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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2014

Results

NORTH AMERICAN GRADED STAKES RESULTS

CLARK H. (G1), CD, $551,000, 3YO/UP, 1 1/8M, 11-28.
1—HOPPERTUNITY, c, 3, Any Given Saturday--Refugee, by Unaccounted For. ($300,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E and Weitman, Paul, B-Betz/DJ Stable/Kidder/J Betz/Robenalt (KY), T-Bob Baffert, J-Martin Garcia, $327,955.
6—Protonico, c, 3, Giant's Causeway--Alpha Spirit, by A.P. Indy. O-Sumaya US Stable, B-International Equities Holding, Inc (KY), $105,792.
7—Constitution, c, 3, Tapit--Baffled, by Distorted Humor. ($400,000 '12 FTSAUG). O-WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC, B-Grapestock LLC & Fox Hill Farms (KY), $52,896.
Also Ran: Pick of the Litter, Easter Gift, Prayer for Relief, Departing, Looking Cool, Knights Nation.
Winning Time: 1:49 4/5 (ft)
Margins: HF, 1 1/4, 6.
Odds: 2.20, 7.20, 2.80.

Hoppertunity earns first Grade 1 win as three-year-olds dominate Clark

Hoppertunity (right) earned a measure of redemption at Churchill Downs after missing the Kentucky Derby due to injury (Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photo)

Hoppertunity was forced to miss the Kentucky Derby due to injury but the Bob Baffert-trained colt concluded his three-year-old season in stylish fashion at Churchill Downs, recording a half-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $551,000 Clark Handicap.

Winner of the Rebel Stakes and second in the Santa Anita Derby, Hoppertunity was making his second appearance after a lengthy layoff, posting a fast-closing second in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claiming event at Santa Anita October 29. Martin Garcia regained the mount on Saturday and Hoppertunity left the starting gate as a slight 2-1 favorite among nine rivals.

The bay colt tracked in second as pacesetter and Florida Derby winner Constitution, who was also forced to miss the Kentucky Derby, established a moderate pace in 24 1/5, :49 and 1:13 in his second start back from injury. Garcia asked for his mount's best leaving the far turn and Hoppertunity responded, wearing down Constitution by midstretch.

Protonico momentarily loomed as a threat as he came rallying from midpack in the final furlongs, but Hoppertunity gamely repulsed the late bid to win comfortably in the end.

Baffert was watching on his phone from a suite at the Rose Bowl watching the UCLA/Stanford game.

"All I know is that stretch has been a killer for me, but that horse was bred to run a mile-and-an-eighth and a mile-and-a-quarter," Baffert said.

Three-year-olds easily swept the top three spots in the 140th running of the Clark. Protinico finished second at 7-1, 1 1/4 lengths better than 5-2 Constitution in third.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Hoppertunity increased his bankroll to $950,675 and his record now reads 7-3-2-0.

Connections weren't tempted to agonize over what might have been in the Derby.

"No, that's racing," Pegram said. "You never look back in this business. If you look back in this business you're ready to retire. And we're not ready to retire.

"You have an abundance of caution and hope for the best. It just goes to show you that if you take care of them they'll take care of you."

The son of Any Given Saturday was bred in Kentucky by Betz/D.J. Stable/Kidder/J. Betz/Robenalt and is out of the Grade 2-placed Unaccounted For mare Refugee, who is also the dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Executiveprivege and multiple stakes-placed Profit. Hoppertunity counts champion Davona Dale as his third maternal dam.

SEABISCUIT H. (G2), DMR, $250,750, 3YO/UP, 1 1/16MT, 11-28.
6—KAIGUN, g, 4, Northern Afleet--Cruising Kris, by Kris S.. (C$37,000 '11 ONTSEP). O-Quintessential Racing Florida LLC, Horse'n Around Racing Stable and Barber, G, B-William Sorokolit Racing Stable Inc (ON), T-Mark E. Casse, J-Corey S. Nakatani, $150,000.
2—Za Approval, g, 6, Ghostzapper--Win Approval, by With Approval. O-Live Oak Plantation, B-Live Oak Stud (KY), $50,000.
8—Tom's Tribute, c, 4, Lion Heart--Halloween Fun, by El Prado (IRE). ($60,000 '11 KEESEP; $310,000 2012 OBSMAR). O-Braly Family Trust, B-Laura M McKinney & Ouisha McKinney (KY), $30,000.
Also Ran: Mr. Commons, Big Bane Theory, Pure Tactics, Skyring, Lil Bit O'Fun.
Winning Time: 1:41 1/5 (fm)
Margins: 3/4, HF, 2.
Odds: 3.50, 5.10, 1.50.

Kaigun takes outside path to victory in Seabiscuit

Kaigun spearheaded a clean sweep for BC Mile alumni (Benoit Photo)
Kaigun collared 3-2 favorite Tom's Tribute and held off the troubled Za Approval in Friday's Grade 2, $250,750 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar, in a finish dominated by Breeders' Cup Mile veterans. Most recently 10th in the November 1 renewal of the Mile, Kaigun was turning the tables on Tom's Tribute, who had been seventh that day. Za Approval was famously runner-up in the 2013 Mile.

Trained by Mark Casse for Quintessential Racing Florida, Horse'n Around Racing Stable and Gary Barber, Kaigun left the gate as the 7-2 second choice. New rider Corey Nakatani had the chestnut gelding settled off the contested early pace, as Skyring and Pure Tactics dueled through splits of :23 2/5, :47 2/5 and 1:11 3/5 on the firm course. The stalking Tom's Tribute commenced his bid turning for home and struck the front, while the rail-skimming Za Approval had to wait for room.

Kaigun had no such problems taking the overland route and outkicked Tom's Tribute in deep stretch. Za Approval rallied once in the clear on the inside, but Kaigun maintained a three-quarter length advantage at the wire. By stopping the clock in 1:41 1/5 for 1 1/16 miles, he earned his first U.S. graded win.

Another two lengths back in fourth came Mr. Commons, the fifth-place finisher in the 2011-12 editions of the Breeders' Cup Mile, completing the sweep of alumni of that race. Rounding out the order of finish were Big Bane Theory, Pure Tactics, Skyring and Lil Bit O'Fun. Boozer was scratched, along with Avanzare, who was cross-entered to Saturday's Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap.

Kaigun paid $9 to win and advanced his record to 18-5-4-1, $964,220. Third in last year's Commonwealth Turf as a sophomore, the son of Northern Afleet has had a productive 2014. He earned his first stakes coup in the Play the King at Woodbine and took runner-up honors in three Grade 1s -- the Maker's 46 Mile (to Wise Dan), Manhattan and Woodbine Mile.

Bred by William Sorokolit Racing Stable in Ontario, Kaigun sold for $37,329 as a yearling at Ontario September. He was offered as a two-year-old in training at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic in May 2012, but RNA'd for $34,000. He was produced by the Kris S. mare Cruising Kris, making him a half-brother to Canadian stakes scorer Cruising Executive.

GO FOR WAND H. (G3), AQU, $300,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1M, 11-28.
10—CLASSIC POINT, m, 5, Flatter--Discerning, by Langfuhr. O-Joseph V Shields, Jr, B-J V Shields Jr (FL), T-James A. Jerkens, J-Angel S. Arroyo, $180,000.
6—Princess Violet, f, 3, Officer--Lady Rapper, by Grand Slam. O-Barry K Schwartz, B-Barry K Schwartz (NY), $60,000.
7—Moment in Dixie, m, 5, Dixieland Band--Ellie's Moment, by Kris S.. O-Phillips Racing Partnership, B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY), $30,000.
Also Ran: Sweet Whiskey, Playful Love, Street Girl, Willet, Tapit's World, Zucchini Flower, Geeky Gorgeous, Endless Chatter.
Winning Time: 1:37 3/5 (gd)
Margins: NO, 2 1/4, 2.
Odds: 8.20, 2.20, 23.70.

Classic Point edges Princess Violet in Go for Wand

Classic Point (No. 10) battled back along the inside to regain the lead (Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photo)

Joseph Shields Jr.'s homebred Classic Point surrendered the lead in deep stretch of Friday's Grade 3, $300,000 Go for Wand but courageously fought back to defeat Princess Violet on the wire, posting a nose decision in one-mile event at Aqueduct.

The New York-bred mare has discovered her best form at age five for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, following her first stakes triumph in the restricted Punkin Pie with another fine performance, and paid $18.40 to win as the 8-1 fourth choice among 11 rivals.

Angel Arroyo was up as the chestnut daughter of Flatter stopped the teletimer in 1:37 3/5 on the "good" main track.

Sweet Whiskey showed the way early as Classic Point tracked her in second through opening splits in :23 4/5, :47 2/5 and 1:12 3/5. Classic Point overhauled the pacesetter approaching midstretch but the rallying Princess Violet was charging fast on the outside. That rival stuck a head in front in the final sixteenth of a mile before Classic Point gamely battled back to win the head-bobbing photo finish.

Princess Violet, the 2-1 favorite, and wound up 2 1/4 lengths better than 23-1 longshot Moment in Dixie in third.

Out of the Langfuhr mare Discerning, Classic Point earned her first stakes placing last year when second in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss and filled the same position in the 2013 Punkin Pie. The reformed claimer broke her maiden for a $16,000 tag in 2012 and proved durable despite inconsistent form earlier in her career, making 13 starts in 2013.

Unplaced in her first five stakes attempts this year, Classic Point appears to have really turned the corner over the last seven weeks. She registered a career-best 99 BRIS Speed rating for her 6 1/4-length win in the October 13 Punkin Pie and continued to move forward against open rivals in the Go for Wand, increasing her career earnings to $548,034 from a 30-7-4-1 record.

FALLS CITY H. (G2), CD, $222,600, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/8M, 11-27.
9—FRIVOLOUS, f, 4, Empire Maker--Sixty Rocketts, by Belong to Me. O-G Watts Humphrey, Jr, B-G Watts Humphrey Jr (KY), T-Victoria H. Oliver, J-Jon Kenton Court, $133,872.
7—Don't Tell Sophia, m, 6, Congaree--Lost Expectations, by Valid Expectations. ($1,000 '09 KEESEP). O-Sims, Philip A and Namy, Jerry, B-Stonerside Stable (KY), $43,184.
6—Molly Morgan, m, 5, Ghostzapper--Capitulation, by Distorted Humor. ($90,000 '10 KEESEP). O-W D Cubbedge, B-Mike Lauffer, Bill Cubbedge & GregMcDonald (KY), $21,592.
Also Ran: Flashy American, Tiz Windy, Mufajaah, Strut the Course, Teen Pauline.
Winning Time: 1:51 1/5 (ft)
Margins: HF, NK, HF.
Odds: 19.40, 0.90, 6.20.

Falls City results in a Frivolous upset

Frivolous struck the front in upper stretch and gamely repulsed all challengers (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Frivolous grabbed the lead at the head of the stretch and turned back late challenges by 4-5 favorite Don't Tell Sophia, Molly Morgan and Flashy American to spring a 19-1 upset in the 99th running of the Grade 2, $222,600 Falls City Handicap, the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at Churchill Downs.

Frivolous, trained by Humphrey's daughter Vicki Oliver, ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 1/5 on the fast track under jockey Jon Court, who turned 54 last Sunday. In doing so, the four-year-old homebred collected her first stakes win and a $133,872 first prize that pushed her career earnings to $333,498 from a record of 3-3-3 in 17 starts.

Frivolous, an Empire Maker filly out of the Belong to Me mare Sixty Rocketts bred by Humphrey, raced in the clear just behind pacesetter Teen Pauline, who led the field of eight fillies and mares through ordinary fractions of :25, :49 and 1:13 2/5 before folding on the final turn.

Frivolous shot to the front at the top of the stretch and opened a length advantage on a fast-closing Don't Tell Sophia, who trailed the field by as many as nine lengths. Frivolous never relented in posting a half-length decision on the wire, turning back challenges by Don't Tell Sophia to her outside and Molly Morgan, who closed along the inside rail to finish a neck back of the runner-up in third.

"At the head of the stretch, she wanted to go," Court said. "I called on her to put a little cushion between me and the field. I knew Don't Tell Sophia would come flying at the end so I wanted to get out there where I was in a comfortable spot and keep my lane and hopefully fend her off, which she proved to do."

Frivolous, a Kentucky-bred, paid $40.80 to win. She opened 2014 with an allowance win at Keeneland last April but had dropped six straight starts in advance of the Falls City, most recently finishing fifth in the grassy Dowager at Keeneland on October 19. The dark bay miss finished third behind Don't Tell Sophia and Molly Morgan in the September 6 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs two starts previously.

A trouble-free trip was the key to success for Frivolous, according to her trainer.

"She's always been a spectacular filly, she really has," Oliver said. "She never really had the kind of trip we really wanted (in the past); she likes to be on the outside and Jon (Court) rode her perfect. She's a free-striding filly. She got it today."

For Oliver, it was her first stakes win at Churchill Downs and the third graded stakes win of her training career that began in 1999. Previously, she won the Grade 3 Gardenia Handicap at Ellis Park with Direct Line in 2010 and this year's Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks with Personal Diary.

The Falls City -- a reference to the Ohio River falls or rapids that drop some 30 feet just west of downtown Louisville, Kentucky -- is one of the four original stakes races that were created by Churchill Downs founder Col. M. Lewis Clark for the inaugural meet in 1875. The race has been run on Thanksgiving Day since 1978.

FALL HIGHWEIGHT H. (G3), AQU, $300,000, 3YO/UP, 6F, 11-27.
1—SALUTOS AMIGOS, g, 4, Salute the Sarge--Sarasota (ARG), by Luhuk. O-Jacobson, David and Southern Equine Stable LLC, B-Joan Hadley Thoroughbreds (KY), T-David Jacobson, J-Cornelio H. Velasquez, $180,000.
9—Mewannarose, g, 4, Bwana Charlie--Darby Rose, by Red Bullet. ($10,000 '11 OBSAUG). O-William B Fuccillo, B-Heiligbrodt Racing Stable (FL), $60,000.
4—Captain Serious, g, 3, Successful Appeal--Madame Diva, by Mr. Greeley. O-Barry K Schwartz, B-Stonewall Farm (NY), $30,000.
Also Ran: Crafty Dreamer, Bakken, Weekend Hideaway, La Verdad.
Winning Time: 1:10 3/5 (sy)
Margins: 1 3/4, 3 1/4, 3/4.
Odds: 2.00, 20.00, 4.90.

Salutos Amigos rallies boldly under 133 pounds in Fall Highweight

Salutos Amigos easily proved best, earning his second graded win in his last three starts (Adam Coglianese Photography)

Favored Salutos Amigos relished the sloppy going at Aqueduct on Thursday, rallying from far back to capture the 101st running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap, the Thanksgiving Day feature at the Big A.

He earned a career-best 110 BRIS Speed rating in the process.

Lugging high weight of 133 pounds, including jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Salutos Amigos was content to linger towards the back of the pack as Weekend Hideaway and La Verdad led through an opening quarter-mile in :22 1/5, with the half going in :46 1/5. Angled to the outside with a furlong to go, the four-year-old Salute the Sarge gelding kicked into high gear and swept to the lead, hitting the wire in 1:10 3/5 for the six furlongs.

"He likes to be covered up and behind horses," Velasquez said. "When I put him in the clear, he was the best horse. I wanted to follow (Bakken), but he stopped at the quarter-pole. I put him in the clear at the eighth pole, and I had a lot of horse."

The victory was the fifth in 13 starts this year for Salutos Amigos, who is owned in partnership by Southern Equine Stables and trainer David Jacobson. Overall, he is 6-2-4 from 24 career starts, and has now earned $627,406.

"I wasn't concerned about the wet track because he was three-for-three in the mud going into this," said Jacobson. "I wanted it to keep raining all day -- I was doing a rain dance. Cornelio did an amazing job, as usual."

Sent off at 3-1, Salutos Amigos returned a $6 win mutuel as he notched his second graded stakes of the year, having taken the Grade 3 Bold Ruler on October 25. Following that, he was seventh in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint seven days later.

He made his third start in a 33-day span in the Fall Highweight.

"We'll take a look at the Gravesend (on December 26) next, but it's up to the horse to let us know," said Jacobson. "He might want to run back on seven days rest again, or not. We'll see."

HOLLYWOOD TURF CUP S. (G2), DMR, $251,250, 3YO/UP, 1 1/2MT, 11-27.
3—FINNEGANS WAKE, h, 5, Powerscourt (GB)--Boat's Ghost, by Silver Ghost. O-Donegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch, B-Jerry Crawford (KY), T-Peter Miller, J-Victor Espinoza, $150,000.
5—Patrioticandproud, g, 5, Proud Citizen--Luvina, by Forest Wildcat. ($27,000 '10 KEESEP). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Barber, Gary, B-Michael W Jester (PA), $50,000.
11—The Pizza Man, g, 5, English Channel--I Can Fan Fan, by Lear Fan. O-Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc, B-Midwest Thoroughbreds (IL), $30,000.
Also Ran: Power Foot, Little Jerry, Irish Surf, Bench Light, Holiday Star, Stoney Fleece, Mystery Train (ARG).
Winning Time: 2:27 1/5 (fm)
Margins: NK, 1, 2 3/4.
Odds: 3.90, 34.00, 2.10.

Finnegans Wake prevails in Hollywood Turf Cup

Finnegans Wake earned his second graded win of 2014 in determined fashion (Benoit Photo)

Under deft handling by jockey Victor Espinoza, Finnegans Wake rallied between horses entering the stretch, then fought off longshot Patrioticandproud in the final sixteenth to score a neck triumph in the Grade 2, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar on Thanksgiving Day.

Finnegans Wake, owned by Donegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch and trained by Peter Miller, came into the race off a 10-place effort behind Main Sequence in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita November 1.

Sent postward as 7-2 third choice among 10 rivals, the five-year-old son of Powerscourt completed 1 1/2 miles on the firm grass in 2:27 1/5. The Hollywood Turf Cup marked the first 1 1/2-mile race over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course in Del Mar's history.

"It was a little confusing out there on the backside," Espinoza said. "They didn't seem to know where they wanted to go; horses going in, going out. But I was patient with him. He felt good under me and when I got him outside, that was it. Then he really kicked. When he cut it loose, I knew we were good."

Patrioticandproud, a 34-1 outsider who was piloted by Drayden Van Dyke, was a length in front of 2-1 favorite The Pizza Man in third.

Finnegans Wake, scoring his fourth triumph in 25 starts, added $150,000 to his bankroll, pushing the total to $825,375. After going winless in 2013, he recorded his first stakes victory this year in the Grade 3 Arlington H. in mid-August, and the bay horse also finished second in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship two starts previously.

Finnegans Wake provided Miller whose horses are based at the nearby San Luis Rey Downs training center, with his second of three wins on Thursday's card. After tying with Jerry Hollendorfer for the Del Mar title last summer, Miller probably clinched the training championship of Del Mar's fall Bing Crosby season as he increased his win total to 12, three more than Mike Puype with three racing days remaining. The 15-day season concludes Sunday.

Graded Recaps

Hoppertunity earns first Grade 1 win as three-year-olds dominate Clark

Hoppertunity (right) earned a measure of redemption at Churchill Downs after missing the Kentucky Derby due to injury (Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photo)

Hoppertunity was forced to miss the Kentucky Derby due to injury but the Bob Baffert-trained colt concluded his three-year-old season in stylish fashion at Churchill Downs, recording a half-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $551,000 Clark Handicap.

Winner of the Rebel Stakes and second in the Santa Anita Derby, Hoppertunity was making his second appearance after a lengthy layoff, posting a fast-closing second in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claiming event at Santa Anita October 29. Martin Garcia regained the mount on Saturday and Hoppertunity left the starting gate as a slight 2-1 favorite among nine rivals.

The bay colt tracked in second as pacesetter and Florida Derby winner Constitution, who was also forced to miss the Kentucky Derby, established a moderate pace in 24 1/5, :49 and 1:13 in his second start back from injury. Garcia asked for his mount's best leaving the far turn and Hoppertunity responded, wearing down Constitution by midstretch.

Protonico momentarily loomed as a threat as he came rallying from midpack in the final furlongs, but Hoppertunity gamely repulsed the late bid to win comfortably in the end.

Baffert was watching on his phone from a suite at the Rose Bowl watching the UCLA/Stanford game.

"All I know is that stretch has been a killer for me, but that horse was bred to run a mile-and-an-eighth and a mile-and-a-quarter," Baffert said.

Three-year-olds easily swept the top three spots in the 140th running of the Clark. Protinico finished second at 7-1, 1 1/4 lengths better than 5-2 Constitution in third.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Hoppertunity increased his bankroll to $950,675 and his record now reads 7-3-2-0.

Connections weren't tempted to agonize over what might have been in the Derby.

"No, that's racing," Pegram said. "You never look back in this business. If you look back in this business you're ready to retire. And we're not ready to retire.

"You have an abundance of caution and hope for the best. It just goes to show you that if you take care of them they'll take care of you."

The son of Any Given Saturday was bred in Kentucky by Betz/D.J. Stable/Kidder/J. Betz/Robenalt and is out of the Grade 2-placed Unaccounted For mare Refugee, who is also the dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Executiveprivege and multiple stakes-placed Profit. Hoppertunity counts champion Davona Dale as his third maternal dam.

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Racing Headlines

Lukas to run Take Charge Brandi, Mr. Z at Los Alamitos

Take Charge Brandi, a debut winner on June 22, will make her seventh straight stakes appearance in the Starlet (Delta Downs/Coady Photography)

The most accomplished juveniles in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas -- Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Delta Princess winner Take Charge Brandi and Delta Jackpot runner-up Mr. Z -- will each have one more dance before the universal birthday for Thoroughbreds arrives on January 1 and those young stars embark on their three-year-old campaigns.

Both horses will travel to Southern California's Los Alamitos Race Course in an effort to put an exclamation point on their respective successful juvenile campaigns. Take Charge Brandi will bid to wrap-up the Eclipse Award for champion two-year-old filly in the $350,000 Starlet on December 13, and Mr. Z will seek his breakthrough stakes victory in the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity a week later on December 20.

The setting at Los Alamitos, which has been primarily a Quarter Horse venue throughout its history, will be very familiar to Lukas, who is the only trainer to be enshrined in both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Halls of Fame.

The Grade 1 races are also part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" and "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" points systems that will determine the horses that will compete next spring in the 141st runnings of the $2 million Kentucky Derby and the $1 million Kentucky Oaks.

Lukas has four victories in each of those signature races at Churchill Downs.

Take Charge Brandi was not even a tiny blip of the Eclipse Award radar screen when she traveled to Santa Anita for the Juvenile Fillies off an eighth-place finish in Keeneland's Alcibiades, which was her fourth consecutive loss following a sparkling debut win at Churchill Downs on June 22. But she led throughout in springing a 61-1 upset and erased thoughts that her Santa Anita performance might have been a fluke with a win in the $400,000 Delta Princess on November 22.

In a year in which there is no standout among two-year-old fillies, Lukas believes the back-to-back wins are enough to merit an Eclipse Award championship for Take Charge Brandi. If she extends her winning streak to three at Los Alamitos, he thinks it would be difficult for voters to look away from his chestnut filly.

"I want to take the doubt out of the vote," Lukas said in his stable office. "Let's make it easy."

The Giant's Causeway filly is out of Charming, who is out of two-time Spinster winner and 2002 Kentucky Oaks runner-up Take Charge Lady. The latter is the dam of the Lukas-trained Will Take Charge, who won last year's Travers at Saratoga and Churchill Downs' Clark Handicap on his way earning the Eclipse Award for champion three-year-old.

"We've been so blessed with that family, and my theory has always been, 'If they get good, run 'em and not put them in a stall,'" Lukas said. "I really thought she was coming up to the Delta Downs race as well as the Breeders' Cup, so to get two like that was good. I think she's going to run huge the next time.

"I'm not afraid to lead them over there."

Mr. Z also won at first-asking at Churchill Downs when he took a six-furlong maiden race on June 28. He has failed to win in six subsequent starts, but has done enough to merit being included as a wagering interest in Churchill Downs' first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool leading up to Derby 141.

Beaten by a nose in the November 22 Delta Jackpot by Ocho Ocho Ocho, Mr. Z's has also posted runner-up efforts versus graded rivals in the Breeders' Futurity, Saratoga Special and Sanford. He finished a solid fifth behind Texas Red in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and has earned $439,726 despite a single visit to the winner's circle.

"He's a hard-knocker," Lukas said of the Malibu Moon colt. "I want to be here in May (in the Kentucky Derby) with him."

Should Lukas guide Take Charge Brandi to champion status, she would be his 25th Thoroughbred champion. He trained 23 Quarter Horse champions prior to moving over to Thoroughbreds in 1978.

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Graded Recaps

Kaigun takes outside path to victory in Seabiscuit

Kaigun spearheaded a clean sweep for BC Mile alumni (Benoit Photo)
Kaigun collared 3-2 favorite Tom's Tribute and held off the troubled Za Approval in Friday's Grade 2, $250,750 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar, in a finish dominated by Breeders' Cup Mile veterans. Most recently 10th in the November 1 renewal of the Mile, Kaigun was turning the tables on Tom's Tribute, who had been seventh that day. Za Approval was famously runner-up in the 2013 Mile.

Trained by Mark Casse for Quintessential Racing Florida, Horse'n Around Racing Stable and Gary Barber, Kaigun left the gate as the 7-2 second choice. New rider Corey Nakatani had the chestnut gelding settled off the contested early pace, as Skyring and Pure Tactics dueled through splits of :23 2/5, :47 2/5 and 1:11 3/5 on the firm course. The stalking Tom's Tribute commenced his bid turning for home and struck the front, while the rail-skimming Za Approval had to wait for room.

Kaigun had no such problems taking the overland route and outkicked Tom's Tribute in deep stretch. Za Approval rallied once in the clear on the inside, but Kaigun maintained a three-quarter length advantage at the wire. By stopping the clock in 1:41 1/5 for 1 1/16 miles, he earned his first U.S. graded win.

Another two lengths back in fourth came Mr. Commons, the fifth-place finisher in the 2011-12 editions of the Breeders' Cup Mile, completing the sweep of alumni of that race. Rounding out the order of finish were Big Bane Theory, Pure Tactics, Skyring and Lil Bit O'Fun. Boozer was scratched, along with Avanzare, who was cross-entered to Saturday's Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap.

Kaigun paid $9 to win and advanced his record to 18-5-4-1, $964,220. Third in last year's Commonwealth Turf as a sophomore, the son of Northern Afleet has had a productive 2014. He earned his first stakes coup in the Play the King at Woodbine and took runner-up honors in three Grade 1s -- the Maker's 46 Mile (to Wise Dan), Manhattan and Woodbine Mile.

Bred by William Sorokolit Racing Stable in Ontario, Kaigun sold for $37,329 as a yearling at Ontario September. He was offered as a two-year-old in training at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic in May 2012, but RNA'd for $34,000. He was produced by the Kris S. mare Cruising Kris, making him a half-brother to Canadian stakes scorer Cruising Executive.

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Classic Point edges Princess Violet in Go for Wand

Classic Point (No. 10) battled back along the inside to regain the lead (Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photo)

Joseph Shields Jr.'s homebred Classic Point surrendered the lead in deep stretch of Friday's Grade 3, $300,000 Go for Wand but courageously fought back to defeat Princess Violet on the wire, posting a nose decision in one-mile event at Aqueduct.

The New York-bred mare has discovered her best form at age five for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, following her first stakes triumph in the restricted Punkin Pie with another fine performance, and paid $18.40 to win as the 8-1 fourth choice among 11 rivals.

Angel Arroyo was up as the chestnut daughter of Flatter stopped the teletimer in 1:37 3/5 on the "good" main track.

Sweet Whiskey showed the way early as Classic Point tracked her in second through opening splits in :23 4/5, :47 2/5 and 1:12 3/5. Classic Point overhauled the pacesetter approaching midstretch but the rallying Princess Violet was charging fast on the outside. That rival stuck a head in front in the final sixteenth of a mile before Classic Point gamely battled back to win the head-bobbing photo finish.

Princess Violet, the 2-1 favorite, and wound up 2 1/4 lengths better than 23-1 longshot Moment in Dixie in third.

Out of the Langfuhr mare Discerning, Classic Point earned her first stakes placing last year when second in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss and filled the same position in the 2013 Punkin Pie. The reformed claimer broke her maiden for a $16,000 tag in 2012 and proved durable despite inconsistent form earlier in her career, making 13 starts in 2013.

Unplaced in her first five stakes attempts this year, Classic Point appears to have really turned the corner over the last seven weeks. She registered a career-best 99 BRIS Speed rating for her 6 1/4-length win in the October 13 Punkin Pie and continued to move forward against open rivals in the Go for Wand, increasing her career earnings to $548,034 from a 30-7-4-1 record.

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Matriarch wraps up Bing Crosby Season at Del Mar

Discreet Marq tuned up for the Matriarch with a dominant win over New York-bred rivals (Adam Coglianese Photography)

The inaugural Bing Crosby fall meet at Del Mar concludes Sunday with a nine-race program featuring the Grade 1, $300,000 Matriarch. Eight fillies and mares were entered for the one-mile turf affair, but Lexie Lou is expected to scratch in favor of Saturday's Hollywood Derby.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Discreet Marq, a nose second in the 2013 Matriarch, is the likely favorite. Trained by Christophe Clement, the four-year-old gray pushed her career earnings past the $1 million mark ($1,067,900) when posting a three-length tally in the restricted Ticonderoga at Belmont Park on October 18. That represented her first stakes tally of 2014, but Discreet Marq has been close placing in a pair of Grade 1 events this season, the Jenny Wiley and Diana. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. will be in for the mount.

Grade 3 queen Strathnaver, a nose second in the Grade 1 Just a Game earlier this summer and most recently placed second following a rough trip in the Goldikova on November 2, is a top contender for Graham Motion. Rafael Bejarano rides. La Tia, a three-time graded winner this season, exits a nice score in the Athenia at Belmont Park and is the one to catch beneath Joel Rosario.

Queen of the Sand exits a win in the November 7 Kathryn Crosby and is two for two of the new Del Mar turf course. Grade 3 heroine Sheza Smoke Show, Kathryn Crosby runner-up Gender Agenda and comebacker Kadaya round out the field.

Two races prior to the Matriarch, Grade 2 winner Conquest Typhoon heads a field of 10 in the Grade 3, $150,000 Cecil S. DeMille, a one-mile turf event for two-year-olds. The Mark Casse-trained colt exits a closing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Daddy D T, third in the Juvenile Turf, is also entered.

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Lukas to run Take Charge Brandi, Mr. Z at Los Alamitos

Take Charge Brandi, a debut winner on June 22, will make her seventh straight stakes appearance in the Starlet (Delta Downs/Coady Photography)

The most accomplished juveniles in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas -- Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Delta Princess winner Take Charge Brandi and Delta Jackpot runner-up Mr. Z -- will each have one more dance before the universal birthday for Thoroughbreds arrives on January 1 and those young stars embark on their three-year-old campaigns.

Both horses will travel to Southern California's Los Alamitos Race Course in an effort to put an exclamation point on their respective successful juvenile campaigns. Take Charge Brandi will bid to wrap-up the Eclipse Award for champion two-year-old filly in the $350,000 Starlet on December 13, and Mr. Z will seek his breakthrough stakes victory in the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity a week later on December 20.

The setting at Los Alamitos, which has been primarily a Quarter Horse venue throughout its history, will be very familiar to Lukas, who is the only trainer to be enshrined in both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Halls of Fame.

The Grade 1 races are also part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" and "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" points systems that will determine the horses that will compete next spring in the 141st runnings of the $2 million Kentucky Derby and the $1 million Kentucky Oaks.

Lukas has four victories in each of those signature races at Churchill Downs.

Take Charge Brandi was not even a tiny blip of the Eclipse Award radar screen when she traveled to Santa Anita for the Juvenile Fillies off an eighth-place finish in Keeneland's Alcibiades, which was her fourth consecutive loss following a sparkling debut win at Churchill Downs on June 22. But she led throughout in springing a 61-1 upset and erased thoughts that her Santa Anita performance might have been a fluke with a win in the $400,000 Delta Princess on November 22.

In a year in which there is no standout among two-year-old fillies, Lukas believes the back-to-back wins are enough to merit an Eclipse Award championship for Take Charge Brandi. If she extends her winning streak to three at Los Alamitos, he thinks it would be difficult for voters to look away from his chestnut filly.

"I want to take the doubt out of the vote," Lukas said in his stable office. "Let's make it easy."

The Giant's Causeway filly is out of Charming, who is out of two-time Spinster winner and 2002 Kentucky Oaks runner-up Take Charge Lady. The latter is the dam of the Lukas-trained Will Take Charge, who won last year's Travers at Saratoga and Churchill Downs' Clark Handicap on his way earning the Eclipse Award for champion three-year-old.

"We've been so blessed with that family, and my theory has always been, 'If they get good, run 'em and not put them in a stall,'" Lukas said. "I really thought she was coming up to the Delta Downs race as well as the Breeders' Cup, so to get two like that was good. I think she's going to run huge the next time.

"I'm not afraid to lead them over there."

Mr. Z also won at first-asking at Churchill Downs when he took a six-furlong maiden race on June 28. He has failed to win in six subsequent starts, but has done enough to merit being included as a wagering interest in Churchill Downs' first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool leading up to Derby 141.

Beaten by a nose in the November 22 Delta Jackpot by Ocho Ocho Ocho, Mr. Z's has also posted runner-up efforts versus graded rivals in the Breeders' Futurity, Saratoga Special and Sanford. He finished a solid fifth behind Texas Red in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and has earned $439,726 despite a single visit to the winner's circle.

"He's a hard-knocker," Lukas said of the Malibu Moon colt. "I want to be here in May (in the Kentucky Derby) with him."

Should Lukas guide Take Charge Brandi to champion status, she would be his 25th Thoroughbred champion. He trained 23 Quarter Horse champions prior to moving over to Thoroughbreds in 1978.

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Juveniles in focus at Gulfstream Park West

Unbeaten Mr. Jordan stretches out to a mile in the Smooth Air (Adam Coglianese Photography)
Gulfstream Park West will stage an all-juvenile card on Saturday, highlighted by six stakes worth $75,000 apiece.

Undefeated Mr. Jordan, who has won both of his starts by a combined margin of 9 1/4 lengths, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Smooth Air. A wire-to-wire winner in his unveiling at Monmouth, the Eddie Plesa Jr. pupil rolled from just off the pace in the November 8 Juvenile Sprint here. The son of freshman sire Kantharos stretches out to a mile for the first time.

"I need to find out if he can go around two turns," Plesa said. "If you look at his pedigree briefly, you're going to wonder about it. But an optimist could say, 'Though his sire was 3-for-3 and only ran sprint races, you don't know if he could go longer because he never had the opportunity.'

"We're taking that into consideration. There's no reason to think he won't go long. Paco, the first time he worked him, he said he'd go a distance. So, I hope he's right. It looks like an opportune time. He's here at his home course and he's won over this racetrack, so why not?

"He's kind of an anxious horse. He's an anxious horse in the morning; he's an anxious horse in the afternoon. That being said, I thought his last race was really impressive, because he needs to control his wants and his wishes. He settled in there nicely under adverse circumstances and did what he needed to do to win the race."

Mr. Jordan's rivals include Morgans Harbour, a closing second in the Juvenile Sprint who figures to benefit from the added ground; Juan and Bina, a debut maiden winner at this track and trip over Honor Earned, the third-placer in the In Reality; allowance runner-up Hero of Humor; and Hubba Shake, successful in the grassy Armed Forces two back.

Holywell and Moment of Delight, the respective top two from the Susan's Girl and My Dear Girl, renew rivalry in the companion Hut Hut for fillies. Both are coming off losses when shortening up for the 6 1/2-furlong Juvenile Filly Sprint, where Moment of Delight finished third and Holywell checked in a troubled fourth, and each should prefer returning to a route.

Intriguing newcomers to the South Florida scene are Titanium Jo and Money'soncharlotte, who both scored daylight maiden wins in their only previous attempts over a mile on dirt. Titanium Jo, a half-sister to graded winners Sara Louise and Just Louise, hails from the Stephen DiMauro barn, while Money'soncharlotte represents Kelly Breen.

Firespike, a 3 1/2-length hero of the November 8 Juvenile Turf, bids to double up in the Pulpit over the same course and one-mile distance. The second through fourth -- I'm Venezuelan, Less Than Perfect and Unsaintly, respectively -- have a task to reverse the form. Hubba Shake, a never-involved ninth after his Armed Forces win, could try again in the Pulpit, but is cross-entered to the aforementioned Smooth Air on the main track.

Should Hubba Shake scratch, that would allow Night Out to draw in as the first also-eligible. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Wertheimer et Frere homebred figures to attract plenty of support off his first-out score here.

Strong challenges could also come from the Chad Brown duo of Night Prowler and Chief Kitten. Night Prowler, a son of Giant's Causeway and Grade 2 vixen Mary's Follies, exits a convincing maiden score at Belmont. Chief Kitten, who beat fellow New York-breds in a Belmont maiden, was seventh in his stakes bow in the Bourbon at Keeneland last out. Also coming out of the Bourbon is Croninthebarbarian, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile prior to his sixth at Keeneland. Belmont maiden winner Ready Strike failed to land a blow in the Awad on yielding ground, but is eligible to rebound. Two Step Temper, trained like Firespike by Mike Maker, just captured his debut over the course, and local maiden winner Jakob's Way promises to be on the pace.

Brown also sends out two worthies in the Wait a While for fillies at a grassy mile -- Fila Primera, third in the October 8 Jessamine off her Belmont maiden score, and Consumer Credit, who was unlucky not to break her maiden until her third attempt. Jessamine fifth Walking the Kitten, Aqueduct maiden winner Lismore, Natalma third Skinner Box and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf trailer Nicky's Brown Miss likewise offer potential.

The most accomplished locals are Red Sashay, Like a Queen and Fearless Princess, who comprised the trifecta in the Our Dear Peg October 4, and Hangover Saturday, who stole the November 8 Juvenile Filly Turf with Catfight Cowgirl doing her best work late in third. Al Shaqab Racing's Al Khazaaliya would be a prime threat off her last-to-first maiden win, but the Pletcher pupil is only third on the also-eligible list.

Richard the Great seeks to remain perfect from three starts in the six-furlong Buffalo Man. The Ralph Nicks trainee has shown speed before drawing clear at Gulfstream Park proper, and promises more of the same from the rail here. Keeneland maiden winner Ambidextrous Alex warrants respect, while Jersey Juvenile hero Posse Dreamin, Affirmed winner Twotwentyfive A, turf allowance runner-up Bluegrass Singer and last-out winners X Y Jet, Brother Bobo, Royal Czar, Alcaravan and It's Not Me round out the field.

Leap Year Luck looks for her third career stakes victory in the House Party, the six-furlong dash for fillies. The Stanley Gold trainee has excelled at about this trip, taking both the Desert Vixen and the November 8 Juvenile Filly Sprint. Ekati's Phaeton, a 10-length allowance conqueror sprinting at Gulfstream, wasn't effective on the stretch-out and switch to turf in the Our Dear Peg, but is well qualified to bounce back in this more congenial spot. Sorority heroine Concealedwithakiss and Juvenile Filly Sprint runner-up Savingtime also have solid credentials.

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Gentildonna aims for unprecedented Japan Cup triple

Gentildonna is the one to beat as the two-time defending champion (Japan Racing Association)
Japanese superstar Gentildonna has already made history when winning the Japan Cup for the past two years, and the five-year-old mare would only enhance her legendary status with a third victory in her homeland's signature international contest at Tokyo on Sunday. The only sophomore filly ever to win the Japan Cup when outdueling Orfevre in 2012, Gentildonna became the first repeat winner by holding off Denim and Ruby here a year ago. That has not deterred a formidable group of challengers, however, led by Arc also-rans Harp Star and Just a Way.

Gentildonna is in the twilight of her glittering career, with plans calling for the 2012 Fillies' Triple Crown winner to retire to the broodmare band in 2015. But trainer Sei Ishizaka believes she's better than she was last season, and jockey Ryan Moore -- two-for-two aboard her -- reportedly agrees. Moore first rode her in the 2013 Japan Cup, where she clearly benefited from his expertise. She again responded brilliantly for Moore in the March 29 Dubai Sheema Classic, muscling her way through a pocket to defeat the old warrior Cirrus des Aigles handily.

Although only ninth in the June 29 Takarazuka Kinen, Gentildonna can be forgiven, for the Hanshin course was still feeling the effects of heavy rain earlier in the week. She followed the same path as in 2013, taking a summer break before resuming in the November 2 Tenno Sho (Autumn). Unlike last year, when she was no match for the scintillating Just a Way, Gentildonna was a much sharper second this time to the progressive Spielberg, portending a peak performance on Sunday. The daughter of Deep Impact (one of five in the field by the all-time great 2006 Japan Cup hero) projects a ground-saving trip from post 3.

Harp Star looks for compensation off a belated sixth in the Arc (Japan Racing Association)
Perhaps her most dangerous rival is another Deep Impact filly, the sophomore Harp Star, who flew from a tactically hopeless position to finish sixth in the October 5 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Up in time in the April 13 Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas) and a near-miss second in the May 25 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) over this course and about 1 1/2-mile trip, Harp Star employed cleverer tactics to beat the high-class veteran Gold Ship in the August 24 Sapporo Kinen. Regular rider Yuga Kawada is expected to carve out a more manageable trip than in the Arc, according to trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda. Harp Star is well drawn in post 6.

Two other sophomores are taking their chance against elders, the colts One and Only and Isla Bonita, who finished one-two in the June 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at this same track and trip. One and Only went on to land the September 28 Kobe Shimbun Hai at Hanshin, also at about 1 1/2 miles, but flopped as the favorite in the October 26 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger). The about 1 7/8 miles of the final classic might have been too far for the talented son of Heart's Cry, and the cutback could help. Isla Bonita, on the other hand, is likely at the upper end of his distance range here. The Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) victor had a class edge that carried him in the about 1 3/8-mile St. Lite Kinen September 21, but he was outkicked by Spielberg and Gentildonna in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), and has to step up in trip again.

Just a Way likewise has a distance question to answer, but he still owns bragging rights as the world's top-rated horse, thanks to a course record-obliterating romp in the March 29 Dubai Duty Free. The Naosuke Sugai charge then had to call on all of his class to prevail in a soggy Yasuda Kinen on June 8, and thereby extended his winning streak, dating back to last year's Tenno Sho (Autumn) over Gentildonna, to four. Not seen again until four months later in the Arc, Just a Way wasn't disgraced in eighth behind Treve. That marked only his second career attempt at about 1 1/2 miles, and both have resulted in unplaced efforts. If the five-year-old son of Heart's Cry can cope with the distance, he rates a big threat from the rail with Yuichi Fukunaga.

Just a Way hopes to answer the distance question and boost his stature as the world's top-rated horse (Neville Hopwood/Dubai Racing Club)
Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii is double-handed with Epiphaneia and Denim and Ruby. Epiphaneia, the 2013 Kikuka Sho winner and Japanese Derby runner-up, warmed up with a useful sixth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). The son of Japanese champions Symboli Kris S and Cesario will benefit from the extra quarter-mile here. The Deep Impact filly Denim and Ruby, last year's Japan Cup near-misser, is reportedly getting back to her sparkling form of old in the nick of time.

Spielberg is in career-best form at present, as reflected in his victory over the prepping Gentildonna in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). The Deep Impact half-brother to Grade 1 stars Flower Alley and Tosen Ra is unproven at this trip, and must show that he can duplicate such an effort on the big stage.

Adding still further depth to the home team are two-time Tenno Sho (Spring) winner Fenomeno, who was fifth to Gentildonna in the 2012 Japan Cup, and dual Japan Cup placegetter Tosen Jordan. The eight-year-old Tosen Jordan has come close twice, to Buena Vista in 2011 and when third a year ago, and will be competing in his fourth straight Japan Cup. Grade 2 veteran Hit the Target, Kyoto Daishoten runner-up Tamamo Best Play, Epsom Cup scorer Decipher (the fifth hopeful by Deep Impact), Uncoiled and Satono Shuren need to improve significantly to spring the upset.

International shippers have endured an eight-year drought in this race, and Trading Leather, Ivanhowe and Up with the Birds have their work cut out for them to end it.

The Jim Bolger-trained Trading Leather, winless since the 2013 Irish Derby, has amassed a fine collection of placings in Group 1 events. Most recently third to star three-year-olds The Grey Gatsby and Australia in the September 13 Irish Champion, the Godolphin runner was not helped by drawing the far outside post 18. Ivanhowe has looked tremendous in Germany, capturing both the Grosser Preis von Baden and Grosser Preis von Bayern this fall. Unfortunately, he has found life tougher across the Rhine in France, in what could be a harbinger of his experience here. Canadian Horse of the Year Up with the Birds hasn't yet followed up on his smashing score in the Nijinsky over the summer.

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Matriarch wraps up Bing Crosby Season at Del Mar

Discreet Marq tuned up for the Matriarch with a dominant win over New York-bred rivals (Adam Coglianese Photography)

The inaugural Bing Crosby fall meet at Del Mar concludes Sunday with a nine-race program featuring the Grade 1, $300,000 Matriarch. Eight fillies and mares were entered for the one-mile turf affair, but Lexie Lou is expected to scratch in favor of Saturday's Hollywood Derby.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Discreet Marq, a nose second in the 2013 Matriarch, is the likely favorite. Trained by Christophe Clement, the four-year-old gray pushed her career earnings past the $1 million mark ($1,067,900) when posting a three-length tally in the restricted Ticonderoga at Belmont Park on October 18. That represented her first stakes tally of 2014, but Discreet Marq has been close placing in a pair of Grade 1 events this season, the Jenny Wiley and Diana. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. will be in for the mount.

Grade 3 queen Strathnaver, a nose second in the Grade 1 Just a Game earlier this summer and most recently placed second following a rough trip in the Goldikova on November 2, is a top contender for Graham Motion. Rafael Bejarano rides. La Tia, a three-time graded winner this season, exits a nice score in the Athenia at Belmont Park and is the one to catch beneath Joel Rosario.

Queen of the Sand exits a win in the November 7 Kathryn Crosby and is two for two of the new Del Mar turf course. Grade 3 heroine Sheza Smoke Show, Kathryn Crosby runner-up Gender Agenda and comebacker Kadaya round out the field.

Two races prior to the Matriarch, Grade 2 winner Conquest Typhoon heads a field of 10 in the Grade 3, $150,000 Cecil S. DeMille, a one-mile turf event for two-year-olds. The Mark Casse-trained colt exits a closing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Daddy D T, third in the Juvenile Turf, is also entered.

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Juveniles in focus at Gulfstream Park West

Unbeaten Mr. Jordan stretches out to a mile in the Smooth Air (Adam Coglianese Photography)
Gulfstream Park West will stage an all-juvenile card on Saturday, highlighted by six stakes worth $75,000 apiece.

Undefeated Mr. Jordan, who has won both of his starts by a combined margin of 9 1/4 lengths, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Smooth Air. A wire-to-wire winner in his unveiling at Monmouth, the Eddie Plesa Jr. pupil rolled from just off the pace in the November 8 Juvenile Sprint here. The son of freshman sire Kantharos stretches out to a mile for the first time.

"I need to find out if he can go around two turns," Plesa said. "If you look at his pedigree briefly, you're going to wonder about it. But an optimist could say, 'Though his sire was 3-for-3 and only ran sprint races, you don't know if he could go longer because he never had the opportunity.'

"We're taking that into consideration. There's no reason to think he won't go long. Paco, the first time he worked him, he said he'd go a distance. So, I hope he's right. It looks like an opportune time. He's here at his home course and he's won over this racetrack, so why not?

"He's kind of an anxious horse. He's an anxious horse in the morning; he's an anxious horse in the afternoon. That being said, I thought his last race was really impressive, because he needs to control his wants and his wishes. He settled in there nicely under adverse circumstances and did what he needed to do to win the race."

Mr. Jordan's rivals include Morgans Harbour, a closing second in the Juvenile Sprint who figures to benefit from the added ground; Juan and Bina, a debut maiden winner at this track and trip over Honor Earned, the third-placer in the In Reality; allowance runner-up Hero of Humor; and Hubba Shake, successful in the grassy Armed Forces two back.

Holywell and Moment of Delight, the respective top two from the Susan's Girl and My Dear Girl, renew rivalry in the companion Hut Hut for fillies. Both are coming off losses when shortening up for the 6 1/2-furlong Juvenile Filly Sprint, where Moment of Delight finished third and Holywell checked in a troubled fourth, and each should prefer returning to a route.

Intriguing newcomers to the South Florida scene are Titanium Jo and Money'soncharlotte, who both scored daylight maiden wins in their only previous attempts over a mile on dirt. Titanium Jo, a half-sister to graded winners Sara Louise and Just Louise, hails from the Stephen DiMauro barn, while Money'soncharlotte represents Kelly Breen.

Firespike, a 3 1/2-length hero of the November 8 Juvenile Turf, bids to double up in the Pulpit over the same course and one-mile distance. The second through fourth -- I'm Venezuelan, Less Than Perfect and Unsaintly, respectively -- have a task to reverse the form. Hubba Shake, a never-involved ninth after his Armed Forces win, could try again in the Pulpit, but is cross-entered to the aforementioned Smooth Air on the main track.

Should Hubba Shake scratch, that would allow Night Out to draw in as the first also-eligible. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Wertheimer et Frere homebred figures to attract plenty of support off his first-out score here.

Strong challenges could also come from the Chad Brown duo of Night Prowler and Chief Kitten. Night Prowler, a son of Giant's Causeway and Grade 2 vixen Mary's Follies, exits a convincing maiden score at Belmont. Chief Kitten, who beat fellow New York-breds in a Belmont maiden, was seventh in his stakes bow in the Bourbon at Keeneland last out. Also coming out of the Bourbon is Croninthebarbarian, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile prior to his sixth at Keeneland. Belmont maiden winner Ready Strike failed to land a blow in the Awad on yielding ground, but is eligible to rebound. Two Step Temper, trained like Firespike by Mike Maker, just captured his debut over the course, and local maiden winner Jakob's Way promises to be on the pace.

Brown also sends out two worthies in the Wait a While for fillies at a grassy mile -- Fila Primera, third in the October 8 Jessamine off her Belmont maiden score, and Consumer Credit, who was unlucky not to break her maiden until her third attempt. Jessamine fifth Walking the Kitten, Aqueduct maiden winner Lismore, Natalma third Skinner Box and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf trailer Nicky's Brown Miss likewise offer potential.

The most accomplished locals are Red Sashay, Like a Queen and Fearless Princess, who comprised the trifecta in the Our Dear Peg October 4, and Hangover Saturday, who stole the November 8 Juvenile Filly Turf with Catfight Cowgirl doing her best work late in third. Al Shaqab Racing's Al Khazaaliya would be a prime threat off her last-to-first maiden win, but the Pletcher pupil is only third on the also-eligible list.

Richard the Great seeks to remain perfect from three starts in the six-furlong Buffalo Man. The Ralph Nicks trainee has shown speed before drawing clear at Gulfstream Park proper, and promises more of the same from the rail here. Keeneland maiden winner Ambidextrous Alex warrants respect, while Jersey Juvenile hero Posse Dreamin, Affirmed winner Twotwentyfive A, turf allowance runner-up Bluegrass Singer and last-out winners X Y Jet, Brother Bobo, Royal Czar, Alcaravan and It's Not Me round out the field.

Leap Year Luck looks for her third career stakes victory in the House Party, the six-furlong dash for fillies. The Stanley Gold trainee has excelled at about this trip, taking both the Desert Vixen and the November 8 Juvenile Filly Sprint. Ekati's Phaeton, a 10-length allowance conqueror sprinting at Gulfstream, wasn't effective on the stretch-out and switch to turf in the Our Dear Peg, but is well qualified to bounce back in this more congenial spot. Sorority heroine Concealedwithakiss and Juvenile Filly Sprint runner-up Savingtime also have solid credentials.

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Delaunay much the best in Thanksgiving

Maggi Moss' Delaunay once again showed why he is one of the swiftest sprinters in the land as he won his 17th career start and fifth in six attempts at Fair Grounds when comfortably consuming six others -- including three graded stakes winners -- in the 89th running of the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap on Thursday.

The seven-year-old gelding registered an outstanding 107 BRIS Speed rating for the easy win.

After breaking from the far outside in the seven-hole, the son of Smoke Glacken quickly cleared his opposition and established himself as the fastest in a field flush with front-running foes, establishing splits in :21 3/5 and :45. He was never seriously challenged, cruising through the stretch to a seven-length decision, and stopped the teletimer in 1:09 on the fast track. 

Ridden by James Graham for Tom Amoss, Delaunay won his second Thanksgiving after also doing so in 2012. The Maryland-bred was favored at even-money, returning a $4 win mutuel, and earned $36,000 to boost his career bankroll to $1,056,491.

"He broke well and did everything right," Graham said. "Tom said he'd be ready and he was. He came with bells on." 

Amoss echoed those sentiments. 

"It is kind of lost on people that he's seven and turning eight and runs this well," the trainer added. "He's easy to train and I can't take credit for his talent. He may not be as good as he once was, but he's a great horse."

Moss was ecstatic, to say the least. 

"It was very emotional," she said. "I kept saying I wasn't nervous and that he owes me nothing. Then he went in the gate and it was so exciting. What a great call by (announcer) John Dooley -- he made me cry a little. You never know when you give them time off if they will return to form, but I know him so well that I can watch his face and tell when he's on his game -- and today he was.

Unbelievable job by Tom, too. (Delaunay) is the most straight-forward racehorse I've ever owned. He'll stay at the Fair Grounds with Tom and run in the stakes races there. The key really is if you take good care of them, they take care of you. They reward you when you do that and that's why it was such an emotional win. He'll have a home with me when he's eventually done racing."

Take It Like A Man, at 10-1, ran gamely up the inside to finish second under Miguel Mena for new trainer Jonas Gibson, who had claimed him for $32,000 last time out at Keeneland.

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Gentildonna aims for unprecedented Japan Cup triple

Gentildonna is the one to beat as the two-time defending champion (Japan Racing Association)
Japanese superstar Gentildonna has already made history when winning the Japan Cup for the past two years, and the five-year-old mare would only enhance her legendary status with a third victory in her homeland's signature international contest at Tokyo on Sunday. The only sophomore filly ever to win the Japan Cup when outdueling Orfevre in 2012, Gentildonna became the first repeat winner by holding off Denim and Ruby here a year ago. That has not deterred a formidable group of challengers, however, led by Arc also-rans Harp Star and Just a Way.

Gentildonna is in the twilight of her glittering career, with plans calling for the 2012 Fillies' Triple Crown winner to retire to the broodmare band in 2015. But trainer Sei Ishizaka believes she's better than she was last season, and jockey Ryan Moore -- two-for-two aboard her -- reportedly agrees. Moore first rode her in the 2013 Japan Cup, where she clearly benefited from his expertise. She again responded brilliantly for Moore in the March 29 Dubai Sheema Classic, muscling her way through a pocket to defeat the old warrior Cirrus des Aigles handily.

Although only ninth in the June 29 Takarazuka Kinen, Gentildonna can be forgiven, for the Hanshin course was still feeling the effects of heavy rain earlier in the week. She followed the same path as in 2013, taking a summer break before resuming in the November 2 Tenno Sho (Autumn). Unlike last year, when she was no match for the scintillating Just a Way, Gentildonna was a much sharper second this time to the progressive Spielberg, portending a peak performance on Sunday. The daughter of Deep Impact (one of five in the field by the all-time great 2006 Japan Cup hero) projects a ground-saving trip from post 3.

Harp Star looks for compensation off a belated sixth in the Arc (Japan Racing Association)
Perhaps her most dangerous rival is another Deep Impact filly, the sophomore Harp Star, who flew from a tactically hopeless position to finish sixth in the October 5 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Up in time in the April 13 Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas) and a near-miss second in the May 25 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) over this course and about 1 1/2-mile trip, Harp Star employed cleverer tactics to beat the high-class veteran Gold Ship in the August 24 Sapporo Kinen. Regular rider Yuga Kawada is expected to carve out a more manageable trip than in the Arc, according to trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda. Harp Star is well drawn in post 6.

Two other sophomores are taking their chance against elders, the colts One and Only and Isla Bonita, who finished one-two in the June 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at this same track and trip. One and Only went on to land the September 28 Kobe Shimbun Hai at Hanshin, also at about 1 1/2 miles, but flopped as the favorite in the October 26 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger). The about 1 7/8 miles of the final classic might have been too far for the talented son of Heart's Cry, and the cutback could help. Isla Bonita, on the other hand, is likely at the upper end of his distance range here. The Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) victor had a class edge that carried him in the about 1 3/8-mile St. Lite Kinen September 21, but he was outkicked by Spielberg and Gentildonna in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), and has to step up in trip again.

Just a Way likewise has a distance question to answer, but he still owns bragging rights as the world's top-rated horse, thanks to a course record-obliterating romp in the March 29 Dubai Duty Free. The Naosuke Sugai charge then had to call on all of his class to prevail in a soggy Yasuda Kinen on June 8, and thereby extended his winning streak, dating back to last year's Tenno Sho (Autumn) over Gentildonna, to four. Not seen again until four months later in the Arc, Just a Way wasn't disgraced in eighth behind Treve. That marked only his second career attempt at about 1 1/2 miles, and both have resulted in unplaced efforts. If the five-year-old son of Heart's Cry can cope with the distance, he rates a big threat from the rail with Yuichi Fukunaga.

Just a Way hopes to answer the distance question and boost his stature as the world's top-rated horse (Neville Hopwood/Dubai Racing Club)
Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii is double-handed with Epiphaneia and Denim and Ruby. Epiphaneia, the 2013 Kikuka Sho winner and Japanese Derby runner-up, warmed up with a useful sixth in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). The son of Japanese champions Symboli Kris S and Cesario will benefit from the extra quarter-mile here. The Deep Impact filly Denim and Ruby, last year's Japan Cup near-misser, is reportedly getting back to her sparkling form of old in the nick of time.

Spielberg is in career-best form at present, as reflected in his victory over the prepping Gentildonna in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). The Deep Impact half-brother to Grade 1 stars Flower Alley and Tosen Ra is unproven at this trip, and must show that he can duplicate such an effort on the big stage.

Adding still further depth to the home team are two-time Tenno Sho (Spring) winner Fenomeno, who was fifth to Gentildonna in the 2012 Japan Cup, and dual Japan Cup placegetter Tosen Jordan. The eight-year-old Tosen Jordan has come close twice, to Buena Vista in 2011 and when third a year ago, and will be competing in his fourth straight Japan Cup. Grade 2 veteran Hit the Target, Kyoto Daishoten runner-up Tamamo Best Play, Epsom Cup scorer Decipher (the fifth hopeful by Deep Impact), Uncoiled and Satono Shuren need to improve significantly to spring the upset.

International shippers have endured an eight-year drought in this race, and Trading Leather, Ivanhowe and Up with the Birds have their work cut out for them to end it.

The Jim Bolger-trained Trading Leather, winless since the 2013 Irish Derby, has amassed a fine collection of placings in Group 1 events. Most recently third to star three-year-olds The Grey Gatsby and Australia in the September 13 Irish Champion, the Godolphin runner was not helped by drawing the far outside post 18. Ivanhowe has looked tremendous in Germany, capturing both the Grosser Preis von Baden and Grosser Preis von Bayern this fall. Unfortunately, he has found life tougher across the Rhine in France, in what could be a harbinger of his experience here. Canadian Horse of the Year Up with the Birds hasn't yet followed up on his smashing score in the Nijinsky over the summer.

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California Chrome to face five in Hollywood Derby

California Chrome working over Del Mar's turf (Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome will make his turf debut in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. A neck third in the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Art Sherman-trained colt can make a push for Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old male with a victory in the 1 1/8-mile turf affair.

"I want to run him on the grass," Sherman said. "It will give me a lot of options when he runs next year as a four-year-old. And he's got a chance at Horse of the Year (for 2014)."

The California-bred colt would become the seventh horse to race at Del Mar after winning the Kentucky Derby, joining Gato Del Sol (1982 Kentucky Derby winner), Ferdinand (1986), Unbridled (1990), Silver Charm (1997), War Emblem (2002) and Giacomo (2005).

A son of Lucky Pulpit, California Chrome drew post No. 5 with regular rider Victor Espinoza and is scheduled to meet five three-year-old rivals. However, the filly Lexie Lou, winner of the Queen's Plate at Woodbine and most recently the Autumn Miss at Santa Anita, is cross-entered to Sunday's Grade 1 Matriarch for fillies and mare on turf.

The Hollywood Derby is one of three stakes on the penultimate day of Del Mar's Bing Crosby Season along with the Native Diver, a Grade 3 event at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack; and Jimmy Durante, a one-mile Grade 3 turf affair for three-year-old fillies.

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Itsmyluckyday taking last hurrah in Cigar Mile

Itsmyluckyday goes for a second Grade 1 win of the season on Saturday after taking the Woodward in August (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

Itsmyluckyday looks to go out on a high note Saturday when he faces eight rivals in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap, the feature on an Aqueduct card which features four graded stakes. Bound for stud duty at Spendthrift Farm after the race, Itsmyluckyday will be competing for a $750,000 purse as a previous Grade 1 winner of the Woodward on August 30.

A sliding purse scale was introduced for last year's Cigar Mile, whereby Grade 1 winners compete for $750,000 and Breeders' Cup winners for $1 million. The base purse for the remainder of the field is $500,000.

Aside from a season-opening fourth in the Gulfstream Park Handicap, Itsmyluckyday has been a gem of consistency throughout the year. In addition to a career-best triumph in the nine-furlong Woodward at Saratoga, the son of Lawyer Ron has won three other stakes and placed in the Whitney. However, the four-year-old is seeking to rebound off a dull third in the Kelso Handicap where he was the odds-on favorite.

"He came out a little bit tired, but soundness-wise he was fine," trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. "We decided to bypass the Breeders’ Cup, and point to the (Cigar Mile) instead. I think his performance in the Kelso was a combination of factors. (The Whitney and Woodward) took a toll on him physically, and he was put in a position between horses (in the Kelso) and was bounced around. Everyone expected him to win, but that’s why they call it horse racing."

Exiting the Breeders' Cup Sprint are Secret Circle, who finished a half-length second in his title defense of that race at Santa Anita on November 1, and Private Zone, who ran third that day after gutting out a repeat victory by a neck in the September 27 Vosburgh at Belmont. Private Zone was a 32-1 second to Flat Out in the 2013 Cigar Mile. Bourbon Courage, who passed nine horses in the final furlong to finish fourth in the Sprint, is seeking his first stakes win since taking the 2012 Super Derby.

Vyjack, who upset the Kelso by a length, owns a three-for-four mark over the Aqueduct main track, but was also successful over the inner dirt in the 2013 editions of the Jerome and Gotham. Another horse for the course is the New York-bred Big Business, who has fallen a little short in several stakes this year including the Forego at Saratoga.

Regally Ready, a past winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, has won six of nine this year, including three stakes in succession on both dirt and turf. Stakes winner Transparent enters off an September 18 allowance score at Belmont off an eight-month layoff, while the three-year-old Noble Moon has been unplaced four times since taking the Jerome on the inner dirt.

Dame Dorothy, who defeated older mares last month in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont, puts her undefeated four-for-four record on the line against fellow three-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $400,000 Comely at 1 1/8 miles.

Catch My Drift, a half-length behind Dame Dorothy last time, is back for a rematch. Others of note are Penwith, third in the 2013 Demoiselle and the Indiana Oaks last time; multiple Grade 2-placed House Rules, a six-length allowance winner at the Big A earlier this month; and the Grade 3-placed allowance winner Divided Attention.

Empire Distaff winner and Mother Goose runner-up Princess Violet was cross-entered to Friday's Go for Wand Handicap, as was Snowbell, an 8 1/2-length allowance winner at Belmont most recently.

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Graded Recaps

Falls City results in a Frivolous upset

Frivolous struck the front in upper stretch and gamely repulsed all challengers (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Frivolous grabbed the lead at the head of the stretch and turned back late challenges by 4-5 favorite Don't Tell Sophia, Molly Morgan and Flashy American to spring a 19-1 upset in the 99th running of the Grade 2, $222,600 Falls City Handicap, the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at Churchill Downs.

Frivolous, trained by Humphrey's daughter Vicki Oliver, ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 1/5 on the fast track under jockey Jon Court, who turned 54 last Sunday. In doing so, the four-year-old homebred collected her first stakes win and a $133,872 first prize that pushed her career earnings to $333,498 from a record of 3-3-3 in 17 starts.

Frivolous, an Empire Maker filly out of the Belong to Me mare Sixty Rocketts bred by Humphrey, raced in the clear just behind pacesetter Teen Pauline, who led the field of eight fillies and mares through ordinary fractions of :25, :49 and 1:13 2/5 before folding on the final turn.

Frivolous shot to the front at the top of the stretch and opened a length advantage on a fast-closing Don't Tell Sophia, who trailed the field by as many as nine lengths. Frivolous never relented in posting a half-length decision on the wire, turning back challenges by Don't Tell Sophia to her outside and Molly Morgan, who closed along the inside rail to finish a neck back of the runner-up in third.

"At the head of the stretch, she wanted to go," Court said. "I called on her to put a little cushion between me and the field. I knew Don't Tell Sophia would come flying at the end so I wanted to get out there where I was in a comfortable spot and keep my lane and hopefully fend her off, which she proved to do."

Frivolous, a Kentucky-bred, paid $40.80 to win. She opened 2014 with an allowance win at Keeneland last April but had dropped six straight starts in advance of the Falls City, most recently finishing fifth in the grassy Dowager at Keeneland on October 19. The dark bay miss finished third behind Don't Tell Sophia and Molly Morgan in the September 6 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs two starts previously.

A trouble-free trip was the key to success for Frivolous, according to her trainer.

"She's always been a spectacular filly, she really has," Oliver said. "She never really had the kind of trip we really wanted (in the past); she likes to be on the outside and Jon (Court) rode her perfect. She's a free-striding filly. She got it today."

For Oliver, it was her first stakes win at Churchill Downs and the third graded stakes win of her training career that began in 1999. Previously, she won the Grade 3 Gardenia Handicap at Ellis Park with Direct Line in 2010 and this year's Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks with Personal Diary.

The Falls City -- a reference to the Ohio River falls or rapids that drop some 30 feet just west of downtown Louisville, Kentucky -- is one of the four original stakes races that were created by Churchill Downs founder Col. M. Lewis Clark for the inaugural meet in 1875. The race has been run on Thanksgiving Day since 1978.

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Salutos Amigos rallies boldly under 133 pounds in Fall Highweight

Salutos Amigos easily proved best, earning his second graded win in his last three starts (Adam Coglianese Photography)

Favored Salutos Amigos relished the sloppy going at Aqueduct on Thursday, rallying from far back to capture the 101st running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap, the Thanksgiving Day feature at the Big A.

He earned a career-best 110 BRIS Speed rating in the process.

Lugging high weight of 133 pounds, including jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Salutos Amigos was content to linger towards the back of the pack as Weekend Hideaway and La Verdad led through an opening quarter-mile in :22 1/5, with the half going in :46 1/5. Angled to the outside with a furlong to go, the four-year-old Salute the Sarge gelding kicked into high gear and swept to the lead, hitting the wire in 1:10 3/5 for the six furlongs.

"He likes to be covered up and behind horses," Velasquez said. "When I put him in the clear, he was the best horse. I wanted to follow (Bakken), but he stopped at the quarter-pole. I put him in the clear at the eighth pole, and I had a lot of horse."

The victory was the fifth in 13 starts this year for Salutos Amigos, who is owned in partnership by Southern Equine Stables and trainer David Jacobson. Overall, he is 6-2-4 from 24 career starts, and has now earned $627,406.

"I wasn't concerned about the wet track because he was three-for-three in the mud going into this," said Jacobson. "I wanted it to keep raining all day -- I was doing a rain dance. Cornelio did an amazing job, as usual."

Sent off at 3-1, Salutos Amigos returned a $6 win mutuel as he notched his second graded stakes of the year, having taken the Grade 3 Bold Ruler on October 25. Following that, he was seventh in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint seven days later.

He made his third start in a 33-day span in the Fall Highweight.

"We'll take a look at the Gravesend (on December 26) next, but it's up to the horse to let us know," said Jacobson. "He might want to run back on seven days rest again, or not. We'll see."

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Racing Headlines

Fourteen entered for Remsen; Demoiselle gets Grade 1 pair

Spinaway winner Condo Commando will be going for more glory in the Demoiselle (Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)

It could be a wild renewal of the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen at Aqueduct on Saturday with 14 two-year-olds in the field, and a short, wide run into the first turn looms for some of the more highly rated entrants marooned with outside posts in the 1 1/8-mile fixture.

The lone stakes winner in the field is Ostrolenka, who exits a 2 1/2-length victory over New York-breds in the $250,000 Sleepy Hallow at Belmont. Preceding that win with a maiden score by more than 14 lengths, the Musket Man colt will be joined here by stablemate Royal Burgh, a neck debut winner against open company at Keeneland.

Other last-out maiden winners in the lineup are Classy Class, who cruised by four lengths on debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont, and Frosted, who drew off to win by 5 1/4 lengths going a mile at Aqueduct in his third career start. Both colts are trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.

Ostrolenka, Classy Class, and Frosted drew posts 12, 11, and 14, respectively. Market Conduct, twice stakes-placed in New York-bred company, drew post 13.

Also exiting solid maiden wins are Eh Cumpari, Combat Diver, and Leave the Light On. Moonlight Bandit is another, but he was cross-entered to Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs along with allowance-placed stablemate Flashaway.

Others of note include The Truth Or Else, a distant third in both the Champagne and Nashua, and Churchill graduate Keen Ice, a son of Curlin who finished fifth in last month's Breeders' Futurity after a slow start.

The Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle, a nine-furlong test for juvenile fillies, attracted a more compact field of eight, including Grade 1 scorers Condo Commando and Angela Renee.

Condo Commando registered her first two wins at Saratoga by a combined margin of 25 1/4 lengths, including the seven-furlong Spinaway in the slop. An odds-on favorite to repeat in wet conditions in the Frizette, the Rudy Rodriguez trainee instead endured a wide rating trip and settled for fourth in a field of seven.

After placing in the Adirondack and Spinaway, Angela Renee shipped west to take the Chandelier by 1 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita for trainer Todd Pletcher. The daughter of Bernardini was the 3-1 favorite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but made no impact after being bumped early over a track favoring speed.

Jacaranda enters undefeated from two starts, including a 3 1/2-length triumph in the one-mile Tempted earlier this month. Also unbeaten from two starts is Quezon, who has won both starts by six lengths each, albeit against New York-bred company. Her latest was a stakes triumph in the $250,000 Maid of Mist at Belmont.

Gap Year was favored to win the Alcibiades at Keeneland despite being a maiden, but endured a horribly wide trip. She came back to register her first win over the same track by a nose. Calamity Kate, who broke her maiden at Belmont by six lengths in September, was another who didn't fare well in the Alcibiades due to a wide journey.

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Lord Nelson stretches back out for Kentucky Jockey Club

Iroquois winner Lucky Player (right) leads the home team against Lord Nelson in the Kentucky Jockey Club (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Lord Nelson will get another opportunity to demonstrate his two-turn prowess as one of 12 juveniles in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/16-mile event anchors the Louisville track's "Stars of Tomorrow II" program and is the final stakes of the fall meet, which concludes Sunday.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Lord Nelson has won two of three starts, his lone setback being his only prior two-turn try in the September 27 FrontRunner at Santa Anita. In what was arguably the deepest race of the season in the division, the Pulpit colt was a fading fourth behind star stablemate American Pharoh with eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red snagging the third slot. Lord Nelson rebounded to win the $101,000 Speakeasy, a six-furlong stakes, by 6 3/4 lengths on October 13.

Lucky Player, who turned in an 11-1 upset of the course-and-distance Iroquois on September 6, showed little when eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last time. The son of Lookin at Lucky also broke his maiden under the Twin Spires back in May.

Imperia and International Star move to the dirt after they both ran up the track in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last time. Imperia, who missed by less than a four lengths after a rough trip in the stretch, previously took the Pilgrim at Belmont on the grass and makes his dirt debut Saturday. International Star, who finished one position ahead of Imperia in the Juvenile Turf, previously landed the Grey over Woodbine's Polytrack and was second in his only prior attempt on dirt.

El Kabeir, one of the more noteworthy maiden winners during the Saratoga meet when he waltzed home by 10 3/4 lengths, enters the Kentucky Jockey Club off a distant second-place finish in the Nashua at Aqueduct, a race contested over a one-turn mile in the mud.

Others of note are Sky Hero and Eagle, who landed first-level allowances at Churchill and Keeneland, respectively, in the most recent outings; Flashaway, runner-up to Sky Hero in his dirt debut; and Jumpin Jac Flash, a five-length maiden winner last out for trainer Kenny McPeek.

A dozen two-year-old fillies will also travel 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 2, $200,000 Golden Rod. The likely favorites include the undefeated West Coast Belle, a 6 3/4-length winner of the $62,000 Rags to Riches at Churchill last month, and wire-to-wire Pocahontas winner Cristina's Journey, who finished 11th of 12 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last out.

Another intriguing entry is No Fault of Mine, who romped by 4 1/2 lengths in her Arlington debut on Polytrack in late September. The Chris Block trainee is by Blame, who famously landed the Breeders' Cup Classic and Clark Handicap over Churchill's main track.

McPeek saddles two stakes newcomers in the Golden Rod. Keeneland graduate I'm a Chatterbox adds Lasix after showing speed and fading to third behind returning rival Simply Confection in a course-and-distance allowance. Previously, Simply Confection was a distant second to West Coast Belle in the one-mile Rags to Riches.

Kathballu, the other McPeek entry, is one of several recent graduates who might factor with rapid progression. Also in that category are Martz and Jojo's Melody.

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Graded Recaps

Finnegans Wake prevails in Hollywood Turf Cup

Finnegans Wake earned his second graded win of 2014 in determined fashion (Benoit Photo)

Under deft handling by jockey Victor Espinoza, Finnegans Wake rallied between horses entering the stretch, then fought off longshot Patrioticandproud in the final sixteenth to score a neck triumph in the Grade 2, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar on Thanksgiving Day.

Finnegans Wake, owned by Donegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch and trained by Peter Miller, came into the race off a 10-place effort behind Main Sequence in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita November 1.

Sent postward as 7-2 third choice among 10 rivals, the five-year-old son of Powerscourt completed 1 1/2 miles on the firm grass in 2:27 1/5. The Hollywood Turf Cup marked the first 1 1/2-mile race over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course in Del Mar's history.

"It was a little confusing out there on the backside," Espinoza said. "They didn't seem to know where they wanted to go; horses going in, going out. But I was patient with him. He felt good under me and when I got him outside, that was it. Then he really kicked. When he cut it loose, I knew we were good."

Patrioticandproud, a 34-1 outsider who was piloted by Drayden Van Dyke, was a length in front of 2-1 favorite The Pizza Man in third.

Finnegans Wake, scoring his fourth triumph in 25 starts, added $150,000 to his bankroll, pushing the total to $825,375. After going winless in 2013, he recorded his first stakes victory this year in the Grade 3 Arlington H. in mid-August, and the bay horse also finished second in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship two starts previously.

Finnegans Wake provided Miller whose horses are based at the nearby San Luis Rey Downs training center, with his second of three wins on Thursday's card. After tying with Jerry Hollendorfer for the Del Mar title last summer, Miller probably clinched the training championship of Del Mar's fall Bing Crosby season as he increased his win total to 12, three more than Mike Puype with three racing days remaining. The 15-day season concludes Sunday.

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Racing Headlines

Delaunay much the best in Thanksgiving

Maggi Moss' Delaunay once again showed why he is one of the swiftest sprinters in the land as he won his 17th career start and fifth in six attempts at Fair Grounds when comfortably consuming six others -- including three graded stakes winners -- in the 89th running of the $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap on Thursday.

The seven-year-old gelding registered an outstanding 107 BRIS Speed rating for the easy win.

After breaking from the far outside in the seven-hole, the son of Smoke Glacken quickly cleared his opposition and established himself as the fastest in a field flush with front-running foes, establishing splits in :21 3/5 and :45. He was never seriously challenged, cruising through the stretch to a seven-length decision, and stopped the teletimer in 1:09 on the fast track. 

Ridden by James Graham for Tom Amoss, Delaunay won his second Thanksgiving after also doing so in 2012. The Maryland-bred was favored at even-money, returning a $4 win mutuel, and earned $36,000 to boost his career bankroll to $1,056,491.

"He broke well and did everything right," Graham said. "Tom said he'd be ready and he was. He came with bells on." 

Amoss echoed those sentiments. 

"It is kind of lost on people that he's seven and turning eight and runs this well," the trainer added. "He's easy to train and I can't take credit for his talent. He may not be as good as he once was, but he's a great horse."

Moss was ecstatic, to say the least. 

"It was very emotional," she said. "I kept saying I wasn't nervous and that he owes me nothing. Then he went in the gate and it was so exciting. What a great call by (announcer) John Dooley -- he made me cry a little. You never know when you give them time off if they will return to form, but I know him so well that I can watch his face and tell when he's on his game -- and today he was.

Unbelievable job by Tom, too. (Delaunay) is the most straight-forward racehorse I've ever owned. He'll stay at the Fair Grounds with Tom and run in the stakes races there. The key really is if you take good care of them, they take care of you. They reward you when you do that and that's why it was such an emotional win. He'll have a home with me when he's eventually done racing."

Take It Like A Man, at 10-1, ran gamely up the inside to finish second under Miguel Mena for new trainer Jonas Gibson, who had claimed him for $32,000 last time out at Keeneland.

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Cary Street, Ever Rider clash again at Hawthorne

Cary Street, a dominating winner of the Las Vegas Marathon on the Breeders' Cup undercard last month, goes in search of his third graded victory of the season Saturday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup over 1 1/4 miles. A relaxed early trailer in the 1 3/4-length Marathon, Cary Street overcame a 15-length deficit to win the Grade 2 successor race to the Breeders' Cup Marathon by 9 1/4 lengths.

Cary Street's main rival is Ever Rider, with whom he had exchanged decisions prior to that jaunt to Santa Anita. In the 1 1/2-mile Greenwood Cup at Parx on Labor Day, Cary Street registered a 28-1 upset over Ever Rider by a length. Ever Rider rebounded to take the 1 5/8-mile Temperence Hill at Belmont, with Cary Street 10 lengths behind in third over a sloppy track.

There are plenty of speed elements in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, including Red Rifle, Abraham, Midnight Aria, and Call Me George. Besides Cary Street and Ever Rider, others who might benefit from a fast, contested pace are the locally-based Mister Marti Gras and Street Spice, who ran second and third, respectively, in last year's Gold Cup.

Also in the lineup are multiple stakes winner Fordubai, sixth in the Gold Cup a year ago, and recent Empire Classic upsetter Effinex.

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Ben's Cat tries for Fabulous Strike three-peat

Ben's Cat will face a salty group including Bern Identity (B&D Photography)
Mid-Atlantic icon Ben's Cat will aim for a third consecutive victory in Saturday night's $200,000 Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National. Rescheduled after an impending snowstorm prompted Wednesday's cancellation, this year's renewal has come up unusually deep, with the likes of Bern Identity, Strapping Groom, River Rocks and Tightend Touchdown also engaged.

Ben's Cat, a $2.2-million earner, is in the midst of a rare losing streak at the moment. Since scoring a three-peat in the July 12 Parx Dash on turf, the King Leatherbury charge missed by a neck in the September 1 Turf Monster, finished third in the September 27 Laurel Dash, and went down fighting by a half-length in the October 18 Maryland Million Turf. That came over a mile trip that stretches him, however, and the cutback to six furlongs promises to suit much better.

Indeed, Ben's Cat has found the Fabulous Strike the ideal spot to rebound from tough losses, having done so for the past two years. And the eight-year-old veteran is a neck away from already owning a three-peat. Ben's Cat was a troubled third in this race in 2011, when it was known as the Six Bits.

Listed as the 5-1 third choice on the morning line, Ben's Cat will break from post 6 with regular rider Julian Pimentel.

Bern Identity, the 7-2 favorite, has drawn the far outside in post 12. The winner of the Sanford and runner-up to Goldencents in the Delta Downs Jackpot as a juvenile in 2012, he was sidelined for virtually all of his three-year-old season.

Trainer Kelly Breen got him back to top form off an 18-month layoff last summer, and Bern Identity returned to action with a three-race winning streak -- the August 2 My Frenchman at Monmouth, the August 22 Tale of the Cat at Saratoga and the September 6 Dave's Friend at Laurel. Bern Identity has dropped his last pair, finishing third in both the October 3 Phoenix at Keeneland and the November 15 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash back at Laurel. He wheels back on short rest here.

Strapping Groom, hero of the 2013 Forego and this year's Tom Fool, was last seen tiring to fifth in the April 5 Carter Handicap. He leads the trio of those who skipped Thursday's Fall Highweight in favor of this spot. The others are River Rocks, runner-up in the Kelso and fourth in the Bold Ruler in his last two, and Tightend Touchdown, a frequent rival to Ben's Cat on the turf sprint scene, who was most recently sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Trickmeister, who exits a third to Bern Identity in the Dave's Friend, has back class and could be sitting on a big effort in his third start off a year-long absence. The four-time stakes winner, and multiple Grade 2-placed performer, has some longshot appeal at 10-1.

The card also offers a couple of stakes appetizers. The $75,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies has lured a dozen Pennsylvania-breds, topped by recent allowance romper Brennan and Maryland Million Lassie third Rockin Jojo.

Notable contenders in the $100,000 Swatara, a 1 1/16-mile test, include Stormin Monarcho, coming off a convincing score in the Richard W. Small at Laurel on November 15; Ground Transport, who was just denied in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial; the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Irsaal; and Integrity, third in a tight finish with Golden Ticket and Pants on Fire in the Left Bank two starts back for Chad Brown.

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California Chrome to face five in Hollywood Derby

California Chrome working over Del Mar's turf (Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome will make his turf debut in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. A neck third in the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Art Sherman-trained colt can make a push for Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old male with a victory in the 1 1/8-mile turf affair.

"I want to run him on the grass," Sherman said. "It will give me a lot of options when he runs next year as a four-year-old. And he's got a chance at Horse of the Year (for 2014)."

The California-bred colt would become the seventh horse to race at Del Mar after winning the Kentucky Derby, joining Gato Del Sol (1982 Kentucky Derby winner), Ferdinand (1986), Unbridled (1990), Silver Charm (1997), War Emblem (2002) and Giacomo (2005).

A son of Lucky Pulpit, California Chrome drew post No. 5 with regular rider Victor Espinoza and is scheduled to meet five three-year-old rivals. However, the filly Lexie Lou, winner of the Queen's Plate at Woodbine and most recently the Autumn Miss at Santa Anita, is cross-entered to Sunday's Grade 1 Matriarch for fillies and mare on turf.

The Hollywood Derby is one of three stakes on the penultimate day of Del Mar's Bing Crosby Season along with the Native Diver, a Grade 3 event at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack; and Jimmy Durante, a one-mile Grade 3 turf affair for three-year-old fillies.

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Tampa Bay Downs gets early start on 2014-15 winter meet

With the strongest jockey colony in memory and top barns from around the country, anticipation for the Saturday opening of Tampa Bay Downs' 2014-15 season has reached a fever pitch. The 91-day meeting resumes with a first-race post time of 12:30 p.m. (EST).

"Not everyone can cash a big superfecta ticket, but we are committed to making our patrons' experience as rewarding and memorable as possible on a daily basis," said Tampa Bay Downs Vice President of Marketing & Publicity Margo Flynn.

"(Racing secretary) Allison De Luca has done an awesome job recruiting top racing outfits. We had almost twice as many applications for stalls as we could accommodate," Flynn said. "The reputation of our safe, sand-based dirt track and lush turf course has spread nationwide and made Tampa Bay Downs a prime winter racing magnet."

Among the attractions for horsemen is a stakes schedule offering $2,660,000 in purse money. The highlight is the March 7 Festival Day program, which includes the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby for three-year-olds; the Grade 3, $200,000 Florida Oaks for three-year-old fillies on the turf; and the Grade 3, $150,000 Hillsborough for older fillies and mares.

The stakes slate begins December 6 -- Cotillion Festival Day -- with the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes for two-year-olds and the $100,000 Sandpiper for two-year-old fillies. The December 6 festivities include the popular "Breakfast Buffet at the Downs" from 8-10 a.m. in the Trackside Picnic Pavilion.

Eight of the top 10 riders from the 2013-14 meeting are back, including last year's runner-up Ronnie Allen Jr., a four-time Tampa Bay Downs jockey champion, and third-place finisher Daniel Centeno, who has won five Tampa Bay Downs titles.

Adding zest to the riding colony is the return of Rosemary Homeister Jr., who spent the past two winters at Oaklawn Park. Homeister, who won an Eclipse Award as the outstanding apprentice in 1992, has ridden more than 2,700 career winners, second only to Hall of Fame member Julie Krone among women riders.

Other newcomers with solid credentials include a pair of Midwestern jockeys, Chris Emigh and E.E. Perez (also known as Eduardo E. Perez).

The track's jockey colony will be greeted Saturday by a state-of-the-art, high-performance collapsible Duralock rail along the inside of the turf course. Manufactured in the United Kingdom, the Duralock rail is designed to minimize the risk of injury when horses and riders brush against it.

For the past eight seasons, one name has reigned supreme among Tampa Bay Downs trainers: Jamie Ness. The native of Heron, South Dakota set the track record by saddling 79 winners in 2011-12 and is a prohibitive favorite to surpass the late Don Rice for most training titles in track history (Rice's eight titles were not consecutive).

Ness -- whose far-flung stable is also active during the winter at Laurel, Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Penn National and Charles Town -- won't have quite the same volume of starters at Tampa Bay Downs as in past seasons, but his exceptional horsemanship and understanding of where his horses fit still make him the one to beat.

"We're going to give it a big shot," he said recently. "We don't base the success of our stable on being leading trainer, but we're going to fill 40 stalls with some quality older horses and some young horses that look like they'll be OK."

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Itsmyluckyday taking last hurrah in Cigar Mile

Itsmyluckyday goes for a second Grade 1 win of the season on Saturday after taking the Woodward in August (Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)

Itsmyluckyday looks to go out on a high note Saturday when he faces eight rivals in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap, the feature on an Aqueduct card which features four graded stakes. Bound for stud duty at Spendthrift Farm after the race, Itsmyluckyday will be competing for a $750,000 purse as a previous Grade 1 winner of the Woodward on August 30.

A sliding purse scale was introduced for last year's Cigar Mile, whereby Grade 1 winners compete for $750,000 and Breeders' Cup winners for $1 million. The base purse for the remainder of the field is $500,000.

Aside from a season-opening fourth in the Gulfstream Park Handicap, Itsmyluckyday has been a gem of consistency throughout the year. In addition to a career-best triumph in the nine-furlong Woodward at Saratoga, the son of Lawyer Ron has won three other stakes and placed in the Whitney. However, the four-year-old is seeking to rebound off a dull third in the Kelso Handicap where he was the odds-on favorite.

"He came out a little bit tired, but soundness-wise he was fine," trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. "We decided to bypass the Breeders’ Cup, and point to the (Cigar Mile) instead. I think his performance in the Kelso was a combination of factors. (The Whitney and Woodward) took a toll on him physically, and he was put in a position between horses (in the Kelso) and was bounced around. Everyone expected him to win, but that’s why they call it horse racing."

Exiting the Breeders' Cup Sprint are Secret Circle, who finished a half-length second in his title defense of that race at Santa Anita on November 1, and Private Zone, who ran third that day after gutting out a repeat victory by a neck in the September 27 Vosburgh at Belmont. Private Zone was a 32-1 second to Flat Out in the 2013 Cigar Mile. Bourbon Courage, who passed nine horses in the final furlong to finish fourth in the Sprint, is seeking his first stakes win since taking the 2012 Super Derby.

Vyjack, who upset the Kelso by a length, owns a three-for-four mark over the Aqueduct main track, but was also successful over the inner dirt in the 2013 editions of the Jerome and Gotham. Another horse for the course is the New York-bred Big Business, who has fallen a little short in several stakes this year including the Forego at Saratoga.

Regally Ready, a past winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, has won six of nine this year, including three stakes in succession on both dirt and turf. Stakes winner Transparent enters off an September 18 allowance score at Belmont off an eight-month layoff, while the three-year-old Noble Moon has been unplaced four times since taking the Jerome on the inner dirt.

Dame Dorothy, who defeated older mares last month in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Belmont, puts her undefeated four-for-four record on the line against fellow three-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $400,000 Comely at 1 1/8 miles.

Catch My Drift, a half-length behind Dame Dorothy last time, is back for a rematch. Others of note are Penwith, third in the 2013 Demoiselle and the Indiana Oaks last time; multiple Grade 2-placed House Rules, a six-length allowance winner at the Big A earlier this month; and the Grade 3-placed allowance winner Divided Attention.

Empire Distaff winner and Mother Goose runner-up Princess Violet was cross-entered to Friday's Go for Wand Handicap, as was Snowbell, an 8 1/2-length allowance winner at Belmont most recently.

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In brief

Jockey Alex Solis, who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in August, is on the cusp of his 5,000th career victory. The 50-year-old notched win number 4,999 in Friday's 3RD race at Del Mar, guiding the Howard Zucker-trained Synnin (Tribal Rule) to a 1 1/2-length decision in the starter allowance on turf. Solis was unplaced with his other mount in the 6TH, but has three chances to reach the milestone Saturday and another three on Sunday...

Winner of the Longacres Mile (G3) at Emerald Downs two back and a fast-closing second in the October 30 Big Bear at Santa Anita, Stryker Phd is the top draw in Sunday's $100,000 Berkeley H. (G3) at Golden Gate Fields. The confirmed late runner will face eight opponents from his rail post with regular rider Leslie Mawing. Other contenders in the 1 1/16-mile test on Tapeta include Pepper Crown (Peppered Cat), upset winner of the San Francisco (G3) earlier this season on the local turf; stakes victors G.G. Ryder (Chhaya Dance), Marino's Wild Cat (Marino Marini) and Mr. Bowling (Ishtan); and Everton (Indian Charlie), who is scheduled to make his stakes bow for Bob Baffert following an allowance score at Santa Anita...

Passion for Action (Speightstown), hero of the October 12 Cup and Saucer on turf, looms large in Saturday's C$250,000 Coronation Futurity over Woodbine's Polytrack. The filly Brooklynsway (Giant Gizmo) takes on the boys off her victory in the November 2 Princess Elizabeth, and could be joined by Princess Elizabeth runner-up Shez a Masterpiece (Mast Track), who is cross-entered to Sunday's Ontario Lassie. Recent maiden winners Decision Day (Macho Uno) and Nipigon (Niigon), as well as Mark Casse's well-regarded maiden Danzig Moon (Malibu Moon), are all worth a look in the 1 1/8-mile test...

Shez a Masterpiece (Mast Track) and London Tower (Head Chopper), the second- and third-place finishers from the November 2 Princess Elizabeth, highlight a field of six Ontario-bred juvenile fillies in Sunday's $150,000 Ontario Lassie at Woodbine. Galina Point (Saffir) is another top contender in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack event following her win in the November 15 South Ocean. Later on the program, Canadian champion and nine-time stakes winner Pender Harbour (Philanthropist) will be the one to beat in the $125,000 Sir Barton for Ontario-breds. Trained by Michael De Paulo, the six-year-old gelding will square off against seven foes in the 1 1/16-mile race on Polytrack...

Trainer Mike Stidham has stakes plans for Fantasize (Artie Schiller), who broke his maiden in Thursday's 8TH race on the turf at Fair Grounds. "We bought him as a yearling and we had had some luck with (sire) Artie Schiller -- with Dorsett and (Hammers Terror) -- before with (owner) Terry Hamilton," Stidham explained. "We saw this yearling at the sale and liked him quite a bit. He's a little bit of a late developer, as far as two-year-olds go, but he showed a great acceleration yesterday." Fantasize was coming off a fifth in his debut on the Keeneland turf. "Running a mile and an eighth the first time wasn't ideal, but it gave him the experience he needed," Stidham reflected. "We had hoped for a big run yesterday and he gave it to us. He hadn't shown us that turn-of-foot before. He has matured quite a bit and has a big-reaching stride." Fair Grounds does not have a turf stakes for his division until the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes on February 28 over 7 1/2 furlongs, so the horseman is considering shipping. "He came out of it in good shape," Stidham said. "We'll look at stakes races at Tampa (Bay Downs) and Gulfstream (Park) for him possibly after this.  We think he'll be an even better three-year-old."...

According to conditioner Richie Scherer, Holmark Stables IV's Bourbon Cowboy (Cowboy Cal) is under consideration for the $50,000 Sugar Bowl S. on December 20 at Fair Grounds. A sharp maiden winner at Arlington, he has been mixing it up in stakes company, finishing fourth in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3), second in the Fitz Dixon Memorial and an uncharacteristic last of five in the Display. All of his starts have come on synthetic surfaces, and Scherer believes that Bourbon Cowboy will eventually be a turf horse. Yet Scherer notes that he is training sharply over the Fair Grounds dirt.

Fourteen entered for Remsen; Demoiselle gets Grade 1 pair

Spinaway winner Condo Commando will be going for more glory in the Demoiselle (Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)

It could be a wild renewal of the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen at Aqueduct on Saturday with 14 two-year-olds in the field, and a short, wide run into the first turn looms for some of the more highly rated entrants marooned with outside posts in the 1 1/8-mile fixture.

The lone stakes winner in the field is Ostrolenka, who exits a 2 1/2-length victory over New York-breds in the $250,000 Sleepy Hallow at Belmont. Preceding that win with a maiden score by more than 14 lengths, the Musket Man colt will be joined here by stablemate Royal Burgh, a neck debut winner against open company at Keeneland.

Other last-out maiden winners in the lineup are Classy Class, who cruised by four lengths on debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont, and Frosted, who drew off to win by 5 1/4 lengths going a mile at Aqueduct in his third career start. Both colts are trained by Kiaran McLaughlin.

Ostrolenka, Classy Class, and Frosted drew posts 12, 11, and 14, respectively. Market Conduct, twice stakes-placed in New York-bred company, drew post 13.

Also exiting solid maiden wins are Eh Cumpari, Combat Diver, and Leave the Light On. Moonlight Bandit is another, but he was cross-entered to Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs along with allowance-placed stablemate Flashaway.

Others of note include The Truth Or Else, a distant third in both the Champagne and Nashua, and Churchill graduate Keen Ice, a son of Curlin who finished fifth in last month's Breeders' Futurity after a slow start.

The Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle, a nine-furlong test for juvenile fillies, attracted a more compact field of eight, including Grade 1 scorers Condo Commando and Angela Renee.

Condo Commando registered her first two wins at Saratoga by a combined margin of 25 1/4 lengths, including the seven-furlong Spinaway in the slop. An odds-on favorite to repeat in wet conditions in the Frizette, the Rudy Rodriguez trainee instead endured a wide rating trip and settled for fourth in a field of seven.

After placing in the Adirondack and Spinaway, Angela Renee shipped west to take the Chandelier by 1 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita for trainer Todd Pletcher. The daughter of Bernardini was the 3-1 favorite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but made no impact after being bumped early over a track favoring speed.

Jacaranda enters undefeated from two starts, including a 3 1/2-length triumph in the one-mile Tempted earlier this month. Also unbeaten from two starts is Quezon, who has won both starts by six lengths each, albeit against New York-bred company. Her latest was a stakes triumph in the $250,000 Maid of Mist at Belmont.

Gap Year was favored to win the Alcibiades at Keeneland despite being a maiden, but endured a horribly wide trip. She came back to register her first win over the same track by a nose. Calamity Kate, who broke her maiden at Belmont by six lengths in September, was another who didn't fare well in the Alcibiades due to a wide journey.

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Lord Nelson stretches back out for Kentucky Jockey Club

Iroquois winner Lucky Player (right) leads the home team against Lord Nelson in the Kentucky Jockey Club (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

Lord Nelson will get another opportunity to demonstrate his two-turn prowess as one of 12 juveniles in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/16-mile event anchors the Louisville track's "Stars of Tomorrow II" program and is the final stakes of the fall meet, which concludes Sunday.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Lord Nelson has won two of three starts, his lone setback being his only prior two-turn try in the September 27 FrontRunner at Santa Anita. In what was arguably the deepest race of the season in the division, the Pulpit colt was a fading fourth behind star stablemate American Pharoh with eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red snagging the third slot. Lord Nelson rebounded to win the $101,000 Speakeasy, a six-furlong stakes, by 6 3/4 lengths on October 13.

Lucky Player, who turned in an 11-1 upset of the course-and-distance Iroquois on September 6, showed little when eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last time. The son of Lookin at Lucky also broke his maiden under the Twin Spires back in May.

Imperia and International Star move to the dirt after they both ran up the track in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last time. Imperia, who missed by less than a four lengths after a rough trip in the stretch, previously took the Pilgrim at Belmont on the grass and makes his dirt debut Saturday. International Star, who finished one position ahead of Imperia in the Juvenile Turf, previously landed the Grey over Woodbine's Polytrack and was second in his only prior attempt on dirt.

El Kabeir, one of the more noteworthy maiden winners during the Saratoga meet when he waltzed home by 10 3/4 lengths, enters the Kentucky Jockey Club off a distant second-place finish in the Nashua at Aqueduct, a race contested over a one-turn mile in the mud.

Others of note are Sky Hero and Eagle, who landed first-level allowances at Churchill and Keeneland, respectively, in the most recent outings; Flashaway, runner-up to Sky Hero in his dirt debut; and Jumpin Jac Flash, a five-length maiden winner last out for trainer Kenny McPeek.

A dozen two-year-old fillies will also travel 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 2, $200,000 Golden Rod. The likely favorites include the undefeated West Coast Belle, a 6 3/4-length winner of the $62,000 Rags to Riches at Churchill last month, and wire-to-wire Pocahontas winner Cristina's Journey, who finished 11th of 12 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last out.

Another intriguing entry is No Fault of Mine, who romped by 4 1/2 lengths in her Arlington debut on Polytrack in late September. The Chris Block trainee is by Blame, who famously landed the Breeders' Cup Classic and Clark Handicap over Churchill's main track.

McPeek saddles two stakes newcomers in the Golden Rod. Keeneland graduate I'm a Chatterbox adds Lasix after showing speed and fading to third behind returning rival Simply Confection in a course-and-distance allowance. Previously, Simply Confection was a distant second to West Coast Belle in the one-mile Rags to Riches.

Kathballu, the other McPeek entry, is one of several recent graduates who might factor with rapid progression. Also in that category are Martz and Jojo's Melody.

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Results

NORTH AMERICAN NON-GRADED STAKES RESULTS

ZIA PARK OAKS, ZIA, $309,000, 3YO, F, 1 1/16M, 11-26.
6—CASSATT, f, 3, Tapit--Justenufftime, by Giant's Causeway. ($300,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Fox Hill Farms, Inc, B-Mt Brilliant Farm LLC (KY), T-J. Larry Jones, J-Kerwin D. Clark, $185,400.
1—Thegirlinthatsong, f, 3, My Golden Song--Belle of the Band, by Dixieland Band. O-Russo, Tim, Russo, Peter R, Gatto, Daniel J and Hollendorfer, Jerry, B-Clarence Scharbauer Jr (TX), $67,980.
5—Shanon Nicole, f, 3, Majestic Warrior--Crafty Wac, by Patton. O-Connie M Apostelos, B-Connie Apostelos (KY), $30,900.
Also Ran: Belleofthebeach, Dream Spinner, Taste Like Candy.
Winning Time: 1:42 1/5 (ft)
Margins: 4HF, 3, 8 1/4.
Odds: 1.80, 6.30, 1.40.
 
ZIA PARK DISTAFF S., ZIA, $81,375, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 11-26.
1—LASTING BUBBLES, m, 6, Pulling Punches--Slim's Secret, by Desert Secret (IRE). O-Judy Peek, B-Judy Peek (TX), T-Kevin Peek, J-Kerwin D. Clark, $48,717.
8—Lady Contender, m, 5, Strong Contender--Gallant Jean, by Moro. ($1,700 2011 KEEJAN). O-Neugebauer, Preston and Rushton, Stacey, B-LaDona Hudson (KY), $17,862.
3—Doinghardtimeagain, f, 4, Ministers Wild Cat--Silver Hawk Lady, by Conquistador Cielo. O-Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC, B-Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, LLC (CA), $8,120.
Also Ran: African Rose, Fast N Fine Lookin, Joyful Tap, Warrens Venedalucy, Brilliant Rescue.
Winning Time: 1:09 4/5 (ft)
Margins: 2 3/4, NO, 3.
Odds: 6.10, 6.70, 1.60.
 
THANKSGIVING H., FG, $60,000, 3YO/UP, 6F, 11-27.
8—DELAUNAY, g, 7, Smoke Glacken--Perilous Night, by Coronado's Quest. O-Maggi Moss, B-Fitzhugh, LLC (MD), T-Thomas M. Amoss, J-James Graham, $36,000.
5—Take It Like a Man, c, 4, Run Away and Hide--Backatem, by Notebook. ($20,000 '11 FTKOCT; $27,000 2012 OBSJUN). O-Roger Braugh, Jr, B-J Bates, R Kirk, G McDonald, MRiordan & A Shaw, A Sones (KY), $12,000.
1—Nates Mineshaft, r, 7, Mineshaft--Angel's Tearlet, by Silver Deputy. ($8,000 '08 FTKOCT). O-Windy Hill Farm, B-Cobra Farm (KY), $6,600.
Also Ran: Lemon Drop Dream, Gantry, Rhetorical, Rugged.
Winning Time: 1:09 (ft)
Margins: 7, 1HF, NO.
Odds: 1.00, 10.10, 2.40.
 
OKLAHOMA STALLION S., RP, $55,000, 2YO, 6F, 11-28.
6—OKEY DOKEY KYLE, g, 2, Tactical Cat--Memory Divides, by Star Dabbler. O-Sachdev, Ann and Bravo, Lori, B-Ann Sachdev/Lori Bravo (OK), T-Francisco Bravo, J-Quincy Hamilton, $33,000.
7—Kenny Do the Math, c, 2, Ellerton--Smokin' Spirit, by Smoke Glacken. O-Danny R Caldwell, B-Danny R Caldwell (OK), $11,000.
4—Fast Chance, g, 2, Mr. Nightlinger--Jen n Jules, by Here We Come. O-Browning, Hal and Faulkner, David, B-Hal Browning & Dave Faulkner (OK), $6,050.
Also Ran: Mustang Eddie, Mr. Megatron, V B and Me, Batman Can.
Winning Time: 1:11 (ft)
Margins: 2 3/4, 1HF, 2.
Odds: 7.30, 2.40, 8.50.
 
OKLAHOMA STALLION FILLIES S., RP, $55,000, 2YO, F, 6F, 11-28.
6—DANCING DIVA, f, 2, Affirmatif--Midsummer Magic, by Pure Prize. ($5,800 '13 OKCAUG). O-Harmony Stable LLC, B-Hidden Springs Ranch LLC (OK), T-Boyd Caster, J-Curtis Kimes, $33,000.
3—Rich Uncle, f, 2, Save Big Money--Gunner's Niece, by Track Barron. O-Big Sugar Racing LLC, B-Big Sugar Racing, LLC (OK), $11,000.
2—Zealous Vision, f, 2, The Visualiser--American Sound, by Awesome Again. O-Center Hills Farm and Big Sugar Racing LLC, B-Center Hills Farm (OK), $6,050.
Also Ran: Sly Okie, Stratagem, Summer in Oklahoma, Zanira, Cause I'm Perti.
Winning Time: 1:10 2/5 (ft)
Margins: 8HF, 2 1/4, 4HF.
Odds: 1.50, 4.90, 1.50.

NORTH AMERICAN ALLOWANCE RESULTS

DMR, 6TH, ALW, $73,738, 3YO/UP, F/M, 7F, 11-28.
7—JUDY IN DISGUISE (GB), f, 4, Elusive City--Tomorrow's World (IRE), by Machiavellian. O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, B-Mrs Hugh Maitland-Jones (GB), T-Simon Callaghan, J-Joseph Talamo, $40,800.
8—Kathleen Rose, f, 4, Good Journey--Cantina's Rose, by Decarchy. O-B and B Zietz Stables, Inc, B-B&B Zietz Stables, Inc (CA), $17,680.
2—Kool Kat, f, 3, Scat Daddy--Kona Kat, by Mountain Cat. ($70,000 '12 FTKJUL; $47,500 2013 BESMAY). O-DP Racing, LLC, B-Jody Guida & Anthony Guida (KY), $8,160.
Winning Time: 1:22 4/5 (ft)
 
AQU, 5TH, AOC, $69,000, 3YO/UP, 1M, 11-27.
4—MOSLER, c, 3, War Front--Gold Vault, by Arch. ($1,050,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Adele B Dilschneider, B-Cherry Valley Farm, LLC (KY), T-William I. Mott, J-Joel Rosario, $41,400.
2—Wealth to Me, g, 7, Tapit--Wealthy Belongings, by Belong to Me. O-Drawing Away Stable and Jacobson, David, B-Robert Mondun & Vickie Mondun (KY), $13,800.
3—Erik the Red, g, 4, Into Mischief--Silent Siren, by Quiet American. ($35,000 '10 KEENOV; $105,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Lady Sheila Stable, B-Spendthrift Farm LLC (KY), $6,900.
Winning Time: 1:38 2/5 (sy)
 
AQU, 3RD, AOC, $67,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/8M, 11-28.
9—AGAWA, f, 4, Curlin--Silver Adventure, by Silver Deputy. O-Wachtel Stable, B-Sam-Son Farm (ON), T-Chris J. Englehart, J-Jose Lezcano, $40,200.
12—Lotsa Noodles, m, 6, Mass Media--Lotsa Pasta, by Beau Genius. ($1,000 2010 OBSAPR). O-Rodriguez, Rudy R and Imperio, Michael, B-Clare Silva (FL), $13,400.
11—Ginny's Grey, f, 4, Political Force--Minister's Baby, by Deputy Minister. O-The Players Group, B-Lucky Seven Stable (KY), $6,700.
Winning Time: 1:54 2/5 (my)
 
WO, 2ND, ALW, $66,171, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 11-26.
1—EXECUTIVE ALLURE, f, 3, Bold Executive--Ready and Alluring, by More Than Ready. O-William A Sorokolit, Sr, B-William Sorokolit (ON), T-Darwin D. Banach, J-Jesse M. Campbell, $39,703.
4—Dancing Ashley, f, 3, Olmodavor--Dancingonthewater, by Dance Brightly. (C$3,500 '12 ONTSEP). O-C E C Farms, B-Racehoss, Inc (ON), $13,234.
5—Kay's Grace, m, 5, Philanthropist--Northern Pine, by Pine Bluff. O-Burry, Lisa and Dunslow, Mike A, B-Ballycroy Training Centre (ON), $7,279.
Winning Time: 1:11 3/5 (ft)
 
DMR, 5TH, AOC, $62,382, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1MT, 11-28.
3—BARUTA (BRZ), m, 5, Crimson Tide (IRE)--Ultrasonic Girl (BRZ), by Mensageiro Alado (BRZ). O-Rio Dois Irmaos LLC, B-Stud Rio Dois Irmaos (BRZ), T-Richard E. Mandella, J-Tiago Josue Pereira, $34,800.
7—Intoxicating Move, f, 4, Milwaukee Brew--Kathleen Mahveryan, by Pentelicus. O-Little Red Feather Racing, Belmonte, Philip and Gorman, Mark, B-Carol L Ahearn (FL), $11,600.
10—Chati's On Top, f, 3, Old Topper--Chati Valley, by Globalize. O-Little Red Feather Racing and Naify, Marsha, B-BILL DELIA, H C MARTIN & RAY PAGAN (CA), $9,048.
Winning Time: 1:35 2/5 (fm)
 
DMR, 5TH, AOC, $62,110, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16MT, 11-27.
2—BLINGISMYTHING, f, 4, Arch--Dancing General, by General Meeting. ($60,000 '11 KEESEP). O-Class Racing Stable, B-Jack Swain (KY), T-J. Eric Kruljac, J-Joseph Talamo, $36,000.
7—Colonel Joan, f, 3, Colonel John--Live 'n Laugh, by Dixieland Band. O-Harty, Kathy and Mark DeDomenico LLC, B-Phil Owens (KY), $12,000.
11—Aguafria, f, 4, More Than Ready--Briviesca (GB), by Peintre Celebre. O-Sarl Darpat France, B-Darpat France SARL (KY), $7,200.
Winning Time: 1:41 4/5 (fm)
 
WO, 8TH, ALW, $61,019, 3YO/UP, F/M, 5F, 11-28.
7—MAYTHEFOURTHBWITHU, f, 3, Silent Name (JPN)--Cat's Calling, by Caller I. D.. (C$3,500 '12 ONTSEP). O-Frank D Di Giulio, Jr, B-Paradox Farm (ON), T-Robert P. Tiller, J-Patrick Husbands, $37,215.
1—Marcian, m, 5, Roman Ruler--Nessarose, by Deputy Commander. O-D-Mac Racing Stable Inc, B-Donver Stable (ON), $12,405.
2—Simple as That, m, 5, Langfuhr--Simply Again, by Dance Brightly. (C$30,000 '10 ONTSEP). O-Craig LeMoyne, B-Albert Bozzo (ON), $5,687.
Winning Time: :59 1/5 (ft)
 
AQU, 7TH, AOC, $59,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6 1/2F, 11-28.
7—SISTER MARGARET, f, 3, Pulpit--Dance Gal Dance, by Disco Rico. O-Alfred DiRico, B-Alfred DiRico (NY), T-Nicholas Esler, J-Irad Ortiz, Jr., $35,400.
3—Spinit to Winit, f, 4, Hard Spun--Prophetically, by Pulpit. O-Broman, Sr, Chester and Mary, B-Chester Broman & Mary R Broman (NY), $11,800.
5—Elmra, f, 3, Mizzen Mast--Party Girl (FR), by Bering (GB). ($35,000 '12 FTNAUG). O-Alan Brodsky, B-Happy Hill Farm (NY), $5,900.
Winning Time: 1:18 4/5 (my)
 
DMR, 2ND, AOC, $58,500, 2YO, F, 5 1/2F, 11-27.
1—XOXO, f, 2, Majestic Warrior--Text Queen, by Strong Hope. ($85,000 2014 OBSJUN). O-STD Racing Stable, Miller, A Venneri Racing, Inc, JR Rafter Ranches et al, B-Curtis C Green (KY), T-Peter Miller, J-Elvis Trujillo, $34,800.
4—Windy Forecast, f, 2, Stormy Atlantic--Scapegoat, by Forty Niner. ($72,000 '13 KEESEP; $260,000 2014 OBSAPR). O-Brown, Darrell, Brown, Lendy and TNIP Racing, B-McKnight Thoroughbreds LLC (KY), $11,600.
6—Stealth Drone, f, 2, Smoke Glacken--Stealth Cat, by Magic Cat. O-Haymes, N, Kenney, D, Sterling Stables, Leibovitch, G and Rothblum, S, B-J Kirk Robison & Judy Robison (KY), $6,960.
Winning Time: 1:03 2/5 (ft)
 
AQU, 3RD, ALW, $55,860, 3YO/UP, 6 1/2F, 11-27.
6—WILD FINISH, g, 4, Magna Graduate--Wildnexcitable, by Vicar. ($5,200 '11 FTMOCT; $15,000 2012 FTMMAY). O-Neal M Allread, B-David Smart & Garry Lee (NY), T-Jeremiah C. Englehart, J-Jose L. Ortiz, $34,200.
2—Mighty Zealous, g, 3, Here's Zealous--Winters Bell, by Winter Glitter. ($40,000 2013 OBSAPR). O-Rice, Linda and Sacandaga Stable, B-Gerald Reid (NY), $11,400.
5—Giantinthemoonlite, c, 3, Giant's Causeway--Moonlightandbeauty, by Capote. O-Albert Fried, Jr, B-Albert Fried Jr (NY), $5,700.
Winning Time: 1:20 2/5 (sy)
 
CD, 4TH, AOC, $46,855, 3YO/UP, 7F, 11-27.
5—APPREHENDER, g, 5, Posse--Missy's Mirage, by Stop the Music. ($21,000 '10 KEESEP). O-Dream Farm LLC, B-Jayeff B Stables (KY), T-Chris Richard, J-Corey J. Lanerie, $29,400.
4—Pataky Kid, c, 4, Rockport Harbor--Prom Princess, by Gold Case. ($62,000 '11 KEESEP; $95,000 2012 FTFMAR). O-Swifty Farms Inc, B-H Allen Poindexter (OK), $8,600.
3—Rise Up, c, 3, Rockport Harbor--Appenzell, by Johannesburg. O-Paul Van Doren, B-Cottonwood Stables, LLC (KY), $4,900.
Winning Time: 1:23 1/5 (ft)
 
LRL, 8TH, AOC, $46,654, 3YO/UP, F/M, A1 1/16M, 11-27.
1—FOURSOUTHERNBELLES, m, 5, Stephen Got Even--Toni DeNitto, by Quiet American. ($1,000 '10 FTKOCT). O-Franklin G Smith, Sr, B-Runnymede Farm Inc & Catesby W Clay (KY), T-Hamilton A. Smith, J-Victor R. Carrasco, $25,650.
4—Luna Time, f, 3, Malibu Moon--High Moment, by High Yield. O-Brown, Dorsey and Palmer, Richard W, B-Dorsey Brown & Richard Palmer (MD), $11,104.
6—Majestic Marquet, f, 4, Proud Accolade--Marquet Niche, by Marquetry. ($13,000 '11 OBSAUG). O-Buckley, Jr, John F, Durante, Ralph and Penn, John B, B-Lucy Edwards & Randell Edwards (FL), $4,950.
Winning Time: 1:47 (my)
 
CD, 4TH, AOC, $45,222, 3YO/UP, 1 1/8MT, 11-28.
4—GOLDEN SOUL, c, 4, Perfect Soul (IRE)--Hollywood Gold, by Mr. Prospector. O-Charles E Fipke, B-Charles Fipke (KY), T-Dallas Stewart, J-Joel Rosario, $28,200.
5—Trace Creek, c, 4, Harperstown--Cookie Bight Cove, by Elusive Quality. O-Shortleaf Stable, Inc, B-Shortleaf Stable (AR), $8,240.
1—For Greater Glory, c, 4, Afleet Alex--Lady's Touch, by Touch Gold. O-Lieblong, Alex and JoAnn, B-Peter E Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY), $4,700.
Winning Time: 1:51 4/5 (gd)
 
CD, 9TH, AOC, $44,100, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6 1/2F, 11-28.
3—BELLE NATALIE, f, 4, First Defence--Yankee Belle, by Yankee Gentleman. ($20,000 '10 KEENOV). O-Stephen Wigmore, B-Sean Gorman (KY), T-Kellyn Gorder, J-Corey J. Lanerie, $27,000.
7—Pearl Turn, f, 4, Bernardini--Turn Me Loose, by Kris S.. ($130,000 '10 KEENOV; $225,000 '11 KEESEP; $200,000 2014 KEEJAN). O-Van Meter II, Thomas F and Grady, Brad, B-Bloodstock Holdings LLC (KY), $9,000.
6—Silver Union, f, 3, Dixie Union--Daguerreotype, by Silver Deputy. ($37,000 '12 KEESEP; $170,000 2013 OBSMAR). O-Ramsey, Kenneth L and Sarah K, B-Fares Farm, LLC (KY), $4,500.
Winning Time: 1:17 3/5 (ft)
 
CD, 6TH, ALW, $43,203, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/8M, 11-27.
5—TAP TWENTY ONE, f, 4, Tapit--Twenty One A. C., by Deputy Minister. O-Alex G Campbell, Jr, B-Alex G Campbell, Jr Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY), T-George R. Arnold, II, J-Jesus Lopez Castanon, $25,800.
12—Ma Billet Doux, f, 3, Tapit--Saintlike, by Saint Ballado. ($500,000 '12 FTSAUG). O-Live Oak Plantation, B-James Miller (KY), $8,600.
1—Nominative, f, 3, Johar--Double Schott, by Demons Begone. O-Ramsey, Kenneth L and Sarah K, B-Charles H Deters (KY), $4,300.
Winning Time: 1:53 2/5 (ft)
 
LRL, 6TH, AOC, $42,809, 2YO, 6F, 11-27.
4—MADE BAIL, g, 2, Closing Argument--Leva Mae, by Emancipator. O-Susan S Cooney, B-Susan S Cooney (VA), T-Susan S. Cooney, J-Sheldon Russell, $23,940.
5—Gottcha Blessin, g, 2, Gottcha Gold--Paisley Park, by Notebook. O-Tony Wilson, B-Ocala Stud (FL), $8,820.
6—Whiskey N Gambling, g, 2, E Dubai--Big Cat Walks Late, by Stormy Atlantic. O-Five Hellions Farm, B-Ned Williams, Mike Matese & Dr Morgan Dove (MD), $5,429.
Winning Time: 1:13 (my)
 
LRL, 8TH, ALW, $42,809, 3YO/UP, 1M, 11-28.
4—SECRETIVE, c, 4, Indian Charlie--Collusion, by Broad Brush. O-Phipps Stable, B-Phipps Stable (KY), T-Claude R. McGaughey III, J-Trevor McCarthy, $23,940.
10—Segovia, c, 4, Unbridled's Song--Tap to Music, by Pleasant Tap. O-Stronach Stables, B-Adena Springs (ON), $8,820.
5—Who Dat Boy, g, 5, Cherokee's Boy--Slow and Steady, by Malibu Moon. O-Gary R Katz, B-ZWP Stable (MD), $5,429.
Winning Time: 1:36 2/5 (ft)
 
WO, 4TH, OCL, $42,358, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6 1/2F, 11-28.
6—GRANDMA'S HOUSE, f, 3, Limehouse--Barbs Glitter, by Glitterman. O-Bruno Schickedanz, B-Gabe Grossberg (KY), T-Norman McKnight, J-Justin Stein, $21,069.
1—Generous Consort, f, 4, Philanthropist--Executive Consort, by Bold Executive. O-Rainbow End Racing Stable, House Dr RK and Mehta, Soli, B-Dr R K House (ON), $11,241.
5—Virreina, f, 3, Vibank--Psychedelia, by Wild Zone. O-William Diamant, B-Victoria Pappas (ON), $6,182.
Winning Time: 1:18 (ft)
 
WO, 3RD, ALW, $42,263, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 11-28.
5—MOONLITE GLINT, f, 3, Bold N' Flashy--Moonlite Walk, by Migrating Moon. O-Buttigieg Training Centre, B-Paul Buttigieg (ON), T-Paul M. Buttigieg, J-David Moran, $25,146.
2—Letter Fly, f, 3, Alphabet Soup--Flying Tabriz, by Turkoman. (C$32,000 '12 ONTSEP; $25,000 2014 KEEJAN). O-Janet Jeanpierre, B-Janet Jeanpierre (ON), $8,382.
7—Mi Hat Mi Coat, f, 3, Weather Warning--Boldly Victorious, by Bold Executive. O-Debra E Rombis, B-Black Diamond Thoroughbreds (ON), $4,610.
Winning Time: 1:12 1/5 (ft)
 
WO, 1ST, ALW, $42,263, 2YO, 6F, 11-28.
6—THREE RING CIRCUS, g, 2, Where's the Ring--Yolie, by Menifee. O-Frank D Di Giulio, Jr, B-Frank Di Giulio Jr (ON), T-Robert P. Tiller, J-Gary Boulanger, $25,146.
1—Undercover Cat, g, 2, Where's the Ring--Runaway Cat, by Forest Wildcat. O-El Batey Farm LLC, B-El Batey Farm LLC (ON), $8,382.
3—Executive One, g, 2, Bold Executive--Shes the Right One, by One Way Love. (C$20,000 '13 ONTSEP). O-C E C Farms, B-Paul Buttigieg (ON), $4,610.
Winning Time: 1:11 4/5 (ft)
 
CD, 10TH, AOC, $42,138, 3YO/UP, 1 1/16M, 11-27.
13—JOY BOY, g, 6, Tribal Rule--Joyously, by Half Term. O-TK Stables LLC (Kevin and Tammie Hulse), B-Dr & Mrs William T Gray (CA), T-Kellyn Gorder, J-Shaun Bridgmohan, $23,760.
6—Joha, c, 4, Johar--Mujado (IRE), by Mujadil. O-Wade M Wacker, B-BEC Bloodstock (KY), $9,000.
14—Donoharm, g, 5, Lemon Drop Kid--Tasso Run, by Cherokee Run. ($57,000 '10 KEESEP). O-Sanders, Wayne and Hirsch, Larry, B-Double Eagle Ranch (KY), $4,500.
Winning Time: 1:45 1/5 (ft)
 
FG, 7TH, AOC, $42,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6F, 11-28.
3—STARSHIP DUCHESS, m, 5, Speightstown--Heir to the Queen, by King of Kings (IRE). O-Louie J Roussel III, B-Hindman Limited Partnership, LLLP (KY), T-Louie J. Roussel, III, J-Richard E. Eramia, $25,200.
5—Table Three Ten, m, 5, El Prado (IRE)--Hopes and Dreams, by More Than Ready. O-Team Valor International, B-Cobra Farm & Suzanne Biszantz (KY), $8,400.
2—Janis's Joy, m, 5, Broken Vow--Ever Elusive, by Forestry. ($12,000 '09 KEENOV; $3,500 '10 KEESEP). O-Eric Heitzmann Racing Inc, B-Padua Stables, LLC (KY), $4,620.
Winning Time: 1:10 1/5 (ft)
 
DED, 2ND, ALW, $42,000, 3YO/UP, 6 1/2F, 11-28.
4—JOBAY, g, 4, Art Museum--Hash It Out, by Lost Code. O-Trotter, Greta and Logan, B-Darrell Comeaux & Jo Ann Comeaux (LA), T-Keith G. Bourgeois, J-Joseph Walter Patin, Jr., $25,200.
3—Dixie Beat, g, 3, Minister Eric--Dixieland Dancer, by Dixieland Band. ($38,000 2013 TEXMAR). O-Sanders, Wayne and Hirsch, Larry, B-Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson (LA), $8,400.
6—Deep Bottom, c, 3, Lone Star Special--Open Skies, by Defrere. O-Tigertail Ranch, B-Tigertail Ranch (LA), $4,620.
Winning Time: 1:19 3/5 (ft)
 
DED, 8TH, ALW, $42,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 6 1/2F, 11-26.
1—BABEFROMTHEGITGO, f, 3, Easyfromthegitgo--Miracle Babe, by Fraser River. O-Brian Schweda, Jr, B-Ryder River Ridge Farms Inc (LA), T-Brian Schweda, J-Alexander Castillo, $25,200.
5—Annagrace'spal, f, 4, Lunarpal--Madison's Music, by Prospector's Music. ($2,000 '11 TEXAUG). O-Samuel Breaux, B-William Boudreaux & Chet Boudreaux (LA), $8,400.
9—Alysay, f, 3, Top Venture--Jennifer's Say, by Oh Say. O-Patti Turner, B-Jerry D Cart (LA), $4,620.
Winning Time: 1:21 4/5 (ft)
 
GPW, 8TH, ALW, $41,200, 3YO/UP, F/M, 5FT, 11-28.
8—WHAT A PARTY, m, 5, Congrats--Christmas Lights, by Citidancer. ($25,000 2011 OBSAPR). O-Bridle Path Racing Stable, Inc, B-Brent Fernung & Crystal Fernung (FL), T-Edward Plesa, Jr., J-Paco Lopez, $25,600.
6—Spun Cap, m, 5, Hard Spun--Capital Request, by Repriced. O-TEW, LP, B-Buck Pond Farm, Inc & Tew, LP (KY), $7,980.
2—Red Minx, f, 3, Wildcat Heir--Gold Minx, by Officer. O-Friedfertig, Steven and NTS Stable, Inc, B-Alan Braun & Ken English (FL), $4,580.
Winning Time: :57 (fm)
 
FG, 9TH, ALW, $41,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 5 1/2F, 11-28.
4—GIA DIGZIT, f, 4, Eugene's Third Son--I Dig U, by Excavate. O-Raney, Brad and Weaver, Kenneth, B-Anthony Lowrie & Kenneth Weaver (LA), T-Karl Broberg, J-Jamie Theriot, $24,600.
10—Platinum Lady, f, 3, Half Ours--Isle of Grey, by Digression. O-Valene Farms, B-Valene Farms, LLC (LA), $8,200.
7—Alivia's Lion, f, 4, Lion Tamer--Ms. Banker, by Banker's Gold. O-Duvieilh, John and Hernandez, Keith J and Earl J, B-Alston Pitzer Thoroughbreds (LA), $4,510.
Winning Time: 1:05 3/5 (ft)
 
FG, 7TH, ALW, $41,000, 3YO/UP, 5 1/2F, 11-27.
2—ALL OWLS, g, 3, Half Ours--Sarah's My Angel, by Sutter's Prospect. ($60,000 '12 LTBSEP). O-Brittlyn Stable, Inc, B-Val C Murrell (LA), T-Ron Faucheux, J-Richard E. Eramia, $24,600.
1—King Bandit, g, 5, Time Bandit--Ante Nettie, by Upping the Ante. O-Peter L Orlando, B-Peter Lawrence Orlando (LA), $8,200.
8—Senior Rapidor, g, 3, Heckle--Senorita Rapida, by Falstaff. O-Whispering Oaks Farm LLC, B-Carrol J Castille (LA), $4,510.
Winning Time: 1:04 3/5 (ft)
 
CD, 10TH, ALW, $40,223, 3YO/UP, 1 1/16MT, 11-28.
9—HEUSTON (IRE), g, 5, Acclamation (GB)--On the Razz, by With Approval. O-Riverside Bloodstock, LLC and Beaty, Dan, B-R Roberts (IRE), T-Conor Murphy, J-Chris Landeros, $22,680.
1—Branded Hand, c, 3, Hard Spun--Cape Cod Lady, by Yonaguska. ($50,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Ramsey, Kenneth L and Sarah K, B-Somewhere Stables KY, LLC (KY), $8,600.
10—Wine List, c, 4, Giant's Causeway--Comeon Dixie, by Mr. Greeley. ($300,000 '11 KEESEP). O-West, Gary and Mary, B-Fares Farm, LLC (KY), $4,300.
Winning Time: 1:45 3/5 (gd)
 
FG, 3RD, AOC, $40,000, 2YO, F, 6F, 11-28.
4—TOUTSIE RULES, f, 2, Roman Ruler--Charming Toutsie, by Storm Cat. ($22,000 '13 KEESEP). O-Pridham, Hilary A, Haynes Stables LLC, Ellis, Angela and Farrell, Marette, B-Reiley McDonald & J B McKathan (KY), T-Michael Stidham, J-James Graham, $24,000.
5—Lovely Maria, f, 2, Majesticperfection--Thundercup, by Thunder Gulch. O-Brereton C Jones, B-Olin B Gentry & Thomas B Gaines (KY), $8,000.
3—Cool Song, f, 2, Dunkirk--Cool Corredor, by El Corredor. ($19,000 '13 FTKOCT). O-Martin Racing Stable LLC and Calhoun, W Bret, B-Betz Thoroughbreds, Inc (KY), $4,400.
Winning Time: 1:10 3/5 (ft)
 
FG, 5TH, ALW, $40,000, 3YO/UP, 1M 70Y, 11-28.
5—DANNY T, g, 4, Yonaguska--Lavender Sea, by Woodman. ($15,000 '11 LTBSEP). O-Andrew T Ney, Jr, B-DocAtty Stables, LLC (LA), T-Andrew T. Ney, J-Andre R. Ramgeet, $24,000.
2—Know You Now, g, 3, Half Ours--Onda Ray, by On Target. ($28,000 '12 FTKJUL). O-Double Dip Stables, B-Fine Line Farm (LA), $8,000.
3—Executive Call, g, 4, Master Command--President's Girl, by Deputy Minister. O-Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC and Gasaway, Brent, B-Twin Creeks Farm (LA), $4,400.
Winning Time: 1:43 3/5 (ft)
 
GG, 4TH, AOC, $38,359, 3YO/UP, 1 1/16MT, 11-28.
5—EAGLE SCREAMS, g, 5, Redattore (BRZ)--Dreamy Jeanie, by Free House. O-M A Douzos, B-Don Eidson (CA), T-Gil Matos, J-Catalino Martinez, $24,180.
6—Skip Tony, g, 5, Mizzen Mast--Queen Dido, by Thunder Gulch. O-Team Green LLC, Hollendorfer, Janet and Todaro, George, B-William D Gould (KY), $6,200.
4—Tribal Jewel, g, 5, Tribal Rule--Fair Bianca, by Bien Bien. O-John Battle, B-Halo Farms (CA), $4,836.
Winning Time: 1:43 (gd)
 
FG, 4TH, ALW, $38,000, 3YO/UP, A7 1/2FT, 11-28.
1—AZTEC BRAVE (FR), c, 3, Pyrus--Azteca (GB), by Spinning World. (6,000EUR '12 OSASEP; 10,000EUR 2013 ARQNOV). O-Brad Grady, B-1 0sA Cuadra Africa (FR), T-Joe Sharp, J-Forest Boyce, $22,800.
7—Aqtaar, g, 6, Smart Strike--Ashraakat, by Danzig. ($3,000 2011 KEENOV). O-Peitz, Daniel and McCrocklin, Tom, B-Shadwell Farm, LLC (KY), $7,600.
6—Galton, c, 3, Offlee Wild--Nibbana, by Giant's Causeway. O-Flaxman Holdings, Ltd, B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY), $4,180.
Winning Time: 1:29 3/5 (fm)
 
GPW, 9TH, AOC, $36,400, 3YO/UP, 6F, 11-27.
4—SONGA, g, 4, Songandaprayer--Cool Jazzed, by Dixieland Band. ($1,500 '10 KEENOV). O-White Wabbit Wacing LLC, B-Ocidental Thoroughbreds (KY), T-Jorge Navarro, J-Jonathan J. Gonzales, $21,600.
5—El Botas, c, 3, Consolidator--Found Gold, by West Acre. ($5,000 2013 OBSJUN). O-White Wabbit Wacing LLC, B-Jessica Lynn Stegall (FL), $7,960.
2—Saucy Don, c, 4, Don Six--Saucy Broad, by Belong to Me. O-Patricia A Generazio, B-Patricia Generazio (NJ), $3,960.
Winning Time: 1:10 1/5 (ft)
 
GPW, 8TH, AOC, $36,000, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16MT, 11-27.
4—NAUGHTY HOLIDAY, f, 3, Harlan's Holiday--Mrs. Coolidge, by Quiet American. ($135,000 '11 KEENOV; $40,000 2013 OBSAPR). O-William D McCarty, B-Totem Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY), T-David Fawkes, J-Leandro R. Goncalves, $21,600.
1—Danalin, f, 3, Curlin--Danaway, by Giant's Causeway. O-Sheldon Nitenson, B-Sheldon Nitenson (KY), $7,200.
7—Will to Shine, m, 5, Sun King--Willow Woodman, by Woodman. O-Champion Equine LLC, B-Fred W Pace (KY), $3,600.
Winning Time: 1:44 3/5 (fm)
 
GG, 6TH, ALW, $35,505, 3YO/UP, 1 1/8MT, 11-28.
5—MOTOWN MEN, g, 5, Decarchy--Ringading, by Gilded Time. O-Steve Moger, B-Mark Gorman & Doug O'Neill (CA), T-Ed Moger, Jr., J-Alejandro Gomez, $23,400.
1—Already Rockin, g, 4, Rock Hard Ten--Cauy, by Maria's Mon. ($90,000 '10 KEENOV). O-Josephson, Jedd B and Lynch, Liam, B-Dixiana Stables Inc (KY), $6,000.
6—Blu Jon, g, 7, Awesome Again--Alpha Mama, by Unbridled's Song. ($195,000 '08 KEESEP). O-Moss, Mr and Mrs Jerome S, B-Mr & Mrs Jerome Moss (KY), $3,600.
Winning Time: 1:51 (gd)
 
HAW, 8TH, ALW, $27,720, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1 1/16M, 11-28.
1—ROSIE MY ROSIE, f, 4, Purge--Rosie's Ransom, by Marquetry. O-William Stiritz, B-John Kerber & Iveta Kerber (IL), T-Scott Becker, J-Santo Sanjur, $17,640.
2—Blooming Flower, m, 5, Shore Breeze--Fappies Flower, by Fappie's Notebook. O-Clabor Mor Stable LLC, B-John Haran & Michael Ryan (IL), $5,880.
*7—Colony Crossing, f, 4, Into Mischief--Crosstown Traffic, by Good and Tough. ($25,000 '10 KEENOV). O-Granitz, Anthony J, Wilkes, Scott and Standlee, Kendel D, B-Pine Tree Mares LLC (IN), $2,100.
Winning Time: 1:44 1/5 (ft)
     ***Brazyn Appeal finished third but was disqualified and placed fourth.
 
MNR, 7TH, ALW, $22,800, 3YO/UP, F/M, 1M 70Y, 11-26.
5—SYNFULL TALE, f, 3, Syncline--True Love Is Gold, by Goldwater. O-Marilyn McMaster, B-Marilyn McMaster (PA), T-Ronald D. Allen, Sr., J-T. D. Houghton, $13,680.
7—Quality Legend, f, 3, Elusive Quality--Binalegend, by Binalong. O-XYZ Racing, B-Mercedes Stables LLC (KY), $4,560.
6—Crack Your Whip, f, 3, Stephen Got Even--Relaxing Green, by Formal Gold. ($30,000 '12 KEESEP). O-Allied Racing Stable, LLC, B-Jack Swain (KY), $2,280.
Winning Time: 1:47 3/5 (gd)
 
MNR, 5TH, ALW, $20,000, 3YO/UP, 5 1/2F, 11-26.
3C—PHANTOM FEAR, g, 3, Fear the Cape--Never Enough, by Menifee. O-Barbara J Houck, B-Barbara Jane Houck (WV), T-Jeff C. Runco, J-Deshawn L. Parker, $11,800.
2B—Zephyrous, c, 3, Lion Hearted--Orcutt, by Afternoon Deelites. O-Shotwell Farm, B-Harold Shotwell (WV), $4,000.
7—Me Voy, g, 5, Trust n Luck--Friendly Dreamer, by Friendly Lover. O-Alix L White, B-Alix L White (WV), $2,000.
Winning Time: 1:06 3/5 (gd)
 
MNR, 6TH, ALW, $20,000, 3YO/UP, 1M, 11-26.
4—MALIBU SPRINGS, g, 3, Malibu Moon--So Probable, by Storm Cat. ($230,000 '11 KEENOV; $300,000 '12 KEESEP; $115,000 2013 KEENOV). O-Kermit Burton, B-Estate of Edward P Evans (VA), T-Aaron M. West, J-Deshawn L. Parker, $12,000.
2—Goldies Nugget, g, 4, Delaware Township--Golden Dollar, by Silver Buck. O-Santillo, T and DeCarlo, J, B-Thomas Santillo (PA), $4,000.
9—Larry and Elaine, g, 5, French Jordan--Elaine's Wolfette, by Wolf Power (SAF). O-Larry Howard, B-Larry Howard (KY), $2,000.
Winning Time: 1:41 (gd)
 
FL, 7TH, ALW, $16,900, 3YO/UP, 1M 70Y, 11-28.
3—DREAMBOAT, g, 3, Freud--Gretta's Dream, by Cozzene. O-Langpap Stables, B-Mia Gallo & Deborah Petrisak (NY), T-M. Anthony Ferraro, J-Pedro A. Rodriguez, $10,140.
5—Unbridled Band, g, 4, Bandini--Beyond the Limit, by Unbridled. O-Patricia A Generazio, B-Patricia Generazio (NY), $3,380.
1—Ugga, g, 4, Prime Timber--Maeve the Rave, by Belong to Me. O-Paul W Barrow, B-Andiamo Farm & Sez Who Thoroughbreds (NY), $1,690.
Winning Time: 1:44 (ft)

Racing Headlines

Cary Street, Ever Rider clash again at Hawthorne

Cary Street, a dominating winner of the Las Vegas Marathon on the Breeders' Cup undercard last month, goes in search of his third graded victory of the season Saturday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup over 1 1/4 miles. A relaxed early trailer in the 1 3/4-length Marathon, Cary Street overcame a 15-length deficit to win the Grade 2 successor race to the Breeders' Cup Marathon by 9 1/4 lengths.

Cary Street's main rival is Ever Rider, with whom he had exchanged decisions prior to that jaunt to Santa Anita. In the 1 1/2-mile Greenwood Cup at Parx on Labor Day, Cary Street registered a 28-1 upset over Ever Rider by a length. Ever Rider rebounded to take the 1 5/8-mile Temperence Hill at Belmont, with Cary Street 10 lengths behind in third over a sloppy track.

There are plenty of speed elements in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, including Red Rifle, Abraham, Midnight Aria, and Call Me George. Besides Cary Street and Ever Rider, others who might benefit from a fast, contested pace are the locally-based Mister Marti Gras and Street Spice, who ran second and third, respectively, in last year's Gold Cup.

Also in the lineup are multiple stakes winner Fordubai, sixth in the Gold Cup a year ago, and recent Empire Classic upsetter Effinex.

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North American Maiden Winners
Artie Schiller--Fantastic Promise by Fantastic Light; FANTASIZE, c, 2, FG, Msw, 11-27, a1mT, 1:38 2/5. B-Jackie Ramos (KY.). $30,000 '13 FTKJUL.
Bullsbay--Alvinia by Horatius; CHESAPEAKE SPRING, f, 2, LRL, Mcl 16000, 11-27, 6f, 1:13 3/5. B-Cornelia S. Gibson (MD.). $17,000 '13 FTMSEP.
Catienus--Regina Madre (GB) by Cadeaux Genereux (GB); SCATTERED DREAMS, g, 2, AQU, Mcl 40000, 11-27, 6 1/2f, 1:21 3/5. B-W. Robert Bailes (NY.).
Closing Argument--Desert Yield by High Yield; SHESA PROWLER, f, 2, ZIA, Msw, 11-26, 5 1/2f, 1:05 . B-Donnell Echols (TX.).
Colonel John--Bella Ballado by Saint Ballado; L'AIR DE MONTAGNE, f, 2, GPW, Mcl 50000, 11-27, 1mT, 1:37 2/5. B-Jenny Mills & WinStar Farm LLC (KY.). $37,000 '13 KEESEP.
Concord Point--My Brooklynne Rose by Indian Charlie; MY SWEET ELLIEROSE, f, 2, LRL, Mcl 25000, 11-27, 5 1/2f, 1:06 4/5. B-Clark Otto Brewster (NY.). $10,000 2014 FTMMAY.
Flower Alley--Most Awesome by Awesome Again; OCEAN ALLEY, c, 2, CD, Mcl 30000, 11-28, 6f, 1:12 1/5. B-Lee V. Felts (KY.). $20,000 '13 FTKJUL.
Half Ours--Tactical Plus by Tactical Advantage; TAKEMETONEWORLEANS, c, 2, FG, Mcl 12500, 11-28, 6f, 1:13 3/5. B-Coulee Crouche Thoroughbreds, LLC (LA.). $25,000 '13 OBSAUG.
Harlington--Taps Return by Pleasant Tap; WHAT'S IN A NAME, f, 2, FG, Mcl 15000, 11-27, 6f, 1:13 1/5. B-Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. (KY.).
Henrythenavigator--Ladymedaglia d'Oro by Medaglia d'Oro; RENOMBRE, c, 2, GPW, Mcl 25000, 11-27, 6f, 1:13 3/5. B-Michael Sucher (KY.). $15,000 '13 KEESEP.
High Cotton--For Peter's Sake by Scatmandu; HIGH PROFIT, f, 2, DMR, Mcl 30000, 11-27, 6f, 1:12 2/5. B-MAFE Racing Stable, Inc. (FL.). $13,000 '13 OBSAUG; $55,000 2014 OBSAPR.
High Cotton--Saint Gertrude by Saint Ballado; TASUNKE WITCO, c, 2, PRX, Msw, 11-28, 6f, 1:12 2/5. B-Ocala Stud (FL.). $40,000 2014 OBSAPR.
Kantharos--Lady Jazz by Kentucky Jazz; JAZZY JOSH, g, 2, DMR, Mcl 62500, 11-27, 5 1/2f, 1:03 4/5. B-Maverick Stables Inc. (FL.). $24,000 '12 OBSOCT; $95,000 2014 BESMAY; $47,000 2014 OBSAPR.
Lewis Michael--Red Duchess by Helmsman; FORT LEWIS RIVERS, g, 2, HAW, Mcl 17500, 11-28, 6f, 1:11 . B-Takeshi Fujita (KY.). $12,000 '13 KEESEP.
Line of David--Maggie's Pearle by Bright Launch; REDLACE AND PEARLS, f, 2, CD, Mcl 30000, 11-27, 6f, 1:13 . B-Belvedere Farm Inc. (KY.). $25,000 '12 FTKNOV; $35,000 '13 KEESEP; $110,000 2014 OBSAPR.
Luftikus--Deed I Do by Alydeed; AFFABLE SAY EYE, g, 2, LRL, Mcl 16000, 11-28, 5 1/2f, 1:06 . B-Barak Farm (WV.). $25,000 '13 FTMSEP. *1/2 to War Dancer (G2$655,862).
Malibu Moon--Instrumentalist by Bernstein; FLOR DE LA LUNA, f, 2, FG, Msw, 11-28, a1mT, 1:39 . B-Castleton Lyons & Kilboy Estate (KY.). $140,000 '13 FTKJUL.
Munnings--Spirit of Wailea by Out of Place; EL DEAL, c, 2, AQU, Mcl 30000, 11-28, 6f, 1:11 4/5. B-Martha Buckner (KY.). $57,000 '12 KEENOV.
Nationhood--Peaceful Wings by Halo; PEACEFUL NATION, f, 2, TUP, Mcl 10000, 11-28, 6f, 1:11 3/5. B-Mr. & Mrs. Frederick L. Pabst (WA.). $10,000 '13 WASAUG. *1/2 to Jebrica (MG3P$327,567).
Nobiz Like Shobiz--Winters Bell by Winter Glitter; DRAMA KING, c, 2, GPW, Mcl 50000, 11-26, 6f, 1:11 4/5. B-Gerald Reid (NY.). $13,000 2014 OBSJUN.
Not for Love--Broad Gale by Broad Brush; BROAD LOVER, g, 2, PRX, Mcl 15000, 11-28, 1m, 1:42 . B-Spring Run Farm, LLC (PA.).
Podium--Nine Flags by Forty Niner; SERMONIZER, g, 2, RP, Msw, 11-28, 6 1/2f, 1:19 . B-Ray Kirk (OK.).
Porto Foricos--Peachsfromthegitgo by Easyfromthegitgo; NANNY'S PEACH, f, 2, FG, Mcl 12500, 11-27, 6f, 1:13 2/5. B-Kim Sirgo & Jeanette Mocklin (LA.).
Rock Slide--Peace Be With You by Peace Rules; SLIDE BY YOU, g, 2, LRL, Mcl 25000, 11-27, 1m, 1:41 2/5. B-Daniel T. O'Ryan & Kara O'Ryan (MD.).
Sharp Humor--Overocks by Capote; MIST, c, 2, CD, Mcl 50000, 11-27, 6f, 1:11 3/5. B-Mark Dodson (ON.). $20,000 '13 KEESEP; $45,000 2014 OBSAPR.
Shermanesque--Roman Fooler by Gulf Storm; P'S N Q'S, c, 2, DED, Mcl 10000, 11-26, 6 1/2f, 1:24 3/5. B-Doris Hebert (LA.).
Street Boss--Amiga Del Sol by Friends Lake; THROWN OF MY OWN, c, 2, AQU, Msw, 11-27, 1m, 1:41 2/5. B-Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman (NY.).
Too Much Bling--Comanche Wind by Forestry; COMANCHE BLING, c, 2, RP, Mcl 15000, 11-28, 5 1/2f, 1:04 1/5. B-Jeanne Bruce & Jim Taylor (TX.). $4,700 '13 TEXAUG.
Two Step Salsa--Love That Touch by Arroyo; SOAL, c, 2, GPW, Mcl 25000, 11-27, 1 1/16mT, 1:45 2/5. B-Joe Serena & Vivi Serena (FL.). $70,000 2014 OBSAPR.
Two Step Salsa--Survicat by Adcat; RINCE TAPAIGH, f, 2, WO, Mcl 20000, 11-26, 6f, 1:14 2/5. B-Victor Kresic (FL.). $10,000 2014 OBSJUN.
With Distinction--Lady Samira by Dehere; DECISIVE FORCE, c, 2, GPW, Msw, 11-28, 5 1/2f, 1:05 4/5. B-Just For Fun Stables (FL.). *Full to Decisive Moment (MG3P$925,783).
Yes It's True--Gem Sleuth by Officer; WHAT LES SAYS, c, 2, DED, Msw, 11-26, 6 1/2f, 1:21 4/5. B-Fred W. Hertrich III & Ronald K. Kirk (KY.). $21,000 '12 KEENOV; $65,000 '13 KEESEP.
Birdstone--Santa Vindi by Vindication; ALFA BIRD, c, 3, DMR, Msw, 11-27, 1m, 1:36 3/5. B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY.). $70,000 '12 KEESEP.
Burbank--Karen's Kitten by Miracle Heights; BANKINONHANK, g, 3, RP, Mcl 7500, 11-28, 5f, 1:00 1/5. B-Beth Caster (OK.).
Corinthian--Mystery by Gone West; ANCIENT MYSTERY, g, 3, GG, Mcl 5000, 11-27, 5 1/2f, 1:05 2/5. B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY.). $4,700 '11 KEENOV; $2,500 '12 WASSEP.
Distorted Humor--African Skies (GB) (G3), by Johannesburg; SEAL TEAM SIX, c, 3, AQU, Mcl 12500, 11-27, 6f, 1:14 4/5. B-P Cockrill, S. Hillen, S. Graham (KY.). $180,000 '12 FTSAUG; $240,000 2013 FTMMAY.
El Nino--Auburn Forever by Migrating Moon; BLACKLISTED, g, 3, CD, Mcl 10000, 11-27, 6f, 1:14 1/5. B-Swifty Farms Inc. (IN.). $3,000 '12 INDOCT.
Empire Maker--Cohiba Miss by Cat Thief; POWER CRAZED, c, 3, CD, Msw, 11-28, 1 1/16m, 1:44 1/5. B-Mike G. Rutherford (KY.). $275,000 '12 KEESEP. *1/2 to Lady Cohiba (MSW$331,725).
Exclusive Quality--Smart Exchange by Exchange Rate; QUALITY GUY, g, 3, GPW, Mcl 12500, 11-27, 6f, 1:12 1/5. B-Amaury Piedra (FL.).
Fairbanks--Kissemilie by Broken Vow; T CROSS, f, 3, PRX, Mcl 40000, 11-28, 1m, 1:41 3/5. B-Two Legends Farm (MD.). $7,000 '12 FTMOCT.
First Defence--Dixie Delight by Dixieland Band; NORTIVECTOR, g, 3, DED, Msw, 11-26, 6 1/2f, 1:22 . B-Morris B. Floyd (KY.). $65,000 '12 FTKJUL.
Forefathers--Spending Jesy by Spend a Buck; AARON OF GOSHEN, g, 3, FG, Mcl 10000, 11-27, 6f, 1:12 2/5. B-Rowell Farms, LLC (LA.).
Freud--Piano Chimes by Chimes Band; THE FROOD DUDE, g, 3, AQU, Mcl 40000, 11-28, 6 1/2f, 1:21 1/5. B-Albert Hanley (NY.).
Grey Memo--Shezaseaheroine by Sea Hero; GREAT SELECTION, f, 3, TUP, Mcl 5000, 11-28, 1m, 1:41 1/5. B-Ridgeley Farm LLC (CA.). $1,100 '12 BESJAN.
Indian Charlie--Beaucette by Mr. Prospector; INDIAN BRUT, c, 3, AQU, Msw, 11-27, 6 1/2f, 1:18 4/5. B-Charles Fipke (KY.).
Kodiak Kowboy--Leading Lioness by Lion Cavern; KODIAK'S PRIDE, f, 3, HAW, Mcl 7500, 11-28, 1 1/16m, 1:46 3/5. B-Lantern Hill Farm LLC & Orion Thoroughbreds (KY.). $5,000 '12 FTKOCT; $5,000 '12 KEEJAN.
Lemon Drop Kid--Platinum Preferred by Vindication; HARVEY'S BEAR, g, 3, WO, Mcl 8000, 11-26, 7f, 1:26 4/5. B-Steven Di Iorio (ON.). $50,000 '12 KEESEP; $47,000 2013 OBSAPR.
Lunarpal--Mission for Bag by Bag; LUNARPAL'S MISSION, f, 3, DED, Mcl 10000, 11-28, 6 1/2f, 1:23 3/5. B-Norris Thibodeaux (LA.).
McCann's Mojave--Pachira by Saros (GB); WILLARD E, g, 3, DMR, Mcl 20000, 11-27, 1 1/16m, 1:45 3/5. B-Gary Thompson (CA.).
Midas Eyes--Twinkie Zone by Wild Zone; TWINKIE WINKS, g, 3, FL, Mcl 7500, 11-28, 5 1/2f, 1:07 . B-Richard Zwirn & Kay Zwirn (NY.).
Mineshaft--Cash Flow by Gilded Time; LUCKY WILLY, g, 3, GG, Msw, 11-28, 6f, 1:10 4/5. B-Curtis C. Green (KY.). $100,000 '12 KEESEP; $140,000 2013 OBSMAR.
Pleasant Tap--Cosa Rara ($259,135), by Tethra; MUGWUMP, f, 3, WO, Mcl 8000, 11-28, 1 1/16m, 1:49 4/5. B-Hard Eight Stables Inc. & Ace Racing (ON.). *1/2 to Cawaja Beach (MSW$274,430) *1/2 to Who's Big Daddy (MSW$263,756) *1/2 to Charlie Bull ($315,103).
Pure Prize--Cherokee Jo by Cherokee Run; PRIZE NATIVE, g, 3, HAW, Mcl 15000, 11-28, 1m 70y, 1:45 . B-Terry L. Morgan DVM & Scott Mallory (IL.). $15,000 '12 KEESEP.
Redattore (BRZ)--Dior (BRZ) by Ghadeer (FR); OAKS (BRZ), f, 3, CD, Mcl 50000, 11-28, 1 1/16m, 1:46 4/5. B-Fazenda Mondesir (BRZ.).
Reformer Rally--Katlila by Sahm; KAT BITE, g, 3, FG, Mcl 20000, 11-28, a1mT, 1:39 . B-Robert Stockett (LA.).
Roman Ruler--Singit by Sultry Song; IMPERATORE, g, 3, WO, Mcl 12500, 11-28, 6f, 1:13 . B-Hill 'N' Dale Farms (ON.).
Sharp Humor--Rangey Lil by Lion Heart; SNUGGLEY BEAR, c, 3, DMR, Msw, 11-28, 6 1/2f, 1:16 4/5. B-Vic Carlson (KY.).
Showing Up--Popozinha by Rahy; SHOW'EM POP, g, 3, HAW, Mcl 7500, 11-26, 1m 70y, 1:47 2/5. B-Lawrence E. Ernst & Jo Ann Ernst (IN.).
Smart Strike--Awesome Ashley (MSW$303,260), by Unbridled's Song; SMART ASHLEY, f, 3, CD, Msw, 11-28, 1m, 1:37 3/5. B-Alex G. Campbell, Jr. Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY.).
Stephen Got Even--Light Wave by Turkoman; EVEN BETTE, f, 3, AQU, Msw, 11-28, 6 1/2f, 1:20 3/5. B-First Class Thoroughbreds LLC (NY.). $27,000 '11 FTMDEC; $25,000 '12 FTKOCT.
Suave Prospect--Spectacular Place by Out of Place; PROSPECT'S BAZINGA, g, 3, ZIA, Msw, 11-26, 5 1/2f, 1:04 4/5. B-Steve Prather (NM.). $37,000 '12 RUIJUL.
Tale of the Cat--Triumphantly by Mr. Greeley; C'MON CAT, g, 3, CD, Mcl 30000, 11-27, 6f, 1:12 . B-Morris B. Floyd, Pat Farrah, Dan Tsujioka & Dave Alban (KY.).
Thewayyouare--Wittenberg Miss by Smart Strike; LUTHERAN MISS, f, 3, AQU, Msw, 11-28, 1m, 1:40 4/5. B-Delehanty Stock Farm (NY.).
War Chant--Royal Dove (IRE) by Royal Academy; HEART AND HUSTLE, g, 3, PEN, Mcl 7500, 11-28, 5 1/2f, 1:07 . B-James E. Hess (PA.).
Waupaca--He Sits He Sips by Robin Des Pins; RONNIE BE, g, 3, RP, Mcl 7500, 11-28, 5f, :59 1/5. B-Ron Blalock (OK.).
With Distinction--Tevas Angel Mio by Dance Master; DREAMING OF PETE, c, 3, GPW, Mcl 12500, 11-28, 7 1/2fT, 1:32 2/5. B-Francisco Gardea (FL.).
Porto Foricos--B. Ablackcat by Tactical Cat; EARL AND VINEGAR, g, 4, DED, Mcl 10000, 11-26, 1 1/16m, 1:51 1/5. B-Earl Hernandez, Keith Hernandez & John Duvieilh (LA.).
War Chant--My Secretarys Wild by Wild Again; WARRIOR'S RIDGE, h, 5, DMR, Mcl 20000, 11-28, 6f, 1:11 . B-La Bahia Stud, Inc. (TX.).

Racing Headlines

Ben's Cat tries for Fabulous Strike three-peat

Ben's Cat will face a salty group including Bern Identity (B&D Photography)
Mid-Atlantic icon Ben's Cat will aim for a third consecutive victory in Saturday night's $200,000 Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National. Rescheduled after an impending snowstorm prompted Wednesday's cancellation, this year's renewal has come up unusually deep, with the likes of Bern Identity, Strapping Groom, River Rocks and Tightend Touchdown also engaged.

Ben's Cat, a $2.2-million earner, is in the midst of a rare losing streak at the moment. Since scoring a three-peat in the July 12 Parx Dash on turf, the King Leatherbury charge missed by a neck in the September 1 Turf Monster, finished third in the September 27 Laurel Dash, and went down fighting by a half-length in the October 18 Maryland Million Turf. That came over a mile trip that stretches him, however, and the cutback to six furlongs promises to suit much better.

Indeed, Ben's Cat has found the Fabulous Strike the ideal spot to rebound from tough losses, having done so for the past two years. And the eight-year-old veteran is a neck away from already owning a three-peat. Ben's Cat was a troubled third in this race in 2011, when it was known as the Six Bits.

Listed as the 5-1 third choice on the morning line, Ben's Cat will break from post 6 with regular rider Julian Pimentel.

Bern Identity, the 7-2 favorite, has drawn the far outside in post 12. The winner of the Sanford and runner-up to Goldencents in the Delta Downs Jackpot as a juvenile in 2012, he was sidelined for virtually all of his three-year-old season.

Trainer Kelly Breen got him back to top form off an 18-month layoff last summer, and Bern Identity returned to action with a three-race winning streak -- the August 2 My Frenchman at Monmouth, the August 22 Tale of the Cat at Saratoga and the September 6 Dave's Friend at Laurel. Bern Identity has dropped his last pair, finishing third in both the October 3 Phoenix at Keeneland and the November 15 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash back at Laurel. He wheels back on short rest here.

Strapping Groom, hero of the 2013 Forego and this year's Tom Fool, was last seen tiring to fifth in the April 5 Carter Handicap. He leads the trio of those who skipped Thursday's Fall Highweight in favor of this spot. The others are River Rocks, runner-up in the Kelso and fourth in the Bold Ruler in his last two, and Tightend Touchdown, a frequent rival to Ben's Cat on the turf sprint scene, who was most recently sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Trickmeister, who exits a third to Bern Identity in the Dave's Friend, has back class and could be sitting on a big effort in his third start off a year-long absence. The four-time stakes winner, and multiple Grade 2-placed performer, has some longshot appeal at 10-1.

The card also offers a couple of stakes appetizers. The $75,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies has lured a dozen Pennsylvania-breds, topped by recent allowance romper Brennan and Maryland Million Lassie third Rockin Jojo.

Notable contenders in the $100,000 Swatara, a 1 1/16-mile test, include Stormin Monarcho, coming off a convincing score in the Richard W. Small at Laurel on November 15; Ground Transport, who was just denied in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial; the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Irsaal; and Integrity, third in a tight finish with Golden Ticket and Pants on Fire in the Left Bank two starts back for Chad Brown.

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Features

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

NOVEMBER 28, 2014

by Dick Powell

2014 is rapidly drawing to a close and this weekend's stakes action from Del Mar, Aqueduct and Churchill Downs provides us with some of the final graded stakes races of the year. I could care less about Eclipse Awards ramifications and focus on wagering opportunities.

Saturday's stakes races at Aqueduct might be highlighted by the Cigar Mile (G1) but the most intriguing race on the card is the nine-furlong Remsen Stakes (G2) for two-year-olds. It attracted 14 entries, Mark Casse will scratch one of his two, and with the short run into the clubhouse turn on the Aqueduct main track, it should be a cavalry charge out of the gate.

There is not a single, graded stakes winner in the field and seven of them are making their first start after a maiden win. Two of the better starters are New York-breds but they both drew way outside. Ostrolenka (Musket Man) will break from post 11 and has enough gate speed but how hard will Johnny Velazquez have to use him from the gate to gain position and avoid being hung out on the first turn? Market Conduct (Super Saver) was third behind Ostrolenka last out going a mile but he races in midpack and will get the worst of it from post 12.

This year's Remsen is the kind of race that you don't want to land on the favorite since the reward you will get will be nowhere near the risk you will take by playing him. Often times in this race, I'll go with an extreme horse -- either the lone speed or a lone closer.

This year, I can't find a lone speed horse that can run away and hide. Moonlight Bandit (Malibu Moon) showed good speed last out winning a one-turn mile race at Churchill Downs -- where he is cross-entered in Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) along with stablemate Flashaway (Eskendereya). If he runs here from post 2, Moonlight Bandit might have the lead into the clubhouse turn but Frosted (Tapit) from post 13 has to gun from there and is training bullets since Kiaran McLaughlin was allowed to use Lasix.

The lone closer appears to be Eh Cumpari (Elusive Quality), who broke his maiden first time out when he rallied from 11th to win by three lengths going a mile at Aqueduct. It's a lot to ask to step up to Grade 2 stakes company but this year's Remsen is not really a Grade 2 stakes race but a first-level allowance race. He will have 12 horses in front of him and if the pace is slow, which it should not be, the field will bunch up and Eh Cumpari will have to go extremely wide.

Frosted drew the far outside and is listed as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite. Can't use him from there at that price. Classy Class (Discreetly Mine) broke his maiden by four lengths going four lengths but he drew outside and his sire turned out to be a Grade 1 sprinter despite being out of a dam that won the Alabama S. (G1) at 10 furlongs.

After much consternation and being forced to make a pick, I gave the nod to Royal Burgh (Street Sense). He broke his maiden first time out going two turns at Keeneland so he has already answered that question. He raced wide through both turns and was game in the stretch to win by a neck. His sire, Street Sense (Street Cry), won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) so the distance is right in his wheelhouse. His dam won a stakes race at Philly Park and came back to be third in a Grade 1 at Santa Anita going seven furlongs.

Todd Pletcher has won this race twice, with Overanalyze (2012) and Bluegrass Cat (2005), and Jose Lezcano won the 2009 edition with Buddy's Saint. When you examine the history of this race, you see numerous winners that did not have stellar careers afterwards so don't be afraid to go with a horse Saturday that might be at double-digit odds that you are not going to play in the Kentucky Derby future wagers.

Royal Burgh, at 12-to-1 morning line odds, draws well, is from a top barn and has the pedigree to excel at nine furlongs early in his career. His BRIS Speed rating of 80 is woefully slow but it does not take into account the ground he lost (46 feet farther than the second-place finisher) and against this field, at this price, from this post and these connections, he is well worth keying him in your bets. Royal Burgh might not go on to win the Triple Crown but all he has to do is win the Remsen. 

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Racing Headlines

Tampa Bay Downs gets early start on 2014-15 winter meet

With the strongest jockey colony in memory and top barns from around the country, anticipation for the Saturday opening of Tampa Bay Downs' 2014-15 season has reached a fever pitch. The 91-day meeting resumes with a first-race post time of 12:30 p.m. (EST).

"Not everyone can cash a big superfecta ticket, but we are committed to making our patrons' experience as rewarding and memorable as possible on a daily basis," said Tampa Bay Downs Vice President of Marketing & Publicity Margo Flynn.

"(Racing secretary) Allison De Luca has done an awesome job recruiting top racing outfits. We had almost twice as many applications for stalls as we could accommodate," Flynn said. "The reputation of our safe, sand-based dirt track and lush turf course has spread nationwide and made Tampa Bay Downs a prime winter racing magnet."

Among the attractions for horsemen is a stakes schedule offering $2,660,000 in purse money. The highlight is the March 7 Festival Day program, which includes the Grade 2, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby for three-year-olds; the Grade 3, $200,000 Florida Oaks for three-year-old fillies on the turf; and the Grade 3, $150,000 Hillsborough for older fillies and mares.

The stakes slate begins December 6 -- Cotillion Festival Day -- with the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes for two-year-olds and the $100,000 Sandpiper for two-year-old fillies. The December 6 festivities include the popular "Breakfast Buffet at the Downs" from 8-10 a.m. in the Trackside Picnic Pavilion.

Eight of the top 10 riders from the 2013-14 meeting are back, including last year's runner-up Ronnie Allen Jr., a four-time Tampa Bay Downs jockey champion, and third-place finisher Daniel Centeno, who has won five Tampa Bay Downs titles.

Adding zest to the riding colony is the return of Rosemary Homeister Jr., who spent the past two winters at Oaklawn Park. Homeister, who won an Eclipse Award as the outstanding apprentice in 1992, has ridden more than 2,700 career winners, second only to Hall of Fame member Julie Krone among women riders.

Other newcomers with solid credentials include a pair of Midwestern jockeys, Chris Emigh and E.E. Perez (also known as Eduardo E. Perez).

The track's jockey colony will be greeted Saturday by a state-of-the-art, high-performance collapsible Duralock rail along the inside of the turf course. Manufactured in the United Kingdom, the Duralock rail is designed to minimize the risk of injury when horses and riders brush against it.

For the past eight seasons, one name has reigned supreme among Tampa Bay Downs trainers: Jamie Ness. The native of Heron, South Dakota set the track record by saddling 79 winners in 2011-12 and is a prohibitive favorite to surpass the late Don Rice for most training titles in track history (Rice's eight titles were not consecutive).

Ness -- whose far-flung stable is also active during the winter at Laurel, Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Penn National and Charles Town -- won't have quite the same volume of starters at Tampa Bay Downs as in past seasons, but his exceptional horsemanship and understanding of where his horses fit still make him the one to beat.

"We're going to give it a big shot," he said recently. "We don't base the success of our stable on being leading trainer, but we're going to fill 40 stalls with some quality older horses and some young horses that look like they'll be OK."

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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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Racing Headlines

In brief

Jockey Alex Solis, who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in August, is on the cusp of his 5,000th career victory. The 50-year-old notched win number 4,999 in Friday's 3RD race at Del Mar, guiding the Howard Zucker-trained Synnin (Tribal Rule) to a 1 1/2-length decision in the starter allowance on turf. Solis was unplaced with his other mount in the 6TH, but has three chances to reach the milestone Saturday and another three on Sunday...

Winner of the Longacres Mile (G3) at Emerald Downs two back and a fast-closing second in the October 30 Big Bear at Santa Anita, Stryker Phd is the top draw in Sunday's $100,000 Berkeley H. (G3) at Golden Gate Fields. The confirmed late runner will face eight opponents from his rail post with regular rider Leslie Mawing. Other contenders in the 1 1/16-mile test on Tapeta include Pepper Crown (Peppered Cat), upset winner of the San Francisco (G3) earlier this season on the local turf; stakes victors G.G. Ryder (Chhaya Dance), Marino's Wild Cat (Marino Marini) and Mr. Bowling (Ishtan); and Everton (Indian Charlie), who is scheduled to make his stakes bow for Bob Baffert following an allowance score at Santa Anita...

Passion for Action (Speightstown), hero of the October 12 Cup and Saucer on turf, looms large in Saturday's C$250,000 Coronation Futurity over Woodbine's Polytrack. The filly Brooklynsway (Giant Gizmo) takes on the boys off her victory in the November 2 Princess Elizabeth, and could be joined by Princess Elizabeth runner-up Shez a Masterpiece (Mast Track), who is cross-entered to Sunday's Ontario Lassie. Recent maiden winners Decision Day (Macho Uno) and Nipigon (Niigon), as well as Mark Casse's well-regarded maiden Danzig Moon (Malibu Moon), are all worth a look in the 1 1/8-mile test...

Shez a Masterpiece (Mast Track) and London Tower (Head Chopper), the second- and third-place finishers from the November 2 Princess Elizabeth, highlight a field of six Ontario-bred juvenile fillies in Sunday's $150,000 Ontario Lassie at Woodbine. Galina Point (Saffir) is another top contender in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack event following her win in the November 15 South Ocean. Later on the program, Canadian champion and nine-time stakes winner Pender Harbour (Philanthropist) will be the one to beat in the $125,000 Sir Barton for Ontario-breds. Trained by Michael De Paulo, the six-year-old gelding will square off against seven foes in the 1 1/16-mile race on Polytrack...

Trainer Mike Stidham has stakes plans for Fantasize (Artie Schiller), who broke his maiden in Thursday's 8TH race on the turf at Fair Grounds. "We bought him as a yearling and we had had some luck with (sire) Artie Schiller -- with Dorsett and (Hammers Terror) -- before with (owner) Terry Hamilton," Stidham explained. "We saw this yearling at the sale and liked him quite a bit. He's a little bit of a late developer, as far as two-year-olds go, but he showed a great acceleration yesterday." Fantasize was coming off a fifth in his debut on the Keeneland turf. "Running a mile and an eighth the first time wasn't ideal, but it gave him the experience he needed," Stidham reflected. "We had hoped for a big run yesterday and he gave it to us. He hadn't shown us that turn-of-foot before. He has matured quite a bit and has a big-reaching stride." Fair Grounds does not have a turf stakes for his division until the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes on February 28 over 7 1/2 furlongs, so the horseman is considering shipping. "He came out of it in good shape," Stidham said. "We'll look at stakes races at Tampa (Bay Downs) and Gulfstream (Park) for him possibly after this.  We think he'll be an even better three-year-old."...

According to conditioner Richie Scherer, Holmark Stables IV's Bourbon Cowboy (Cowboy Cal) is under consideration for the $50,000 Sugar Bowl S. on December 20 at Fair Grounds. A sharp maiden winner at Arlington, he has been mixing it up in stakes company, finishing fourth in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3), second in the Fitz Dixon Memorial and an uncharacteristic last of five in the Display. All of his starts have come on synthetic surfaces, and Scherer believes that Bourbon Cowboy will eventually be a turf horse. Yet Scherer notes that he is training sharply over the Fair Grounds dirt.

Features

HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS

NOVEMBER 28, 2014

by Dick Powell

2014 is rapidly drawing to a close and this weekend's stakes action from Del Mar, Aqueduct and Churchill Downs provides us with some of the final graded stakes races of the year. I could care less about Eclipse Awards ramifications and focus on wagering opportunities.

Saturday's stakes races at Aqueduct might be highlighted by the Cigar Mile (G1) but the most intriguing race on the card is the nine-furlong Remsen Stakes (G2) for two-year-olds. It attracted 14 entries, Mark Casse will scratch one of his two, and with the short run into the clubhouse turn on the Aqueduct main track, it should be a cavalry charge out of the gate.

There is not a single, graded stakes winner in the field and seven of them are making their first start after a maiden win. Two of the better starters are New York-breds but they both drew way outside. Ostrolenka (Musket Man) will break from post 11 and has enough gate speed but how hard will Johnny Velazquez have to use him from the gate to gain position and avoid being hung out on the first turn? Market Conduct (Super Saver) was third behind Ostrolenka last out going a mile but he races in midpack and will get the worst of it from post 12.

This year's Remsen is the kind of race that you don't want to land on the favorite since the reward you will get will be nowhere near the risk you will take by playing him. Often times in this race, I'll go with an extreme horse -- either the lone speed or a lone closer.

This year, I can't find a lone speed horse that can run away and hide. Moonlight Bandit (Malibu Moon) showed good speed last out winning a one-turn mile race at Churchill Downs -- where he is cross-entered in Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) along with stablemate Flashaway (Eskendereya). If he runs here from post 2, Moonlight Bandit might have the lead into the clubhouse turn but Frosted (Tapit) from post 13 has to gun from there and is training bullets since Kiaran McLaughlin was allowed to use Lasix.

The lone closer appears to be Eh Cumpari (Elusive Quality), who broke his maiden first time out when he rallied from 11th to win by three lengths going a mile at Aqueduct. It's a lot to ask to step up to Grade 2 stakes company but this year's Remsen is not really a Grade 2 stakes race but a first-level allowance race. He will have 12 horses in front of him and if the pace is slow, which it should not be, the field will bunch up and Eh Cumpari will have to go extremely wide.

Frosted drew the far outside and is listed as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite. Can't use him from there at that price. Classy Class (Discreetly Mine) broke his maiden by four lengths going four lengths but he drew outside and his sire turned out to be a Grade 1 sprinter despite being out of a dam that won the Alabama S. (G1) at 10 furlongs.

After much consternation and being forced to make a pick, I gave the nod to Royal Burgh (Street Sense). He broke his maiden first time out going two turns at Keeneland so he has already answered that question. He raced wide through both turns and was game in the stretch to win by a neck. His sire, Street Sense (Street Cry), won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) so the distance is right in his wheelhouse. His dam won a stakes race at Philly Park and came back to be third in a Grade 1 at Santa Anita going seven furlongs.

Todd Pletcher has won this race twice, with Overanalyze (2012) and Bluegrass Cat (2005), and Jose Lezcano won the 2009 edition with Buddy's Saint. When you examine the history of this race, you see numerous winners that did not have stellar careers afterwards so don't be afraid to go with a horse Saturday that might be at double-digit odds that you are not going to play in the Kentucky Derby future wagers.

Royal Burgh, at 12-to-1 morning line odds, draws well, is from a top barn and has the pedigree to excel at nine furlongs early in his career. His BRIS Speed rating of 80 is woefully slow but it does not take into account the ground he lost (46 feet farther than the second-place finisher) and against this field, at this price, from this post and these connections, he is well worth keying him in your bets. Royal Burgh might not go on to win the Triple Crown but all he has to do is win the Remsen. 

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Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather

SPOT PLAYS

For Saturday

TRACK   (RACE) HORSE, MORNING LINE
Aqueduct   (3rd) Divine Luck, 6-1
    (8th) Quezon, 5-1
Charles Town   (2nd) Heron's Waltz, 4-1
    (4th) Go Kid Go, 7-2
Churchill Downs   (5th) Sailing Shiksa, 4-1
    (9th) West Coast Belle, 4-1
Del Mar   (1st) Kantune, 7-2
    (2nd) Galehorn, 7-2
Delta Downs   (1st) Gabby's Toga, 9-2
    (6th) Higher Ed, 3-1
Fair Grounds   (2nd) Powder Road, 4-1
    (5th) Debbie Ann, 4-1
Golden Gate Fields   (8th) Single Launch, 3-1
    (9th) The Gray Hound, 4-1
Gulfstream Park West   (4th) Lady Mayfair, 4-1
    (8th) Firespike, 3-1
Hawthorne   (2nd) Getwutupreyfor, 5-1
    (5th) Hapman, 4-1
Laurel Park   (1st) Tinuviel, 5-1
    (5th) Tripmeister, 3-1
Mahoning Valley   (5th) Gray Dowry, 7-2
    (8th) Sweet Intimidator, 4-1
Mountaineer   (4th) U S Frequentflyer, 5-1
    (7th) Carnival Kid, 9-2
Parx   (5th) Persuasive Girl, 4-1
    (9th) Trust in Tebow, 4-1
Penn National   (6th) Scarlet's Number, 3-1
    (10th) May Day Cash, 4-1
Remington Park   (5th) Holiday Clover, 7-2
    (8th) King Kid, 9-2
Retama Park   (5th) Potente Rivale, 4-1
    (10th) Our Romeo, 4-1
Tampa Bay Downs   (2nd) Magic Olivia, 3-1
    (5th) Anchorwoman, 7-2
Woodbine   (2nd) Lumber Man, 4-1
    (6th) Boggie, 7-2

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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