Viva Rafaela, owned by Stud TNT, has been looking for the elusive winner's circle since last November. Although she has yet to get her picture taken during the past year, it hasn't been for the lack of trying.
Favored Stephanie's Kitten drove clear down the stretch on the outside to register her first win of the year Sept. 27 in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) on the grass at Belmont Park.
It wasn't the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) , but it was another stakes winner for owner Robert S. Evans and trainer Christophe Clement when Irish Mission ran down Viva Rafaela to take the $150,000 Glens Falls Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Cat's Claw has taken every step up the class ladder since her inauspicious beginning and has now scratched her way up to the $150,000 Glens Falls Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 31.
Coming off a victory in the May 24 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park, Juddmonte Farms' homebred Riposte continued her winning ways with a quick turn of foot June 28 in the $200,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT).
Although the $200,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park drew a field of only six, it appears as if the race will come down to the three fillies and mares in the first three post positions.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Hanshin Cup Stakes, Sheepshead Bay Stakes, and Majestic Light Stakes. read blog
Juddmonte Farms' Riposte may be the class of the field in the $200,000 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) May 24, run over 1 3/8 miles on Belmont Park's inner turf course.
Trainer Tom Albertrani did a masterful job getting Godolphin's Anjaz ready to roll off more than a seven-month gap between races, and the daughter of Street Cry finally got her first U.S. victory.
Distance-loving Inimitable Romanee aims for her third graded stakes win in a row when she takes on eight other older filly and mare rivals in the $150,000 Orchid Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the grass March 29 at Gulfstream Park.
Inimitable Romanee wore down pacesetter Viva Rafaela in the final furlong to score a convincing victory in The Very One Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park.
The daughter of Street Cry returns in the 1 3/8-mile turf race for the first time since finishing second to Quschi in the 1 1/2-mile Waya Stakes Aug. 5 at Saratoga Race Course.
Viva Rafaela, a group I winner in her native Brazil, will try stakes company for the first time on United States soil while facing a full field in the Jan. 4 Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT).
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