The Washington Thoroughbred industry's annual salute to its year-end champions took place Feb. 27 with Stryker Phd honored as Washington horse of the year for the second straight year.
Washington-based stallion Coast Guard picked up his first winner when Kiss My Lulu won her maiden special weight debut June 27 at Emerald Downs.
Colonel John was all set to run for the roses the morning after his late-running victory in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), but the trainer for the runner-up, the persevering Bob Black Jack, plans to weigh his options.
WinStar Farms' Colonel John emerged as the West Coast's leading Triple Crown contender with a clutch late-running victory before a crowd of 50,358 in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 5.
Colonel John has been installed as a slight favorite over El Gato Malo in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 5. A larger-than-expected field of 11 was entered in the 1 1/8-mile synthetic track test for 3-year-olds.
Autism Awareness, the longest shot in the field, sprang a touching $126 upset in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Bay Meadows March 8. Johnny Taboada, the horse's owner, has an 8-year-old son, Renzo, who has autism.
Ten 3-year-olds were entered in the $150,000 El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows March 8, California's only graded Triple Crown prep event to be contested on dirt.
West Point Thoroughbreds' El Gato Malo puts his unbeaten record on the line against Colonel John and five others in the $200,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita March 1. Another entrant, Coast Guard, will be scratched due to a minor ankle injury.
Be careful how you handle Crown of Thorns. As we're well aware, the impressive winner of the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) has never run on a real dirt track. But with that said, let's pretend it will make no difference, and that he will be as good on dirt as he looked in the Bob Lewis.
While he may be light in seasoning, Crown of Thorns showed a world of potential in handily stretching out to two turns Feb. 2 at Santa Anita, scoring a dynamic 2 1/2-length victory as the favorite in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II).
B. Wayne Hughes' Crown of Thorns, a seven-length maiden winner in his most recent start for trainer Richard Mandella, warrants plenty of attention for his first route try in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Feb. 2.
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