Nearly one out of every four winners of Belmont Park's Matron (gr. I) has been crowned 2-year-old filly champion, and the six juvenile fillies head postward Saturday in hope to keep that tradition alive.
John H. Peace, who raced homebred graded stakes winners West by West and Top Secret, died Oct. 22 at a hospital in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.
Favored Rey de Cafe, who always likes to make it interesting, did so again. He was between horses in a tight finish and just got his nose in front to take the $114,700 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) Friday at Belmont Park.
The battle-toughened Rey de Café, a colt who has ascended to the upper echelon of the 3-year-old turf division this spring, returns to Belmont Park as the horse to beat in Friday's grade III, $100,000- added Hill Prince.
Trainer Rusty Arnold sent Green Lantern Stable's Florida Oaks winner Ender's Sister out for a four-furlong work Friday morning at Keeneland. The daughter of A.P. Indy recorded a bullet work at that distance in :47.80.
Rey de Cafe collared favored Dubleo in midstretch and gradually inched away to win the $112,200 Bourbon County Stakes for 2-year-olds Friday at Keeneland.
Ender's Sister, with Hall of Fame rider Pat Day in the irons, won the $150,000 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs on Sunday with an explosive move at the sixteenth pole that swept her to a ¾-length win.
Still fifth with three-sixteenths of a mile remaining, Joe's Son Joey stormed down the middle of the course to win Friday's featured $84,525 Woodford County Stakes at Keeneland.
Jeffrey Nielson's Island Fashion, winner of the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 16, will head the field for Saturday's running of the $250,000 Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park.
The third-place finish by G. Watts Humphrey's Victory Ride in Saturday's $200,000-added Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) was to be the final race of the Grade I winner's career.
With both 1 1/8-mile juvenile stakes races at Aqueduct taken off the turf because of rain, One Colony, in the Pilgrim Stakes, and Fircroft, in the Miss Grillo, were victories Sunday.
Storm Flag Flying is the likely favorite heading into Sunday's $200,000 Matron (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
Victory Ride, making her first start since winning last summer's Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, cruised a one-length win in the inaugural $100,000 Madison Stakes at Keeneland Wednesday.
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