regarded three-year-old filly Potesta, who will return from a 71-day layoff in the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes.

Musical Romance could train up to BC Filly & Mare Sprint

Defending Eclipse Award champion female sprinter and last year's Breeder's Cup Filly & Mare Sprint heroine Musical Romance posted her first published workout since a July 7 victory in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap when breezing five furlongs in 1:03 1/5 over Calder's wet-fast track on Tuesday morning.

Jackson Bend confirmed a starter in Forego

Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito said Thursday morning that Jackson Bend will get the chance to defend his title in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Forego. Zito had entered the five-year-old son of Hear No Evil Wednesday in the seven-furlong race, but did not want to commit to running until he was absolutely certain Jackson Bend was suffering no after-effects from a training mishap two weeks ago.

Street Life retired in wake of Travers injury

Magnolia Racing Stable and Hidden Brook Farm's Street Life, who pulled up after the wire and was vanned off after finishing last in the Grade 1 Travers, has been retired, trainer Chad Brown said Thursday morning.

Executiveprivilege tops Del Mar Debutante

An impressive winner in each of her first three starts, Executiveprivilege will look to add another prize when she squares off against eight challengers in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Debutante. The Bob Baffert-trained daughter of First Samurai figures to be an overwhelming favorite with regular rider Rafael Bejarano.

Two canoes celebrate Travers winners

A Saratoga tradition was doubled Wednesday when the infield pond at Saratoga Race Course welcomed two canoes for the winners of Saturday's 143rd edition of the Grade 1 Travers.

Sign spells out talent in debut romp

Al Stall Jr. continued his strong 2012 Saratoga Race Course meeting by sending out Sign to a 11 3/4-length debut victory on Sunday, the trainer's sixth win from 21 starts since racing commenced here on July 20.

Romans leaning to turf for Dullahan's next start

On the morning after Dullahan ran down Game on Dude to win Del Mar's Grade 1 Pacific Classic by a half-length Sunday, trainer Dale Romans discussed the numerous options he has with the three-year-old Donegal Racing color-bearer.

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