Darpat S.L. Stable's 5-year-old Istan went to the front at the start of Saturday's $100,000 Artax Handicap for older horses at Gulfstream Park and went all the way to score by 2 1/2 lengths over Paradise Dancer.
Santa Anita's $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, centerpiece of Saturday's $3.6 million festival for California and Florida-bred horses, will offer several of the dozen runners entered an opportunity to regain past brilliance.
Bea Oxenberg and Laurie Plesa's B.B. Best, who returned to competition with a second-place finish in the Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III) Oct. 15, is among the favorites for Saturday's $200,000 Carl G. Rose Classic Handicap, part of Calder Race Course's $1.2 million Florida Million.
Rodney G. Lundock's homebred Supervisor put his strong late kick to good use when he rallied along the rail to win the $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course by a neck over a determined B. B. Best.
Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone's Grand Reserve, to be ridden by Jerry Bailey, and Shadwell Stable's Tadreeb, with Jose Velez Jr. aboard, are the horses to beat in a field of 11 3-year-olds entered in Saturday's $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Scrappy T, a distant third behind Bellamy Road in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) three weeks ago, found Saturday's $150,000 Withers (gr. III) more to his liking. The Fit to Fight gelding seized the lead from War Plan at the quarter pole and outlasted Park Avenue Ball for a one-length victory at foggy Aqueduct Park Saturday.
A field of eight 3-year-olds who swerved off the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail at some point will battle it out Saturday in the $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Blanked with his 16 previous starters, trainer Nick Zito finally won the Florida Derby (gr. I) when his heavily favored High Fly rolled to a confident victory for Jerry Bailey Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Bea Oxenberg and Laurie Plesa's B. B. Best, third in Gulfstream's March 5 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and one of the leading candidates for Gulfstream's $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) April 2, will probably get one last work March 26 in preparation for the showcase event of the season one week later.
Making his first start for trainer Nick Zito, High Fly rebounded from a third-place finish in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) to win Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
B.B. Best, most recently fourth in Gulfstream Park's $250,000 Sunshine Millions Ocala Stud Dash Jan. 29, worked one mile handily in 1:44 4/5 at Calder Race Course Friday and is being pointed for the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream March 5.
Lost in the Fog, an ultra-impressive winner of his first two starts in 2004, gets the biggest test of his career in the Sunshine Millions' $250,000 Ocala Stud Dash for sophomores at Gulfstream Park.
While the battle raged in the middle of the track Greater Good, ridden by John McKee, slipped through along the inside with a furlong to go and went on to an impressive 1 3/4-length win in the $223,200 Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) for 2-year-olds on closing day at Churchill Downs Saturday.
The Churchill Downs spotlight shines on the 2-year-olds Saturday as the fall meet concludes with the $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and the $200,000 Golden Rod (gr. II) for fillies.
Will "Rocky" score another knockout? Will The Grocer breeze through the express lane again? Those questions should be answered in the Nov. 27 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct. The same day, at Churchill Downs, Iroquois (gr. III) winner Straight Line again will try to take the shortest way home in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).
B.B. Best won the rubber-match in the $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes for 2-year-olds by 1 3/4 lengths on Saturday at Calder Race Course.
New York invader Closing Argument is one of the choices in the $400,000 In Reality Stakes for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with jockey Cornelio Velasquez aboard Saturday at Calder Race Course.
Cin Cin, a recent maiden special weight winner, stepped up with a convincing five-length win in the $125,000 Affirmed Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder on Monday.
The $125,000 Affirmed and $125,000 Susan's Girl divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes at seven furlongs on Labor Day Monday highlight the second Juvenile Showcase program Saturday at Calder Race Course.
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