Wake Forest (GER) was given plenty of time to recover from his 2016 campaign by trainer Chad Brown, and the 7-year-old runner rewarded that patience March 4 with a narrow victory in the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) at Gulfstream Park.
When Twilight Eclipse won his career debut in June 2012, his earnings of $20,400 represented a return of more than 20 times the $1,000 paid by John L. Langemeier when he bought the son of Purim at public auction.
The homebred son of Kitten's Joy ran first for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, then was acquired by Calumet Farm at the end of his championship year and made three starts for that outfit in 2016. He will stand at Calumet.
Wake Forest, Big Blue Kitten, and The Pizza Man all have to prove they can regain past form when they square off against solid runners Danish Dynaformer and World Approval in 12-furlong turf test at Woodbine
Juddmonte Farms' Flintshire got the most patient of rides from jockey Javier Castellano, shot through on the rail at the top of the stretch, and easily held off a late drive from Money Multiplier to dominate once again on U.S. soil.
Juddmonte Farms homebred Flintshire had plenty of excuses not to win the $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes (gr. IIT) but didn't need to use any of them as he overcame a slow pace and trouble in the final turn.
Already enjoying success at distance races on the turf, Da Big Hoss found two miles also to his liking as he launched a big rally in the fourth turn on his way to a clear victory in the $300,000 Belmont Gold Cup Stakes June 10 at Belmont Park.
After finishing one-two last year, the Chad Brown-trained duo of Slumber and Big Blue Kitten will aim for more success in those familiar conditions June 11 in the $1 million Knob Creek Manhattan Stakes (gr. IT) on the inner turf at Belmont.