Now, that was a super weekend of racing. Whether it was Turfway Park's Polytrack, Santa Anita's Cushion track, or the dirt track at Belmont, this was racing at its best. The races were thrilling, formful, and showcased a good number of the sport's top stars.
Odds-on choice Lava Man proved once again he's the class of the West Coast by winning his seventh straight race of the year with another convincing turn in Saturday's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
Lava Man, the $50,000 claim whose extraordinary string of six stakes victories this year has netted $2,470,000, headlines Oak Tree's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Saturday.
History-making Lava Man returns to action in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 7 during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park, where he will face a field that includes Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) hero Brother Derek.
Mercedes Stables and Madeleine Paulson Pickens' Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Rock Hard Ten came out of his latest victory in top shape, trainer Richard Mandella said, and will make his next start in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.
Fog City Stables' grade I winner Roman Ruler will not make the trip to New York for Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), trainer Bob Baffert said, and will instead run in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on the same day.
Defending Goodwood Handicap (gr. II) champion Pleasantly Perfect, who hasn't raced since March 1 when he was fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), "is coming up to Saturday's Goodwood very good and I expect him to run as good as he can run," trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday at Santa Anita.
With 36 victories going into the weekend's action, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella won't list 2002 among his greatest years. But as it winds down, he'll have Sunday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting to make it better.
Trainer Richard Mandella thinks he has a big chance with Pleasantly Perfect in Sunday's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles.
Defending Horse of the Year Tiznow turned in a sharp five furlong work in :59 2/5 at Santa Anita Monday morning, and will run in Sunday's Goodwood Handicap, trainer Jay Robbins said following the work. Robbins said he was very happy with the work and the way the son of Cee's Tizzy galloped out afterward, but wishes the colt would get his act together around the pony.
Michael Cooper and Cecilia Straub-Ruben's Tiznow led from the start and held off a determined Captain Steve and possibly a ticket to the Breeders' Cup.
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