Stronach Stables' Thunder Touch has been so good on the dirt that trainer Kiaran McLaughlin hasn't been able to try his 4-year-old colt on the lawn. Thunder Touch gets his first chance Sunday in the $100,000-added Jaipur Handicap (gr. IIIT) over seven furlongs on Belmont Park grass.
Eight horses were entered to run in the $112,100 Jaipur Handicap, originally carded as a grade III, seven-furlong turf sprint on Belmont Park's Memorial Day undercard, with four others entered for the main track only. The only one left from the main body of the race was eventual winner Garnered.
The Calder racing season hits high gear Saturday with the track's first of two Grand Slam stakes programs. Band Is Passing, Babae, Two Item Limit, Volga and Tour Of The Cat are among the marquee names that will run in the four stakes worth $100,000 each, three of them graded events.
Saint Marden went from allowance winner to stakes winner after notching a 1 1/2-length win in Wednesday's Discovery Handicap (gr. III) on opening day at Aqueduct. Regency Park was second, with No Parole another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. Under jockey Jerry Bailey, the winner completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.13 over a fast track.
Saint Marden picked up some new believers Wednesday in Aqueduct's fall opening day $114,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds.
Regal Sanction took command in mid-stretch and dug in to hold off the late-closing No Parole by a head in the $350,000 Pegasus Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at the Meadowlands on Friday night.
Boston Common bobbled coming out of the gate but quickly recovered to take control and score a five-length victory in the 133rd running of the one-mile Jerome Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park Saturday.
Private Emblem avenged his New York Derby loss to Trial Prep with a win over that colt and No Parole in Wednesday's Albany Stakes at Saratoga.
Thomas Mina's No Parole, winner of the Mike Lee Stakes, is the 124-pound highweight for Saturday's $125,000 New York Derby, the second leg of the "Big Apple Triple."
Michael Tabor's Zavata, a $575,000 sale 2-year-old in February, cruised to a 6 1/4-length victory in the Tremont Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park on the Mother Goose undercard.
Susan and John Moore's Iron Deputy opened up a six-length lead in the stretch en route to winning Saturday's $83,300 Count Fleet Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct. One race earlier, Migliore and odds-on favorite Affirmed Success finished a half-length behind Boston Party in an allowance race at the Count Fleet distance after leading by three in the stretch.
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