Though Larry Jones was tempted to run his ultra-talented 3-year-old filly Eight Belles against the boys in the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 12, the trainer has decided to take the safer route, and instead will line up the daughter of Unbridled's Song in the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) April 6 at Oaklawn Park.
In the $100,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) March 16 at Oaklawn Park, the streaking 3-year-old filly proved she could handle graded stakes competition, as she scored by 1 1/4 lengths after coasting to the wire with ease under a confident Ramon Dominguez. She defeated five rivals.
Massage helps Hard Spun work out all the kinks before Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr.I).
Fox Hill Farms' Hard Spun regained his status as a leading Triple Crown contender with a powerful win in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds on Turfway Park's all-weather track Saturday.
Trainer Larry Jones thought undefeated Hard Spun would face the first difficult test of his career in Saturday's $100,000 Lecomte (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at the Fair Grounds. But as the even-money choice swung off the far turn, it was apparent that this one-mile event was all but over.
Rockport Harbor, a multiple graded stakes winner, has been purchased by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation and will enter stud at Darley at Jonabell near Lexington.
Round Pond and Happy Ticket staged a brilliant duel in the $173,500 Azeri Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for fillies and mares Saturday at Oaklawn Park before the favored Round Pond prevailed by a determined neck.
Even-money favorite Rockport Harbor, making his first start in more than nine months, put away the challenge of Cougar Cat in the final eighth of a mile to post his first win since 2004 in the $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday.
Rapidly developing Round Pond accelerated away from the leaders in upper stretch to record an impressive victory in Friday's $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park for trainer John Servis and jockey Stewart Elliott.
It appears as if Smarty Jones has passed the baton to another young phenom residing in trainer John Servis' barn. His name is Rockport Harbor, and this grand-looking colt can flat-out run, as evidenced by his effortless 7 1/2-length victory in an allowance race at Philadelphia Park Oct. 12, his second brilliant score in as many starts.
Grade I winner Jostle was retired following a third-place finish in the April 5 Banshee Breeze Handicap at Gulfstream Park and was bred April 23 to Storm Cat.
Eclipse Award runner-up Jostle, who won last year's Alabama Stakes (gr. I) and Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), has been retired from racing.
Fox Hill Farms' Jostle led at every call en route to an upset victory over heavily favored Secret Status in the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
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