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TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) puts her undefeated mark on the line Saturday while taking on six rivals in the one-mile Las Virgenes S. (G1) at Santa Anita. The Mike Puype trainee broke her maiden at the Oak Tree meet run at Hollywood Park, then remained at that venue to add the Moccasin S. and Hollywood Starlet S. (G1) to her resume. The bay lass is trying a conventional dirt track for the first time in the Las Virgenes, and retains the services of regular David Flores for her sophomore bow.
Count Fleet S runner-up J J'S LUCKY TRAIN (Silver Train) and unbeaten RESCIND THE TRADE (Put It Back) are top draws in Saturday's $100,000 Whirlaway S. A prep for Aqueduct's premiere event for three-year-olds, the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G1) on April 9, the Whirlaway will feature a field of seven runners over 1 1/16 miles on the inner track.
Turfway Prevue S. winner INHISGLORY (Pure Prize) makes his debut for trainer Mike Stidham in Saturday's $60,000 Black Gold S., one of two sprint stakes for three-year-olds on the Fair Grounds card.
Formerly trained by Wayne Mogge, the bay gelding was purchased by Peter Redekop on the eve of his game score in the 6 1/2-furlong Turfway Prevue, where he just lasted by a nose.
Undefeated champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) recorded his first official breeze since his 4 1/4-length conquest of the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), strolling three furlongs in a leisurely :39 4/5 over a fast track at Palm Meadows on Sunday. The Todd Pletcher colt is expected to begin his road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) in the March 12 Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
“I think people are making a bigger deal out of the time than they need to,” Pletcher told Daily Racing Form.
Robert V LaPenta's DIALED IN (Mineshaft) unleashed a monster move from the tail of the field to capture his stakes debut in Sunday's $400,000 Holy Bull S. (G3), prevailing in a dramatic come-from-behind fashion not typically seen at speed-friendly Gulfstream Park. Highly regarded by Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, the Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful is now a perfect two-for-two.
In a potentially informative entry-level allowance for three-year-olds, Darley Stable's CROSSBOW (Bernardini) outdueled a stubborn Sovereign Default (Northern Afleet) in Saturday's 5TH race at Gulfstream Park. The two impressive maiden winners dominated in the wagering as well, with Crossbow the slight even-money favorite over the 6-5 Sovereign Default, and the margin of victory on the track wasn't that much larger.
Courtlandt Farms' homebred MACHEN (Distorted Humor) confirmed his potential as a Louisiana Derby (G2) prospect by dominating Sunday's 5TH race at Fair Grounds, but the unbeaten colt had anything but clear sailing as prohibitive 1-20 favorite.
Hardacre Farm LLC's homebred POMEROYS PISTOL (Pomeroy) used her front-running position in Sunday's $200,000 Forward Gal S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park to draw off in the stretch, giving her enough of an advantage to hold the fast-closing Dancinginherdreams (Tapit) by a three parts of a length on the wire. With jockey Pascacio Lopez providing a smart ride, the Amy Tarrant trainee finished up the seven-furlong test in 1:22 4/5 to add a first stakes win to her resume.
With champion Awesome Feather (Awesome of Course) sidelined by a tendon issue, DANCINGINHERDREAMS (Tapit) and R HEAT LIGHTNING (Trippi) are the leading three-year-old fillies in training in South Florida, and the two runners will open 2011 against each other in Sunday's $200,000 Forward Gal S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park. A total of seven fillies are entered in the seven-furlong test.
KATHMANBLU (Bluegrass Cat) burst onto the radar last year with a four-length romp in the grassy Jessamine S. at Keeneland, then found herself in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) spotlight when dominating the Golden Rod S. (G2) under the Twin Spires by 8 1/2 lengths. On Saturday, the Kenny McPeek trainee gave notice she's carried her two-year-old form into the New Year when recording a 1 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Sweetest Chant S. at Gulfstream Park.