By Dick Downey -- Kentucky Downs, a diamond in the rough among racetracks, has a lot to offer horses, horsemen, and racing fans.
Grade II winner Kimberlite Pipe, who was beaten 2 3/4 lengths in the 1999 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), has been retired and will enter stud at Clear Creek Stud near Folsom, La.
Canadian invader Kimberlite Pipe went gate-to-wire Saturday to capture the $150,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne by a half-length.
The bird has flown, leaving us instead with the Aventura Stakes, Gulfstream Park's $250,000 replacement for Hialeah's signature Flamingo Stakes that served as a springboard to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) for the likes of Citation and Seattle Slew. Based upon the returns of the inaugural Aventura, run on April 6, none of the nine 3-year-olds are likely to follow that path.
Albert Fried Jr.'s Affirmed Success worked five-eighths of a mile in :59.02 over the Oklahoma grass training track at Saratoga on Monday in preparation for Sunday's CAN$1-million Atto Mile at Woodbine.
Mount Lemon rallied in deep stretch to win the $98,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship Handicap (gr. III) by a neck Saturday at Turfway Park.
A week after finishing fifth in the Kentucky Cup Mile Handicap on turf at Kentucky Downs, Kimberlite Pipe returns to the races in the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at the Kentucky oval.
Even-money favorite Pleasant Breeze, left alone on an easy lead by his six rivals in the $283,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sunday at Saratoga, repulsed J.R. Holmes' challenge and drew off through the stretch to a 2 3/4-length victory. After the win, though, Pleasant Breeze was vanned off the track.
John Moore's Lager and William Clifton Jr.'s Pleasant Breeze, both by Pleasant Tap, head a field of seven evenly matched older horses entered in Sunday's Saratoga feature, the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
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