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American Pharoah sails home an easy Haskell winner

Victor Espinoza smiles for the camera as American Pharoah lopes home in the Haskell (Aubrey Therkelsen/Equi-Photo)
Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) added yet another easy win to his resume when galloping home under restraint from jockey Victor Espinoza to take the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park on Sunday. The win gave trainer Bob Baffert his eighth Haskell score.

American Pharoah broke on top in the 1 1/8-mile contest, but settled into a stalking spot just off Competitive Edge's (Super Saver) flank when that one slipped through to his inside. The popular bay colt's smooth stride carried him effortlessly around the track and on past Competitive Edge upon hitting the turn.

At first the Zayat Stables homebred opened up in the lane, completely under his own power, before Espinoza took a hold and began gearing him down. That allowed Keen Ice (Curlin) to close the gap in second, with Upstart (Flatter) and Competitive Edge (Super Saver) following in third and fourth, respectively.

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Stopchargingmaria outruns Untapable in Shuvee

Stopchargingmaria (left) prevailed over Untapable (right) in the Shuvee (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
Stopchargingmaria (Tale of the Cat) was sent off a close second favorite to Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) winner and champion Untapable (Tapit) in Sunday's $200,000 Shuvee H. (G3) at Saratoga and, after a race-long battle, managed to subdue that filly to score by a length on the wire.

The two talented runners hooked up from the start and fought it out to the line, with Stopchargingmaria and jockey Javier Castellano stopping the clock in 1:49.37 for 1 1/8 miles over the fast main track.

It was the Todd Pletcher trainee's second straight win following a four-year-old romp in the Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) on May 15 at Pimlico. That came after Stopchargingmaria's close runner-up effort in the Madison S. (G1) at Keeneland while making her four-year-old bow on April 4.

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Bradester leads all the way home in Monmouth Cup

Bradester sailed home in the Monmouth Cup (Taylor Ejdys/Equi-Photo)
With the post-parade scratch of Protonico (Giant's Causeway), Bradester (Lion Heart) became the heavy favorite in Sunday's $199,000 Monmouth Cup (G2) on the Haskell Day undercard.

The five-year-old bay took command from the start of the 1 1/16-mile race and never looked back en route to a 2 3/4-length score under jockey Corey Lanerie. The Eddie Kenneally trainee stopped the clock in 1:42.43 to record his second straight graded victory after taking the Salvator Mile (G3) over the same Monmouth Park main track on July 5.

Earlier on Monmouth Park's card, Wildcat Red (D'wildcat) just got his head in front to take the $111,000 Teddy Drone S. with Paco Lopez in the irons. Trained by Jose Garoffalo, the Florida-bred four-year-old was earning his first win since the Quality Road S. in June 2014.

Got Lucky (A.P. Indy) kicked off the stakes action on the day in the $99,000 Lady's Secret S., also with Lopez aboard. The Todd Pletcher pupil easily drew off to be 4 1/2 lengths clear on the wire, just one race after a 5 1/2-length romp in the Molly Pitcher S. (G3) on July 3.

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Heart to Heart wires Oceanport; Casual Smile upsets Matchmaker

Terry Hamilton's Heart to Heart (English Channel) never had an anxious moment in his front-running victory in Sunday's $158,000 Oceanport (G3) at Monmouth. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, the Brian Lynch trainee covered 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:40.79.

Two races earlier on Haskell Day, W.S. Farish's homebred Casual Smile (Sea the Stars) continued her love affair with Monmouth in the $162,000 Matchmaker (G3). The lesser fancied entrant from the Chad Brown barn, the 9-1 chance earned her first stakes score in a final time of 1:47.12 for the grassy 1 1/8 miles.

For more, see the Oceanport and the Matchmaker blogs on

Rachel's Valentina fires imagination after winning debut

The offspring of champion parents often don't live up to their pedigrees, but Stonestreet Stables' homebred Rachel's Valentina (Bernardini) might prove the exception. The second foal, but first runner, produced by 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d'Oro), the even-money favorite stayed on strongly to win her debut in Sunday's 2ND race at Saratoga.

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For Monday

Delaware Park   (2nd) Hardwired, 4-1
    (6th) Magical Moon, 8-1
Finger Lakes   (2nd) A Sensational Gal, 8-1
    (4th) Domer, 3-1
Hastings Park   (4th) Rather Beautiful, 7-2
    (7th) Square Dancer, 6-1
Mountaineer   (3rd) Bucaramanga, 9-2
    (5th) Flashy Finish, 8-1
Parx Racing   (3rd) Short Iron, 6-1
    (9th) Wellingtons Appeal, 7-2
Penn National   (1st) Pampas Angel, 7-2
    (6th) Valley King, 4-1
Presque Isle Downs   (4th) Talented Twist, 4-1
    (7th) Whoodoo Meadow, 4-1
Saratoga   (3rd) Firestar, 4-1
    (5th) Greek Life, 3-1
Thistledown   (4th) Burning Silhouette, 10-1
    (7th) Birdsone, 6-1
Woodbine   (7th) Palowet, 9-2
    (9th) Colonel Krenz, 6-1

HANDICAPPER'S EDGE is compiled by Bloodstock Research Information Services. This newsletter may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Copyright 2011, Bloodstock Research Information Services. Information as to the races, race results and earnings was obtained from Equibase Company LLC and is utilized herein with the permission of the copyright owner, Equibase Company LLC.


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