Millionaire Nite Dreamer and grade II winner Walkslikeaduck might be headed toward Korea.
Edward Evans' homebred Cat's At Home earned his second consecutive graded stakes victory at Aqueduct Saturday, edging pacesetting longshot Top Official in the stretch to earn a half-length win in the $190,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III). Boston Party came home third, 5 1/4 lengths behind Top Official.
In what will be the biggest handicap race in New York so far this year, eight runners will race once around Aqueduct's 1 1/8 mile track in Saturday's grade III $200,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup.
The voice over the public address system said, "Bring your horses over for the eighth race." Trainer Grover (Bud) Delp had brought hundreds of horses over for the eighth race and was in no hurry. In his mind, this horse was special and everything had to be perfect. The object of Delp's attention was the improving 4-year-old Include. The handsome son of Broad Brush stood in his stall like a gentleman while the groom applied the moistened tongue-tie and slipped a set of yellow blinkers over the colt's head. "He can be a handful," Delp said, "so we tack him up in the stall. That seems to keep him in a frame of mind where he is relaxed and focused at the same time. It's not standard procedure but you have to do it the way the horse tells you."
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).
Sir Bear, the 118-pound highweight for Sunday's $350,000 Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II), drew post position three for the 1 1/8-mile race.
Stonehedge Farm's 6-year-old gelding Blazing Sword used a ground-saving trip under jockey Jose Rivera II to earn a one-length victory in the $250,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Arlington International. Over a fast track, the Kathleen O'Connell trainee completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.59.
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