Valentine Dancer, a millionaire homebred racemare for Al and Saundra Kirkwood, has been retired from racing and is booked to Storm Cat.
The third time was the charm for racing's newest millionaire - the 6-year-old Moscow Burning - who stormed home to win the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Warren's Thoroughbreds Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita Saturday.
Moscow Burning seeks revenge on Sunshine Millions record-setter Valentine Dancer in the $500,000 Warren's Thoroughbreds Filly/Mare Turf Saturday at Santa Anita.
Nominations to the Sunshine Millions, an eight-race series that will be televised nationally Jan. 28, have closed with a total of 333 names submitted.
Tucked Away, a mare with many more nibbles than bites, surprised the field in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Sunday when she nipped a surging Hollywood Story by a nose at the wire.
Dangerous Alphabet Kisses, coming into the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) off a sparkling front-running victory in Hollywood Park's 7-furlong A Gleam Handicap (gr. II), has a definite pace edge again over her eight foes Sunday.
Harris Farms' homebred Alphabet Kisses broke late but quickly recovered to post a front-running three-length victory Saturday in the A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Gary Stevens, who has already won the A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) a record six times, seeks number seven Saturday aboard 119-pound highweight Alphabet Kisses in the $150,000 test for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.
Ticker Tape, winner of the 2004 American Oaks (gr. IT), will be reunited with jockey Kent Desormeaux Sunday when facing eight other fillies and mares in the $200,000 Royal Heroine (gr. IIIT) at one mile on the Hollywood Park turf.
Katdogawn, a mare that had lost 10 races in a row in spite of some top efforts against leading Southern California company, closed strongly under left-handed urging from Jerry Bailey to defeat 8-5 favorite Valentine Dancer in Monday's $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Lone Star Park turf.
Thirty-seven stakes winners, including Cigar Mile (gr. I) champ Lion Tamer, were among the 48 horses entered for Monday's seventh annual Lone Star Million at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Winless in seven career starts, Robador saved his best for the stretch run, nabbing Lucky J.H. in the closing strides to win the $250,000 Cal National Snow Chief for 3-year-olds by a half-length at Hollywood Park Sunday. The 1/8-mile affair was the showcase event of the $1.3 million Gold Rush for California-breds.
Thor's Echo and Texcess, 3-year-olds distinguished by lucrative victories, head 12 entrants in Sunday's $250,000 Cal National Snow Chief Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, the highlight of Hollywood Park's $1.3 million Gold Rush for California breds.
The Bobby Frankel-trained Megahertz took the overland route with jockey Alex Solis to win Sunday's $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Megahertz, the diminutive 6-year-old chestnut mare with a big kick, may finally have the opportunity to show it Sunday in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
The wire came just in time for Valentine Dancer, who defended her title in the Cloverleaf Farms Filly & Mare Turf with an all-out effort in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions event at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Outsider Cee's Irish and odds-on favorite Miss Loren captured Santa Anita's twin $75,000 feature races Friday, the Blue Norther Stakes and the Paseana Handicap, respectively.
Valentine Dancer, winner of the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Jan. 24, and Victory Encounter, who captured the El Encino (gr. II) a week earlier, head the field for Saturday's $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Under a patient ride from substitute jockey Jon Court, Valentine Dancer split horses at the head of the stretch and stormed to a three-quarters of a length victory in the $500,000 John Deere Filly and Mare Turf on Sunshine Millions Day Saturday on the Santa Anita turf course.
Valentine Dancer got up in the final strides to win the seventh running of the $105,300 Cat's Cradle Handicap by a head Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Long-striding Valentine Dancer took the lead in the final furlong and kicked away for a three-length victory Sunday in the $113,900 Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at Oak Tree.
The little English-bred filly Katdogawn, beautifully ridden by jockey Julie Krone, mowed down the heavily favored Atlantic Ocean in the home stretch to win the featured $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies before a crowd of 30,516 at Del Mar Saturday.
One of last season's top 2-year-old fillies on the grounds is back for a crack at the top 3-year-old filly stakes this season. Buffythecenterfold, owned by Allen Brian and Stronach Stables and trained by Mel Stute, leads the pack of prospects for Saturday's 35th edition of the grade II, $150,000 San Clemente Handicap.
Even though Saturday's $100,000 Boo La Boo Stakes for 3-year-old California-bred fillies at six furlongs isn't what trainer Craig Lewis believes to be Valentine Dancer's best distance, he says timing and conditions make running her worthwhile.
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