With a last desperate surge on the far outside, 17-1 Runway Model emerged with a head victory over Sharp Lisa and In the Gold in a blanket finish to Friday's $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at Keeneland.
Surprising Susan's Angel collared favored Angela's Love in upper stretch and refused to buckle when challenged late by Mayo On the Side to give trainer D. Wayne Lukas victory in the $175,000 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for fillies and mares Saturday.
The $600,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) was the major mid-season test for Sir Shackleton, and he passed it with flying colors with a resounding victory over six other foes in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.
The fields are set for the sixth Claiming Crown, which will be held July 17 at Canterbury Park and broadcast nationally on the TV Games Network. In all, 62 horses have been entered in six races.
TVG will present live, on-site coverage of the 2004 Claiming Crown this Saturday from Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.
Trainer Paul McGee hopes to continue the luck he enjoyed with jockey Rafael Bejarano at Churchill Downs when the Peruvian-born riding sensation makes his Hollywood Park debut aboard Suave in the $400,000-added Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds on Saturday.
It was two years ago that jockey Rafael Bejarano won his first race in the United States at River Downs. Since then, the 22-year-old has won riding titles at Hoosier Park, Ellis Park, and Turfway Park. On July 5, he clinched another accolade when he was named leading rider for the 2004 spring meet at Churchill Downs.
National riding leader Rafael Bejarano continues to impress Churchill Downs trainers, where he is running away with the 2004 jockey title.
Champali benefited from a blistering pace in Saturday's $162,150 Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III), overcoming a poor start to post a convincing 3 1/4-length triumph.
Colonial Colony, the longest shot in the field at odds of 62-1 with 12 losses in a row, prevailed in a thrilling stretch drive with favored Southern Image to capture the $810,750 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) by a nose Saturday at Churchill Downs on a sloppy track.
Suave, ridden by Rafael Bejarano for red-hot trainer Paul McGee, came to life in the slop to register his first stakes triumph, drawing away in the $232,400 Northern Dancer (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Veteran jockey Mike Morgan was hospitalized overnight for treatment of injuries suffered in a chain reaction spill that involved four horses during Sunday's final race at Churchill Downs.
A chain reaction spill that involved four horses during Sunday's final race at Churchill Downs sent three jockeys to Louisville hospitals for treatment and evaluation.
Favored Sir Shackleton, making his stakes debut, repelled the challenge of Courageous Act in the stretch and went on to post a convincing victory in Saturday's $110,800 Derby Trial (gr. III) on opening day at Churchill Downs.
Turfway Park, which wrapped up its winter/spring meet April 1, reported across-the-board business increases even though it lost nine full cards and parts of six others during the session that began Jan. 1.
Another day, another record for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who Saturday broke the Turfway Park record for most wins in a meet.
Lloyd Madison Farms' favored Silver Minister drew away from the field to post an impressive victory over a strong group of invaders in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial for 3-year-olds Saturday, his fourth consecutive victory at Turfway Park.
Silver Minister drew off easily to win the $50,000 WEBN Stakes Saturday at Turfway Park.
Turfway Park ended its 2003 holiday meet with a tie for leading trainer that came down to the last race of the last card, total handle that was nearly as close a call, and a leading rider record that was away and gone before the meet even ended.
Rafael Bejarano broke the record for number of wins for Turfway Park's holiday meet, notching his 40th victory Thursday, the 13th day of the 22-day meet.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano won five races at Turfway Park Saturday, including a victory in the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes aboard Ask the Lord.
A 10.4% drop in on-track wagering was more than offset by a rise in off-track simulcast betting at Ellis Park. The Henderson, Ky. track reported a 26.9% increase in all-source handle during the 41-day meet that concluded with the Labor Day card Monday.
Ron and Ricki Rashinki's favored Vicki Vallencourt took the lead after a half-mile and pulled away in the stretch under Rafael Bejarano for a 7 1/4-length triumph in the $102,050 Ellis Park Breeders's Cup Handicap Sunday.
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