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Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin wasn't nearly as surprised as the bettors at Aqueduct last November when Consortium swept to victory by nearly five lengths at 13-1 in his debut.
"We expected him to run well. We felt like he was a really nice horse and he was training really well. Alan Garcia rode him great the first time, sat back fifth in the clear and came running to win by five," McLaughlin said.
"He's so well bred. Bernardini is such a great sire. It's nice to have quite a few Bernardinis in the barn."
On a raw, stormy day, Apprehender was like a lightning strike in his debut at Oaklawn Park on Thursday and showed he is a contender for the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest Stakes on February 20.
Calling the gelded son of Posse one of the best horses she's ever trained, trainer Ingrid Mason needed to be convinced to race the three-year-old in the 5 1/2-furlong maiden contest because of concerns about a muddy track and the short distance. Consider those concerns dismissed after a 7 1/2-length romp under jockey Inosencio Diego.
Sunday's Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park marks the seasonal debut for Hansen, who secured champion two-year-old male divisional honors and remained unbeaten with a gutsy score in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The gray son of Tapit tops a short field of six in the one-turn mile race.
Count Fleet Stakes runner-up Stephanoatsee is off the Kentucky Derby trail due an injured pastern bone, trainer Graham Motion said Tuesday.
A half-brother to 2011 Preakness winner and Kentucky Derby fourth-placer Shackleford, Stephanoatsee chipped a piece off the top of the pastern bone in his right foreleg. He will undergo surgery Wednesday at the New Bolton Equine Clinic in Pennsylvania, with Dr. Dean Richardson reattaching the piece rather than removing it.
Just five days after celebrating Havre de Grace's Horse of the Year honors, trainer Larry Jones enjoyed a banner Saturday at Fair Grounds by sweeping both sophomore stakes with Brereton Jones homebreds. Oaks aspirant Believe You Can started the double in the Silverbulletday Stakes, and Mr. Bowling capped Road to the Derby Kickoff Day with a battling win in the Grade 3, $175,000 Lecomte Stakes, raising his profile on the Triple Crown trail.
Despite owning just one prior start, Lanni Family Trust's Reneesgotzip ran away with the Grade 2, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, the Peter Miller trainee finished 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast dirt in 1:15 1/5, returning $4, $2.80 and $2.60 as the even-money favorite.
Peachtree Stable's Sacristy, a smashing Churchill Downs maiden winner in her first opportunity on dirt, followed up promptly in her stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, the 6-5 choice unleashed a powerful rally down the stretch and drew off by 1 3/4 lengths. The newly-minted sophomore took 1:10 4/5 to complete six furlongs on the fast track, returning $4.60, $2.80 and $2.40.
Borislow et al's Killer Graces fanned three-wide rounding the turn of Saturday's Grade 1, $402,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes and rallied in the lane to be a half-length in front of Charm the Maker on the wire of the 8 1/2-furlong affair. Jockey Joe Talamo piloted the Jerry Hollendorfer pupil to finish in 1:44 on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track.
Glencrest Farm's Disposablepleasure recovered from a bad stumble at the start, and survived an objection, to prevail as the 6-5 favorite in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct.
Anita Cauley's homebred On Fire Baby crushed her rivals in Saturday's Grade 2, $169,350 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs, winning off by 6 1/4 lengths, and became only the seventh filly to sweep Churchill Downs' fall stakes for two-year-old fillies with the gate-to-wire decision.
The Gary Hartlage-trained filly captured the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes on the opening weekend of the fall meet.